February: Students of the Month

Even with a leap year, February is the shortest month of the year. But that didn’t keep five Ruben A. Cirillo students from being recognized for their work as Students of the Month.

Senior Derek M. embodies an Outstanding PROUD student by continuously demonstrating concern for others. He shows respect for his teachers and classmates and is a role model with his empathetic actions.  In the classroom and in the hallway, Derek typically  greets students and teachers with a hello and a friendly smile.

For junior Brianna W. , it is impossible not to recognize her commendable efforts to create unity among the class of 2025. Her peers are lucky to have her, as are her many teachers, whom she affords the utmost respect. Additionally, Bri's efforts in the classroom are always outstanding. She is an admirable student and an even better person. 

Sophomore Tasha O. has demonstrated OUTSTANDING work ethic across his courses and his teachers are all proud of how DRIVEN he is.

Kaiden Z-H, a freshman, was selected because of the way he demonstrates OUTSTANDING levels of effort and practices UNITY by supporting and assisting his peers in his classes.    

Matthew D. was named the Gananda Rotary Student of the Month for February not only because of what he’s done, but also because of what he was not able to do and how he handled the situation.

Matthew officially joined our Gananda school community this year, although he has been known to many of our families for much longer as he has participated in the Gananda club swim program and swam with our varsity boys swim team last year when he represented his school district at that time, Wayne.  

As part of his transition to our district, he was notified by Section V that due to regulations related to him joining Gananda for academics, he was unable to compete in Gananda athletics for the 2023-2024 swim season. He is eligible to join the team next season.


All of his teammates, coaches and family were disappointed, but Matthew defined what strength of character is by the manner in which he reacted to this setback. He was positive in his attitude and continued to put in many long hours of practice alongside his peers even though he knew he could not compete. He said that his hard work this year will pay off in 2025. 

He attended all team functions, leading his peers with commitment and discipline despite not being eligible to reap the rewards or accolades the team has accomplished this year. He has become a focal point of peer support and is usually spotted at the end of the lane cheering his teammates. He also assists with video meets, tracks times and participates in team bonding events. 

He put his team above himself all season and his admirable response to an unfortunate situation has not gone unnoticed. He is a great kid, a loyal friend, a hardworking student and has a maturity that many of his peers admire.  

Congratulations to the students who were honored for the month of February and making all of us #GanandaProud. Stay tuned for the March honorees later this month and to see previous Students of the Month, click here to see October, November, December and January.