Courtesy photo: Bishop McGann-Mercy High School (L-R) Lisa Navarra, Gilda DelBianco, Christy DelBianco, James DelBianco

Bishop McGann-Mercy freshman Gilda DelBianco won first place in an essay contest sponsored by The Family Center for Autism in Garden City. This was the second annual contest honoring students who wrote exemplary essays on the topics of bullying and acceptance for students with special needs, each touching on personal experiences.

Competing against more than 100 other students, her essay was selected by a panel of four judges who praised her “new ideas and fresh perspectives on how to respond to the bullying issue, especially as it relates to people with autism and developmental disabilities,” according to a press release issued by Bishop McGann-Mercy high school. DelBianco, accompanied by her parents and Lisa Navarra, the assistant principal for academics at the high school, was honored at a ceremony during which she read her essay aloud.

Navarra said, “Gilda is a stellar student who excels in world languages, academics and is musically gifted, She certainly enhances an already wonderful student body.”

Source: Press release issued by Bishop McGann-Mercy High School dated June 2, 2017.

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April is a writer, reporter and copy editor for the LOCAL news websites. She is a retired educator and proud grandma. April lives in Calverton. Email April