A Conference for Student Innovation
Robert Frost Middle School hosted the New York State Science and Engineering Fair, where more than 350 middle and high school students from across Long Island and New York City presented their research projects to a panel of judges. The collaborative event was a platform for discussion on a variety of topics and provided students with the opportunity to display their work and educate their peers and teachers on their extensive studies.
Seven Robert Frost Middle School students qualified for this prestigious competition and tackled projects including Testing Lead in Local Soil, Supercooling Water and Snap Freezing, and Oily Aquatic Plants.
Congratulations to Carli Fonseca, Chris Martinez, Michael Mieses, Alima Hossain, Jade Wilson, Gustano Giffone and Badar Zaman for representing Deer Park in this prestigious event.
Center Stage with Deer Park Students
The thespians of Deer Park High School recently presented “The Drowsy Chaperone” as the district’s featured spring production. The dynamic parody of a 1920s American musical comedy focuses on a musical theater fan as he plays the record of his favorite musical, “The Drowsy Chaperone.” In this unique show-within-a-show setting, the story came to life onstage as the "Man in Chair” commented on the vibrant scenes, lively actors and musical ensembles.
Student actors took on the roles of these versatile characters, telling the tale of a pampered Broadway starlet who wants to give up show business to get married, her producer who sets out to sabotage the nuptials, her chaperone, the debonair groom, the dizzy chorine, the Latin lover and a pair of gangsters who double as pastry chefs.
The "Man in Chair,” played by Joe McGarty, narrated Deer Park High School’s production of “The Drowsy Chaperone.”
Deer Park High School student Sabrina Rudden danced across the stage at the spring musical, “The Drowsy Chaperone.”
Deer Park High School students Sam Henkel and Sergio Valoy played two gangsters disguised as pastry chefs in “The Drowsy Chaperone.”
Deer Park High School’s “Drowsy Chaperone” Megan Cain led a cast of complex characters in the school’s musical.
Deer Park High School’s spring production of “The Drowsy Chaperone” starred Alex Stephani as oil tycoon Robert Martin and Michelle Rubino as Broadway star Janet Van De Graaff, on the day of their wedding.
Playing with Numbers
John Quincy Adams Elementary School hosted a night of numbers with its annual Family Math Night. More than 20 district teachers volunteered their time to share math concepts with students and their parents.
A collaborative learning experience, families visited classrooms equipped with interactive stations that featured math problems, games and puzzles. Students and parents worked together to complete estimating and graphing activities and discuss with teachers grade-specific educational tools and resources.
Students Collaborate with Professional Musicians
The professional musicians of Project Trio returned to Deer Park to facilitate master classes for district student-musicians. Project Trio worked with students one-on-one and through group ensembles to prepare for a live community concert, featuring the first performance by Deer Park’s newest musical group, the Didgeridoo Club.
Music students in grades 5-12 – including the string, band and didgeridoo ensembles and flute, cello and bass players – participated in these interactive workshops, during which they learned unique techniques and fine-tuned their theatrical performance pieces.
A Night for Academic Exploration
Each spring, the high school transforms into a forum for educational advancement during the district’s annual College Fair. More than 100 colleges, universities and academic institutions were represented at the event, which is now in its eighth successful year. Students and parents were also able to connect with SAT/ACT test prep centers and financial aid organizations, all critical resources when making educational plans.
The district’s goal is to expose students of all ages to the options higher education holds and instill the message that it’s never too early or too late to start the college process. To meet students’ diverse needs, a variety of representatives were available to students from top-tier universities, vocational training schools and military service academies.
A Night at the Museum
The student government at John F. Kennedy Intermediate School hosted a sophisticated and educational event, A Night at the Wax Museum. Each representative in the club selected a celebrity, historian or athletic figure that inspires them and conducted research through literary, video and photo resources.
At the exhibit, students got into character by dressing up as their figures and positioned themselves in display showcases. Guests toured the hallways, visiting the live student attractions, and read the informative presentations, which served as the backdrop for the museum.
