Winter Concert Information

The link for the concert is below. ☺

REMINDER Scroll to the bottom for live streaming information for anyone that can not make the performance or a relative that does not live local.

Look no further for your holiday fun. The Winter Concert Series is here!!!

Grand Avenue Middle School Winter Concert Series

Tuesday, December 6th, 7:00pm – Grand Voices, Band 8 & Chorus 7

Thursday, December 15th, 6:30pm – Chamber Orchestra & Orchestra 7/8

Thursday, December 15th, 8:00pm – Jazz Band, Chorus 8 & Band 7

For the family and friends that do not live locally or cannot make the concert…there is the Grand Avenue UStream Channel!!!! Follow the link http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nfUZeHwVyKp on concert night or download the UStream app in either iOS or Android. Through the app, search Grand Ave. MS. This will also take you directly to our channel.

HINT: If using a PC or laptop, Google Chrome works significantly better than Internet Explorer.

All district teams earn scholar athlete status

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Every athletic squad in the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District has been declared a Scholar Athlete team for the fall 2016 season by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association.

To earn this distinction, teams must earn a 90 percent grade-point average or higher.

“Student-athletes in Bellmore-Merrick continue their commitment to academics, as well as athletics,” said Eric Caballero, director of physical education, athletics, driver’s education and health. “They work hard at maintaining a precise balance to help them excel at both.”

Career Night on December 8, 2016 has been postponed to a later date.

Governor Cuomo’s Message to Students

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District's Community Cupboard Runneth Over

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Mepham Fosters Community Connections With TEDx Event

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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."





Students Immersed in French Culture During Québec Trip

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Over Veterans Day weekend, a group of 64 French students in the Central High School District traveled to Québec, Canada.

The itinerary for the trip, which is a first for the district, was organized by Kennedy World Languages teacher Paul Cirino. It included time in both Québec City and Montreal.

“The four-day experience immersed students in an authentic experience that allowed them to put their French language skills to use,” said World Languages Chairperson Renée Fallon. “Students toured the most famous sights and experienced the region’s rich cuisine.”

In addition to Fallon, World Languages Department Chairpersons Rosa Kaplan and Enrique Montes accompanied the students as well as World Languages teachers Nikole DeLuca (Calhoun), Betsy Siegelaub (Mepham), Antonietta Valenti (Kennedy) and Rich Zawislak (Grand Avenue).

Students spent the first two nights in Québec City where they visited famous landmarks such as the historic Château Frontenac, generally regarded as the most photographed hotel in the world. On the third day, students traveled to the city of Montreal, where they had the opportunity to visit its most important sites, including the Notre-Dame Basilica. On the last day, students toured the McGill University campus, located in downtown Montreal.

“One of the highlights of the trip was the chasse au trésor, a treasure hunt where groups of students wandered through the cobblestone streets of Québec City trying to find information about different landmarks,” Cirino said. “Students had the opportunity to practice their French throughout the trip.”

In addition to conversations with tour guides, locals, and hotel and restaurant staff, they participated in a language immersion class where they learned about regional varieties of Québécois French.  

Mepham’s Classes Battle It Out for Charity

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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.





Calhoun’s David Bekore Wins National Writing Award

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David Bekore, a senior at Calhoun High School has been named a national winner in the 2016 National Council of Teacher of English (NCTE) Awards in Writing.  

“David is a true leader amongst his peers as a member of the varsity football team, president of the National Honor Society, a student leader within Athletes Helping Athletes, a math team member, a writer for the school newspaper, and a shot-put thrower,” stated Trustee Wendy Gargiulo during the award presentation at the Nov. 2 board of education meeting.

“Outside of school, David’s leadership extends to his youth group where he serves as the co-president of NCSY, recruiting new members, running meetings, organizing and participating in service-based initiatives,” added Kim Serpe, English chairperson.

Judges from NCTE evaluated writing from 533 juniors around the country.  Entries were judged on content, purpose, audience, tone, word choice, organization, development, and style.  To become a part of the national competition, David first was selected by the English department as a school nominee from over 30 submissions.  David submitted two pieces of writing to be judged by English teachers nationwide.


Mepham H4H Club Completes First Build

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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.



