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.

Calhoun Leadership Class Heads South For Cultural Exchange

Calhoun Leadership Class Heads South For Cultural Exchange
Eleven students have been chosen by their peers to represent Calhoun High School in the first leg of a cultural exchange trip to Pascagoula, Mississippi. This is the first time any school in the district has participated in such a program.

“We Facetimed with our host students and exchanged videos explaining what school life is like for each of us,” explained Caitlyn Tolchin.
The students, who depart on Feb. 23, are from the Leadership Class, which promotes community service and fosters leadership skills among students. They will double up with host families and spend one day shadowing their southern counterparts at school.

“I’m looking forward to learning more about their culture but also their food because it’s so much different than ours,” said Jack Roberts.

Melissa Schmidt said she has been following Snapchat where the Pascagoula students have been sending videos of traditional Mississippi fare for them to sample on their trip.

Accompanied by Leadership Class teacher Brian Joyce and Assistant Principal Ken Zisel, the students will attend a family-oriented Mardi Gras celebration hosted by the town. They are also being welcomed with a barbecue celebration that is expected to be attended by the school superintendent, mayor and other local dignitaries.

Zisel orchestrated the trip and told students during a planning meeting that they should be proud they were chosen and he hopes they “get everything they want out of an experience like this.”

Callie Ganca explained how they plan to create a video diary during their trip to chronicle their experiences and show their fellow classmates.

In April, their Pascagoula counterparts will visit Merrick, spending a day at Calhoun High School as well. The trip was partially funded by students’ fundraising but the remainder is being financed individually.
“We’ve already been talking to them about what they want to do when they are here and most of them have never been to New York City, so that seems to be on the top of the list,” added Roberts.

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.

Notice To Parents Of Nonpublic School Students

Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District parents are reminded that New York State Law annually requires a written transportation request by April 1 from parents or guardians of students (Grades 7-12) who plan to attend private or parochial schools. Requests must be submitted prior to April 1, 2017 for the school year beginning September 2017.

Transportation application forms for the 2017-2018 school year are available at the Bellmore-Merrick CHSD, Business Office, 1260 Meadowbrook Road, North Merrick, New York 11566 or on the district website:

All students requesting nonpublic school transportation who did not previously attend one of the component elementary districts: Bellmore, Merrick, North Bellmore or North Merrick Union Free school districts or one of the Bellmore Merrick Central High School District’s schools, must register with the BMCHSD. Please call 516-992-1003 to schedule an appointment with the Central Registrar, at the Brookside School, 1260 Meadowbrook Road, North Merrick, New York.  Registration is by appointment only.

Kennedy JV Cheer Squad Lands at Nationals for First Time

Kennedy JV Cheer Squad Lands at Nationals for First Time
For the first time in the school’s history, the junior varsity cheerleading team at Kennedy High School recently competed in the National High School Cheerleading Championship in Orlando, Florida.

“Since December we have been practicing up to five days per week to prepare,” said coach Linda Leonardo. “We had less than two months to fundraise for the entire trip and would not have made it there without the help of our parents and sponsors.”

Leonardo explained the squad had a “rough warm up” prior to their Feb. 11 competition held at the ESPN World Wide of Sports Complex in the Pavilion.

“However, once they hit the mat their focus changed and they performed that routine like I had never seen before,” she added. “They had a perfect hit. No deductions. This was something we were hoping for when we got to nationals.”

The team finished in 12th place and looks forward to heading back next year.

Grand Avenue’s SADD Club Promotes Good Citizenship

The Students Against Destructive Decisions Club at Grand Avenue Middle School has been focused on making positive impacts and contributions to their community.

“We look at positive ways to promote citizenship and be positive student leaders who do not have to rely on drugs and alcohol to feel good or to be accepted,” said teacher and club adviser Pia Santadonato.
During their Mugs of Love project, the club collected more than 200 gently used mugs to donate to the Interfaith Nutrition Network's Freeport site in mid-February. They packaged up the mugs with various pantry food items.
The INN feeds approximately 100 people each day and is completely run by volunteers.

