Science Teacher in Finals for Teacher of the Month

Chris Patten, a 10th- and 12th-grade social studies teacher at Mepham, has been selected as one of three finalists for Teacher of the Month, a promotion hosted by K98.3 in Farmingdale.

The winner of the popular radio station’s Teacher of the Month award will receive 50 tickets to a home game of the Long Island Ducks and will be honored with throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.

To vote for Mr. Patten, sign up or log on to the station’s website and register as a VIP user. Registration is free. Then click on Mr. Patten’s entry. The teacher with the most votes will win the contest. Mr. Patten is up against two East Meadow teachers for the honor.  

District Regents Assessment Data and Graduation Results

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Graduation Video

John F. Kennedy High School Holds 47th Graduation Commencement

On June 29, Kennedy High School held its 47th annual graduation ceremony for the Class of 2014. Held at the NYCB Theater in Westbury, 310 graduating seniors received their diplomas from Principal Lorraine Poppe as well as members of the Board of Education and John DeTommaso, superintendent of schools.

During the ceremony, the packed theater heard speeches from Class of 2014 salutatorian Benjamin November, valedictorian Benjamin Rabinowitz and Senior Class President Valentina Elegante. The program also featured a musical interlude from the Kennedy Jazz Combo and a rousing rendition of “God Bless America” by graduating senior Briana Krackow.

Congratulations to the Kennedy Class of 2014! Browse the photo gallery for highlights of the commencement ceremony.

 

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Wellington C. Mepham High School Holds 76th Annual Graduation Commencement

On June 29, Mepham High School held its 76th annual graduation ceremony for the Class of 2014. Held at the NYCB Theater in Westbury, 349 graduating seniors received their diplomas from Principal Michael Harrington as well as members of the Board of Education and John DeTommaso, superintendent of schools.

The ceremony was emceed by Class of 2014 President Rachel Fain, who delivered the senior address. Valedictorian Brian Keohane and salutatorian Matthew Waldmann were also given the honor to deliver speeches. The program was highlighted by a poem titled “Atlas” from poet laureate Melanie Sirof and the performance of the senior choir, which sang a rendition of Phillip Phillips’ “Gone, Gone, Gone.”

Congratulations to the Mepham Class of 2014! Browse the photo gallery for a look at the pomp and circumstance.

 

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Sanford H. Calhoun High School Holds 55th Annual Graduation Commencement

On June 29, Calhoun High School held its 55th annual graduation ceremony for the Class of 2014. Held at the NYCB Theater in Westbury, 350 graduating seniors received their diplomas from Principal David Seinfeld as well as members of the Board of Education and John DeTommaso, superintendent of schools.

The ceremony was emceed by Class of 2014 President Rebecca Peretz, who delivered the welcoming remarks and the class appreciation speech. Parents, friends, faculty members and, of course, the graduating class also heard from valedictorian Katherine Kustas and salutatorian Alexander Boyd. The afternoon was capped off by the senior choir's beautiful rendition of the Calhoun alma mater and a song titled, "For Just a Little While."

Congrats to the Calhoun High School Class of 2014! Browse the photo gallery and relive the pomp and circumstance.

 

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A Snapshot from Prom

 

MAP Students Celebrate Commencement

Students at the Meadowbrook Alternative Program marked their official commencement from the program in front of parents, family and friends on June 23. Marching into the auditorium at the Brookside School to “Pomp and Circumstance,” the students were warmly welcomed by program director Susan Ellinghaus.

“We are here today to celebrate your graduation and to celebrate the next phase on your journey through life,” said safety officer Donald Smith. “I want you to realize that as one door closes, another opens. You should never be afraid to walk through the door. You must walk through with confidence and let the world know that you are here to make a difference. I know all of you will succeed in whatever you attempt to do.”

Additionally, Class of 2008 graduate Raquelle Kabatsky, valedictorian Tiffany Terravecchia and salutatorian Michelle Beery addressed the audience throughout the ceremony. Board of Education President Susan Schwartz presented diplomas to each of the graduates as they crossed the stage.

During the ceremony, several students received special awards. Daniel Healey was awarded the U.S. Army Scholar Athlete Award by Staff Sgt. Eli Henderson. Terravecchia and Beery received the PTA Coordinating Council Award, with Michael Dapolito being acknowledged with the BMUST Scholarship Award. Dapolito also was given $200 from Allstate Insurance, presented by Kabatsky. Terravecchia also received the Bellmore Lion’s Club Award. Beery, Tara Eyring, Daniel Pflaumer and James Seible were all awarded the Meadowbrook Alternative Program Award.

 

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Kennedy Student Government Hosts Dodgeball Tournament

The student government at John F. Kennedy High School hosted a dodgeball tournament on May 29 to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association of America.

