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Miss Columbus chosen for 2012 MP Columbus Day parade

Bronx Times

Say hello to Miss Columbus.

Christina Iannarino, queen of this year’s grand Bronx Columbus Day Parade, will be waving to the crowds lining Morris Park Avenue as she passes by on Sunday, October 7.

The 16-year-old Iannarino, from Country Club, was picked by an independent panel of teachers, and will be crowned at a parade dinner-dance on Sunday, September 30.

“She will also be receiving a $10,000 college scholarship from the Generoso Pope Foundation,” said parade coordinator Tony Signorile. He had high praise for Inannarino’s academic record.

“She is a Preston High School student who has a 4.0 grade point average and has remained on the honor roll since freshman year.”

Iannarino said she is honored to have been chosen. “It means a lot to me, because I am able to represent my culture, which is a big deal. I had gotten the application towards the end of my junior year and I had to write an essay to enter. I decided to write about my mother coming to America and all of the trials and tribulations she had to deal with on a daily basis.”

Iannarino said she was picked as one of four finalists, and then had to interview with a panel of judges.

A rising senior at Preston High School, she has received the General Excellence Award, given to students with the highest average and academic performance per grade level.

She is interested in becoming a dermatologist.

“I am looking at Columbia and a few other Ivy Leagues schools,” she said. “I am also really interested in Macaulay Honors College, which is a SUNY honors college. They encourage you to go abroad, and since I want to study pre-med, the college would allow me to study Italian health care,” she said.

“I am really grateful for this opportunity and I am really glad I applied,” she continued. “At first, I thought I wouldn’t get it, but with the help of my Italian teacher and family I felt confident about it, and I got it.”

The parade committee has selected Phil Foglia, a community lawyer and Italian-American civil rights advocate, as its grand marshal for October’s parade, which gets a one-day jump on the bigger one in Manhattan.

Pat Cassano, a Throggs Neck resident and a first grade teacher at St. Francis Xavier School for more than two decades will be honorary grand marshal.

The parade this year is expected to be about the same size last year, with three bands, and six floats, in addition to the numerous participating community groups and schools, said Signorile.

The parade is expected to draw a host of local, borough and citywide officials, especially with city elections coming up next year. Mayor Bloomberg also traditionally shows up to march.

The parade will kick off from White Plains Road at noon, with a pre-parade Mass and breakfast held at St. Dominic’s Church in honor of Al Corcillo, who passed away in August.

Tickets for the September 30 dinner dance can be purchased through Signorile, at (917) 715-2210.

Kirsten Sanchez can be reach via e-mail at ksanchez@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3394

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