2019 WMHS Valedictorian Foody Heading To Cornell West Milford. Rebecca Foody, Class of 2019 valedictorian, will continue her acedemic career at Cornell University.
West Milford High School Valedictorian Rebecca Foody is seen performing at Trumpets Jazz Club in Montclair.
By Ann Genader
The highest ranking student in the 2019 West Milford High School graduating class will be heading to Cornell University to study environmental engineering. Senior Rebecca Foody is excited about the academic rigor and research opportunities she will have at Cornell as she prepares for her future career. Foody will deliver her Valedictory Address at the high school graduation on June 19. Traditionally the speech is inspirational and persuasive to inspire others and also bids a fond farewell by the class representative as graduates prepare to disperse and begin the next phase of their lives. Her early education was at Marshall Hill School followed by Macopin Middle School and West Milford High School. She credits her family, friends and teachers for her success. “Without their endless support I could not have succeeded,” Foody said. “For them being in my life I am ever grateful.” She is especially enthusiastic about attending Cornell University for her higher education. “The surrounding town, Ithaca, (New York,) is incredibly beautiful and because of my plans to study environmental engineering I knew I wanted to be surrounded by nature,” Foody said. “Also, in all three times I visited, everyone on campus, including faculty and students, were so kind and welcoming that I knew I could feel at home there. Within the university, I will be attending the College of Engineering.” From a very young age Foody has had a passion for the welfare of wildlife. She is very interested in learning how she can truly make a large scale positive impact on the environment, but is not entirely sure what her career path will be after college, although she has many goals. “I want to have as positive an impact as I can on ecosystems,” she said. “In particular, I am interested in working on habitat restoration and preventing its further destruction, as well as achieving a more extensive integration of renewable energy into society.” An AP Scholar, Foody is a Rensselaer Medalist. She was a nominee and finalist for the New Jersey Governor’s School of Engineering and Technology. Foody belongs to the National Honor Society, Science Honor Society, German Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta (Math Honor Society). In her junior and senior years she has been a member of the school’s Peers as Leaders program, which involves members participating in a variety of service projects. Music and drama are also a big part of her life. Those who know her predict that she will be continue to be involved in these art forms at Cornell. Participating in the high school marching band for four years, she was section leader and trumpet soloist in her senior year. She was also in the school musicals all four years of high school. The shows were “Young Frankenstein”, “How to Participate in Business Without Really Trying”, “The Little Mermaid,” and in ”The Addams Family,” she had the role of "Grandma." Foody played lead trumpet in the high school’s beginner Jazz Band in her freshman year and received the award “Most Improved.” From her sophomore year on, she played trumpet in the high school’s highly competitive Jazz Ensemble. This year she is the Jazz Ensemble’s lead trumpet player as well as a soloist. In her junior and senior years she was part of the Highland Jazz, the school’s vocal jazz choir. She is in the Concert Choir and co-secretary for the choir program. She is also First Chair Trumpet for the Wind Ensemble. “The past four years have not really allowed me to have a lot of spare time because of the amount of activities I am involved in, the workload for my classes, applying for scholarships, and studying for AP tests,” Foody said. “I really enjoy all that I do despite the amount of time it all consumes. When I do have a minute my relaxation consists of reading, listening to music, or catching up on television shows and documentaries.” Her personal likes include watching environmental documentaries, listening to jazz and of course pets. She has volunteered for the past three years at West Milford Animal Shelter and participates in West Milford’s annual Beautification Day Cleanup Project. Her dislikes are few. She does not like to wake up early in the day, and sees people littering and animal cruelty as problems that need to be addressed.