November 2014 Citizens of the Month


From left to right: Mr. Conte, Anthony Novello, Alexandra Olivo, Jillian Conlon, Erica Trotta, Kirsten Knowles, Rachel Gurevich, Danielle Linekin & Kaitlyn Agostini

Thankgiving Canned food Drive

The Yorker Club with advisors Dan Rummenie and Dominik Bargiel sponsored their annual canned food drive this month. During a three-week span over 600 cans of food (18 boxes) and $500 dollars were raised by the generous students of Grand Ave to help out needy families in the Bellmore community. Each family was able to receive a box of canned food as well as 140 dollar gift certificate, courtesy of the Grand Avenue family as well as the Grand Avenue PTSA for holiday groceries at STOP and SHOP.

MAMS Recognizes ‘Super Summer Readers’

The Merrick Avenue library recently hosted a brief reception celebrating the participants in the 2014 Super Summer Readers Program.
To be considered a Super Summer Reader, students were challenged in the spring to go above and beyond the school's regular summer reading program: they had to read at least five books over the summer, one of which had to be on the school's official summer reading list. 

In addition, Super Summer Readers had to keep a log of the books they read and comment on them, explaining what they liked (or disliked) about each one. 

Library Media Specialist Rachel Mathieu-Leo was joined by English Department Chair Cheryl Fontana, Assistant Principal John Gibilaro, and Principal Taryn Johnson at the reception earlier this month. 

Students were called down to the library for a snack and a brief, yet lively discussion on the books they had read.  Each participant was presented with a certificate and a small congratulatory token of their hard work - a gift certificate to Barnes and Noble.

Congratulations to the 2014 MAMS Super Summer Readers: Sean Berg, Alexa Cohen, Sarah Multer, Brianna Ottofaro, Juliana Tirino, Allison Trabold, and Elizabeth Tuzzolo.

A Home-Cooked Feast at MAMS

Students in the life skills class at Merrick Avenue got into the Thanksgiving spirit with a self-prepared feast and celebration.

The students helped prepare turkey, stuffing and corn, among other treats and rounded out the party with live musical performances and other activities.

Scroll through the photo gallery and get into the spirit yourself.

Holocaust Survivor Visits Calhoun to Tell her Story


Calhoun’s Griffin Miller earns News12’s Scholar Athlete Award

Congratulations to senior Griffin Miller for being selected as a News12 Scholar Athlete! Miller was highlighted for playing lacrosse and for being an outstanding academician. He will be playing lacrosse at Dartmouth next year. Miller is also the student representative at Bellmore-Merrick’s monthly Board of Education meetings. The News12 segment aired last night and a link is now available in our “In The News” section on the website.

Mepham Battles for a Good Cause

Mepham High School students came ready to battle in the sixth annual Battle of the Classes event at the Brookside School on Nov. 12. The night was full of spirit and generosity as the Mepham community came together to raise money for Autism Speaks, the selected charity for the fall Participation in Government senior service learning project.

The contest consisted of a variety of relay competitions, a volleyball game, dance competition and the intense pirate relay. In addition, social studies teacher Stu Stein kept the crowd entertained and enthused as the host.

The senior class was crowned champions of the evening, followed by the sophomores. The juniors took third place, while the freshmen placed fourth.

Seniors Kevin Burns, Yianni Hilas, Jaimie Kaefer and Sal Monello spoke about the work of the senior class with Autism Speaks this fall and why the cause is so important to them.

Ali Dyer, a representative from Autism Speaks, told the capacity crowd that Mepham High School is “one in a million,” as it is truly helping to change the world. The event generated more than $3,700 for Autism Speaks, which, combined with the efforts of the seniors thus far, brought their fundraising total to $6,770.

Town Councilman Means Business With Calhoun Students

Business students received some noteworthy advice from Hempstead Town Councilman Gary Hudes when he spent the day at Calhoun on Nov. 13. Hudes visited students in Sue Litwin’s, Jenna Scelfo’s and Peter Palazzo’s classes.

Hudes, owner and president of a jewelry store in Bellmore, emphasized the importance of standing out among peers when applying for a job, interviewing for a job or meeting with college recruits.

