Mepham Fosters Community Connections With TEDx Event


Mepham High hosted its first motivational TEDx event aimed at reaching a span of generations in the local community.

TEDxWCMephamHigh, is a locally curated TEDx event geared toward creating connections across disciplines and across generations.

Motivational speakers included Gian Paul Gonzalez, who worked with the New York Giants ahead of their 2012 Super Bowl win. His “all in” message resounded around the world.

“All in is not a slogan, it’s a lifestyle,” he said. “When you keep going after others tell you to quit … or that you’re not good enough.”
Additionally, the event also included presentations and performances from Mepham's own Becky Morawski, Matthew Singh, Rina Sarfraz, Emily Fontanetta and Brooke Pesce. Singh spoke about the breakdown of the English language.

“It’s difficult to text and type when you can't express emotion,” Singh said. “For millennials like us, it’s hard to think of a time without computers or cell phones. There needs to be some form of moderation so that my children are not glued to a screen."

He suggested the solution begins at school with teaching that “writing and speaking go hand in hand.”

"Don't type a word on a report or essay that you can't pronounce," Singh added.

“Over 60 TEDxYouth events were happening around the world this weekend in places like Jakarta, Dubai, Madrid and here in Bellmore,” said Melanie Sirof, TEDxWCMephamHigh organizer and senior experience teacher.  “We set out to create a day where participants felt part of something bigger. We wanted to have small surprises along the way - gift bags, roses and music -  to inspire and motivate. Judging by the happy buzz, I think we succeeded."

Mepham’s Classes Battle It Out for Charity


Students and faculty members at Mepham High School recently came together to battle for a cause at their annual Battle of the Classes event.
In the days leading up to showdown, students participated in multiple events to earn points toward their score. From American Pride and Class Color Day to collecting donations for the hurricane victims in Haiti, the classes engaged in spirited competition all week.

The most spirited pre-event was the annual Penny Wars competition. Students aimed to collect as many pennies as possible while sabotaging the other classes with silver change and cash to subtract from their penny total. In the end, the classes set a record raising $1,686.52 for Tuesday’s Children through this year’s Penny Wars.

This year’s Battle of the Classes theme was American Pride. Led by their class advisers, Heather DeGrazia, Jen Landry, Erica Wagner and Brooke Pesce, each class selected a line from a patriotic American song to represent their class. The groups each created a banner and dance routine to highlight their theme.

The classes, along with the faculty team, participated in a variety of relay events from a scooter relay to the three-legged race. In addition, the classes competed in the popular Pirate Relay event and tug of war. The seniors proved victorious by the end of the night.

Social studies teacher Stu Stein was the event’s emcee, who kept the crowd entertained and laughing the entire time. The real winner of the night however was Tuesday’s Children, who coupled with the funds raised from the Flag Field of Honor currently on display at Mepham, will receive $10,869 on behalf of Mepham High School to provide services for those impacted by terrorism around the world.

Mepham H4H Club Completes First Build

Students in the Habitat for Humanity club at Mepham High School recently completed their first build of the school year.
Under the direction of club advisers/teachers Josephine Parlagrecco and Chris Patten, the students donned jumpsuits, protective gear and got down to work on building a new home for a needy family.

Habitat for Humanities seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. People build houses together in partnership with families in need.

Mepham’s Leo Club Helps Fill District Food Pantry

Mepham High School’s new Leo Club students recently volunteered at King Kullen, collecting more than eight shopping carts full of food donations for the new Bellmore-Merrick CHSD food pantry called the Community Cupboard.

Sponsored by the Bellmore Lions Club, the Leo Club’s mission is one of altruism and philanthropy. They are advised by Mepham teacher Josephine Parlagreco, a Lion herself.

“I am so proud of the Leos,” said Parlagreco. “They are compassionate, enthusiastic and inspiring. So far we have collected toiletry items for the homeless, visited Bethany House (homeless shelter) to do an activity with the children and we made some blankets to send to Project Linus. This week we are going on a Habitat build in Suffolk County.”

Future projects include more builds, helping Connect Church with their Thanksgiving food distribution and helping the Lions Club at their holiday party for homeless children.

Mepham Seniors Continue Flag Field of Honor


Students at Mepham High School installed American and military flags along the school lawn Oct. 30 as part of a service-based project for the senior class.

The front lawn of the school is dotted with sponsored American and military flags to raise money and awareness for their adopted organization, Tuesday’s Children. Fundraising efforts by students yielded nearly $5,000 from the sale of 278 flags.

