The Student News Site of Kingsway Regional High School

The Flame

The Student News Site of Kingsway Regional High School

The Flame

The Student News Site of Kingsway Regional High School

The Flame

Kingsway’s Top 2024 Scholars Honored at Gloucester County Awards Banquet

Anjuli+Nair%2C+Aryan+Bhagat%2C+Thomas+Ninan%2C+Maya+MacAdams%2C+Milani+Pirakh
Anjuli Nair, Aryan Bhagat, Thomas Ninan, Maya MacAdams, Milani Pirakh

Every year counties across the state recognize the top students in all the area high schools. Kingsway sent five students with the highest weighted GPAs to the Gloucester County Award Banquet who all currently have a weighted GPA above 4.5. They are Thomas Ninan, Aryan Bhagat, Milani Parikh,  Anjuli Nair and Maya MacAdams.

All five of these students were honored with dinner and a plaque for their accomplishments at Aulettos on May 20th. The academic excellence of these students over the past four years is amazing. Here’s what they shared about their experiences. 

Thomas Ninan will attend Princeton in the fall and major in electrical engineering. During high school, Thomas took  16 Advanced Placement courses and earned an A in all of them. He also took 5 AP classes online “because [he] wouldn’t have time during [his] 4 years to take any of the classes otherwise.”  These difficult online classes included AP US Government & Politics, AP Computer Science  Principles, AP Computer Science A , and  AP Micro/Macroeconomics.

He earned admittance into both the National Honor Society and the National World Language Honor Society, and he currently holds the Seal of Biliteracy in Spanish. Thomas’s other awards include the President’s Volunteer Service Award – Gold, AP Scholar with Distinction, National Merit Scholar Semifinalist, Senior of the Month, Enroads Global Climate Ambassador and  a Rise Global Finalist. He also published a children’s book on coding during his junior year. 

He said his drive for excellence can be attributed to his family.  He said, “Working with my brother on different technology projects from a young age helped spark my interest in engineering. My parents have been my best supporters in my journey, giving me the motivation to persevere and the time to relax and enjoy my high school years Without all of their influences, I would hardly be half the person I am today.” 

Although getting into a great school was a primary focus for Thomas, he also said, “I feel accomplished about being recognized for my years of hard work, but I hardly think it’s my most important achievement from high school. The friendships I’ve made and the people I’ve helped have been far more important to me than my grades, and while I may forget what grades I earned, I will never forget the times I spent with the people around me.” 

Thomas spent his lunches with many of these friends during club meetings during SMART lunch. Some of these clubs include a club he founded called the Young Investors Club the Physics Club, Habitat for Humanity, and the World Wildlife Fund. He was also president of the Science Olympiad team and has been involved with the bowling team for the past two years. 

He leaves Kingsway with some fond memories but cannot pick just one. “It’s difficult to choose a single memory, but some of my favorite times in high school have been simply hanging out with my friends during lunch. Over the past 4 years, this has enabled some of the most entertaining and influential conversations of my high school career,” Tom recalled. 

Joining Thomas in the top five is Aryan Bhagat, who will be majoring in  Biology/Pre-Med at the University of Michigan. Michigan has been Aryan’s “dream school forever” and he was partly inspired by his dad who graduated from there. Five years from now, Aryan hopes to be “in Medical school studying to become a radiologist.” 

 Besides being an accomplished student who also took  AP classes at Kingsway, Aryan played three sports. He acquired four varsity letters in swimming and two others in soccer and volleyball. His favorite memory was playing soccer with Mr. Coller and his soccer friends. 

He is also proud to be in two honor societies and participate in the Science Olympiad, Bio Olympiad, and Physics club.   H has tutored and received praise and awards for his teaching skills and participated in medical research to “help further solidify his interest in medicine.”  

Finding the way to juggle all these experiences can be difficult for anyone, but Aryan said he “balanced [it all]  by studying hard when I needed to and then gave myself some time to relax.”

