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Board Honors Kennedy Boys Volleyball Named LI Champs

Board Honors Kennedy Boys Volleyball Named LI Champs photo
The Kennedy High School boys volleyball team had an exceptional 2017 season and their commitment and accomplishments were recognized at the Dec. 6 board of education meeting. 

The team completed a 14-3 regular season record showing tremendous growth and development. When the post season came around, the Cougars kicked things into overdrive sweeping all three teams in the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals to become Nassau County Champs. In the Long Island Championships, Kennedy defeated Suffolk champion, Hauppauge, in four sets vaulting them into the New York state championship tournament.

At the New York State tournament, the Cougars played at an incredibly high level against the top teams in the state. After splitting sets with both Burnt Hills and Eden, all three teams were tied at 2-2. The Cougars advanced after an emotional tiebreaker and headed to the final match. The Cougars then took a 2-1 set advantage before ultimately losing in five tough sets. They ended their season second place in New York State.

“This year’s team added to the program accomplishments,” said coach Dennis Ringel. “This was Kennedy’s eighth Nassau County Championship in the past 10 years, their third Long Island Championship and their third time as New York State finalists, winning the state title in 2012.”

But perhaps most importantly, this year the team was awarded the New York State Tournament Sportsmanship Award.

There were many individual accomplishments. Jordan Kappel, Mitch Mass and Justin Steinberg were named All-Division. Cooper Moran, Tyler Anderson, Steven Carlson, Andrew Celauro and Josh Kaplan were named All-County. Additionally, Moran, Carlson and Anderson were named First Team All-County tournament. Kaplan was named to the All-County tournament honorable mention team and Anderson was also named Nassau County Most Valuable Player. Kaplan and Anderson were also designated as All-New York State selections, and are awaiting Newsday’s selections for All-Long Island teams.

“In keeping with the district theme of kindness and caring, senior and Kennedy salutatorian Dylan Judd was given a Coach’s Award and the ‘Good Sport’ Award at the New York State Tournament. Senior Austin Weiner was recognized at the Nassau Volleyball Awards Night as a recipient of the Unsung Hero Award,” added Board President Dr. Nancy Kaplan. “Both teammates consistently show the type of character we want to see in all of our student athletes.”



Referendum Passed - Sale of Jerusalem Avenue School to Nassau BOCES

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Dear Bellmore-Merrick Community,

We are very pleased to share that the Jerusalem Avenue School referendum passed 73% (759 votes) to 27% (278 votes).
 
Thank you to all who came out to vote!
 

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Mepham Classes Battle for Charity

Mepham Classes Battle for Charity photo

On Nov. 8, the students and faculty of Mepham High School in the Bellmore-Merrick Central School District came together for the 8th Battle of the Classes: Battle for a Cause to raise money for the Senior Service Learning Project's partnership with Boots on the Ground NY. 

More than 700 students participated in the event held in the gym at the Brookside School. Leading up to the event, students participated in a series of fundraising efforts including, a Penny Wars competition, generating over $1,100, American Pride Day and Class Color Day. 

“The night of the event, the students competed against each other and the faculty team in a variety of relay races, the famous ‘Pirate Relay’ and a dance competition,” said social studies teacher and organizer Kerry Dennis. 

The night's emcee was special education teacher, Anthony Augugliaro and the festivities were covered live by the Bellmore-Merrick Broadcasting Program.  
The Class of 2018 dominated the pre-events and the night's relays, earning the title of champions. 

“The spirit and enthusiasm in the gym that night represent the incredible school spirit possessed by the Mepham community as well as the continued desire to give back to charitable organizations like Boots on the Ground NY,” said social studies teacher and organizer Chris Patten.

Combined with their efforts for the Flag Field of Honor, currently on display at Mepham, the students in Participation in Government, under the direction of Patten and Dennis, have raised more than $10,000 for Boots on the Ground NY.



Middle School Ambassadors Share Mission With Elementary Schools

Middle School Ambassadors Share Mission With Elementary Schools photo
Middle School Ambassadors Share Mission With Elementary Schools photo 2
Student ambassadors from Merrick Avenue and Grand Avenue middle schools recently collaborated on a presentation for the elementary school students in Merrick, North Merrick, Bellmore and North Bellmore. 

Students spoke about the district’s community cupboard and encouraged the elementary schools to come up with ways that they could be part of the mission to end hunger. 

“Students shared their roles as ambassadors, the work that they do in their individual school and districtwide, facts about poverty as well as what our current cupboard needs and is doing,” said Grand Avenue Assistant Principal Andrew Del Rosario.

“The most exciting part of the presentation came when the ambassadors turned it over to the elementary school students and opened up the floor for questions and discussion to brainstorm ways that they can help and participate,” added Merrick Avenue Assistant Principal Katelyn Dunn.

The elementary schools were very receptive and the students were excited to be part of the mission.



