Meet North Salem High School’s Class of 2023 Valedictorian and Salutatorian


North Salem High School will graduate its Class of 2023 Wednesday night at Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in Katonah. Kylie Staebler and Sophia Li will represent the class as this year’s valedictorian and salutatorian. The North Salem Post caught up with Staebler and Li to learn more about their high school experiences and what they’re looking forward to next.

Kylie Staebler, Valedictorian

Image courtesy of Kylie Staebler

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

Co-directing and producing three full-length productions for the North Salem Middle School Drama Program and getting to work with the amazing kids who gave their heart and soul to our program.

Who is the most influential person in your life?

My mom wins the title of confidant, crisis manager and continued inspiration. Every inch of my creativity is because of her– and every inch of sanity, too! And to my sisters Lexi and Jillian– there's no one else I’d rather play middle child for. You guys keep me going. Love you.

Do you have a favorite memory from North Salem schools?

Crashing random periods in Moste's room: 7:00 a.m. life advice, the bucket-dunk lab prize, and the Slinky fiasco. The after-hours secret project sessions with Mr. Hendrie and the tech gang, memorizing Hendrie's best lines over the last seven years. The endless jokes with Mr. Regan and the AP Euro crew, Puma Fridays, and a class and teacher I will never forget. Getting a front row seat to Dr. K and Dr. Popken's comedy duo, amazed at how drastically my life could change in 40 minutes at 9:00 a.m. All the tech-week laughs with Mrs. Chan Chee, Molloy, Quigley, and Koestner, making a family I’ll never forget. Every hour in Mr. Austin's room, making him question our sanity and convincing him that our concert wouldn’t be complete without a kazoo.

What are your plans for next year?

Keeping in touch with my blue and gold, cheering for the Fighting Irish at Notre Dame University.

What are you looking forward to after high school?

Learning to scuba dive, traveling to different countries, and meeting new people to go on adventures with.

Sophia Li, Salutatorian

Image courtesy of Sarah Divi

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

I am proud of the fact that I, and all my peers, navigated high school through COVID, which impacted the majority of our high school career. It was definitely not a traditional high school experience in some aspects, but I am thankful that I was able to adapt. Naturally, I'm also glad that I maintained a high standard for myself in terms of academics even through the pandemic.

Tell us about the most influential person(s) in your life?

I believe that my teachers throughout the years most influenced me to lead the path I am on now. They instilled in me the values of education and learning, and helped me to develop my inquisitiveness toward different fields of study. It wouldn't be just one person that most influenced me. Even as young as elementary school, it was the teachers that cemented my interest in the biological sciences, which eventually led to my desire to pursue medicine as a future career.

Do you have a favorite memory from North Salem schools?

I think the Washington, D.C. trip in eighth grade was a great experience. I had never been to D.C. before and to be able to do something beyond academics in a school setting was a unique opportunity.

What are your plans for next year?

Next year, I will be studying Global and Public Health Sciences on the pre-med track at Cornell University. It's notoriously cold up there though, so I'll be bringing a warm winter coat!

What are you looking forward to after high school?

I am looking forward to the independence of being an "adult," or at least a college student. Getting out of North Salem and experiencing life outside our little town as an independent person will be a completely new experience, and I am looking forward to navigating that change and all the responsibilities and freedoms that come with it.

The North Salem High School Class of 2023 Graduation ceremony will be livestreamed via LocalLive beginning at 5:30 p.m. To watch, click here.

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