Character Building Breakfast

Character-Building Breakfast


 For their exemplary character and conduct which has contributed to a successful High School community, seventeen students were recognized at the Spring 2012 Breakfast of Champions. This traditional program honors students for “doing the right thing.” By acknowledging their often “quiet” efforts, this program helps the students understand the importance of their conduct—that they are true role models within the school.

 This spring, English teacher Jillian Makris assisted Brian Decker with the Breakfast of Champions and officiated at the early morning celebration. She invited the nominating staff members to address all the guests, which included family members, by reading from the prepared certificates or speaking “from the heart,” prior to presenting their nominees with certificates.

 After the honorees received their Breakfast of Champion plaques (created by the Art and Technology Department), a sumptuous hot breakfast generously prepared by 21 Main followed. Live music was provided by the talented students from the Sayville High School Chamber Orchestra.

 Congratulations to the following students:

Kelliann Camp: Nominated by Alisa Kremer: Kelli is a lovely young lady in my Global History 9R class. She is a breath of fresh air at the end of the school day, and she exudes warmth, kindness and compassion. Kelli is a true optimist; she is rarely ever down and her smile is contagious. Kelli is the first one to offer her homemade cookies to anyone in the classroom (which I generally never turn down)!


Cassandra Carl: Nominated by Bryan Coon: Cassandra has shown great leadership taking on an independent study class in Computer Maintenance in order to work with and assist other students learn the process of maintaining computers for the first time. She is the kind of student every teacher dreams of having in class!


Brian Dauphin: Nominated by Roberta Dudick: Brian is an arduous worker who takes his studies very seriously. Brian is a very independent worker, but he will ask for help if necessary. He is extremely respectful towards his peers and adults and he is well respected by them as well. Although Brian is quite quiet in class, he is always prepared. I enjoy working with Brian because no matter what I put before him, he will do it without complaint. He even laughs at my corny jokes, but I realize he is only being kind. He would never say what he is really thinking. I have enjoyed working with Brian this year, and I believe he will be very successful as he continues next year as a senior.


Keith Frislid: Nominated by Mr. Caskey: Keith is a hard worker and an excellent student. He is very respectful, positive, and a great asset to the classroom and his fellow students. He enjoys filmmaking and has a great mind for anything technology related. Congratulations Keith!


Liam Haber: Nominated by Alisa Kremer: Liam is in the Global Honors program, and he is a kind, respectful, and intelligent young man. He is insightful and compassionate, and adds to the positive energy in the classroom. His enthusiasm for learning and life is contagious and I feel fortunate to know him.


Jacki Heimowitz: Nominated by Brian Decker: Jacki is one of the most persevering, determined and wholesome students I have come to know.  From the days of teaching her physical education class in kindergarten, to making sure she attends class in high school, Jacki always greets me with a smile and treats me with an incredible amount of respect.  Her character and her kindness towards her peers and the adults in the building are unmatched.  The past four years have not been easy for Jacki, but handing her a diploma in June will be a huge accomplishment for her because of her determination, and I will always be proud of her.


Jordan Kobel: Nominated by Melissa Dryer: Jordan works so hard in chemistry even though she struggles at times. She always participates actively in class discussion and is a wonderful leader and kind classmate.   Also, she always has a positive attitude and doesn't get discouraged easily.

 Christopher Lorenzo: Nominated by Kathy Bernstein: Chris might be a fierce and powerful menace on the football field, but in class, he has distinguished himself as a quiet, respectful and responsible young man.  A hard worker, who never misses an opportunity to say please and thank you, he leaves my room each day wishing me a great day.  Bright, diligent, gentle, modest and even-tempered, Chris always makes my day happier!

Valerie Murray: Nominated by Christine Murfitt: I nominated Valerie Murray for Breakfast of Champions because she is an excellent student and an incredible individual. Valerie is a true learner. She always gives her best effort and takes an active role in her learning. Valerie has an amazing attitude. She is always smiling! Her cheerful disposition is contagious!

Jennifer Olsen: Nominated by Lisa Gray: This young lady has become such as asset to me in the classroom. Her good, kind, sweet, and mature nature comes through on a daily basis as she literally jumps to help me maneuver both physically, with my huge cart, and in spirit, as she actively participates. She is a role-model school citizen on which I rely to help move the lesson along as she stays right there with me at every moment. Any teacher would be simply lucky to have Jennifer Olsen, with her beautiful smile and warm personality, in the classroom. Congratulations Juanita!

