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Meadowbrook Alternative Program Sends Off Seniors

Meadowbrook Alternative Program Sends Off Seniors photo

The Meadowbrook Alternative Program graduated 19 students from its senior class on June 18.

During her commencement speech, valedictorian Jordan Ladd addressed the crowd of fellow graduates, staff, board members and school administrators. 

“At MAP, you’re seen as a whole person,” she said. “You figure out your strengths and your weaknesses and see what works.”

Salutatorian Chazz Opperman thanked teachers and staff for not giving up on him.

“Through a series of blessed mistakes, I’m somehow right here; exactly where I’m supposed to be, accepting my high school diploma,” he said.

During his faculty address, teacher Zachary Gosse spoke about the importance of experimenting in life and embracing both successes and failures.

“There is no single roadmap that guides you through life,” he said. “Everyone follows their own path. And it is perfectly okay to fail, but it is the insight that you gain from your failed experiments that will once again enable you to be successful.”

BMCHSD School Counseling and Wellness Center Presentation


Grand Avenue Marks 60th Moving Up Ceremonies

Grand Avenue Marks 60th Moving Up Ceremonies photo

As faculty welcomed family and friends to Grand Avenue Middle School’s 60th moving up ceremonies on June 8, Principal Carlo Conte told graduates to take a moment and find an adult in their lives who has influenced them over these past two years and offer a sincere thank you.

“Use the tools that you have gained here at Grand Avenue in high school and beyond,” he said.

Nina Genzone led the ceremony with a dynamo version of the “Star Spangled Banner” and Grand Voices, led by Conductor Amanda Cantwell offered peppy renditions of “Sing” and “This is Me,” with remarkable solos by Justin Ancona, Riley Fried, Aliza Kami and Maria Torres.

John F. Kennedy High School senior Nicole Khouryawad was invited to address Team Justice at the 8 a.m. ceremony. Grand Avenue held three more ceremonies throughout the day.

“I encourage you not to be nervous but eager to take advantage of the opportunities offered at high school,” she said, touting the Advanced Science Research, music and athletic programs.

“The ASR program and its advisors teach life and professional lessons that stay with students for years after they graduate,” she added.

Eighth-grader Riley Peckman offered a student reflection that centered around fond, pun-filled remarks about the Team Justice teachers.

“All of the hard work we’ve put in over the last two years has really paid off,” she said.

MAMS Rams Partake in Moving Up Ceremonies

MAMS Rams Partake in Moving Up Ceremonies photo

Staff at Merrick Avenue Middle School drummed up the pomp and circumstance for three eighth-grade moving up ceremonies held on June 8.

They spoke with pride and joy of the class.

“Collectively, they’ve compiled thousands of hours of community service and are beloved by our staff,” said Assistant Principal Katelyn Dunn. “We were successful together because of the amazing partnership in the Bellmore-Merrick community between parents and schools.”

Principal Dr. Taryn Johnson echoed sentiments of achievement.

“You have permitted us to watch you develop a sense of agency, cultivate the spirt of giving and strengthen your commitment to school and community,” she added. 

Sanford H. Calhoun High School senior, a MAMS alumna, Lauren Ameruoso addressed the graduates.

“MAMS introduced me to the same friends I have today,” she said, encouraging students to practice being a hero every single day in high school. “Find a role model, step outside of your comfort zone, expand your empathy and do small good things for others and your community.” 

Zachary Dumelle, a student speaker for Team Six, was grateful to be a role model for the younger students in the school.

“Middle school was an experience I will never forget,” he said. “It has made us all become more helpful, mature and kindhearted for the future.”

Calhoun’s Heather Berberich Pilots Self-Defense Program

Calhoun’s Heather Berberich Pilots Self-Defense Program photo
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Heather Berberich, a junior at Calhoun High School, recently completed a Girl Scout Gold Award by researching and piloting a self-defense program as a unit during gym classes.

Berberich, 17, said she was motivated to instill a sense of empowerment in her peer group.

Under the guidance of physical education teacher Gregg Muscarella and Athletic Director Richard Diodati, the program involved a local instructor from Goshinkan Ju-Jitsu Dojo in Merrick who offered various self-defense techniques. 

“I settled on jiujitsu because it focuses on getting away safely,” she said.

“The ultimate goal was to teach students how to get themselves out of a potentially dangerous situation utilizing non-violent maneuvers,” Berberich said. “These life skills could be carried over forever.”

