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Nassau BOCES Recognizes Exceptional Students with George Farber Award

Group of students, standing and sitting, holding awards.
The year’s Nassau BOCES George Farber Outstanding Student Award winners, back row, from left: Erica Bird, Melanye Cruz-Guzman, Marcus Allen, Hector Fernandez Gomez, Harry Saxton, Rory Clancy, Kelvin Bonilla, Zain Sosa and Michael Romani. Front row, from left: Joseph Santana, Scott Wong, Braden Hennessey, Joshua Varughese, James Tinebra and Danielle Marino. Not pictured: Jason Nejat, Elias Gomez-Henriquez and Endy Morales.

Nassau BOCES recently celebrated 18 of its most exceptional students with the prestigious George Farber Outstanding Student Award during a special ceremony this spring. Each of the winners was presented with a plaque and $100 from the Nassau BOCES Educational Foundation. Board members, administrators, staff and family were on hand to celebrate. These students have been chosen from programs and schools throughout the agency, based on a variety of remarkable attributes including passion, perseverance, enthusiasm, outstanding character, scholarship and a willingness to help others.

“Not only do these students demonstrate the very best of Nassau BOCES, each of them have also shown the true spirit of George Farber,” said James Widmer, Deputy Superintendent. “They all have passion, determination, enthusiasm, outstanding character, scholarship, and willingness to help others. Their collective stories are an inspiration to us all.”

For the past 16 years, outstanding students have been earning this award in memory of former Nassau BOCES Board President George Farber, whose passion for improving the lives of students was surpassed only by his love and care for them. Farber was the longest-serving board member in Nassau County, having served from 1971 to 2009.

Following is a list of the 2023 George Farber Outstanding Student Award honorees by district, name and Nassau BOCES program:

Baldwin UFSD
Melanye Cruz-Guzman
Adult Education Program

Bellmore-Merrick CHSD
Danielle Marino
Carman Road School

Copiague UFSD
Marcus Allen
Seaman Neck Middle School

East Meadow UFSD
Joshua Varughese
Children’s Readiness Center

Joseph Santana
GC Tech

Farmingdale UFSD
Michael Romani
Robert Williams School         

Glen Cove CSD
Hector Fernandez Gomez
Career Preparatory High School

Great Neck CHSD
Jason Nejat
Hearing Services

Hempstead UFSD
Elias Gomez-Henriquez
Center for Community Adjustment

Endy Morales
Rosemary Kennedy School   

Island Trees UFSD
Braden Hennessy
Jerusalem Avenue Elementary School

Plainview-Old Bethpage CSD
James Tinebra
Twilight High School

Roosevelt UFSD
Erica Bird
Adult Learning Center           

Seaford UFSD
Rory Clancy
Willet Avenue School

Syosset CSD
Scott Wong
Long Island High School for the Arts

Uniondale UFSD
Kelvin Bonilla
Rosemary Kennedy School

Wantagh UFSD
Harry Saxton
Iris Wolfson High School

Westbury UFSD
Zain Sosa
Barry Tech     

To learn more about the Nassau BOCES George Farber Outstanding Student Award and to see the stories of this year’s winners, visit