Great Neck North High graduates to begin next chapter

Great Neck North High graduates to begin next chapter
Great Neck North High School graduates embrace as they prepare to move to the next chapter of their lives. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)

As “The Big Bang Theory,” “Star Wars,” the Marvel cinematic universe and “Game of Thrones” are “graduating,” having left their marks on the world, so too is North High School’s class of 2019.

But, North High valedictorian Yoel Hawa said, this is just the beginning. None of those “so-called endings” are really endings, he said, as spin-off series and what comes next are all in the works.

“The parallels to us are pretty clear,” Hawa said. “This is not the end for us. [It’s] just the end of our current chapter and now we’re ready to start a new life out in the world with the proverbial million dollar check that was promised to us four years ago finally in our hands.”

Hawa was one of 281 to graduate from John L. Miller Great Neck North High School on Tuesday, in a ceremony that celebrated the memories of the class while looking forward to the future.

Students also took the opportunity to honor William Shine, the former school superintendent for whom Great Neck South High School is named, before he recognized valedictorian Hawa and salutatorian Joshua Rothbaum.

“This is a great honor to be among those to witness this graduation and all of the accomplishments of this class of this school district,” Shine said.

Among the speakers were Noah Hakim, the senior class president, Dan Holtzman, the principal of North High School, Superintendent of Schools Teresa Prendergast, Deborah Malekan, Lucien Wostenholme and class advisor Christine McCarthy.

Assistant Principal Ronald Levine presented the Alan L. Gleitsman Award, which recognizes academic excellence, involvement in student activities, and a dedication to the school and well-being of colleagues, to Hawa.

Assistant Principal Patricia Hugo presented the Taney Memorial Award, which recognizes a combination of qualities that Genelle B. Taney exemplified like “unsurpassed love of knowledge, a dedication to the arts, a passion for athletics, and an endless commitment to the betterment of her school and fellow classmates,” to Wostenholme.

Director Pamela Levy also led Great Neck North’s senior singers in performing “We Are the World” and conductor Joseph Rutkowski led the Great Neck North Symphony Orchestra.

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