Huntington Robotics capped off another exceptional season with a celebratory awards dinner at LaunchPad Huntington on Main Street in the village.
The squad accomplished most of what it set out to do, including qualifying for the world championships in St. Louis. Technology teachers Brian Reynolds and Omar Santiago served as the team’s faculty advisors. Many other mentors also contributed to the program.
Officially known as Team 5016, this year’s squad was led by Jacob Strieb (team captain), Matthew Wildermuth (vice-captain), John Riley (chief technology officer), Will Hebert (treasurer), Lindsay Saginaw (head of marketing and public relations), David Mosden (secretary), Ty Williams (head programmer), Luke Eidle (head of electrical), Sam Prinzi (head of mechanical), Isabella McGinniss (head of promotions), Tim Low (head of statistical strategy), Gabby Grenier (head of computer aided design) and Abigail Holmes (safety captain). Many other students filled important posts and devoted untold hours to the team.
Chief Technology Officer John Riley with his mom, Sue at the awards dinner.
A crowd numbering about 125 filled a large area of the floor of LaunchPad Huntington, a business accelerator and workspace where start-up companies can get on their feet. It hosts various workshops and discussions for the community throughout the year.
The team’s MVP Award was presented to Mr. Strieb. Rising Robot Awards went to Nick Lanzisero and David Alfaro. Rookie of the Year Awards were garnered by Aiden Franznick and Andrew Amitrano.
Huntington School Board President Thomas DiGiacomo, Trustee Xavier Palacios, Superintendent James W. Polansky and Huntington High School Principal Brenden Cusack were all on hand to share in the celebration.
“Team 5016 made us all proud once again this year, not only a result of their performance in competition, but also based on the group’s inclusivity, teamwork and sportsmanship and service to the community,” Mr. Polansky said. “Simply a terrific group of young people who work extremely hard in all regards.”
Team members took turns at the microphone, recognizing key individuals who contributed to the organization’s success, including mentors, advisors, parents and district officials. The evening included a multi-media presentation continuously running on a loop. Mr. Reynolds recapped the year’s activities along with some of the ongoing initiatives that are designed to strengthen and expand the program.
Seniors Thomas Stock, Jacob Strieb, Sam Prinzi, Nick Lanzisero, Jose Rivas, Joe Mangan, Jack Glicker, Michelle D’Alessandro and Gabrielle Grenier were all honored for their contributions to the program.
Many of the team’s financial backers and corporate sponsors also attended the dinner. Team members offered their thanks for the support and presented small plaques to each of the sponsors.
Huntington Robotics gave LaunchPad Huntington’s Phil Rugile a commemorative check that pledged the organization’s assistance with one of his favorite charities. Robotics team members will donate hours of their time to Splashes of Hope. Based in Huntington, the non-profit organization is “dedicated to transforming the environments of hospitals, healthcare centers and social service facilities with custom designed hand-painted murals,” according to the group’s website. “The artwork is designed to comfort patients during treatment, healing and recovery by providing a soothing and uplifting visual focus.”
Team 5016 presented a second check to Mr. Cusack and pledged to host a district-wide engineering inspiration night at the high school in an effort to showcase the academic discipline for students on every grade level.
The team recently announced that Timothy Low will serve as its captain during the 2017/18 school year with Matthew Wildermuth returning as vice-captain and Lindsay Saginaw reprising her role as head of marketing and public relations. Matt Genarelli will be the treasurer with John Riley returning as chief technology officer.