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John F. Kennedy High School

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3000 South Bellmore Ave
Bellmore, NY 11710
Mr. Gerard Owenburg

Assistant Principals:
Mr. Jeff Cronk
Mr. Daniel Jantzen
Mr. Vincent Pisano

 Attendance: 992-1409
 Guidance: 992-1420
 Main Office:


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The Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District is following the State and local guidance that ended the mask requirement in schools, effective March 2, 2022.

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Current News

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

Northwell Teaches Stop the Bleed Training at Kennedy

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Northwell Health led Stop the Bleed training for hundreds of students at Kennedy High School on May 12. The lifesaving training taught students how to staunch bleeding from trauma in the critical moments before paramedics arrive at the scene, which has shown to often be the difference between life and death.

The training was possible thanks to the effort of Sydney Brewer, a junior at the school. Brewer led a fundraising effort and purchased 60 Stop the Bleed kits for her school – and was instrumental in getting staff from North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset to come teach the students how to use them.

“I’m the same age as the kids in the Sandy Hook shooting, and I knew I had to do something about it,” said Brewer, who is 17. “It makes me so proud that my hard work has paid off and now I can help people help other people.”

Gun violence is on the rise across the country, which is what spurred Brewer on. There have already been more than 200 mass shootings this year, which are defined as shootings in which four or more people are injured or killed, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Additionally, this May marks the fifth annual National Stop the Bleed Month, which highlights the importance of learning this critical skill.

Students were shown how to pack wounds to stop bleeding and apply tourniquets. They also learned that gun violence is not the only situation in which this training can be used. Critical wounds can occur during car crashes, falls and when doing yard work. A person with a severe wound can bleed to death in about three minutes, which is often before paramedics or police can arrive on the scene. Knowing how to stop bleeding from an open wound can save lives.

“Learning how to stop bleeding is a vital skill that can save lives,” said Matthew Bank, MD, executive director of the Northwell Trauma Institute. “This type of grassroots event is exciting and very feasible. The Northwell Trauma Institute is happy to collaborate with anyone to set up Stop the Bleed training events.”

Northwell doctors, nurses and EMTs taught more than 500 students at Kennedy during the day-long session, and are teaching hundreds more on May 19. When they’re done, the entire student body will be trained in stopping bleeding.

Planning is underway to potentially bring these kids and training to the district’s other buildings as well.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our students,” said Principal Gerard Owenburg. “Getting the kits was one thing. But having the training and the students having the knowledge has really brought it to another level.”

Date Added: 5/15/2023

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

Kennedy Student Government Named Gold Council of Excellence

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TheKennedy Student Government been named a Gold Council of Excellence by the National Association of Secondary School Principals for 2023.

This prestigious award recognizes student councils demonstrating leadership, service, and activities that positively impact the school and community.

“TheKennedy Student Government has a long history of serving the community and creating positive change,” explained Brad Seidman, the club’s faculty advisor. “During the past year, they have organized numerous fundraisers and school-spirited events, volunteered at local charities, and spearheaded campaigns to promote inclusion and diversity in the school.”

This year, the group raised close to $7,000 for the community cupboard during the holiday season and a similar amount for the Special Olympics of New York during their local Polar Plunge. Each year, the students plan the school’s Safe Halloween party for local elementary school students, the Jam the Gym night, the annual Class Night, and much more.

TheKennedy Student Government was evaluated on various criteria, including leadership, school culture, community service and civic engagement. The Gold Council of Excellence Award is the highest honor a student council can receive from the NASSP, and Kennedy Student Government is honored to have been recognized.

They are one of only seven student councils stateside to earn the recognition and one of only two groups on Long Island.

Date Added: 5/4/2023

VIDEO: Kennedy Wind Ensemble Performs at Naval Base

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The Kennedy High School wind ensemble traveled to the Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in Virginia Beach, Virginia, from April 20-22.

Director of Bands Walter Avellaneda said this was the first civilian band to perform on the base. Home to the Atlantic Fleet and the largest Naval base in the world, the students were invited to perform for active military, veterans and their families.

“We performed a live documentary in music with projections and audio clips called ‘Beyond Courage: That We Might Live’,” he explained. “In this self-contained 90-minute concert, we took the audience and transported them back to World War II by using actors, singers, movie projections and radio broadcasts from the era.”

The wind ensemble was joined by the Clarence High School wind ensemble & chorale from Clarence, New York.

“Once we got on stage it was surreal and made it so special,” alto saxophonist Alexandra Levitt added.

The performance at the Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story was conducted by composer Stephen Melillo, who has been an artist-in-residence at Kennedy in past years.

Following “Beyond Courage: That We Might Live,” there was a special arrangement of “God Bless America.” The concert concluded with Melillo’s arrangement of the national anthem which brought many veterans and soldiers to rise with the help of their families for a final salute.

“This self-contained concert has only been performed three times in the country and recorded professionally by a Japanese military band, but this was the first time video and audio were actually synced together for this performance,” added Avellaneda.

In the past, Avellaneda said he has taken groups to compete or perform and they receive a trophy. With this performance, they were able to give something back to a deserving audience.

“It was the ultimate lesson in serving those who served while also providing students with an incredible immersive musical experience,” he said

Avellaneda said the experience tops the highlights of his education career thus far.

“The students were so excited, for all the right reasons, and I was just so thrilled and proud with how they all rose to the occasion,” he added. “It was not an easy road to get us there, but we kept thinking of those we were going to honor, and it was a great source of motivation.”

Date Added: 5/3/2023

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