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Merrick Avenue Hits Sweet Spot With Candy Donations For Troops

Merrick Avenue Hits Sweet Spot With Candy Donations For Troops photo
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In less than one week’s time, Merrick Avenue Middle School collected enough Halloween candy to fill an SUV.

The school’s Student Council members, along with advisers Joseph Amador and Lucrezia Colangelo, organized and packaged the loot for delivery to Dr. David Gottesfeld’s dental office in Merrick. The donated candy will be sent to U.S. Army troops serving overseas.

“The Merrick Avenue Student Council was the club instrumental in organizing the effort,” said Amador.



Bellmore-Merrick CHSD Hosts Vocal Music Showcase

The Central High School District will once again host its vocal music showcase, featuring the five premiere choral groups across the entire district.

Included in the performance will be the John F. Kennedy High School Variety Choir, Merrick Avenue Middle School’s Word of Mouth, Grand Avenue Middle School’s Grand Voices, Wellington C. Mepham High School’s Pirate Radio and Sanford H. Calhoun High School’s Crescendo. 

The evening will conclude with a combined finale in which students from the elementary component districts will be invited to sing with the upperclassmen.

“We are so excited to once again provide the unique opportunity for our choral students to come together and showcase their work collectively, both for each other and the members of the Bellmore-Merrick communities,” said Cheryl Fontana, district director of the fine and performing arts. “Events like this truly reflect the ‘One Voice, One Message’ theme that resonates throughout our district.”

The live event will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 29, at 7 p.m., at Calhoun High School, 1786 State St., Merrick. While admission is free and open to the public, students will be collecting donations for the BMCHSD Food Pantry, the Community Cupboard.    
 

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Kennedy Science Classes Beta Test New Google App

Kennedy Science Classes Beta Test New Google App photo

On Nov. 9, 15 science classes at Kennedy High School participated in beta testing of a new augmented reality learning app with the Google Expeditions AR Pioneer Program.

A Google representative trained the teachers to use a collection of linked smartphones, which students then held around the room to view virtual objects “floating” in the classroom space.  

The students observed virtual DNA molecules, planets, stars, landforms, storms and human anatomical structures.   

“The problem with using a virtual reality headset is that the kids are in their own worlds,” said science and STEAM Chairperson Rob Soel. “With this device, it fosters collaborative learning and students can network with each other.” 

By integrating virtual objects with their lessons, the participating teachers were able to enrich lessons and guide students to explore otherwise unseen objects within a class period. 

At the end of the lessons, students and teachers provided valuable feedback to the Google representative who will pass along their opinions and ideas to the Expeditions AR development team. 

“Our science teachers are always looking for new strategies to engage classes and enrich their students’ exploration of the natural world,” added Soel. “Field testing the new Google Expeditions augmented reality app enabled leaning to extend beyond the walls of the classroom. This was another wonderful opportunity for Bellmore-Merrick to be on the cutting edge of employing new and innovative instructional technology.”




Kennedy Boys Volleyball Named Long Island Champs

Kennedy Boys Volleyball Named Long Island Champs photo
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It’s thrice as nice for this squad. Kennedy boys varsity volleyball team defeated Hauppauge High School on Nov. 11, clinching the Long Island Class B title.

“This is really an exceptional group of student athletes,” said coach Dennis Ringel. “They are senior-led, have great depth and truly love to play the sport.”

They defeated Bethpage High School in straight sets on Nov. 9 to secure the 2017 Nassau County Volleyball Championship. This is Kennedy’s third straight Nassau County Championship and their eighth in 10 years.

They move onto the New York State Championship, which will be held Nov. 18.

Middle Schools Celebrate National French Week

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Students enrolled in French classes at Grand Avenue and Merrick Avenue Middle Schools recognized National French Week through a series of activities designed to promote the French language and culture.

Students from Richard Zawislak’s and Denise Schleith’s eighth-grade classes participated in a French competition. Teams France, Belgium, Canada and Haiti competed to show off their French knowledge.

Grand Avenue teacher Meredith Levine and Merrick Avenue teachers Lauren Cress and Jennifer Verwys served as this year’s scorekeepers and judges. 

“Over the week, students took part in the morning announcements by sharing a French Word of the Day, Fact of the Day, and Question of the Day,” said World Languages Chairperson Renée Fallon.



Orchestras Play Concert Alongside Famous Composer

Orchestras Play Concert Alongside Famous Composer photo

Orchestra members from the Central High School District had the unique opportunity to study and play alongside Emmy award-winning composer Mark Wood on Nov. 6.

