Counselor Diana Bonilla with Honorary Chief Ray Mazoyer Award for Economics recipient Arashdeep Singh (3)

Huntington UFSD News and Notes

Counselor Diana Bonilla with Honorary Chief Ray Mazoyer Award for Economics recipient Arashdeep Singh

August 30, 2019

The Huntington Fire Department presented Huntington High School Class of 2019 member Arashdeep Singh with its Honorary Chief Ray Mazoyer Award for Economics. It carries a $500 stipend.

An Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction, Mr. Singh plans to study chemistry at Binghamton University. He was a member of Huntington’s National Honor Society, Math Honor Society, Social Studies Honor Society and Science Honor Society.

During his high school years, Mr. Singh performed with the Blue Devil marching band, excelled in the science research program, engaged in research at Brookhaven National Lab and participated in the Environmental Club’s activities and on Huntington’s Science Olympiad team.

Mr. Singh has found academic success by pushing himself to reach his goals, managing his time well and not procrastinating.

Acevedo & Joseph Whyte Garner HARTE Scholarships

Yaidelis Acevedo and Julianna Joseph-Whyte were both standouts with Huntington High School’s highly talented Class of 2019.

Ms. Acevedo plans to study business at SUNY College at New Paltz. Ms. Joseph-Whyte is interested in studying to become a physics teacher at SUNY College at Oswego.

Highly regarded by their classmates and teachers, Ms. Acevedo and Ms. Joseph-Whyte were popular with their classmates and respected by their teachers. The pair has so much potential that the Huntington Association of Retired Teachers and Employees awarded the duo $750 scholarships.

The formal presentation was made by HARTE President Martha Ironman during the high school’s senior academic awards night in the auditorium. The two recipients were both named Distinguished Seniors last spring after compiling impeccable academic records.

Mr. Acevedo thrived in the high school’s Virtual Enterprise business program. She was the chief operating officer for her VE company team that reached the national finals. The teenager cited her drive and passion to work hard as among the keys to her success. She was a scholar mentor for English as a new language program students who were assimilating into life at the high school and in the USA.

Last year’s flute section leader in the Blue Devil marching band, Ms. Joseph-Whyte also performed with the high school’s pit orchestra. She said the key to her success “revolves around” always trying her best in her classes and asking for help when she needs it. She took courses that pushed her to “try as hard as possible.”

The HARTE scholarship is funded by dues from the organization’s more than 180 members.

HARTE Scholarship Award Recipients

2019 Yaidelis Acevedo, Julianna Joseph-Whyte
2018 Sarah Levine
2017 Grace Curran
2016 Yardalie Daniel
2015 Thomas Kouttron
2014 Cynthia Gowani
2013 Tiana Thurmond
2012 Erin LaSorsa
2011 Krista Castillo
2010 Dayna Reyes
2009 Adam Fagnani
2008 Nelson Maldonado

Straub Family Trust Scholarships Presented

Neurochelange Antoine and James Crugnale are this year’s recipients of the Straub Family Trust Vocational Scholarship. The two Huntington High School Class of 2019 members received award stipends of $1,000 each. School counselor Diana Bonilla presented the scholarships to the duo during the senior academic awards ceremony in the auditorium.

Mr. Crugnale plans to study automotive technology in the highly regarded program at Suffolk Community College in Selden. Cars intrigue him and he loves the challenge of solving all the problems associated with any type of vehicle.

Ms. Antoine will be attending Suffolk Community College in Brentwood. She has many interests, including business management, biochemistry, biology and chemistry. She is in no hurry to decide in which direction to head, preferring to let her academic and career interests slowly evolve.

“When Neurchelange Antoine walks into a room, you cannot help but smile,” said Bernadette Walsh, Huntington High School’s college counselor. “This trilingual young lady (French, Haitian Creole and English) is outgoing and personable; an individual that you feel comfortable with immediately. Neurchelange is hard working and determined to succeed at whatever she puts her mind to. Her peers and teachers alike admire her genuine persistence and joy for life. She is a diligent and strong willed student who I strongly believe will succeed at any endeavor she sets forth to do.

