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Deer Park Summer Camps 2019

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Scenes from the STE@M Expo

Scenes from the STE@M Expo

The district’s annual STE@M Expo, held at the high school on the night of May 21, featured an exciting exhibition of student-created works and events from Deer Park’s science, technology, engineering, arts and math programs. Families visiting to vote on the budget enjoyed a variety of displays from live string music and theater to science fair projects, dragster races and art displays.

 



Budget Passes, Jean-Pierre Elected as Trustee

Residents voted to support the Deer Park School District's 2019-2020 budget on May 21, by a vote of 963 to 305. The district thanks the community for participating in this important process.

Two Board of Education incumbents, President John Gouskos (945 votes) and trustee Kristine Rosales (935 votes), both running unopposed, were reelected. In the race for the open seat currently held by Keith Rooney, who did not seek reelection, the winner was Jerry D. Jean-Pierre (684 votes) over Anthony Henkel (517 votes).

JFK Students Experience Traveling to the Mall

JFK Students Experience Traveling to the Mall

Heather Buksa’s students at JFK recently learned about different ways of traveling in the community. As a class, they looked up the bus schedule and went over a social story before taking the public bus to the Westfield South Shore mall in Bay Shore. At the mall, the students went on a scavenger hunt, looking for stores to buy specific items.

Marilin Gutierrez Named JFK Associate Principal

Marilin Gutierrez Named JFK Associate Principal

The district has named Marilin Gutierrez as an associate principal for JFK, replacing Kelly Benson, the incoming principal. Her appointment is effective July 1.

Gutierrez previously served for 11 years as an elementary classroom teacher, in the Copiague School District for nine years and Brentwood School District for two years. A resident of Amityville, she earned her bachelor’s degree in education from St. Joseph’s College, her master’s degree in education at St. John’s University, and her school building and school district leadership certificates from Stony Brook University.

“My goal is to ensure that all children are treated fairly and provide them with a safe and nurturing learning environment to help them grow academically, socially and emotionally,” said Gutierrez.

Baseball Field Dedicated to Carmine Argenziano

Baseball Field Dedicated to Carmine Argenziano

The high school unveiled Carmine Argenziano Baseball Field, dedicated in honor of the former coach, in a May 14 ceremony dominated by moving speeches from family and colleagues such as Board of Education trustee Al Centamore.

Argenziano had a storied three-decade career in Deer Park highlighted by a dozen league championships. His teams included the 1980 Suffolk County and Long Island champions; the 1997 county and Long Island champions and New York State runners up; and the 2004 county and Long Island champions and New York State semifinalists.

“It’s a great honor for my father that the field was dedicated after 30 years of coaching baseball,” said Ryan Argenziano, Carmine’s son and the Falcons’ current baseball coach. “He really put his heart and soul into this baseball program. He would give all the credit to his former players and the Deer Park community, because he always felt that without them, there’d be no program.”

View the ceremony and speeches here.

Female Students Learn About Leadership at Workshop

Female Students Learn About Leadership at Workshop

The high school’s business department, led by teacher Jill Perry-Eising, hosted a Women’s Leadership Workshop in the library on April 18 for 30 female juniors and seniors. Guesting at the breakfast event was Stacy DeNoyior, a senior vice president of sales at Broadridge Financial Solutions, and members of her team, who engaged in group discussions with the students.

“Overall today we had a great time, and we learned so much from such inspiring, powerful women who are very confident and self-assured in what they do,” said junior Diana Sanchez. “It was great to see that and learn about their experiences in their careers.”

Frost Holds Weeklong Celebration of Languages and Cultures

Frost Holds Weeklong Celebration of Languages and Cultures
The Cultural Diversity Committee at Robert Frost recently planned a weeklong celebration of cultural diversity to coincide with World Languages and Cultural Awareness Month, including a cultural diversity poster contest; cafeteria menus translated into Chinese, French, Malayalam, Spanish and Turkish by several of the school’s bilingual students; and daily morning announcements which included information on several cultures and languages represented in the school and the Deer Park community. These announcements – which featured languages such as Bengali, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Spanish, Turkish and Urdu – included cultural and geographical facts as well as language mini-lessons, and ended with a song representing each culture.


