Brilliant minds continue to emerge from the Wantagh School District as graduating seniors Samantha Minars and Andriana Patmanidis represent Wantagh High School as the valedictorian and salutatorian for the Class of 2019.
Minars said she has a grade point average (GPA) of 106.71. The 17-year has taken 11 Advanced Placement (A.P.) courses throughout her four years at Wantagh High School, including biology, statistics and Italian.
Several of Minars extracurricular achievements include being the treasurer of the National Honors Society, the president of National Science Honors Society and a member of the Science Olympiad team. She is also a part of the Physical Education Leader’s club — a community service oriented club run by the physical education teachers.
Minars also has played on the varsity tennis team for the past two years, as well as the varsity badminton team for all four years of high school, “which is sort of unique, but it’s really fun,” she said.
Minars said her favorite extracurricular activity is participating in sports. “I just like the teamwork and the camaraderie,” she said.
Outside of school, Minars said her family has a charity project that they host annually. “We basically make a haunted house in our basement, and we invite neighbors and community members over to see our creation and collect donations,” she said. The family, who has been doing this since October 2012, chooses a different charity each year to donate too. This past fall, the family collected roughly $3,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Minars also loves going to the beach with her friends. “It’s just so relaxing, and I love the sun and just being outside,” she said. Minars said she casually plays beach volleyball.
Minars will attend Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island in the fall to study biomedical engineering. “I’m not sure what I want to do with that in the future,” she said. “I could possibly go to medical school or a graduate program or research.”
Minars said she is happy and grateful to receive the title of valedictorian. “I did work really hard throughout the four years of high school, and it was nice to be appreciated,” she said.
Patmanidis said she was also happy when she found out she would be the salutatorian. “I was very happy and excited but also grateful that my parents supported me along the way,” she said.
Patmanidis has a GPA of 106.21. She has also taken 11 A.P. courses throughout her high school career including government, literature and art — a 2D graphics class.
“Sophomore year and junior year I took A.P. Capstone, which is a new course here, but I found that was the most helpful class,” she said, explaining that the course taught her valuable presentation skills and how to write research papers.
“I’ve participated in many extracurricular activities,” she said. Patmanidis is the teammate-captain and president of the Science Olympiad team, a member of the Mathletes team and vice president of International Outreach. She also joined the National Science Honors Society and the National Art Honors Society as a junior.
Patmanidis also tutors four students, five to six times a week. She tutors pupils in any subject, but mainly math and science.
In her free time, Patmanidis enjoys hiking, skiing and participating in anything outdoors. She said she also loves to play beach volleyball during the summer.
“I also love doing art in my free time,” she added. “That’s one of my other passions.”
In A.P. art this year, Patmanidis had to pick a concentration, and she chose bacteria. “I grew it myself, I photographed it and then I manipulated it to make projects,” she said. “It took a while, but it was really fun. My two passions are science and art, so I decided to use science as art.”
In the fall, Patmanidis will begin to study biology on a premed track at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. “I’m thinking about going to med school, but I also am really loving the research aspect of biology,” she said.
Wantagh High School Principal Carolyn Breivogel said both girls are “so humble.”
“They’re very unassuming, very poised [and] very humble, and that, I think, is what is probably the aspect about them that I admire the most,” she said. “They are the leaders in the school, and they do so much, yet they’re so real.”