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Hispanic Culture Comes Alive Through Dance

Hispanic Culture Comes Alive Through Dance photo

Amityville Memorial High School students shouted “Olé” after each dance performed by the members of the Sol Y Sombra Dance Company on Sept. 14. The 45-minute show kicked off the school’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.

The experienced dancers highlighted the Spanish art form of flamenco, which is performed all over the world. Students learned that the dancing, the music and the words are all equally important parts of flamenco. They also were given information about the history and cultural significance of the dances. 

Throughout Hispanic Heritage Month, the school’s daily announcements will include facts about Hispanic culture. World language teachers will show movies about notable people in Spanish culture. In October, Edmund W. Miles Middle School and the elementary schools will host cultural performances.

Amityville Welcomes its Youngest Learners

Amityville Welcomes its Youngest Learners photo

The high school Class of 2032 joined the district on Sept. 14 as it was the first day of prekindergarten at Northeast Elementary School. Students in eight pre-K classes met their teachers and their new classmates for the first time.

Title: Educating the Future


Enjoy this video highlighting Amityville schools.

Middle School Dean Named Assistant Principal

Middle School Dean Named Assistant Principal photo
The district announces that Earl Mitchell has been named the Assistant Principal of Edmund W. Miles Middle School, which serves seventh- through ninth-grade students. Mr. Mitchell is beginning his 20th year in education, and was the middle school’s Dean of Students for the previous three years.

Prior to coming to Amityville in 2015, Mr. Mitchell was a social studies teacher and department chairman at Baldwin Middle School, and a social studies teacher at J.W. Dodd Middle School in Freeport as well as the high school’s junior varsity basketball coach. He also served as a social studies teacher and College Now program director at the East New York Family Academy in Brooklyn.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in education and history, a master’s degree in education and social studies from Adelphi University, and an administrative certificate from the College of Saint Rose.

“I’m honored to be able to serve students, parents, faculty and the community in a greater capacity,” Mr. Mitchell said. 

A New School Year Begins

A New School Year Begins photo

The buses rolled up, children stepped off and learning began in a new school year in the district on Sept. 4. Teachers and students were excited for the year ahead and the limitless possibilities for growth.

At Amityville Memorial High School, members of the Class of 2019 arrived for their last first day, while the Class of 2031 entered kindergarten at Northeast Elementary School. 

New Year, New Energy in Amityville

New Year, New Energy in Amityville photo

Superintendent Dr. Mary T. Kelly wished the staff a “happy new year” as they returned for the start of the 2018-19 school year on Aug. 30, five days ahead of students.

At the annual convocation in the high school auditorium, the district’s approximately 700 staff members gathered to hear about the accomplishments of the past year and what’s ahead for the coming year. Dr. Kelly spoke about the construction work that will soon be starting at the high school to add a new gymnasium, science labs and classrooms, as well as renovations to the existing building, all part of a $69.9 million bond passed by voters in March 2016.

“The end result is going to be so fabulous for our students and for our community,” she said of the work which also includes upgrades to the middle school and three elementary schools. 

The district is entering the third year of the five-year strategic plan, “Putting Amityville on the Map.” Dr. Kelly said that there are measured successes in the plan’s three areas: student achievement, school culture and climate, and parent and community partnerships. Principals and directors will discuss progress and present data at an upcoming Board of Education meeting.

“Our district has made tremendous strides in all areas,” Dr. Kelly said. “We have much to be proud of and we have much to be optimistic about. We are well on our way to putting Amityville on the map and achieving our vision of becoming a high-performing school district.”

Dr. Kelly cited the district’s inclusion on the College Board’s AP District Honor Roll for its student participation and achievement in Advanced Placement courses. She noted the award-winning art and music programs, partnerships with area colleges, and athletes who are recognized equally for sportsmanship and scholarship as they are for their athletic accomplishments.

She spoke about the importance of building positive relationships and called on every staff member to “be that one person who makes a difference” in the life of a child. Keynote speaker Dr. Ruby Payne, an author and educator, provided staff with tools and strategies to deal with the emotional realities of students. She taught them several calming techniques and provided copies of one of her books.  

Staff members participated in professional development workshops throughout the day and teachers also had time to set up their classrooms for the start of the new school year. 


New Students Welcomed to High School Family

New Students Welcomed to High School Family photo

For Amityville Memorial High School’s incoming 10th graders, the building will transform before their eyes. The school will be a different place when they graduate in June 2021 than it was on Aug. 28, when they attended new student orientation.

Principal Maria Andreotti greeted the incoming class a week before the new school year was set to begin and spoke about the upcoming construction project. It will include a significant expansion to the school with state-of-the-art classrooms and science labs, as well as a new a gymnasium. By the time they are seniors, they are also expected to enjoy a new music and art suite, expanded cafeteria and other upgrades that are part of the $69.9 million facilities bond approved by voters in March 2016.

Ms. Andreotti introduced students and their parents to the administrative team and guidance counselors. She spoke about the importance of contributing positively to the school community by working hard, getting good grades, being on time to class, getting involved in activities and treating each other with respect.

“We consider this place to be our home and you are our family,” she told the new sophomores. 