SEPTA Transition Fair 2017

Choral Groups Perform at District Vocal Showcase

Choral Groups Perform at District Vocal Showcase photo

The notes were high and spirits were bright as the five premiere choral groups from within the district performed in the vocal music showcase on Nov. 29.

Included in the performance were the Kennedy High School Variety Choir, Merrick Avenue Middle School’s Word of Mouth, Grand Avenue Middle School’s Grand Voices,. Mepham High School’s Pirate Radio and Calhoun High School’s Crescendo. 

The evening concluded with a combined finale, in which students from the elementary component districts were invited to sing with the upperclassmen.

“Events like this truly reflect the ‘One Voice, One Message’ theme that resonates throughout our district,” said Cheryl Fontana, district director of the fine & performing arts.

Donations were collected at the door to the Calhoun High School auditorium for the district’s food pantry, the Community Cupboard.    



Science Research Students Attend Retreat

Science Research Students Attend Retreat photo

On Nov. 19, sophomores in the district’s Advanced Science Research program traveled to LIU Post, to attend a retreat that was designed exclusively for them.

“Throughout the day, students were hosted by professors of biology, biomedical science, chemistry, heath science, psychology and forensic science who engaged them with hands-on laboratory activities and discussions about science research,” said Robert Soel, science chairperson.

The students also met with LIU students who spoke about their projects and research experiences in the LIU honors college. 

“An exciting part of the day was the opportunity to work collectively with ASR sophomores from each of the schools,” said Patrick Mannion, a science chairperson. “It was a very inspiring experience and a great chance to learn directly from local research scientists.”






Bellmore-Merrick Fills Thanksgiving Dinner Baskets for Local Families in Need

Bellmore-Merrick Fills Thanksgiving Dinner Baskets for Local Families in Need photo

To expand the mission of the district’s Community Cupboard, they paired with the community to fill Thanksgiving baskets for the local families who utilize the food pantry.

“With the One Voice, One Message theme, we realized that we wanted to centralize the effort,” said Catrina Christensen, coordinator of the district’s after-school Twilight Program and Community Cupboard organizer. “There was a greater need this year than in years past. All of the students came together and we were able to help create Thanksgiving baskets and bags for approximately 100 families. We were fortunate to have all the schools collect goods for the baskets in such a short time.”

Everyone pitched in for a districtwide effort. Custodians retrieved goods from each school and delivered them to the central administration building. An assembly line commenced on Nov. 20, with students making baskets and bags.  

Additionally, the students from Mepham’s Leo Club and MAP’s Key Club baked approximately 100 pumpkin pies.

“We received many generous donations, including one individual that gave us enough to provide every family with a gift certificate to purchase a turkey and another that gave actual turkeys,” said Meadowbrook Alternative Program nurse and Community Cupboard organizer Darlene Boden.

On Nov. 21, local families picked up the baskets. Deputy Superintendent Dr. Bollettieri and MAP Principal Susan Ellinghaus volunteered to assist with the distribution.

“I cannot believe how blessed I am to work in a district such as ours,” said Ellinghaus. “We do not give lip service. In Bellmore-Merrick we truly walk the walk. We take care of our own.”




Save the Date - January 10, 2018 The Impact of Addiction

 

 

 

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Community Cupboard

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High School Leadership Students Collaborate on Community Service

High School Leadership Students Collaborate on Community Service photo
On Nov. 14, students from all four high schools in the district came together at Mepham High School for a Breakout EDU activity where they worked together to “breakout of their rooms.”  

The School and Community Leadership students from Brian Joyce’s class at Calhoun, Kara McManus’ class at Kennedy, Zachary Gosse’s class at the Meadowbrook Alternative Program and Jacqueline Geller’s class at Mepham participated in the Breakout EDU platform which fosters critical thinking, collaboration, creative and communication.

All four groups of students joined together again on Nov. 21 at the Veterans Stand Down at the Freeport Armory, where they helped disabled veterans get goods and services they need.
 

GAMS Gym Classes Raise $6K for Heart Disease

Grand Avenue Middle School physical education classes recently completed a jump-rope-a-thon raising $6,426.50 for the American Heart Association.

The Jump Rope for Heart program is a two-week unit in physical education class in which students participate in a variety of jumping activities. 

During this time students volunteer to collect money from friends and family. 
“Students learn the lifelong benefits of cardiovascular exercise and how it leads to a healthy heart,” said Donna Greco, a physical education teacher.

Project coordinators George Bossert, Donna Greco and Carrie Perkins would like to thank the students and community for their tremendous support. 

Top fundraisers were Ian Peckman, Riley Peckman, Lena Roseman, Jared Levine, Nick Salas, Ted Piccininni, Massimo Marino, Lauren Duany, Casey Cascio, Hannah Broxmeyer, Max Hahn, Skylar Ward and Jonathan Kokura.

