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Video: Character Counts at Park Avenue

Video: Character Counts at Park Avenue

Learn how students at Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School live by the six pillars of character.

 

Middle School Boasts Educators of Excellence

Middle School Boasts Educators of Excellence Photo
Three educators from Edmund W. Miles Middle School in the Amityville Union Free School District were honored at Teacher Appreciation Awards Night hosted by Suffolk County Legislature Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory.

The honorees were ninth-grade guidance counselor Kerry Kearney, social studies chairwoman and ninth-grade teacher Jaclyn O’Hagan and eighth-grade special education teacher Renee Silone. They were recognized for working above and beyond what is required, collaborating with colleagues to improve student achievement, inspiring students to become lifelong learners and for making a positive impact on education.

“These educators have extraordinary relationships with our students, and our students really look up to them,” said Principal Edward Plaia. “Their expectations are high, they make no excuses and are always willing to learn and grow themselves. They epitomize excellence.”


Park Avenue Student Makes His Own Music

Park Avenue Student Makes His Own Music Photo
Donovan Graham, a student at Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School, recently took his interest in music to the next level when he composed a piece that was played at the school’s spring concert.

The fifth-grader used music-writing software Noteflight, to create a ballad-style piece, “Bird Song,” approximately two and a half minutes long. Donovan conducted a woodwind ensemble comprised of teachers and fellow students, which he named Super Sound.

Music teacher Jolene Maccarone said she was very impressed when he brought her the music, and very few changes were made before the performance. She said this was the first time in her 23 years teaching at Park Avenue that a student-written piece was included in a school concert.

“His enthusiasm and his passion for music stimulates his creativity,” she said. “He’s a great musician. Donovan has only been playing for two years and he can play two instruments beyond his level.”

Donovan plays bass clarinet in the fifth-grade band and clarinet in the sixth-grade band. He is now composing a piece for a brass ensemble that he hopes will be performed at a school concert next year.


Celebrating Father’s Day at Northeast School

Celebrating Father’s Day at Northeast School Photo

Families came together at Northeast Elementary School on June 9 for the pre-K Father’s Day celebration. Children and their fathers or special guests took advantage of the warm, sunny weather by doing activities together in the courtyard. They painted birdhouses, participated in hula-hoop contests and played hopscotch.

Amityville Seniors Take a Trip Down Memory Lane

Amityville Seniors Take a Trip Down Memory Lane  Photo

An Amityville Memorial High School tradition continued on June 8 when the soon-to-be graduates visited each school in the district. The students filled five buses which traveled from building to building for the annual Senior Walk.

Clad in their caps and gowns and with “Pomp and Circumstance” blaring over the public address systems, the seniors walked through the halls of their former elementary schools and middle school, which were lined with today’s students. Many stopped to high-five the admiring youngsters or hug their former teachers.

“I heard over and over again from the students that the Senior Walk was a ‘walk down memory lane,’” said Acting Principal Dr. Lois Etzel. “For the younger students, it was very motivating for them to see the seniors in their caps and gowns parading through the halls.”  

The Senior Walk capped off a week of celebratory activities including senior awards, Senior Athlete College Celebration Day and sports awards.  



The Amityville Tide: Spring 2017 Edition

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View the latest district newsletter.

Amityville Athletes Make College Commitments

Amityville Athletes Make College Commitments Photo

Sixteen seniors at Amityville Memorial High School will continue their athletic pursuits at the next level as they will take their talents to colleges across Long Island, New York and the United States. They were honored at Senior Athlete College Celebration Day on June 2.

The Suffolk County champion boys track and field team will have six of its members compete for college squads including Emmanuel Oguntoye and Alijah Benymon at Virginia State University, Terrance Hinds at Bowie State University, Jowell Dixon at the University at Albany, Brandon Gilpin at Morehouse College and Kalvin O’Neal at Johnson C. Smith University. Kayla Miller, from the girls track and field team, also will head to Johnson C. Smith University.

La’Niya Clark, who scored her 1,000th career point earlier this year, will suit up for the SUNY Old Westbury basketball team. Destiny Knox will play volleyball at Nassau Community College and Diana Bernard will join the softball team at Suffolk Community College.

