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Meet the Class of 2024 Valedictorian and Salutatorian

2024 Salutatorian Victorious Ezeh and Valedictorian Javan Hirwa

Wayland Academy is pleased to announce its Class of 2024 valedictorian and salutatorian—Javan Hirwa and Victorious Ezeh.

Javan Hirwa of London, England (United Kingdom) earned the top spot of his senior class, and Victorious Ezeh of Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire (United Kingdom) was named salutatorian. Both are boarding students at Wayland Academy.

Wayland Academy’s valedictorian and salutatorian honors are awarded to the seniors who not only exhibit high academic achievement, but who also fulfill the school’s motto: Knowledge and Character.

“As both a boarding and day school, we have a unique opportunity when it comes to choosing our valedictorian and salutatorian,” said Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Innovation Seth Ahlborn. “Our selection process goes deeper than academics; we look at the student’s involvement in the community, their role on campus, and their overall demeanor. The honors truly speak to the well-roundedness of the individual.”

In addition to his academic prowess, valedictorian Javan Hirwa is the president of the Math Club, a class representative on the Student Council, a soccer and track and field captain, and a Prefect—the highest student leadership position on campus. His favorite classes include AP Calculus and AP Microeconomics because he finds the concepts fascinating and challenging.

“Standing tall, with a heart even bigger, Javan embodies everything it means to be a leader beyond grades. His journey to be selected as valedictorian transcends academic excellence,” said mentor Sarah Hafey. “Javan’s dedication extends far beyond textbooks, illuminating our community with unwavering kindness and a genuine passion for the collective good. However, his leadership isn’t about titles or accolades; it’s about inspiring others to rise, to collaborate, and to make a difference. Whether spearheading initiatives for social change or mentoring underclassmen, he leads with empathy and inclusivity, fostering a spirit of unity that ripples throughout our campus community.”

Javan came to Wayland as a sophomore boarding student in 2021 and shares these words of wisdom for his classmates: “You have unlimited potential, so take advantage of the opportunities that you have around you at Wayland. Make meaningful connections with as many people as you can.”

Javan is originally from Rwanda and currently resides in London with his parents, James Wizeye and Eppy Izere. In the fall, he plans to study computer science at Washington and Lee University (Lexington, Virginia).

Salutatorian Victorious Ezeh plans to major in computer science at Columbia University (New York, New York) in the School of Engineering and minor in linguistics at Columbia College. She is the daughter of Chinyere Ezeh and is from Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire (United Kingdom).

Victorious came to Wayland as a junior boarding student in 2022 and has made a huge impact on the community during her time on campus. She is the president of Wayland’s Black Student Union (BSU), a member of the Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Board, and a manager in the Wayland Writing Center. She served on special teams for the varsity football team, was the captain of the cheer team, and is also a member of the track and field team.

Her many roles as a student-leader and -athlete at Wayland have taught Victorious to encourage her classmates/teammates to do their best, find their unique qualities, and share their culture, traditions, and experiences with their community. Her advice to future students: “Appreciate the supportive community at Wayland and make the most of the many opportunities. Try everything, even if you initially suck at it!!!”

Her mentor, Omri West, noted, “Victorious is a fantastic person who is always willing to do what is right. She is a stellar student, to say the least, whose boarding school experience has allowed her to use her voice in acts of leadership, empowerment, and encouragement for her community. I have seen her grow since she first arrived on campus, and even more so as her mentor. Outside of being a tremendous student, she is a humanitarian. She's become a voice for the voiceless, and her heart is pure. She is a woman who strives for excellence and exemplifies excellence in all she does. I have enjoyed her presence and impact on campus. She is ready to go out into the world and make a difference.”

Wayland also elects four junior marshals from the junior class to lead the school’s faculty and seniors to commencement. They are selected based on the same high standards used to select the valedictorian and salutatorian. The marshals representing the Class of 2025 are Ssanyu Nambeguya of Kasanga, Kampala in Uganda; Madeline Clark of Sturgeon Bay, Wis.; AnnaSophia Schultz of Beaver Dam, Wis.; and Mathias Seufzer of Beaver Dam, Wis.


  • Commencement
2024 Valedictorian Javan Hirwa

2024 Valedictorian Javan Hirwa

2024 Salutatorian Victorious Ezeh

2024 Salutatorian Victorious Ezeh