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JFK Presents a Well-Deserved Diploma


The Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District’s John F. Kennedy High School recently honored a valued alumnus. Robert Schneider left the school in 1967, just prior to his senior year, to join the army. On July 6, after many decades, he finally received a symbol of his effort, commitment and success in the form of a high school diploma.

Mr. Schneider’s diploma was presented by Principal Lorraine Poppe and Assemblyman David McDonough through New York’s Operation Recognition Program. This initiative recognizes the devotion and sacrifice of World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam Era Veterans who left school early by presenting them with a high school diploma.

Also in attendance at the celebration were Assistant Principals Jerry Owenburg and Vincent Pisano, along with members of Mr. Schneider’s family. Mr. Schneider attended John F. Kennedy High School in 1966 – its initial year. His two daughters, Kristen and Heather, went through the school and graduated in 2003 and 1994, respectively.

“This is the most rewarding thing we can do – it is a way to help people and recognize them,” said Assemblyman McDonough. As Ms. Poppe handed the veteran his official graduation documentation, she stated, “By the authority vested in me by the Board of Education of the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District, I officially certify that Mr. Schneider is eligible to receive his diploma.”

Calhoun Graduation Hits High Notes


Marked by a moving and inspirational speech by Principal Nicole Hollings, the 57th commencement of Calhoun High School was as entertaining as it was celebratory on June 26 at NYCB Theater in Westbury.

Hollings said before belting out a few verses of “Unwritten” to emphasize her point that the future is in graduates’ hands.

“You are the future,” Hollings said. “You have the power to put aside hate and intolerance and to instead love, accept and welcome in. You have the power to ask an important question – ‘how can I help?’”
Board trustee Wendy Gargiulo, a Calhoun alumna and parent of a graduate, told students their graduation is a rewarding moment for their parents, teachers and community members.
“It’s a common thread that binds all of these people to your life,” she added.

Valedictorian Kristi Chan encouraged her peers to hold on tightly to the genuine interest that emerged when they were younger.
“I hope that all of us do not lose the very simple reason we chose to pursue our individual journeys in the first place,” she said. 

Kennedy High School Celebrates 49th Commencement


Members of the Kennedy High School community in the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District gathered early on June 26 at the NYCB Theater at Westbury to celebrate its graduating class.

Student Class President Steven Obadiah had positive message for his peers.
“We have a class full of winners and I am honored to have worked closely with many of you,” he said of the class’ philanthropic accomplishments.
Salutatorian Rachel Mashal offered the following advice to her fellow graduates should they face obstacles in the next stage of their lives.

“Remember your passion and never give up on what you love,” she said. “Be a leader and stick up for what you believe in.”
Valedictorian Samantha Klein emphasized that graduates should “remember to focus on joy” in their lives and not rely on status or material things to make themselves happy.

“The next step in our lives may be challenging, but we all have the strong foundation of the Cougar Nation underneath us as a supporting network as we are separated from Long Island – and Town Bagel for the first time,” she jested.


Mepham Seniors Mark Graduation


Mepham High School celebrated its 78th commencement on June 26 at NYCB Theater in Westbury before a proud crowd of administration, family members and students.

“Their selflessness and compassion is extraordinary,” Principal Michael Harrington said of the class’ philanthropic efforts. “You have come to realize the power of your collective wisdom and collaboration. You’ve learned that it’s possible to achieve extraordinary things where there is a shared sense of purpose and importance.”

Senior Class President McKayla Cates spoke about new beginnings.

“For the first time in our entire lives we get a clean slate,” she said. “It is a time to reinvent ourselves; to be the best version of us we can be.”

Valedictorian John Grover echoed this message of the possibility of what the future holds.

“If you’ve been one to stand on the sidelines, don’t hesitate to step onto the field,” he said.

Salutatorian Kristina DiMiceli told her peers that every high school experience carried great significance.
“From the tiny freshmen that walked through the doors on the first day to the decorated seniors that left on the last – we have impacted each other for the better,” she said.