Robotics Clubs Debut at Middle schools

Robotics Clubs Debut at Middle schools photo

In their inaugural year, Robotics Clubs at both Grand and Merrick Avenue middle schools met weekly to collaborate on projects and learn about coding.

“Students started by assembling a standard robot and learning to code basic movements,” said Michelle Biancardo, a technology teacher and the adviser to both schools’ clubs. “Students programmed the robot to follow a line, sense an object and go around it or pick up an object. All components such as an armature – what spins the motor - were built by the students and then coded to perform the task.” 

The team, along with Grand Avenue’s Robotics Club, recently competed in the Adelphi STEP Robotics Competition. Students began building robots from scratch in March.

“I was so impressed with our middle school students and their robots,” said Science/STEM Chairperson Rob Soel. “They were all excited and well prepared for both the presentations and the actual competition in the LEGO Mindstorm field.”

Grand Avenue placed eighth and Merrick Avenue 24th out of 30 teams. 

Bellmore-Merrick CHSD Designated ‘No Place for Hate’ Schools

Bellmore-Merrick CHSD Designated ‘No Place for Hate’ Schools photo
All six schools in the Central High School District have been selected as No Place for Hate Schools.

The Anti-Defamation League’s No Place for Hate initiative is a school climate improvement framework that provides Pre K-12 schools with an organizing framework for combating bias, bullying and hatred, leading to long-term solutions for creating and maintaining a positive climate. 

“The Ambassadors and One Voice One Message Committee led our schools along with school wide events such as Challenge Day,” said Deputy Superintendent Dr. Mara Bollettieri, who helped create the OVOM initiative, a districtwide, student led think tank that was created in March 2014 in response to the Dignity Act. Representatives from each school’s staff and students attended a breakfast on May 25 in New York City and were presented with their banners. 

“There is still much work to be done and more conversation and empathy building to do but we are working on solutions and helping our students grow as people,” Bollettieri added.

Calhoun’s Alexandra Brandl Received $2K STEM Scholarship

Calhoun’s Alexandra Brandl Received $2K STEM Scholarship photo
Alexandra Brandl of Calhoun High School received the Shah STEM Scholarship for $2,000.

Applicants applied based on having an interest in pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (this also includes coding, data analytics and artificial intelligence) in college. 

Scholarship sponsored by CSM Engineering. 

Bellmore-Merrick CHSD’s ASR Students Honored at LI Science Congress

Bellmore-Merrick CHSD’s ASR Students Honored at LI Science Congress photo
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In April, several students in the Central High School District’s science programs completed independent research and presented their projects at the 2018 Long Island Science Congress competition. On May 22, at St. Anthony’s High School, they were awarded various honors, as well as the potential to qualify for states.

From Kennedy High School, ASR junior Whitney Sussman was awarded Highest Honors and invited to present her project at the New York State Science Congress in June. In addition to advancing to the state-level, Whitney received a $200 award for her research, “The Role of Clock Genes in Small Intestine Glucose Absorption.”

Honors was awarded to Claudia Dreyer and High Honors was awarded to David Frank and Jonathan Mashal.
From Calhoun High School, Jessica Lin took home an Honors award in the category of chemistry, for her material science research completed last summer up at MIT, “Wear of Cast Iron & Dual Phase (DP) Steel Under Varied Conditions.”

At the middle school level of the competition, from Grand Avenue, honors were awarded to Cameron Franceschina and Christopher Luisi. Highest Honors award was awarded to Tyler Bissoondial and Timothy Langone. 

Additionally, the following were also awarded: Ekaterina Fakinos, Jake Levine, Hunter Moran, and Lauren Rhakimov from Kennedy; Benjamin Berkowitz, David Collins, Ziyad Gawish and Brandon Langone from Mepham High School and Erin McNamara from Calhoun. The following received honorable mention: Peter Giannaris, Gustave Gottlieb, Jordan Kanner and Reagan Perrotta at Kennedy; Matthew Condenzio, Lauren Jones, Jake Levy, Peter Romero, Steven Manolios and Victor Zamudio from Calhoun. Meritorious was awarded to Victoria Dina and Olivia Mark from Kennedy; Kayla Schneider, Leonardo Cuozzo and Nathan Degree from Mepham and Camryn Arzt, Erin Foo, Senya Huda, Gregory Scolieri, Genevieve Triploi and Annalisa Zovich from Calhoun.

