For second year in a row, girls achieve top academic honors across the North Fork

At Greenport Union Free School District’s Board of Education meeting on March 21, Liliana Harbin and Emma Mulhall were announced as the district’s valedictorian and salutatorian.

The pair is among eight girls in the North Fork area that achieved the top two spots in their class. This is the second year in a row North Fork schools have all young women as their valedictorians and salutatorians. 

“It feels amazing just to be a part of this group of strong, intelligent women,” Emma said.

Liliana will be graduating with a weighted grade point average of 103.03 and Emma Mulhall will be graduating with a weighted GPA of 102.84.

Liliana has yet to commit to a particular university, but she plans to major in biology. Emma will be majoring in secondary education and will be attending either Flagler College in Florida or Vanderbilt University in Tennessee.

Liliana is a member of the National Honor Society, the Yearbook Club and the Prom Committee. She has received academic awards in chemistry, physics, precalculus and U.S. history. She was also awarded the AP Seminar and Research Certificate, which is awarded to students who earn a 3 or higher on their Advanced Placement exams in both AP seminar and Advanced Placement research.

Emma is a nationally recognized College Board Hispanic scholar and has earned 11 Academic Excellence awards for her classwork, four AP awards and accumulated 18 medals for academic achievements and performance on the air rifle team with the NJROTC program. She is also heavily involved in the arts at the school.

Liliana’s advice for underclassmen is that it’s OK to make mistakes as long as you grow from them.

“Reach for your dreams; it may seem unachievable at the time but really if you put your mind to it, you can accomplish more than you think,” she said.

Jenna Seldjeski (left) and Jessica Rakoczy are Mattituck High School’s salutatorian and valedictorian for the Class of 2023. (Credit: Melissa Azofeifa)

Jessica Rakoczy is Mattituck High School’s valedictorian and Jenna Sledjeski is the district’s salutatorian.

Jessica will graduate with a weighted GPA of 100.34 and Jenna will be graduating with a weighted GPA of 100.16. Neither has committed to a university yet but Jessica plans on pursuing a degree in biomedical engineering and Jenna plans on pursuing a degree in finance.

Jessica was treasurer of the school’s chapter of the National Honor Society. She has participated in cross country, softball and track. She also helped create the school’s botany club.

Jenna has held leadership roles in multiple organizations including editor of the school’s newspaper, Mattitalk. She has played for the school’s soccer and basketball team and she was recognized as an Academic All-County athlete as well as an Athletic Unsung Hero award. She has served as president of the school’s National Honor Society chapter, student council secretary and more.

The pair has always been supportive of each other’s success.

“It’s never felt like we were going head-to-head with each other. It’s just always been a very positive environment. We help each other, we don’t go against each other,” Jenna said.

At a ceremony at Southold High School’s auditorium in early March, Danna Duarte and Anna McCarthy were announced as the district’s valedictorian and salutatorian respectively.

Danna Duarte and Anna McCarthy are valedictorian and salutatorian for Southold’s Class of 2023. (Credit: Melissa Azofeifa)

Danna will be graduating with a GPA of 100.41 and Anna will be graduating with a GPA of 100.13

Danna is dedicated four-year member of the school’s NJROTC program, she was honored as the battalion operations officer and has won several state awards through the program. Danna is also a member of the school’s robotics team, Southold Town Youth Court, Sentinel Club, International Club and plays in the school’s orchestra in addition to serving as the vice president for her class.

Anna is the senior class president, an AP scholar, a scholar athlete and member of the National Honor Society. She is the NJROTC battalion commanding officer — the highest positioned leader of over 200 cadets — and has received the NJROTC Sons of the American Revolution New York State cadet of the year award as well as the Legion of Valor Bronze Cross.

Danna plans to study computer science at Princeton University this fall. Anna has yet to commit to a university, but she plans to study psychology.

In the neighboring district in Riverhead, the top students are valedictorian Emma Ellis and salutatorian Jennifer Alonzo Moreno. The top student in the school’s Career and Technical Education program at Eastern Suffolk Board of Cooperative Educational Services is Amaya Hopkins.

Shoreham-Wading River is expected to announce their valedictorian and salutatorian by the end of this month.