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Mepham artist Safa Hafeez Earns Perfect Score on Portfolio

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Wellington C. Mepham High School junior Safa Hafeez received a perfect score on the New York State Art Teachers Association Portfolio Project.

Among the over 25 portfolios adjudicated at Hicksville High School, only three received a perfect score, including Hafeez.

“Art allows me to express my mind in ways that is hard to do in written and spoken language," said Hafeez.

She is enrolled in College Sculpture 4 with teacher Marissa Grana and College Drawing and Painting 4 with Lisa Federici.

Federici said Hafeez is a ‘dedicated artist who sees the world through a different lens than most other students.’

“She is complex and deep and it has been a pleasure to see how she sees the world through her art. I’m excited to see how she progresses and what she creates in her future,” she added.

The Portfolio Project is a way for students to assess and validatetheir progress in the visual arts.

Hafeez was also showcased in the Kindred Spirits Art Exhibit at The Firefly Artists Gallery in Northport in April.

Date Added: 5/18/2023

Bellmore-Merrick Dominates at BASH Awards

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The 2023 Broadcast Awards for Senior High were held at Hofstra University May 15 and the Central High School District was well represented with students from Mepham High School’s Bellmore-Merrick Broadcasting program and Kennedy High School’s Cougar-TV.

BMB students took home five awards, winning first place from Newsday for the new category of Best Multimedia Story for Thomas DiSalvo, Greg Gallo, Ryan Marr, Nicholas Jimenez and Ruby Mattes’ story about how local businesses impact the supply chain and the need to recycle.Mattes also took home first place for Best School for her story on the school’s Poetry Out Loud competition.BMB took second place for Best Broadcast with Morning Announcements, second place for Best Sports Package with Matt Natof, Kyle McQuillan, Jake LoFrese and Ariel Boodhram’s story on the district wide all-female flag football team, and Lily Yepez and Haley Hepworth were awarded third place for best anchor team on Long Island.

Kennedy’s Preston Bowman and Samantha Schneider received second place in the category of Most Entertaining with their film, “Love’s Better Blind.”

BMB co-produced this year's awards with News Director Sean McQuillan serving as co-emcee and BMB Senior Producer Hannah Broxmeyer working behind the scenes as the event’s technical director.

The event featured a keynote address from WABC Channel 7 Chief Meteorologist Lee Goldberg and a panel discussion led by Newsday TV.

“BASH Live provided an interactive stage show where students from schools across Long Island demonstrated some of the skills they’ve learned in their schools in the pursuit of broadcast excellence,” explained BMB Program Director Stu Stein.

Alex Dollin, a former News 12 reporter who runs Bay News Now at Oyster Bay High School, led a session on producing better standups which included student volunteers performing mock standups in front of the over 700-person audience.Students from Mattituck-Cutchogue’s WHTV-News employed BMB camera operator Anthony Ciuffo to demonstrate the best ways to record B-Roll.Students from Westhampton Beach’s Hurricane Watch demonstrated the best way to record an interview, students from Southold High School’s SOHO-TV explained how to sequence B-roll once it’s been recorded and BMB’s Hannah Broxmeyer showed clips from an episode of Midweek Update that featured work from Manhasset High School’s Manhasset Broadcasting Company and Mattituck to explain how schools from across Long Island could work together to create content.

This year’s BASH awards were the biggest yet— featuring more than 700 students from over 40 schools from Nassau and Suffolk counties and for the first time two schools from Westchester attended (Ossining High School and Peekskill High School).As big as this year’s BASH was, it almost did not happen as in January BASH’s previous home Stony Brook University announced it could no longer host the event.Over the span of 48 hours, teachers from across the island exchanged hundreds of emails and arranged a steering committee made up of teachers from Manhasset High School, Mattituck-Cutchogue, Southold, Westhampton Beach and Mepham to find a new home for BASH and to save the event.

Mepham senior Thomas DiSalvo said he is grateful to all the teachers who stepped in to make sure this year’s event became a reality.

