skip to main content

Boys Win State Basketball Title

Boys Win State Basketball Title photo
Amityville Memorial High School’s boys varsity basketball team captured the Class A New York State championship with two wins at the Final Four tournament. The team earned the berth after winning the Suffolk County and Long Island championships.

The Warriors defeated Irondequoit High School, 52-42 on March 17. After knocking off the defending state champions, Amityville played Ardsley High School the following day. With a 74-54 win, the boys in red and gray earned their first state title since 2003.

Including the regular season and playoffs, Amityville finished the season with a 27-1 record, and have a 19-game winning streak. Senior captain Josh Serrano had 29 points in the clinching game and Jayson Robinson had 18 points. 

The team was guided by head coach Gordon Thomas and assistant coach Paul Robinson. Season highlights included Josh scoring his 1,500th career point for Amityville and Mr. Thomas earning the Suffolk County Coach of the Year award. 

Amityville Artists Selected to SCALA Show

Amityville Artists Selected to SCALA Show photo

Four art students from Amityville Memorial High School had their work selected for local exhibitions hosted by the Suffolk County Art Leaders Association.

Senior Jennifer Ayala Martinez and sophomores Astrid Dixon and Odalys Murcia were part of SCALA All-County Art Exhibition. The selected pieces included Jennifer’s pen and ink drawing “Identity Hand Design,” Astrid’s colored pencil and gel pen drawing “Pink Lady” and Odalys’s watercolor pencil drawing “Trees.”

Sarah Isaac entered her artwork within the Senior Scholarship portion of the SCALA All-County Exhibition. The students completed their work under the direction of art teachers Jayne Grasso and Heather Rickard. A reception for the show was recently held at the Old Town Hall in Babylon.

Boys Basketball Wins Long Island Title

Boys Basketball Wins Long Island Title photo
Amityville Memorial High School’s boys varsity basketball team brought home the Class A Long Island championship, its first since 2013. The Warriors defeated Nassau County champion Garden City 84-71 on March 10 at Farmingdale State College. 

It was an impressive year for Amityville, which finished with an overall record of 25-1, won the Suffolk County Class A title and the overall Suffolk County title. The team now heads to the state tournament in Binghmaton. The Warriors will take on defending state champion Irondequoit High School, from Rochester, in the first game of the Class A Final Four on March 17 at 9 a.m. 

In the championship game, Jayson Robinson and Josh Serrano paced Amityville with 23 and 29 points, respectively. The team was led by coach Gordon Thomas.

Northeast Celebrates Dr. Seuss

Northeast Celebrates Dr. Seuss photo

Renowned children’s author Dr. Seuss inspired a night of educational exploration at Northeast Elementary School. To celebrate the man born Theodor Seuss Geisel in 1904, the school hosted its annual Dr. Seuss Family Learning Night on March 1.

After playing sight word bingo in the cafeteria, students then rotated through various centers in the gymnasium. There was a bean bag toss with words and a charting activity with goldfish that focused on the mathematical concept of more than and less than. Children used do-a-dots to make hats inspired by “The Cat in the Cat” and took photos at a selfie station using Dr. Seuss-themed props created by the middle school art department. 

Volunteers from the National Junior Honor Society at Edmund W. Miles Middle School assisted the children. Librarian Tina Smith said that all students received a bag with activities they could do with their families at home to reinforce literacy and math skills. 

Speaker Brings Black History Alive at Park Avenue

Speaker Brings Black History Alive at Park Avenue photo

NY1 news anchor Cheryl Wills inspired students at Park Avenue Memorial Elementary to learn more about their family histories.

Ms. Wills, a Long Island resident who speaks at schools across the country, visited Park Avenue on Feb. 26 for Black History Month. She shared the tale of her great-great-great-grandfather Sandy Wills who was a slave in Tennessee and later became a freedom fighter as a member of the United States Army in the Civil War. The story inspired her two books, “The Emancipation of Grandpa Sandy Wills” and “Emancipated: My Family’s Fight for Freedom.” She provided signed copies of each for the school library. 