With their Wrapped in Love project, students delivered nearly 40 handmade baby blankets to the neonatal unit at Winthrop-University Hospital.

“These blankets will be used to keep the babies warm and the babies will be able to take the blanket home with them when they are released from the hospital,” Santadonato explained.

Their recent Candy Gram project, spearheaded by eighth-grader Jordyn Krinsky, will benefit the Free to Breathe group to raise money for lung cancer research.

“My grandmother was diagnosed with lung cancer last year and I wanted to fundraise for research,” she said. “The organization is working to double the current survivor rate.”

With these projects and others, Santadonato said she hopes the students enjoy the feeling that comes along with doing something positive in the world.

Kennedy Pole Vaulter Jumps to Record Height

Cayla Conley, a senior at Kennedy High School, recently shattered a school record during the track and field conference championship.

Conley, clearing 7 feet, 6-inches in the pole vault, was an entire foot higher than the previous record.

“I’ve always had a love for running,” she said. “It allows me to express any emotion that I’m feeling at the time.”

Head coach Chris Mammome, assistant coach/jumps coach Cici Hirsch and her teammates are extremely proud of Conley’s record as well as the team’s achievements.
“She scored almost all of the points for the girls team at the conference championships,” Mammone explained.

“The coaches are very motivating, even when you are having a rough day,” Conley added. “They taught us that it doesn’t determine how the rest of your performances will go.”

Conley said she was hesitant trying pole vaulting four years ago, but pushed herself to do so.

“I carried over track from middle school into the high school setting but wanted to set new goals for myself,” she added.

Conley also earned fourth best school records in long jump and triple jump.

Eight Science Students Present at JSHS

Eight Science Students Present at JSHS
Eight Science Students Present at JSHS 2
Eight students from Kennedy and Calhoun high school were selected as semifinalists to present their research at the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium at York College on Feb. 5.

This is the first time in Kennedy’s history that all who submitted were selected as semifinalists.

Kennedy students Max Bazil, Arin Forstadt, Claire Kelly, Jennifer Rakhimov, Michael Sternbach and Perri Zilberman were joined by Calhoun students Samantha Hernandez and Sara Samir.

Based on their scientific research presentations, Forstadt and Kelly of Kennedy were selected as finalists and will compete at York College on Feb 19.

JSHS is designed to challenge and engage high school students in science, technology, engineering or mathematics. Individual students compete for scholarships and recognition by presenting the results of their original research efforts before a panel of judges and an audience of their peers.

Ten Calhoun Athletes Sign Letters of Intent

Ten Calhoun Athletes Sign Letters of Intent
Calhoun High School announced that 10 student-athletes formally committed to playing a sport at the collegiate level.

“These student-athletes have worked tirelessly to reach the heights that they have attained,” said Calhoun Vice Principal Dr. Neil Testa. “To be a collegiate-athlete on any level is to be part of a select group of individuals. As someone who experienced college athletics first hand, I know of the excitement that you must be feeling knowing that you are able to continue competing in the sport you love.”

The following signed letters of intent: Devon Bayor, University of Colorado – Boulder (lacrosse); Saffron Hughes-McTurk, Misericordia University (soccer); Giana Kapoosuzian, Bryant University (lacrosse); Megan Keener, Adelphi University (lacrosse); Lauren Marinello, Molloy College (soccer); Michael Losak, SUNY Oneonta (baseball); Justin Neugebauer, Manhattanville College (baseball); Jack Roberts, Adelphi University (lacrosse); Shane Sanders, SUNY Purchase College (lacrosse); and Georgeanne Zimmerman, Marist College (swimming).

In a symbolic certificate signing ceremony at the school, the athletes were awarded commemorative Calhoun pens.

“When you begin your college athletic career in a few short months, you will undoubtedly be both excited and nervous,” Dr. Testa told the honorees. “Work hard on the field and in the classroom. Look to be a leader both on and off the field of play.”

Grand Avenue and Merrick Avenue Buzz at Hofstra Spelling Bee

Two students from Merrick Avenue and Grand Avenue middle schools recently competed in the 2017 Hofstra Long Island Regional Scripps Spelling Bee with one making it to the final round on Feb. 12.