JFK Students Enjoy Innovative Evening at Camp Read Away

JFK Students Enjoy Innovative Evening at Camp Read-A-Way

JFK students recently enjoyed an innovative evening of reading in the school’s gym, designated for the night as Camp Read Away. The event gave them a chance to listen to stories read by teachers and administrators in a camp-like atmosphere, including tents. Rotating to different stations, the students also enjoyed astronomy in a star lab and worked on arts and crafts.

Thousands Flock to Falcons Co-Ed Invitational Track Event

Thousands flock to Falcons Invitational track event in Deer Park
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Thousands flock to Falcons Invitational track event in Deer Park 3
The high school boys and girls track programs hosted the sixth annual Deer Park Falcons Co-Ed Invitational on a sunny April 23. A total of 33 teams – including one from as far away as New Jersey – attended the event, with thousands of visitors flocking to the school’s track complex. Nine meet records fell alongside numerous outstanding performances.

DPHS Celebrates 14 Senior Athlete Signings

DPHS Celebrates 14 Senior Athlete Signings

The high school recognized 14 senior athletes who signed national letters of intent to continue their outstanding sports careers in college this fall: Giselle Aparicio (track; Queens College), Isabella Aparicio (track; Adelphi University), Anthony Bendici (football; Wilkes University), Katherine Buquicchio (soccer; SUNY New Paltz), Alexarae Clark (track; Southern New Hampshire University), Heather Dillon (cross-country; SUNY Old Westbury), Anthony Fasano (football; Utica College); Jacqueline Gentile (lacrosse; Manhattanville College), Juliana Knice (basketball; St. Joseph’s College), Joseph Leon (soccer; Molloy College); Warren Millien (track; Adelphi University), Kristina Pali (tennis; SUNY Cortland); Michaela Rapisarda (soccer; St. Thomas Aquinas College) and Bella Vene (soccer; Buffalo State University).

Joined in the May 2 celebration by visiting friends and family members, the students were congratulated in the auditorium by Principal Charles Cobb and Athletic Director Dominick Fontana.

 

Falcons Win First Girls Track and Field League Championship in 26 Years

Falcons Win First Girls Track and Field League Championship
Falcons Win First Girls Track and Field League Championship 2
Falcons Win First Girls Track and Field League Championship 3

The high school’s girls track and field athletes are league champions for the first time in 26 years. Led by captains Giselle Aparicio, Isabella Aparicio, Lexi Clark, Heather Dillon and Sara Felipe, the Falcons team finished the regular season undefeated at 6-0.

The student-athletes overcame an entire season of adversity and had to pull together when the school’s top performers were injured early on. Without the team’s throwing corps, the Falcons would have been in dire straits. Led by Tassyana Blake, Morgan Keuler and Temi Oshikanlu in shot put and Felipe in discus, Deer Park completely shut down every opponent throughout the season, providing the rest of the team with breathing room to gain points and ultimately win each meet convincingly. Battling pain throughout the season, Marissa Cummings still managed to win the triple jump, long jump and high jump in meet after meet.

Winning the championship was no easy feat, as the Falcons competed in one of the most challenging leagues, filled with state-qualifying competitors on every team they faced. However, their depth and persistence proved the difference. Among the many top Falcons throughout the season was Tionny King, whose performances in the 100-meter hurdles, 400-meter hurdles and long jump helped the team tremendously until she was sidelined for the remainder of the season with an injury with two league meets left.  Freshman and winter track MVP Gianna Marquez, who was coming off a two-month injury, stepped in for King and excelled.

At the Falcons last event on May 3, which coincided with Senior Day, Deer Park defeated Eastport South Manor for the outright championship.

“These girls never let their teammates forget how much was at stake and motivated them throughout until the end,” said coach Jim Petti. “They battled every meet like it was a championship and understood the importance of what it took to become champions. What began as a dream, became a reality for the Falcons. Congratulations, girls!”