Scholar-Athletes and Good Sports
The members of the district’s athletic teams are well-rounded student-athletes who excel in the classroom and work hard on the playing field. As a result of this commitment, six varsity squads, including girls basketball, swimming and diving, girls track, boys track, cheerleading and kickline, were named New York State Scholar-Athlete teams. To achieve this honor, students had to maintain a cumulative GPA of 90 or better throughout the season.
Demonstrating outstanding character, the varsity wrestling, junior varsity wrestling and eighth-grade boys basketball teams received the Sportsmanship Award. This award is designated for teams who, based on the recommendations of officials and opposing teams, stand out for their fair play and good sportsmanship on the field of competition.
In addition, teams also advanced to postseason play, defeating their competition in tournament playoffs. Boys varsity basketball claimed the League IV championship and were led by coach John McCaffrey, who was named the League IV Coach of the Year. More success on the court was achieved by the girls varsity basketball team, who qualified for the Class AA playoffs.
From Trash to Treasure
Robert Frost Middle School students committed to a "greener" world and spread the word to their peers to think about the positive impact they could have on the earth by repurposing items. Prompted by this initiative to become more eco-friendly and eco-conscious, they made posters featuring tips on clean living and created mini-books with the message of reduce, reuse and recycle.
Throughout the month of April, students brought in plastics, take-out containers, egg cartons, broken costume jewelry and toys, frames, bottles, glassware and assorted bric-a-brac. The unwanted items received a second life as they were transformed into useful and beautiful products in the "Trash to Treasure" recycling project.
Students were challenged to use their resourcefulness to design, plan and create useful products using the discarded materials. Older students assisted younger students, and all were encouraged to develop their problem-solving skills, working outside the box to accomplish their "green" goals and do their part to improve the environment.
The result was a variety of innovative items, including a vinyl record clock; a "green footprint" shoe organizer; iPod holders; an automatic plant-watering system; hand-sewn grocery shopping bags made from discarded Capri-Sun drink pouches; a purse made from old library books, bamboo and burlap; and leather jewelry made from old softballs. Students learned that transforming old trash into a new product rather than buying a brand-new packaged item saves energy and money and reduces air and water pollution.
An Earth Day Movement
May Moore Elementary students in Pamela Arcuri’s class made an Earth Day pledge to support the sloth. After reading “A Little Book of Sloth” by Lucy Cooke, students were inspired to help these tree-dwelling mammals.
The elementary schoolers researched the Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica, a facility that advocates the protection and rehabilitation of sloths in recovery, and then brainstormed ways they could raise funds for this organization. Students got active, completing earth-friendly chores around the house and writing informative and persuasive essays seeking donations for the Sloth Sanctuary. Their efforts continue as they learn more about the sloth through books and interactive videos.
Green Innovation at JQA Elementary
At John Quincy Adams Elementary School, students in Lisa Stallone’s class honored Earth Day by learning how used items can be transformed into beautiful and useful products. Students collected cans, plastic, paper and wood and used their imaginations to reinvent these materials to create robots, toys, clocks, birdhouses, accessories and stationery supplies. Through careful engineering, students took old water bottles and other used plastic containers to plant seeds and grow plants, demonstrating how something old can be reused to create something new.
In addition, students studied the process of recycling and how to keep our environment clean through books, poems and songs.
Goalkeeper Advances Athletic Career
High school senior Larisa Zambelli has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer at LaSalle University in Philadelphia, Pa. Larisa has served as the Falcons girls varsity goalkeeper since the eighth grade and has been recognized as an All-League, All-County and All-Conference selection.
An outstanding student-athlete, Larisa will be receiving a four-year academic and athletic scholarship to this Division I institution. In addition to leading the district team, Larisa also showcases her skills as a member of the Albertson Fury, a competitive soccer club.
Pictured at right, girls varsity goalkeeper Larisa Zambelli signed a National Letter of Intent to attend and play soccer at LaSalle University. She was joined by her parents Joseph and Lisa Zambelli, coach Ian Kyranakis and District Athletic Director Dominick Fontana.