District Response to State Audit

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Calhoun Hosts Thanksgiving Feast Fundraiser

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On Nov. 18. Calhoun High School hosted its annual Thanksgiving dinner to support families in the local community who are in need.

“The $10 donation admission will help to feed our families on Thanksgiving,” Principal Nicole Hollings said. “The meals were provided by many of our families who offered to cook and members of our National Honor Society volunteered to serve.”

Attendees were treated to performances by Express Yourself and members of On Tour Company. Express Yourself is comprised of students from the district’s Prep for Life program.

“This was the highlight of our evening,” added Hollings. “They are such an incredible group of kids.”

Grand Avenue Celebrates National French Week

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French students at Grand Avenue Middle School recently celebrated National French Week.

National French Week, organized by the American Association of Teachers of French, is a celebration of the French language and francophone world.
Richard Zawislak’s French students filled the school with francophone knowledge. Seventh-graders designed informative flyers about the various French-speaking parts of the world while the eighth-graders created ones filled with fun French facts that decorated the hallways.
 
In addition, some French students were guests of the Communication Club and presented each morning during homeroom announcements. Each day there was a French Fact of the Day, French Word of the Day and a Super Sleuth Question based on the flyers in the halls.

Mr. Zawislak’s eighth-grade students competed in the school’s first French Competition. Three teams of students, each one representing a color of the French flag, gathered in the auditorium and went head-to-head in four rounds: Name that Item, Francophone Trivia, What would you say? And Spell it in French. Seventh-grade French students were invited to come and support their favorite team.
 
“The auditorium was filled with cheers, good sportsmanship and francophone pride,” said World Languages Chairperson Renée Fallon. “The scores were close, but in the end team blue won the competition.”

Kennedy’s Hugh Cheung Recognized as Young Math Scholar

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Hugh Cheung, a ninth-grader Kennedy High School, is among the 84 students this year selected as a Long Island Young Scholar of Mathematics.
This designation grants him acceptance into the Institute of Creative Problem Solving for Gifted and Talented Students to pursue mathematics and mathematical science applications.

“Hugh has been a tremendous asset to our classroom from the start of the school year,” said his math teacher Kerri Andree. “He brings great insight to our lessons and is constantly searching for a deeper understanding of mathematics. It is a pleasure to help guide a student, such as Hugh, that clearly enjoys and appreciates his education. He has a promising future in mathematics and we are all very proud of him and his accomplishments.”
The Institute of Creative Problem Solving for Gifted and Talented Students is one of the most competitive programs in the nation. Selection by the institute implies that a student is among the top one-tenth of 1 percent of all students in mathematics on Long Island in their grade.


Mepham’s Leo Club Helps Fill District Food Pantry

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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.

Kennedy Boys Volleyball Earns Back-to-Back County Titles

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The Kennedy High School boys volleyball team dominated Jericho High School to capture the Nassau County Class B Championship.
    
The team roster includes: Tyler Anderson, Owen Bradley, Steve Carlson, Andrew Celauro, Tyler Jarzabeck, Dylan Judd, Josh Kaplan, Jordan Kappel, Garrett Krassner, Josh Levine, Jeff Lowell, Mitch Mass, Cooper Moran, Hunter Moran, Justin Steinberg and Austin Weiner. Levine was also named Tournament MVP.
 
“These boys have been determined to continue a tradition of excellence,” said coach Dennis Ringel. “This win gives the volleyball program back-to-back county championships and seven county championships in the past nine years.”

Merrick Avenue’s M.O.R.E. Class Delivers Sweet Messages

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Students in the M.O.R.E. (Merrick Offers Rewarding Experiences) Entrepreneur class, who operate The Barn at Merrick Avenue Middle School, were hard at work this Halloween season.

The M.O.R.E. program prepares students for the transition to high school and beyond. The program offers intensive academics in the four core subjects and literacy. The students also have the opportunity to work in a retail setting, The Barn, to develop financial aptitude, organization, responsibility and social skills.  
 
The program’s Trick-or-Treat Give Something Sweet candy gram had the school a buzz as more than 1,000 candy grams were sold. Students from The Barn made sales, packaged the candy and attached student messages for delivery.

