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Well-Rounded Students Lead Amityville Class of 2021

Valedictorian and salutatorian thumbnail181291
Principal with valedictorian thumbnail181292
Principal with salutatorian thumbnail181293
Amityville Memorial High School announced its top 10 graduates for the Class of 2021, with Alex Diaz and Noah LaForest earning the highest two grade point averages among 205 seniors.

Alex was named the valedictorian with a weighted GPA of 104.14. Noah is the salutatorian with at 103.92 GPA. Rounding out the top 10 are Aalany McCatty, Keniese Pryce, Scott Friske, Bryanna Leguizamon, Gabrielle McGinnis, Colleen Compitello, Shaakirah Nazim-Harris and Godfrey Pons, all with weighted averages of 100 or better.

Alex and Noah both entered school together in Amityville as second graders at Northwest Elementary School. In high school, they have challenged themselves with college-level courses and been involved in many extracurricular activities.

Principal Edward Plaia was formerly the principal of Edmund W. Miles Middle School, so he has known Alex and Noah since they were seventh graders. He described them as well-rounded and hard-working students who are driven to succeed and also are humble and kind. 

Musical accomplishments have been plentiful for Alex, who plays both the violin and viola. He has been named to All-County, All-State, All-Eastern, All-National and Long Island String Festival music ensembles. Alex has also been recognized by the Long Island Arts Alliance with an Award of Merit, and performs with the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra and the New York Youth Symphony Orchestra. 

In school, Alex has been a member of the orchestra, jazz band and chamber ensemble, and was the title character in the high school’s production of “Shrek” during his sophomore year. As a freshman, he performed in both “Seussical” at the high school and “Aladdin” at the middle school. Alex is also treasurer of both the Key Club and the National Honor Society.

After high school, Alex plans to attend college to dual major in biomedical engineering and music performance, and wants to explore career paths in both of those areas because he has “big dreams.” He has applied to seven schools, including on Long Island and in Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia, and is awaiting acceptances before making a decision on the next four years of his life. 

Noah has committed to New York University for filmmaking. He said he plans to live on campus because he wants to experience city life. Participation in summer programs through the New York Film Academy and Columbia University affirmed his desire to work in the film industry, and he aspires to become a director.

As senior class president, Noah has helped to plan activities for his classmates in a year when the typical senior traditions are either canceled or modified. He and his fellow officers planned a senior breakfast and are in the process of coordinating some outdoor events in the spring. They also ordered “Stranger Things” inspired T-shirts, which read “Senior Things” on the front and the names of all Amityville seniors on the back.

Noah is also vice president of the National Honor Society and a member of the Key Club and Warrior Awareness Club. He was also the stage manager for “Shrek.” Never one to shy away from a challenge, he has taken seven Advanced Placement courses and two Syracuse University Project Advance classes, all preparing him for college-level work. 

Alex has enrolled in 10 AP courses across multiple subject areas. He is hard-pressed to find a class he didn’t like, and he said that is a reflection on his teachers.

“Throughout high school, I’ve had the best teachers,” Alex said. “My teachers have influenced me in so many ways. I hope to keep in touch with them after high school.”

For Noah, inspiration has come from his family, friends and teachers, and also one unlikely source, singer Lady Gaga, whose messages of bravery, hard work and perseverance have resonated with him since an early age.

“I am very grateful for Amityville and how it has shaped me as a young man,” Noah said, adding that the most valuable lesson he will take with him after graduation is knowing that “the sky is the limit” for him. 
 
Monday, May 17, 2021