Calhoun Senior Performs CPR During Hockey Game

While attending an ice hockey tournament on Lake Placid in late January, Calhoun senior Austin McLoughlin sprung into action after a player was struck in the head and began having a seizure on the ice.

“He actually excused an individual that was inappropriately administering CPR and took charge over the situation,” explained physical education teacher James Raucci. “He administered chest compressions after checking vitals, and when no heartbeat was present, he continued CPR.”

Austin was able to establish a heart rate and moved the man into the recovery position. The first responders arrived and took over from that point as Austin said he quietly walked away.

"The most important thing is that we are teaching the students the right way to do this," said Eric Caballero, director of Physical Education, Athletics, Driver’s Education & Health.

“Austin attributes his swift course of action to the training he has received through physical education,” said Raucci.

“We are proud of Austin and thankful he and others have benefited from the January First Aid and CPR course,” added Calhoun Principal Nicole Hollings.
This course, which has been administered throughout the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District for the past few years, is financially funded by Forever 9 - The Robbie Levine Foundation.

Founded in 2005 in memory of 9-year-old Robbie Levine of Merrick, who died of sudden cardiac arrest at his little league practice, the foundation raises awareness of the need for AEDs in youth sports.

While it is a new New York State Education Department mandate that high schools expose their students to AED training and hands-on CPR administration, the district has been implementing this over the past three years.

“It started as a pilot program at Merrick Avenue Middle School when my son was attending the school and then over the years we added it to more buildings,” said Jill Levine, founder of The Robbie Levine Foundation.

Incorporated as a two-week course during the physical education curriculum, The Levine Foundation also awards students a certificate of completion.

“We are proud of Austin and thankful he and others have benefited from the January First Aid and CPR course,” Hollings added.

BOCES is Closed on February 8, 2016 - Transportation Schedule for BarryTech & LIHSA Students

o AM BarryTech students will be picked up between the hours of 10:15 - 10:45 from their morning stops to their respective high schools.

o PM BarryTech students will have no change in their AM pick-up times. PM Buses will be provided to their respective stops. (Guardian Bus Company, 516-204-5934)

o LIHSA students will have normal AM transportation to their respective high schools.

Mepham Cheerleaders Earn Nationals Bid

After competing locally and regionally in several competitions, the Mepham Varsity Cheerleading team earned a spot at nationals.
“With hard work and determination, these wonderful ladies succeeded their goal and achieved that bid to nationals and a second place trophy,” said coach Eliza Dall.
They will compete against the best in the nation from Feb. 6-7, at Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Calhoun Girls’ Basketball Awarded for Hosting Clinic

Team Up 4 Community, an interactive website that highlights athletes’ community service acts, is running a school year-long community service challenge to encourage Long Island youth athletes to participate in giving back in service to their communities.

Each month they select a winner from the community service stories shared and for January they recognized the Calhoun girls’ varsity basketball team, along with Coaches Peter Magnuson and Matt Fuentes, for their community service work in hosting a clinic for younger children during the December break. The prize was a gift card to Frank's Steaks in Jericho.

In addition, the team just clinched their first playoff berth since the 2009-10 season.

Calhoun Leadership Students Earn Citations

Brian Joyce's fifth period leadership class at Calhoun High School recently earned citations of distinction from the Nassau County Executive's office for their community service and participation in the Nassau County Veterans Service Agency Winter Stand Down event.

These classes are aimed at promoting community service and fostering leadership skills among students.

Elizabeth Williamson Named to Newsday’s Student to Watch List

Calhoun senior Elizabeth Williamson was recently named to Newsday’s Students to Watch list for January.

Read more about why she was selected here.

Middle Schools Continue Day of Service Mission

Student ambassadors from both Merrick Avenue and Grand Avenue middle schools continued their hard work for the districtwide Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service initiative.  

As a district, students had collected school supplies and winter gear for local charities and local families over the past few months.  

On Jan. 16, students from all over the district joined their efforts and delivered the donations to local charities. On Jan. 26, the middle school ambassadors delivered donations to the local elementary schools.  

The elementary buildings from both Merrick and Bellmore were extremely grateful, and excited to hear about the work students put in.  

