Germantown CSD is proud to announce its Valedictorian and Salutatorian for the Class of 2023 as Sophia Erling and Ayla Brehse, respectively. 

The two were extremely close with their GPAs, with Sophia obtaining a 98.85 and Ayla earning a 98.61.

“It was pretty exciting learning that we were named the Valedictorian and Salutatorian,” Ayla said. 

“Now it’s nerve-wracking thinking that we have to give graduation speeches,” added Sophia.

The two top students have taken advantage of many of the offerings at Germantown CSD, with both playing soccer. They are also part of the National Honor Society and Ayla has long been a part of the drama club, working as the set designer this year.

Outside of school, they have also taken advantage of various opportunities. Sophia has taken college courses at Columbia-Greene Community College and participated in an academic program that sent her to the British Islands, where she lived on a boat with students from around the world. Ayla takes courses through Bard College, and she traveled to France to participate in a Language and Culture program. 

“It was really cool to go to the Virgin Islands and be with other students from all different backgrounds,” Sophia said. “I really encourage students at Germantown to take advantage of everything that is offered here. Teachers are very devoted to their students, and they will help you in any way they can if you ask them to.” 

Ayla expressed similar sentiments, saying, “The teachers are great here. Small classes have their benefits and if you show interest and really immerse yourself, teachers will help you reach your goals, and Mr. Jackowski is always there to help, too.”

Both students stated that their favorite classes include various AP courses with Ms. Katz, Science Research with Mr. Strong, History with Mr. Fitzgibbons, among others.

As for future plans, Sophia is heading to Montana State University to study Nutrition while Ayla will attend Northeastern University to study Architecture.