Smooth Sailing for Mepham Homecoming


It was full steam ahead for the Pirates and their fans as the Mepham community gathered on Oct. 18 to celebrate homecoming and watch the varsity football team defeat Westbury, 52-18.

The party was kicked off by a parade led by grand marshal and former NFL player Amos Zereoue, followed by the school marching band, the cheerleaders and the Pirettes kickline. The homecoming court and the Pirate mascot rode in on the traditional pirate ship, the S.S. Mepham. Colorful floats brought up the rear, including a spooky Halloween-themed entry from the sophomore class. However, it was the seniors’ lavish undersea world theme that won the day’s contest.

The football team gave the assembled crowd something to smile about, notching 21 unanswered points in the first quarter alone against the Green Dragons. At halftime, after a stirring performance of “God Bless America” by Grand Avenue Middle School seventh-grader Lauren Nilson, the cheerleading and kickline squads displayed impressively athletic routines and recognized their graduating seniors. Kevin Burns literally jumped for joy when his selection as homecoming king was announced, followed by the naming of homecoming queen Lisa Condolucci. The court also included Jessica Bortolussi, Kelly Cates, Jake Friedenberg and Alex Goodstein. King and queen then boarded their pirate ship for one last triumphant tour around the track.

Browse the photo gallery for a look at all the day’s action!

Grand Avenue MS ALS Challenge

Mepham Students Walk the Talk for Autism Speaks

For their fall service learning project, the seniors in Kerry Dennis’s and Christopher Patten’s Participation in Government classes at Mepham are raising money and awareness about autism.  

Last weekend, the seniors participated in the Walk Now for Autism Speaks at Jones Beach, raising more than $2,300 through the event. They also worked with Shelley Hendrix and Alison Dyer from the grassroots advocacy group Autism Votes to get petitions signed in an effort to pass legislation that will benefit those with autism.  

Hendrix and Dyer presented to the Participation in Government classes the day before the walk in order to explain how grassroots lobbying works.

September Citizen of the Month

Back row from left: Carlo Conte, Amanda Riobo, Jack Adams, Caitlyn Cannon, Michael DiMarco
Front row from left: Georgie Yandolino, Amanda Hodnett, Savannah Espiritu, Vanessa Koppelmann

‘Splash and Burn’: Cougars Homecoming Features Dunk Tank, Bonfire


John F. Kennedy High School held its annual homecoming festival and game on Oct. 9 on its newly refurbished turf field.

Hundreds of residents flocked to the school grounds on the warm Thursday evening and participated in a number of games, including a dunk tank where students got the chance to dunk their teachers. Students, staff and the community were also able to purchase Kennedy merchandise such as shirts and sweaters. Barbecue grills were set up behind the grandstands for cooking hamburgers, hot dogs and sausages, while the concession stand provided drinks and other goodies.

Just before the game, the Bellmore Fire Department arrived to light the annual bonfire pile, as bystanders watched the flames climb up into the darkening sky.

The Cougars football team took on Jericho High School in a rare night game for Kennedy, with donated lighting stands running on generators throughout the game. This year, the homecoming game was rescheduled to accommodate the field’s preparation.

The halftime show featured the girls varsity cheerleading squad, kickline and Kennedy High School band. At midfield, Kennedy also crowned its 2014 homecoming king and queen, Reid Bachman and Sara Coluccio, respectively. The runner-up candidates for king and queen were Jake Gumpel, Eddie Koton, Jack Rosenzweig, Amanda Cammiso, Rebbeca Greenstein and Shellie Mittleberg.

In attendance for the event was Superintendent John DeTommaso, Principal Lorraine Poppe, Assistant Principals Jon LaRochester and Eileen Connolly, and Board of Education trustees Dr. Nancy Kaplan, Janet Goller and Susan Schwartz.

Browse the photo gallery to relive all the excitement.


Calhoun Students Learn How to ‘Arrive Alive’

Calhoun High School was the site of an interactive and powerful program designed to discourage kids from making poor decisions behind the wheel.

Titled “Arrive Alive,” the traveling awareness tour is run by UNITE, a health and wellness nonprofit organization aimed at encouraging safety and healthy choices. The organization was brought onto Calhoun’s campus thanks to the Community Parent Center, which runs similar programs in the district throughout the year.