Breana Raehse, a Grand Avenue Middle School eighth-grader, advanced to the next round after going against students from throughout Long Island. Raehse, who won her school’s bee by correctly spelling “pertinacity,” joined Keith Zazzi at the regional bee. Zazzi, a seventh-grader at Merrick Avenue, secured his spot by correctly spelling “prestidigitation” at his school’s competition.

The students first competed in their individual classroom spelling bees hosted by their teachers, and were then offered a spot to compete in their schoolwide spelling bee.

The winner at Hofstra will attend the 92nd annual National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. in May.

Grand Avenue Celebrates Groundhog Day - French Style

Grand Avenue Celebrates Groundhog Day - French Style

Eighth-grade students in Richard Zawislak’s French class at Grand Avenue Middle School celebrated Chandeleur Day.

Betsy Siegelaub, a retired Bellmore-Merrick French teacher, visited Mr. Zawislak’s class to teach them all about the holiday. Similar to Groundhog Day, Chandeleur Day (La Chandeleur) is also on Feb. 2 and has traditions associated with the change of weather. Students learned about the history and importance of the day, listened to music and played games to celebrate the day.

But the “piece de resistance” was the making of the crepes, which is treat eaten on the holiday. Students filled their crepes with various jams, Nutella and whipped cream and enjoyed chatting with Mrs. Siegelaub.    

To end the day, the students tried their hand at flipping the crepes to see how the rest of the winter season will fair.  

“Quand la Chandeleur est claire, l’hiver est par derrière; Chandeleur couverte, quarante jours de perte!”  (If Chandeleur is clear, no more winter to fear; If Chandeleur is gray, 40 more days winter will stay.)  According to the Chandeleur Day celebrations at Grand Avenue, it looks like spring will come late this year.

Calhoun’s Prep Club Cooks Up Pizza

Calhoun’s Prep Club Cooks Up Pizza
The Prep Cooking Club at Calhoun High School recently worked with a guest chef.

“He taught us how to make pizza from scratch, including flipping the dough,” said special education teacher Christine Celeste. “We learned step by step how to add sauce, cheese and toppings to our pizza. While the pizza was cooking, we were able to ask Chef Sal questions about cooking, and his experiences.”

Calhoun houses the district’s special education program, Prep.

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.

BMCHSD Community Cupboard garners $1,500 donation

The Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District Community Cupboard received a generous gift during the board of education meeting on Feb. 1. Members of the Bellmore Lions and Kiwanis clubs presented the cupboard with a $1,500 check.
Housed at Brookside School’s administrative building, the cupboard is a fully-stocked food pantry for local needy families.
“This has been a beautiful experience that has brought this community together,” said Deputy Superintendent Dr. Mara Bollettieri, who helped spearhead the project.

Calhoun ASR Students Awarded NYIT Mini Research Grants

Calhoun ASR Students Awarded NYIT Mini Research Grants

Three students in Calhoun High School’s Advanced Science Research program were each recipients of a $200 research grant for their recent research proposals.

Jonathan Ellison, Zachary Kaminiski and Alex Kuschner were each awarded a NYIT Mini Research Grant. January marks the midyear point where ASR students begin to present their topics at both local and regional research competitions.

“This grant will help to offset the costs involved with materials and/or printing expenses pertaining to their research projects,” said Jennifer Pefanis, the school’s research director. “All three boys have spent the last three years working tirelessly on their projects and it is with great honor that they accept this grant.”

Ellison’s research, The Relationship Between Motor, Cognitive and Quality of Life Scores in Patients With Parkinson’s Disease,” looked to find the relationship between how the caregivers and patients each viewed the patient’s quality of life.

“I looked at motor declines, changes in gait, rigidity, cognitive declines such as dementia,” Ellison said. “I used statistical measures and software to determine that the two scores had a different view.”

Kaminiski conducted “A Comparison of the Effects of Different Electrolytic Solutions, Flow Rates and Cell Designs on the Power Density in Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries.”

“I was trying to optimize the battery, trying to see under which conditions of the battery’s operation would give us the most power back,” Kaminiski explained, adding that he chose this topic because it is part of the clean energy field. “Protecting the environment and clean energy are very important to me.”

