Yonkers Middle-High School Valedictorian, Salutatorian, Tops in YPS With 104%, 103% GPA!

Yonkers Middle-High School Valedictorian Sarah Ranginwala, above and Salutatorian Carolin Pulickal, below

By Dan Murphy

Congratulations to Yonkers Middle-High School Valedictorian Sarah Ranginwala and Salutatorian Carolin Pulickal. Both will graduate with the highest, weighted GPA’s in the Yonkers Public Schools.  

Sarah will graduate with a 104. 27 GPA, but didn’t make a big deal of being the #1 students in the YPS Class of 2022. “It feels nice, but honestly it was beccause my classes are weighted.”

That’s correct but those weighted classes are more difficult, and the IB Program at Yonkers Middle -High School is consistently ranked as one of the top high school programs in the nation. 

Sarah’s favorite teachers are Mr. John Krajovan (English), Dr. Lesia Kaszczak (Biology), Mr. German Arregui (Math). “I couldn’t pick just one. These three teachers I have taken classes with for more than one year and they played a large part in my growth. I took (IB) Biology this year and it was the most enoyable course this year.” 

Extra curricular activities for Ranginwala include a Columbia University honors program and volunteering at Beczak Environmental Center. “I got in during my junior year and have taken astronomy and astrophysics every Saturday this year. It gave me a sneak peak into the college experience, and for students like me interested in STEM, I plan on going into bio-engineering as a career, it was great to see what it was like learning from distinguished professors.”  

“I also enjoyed volunteering at Beczak every weekend and clean up the park and try to help the environment. I took a course where we learned about the Hudson river and the organisms in it. It was interesting, and I never thought of myself as being interested in environmental science but I was glad I got to explore it.” 

Sarah was aceepted into 11 colleges and will be attending New York Institute of Technology in the fall. “It was an economic decision and the school is diverse, like Yonkers High. And I always wanted to go into STEM and they have a great program, so it was the best fit for me. And I can commute and stay at home.”

“I’m hopefully headed toward a masters in Bio-engineering, and I hope that I’ll be able to use my passion for STEM to make a difference in other people’s lives. Growing up my dad said make sure your career is about helping people, and I have always been good at neuroscience and math. If I combine that with my desire to help 
if I combine that with my desire to help people, then I can make a difference. And I feel that using my STEM skills in engineering is a way to serve without going into medicine. I’m excited about where this all will take me.” 

“I really love how diverse our school is, and how everyone welcomes and supports each other regardless of our differences. Our teachers are also dedicated and passionate, and it’s easy to tell how much they truly care about our success.”

Advice to the future classes at Yonkers Middle-High? “Don’t involve yourself in drama and things that don’t concern you. It’s a waste of energy that you could be putting toward much more important things.”

Who helped you get to this point of academic success? “My parents, they are understanding and give me a break when I need it, and my teachers they are passionate about what they do. And my friends helped me find that balance.”

Yonkers Middle-High Salutatorian Carolin Pulickal will graduate with a 103.11 GPA. Her favorite teachers are Mr. John Krajovan – English and Dr. Lesia Kaszczak – Biology. “I’ve loved how they always bring the text in our lessons to life. Especially Biology, which can be boring, but she always connected it to real life situations. And Mr. K in English gave us the background so that the books and stories we were readying came to life. It’s nice to have teachers that are approachable and encouraging."

Carolin spent a summer in a Columbia Medical School program that studied the neurological effects of COVID. “I was one of two high school students in the program and it was a wonderful opportunity for me to work with doctors and residents and step up and do ground breaking research.”
Pulickal also spent two years volunteering at the Hudson River Museum, as a Junior Docent and a member of the Advisory Board. “Working at the Museum helped me grow and be comfortable speaking to visitors. I was super shy but now I give tours to small groups.”

Accepted to ten colleges, Carolin will be attending Bard College at Columbia University in the fall. Her mom is a nurse at Columbia Medical Center and she hopes to become a Doctor. “I will be majoring in public health while on a pre-med track at Barnard. Then, I hope to obtain a Masters in Public Health and an MD. In the future, I want to be a cardiologist while working on public health campaigns. Ever since I was young I wanted to be a doctor. My mom has heard a lot of kids say that but you have to earn it and commit to the years of education and the money, but I know that I’m ready for it and I look forward to working in public health and helping those who don’t have equal access to health care. I have seen the disparities in Yonkers with vaccines.” 

Carolin was born in Kuwait and thanks her parents for moving here, “so that my brother and I could have a better future. From a very young age they kept pushing me to do my best.” 

She loved the Yonkers Middle -High experience because, “We do everything together, and everyone is welcome in every group!” Advice for future students? 
“Work hard, play hard! High school flies by, so don’t forget to have fun.”


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