Science Teacher in Finals for Teacher of the Month
Chris Patten, a 10th- and 12th-grade social studies teacher at Mepham, has been selected as one of three finalists for Teacher of the Month, a promotion hosted by K98.3 in Farmingdale.
The winner of the popular radio station’s Teacher of the Month award will receive 50 tickets to a home game of the Long Island Ducks and will be honored with throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.
To vote for Mr. Patten, sign up or log on to the station’s website
and register as a VIP user. Registration is free. Then click on Mr. Patten’s entry. The teacher with the most votes will win the contest. Mr. Patten is up against two East Meadow teachers for the honor.
Wellington C. Mepham High School Holds 76th Annual Graduation Commencement
On June 29, Mepham High School held its 76th annual graduation ceremony for the Class of 2014. Held at the NYCB Theater in Westbury, 349 graduating seniors received their diplomas from Principal Michael Harrington as well as members of the Board of Education and John DeTommaso, superintendent of schools.
The ceremony was emceed by Class of 2014 President Rachel Fain, who delivered the senior address. Valedictorian Brian Keohane and salutatorian Matthew Waldmann were also given the honor to deliver speeches. The program was highlighted by a poem titled “Atlas” from poet laureate Melanie Sirof and the performance of the senior choir, which sang a rendition of Phillip Phillips’ “Gone, Gone, Gone.”
Congratulations to the Mepham Class of 2014! Browse the photo gallery for a look at the pomp and circumstance.
W.C. Mepham High School Department of Languages Other Than English Contest Winners 2013-2014
Long Island Language Teachers Foreign Language Day Competition
French Level II
French Level III
French Level V
Italian Level II:
Italian Level III
Italian Level IV
Italian Level V
Spanish Level II
Spanish Level III
Spanish Level IV
Italian Level III
Italian Level IV
Italian Level V
Spanish Level II
Spanish Level III
Spanish Level IV
Spanish Level V
International Dance Video
Spanish Level V
International Vocal Music
Spanish Level 2
Spanish Level IV
Spanish Level V:
Language Production Video
Spanish Level IV
American Association of Teachers of French: National French Exam
Eighth in Nassau County; Tenth in nation:
Ninth in Nassau County
American Association of Teachers of Italian: National Italian Exam
American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese: National Spanish Exam
American Association of Teachers of Italian Poetry Recitation Contest
Italian - Level III
Italian - Level V
Queens College Calandra Italian American Institute Journal
Giovanni Caboto Lodge Scholarship
Skull and Bones Members Volunteer for Lymphomathon
Twenty-three members of the Skull and Bones Drama Club from Mepham High School volunteered and walked at the Lymphoma Research Foundation's annual Lymphomathon, a non-competitive walk-a-thon, at scenic Old Westbury Gardens on June 14. Not only did the students raise money, but they also helped register walkers, took in and accounted for walkers' donations, served as guides for the walkers and acted as greeters. To date, the club has raised $995 for Lymphomathon, but cash and check donations have not yet been added to the grand total.
Skull and Bones was invited by the LRF to participate in this event after the club raised $1,651 from its “A Night on Broadway” revue in January.
Mepham’s Tyler Davis Commits to UConn
Tyler Davis, junior and quarterback at Wellington C. Mepham High School, committed to play Division I football at University of Connecticut in front of family, friends and teammates on June 12. Davis will graduate Mepham early in December and enroll at UConn for the spring semester to begin workouts for the 2015 season.
Head coach Anthony Cracco explained that Davis’ hard work, dedication and unbreakable focus created tremendous opportunities at the collegiate football level. “Tyler Davis walked into Mepham four years ago as a tall, skinny eighth-grader who had a dream of one day becoming a Division I quarterback,” he said. “He worked tirelessly for the next four years to accomplish that goal on the field, in the classroom, in the weight room and anywhere else he felt could make him a better player or a better student-athlete.”
More than 50 college football programs showed interest in Davis – receiving offers from nine, including Bucknell University, Central Connecticut State University, Monmouth University, Old Dominion University, Stony Brook University, University at Albany, University of Connecticut, University at Buffalo and University of Maine.
Davis thanked Coach Cracco, his family, teachers, teammates and administrators at the school for helping to contribute to his success. “I’m so grateful for this opportunity to be able to share this moment of incredible news with so many of the people who helped me achieve my dream,” said Davis. “Every single person in this room, in some way, shape or form, has contributed to this moment and cannot be thanked enough. Without your encouragement, none of this would be possible.”
