Getting to know 2017 Valedictorian: Abigail Badway

By Hanna Kimball

2017 Valedictorian Abigail Badway. Photo by LORS Photography

2017 Valedictorian Abigail Badway. Photo by LORS Photography

Hanna Kimball, Managing Editor

“Maybe that could be you!” said then-freshman Abigail Badway’s grandmother.

At her sister, Hills’ alumna Sydney Badway’s, graduation, Badway heard the valedictorian’s speech without even thinking this could be her in three years – even with encouragement from her grandmother. However, with four years of hardwork and dedication, Abigail Badway is the valedictorian for the Pascack Hills’ Class of 2017.

Badway says that she didn’t focus on grades much until her sophomore year. During her freshman year she thought, “I’ll just try my best and see where that gets me.” This attitude changed when she realized that with a little effort, she could do very well in her classes. However, she says this desire to succeed was “a future thing, not really a Valedictorian thing.”

Being Valedictorian came as somewhat of a surprise to Badway. Although she had reasons to suspect it after being nominated for scholarships, she says she honestly wasn’t aware she was the Valedictorian until they told her.

To Badway, being the valedictorian means that her four years of hard work has paid off. However, she says, “I don’t think it’s just an individual achievement, I think that it’s an achievement with all my peers and teachers who have helped me get to this point, and it is definitely not something I would have been able to achieve by myself.”

Principal, Glenn DeMarrais, says, “Abigail has always been a goal-oriented, focused, and determined student.  Despite significant challenges and setbacks along the way, Abigail, through hard work and dedication, has persevered.  I am proud of her and her outstanding academic accomplishment.”

Besides focusing on her grades, Badway is active in various organizations at Hills. She is the Senior Director and American Cancer Liaison for TAC, President of Academic Decathalon and Model UN, a Varsity Judge for Debate, Animal Rights Club member, and the Secretary of the Class of 2017. Outside of school, Abigail volunteers for Parents, Educators, Administrators, and Kids (PEAK) located in Park Ridge.

TAC Fundraising Coordinator and fellow senior, Kayla Vincent, says, “[Abigail] is always looking for ways to help as many people as possible and her passion is inspiring!”

As for the future, Badway plans to attend college and eventually law school.

When asked what advice Badway would give to an underclassman, she said, “I would say to just be yourself and keep trying rather than focus on one achievement because then that could make you crazy if something doesn’t go your way. I would tell someone to keep trying and never let one bad grade or one bad thing in your life stop you and get in your way.”