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Wrestler Scaffidi Earns First Tournament Title

Wrestler Scaffidi Earns First Tournament Title
High school wrestler TJ Scaffidi, at 182 pounds, went 3-0, all by pin, at the Lindenhurst Invitational Tournament on Jan. 5, winning his first ever tournament title.

Scaffidi also won two matches in Deer Park’s dual meets against Comsewogue and Huntington in January, both by pin. His pin against Huntington helped the Falcons come from behind and earn a 45-37 victory, their first against Huntington since the 1960s.  

Creating Calmness with JFK’s Yoga Club


High School Presents Pair of Impressive Winter Concerts

High School Presents Pair of Impressive Winter Concerts
High School Presents Pair of Impressive Winter Concerts 2
Families and friends packed the high school auditorium to savor a pair of well-received winter concerts on December 19 and 20, showcasing the school’s depth of student musical talent and a wide-ranging selection of seasonal pieces.

Highlights of the first night included Handel’s “Entrance of the Queen of Sheba,” performed by the orchestra and directed by Kathryn Attard; and a jaunty selection of holiday favorites performed by the symphonic band, directed by Jerry Cannarozzo. The second night featured the chamber orchestra, directed by Attard; the chorus, directed by Catherine Lubrano; and the wind ensemble, directed by Cannarozzo. The chamber orchestra, chorus and selected wind ensemble players joined together for an impressive rendition of Handel’s “Hallelujah”.

“Our band students worked extremely hard to prepare for the winter concert this year, and I am very proud of their awesome performances,” said Cannarozzo.

For many of the students in 12th grade, the concerts held special meaning, with their high school music careers coming full circle.

“Being seniors, we played our very first concerts with Mrs. Attard back in fourth grade,” said violinist Danielle Petrizzo. “Now we are lucky to end our senior year playing with Mrs. Attard again, just as we started out.”

For all of the musicians, it was a chance to demonstrate the value of their diligent practice, with all looking ahead to the promise of future performances at the end of the school year.

“We will start working on our spring concert program in January, and I have very high expectations for another great concert in May,” said Cannarozzo.

Deer Park’s DECA Students Come Home With 30 Trophies

 Deer Park’s DECA students come home with 30 trophies
 Deer Park’s DECA students come home with 30 trophies 2

A total of 65 dedicated high school students participated in DECA’s Suffolk County Regional Competition on Jan. 3, competing against more than 1,200 students from 28 other schools. Thirty of Deer Park’s students won trophies at the event, while another seven earned honorable mention.

Eiman Nawaz and Yasmeen Syedda-Hensley came in second place in the Travel and Tourism Team category, Jasleen Kaur and Amar Qasir finished in third in the Financial Services Team category, and Esteysy Yanes-Amaya won third for Personal Financial Literacy.

Also coming home with trophies were Sameem Ahmadzai in the Principles of Finance category, Michael Buffa for Food Marketing, Saiansh Chaddha for Principles of Marketing, Keryn Chames for Financial Consulting, Zachary Cresciullo for Hotel & Lodging Management, Saima Haque for Principles of Finance, James Hope for Food Marketing, Ahmed Iqbal for Automotive Services Marketing, Regan Mays for Marketing Communications, Victoria Mung for Principles of Business Management, Bushra Mussarat for Restaurant and Food Service Management, Omar Rahim for Human Resources Management, Mohammed Raiyan for Business Finance, Alyssa Robb for Restaurant and Food Service Management, Nimra Salim for Personal Financial Literacy, Khabiba Shahid for Personal Financial Literacy, Chaim Shames for Business Finance, Jessica Siford for Hotel & Lodging Management, Alexa Skoubas for Food Marketing, Gavin Thomas for Restaurant and Food Service Management, Tahir Tuzun for Accounting Applications, Isabella Coon and Logan Eisenberg for Financial Services Team, and Matt Farquharson and Michael Greene for Hospitality Services Team.

The trophy winners will have to opportunity to compete at the state competition in Rochester in March, attempting to qualify for the national competition to be held in Orlando, Florida at the end of April. 

Earning honorable mention recognition at the DECA Regional Competition were Alexis Bell in the Human Resources Management category, Makenzie Caldone for Quick Serve Restaurant Management, Tasfia Shaikh for Retail Merchandising, Aaron Colon and Michael Lombardo for Business Law & Ethics Team, and Michael Pearlstein and Michael Quinones for Entrepreneurship Team.

“Congratulations to all of the students on a job well done,” said DECA adviser Gregory Menig.

Frost’s Young Actors Shine in ‘Little Mermaid’

mermaid photo

Young actors at Robert Frost had a chance to challenge their dramatic and singing skills with the school’s December performance of Disney’s classic “The Little Mermaid,” directed by teachers Lauren Stein and Lori Sullivan.

