Siqi (Kathy) Wang studied a typical curriculum in a Chinese public school but when she enrolled at The Hun School as a ninth-grade resident student, she was most intrigued by electives. “Electives let you explore your interests,” she says.
The then-ninth grader had always been interested in writing and wanted to take journalism, but the class was typically reserved for sophomores and those in higher grades. She did not let that stop her. “I talked to a teacher right from the beginning,” she laughs. She gained permission to join the class, and though she recalls being slightly intimidated as the youngest student in the class, it was also one of the most memorable of her time at Hun. “In the beginning, I only interviewed my friends, but Ms. Martin taught me to reach out to others.”
She had to step outside of her comfort zone to talk to students she didn’t know, but the class taught her more than interview techniques and storytelling; it helped her come into her own in a foreign country. “Hun has really brought out my potential.” That class also set her on a path that led to serving as editor in chief of The Mall in her junior and senior years, and editor in chief of The Hun Review in her senior year. It has also informed her college selection process: she applied early decision to Brown University to study English and Literary Arts.
While writing is her passion, her status as valedictorian is proof positive that she excels in all subjects. However, the humble and mild-mannered student is likely to tell you she was “surprised” to learn she was ranked number one in her class. Instead, she shifts the spotlight to her teachers, sharing that her yearbook entry is full of gratitude to them. “Choosing Hun was the best decision I have ever made and I am very grateful for my four years here. All of my teachers really care about me, both academics and outside of school.”
Caring is a thread that runs through Kathy’s life. “She is an amazing human…just so kind and modest,” says Dayna Gash, freshman grade level dean. Ms. Gash worked with Kathy and Yixuan (Angelina) Shi on a peer tutoring program to help ninth graders learning virtually from China adapt to Hun. “I felt like I was working with a colleague,” she says. Kathy and Angelina, who both learned remotely from China this year, were able to share their strategies for success with Hun’s newest Upper Schoolers.
Though Covid foiled her plans to live with her roommate all four years at Hun and Kathy will be delivering her valedictorian speech from Beijing, she hopes to visit Hun just before she enrolls at Brown this fall.