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Meet the Mount Vernon STEAM Academy’s valedictorian and salutatorian for the Class of 2024

Meet the Mount Vernon STEAM Academy’s valedictorian and salutatorian for the Class of 2024

The highest honors a student can receive at the end of their high school career is being titled valedictorian or salutatorian, an accomplishment given to those who have worked hard to maintain one of the two highest GPAs in their graduating class. Mount Vernon STEAM Academy has named Damaris Ferrer as its valedictorian and Margaret Djamongue as its salutatorian. 

View their video interviews here: 


Damaris Ferrer

Damaris Ferrer was named as the valedictorian for Mount Vernon STEAM Academy with a GPA of 101. Damaris is a very involved student in the community and school, and her accomplishments match the work she has put in over these past four years.  

“Being valedictorian to me means having a form of recognition for the hard work that I’ve put in for the last four years,” said Damaris. “It also shows how much teachers have helped me and how all of the guidance and support I’ve received that I’ve been able to become valedictorian.” 

Over the past four years, Damaris has been dedicated to taking rigorous Advanced Placement (AP) courses, such as AP Government, AP Chemistry, and AP Calculus. Damaris has taken nine AP courses in total over her time at STEAM.  

“It’s challenging,” said Damaris. “But also, good to take because I feel like it's a preview of the college coursework I am going to take in the future.”  

Damaris is also involved in her community through extra-curriculars. She was a former member of the Mount Vernon varsity volleyball team and is a current member of the STEAM Academy’s student government. During her time in student government, she helped raise funds to support the senior prom and the senior trip. She took part in creating events to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and Black History Month as well.  

Damaris also has a love for working with younger kids. She took part in Benjamin Turner Academy’s STEM Night, in which she volunteered, helping younger children get involved in and develop a love for the STEM Field. She has also volunteered in a botanical garden’s children's section, creating a knowledge of science through plant life.  

“I really enjoy working with young children,” said Damaris. “But I am a STEM person. So being able to do both at the same time really helped me continue my passion and encourage the other generation to do the same.”  

Damaris’s hard work in her education has led her to pursue electrical engineering at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She has been accepted into the Simon STEM Scholars program which is an honors program that offers a full scholarship, access to research opportunities, and in-house advising and tutoring that supports students academically. In addition to receiving the Simon STEM Scholarship, Damaris has also been given the Corporate Scholarship at the Carroll F. Johnson Scholastic Achievement Dinner, hosted by the Lower Hudson Council of School Superintendents in May.   

“I’m looking forward to being able to meet new people and building new connections,” said Damaris, expressing her excitement for attending Stony Brook. “I am also looking forward to expanding my interest in the STEM field and gaining new research opportunities.”  


Margaret Djamongue

Margaret Djamongue was named the Class of 2024 salutatorian at the Mount Vernon STEAM Academy with a GPA of 100. Over her four years in high school, she has been very involved academically and in extracurricular activities, joining several social clubs, community service organizations, and professional development opportunities.  

“This is a very big accomplishment to be named salutatorian of the Mount Vernon STEAM Academy,” said Margaret about her recent achievement. “Especially because of the hard work and dedication I put in.”  

Margaret took nine Advanced Placement (AP) classes in total, but notes AP Government, AP Biology, and AP Chemistry are her favorite classes. These classes pushed her to her limits and ignited a fire for her to pursue the medical field as a career.  

“During the AP Chemistry course, I decided to remain strict with myself,” said Margaret. “I used resources such as Khan Academy and YouTube to help when I was struggling. My teacher was also very available to help us after school which was helpful to pass the class.”  

Like many students, she highlights that the COVID-19 virus affected her academically, but she did not let this stop her.  

“I lost a lot of motivation to continue pursuing my education during COVID,” said Margaret. “I definitely got better throughout these four years.”  

Margaret notes that the support of her family, peers, and teachers helped her push through the hardships of COVID-19 and come out on the other side victorious.  

Margaret was a part of three clubs during her time at STEAM; the Gamers Club, the Art Club, and a night club where students were allowed to play sports such as badminton and volleyball. Participating in these clubs taught Margaret how to be more social and to value teamwork. 

She is a volunteer for two crafting community service organizations — the Wishing Crane and the Care Crafts Project — through which Margaret earns volunteering hours in exchange for creating art & crafts to give to hospital patients. This instills hope in the patients and makes them smile, a large reason for Margaret’s participation. She also participated in a two-week summer program called Envision by WorldStrides which provided the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the medical field.  

Margaret has been accepted to several schools including SUNY Binghamton, the University of Connecticut, and Iona University. Margaret will be attending Mercy University in the fall and will be pursuing the physician assistant program offered by the university.  

She is a recipient of the Mercy University Presidential Scholarship which is given to incoming freshman students that have demonstrated academic merit. Margaret was inspired by her father and several family members to pursue the medical field.   

“Damaris and Margaret have demonstrated superior performance at MV STEAM,” said Principal Dr. Christopher Pearce. “Their determination to Persevere Until Success Happened (PUSH) enabled them to rise to the top. Damaris and Margaret have set an amazing example for MV STEAM scholars to follow. Their amazing achievements are just one step in their successful journey to a bright and rewarding future. STEAM rises! Damaris and Margaret are all the way up. The MV STEAM community is proud of their accomplishments.” 

Valedictorian accepting award

On Tuesday, June 11, 2024, Mount Vernon STEAM Academy held its annual Senior Award Convocation event to celebrate high-achieving seniors of the class of 2024. Awards, many of which were monetary, were given to various hard-working seniors for their commitment to academic achievement, community service and sports. Families dressed up and supported their children in being recognized for their accomplishments over the past four years.

View full photo gallery here!

MV STEAM val/sal

The highest honors a student can receive at the end of their high school career is being titled valedictorian or salutatorian, an accomplishment given to those who have worked hard to maintain one of the two highest GPAs in their graduating class. Mount Vernon STEAM Academy has named Damaris Ferrer as its valedictorian and Margaret Djamongue as its salutatorian. 

Instructor teaching students lesson.

Mount Vernon STEAM Academy students competed against each other in a series of physical fitness tests administered by members of the U.S. Army on Friday, May 31, 2024. Classes split up into groups of six, and soldiers guided participants through three workout stations. Students on the winning team were awarded with t-shirts.

Students coloring.

Calming sounds and the soothing smells of aromatherapy emanated from the Mount Vernon STEAM Academy library, as students and staff participated in mental wellness activities. For the culminating activity of Mental Health Awareness Week, the school hosted a wellness fair called the “Zenbrary,” on Friday, May 24, 2024. 

Elijah congratulations

On Wednesday, May 22, 2024, Elijah Buchanan, a Mount Vernon STEAM Academy senior was honored at the Student Advocacy's annual Overcoming the Odds Awards Celebration at the Barbara Walters Campus Center in Bronxville. Members of Mount Vernon STEAM Academy, along with Assistant Superintendent for Pupil Personnel Services Dr. Marie Gaboton-Swift, gathered to participate in the ceremony.