Board Recognizes Students, Staff and Community Members
The Board of Education honored dozens of outstanding students, staff, faculty and community members for exceptional achievements or service to the district at its June 4 meeting.
“All of these individuals have demonstrated great promise and performance in their studies, activities or dedication to serve the children of Bellmore-Merrick,” said Superintendent of Schools John DeTommaso. “We are extremely proud of each person honored and are happy they are part of the Bellmore-Merrick family.”
Valedictorians and salutatorians – Katherine Kustas and Alexander Boyd from Calhoun, Benjamin Rabinowitz and Benjamin November from Kennedy, and Brian Keohane and Matthew Waldmann from Mepham, respectively – were recognized for their achievements. Additionally, members of Calhoun’s girls badminton team were acknowledged by the board for winning the Nassau County Championship.
Volunteers from the Family Project – a recreational/education program that helps improve the communication skills of special needs students within the community through various activities – were recognized for their assistance in providing years of service to the project. Honorees included Erin Curley, Sasha Deshuk-Flores, Caitlyn Dorn, Sara Hechtman, Jesse Just, Julia Mirsky, Amanda Opperman, Paige Sangiorgio, Amanda Schmitt, Vincent Sinisgalli, Matthew Spohrer, Taylor Tavella and Nicole Woska.
Trustee Dr. Matthew Kuschner, who is retiring from the board, was thanked for his 10 years of service to the BMCHSD board and 18 years on the North Merrick board. Dr. Kuschner – a 1977 graduate of Kennedy High School – has devoted countless hours and consistently worked to improve the quality of programs for the district’s schools and students. Board president Susan Schwartz was commended for her service and leadership to the district this past year, in addition to honoring the high school student representatives – Calhoun’s Rebecca Peretz, Kennedy’s Rohan Nahpal and Mepham’s Rachel Rain – for their commitment to updating the board on happenings in their respective schools. Outgoing members of the Bellmore-Merrick PTA units were also recognized for their enthusiasm and dedication to the schools.
Social studies chairperson Karen McGuinness was recognized for being the 2014 recipient of the Long Island Council for the Social Studies Harry C. Charles Outstanding Social Studies Supervisor Award. This award is given to a social studies supervisor/chairperson who has demonstrated knowledge in social studies content, as well as knowledge of current social studies issues and inspires social studies leadership.
Prior to the meeting, seven retiring members – Ann Marie Cangelosi, Jill Klasson, Loretta LaCorte, Mary Ann Meyers, Susan Shapiro, Rosemary Steel and Claire Wood – of the Bellmore-Merrick educational community were honored for their years of service and dedication.
Arts Come Alive at Mepham
A diverse array of artistic and musical talent were on display at Wellington C. Mepham High School on June 3 and 5 during its annual Spring Arts showcase and concerts.
The school’s art showcase featured hundreds of pieces of work from students in various art classes and levels, including Advanced Placement art, advertising and design, drawing and painting, photography, sculpture and studio in art. Work covered a range of mediums, from painting, drawing and sculpture to photography and graphic design. The showcase serves as an outlet for students to share their best work from the past year with their peers, family, friends and community.
Several musical groups performed during the two-night concert, including the repertory band, mixed chorus, saxophone quartet, Mepham jazz ensemble, chamber orchestra, Mepham orchestra, symphonic band, concert choir and wind ensemble, in addition to assorted student arrangements of various artists from Pirate Radio.
Christine Rizzacasa Serves as Principal for the Day at Mepham
As a reward for leading Mepham High School’s efforts for the St. Baldrick’s fundraiser and raising $2,182, senior Christina Rizzacasa served as “Principal for the Day” on June 5. Christine did an excellent job, patrolling the hallways and checking on classes.
Mepham raised $75,298 for St. Baldrick’s.
Mepham’s Josh Ferris Recognized by ‘Tomorrow Project’
Wellington C. Mepham High School senior Josh Ferris placed in the Intel, Society for Science and the Public and Arizona State University’s Center for Science and Imagination’s “Tomorrow Project.” His science fiction story was one of 33 selected to be published on the project’s website from hundreds of submissions from 15 countries and 36 states.
