International Night Fundraiser Helps College-Bound ENL Seniors
From Salsa to Merengue to Irish Step Dancing, Oyster Bay High School’s International Night Celebration had the audience dancing in their seats as students, staff and local dance troupes lit up the stage with their talent, then invited everyone to the cafeteria for a tantalizing smorgasbord of international cuisine.
The evening, coordinated by the Department of Languages Other than English (LOTE) and English as a New Language (ENL), is an annual fundraiser for the Sal Pipitone ENL Scholarship Fund, which helps deserving ENL seniors attend college. Sal Pipitone was a beloved teacher and administrator at Oyster Bay High School who was part of the International Night Celebration every year. This year, the event raised $764, thanks to the support of the Oyster Bay-East Norwich community.
The show opened with Ms. Paula Luzzi’s Spanish class singing El Rock de las Capitales followed by junior Sarah Conway playing piano and singing La Vie En Rose. Next was a dance performed by the James H. Vernon School International Club with ENL teacher Mrs. Teriann Chiappardi.
Seniors Franklin Villatoro and Félix Flores pumped up the audience with an original rap vocal, and Salsa dancing heated up the stage with performances by LOTE teacher Sara Duque-Coniglio, the Rhythmology Ladies’ Dance Team, of which LOTE teacher Ms. Jacklin Luciano is a member, and dancers Ciara and Kiara Cerrud.
Other entertaining numbers included Giavanna Gerken, who played the harp and sang; Irish Step Dancing by freshman Caleigh O’Toole, and a performance of the Bachata, Punta and Merengue by seniors Franklin Villatoro and Félix Flores, freshman Sindy Agurcia, sophomore Fernanda Durán, freshman Cindy Hércules, ENL teacher Ms. Sara Duque-Coniglio, ENL/LOTE teacher Ms. Jenny Alvarado, Mr. Guillermo Duque, Mr. Miguel Cuniglio and Ms. Ariana Cuniglio.
Mr. Bryan Pérez from the dance troupe, Tibaleros de Rythmology, closed the show with a scintillating dance number to Cuero Na Ma that garnered cheers and rousing applause.
After the show, the audience delighted their senses by sampling an array of worldly delights cooked by students, which ranged from empanadas, Swedish meatballs, Irish soda bread, Arroz Amarillo, Pastelitos de Guayaba (a Cuban puff pastry), Italian pasta and sauce, flan, and many more. An assortment of items, including winter hats from Peru and tote bags (mochilas) and jewelry from Colombia, were also on display for purchase.
The evening, which took about two months to plan, “was made possible with the unique vision and assistance of the International Club Advisors Ms. Fanny Diaz and Ms. Frances Sotiriou and their club officers,” said Mrs. Liliana Policano, the District’s LOTE and ENL Supervisor, who addressed the audience at the top of the show. Mrs. Policano thanked administrators, the Board of Education, parents, students and staff for coming out and supporting the event, and extended special gratitude to the performers for sharing their talent for the cause. Thanks also went out to Fine and Performing Arts Supervisor Mr. Peter Rufa and junior Kevin Hart for their support with sound and music, sophomore Julia Cutajar for working the lighting, Mrs. Moriah Paredes co-president of the PTSA, for the PTSA's assistance in sponsoring the Rhythmology Dance Team and other dancers, and to security and custodial staff for their help with the event.
Seniors Franklin Villatoro and Félix Flores pump up the audience with an original rap vocal, Déjale caer to´el Peso!
The Rhythmology Ladies' Dance Team entertains the crowd. At left is LOTE teacher Ms. Jacklin Luciano.
Junior Sarah Conway plays the piano and sings for the audience.
The James H. Vernon International Club has fun dancing on stage.
Students serve up a variety of culinary delights they prepared.
Goods, such as Peruvian winter hats and Colombian jewelry, are displayed for sale.