Three Huntington High School students were among a group of sensational teenagers honored at the town’s 22nd annual Hispanic heritage celebration at Jack Abrams STEM Magnet School last Friday night.
Sponsored by the town’s Hispanic Task Force, the evening included several performances as well as remarks by local and state elected officials. Huntington School Board member Xavier Palacios served as master of ceremonies.
Huntington High School junior Emily Miron and seniors Evan Aguirre and Kaida Lopez were each presented with a Student Achievement Award. The Huntington chamber choir sang the national anthem.
Local pediatrician Dr. Javier F. Vieytez was the celebration’s keynote speaker. Helping Hand Rescue Mission co-founder Rev. Rose Marie Gaines was presented with a Community Service Award. Members of the Huntington Town Board were also in attendance as were Huntington Superintendent James W. Polansky and Principal Brenden Cusack.
Following the ceremony in the auditorium, the crowd went across the hallway and enjoyed a full dinner in the gymnasium, sitting at dozens of tables that were arranged in the large space. The Triple M Fiesta Band kept things lively with upbeat music.
“It was a terrific evening, providing guests with an opportunity not only to celebrate the contributions of those of Hispanic heritage, but also to recognize the accomplishments of many outstanding students from across the town,” Mr. Polansky said. “It was a true pleasure to be in attendance.”
The Huntington High School award winning trio was joined in the spotlight by a small group of fellow outstanding students from area high schools. A crowd of several hundred attended the event.
“The celebration tonight was a wonderful display of talent and togetherness,” Mr. Cusack said. “We were treated to a brilliant reminder of what makes our community unique and special. I am particularly proud of our students who were recognized this evening for their stellar academic achievement and contributions to our school and community. These are wonderful young people who represent the very best that Huntington High School has to offer. It is an honor to have celebrated this recognition with them and their families.”
Known for always giving 100 percent to whatever she decides to pursue, Emily Miron is highly motivated and academically oriented. After spending last year in Mexico, she returned to Huntington High School and quickly resumed her activities, including United Amigos, the yearbook club and the robotics team.
Ms. Miron has volunteered with the high school’s Safe Halloween program, wrapped Christmas gifts for needy families, translated for Spanish speaking parents during Parent Academy sessions and helped classmates resolve their issues as a peer mediator.
Proud of her Hispanic heritage, Ms. Miron is of Mexican and Salvadoran descent, but she identifies most closely with the former. While her college plans are not yet finalized, she dreams of attending the University of California, Berkeley.
Evan Aguirre sports an academic grade average in excess of 98. The teenager has excelled while pursuing challenging studies, including many Advanced Placement and honors courses.
A member of the Key Club, Natural Helpers, St. John’s youth group, symphony and chamber orchestras and Chinese foreign exchange club, Mr. Aguirre tutors in the Tri-CYA program.
Inducted into the National Honor Society and the English Honor Society, the senior was selected to participate in the Angelo Del Toro Puerto Rican/Hispanic Youth Leadership Institute.
Proud of his Columbian and Cuban heritage, Mr. Aguirre enjoys spending time with his family. He is interested in studying engineering in college.
Kaida Lopez has compiled an academic grade average in excess of 94 and has regularly earned a spot on Huntington High School’s Honor Roll/High Honor Roll. She enjoys taking Advanced Placement and honors level courses and sets high goals for herself.
Proud of her Guatemalan heritage, Ms. Lopez hopes to attend college in either New York or California and eventually become a teacher. Her dream is to visit Italy and Spain, exploring those lands and cultures and enhancing her Italian and Spanish language skills.
The teenager often volunteers at the Huntington Public Library, helping students with their homework. Ms. Lopez tutors a neighbor twice a week. She loves to bake and frequently sells the items to benefit the high school’s Italian Honor Society or her church.