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Spotlight on Huntington High School Senior Kaitlin Dayton

Kaitlin Dayton, HHS senior, graduates with the class of 2015.

Kaitlin Dayton, HHS senior, graduates with the class of 2015.

Kaitlin Dayton transferred to Woodhull Intermediate School as a sixth grader. She has never looked back. Six years later the teenager is in her final months before graduating with Huntington High School’s Class of 2015.

One of the most popular seniors in the high school, Ms. Dayton has enjoyed an exceedingly positive experience since coming to the district. She has played a key role in many different extracurricular activities and worked closely with a variety of faculty members across numerous academic departments.

“I transferred from St. Patrick’s School to Woodhull,” Ms. Dayton said. “To this day, I am convinced it has been the greatest decision I have ever made as I have had nothing but wonderful experiences during my time here. I was welcomed with open arms and amazing opportunities that I don’t believe I could have found anywhere else.”

Ms. Dayton is a happy young woman. She works hard to make a difference in her community and the world. President of Huntington High School’s National Honor Society chapter, the teenager is also involved in the English, Spanish and art honor societies.

“The most encouraging and influential teachers”

“As I have moved from Woodhull to Finley to the high school, I have been so lucky to have received only the most encouraging and influential teachers Huntington has to offer, so it would be impossible to name only a few of my favorites,” said Ms. Dayton when asked to choose the faculty members she is most fond of.

“Since arriving at the high school, my classes have become more focused, allowing me to explore my interests and possible career paths,” the teenager said. Ms. Dayton’s is currently enrolled in AP Calculus AB, AP Photography, Portfolio and Design, AP Environmental Science, AP Government, AP Micro Economics, AP Spanish and AP English Literature. It’s a challenging selection of classes, but the senior is more than capable of tackling such high level work.

“Some of the classes that have stood out the most to me are AP World History taught by Ms. [Camille] Tedeschi, AP Government taught by Mr. [Kenneth] Donovan, AP Spanish taught by Ms. [Mercy] Pena, and, of course, my art classes, drawing and painting with Ms. [Kristin] Singer and photography with Ms. [Pamela] Piffard,” Ms. Dayton said. The teenager has taken photography courses in each of the past four years and displayed talent in producing captivating images.

World History was a fascinating class for me,” Ms. Dayton recalled. “It was a two year course outlining major historical cultures and events from pre-history up to present day. Ms. Tedeschi made the class so interactive and compelling and I believe it was her teaching that sparked my interest in foreign affairs and cultures.”

Ms. Dayton’s current Spanish course “has only worked to further cement my interests and what began as my most challenging, and at times overwhelming, class has quickly become my favorite,” she said. “Some truly unique experiences I’ve gained from it include writing to pen pals who are students in Mexico and participating in social group after school; an opportunity to interact with the ESL students here in Huntington.”

The Huntington senior said her current classes have sparked an interest in studying political science and international affairs in college and perhaps even picking up a third language. “It is my dream to work for the United Nation’s humanitarian affairs office, but I am also considering careers in a non-profit or practicing law,” Ms. Dayton said.

The teenager has already been awarded “generous” scholarships by Providence College, Fordham University and Loyola Maryland and gained admission to the honors programs at Northeastern College and Boston College. “However, I am still waiting to hear back from a few more schools, including Northwestern, George Washington, Yale and Harvard,” Ms. Dayton said. “At this point in time I am still weighing my options, but I know that I’ll be happy wherever I end up.”

A member of the Blue Devil fencing team throughout high school, Ms. Dayton also plays on a soccer team on weekends. She likes to stay busy and excels at managing her time while maintaining the highest standards in all aspects of her life.

Ms. Dayton has been very involved in Huntington High School’s club program. She’s been an active member of Habitat for Humanity for four years and is the chapter vice president this year. “We have made numerous trips to Breezy Point, Queens since Hurricane Sandy and seeing the devastation and the part our club played in healing it is something that will stay with me all of my life,” she said. “This spring break will mark the club’s tenth and my second trip to New Orleans. It has been something I have been anticipating for months. Seeing the hopeful tears in a homeowner’s eyes makes accidentally hammering your thumb worth it every time.”

The senior is also set to play an integral role in this year’s Relay For Life fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Ms. Dayton is an event chair along with senior Alyssa Devoe and junior Jessica Straub.

Ms. Dayton has been a Relay participant since the first event was held during her freshman year. She was a member of the planning committee as a junior and is now helping to lead the event. Along with her co-chairs, the teenager is working hard to put all the pieces in place for a successful event.

“Together it is our job to plan, promote, organize, fundraise and execute one of the highest grossing high school events in the country,” said Ms. Dayton about Huntington’s 2015 Relay. “In the past three years that Huntington has hosted Relay for Life, we have raised almost half a million dollars and have been nationally distinguished. Of course, this could not have been accomplished without the support of the Huntington School District and community and it is our goal to make this year’s Relay the most successful one yet!”

Ms. Dayton and her fellow Relay organizers have been planning the event for many weeks. “Although our event isn’t until June, we need more people signing up and fundraising now if we want to make this Huntington’s biggest Relay yet,” she said. Mr. [Joseph] Cohen, our invaluable faculty advisor, puts so much time and effort into the event and working with him is one of my most enjoyable high school experiences.”

The senior intends to “relay” in honor of her fencing coach Alan Kuver, a Huntington teacher who lost a battle with esophageal cancer last July 1. “It has been a devastating year, with the tragic losses of both Mr. Kuver and well-loved school board member Mr. [Adam] Spector, but I know Huntington will rally together and fight back against a disease that has taken too many,” Ms. Dayton said. Information about this year’s Relay for Life can be found by visitinghttp://main.acsevents.org/site/TR/RelayForLife/RFLCY15EA?pg=entry&fr_id=66860.

In her free time, Ms. Dayton volunteers during the fall and spring seasons with a soccer program for men and women with Autism and Down syndrome. “The players range anywhere from nine to 50 years old, she said. “The program is always the highlight of my Saturday mornings.”

With less than five months left at Huntington High School, Ms. Dayton was willing to share some words of wisdom with those who will be following in her footsteps. “My advice to incoming freshmen is to take advantage of all the high school has to offer,” she said. “From art classes, to music, to sports, to volunteer clubs and academic extracurriculars; there’s a niche for everybody. The faculty here is so supportive. They truly want to see you succeed, so don’t be afraid to ask for help.”

Source: Public Information Office

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