Superintendent’s Spotlight: Vincent Pinnavaia


Superintendent’s Spotlight: Vincent Pinnavaia

February 3, 2023

Vinny Pinnavaia enjoys talking to people, learning about them, and making people happy. He is drawn to activities that involve building relationships and helping people, opening up communication, and making good choices. 

“I like learning about people and about the mind,” Vinny said, adding that his faith plays a role in his ambition to help others. “And, especially as a Christian, I just want the best for people.”

Vinny was recently featured in the local newspaper for a WVHS club he founded at the tail end of the pandemic, called the Sit & Chat Club. It began with a psychology project last year. Vinny developed a series of questions on topics including mortality, significant others, life’s purpose, and theology. He began sitting with friends – a few at a time at first – and having discussions based on the questionnaire.

The process, Vinny said, was meant to help peers connect on a deeper level, and hopefully help with some of the anxiety that came with isolation, and life in general. After his psych class success, he pitched the idea for a club based on his guided discussions to administration, and the Sit & Chat Club was formed.

“The questions are pretty personal, and so having a group session can be difficult for some people, for them to be okay getting that personal,” said Vinny about what he learned through his project. “It’s difficult to have those kinds of conversations.”

Vinny kicked off Sit & Chat with a couple of group sessions, and although they went well, Vinny began to realize that the personal nature of the process lent itself to a more personal setting. 

“With the group sessions, it’s cool to see the bouncing of ideas, but with a one-on-one session, you really get a little glimpse into a person’s mind, and it’s so cool.”

Vinny started trying out one-on-ones last year and over the summer coming into this school year as a way to get closer to his friends and understand their perspectives on life. He’s continuing the sessions this year, and has extended his invite to chat to faculty and administration.

A reliable Honor Roll honoree (he’s on at least five straight semesters currently), Vinny is a member of the National Honor Society. He enjoys the opportunity he gets to help, and connect with, others through the group by being a tutor. While seniors typically offer tutoring services to groups of younger students, WVCSD Director of Counseling, Mary Fox, has Vinny working on Spanish one on one with the same student weekly.

“I’m not the best at Spanish,” said Vinny, who is actually excelling in University Spanish 2 this year. “I like working with kids in general, and having the same student each week – it’s been since October now – we’ve gotten close, which is really fun.”

With only a few months to go in his senior year, Vinny is considering how this interest of his might play into his short and long term plans. He knows he wants to talk to people, and is looking at schools where he can study psychology, and maybe continue a version of the Sit & Chat Club. His ultimate goal, to go into the therapy field.

“I have to research what it would take, but I think I would like to possibly work as a psychiatrist,” Vinny said. He has already been accepted into SUNY Binghamton and the University of Delaware, but said he hasn’t quite gotten his head around the idea that he’ll be heading off to college in just a matter of months.

“It’s crazy, but I’m looking forward to senior prom, senior trip, and during February break, my friends and I are going to Disney,” Vinny enthused. “And just spending time with my family with the time we have left. Anytime I get with them is awesome.”


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