The event was spearheaded by junior Jake Silverman, a member of the student senate. Jake, along with other juniors in the club, organized the one-day, six-on-six tournament after the success of last year’s basketball tournament. Students from all grades, as well as Kennedy alumni, participated in the competitive yet friendly after-school tournament. Thirteen teams participated, raising a total of $750 for the charity.
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MAP Students Donate Food for Rock and Wrap It Up

Students at the Meadowbrook Alternative Program have recovered and donated approximately 3,045 pounds of food for Rock and Wrap It Up – an organization they have been involved with for several years. The local charity strives to use green tactics to recover food and other goods. The recovered items are then given to various groups to help fight poverty.

Students recovered the food, which was prepared but not served, as well as short-dated items, from their school cafeterias. The food they collected provided 2,342 meals and 2,436 pounds of CO2 that was not released into the atmosphere. Additionally, included in the CO2 figure is 2,192 pounds of methane not released into the atmosphere.


Sanford H. Calhoun High School Department of Languages Other Than English Contest Winners 2013-2014

Long Island Language Teachers Foreign Language Day Competition
 
Original Essay

Italian Level IV
Honorable Mention:   
Joanna Marmo
Jessica Marrapodi

Italian Level V
Honorable Mention:  
Jacob Garber

Italian Level V
Third Place:
Kyra Gassmann

Italian Level V
Second Place:  

Kirsten Back

American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese: National Spanish Exam

Level II
Gold:
Alaina Anderson

Silver:
Daniel Goetz
Elizabeth Hwang
Angela Mitsas
Jesse Rogers

Bronze:
Lindsay Abrahams
Christian Concepcion
Ryan Elliott
Rebecca Holtz
Destiny Pineda

Honorable Mention:
Benjamin Adelberg
Devon Bayer
Isaac Bloch
Samantha Foley
Maximos Goodman
Cristin Rodriguez
Michelle Steinberg
Medelene Vergel

Level III
Gold:
Haley Ryan

Silver:
Christopher Burke
Jenna Pasternak

Bronze:
Bianca Liriano
Noelle Perrone
Christopher Reyes

Honorable Mention:
Ryan Curran
Louis Lin
Elijah Maduro
Rachel November
Kenneth Petter
Maribel Sabino
Lori Zomback

Level IV
Gold:
David Braunstein

Silver:
Christine Collins

Bronze:
Paulina R. Fein

Honorable Mention:
Mark Rayev

Level V
Silver:
John De Lise

Giovanni Caboto Lodge Scholarship – Charity Foundation
Victoria Ende

American Association of Teachers of Italian Poetry Recitation Contest

Italian Level IV
Honorable Mention:  
Alyssa Garbarino

Italian cooking First Place:
Julianna Casella

 

John F. Kennedy High School Department of Languages Other Than English Contest Winners 2013-2014

Long Island Language Teachers Foreign Language Day Competition

Original Essay

Italian Level IV:
Third Place:
Alexis Procopio
Honorable Mention:
Lindsay Gilman

Original Poetry

Italian Level II:
First Place:
Domenico Maffei

Second Place:
Kevin Diebold

Third Place:
Olivia Conlon

Italian Level III:
Second Place:
Iffera Zahid

Third Place:
Sarah Fealey

Honorable Mention:
Samantha Klein
Cora Travaglione

Italian - Level IV
Second Place:
Jade Arena


Italian Level V:
Second Place:
Olivia Johansen

International Vocal Music

Italian - Level III
First Place:
Julianna Codispoti

Honorable Mention:
Ashley Bardhan
Sophia Berin
Lindsday Lodespoto
Alexia Smith

American Association of Teachers of French: National French Exam

Level 4A    
Jane Kogan - 10th place Nassau

Level 3A
Renee Korgood - 7th place Nassau

Level 2A
Alixandra Wilens - 9th place Nassau
Danielle Schwartz - 7th place Nassau, 9th place nationally


American Association of Teachers of Italian: National Italian Exam

Level II
Honorable Mention:
Sarah Baio
Max Bazil
Arin Forstadt: Recipient of the Società Onoraria Italica Scholarship
Elizabeth Kutil
Domenico Maffei


Level III
Samantha Klein

American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese: National Spanish Exam

Level II
Gold:
Rebecca Stekol

Silver:
Alec Deane
Maggie Zaretz
Sarah Zuckerman
Janice Calderon
Hannah Choset
Nicole Rezak

Bronze:
Jacqueline Yackow
Joslyn Barrera

Honorable Mention:
Alex Buchbinder
Evan Ross
Jillian Wolfson
Chris Ham
Francesca Collado
Hayley Tesser
Zachary Stone
Jacob Shapiro
Brian Needle

Level III
Gold:
Rachel Mashal
Sarah Moussavi
Johanna Guillen

Silver:
Bailey Germann
Cara Slovinsky

Bronze:
Amanda Aronoff
Maddie Binder
Colby Germann
Alyssia Kazan
Harrison Marcus
David Mehani
Yasmine Soliman
Sydney Wielstein
Josh Corwin

