Twins Named Valedictorian and Salutatorian!

It Takes Two: Rondout Valley High School Twins Named Valedictorian and Salutatorian
Posted on 02/28/2022
valedictorian and salutatorianRondout Valley High School (RVHS) Principal Jessica Torok is proud to announce that, for the first time in recent history, twins have earned the top two spots in the graduating class. Ethan Koch, with a grade point average (GPA) of 101.04, is the valedictorian of the Class of 2022, and Gianna Koch, with a GPA of 100.38, is this year’s salutatorian. The siblings are the children of Eric and Anna Koch of Marbletown. 

Ethan took advantage of the High School’s Advanced Placement (AP) and collegiate level courses offerings. He has taken AP English Language & Composition, AP US History, AP Chemistry, AP Government & Politics and AP Biology. In addition, he has taken Pre-Calculus, English 101 and 102, French V, and College Accounting I through SUNY Ulster. 

While Ethan is planning on majoring in electrical engineering, he is undecided about which college he will be attending this fall. His top contenders are Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Binghamton University, and SUNY Polytechnic Institute. He has earned impressive tuition-based scholarships from various colleges.   

Ethan has been a member of the National Honor Society since Grade 10, and during his freshman year was a peer mentor for Middle School students. He has been involved in the RVHS Newcomers Uplifted Program as a Peer Leader since Grade 10, serving as the Student Coordinator last year. He also volunteers on the school’s Prom Committee. Ethan has played on the Varsity Lacrosse team since Grade 9, and participated on the Varsity Golf team his sophomore and senior year. 

Outside of school, Ethan is the Assistant Captain of his Saugerties-based ice hockey team. He also plays for the Ridge Lacrosse Club during the summer months. Currently, Ethan works as a Gatehouse Attendant at Mohonk Mountain House.   

Ethan is appreciative of his community. “Thank you to my teachers, family, and friends for all of the support,” he said. When thinking about his time at RVHS, he has particularly fond memories of Science teacher Anthony Tocco, who also serves as Ethan’s Lacrosse coach. “The methods behind his teaching are different from any other teacher I’ve had,” he shared.  

Ethan and Gianna are grateful for each other. “I am happy to be a twin. It's been really fun and helpful to be able to go through it all together,” said Gianna. “We work together a lot and work together really well.”  

While attending RVHS, Salutatorian Gianna took AP English Language & Composition, AP US History, AP Chemistry, AP Government & Politics, and AP Biology. She has also taken Pre-Calculus, English 101 and 102, and French V. In addition, she and her brother are currently taking Calculus I & II through SUNY Ulster.    

This fall, Gianna will be attending SUNY Ulster through the College Scholars Award Program, which provides full-tuition scholarships to graduating Ulster County students who rank in the top 10 percent of their class. The daughter of two teachers, she will be majoring in education. “I hope to have an impact on my future students, like my teachers have had on me,” shared Gianna. 

Although Gianna is thankful for all of her Rondout Valley teachers, she said that French teacher Patricia Abi-Hassan and Science teacher Anthony Tocco were particularly impactful. She also singles out RVHS Nurse Joann Redmond for praise. “Mrs. Redmond was really helpful during my injury earlier this school year,” she said. “She went above and beyond.”  

Since freshman year, Gianna has played on the Varsity Volleyball team (serving as captain in Grades 10 and 11) and Varsity Softball team (for which she has served as captain since Grade 10). She is a member of the National Honor Society and the Prom Committee, and is Vice-President of Student Congress. Gianna is also a proud participant in the Newcomers Uplifted Program, acting as a Peer Leader in Grades 10 and 12, and the Student Coordinator in Grade 11. In her free time, Gianna plays ice hockey for a club in Saugerties, serving as the team’s captain. In addition, she participates in travel softball, playing for the Kingston City Royals. 

Ms. Torok is extremely proud of this year’s valedictorian and salutatorian. “I am impressed with how well-rounded Ethan and Gianna are. They are incredibly humble, and seeing them grow as students and twins the past four years has been an honor,” she said. “The way they support each other is inspiring. They are genuinely best friends, and there is no competitiveness. It is really something special and admirable.” Ms. Torok is thankful for their leadership as well. “Their passions over the years have always been rooted in making the District a better place,” she concluded.

Originally posted 2.24.22