Class of 2020: Nicole Cheetham – Salutatorian, Shenendehowa High School

Nicole Cheetham
Nicole Cheetham

Shenendehowa High School

Nicole Cheetham


PARENTS: William and Claudine Cheetham 

COLLEGE OR OTHER PLANS: Cornell University

AFTER COLLEGE: Computer & Data Scientist. Including working with AI.

WHAT IS IT LIKE GRADUATING FROM HIGH SCHOOL IN THE MIDDLE OF A GLOBAL PANDEMIC: {It] was tough. I had to adapt to a new learning environment as well as spend more of my time at home. I just had to make the best of the situations …Yet, I believe I have become a more knowledgeable and resilient individual as a result.

WHAT DID YOU LEARN ABOUT OUR YOURSELF AND YOUR CLASSMATES THIS SEMESTER: I’m not a morning person. I have realized there is still a lot I have yet to learn. Not just academically speaking but also life skills like time management. It’s pretty humbling. I learned that everyone has had to deal with hardships during this semester. Despite this, they have found ways to overcome them as well as shown how resilient they can be. I learned any problems I will face should not be feared and I will instead use that same resilience to overcome problems on the way toward accomplishing my goals.

WHAT IS A MEMORY OF YOUR SENIOR YEAR YOU WILL NEVER FORGET: Going to a bridge-building competition as a part of the Maker Space club. I had made a balsa wood bridge and see how much weight it could hold. While was waiting for the bridges to be checked, I went to check out the booths with some friends. The booths were composed of various companies present within the Capital Region. Then we went to the main room of the building to watch the bridges break inside a machine. The weight was to be recorded in real time. We all cheered extremely loud when anyone from Shen had their bridge tested. I believe a couple of ours even went above the 100 lb. mark.

WHAT WILL YOU MISS MOST ABOUT HIGH SCHOOL: All the friends and faculty.

WHAT’S IN YOUR MUSIC PLAYER: Rain on Me – Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande, Centuries – Fall out Boy, Try Everything – Shakira, and anything that is upbeat, inspirational, or soothing

BEST PART ABOUT GRADUATING: Shenendehowa did a great job putting on an in-person graduation during the pandemic. I was overjoyed to be given the opportunity to record a speech and share my thoughts on graduating with the rest of the class.

WHO OR WHAT INSPIRES YOU: Friends, teachers, coaches, my parents, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Gov. Cuomo, Lady Gaga.


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