Royal Palm Beach High School seniors will be crossing the South Florida Fairgrounds stage at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, May 23. The Class of 2016 will be led at the graduation ceremony by valedictorian Marissa Premsukh and salutatorian Rayven Glaubrecht.
Premsukh and Glaubrecht were announced as the top two in the class during the RPBHS Senior Awards Night on Monday, May 16.
A 3.96 GPA and a 5.07 HPA secured Premsukh the valedictorian position.
“It’s really an honor. I wasn’t expecting to have it. I was thinking I was going to be salutatorian, actually,” she said. “This year, something happened and changed. I was really excited about it.”
She found out in February and was ecstatic. As soon as she left the principal’s office, she texted her parents.
“They were really happy. My dad said, ‘Congratulations,’ and my mom apparently went around her office telling everyone,” Premsukh recalled. “I was really excited, but at the same time I was really nervous.”
Her speech, she said, which has been written, is the part that makes Premsukh nervous, but she is ready.
“I want to put on the cap and gown, walk across the stage and get my diploma,” she said.
Participating in the Future Business Leaders of America has been one of her high school highlights. “I competed for states and actually got first place in the category business communications, so I was really excited for that,” she said.
FBLA helped Premsukh get a feel for what she was good at. In French, she has become a good writer and was picked as the school’s Pathfinder nominee. Premsukh also studied Latin this year.
After graduation, Premsukh will go on to study chemical engineering at the University of Florida.
“I also took chemistry last year and just loved the subject in all of its entirety,” she said.
In 10 years, Premsukh hopes to be working in the chemical engineering industry and traveling through Europe.
For other students who want to be at the top of their class, she stressed confidence. “Don’t doubt yourself,” she said. “Don’t look at it like an impossible task.”
For Glaubrecht, the title of salutatorian is a big milestone.
“It’s a huge accomplishment for me. I didn’t realize that I was going to be second in the class,” she said. “It just kind of happened.”
Going into the guidance department office one day, Glaubrecht was told that she had jumped from third in the class to second, and would be presenting a speech at graduation. Her 5.0 HPA and 3.875 GPA secured her the spot.
Her parents told everyone, sharing the information on social media, when they heard the news. “I was excited but nervous at the same time,” she said.
Graduation is quickly approaching, but she’s ready.
Some of Glaubrecht’s top accomplishments in high school include being nominated for the Pathfinder award in academic excellence, being the vice president of the National Honor Society and secretary of the Spanish Honor Society, and being involved in many activities at the school.
Her fondest memories stem from the Relay for Life, which she has participated in since the seventh grade.
“It’s a thing that all of my friends and I do every single year to raise money for the American Cancer Society,” Glaubrecht said. “It’s an event that’s been with me for so long, it just means a lot.”
Glaubrecht will be attending the University of Central Florida and studying biology, starting this summer. The field appealed to Glaubrecht, who is passionate about science and animals. She was a volunteer at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center.
In 10 years, she hopes to have earned a master’s degree and have a job in South Florida, close to her family.
For others aspiring to be at the head of the class, Glaubrecht emphasized working hard.
“Work hard and stay on top of your school work,” she said. “Have fun in high school, but always get your work done. Make that a top priority. Take the challenging classes. Take the AP courses and the dual-enrollment classes, because that boosts your GPA. If you have all that, you have a better chance at being at the top of your class.”