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John F. Kennedy High School

John F. Kennedy High School Photo of Building
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
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Current News

Kennedy Graduates Class of 2024

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Kennedy High School’s Class of 2024 was celebrated on the school field June 9 amid a sea of fanfare, family and friends.

Principal Gerard Owenberg spoke with pride of the seniors, specifically about “their hard work and leadership.” Board of education trustee Dr. Nancy Kaplan offered a positive sendoff message as well and senior chorus members serenaded attendees.

Valedictorian Gabriella Tejada and salutatorian Cole Wasserman addressed the crowd.

Tejada spoke about how her success is conditional upon faith, ambition, and integrity.

“For faith, I hope that each of you has faith in yourselves and in your ability to make a positive impact on others,” she emphasized. “Be ambitious and aim to surpass your high expectations. Develop a sense of intrinsic motivation and keep pushing forward through hard work. Finally, have integrity, by rooting yourself in your values and having a commitment to good character. The future is unknown, however, by rooting ourselves in our values and positivity, we can navigate anything the world throws at us.”

Wasserman recanted about how he and peers “were always on the move” in high school.

“We go from school, to sports, to work, to all of our other commitments,” he said. “All these experiences have molded us. Each small event throughout our time here has allowed us to grow into the people we are today. Yet I don’t think most of us, myself included, stop to appreciate all of these experiences. But we really should.”

Click here to view the photo slideshow.

Date Added: 6/10/2024

Leadership Students Connect with Holocaust Survivors

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Kennedy High School juniors Arielle Polk and Jenna Feig hosted a program with 12 Holocaust survivors who shared their stories with Leadership II and III students through conversation on May 21.

“The program is an extension of their civic-action project where they advocated for mandatory Holocaust education in the United States by writing to their federal representatives,” explained teacher Brad Seidman.

Polk and Feig said they found the organization through BBYO, a teen movement aspiring to involve more Jewish teens in more meaningful Jewish experiences.

“We thought it was important to make sure that our fellow students know this [the aftermath of the Holocaust] is an ongoing situation,” Polk noted.

“This is why we need to hold programs like this, so that more people can continue hearing their stories,” added Feig.

The activity was coordinated in conjunction with Selfhelp Community Services, which serves thousands of survivors in the area.

“This is one of the most rewarding collaborations I have been a part of,” said Julie M. Lauer, LMSW, Director of the Queens & Nassau Holocaust Survivor Program. “While we know the students will be learning from the survivors, I contend the rest of us will be leaning from you [students] as well. After today, you are a part of their stories.”

Click here to view the photo slideshow.

Date Added: 5/28/2024

Newspapers Earn First Place at American Scholastic Press Association

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Two newspapers in the Central High School District earned first place in the American Scholastic Press Association.

Both The Cougar Crier at Kennedy High School and Hoofbeats at Calhoun High School received the distinction.

This national competition evaluates school yearbooks, magazines,and newspapers from across the country. The scholastic review and contest are a comprehensive service that not only scores publications on a point system but also provides detailed feedback and suggestions for improvement.

“Earning first place is a testament to the hard work and creativity of the studentstaff our school newspapers,” noted Brad Seidman, who serves as the Kennedy newspaper’s co-faculty adviser along with Dr. Dennis Urban. “This award also highlights the quality of our school’s publications.”

For Calhoun, newspaper’s faculty adviser Jason Boland noted this is the 16th year in a row they’ve achieved this distinction.

Both achievements will be listed in the awards booklet,The American Scholastic Journalist, which will be published in late December. This booklet not only celebrates the award winners but also serves as a resource for other schools looking to improve their own publications.

The Kennedy newspaper editorial staff includes Sophie Clancy, Jack Levitt, Adrianna Califano, Gabriella Tejada, Riley Thayer, Dan Kahn, Devin Pryor, Madeline Hyman, Joleen Shau, and Kristina Shau.

The Calhoun editorial staff includes London Basco, Penelope Orlando, Megan Bhansing, Sara Mascitelli and Ava Kamlet.

The papers are produced multiple times a year and spotlights the latest happenings on and around each campus. Filled with news, sports, editorials, entertainment, and more, the paper serves as a source and forum for students.

Date Added: 6/5/2024

Kennedy Softball Makes School History with LI Championship

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The Kennedy High School girl's softball team defeated West Islip High School on May 31 to clinch the class AA Long Island championship.

The team clinched the Nassau County AA Championship on May 28 after they bested Levittown’s MacArthur High School in a three-game match up against on May 28. Coaches Krista Thorn and Jack Ryan led the team to the school’s first Long Island softball championship. 

Thorn is in her ninth-year coaching, while this was Ryan’s first season.

