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Sports Camps Features Skills and Drills

Sports Camps Features Skills and Drills photo

More than 100 youngsters kicked off their summer by getting some exercise at the Amityville Union Free School District’s sports skills camps. Held in the high school gymnasium and on the athletic fields, students entering fourth, fifth and sixth grades were able to choose between basketball, flag football, soccer and volleyball.

The free eight-day program was open to any child living within the district boundaries and included breakfast, lunch and three hours of sports instruction from coaches and teachers. A typical day included lessons and drills followed by scrimmage games in which the young athletes could put into practice their new skills. 

Amityville Memorial High School boys varsity soccer coach Mike Abbondondolo explained that this year’s soccer camp had a World Cup theme, so the children played games representing different countries. Girls varsity volleyball coach Julie Dexter said that participants in her camp worked on skills such as serving, hitting and passing. 

Allan Dodson-Isabel, who will be entering fourth grade at Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School, has aspirations to play in the NBA so he participated in the basketball camp. At minimum, he said he wants to play for Amityville’s varsity team and win a state title like the local players he looks up to. 

“I like basketball and I wanted to learn more,” Allan said. “I want to be an MVP.”

Regional Summer School Transportation


Board of Education Names Officers

Board of Education Names Officers photo
Board of Education Names Officers photo 2
Board of Education Names Officers photo 3
Board of Education Names Officers photo 4
Board of Education Names Officers photo 5
The Board of Education hosted its reorganization meeting on July 2, with re-elected trustees Juan Leon and Jeannette Santos sworn into office to begin their new three-year terms. 

The board returned the same leadership for the 2018-19 school year, with Carolyn Dodd elected president, Mr. Leon selected as first vice president and Laura Pawlewicz chosen as second vice president. They also appointed Barbara Miller as the new district clerk. As an annual tradition, Superintendent Dr. Mary T. Kelly took the oath of office.

Suffolk Legislature Honors Three Amityville Teachers

Suffolk Legislature Honors Three Amityville Teachers photo
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Suffolk Legislature Honors Three Amityville Teachers photo 3
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Three teachers in the district were honored by Suffolk County Legislature Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory with the Outstanding Teacher Recognition Award.

The honorees were Northwest Elementary School reading teacher Jennifer Bianco, Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School special education teacher Marisa Krepil and Edmund W. Miles Middle School English language arts teacher John Katsigiorgis. 

Ms. Bianco just completed her fifth year as Northwest, where she provides reading support services to students in first, second and third grades. She sets high expectations for her students and models positive behaviors that help them reach their goals. Additionally, she strives to grow as an educator by attending professional development workshops and also facilitates model lessons for her colleagues. At the most recent Superintendent Conference Day, Ms. Bianco planned and delivered a staff development workshop for teachers utilizing the Leveled Literacy Intervention reading program.

“Ms. Bianco is a gifted and caring instructor who has tremendous initiative and a desire to continue to learn,” said Principal Kathleen Hyland. “Her approach is one where students feel nurtured, supported and free to take risks. She fosters a love of learning and encourages students to take responsibility for their own learning while providing them with guidance and mentoring.”

Ms. Krepil has worked in the district for more than 10 years and is a resource room teacher for students in fourth through sixth grades, using student data to provide personalized instruction. She also serves as a special education coordinator in which she organizes and facilitates various meetings, and provides professional development to her colleagues on creating action plans to increase academic, social and emotional support for students. Among her accomplishments were organizing fall and winter celebrations for students with autism, which provided them with opportunities for language development. 

“Ms. Krepil is a dedicated educator who is a true asset to our school,” said Principal Robyn Santiago. “She regularly goes above and beyond to support students, and is a true leader in the building by sharing her teaching expertise with her colleagues.  

Mr. Katsigiorgis has worked in the district for 15 years and currently teaches seventh grade. He was nominated by Principal Edward Plaia and the middle school’s leadership team. 

“I was honored and very excited that I was nominated and received this award,” Mr. Katsigiorgis said. “The one thing that helps me as a teacher is the fact I am willing to look at myself honestly and objectively. I am willing to acknowledge when something is not working and then try to rectify it by asking for help or researching a better way to make it work.”

