The top members of Huntington High School’s Class of 2019 were honored last Thursday night at this year’s Distinguished Seniors Dinner in Louis D. Giani Gymnasium.
Distinguished Senior Sophie Dellacave with her mom at last week's dinner.
During the three-hour long affair the exceptional teenagers recognized a set of teachers who have meant so much to them over the years. A large crowd numbering about 315 turned out for the fifteenth annual dinner that recognizes Huntington’s leading scholars.
Principal Brenden Cusack saluted the 107 exceptional students for their remarkable academic performance and noteworthy efforts outside of classes and in the community.
“The Distinguished Seniors dinner is an awesome celebration of talent, hard work and dedication on the part of both students and the teachers who have impacted them,” Mr. Cusack said. “It is always so nice for teachers to hear from their students the ways in which they have made a difference. It is also wonderful to acknowledge the efforts of our students who have made academics a top priority over their four years in high school. I could not be more proud of our students and our staff. This event is a great way to acknowledge so many individuals who represent Huntington in the finest fashion.”
School Board President Jennifer Hebert, Superintendent James W. Polansky, PTA Council President Michelle Kustera and Huntington High School Assistant Principal Gamal Smith also took turns at the microphone, offering the seniors heartfelt congratulations for a job well done.
107 Distinguished Seniors Honored
The honorees included Tyler Abedin, Yaidelis Acevedo, Jonah Anastos, Steven Andrade, Danny Arias, Christie Baade, Hannah Bailin, Matthew Baker, Sylvia Belanger, Christian Bellissimo, Lauren Berg, Rory Bocelli, Erin Bonitz, Mia Breitbarth, Madison Buchholtz, Katherine Burton, Isabella Cahill, Henry Cartwright, Ashlyn Case, Jason Chapas, Hadley Clayton, Julia Collins, Payton Coneys, Terrel Cox, Anna Crockett, Sarah Dabydeen, Nina Danseglio, Katherine DeGennaro, Maya DelGiudice, Sophie Dellecave, Christiana DeLuca, Christopher Diaz, Mia Dickinson and Connor Dougal.
Patrick Durand, Rimshah Ehsan Ullah, Eliza Engelsher, Christopher Engle, Emma Farrell, Jack Farrell, Luke Farrell, Cameron Fehrs, Cenia Flores Velasquez, Isabella Floro, Isabella Fox, Sara Frawley, Nathaniel Gamboa, Joseph Garetano, Natalie Gonzalez, Emma Grassi, Francesca Greco, Nicholas Haupt, Mathew Hearl, Ryan Hoffmann, Mackenzie Joseph, Julianna Joseph-Whyte, Yasmin Khilji-Neal, Sophia LaCentra, John Langton, Lea Rose Laponti, Gabriella Levinson, Emely Lopez, Jonathan Magerle, Fionnan Malone, Isabellarose Malone and Meagan-Elise Malone were also recognized as Distinguished Seniors.
The honorees also included Candido Martinez, Annabella Matheus, Michael McCooey, Grace McKenna, Wesley Metzler, Cameron Mills, Morgan Minicozzi, Noah Morris, Haley Mortell, Camille Moscato, David Mosden, Mia Nitekman, Shaye O’Beirne, John P. Paci, Jackson Pitti, Cesia Ponce Guzman, Matthew Quinn, Kiara Rafailan, Kolby Rappel, Benjamin Ribando, Katie Riley, Alex Rivera, Samuel Roberts, Kaitlyn Sage, Adriana Scarpati, Arashdeep Singh, Alexis Smith, Casey Smith, Alyssa Sorensen, Katherine Stock, Ariana Strieb, Charles Sze, Daniel Thompson, Melisa Torres, John Tucker, Erika Varady, Roger Villatoro, Jr., Nicole Walsh, Phoebe Walther, Kelly Warren, Jenna Yabroudy and Graham Young.
“Honorees have shined in the classroom”
“Tonight’s honorees have shined in the classroom, in the arts, on the athletic field and more,” Mr. Polansky said. “They are poised to pursue their interests and make a genuine difference during the next stages of their academic and professional lives. We wish them nothing but the best and can’t wait to hear about the great things they continue to accomplish moving forward. Additional congratulations to the teachers whom these students recognized as making a difference for them during their formative years in Huntington.”
The seniors were asked to select one teacher to be honored from the first school they attended in the district and from each of their subsequent schools. The teenagers made their selections based upon personal experiences that struck home with each of them, both individually and collectively.
The seniors recognized teachers Nicole Hiscox, Susan Graber, Brenda McManus, Christopher Taylor, Martha Reilly, Luz Marotta, Christopher Helmke and Camille Tedeschi.
Seniors introduced each of the faculty members with touching and heartfelt remembrances. The teachers spoke one-by-one, recalling their experiences with the now-seniors and stressing how proud they are of their former students.
The large crowd was feted to a delicious meal whipped up by highly regarded Long Island chef Howard J. Fay. Huntington High School administrators and secretaries served the crowd as it passed along tables filled with various dishes.
Talented high school strings musicians entertained the crowd as it filed into the gymnasium. Performing under the direction of teacher Nicole Castaldo, the chamber orchestra included: Violin I: Sabeena Ali, Cassidy Casabona, Alexis Kaloudis, Allison Quinn, Ella Siepel; Viola: Aryanna Galloza, Nathali Ulloa; Viola II: Kelly Alfaro-Alvarez, Madelyn Kye, Keenan Lyons, Sofia Marchetta, Gabriel Medina-Jaudes, Olivia Perez; Cello: Sarah Berry, Ethan McGuinness, Julien Rentsch, Diya Rai-Gersappe, Valerie Rogel, Erin Ye; Bass: Kyle Perea, Julie Rogel, Grace Wildermuth
As the evening’s program finally drew to a close, parents began snapping hundreds of photographs of the seniors as they posed in groups with their classmates.