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One Voice, One Message Walk Set for April 13

We are pleased to announce that the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District’s 5th Annual One Voice, One Message 5K Run/Walk will be held on Saturday, April 13.  

This year, the proceeds from the 5K Run/Walk will be donated to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  For more information and to sign up for the 5K, please visit to

Four Bellmore-Merrick Students Named National Merit Finalists

Four students in the Central School District have been named finalists in the National Merit Scholarship 2019 competition.

Mepham High School’s John Berry and Kyle Ednie as well as Kennedy High School’s James Hayes and Sidra Naheed were all included on the list.
“We are once again proud to highlight the accomplishments of our dedicated students,” said Superintendent John DeTommaso. 

The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. High school students enter the program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

Approximately 15,000 students, or approximately one-third of the 50,000 high scorers, qualified as finalists.

The seniors are now competing for National Merit Scholarships that will be announced in March. The program awards three types of scholarships: National Merit $2,500 Scholarships, Corporate-Sponsored Merit Scholarships and College-Sponsored Merit Scholarships

Two Mepham wrestlers Named County Champs

Two Mepham wrestlers Named County Champs photo
Mepham High School wrestlers Kyle Althenn and Matt Hegi were named Nassau County wrestling champions after competing Feb. 9-10.

Senior Kyle Althenn improved to 24-0 on the season as he captured the 138-pound title in dominating fashion with a 7-0 victory in the county finals.  
“Kyle is Mepham’s first four-time All-County wrestler since 1987,” explained coach Sean Arresto.  

Junior Matt Hegi improved to 32-2 on the season, as he took the 195-pound title with a 10-7 victory in the finals.  

“Matt is now a two-time All-County wrestler, with one year left to defend his crown,” added Arresto. “Kyle and Matt will compete for All-State honors in two weeks at the Times Union Center in Albany.”

Overall the team finished in fifth place, their highest placement in five years.


Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District parents are reminded that New York State Law requires a written transportation request annually by April 1st from parents or guardians of students (Grades 7-12) who plan to attend private or parochial schools.  Requests must be submitted prior to April 1, 2019 for the school year beginning September 2019.

Transportation application forms for the 2019-2020 school year are available at the Bellmore-Merrick CHSD Business Office, 1260 Meadowbrook Road, North Merrick, New York 11566 or at the District website:

All students requesting non-public school transportation who did not previously attend one of our component elementary districts:  Bellmore, Merrick, North Bellmore or North Merrick Union Free School Districts or one of the Bellmore Merrick Central High School District’s (BMCHSD) schools must register with the BMCHSD. Please call 992-1003 to schedule an appointment with the Central Registrar at the Brookside School, 1260 Meadowbrook Road, North Merrick, New York.  Registration is By Appointment Only.

P.S. I Love You Day Spreads Kindness

P.S. I Love You Day Spreads Kindness photo
P.S. I Love You Day Spreads Kindness photo 2
P.S. I Love You Day Spreads Kindness photo 3
P.S. I Love You Day Spreads Kindness photo 4
P.S. I Love You Day Spreads Kindness photo 5
Messages of kindness were spread like confetti throughout the Central High School District on Feb. 8, also known as P.S. I Love You Day.

Created in 2011 as a nonprofit organization to spread love in order to decrease bullying while promoting mental health awareness, the day took on various forms of expression in Bellmore-Merrick.

“On this day, we ask that everyone wears purple to represent standing up against bullying, help those who are suffering from depression and ultimately prevent suicide,” explained social studies teacher and P.S. I Love You Day organizer Jacqueline Geller. 

At the start of each social studies class at Mepham High School, seniors from three leadership classes distributed notes of kindness and Hershey kisses.

“All 1,200-plus students in the building will be receiving similar messages of positivity and caring,” explained Social Studies Chairperson Robyn Einbinder.

“We hope that you walk around your community, school or work office and see a sea of purple,” added Geller. “We hope that you hear nothing but positive messages that make you feel special, loved and are reminded that you are never alone.”

At Kennedy High School, the Key Club also asked students and staff to wear purple “to foster kindness and a welcoming environment.”

“In addition, the clubs at Kennedy High School collectively participated in a No Place for Hate event by creating a Take What You Need Wall — a colorful display of post-it notes with messages of inspiration and positivity,” explained Jessica Chilton, a math teacher and Key Club faculty adviser. 
By the end of the day they had amassed more than 1,800 post-it notes.

“Throughout the day, a quote was read over the loudspeaker and students were given a Cougar Challenge,” Chilton further explained. “It included small acts such as smiling at everyone in the hall, holding the door open for the person behind you, sitting next to someone new in the cafeteria, giving a compliment to a friend. Most importantly, spreading the message of being an upstander.”

