JFK Teacher Chipkin Selected to Work on State Assessments


JFK teacher Lauren Chipkin applied to be a passage reviewer for the upcoming state assessments and was selected to work with both the New York State Education Department and Questar, the creator of this year’s tests. She is also applying to be an item writer for the assessments.

Chipkin’s educational excellence was previously recognized by the state in 2012, when she was highlighted for her expertise in teaching literacy. The state sent a video crew to the school to work with several teachers to create videos that were used on the EngageNY website as exemplary models of teaching practices.

“Lauren is considered to be a leader among her peers in literacy and teaching methods, techniques and strategies,” said JFK Principal Susan Bonner of Chipkin, who has taught third grade and reading at JFK for 16 years. 

JFK Students Give Back with Holiday Care Packages


Students in the JFK classrooms of teachers Heather Ciurleo, John Colford, Jenny Dixon, Joseph Verdicchio and Jennifer Zylberberg spent time last month creating care packages for those in need during the holidays.

The students decorated bags, which were filled with scarves, gloves, hats, toothbrushes, toothpaste, chips and hand sanitizer. They also wrote notes to include in the packages. The bags were later donated to Community Presbyterian Church in Deer Park.

“We wanted the children to realize how important it was to also give back to the community during the holidays,” said Ciurleo.

High School Flutist Zhang Named All-Eastern


The high school’s acclaimed flutist Megan Zhang has been accepted into the All-Eastern Honors Band. Zhang was chosen by the National Association for Music Education to perform at NAfME’s 2017 Eastern Division Conference, to be held April 5-8 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Zhang, who studies under the guidance of Deer Park band teacher Jerry Cannarozzo, was also recently named an All-County and All-State musician.

“Megan’s dedication to her craft is admirable and inspiring to those that spend time with this phenomenal student-musician,” said Bradley Murphy, Deer Park’s districtwide curriculum associate for fine and performing arts.  “This is a tremendous honor.”

National Honor Society Inducts 55 New Members


The high school held it’s 55th annual National Honor Society induction ceremony on Dec. 12, welcoming 52 new members.

The evening began with the pledge of allegiance, led by Class of 2017 valedictorian Omaier Mohiuddin. The new inductees took the membership pledge , administered by NHS President Michael Charumaneeroj, and all members participated in the traditional candle lighting ceremony.

Speakers included several other NHS members, Principal Charles Cobb, NHS adviser Seth Margolin and Babylon Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer. Schaffer and legislators Thomas F. Barraga and Lou D’Amaro all bestowed proclamation certificates for the honorees. The school’s chamber orchestra, directed by Kathy Attard, provided accompanying music.

Frost Chamber Musicians Bring Cheer to Local Seniors

A group of giving musicians from Robert Frost, including the school’s chamber choir and a chamber ensemble group from the eighth-grade orchestra, paid a special visit on Dec. 22 to two local nursing homes – Our Lady of Consolation in West Islip and Sunrise of Dix Hills – to bring holiday cheer with song. The ensemble was led by directors Youngsun Koh-Lee and Maria Wingert.

An Inspirational Pair of Candidates at DPHS


High school freshman Alyssa Robb and sophomore Maya Kovic were among only 14 students selected as candidates for the first-ever Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Student of the Year program on Long Island.  Both Kovic and Robb are dedicated, diligent students and currently enrolled in numerous Advanced Placement courses.

Hailing from both public and private schools across Long Island, the candidates were chosen by the LLS Leadership Committee for their support of the Society’s mission to raise funds for blood cancer research and cures through leadership, passion and involvement in the community. The candidate who raises the most money at the end of the six weeks will be named Student of the Year and receive a $2,500 scholarship. In addition, three students will be selected to receive a Citizenship Scholarship Award of $500 each based on their commitment to community, leadership and the LLS mission. The campaign will kick off on Feb. 9 and will culminate with a March 23 awards ceremony at the Fox Hollow in Woodbury, when the winners will be announced. 

“It is absolutely wonderful to see two young ladies that are so motivated and driven to volunteer their time to this great cause,” said school counselor Margaret C. Pereira. “They are truly an inspiration.”

“These students embody the idea that anyone can make a difference with hard work and dedication,” said Sara Lipsky, the executive director of the LLS’s Long Island Chapter. “They are helping to make an impact on the lives of cancer patients, not someday, but today.”

Frost Student Kaur Wins $1,500 Hispanic Heritage Essay Contest


Robert Frost student Jasleen Kaur was awarded a $1,500 cash scholarship for winning the grand prize in the Altice Connects Hispanic Heritage Month essay contest. Kaur wrote about Argentinian soccer player Sergio Aguero. More than 1,000 essays were submitted for the contest, which was sponsored by Altice USA, the parent company of Optimum.

Altice presented Kaur with a check at a Dec. 12 ceremony at Robert Frost, attended by Assemblyman Andrew P. Raia, who also presented her with a citation.  

