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High School Names Valedictorian, Salutatorian

Mars Area High School graduates Annelie Gustafsson and Declan Abbey were named valedictorian and salutatorian of the Class of 2024, respectively.

Annelie GustafssonAnnelie Gustafsson is a recipient of the U.S. Marine Corps — Scholastic Excellence Scholarship.

Gustafsson and her fellow 2024 graduates Cecelia Crowley, Addison Girdwood and Mira Ramanathan, took first place in the 2022-2023 Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens Fairchild Challenge, for which they were asked to design “The Next NASA Mission Patch” to commemorate the “VEG-05” plant growth experiment aboard the International Space Station. As part of the 2023-2024 Fairchild Challenge, she was among several high school students who worked with Mars Area Centennial School fifth-graders on a four-part project focused on environmental education 

At Mars Area High School, Gustafsson was a member of the Best Buddies Club, Enrichment Club, Film Club, Key Club, Science National Honor Society (treasurer), Spanish Club, Spanish National Honor Society and the school’s Water Protection Program.

In the community, Gustafsson is a team member at Humane Action Pittsburgh.

She plans to attend Purdue University as an engineering major.

Declan AbbeyDeclan Abbey received an academic excellence award in the 2023-2024 The Challenge Program. 

At Mars Area High School, he was vice president of the Speech & Debate Club and a member of the school’s Enrichment Club, Science Bowl Team, Spanish National Honor Society, Water Protection Program, and Varsity Hockey Team.

In 2022, Abbey was selected to attend the Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Seminar at Thiel College.

In the community, he plays for the PHA Icemen Travel Hockey Team and volunteers at Carnegie Science Center.

He plans to attend Purdue University as an engineering major.

For more information on the valedictorian, salutatorian and honors selection process, call (724) 625-1581 or visit the “Mars Area High School” page at Click on the “Graduation Requirements” link under the “For Students” tab; then select “Class Rank Determination.”