Archana Vamanrao: Still a Hopkinton Superstar

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Archana Vamanrao

This article is the first in a series of articles written by Michael Franchock, the AP Language Teacher at Hopkinton High School, as he reconnects with past students.

This is the first in a series of articles about the outstanding young people who have graduated from the Hopkinton School District in the past decade and what they are doing now. So many amazing students come through our schools every year, and it is important to recognize and celebrate the achievements of the kids who have helped make Hopkinton one of the best school districts in the state.

Last year, while visiting Hopkinton High School during winter vacation, Archana Vamanrao spent some time talking to my daughter Megan, then a junior at the school. Meggi was star struck. “Dad, did you see who I was talking to? That was Archana Vamanrao, All I kept thinking was ‘This is what a superstar looks like.’” To Archana, one of the kindest, humblest people one will ever meet, such praise would be uncomfortable at best, but Megan’s reaction isn’t surprising. After all, this is Archana Vamanrao—valedictorian, national merit finalist, Harvard graduate. This is the same Archana Vamanrao who was so gifted that the Middle School created the advanced math program just so she would be at least slightly challenged. Archana was indeed THE superstar of our school and was the logical choice for the first installment of this article.

Currently, Archana is in Boston, working for a consulting firm that specializes in pharmaceuticals and health care professions. When I asked her about the job, she said, “The job is great. It’s like a crash course in everything I want to learn.” As for the future, Archana laughed. “I’ll probably take the next couple decades to figure out what I want to do.” Graduate school is part of the plan, but Archana says she’s in no hurry to take that step. I then asked her about Harvard. “The weird thing,” she replied, “is that often the professor wrote the book you were studying, and you had to be really careful in papers, especially if you disagreed with the text.” She explained that some of the most valuable learning occurred outside of the classroom, discussing different issues with brilliant people from all over the world. She also got to meet some celebrities while there. “I fist bumped with Dan Aykroyd and got to attend a rehearsal with Yo Yo Ma. He was so down to earth and kind to us,” she claimed.

We then talked about Hopkinton and what she remembers and misses most about our town. “I think about it most during Marathon season. No matter where I am, I keep track of the Marathon, but it’s not the same as being there. As for memories, I honestly remember the great teachers I had. At Harvard, when we talked about our teachers, very few kids had the same experience that I did. We have so many great teachers in Hopkinton.”

Finally, I asked Archana if she had any advice for our current students. She said, “I sweated the small stuff too much in high school. In the grander scheme of things, you need to put things in perspective. Everything will be all right. I often have to remind myself of that too. “ And yes, Megan, she asked about you too.