Meet the Class of 2018 valedictorian and salutatorian

Meet the Class of 2018 valedictorian and salutatorian photo
Syosset High School is proud to announce that Jarrad Li is the Class of 2018 valedictorian and Daniel Israel is the salutatorian. Both have made academic honor roll every quarter since they were both freshman in 2014.

“Jarrad and Daniel are two exceptional students who we have already heard so much about,” said Syosset High School Principal Dr. Giovanni Durante. “In addition to being at the top of their class, they are very involved in their respective extracurricular activities, particularly in the areas of math and science. Both have received numerous accolades to date and  I’m sure there will be more great things to come from both of them. I wish them continued success in the future.”      

Science research is a major area of study for Jarrad academically, having medaled in Science Olympiads 34 times since 2015, with several first- and second-place awards. He is a 2017 Siemens Semifinalist and was awarded third-place at the 2018 Long Island Science and Engineering Fair for his research on materials science/nanoscience and chemical engineering. He won second place at LISEF last year for his biomedical research project. Jarrad is also a recipient of the U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad Honors Award, a discipline of science he intends to pursue in his postsecondary career.

Jarrad has also won numerous awards in various mathematics competitions, including first-place in the 2017 Nassau Math Tournament as well as securing a spot on the Nassau Mathematics All-Star team the last two years. He is also a five-time medalist on the Le Grand Concours National French exam.

Music is also a big part of Jarrad’s life. He excels at both piano and clarinet, having achieved perfect New York State School Music Association scores on exams for both instruments. He has also won many prestigious honors for piano, including gold in the International Music and Arts Society’s Young Artists Music and Arts Competition. In ninth grade he was concertmaster and first chair, first clarinet. 

As a leader, Jarrad serves as president and co-founder of the Theta Math Organization and as an officer with the French National Honors Society. He is also past vice president of the Mathletes and served as secretary of Quiz Bowl in 2017. 

Other awards include National AP Scholar with Distinction, the New York State Scholarship for Academic Excellence, National Merit Scholarship Commended student recognition and the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth Search High Honors award. 

Jarrad also spends his spare time tutoring other students in math and entertaining residents at the Glen Cove Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation by playing the piano.

“I am honored to have received the title of valedictorian,” said Jarrad. “I would like to thank my family, friends, and teachers for making this achievement possible.”

Numerous accolades have also been bestowed upon Daniel in the area of science research. This includes capturing first place in the Andromeda Division of the 2017 New York State Science and Engineering Fair and second place at the WAC Invitational Science Fair. Daniel’s research through the years includes developing a neural network to analyze Alzheimer’s disease, constructing a Java program to validate quantum key distribution, and studying the effects of microgravity on humans. He has participated in the Science Olympiad dating back to his early years in middle school, placing in the top five in various categories the last four years.

Despite his knack for science research, Daniel’s true passion lies within the numbers as he intends to advance his studies in a mathematics-related field at the post-secondary level. He has been a member of Matheletes since 2010 and currently serves as vice president. In the last two years he has won a Silver Certificate in the Nassau County Interscholastic Math League and a Silver Medal at the Al Kalfus Long Island Math Fair. 

Silver also shone on Daniel in the form of a medal upon his completion of the Le Grand Concours National French Exam.

Daniel’s leadership experience includes his current service as president of the high school Quiz Bowl and Web Development and Bridge clubs. He is also the vice president of the Programming Club, in addition to the VP of Mathletes. 

Other awards for Daniel include the National AP Scholar of Distinction Award, the New York State Scholarship for Academic Excellence, the Outstanding Research Literacy Award and the Elmer Heinecke Award for Sportsmanship, Leadership and Team Spirit.

Daniel also uses his free time constructively, tutoring other students in math and volunteering as a tour guide at the Gregory Museum in Hicksville. He also serves as a liaison to the museum.

“Being named salutatorian and academically representing my school is a true honor, “added Daniel. “While I did work long hours and nights for the past three and a half years, I never thought that it would lead to this position.”

Jarrad plans to major in chemical engineering and will attend Princeton. Daniel will major in Math and Business Administration with a concentration in Finance at Northeastern.

Pictured from left, Syosset High School Principal Dr. Giovanni Durante congratulates Daniel and Jarrad along with Superintendent of Schools Dr. Thomas Rogers.