The Onteora Central School District has announced that Takemi Sono-Knowles is valedictorian of the Class of 2023 and Maeve Turck is salutatorian.
Sono-Knowles, the son of Keiko Sono and Martin Knowles of Bearsville, leads his class with a weighted Grade Point Average (GPA) of 100.89, which he achieved while juggling a challenging course load of Advanced Placement (AP) classes and a host of extracurricular activities. He will be graduating with an Advanced Regents Diploma with High Honors, as well as a Math and a Science Distinction. He has also earned the status of AP Scholar with Distinction.
Sono-Knowles is a member of the National Honor Society and the Harvard Model Congress and is the president of the Philosophy Club. He has earned a Seal of Biliteracy and a Seal of Civic Readiness. In addition, he has been a member of Science Olympiad since his sophomore year, and this year, he received two fourth place medals in the Trajectory event, where he and a partner designed and built a catapult. Most recently, Sono-Knowles has been named one of this year’s Mid-Hudson Athletic League Senior Scholar-Athlete Award recipients.
A talented musician, Sono-Knowles has been playing saxophone since Grade 4 and is a first chair alto-saxophone player in the high school’s wind ensemble. In addition, he plays in the jazz ensemble. Takemi has also been playing both piano and guitar from a young age and has participated in the All-County Band and the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) festivals.
Sono-Knowles is an avid tennis player and is on the varsity tennis team. He has played in second and third singles, and second doubles, and won the Sportsmanship Award during his junior year. This year, he is team captain and has been helping to coach other players. He has participated in both the Mid-Hudson Athletic League (MHAL) and Section 9 tournaments.
Outside of school, Sono-Knowles is a member of the Rock Academy in Saugerties, a music school for local children. He teaches piano there, and as a member of the advanced group at the school, he has toured New England, playing many shows with several famous musicians. In his spare time, Sono-Knowles enjoys drawing portraits, and in May of last year, he had the honor of having his own art show at Woodstock Artists Association & Museum (WAAM), where he showcased 15 of his pieces.
In the fall, Sono-Knowles will be attending Brown University, where he will major in Chemistry, with a minor in music.
Maeve Turck, the daughter of Sarah and Shane Turck of Olivebridge, earned her salutatorian status by achieving a weighted GPA of 100.859. She graduates with an Advanced Regents Diploma with Honors and a Science Distinction and has earned the status of AP Scholar with Distinction.
Turck handles a rigorous course load of AP courses, and is involved in a range of extracurricular activities. She has earned the Seal of Biliteracy and the Seal of Civic Readiness and has been on the High Honor Roll all four years. In addition, she is the co-editor-in-chief of The Reservoir, the school’s literary magazine, co-vice president of the Spanish Club and secretary of the National Honor Society. Turck is also a member of the Harvard Model Congress.
Turck plays viola in the high school orchestra, where she is first chair, and the chamber ensemble. She has played field hockey on both the junior varsity and varsity teams, and earned the Scholar-Athlete Award in both Grades 11 and 12. Outside of school, Turck is a student board member for the Olive Free Library.
In the fall, Turck will attend Vassar College, where she will major in Neuroscience.