New Paltz High School (NPHS) has announced its top two academic leaders for the Class of 2023: Valedictorian Sofia Loyer of New Paltz and salutatorian Lauren Stolfe of Gardiner.
Loyer earned a GPA of 101.8, achieving this academic success while participating in several rigorous academic clubs, working in a bookstore, painting murals, rock climbing, reading Greek philosophy and other classics, weight-training and more. Loyer is the president of the Mock Trial Team, the Engineering Club and the Interact Club. She serves as co-president of the Science Olympiad and Mathlete teams, and is vice president of the National Honor Society (NHS) and has served as the constitutional vice president of the Class of 2023 for two years.
Loyer said she has mostly decided on attending the State University of New York at Binghamton to major in Computer Science, but only as the beginning of a path to law school–an area of study and vocation that was not on her radar until she took Advanced Placement History and Black History classes with NPHS teacher Albert Cook. “Mr. Cook told me to try out for the Mock Trial team,” she explained. “My involvement in Mock Trial has made me want to go further with it, into law school.” Loyer added she found herself feeling connected and enjoying writing about history in a way she had never experienced before.
Stolfe earned a GPA of 99.674. She serves as the NHS secretary, treasurer of the Class of 2023, and editor and email coordinator for the Yearbook Club. Lauren enjoys the sciences, such as biology and physics, and works at a local restaurant. She also dances tap, ballet and lyrical, plays the flute and enjoys baking.
Stolfe plans to study neuroscience at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and is contemplating psychiatry studies as well. “I am interested in studying mental illness,” she said. “I think it will continue to be a big issue for the government, requiring even more attention.” Stolfe said she is drawn to the sciences because “there are so many unknowns.” She credited NPHS social studies teacher Kara Seims for introducing her to the lens of government, which she feels incorporates a civics element to her studies in math and science. “RPI offers a Public Health program, which intertwines all of my interests,” she said. She also credited her parents and grandmother for encouraging her, but never pushing. “They let me choose my own direction.”
Principal Samuelle Simms shared her pride in the accomplishments of the two academic achievers. “I am inspired by all that they have done and their contributions to the school community. I admire how well-rounded they both are,” she said. “I look forward to following their future successes.”