Spotlight on Rye High’s Top Two Scholars

Min Kim and Judson Ellis – One was born in Korea, the other in the U.S.A. Both moved to Rye in time for first grade.

Published June 27, 2015 12:01 PM
3 min read

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scholars-thMin Kim and Judson Ellis – One was born in Korea, the other in the U.S.A. Both moved to Rye in time for first grade.

By Mitch Silver

scolarsOne was born in Korea, the other in the U.S.A. Both moved to Rye in time for first grade.

One took summer courses in Astrophysics and Relativity at Columbia University; the other studied Bacterial Immunity as part of Rockefeller University’s Summer Science Research Program. Both will be attending Ivy League schools in the fall. 

One has a grade point average of over 101; the other has an even higher GPA. They are Min Kyo Kim and Judson Ellis, Rye High’s valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, for 2015.
Min’s resumé is larded with AP courses (ten in all) and school departmental honors. So, naturally, I asked her to name her weakest subject. “Physical Education,” she quickly replied. “I’m not, and never will be, Presidential Physical Fitness material.”

Judson’s curriculum vitae is equally impressive, with SAT scores of 2,370 (2,400 is as high as you can go) and High Honor Roll appearances right through high school. His fitness seems okay, judging by his varsity letter in Track & Field. 

The two scholars are also musicians. Min played violin in the Rye String, Symphony, and Chamber orchestras, while Judson’s voice was heard in the Rhythm on Rye a capella group, as well as the Parson Street Players’ productions of “Pippin”, “South Pacific”, and “Beauty and the Beast”.

Both expect to take plenty of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) courses at college — Min at Harvard and Judson at Brown. I asked them about their college choices.

 

Judson said: “I chose Brown University because of its commitment to academics as well as to the arts. It’s big enough and diverse enough to provide constant new opportunities, and has anenvironment not only of intellectual vivacity but also of friendliness. In addition, Brown’s open curriculum will allow me the freedom to explore multiple interests.” Those interests include art history and all kinds of creative writing.

Min is aiming to be an American astronaut, so she intends her concentration to be in areas related to astrophysics. Why Harvard? “My parents run a dry cleaning store in Port Chester. With my older brother at Brandeis and my younger sister Jenny right behind me, the size of the financial aid package was important. It’s a fact of life that the bigger schools — Stanford, MIT, Harvard — can afford to offer more.”

A trick question: What would you do with a train ticket to the city and a free afternoon? Judson replied, “I think I’d head over to the Strand Book Store in the Village and just browse. I hear it’s amazing.” 

Kim’s choice was equally low-key: “I think I’d get myself a nice takeout lunch and enjoy it in the park, just thinking.” 

 

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