Frost Teacher John Heeg Chosen for WWI Research Program in Europe

Frost Teacher John Heeg Chosen for WWI Research Program in Europe

John Heeg, a social studies teacher at Robert Frost, was chosen to participate in National History Day’s Memorializing the Fallen program, sponsored by the World War I Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Foundation. Heeg was one of just 18 teachers accepted out of 334 who applied. This summer, he and the other participants will travel to Europe to study World War I; each will research a service member who never returned home.

Heeg has been teaching for 20 years, the last 16 in Deer Park. He also serves as an educational technology mentor for the district, mentors other teachers and coaches track. Several years ago, Heeg had participated in a teacher fellowship with the National WWI Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, which involved visiting the museum itself and producing a lesson plan, then returning home and publishing it. When the museum heard about the Memorializing the Fallen teacher professional development program, it encouraged Heeg to apply.

The 18-month study will include attending webinars and participating in online meetings. In June, the group will spend 12 days in Europe, making stops at Somme American Cemetery, St. Mihiel American Cemetery, Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, Oise-Aisne American Cemetery, Suresnes American Cemetery, Aisne-Marne American Cemetery, and battle sites and monuments at Belleau Wood, Verdun, and Meuse Argonne. On the trip’s last day, the, teachers will attend the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles at the Palace of Versailles.

“It’s great to be a part of this,” said Heeg. “I will learn a lot and bring a lot back into the classroom.”

Heeg’s mission overseas will be to research the story of a Silent Hero, an American service member who died in World War I and is still buried in Europe, conduct in-depth research on the person, prepare a profile and eulogy for them, and find ways to incorporate this into a lesson plan.  In trying to select a fallen veteran to research, Heeg focused on Marines from New York, being that Heeg himself was a Marines hospital corpsman for eight years in a prior career. He chose Sergeant Neil Evans Wheeler of Oswego, who died in combat during the Battle of Belleau Wood on June 17, 1918. Heeg is currently researching Sgt. Wheeler’s life and looking for help telling this hero’s story prior to delivering a eulogy at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in June. Anyone with information about Sgt. Wheeler’s can contact Heeg at heeg.j@deerparkschools.org.

April’s ‘Addams Family’ Musical Brought Frightful Fun to Deer Park

 April’s ‘Addams Family’ Musical Brought Frightful Fun to Deer Park

An April musical production of the “The Addams Family,” directed and choreographed by Kristen Wallace, brought frightful fun to the stage at the high school. The 2010 creepy comedy – based on Charles Addams’ original cartoon characters – was written by Andrew Lippa, Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice.

Deer Park’s delightful cast included Allie Costanza as Morticia, Louis Bianco as Gomez, Makenzie Caldone as Wednesday, Oliver Curry as Fester, Megan Bush as Pugsley, Maddie Steddick as Grandma, Ray Ugalde as Lurch, CJ Sparacino as Lucas Beineke, Michelle Trombatori as Alice Beineke, Evan Hytner as Mal Beineke, and Desmond Mesimeris and Timothy Wallace as Cousin Itt.

The musical was also brought to life through the efforts of numerous teachers and students. Catherine Lubrano served as musical director, Scott Abrams as pit orchestra director, Alex Mesimeris as set designed and director, Catherine Thompson as sound director, Alison Lacoff as costume designer and Karen Cochran as student director.

“It is such an honor to work with such amazingly talented actors, dancers, musicians, artists and crew members,” said Wallace. “I am grateful for the support and energy of the other directors, faculty musicians and parents. Everyone worked tirelessly to make ‘The Addams Family’ the success it was. I couldn’t be more proud.”




JFK Again Honored for Boosting Student Achievement

JFK Again Honored for Boosting Student Achievement
JFK Again Honored for Boosting Student Achievement 2
For the third consecutive year, JFK was identified by the Better Outcomes Research organization as a school that has boosted the achievement of economically disadvantaged students. This recognition was assessed via the “Beating the Odds and Building Opportunities” study of New York State demographic data and ELA assessments. JFK was recognized by the school district at the April 30 Board of Education meeting, with Superintendent Eva J. Demyen presenting a certificate to Principal Susan Bonner.

