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CHHS Class of 2022

Gwen, Adora, and Emma

Croton-Harmon Schools Recognize Valedictorian, Co-Salutatorians For The Class Of 2022

The Croton-Harmon Union Free School District is proud to announce our Valedictorian and dual Salutatorians for the Class of 2022. Valedictorian Emma Castro and Salutatorians Adora Chen and Gwen Labbate have each achieved incredible academic success while also pursuing a variety of extracurricular activities. Emma and Adora have been enrolled in the Croton-Harmon school since kindergarten, while Gwen joined the district in the fourth grade. Their connection to the community is apparent, as each commented on the importance of volunteerism and the gratification it provides.

Throughout her time at CHHS, Emma has demonstrated a passion for politics and activism. She is a representative of the Student Faculty Congress and a member of several CHHS clubs, including the Student Activism and STAR clubs. She has also worked for a US Senate Campaign, with Planned Parenthood Voices and interned with an NYC-based political consulting firm. Outside of school, she enjoys painting and playing the guitar. While she has many academic interests, she currently plans to major in psychology and will likely add an additional major.

Emma says that her “small, tight-knit community” has helped her and her fellow students to have a voice on important matters.

“I think one thing that’s really valuable about being in such a small school environment is that the students really have a lot of say in what goes on in their school,” she said. “Throughout my years here, I saw that so many students were actually able to develop ideas and implement changes in our school. The administration was always receptive to our ideas—not only accepting them, but welcoming them. I really felt that there was an emphasis placed on student input.”

Co-Salutatorian Adora Chen has many academic interests, but lists her favorite subjects as AP Environmental Science, computer science, English, AP Physics and art/graphic design. She is a member of CHHS’ Interact Club and Debate Club. Outside of school, she is also an active volunteer, plays piano and participates in NYSSMA, and enjoys art, graphic design and taekwondo.

“My most memorable experience from my time in Croton schools is meeting my current friend group at lunch in middle school,” said Adora when asked to reflect on her years in the district. “All my teachers in the district, as well as my friends, have offered great support throughout the years.”

Co-Salutatorian Gwen Labbate, like Emma and Adora, appreciates the opportunity she's had to build relationships with her teachers, who, she says, have been very supportive and encouraging. Gwen also enjoys a range of subjects, including AP U.S. History, Spanish, AP Environmental Science and Earth Science, and she participates in the Debate Club and the Literary Magazine club. Outside of school, she loves volunteering and playing the guitar, which she also plays with the school’s chorus and select-chorus in addition to singing.

“I am grateful that the district created a safe space for students to continuously question and learn,” said Gwen when asked about her time in the Croton school system. “My teachers are always happy to talk with me about my interest in subjects that go beyond the course curriculum. Sharing school achievements, laughs, and even stress with my friends has always made me feel supported and motivated to persevere through any obstacles I face.”

To underscore the significance of their achievement, CHHS Principal Laura Dubak gave each a bracelet with the inscription, she believed she could, so she did as a reminder of the work they did to earn this recognition. Ms. Dubak had this to say about the three students:

"When it was determined that Emma, Adora, and Gwen are our valedictorian and salutatorians, I could not have been more proud. They are each amazing individuals who have touched our school and community during their time here and consistently show what it means to be focused, creative, innovative, empathetic, and smart.”

Once again, all of us in the district would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to Emma, Adora and Gwen for their incredible achievements. We’ve been lucky to have them as members of our school community, and we wish them the best in college and beyond.CHHS Principals with Class of 2022 Val & Sals