Eliza Walther is thriving. The bright, articulate and highly engaged Huntington High School junior has embraced her classes and extracurricular interests with typical enthusiasm. It’s always a sunny day in the life of the teenager, who exudes positive thoughts.
Ms. Walther is a great student as well as being a musician, athlete and all around wonderful young woman who genuinely cares about others. She’s always prepared to lend a hand to a classmate in need.
The junior’s academic schedule includes Advanced Placement US History, AP English Language and Composition, Spanish IV, Pre-Calculus, Physics Regents, Creative Video II, Senior Band Competitive and Health.
“I am really enjoying my Physics class this year, which is taught by Mrs. [Amelia] Saggese,” Ms. Walther said. “I know I will use this knowledge in the future since it relates to day to day life. Another class is Creative Video II taught my Mrs. [Heather] Swan, who is upbeat and fun. She teaches us interesting ways to use the software programs and filming techniques. A lot of the time we are on our own, but she is always there to lend a hand.”
A Natural Helper since her freshman year, Ms. Walther has assisted classmates under the guidance club faculty advisor Robert Gilmor III. “He works hard to make us feel like a family,” she said. “He made sure to have Zoom meetings during quarantine so we could all stay connected.”
The secretary of Huntington’s Art Honor Society, the teenager volunteers with the high school’s Habitat for Humanity chapter and also participates in the Environmental Club.
“Marching band has been a very big part of my Huntington experience since eighth grade,” Ms. Walther said. “I have met some wonderful people and learned a tremendous amount about working as a team. It is a lot of work and takes up a lot of my time, but I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world.”
Ms. Walther is hoping the COVID-19 pandemic relents so she can once again play on the Blue Devil soccer team. The season is currently scheduled to run March-April and the squad is engaged in pre-season training now.
The junior said she considers Kailey Rappel, Liam Lennon and Grace Agrillo to be her closest friends. She has also developed close relationships with several teachers.
“Mr. Gilmor and Mrs. [Ayallah] Jeddah have always been bright lights in my day,” Ms. Walther said. “They are caring and thoughtful and can always bring a smile to my face no matter the circumstances.”
Taking a wide variety of classes spread across every academic area has been an interesting experience for Ms. Walther.
“I was never a big fan of history until I met Mrs. [Lauren] Desiderio in my freshman year,” Ms. Walther said. “Suddenly I was interested, attentive and looking forward to attending class. I was lucky enough to have Mrs. Desiderio again in my sophomore year and I will always be grateful to her for making history something I could be interested in.”
Ms. Walther’s advice to incoming freshmen? “Show up every day, work hard, get involved, make good friends and trust your teachers,” she said.
Although she has a long time to go before graduation, Ms. Walther is thinking about her future, including possible colleges and careers.
“My mind is not made up, but I am interested in University at Buffalo and Marist College so far,” Ms. Walther said. “I would like to find a school that would allow me to pursue a career in sports photography or sports media.”
Ms. Walther is maintaining a positive attitude during this surreal time brought about by the COVID-19 public health crisis. Nothing gets her down for very long.
“I appreciate my years at Huntington High School and I look forward to the future,” Ms. Walther said.