Honorable Mention:
Samantha Berger
Harrison Ivers
Steven Obadiah

Level IV
Silver:
Beatrice Browne
Jayson Chojar
Sam Moser

Bronze:
Skylar Eiskowitz

Honorable Mention:
Samuel Epstein
Nicholas Field
Seth Gottlieb
Noel King
Jeremy Marchuck
David Mark
Mikaela Orenstein
Rebecca Rait
Michael Roberts
Justin Shapiro
Jacob Rosenzweig
Logan Werner
Christine Carrasco
Daniel Elegante


Giovanni Caboto Lodge (Jerry Anselmo Excellence Award)
Shane Rosenthal

Giovanni Caboto Lodge Scholarship – Charity Foundation
Olivia Johansen

Queens College Italian Journal (Il Giornalino) Publication
Certificate of Excellence:

Italian - Level II
Jake Abrams
Olivia Conlon
Adele Covelli
Ryan Cummings
Arin Forstadt
Elizabeth Kutil
Christopher Lau
Vinny Maltese
Lauren Miksits
Anthony Passarella
Marisa Pellegrino
Brianna Plass
Roberto Romeo
Ryan Rodriguez

Italian - Level III
Ross Binder
Sarah Fealey
Samantha Klein
Jonathon Polo
Paige Resnick
Cora Travaglione
Iffera Zahid


Italian - Level IV
Jade Arena
Gabrielle D’Ambrosi
Kaci Falcone
Kiera Brennan
Jamie Gewurz
Alejandra Godinez
Kristin Polirer
Alexis Procopio
Dean LoPalo
Lindsay Gilman

Italian - Level V
Nicholas Braccio
Louis Cuttitta
Erin DiFranco
Olivia Johansen
Paul Paczkowski
Emily Whelan

 

W.C. Mepham High School Department of Languages Other Than English Contest Winners 2013-2014

Long Island Language Teachers Foreign Language Day Competition

Original Essay

French Level II
First Place:
Rachel Jozwik

French Level III
First Place:
Ryan Connolly

French Level V
Second Place:
James Ancona

Third Place:
Ciera Paily

Honorable Mention:
Elizabeth Varsos

Italian Level II:
Second Place:

Italian Level III
First Place:
Stephanie Miano

Second Place:
Kristen Kazokas

Third Place:
Kathryn Ronan

Honorable Mention:
Danielle Maddalena

Italian Level IV
Second Place:
Ryan Foley

Italian Level V
First Place:
Nicole Baricevic

Spanish  Level II
Second Place:
Steven Liriano

Third Place:
Christopher Rosenthal

Honorable Mention:
Hannah Bienstock
Julia Losciale
Jaani Gandhi  

Spanish Level III
Honorable Mention:
Julianna Gargano
Allison Neuwirth
Joanna Weller

Spanish  Level IV
Honorable Mention:
Anand Bradley

Original Poetry

Italian Level III
First Place:
Stephanie Miano

Honorable Mention:
Melissa Palmieri

Italian Level IV
First Place:
Jaime Marvin

Italian Level V
First Place:
Steve Forte

Third Place:
Aleks Zukoff

Spanish Level II
First Place:
Michael Smith

Second Place:
Reina Chicas

Third Place:
Julia Losciale

Honorable Mention:
Amanda Amalfitano
Karlee Greco

Spanish Level III
Honorable Mention:
Rachel Steinkamp

Spanish Level IV
Honorable Mention:
David Pincus

Spanish Level V
First Place:
Julia Lunavictoria

International Dance Video

Spanish  Level V
First Place:
Erika Anzalone
Anne-Marie Artieda
Dylan Christie
Samuel D’sa
Estefani Hernandez
Despina Kamarinos

Second Place:
Connor Gordon
Amanda Jacobs
Mark Kamelhar
Kiara Kaylor
Eric Myones
Keven Neira
Victoria Ponce
Brittany Singh
Rebecca Weisman

International Vocal Music

Spanish Level 2
First Place:
Emily Fontanetta

Spanish Level IV
Honorable Mention:
Nicolette Jones

Spanish  Level V:
First Place:
Alana DeGregorio

Language Production Video

Spanish  Level IV
Honorable Mention:
Bryan Conry
Aiden Wagner

American Association of Teachers of French: National French Exam

Level 2A
Eighth in Nassau County; Tenth in nation:
Rachel Jozwik

Level 3A
Ninth in Nassau County
Christian Arispe

American Association of Teachers of Italian: National Italian Exam
Level II
Honorable Mention:
Marilena Hilas
Gabriella Stramera
Taylor Drew
Amanda Navarro
Victoria Caruso
Nicholas Gerardi
Ciro Schiavo
Amber Benevento