Grand Avenue Art Club Brightens Up Donation Bags

Grand Avenue Art Club Brightens Up Donation Bags photo

The Art Club at Grand Avenue Middle School has been decorating Thanksgiving bags for local families in need.

On Nov. 17, the students broke out used various art mediums to colorfully create a gift bag.

“Grand Avenue supplies families in need with Thanksgiving meals every year, and this is an artistic touch to help put a smile on families’ faces,” said teacher Nick Giordano. “It also fosters individual creativity during our club time.”

Boys Varsity Volleyball

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Congratulations to Coach Dennis Ringel and the Kennedy Boys Varsity Volleyball team on finishing as Runner-Up at the New York State Public High School Volleyball Championships.

Merrick Avenue Hits Sweet Spot With Candy Donations For Troops

Merrick Avenue Hits Sweet Spot With Candy Donations For Troops photo
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Merrick Avenue Hits Sweet Spot With Candy Donations For Troops photo 4
In less than one week’s time, Merrick Avenue Middle School collected enough Halloween candy to fill an SUV.

The school’s Student Council members, along with advisers Joseph Amador and Lucrezia Colangelo, organized and packaged the loot for delivery to Dr. David Gottesfeld’s dental office in Merrick. The donated candy will be sent to U.S. Army troops serving overseas.

“The Merrick Avenue Student Council was the club instrumental in organizing the effort,” said Amador.



Kennedy Science Classes Beta Test New Google App

Kennedy Science Classes Beta Test New Google App photo

On Nov. 9, 15 science classes at Kennedy High School participated in beta testing of a new augmented reality learning app with the Google Expeditions AR Pioneer Program.

A Google representative trained the teachers to use a collection of linked smartphones, which students then held around the room to view virtual objects “floating” in the classroom space.  

The students observed virtual DNA molecules, planets, stars, landforms, storms and human anatomical structures.   

“The problem with using a virtual reality headset is that the kids are in their own worlds,” said science and STEAM Chairperson Rob Soel. “With this device, it fosters collaborative learning and students can network with each other.” 

By integrating virtual objects with their lessons, the participating teachers were able to enrich lessons and guide students to explore otherwise unseen objects within a class period. 

At the end of the lessons, students and teachers provided valuable feedback to the Google representative who will pass along their opinions and ideas to the Expeditions AR development team. 

“Our science teachers are always looking for new strategies to engage classes and enrich their students’ exploration of the natural world,” added Soel. “Field testing the new Google Expeditions augmented reality app enabled leaning to extend beyond the walls of the classroom. This was another wonderful opportunity for Bellmore-Merrick to be on the cutting edge of employing new and innovative instructional technology.”




Kennedy Boys Volleyball Named Long Island Champs

Kennedy Boys Volleyball Named Long Island Champs photo
Kennedy Boys Volleyball Named Long Island Champs photo 2
It’s thrice as nice for this squad. Kennedy boys varsity volleyball team defeated Hauppauge High School on Nov. 11, clinching the Long Island Class B title.

“This is really an exceptional group of student athletes,” said coach Dennis Ringel. “They are senior-led, have great depth and truly love to play the sport.”

They defeated Bethpage High School in straight sets on Nov. 9 to secure the 2017 Nassau County Volleyball Championship. This is Kennedy’s third straight Nassau County Championship and their eighth in 10 years.

They move onto the New York State Championship, which will be held Nov. 18.

Middle Schools Celebrate National French Week

Middle Schools Celebrate National French Week photo
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Middle Schools Celebrate National French Week photo 3
Middle Schools Celebrate National French Week photo 4
Students enrolled in French classes at Grand Avenue and Merrick Avenue Middle Schools recognized National French Week through a series of activities designed to promote the French language and culture.

Students from Richard Zawislak’s and Denise Schleith’s eighth-grade classes participated in a French competition. Teams France, Belgium, Canada and Haiti competed to show off their French knowledge.

Grand Avenue teacher Meredith Levine and Merrick Avenue teachers Lauren Cress and Jennifer Verwys served as this year’s scorekeepers and judges. 

“Over the week, students took part in the morning announcements by sharing a French Word of the Day, Fact of the Day, and Question of the Day,” said World Languages Chairperson Renée Fallon.



Orchestras Play Concert Alongside Famous Composer

Orchestras Play Concert Alongside Famous Composer photo

Orchestra members from the Central High School District had the unique opportunity to study and play alongside Emmy award-winning composer Mark Wood on Nov. 6.

Wood, who is of the multiplatinum selling Trans-Siberian Orchestra and creator of the revolutionary Viper electric violin, brought his groundbreaking music education program Electrify Your Strings! to the students in a one-day workshop. 
He focused on teaching improvisation, composition, and personal expression on their violins, violas, cellos and basses.

Students from Merrick Avenue and Grand Avenue middle schools, Mepham, Kennedy and Calhoun high schools then performed in a live concert alongside Wood later that same evening at the Brookside building.