Student Achievements Honored at Board Meeting

Student Achievements Honored at Board Meeting

The district honored numerous excellent student achievements at the Board of Education’s April 30 business meeting, including the top 10 graduates from the high school’s Class of 2019, many of whom attended the ceremony. Seniors recognized and presented with certificates included upcoming valedictorian Katherine Cho, upcoming salutatorian Eiman Nawaz, third-ranked Hallie Feldman, fourth-ranked Anna Ragone, fifth-ranked Emma DeStefano, sixth-ranked Julie DeBiase, seventh-ranked Mohammed Raiyan, eighth-ranked Matthew Berhalter, ninth-ranked Yasmeen Syedda-Hensley and 10th-ranked Roha Arshad.

Also recognized were JFK student Kaylee Nguyen, winner of the New York State Assembly’s Women’s History Art Contest; Frost students Michelle D. Antonio and Sophia Zorakhsh, who placed in the Long Island Science and Engineering Fair; and high school star athletes Jahi Tucker, who placed first in the nation in the 2018 national boxing championship, and Malik Edmead, who scored his 1,000th basketball point.

Artist Ron Becker Creates "May's Cafe" Mural with Students at May Moore

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Frost Students Win Second and Third at LISEF

Frost Students Win Second and Third at LISEF
Frost students Michelle Antonio and Sophia Zorakhsh recently competed in the LISEF –SSP Broadcom MASTERS Fair, sponsored by the Long Island Science and Engineering Fair, Society for Science & the Public, and Broadcom. At the LISEF event, held in March at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury, Antonio finished in second place for her “The Dirtiest Surface in a School” project, while Zorahksh won third for her “Dissolving Rates of Ibuprofen in Different pH” project.

“I felt proud because people work hard for what they do,” said Antonio.

Both students were recognized at the Board of Education’s April 30 business meeting.


JFK’s Nguyen Named Finalist in Women’s History Art Contest

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Kaylee Nguyen, a fifth-grader at JFK, was recently named a finalist in the annual Women’s History Art Contest sponsored by the New York State Assembly. Nguyen was honored at the fifth annual Women of Distinction Award Ceremony and presented with a certificate of merit, prizes and an enlarged poster of her contest entry. For the contest, Nguyen chose to draw Judith Heumann, an American disability rights activist.

“We are so proud of Kaylee’s hard work,” said art teacher Briana Nussbaum.


High School Holds Extra-Special Sports Night

High School Holds Extra-Special Sports Night

As a way of paying it forward, the high school’s students and staff joined together on April 15 for a special night of competition, camaraderie and charity. The Sports Night event featured sign-ups to form teams in such fun events as cage ball, scooter relay race, tug of war, three-legged race, crab soccer, wheelbarrow race, dodgeball and a choreographed coed dance routine.

Proceeds from Sports Night were donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Suffolk County, and the school welcomed special guest Mira Hobson, an 8-year-old from Miller Place with a heart ailment. Hobson’s wish to be a runway model was recently granted by Make-A-Wish, who sent her to Fashion Week in Los Angeles.




Turning Trash Into Treasure at JQA

Turning Trash Into Treasure at JQA

JQA celebrated Earth Day by turning trash into treasure. First graders in Melissa Frischeisen’s class worked together to make a collage using things that would usually be thrown away. For a week, the class saved disposable items such as food wrappers and scrap paper to use for the project.



A Whole New ‘Aladdin’ Wows May Moore

A Whole New ‘Aladdin’ Wows May Moore

Directed by music teacher Kristen Lombardo, Music Club members at May Moore put on a fantastic production of “Aladdin.” Performing familiar tunes such as “Friend Like Me,” “Prince Ali” and “A Whole New World,” the second graders showed off their acting abilities and terrific costumes during shows on April 11 and 12 for both fellow students and proud parents. The main cast included Christopher Carl as Aladdin, Precious Mansibang as Jasmine, Matthew Schabe as Jafar, Brandon Jones as Sultan, Sarah Kulmatycski as Iago, Matthew Jano as Tiger God, Stanley Horner as Genie and Steven LaSpina as Avis the Flying Carpet.



