The Herricks Public Schools’ Special Education Parent Teachers Association (SEPTA) held its annual awards night for students who advocate for peers with special needs. On March 25, the district came together to acknowledge them for going above and beyond in their efforts to make a positive, lasting impact.
Members of the Herricks staff introduced each award recipient and described his/her efforts and positive influences in the lives of special needs students. Searingtown School teachers Matina Bozac, Jessica Henry and Trish Fruda announced Avery Aulicino, Rider Kantanas, Ben Hakim and Joey Grillo. Center Street School’s Janine Gentile, Laura Leicht and Karen Pugni introduced Ali Abdelsadek, Catherine Mongello and Alexander Helgeson and Denton Avenue School teachers Rosemarie LaMarca and Julie Gordon-Hert commended Daniel Geevarghese and Jacob Shuster.
“As someone once said, ‘no act of kindness no matter how small is ever wasted’,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Fino Celano. He shared a quote by Maya Angelou that encompassed the event’s purpose: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
The audience applauded each student that was honored, praising them for helping others and serving as role models. Attendees enjoyed refreshments following the award presentation.
At the middle school level, teachers Jackie Lipsky and Tova Umlauf announced Rachel Chao, Jacob Chen, Anjali Johal, Jessica Aponte and Gianna Daloia. Special acknowledgments were also given to Herricks High School student Justin Janoson, who was introduced by Susan Saban.
Coordinated by SEPTA officers, the evening was attended by administrators, faculty and other staff members, parents and students who came out to celebrate the honorees who have demonstrated qualities of kindness, compassion and leadership.