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Danbury High School     43 Clapboard Ridge Road Danbury, CT 06811     (203) 797-4800

The Hatters' Herald

Danbury High School     43 Clapboard Ridge Road Danbury, CT 06811     (203) 797-4800

The Hatters' Herald

Danbury High School     43 Clapboard Ridge Road Danbury, CT 06811     (203) 797-4800

The Hatters' Herald

Danbury High School’s 2024 Valedictorian: Shreya Sudarsanam

Class of 2024 Valedictorian Shreya Sudarsanam
Class of 2024 Valedictorian Shreya Sudarsanam

Each graduating year, Danbury High School students ask: What constitutes a valedictorian?  Though “Valedictorian” is typically defined as the academic title conferred upon the highest-ranked student among those graduating, this year’s graduating class can vouch that Shreya Sudarsanam, the Valedictorian of 2024, has accomplished much more. 

Sudarsanam is Danbury High School’s 2024 valedictorian, the principal violist of the Connecticut All-State Orchestra, and a member of the 2024 Connecticut Music Educators Association’s (CMEA) Western Regionals. She served as Vice President of both the Science National Honor Society and the Math Team. Sudarsanam was also a participating member of the National Honor Society and the National Music Honor Society. At the Danbury Music Centre, Sudarsanam played as a pit orchestra member for the city’s annual Nutcracker production and is a member of the Centre’s Danbury Community Orchestra as well as the Danbury Symphony Orchestra. 

Unlike many may assume, Sudarsanam didn’t think much about her 4.8951 cumulative GPA, preferring to enjoy the “grueling journey towards success more than celebrating a numeric GPA… because our identity and our success are defined by more than just a number, and the potential for improvement throughout the journey of life is more exhilarating to ponder.”

Sudarsanam is not only applauded by her peers for her passion and dedication but also her humility and moral character. 

On the struggles and motivations of keeping up grades, Sudarsanam said she found her motivation in “the tremendous legacy that [her] older peers had left in this school through their perseverance and hard work.”

Thanking those who made the high school experience more enjoyable, Sudarsanam is grateful to the Math Team and Science National Honor Society for creating “an encouraging and motivational atmosphere.” Sudarsanam “will forever cherish the valuable knowledge and connections that [she] made while working as a team to compete with other schools.”

Sudarsanam also thanks the National Music Honor Society, the Danbury Music Centre, and her music friends for “using the beauty of music to channel passion, expression, and emotion to convey and share personal stories and legacies that shine a spotlight on the diversity of the Danbury community.”

Beyond her academic success, Sudarsanam enjoys activities such as volunteering as a helper for the Summer Strings program “to share my passion for music.” She also enjoys volunteering at the Daily Bread food pantry with her friends. 

Sudarsanam plans to attend the University of Connecticut, an awardee of the Nutmeg Scholarship, to study actuarial finance; her future goal is to become an actuary with knowledge in related fields such as data science, econometrics, and finance. Sudarsanam hopes to “eventually pass the 10 exams that are necessary to become a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, which is the highest qualification and certification for an actuary.”

To close, Sudarsanam shared a quote from the author Jadah Sellner that helped her persevere in the face of life’s difficulties—one quote that all Danbury High School students may benefit from hearing: “It’s okay to be a glowstick; sometimes we have to break before we shine.”

Sudarsanam hopes not only to persevere and succeed in her future but also to be able to help others: 

“I still remember the book that my mother read to me, “The Little Engine That Could,” when I was in elementary school, during which a tiny but optimistic engine helped pull another stranded train to the other side of the mountain of success. I will always try to be like that little engine who overflows with positivity as it conquers new obstacles to make a positive difference in this world, which is what matters to me the most.”

Shreya Sudarsanam, Danbury High School applauds you. Congratulations on your immense success, and good luck in the future!

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About the Contributor
Mariam Azeez B
Mariam Azeez B, Editor-in-Chief

Hello there! I'm Mariam, a Senior Writer, and this year marks my second year contributing to the Hatters' Herald. I've been juggling various roles, including writing for the Herald, managing our social media account, and serving as the Editor-in-Chief. In my free time, I enjoy reading classical literature, writing poetry, listening to music on my record player, hanging out with my friends, occasionally painting, and just... being alive! I care deeply about standing up for what I believe in and being active in my community. I also have two cats :)

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