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Wildcat Post

The Student News Site of Hazelwood West High School

Wildcat Post

Student Spotlight: Santino Cusamano


Amongst the many faces of Hazelwood West, one may catch your eye. Navigating buzzing halls, your attention may gravitate towards a distinctive individual sporting a straw hat and rainbow Crocs. Meet Santino Cusamanno, a senior at Hazelwood West High School. Beyond his captivating style, the man behind the attire truly leaves an impression. 

For many seniors, the factor of motivation is something that is sufficiently lacking. As many seniors have been accepted to their dream schools and begin to lay out their next step, school becomes a trifle to the bright future that lies ahead. For Cusamano, motivation is found within West High. 

 “What motivates me to get up every day is learning, being able to come to school watching people interact with each other, and having fun,” Cusamano said. 

Cusamano adds that his willingness to take on the day stems from his hopes to figure out all that is life, thinking beyond these high school walls and conquering his aspirations for the future. Cusamano strives to make the world a better place in any way that he can, specifically through the forms of creativity and tech as he attends to majoring in Computer Science. 

“I hope to make something that is both accessible and fun- maybe through creating a game or even a fraud investigating website,” Cusamono said. 

Other than his style, Cusamano finds his outlets of expression through his love for swimming and of course, talking. Previously the head captain of the boy’s swim team, he continues to participate in his love for swimming by managing the girl’s swim team. Through this expansion, he’s found himself to be able to do what he’s always wanted to do:

“I love to help others, allowing others to understand, I want to guide them through that process,” Cusamono said. 

His push for guidance and understanding derives itself from his greatest fears, needing to be understood. Cusamano is a self-proclaimed people person, who loves to interact with others, isolation is something he actively avoids. Despite this fear of isolation and lack of understanding, what scares him the most is the thought of perception. 

“ I don’t want to be perceived, or have big assumptions about me,” Cusamono said.

Despite his drive for understanding, he finds himself to be challenged when it comes to the written word. Like many seniors, as he applies for scholarships and writes many essays this goal of communication becomes a huge roadblock. 

“I don’t excel at writing, it’s one part of my education that I lack,” Cusamono said. 

Reflecting on his last few years in high school, Cusamanno yearns for more time. As he gets ready to embark on college in its entirety he does all he can to enjoy the moments he has left and of course, wants more time to swim.

Values that Cusamano holds dear is keeping an open mind. He attempts to understand that actions always have consequences which he believes is something we lack as a society. He’s a firm believer in standing behind your morals and values as he quotes Hamilton: “Jefferson has beliefs; Burr has none.” Cusamono expands on this as he states: 

“There’s no way to know who you are if you don’t stand behind anything,” Cusomono said. 

As he stands behind his morals and values, he allows the advice that he receives to guide him. Cusamono states that the best he’s ever received was to be himself authentically, at all times and to know your boundaries. 

As Cusamono embarks on his journey to new heights, he finds himself very proud of how far he has come. At a young age, he admits to possessing annoying tendencies, however after realizing how valuable his peers felt his presence to be he became aldated within his personality. Watching himself grow into the person he stands before us today, is something that sparks emotion and a sense of pride.

“I hope to continue a lasting, positive impact on others’ lives,” Cusomono said. 

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About the Contributor
Kennedi Bryant
Kennedi Bryant, Staff Writer
Hello! My name is Kennedi Bryant and I am a Senior at Hazelwood West High School. At school, I love to be involved in any way I can to explore the different values and passions that I have within myself. From finding joy in the acts of teamwork and determination through joining Varsity Lacrosse and, for the first time this year, the Tennis team, to giving back to my community and encouraging a sense of unity with participation in the PEP club, KEY club, and as well National Honor Society. With my last year in high school, I now find myself gravitating towards my interests within school as I explore my intrigue in reading with the fresh Book Club breaking out of my shell, and sharing my writing within Writers Week and now Newspaper! I am very excited about Newspaper this semester as I have always wanted to do this with aspirations to become a journalist. With this opportunity, I hope to gain as much experience as possible and expand my writing abilities!
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