Albany, NY - March 27, 2015 - The William Floyd High School Youth & Government Club has put forth another outstanding performance at the 79th annual New York State YMCA Youth & Government annual conference held earlier this month in Albany where they captured seven of the 12 leadership positions including Lieutenant Governor, President Pro-Tempore of the Senate, one of two Assembly Speaker positions, both Deputy Speaker positions, Chief Justice and Attorney General.
Each March approximately 600 students from all across New York State converge on the state capitol to engage in a simulated government inside the actual legislative chambers. William Floyd has two alumni currently serving in elected office – United States Congressman Lee Zeldin (Class of 1998), who was a member of the William Floyd Youth & Government Club, in which he served as Lieutenant Governor; and Brookhaven Town Councilman and Deputy Supervisor Daniel Panico (Class of 1996). Edward Hennessey (Class of 1979) has also served in public office on the Brookhaven Town Board and in the New York State Assembly.
“William Floyd consistently puts forth top performances at the annual Youth and Government conference,” said Dr. Paul Casciano, Superintendent of Schools, William Floyd School District. “It never ceases to amaze me how our students take a majority of the leadership positions and a host of awards every year. Their hard work, dedication and passion for public policy and the workings of government is a testament that our future is in good hands.” Dr. Casciano also added a special thanks to their advisors and dedicated mentors, Robert Feeney and Patricia Costell.
“The William Floyd Youth and Government Program is a valuable program that provides students with the opportunity to learn more about state government and policy through a unique hands-on approach,” said Congressman Zeldin. “This is where I got my first view of politics and is a very important reason why I am serving in the United States Congress today. It's great to see the program successfully continue and I look forward to many more years of Youth and Government’s continued success positively impacting our local community.”
“The William Floyd Youth and Government program is a perennial powerhouse,” said Councilman Daniel Panico. “I congratulate these fine young men and women on another outstanding performance. They are the future leaders that will make this community and country prosper. As a William Floyd graduate, I am very proud of their accomplishments.”
The following students have been elected to leadership positions for the 2016 Youth & Government conference: Emma van Nieuwenhuizen, Lieutenant Governor; Leah Antovel, President Pro-Tempore of the Senate; A.G. Chancellor, Speaker of Assembly Freedom; Nicole Cervone, Deputy Speaker of Assembly Freedom; Alexandria Willets, Deputy Speaker of Assembly Liberty; Shannon Beattie, Chief Justice; and Jonathan Caputo, Attorney General.
Christy Zegel, elected as Governor last year, presided over this year’s conference, along with Kelci Henn, Lieutenant Governor; Carolina Fuentes, President Pro Tempore (Senate); Vianna Iorio, Speaker of Assembly Liberty; Ryan Taphouse, Deputy Speaker of Assembly Freedom; Jarrod Mullally, Deputy Speaker of Assembly Liberty; Shadman Chowdhury, Chief Justice; and Umar Khan, Attorney General.
Additionally, William Floyd students also took home a number of awards including, Leah Antovel, Daniel Berrios and Emma van Nieuwenhuizen (Best Bill, Senate); Eddie Arnold, A.G. Chancellor, Devin Iorio and Michael Thomas (Best Bill, Assembly Freedom); Brandon Coonan, Anupam Mahadeo and Kyle Waldron (Best Bill, Assembly Liberty); Anthony Romeo (Best Debater, Senate); Francine Gangone (Best Lobbyist, Senate); Jonathan Gilbert (Best Lobbyist, Assembly Freedom); Andrea Torre (Best Lobbyist, Assembly Liberty); Gregory Schneider and Khadija Saad (Best Attorneys); and Rebecca Shanley (Best Brief).
William Floyd also had several nominees for the YMCA Conference on National Affairs: Leah Antovel, Shannon Beattie, A.G.Chancellor, Kelci Henn, Anupam Mahadeo, Sarah Mazzarella, Victoria Panicola, Emma van Nieuwenhuizen and Christy Zegel, were all selected as candidates to attend the 10-day, nationwide summer conference which primarily focuses on gaining awareness of issues of national concern, as well as increasing an understanding of the federal government and its relation to state, national and international affairs.
Jarrod Mullally, Deputy Speaker, Assembly Liberty, and Vianna Iorio Speaker, Assembly Liberty, hold up the Speaker's gavel.
Christy Zegel presided over this year’s Youth & Government conference as Governor. She was elected to the post at last year’s conference.