Amy Shteyman, the valedictorian of Great Neck North High School, said that while she scored on top of the class, it didn’t come easy.
“I remember when I took my first AP class,” Shteyman said. “I was failing a few tests, but then I managed to overcome that by finding this course that would help me prepare.”
“It’s definitely not been super easy,” she added.
Throughout her academic career, Shteyman, who will be graduating with 275 other students at North High, was involved in the science research program in her school.
Her most recent project, a neuroimaging study on how smiles are created and perceived by others, won her accolades in a number of competitions like the Intel International Science Engineering Fair and Regeneron Science Talent search.
Shteyman was also president of the Pre-Med Club, a member of the Science Olympiads team, Current Events Club and Key Club, as well as a co-founder and president of the school’s Neuroscience Club.
“I’ve been interested in neuroscience for a long time,” Shteyman, who conducted two years of research at Yale for her project, said.
Shteyman was also an athlete, she said, having played on North High’s varsity tennis team and the varsity badminton team, and a musician. She plays violin and piano and has performed at Carnegie Hall through the American Fine Arts Festival.
Shteyman said she will return to Yale, this time as a student majoring in neuroscience in the fall. She said she wants to continue her research while there and become a doctor.
“I’d like to thank all of my teachers as well as all of the administrators and principal for being supportive for all the things I did,” Shteyman said.
Natasha Dilamani, the salutatorian at Great Neck North High, highlighted two important things in her academic career: science and sports.
Starting in her sophomore year, Dilamani became involved in scientific research, creating and programming a prototype engineering device. She won awards at national and regional competitions like the Regeneron Science Talent Search, WAC Lighting Invitational Science Fair, and a host of others.
“I’ve always loved being creative and problem solving and building things,” Dilamani said.
Dilamani served on a number of clubs, including the Neuroscience Club and Key Club, as well as a member of the Pre-Med Club and Peer Leaders group. Dilamani said she was also on numerous athletic teams like varsity badminton, varsity fencing, varsity field hockey and softball.
Her ability to juggle academics and extracurriculars likely came from the latter though, she said, because she would otherwise put off her work.
“I think even doing a sport helped me manage my time better,” Dilamani said.
Dilamani also did community service work at the Mashadi Jewish Community Center, where she keeps an eye on children on Saturday morning while their parents worship.
She will attend the University of Pennsylvania to study mechanical engineering, potentially join a robotics clubs and continue her community service.