Wayne Valley’s Top Students: Valedictorian James Jun and Salutatorian Jeana Fermi

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Alyssa Sherry, News and Features Editor

As Wayne Valley prepares to send off a standout senior class, two students deserve special recognition: Valedictorian James Jun and Salutatorian Jeana Fermi. Both Jun and Fermi have already made immense impacts at Wayne Valley and beyond, and as they prepare for graduation, they reflect on both their pasts and their futures. 

“Have high standards for yourself,” says Valedictorian Jun. “Have high morals, care about others, work hard, and always, always strive for meaningful happiness—have fun!” Jun plans to attend Princeton University in the fall, where he will study molecular biology with a secondary concentration in theology. Beyond college, Jun hopes to attend medical school and become an orthopedic or cardiac surgeon. 

Jun’s high school success is not limited to his class rank. His accolades include National Merit Commended Scholar, National AP Scholar with Distinction, and the Coaches Award for the Wayne Valley Football team, after serving as a team captain for the 2020 season. (In fact, football gave Jun his fondest high school memory: beating Wayne Hills in the 2019 playoffs and celebrating the victory in Hills’ locker room.) He is also a worship leader and music director at his church’s youth group, through which he participates in mission trips. 

Jun credits his mother and his younger brother for motivating him to achieve success. As a highly driven individual, he advises all underclassmen, “Failure is fine, but laziness will kill your dreams… don’t let it!” 

Like Jun, Salutatorian Jeana Fermi is looking forward to her future beyond Wayne Valley. Fermi is committed to Williams College, where she will major in Global Studies and Anthropology. In addition to her major, she hopes to study subjects including philosophy, film, and history. Although she currently plans to attend graduate school and become a foreign service officer for the U.S. Department of State, she anticipates pursuing as many opportunities as possible.

Already Fermi is highly recognized for her accomplishments. In addition to being a National Merit Commended Student and an AP Scholar with Distinction, she received a scholarship from the Department of State to study the Russian language abroad in the summer of 2019. She also is president of SDA, editor-in-chief at Smoke Signals, and a student liaison to the Wayne Township Board of Education. Recently, she was recognized by the NJ BOE for her outstanding contributions to her community.

“I think that a big part of my academic success is just being surrounded by classmates and teachers who motivate me and make me excited to go to class, no matter how sleep-deprived I may be,” Fermi reflects. “I definitely wouldn’t have succeeded without [my friends’] support.” Rather than a single moment, Fermi’s favorite high school memories include the conversations she had with her peers and teachers between classes, which made each day interesting.

To all underclassmen, Fermi suggests, “Focus on activities and subjects that you really enjoy… All the work that they demand won’t even feel like work, and you’ll want to go above and beyond for them.”

The Wayne Valley community is extremely proud of Jun and Fermi for their achievements, and wishes them the best of luck in all their future endeavors. Students will be able to hear both Jun and Fermi deliver speeches at the Class of 2021 Graduation Ceremony on Tuesday morning on June 22.