“Every year, we look forward to BASH,” he explained. “It’s a chance for us to compare our work with the rest of the schools in the area and to get to know some of the other people creating media so we can work with them.”

Plans for BASH 2024 are already underway when students from Mattituck Jr.-Sr. High School will take over as the event’s hosts.

Click here to view the photo slideshow.

Date Added: 5/17/2023

Mepham Students Zoom with Research Specialist

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Students in class speaking with Adam Wild via zoom thumbnail246988

Ellen Hsi’s Introduction to Science Research Students met with Adam Wild via zoom, the Director of the Uihlein Maple Research Forest, a cooperative extension of Cornell University.

After learning about Mr. Wild’s research while at Lake Placid over the summer, Mrs. Hsi wanted to share her experience with her students from Introduction to Science Research. The students ran experiments on pressure differences to understand sap movement with a tree. They also learned about sugar caramelization as well as the chemistry behind various pancake leaveners. Students were eager to learn about these topics, especially when they had a chance to make their own pancakes.

As a culminating activity, they met with Mr. Wild over zoom to learn about the responsibilities that he has as a field-research scientist. Students learned about everything from the chemical makeup of sap to important technology that Mr. Wild utilizes, such as reverse osmosis and off-site monitoring, so that he and his field researchers can efficiently monitor sap production 24 hours a day. They even learned that Quebec has a reserve of over 9 million gallons of maple syrup stored in approximately 164,000 barrels to offset a year where sap production is insufficient for market demands.

Students learned that in the United States, New York State at 25 percent production, is second to Vermont for Maple Syrup Production at 50 percent.

Date Added: 5/25/2023

Two Students Earn Poetry Nods

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Two students in the Central High School District have been recognized for their poetry pieces.  

Kennedy freshman Madeline Hyman placed twice in Long Island’s Language Arts Council’s annual Poetry Contest. She won third place for her poem, “A Trek of 1,000 Miles” and second honorable mention for her poem, “A Seed of Tomorrow.” She read her poetry aloud on April 29 at the Freeport Memorial Library.  

Before attending Kennedy, Hyman was an active member of Merrick Avenue Middle School's literary magazine where she practiced all different types of writing. Her English teacher is Jessica Metkiff noted that “this dedication paid off as she earned second place in the PTA Reflections contest during her seventh grade.” 

“During her time at JFK, Madeline has been a standout student, working tirelessly to enhance her writing skills,” she added. “That coupled with her willingness to take risks in her writing has created much success for her this year. As a writer for the school's newspaper, Madeline Hyman has and surely will continue to impress.” 

Mepham High School sophomore Vladimir Mkrtchian won honorable mention in the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association Student Poetry Contest for his poem “Jazve.”  

He was invited to read his poem at an awards ceremony to be held at the site in Melville on Sunday, May 21.  

His teacher is Edward Grosskreuz called Mkrtchian “a naturally gifted writer” whose submission required few revisions. 

“He has a command of vocabulary, imagery and syntax beyond his years,” Grosskreuz added. “What was most memorable about this process was getting to learn more about Armenian culture. Vladimir's poem does exactly what literature is intended to do: open a window into a personal space, sharing an aspect of the writer's life to enrich our own.” 

Date Added: 5/4/2023

Four Artists Chosen for Long Island’s Best Exhibition

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Four students in the Central High School District were chosen for the prestigious Heckscher Museum's Long Island's Best exhibition held annually in Huntington.

Danielle Berkowitz, Dylan Friedman and Minami Rodger from Kennedy High School, and Josh Gilmore from Mepham High School each have artwork featured in the show.

Long Island’s Best: Young Artists at The Heckscher Museum is the only juried exhibition on Long Island that offers high school students the opportunity to show their work in a museum.

“Students were challenged to create works of art inspired by a piece they viewed at the museum,” explained Cheryl Fontana, the district’s director of fine & performing arts. “The museum chose 91 students this year out of 553 submissions from high schools around Long Island.”

The show is running from April 29-June 4. Beginning May 6, one can explore the entire exhibition online at

Date Added: 4/24/2023

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