Student Council President Jeffrey Reyes-Espinal discussed the wide range of opportunities for students including Advanced Placement courses, the independent science research program and dozens of afterschool clubs. Participation in challenging courses and extracurricular activities “are what colleges want to see,” he said.

Social studies teacher Matthew Tomasi showed students and parents how to sign up for the Remind App, a tool that the school will be using this year for important notifications. Juniors and seniors from the National Honor Society led tours of the building to help the new students find their classes and lockers. 

Amityville 101 For New Teachers

Amityville 101 For New Teachers photo

The district warmly greeted its 20 newest teachers, who are joining the district for the 2018-19 school year.

Among the new staff are three elementary teachers, three English language arts teachers, three social studies teachers, two science teachers, two literacy teachers, a high school guidance counselor, a social worker and French, music and ENL teachers. The district also welcomes new instructional coaches at Park Avenue and Northwest elementary schools. 

They attended new teacher orientation on Aug. 27 at the Park North Administration Building. Superintendent Dr. Mary T. Kelly and board of education trustees greeted them during a welcome breakfast. Throughout the day, they learned about district protocols and policies, as well as technology services and professional development opportunities. Amityville prides itself on fostering a collegial environment in which teachers are encouraged to share their expertise by leading workshops for their colleagues. 

New teachers learned about the history of Amityville from lifelong resident Ken Lang before taking a trolley tour around the district, which includes the village of Amityville, North Amityville and East Massapequa. After lunch provided by the Amityville Teachers Association, the new staff visited their respective buildings for meetings with the principals. Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Lois Etzel provided them with goody bags featuring educational books, a district calendar and a supply every teacher needs: Post-it notes. 

Middle School Welcomes Seventh-Graders

Middle School Welcomes Seventh-Graders photo

Administrators, teachers and support staff greeted incoming seventh-graders as they attended orientation on Aug. 23 at Edmund W. Miles Middle School.

Back in June, as sixth-graders at Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School, they made the trip a mile north to experience a typical day in the middle school. For their second visit, they were invited to orientation with their parents to learn about the opportunities and expectations. 

Principal Ed Plaia reviewed the courses that they will take as seventh-graders including math, science and social studies, a double period of English, physical education and health, Spanish or French, and electives. He spoke about the eighth-grade curriculum, in which students are accelerated in math and science to earn high school credit, and the rigorous academic demands in seventh grade to prepare for that. 

Mr. Plaia encouraged students to make the most out of middle school by attending extra help, joining an extracurricular activity or sports team, and making sure they are on time for their classes. 

Students were able to take home free binders and notebooks as they gather their school supplies for the upcoming school year. 

Major League Lesson for Amityville Ballplayers

Major League Lesson for Amityville Ballplayers
Players from the Amityville Union Free School District’s baseball program got to learn from the professionals when they were invited to Citi Field to work with the New York Mets. Nearly 30 players from the varsity, junior varsity and middle school levels recently spent three hours at Citi Field.

Mets players Dominic Smith, Jeurys Familia and Luis Guillorme worked with the players on hitting, pitching and fielding. Also participating were former Mets pitcher and SNY broadcaster Nelson Figueroa, bullpen coach Ricky Bones and Director of Player Relations Donovan Mitchell.

“It was an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said head coach Chris Diot. “Our players had a great time and were even invited back for next year. It was just an incredible day for the Amityville baseball program.”

Assistant Coach Jack Zider said in addition to baseball skills, the young players learned life lessons such as perseverance. The Mets players, coaches and staff shared stories of their baseball journeys.

“The opportunity to learn from Major League players and coaches is something that we could only dream about before that day,” Coach Zider said. “I’m confident that I speak for all of us when I say that we are forever grateful to the Mets for their generosity and enthusiasm when providing this baseball education and sharing their passion and love for the game.” 

‘Seussical’ Cast Earns Numerous Awards

‘Seussical’ Cast Earns Numerous Awards photo
The Amityville Memorial High School Drama Club received the Outstanding Ensemble of a Musical award from the Babylon Citizens Council on the Arts. The group was honored for its spring production of “Seussical the Musical.”    

Additionally, several students received special recognition for their contributions to the musical, including Trinity Tobin and Colleen Compitello who earned student choreographer awards. The Teens in Tune award was presented to students for their outstanding group work within the show, including the Bird Girls — Kaela Fuller, Bryanna Leguizamon, Aalany McCatty and Genesis Perez — and the Wickersham Brothers — Trey Fulton, John Hermann and Andrew Thompson.

The Future Star award for younger students participating in a high school production was presented to Alexander Andino, Annabella Arezzo, Tiffany Asbell, Cheyenne Benymon, Tamiya Bullard, Sydney Carter, Ayden Catron, Arianna Cuevas, Brianna Cuevas, Kaitlyn Garrett, Nevaeh Hankins, Gisele Jimenez, Kyra Lee, Madelyne Martinez, Alliyah McQueen, Eghosa Ojo, Janaiya Randolph, Emma Reme, Christian Rochester-Chandler, Vash Schiavetta, Andrew Thompson, Katya Ramos-Rojas and Denym Wilder.

“Seussical the Musical” was directed by Drama Club advisers Melissa Asbell and Megan Ashe. 

Saturday, September 22, 2018