Calhoun’s Lin Published in Science Journal

Recent Calhoun High School graduate Louis Lin was published in The Journal of Experimental Secondary Science.

His report, “Loss of Mannose Phosphate Isomerase Induces p53 Mediated Apoptosis in a Zebrafish Model of Congenital Disorders of Glycosylation” was included in the June 2016 issue of The Journal of Experimental Secondary Science.

“He's worked so hard and truly deserves acknowledgement for his efforts,” said Jennifer Pefanis, advanced science research teacher.
The article can be viewed at this link

Meadowbrook Alternative Program Seniors Graduate


The Meadowbrook Alternative Program proudly graduated 16 students on June 20 in front of administrators, staff, students and families.

“Think of MAP as a blank page,” said 2006 MAP alumna Kim Armbruster in her address. “Whatever happened before you came doesn’t matter. It’s all about what you’ve done while you’re here and where you go from here.”

Many referred to MAP as their “second family,” thanking teachers and administrators for helping them to thrive and reach their potentials.
“I felt safe here,” said valedictorian Victoria Webster. “Everyday I walked into a warm environment.”

 “I am confidently looking forward to a bright future,” salutatorian Ekaterina Tzorzis added. “The teachers have taught us life lessons that we’ll carry with us forever.”

Calhoun Runner Grace Moore Finishes Fourth in Nation

On June 18-19, two relay teams from Calhoun High School and runner Grace Moore traveled to Greensboro, North Carolina to compete in the New Balance National Track and Field Championships.

Moore ran the Steeplechase and finished fourth in the country making her an All-American. The other two relays, the 800 Sprint Medley Relay and the 1600-meter medley, resulted in personal records for the girls.

“It was a great experience and the Calhoun girls hope to return next year,” said Principal Nicole Hollings.

Merrick Avenue Eighth-Graders Moving Up and On


Pomp and circumstance filled the auditorium at Merrick Avenue Middle School, where students celebrated their moving up ceremonies on June 10.
Musical performances were offered by Word of Mouth, led by Dana Brandwein. Principal Dr. Taryn Johnson then addressed her students by saying “two years wasn’t enough.”
“It’s not enough for me to shape you more and for me to share more with you,” said Dr. Johnson at the Team 8 ceremony. Students graduated in four different ceremonies, separated by their academic team.

Dr. Johnson stressed the importance of putting time into perspective in order to learn how to love and live in every moment.

“Move forward knowing a team of people are enamored with your spirit,” she added.

Students will attend either John F. Kennedy, Sanford H. Calhoun or Wellington C. Mepham high schools within the district. High school student speakers John Del Orfano, Nicole Imhof, Jade Klein and Rachel Mashal offered words of advice for the incoming freshmen.

“You may face obstacles, but you will get past them,” assured Mashal, Kennedy’s salutatorian. “Get involved and build strong relationships with faculty members. Challenge yourself and learn from your failures. Follow your passion and don’t give up on what you love.”

Eighth-grader Julia Oladipo offered one of four student reflections, addressing her peers in an emotional speech.
“We are moving up to a bigger challenge – high school,” she said. “Don’t be afraid of hard work, failure or making sacrifices. Appreciate others and remember we cannot stand on our own.”


Grand Avenue Students Are Movin’ On Up


Before an audience filled with proud family, peers and educators, eighth-graders at Grand Avenue Middle School celebrated their moving up ceremonies on June 10.

Student Lauren Nilsen kicked off the ceremony with a powerful rendition of the national anthem. Grand Voices, under the director of conductor Amanda Cantwell, followed with “If You’re Out There” and “Life is a Highway.”

Students will attend either John F. Kennedy, Sanford H. Calhoun or Wellington C. Mepham high schools within the district. High school student speakers Harrison Ivers, Steven Obadiah, Alexa Beichert and Julianna Gargano offered words of advice for the incoming freshmen.

“In order to make the most of your high school experience, try new things and get as involved as possible after school,” Ivers told the Legacy group at the noon ceremony. Students graduated in four different ceremonies, separated by their academic team.