Josh will be attending the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering and hopes to be a successful nanoscale engineer in the future.
Musicians Perform for Community
A little rain didn’t stop students from the district from performing at “The Merricks Make Music” summer concert on June 3 at the North Merrick Public Library. For the seventh consecutive year, students from several musical groups in the district performed for the community to enjoy.
Merrick Avenue Middle School’s a cappella group, Word of Mouth, sang several popular tunes for the audience, under the direction of Dana Brandwein. The Calhoun-Mepham Chamber Orchestra – an elite group of string players composed of students from Calhoun and Mepham high schools and directed by Christopher Sutherland – performed various selections throughout the evening. Calhoun’s Jazz Band brought jazz, funk, swing and blues to the show through a diverse repertoire of music, with direction by Ed Tumminelli. Additionally, students from the North Merrick School District Jazz Band played at the concert.
Science Symposiums Showcase Talent
Advanced Science Research students from Sanford H. Calhoun, John F. Kennedy and Wellington C. Mepham high schools gathered on May 29 to showcase their knowledge, achievements and research projects for peers, faculty, family and friends during the district’s annual science symposiums. The event enables students to review achievements for the year, honor all involved and recognize seniors who have completed the program.
At Calhoun, Alix Kozin and Will Rosenblum served as emcees throughout the evening at the completely student planned and run program. Various awards were presented to students, including ninth-graders who participated in the Biology National Science League competition, and a group who placed third nationally in the Earth Science NSL competition. Students broke out into smaller discussion sessions, where seniors presented their research on various topics, including anthropology, animal biology, medicine and health, genetics and molecular imaging, among others.
“This is a really beautiful night because not every student gets to go to every competition,” said research teacher Kim Lascarides. “Some of the competitions have a limited number of students who can apply. This is a night for the students who maybe didn’t win an award or weren’t able to go to a competition to really shine in front of their peers and parents talking about their research.”
Kennedy’s symposium featured 12 seniors giving brief presentations on their research projects – describing their research methods, processes and results for the audience. Michael Wagner, a member of the Kennedy Class of 2002 and the school’s first Intel finalist who is finishing his internal medicine residency at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, served as the keynote speaker for the evening. Additionally, science fair and senior award presentations honored various students.
"The science symposium is an essential capstone moment for our Advanced Science Research seniors,” said Robert Soel, chairperson of science at Kennedy. “After three years of investigating a scientific question which they feel passionate about, each senior presents their work to the school community and their peers as an young accomplished scientist. For many of our students, the symposium marks the beginning of a life long pursuit of science."
Students at Mepham displayed their projects with poster boards prior to the beginning of the ceremony, talking to guests about their research. Ten seniors and two juniors spoke about their specific research projects, while graduating seniors were honored for completing the ASR program. Students were also honored with various awards and two scholarships were presented to seniors. Ayesha Joshi, PhD, from Cornell Weil Medical School’s Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, served as the keynote speaker.
The ASR program provides students with the tools and knowledge necessary to become scientists through interdisciplinary studies that teach skills not normally learned in high school. Students master skills such as interviewing, presenting, writing, self-assessment, peer evaluation, organization and time management, among others. Students are required to perform three years of intense research under the supervision of an expert in their chosen discipline and complete a publishable paper prior to graduation.
Seniors Honored for Achievements
The district gathered to recognize the outstanding leadership, character, citizenship and academic achievements of graduating seniors during the Senior Awards Program on May 28. The district’s three high schools – Sanford H. Calhoun, John F. Kennedy and Wellington C. Mepham – paid homage to students’ dedication, contributions and commitment to their school and community. Students in various areas of interests and expertise were honored with an assortment of awards and scholarships.
Students were honored with numerous departmental awards, ranging from art, business, English, family and consumer science and health to LOTE, mathematics, science and social studies. Community service and humanitarian awards were also presented to deserving seniors from a variety of school and community organizations. Additionally, dozens of memorial scholarships were presented to honor past leaders, teachers, students and community members. Government officials, Board of Education trustees, PTA and alumni association members and civics groups had the honor of presenting dozens of awards at each school.
“All of our students have demonstrated exceptional talent, character and ability in a multitude of areas throughout their time in our district,” said Superintendent of Schools John DeTommaso. “This night gives us an opportunity to officially recognize them for all their outstanding and, frankly, amazing achievements.”