Schools: Awards of Distinction; Recognition for Athletes


Fourteen local students have been recognized as recipients of Distinguished Youth Awards, which they earned by completing a year-long program.

They were each presented medals, certificates and proclamations in a special ceremony at the Suffolk County Legislature.

Legis. Tom Donnelly, D-Huntington Station, said, “I commend all of these remarkable students for their commitment and enthusiasm. They demonstrated initiative in embarking on the program and dedication in sticking with it to completion. They should be very proud of themselves and are truly deserving of recognition.”

The program centers on volunteer service, personal development, exploration and physical fitness. Students commit to completing requirements in two, three or all four categories for Bronze, Silver or Gold recognition.  Each category can require up to 100 or more hours of activity that must be logged and certified. In addition, students complete personal interviews in the legislator’s office at the onset of the program and then at the completion.

The program is open to all Suffolk County youths between the ages of 13 and 18. A total of 47 Suffolk students earned awards this program year, with nearly a third of them from Legislative District 17.

Walt Whitman High School had the most award recipients in the program with ten: Jordan Badalamenti (Silver), Andrew Connolly (Silver), Owen Connolly (Gold), Victoria Isernia (Bronze), Alyssa Katwala (Gold), Kristina Lineen (Bronze), John Lineen (Bronze), Lorianna Mattutat (Gold), Natalia Ortez (Gold) and Andres Valencia (Silver). Other local youths who earned DYAs were: Gianna Tantillo (Silver) and Vanessa Tantillo (Silver) from Half Hollow Hills High School East, Emily Franciscovich (Gold) from Deer Park High School and Juliet Beck (Gold) from North Babylon High School.

Registration is underway for the 2021-2022 Distinguished Youth Awards Program. Applications are available on the Suffolk County Legislature’s website at: Deadline for submission is September 15. For more information, call Legislator Donnelly’s district office at (631) 854-4433.

Half Hollow Hills Issues Guidelines

The Half Hollow Hills Central School District provided the following information about the district’s eligibility guidelines for free and reduced price meals for the 2021-2022 school year.

HHH 2021-2022 IncomeEligibility

Ladybug Release

Pinelawn Memorial Park and Arborteum will host Suffolk County Girl Scouts for its 4th annual ladybug release of over 100,000 ladybugs into its flowering gardens, botanicals, plants and arboreta to help protect its plant life.

The educational event will teach the Girl Scouts and their families how aphids, a common pest, can cause harm to a variety of plant life. Ladybugs are a natural predator to aphids.

The hands-on event will include 60 Suffolk County Girl Scouts, ages 5 through 14, and their parents, from Northport, East Northport, South Huntington, Kings Park and Dix Hills.

Scholar-Athlete School of Distinction

For the fifth consecutive year, Elwood-John H. Glenn High School has been recognized by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association as a Scholar-Athlete School of Distinction Award winner for the 2020-2021 school year.

“I am exceptionally proud of our student-athletes’ work both academically and athletically this past year under difficult circumstances due to COVID-19,” said Director of Athletics and Physical Education David Shanahan. “Being recognized as one of 13 high schools in Suffolk County and one of 64 schools in New York State as a School of Distinction reflects the hard work of student-athletes, parents, administrators and our tremendous coaching staff.”

To receive this award, schools must have 100% of its varsity teams qualify for and receive the Scholar-Athlete Team award during their respective sports seasons.

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