Class of 2014

Holy Name's top grads shined through service, academics


When Trevor Bookman found out that he was named the valedictorian of Holy Name of Mary School’s class of 2014, he ran the gamut of emotions.

“I was surprised, happy, nervous,” he said. “It’s amazing.”

There are 28 students in the eighth grade at Holy Name of Mary, and Bookman, of Valley Stream, leads them all. He made his mark in only three years, having transferred there for sixth-grade after Blessed Sacrament School closed.

Melanie Torres, of Baldwin, who has been at Holy Name since kindergarten, was named the salutatorian. “It wasn’t something I expected,” she said. “It wasn’t a goal of mine. I just tried my best in school and getting it was a reward for my work.”

Bookman will be attending Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale in the fall. He said he likes the atmosphere of the school, as well as the numerous academic and extra-curricular offerings. The art and math clubs are among the activities he would like to take part in.

He is also a fan of animals, and Kellenberg has two dogs that roam the school and numerous other animals in an outdoor classroom. Earlier this school year, Bookman did a community service project for the National Junior Honor Society in which he collected pet supplies for Bobbi and The Strays, an animal shelter in Freeport.

Torres will be heading to Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens. Her older sister will be graduating from there this month. She said she likes the diversity of the student body, and hopes to join the track team and Spanish Club.

The two students have taken part in numerous service activities during their time at Holy Name. Both have been peer tutors, helping out second-grade students in their academics — Bookman with math and Torres with English.

Bookman volunteered in the school nurse’s office, and also helped sort mail in the main office. He said that Holy Name provides numerous opportunities for service. “It’s good to help people,” he said. “It makes you feel good.”

Torres was an aide for a first-grade teacher, and gave up recess for about a year to grade tests and set up projects. For her National Junior Honor Society service activity, she collected bottles and cans during lunch and donated the money to church missions.

They are both looking forward to high school, and are excited to make new friends. In the future, Torres wants to be a doctor, and Bookman would like to design video games.

Although he only spent three years at Holy Name, Bookman said he values his time there, and enjoyed the opportunities such as the math and spelling bees, and science fair. He is appreciative of how welcoming the students and teachers were when he first arrived at the school.

Torres said she was glad to receive an education that allowed her to grow stronger in her faith. She will miss the friends she has made over the past nine years, as well as the teachers.

Holy Name’s graduation is set for Friday evening.