Huntington High School’s top graduating seniors are traditionally honored during a catered dinner in Louis D. Giani Gymnasium. It is a festive evening that typically draws a crowd of more than 300. With the COVID-19 pandemic still raging across the world, the affair won’t be held this year, but officials say the leading scholars in the Class of 2020 are more than deserving of special recognition.
An exceptional group of 154 teenagers has earned the honor of being called Distinguished Seniors after turning in many years of remarkable classroom performance and noteworthy efforts outside of classes and in the community.
The seniors are headed to many of the finest colleges and universities throughout the country and even Europe. They plan to study across dozens of different academic areas and pursue careers that run the gamut of possibilities.
“This group is beyond special in so many regards,” Superintendent James W. Polansky said. “Yes, they have left their mark in the classroom, in the community, on stage and on the field. Yes, they have been Huntington ambassadors and role models in every sense. They will be remembered by their alma mater for it all, but most prominently for their incredible fortitude and resilience. They are the best of the best and will enter the next stages of their lives poised to make a genuine difference. This tribute is to them!”
A colorful journal is compiled each year with portraits and snapshot profiles of each of the scholars. Copies of the publication are available at the dinner in the school gym. Although this year’s dinner has been cancelled, the journal is still being compiled and will be posted on the district website and be available for download.
“Our Distinguished Seniors are truly an exceptional group of young men and women and they are facing an exceptionally difficult time with the grace and poise they have displayed throughout their high school careers,” Principal Brenden Cusack said. “Even though we are not currently able to gather together with them to celebrate, this surely does not minimize our pride in their accomplishments. I offer my heartfelt thanks to our Distinguished Seniors for representing Huntington High School so well and to their families for their unwavering support over the years. We will continue to work with student leaders in order to develop creative ways to celebrate the senior class as we continue forward on this challenging journey together.”
Huntington’s 2020 Distinguished Seniors include Megan Agrillo, Tahiyat Akber, Kelly Alfaro-Alvarez, Jeslyn Alfaro-Andrade, Zubair Ali, Andrew Amitrano, Lena Annunziata, Kevin Aparicio, Catherine Arevalo, Dania Avelar-Romero, Joshua Avidor, Hannah Avidor, Karen Avila Anariba, Ryan Baker, Stephanie Bardales, Matthew Basil, Riva Bergman, Stephanie Bermudez-Rivera, Brooke Biernacki, Alice Bradford, Alicia Brooks, William Burton, Jr., Sulma Campos Moreno, Robert Caputi, Christopher Carmen, Emily Cheshire, Natalie Ciccone, Casey Coleman, Moira Contino, Brian Contreras, Marissa Cribar, Beanna Cumella, Mia D’Alessandro, Livia D’Anna, Daniel Danziger, Mya Davis, Kyra DeSalvo, Nayely Estrada-Rodriquez, Josefina Fasolino, Jack Flores, Isabella Fodera, Emerson Forbes, Charles Forte and Aiden Franznick.
The honorees also include Natalie Furman, Martin Garcia, Brenden Garcia, Kiara Gelbman, Matthew Gennarelli, Alexandra Gerbavsits, Julia Giles, Matthew Girimonti, Craig Haas, Caroline Hartough, Abigail Holmes, Catherine Jamison, Neil Jean-Baptiste, Robert Jean-Gilles, Griselda Jimenez Contreras, Peyton Kalb, Paul Katigbak, Lucas Kelly, Molly Kessler, Oskar Kilgour, Andrew Knowles, Ryan Knowles, Jonathan Kouas, Madelyn Kye, Margaret Lalor, Madison Lange, Patrick Langton, Angelina Larkin, Baylie Larsen, Zadie Lauer, John Lourenso, Jennifer Low, Keenan Lyons, Abigail Maichin, Shyann Maragh-Jean-Baptiste, Michael Mathews, Karley Mathews, Christopher Mavrogian, Aedan McDonald, Joseph Mead, Gabriel Medina-Jaudes, Madeline Meidenman, Johnny Menjivar, Silvia Merlos Meza and Ashton Metzler.
The top seniors also include Ryan Miller, Max Mittleman, Jack Monahan, Robert Moreno, Ethan Mulroy, Nathan Musso, Adam Neber, Isabella Neira, James Obermaier, Aldo Ochoa Islas, Charles O’Rourke, Caitlyn Palermo, John Panos, Kyle Perea, Luca Perna, Daniel Petrylka, Cole Pillon, Jessica Quintanilla, Diya Rai-Gersappe, Eunice-Bonita Ramos, Daniela Ramos Campos, Madelyn Reed, Michael Reed, Julien Rentsch, Ricardo Romero-Cisneros, Nicholas Rowley, Patrick Sclafani, Julia Segal, John Segreti, Abigail Semelsberger, Lia Shechter, Nathan Soric, Marissa Stafford, Natalia Stamatatos, Lily Stein, Omari Stephen, Justin Stevens, Matthew Stolfa, Jose Suarez, Foster Sullivan, Cori Thomason, Isabella Thompson, Nicholas Thompson, Joseph Tonjes and Aniyah Toro.
Diego Torres, Isabella Toscano, Rocio Trujillo, Grace Tyrrell, Kimberly Valle, Brandon Varady, Jason Verville, Bryce Vitulli, Steliani Vlahos, Ava Waxenberg, Christopher Weber, Anna Wickey, Ryan Williams, Daniel Williamson, Holly Wright, Michael Wright, Chaohan Yang, Faith Youngquist and Matthew Youngwall have also been recognized as 2020 Distinguished Seniors.
Huntington held its first commencement on July 18, 1862 at the First Presbyterian Church on Main Street opposite the school building (where Town Hall is currently located.) Diplomas were presented to six seniors.