Val, Sal unveil portraits at Academic Wall of Fame

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO Celebrating their academic achievements with proud mothers on hand are the valedictorian and salutatorian of the Class of 2017. From left, mom Katurah Yeaman daughter and valedictorian Olivia Yeaman and salutatorian Will Garrison receiving a kiss on the cheek from his mom, Katherine Garrison.

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO Celebrating their academic achievements with proud mothers on hand are the valedictorian and salutatorian of the Class of 2017. From left, mom Keturah Green and daughter valedictorian Olivia Yeaman, and salutatorian Will Garrison receiving a kiss  from his mom, Katherine Garrison.

How do students become the valedictorian and salutatorian of their graduating class?

“I stayed up all night,” Shelter Island High School valedictorian Olivia Yeaman said at an unveiling ceremony Monday of her picture on the Academic Wall of Fame at school.

“If you want something, it’s not going to be handed to you,” salutatorian Will Garrison said, agreeing that it took many late nights. “You just have to power through it.”

Both graduating seniors participated in a wide range of activities and intensive academic challenges. Olivia and Will finished with what may have been the closest grade  point averages of any valedictorian and salutatorian in the school’s history, according to Superintendent Leonard Skuggevik.

Administrators had to calculate their grade averages out to four decimal points to determine which of the two would get the valedictorian spot and which would be named salutatorian.

Mr. Skuggevik called Olivia and Will “two of the best role models you can have in your life.”

It takes “a whole lot of sacrifice,” he added, noting that both students were typically at school or engaged in activities prior to classes each day, involved in extra curricular activities immediately after school and in the evenings and, of course, completing their academic assignments at night.

The students’ mothers were on hand to celebrate their achievements with both Keturah Green and Katherine Garrison pronouncing themselves more than proud of their children’s achievements.

Ms. Yeaman is bound for Providence College to pursue studies in mathematics, while Mr. Garrison plans to attend the University of Buffalo to study biomedical engineering.

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