Congratulations Aditya Akula, Valedictorian for the Class of 2021
Principal Kraemer, the high school leadership team and HS counselors shared the news with Aditya Akula just before Spring Break. We asked him about the honor and share his responses.
What does it mean to you to be selected Valedictorian? It’s a nice distinction — all the work that went into school these last four years gets recognized. Hopefully it means I'll be part of "NAHS history".
What do you consider to be the "secret to your success" and this achievement? Half competitiveness, half curiosity. Being genuinely curious about so many things gives me motivation to start things, and internal competitiveness — proving to myself I can do something cool — motivates me the rest of the way.
What would you say has been the most helpful thing during your high school career to get you to this level? Teachers that genuinely love their subjects. I've had many passionate teachers that made even my least favorite subjects interesting and have helped set up things that go past a traditional class experience. Also, upperclassmen — they both made high school a lot more interesting and inspired me in many ways.
How many years have you attended New Albany Schools? This is my 13th year here; I’ve been here since kindergarten (Mrs. Clouse, AM).
What colleges or universities are you considering? I’m still waiting for most of my colleges to release decisions. Right now, my top choice is Georgia Tech.
What would you like to pursue as a major, career, etc? I applied to most of my colleges as a CS/math major, but I’m hoping to use college to figure out what exactly I want to end up doing. Change has been a big theme throughout middle and high school for me, whether that’s different activities or a global pandemic, so I’m hoping to use college to figure out what type of life I can see myself settling into.
What sort of activities are you involved with at NAHS or in the community? At New Albany, I ran cross country for four years and track for another two. I’m also a captain of the Science Olympiad team and the programming lead of the NAHS Robotics team. Outside of school, I'm involved with research in math and computational biology as well as teaching math to elementary and middle schoolers.
Please share anything else you may feel you want people to know! If there's anything I regret from high school, it's overworking myself in hopes that "things will get better soon." Often, they don't — make sure you enjoy the process.