Superintendent’s Spotlight: Aaron Callender


Superintendent’s Spotlight: Aaron Callender

February 18, 2022

Aaron Callender is making the most of his final year at Warwick Valley Middle School. A hardworking student and athlete, Aaron is not one to shy away from challenges. In fact, it’s part of his overall approach – and definitely a reason behind his many successes – to challenge himself and to grow with every chance he gets. 

“Aaron is definitely someone who takes advantage of every opportunity when it comes to learning,” said WVMS Principal Ms. Georgianna Diopoulos. “He works hard in the classroom, as well as with the wrestling team. He does it all while being polite, and he is always respectful of others.”  

Aaron started wrestling in his first year of middle school and began his eight grade year planning to wrestle on the modified team. His coach had other plans.

“Coach wanted to bring me up to JV, so I was wrestling with the bigger guys, just pushing myself  to get better,” said Aaron. “A lot of the guys I went up against were a lot bigger than me, but I stayed tough and just kept going. It was a good season.”

Aaron said that with his JV experience this year, he’s looking forward to hitting the ground running with the wrestling team when he gets to Warwick Valley High School. Aaron also played running back last year on the WVMS Modified Football team. This year, he played on the Warwick Youth Football D-III Wildcats team and is looking forward to competing at the high school level next year. 

“I’m really looking forward to trying out and maybe making the Varsity Football team next year,” said Aaron. “I’m going to try my best, but if not, I know I’ll have a really good JV season then.”

Aaron is careful to strike a good balance between athletics and academics.

“I study as much as I can, even when my time is full with football or wrestling,” he said. “I like studying, so I try to get it in and do my best to keep my grades up.”

His favorite areas of study are math and technology, from equations to coding and even engineering and building. He said both interests are rooted in a love of numbers that he developed at a young age. But, he also shared that he hasn’t always been as good at math as he is today.

“What really got me into it was, when I was little I really wasn’t that good at it, but I always wanted to push myself to get better,” Aaron said. “And once I did get better at it, I started liking it more and more.”

Aaron has fond memories of how his dad also fostered that interest in numbers.

“Even when I would be at the grocery store with him, he’d tell me how much money I should give and get back,” said Aaron. “He’d ask me questions to make sure I was paying attention.”

He also inherited a love of, and talent for, music from his dad. Aaron is part of the WVMS Chorus and also plays piano, guitar, drums, and saxophone.

“We have a whole musical area set up in our basement, so we have a piano stand, drum set, all of that, and I try to do it as much as I can,” Aaron said. He added with a smile, “If I’m not playing video games, I like to do something productive.”

Outside of school, Aaron has been an avid practitioner of the martial arts, and said that he studied for seven years and achieved the level of first degree black belt.

“I’d say it was since I was about five years old that I studied Tae Kwon Do, a Korean form of martial arts,” he explained. “I placed first for about three years straight in competitions.”

WVMS Associate Principal Mr. Christopher Radon said that Aaron is not just well-known, but well-liked for his positive attitude and inquisitive, diligent approach to all things.

“He’s an absolute staple in the Middle School. Students, teachers, administrators, we all get excited when we see Aaron’s big smile and confident swagger coming down the hallway,” said Mr. Radon. “He’s been one of the hardest working students in the Middle School since he started here in fifth grade, and it has been amazing seeing him continue to grow into such an exceptional young man.”





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