Eighth-grader Spencer Mattes delivered one of the student reflections, along with Kirsten Knowles, Aiden McCormack, Cooper Moran and Nathan Rosen. Addressing his peers, Mattes said before they reached Grand Avenue most students immediately bonded over the fear of lockers.

“Grand Avenue has offered me many opportunities to explore and experiment,” Mattes added.

Principal Carlo Conte noted students would not have reached this milestone without the team of people that includes teachers, parents, coaches and educators.
“I suggest you take a moment to find a teacher or family member that made a difference in your life and thank them,” he added. “A hug wouldn’t hurt either.”

Moving Up 2016

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Team Discovery

Team Ice

Team Legacy


Team Taco



Mastering the Principles of 2-D and 3-D Art at Calhoun

Students enrolled in the Prep for Life special education program at Calhoun High School displayed their mastery of 2-D and 3-D art during an art show for an appreciative board of education and administration. 

For the past two years, the students have worked with teachers Nancy Scott (Art I) and Heather Lohr (Art II) on developing a portfolio of works including animal portraits, impressionist landscapes, free form sculpture, opposite op art, past to present pop art and relief sculptures. These finished products were not only displayed on hand, but were presented in the form of a digital portfolio.

“The students transitioned so well from 2-D to 3-D art and digital work and will now have digital portfolios to take with them,” Lohr said. “None of this could happen, however, without the support of the district and the students’ families.”

Photo Caption: Art teachers Heather Lohr and Nancy Scott are pictured with Prep for Life artists during their exhibit at Sanford H. Calhoun High School for the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District Board of Education and administration.

Merrick Avenue MS Students Write for Kidsday

On June 11, four of Roland Clark's Writing Enrichment students from Merrick Avenue Middle School tested out their reporting and interviewing skills when they accompanied him to the BLI Summer Jam Concert at Nikon Jones Beach Theater and interviewed singer/songwriter, Rachel Platten.
Merrick Avenue student reporters included Emily Doscher, Alexis Feldman, Isabelle Kessler and Ariana Sambade.

After watching Rachel perform some of her top hits, the girls joined Platten in her dressing room to speak with her. The interview was part of their class writing project with Newsday’s Kidsday and can be viewed by visiting this URL,

Kennedy Seniors Experience Work Environments


In the spring of 2006, a committee of administrators, teachers, parents and students at Kennedy High School developed a senior program to offer alternative learning opportunities to graduating students towards the end of their senior year. This program, known as the “Senior Experience Program,” is currently entering its 10th year.

Participants have three weeks of release time during the last three weeks of the school year. This period of time is dedicated to their chosen project or internship; students are expected to spend time at their placement equal to the time that they spend at school. This year, more than 215 seniors are participating in the program at Kennedy High School. Students are in a variety of fields that range from engineering to communications, and medicine to graphic design, and are working in offices from Hauppauge to New York City.

“The success of the program relies on the commitment of the students, the monitoring of each student by a faculty mentor, and the generous support of our community sponsors who are willing to work with our students and give them an enriching and educational experience,” said Principal Lorraine Poppe. “From their experiences, many of our students begin to change or develop future plans. Others merely enjoy sharing their talents or commitment to service with others. The program has truly become part of the Kennedy culture, and students look forward to being part of Senior Experience.”

A few of the students are interning at law firms on Long Island and in New York City.

“I've learned how the judicial system functions,” said student Ashley Jarzabek. “I've also learned many terms that attorneys use; such as a Stipulation of Settlement and a Judgment of Divorce. Before going into this, I didn’t know these terms existed. Something I've done well was take notes of the court cases and follow along with them since they are confusing sometimes…I am learning so much and the idea of law school is now exciting to me.”
Students like Alex Dobosh are also focusing on the legal field; however, Alex is interning in a courthouse rather than a law office. He is at the New York State Supreme Court in New York City.

“I have learned a lot about the court process…sitting on trials is different,” Dobosh said.  “It’s pretty crazy how the legal world works.”  

Dobosh also noted how he has been able to apply some of the skills he learned in Mock Trial to this experience.

