Meet the Graduates: Recent Schreiber alumni return for college preparation panel

Six recent Schreiber High School graduates participated in “Meet the Graduates,” an annual panel discussion co-hosted by AGATE of Port Washington and the Schreiber HSA. Current students, parents, and community members filled the Schreiber High School Library on the evening of Jan. 8 to hear advice from recent Schreiber graduates on navigating high school, preparing for college, and transitioning to a successful college experience.

This year’s panel of college freshmen, sophomores and juniors, moderated by AGATE’s event co-chair Barbara Cohen, included Bennett Bookstein of Columbia University, Donneka Brown of Stony Brook University, Becky Han of Cornell University, Julia Kim of Carnegie Mellon University, Jacob Keller of the University of Pennsylvania, and Joseph Melkonian of Washington University in St. Louis.

The panelists represented a range of majors at their respective universities, yet each agreed that one of the greatest challenges of adjusting to college was learning time management skills to handle a demanding academic schedule, extra-curricular activities, and daily life. All felt that they had been well-prepared for the academic rigor of their college coursework, but many agreed that they were on a steep learning curve to master college-level research and writing. They also highlighted that their work at college required a much higher level of critical thinking skills than they had developed during high school.

Many emphasized that Schreiber High School’s Advanced Placement courses had contributed to the development of their academic and time management skills. Several participated in research programs and noted that those programs gave them opportunities to hone their research and presentation skills. Some panelists thought that students would be better served by choosing coursework to explore personal interests, rather than taking classes to raise an academic average.

Many of the panelists expressed that at one time or another in their high school and college careers they had felt stress resulting from pressure to be successful. They advised parents to be supportive of their children during the college application process, and their education in general, by exposing them to a variety of academic choices but not directing those choices.

This accomplished group of recent graduates passionately advised current Schreiber students to participate in extra-curricular activities to cultivate friendships, develop lifelong skills and interests, and actively engage as community members, giving credit to Schreiber’s clubs as formative to their interests, as well as excellent places to enjoy their high school years.

Founded in the 1993-1994 school year, AGATE of Port Washington, or Advocacy for Gifted and Talented Education, is a parent organization that advocates for an appropriate and challenging education for all students in the district. For more information visit

The Schreiber High School HSA encourages intelligent cooperation between parents, students and teachers to raise the standards of the school experience for the students of Paul D. Schreiber High School. For more information visit

Submitted by Rebecca Hughes Parker

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