Bellmore-Merrick BOE Recognizes Student Representatives

Bellmore-Merrick BOE Recognizes Student Representatives photo
As the Central High School District wraps up the 2017-18 school year, it recognized four student representatives who offered school points of pride updates and witty banter at the monthly board of education meetings.

At the June 6 meeting, Gina Connors of Mepham, Daniel O’Keefe of Calhoun, Jordan Ladd of the Meadowbrook Alternative Program and Rachel Katz of Kennedy high schools, were given a commemorative gavel after offering their last update from the board dais.

“This community has formed me into this person here today,” said Katz. “This person who can sit here and address you all today confidently each month.”

District’s Valedictorians, Salutatorians Honored at Nassau County Council of Superintendent’s Breakfast

District’s Valedictorians, Salutatorians Honored at Nassau County Council of Superintendent’s Breakfast photo
The valedictorians and salutatorians from Calhoun, Mepham and Kennedy high schools were honored at a special breakfast hosted by the Nassau County Council of School Superintendents on June 1. 

Calhoun valedictorian Joy Ma and salutatorian Amelia Seabold, Mepham valedictorian Gina Connors and salutatorian Isabelle Chan and valedictorian David Kantor and salutatorian Dylan Judd from Kennedy, were among those in attendance.

“These students deserve to be praised for their hard work and consistent dedication to their education over the years,” said Superintendent John DeTommaso. “I would also like to extend a special thank you to their parents, families, teachers and classmates for their support and continued encouragement.”

Calhoun, Mepham Students Win NCTE Writing Award

Calhoun, Mepham Students Win NCTE Writing Award photo
Isabelle Gross from  Mepham High School and Faith Maldonado of Calhoun High School were recently selected for a 2018 Achievement Award in Writing, given by the National Council of Teachers of English.

Mepham AP Language and Composition teacher Marc Achtziger encouraged Isabelle and fellow student Nicole Farina to enter the local contest. A panel of English teachers evaluated all of Mepham’s entries anonymously and unanimously selected Isabelle and Nicole to move forward. 

“Both are gifted writers and hard workers,” said Achtziger. 

Farina received a Certificate of Nomination to recognize her success at the local level. Isabelle received a Certificate of Superior Writing. 

Maldonado was also a second-place winner as a sophomore last year in the Long Island Language Arts Council’s Gambone Writing Contest which is a writing contest that emulates the NCTE national contest and was recently inducted into Calhoun’s National English Honor Society.

“Faith has proven herself to be a lover of language who is able to communicate a unique, humorous voice in her creative writing,” said English Chairperson Kim Serpe. 

The NCTE Achievement Awards in Writing is a school-based writing program established in 1957 to encourage high school students to write and to recognize some of the best student writers in the nation. Only students who are juniors may participate.

Calhoun Seniors Plant Seeds of Joy at Karen’s Hope house

Calhoun Seniors Plant Seeds of Joy at Karen’s Hope house photo
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The senior leadership class at Calhoun High School recently completed a community service project for Karen's Hope.

Students from the senior leadership class volunteered on May 20 to spruce up the landscaping of a house in Seaford.

“The students fundraised for the past few weeks by selling Ralph's Italian Ices after school and used the proceeds to purchase all the materials needed to landscape of one of Karen's Hopes houses,” said teacher Brian Joyce.

Karen’s Hope aims to empower individuals with disabilities to lead more independent lives by providing housing, as well as educational and social programs after age 21.

VIDEO: Full STEAM Ahead at Grand Avenue’s Art Show

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In addition to the hundreds of pieces of talented student artwork on displayed during Grand Avenue Middle School Art Show on May 17, the Art and Robotics clubs collaborated to present an interactive musical drawing.

“Musical drawings are playable graphic scores that can be touched to play melodies and harmonies,” explained Michelle Biancardo, a technology teacher and the Robotics Club adviser. 

Graphite pencil acts a conductor of electricity, using the observer as the ground and connection of the music to the artwork itself. 

The code, written by seventh-grader Massimo Marino, is the orchestrator of the experience. He used programs such as Scratch and Makey Makey to create the program. A coding enthusiast, Marino used what he learned in Biancardo’s class and on his own to create this masterpiece. The project took more than two day to finish.  

