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Held in the high school library before staff and family members, the event spotlights students who possess qualities that enable them to go above and beyond to make a difference, both in their own lives and in the lives of those around them. To honor them as champions, they were presented with a photo of a Wheaties cereal box, known as the breakfast of champions, with their picture on it as well as a certificate recognizing them for exemplary character.
“We wanted our character champions to feel as special as the Olympians and other prominent individuals who were featured on the iconic Wheaties cereal boxes, so we designed the Breakfast of Champions around that identifiable honor,” said Mr. Kevin Trentowski, Director of Athletics, Physical Education and Health, who brought the program to Oyster Bay High School.
Considered one of the most inspiring events of the school year, presenters typically get misty eyed or pause to compose themselves when sharing how they feel about the students they nominated. And this year was no different.
One by one, students were described as being selfless, kind, respectful, humble, compassionate and having a high moral compass — qualities that have uplifted the school and will surely lead to their success in life. Others were praised for their persistence and determination to rise above adversity and achieve a new level of personal success.
“These are the students 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,” Mr. Trentowski said.
While the students all possess many talents academically, athletically and artistically, they all have one trait in common — strength in character, he noted.
This year’s Breakfast of Champions honorees and the faculty and staff members who nominated them include: Cristian Ulloa and Ludyz Sierra, both nominated by Ms.Fanny Diaz; Hannah Lopes, nominated by Mr.Kevin Cotter; Rielly Iles, nominated by Ms. Lauren Harnick; Ryan Capone, nominated by Ms. Melissa Kozee; Kelsey Oliveros, nominated by Ms. Chelsea Bressingham; Pablo Alvarez and Angela Maldonado, both nominated by Ms. Maria Kim; Muskan Kumar, nominated by Ms. Victoria Wink; Jake Rankin and Maria McKevitt, both nominated by Mr. Matthew Brown; Jose Rafael Romero-Palacios, nominated by Ms. Jenny Alvarado; Erick Velasquez, nominated by Mr. Dylan Rankin; Cindy Hercules, nominated by Ms. Nicole Schwartz; Kaitlin Pellechia, nominated by Mr. Charles Rizzuto; and Kevin Hart, nominated by Mr. Christopher Weber.