Celebrating the Class of 2020 Valedictorian and Salutatorian: Joshua Pfefferkorn and Gavin McElhennon

A special congratulations to the Class of 2020 Valedictorian Joshua Pfefferkorn and Salutatorian Gavin McElhennon! Josh and Gavin have gone to school together since grammar school at Little Flower in Bethesda, have been friends since first grade, and are now graduating from Gonzaga together at the top of their class.

We asked both of them to share some of their memories, future plans, and advice for their fellow classmates. Here’s what they said:
 
Valedictorian Josh Pfefferkorn

College and Major:I plan to attend Dartmouth College and intend to study either Computer Science or Biology.”
 
A few notable accomplishments from your time at Gonzaga:At Gonzaga, I served as NHS President, helped plan the inaugural Gonzagafest, and organized the canned food drive in November, allocating excess cans to local food pantries. I was also named a National Merit Finalist this winter, was part of Retreat Team, and was selected to be the rector of Kairos CLVII in April (though the retreat was canceled due to the virus).”
 
Favorite Gonzaga memory:My favorite memory was watching the 2018 WCAC Football Championship win against Dematha in the final seconds of the game.”
 
What you will miss the most about Gonzaga: “I will miss going to football games, blasting "Levels" in the parking garage, and singing the Alma Mater in St. Al's. Most of all, I'll miss the people: all of my friends, classmates, and teachers have made the last four years memorable.”

Advice to the Class of 2020:
“Community extends beyond physical proximity. Our shared traditions, values, and goals unite us no matter how far apart we are. Stay in touch; your Gonzaga brothers will be your lifelong friends.”
 
Anything else you would like to add: “I’d like to give a special thank you to my mom, all of my teachers, and Gonzaga's benefactors.”

 
Salutatorian Gavin McElhennon

College and Major: “I will be attending Johns Hopkins University next year, majoring in applied math and minoring in economics and running track and cross country.”
 
A few notable accomplishments from your time at Gonzaga:Some of my proudest accomplishments include being a 4-time DC state champion in track and cross country, being named DC Gatorade Player of the Year for cross country, qualifying for Nationals in indoor track, and being president of the Best Buddies Club.”  
 
Favorite Gonzaga memory:My favorite memory is qualifying for Indoor Track Nationals in the 4x800m relay with my team at the Eastern States Championship my senior year, even though Nationals ended up being cancelled due to coronavirus!”
 
What you will miss the most about Gonzaga: “I'll miss my friends and teachers, the unmatched school pride, and the beautiful campus.”

Advice to the Class of 2020: “Remember to call your parents in college!”
 
Anything else you’d like to add: “I'd like to say thank you to all the teachers that make Gonzaga such a great place.”
 

Congratulations, Josh and Gavin, and best of luck to the entire class of 2020!
 
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