Katie Riley is one of the kindest, most articulate and unassuming members of Huntington High School’s Class of 2019. The senior is headed to Quinnipiac University in Connecticut where she plans to study for a career as a physician assistant, which will allow her to put her caring and compassionate nature to good use.
An energetic, enthusiastic and goal-oriented young woman, Ms. Riley has played a key role in several high school organizations and compiled an impressive list of accomplishments over the past four years. Her academic record is nothing short of stellar and her talents are such that she can really be or do anything.
Huntington senior Katie Riley.
“I’ve always had an interest in pursuing a career in the health sciences,” Ms. Riley said. “During the summer of my junior year, I was a volunteer at Stony Brook University Hospital and shadowed physicians, PAs and nurses in various departments. It was during this time that I honed in on a career path as well as a potential major. I decided on PA because it affords me the opportunity to accomplish both my professional and personal goals.”
The teenager applied to Quinnipiac as an early decision candidate, so she committed to the university before the new year. Ms. Riley was also accepted into the physician assistant programs at Drexel University, LeMoyne College and St. Francis University and probably could have gone anywhere she wanted in the country.
“Only a few colleges offer a direct entry [physician assistant] program so it’s very competitive,” Ms. Riley said. “Quinnipiac’s program is ranked 15th nationally. Upon completing the PA program at Quinnipiac and passing my certification, I plan to practice in a primary care setting while being able to explore other specialties.”
She will graduate from Quinnipiac’s six year PA program with bachelor and master degrees in health science studies/physician assistant.
Ms. Riley has once again excelled academically this year, acing a list of challenging courses, including Advanced Placement Biology, AP Calculus AB, AP English Literature & Composition, AP Government & Politics, Physics, Economics and Senior Band Competitive Honors.
“While at Huntington High School I have been taught by some amazing teachers,” Ms. Riley said. “Their dedication, positive influence and guidance enabled me to get the most out of my education.
While the teenager has worked remarkably well with every faculty member she has crossed paths with, one teacher in particular stands out for her.
“Ms. Camille Tedeschi has had a great influence on me,” Ms. Riley said. “Over the past four years, while in her AP World History class, as a member of the Interact Club and while traveling with her abroad, she always challenged me to think further, work harder and dream bigger. Her passion for traveling and learning about different cultures is contagious and I was lucky to accompany her to the Galapagos Islands and Italy. I have learned so much from Ms. Tedeschi, but her encouragement to always help others, not only in the community but around the world, is something I plan to emulate in my own life.”
The teenager has been inducted into Huntington’s National Honor Society chapter as well as the Math, Social Studies, English and Spanish Honor Societies.
“Katie is one of a kind and very special to me,” Ms. Tedeschi said. “She is smart, kind, caring, talented and adorable. She is always happy and friendly to others. She takes advantage of her knowledge on many levels and that is just one of the many reasons she has been such a successful student at Huntington High School. She has a solid work ethic and takes pride in everything she does no matter how big or small. I taught Katie in the classroom in Global 9 Honors and AP World History and traveled to Italy and the Galapagos with her. She served as an integral officer and member of the Interact Club. She is a remarkable person and a student that I will miss dearly but I will be content knowing that she is out in the world making a difference.
Co-captain of her Relay For Life team as a sophomore and junior, Ms. Riley has been a Natural Helper throughout high school, helping others sort through their personal challenges. She has been participated in the Interact Club in each of the past four years, serving as its historian. She’s also a four year member of the Grandfriends Club and has been in the Environmental Club since tenth grade.
Highlights of Ms. Riley’s Huntington years include participating in the Blue Devil marching band as an eighth grader and winning the New York State Field Band Conference championship in Syracuse and later serving as drum major of the band as a junior and senior and finishing second and third in the state in a higher competitive division.
The teenager won first place in Huntington’s National History Day competition for three consecutive years. She captured the Long Island and state titles last spring and vied in the national championships at the University of Maryland College Park, garnering recognition there.
Always looking to broaden her horizons, Ms. Riley traveled to the Galapagos Islands as a sophomore and went to Italy earlier this year. The privately funded trips were led by Ms. Tedeschi and included many of Ms. Riley’s friends and classmates.
Another highlight has been Ms. Riley’s long involvement in the high school’s robotics club. She was on the team that went to the First Robotics World Championships during her freshman, sophomore and junior years, which involved traveling to St. Louis twice as well as Detroit.
President of Huntington High School’s senior band, Ms. Riley has played French horn since fourth grade. She’s been a member of the wind ensemble and pit orchestra for the past four years. She notched an astonishing NYSSMA Level VI score of 97. She has been in the All-County band and All-County orchestra and been a regular participant in the Suffolk County Music Educators Association’s annual Day of Horn.
Measured by any standard, Ms. Riley’s run through Huntington UFSD has been splendid. She will graduate on June 28 with the respect and affection of both the faculty and her classmates. A busy summer is planned and then she will be off to Quinnipiac to pursue an entirely new set of goals.