Cindy Rodriquez likes to keep a positive frame of mind. Nothing gets the Huntington High School senior down for very long. She flashes a bright smile countless times throughout any given day and makes everyone she comes across feel good.
The teenager has explored her interests by dabbling in various activities during high school. She wrote a little for The Dispatch newspaper as a sophomore and is currently the Spanish Honor Society’s historian. “I became a member really late as a junior, but I’m excited for the opportunity,” Ms. Rodriquez said.
The senior has made every minute of high school count. She’s juggled classes and the work related to them with a part-time job and compiled impressive results.
“I’m hoping to get good grades and to finish strong,” Ms. Rodriquez said. “It gets hard sometimes because just like the rest of the senior class, there are times when I just want to stay home and sleep in just a little. I’m enjoying my senior year so far because I get to go to school with my younger sister, who is my best friend.”
Ms. Rodriquez is well-known around the high school and she’s well-liked by faculty members. She has taken the time to develop relationships with many of her teachers and she’s benefitted from their subject knowledge and advice.
Huntington High School
senior Cindy Rodriquez.
“This year I’m taking Philosophy with Mr. [Peter] Crugnale,” the teenager said. “It’s so much more interesting than I thought it would be. Some of the discussions in class stick with me and make me question other things. When my guidance counselor first mentioned it, I didn’t think it would be so eye-opening. I’m also taking AP Spanish with Mrs. [Mercedes] Pena, who is one of the most caring teachers I’ve had.”
Ms. Rodriquez is also enrolled in AP English Literature and Composition with teacher Kelly Quintero, Creative Writing with Aimee Antorino, Participation in Government with Sarah Buchalter and Financial Algebra with Kathleen Aufiero. “More people should take this class as an elective,” said the senior regarding the math course. “She explains stocks, investing and saving money. It would be very helpful to a lot of students.”
Getting to know her teachers has been a wonderful experience for the teenager. “During high school I’ve become close with Mrs. [Jessica] Mammone and Mrs. [Natalie] Kopshti,” the senior said. “Mrs. Mammone was my dual language teacher when I was in the sixth grade. With her help I managed to get a perfect score on the Regents exam when I was just a sixth grader. Later, when I was a freshman at the high school, she was my Spanish Honors teacher until junior year. She was there for me with advice whenever I needed it, which I appreciate so much. Mrs. Kopshti is one of my favorite teachers at the high school because she’s really cool. She’s very funny and she cares a lot about her students. I was in her study hall junior year and she’s awesome.”
Ms. Rodriquez cites Ms. Antorino as her favorite English teacher. “The only year I was not her student was junior year,” the teenager said. “Thanks to her, I discovered I love writing and English as a subject. The one person I also cannot forget is Mrs. Croke, my guidance counselor. She has heard all of my stories and has always been there for me. She has always reminded me of my goals and has kept me on track.”
Personal interactions make each day special for Ms. Rodriquez, who is exceedingly comfortable gliding around the high school building and greeting everyone she meets along the way.
“I consider my friendships as the highlight of my time at Huntington High School because everyone knows a few years after graduation some of us will probably never talk again or at least as much,” Ms. Rodriquez said. “Even the friends I no longer speak to now, I’m grateful I got to know and to make all the other friends that I did. I couldn’t have asked for better memories.”
The past four years have been special in so many ways for Ms. Rodriquez and no matter where life takes her in the future, she will always feel at home in Huntington and never forget how the school and community embraced her.
“As a senior, I’m just so amazed at how much I learned and grew at Huntington High School,” Ms. Rodriquez said. “I remember being a freshman and hoping it would end soon, but now I look around at my classmates, and some of them I remember being in primary school with and I just cannot believe it’s almost over. My overall experience at Huntington High School is something I will never forget. There are so many memories I’d love to relive. If I had a choice and I had to wake up tomorrow and repeat my high school experience all over again, I would.”
The teenager hasn’t settled on her college plans. She’s enjoying these last months as a high school senior and taking pleasure in her routine daily activities and interactions with classmates and teachers.
“Do not be petty; please,” Ms. Rodriquez urges incoming Huntington freshmen when asked to give them some advice. “Time flies. Be nice. Make the absolute most of your time in the building. Enjoy every second of it because once you’re a senior and you look back at some of the things you could have accomplished or that you regret, it’s too late. Take every opportunity. Treat others how you want to be treated and if you don’t have anything nice to say, just don’t say anything.”