Copiague School District celebrated the 22nd annual Hall of Achievement induction ceremony by recognizing alumni who have made a positive impact on the school and community. Invited guests and honorees gathered in the Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School cafeteria following the homecoming festivities on Oct. 19.
The five new inductees – which brings the total number of members to 105 – are: Anthony Cipriano, Class of 1988; Richard Lynch, Class of 1982; Kelly Mooney, Class of 2000; Nadia Pepe, Class of 2000 and Yaniriz Rodriguez, Class of 1999.
“Each inductee will serve as a source of inspiration for the students of Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School,” said Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School Principal Joseph Agosta. “Each inductee will serve as a positive example for our students, building a sense of pride for the Copiague graduates past, present and future.”
“This year’s inductees, like those before them, are outstanding individuals, each of them have many memories of growing up in Copiague and going through our school system,” said Brian Sales, Board of Education president. “They have continued the tradition of Eagle pride throughout their lives and careers.”
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kathleen Bannon welcomed guests and honorees to the ceremony. “In honoring successful past graduates of Copiague School District, the Hall of Achievement’s primary purpose is to introduce these alumni as positive and motivating role models to our entire school community,” she said. “We keep these role models connected in a variety of ways to our schools and students. By the nature of their accomplishments and service, the inductees of the Hall of Achievement inspire our students to reach for high goals. As students of the Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School pass through our main hallway and the Hall of Achievement every day, they can stop and read about the accomplishments of our inductees.”
Mr. Cipriano coaches the wrestling team at Copiague and teaches physical education at Susan E. Wiley Elementary School. Through the years, he has coached four county champion wrestlers, 25 All-County wrestlers, 130 All-League wrestlers and has had county finalists for the last three years. He currently serves as the Suffolk director of U.S.A. Wrestling.
Mr. Lynch joined the New York City Police Department in 1986, working in the anti-crime unit and robbery squad. In 1996, he was promoted to detective 3rd grade. During his time as detective in the next 10 years, he received citations for excellent policy duty as well as meritorious and honorable mentions and a Silver Star. Since his retirement in 2006, Mr. Lynch has been a security guard in the Copiague School District.
Ms. Mooney has been involved with Copiague School District in some capacity since kindergarten. After graduating from Quinnipiac University with a communication degree, she joined Syntax Communications as an assistant account executive and was assigned to Copiague School District. Now an accounts director, Ms. Mooney still oversees the district, in addition to several other school districts and account executives.
Ms. Pepe has also remained an active member of the Copiague School District and community. She began working at the Copiague Memorial Public Library in high school and still remains an employee there today as a library assistant. Ms. Pepe graduated from Dowling College with a degree in psychology. With three children in the Copiague School District, she is actively involved in volunteering at Susan E. Wiley and Copiague Middle School’s PTA, extracurricular activities, fifth grade booster club and is a Girl Scout troop leader.
Ms. Rodriguez came to the Copiague School District at the age of 7 from the Dominican Republic and credits her teachers for helping her learn English. In high school, she was a member of the Spanish Club, Humanities Club, Intercultural Club, National Honor Society and vice president of the senior class. She graduated from St. Joseph’s College with a bachelor’s degree in education and received a master’s degree in education from LIU/Post. Since 2003, Ms. Rodriguez has been an English Language Learners teacher at Babylon School District. In 2018, she was awarded the New York Sen. Boyle Teachers of Excellence Award.