The top members of Huntington High School’s Class of 2017 were honored last Thursday night at this year’s Distinguished Seniors Dinner in Louis D. Giani Gymnasium.
During the three-hour long affair the exceptional teenagers recognized a set of teachers who have meant so much to them over the years. A large crowd numbering about 300 turned out for the fourteenth annual dinner that recognizes Huntington’s leading scholars.
Principal Brenden Cusack saluted the 96 exceptional students for their remarkable academic performance and noteworthy efforts outside of classes and in the community.
Huntington High School English teachers Gina Colica and Aimee Antorino.
“Each year, this event marks the beginning of the last leg of your high school careers,” Mr. Cusack told the seniors. “The fact that you are here this evening indicates that you are in the process of going out in style! Students honored this evening have acquired an average of 90 or better over the course of seven semesters of high school. This is an outstanding accomplishment. We are so very proud of you and I am very happy for you as this is a great time in high school. As you move closer toward graduation, more and more often you may find yourself taking a moment to savor one last memory from high school. Tonight is the beginning of that process and I truly hope you enjoy the evening.”
School Board President Thomas DiGiacomo, Superintendent James W. Polansky, PTA Council President Melissa Ryan and Huntington High School Assistant Principal Gamal Smith also took turns at the microphone, offering the seniors heartfelt congratulations for a job well done.
The honorees included Evan Aguirre, Emanuel Anastos, Max Angstadt, Alexander Ardell, Anna Ardell, Olivia Baldanza, Gabriella Bartley, Abigail Bellistri, Elizabeth Berejka, Jordan Biener, Stefan Breskin, Daniel Browne, Christopher Burton, Michaela Carnesi, Sonia Chemerisov, Tyler Conforti, Grace Curran, Michelle D’Alessandro, Kathryn Dara, Gabriella DeLuca, Halley Deonarine, Jahi Douglas, Charles Ehrman, Julia Engle, Delaney English, Lauren Feldman, Natalie Flores, Sabrina Floro, Shannon Foley, Ryann Gaffney, William Garfinkel, Jack Glicker, Jessica-Rose Greene, Connor Grosso, Anna Gulizio, Kevin Gulizio, Claire Hannon, Noelle Harvey, Maya Hoffman, Elizabeth Hughes, Sarah James, Anjali Kapur, Jackson Kent, Tateana Khokhar, Louise Koepele, Jacob Larbarge, Nicholas Lanzisero, Camryn Libes, Chloe Liepa, Magenta Lopez, Amanda LoScalzo, Ana Luna-Mancia, and Lauren McGlone.
Kelsey Miller, Theresa Moreno, Erin Morrisroe, Garrett Moya, Alexandra Muller, Brendan Mulroy, Nicholas Newell, Kelly Nicoletto, Miranda Nykolyn, Ingrid Oliva, Celine Palermo, Emma Pandolfi, Thomas Pandolfi, Alexis Pastorelli, Anthony Perna, Emma Petrizzi, Emma Pipolo, Austin Reda, Christiana Reinertsen, Logan Rice, Rachel Roday, Michael Russak, Marina Ruzic, Kayla Ryan, Lauren Sage, Isabella Scarpati Toledo, Jonathan Shechter, Alexandra Smith, David Sonin, Camille Stafford, Cloe Stevens, Donald Stewart, Jacob Strieb, Tania Ulloa, Christian Verfenstein, Dawson Wallace, Molly Warren, Julie Weissman, Sage Welte, Tara Wilson, Lydia Witt and Steve Yeh were also recognized as Distinguished Seniors.
Distinguished Seniors Sarah James and Camille Stafford.
The seniors were asked to select one teacher to be honored from the first school they attended in the district and from each of their subsequent schools. The teenagers took their responsibility seriously and made their selections based upon personal experiences that struck home with each of them, both individually and collectively.
The seniors recognized teachers Luz Marotta, Susan Turner, Barbara Denis, Carlene Cournane, Maryann Daly, Paul Esposito, Kimberly Finneran and Aimee Antorino.
Seniors introduced each of the faculty members with touching and heartfelt remembrances. The teachers spoke one by one, recalling their experiences with the now-seniors and emphasizing how proud they are of their former students.
“I hope you too savor this moment,” Mr. Cusack told his fellow educators. “There is truly no greater honor for an educator than to be recognized by students. The fact that you have had some hand in shaping these students into the fine young men and women they are today speaks volumes about your work and your gifts as teachers.”
The large crowd was feted to a delicious meal whipped up by noted Long Island chef Howard J. Fay. Huntington High School administrators and secretaries served the crowd as it passed along long tables filled with various dishes.
Talented high school strings musicians entertained the crowd as it filed into the gymnasium. Performing under the direction of teacher Nicole Castaldo, the chamber orchestra included: Violin I: Christopher Chang, Gaia D’Anna, Nina Danseglio, Alex Grella, Arielle Harvey, Mackenzie Joseph, Keenan Lyons, Annabella Matheus, Alexandra McKenzie, Morgan Minicozzi, Haley Mortell, Zechariah Perea, Christina Varady; Viola: Lianna DeChiaro, Catherine Jamison, Erika Varady; Cello: Nicole Arenth, Hannah Bailin, Erin Bonitz, Margaret Giles, Nicholas Kretschmer, Madelyn Kye, Diya Rai-Gersappe, Julien Rentsch, Julia Rogan; Bass: Hadley Clayton, Kevin O’Donnell, Kyle Perea.
Huntington’s Class of 2017 President Kelsey Miller served as the master of ceremonies. When the evening’s program had finally drawn to a close, parents snapped hundreds of photographs of the seniors as they posed in groups with their classmates.