Cape High seniors Madison Costello, Quinlyn Long and Brayden Rochester are among 89 Delaware public school students from the Class of 2022 to be named Secretary of Education Scholars.
Secretary of Education Mark Holodick said he was very impressed by students’ accomplishments in a May 15 announcement.
“During their high school careers, they have persevered through school building closures, remote learning, hybrid learning and the transition back to full-time face-to-face instruction,” Holodick said.
“Not only have they earned high academic accolades, they are leaders in their schools, athletic teams and communities,” Holodick continued. “Many have balanced impressive class schedules and extracurricular calendars with part-time jobs and volunteer service. These are just the type of leaders our state needs.”
Madison Costello, daughter of Sean and Jennifer Costello of Lewes, has taken a heavy load of honors, Advanced Placement and Academic Challenge courses, and plans to study computer engineering at Cornell University.
Ranked first in her graduating class with a 4.191 GPA, Madison is a member of the Leo Club, Ski Club, math league and tennis team and serves as National Honor Society treasurer. Outside school, she performs ballet and contemporary dance.
“My parents have always taught me to not just memorize information but to understand the why behind it,” she said. “To understand why something happened, why a formula works, and why something is important. This has pushed me to go beyond surface knowledge in order to gain a deep understanding about everything I am interested in. It drives me to be curious and to throw myself into a topic, always looking for connections.”
Quinlyn Long, daughter of Karen Long of Lewes, is an officer in the school chapters of National Honor Society and Leo Club, a member of the school math league and band, and of the Youth Philanthropy Board. A member of the 2020 state championship mock trial team, Quinlyn also started a chapter of the High School Democrats of America.
Ranked third in her class with a GPA of 4.155, Quinlyn has taken 14 AP classes and will major in biomedical engineering at Harvard University.
“Growing up as an adopted female minority with a hearing disability, I felt as if all odds were stacked against me,” Quinlyn said. “However, my mother reminded me often: She believed she could, so she did. STEM has always intrigued me, and thanks to my great teachers and loving mother, I will pursue higher education in biomedical engineering to conduct research for others with disabilities and hopefully change and inspire other young people who feel as if all odds are against them.”
Brayden Rochester, son of Chris and Jessica Rochester of Milton, is captain of the Cape High drumline and a member of the symphonic band and percussion ensemble. A member of the National Honor Society and math league, Brayden is ranked second in his class with a GPA of 4.162.
Brayden will attend University of Delaware as an environmental engineering major, in which he will put to good use his favorite subject – calculus.
“I’ve always believed that you get out what you put in,” Brayden said. “If you give your best self to the world, you’re bound to make a difference. I carry this with me daily, along with the importance of optimism and the desire to be better. I’m incredibly grateful for a platform of recognition, but I also hope that we all understand the importance of a smile, because if you put out a smile, the world will surely smile back.”
The state has named Secretary of Education Scholars every year since 1984. The number of scholars from each school is based on enrollment. Principals select the students based on their academic records and community service. The GPAs detailed were current as of the May 15 announcement by Holodick.