“Once completed, it’s interesting to see all of these things working together to create this,” Marino said.
Art Club advisers Nicholas Giordano and Barbara Hirten worked with the students to create a drawing that could be "played " through the use of technology. 

“It is an incredible example of STEAM in action,” said Giordano. “They combine visual composition, coding and electronics as well as movement and sound, creating an interactive audiovisual experience.” 

Calhoun’s Joy Ma Named National Merit Scholarship Winner

Calhoun’s Joy Ma Named National Merit Scholarship Winner photo
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Joy Ma, a senior at Calhoun High School has been named a finalist in the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. 

The Merrick resident is an accomplished musician playing the French horn, flute, piano – and even the piccolo off stage. She also plays flute for the Nassau-Suffolk Wind Symphony. Ma competes in fencing year-round, representing the North Shore Fencers Club, plays on Calhoun’s badminton team and writes for the school newspaper, Pegasus. 

Ma is among 2,500 designees. National Merit $2,500 Scholarship winners are the finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills and potential for success in rigorous college studies.

Grand Avenue’s Adriana Pioli Named Poetry Contest Champion

Grand Avenue’s Adriana Pioli Named Poetry Contest Champion photo
Adriana Pioli, an eighth-grade student at Grand Avenue Middle School has been selected as the grand champion of the 2018 Walt Whitman Birthplace 32nd annual Poetry Contest.

English teacher Dawn Silvestri supported and promoted the students’ creative endeavors, which led to Pioli’s poem “My Mom” earning the top spot.

Two other eighth-grade students were selected as category winners, Madeline Finelli’s “Tribute to the Joy Within” and Kyle Ulmschneider’s “My First Homerun.” 

“Each of these students has been invited to attend a celebration with their families and teachers to be held at the Walt Whitman Birthplace at noon on Sunday, June 3,” said English Chairperson Mary Donnelly. 

The event will be officiated by Vijay Seshadri, the WWBA 2018 Poet in Residence, and Pioli will read aloud her prize-winning poem.

Calhoun’s First Female Pitcher Finishes History-Making Season

Calhoun’s First Female Pitcher Finishes History-Making Season photo
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From the little league mound at age 5 to the hill at Calhoun High School, freshman pitcher Olivia Roberto has completed her debut season as the school’s first female baseball player.

“The team has been very welcoming to me,” Roberto said. “I have built a trust with them and that carried over onto the field.”

With a 4-1 record and 1.71 ERA, Roberto said she trained six days a week on the mound and with a personal trainer on Sundays. She also plays on a travel league, the Oil City Bandits.

Coach John Cruz described Roberto as focused and competitive.

“Her hard work off the field has been the reason she has been successful,” he added. “She is a great teammate/player.”  

The junior varsity squad finished the spring season 11-6.

District’s Relay for Life Raises More Than $32,000

District’s Relay for Life Raises More Than $32,000 photo
The Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District community hosted another successful Relay for Life on May 11 at Calhoun High School in Merrick. 

“It was a great night with activities throughout the night punctuated by a luminaria ceremony that was poignant and moving,” said Calhoun Principal Nicole Hollings.

The event raised more than $32,000 and honored survivors and caregivers while also supporting those currently in their fights to kick cancer.

MAP Shakespeare Festival Goes Digital

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The Meadowbrook Alternative Program kicked off is Shakespeare Festival on May 3 - digital style.
“We have created a green-screen wall, which will not only enable me to film larger, more active scenes from Shakespeare, but our entire staff can now use it to create video projects with the students,” said director and English teacher Laura Sheridan. “The supplies needed to create the wall and to purchase audio/visual equipment were provided through a grant from the Parent Community Center.”

Performances included Julius Caesar, Antony & Cleopatra, Much Ado About Nothin, and Romeo & Juliet and were videotaped and presented in the auditorium. They included students, staff and administrators.

“The festival takes months to prepare, especially now that we do most of it pre-taped,” Sheridan explained. “It involves many hands and a lot of volunteering.”

In preparation of the festival, several students took a field trip to Manhattan to see Julius Caesar performed at the Classic Stage Company in mid-March.

“Experiencing a live performance of Shakespeare gave them perspective and inspiration for their own scenes,” Sheridan said

GAMS Students Selected for State Science Congress Competition

GAMS Students Selected for State Science Congress Competition photo
Two students from Grand Avenue Middle School were selected to participate in the New York State Science Congress competition. 

