Seniors at Paul D. Schreiber High School in Port Washington will receive their diplomas on Thursday before they head off to work or continue their education in college. With all the tests taken and classes completed, many students are looking forward to the next step in their lives. But three students took time to look back on their high school years.
The three were Julia Ruskin, Julia Kim and Rebecca Muratore. Ruskin finished at the top of the class, while Kim and Muratore tied for second.
“It is truly an honor to be at the top of my class, especially considering how smart, motivated and ambitious all of my classmates are,” Ruskin said, a sentiment that was echoed by Kim.
Muratore said it was a great honor, but said she was just trying to be her best.
“My goal was never to be at the top of the class, but rather just to do the best that I could in school for myself,” she said.
Ruskin was the co-captain of Schreiber’s public forum debate team, co-captain of the Science Olympiad team, co-president of the Schreiber Mathletes, co-consul of the Latin club, and vice president of the Math Honors Society. She was a National Merit Scholarship winner and participated in the math research program for three years. So it did not come as much of a surprise that math was her favorite subject.
“Through [the math research program], I was able to combine my interests in computer science and epidemiology to complete multiple math research projects, and this experience definitely has helped me prepare to conduct more research in the future,” she said. “I also made some of my best friends through this program.”
Ruskin said that her Latin instructor Elizabeth Griffin was a huge help in applying for colleges and securing tutoring jobs.
“She clearly cares about all of her students and is invested in their success,” Ruskin said.
Ruskin will attend Princeton University, where she will major in computer science.
Also interested in computers and science is Kim, who will be studying computational science at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Kim also was a leader of the Science Olympiad and participated with the debate team, the Science Honors Society and the Tri-M Music Honors Society. In her free time, she volunteered for the North Shore University Hospital.
Kim received the National Merit John M. Stalnaker Memorial Scholarship, which is presented to one student in the nation who intends to pursue a major or career in science or mathematics.
She said she enjoyed her AP Physics, Literature & Composition, and Economics classes the most because of the teachers.
“They kept class educational yet entertaining,” she said.
The teacher that helped her the most was Marla Ezratty. Kim said the science teacher has helped her for the past three years and inspired her to pursue a career in STEM.
“I’m grateful for all her help,” she said.
Muratore also said that Ezratty was the teacher who helped her the most during her time at Schreiber.
“She truly cared about making sure my fellow researchers and I were always challenging ourselves, and she went above and beyond to help us achieve our goals,” she said.
Muratore said her most rewarding time at Schreiber was spent working within the science research program.
“I’ve learned so much by having been given the opportunity to develop my own research projects over the years, as well as having worked with and bonded with my fellow researchers in the program,” she said.
In addition to the research program, Muratore was a member of the Mock Trial team throughout high school and served as president during her junior and senior years. She was a contributor to the school’s newspaper, the Schreiber Times, and was a copy editor this past year. Muratore has taken dance lessons since elementary school in styles such as ballet, jazz and lyrical.
She will attend John Hopkins University in the fall. While she does not yet know what her major will be, she is leaning toward neuroscience or computer science.