Huntington’s Distinguished Seniors Honored at Dinner
This year’s Distinguished Seniors Dinner at Huntington High School honored the top 63 students in the Class of 2012. Over the course of the evening, the exceptional teenagers themselves recognized a group of teachers who have meant the most to them through the years.
A crowd numbering more than 200 filled Louis D. Giani Gymnasium for the tenth annual dinner that recognizes Huntington’s best. Principal Carmela Leonardi heaped praise on the students for their exceptional academic performance and for seizing the academic and co-curricular opportunities presented to them. Huntington School Board President Emily Rogan offered her heartfelt congratulations and told the seniors to continue striving to do their best in college and beyond.
“The Distinguished Seniors Dinner has become a well established tradition and one that all of us look forward to,” Dr. Leonardi said. “It represents the culmination of four years of consistent and outstanding work on the part of the students and an opportunity to celebrate with their families and with representatives of the educators who were part of their academic career in Huntington.”
The honorees included Marc Acevedo, Natalie Acton, Jenny Asaro, Olusegun Balogun, Madison Biernacki, Holly Blakley, Brielle Blatt, Fatima Bonilla, Lauren Boyce, Laurelle Byrne-Cody, Philip Cadorette, Brandon Campbell, Sarah Cerezo, Jason Chisolm, Marie Clifford, Danielle Cochrane, Marie Coneys, Cole Cook, Juliana Coraor, Kaja Coraor, Rian Cruz, Marie Stella Naima D’Ennery Dejoie, Joseph Dillhoff, Mark Drobnjak, Bradley Dwyer, Brandon Fiordelisi, Holly Flores, Jake Goldstein, Norman Gomez-Vasquez, Thomas Hardardt, Kristin Hartmann and Diana Harvey.
The top seniors also included Jose Hernandez Rodriquez, Philip Hofsiss, Bianca Iarrobino, Taylor Iwanicki, Andrew Ku, David Levin, Esti Lodge, Justin Loscalzo, Teddy Lyons, Nicolas Maiarelli, Michael Marchetta, Erik Marcinik, Alexandra Martinolich, John McCarthy, Daniel McQuade, Roxana Moreira, Christopher Napolitano, Brittany Oliva, Alicia Ortiz, Samantha Palmer, Matthew Petryk, Andrew Phelan, Brittney Robinson-Smikle, Michelle Rosenbauer, Nitika Shah, Joseph Straub, Michael Sullivan, Jeffrey Sun, Celine Takekoshi, Patrick Tuohey and Laura Zenzerovich.
“It is a pleasure to be in the presence of such a fine group of young adults who are poised to influence the world in a genuinely positive manner,” Huntington Superintendent James W. Polansky said. “Their accomplishments in Huntington are unparalleled and their success will surely continue as they enter the college ranks.”
Students were asked to select for special recognition one teacher from the first school they first attended in the district and from each of their subsequent schools. The teenagers took their responsibility seriously, making their selections based upon personal experiences that resonated with each of them, both individually and collectively as a group.
The teachers honored during the evening included Eileen Wallace (Jefferson School), Eric Mininni (Washington School), Eva Liberti (Flower Hill School), Kim Meyers-Bender (Southdown School), Patrice Monks (Woodhull School), Judyann Pazienza (J. Taylor Finley Middle School) and Lauren Desiderio (Huntington High School).
Seniors introduced each of the faculty members with heartfelt remembrances of yesteryear before the teachers, sometimes filled with emotion, addressed the crowd.
The distinguished seniors seemed to enjoy the evening dedicated to their fine academic performance. “We congratulate the students and their families and recognize the work and dedication of our colleagues in getting these young men and women off to a great start,” Dr. Leonardi said.
Photos: Top – Class of 2012 valedictoriann Juliana Coraor with salutatorian Justin Loscalzo.
Second – Senior Holly Blakley (foreground) enjoys a laugh during honored teacher Lauren Desiderio’s speech.
Third – Woodhull School teacher Patrice Monks with top seniors Jason Chisolm and Nicolas Maiarelli.
Bottom – A group of Huntington’s distinguished seniors.