Level III
Honorable Mention:
Hannah Weibley

Level IV
Honorable Mention:
Ali Davila

American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese: National Spanish Exam

Level II
Silver:
Emily Fontanetta

Bronze:
Matthew Conry
Julia Losciale
Christopher Rosenthal
Kevin Weber

Honorable Mention:
Alyssa Lyman
Emily Marzigliano
Tyler McPartland
Nicole Scher
Kristina Stumpp
Steven Liriano

Level III
Silver:
Kristina DiMiceli
Olivia Meyer
Rachel Pincus
Joanna Weller

Bronze:
Anna Curran
Julianna Gargano
John Grover

Honorable Mention:
Darian Carlovich
Jake Friedlander
Devin Gaffney
Lindsey Marshall
Neyda Martinez
Xavier Roa
Elizabeth Stender
Nicolas Viola

Level IV

Silver:
Anand Bradley

Bronze:
Omama Ali
Lisa Condoluci
Bryan Conry
Nimra Hameed
Kasim Jafri
Maria Kazmi
David Pincus
Alyssa Rabinowitz

Honorable Mention:
Megan  Anderson
Rachel Foley
Gabrielle Hechtman
David Lin
Kara Ognibene
Aiden Wagner
Brittany Willis
Danielle Valentino

Level V
Silver:
Sasha Deshuk-Flores

American Association of Teachers of Italian Poetry Recitation Contest

Italian - Level III
Honorable Mention:
Kristen Corless

Italian - Level V
Honorable Mention:
Kassandra McAdam

Queens College Calandra Italian American Institute Journal
Level III
Rachel Brandes
Peter Casola
Kristen Kazokis
Danielle Maddalena
Stephanie Miano
Melissa Palmieri
Hannah Weibley


Giovanni Caboto Lodge Scholarship
Jessica Monteserrato
Eric Seltzer

 

Eighth-Graders Celebrate Moving Up

Eighth-grade students at Grand Avenue and Merrick Avenue middle schools officially marked the end of their middle school careers and the transition into high school during moving up ceremonies, which were done based on academic teams, on June 13.

Students came into the auditoriums marching to the traditional “Pomp and Circumstance” in front of parents, family and peers. Graduating seniors from Calhoun, Kennedy and Mepham high schools served as guest speakers, providing words of encouragement and insight to their younger counterparts as they are about to embark on a similar new journey. Eighth-grade student speakers provided reflections on the past two years in middle school, as well as their hopes and dreams for the future. Members of the Board of Education and district’s central administration also offered their congratulations. Additionally, the schools’ vocal groups – the Select Chorus at Grand Avenue and Word of Mouth at Merrick Avenue – provided musical interludes.

Each student made their way across the stages, receiving handshakes from administrators and teachers alike and officially signifying their middle school commencement. Grand Avenue Principal Carlo Conte and Merrick Avenue Principal Dr. Meador Pratt addressed the audiences about the importance of this period in the students’ lives and congratulated them on reaching this critical milestone.

“By now, I hope you feel special in knowing just how many people have invested themselves in your success,” said Mr. Conte. “It was only two short years ago when you walked in those doors as seventh-graders.”

“Students, as you go forward into high school and beyond, I hope that you will chose to maintain your MAMS PRIDE with the integrity that is so critical for your success,” said Dr. Pratt. “Congratulations to all of you on your successes so far at Merrick Avenue Middle School. You deserve to be honored on this day.”

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Skull and Bones Members Volunteer for Lymphomathon

Twenty-three members of the Skull and Bones Drama Club from Mepham High School volunteered and walked at the Lymphoma Research Foundation's annual Lymphomathon, a non-competitive walk-a-thon, at scenic Old Westbury Gardens on June 14. Not only did the students raise money, but they also helped register walkers, took in and accounted for walkers' donations, served as guides for the walkers and acted as greeters. To date, the club has raised $995 for Lymphomathon, but cash and check donations have not yet been added to the grand total.
 
Skull and Bones was invited by the LRF to participate in this event after the club raised $1,651 from its “A Night on Broadway” revue in January.  
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Board of Education Holds Reorganization Meeting

On July 8, the board of education held its annual reorganization meeting, the district’s official kickoff for the 2014-15 school year. At the meeting, the board unanimously voted to re-elect JoAnn DeLauter as board president and George Haile as vice president. DeLauter and Haile took the oath of office and were sworn in by District Clerk Claire Neufeld.

Additionally, the board recognized trustee Wendy Gargiulo as the newest member. Gargiulo, a trustee in the North Merrick UFSD, replaces retired trustee Dr. Matthew Kushner. Superintendent John DeTommaso formally introduced Gargiulo to the audience and welcomed her to the board.
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Mepham’s Tyler Davis Commits to UConn

Tyler Davis, junior and quarterback at Wellington C. Mepham High School, committed to play Division I football at University of Connecticut in front of family, friends and teammates on June 12. Davis will graduate Mepham early in December and enroll at UConn for the spring semester to begin workouts for the 2015 season.

