Class Of 2019 Valedictorians And Salutatorians


Graduation ceremonies for John L. Miller–Great Neck North High School and William A. Shine-Great Neck South High School will be held on Tuesday, June 25, at LIU Post’s Tilles Center, with 281 students graduating from North in the morning and 296 from South in the afternoon. The Village School graduation will be held at the school on Monday morning, June 24, with 11 grads, for a total of 588 graduates in the Great Neck Public Schools Class of 2019.

Profiles of  North and South high schools’ valedictorians and salutatorians follow. Winners of other significant commencement awards, including Frederic Duclos Barstow, Alan L. Gleitsman, Scott Moss and Genelle Taney, as well as excerpts from the students’ graduation speeches, will appear in upcoming issues. 


The North High Valedictorian is Yoel Hawa and the South High Valedictorian is Michael Lu.

North High Valedictorian Yoel Hawa

Hawa is a National Merit Scholarship recipient, an AP Scholar with Distinction and a National Spanish Exam Gold Medal and Silver Medal winner.

As a member of the science research program, Hawa won second place at the New York State Science and Engineering Fair, and third place at the WAC Invitational Science Fair. He
is the recipient of several math awards through the Nassau Mathematics Tournament, Nassau County Interscholastic Mathematics League, New York Mathematics League and ASMA national competition.

Hawa served as president of the North High Student Organization, copresident of the Math Team, vice president of the Debate Team, and captain of the JV Quiz Bowl team. He was principal violin in the North High Orchestra and a four-year member of the track team. Hawa will attend Harvard University.

South High Valedictorian Michael Lu

Lu is a Commended Student through the National Merit Scholarship Program and an AP Scholar with Distinction.

As a four-year member of the South High Rebel Robotics Team, Lu participated in FIRST Robotics competitions at the regional and world-championship levels. He is a contract developer for 10XBeta, a product design and engineering firm, and he interned at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Lu served community organizations as a technology intern at the Gold Coast–Lake Success Rotary Club and a volunteer firefighter for the Manhasset-Lakeville Fire Department. Lu will attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


The North High Salutatorian is Joshua Rothbaum and the South High Salutatorian is Chloe Metz.

North High Salutatorian Joshua Rothbaum

Rothbaum is a National Merit Scholarship recipient, an AP Scholar with Distinction and a Regeneron Science Talent Search Scholar.

Rothbaum participated in the science research program for four years, conducting summer research in laboratories at Yale University and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. In addition to being named a Regeneron STS Scholar, he was a three-time Long Island Math Fair Gold Medalist and received third place at the WAC Invitational Science Fair.

A clarinetist, Rothbaum was selected for All-County and All-State performing groups. He was principal clarinet of the North High Band and Orchestra, president of the Chamber Music Society, and performed with the school at Carnegie Hall and the Long Island Music Hall of Fame.

Rothbaum served as copresident of the Math Team, copresident of the Science Olympiad Team and captain of the Quiz Bowl Team. He was a national qualifier in National History Bee and Bowl. He was a four-year member of the tennis team and earned All-County honors for tennis. Rothbaum will attend Yale University.

South High Salutatorian Chloe Metz

A violinist, Metz served as concertmaster/principal for the South High Chamber Orchestra and performed with the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra. She was selected for the Long Island String Festival and performed at prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.

Metz served as president of the History Club, coeditor-in-chief of the school’s Exit 33 Literary Magazine and a board member for the Midnight Run Club. She was a four-year member of the tennis team and interned at Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. Metz will attend Amherst College.

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