Class of 2021’s Valedictorian: Catherine Tsairis


Catherine Tsairis, Ramapo Valedictorian (Photo Courtesy of Normandy Studios)

Grace Lim, Life Editor

Catherine Tsairis is celebrated as this year’s valedictorian considering her dedication to her academics throughout all four years at Ramapo and the immense diligence and heart she puts into her work. The honor of valedictorian is particularly special to Catherine who says she is “so excited and thankful that I am able to share this title with my sister and best friend.”

At Ramapo, Catherine was an editor for Serendipity Literary & Art Magazine and a fierce competitor in Academic Decathlon during her time at Ramapo. She is grateful for the invaluable publishing and editing experience Serendipity provides and reflects, “It is really amazing to see all of the creative talent of Ramapo students, and I love that I can be a part of displaying that talent in the pages of Serendipity!” As a team captain for Academic Decathlon, Catherine has helped Ramapo advance to state competitions and also received many individual awards to recognize her merit. She says she witnessed extensive “collaboration, team effort, and dedication” from her Acadec team and “truly appreciates all the hard work that each member has contributed collectively to lead the team to success.” 

Ms. Noah positively reflects, “I’ve had the pleasure of teaching Catherine twice in both World Civ and Modern Euro as well as coaching her on the Academic Decathlon team where she served as co-captain. Catherine is such an enthusiastic, thoughtful young scholar who epitomizes grace, hard work and kindness on a daily basis. Her innate intellectual curiosity inspires her classmates and team members.” 

Emily, Catherine’s sister, shows how proud she is of Catherine and recalls the moment she found out she “was valedictorian of [her] class at the same time as Catherine was a moment [she’ll] never forget.” She continues “Catherine and I are so close, and I am so grateful we traveled this road together and both received the honor. I wouldn’t want it any other way.”

Catherine was also involved in the Heroes and Cool Kids Program, the Senior Ambassador program, and girls’ golf team which she says were all wonderful experiences that she will cherish from her time at Ramapo. Outside of school, Catherine continued to actively engage in her community by volunteering through her youth group GOYA (Greek Orthodox Youth of America), participating in fundraising events for her church, and serving as a volunteer at Camp Acorn. 

Catherine’s guidance counselor Mrs. Dondero praises Catherine as “a selfless, driven, helpful, caring, and warm-hearted person.” She adds, “Catherine is a true leader who is reliable, positive, & encouraging, all while being humble, compassionate, and thoughtful.”

Catherine will be attending Princeton University in the fall where she hopes to explore many different areas of study in the liberal arts core but is likely considering a major in history. On behalf of the entire Ramapo community, I commend Catherine for her accomplishments and have no doubt that she will continue to inspire others and generate change for the future.