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10 Amazing Achievements by Three Village Kids in 2012

Check out what local kids and teens were up to in 2012.

The grownups around here aren't the only ones busy making headlines. Take a look at these 10 stories of local kids doing great things.

Minnesauke Sixth Grader Pens Original Musical. Emily Cabrera says her favorite subject in school is reading, followed by social studies, and then science. Curious that writing or music aren't currently on that list: the 11-year-old Minnesauke sixth grader has penned a full-length musical, which was staged at a performing arts camp this summer at Stony Brook Community Church.

Ward Melville Student Reflects on Her Performance at Carnegie Hall. Not many 17-year-olds get to say they have performed solo at Carnegie Hall, but Madeleine Vaillancourt is one who can. Vaillancourt, who is just finishing up her junior year at Ward Melville High School, was recently a featured soloist at Carnegie Hall with the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra of New York. She performed the Mendelssohn Concerto in E Minor for violin.

Piccininni's Win at States a Win for Ward Melville Wrestling. Ward Melville has a state wrestling champion for the first time since 1981, after freshman Nick Piccininni wrestled four athletes to capture the state title at 106 pounds in February. His win caps his own undefeated season, the payout of his two-a-day practices, discipline, and year-round work on the mat.

Fencing Phenom Takes National Title. Alexa Antipas is now a two-time national fencing champion, having won her second Division IA women's sabre national title in June. Antipas, 17, also won the Junior Olympics in the Under 17 women's sabre event, giving her three national titles in one calendar year. The rising senior at Ward Melville High School normally trains four days per week, but when school let out this year, she began practicing every day leading up to the competition.

WMHS Student is Senior by Day – CEO by Night. Christian Flamman is a lot like a typical Ward Melville High School senior, doing things like hanging out with friends, working a part time job and playing varsity athletics. Except that he's also the CEO of a company.

Local Ballet Phenom Headed to Russia. Her peers spent the summer relaxing at the beach, working a seasonal job, or taking in activities at a summer camp, but Anna Craddock had other plans. The 16-year-old Ward Melville High School student went to Russia to study ballet, culture and language for six weeks at the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet Academy, one of only 15 students in the nation selected by the U.S. Department of State to attend its NSLI for Youth Program, in conjunction with the Russian American Foundation.

Ward Melville Student Wins National Video Contest. The first time's a charm for Ward Melville High School senior Nick Fernandez, who directed a video that has won first place in a national competition which drew more than 6,100 entries. His video, "Félagslega Grímu," was deemed the best in the video category of the annual Association of Texas Photography Instructors contest. Its title means "social mask" in Icelandic. Fernandez, 17, said he was shocked to learn of his win. "It was very unexpected," he said. "I'd never made a video before."

Local Teen to Perform in Broadway Workshop Production. The character of Elle Woods in the book Legally Blonde is determined to succeed. And so is Sophie Hintze. Hintze, a 15-year-old ninth grader at Gelinas Junior High, was cast in Broadway Workshop's production of Legally Blonde: The Musical, which ran from May 18 to May 20 at the Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater in New York City. When she learned she'd been chosen, "my whole family was screaming and jumping up and down!" she said in an email to Patch. "Seeing my name on the cast list was a dream come true."

Collecting Shoes for People in Need. Bella, a three-and-a-half year old girl from Setauket, spent this past holiday season collecting pairs of shoes for people in Africa who are in need of good ones. How many pairs? Seventy-one, which her family sent to the nonprofit Soles 4 Souls.

Ward Melville Student 1 of 5 Long Island Intel Semifinalists. After the earthquake in Japan last year, some members of the Three Village community showed their support by fundraising and by making paper cranes. Anna Sato decided she wanted to help, too. The disaster led Sato to return to her work on water filtration – for which she and a classmate won accolades as regional Siemens-Westinghouse finalists in 2010 – but this time with a different spin. Whereas last year's project focused on bacteria and virus removal, she decided to tackle the filtering of radioactive isotopes from water, a realistic problem the nation of Japan faces following the damage sustained by the Fukushima nuclear power plant. This year, her research has garnered her a coveted honor – she is one of 40 students nationwide, and one of only five on Long Island, to be named an Intel Science Talent Search finalist.

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