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Top 20 Students Celebrated for Their Success

Group picture of top 20 students standing behind a balloon sign saying
The top 20 students in the Copiague School District Class of 2024 were honored for their respective accomplishments during a luncheon on Jan. 26. Board of education trustees, central administration, invited faculty and family members joined the students for their special event.

Each top 20 student invited one faculty member from the district who had a positive influence on them. Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School Principal Joseph Agosta welcomed guests and thanked family members and faculty for their support of these exceptional students.

“Your dedication and tireless efforts have created an environment where our students thrive, learn and grow into the leaders of tomorrow,” Mr. Agosta said. “As we acknowledge the top 20 students, let us remember that success is a shared journey. It takes a village to raise and nurture such bright talents. Because of the support of the Copiague Schools Board of Education, central office administration and building level administration, our students have the necessary tools to succeed in the 21st century.”

Mr. Agosta offered a brief biography of each student, noting their accomplishments, awards and future goals and endeavors for college and their career. Each student was called to the podium to express their gratitude to the person who inspired them.

“Each of you is a beacon of hope for the future, and I have no doubt that your impact will extend far beyond these hallways,” Mr. Agosta added. “May you carry the lessons learned, the friendship formed and the spirit of collaboration into the next chapter of your lives.”

The district congratulates the top 20 students (in order beginning with No. 20): Rosangel Peralta Plasencia; Mercedes Novell-Gillard; Yoanny Castillo; Mohamad Altenbakji; Aliyanna Fernandez; Jose Villatoro-Amaya; Alana Cambridge; Angeni Hernandez; Anuoluwa Ojeyemi; Joshua Osofsky; Andrew Falco; Giselle Peralta; Victoria Wheby; Theresa Soraire; Jorge Villatoro-Amaya; Shawn Smaldon; Shenn Barredo; Rebecca Alara; Jonathan Singh (salutatorian); and Kemmora Simmons (valedictorian).

The teacher/staff honorees included: Samuel Gonzales; Matthew Miles; Danielle Cioffi; Tracy Wenzler; Scott Kuhn; Mesut Karatuna; Colleen Gurtner; Crystal Gray; Jules Goeke; Darwin Ryan; Dr. Kaitlyn Thompson; Dr. Allison Weller; Jessica Jablonski; Francesca Walker; Thomas Korn; Brian Genua; Michelle Penyy; Jason Taibi; Nicholas Lorenzen; and Renee Locker.

Senator Monica Martinez was also in attendance at the luncheon, offering words of inspiration to the students and presenting a special recognition to Regeneron semifinalist and valedictorian Kemmora Simmons. In addition, Sen. Martinez presented certificates to each of the top 20 students to acknowledge their many accomplishments.

Click here to view the photo slideshow.

Date Added: 2/2/2024