“The best education is knowing who you are,” Ms. Wills told the students. “We all have incredible stories.”

With nonfiction writing a major component of literacy instruction at Park Avenue, Ms. Wills spoke to students about using primary sources of information when they research a topic. She explained how she used census data and other records to learn about her family history. Ms. Wills encouraged the children to take full advantage of their educational opportunities and asked them to salute their teachers with a round of applause. 

Her visit was coordinated by librarian Timothy Quinn with support from the Amityville Parent-Teacher Council. Mr. Quinn said the presentation supported Black History Month lessons that have taken place at the school throughout February.

Classroom teachers focused on significant yet lesser-known African-American figures in American history. In art, students made Kente cloth designs, African mask scratch art and African necklaces. Music classes featured lessons on how escaping slaves used music as code on the Underground Railroad. 


Class of 2018 Top Graduates Announced

Class of 2018 Top Graduates Announced photo
Class of 2018 Top Graduates Announced photo 2
Class of 2018 Top Graduates Announced photo 3
Amityville Memorial High School has announced its top 10 graduates for the Class of 2018. Trevony Palmer has been named the valedictorian for achieving the highest grade point average among seniors, and Jerinna Solanges is the salutatorian. 

Ranking third through 10th in the class are Isaiah Williams, Eddie Marrero, Gemma Rojas, Shival Sohan, Brandon Gonzalez, Mario Iorio, Ana Candia-Flores and Uhlensky Pierre-Louis.

“I admire these students for their dedication and perseverance,” Principal Maria Andreotti said. “They’ve certainly distinguished themselves among the graduating class. They worked extremely hard and were committed to their studies.”

Trevony will attend the University of Chicago on a full scholarship to study economics or mathematics. He has taken eight Advanced Placement courses in multiple subject areas. Additionally, he is president of the National Honor Society, treasurer of student government, and played junior varsity football in 10th grade.

Jerinna plans to study psychology and is currently deciding among several prestigious universities. In addition to taking numerous Advanced Placement courses, she is a member of the National Honor Society and president of the Tri-M Music Honor Society. She is first chair clarinet in the school band, and conducted Amityville’s marching band at the Newsday Marching Band Festival. With an interest in writing and helping others, she has written several books about teenagers overcoming adversity.

Trevony volunteers in the transport department at Stony Brook University Hospital and Jerinna interns at Cold Spring Harbor National Laboratories studying the decision-making process of rats. Both tutor other students at the Amityville Public Library and have taken courses at Farmingdale State College through the Smart Scholars program. 

Amityville Schools Celebrate Black History Month

Amityville Schools Celebrate Black History Month photo

Students throughout the district marked Black History Month with a series of performances that included skits and songs.

Kindergartners at Northeast Elementary School dressed up in the colors of the rainbow for their singalong, which included “Funga Alafia,” “Sing About Martin,” “This Little Light of Mine” and “Scat Like That.” The performance closed with a short musical production, “The Crayon Box That Talked,” which celebrates the creation of harmony through diversity.

Northwest Elementary School hosted an evening presentation for families in which students depicted renowned activists, athletes and entertainers and also recreated significant moments in history. The show started with a scene of two children at home deciding what to watch on television. They flipped through various channels and learned more about Black history.

On the History Channel, they saw “live” reporting from the news field at the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott, Ruby Bridges becoming the first African-American child to attend school in New Orleans and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. making his “I Have a Dream Speech.” The Oprah Winfrey Show included interviews with C.J. Walker, Will Smith and President Barack Obama, ESPN featured clips on gymnast Simone Biles, boxer Muhammad Ali and basketball player LeBron James, and the music channel had performances by the third-grade Select Choir of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” sometimes referred to as the black national anthem, “I’ve Been to Harlem” and a Kwanzaa poem. 

