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Hicksville High School Congratulates Valedictorian and Salutatorian

Allison McNamara, Puja Fernandes Rank Atop of Class of 2011

The Hicksville Public School District would like to congratulate Allison McNamara and Puja Fernandes, whose hard work and determination have earned them recognition as Valedictorian and Salutatorian, respectively, of the Class of 2011.

These bright young women were honored at the district’s 23rd Annual Scholar’s Dinner held at Crest Hollow Country Club.

As an Advanced Placement student, Allison has completed the most difficult curricula available at Hicksville High School. She is corresponding secretary of the National Honor Society and a member of the Science, English, Spanish, and Math Honor Societies. In addition to her academics, Allison has distinguished herself as an athlete. She plays three varsity sports (soccer, basketball, and softball) and received the outstanding honor of being named one of Long Island’s 24 News 12 Scholar-Athletes. Outside of school, Allison is involved with the Long Island Blood Center, Special Olympics, the Hicksville Athletic Booster Club and the Empire State Games. She plans on pursuing her studies in business at Bentley University this fall.

“Allison learned early on that hard work and determination are the keys to success,” Superintendent of Schools Maureen K. Bright stated. “Always humble and grounded, Allison grew to appreciate these values. They became the core of her being and contributed to her unparalleled academic success.”

Puja has also received numerous honors and has participated in countless activities during her high school career. She has been a member of the National Honor Society as well as the Math, Spanish, English and Science Honor Societies. Puja is currently a Science Olympiad board member and has always been an essential member of the Ecology Club, Helping Hands, Peer Tutoring, Spanish Club, the Literacy Magazine and Student Government. Puja also participated in the Sarah Grace Weippert Cancer Walk, the Haiti Relay Concert, and various car washes to raise money for worthy causes. She currently volunteers at Winthrop Hospital and with the Association for the Help of Retarded Children (AHRC). Puja plans to attend the Honors Program at Hofstra University in the fall where she will study pediatric medicine.

Mrs. Bright described Puja as a student with a timeless and extraordinary drive for knowledge and as a formidable scholar. “Her incredible desire for knowledge is matched by an equally strong determination to use her gifts to serve others,” Mrs. Bright stated.