Francine Nastasi transferred to Huntington High School three years ago and it wasn’t long before she felt right at home. Classmates and teachers quickly took a liking to the friendly teenager with the warm smile. Time has passed by in what seems like the blink of an eye and soon she will be headed to Adelphi University to pursue a business degree.
Huntington High School senior Francine Nastasi.
“I chose Adelphi University because I feel it is the perfect fit for me,” Ms. Nastasi said. “When I went to visit the school I instantly fell in love with the campus and knew this is where I wanted to spend my next four years. Everyone was so nice there, which made my decision process even easier. I love the size of the campus, the class sizes and how close I will be to home and New York City. I couldn’t be more excited.”
Ms. Nastasi intends to pursue a business related academic major, “most likely” in marketing with a possible minor in communications. She’s been recruited to swim for Adelphi on the college’s NCAA Division II team. The senior specializes in sprint freestyle and backstroke. Exclaiming that she has a “ton of potential,” Adelphi head coach Bobby Smith added that “we’re very excited to see what her time as a Panther brings.”
“I have been swimming forever and I am so excited to continue it in college,” Ms. Nastasi said. “I have been on varsity swimming for five years and this year I was one of the captains. Once I met the swim team and coaches at Adelphi I knew this was the college I wanted to attend.”
Named a Distinguished Senior
Ms. Nastasi’s hard work and perseverance led to her being named a Distinguished Senior after earning an academic grade average of at least a 90 during every semester of high school. She’s the owner of a stellar academic record and is well-positioned for success in a college classroom.
“Moving to a new school for my sophomore year was a very difficult time for me, but I am so glad to say now that Huntington High School has been an amazing experience,” Ms. Nastasi said. “I have met great faculty and staff and made friendships that will last forever. I participated in many sports and clubs where I met so many different people and had significant opportunities. I accomplished so much and couldn’t be more proud of myself. Moving to a new school was a major challenge, but having support from my amazing family and the staff at Huntington enabled me to get through it. I am so lucky to have been part of the Huntington community for three years.”
Ms. Nastasi considered the University of Delaware, University of Rhode Island, Siena College, St. John’s University, Sacred Heart University and Monmouth University before choosing Adelphi.
A member of the National Honor Society and the English Honor Society, Ms. Nastasi engaged in a credit bearing internship with the Huntington Foundation for Excellence in Education and was on the HFEE Youth Board. A Relay For Life organizing committee member, the teenager has been a high school Natural Helper, volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and participated in both the Key Club and the yearbook club. She earned varsity letters with the Blue Devil swimming and crew teams.
Developed many enjoyable relationships
Ms. Nastasi has developed so many enjoyable relationships with classmates, teammates, teachers and coaches since she came to Huntington from Saratoga Springs.
“I have enjoyed all of my teachers at Huntington and have learned so much from them,” the senior said. “I have made so many great relationships and memories with them. But my favorite faculty at Huntington would include Mrs. [Joann] Ferazi, Ms. [Judy] Pazienza, Mr. [Steven] Kroll, Mrs. [Dianna] Molenko, Mrs. [Elizabeth] Casazza, Mr. [Robert] Gilmor and my swim coaches, Mr. [Christopher] Helmke and Meg McConnell.”
Ms. Nastasi is known for brightening the atmosphere in all of her classrooms, which is another reason why teachers love her. “Mrs. Ferazi has been one of my favorite teachers,” the teenager said. “She would always be there to help me during free periods and after school if I was confused on something, even when I didn’t have her as a teacher. She is always so helpful and is someone I know I can talk to about anything. She will definitely be missed next year.
Ms. Pazienza is another favorite. “Physics has probably been the hardest class I’ve taken, but having Ms. Paz as a teacher makes it so much better,” Ms. Nastasi said. “She always pushes me to do my best and makes the class a lot of fun. I loved having her as a teacher this year.”
Advanced Placement Capstone program teachers, Mr. Kroll and Mrs. Molenko have both made strong impressions on Ms. Nastasi. “I had them for AP Seminar and AP Research and I have learned so much from both of them,” she said. “They are the two perfect teachers for this course and because of them my presentation and writing skills have improved enormously.”
The senior has been a student in Mrs. Casazza’s Spanish class for many years and has also worked with her as a member of the yearbook club. “I have her class ninth period and have enjoyed having her for the past three years,” Ms. Nastasi said. “I’ve made great memories in her class.”
“Was always so friendly to me”
Mr. Gilmor is one of those faculty members who will never be forgotten by Ms. Nastasi. “When I first moved to Huntington Gil was always so friendly to me and always knew how to make me feel better,” she said. “Gil always would say ‘hi’ to me in the hallway, which always made me smile. Gil has been a major inspiration for me and definitely many other students. I have also gotten to know Gil more through Natural Helpers. He is such an amazing person.”
Ms. Nastasi will always cherish the time she spent swimming for the Blue Devils. “I’m so lucky to have had Mr. Helmke and Meg McConnell as my coaches,” she said. “They always pushed me to do my best. I loved being part of their team and will definitely miss them next year, but will definitely come back to visit them and the team.”
With Huntington’s 157th commencement only days away, Ms. Nastasi is looking back over the past three years with happiness and satisfaction.
“Overall, my experience at Huntington High School has truly been amazing,” Ms. Nastasi said. “Even though I went through the major challenge of moving, I am so happy that I will be graduating from Huntington High School. I will always remember how friendly the faculty and staff is and how they are always there for their students no matter what. I’ll never forget all the memories I have made, the friendships established and my incredible teachers as well as all the experiences and opportunities of being a part of many different clubs and sports. I am very excited to start a new chapter in my life, but I am definitely going to miss Huntington and will never forget this incredible community.”