Student Elizabeth Lau said she is enjoying her experience working at Bellmore-Merrick Pediatrics. “At the pediatric office, I work with other staff, patients and parents. Instead of learning at a desk, I'm learning from hands-on experience,” she said. “I definitely prefer working at the office more. This is definitely more interesting and engaging, and I really feel like I learn a lot more. I also love being able to interact with people directly.”

All students in the program write a daily journal entry, which is reviewed by the student’s mentor.  In addition, during the week following Senior Experience, participants present an overview of their project to classmates, teacher, parents, and administrators.

Grand Avenue Student Earns Second Place at NYS Science Congress

Bellmore-Merrick’s Grand Avenue Middle School student Brandon Langone, a member of the Students Network of Cooperative Science achieved the ranks of high honors in the New York State Science Congress on June 4.  

His project "Which type of sensors would enable optimum performance for a robot on Martian-like terrain?" earned him second place and a $200 monetary award. Science teacher and mentor Tami Cruz assisted Langone on his research and presentation.

Calhoun, Kennedy Takes Home High Awards at LI Science Congress

The Long Island Science Congress recently hosted its annual award ceremony to honor the top 25 percent of the students who competed in the event.  

More than 2,000 students competed in the event and several Kennedy and Calhoun high school students were recognized during the award ceremony.  

Calhoun’s Jacob Miller took home an honors award, while seniors Nicole Fegan, Louis Lin and Rachel November took home high honor awards. Kennedy’s Melissa Himelfarb, Alexia Tilman and Amanda Steinberg also earned high honors. Maxmilian Bazil, Anna Kuznetsova, Jennifer Rakhimov and Michael Sternbach earned highest honors in addition to receiving special awards that carried $50 cash prizes.

Merrick Avenue MS Student Cubes for a Cure

Sebastian Otalora just might have the fastest hands at Merrick Avenue Middle School in the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District. On June 4, he put his skills to the test at a Cube4Cam event, where he manipulated the rainbow-colored Rubik’s Cube to help raise money to combat childhood cancers.

“Sebastian has a passion for the Rubik’s Cube and is ready to demonstrate his talents for a good cause,” Principal Dr. Taryn Johnson said.

At the event, Otalora participated as a competitor, and a judge/reviewer for others. His best time was 26 seconds, and he ranked No. 76, out 150 participants. This is recognized as one of the major events for world cube recording.

Otalora created the Cubing Club at Merrick Avenue, where he teaches children techniques to solve cubes, thereby emphesizing fun and speed to solve several types of cubes.

MAP and Mepham Students Perform Chemistry Experiments

The Meadowbrook Alternative Program Chemistry students visited Mepham AP Chemistry students on May 24 where they performed three labs together. Flame tests, turning copper silver and gold, and organic isomers were among the experiments they completed.

Calhoun Girls Track Members Earn Rankings

The past season was one for the record books at Sanford H. Calhoun High School. The girls track and field team had a goal in mind and did whatever was needed to accomplish that, ending the regular season as the Nassau County Division 2A Champions.

Lead by senior captains Grace Moore and Juliann Vizoso, along with Junior sensation Cristin Rodriguez, the girls upset perennial powerhouses MacArthur and Westbury.

The girls will represent Calhoun and Nassau County at the New Balance National Championships, held in Greensboro, North Carolina, on June 16. Moore will come in as one of the top seeds for the 2,000-meter steeplechase and lead the team in the 1,600-meter sprint medley relay running the anchor 800-meter leg. Rodriguez will be running the 200m lead leg for the SMR handing off to Dana Brown who will run the second 200-meter leg, handing off to Vizoso who will run the 400-meter portion of the race. The 800-meter SMR will start the same way as the 1,600-meter, with Rodriguez leading the way. She will hand off to new comers Paige Sfiroudis and Katie Goodman, who will be running the 100-meter legs and closing with Vizoso running the anchor 400 meters.

The following team members earned rankings and/or qualifying status.