Calhoun Leadership Students Visit 9/11 Museum

Calhoun Leadership Students Visit 9/11 Museum photo
Calhoun Leadership Students Visit 9/11 Museum photo 2
On Feb. 6, Senior Experience students from Calhoun High School took a powerful trip to the 9/11 museum. 

“Students had the opportunity to have a guided tour and to explore the museum,” explained Social Studies Chairperson Kate Caporusso. “The trip was planned in conjunction with the reading of Kite Runner by Khalid Hosseini.”

Teachers Nicole Kyriacou, Tanya Cestaro, Elizabeth Separ, Jason Elias and Peter Palazzo accompanied the students on the trip.  

Bellmore-Merrick Celebrates Chinese New Years

Bellmore-Merrick Celebrates Chinese New Years photo

On Feb. 5, students in Helen Han’s and Lydia Qiu’s Mandarin classes welcomed the Year of the Pig when they celebrated the Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival.

The students made traditional red envelopes, Tangrams (puzzles), dragon dances and dumplings using play-doh and other materials. They composed couplets — a type of Chinese poetry — to mark the event. 

They also enjoyed delicious Chinese cuisine. Students contributed to the festive environment by preparing good luck banners and paper lanterns. 
Happy New year! 新年快乐! Xīn nián kuài lè!


Kennedy’s Science Olympiad Team Advances to States

Kennedy’s Science Olympiad Team Advances to States photo
Kennedy’s Science Olympiad Team Advances to States photo 2

The Kennedy High School Science Olympiad Team A team achieved fourth place out of 41 teams in the Nassau East Regional Science Olympiad competition, on Feb. 3, securing a spot at the New York State Competition in Syracuse in March.

Both Kennedy Science Olympiad Teams A and B competed in more than 20 different scientific events and racked up a grand total of 43 medals. The Kennedy B team earned 17th place.

“Achieving so many medals in such a wide variety of subjects is a testament to how hard the students have worked for the last five months studying, preparing, building and practicing for their events,“ said Science Chair Robert Soel.

Science Olympiad coaches Russell Lella, Helmut Schleith, Dan Jantzen and Alexis Vandergoot were integral to the team’s success.
“Being a part of the John F. Kennedy Science Olympiad is a thrilling experience,” said team member Joshua Abramovich. “The feeling that you get from preparing for your events and then using all of the effort from preparing on the day of the exciting competition is the reason I do it every year.”

Katherine St. George said the team even brought on new friendships.

“Plus, it’s a really fun way to celebrate scientific enthusiasm,” she added.

They will advance to New York State competition on March 15 at Le Moyne College in Syracuse.

Medal winners:
Marielena Delgado and Jonathan Ivers: Astronomy, 10th Place
Jenn Field and Andrew Brinton: Chem Lab, 6th Place
Jack Racer and Hugh Cheung: Chem Lab, 2nd Place
Jack Kelly and Dan Wadler: Circuit Lab, 5th Place
Kevin Ivers, Jack Racer, Jonathan Ivers: Codebusters, 4th Place
Whitney Sussman and Sam Marchuck: Designer Genes, 6th Place
Katherine St. George and Mikaela Milch: Disease Detectives, 2nd Place
Mikaela Milch and Summer Hasseck: Dynamic Planet, 3rd Place
Kevin Ivers and Sam Marchuck: Fermi Questions, 8th Place
Andrew Brinton and Jenn Field: Forensics, 9th Place
Jack Kelly and Jack Racer: Forensics, 7th Place
Jimmy Hayes and Katherine St. George: Fossils 2nd Place
Katherine St. George and Summer Hasseck: Herpteology, 1st Place
Jack Kelly and Dan Wadler: Mission Possible, 3rd Place
Brandon Lin: Mousetrap Vehicle, 2nd Place
Mikaela Milch, Katherine St. George, Sam Marchuck: Protein Modeling, 3rd Place
Seth Gorelik, Analisa Coppa, Jason Lehrfeld: Protein Modeling, 1st Place
Jack Kelly and Dan Wadler: Sound of Music, 9th Place
Jimmy Hayes and Hugh Cheung: Thermodynamics, 4th Place
Jimmy Hayes and Marielena Delgado: Water Quality, 2nd Place

Bellmore-Merrick Bowling Named County Champs

Bellmore-Merrick Bowling Named County Champs
The Bellmore-Merrick boys bowling team won the Nassau County Championships at AMF Garden City Lanes on Feb 2. 

The team is coached by Joseph Bianca, who is also a special education teacher at Sanford H. Calhoun High School.

“We had a strong core group of five boys who bowled 24 games over the season,” he said. “But senior leadership was a key for the title.”

