Two students were recently selected as the 2016 valedictorians for Oxford High School.
One student is Anne Elizabeth Johnson. Graduating from OHS with a 4.0 GPA, she is the daughter of Laura and William Johnson, of Oxford. Throughout her time in school, Johnson was involved in a number of extracurricular activities such as band, jazz band and varsity bowling.
Johnson’s dedication in school went beyond her studies.
She recalled her experiences performing in band and her time at band camp as being a few of the stand-out moments in her high school career.
“Band camp was always memorable,” Johnson said. “It was marching for like 12 hours out of every day, but it was good and it was a great way to make lots of friends.”
Johnson is grateful for the impact OHS band teacher Jim Gibbons had on her life.
“He was pretty influential because (he had taught me) ever since sixth-grade, so I knew him really well and he was always there to give me advice,” she said.
As a class front-runner, Johnson had meaningful advice to share with her younger schoolmates.
“My best advice would be to always keep working (on) your studies and you will end up doing all right. Even if something’s hard, you just have to get help and you can always find a way to solve the problem,” she said.
Johnson is the recipient of College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Alumni Distinguished Scholarship at Michigan State University. She plans to attend MSU in the fall to pursue a degree in entomology.
The second OHS valedictorian is Joseph Edmond DeChicchis, who will graduate with a 4.0 GPA.
DeChicchis, a student of the International Baccalaureate programme, came to Oxford High School as a junior after previously going to school in Japan.
His father, Joseph DeChicchis, currently resides there.
During his time at Oxford High, DeChicchis led several technology-focused projects.
He co-organized a conference geared towards students called TEDxOxfordHighSchool last May.
The conference was modeled using the Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) format, which showcases important ideas from any discipline, and explores how the ideas connect.
He also organized a workshop through the high school called Teach Kids How to Code, which taught young students how to create an iOS app using Swift– a general-purpose, multi-paradigm, programming language created by Apple Inc.
More recently, DeChicchis co-created a company called Virta, LLC, which is in the early-stages of developing a new social networking software.
DeChicchis plans to attend Duke University in North Carolina to study computer science. He plans to pursue a career in the technology field.