Cristin Rodriguez (Champ in 400IH and 100HH)
Juliann Vizoso (Champ 4x800)
Grace Moore (Champ in 1500,800 and 3000m)
Emma Joseph (Champ 4x800)
Christina Garbarino (Champ 4x800)
Katie Corona (Champ 4x800)

Grace Moore- 3000m Champion
Cristin Rodriguez- 100m High Hurdle Champion

State Qualifiers
Grace Moore- 3000m and 2000m Steeplechase (top seed in Nassau)
Cristin Rodriguez- 100m High Hurdles (top seed in Nassau)

National Championships
Grace Moore- 1600m SMR and 2000m Steeplechase
Cristin Rodriguez- 1600m SMR and 800m SMR
Juliann Vizoso- 1600m SMR and 800m SMR
Dana Brown- 1600m SMR
Katie Goodman- 800m SMR
Paige Sfiroudis- 800m SMR

Kennedy Staffer Wins School Nursing Award

Kathleen King, a well-respected member of Kennedy High School staff, was recently awarded the New York State Excellence in School Nursing Award.

“Her many years of hospital and school nursing experience have given her a wealth of expertise to share,” said board trustee Gina Piskin. “She is always proactive in her practice and eager to continue learning. It is evident that she is a professional who truly cares about her students.”

Kennedy’s Racalbuto Eclipses Goal Record


Nico Racalbuto is a senior and four-year varsity starter with Kennedy High School’s boys lacrosse team who shattered the school’s single season goal record, netting 56.

An All-County selection last season, Racalbuto again led the boys lacrosse team in points, with 73.

Racalbuto is a two-year captain and leaves Kennedy as the all-time leader in career goals (130) and points (196). He will be playing lacrosse at Adelphi University in the fall.

MAP Students Host Shakespeare Festival

The question was to be or not to be and students at the Meadowbrook Alternative Program held the answer as they performed in the sixth annual Shakespeare Festival.

Under the direction of English teacher Laura Sheridan, the festival incorporated the combined talents of students and staff. It began in the Brookside Auditorium with scenes and monologues from “Julius Caesar,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “The Merchant of Venice,” “Romeo & Juliet,” “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” “Troilus & Cressida” and “Antony & Cleopatra.”

An elaborate feast followed the performances where Elizabethan dishes were provided by staff members. Decorations were prepared and coordinated by school nurse Darlene Boden and assistants Karin McMahon and Lisa Duignan.

“In preparation for the festival, a number of MAP’s student body took a field trip to see the Young Company’s performance of ‘Othello’ at Classic Stage Company near Union Square,” said English teacher Laura Sheridan. “Experiencing a live performance of Shakespeare gave them perspective and inspiration for their own scenes.”

Bellmore-Merrick CHSD Board President to Retire

Skip Haile, president of the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District’s Board of Education, will be retiring from his post as of the close of the 2015-16 school year.

“He has been instrumental in establishing programs and scholarship, devoting countless hours working to improve the quality of our programs and has consistently supported and encouraged our students to raise the bar academically and artistically,” said Vice President Janet Goller at the June 1 board meeting.

Haile has served as a trustee, as well as president on the North Merrick School Board and the CHSD board for the past six years. He is an accomplished businessman, acclaimed soccer player and has been actively involved in Merrick PAL and a travel soccer board.

“Above all, he is a family man, demonstrating unwavering love and devotion to his wife, Sheila, and their two sons, Nick and Cole,” Goller added. “He will be greatly missed by the Bellmore-Merrick community.”

Board Thanks Student Reps for Contributions

The CHSD superintendent, board of education, administration and meeting audience were treated to monthly updates from each of the district’s four high schools – directly from the source as four student representatives offered information and often jovial presentations.

“Your monthly updates were extremely informative and many times entertaining,” said outgoing board president Skip Haile. “It was truly a pleasure to see your enthusiasm and school spirit.”

The students, Alex Dobosh from Kennedy High School, Jacob Miller from Calhoun High School, McKayla Cates from Mepham High School and Derek Baumann from Meadowbook Alerntaive Program, were gifted gavels for their contributions.

