Top Graduates — Wando

The most impressive students on paper at Wando High School have been recognized. Valedictorian Molly Bynum and salutatorian Gillian Richard discuss what it takes to achieve the highest academic honors among their peers.

Molly Bynum — Valedictorian

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Bynum

Q: What are your post-graduation plans?

I will be attending a four-year university to major in political science with a double minor in Spanish and computer science. I am attending Columbia University.

Q: As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

For a long time, I wanted to be a doctor. Why exactly, I’m not sure − I was never very good at science and blood makes me queasy. Beginning in 2015, however, I started to become fascinated with politics, and ever since then I’ve fully seen myself entering that field.

Q: What do you like to do outside of school?

I like to play sand volleyball with my friends, paint and exercise my creative side, go to the beach, and paddleboard on Shem Creek.

Q: What has been your favorite thing about high school?

I’ve really enjoyed the atmosphere at Wando. Since I was a transfer student at the beginning of junior year, I was worried about my ability to find a group of friends that I loved and truly connect with my teachers. By the end of the first week, however, I felt like I was at home. I’ve loved this time with my friends and Wando’s amazing faculty, and while I’m sad that it was cut short, I will always look back fondly on my high school experiences.

Q: What personal quality has been most helpful in achieving your success?

I’m a very determined and motivated person, which I think has definitely been most helpful in achieving my success. When I set my mind to something, I won’t stop until it’s done. I also take a lot of pride in my academics, so the fear of letting myself down pushes me to be the best that I can.

Gillian Richard — Salutatorian

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Richard

Q: What are your post-graduation plans?

I plan to attend Amherst College in the fall.

Q: As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a dolphin trainer when I was about 7 years old and then wanted to be a performer after that.

Q: What do you like to do outside of school?

I perform in musicals at Wando and professionally with Charleston Stage as well as teach dance classes and direct/choreograph shows at Once Upon a Ballet and Musical Theater Center.

Q: What has been your favorite thing about high school?

My favorite thing about high school has been my ability to explore a multitude of different interests within my curriculum and the amazing friends and teachers I’ve been able to meet and grow close to.

Q: What personal quality has been most helpful in achieving your success?

I went to Montessori schools until high school which fostered my independence and time management. These qualities allow me to work efficiently and express my beliefs confidently which has aided me in my success.

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