White Plains, NY — On Monday night, the Westchester County Board of Legislators marked Italian Heritage and Culture Month with a ceremony honoring community leaders and institutions, and outstanding Westchester students and teachers.

After a rousing musical performance by Italian singer Alfio, Legislator Catherine Borgia (D - Briarcliff Manor, Cortlandt, Croton-on-Hudson, Ossining, Peekskill) presented a proclamation to the Westchester Coalition of Italian American Organizations, which was founded more than 25 years ago to preserve, promote and celebrate Italian and Italian American history, culture and ideals.

Founder and Co-President Professor Carlo Sclafani told the Board, “I would like to express my gratitude on behalf of the Westchester Coalition of Italian American Organizations and all Italian Americans in Westchester County.”

Together with the Coalition, the Board honored 19 students and their teachers for their outstanding achievements in the study of Italian language and culture.

Remembering his great-aunt, an Italian immigrant and Hendrick Hudson High School algebra teacher, Minority Leader John Testa (R- Cortlandt, Peekskill, Yorktown), introduced the students, each of whom was honored with a certificate. (See complete list below.)

Legislator David Tubiolo (R – Mount Vernon, Yonkers) presented a proclamation to Geraldine Esposito, President, Le Amiche Lodge #2550 of the Order of Sons and Daughters of Italy in America; Trustee, Italian Cultural Course of Westchester; Member, Yonkers Columbus Day Committee; Vice Chair, Yonkers Parks, Recreation & Conservation Board; and Board Member, Untermyer Performing Arts Council.

Esposito told the Board that among her goals is to “make sure that our Italian language carries on in our schools” and added, “it’s all about the family and tradition and culture.”  

Legislator Margaret Cunzio (C - Mount Pleasant, North Castle, Pleasantville), presented a proclamation to Matthew Manfredi, President & CEO, AAA Emergency Supply; Commissioner, North Castle South Fire District #1; Member, North Castle Housing Board; Assistant Chief of the North White Plains Fire Department from 1999-2001; and Chief of the North White Plains Fire Department from 2002-2008.

Pointing out a high school friend in the audience, Manfredi joked, “Our Italian teacher in high school never thought we’d amount to anything, especially with regard to Italian heritage,” but, he noted, “she’d be very proud of what we’ve achieved.”

Student honorees, schools and teachers:

District 1—Hon. John Testa
Joseph DiBitetto
Hendrick Hudson High School
Antonietta Giliubizzi

District 2 – Hon. Kitley Covill
Cassandra Paone
Somers High School
Joan Scerbo

District 3—Hon. Margaret Cunzio
Nicholas Petrilli
Valhalla High School
Stephanie Albanese

Antonio Resciniti
Westlake High School
Rossana Caringi

District 4—Hon. Michael Kaplowitz
Emily Daros
Yorktown High School
Dominic Passarelli

District 5—Hon. Benjamin Boykin
Joseph D. Cantori
White Plains High School
Giuseppe Spedaliere

District 6—Hon. Nancy Barr
Felipe Brants
Harrison High School
Christina Di Stasio

District 7 – Catherine Parker
Charlotte Murphy
Rye Neck High School
Rita Maria Carolini

District 8—Hon. Alfreda Williams
Isabella Zacarolli
Maria Regina High School
Laura Ponziani

District 9—Hon. Catherine Borgia
Cal Lepkowski
Ossining High School
Francesca Amedeo

District 10—Hon. Damon Maher
Sofia Gizzi
Tuckahoe High School
Antonietta De Angelis

Julia Risi
Eastchester High School
Lucrezia Lindia

Damaris Laborde
Immaculate Conception School
Mara Persampieri

District 11—Hon. Terry Clements
Daniela Sandoval
New Rochelle High School
Melissa Morganti

District 12—Hon. MaryJane Shimsky
Cristina D’Alto
Ardsley High School
Michelle Chiara Genna

Districts 14, 15, 16, &17
(Hon. Gordon Burrows, Christopher A. Johnson, Virginia Perez, David Tubiolo)

Crystal Padron
Lincoln High School
Giovanna De Angelis

Kathleen Leite
Yonkers High School
Diane Maffei

Anna Calderone
Yonkers Montessori Academy
Marc Aliberti