Skip to Content
Smithtown Central School District
Smithtown Central
School District

District Alert

Main Content

Ms. Zeitlin continues to inspire!

March 26, 2024

High School East science research coordinator, Maria Zeitlin, was honored by one of our very own this past weekend.

Smithtown East 2019 graduate, Meleni Sarantos, invited Ms. Zeitlin to the Rochester Institute of Technology's "Outstanding Scholar Awards" presented to the top 1% of the graduating class who maintained a minimum of 3.85 out of 4.00, in addition to also engaging in creative work such as conducting research.

Each student, in turn, recognizes a high school or community college teacher who had a significant influence on the student's academic career. RIT recognized the teachers by bringing them to the ceremony from all over the country. 

Sarantos, excelled in the ThiNK Discovery Science Research Program and conducted experimentation at Stony Brook University on the identification of microbes in nitrogen-contributing septic systems in the lab of Dr. Jackie Collier. Her passion for research continued at RIT, where she pursued a combined undergraduate degree in chemical engineering and masters in material science and engineering. She is currently interviewing for her PhD. candidacy. 

"It has long been a philosophical choice to allow failure for the sake of deep investigation as most scientific research is built on a base of skepticism and unknowing," Ms. Zeitlin exlaimed.

"I am so incredibly proud of Meleni who embodies the passion and intellect of a scientist. I am so humbled by this recognition and consider it to be the best form of acknowledgement because it confirms that the lessons taught will reverberate in future scientists and engineers in the next generation." 

Maria and Meleni taking a picture

Picture of plaque

Picture of quote