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Hats Off to the Glorious Graduates of 2009: Herricks High School

Darren Huang – Valedictorian

Darren earned the honor of semifinalist in the prestigious Siemens Competition with his research centered on creating biosensors to help diagnose Alzheimer’s disease and identify Pathogenic Bacteria. Darren garnered first place at the History Day Regional Competition in the Senior Website Division for his site focused on McCarthyism and Japanese Internment. He also earned first place honors in Engineering at the Intel New Jersey State Science Fair. Darren is an All-County violin player and member of the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra and

Neil Patel – Valedictorian

Neil has conducted research at the Eye Institute at The Columbia Medical Center, The Garcia Center for Polymers at Engineered Interfaces (SUNY Stony Brook), and The Foreign Policy Institute at New York University. At the prestigious Rohm Haas Invitational Science Fair, Neil earned second and third place. Neil contributed as a three time first place competitor at DECA Regional, DECA States Top Ten, and a DECA States First Place winner. Neil claimed two gold medals and one silver medal from the Long Island Math Fair. In Student Government, Neil held positions of Senator of Class Government, Team leader for Keep the Drive, Student Representative to the Board of Education, and is currently Treasurer of Executive Board. Neil has progressed from Writer and News Page Editor, to Editor in Chief of the school newspaper, Highlander. Neil is active in Mathletes, Historical Research Club, Quiz Bowl, is a general chair for the World Affairs Club, as well as President of Honor Society. Recently, Neil was an Intel Science Talent Search Semifinalist and a National Merit Commended Scholar. Neil will be attending Harvard University in the Fall.

Rosina Pzena – Salutatorian

In the sports world, a “sleeper” is defined as a team that flies under the radar; quietly rising to the top when everyone else seems to be paying attention to the favorites. While Rosina Pzena has always been a favorite at Herricks, over the past four years she has quietly risen to the very top of a very challenging cohort using an old-fashioned combination of hard work and a positive attitude to get her there. To know Rosina is to love her, and the staff and students at Herricks High School could not be prouder of this years’ salutatorian. Rosina will be attending The Macaulay Honors College through CUNY Queens College this fall. Herricks wishes the best of luck to Rosina in all of her future endeavors.

Sanchita Singal - -Salutatorian

Sanchita is a multitalented and multifaceted young woman who rises to the top in any endeavor that she undertakes. This year she was designated a National Merit Semi-Finalist, Finalist, and National Merit Scholarship Recipient. Her science research earned her a position as a Regional Finalist in the prestigious 2008 Siemens Math, Science, and Technology Competition. In 2007, she garnered Regional Finalist and National Semi-Finalist status in the competition. Sanchita’s work captured international acclaim in the Taiwan International Science Fair and the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. She was one of only two students chosen to represent the United States at the Hong Kong Junior School Science Exhibition. Sanchita’s social studies research for National History Day has won regional and State titles for the past three years. She has won multiple gold medals at the Al Kalfus Math Fair for her research in math. Sanchita is civic-minded and a leader among her peers. She is a four-year member of the Student Government, and has been elected treasurer and public relations officer for Grade 12. She served as a student representative on the Herricks Board of Education as well as the Herricks Curriculum Council. Sanchita played a tremendous role in the All State “Keep the Drive” campaign, in which Herricks received $10,000 for demonstrating excellence in its efforts to promote safe driving among teenagers. Sanchita was chosen to represent Herricks at the exclusive Hugh O’Brien Leadership Conference. She is currently the secretary for the National Honor Society, and she has been a lead editor for the Herricks Highlander newspaper for the past three years. Sanchita is a talented violinist who readily gained induction into the Tri-M Music Honor Society. She studies dance privately, and she wowed the audience with her Bollywood style performance at the annual Dance Theater Club Show. Sanchita is fluent in five languages and an active contributor to the Spanish National Honor Society. All of this only brushes on the full collection of Sanchita’s accomplishments. She most certainly has great things ahead in her future. We wish her the best of luck studying in the PLME Program at Brown University. Congratulations Sanchita!