Meet The 2022 Graduates


AGATE of Port Washington and the Schreiber HSA co-sponsored their annual Recent Graduates Panel virtually on Wednesday, Jan. 5. This year’s panel was moderated by Kelly McMasters and Nancy Ziselman. AGATE board member, Analia Quispe, provided Spanish language interpretation via a free conference line.
The panelists included John Alexander, a sophomore at SUNY New Paltz; Shayne Bersin, a freshman at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Jackeline Fernandes, a sophomore at Amherst College; Rajen Parekh, a freshman at Brown University; Ben Rotko, a freshman at Swarthmore College; Avery Silfin, a freshman at University of California, Los Angeles; and Bella Tomaselli, a sophomore at SUNY Binghamton.
When asked how Schreiber prepared them for college, the students shared that the high school fostered their independence and success through challenging coursework and a wide range of extracurricular and elective options. Also vital, was learning the time management skills required to take advantage of them all.
Many grads noted the opportunities for research and building relationships with teachers as incredibly important. Some panelists recommended branching out through extra-curricular opportunities and wished they had taken advantage of these earlier in their high school careers.
The students also discussed their experiences with Advanced Placement (AP) classes while at Schreiber. They indicated that AP classes were useful for cultivating academic interests; for example, one graduate said AP Psychology helped her discover her college major, while another noted that AP Literature helped improve writing and analysis skills and AP Math honed problem-solving skills. The graduates advised students to investigate how their potential college choices handle AP credits. Some grads reported that their AP work set them up for success when taking introductory classes freshman year and recommended not testing out of classes based on AP credit. Others noted that AP credits allowed students to graduate early or even take advantage of 5-year BA/MA degrees.
A theme that reverberated throughout the night was the importance of finding and fostering a sense of community. Whether it be in academics, sports or extracurricular activities, the students emphasized that following their passion and finding community was a key to their success in both high school and college.
Visit: to view the recording and use password rret0T*s. To learn more about AGATE go to, and visit for more information about the Schreiber HSA.
—Submitted by AGATE