Wood, who is of the multiplatinum selling Trans-Siberian Orchestra and creator of the revolutionary Viper electric violin, brought his groundbreaking music education program Electrify Your Strings! to the students in a one-day workshop. 
He focused on teaching improvisation, composition, and personal expression on their violins, violas, cellos and basses.

Students from Merrick Avenue and Grand Avenue middle schools, Mepham, Kennedy and Calhoun high schools then performed in a live concert alongside Wood later that same evening at the Brookside building.

“This event marks the first time in our district that all orchestra students in grades 7-12 came together in performance; all while raising money for our Community Cupboard,” said District Director of Fine & Performing Arts Cheryl Fontana. “It is our ‘One Voice, One Message’ initiative at its finest.”

The concert was open to the public and raised more than $1,100 for the district’s food pantry. 

 




Mepham Key Club Dedicates 9/11 Plaque

Mepham Key Club Dedicates 9/11 Plaque photo

Mepham High School unveiled a plaque that honors the Sept. 11 first responders on Nov. 3. Spearheaded by the school’s Key Club, the plaque is at the base of the flagpole near the Camp Avenue entrance and holds a special meaning in the community.

Bellmore Kiwanis adviser and community member John Scalesi approached the Key Club members last year requesting if they would be interested in fundraising for a plaque remembering the first responders of 9/11.

“Between our relationship with the Kiwanis and our mission to encourage strong community values in the Key Club, this was an ideal project for us to partake in,” said Key Club adviser and school social worker Theana Cheliotes.

Many of the club’s members took an interest in fundraising and student Kayleigh Specht took a lead role in procuring the plaque.

“I was happy to conduct this presentation and share in the honor,” said Cheliotes. “It was to help guide our students to do such a nice thing.” 

The color guard of the Nassau County Police Department presented flags to a crowd that included local elected officials and Mary Ann Rand of Bellmore, who lost her son, Adam Rand, on 9/11. During the ceremony, North Bellmore Fire Commissioner Edward Kraus addressed the crowd. He also presented Principal Eric Gomez with a piece of steel from the World Trade Center site. 




Mepham Installs Flag Field of Honor

Mepham Installs Flag Field of Honor photo

Seniors in Mepham High School’s Participation in Government and Senior Experience class set up the school’s third Flag Field of Honor as part of their Senior Service Learning Project on Nov. 5.

Students, along with teachers, administrators, Superintendent of Schools John DeTommaso and board of education trustee Steve Enella, all pitched in on the rainy morning to dig holes, unbox flags and dot the lawn in red, white and blue.

“The field of honor is set up each year to pay tribute to America's service men and women, veterans, 9/11 first responders and victims,” said teacher and coordinator Kerry Dennis.

This year, 303 American and military branch flags were sold. 
“All proceeds from this year's Flag Field of Honor will benefit Boots on the Ground New York, a local organization dedicated to helping America's veterans and current service men and women,” added teacher and coordinator Chris Patten.

The flags will be on display along the Camp Avenue side of the school until Dec. 9.




District Celebrates Board During Recognition Month

District Celebrates Board During Recognition Month photo

The Board of Education was treated to praise and presents at the Nov. 1 meeting as the district celebrated School Board Recognition Month.

Grand Voice, led by director Amanda Cantwell, sang “Give Us Hope” before Calhoun High School art teacher Heather Lohr and her students presented sections of a collaborative painting project to each member. On the back of each piece of artwork was a kindness challenge that each board member was inspired to fulfill a specific act of kindness. 

Some Merrick Avenue Middle School art students offered painted rocks with messages of kindness on them. 

“These gifts all go along perfectly with this year’s theme of teaching with kindness and caring,” said Superintendent John DeTommaso.




MAMS Teachers Get in Halloween Spirit

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Teachers from various teams at Merrick Avenue Middle School got together to dress up for Halloween in festive group costumes. 

Team 5 teachers dressed up as M&Ms; Deanne Junior, Michael Hagens, Allison Roumbos, Jennifer Verwys, Matthew Chicco and Mary-Kate Michels. Team 1 were FBI Agents; Anna Aprilakis, Christine Mahoney, Christina Corwin, Catherine Grover, Timothy Conway, Daniel Catapano and Michael D’Lugozima.

Mepham Students Uncover the Past

Mepham Students Uncover the Past photo
Seniors in Kerry Dennis’ Gilder Lehrman research class, Uncovering the Past, spent Nov. 3 listening to the stories of Mepham High School alumni.

Guests included Maggie Hennessey, Class of 1945; Roy Probeyahn, Class of 1956; Dr. David Krinsky, Class of 1967; Karen Ponton, Class of 1983; Mepham librarian Shari Stack, Class of 1998 and Mepham special education teacher Anthony Augugliaro, Class of 2009. 