Using an informative PowerPoint presentation, Hudes introduced the acronym “D.E.A.L.,” which stands for Dress, Eye contact, Attitude and Language. He spoke to the students about delivering a proper handshake and asking the proper questions at the first interview.

Mixed with humor, the presentation gave students some insight on the small things they can do to stand out and be a valued employee, such as leaving cell phones out of reach while working and anticipating ways to help an employer’s business grow.

U.S. Marine Band Performs at Mepham

Students, faculty and staff at Mepham High School got a rare treat on Nov. 12 when the United States Marine Band performed in the school’s auditorium.
Hundreds packed the venue at Mepham to hear this rare performance, which featured a special guest conductor – Mepham’s own band director, Brian Neiderman.

Neiderman, a Marine veteran himself, pressed the Marine Band for years to visit the high school and perform. The band, made up entirely of musicians who sign on as active members of the military, conduct approximately 500 performances per year and receive twice as many requests.
Neiderman took the baton to lead the band’s famous marches and hymns during the show. Browse the photos for a look at the performance.

Calhoun Teachers Perform at the Talent Show!

Board of Education Recognized by District Students

At the Nov. 5 meeting of the Board of Education, students took time during the superintendent’s report to express their appreciation for the board of elected volunteers.

To begin, members of the Merrick Avenue Middle School a cappella group Word of Mouth sang the classic Stevie Wonder song “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours.” Afterward, Grand Avenue Middle School representatives presented a decorative vase with flowers to each member of the board. In addition, the PTA Coordinating Council donated money to all six schools for book purchases through the library.

The evening was topped off when students in Calhoun’s Prep for Life program presented the board with handmade framed artwork.

Bellmore-Merrick usually observes School Board Appreciation Week during the first board meeting of November.

Lip Dub 2014

Pie in the face!

On Thursday, November 6th, Angelica Gomez of Grand Avenue Middle School was the envy of every 7th and 8th grade student! Angelica was the winner of the Book Fair Raffle, in which students were given a ticket for each book purchased during the week long, PTA sponsored Book Fair. Each ticket was placed into a box, and the owner of the winning ticket won an opportunity to "Pie" Principal Conte! Yes, that is throw a pie into the face of the principal of Grand Avenue Middle School! Mr. Conte devised the plan as a way to encourage reading among students, and boy did it work. Book Fair sales eclipsed previous years by a large margin, which means more funds for our school! Great Job to the PTA! Great Job Grand Avenue! And most of all. . . Great Job Angelica!!!! (Oh and thanks for being a good sport, Mr. Conte!)

Click here to see the video!


9th Grader Wins Foreign Language Essay Contest

John F. Kennedy High School ninth-grader Rachel Woodiwiss, a student in Antonietta Valenti’s Italian 2 honors class, is this year’s winner of the Italian Heritage and Culture Month Essay Contest. 

The subject of the essay was intended to highlight a notable contributor of Italian heritage. As an avid swimmer, Rachel chose to write about Matt Biondi, an Olympic gold medalist in swimming. 

The contest was sponsored by the Italian Heritage and Culture Month Committee and the Italian Teachers’ Association, Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of Italian. Woodiwiss will receive a special recognition from the organization at a later date and $200 for the recognition.

Mepham Leaders Walk to Prevent Suicide

On Nov. 2, peer leaders and members of the kickline and Key Club at Mepham High School participated in the Out of the Darkness Walk at Old Westbury Gardens to benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Key Club adviser Theana Cheliotes and Mepham senior Arielle Weinstein led the school’s efforts.

The AFSP is a national nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education and advocacy. (cite source) The organization holds “Out of the Darkness” walks throughout the country and tailors them to campuses and communities, and even holds an overnight walk.

Browse the photo gallery for a look at Mepham’s leaders at the benefit.

Halloween Costume Contest

Grand Avenue Middle School's Halloween tradition continued this year, and once again was a smashing success. Each year students, staff and faculty at Grand Avenue Middle School participate in the annual Halloween Costume Contest. The Grand Avenue family not only wears their Halloween best, but they also donate $$ to . As part of the Grand C.A.R.E.S philosophy, students, staff and faculty get to enjoy the day, while at the same time make a positive difference in someone's life! This year Grand raised more than $325.00.

