Village School Student Recognition

Village School students Jordan Sieden, Annabella De Ceglie, Britney Trachtenberg, Daniel Reilly and Julia Jaeger (not pictured) were recognized by Board of Education President Barbara Berkowitz, Vice President Donald Ashkenase, Trustees Donna Peirez, Rebecca Sassouni and Jeffrey Shi, Superintendent Dr. Teresa Prendergast, Assistant Superintendents Dr. Stephen Lando and Dr. Joseph Hickey, Village School Principal Stephen Goldberg and Village School faculty Jeffrey Bernstein, Lisa DiRosa-Coen, Ronni Graf, Cindy Pavlic, Lauren Sullivan, Megan Wilvert and Samuel Yellis.

The Village School held its annual recognition of students on Feb. 11. The awards presented reflect the diversity of talent and fortitude of the students at the alternative high school.

Jeffrey Shi, a trustee on the Board of Education of Great Neck Public Schools, opened the night with a speech in which he said he was, “impressed by the authenticity of the students’ stories.”

Stephen Goldberg, principal of Village School, spoke next and introduced each of the students. In his remarks, he explained that the night celebrated “a story of what is right with public schools and not what is wrong.”

Five students were recognized by the Great Neck Public Schools Board of Education for contributing to the quality of life at their high school. Award recipients are Jordan Sieden for Rookie of the Year, Annabella De Ceglie for Most Improved, Britney Trachtenberg for Academic Performance, Daniel Reilly for Community Service and Julia Jaeger for Quintessential Student.

Rookie of the Year is awarded to a student who has arrived at Village School in the past year and has since excelled academically. The principal praised Sieden as a “hardworking 10th grader [who puts] effort into everything she does.” Sieden described the award as if “it was like a Hogwarts letter” and said she “was so happy” to receive it.

Community Service is given to a student who has given the most to the Village School community and its students. The award was presented to a recent addition to Village School from Great Neck South. Reilly is praised by the teachers for his great writing skills and work ethic. He is also known for taking free time out of his day to help other students with their work.

Academic Achievement is presented to the student who has made the most spectacular achievements in school. Tratchenberg, who is the board delegate for Village School and winner of last year’s Rookie of the Year award, said that she “was pleasantly surprised” to find out she had won again.

Quintessential Student is awarded to the person the staff perceives to, “define what Village School is all about.” Goldberg said that Jaeger, the freshman winner, “is great in class, has a wonderful bunch of friends and works really hard on her assignments.”

Most Improved Student is presented to the pupil who has boosted academics the most since coming to the school.

“She truly validates the hard work of the staff,” said Goldberg when he introduced De Ceglie. “The whole purpose of education is to improve one’s knowledge base—to improve one’s understanding of the world around you.”

Find out what makes The Village School so special here.


  1. It’s stupid why we even have a third high school with about fifty students! Just put all the at-risk students in special education classes! Then we wouldn’t need a Village School. Don’t waste the tax dollars by having an additional high school!

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