Mr. Plaia noted that Mr. Katsigiorgis came to the United States when he was in high school as an English language learner.

“Now he is an English teacher, and motivates all of his students each day with his passion for learning,” Mr. Plaia said. “He embraces new methods of instruction, new ideas, and all things which help his students. He’s the type of teacher that students and colleagues will remember forever.”

Park Avenue Boasts Superior Musicians

Park Avenue Boasts Superior Musicians photo

Young musicians from Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School in the Amityville Union Free School recently impressed judges at the Long Island Music Festival assessment. The chorus and sixth-grade band each received “superior” ratings following their performances on June 8.

The groups performed for trained ensemble adjudicators at the regional festival and received immediate feedback in response to their performances. The chorus was led by music teacher Megan Ashe and the band was conducted by Jolene Maccarone. 

Dr. Fran Fernandez, director of fine and performing arts, said, “Congratulations to the students of these performing ensembles and to their teachers, Ms. Ashe and Mrs. Maccarone, for their fine performances and for representing our district in such a positive way.”

Milestone Moments for Elementary Students

Milestone Moments for Elementary Students photo

The district hosted moving up ceremonies for its elementary school students, beginning with pre-K on June 15.

Kindergartners said goodbye to Northeast Elementary School on June 19. The theme for this year’s program was “A Broadway Spectacular,” which was coordinated by music teacher Nicole Altamura. Each of the 11 classes performed a song from a child-friendly Broadway show such as “Under the Sea” from the “The Little Mermaid” and “I Just Can’t Wait to be King” from “The Lion King.” A group performance of “We Go Together” from “Grease” closed out each of the three moving up ceremonies. 

Northwest Elementary School held its third-grade moving up ceremony on June 20 at the high school. Principal Kathleen Hyland said that it marked an important milestone in the students’ educational journeys. She noted they have grown as readers, writers, mathematicians, scientists and young citizens since they entered the school as first-graders.  

Going forward, Ms. Hyland reminded them to have good manners and a respectful attitude while showing a willingness to keep learning and try new experiences.

The program included musical selections by students, “I Can’t Stop the Feeling” and “Count on Me.” It also featured a video presentation in which students shared their fondest Northwest memories.

Middle school awaits 220 students who were recognized at Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School’s moving up ceremony on June 21. The sixth-grade class left an impression on administrators, teachers and staff, with ideas that helped both their school and the world. Students designed a mural to brighten up on of the school’s hallways and came up with a plan to help people in Puerto Rico following the devastating hurricane. 

“I have high hopes for you and I believe in you,” Principal Robyn Santiago told the students. “There are great things coming.”

Mikhail Ankudovych and Samantha Molina, co-presidents of the middle school’s National Junior Honor School chapter, addressed their future peers. They talked about the importance of good character and highlighted the community service activities that NJHS member perform. 
The ceremony also featured the presentation of the President’s Award of Educational Excellence and Educational Achievement to a recipient from each sixth-grade class. 

Superintendent Dr. Mary T. Kelly said that the summer is a good time to rest and reenergize as they prepare for middle school. In between playing and swimming, she reminded them to read to keep their minds sharp.

“Reading helps you stretch your imagination,” she said. “I really encourage everyone to spend some time with books over the summer.”

Park Avenue Moving Up Ceremony

Northwest Moving Up Ceremony

Northeast Kindergarten Celebration

Middle School Celebrates Student Achievements

Middle School Celebrates Student Achievements photo

Students were recognized for their academic performance, good character and perfect attendance at the annual ninth-grade awards ceremony for Edmund W. Miles Middle School on June 21.

The ceremony was held in the high school auditorium, introducing the students to the school they will attend in the fall. Principal Edward Plaia, Dean of Students Earl Mitchell and teachers presented the awards.

The Warriors of the Year were Ryanne Zamora and Edwin Sanchez for best exemplifying grit, perseverance, integrity and respect. There was also a Warrior of the Year presentation for each subject. Winners included Tristan Angus (band), Kaya Branscum (earth science), Kevin Contreras (orchestra), Myles Goddard (physical education), Nicole Jimenez (health), Gabrielle Knight (foreign language), Noah Laforest (social studies), Aalany McCatty (math), Gabrielle McGinnis (English language arts), Yesenia Mendoza Rojas (chorus), Yomary Orellana (art) and Carlos Santos Hernandez (ENL).