“The meet and greet is the final component of The Mepham Project, which provides students the opportunity to study the rich history of Mepham,” Dennis said. “Their stories were recorded and will join the collection that began when the project was first introduced in the fall of 2009.”

MAP Heads to the MET

MAP Heads to the MET photo
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On Oct. 27, students from the Meadowbrook Alternative Program’s AP Euro and AP Literature classes went to the Met Cloisters at The Metropolitan Museum of Art to experience a taste of Medieval Europe firsthand. 

The tour guide introduced students to the famous Unicorn Tapestries, the Gothic Chapel, the Herb Garden (where students were allowed to taste samples), and the various cloisters situated around the museum. 

Staff members Tiffany Rzempoluch, Lisa Patwell and Laura Sheridan then sent them on a scavenger hunt to find and analyze certain objects of historical value, covering areas such as art, church life and education.
 

Fancy Footwork at Kennedy fundraiser

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Students at Kennedy High School  were ready to dance on Oct. 30 as the Culture Club and Key Club jointly hosted a Zumba fundraiser for hurricane victims in Puerto Rico.

More than 200 students shook and shimmied to instructor-led Zumba music. They also learned some salsa and bachata dance moves at the event that featured students wearing “Baila Con Puerto Rico” (Dance with Puerto Rico) T-shirts. 

Students from the school’s C.H.A.M.P. (Culinary and Hospitality Applied Management Program) and Culture Club prepared and sold authentic Hispanic fare at the fundraiser. Other groups donated water and Gatorade. Jessica Chilton, the Kennedy Key Club adviser, assisted with Zumba moves.

“We wanted to help Puerto Rico after the aftermath of Hurricane Maria,” said Franca Fiorentino, Culture Club adviser. 

The event, along with a bake sale hosted by Kristy Faulkner’s AP Macro class, raised more than $3,200 for the Hispanic Federation.




Grand Avenue Teacher Named Art Educator of the Year

Grand Avenue Teacher Named Art Educator of the Year photo
Barbara Hirten, an art teacher at Grand Avenue Middle School, was recently named 2017 Art Educator of the Year from Region 9.

Each spring, the New York State Art Teachers Association selects one art educator from each of its nine regions to be honored at their annual conference. 

“She is a mentor and role model for her colleagues and is always quick to come up with ideas for new and exciting ways to get students thinking creatively to produce amazing artwork,” said Board Vice President Nina Lanci at the Nov. 1 meeting where Hirten was recognized.  “A strong proponent of the art program in her school and district, Ms. Hirten finds the potential in all students, encouraging a love for the type of individualized expression only an art class can provide.”

Hirten, a 31-year educator in the district, also serves as Grand Avenue’s Kickline coach, supervises the Art and Book Clubs and serves as a judge for the Cultural Arts Awards.  She is also an active member of NYSATA Region 9 - Nassau County. She is an executive board member, corresponding secretary and publicity chair for the Arts Supervisors Association of Nassau County, and she participates in many Nassau County and NYSATA exhibits.  

Bellmore-Merrick CHSD English Teachers Honored as Educators of Excellence

Bellmore-Merrick CHSD English Teachers Honored as Educators of Excellence photo
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Merrick Avenue Middle School English teacher Michael Dlugozima and Mepham High School English teacher Erica Wagner have been recognized as New York State English Council Educators of Excellence.

“Mr. Dlugozima has taught seventh- and eighth-grade English honors, regulars, and collaborative classes for 29 years in the Central High School District,” said Board Member Wendy Garguilo as she recognized him at the Nov. 1 meeting. “He is a pioneer of 21st-centruy teaching and learning and is always the first to experiment with and implement new strategies, techniques and technologies in the classroom. He is known for teaching in a virtually paperless environment and often engages his students in lessons by flipping his classroom, utilizing Google Apps, and maintaining an interactive teacher website and blog. He is the driving force behind the creation of the new inquiry-based research class titled “RISE” (Research-Based Independent Student Centered Explorations).”

Dlugozima has also been instrumental in mapping out the Humanities curriculum, in which the English and social studies teacher periodically co-teach and make cross-curricular connections between the two disciplines. 

As internship coordinator for Mepham’s Senior Experience Program, a responsibility she assumed in 2016, Ms. Wagner worked to establish Mepham’s first ever Senior Experience Internship Fair which gave students an opportunity to practice their networking and interviewing skills with professions in their field of interest. 

“In the 15 years that Mrs. Wagner has been a member of the Mepham High School family, she has become a truly ubiquitous presence in the school,” said Board Vice President Nina Lanci. “As a teacher of 11th-grade English and College Public Speaking, Ms. Wagner works closely with students to help them establish their voice as writers and speakers.” 