Lead by three-time All-County bowler Sam Farber, two-time All-County bowler Nick Breidenback and one-time All-County bowler Donovan Moran, the team also saw strong performances by junior James Petter and freshman Brendan Moran. 

They move on to compete at the New York State championships on March 7-8.

NARCAN Training - Tuesday, March 5 Brookside

 Please see the attached NARCAN Informational Flyer



VIDEO: Bellmore-Merrick Hosts Districtwide Day of Service

Bellmore-Merrick Hosts Districtwide Day of Service photo

Thousands of students across the Central High School District once again learned the mission of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s call for service and carried on his legacy during the districtwide Day of Service on Jan. 18.

“We created more than 1,000 bags to benefit nearly a dozen local organizations,” explained Mepham High School social studies chairperson and Day of Service organizer Robyn Einbinder. “While you [students] think you may only be doing one small part right here today, it’s actually a large effort with significant impact to the surrounding community and organizations.”

After listening to inspirational video speeches from Dr. King during social studies classes, students packaged up donations for local shelters and human services organizations. Various items had been collected by each of the district’s six buildings during the past month.

“This is a great example of collaboration between the students from all of our schools,” added Kennedy High School Principal Gerard Owenburg.

The district’s Ambassador Program, a student-led think tank in support of their One Voice, One Message mission, spearheaded the effort. 

 “This day has become a part of the district’s continued commitment to caring for people in need in our community and beyond,” added Calhoun High School Principal Nicole Hollings.

Students also included handwritten inspirational quotes from Dr. King in the bags. At Merrick Avenue Middle School, after a lesson on “why MLK Day is referred to as a day of service,” students learned about Dr. King’s need for people to stand together and provide services to those in need.

“Students discussed the message of his speech and that all people, every person, any person can be great,” explained Assistant Principal Katelyn Dunn, a Day of Service organizer. “All you need to do is help provide service to others in need.”

While each school was charged with a different theme of donations, at Grand Avenue Middle School they collected books to benefit The Book Fairies.

“Everyone who donated really helped make our MLK Day of Service a tremendous success,” said Principal Carlo Conte. “This truly shows the community just how much Grand CARES.”

In addition to stocking the district-run food pantry, the Community Cupboard, items were also delivered by students and staff to various organizations around Long Island including The INN, Momma’s House, Regina House, Head Start, The Book Fairies and Rock n’ Wrap It Up.

“I spoke to the kids during the packaging effort and reminded them that the recipients of the tote bags were going to feel wonderful knowing that our students cared enough to make their day brighter,” said Susan Ellinghaus, principal of the Meadowbrook Alternative Program.



Five Students Named JSHS Semifinalists

Senya Huda and Lauren Jones from Calhoun High School and Jake Levine, Jonathan Mashal and Hunter Moran from Kennedy High Schools were named semifinalists in the recent JSHS (Junior Science Humanities Symposium) Competition. 

JSHS is designed to challenge and engage high school students in science, technology, engineering or mathematics. Individual students compete for scholarships and recognition by presenting the results of their original research efforts before a panel of judges and an audience of their peers.
Huda is a senior who conducted her research this past summer at Mount Sinai with a pediatric hepatologist.  Her research project was entitled The Role of Mannose Phosphate Isomerase (MPI) in Regulating Response to DNA Damage. 

Jones is a senior who conducted her research this past summer at LIU Post in the biology department.  She completed a research project entitled Epibiosis of Bryozoans B. stolonifera and B. neritina on Species Indigenous to the Long Island Sound.  

Levine is a senior who conducted his research at LIU Post. His research topic title was “Fasciclin 2 Expression is Positively Correlated with Gut Function Under Nutrient-Poor Conditions in Drosophila melanogaster.”

Mashal, a senior, completed his research at LIU Post. His research topic title was, “Bay Scallop and Eastern Oyster Survival Within Crepidula fornicata Shell Beds in the Peconic Bays, New York.”

Moran is a senior whose topic was entitled, “An Analysis of How Individualized Treatment of Infliximab Can Prolong Remission Time for Patients with IBD.”

All five students were chosen to present their work at York College on Sunday, Feb. 3, where Calhoun’s Lauren Jones earned second place in Environmental Science and Kennedy’s Moran Hunter earned third place.

Calhoun Girls Track Nabs Conference Title

Calhoun Girls Track Nabs Conference Title photo
The Calhoun High School girls track team entered St. Anthony’s for the Conference II championships as the defending champs, but big underdogs to perineal powerhouses East Meadow and Port Washington. 

To keep with tradition, Calhoun walked into the meet in two lines matching head-to-toe stone faced and ready to perform. 