Three members of the Long Island champion boys soccer team will continue playing including Timothy Hermann for New England College, Aaron Mathurin for Morrisville State College and Elvis Amaya for St. Joseph’s College. Denis Douglas will play football for Wagner College, Nicholas Clark joins the football team at Monroe College and Marquell Sterling will play basketball for St. Thomas Aquinas College.

During the event, the first to be live-streamed on the school district’s website, each athlete spoke about their future plans, thanked those who have supported them over the year, and put on the hat of their new school. Joining in the celebration were administrators, coaches and family members. 

“We’re very proud of these young men and women for all of their accomplishments at Amityville Memorial High School,” said Athletic Director Evan Farkas. “We look forward to seeing them excel in college, both in the classroom and on the playing field.”



Middle School Library Earns Recognition

Middle School Library Earns Recognition Photo
The library at Edmund W. Miles Middle recently received an Advanced Level Certificate as a Statewide Internet Ready Library.

To qualify for this distinction, a school library must meet certain requirements including minimum Internet connection and download speeds, access to online databases and library catalogs, available computer workstations with printing capability, the ability to deliver downloadable or streaming digital content, remote access to library services and technology training opportunities.

Librarian Lynn Cesiro accepted the award at the Western Suffolk BOCES Leadership and Information Symposium.

Senior Awards

Senior Awards Photo
View all of the senior awards at Amityville Memorial High School.

Reading Skills Take Center Stage at Northwest

Reading Skills Take Center Stage at Northwest Photo
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Popular children’s characters were recently found in a second-grade classroom at Northwest Elementary School in the Amityville Union Free School District during fairy tale Reader’s Theater.

Students in Jenny Smith’s class performed “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” “Jack and the Beanstalk” and “Little Red Riding Hood” for their parents. The children dressed up as the characters and even used props such as a picnic basket and paper beanstalk. 

Ms. Smith said that Reader’s Theater helps students improve their fluency, their ability to read with expression and their confidence in reading and public speaking. One of the skills practiced in class is re-reading books to improve comprehension and word recognition, and the scripts proved to be the perfect motivator to get students to read and read again. 

Amityville Seniors Awarded for Achievements

Amityville Seniors Awarded for Achievements Photo

More than 100 seniors at Amityville Memorial High School were recognized for their academic accomplishments and service to their school and community at the annual Senior Awards Ceremony on June 1.

Students received certificates for their achievement in various classes and their leadership in school clubs. Several local organizations, businesses and families sponsored scholarships. Guidance counselors Maria Leon-Pineros, Stacy Murphy and Jacqueline Noon read off each student’s awards and post-high school plans. 

“June is a wonderful month for celebrations, especially for our graduating class of 2017,” said Superintendent Dr. Mary T. Kelly in congratulating not only the seniors but also all those who have supported them. 

Joining in the celebration were family members, Board of Education trustees and administrators. The ceremony included remarks from Acting Principal Dr. Lois Etzel, a video tribute to the top 25 graduates and a photo montage. A reception followed in the courtyard. 

Top Graduate Honored at Valedictorians Luncheon

Top Graduate Honored at Valedictorians Luncheon Photo
The district congratulates Amityville Memorial High School senior Esteban Idrovo Ponce, who was honored at the Suffolk County School Superintendent’s Association 23rd annual valedictorians luncheon on June 1 at the Hyatt Regency Wind Watch Hotel in Hauppauge. The event honored the top graduates from Suffolk County’s Class of 2017. Esteban, who earned the top spot in his class with a weighted grade point average of 112.13, was joined by Board of Education President Terry Fulton, Superintendent Dr. Mary T. Kelly, Acting Principal Dr. Lois Etzel, guidance counselor Jacqueline Noon and his family.

Northwest Students Share Poetry in a Café Setting

Northwest Students Share Poetry in a Café Setting Photo

After writing poems for six weeks, second-graders at Northwest Elementary School were given a forum to share their work. Teacher Franca Adams recently welcomed parents to the Adams Family Poetry Café. To simulate a real-life poetry reading, the room was illuminated with battery-powered candles and guests were encouraged to snap their fingers instead of applauding.

