WF senior earns prestigious St. Joseph’s College Presidential Scholarship


William Floyd High School senior Ryleigh Pafitis has been selected to receive the prestigious Presidential Scholarship to attend St. Joseph’s College, a full-tuition scholarship for all four years of undergraduate education. Ryleigh has been accepted into the nursing program and in the future plans to become a nurse practitioner serving in a hospital neonatal nursing unit.

At William Floyd, Ryleigh has participated in the award-winning Medical Assisting program over the past two years, which will help her in her studies and future career. She has also challenged herself by taking courses such as advanced placement biology to help her in her future career.

“Ryleigh is a well-rounded young lady who excels at communicating in any environment and can make others around her laugh and feel comfortable,” said Jason McKay, William Floyd High School medical assisting teacher. “She is a strong student and has always done well in her classes. I am excited and proud of Ryleigh and her accomplishments and look forward to her continued success!”

A talented soccer player, Ryleigh will suit up for the Golden Eagles and play midfield on the pitch. As a Colonial, she served as the captain of the girls varsity soccer team for the past two years, won numerous awards including All-County honors and the team’s most valuable player award during her junior and senior seasons, as well as earning a spot on the Newsday “Top 100” Long Island girls soccer players for 2021.  She has also played in various club soccer programs, including the Center Moriches Hotshot Soccer Club 19-and-over women’s league since eighth grade, becoming a captain as a sophomore, as well volunteering to coach 5 and 6-year-old soccer players prior to the pandemic.

“I have had the privilege of watching Ryleigh grow as a student-athlete and young lady since seventh grade,” said Kaleigh Sidaras, girls varsity soccer coach and an elementary school teacher at John S. Hobart Elementary School. “Her determination and grit on the field have shaped her into the person and athlete she is today. She has grown to be a tremendous leader and asset to our soccer program, and there is no doubt she will continue to excel in whatever she does. She’s dynamic, versatile, and carries a strong presence on and off the field. Ryleigh will truly be missed as a part of William Floyd girls soccer, but I cannot wait to watch her success at the next level.”

Laura Nunziata, Ryleigh’s school counselor, describes her as determined, empathetic and adaptable, as well as a hard worker with well-organized study habits and a great sense of priorities. She is also someone who demonstrates an admirable loyalty, sportsmanship and enthusiasm, and is highly respected by her peers. “I have the utmost confidence that Ryleigh will make many positive contributions to the world as she continues to grow,” said Nunziata. “She is kindhearted and devoted to helping others with the gifts that she possesses.”

Ryleigh received the President’s Award for Academic Excellence for maintaining a grade point average throughout her high school career of 90 or higher. She has attended William Floyd schools all throughout her academic career, K-12, beginning with Nathaniel Woodhull Elementary School, William Floyd Middle School and William Floyd High School.

Ryleigh is the third William Floyd High School student in the past five years to earn this prestigious award, including Isabella Liu, Class of 2017, and Sandra Viva Marin, Class of 2018.


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