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MAMS Students Gain Cultural and Civic Awareness

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The Merrick Avenue Middle School World Language Department welcomed students to the program and to the school community with a special project that combined cultural and civil awareness. 

Students in each language; French, Italian, Mandarin and Spanish, created a poster that depicted ways the target language culture is observed and experienced in everyday life.  

This included famous people, food and products that students use in their daily lives. Using the posters as inspiration, each class then collected food and other items for the district’s food pantry, the Community Cupboard. 

Students from the M.O.R.E. and P.R.E.P. special education programs assisted in the efforts by sorting the items for packaging and delivery.  

“This was a great way for students to connect content to real life and to contribute to a community initiative,” explained Rosa Kaplan, a chairperson in the World Languages department.

Calhoun’s Sonia Sarju Accepted to Lab Program

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Sonia Sarju, a senior at Calhoun High School, is one of only 14 students across Long Island to be accepted into the prestigious Partners for Future program at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. 

Sarju will be completing 10 hours of work from September to March under the mentorship of a post-doctoral researcher and then participate in a final symposium where she will present her research.

“I’m interested to be able to know how things around us work on a molecular level,” Sarju explained about her passion for science. She hopes to attend medical school in the future and later become a pathologist.

Sarju’s Advanced Science Research teacher, Christine Boyce, and her AP Biology teacher, Kim Lascarides, met with Sonia’s mentor and toured the laboratory during the program’s opening reception on Sept. 9.


Kennedy’s Isabella Aletrakis Named LI Scholar Artist

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Isabella Aletrakis, a senior at Kennedy High School was recently selected as a Long Island Scholar Artist for the 2019-20 school year. 

Each year the Long Island Scholar Artist program, sponsored by the Long Island Arts Alliance, recognizes students who excel academically and in the areas of either music, visual arts, dance, theater or media arts. Aletrakis, 17, of Merrick, also earned scholarship money.

“Isabella is diligent, articulated, motivated and personable,” said Elissa Germaine, her guidance counselor throughout high school. “She has taken one of the most demanding course loads available to her at Kennedy while pursuing her passion for dance after school hours.”

In addition to attending a half-day dance program at the Long Island High School for the Arts in Syosset, Aletrakis studies at the Manhattan Youth Ballet for nearly three hours per day, six days a week. 

“I eventually want to become a professional ballet dancer in a company, perhaps in a ballet company that also offers a contemporary setting, so that I won’t have to choose between my two loves,” she explained.

Aletrakis will take part in an induction ceremony next week to be held at the Tilles Center on the campus of LIU-Post.

Three Kennedy Students Named National Merit Semifinalists

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Three students in the Central School District have been named National Merit Semifinalists in the 2020 competition.

David Frank, Madeline Jutsen and Mikaela Milch from Kennedy High School were all included on the list.

“It is always a proud moment when we get to celebrate the successes of our 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 National Merit program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Approximately 16,000 students, or approximately one-third of the 50,000 high scorers, qualified as semifinalists. 

Finalists will be notified in February 2020 and scholarship winners will be announced in April 2020.

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