The school recognized students who had the top grade point average in each subject, as well as those who were named to the honor roll during each of their three years in middle school.   

Additional honors included the Amityville Teachers Association Award of Excellence, the New York State Comptroller Achievement Award, the New York State Triple C Award and the Daughters of the American Revolution Award. 

Noah Laforest, Justin Mullings and Keniese Pryce each received an award for perfect attendance. All ninth-graders received promotion certificates for their successful completion of middle school. The program ended with a video montage. 


Distinguished Graduates Set Sail From Amityville

Distinguished Graduates Set Sail From Amityville photo

There were reflections, thank-you’s and words of encouragement as 226 students graduated from Amityville Memorial High School on June 23.

This year’s ceremony featured new attire, with all graduates clad in red gowns with gray stoles. Principal Maria Andreotti wished members of the Class of 2018 much success as they begin the next chapter of their lives, whether it be in college, in the workforce or serving their country in a branch of the military. She added that she has high hopes for a senior class that distinguished itself in academics, the arts and athletics, and encouraged them to use their talents to make a positive difference in the world. 

Superintendent Dr. Mary T. Kelly said that this year’s graduates were entering third grade when she arrived in Amityville, and it was her honor to watch them grow and mature.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to be a part of your journey,” she said to the students, reminding them to treasure the high school memories, experiences and friendships as they set sail on the next part of their lives.

Valedictorian Trevony Palmer, in addressing his fellow graduates, told them to take care of their minds and bodies. 

“Be creative and unique with your own decisions,” he said, “so that they won’t set you up for failure but rather for success.”

Salutatorian Jerinna Solanges recited words of wisdom from her teachers and her friends. She said it was their guidance that helped her achieve a high level of success in Amityville. 

“Remember those who helped you on your journey,” she said. 

After remarks by senior class President Jacob Marrero and senior class adviser Cara Garofalo-Westphal, graduates were called up on stage to receive their diplomas where they were congratulated by Ms. Andreotti, Dr. Kelly and board of education trustees. 


District Celebrates Staff Milestones

District Celebrates Staff Milestones photo
The Board of Education honored retirees and celebrated milestone anniversaries during Staff Recognition Night on June 13.

Retiring staff members included special education teacher Susan Koopman, clerical staff Eileen Becker, Patricia Jordan and Theresa Perry, and monitors Joanne Hernandez, Glenda John-Scott and Joan Wexler-Lamantia. 

Assistant Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services Sandra Parmentier was recognized for 20 years of service to the district and Director of Fine and Performing Arts Dr. Frances Fernandez celebrated 25 years with Amityville.

Teachers and staff members to reach 20 years included Brenda Allen, Brian Callahan, Jennifer Callahan, Lynn Cesiro, Michael Dispenziere, Dorothy Haverty, Andrew Henricksen, Glenda John-Scott, Brian McCormack, Jeanne Patrick, Kathy Paul, Michael Rogers, Juliann Russell, Anne Silva, Jean Surlin, Lisa Thomas, Anthony Tolliver, Margaret Watkins, Larry Williams and Ellen Wunderlich. Honored for 25 years were Melissa Asbell, Christine Franchi, Patricia Monaco, Keryn Naso, Diane O’Neill and Barbara Perez. John Kelly was recognized for 30 years of service.

District Accepts Technology Donation From Rotary Club

District Accepts Technology Donation From Rotary Club photo
Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School students now have additional technology at their disposal following the donation of three Chromebooks by the Amityville Rotary Club.

Rotary Club members presented the donation to district officials on June 7 in the Park Avenue library. The three Acer touchscreen Chromebooks are in addition to devices already available in the school. Sixth-grade students demonstrated how they use Chromebooks to learn computer programming by participating in coding activities through KidOYO.

“We know that these Chromebooks will be put to good use as it prepares us to get ready for the modern technology world,” said sixth-grader Donovan Graham, a student member of the district Technology Committee. 

