Mastic Beach student earns full academic scholarship to St. Joseph’s College


William Floyd High School is establishing itself as a pipeline of academic talent to St. Joseph’s College.

Class of 2021 graduate Ryleigh Pafitis has been selected as the third Colonial in the last five years to receive the prestigious Presidential Scholarship from the College’s Long Island campus in Patchogue. The award is a full-tuition scholarship for four years of undergraduate education.

Isabella Liu from the Class of 2017 and Sandra Viva Marin with the Class of 2018 received the same scholarship.

Ryleigh will study to become a nurse while playing midfield for St. Joe’s women’s soccer team. Her career dream is to become a nurse practitioner and serve in a hospital neonatal nursing unit.

At William Floyd, Ryleigh has participated in the award-winning Medical Assisting program during the past two years. She has also challenged herself by taking such high-level courses as advanced placement biology.

On the pitch, she has been the captain of William Floyd’s girls varsity soccer team as a junior and senior. She earned All-County honors and was the team’s most valuable player during her last two seasons — also placing among Newsday’s “Top 100” Long Island girls soccer players for 2021. 

“Ryleigh is a well-rounded young lady who excels at communicating in any environment and can make others around her laugh and feel comfortable,” said Jason McKay, William Floyd High School medical assisting teacher. “She is a strong student and has always done well in her classes. I am excited and proud of Ryleigh and her accomplishments and look forward to her continued success.”

William Floyd girls varsity soccer coach Kaleigh Sidaras said Ryleigh’s determination and grit on the playing field helped shape her into the person and athlete she is today.

“I have had the privilege of watching Ryleigh grow as a student-athlete and young lady since [she was in] seventh grade,” the coach said. “She has grown to be a tremendous leader and asset to our soccer program, and there is no doubt she will continue to excel in whatever she does. She’s dynamic, versatile, and carries a strong presence on and off the field.”

Throughout her time in high school, Ryleigh received the William Floyd’s President’s Award for Academic Excellence for maintaining a grade point average of 90 or higher.

The above photos of Ryleigh Pafitis were provided by William Floyd School District.