“I really love watching them come into a meet like this, determined and laser focused on the goal. It’s really something to see” Coach Joseph Migliano said. “There has never been a better team win in my career, not a single one. Every girl, every place, every single point mattered tonight and it’s a true testament to the fortitude these girls have developed.” 

The meet started out better than average for Calhoun coming in with a two-point lead over Port Washington from weight throw. The throwers Jamie Campanelli, Victoria Unz and Julia Oladipo stepped up big to upset the Port Washington and scored a big 16 points. 

“Our throwers as always had a big meet. No one ever sees what they do, but they are some of the hardest workers around and always show up when it matters for the team, we couldn’t do anything without them” Coach Migliano said. 

Faith Dwyer and Emma Bhansingh led the way in the 3,000 meter run taking third (Faith) and sixth collecting seven points for the team. After this event, East Meadow and Port Washington took the lead, doing very well in the 55 and 1,000m races. Julianna Razza had another personal best in the 1K to score two points, but more importantly knocking some other teams out of scoring. 

The 600 is where Calhoun got back into the meet, junior and captain Elizabeth Tuzzolo stepped up and earned her first Conference Championship in this race. She was nervous and sick before the race, but like the true competitor and captain she is, she ran her heart out and took the win by less than a second.

“There’s not much more I can say about Elizabeth, she’s a competitor and warrior, plain and simple. She hates the idea of losing and would run through a wall if it meant a win for the team. I couldn’t be happier with her and the young women she’s turning into,” Coach Migliano said.

Heather Berberich and Maura Walters stepped up for the girls next in the 55 meter hurdles, taking third (Heather) and fifth picking up eight points and knocking East Meadow out of scoring. 

“This was a great race for Heather especially after just missing out on all conference last year. She made that a goal of hers to finish top three and that’s what she did. Going to really miss this one, she’s been like the team mom for the past few years and no one will replace her,” Coach Migliano said. 

Tali Gekhman and Rebecca Sirof evened the playing field in the race walk event that Port Washington had plans on sweeping, taking first (Tali) and fourth place. These were a really big 14 points for the team, and more importantly, kept points off the board for Port Washington. 

If this was a straight up track event, the girls from Calhoun wouldn’t have done so well, as they were outscored by Port Washington and East Meadow two-fold, but the strength of Calhoun lied in the field events, where they took an overall 70 points.

Jamie and Victoria came back one more time to take third and fourth place in the shot, keeping ground with Port Washington, who went 1-2.
Kiki Losquadro earned All Conference honors taking third in the high jump and rookie jumper Ellena Kakalos would jump her personal best and tie for fourth. 8.3 points the team couldn’t continue without.

The long and triple jumps though is where Calhoun took over the meet. Sarah Tappeto the only senior of this group would lead the girls into the two most crucial events of the night, and it didn’t start to well. Lisa Jose the best jumper in the field fouled out and eighth grade sensation Sara Manson fouled her first two attempts. This should have been it for Calhoun, until Sara leaped 16’8.25” to take over the lead and eventually win gold for the girls.

Triple jump started off with a bang for Calhoun. Lisa Jose refocused and shocked the field opening with a 33’9” jump. While Sara Tappeto and Manson followed up with their own 32/33 foot jumps as well. When it was all said and done, Lisa went 34 feet for a massive PR and a gold medal , Sara Manson 33’9 another personal best and silver medal and Sarah Tappeto jumped 32’5 to take fourth, overall scoring 22 points for the team here.

“These girls are really something else. Lisa and Sarah Tappeto are two of the most athletic girls I have ever coached, and came up big when it mattered. I would be remiss if I didn’t speak on Sara Manson. She’s 13 years old, only in eighth grade and was a key factor in our win tonight. She is the last one out of the weight room everyday; loves this sport and wants to get better each day. Sara showed the heart and will of a seasoned veteran, getting her last jump in at 16’8.25 inches and took the event. She leaves me in a constant state of awe everyday. Nassau County and beyond better be on notice for when she actually enters high school,” Coach Migliano said. 

Calhoun knew going into the meet with such few girls competing that the relays were going to be tough, many girls have already ran their three-event limit and it was going to be hard to come back and compete, but this didn’t stop or phase them as each and every girl stepped up and earn this victory. 

The 4x8 saw the familiar distance faces for Calhoun and Alexandra Unz started it off and PR to leave the girls in fifth place at the exchange. Emma Bhansingh coming off the 3K and 1500 battled and kept the team in the race. Faith Dwyer ran third leg making up some big time on the top four teams and setting up Julianna Razza on the anchor. Julianna ran a smart, intelligent race and turn it on with 80 meters to go to pass Long Beach and grab fourth place points for the team.

