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Albany High School celebrating its first black valedictorian in its 152-year history

Mar 31, 2021 6:00 am

Dan Levy is reporting for WNYT-TV after 152 years, Albany High School this year has a black valedictorian. With a near-perfect GPA, Onovu Otitigbe-Dangerfield is making history, graduating at the top of the Class of 2021 at a school with a history that dates back to Reconstruction just after the Civil War in 1868. "I think that just being able to be valedictorian is an amazing accomplishment," she said, "I'm very privileged to be in that position but to have some historical meaning behind it, to have a position where in my school there's a lot of students who look like me, now I'll have an opportunity to live by that mantra — if you can see it you can be it." Beyond her academic achievements, Otitigbe-Dangerfield is also president of the robotics team, president of Key Club, and Editor-in-Chief of the school's online newspaper. In addition, she sings in the Select Choir, plays violin and piano in the Jazz Improv Band, and plays soccer. On the weekends, she makes time to work at a nursing home. "She is definitely a treasure," said Ellen Hurley Green, who became Otitigbe-Dangerfield's guidance counselor in middle school. "I've been in the district for 30 years and honestly I can't say I've ever seen someone with so much poise, so much grace, and so much humility, along with so much sparkle in everything she does." Otitigbe-Dangerfield has so far been accepted at Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Johns Hopkins, and Georgia Tech. Just like Vice President Kamala Harris, who became the first vice president of color earlier this year, Otitigbe-Dangerfield also believes it is nice to be first at something, but it is more important not to be the last. Read more at wnyt [dot] com.