The second production of the Robert Frost Cabaret series, it starred Xavier Edmond as Prince Eric; Dimitra Pavlatos as Ariel; Amanda Vasquez as Ursula, Stephanie Sheeler as Scuttle; Carson Warkenthien as  Sebastian; Frankie Alfieri as Flounder; Drea Hendrickson as King Triton; Abigail Siegel as Flotsam, Pilot and Gull; Bryana Aguilar as Jetsam; Marina Williams as Petsam and Chef Louis; Elizabeth Howe as Grimsby; Julia Silva as Aquata; Kayleigh Pellicano as Andrina; Cassidy Boltz as Arista; Marina Williams as Atina; Arielle Salgado as Adella; and Theresa Tiernan as Allana.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to have musical theater alive at Robert Frost,” said Dr. Eliana Levey, the school’s principal. “Ms. Stein and Mrs. Sullivan worked themselves to the bone to prepare our students for this magnificent production. I am so proud of both them and our students for an outstanding and beautiful show.”

“The show was such an amazing experience,” said seventh-grader Siegel. “I made new friends and it helped me with my confidence. I learned more about singing and stage presence from Ms. Stein and Mrs. Sullivan. I can’t wait to see what is in store for next year.”

Deer Park Savors the Sweet Season with Gingerbread Traditions

 Deer Park Savors the Sweet Season with Gingerbread Traditions

Across the district, students, families and teachers savored the season with enduring gingerbread traditions.

In Paula Behrens’ family and consumer science class at Robert Frost, eighth-graders continue an annual tradition of exploring gingerbread making from scratch, learning dough manufacturing and piping. The students  baked their own gingerbread pieces, cut their own bases, and figured out how many batches of dough to make for the class, then finished with piping and decorating.

“I had never made gingerbread from scratch before, so I really enjoyed it,” said Mya Perkins. “I also learned which icing to use.”

At both JQA and May Moore, kindergartners were visited by family members for a festive morning of decorating gingerbread houses.

“It’s great to have all the families together, working with their young ones to enjoy the season,” said JQA teacher Joe Bottino.

“This is an all-time favorite holiday activity and has become one of the most anticipated holiday traditions in my classroom,” said May Moore teacher Tammy Cotrone. “The students and their families love building and decorating gingerbread houses. For us adults, it gives us a little bit of our childlike wonder back. Just because we’re grown up doesn’t mean we don’t still enjoy the ‘sweet’ things in life.”



Trying Tasty Treats at JFK's Cookie Swap

Trying Tasty Treats at JFK's Cookie Swap
Trying Tasty Treats at JFK's Cookie Swap 2
Trying Tasty Treats at JFK's Cookie Swap 3

For JFK’s annual cookie swap, teachers baked eight dozen of one kind of cookie to bring in. In return, each teacher left with eight dozen different cookies to take home.

“It’s a great tradition we have at JFK,” said teacher Rosanne Alfieri.

Fun, Festive May Moore Sing-along Proves Charming

May Moore Sing-along

May Moore kicked off the winter break in style, holding its festive annual holiday sing-along. Staff and visiting family members got into the spirit of the season along with the students, dressing in festive apparel. Graced by the jovial presence of Santa and Mrs. Claus, the young students sang and danced to songs like “Snowman Jump,” “I Want to Be an Elf” and “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town”; one youngster even provided his own revised lyrics for “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” charming all in attendance.

Busy Brass Ensemble Brings Holiday Sounds to Primary Schools

Busy Brass Ensemble Brings Holiday Sounds to Primary Schools
Busy Brass Ensemble Brings Holiday Sounds to Primary Schools 2
Busy Brass Ensemble Brings Holiday Sounds to Primary Schools 3
The busy brass ensemble from the high school, led by director Jerry Cannarozzo, traveled through the district on a rainy Dec. 21, bringing joyous holiday sounds to the halls of JQA and May Moore.

Frost’s World of Difference Club Asks School to ‘Face Yourself’

Frost’s World of Difference Club Asks School to ‘Face Yourself’

In celebration of the upcoming new year, the new World of Difference club at Robert Frost hosted a “Face Yourself” challenge in December. Recognizing that everyone has room for improvement, the students asked fellow students and school staff to consider a change they would like to make for themselves in 2019. The club posed a contemplative, constructive question, asking, “What changes do you want to make this year that will bring joy and happiness to yourself and the world around you?”

The student-led A World of Difference club, guided by adviser Stephanie O’Connell, celebrates diversity and inclusion of all people, and recently achieved the Anti-Defamation League’s “No Place for Hate” school designation. In order to participate in the ADL’s initiative, schools must run several activities that provide staff development and student training related to bullying, harassment and discrimination.

