‘Bugsy Malone Jr.’ a Hit at Merrick Avenue
The Merrick Avenue Middle School community enjoyed the performance of “Bugsy Malone Jr.” on March 19 and 20. The spectacular musical extravaganza spotlighted many MAMS students in period costumes.
The production was directed by Mr. John Boyle, MAP program teacher at Brookside, with choreography by Ms. Susan Danis. Ms. Lauren Goepfert served as assistant director and Ms. Victoria Garbarino as the accompanist. Set design was courtesy of Mr. Cory Greene and Ms. Sarah Ritchie, with Mr. Daniel Stiglitz and Ms. Cheryl Fontana managing the lighting and sound behind the scenes.
Congratulations to all of the staff and students who worked so hard over the past several months to accomplish such an amazing feat.
English Students Take Part in Unique Group Work Approach
Merrick Avenue Middle School English teacher Cheryl Fontana employed an innovative assessment technique with her eighth-grade honors English class during the week of March 17.
The students spent the past few weeks reading the allegorical dystopian novel “Animal Farm” by George Orwell. The book is the story of a group of farm animals whose actions, by Orwell’s own admission, mirror those of the Russian Revolution. Much of the book’s key events are conspiratorial meetings held by the animals. Ms. Fontana successfully leveraged this plot element, and created a whole class assessment of the novel that was completely student-centered.
For the entire period, Ms. Fontana acted only as an observer as the students cooperated to complete multiple-choice questions and respond to analytical writing prompts about the novel. This approach to assessment mirrors today’s professional work environment, as an increasing number of professions require individuals to function as a member of a group to complete projects.
Ms. Fontana’s efforts are yet another example of the world-class instruction the students in the district benefit from on a daily basis.
Joy Ma Wins First Place at NAC Fencing Competition
Joy Ma, an eighth-grader at Merrick Avenue Middle School, competed in the March 2014 North America Cup Fencing Competition and won first place for the Y14 Women’s Eppe, receiving her “B2014” rating. This is Joy’s first national championship. Additionally, she took sixth place for the Division 3 Women’s Epee, which is for women 14 years and older.
Joy has been foil fencing for the past three years, practicing twice a week. However, during the last four months, Joy has been practicing her sport more intently.
At Merrick Avenue, Joy has been involved in cheerleading and jazz band, and received the bronze medal in the AMC math competition. She is currently a cultural arts nominee for art and classical piano and her artwork was included in the Art Supervisors Association 10th annual Nassau All-County Art Exhibition at Adelphi University. She’s performed as a singer, flutist and pianist at local nursing homes with friends from different school districts. They prepared classical and holiday music for more than two months prior to the performances. On her own, Joy contacted nursing homes, recommended by her music teachers, which would welcome the performances.
Engineering Career Day Engages Students at MAMS
Merrick Avenue Middle School hosted its Engineering Career Day on March 26, inviting various local organizations, universities, technology-related companies and students from throughout the district to come together to learn and discuss engineering and technology. The fair exposed students in the district to the field of engineering and career possibilities for their futures, further developing the district’s already robust and thriving focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
Technology-focused college program representatives, including SUNY Farmingdale’s aviation division, Hofstra University and New York Institute of Technology, were on hand to talk to students about the opportunities available to them after high school. Other companies present included Alleghany Education Systems, Leviton, Empower Solar, Long Island Fabricators, Underwriter’s Laboratories and Tequipment, among others. Students in the Project Lead the Way engineering program from the district’s high schools – Calhoun, Kennedy and Mepham – were also present to show students what they work on in their classes. Additionally, students from Grand Avenue Middle School who are interested in pursuing the engineering track in high school were able to visit the fair.
“The reasons we have this fair every year is because we want students to see the possibilities of getting a Long Island-based education and a Long Island-based career,” said technology teacher Carl Yannuzzi. “These are the choices that they will have to make going into ninth grade to take the proper math and science courses to prepare them for entry into the engineering field or an engineering school. We want to make sure they are aware of these choices and show them that a proper engineering education and an engineering career can be had right here at home. That will help retain the high-quality industrial base that Long Island has had for so many generations.”
Bellmore-Merrick Summer Teen Program 2014