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Oyster Bay Enterprise Pilot - Schools

National Merit Scholarship Commends Students

The college search and application process can prove to be a daunting task that carries life-long ramifications. Oyster Bay High School and its Counseling Center do an exceptional job helping students and their families with guidance and informational events every step of the way. The process begins in the eighth grade when students are taken on the first of two college tours to experience first-hand what the college experience is really like. The second tour takes place in the tenth grade. College Awareness Tours are designed to get students thinking about their college aspirations while they are young enough to design the resume that will prepare them to get into the college of their choice.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation recognizes outstanding students based on their performance on national standardized tests. Ryan McEvoy was selected as a semi-finalist this year.

Three remarkable OBHS seniors were also selected to receive Letters of Commendation. They are Claudia Mastrogiacomo, Halsey Quinn and Grey Warwick-Clark.

In late September, more than two-thirds (about 34,000) of the approximately 50,000 high scorers on the PSAT/NMSQT receive Letters of Commendation in recognition of their outstanding academic promise. Commended students are named on the basis of a nationally applied Selection Index score that may vary from year to year and is typically below the level required for participants to be named semifinalists in their respective states. Although commended students do not continue in the competition for National Merit Scholarships, some of these students do become candidates for special scholarships sponsored by corporations and businesses.

Mastrogiacomo is looking to study public health in college. She is active in student council at OBHS and a member of the acclaimed OBHS Wind Ensemble.

Quinn plans on studying biology in college with an eye to perhaps pursue veterinary medicine. Quinn was a member of the highly successful Girls Varsity Field Hockey Team and is also a member of the OBHS Wind Ensemble.

Warwick-Clark, who is a talented singer songwriter, plans on majoring in biology at college where she hopes to enter a pre-med program. She is being pursued by some schools for her rowing abilities, thanks to the Sagamore Rowing Association of Oyster Bay. And, yes, she is also a member of the acclaimed OBHS Wind Ensemble. Warwick-Clark will return to the big stage of the OBHS Performing Arts Center (The PAC) to sing in the annual Student and Staff Talent Show on Friday, January 17, 2014. All three girls are looking forward to performing at Carnegie Hall on Friday, March 7, 2014 with the Oyster Bay High School Wind Ensemble Symphonic Band.

New to the OBHS Counseling Center this year is Debra Strell, on board to serve as the supervisor of counseling services. Strell attended Hunter College where she earned a bachelor of the arts degree, and then went on to Fordham University where she achieved a master’s in business administration. She also holds a masters in school counseling from Long Island University at the CW Post campus and a Certificate in Educational Administration from Queens College. Before coming to Oyster Bay,  Strell worked for the West Hempstead School District as the director of guidance and before that as a guidance counselor at Lindenhurst High School.

Strell has already made a difference with her innovative thinking. One of her first big accomplishments is her effort to reach out to the Spanish speaking families in the community.

On Oct. 29, Oyster Bay High School hosted its first Spanish-language College Information Night in the high school library. Admissions representatives from Nassau Community College, SUNY at Old Westbury and LIU Post presented admissions information to the parents and students in attendance. This valuable program was able to highlight for the families not only the admissions criteria for each school, but also educate them on financial aid options available to them whether they attend public or private universities. This program was such a success that Strell plans to make this an annual event.

For all college preparation needs, visit the OBEN website for scholarships, testing schedules, and college application assistance at www.obenschools.org/departments/guidance/