Student Artwork Decorates Town Hall
John F. Kennedy Intermediate students represented the district at the Suffolk County Art Leaders Association Children’s Show. Nine talented student-artists in grades 3 -5 had their artwork selected for display at Babylon Town Hall.
This is the first year the school participated in this prestigious event, in partnership with the Babylon Citizens Council on the Arts. Students and their families had the opportunity to visit Town Hall to view the entire exhibit and were honored at a special reception.
Pictured at right, students from John F. Kennedy Intermediate School (back row, l-r) Isabella Coon, Jonathan Petrizzo, Giavanna Pitagno, Gianna Candelaria, Evan Loyola, (front row) Michelle Xuan, Rumeysa Camlica, Huda Nawaz and Jade Reyes had their artwork featured at the Suffolk County Art Leaders Association Children’s Show at Babylon Town Hall.
A Lesson in Democracy
The League of Women Voters of Huntington visited the high school to present “Vote 18” to the senior class. These community leaders introduced students to a moving presentation on the importance of exercising the right to vote and the journey to universal suffrage in the United States.
In addition, the league is sponsoring student Alicia Legland to go on a three-day conference and represent Suffolk County at Students Inside Albany. Students Inside Albany is a conference sponsored by the League of Women Voters of New York State Education Foundation Inc. The program is designed to increase students’ awareness of their responsibility in representative government and provide the tools necessary for meeting that responsibility. Alicia is looking forward to exploring the political and legal aspects of various environmental issues.
Pictured at right, high school student Alicia Legland was selected to attend the Students Inside Albany conference. She was congratulated by Heather Stewart, the district’s curriculum associate for social studies, and sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Suffolk County, represented by Brenda Reiss, League of Women Voters of Huntington co-president; and Judie Gorenstein, League of Women Voters of New York State Youth Program chair.
Students Jump Towards Better Health
Students of John F. Kennedy Intermediate School participated in their annual Jump Rope for Heart and Hoops for Heart fundraiser. Jump Rope for Heart and Hoops for Heart are national education and fundraising events sponsored by the American Heart Association and the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.
During physical education classes, students completed a circuit of basketball-themed activities and learned how to develop heart-healthy habits while being physically active. The stations engaged students in teamwork challenges while empowering them to improve their own health and help support other kids with heart-health issues.
Donation Drive Goes to the Dogs
In an effort to support the four-legged members of their community, John F. Kennedy Intermediate School’s Let’s Make a Difference Club held an animal supplies drive. Led by adviser Jacqueline Amato, students collected a variety of items to be donated to the Town of Babylon Animal Shelter.
Students volunteered their lunchtime to man the donation station and enticed their peers to participate by providing raffle tickets with the chance to win prizes in exchange for donations made. Through the generous efforts of the school, the club donated many essential products, including food, pet shampoo, toys, biscuits and treats, grooming tools, blankets and towels to comfort the shelter animals until they find their forever homes.
A Taste of Health
Students Sample Nutritious Foods
In conjunction with National Nutrition Month, and in an effort to educate students on the new FDA nutrition recommendations, John F. Kennedy Intermediate School hosted a Healthy Snack Festival. Students visited stations set up throughout the cafeteria that featured visual displays and taste samples representing the new food plate in all of the food groups. Students received a sample of grains, fruits and vegetables and accompanying literature on healthy eating.
The district’s food service provider, Aramark, sponsored the event, which was held at all of the primary schools.
JFK Students Respond to Continued Need
John F. Kennedy Intermediate School fifth-grade students Samantha Giroux, Makenzie Koury Caldone and Angelina Pititto recognized that the need for help in Superstorm Sandy relief efforts is still prevalent throughout their community. These student leaders decided to take action and organize a targeted donation drive. They assessed the situation and asked their peers to contribute everyday necessities that are often overlooked, including household products, personal care items and baby supplies, to support the local nonprofit Long Island Cares and its grassroots mission.