“This event marks the first time in our district that all orchestra students in grades 7-12 came together in performance; all while raising money for our Community Cupboard,” said District Director of Fine & Performing Arts Cheryl Fontana. “It is our ‘One Voice, One Message’ initiative at its finest.”

The concert was open to the public and raised more than $1,100 for the district’s food pantry. 

 




Mepham Key Club Dedicates 9/11 Plaque

Mepham Key Club Dedicates 9/11 Plaque photo

Mepham High School unveiled a plaque that honors the Sept. 11 first responders on Nov. 3. Spearheaded by the school’s Key Club, the plaque is at the base of the flagpole near the Camp Avenue entrance and holds a special meaning in the community.

Bellmore Kiwanis adviser and community member John Scalesi approached the Key Club members last year requesting if they would be interested in fundraising for a plaque remembering the first responders of 9/11.

“Between our relationship with the Kiwanis and our mission to encourage strong community values in the Key Club, this was an ideal project for us to partake in,” said Key Club adviser and school social worker Theana Cheliotes.

Many of the club’s members took an interest in fundraising and student Kayleigh Specht took a lead role in procuring the plaque.

“I was happy to conduct this presentation and share in the honor,” said Cheliotes. “It was to help guide our students to do such a nice thing.” 

The color guard of the Nassau County Police Department presented flags to a crowd that included local elected officials and Mary Ann Rand of Bellmore, who lost her son, Adam Rand, on 9/11. During the ceremony, North Bellmore Fire Commissioner Edward Kraus addressed the crowd. He also presented Principal Eric Gomez with a piece of steel from the World Trade Center site. 




Mepham Installs Flag Field of Honor

Mepham Installs Flag Field of Honor photo

Seniors in Mepham High School’s Participation in Government and Senior Experience class set up the school’s third Flag Field of Honor as part of their Senior Service Learning Project on Nov. 5.

Students, along with teachers, administrators, Superintendent of Schools John DeTommaso and board of education trustee Steve Enella, all pitched in on the rainy morning to dig holes, unbox flags and dot the lawn in red, white and blue.

“The field of honor is set up each year to pay tribute to America's service men and women, veterans, 9/11 first responders and victims,” said teacher and coordinator Kerry Dennis.

This year, 303 American and military branch flags were sold. 
“All proceeds from this year's Flag Field of Honor will benefit Boots on the Ground New York, a local organization dedicated to helping America's veterans and current service men and women,” added teacher and coordinator Chris Patten.

The flags will be on display along the Camp Avenue side of the school until Dec. 9.




District Celebrates Board During Recognition Month

District Celebrates Board During Recognition Month photo

The Board of Education was treated to praise and presents at the Nov. 1 meeting as the district celebrated School Board Recognition Month.

Grand Voice, led by director Amanda Cantwell, sang “Give Us Hope” before Calhoun High School art teacher Heather Lohr and her students presented sections of a collaborative painting project to each member. On the back of each piece of artwork was a kindness challenge that each board member was inspired to fulfill a specific act of kindness. 

Some Merrick Avenue Middle School art students offered painted rocks with messages of kindness on them. 

“These gifts all go along perfectly with this year’s theme of teaching with kindness and caring,” said Superintendent John DeTommaso.




MAMS Teachers Get in Halloween Spirit

MAMS Teachers Get in Halloween Spirit photo
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Teachers from various teams at Merrick Avenue Middle School got together to dress up for Halloween in festive group costumes. 

Team 5 teachers dressed up as M&Ms; Deanne Junior, Michael Hagens, Allison Roumbos, Jennifer Verwys, Matthew Chicco and Mary-Kate Michels. Team 1 were FBI Agents; Anna Aprilakis, Christine Mahoney, Christina Corwin, Catherine Grover, Timothy Conway, Daniel Catapano and Michael D’Lugozima.

Mepham Students Uncover the Past

Mepham Students Uncover the Past photo
Seniors in Kerry Dennis’ Gilder Lehrman research class, Uncovering the Past, spent Nov. 3 listening to the stories of Mepham High School alumni.

Guests included Maggie Hennessey, Class of 1945; Roy Probeyahn, Class of 1956; Dr. David Krinsky, Class of 1967; Karen Ponton, Class of 1983; Mepham librarian Shari Stack, Class of 1998 and Mepham special education teacher Anthony Augugliaro, Class of 2009. 

“The meet and greet is the final component of The Mepham Project, which provides students the opportunity to study the rich history of Mepham,” Dennis said. “Their stories were recorded and will join the collection that began when the project was first introduced in the fall of 2009.”

MAP Heads to the MET

MAP Heads to the MET photo
MAP Heads to the MET photo 2
On Oct. 27, students from the Meadowbrook Alternative Program’s AP Euro and AP Literature classes went to the Met Cloisters at The Metropolitan Museum of Art to experience a taste of Medieval Europe firsthand. 