“All in all, the MLK Day of Service was an outstanding event that provided valuable goods to those in need, and provided the students of the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District a priceless, lifelong lesson,” said Andrew Del Rosario, assistant principal at Grand Avenue.

MAMS Students Participate in Music Therapy

On Jan. 19, Merrick Avenue Middle School students in Mrs. Beinert’s class were treated to a musical workshop with guest artist, Jason Kloos.
Kloos, a MAMS alumnus, is a singer/songwriter, guitarist and pianist currently perusing his degree in music therapy. Since discovering music therapy, Kloos has interned and volunteered at several different special needs facilities on Long Island.

“Music has always helped me to create, grow and become the person I am today,” Kloos said. “It is my hope and mission to help others develop and recognize their own unique potential and identity through music.”
The students spent the period working on following directions, motor skills, communication and social skills through singing songs, exploring rhythms and expressing themselves through various forms of music.
“This type of experience for students and staff continues to reinforce the district’s philosophy that music is a universal language for which everyone can share and be a participant,” said Cheryl Fontana, director of Fine & Performing Arts and Adult Education.

District Unveils New OVOM Logo

Art students were called upon recently to create a new logo for the ongoing “One Voice One Message” initiative in the district.

The winning logo, which includes the names of all six buildings, was voted on by student ambassadors at a recent meeting. The creation of seventh-graders
Mia Bader and Mia Bello, both Merrick Avenue Middle School students, was selected.

The Ambassador Program is a districtwide, student-led think tank that was created in March of 2014 in response to the Dignity Act. These student ambassadors, who represent all four district high schools and two middle schools, join together throughout the school year to address human relation issues that have impacted our community and society as a whole. They work closely with teachers and administrators to achieve districtwide goals under the “One Voice One Message” philosophy.

Mepham Seniors are Champions for Charity

Optimum Community visited Mepham High School recently to present the seniors who participated in the fall Senior Service Learning Project with a $1,000 donation to their charity (Tuesday’s Children) in recognition of their participation in the Charity Champions contest.  

The Charity Champions is a contest which promotes volunteerism and helps students raise money for a charity of their choice.

Since September, seniors in the Participation in Government classes and the Senior Experience program at Mepham have worked together to raise more than $7,000 for Tuesday’s Children. The organization has made a long-term commitment to every individual impacted by the events of Sept. 11, 2001 as well as those who have been impacted by terrorist incidents worldwide. They did so by selling 275 flags for Mepham’s first Field of Honor which was displayed on the front lawn of the school from Nov. 1 to Dec. 9.
In addition, students spearheaded Mepham’s most successful Battle of the Classes to date while also holding “penny wars” to raise money for Tuesday’s Children. Many students traveled to New York City on Veterans Day to make care packages at Tuesday’s Children’s headquarters. After learning about the events that led to Sept. 11 for three weeks in their classes, all of the students traveled to NYC to visit The National 9/11 Memorial and Museum.

Assemblyman David McDonough joined Optimum Community in commending the students for their efforts, and the students and teachers presented the representatives from Tuesday’s Children with a $1,000 check. Mepham’s project will now be eligible to win an additional $5,000 for Tuesday’s Children if it is selected as the regional winner in the spring.

For videos and photos of the event, visit after Jan. 27 or tune in to see the Neighborhood Journal segment on Optimum TV channel 118 on Jan. 31 at 7 p.m.

Calhoun Seniors Named Intel Science Talent Search Badge Winners

Nicole Fegan and Paulina Fein, both seniors in the Calhoun High School Advanced Science Research Program, were recently named Intel Science Talent Search Badge Winners.

Intel Science Talent Search entrants are eligible to earn this distinction for writing exemplary research papers.

Nicole’s topic is “Accumulation of Mercury by Sphagnum Moss near a Sewage Sludge Incinerator.”

“I fell in love with chemistry during my sophomore year, and that continued when I took AP Chemistry,” she said. “I soon discovered that environmental chemistry was one of the most accessible and relevant topics of chemistry, and so when I was presented with a project centered on mercury in the atmosphere, I was instantly enticed.”

Nicole was accepted to Brown University as an early decision applicant and plans to concentrate in both chemistry and mathematics.

Paulina’s research topic is “The Underlying Causes of Disparity in Published Deep Brain Stimulation and Cognition Studies.”