Ms. Antoine has overcome exceptional challenges. “Neurchelange is a young lady with tremendous poise and resilience,” Mrs. Walsh said. “On January 12, 2010, her life was forever changed. The ground literally shook under her feet as she and her family survived one of the worst natural catastrophes in history; the earthquake in Haiti. While hoping to remain in Haiti, her parents made the difficult decision to depart and move to the United States. This was a major turning point in her life.”

When Ms. Antoine arrived in the US, she left her childhood behind in Haiti. “She had to, in a very short period of time, adapt to an entirely new environment; new home, new school, new friends new climate,” Mrs. Walsh said. “This was quite traumatic for a 14 year old. Thanks to her strong character, adaptability, strong faculties and willingness to succeed she has managed to overcome one of the most difficult situations imaginable. She is incredible.”

Honorary Chief Robert Henneborn Citizenship Award Presented

The Huntington Fire Department presented its Honorary Chief Robert Henneborn Award for Citizenship to Huntington High School Class of 2019 member Edgar Rivas Lizama. It carries a $500 stipend.

Mr. Lizama is interested in studying either computer science or mechanical engineering at Suffolk Community College. Completely bilingual, the teenager pursues his dreams with a zest for life that few can match.

An immigrant from El Salvador, Mr. Lizama thrived at Huntington High School, winning many awards, including one from the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center in Nassau for an essay that he wrote.

“Edgar’s work ethic is incredible,” said Bernadette Walsh, Huntington High School’s college counselor. “There are very few students who are as memorable as he. His grit and determination have cultivated in him an incredible growth mindset. Edgar is the student you look forward to teaching because of his enthusiasm and love of learning.”

Ryan Hoffmann Captures Sons of American Revolution Award

Ryan Hoffmann is interested in studying chemical engineering and applied mathematics at Northeastern University in Boston. The Class of 2019 salutatorian accomplished just about everything he set out to do four years ago when he was entering Huntington High School as a freshman. Now he has a new set of goals as he begins his college adventure.

Mr. Hoffmann is this year’s recipient of the Sons of the American Revolution Award, which is presented annually to the Huntington senior with the highest grade average in American history.

An Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction, Mr. Hoffmann is a National Merit Scholarship Commended Student. He was inducted into five different academic honor societies.

A keen ability to always stay motivated and a refusal to take any failure as a permanent obstacle are among Mr. Hoffmann’s keys to success. A member of the high school’s Science Olympiad team, he engaged in research at Brookhaven National Lab.

Katie Burton Captures Joan Balsari Scholarship

Joan Marie Balsari was a really special woman. She held firm opinions about everything and she didn’t hesitate to tell you what they were. But, she also loved to hear what everyone else had to say, too. She was a great conversationalist.

A Washington Primary School teacher, Mrs. Balsari passed away in October 2011 after a 17 month long battle with breast cancer. After surgery and follow-up treatment, the veteran educator seemed on the road to a full recovery. She returned to her classroom and the school life she so cherished.

When Mrs. Balsari’s condition deteriorated rapidly over a period of less than two weeks, her colleagues were left stunned. After she passed away, the Associated Teachers of Huntington, the professional organization of the district’s teachers, announced it would establish a $1,000 scholarship in Mrs. Balsari’s memory and present it annually for the next decade.

ATH President James Graber returned to the microphone in the Huntington High School auditorium for the eighth time to announce that this year’s Joan M. Balsari scholarship recipient is Katherine Burton, one of the leading members of the Class of 2019. The teenager is headed to Cornell University in upstate Ithaca where he plans to study human biology, health and society.

An Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction, Ms. Burton said the key to her success has been to “never stop pushing” herself. She said she “enjoyed having many teachers who truly care about their students,” which allowed her to excel academically.

A member of Huntington High School’s Ocean Bowl team, Ms. Burton performed with the wind ensemble and the Blue Devil marching band. Named a Distinguished Senior after compiling an A average during every semester of high school, she was inducted into six different academic honor societies.

The Suffolk County Executive’s Public Service Award recipient, Ms. Burton was one of three event chairs for last June’s Relay For Life at the high school. She even found time to run on the cross country team during high school.

