CAZENOVIA, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — All month long, NewsChannel 9 is shining a spotlight on Central New York students who have worked their way to the top of their graduating class. Thursday’s top student is the valedictorian at Cazenovia High School, Sophie Clancy.

Whether it’s problem solving in the classroom or figuring out how to win a field hockey game, Clancy loves doing both.

Come this fall, she’ll be putting her brain and muscles to work at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, where she can train hard — on and off the field.

“I chose RPI because I wanted to play field hockey and study computer science, and it ended up being a great school for both,” says Clancy.

Clancy discovered her love for programming in the eighth grade when she took a computer programming class. She later had an interview with a software engineer that only solidified her desire to enter the field.

“I really love programming and what it was like, just the problem solving aspect of it, and I kind of just fell in love with it and really wanted to do that from there,” shares Clancy.

While she put all of her focus and energy into school work and sports, she never imagined it might lead her to becoming valedictorian.

“I spend all day with like, some of the smartest people, I think. So I was kind of surprised because I really thought it could be anyone,” says Clancy.

She added, “I feel like it was in the back of my mind, but it wasn’t something I was working towards. I just wanted to do well.”

We’d say she accomplished that goal, and then some!

Sophie Clancy has a message for her fellow classmates, and that’s to work hard, but have fun!

From all of us here at NewsChannel 9, Congratulations Sophie Clancy!

Celebrate the Class of 2022