The top members of Huntington High School’s Class of 2018 were honored on Thursday night at this year’s Distinguished Seniors Dinner in Louis D. Giani Gymnasium.
During the three-hour long affair the remarkable teenagers recognized a set of teachers who have meant so much to them over the years. A large crowd numbering about 300 turned out for the fourteenth annual dinner that recognizes Huntington’s leading scholars.
Principal Brenden Cusack saluted the 107 exceptional students for their remarkable academic performance and noteworthy efforts outside of classes and in the community.
“The Distinguished Seniors dinner is a wonderful tradition as it serves to honor two amazing groups of people,” Mr. Cusack said. “Our seniors who have achieved an average of 90 or better throughout the course of their high school careers are truly deserving of praise and admiration. They have shown a great deal of pride in their work over an extended period of time, and this is to be commended. The teachers honored at the event are also very worthy of recognition, as these students have identified them as having had a profound impact upon them in a social, emotional and academic sense. To be recognized by one’s students is the highest form of praise an educator can receive. It is a great opportunity to come together and celebrate what makes Huntington special: the students and teachers who make it all happen.”
School Board President Thomas DiGiacomo, Superintendent James W. Polansky, PTA Council Vice President Kristin Kanzer and Huntington High School Assistant Principal Gamal Smith also took turns at the microphone, offering the seniors heartfelt congratulations for a job well done.
107 Distinguished Senior Honored
The honorees included Nicole Abbondandelo, Serina Aguirre, Joel Alfaro, Mateo Alzate-Rodrigo, Natale Amato, Isabella Annunziata, Katherine Aparicio, Nicole Arenth, Christina Aureliano, Kelvin Barahona Alvarado, Alyssa Befumo, Samuel Bergman, Quinn Blackburn, Sebastian Blot, Dylan Bluemer, Marjorie Bonilla, Charlotte Brosoff, Michelle Castillo, Christopher Chang, Kyle Chin, Peter Ciccone, Niamh Condon, Benjamin Conner, Veronique Daniel, Gaia D’Anna, Bethany Danziger, Lianna DeChiaro, Stephanie Demartino, Casey DiGiacomo, Lars Drace, Thomas Edgar-McNerney, Xavier Edgar-McNerney, Luke Eidle, Megan Erhardt, Kenneth Fajardo, William Fallon, Gerard Federici, Abigail Fernandez, Aidan Forbes and David Fredericks.
Ethan Garcia, Mikayla Gaspar, Tyler Gerbavsits, Kathryn Giambrone, Matthew Giamo, Margaret Giles, Christopher Giordano, Sarah Glascock, Olivia Hannigan, John Healy, William Hebert, Noah Helburn, Alexandra Heuwetter, Nicholas Inman, Nikki Jacobus, Adina Kirkland, Katharine Kitzen, Levi Leach, Alexandra Lourenso, Timothy Low, Ryley Madison, Matthew Magerle, Amelia Maggio, Ryan Marques, Christopher Martin, Matthew McConnell, Aidan McCooey, Isabella McGinniss, Zachary McGinniss, Lucas Mocellin Teixeira, Sarah Montreuil, Casey Moskowitz, Rachel Moss, Nicole Muszynski, Francine Nastasi, Christina Nigro, Katarina Obermaier, Morgan Oh, Christopher Piazza, Isabella Piccola and Nolan Piccola were also recognized as Distinguished Seniors.
The honorees also included Cailan Polishook, Anthony Puglisi, Amelia Reilly, Cathryn Ricciardelli, John Riley, Max Robins, Julia Rogan, Jamie Rosenbauer, Lindsay Saginaw, Raymond Sanders, Katie Seccafico, Samantha Sgrizzi, Jamie Spector, Sebastian Stamatatos, Amber Stieve, Adam Trimboli, Finneas Tucker, Christina Varady, Erica Vazquez, Brenda Viera-Pereira, Will Vollack, Elizabeth Wakhale, Lauren White, Sarah White, Matthew Wildermuth and Joshua Yanuck.
“An accomplished group”
“The Huntington High School Class of 2018 is beyond an accomplished group,” Superintendent James W. Polansky said. “It was a pleasure to share the occasion and enjoy reminiscing with our distinguished seniors as they prepare to take the next steps in their academic and personal lives. Their legacy will remain in so many regards. I am equally as sure that the memories they have made during their Huntington years will be with them indefinitely, including those of the outstanding teachers they chose to honor at the event.”
The seniors were asked to select one teacher to be honored from the first school they attended in the district and from each of their subsequent schools. The teenagers took their responsibility seriously and made their selections based upon personal experiences that struck home with each of them, both individually and collectively.
The seniors recognized teachers Rosa Lanoue, Patricia Maltempo, Tracey McManus, Soroya Triessl, Patricia Nowack, Tara Adams, Matthew Liguori and Michael Marinello.
Seniors introduced each of the faculty members with touching and heartfelt remembrances. The teachers spoke one-by-one, recalling their experiences with the now-seniors and stressing how proud they are of their former students.
The large crowd was feted to a delicious meal whipped up by highly regarded Long Island chef Howard J. Fay. Huntington High School administrators and secretaries served the crowd as it passed along tables filled with various dishes.
Talented high school strings musicians entertained the crowd as it filed into the gymnasium. Performing under the direction of teacher Nicole Castaldo, the chamber orchestra included: Violin I: Arielle Harvey, Annabella Matheus, Morgan Minicozzi, Kelly Alfaro, Gabriel Medina-Jaudes, Olivia Perez; Viola: Ella Siepel, Haley Mortell, Erika Varady; Cello: Hannah Bailin, Julien Rentsch, Diya Rai-Gersappe, Valerie Rogel; Bass: Kyle Perea, Hadley Clayton
As the evening’s program finally drew to a close, parents began snapping hundreds of photographs of the seniors as they posed in groups with their classmates.