“He is a teacher in the district and is an excellent assistant coach,” she noted. “He helps the girls improve their skills in the game and has been wonderful with the team. He really helps them out with their academics as well and wants nothing more than to see them succeed.”

Previous assistant coach Dean Papakonstantis also still returns to the Cougar field when he can to support the team.

With 19 players on the roster, the team went 13-10 overall this season. 
Thorn said the “whole team is a gift.”

“They are in it for each other and have so much energy and joy for anything anyone does to help the team,” she noted. “Some teammates bake for the team because they want to, while others bring attention to certain girls on the team for hitting a certain number of strikeouts or hits. This team just wants to make everyone feel special and wanted.” 
Standout Statistics
·      Lia Fong: senior, pitcher 144 innings pitched, has faced 621 batters 48 earned runs, has over 200 strikeouts, with an ERA of 2.328 and has only walked 33 batters. Her batting average is .418, 28 hits in 67 at bats, OPS is 1.092, 18 RBIs, and only 2 strikeouts. 
·      Bella Parzch: sophomore, left fielder with a .245 batting average with 13 hits and 5 RBI’s 
·      Maya Silkowitz: junior, has come in strong with hits when needed, batting .265 in 34 at bats and only 5 strikeouts with a .294 slugging percentage
·      Reese Wasserman: junior, another important hitter who was the one to move team to the semifinals, without her walk off triple against division in the quarter finals in the bottom of the 7th inning, team wouldn’t be where they are right now. Batting .212 in 33 at bats 7 hits and 4 extremely crucial RBI’s. 
·      Cece Toto: freshman, right fielder, batting .302 in 53 at bats, 16 hits, 9 RBI’s 
·      Samantha Kapitansky: sophomore, first baseman with a fielding percentage of .944, 126 total chances and 117 putouts. A very aggressive first basemen who does whatever it takes to catch a foul ball for her pitcher and will dig and pick balls out of the dirt for her teammates throwing across the diamond. 
·      Kayla Indich: sophomore, second baseman, batting .288, 19 hits in 66 at bats, 23 runs scored, 12 walks, 10 stolen bases. Fielding percentage is .923, committed 4 errors in 52 chances
·      Jamie Pellegrini: senior, center fielder, .279 batting average, 17 hits in 61 at bats, 13 RBI’s, Fielding percentage of .938, 16 total chances and 1 error with 14 putouts. 
·      Paige Seltzer: sophomore, catcher, she’s an unsung hero. She and Lia call their own games, they figure out batters and develop a plan moving forward in the game. Paige has shown incredible improvement from her eighth-grade season. Stronger arm, better in her blocking, and quicker with her transfers with throw downs and pickoffs.

Katie Thayer: Sophmore, since 8th grade she has played 3b for me and is completely fearless. This year about halfway through the season I switched her to shortstop and she has been getting the job done and then some. She brings an ease and calmness to the infield and is extremely levelheaded for her age. Both her and Kayla Indich have been balancing the middle infield and they have fun working side by side. 
Olivia Toto: Senior, This kid has played everywhere for me since 9th grade, wherever I needed her to go there was never a doubt in her. She started off the season for me at short stop and I switched her and Katie Thayer…making this switched made everything flow and made the team better. Toto has been explosive and aggressive at her new home and has found comfort and success playing there. Both her and Sam Kapitansky have been securing the corners.

Nearly all of Thorn’s alumni players from years past have returned to catch these games. 

“The majority of my alumni play or have played in college and come back whenever their season ends,” she noted. 

They all come back to cheer, support, and even sometimes help out in practices.
“I have been blessed every year to always have amazing great kids,” Thorn recanted. “I’m given gifts every year.”

The Cougars next face Clarence High School on Friday, June 7 at Martha Avenue Recreation Park in Bellport in the New York State Class AA semifinals. 


Kennedy’s Ava Goldsmith Wins at International Science Fair

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Kennedy High School senior Ava Goldsmith was among several qualifiers from Long Island who competed in the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles May 7-11.

Goldsmith earned third place in cellular and molecule biology, earning her a $1,000 prize. Her research project, "Targeting of Epichaperome Downregulates HCFC1 Mediated Transcription of Oncogenes: Implications in Breast Cancer Therapy," focuses on a cancer-promoting protein network known as the "epichaperome."

Her study on how targeting this network could be an effective strategy in breast cancer therapies introduces a novel approach in molecular cancer treatments.

Goldsmith, an advanced science research student, achieved this prestigious recognition by securing first place in Cell and Microbiology category at the Long Island fair.

Every year, millions of high school students around the world participate in Regeneron-affiliated science fairs, but only about 1,600 qualify to compete for nearly $5 million in awards, scholarships, and internships at LISEF each May.

View her virtual booth here,

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