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Congratulations to the Class of 2020 Valedictorians and Salutatorians!

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The following information was provided by each students’ guidance counselor about their remarkable accomplishments.

Calhoun Valedictorian Marc Edayadi

The terms ambitious, passionate and dedicated take on a new meeting when you meet Marc Edayadi. As valedictorian for the class of 2020, Marc is a young man with exceptional focus, direction and determination.

With 10 AP classes under his belt, Marc’s academic path shows a passion for History, a commitment to Science Research and a love for Music.

What sets Marc apart from his peers is his interest in politics. If someone is going to be a future President of the United States, it is going to be Marc. As a four-year member of Model Congress, he was selected as VP of the Yale Model Congress. He is an Officer in Model UN. He volunteers for several political campaigns and was an intern for the re-election campaign of State Senator John Brooks this past election cycle. He is a self-proclaimed editorial junkie and will involve himself in any cause he feels he can make a difference with. As an Indian American, Marc is going to be a pioneer with his political aspirations.

Marc’s resume is diverse and impressive. He is an athlete, playing on the Varsity Badminton Team. He is a musician and plays both the Trombone and Baritone. He is a member of Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band and Orchestra, as well as the All County Jazz Band. He is also an altar-assistant at his church, and mentors the younger children in his parish. During the summers, he enjoys traveling with his family, and has been to India, London, Paris, Iceland, Singapore, Turkey, Italy and Malaysia. He loves learning about new cultures and regions.

He will be attending Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations this fall, studying government and economic policy.

Calhoun Salutatorian Adam Gokcan

Adam Gokcan, the salutatorian for the class of 2020 is exceptional in every sense of the word. With perfect scores in all Advanced Placement courses during his junior year, as well as a perfect ACT score of 36, Adam has wowed teachers in every corner of the building. He has a natural ability to remain calm under pressure and stay “within himself.” He is genuinely kind and humble, even given all his astonishing achievements.

Outside of his academic prowess, Adam is an exceptional musician. He has been a member of the New York All State Symphonic Orchestra and Band playing 1st Bassoon and Baritone Saxophone. He has been a member of the Nassau-Suffolk Wind Symphony for the last three years and trained alongside members of the New York Philharmonic. His talent and leadership qualities have led him to being selected as the President of the Calhoun concert band. He is also an active member of the Calhoun Math and Calhoun Science clubs, participating in meetings and competitions regularly.

Adam’s resume also includes becoming a Silver medalist in the 2018 National Spanish exam.

Adam will be attending the Georgia Institute of Technology in the fall.

Kennedy Valedictorian Katherine St George

Katherine St George, the class valedictorian, continues to impress peers and faculty at every turn. It would be hard to imagine a more focused, inquisitive, open-minded and intrinsically motivated individual. Katherine is inspired by perspective shaping learning opportunities, pervasively integrated as a leader in the total school program and uniquely composed and caring.

Katherine excels in her pursuit of the most rigorous academic program our district has to offer. Katherine has even identified and embraced higher level course work at local colleges in pursuit of additional relevant learning opportunities. She has fully immersed herself in her research and has made meaningful interpersonal connections in a wide variety of settings. Katherine’s culminating Advanced Science Research project, The Ketogenic Diet Ameliorates The Effect of Caffeine in Seizure Susceptible Drosophila melanogaster, has produced both public recognition and her heightened appreciation for the research process as a whole.

Behind Katherine’s recognition as class valedictorian and Regeneron Science Talent Search Finalist lies an impeccably principled young woman. Heartfelt values endear her to many and allow Katherine to lead effectively as President of our Gay-Straight Alliance, President of our Helping Our Planet Earth (HOPE) Environmental Club, and Co-President of our Tutors for a Cure Program. Katherine remains intent on ultimately using her future course of study to help positively impact others’ quality of life. She will enroll at Columbia University this fall, where she will major in Biochemistry.

Kennedy Salutatorian Madeline Jutsen

Madeline Jutsen Brilliant, self-motivated, and conscientious, Madeline Jutsen is the rare student who can sift through the details to see the “big picture.”

