Valedictorian: Elias Blinkoff

Dedicated to his studies and school community, Elias possesses a continual motivation to learn, serving as the driving force for many of his achievements. He is passionate about science, learning and helping his community, which has been evident in all of his accomplishments and contributions during his time at Glen Cove High School.

The top-ranked student in the Class of 2013, Elias has been recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation as a commended student for attaining a score in the top 30 percent of the 1.5 million students who took the PSAT. He has also been named an AP Scholar with Distinction by the College Board.

“When it comes to learning, Elias devours, digests and regurgitates information,” said Mike Tweed, Glen Cove’s coordinator of pupil personnel and guidance services. “Elias’s motivation to learn has been the driving force for many of his achievements. As the valedictorian for the class of 2013, he symbolizes the results of hard work and effort.”

Elias had the opportunity to participate in the highly selective Simons Fellowship at Stony Brook University in summer 2012, working with Dr. John Drury and Dr. Laura Staum Casasanto to research neurolinguistics. This past year he has also been working with cognitive neuroscientist Dr. Sachin Ranade as part of Partners for the Future at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, to research neural mapping of performance on auditory discrimination.

Aside from scientific research, community service is also a passion for Elias. A member of the Boy Scouts of America since 2006, Elias earned the Eagle Scout designation in 2012, also serving as an assistant scoutmaster. He founded and acted as the student coordinator for the Students for Students Tutoring Services at Glen Cove High School. Additionally, he’s a board member for the Glen Cove Youth Bureau and a volunteer for St. Patrick’s CYO track and field. He also volunteers in community outreach for La Feurza Unida Latino Service Organization and assists the organization with the development of an ESL tutoring program.

Elias has been an active member of the Glen Cove High School community, participating in several productions of the Masquer’s Drama Society, acting as the liaison for tutor recruitment in the National Honor Society, and taking on the roles of vice president and lead attorney for the mock trial team and captain of “The Challenge” team. Demonstrating an interest in a variety of activities, he is a member of the Tri-M Music Honor Society and Science Olympiad Team.

Rounding out Elias’ extensive list of activities is a commitment to cross-country and track and field. He has been named a three-year varsity letter winner for track and field and a six-year varsity letter winner for cross-country, furthering his dedication to the latter sport by serving as co-captain during his senior year.

“Aside from his achievements, Elias is a kind young man who is filled with good intentions,” Mr. Tweed said. “Very respected by his peers, he is always available to help them with their work. I am very proud of Elias and all of his achievements.”

Elias will be attending Swarthmore College to study neurolinguistics.