The tour guide introduced students to the famous Unicorn Tapestries, the Gothic Chapel, the Herb Garden (where students were allowed to taste samples), and the various cloisters situated around the museum. 

Staff members Tiffany Rzempoluch, Lisa Patwell and Laura Sheridan then sent them on a scavenger hunt to find and analyze certain objects of historical value, covering areas such as art, church life and education.
 

Fancy Footwork at Kennedy fundraiser

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Students at Kennedy High School  were ready to dance on Oct. 30 as the Culture Club and Key Club jointly hosted a Zumba fundraiser for hurricane victims in Puerto Rico.

More than 200 students shook and shimmied to instructor-led Zumba music. They also learned some salsa and bachata dance moves at the event that featured students wearing “Baila Con Puerto Rico” (Dance with Puerto Rico) T-shirts. 

Students from the school’s C.H.A.M.P. (Culinary and Hospitality Applied Management Program) and Culture Club prepared and sold authentic Hispanic fare at the fundraiser. Other groups donated water and Gatorade. Jessica Chilton, the Kennedy Key Club adviser, assisted with Zumba moves.

“We wanted to help Puerto Rico after the aftermath of Hurricane Maria,” said Franca Fiorentino, Culture Club adviser. 

The event, along with a bake sale hosted by Kristy Faulkner’s AP Macro class, raised more than $3,200 for the Hispanic Federation.




Grand Avenue Teacher Named Art Educator of the Year

Grand Avenue Teacher Named Art Educator of the Year photo
Barbara Hirten, an art teacher at Grand Avenue Middle School, was recently named 2017 Art Educator of the Year from Region 9.

Each spring, the New York State Art Teachers Association selects one art educator from each of its nine regions to be honored at their annual conference. 

“She is a mentor and role model for her colleagues and is always quick to come up with ideas for new and exciting ways to get students thinking creatively to produce amazing artwork,” said Board Vice President Nina Lanci at the Nov. 1 meeting where Hirten was recognized.  “A strong proponent of the art program in her school and district, Ms. Hirten finds the potential in all students, encouraging a love for the type of individualized expression only an art class can provide.”

Hirten, a 31-year educator in the district, also serves as Grand Avenue’s Kickline coach, supervises the Art and Book Clubs and serves as a judge for the Cultural Arts Awards.  She is also an active member of NYSATA Region 9 - Nassau County. She is an executive board member, corresponding secretary and publicity chair for the Arts Supervisors Association of Nassau County, and she participates in many Nassau County and NYSATA exhibits.  

Bellmore-Merrick CHSD English Teachers Honored as Educators of Excellence

Bellmore-Merrick CHSD English Teachers Honored as Educators of Excellence photo
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Merrick Avenue Middle School English teacher Michael Dlugozima and Mepham High School English teacher Erica Wagner have been recognized as New York State English Council Educators of Excellence.

“Mr. Dlugozima has taught seventh- and eighth-grade English honors, regulars, and collaborative classes for 29 years in the Central High School District,” said Board Member Wendy Garguilo as she recognized him at the Nov. 1 meeting. “He is a pioneer of 21st-centruy teaching and learning and is always the first to experiment with and implement new strategies, techniques and technologies in the classroom. He is known for teaching in a virtually paperless environment and often engages his students in lessons by flipping his classroom, utilizing Google Apps, and maintaining an interactive teacher website and blog. He is the driving force behind the creation of the new inquiry-based research class titled “RISE” (Research-Based Independent Student Centered Explorations).”

Dlugozima has also been instrumental in mapping out the Humanities curriculum, in which the English and social studies teacher periodically co-teach and make cross-curricular connections between the two disciplines. 

As internship coordinator for Mepham’s Senior Experience Program, a responsibility she assumed in 2016, Ms. Wagner worked to establish Mepham’s first ever Senior Experience Internship Fair which gave students an opportunity to practice their networking and interviewing skills with professions in their field of interest. 

“In the 15 years that Mrs. Wagner has been a member of the Mepham High School family, she has become a truly ubiquitous presence in the school,” said Board Vice President Nina Lanci. “As a teacher of 11th-grade English and College Public Speaking, Ms. Wagner works closely with students to help them establish their voice as writers and speakers.” 

Each year the council recognizes excellence in teaching by presenting awards to deserving educators who have been nominated by their schools with letters of recommendation from their colleagues and former students and then selected by the council.

 

Calhoun’s Breakfast Club Hosts Halloween Bash

Calhoun’s Breakfast Club Hosts Halloween Bash photo
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Calhoun High School Breakfast Club’s Halloween Bash on Oct. 30 was a monster smash. 

This Breakfast Club mentors students from the district’s Prep for Life program and participates in fun, exciting activities each Monday. 

“At the Halloween party, students painted pumpkins, which were then submitted to the school’s literary pumpkin contest in the library,” said club advisor and teacher Wendy Simpson. “Students also competed in a mummy wrapping. Students were wrapped in toilet paper to look like a mummy.”

