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Garden City Life - Schools

Jacquelyn Seskin: 2013 Salutatorian

Whether she was on the volleyball court or not, Jacquelyn Seskin, the Garden City High School Class of 2013 salutatorian, led her way towards academic success during her four years of high school.

Her stats in the classroom include a 100.98 GPA during the course seven semesters as well as being a National Merit Scholarship Finalist and an Advanced Placement (AP) Scholar with Honor, she said.

In addition, Seskin has won the Long Island Science Education Leadership Association Award for Outstanding Achievement, multiple gold and silver medals on the National Spanish Exam and The Stonehill College Book Award for Excellence and Commitment to School and Community, she said. As an athlete, she has served as a Varsity Volleyball co-captain and received the Nassau County Volleyball Coaches’ Association Scholar Athlete award in 2009, 2010 and 2011, she said.

Seskin said she also received senior awards such as ones for Outstanding Performance in Math and AP Biology, the American Legion Auxiliary Award for Social Studies and a math scholarship for being the editor of the school’s yearbook.

Among her co-curricular activities however, Seskin might be known best for her position as setter on the varsity volleyball team, which she has held since she was a freshman, she said.

Generally, underclassmen are on the junior varsity team, according to Seskin, but she was an exception.

“I was the only freshman to make varsity my year and no freshman made varsity the next two years,” she said in a phone interview. “I was definitely the youngest on the team and it was pretty obvious that I was young but they needed someone in my position and I had been playing [on travel teams] so [the coach] thought I had enough experience to go and play.”

Seskin said she used her age to motivate herself to step up her game.

“You look up to them as almost role models, so you definitely have to push yourself harder,” Seskin said “especially [with] the kind of gap with the age difference, like what you lack in age you should probably make up for in skill. So I would say it was a good experience because it challenged me to be better.”

Seskin was one of three team captains during her senior year, she said, which presented her with another opportunity.

“It was interesting because it’s hard to kind of show leadership over people who are your own age without coming off as bossy or stuff,” she said. “But overall it worked out really well. My team was really tight, like closely knit.”

When she wasn’t hitting the books, traveling on the weekends to play at volleyball tournaments or volunteering to coach CYO volleyball, Seskin could be found hanging out with her friends, she said, although schoolwork played an important part in her life.

Seskin said she has an interest in the sciences with biology and physics being at the forefront and so Dominic Esposito, a biology teacher at Garden City High School, was one of Seskin’s favorite teachers, even though she also said most of her teachers were helpful.

Esposito said he taught Seskin during her freshman and senior years.

“One of things that struck me, even as a freshman, was that she was mature beyond her years,” he said in a phone interview adding that Seskin was a kind of student that only comes along a few times during a teacher’s career.

However, her varied interests naturally presented her with a busy schedule and so Seskin said one her major lessons in high school was balancing her commitments.

“One of my biggest challenges was learning how to balance studying with playing sports,” she said, “especially because like volleyball was a fall sport so like as soon as I got into high school I had to learn how to officially manage my time and my classes with my afterschool activities.”

But Seskin said she is looking forward to making a fresh start in the fall when she enters Dartmouth College in hopes of studying biology in the pre-medical field.

Looking back at it all though, Seskin said she will miss her friends when she does take that first step onto her new campus.

“I would say [that while] moving through high school, every year kind of got better,” she said. “You kind of find your place in high school and your friends and especially this year I have a lot of friends. I’m really going to miss in high school and everything kind of just came together.”