Tyler Bissoondial and Timothy Langone will travel to SUNY Buffalo on June 2 to present their research.

Bissoondial’s project is “MicroRNA-156 regulates gametophyte to sporophyte development and sensitivity to salinity in Ceratopteris richardii.” Langone’s project is “Can seed germination release inhibitory signals prevent the development of seeds in close proximity?”  

Both projects were completed under the guidance of their research teacher, Tami Cruz
In order to be selected to compete at the state competition, students must be within the top 1 percent of their category at the regional Long Island Science Congress. 

Calhoun Girls Track Team Three-Peats as Division Champions

 Calhoun Girls Track Team Three-Peats as Division Champions photo
The girls from Calhoun High School traveled to MacArthur High School on May 15 for the Division Championships. Due to weather, this meet would go on for the next two days as well.

The girls got off to a fast start as Elizabeth Tuzzolo took third place in the intermediate hurdles and new comer Maura Walters would take fourth, scoring a big 10 points for the colts.

The 1500m was dominated by Manhasset and Mepham respectively, however freshmen Alexandra Unz ran a 13 second PR and grab 1 point for the team. The colts got back on the scoreboard with the sprints and field events.

Lisa Jose and Kristina Losquadro lead the sprint group and picked up some big points in the 100 and 200 meter dashes. Lisa earned all division in the 100m.

Katie Corona and eighth grader Julianna Razza ran the 800m race next; both girls ran season bests and picked up important points for the team as they caught up more and more on the competition. Julianna qualified for the New Balance National Championships and will run the mile in Greensboro, NC June 16.

The 400m race was a big one for the team. Elizabeth Tuzzolo got to the 300m mark first and battled valley steam for the last 100m slowly pulling away from her competition, to earn the victory and 10 points for the colts. 

“I knew it was going to be a tough race, I just finished running my hurdles and the other girls were fresh,” Tuzzolo said. “All I kept thinking about was our race plan. Coach and I always have a plan for the race and today was no different. I wanted to get out fast and make the rest of the girls chase me, I didn’t want to leave anything to chance, I wanted, I needed to win for the team. The last 50 meters all I could think about was driving my knees high and swinging my arms as fast as I could. We do arm drills every day for this reason and they paid off.” 

The team regained the lead in the field events. Madison Padro, Jamie Campanelli and Victoria Unz would take first, second and fourth in the shot put scoring 22 points for the team. Unz went on to win the Discus and become Division champion. A lot of credit goes out to Unz for being able to throw Discus in such awful weather conditions; between the rain and wind, there is no tougher field event to compete in.

Freshmen Faith Dwyer ran the 3,000 meters for the team and not only did she run a personal best, but she took fourth among some of the best distance runners in the county. 

“Faith is a tough, hard working girl who gets faster in each meet she runs. She will be a serious force in the track world as she gets older and stronger,” Coach Joseph Migliano said.

Going into the relays there was a tie between Calhoun and Mepham. The 4x800m team of Katie Corona, Julianna Razza, Samantha Latorre and Elizabeth Tuzzolo dominated the race winning by over 30 seconds and become division champions and scoring a big 10 points for the team. 

“There’s no doubt in my mind that Elizabeth has led the team through out this spring season,” Migliano said. “She runs some of the hardest triples we have every meet, without complaint or issue. She is growing and maturing with each day and has proven herself to be a leader and captain of this team.” 

The 4x100m team of Mia Advocate, Kristina’s Losquadro, Lisa Jose and Jill Kosky would take third place in the relay. 

The 4x400m team went into this meet as underdogs with three freshmen and one 8th grader on the team. Eighth grader Alyssa Crews ran her season best in the 400 going 62.7 seconds and setting the team up in a good spot. 

“Alyssa is the future of our mid-distance team, she is fast, strong and dedicated,” Migliano said. “I asked her as an eighth grader to stay composed and perform like an upper class men and that’s what she did! She is a special talent and I can’t wait to see what she does next year.”

Ava Bayat ran the anchor leg for the girls hitting a season best of 65.0 and securing a third place finish for the team. 

At this point the colts were down by 1.5 points, only event left would be the Pole Vault, which was contested on day 3 at Calhoun High School.

Katelyn Goodman led the team in the jumping events. She scored big points in the Long and Triple Jump, but none bigger than her Pole Vault where she became division champion.  

