Where Are They Now?

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The last combined class produced some extremely successful grads who will gather for their 60th reunion

Peter Camejo was an author, activist and politician who was selected by independent candidate Ralph Nader as his vice-presidential running mate in the 2004 U.S. presidential election.

The Great Neck Class of 1958 was comprised of approximately 550 grads who have gone on to become nurses, poets, artists, journalists, business owners, professors, antique appraisers, real estate agents, developers, financiers, doctors, scientists, linguists and even a U.S. vice presidential candidate.

“Many of our classmates are still working in first or second careers,” said Judith Levings, who began locating them earlier this year as she started planning the Great Neck High 60th reunion. “Many of us live in the New York area, many in Florida, many out west somewhere and some in other countries. Some live in cities and others live in rural areas—some of them are almost ‘off the grid.’ There were 545 classmates and approximately 130 have passed away. We have about 60 more to find. So far, 124 will be attending.”

Levings, who has been living in Great Neck for 78 years and is a member of that last whole graduating class before the school was separated into Great Neck North and Great Neck South, will be holding the reunion at the Inn at Great Neck from Oct. 27 to 29.

“In June 1958, the Great Neck High School Class of 1958 was the last whole graduating class out of the school,” explained Levings. “Due to overcrowding, the school district built another high school and split the other grades to accommodate the increased school population. We are very proud of the accomplishments of our alumni.”

Stephen Albert won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1985.

The careers of her classmates have run the gamut from composer Stephen Albert, who won the 1985 Pulitzer Prize for Music, was killed in an automobile accident in 1992 and posthumously won a Grammy Award in 1995, to Peter Camejo, a Green Party leader who ran three times for governor of California, was the Socialist Workers Party nominee for U.S. president in 1976 and was Ralph Nader’s running mate in the 2004 U.S. presidential race before passing away in 2008.

Another politician, Neal Kurk is a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives. In January 2014, he introduced legislation pushing back against the National Security Agency and the federal government’s warrantless surveillance programs that would prohibit state officials from searching portable electronic devices without a warrant.

Stephen Wilson is a United States district judge of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Some found success in the arts.

Nancy Meckler is a theater and film director.

Nancy Meckler is a theater and film director, who was at the helm of Shared Experience Theatre for 22 years, where her work included the prize winning Anna Karenina, Heartbreak House, The Birthday Party and A Passage to India. Her film work includes Sister My Sister with Julie Walters and Martin Sherman’s Alive and Kicking.

The 1979 Tony Award winner for best play was The Elephant Man by playwright Bernard Pomerance, who died in 2017.

Deborah Steinberg, a stage and television actress, lawyer, television reporter and producer for PBS, as well as a Dartmouth science writer, was known for her roles on All My Children and As the World Turns prior to her passing in 2011.

Classmate Robert “Bob” Simon was an award-winning CBS news correspondent whose career spanned nearly 50 years. He covered many significant news events and, as a war correspondent, was captured by Iraqi forces near the Saudi-Kuwait border during the opening days of the Persian Gulf war in 1991. He won dozens of honors, including 27 Emmy and four Peabody Awards. During his 19th season as a correspondent for 60 Minutes in 2015, he was killed in a car crash in Manhattan.

Charles Saladino was a pioneering landscape architect in Nevada and holds the first license issued by the state. He was president of the Nevada Board of Landscape Architecture and Western Regional director for the Council of Landscape Architecture Registration Boards. He died in 2009.

An original foodie, Carl Shavitz is a master baker who is the founder and director of the Artisan Bread School in the United Kingdom, teaching the secrets of baking European breads.

For more than a decade, Jay Mitchell has been the owner of Gente Ristorante, which offers a touch of Milan in New York City.

Others found their niche in academia.

Devrie Intriligator, senior research physicist and director at the Carmel Research Center in Santa Monica, CA, has been researching space weather and actively developing forecast applications for more than 20 years. Her research focuses on space plasma physics, ranging from space weather at Earth to space weather effects beyond the solar system.

Richard Zeckhauser is a professor of Political Economy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Richard Zeckhauser is a professor of Political Economy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Early in his career, he was one of the “whiz kids” assembled by Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara to apply cutting-edge analysis to Cold War military strategy. 

David Barkin is professor of Economics at the Xochimilco Campus of the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana in México City. He was awarded the National Prize in Political Economics in 1979 for his analysis of inflation in Mexico. One of his most recent books is Wealth, Poverty and Sustainable Development.

A scholar of Sanskrit and Indian textual traditions, Wendy Doniger is an American Indologist who has written many books. She is a professor of History of Religions at the University of Chicago, where she has taught since 1978.

Barbara Stoler Miller was a scholar of Sanskrit literature. Her translation of the Bhagavad Gita helped popularize Indian literature in the U.S. She was department head of Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures at Barnard College and was the president of the Association for Asian Studies prior to her death in 1993.

In 1997, Dr. Judith Stein Goldstein founded Humanity in Action and serves as executive director, where she develops and conducts annual programs throughout the world for college students who are concerned with the protection of minorities. In 18 years, the organization has engaged more than 1,500 students in its programs and raised more than $20,500,000.

Find out about other classmates at the reunion. To obtain details, contact Levings at jlevings@gmail.com or 516-487-5525.

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Sheri ArbitalJacoby brings more than three decades of publishing experience at national magazines to her position as editor of the Great Neck Record. She also writes decorating, travel, food and green articles for Long Island Weekly and Anton Media Group's special sections.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Dr Van C Mow is a mathematician, a bioengineer, a physicist , an oceanographer and studied oceanography and finally medicine
    He is one of very few in the world to belong to both the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Engineering .
    Upon retirement he had published over 750 papers and been The first PhD to no president of a medical organization . He is one of the original fathers of bio medical engineering and began Columbia’s dept of Bio Engineering. He changed the paradigm …
    He has been editor of many journals and mentor to myriads of young stars of the field
    Besides he enjoys family, fishing, skiing,tennis,traveling and helping other countries develope the field.
    He has two terrific dons and their families in San Diego and Hong Kong
    Looking forward to seeing all of you

  2. This is from Jeanne Blank (Haber). I am so pleased to read about Van’s accomplishments. I will always remember him as one of the kindest and nicest people from my HS experience. When i think of him it brings a smile to my face. I still have my Yearbook and look at it from time to time! Have a grand time. Jeanne

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