Amityville Rotary Club Foundation Chairwoman Virginia Belling explained to students about the purpose of the organization and its local and global service projects. She encouraged students to join the Interact Club, a Rotary-sponsored community service club for youth, when they get to high school. 

“We thank the Amityville Rotary Club for their generous donation and their continued support of our students and our community,” said Superintendent Dr. Mary T. Kelly. “This helps further our mission of providing students with access to a wide variety of engaging technological tools and resources.”

VIDEO: What Kindergartners Learned This Year


Amityville Seniors Walk the Halls of the Past

Amityville Seniors Walk the Halls of the Past photo

Amityville Memorial High School seniors returned to their roots for the annual Senior Walk on June 7, in which they visited the district’s elementary schools and middle school.

After departing from the high school on six buses, the seniors arrived a short time later at Northwest Elementary School. Clad in their red caps and gowns, they walked through the halls as “Pomp and Circumstance” played over the public address system. Students and teachers lined the halls to cheer the soon-to-be graduates. Many children displayed their handmade congratulatory signs and held out their hands for high fives, while teachers snapped pictures and hugged many of their former students. 

Accompanied by Principal Maria Andreotti, Dean of Students John Cardone and several teachers, the seniors then traveled to Northeast Elementary School where they got their starts as either pre-K or kindergarten students. Following trips through Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School and Edmund W. Miles Middle School, the seniors returned to the high school for lunch. 

The Senior Walk was one of many celebratory activities leading up to graduation including the senior and sports awards ceremonies, college athlete celebration day and the senior prom.

A Delightful Day With Dads at Northeast

A Delightful Day With Dads at Northeast  photo

Fathers, grandfathers, uncle and other special guests came to Northeast Elementary School in the Amityville Union Free School District for the annual pre-K Father’s Day celebration on June 8.

Children and their visitors gathered in the courtyard on the warm and sunny day to build and decorate birdhouses, which they were able to take home. They also participated in various recreational activities such as creating large bubbles and participating in hula-hoop contests. 

Amityville Athletes Commit to Their Sports

Amityville Athletes Commit to Their Sports photo

Sixteen of the district’s finest senior athletes will continue their athletic pursuits as they take their talents to colleges and universities on Long Island, regionally and across the United States. During College Athlete Celebration Day, held in Amityville Memorial High School’s library on June 1, administrators and coaches congratulated the seniors on their next step.

“Today is a celebration of their decision to continue their sports on the college and university level,” said Evan Farkas, director of athletics, physical education and health. “They have worked hard their whole lives to get to the next level and have paved the way for future Amityville athletes.”

The district congratulates the following athletes:

Jala Coad, football, SUNY Brockport  

Julius Goddard, basketball, SUNY Oneonta

Deandre Harding, football, Morrisville State College

Nyleek Hendricks, football, Utica College

Bri’Anna Jones, basketball, Nassau Community College

Jacob Marrero, track and field, Norfolk State University

Damion McPhaul, football, Jacksonville University

Deonte Palmer, football, Hampton University or Clark Atlanta University

Donte Palmer, football, Hampton University or Clark Atlanta University

Jayson Robinson, basketball, Springfield Commonwealth Academy

Joshua Serrano, basketball, Iona College 

Kacey Smith, volleyball, Suffolk County Community College

Sabrina Tobin, track and field, Niagara University

Enroy Toney, football, undecided

Ashley Wilson, dance, SUNY Brockport 

Deonte Wilson, wrestling, North Carolina State University

Spring 2018 Newsletter


Northwest Students Welcome Their Fluffy Friends

Northwest Students Welcome Their Fluffy Friends photo
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“They look so cute,” second-grader Gilberto Carranza said of the baby chicks that hatched in his classroom at Northwest Elementary School.

In early June, baby chickens were born in all of the second-grade classrooms, part of an annual unit on animal life cycles. Incubators with eggs were delivered to each room, and students had to ensure that they were kept at 100 degrees for three weeks. Once the baby chicks broke through their shells, they were moved to other containers and cared for by the students for about a week until going back to Suffolk County Farm in Yaphank.