Kennedy’s Allen Ma Named Mathematics Teacher of the Year

Allen Ma, a member of Bellmore-Merrick’s Kennedy High School math department since 1998, was recently named Teacher of the Year by the Nassau County Mathematics Teachers Association.
“He has been an outstanding teacher who is highly respected by all facets of the school community,” board trustee Dr. Nancy Kaplan said at the June 1 board of education meeting where Ma was recognized. “In addition to his impeccable work ethic and delivery of instruction, Ma has a wonderful relationship with students, colleagues and parents.”

Photo Caption: From left, Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District Board of Education Vice President Janet Goller, board trustees Gina Piskin and Dr. Nancy Kaplan, Math Chairperson David Gunder, Kennedy Principal Lorraine Poppe and Allen Ma.

High Honors: Meet the Valedictorians and Salutatorians

John F. Kennedy High School
At John F. Kennedy High School, valedictorian Samantha Klein learned to balanced athletics and academics early on.

“I have been on Kennedy's varsity softball team since I was in the eighth grade,” she said. “I have been a starting player each of these five years and have been captain for the past two years.”

Klein isn’t driven by accolades or awards, but rather by the journey as a whole.

    “I have also participated in Key Club, Math Club and Senior Class,” she said. “I have been very pleased with the ability at Kennedy to challenge myself academically by taking 10 AP classes during my time here.”

Klein said she has received much support and encouragement from teachers and guidance counselors over the years.

“Sam has mastered the art of connecting with people of various ages, attitudes, intellects and backgrounds while marching to the beat of her own drum,” said her guidance counselor, Matthew Grasso.

Klein will be studying engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology in the fall.
JFK salutatorian Rachel Mashal has worked tirelessly on her scientific research throughout her high school career, catapulting her to finalist standing in both the Intel Science Talent Search and Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

“Conducting my research has been one of the most challenging yet rewarding experiences of my high school career,” Mashal said.

“Through my research endeavors, I have accomplished more than I ever thought possible in a scope far beyond the realm of just science, and I have helped to solve real-world problems.”

Mashal cited research and AP Biology teacher Barbi Frank as playing influential roles in her decision to pursue a career in science at Dartmouth College this fall.

“[Frank] has devoted countless hours of her time toward helping me throughout the research process for the past three years,” Mashal said.

Other accomplishments include becoming the only high school student invited to present research at the International Conference on Eating Disorders, being one of five NYS Child Mind Institute Rising Scientists, placing second in the Long Island Science and Engineering Fair, medaling in the Science Olympiad Regional Competition and being designated an AP Scholar with Honor.

Quote:  "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Wellington C. Mepham High School
A National Merit Commended Student, AP Scholar and National Spanish Exam Gold Award recipient, John Grover can now add valedictorian to his list of accomplishments at Wellington C. Mepham High School.

A member of the varsity tennis program for the past four years, badminton program and school band, Grover has also made substantial contributions to the Science and Math Club, including competing in both the Science and Physics Olympiads, for which he earned several awards.

Grover said he took the National Spanish Exam each year in high school and in 10th grade was awarded the gold (Oro) award for scoring within the 95th percentile. He mentioned science teachers Josephine Parlagreco and William Leacock as instrumental during the college admissions process.

“Their lessons have helped me beyond the field of academics,” Grover said, adding that he will pursue a degree in mechanical engineering at Cornell University.

Mepham salutatorian Kristina DiMiceli is intrinsically motivated in all of her pursuits.

“Doing what is right comes before being popular or wanting to add something to her resume,” said her guidance counselor, Kimberly Thorgersen.

DiMiceli has been a member of Mepham’s orchestra and the Mepham-Calhoun Advanced Chamber Orchestra for the past four years, and has the distinction of being second chair violinist for both groups. She has performed at Level 6 in the New York State School Music Association Solo and Ensemble Festival and lends her talents to her school’s dramatic productions as a member of the pit orchestra. Also a skilled pianist, she performs with Mepham’s jazz ensemble, earned a bronze award in the Golden Key International Piano Competition and placed third in the Crescendo Competition.

DiMiceli said her motivation was derived from different teachers acting as “personal cheerleaders.”

