Calhoun Students Get Healthy with Special Fair
Students at Sanford H. Calhoun High School explored a variety of healthy lifestyle choices during the school’s annual health fair on April 11. The fair, which has been a staple at the school for about eight years, encourages students to discover healthy eating options, exercise and self-esteem boosters.
Facilitated by the school’s SADD club and health classes, students prepared paninis, egg white omelets and juices, among other foods, for visitors, showing that one can make healthy food choices in daily life without necessarily dieting. Local gyms and other fitness businesses were also on hand to share their knowledge with students.
“We believe this health fair promotes healthier choices for our students,” said SADD adviser Keri Cinelli. “With teen and child obesity out there, we want to keep them active and involved. We wanted to get away from always talking about dieting and move toward talking about lifestyle changes.”
Seven More Calhoun Athletes Commit to College Teams
Seven student-athletes from Sanford H. Calhoun High School have committed to playing at a college or university next year. This is in addition to the nine student-athletes who announced their commitments in January. Each student-athlete had an opportunity to talk about the decision-making process in selecting their school and discussed what they hoped to accomplish at the next level during a ceremony on April 10.
“We’d like to take a moment to recognize the accomplishments of our student-athletes,” said Assistant Principal Nicole Hollings. “It’s a really big commitment to play athletics throughout high school and excel at such a high level, and then play in college. That’s really amazing. We are all proud of the students for what they’ve accomplished so far and look forward to what they will accomplish in their collegiate careers.”
The following students have committed to playing on an athletic team at a college or university next year:
Brendan Carroll – track and field at Lafayette College – Division I
Caroline Criscuola – soccer at College of Mount St. Vincent – Division III
Harry Davis – soccer at Springfield College – Division III
Alexandra Marcello – soccer at Catholic University – Division III
Aleco Podias – soccer at SUNY New Paltz – Division III
J.J. Santagata – hockey at Ryder College – Division II
Taylor Sipos – soccer at James Madison University – Division I
Hundreds Inducted into National Honor Society
Hundreds of students from Sanford H. Calhoun, John F. Kennedy and Wellington C. Mepham high schools were inducted into the school’s individual chapters of the National Honor Society on April 9. The National Honor Society seeks to recognize students’ continued academic excellence and commitment to success. Students are selected for induction based on academic performance and service to the community.
Students participated in a candlelighting ceremony to signify their induction into the society, which highlighted the National Honor Society’s four pillars – character, scholarship, leadership and service. Members of the building and central administrations, as well as the Board of Education, congratulated inductees as they made their way across the stage at each respective school.
Rwandan Genocide Survivor Speaks to Students
Emmanuel Habimama spoke about his experience of surviving the Rwandan genocide at two district schools on March 28. Students at the Meadowbrook Alternative Program and those enrolled in the Voices of the Past course at Sanford H. Calhoun High School heard firsthand of his powerful journey of courage and perseverance through those fateful 100 days. Habimama also discussed his soon-to-be released movie, “Komora.” The program was brought to the schools courtesy of the Community Parent Center.
The Voices of the Past class has been taught at Calhoun for the past 10 years as a joint venture between the English and social studies departments, led by teachers Dr. David Goldberg and Julie Rosslee. They focus on the Holocaust, the genocide in Rwanda, Cambodia and International Human Rights violations by looking at case studies such as North Korea. In 2012, Dr. Goldberg went to Rwanda with Carl Wilkens, the only American who was in Rwanda at the time of the genocide. While he was in Rwanda, Dr. Goldberg met Habimama and has kept in touch with him since.
“Students can learn a great deal by analyzing historical documents, but history comes alive when you hear it from a firsthand witness,” said Robyn Einbinder, district social studies chairperson. “The 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide will be commemorated in April. The Rwandan genocide was a horrific display of man’s inhumanity to man. There are so many lessons to be learned from what happened in Rwanda, and through this presentation, the students were able to hear about many of them. Emmanuel’s story is one of courage and perseverance. It is a story that makes us give pause and reminds us of how important it is to learn from history.”
Calhoun Hosts Teen Author Event
Sanford H. Calhoun hosted a visit from teen author, entertainment writer and Merrick resident Jen Calonita on March 26. The English department and library collaborated for this National English Honor Society-approved event for students. Students were invited to hear Calonita talk about her experiences and participate in a writing exercise. Students had the opportunity to pre-order and purchase Calonita’s books prior to her visit and have them autographed.
Her latest book, “Summer State of Mind,” comes out April 22. For fans of “Sleepaway Girls,” there are familiar faces in “Summer State of Mind” as it takes place at the same camp, Whispering Pines. Fifteen-year-old Harper McAllister thinks her summer plans are ruined when her parents receive her latest heart-stopping credit card bill and ship her off to camp at Whispering Pines.
Calonita shared what it is like to write every day and what has helped her develop her stories. She brought her first draft of one of her books so students could understand the revision process that is involved when publishing a finished product. The students also participated in a “write around” writing exercise. Several autographed books were raffled off at the end of the event. English chairperson Kim Serpe said, “What a wonderful experience it was for students to meet a published writer and learn how one can overcome the challenges of a competitive industry such as publishing. Calhoun is so thankful that Ms. Calonita was willing to share her expertise and donate her time.”
Ms. Calonita will be visiting Merrick Avenue Middle School on April 23.