Kuschner’s research, “Interactions of MMP14 Between Trilobite Gene Mutation and Kif5B Jaw Phenotype in Danio Rerio,” studied crossbreeds of zebra fish.

“It determined the relationships between certain proteins and genes involved inside zebra fish,” Kuschner explained. “I was able to observe different crosses and matings of this fish.”

Both humans and zebra fish are vertebrates, therefore Kuschner’s goal was to “map out relationships and interactions between the genes of super fish and hopefully find a model that is similar.”

Their work will be presented at the Long Island Science Congress in April.

Bellmore-Merrick Bands Together to Help Those in Need

Bellmore-Merrick Bands Together to Help Those in Need

Inspired by Martin Luther King Jr.’s call to action for community and civil service, thousands of students throughout the district participated in a Day of Service.

Organized by the district’s One Voice, One Message committee, which is a student-led think tank, the event was spearheaded by Deputy Superintendent Dr. Mara Bollettieri and Social Studies Chairperson Robyn Einbinder.

After hearing a brief history lesson on the civil rights activist, students filled pantry, household and hygiene items into reusable bags along with a handwritten note on Jan. 13.

“When one looks at the totality of 6,000 students and staff districtwide filling more than 1,700 reusable grocery bags with food, it was touching to see a wonderful community come together to meet an incredibly important common goal on such an extraordinarily special day,” said Dr. Bollettieri.

Students also wrote notes of encouragement to include in the bags, which they learned from last year’s feedback, were especially impactful to the recipients of the food.

“Service learning opportunities like this have become routine in the district,” explained Sanford H. Calhoun High School Principal Nicole Hollings.

The following day, students and staff delivered the donated items to various social services organizations/housing units including the INN, Mommas House, Regina House and Bethany House.

“Our students not only donated and participated in this project, but learned the invaluable lesson of giving service to others in need,” added Wellington C. Mepham High School Principal Michael Harrington.  





COORE and Prep for Life Students Get Ready to Rumble

COORE and Prep for Life Students Get Ready to Rumble
COORE and Prep for Life Students Get Ready to Rumble2
COORE and Prep for Life Students Get Ready to Rumble3
COORE and Prep for Life students who attend Calhoun High School, which houses the district’s special education program, are afforded the opportunity to participate in the Bellmore-Merrick Challenger Sports League.

“The students were especially excited to show off their new Bellmore-Merrick jerseys thanks to the Director of Athletics, Eric Caballero,” said Mike Pisano, a special education teacher and coach.

Over the course of six weeks, the students participated in bowling, basketball and volleyball games at their individual athletic ability level against numerous other school districts including Massapequa, Seaford and Amityville.

“The outcome of the games is not about who wins or loses but the priceless memories that are made,” said Helen Kanellopoulos, assistant director of special education.   
This after-school activity allows the district’s COORE and Prep for Life students to interact with each other outside of the school day and meet peers from other districts, Kanellopoulos said.

“The 2016-2017 Challenger Bowling League was an absolute success and a lot of fun was had by all,” said Lisa Naud, a special education teacher and coach. “We are looking forward to an exciting Challenger basketball season.”

Calhoun, Mepham Pin Down Alumni in Wrestling Match

Calhoun, Mepham Pin Down Alumni in Wrestling Match
Calhoun, Mepham Pin Down Alumni in Wrestling Match2
Calhoun, Mepham Pin Down Alumni in Wrestling Match3
The Calhoun High School wrestling program celebrated its history by hosting an alumni match versus intradistrict team, Mepham, on Jan. 21.
“The match was very well attended and proved to be a great day for everyone involved in the Calhoun wrestling community,” said John Hamilton, Calhoun’s head wrestling coach.

More than 45 Calhoun wrestling alumni from 1960 to 2015 attended the match and reconnected with their friends and family.
Former Calhoun head wrestling coaches were also in attendance including Gregg Muscarella and Steve Romano. Coach Bob Bury, who is known as the “Father of Calhoun Wrestling” and has been recognized at a state and national level, was the featured guest of honor.

