Darienne Rogers, valedictorian
Darienne Rogers topped Islip’s Class of 2020 with a 106.3 percent weighted GPA. She intends to study biomedical engineering at Duke University this …
Darienne Rogers topped Islip’s Class of 2020 with a 106.3 percent weighted GPA. She intends to study biomedical engineering at Duke University this upcoming school year.
For all four years of high school, Rogers has been involved in Science Olympiad and the robotics team. Additionally, she said she has always been drawn to the medical field.
“That was the perfect combination of what I wanted to do — the medical field and engineering,” Rogers said while discussing her decision of field of study.
Rogers actually started the Islip High School’s robotics team when she was a freshman. She formed a six-student group across three grade levels and referred to the creation of the club as her high school project. Initially, the club had to be privately funded since the club did not fit in the district’s finances.
“Then we did so well that the school saved up money and, in my 11th-grade year, it actually got integrated into the school,” Rogers said. “So then it was opened to everybody, and now there are like 15 members.”
Rogers, as well as the salutatorian, Maddie Germano, represent the class as vice president and president, respectively. Atop that, Rogers and Germano are Suffolk County champions as doubles in tennis. The duo teamed up in their junior year and finished fourth in the county and were named All State.
Furthermore, both Rogers and Germano are pursuing higher education in North Carolina, and the two campuses are only separated by about 10 miles.
“It is really cool going through this whole experience with [Germano], and then to be 15 minutes away from her at college next year is going to be awesome,” Rogers said.
Rogers noted the class advisors as influential individuals throughout her high school career: Ms. Horn and Ms. Pitera. As class officers, Rogers said she and Germano sought and heeded their instruction.
“The two of them were really helpful as people we can go to talk to comfortably. We did everything with them related to student government,” Rogers said.
Maddie Germano finished No. 2 in the Class of 2020 and has been named the salutatorian at Islip High School with a 105.87 percent weighted GPA. She plans on studying neuroscience at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill this upcoming school year.
In choosing a school, she selected UNC Chapel Hill because of its mixture of quality academics, social life, and school spirit. Germano said she always knew she wanted to enter the medical field in her work.
In December of Germano’s sophomore year, her mother passed away. And the following month, Germano was diagnosed with Chiari malformation, and surgery was necessary.
“I had to stop playing tennis for a very long time,” Germano said. “I had my surgery in March, and I was just going into lacrosse season. Since then, I have stopped playing lacrosse because my doctors are too nervous about me playing.”
Germano said the complication increased her interest in learning more about the brain and overall sparked her thoughts of pursuing neuroscience in particular.
Tennis and other sports like lacrosse have been a staple in Germano’s high school experience. In fact, she and classmate Darienne Rogers, the class valedictorian, were named county champions in doubles this year after finishing fourth in the county their junior year. Germano and Rogers are also the president and vice president, respectively, of Islip’s graduating class.
In addition to tennis, participating in the Science Olympiad has also been key for Germano. She has been involved since seventh grade.
“That was my winter sport all throughout high school because it was so intense,” Germano said. “We would have meetings all the time and always be studying for events.”