Senior board advisers Lily Salmeron and Emily Haldas, who have been a part of this club for the past four years, said they were happy with the turnout.

“It's really great to see so many people come to hang out before and after school,” said Salmeron. 

“We always have such positive attitudes and that really makes the club special,” added Haldas.
 
This Halloween bash is one of the many events that the club plans to host this year.




Grand Avenue Hosts Halloween Costume Contest

Grand Avenue Middle School celebrated Halloween with their annual Costume Contest on Oct. 31.

Students display their school spirit by wearing costumes of all shapes, colors, and sizes. 

Wearing costumes ranging from homemade Taco Belle to creepy, zombie-like Worst Nightmares.  

Seventh grade winners were Lu Lu Bergman – Worst Nightmare, 
Gianna Bernadini – Crazy Cat Lady and Nicholas DeGregorio – Spagetti Head.

Eighth grader winners were  Brynn Kasper – Voodoo Doll, Nina Genzone – Taco Belle and Chris Tonico – Steve Urkel.

“Students at Grand did an outstanding job of displaying their imagination and school pride, and keeping everything appropriate for school,” said vice principal Andrew Del Rosario.




Grand Avenue Student Guess Candy Counts

Grand Avenue Student Guess Candy Counts photo
Grand Avenue Middle School in the Bellmore-Merrick High School District held its first Halloween Candy Guessing contest this year - and the students were up to the estimating challenge.

Students submitted their guestimates for the past two weeks to Assistant Principal James Mollica’s office, where he kept track of the lucky winners.  

Kate O’Halloran had a perfect guess with 901 M&Ms. Both Thomas Coyne and Alisha Marfani were off by only one Hershey Kiss, each guessing 105 and Olivia Holmes was off by only two candy corns with a guess of 640. 

The exact numbers for the candy jars are as follows 901 M&Ms, 642 Candy Corns and 104 Hershey Kisses. They had over 800 students and faculty submit guesses.  
 

Mepham Students Create ‘Day of the Dead’ Art

Mepham Students Create ‘Day of the Dead’ Art photo

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, students at Mepham High School were engaged in a cultural experience with a Day of the Dead activity on Oct. 23.

“They learned about the significance of this celebration in Mexican culture,” said world languages department chairperson Rosa Kaplan. “Students then had the opportunity to paint and take home canvases with sugar skulls, a traditional symbol of the Day of the Dead.”

Key to My Art studio in Amityville led the step-by-step art instruction and Spanish teacher, Danielle McNeil organized the event.

This event was offered by Mepham’s ELITE (Enriching Learners in Tomorrow's Education) after-school program, which is financially supported by the Mepham Alumni Association. The ELITE Program aims to engage and inspire students by providing after-school enrichment opportunities. 



Kennedy Treats Elementary Kids to Halloween Festival

Kennedy Treats Elementary Kids to Halloween Festival photo

Students at Kennedy High School treated children from the Reinhard Early Childhood Center to a Halloween festival on Oct. 25.

The halls were decked and the classrooms were transformed into crafting stations as visitors made their way around the building. In the C.H.A.M.P. kitchen, culinary arts students prepped cake pops for decorating and assisted with gooey icing and sprinkle accouterments. 

From spider crafts and pumpkin decorating to walking on a makeshift yellow brick road to Oz, the high schoolers were eager to please the little ones. 

 

Kennedy Cougars Roar Past Jericho at Homecoming

Kennedy Cougars Roar Past Jericho at Homecoming photo

The Kennedy High School Cougars clawed their way to a 35-6 victory at the Oct. 20 homecoming game against Jericho High School.

Attendees were treated to a festival ahead of the game that included foods, bouncy houses, games and more.

New this year was VIP seating in a comfy couch positioned on the track surrounding the football field. Each quarter, one lucky student plus three friends were able to enjoy an along-the-sidelines view of the game.

After the kickline and cheerleading squads performed at midfield, Chloe Demetriades and Matthew Baker were crowned homecoming queen and king, respectively. The band, led by Walter Avellaneda, played punchy tunes throughout the game to keep the crowd – and team – amped up.




Homerun Derby Helps Calhoun Student Fight Illness

Homerun Derby Helps Calhoun Student Fight Illness photo

Three high schools in the Central High School District as well as Levittown’s General Douglas MacArthur High School joined forces on Oct. 21 to host a baseball fundraiser for a student battling Hodgkin lymphoma.

As Steve “Bones” Kuzemchak, a student at Sanford H. Calhoun High School, continues to fight this illness, teammates and peers wanted to assist the family during their time of need. The teams jointly hosted a homerun derby, which was open to all to participate. Various batters knocked it out of the park in support of Kuzemchak’s fight.

More than $10,000 was donated to the family, including $5,000 already donated by the Smith Street Deli owners in Merrick.

