Meet the Class of 2014 Top 3

Valedictorian: Samantha Di Paola

Samantha Di Paola’s leadership qualities have served her well throughout her educational career, and her combination of high intellectual curiosity, desire, discipline and tenacity have propelled her to the highest level of academic achievement: the top-ranked student in the Glen Cove High School Class of 2014.

As a leader involved in several extracurricular activities, Samantha served as president of Student Senate, president of Interact Club and co-president of the Student Athlete Leadership Team (SALT) in 2013-14. She has raised funds, awareness and hope for numerous causes, including the American Cancer Society, Save a Life Foundation, Gift of Life, Adopt a Family, Kick Start for a Cure, and TOPPS Soccer (working with children with disabilities), to name a few. At this year’s senior awards ceremony, Samantha was presented with the County Executive’s Community Service and Academic Excellence Award.

“Samantha is a rare find,” said her counselor, coordinator of pupil personnel services Mike Tweed. “This motivated young lady is armed with unbridled determination and focus. She strives for the greatest challenges and highest hurdles and is truly wise beyond her years.”

Academically, Samantha has received numerous awards and accolades, including AP Scholar with Distinction status since her junior year, AP achievement awards in government and statistics, this year’s Glen Cove High School Academic Achievement Award, the Bausch and Lomb Junior Science Exemplary Award, and many other honors for excellence dating back to her freshman year in each of the core disciplines, as well as Italian. She has also made the Principal’s High Honor Roll list since the ninth grade.

Athletically, Samantha captained both the varsity lacrosse and soccer teams this year, was a U.S. Academic All-American in lacrosse as a junior, achieved All-Conference status for both teams, was named a Scholar/Athlete in varsity soccer and led the lacrosse team to Scholar/Athlete status for two consecutive years. She was also a finalist for the coveted Superintendent’s Cup this spring as a member of the lacrosse team.

Other activities include playing an integral role in decision making at Glen Cove High School as a member of the school’s Site Based Committee, peer tutoring, interning for a pediatrician, volunteering at Glen Cove Hospital, and helping out with GCHS productions and concerts as a member of the sound crew.

Samantha attended the National Student Leadership Conference in Medicine and Healthcare and has a strong interest in the medical field. She studied anatomy and physiology through a pre-college program at Brown University, and will attend Georgetown University’s pre-med program this fall. Congratulations Samantha!

Salutatorian: Hans Ring

Hans Ring has always challenged himself with the most demanding honors and AP courses. His ability to analyze and synthesize material and articulate it effectively has helped him achieve the second highest academic ranking in the Class of 2014, yet the rigors of his schedule have not prevented him from being a well-rounded student involved in several extracurricular clubs and interests.

This includes participating in DECA all four years of his high school career as well as Interact Club and Law Club/Mock Trial (as president and chief lawyer of the prosecution team) for three years. Business aptitude, community service and debate skills highlight these areas, respectively. He is also a founding member of the Model UN Club and belongs to the Science Club and Ski Club. With all this on his plate, it’s a wonder Hans finds time to play trumpet as a member of the school’s award-winning jazz ensemble and marching/pep band. These groups perform locally and regionally as a service to the schools and greater community.

“Hans is intelligent, hardworking and very generous with his time helping others, and is focused on maintaining the same level of academic and personal integrity that has made him successful at GCHS,” said his guidance counselor, Francine Perez. “He has truly taken advantage of every opportunity here at GCHS. It’s time for him to shine at the next level.”

Not only has Hans maintained a high level of community service through participation in these clubs and other activities such as peer tutoring and fundraising, he has also consistently earned awards for academic excellence. These include AP Scholar with Honor status, AP achievement awards in government, English, calculus and U.S. history, as well as awards of excellence in mathematics and computer programming, and achievement in physics. He has also won multiple Student of the Month awards.

In addition, Hans finds time to compete as a member of the GCHS air rifle and golf teams, captaining the rifle team to a Section 8 Conference Championship in 2012 and winning team MVP honors in 2013. He was also a finalist for the coveted Superintendent’s Cup this spring as a member of the golf team.

Hans will attend Boston College this fall. He has yet to declare a major. Congratulations Hans!

Honorarian: Andrew Schuck

Natural intelligence, balanced academic ability, disciplined work habits, high integrity and congenial personality: these are the traits that Andrew Schuck’s guidance counselor uses to describe him. They are what make him likable to faculty and students alike and have led him to become the third highest-ranking student among 248 in the Glen Cove High School Class of 2014.

“I cannot imagine a school environment where Andrew could not excel and thrive,” said guidance counselor Margie Tockman. “Whatever he sets out to do, he accomplishes. He has always opted for the hardest classes offered, even though he anticipates a rough road. He’d rather work to do his best than take the easy way out.”

Andrew’s strong work ethic can be attributed, in part, to the support and guidance of his parents, both of whom are educators. For the second consecutive year, Andrew has been selected as a National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholar by the College Board. He is also a winner of this year’s Excellence in Science Award and a recipient of the New York State Education Department Scholarship Award for Excellence, which was also awarded to the Class of 2014 valedictorian, salutatorian and a handful of fellow high-ranking class members.

Andrew won the New York State Bar Association Award for achievement with the Law Club/Mock Trial this year. He is also an accomplished musician and plays mallet percussion with the school’s marching/pep band. In addition, he is involved with the GCHS Masquers Club as a contributor to theater performances performed for the community, for which he won an Outstanding Contributor Award.

Outside of school, Andrew enjoys playing piano and is a celebrated chess player, having competed both nationally and abroad. He is also an active member of the Boy Scouts, works as a camp counselor during the summer, and this year served as “Professor for a Day” at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

Prior to learning that Andrew will attend Northeastern University, where he will study biochemical engineering, Ms. Tockman said, “Andrew will succeed academically and make whatever college or university he attends a better place.”