“This group of young girls is really something. The work ethic they show day in and out is above and beyond. They are truly starting to come into their own as a distance team. While Tali and Rebecca didn’t run this Relay, they are a part of this amazing group to. I feel really blessed and lucky to work with them everyday,” Coach Migliano said.

Next up was the 4x400m relay which is traditionally Calhoun’s best event. However with an injury to freshmen Alyssa Crews know one knew what to expect. Sarah Tappeto got the girls out to a blazing start running a personal best, not bad after taking 12 attempts in jumps. Samantha LaTorre got out fast and hold on to second place for the team. With Alyssa being out, Kayla Locasto stepped up and run in her place, Kayla is surely not a 400m runner but was willing to do whatever it took for the team to win. Kayla ran her heart out and kept the girls in the race. Anchor leg Elizabeth Tuzzolo fended off two teams and kept the girls in second place, earning a big eight points and giving the girls a 7.5 point lead going into the 4x200.

“Kayla really stepped up here. She was scared of not only the race but really letting the team down; she competed and really showed up when needed. The meet may have swung in a different direction if not for her. I’m really proud of how she stepped up and ran tonight,” Coach Migliano said. 

The 4x200 meter was highlighted with county champs Valley Stream Central, but the girls knew they didn’t need to beat them, just run a solid, safe race. Lisa Jose after coming off the jumps got the girls out extremely fast and hand off to her friend Kiki, who ran a consistent smart race. Junior Lauren Rifas stepped up big and competed in her first scoring event at conferences to hold off the bottom three teams from jumping Calhoun. Heather Berberich closed the race for the girls, running a personal best and finishing in fifth for the team, earning a big two points, especially when Calhoun only won by 1.5 over power house Port Washington.

This was the closest meet in all of Long Island and by far the most competitive. This young Calhoun team really stepped up and made a statement to everyone, showing that last years win wasn’t a fluke. These girls showed a tremendous amount of heart and determination, and they are now the first back to back girls winter conference champions in school history.

“This was the best team win I have ever been a part of. I can honestly pick through each event and say, this point one or that one second did it for us. This was a very talented group of young girls who just refused to lose, refused to accept that we graduated too many, and refused to except the rumors that they were being counted out. They battled and made a statement to everyone that they are no one year wonder,” Coach Migliano said. 

Mepham Virtual Enterprise Team Earns Gold Medal

Mepham Virtual Enterprise Team Earns Gold Medal photo
The Mepham High School Virtual Enterprise students competed at the annual Long Island Business Plan and Trade Show Competition at LIU Post, earning gold medal distinction. 

“TruView VR once again distinguished themselves as a strong competitor earning a gold medal in web page design,” said faculty adviser Andrew Slattery.

The company sold more than $100,000 worth of Virtual Reality hardware and the administrative team successfully competed in the Business Plan Competition.  

“While the results of the competition are still pending, TruView VR continues to impress, showing both professionalism and enthusiasm in the Virtual Enterprise network,” added Slattery.

Calhoun Duo Named Coca-Cola semifinalists

Calhoun Duo Named Coca-Cola semifinalists photo
Heather Berberich and Jessica Lin, students at Calhoun High School, are among 45 Long Island high school seniors named semifinalists in the 2019 Coca-Cola Scholars Program.

Additionally, they are among the top 2 percent of students chosen nationwide.

“They are looking for well-rounded individuals and I think our involvement in athletics, clubs and extra curriculars fits into that criteria,” said Berberich.

Lin mentioned her involvement in community based organizations as incentive to apply for the scholarship. 

This is an achievement-based scholarship in which more than 95,000 students applied to be among 150 recipients of $20,000 scholarships. Berberich and Lin are awaiting notification for the next round.

Kennedy Volleyball Team Trains Middle Schoolers

The newly selected boys seventh- and eighth-grade volleyball teams at Merrick Avenue Middle School started their first season practice with a training clinic with the New York State boys champions volleyball team from Kennedy High School.

Led by coach Dennis Ringel, 16 members of the team came down to help get the first practice going with some great demonstrations and one-on-one coaching for the seventh- and eighth-graders. 

“The high schoolers were able to show off some of their skills, while working the middle schoolers to get their season off to a great start,” said Daniel Stiglitz, a technology teacher and co-volleyball coach at Merrick Avenue. The boys are also coached by Mark Gross.

English Students Participate in World Read Aloud Day

English Students Participate in World Read Aloud Day photo
English Students Participate in World Read Aloud Day photo 2
World Read Aloud Day takes place on Feb. 1 of each year. Founded by the New York-based non-profit LitWorld, World Read Aloud Day brings together students, teachers, and libraries to celebrate the power of literacy. 

This year, librarians from around the world collaborated to virtually connect with other schools to take place in the event. 