Edmund W. Miles Middle School students performed “A Walk Through Time.” It focused on a student who questioned her teacher on why she needed to learn Black history. Later, she had a dream in which she was spoken to by Harriet Tubman, Marcus Garvey and Thurgood Marshall, experienced music by Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and TLC, and saw a reenactment of a debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama on his path to becoming the Democratic presidential nominee in 2008.

Amityville Memorial High School’s presentation included individual and group performances. Musical acts included the “Rise Up,” “Shades of Blue” and a modern African dance. There were informational pieces on African-American inventors and abolitionists, historically black colleges and universities, and the Black Panther Party movement. The audience experienced African-American history in both the United States and worldwide through music and the spoken word.

At Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School, the theme for black history night was emancipation. Students focused on black history figures who played keys parts in the freeing of the slaves as well as the Emancipation Proclamation. The chorus performed the Black National Anthem ("Lift Every Voice") as well as sang along to the story, "Follow the Drinking Gourd," which relates to journey of the underground railroad. There was also had a step performance. Mr. Williams, the MC played a Trivia game at the end with parents and students using information from the presentations throughout the night.


Thinking Like a Team at Park Avenue

Thinking Like a Team at Park Avenue photo
Thinking Like a Team at Park Avenue photo 2
Teamwork was the focus of an assembly hosted by the New York Islanders hockey team at Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School on Feb. 16.

Program host Dina Tsiorvas, who was joined by Islanders mascot Sparky the Dragon, spoke to sixth-graders about the importance of teamwork and how working together, as either a class or a school, can accomplish more than doing something alone. To demonstrate this point, one student and one staff members had a race to dress in goalie equipment. The student had the assistance of his classmates, while the staff member — Director of Athletics, Physical Education and Health Evan Farkas — tried to accomplish the task solo. 

Students were also encouraged to register for the “Blades for Grades” program, in which earning good grades could score them two tickets to a future Islanders game.

Principal Robyn Santiago said that the program was offered to sixth-graders to help them develop their interpersonal skills as they prepare to enter middle school. She added that as they get older and have access to more opportunities such as clubs and sports, teamwork takes on a greater importance.  

Boys Earn County Hoops Title

Boys Earn County Hoops Title photo
The Amityville Memorial High School boys varsity basketball team is headed to the Long Island Championship. With an 83-66 win over Westhampton on Feb. 23 at SUNY Farmingdale, the Warriors captured the Suffolk County Class A title.

The team, led by the strong play of captain and returning All-Long Island player Josh Serrano as well as fellow seniors Jayson Robinson and Julius Goddard, finished with a regular season record of 19-1. The Warriors were undefeated in conference play. One of the highlights of the season was the Jan. 31 game against Hampton Bays in which Josh scored his 1,500th career point for Amityville.

Head coach Gordon Thomas was named the league Coach of the Year. He was assisted by Paul Robinson.

Evan Farkas, the director of athletics, physical education and health, said the team was full of talented, fast and athletic players who worked hard to achieve their goal of capturing a county title.

“They had a great season,” Mr. Farkas said. “It was their mission to do everything they needed to do, on the court and off the court, to accomplish this.”

The Warriors will play the Nassau County Class A champion in the Long Island title game on March 10, at 6 p.m., at SUNY Farmingdale. The winner moves on to the state championship tournament. 

Message from the Superintendent of Schools Regarding School Safety


Deonte Wilson Wins State Wrestling Title

Deonte Wilson Wins State Wrestling Title photo
Amityville Memorial High School wrestler Deonte Wilson is a New York State champion. With four match wins in the state finals, the senior captured the title in the 285-pound weight class.

Deonte finished the season with a 31-2 record, then won his second consecutive Suffolk County championship on Feb. 11 at Suffolk County Community College. That earned him a berth in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association’s 2018 wrestling championships at the Times Union Center in Albany on Feb. 23 and 24, which he entered as the top-seeded wrestler in his weight class. With a win in the finals over a wrestler from Commack, he became Amityville’s first state champion in 17 years. 

