Graduating seniors from the Class of 2019 were honored by the high schools and local officials
Throughout their years in elementary, middle and high school, Great Neck Public Schools students not only strive for top grades, but also participate in musical ensembles, athletic competitions and an extensive array of clubs. When reading about our talented students’ activities, it’s hard to believe they’ve accomplished so much before graduating from high school. During senior awards events and at commencement, many of these talented students are recognized not only by the administration at Great Neck North and South, but also by our elected officials.
Legislator Ellen Birnbaum presented the Nassau County Legislative Student Citizenship Award to Great Neck South High School senior Dani Fisher.
Described by others as a “born leader” who spreads inclusivity through her positive attitude and the example she sets, Fisher is a multi-sport athlete who has played basketball and lacrosse for Great Neck South. She also cofounded the high school’s Mindfulness Club, leads the Chamber Choir as a soprano and is passionate about opera. In the community, Fisher has volunteered at Northwell Health, served as a pediatric endocrinology intern and interned at the Sunrise Day Camp for children impacted by cancer.
“Through her passion for academics, athletics, music and community service, Dani Fisher has made an indelible and positive impact on not only Great Neck South High School, but the entire community,” said Birnbaum. “I am proud to recognize her for her achievements and wish her well as she continues her studies at Lehigh University in the fall.”
Birnbaum awarded the Great Neck North High School Legislative Student Citizenship Award to Lucien Wostenholme, who has distinguished himself at Great Neck North through his passion for civil debate and pursuit of learning Mandarin Chinese.
Wostenholme served as copresident of the Model Congress, volunteers as a mentor for an athlete with autism, coaches youth hockey, contributes an opinion column to the school newspaper, Guide Post, and is a percussionist with the North High Symphony Band and Orchestra. He will attend Cornell University.
“Throughout his high school career, Lucien has harnessed his diverse interests to entertain as a musician, participate in crew and hockey, lead his fellow students on the Model Congress and educate his classmates through his passion for debate and journalism,” said Birnbaum. “I congratulate him on all he has already accomplished and wish him all the best as the next chapter of his life begins.”
During the graduation ceremony, Wostenholme, an AP Scholar with Honor and a National Merit Scholarship Semi-Finalist, was also presented with the prestigious Taney Memorial Award.
Genelle B. Taney was a 2003 North High graduate who died at age 19, after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Taney was the 2003 Gleitsman Award recipient and is remembered for her “unsurpassed love of knowledge, a dedication to the arts, a passion for athletics and an endless commitment to the betterment of her school and her fellow classmates.”
Established in her memory in 2006, the Taney Award is based solely on merit and the recipient should possess a combination of these qualities. One quarter of the award must be contributed by the recipient to a charity of his/her choice, subject to the approval of the award trustees.
The other prestigious award presented at North High School’s graduation ceremony is the Alan L. Gleitsman Outstanding Graduate Award.
The late Alan Gleitsman, a 1947 graduate of then Great Neck High School, established the award in 1988 to be given annually to a North High graduating senior. Gleitsman winners must place within the top 10 percent of their graduating class, uphold a high level of quality involvement in student activities, be dedicated to the school and the well-being of fellow students, and have a commitment to pursue further education on the college level. Yoel Hawa, who was recently profiled as the North High valedictorian, is the winner of the 2019 Gleitsman Award. Read about him here.
During North High’s Senior Awards Ceremony, Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth presented Amanda Shirazi with the Town’s Civic Spirit Award.
Shirazi was honored for her academic success, including being an AP Scholar and Peer Drug Education officer, as well as for all her extracurricular activities, such as student government, the Shared Decision Making Committee and DECA.
PATV presented The Michael DeCristoforo Memorial Community Service Award—2019 to Corey Seng, a graduating senior at Great Neck South High School, for his outstanding participation in PATV’s Teen TV. Seng plans to pursue media at San Diego State University in the fall.
Michael DeCristoforo passed away on March 18, 2013, following complications from a car accident. His memory and legacy lives on at the Public Access Television Corporation through the community service award given in his name each year to a deserving high school senior, who reflects the same exemplary qualities that he possessed at the station.
Congratulations to all the amazing graduates.
In other school news: Great Neck resident Ian Ian “Fiona” Huang was honored during Long Island Lutheran Middle & High School Annual Honors Banquet at the Fox Hollow Country Club in Woodbury, which recognized the achievements of its outstanding students.
Scholarship Awards are presented to students in recognition of the highest academic record or outstanding citizenship in school. The Sophomore Citizenship award honors Huang’s achievements in every area of Lutheran High School service.