Cianna Batts is in the midst of a great run through Huntington High School. The junior has found her passion and is working hard to accomplish her dream of attending New York University and studying to be an English teacher.
An articulate and hardworking young woman, Ms. Batts takes every course seriously, striving to earn top grades while seeking to enjoy the overall experience with her classmates and teachers.
“One of my goals in life is to become an English teacher, so courses that align with that are always really enjoyable for me,” Ms. Batts said. “I take a lot of interest in my current English class, Advanced Placement English Language and Composition due to the high frequency of writing skills it encourages, being that writing is also something I’m really passionate about. I enjoy my US History teacher, Mrs. [Camille] Tedeschi’s, course as well. She lets us do a lot of creative writing assignments about the topics we’re covering in class and it makes the content super interesting and allows me to look at things in other perspectives.”
The teenager lives in the here and now, but she always has an eye on the future. “My dream is to go to NYU,” Ms. Batts said. “I’ve done research on their education program and it looks really good, even though the school is hard to attend. SUNY Geneseo, Marist College and Hofstra University are three other schools that I’m interested in. My goal is to major in education and minor in philosophy.”
Like all of her classmates, Ms. Batts’ school life has been affected by the COVID-19 health crisis. “Due to the pandemic, it’s difficult to be involved in sports in clubs, but if there wasn’t a contagious virus spreading, I’d be the president of stage crew this year,” she said. “I’ve made so many incredible bonds through stage crew and have discovered so many useful skills that I’ll actually use in my everyday life, like painting and building sets and just communicating with people in general. It requires a lot of communication to be able to get things done effectively and move sets around correctly during a show.”
The teenager possesses a healthy amount of self-confidence; more than enough to laugh at herself. “I’m the furthest thing from athletic, but have a lot of respect for the athletes in our school who work so hard, because I could never see myself doing something like that,” Ms. Batts said.
The junior is a valued and trusted friend. Ms. Batts has also garnered the respect of her teachers
“Throughout high school, I’ve had a pretty consistent group of friends that I talk to everyday,” Ms. Batts said. “Zaira Gomez, Anthony Villatoro, Evelyn Johnson, Ashley Genao, April Swanson, Nathali Ulloa and Imani Archibald have all kept me going since this virus has taken over. They are constantly around to make me feel better about anything I’m going through and always offer a good time and tons of laughs.”
The junior said she “looks forward to seeing and hearing from” Mrs. Tedeschi and science teacher Amelia Saggese. “They both check in with their students and make sure everyone is caught up and not too stressed or overworked in a time like this,” Ms. Batts. “I lastly want to mention my former English teacher, Mrs. Aimee Antorino, who invigorated my love for writing and always gave me feedback on how to improve. She is one of the reasons I want to be an English teacher.”
The teenager developed a wonderful relationship with science teacher Anna Fabela as a freshman. Ms. Batts said she struggled in Honor Living Environment before joining Ms. Fabela’s class. “Within a week, I had a 90 in her class and was actually enjoying science for the first time,” she said. “The following year, I became her lab assistant, which is where my love of teaching really peaked. I got to help her grade and watch her help students, set up labs and even take care of the fish and mice she had in the classroom. Not only did I develop a hardcore work ethic, but I also managed to discover my desire to help others. While being her lab assistant, I became a math and science tutor, where I found myself filled with an indescribable amount of pride when the kids I were tutoring were improving in their classes. I owe my passion to Ms. Fabela and I can’t possibly thank her enough.”
Ms. Batts’ advice to incoming freshmen? “I wish someone told me when I was going into high school for the first time that it isn’t the little fantasy that a TV show or a movie may paint in your head,” the junior said. “It’s not always easy and it isn’t always fun. It requires being able to think on your feet and be ready for change. However, it can help you discover who you really are. It makes room for originality and personality. You may lose bonds or friends, but you may also find yourself, which is a reward you might not be able to find anywhere else.”
Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. Batts continues to work hard quietly compile a list of impressive achievements. She is making every day count.
“Considering the relationships I’ve developed, the drive I’ve maintained and the love for knowledge that I’ve acquired, I’d say my experience at Huntington has been worth it,” Ms. Batts said.