MR PANEPINTO SAYS GOODBYE TO HILLCREST
BY NUSRAT aFRIN, 18'
After working several years at Hillcrest High School, Brian Panepinto, former director of Media, Arts and Music, decided he needed a change in his life. After getting a job offering as the Assistant Principal of English at Martin Van Buren High School, he was among tears while taking the decision to leave his students and colleagues, and taking another job offering to improve his life.
Mr. Panepinto has always shared his aspirations in life with his closest students. One thing he would always mention would be his dream of opening up his own school with his best friend/colleague at the time, Mr. Shult. He was very passionate when it came to talking about these matters. After being in Hillcrest for so long, he realized that his job at the school was not leading him anywhere closer to his dream. No AP positions were open and Mr. Panepinto seemed to want more. Although, he dearly loved this SLC and the students within, he knew he had to follow his heart. A path that would lead to so much more was now upon him, and the only decision he had to make was whether to travel through that path or not.
Hillcrest Highlighter, our very own school newspaper, which recently won best newspaper in New York City, was one of Mr. Panepinto greatest contributions and achievements. He had a wonderful bond with his students. Despite all the obstacles and the hurdles he had to jump through, he always made sure things were done with his classes and his SLC. “I definitely think my high school experience would have been a lot duller without him, and I certainly would not have eased into college like I did if he had not been my teacher. I had the opportunity to sharpen my writing and develop my website skills thanks to his newspaper work. I would also like to think working with him made me a better person, learning to see different points of view in what people say and to analyze things more critically,” said Maria Pazmino, a Hillcrest High School alumni from Class of 2016. Students appreciated the lengths he would go to ensure that his students were able to get everything they deserve. He always managed to push every student who worked with him to do their very best.
After the former Model United Nation’s advisor left the school, Mr. Panepinto helped the team through a tough time and helped prepare for the upcoming international Change the World conference. He made sure that the student driven program was carried out in a manner where each student was encouraged to do their best. Not only that, but he continued to motivate every student in the class after the departure of their adviser, which seemed to drain the delegates’ ambition and energy to be in the class. Present day, you can say that the success and continuation of the class can also be owed to Mr. Panepinto.
Lastly, students appreciated the lengths he would go to ensure that they would get everything they deserve. Meetings, endless revisions for college essays and letters of recommendation, he would go above and beyond for everyone, even those who were not his students.
Mr. Panepinto was a teacher like no other in every aspect. His caringness, dedication, motivation, and enthusiasm left such a great impact on every single student of his.