At its October meeting, the Rockland Lodge 2176 Order Sons of Italy in America honored Tappan Zee High School seniors Caitlin Cronin and Toniann Talone and South Orangetown Middle School eighth-graders Gianna C. and Sofia D. for excellence and dedication to the study of the Italian language and culture.
The Rockland Lodge recognizes South Orangetown Central School District middle and high school Italian language students throughout the school year. Student of the Month candidates are nominated by their teachers for both academic achievement and a genuine interest in Italian culture. In honor of Italian Heritage Month, two students from each school were selected for October. “The goal of the the Rockland Lodge is to share and inspire appreciation of Italian culture,” explains SOMS Italian teacher Roberta Avantifiori. “The Student of the Month program is an incentive for students to study. When a new Student of the Month is announced, it’s exciting. Other students are interested in whether they will be selected next!”
Both high school honorees have been enthusiastic, dedicated students and intend to continue their Italian language studies in college. Caitlin is President of the TZHS Italian Club and Toniann is President of the school’s Italian Honor Society. “Their love of the language extends beyond the classroom,” says TZHS World Language Team Leader Tricia Castelli. “Caitlin and Toniann have been active members of the Italian Club and Italian Honor Society throughout high school, participating in cultural activities both in school and in the community, as well as in community service activities.”