The Arrive Alive Tour features simulated and interactive exercises that encourage students to realize the dangers involved when driving either impaired or distracted. During the all-day event on Oct. 6, students got behind the wheel of an SUV, put on special simulated glasses, and were asked to try and navigate a computer-generated road course. The goggles recreated the experience of driving while drunk at different levels of blood alcohol content. It also simulated unpredictable traffic conditions while students texted or checked in on social media platforms.

In addition to the vehicle simulator, students also rode the “seatbelt convincer,” a vehicle seat complete with a seatbelt that students wore before sliding down an incline at 5-7 mph. The seat stopped abruptly at the collision point, illustrating to students how violent the impact from a five-mile-per-hour collision can be.

Students were also asked to wear goggles that recreate visual impairment from alcohol and do a number of simple activities, such as pedaling a go-kart between cones, stacking cups and walking a straight line marked on the sidewalk.

The Arrive Alive Tour was also carried out with the help of New York State troopers. The students were sent outside to participate during health class. Browse the gallery for photos of the event.

Calhoun Holds School-Bonding Challenge Day

During a three-day series of assemblies, students at Calhoun participated in a team-building and sharing program known as Challenge Day.

Held in the school’s gymnasium, the 10th grade broke into groups to take part in exercises designed to form bonds and encourage students to realize that they are not alone in their problems and that they have the power to be the change in their community. Students begin to realize that in light of others’ circumstances, being caring and empathetic toward one another is better than being judgmental.

The program was run with the help of hosts Shan Baker and Angela Aguilar, two members of the nonprofit organization Challenge Day/Be the Change. Throughout the day, students engaged in personal sharing exercises with teachers and participated in an activity called “Cross the Line,” where they would cross over a line and face their peers whenever they fit into a specific category called out by the event hosts.

“It was transformative and empowering for many students,” said Calhoun Principal Nicole Hollings. “We have gotten great feedback from parents and students about how important it is to continue the program annually.”

“I participated in Challenge Day for the first time and it was definitely successful and educational,” said Assistant Principal Neil Testa. "I did receive some phone calls from parents who wanted to express how impactful the program was for their child.”

Students helped raise funds for Challenge Day by selling “candy grams,” positive and encouraging messages printed on candy wrappers that can be gifted to classmates. Calhoun’s leadership class heads up the fundraising activities for the annual program.

District Teachers Go Back to School

During the month of September, faculty members across the district participated in central administration’s Professional Development Academy.

The program, which is run in conjunction with the Technology Integration Mentor Program, is peer-led by fellow teachers pitching in their time to teach colleagues how to use some of the new and developing technologies in their classrooms.

Beginning with Google Docs, the academy then held sessions on Edmodo and Online Learning, Interactive Board Integration, Weebly Pro and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). The courses were offered Monday through Thursday after school hours in the curriculum library at the Brookside School. The teachers enrolled using their faculty web portal. Ongoing professional development courses will be made available throughout the year.  

In addition to the technology adaptation for faculty, students have been receiving instruction on how to set up BYOD and use Google Docs for sharing and cloud files. During a recent visit to JFK High School, Dennis Urban’s social studies class used their personal devices to learn about Google Docs.

Bellmore-Merrick Collects 200 Pounds of Pills

On Sept. 27, the school district and its Community Parent Center held its first-ever Drug Take-Back Day outside of the central administration building. The initiative was held in conjunction with National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day in an effort to curb the availability of over-the-counter and prescription drugs found inside the average household medicine cabinet. On Drug Take-Back Day, residents nationwide are encouraged to drop off their unwanted or expired prescriptions and over-the-counter medications where they can be disposed of safely without questions asked.

At Bellmore-Merrick’s event, residents dropped off approximately 200 pounds of medication, which were collected in 10 large plastic bags over the course of a few hours. The Nassau County Police Department picked up the bags for proper disposal.

The joint community-school effort was promoted with a flyer that was distributed through the schools, local libraries, firehouses and places of worship. Wendy Tepfer, executive director of the Community Parent Center, said participation in the event was very encouraging.

“We were thrilled with the outcome,” Tepfer said. “We had no idea what to expect as a first venture. But the schools were great, and the district was great in getting the word out, as were the component elementary school districts. And the bottom line is: if we were able to raise awareness and get stuff out of the homes that has the potential of being very dangerous should it fall into the wrong hands, then we did our job.”