After a group poetry reading, children came up one-by-one to read a piece. Ms. Adams said that each student wrote about two dozen poems during the poetry unit using various techniques. Everyone selected a favorite piece to share at the poetry café with topics ranging from watermelons to dogs to monster trucks.





Art Shows Have Amityville’s Touch

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Several students from the district were recognized for their contributions to local art shows.

At Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School, fourth-graders Jesus Barrios, Timothy Pratt and Emma Reme, and sixth-graders Messiah Marshall, Amaya Nelson and Makayla Warrick had their pieces selected for the Suffolk County Arts Leaders Association children’s art show. The SCALA show was held at Old Town Hall in Babylon.

Messiah and fifth-grader Aysia Francis represented their school in the Colors of Long Island Art Exhibition at the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook. All students completed their work under the direction of art teacher Susan Zaratin.

Astrid Dixon, a ninth-grader at Edmund W. Miles Middle School, and her art teacher, Nicole Scoca, will have their self-portraits displayed in the sixth annual SCALA Invitational Art Show at Farmingdale State College. Suffolk County art students have their exceptional artwork on display next to the artwork of their teachers in a side-by-side format. The reception will take place on Saturday, June 3 from noon to 2 p.m. in the Memorial Gallery of Hale Hall and the show runs through June 8.

Eight students represented the district in the 14th annual 12x12 High School Art Exhibition at LIU Post including ninth-graders Odalys Murcia and Ebony Toney, 10th graders Milagro Arevalo, Sharmin Arshad, Angela Kalin and Katherin Rojas and seniors Christina Brown and Kayla James. There art teachers are Nicole Scoca, Jennifer Dibble, Jayne Grasso, Heather Rickard and Nicole Pappas.

Aleyna Kokoglu, a student at Amityville Memorial High School, received the Visitor’s Choice Award in the Long Island’s Best Art Exhibition/Competition this year for her artwork, “Elegance.” He piece was exhibited at the Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington.

National Junior Honor Society Welcomes New Members

National Junior Honor Society Welcomes New Members Photo

Sixteen students were recognized for their academic achievements and good character when they were inducted into the National Junior Honor Society at Edmund W. Miles Middle School in the Amityville Union Free School District.

The afternoon ceremony on May 15 featured a candle-lighting ceremony to mark the five traits required for membership: scholarship, leadership, service, character and citizenship. Speakers included Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mary T. Kelly, Principal Edward Plaia and Assistant Principal Kristy Pagliari, who told the inductees to continue to embrace those values.  

Honor society members, under the direction of adviser Carlee Wallenstein, perform several community service activities a year. They volunteer at the family learning nights at Northeast and Northwest elementary schools and raise money for the Make-A-Wish foundation.

The new members are Yaneli Amaya, Mikhail Ankudovych, Saniya Bryant, Melissa Contreras, Brandon Dennis, Sanabria Denixon, Brandon Fernandez, Julianna Figueroa, David Fuentes, Alex Hargrove, Randy Jerez, Andielynn Llama, Gianely McCatty, Samanta Molina, Scott Pineda and Samirah Rouzier. They were joined by family members and their fellow seventh-grade classmates.

“These students are our future,” Mr. Plaia said. “Our future is bright because they are going to be in charge.”




Learning With Legos at Northwest

Learning With Legos at Northwest Photo

Legos are the newest educational tool in Margaret Brooks’ first-grade class at Northwest Elementary School. Twice a week, her students use the popular building blocks to participate in STEM activities, reinforcing skills in science, technology engineering and math.

Each student has his or her own Lego kit complete with dozens of blocks in different sizes and colors. The children are tasked with building projects from the LearnToLearn Lego Education curriculum pack. So far, they have made bridges, wheelchairs and machines.

After the children were introduced to the kits, they earned their building licenses. They learned that in order to successfully complete each project, they must follow the engineering process: plan and design, construct and test.

Ms. Brooks said that the students are developing their problem-solving skills and learning how to work together through engaging, hands-on activities.

Park Avenue Students Say ‘No’ to Bullying

Park Avenue Students Say ‘No’ to Bullying Photo
Two students from Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School were recognized by Child Abuse Prevention Services for their efforts to fight bullying through art.