Each year the council recognizes excellence in teaching by presenting awards to deserving educators who have been nominated by their schools with letters of recommendation from their colleagues and former students and then selected by the council.

 

Calhoun’s Breakfast Club Hosts Halloween Bash

Calhoun’s Breakfast Club Hosts Halloween Bash photo
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Calhoun High School Breakfast Club’s Halloween Bash on Oct. 30 was a monster smash. 

This Breakfast Club mentors students from the district’s Prep for Life program and participates in fun, exciting activities each Monday. 

“At the Halloween party, students painted pumpkins, which were then submitted to the school’s literary pumpkin contest in the library,” said club advisor and teacher Wendy Simpson. “Students also competed in a mummy wrapping. Students were wrapped in toilet paper to look like a mummy.”

Senior board advisers Lily Salmeron and Emily Haldas, who have been a part of this club for the past four years, said they were happy with the turnout.

“It's really great to see so many people come to hang out before and after school,” said Salmeron. 

“We always have such positive attitudes and that really makes the club special,” added Haldas.
 
This Halloween bash is one of the many events that the club plans to host this year.




Important Information on Potential Sale of Jerusalem Avenue

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Grand Avenue Hosts Halloween Costume Contest

Grand Avenue Middle School celebrated Halloween with their annual Costume Contest on Oct. 31.

Students display their school spirit by wearing costumes of all shapes, colors, and sizes. 

Wearing costumes ranging from homemade Taco Belle to creepy, zombie-like Worst Nightmares.  

Seventh grade winners were Lu Lu Bergman – Worst Nightmare, 
Gianna Bernadini – Crazy Cat Lady and Nicholas DeGregorio – Spagetti Head.

Eighth grader winners were  Brynn Kasper – Voodoo Doll, Nina Genzone – Taco Belle and Chris Tonico – Steve Urkel.

“Students at Grand did an outstanding job of displaying their imagination and school pride, and keeping everything appropriate for school,” said vice principal Andrew Del Rosario.




Grand Avenue Student Guess Candy Counts

Grand Avenue Student Guess Candy Counts photo
Grand Avenue Middle School in the Bellmore-Merrick High School District held its first Halloween Candy Guessing contest this year - and the students were up to the estimating challenge.

Students submitted their guestimates for the past two weeks to Assistant Principal James Mollica’s office, where he kept track of the lucky winners.  

Kate O’Halloran had a perfect guess with 901 M&Ms. Both Thomas Coyne and Alisha Marfani were off by only one Hershey Kiss, each guessing 105 and Olivia Holmes was off by only two candy corns with a guess of 640. 

The exact numbers for the candy jars are as follows 901 M&Ms, 642 Candy Corns and 104 Hershey Kisses. They had over 800 students and faculty submit guesses.  
 

Mepham Students Create ‘Day of the Dead’ Art

Mepham Students Create ‘Day of the Dead’ Art photo

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, students at Mepham High School were engaged in a cultural experience with a Day of the Dead activity on Oct. 23.

“They learned about the significance of this celebration in Mexican culture,” said world languages department chairperson Rosa Kaplan. “Students then had the opportunity to paint and take home canvases with sugar skulls, a traditional symbol of the Day of the Dead.”

Key to My Art studio in Amityville led the step-by-step art instruction and Spanish teacher, Danielle McNeil organized the event.

This event was offered by Mepham’s ELITE (Enriching Learners in Tomorrow's Education) after-school program, which is financially supported by the Mepham Alumni Association. The ELITE Program aims to engage and inspire students by providing after-school enrichment opportunities. 



Kennedy Treats Elementary Kids to Halloween Festival

Kennedy Treats Elementary Kids to Halloween Festival photo

Students at Kennedy High School treated children from the Reinhard Early Childhood Center to a Halloween festival on Oct. 25.

The halls were decked and the classrooms were transformed into crafting stations as visitors made their way around the building. In the C.H.A.M.P. kitchen, culinary arts students prepped cake pops for decorating and assisted with gooey icing and sprinkle accouterments. 

From spider crafts and pumpkin decorating to walking on a makeshift yellow brick road to Oz, the high schoolers were eager to please the little ones. 

 

Newsday Articles - Homecoming at JFK

https://www.newsday.com/long-island/nassau/at-jfk-bellmore-homecoming-teens-win-vip-couch-treatment-1.14592384

https://www.newsday.com/long-island/nassau/john-f-kennedy-high-school-bellmore-homecoming-2017-1.14593194

Kennedy Cougars Roar Past Jericho at Homecoming

Kennedy Cougars Roar Past Jericho at Homecoming photo

The Kennedy High School Cougars clawed their way to a 35-6 victory at the Oct. 20 homecoming game against Jericho High School.

