Graduation 2021: OVUHS names valedictorian and salutatorian


BRANDON — Otter Valley Union High School has selected the Valedictorian and Salutatorian for the Class of 2021. Mia Politano of Brandon, daughter of Paul and Erika Politano, is this year’s Valedictorian. Grace Coolidge of Brandon, daughter of Brian and Kelly Coolidge, is the Salutatorian.

Politano was a member of the National Honor Society and has been awarded academic excellence in numerous advanced and AP classes, including math, science and the humanities. She enrolled in AP World History, AP Chemistry and AP Statistics as a junior and AP Literature and AP Biology as a senior. She has been recognized by the College Board as an AP Scholar.

Politano has consistently demonstrated and exceeded proficiency in all academic areas. Last spring, she was awarded the prestigious Yale Book Award, the Bausch and Lomb Honorary Science Award and the Rensselaer Medal. She has been awarded academic excellence in Studio Art, Geometry, Drawing and Painting, Algebra 2, and Adv. American Studies. Politano has served on the student council and as the vice president of her class since she entered the 9th grade.

In addition to her rigorous course load, Politano has participated in soccer, softball, basketball and golf since her freshman year. She was the individual golf state champion in the 2018 and 2019 season, advancing to New England’s in 2017. She has won Coaches’ Awards and Most Outstanding Player in both golf and basketball. She has attended the athletic leadership conference and the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership seminar and has participated in jazz band, pep band, and orchestra, playing both the clarinet and tenor saxophone.

Coolidge has been named to the Scholar’s Role every marking period throughout high school and was a member of the National Honor Society. She has been awarded academic excellence in numerous classes including AP Chemistry, AP World History, Advanced American Studies, AP Biology, AP Literature, and Calculus. Grace has received the Clarkson University Leadership Award, the Wellesley College Book Award, the University of Rochester Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony Award, and the Society of Women Engineers Award for Highest Honor in Science and Mathematics.

She has been a member of student counsel for four years and class president for two years.

Outside of the classroom, Grace has forged a new position for the Town of Brandon, as the Student Ambassador for the Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce, acting as a liaison between youth groups and the Brandon Chamber as well as collaborating and volunteering within the business sector of the town. Grace was also nominated to represent Otter Valley at the Emerging Leaders Forum for the state of Vermont. In this position she worked with committees around the state to reshape the role of student government.

Grace was also a member of the OV Environmental Club, served on Student Council as the president of her class for two years, and was editor of the yearbook. Additionally, she has been a member of the Nordic ski team and has played the alto saxophone in jazz band and concert band while participating in senior chorale.


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