Head coach Anthony Cracco explained that Davis’ hard work, dedication and unbreakable focus created tremendous opportunities at the collegiate football level. “Tyler Davis walked into Mepham four years ago as a tall, skinny eighth-grader who had a dream of one day becoming a Division I quarterback,” he said. “He worked tirelessly for the next four years to accomplish that goal on the field, in the classroom, in the weight room and anywhere else he felt could make him a better player or a better student-athlete.”

More than 50 college football programs showed interest in Davis – receiving offers from nine, including Bucknell University, Central Connecticut State University, Monmouth University, Old Dominion University, Stony Brook University, University at Albany, University of Connecticut, University at Buffalo and University of Maine.

Davis thanked Coach Cracco, his family, teachers, teammates and administrators at the school for helping to contribute to his success. “I’m so grateful for this opportunity to be able to share this moment of incredible news with so many of the people who helped me achieve my dream,” said Davis. “Every single person in this room, in some way, shape or form, has contributed to this moment and cannot be thanked enough. Without your encouragement, none of this would be possible.”
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Kennedy Students Commended at Cougar Pride Awards

John F. Kennedy High School honored 12 outstanding students during its annual Cougar Pride recognition program on June 11. The award is given to students who go above and beyond for the Kennedy community – those who really make a difference in the school itself and the community at large. More than 40 students were considered by a panel of faculty members for this distinct honor.

Once selected, the 12 students recognized a member of the faculty who made a significant impact on them during their time at Kennedy. Principal Lorraine Poppe and Assistant Principal Eileen Connolly spoke about each student in detail before students took to the podium to speak about their chosen faculty member.

Cougar Pride recipients included Gary Anderson, Jack Babbush, Rachel Calagna, Rebecca Jellinek, Briana Krackow, Madison McGlone, Sean O’Donnell, Benjamin Rabinowitz, Andrew Sheehan, Emily Silverman, Brandon Simon and Rachel Weintrauib. Faculty honorees included Keri Andree, Briand DeGaetano, Barbi Frank, Sara Gant, Elissa Germaine, Matthew Grasso, Allen Ma, Chris Mammone, Dennis Ringel, Christy Rochford, Jennifer Sapir and Frank Sansanelli.

“Tonight, the spotlight is on the young men and women who will be honored for their role in making Kennedy High School a very special place and the teachers who have made a difference in their lives,” said Ms. Poppe. “On behalf of my fellow administrators, I congratulate both the Cougar Pride recipients and the teachers who have helped to guide them. You are all truly remarkable, and I thank you for making a difference.”

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Robbie Rosen Visits MAMS

Up-and-coming pop singer-songwriter Robbie Rosen visited Mrs. Dana Brandwein’s chorus class at Merrick Avenue Middle School – his old alma mater – to talk to students about what it’s like to pursue a career in the music industry. The students also had the opportunity to listen to several tracks from his newly released album, “Just Like a Rose” which he wrote and co-produced.

Robbie made it to the top eight males on Season 10 of “American Idol” and has since shared the stage with many prominent artists, such as Rascal Flatts, Karmin, Cassadee Pope (“The Voice” winner) and many others. He has toured the country with other artists as a part of a national bully-prevention program for which he wrote an original song, “My Life.”

Merrick Avenue students were thrilled to get the chance to meet this hometown celebrity.
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Grand Avenue and Merrick Avenue Eighth-Graders Honored

Eighth-graders at Grand Avenue and Merrick Avenue middle schools were recognized for their outstanding achievements in academics, athletics, extracurricular activities, the arts and community service during the annual eighth-grade awards programs on June 9.

Grand Avenue bestowed numerous awards to students based on outstanding academic achievement in English, integrated algebra, mathematics, earth science, science, social studies, French, Spanish and Italian. Several students were also honored for their participation in academic competitions throughout the year. Scholar-athletes, musicians and artists were recognized, in addition to dozens of students who achieved the community service medal and school organizations medals. Special awards were also given out to acknowledge exceptional student involvement and scholarship, scholar-athlete status and outstanding eighth-grade students.

“We are here tonight to celebrate the hard work and many successes of our students,” said Grand Avenue Principal Carlo Conte. “We also want to recognize and salute their accomplishments and dedication. They deserve our praise and admiration for their efforts.”

Students at Merrick Avenue were honored with awards of distinction, which included principal’s and assistant principals’ awards, among others. Teachers from each team presented awards to their students in English, social studies, mathematics, earth science and science, as well as a team-specific PRIDE award to recognize those who upheld the tenets of the character education program. Additional distinctions were awarded to students in all subject areas schoolwide. Eighth-graders were also honored for their dedication to extracurricular activities, community service, scholastic achievement and athletics. Guidance department PRIDE recognition was bestowed on certain students, and four-sport athletes were honored as well.

