Few Burlingame students are aware that they go to school with one of the best chess players in the Bay Area. Ivan Ke, a freshman, has a standard World Chess Federation (FIDE) rating of 2287, making him a top 20 U.S. player under age 16.
Senior Krish Pillai will be taking a gap year after graduating next week. He will be studying at the University of Oxford in England as part of their prestigious gap year program. Pillai intends to apply to college next year and return to the United States.
Senior Remigi Christen is returning next year to his native city of Basel, Switzerland. Christen’s family moved to Burlingame four years ago. “I grew up there,” Christen said. “We moved here before high school. Now we’re moving back.”
Senior Kerry Hu will attend Otis College of Art and Design in the Fall. “I decided to do art because I’m interested in fashion,” Hu said. “My mom does architecture-related work, so I decided to choose interior design, which is kind of related to fashion also.” Hu, who was born in Shanghai and moved to the United States in middle school, began creating art in a school program at a young age.
Senior Ian Aweeka has been a part of crew for five years and has recently committed to the University of California, San Diego to further his skills and experience. Aweeka is currently a part of the Redwood Scullers, one of the best teams in the region.
Quinn Pelichoff plans to attend Syracuse University, where he will compete in collegiate rowing in the eight-manned boats. However, crew is not Pelichoff’s only motivation for attending Syracuse.
Senior Eli Haas will be running track at Chapman University in Southern California. Haas is a strong runner in both Cross Country and Track and Field. “Initially I only ran cross country which I got into it in middle school but really began to love and realize I was good at it during my freshman year of high school,” Haas said.
After four years as a part of the Burlingame girls’ varsity tennis team, star player Halle Martinucci will be attending the University of Redlands to play for the women’s tennis team. Martinucci has held the ranking of No. 1 since her freshman year and has participated in multiple tennis competitions including PALs and CCS.
Senior Emily Strambi will be rowing at University of Pennsylvania next fall. She started crew after an injury in soccer her sophomore year and has loved the sport ever since. “Rowing is different than any other sport I’ve ever played,” Strambi said. “It’s so team-oriented and the camaraderie you build with your teammates is unparalleled to any other experience.”
Senior Allison Sullivan Wu will be playing water polo at Pomona College next year. She has imagined herself playing water polo in college since she first took up the sport when she was eight years old.
After four years on the varsity team, Natalie Ballout will be playing volleyball for UC Santa Barbara in the fall. Ballout discovered her passion for the sport in high school and is excited to pursue a path as a collegiate athlete.
Senior Julianna Jajeh is a committed cheerleader of four years and soon to be cheerleader at the College of San Mateo. “Cheer helped me to expand my horizon and be more comfortable in high school,” Jajeh said. “I believe cheer has made me a better person and I've loved every second of it.”
Senior Carlo Lopiccolo will be playing for the College of San Mateo’s baseball team next year. As a three-time recipient of the Athlete of the Year Award, Lopiccolo has been committed to high school athletics for the past four years.
Senior Mario Vargas will pitch for the baseball team at the College of San Mateo next year. Vargas played first baseman and pitcher for the varsity boys’ baseball team. Vargas has many years of experience under his wing. He has been playing baseball since the age of 4, and club baseball since the age of nine.
Tyler White, an outfielder for the Varsity boys’ baseball team, has committed to Skyline College for a year to continue his baseball career. White has been playing baseball since he was 4. Over the years, White played club baseball at the San Mateo Firebirds and the Cage Baseball Club as an outfielder.
Senior Nicole Brunicardi will be continuing her basketball career at Skyline College next year. After four years of Burlingame basketball, Brunicardi feels this is a perfect next step.
Senior Michala O’Donoghue will be playing basketball at Skyline College next year. “My favorite part of the game is definitely the fast paced physical competition,” she said. “I thrive on it.”
Senior Kennedy Johnson will be studying musical theater at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) this fall. She will attend classes at the New York campus for two years and then finish as an upperclassman at the Los Angeles campus. AMDA is the next step for Johnson in a long history of dedication to theater.
Senior Katie Sharp will further pursue her passion for music by taking a gap year to study music at a conservatory in Italy and then studying as a music major at UC Berkeley. Sharp has been playing trumpet for nine years, and has played in a variety of orchestras in school and around the community.
Senior Julian Peiro will be moving to Hangzhou, China for six months to teach at a private tutoring institute. There, Peiro will use his previous tutoring experience to explain and teach basic English to chinese students.