Valedictorian Giovanni Komyatte conquers obstacles without looking back

Senior plans to study biochemistry at Notre Dame


Senior Giovanni Komyatte is known around the school as the kid who has something special coming to him in life. He’s been dealt some tough blows over the past couple of years, including reconstructive surgery on his kidney, sepsis, and a grand mal seizure during his junior honors chemistry class which alerted doctors to a large tumor in his right temporal lobe.
To say he’s been through a lot is an understatement. What a regular person would consider an obstacle, Gio considers these events just stepping stones in his life. He’s met every single one of them with utmost humility.  In November 2018, shortly after his seizure in school, he underwent surgery to have a huge tumor in his right temporal lobe removed. In classic Gio fashion, after the surgery, he immediately emailed all of his teachers and asked them what lessons he missed in class that day and if they could please send him the homework. If you asked any of his teachers, they would all agree that with any other student, they’d be surprised at this behavior; but with Gio, it was just part of his humble character with an unbelievable work ethic.
Here’s a Q&A with valedictorian Giovanni Komyatte:
(Questions collected by Mr. Kevin Burgun)

Q: Valedictorian is a pretty big honor; was that something you were striving for in your high school career or was it more a happy result of a strong work ethic?
“I was not striving to be valedictorian. All I was striving for was to put forward work that I was proud of.”
Q: A lot of your time must be spent studying and whatnot, but you are also very involved in other things. What other activities (extra-curricular and outside school) are you involved in?
“Tennis, Swimming Volleyball, Speech, Debate, Science Olympiad, Academic Super Bowl, Spell Bowl, Retreat Leader, Biology Club, Student Ambassadors, and National Honor Society.”
Q: If being valedictorian came with a one million dollar prize (it doesn’t), what would you do with the money?
“I would put most of the money towards fixing my house and the rest towards college.”
Q: Think all the way back to your freshman year. What was the hardest class you took that year? Who was your favorite teacher?
“Spanish 1 with Mrs. Aguila was my hardest class freshman year. Mr. B was my favorite teacher freshman year for Geometry because he was always so calm at the end of the day.”
Q: If you could have a theme song play every time you entered a room, what would it be?
“For Those About to Rock by AC/DC”
Q: What is one thing that Noll taught you or did for you that you don’t think you would have received at another school?
“Noll taught me to pick my battles. Some battles were unwinnable and not worth fighting. Others could be won and deserved my energy because of that.”
Q: If you were a cartoon character with super powers, what sort of animal sidekick would you have?
“My animal sidekick would be Cosmo the Spacedog because who wouldn’t want a telekinetic, soviet golden retriever as a friend.
Q: What is your favorite room in the school? (Not teacher, not class, room.)”
“Miss B’s room is my favorite room in the school because Miss B always has some candy and there is a great couch in there.”
Q: What are your plans for the future?
“I plan to attend Notre Dame and major in Biochemistry. After, I plan to go to medical school to become a doctor. “
Q: What advice would you give to an underclassmen about the high school experience?
“Don’t listen to advice. Learn from your own mistakes and draw conclusions for yourself.”