A thoroughly Huntington girl

Born to a Huntington family on July 16, 1950, Joan Marie Balsari attended elementary and secondary school here and graduated from Huntington High School with her future husband, Dennis in 1968. The couple’s only child, Denielle graduated from Huntington in 2003. She is currently a teacher in Commack.

Prior to coming to Washington School, Mrs. Balsari worked as a teacher aide and then as a short and long-term substitute teacher in the district from February 1989 through June 1996. She earned an Associate of Arts degree at SUNY Farmingdale, a bachelor’s degree at SUNY College at Old Westbury and a master’s degree in reading at Dowling College. She obtained teaching certification in ESL through Adelphi University and secured certification as an administrator through Stony Brook University, where she received an advanced graduate certificate.

Mrs. Balsari was a no-nonsense educator who was adored by her students. During quiet reading or writing time in her room, the gifted teacher was known to play classical music to put her students at ease. At the end of the school day she should would often go home for a few hours and then return to her classroom to work on projects or plan lessons late into the evening.

Known for her laughter and overall sense of humor, Mrs. Balsari had a way of cutting through all the fluff and getting to the point. She’d sometimes let her students teach the class, putting them up at the blackboard and encouraging them to explain concepts to one another. She continues to be missed by the colleagues she left behind.

Joan Balsari Memorial Scholarship Recipients

2019 Katherine Burton
2018 Joel Alfaro
2017 Leanne Daly
2016 Julia Garetano
2015 Darya DeSimone
2014 Evelyn Brandon
2013 Alexandra Reinertsen
2012 Samantha Bindrim

James Crugnale Captures AloeTech Scholarship

James Crugnale is a hardworking young man. The Huntington Class of 2019 member is mechanically and technologically gifted. He’s so talented that he’s been accepted to study in Suffolk Community College’s highly competitive and well-regarded automotive technology program. Those who complete it earn an AAS degree.

Mr. Crugnale is only the second recipient of the AloeTech Inc. Automotive Scholarship Award. The scholarship includes a $250 cash stipend and a package of tools valued at about $1,000.

Located at 514 New York Avenue in Huntington Village, AloeTech is owned by Huntington UFSD parents Franco and Lauralynn Aloe, who are sending their boys through the district. Their auto shop provides a complete set of services to customers.

Mr. Crugnale was formally presented with the scholarship at Huntington High School’s senior academic awards night. Naturally, he was very excited to be recognized for the knowledge he has gained over the years and the skills he has developed.

Suffolk Community College’s automotive technology program is located at the Ammerman campus in Selden. “It is a NATEF certified program that is designed to prepare students for employment as automobile technicians and is intended for those who seek professional careers as employees of automotive service facilities,” according to an online overview. “Suffolk offers four separate automotive programs. All programs have academic classes, as well as automotive classes, in order to fulfill requirements to obtain an A.A.S. degree. The programs offered are the Honda PACT program, the Toyota T-TEN program, the General Motors ASEP program, and the General Automotive ATAC I & ATAC II programs.

Mr. Crugnale simply loves cars. In fact, they fascinate him. “Today’s automobiles are equipped with complex computer and electronic systems,” according to a profile of the SCC program. “To succeed, technicians need to be highly trained, skilled professionals who are competent in math, science and computer technology. Communication and management skills are equally important for success in the field.”

HARTE President Martha Ironman is flanked by scholarship recipients Julianna Joseph-Whyte and Yaidelis Acevedo
HARTE President Martha Ironman is flanked by scholarship recipients Julianna Joseph-Whyte and Yaidelis Acevedo
Counselor Steven Pereira with Straub Family Trust Vocational Scholarship recipient James Crugnale
ATH President James Graber presented Katie Burton with the Joan Balsari Memorial Scholarship Award
ATH President James Graber presented Katie Burton with the Joan Balsari Memorial Scholarship Award
Counselor Diana Bonilla with Honorary Chief Robert Henneborn Award for Citizenship recipient Edgar Rivas Lizama
Counselor Diana Bonilla with Honorary Chief Robert Henneborn Award for Citizenship recipient Edgar Rivas Lizama