Lots of Love for Living Museum at JQA

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Each year, second graders at JQA transform the cafeteria into a Living Museum, dressing and speaking as various well-known persons from fields such as athletics, entertainment, politics and history. This year’s event, held on April 2-4, proved exciting for both the students and visiting parents alike.

“This is always one of my favorite activities throughout the year and I am always amazed at all of the research and hard work that the students and second grade staff put into making it a success,” said Principal Christopher Molinelli.

JFK’s Fun Club Tours Panera

JFK’s Fun Club Tours Panera
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JFK’s Fun Club Tours Panera 3
Students in JFK’s Fun Club social skills program recently toured a local Panera Bread, accompanied by special education teacher Marie Tortorici. During the visit, the children had the opportunity to make their own bread and decorate cookies. The Fun Club regularly visits Deer Park businesses to provide the students with a chance to practice social skills in real-life scenarios.

“This experience at Panera was so beneficial for our students,” said Tortorici.   

DPHS Recognizes 17 Spring Champions

DPHS Recognizes 17 Spring Champions

The high school celebrated 17 remarkable students at the annual spring Breakfast for Champions in the library on April 4. Recognized in front of their proud families for their exceptional qualities and achievements, the school champions are chosen every fall and spring by each department in the school, alongside principal’s and teacher’s champions. Principal Charles Cobb congratulated the students and his staff to conclude the ceremony.

Breakfast for Champions honorees for spring 2019 were Rafid Ahnaf (family and consumer science), Huda Ameen (guidance), Logan Fontana (technology), Adriana Harrilal (English language arts), Jasleen Kaur (business), Julianna Knice (athletics), Kylie Kuhn (physical education), Ryan Leon (Teacher’s Award), Dylan Monserrat (health), Michael Nacchia (art), Thanh Binh Phan (English as a new language), Jordan Rios (Principal’s Award), Scott Rodgers (world languages), Kelly Schwarz (performing arts), Jada Smith (science), Lloydine St. Martin (social studies) and Diondra Talleyrand (math).

Deer Park Earns Five SCOPE Awards

Deer Park Earns Five SCOPE Awards
Five district employees earned SCOPE Awards for Excellence this year, and were recognized at the annual SCOPE awards dinner, held on March 18. Dr. Eliana Levey, the principal of Robert Frost Middle School, won in the Administrator Service category. The other winners were DC Raymond Downey Charity/Scholarship Fund founder Rosalie Downey (Community Service), Deer Park High School special education teacher Laurie Osbern (Teacher Service) and districtwide Food Service Director Barbara Stabile (Support Staff Service).





JFK Rewards Hardworking Young Scientists

JFK Rewards hardworking Young Scientists

Reflecting the hard work and creativity of their projects, winners in this year’s JFK school science fair were third-graders Ava Ortlieb (first place), Emily Luna (second place) and Melanie Holdcroft (third place); fourth-graders Kaylee Puterbaugh (first), Emma Corley (second) and Connor McGuiness (third place); and fifth-graders Adella Lathrop (first), Taylor Gabel (second) and Aubrey Pottinger (third).

“These amazing scientists took the time to ask a big question, formulate a hypothesis, perform an experiment, gather the data and develop a conclusion,” said science lab coordinator Joyce Carmen. 

JFK’s grade-level first- and second-place winners will move on to compete in the Brookhaven National Laboratory Elementary School Science Fair on May 4.


Students Seek Choices at Rewarding College & Career Fair

Students Seek Choices at Rewarding College & Career Fair

The high school held its 14th annual College & Career Fair on March 25, providing essential guidance for student seeking choices for their futures. For the first time, the attendance list included local trade unions in addition to approximately 100 different colleges, organizations and military branches. Members of the school’s National Honor Society assisted in running the event, which also featured a talk by consultant Andrew Herman on college admission for student-athletes.

“Every year, our goal is to continue to build on our past success and include organizations that meet the needs and interests of our students,” said college and career counselor Jessica Negron. “It is so rewarding to see our event come together for students and their families as they explore opportunities for life after high school.”