The day started with a junior varsity match and was followed by Calhoun Principal Nicole Hollings singing the national anthem. The varsity match immediately ensued and proved to be a tight contest with Mepham edging out Calhoun in bouts and eventually winning, 7-5.

“Thanks to Mepham coaches Sean Arresto, Mike Muscara, Ken Richards and Rob Tobia for their part in making this a great event,” added Director of Athletics Eric Caballero.

 “Much gratitude and thanks are extended to coach John Hamilton for all of his hard work in organizing the event and turning Mr. Caballero’s idea of hosting an ‘Alumni Wrestling Match at Calhoun’ a reality,” added Sean Arresto, Mepham’s head coach. “Coach Hamilton also organized an after-match gathering that proved to be a wonderful time for all who attended.”

Calhoun’s current coaching staff looks forward to making the Alumni Wrestling Match an annual event.

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.

Calhoun Girls Track Earn Conference Runners-Up Title

Runners-Up Title1
Calhoun High School’s girls track and field in the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District recently competed and placed in the Conference Championships at Saint Anthony's High School in Huntington.

Led by captains Cristin Rodriguez, Katie Goodman and Christina Garbarino, the girls started off slow as East Meadow dominated all the distance events, but then the sprints and field events began and this was Calhoun's time to shine.  

Rodriguez not only won the 55m hurdles, but also claimed her second conference title in the high jump; setting her personal best of 5 feet, the number two mark in all of Nassau County, explained coach Joseph Migliano.

Goodman led the jumpers going 16 feet, 7 inches, a personal best and a top long jump in Nassau. Rodriguez, Goodman, Devon Bayer and Paige Sfiroudis dominated the long and triple jump events giving Calhoun the boost they needed.

Junior standout Katie Corona took second place in the 600m race, where she ran her personal best as well as earned eight points. Garbarino led the newly found race walkers to a necessary 15 points in the 1500m event.

Christina took second, senior Morgan Connelly took third and junior Lindsay Sheridan finished at sixth.

In the 4x400m relay race, Katie Corona got the team out to a solid lead and handed off to senior Olivia Levy, who handed it off to sophomore Cody Dateno.

Dateno ran a solid, strong race keeping the team in first place. On anchor for Calhoun was freshman Elizabeth Tuzzolo.

“[Tuzzolo] ran an amazingly strategic and fast race holding on to the lead at every turn helping Calhoun capture the 4x400m gold,” Migliano said.
Calhoun walked away with the runners-up plaque; something the Calhoun girls haven't done in more than two decades.

“The girls represented their school, coaches and alumni with honor and proved to Nassau County that they are a program to be reckoned with,” Migliano added.

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.

Bellmore-Merrick to Host First Faculty Variety Show

Variety Show1
On Friday, Feb. 3, the Central High School District will host its first district faculty variety show, “The Faculty Follies.”
This fundraising event will help raise money for the new Community Cupboard.

The evening will feature live performances by a wide range of staff members representing each of the six schools as well as central administration. Students from the district’s Ambassador Program will serve as the emcees for the show.

“This is another example of students and faculty coming together in the spirit of One Voice, One Message,” said Cheryl Fontana, director of the fine & performing arts. “The Student Ambassadors have done tremendous work building the Community Cupboard. This night of entertainment is the faculty’s way of helping to support their initiative.”

The show will be held at 7 p.m. in the Mepham High School auditorium, located at 2401 Camp Ave. in Bellmore. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased in each school starting Monday, Jan. 30 as well as at the door.

MAMS Student Jasper Seabold is a Math Whiz

Math Whiz1
Jasper Seabold, an eighth-grader at Merrick Avenue Middle School in the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District, recently scored in the top 5 percent of the nation on the American Math Competition.

“Jasper utilized his problem-solving skills and concepts developed in Anna Aprilakis’ math class to perform at such an advanced level on this exam,” said Mathematics Chairperson David Gunder.

Seabold is a member of the school’s Math Club, Builders Club, PAWS Club and Science Olympiads. He was also a past member of the All-County Jazz Band.
More than 130,000 students participated nationwide on this exam.

