2023 Nassau BOCES Education Partner Award Honoree
Mineola High School, Mineola UFSD
Mineola High School student Markella Kiriakes is a leader in her school and community, inside and outside of the classroom. Academically, she maintains a grade point average in the 90s. Beyond the classroom, she serves as a trusted leader in her school community, having served as president of the National Honor Society, Newspaper Club, World Language Club, Dignity Club and Thespian Society.
Markella is the lead anchor and face of Mustang Media, the Mineola High School video news broadcast. She serves as an active member of the Student Government, Political Action, Debate Club, and the Student Service Center. As a Student Ambassador, she helps to make new students feel welcome in the building. A staunch advocate of students’ mental health, Markella has worked to make school resources more accessible to students who need them. To that end, she conceived and helped to create the Zen Den, a safe space in the guidance and counseling office where students can go in a time of stress.
Markella was invited to join the Nassau County District Attorney’s Student Advisory Council, where she served as the Mineola representative for Nassau County. As a community leader, she uses her influence to be the voice of those in need at important forums, including the Nassau County Wellness Summit and the Erase Racism Conference.
“Markella Kiriakes is the most positive and influential student I know,” one of her teachers said. “She truly embodies what it means to be a leader. She conducts herself with poise, maturity and integrity, and puts her all into every experience and opportunity she takes on. Markella is selfless in every way. She is an individual who takes action, and those actions always benefit someone in need. She and her impact is felt by teachers, administrators and peers alike.”