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Duncan McManus, Susan Rykowski Named Valedictorian, Salutatorian In Croton

Croton-Harmon 2016 valedictorian Duncan McManus and salutatorian Susan Rykowski stand with their principal Alan Capasso.
Croton-Harmon 2016 valedictorian Duncan McManus and salutatorian Susan Rykowski stand with their principal Alan Capasso. Photo Credit: Contributed photo

CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. -- Croton-Harmon High School's Class of 2016 valedictorian Duncan McManus and salutatorian Susan Rykowski, both point to their school and its close-knit community, as a reason for their success.

McManus, who will be attending Brown University, is described by his school counselor Tanya Thibideau as “exceptional.”

“He is a vibrant member of our school community and is regarded in high esteem by faculty and peers alike,” she said. “Not only is he a stellar student, he is kind, clever, mature and extremely ambitious.”

He credits the school’s small community and collaborative atmosphere for fostering a supportive environment amongst his peers. He has served as a member of the school’s Student-Faculty Congress for four years (this year, he is vice president), is president of the school’s Pi Squad, is a member of the Chinese and Spanish clubs and has also participated in C.A.C.T.I. competitions.

“My favorite classes have probably been physics – which I took last year and this year,” he said. “It’s also probably my strongest subject.”

Rykowski, who will attend Villanova University, has been busy during her years with the school serving as class president for four years, the only female member of the school’s golf team and as a member of the debate team.

But as her school counselor, Leslie A. Troise, pointed out, “…she is so much more than book smart.” Troise noted that Rykowski “observes and processes diverse information, whether interpersonal or situational, in a way that far exceeds her years.”

She counts some of the rigorous math classes she has taken throughout her high school career as some of the highlights of her academics in Croton.

Outside of her time at school, she has spent time volunteering at Teatown Lake Reservation and tutoring younger students in math.

“I think high school has definitely taught me how to have a great work ethic and how to manage my time well,” she said. “I have also had great experiences getting to know some of the teachers and faculty here and establishing great connections.”

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