Calhoun High School English teachers Jennifer Sapir, Christy Rochford, Vivian Digennaro and librarian Kristen Mogavero organized skype sessions with six schools from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Georgia. 

Kennedy High School students read to children varying in age from 5-11 years old. Books that were read included Alfie the Apostrophe, Dragons Love Tacos, The Name of This Book Is Secret, The Day the Crayons Quit, Monster’s New Undies, The Book with No Pictures and Dinosaurs Before Dark. 

“The students also spent time discussing their favorite books and sharing their school experience,” added English Chairperson Adeline Atkins.

Leadership Students Attend Human Rights Conference

Leadership Students Attend Human Rights Conference photo
Students from Leadership classes at all four high schools in the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District attended the Human Rights Conference at Adelphi University on Jan. 31.

The annual conference, sponsored by the Nassau County Commission on Human Rights, is held “to encourage mutual understanding and respect among all groups in the county and to explore ways to eliminate prejudice, intolerance, bigotry and discrimination.”

Seniors from Mepham, Kennedy, Calhoun High Schools and the district’s Meadowbrook Alternative Program, all participated in workshops relating to immigrant youths, the LGBTQ community, gang awareness and more.

Calhoun Leadership Class Takes to the Streets

Calhoun Leadership Class Takes to the Streets photo
Calhoun Leadership Class Takes to the Streets photo 2

On Jan. 15, Brian Joyce’s leadership class at Calhoun High School was spotted cleaning trash near Dunkin Donuts on Webster Street. A community member shared her appreciation with Principal Nicole Hollings.

“The amount of enthusiasm displayed by these young adults was inspirational and much appreciated by the residents,” the note read. “It’s wonderful to realize that there are responsible and caring students.”

The students were surprised that the simple act of picking up trash could have such an effect on people. 

“People came out to thank us for what we were doing,” sophomore Maura Walters said. “It is amazing how something so simple can make such a difference for people and the community.” 

In her weekly email sent on Jan. 18, Principal Hollings shared with parents her pride for the students who choose to do good and kind things for others.

“In the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr., let us all look for ways to do good, be kind, shed light on injustice and be better people,” she said.

Calhoun Students Participate in Holocaust Remembrance Day

Calhoun Students Participate in Holocaust Remembrance Day photo
Social Studies teacher Dr. David Goldberg escorted a small group of students from Calhoun High School to participate in International Holocaust Remembrance Day at the United Nations on Jan. 28.  

This year’s theme was “Holocaust Remembrance: Demand and Defend Your Human Rights.”

Mepham Track Coach Trains for 2022 Winter Olympics

Mepham Track Coach Trains for 2022 Winter Olympics photo
Mepham Track Coach Trains for 2022 Winter Olympics photo 2
Mepham Track Coach Trains for 2022 Winter Olympics photo 3
Mepham Track Coach Trains for 2022 Winter Olympics photo 4

In July 2018, Mepham High School track coach Erin Rodin took a trip and a chance at a combine competition in Lake Placid, putting her running stamina and strength to the test on the bobsled course.

Her hard work earned Rodin a chance to train alongside 11 other women for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China. 

Her previous career as a collegiate and high school sprinter made Rodin an “ideal candidate” for the team. Rodin applies a specific training set forth by the U.S. team’s coach on a daily basis — all while living with Lyme disease.

“Sometimes my joints are so stiff that we have to improvise the training in order to work the same muscle groups, but skipping training isn’t an option,” she said.

Additionally, the women travel to Lake Placid on select weekends to practice together.

While considered by the coach to be “a stand out in strength and running,” all 12 women are vying for a spot on the four-person bobsled team in the 2022 worldwide competition. Even the team members who earned a silver medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

“We are told by coach that we are not heading to the Olympics until we are on that plane to China,” Rodin said, noting she is determined to earn herself a spot.

In her fourth year as coach for the Mepham track and field team, Rodin led the pack to their first Penn Relay in years.

“Several student athletes also saw outstanding personal records,” added Rodin, who is also a permanent substitute teacher at Grand Avenue Middle School. “It’s important to focus on the strengths of individual athletes in order to be successful as a teammate.”

A mantra she will put to good use in her bobsled training as well.


Middle School Students win Buildings’ Scripps Spelling Bees

Middle School Students win Buildings’ Scripps Spelling Bees photo

Students at Grand Avenue and Merrick Avenue middle schools in the Bellmore-Merrick Central School Districts participated in their buildings’ Scripps Spelling Bee competitions on Jan. 9.

At Grand Avenue, Samantha Nadler of Dawn Silvestri’s eighth-grade class captured second place, while Nick DiResta of Kevin Nolan’s eighth-grade class won first place.  