“Their eagerness to help me through my struggles as well as praise me through my triumphs has meant a huge deal to me,” she said.

DiMiceli will attend The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the fall.

Quote: "All our dreams can come true...if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney

Sanford H. Calhoun High School
At Sanford H. Calhoun High School, valedictorian Kristi Chan has established herself as a young woman with an unwavering work ethic and intrinsic motivation to attain success at unparalleled levels.

This success is evidenced athletically as a key member of the badminton team, musically as a Level 6 NYSSMA pianist, and academically as president of Calhoun’s DECA chapter, placing in the top 10 in state-level competitions.

“I am especially proud of my accomplishments in DECA because the competitive environment at the state competition every year simply pushed me to think beyond the typical areas of business knowledge,” Chan said. “To see my ability to communicate my ideas in the corporate marketing sphere be recognized by professionals greatly contributed to my growing confidence in becoming a business leader who embodies both passion and creativity.”

Chan is also an AP Scholar with Distinction and a National Merit Commended Student. Chan will be studying Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University in the fall.

Calhoun salutatorian Haley Ryan chose a rigorous slate of AP courses to cap off her high school career.

“She is an exceptional young lady who pursues academic excellence and possesses a work ethic that far surpasses many of her contemporaries,” said her guidance counselor, Sharon Devenuto.

A member of the school’s three-year Advanced Science Research program, Ryan said, “[The program gave me] the opportunity to work in a materials science lab, where I studied a specific polymer and its ability to be used in prostheses in the future. I ran all of my own tests, analyzed my data on my own, and wrote a research paper that I was proud of. It was tedious work, but I was more than happy with the end results.”

Ryan plans to study chemical engineering at Stony Brook University in the fall.

"Don't aim for success because you want it. Just do what you love and believe in and it will come naturally." - David Frost

Middle School Bands Entertain Ahead of Meeting

The violin and viola members of both Grand Avenue and Merrick Avenue middle school’s Chamber Orchestra performed duets and trios before the start of  the June 1 Board of Education meeting.

They were conducted by Michael A. D'Addio, the districtwide middle schools orchestra director.

At Taste of Little Italy at Mepham

On May 25, Mepham High School students gathered after school for an elite event during which they learned how to order a meal in Italian.

World Languages teacher Caterina Dand, who organized the event, designed a program in which students learned the Italian language and explored the cultural differences between Italy and the United States.

Italian students volunteered to be "waiters" and took the orders of the participants. The attendees practiced their newly acquired expressions, placed their order from the menu and enjoyed a delicious Italian meal.

“The participants left with knowledge they could take with them on their future travels to Italy,” said Dand.

Mepham’s ELITE Program (Enriching Learners in Tomorrow's Education) is a promise to the future to enrich and inspire students by providing after-school enrichment opportunities designed to educate the whole student. The program encourages students to follow their passion and explore topics of genuine interest while developing the skills to be well rounded citizens and good thinkers for life after Mepham.

District Chamber Orchestra Earns Gold Score

On May 18, the Central High School District Chamber Orchestra competed at the NYSSMA Majors Festival hosted at Hofstra University.

The elite string students, representing each high school in Bellmore-Merrick, rehearsed every Wednesday night to prepare three pieces to play at the event. This was the first time that any group in the CHSD competed at this festival in more than 30 years. After countless hours of practice and hard work, the students achieved a perfect score of Gold with Distinction, the highest honor awarded at the festival.

The group, along with their conductor and teacher Eric Vivelo, are excited for their future endeavors and believe their potential is limitless.

Calhoun Honors Excellence in World Languages

Calhoun High School’s Department of World Languages held its annual honor society induction ceremony on May 17, recognizing students of French, Italian and Spanish.

The event was organized by language teachers Nikole DeLuca, Alexandra Kefaliakos, Cara Sycoff and Keryn Thienachariya.

“Audience members were treated to musical performances and poetry recitations in French, Spanish and Italian,” said World Languages Chairperson Enrique Montes.

