Meet your 2011 Southold High School Val and Sal

Emily Fingerle and Maria Purita

Emily Fingerle, Valedictorian

GPA: 97.4

Emily is secretary of the National Honor Society and president of Students Against Destructive Decisions, leading her peers in making wise choices in their lives, including avoiding substance abuse.

She is a member of Interact, a student organization dedicated to community service, and president of the school’s Philosophy Club. She is a member of the Environmental Club, and, in addition to her studies and extracurricular activities, she finds time to spend with friends and family.
Each summer she makes herself a “bucket list” of activities she hasn’t had time to engage in during the school year and tries to tackle as many of them as possible in the short months between semesters.

Staying focused is what has enabled her to keep up with her studies and a hectic schedule.

She was a short-term exchange student through the Rotary Club program, spending several weeks in Madrid.

In September, she’s bound for Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pa., to study biology for pre-med and foreign languages. She chose the school both for its academic excellence and because the surrounding area has a lot of the small-town feel she has loved growing up in Southold.

“My hard work paid off,” she said, upon learning she was to be valedictorian of the Class of 2011. She’s hard at work on her valedictory speech, wanting it to be “creative” and not your typical address.

Maria Purita, Salutatorian

GPA: 96.67

Maria has spent long hours studying but still found time to participate as vice president of the National Honor Society, secretary of the Student Council, treasurer of the Class of 2011, yearbook and Students Against Destructive Decisions treasurer and a member of Interact. She is also a member of the Environmental Club.

“I sort of knew,” she said about being named salutatorian, noting that her grades were always solid, a reward for all her hard work.

At home she speaks both English and Italian and has been studying French in school. Her goal is to learn Spanish, she said.

She’s still exploring her college options, but plans to study both pre-med and languages and will likely start her college career at either Stony Brook University or Suffolk County Community College.

“I’m kind of like a workaholic,” she said, explaining how she balanced her studies with extracurricular activities. Besides her academic and extracurricular activities, she has worked at the former Country Corner Cafe, now known as Bonnie Jeans.

She has enjoyed her years in Southold, but is looking forward to getting beyond graduation so she can focus on looking ahead to college.

She’s challenged in writing her graduation speech because she knows her fellow students so well, she said.

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