The Elite of the Elite

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The Elite of the Elite

Carlos Ponce, Contributing Reporter

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This past week  Amityville High School named its Top 10 Scholars of the graduating class of 2019. Our Valedictorian, Raiphy Jerez with a grade point average (GPA) of 108.61, and Aleyna Kokoglu, our Salutatorian with a grade point average of 105.11, have been our standout scholars. Rounding out the Top 10 in order of rank are, Leslie Washington, Meghan Luders, Kerrianne Victor, James Carey, Courtney Evans, Carlos Ponce, Kayla Barrett and Patrick Abate.

Meet our Top 10 Scholars!

Raiphy Jerez: Ranked #1 in our class, Raiphy will be attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which by the way has an acceptance rate of 8%! He will be majoring in Electrical Engineering. According to Raiphy, what motivates him to succeed academically is his curiosity, learning new things daily, and also the discipline taught to him by his parents from a young age which helps drives him in the classroom. He also is President of the KEY Club and Parliamentarian of the National Honor Society. He is also involved in the Robotics Club. When asked about a fact no one else knows about him he stated, “I don’t like reading books.” Although he may not like reading books, we wish him the best in his ambitious future career!

Aleyna Kokoglu: Salutatorian Aleyna Kokoglu is someone with different talents academically, artistically, and athletically. Aleyna is currently in the National Honor Society, National Art Honor Society, World Language Honor Society, Math Club, and the Key Club. She is also a part of the recently formed lacrosse team. For these other activities, she has accumulated many honors such as Stony Brook’s HCARE, Proclamation Senator Brooks Award, Students Building Bridges Award, President’s Educational Excellence Award, Heckscher Museum of Art: Long Island’s Best Awards, Nassau Community College Honors Program Art Award and Advanced Visions 14: High School Arts of Excellence. As you can see Aleyna is a very motivated person and when asked what motivates her she stated, “My motivation is my family, they are what make me want to get up in the morning. I want to make them proud. Also, as for myself I always try to be the best I can be.” Currently Aleyna will be looking into majoring in Biology but as for the college right now she has not made a decision yet. Regardless of where she goes, that college will be lucky to have her!

Leslie Washington: A very respected student by many teachers for her exemplary acts of character, Leslie Washington is a very focused student. We weren’t able to get an interview with Leslie herself but interviewed one of her teachers, Mrs. Westphal, who stated, “Leslie is the nicest person. She is very creative and always thinks of others.” She also shared one of Leslie’s many acts of kindness. Earlier in the year Leslie went out her way to buy soap for her ceramics class when the classroom ran out. This simple act is one of many she has done not only for teachers, but also for students. She is a person of good heart and whatever college she decides to go to, she will be a great addition to the school. Best of luck to Leslie!

Meghan Luders: Meghan is a very well respected student by many people in the high school. Currently she is enrolled in many different clubs across the school as she is President of the Yearbook Club, Vice-President of Student Council, member of Liberty Partnerships, National Honor Society, DECA, WAC PAC, and the World Language Honor Society. What motivates her to succeed in school and to participate in all these clubs is her love for learning and the motivation provided by her parents. Currently, Meghan will be looking to major in Biology but has not yet chosen a college. Whereever she decides to go, best of luck to Meghan!

Kerrianne Victor: Kerrianne is a very hardworking student-athlete not only in school but outside of it too. She has participated in many hours of community service for our community and looks to serve even more hours. Currently, she is President of the National Honor Society and a member of Student Council, Liberty Partnership Program, and the World Language Honor Society. In addition to these various clubs she is also a member of the Girls Volleyball team. Kerrianne will be attending the New York Institute of Technology and will be majoring in architecture. Best of luck to Kerrianne as she brings her talents to NYIT!

James Carey: Cross Country and Track all-star James Carey has not only been a successful athlete in his three seasons of sports, but he has also gone the extra mile in his classes! He is involved in Cross Country, Winter and Spring Track, making him a student athlete for all seasons of sports in the school year. Within these sports, James has won multiple awards. To keep him even busier, he is a member of the Black Student Union and WAC PAC! According to James one fact no one knows about him is, “I’m working on becoming an Eagle Scout.” In the fall James will be looking to attend Delaware State University and major in Wildlife Management. Best of luck to James in his future and career!

Courtney Evans: Courtney is a very motivated student in the classroom according to multiple teachers. When asked what motivates her to succeed academically she stated, “The opportunity to go into college and receive scholarships. To also have a healthy income after all the hard work in high school and college.” Courtney also participates in various clubs such as the National Honor Society, Key Club, WAC PAC, Liberty Partnerships, and the Student Government. Courtney is an excellent student and will be looking to major in Biology. As for now she hasn’t chosen a college yet but will be looking to succeed wherever she goes. Best of luck to Courtney!  

Carlos Ponce: The 2-time New York Boys Soccer State Champion is not only successful on the soccer field but also in the classroom. Captain of the varsity team for 3 years and a player for the team since freshman year, Carlos is also a student who has major respect for others in the classroom. He is also a member of the National Honor Society. Carlos is a 3-time Academic All-County player and a Suffolk Zone Award winner. What motivates him to succeed on and off the field is, “to make my parents proud and take advantage of the opportunity I have getting an education, as my parents didn’t have the same opportunity where they came from.” Carlos will be continuing his academic and athletic career at Molloy College and will be majoring in Business Management. Best of luck to Carlos on and off the field at Molloy!

Kayla Barrett:Kayla is a very creative student not only in the classroom but also as a student of dance. A very talented dancer, she is also very active in her high school. She is a member of the National Honor Society, National World Language Honor Society, Key Club, Liberty Partnerships, the Black Student Union, and Student Council. Kayla is also a member of the Track & Field team. She is a very focused student, taking advanced classes such as AP Psychology, AP Physics, College Spanish, and College Algebra. In the fall she will be looking to attend Virginia Commonwealth University and will be majoring in Biology (Pre-Med). Best of luck to Kayla on her future career in the medical field!

Patrick Abate: Not only a High Honor Roll student, Patrick is also captain of the Varsity Baseball team and a very talented musician who has won a Louis Armstrong Award (given to an outstanding high school Jazz musician). He is also a member of the National Honor Society, Key Club, the Symphonic band, the Jazz band, and Percussion Ensemble. Patrick will be looking to study at the well known city school of Pace University as a Sports Marketing major. According to Patrick, one fact people don’t know about him is “Nemo is my favorite movie.” Amityville wishes you the best of luck Patrick on your future career!

We wish every single one of these students the best of luck in their future lives and hope they will always be able to look back at where they came from, their hometown of Amityville. Once a Warrior always a Warrior!