Four from Deer Park Chosen for Colors Exhibit

Four from Deer Park Chosen for Colors Exhibit

Four Deer Park students – May Moore second graders Carmine Baio and Nayla Isaac and JFK fifth graders Addison Costanza and Gavyn DeFour – were selected to have their artwork showcased at the 21st annual Colors of Long Island student art exhibit, held in March at the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook. The May Moore pieces were inspired by the artist Vincent van Gogh, while the JFK artworks were inspired by mandalas representing the universe. The students attended the show with their families, accompanied by art teachers Briana Nussbaum and Michelle Sarco.





Deer Park’s Stellar Music Program Earns Another NAMM Award

Deer Park’s Stellar Music Program Earns Another NAMM Award
The district’s music program earned recognition again as one of the NAMM Foundation’s Best Communities for Music Education. The annual designation, now in its 20th year, rewards exceptional achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students.

“Deer Park is very proud to be honored as one of the best communities for music education by NAMM for 2019,” said Bradley Murphy, the district’s curriculum associate for fine and performing arts.

DPHS Inducts 73 New World Language Achievers

Deer Park Inducts 73 New World Language Achievers

Diligence was rewarded at the high school’s World Language Honor Society induction ceremony on March 28, welcoming 73 new members. A total of 111 of the school’s students are enrolled in the school’s French, Italian and Spanish honor societies for 2018-2019. Inductees are required to earn an average of 92 or higher in their world language classes, demonstrate an overall GPA of 85 or above, receive outstanding recommendations from school staff, and act as peer leaders.

“In addition to maintaining exceptional grades in their world language courses, these students are dedicated to helping Deer Park’s multilingual and multicultural community,” said Ashley Rosenberg, the district administrator for ENL and world languages. “They have worked diligently to earn this tremendous achievement.”

“When I was a high school principal, this was always one of my favorite nights,” said James Cummings, the district’s assistant superintendent for pupil personnel services and the incoming superintendent of schools. “It is an opportunity to congratulate a group of students who I always felt held a special place in my heart and in the high school. So many students are looking for the easy way out, doing the minimum amount they can do, but the kids we honored did a couple of things. They kept going with a foreign language when a lot of students stopped. Not only did they keep going, they excelled at it. Communication is crucial, and as our world shrinks, being comfortable communicating with other cultures and human beings who might not have the same background or history is the most important skill we can teach our kids today.”

The packed audience of proud families was entertained by music from band director Jerry Cannarozzo and the school’s jazz ensemble, a perfect touch to complete an evening of candle lighting and congratulations.




Red Cross Club Helps Out Meals on Wheels

Red Cross Club Helps Out Meals on Wheels
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Five dedicated members of the high school’s Red Cross Club assisted the Suffolk County Meals on Wheels program in Amityville on March 14. Red Cross Club President Yasmeen Sayedda-Hensley and fellow students Dana Ali, Diana Damian, Jasleen Kaur and Gabriella Sroka packaged meals in insulated bags and handed them to drivers for delivery to needy individuals throughout the Town of Babylon. The majority of recipients were elderly persons who could not cook or provide for themselves.

“It was a great opportunity to help out members of our community,” said Sayedda-Hensley.


A Swashbuckling Success for Frost’s ‘Three Musketeers’

A Swashbuckling Sccess for Frost’s ‘Three Musketeers’

Swashbuckling student-actors at Robert Frost put on an entertaining spectacle, presenting Richard Gremel’s play “The Thrilling Tale of the Three Musketeers” on March 15 and 16.

The titular three swordsmen were brought to life by Steven Discenza as Artie, Marcus Fasano as Porthos and Sebastian Lopez as Aramis. Directed by Michael Moriarty with invaluable assistance from set designer Maria Giglio and Sound and lighting director Scott Surdi, the farcical production also starred Maddy Bernstein as Constance, Drea Hendrickson as Queen Anne, Luke Valencia as Prince Frederick, Ayush Manchanda as the Duke, Carson Warkenthein as Bernard, Dimitra Pavlatos as Claudette, Brianne Vasconcellos as the Page and Gianna Sanchez as the Guard.

