In a “normal” year the Suffolk County School Superintendents Association honors each district’s valedictorian at a festive luncheon attended by the scholars, their parents and their superintendent and principal, but 2020 is anything but typical with the COVID-19 pandemic raging across Long Island and the world.
Now in its 26th year, the annual valedictorian’s luncheon fetes the highest achieving seniors in Suffolk. As a result of the current public health crisis, the affair was cancelled, but the superintendents didn’t want to let the achievements of the sensational teenagers to go unrecognized by the organization.
Huntington’s Class of 2020 valedictorian Andrew Knowles is among Suffolk’s best. Superintendent James W. Polansky will be presenting the Carnegie Mellon University bound senior with a commemorative program, congratulatory video, Certificate of Achievement and the cherished Dr. Seuss childhood storybook, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”
The program and video, which was created especially for the Class of 2020, features information about each valedictorian’s school district, their formal senior yearbook photo, their college of choice and anticipated major.
Visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hOhDpNqjuY&feature=youtu.be to view the video.
“Andrew is an extraordinarily bright and accomplished young man, Mr. Polansky said. “His intelligence is matched only by his humility and thoughtfulness. He has been an integral part of the Huntington school community through the years, finding and exploiting his interests and taking complete advantage of a broad range of curricular and extracurricular opportunities.”
Mr. Knowles intends to study math at the Mellon College of Science at Carnegie Mellon. An Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction, the teenager is a National Merit Finalist. He won a gold medal in the Long Island Math Fair and was crowned a state champion in the National History Day competition.
The Blue Devil marching band’s 2019/20 field major, Mr. Knowles has played on the varsity tennis team, served as an AP Biology lab assistant the past two years and performed with the high school’s jazz and wind ensembles. He is the president of Huntington’s Math Honor Society chapter.
A saxophone tutor for the past three years, Mr. Knowles serves on the Huntington Foundation for Excellence in Education’s Youth Board. He has volunteered through St. Patrick’s Church with the Huntington Interfaith Homeless Initiative and interned with Connect the Dots software development camp.
Everyone associated with the annual valedictorian’s luncheon was disappointed that this years’ affair needed to be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I truly regret not being able to join Andrew in celebrating his achievements at the traditional valedictorian luncheon, but look forward to honoring him and his peers in many other ways as we conclude the school year,” Mr. Polansky said. “I share my sincerest congratulations with him and his family on his brilliant educational career in Huntington. Carnegie Mellon University is fortunate to be welcoming him in the fall, as he is surely destined to do great things moving forward.”