“Tonight is a night to honor the achievements of our students from the last two years, both in and out of the classroom,” said Merrick Avenue Principal Dr. Meador Pratt. “Sitting before us is a tremendous group of students, and we know they will continue to build upon their accomplishments as they enter high school.”
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Board Recognizes Students, Staff and Community Members

The Board of Education honored dozens of outstanding students, staff, faculty and community members for exceptional achievements or service to the district at its June 4 meeting.

“All of these individuals have demonstrated great promise and performance in their studies, activities or dedication to serve the children of Bellmore-Merrick,” said Superintendent of Schools John DeTommaso. “We are extremely proud of each person honored and are happy they are part of the Bellmore-Merrick family.”

Valedictorians and salutatorians – Katherine Kustas and Alexander Boyd from Calhoun, Benjamin Rabinowitz and Benjamin November from Kennedy, and Brian Keohane and Matthew Waldmann from Mepham, respectively – were recognized for their achievements. Additionally, members of Calhoun’s girls badminton team were acknowledged by the board for winning the Nassau County Championship.

Volunteers from the Family Project – a recreational/education program that helps improve the communication skills of special needs students within the community through various activities – were recognized for their assistance in providing years of service to the project. Honorees included Erin Curley, Sasha Deshuk-Flores, Caitlyn Dorn, Sara Hechtman, Jesse Just, Julia Mirsky, Amanda Opperman, Paige Sangiorgio, Amanda Schmitt, Vincent Sinisgalli, Matthew Spohrer, Taylor Tavella and Nicole Woska.

Trustee Dr. Matthew Kuschner, who is retiring from the board, was thanked for his 10 years of service to the BMCHSD board and 18 years on the North Merrick board. Dr. Kuschner – a 1977 graduate of Kennedy High School – has devoted countless hours and consistently worked to improve the quality of programs for the district’s schools and students. Board president Susan Schwartz was commended for her service and leadership to the district this past year, in addition to honoring the high school student representatives – Calhoun’s Rebecca Peretz, Kennedy’s Rohan Nahpal and Mepham’s Rachel Rain – for their commitment to updating the board on happenings in their respective schools. Outgoing members of the Bellmore-Merrick PTA units were also recognized for their enthusiasm and dedication to the schools.

Social studies chairperson Karen McGuinness was recognized for being the 2014 recipient of the Long Island Council for the Social Studies Harry C. Charles Outstanding Social Studies Supervisor Award. This award is given to a social studies supervisor/chairperson who has demonstrated knowledge in social studies content, as well as knowledge of current social studies issues and inspires social studies leadership.

Prior to the meeting, seven retiring members – Ann Marie Cangelosi, Jill Klasson, Loretta LaCorte, Mary Ann Meyers, Susan Shapiro, Rosemary Steel and Claire Wood – of the Bellmore-Merrick educational community were honored for their years of service and dedication.
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MAP Students Honor Veterans for D-Day Anniversary

Students in the Meadowbrook Alternative Program were able to connect the history they learn in textbooks to real life on June 6 in recognition of D-Day. The MAP students visited several senior citizens who served in the armed forces at the Jewel Quinn Senior Center, who share the building at the Brookside School. The visit was in honor of the 70th anniversary of D-Day and allowed students to thank veterans for their dedication and service.

Two senior citizens – 91 year olds Frank DePergoli and Sam Karp – landed on the beaches at Normandy 10 and 11 days, respectively, after the initial invasion. They, along with several other veterans who served during World War II and the Korean War, shared their firsthand experiences with the students.

“We have to remember why the boys went over there,” said Karp. “It was to protect everybody’s rights. Everyone is a human being and they are entitled to the way they think or what they feel. We went over there to make sure that these rights weren’t taken away from us.”
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Arts Come Alive at Mepham

A diverse array of artistic and musical talent were on display at Wellington C. Mepham High School on June 3 and 5 during its annual Spring Arts showcase and concerts.

The school’s art showcase featured hundreds of pieces of work from students in various art classes and levels, including Advanced Placement art, advertising and design, drawing and painting, photography, sculpture and studio in art. Work covered a range of mediums, from painting, drawing and sculpture to photography and graphic design. The showcase serves as an outlet for students to share their best work from the past year with their peers, family, friends and community.

Several musical groups performed during the two-night concert, including the repertory band, mixed chorus, saxophone quartet, Mepham jazz ensemble, chamber orchestra, Mepham orchestra, symphonic band, concert choir and wind ensemble, in addition to assorted student arrangements of various artists from Pirate Radio.
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Christine Rizzacasa Serves as Principal for the Day at Mepham

As a reward for leading Mepham High School’s efforts for the St. Baldrick’s fundraiser and raising $2,182, senior Christina Rizzacasa served as “Principal for the Day” on June 5. Christine did an excellent job, patrolling the hallways and checking on classes.

