Q&A with the 2020 CBA Salutatorian, Kirk Yap

In an impressive graduating class of Academy men, CBA senior Kirk Yap earned the honor of being the 2020 salutatorian. Both in and out of the classroom, Yap has embraced the CBA experience, including serving as the National Honor Society treasurer, a senior GURU peer minister, and a member of Pegasus Production Company.

Yap will be attending Lehigh University next fall and plans to study mechanical engineering.

With commencement on the horizon, Yap reflected on his four-year career at the Academy in a question and answer series.

CBALincroftNJ.org: Explain the feeling of earning the honor of being the 2020 CBA salutatorian.

Yap: Finding out that I was the 2020 CBA salutatorian came as a genuine surprise to me. I felt fulfilled that my hard work over the past four years had paid off in this way. I was so excited to share the news with my family and friends.

CBA: During your four years at CBA, what classes did you find the most challenging? Although challenging, how did these courses help you grow as a student?

Yap: Probably my English classes and my history classes were the most challenging. Their assessments focused more on memory rather than application, like math and science classes do. Fortunately, these classes taught me how to study and adapt to the curriculum, which made me a better student overall. The other challenging classes I have had, like physics and music theory, were probably the most interesting ones that I have taken at CBA. As a future engineering student, I was very fascinated by the concepts that were taught, especially in my physics classes. With that interest, I was driven to learn as much as I could and to do well in them.

CBA: Were there any teachers that stood out as great mentors or role models to you? If so, why did you value their teaching?

Yap: Mr. Dashkavich, Mr. Lopez, and Mr. Speidel all stood out to me as great teachers. They all taught different subjects, but what was common among them was that they all took the time to make sure that their students genuinely understood what we were learning. Many of the concepts that they taught were not easy to grasp initially, so they all made the effort to assure that their teaching was fit for their students, which I admired and appreciated.

CBA: Outside of the classroom, what aspects of CBA did you enjoy the most?

Yap: My favorite aspect of CBA is the number of extracurricular activities that a student has the opportunity to participate in. Some of my best memories at CBA have happened either while I was on a Lasallian Youth service trip to Asbury Park or attending a club meeting. One of my favorite memories was when I played the Fiddler in Pegasus Productions’ Fiddler on the Roof. As a GURU, I have urged my freshman members to get involved more during their time at CBA because the four years truly go by quickly.

CBA: Finally, what advice would you give the CBA students coming up behind you?

Yap: What I feel helped me the most at CBA was learning time management and how to study. For any student, the amount of work may seem daunting when going into a new school year. I feel that the best way to succeed is by properly organizing the time for each assignment and assessment. While you cannot control how much homework you have or how many tests you have to study for, it is important that you do control when you do your homework or how much time you leave to study. Studying is a learning process. It takes time to understand the best way to study for each class. Sometimes, your original technique may not work. You have to keep trying to understand what will help you the most. The good thing is that at CBA, as long as you put in the effort, you will be rewarded for it in a positive way.

About Christian Brothers Academy:
Christian Brothers Academy (CBA) is a private, Catholic, academic preparatory school for boys located in Lincroft, New Jersey. Founded in 1959 and taught in the Lasallian tradition, CBA is dedicated to helping students become intellectually mature and morally responsible leaders for society. Through the combined efforts of the Office of Advancement and friends of the Academy, CBA awards over $1.75 million in scholarships and financial aid to current students. Experience the Academy at CBALincroftNJ.org.