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SEPTA Honors Student Advocates For Those With Special Needs

SEPTA honors student advocates for those with special needs


The Herricks Public Schools’ Special Education Parent Teachers Association (SEPTA) held its annual Peer Advocates for Students with Special Needs Awards Night on May 1. This event recognizes students from each of the district’s school buildings who go above and beyond to make a difference for their peers with special needs.

Coordinated by SEPTA Co-Presidents Tammy Smiley and Judy Olson, attendees included administrators, faculty and other staff members, parents and students who came out to celebrate the honorees that have demonstrated the admirable qualities of kindness and leadership.

“Tonight is really special because we have a chance to thank students who go out of their way to help other students, just because it’s in their nature,” said Ms. Smiley.

Past Co-Presidents Rosemarie Brautigam and Patricia Troiano described the history of the program. “It makes a big difference for our kids to be wanted and included, and we would like to thank you,” they said.

Members of the Herricks staff introduced each award recipient and described his/her efforts and positive influences in the lives of special needs students. The 2017 elementary level honorees are Vera Peng of Center Street School, Melina Apostolatos of Denton Avenue and Peter Katchis of Searingtown School. From Herricks Middle School, Ludia Cho, Maria Doulis, Areeba Irfan, Mike Spahn and Allison Yu were recognized. The high school honorees are juniors Aleyah Ali, Sarah Andriano, John Bono, Eric DelValle, Sakina Dhirani, Konstantinos Geleris, Emily Haller, Thomas Marchelos, Lina Nicholis, Natalie Pusateri, Sibin Samuel, Carly Stein, Gregory Tannenbaum and seniors Giana Cellucci, Steven Gerazounis, Christopher Kilcullen, Yiannis Nictas and Alannah O’Shea.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Fino Celano provided remarks as the evening concluded. He praised the award recipients and summarized the impact of their efforts by sharing the famous Maya Angelou quote, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

SEPTA Honors Students   SEPTA Awards

SEPTA Awards

SEPTA Awards

SEPTA Awards