Get to Know September’s Students of the Month!
BAY RIDGE – Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn’s prestigious Student of the Month program kicked off with a special assembly inside the John Lockwood Auditorium Theatre in early October to recognize five outstanding students who demonstrated extraordinary effort during the month of September. Reem (Lower School), Nicole (Middle School), Eric (Upper School), Winnie (Student-Artist) and Matthew (Scholar-Athlete) were each recognized in front of the entire Adelphi community and received official certificates signed by Head of School Ms. Iphigenia Romanos. They recently sat down with the Panther Press Room for an exclusive interview, during which they shared some details about themselves and their experiences at Adelphi.
Lower School Student of the Month Reem was excited to learn that she had been selected as a Student of the Month for September. “It felt good!” she giggled. “My mom told me, and my sister and my brother!” Reem’s older sister Raneem and older brother Rakan each received “Of the Month” honors last year, so she said she tried to follow their example. “I always try to be a good girl,” she smiled. She is especially proud of knowing the alphabet and being able to count all the way to 10, she said. She also excels at playing Rock, Paper, Scissors, and shined in the Academy’s recent Rock, Paper, Scissors Relay event. Reem’s favorite animals are kitties, horses and, yes, unicorns. When asked if she had actually seen a unicorn before, she broke into laughter and said, “Yes, I have one. It’s squishy!” She was referring, of course, to her favorite stuffed animal. But Reem’s imagination has shaped her plan for the future as well. “I’m going to be a princess,” she smiled.
Lower School faculty member Ms. Baalbaki said Reem’s energy in class got her noticed from the very beginning of the school year. “Reem brings tremendous energy and enthusiasm to each day’s lesson and she is always eager to participate in class,” she said.
Middle School Student of the Month Nicole, who is affectionately known as Nika by her teachers and friends, has been a proud Adelphian since Lower School and takes her role as a student leader very seriously. “Being an Adelphian means being confident and brave,” she said. Her favorite memory at Adelphi occurred when she was very young. “I was making fingerprints when I was small,” she recalled. Nika respects and appreciates her teachers, as well as the honor that they bestowed upon her. “It felt great and my parents were happy,” she smiled. As for her future plans, Nika said she would like to become a dentist because she wants people to take care of their teeth.
Nika’s Homeroom teacher Ms. Fregara said, “Nika always completes her assignments with meticulous care and takes great pride in her work. I’ve seen her confidence grow steadily from year to year.”
Upper School Student of the Month Eric called being named a Student of the Month his best moment as an Adelphian. “It’s an honor and a privilege,” he said. “It’s my first time receiving it in five years. It feels like my big break.” His big break technically might have come when he starred in Adelphi Academy’s A Disney Musical Revue back in 2015. “I had a pretty big role,” he said. Eric went on to star in several other theatrical productions at Adelphi, with prominent roles in Back to the 80’s and Damn Yankees in addition to the Academy’s annual musical revues. He is set to star as Kenickie in Adelphi’s winter 2019 production of Grease. Eric considers himself more of an actor than a singer, but says he always welcomes new challenges. For his career, Eric would like to become a veterinarian. “Animals are innocent, and sometimes they need help,” he said. So, is he a cat person or a dog person? “Both,” he said. “If it moves, breathes and it’s cute, I like it!” Eric likes to find solutions to problems and, thus, excels in mathematics. He’s also an advanced programmer and video editor. He is grateful for his time at Adelphi and recognizes the benefits of the Adelphi Plan. “Being in a smaller area with people who really care helps me grow as a person and a leader,” he said.
House Master Ms. Giacchino of House Lockwood took notice of Eric’s involvement in House activities in September. “Eric was actively involved in making sure new members of House Lockwood felt comfortable as the school year began,” she said. “He has quickly become a leader within his House and the Adelphi community at large.”
Student-Artist of the Month Winnie said she was excited to find out that she had been selected for this honor. “Yes, it felt great,” she smiled. The talented artist enjoys drawing and painting in class and said her favorite type of art is street art. Her favorite painting created at Adelphi was a California beach scene that she made using watercolor paint. It was inspired by an actual beach she has seen many times. “My parents have a house in California. So I go there a lot,” she said. A member of Adelphi’s Class of 2019, Winnie knows what she wants to do for her career. “I’m going to study international business because I think it’s important to connect with the world and learn about other cultures,” she said. “It’s been a dream of mine for a long time.”
Art Instructor Ms. Fregara noted, “Winnie’s talent shines through in the work she prepares for class. She embraces each lesson and always strives to create something meaningful.”
Scholar-Athlete of the Month Matthew enjoys playing a variety of sports with friends, but his favorite to watch and play is basketball. “Playing basketball teaches you to share, to become a leader and to always be positive,” he said. This was Matthew’s first time being recognized for his athletic prowess as a “Scholar Athlete of the Month,” an honor for which he is extremely grateful. “It actually meant a lot because I had never gotten it before,” he said. Matthew is always practicing to improve his skills on the court. “I’m kind of a sharpshooter, I guess,” he said. “I make a lot of shots.” Off the court, Matthew shines on stage as a member of Adelphi’s Theater Arts Program. His theatrical interest was piqued after he attended Adelphi’s winter 2016 performance of Bye Bye Birdie. He made his debut in A Beatles Musical Revue later that year and has starred in each theatrical production since. “I figured it doesn’t hurt to try,” he said about his first audition. “Now I actually really do like it.”
Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn Musical Director Mr. Bates said Matthew’s dedication to athletics has helped him on the stage as well. “Matthew is extremely dedicated to his athletic development, and the leadership skills he learns on the court definitely translate to the stage,” he said.
Congratulations once again to Adelphi’s outstanding Students of the Month for September: Reem, Nicole, Eric, Winnie and Matthew!
As the oldest private, independent, continuing, coeducational, college-preparatory day school in the borough and one of the oldest in the nation, Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn, “the little school of big dreams” has been “effectively preparing young people for college, career, and life, one day at a time” for over 150 years. Founded in 1863 and located in the historic Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, Adelphi enrolls students from two years of age through twelfth grade. A strong emphasis is placed on small class size, individualized attention, self-expression, critical thinking and challenging hands-on learning through Adelphi’s founding philosophy and dedication to the education of the “total child.” Adelphi students excel within a small, intimate, safe, caring, nurturing, and secure environment through Adelphi’s core values and founding principles of pride, tradition, spirit, and excellence. The student-teacher ratio is 8 to 1 and Adelphi is a New York State Regents Exempt Program with a 100% college application, acceptance and attendance rate. A founding member of the Coalition of Essential Schools, Adelphi receives its charter from the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York and has been a member of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools since 1928. Ms. Iphigenia Romanos serves as Head of School.
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Photos courtesy of Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn