Principal

James Cummings

Principal's Message

 


 

Associate Principals

Jeanne Kozlowsky
Craig Evans
Brian Norton

 


 

Prom Pictures

To help facilitate the accuracy of orders and lessen the students’ time taken during prom, we encourage you to place your order online prior to prom by going to www.thorntonstudio.com and selecting “Pre-Pay Prom Order” under Prom Photography. Additionally, you will have the choice of paying by credit card and receive a confirmation e-mail.

Announcements

Reed Wins Football Gold in Kuwait

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Thomas Reed, a June graduate of the high school, was one of 45 players selected to represent the U.S. at the 2014 International Federation of American Football Under-19 World Championship in Kuwait. Reed was the first football player from Long Island to be selected for the team, which captured the gold medal. The trip had personal meaning for Reed, whose father, Richard, served in the U.S. Army in Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm in 1990.

The national team was assembled by USA Football and coached by Aaron Brady of Pennsylvania’s Malvern Preparatory School. After a training camp at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Va., Reed and his teammates headed to Kuwait where they competed from July 7-16 in the tournament as part of an eight-nation field including Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Kuwait and Mexico.

After beating Mexico, 49-14, in the opening game, with Reed tipping a 41-yard field goal, the Americans went on to defeat Germany, 54-0, in a game highlighted by Reed’s seven tackles and a sack. In the July 16 championship game at Kuwait City’s Al-Salmiya Stadium, the U.S. beat Canada, 40-17.

“I plan to take it and run with it,” said Reed, excited for the chance to show his defensive skills on an international stage. “It’s a huge blessing and a great opportunity to get recognized.” Staying focused is Reed’s primary goal, along with a constant quest to improve. “Whatever I do is never good enough,” he said. “That’s how you get better and compete.”

Reed, a star member of the Falcons football squad and the school’s 2013 homecoming king last October, will be attending Lackawanna College in Pennsylvania this fall.

Freshman Orientation Is Instructive

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On a warm Wednesday morning, the high school welcomed its Class of 2018 for the first time, smoothing their transition via the annual freshman orientation on Aug. 27. The event proved helpful and instructive, providing the incoming ninth-graders with a sense of the building’s layout and a wealth of information on topics such as student activities, graduation requirements and guidance counseling. At the end of the program, the new freshmen found their lockers and took a tour of the building, guided by older students.

“One of the nicest aspects of freshman orientation is the number of upperclassmen who volunteer their time to help the freshmen become acclimated to the building,” said James Cummings, the high school’s principal. “It speaks to the respect that the students have for their school, and that they have a vested interest in the new students being successful.”

In speaking to his new charges, Cummings emphasized getting involved right off the bat, encouraging them to pursue activities, clubs and sports. “Students who are active members of their school community are more successful academically,” he said.

Summer School Carnival Debut

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Marking a transition to the return of classes in September, the district held its first summer school carnival in August, celebrating the program’s last day. The event – including numerous games, coloring books, bubble blowing, hula hooping, cotton candy and a visit from Mister Softee – was held at the JFK gymnasium.

“I thought it would be nice to do something for the children, who worked so hard all summer,” said teacher Phyllis Senia, who planned the carnival. “It shows them that coming to school brings a reward, where they can play and have a good time.”

The summer program, which includes a variety of activities and field trips, benefits approximately 60 special education students, ranging from kindergarten to high school, from each of the district’s schools, aided by a staff of 33 teachers and administrators as well as student volunteers.

 

77 AP Scholars Recognized

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The College Board has recognized 77 Deer Park High School students as AP Scholars for 2013, an increase of nine since last year. AP courses are graded on a scale of 1 to 5, with a score of 3 or above qualifying high school students for college course credit.

Through its Advanced Placement Program, the College Board presents several levels of AP Scholar Awards honoring top students who demonstrate outstanding college-level achievement via AP courses and exams. Each of the honorees – whose achievements will be noted in AP score reports sent to prospective colleges – received an award certificate.
 
Deer Park boasted a total of six National AP Scholars, a category reserved for students who received an average score of at least 4 on all AP exams taken and scores of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams.