Teacher Annette Fox said that her students hypothesized about how many eggs would hatch. They also completed writing assignments about the development of the baby chicks and practiced using transition words. 

District Honors Standout Seniors

District Honors Standout Seniors photo

Nearly 200 awards and scholarships were presented to members of Amityville Memorial High School’s senior class on May 31. The Senior Awards Ceremony was an opportunity to recognize the achievements of the soon-to-be graduates.

The seniors were joined by administrators, board of education trustees, teachers, guidance counselors, families and fellow students. Also on hand were representatives of the dozens of organizations that sponsor awards and scholarships. Superintendent Dr. Mary T. Kelly said that the Class of 2018 is receiving approximately $1.5 million in scholarship money, “a very significant contribution to our young men and women.”

Awards recognized accomplishments in academics, the arts, athletics, community service and leadership. The honored seniors were called up one by one, and guidance counselors announced each individual’s awards and scholarships. A video presentation featured the top 25 graduates, who spoke about their college plans and what they would miss most about Amityville.  

“Members of the Class of 2018 have been positive role models whose outstanding achievements are cause for celebration,” Principal Maria Andreotti said. “Their dedication, hard work and commitment to success in all areas the school are truly appreciated by the Amityville school community.”


High School Students Explore Medical Careers

High School Students Explore Medical Careers photo

Amityville Memorial High School students learned about dozens of job possibilities in the healthcare field during the first Medical Career Day on May 24. The fair was coordinated by Northwell Health’s Plainview and Syosset hospitals.

At a medical career fair in the gymnasium, students were able to visit tables to learn about different healthcare departments including radiology, laboratory, pharmacy, patient experience, human resources, marketing and communications, food and nutrition, dental and many more. 

“What makes Medical Career Day unique is that students have the opportunity to learn about so many different careers in healthcare, not just clinical ones,” said Christine Patti, Plainview and Syosset hospital’s community relations director. “Any position that they can think of can relate back to healthcare and is featured at Northwell Health.”

There were several interactive activities. At the dermatology station, students could look into a DermaScan machine, which used a LED black light to show sun damage on their skin. The occupational therapist table had a game of Jenga in which students had to use their non-dominant hand to remove the pieces. They could also practice hands-on CPR on dummies, and see the various instruments used by doctors and nurses.

South Oaks Hospital of Amityville had information about its art therapy program and Project C.A.R.E., its team-building adventure course. Doctors, nurses and other professionals led workshops in the library and auditorium on various topics such as healthy lifestyles, coping with anxiety and how to obtain careers in nutrition, pharmacy and healthcare finance. Students heard from people with military backgrounds who have transitioned into healthcare and from a doctor who immigrated to the United States and became one of the nation’s leading cardiologists. 

“The range of options out there for our students is amazing, and they were recently able to learn about these opportunities from the experts,” said Principal Maria Andreotti. “Students took advantage of this hands-on experience to engage in conversations with some of the leading healthcare professionals. They learned that they can achieve anything if they work hard and set their mind to it.” 

First Season in the Books for Girls Lacrosse

First Season in the Books for Girls Lacrosse photo
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Amityville Memorial High School’s girls lacrosse team recently finished its inaugural season, as the popular sport was added for the spring 2018 schedule. 

The junior varsity team was coached by a pair of Amityville teachers with experience playing at the collegiate level. Northwest Elementary School third-grade teacher Nicole Bass was part of three NCAA championship teams at Adelphi University and high school social studies teacher Margot Howard was an inaugural member of St. Joseph College’s women’s lacrosse team. 

The Warriors played a 13-game schedule from late March through early May against Suffolk County opponents from Lindenhurst to Hampton Bays. Homes games were held at Lou Howard Field. 

Coach Howard said the team was more competitive as the season went on, and successfully increased their goal-scoring ability. It also continued to gain players as word spread about the new team, finishing with about 20 players. Senior captains Gaby Alberto, Kimberly Bonilla and Allison Martinez led the group of mostly freshman, sophomores and juniors. Next year’s team will have many returning players with a full year of playing experience. 

