After 152 years, Albany high school has a black valedictorian. 

Onovu Otitigbe-Dangerfield is unquestionably already making history as she has become the first black valedictorian in the 152-year-old history of the school. Although she is the first black valedictorian in the high school’s history, Otitigbe-Dangerfield has actually held the title once before s she was valedictorian of her eighth-grade class at Stephen and Harriet Myers Middle School.


“I think one of the things about me is if you tell me I can’t do something, I’m going to do it,”Otitigbe-Dangerfield said to Wynt in a recent interview.

The teen goes on to say that, “I think that just being able to be valedictorian is an amazing accomplishment,” she states, “I’m very privileged to be in that position but to have some historical meaning behind it, to have a position where in my school there’s a lot of students who look like me, now I’ll have an opportunity to live by that mantra –if you can see it you can be it.”

Photo Credit: Lori Van Buren/Times Union

Touting an almost perfect GPA, Otitigbe-Dangerfield is a treasure among faculty and students a like.

“She is definitely a treasure,” said Ellen Hurley Green, who became Onovu’s guidance counselor in middle school. “I’ve been in the district for 30 years and honestly I can’t say I’ve ever seen someone with so much poise, so much grace, and so much humility, along with so much sparkle in everything she does.”

Otitigbe-Dangerfield is truly one well-rounded student. In addition to her studies, Otitigbe-Dangerfield also is President of the robotics team, President of Key Club, and Editor-in-Chief of the school’s on-line newspaper. She also sings in the Select Choir, plays violin and piano in the Jazz Improve Band, and plays soccer. In her free time on the weekends, Otitigbe-Dangerfield works at a nursing home.

Photo Credit: Lori Van Buren/Times Union

So, just where is this amazing young lady headed after high school to continue fostering her passion for Robotics? Well we will just have to wait to find out although she has been accepted to Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Johns Hopkins, Georgia Tech, to name a few. 

Congratulations, Onovu!

Tiffany Silva

Tiffany Silva

Writer and Editor

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