Teacher Dianna Cazzalino is so well-regarded by the Huntington High School National English Honor Society’s members that the organization chose her as its honorary inductee at this week’s induction ceremony.
Mrs. Cazzalino sat on the auditorium stage with the group’s executive board, faculty advisor Bonnie Guarino, Chairman of Humanities Joseph Leavy and Principal Brenden Cusack. A crowd of 150 family members and district officials watched.
During her formal induction, Mrs. Cazzalino exclaimed to those gathered, “I am ready for membership.” It’s a required line of any new member, but the faculty member takes it seriously.
“Due to your skilled teaching and positive influence on your students, as well as your role as Et Cetera’s faculty advisor, the National English Honor Society executive board would like to recognize your commitment to English education as exemplary in nature,” said Maddie Kye, the organization’s vice president. “As an honorary member you may attend chapter meetings and events, wear our insignia and receive a membership certificate. Perhaps the most important role [you will play] will be continuing to model a genuine commitment to service and a clear understanding of the value of the literary arts.”
Mrs. Cazzalino was a four-time All-State bowler at Wellington C. Mepham High School in Bellmore. Her team won the Nassau County bowling championship during her junior year and she was recruited to bowl in college.
“I picked Adelphi University for the scholarship money and its strong teaching program,” Mrs. Cazzalino said. “I commuted to school and graduated with my undergraduate and graduate degrees. I was in their five year education program called STEP (Scholar Teacher Education Program).”
As an undergraduate, Mrs. Cazzalino majored in English and minored in education and gender studies. She completed her state student teaching requirements at Garden City Middle School and Island Trees High School. “Thanks to my AP credits from high school, I graduated a semester early from my undergrad (January 2010) and finished up my master’s degree earlier than the other students my age (January 2011),” she said.
Mrs. Cazzalino was a spectacular student, recording a 4.0 grade point average while obtaining a Master’s in Education degree. She was quickly hired as a ninth grade leave replacement teacher at Long Beach High School, serving there from February-June 2011. She joined Huntington UFSD’s faculty in September 2011.
A Huntington High School technology mentor in each of the past three years, Mrs. Cazzalino completed her state administrative certification requirements through Stony Brook University in 2017. She has even found time to teach English during summer school.
Employed by the North Bellmore Public Library for nine years, the experience solidified Mrs. Cazzalino’s love of books. “My favorite book to teach is To Kill a Mockingbird,” she said.
Over the years, Ms. Cazzalino has taught English 9, English 9 inclusion, English 10, English 11, Mystery Literature, English Foundations and Advanced Placement Seminar, a new course she helped initiative three years ago. “I love it,” she said about the AP class.
Mrs. Cazzalino has been the high school literary magazine’s faculty advisor for the past eight years. Et Cetera has reached new heights under her tutelage.
Outside of school, Mrs. Cazzalino likes to keep busy. “I love to travel and I’ve been to every continent except for Antarctica, which is on my list,” she said.