High school seniors Maximus Albanese and Kimberly Arena were named winners at the 2018-2019 Suffolk Zone Awards gala dinner, held Nov. 28 at Villa Lombardi’s in Holbrook.
The annual award, presented by the Suffolk Zone Chapter of the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, is given to the male and female physical education students in each Suffolk County high school’s graduating class who best exemplify exceptional physical performance, scholarship, character and citizenship.
Albanese has demonstrated the impressive ability to balance academics with involvement in a myriad of activities. Ranked in the top of his class, he has appeared on the Principal’s List every quarter and maintained over a 96 average in honors, advanced placement and IB courses as well as an A+ average in physical education. Albanese is a member of West Islip’s National Honor Society and Foreign Language Honor Society, Ithaca Investment Club, Sports and Entertainment Club, and Babylon Yacht Club. He serves as captain of the varsity football team and is an All-Division multi-year starter for the boys varsity lacrosse team. He will attend Vassar College next fall, playing lacrosse and majoring in economics.
Arena, who believes success in physical education will lead to success throughout her life, is an active member of the National Honor Society and Foreign Language Honor Society and selflessly dedicated herself to over 100 hours of community service. Her leadership skills led her to being selected captain of the gymnastics team for the past two years. As a member of the track and field team, Arena holds the school’s pole vault record of 10 feet with a teammate. Arena plans to major in physical therapy next year, attending either Sacred Heart University or Springfield College.
“Kimberly and Max both pride themselves on striving for excellence, both academically and athletically,” said Tim Horan, West Islip’s director of health, physical education, athletics, recreation, and family and consumer science.