High Schools Hold World Language Induction Ceremonies

High Schools Hold World Language Induction Ceremonies photo

The Departments of World Languages at Calhoun, Kennedy and Mepham High Schools held their annual honor society induction ceremonies on Oct. 17.

During the inductions, French, Italian, and Spanish students were honored for their excellence in their studies of a world language. 
The three high school ceremonies featured poetry and musical performances given by Kennedy’s Clyde Feldman, Melissa Mjehshtri, and George Milonas, Calhoun’s Annalisa Lovich, Lauren Ameruoso, Kyle Pilotti and Douglas Gallo, and Mepham students Anna Mouras, Yusuf Hasan, Gavin Dass, Olivia Larocchia and Anil Bradley.

Emcees were Amanda Schleider, Haden Levine and Kiley Coen from Kennedy, Calhoun and Mepham. 

Each induction also included a photo montage that showcased highlights from the students’ language studies. 

A special thank you is extended to Kennedy, Calhoun, and Mepham montage creators Kennedy student Shivani Sharma and teachers Nikole DeLuca and Jodi Langevin, as well as honor society advisors and induction planners Francesca Engelson, Paul Cirino, Nicolina Alfieri, Nikole DeLuca, Alexandra Kefaliakos, Cara Sycoff, Charlotte Hayes, Kristin Montuori and Dona Morales.







Rock Orchestra Experience Coming to Bellmore-Merrick

Rock Orchestra Experience Coming to Bellmore-Merrick photo

International recording artist and Emmy award-winning composer Mark Wood, an original member of the multiplatinum selling Trans-Siberian Orchestra and creator of the revolutionary Viper electric violin, is bringing his groundbreaking music education program Electrify Your Strings! to the Central High School District.

This event will transform student musicians into a full-fledged Rock Orchestra. Mark will be performing with the students on his handcrafted seven-string fretted electric Viper violin as part of the 2017-18 Electrify Your Strings! “No Limits Tour” on Nov. 6, at 7 p.m., at the Brookside Auditorium, located at 1260 Meadowbrook Road.

“We are so incredibly excited for our students to have this unique opportunity to work with music icon, Mark Wood,” District Director of Fine & Performing Arts, Cheryl Fontana said. “This event marks the first time in our district that all orchestra students, grades 7-12, will come together in performance all while raising money for our Community Cupboard; it is ‘One Voice, One Message’ at its finest!"

The program – now in its 18th year – is a music education experience like no other. Wood and his team work directly with a school’s orchestra director to tailor-design a rock orchestra makeover complete with a public performance at the end of the experience. EYS builds on the strong foundation in traditional music provided by music teachers, creating a partnership with educators that inspires students and boosts their self-esteem and motivation on and off stage. 

Mark Wood is the owner and operator of Wood Violins, the premier manufacturer of electric orchestra string instruments worldwide. He studied under Maestro Leonard Bernstein, is a Juilliard-trained violinist and Emmy-winning composer. 

To prepare for this concert, Mark will be teaching the students improvisation, composition, and personal expression on their violins, violas, cellos and basses. Utilizing Mark’s music arrangements that were sent to the district prior to this visit, Merrick Avenue and Grand Avenue middle schools with Wellington C. Mepham, John F. Kennedy, and Sanford H. Calhoun high schools will perform in a live concert alongside Mark Wood. The concert is open to the public with all profits going to the district’s Community Cupboard. There is a suggested donation of $5.

 

Colt Pride Shines Through Homecoming

Colt pride Shines Through Homecoming photo

Colt pride was soaring at the Oct. 13 homecoming festivities at Calhoun High School as the football team came out as victors against New Hyde Park High School.

During the weeklong festivities, the school’s hallways were decorated and students and staff alike donned the grey and blue school colors.

The community was treated to the annual ColtFest and pep rally before the big game, where each sport team was announced and took over the field for their entertaining choreography.

“The sports teams had great routines and I loved how each team supported the other,” said Principal Nicole Hollings. “ColtFest was filled with treats and activities leading up to an absolutely incredible performance. Ed Tumminelli and Eric Vivelo directed the instrumentalists in performing a rousing rendition of the ‘Game of Thrones’ theme and a Green Day song that was just incredible. The sound was thrilling and it set the stage for an outstanding pep rally.”

Gabe Wagner and Lauren Ameruoso, who according to Hollings, “epitomize the spirit of Calhoun,” were crowned homecoming king and queen, respectively.



Calhoun’s Courtney Lange Presents at Science symposium

Calhoun’s Courtney Lange Presents at Science symposium photo
Courtney Lange, a senior at Calhoun High School's Advanced Science Research program, was invited to present at the 2017 NYU Health Disparities Symposium, held on Oct. 12 at New York University.  

