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From High School To Higher Learning

Massapequa HS graduates leave for

college with top honors

Two of Massapequa’s best and brightest neatly closed out their high school careers with whip-smart precision, nabbing top honors in the class of 2013.

Melanie Sheehan and Nicole Heneveld, members of Massapequa High School’s graduating class, received the admiration of faculty and fellow students this month, bringing home valedictorian and salutatorian honors, respectively.

A lover of sitcoms with dreams of writing and producing, Sheehan took her high school career very seriously. The soon-to-be Fordham University freshman was captain of the swimming and diving teams and a finalist in the National Merit Scholarship program, placing her among the top 1 percent of students in the nation.

She was also copyeditor of the school newspaper, The Chief, played bass clarinet in marching band, and is currently working toward her gold award, the highest honor in the Girl Scouts of the United States of America. She is an advanced placement scholar and member of National Honor Society.

“I’m very goal oriented and I do everything I can to reach my goals,” she said, admitting that her drive sometimes diverted her from enjoying the moment. “If I could go back in time, I would remind myself to step out of my daily life and enjoy it rather than get so caught up in the chaos of schoolwork.”

She plans on studying English and Communication and Media Studies at Fordham.

“I believe I will attain my goals at Fordham because the school puts such a strong emphasis on social mindedness,” she said.

But Massapequa will never be far from Sheehan’s mind as she bestows advice to her underclassmen.

“I think it’s really important to know what your priorities are and to dedicate yourself to your priorities, whatever they may be,” she said. “I made school a priority in my life, which is a large part of why I have succeeded academically.”

For salutatorian the high school selected Nicole Heneveld, a familiar face to students who attended any drama performances in the last four years. Heneveld took on many lead roles in an array of fall and spring productions, and now she takes on Adelphi University’s Honors College with aspirations to one day become a published author or a voice actress for animated films.

“I love to write fiction and poetry, particularly spoken word poetry,” she said. “When someone connects with a poem or story I have written, I feel a sense of great accomplishment.”

But her achievements are not limited to writing; Heneveld co-founded and presided over the high school’s International Thespian Society troupe and sang with select choir ensembles. She also found time to work as editor-in-chief of Visions: Art and Literary Magazine.

Heneveld said she drew inspiration from numerous sources throughout her high school career, including her grandfather and numerous teachers.  As for the school she leaves behind, Heneveld said the next generation of graduates should always be open to new experiences and to never fear failure.

“Take advantage of all the opportunities offered at Massapequa High School. Join a club, try out for a sports team, audition for the musical, write poetry — do anything and everything you love — and find people who have the same interests and passions,” she said. “You may find that you are not alone in your passion if you just step out of your comfort zone and try.”

News

Two hundred business students from high schools across Nassau County, including Massapequa High School, competed for scholarships and cash awards—more than $33,000 in all—from various sponsors at Nassau County’s annual Comptroller’s Entrepreneurial Challenge.

The events on Sept. 11, 2001 had a profound effect on nearly all in the tri-state area, but for first responders, the effects were overwhelming. Long-time Massapequa resident Michael Smith, a member of the New York Fire Department, experienced those effects firsthand.

“While I’ve always been a person that could appreciate life, after 9/11 I became so distraught,” he said. “I realized I need to do something I want to do — something I love to do.”

A 30-year veteran of the fire department, Smith retired in 2002. He and his wife of 33 years, Teresa, began to look for a place they could enjoy life. This mindset brought them to the East End of Long Island, where they often went for day trips. They settled down in a home in Orient Point in 2004; in a home that needed quite a bit of work. And when it was time to landscape the property, a new idea took root — a vineyard.


Sports

Massapequa athletes recently received honors from their coaches at Kellenberg Memorial High School.

Each season, the coaches of all of the Kellenberg teams choose one member of their team who stands out as an athlete that has worked hard to improve themselves in their chosen sport.

The Farmingdale State women’s lacrosse team won the first game of their Spring Break trip to North Carolina with a victory over Greensboro College. In wet and muddy conditions, the Rams (8-1) held an 8-5 lead at the half and took the eventual 13-10 win.

In the first half and tied 2-2, the Pride (7-5) pulled ahead 4-2 with two unassisted goals by junior attack Nadya Fedun. Farmingdale State answered with four straight scores for a 6-4 advantage, on goals by juniors Alyssa Handel, Nicole Marzocca and Massapequan Jackie Kennedy.

Sophomore attack Ashlynn Parks put Greensboro within a goal at the 7:03 mark, but the Rams scored two more to lead 8-5 at the halftime break.

Calendar

Free Wine Tasting

Friday, April 18

Boating Course

Saturday, April 26

Massapequa Memories

Tuesday, April 29



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com