Vals and Sals 2023

Class of 2023 Valedictorians and Salutatorians
Posted on 04/26/2023
Metro Schools valedictorians and salutatorians at Board Meeting

As always, the top graduates of MNPS’s high schools this year are a brilliant and beautifully diverse group.

The Class of 2023's valedictorians and salutatorians plan to study astrophysics and architecture, computer science and civil engineering, biology and nursing, engineering, accounting and more. More than a dozen of them expect to pursue careers in health care. Two are headed to Ivy League universities. Some of them will be staying closer to home at Belmont, Lipscomb, Middle Tennessee State, Vanderbilt and other colleges and universities that make up our region’s rich higher education blend.

They include musicians and dancers; a five-time state wrestling medalist and a 1,000-point-scoring basketball player; multiple students from MNPS’s School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt and the Interdisciplinary Science and Research program; student government leaders; and two students who already have earned a two-year college degree along with their high school diploma.

And they’ve accomplished all of that after seeing their freshman and sophomore years disrupted by the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. They are a great advertisement for resilience and determination – and for the public schools that power our democracy.

“These students have worked extremely hard throughout their four years of high school to reach the top of the Class of 2023 at our schools across Nashville and Davidson County,” Director of Schools Dr. Adrienne Battle said as she and the MNPS Board of Education celebrated the students' achievements at Tuesday's Board meeting.

“They have skills. They have ambition. They are creative and critical thinkers. And they are going places! It always makes me smile when I think about the stories these students are going to write with the lives they’re going to live after they graduate – and I smile even more when I think about how well they represent our schools and what MNPS is all about.”

We’ll share more photos of each high school’s top two graduating students on MNPS’s social media in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out this list of our extremely impressive valedictorians and salutatorians from the Class of 2023. Congratulations on a job extremely well done, vals and sals!


  • Parker Buchanan, valedictorian
  • Annilet Gomez Montelier, salutatorian

Big Picture

  • Rachel Cohen, valedictorian
  • Jared “Jack” Barnes, salutatorian

Cane Ridge

  • Kylan Wilson, valedictorian
  • Kelsey Lusk, salutatorian

Early College

  • Zoe Weigel, valedictorian
  • Kylie Hilsen, salutatorian

East Nashville

  • Anaya Turnipseed, valedictorian
  • Sanaa Copeland, salutatorian


  • Bao Le, valedictorian
  • Rosa Abrego, salutatorian


  • Carl Schmidt, valedictorian
  • Mohamed Sankari, salutatorian


  • Samirakhon “Sami” Makhkamjonova, valedictorian
  • Samantha Mullins, salutatorian


  • Roger Chen, valedictorian
  • Lisa Kim, salutatorian

Hunters Lane

  • Galilea Ramirez, valedictorian
  • Makayla Inmon, salutatorian


  • T’Kiah Carter, valedictorian
  • Sheryll Vestal, salutatorian

Martin Luther King Jr.

  • Greg Gomez, valedictorian
  • Eben Negasi, salutatorian


  • Carissa Kim, valedictorian
  • Jayden Gaddes, salutatorian

Nashville School of the Arts

  • Laura Ellis, valedictorian
  • Caia Cupolo, salutatorian

John Overton

  • Kennedy Cross, valedictorian
  • Hermena Mikhael, salutatorian


  • Aliyah Dhies, valedictorian
  • Doyel Cockrill III, salutatorian


  • Benjamin Strausbaugh, valedictorian
  • Jacob Cesario, salutatorian

MNPS Virtual School

  • Conor Patton, valedictorian
  • Kailey Wilson, salutatorian

Whites Creek

  • Jo’Misha Fenton, valedictorian
  • Aaron Moreno, salutatorian
Photo Gallery
Class of 2023


Board of Education Celebration

Each Valedictorian and Salutatorian's name, college and/or post-high plans was called out and cheered at the April 25 Board meeting.

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