Wednesday, 26 June 2013 00:00
Glen Cove High School held its commencement ceremony on June 22. The number one and two students in the Class of 2013 are Elias Blinkoff and Nicole D’Ambrosio.
Dedicated to his studies and school community, Elias possesses a continual motivation to learn, serving as the driving force for many of his achievements. He is passionate about science, learning and helping his community, which has been evident in all of his accomplishments and contributions during his time at Glen Cove High School.
The top-ranked student in the Class of 2013, Elias has been recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation as a commended student for attaining a score in the top 30 percent of the 1.5 million students who took the PSAT. He has also been named an AP Scholar with Distinction by the College Board.
“When it comes to learning, Elias devours, digests and regurgitates information,” said Mike Tweed, Glen Cove’s coordinator of pupil personnel and guidance services. “Elias’s motivation to learn has been the driving force for many of his achievements. As the valedictorian for the class of 2013, he symbolizes the results of hard work and effort.”
Elias had the opportunity to participate in the highly selective Simons Fellowship at Stony Brook University in summer 2012, working with Dr. John Drury and Dr. Laura Staum Casasanto to research neurolinguistics. This past year he has also been working with cognitive neuroscientist Dr. Sachin Ranade as part of Partners for the Future at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, to research neural mapping of performance on auditory discrimination.
Aside from scientific research, community service is also a passion for Elias. A member of the Boy Scouts of America since 2006, Elias earned the Eagle Scout designation in 2012, also serving as an assistant scoutmaster. He founded and acted as the student coordinator for the Students for Students Tutoring Services at Glen Cove High School. Additionally, he’s a board member for the Glen Cove Youth Bureau and a volunteer for St. Patrick’s CYO track and field. He also volunteers in community outreach for La Feurza Unida Latino Service Organization and assists the organization with the development of an ESL tutoring program.
Elias has been an active member of the Glen Cove High School community, participating in several productions of the Masquer’s Drama Society, acting as the liaison for tutor recruitment in the National Honor Society, and taking on the roles of vice president and lead attorney for the mock trial team and captain of “The Challenge” team. Demonstrating an interest in a variety of activities, he is a member of the Tri-M Music Honor Society and Science Olympiad Team.
Rounding out Elias’ extensive list of activities is a commitment to cross-country and track and field. He has been named a three-year varsity letter winner for track and field and a six-year varsity letter winner for cross-country, furthering his dedication to the latter sport by serving as co-captain during his senior year.
“Aside from his achievements, Elias is a kind young man who is filled with good intentions,” Mr. Tweed said. “Very respected by his peers, he is always available to help them with their work. I am very proud of Elias and all of his achievements.”
Elias will be attending Swarthmore College to study neurolinguistics.
A young woman with a relentless dedication to achieving excellence – that only begins to describe Nicole D’Ambrosio and the hard work she has devoted to her activities and academics during her time at Glen Cove High School. She demonstrates a continued high aptitude for all of her studies, earning herself the distinction of Class of 2013 salutatorian.
“Nicole is the student every counselor wishes to have,” said school counselor Christina Mulhall. “She is bright, caring, and appreciative of all that she earns. Therefore, Nicole is one of the most well-liked and well-respected students in the senior class by both her peers and teachers. When I first met Nicole, I knew she was special.”
Raised in a household where her mother spoke Spanish and her father spoke Italian, Nicole has mastered her coursework, learning English when she entered school. Since she was young, her parents have ingrained in her the value of education and the opportunities it provides, encouraging her to work her hardest and pursue her dreams.
Those dreams include winning the Class of 2013’s “Most Likely to Succeed” designation. As the senior class’s second-ranked student, Nicole has always tackled difficult courses with determination to succeed. She has won awards for excellence in Italian (II, III and IV honors), honors global history, world history, American history, calculus AB and English literature. She’s also been honored with various awards for her academic achievements and community-oriented endeavors, including the Bausch and Lomb Honorary Science Award,
Rotary Student of the Month, MAA American Mathematics Competition and Knights of Columbus Student of the Month. Named to the Principal’s List for three years, Nicole was also recognized as an AP Scholar with Honors by the College Board.
Spending her summers helping others, Nicole worked at Lose the Training Wheels this past summer, teaching children with Down syndrome how to ride a bicycle. She’s also served as a counselor and head counselor at Glen Cove Summer Day Camp.
In addition to a long resume filled with a comprehensive assortment of activities, Nicole is a member of the Interact Club, Fight World
Hunger Club and National Honor Society. Other leadership roles include serving as treasurer for the Glen Cove Youth Council, historian for DECA, section leader for the pep and marching bands, vice president and section leader of the wind ensemble, class representative for the Student Senate while a freshman, and as the founder of the Science Olympiad Club. Nicole has also been a captain and starting player on the junior varsity tennis and basketball teams.
“Nicole is caring, motivated, and incredibly intelligent,” Ms. Mulhall said. “Any university would be lucky to have Nicole as she is one of the best Glen Cove High School has to offer.”
Nicole will be furthering her education this fall at the University of Richmond, studying business with a focus in either accounting or finance.