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It Happened Here

Natalie Portman, Syosset High School, Class of ’99

Actress Natalie Portman, born Natalie Hershlag, was born in Jerusalem, Israel but she grew up in Jericho and graduated from Syosset High School. The quotes next to her class of ’99 yearbook picture are lyrics from a Bjork song: “If travel is searching and home what’s been found I’m not stopping I’m going hunting” and Holly Golightly’s line from Breakfast at Tiffany’s: “I’m going and that’s all there is to it.”

Portman’s first major acting role was in The Professional and found success in the Star Wars prequel trilogy as Padme Amidala. She missed the premiere of her film Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace to study for her high school finals.

Portman’s 1998 high school paper, “A Simple Method to Demonstrate the Enzymatic Production of Hydrogen from Sugar,” was entered in the Intel Science Talent Search. Portman always excelled in the sciences. Before high school, she learned to speak Hebrew and attended the Solomon Schechter Day School in Glen Cove. She later attended the Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts in Wheatley Heights.

In the midst of her on-screen success, Portman enrolled at Harvard University after graduating from Syosset High School and earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology. She went on to win two Golden Globe Awards, one for her starring role in the psychological thriller Black Swan. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 2011.

Portman, who lived in Jericho for nine years, maintains both American and Israeli citizenship, but can now be seen roaming the streets of Paris, where she now resides with her ballet dancer fiancé Benjamin Millepied, whom she met while filming Black Swan, and their son, Aleph.

—J. Gallucci

 

News

Eight students from Jericho High School, the largest number of students from any school on Long Island this year, are among the 300 semifinalists picked from 1,800 entrants nationally and overseas in the annual Intel Science Talent Search.

Brookville’s Green Vale School students were featured in the September/October 2013 issue of Sport Rocketry, the official journal of the National Association of Rocketry.

The seventh-grade students competed nationally at the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) last May in Virginia and were the youngest rocket scientists competing. They were also the only team from Long Island that qualified to enter the competition and one of only two teams from New York State.


Sports

The Syosset Braves 11-year-old football team recently won the Superbowl Championship Game against the Rosedale Jets with a final score of 13 to 0.

The Farrell & Schmidt Ho Ho Ho 5-Kilometer Run started and finished at the John F. Kennedy Middle School in Bethpage on Dec. 21. The top local finisher was Tim Mahony of Syosset, who scored in 11th place overall and third in the 15 to 19 age group.

Other locals winning awards in this year’s Ho Ho Ho Run were Gina Ferraro of Syosset (2nd woman, 35-39 age group), Patty Santella of Syosset (3rd woman, 45-49 age group), Kim Solomine of Syosset (2nd woman, 55-59 age group).


Calendar

Jericho Wheelchair Basketball

January 17

Reality Check on America’s Economy, Health Care & Budget

January 17

Open Forum: Now What Do I Say?

January 21



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