High School Clubs Show Community Spirit with Coat Drive

Showing a strong sense of community spirit and holiday generosity, students in the high school's Community Service Club and Red Cross Club donated more than 100 coats and winter accessories to the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless. The coats will be provided to homeless men, women, children and veterans. 

High School Artists Demonstrate Compassion and Talent

High School Artists Demonstrate Cmpassion and Talent with Memory Project

Demonstrating both remarkable artistic talent and equally remarkable compassion, six students in the high school’s AP studio art class – joined by art teacher Derek Mainhart – recently participated in the Memory Project, designed to bring awareness to the plight of Rohingya children of Myanmar.

Since 2016, the ongoing crisis in Myanmar’s Rakhine State has centered on conflict between the majority Rakhine community and the ethnic minority Rohingya people, culminating in military crackdowns and the flight of close to a million Rohingya to a refugee settlement in neighboring Bangladesh. The Rohingya have been called the “most unwanted” group of people on Earth, and the Memory Project seeks to show the children that they are not “unwanted.”

Once they had signed on to the project, Mainhart and students Samantha Coccaro, Diana Damian, Joshua Murphy, James Rella, James Valencia and Josilyn VanWart were matched with seven Rohingya children from Rakhine State, and sent color prints of photos of the children. The Deer Park artists used the photos as references in creating realistic portraits of each Rohingya child in various 2D art media, working hard to capture the essence and dimensions of each face.

The portraits will be sent to the Memory Project in January, providing a heartwarming gift of artistic empathy to the Rohingya children, who have rarely seen photographs of themselves, much less a work of art representing them.

St. Martin Shows Business Skills with Emerging Leaders Competition Victory

St. Martin Shows Business Skills with Emerging Leaders Competition Victory

High school student Lloydine St. Martin recently earned first place at the 16th annual Emerging Leaders Business Competition, presented by the Huntington Chamber of Commerce at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue. St. Martin’s impressive victory in the Job Interview category came via her health care skills program at Wilson Tech.

The Emerging Leaders competition provides a challenge for talented high schoolers to think beyond the scope of the classroom as well as the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and capabilities in a business environment. St. Martin and hundreds of other participants used their business skills to tackle current issues and assigned tasks in various categories such as Entertainment Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Graphic Design, Hospitality Services, Human Resources, Job Interviews, Not-for-Profit Fundraising, Public Relations, Retail Marketing, Sports Management, and Travel and Tourism.

Information Update on Romaine Lettuce


Deer Park Musicians Take Up Tubas for NYC Christmas Concert

Deer Park Musicians Take Up Tubas for NYC Christmas Concert

Students from the high school and Robert Frost participated in the 45th annual Tuba Christmas on Dec. 9, joining hundreds of other tuba and euphonium players from around the country in performing Christmas carols beneath the famous Rockefeller Center tree in New York City.

High school students Anthony Aguilar, Louis Bianca, Logan Eisenberg, Julianna Hannan, Ilianna Pena and Zach Villa; middle schooler Summer Eisenberg; and alumnus Anthony D’Arrigo were accompanied by high school band director Jerry Cannarozzo for the festive concert.

View video footage here.

Wonderful Winter Concert at JFK


Brooks and Rapisarda Are Suffolk Zone Winners

Brooks and Rapisarda Are Suffolk Zone Winners

Ryan Brooks and Michaela Rapisarda, both seniors at the high school, won this year’s Suffolk Zone Awards. The two were recognized at the 2018-2019 Suffolk Zone Awards dinner, held Nov. 28 at Villa Lombardi’s in Holbrook.

The annual award is given to one male and one female student in each Suffolk high school, chosen for being a role model and exhibiting outstanding character, while showing achievement and leadership in physical education and being scholastically sound.

“Michaela and Ryan were exceptional representatives of Deer Park High School,” said Dominick Fontana, Deer Park’s district administrator for athletics, physical education, health and recreation. “Our physical education department is proud of their accomplishments and wishes them luck in the future.”

JFK Fourth-Graders Share Cultural Foods at Feast

JFK Fourth-Graders Share Cultural Foods at Feast
JFK Fourth-Graders Share Cultural Foods at Feast 2
Lauren King’s fourth-grade class at JFK enjoyed their Thanksgiving early this year with a special cross-cultural feast. The students and their families celebrated by sharing foods from their various cultures with their classmates, feasting on empanadas, macarona bechamel, tres leches and lasagna alongside traditional American favorites like turkey, gravy and mashed potatoes.