DiResta became the champion by spelling the word, “libertarian” correctly. 

At Merrick Avenue, seventh-grader Jay Sarju from Michael Dlugozima’s class won second place, while Noah Gonzales from Audrey Drakos’ seventh-grade class captured first place.

Gonzalez was named the winner after he spelled the word, “duarchy” correctly.

DiResta and Gonzales will move on by taking an online assessment which could qualify them for the regional competition.  


Ryan Kelman Advances in Geography Bee

Ryan Kelman Advances in Geography Bee
Two students from Merrick Avenue Middle School were named National Geography Bee finalists at the building level. 

Ryan Kelman and Jacob Franklin competed in the school level bee on Jan. 4, which was the first round in the 30th annual National Geographic Bee. 

Kelman, the first-place winner, will complete an online test to see if he can compete in the New York State Bee in Albany.

Three Kennedy Seniors Named Regeneron Talent Search Scholars

Three Kennedy Seniors Named Regeneron Talent Search Semifinalists photo

Three Kennedy High School seniors have been recognized as 2019 Regeneron Science Talent Search Scholars on Jan. 9.

Recognition as Regeneron STS Scholars places them among the top 300 brightest young scientists in the nation.

“Their projects are the culmination of three years of independent graduate-level scientific research completed under the mentorship of scientist in a field of study which they are passionate about,” explained Science Chair Robert Soel.

Jake Levine’s research project is entitled, Fasciclin 2 Expression is Positively Correlated with Gut Function Under Nutrient-Poor Conditions in Drosophila melanogaster. Jonathan Mashal’s research project is entitled Bay Scallop and Eastern Oyster Survival Within Crepidula fornicata Shell Beds in the Peconic Bays, New York. 

Both Levine and Mashal completed their research at LIU Post. Whitney Sussman’s research work was completed at NYU Winthrop and is entitled, The Role of Clock Genes and Hormones in Small Intestinal Glucose Uptake.

They are all seniors in Barbi Frank’s Advanced Science Research class, a three-year program, at Kennedy High School. Research teachers Barbara Franklin and Orquidea Afonso, as well as Soel, also assisted students with support throughout the program.

The Regeneron STS is the nation's most prestigious pre-college science competition. Each scholar, selected from 1,818 entrants, receives a $2,000 award with an additional $2,000 going to his or her respective school. The 40 finalists chosen to compete in Washington, D.C. in March will be announced in late January.

“We congratulate them on this outstanding accomplishment and wish them best of luck in the next phase of the competition,” added Soel.

Kennedy’s CyberPatriot Team Competes at State Level

Kennedy’s CyberPatriot Team Competes at State Level photo
Kennedy’s CyberPatriot Team Competes at State Level photo 2
A team of six Kennedy High School students in the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District formed this fall a CyberPatriot Team.  

“Our team has competed in the two qualifying rounds of the US Air Force Association’s National Youth Cyber Defense Competition and achieved amazing results scoring among the top 18 percent of national teams and placing fifth among the NY State Open Division teams,” explained Science/STEM Chair Robert Soel. 

These outstanding results have earned them the honor of competing in the Platinum Tier of the State Round on Jan. 11 for a chance to enter the semifinals. The team includes Johnathon Ivers, Tyler Kealy, Chris Pranito, Jack Racer, Aiden Walden and Jared Weinstein. 

Weinstein, who is self-taught in high levels of cybersecurity, researched the competition and quickly helped Soel form a team to commence training.

“The team has met weekly during the fall semester to independently study and teach one and another via online learning programs and the Cisco Networking Academy,” added Soel.

They will continue to work together; training to build proficiency in the security details of Server 2016, Windows 10 and Linux Ubuntu 16 networks to prepare for the state round next month. 

“These kids are the next generation of cybersecurity specialists who are going to safeguard our computer systems at home, work and across the nation,” added Soel.

CyberPatriot, the Air Force Association’s National Youth Cyber Education Program, was created to motivate students toward careers in cybersecurity and other science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines.

Four English Teachers Achieve National Board Certification

									 Three English Teachers Achieve National Board Certification photo
									 Three English Teachers Achieve National Board Certification photo 2
									 Three English Teachers Achieve National Board Certification photo 3
									 Three English Teachers Achieve National Board Certification photo 4
Four English teachers in the Central High School District recently earned National Board certification. 

They include Jessica Metkiff and Christy Rochford, English teachers at Kennedy High School, and Linu Chacko and William Morris, both English teachers at Mepham High School.

“During the process of earning National Board certification, Jessica examined both the ways in which she presents information and the ways in which her students illustrate their growth,” explained English chair Adeline Atkins. “Collaboration with other teachers prompted Jessica to support her traditional whole-class novel approach with that of a Book Club.”