“I had the perfect cast for this show,” said Moriarty. “We put on a rather difficult piece, but the kids turned out an incredible performance. When you consistently hear an audience laughing throughout the show, it’s vindication for the cast and crew that they’re doing something pretty special.”




Deer Park Comes Together to Support Down Syndrome Awareness

Deer Park Comes Together to Support Down Syndrome Awareness
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May Moore celebrated Down Syndrome Awareness Day on March 21 with a special guest of honor, Adrian Bruno, a May Moore first-grader with Down Syndrome.

Staff and students showed their support by wearing blue and yellow, the official Down Syndrome colors, while elementary teachers and district administrators donned Down Syndrome awareness socks purchased from John’s Crazy Socks in Melville, a business owned by a young man with Down Syndrome. More than 100 pairs of socks were sold, with donations going to the Association of Children with Down Syndrome, National Down Syndrome Society and Special Olympics.

Teacher Alannah Boccard and speech therapist Doreen Bellantoni had previously visited each class at May Moore to speak to the students about acceptance and friendship. During their presentation, the two educators talked about people’s differences and similarities, read the Todd Parr book

“It’s Okay to Be Different,” and explained to the students what it means to have Down Syndrome and how to be inclusive to people with differing needs. The students then brainstormed ways to show random acts of kindness, which were written up and displayed in the main lobby hallway for all to read. 

“This day meant a lot to Adrian and his family,” said Boccard. “It was so nice to have the whole school and district come together to show their love and support.”

James Cummings Announced as New Superintendent

James Cummings Announced as New Superintendent

James Cummings has been named the new superintendent of schools for the district, replacing the retiring Eva J. Demyen. His hiring was announced at the Board of Education’s March 26 business meeting, to the applause of colleagues, family and community members.

Cummings had served as Deer Park’s assistant superintendent for pupil personnel services since 2016. He began his Deer Park career in 1997 as a business teacher at the high school, after four years in corporate sales for Cigna and MCI/Worldcom. He previously served as Deer Park High School principal, Robert Frost principal and associate principal, and the high school’s varsity track, winter track and cross-country coach.

The Sayville resident earned his bachelor’s degree in business management from SUNY Cortland and master’s degrees in secondary education and administration from Dowling College. 

“I am both proud and humbled to be appointed as the next superintendent of Deer Park Schools,” Cummings said. “Having been in this district for over 20 years, as a coach, teacher, assistant principal, principal and assistant superintendent, I have seen the amazing students of Deer Park accomplish so much. As the superintendent, I promise that I will uphold the great traditions of Deer Park Schools. Equally as important, I will work tirelessly along with our wonderful staff, to ensure that our district stays on the forefront of current educational trends, and that our students are prepared for the ever-changing world that they will be thrust into upon leaving us. I love this community and look forward to serving it in my new capacity.”  





Konecny Named Assistant Superintendent

Konecny Named Assistant Superintendent

The district named Alicia Konecny as its assistant superintendent for pupil personnel services, replacing James Cummings, the district’s new superintendent of schools. The promotion was announced at the Board of Education’s March 26 meeting.

Konecny, a resident of Deer Park and graduate of Deer Park High School, had served as principal of May Moore since 2004. She previously worked as an assistant principal at both May Moore and JQA, assistant principal at JFK, and an administrative intern at JFK. She began her Deer Park career at JFK, teaching third grade and then fifth grade.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Delaware, a master’s degree in education from Dowling College and her advanced certificate in school district administration from Stony Brook University.

“I am thrilled to continue my career in Deer Park in this new role,” Konecny said. “It has long been my passion and our collective mission to provide each and every student with exemplary programs of study within a safe, healthy and nurturing environment. I am looking forward to providing instructional leadership that ensures that every student is learning and achieving at a level that maximizes his or her learning potential.  I am eager to coordinate the development and improvement of pupil support services and the advancement of support services for students while also being an advocate for creative and innovative programs for students with disabilities.”



Deer Park School District