“It’s a young team and we have a lot of potential,” Coach Howard said. “The girls were so amazing and so dedicated. I’m just really excited about the future of this program.”

Coach Howard said she was extremely proud of her players, who added lacrosse to their rigorous academic schedules. They committed themselves to learning the rules and strategies, and played well together as a team.  

Evan Farkas, the district’s director of athletics, physical education and health, said the hope is to expand the girls program to include a varsity team in the near future. Amityville will introduce intramural boys lacrosse next year to eventually grow into a full program.

“We’re incredibly proud of the girls and the coaches,” Mr. Farkas said. “It’s a challenge to start up a new team. I think this is going to be one of our great programs in Amityville. Watching a game, it felt like lacrosse was always here.”

Middle School Educator a Standout in Social Studies

Middle School Educator a Standout in Social Studies photo
Middle School Educator a Standout in Social Studies photo 2
Michele Rudden, an eighth-grade teacher at Edmund W. Miles Middle School, was selected as the 2018 recipient of the Outstanding Middle School Social Studies Teacher Award by the Long Island Council for the Social Studies. 

Ms. Rudden has taught in Amityville since 2002. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Hofstra University and a master’s degree in education from Molloy College. 

“I’ve always loved history,” Ms. Rudden said. “You don’t have an understanding of the way things are today if you don’t look at the past.”

Ms. Rudden said that she always puts her students first and gives them opportunities to express their opinions through active classroom discussions. She incorporates different teaching strategies into her lessons, particularly with technology. For a lesson on the Civil Rights movement, she had her students make Flipgrid videos on Chromebooks about an event from that era. She said she also uses music and movies to bring historical events to life. 

The award is presented to a teacher who demonstrates knowledge of social studies content and current social studies issues, and is an effective and inspiring teacher with the ability to convey the importance and vitality of social studies for the students. Ms. Rudden was nominated by social studies Chairman Paul Duguay. 

“Ms. Rudden has been an amazing asset to the Amityville Union Free School District for more than 15 years,” he said. “She is someone that strives to create meaningful and exciting lessons for her students each and every day. With the many changes in social studies recently, she is someone the entire social studies department looks to for guidance, which is why I cannot think of a more deserving person for this award.”

Added Ms. Rudden, “I feel that this award could have been given to any of my colleagues in this department. I’m incredibly honored and it’s nice to have your work recognized.”

She was honored at the LICSS annual awards ceremony on May 31 in Hauppauge and had been invited to submit a proposal to present at the annual conference in October. 

Poetry is a Snap for Second-Graders

Poetry is a Snap for Second-Graders photo

Young poets at Northwest Elementary School recently shared their original works during the Adams Family Poetry Café.

Second-graders in Franca Adams’ class spent several weeks writing different styles of poetry, and each child picked one piece to share at the poetry café. Family members were invited to attend the writing celebration.

The class began by sharing a poem the students wrote together, “We Are,” which was modeled after a poetry mentor text, “I Am.” After that, each child came to the microphone to share a selected piece. Guests were asked to acknowledge the poets by snapping instead of clapping.

Presentation Matters at Park Avenue Science Fair

Presentation Matters at Park Avenue Science Fair photo

After learning about erosion, rocks, plate tectonics, volcanoes and earthquakes, and the water cycle, sixth-graders at Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School shared their knowledge with their younger peers.

The school hosted its annual Science Project Fair on May 17, and sixth-graders set up their displays in the auditorium. Fourth- and fifth-graders visited the fair to learn about the different scientific concepts.

Students worked in teams and one group per class was assigned to each of the five topics that comprised the sixth-grade science curriculum. The teams had to create poster board presentations.

Teacher Deborah Ross said that in addition to mastering the content, the students had to put great thought into their projects and create well-organized poster boards. She explained that presentation skills will become increasingly more important as they get older and even could be necessary when interviewing for jobs. 

Northeast Gives Naval Officer First Class Treatment

Northeast Gives Naval Officer First Class Treatment photo

Petty Officer First Class Joshua Candon made his third visit to Northeast Elementary School as he visited pre-K and kindergarten classrooms on May 17.