As 3:30pm came on Thursday, the entire girls and boys track team would make its way to the Pole Vault area at Calhoun to watch Katelyn Goodman, Noelle Fuggio and Mia Advocate competed and sealed the win for the colts. Katie and Noelle both cleared 7’0 taking first and second place, while Mia Advocate who is known for her sprint speed, would step up and take fifth place for the team. The girls outscored Mepham 20 to 10 and would go on to with the meet by 8.5 points.

“This was a stressful 30min for myself and the entire team,” Migliano said. “All three of those girls kept their composure and knew what they had to do. They competed like true champions and I couldn’t be prouder. We’re a team and this meet proved it. Many people see track and field as an individual sport, but we relish the idea that it’s all about the team. This third straight championship was all about the team for us; we needed every single girl competing these three days in all aspects of the meet to win. No one was more important than the other and to see it all come together like this was magical. It’s tough to come up with the right words for how much I care about these kids, but they hold a real special place in heart and I can’t wait to see what else we can accomplish in the future” 

Meadow Alternative Program Delivers Antibullying Message to Elementary Students

Meadow Alternative Program Delivers Antibullying Message to Elementary Students photo
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On April 30, the Meadowbrook Alternative Program’s School and Community Leadership class delivered their cyberbullying presentation to the fifth- and sixth-grade classes of the Newbridge Road Elementary School in the North Bellmore School District.  

“This partnership was forged earlier in the school year when the students at Newbridge Road and the leadership class at MAP both read the children's novel “Wonder” and went to see the film back in November,” said Zachary Gosse, a special education teacher. “The main character in the book experiences bullying in his new school, which inspired the leadership students to identify tools to help combat cyberbullying in school buildings.”  

MAP students identified a free software app (ReThink) that is easily downloaded to any phone, tablet or device, which effectively stops cyberbullying before the damage is done. 
“The presentation provided a venue for the leadership students to discuss the negative impact cyberbullying has on learning environments and how ReThink helps give users an opportunity to pause and re-evaluate a hurtful message or post before it is sent,” Gosse added.
The leadership class also displayed their student made infomercial highlighting ReThink and how it can benefit adolescents who use their cellphones on a regular basis.

Advanced Science Research Students Earn First Honors at Science Fair

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Three sophomores from the district earned First Honors Awards at the Molloy College Kathy Belton Science Fair.

Sonia Sarju of Calhoun High School’s Advanced Science Research program was part of a three-person team that studied environmental research. 

After discussing common passions of environmental research with her teammates from St. Anthony’s & Syosset High Schools, they worked on a project titled, "ZnO NP Regulation: Identification of the IRT1 Ortholog in Lemma minor" at the iResearch Institute at Nassau Community College last summer.

“We explored the negative effects that zinc oxide nanoparticles – a chemical found in sunscreens and makeup – had in a plant,” she explained. “These chemicals are released into the water and sewage systems by the factories that make these products and therefore produce a negative effect on our ecosystems.”

Out of the 250 projects presented at the science fair, only 15 were awarded this distinction. 

“It’s interesting to uncover the different plants and animals around us and how they have an impact on people who have no idea. To find out how they impact us directly and make that connection to the world is a very unique experience,” she added.

Two sophomores in Kennedy High School’s Advanced Science Research program were also awarded First Honors.

David Frank studied “A Table Magician’s Greatest Trick: Affecting A Patron’s Tipping Habits Without Them Knowing.”

Frank conducted research at his Friday night job working as a table magician at a local restaurant.

“I wanted to see what I could do to increase the size of my tips and how many people were actually leaving me tips,” Frank said. “So, I started researching and came across the concept of reciprocity.” 

Katherine St. George researched “The Effect of Urine Concentration on Plant Growth.” Her research found that too many applications could eventually hinder plant growth, despite its known use as nutrients for plants.

The Molloy College Kathy Belton Science Fair allowed students the opportunity to gain a sense of scientific community with their peers, in their respective disciplines. They became members of a peer review process, which is the foundation of scientific research at all levels. 

