Images of two students in their cap and gown

PWCS honored 26 high school students this spring as salutatorians and valedictorians from the 2020 graduating class. From computer science to law, these bright young minds will fan out to seek degrees at major U.S. colleges and universities, more than half of which are in the state of Virginia. Unity Reed High School, formerly known as Stonewall Jackson High School, named three valedictorians this year.

An at-a-glance, look at the aspirations of the 2020 PWCS salutatorians and valedictorians:

Battlefield High School

Valedictorian, Faris Ahmed Syed

Syed will attend George Mason University in the fall to study computer science. Syed hopes to inspire others and create technological leaps within the science field. He wants to apply his knowledge to help those who experience struggles and help create better lives for them. He hopes his future projects and endeavors will accomplish this and leave a great impact on the world.

Salutatorian, Aden Alexander Beyene


Beyene will attend Stanford University in the fall to major in political science on a pre-law track. Beyene aspires to continue contributing to those around her as a servant leader. Whether it be as a social activist or perhaps a political figure, she hopes to use her voice to empower, uplift, and unify as all leaders should.

Brentsville District High School

Valedictorian, Noah Michael Egan

Egan will attend Georgia Institute of Technology to major in aerospace engineering. Egan hopes to contribute to space exploration efforts to bring more people into space for the betterment of humanity.

Salutatorian, Isaac Sanchez Farias

Farias will be attending the University of Virginia, where he plans to major in aerospace engineering.


Charles J. Colgan Sr. High School

Valedictorian, Aeris June Kim

Kim will be attending the University of Virginia as a legacy this fall. She plans on majoring in biology to pursue a future in medicine. Through her studies, she aspires to become a physician and assist those who are less fortunate and in need. She wants to have a positive impact on the world and persevere through any challenges along the way.

Salutatorian, Caleb James Buettner

Buettner will attend the United States Military Academy at West Point and has plans to study life science.


Forest Park High School

Valedictorian, Alexi Benjamin Gladstone

Gladstone will attend the University of Virginia and study mechanical engineering. He hopes to make the world a better place through innovative technology, whether that be by working for engineering companies, creating new technology businesses, or inventing new products.

Salutatorian, Hannah Lee Rigby

Rigby will attend the University of Virginia to study engineering. By using the knowledge and skills she gains through her studies and career, she hopes to make the world a better place. Her goal is to use innovative ideas to benefit the lives of others.


Freedom High School

Valedictorian, Asim Koirala

Koirala will attend the University of Virginia, and study computer science. Koirala aspires to create innovations in technology and safety for the future society by utilizing his education, experience, and knowledge.

Salutatorian, Tony Huynh

Huynh will attend George Mason University in the fall to study computer science. He hopes that through his studies in computer science, he will be able to provide solutions to meet the demands of those in need, create tools that expand equity, and innovate to optimize daily lives.


Gar-Field High School

Valedictorian, Jabril Khalid Al-Hamdy

Al-Hamdy will attend James Madison University and major in finance. Regardless of his career, he wants to do whatever he can to help people.

Salutatorian, Daniel Van Tran

Tran will study computer science in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech. He aspires to find a fun career in which he can support his family and give back to the community.


C.D. Hylton High School

Valedictorian, Ciara Jade Miller

Miller will attend the University of Virginia to study biology. She hopes to become a biomedical research scientist and find cures to many life-threatening diseases, such as cancer and diabetes.

Salutatorian, Teresa De Jesus Yayra Domingos-Kioza

Domingos-Kioza will attend the University of Virginia and majoring in global development studies with a minor in biomedical engineering. She hopes to work for the benefit of regions and groups of people around the world. Domingos-Kioza attended Hylton High in order to learn about different languages and cultures. As a graduate from the school, she aspires to help people achieve a better life, whether it's through science or working for an international organization.


Osbourn Park High School

Valedictorian, Shiva Manandhar

Manandhar plans on attending the University of Virginia as a Rodman Scholar. He plans on a double major in chemistry and computer science, on a possible pre-medical track. He hopes to improve the process of computer automation in dentistry and surgery and utilize sensors to locate fossils in environments that are not easily accessible with current methods in the paleontology field.

Salutatorian, Suvasish Pant

Pant will be attending Virginia Tech to major in computer science and minor in international public policy. He hopes his studies will allow him to work in the fields of cyber security and national security. He wants to use his skills and experience to help protect the nation's most important programs, systems, and infrastructure. In the long term, he hopes to work as a professor or teacher. Pant is passionate about mentoring and working with adolescent students and believes he can affect real change in a classroom.


Patriot High School

Valedictorian, Wamia Said

Said will attend the University of Virginia as an Echols Scholar and College Science Scholar. Said plans to major in computer science and biochemistry. Said believes research has the potential to help millions of people, and that small breakthroughs can add up to a bigger discovery. Said has plans to become a research professor in biophysics.

Salutatorian, Daniel Nathan Gigi

Gigi plans to attend the University of Virginia to major in finance. He has an interest in the securities markets and venture capitalism. Gigi hopes to achieve a position that allows him the opportunity to help others in meaningful ways and inspire young people to be the best version of themselves. Gigi aspires to influence consumers' lives in a positive manner.


Potomac High School

Valedictorian, Geryldine Rose Ferrer

Ferrer will attend University of Virginia to major in diagnostic radiology. She wants to improve the health and well-being of all individuals in any way she possibly can. She hopes to encourage those pursuing a medical career to enter the field with the same intentions that she has, and to demonstrate to others how honorable and engaging the medical field can be.

Salutatorian, Aaron Yaw Osei

Osei will be attending the University of Pennsylvania in the fall. He plans to major in economics with a concentration in finance. He wants people of all socioeconomic backgrounds to have easier access to banking. He hopes individuals of all wealth levels can gain financial independence and achieve their entrepreneurial aspirations.


Unity Reed High School

(formerly known as Stonewall Jackson High School)

Valedictorian, Catherine Naomi Purnell

Purnell will be attending Duke University on an athletic scholarship and plans to study international comparative studies. She hopes to make changes that help pave the way for more women to lead. Purnell is not sure what career she aspires to, but she would like to serve others and help people across the county.

Valedictorian, Shireen Tabassum Shah

Shah will be attending Howard University in the fall on a Capstone Scholarship as a biology major. She wants to become a child psychiatrist and conduct research in the field of developmental neurology and medicine.

Valedictorian, Layan Sameh Wahdan

Wahdan will major in bioengineering with a concentration in medicine at George Mason University's honors college. She plans on pursuing a career in the medical field. She hopes that her course of study will give her a unique perspective on the function of the human body- specifically, the brain, in which she hopes to specialize.

Salutatorian, Mark Christopher Klein

Klein will be attending the University of Virginia this fall and hopes to study economics or finance. He hopes to leave his mark through service and commitment to others each day.


Woodbridge High School

Valedictorian, Brian Hieu Nguyen

Nguyen will be attending the University of Virginia to study computer science and/or applied math. He hopes to help advance technology through computer-focused research.

Salutatorian, Natalie Rose Garrigan

Garrigan will be attending Northern Virginia Community College to major in neuroscience. Originally, before the pandemic crisis, she was planning on participating in an international bridge-year program called Global Citizen Year, in which she would travel to Ecuador for language and cultural immersion, service projects, and fellowship. She said she hopes she will still be able to participate in this program for the 2021-22 academic year. Garrigan hopes that she will be able to live a life of service and hopes to continue to infuse community service into her work and study.