“I chose this topic because I am fascinated by idiopathic disorders, human cognitive functioning and directly improving patients' lives,” she said. “I wanted to discover not only an explanation for an interesting concept, but also explore the applications of my research on individual patients.”

Paulina will attend Columbia University in the fall and plans to pursue scientific research while studying Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Classics.

Calhoun Athletes Sign Letters of Intent

Seven seniors at Calhoun High School recently signed letters of intent to play athletics for various colleges and universities.

Before their peers and school officials, Assistant Principal Dr. Neil Testa addressed the student-athletes and prepared a video montage to display their athleticism.

“Each of these Calhoun athletes has not only demonstrated their athletic abilities at the highest level, but has also shown dedication and commitment to their teammates, their school and their community,” Testa said.

Nicole Imhof will be playing softball for University of Massachusetts Amherst, a division I school. Lauren Hilke will be playing lacrosse for Kutztown University, a division II school. Kimberly Pike will be playing basketball for State University of New York (SUNY) at Potsdam, a division III school. Derek Abitz will be playing lacrosse for SUNY Plattsburgh, a division III school. Dylan Hughes will be playing baseball for Queens College, a division II school.

Paige Lewis will be playing lacrosse for Adelphi University, a division II school. Taylor Iacono will be playing soccer for Adelphi University, a division II school.

“We hope that your experiences here as Calhoun athletes stays with you throughout your collegiate career and beyond, and we hope that one day you will come back and share your experiences as well as your own advice to future generations of Calhoun athletes,” Dr. Testa said in closing.

Ambassador Program Organizes Districtwide Day of Service


Rachel Mashal Named Intel Science Talent Search Finalist

Gathered alongside fellow Advanced Science Research (ASR) students and teachers at Kennedy High School, senior Rachel Mashal was named an Intel Science Talent Search Finalist on Jan. 20.

“[This program] has transformed me as a person,” said Rachel. “I’ve always been a hard worker, but this program pushed me to my complete potential.”

During the three-year ASR program, Rachel was able to conduct graduate school-level work. Rachel said she conducted her own statistical analysis and oversaw her own experiments while her mentor, with whom she studied at LIU Post, was away. Her work is on "The Development of a Caffeine Addiction Paradigm to Examine How Dietary Restriction and Level of TOR Signaling Modulate the Effects of Drugs.”

“I was able to look at the underlying biology, chemistry and genetics of these mental illnesses using fruit flies,” Rachel explained. “I looked at the way that a certain genetic pathway, as well as diet, affects propensity for addiction and the ability to withstand drug toxicity.”

“Rachel is a brilliant young scientist,” said District Science Chair Robert Soel. “Her research investigation on genetic manipulation and its relationship to drug efficacy and addiction, has already made a meaningful contribution to the field of genetics and we are confident she will continue to be a contributor and leader in scientific community.”

Rachel is among the top 40 young scientists to be chosen in the nation out of an initial 1,750 entrants. Finalist will each be rewarded at least $7,500 each. She will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. from March 10-16, where she will compete for more than $1 million in awards.

Rachel is the school’s fourth finalist.

District Hockey Team Bids Farewell to Seniors

The Bellmore-Merrick Varsity Hockey team celebrated Senior Night recently at the Newbridge Arena in convincing fashion. They defeated Friends Academy, 10-2 en route to their 14th consecutive win of the season.

The Bulldogs are currently undefeated. Senior Night has become a proud Bulldog tradition in not only honoring senior players but also their families.

Seniors took photos and gave flowers to families to thank them for the support and sacrifice over the course of the time they have spent as members of the Bulldog Hockey team.

MAMS Jazz Ensemble Featured in Newsday

The Merrick Avenue Middle School Jazz Ensemble was recently featured by Newsday’s FutureCorps section.

The group performed various musical selections at the East Meadow Bristal Assisted Living Center and the Seasons Lifestyle Community Center during the holidays. To view the entire article, click here.

Middle School Students Compete in Scripps Spelling Bee


Students in Grand Avenue and Merrick Avenue Middle Schools showed off their spelling skills as they vied for the title of school-wide spelling bee champion. Competing through numerous rounds, seventh- and eighth-graders spelled countless words of increasing complexity. On Jan. 12, Grand Avenue eighth-grader Josh Levy took top honors with “pneumonia” in the 13th round of competition.  Eighth-grader, Carly Abramowitz, was the runner up in that competition.

