Mepham Girls Basketball Finishes Season Undefeated

Mepham Girls Basketball Finishes Season Undefeated
The Mepham High School girls basketball team finished their regular season with an undefeated record and were named conference champs.

The squad, whose 12-0 record will propel them into the Nassau County Conference III playoffs, is led by junior point guard, MaryAnn Bagonis. She averages 13 points per game. Senior Maeve Testa averages 12 points per game and 10 rebounds per game.

“I am proud of the consistent team effort and spirit put forth by these girls on the court each week,” said coach Jim Mulvey.

The squad enters the first round of playoffs on Feb. 16.

Three Seniors Named National Merit finalists

Two Seniors Named National Merit finalists
Three students in the district have been named finalists in the 62nd annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

Alaina Anderson of Calhoun High School, Maximilian Bazil of Kennedy High School and Rachel Jozwick of Mepham High School all received this distinction.

“We are proud of the exemplary students who received this prestigious honor,” said Superintendent John DeTommaso. “In addition to being strong in academics, they have each contributed greatly to their school community.”

The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships. High school students enter the National Merit 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. From here, approximately 7,500 students will be notified of various monetary, corporate-sponsored or college-sponsored awards.

Eleven Mepham Athletes Sign With Colleges

Nearly a dozen student-athletes from Mepham High School officially signed letters of intent to play sports with various institutions post-high school.

“These standout student-athletes were committed to excellence throughout their seasons at Mepham, earning them recognition from various schools,” said Athletic Coordinator Anthony Cracco. “It is their continued drive to success both on and off the field that will take them far in their collegiate careers.”

The athletes are as followed: Amanda Amalfitano – Kean University; Emily Amato – Marywood University; Kevin Chaimowitz – Union College; Karlee Greco – Mount Ida College; Carolyn Hayes – College of Mount St. Vincent; Carissa Kahn –Siena College; Kristin Lasker – SUNY New Paltz; Jeremy Lissade – Seton Hill University; Billy Moutafis – New York Institute of Technology; Maeve Testa – Adelphi University; and Mike Valentino – Seton Hill University.

“It’s always a proud day to see Pirates advancing in a field they’ve worked so hard in,” added Eric Caballero the district’s director of physical education, athletics, driver education and health.

Mepham Team Earns Top Honors at Business Competition

Mepham Team Earns Top Honors at Business Competition
On Jan. 13, Mepham High School joined other budding entrepreneurs from throughout the island to compete for the top spot at Long Island’s Regional Business Plan Competition, sponsored by HSBC.

Teams representing 56 virtual enterprise companies from 42 high schools in both Nassau and Suffolk counties had their written business plans and oral presentations judged by industry professionals and educators at Farmingdale State College.  

Mepham’s TruViewVR earned first-place honors for Most Enthusiastic Booth and Best Catalog at this year’s competitions.  

“TruViewVR’s presentation team, consisting of Marquise Soto, Kevin Chaimowitz, Nick Girardi, Mike Smith, Mike Pioli and Jake Brief, performed brilliantly during the Business Plan Competition,” said Vice Principal Marie Netto.

They will continue on to the Trade Show Competition in April held in New York City.

Mepham’s Kickline Dances to the Top of the Competition

The Mepham High School varsity kickline team high-kicked their way to the top at the NDA Regional Dance Competition held at Walt Whitman High School on Jan. 21.

“The team earned third-place honors in Small Varsity Jazz, second place in Large Varsity Team Performance and first place in Large Varsity Pom,” explained coach Kerry Dennis.

“In addition, the team was named Grand Champions of the competition because their pom score was the highest score out of any category and division of the competition,” Dennis said.

The squad will compete at the Scholastic Kickline Competition on Feb. 5 at Nassau Community College before traveling to Orlando, Florida for the NDA National Dance Competition on March 1.

Guest Speaker Educates Mepham Students About Culture Through Crisis

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Former child bride Naila Amin is bringing her plight to light and recently visited Mepham High School to educate Leadership and Voices of the Past history students on what is a shockingly common and legal practice in many parts of the work.

Betrothed to her cousin in Pakistan at the age of 8, Amin, now 25, is working to change laws to protect other victims. Mepham student Raina Sarfriz read about her story in a Pakistani magazine and arranged for Amin to be a guest speaker.

“I wrote an article on her for our school newspaper and thought her experience would be beneficial to my classmates,” Sarfriz said.
History teacher Jacqueline Geller said she thinks exposing the students to different religions, cultures and customs allows them to be more socially aware.

