Kiara Rafailan and Alyssa Sorensen will both graduate near the top of Huntington High School’s Class of 2019 at the 158th commencement exercises at Blue Devil Stadium on Friday, June 28.
The two teenagers were academic and co-curricular standouts, playing key roles with a number of teams and organizations and displaying spectacular leadership qualities. The pair was respected and admired by classmates and both will be sorely missed next year when each begins pursuit of a new set of goals at their respective colleges.
Huntington Superintendent James W. Polansky presented the National School Development Council awards.
Superintendent James W. Polansky presented Ms. Rafailan and Ms. Sorensen with this year’s National School Development Council awards at last Wednesday’s senior academic awards night in the high school auditorium.
“Kiara and Alyssa continue to serve as genuine role models in the classroom, on the field and in the community,” Mr. Polansky said. “They have led by example and as a result, have earned the respect of their peers, teachers and all who have had the privilege of coming to know them. Their passion knows no boundaries and they are surely destined for great things ahead.”
“The National School Development Council is a confederation of school study or development councils located across the country,” according to the organization’s website. “The Council embodies the philosophic and operational tenets of the school study and development council movement. Each of these regional, state, or county-based councils is, in turn, an association of local school systems that work together; usually in conjunction with one or more institutions of higher learning on matters of common concern.”
Ms. Rafailan is headed to St. John’s University in Queens on a full scholarship. She will be participating in a dual bachelor’s and master’s degree program in elementary education. The teenager has been an exceptional student academically and she has also participated in the Grandfriends club, A World of Difference, varsity soccer and varsity track and field.
The senior interned with high school business teacher Suzie Biagi this past year, calling it a “wonderful experience.” Ms. Rafailan said the key to her success has been the “love and support from my family friends and teachers.”
Ms. Sorensen is headed to Drexel University in Philadelphia where she plans to study public health in anticipation for a career as a physician assistant. President of the Young Leaders youth development organization, vice president of Huntington High School’s student government and treasurer of the National Honor Society, the teenager was also a three sport varsity athlete, starring in soccer, basketball and lacrosse.
Recipient of the Town of Huntington’s Youth Philanthropy Award, Ms. Sorensen was also honored by the Health and Welfare Council of Long Island with the group’s Leadership Award.
The teenager said her success is the result of “taking advantage of all of the opportunities I was offered and using those opportunities to grow as a person.”
Mr. Polansky presented the two seniors with certificates and $100 checks and then spoke warmly about the pair who have meant so much to Huntington UFSD since both started kindergarten at Washington Primary School.