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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
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Current News

Mepham’s Yianna Foufas Named Wrestling State Champion

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Three female athletes from Bellmore-Merrick attended the first New York State Public High School Athletic Association’s Girls Wrestling Invitational at the SRC Arena on the campus of Onondaga Community College in Syracuse.

Yianna Foufas and Talia Robles of Mepham High School and Gabriella Schechtman of Kennedy High School competed on Jan. 27.

Schechtman placed fifth in 132 lbs. weight class. She defeated Robles to earn a spot on the podium.

“Gabby has gone above and beyond in the off season training and going to tournaments year round,” said coach Brian DeGaetano. “Her work ethic is well-respected by her teammates and coaches.We are thrilled to see that her hard work and determination is paying off. She has improved 100% since the beginning of the season.”

Foufas placed first in the 114 lbs. weight class and is now the state champion.

“All of the girls were very good and strong,” Foufas said of the competition. “I was very impressed with everyone’s work ethic on the mat.”

She defeated the no. 10 ranked wrestler in the nation by 2-0 in the finals. With 16 seconds left in the match, Foufas was able to score a reversal to secure the victory in what was a highly anticipated and competitive bout.

“We are extremely proud of Yianna for all she has accomplished,” said coach Ken Richards.“Yianna has worked tremendously hard in the wrestling room and in the off-season to get where she is today. It's great to see hard work pay off.”

The weekend before the invitational, Robles competed in the 132 lbs. weight class and defeated a top New York state wrestler from Saugerties at the Eastern States Classic Tournament held at Sullivan County Community College. She finished fourth that weekend but didn’t made it to the podium on Jan. 27.

Thirty-three Long Island females competed at the invitational and three were crowned champions.

Date Added: 1/30/2023

Kennedy Leadership Students Present Cougar Talks

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Students in the Leadership III course at Kennedy High School presented their Cougar Talks program on Jan. 11.  

Nine senior student presenters, who have been a part of the three-year School and Community Leadership program since sophomore year, recited talks about their chosen topics to an audience. 

Luke Feldman’s talk, “Checkmate,” discussed his pastime of playing chess against his grandfather and how the game can be related to everyday human interactions. 

“It is these minute actions that can carry the greatest weight, and if it can happen on a chessboard… it can certainly happen amidst the chaos of everyday life,” he noted. “Even the most seemingly insignificant interaction can have long-lasting positive outcomes. All I’ve tried to do and all I can ask anyone to do is to try to make whatever impacts they may be the best for the person beside you.” 

Dustin Abrams’ talk, “Cory's Little Brother,” talked about the balance of sibling rivalry and being a support system. 

“For all younger siblings, figure out that your older sibling is looking out for you and likely showing you the way,” he said. “For all you older siblings, your younger sibling is looking up to you, trying to catch up to you and very likely needs you.” 

During Savannah LoGiudice’s talk, “Practice Doesn't Make Perfect,” she reminisced about her dance career. 

“Perfection is something we continually strive for and not something we ordinarily achieve,” she said. “It’s the goal. It’s what we work towards.” 

Student presenters included; Luke Feldman – “Checkmate,” Alex Levitt – “Thank You for the Music,” Dustin Abrams – “Cory's Little Brother,” Nicole Giordano – “Never Give Nicole Aux,” Beverly Kleinman – “Golden Peak,” Skyler Poster – “My Best Friend,” Dorien Ford – “2-0-6 (& 5-1-6),” Nick Giannaris – “Do the Things You Love to Do,” Savannah LoGiudice – “Practice Doesn't Make Perfect,” Rachel Oppenheim – “Ask Rachel,” was not present. 

Students Leah Pollack, Matthew Rowe, Benjamin Schwed and Addison Soffer from Leadership I and Emmy Rosenberg and Noah Zinman from Leadership II provided an overview of the Leadership program, which currently has 81 students enrolled. 

Program instructors Kristy Faulkner, Erin Leitzel and Brad Seidman were instrumental in helping the students prepare and organizing the evening’s program.  

The entire program can be viewed on CougarTV’s YouTube channel:

Date Added: 1/13/2023

Two Kennedy Students Named Regeneron Scholars

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Kennedy High School seniors Tyler Bissoondial and Luke Feldman were named Regeneron Science Talent Search Scholars on Jan. 10. This is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors.  

Bissoondial and Feldman were among 300 students chosen nationwide for this distinction.  

“Our two Regeneron Scholars completed three years of independent scientific research in the Kennedy Advanced Science Research program,” explained Robert Soel, a district science chairperson and the district’s STEAM chairperson. “Their research findings are novel and make meaningful contributions to the scientific community.” 

Bissoondial investigated cancer and liver disease. His project is titled, “An Omics Approach to Elucidating the Mechanism of Action for Hepatocellular Carcinoma Development in Diet-Induced Murine Models of Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis.” 

Feldman’s research concerned the nervous system and ALS. His project is titled, “Sulforaphane Mitigates the Phenotypic Expression of ALS in Drosophila melanogaster via Upregulation of the Nrf2 Pathway.” 

Bissoondial is advised by science teacher Barbi Frank, while Feldman is advised by Alexis Vandergoot. 

A total of 15 seniors submitted research projects for consideration in this competition.  

“They began their ASR journey during the Covid shutdown and have consistently demonstrated grit, academic talent, and passion for their independent science research projects, as well as completing extensive research papers and scientific essays in their Regeneron applications,” added Soel. 

Each of the Regeneron Scholars is awarded $2,000 for themselves and $2,000 to support science and research at Kennedy.  

From that select pool of scholars, 40 student finalists are invited to participate in final judging, display their work to the public, meet with notable scientists and compete for awards, including the top award of $250,000. 

Date Added: 1/10/2023


Kennedy Wrestling Clinch Conference Championship

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The Kennedy High School wrestling team clinched the 3A conference on Jan. 11, after defeating Garden City High School, 44-16.  

The team improves to 11-0 with this victory to win their 10th league championship since 1995. 

Coach Brian DeGaetano referred to the match of the night, as Kennedy’s Josh Amiel versus Garden City’s Matt Preston. 

“Both are undefeated and highly ranked in the county,” he explained. “Josh dominated the match and pinned him in the second period.” 

Kennedy wrestlers next face the Nassau County Dual-Meet Championships which begins on Jan. 19.  

“The road gets tougher as we head into the team and individual championships in the coming weeks,” explained DeGaetano, who is also a physical education teacher. “But we are looking forward to the challenge.” 

Ahead of Wednesday night’s match up, 14 seniors were honored as part of Senior Night.  

DeGaetano said he has been “so proud of the atmosphere they have created for this team.” 

Kennedy athletes were also coached by Dan Arkow, Anthony Dushaj and Peter Barros. 

Date Added: 1/12/2023

CHAMP Bakes Cookies for a Cause

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Students in the CHAMP program in the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District baked and decorated 18” long gingerbread men cookies that were raffled off for charity on Dec. 20. 

Pastry Chef Instructor Meredith Ober oversaw the baking project in the CHAMP kitchen housed at John F. Kennedy High School throughout the week. Nearly $450 was donated to UNICEF, which is an agency of the United Nations responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children worldwide. 

Date Added: 12/22/2022

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