Great Neck North and South graduates take home awards

The Island Now
Eight students from Great Neck North and Great Neck South were award recipients. (Photos courtesy of Great Neck Public Schools)
Eight students from Great Neck North and Great Neck South were award recipients. (Photos courtesy of Great Neck Public Schools)

The Class of 2018 valedictorians and salutatorians for John L. Miller-Great Neck North High School and William A. Shine-Great Neck South High School are Amy Shteyman and Natasha Dilamani and Kimberly Lu and Weiting Hong, respectively.

Other significant graduation awards include the annual Barstow and Scott Moss, and four new awards: Papa Giorgio Visionary Scholarship, Linda Musmeci Scholarship, Class of 2017 Bernard Kaplan Scholarship Award, and Joan Casazzone Memorial Award. A look at these awards, and their recipients, follows.

Barstow Awards

The coveted Frederic Duclos Barstow Award was established in 1962 by Françoise and William Barstow in memory of their only son who died of pneumonia at age 35. The Barstows were prominent Great Neck residents after whom Barstow Road is named. The Barstow Award is given annually to two students at each high school. Recipients of must be in the top 10 percent of their class and be “outstanding in leadership, citizenship, scholarship, and service.” Each recipient receives a monetary prize.

North High School’s valedictorian and salutatorian are traditionally their school’s Barstow Award winners. They are valedictorian Amy Shteyman and salutatorian Natasha Dilamani; both were featured previously. South High’s Barstow Award winners are Weiting Hong and Lauren Perlman.

Lauren Perlman was a co-president of the Midnight Run Club and participated in several service activities through the school’s Facing History interdisciplinary program. She was also a photographer for the school yearbook and was named a finalist in the Zirinsky Award photo contest. She played soccer at school and on the Roaring Tigers Soccer Club. Lauren will attend the University of Georgia.

Weiting Hong

Scott Moss Memorial Award

The Scott Moss Award was established in 1977, in memory of Scott, who was an outstanding South High student until his death from cancer. The Award is given to the graduating senior who exemplifies the “service, concern, interest, and ability of Scott Moss.” The recipient of the Scott D. Moss Memorial Award, given at South High School, is Weiting Hong.

Papa Giorgio Visionary Award

Shengxi “Simon” He

The Papa Giorgio Visionary Award, a new award at South High School this year, was established by the family of George York to be presented to a student who excels over four years in the visual arts and whose efforts at South High reflect creativity and drive, as exemplified the by life and work of George York. The first recipient of the Papa Giorgio Visionary Scholarship is Shengxi “Simon” He.

He was president of the Photo Club at South High and utilized his skills as a photographer for school activities, including sporting events, theatre productions, and building-wide events. During his high school career, Simon participated in varsity swimming, varsity golf, varsity and junior varsity badminton, and junior varsity tennis. His service activities included helping high school and middle school students with their homework. Simon will attend the University at Buffalo.

Linda Musmeci Scholarship

Leah Fried

The Linda Musmeci Scholarship, also a new award at South High, is given to a senior who has persevered and is involved in community service. The recipient of this award is Leah Fried.

Fried was an active participant in the AWARE (All Ways are Really Exceptional) Club and Midnight Run. She was a member of the varsity swim team and the Theatre South stage crew for all four years. Danielle tutored elementary students at the Great Neck Library and volunteered at a soup kitchen in New York City. She will attend the State University of New York at Geneseo.

Class of 2017 Bernard Kaplan Scholarship

Kevin Li

The North High School Class of 2017 established the Bernard Kaplan Scholarship in honor of the school’s former principal, Bernard Kaplan. The scholarship is awarded to a graduate who exhibits the utmost kindness and demonstrates compassion towards others. The recipient must have worked toward making North High a safe, accepting, and kind place. The recipient of this award is Kevin Li.

Li was the founder and president of the North High Table Tennis Club, and president of the Asian Culture Awareness Club. He served as an editor for the award-winning school newspaper, Guide Post. Li was also a member of the Piano Club, Neuroscience Club, Chess Team, and the varsity baseball team. Kevin will attend Northeastern University.

Joan Casazzone Memorial Award

Meital Agagi

The Joan Casazzone Memorial Award was established by Mark Shirian, Esq., in memory of Joan Casazzone. This scholarship is awarded to a student athlete who exhibits improvement in mathematics and athletics over a four-year period, while showing compassion and kindness towards his/her peers, teachers, and coaches. The recipient of this award is Meital H. Agagi.

Agagi was a four-year member of the varsity field hockey team, and she served as team captain during her senior year. She also played lacrosse for four years—two years on junior varsity, and two on varsity. Agagi was president of the Key Club, president of the SAVE Environmental Club, and a member of the Neuroscience Club. She participated in several community service activities with Special Olympics and through the Key Club. Meital will attend Tufts University.

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