York High School has named its top students for the class of 2021. Here is an alphabetical list of those students:
Margaret Therese (Meg) Bachelder is the daughter of Amy Ryan and Richard Bachelder and the twin sister of William Bachelder. Meg served the 2021 class as president and historian. She is a member of the National Honor Society and the World Languages Honor Society for Spanish, as well as a member of the YHS Eco Club. Meg enjoys dancing and athletics and has been captain of the YHS volleyball and softball teams. She is a member of the YHS Chamber Singers and is a committed violinist, which she started in third grade. She has received the Wellesley College Book Award, numerous academic accolades, and invitations to several leadership conferences including MYAN, RYLA and the WMC Student Athlete Leadership Summit. Meg is passionate about service, the arts, and education and is excited to explore those interests starting this fall at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana.
William (Billy) Bachelder – Salutatorian, is the son of Amy Ryan and Dick Bachelder and the twin brother of Meg Bachelder. While at YHS, Billy ran four seasons on the indoor and outdoor track, while also doing cross country during his junior and senior years. He played the trombone in jazz and concert orchestras for four years and managed the 5156A Robotics Team Design Book for three years. Billy was an active participant in the National Ocean Sciences Bowl, as well as the Math Team, Eco Club, and the Speech and Debate Team. He spent two years as a member of TIDALWAVSE and is a member of both the National Honor Society and the World Languages Honor Society for Spanish. He is a recipient of the National Merit Scholarship and a candidate for the United States Presidential Fellowship Program. Outside of school, Billy worked at White Pine Programs as a volunteer and camp counselor. An avid visual artist, Billy looks forward to studying visual arts as well as marine science and / or astronomy at Brown University in the fall.
Daphne Stratton Gignac – Promotion Major, is the daughter of Lisa Stratton and Pierre Gignac. She has been a key member of 100% York Ready for two years, a group she joined after participating in an initiative that successfully banned styrofoam in York. This group allowed her to further develop her interests in environmental protection and educated her on the many political issues surrounding climate change and pollution. At school, she founded the YHS Eco Club and has been co-leading the group for two years. When it comes to sports, Daphne was on the tennis team for the first three years of high school and followed through her senior year. Additionally, she has been volunteering at the Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth since the age of twelve. Daphne is a finalist for the National Merit Scholarship and has won 15 academic awards at YHS, including the Rensselaer Medal, the Phi Beta Kappa Academic Achievement Award, and the Brandeis Book Award. She also obtained her Maine State Literacy Seal for French. Daphne enjoys spending as much free time as possible outdoors, exploring the trails and marshes near her home, and hiking as often as she can. Next year, Daphne will go to Yale and major in environmental studies.
Gemma Rose Hopkins is the daughter of Amy and Eric Hopkins and has lived in York her entire life. While in high school, she was involved in the Eco Club, National Honors Society, World Language Honors Society and a group, in which she played the flute. Gemma participated in Varsity Field Hockey and Track and Field for all four years. For the 2021 State Track and Field Championships, she was part of the winning team in the 4x800m relay. In field hockey, she was named captain in her senior year and appeared in three state championship games. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, running and listening to Taylor Swift. This summer, she plans to babysit and spend as much time as possible outdoors. In the fall, Gemma is thrilled to attend Boston College majoring in Biology, where she hopes to continue to be involved with the school and the community.
Tarunraj Ramgulam is the son of Sangeeta and Raj Ramgulam. In September 2014, he left England for America, to join the sixth year at York Middle School. He is a member of the World Languages Honor Society for French and a member of the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth and Study of Exceptional Talent. He has also participated in the National Ocean Science Bowl, the Robotics Club, and the Math Team. Since the summer of 2020 during confinement, he has been volunteering at the Leeward Landing Thrift Store. He was part of the soccer, indoor track and spring track teams throughout his high school career. Tarun also received prizes in mathematics, chemistry and physics. He will attend the California Institute of Technology, where he will study applied and computational mathematics.