On top of her beyond-exemplary grades and scores, Madeline is an analytical reader, a thoughtful writer, and a critical thinker. Inside and outside of the classroom, she explores and takes advantage of every intellectual opportunity that comes her way. Madeline’s curiosity and interest in history has opened her up to the world of international relations and politics, and she approaches these acquired passions with verve. She truly lives to make the world a better place.

Madeline’s love for international politics has led to become a passionate and active member of a prestigious journalism program called “Write on for Israel.” Through the lens of journalism, Madeline has become a spokesperson and leader in preparation for a better world. In this group, she meets with reporters, politicians, lobbyists, and world leaders to better understand the Middle East in a geopolitical context.

She applies what she learns here to all walks of her life, as she has become more worldly, empathetic, and self-assured.

Beyond the pursuit of her lofty goals, Madeline is a terrific person and a helper. She encourages and motivates students as a peer tutor. She runs track and helps young athletes with special needs. She is kindhearted, enthusiastic, and always looking to make a difference in the world around her. Madeline will be attending Muhlenberg University.

Mepham Valedictorian Alyssa Dioguardi

Alyssa Dioguardi has earned the distinct honor of being named the Valedictorian of the Class of 2020. Every now and then a student comes along who truly amazes those around them with their paramount intelligence, unique determination and genuine love of learning. Alyssa Dioguardi is absolutely one of those students. However, what we will remember most about Alyssa’s time at Mepham is her compassion for others, easy-to-approach demeanor, humility and willingness to go out of her way for those in need. Alyssa is a self-directed student who is talented across the academic spectrum. She has consistently packed her schedule with all honors, advanced and Advanced Placement courses, and her program demonstrates the height of rigor that our school district has to offer.

Although Alyssa excels in a multitude of areas, her passion lies in the sciences. She is an integral part of our Advanced Science Research program, through which she has conducted a psychological study on how clothing choices can alter perception. Her tireless efforts and dedication to collecting and analyzing data culminated with her entry into the prestigious Regeneron competition this year.

Though her work has been recognized with accolades from Bausch and Lomb, and by St John’s University’s Women in Science; Alyssa’s motivation is always her genuine curiosity and she is never in pursuit of reward. Most recently, her work was published in the "Journal of Dawning Research, a publication sponsored by the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine". She is an active member of seven honor societies; serving as the Co-President of the National Spanish Honor Society and Co-President of the History Honor Society. Alyssa has a hand in many of the extracurricular activities that take place at Mepham High School. Most students would find it impossible to manage Alyssa’s leadership responsibilities, club and music commitments, and community involvement without spreading themselves too thin. However, Alyssa carries herself with poise and dignity, pouring her whole heart into everything she does. Musically, she is the first violinist in our school Concert Orchestra, serving as both the Treasurer and Secretary in her senior year. She is a self-taught guitarist, pianist and vocalist, who has displayed her talents at our annual
Open Mic Night and in productions at local theaters.

When a student representative was needed for our monthly site-based meetings, Alyssa was an obvious choice. On a committee comprised of administrators, teachers and parents, Alyssa is instrumental in working collaboratively to make important decisions. She is articulate, mature, and always open-minded to the ideas of others.
Her communication skills are exceptional and beyond her years, as she has presented to middle school students on the dangers of vaping and proposed a mindfulness-based meditation solution at Feinstein Institute’s Medical Marvels competition. It is clear that Alyssa derives much of her own happiness from improving the lives of those around her. She has organized food packages for those in need and has volunteered at seasonal beach cleanups through Operation Splash. Whether walking at annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walks or volunteering at Camp Good Mourning events; Alyssa gives 100 percent to all that she undertakes.

Alyssa's plans for next year are unknown at this time.

