CDS Announces 2024 Val and Sal!

On behalf of the college counseling department and administration at Carrollwood Day School, we are pleased to announce the class of 2024 co-valedictorians and salutatorian.

Ava O'Connor - Valedictorian

Co-Valedictorian- Ava O'Connor

We are excited to announce that the first class of 2024 co-valedictorian is Ava O'Connor. Ava has impressively navigated the International Baccalaureate curriculum at CDS since seventh grade, earning induction into the Cum Laude Society, the National Honor Society, Rho Kappa Honor Society, the National Spanish Honor Society, the Tri-M Music Honor Society, as well as Mu Alpha Theta. She received a gold medal in the National Spanish Exam, was the recipient of the College of William and Mary book award for leadership, and received the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award. As a junior, Ava attended the National Student Leadership Conference, a nine-day leadership conference for political action and public policy with students from around the world.

Outside of the classroom, Ava is incredibly dynamic. She is the president of the CDS Model United Nations chapter, is the co-secretary of the Beta Club, has served as a grade representative in student government, and is a multiyear member of our CDS chamber ensemble as well as concert band. In the community, she actively partnered with Sending Sunshine, where she creates and writes greeting cards for those in assisted living, and also maintains a part-time job as a lifeguard at the YMCA. The definition of versatile, Ava is also a dedicated member of the CDS flag football team, soccer program, sideline cheerleading squad, and has experience with our swim team.

Ava will be attending the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA, and will be majoring in business administration with an invitation to join the Marshall School of Business Global Leadership Program. 

Anika Shah - Co-Valedictorian

Co-Valedictorian- Anika Shah

It is with great pleasure that we introduce the second class of 2024 co-valedictorian, Anika Shah. Anika has been a stellar student at Carrollwood Day School since first grade and impressively spoke at the senior send-off event as a CDS “lifer” earlier this week. Academically, she earned induction into the Cum Laude Society, the National Honor Society, the Tri-M Music Honor Society, the National Spanish Honor Society, and Mu Alpha Theta, while also earning the Princeton University book award. Anika was named a National Merit Finalist and is one of only 7,140 students in the United States to receive a Merit Scholarship for her collegiate education. Her superior test-taking skills were further on display as one of only 335 students in the world to receive a perfect score in the AP Computer Science Principles test for earning every possible point on the exam. 

Extracurricularly, Anika excels in advocacy positions at CDS. Anika has held a leadership position in our HOSA chapter since tenth grade, is a four-year member of our student government organization serving as vice president for her senior year, is a member of the Chick-fil-A Leader Academy, and is the vice president of our Beta club chapter. She has extensive involvement with the CDS concert band, the American Red Cross chapter, and “Girls Who Code” teaching computer programming skills to lower school students. Outside of school, Anika volunteered at a local internal medicine/pediatrics office, served as a Celiac Disease Foundation Ambassador, and was a Moffitt Cancer Center VolunTeen. 

Anika will be matriculating to Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA in the fall and plans to major in engineering. 

Adele Sands - Salutatorian

Salutatorian- Adele Sands

We are thrilled to recognize Adele Sands as the class of 2024 salutatorian. A member of CDS since ninth grade, Adele has made an impact both inside and outside of the classroom. She earned induction into the Cum Laude Society, National Honor Society, Rho Kappa Honor Society, and received the Carrollwood Day School faculty award as a junior. Throughout high school, Adele was also named as a USA Swimming Scholastic All-American and was selected for the CDS academic excellence awards in both physics as well as physiology, and biomechanics during her time in upper school. 

Adele is one of the greatest student-athletes in CDS history as a four-year member of our varsity swimming program. She holds multiple school records and has several district, regional, and state appearances representing the CDS swim team as a captain. She is also actively involved in the CDS Model United Nations chapter, Beta Club for which she is a co-secretary, is the founder of the CDS journalism club and is a member of the CDS student-athlete leadership council. Additionally, she is actively involved in our HOSA organization and has spent the last two years as part of the yearbook staff. In the community, Adele collaborated with Blanket Tampa Bay, sewing sleeping bags for the homeless population of Tampa, as well as Southeastern Guide Dogs helping to train and raise a therapy dog. 

Adele is enrolling at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN as a dual major in nutrition and dietetics as well as fitness and health. She will also be an NCAA Division One student-athlete when she joins the Boilermaker swim team in the fall. 

We offer our sincerest congratulations to Ava, Anika, as well as Adele and look forward to celebrating their accomplishments and hearing their reflections at our commencement ceremony next month.