At Merrick Avenue on Jan. 13, eighth-grader Katherine St. George was named the first-place winner after spelling the championship word “deglutition” correctly.  Eighth-grader Charles Berin proved to be tough competition as this bee also lasted 13 rounds.

Prior to the school-wide competitions, students competed in their individual English classes, with representatives from each class moving on to the school level bee. Both school winners will progress to the Hofstra University Long Island Regional Scripps Spelling Bee on March 13. The winner of the Long Island competition will compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.

Amanda Aronoff, Jared Del Orfano on Newsday’s Student to Watch List

Kennedy senior Amanda Aronoff and Calhoun senior Jared Del Orfano were recently named to Newsday’s Students to Watch list for January.

Read more about why they were selected here.

Calhoun Leadership Class Visits Hospital Pediatric Ward

Students in Brian Joyce's leadership class at Calhoun recently visited the Nassau University Medical Center Pediatric Ward in hopes of spreading some holiday cheer.

"We got to help the patients that were there on that day but also help the ones in the future by decorating their bulletin boards in their rooms,” said student Emma Davie.

Students also engaged in arts and crafts with a patient and organized all the toys collected during the holiday season.

"Going to the hospital felt very rewarding,” added student Lauren Ameruoso. “We were able to donate our time and efforts to help boost the morality of the patients. It felt good to do something for someone other than ourselves.”

Photo Captions: Calhoun students engaged in various activities and arts and crafts at Nassau University Medical Center.

Calhoun Students Advance in Poetry Out Loud Competition

Several classroom winners participated in Calhoun’s school-wide Poetry Out Loud competition on Jan. 12. 

Senior Bianca Liriano of Dr. Wiener’s class, who recited “Invictus,” came in first place and senior Blake Fisher from Ms. Rosslee’s class, who recited “Four Glimpses of Night,” earned second place. Both have qualified to move on to the regional competition in February.

Sophomore Ben Libov from Ms. Seigneuray’s class, who recited “Trees,” will be the alternate if one of the finalists is not able to compete.

“Thanks also to the entire English department for organizing the classroom competitions and a special thank you to vocal teacher, Mr. Sardo for providing the room and equipment to house the event,” said English Chairperson Kim Serpe.

Notice to Parents of Non-Public School Students

Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District parents are reminded that New York State Law requires a written transportation request annually by April 1, 2016 from parents or guardians of students (Grades 7-12) who plan to attend private or parochial schools. Requests must be submitted prior to April 1, 2016 for the school year beginning September 2016.

Transportation application forms for the 2016-2017 school year are available at the Bellmore-Merrick CHSD, Business Office, 1260 Meadowbrook Road, North Merrick, New York 11566 or at the district website at

All students requesting non-public school transportation who did not previously attend one of the component elementary districts: Bellmore, Merrick, North Bellmore or North Merrick Union Free School districts or one of the Bellmore Merrick Central High School District’s (BMCHSD) schools, must register with the BMCHSD. Please call 516-992-1003 to schedule an appointment with the Central Registrar, at the Brookside School, 1260 Meadowbrook Road, North Merrick.  Registration is by appointment only.

Five Students Present at LI Psychology Fair

Five students from the district presented their scientific research at the annual Long Island Psychology Fair on Jan. 7 at Roslyn High School.
Kennedy’s Rachel Mashal, Claire Kelly and Alexis Tillman and Sanford H. Calhoun’s Noelle Perrone and Paulina Fein were among more than 70 Long Island applicants. Only 30 were chosen to present.

Rachel Mashal placed first in Biopsychology and Claire Kelly received honorable mention in Cognitive Psychology. Paulina Fein participated in the Psychology Bowl and made it to the second round. All five students are in their respective schools’ Advanced Science Research (ASR) Programs.

“We are very proud of the psychology projects that were completed,” said Kennedy Advanced Science Research teacher Barbi Frank. “Their presentations at the Long Island Psychology Fair were extremely impressive and were the result of hundreds of hours of research. This is the first time Kennedy students have achieved top honors and honorable mention at this highly selective event.”
Each student put together a 10-minute presentation, followed by a question and answer session.  