Merrick Avenue students were able to purchase a candy gram for a friend and have it delivered directly to them. On Halloween, The Barn delivered all candy grams during ninth period for the first trick-or-treat candy of the day. Students at Merrick Avenue were able to connect with friends while helping support another Barn business venture.

Mepham Student Revitalizes Calhoun Courtyard

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Ian Randman, a student at Mepham High School, chose an Eagle Scout project that will be long-lasting both in structure and memory.

Randman renovated the courtyard at the Calhoun High School after his friend and former Calhoun student, Shawn Asman, passed away. Asman and Randman’s sister, Elizabeth, both attended the district’s Prep for Life program and were in a long-term relationship.

 “After his passing, I knew I wanted to dedicate my project to him, and I figured the best way to do that was to have my project include a place he spent a significant portion of his time and was well known,” Randman said.

After fundraising nearly $6,000, Randman and his family and friends worked to build a new gazebo. Remaining funds were donated to the school for maintenance. The work was completed on Oct. 13. Randman also power washed the surrounding patio and built a new bench. A dedication plaque is displayed at the opening of the gazebo.

“The completion of the project brings me happiness as I know Shawn will be getting the recognition he deserves for being such a great guy to everyone he met,” Randman said. “Calhoun students (and classes) will now be able to enjoy the area for years to come, and I hope that students and teachers will understand how much Shawn meant to people for this area to be dedicated to him.”

Dr. Neil Testa, a vice principal at Calhoun, said that students could utilize the area in the warmer months.

“It’s also a future goal of ours to make the area a job site for students in the Prep for Life program and the gazebo was necessary for us to achieve that vision.”


Introspective Art Commemorates Hispanic Heritage Month at Kennedy

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Franca Fiorentino’s college Spanish class at John F. Kennedy High School celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month with a series of art appreciation lessons involving Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.

Kahlo was best known for her self-portraits where she highlighted Mexican national and indigenous culture and traditions. Students learned about the artist, her works and how they relate to the culture. The lesson culminated with a self-portrait project that will express elements of students’ own heritages.

“We discussed how they felt about their identities and how they would show that through their own self-portraits,” Fiorentino said.

Community Cupboard

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Calhoun’s Jonathan Lloyd Wins Peacemaking Contest

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Calhoun High School junior Jonathan Lloyd recently won the high school award in the 26th annual Peacemaking Contest, sponsored by the Community Presbyterian Church of Merrick.  

Charged with the task of writing an essay or story that detailed a personal experience in which he identified “those things that make for peace,” Lloyd wrote about Calhoun experiences that have significantly impacted him such as the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and Relay for Life.  

Mrs. Gould, an elder in the Community Presbyterian Church of Merrick, said that Jonathan’s entry was “touching in the way that he explained how he has been impacted by character-building experiences at school as well as how family values are instilled at home.”

Kennedy Inducts Musicians into Tri-M

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Several students at Kennedy High School were recently inducted into the Tri-M Music Honor Society.

The Tri-M Music Honor Society is a program of NAfME which focuses on creating future leaders in music education and music advocacy. Each year, these students contribute more than 750,000 service hours to their schools and local communities, and raise nearly $1 million for causes they care about. NAfME awards more than $2,000 in scholarships each year to chapters that demonstrate exceptional service and leadership.

Calhoun Boys Soccer Named Long Island Champions

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The Calhoun High School’s boys soccer team in the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District clinched the Class AA Long Island Championship on Nov. 6.
    
In an incredible matchup against Brentwood High School, the Colts prevailed in an overtime win, when Eric Stewart received a pass from Alex Sipos and got it into the goal - their third overtime win in the post-season.

“We are so proud of them and their tremendous accomplishment,” said Principal Nicole Hollings.

After securing a 1-0 win in overtime against Massapequa High School on Nov. 2, the boys clinched the Nassau County Championships.

Coach James Cantley said he was incredibly proud of the group of young men he leads.
“The Calhoun boys soccer team showed its heart and teamwork in a fantastic soccer game against a perennial powerhouse Brentwood,” said Cantley.