Attendees were treated to a festival ahead of the game that included foods, bouncy houses, games and more.

New this year was VIP seating in a comfy couch positioned on the track surrounding the football field. Each quarter, one lucky student plus three friends were able to enjoy an along-the-sidelines view of the game.

After the kickline and cheerleading squads performed at midfield, Chloe Demetriades and Matthew Baker were crowned homecoming queen and king, respectively. The band, led by Walter Avellaneda, played punchy tunes throughout the game to keep the crowd – and team – amped up.




Homerun Derby Helps Calhoun Student Fight Illness

Homerun Derby Helps Calhoun Student Fight Illness photo

Three high schools in the Central High School District as well as Levittown’s General Douglas MacArthur High School joined forces on Oct. 21 to host a baseball fundraiser for a student battling Hodgkin lymphoma.

As Steve “Bones” Kuzemchak, a student at Sanford H. Calhoun High School, continues to fight this illness, teammates and peers wanted to assist the family during their time of need. The teams jointly hosted a homerun derby, which was open to all to participate. Various batters knocked it out of the park in support of Kuzemchak’s fight.

More than $10,000 was donated to the family, including $5,000 already donated by the Smith Street Deli owners in Merrick.

High Schools Hold World Language Induction Ceremonies

High Schools Hold World Language Induction Ceremonies photo

The Departments of World Languages at Calhoun, Kennedy and Mepham High Schools held their annual honor society induction ceremonies on Oct. 17.

During the inductions, French, Italian, and Spanish students were honored for their excellence in their studies of a world language. 
The three high school ceremonies featured poetry and musical performances given by Kennedy’s Clyde Feldman, Melissa Mjehshtri, and George Milonas, Calhoun’s Annalisa Lovich, Lauren Ameruoso, Kyle Pilotti and Douglas Gallo, and Mepham students Anna Mouras, Yusuf Hasan, Gavin Dass, Olivia Larocchia and Anil Bradley.

Emcees were Amanda Schleider, Haden Levine and Kiley Coen from Kennedy, Calhoun and Mepham. 

Each induction also included a photo montage that showcased highlights from the students’ language studies. 

A special thank you is extended to Kennedy, Calhoun, and Mepham montage creators Kennedy student Shivani Sharma and teachers Nikole DeLuca and Jodi Langevin, as well as honor society advisors and induction planners Francesca Engelson, Paul Cirino, Nicolina Alfieri, Nikole DeLuca, Alexandra Kefaliakos, Cara Sycoff, Charlotte Hayes, Kristin Montuori and Dona Morales.







Rock Orchestra Experience Coming to Bellmore-Merrick

Rock Orchestra Experience Coming to Bellmore-Merrick photo

International recording artist and Emmy award-winning composer Mark Wood, an original member of the multiplatinum selling Trans-Siberian Orchestra and creator of the revolutionary Viper electric violin, is bringing his groundbreaking music education program Electrify Your Strings! to the Central High School District.

This event will transform student musicians into a full-fledged Rock Orchestra. Mark will be performing with the students on his handcrafted seven-string fretted electric Viper violin as part of the 2017-18 Electrify Your Strings! “No Limits Tour” on Nov. 6, at 7 p.m., at the Brookside Auditorium, located at 1260 Meadowbrook Road.

“We are so incredibly excited for our students to have this unique opportunity to work with music icon, Mark Wood,” District Director of Fine & Performing Arts, Cheryl Fontana said. “This event marks the first time in our district that all orchestra students, grades 7-12, will come together in performance all while raising money for our Community Cupboard; it is ‘One Voice, One Message’ at its finest!"

The program – now in its 18th year – is a music education experience like no other. Wood and his team work directly with a school’s orchestra director to tailor-design a rock orchestra makeover complete with a public performance at the end of the experience. EYS builds on the strong foundation in traditional music provided by music teachers, creating a partnership with educators that inspires students and boosts their self-esteem and motivation on and off stage. 

Mark Wood is the owner and operator of Wood Violins, the premier manufacturer of electric orchestra string instruments worldwide. He studied under Maestro Leonard Bernstein, is a Juilliard-trained violinist and Emmy-winning composer. 

To prepare for this concert, Mark will be teaching the students improvisation, composition, and personal expression on their violins, violas, cellos and basses. Utilizing Mark’s music arrangements that were sent to the district prior to this visit, Merrick Avenue and Grand Avenue middle schools with Wellington C. Mepham, John F. Kennedy, and Sanford H. Calhoun high schools will perform in a live concert alongside Mark Wood. The concert is open to the public with all profits going to the district’s Community Cupboard. There is a suggested donation of $5.

