Essayist Honored

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Senior Gabriel Vertiz won the second-place award in the Nassau County Martin Luther King Jr. Essay Contest. As a result of his outstanding work, Gabe was invited to attend the 29th annual Nassau County Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Luncheon in January, where he received a certificate of recognition signed by Nassau County Legislature minority leader Kevin Abrahams. Gabe will also be awarded a monetary gift to be used toward college once he commits to a school. To date, he has been accepted to Mercy College, East Stroudsburg University, Sacred Heart University and Iona College.

Gabe scribed his tribute to Dr. King in his College Essay Writing class, taught by Terry McHale. Part of his coursework included applying to five scholarships. In the essay, he shared how Dr. King’s actions have impacted him personally, as an African-American, and in particular, as an athlete, by helping to bring an end to segregation in the Olympics and professional sports.

Gabe is an avid soccer player and currently plays on the New York HOTA team in the premier development league, as well as in a national premier league. He also has aspirations to continue playing in college. Pictured, Ms. McHale (left) and Melanie Arfman, district coordinator for English/social studies, congratulated Gabe. The Board of Education also honored him with a certificate of recognition.