Students showed off their school spirit and creativity through their costumes at the annual costume contest, and the winners were some of the best of the bunch. Here are this year's winners, who not only won bragging rights, but each won two free ice-cream sundaes from Apple Bees!

7th Grade:
Colleen Hefferen------"Broken Doll"
Jacqueline Edwards----"Mad Hatter"
Justin Reilly---------"Historically Accurate Viking"
Cooper Moran----------"Smartie Pants"

8th Grade:
Joe Pernice-----------"Cereal Killer"
Amanda Lepurage-------"Grapes"
Allie Olivo-----------"Gumball Machine 1"
Maxine Bresnaider-----"Gumball Machine 2"


2014-15 Pep Rally

This year Grand avenue students showed more school spirit than ever during the 2014-15 Pep Rally. The 7th and 8th graders supported their fellow student athletes by wearing Grand Avenue colors as well as cheering at the top of their lungs. During the pep rally, the names of each team member of each of Grand Avenues teams were announced. There were also stunning performances by the Grand Avenue Cheerleaders and Kickline.


McTeachers Night

Every year Grand Avenues PTSA, in conjunction with McDonalds host McTeachers night, in an attempt to raise funds for the students of Grand Avenue. This year, McTeachers night was another smashing success. Many Grand Avenue faculty and staff members volunteered to work the counter as well as the the drive through window. The event ran from 5:00 -7:00 P.M. and in that short period of time the students, teachers and Grand Avenue community were able to raise close to $800. Thank you for your support!




October 2014 Citizens of the Month

Back row from left to right: David Collins, Jenna Wilken, Connor Buehler, William Maroni

Front row from left to right: Timothy Mulligan, Christian Bellairs, Chrisitian Farias

Missing from the photo: Hunter Moran

WWII Veteran Visits JFK High School


Merrick Avenue Middle School Holds Fundraiser For SMA

The Merrick Avenue Student Council dedicated the first fundraiser of the year to raising awareness and funds for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a disease that affects the muscular system, making it difficult to move. 

To help raise funds, members of the student council sold bracelets during their lunch periods. By wearing the purchased bracelets, students are reminded every time they look at their wrist of the debilitating condition. The idea was inspired by eighth-grader Julia Lincoln, whose own battle with SMA makes the illness top of mind for students at MAMS.

The council raised more than $150, which will be donated to help research and find a cure for SMA.

Calhoun Students Learn How to ‘Arrive Alive’

Calhoun High School was the site of an interactive and powerful program designed to discourage kids from making poor decisions behind the wheel.

Titled “Arrive Alive,” the traveling awareness tour is run by UNITE, a health and wellness nonprofit organization aimed at encouraging safety and healthy choices. The organization was brought onto Calhoun’s campus thanks to the Community Parent Center, which runs similar programs in the district throughout the year.

The Arrive Alive Tour features simulated and interactive exercises that encourage students to realize the dangers involved when driving either impaired or distracted. During the all-day event on Oct. 6, students got behind the wheel of an SUV, put on special simulated glasses, and were asked to try and navigate a computer-generated road course. The goggles recreated the experience of driving while drunk at different levels of blood alcohol content. It also simulated unpredictable traffic conditions while students texted or checked in on social media platforms.

In addition to the vehicle simulator, students also rode the “seatbelt convincer,” a vehicle seat complete with a seatbelt that students wore before sliding down an incline at 5-7 mph. The seat stopped abruptly at the collision point, illustrating to students how violent the impact from a five-mile-per-hour collision can be.

Students were also asked to wear goggles that recreate visual impairment from alcohol and do a number of simple activities, such as pedaling a go-kart between cones, stacking cups and walking a straight line marked on the sidewalk.

The Arrive Alive Tour was also carried out with the help of New York State troopers. The students were sent outside to participate during health class. Browse the gallery for photos of the event.

In the News

Calhoun accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge! Click on the video below:

Enterovirus Parent/Guardian Letter


Weebly Campus Pro Update


State Assessment Data - ELA, Math, & Science


Nassau County School Zone Speed Safety Camera Program


Below is a link to the Official Nassau County School Zone Speed Safety Camera Program:



Updates Inside


The district will be placing new information in this section regarding the Capital Projects. Be on the lookout for information as it becomes available. See the links below for our latest updates.

10/29/14 - 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

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