Bay Shore High School Alumni Association Admits 2024 Inductees

Bay Shore High School Alumni Association at Captain Bill’s
The Bay Shore High School Alumni 2024 Inductee dinner at Captain Bill’s Bayview House.
Photo by Cameron Meyn.

The Bay Shore High School Alumni Association inducted twelve new members into its hall of fame on April 16. The inductees, as well as current hall-of-famers, attended the Association’s seventh ceremonial dinner at Captain Bill’s Bayview House.

The Hall of Fame, which was founded in 2002, is comprised of members from dozens of graduating classes with over 130 years of history. Notable inductees include civil rights icon Harvey Milk, a member of Bay Shore High’s class of 1947 and one of the first openly gay men elected to public office in the United States.

“Our Hall of Fame features accomplished alumni, teachers, and administrators that have or had successful and impactful careers,” said Harry Brown, the Alumni Association’s president and a member of the class of ’66 in a letter. “This current class of honorees joins a distinguished and elite club, and we welcome and thank them all for their contributions and participation.”

Jessica Meyer was one of the ceremony’s 12 inductees. A member of the class of 1992, Meyer is a renowned viola player who attributes her success to her experiences at Bay Shore High School.

Musical composer and Bay Shore High School Hall of Fame inductee, Jessica Meyer.Photo by Titilayo Ayangade.

“The arts program at the high school is exceptional,” Meyer said. “My music teachers inspired me to create my own music.

While always passionate about composing music, Meyer didn’t pursue it professionally until over two decades after graduating, upon realizing she needed an outlet for personal and creative satisfaction. “I was teaching, then organizing wedding bands, then I was freelancing. You name it, I’ve done it,” Meyer laughed.

After a decade of composing her own music, Meyer’s achievements are impressive. Some of her other compositions have been performed by Grammy award-winning vocal groups Vox Clamantis and Roomful of Teeth, the American Brass Quartet, and even The Juilliard School, the private performing arts conservatory that’s her second alma mater. Meyer also received several commissioning awards from the New York State Council of Arts and Chamber Music of America. Her first symphonic band piece, commissioned by the President’s Own Marine Band, premiered to a sold-out Carnegie Hall. Meyer’s first album, “Ring Out,” debuted at #1 on the Billboard Traditional Classical chart when it was released in 2019.

The strength of Bay Shore High School’s arts program didn’t just apply to Meyer’s graduating class.

“I loved the extracurricular activities there,” said Alyce Finell, another of the inductees from the Class of 1957.

Finell originally wanted to be a classical clarinetist, but decided to enter the world of broadcasting instead, producing and directing over 40 TV shows over the course of her career. Within the past few years, however, Finell decided to purchase a piano and pursue songwriting, even composing a whole musical titled “Mabel’s Fantasy.”

While the majority of the Hall of Fame consists of students, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who’d refute former track coach Steve Borbet’s induction. Borbet is a Bay Shore legend on the same level as Paul Bunyan, Davy Crockett, or Johnny Appleseed; he taught at Bay Shore High School from 1975 to 2009, and then continued to coach track until 2022.

“In my time there, I helped Bay Shore win seven individual championships and six relay championships, and those were big deals,” Borbet recalled. “They were at the national level, so we had people from all over competing.”

In the span of those 49 years, Borbet also helped Bay Shore win 41 Suffolk County championships, 40 cross-country meets in a row, 120 winter meets, 85 spring meets, and 28 New York State championships, and coached 147 total seasons, only missing the spring of 2021 due to recovering from back surgery.

Borbet’s talent for coaching didn’t just get him attention from Bay Shore. He’s been the recipient of the New York State Coaches’ Award, the Mike Byrnes National High School Coach of the Year Award, and the Track & Field Coaches Special Recognition Award from USA Track and Field, and has been inducted into The Armory Foundation’s Coaches Hall of Fame.

“After some calculation I’ve figured out that I’ve run about 36,000 miles in Brightwaters, drove to Bay Shore 14,000 times, taught 11,000 students, and I went to 16 states,” reflected Borbet. “Eighty of my former students have become coaches, I’ve written hundreds of letters of recommendation for students, and I’ve attended several of my student’s weddings, with the next one coming up in May. It was never just a sports team to me…. I just love Bay Shore…. It was more like a family, and so many people helped me along the way.”

Cameron Meyn is an up-and-coming journalist, with the Fire Island News being his first reporting gig after graduating from SUNY Purchase in 2023. He is lifelong resident of Bay Shore.