“Deonte is a model athlete,” said Evan Farkas, director of athletics, physical education and health. “He leads by example and is a role model to our younger athletes. He is disciplined, has a great work ethic and is overall an amazing student.”

Deonte was led this season by head coach Greg McCoy and assistant coaches Mike Albano, Pat Fallot and Billy Maisel. From March 23-25, Deonte will compete at the National High School Coaches Association competition in Virginia Beach. He plans to continue wrestling in college and is in the process of selecting a school. 

Northwest Students Love a Good Book

Northwest Students Love a Good Book photo
Northwest Students Love a Good Book photo 2
Second-graders at Northwest Elementary School District spent Valentine’s Day learning to love. Love reading, that is. 

Teacher Adeline Karniewich hosted Love a Book Day on Feb. 14. Her goal was to teach children that books are their friends. The students selected books and read independently and with partners. There were also guest readers throughout the day. Principal Kathleen Hyland got in Valentine’s Day spirit by reading “Love” by Matt de la Pena.

Northeast Marks 100-Day Milestone

Northeast Marks 100-Day Milestone Pic

Kindergartners at Northeast Elementary School celebrated a milestone on Feb. 13, as it was the 100th day of the year in Amityville. Many children wore festive hats declaring themselves “100 Days Smarter” while others dressed up as if they were 100 years old.

Students participated in various math, literacy and art activities. They wrote short stories based on the prompt, “When I’m 100 years old,” counted 100 Fruit Loops to make special necklaces and stamped 100 dots on paper plates to look like gumball machines.

Request for Transportation to Non-Public Schools

April 9, 2018 is the deadline to submit an application for transportation to a non public school. The transportation office is open Monday – Friday 8:00am- 3:00pm and will also be open February 21 & 22 between 8:30am-2:30pm, to receive applications. You may mail your application to the District office at 150 Park Ave, Amityville, NY 11701, and a receipt will be mailed back. Any questions, please contact the transportation office at (631) 565-6021.


Students Tapped for Local Music Festivals

Students Tapped for Local Music Festivals photo

A dozen students were selected to represent the district at a pair of music festivals.

Eleven students will participate in the Suffolk County Music Educators’ Association All-County festival in March. Choral students Shacquan Swaby and Jordan Tobin were chosen from Amityville Memorial High School. Performers from Edmund W. Miles Middle School will include vocalists Jeff Cruz and Keiry Martinez, and violinist Kayla Marrero. 

From Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School, band students Donovan Graham Martinez (bass clarinet) and Tatiana Martinez (oboe) were selected. Alanna Gayle will play the violin with the All-County orchestra, and Cherice Quintyne-Best, Katya Ramos Rojas and Madeline Shingleton will join the chorus. 

Kayla and Madeline, as well as Edmund W. Miles Middle School ninth-grader Alex Diaz, all participated in the Long Island Strings Festival in January. Alex played the viola with the secondary school orchestra, Kayla played the violin with the seventh- and eighth-grade orchestra, and Madeline was a cellist with the sixth-grade orchestra. 

“We congratulate these fine young musicians, along with their parents and music teachers, on being selected to participate and perform in these prestigious festivals,” said Director of Fine Arts Dr. Fran Fernandez. 



Josh Serrano Nets 1,500th Career Point

Josh Serrano Nets 1,500th Career Point Pic
The district congratulates boys basketball player Josh Serrano, who recently scored his 1,500th point as a member of Warriors. The senior achieved the milestone on a three-point shot in a home game against Hampton Bays on Jan. 31. 

This is Josh’s fourth season on the varsity squad, and he leads the Warriors in scoring. For his accomplishment, Josh was named as the male Athlete of the Week in Section XI Athletics by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association. 

