Teacher Lauren Desiderio with National History Day Individual Exhibit first place recipient Diya Rai-Gersappe.

H-ton Junior Diya Rai-Gersappe Quietly Impresses Everyone

Teacher Lauren Desiderio with National History Day Individual Exhibit first place recipient Diya Rai-Gersappe.

January 28, 2019

Diya Rai-Gersappe has been quietly impressing her classmates and teachers. The Huntington High School junior has excelled academically, musically and in the Blue Devil athletic program.

The teenager’s academic schedule includes classes in French 4 Honors, Advanced Placement Chemistry, AP Seminar, AP Psychology, Pre-Calculus BS, Science Research, Advanced Photography and Orchestra. She is acing them all.

Huntington High School junior Diya Rai-Gersappe.
Huntington High School junior Diya Rai-Gersappe.

A very strong student academically, Ms. Rai-Gersappe is one of the stars in Huntington’s Class of 2020. She is exceptionally hardworking and studious, but she possesses a wonderful sense of humor, too.

“I am definitely interested in schools like Vanderbilt University, UCLA and Columbia University and I am definitely looking for a career in medicine,” Ms. Rai-Gersappe said. “Those are all schools I would love to study at! I am definitely applying to NYU also because it has a great biology program.”

Ms. Rai-Gersappe’s closest friends include Julia Segal, Hannah Avidor, Josie Fasolino, Julia Giles, Livia D’Anna, Molly Kessler, Zubair Ali, Keenan Lyons and Kiara Gelbman.

An administrative assistant with Huntington’s Key Club chapter, Ms. Rai-Gersappe also plays cello in the chamber of pit orchestras and can play a number of different strings instruments. She is even an accomplished pianist.

The teenager has especially enjoyed studying with teachers Dianna Cazzalino, Lauren Desiderio, Deidre Mayer and Patricia Avelli. “I am also very close with Mr. [Michael] Schwendemann as well as Mrs. [Kelly] Krycinski and Mrs. [Gina] Colica, who I love working with in Key Club.”

Ms. Rai-Gersappe said she also wanted to give a “shout out” to math teacher Jordan Schessler and science teacher Joseph Cohen. “They have also been two of my favorite teachers,” she said.

As a member of the Blue Devil varsity cross country team, Ms. Rai-Gersappe developed a strong bond with her teammates and head coach Beth Vogelsang.

The junior is the head student leader of the political activism group known by the acronym SPICE (Students Promoting Inclusive Civil Engagement). She organized a meet the candidates event that allowed students to meet state and local candidates prior to the most recent election.

A member of Huntington High School’s Science Olympiad team, Ms. Rai-Gersappe is very involved in the science research program. “Along with my partner from the summer research program, I have submitted a proposal for the National Google Science Fair,” she said.

A member of the Gemini Symphony Youth Orchestra, Ms. Rai-Gersappe is in preparation for the National Guild Association’s high school music diploma. “This requires me to memorize 10 pieces and perform in front of a judge,” she said. “I successfully completed the social music diploma. This required me to memorize seven pieces, such as a Mozart sonata and Debussy prelude.”

Born at Stony Brook University Hospital and very briefly a resident of Port Jefferson, Ms. Rai-Gersappe is an essential member of the Huntington community today.

The teenager has been able to squeeze some exciting trips into her busy schedule. “I’ve traveled to India to visit my family over there and have also been around Asia, including Singapore, Bali, Hong Kong and Cambodia,” Ms. Rai-Gersappe said. “I’ve also been to Italy once.”

The junior has enjoyed her experience at Huntington since beginning kindergarten at Washington Primary School. “It has been good; busy, but good,” Ms. Rai-Gersappe said. “I love getting to see my friends and learn more about science and researching topics I’m interested in. Huntington High School has provided a great environment for me to do so!” 

Blue Devil cross country runner Diya Rai-Gersappe runs past Bear Mountain's Hessian Lake.
Blue Devil cross country runner Diya Rai-Gersappe runs past Bear Mountain's Hessian Lake.
Diya Rai-Gersappe, Hannah Avidor and Julia Segal after being inducted into the Science Honor Society member..
Diya Rai-Gersappe, Hannah Avidor and Julia Segal after being inducted into the Science Honor Society member..
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