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Painting Earns Kennedy Artist Jessica Rosen a Gold Medal

Painting Earns Kennedy Artist Jessica Rosen a Gold Medal photo
Painting Earns Kennedy Artist Jessica Rosen a Gold Medal photo 2
A dedicated honor student who juggles a challenging AP workload, Kennedy High School senior Jessica Rosen said she uses oil painting as a release.

Rosen’s painting “Tied Up” has been awarded a prestigious National Gold Medal in the 2018 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.  

Jessica received a Gold Key at the regional level prior to learning of this national accomplishment for both “Tied Up” and “Within the Shadow,” as well as two Silver Keys for her Art Portfolio, “What They Want Vs. Who I Am” and her painting, “Grandpa.”

“I have always been an academic and self-disciplined person,” Rosen said. “I love painting as a form of self-expression.”

Her AP art teacher Vanessa Albaneze said Rosen is one of those students who creates beautiful art out of pure enjoyment, not just to satisfy school assignments.

“She consistently challenges herself and understands that only practice and work will get you to where you want to be... it is not only about having ‘talent,’” Albaneze added. “She has no fear when it comes to painting and she often becomes so excited by a new idea that she can not wait to start.”

Other students who placed in the competition include: Matthew Klein, Gold Key - Digital Art - "Self – Portrait;” Madison Renck, Silver Key - Fashion - "Making Headlines" and Nina Weissbach, Silver Key - Photography – “Communication.” Samantha Fried and Weissbach received honorable mention nods for their Drawing & Illustration submissions, "Red Glasses" and "Just Breathe,” respectively.

Teens in grades 7–12 apply in 29 categories of art and writing which are juried by luminaries in the visual and literary arts. Panelists look for works that best exemplify originality, technical skill, and the emergence of a personal voice or vision.

Rosen will be attending the Scholastic Art & Writing National Awards Ceremony held at Carnegie Hall in New York City on June 7. She plans to study at Colgate University in the fall.

Bellmore-Merrick Students Earn Accolades at LISEF

Bellmore-Merrick Students Earn Accolades at LISEF photo
Bellmore-Merrick Students Earn Accolades at LISEF photo 2
Bellmore-Merrick Students Earn Accolades at LISEF photo 3
On March 15, students from across Central High School District competed in the second round of the Long Island Science and Engineering Fair at the Crest Hollow Country Club.

LISEF is the regional science fair for students to present their research in order to be eligible to complete in the national Broadcom MASTERS, which is administered by the Society for Science and the Public.  

Kennedy’s Cameron Levy and Lucas Rosen who presented their Advance Science Research projects in the animal science and mathematics categories. Levy earned third place and Rosen earned honorable mention. He also received a special award. Matthew Klein received a special award from NASA.

Both young scientists were selected to advance to round 2 of LISEF. Rosen also earned first place in the mathematics category at the Long Island Junior Science and Humanities Symposium and was invited to advance to the Regional JSHS competition. Their research teachers are Barbi Frank and Barbara Franklin.

From Calhoun High School, two Calhoun ASR students were invited to participate in round 2. Senior Kyle Pilotti's project won the honor of honorable mention in the category of earth and environmental sciences. Pilotti was also honored by the American Meteorological Society and presented with an award for a student researcher that showed initiative and dedication in the field of meteorology. Sophomore Sonia Sarju also received the honor of honorable mention in the category of earth and environmental science for her project. They work with advisers Christine Boyce and Jennifer Pefanis.

Seven students from Grand Avenue Middle School also competed at LISEF in the middle school division.  

To participate at LISEF, students in sixth-eighth grades must perform a scientific investigation under the guidance of their teachers. The projects receiving a first place award or those scoring within the top 10 percent for each regional fair (based on total number of participating) receive nominations to SSP Broadcom MASTERS.  

Tyler  Bissoondial received first place and a Broadcom MASTER’s nomination for his project. Julianna Rosenthal received second place and Broadcom MASTER’s nomination for her project and Timothy Langone received third place for his project. Gabriella Simal, Sahara Partap and Mackenzie Filosa received third place for their group project. Science teacher, Tami Cruz, was the adviser for this group.

Kennedy Students Learn Good Decision-Making Skills

Kennedy Students Learn Good Decision-Making Skills photo
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Kennedy Students Learn Good Decision-Making Skills photo 3
Kennedy Students Learn Good Decision-Making Skills photo 4
More than 25 students gathered in the dimly lit wrestling room on March 2, to nestle into the foam mats, listen to soothing spa music and be guided through meditation and yoga poses during Good Decision Making Week at Kennedy High School.

With the support of the Community Parent Center, The practice was part of a series of assemblies and workshops aimed at promoting good decisions. 

“This is a great opportunity for us to continue to focus on fostering an environment where students help each other and exhibit kindness,” said Principal David Seinfeld.

Earth science teacher and certified yoga instructor Dawn Sullivan has been implementing deep breathing, guided mediation and stretching exercises in the classroom for some time now and sees a direct correlation in students’ behavior as well as academic performance.

“Ahead of a testing day, I find students are even requesting it,” Sullivan added. “Afterward, they have an actual sensory emotional feeling of before and after and we can then open a dialogue about how that coincides with what it’s like being a high school student and start to make those connections.”

Although this week was the ideal opportunity to introduce students to the practice, Sullivan has actually been offering practices regularly to faculty members during off periods. Together with Good Decisions Week coordinator and Assistant Principal Gerard Owenburg, Sullivan plans to collaborate with clubs and teachers to further drive these mindfulness points home.

“It all came from this year’s mission charged to us as educators from Superintendent John DeTommaso about ‘connecting with kindness and caring,’” Owenburg said. “This is a way for us to get kids thinking about how they can better take care of themselves as well as their peers.”

Owenburg also said they are working on the creation of a space in the building where students can go to practice during their off periods.

“It’s a way to calm down, be centered and feel happier,” Sullivan explained. “When you have a day that is difficult this gives you a way to take back control.”

Other programs included substance abuse awareness, interactive workshops to deter DWI/distracted driving and internet safety. Merrick resident Steve Weiner addressed students about goal setting, and the ability to be strong in tough situations.

The self-proclaimed “Strong Man” is a Guinness Book of World Records holder. His message to the students was well-received as he performed some his Strongman feats such as rolling a frying pan and bending a horseshoe.

“In addition, he allowed the students to try age-appropriate strength activities and presented a great message about goal setting and perseverance,” added Athletic Director Craig Papach.

“These full grade assembly programs in addition to classroom activities presented by Pride for Youth, LICADD, and individual teachers, I believe, served our students well,” added Seinfeld. “It is my sincere hope that we, as an adult community, work together to send healthy and mindful messages to our children.”

Kennedy’s Dan Shafran Wrestles to Fourth Place

Kennedy’s Dan Shafran Wrestles to Fourth Place photo
Dan Shafran, a senior at Kennedy High School in the Bellmore-Merrick Central School District, placed fourth at the New York State Wrestling Championships on Feb. 24-25. 

“This was the highest place finish for a JFK wrestler since Nick Laurino in 2006,” said coach Brian DeGaetano.

Shafran finished the season with a 42-5 record, which was a significant improvement from his record last year. 

He started wrestling in his junior year last season and wrestled mostly junior varsity and had a 5-7 record on varsity.