Return to Headlines

Fox Lane High School Announces 2021 Valedictorian and Salutatorian

Fox Lane High School is proud to announce valedictorian Sara DaCunha and salutatorian Allison Burg for the Class of 2021.

 Sara and Allison are both active members of the community who give back by working with younger children. Both also plan to study science in college.

 Learn more about these exemplary young women in the mini-profiles below.

 

Allison Burg senior photo Allison Burg, salutatorian

College Attending: Dartmouth College

Anticipated Major: Mechanical Engineering

 

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

I am honored to have been a part of the Fox Lane Science Olympiad team and I am extremely proud of my team winning first place at our regional competition in 2020.

I am also proud of starting Girls in STEM Club. Watching the club transform from just an idea to a virtual outreach program with Mount Kisco Elementary School, in which I get to see young girls explore their passion for STEM in real time, has easily been one of my greatest accomplishments.

Lastly, I am proud of the face mask detection program that I independently coded using a coding language that I taught myself during a summer internship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

 Who is the most influential person(s) in your life? Why?

My mom is the most influential person in my life because she has never ceased to believe in and support me. Moreover, she always listens to me and, through great advice, pushes me to be a better student, friend, sister, and person.

What is your favorite Fox Lane memory?

My favorite Fox Lane memory is running with my teammates on the Winter and Spring track team, where I am a sprinter. Whether it was late nights at the Armory or tanning during practice, I will miss running on and being a part of the track team.

What are you looking forward to after high school?

I look forward to going to college, where I hope to continue to do what makes me happy, passionate, and challenged. I am beyond excited to meet new people, learn new things, and discover more about who I am and how I can make the world a better place. I look forward to growing both personally and academically for the entirety of my life.

 

Sara DaCunha senior photo Sara DaCunha, valedictorian

College Attending: Undecided

Anticipated Major: Chemistry

 

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

When one reflects on their accomplishments, awards, honors, and prizes may quickly come to mind. However, for me, I take pride in my dedication to the Boys and Girls Club of Northern Westchester.

After attending the club from second through seventh grade, I quickly became involved in both volunteering and working here. Whether as a preschool teacher, camp counselor, or sanitation team member, I was constantly surrounded by those doing the same as I was: giving back to the community. After receiving so much care from the club as a child, I was able to return the favor through four years of service. In doing so, not only was I rewarded with the ability to help others but I was also able to observe my superiors who dedicated their lives to helping children. Thus, my involvement at the Boys and Girls Club has not only become an accomplishment due to my time spent caring for others, but has also served as a window into the world of giving back. This has ultimately fostered my desire to lead a life aspiring to help others. I could not be more proud of both my actions and self-discovery within the walls of the BGCNW.

Who is the most influential person(s) in your life?  Why?

In all honesty, the most influential people in my life have been my teachers. I know, I know; that must sound SO cliche. However, Fox Lane teachers are different from the rest. Coming into school each day, I was eager to absorb as much information as possible as my instructors displayed such passion in their fields. Because of their zeal, taking notes never felt like a chore, but, rather, an opportunity to understand their fascination with the subject at hand. Every single teacher I have learned from has touched my life, ultimately sculpting my own dedication to academics. However, a few especially stand out to me: Mr. (Matthew) Hillis, Mr. (Gerald) Ludwig, Mr. (Douglas) McLellan, and Mr. (Frederick) Neumann (in ABC order so there is no ranking system :)).

I cannot thank these teachers enough for their impact on both my personal growth and overarching goals. It is due to their commitment to teaching that I have even begun to consider the field of education for my prospective career path. I would not be where I am today without my teachers, and I most certainly would not have developed a strong passion for learning without their guidance and enthusiasm. My teachers will forever have the biggest influence on my life.

What is your favorite Fox Lane memory?

Although the senior class missed out on a lot due to COVID, my favorite Fox Lane memory has to be collaborative lunches. From ninth through eleventh grades, being able to take a break from the long school day and just be with my friends for an hour was always refreshing and fun.

What are you looking forward to after high school?

I am really looking forward to finally making a tangible difference in my surrounding community. Specifically, at my university I aspire to become involved in numerous volunteer organizations involving both the medical and educational fields. Whether spending my time at a local hospital or tutoring neighboring elementary school students, I am ecstatic about being able to increase the quantity of those who I am able to help (with the assistance of my university). For me, witnessing this positive, tangible impact that my actions have on others is the most fulfilling way to spend my years after Fox Lane.

At the same time, I am eager to attain the opportunity to study abroad in Spain. I hope to  become fluent in Spanish in order to break down language barriers in my own daily routine. In doing so, I am aiming to expand the population that I am able to help through my work both through and outside of my university. Therefore, for the overarching reason of exponentially increasing my opportunities to help others, I cannot wait to begin my collegiate journey.