Rye Neck High School seniors Gabriel Miller and Zachary Leontiou
Rye Neck High School has named seniors Gabriel Miller and Zachary Leontiou as valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, of the class of 2021.
Miller said it was rewarding to see all his hard work and love of learning over the years come to fruition. He thanked his teachers and friends, who have encouraged him to pursue his passions, always believed in him, and never stopped cheering him on.
“My experience at Rye Neck has been one of community,” Miller said. “From the moment I entered Rye Neck schools 13 years ago, I felt a sense of togetherness. Having the fortune of growing up with scores of classmates since kindergarten, seeing each other grow and pursue our varied interests, is a unique experience that I am grateful to have been given.”
Throughout high school, Miller has held leadership roles, including Student Senate President, Class Treasurer, and co-Captain of the Mock Trial and Science Olympiad teams. He is the founder and president of the school’s Mu Alpha Theta chapter, a principal researcher for Action Research for Community Change, and a member of the Library Advisory Board.
In the fall, Miller will attend Williams College, where he plans to pursue his interest in political economy.
Leontiou attributed his success to the support of his family, friends, classmates, and teachers, as well as his strong work ethic and drive he had possessed from a young age. He described Rye Neck as a tight-knit community of kind, generous, and unique people, with whom he has forged meaningful relationships.
“At this point, the work ethic and drive are established habits and I am grateful that they have culminated in receiving this honor,” he said.
Throughout his high school career, Leontiou has participated in a multitude of activities. He is a member of the Student Senate, Baseball team, and high school musical stage crew. Outside of school, he volunteers with the local ambulance corps; tutors students in math, science, and social studies; and has completed a genetic research internship at Burke Neurological Institute.
This fall, Leontiou will attend Brown University, where he plans to pursue his passions in biology, psychology, and philosophy.
Photo courtesy of the Rye Neck Union Free School District