Get to Know December’s Students of the Month

Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn’s December 2023 Students of the Month (clockwise from top): Jose (Lower School), Haris (Middle School), Samantha (Upper School), Rebecca (Scholar-Athlete) and Selena (Student-Artist).

BAY RIDGE — Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn’s prestigious “Student of the Month” program continued in early January as five outstanding students were recognized for demonstrating extraordinary effort during the month of December. Jose (Lower School), Haris (Middle School), Samantha (Upper School), Rebecca (Scholar-Athlete) and Selena (Student-Artist) received their official pins, congratulatory letters and certificates signed by Head of School Ms. Iphigenia Romanos during a very special assembly inside the John Lockwood Auditorium Theatre. These exceptional Adelphians 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 Jose knows what it takes to be a recipient of this prestigious honor. “It means you are being a good student and that you are kind and helpful,” he explained. Jose recently starred as Franklin in “A Charlie Brown Holiday,” part of Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn’s Annual Happy Holiday Brunch. Though admittedly once shy, he delivered his lines with confidence and pizazz on the Adelphi stage. “I wasn’t nervous at all,” he smiled. “I was happy and excited to be in the show.” Shy no more, Jose is looking forward to becoming a firefighter when he gets older so he can help people. “I’m going to rescue people and be a hero,” he said. Jose is looking forward to serving in the same firehouse as his friend Yahya. “Yahya will bring the ladder and I will use the hose and put out the fire,” he explained. Jose enjoys studying math at Adelphi and appreciates the fact that his older sister Isabella studies just next door. “I get to play next door for recess, so I see her,” he smiled. Jose’s advice for his fellow Lower Schoolers to ensure success is important. “Behave, be helpful and don’t yell or complain,” he said.

Lower School faculty member Ms. Mani said, “Jose is a very sweet and respectful boy. He is always ready to help his classmates and is very polite. He respects his friends and his teachers. I am very happy to have him in my class.”

Middle School Student of the Month Haris was all smiles when receiving this recognition. “It feels really good to win,” he said. Haris has enjoyed his time at Adelphi, particularly his time spent as a member of the Theater Arts Program. At the recent Annual Happy Holiday Brunch, he surprised and wowed audience members with his very first solo during a rendition of “Put a Little Love in Your Heart.” “It was a lot of fun and good practice,” he said. A gifted athlete, Haris hopes to play soccer professionally one day. “I want to play in college,” he said. “But right now I like to practice in the gym.” Haris excels on offense and enjoys scoring goals for his team. “I’m very happy when I score,” he smiled. Haris recognizes the profound impact athletics can have on one’s overall development. “It gives you control and balance, speed and awareness,” he said. “And it helps you be a good leader.”

Homeroom teacher Mr. Cook said, “At any given moment, Haris is always exactly where he’s supposed to be, doing what he’s supposed to be doing, and acting the way he’s supposed to act.  He is mature and disciplined well beyond his years and a fine choice for ‘Of the Month’ honors.”

Upper School Student of the Month Samantha was ecstatic to learn that she had been selected to receive “Of the Month” honors. “Yes! I was so excited,” she smiled. “This was my first time winning this award. It’s an honor.” Samantha has made a conscious effort to get more involved in Adelphian life this year, which she believes played a role in her selection. She volunteered as a server at the Annual Fall Auction of Fine Art, where she was also a featured artist whose original work was put up for auction and ignited a bidding war in support of the Academy. She also attended the Fall Leadership Retreat to Colonial Williamsburg, where she got to explore her love of history. “The trip was very fun and I learned a lot,” she said. “I love history, and it was great to get up close to history in Virginia. I like to learn how countries got to be like they are now.” Samantha is making the most of her time at Adelphi by being part of the Academy’s many extracurricular activities. She is a member of Adelphi’s Table Tennis Club, Tennis & Badminton Club and Journalism Club. “I like to participate and spend time with my friends,” she said. Academically, Samantha enjoys studying science and excels in chemistry. She also recognizes the importance of giving back, recently creating a final exam study guide for her classmates via Quizizz. “Using Quizizz helps me study, so I thought maybe others could learn from it too,” she explained. Though she has considered entering her family business as an optician, Samantha also envisions a career as a beauty influencer with her own skincare line. She has some excellent advice for students who wish to excel at Adelphi. “I recommend participating more, not just for awards, but for the fun of it,” she said. “Join as much as you can, but also be sure to keep up with your assignments.”

Homeroom teacher Ms. Wong said, “Samantha has shown tremendous interest in and dedication to Adelphi events and activities, and I am extremely proud of her for becoming a leader among her classmates. She truly deserves this ‘Of the Month’ recognition and I know she appreciates it very much. Great job, Samantha!”

Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn’s December 2023 “Of the Month” award recipients welcomed parents and guests for a special congratulatory celebration.

Scholar-Athlete of the Month Rebecca was surprised and excited to receive this honor. “It’s my first Scholar-Athlete Award, so I’m very excited,” she said. Rebecca has always been very active. She participated in gymnastics when she was younger and is a talented swimmer. Currently, she enjoys playing volleyball in physical education class. “It’s a very strategic sport,” she said. “You need to communicate with teammates to earn a victory.” The main lesson she has learned from her years of athletic involvement is to never give up. “Athletics teaches patience. If you don’t get it right away you must practice and never give up,” she said. “This is also true in real life.” Academically, Rebecca is an integral member of The Adelphi Oracle, for which she serves as Co-Managing Editor. “My favorite Adelphi moment was being promoted in Journalism and getting to take on a leadership position,” she said. I’m proud of my growth from a staff writer to junior editor and now as managing editor!” She appreciates the opportunity for students to write about what they enjoy through the Oracle. “I like expressing my interests and allowing students to read recipes in my column that they can try themselves,” she said. “It’s my pleasure to share!”

Physical Education instructor Mr. Biale said, “Congratulations to Rebecca, our Scholar-Athlete of the Month! Her dedication to both academics and sports is truly impressive. In class, she consistently excels, and in the gym, she’s a standout player, teammate and athlete. She is always trying her best on the court in whatever arena she is in, and she always does it with a smile. Keep up the great work!”

Student-Artist of the Month Selena appreciates the recognition that comes with receiving this award. “It’s fun to be recognized for my work,” she said. She enjoys creating drawings of both object and people, and she also like to paint scenic landscapes. “Most of my art comes from my imagination, but sometimes I see something and then try to make it,” she said. One of her favorite pieces involved lots of discipline and attention to detail. “I painted a forest and it was pretty difficult,” she said. “I had to use the brush horizontally and go down, then vertical to make the trees and leaves.” Some drawings can take up to 90 minutes to complete, she said. “Paintings can take even longer because you have to let them dry,” she explained. At Adelphi, Selena appreciates the attention and care she is given by the faculty and staff. “People work very hard to make sure you learn,” she said. She enjoys learning about space in Science class and about art and culture in Social Studies. Selena hopes to continue to perfect her craft, and to one day become a professional artist. Her advice to ensure her own success, as well as the success of others, is simple. “Always work hard for anything you want to do,” she said.

Middle School faculty member Ms. Saleh noted, “Selena’s artwork is incredible and she continues to improve each day. She takes her work very seriously and her effort shows with every piece she creates. She is a kindhearted, helpful and caring student and friend to her classmates. Congratulations on receiving this tremendous honor!”

Congratulations once again to Adelphi’s outstanding Students of the Month for December: Jose, Haris, Samantha, Rebecca and Selena!

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 learners for college, career, and life, one day at a time” for over 160 years. Founded in 1863 and located in the historic Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, Adelphi enrolls students from three 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