Kerry Dennis, a history teacher and project organizer, said she thinks the service project this semester has “taught students never to forget the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001 as well has the incredible sacrifices made by our service men and women to defend our freedom and protect us from those who are opposed to it.”

Other teacher organizers included Social Studies Chairperson Robyn Einbinder, Christopher Patten, Marc Achtziger, Erica Wagner and Sarah Bender. Principal Michael Harrington and some of the custodial staff were also on hand early Sunday to assist.

The flags are 3 feet by 5 feet tall and each stand on a 6-foot pole on the front lawn of Mepham between Nov. 1 and mid-December.

The proceeds raised from the flag sales will go directly to Tuesday's Children. Tuesday's Children was formed in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The group initially worked with children who lost a parent on that tragic day, but have since branched to encompass recovery workers from Sept. 11 efforts, military and children from around the world impacted by terrorism.

Mepham Celebrates Italian Culture Night

Mepham High School’s chapter of the National Italian Honor Society recently hosted its annual Italian Culture Night.

Under the direction of teacher, Kristen Montuori, students, faculty, parents and community members joined to celebrate the Italian culture for the 15th year. The evening was filled with music, poetry, games and food.  

Honor Society members Samantha Morgan and Olivia LaRocchia sang Il Volo’s version of “Nel Blu, Dipinto di Blu.” Amanda LaRossa recited the poem, “Vorrei averti vicino” by Adelina Della Bosca.
The evening also included the annual game of Tombola, Italian style-bingo, led by Christina Gargano and Rebecca Spear. To truly appreciate the Italian culture, the honor society led the guests in a sing/play along to a classic, Italian favorite, “Eh Cumpari.” Everyone in attendance used musical instruments as props to play and sing along to the popular song.

The Italian Honor Society would like to thank all of the Mepham families as well as the local businesses that helped to make the event successful by donating food and raffle items: Bellmore Playhouse, Cake Gallery, Metromodes Salon, Luanne’s Boutique, Elisa’s Ristorante, Gino’s Tuscany, Moolala, Salpino’s Italian Market, Via Roma, Gusto Divino Trattoria, Bagelicious, Guy Anthony’s, Galleria Pizzeria, Red door Spa, Antoinette Lore, Flowers by Voegler, Earthtones Salon, Mama Gina’s Pizzeria and Restaurant, The Hair Bar & Makeup Lounge, The Wool Novelty Company, The Oakhurst Company, Left Coast Kitchen & Cocktails, Ciro’s Pizzeria and Restaurant, Swirlz World, Grillfire Restaurant and Tazzetto Company.

Mepham Social Studies Department Hosts Election Forum

The Mepham High School Social Studies Department recently hosted an Issues Forum to discuss important topics relevant to the 2016 election.  

Students came after school to hear six members of the department speak. Mr. Murphy opened with a discussion on why Americans have become so politically dissatisfied.
Then teachers Gregg Zogby, Stu Stein, Christopher Patten, Sarah Bender and Henry Dircks all described important issues - the economy, immigration, race, foreign policy and veterans’ affairs - by addressing the key aspects of each one and offering various possible solutions. Students then asked the panel questions, creating an open dialogue.

Mepham Kickline Hosts Clinic for Kids


The Mepham High School varsity kickline team recently hosted their annual fall clinic for local children.

More than 100 children, ages 5 -13, participated in the clinic where they learned dance technique and a routine that incorporated jazz, hip-hop, pom and kick.

The team will host a Winter Clinic on Saturday, Dec. 10, at Brookside. The team begins their local competitions on Jan. 8 and will travel to Orlando, Florida to compete at the NDA National Dance competition for the fifth time in March.

Mepham Homecoming Helps Stock Food Pantry


It was a sea of maroon and grey on Oct. 15 as the Mepham High School Pirates took on H. Frank Carey High School on homecoming.
After a fierce battle, the Pirates fell to the Seahawks, 36-33. School spirit was infectious as fans cheered and the band, directed by Brian Neiderman, kept the tempo upbeat.

Tim Tracy and Katie Carron were crowned homecoming king and queen during halftime after being paraded around the track in a pirate ship float.

“Homecoming is always a special time at Mepham,” said Principal Michael Harrington. “It’s wonderful to see the community come together to celebrate school pride.”

Mepham High School social worker Theana Cheliotes and the school’s Key Club adviser said the club was inspired to participate in the district’s new initiative to help develop a food pantry at the central administration building.

“This weekend’s Homecoming for Hunger food collection served as a great kick off,” added Cheliotes. “You can say it was a touchdown.”