Mepham raised $75,298 for St. Baldrick’s.
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Kennedy Track Members Volunteer at Victory Challenge

Members of the Kennedy High School boys and girls spring track team volunteered at the NCESGPC Victory Challenge at the Mitchel Athletic Complex in Uniondale on May 31. Twenty-five students assisted in the track area, cheered on participants and served water to the athletes.
 
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Kennedy Students Earn Good Deed Recognition

Kennedy High School freshman Samantha Lobel and junior Jake Silverman were among 30 students from across Nassau County to be honored with Good Deed Awards by the National Committee for the Furtherance of Jewish Education at Congregation Beth Sholom Chabad in Mineola.

Lobel and Silverman were honored for their selfless acts, as well as their achievement, excellence, effectiveness, creativity and ability to be a positive role model. Their good deeds, kindness and generous demeanor are an inspiring example to their peers and community.
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Mepham’s Josh Ferris Recognized by ‘Tomorrow Project’

Wellington C. Mepham High School senior Josh Ferris placed in the Intel, Society for Science and the Public and Arizona State University’s Center for Science and Imagination’s “Tomorrow Project.” His science fiction story was one of 33 selected to be published on the project’s website from hundreds of submissions from 15 countries and 36 states.

Josh will be attending the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering and hopes to be a successful nanoscale engineer in the future.
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Musicians Perform for Community

A little rain didn’t stop students from the district from performing at “The Merricks Make Music” summer concert on June 3 at the North Merrick Public Library. For the seventh consecutive year, students from several musical groups in the district performed for the community to enjoy.

Merrick Avenue Middle School’s a cappella group, Word of Mouth, sang several popular tunes for the audience, under the direction of Dana Brandwein. The Calhoun-Mepham Chamber Orchestra – an elite group of string players composed of students from Calhoun and Mepham high schools and directed by Christopher Sutherland – performed various selections throughout the evening. Calhoun’s Jazz Band brought jazz, funk, swing and blues to the show through a diverse repertoire of music, with direction by Ed Tumminelli. Additionally, students from the North Merrick School District Jazz Band played at the concert.
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Science Symposiums Showcase Talent

Advanced Science Research students from Sanford H. Calhoun, John F. Kennedy and Wellington C. Mepham high schools gathered on May 29 to showcase their knowledge, achievements and research projects for peers, faculty, family and friends during the district’s annual science symposiums. The event enables students to review achievements for the year, honor all involved and recognize seniors who have completed the program.

At Calhoun, Alix Kozin and Will Rosenblum served as emcees throughout the evening at the completely student planned and run program. Various awards were presented to students, including ninth-graders who participated in the Biology National Science League competition, and a group who placed third nationally in the Earth Science NSL competition. Students broke out into smaller discussion sessions, where seniors presented their research on various topics, including anthropology, animal biology, medicine and health, genetics and molecular imaging, among others.

“This is a really beautiful night because not every student gets to go to every competition,” said research teacher Kim Lascarides. “Some of the competitions have a limited number of students who can apply. This is a night for the students who maybe didn’t win an award or weren’t able to go to a competition to really shine in front of their peers and parents talking about their research.”

Kennedy’s symposium featured 12 seniors giving brief presentations on their research projects – describing their research methods, processes and results for the audience. Michael Wagner, a member of the Kennedy Class of 2002 and the school’s first Intel finalist who is finishing his internal medicine residency at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, served as the keynote speaker for the evening. Additionally, science fair and senior award presentations honored various students.

"The science symposium is an essential capstone moment for our Advanced Science Research seniors,” said Robert Soel, chairperson of science at Kennedy. “After three years of investigating a scientific question which they feel passionate about, each senior presents their work to the school community and their peers as an young accomplished scientist. For many of our students, the symposium marks the beginning of a life long pursuit of science."

Students at Mepham displayed their projects with poster boards prior to the beginning of the ceremony, talking to guests about their research. Ten seniors and two juniors spoke about their specific research projects, while graduating seniors were honored for completing the ASR program. Students were also honored with various awards and two scholarships were presented to seniors. Ayesha Joshi, PhD, from Cornell Weil Medical School’s Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, served as the keynote speaker.

