HANC’s vals and sal


The Hebrew Academy of Nassau County announced its Class of 2019 valedictorians and salutatorian.

Valedictorian David Reitano is an academic star.  A member of the National Honor Society, David was named to both the General and Judaic Studies Honor Roll every quarter of his high school career. He is a National Merit Commended Student and recipient of the University of Rochester’s Bausch & Lomb Honorary Science Award. David will graduate with eleven AP courses and Scholar with Distinction honors. He is also a student of the Beit Midrash program.

Currently, David is co-captain of the Mathletes and College Bowl Teams, a member of the Chess Team and Model UN, and a contributor to the STEM Journal. David enjoys reading, writing short stories, and has studied martial arts for the past twelve years.

Last summer, David volunteered for Rescue Israel and trained as an Emergency Medical Responder. This summer, he plans to continue toward certification as an EMT.

After a year at Sha’alvim in Israel, David will attend Binghamton University as a member of the Scholars Program.  

Valedictorian Adena Cohen is a young woman of superior intelligence and steadfast determination. She challenges herself to enroll in difficult classes each year, including AP, Honors, and the Beit Midrash program. She has been on the Honor Roll every quarter of her high school career.

Adena has been a member of the National Honor Society for two years; she was elected vice president in 11th grade and co-president in 12th. She is a recipient of the University of Rochester George Eastman Young Leaders Award and of HANC’s Nechama Leibowitz Passion for Education Award.

It might be easier to list the extracurricular activities Adena is not involved in. She is the chairwoman of the Yachad Committee, editor of the HANC Herald, and editor of the yearbook. Adena is the founder and editor of the STEM Journal. She is also chairwoman of HPAC, captain of the Girls’ Torah Bowl and hockey team, and a student senator who was elected vice president as a junior. She is a Mathlete, a member of the Astronomy Club, a volunteer with the Jewish Elderly Committee, a member of Mock Trial, a College Bowl competitor, and a writer for Midrashei HANC.  

Next year, Adena will attend MMY in Israel, and Brandeis University in the fall of 2020.  

Salutatorian Jonah Rocheeld can always be counted on to learn and engage. He is very proud to have learned Masechet Shabbos on his own time — not that he doesn’t learn anything during the school day, given his three-year Judaic studies average of 100, a remarkable achievement as a student in the Beit Midrash program.

Jonah is a member of the National Honor Society and an AP Scholar with Distinction who will graduate with ten AP classes. He was named to both the General and Judaic Studies Honor Roll every quarter of his high school career and has received the Rav Avraham Yitzchak Kook Passion for Education Award, the Rensselaer Medal, and the Yeshiva University Torah U’Madda Book Award. 

Despite time constraints, Jonah finds time to take on leadership roles, including the Torah Bowl Team. Last year, after an undefeated championship season, Jonah was named MVP. Jonah is also co-captain of the Mathletes Team and is the gabbai for HANC’s minyan Sephardi. Out of school, Jonah serves as the ba’al koreh at his local Chabad, where he runs a teen minyan.

Next year, he will attend Yeshiva University’s Honors Program.