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Mineola American - Schools

Local Teacher To Be Honored

Mineola resident Danilo Aviles has been named a “Distinguished Teacher of 2013” by the Harvard Club of Long Island. 

He will be honored at the Harvard Club of Long Island’s annual University Relations Lunch on April 7.  Following the award ceremony, Harvard professor Dr. Maria Tatar will give a short lecture entitled, “Mythical and Magical: The Resurgence of Fairy Tales in Popular Culture.”

“Our awards recognize people who transform the future,” explained Dr. Judith Esterquest, a board member of the Harvard Club of Long Island. “Dedicated teachers expend unfathomable amounts of time and energy on our Long Island teens, day after day and year after year.”

Aviles, who has taught at Wantagh High School for eight years, teaches High School Band, Marching Band, Jazz Band, Pit Band, and Percussion Ensemble. He also designs marching field shows and composes original percussion works for the percussion ensemble.

Aviles holds a bachelor’s in music performance from Brooklyn College and a master’s in music education from Hofstra University, after touring with the Chico Freeman Band to Lithuania and Spain. Since joining Wantagh he has composed eight original compositions for the WHS Percussion Ensemble and has custom designed seven field shows for the WHS Marching Band.

Aviles is the the founder and captain of the Mineola Bike Club, which now has more than 150 members, and a key member of the club’s racing team, he is nationally ranked in second place in his category.

Nominated by Jake Gambitsky, a former student who is currently a sophomore at Harvard College Aviles was described as making “a huge difference at the high school by enriching students’ lives and helping them grow through music.”

 “I continue to be inspired by his work,” continued Mr. Gambitsky, “and I have learned what an amazing difference a person can make on so many people, because of his ‘Anything is possible’ attitude.”