The Naval officer last came to the school in September 2016, when he presented a folded American flag that had been flown during several Joint Task Force missions. Mr. Candon recently returned from a deployment in Africa, and during that time Northeast students sent his unit personalized cards for Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Easter, as well as candy, Girl Scout cookies and other goodies.

During his recent visit, Mr. Candon showed students an African war club and answered questions about his role in the military. He also thanked the students for their kind words and generosity during his recent deployment. Students, in return, shouted “Thank you for your service” as he left each room.


Middle School Fosters Kindness and Respect

Middle School Fosters Kindness and Respect photo
Students and staff at Edmund W. Miles Middle School are striving to create a culture of kindness and respect. Those efforts are paying off as the school recently received the No Place for Hate designation by the Anti-Defamation League. 

The national initiative is a school climate improvement framework to combat bias, bullying and hatred. The goals are to build inclusive and safe communities in which all students can thrive, empower students, staff and families to take a stand against bullying and hatred, and send a clear unified message that all students have a place to belong.

A team of students and staff, led by guidance counselor Keri Kearney and social worker Beatriz Offitto spearheaded several initiatives this year that helped achieve the designation. The school created a kindness rock garden in the fall, and everyone in the school was invited to paint a rock with an inspirational message. A Black History Month student celebration in February emphasized the appreciation of diversity through song, dance, poetry and artwork. 

Recently, students created trees of respect in the cafeteria. They wrote messages on paper leaves about ways they can show respect and foster kindness within the school such as “Smile to make someone’s day,” “Congratulate people on their achievements” and “Say thank you!”

The school participates in Olweus Bully Prevention, a research-based program that is designed to improve peer relations and make schools safer. It includes schoolwide rules and consequences, classroom level meetings to build community, individual interventions for students who bully or are bullied along with parental involvement, and community efforts to increase support of anti-bullying messages and strategies. All students also signed a Resolution of Respect.

Six students are members of the No Place for Hate committee including seventh-graders Nataly Carbajal and Samantha Molino, eighth-graders Kayla Marrero and Gianely McCatty and ninth-graders Vanessa Garcia and Amber Palmer. They were chosen for their exemplary character and embodying the values of a No Place for Hate school. They will attend the Anti-Defamation League’s No Place for Hate Recognition Ceremony on May 25 at the Sheraton Hotel in Manhattan.

Sophomores Make a Personal Connection to History

Sophomores Make a Personal Connection to History photo
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Sophomores at Amityville Memorial High School heard a powerful story from a Long Island man who, more than seven decades ago, survived the Holocaust. The first-hand account from Werner Reich gave students insight into one of the biggest atrocities in history. 

Mr. Reich has been visiting the high school for the past decade to support the 10th-grade social studies curriculum, which focuses on world history and includes extensive study of World War II. He told students that as a teenager, he was arrested and held in a concentration camp before finally being liberated at 17 years old and later moving to the United States. A PowerPoint presentation with photographs, maps and cartoons illustrated his tales of capture and survival while providing historical context of the Holocaust.  

His story served as inspiration for students to lead lives based upon kindness and respect. Mr. Reich urged them to fight injustice and oppression, and to stand up for anyone being mistreated.

“Ask yourself, ‘What is the right thing to?’ Then do it,” he said.

Social studies teachers explained that students learn how to cite primary sources in their writing, and there is no greater primary source than hearing from a person who lived through a historical event. 

Pre-K Students Say ‘Thank You’ to Mom

Pre-K Students Say ‘Thank You’ to Mom photo

Mothers, grandmothers, aunts and other special guests visited Northeast Elementary School on May 11 for the annual pre-K Mother’s Day.

Principal Dr. Pauline Collins said that the event is a long-standing tradition at the school and a chance to recognize family members for the support they provide throughout the year. Each class performed a song, and selections included “Mommy, Mommy, I Love You Mommy,” “You’re My Mom,” “You're Amazing” and “I Want a Mom That Will Last Forever.” It concluded with a group performance of “Skidamarink.”

After the songs, the students joined their family members for refreshments and iced tea. Children provided gifts to their loved ones including handmade cards and crafts. 

Monday, July 16, 2018