Mineola Union Free School District is proud to congratulate Ria Thomas and Lucas Berescheim, valedictorian and salutatorian from Mineola High School Class of 2024.
In addition to being named valedictorian, Ria has proven herself to be a leader and tireless advocate for public service at Mineola High School. As co-president of the Student Service Center, she has been instrumental in the development and execution of fundraisers and events and has dedicated her time to helping those in need, including making meals for families at Ronald McDonald House. Her volunteer service has been recognized by the South Asian American Women’s Alliance (SAWAA) who honored her with the Presidential Volunteer Service Award. Ria is also an active member of the Science Club, Science Bowl, Environmental Club and Key Club, where she serves as president. She is a member of the National Honor Society and National Science Honor Society and has excelled in science research competitions, winning Best Project award at the Long Island Youth Summit in 2022 for her research on segregation in Long Island communities and its impact on education. With her focus on career in medicine, Ria is getting experience as a junior volunteer at NYU Langone Hospital and North Shore University Hospital, where she has logged over 200 hours of service and through a shadow program with a local internist. Ria is applying to combined BS/MD programs to become a medical doctor.
Lucas’ road to salutatorian has included a variety of achievements including receiving the AP Capstone Diploma and NYS Seal of Civic Biliteracy and being named AP Scholar with Distinction in 2022 and 2023. He is a member of the National Honor Society, Science National Honor Society and Computer Science Honor Society and has attended DNA Science and Genome Science camps at the DNA Learning Center at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Lucas plays trumpet for the concert and jazz bands and is a member of the Tri-M Music Honor Society where he has served as secretary. He is also a member of the high school varsity track team. Lucas is passionate about volunteer work, serving as secretary of the Student Service Center and dedicating time to community initiatives, including “Computeers,” which pairs senior citizens with students who help them understand new technology including phones, laptops and tablets. After graduation, Lucas is planning to study biomedical engineering.
Valedictorian is the academic title conferred upon the highest ranked student in each graduating class based upon grade point average. Salutatorian is the student with the second highest ranking in the class.