One of the brightest stars and most colorful and vibrant personalities in Huntington High School’s Class of 2020, Neil Jean-Baptiste is headed to the University of Delaware to study civil engineering.
“UD boasts one of the best accredited engineering programs across the nation,” Mr. Jean-Baptiste said. “Newark, Delaware, where the school is located, is also one of the best campus towns I’ve visited along my search. From hearing perspective from alumni, students and current engineers, I’ve heard only great things about UD. I plan to use my degree to create environmentally conscious public works projects or LEED certified buildings to work toward a cleaner future.”
Senior Neil Jean-Baptiste is a longtime member of the marching band. (Darin Reed photo.)
Mr. Jean-Baptiste will always be remembered around Huntington High School. He combines a unique sense of humor with a serious side along with the flair of a musician.
“Huntington offers a vigorous, but rewarding academic program that gave me the knowledge of how to study, how to maintain a hard work ethic and to feel some type of accomplishment after every step of the journey,” Mr. Jean-Baptiste said. “Undoubtedly, I feel excited and ready for my next chapter.”
The teenager has completed many of the high school’s most challenging classes and he has excelled throughout the past four years, regularly earning academic honors.
“Some of the most valuable courses I’ve taken are Advanced Placement Environmental Science, AP Government and Politics and African American Politics,” Mr. Jean-Baptiste said. “All of these courses have taught me integral lessons that are extremely valuable for all walks of life, regardless of who you are. Each of these classes has made me conscious and well-rounded as an individual.”
Mr. Jean-Baptiste is a longstanding member of the Blue Devil marching band. “I can definitely state the music department is my favorite place to be,” he said. “From marching band to both concert bands and honors ensembles, everyone involved in the music department is practically family to me.”
The senior’s advice to incoming ninth graders? “The advice I always have for all freshmen is to participate in a diverse spread of many clubs, sports and classes,” Mr. Jean-Baptiste said. “Dynamics of people change depending on the activity, but when you expose yourself to many different types of people, a lot of people from many different directions will push you through the tougher times of high school. If you search hard enough, there’s always someone there to motivate you or keep your spirits high.”
Among the teachers who have mentored Mr. Jean-Baptiste these past four years are Dame Forbes, Brian Stellato, Jason Giachetti, Nicole Cooper and Joann Ferazi. “Not a single one of these fantastic teachers has given up on me at a single point,” he said. “They’ve always wanted me to succeed and move me in the right direction. There’s many more I could mention, I can’t thank these particular people enough.”
There is little doubt around the high school that Mr. Jean-Baptiste is destined for success at the University of Delaware. His outgoing personality wins over most people in short order and he has never had a problem making friends with everyone. His high-powered intellect is well-suited for college level work.
“What makes Huntington special is that many of the people you meet are extremely personable and friendly,” Mr. Jean-Baptiste said. “Even though Huntington is not exempt from that classic New Yorker mentality, it seems to be that there’s always somebody looking out for you. Throughout my fantastic experience here, it seems everyone I’ve met has at least gone out of their way to make my day better at least once when I needed it most. That’s the one important thing about this place; how tight knit of a community we are.”