 

Colt Pride Shines Through Homecoming

Colt pride Shines Through Homecoming photo

Colt pride was soaring at the Oct. 13 homecoming festivities at Calhoun High School as the football team came out as victors against New Hyde Park High School.

During the weeklong festivities, the school’s hallways were decorated and students and staff alike donned the grey and blue school colors.

The community was treated to the annual ColtFest and pep rally before the big game, where each sport team was announced and took over the field for their entertaining choreography.

“The sports teams had great routines and I loved how each team supported the other,” said Principal Nicole Hollings. “ColtFest was filled with treats and activities leading up to an absolutely incredible performance. Ed Tumminelli and Eric Vivelo directed the instrumentalists in performing a rousing rendition of the ‘Game of Thrones’ theme and a Green Day song that was just incredible. The sound was thrilling and it set the stage for an outstanding pep rally.”

Gabe Wagner and Lauren Ameruoso, who according to Hollings, “epitomize the spirit of Calhoun,” were crowned homecoming king and queen, respectively.



Calhoun’s Courtney Lange Presents at Science symposium

Calhoun’s Courtney Lange Presents at Science symposium photo
Courtney Lange, a senior at Calhoun High School's Advanced Science Research program, was invited to present at the 2017 NYU Health Disparities Symposium, held on Oct. 12 at New York University.  

Lange was the only high school student invited. She assisted with the construction of the poster board and she presented her summer research titled “Designing an online intervention to promote awareness about obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) among blacks: The Tailored Approach to Sleep Health Education (TASHE) study.”  

Lange’s presentation received the Top Student Paper Award and her research is currently being submitted for publication.

The symposium program included a series of short, engaging talks on current health disparities research and programs. 

Two Students Accepted Into Gifted and Talented Program at SUNY Old Westbury

Two Students Accepted Into Gifted and Talented Program at SUNY Old Westbury
Andrew Brinton, a student at Kennedy High School and Michelle Serban, a student at Calhoun High School were recently accepted into the Institute of Creative Problem Solving for Gifted and Talented Students at SUNY College at Old Westbury.  

They are among the 87 students who will pursue the study of mathematics and its applications.

Brinton along with the other chosen students are selected for the institute’s three divisions by competing against approximately 600 of the top-ranking students nominated from school districts on Long Island. Selection by the institute implies that a student is among the top one-tenth of one percent in math of all students on Long Island in his or her grade.

High Stepping: Mepham Kickline Hosts Kids’ Clinic

High Stepping: Mepham Kickline Hosts Kids’ Clinic photo
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The Mepham varsity kickline team hosted their fourth annual dance clinic for local children. 

Students from kindergarten through eighth grade were shimmying and shaking on Oct. 21, along with some assistance from members of the Grand Avenue and Merrick Avenue middle schools’ kickline teams.

“After learning technique, the varsity kickline team taught a team performance style routine to their group members which was then performed by the kids for their parents at the conclusion of the clinic,” said Mepham kickline coach Kerry Dennis. “It was a great morning for the Bellmore-Merrick community.” 

The team will hold a Winter Dance Clinic on Saturday, Dec. 16, from 9:30 a.m.-noon, at the Brookside gym. Registration will open on Nov. 6. 

Two Educators Added to NYS Master Teacher Program

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Two devoted educators from the Central High School District were among the more than 200 educators added to New York State’s Master Teacher Program.

David Kommor, a science teacher at Mepham, and math teacher Jessica Chilton of Kennedy High School were selected to participate in this program that is aimed at strengthening the state’s STEAM education program.

The Master Teacher Program is currently made up of secondary school teachers and educators who have been found to be among the highest performing in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. Selected teachers will receive annual stipends over their four-year participation in the program. They will also get peer mentoring and professional development opportunities, as well as attend regional meetings with their peers.




Mepham Displays Pirate Pride at Homecoming

Mepham Displays Pirate Pride at Homecoming photo

The Mepham High School varsity football team advanced to 5-0 this season with a homecoming victory over New Hyde Park Memorial High School on Oct. 6.

Head coach Anthony Cracco led the team to a 35-7 win, and the crowd delivered tremendous energy during the homecoming game.
“We have a terrific group of young men working toward a common goal,” said Cracco. “They have made many sacrifices to improve as a team and achieve a common goal.”

Ahead of the game, the Mepham community enjoyed a festival and bonfire.

At halftime, the cheerleading squad and Pirette kickliners performed at the midfield line. Tight end James Hatcliffe and Pirette Jordana Bove were crowned homecoming king and queen, respectively. 