Residents who dropped off medications for disposal were also given a resource packet replete with information about safe storage and disposal of medication, as well as where families can seek drug counseling should they need it. Tepfer said the center is considering holding another Drug Take-Back later in the year.

Calhoun Athletes Show Support for Beloved Coach

Members of the Calhoun varsity football team and varsity cheerleading squad took the new turf field on Sept. 27 wearing a very special tribute to a beloved Calhoun teacher recovering from a severe stroke.

In recognition of Stroke Awareness Day at Calhoun, the football players sported red tape on their wrists, while the cheerleaders wore a red ribbon in their hair. The symbols held special significance for former varsity coach and special education teacher Joe Bianca.

On July 26, Bianca suffered a severe stroke and was airlifted to Stony Brook University Medical Center, where he underwent a delicate and dangerous operation to remove the clot from his brain. In what Bianca described as a miracle, the operation was successful and he has been working toward his return to Calhoun ever since.

Bianca was once the head coach of the Colts football program and maintained his ties to the team. Shortly after Calhoun dedicated its turf field with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, Bianca stepped onto the midfield logo and performed the coin toss. Afterward, he walked up and down the sideline, hugging students, reuniting with assistant coaches and telling the team to play with heart.

The team responded with a 34-7 win over Herricks. During that week, Calhoun staff showed support for stroke awareness: tying ribbons and handing out informative cards on how to look out for the signs of an oncoming stroke.

Battle of the Classes Ad

Colts Kick Off Season with New Turf Field

Members of the community, students, faculty and administration gathered to celebrate the completion of Calhoun High School’s newly revamped turf field on Sept. 27.

Prior to the 2 p.m. kickoff of the Colts varsity football game, Calhoun Principal Nicole Hollings was accompanied by School Board President JoAnn DeLauter, Vice President George Haile, trustee Susan Schwartz and newly appointed trustee Wendy Gargiulo. Student representatives from Calhoun’s sports program, the varsity football squad, and members of the cheerleading and kickline squads held the 20-foot silver ribbon on top of the Colts’ logo. DeLauter did the honors, cutting the ribbon in front of the packed stands of Calhoun’s faithful.  

Assistant Superintendent for Instruction David Seinfeld participated in the ceremony as well as Saul Lerner, the district’s director of physical education, athletics, driver education and health. The Colts christened the new field with a 34-7 victory over Herricks.

Browse the photo gallery for a look at the ceremony as well as some game shots.

Merrick Avenue Middle School Administration taking on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Merrick Avenue Middle School threw its support behind the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge with a domino-style dousing in the grandstands behind the school last week. New Principal Taryn Johnson introduced the challenge and was the last to receive the bucket over her head, as students cheered on the administrators and staff. Click play and find out who Ms. Johnson challenged next!

Method Test Prep

Dear Parents,

Your 10th or 11th grade child has access to Method Test Prep, an online course that helps students improve their SAT and ACT scores as well as builds their math, reading and writing skills.

Students can listen to math, verbal and writing tutorials and each tutorial is accompanied by a quiz to test student mastery. The program is highly adaptive and keeps track of a student's strengths and weaknesses. Students have access to a large pool of practice questions and receive instant feedback upon completion of each question. This feedback includes easy-to-understand explanations.

Method Test Prep is a good fit for any type of student. The website can be accessed at any time of day or night most convenient to the student. Method Test Prep is designed to be used independently or as a supplement to other SAT or ACT prep.

If you already have an account, login here:

If you would like to create an account, sign up here:

(Calhoun only)
(Kennedy only)
(Mepham only)

(You'll need to ask your math teacher or guidance counselor for the referral code, first!)

Cougars Roar into Home Game with New Turf Field

Members of the community, students, faculty and administration gathered to celebrate the completion of John F. Kennedy High School’s newly revamped turf field on Sept. 20.

Prior to the 2 p.m. kickoff of the Cougars varsity football game, JFK Principal Lorraine Poppe was accompanied by School Board President JoAnn DeLauter, Vice President George Haile, trustee Dr. Nancy Kaplan, student representatives and other school officials holding the 20-foot-long green ribbon in front of the Cougars’ logo. Adding to the anticipation, witnesses of the momentous occasion counted down as DeLauter cut the ribbon, christening the new turf field.

