We had a few questions for this year’s Valedictorian and Salutatorian, Noah Markewitz and Emily Behr. These students have the first and second highest ranking for the graduating class of 2016, and their accomplishments are worth noting. Their hard work over their academic career at this high school has certainly paid off. Noah talked to us about how it feels to be at the top of his class. “Being Valedictorian feels amazing. You might not know this, but my sister Ellie was actually the Salutatorian for the Riverhead Class of 2010. Being Valedictorian helps to end any classic sibling rivalry argument. I do have to say, the only down side is learning how to spell ‘Valedictorian.’ It is very tricky to spell.”

Emily reflected back on her past as a student and a person and how that got her to where she is today. “The person who has had the most influence on my life has definitely been my mother. She has always been an inspiration to me, since she is so strong and wonderful, and I love her more than anything. I do not know where I would be now if my mother hadn’t been supporting me for all of my life, but I know that I certainly would not be where I am now. I admire her more and more every day, and I am so blessed to call her my mom.”

Both of the students had excellent advice for their peers about academic success. They gave us their input and personal tips on how to be a good student in high school and enjoy your time while you’re here. “I think the key to success in high school is to simply have fun. High school does not have to be a chore,” Noah said. “Learn to enjoy going every day and your grades will improve. High school is four years of your life that you are never getting back… So try to be involved in as many clubs as possible, try to play a sport or do an activity every season, and genuinely take pride in your grades.” Emily advises students not to be afraid to ask questions. “In addition to simply being on top of things, I think that it is important to challenge yourself as an underclassman. Of course, you shouldn’t overwhelm yourself, but you must push yourself in your studies. There aren’t too many other ways to achieve self-improvement, so constantly challenging yourself to be better is essential.”

We are proud of the accomplishments of our peers, whose intelligence, dedication, and hard work has brought them to where they are today, and we wish them the best in all of their future endeavors.