Like His Class, CHS Valedictorian Persevered Through Pandemic

Like His Class, CHS Valedictorian Persevered Through Pandemic


Cheshire High School’s Ryan Shan is hands down one of the busiest seniors around.

On any given night, Shan is attending one of his many club meetings, singing in the CHS Choir, or competing on the CHS boys’ tennis team. Despite the past year’s misfortune, Shan has managed to stay engaged and busy...one of the many reasons he’s been named as the valedictorian for the Class of 2021.

“This was definitely not how I pictured my senior year to go, but I was able to stay involved and continued to do as much community service through my church and the Cheshire Youth Services over at the Yellow House,” Shan explained. “There were a lot of important events that we missed this year, but I tried to take the positive aspects of everything.”

Shan will be graduating from CHS with a GPA of 4.19, and is planning on attending the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy in the fall. 

“My dad went to UConn, and my brother currently goes there, so he can show me around,” Shan said. “I wanted to go to school for pharmacy, just like my dad. And who knows, maybe I’ll switch it up and pursue a law degree or... head into the medical field. There are a lot of options out there.”

Shan has served in several leadership roles during his time at CHS. He is currently the Class of 2021 President, a position he has held for the past three years, as well as co-captain of the Science Bowl team. Shan is also the captain of the Math League team and serves as the treasurer of the Future Business Leaders of America.

A member of the CHS Best Buddies Club, National English Honor Society, Science National Honor Society, and CHS orchestra, Shan’s list of accomplishments seems to touch on almost every aspect of the high school experience.

When not spending his time at school, he admits he is very close with his family. 

“This year my family and I have become incredibly close, especially now that my dad is home from work when he typically travels,” Shan added. “But the four of us, my parents and my older brother, have really spent a lot of time together with the pandemic and it's actually been pretty nice.”

While Shan maintains a humble attitude, his CHS boys’ tennis coach Nan Cunningham will do all the bragging for him.

“He is seriously one of the best kids I’ve ever coached,” she said. “He just has the best attitude and is so positive. Every time I give him a correction he is so appreciative. He is one of the most polite and kind kids you’ll ever meet.”

Shan began playing tennis during his sophomore year of high school, and missed playing during his junior year due to COVID-19, but that didn’t stop his athletic ascent during his senior year.

“He was offered a varsity position this year and he has absolutely shown up and excelled on the tennis court,” Cunningham added. “We are really so proud of him.”

Shan recognizes this year has been very out of the ordinary, but looks to the advice he and other students have received from CHS Principal Mary Gadd to help get him through any tough times. 

“I guess the word that would describe this class this year (is one used by) Dr. Gadd all the time: Tenacity,” Shan said. “I am so thankful for the school and the administration for always supporting me and an even bigger thank you to my family who has been my rock all.”


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