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Living Up To Mantra

High achievers kick off third budget review

In the power point presentation for the Garden Public Schools third budget review meeting, the district’s mission statement is defined as “Inspiring minds, empowering achievement and building community.” Buttressing this notion was a trio of student groups, both academic and athletic, recognized for their extraordinary achievements.

First up were valedictorian Shannon Carman and salutatorian Jacquelyn Seskin. Carman’s impressive GPA of 101.16 accrued over seven semesters was just one of her many achievements. She has numerous accomplishments including being named a National Merit Scholarship Commended Student, an Advanced Placement (AP) Scholar with Honor, placing above the 95th percentile in the National Spanish Exam and being co-captain of the varsity badminton team for the past two years. Seskin is no slouch either as evidenced by the 100.98 seven-semester GPA she wound up with. Other noteworthy parts of her high school transcript include being a National Merit Scholarship Finalist, an AP Scholar with Honor, a winner of the Stonehill College Book Award for Excellence and Commitment to School and Community. Seskin is also the varsity volleyball captain, having received the Nassau County Volleyball Coaches’ Association Scholar Athlete award in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

The science department also scored high this year with three ninth-graders,  Yianni Flouskakos, Riley Nolan and Brian Wolf, earning honorable mention in the 2013 Toshiba ExploraVision competition. Their entry, a mini bio-bot, creates a hydragel using a 3D printer and then coating it with various cells to perform specific functions. Among its potential uses are detecting performance-enhancing drugs in athletes, the creation of prosthetic organs and possible stem cell regeneration.

Continuing the winning ways of their peers in football, the Garden City High School swim team was also recognized for this season’s achievements. Not only did the swim team win the Nassau County Championship, but four school records were set and six swimmers qualified for the state championship: Matthew Finnegan, Daniel Finnegan, Joseph Lozano, Delaney Hall, Connor Brown and Frank Caponegro with Lozano also winning the Most Valuable Swimmer award. With a proposed budget of $107,542,716, an increase of $3,327,188 or 3.19 percent over what was spent in the 2012-2013 school year, expectations continue to be high for the district going forward. No major changes have been proposed.