John Bifolco, principal of MacArthur High School is proud to announce the Valedictorian and Salutatorian of the Class of 2009.
Matthew Chu Cheong, with an average of 101.67, is the class Valedictorian. His academic record is replete with accomplishments that reflect his outstanding skill in science, math and art. An Intel Talent Search Semifinalist, Matthew captured the coveted honor for his science research submission that examines the unique feeding behavior of rainbow trout. Matthew was also selected to present his research at the 2008 and 2009 prestigious LI Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. He is a National Merit Finalist, an AP Scholar, a four-year Renaissance cardholder, and a Peer Leader.
Many academic and creative honors have been bestowed upon Matthew during his high school career: He has been recognized for merit at several LI Science Congresses, was accepted into the Adelphi University Science Symposium, received Honorable Mention at the Nassau Community College Science Fair, was a school-wide high scorer in the American Mathematics Competition, a LEADD Contest winner for visual arts, a PTSA Reflections Contest winner and an All-County Art honoree.
Matthew's extracurricular activities compliment his academic achievements. He is the treasurer of the National Honor Society, the president of the Math Honor Society, the captain of the Ocean, Science, and Quiz Bowls, and the co-captain of the Chess Team. He is a member of the World Language Honor Society, the International, Key and Art Clubs, as well as Model Congress, Amnesty International, Mathletes, and the Physics Olympiads. Matthew volunteers at the Levittown After-School Program and for the Church Beautification Works. To complete his impressive resume, Matthew is a varsity volleyball player.
Matthew has yet to decide on post-secondary plans, but counts the University of Maryland and USC among his schools of choice. He presently plans to study engineering, but admits that his options are still being evaluated. A very humble young man, Matthew attributes part of his success to his calm demeanor and good fortune. "Effort is paramount, but I try not to pressure myself. I'm glad of this accomplishment, but I know that no matter what the rank, I have done my best."
Eunice Baek, with an average of 100.20, is the Salutatorian of the Class of 2009. In addition to having achieved the second highest GPA in her class, she too, was named a National Merit Scholarship Finalist this year.
An AP Scholar with Distinction, Eunice is a four-year Renaissance cardholder, has been on the Principal's Honor Roll all four years of high school, and is a Peer Leader. She is a member of the National, Tri-M Music and International Thespian Honor Societies. She has been a silver medalist in the LI Al-Kalfus Math Fair, a school-wide winner of the American Math Competition, and the MacArthur representative to the SUNY Old Westbury Math Competition.
Eunice is the vice president of Amnesty International, a member of the Debate, Key, Drama and International Clubs, and Club Illuminate. She competes with the Senior Mathletes, on the Quiz Bowl team and in the Science Olympiads.
Academic and extra-curricular interests draw Eunice to music. She is a NYSSMA voice and piano soloist, and honored MacArthur this year by her achievement of the vocal triumvirate: All-County, All-State, and All-Eastern Performance Conferences. Eunice sings alto for the High School Choir, and has been prominently featured in the annual musical theatre productions.
Eunice devotes hours of community service to church programs, and mentors elementary school children through the Harlem Explorers and the Levittown After-School Program.
"I'm really honored to be the Salutatorian," exclaimed Eunice. "My parents are proud of me." Her philosophy reflects a profound understanding of education: "If you like learning, and I do, you will probably do well." Eunice plans to study psychology at a university next year, although she is still in the decision-making stages.
Matthew and Eunice are members of MacArthur's Long Island Challenge Team, which has successfully entered the third round of this year's News 12 competition. With both of these outstanding students on our side, we are fortunate indeed.