International Buddy Club at Calhoun High School Celebrates Diversity and World Culture

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English Language Learners and the International Buddy Club transformed Calhoun’s faculty room into "YOUTOPIA" for this year's International Luncheon, an annual event with a changing theme which celebrates the rich diversity of the Bellmore-Merrick community. The event began with a student-prepared video montage of troubles of the world from the students' perspective, inciting guests to reflect on what they would wish to change about their world. This set the scene for a moment of reflection and gratefulness prior to the enjoyment of the bounty of foods from across the globe donated by families and staff members. ENL teacher and International Buddy Club advisor Ms. Heather Glick and fellow ENL teacher Ms. Mae Angeles worked together with students to organize and create decorations and a festive atmosphere of inclusion and cultural awareness. The event had special visitors, including middle school students from Grand Avenue and Merrick Avenue, as well as Calhoun’s very own past and present students. Everyone relished in the enjoyment of the wonderful food as well as the atmosphere of acceptance and tolerance for our immigrant community. “This is a very special day for our students and for Calhoun High School”, said Enrique Montes, ENL Department Chair, “they get to proudly display their cultural heritage while sending a message of inclusion and tolerance.” 

Mepham Learns About Dangers of Drunk & Distracted Driving [VIDEO]

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Deanna Buzzetta, a freshman at Mepham High School in the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District, fumbled with a child’s shape-sorting toy in the school parking lot on April 30. Normally, she wouldn’t have a problem but this time she was wearing goggles designed to simulate visual impairment.

“My peripheral vision was impaired,” she noted. “It took me longer to get the pieces in the correct hole.” 

During this exercise, which is part of the Arrive Alive Tour, students are educated about the dangers of impaired driving, as well as distracted driving.

A driving simulator video game allows students to experience the potential consequences of drunk and distracted driving in a controlled environment.

“The simulator allows students to experience the potential consequences of drunk and distracted driving in a controlled environment,” said Wendy Tepfer, director of the Community Parent Center, which was responsible for bringing this interactive program to the school.

They were also offered simple stacking and sorting games to complete.
“The students always come up and say right away, ‘oh this will be easy,’” said Tepfer. “After completing a sorting or stacking task, they are stunned by how difficult such a seemingly simple toy becomes nearly impossible to navigate while simulating intoxication or impairment.”

The Seatbelt Convincer, operated by New York State Troopers, is an educational tool that allows riders to experience force, up to five times their body weight, similar to that of a 5-7mph crash.

“It was scary to see the impact even though we were going so slow,” said freshman Kayla Menendez. 

Kennedy Team Earns $3,000 Prize at Northwell Health SPARK Challenge

Kennedy Team Earns $3,000 Prize at Northwell Health SPARK Challenge photo
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Two teams from Kennedy High School presented in the Northwell Health SPARK Challenge competition, netting a $3,000 award.   

“The competition actually began last fall, when two groups of Kennedy students from science and engineering classes shadowed professionals in different departments of the Northwell Health System,” said science and STEM chair Robert Soel.  

The students completed the competition when teams from across Long Island came together to give presentations about the various professions and departments at Northwell Health on April 12.

Kennedy’s ASR/biology team won second place for their oral presentation and third place for their career advertisement poster representing the Emergency Department from North Shore-LIJ. Their combined prize includes a $3,000 award to be used for a field trip chosen by the 14-member student team and their teacher. 

Olivia Mark, Nicole Khouryawad, Chloe Rome, Lucas Rosen, Jake Levine, Peter Giannaris, Jonathan Mashal, Nina Weissbach, Amanda Schleider, Hunter Moran, Whitney Sussman, Claudia Dryer, Vicky Dina and Lauren Rhakimov were led by their team advisor Barbi Frank. Alexandra Brinton, Samantha Beigelman, Dylan Judd, Daniel Wadler, Calvin Gibson, Jack Kelly, Scott Fingeroth and Justin Cacciatore were led by team advisor Cara Prinzevalli.  

“We are also very proud of the hard work and participation of our second SPARK team which created a presentation about their career shadow day experiences with the Northwell Department of Industrial Engineering,” added Soel.

Kennedy Hosts Hands-On STEM Career Fair

Kennedy Hosts Hands-On STEM Career Fair photo
Kennedy Hosts Hands-On STEM Career Fair photo 2
Kennedy Hosts Hands-On STEM Career Fair photo 3
Kennedy Hosts Hands-On STEM Career Fair photo 4
Students throughout the district had a unique opportunity to become informed and inspired about future college and career choices in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) related fields at a fair hosted by John F. Kennedy High School’s science department on April 19.

The evening kicked off with a 32-team medical Scrabble tournament.

