Locust Valley High School valedictorian Mary Kate Guma and salutatorian Tazim Merchant were honored at Crest Hollow Country Club during the Nassau County Council of School Superintendents’ annual Celebration of Excellence Breakfast. Mary Kate and Tazim were among nearly 500 people in attendance as Nassau County’s most accomplished and brightest students as Superintendents, Principals and parents gathered to pay tribute to the Class of 2015’s valedictorians and salutatorians from 44 Nassau County school districts.

Mary Kate’s father, Martin Guma, and Tazim’s parents Yasmin and Sameer Merchant joined their children at the breakfast, along with Superintendent of Schools Dr. Anna F. Hunderfund and High School Principal Dr. Kieran McGuire. “It was really very emotional to see that Tazim was being recognized like that within that group,” said Tazim’s mother, Yasmin Merchant. “It meant a lot to us.”

The keynote speaker, New York University President Dr. John Sexton, told the students that they had “won the lottery” by being smart and gifted and possessing extraordinary talents. “You have a great obligation to use your talents and to expand your great gift of intelligence,” he said.

Each valedictorian and salutatorian was presented with a plaque to commemorate his or her achievements. As they were acknowledged, the universities the students plan to attend were announced, along with their intended majors. Mary Kate will attend Williams College and Tazim will attend Northwestern University.

The District congratulates Mary Kate and Tazim on their success!