Written by Jessica K. Vega Friday, 22 June 2012 00:00
An overview of the Great Neck Public Schools Class of 2012 reveals 595 graduates from our three high schools: 240 from North, 340 from South, and 15 from the Village School. Over 95 percent of the graduates will pursue higher education in either two-or-four-year colleges. The remainder historically seek employment, vocational training, or enlistment in the Armed Services. Graduation ceremonies for North and South high schools take place on Thursday, June 21, at Tilles Center, LIU Post, with North’s ceremony in the morning and South’s in the afternoon. The Village School graduation was held on Wednesday afternoon, June 20, at the school.
A look at the traditional awards—valedictorian and salutatorian—and awards unique to Great Neck follow. New awards and the student speeches, a vital part of the graduation ceremonies, will appear in future editions of this newspaper.
North High’s Valedictorian is Matthew Peterson; Susan Wu is Salutatorian. South High’s top of the class are twin brothers: valedictorian is Brian Rosenfeld and salutatorian is Joshua Rosenfeld.
North High Valedictorian Matthew Peterson is a National Merit Scholarship Program Commended Student, an Advanced Placement Scholar with Honor (earning perfect scores on his four exams), and a Bronze Winner in the National Spanish Exam. He was president of TriM (national music honor society), co-president of Model Congress and a founding member of Adopt-a-Dream (a club that works to fulfill the dreams of underprivileged, disabled children). Matthew participated in the All-County Orchestra (playing clarinet), was vice president of North High’s Chamber Music Society, concertmaster of the Symphonic Band, and section leader in the Symphonic Orchestra. He also performed at Lincoln Center, in the Young Ensembles Concert, in a clarinet and flute duet. Matthew was a Peer Advisor, captain of the JV Tennis Team and received a Nassau County Outstanding Student Award for Physical Education. He plans to attend Duke University.
South High Valedictorian Brian Rosenfeld is a National Merit Finalist, an Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction (earning perfect scores on his five exams) and a Gold Medalist in the National Spanish Exam. He was co-editor-in-chief of South High’s newspaper, The Southerner, and of Mosaic, the school’s foreign language literary magazine. Brian was co-president of DECA and co-vice president of government club. He was also vice president of DECA Regional (Nassau County) and took several top awards in DECA competitions, state and international levels, including five first place awards. He was inducted into the NYS DECA Honor Society. Brian participated in the University of Pennsylvania Model Congress, twice being named best delegate in committee. He was a member of the second place team in the NYS Economics Challenge, a recipient of a NYS Scholarship for Academic Excellence, and a highest scoring student, regionally, in the AAPT Physics Bowl. He was a member of the South High table tennis club, Key Club and Quiz Bowl. Brian will be attending Princeton University.
North High Salutatorian Susan Wu is a National Merit Scholarship finalist, an Intel Science Talent Search semifinalist, an Advanced Placement National Scholar, and a first place winner in the National French Exam. Susan participated in the Columbia University Science Honors Program and the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth. She took first place in Physical Science at the Research Association Invitational Science Fair and in Behavioral Science at the NY Science & Engineering Fair. Susan earned highest honors at the Long Island Science Congress, a Silver Medal at the Al Kalfus Long Island Math Research Fair and honorable mention in Earth and Planetary Science at the Long Island Science & Engineering Fair. She was a member of the North High math team that received an honorable mention in Moody’s Mega Math (M3) Challenge. Susan was president of the math team and Science Olympiad, and was a staff writer for the school newspaper, Guide Post. She played violin at the All-County Music Festival and the Long Island String Festival, and was principal violin in the Children’s Orchestra Society, Young Symphonic Ensemble. Susan was captain and MVP of the North High Varsity Badminton Team and a top singles player in the team’s Nassau County Conference. She has volunteered over 100 hours at North Shore Long Island Jewish Hospital. Susan plans to attend Stanford University in the fall.
South High Salutatorian Joshua Rosenfeld is a National Merit finalist, an Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction (earning perfect scores on his five exams), and a Gold Medalist in the National Spanish Exam. He was co-editor-in-chief of South High’s newspaper, The Southerner, and of Mosaic, the school’s foreign language literary magazine. Joshua was vice president of Congress, Government Club, founder and president of the table tennis club, and Student Government treasurer. He was co-president of DECA, taking four first place awards at DECA competitions, state and international levels. He was also public relations officer of DECA Regional (Nassau County) and was inducted into the NYS DECA Honor Society. Joshua was a member of the University of Pennsylvania Model Congress and Yale University Model Congress and was named best delegate in committee at each. He was a recipient of a NYS Regents Scholarship for Academic Excellence, a member of the highest scoring team at the AAPT Physics Bowl, Division 1, Region 3, and a member of the second place team for the NYS Economics Challenge. Joshua was a contributor to Exit 33, the school’s creative writing magazine, and a member of Key Club and Academic Team Club. He will be attending Yale University.
Matthew Peterson and Susan Wu at North High (North’s valedictorian and salutatorian are traditionally the school’s Barstow Award recipients), and Andrew Greener and Maria Lee at South are this year’s Barstow winners. The coveted Barstow Award was established in 1962 by Françoise and William Barstow in memory of their only son, Frederic Duclos Barstow, who died of pneumonia at age 35. The Barstows were prominent Great Neck residents after whom Barstow Road is named. Recipients of the annual Barstow Awards must be in the top 10 percent of their class and be “outstanding in leadership, citizenship, scholarship, and service.” Each recipient receives a monetary prize.
Andrew Greener is a National Merit finalist, an Advanced Placement Scholar with honor (earning perfect scores on his four exams), and a Silver Medalist in the National Spanish Exam. He was section editor of and columnist for The Southerner, the school newspaper. Andrew was treasurer of DECA, taking top awards at DECA state and international competitions. He took awards at the Yale University Model Congress and the University of Pennsylvania Model Congress, where he was named a Best Delegate. Andrew was Key Club secretary and South High Model Congress Club treasurer. He was a member of the tennis team and was nominated twice for Nassau County Tournament. Andrew will attend Cornell University.
Maria Lee is an Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction, a Gold Medalist in the National Spanish Exam, and an All-County Orchestra violinist. She was a four-year member and president of Academic Outreach and the Community Action Committee. Maria was also a four-year member of the Girls Soccer Team. She has volunteered at Milal Mission, an organization for people with special needs, since eighth grade, and is the recipient of the President’s Volunteer Service Award and a Volunteer Certificate of Commendation from the Korean-American Association of Greater New York. She plans to attend Cornell University in the fall.
The co-recipients of the Scott Moss Award, given at South High School, are valedictorian Brian Rosenfeld and salutatorian Joshua Rosenfeld. This award was established in 1977, in memory of Scott, who was an outstanding South student until his death from cancer. The award is given to the graduating senior who exemplifies the “service, concern, interest, and ability of Scott Moss.”
The recipients of two North High awards—Alan L. Gleitsman and Genelle Taney Memorial—are announced at North’s graduation ceremony and will appear in a future edition of this newspaper.