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National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists

Twenty-three seniors in the Great Neck Public Schools have been named Semifinalists in the prestigious 2018 National Merit Scholarship Competition (NMSC).

John L. Miller-Great Neck North High School Semifinalists - Aaron Hakimi, Courtney Hakimian, Michael Jan, Cheryl Tung, and Megan Xu.

William A. Shine-Great Neck South High School Semifinalists - Ryan Chen, Devin Chin, Kelley Chiu, Susan Fendt, Jessica Li Jiang, Benjamin Kobliner, Hanxuan Kuang, Zhijian Long, Kimberly Lu, Julian Malater, Florence Ning, Adam Sperling, Lynne Xie, Michelle Xing, David Yao, Ann Zhang, Asia Zhang, and Esther Zhu.

Additional Information - These Semifinalists are among the 16,000 named nationwide, having scored among the highest in New York State on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which they took last year. The National Merit Scholarship Program honors individual students who show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies. These Semifinalists, who represent less than one percent of seniors in the State, will be identified to colleges and universities in order to increase their educational opportunities. Most Semifinalists will go on to achieve Finalist status in early 2018. Merit Scholarship Winners will be chosen from among the Finalists to receive one or more Merit Scholarship Awards. Awards include: National Merit $2,500 (single-payment scholarships), corporate-sponsored (one-time or renewable four-year awards), and college/university-sponsored (renewable for up to four years). Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC and by some 420 business organizations and higher education institutions.


New Principal & Assistant Principal at Lakeville

Emily Zucal Neepa Redito

This school year, Lakeville School welcomed a new principal and a new assistant principal. Principal Emily Zucal, however, is not new to the school. She was the assistant principal there for five years, and became principal following the retirement of Phyllis Feldman. Neepa Redito joins Lakeville as its newest assistant principal.

Emily Zucal - In a welcoming letter to Lakeville parents, Emily Zucal said that it has been her “honor and privilege” to serve as Lakeville’s assistant principal and that now, as principal, she plans to “uphold Lakeville’s commitment to academic rigor, to providing opportunities for students to acquire twentieth-century skills, and to continue and grow Lakeville’s rich tradition of family involvement.” She also plans to do all that she can to “ensure that Lakeville is a place in which all students feel physically safe and emotionally secure.” Ms. Zucal finds Lakeville to be “home to some of the warmest and most generous families” that she has met in her career as an educator. Prior to coming to Lakeville, Ms. Zucal was principal of an elementary school in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, participated in the New York City Leadership Academy Aspiring Principals Program, and taught second-grade in Palisades, CA, and fourth-grade in Brooklyn. Her outside interests include exploring the North Fork of Long Island, running, biking, playing with her labradoodle, Cooper, and reading to her son. Ms. Zucal holds a Master of Arts in Teaching and Curriculum from City College of the City University of New York, and a Bachelor of Arts in American government from Smith College. She is certified to teach grades K–6, and holds a School Building Leader License.

Neepa Redito - Neepa Redito comes to Lakeville having most recently served as the elementary math and science coordinator in the Herricks School District. Prior to that, she was a senior manager and instructional lead in developing professional systems at Amplify, an educational technology company that produces materials pertaining to implementation of the Common Core Standards. Ms. Redito has also been a fifth-grade and a gifted-and-talented teacher (both in Herricks), produced educational content for Time Magazine for Kids, and worked for the Japanese Ministry of Education in Yamato, Japan. Ms. Redito is excited to be Lakeville’s assistant principal because she feels that her “philosophy of and approach to education reflect the values and mission of the school.” She also believes that “cultivating students’ character and citizenship is as important as developing their academic knowledge and skills.” Ms. Redito and her husband are the proud parents of two young children. She calls herself an “avid cook and baker (now more rustic than fancy with two helpers under the age of five).” She also enjoys traveling and reading The New Yorker. Ms Redito holds an Advanced Certificate in School Building & School District Leadership from St. John’s University. She earned her Masters Degree in Childhood Education and holds a Professional Certification in Childhood Education, grades 1-6, both from New York University. She has her Bachelor of Arts in Religion form Princeton University. Ms. Redito is a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the National Science Teachers Association. She is the winner of the Association of Education Publishers Best Educational Reference Award and Best Instructional Materials Award.