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Meet North Shore High School’s top two students


The North Shore School District is gearing up to honor the two members of the Viking Class of 2021 who have been named this year’s valedictorian and salutatorian at Thursday’s graduation ceremony at Hofstra University. Each of these students has devoted many long hours and an enormous amount of dedication and hard work to their studies at North Shore to receive this high recognition. The valedictorian of the graduating class is the student with the highest weighted grade point average, while the salutatorian of the class of 2021 has received the second-highest weighted grade point average.

Sophie Blumenthal, this year’s valedictorian, began her North Shore roots as a student at Sea Cliff Elementary School. Blumenthal has challenged herself by enrolling in the most academically rigorous IB courses offered in each discipline and is an IB Diploma Candidate. In her time at North Shore High School, she has registered for 18 IB/AP courses including IB physics HL, IB English language and many others. For the third consecutive year, Blumenthal has been the president of the North Shore Gender Equity Club, where she passionately developed goals and a platform on equity, diversity and human rights. She is a member of the National Honor Society and was recently recognized as a commended student in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program. During her time at North Shore High School, Blumenthal has thrived in the arts as a member of the Concert Chorale. Additionally, she is a talented member of Madrigals, Elektra, Masquers, and founder of Move the Future Organization. She plans to attend Georgetown University this fall.

Kate Weseley-Jones, the district’s salutatorian, was also an elementary student at Sea Cliff School. At North Shore High School, she has been taking an array of rigorous courses including 15 IB/AP courses such as IB physics HL, IB English language, IB Spanish HL and more. Weseley-Jones has a deep appreciation for the arts and music, and is president of the Art Portfolio Club, plays cello in the Select Chamber Orchestra, and is the pianist in the audition-only Jazz Band. Math has been a constant source of inspiration for Weseley-Jones, who is Co-President of the Mathletes competition team. She was recently recognized as a commended student in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program and is a member of the National Honor Society. Additionally, Weseley-Jones has been actively involved in science research and has an article published in the peer-reviewed Society of Animals Journal. She has also published on the website Faunalytics and in the Whitman Journal of Psychology and is a two-time finalist in the national Stemanities research competition. She will attend Princeton University this fall.

“It has been a pleasure getting to know Sophie and Kate. They have both impressed me with their hard work and dedication to our school,” North Shore High School Principal Eric Contreras said. “The valedictorian and salutatorian carry a very special distinction for the school and the student body. I could not think of two more deserving students to carry the message, voice, and aspirations of the class of 2021.”

“Sophie and Kate are Renaissance Women,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Peter Giarrizzo said. “They have taken advantage of all North Shore has to offer and have excelled in the realms of academics, the arts, and in extra-curriculars. They will leave North Shore High School in a better place than they found it. I am profoundly grateful to both of them and am confident that we will continue to hear of their many future successes.”