Heads of Class

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Dr. Mary DeRose, Amityville Memorial High School’s interim principal, is proud to introduce David Holmes as the Class of 2014 Valedictorian and Bilah Verno as Salutatorian. Acting Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mary Kelly recently stopped by AMHS to congratulate them.

David Holmes: Valedictorian

Throughout his high school career, Amityville Memorial High School Class of 2014 valedictorian David Holmes has demonstrated excellent leadership and character to go along with his academic prowess.

David has tutored multiple students in Algebra 2/Trigonometry, served as a mentor to seventh-graders, has volunteered to read to young children and chaperone during family evening activities. He has also presented to his classmates about the Historical Black Colleges Tour; helped senior citizens sign up for emergency services; distributed informational flyers, food, clothing and supplies to residents whose homes were ravaged by Superstorm Sandy; and has raised money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and breast cancer research and awareness.

Since his sophomore year, David has served as AMHS student government treasurer. He plans on studying accounting in college and has taken Honors courses in Algebra 2/Trigonometry, pre-calculus and geometry, among others.  David has also taken five different Advanced Placement courses, is an AP Scholar with Honor having achieved a 3 or higher on four or more AP exams and will graduate with an Advanced Regents Diploma. He was inducted into the National Honor Society in April 2012 and has been a member of the World Languages Honor Society for just as long. No stranger to being at the head of the class, David was the salutatorian for the ninth-grade class at Edmund W. Miles Middle School.

Well-rounded throughout, David is also a dedicated athlete, having been a member of both the AMHS spring and winter track squads for three years with All-Academic honors in 2011 for both. He also has a season of JV football under his belt. A talented vocalist, David has served as the lead tenor and overall vocalist of the Church Children’s Choir and sang for his ninth-grade chorus.

“David’s ability to be well-rounded while balancing a most demanding academic load shows a level of dedication and tenacity both in and outside of the classroom,” said his guidance counselor, Jackie Noon. “He is intellectually mature and a wonderful young man who is ready to take on a greater responsibility, and will succeed in college.”

Bilah Verno: Salutatorian

Bilah Verno has been loading up on advanced science courses in preparation for a career as pediatric nurse practitioner. Yet, she’s not putting all her eggs in one basket, as she intends to pursue her undergraduate degree as a double major in accounting and nursing. It doesn’t hurt that she’s also the Amityville Memorial High School Class of 2014 salutatorian.

A “smart scholar” in the truest sense, having been enrolled in Farmingdale State College prep program of the same terminology, Bilah knows her advanced studies, taking anatomy and physiology, SUPA forensics science, chemistry, AP environmental science, pre-calculus, AP calculus, AP world, and AP U.S. literature. She has even studied physics independently. A member of both the National Honor and National World Languages honor societies since 2011, Bilah has made High Honor Roll dating back to the ninth grade.

Extracurricular activities, community service and overall hard work exemplify Bilah’s school career. In addition to academic extracurriculars, such as the Science in Technology Entry Program (STEP) and Mathletes, Bilah is a talented singer as a member of the Church Choir and a runner on the AMHS varsity girls track team, which she achieved All-Academic honors.

Bilah has also used her knowledge in math and science as a tutor and has volunteered her time in the community at the Town of Babylon’s Black History Month program, family warming centers following Superstorm Sandy, wrapping holiday gifts for the homeless and babysitting at Northwest Elementary School’s culture night. She has also been a member of the Town’s UJIMA internship program, aiding local senior citizens and mentally challenged youngsters with their daily activities. Bilah is not too proud to even lend a hand sweeping floors through her summer work at the Northeast School.

“Bilah has not let her dedication to academics stop her from being an active member of our school and community,” said her guidance counselor Andrew Akapnitis, who referenced her work in also beautifying AMHS. “She believes hard work should continue outside of the classroom and we can always count on Bilah to help with any task, no matter how big or small that we ask!”