Meet your 2011 SWR Val and Sal

Michelle Gostic and Rachel Szymanski

Rachel Szymanski


GPA: 103.22

Future plans: Rachel is heading to Amherst College in Massachusetts this fall where she’ll study neuroscience.

World traveler: Rachel has traveled to 30 national parks, 45 states and seven countries with her parents, who have always injected some education into their trips.

Accomplished musician: A violinist, Rachel has made it to the All-County Conference Orchestra and All-State Conference Orchestra. She plays violin in the chamber orchestra, and the alto saxophone in the jazz band.

Notable achievements: Rachel has won the National Merit Scholarship, the Congressional Merit Award, the National Association of Secondary School Principals award and the New York State Scholarship for Academic Excellence award. She was also named an advanced placement scholar with distinction.

Advice for the next senior class: Rachel doesn’t have a cell phone or a Facebook account, and warns the next group of seniors not to let distractions get in the way of academic success. “As long as you’re willing to make small sacrifices, set goals for yourself and not let too many things distract you, you really can achieve what you want.”


Michelle Gostic


GPA: 102.1

Future plans: Michelle will attend Cornell University this fall and major in environmental science.

Community service: Michelle has racked up 224 hours by volunteering at St. John the Baptist Church, the North Shore Public Library and in the school’s PTSA, among other organizations. She also helped build a community center and renovate a children’s day camp in Hato Mayor in the Dominican Republic.

Awards and recognitions: Michelle is a recipient of the Mike Minor Excellence in Global History Award and has been recognized for outstanding achievement in advanced placement environmental science, English literature and composition, and accounting. She was also awarded the New York State Merit Scholarship for Academic Excellence.

Parting words: “Its all about time management and trying to balance sports, music and a social life,” she said. “Always try your best at whatever you do.”

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