Superintendent’s Spotlight: Jacob Piskadlo


Superintendent’s Spotlight: Jacob Piskadlo

March 31, 2022

This week, the spotlight is shining on Warwick Valley Middle School fifth grade student Jacob Piskadlo… literally! Jacob will be performing in this weekend’s WVMS Drama Club production of The SpongeBob Musical. Besides being an already accomplished thespian – more on that later – Jacob is also an honor roll student, an engaged class leader, and has earned a reputation with classmates, faculty and administration at the Middle School as an all-around “good dude.”

“Jacob is a wonderful young man, and he’s been a fan favorite since he walked through the door in September,” said WVMS Principal Ms. Georgianna Diopoulos. “He’s kind to his peers, respectful of everyone, and is very much a leader among our students.”

Principal Diopoulos explained that when administration met with teacher Ms. Janeen Mitchell and fifth grade students earlier this year to discuss possible charitable fundraising projects, Jacob assumed control and offered a number of great ideas, including working with the Entenmann’s Little Bites® Pouch Recycling Program. He has taken a leadership position in the collection of the Little Bites packages.

“For every five pounds of Little Bites pouches we collect, we get 100 points,” said Jacob.

The class can redeem their points for $0.01 per point – a penny a point – and the total amount of dollars earned is then donated to the non-profit organization of the class’ choice.

“So, my class and I made posters already, and we have boxes that we’re going to put in the cafeteria  to collect [the pouches],” Jacob said. “Hopefully, we’ll collect a lot from people who are bringing snacks to school, and any time a box gets filled, one person goes to get it. We’re rotating groups to do that job.”

Jacob said that the class hasn’t chosen a specific charity yet, but that they are considering a conservation organization that preserves wooded areas and plants trees. An interesting thing about Jacob choosing a fundraising activity involving muffins is that, in his free time, he enjoys cooking.

Jacob said there is definitely crossover between his favorite subjects – math and science, particularly – and his culinary hobby.

“I like numbers, because when I grow up I want to be a chef,” he said, and added that he is eagerly looking forward to the fourth marking period this year, when he will get to take Home & Careers. “I cook at home, usually with my mom or my grandma. My grandma loves to bake!”

Jacob said that the first thing he ever made with his grandma was chocolate chip cookies, but that his signature dish at the moment is cornbread. His favorite part of the process is watching things rise while they’re in the oven.

As for that role in this weekend’s WVMS musical production, Jacob will be playing an army horse. He is no stranger to the stage, having performed in multiple performances during his elementary school career at Park Avenue Elementary.

“I started doing drama club in third grade, when we did The Jungle Book,” said Jacob. And then, in fourth grade, we did Annie and I played [Oliver “Daddy”] Warbucks!”

When the bald cap that was part of his Daddy Warbucks wardrobe last year didn’t fit properly, Jacob – who is clearly a dedicated performer – went the method acting route and shaved his head for the performances.

“It was a pretty close skin fade,” he laughed.  “I think I’m going to keep doing drama club. I’m not really a sports guy; I like more of the acting and stuff.”

This year, Jacob has also taken up chorus.

WVMS Associate Principal Mr. Christopher Radon recalls one of his first interactions with Jacob, and how it revealed his genial nature.

“I found myself being booed in the cafeteria for wearing a Dallas Cowboys jersey for a Spirit Week event one day, and Jacob invited me to sit down at the lunch table with him,” Associate Principal Radon shared. “That’s when we started talking, and that’s when I realized how special he was. It was really neat, and now we talk about different stuff every day.”

From principals to pupils, everyone around Jacob seems to be in agreement – he’s the kind of person you just want to hang out with! And, not just because he’s going to show up with homemade cookies and cornbread.

“As a fifth grader, to be able to talk about anything so easily, with peers and adults, so casually, no matter what the subject,” said Mr. Radon. “Jacob is just so impressive.”

“What else can we say? We love this young man,” added Principal Diopoulos.


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Comments are closed.