District administrators, Mepham teachers, alumni and Legislator Steve Rhoads were in attendance during the celebration and game.

“Pirate pride was at an all-time high at Mepham’s 80th anniversary,” said Principal Eric Gomez. “It’s always remarkable to see the community gather in a sea of maroon to cheer on our students and athletes. We appreciate all of the efforts that helped in making the evening a true victory.”

Mepham’s Skull & Bones Raises Money for Laughter Saves Lives

									 Mepham’s Skull & Bones Raises Money for Laughter Saves Lives photo
Mepham High School's Skull and Bones Drama Club hosted its annual “A Night on Broadway” charity fundraiser revue on Oct. 13 to benefit Laughter Saves Lives Foundation. The charity was created by Mepham parent and fireman John Larocchia after losing 19 of his firehouse brothers, including his best friend, during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The Laughter Saves Lives Comedy Tour became Larocchia’s way of honoring the memories of those who selflessly gave their lives that day to protect and save others. It is his way to “never forget” while also recognizing the local fire, police, EMS and military personnel in the communities the tour group visits.
  
A small portion of the proceeds from each show goes to the foundation which endeavors to support a variety of firefighter- and police-based charities as well as select individuals and families who have are in serious need of assistance.
 
Since the start of the summer, students selected songs from popular Broadway productions, working together and in small groups to learn harmonies, create and teach choreography, and stage a full-scale production. Some of the evening's fare included "Opening Up" from “Waitress,” “Suddenly Seymour” from “Little Shop of Horrors,” “Chiquitita” from “Mamma Mia!” and “What I've Been Looking For” from “High School Musical.”  

Directed by senior co-presidents Olivia Larocchia and Michael Scalisi, the students managed to raise a total of $1,146.85 for LSL through ticket sales and donations.

“The most poignant moment of the evening came during the finale when the students offered a message of positivity and hope, singing ‘You Will Be Found’ from the 2017 Tony winner for best musical ‘Dear Evan Hansen,’” said Skull and Bones adviser Edward Grosskreuz. “The students stunned the audience when, at the close of the song, they reached down to the stage floor and picked up large posters that bore the names of recent tragic events at home and abroad. The students were inspired by the meaning behind the revue and by Mr. Larocchia's example.”

One Voice, One Message Ambassador Program

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Bellmore-Merrick Students Reach High Notes With NYSSMA All-State Selections

Bellmore-Merrick Students Reach High Notes With NYSSMA All-State Selections photo
Bellmore-Merrick Students Reach High Notes With NYSSMA All-State Selections photo 2
Several students in the CHSD were recently named All-State and All-State Alternates by the New York State School Music Association.

They will travel to Rochester, New York to participate in the four-day NYSSMA All-State Music Festival that begins on Nov. 30.

All-State designees include Mepham High School’s Adriana Guarascio (All-State Symphonic OrchestraCalhoun High School’s Julia Bremer (All-State Mixed Choir), Maria Fazio (All-State Mixed Choir), Doug Gallo (All-State Vocal Alternate) and Ben Shaposhniko (All-State Symphonic Orchestra and All-State Jazz Ensemble Alternate) and Kennedy High School’s Samantha Crichton (All-State Treble Choir), John Duroseau (All-State Mixed Choir) and Kristina Miller (All-State Treble Choir).

“In addition to making numerous musical and vocal contributions to their respective high school communities, many of these students also study and perform privately, chasing competitive personal goals and realizing prestigious performance opportunities,” said Cheryl Fontana, director of fine and performing arts and adult education.

Each year in late August, young musicians throughout the state receive the exciting notification that they have been selected to participate in the festival. The All-State selection process begins during the previous school year. To be considered for All-State, students must first be recommended by their music director and perform a Level 6 audition piece at the spring NYSSMA festival receiving a score of 98 or higher.

Student Reps Report Monthly School News To Board

Student reps report monthly school news to board photo
Student representatives from the four high schools in the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District addressed the school board at its Oct. 4 meeting, updating the community on their respective schools’ accomplishments and activities.

Personal quips, achievements and upcoming events were included in each round up. They will continue to act as a board liaison throughout the school year at future board meetings.

Reporting from the dais each month will be Daniel O’Keefe from Sanford H. Calhoun, Rachel Katz from John F. Kennedy, Jordan Ladd from the Meadowbrook Alternative Program and Gina Connors from Wellington C. Mepham High School.

 “This is an opportunity for them to tell us what they’re proud of about their school and it’s a portion of our monthly board meetings that I look forward greatly,” said John DeTommaso, superintendent of schools.
 