 The boys will make their bid for the state championship on Saturday, Nov. 12, at 1:30 p.m., at Middletown High School's Feller Field. The roster includes, in number order, Mike Simmons, Matt Advocate, David Futterman, Ryan Elliott, Dylan Jainchill, Joe Thomann, Victor Guimaraes, Jake Gedacht, Eric Stewart, Alex Sipos, James Weinblatt, Mike Harten, Ryan Rosenblum, James King, Christian Vignola, Cole Haile, Will Clarke, Kevin Hannon, Dylan Mulcahy, Sam Vitale, Neal Gil, Ryan Hilke, Shane Sanders and Nick Mangino.

Calhoun Students Create House of Horrors Fundraiser

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District Honors Board During Recognition Month

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During the Nov. 2 meeting, students, staff and administrators showed their love for the Central High School Board of Education.

From hand-drawn adult coloring books made by Calhoun’s Prep students to artwork from each of the district’s six buildings to a funky a capella performance by Merrick Avenue Middle School’s group, Word of Mouth, the evening was all about praise, pomp and circumstance.

“I don’t think there is anyone who represents the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District better than this board,” said Superintendent John DeTommaso. “It consistently works at making this great district even better. They narrow and focus their commitment on what is best for the kids.”

Board President Janet Goller called the board-district’s relationship a “true partnership.”

“We accomplish such great things together,” Goller added after thanking the evening’s participants.

Calhoun’s David Bekore Wins National Writing Award

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David Bekore, a senior at Calhoun High School has been named a national winner in the 2016 National Council of Teacher of English (NCTE) Awards in Writing.  

“David is a true leader amongst his peers as a member of the varsity football team, president of the National Honor Society, a student leader within Athletes Helping Athletes, a math team member, a writer for the school newspaper, and a shot-put thrower,” stated Trustee Wendy Gargiulo during the award presentation at the Nov. 2 board of education meeting.

“Outside of school, David’s leadership extends to his youth group where he serves as the co-president of NCSY, recruiting new members, running meetings, organizing and participating in service-based initiatives,” added Kim Serpe, English chairperson.

Judges from NCTE evaluated writing from 533 juniors around the country.  Entries were judged on content, purpose, audience, tone, word choice, organization, development, and style.  To become a part of the national competition, David first was selected by the English department as a school nominee from over 30 submissions.  David submitted two pieces of writing to be judged by English teachers nationwide.

Teachers Recognized as NYS English Council Educators of Excellence

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The Central High School District is proud to announce that English teachers Brett Schwartz and Laura Sheridan-Carbone have been recognized as New York State English Council Educators of Excellence.  
A graduate of Kennedy High School, Schwartz completed his student teaching at Mepham High School and has been teaching reading at Merrick Avenue Middle School for the past seven years.  

Although he is a reading instruction specialist, Schwartz has also made it a priority to engage with the entire school population. Each year he functions as master of ceremonies of the Scripps Spelling Bee schoolwide competition and is the school’s literary magazine adviser. He also can be counted on to support students by attending school events such as the musical and various sport competitions.
 
“He is a staple in the English department as well as the entire MAMS school community,” said Kim Serpe, English chairperson. “Mr. Brett Schwartz so richly deserves this award.”

Sheridan-Carbone has been teaching at Bellmore-Merrick for the past 17 years.  Starting her career at Kennedy High School, she answered the call to teach at the Meadowbrook Alternative Program after year six and has never looked back. She has taught every single English class there at some point, including AP Language and AP Literature.  
“No school year would be complete without Ms. Sheridan-Carbone’s organization and orchestration of the multi-faceted Shakespeare Festival,” added Serpe.

The application process included a letter of nomination and letters of recommendation from supervisors and colleagues. Schwartz and Sheridan-Carbone were formally honored at an awards ceremony at the New York State English Council’s annual conference held in Albany on Oct. 21 and will be honored again by the Long Island Language Arts Council in May 2017.


Kennedy Scares Up Halloween Fun for Kids

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Kennedy High School seniors opened their doors to elementary school students for spectacular spooks, costumes and crafts on Oct. 28 for their annual Halloween party.

Future Cougars from the Charles A. Reinhard Early Childhood Center were treated to pumpkin decorating, pin the spider on the web, a beanbag toss, mummy wrapping and more.