“Jasleen is a leader in and outside of the classroom,” said Spanish teacher Meredith Telese. “From the moment that I presented this opportunity to her, I knew that her essay would be nothing short of fantastic. She always strives to achieve her goals, and this award is truly representative of the driven and motivated student and person that she is. Her essay on Sergio Aguero focused on his compassion and dedication to helping others. Jasleen also embodies such characteristics, and I am so very proud of her accomplishment.”

Caring with Cookies at Robert Frost


Seventh graders at Robert Frost participated in a community service project during the month of December, baking dozens of cookies for donation to the Mercy Inn Outreach Center in Wyandanch.

“Service learning experiences like this teach teens to look beyond themselves and understand the positive role they can play in their local community,” said family and consumer science teacher Paula Behrens, who guided the baking project with fellow teacher Cindy Adriaenessens.

JQA Students Make Educational Stop at IHOP


Vinnie Amodio and Jackie Stein, special education teachers at John Quincy Adams, recently took their K-2 students on a field trip to IHOP in West Babylon to learn appropriate life skills as well as proper manners and behavior in a restaurant. The students were also encouraged to use expressive communication skills as they ordered off a menu.

Prior to going on the trip, the JQA students were presented with a copy of the IHOP kids menu, and practiced ordering off the menu with their teachers and teaching assistants. Students who wanted special requests or substitutions practiced those requests as well. The children studied the ingredients in each menu item to determine what would be the best choice, based on their likes and dislikes. Students also practiced ordering drinks and saying please and thank you through a classroom role-play simulation. They were taught proper table manners and public behavior, and were even shown how to pay the bill. 

“This was a great way for the children to take the communication skills they are learning in their speech sessions and apply them to real-world situations,” said Amodio.

May Moore Prekindergartners Learn All About Latkes


Prekindergartners in teacher Lori Klotsche’s class at May Moore learned all about the traditional food known as latkes as part of an Dec. 13 exploration of the traditions of Hanukkah, using their senses to see, smell, hear, taste and touch during the preparation and eating of the latkes and applesauce. The event also included singing traditional Hanukkah-related songs and “lighting” a wooden play menorah.

“This a fun activity and an opportunity for the students to observe how ingredients can change from solid to liquid,” said Klotsche, who placed the ingredients for the latkes out on a table so the children could identify them and discuss their use, before she combined them in a blender and fried them.


Eleven from Deer Park Trim the Tree with Tuba


Eleven seasonally spirited Deer Park brass musicians performed at the annual Tuba Christmas concert in New York City on Dec. 11, joining more than 400 other tuba and baritone horn players to perform holiday music beneath the famed Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center.

The Deer Park participants included Frost students Mujtaba Aiwazali, Logan Eisenberg, Julianna Hannan and Ilianna Pena, and high schoolers Nick Alo, Anthony D’Arrigo, Briseis Del Cid, Amar Qasir, Colin Reilly, Robert Uhlman and Zach Vila, accompanied by Frost band director Michael Livorno and high school band director Jerry Cannarozzo.

DeBiase Named All-Long Island

"Newsday" announced its All-Long Island teams on Nov. 22, which were featured in the Dec. 11 edition, including one Falcon athlete. Senior Kristen DeBiase was named to the girls soccer All-Long Island second team.

May Moore Book Fair Funds Student Programs


The recent book fair at May Moore was held during the school’s parent/teacher conferences, allowing students to shop for books during class time and then visit the fair with their parents later in the day.

“We are very grateful to our Parent Faculty Club for organizing this annual event each year,” said Principal Alicia Konecny. “Books make wonderful gifts during the holiday season, and all proceeds go directly back to our student programs.”

This year, the book fair will fund two events, a Pajama Night assembly in March and an Author Day.

Frost Honor Society Collects Two Dozen Baskets in Food Drive

The National Junior Honor Society at Robert Frost recently held a Thanksgiving food drive for families in the community. During the two-week-long drive, NJHS members collected different kinds of food each morning, eventually filling two dozen baskets with Thanksgiving food for local families in need.

High School Hosts Successful Blood Drive


The high school’s Varsity Leaders Club hosted its first of three blood drives of the school year on Nov. 15, in conjunction with the New York Blood Center.

More than 125 students signed up to donate to the cause, and by the end of the day, the NYBC had collected 94 pints of blood from Deer Park’s students and faculty under the supervision of club adviser Brian Tower.

The NYBC, who award two $250 scholarships to two Deer Park seniors each spring, honored the school’s 3,500th all-time donor. Evan Mallon, the recipient of this honor, was awarded with numerous gift cards and prizes.

Freshmen Gain Insight on Entrepreneurship on Career Day

Freshmen Gain Insight

The high school held its annual Career Day on Oct. 19, providing freshmen with an invaluable opportunity to meet and network with professionals working in a wide variety of career paths. The students also learned about the pitfalls of social media in an informative closing presentation.

