Dianna Harris always sets her sights high. The Huntington High School senior is not afraid of an adventure whether it be acting on stage before a crowd numbering in the hundreds or pursuing a degree in aerospace engineering at the University at Buffalo. The teenager is up for any challenge.
“University at Buffalo has been my dream college from the moment I discovered my love for robotics and engineering in my freshman year when I joined the robotics club to my recent visit to Buffalo for a college tour,” Ms. Harris said. “At the time, I was considering other colleges; namely RIT and RPI, two other great engineering based colleges and was struggling to make a decision. That tour really helped my choice, I could actually envision myself walking around campus for classes, not to mention I’ve already met amazing people who are also entering as freshmen! It was like something clicked inside me. I’m excited for this new chapter of my life.”
The senior is especially close to her mom, Shari, a familiar face around Huntington UFSD who held many PTA executive positions over the years. Ms. Harris called classmate Sophia Matheus “an amazing figure” in her life and the two have developed a wonderful friendship over the years.
“Huntington will always have a home in my heart,” Ms. Harris said. “I would not be where I am today without opportunities and support from my family, friends and teachers. I want to especially thank these people in general.
Ms. Harris began her trek through Huntington UFSD as a kindergartener at Washington Primary School. She’s a sweet young woman with a great sense of humor.
“I plan on joining the University at Buffalo’s robotics club,” Ms. Harris said. “I had the honor of sitting in on one of their meetings back in December while they prepared for a local competition.”
Ms. Harris has earned very good grades and was recently honored at the high school’s Distinguished Seniors dinner, which recognized Class of 2022 members who compiled academic averages of 90 or better during every semester since the start of ninth grade.
The teenager keeps busy in an out of school. “I’ve been involved in the robotics club since my freshman year,” Mr. Harris said. “Other than that, I work as a cashier after school.”
Ms. Harris has a way of carving out her own niche. She quietly discerns her interests and then pursues them with hard work and commitment.
“The crown jewel of Huntington UFSD would have to be the teachers,” Ms. Harris said. “I could always count on a teacher to help me with a problem, whether it be a problem in my work or a problem in my life that I can confide in them about. I want to especially thank Ms. Guagliano for guiding me through the entirety of my senior year. I would not be where I am without you!”
The teenager is able to think outside the box. “The only major traveling that I’ve done was when I took a trip to Italy back in my freshmen year,” Ms. Harris said. “It was breathtaking to explore and take in the sights. When I am older, I hope to retire in Sicily, Italy.”
What makes Huntington a special place in the senior’s opinion? “I would have to say the students I’ve grown up with,” Ms. Harris said. “We all have our ups and downs and we may not get along, but I can count on them to make the right decisions and help our community thrive.”
As one chapter of Ms. Harris’ life draws to a close, a new exciting one is about to open. She’s ready for the change and for a new challenge.
“It has definitely been a tough road, especially the last four years,” Ms. Harris said. “With COVID affecting my school life as well as my home and work life, it was a lot to bear at once. It was one of the darkest times in my life, but I wouldn’t be where I am without overcoming that hurdle in my life with the help of my friends, family and teachers. Huntington gave me that chance to thrive and I am thriving with a lot to look forward to in the near future!”