Happening at the Great Neck School District

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Happening at the Great Neck School District

U.S. News & World Report’s “Best High Schools”

North High School and South High School are featured in U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 ranking of Best High Schools, which was released on April 27. The list of Best High Schools features the top public high schools in the nation, including traditional public schools, charter schools, and magnet schools.

On the list of Best High Schools, South High ranked #188 and North High ranked #444. To determine a school’s placement on this list, U.S. News evaluated nearly 24,000 high schools nationwide based on programs offered for all students, graduation rates, test scores, and college readiness.

U.S. News further analyzed the top 1,000 schools to determine the best 250 high schools in the nation for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). South High ranked #75 and North High ranked #181 on this list. This ranking is determined by student participation and performance on Advanced Placement science and math exams.

“It is an honor that our schools continue to be recognized among the best high schools in the state and the entire country,” says Superintendent Dr. Teresa Prendergast. “This recognition reflects the accomplishments of our students, the quality of our programs, the work of our dedicated educators, and the support of our entire school community in providing outstanding educational opportunities for all students.”

This report also includes high school rankings by state, and both South High (#21) and North High (#48) rank among the best schools in New York.

New Parkville principal announced

During the Great Neck Board of Education meeting on April 28, Board trustees voted unanimously to appoint Michelle Bell as the principal of Parkville School following the retirement of Kathleen Murray. Ms. Murray previously announced her retirement effective this summer.

Ms. Bell currently serves as the assistant principal of the John F. Kennedy School, a position she has held since 2018. Her career in the district spans more than 12 years, including seven years as a classroom teacher at E.M. Baker School.

Parkville School is an early childhood center that houses pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students, as well as the Fun for Fours program. When the district expanded pre-kindergarten and Fun for Fours classes to Kennedy School in 2019, Ms. Bell played a key role in developing and implementing these programs at the new location.

“It is an honor and a privilege to be appointed as the next principal of Parkville School,” says Ms. Bell. “I am thrilled to remain within the Great Neck Public Schools and to be a part of this wonderful community. I am devoted to our children and will continue to advocate for, nurture, and wholeheartedly champion each one of them.”

Ms. Bell earned her Advanced Certificate in Educational Leadership and her Master of Science in Educational Technology from Long Island University. She received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from the University of Delaware. She holds Professional Certification as a Teacher of Childhood Education, Teacher of Mathematics, and as an Educational Technology Specialist. Ms. Bell is also certified as a School Building Leader.

North High recognized by state for outstanding mental health services

Great Neck North High School is proud to be honored by the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) as a recipient of the Systems of Care Community award in the 2021 What’s Great In Our State program.

This honor celebrates the positive impact of the North High Counseling Team in supporting the mental health of students and families. The Systems of Care Community award is given annually to recognize a coordinated network of cross-system partners that collaborate to achieve their vision and goals.

The award-winning North High Counseling Team includes school psychologists, social workers, and guidance counselors who work together to support the academic, social, and emotional needs of the school community. Team members include: school psychologists Dr. Anton Berzins and Dr. David Cheng; school social worker Oana Scholl; guidance department head Michael Neary; and guidance counselors Jordana Cohen, Kristen Corrigan, Peter Hidasi, Amanda Reilly, Kim Semder, and Corinne Tortorice.

Additionally, the North High Counseling Team partners with Marc Fernandez and Jackeline Gomez of the Family and Children’s Association of Long Island (FCA) Family First program to provide specialized support services for English as a New Language (ENL) learners and their families.

The OMH What’s Great In Our State program was established in 2010 to celebrate individuals, localities, agencies, and programs that support the mental health of children, youth, and young adults. Honorees are selected by an interagency committee made up of representatives from state child-serving agencies, mental health advocacy organizations, and family/youth-run organizations.

The OMH celebrated the 2021 What’s Great In Our State honorees during a virtual event on May 4 via Zoom.

Great Neck students excel on National French Exam

A total of 48 high school students from the Great Neck Public Schools have been recognized for their outstanding scores on the National French Exam (Le Grand Concours), Nassau County Level. This annual competition is sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of French.

Winners are awarded platinum, gold, silver, bronze, or honorable mention based on their performance as compared to other students in the same grade and course level. Joanna Asvestas is the French teacher at North High, and Geraldine Finazzo is the French teacher at South High.

Level 2A

North High award winners: Anna Beauchesne, gold; Stephany Barbu, silver; Gabrielle Feder, silver; Jacqueline Park, silver; Brandon Tehrani, silver; and Rachel Bagim, bronze. Honorable mention: Vian Hwang, Renee Lan, Jaime Nakache, and Brandon Torkian.

South High award winners: Xinyi (Angela) Wu, silver; and Audrey Huang, silver.

Level 3A

North High award winners: Katherine Sun, silver; Ava Assaraf, bronze. Honorable mention: Michaela Damaghi, Justin Farajollah, Sophie Frenkel, Joshua Schoenman, Eddie Wong, Yo-Jia Hu (Anjelica Wu) Tang, and Alex Zhuang.

South High award winners: David Feuer, platinum; Cooper Brown, gold; Emma Maliar, gold; Brayden Chien, silver; Amanda Roth, silver; Samantha Zeltser, silver; Kan Heng (Martin) Lin, bronze; and Sophia Liu, bronze.

Level 3E

South High award winners: Joshua Rabbani, silver; and Amber Sun, silver.

Level 4A

North High award winners: Natasha Khazzam, gold; Julia Huang, gold; Rudy Beauchesne, silver; and Trinity Wu, silver. Honorable mention: Simon Adjakple, Cheri Chu, Jordan Park, Harrison Rich, Adin Salim, and Christopher Yang.

South High award winners: Mengyu (Amy) Wu, gold; and Alexander Voses, bronze. Honorable mention: Ella Li and Robin Ren.

Level 5A

North High honorable mention: Adam Sanders, Joane Sarfati, and Lauren Victory.

South High wins state Science Olympiad Tournament; qualifies for Nationals

The South High School Science Olympiad team came in first place at the New York State Science Olympiad Tournament, earning their first state championship title. The team will advance to the National Science Olympiad Tournament on May 22.

A total of 68 teams from across New York participated in the state tournament, which was conducted virtually on April 10. The competition featured 15 different challenges that require knowledge and skills in anatomy and physiology, astronomy, biology, chemistry, engineering, environmental science, forensics, fossils, physics, oceanography, ornithology, technology, and more.

In addition to team points, medals were awarded to the top competitors in each challenge. The South High team members received medals in 14 out of the 15 events, and placed in the top three in 11 events.

Members of the South High Science Olympiad team are: Bradley He (president), Matthew Tsui (vice president), Jeremy Kotlyar, Jonathan Lee, Kira Nguyen, Amit Saha, Amber Sun, Emily Tsui, Nicholas Tung, Jansen Wong, David Wang, Anthony Zhan, and Richard Zhuang. South High science teachers Nicole Spinelli and Dr. James Truglio are co-advisors for the team.

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