Lange was the only high school student invited. She assisted with the construction of the poster board and she presented her summer research titled “Designing an online intervention to promote awareness about obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) among blacks: The Tailored Approach to Sleep Health Education (TASHE) study.”  

Lange’s presentation received the Top Student Paper Award and her research is currently being submitted for publication.

The symposium program included a series of short, engaging talks on current health disparities research and programs. 

Two Students Accepted Into Gifted and Talented Program at SUNY Old Westbury

Two Students Accepted Into Gifted and Talented Program at SUNY Old Westbury
Andrew Brinton, a student at Kennedy High School and Michelle Serban, a student at Calhoun High School were recently accepted into the Institute of Creative Problem Solving for Gifted and Talented Students at SUNY College at Old Westbury.  

They are among the 87 students who will pursue the study of mathematics and its applications.

Brinton along with the other chosen students are selected for the institute’s three divisions by competing against approximately 600 of the top-ranking students nominated from school districts on Long Island. Selection by the institute implies that a student is among the top one-tenth of one percent in math of all students on Long Island in his or her grade.

Grand Avenue Yorker Club Visits Historic LI Farm

Grand Avenue Yorker Club Visits Historic LI Farm photo
Grand Avenue Yorker Club Visits Historic LI Farm photo 2

Members of the Grand Avenue Middle School Yorker Club recently embarked on their annual field trip to Wickham’s Farm in Cutchogue.

Students picked apples and pumpkins after touring the apple cider press and green houses. They learned about the history of one of the oldest farms on the island. 

“The Wickham family farm has been part of the Long Island landscape since the 1600s,” said social studies teacher and club adviser Dominik Bargiel. “This Colonial-era farm provides the students a unique perspective of the culture, landscape and agriculture of the east end of Long Island.”

 

Bellmore-Merrick’s One Voice, One Message Initiative Packages 20,000 Meals for the Hungry

Bellmore-Merrick’s One Voice, One Message Initiative Packages 20,000 Meals for the Hungry Photo

All hands were on deck at Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District on April 22 when 100 volunteers, including One Voice, One Message ambassadors, packaged 20,000 meals in coordination with Rise Against Hunger.

Teachers and chairpersons were hauling 50-pound bags of vegetables and grains. Students worked in an assembly line, funneling dehydrated meals and vitamins into bags. Principals acted as couriers from the assembly tables to packaging locations. Administrators were taping up boxes full of meals and stacking them for transport. The superintendent manned a push broom, cleaning up any food spillover.

“They [the ambassadors and the One Voice, One Message Committee] are the most incredible human beings with the largest hearts that serve as outstanding role models,” said Deputy Superintendent Dr. Mara Bollettieri, who is also the co-One Voice, One Message adviser.

Money raised at the March One Voice, One Message Superhero 5K Run paid for the meals.

Rise Against Hunger is an international hunger relief organization that distributes food to the world’s most vulnerable areas of the world.
“By sending the meals to schools abroad, the children will not only have a hot meal, but will receive an education as well,” added co-One Voice, One Message adviser and social studies chairperson Robyn Einbinder. “Students and staff alike were moved by the impact these meals will have, and thoroughly enjoyed working together throughout the morning.”


 

Community Cupboard

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Updates Inside

Capital Project Updates

The district will be placing new information in this section regarding the Capital Projects. Be on the lookout for information as it becomes available. See the links below for our latest updates.

8/14/17 Full Construction Update

7/14/17 Bond Phase 3 Update

10/24/16 Bond Phase 2 & 3 Update

9/6/16 Bond Phase 2 & 3 Update

8/8/16 Bond Phase 2 & 3 Update

7/27/16 Bond Phase 2 & 3 Update

7/15/16 Bond Update

7/6/16 Bond Update

July 2016 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

6/11/16 - Bond Phase 2 and 3 Update

April 2016 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

4/11/16 - Bond Phase 2 Update

March 2016 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

3/1/16 - Bond Phase 2 Update

February 2016 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

1/5/16 - Bond Phase 2 Update

12/15/15 - Bond Phase 2 Update

December 2015 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

11/15/15 - Bond Phase 2 Update

November 2015 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

10/20/15 - Bond Phase 2 Update

8/25/15 - Bond Phase 2 Update

1/22/15 - Bond Phase 1 Update

12/10/14 - Bond Phase 1 Update

10/29/14 - Bond Phase 1 Update

9/29/14 - Bond Phase 1 Update

8/11/14 - Bond Phase 1 Update

7/14/14 - Bond Phase 1 Update

6/30/14 - Bond Phase 1 Update

July 2014 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

August 2014 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

September 2014 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

Captial Projects Slideshow

October 2014 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

November 2014 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

December 2014 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

Construction Update 6/17/14

Neighbor Letter Re: Construction (Middle School)

Neighbor Letter Re: Construction

6/10/14 - Bond Phase 1 Update

SED Approval - Phase I  - May 6

02/10/14 - Bond Project Update

Capital Project Potential Phasing