Fourth-graders Tiffany Asbell and Hilary Escobar Mejia took part in the CAPS bullying prevention poster contest, and were both awarded honorable mention. The theme of Tiffany’s poster was “Be sure to taste your words before you spit them out,” and the slogan for Hilary’s piece was “Stop the bullying. Let’s be friends.”

The students created the posters after participating in anti-bullying workshop at the school, presented by CAPS, as part of Park Avenue’s character education program.


Thanking the Moms of Northeast

Thanking the Moms of Northeast Photo

Smiles from ear to ear could be found on the faces of prekindergarten students at Northeast Elementary School in the Amityville Union Free School District and their mothers who came together on May 12.

The school hosted its annual Mother’s Day Tea, which began with the students performing songs for their special guests including “Mommy, Mommy, I Love You Mommy,” “You’re My Mom,” “If I Had a Little Red Box,” “L.O.V.E.” and “Skidamarink.” Children and their mothers then shared iced tea, juice and cookies at tables draped in colorful clothes.

The students dressed up for the occasion with the boys in shirts and ties and girls in dresses. They presented handmade gifts to their mothers such as drawings, picture frames, flower crafts, cards and necklaces.  

Said teacher Barbara Perez, “It was a beautiful day for mothers and children to come together, and for us to show appreciation to the mothers.”

Video: A Focus on Community Service

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Students at Edmund W. Miles Middle School participate in numerous community service initiatives and talk about why it’s important to give back. 

Passion Through Poetry at Middle School

Passion Through Poetry at Middle School Photo

Students and staff celebrated the written word at Edmund W. Miles Middle School in the Amityville Union Free School District, which hosted its fourth annual Poetry Slam and Literacy Night on May 1.

As guests arrived, they received booklets featuring 230 original poems written by seventh- through ninth-graders. Several dozen students got on stage to share their poems, which were written on topics that evidenced their individual interests and passions. 

The presentation also included a video featuring Amityville students in “Just Read On,” a parody of the Aoki song “Just Hold On.” Following the poetry slam, students visited the library and filled up bags with free books, many of which were donated by the Book Fairies. Dinner and raffles followed in the cafeteria. The event was organized by librarian Lynn Cesiro with support from the Middle School Literacy Team, ELA teachers and administrators.



Aspiring Scientists Bring Pride to Amityville

Aspiring Scientists Bring Pride to Amityville Photo
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Students from the district’s independent science research program took home awards at the 2017 STEM Diversity Summit hosted by Farmingdale State College. This year’s theme was “Broadening the STEM/STEAM Education Pipeline and Workforce.”

A team of ninth-graders from Edmund W. Miles Middle School won first place in the Technology category for their project, “A Targeted Molecular Modeling Approach to Find Novel Treatments for Polycythemia Vera.” The students, Jeffrey Garcia, Nathalie Larin, Jazmin Ruiz-Marcelo, Amelia Tisk, Alexa Victor and Z’Dhanne Williams, presented their findings on the rare blood disorder and their use of molecular modeling software.

An eighth-grade team from the middle school earned fourth place for their project, “Scientific Practices and Our Open Ecosystem” in the Life category. The group, consisting of Kaya Branscum, Alexander Diaz, Shawn Fields, Myla Griffin, Brianna McQueen, Amber Palmer and Lenesha Swan, established a tank with a fish, java moss, and beneficial bacteria, and discussed and maintained the nitrogen cycle within the tank.

The two groups were mentored by science research teacher Alexis Charles. The future scientists were recognized publicly at the April 19 Board of Education meeting by Farmingdale’s Executive Assistant to the President Dr. Veronica Henry.

‘Lion King’ This Weekend at Middle School

‘Lion King’ This Weekend at Middle School Photo
The Edmund W. Miles Middle School Drama Club will present Disney’s “The Lion King Jr.” on Friday, May 12 and Saturday, May 13. Show times are 7:30 p.m. in the middle school gymnasium.

The play features a cast of 20 student-actors. Lead roles will be played by Saniya Bryant as young Simba, Levi McCatty as older Simba, Justin Bethea as Scar, Amelia Tisk as Shenzi, Trinity Tobin as Nala and Trey Fulton as Mufasa. Students from Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School will perform as lionesses.

