Prep Students Develop Necessary Computer Skills

On Jan. 16, Prep for the Future students at Calhoun continued the district’s partnership with software company, eVero, with a guided lesson in the school’s computer lab. The goal of the eVero workshop is to better equip special needs students with various computer skills that will benefit them in the workforce.

Led by Jeannine Azan, an eVero business manager and former Calhoun student now employed by eVero, instructor Joseph Malebranche, Calhoun staff guided the students through a series of computerized tasks and assignments.

The lessons were carried out in partnership with the South Oaks Prep for Life program under the direction of Judy Burke.


Calhoun Athletes Make Commitments


Student-athletes at Calhoun High School formally announced their commitment to play collegiate level sports when they enter college in the fall.
In a ceremony held in Calhoun’s auditorium, parents and supporters heard from each of the eight student-athletes as they discussed their future goals and their decision to attend the school.

Assistant Principal Neil Testa emceed the event, introducing each student to the audience. The eight students recognized were:

Jessica Arana Georgetown University Swimming
Allison Boldis University of New Hampshire Soccer
Alyssa Garbarino
Alfred University Soccer
Spencer Kaufman Wagner Lacrosse
Joanna Marmo York College of Penn. Softball
Griffin Miller Dartmouth Lacrosse
Jack Thomann Adelphi University Lacrosse
Emily Turrini West Point Lacrosse


Middle School Students Compete in Scripps Spelling Bee

Students in Grand Avenue and Merrick Avenue middle schools showed off their spelling skills as they vied for the title of schoolwide spelling bee champion. Through numerous rounds, seventh- and eighth-graders spelled countless words of increasing complexity.  On Jan. 8, Merrick Avenue seventh-grader Hugh Cheung took top honors with “paralytic” in the 12th round of competition.  Seventh-grader Andrew Brinton was the runner-up in that competition.

The following day, Grand Avenue eighth-grader David Collins was named the first-place winner after spelling the word “cryonic” correctly.  Eighth-graders Nicole Failla and Michael Malone proved to be stiff competition as they lasted 12 rounds in the spelling bee.

Prior to the schoolwide competitions, students competed in their individual English classes, with two students from each class moving on to the school-level bee. Both school winners will progress to the Hofstra University Long Island Regional Scripps Spelling Bee on Feb. 9. The winner of the Long Island competition will compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.

Epstein Named Intel Finalist

Kennedy High School senior Samuel Epstein has been named a finalist in the Intel Science Talent Search.

Epstein was one of only 40 students out of 300 across the U.S., including Puerto Rico and five American high schools overseas, to be chosen as a finalist. He joins only four other Long Island students with this designation.

“This is incredible news,” said Superintendent John DeTommaso. “Every day I continue to be impressed by the dedication, hard work and accomplishments of our student body and staff in Bellmore-Merrick, and today is no exception. Congratulations to Sam, his family, his teachers and the entire faculty at JFK who helped him reach this amazing goal."

Epstein’s research project, “The Effects of the Modulation of TOR Signaling and Microbial Exposure on Feeding Behavior in Drosophila melanogaster,” observed the dietary patterns of fruit flies in an attempt to research how caloric intake can be controlled to reduce the risk of disease and potentially slow the aging process. Epstein worked with mentors out of Long Island University.

Earlier this month, Epstein was announced as a semifinalist along with Kennedy High School classmates Beatrice Brown, Justin Shapiro and Jayson Chojar, who moved out of the district in his senior year.

“I am extremely proud of Sam’s accomplishments,” said Kennedy Principal Lorraine Poppe. “He is a wonderful young man who is well-respected by students and staff alike. Being named a finalist reaffirms not only the quality of Sam’s research, but also his dedication and commitment to the research process. At Kennedy, we have had three Intel finalists. Sam joins this prestigious group and serves as a role model for other students, demonstrating a level of excellence that can be achieved through hard work and determination. I also applaud Sam’s teacher, Mrs. Barbi Frank, as well as all of our students and staff who are involved in our research program.”

Epstein will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., in March, where he will compete for more than $1 million in awards, including $150,000 for the top three awards.

Students of the Month

Administrators and staff at Kennedy recently designated one student from each academic department as Student of the Month for December. This recognition highlights the student’s achievements and efforts throughout the respective month. The December Students of the Month are:

Gary Benjamin, Math
Ariel Bergman, Physical Education
Jordan Cohen, Family and Consumer Science
Alexandra Frankel, LOTE
Alana Green, Business
Nicole Homburger, Instrumental Music
Haley Liebman, LOTE
Daniel Oszust, Health
Lindsey Singer, English
Thomas Slevin, Social Studies
Brianna Totino, Art
Daria Wynne, Vocal Music

Congratulations to all these outstanding students!

The Binghamtonics Visit MAMS

Winter Production Filled with Great Expectations

On-Tour, Calhoun’s drama club, is poised to open its winter production of “Great Expectations” on Friday, Jan. 16.

The play, based on the Charles Dickens classic, follows Pip, who vies for the affections of the cruel Estella after he comes into a small fortune from an anonymous benefactor. The play features all of Dickens’ classic themes: wealth and poverty, love and rejection, and the eventual triumph of good over evil.

Calhoun’s On-Tour cast features Jamie Rosner as adult Pip, Holden Smith as young Pip, Lori Zomback as adult Estella, Brittany Allen as young Estella, and Rachel November as the capricious Miss Havisham. Other cast members include Peter Sideris as Joe Gargery, Elizabeth Earle as Mrs. Joe, Ryan Dzieziech as Mr. Jaggers, Austin Topper as a convict, and Abel Magwitch and Robert Gallo as Herbert, Pip’s loyal friend.

The productions take place Jan. 16, 17, 23 and 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the Calhoun auditorium.