Bellmore-Merrick’s ENL Students Travel Back in Time

English Language Learners from both Grand Avenue and Merrick Avenue middle schools visited the Tenement Museum in Manhattan’s Lower East Side on Jan. 13 as part of the English as a New Language program.

“Students traveled back in time and experienced the life of immigrants inside a tenement apartment building from 1863,” explained ENL Chairperson Enrique Montes.

During the guided tour, students interacted with an actress playing the role of Victoria Confino, a former resident who lived in the tenement in 1916. Students were invited into her living room where they heard stories about her experience as a Greek immigrant settling in the Lower East Side.  

Students prepared questions in advance and compared their experiences as immigrants with that of settlers in the early part of the 20th century.
“Our students left with a sense of perspective, knowing that the challenges they face as new Americans are not different from what immigrants faced years ago,” added Montes.

Their ENL teachers, Abigail Havener and Denise Schleith, prepared a thematic unit on immigration in preparation for this trip. Students learned about the contributions that immigrants have had in shaping the country.  

Keeping up with the spirit of multiculturalism, students and chaperones had empanadas at a Lower East Side restaurant.

“One Voice, One Message” Superhero 5K Walk/Run on Saturday, March 25th


The students of the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District are pleased to invite you to participate in the “One Voice, One Message” Superhero 5K walk/run on Saturday, March 25th.  Registration begins at 7:30am and the race begins at 9:00am.  The start and finish lines are at Grand Avenue Middle School.  This year’s proceeds will be donated to Stop Hunger Now, an organization that helps fight hunger. To pre-register for the race, please visit the following website: 

 Roads between Grand Avenue Middle School  and Merrick Avenue Middle Schools will be affected starting at 8:00 am until around 11:00 am.  The actual route for the Superhero 5K can be found on the above reference website.  The roads will reopen as the participants make their way through.

We hope to see you on March 25th!


Bellmore-Merrick Expands World Languages Department

Bellmore-Merrick Expands World Languages Department

The district’s Department of World Languages expanded its offerings for the 2016-17 school year with the addition of Mandarin Chinese.

“The response to the program was positive, and classes are now well under way at both Grand Avenue and Merrick Avenue middle schools,” said World Languages Chairperson Rosa Kaplan.

 At the start of the year, seventh-grade students began studying the Chinese language and culture with their teacher, Helen Han.

Through a storytelling approach, students were quickly immersed in the language, as Ms. Han believes in teaching her entire lesson in Mandarin.
“It did not take long for students to begin speaking in Mandarin and they are already reading and writing simplified Chinese characters and Pinyin,” said Renée Fallon, a world languages chairperson.

The students are also learning about Chinese culture. Han incorporates authentic materials, videos, music and her own experience involving daily life in China. Currently there are 35 students enrolled in the program, including 15 at Grand Avenue Middle School and 20 at Merrick Avenue Middle School.

Preserving and Progressing: Merrick Avenue Unveils New Library Media Center

Preserving and Progressing: Merrick Avenue

In the interest of reshaping the model of the traditional library space, the staff at Merrick Avenue Middle recently unveiled their redesigned library media center – a true combination of the technology of the present paired with the aura of the past.

“It has become the heart of the building,” said English Chairperson Adeline Atkins. “The entire space is warm, inviting and intellectually engaging.”

To encourage and reinforce the value of literacy, Merrick Avenue Principal Dr. Taryn Johnson, noted that it was essential to include different learning areas, access to technology and literature that was readily at the fingertips of the students. “It was imperative that we remained cognizant of the fact that students learn differently and that the varying spaces support students’ learning styles.”
Keenly aware that this generation has embraced learning through technology, this new library is replete with iPads, Chromebooks, Kindles, Google Goggles, an Interactive SmartBoard, Apple TV and a 3-D Printer. Dr. Johnson added that plans for a Makerspace are in the works.  
In homage to the original library, a card catalog has been repurposed into a charging station and a supply closet has been transformed into a lit display case.  The district’s maintenance team restored the beauty of the original oak cabinetry through a sanding and restaining process that harkens the shelving back to its original era and grace.

