Ryan Monasch remembers stepping through the doors of John Jay High School for the first time, everything new and unfamiliar.
“Now I can call JJHS, with everything it has brought me, a second home,” said the Class of 2015’s valedictorian. “My time at JJHS has certainly been a life-shaping experience. Not only have I been able to have an amazing educational experience here, but I have also built social connections that I know will last for the rest of my life.”
Monasch said he is honored to be class valedictorian among a group of particularly intelligent and hardworking peers, and called the title “gratifying.”
As he begins to think about college, Monasch notes several JJHS courses helped shape his passion for math and science, including his Algebra 2, Pre-calculus and Chemistry honors classes. And while he plans to pursue a biological sciences-related major in college, he truly enjoyed his time in Jason Mahlke’s AP Literature class as a junior.
“I've usually enjoyed my math and science classes more than my humanities classes, but this class was extremely unique due to the group of people in the class, the subject material chosen, and the way it was taught,” he said. “The combination of these factors provided me with not only an educational, but an enjoyable, experience that I looked forward to every day and helped me to gain the most of a humanities class. While I may favor math and science in my future endeavors, this class reminds me of how I still have an enjoyment for the humanities, and I will work to keep this part of my life active as well.”
Monasch has also kept busy outside of the classroom. He serves as the executive project manager for the John Jay for Wounded Warriors Club, is a member of the Science Olympiad, is a three-year varsity soccer player, is pursuing the rank of Eagle Scout and volunteers as a peer group leader. He also continues to attend post-confirmation classes and assists teachers at his temple, serves as a student representative in Campus Congress and plays recreational basketball in the winter. But his favorite pastime?
“I love to just play with my 6-year-old little brother,” he shared.
Looking toward the post-high school years, “I am excited for all of the future challenges that lie ahead of me, but it will be equally sad to depart from a place and the people who have helped me grow so much,” Monasch said.