The director is Gerald Asbell and the assistant director is Carl Ferrara, along with support from Melissa Asbell, Erik Lee and Ginger Lee. High school students assisted with set construction.

Tickets are $5 each, and at Saturday’s show two people will be admitted for the price of one.  

Three Cheers for Amityville High School band

Three Cheers for Amityville High School band Pic 1
The Amityville Memorial High School Band received numerous honors for its performance during its assessment trip to Music in the Parks in Westfield, Massachusetts on April 28.  

The band, under the direction of Brian Wishin, received a rating of “Superior” for its performance, the highest classification that could have been earned. It also earned first place for bands overall within the festival and the Esprit De Corps award which acknowledged the ensemble that showed best overall performance, stage presence and behavior throughout the festival.

“As the recipient of these three awards, the Amityville Memorial High School band was the most decorated ensemble within this performance assessment festival,” said Dr. Frances Fernandez, director of fine arts. “The district congratulates the band members and Mr. Wishin on this outstanding accomplishment.”


Middle School Students Hear Anti-Bullying Message

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A powerful story about the tragic consequences of bullying that has been told at schools across the nation made a lasting impression on students at Edmund W. Miles Middle School.

In an effort to raise awareness about bullying and cyberbullying, the school hosted “Ryan’s Story,” in which John Halligan chronicled the life of his son, the bullying he endured and his eventual suicide. The presentation began with a slideshow of pictures and videos of Ryan, followed by Halligan recounting the struggles the young boy faced.

Halligan went on to speak of the emotional toll that the death took on Ryan’s family and friends. He made comparisons to the technology used by teenagers then and now, noting that texting and social media has replaced instant messaging and chat rooms as ways for bullies to hide behind their screens.

Bullies get their power from having an audience and Halligan said that those who act as bystanders are just as guilty. He said that students should use peer pressure a positive tool by encouraging their friends to make good decisions and treat others with respect and dignity.

Halligan’s message was that “any ink blot could be turned into a butterfly,” meaning that it’s never too late for someone to become a good person. He expressed hope that anyone hearing his message who has bullied others would think twice about their actions and apologize to the people they have mistreated.

“Being an upstander and sticking up for each other is a huge component of our anti-bullying program,” Principal Edward Plaia said. “We want our students to follow the golden rule — treat people the way you want to be treated.”

13 Amityville Educators Earn Tenure

13 Amityville Educators Earn Tenure Photo
The Amityville Board of Education awarded tenure to 13 staff members at its monthly meeting on April 19.

Three administrators received tenure including Edward Plaia, principal of Edmund W. Miles Middle School; Kristy Pagliari, assistant principal of the middle school; and Sandra Parmentier, assistant administrator for pupil personnel services and special education.

Teachers earning tenure were Jennifer Ellis (high school, science); Christopher Gannon (high school, health); Ally Kretz (special education, middle school); William Kretz (high school, special education); Krystle Kuletsky (Park Avenue, special education); Kelly Morenus (high school, social studies); Sylvin Ramgadoo (Northwest, third-grade); Jack Zider (middle school, social studies); and Corey Zwerling (high school, mathematics). Teacher assistant Lauren Baum also received tenure, and the board also recognized Park Avenue ENL teacher Nicole Steinberg who earned it in January.

Superintendent Dr. Mary T. Kelly said all probationary employees go through a rigorous review process and everyone awarded tenure is well-deserving. “I am so pleased to call them my colleagues,” she said, “and so proud of the work they’ve done.”

The recipients were also congratulated by leaders from the Amityville Teachers Assoication and the Amityville Administrators Association.


District Congratulates Scholar Athletes

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Video: Northeast Family Learning Night

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Students Become the Teachers in Amityville

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Eight students from Amityville Memorial High School got to experience the classroom from the other side, as they spent a day as teachers at Northwest Elementary School.

Split into teams of four, one group worked with a first-grade class and the other with a second-grade class. They were trained through Junior Achievement, a volunteer-delivered program to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in the global economy.

The young teachers led literacy and math activities through Junior Achievement’s curriculum that focused on communities, families and careers. Elementary students got to explore the business world by starting their own pretend company and learn about democracy by participating in a mock vote.

