Superintendent’s Spotlight: Ben Pitiger


Superintendent’s Spotlight: Ben Pitiger

February 16, 2023

When we chatted with senior Ben Pitiger, the varsity Wildcats swim team captain was preparing for the Section IX Championships. He’s qualified for the 200 medley relay, the 200 individual medley and the 100 breaststroke, and he’s managed that impressive achievement while also earning Magna Cum Laude Honor Roll status for the first marking period and Summa Cum Laude for the second.

How does the National Honor Society member and  US Army Scholar-Athlete All-American find time for everything? For Ben, it comes down to one thing.

“Hard work. It always pays off,” he said. “Sometimes it seems like a struggle to go that extra mile, and you just have to push through. It shows and other people notice it.”

From his Wildcats teammates and coaches to parent boosters, Ben’s energetic poolside encouragement and mentorship has not gone unnoticed.

“He gets the boys excited to swim,” said one parent booster. “And personally, he has been an amazing role model for my son, a sophmore, who struggled [academically] in middle school and now wants [to take] honor classes and achieve good grades.”

Ben has tutored a handful of students and said he enjoys the activity and the challenge of having to “buckle down” to fit it in when swim season is in full swing. In fact, he wrote his college admissions essay on his own bout with Lyme Disease, how it negatively impacted his academics, and what he did to overcome it. He said writing that essay helped solidify his plan to get into a field where he could help others.

This year, despite a busy swimming season with the Wildcats and everyday training with his club team, the NY Sharks, Ben has kept his academic pedal to the metal. He is taking AP physics, AP calculus, AP government, and fulfilling his English credit. He also threw in a few electives, including Intro to Engineering Design. He said he plans to study engineering in college, and his interest in the field grows from the same foundation as his motivation for tutoring, to be a helper.

“I enjoy being a leader and being a role model, in and out of the pool,” Ben said. “And to know that my talent and my hard work has been recognized here in Warwick, that’s a good feeling.”

Ben’s classes and 2023 season have been going great. He has set new personal bests in the pool and in the classroom. He is grateful to Wildcats swim coach Frank Woodward for his outstanding mentorship and guidance and said a lot of his improvement this year and his confidence heading into sectionals is because of Coach Woodward “preparing us well for all these big meets.”

When Ben reflects on his high school academic and athletic career, he is glad to have had the opportunities to learn and compete that Warwick Valley has given him, but has one last bit of advice for young student athletes.

“It’s been great getting to compete and leave it all out there on the pool deck to end my senior season as strong as I can,” he said. “But senior season, you don’t even realize it, it definitely goes by quicker than a normal season!”


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