Jillian Panos is one of Huntington High School’s most talented sophomores. Among her many gifts is photography. She’s an exceptionally creative artist, as several recent pieces prove.
The teenager recently completed a pair of assignments with very impressive results. She has been working closely with art teacher Pamela Piffard-Williams, who leads the high school photography program.
“These pictures were part of a really fun photo assignment that Mrs. Piffard assigned for my photo class to do around Halloween time,” Ms. Panos said. “The ghost in the street was a ghost photo shoot that had been trending on social media, so Mrs. Piffard thought it would be fun for us to try it out. The second was a photo shoot called ‘phantom photos,’ which required us to use a new skill we learned that made the model appear to look somewhat ghostly.”
The model for both photos was sophomore Allison Malone, one of Ms. Panos’ really good friends. The pair clicked and the photos are simply splendid.
“I have always loved art and initially I took photography for fun,” Ms. Panos said. “As I have continued to learn more and more about photography and all the creativity that comes with it, such as Photoshop and the functions of the camera, I have found myself getting more interested in it and wanting to learn even more. I am grateful for Mrs. Piffard’s passion for photography because it is really teaching me to love this form of art and everything that comes with it.”
Ms. Panos is a great all-around student. “I am currently really enjoying all of the courses I am taking, however a few that interest me more than others are Photography, English and Chemistry,” she said. “Through the years that my brother was here at Huntington High School, he had so many wonderful teachers who I am beyond excited to start working with in the future.”
The teenager is one of the high school’s Natural Helpers “and I enjoy being able to be a part of such a fun group,” Ms. Panos said. She is interested in participating in Huntington’s Habitat for Humanity chapter and she also plays on the Blue Devil girls’ soccer team.
“Through the years I have been fortunate enough to meet so many great people,” Ms. Panos said. “I have such an amazing group of friends, but my oldest and best friend is Allison Malone. We have known each other since kindergarten and been through nearly everything together. She is always there right by my side to support me, just as I do for her. The first person that comes to mind when I think of a teacher who has mentored me is Mrs. [Lori] Kenny. I was lucky to have her my freshman year of high school and she was always so welcoming and so supportive, not only to me, but to all of her other students as well.”
Ms. Panos had a splendid experience in sixth grade with teacher Jenny Finnegan. “She really helped me gain the confidence to challenge myself and she showed me how you can succeed if you push yourself and really try,” the teenager said. “However, all of my teachers now have helped me in so many different ways. It would be hard to pick just one [as a favorite.]”
No one should ever underestimate Ms. Panos. She is multi-talented and always seems to find a way to succeed in whatever she undertakes.
“Some advice that I would give to an incoming Huntington freshmen is to organize yourself, find a study habit that works well for you, take advantage of all the offerings the high school has and enjoy all the fun that comes along with high school,” Ms. Panos said.
The teenager is already developing ideas about the future. “I have visited a few colleges when my family was touring around for my brother and one that really stood out to me was Boston College,” Ms. Panos said. “Although I really enjoyed Boston College, there are so many other colleges out there that I would like to further explore. When it comes to what I would like to study as a career interest, I have always been very passionate about either something in the healthcare field or becoming a teacher. Lately, I have been leaning more towards a profession in the medical field, nothing specific yet.”
Ms. Panos is steadily making a name for herself around the high school as her talents emerge for all to see. Even while the COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in many changes to normal practices, she is finding a way to enjoy her time in the building.
“So far, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience here at Huntington,” Ms. Panos said. “From sports to clubs to school events like float night or the bonfire I have been able to enjoy every second. Even considering the challenges of a new way of learning last spring and this year, I am still finding a way to make it work and have a good time.”