The signatures of both classic and modern writers adorn the perimeter of the entire library separated by stacks of gilded books. Each signature is reflective of the spirit of the age in which the writers lived and the passion evoked in the subject of their works.

Similar projects are planned for Grand Avenue Middle School and Kennedy High School.

Central Seniors Chosen as 2017 Coca-Cola Scholar Semifinalists

Two seniors were recently selected as Coca-Cola Scholar semifinalists.

Sara Samir from Calhoun High School and Maximilian Bazil from Kennedy High School were honored for their contributions to the community and the science field.

After the applicant pool was whittled down from 86,000 applicants, 1,914 students were chosen from across the country.

They are currently submitting their semifinalist applications to be reviewed in January.

After the review, 250 semifinalists will advance as regional finalists with 150 becoming Coca-Cola Scholars. The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation exists to better the world through investment in exceptional high school students who are dedicated to leadership, service and action that positively affect others.

Calhoun Students Review First Aid Skills

Calhoun Students Review First Aid Skills
Calhoun Students Review First Aid Skills 2
Calhoun Students Review First Aid Skills 3
During physical education classes, students at Calhoun High School are reviewing topics in CPR, AED and first aid.

Next year, the school will be re-certifying students since its good for two years.

Under the guidance of the district’s athletic director, Eric Caballero, and in conjunction with the Robbie Levine Foundation, Bellmore-Merrick’s physical education teachers have been designing and delivering lessons in CPR and AED to students in grades 7 through 12. Additionally, students at the high school level, received first aid training.

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.

Guest Speaker Educates Mepham Students About Culture Through Crisis

Culture Through Crisis1
Culture Through Crisis2
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.”

Reminder - School Delayed Opening/Closing Information


Dear Parents,


As we approach the winter weather season, we would like to ensure that everyone is prepared in case we have storms that interfere with the opening of school in the future.  

The following is a reminder of the SCHOOL DELAYED OPENING/CLOSING information which is also posted on the district website (School Closing/Delays under Parents/Students section):


Delayed Openings

Information for Students & Parents

In the event of inclement weather, a delayed opening of school by two (2) hours may be implemented by the Superintendent. Should this take place, the following schedule will be followed:

  • Middle Schools: Grades 7-8 will report to their period 1 classes at 9:56 am. The length of each period will be 25 minutes.
  • High Schools: Grades 9-12 will report to their period 1 classes at 9:30 am. The length of each period will be 28 minutes
  • MAP: Grades 10-12 will report to their period 1 classes at 10:45 am.

Buses: Bus schedules will also be delayed by exactly two (2) hours. For example, if your child’s pick-up time is normally scheduled for 7:34 am, a two (2) hour delay will change the pick-up time to 9:34 am.

  • Magnet Classes: Magnet classes in all schools will be canceled. Students are to report directly to their home school by 9:30 am for period 1.
  • Field Trips: Field trips that are scheduled to go out on the morning of a delayed opening will be canceled.  At the discretion of the principal, trips whose departure time falls safely within the shortened school day may go out as scheduled. However, field trips will be canceled if road or weather conditions continue to remain hazardous after the delayed opening.
  • BOCES Classes: All morning BOCES Barry Tech and other Occupational Education programs will be canceled. Morning BOCES students should report to their home schools at their normal start times.
  • School Lunch: Lunch will be available and served to all students at their regularly scheduled lunchtime.
  • Dismissal Time: Students will be dismissed at the normal time and afterschool activities will proceed as usual unless a cancellation is announced.
  • Student Absence: Please follow the regular procedure and call your Attendance Office if your child will not be attending school.
  • Closing School: A delayed opening is subject to change if the weather or road conditions remain hazardous. The Superintendent retains the option to close schools if the potential for hazardous conditions continues.


Calhoun Girls Basketball Hosts Youth Clinic

 Girls Basketball Hosts Youth Clinic
During the holiday break, the Calhoun High School girls varsity and junior varsity basketball teams held a basketball skills clinic for fourth- to eighth-grade girls in the Merrick and North Merrick communities.
Nearly 60 girls attended and learned various skills, performed drills and built confidence.