This service-learning project was made possible by Kennedy seniors and the social studies department.

Lady Sharks Swim Into Third at County Championships

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The Central High School District’s Lady Sharks swim team recently competed and finished third overall at the Nassau County Championships held at Eisenhower Park.
 
They began the meet by breaking the district record in the 200M Medley Relay with an All-American consideration time. The relay, consisting of Liz Walsh, Georgeanne Zimmerman, Hazel Wilkins and Stephanie Walsh, will represent the district at the state championships in Ithaca Nov. 17-19.
Liz Walsh broke two individual district records in the 100-meter freestyle and 100-meter backstroke. Her backstroke time was also an All-American consideration time. Georgeanne broke the district record in the 100-meter breaststroke and finished third in the 100-meter freestyle. Both girls qualified as All-County in their events.

Marley Zimmerman and Kirsten Giovanniello finished All-Conference in the 500-meter freestyle. Stephanie Walsh finished All-Conference in the 200-meter individual medley and Hazel Wilkins did the same in the 100-meter butterfly. The 400-meter freestyle relay consisting of Georgeanne Zimmerman, Stephanie Walsh, Alina Tucker and Liz Walsh finished second, thus qualifying as All-County. 

Zimmerman, Tucker and Stephanie Kaplan will also be representing Bellmore-Merrick at the state championships.



Mepham Seniors Send Thank You Cards to Troops Overseas

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On Oct. 21, seniors in Mepham High School's Participation in Government classes and Senior Experience program created more than 200 thank you cards for troops stationed overseas as part of Tuesday's Children's work with Operation Gratitude. 

Operation Gratitude annually sends 200,000 plus care packages filled with food, entertainment, hygiene and handmade items, plus personal letters of appreciation to veterans, first responders, new recruits, wounded heroes, their caregivers, and to individually named U.S. service members deployed overseas and their families waiting at home.

“Their mission is to lift the spirits and meet the evolving needs of the military and first responder communities, and provide volunteer opportunities for civilians anywhere in America to express their appreciation to all who serve our nation,” said Kerry Dennis, a history teacher and project organizer.

Since its inception in 2003, Operation Gratitude volunteers have shipped more than 1,600,000 care packages.

The seniors gathered on Oct. 30 to assemble Mepham's second Flag Field of Honor. Nearly 280 flags were sold this year in honor of the victims of Sept. 11, first responders, veterans and current servicemen and women. 

In addition, more than 600 students signed up to participate in Mepham's Battle of the Classes on Nov. 3. All proceeds from the Flag Field and Battle of the Classes will be donated to Tuesday's Children.

Mepham Seniors Continue Flag Field of Honor

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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 Drama Club Fundraises for Everything Special Needs

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On Oct. 30, Mepham High School's Skull and Bones Drama Club volunteered, performed and walked at the annual walk for Everything Special Needs at Greis Park in Lynbrook.

Everything Special Needs is an organization that is dedicated to helping children and adults with special needs, as well as their families, find services, programs and support. The Skull and Bones students selected the group as the beneficiary of its annual charity revue and subsequent fundraising efforts. To date, Skull and Bones has raised $666 for EVS.

Skull and Bones' annual “A Night on Broadway” musical revue will be held on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017 at 7 p.m. in the Mepham auditorium. All proceeds will be donated to Everything Special Needs. The revue has also been bookmarked by EVS as a "planned playdate" at which its members and beneficiaries can gather and attend.

Mepham Celebrates Italian Culture Night

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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

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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.

Calhoun’s Breakfast Club Cooks Up Fall Fun

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Members of the Breakfast Club at. Calhoun High School recently held a Halloween party to celebrate the holiday.

Students gathered to decorate pumpkins, wrap each other up as mummies and enjoyed favorite fall foods. Some of the pumpkins were entered into the school’s library decorating contest.

“This club is truly bringing together different groups in our high school setting,” explained adviser Wendy Simson. “It is interesting to watch the students interact in such a positive setting, while having fun.”

The Breakfast Club is a fun and diverse club without labels that has formed with the mission of promoting positive face-to-face interactions without pre-judgment.

