Stuyvesant High School is considered one of the top schools in New York City. Each year approximately 28,000 students test for admittance. Only 800 are accepted. The school is tuition-free and academically accelerated. It is only offered to residents of the City meeting the stringent admittance testing and other requirements.
Stuyvesant, also known to alumni and current students as “Stuy,” has a strong push for hard sciences and offers a college prep STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) course load. For those qualifying for admittance, the opportunity is furnished through the public education system. The school also emphasizes instilling intellectual, moral, and humanistic excellence in students – pushing them toward achieving their maximum potential as members of the human family.
The school was founded more than a hundred years ago in 1904 as a boys’ school and remained so until 1969 when it went co-ed with an initial class of 14 female freshmen. Even in the early days, the school included many students from immigrant families. Its tradition of excellent education bears fruit as the alumni roster includes four Nobel Laureates, and a host of leaders in science, mathematics, government, law, the arts, and music.
Almost from the beginning, the school started requiring scholastic excellence to earn admittance, with testing for such beginning in 1919 and amped up to more difficult academic requirements in the 1930s.
If you wonder where the unusual name comes from, it is named for Peter Stuyvesant, the last governor of the colony while still under Dutch rule – then, what later became New York City, was transferred to Great Britain in 1664.
Here are some of the most successful graduates from Stuyvesant High School of the 1990’s in no particular order:
Noah Tepperberg – graduated Stuyvesant in 1993.
After graduation, Tepperberg attended the University of Miami with a double major in business management and entrepreneurship. During his High School years, Noah met his current and long-time business partner Jason Strauss.
Together they started planning and promoting nightclubs – and after they had both graduated from college, they kept growing until they soon opened their own club in the Hamptons.
From there they went on to open several highly successful clubs, restaurants, and a hotel, many of these with additional partners. Their holdings include Marquee, Tao, Lavo, Avenue, and Dream Downtown Hotel in New York, as well as Tao and Lavo in Las Vegas. They also have holdings in Australia. Tepperberg is one of the most successful nightclub owners in the world, accomplishing that by the age of 40. Noah and his fiancé Melissa Wood welcomed their first child in July 2015.
Gary Shteyngart – graduated Stuyvesant in 1991.
Shteyngart is a Russian-born novelist who immigrated to New York City when he was seven years old. Gary graduated from college with his degree in politics and received an MFA in creative writing.
His first novel The Russian Debutante’s Handbook was published in 2002 and was written after his first visit to Prague. Since then he has published Absurdistan, Super Sad True Love Story, and Little Failure: A Memoir.
He has also written articles for a variety of print publications including The New Yorker and The New York Times.
UPDATE: Late January 2016, Showtime confirmed it ordered Ben Stiller’s adaptation of Super Sad True Love Story, an adaptation of Shteyngart’s 2010 novel. Shteyngart will act as executive producer with Media Rights Capital producing the film.
Boaz Weinstein – graduated Stuyvesant in 1991.
Weinstein is an American derivatives trader and hedge fund manager. Boaz founded Saba Capital Management. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Philosophy and lives in New York City with his wife Tali – who is an attorney and Rhodes Scholar.
Weinstein started working for Deutsche Bank in 1998 where he became the youngest ever Managing Director at age 27. In 2009 with Deutsche’s approval and direction, he left to form Saba along with 15 hand-picked team members from among his associates at Deutsche. As of November 2013, Saba managed approximately $3.9 billion in assets for his clients.
In September 2015, a lawsuit was filed against Saba Capital by Canada alleging Saba had used underhanded tactics to make more of a profit for his firm on the sale of the money invested in his hedge fund by the Canadians. Ultimately Saba and Weinstein filed to have the suit dismissed since everything was done according to the contract following language specifically requested by the Canadians. Proving, if nothing else, the Stuy guys are willing to stand their ground.
Ronn Torossian – graduated Stuyvesant in 1992.
Torossian is the CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the top 20 PR firms in the U.S. He lives in Manhattan with his family. Torossian opened 5WPR in 2003, and today employs over 125 people, with client experience including Whole Foods, Coca-Cola, Anheuser-Busch, Barnes and Noble, Microsoft, Grey Line Bus Tours, and Gummi Bears – just to name a few.
His firm regularly wins awards – and he’s a native New Yorker which makes him one of the few New York City natives running a major publicity agency.
Along with running a very successful PR firm, Mr. Torossian oversees charitable foundations and is very devoted to his community. He’s a successful author, his best selling book “For Immediate Release” is required reading in PR classes worldwide.
5WPR has offices in Los Angeles, Denver, and New York City and had revenue of approximately $19 million in 2014. His book: For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations is a PR industry best-seller.
Grace Meng – graduated Stuyvesant in 1993.
Grace Meng is a lawyer and Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives for New York’s 6th District. Meng is the first Asian-American representing New York in any U.S. congressional seat.
But Grace follows in her father’s footsteps in that regard as he (Jimmy Meng) was the first Asian American elected to New York State’s legislature in 2004.
Meng is a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and the HFAC’s Subcommittee on the Middle East, where she recently co-sponsored the Iran Ballistic Missile Prevention and Sanctions Act (H.R. 4342), as well as the Zero Tolerance for Terror Act (H.R. 4333). Congresswoman Meng in jpupdates stated,
“Iran’s actions threaten the world and violate U.N. Security Council resolutions,” and the country “must be held accountable. These bills would accomplish that by holding Iran’s feet to the fire, allowing Congress to swiftly impose sanctions in response to any ballistic missile activities or support for terrorism. Iran’s aggression must not be allowed to stand.”
Of course, these are just a smattering of the 1990s Stuyvesant graduate success stories. But they represent the school well and show how much can be accomplished in a short time when people are given good information, tools, and helped build the drive to move mountains out of their paths.
Each of these graduates of Stuyvesant High School represents themselves, and their alma mater well in their fields of endeavor. Keep your eye out for future accomplishments of these five success stories.