At Thursday’s Academic Awards Night, we introduced a brand new recognition for one of our graduating seniors. This new award, named the Susan Bergtraum Leadership in Action Award, is a way of recognizing the distinctive and selfless leadership qualities of a senior. Named after one of our active community leaders, this is what was said to introduce this new award:
Introduction of the Susan Bergtraum Leadership in Action Award
Susan Bergtraum has been the model of an active and engaged community member. A long-time resident of our district, she was an active parent in our schools and she served as a Board trustee for 15 years, including five years as Board President. A co-founder of our East Williston Educational Foundation and a trustee of the Wheatley Scholarship fund, she has been a strong advocate for tolerance, diversity and human understanding.
Beyond our community, Mrs. Bergtraum has been an active member of the Nassau-Suffolk School Boards Association, including service as its president. Currently, she is the Vice President of the Nassau BOCES Board serving as the representative for all Nassau School Boards. Even as her responsibilities have increased across New York State, however, Mrs. Bergtraum has remained true to her roots. She can almost always be found at the monthly EWSD Board meetings, and she remains an active and engaged member of our annual Showdown competition. Leadership in action is a perfect descriptor of how she lives her life.
In honor and recognition of her past, present and future service to our school and community, we are establishing an annual award for the senior who best epitomizes the action leadership exhibited by Susan Bergtraum.
Announcement of Recipient
The first ever recipient of this award is invariably described as one of the kindest, most caring and compassionate young women that has ever passed through the Wheatley doors. No matter the activity, she is “all in.” Through quiet, organized and sustained efforts, she has accomplished so much at Wheatley in in our community. Her altruistic character and approach to leadership has earned her the respect of her teachers and classmates. She has challenged herself academically, she has succeeded athletically, she is a recognized leader of her class, and she has volunteered numerous hours at Winthrop Hospital — all with a humility that is both refreshing and surprising, given her skills! She has everything that it takes to be successful in life: commitment, intrinsic motivation, intelligence and a genuine desire to make a difference.
It is with great pleasure that we recognize Morgan Hanel with the Susan Bergtraum Leadership in Action Award