Student Explore Health Care Professions

Student Explore Health Care Professions photo
Amityville Memorial High School students who participated in a summer medical program were recognized at the district’s Board of Education meeting on Jan. 12.

Ten Amityville Memorial High School students attended the two-week Health Careers Academic and Readiness Excellence program through the School of Medicine at Stony Brook University. HCARE is designed to give high school students an introduction to various professions in the health care field. 

HCARE administrator, Erik Flynn, attended the board meeting to present certificates and white coats to the participants. He then led the students in the white coat oath.

Northwest Instructional Coach Honored by ASSET

Northwest Instructional Coach Honored by ASSET photo
Lorie Beard, the instructional coach at Northwest Elementary School, was recognized at the annual Bright Lights luncheon hosted by the Association of Suffolk Supervisors for Educational Technologies.  

As the instructional coach for the past three years at Northwest, Ms. Beard works with teachers on all facets of the curriculum, with technology integration becoming an increasing part of her role. She supports the district’s first-, second- and third-grade classes by helping teachers grow their technology skills through classroom support and professional development opportunities. 

Chromebooks have become a popular learning tool and Ms. Beard has worked with teachers to create technology-based lessons. She uses Google’s GSuite as a method for communication and collaboration on all academic fronts and also uses technology to share and manage student data to help drive instructional decisions.  

Ms. Beard has been working to create “one place access” for Northwest’s English language arts curriculum. The expanding Google Document includes links to the standards, lessons and useful resources for teachers. 

“It’s definitely an honor and nice to be recognized,” she said of the Bright Lights award. “Sometimes you’re just doing your thing, and this gives you a moment to pause and reflect, and realize that you are doing good work.”

Ms. Beard was nominated by Carole Polney, the assistant superintendent for technology and administrative services, a past president of ASSET. They serve as co-chairs of Amityville’s Technology Committee.

“Lorie is an invaluable member of the staff at her building and always supports district technology efforts with enthusiasm,” Ms. Polney said. “She works with teachers so they can empower each other, as well as their students.” 

Amityville students bring kindness to their peers

Amityville students bring kindness to their peers photo

Students teaching students was the basis of a character education lesson that recently took place at Northwest Elementary School.

A group of about 30 ninth-graders from Edmund W. Miles Middle School made the short journey to Northwest on Jan. 12. They split into teams and visited third-grade classrooms to present their Positive Interactions program. The middle school students emphasized friendship, integrity, kindness and respect to their younger peers. 

The presentation included videos on bullying and cyberbullying. The ninth-graders also led small-group discussions in which they presented various scenarios to the third-graders, and talked about how to handle each situation. The scenarios were circumstances that could happen inside or outside of school, and included topics such as how to deal with being teased, how to handle untrue rumors and how to stick up for friends.

The program was organized by ninth-grade social studies teacher Jack Zider and third-grade teacher Jennifer Flyntz-Zider. Student facilitators were chosen from the National Junior Honor Society and from teacher recommendations. 

Ms. Flyntz-Zider said the hope is that the message will stay in the hearts and minds of the students as they get older so that they “treat each other the right way.”

Robotics Competition a First for Middle School Team

Robotics Competition a First for Middle School Team photo
Robotics Competition a First for Middle School Team photo 2
Robotics Competition a First for Middle School Team photo 3
The robotics club at Edmund W. Miles Middle School recently took part in its first competition. The Amityville Robot Warriors competed against teams from across Long Island at the Lego First event at Great Hollow Middle School in Nesconset on Jan. 21.

The team finished ninth out of 15 teams. Amityville students spent approximately 20 hours working afterschool in the three weeks leading up to the competition. They had to built robots, then program them to complete missions without any human intervention. 

Teams were given a problem facing communities and had to incorporate a solution into their designs. This year’s theme was hydro dynamics, and students had to explore the location, use, storage and movement of water. 

