On the evening of March 15, 2023, students from around the county were celebrated at Old Bridge High School as "Unsung Heroes" by the Middlesex County School Board Association and the county Association of School Administrators. Students selected for this honor often have faced challenges that they have overcome and have been dedicated to their school and community. Representing Highland Park High School were Magdalini Halkias and Andrew Dalton. Both of these students were chosen by our school counselors and the administration because of all they have accomplished and what they give back to Highland Park.
Magdalini is highly motivated both inside and outside of the classroom. Maggie is a member of DECA, works at the school store, and has volunteered her time at a number of events, never seeking recognition. She has been a committed volunteer and member of her church since the first grade. In addition to being active in the youth group there, she has served on the board as secretary and historian. More specifically, she holds monthly charity nights where she donates food and blankets for the veterans. In her spare time, she enjoys being a part of Buddy Ball on the weekends, where she teaches special needs children how to play sports. What her transcript and resume do not reveal is that Maggie had a medical setback during her junior year when she had to receive spinal fusion surgery and was out of school for three months on home instruction. The fact that Maggie persisted in working hard in her classes despite being in a great deal of pain and managed to stay on the honor roll, illustrates her capacity to persevere in the face of obstacles and setbacks in life. She is truly a role model and inspiration to other students. Her ability to lead, her empathy, and the fact that she never seeks recognition truly make her an unsung hero.
Andrew is a student who is involved in every aspect of the high school community that he can be. He was even a member of the high school community before becoming a student through assisting the tech and drama departments while in Middle School. He is a leader in the Mayor’s Teen Advisory Council, DECA, and the Drama club and is always volunteering his time to do what he can for school wide events. Andrew is also currently heading a fundraiser for the town's rescue squad to help them get new equipment as they are purely volunteer based. All of the activities, clubs, and organizations that he is a part of and gives his time to are not solely why Andrew is an unsung hero. He is an unsung hero because he does all of these things regardless of anyone giving him a pat on the back for it. Andrew is rarely recognized for his considerable effort and commitment to his community but persists in doing so because he genuinely cares about it and feels it enriches his life. He loves and values any opportunity to help, inspire and make an impact on others. He is the kind of student that does not need recognition to continue to make his high school a brighter and better place. He is humble, gracious, trustworthy, reliable and a beloved teen of the community.
We are all so proud of both of these students and what they contribute to HP!