Brian Josephson Named Valedictorian and Batya Wiener and Maya Parness Tie as Salutatorians For the Class of 2018

Batya Wiener and Maya Parness Tie for Salutatorian


Alexander Thorp

From left to right: Batya Wiener ’18, Brian Josephson ’18, and Maya Parness ’18. All three are extremely accomplished both in and out of school.

On June 21, 2018, the Class of 2018 will graduate at the United Palace Theatre with Brian Josephson as valedictorian along with Batya Wiener and Maya Parness as salutatorians.

Josephson has a GPA of 97.92. Wiener and Parness tied for salutatorian with the same GPA of 97.76. This rare occurrence has happened only once before in Bronx Science’s history, in 2015, when Harry Liu and Stephanie Pang also tied as salutatorians. There has never been a tie with valedictorians at Bronx Science.

“I was probably more productive on my commute to and from school on the Bx10 than at home. I did practically all of my homework and studying then!” Wiener said.

Their impressive GPAs landed them at the very top of their class, but these numbers alone do not define them: all three students have a wide array of interests and and have achieved much both in and out of the classroom.

Aside from academics, Josephson is occupied with being a co-director of the Big Sibs program, a volunteer tutor, and part of the National Honors Society. However, he cites that gymnastics is his favorite activity. He is captain of both the Boys’ Varsity Gymnastics Team in school as well as the Chelsea Piers Junior Olympic Team, where he competes at level 10.

“I have had the same coach for many years now, and we have become very close. In fact, after I found out that I was the valedictorian, my coach bought a cake, and my team and I celebrated together,” said Josephson.

As captain of the Girls’ Varsity Tennis team and a varsity member of both indoor and Outdoor Track and Field Teams, Wiener has had to structure her time wisely to maintain her average. Her long list of extracurriculars does not stop with athletics. Wiener is also an intern at a biochemistry lab at Hunter College, president of the Current Events Forum, co-director of Big Sibs, and a volunteer tutor at her synagogue’s Hebrew school. Wiener credits her success to her ability to use idle time to her advantage.

“I was probably more productive on my commute to and from school on the Bx10 than at home. I did practically all of my homework and studying then!” Wiener said.

Although Parness also has a long list of extracurriculars, including being on the math team, a member of the National Honor Society, and a mentee at NYU with the Regeneron Social Science research program, being a captain of the Speech and Debate Team is her favorite. Currently, Parness is also one of the top-ranked speakers in the state, currently placed second in Humorous Interpretation and sixteenth in Duo Interpretation.

“Speech has taught me so much about how to be poised, confident, and outspoken about the things that I care about, and it’s also given me an amazing, dedicated community and family to be a part of,” Parness said.

Although their schedules consist of difficult courses such as Linear Algebra and AP Physics C, Wiener and Parness both agree that AP Calculus BC is the hardest course in the school.

“I worked harder for that class than I’ve worked for anything in my life, which I think was definitely one of the most valuable and rewarding experiences of my time at Bronx Science,” said Parness.

“The class is challenging and taught at such a fast pace that I honestly did not think that I would be able to manage it in the beginning of the year. With time, I adjusted to the class’ difficulty, and the material fascinates me, so it is well worth all of the work,” agreed Wiener.

While Josephson also agreed that these courses are challenging, he stated that the hardest course he has experienced at Bronx Science has been AP European History.

“Although most people say the hardest classes are AP Physics C and AP Calculus BC, both of which I am actually taking now, I found AP Euro challenging, yet also very intriguing and worthwhile,” said Josephson.

All three agree that all their years of hard work have paid off and they are all excited to speak at graduation.

“I am very excited to be speaking at graduation! Being given this honor out of a class of 717 students is a feeling that I can’t describe and something for which I will forever be thankful,” said Josephson.