Cole Pillion is an eternal optimist. The Huntington High School senior never fails to see the bright side of a situation and is always anticipating something good is on the verge of happening.
Mr. Pillion is a happy young man with many friends. He gets along well with everyone. He’s secure enough in his own being to be able to poke fun at himself from time to time. The senior likes to laugh.
Huntington High School senior Cole Pillion.
The teenager began his trek through Huntington UFSD as a Flower Hill School kindergartener and he’s been well-liked by his classmates and teachers ever since. Mr. Pillion has an easy way about him. He’s a friendly fellow with a smile on his face.
Those early days at Flower Hill have served Mr. Pillion well and paved the way for his success. “I went there for five years and made great friends and had great teachers,” he said.
Fast-forward to present day; Mr. Pillion’s current academic schedule includes classes in Advanced Placement Environmental Science, Italian Honors, Calculus, Economics, Humanities, Bible as Literature, Health and Participation in Government.
Mr. Pillion is interested in Oberlin College, Skidmore College, Penn State, Pepperdine, University of California Santa Barbara, University of California Los Angeles, University of Pittsburgh and Fordham University. “I am planning on majoring in business and would like to work in that field,” he said.
Mr. Pillion counts John Lourenso, Renato Erek, Pat Sclafani, Matt Girimonti, Chas Forte, Aedan McDonald, Nick Thompson, Carmine De Ieso, Alex Gerbavsits, Cat Jamison, Izzy Toscano, Steli Vlahos, Lena Annunziata, Marissa Stafford and Megan Agrillo as among his closest friends.
“Cole is a very loyal friend,” Ms. Jamison said. “He lives as if every day is the best day of his life. His constant enthusiasm is reflected in all that he does and plays a big role in all of his successes.”
A member of Huntington’s Italian Honor Society, English Honor Society, Social Studies Honor Society and National Honor Society, Mr. Pillion is very solid academically. He intends to continue participating with the high school’s Key Club and Habitat for Humanity chapters.
“Cole’s one of a kind,” Ms. Vlahos said. “He’s enthusiastic and dedicated to everything he does and sets his mind to. There’s never a dull moment when you’re in his presence.”
Mr. Pillion also volunteers with the Huntington Interfaith Homeless Initiative through his church, Our Lady Queen of Martyrs. Volunteering and community service are qualities that have been encouraged by his parents and which he’s embraced.
The senior has enjoyed participating in the Blue Devil athletic program. “Sports are important to me,” Mr. Pillion said. “I am the starting goalie this year on the varsity soccer team and play varsity lacrosse. I have played soccer and lacrosse every year from middle school through high school and love these sports. I have also played basketball, but think I will run winter track this year.”
The teenager has worked especially closely and well with teachers Lori Kenny, Peter Crugnale, Paige Tyree, Beth Vogelsang and Anthony Troffa, soccer coach John Pagano and lacrosse coach Julian Watts and guidance counselor Catherine Croke.
Mr. Pillion and his friends depend on each other for support and encouragement. They are a very loyal bunch. “I’ve known Cole forever and he’s one of my closest friends,” Mr. Forte said. “He’s also one of the hardest working kids I know. I’ve traveled around the world with him and been to some of the most exotic destinations with him.”
Mr. Pillion has done quite a bit of traveling, especially with his family. “I have been to six continents,” he said. “Last year, I went to Italy with a group led by Ms. [Camille] Tedeschi and it was so much fun.”
The senior is completely enjoying each day as he makes his way around the high school for classes and stars on the soccer team as the Blue Devil’s goalie.
“Most of my best times revolve around sports and fun times with good friends who I play with, and the hard work and hours put in there and especially winning,” Mr. Pillion said. “Other good times have been spent with great friends I have met through school.
Mr. Pillion returned for classes earlier this month completely rejuvenated. “I had a great summer as I got to spend time with a lot of good high school friends at the beach, pool and around town,” he said.
The teenager has advice for freshmen: “Be open to meeting new and different people; you can’t have enough good friends,” he said. “Be willing to join new clubs and do new things. It helps you figure out what you like and do not like. Learn to manage your time as there can be a lot of demands on it. Have fun.”
Mr. Pillion’s twin brothers, Chris and Alex Lau have blazed a path before him. Chris was Huntington’s Class of 2010 valedictorian. He went on to earn an undergraduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. Alex was also one of the top members of the Class of 2009. He went on to excel at George Washington University. Both brothers later earned degrees at Fordham University’s School of Law.
“I have grown up in this district and have been around the Huntington schools and sports my whole life as I have twin brothers, Chris and Alex Lau, who are 10 years older than me and I always followed them around, going to their games and activities from the time that I was little,” Mr. Pillion said. “I have grown up in and love Huntington, the Huntington schools and the Huntington community.”