District Hosts SEPTA Transition Fair

SEPTA held its eighth annual Transition Fair for special needs students preparing for life outside of secondary school.

The fair, hosted at Calhoun on Jan. 6, attracted dozens of local and state organizations that specialize in services for special needs adults. Some of these agencies included AHRC, Life’s WORC, Adults and Children with Learning and Developmental Disabilities, Ken’s Krew, Tender Care Human Services and SANYS, the self-advocacy organization in New York, to name a few.

The event kicked off with a vocal performance by Express Yourself, Calhoun’s mixed chorus of Prep for the Future students and members of the On-Tour drama club.
Attendees were able to select workshops from a diverse list, including Family Support Services; Special Needs Trust and Legal Guardianship; Medicaid Service Coordination; the ACCES Employment and Training Program and Self-Advocacy advice from members of SANYS. A student workshop also hosted former special needs students who returned to Bellmore-Merrick to relate their experiences outside of high school. The workshop concluded with a fun scavenger hunt of the agency tables with treats provided in the cafeteria afterward.
During the event, Prep for the Future students also manned The Stable, Calhoun’s school store.
“With more than 200 attendees, and more than 50 agencies and speakers taking part, the night was truly a success and the information gained will surely help a great number of families,” said Cheryl Gitlitz, the district’s transition coordinator. “It may have been a very cold and bitter night outside, but the dedicated professionals, Calhoun alumni and parent volunteers allowed every attendee to leave with a very warm and comfortable feeling.”

Intel Semifinalists Announced

Three students at John F. Kennedy High School, and one student who recently moved out of the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District, were named semifinalists in the 2015 Intel Science Talent Search contest.

Seniors Beatrice Brown, Samuel Epstein and Justin Shapiro were notified of their designation while gathering in the science rooms at Kennedy. Former Kennedy High School student Jayson Chojar was also selected as an Intel semifinalist at the Greenwich, Connecticut high school to which he transferred just before his senior year. Chojar completed the bulk of his winning project during his three years at Kennedy and while living in Connecticut via Skype with Kennedy teachers Barbi Frank and Barbara Franklin.

Only 300 students were designated semifinalists out of more than 1,800 entrants from 460 high schools in 41 states, Puerto Rico and five American international high schools located overseas.

Kennedy High School Principal Lorraine Poppe said Chojar traveled down from Connecticut to celebrate with his fellow semifinalists and other Advanced Science Research students that entered the contest.

Brown’s standout research project was one that hit close to home. After her family lost their home during Superstorm Sandy, Brown dedicated her scientific inquiry to developing more effective means of predicting violent weather patterns on Long Island. Her project was titled “Forecasting Hurricane Hazards for the Long Island Area.” She worked with science mentors from the University of North Florida and Ocean Weather Inc. in Coscob, Connecticut.

Epstein’s research project, “The Effects of the Modulation of TOR Signaling and Microbial Exposure on Feeding Behavior in Drosophila melanogaster,” observed the dietary patterns of fruit flies in an attempt to research how caloric intake can be controlled to reduce the risk of disease and potentially slow the aging process. Epstein worked with mentors out of Long Island University.

Shapiro worked with researchers at Harvard University for his project, titled “An Analysis of Corporate Response to Climate Change.” The project studies whether or not corporations experience any revenue benefits from their efforts to mitigate climate change.

Chojar focused on the criminal justice system for his project, “Effects of Evidence Evaluation Placement on Juror Sensitization to Non Case-Specific New Jersey Henderson Instructions.” The study, conducted with mentors at CUNY John Jay College, found that changing the instructions jurors receive when asked to render a verdict could decrease the rate of false convictions based on mistaken identities and eyewitness testimony.

MAMS Names Geography Bee Winner

The Merrick Avenue Social Studies Department held its annual National Geographic Geography Bee on Jan. 9.  Nearly 75 MAMS students participated in the bee, but after several rounds, Brady Raines of Amanda Myles-McAnally’s class was declared the winner.  Brady will have the opportunity to compete in New York State’s Geography Bee. State winners will advance to the national championship rounds in Washington, D.C.

December 2014 Citizens of the Month

Back row L-R: Oliver Fernandez, Michael Arlia, Robert Maksimowicz, Eliza Ostrofsky and Devon Schroeder

Front row L-R: Matthew Singh, Alicia Prainito and Katelyn Felsberg

Stanza and Deliver at Mepham HS

Poetry was brought to life at Mepham when 17 students took part in the eighth annual schoolwide Poetry Out Loud Recitation Contest. Poetry Out Loud is a national poetry recitation contest that encourages the study of great poetry through memorization, performance and competition. Recitation enables students to convey the essence, tone and feeling of a poem with their voice.

More than 400 students competed in their individual English classes, with class winners progressing to the schoolwide competition, which was moderated by program coordinator Nicole Maresca and English department chairperson Marie Netto. From there, two winners will move on to a regional competition, followed by a state competition and, ultimately, the national finals in Washington, D.C.

Students selected a poem to recite during the competition in front of a panel of judges composed of English teachers. Judges based scores on physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, level of complexity, evidence of understanding and overall performance.
Senior Lisa Condoluci earned first-place honors for her delivery of Arthur Rimbaud’s “Novel.” Senior Alyssa Rabinowitz recited Edward Hirsch’s “Poor Angels” for the second-place spot, and senior Jaime Marvin took third place for her presentation of E. E. Cummings’ “[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in].”

Four years ago, Mepham’s winner, Steven Tsai, was the New York State Poetry Out Loud Champion. Tsai represented New York at the national finals in April 2011.

Bellmore-Merrick CHSD Energy Conservation Plan


BMCHSD Framework for Individualized Learning Opportunities




Stranger Danger Safety Tips - Nassau County Police Department




In the News


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.

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