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Nassau School Notebook: Wilson Tech students sweep auto contest

Ryan Proce, pictured, and Hunter Johanson of Western

Ryan Proce, pictured, and Hunter Johanson of Western Suffolk BOCES' Wilson Tech Center in Northport won first place in the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association's 2021 Automotive Technology Championship. Credit: Michael Angelino

Teams from Western Suffolk BOCES' Wilson Tech Center in Northport have swept the top three spots in a regional auto competition.

The duo of Hunter Johanson and Ryan Proce won the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association's 2021 Automotive Technology Championship, which was held virtually. Second place went to Manahil Ejaz and Jake Mayer, while third place went to Christian Colavito and Dylan Walsh.

The contest, which featured 30 two-student teams from the metro area, required students to diagnose and fix preprogrammed bugs in a vehicle operating systems and engine in the shortest time.

"Making it into this competition was an amazing experience," said Hunter, a senior at Smithtown High School West. "When the winners were announced, I was really taken aback."

"We both work very hard at what we do," added Proce, a senior at Walt Whitman High School in Huntington Station.

Johanson and Proce won $2,000 scholarships from the association and scholarships of up to $15,000 from technical training schools. Ejaz and Mayer won $1,000 association scholarships and technical school scholarships of up to $10,000, while Colavito and Walsh won $500 association scholarships and technical school scholarships of up to $5,000.


'Maglev' winners

Bay Shore and Island Trees students were winners in Brookhaven National Laboratory's 2021 Maglev Contest, which challenged students to design model vehicles that travel down a track using magnetic levitation.

Brady Leichtman and Isabella Rouleau of Bay Shore Middle School placed first and second, respectively, in the speed category, while Jesse Bonura of Island Trees Middle School placed third.

Bonura also won the appearance category with a futuristic blue car, while Amber Marquez and Andrea Romero of Bay Shore Middle School placed second and third, respectively.


'What's Great in Our State'

Great Neck North High School has received New York State's 2021 "What’s Great in Our State" School/School District Award for integrating mental health into its learning environment.

Great Neck North's efforts included an annual Mental Health & Wellness Week, which featured everything from mindfulness activities to student workshops. The school was presented with the award last month during a virtual celebration on Zoom.

"Having a safe, stigma-free environment, where children can address behavioral health struggles and promote mindfulness, has a profound impact on their educational experience," said Ann Sullivan, the commissioner of the state's Office of Mental Health.


Scholarship winners

Forty-three Long Island students are among 2,500 high school seniors nationwide named winners of $2,500 scholarships through the National Merit Scholarship Corp. for their "combination of accomplishments, skills and potential for success in rigorous college studies," the organization said.

Winners and their high schools were: Lucas Ahrens, Sanford H. Calhoun; Matthew Ross, Cold Spring Harbor; Alice Liu and Lauren Yu, Great Neck North; Bradley He, Great Neck South; Benjamin Goldfried, Kevin Hoxha, Dylan Keskinyan and Suraj Sharma, Half Hollow Hills East; Kyle Pinzon and Rhea Rasquinha, Herricks; Navpreet Singh, Hicksville; Irene Lee, Danny Li and Richard Ren, Jericho; Connor Gibson, John F. Kennedy; Uma Arengo, Long Beach; Mir Zayid Alam, Ava Balacek and Joshua De Leeuw, Manhasset; Samantha Green, Wellington C. Mepham; Camden Burk and Rudolph Mastrocinque, Northport; Matthew Friedman, Oceanside; Elijah Blum and Brian Lee, Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK; Nistha Boghra, Sachem North; Isaac Goldstein, Rajen Parekh, Daniel Ruskin and Alexandra Salzman, Paul D. Schreiber; Christina Unkenholz, Smithtown West; Victoria Levy, St. Anthony's; Simran Goel, Ariane Lee, Michael Daniel Lu, Jenny Ou, Nolan Smithwick, Emma Van Dorn and Eric Wang, Syosset; Margaret Gates, Wantagh; and Rebecca Blumenthal and Samara Silverman, Ward Melville.


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