Herricks school board salutes high achievers

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Herricks High School junior Alyssa Corona and senior Sam Tesch open the school board meeting singing “The Star Spangled Banner.” The students will perform at the Eastern Division Honors Music Festival in the spring. (Photo by Samuel Glasser)

By Samuel Glasser

The Herricks school board recognized outstanding student achievements in music, science and social studies at its meeting last Thursday. 

While music and science dominated, Herricks students excel in “every single discipline … there is no one area,” Christine Finn, the district’s assistant superintendent for instruction, said.

Four Herricks High School musicians were chosen to participate in the National Association for Music Education’s Eastern Division Honors Festival to be held in April in Atlantic City, N.J.

Senior Adam Cordero will play the saxophone in the All Eastern Jazz Ensemble, and senior Kelly Yu, a violinist, will perform in the All Eastern Orchestra.

Junior Alyssa Corona and senior Sam Tesch, both vocalists, will sing in the All Eastern Chorus.

Corona and Tesch gave the board a preview, opening the meeting with “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Six hundred students from schools on the East Coast will participate.

Herricks was one of three national winners of the NAMM Foundation’s annual “What makes music education great in my school district?” video competition.

The foundation is an arm of the National Association of Music Merchants.

Senior Jonathan Sanelli, who plays double bass and guitar, produced a one-minute video asking music teachers and students to answer the question.

The winning districts, including one in California and one Illinois, will receive a two-day residency on the foundation’s John Lennon Educational Tour Bus coming to Herricks next fall.

A group of eight to 10 students will compose, record and produce an original song and music video aboard the bus, which is outfitted with professional recording and production equipment.

Freshman Carrie Hsu was recognized for placing second in the children’s category of the Goi Peace Foundation’s International Essay Contest for Young People.

Her essay, “Education Across Endless Clouds,” was one of nearly 13,000 submissions from around the world.

Senior Anna Zolyniak was cited as “Best Delegate” in the 20th annual Model United Nations conference at Brown University in Providence, R.I.

The conference is an educational simulation and a competition, Finn said.

Fino Celano, the district superintendent, said the high school orchestra and chorus participated in the Harmony Peace Foundation’s holiday concert at Carnegie Hall on Dec. 19.

Five high school seniors were congratulated for being named as semi-finalists in the Regeneron Science Talent Search competition: Alan Chen, Bongseok Jung, Nora Koe, Setu Mehta and Natalie Tan.

Tarrytown-based Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, which took over sponsorship of the competition from Intel, the semiconductor chip company, made the announcement last week.

The students will be invited to appear at the next board meeting.

The contest recognizes top science research projects from high school students around the country. Nationally, 300 semifinalists were named from 1,749 applicants.

In other business, the board heard a report by Shari Diamond of its outside auditor, Cerini & Associates.

Diamond said checks to outside vendors are not issued until every piece of supporting documentation is verified.

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