“Naila's story of perseverance is truly inspiring,” Geller said. “In a world where people complain about their everyday annoyances, Naila's experience reminds us that we should be thankful and appreciate the freedoms we have.”
“I was so impressed that she was able to open up to us and share her story, said student Kristen Lasker. “I would not have been able to do that and not cry."

“It is crazy to me that they do not have gender equality in other countries,” added student Gordon Olson.

Amin hopes to one day open a safe haven for girls and women who are escaping forced marriages. She is also writing a book about her experience and is starting a foundation. She encouraged students to be socially aware of their surroundings and interactions with people.

“Speak up for someone,” she said. “Be the leader. Be that force.”

“I hope that the students feel empowered that they can survive anything and do anything if they have the right mind set,” Geller said. “Naila had and still has many obstacles to overcome and yet stood before us, with forgiveness in her heart and goals for human rights set.”

Four Seniors Named Regeneron Science Talent Search Scholars

The high school district is proud to announce that four seniors have been selected as scholars in the 2017 Regeneron Science Talent Search, (formerly known as the Intel STS).

Rachel Jozwik of Mepham High School and Claire Kelly, Jennifer Rakhimov and Michael Sternbach of Kennedy High School are among 300 nationally recognized semifinalists in the nation’s most prestigious pre-college science competition often considered the “Junior Nobel Prize.”

“These students are exemplary young scientists driven by a passion for discovery in their chosen fields of study,” said District Science Chair Robert Soel. “Their scientific investigations involved hundreds of hours of work under the mentorship of cooperating scientists in the field.”
“They are multifaceted, talented young people who are continually expanding their creative horizons,” added District Science Chair Patrick Mannion.
Jozwik’s research is titled “Correlation Between the rs53576 SNP and Stress Levels in High School Students;” Kelly’s research is titled “Impulsivity as a Predictor for Enhanced Attention Toward Novel Drug-Paired Cues;” Rakhimov’s research is titled “Mitochondrial Replacement Therapy in Degenerated Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells;” and Sternbach’s research is titled “Are Yield Curve Inversions Harbingers of Economic Contractions in Emerging Market and Excessively Debt-Ridden Countries?”

“They are wonderful role models for their peers and the entire school community is proud of their outstanding achievements,” added Soel.
Later this month, 40 finalists will be named and invited to Washington, D.C. in March, where they will display their work to the public, meet with notable scientists and compete for additional awards, including the top prize of $250,000.

Mepham Announces Poetry Out Loud Winners

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Mepham High School recently announced the winners of the 10th annual school contest for Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest.
The student winners are Taylor Drew, 12th grade, first place; Samantha Pepe, 12th grade, second place; and Candace Casimir, ninth grade, third place. 

Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high schools across the country. This is Mepham’s 10th year hosting the contest.

Throughout November, Mepham’s English teachers held classroom competitions where students competed for a chance to take part in the schoolwide competition in December. On Dec. 13, nearly 80 students filled the school’s choral room to hear 24 classroom winners recite their poems for a chance to advance to the regional competition to be held at Nassau Community College on Feb. 3, 2017.

The competition was organized by English Chairperson Mary Donnelly and Nicole Maresca, who teaches English and Creative Writing and moderates Fragments, Mepham’s literary magazine.

“At Mepham High School, students recited works they selected from an anthology of nearly 1,000 classic and contemporary poems,” Donnelly explained. “Judges evaluated student performances on criteria including articulation, evidence of understanding, level of difficulty and accuracy.”
Taylor Drew and Samantha Pepe will represent Mepham at the regional competition in February, with hopes of advancing to state and ultimately the national competition similar to Mepham alumnus and 2011 state champion Steven Tsai.

Mepham Football Recognized for Off Field Efforts

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The Mepham High School football team was recently recognized as the 2016 Community Service Award winner for Nassau County.
The award was given out at the Dec. 7 Nassau County High School Football Coaches Association Gridiron Banquet and recognizes a team that has given back to the community through community service projects and fundraisers.
“This past season the team continued its tradition of raising money for breast cancer awareness,” said coach and Mepham Athletic Director Anthony Cracco. “The parents and players sold T-shirts and collected donations and made a $1,000 contribution to the American Cancer Society's Making Strides for Breast Cancer program.”

Additionally, the team spent a Sunday cleaning up Newbridge Road Park as a way to thank the local community for their support of their program.  
“This project was especially meaningful as many of the players began their playing careers on the fields at Newbridge,” Cracco said. “I am extremely proud of our football families’ efforts to give back to their community. The players are a great group of young men and are extremely deserving of this honor.”