Return to Headlines


Graduation is months away, but Wantagh High School announced Travis Minutoli and Athena Yao as the Class of 2020’s valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively. Keeping with Warrior tradition, the students were congratulated during the morning announcements, and while accompanied with parents and faculty, took an official photo in front of the school sign as it flashed the good news. 

“Enjoy the moment and the year to come, because this is a special year for both of you,” Principal Carolyn Breivogel said.

Travis is an Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction and is enrolled in the district’s rigorous AP Capstone Program. He is a trustee of the National Honor Society, treasurer of the World Language Honor Society and a member of the Science Honor Society. A musician, Travis excels at playing both the saxophone and clarinet and is not only a member of the school marching band, but secretary of the Tri-M music honor society. His extracurricular schedule also includes membership in Mathletes and the Italian Club and a position as co-captain of Science Olympiad. Travis also gives back to the community through service in the Key Club. During senior superlatives, Travis was voted “most likely to succeed.”

Athena was recently designated as a National Merit Semifinalist and is a National Advanced Placement Scholar, having received an average score of 4 on all AP exams taken and scores of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams. Like David, she is enrolled in the district’s AP Capstone Program, is tutoring coordinator for the National Honor Society, a member of the World Language Honor Society and president of the National Art Honor Society. She recently garnered the Congressional Art Award and the Scholastic Art and Writing Award and is Team A captain of the Science Olympiad team and a Key Club trustee. Athena co-founded the school’s Minds Matter Club, a social-emotional and mental health awareness forum, and is varsity captain of the girls cross-country team. She is also director of art for Girl Genius Magazine and a teaching assistant at the Long Island School of Chinese. Even more impressive is Athena’s Junior Academy membership with the New York Academy of Sciences, where as a member of an international team of students, garnered the grand prize at the Regeneron and Medidata Genomics Challenge. 

The district congratulates Travis and Athena on this outstanding accomplishment.