Senior Spotlights: 'Alosha' Darenkov, Vinay Rao, Hailey Wexler, Jacob Yim

Continuing our series of Senior Spotlights designed to celebrate each graduate, meet four more seniors from the Princeton Day School Class of 2021.

Please note that Senior Spotlights appear in alphabetical order and are based on voluntary submissions that our seniors are completing and providing to the Communications Office.

Aleksei "Alosha" Darenkov '21

Alosha Darenkov, Panther for 4 years

A turning point/meaningful teacher:

Mr. Brian Mayer's wonderful senior physics class

"If I could do it again, "

i would take Mr. Chris Maher's design/shop class each year

Senior Project insights:

I'm making two crosses out of sapele mahogany for my church.

Message for future PDS seniors:

Have a good time before it's all over!!

Vinay Rao '21

Vinay Rao, Panther for 14 years

A turning point/meaningful experience:

Participating and leading APIDA (Asian Pacific Islander Desi American affinity group) made me closer to my heritage and helped me get closer to people in different grades.

"If I could do it again, "

I would try to take more time to hangout with friends. There are many times when it may get busy, but it's important to take time to just relax.

Senior Project insights:

I am writing a chess book designed to teach people chess in four weeks.

Message for future PDS seniors:

Join new clubs and try new things. You may be scared at first, but participating in them will make your high school experience so much more enjoyable.

Hailey Wexler '21

Hailey Wexler, Panther for 3 years

A turning point/meaningful teacher:

A meaningful experience at PDS for me was taking the engineering class with Ms. Alana Allen my junior year. Before taking this class I did not have a lot of confidence in my work in group projects, but with the help of Ms. Allen I learned how to be more confident and be more of a leader during group projects. Her positive attitude and energy made this class so much fun.

"If I could do it again, "

I would have come to PDS earlier and I would explore other arts like photography.

Message for future PDS seniors:

Appreciate the little things. During COVID and my senior year I found myself truly missing Upper School gatherings in the theater and class meetings. This made me realize how special our school is for having the opportunity to have weekly upper school gatherings and weekly class meetings.

Jacob Yim '21

Jacob Yim, Panther for 4 years

A turning point/meaningful experience:

The turning points for me at PDS are when I move up a grade each year. When a person gets older, it's not just them changing. The world changes with them. And you are forced to adapt. So a drastic change like moving up a grade is as large as a turning point will get.

"If I could do it again, "

I would probably not really change anything I did. I am content with my results.

Message for future PDS seniors:

No need to worry. Most things work out pretty easily in the end.

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