Endurance and persistence is needed if one is to be a runner on a cross country team and the same is true if one wants to become a champion swimmer. Honeoye Falls-Lima seniors Sarah Bond and Amy Li applied those two attributes to their academic studies as well and for that Bond earned the honor of valedictorian of this year’s senior class and Li the honor of salutatorian.
Bond, the daughter of Laura and Bryan Bond, will head to Duke University in the fall and is thinking of majoring in biology with a minor in Spanish. She also considered Brown University, the University of Rochester, Tufts University and Dartmouth College. The 18-year-old carried a 98 average. She challenged herself academically with Advanced Placement courses in European History, U.S. History, English Language and Composition, Biology, Psychology, Macroeconomics, BC Calculus, Spanish and English Literature and Composition. She also took Spanish 4 Honors and Introduction to Business through Monroe Community College.
As dedicated as she was to her studies, Bond was also involved in school activities that helped fellow students and showed an intense compassion and empathy. She was a member of Big Cougar/Little Cougar as a “big sister” to an elementary-age child for two years, a Math Mentor for two years and Link Crew, which helps freshmen adjust to the high school environment. She was also President of the Rotary Interact Club, Spanish National Honor Society President, a member of National Honor Society for two years and in the chorus for two years. She was on the track team three years and earned the team’s Scholar Athlete award for two years.
Bond held a part-time job at Mendon Meadows Market Place for two years and recently was hired as a receptionist at Honeoye Falls Family Eye Care. She worked as a babysitter all through high school. She participated in the National Student Leadership Conference for Neuroscience and Psychology between her sophomore and junior year.
Among her awards and honors are a Rotary Youth Leadership Award, the Dartmouth Book Award, an AP Scholar Award, a National Merit Commended Student and National Merit Scholarship qualifier, an American Chemical Society Achievement Award and academic department awards for Spanish, Physics, AP Macroeconomics, AP Biology, AP U.S. History and AP English Language and Composition.
Bond also competed on the cross country running team for four years. She placed 25th in 21 minutes, 44.7 seconds at the Section V Class B Championship last fall and participated in sectionals all four years. She received the team’s Scholar Athlete Award and has been an All-League honorable mention selection. She is considering joining a running club or competing in intramurals.
Asked who has inspired her, Bond quickly responded her parents.
“My mom went back to school to pursue a career she loves,” Bond said. “In addition, Mrs. Hamer, my AP Biology teacher, has inspired me because of the passion she has for the subject.”
Li, the daughter of Min and Yuan Li, will attend Brown University in the fall but is unsure of what she will major in. She also looked at University of Rochester, Notre Dame, Binghamton University and the University of Pittsburgh. Li said her academic average was about a 96 or 97. She challenged herself academically with Advanced Placement courses in Chemistry, European History, BC Calculus, Biology, English Language and Composition, Psychology, U.S. History, Government and Politics, Computer Science A, Physics, Statistics and English Literature and Composition and Honors Spanish and Economics through MCC.
Her involvement in the school community was vast, including National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society, Executive Student Council, Big Cougar/Little Cougar for one year, Newspaper Club, Math Team, Link Crew for two years and playing alto saxophone in the jazz band since she was a seventh-grader. She also initiated a Music Outreach Club that brings music to area senior living communities.
Li works at the Kuger Café in Honeoye Falls and has played piano since age 5, taking lessons at Hochstein School of Music. She volunteered with the Friends of Strong for one year and was an intern with The Sentinel last summer. She also swam for the Victor Swim Club for one year and the GCOM swim club in Henrietta for two years.
Awards and honors abound for her, including being a National Merit Scholarship finalist and a Girls State delegate. Li, 18, also has received a U.S. Chemistry Olympiad honor, Outstanding Soloist in the jazz band at the Virginia Beach Music Festival as a junior, the John Philip Sousa Music Award as a senior and was an alternate for the New York State School Music Association Conference All-State.
Just as she joined the high school jazz band despite only being a seventh-grader, Li also made the varsity swim team as a seventh-grader and has competed for six years on the team. She was a co-captain last fall and is the two-time Section V Class B winner of the 100 butterfly, winning the event this year in 59.07 seconds while also winning the 200 individual medley last fall (2:13.88) and helping both the 200 free relay and 400 free relay to wins as the Cougars took the Class B team title. She was a finalist in the state meet in the 100 butterfly and as a member of 200 free relay. She owns the school record in the butterfly (58.45 seconds). She received the Sportsmanship Award at the state meet last fall. She was named the team’s Scholar Athlete and an All-League first team selection. She may swim for a club team at college.
“I have had a lot of great teachers who have helped me along the way such as Mr. (Mark) Borden in music, Mr. (Ari) Freedman-Weiss who was my swim coach this year and Mr. (Ryan) Teeter who was my guidance counselor,” Li said. “My fondest memory of high school is being on the swim team and meeting a lot of friends who I will know the rest of my life.”