Student Ambassadors Attend Project CARE

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Students from Sanford H. Calhoun, John F. Kennedy, and Wellington C. Mepham High School’s Leadership classes traveled together to Project CARE (Challenge Activities Rope Experience) on Oct. 24-25.

Project CARE is a non-traditional, experiential approach to building individual and team growth. The program has been designed to help children and adolescents develop self-esteem, confidence and trust in one’s self and others.

These ambassadors are from the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District’s “One Voice, One Message,” a district wide, student-led think tank. Created in March of 2014, student ambassadors from the district’s four high schools and two middle schools join together throughout the school year to address issues impacting the student body and surrounding community.

Grand Avenue Drama Students Get a Taste of Broadway Life

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Students interested in participating in Grand Avenue Middle School's Drama Club were invited to attend a workshop on Oct. 20 at the school with Broadway performer Leo Ash Evens.

Evens, who was recently in “Shuffle Along,” is also a coach for aspiring performers heading into a performing arts college program. Over the summer, he presented at a workshop attended by Rebecca Levy, the club's director.  

“After hearing him speak at the event, I knew my students would enjoy and benefit from his insight,” said Levy.   

He shared audition tales and advice with the middle school students as they asked questions about how to deal with disappointment and calm nerves, realities for all performers. Some students even performed for Evens and received feedback on their performances.

“Any opportunity for our students to work with professionals in the performing industry is a valuable experience,” said Cheryl Fontana, district director of the fine and performing arts.

The students were thrilled for the chance to meet and interact with a theater professional.

 “This made my life,” said eighth-grader Kacie McKeever.



Calhoun On Tour Company Presents Romeo and Juliet

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The Calhoun High School On Tour Company is excited to kick off its season with Shakespeare’s classic, Romeo and Juliet. Performances will be held on Oct. 28 and 29, as well as on Nov. 3 (understudy matinee), 4, and 5 in the Calhoun High School auditorium, located at 1768 State St. in Merrick.

This classic, romantic tragedy will be set in Verona, Italy during the 1950s evocative of the great Fellini films of the Italian Cinema. The Montague and Capulet families, continuing their long history of hatred for one another, are feuding. Things are turned upside down when young Romeo Montague (Doug Gallo) locks eyes with the beautiful Juliet Capulet (Alaina Anderson) at a masquerade and the two fall madly in love. The two star-crossed lovers must challenge the ways of their families in order to lead a life together. The story juxtaposes hatred and revenge with the pure love and passion between Romeo and Juliet. The two must choose to either stay loyal to their families or to follow their hearts. The 1950s setting is further enhanced by the themed costumes, as well as the music.

The cast includes Alaina Anderson as Juliet Capulet, Doug Gallo as Romeo Montague, Max Kirby as Paris, Alex Werthauer as Benvolio, Zach Neiger as Mercutio, James Caracciolo as Tybalt, Mark Roberti as Friar Laurence, Ben Libov as Lord Capulet, Jessica Ehrlich as Lady Capulet and Nicolette O’Keefe as Nurse.
There is also a special event, The On Tour Company’s annual Dinner Theatre, which will take place on Nov. 5 in the Calhoun cafeteria. This year, the dinner theatre will serve up the cuisine of Northern Italy’s Veneto region and Italian songs of the 1950’s. The banquet will also include comic entertainment.

Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. with the exception of the understudy performance, which is to begin at 4 pm. Directed by Salvatore Salerno, tickets to Romeo and Juliet can be reserved by phone at 992-1377.

Tickets for Romeo and Juliet are $10 for students and seniors and $12 for adults, and can be purchased at the door. Tickets for Dinner Theatre are $30 for students and seniors and $35 for adults. You can reach the box office at 516-992-1377 to reserve tickets for the show. Dinner Theatre tickets can only be purchased by calling or emailing the Drama boosters. Further information can be found on the On Tour Company website: www.chsontourco.org.


Mepham Kickline Hosts Clinic for Kids

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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.


Kennedy’s Junior Class Hosts Short Stacks for a Tall Cause

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The junior class at Kennedy High School hosted a pancake breakfast fundraiser to help a younger member of the community.

Short Stacks for a Tall Cause was held on Oct. 16 to benefit the family of a 12-year-old Merrick boy fighting a rare form of cancer.

