Huntington High School boasts one of the strongest Italian language programs on Long Island if not the state. Not only are an array of courses available, but the students taking them are tops, too.
Several Huntington Italian III Honors students turned in exceptional performances on the National Italian Exam, which is offered annually across the country.
Huntington sophomores Alexander Bellissimo and Jhosselyn Gomez Hernandez captured silver medals. Sophomores Jorge Parada Cisneros and Gabrielle Trimboli earned bronze medals
“These students along with several others enrolled to take this exam to test their knowledge of Italian language and culture,” Huntington Italian teacher Natalia Kopshti said. “Their passion for the language is evident in the classroom and out, too. They are dedicated to learning everything the language has to offer and I am sure that they will go very far as Italian speakers. I am very proud to see them succeed in Italian and feel it’s nice to recognize their achievement.
A Farmingdale High School graduate, Mrs. Kopshti obtained undergraduate and graduate degrees at Stony Brook University. She earned a BA in Italian studies with a minor in Spanish and a master’s degree in romance languages.
Mrs. Kopshti completed her Spanish student teaching requirements at J. Taylor Finley Middle School with cooperating teacher Alicia Furman and her Italian student teaching requirements at Huntington High School with cooperating teacher Sylvia Gilbert.
“After I graduated from Stony Brook University, I worked as a leave replacement Italian teacher in Harrison in Westchester,” Mrs. Kopshti said. “When I found out there was an opening at Huntington High School, I jumped at the opportunity. I love this district and am very grateful to be a part of this community.”
Mrs. Kopshti is the faculty advisor to Huntington High School’s Italian Honor Society chapter. The organization’s slate of officers includes Francesca Greco (president), Sophia LaCentra (vice president), Morgan Minicozzi (secretary), Keenan Lyons (treasurer) and Ethan Mulroy (historian).
The National Italian Exam serves many purposes, according to the AATI:
- It assesses language learning
- It evaluates the effectiveness of Italian curricula
- It increases the enrollment in Italian
- It prepares students for the AP Italian Language and Culture Exam
- It rewards excellence in Italian (state and national monetary prizes; two-week study courses in Italy for students and teachers; national honorable mention certificates)
- It affords students to become recipients of the Società Onoraria Italica scholarships
- It prepares students to take the SAT II in Italian