‘Safety Sally’ Teaches JQA Students About Bus Safety

‘Safety Sally’ Teaches JQA Students About Bus Safety
‘Safety Sally’ Teaches JQA Students About Bus Safety 2
On a recent snowy day, a “Safety Sally” school bus from Eastern Suffolk BOCES parked in front of JQA, ready for students to enter and learn about bus safety. The children had a chance to speak with bus drivers about ways they can be safe.

Four Elected to JFK’s Student Government

Four Elected to JFK’s Student Government

The student government at JFK held its annual election for class officers on Nov. 7. After 10 nominees read prepared remarks to the entire school, explaining why they deserved to be elected, each class visited the school’s computer lab to vote for the four students they wished to have represent them as student government officers.

Pasquale DeGregorio was elected president, Adison Patrick was chosen as vice president, Alexis Borowski was named treasurer and Addison Costanza was selected as secretary.

Dark Falcons Fly into Second Place at New Hampshire Pumpkin Chucking Competition

Dark Falcons Fly into Second Place at New Hampshire Pumpkin Chucking Competition
Dark Falcons Fly into Second Place at New Hampshire Pumpkin Chucking Competition 2

The Dark Falcons high school pumpkin chucking team won second place in the youth division at the Extreme Chunkin competition held this autumn in New Hampshire, tossing the orange gourds with their own trebuchet designed using skilled knowledge of physics. Accompanied by their families, three members of the team made the long trip to participate in the event.

“Four of my former student team members from five years ago also came with us on the trip,” said Deer Park technology teacher and Dark Falcons coach Bruce Sander. “They were my students and members of the first team of seventh-graders when we built our original trebuchet.”

Help with Hurricanes from the Red Cross Club

Help with Hurricanes from the Red Cross Club

The high school’s Red Cross Club recently raised $1,302 for hurricane relief, aided by a willing and active student body ready to provide funds for fellow citizens.

“It was the goal of our club to provide aid to the areas impacted by the devastation caused by the hurricanes that hit our country this summer and fall,” said Yasmeen Syedda-Hensley, the club’s chief officer.

High School Chemists Calculate Calories

High School Chemists Calculate Calories
High School Chemists Calculate Calories 2
High School Chemists Calculate Calories 3
Regents chemistry students at the high school concluded their matter and energy unit by completing a lab activity titled “Calculating the Energy Content of a Cheeto,” in which they burned a certain mass of Cheetos snacks and used a seltzer can filled with water to absorb all of the released heat energy. Students were then able to calculate the amount of heat energy released in terms of calories and compare their results to the nutrition facts on the packaging.

“Through the completion of this activity, students were able to put themselves into the role of a food chemist and learn how the amount of calories in all of their favorite foods are determined in the lab,” said teacher in Stephanie Giatas.

“We are creating more meaningful experiences for our students each time we show them how science is conducted in a laboratory and how it usable in their lives,” said Alison Branca, Deer Park’s curriculum associate for science and technology.

Seventeen Superlative Champions Chosen

Seventeen Superlative Champions Chosen

Seventeen superlative high school students were recognized on Nov. 8 in front of their proud families at the annual fall Breakfast for Champions. Honored for their outstanding qualities and achievements, champions are chosen every fall and spring by each department in the school, alongside principal’s and teacher’s champions. The ceremony was held in the library, accompanied by music from the school string ensemble.

Breakfast for Champions honorees for fall 2018 were Jayda Barnes (Teacher’s Award), Steven DeKanchuk (technology), Bianca Delgado (guidance), Logan Eisenberg (science), Melissa Espinoza Cruz (English as a new language), Jordan Galaor (Principal’s Award), Sophie Giles (health), Giavanna Lattanzi (math), Algery Maldonado (social studies), Madison Mattera (physical education), Jase McDermott (athletics), Diana Sanchez (family and consumer science), Trevor Sheehan (art), Cassandra Tirotta (English language arts), Giavanna Vangeli (business), Zachary Vila (performing arts) and Pritheva Zakaria (world languages).

“We were honored to have the opportunity to recognize these students of exceptional character and perseverance,” said Associate Principal Kristen Anisis. “We are proud of each one of these individuals and their positive contributions to our school and the greater community.”

May Moore Kindergartners Give a ‘Hand’ to Vets

 May Moore Kindergartners Give a ‘Hand’ to Vets
 May Moore Kindergartners Give a ‘Hand’ to Vets 2
 May Moore Kindergartners Give a ‘Hand’ to Vets 3
Kindergartners in Tammy Cotrone’s class at May Moore recognized Veterans Day by creating a special poster, a heart made of red and blue paper hands that said, “We wanted to give you a ‘hand’ for serving our country.” Cotrone gifted the poster to local veterans to show her and her student’s appreciation for those who served.
Deer Park School District