Huntington’s Michelle D’Alessandro is one of the top seniors in the United States this year. The teenager has been named a Commended Student by the National Merit Scholarship Corp.
Ms. D’Alessandro is one of just 34,000 seniors honored as a Commended Student. She was recognized for her “exceptional academic promise.”
Commended Students placed among the top five percent of more than 1.6 million students who entered the 2017 competition by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.
“Michelle is a creative, hardworking and thoughtful individual who is very deserving of this commendation,” Huntington Principal Brenden Cusack said. “In addition to her extracurricular endeavors, her attention to academics is clear. Michelle is an exceptional student and we could not be more proud of her.”
“The young men and women being named Commended Students have demonstrated outstanding potential for academic success,” according to the National Merit Scholarship Corp. “These students represent a valuable national resource. Recognizing their accomplishments, as well as the key role their schools play in their academic development, is vital to the advancement of educational excellence in our nation. We hope that this recognition will help broaden their educational opportunities and encourage them as they continue their pursuit of academic success.”
Ms. D’Alessandro has played a leading role with Huntington High School’s student newspaper, The Dispatch serving as an editor in chief. The teenager is participating in a credit bearing internship with English teacher Aimee Antorino, who is also the newspaper’s faculty advisor.
“Michelle is an outstanding student who truly enjoys learning and formulating new and creative ideas,” Huntington Superintendent James W. Polansky said. “She is thoroughly involved in curricular and extracurricular life at Huntington High School and serves as a formidable role model for her peers.”
Ms. D’Alessandro was a member of the ensemble in last fall’s Huntington drama club production of The Babbling Brooks. She played the part of a townsperson angered by the antics of Betty Brooks. She earlier appeared in Anne of Green Gables and in a pair of stage productions at J. Taylor Finley Middle School.
The teenager is enrolled in several Advanced Placement classes this year and is pursuing an overall rigorous schedule. Ms. D’Alessandro’s co-editor in chief of The Dispatch sings her praises.
Senior Sarah James believes that Ms. D’Alessandro is much more than an accomplished editor and student. “She’s a great friend,” the classmate said. “I didn’t expect to make friends with her in high school, but she’s become one of my closest friends. We have a lot in common. She has a great sense of humor and although I don’t think she knows what she wants to do yet, she has so much talent and untapped creativity. She’ll bring that to anything she does, anywhere she goes.”