As North Fork school districts announced their valedictorians and salutatorians for the 2021-2022 school year, one important detail stood out — all are female.
Since at least 2004, there has been a mix of boys and girls ranking at the top of the three North Fork high schools. Since then, the closest the North Fork has come to an all female line-up was in 2005, when one boy and five girls ranked at the top of their class.
In Greenport, during the March 8 Board of Education meeting, high school principal Gary Kalish presented the district’s top five students, including valedictorian Anabelle Odell and salutatorian Osa Iglesias.
Osa will attend Wellesley College in Massachusetts as a QuestBridge scholar. QuestBridge is a national nonprofit based in California that connects the nation’s most exceptional youth from low-income backgrounds with leading colleges and opportunities, according to their website.
She plans to major in international relations and cognitive science with a minor in economics and hopes to attend Stanford University for graduate school.
Anabelle was the president of the debate club and co-captain of the field hockey team, just to name a few of her extracurriculars. This year she will participate in the drama club’s production of “Frozen.” She will be attending Barnard College in New York City, where she plans to major in communications and hopes to become a news personality.
“I’m so happy for everybody else who achieved what they wanted to and placed in their class, I’m just really proud of all of the women on the North Fork,” she said.
In the Southold school district, Lane Dominy is the class valedictorian and Eleanora Alloway is salutatorian. Lane Dominy found out at a school assembly where both valedictorian and salutatorian were announced to the class.
“It was really cool because I got to share that moment with all of my classmates,” Lane said.
She described the recognition as an added bonus to the hard work she’s put into school throughout her time there.
“When I thought about my schoolwork, I just know that I wanted to do the best I could possibly do. I think throughout high school I just wanted to put 110% in, I just really liked working hard and being able to be proud of what I did,” she said.
She hasn’t committed to a college yet, but she is interested in studying animal conservation and animal behavior.
Eleanora Alloway, the salutatorian at Southold, hasn’t committed to a college yet either. She is waiting to hear back from about seven colleges. She plans to go into biochemistry and creative writing.
“I really like exploring both parts of my mind and I feel like overall you should be well-rounded and not just focus on one thing,” Eleanora said. She hopes to pursue a career in genetic engineering.
In the Mattituck school district, Olivia Mannino is the valedictorian and Dimitra Pando is the district’s salutatorian.
Each found out when they were called to school principal David Smith’s office, who had their parents on speaker when he delivered the good news.
“I wanted to include the parents in the announcement, so the parent was able to live the moment too,” Mr. Smith said.
Olivia hasn’t committed to a college as she’s waiting to hear back from a handful of schools. She’s interested in music, biology or theater and is leaning towards a liberal arts school.
Dimitra is still deciding which school to go to, but she hinted she is leaning toward SUNY/Binghamton. She plans to major in electrical engineering and pre-med.
Even though the six girls don’t all know each other, they all agreed they were proud to be a part of the all-female group of valedictorians and salutatorians this year on the North Fork.
“It’s an incredible leap from where we were to where we are now, and I hope that we can just continue to make leaps and bounds into the field of science, in the arts, just evening up all the land we have lost,” Eleanora said.