Lyndon Institute Announces Class Of 21 Valedictorian, Salutatorian

Lyndon Institute's Class of 2021 valedictorian is Julia Before. The saluatorian is Minh Nguyen.

LYNDON CENTER — Lyndon Institute Head of School Twiladawn Perry announced the valedictorian and salutatorian for the Lyndon Institute Class of 2021.

The valedictorian of the graduating class at Lyndon Institute is awarded to the student who has earned the highest weighted grade point average during their tenure at the school. The student to realize that accomplishment for the Class of 2021 is Julia Before. In her role as valedictorian, Julia will present the valedictory address during the school’s commencement ceremonies in June.

Julia’s four years at Lyndon Institute have been marked by rigorous academic pursuit and high-flying cheer stunts. In her junior year, Julia was awarded both the Dartmouth Book Award and The Saint Michael’s Book Award. As an AP Scholar with Honors, Julia’s drive for academic excellence across a wide array of subjects—from AP Literature to AP Calculus—distinguishes her as a student eager for challenge and growth.

Beyond the walls of LI’s classrooms, Julia is a wonder of a different sort. As the captain of the Cheer Squad, Julia has spent the past three years flipping and twisting through the air at football games, basketball games, and pep assemblies. Julia has been the Vermont Top Gun Champion in jumps and tumbling for the past three years. A true captain and leader, Julia has helped build the Cheer Squad into becoming one of the best in the state. This cheerleading success stems from Julia’s high-level gymnastic experience, winning “States” on three different levels, including the highest—Level 10—at age 13.

Julia is the daughter of Gene and Tina Before from West Burke, Vermont

The salutatorian of the graduating class at Lyndon Institute is awarded to the student who has earned the second-highest weighted grade point average during their tenure at the school. The student to realize that accomplishment for the Class of 2021 is Minh Nguyen. In his role as salutatorian, Minh will present the invocation address during the school’s baccalaureate ceremony in June.

A residential student from Vietnam, Minh’s two years at Lyndon Institute have been defined by his passion for math, science, and engineering.

During Minh’s first year at LI, he eagerly embraced many aspects of the community. As a member of the varsity soccer team, Minh’s quick grin and deep devotion to his teammates made him an integral piece of a successful season. During the hard days of winter, Mihn went way out of his comfort zone and joined the Nordic ski team, skiing mile after frozen mile with the closely bonded “Nordic herd.” Minh was also a member of the Scholars Bowl team and twice placed in the top 10 of the Vermont State Mathematics Talent Search Contest. He received recognition through the Bausch and Lomb Award from the University of Rochester, the Rensselaer Medal from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the Rochester Institute of Technology Computing Medal and Scholarship Program.

Like many international students studying in America, Minh’s senior year has been solely online from his home country. Despite the constraints of remote learning during a pandemic, Minh has continued to display a remarkable level of engagement and concern for the world around him. In 2019, he devised and built an automatic hand washing machine to help people protect their health from Covid-19. Minh will study computer engineering in college.

Minh is the son of Trong Hieu and Huong Mai Nguyen of Ha Noi Vietnam.

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