Childhood Friends Become This Year’s Valedictorian and Salutatorian

Meghan Tucker, Associate Editor

From kindergarten at Forest Lake Elementary School, to being on the same defensive line of travel and school lacrosse, to sharing a majority of the same classes throughout middle school and high school, Katherine Killian and Nora Toscano have been awarded the titles of Valedictorian and Salutatorian for the 2022-2023 school year. This is an incredible accomplishment that comes as a surprise to no one.

Killian, this year’s Valedictorian, says, “It feels great to know that all my hard work paid off. I am also so grateful for all my classmates and teachers who have helped me along the way because I could not have done this without them.” Helping others has always been her forte so when asked her advice for underclassmen who are trying to accomplish this title she says to “work hard and to try and enjoy learning new things. It is also important to have fun in high school by getting involved in sports, clubs, and hanging out with friends.” From being All County for Varsity Cross Country and Lacrosse as well as All Conference for Varsity Basketball, Killian has wasted no time. She has proven that balance is a key factor in striving for what you want while being incredibly humble at the same time.

Toscano, this year’s Salutatorian, says, “It’s such an incredible honor to be awarded salutatorian. I’m so grateful that all of the work I’ve put into my academics and all the help I’ve received from my teachers and peers for the past four years has been brought into fruition.” When asked her biggest inspiration she says, “My parents have been my biggest inspiration throughout everything. They’ve always pushed me to work harder and do better. I wouldn’t be where I am without them.” Last year, Toscano, Editor-in-Chief of The Warrior, won a prestigious Scholastic Art and Writing Award as well as honorable mentions for her compelling short stories. As a prominent part of the community as well as many clubs at Wantagh High School, a defender for Varsity Lacrosse, and as a role model for her two younger siblings, Toscano has shown how writing and powerful storytelling can help you to keep pushing through no matter how hard things might seem to get and how important it is to get involved.  

Both seniors were asked how it has felt to share achievement with their friend since elementary school. Killian says, “Nora and I were in the same kindergarten class when we were 5 and now to be 17 and to achieve this together is really neat. We have been really great friends through the years and I am so thankful to share this with her.” Toscano says, “It honestly means so much more to me to be receiving this award with Kat. We were in the same kindergarten class and have been through so much together, from sharing study guides to playing travel lacrosse together for five years. She’s one of my closest friends and I’m so glad that we were given these honors together.”

Before we know it, on the day so many of us wished for but didn’t realize would come so soon,  the senior class, family, and faculty will be hearing the Graduation Day speeches made by these two friends and scholars who have dedicated so much of their time to our school, our community, and inspiring others to do the same.