Superintendent John DeTommaso participated in the ceremony and was first to receive a piece of the new turf along with a framed certificate of the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Browse the photo gallery for a look at the ceremony as well as some game shots.

Calhoun Puts Twist on Ice Bucket Challenge


Administrators and teachers at Calhoun accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge last week with a unique spin on the Internet-driven craze.

Instead of voluntarily dumping ice water over their heads, they offered the honor up to students, who donated money for the privilege of dousing their teachers. Organizers set up staging on the athletic fields with a banner made by paraprofessional Margaret Bey announcing the ALS Challenge fundraiser. Using a ladder, students dumped the ice water out of buckets onto their intended target below.

All told, Calhoun raised $300 in donations for the ALS Association, a nonprofit organization dedicated to research, diagnosis and treatment of the terminal neurological disease.

The administrators, teachers and staff who volunteered to get doused were: (alphabetize names below)

Shelly Battersby    Ken Levy
Margaret Bey        Sue Litwin
Kate Caporusso    Rich Ludwig
Lauren Cress        Pete Magnuson
Sara Cronin         Mike Marino        
Nikole DeLuca      Jim Morris
Jason Elias          Gregg Muscarella
Ed Farrell            Sue Necroto    
Matt Fuentes        Rich Perry    
Michael Goldberg Ricky Posner
Eric Gomez         Linda Seckler    
Jennifer Hahn      Mary Sherman
Lenny Heide        Wendy Simson        
David Hendler     June Spruyt        
Nicole Hollings     Cindy Tellekamp
Brian Joyce         Neil Testa
Sharissa Khan     Keryn Thienachariya
                         Saul Wiener
                         Cindy Zagorski
                         Ken Zisel
                         Julie Rosslee

Browse the photos for a glimpse of the ice-cold action.


Mepham Field Christened with Ribbon-Cutting

School officials, administrators, teachers and the gathered crowd of Pirates fans were all on hand to celebrate the newly installed artificial turf with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Held shortly before the Pirates football team took the field to face Carey High School, Mepham Principal Michael Harrington addressed the crowd and organized the cutting. Student representatives from every sport were invited to hold the nearly 20-foot ribbon across the new Pirates logo on the 50-yard line. School Board President JoAnn DeLauter, Vice President George Haile and trustee Dr. Nancy Kaplan were tasked with cutting the ribbon.

Superintendent John DeTommaso was also part of the ceremony, describing the celebration as an incredible day that secures for generations of children quality athletic facilities. Harrington described the occasion as a new beginning for the Bellmore-Merrick School District.

On Sept. 20, John F. Kennedy held its ribbon-cutting ceremony to christen the new field, while Calhoun will hold its ceremony on Sept. 27 at 1:45 p.m. before the Colts take on Herricks High School. Browse the photo gallery for a look at the ceremony and stay tuned for continued coverage of the ceremonies at JFK and Calhoun.

Congratulations to our National Merit Commended Students.

Although they will not continue for the National Merit Scholarship Awards, Commended Students placed among the top five percent of the country out of more than 1.5 million students who entered the competition by virtue of taking the PSAT last year.

From left to right the students are: David Braunstein, Noah Turner, Katherine Gallagher, Alex Iskenderian, Griffin Miller, Jason Iskenderian, and Angel Cheng.

Enterovirus Parent/Guardian Letter


Bellmore-Merrick CHSD Central Office take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge!

View the video here!


Weebly Campus Pro Update


State Assessment Data - ELA, Math, & Science


Nassau County School Zone Speed Safety Camera Program


Below is a link to the Official Nassau County School Zone Speed Safety Camera Program:



Updates Inside


The district will be placing new information in this section regarding the Capital Projects. Be on the lookout for information as it becomes available. See the links below for our latest updates.

9/29/14 - Bond Phase 1 Update

8/11/14 - Bond Phase 1 Update

7/14/14 - Bond Phase 1 Update

6/30/14 - Bond Phase 1 Update

July 2014 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

August 2014 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

September 2014 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

Construction Update 6/17/14

Neighbor Letter Re: Construction (Middle School)

Neighbor Letter Re: Construction

6/10/14 - Bond Phase 1 Update

SED Approval - Phase I  - May 6

02/10/14 - Bond Project Update

Capital Project Potential Phasing