Kristina Georges: Class of 2022 Valedictorian

Maria Cifuentes

This year the valedictorian of the Class of 2022 is Kristina Georges, a bright and hardworking student who has left her mark in the Hampton Bays High School community. She earned the honor through years of dedication to her studies. She is where she is today because of her determined mindset. After leaving high school she will continue her education at Cornell University as a chemical engineering major. 

Throughout her high school career, Kristina has challenged herself to take hard courses. What is remarkable about her academic track record is that she excelled in all her Advanced Placement classes, never settling for average. She took AP Biology in her sophomore year with Dr. Forsberg, which is typically a class only offered to juniors and seniors. Although she was a sophomore taking one of the most difficult science courses, she received high scores on all her assignments and it even became her favorite class. Kristina said, “My favorite class was AP Biology because I loved the hands-on labs we did in that class, and how applicable and observable the class content was to real life.”

 While she was taking AP Biology, she doubled up with Regents Chemistry, taking classes early in the morning before school started with Mrs. Lavazoli. Although this meant double the amount of homework and content to memorize, Kristina was still able to get a 4 on the AP Biology exam and in her junior year she received a 5 on her AP Biology Exam. These accomplishments highlighted her efforts and was a reward for all of the nights she stayed up late studying. 

When asked what was the hardest part of maintaining her spot, Kristina said, “The hardest part of maintaining my spot was constantly pushing myself to do better and improve upon previous mistakes. I’d often lose sleep doing this, which was definitely hard.” 

Since freshman year Kristina has been a member of the Science Research Program at Hampton Bays High School which is directed by Dr.Forsberg. Kristina has developed her research project on the topic of glial cell proliferation in multiple sclerosis. Through her research and working with her mentor Dr. Jamie Wong for the Tisch Multiple Sclerosis Research Center, she discovered what she wanted to study in college. Kristina said, “I realized I wanted to major in engineering because I saw how technology was benefiting people afflicted with multiple sclerosis.” She sees the Science Research Program as one of her greatest achievements because it felt like it was a big and real step towards what she plans to do in the future. Overall, the Science Research Program is something that Kristina enjoyed very much, it provided her a tight-knit community. Kristina said, “We were all like-minded scientific students that were highly ambitious and that in turn motivated me to pursue my own passions.” 

After working with Kristina for her entire high school career, Dr. Forsberg recalls what her first impressions of Kristina were. “I have had the pleasure to have met Kristina and teach her for four years. Kristina has always had questions on her mind, she was constantly asking a million questions. I loved it. She wanted to know everything about everything. From the moment I met her, I knew she was going to be a great student.” What stood out the most about Kristina to her teachers was her consistency and determination. She is the kind of person that  sets a goal and makes sure she accomplishes it.

Outside of the classroom, Kristina is also a talented musician and a community service leader. Kristina shines best when playing the violin as a member of the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra and the Hamptons Youth Quartet. Music is an important outlet for her and it contributes to how well-rounded she is as a top student. In school she exercises her leadership skills as a member of Key Club, Interact Club, and she holds the position of Vice President of the Senior Class Student Council. To top it all off she is also a dedicated athlete as a member of the Winter Track and Cross Country teams. 

After all her years of hard work and constant drive to do her best, Kristina reminisces on what inspired her the most and the lessons she will take with her from Hampton Bays High School. When asked how she felt when she found out that she was valedictorian, Kristina said, “I was surprised but also very relieved because it was the first time I felt gratification for all the hard work I’ve done.” However, maintaining her spot was not all that easy. As a senior she continues to take challenging classes such as AP Spanish and AP Calculus which were the most threatening to her academic status. But overall, she preserved and did not let anything take away the honor she had worked so hard for. Kristina’s parents were one of her biggest motivations, she said, “My parents motivated me most during high school because they both put so much time and effort into my development. I felt as if I could not let their efforts go to waste.” 

When asked what advice she would give to younger students, Kristina left these inspiring words: “The advice I’d give to underclassmen is to truly try their hardest in every task they undertake. Don’t throw away opportunities given to you.” 

After receiving the highest honor of academic achievement, Kristina wanted to thank those who helped her on her journey and have molded her into the person she is today. Kristina said, “I’d definitely like to thank my parents for always encouraging me to do my absolute best, as well as Mr. Richardt for helping me throughout the college application process. Lastly, I’d like to thank Dr. Forsberg for being my hiding light throughout the 4 years that I’ve been here. She’s helped me reach a level of professionalism faster than I’d imagined. Hampton Bays High School has helped me develop a solid foundation for the things to come, and I hope to utilize the skills I’ve gained here to the fullest extent.”