Great Neck North and South High School Class of 2018 valedictorians and salutatorians were featured in last week’s Great Neck Record. Additional graduation awards include the annual Barstow and Scott Moss, plus four new awards. This year, students also received the Papa Giorgio Visionary Scholarship, Linda Musmeci Scholarship, Class of 2017 Bernard Kaplan Scholarship Award and Joan Casazzone Memorial Award. Find out the significance of each of these honors and read about the impressive winners.
The coveted Frederic Duclos Barstow Award was established in 1962 by Françoise and William Barstow, prominent Great Neck residents after whom Barstow Road is named, in memory of their only son who died of pneumonia at age 35. The Barstow Award is given annually to two students at each high school and includes a monetary prize for each winner. Recipients must be in the top 10 percent of their class and be “outstanding in leadership, citizenship, scholarship and service.”
North High’s valedictorian and salutatorian are traditionally their school’s Barstow Award winners. This year’s North valedictorian is Amy Shteyman and the salutatorian is Natasha Dilamani.
South High’s Barstow Award winners are South High Salutatorian Weiting Hong and Lauren Perlman.
Perlman was a copresident of the Midnight Run Club and participated in several service activities through the school’s Facing History interdisciplinary program. She was a photographer for the school yearbook and was named a finalist in the Zirinsky Award photo contest. She also played soccer at school and on the Roaring Tigers Soccer Club. Perlman will attend the University of Georgia.
Scott Moss Memorial Award
The Scott D. Moss Memorial Award was established in 1977 in memory of an outstanding South High student who died from cancer. The award is given to the graduating South High senior who exemplifies the “service, concern, interest and ability of Scott Moss.” This year’s recipient is Weiting Hong.
Papa Giorgio Visionary Award
The Papa Giorgio Visionary Award, which is new this year, was established by the family of George York to be presented to a South High student who excels in the visual arts over four years and whose efforts reflect creativity and drive, as exemplified by the life and work of George York. The first recipient of this scholarship is Shengxi “Simon” He.
He was president of the Photo Club at South High and utilized his skills as a photographer for school activities, including sports competitions, theater productions and building-wide events. During his high school career, he participated in varsity swimming, varsity golf, varsity and junior varsity badminton and junior varsity tennis. His service activities included helping high-school and middle-school students with their homework. He will attend the University at Buffalo.
Linda Musmeci Scholarship
The Linda Musmeci Scholarship, also a new award at South High, is given to a senior who has persevered and is involved in community service. The first recipient is Leah Fried.
Fried was an active participant in the AWARE (All Ways Are Really Exceptional) Club and Midnight Run. She was a member of the varsity swim team and the Theatre South stage crew for all four years. She tutored elementary students at the Great Neck Library and volunteered at a soup kitchen in New York City. Fried will attend the State University of New York at Geneseo.
Class of 2017 Bernard Kaplan Scholarship
The North High School Class of 2017 established the Bernard Kaplan Scholarship, which is awarded to a graduate who exhibits the utmost kindness and demonstrates compassion towards others, in honor of the school’s former principal. The recipient must have worked toward making North High a safe, accepting and kind place. This year’s recipient is Kevin Li.
Li was the founder and president of the North High Table Tennis Club and president of the Asian Culture Awareness Club. He served as an editor for the award-winning school newspaper, Guide Post. Li was also a member of the Piano Club, Neuroscience Club, Chess Team and the varsity baseball team. Li will attend Northeastern University.
Joan Casazzone Memorial Award
The Joan Casazzone Memorial Award was established by Mark Shirian, Esq., in memory of Joan Casazzone. This scholarship is awarded to a student athlete who exhibits improvement in mathematics and athletics over a four-year period, while showing compassion and kindness toward peers, teachers and coaches. Meital H. Agagi is the recipient.
Agagi was a four-year member of the varsity field hockey team and served as team captain during her senior year. She also played lacrosse for four years—two years on junior varsity and two on varsity. Agagi was president of the Key Club, president of the SAVE Environmental Club and a member of the Neuroscience Club. She participated in several community-service activities with the Special Olympics and through Key Club. Agagi will attend Tufts University.