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Plainview High School Names Top Grad Honors

The Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District recently bestowed top awards on two of its seniors, with Reva Butensky named valedictorian and Nicolette Almer receiving salutatorian honors in John F. Kennedy High School’s class of 2014.

“Reva’s success has been driven by her determination and continuous desire to learn in and out of the classroom,” said Dr. Lorna Lewis, Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District Superintendent of Schools. “Reva has accomplished a tremendous amount in her four years at the John F. Kennedy High School and we are confident that she will succeed in her future endeavors.”

Butensky enrolled in a variety of college-level courses as she studied in 12 advanced placement classes, and excelled as an AP scholar with Distinction. Butensky was also awarded with a National Merit Commendation and received the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) Medal for mathematics and science excellence. Additionally, soon-to-be graduate devoted her time to conduct independent science research at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, New York University and participated in the High School Honors Science Program at Michigan State University. She was also named as a semifinalist in the 2014 Intel Science Talent Search.

In addition to her academic achievements, Butensky excelled outside the classroom. She was vice president of the school’s Student Government Executive Board, varsity captain of the Quiz Bowl Team, president of the JFK National Honor Society Chapter, and managing editor of the Hawk Eye school newspaper. She also was a member of the Robotics and Engineering Club, Science Honor Society, Mathletes, and Drastic Measures a cappella group since her freshman year. She additionally excelled on the field as a teammate on the varsity kickline, track & field and junior varsity cheerleading teams. Butensky also received Gold Awards in the National Spanish Exam, and was a member of the Spanish Honor Society

She plans to study chemical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the fall.

Meanwhile, the district also announced that Nicolette Almer has been named salutatorian of John F. Kennedy High School’s Class of 2014.

“We are very proud of Nicolette’s exceptional achievements,” said Dr. Lorna Lewis, Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District Superintendent of Schools. “Nicolete is a well-rounded student and we are honored to have such a dedicated student who is also a leader in the community.”

Almer enrolled in a variety of college-level courses, including ten advanced placement classes. She was named as a National Merit Commended Scholar and a recipient of the American Chemical Society for Outstanding Achievement in High School Chemistry. Almer conducted research at the prestigious Biotechnology and Garcia Materials Research Science and Engineering Programs during the summers of 2011, 2012 and 2013. She was also named as a semifinalist in the 2012 Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology.

Almer holds various leadership roles at JFK High School. She is secretary-general of the school’s Model United Nations (MetMUNC) organization, president of the Science Olympiads, drum major in the school’s marching band, public relations secretary of the Peer Mentors Club, and public relations secretary of JFK’s Science Honor Society chapter. In addition, she is a flautist in the All-County band and a member of the National Tri-M Music Honor Society, secretary of the school’s Band Officers Club and a member of the Spanish Honor Society.

Almer plans to major in chemistry at University of Pennsylvania in the fall, and aspires to pursue a career in dentistry.

News

Plainview resident Gail Wurtzel will be leading her team, Memories of Miriam, in the Walk to Defeat ALS at Eisenhower Park later this month.

 

Wurtzel’s Mother, Miriam Hanania, also a Plainview resident, succumbed to the disease two years ago after a long struggle. The disease forced her to go from an active, vibrant person to being wheelchair-bound and dependent on others for her care. 

 

ALS or Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

While everyone is subject to the trials and tribulations that life offers on a day-to-day basis, some people can use just a little bit of extra help. Luckily, there’s help with a proven track record out there for those who need it. 

 

Joe Russo of Old Bethpage heads up the Recovery International meetings held weekly at the Plainview-Old Bethpage Public Library. These meetings extol the virtues of the self-help techniques developed by the late Dr. Abraham Low, M.D., associate professor of psychiatry as the University of Illinois Medical School.  


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