They perform well in school but also give back to their community, succeed on the sports field and devote their time to numerous clubs and causes.
The West Hempstead PTSA recognized 23 students from sixth through 12th grade who are living examples of what it means to be "well-rounded" during its Feb. 11 meeting.
These "all-around students [are] the ones that go above and beyond," PTSA President Loraine Magaraci stated. "They are a part of their school and community as well."
The students -- Madison Hoffman, Tayvon Hall, Pierre Leconte, Danielle Menardy, Christian McKoy, Matthew DiGiovanni, Tonnya Bettineschi, Christopher Gabayan, Yerittsy Garcia, Cristina Liriano, Michael Mongelluzzo, Ashley Magaraci, Andrew Treglia, Sean Regan, Ellen Murphy, Robert Smith, Emily Wirtz, Justin Eckert, Harmony McDonough, Jennifer Moran, Sydney Hoffman, Lorraine Griffin and Jawad Hawat -- were called up one-by-one to receive certificates of recognition from the PTSA and citations from the Town of Hempstead, Nassau County and New York State. Hempstead Town Councilman Ed Ambrosino and Nassau County Legis. Vincent Muscarella were both on hand to present the awards.
As each student's name was read, the audience also learned of their extensive accomplishments and contributions both in and out of the classroom. In addition to participating in their school's clubs, athletics and other extra-curricular programs, some of the students have also volunteered at local hospitals, coached youth sports teams, mentored younger students and served their community through Boy Scouts.
Magaraci explained that the school guidance counselors, who were tasked with selecting the students recognized Monday night, found it very difficult to choose because West Hempstead has so many well-rounded kids.
"These are just some of the so many kids who deserve to be recognized," she added.
However, with West Hempstead Magaraci said students like this could be an "endangered species."
"This is why we are working so hard," she said, encouraging parents and other community members to participate in the budget process and to write letters to state leaders, asking for the district's state aid to be restored.
"You have to realize what is at stake," she told them. "Our kids their education and being well-rounded is what's important."
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