Some awards he is most proud of besides being in the top five include being an AP Scholar, Senior of the Month, and winning the Bill Maschke Swim Scholar Athlete award. 

His advice to juniors on their upcoming college application process is, “Just be prepared to work hard the first 4-5 months… don’t doubt your application because it truly is such a random process.”

President of the Kingsway Chapter of the National Honor Society, Milani Parikh is another amazing AP Scholar. Like Aryan, she plans to attend medical school. She aspires to be a physician and will attend Saint Joseph’s University for Biomedical Science in August. She is receiving a full tuition scholarship in partnership with  Jefferson Medical School. 

One of her fondest memories of Kingsway was being on the field helping to run pep rallies as part of the student council executive committee. A senior of the month selection, she is also a member of the multicultural and Asian cultures club, the physics club, and the prom committee. She said, “I have enjoyed being in these clubs because they allow  me to get involved, build my leadership, and make new friends.” 

Milani has also enjoyed participating in sports and has four varsity letters: one in tennis, one in bowling, and two in golf. Somehow, she managed to balance her studies with time spent volunteering at her Indian Sunday school and teaching young kids about their culture as well as shadowing physicians and participating in programs at Rutgers, Drexel, and St. Joseph’s University.

However, she said her best contribution to Kingsway has been in her role as National Honor Society President. She said, “This year, NHS was restructured and I was given many more roles than the presidents in the past. Most importantly, this was the first year that we conducted two group services and one individual service project as a chapter. My role was instrumental in making sure that these projects ran smoothly and truly made a difference.”

Another tremendously focused student, Anjuli Nair, sees herself entering medical school in five years and then in ten years completing a surgical residency on her path to becoming a surgeon. She will be attending Rutgers University’s honors program to major in cell biology and neuroscience.  Not surprisingly, she said her best subject is usually math and she “likes how it is sort of like a puzzle that just falls into place once you find the answer.”   

Besides taking many AP classes, Anjuli has been a regular participant in her favorite school event, the multicultural assembly. She said, “It was a time where I could truly be myself and I created a family within the people that helped me make an amazing performance.”  

Anjuli is also the Vice President of the Kigsway Chapter of the National Honor Society and a member of the World Language Honor Society. Although she is a very busy AP Scholar,  Anjuli has been successful in balancing her time studying with outside activities that include work at CVS Health, tutoring underclassmen, and volunteering at many places around the community. She said she would not change anything about her Kingsway experience. She advises incoming freshmen: “Do not be afraid to be yourself.”

Rounding out this super-talented group of students is Maya MacAdams. Maya will be attending Rutgers University and will major in Cognitive Science. She is the recording secretary of the Key Club, a member of the National Honor Society,  a school ambassador, and a peer tutor. She enjoys all these activities but Key Club in particular because she  “likes to help others” and feels  “making the community a better place is very important.” 

She also played varsity softball for Kingsway during her sophomore and junior years and currently participates on a traveling club team.  Softball has been a big part of her life. She said, “I am a part of a softball team that plays in national-level competitions across the country. My favorite part of being on this team is the bond I have created with my teammates. Softball has also provided me with many life lessons.“ 

A recipient of the Superintendent’s honor roll for four years, this AP scholar with distinction attributes a lot of her success in school to her dad’s support. She said, “My dad has always inspired me. Ever since I was young, he taught me the value of discipline and motivation. Whether academically or athletically, my dad would always help me strive to be my best.”

Maya leaves Kingsway with many memories but one of her favorites occurred this year when she went on the senior class trip to Disney and Universal.  “I got to spend a lot of time with my friends and it was a great way to end off my high school experience.”  Her advice to incoming freshmen is to “Enjoy your time in high school! Take advantage of any opportunity available and make sure to do the best you can in school and with your extracurricular activities.”

L-R: Thomas Ninan, Maya Macadams, Anjuli Nair, Milani Parikh , Aryan Bhagat
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