Grand Avenue Students Are Movin’ On Up


Before an audience filled with proud family, peers and educators, eighth-graders at Grand Avenue Middle School celebrated their moving up ceremonies on June 10.

Student Lauren Nilsen kicked off the ceremony with a powerful rendition of the national anthem. Grand Voices, under the director of conductor Amanda Cantwell, followed with “If You’re Out There” and “Life is a Highway.”

Students will attend either John F. Kennedy, Sanford H. Calhoun or Wellington C. Mepham high schools within the district. High school student speakers Harrison Ivers, Steven Obadiah, Alexa Beichert and Julianna Gargano offered words of advice for the incoming freshmen.

“In order to make the most of your high school experience, try new things and get as involved as possible after school,” Ivers told the Legacy group at the noon ceremony. Students graduated in four different ceremonies, separated by their academic team.

Eighth-grader Spencer Mattes delivered one of the student reflections, along with Kirsten Knowles, Aiden McCormack, Cooper Moran and Nathan Rosen. Addressing his peers, Mattes said before they reached Grand Avenue most students immediately bonded over the fear of lockers.

“Grand Avenue has offered me many opportunities to explore and experiment,” Mattes added.

Principal Carlo Conte noted students would not have reached this milestone without the team of people that includes teachers, parents, coaches and educators.
“I suggest you take a moment to find a teacher or family member that made a difference in your life and thank them,” he added. “A hug wouldn’t hurt either.”

Moving Up 2016

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Team Discovery

Team Ice

Team Legacy


Team Taco



Grand Avenue Student Earns Second Place at NYS Science Congress

Bellmore-Merrick’s Grand Avenue Middle School student Brandon Langone, a member of the Students Network of Cooperative Science achieved the ranks of high honors in the New York State Science Congress on June 4.  

His project "Which type of sensors would enable optimum performance for a robot on Martian-like terrain?" earned him second place and a $200 monetary award. Science teacher and mentor Tami Cruz assisted Langone on his research and presentation.

Middle School Bands Entertain Ahead of Meeting

The violin and viola members of both Grand Avenue and Merrick Avenue middle school’s Chamber Orchestra performed duets and trios before the start of  the June 1 Board of Education meeting.

They were conducted by Michael A. D'Addio, the districtwide middle schools orchestra director.

Rain Doesn’t Dampen Relay for Life Spirit

Arts and Music Celebrated in Middle Schools


Music and art were the forefront of a spring showcase at Merrick Avenue and Grand Avenue middle schools on May 12.
Grand Avenue Middle School Principal Carlo Conte said art teachers have been working hard all year with the students to organize this colorful display.  

“This event transforms our hallways and classrooms into an amazing gallery of art,” he added.

 Pre-concert duets and trio's were performed at the entrance to the auditorium as guests marveled at the artwork.

“The work that was showcased included a variety of material: cut paper collage, oil pastel, colored pencil, graphite, acrylic, watercolor and tempera paint,” said Danielle Steiding, a Merrick Avenue art teacher. “I am extremely proud of the students and the work that comes out of them at such a young age.”

Afterward, band and choir members performed various numbers, treating the audience to an evening of vocal and instrumental music, with “styles varied from Beethoven to ragtime to Lady Gaga,” according to the districtwide middle school Orchestrea Director Michael D’Addio.
“All of the performances were of high-quality and were well received,” added Music Director Richard Gilley. “At the end of the concert the band and chorus performed ‘God Bless the U.S.A.’ together for the finale.”

Gilley and Choral Director Dana Brandwein also sang a duet rendition of “Piano Man,” in celebration of Billy Joel’s 67th birthday.