Graduation 2024: Hats off to Shoreham-Wading River grads

At the head of their class: valedictorian and salutatorian

James Minetti, valedictorian

GPA: 104.42 (weighted)

College: University of Notre Dame

Major: Biochemistry Despite a lengthy resume of extracurricular activities, honors and awards, James remains humble: when asked how he feels being the valedictorian, he said he “doesn’t believe class rank defines one’s achievements.” With 13 AP classes and six honors classes in his high school career, membership in the National Honor Society, the Tri-M Music Honor Society — he has played piano and viola in various community and school ensembles — Mathletes and the Brainstormers quiz bowl team and four years of varsity cross country and track, James’ achievements speak for themselves. He said that his greatest high school accomplishment was breaking a five-minute mile his freshman year, something that taught him “the value of pushing through pain.”

After graduation, he plans to eventually apply for medical school. When asked what six words of advice he would give his classmates and future Shoreham-Wading River graduates, he said: “Don’t just participate — engage and enjoy.”

Lucas Portuese, salutatorian

GPA: 103.03 (weighted)

College: SUNY/Binghamton

Major: Computer science “Your only limit is your mind” are the six words Lucas offered to his classmates and future graduates, and, looking at his accomplishments during high school, he doesn’t seem to have many limits. An AP Scholar with Distinction, Lucas is a member of the National Honor Society, Tri-M Music Honor Society, Mathletes and the Brainstormers quiz bowl team and is an all-league tennis player. As a musician, Lucas has played with the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra of New York, the school’s chamber orchestra, the All-State Symphonic Band, Long Island String Festival Association Orchestra, Suffolk County Music Educators Association orchestra and the Orpheus Ensemble. He considers his selection as an all-state musician for the double bass as his greatest accomplishment, one that taught him “the value of dedication and hard work to achieve your goals.” Lucas said he was “grateful to [his] teachers and everybody else for helping [him] succeed” in his academic career.