The next clinic will be held on Jan. 21, 2017, from 9-11 am. Sign ups are at the door for $20 per child. Grades 4 and 5 will attend between 9-10 a.m. and grades 6, 7 and 8 can attend between 10 and 11 a.m.

Kennedy Government Classes Raise Funds for Adopt-a-Battalion

Students enrolled in the Senior Participation in Government and AP Government classes at Kennedy High School raise money and collected donations for active service members stationed overseas.

At the suggestion of AP Government teacher Kara McManus, Kennedy students selected the volunteer-based Adopt-a-Battalion organization to provide packages containing toiletries, candy, and socks for troops.

Since October, AP government students hosted numerous events as part of their service learning project and the fundraising efforts benefited Adopt-a-Battalion.

“Our students organized several fundraisers including bake sales, selling yellow ribbons for Veterans Day,” said District Social Studies Chairperson Karen McGuinness. “Students also collected loose change and solicited donations of toiletries from companies in the area. On Dec. 3, student volunteers also helped to package donations at a Knights of Columbus hall in Massapequa Park.”

The group raised more than $1,300.

“This will help to ease their lives while deployed overseas,” explained Richard Olson, an Adopt-a-Battalion representative. "It is so heartwarming to see young men and women taking an interest today in our service members overseas protecting us. "

Six Seniors Recognized as Outstanding Students

Six seniors in the Central High School District were honored recently at the High School Outstanding Student Awards Dinner.

The Nassau Zone of the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance hosted the event at Crest Hollow Country Club on Dec. 12, honoring one young woman and one young man in the 2017 graduating class who met the required Physical Education Outstanding Student criteria for achievement.

Michael Losak and Colleen McKenna from Calhoun High School; Josh Levine and Nicole Rezak from Kennedy High School; and Kevin Chaimowitz and Hope Kotowski from Mepham High School were recognized.

Mepham Announces Poetry Out Loud Winners

Poetry Out Loud 1
Poetry Out Loud 2
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.

District Showcases Vocal Talents

Vocal Talents

The district hosted its first Vocal Music Showcase, featuring the five premiere choral groups across the entire district.

Kennedy High School’s Variety Choir, Merrick Avenue Middle School’s Word of Mouth, Grand Avenue Middle School’s Grand Voices, Mepham High School’s Pirate Radio and Calhoun High School’s Crescendo were included in the performance.

"I got to sit with my best friend who is a soprano in Variety Choir over at Kennedy, and a seventh-grader who seemed very excited with the idea of being a part of our high school ensemble,” said Doug Gall, a member of Calhoun’s Crescendo group.  

While admission was free, the district accepted donations to the new pantry, the Community Cupboard, which is housed at Brookside.

"This was an incredibly special night in the Bellmore-Merrick CHSD,” said Cheryl Fontana, director of fine and performing arts and adult education.

“The genuine amount of camaraderie and support amongst our students truly embodied the meaning of One Voice, One Message. We certainly look forward to making this a new tradition for our communities."

Mepham Football Recognized for Off Field Efforts

Main Photo
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.”

Community Cupboard


In the News


Bond Video 2016


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.

10/24/16 Bond Phase 2 & 3 Update

9/6/16 Bond Phase 2 & 3 Update

8/8/16 Bond Phase 2 & 3 Update

7/27/16 Bond Phase 2 & 3 Update

7/15/16 Bond Update

7/6/16 Bond Update

July 2016 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

6/11/16 - Bond Phase 2 and 3 Update

April 2016 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

4/11/16 - Bond Phase 2 Update

March 2016 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

3/1/16 - Bond Phase 2 Update

February 2016 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

1/5/16 - Bond Phase 2 Update

12/15/15 - Bond Phase 2 Update

December 2015 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

11/15/15 - Bond Phase 2 Update

November 2015 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

10/20/15 - Bond Phase 2 Update

8/25/15 - Bond Phase 2 Update

1/22/15 - Bond Phase 1 Update

12/10/14 - Bond Phase 1 Update

10/29/14 - Bond Phase 1 Update

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

October 2014 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

November 2014 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

December 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