Friday, 24 February 2012 00:00
Dr. Francesco Ianni, principal of Division Avenue High School (DAHS) is proud to announce the Valedictorian and Salutatorian of the Class of 2012. Both young men are exceptional students whose academic achievement is equaled by their athletic, cultural, and philanthropic pursuits.
Evan Rosati, with an average of 101.93, is the class Valedictorian. He is an AP (advanced placement) scholar with distinction, an RPI medalist, president of the Science Olympiad, vice president of the Student Council, vice president of the Math Honor Society, captain of both the Mathletes, and the Long Island Challenge team. While following a schedule entirely consisting of AP coursework, he is a member of the National Honor Society, the World Language Honor Society, the Mathematics Honor Society and the Science National Honor Society.Rosati’s propensity for science has led to his participation and awards in a variety of local and regional competitions including the New York State Science Olympiad, the Western Long Island Regional Competition, the National Science Bowl, the Long Island Envirothon, the Chemagination competition, and the Protein Modeling Challenge at Stony Brook University.
Division Avenue recognized Rosati’s leadership skills early in his tenure by naming him a Hugh O’Brien Leadership Award Finalist. He has gone on to hold leadership positions in the Strategic Abstract Board Game Club, the Humanitarian Club, the National History and Science Bowl Teams, and the Physics Olympics. As a senior, Rosati serves as a Peer Leader, one of a selected few who help ninth graders transition to high school life. Through his involvement with Student Council, Rosati has been invaluable to the organization and production of Homecoming festivities, Spirit Week, Division Idol, the Thanksgiving Food Drive, the Student-Faculty Tennis Tournament, and the Brick Memorial Walkway.
Rosati is an accomplished violinist who performs in both the Symphony and Chamber Orchestras. He has even combined his engineering and musical talents by building his own violin for the Science Olympiad. Equally talented on the tennis court, Rosati is a varsity player who placed second in his conference last year.
Service, both to his school and community, is a priority for Rosati. He volunteers countless hours to Green Levittown, Dollars for Scholars, the Humanitarian Club (recycling, fundraising, and benefits), St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Junior Achievement, and Science and Math tutoring.
Rosati’s magnetic smile and ingenuous demeanor reflect an introspective enlightenment. “I’m proud of this honor, but it certainly comes with a sense of humility. I’ve learned, especially through the college acceptance process, that there are hundreds of students across the country whose qualifications equal or surpass mine. The true value of my accomplishment is that I have achieved perspective. Although being Valedictorian is, essentially, a competitive title, I have learned to appreciate it in relation to how far I’ve come, and how much I’ve grown, and not as a contest or comparison with others.”
Rosati hopes to pursue a chemical engineering degree at one of several prestigious universities that he will choose from in the coming months.
Eric Maciel, with an average of 100.88, is this year’s Salutatorian. He is an AP scholar with distinction, and a Hispanic National Merit Scholar. In his senior year, Maciel was on the LI Challenge team, no doubt aided by his demanding schedule of AP Physics, AP Calculus, AP Literature, Accelerated Economics, and Science Research. He is a member of the National Honor Society, the Mathematics Honor Society, the World Language Honor Society, the Science Honor Society and the Science Olympiad, for which he won a sixth place medal for ecology.
As a guide and mentor to incoming freshmen, Maciel is a model Peer Leader. His literal and figurative helping hand is always extended to those in need, and his earnest sincerity exudes compassion for those who may otherwise be marginalized. He speaks fluent Portuguese and Spanish and is particularly conscious of his role as a model student and school citizen to those who have arrived at Division from an unconventional path. “My parents came to the United States from Brazil. Their sacrifice gave me an opportunity that I have to make sure I never waste. They are so proud of me, but I am prouder of them.”
Maciel is an avid soccer enthusiast who plays on the Division Varsity team, the Levittown Predators, the Long Island Rough Riders, and the Brazilian Baptist Soccer Squad. He volunteers for the New York Red Bulls as a trainer, and is a coach’s aide for the Levittown Soccer Club. Balancing his athletic aptitude is Maciel’s interest in music: he plays guitar and piano with a penchant for rock.
No stranger to community service, Maciel devotes countless hours to the First Brazilian Baptist Church of New York. He is a bible school youth teacher, a youth group leader, a teenage and youth counselor, a translator, a film crew member and multimedia assistant. His academic interest in ecology is put to practical use through his administration of the Division Humanitarian Club’s Recycling program.
Maciel has been accepted early decision into Columbia University. He will study physics at that prestigious Ivy League school and has hopes of eventually being funded to do research.
Inarguably, both Rosati and Maciel will cite being on this year’s Homecoming Court among their fondest high school memories. This testament to their humor, charm, sincerity, respect, and admiration complement their achievements and efforts in the classroom, on the stage, on the field, and in our community. In unison, Division Avenue salutes these outstanding students.
Wednesday, 19 June 2013 00:00
The members of the eighth-grade graduating class at Jonas E. Salk Middle School proceeded down the aisles of the school’s gymnasium in a ceremonial moving-up tradition, as proud parents and family members watched from the bleachers. Class officers led the salute to the flag, after which the eighth-grade chorus, conducted by Lisa Levenberg, sang the national anthem.
Thursday, 13 June 2013 00:00
When Msgr. Ralph Sommer was growing up he found inspiration from the example of his uncle, Father Ralph Besendorfer. “He was a Brooklyn priest,” said Msgr. Sommer, who is known to parishioners as “Father Sommer” or “Father Ralph.”
“My uncle was a most powerful and delightful influence, happy, caring, and helpful,” said Father Sommer, outgoing pastor of St. Brigid’s Church, in Westbury. “I would look at him and say, ‘I could do that.’”
For a number of years, Father Besendorfer would come out to St. Bernard’s in Levittown on weekends to assist.
Now, Father Sommer finds himself about to become pastor of St. Bernard’s on June 26, succeeding Msgr. Gerard Ringenback, pastor of St. Bernard’s since 2001.
He doesn’t know if anyone at St. Bernard’s will remember his uncle, Father Sommer said, but “if I meet people who remember him from that time, it will be a nice thing.”
Born in Flushing, Queens, Father Sommer grew up in Garden City, attending St. Anne’s School. He advanced to St. Pius X Preparatory Seminary, a high school for young men considering the priesthood.
“It was a caring community,” with priest-instructors and students who shared an interest in exploring the priesthood.
For college, he left the seminary system for Adelphi University near his home. “I walked every day. We didn’t have another car.”
Adelphi offered an opportunity to test his vocation. He majored in psychology, “which I thought would help me if I became a priest.”
After Adelphi, he returned to priestly studies at Immaculate Conception Seminary, Huntington. Upon graduation, he was ordained a priest in 1983.
Thursday, 13 June 2013 00:00
Senior pitcher Anthony Semonella at Division Avenue High School has received a scholarship from the University of Bridgeport and has signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball at the collegiate level. He was joined by parents Donna and Ralph Semonella, Principal Dr. Francesco Ianni, Physical Education Chairperson Mauro Chiti and varsity baseball coach Tom Tuttle as he signed a letter confirming his acceptance to the university’s athletic program.
Photo provided by Syntax
Thursday, 13 June 2013 00:00
St. Thomas Aquinas College freshman Robert Naughton, of Levittown, has made his impact known in the NCAA Baseball East Coast Conference. Naughton started out his 2013 campaign not allowing an earned run in the first 19 innings he pitched.
At completion of his first season Naughton pitched 58 innings compiling a record of 6-1, leading the East Coast Athletic Conference with an era of 1.54.