“Students played a special timed Scrabble tournament in which bonus points were awarded for STEM words,” explained Robert Soel, science and STEM chairperson.

Hundreds of students and family members explored the displays and demonstrations of more than 50 STEM professionals and organizations.  

“Students from all over the district spoke with a wide range of professionals in fields such as electrical and mechanical engineering, marine biology, medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, computer coding, cyber security, genetic counseling, environmental protection, solar energy, robotics and more,” he added.

Major highlights of the event included presentations by the Civil Air Patrol and the U.S. Air Force, as well as a remarkable coding demonstration by some of the district’s seventh-grade coding class students.
“As our STEM programs in Bellmore-Merrick grow, it has become our mission to expand education past the walls of our classrooms and find every opportunity to connect kids with professionals, experts and mentors,” Soel added.

Mepham Team Wins Physics Bowl

Mepham Team Wins Physics Bowl photo
The Mepham High School Physics team recently competed against 18 Long Island schools in the Physics Olympics held at SUNY Farmingdale.

The team, consisting of John Berry, Anil Bradley, Ailish Egan, Srikar Indrakanti and Michael Osorio and their coach William Leacock, won awards in two events. 

“They received the third-place trophy in the Slow Roller event, where the team had to take measurements of two rolling objects that accelerated down an incline at different rates, and determine where they had to be initially placed so they would arrive together at a set point on the incline,” explained Leacock.

They also won the first-place trophy in the Physics Bowl, a game show style event where teams compete based upon their physics knowledge.

Italian Students Win Poetry Awards, Ailish Egan Awarded Scholarship

Italian Students Win Poetry Awards, Ailish Egan Awarded Scholarship photo
Italian Students Win Poetry Awards, Ailish Egan Awarded Scholarship photo 2
Italian Students Win Poetry Awards, Ailish Egan Awarded Scholarship photo 3
On April 13, students from Calhoun, Kennedy and Mepham High Schools participated in the annual poetry recitation contest hosted by the American Association of Teachers of Italian at SUNY Old Westbury.  

“These select Bellmore-Merrick students chose classic Italian poems, memorized up to 30 lines and performed their interpretations in front of peers, teachers and professors,” explained World Languages Chairperson Enrique Montes. “The top students who demonstrated mastery of delivery, poise and pronunciation were awarded for their performances.”

Calhoun sophomores Julia Manson and Luke Cimorelli earned second and third place, in the sophomore division, while Calhoun senior Ludovica Sophia Costanzo earned second place in the senior division.

Jake Arlia, a Kennedy freshman, Gina Zazzi, a Calhoun junior, James Caracciolo, a Calhoun senior and Rebecca Scotto, a Mepham senior arrived to the final round with distinguished honorable mention. 

Emily Turner and Sara Grossman of Calhoun, as well as Isabella Guimaraes, Izabella Donelson and Brigid Lamaze of Kennedy also proudly represented the Bellmore-Merrick School District.

Additionally, Ailish Egan of Mepham High School was a winner of the 17th Annual Giovanna Morabito Memorial and American Association of Teachers of Italian Long Island’s chapter Scholarship for Excellence in Italian Studies. 

“Ailish is one of only two winners of this very prestigious award, granted to outstanding graduating seniors currently enrolled in Italian,” said world languages chairperson Rosa Kaplan. 

Egan will be presented with the award, which includes a $500 scholarship, at the AATI Dante Award and Scholarship luncheon on May 12.

Athletes Share Success Stories at Park Avenue

Athletes Share Success Stories at Park Avenue photo
Students in the upper elementary grades in the North Bellmore School District don’t have to look very far for positive role models. Throughout the year, their older peers from Mepham High School have been visiting classrooms through the Athletes Helping Athletes program.

Mepham athletes recently paid their third and final visit of the year to fifth-grade classes at Park Avenue Elementary School. The program cultivated positive connections and showed elementary school students how to be successful when they reach high school. Topics included good sportsmanship and making positive life choices. 

The high school students presented the youngsters with various scenarios to determine they best way to react if they were faced with a challenging situation. The athletes talked about the good decisions they made so they could achieve success both on the field and in the classroom. 

BMCHSD Security Presentation - 3/14 BOE Meeting


Community Cupboard


Updates Inside

Capital Project Updates

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.

1/24/18 Bond Phase 4 Update

8/14/17 Full Construction Update

7/14/17 Bond Phase 3 Update

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

Captial Projects 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