As School Year Ends, Achievements Flourish

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The June 11 meeting of the Valley Stream Central High School District’s Board of Education featured numerous achievements and awards. Students as well as staff members were honored for their dedication, efforts and contributions to the schools and community. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bill Heidenreich was joined by members of the Board in presenting certificates to many individuals and groups. 

Class of 2019 Valedictorians Sophia Steele (Central), Amelia Cossentino (North) and Anne Hwang (South) and Salutatorians Nader Ahmed (Central), Kailyn Fan (North) and Joshua Peter Rajan (South) were applauded first. Central senior Anthony Cruz was recognized for his involvement as Board of Education Liaison. 

Administrators reflected on retiring staff members and extended their gratitude and best wishes to Dr. Thomas Troisi, Cliva H. Owens III, Mary Reicherter, Marijean Burke, Annmarie Mante, Hermas Acevedo, Barbara Madigan, Francine Maniscalco and Michele Marcus. 

The district also honored PTSA Presidents Sangeeta Pandit, Tina Castelluzzo, Sandra Silva, Helen Vendome, Debbie Kalb and Lilyan Laxton, as well as Parent Club leaders Anthony DiClemente, Katie Faithfull and Charlie Faithfull. 

Numerous students were congratulated for their accomplishments at the Future Business Leaders of America State Leadership Conference. Courtney Chamblin, Christine Contreras, and Ibrahim Ilyas earned first place in Broadcast Journalism, while Mary Chong and Safiyyah Savage placed first in Digital Video Production. Arianna Jerez and UK Ebong won first place in Introduction to Business Presentation and Abdullah Bismal achieved first place in Mobile Application Design.

Harpawan Singh, Samiah Davis and Lauren Wright placed second in Basic Decision Making, E-Business and Graphic Design, respectively. Nader Ahmed and Amisha Tewari earned second place in Public Service Announcement. Third place honors were achieved by Rahma Osman in Emerging Business Issues, Christina Mui and Rahmir Burrell in Publication Design and Kaitlyn Gavin and Crystina Windham in Social Media Campaign. Riya Ahluwalia received fourth place in FBLA Creed Speaking. 

Senior Safiyyah Savage was awarded Outstanding State Officer upon completing her term as State Vice President for District 1N (Nassau County) and as a school, Central was named Most Charitable Chapter for volunteer hours donated by members to local causes and First Place Crafting Creators for developing outstanding video content for FBLA. 

Seventeen students have qualified for the National Leadership Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

Dr. Heidenreich announced that Central, North and South were recognized on U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 list of Best High Schools in America, while Memorial Junior High School was named a No Place for Hate School by the Anti-Defamation League. Central received distinction by the New York State Education Department for graduating young men of color at one of the highest rates in the state of New York. Additionally, Central Assistant Principal Mathew Pearson was commended at the meeting for his 2019 Administrator of the Year award, presented by the Council of Administrators and Supervisors.