VAL SAL 2022


Congratulations North Shore 2022 Valedictorian & Salutatorian
Article by Shelly Newman Photos by Adrienne Daley

Valedictorian, Kate Gilliam

Kate Gilliam took the podium at the 2022 North Shore High School Commencement Ceremony while family, faculty, and her peers watched with joy and admiration. She stated, “As you move on, no matter what your plans may be, the bottom line is that hard work pays off. Success is something that everyone wants, but not everyone wants to earn. It requires discipline, sacrifice, and effort. Each and every one of you has the ability to achieve magnificent things, but it is up to you to put in the work.”  

Later in her speech, Kate concluded by saying, “It is up to you to surround yourself with people who support and respect your choices. People who will lift you up, rather than bring you down. In simpler terms, you have the power. The power to change the trajectory of your life. View this new chapter as an opportunity to earn something greater than you ever imagined, and you will…”

Kate Gilliam, the Valedictorian of the North Shore School District. Kate began her North Shore roots as a student at Glenwood Landing School. Kate’s academic achievements include Recipient of the Harvard College Book Prize (2021), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Medalist (2021), and National Merit Commended Student (2021). She has been a member of the National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta (National Math) Honors Society, Rho Kappa (National Social Studies) Honors Society, and World Language Honor Society. She recently received the Weisman Chemistry Award. In addition, Kate was North Shore High School Technology Student of the Month and received the North Shore Middle School Principal’s Excellence Award for maintaining a Perfect GPA throughout all three years of Middle School (1 of 2 recipients out of class of 200) as well as the North Shore Middle School American Legion Award. Kate’s athletic achievements are extraordinary. She committed to being a member of the Women’s Varsity Lacrosse Team at Harvard University to play Division I Lacrosse. She has been a 6-year member of the Varsity Lacrosse Team (since 7th grade), US Lacrosse Academic All-American (Junior), All-County (Junior), and received the North Shore Varsity Coach’s Award (Junior) as well as the Fran McCall Unsung Hero Award (8th Grade). Kate also is a 4-year member of the Varsity Basketball Team and a 3-year member of the Varsity Cross Country Team. But that’s not all! She is a 9-time NY State Scholar Athlete Award recipient. In addition, Kate’s a representative on the North Shore High School Wellness Committee and Athletic Advisory Committee as well as member of the Viking View newspaper, a volunteer at NOSH, and North Shore Lacrosse Club volunteer coach.

She will be attending Harvard University. Everyone at the North Shore Schools is very proud of her many accomplishments and wishes Kate Gilliam only the very best of luck now and in the future.

Salutatorian, Emma Nelson

Emma Nelson stood at the podium as the Salutatorian of North Shore High School and spoke about finding your courage and embracing change. She said, “While thinking about our time together, so many words came to mind to describe us. However, one word in particular kept coming up again and again…that word is courageous…Being courageous is a trait or a characteristic that is so important especially now as we branch out and begin this next chapter of our lives. But be mindful that courage does not come easy.,,”

She concluded by stating, “Class of 2022, as you move forward on your new paths, find your courage…be brave…stay strong embrace change. Don’t run from your fears…instead…let them fuel you.”

Emma was an elementary student at Glen Head School. Her academic achievements include 2021 Recipient of Bausch + Lomb Science Award from the University of Rochester and 2021 Recipient of Colorado School of Mines Medal of Achievement in Math and Science. Currently, Emma is in all IB and AP classes. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Rho Kappa (Social Studies) Honor Society, Science National Honor Society, and World Language Honor Society. Her athletic accomplishments are astounding as a 4-year Varsity Field Hockey Starter, Senior Field Hockey Captain, All-County Field Hockey (Junior Season), LI Top 50 Field Hockey Player 2021 (Newsday), 3-year Varsity Women’s Bowler Varsity, Spring Track 2021 MVP in Field Hockey, Bowling, and Spring Track. She recently received the Social Studies Scholar Award. But that’s not all! Emma’s clubs and extracurricular activities include player on Lasting Legacy Field Hockey Club, Peer Leader at North Shore High School, Field Hockey Coach at Lasting Legacy Field Hockey Club, Varsity Track and Cross Country Women’s Team member, and a participant of the Children of the American Revolution (CAR). Emma said, “I am proud to be North Shore’s class of 2022 Salutatorian. I recognize this achievement and want to thank North Shore for providing me with the opportunity to succeed not only academically, but also athletically and socially. I will forever cherish my days as a Viking.” In the fall, Emma will be a freshman at the Colorado School of Mines and was offered a spot on both their cross country and track teams.
North Shore High School Principal Eric Contreras said, “Kate and Emma represent our highest aspirations in the classroom and beyond. They embody our values as a school district and community. In all their work, Emma and Kate bring the best in others. They are intellectuals, athletes, volunteers, artists, and thoughtful leaders. We are beyond proud of their accomplishments.”

"Kate and Emma are such impressive young women who have served as leaders in the classroom, on the athletic fields and in numerous other activities at North Shore High School,” stated Director of Counseling Dan Doherty. “Beyond their academic and extracurricular accomplishments, they are wonderful people who set a positive example for their peers. They each have left an indelible mark on North Shore High School and will be missed. Congratulations!”

Please join us in congratulating both Kate and Emma for their hard work at the North Shore Schools. The Class of 2022 is an enormously talented one and we are just so proud of them all. 
We wish them both the best of luck now and in their future endeavors.

Photo Caption: Article by Shelly Newman Photos by Adrienne Daley