Amityville also received the Judges Award, a special recognition given to a team that stands out for reasons other than the performance of its robot, such as perseverance, dedication and overcoming adversity. 

Team members included seventh-graders Wilnory Bouzy, Jose Hernandez, Hasslyn Hurtado, Luca Mazzilli and Kaya McCloud and eighth-graders Alex Hargrove, Randy Jerez and Jiovani Saint Jean, under the direction of their coach, technology teacher John Rodriguez.

“The team worked extremely hard and dedicated themselves to the process,” Mr. Rodriguez said. “Each team member enjoyed the experience as the competition hall was buzzing with excitement and activity. There were teams that have been competing for years, and the Amityville Robot Warriors finished ahead of six more experienced teams. The community should be proud.”

Learning has a Winter Twist at Northwest

Learning has a Winter Twist at Northwest photo

More than 100 students, along with family members, came out to the Winter Wonderland family learning night at Northwest Elementary School in the Amityville Union Free School District on Jan. 18.

Children participated in literacy, math, science and art activities. The program began with a group singalong before students went into classrooms to work on various projects. They made snowman thermometer crafts and ornaments filled with fake snow, with help from volunteers from the National Junior Honor Society at Edmund W. Miles Middle School. Teachers read aloud winter-themed books and led snowman math games on the Smart Board. 

Each student was able to take home a goodie bag and a free book, in addition to their crafts. Parents left with educational resources so they could do reading and math activities with their children at home. The evening was coordinated by the Winter Wonderland committee led by librarian Christine Bloom, social worker Debra Lee and art teacher Lydia Robinson.

Forensics Class Comes to Life

Forensics Class Comes to Life photo

Forensics students at Amityville Memorial High School put their deductive skills to the test during a three-day lesson using Breakout EDU kits. They investigated a mock crime scene in the library, conducted interviews and determined suspects and motives. From all the clues, students had to figure out combinations to a series of locks.

The lesson was planned by librarian Kathryn Beleckas and forensics teacher Jenna Ellis. Students had to apply the investigative skills they have been learning throughout the year to “break out.” They interviewed other teachers who played different characters in the scenario and had to identify their top suspect, which served as the clue to open the final lock. It turned out to be Spanish teacher Reynaldo Bueno, who said he enjoyed taking part in the activity.

Ms. Ellis explained that the activity gave students an opportunity to apply the course content through hands-on inquiry. They had to work in teams to collect evidence and analyze data. Students completed police and witness reports, evidence logs, fingerprint sheets and crime scene sketches. 

Senior Jada Roberts said the breakout activity made her feel like a part of a television crime show, and it has her considering a career in forensics. Classmate Argelio Reyes said it brought the classroom lessons to life, such as when he had to take fingerprints.  

“It was interesting to find all of the clues,” said junior Zainab Mujeeb. “I felt like a real forensic scientist.”

Author Inspires Young Writers at Northwest

Author Inspires Young Writers at Northwest photo
Author Inspires Young Writers at Northwest photo 2
Author Inspires Young Writers at Northwest photo 3
Author Inspires Young Writers at Northwest photo 4
When children work on writing assignments at Northwest Elementary School in the Amityville Union Free School District, they follow the same process used by authors. They received some inspiration when popular children’s author and illustrator Chris Soentpiet visited the school on Jan. 11.

During presentations for each grade, Soentpiet discussed how he comes up with ideas for stories and how he works with other authors to create illustrations for their books. He explained that he uses real children as models for his book characters, and drew some quick sketches based on Northwest students. He ended with a simple message to students: “Follow your dreams and believe in yourselves.” 

The young writers, who are taught to think of themselves as authors during Teacher’s College Writing Workshop activities, then were able to pick his brain during question and answer sessions. 

“This gives students something to aspire to,” said Lorie Beard, the instructional coach at Northwest, who coordinated the author visit. “Mr. Soentpiet’s visit brings the writing process to life from someone who does it for a living.” 
Monday, March 19, 2018