“This is our second year entering the competition and we are very grateful to have students chosen once again to present,” said Jennifer Pefanis, the director of Calhoun’s Advanced Science Research Program.

Kennedy Students Advance to Poetry Out Loud Competition

Kennedy High School students Stephanie Person and Rebecca Stekol have advanced to the Regional Competition level in the Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest.  

Both students competed in a classroom and school competition and were selected on Jan. 12 to represent Kennedy at the upcoming Regional Poetry Out Loud Competition.  

“Poetry Out Loud is an annual program which encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance,” said the district’s English chairperson Adeline Atkins. “The program is sponsored by The National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York State Alliance for Arts Education.”

Kennedy Recognizes December Students of the Month

The administration and staff at Kennedy recently named a student from each academic department to receive Student of the Month recognition. This distinction is to highlight their achievements and/or efforts for the month of December.

Louis Lin Named ‘Young and Gifted Student’ by Newsday

Calhoun’s Louis Lin was recently named in Newsday’s 12 Young and Gifted Students. He is in the Advanced Science Research Program as well as a member of many honor societies. Lin was recognized as an AP Scholar with Distinction. As president of the National Honor Society, Lin is working on the school’s Peer Tutoring Program.

In addition, he is a master carpenter for the school’s On Tour Theatre Program, as well as a performer.

Ryan Kaylie Wins Merrick Avenue’s Geography Bee

The Merrick Avenue Middle School (MAMS) Social Studies Department recently held its annual National Geographic Geography Bee.  

Approximately 75 MAMS students participated in the bee, which had been determined by preliminary rounds that took place in each Social Studies classroom.

Eighth-graders Ryan Kaylie and Justin Turkiewicz of Ms. Lucrezia Colangelo’s class were the bee’s final two contestants. After several rounds, Kaylie was declared the winner.  

Kaylie will have the opportunity to compete in New York State’s Geography Bee. State winners advance to the national championship rounds in Washington, D.C.

Board Honors Kennedy Boys Volleyball Team

The Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District board of education, John F. Kennedy High School administration and staff honored the Kennedy boys volleyball team for their fall clinching of the Nassau County Class B title.

“We are here to congratulate the dominant, dynastic power that is JFK volleyball,” said Superintendent John DeTommaso. “It’s not about winning or losing. They play for each other, they play for you (coach) and they play hard. That’s what high school athletics is all about.”

Board trustee Dr. Nancy Kaplan, whose son Josh is on the team, distributed certificates of recognition to the boys as a packed boardroom applauded.

‘The poise that you showed under pressure, you represented us so beautifully,” Dr. Kaplan noted.

This is the third county championship in four years for the team and the sixth in the last eight years. Coach Dennis Ringel was also awarded Nassau County Coach of the Year for the seventh time in his eight years of coaching.

The Cougars defeated Jericho in November in straight sets — 25-18, 25-20 and 25-19.
Michael Ianniello was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player, Harrison Ivers was named All-County Tournament Honorable Mention and Jonah Zeitlin and Josh Levine were named to the All-County Tournament team. Other team members include Tyler Anderson, Dylan Judd, Josh Kaplan, Mitchell Mass, Steve Carlson, Jordan Kappel, Garrett Krassner, Jeff Lowell, Owen Bradley, Shawn Linzer, Evan Rothchild, Peter Cuttitta and Harrison Marcus.

Kennedy Art Students Study with Professional Artist

Kennedy students from Ms. Albaneze’s Drawing and Painting class recently had the unique opportunity to draw from a live model under the direction of Ms. Albaneze and Professor Dan Christoffel at LIU Post.  

These students are currently enrolled in the LIU High School Scholars Program, which provides high school students with the opportunity to get a head start on their college education by taking university-level courses for college credit. Dan Christoffel, who taught art in the Bellmore-Merrick Central School District from 1960-2001, is an accomplished portrait artist whose work has been featured in multiple exhibitions across the country. Additionally, he has served as a visiting art lecturer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
The professional critique, guidance and instruction provided by Mr. Christoffel was invaluable as these students grow as young artists. Ms. Albaneze’s Drawing & Painting students will have the opportunity to attend a second class during the spring semester.

Stranger Danger Safety Tips - Nassau County Police Department


In the News


Updates Inside


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

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