Daniel Ling doesn’t stand out in a crowd. He’s buddies with the rest of the kids in his class and looks for all the world just like just another kid. Dan likes it that way.
But, the fact is, Dan does stand out.
After all, as valedictorian for the East Greenwich High School Class of 2012, Dan is at the top of his class. He’s also been named a Presidential Scholar, which earns him a meeting with President Obama in a couple of weeks. .
Oh, and he’s going to Princeton in the fall.
Being names valedictorian was, for Dan, “a pleasant surprise.”
“It was unexpected. It was just like a normal day. They simply called Ben and me down to to the office,” he said, referring to salutatorian Ben Pallant. But the designation gives him the opportunity to give a speech at graduation and that pleases Dan.
“I’m excited because there are just some things I’ve wanted to say and now I have the opportunity to say them,” he said.
“My classmates refer to me as ‘valedictorian’ but I don’t want it to be the definition of me,” said Dan. “I would rather have people think of me as a person as opposed as a label.”
An avid soccer player, Dan has enjoyed being part of the Avenger soccer program these past four years. The team approach seems to suit Dan, who also enjoys the idea of building off other people’s ideas when it comes to science.
What will he miss when he heads to New Jersey in August? "Just having this tight-knit community," he said. "For a very long time, for pretty much all of our lives, we've been here. And we’re going to go our own separate ways."
He continued, "Living in this tight-knit community is something I’ll miss."
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