Huntington High School junior Cristel Hernandez
Huntington High School junior Cristel Hernandez 

Cristel Hernandez Excels with a Smile on Her Face

March 10, 2023

Cristel Hernandez is a sweet young woman who loves her family and friends and excels in her classes and extracurricular activities. The Huntington High School junior is interested in pursuing a teaching career and considering her magnetic personality it’s a sure bet that she will be popular with the students in her classes.

“My experience at Huntington High School has been great because there are many people here who are amazing,” Ms. Hernandez said. “For example, I got really close with [one of my classmates] Kim Panameno. Kimberly and I are like sisters who could never be separated.”

The junior has also developed many fruitful and satisfying relationships with faculty members.

“Two teachers that have made a difference in my life and who I feel that I have made a connection with during my time in Huntington are Mrs. [Kaitlyn] Hanft and Mrs. [Susan] Buchalter,” Ms. Hernandez said. “Mrs. Buchalter is a great teacher and an amazing person. I was a New World Club class mentor in her ENL Global Studies class last year. The experience was wonderful. I loved helping these students because I knew the difficulty of coming to a new country and adjusting to the change. Although I wouldn’t have been able to do this if it wasn’t because of Mrs. Gonzalez, the advisor of the club.”

The teenager and Mrs. Hanft first encountered each other in a Global Studies classroom. “Since the moment I got to know her, she was my favorite teacher,” Ms. Hernandez said. “The experience in her class was like no other. Every day I couldn’t wait to go to her class and learn more about the subject. Mrs. Hanft motivated me every day to do my best in everything I did. Both of these teachers have been wonderful, and I love being around them all the time.”

Ms. Hernandez is interested in studying education at Binghamton University. “Being able to help others has always been a passion of mine so I think teaching would allow me to do it every day,” she said.

The junior is very family oriented and loves spending time with them whenever she can. Co-president of the high school’s New World Club, Ms. Hernandez has been inducted into the Spanish Honor Society and Math Honor Society and she’s a member of the Principal’s Advisory Council.

The teenager’s current course lineup includes Advanced Placement English Language and Composition, AP US History, AP Spanish, Pre-Calculus Honors, Fashion Design & Illustration II, AP Biology and Symphony Orchestra.

“My favorite classes are AP US History and Symphony Orchestra,” Ms. Hernandez said. “I like AP US History because Mr. [Kenneth] Donovan always makes the class very interesting and helps us with many different things. Symphony Orchestra is my favorite because Mr. [James] Dimeglio is a wonderful teacher and his class is very fun. I love being able to play different types of music.”

Ms. Hernandez is a hard-working student. “I am always ready to learn as soon as I walk into class,” she said. “I would also describe myself as a person who loves to help everyone. I’ve been helping people since I was little. I am also a very bubbly person who always has a smile on her face, because I know that smiling at someone can mean a lot and make a difference.”

The junior has already applied for a credit bearing internship with Mrs. Hanft. “I am really hoping to get this internship because I know that the experience with her and the experience with the students is going to be amazing,” Ms. Hernandez said.

The teenager spent last summer having fun with her family. “I went to visit family that I hadn’t seen in a long time,” Ms. Hernandez said. “We went to the beach and had an amazing time.”

Ms. Hernandez is an excellent student, compiling a second marking period academic average of more than 97.8 while taking numerous AP and honors level classes.

“In 10 years, I hope to be working in the career of my choice and being able to help my family as much as they have helped me as well as to continue the family business that my dad has started,” Ms. Hernandez said.