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Merrick Kiwanis honors Central District seniors

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The Kiwanis Club of Merrick gave special praise to one graduating senior from each of the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District schools. The May 14 dinner was the club’s 52nd annual Student Recognition Night.

Each of the students were selected by their respective principal and were chosen on the basis of academic achievement, extracurricular and community service activities and outstanding character. This year’s recipients included Matthew Alexander of Meadowbrook Alternative Program; Caroline Casella of Sanford H. Calhoun; Ali Cheema of Welling C. Mepham; and Sidra Naheed of John F. Kennedy.

Each honoree was introduced by their principals, sharing words of praise for the achievements and accomplishments that led to their selection for the award. In their acceptance remarks, the students shed light on what their high school careers have meant to them beyond the academics that will carry them on to college next fall.

Kiwanis member Nancy Kaplan, a school board trustee, spoke on behalf of Superintendent John DeTommaso, who was unable to attend. She offered a heartfelt and insightful assessment into what makes a school — and a school district — successful. Kaplan cited the caliber of educators and supporting staff that produce students like those being honored.

Kaplan also delivered DeTommaso’s praise and thanks for the Kiwanis’s efforts in the community, including their support for the Community Food Bank at MAP, which serves more than 60 local families.

The students also received citations from Nassau County Legislator Steve Rhoads and proclamations from State Senator John Brooks.