The school can also take pride in its 14 AP Scholars with Distinction, a title awarded to students who received an average score of at least 3.5 on their AP exams and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams; seven AP Scholars with Honor, who received an average score of at least 3.25 on all of their AP exams and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of those exams; and 56 AP Scholars, who received scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP exams.

Class of 2014’s Moment in the Sun

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As the sun shone brightly and a refreshing breeze moved through Al Centamore Football Field, members of the high school’s Class of 2014, led by the American Celtic Pipe Band, marched in for the school’s 51st commencement. Student Council President Daniela Zabbatino led the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by Jaclyn Miano singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” and a lovely performance of Deer Park’s alma mater by members of the school’s girls chorus.

The graduating seniors were congratulated by laudatory speakers including Class President Gina Hock, Superintendent of Schools Eva J. Demyen, who urged the students to listen more to their parents than to their friends and played them Bobby McFerrin’s “Don't Worry, Be Happy,” and Principal James Cummings, who expressed immense pride in the students who had been under his supervision for the last four years. Continuing a longstanding Deer Park tradition, Class of 2004 valedictorian Nicholas Porcaro returned as a guest speaker, offering Rocky Balboa as a model of determination and providing this year’s graduates a synopsis of Porcaro’s rise, fall and eventually successful career reinvention in the business world.

Salutatorian Andreas Stamatakis told his peers that what they learned in their studies would not be enough to prepare them for adult life beyond high school. “Today we take a step toward a unique period of our lives, a time when our lack of preparation is our greatest strength,” he said. “When challenges come, and they undoubtedly will, we have the greatest chance to do something unique and innovative in the face of adversity. We will set precedent instead of following it. We will lead meaningful change. In this way, we might leave our mark on the world. And if it’s going to happen at all, it will happen now. Today we embark on the most exciting opportunity we will ever have. Today we leave the nest, and there’s no going back. We only have one shot. We must look inside ourselves for the courage to take charge of our lives, to spread the love in our hearts. Let’s make it count.”

In his speech as class valedictorian, Harvard-bound Kyle Devine discussed the value of uncertainty and adversity in forging the future. “Here we stand on the outskirts of adulthood, but no matter how we approach the future, there’s so much of it that remains a mystery,” he said. “While we may know who we are today, we still are yet to discover who we’ll become, but it’s nothing to worry about – we have a lifetime to figure that out. What the past four years have shown me is that many of us have the tendency to doubt ourselves, and I think it comes from our fear of failure. In our lives so far, there have been good times, there have been not-so-good times, and because we’re human, there have been mistakes. What’s wonderful about these experiences, however, is that regardless of what the consequence may be, there’s a lesson that comes forth with it, which has allowed us to develop into the individuals we are all looking at today. You can set as clear a path as you want right now, but never panic if there’s an obstacle blocking your way or you decide that you want to take a left instead of a right.  Instead, immerse yourself in the possibilities that the world has to offer you and that you have to offer the world.”

“Things will get difficult, because nothing worth having ever comes easy,” he went on to tell his fellow seniors. “But that’s nothing new, and you’ve overcome adversity before. We’ve faced hardships, we’ve made mistakes, and yet here we are, celebrating our accomplishments with our friends and family who’ve been there along the way. Times will get tougher, but so will you. There may be moments you second-guess yourself and want to quit; however, if you can rise to the occasion and maintain faith in yourself, you will get back up, surmount whatever comes your way and succeed. You can’t truly appreciate your triumphs and happiness without acknowledging the low points and failures that came along the way. As the Chinese proverb says, ‘the gem cannot be polished without friction.’”

“Before I leave the podium, I would just like to thank every one of my classmates,” added Devine, choking back tears and inciting a standing ovation. “I can truthfully say I enjoyed the past four years with you all. You made it a joy to come to school every day, and I can only hope that I taught you just a small fraction of what you all taught me, especially about what it meant to be a friend. I truly wish you the best of luck in all your future endeavors, though I’m sure you won’t need it. Congratulations to the Class of 2014!”

After the candidates for graduation were introduced and diplomas conferred and awarded by district administrators and members of the Board of Education, the excited new graduates flung their caps skyward, and proceeded out to the strains of Elmer Bernstein’s “The Great Escape,” performed by the Deer Park High School Symphonic Band.

Deer Park School District