Nearly $1,500 was raised for Jake Lonigro and his family. Jake has an older sibling that attends Kennedy.

“The whole event and planning for it has been the most rewarding outside of the classroom experience for me,” said social studies teacher Kristy Faulkner.

ENL Program Carves Out Time for Friends and Fun

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Students in the English as a New Language (ENL) program in the district came together on Oct. 19 to enjoy an iconic fall activity.

Students from Grand Avenue Middle School, Merrick Avenue Middle School and Sanford H. Calhoun High School enjoyed a trip to Hicks Nurseries in Westbury to select pumpkin that they would later carve.

Including middle schoolers in some activities is important because it helps build a sense of community, as the students will continue their studies at Calhoun if they remain in the ENL program.

“There are a lot of non-verbal skills being used here so all students can participate actively,” explained Enrique Montes, chairperson of the Department of World Languages and ENL.

The pumpkins will be used as decorations in the program’s upcoming haunted house on Nov. 3-4, which is organized by ENL teacher Heather Glick.



Mepham Homecoming Helps Stock Food Pantry

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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.”

Kennedy’s Perri Zilberman named Siemens Semifinalist

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Perri Zilberman, a senior at Kennedy High School, has been named a semifinalist in the 2016 Siemens Competition.
    
Zilberman has been recognized for his research on “The Correlation Between Debris Disks and Hot Jupiters.”
"I am so proud of Perri; he is an outstanding young scientist,” said Science Chairperson Robert Soel. “Perri's research on exoplanets is on the cutting edge of astronomy and astrophysics. His ongoing passion for astronomy, and his diligence and attentiveness to his own research make him a wonderful role model for our science research students across the district."

The Siemens Competition is the nation’s premier competition in math, science and technology for high school students. Every year, students submit innovative individual and team research projects to regional and national levels of competition as they vie for college scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $100,000. The Siemens Competition honors the best and brightest students for their accomplishments in math, science and technology– students who are changing the world for the better.

From the more than 1,600 projects submitted, 498 students have been selected this year as semifinalists.

Calhoun Homecoming Festivities Hit High Notes

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Homecoming was a festive fanfare at Calhoun High School on Oct. 14 when students enjoyed the annual Colt Festival, a pep rally and then football game under the Friday night lights.

Spirit Week kicked off the celebration, filling the halls with pajama wearing, patriotic showings and an outpouring of Blue Calhoun gear.
“Of course school spirit isn’t just about dressing for a particular day but it is spirit,” said Principal Nicole Hollings. “When we see students enjoy their time here, when we see all of our students be a part of student life in the building, and when we see students not only cheer each other on in athletics but also in the arts and in their classrooms.”

Student athletes stormed the field for the pep rally on Friday afternoon, performing entertaining choreographed skits after they were announced. Ryan Rosenblum and Amanda DePasquale were crowned homecoming king and queen, respectively.

At homecoming, the award-winning wind ensemble performed, as did the rock band, accompanied by some teacher/guitarists.

“The football game under the lights, with a full moon, and crisp October air was a back and forth battle in which we ultimately did not win but the crowd was fantastic,” Hollings said.

The Colts fell to the Sewanhaka Indians, 35-28.

In the News

 

Bond Video 2016

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One Voice, One Message - One Vocal Showcase

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The Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District will host its first ever Vocal Music Showcase, featuring the five premiere choral groups across the entire district.

Included in the performance will be the John F. Kennedy High School Variety Choir, Merrick Avenue Middle School’s Word of Mouth, Grand Avenue Middle School’s Grand Voices, Wellington C. Mepham High School’s Pirate Radio, and Sanford H. Calhoun High School’s Crescendo.

“This is an exciting and unique opportunity for our choral students to come together and showcase their work collectively, both for each other and the members of the Bellmore-Merrick communities,” said Cheryl Fontana, district director of the fine & performing arts. “Events like this truly reflect the ‘One Voice, One Message’ theme that resonates throughout our district.”

The live event will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 30, at 7 p.m., at Calhoun High School, 1786 State St., Merrick. While admission is free and open to the public, students will be collecting donations for the new BMCHSD Food Pantry, the Community Cupboard.


Updates Inside

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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