Students were presented with their certificates of excellence by each language honor society adviser. In his speech to inductees, Montes spoke about his journey as a language learner and encouraged students to continue reaching for excellence.  

Mepham’s Habitat for Humanity Club Assists at Build

Mepham High School’s Habitat for Humanity Club recently helped to frame a house in Bellport for a family of seven.
The group spent May 20 outdoors, working with various tools to help the organization with their build.

Photo Caption: Members of Mepham High School’s Habitat for Humanity Club are pictured along with one of the advisers, Christopher Patten (center).

Kennedy Baseball Advances to County Championships

Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District’s John F. Kennedy High School boys baseball team recently defeated top-seeded H. Frank Carey High School, 4-2, sweeping the series and propelling them into the Nassau County Championships.

The team will face Wantagh High School in the Nassau County Class A Baseball Championships. They are led by coaches Michael Gattus and Eric Passman.

Merrick Avenue Students Learn From Four-Legged Visitor

The students in Brett Schwartz's eighth-grade Reading Lab at Merrick Avenue Middle School were treated to a special visit on May 25.

Detectives Brian Wasserman and Gary Rogers of the Nassau County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals stopped in after receiving heartfelt and well-researched letter about animal abuse written by student John Palumbo.

John's letter was part of a "writing for the real world" project, in which Schwartz's students were tasked with choosing a global issue, researching it, coming up with a creative way to solve it and, most importantly, sharing their ideas with a professional in the field.

Seniors Shine at Science Symposium


In culmination of the rigorous three-year Advanced Science Research program, nine seniors at the Kennedy High School were honored at the annual Science Symposium held on May 18.

“Conducting my research has been one of the most challenging yet rewarding experiences of my high school career,” said Rachel Mashal, an Intel Science Talent Search and Intel International Science and Engineering Fair finalist. “I have accomplished more than I ever thought possible in a scope far beyond the realm of just science.”
Mashal, along with fellow ASR seniors Cory Epstein, Anna Kuznetsova, Dylan Le Van, Sarah Moussavi (Intel Science Talent Search and Intel International Science semifinalist), Steven Obadiah, Evan Rothchild, Amanda Steinberg and Alexis Tillman completed graduate-level scientific research on a wide range of topics.

They worked alongside professional mentors, logged hundreds of hours in laboratories and some were even published in medical or scientific journals. They formed hypotheses and tested them – again and again.
“I’ve learned not to look at something just at its surface, but to rather investigate in order to find answers and explanations,” said Steinberg

Their projects were a labor of love that required a staunch commitment.

“One of the most important things I’ve learned over the past three years is to be persistent,” said Le Van. “Even when things look grim, you can always turn it around and get something out of it.”
For others, the program was a lesson in perseverance and self-assurance.

“I learned to believe in myself,” said Rothchild.

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.

7/15/16 Bond Update

7/6/16 Bond Update

July 2016 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

6/11/16 - Bond Phase 2 and 3 Update

April 2016 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

4/11/16 - Bond Phase 2 Update

March 2016 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

3/1/16 - Bond Phase 2 Update

February 2016 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

1/5/16 - Bond Phase 2 Update

12/15/15 - Bond Phase 2 Update

December 2015 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

11/15/15 - Bond Phase 2 Update

November 2015 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

10/20/15 - Bond Phase 2 Update

8/25/15 - Bond Phase 2 Update

1/22/15 - Bond Phase 1 Update

12/10/14 - Bond Phase 1 Update

10/29/14 - Bond Phase 1 Update

9/29/14 - Bond Phase 1 Update

8/11/14 - Bond Phase 1 Update

7/14/14 - Bond Phase 1 Update

6/30/14 - Bond Phase 1 Update

July 2014 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

August 2014 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

September 2014 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

October 2014 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

November 2014 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

December 2014 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

Construction Update 6/17/14

Neighbor Letter Re: Construction (Middle School)

Neighbor Letter Re: Construction

6/10/14 - Bond Phase 1 Update

SED Approval - Phase I  - May 6

02/10/14 - Bond Project Update

Capital Project Potential Phasing