OBHS Students are Champions of Character
In one of the most inspiring events of the school year, 20 Oyster Bay High School students were recognized by faculty and staff members for exemplary character — making them outstanding role models for their peers — during the fourth annual Breakfast of Champions Character Recognition Program, May 22.
Held in the high school library, the event had some staff members choked up and pausing to compose themselves as they shared inspiring words about the students they nominated with faculty and family members.
“You’re a role model to me and you're only 12 years old,” was one of the many powerful statements physical education and health teacher Mr. Charlie Rizzuto said about his honoree, seventh-grader Riley Ford.
“I never saw a student smile so much in math class,” said math teacher Mr. David Lazar about the infectious positive attitude of student Jose Flores Ulloa.
One by one, students were described as possessing a high moral compass, as putting others before themselves, and as respectful, humble, compassionate and kind — qualities that have uplifted the school and will surely lead to their success in life.
To honor them as champions of character, they were presented with a photo of a “Wheaties” cereal box with their picture on it as well as a certificate recognizing them as outstanding models of character.
“‘Wheaties’ cereal has always honored champions by putting Olympians, Most Valuable Players and other prominent individuals on their boxes, so it seemed fitting to bestow this honor on our character champions,” said Mr. Kevin Trentowski, Director of Athletics, Physical Education and Health, who brought the program to Oyster Bay High School to elevate the importance of good character not only in school but in life.
In his opening remarks, he stated, “These are the students who help make up the moral fabric of our school community. They are individuals who are driven by an innate set of values, and so they strive to be the best – not simply in their school work – but in life as human beings.”
He noted that while the students all possess many talents academically, athletically and artistically, they all have one trait in common — character.
This year’s Breakfast of Champions honorees and the faculty and staff members who nominated them include:
Sophia Dean, nominated by Mr. John Andriaccio; Fernanda Duran Orellana, nominated by Ms. Sara Duque-Cuniglio; Chris Tramontana, nominated by Mr. John Brush; Alex Ulloa Ulloa, nominated by Ms. Fanny Diaz; Allan Martinez Acosta, nominated by Ms. Jenny Alvarado; Dennis Mejia, nominated by Mr. Christopher Weber; Anthony Fuschetto, nominated by Ms. Maria Kim; Gianna Palmo, nominated by Ms. Cara Smith; Anthony Reilly, nominated by Mr. Kevin Trentowski; Grace Scamell, nominated by Ms. Patrick Heusner; April Cerami, nominated by Ms. Nicole Schwartz; Ramon Flores Ulloa, nominated by Ms. Karina Reyes; Bradley Beck, nominated by Ms. Lauren Harnick; Jayce Cody, nominated by Mr. Matthew Brown; Riley Ford, nominated by Mr. Charles Rizzuto; Christopher Syrett & Salvatore Fusco, nominated by Mr. Christopher Weber; Kelly Posadas, nominated by Ms. Amy Walch; Jose Flores Ulloa, nominated by Mr. David Lazar and Michelle Ruzzier, nominated by Mr. Charles Rizzuto.
Addressing the families of the honorees, Mr. Trentowski said, “These young men and women are a testament to the upbringing, love, encouragement, and support that they have received at home.”
He added, “It has been said that ‘Character, in the long run, is the decisive factor in the life of an individual.’ Based on that definition, all of these students are headed for very successful and rewarding lives because of the conscious choice they have made to be of good character.”
Twenty Oyster Bay High School students were recognized for outstanding character at the fourth annual Breakfast of Champions Character Recognition Program, May 22.
Mr. John Brush offers inspiring words about Chris Tramontana.
Dennis Mejia reacts after seeing his "Wheaties" photo.
Bradley Beck hugs Ms. Lauren Harnick after receiving the honor.
Michelle Ruzzier displays her photo and certificate presented by Mr. Charles Rizzuto.
Ms. Amy Walch beams after presenting Kelly Posadas with her honor.