Moria Contino (right) with her research partners and teacher Lauren Desiderio at last year's National History Day awards night

Junior Moira Contino Eyes Veterinary Medicine Career

Moria Contino (right) with her research partners and teacher Lauren Desiderio at last year's National History Day awards night

February 5, 2019

Moira Contino is an optimistic, enthusiastic and highly regarded Huntington High School junior. She has already accomplished quite a bit in her relatively short life, but it’s clear that she’s only getting started.

An exceptional young woman by any measure, Ms. Contino has been one of Huntington’s brightest stars since beginning kindergarten at Southdown Primary School.

The junior’s academic schedule includes classes in Advanced Placement US History, AP Biology, French IV Honors, English 11, Algebra 2, Psychology, Advanced Photography and Symphony Orchestra.

The teenager is a member of the high school’s Key Club, History Day club and Habitat for Humanity club. Ms. Contino has been already been inducted into Huntington’s National Honor Society chapter as well as the Science Honor Society, Social Studies Honor Society and Art Honor Society.

Ms. Contino rides horses at Sagamore Hill Stables, where she participates on the International Equestrian Association team.

The teenager and her research partners, Bella Neira and Maggie Lalor created an award winning National History Day group documentary project on the strife in Northern Island that advanced to last spring’s state finals in Cooperstown.

Ms. Contino and her two collaborators are back this year with another NHD project, this time focusing on Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. They will vie in this week’s local competition.

The teenager’s favorite teachers have been Lauren Desiderio, Dame Forbes, Pamela Piffard, Deidre Mayer and Deborah Beck.

“Moria Contino is an incredible student,” Ms. Piffard said. “She is kind and compassionate. She is one of the most hardworking people I know. She has a quiet confidence that carry through into her art.”

The teenager’s talents extend across all academic disciplines. “Moira is bright and determined,” Ms. Forbes said. “She has such a joy about her it is contagious. As a teacher, I love watching how students grow and gain each year. She is only at the beginning, but there is no limit to what she can accomplish.”

Ms. Contino’s closest friends include Bella Neira, Maggie Lalor, Shyann Maragh, Maddie Reed, Sadie Walters and Madison Lange. “Moira is one of the funniest, most kind-hearted people I know,” Ms. Reed said. “We’re traveling to Italy together over February break and I can’t wait see an amazing country with one of my closest friends.”

The junior is exceptionally hardworking and her organizational skills are unsurpassed. She juggles and balances many different activities and commitments and goes about her business with dignity and class.

Ms. Contino enjoys traveling. “I’ve been to Florida a few times with my family and Las Vegas for my dad’s work conferences and to the Dominican Republic,” she said. “During February break I’m going to Italy with EF Tours. I really want to go to Ireland since my grandmother is from there.”

One of the top students in the Class of 2020, Ms. Contino has a spot on Huntington High School’s High Honor Roll in recognition of her sensational classroom academic performance.

“I really would like to be in something within the veterinary/medical field,” Ms. Contino said. “Ever since I was little I wanted to be a wildlife/exotic veterinarian and travel to different places like Thailand. I am interested in doing medical research with and helping to conserve endangered species like tigers and perform medical procedures on different types of larger exotic animals.”

Ms. Contino is already thinking about some of the colleges she is interested in attending. Among the group is Cornell University, where she participated in a summer program on sustainable animal husbandry. “I’m also looking into Stony Brook, Hofstra, MIT, LIU, NYU, Boston University and Boston College,” she said. “I’m still looking into which colleges have pre-vet course.”

The teenager has a lot more ground to cover, friends to make, experiences to enjoy and awards to win. Right now, she is taking delight in each passing day and making good use of her time.

“All my life I’ve lived in Huntington and I love every part of the town and community,” Ms. Contino said. “Every time I drive past the water and through the town, I can’t think of living anywhere else. Huntington High School has also been a big factor of why I love Huntington so much. Through the events that they hold and the teachers, Huntington High School has been an amazing experience and I'm going to miss it. However, I’m extremely excited for college and my future.”

Huntington junior Moira Contino.
Huntington junior Moira Contino.
Bella Neira, Moira Contino and Maggie Lalor at State History Day in Cooperstown last spring.
Bella Neira, Moira Contino and Maggie Lalor at State History Day in Cooperstown last spring.