DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. – Martha Corey-Ochoa was recently named valedictorian of the Dobbs Ferry High School class of 2012, but she said the accomplishment has taken years of work.
“It feels really good. I feel like it’s something I’ve been working toward for many years, and I’m glad it’s finally come to pass,” she said.
Corey-Ochoa said the key to her success has been focusing on her work, both inside and out of the classroom.
“I didn’t really have to study that much, but that’s because I spent a lot of time studying on my own time, so by that point when I came to class, all I had to do was homework,” she said. “I feel like it really helped that I had a passion for learning and I really loved all my subjects.”
The Dobbs Ferry valedictorian will be heading to Columbia University in the fall as a double major in English and math.
“I’m looking to get a Ph.D. and teach at a university,” she said. “I’ll probably end up teaching mathematics, but I’d like to continue working in the English language and possibly publish some books of poetry.”
Writing in her spare time is something that Corey-Ochoa said she enjoys, whether it’s poetry or even starting her own novel.
“I’m working on a novel, and I’ve written poetry as recently as this afternoon,” she said. “[My novel] is set in the 17th century and it’s basically like a first- person account of changes in the time and changes in a person’s life as she grows older.”
While she said she has yet to check her final GPA, Corey-Ochoa said it sits somewhere over 4.0. But there are two things that she’s most proud of from Dobbs Ferry High School. “One of them is really how it opened my mind to being an intellectual, and it really pushed me to study harder and to learn more; Also, the friendships I made with my classmates and teachers,” she said.