Troy Urquhart, Dean of the Upper School, has announced that seniors Xuchuxue “Irisa” Zhou as the Valedictorian for the Class of 2016 and John Taylor “JT” Hancock as this year’s Salutatorian for the Montverde Academy Commencement Exercises for the Graduating Class of 2016. The graduation ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 28, 2016, at 1:00 PM inside MVA’s Center for Sportsmanship & Wellness (“The Nest”).

2016-Valedictatorian-Xuchuxue-Irisa-ZhouA boarding student from Guangzhou, China, Irisa’s career at Montverde Academy has been an impressive one. Her coursework here has included AP Computer Science A, AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, AP Macroeconomics, AP Microeconomics, AP English Language & Composition, AP Chemistry, AP Psychology, AP Music Theory, AP Statistics, AP Comparative Government & Politics, and AP Physics C–all while fulfilling the requirements for the STEM Study Area Concentration diploma, where she completed a study titled “Effects of Chopin’s Etudes op. 10 on the Efficiency and Accuracy of High School Students.” Irisa has served as the president of her Sophomore class, as the Historian for the International Thespian Society, as co-producer of the school’s annual Lunar New Year celebration, as president of the Tri-M Music honor Society, as vice president of the mathematics club, as deputy secretary general of the school’s Model United Nations organization, and as a Prefect. Named as an AP Scholar with Distinction by the College Board in 2015, Irisa plans to attend McGill University in the fall.

2016-Salutatorian-John-Taylor-JT-HancockJT Hancock, a day student from Clermont, has completed coursework at Montverde including AP World History, AP English Language & Composition, AP English Literature & Composition, AP Chemistry, AP Comparative Government & Politics, AP Macroeconomics, and AP Psychology. The captain of the varsity Lacrosse team and selected by his peers as Prom King, JT has served as a member of the school’s Honor Council, the National Spanish Honor Society, the National Science Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, and National Honor Society. He was a founder of the school’s TED Talks Club and has served as president of the Key Club. During his summers, JT has helped with the school’s Summer Camp program and has worked at My Tek Lab, where he has helped young people develop technology skills. Named as an AP Scholar with Honor by the College Board in 2015, JT plans to attend the University of Florida this fall.