Meet this year’s West Islip val and sal


West Islip High School sent biographies about their valedictorian and salutatorian from the guidance counselors in the district.

Valedictorian John Boniberger

“John’s current plan is to enter the medical field after studying biology in college, and he is especially interested in how health and the environment intersect,” said school counselor Dara DePouli.

“One of John’s most notable traits is his creativity and the manner in which he approaches his passions with an innovative lens. John is currently in the third year of a self-designed independent research project focusing on biodiversity and environmental pollution. He and his research partner have created a new point of focus each year, building upon the data gathered from previous years. John also expresses his creativity through the fine arts, and has worked extensively with painting and drawing mediums. John’s current artistic pieces focus on a theme of human impact on the environment, and as an artist he advocates for the importance of caring for the natural world.”

“John is also a Century Club honoree: a designation for students who achieve at least 100 community service hours. He has far surpassed this criteria, with a current total of 210 accumulated hours.”

Salutatorian Keirsten Nizen

“Keirsten is taking a very rigorous program available at the high school. She is always willing to go the extra mile to achieve academic superiority,” said school counselor Paulina Zarokostas.

“Keirsten Nizen is a consummate individual who has excelled academically and within her extracurricular activities. She is an extremely modest and intelligent dynamo who achieves most impressive results. Her drive, wit, and dedication have made her the individual that peers turn to for guidance.”

“Coupled with all of her responsibilities, Keirsten also works diligently after school and on the weekends. During the past four years, anytime I mentioned that a tutor was needed for students, Keirsten always volunteered her time.”


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