Kiara Rafailan is a good-hearted young woman with an optimistic frame of mind. The Huntington High School senior wants to make a difference in this world and she is eyeing a teaching career as the vehicle to accomplish her goals.
Ms. Rafailan started for the Blue Devil varsity girls’ soccer team this fall. She plans to run on Huntington’s outdoor track and field team in the spring. She’s a member of the Grandfriends club and has been involved in the Young Leaders youth development organization.
Huntington senior Kiara Rafailan.
“I’ve been with Kiara since she was a freshman,” said Maria Canino, a Huntington High School physical education teacher and the JV girls’ soccer coach. “I’ve had her on my soccer team and in my physical education class. Kiara is one of the most mature, kind hearted and open minded teenagers I have met. She is definitely someone I consider to be one of my ‘go to’ students. She’s always willing to help me or one of her peers however she can. Her leadership skills, positive attitude and hard work are just a few reasons why I admire her so much and why she was my Pride Award student for physical education last year. Kiara is one of those kids who just puts a smile on your face and you are thankful to have her in your class, on your team and to have her in your life in general.”
The teenager’s academic schedule includes Advanced Placement Research, AP Government and Politics, AP Spanish, Economics, Astronomy, Pre-Calucus and a credit bearing internship with business teacher Suzie Biagi.
“I’m applying to 10 different colleges,” Ms. Rafailan said. “My top three are St. John’s University, University of Delaware and Nova Southeastern University. I would like to major in early childhood education and become an elementary school teacher.”
The senior’s closest friends include Alyssa Sorensen, Paige Lennon and Jenna Yabroudy. “She’s an amazing teammate and an even better friend,” Lennon said. “She always has my back and is always looking out for other people. I’m really glad to call her my friend.”
Ms. Rafailan came to Huntington UFSD as a fourth graders, moving here after attending a private school in North Carolina. Soon after beginning classes at Washington Primary School, she met Ms. Sorensen and the two have been tight friends ever since.
“Kiara is one of the best people I have ever met,” Ms. Sorensen said. “We have so many memories together and she always supports me. She is going to have a successful future and make a positive impact on other lives, just how she impacted mine.”
Ms. Rafailan’s favorite teachers include Suzie Biagi, Lynn Hendricks and Dianna Molenko Cassalino.
“I’ve wanted to be a teacher for a while now because I love kids,” Ms. Rafailan said. “I want to help them better themselves. I figured that out last summer when I was a camp counselor for nine year olds.”
Ms. Rafailan almost always has a smile on her face. People of all ages feel comfortable in her presence. Teachers adore her. Classmates trust and value her. It’s obvious she is a happy teenager.
“I have had an amazing time at Huntington,” Ms. Rafailan said. “I met new people and they taught me more about myself every day. I got involved in community service, especially because of Young Leaders. I’ll never forget the memories I’ve made with my friends here.”