During the three half-hour workshop sessions, fashioned after a speed-dating event, the students sat down for 10 minutes at a time with the guest professionals, talking about the latter’s careers. At the sound of a bell, the students rotated to the next table and sat down with the next professional.

Serving as the keynote speaker was Deer Park alumnus and award-winning entrepreneur Jean Alerte, a member of the school’s Class of 2000. Originally from Port au Prince, Haiti, Alerte was an active member of Deer Park’s business department while a student, participating in the cooperative work experience and internship programs as well as the DECA club. He is the founder of the ACA Branding Agency and the Faith Grind Inspire entrepreneurial program; owner of the Brooklyn Swirl frozen yogurt shop, Julian Casimir Jewelry, and the Alerte, Carter & Associates management and public relations firm; executive director of the Unity in the Community Foundation of Brooklyn; and author of the books “Do Right, Do Good” and project "Single Man, Married Man.”

“Jean regaled the freshmen class with stories of his time as a student at Deer Park,” said Career Day coordinator Jill Perry-Eising, a member of the school’s business department. “He spoke about how taking business education courses and being part of our programs served as the foundation for his future success as an entrepreneur, lighting the flame for his entrepreneurial spirit. His participation in DECA competitions taught him all about marketing and finance, and he uses what he learned then in his business dealings today.

Chris Kauter, the district’s instructional technology administrator, hosted a closing workshop to the students, focused on how social media usage can negatively affect students’ future career aspirations.

“Hiring managers use Google to investigate potential candidates, as do college admissions counselors, and inappropriate posts can hurt your chances of getting into a college or a securing a job,” said Perry-Eising. “Mr. Kauter showed the students how one simple tweet of less than 140 characters ruined the career of a public relations executive who tweeted something insensitive right before boarding a plane. While she was in the air, a firestorm brewed, and she was already fired before her flight landed. He also showed videos examining addiction to Facebook and Instagram, and displayed examples of appropriate versus inappropriate social media posts.”

Child Development Students Make Push to ‘Rethink Your Drink’


Students in Patricia Skjoldahl’s child development course at the high school recently delivered a healthy message around the district, based on their research in the “Rethink Your Drink” lesson.

The high schoolers examined some of their favorite beverages – including Coca-Cola, Arizona ice tea and various Starbucks drinks – and converted the total grams of sugar in each drink to teaspoons. They then measured out the amounts of sugar and placed them in plastic baggies for easy visualization of just how much unhealthy sugar the beverages contain.

“Many of my students buy Arizona because it is affordable at 99 cents a can, but it has approximately 17 teaspoons of sugar,” said Skjoldahl, whose goal for the year is to engage students in healthy habits.  “We are trying to help individuals make informed decisions and raise awareness.”

The child development classes took their message to the district’s recent Health & Wellness Fair at the end of October, providing attendees with flavored seltzer as a substitute, and are now visiting other schools in the district to share the lesson with younger students.

JFK Art Students Participate in Doodle 4 Google

Students in Joanne Bibow-Buck's art classes participated in this year's "Doodle 4 Google" contest. The contest asks students in grades K-12 to create a doodle of the Google logo that fits the theme "What I see for the future." Their entries will be submitted to be judged against other students from all over the country. One winner's artwork will be featured on the Google homepage and that winner will also receive a $30,000 college scholarship. Please see the sideshow below for entries from JFK art students Fariza Abedin, Meghan Brown, Casey Giles, Madelyn Kleiber, Adithan Omprakash and Oviya Omprakash. 


Frost Sixth-Graders Set Out on Zoo Adventure


Rain did not deter Robert Frost sixth-graders from an exciting recent tour of the Bronx Zoo, where they learned about the zoo’s history and some of its more interesting inhabitants.

“Surrounded by woods, amazing animals and architecture, exhibits and atmosphere, we forgot we were in the Bronx,” said one of the accompanying teachers, Paula Behrens. “The zoo is amazing.”

According to Behrens, the students were most intrigued by the feeding of the gorillas in the Congo Rainforest, viewing lions and polar bears, and the array of creatures residing in the Reptile House.

JFK Fifth-Graders Give Thanks with Multiplication

To celebrate Thanksgiving while demonstrating their understanding of multi-digit multiplication, Jason Bond’s fifth-grade class at JFK recently created original Thanksgiving-themed word problems with the assistance of math specialist Fran Marotta.

Pesticide Usage


State Sen. Phil Boyle's Thanksgiving Day Creative Celebration

Students at JFK participated in State Sen. Phil Boyle's Thanksgiving Day Creative celebration. The senator asked students to submit poems, essays and artwork with the theme "What are you thankful for?" Sen. Boyle has now made all entries available for viewing on the his website. Click here and scroll down until you find our school name, "John F. Kennedy," to view the students' hard work. Thank you to all of the students who submitted entries.

Deer Park School District