NEWBURGH – Newburgh Free Academy has named Gwendolyn Walker and Olivia Gloffke the NFA Class of 2020 Valedictorian and Salutatorian, respectively. Both scholars attend Newburgh Free Academy Main Campus.
More about Gwendolyn Walker, NFA Class of 2020 Valedictorian:
Gwendolyn Walker was named the NFA Class of 2020 Valedictorian.
Next year, Gwendolyn Walker plans to attend SUNY New Paltz to study Visual Art. Prior to attending Newburgh Free Academy Main Campus, Gwendolyn attended Gardnertown Elementary School and Heritage Middle School.
While at Newburgh Free Academy Main Campus, Gwendolyn was on the Girls Varsity Tennis and Girls Varsity Golf teams. She was a member of Key Club, National Honor Society, Science Honor Society, and Spanish Honor Society.
When asked who has had a positive influence on her life, Gwendolyn said, “My parents have always encouraged me to do well in school. I would not have been so successful if they hadn’t read with me every night as a child and given me the freedom to think for myself.”
When asked what advice she had for younger Goldbacks, Gwendolyn said, “Always try your best even if you feel like it’s not good enough, because you can help yourself more than you know.”
When receiving the official letter informing her of Valedictorian standing, Gwendolyn was joined by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. James and Lucille Walker.
More about Olivia Gloffke, NFA Class of 2020 Salutatorian:
Olivia Gloffke was named the NFA Class of 2020 Salutatorian.
Next year, Olivia plans to study Photography. Due to the complexity of COVID-19, Olivia is unsure of where she will be studying, but will most likely attend either the School of Visual Arts or the University of the Arts London. Prior to attending Newburgh Free Academy Main Campus, Olivia attended GAMS and South Middle School.
While at Newburgh Free Academy, Olivia was a member of the NFA Advanced Dance Team since her sophomore year and has been in every NFA dance production beginning in middle school. She has performed in the NFA Spring Musicals Kiss Me Kate and In the Heights and played Ray the Lightning Bug in the fall dance production Princess and the Frog. Olivia was also the dance captain for In the Heights. She has also choreographed for several student concerts and performed in multiple cabaret performances. Olivia also danced and did community service through her private dance studio, Ballet Arts Studio.
Olivia is an officer for the NFA Before Broadway Theater Company (BBTC). Some of her roles include: student choreographer for James and the Giant Peach, TYA, writer and actor for The Newburgh Project, Fighting Prawn and Choreographer for Peter and the Starcatcher, writer and actor for Fear Fest II: Haunted Halls, Lady in Waiting in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, Sarah in Fear Fest: Country Gothic, among others.
She has also used her skill and expertise as a photographer to take cast headshots for several productions.
Additionally, Olivia been a part of the NYS Science Honors Society, National Honors Society, and Italian Honors Society.
When asked who has had a positive influence on her life, Olivia highlighted her family and a former teacher: “Both of my parents as well as my three sisters have continuously motivated me to keep learning and bettering myself from a young age. They have always supported me, pushing me to be my best self. Additionally, my second grade teacher, Ms. Forino, has had an especially positive influence on me, as she fought for me to skip a grade, allowing me to graduate with the class of 2020.”
When asked what advice she had for younger Goldbacks, Olivia said: “Work and reach for your goals for yourself, not for others. Internal motivation will keep you going even when the rest of the world seems like they’ve given up on you.”
Olivia comes from a family of Goldbacks. Her three older sisters all graduated from Newburgh Free Academy: Samantha in 2005, Nicole in 2009, and Emma in 2013.
When receiving the official letter informing her of Salutatorian standing, Olivia was joined by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Theresa and Lee Gloffke, and her sister Nicole.