Nassau County winners of MSG Varsity’s “The Challenge” from Oceanside...

Nassau County winners of MSG Varsity’s “The Challenge” from Oceanside High School: from left, Zach Zagorski, Blake Smith, David Sheynberg and Joe Fridman. Credit: MSG Varsity

Ten Long Island high schools have secured spots among the top 100 nationwide on annual lists that rank the best high schools in the United States.

The three lists -- created separately by U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek in conjunction with The Daily Beast, and The Washington Post -- ranked high schools this spring based on factors that illustrate their effort and success educating and challenging students.

Jericho High School was the only local school to place in the top 100 on all three lists. The school was ranked 94 by U.S. News, 41 by Newsweek and 69 by The Washington Post.

"If you look at Long Island as a whole and the number of high schools recognized, it tells you there is quality education here," said Jericho Superintendent Henry Grishman. Of his school's high rank, he attributed it to the community acting as a "strong support system."

Other local high schools on the U.S. News list were South Side in Rockville Centre at 22, Commack at 95 and Locust Valley at 99. To rank schools, U.S. News teamed up with the American Institutes for Research in Washington, D.C., to evaluate performance on state proficiency tests and the degree to which schools prepare pupils for college-level work.

Newsweek's high school list ranked Locust Valley at 55, Great Neck South at 56, The Wheatley School at 62, Manhasset at 78, Syosset at 92, Cold Spring Harbor at 94 and Herricks at 96. That list studied graduation rates and percentages of college-bound grads and college-level exams.

"It's a nice honor for us," Cold Spring Harbor Principal Jay Matuk said. "We know it holds a great deal of importance to the community and local Realtors."

Jericho was the sole local school to break the top 100 for The Washington Post, which ranked schools by college-level tests and percentage of families qualifying for lunch subsidies.



New superintendent

Elaine Kanas has been appointed superintendent of the East Williston Union Free School District, effective Aug. 1. She will replace Lorna Lewis, who will assume the role of superintendent of Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District. Kanas has been superintendent of Valley Stream Union Free School District 30 since 2008.




Young naturalists

Mike Cassano of Garden City High School and Tristan MacAneney of South Side High School in Rockville Centre were finalists for 2012 Young Naturalist Awards issued by the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan. The contest asked students to use scientific research to investigate the world around them.

Cassano studied schizachyrium scoparium, a prairie grass of the Hempstead Plains that is effective at purifying water, while McAneney investigated bacteria that can break down bamboo into simple sugars.


LI Science Congress

Fourteen Nassau County students were first-place winners in various categories at the 2012 Long Island Science Congress, an exhibit of science projects held at Farmingdale State College. The annual competition was sponsored by the Long Island region of the Science Teachers Association of New York State.

Great Neck: Dan Goldsmith of North Shore Hebrew Academy; Herricks:Sahil Abbi of Herricks Middle School; Jericho: Brendan Liu and Kristin Wong of Jericho High School; Levittown: Haniya Abbasi, Sara Pedroza and Sepideh Vasseghi of Wisdom Lane Middle School; Manhasset: Kevin Sadhu of Manhasset Middle School; Old Westbury: Sara Sakowitz of The Wheatley School; Roslyn: Huzefa Diwan and Barry Yang of Roslyn High School; Syosset: Gianna Gambino and Lauren Kueper of Southwoods Middle School; Woodmere: Remi Golden of Woodmere Middle School.


Merit scholarships

Twelve Long Island high schoolers were recently among 2,500 nationwide winners of college-sponsored scholarships of between $500 and $2,000 at the institute financing the scholarships through the National Merit Scholarship Corp.

Glen Head: Elisabeth Sorenson of Long Island Lutheran High School; Herricks: Nirmita Doshi and Lucy Yang of Herricks High School; Huntington: Kaja Coraor of Huntington High School; Levittown: Jordan Fisher of MacArthur High School; Massapequa: Jordyn Iger of Massapequa High School; Port Jefferson: Cole Conte of Earl L. Vandermeulen High School; Port Washington: Jack Sempliner of Paul D. Schreiber High School; Rockville Centre: Mark Bevilacqua of South Side High School; Smithtown: Haleigh Williams of Smithtown High School East; Michael Catalano of Smithtown High School West; West Islip: Kevin Kruse of St. John the Baptist High School.

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