In a class filled with superstars, Manyara Cuadra shines bright. The Huntington High School senior garnered this year’s Principal’s Award following an impressive four year run.
The teenager began her long trek through the district as a kindergartener at Jefferson Primary School. An alum of Huntington’s dual language program, she took advantage of as many academic and co-curricular opportunities as she could.
Ms. Cuadra is headed to SUNY College at Old Westbury where she intends to study adolescent Spanish education and carry a minor in math while pursuing teacher certification in Spanish and English as a new language.
Principal Brenden Cusack presented the award to Ms. Cuadra at last week’s senior academic award ceremony in the high school auditorium. She was caught off-guard when she was called to the podium to accept the award.
Huntington senior Manyara Cuadra.
“Each year’s graduating class seems to have its own collective personality,” Mr. Cusack said. “To say that this year’s graduating class is a good class is truly an understatement. The students here tonight represent Huntington in the finest fashion. They have style, heart, enthusiasm, empathy and class. And this is why this year’s Principal’s Award recipient was particularly challenging to choose, as I only get to choose one graduating senior to receive it. However, one individual stood out to me as being truly deserving of this award.”
An articulate, personable and well-liked young woman, Ms. Cuadra works at Old Navy and in a local dentist’s office and she also has her own choreography business which handles events ranging from sweet sixteen parties to weddings.
“I wasn’t expecting it at all,” said Ms. Cuadra about receiving the award. “I heard him speaking and I was like ‘oh whoever gets this is amazing’ and then he said that I’m the one who gives the birthday shout-outs and I just started laughing. I did not know what to do. I started getting so emotional because as a principal, he has done such an amazing job at the school and I am so fortunate to have such a supportive and outgoing principal like him. I was very happy and proud.”
The teenager is highly-regarded throughout Huntington High School and the community at-large. Ms. Cuadra has a strong work ethic and an outgoing personality that has helped her attract a wide circle of friends.
“This year’s recipient is a student who is in many ways an unsung hero,” Mr. Cusack said. “She has quietly and sometimes not so quietly, had a positive impact upon our school community. Even on days when she may not have felt like it, she put her best foot forward and brought her smile and charm with her. This is an individual who has shown true growth over her high school career and I am very proud of all of her accomplishments. She goes out of her way to help others in many ways and has helped me with a number of different projects this year. Having said all of that, it is also very clear that anyone who goes by the name “Mango” has got to be a very special individual. It is an honor to present this year’s Principal’s Award to Manyara Cuadra.”