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Friday, September 22, 2023

CHS Class of 2023 Valedictorian & Salutatorian: Adam Perez & Ryan Kimura

Coronado High School’s (CHS) graduating class of 2023 had a rollercoaster ride of a start to their high school experience. Their freshmen year was cut short due to the pandemic, and their sophomore year was conducted almost entirely online through Zoom. It was only during the Islanders’ junior year when circumstances returned to normalcy, and the class enjoyed traditions such as Homecoming, prom, and Powderpuff. Through it all, the class of 2023 boasted a diverse array of athletes, scholars, artists, musicians, and citizens with exceptionally bright futures ahead of them. 

CHS recognized the top graduating students as valedictorian Adam Perez and salutatorian Ryan Kimura. 

Valedictorian: Adam Perez

Adam Perez was named as CHS’s class of 2023 valedictorian. He took a total of 16 AP classes and had a weighted grade point average (GPA) of 4.62. 

Adam Perez will be attending Duke University with a major in computer science. Photo submitted by Adam.

When asked about his favorite classes and teachers throughout his years at CHS, Adam shared, “I enjoyed all of my classes at CHS as each one gave me a unique perspective of the world. However, AP Physics 2, AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, and AP US History were really some of my favorites.”

“For AP Physics 2, I was lucky to have Mr. Lemei as a teacher. His passion for physics really inspired me to develop a curiosity about how the world works. I found myself drawn to his classroom at lunch every day with some of my classmates, and we would have meaningful conversations about a variety of topics.”

Adam had Ms. Davis for AP Calculus AB, and he noted that he was fortunate to learn important life lessons in addition to calculus concepts. Davis also inspired Adam to tutor and help other students who weren’t as proficient in the subject as he was.

“I had Ms. Castillo for AP Calculus BC, and her class inspired me to explore complex math concepts on my own outside of class. I even worked on developing an entire new system of math this year because of my passion for calculus.”

Adam also mentioned Mr. Tanaka, who taught AP US History, and how his trivia competitions made learning about people and events from the past engaging and competitive.

Regarding his favorite high school memories Adam described, “Seeing the seniors come together to beat the juniors in a competitive football game was a very cool experience. The Senior Assassins game was a year-round competition, and it was really fun to strategize and compete against many of my classmates. When the game concluded at the end of the year, I was one of the nine people still in.”

At CHS, Adam served on the executive board of the National Honors Society as treasurer. He also mentored and tutored fellow students and extended his community service efforts outside of the classroom. Adam spent much of his time creating and launching a reading program called “Project Read Every Day,” which works to donate books and prizes to an under-resourced elementary school on the other side of the bridge. Adam also played on the CHS tennis team his freshman year. 

In his free time, Adam enjoys trading and learning about stocks, improving his coding skills, playing chess, and diving deeper into complex math and physics concepts.

Adam will be attending Duke University in the fall with a major in computer science and possibly a minor in economics or finance. He is extremely interested in the field of artificial intelligence and hopes to launch his own startup. 

“In ten years, I envision myself owning my own company. I have a strong interest in the field of AI, and I see myself starting a company that further develops technology to make a significant impact on the world. I also have a long term goal of winning a Nobel prize.”

Salutatorian: Ryan Kimura

Ryan Kimura was named as the class of 2023’s salutatorian with a weighted GPA of about 4.5 and a total of 14 AP classes. His favorite class at CHS was ceramics and some of his favorite teachers included Ms. Davis, Mr. Lemei, and Mr. Hoang. 

Ryan will be attending the University of California, Los Angeles, with an undeclared mechanical engineering major. Photo submitted by Ryan.

When asked about his extracurricular activities, Ryan shared that he played baseball his freshman year and switched to volleyball for the last three years of high school. His favorite memory at CHS was winning the Division 1 Beach Volleyball Championship. Ryan also participated in the National Honors Society and was the CHS student representative to the Islander Sports Foundation Board of Directors beginning his sophomore year.

Regarding his plans for the future, Ryan is attending the University of California, Los Angeles, as an undeclared engineering major. He hopes to use engineering to better the lives of others.

Ryan Kimura, CHS class of 2023 salutatorian. Photo submitted by Ryan.

CHS hosted their 2023 graduation ceremony at the Niedermeyer Field on Thursday, June 15. 

Bella Villarin
Bella Villarin
Bella is a proud military brat who has been a resident of Coronado since 2015. She was born in Japan, and after a short stay in Virginia, traveled extensively throughout Asia while living in Singapore and picking up another language. A junior at Coronado High School, Bella can be found at the driving range or golf course when not in school, studying, writing, playing the guitar, or spending time with her family. Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: [email protected]