Three Huntington High School students were among a group of sensational teenagers honored at the town’s 24th annual Hispanic heritage celebration at the Adam Spector Auditorium at Jack Abrams STEM Magnet School last Friday night.
Sponsored by the town’s Hispanic Task Force, the evening included several performances as well as remarks by local and state elected officials.
Huntington High School juniors Ricardo Romero, Claudia Villatoro and Anyi Mancia-Matute were each presented with a Student Achievement Award.
Superintendent James W. Polansky, Principal Brenden Cusack, Assistant Principal Dr. Lisette Lors, Huntington School Board President Jennifer Hebert and Trustee Linda Tine-D’Anna were in attendance for the celebration.
Following the ceremony the crowd went across the hallway and enjoyed a full dinner in the gymnasium, sitting at dozens of tables that were arranged in the large space. The Triple M Fiesta Band kept things lively with upbeat music.
“We were pleased to provide the venue and to participate in celebrating the impact of Hispanic heritage on the local community,” Mr. Polansky said. The evening featured an incredible display of student talent from across the town, including a group of phenomenal dancers from Huntington High School. The event also provided us with an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the ongoing academic and extracurricular accomplishments of an outstanding group of Huntington High School honorees. Great things lie ahead for each of them.”
The Huntington High School award winning trio was joined in the spotlight by a small group of fellow outstanding students from area high schools. A crowd of several hundred attended the event.
Ricardo Romero is top of the top students in Huntington High School’s junior class. The teenager’s schedule has been loaded with Advanced Placement and honors courses and he’s excelled in them, compiling an academic grade average in excess of 97.
A member of the high school’s Key Club, he has volunteered at the organization’s K-Factor talent show that raises thousands of dollars for the American Cancer Society. Driven, self-directed, goal-oriented; these are all words and terms that accurately describe Mr. Romero.
Born in El Salvador, Mr. Romero immigrated to the US at the tender age of four. In addition to his classes, clubs and volunteer work, he plays on a soccer team. He will be the first member of his family to graduate from high school. He intends to pursue science studies in college.
A first generation Salvadoran-American, Claudia Villatoro has challenged herself with AP and honors courses. The junior has earned fine grades and won over her teachers and classmates with her upbeat and friendly personality.
The teenager has interned at a hospital in Ecuador during the summer to further her interest in medicine. Ms. Villatoro was a key member of Huntington High School’s county championship mock trial team last spring. Treasurer of the science research club and a member of the Envirothon team, she even sets aside time to volunteer as a translator for St. Hugh of Lincoln Church’s religious education office.
While Ms. Villatoro isn’t sure if she’ll study law or medicine in college, she does intend to pursue a career where she can help others.
Anyi Mancia-Matute is a high-achieving young woman who is interested in a career as an accountant or attorney. The junior is a sensational student with a 96 academic average.
Born in Honduras, Ms. Mancia-Matute immigrated to the US as a four year old. The teenager plays on the Huntington tennis team, participates in the Key Club and China club and has been a Relay For Life team captain.
Ms. Mancia-Matute has captured a variety of academic awards. She also devotes time to helping others at the Tri-CYA. Her academic interests span every possible discipline.