The top ranked graduates at Wylie High School said hard work and a little bit of luck helped them earn the number one and two spots.
Wylie High School rankings place Alina Nguyen as valedictorian and Reiki Hingorani as salutatorian of the class of 2022.
Alina posted a weighted grade point average of 5.94 and Reiki earned a 5.91 GPA. Both students have an unweighted GPA of 4.0.
The weighted averages consider additional points awarded for completing advanced academic classes.
After graduation, Alina will head to Houston to study neuroscience at Rice University on a pre-medical school track.
“I am really interested in research there,” Alina said. “I’m not just interested in neuroscience but the neuroengineering too.”
Alina said the programs are vastly different, adding that part of the reason she chose Rice was to be able to explore both options.
Reiki said she will attend the University of Texas at Dallas where she plans to study data science and minor in cognitive science.
“Hopefully, that is going to set me up on the artificial intelligence track and get into the industry,” Reiki said. “UTD has a lot of great internship opportunities because there is a lot of the industry like [Texas Instruments] in Dallas.”
Reiki said she also plans to earn a master’s degree in cybersecurity.
Both students were active in extracurricular activities. Reiki was an officer of Skills USA on the robotics team and qualified for the world competitions two years in a row.
She was also an officer in several student organizations including French Club, Society of World Languages, Girls who Code and National Technical Honors Society.
Reiki also started a school club called the Desi Student Association, which promotes South Asian cultural education.
Outside of school, Reiki has taught classical piano for four years and plays a number of instruments, most recently in a rock band.
In addition, she was an area lead for a tutoring company where she managed a team of marketing associates and tutors.
Alina was a member of Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) all four years and currently serves as the organization’s president.
“I got a lot of meaningful experiences out of [HOSA],” Alina said.
Two of Alina’s most rewarding experiences included mentoring a group of 20-30 HOSA members and her work with UT-Southwestern as an intern, where her research was presented at a conference.
Alina is also the president of the National Honors Society and the secretary of the Asian Student Association.
She said she “sometimes doesn’t believe” she was named valedictorian, adding that she holds herself to a “really high standard.”
Alina said she appreciates the title but feels more pride in how her actions positively impact others.
Reiki said she thinks being salutatorian is “very cool,” and that she was raised to respect education.
“Everything I have done, I’ve given more than 100%,” Reiki said. “So, to see it symbolized in the title, it makes me feel happy.”
Both students have had several influences, but Alina said her Humanities teacher, Leny Philipose, stands out.
“I’m really close to Mrs. Philipose,” she said. “She has been walking me through the college essay process.”
Alina said Philipose is an inspiration to her because she is receptive toward her students.
“She calls her students her chickens,” Alina said. “Her past and present chickens. We can all come to her for anything.”
Reiki said her sister, Savya, has influenced her.
“She is nine years older than me,” Reiki said. “She is probably genuinely the smartest person I have ever met.”
Reiki said her sister is quick and witty, adding that she was always available to help her with a problem or read an essay, even if Savya hadn’t taken the class.
Wylie High School graduation ceremony will be at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 28 at the Allen Event Center, located at 200 East Stacy Road #1350 in Allen.