Salutatorian Hedieh Hemati Encourages Others to Keep an Open Mind



Salutatorian Hedieh Hemati is an avid reader.

Francisco Rogel, Staff Writer

Salutatorian is a title that only a select few achieve at the end of their high school education. The title holds merit as a recognition for a student’s achievements and ability in academics. For the Class of 2023, one of the two awarded titles goes to Senior Hedieh Hemati, who proves her academic prowess with a GPA of 4.83.

Hemati recounted being ecstatic to hear the news of her title. “I called my parents, called my sister. I was beaming with joy and really thankful. I think I worked pretty hard for it so I was happy to get it,” said Hemati. She has taken a myriad of advanced, AP, Honors, and Community College classes, excelling in all of them. “Hedieh is very unconventional – she is always thinking outside the box. She’s creative with her ideas and has unique execution. She is a happy individual, and very supportive when you need her,” said Senior Summer Kocher, a close friend of Hemati.

Hemati’s favorite class was AP Calculus with Teacher Philip Huszar because of the content, class environment, and teacher. “Hedieh was a very dedicated student. She was never afraid to ask questions or take the steps necessary to acquire full understanding of whatever concepts we were learning,” said Huszar.

Hemati used to play lacrosse, and continues to support the team by attending lacrosse games. “You learn a lot about teamwork, leadership, and collaboration. It really makes you more well-rounded when you are able to bond with a team,” said Hemati.  “She’s always happy and smiling. She makes my day brighter when I get to talk to her,” said Senior Jenna Amos, a former lacrosse teammate of Hemati.

Hemati has always had a strong supportive presence in her life. Her sister goes to UC San Diego and is studying the field of Biotech, and her mother has a job relating to Biotech. “My family has always been my strongest support,” said Hemati. Her friends also remain a backbone of her success. “Not only is [Hemati] book smart, she’s also really caring and such a good person overall,” said Senior Jabze Solomon.

Hemati experienced a lot of stress in her junior year. “There is a lot of pressure when there’s all these things I have to prioritize. Setting time to do things that I enjoy is what keeps me sane… It’s what makes it less of a burden and more like an exciting challenge,” said Hemati. Hemati uses time management where she prioritizes her leisure time and work life. She enjoys going to the beach, hanging out with friends, and she loves reading after rediscovering her love for it in AP English Literature.

Even though she was robbed of the full high school experiences due to Covid-19, the excitement of college keeps her going. She also has plans to enjoy her summer. “I want to have a lot of fun, hang out with friends, maybe embark on a summer job to have something to do, but rest is my priority before college,” said Hemati. Hemati will be attending the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), there, she will be majoring in immunology, microbiology, and molecular genetics on the premed track.

Hemati advises students to think outside the box regarding curricular decisions. “When it comes to classes, step outside your comfort zone, talk to people in older grades to get advice, try to figure out what’s interesting, and keep an open mind. Finally, just make the most of it. Enjoy your time here and do something for yourself,” said Hemati.