The ASR program provides students with the tools and knowledge necessary to become scientists through interdisciplinary studies that teach skills not normally learned in high school. Students master skills such as interviewing, presenting, writing, self-assessment, peer evaluation, organization and time management, among others. Students are required to perform three years of intense research under the supervision of an expert in their chosen discipline and complete a publishable paper prior to graduation.
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eVero Teaches Computer Skills to Prep Students

Prep for the Future students at Calhoun High School kicked off a new partnership with eVero, a software company that provides services and solutions to growing businesses in the health and human service fields, on May 29 when three instructors visited students to teach them various computer skills. The goal is to make these students better equipped for the workforce.

eVero recently hired one of Calhoun’s Prep for the Future graduates, Joseph Malebranche, as an eVero outreach instructor. Joseph is now teaching other individuals with disabilities basic computer skills to enhance their personal and professional growth. Read his success story here.

Additionally, during the 2014-2015 school year, the eVero directors have agreed to offer students mock business interviews, as well as subsidizing one less privileged life skills student with $100 toward his/her senior prom.
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Seniors Honored for Achievements

The district gathered to recognize the outstanding leadership, character, citizenship and academic achievements of graduating seniors during the Senior Awards Program on May 28. The district’s three high schools – Sanford H. Calhoun, John F. Kennedy and Wellington C. Mepham – paid homage to students’ dedication, contributions and commitment to their school and community. Students in various areas of interests and expertise were honored with an assortment of awards and scholarships.

Students were honored with numerous departmental awards, ranging from art, business, English, family and consumer science and health to LOTE, mathematics, science and social studies. Community service and humanitarian awards were also presented to deserving seniors from a variety of school and community organizations. Additionally, dozens of memorial scholarships were presented to honor past leaders, teachers, students and community members. Government officials, Board of Education trustees, PTA and alumni association members and civics groups had the honor of presenting dozens of awards at each school.

“All of our students have demonstrated exceptional talent, character and ability in a multitude of areas throughout their time in our district,” said Superintendent of Schools John DeTommaso. “This night gives us an opportunity to officially recognize them for all their outstanding and, frankly, amazing achievements.”
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Calhoun 10th-Graders Take Fifth Place Nationally in WordWright Competition

A team of 10th-grade students from Sanford H. Calhoun High School won one of the highest honors at this year’s WordWright Challenge – fifth place in the entire nation during the year’s fourth meet in April. The challenge is a national competition for high school students requiring close reading and analysis of many different kinds of prose and poetry.

Students who won individual honors include freshman Nate Pine and sophomores Chris Burke, Kristi Chan, Carolyn Laurino, Hannah Lichy, Bianca Liriano, Phoebe Ma, Briana MacLaren, Jamie Rosner, Haley Ryan, Nick Saladino, Danny Tack and Lori Zomback.
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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.

7/14/14 - Bond Phase 1 Update

6/30/14 - Bond Phase 1 Update

Capital Bond Project Slideshow

Construction Update 6/17/14

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

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BMCHSD High Stakes Testing Resolution

Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District

High Stakes Testing Resolution, passed December 4, 2013

 

WHEREAS, the goal of the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District is to provide our students with instructional initiatives that enable them to become independent, life-long learners within a nurturing atmosphere that promotes core values such as dedication, respect, integrity, dignity, teamwork and trust, and where all students are encouraged to explore, question, problem-solve and process information using higher level thinking skills; and

 

WHEREAS, our nation’s and New York State’s future well-being relies on a high-quality public education system that prepares all students for college, careers, citizenship and life-long learning and strengthens the nation’s social and economic well-being; and

 

WHEREAS, the over reliance on high stakes standardized testing in state and federal accountability systems is undermining educational quality and equity in United States public schools by hampering educators’ efforts to focus on the broad range of learning experiences that promote the innovation, creativity, problem-solving, collaboration, communication, critical thinking and deep-subject matter knowledge that will allow students to thrive in a democracy and an increasingly global society and economy; and

 

WHEREAS, the current high stakes testing is widely recognized as an unreliable measure of both student learning and educator effectiveness and it has negative effects for students from all backgrounds, and especially for low-income students, English Language Learners and those with disabilities; and

 

WHEREAS, federal and state funding sources do not adequately address the significant costs associated with the implementation of the new Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR), Common Core Learning Standards and the technological needs required to build capacity for the future advent of computer-based statewide high stakes testing; and

 

WHEREAS, the assessment of student learning is an integral part of the educational experience and should be consistent with standards set for student learning.  Testing of any kind should not dominate instructional time nor narrow the focus of student learning;

 

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Bellmore Merrick Central High School District calls on Governor Cuomo, Commissioner King, the State legislature and the Board of Regents to re-examine public school accountability systems in the state, including APPR, to involve all stakeholders in the development of a research-based, age appropriate system which is based on multiple forms of assessment, does not require extensive standardized testing, more accurately reflects the broad range of student learning, is implemented on a well thought out timeline and is used to support students and improve schools; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Bellmore Merrick Central High School District calls on the President of the United States of America and the United States Congress to overhaul the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (“No Child Left Behind”), reduce the testing mandates, not mandate any fixed role for the use of student test scores in evaluating educators and promote multiple forms of evidence of student learning and school quality in accountability.