Karen Gross, the transition coordinator for the Amityville Union Free School District, said the high school students who took part in the program are interested in careers working with children. This opportunity provided them with needed organization and leadership skills while teaching them how to be prepared for the workplace such as dressing professionally. In a program that focused on citizenship, they demonstrated for Northwest students just how to be good citizens.

“This was a good experience,” added junior Annastassia Baines. “We set an example for the younger kids so they can be role models in the future.”


Students Celebrate Earth Day at Northwest

Students Celebrate Earth Day at Northwest Photo

To celebrate Earth Day, students at Northwest Elementary School participated in literacy, science and art activities to learn how to make the planet a better place.

First-graders in Kristina Komsic’s class used tracings of their hands and blue and green paper circles to create “I’ve Got the Whole World in My Hands” posters. They also wrote sentences about what they can do to protect the planet.

In Nancy Davi-Ortiz’s second-grade class, children learned about the life cycle of plants by sprouting lima beans. They placed their beans into mason jars, which are more environmentally friendly than plastic bags, and added a paper towel and water. Once the beans sprout, they will plant them in small pots to bring home in time for Mother’s Day. The students also watched a video about the harmful effects of plastics, particularly on animals and marine life.

After reading Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax,” students in Kelli Geilman’s third-grade class made their own foldable lapbooks analyzing the environmentally themed book’s lessons. They also signed pledges promising to take care of the Earth, wrote actions that they could do and penned essays on the theme “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.”

“At such a young age, the students can take part in this effort,” Ms. Geilman said. “I wanted them to learn that Earth Day is not just one day, it’s every day.”

Third-graders in Sylvin Ramgadoo’s class came up with their ideas for Earth-friendly cities. They created drawings and wrote about their plans, which included recycling centers, compost piles and bicycled-centered transportation. The project allowed students to think creatively and build their literacy skills.





The Amityville Tide: Special 2017-18 Budget Edition

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Learn more about the district’s proposed 2017-18 budget.

World Language Honor Society Welcomes 35

World Language Honor Society Welcomes 35 Photo

Amityville Memorial High School’s chapter of the National World Language Honor Society welcomed 35 new members at an induction ceremony on March 30. Membership was offered to students achieving an average of 85 or above in their Spanish or French classes.

The program featured congratulatory remarks from Acting Principal Dr. Lois Etzel and Director of ENL and World Languages Mary Stephens, a candlelighting ceremony and an awards presentation. Dr. Etzel said it is important for students to learn other languages in order to create meaningful global connections.

Honor Society President Emily Cisneros and Vice President Esteban Idrovo served as the evening’s hosts and introduced the newest members.

Joining the Honor Society were Spanish language students Annastassia Baines, Jessalynn Brito, Angelica Castillo, Yossleyn Castillo-Turcios, Melvin Castro, Leyla Echevarria, Wuendis Ferrufino, Erika Garcia, Laurie Herard, Katherine Inoa Rodriguez, Ashley Izaguirre-Rivera, Angel Leon Zavala, Eddie Marrero Jr., Alejandra Mercado-Torres, Bianca Molina, Gisselle Monge, Salome Piedrahita Montoya, Ayana Myles, Briana Nunez, Trevony Palmer, John Quinane, Juan Reyes, Natalie Reyes, Jeridania Rodriguez, Gemma Rojas, Johana Sanchez, Irache Teague, Kenny Torres Mata and Ashley Ventura. Their teachers are Reynaldo Bueno, Elisa Castro and Sandra Whitney.

Students in the French language program, taught by Brooke Prestano, who earned induction were Stephany Carbajal, Britney Colas, Courtney Evans, Josefa Hernandez, Raiphy Jerez and Kerianne Victor.





High School Students Look to the Future

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Recruiters from more than 100 colleges, as well as the armed forces, recently visited Amityville Memorial High School for the annual spring college fair. The gymnasium was buzzing as students collected informational items to help them make educated decisions about their post-high school plans. They learned about each school’s academic, athletic and extracurricular offerings, scholarship opportunities, job placement services and campus life.

The fair was open to students in all grades. Guidance counselor Maria Leon-Pineros said it was particularly important for underclassmen to attend to learn about the requirements needed to get into the college of their choice, such as grade point average and SAT scores.  

 





Saturday, June 24, 2017