Suffolk Zone for Excellence

Viteri and Roiland receive prestigious award.
Viteri and Roiland receive prestigious award.

Seniors Grace Roiland and Christian Viteri received the Suffolk Zone Award for excellence in Physical Education at a ceremony held on November 28th. This is the highest award given to students by NYSAHPERDand the Suffolk Zone, a professional organization made up of teachers and directors in Suffolk County. Students from every district in Suffolk were represented and their accomplishments were extolled to the over 400 attendees. We are proud of these fine students and their commitment to their Physical Education classes over the years. Congratulations!

For Christian, this award is proof of the hard work he’s put in over the years as a leader in helping people understand the importance of physical health, striving academically and the impact of getting involved in one’s school and community. He is a member of the Interact Club, Robotics Club, and is President of the Walt Whitman Choir. Outside of school, Christian is involved in food drives at his local church and tutors within his neighborhood. While Christian is the recipient of the Suffolk Zone Award, he is also the recipient of the Cutinella Award as well as being named to the Golden 11 at the Coaches Association Dinner for Section XI Sports. As a senior, Christian is considering Columbia, MIT and North Eastern to study Electrical Engineering and is considering Johns Hopkins or RPI to play college football. During his time at Whitman, Christian appreciates “all of the opportunities for well-roundedness” and having the chance to excel in music, as a scholar AP student, and all that he has been able to be involved with. “I’m inspired by all of the opportunities to strive for knowledge everywhere and using it to help others.”

For senior Grace Roiland, this award means that she’s been identified for what she said she’s always wanted to do, striving to “make people feel included and feel important no matter who they are or where they are from.” Grace knows she wants to become a Special Education teacher as she is looking to stay on the island at either LIU Post or SUNY Old Westbury. It was during her time at Whitman that she learned she wanted to become a Special Education teacher because she noticed how happy she’d become when entering the department. She found it fulfilling to see the growth of these students and imagines how incredible it would be to see that growth as a teacher. As a student at Whitman, Grace likes how approachable the teachers are, saying how “I can go to any person at Whitman whether I know them or not and they will welcome me with open arms.” Grace is on the cross country and fencing teams, as well as the president of Ambassador Club and is involved in Challenger Sports for soccer and unified basketball through the club.

Congratulations to both of these outstanding student-athletes!