Middle School Mandarin Students Celebrate Moon Festival

Middle School Mandarin Students Celebrate Moon Festival photo
Middle School Mandarin Students Celebrate Moon Festival photo 2
Students in Helen Han’s Mandarin classes at Grand Avenue and Merrick Avenue middle schools learned about the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival.

The Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival is the second most important festival in China after the Chinese New Year. The day, also known as the Moon Festival, falls on the 15th day of the eighth month of the Chinese lunar calendar when the moon is at its fullest. 

To celebrate, the Chinese people eat a reunion dinner with their families, much like our Thanksgiving. Han’s classes read and acted out a traditional Autumn Festival poem and learned the words to a song about the holiday. Students also tried green tea, taro and pineapples moon cakes — a special food served during reunion dinners.

Grand Avenue Yorker Club Visits Historic LI Farm

Grand Avenue Yorker Club Visits Historic LI Farm photo
Grand Avenue Yorker Club Visits Historic LI Farm photo 2

Members of the Grand Avenue Middle School Yorker Club recently embarked on their annual field trip to Wickham’s Farm in Cutchogue.

Students picked apples and pumpkins after touring the apple cider press and green houses. They learned about the history of one of the oldest farms on the island. 

“The Wickham family farm has been part of the Long Island landscape since the 1600s,” said social studies teacher and club adviser Dominik Bargiel. “This Colonial-era farm provides the students a unique perspective of the culture, landscape and agriculture of the east end of Long Island.”

 

CHAMP Student Sauces Cooking Competition With Perfect Score

CHAMP Student Sauces Cooking Competition With Perfect Score photo
A few secret ingredients helped Sara Adcock, a student at Kennedy High School, and her team win first place in a cooking competition on Sept. 16.

The Junior Garlic Iron Chef Competition, hosted by Garden of Eve during their annual Long Island Garlic Festival, was open to contestants ages 10-18. Adcock, 14, said she developed the tomato sauce recipe from scratch two years ago when she first competed in the culinary competition. This time, the updated sauce earned the team a perfect score — the first one in the competition’s 14-year history. 

Techniques learned at Michael DiGiovanni’s class in the district’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality Program helped her perfect the sauce.
“I now know how to properly and professionally chop ingredients, particularly the garlic, onions and spices,” Adcock said.

Technique is key when starting out with the unique tomato-based sauce recipe. Adcock said she first sweats the garlic and onions to draw out the flavor, whereas most people sauté them, trapping in the oils inside the ingredients.

“The flavor from the inside of the garlic comes out, infusing the sauce even more,” she added.

She thinks the addition of two distinctive spices: Adobo seasoning and marjoram leaves are what elevate the recipe from traditional ones.

Adcock’s saucy win earned her a trophy, T-shirt and farm gift basket – and of course bragging rights. She shared the news — and a sample of her prize-winning sauce — with DiGiovanni.

“It is a well-rounded sauce with nice body and a little heat,” he explained.

WATCH: FiOS Video Report on the District’s Community Cupboard

Bellmore-Merrick’s One Voice, One Message Initiative Packages 20,000 Meals for the Hungry

Bellmore-Merrick’s One Voice, One Message Initiative Packages 20,000 Meals for the Hungry Photo

All hands were on deck at Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District on April 22 when 100 volunteers, including One Voice, One Message ambassadors, packaged 20,000 meals in coordination with Rise Against Hunger.

Teachers and chairpersons were hauling 50-pound bags of vegetables and grains. Students worked in an assembly line, funneling dehydrated meals and vitamins into bags. Principals acted as couriers from the assembly tables to packaging locations. Administrators were taping up boxes full of meals and stacking them for transport. The superintendent manned a push broom, cleaning up any food spillover.

“They [the ambassadors and the One Voice, One Message Committee] are the most incredible human beings with the largest hearts that serve as outstanding role models,” said Deputy Superintendent Dr. Mara Bollettieri, who is also the co-One Voice, One Message adviser.

Money raised at the March One Voice, One Message Superhero 5K Run paid for the meals.

Rise Against Hunger is an international hunger relief organization that distributes food to the world’s most vulnerable areas of the world.
“By sending the meals to schools abroad, the children will not only have a hot meal, but will receive an education as well,” added co-One Voice, One Message adviser and social studies chairperson Robyn Einbinder. “Students and staff alike were moved by the impact these meals will have, and thoroughly enjoyed working together throughout the morning.”


 

Community Cupboard

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Updates Inside

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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.

8/14/17 Full Construction Update

7/14/17 Bond Phase 3 Update

10/24/16 Bond Phase 2 & 3 Update

9/6/16 Bond Phase 2 & 3 Update

8/8/16 Bond Phase 2 & 3 Update

7/27/16 Bond Phase 2 & 3 Update

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