Four JFK Students Get High Marks From Senator Murphy For Academic Excellence

Somers, NY - Leadership, talent, and integrity are skills that teachers strive to instill in their students. Four exceptional students at John F. Kennedy Catholic High School in Somers, Joseph Gullotta, Marie Hull, Edward Longest and Hannah Tracy, who have come to exemplify those qualities, were recently nominated by their school for the New York State Senate Youth Recognition Awards. At an award dinner held at the School on May 24, Senator Terrence Murphy praised the students for their academic excellence and community, awarding each of them a New York State Certificate of Merit.

"These are four exceptional students who have served as role models for their classmates, shared their knowledge and experience, and have also reached out to their community to help those in need. Kennedy Catholic High School can be proud of their accomplishments. The achievements of these four students means the 'Kennedy way' - hard work, faith, and concern for others - is a model for success."

Reverend Mark Vaillancourt, Ph. D. President and Principal for Kennedy said, "As the head of the school, it was my task and pleasure to choose the students with the best academic and leadership qualities. We had four students in particular who were perfect for each category. Instead of wringing his hands over the immigration issue, Joseph Gullotta, our community nominee, worked with other schools to establish a relief fund. Marie Hull, who was selected for the arts category, is as accomplished a student as she is a musician. Our nominee in the athletics category, Edward Longest, has a great deal of heart and possesses excellent leadership skills. Hannah Tracy is gifted academically and has been accepted into a prestigious school."

The Senate's Youth Leadership Recognition Awards honors juniors and seniors for their achievements in academics, athletics, arts and community service, in addition to the exemplary volunteer work they do to benefit their communities. Highlights of the achievements made by JFK's students include:

  • Joseph Gullotta - Joseph and his contemporaries from other Catholic High Schools in the area raised over $20,000 for Catholic Near East Welfare Association and the relief of Syrian refugees.
  • Marie Hull - Marie is an accomplished trumpet and brass musician who plays at masses and other events at Kennedy. Her musicianship led to her being placed in the New York Area All State Symphony Orchestra.
  • Edward Longest - Edward is a three-sport athlete, competing in football, wrestling, and lacrosse. He is captain of the football team and has been named All State and Lineman of the Year, leading Kennedy to its first winning season in a decade.
  • Hannah Tracy - Hannah has been on the President's list in all four years with a 99+grade average, which led to her being accepted into the Industrial Engineering program at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She is also an accomplished violin player.


Other students in the 40th Senate District nominated for the New York State Senate Youth Recognition Awards include Kathryn Ross (Westlake High School), Iris Hutchison (Walter Panas High School) and Nicholas Hayes (Mahopac High School).