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Lakota Announces Class of 2023 Valedictorians and Salutatorians

Lakota Announces Class of 2023 Valedictorians and Salutatorians

As we approach the commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2023 - scheduled at Xavier’s Cintas Center May 17 for Lakota East and May 19 for Lakota West - Lakota is proud to announce this year’s valedictorians and salutatorians.

The co-valedictorians for Lakota East are Ian Balfour with a GPA of 4.8733 and Noah Keith with a GPA of 4.8722. The co-salutatorians for Lakota East are Reagan Ryan with a GPA of 4.8559 and Elliott Keith with a GPA of 4.8474. (Pictured from left to right: Noah Keith, Ian Balfour, Reagan Ryan and Elliott Keith.)

Lakota West’s valedictorian is Christopher Barber (pictured top right) with a GPA of 4.9453, while the salutatorian is Luke Weis (pictured bottom right) with a GPA of 4.94.

What’s Next?

In the fall, Christopher Barber will be attending Washington University in St. Louis, and Luke Weis will be going to the University of Cincinnati. Christopher will be pursuing a career in cybersecurity, while Luke aims to work in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Christopher credits the Lakota Cyber Academy for preparing him for his chosen career path, while Luke's interest in AI has been fueled by his fascination with its potential to change the world.

Ian Balfour will also be attending the University of Cincinnati, majoring in Cybersecurity Engineering. His career goal is to become either an ethical hacker or penetration tester, with a focus on preventing malicious actors from harming others.

Noah Keith will be pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering at the United States Military Academy West Point, where he will commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. Noah has always felt a need to give back and help others, and serving in the military gives him the opportunity to lead, serve others, and make an impact.

Reagan Ryan is going to attend Miami University, majoring in biology with a neuroscience co-major. After that, she plans to go to graduate school for neuroscience and then into research; she has always wondered about what biological factors cause people to behave and react the way that they do.

Elliott Keith is headed to Purdue University after graduation, majoring in Aerospace Engineering. He has always dreamt of being a highly technical engineer in the aerospace field, and he is excited to begin to pursue it.

Not Just Academics

All the students have been involved in many extracurricular activities throughout their high school years to round out their Lakota experience.

Ian Balfour: member of the Lakota East’s Cross Country and Distance Track team and the Computer Club/INTERalliance.

Christopher Barber: represented Lakota in national cyber security competitions (as part of the Lakota Cyber Academy), a member of the varsity basketball and track teams, a cabinet member of the Lakota West Student Athlete Advisory Board and a part of the National Honors Society.

Elliott Keith: president of the Lakota East Veterans Network, treasurer for Mu Alpha Theta, a member of the National Honor Society, and a 4-year varsity swimmer. 

Noah Keith: President of the National Honor Society, President of Mu Alpha Theta (National Mathematics Honor Society), a 4-year varsity swimmer, and an Eagle Scout.

Reagan Ryan: member of National Honors Society and WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) Club, and treasurer of her 4-H club.

Luke Weis: member of the Games Club, Investment Club, Latin Club, National Honors Society, and Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA).


What They’ve Learned

When asked if they had advice for other students, Weis had this to say “The best advice I can give would be to challenge yourself and put yourself out there. Don’t be afraid to try things just because you think they’ll be hard. If you don’t challenge yourself, life can get really boring, so always push yourself to do your best.

Noah Keith agreed by saying “take classes that push you – there are so many great resources at Lakota.”

Christopher Barber added that it’s important to learn how to prioritize early. “You can't do everything (trust me, I tried)!). It may be hard to not get to do everything you wanted, but that will be easier than the stress of juggling more than you can handle. If you put your energy into the things you care most about, that is when you can excel and really love what you do.”

Reagan cautioned students to treasure spending time with their high school friends while they can and not take them for granted, as their time in high school will end quicker than they think.

The students made a point to also thank Lakota for contributing to their successes. “Teachers, coaches, and staff were always there to support and push me and my fellow students, and were always willing to go the extra mile for our benefit,” said Elliott Keith.

Balfour added that “the opportunities I've had in engineering and especially cybersecurity are amazing and ‘abnormal’ for high schoolers to be able to do. Even back when I woke up at 5:30 to go to zero bell, I never wanted to skip a day because I always had something fun to look forward to.”