Class of 2023 Valedictorians and Salutatorians

Senior Spotlight


Haley Brenner

Haley Brenner will be attending the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne, this upcoming fall semester. Brenner is excited to be pursuing her passions both academically and athletically, as she is studying Nutrition with the hopes of becoming a registered dietitian, while also playing for collegiate soccer. Playing soccer in college has always been Brenner’s goal, as well as being able to experience more independence, meeting new people, and further advancing her education. During her time at Adams, Brenner was involved in both Girls Soccer and National Honor Society. Some of her favorite memories included her senior night for soccer, and numerous lunch trips in Spanish 6 with Stanton-Verduzco. Brenner suggests always keeping a jacket in your locker, while also remembering to charge your chromebook each night. In all seriousness, Brenner says, “cherish every moment of high school. As cliche as it sounds, it really does go by fast. Make some memories and escape your comfort zone, but make sure to remain true to yourself in the process.”

Joseph Kirner

Joseph Kirner, a remarkable student, will be heading to the University of Notre Dame to pursue his interest in global affairs and data science. He chose Notre Dame for its strong academic profile, rich dorm communities, Catholic identity, and dedication to service. Joseph hopes to pursue a career in diplomacy, foreign policy advisory, or global health. During his time at Adams, Joseph was a National Honor Society (NHS) president, Quiz Bowl’s 2022-23 captain, varsity on the boy’s golf team, played the cello, and was a part of Science Olympiad. His favorite Adams memory is leading the Quiz Bowl defeat of St. Joe for the first time in fourteen years and ending their nine-year winning streak in state championships. His favorite teachers are Mr. Bartholomew and Mrs. Stanton-Verduzco. After going through high school, Joseph recommends not to try doing too much: “With the increasingly competitive college admissions landscape, a lot of people try to take on more extracurriculars and activities that they can realistically handle. Instead, I advise focusing on 2-3 main activities that you both enjoy and believe you can excel in. It is truly more valuable to have an enjoyable high school experience than an ‘impressive’ one.”

Anna Rosato

Anna Rosato will be attending Washington University in St. Louis, this coming fall. Rosato is excited for the opportunities that will allow her to pursue education at one of the finest universities, as well as a chance to play soccer for one of the most historically successful women’s soccer collegiate programs. Rosato will be studying Interdisciplinary Studies at WashU. During her time at Adams, Rosato was a member of the Varsity Quiz Bowl team, as well as the Secretary of National Honor Society. Some of her favorite memories include launching bottle rockets in Kindelan’s IB Physics class, and traveling with her quiz bowl team to nationals. Rosato advises to “work hard and challenge yourself,” while also remembering to “appreciate the faculty and staff of John Adams”.

Erika Ruiz-Yamamoto

Erika Ruiz-Yamamoto is an exceptional student who will be attending Northwestern University to pursue her passion for biology and music. She chose Northwestern University for its strength in science and music, as well as Chicago’s abundance of opportunities for pre-med students with her career goal of becoming a surgeon. Erika actively participated in various advocacy groups, including founding Futures in Medicine, leading as president of Sociedad Honoraria Hispanica (Spanish Honor Society,) co-president of Student Advocates for IB Diversity (SAIBD,) and secretary of International Student Organization (ISO.) She was also a National Honor Society (NHS) officer and a part of Science Olympiad. Her favorite memory of Adams is experiencing high school with her best friend, Ruth Halperin. Erika’s word of advice is that “life is short: there is no time to worry about what other people think. Focus on yourself and what matters to you, and always remain kind.” 

Casey Zielke

Casey Zielke will be attending Purdue University in the fall. Zielke is looking forward to the incredible engineering program that Purdue has to offer, with hopes to study Civil Engineering, while also making new friends, and pursuing his further academic interests. During his time at Adams, Zielke was involved in many clubs and extracurriculars, including Science Olympiad, Boys Tennis, Quiz Bowl, Ski Club, National Honor Society, Student Advocates for IB Diversity, and managing the Girls Tennis team. Some of his favorite memories include, racing Miller down the slopes of Swiss Valley, going to State with Science Olympiad, and also helping to organize the Knight of Arts with National Honor Society. As Zielke finishes his time at Adams, he advises, “to try as many new activities as possible because it’s the people and opportunities that make the most memorable experiences in high school, so finding out what you are interested in through extracurriculars is incredibly important.”


Ruth Halperin

Ruth Halperin will be attending the University of Notre Dame this coming fall semester. She chose ND because she has always seen herself going there and liked the opportunities that it can offer. She is undecided in her major but has looked into Global Affairs as well as Architecture. Some of her favorite memories from high school include being on homecoming court senior year and being able to throw candy during the car procession. Something else she looks back on fondly is going to the Adams vs St. Joe boy’s soccer game this year. A piece of advice she has is for those who take their schoolwork seriously, she says it is important to know that, “it’s seriously okay to say ‘that wasn’t perfect, but it was good enough and I tried my best.’’ She wants you to know that “If you get caught up in every tiny mistake, it becomes hard to move on and be proud of yourself (speaking from experience). Perfection is the enemy of good.”

Jayne Kelly

Jayne Kelly will be attending the University of Notre Dame in the fall. She chose Notre Dame because she has always dreamed about attending the university and it continues a legacy of her family members who have attended. She intends to major in Finance but also hopes to double major in Economics as well. One of her favorite memories from her time at Adams was the  come back win on the girl’s basketball senior night. When asked about advice for underclassmen she has this to say: “Enjoy the high school experience, don’t skip out on going to the basketball game or the dance to do homework. Remember that your grades matter for your future, but don’t forget to make memories in the present.”