Evan Bennett Rankin, son of Brett and Leslie Rankin and brother of Brynn Rankin, is a skier, musician and player. He has participated in a wide range of athletics, including winter and spring track, cross-country skiing, golf and tennis. He is, according to MileSplit, the ninth fastest male walker in the country, and has used this skill to go from class to class at high speed. He was part of the jazz and concert orchestras, where he played the piano and tenor saxophone. He has also been involved with Robotics, Drama Club, Eco Club, Debate Team, National Honor Society, Pickleball Club and served as Class President. Academically, Evan has been a National Merit Finalist as well as the recipient of the Xerox Award for Innovation, the Louis Armstrong Award for Jazz Excellence, and academic awards in Biology, Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry and English. Outside of YHS, Evan is an avid ski instructor and hiker. He attended Dartmouth College in the fall where he planned to pursue his passions for innovation, rock climbing and pickleball.
Sophia Palermo Roe is the daughter of Carolyn and Steven Roe. In addition to her dedication to school, Sophia has a wide variety of interests. Throughout her high school years, she was heavily involved in both class officers and student government. She enjoyed planning events, raising funds and making changes at YHS. Music is a big part of his life; she plays the clarinet in the harmony orchestra and the violin at the Portsmouth Music and Arts Center. Additionally, Sophia enjoys playing volleyball for York and for a club team for the past four years. She is a member of the Société Nationale d’Honneur and the Société Française d’Honneur. Outside of school, she spends time with her friends and works at Whispering Sands Gifts. Sophia will attend Northeastern University next year to study health sciences with a concentration in global health.
Cameron Gerard Runte is the proud son of Gerry Runte and Michelle Marean. He is an active varsity soccer player as well as a captain of the indoor and outdoor track and field team. After training, he enthusiastically builds robots for the robotics team, problem-solves in Odyssey of the Mind, and co-runs the Eco Club. With the loss of athletic and extracurricular activities at the end of undergraduate and early senior year, he became an unofficial member of the York Recycling Committee and an active member of the YR100 EcoHomes initiative, following a passion for l ‘environment. He is a member of the National Honor Society and the World Languages Honor Society for German. He has received ten class awards as well as the Suffolk University Book Award over the past four years. He is excited to attend Tufts University next year, where he plans to pursue environmental studies.
Gabriel Michael Sarno is the proud son of Samara and Christopher Sarno. He has been involved in the YHS Eco Club, YHS Math Team, YHS Student Government, and has been a member of TIDALWAVSE for three years, as chairman during his final year. An enthusiastic musician, Gabe played the trombone in the concert and jazz group YHS throughout high school, where he auditioned and earned a spot in nine honorary ensembles, including the Maine All-State Jazz Band and the Concert Band. In addition, he was a two-time recipient of the Berklee College of Music Judge’s Choice Award. Gabriel is an avid runner and captained the cross country, winter trail and spring trail teams in his senior year. Throughout his time at York High School, Gabriel received awards in Lifetime Wellbeing, Citizenship Preparation, Band, Jazz Band, AP United States History, AP English and Composition, AP English Literature, and the YHS Outstanding Senior Award. Gabriel is a member of the Société Nationale d’Honneur and the Société Française d’Honneur. Gabriel will be attending Bowdoin College in the fall, where he will major in biology.
Greta I Shaffer is the daughter of Heidi Wefers and Michael Shaffer. She played varsity field hockey on the team that won the Class B Southern Championship. She also competed and played tennis for YHS. Greta is interested in cultures and history of the world. She was able to travel abroad several times as an exchange student and was delighted to welcome a German student for a whole school year. Greta was an active member of the National Honor Society. She received an honorary distinction during her four years of high school. Greta can’t wait to be a counselor this summer at a YMCA night camp where she will complete her final year of a three-year commitment to mentor young girls. There, she will also teach sailing and give swimming lessons. Greta will be attending Northeastern University this fall, majoring in cell and molecular biology, possibly with a minor in history.
Hailey Elizabeth Springer is the daughter of Bridgette and Todd Springer and has been attending York schools since fourth grade. A dancer at Brixham Danceworks in Berwick for seven years, she was a member of the National Honor Society, attended the Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership (HOBY) seminar, was a member of the film club for four years and participated in the National Ocean Bowl tournaments his junior and senior years. In her final year, Hailey worked hard to create a video documenting the use of solar panels for the York Eco Homes initiative, which supports York’s goal of reducing greenhouse gases by 50% from here 2030. Her passion for the arts, photography, scuba diving and marine conservation also led Hailey to contact National Geographic Explorers to determine the impact of photos on marine conservation research for her AP research project senior. Hailey plans to continue her research while majoring in Communication and Aquatic Biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara in the fall of 2021.