Two Inducted Into W.T. Clarke Hall of Achievement

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W.T. Clarke High School, in the East Meadow School District, held its biannual Hall of Achievement ceremony on Oct. 14, prior to the school’s homecoming game. Two alumni –  Darla Martiello Canonico (Class of 1993) and Nadine Muskatel Tung (Class of 1976) were inducted this year for demonstrating outstanding ability, leadership, character and dedication, and for serving as an inspiration to the Clarke community.

Canonico, who was nominated by Clarke PTA member Denise Michaelis, is the owner of the Westbury Academy of Dance and has been a member of the Clarke community her entire life. Since the age of 2, Canonico had been enrolled in dance classes at the academy, where then-owner and director Camille Sanfilippo made an impact on her life. Over the course of her years in the dance studio, Canonico shared her love of dance, taught classes to hundreds of students in the community, and dreamed of one day owning her own studio. Seven years ago, her dream became a reality when Sanfilippo sold the Westbury Academy of Dance to her after 40 years of ownership.

To this day, Canonico teaches a large number of students, ages 3 to high school, fostering in them confidence, courage, self-esteem, commitment and teamwork. She continually encourages her dancers and supports their academic pursuits by awarding scholarships to graduating seniors of both W.T. Clarke and East Meadow high schools. 

“This is a proud day for my family, as we are all alumni or future alumni of Clarke,” said Canonico. “Thank you to this amazing community that I am so lucky to be a part of – without your love and support, I wouldn’t be able to do what I love every day. I really appreciate and cherish the friendships I’ve made on this journey.” 

Canonico resides in Westbury with her husband, Al, and children, Ava and Dominic, who attend W.T. Clarke High School and W.T. Clarke Middle School, respectively. 

Dr. Tung, who was unable to attend the ceremony, was recognized for her work to advance cancer research. While a Ram at Clarke, she was the chairperson of Model Congress and a member of the drama club, Thespian Society, National Honor Society, wind ensemble and The Vanguard, the school’s newspaper. She graduated from Clarke as valedictorian in 1976 and went on to attend Princeton University and Harvard Medical School. 

Dr. Tung is currently the director of the Cancer Genetics and Prevention Program at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, which she established in 1997 to evaluate patients and families with hereditary cancer syndromes. She is also a breast medical oncologist, a member of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center and an associate professor at Harvard Medical School. 

Dr. Tung’s research focuses on hereditary causes of breast cancer and effective strategies for breast cancer prevention and treatment. Through the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, she oversees a multi-center, national trial that is evaluating whether cisplatin is superior to standard chemotherapy for women with BRCA1/2 mutations and newly diagnosed breast cancer. 

Additionally, Dr. Tung serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, as well as on the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Cancer Prevention Committee and Cancer Genetics Subcommittee.