This balanced approach to literary instruction challenges students to access their previous learning about detail selection, author’s purpose, and the writing process and to combine them with the expectations from their Socratic Seminars in order to produce both individual and collaborative work. 

“The Book Clubs allow for enhanced student interest as well as academically-driven activities that supported the traditional skills of the English classroom while providing students another opportunity to grow their love of reading,” added Atkins.

Rochford, who earned her certification last year, continually seeks ways to improve instruction. She also now serves as a National Board Certification trailblazer leading the current Bellmore-Merrick cohort.

“Ms. Chacko’s and Mr. Morris’s candidacy, which took approximately 24 months to complete, involved a number of assessments on teachers’ content knowledge, differentiation in instruction, teaching practice and learning environment, and effective and reflective practice,” explained Mary Donnelly, an English chair. “Sixty percent of their total score came from the creation of an extensive teaching portfolio that must include descriptive aspects of lessons or assignments, new and original analyses and reflections on teaching practice, samples of student work, and classroom videos.”

The National Board was created by teachers and represents a consensus among educators about what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do. The certification process requires that teachers demonstrate standards-based evidence of the positive effect they have on student learning. 

High Schools Announce Poetry Out Loud winners

High Schools Announce Poetry Out Loud winners
High Schools Announce Poetry Out Loud winners
High Schools Announce Poetry Out Loud winners
High Schools Announce Poetry Out Loud winners
Poetry Out Loud competitions were held at the high school level in mid-December in the Central High School District. 

“After each performer had his or her chance to recite a selected poem, judges' scores were tallied by a panel of English teachers,” explained Mary Donnelly, English chairperson.

At Calhoun High School, winners were freshman Anneliese Marmol (first place) and sophomore Reza Aziz (second place). 

“It was one of the best competitions we have ever had, and all participants performed well,” said Kim Serpe, English chairperson.

At Mepham High School, junior Candace Casimir (first place) and sophomore Eimaan Khan (second place) were winners. At Kennedy High School, winners were senior Jennifer Avezov (first place) sophomore Gabriella Onesto (second place).

Winners move on to the regional competition on Feb. 8 at Nassau Community College.

Cooking Club

Introducing one of Grand Avenue's hottest new clubs.....the Cooking Club. This club has students waiting in line to get through the door! Attached are some pictures from Cooking Club's latest recipe, Fettucini Alfredo.

Mepham Students Meet Veteran They Helped Sponsor

Mepham Students Meet Veteran They Helped Sponsor photo

After months of fundraising for the veteran organization Building Homes for Heroes, seniors involved in the Mepham High School’s service learning project were able to meet the individual at the receiving end.

Retired U.S. Navy Petty Officer Ryan Shannon was injured while serving in the military and later eligible to receive a mortgage-free home in Illinois. Through various fundraising events and the installation of a Flag Field of Honor, the Mepham High School community has raised more than $20,000 for the nonprofit organization benefiting veterans.

“The kids have embraced this project from the beginning and were so excited to meet Ryan,” explained social studies teacher Kerry Dennis.

After turning the key on his family’s new home in late November, Shannon traveled to New York to visit with the Mepham community on Dec. 19. 

“To see this outpouring from people I don’t know, now I do know, is amazing and I can’t thank you all enough,” Shannon said. 

It was a morning of pomp and circumstance as the Mepham foyer was transformed with patriotic balloon arches and the cafeteria a welcome brigade. The vocal group, MephAcapella, led by music teacher Christina Dimitriou, offered the gift of a capella song.

“For the rest of the day Ryan spent the day in our Participation in Government classes, Senior Experience and School and Community Leadership classes meeting with the kids and sharing his story,” Dennis further explained.

Shannon shared a message woven with notes of integrity, courage, resilience and hope.

“Today’s experience was so compelling because not only did the students get to ‘put a face with the name’ for their senior service learning project, they were able to understand the impact they have made on Ryan’s life, and to hear his captivating story firsthand,” said Robyn Einbinder, district social studies chairperson. “His message really resonated with the seniors.”

As the welcome breakfast came to a close and Shannon was gifted with Pirate gift baskets, gear and even a flag, Mepham Principal Eric Gomez prompted the crowd of seniors, saying “seniors, what do we say; Once a Pirate?” to which they exclaimed, “Always a Pirate.”

Bellmore-Merrick's Community Cupboard

Please see attached informational flyer


Points of Pride

POP image
The district's Points of Pride highlights various achievements and accomplishments in the areas of academics, arts, athletics and altruism. A celebration of student and staff successes, these monthly bulletins are also available at board of education meetings. 

Click here to read the Points of Pride.