Mepham Salutatorian Spencer Mattes

Spencer is one of those students who will long be remembered at Mepham High School. He is a kind, sweet, academically talented, intrinsically motivated and a thoughtful humanitarian. From the moment Spencer entered the ninth grade, his academic plan was embedded in his brain and he had an outlined plan for the current school year and for the three years to come. Spencer displayed confidence and was excited about his academic opportunities and the exciting adventure within the classrooms of Mepham.

Spencer is truly an outstanding student whose efforts have designated him as the graduating class’ salutatorian. His remarkable transcript speaks for itself, especially the fact that each year he achieved perfection (100-105 percent) in all of his coursework which consisted of all Advanced Placement, Honors and College level classes. Additionally, Spencer earned scores of five (5) on all AP exams taken to date and he will graduate as an AP Scholar with Distinction. It must be noted that he accomplished this with his incredible work ethic but also by balancing it with a healthy social life, school, and community activities. He is not the guy who just concentrates on schoolwork; rather, he continues to thrive on the ideology of being a “life-long learner.” He always looks to gain a deeper understanding of the material he is learning. Spencer is, by far, one of the most loved and well-respected students across the faculty and student body.

Spencer is a natural leader and has served as the president of the school Chess Club and is a member of numerous Honor Societies in our school. Additionally, he is a key member of our Math Team and is one of the most sought-after Peer Tutors. Spencer serves a role as a technician and news producer in the Broadcasting Program, where Spencer orchestrates many of the club’s productions throughout the school year.

Spencer is a realistic, intelligent, inquisitive and dedicated young man who is fully prepared to take on the academic rigors of the most challenging of academic arenas. He is a goal setter who seeks to achieve his goals with a plan. When Spencer was in the ninth grade, his goal was to be at the top of his graduating class. Today, Spencer has accomplished his mission! Spencer will attend the Scholars Program at Binghamton University in the fall majoring in Physics.

MAP Valedictorian Laszlo Goch

Laszlo Goch is the Valedictorian for the Meadowbrook Alternative Program’s class of 2020. A dedicated student, Laszlo loves to learn and has a special affinity for mathematics.

His advanced placement classes include AP World History, AP Psychology, AP Art History, and AP Calculus AB; he has excelled in them all. Laszlo is very involved in Community Service. He is the treasurer for Key Club and has helped to raise funds for Hurricane Relief, the CHSD Community Cupboard, and Australian Wildfire Relief. Laszlo served as a Student Ambassador representing MAP at various district meetings.

He has been active in the MLK Days of Service and the Sandy Hook Project, helping MAP achieve Gold Star status as a No Place for Hate School.
Additionally, he is a devoted member of the Gay Straight Alliance. An active and vocal proponent of Autism awareness and education, Laszlo has been a guest presenter to his fellow students and helped raise funds for Rocco’s Voice for Autism Awareness. This past fall, he spent a weekend at NYIT participating in a Hack-a-Thon and while at MAP, he devotes free time to developing programs for the school’s 3D printer.

Laszlo will pursue Computer Science in the Honors Program at Adelphi University in the fall.

MAP Salutatorian Mariana Mora

Mariana Mora is the Salutatorian for the class of 2020 from the Meadowbrook Alternative Program. While at MAP, Mariana has devoted herself to rigorous course work and has excelled in AP Art History and AP Psychology.

Her quiet and demur presence aside, Mariana is a strong-willed proponent of Community Service. As the Key Club president, she was honored at the annual Kiwanis Student Recognition Night in mid-May for her devotion to serving the community.

She has been an enthusiastic volunteer at the annual Senior Harvest Ball, dedicates fundraising efforts and hours of her time to the Community Cupboard, actively supports the district MLK Days of Service, has helped to coordinate projects for the Sandy Hook Promise, and served as the Meadowbrook Alternative Program’s Board of Education representative for the 2019-20 school year. Her dedication to community service projects has helped MAP achieve gold star status as a No Place for Hate school.

Outside of school, Marina is an active and passionate volunteer at Tackapausha Nature Preserve in Seaford and enjoys dance class. She has been accepted to the Nursing Program at Nassau Community College and will begin classes in the fall.

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