Jesse Papa: Nominated by Roberta Dudick: Jesse is a positive, upbeat student who is always willing to help others. He is very active in school sports such as wrestling and football. He is also active in SADD, Skills USA, and Suicide Prevention. Jesse has matured greatly over the years, and I believe he has learned to believe in himself. His level of confidence has grown and his leadership qualities as well. I feel that Jesse is prepared for college and will do well if he continues striving for excellence.

Alicia Protus: Nominated by Maria Brown: Alicia Protus is a delightful young lady who can brighten any room with her smile.  Although I have known Alicia since she was a sophomore, I never had the opportunity to be her teacher until this past fall when 1 week before the end of the 1st quarter, she asked if she could join the research program!  This is not how the research program normally works, but she was registered to go on the Peruvian Amazon trip in February and wanted to do a project related to the trip.  She worked diligently with a partner to design a project to assess the biodiversity of the bat species that utilize the habitat surrounding the research lodges.  As a first year research student, she accomplished more in a three month period, than many students accomplish over a four-year period.  In a two month period she had collaborated with Dr. Paul Beaver and the staff biologists at the Amazonia Research lodge, having read numerous peer-reviewed studies, to design a college-level experiment utilizing a sonar bat detector acquired through the RISE Program. She worked every night to collect her data while in Peru, and returned to SHS where she synthesized and analyzed 40,000 records of data in a two week period and learned advanced statistics to prepare for the National Science Foundation Mathematics & Science Competition, requiring her to stay at school many nights with me until nearly midnight! She took 2nd place overall at the competition as a result of hard work!

        It is her intense focus and drive, passion for science, humbleness, and incredibly warm and sincere personality that place Alicia at the top of my list of students I really enjoy working with and having in the RISE room daily. She will be entering SUNY Environmental Science & Forestry Program in the fall where I am sure she will “WOW” them there as much as she “WOWED” me here!

Timothy Traver: Nominated by Doug Shaw:  I can think of few seniors more worthy of recognition at this time of the year than Timothy Traver. Tim has raised the level of his game consistently this year. He is a mainstay of class discussion and is unhesitant when offering his informed and well-formed opinions. It is clear from the reactions of his classmates that he has earned both their admiration and respect. Tim has my very best wishes for success when he continues his studies at SUNY Albany in the Fall.

Angela Vetere: Nominated by Colleen Backer and Jillian Makris: Angela is a young woman who is defined by her character, her morals, and her intelligence. She stands out among the masses because of her unwavering ability to be true to herself regardless of the thoughts and opinions of her peers; certainly, she possesses a maturity that is beyond her years. Most importantly, though, Angela is a kind and compassionate individual, never critical of others, but always willing to lend a helping hand to a friend in need or even a complete stranger. She is truly generous. It has been nothing short of a privilege to get to know this exceptional young woman, and we know that Angela will continue to grow and blossom into an extraordinary and dignified adult.

Travis Villez: Nominated by Stephen Aronsen: Travis Villez, a junior in my AP US History class, is a kid with great character, is hardworking, and driven to succeed.

Christopher Vita: Nominated by Roberta Dudick: Chris is a delight to have as a student. He is hardworking, respectful to peers as well as teachers, and he is caring and compassionate. Although Chris is quite taciturn in class, I see a great sense of humor and self-awareness behind his grin. Chris works well with others, and he always is willing to lend a hand. Chris is an excellent athlete; he has been participating in hockey as a player outside of school for many years. He is also an avid surfer, and he is giving me some excellent points on how I can become an excellent surfer myself. Although Chris grins sheepishly and says “Yah!” because he is always respectful and generous, I will take that as a sign that there is hope for me yet. I am proud to say that I have enjoyed working with Chris this year. I know that he will be very successful at college.

Gillian Woods: Nominated by Kathy VanDorn: I consider myself fortunate to have Gillian as a student, not only because she is a diligent worker but because each and every day her cheerfulness, kindness and gleaming smile brighten my classroom.  I will miss her next year.