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Harvard Club Honors Two Deer Park Teachers

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The Harvard Club of Long Island has announced the dozen Long Island teachers who will receive the 2023 Distinguished Teacher Award; among them are Robert Frost Middle School social studies teacher Kevin Cogan and Deer Park High School history teacher Victor LoMonaco. The 2023 award winners were honored at the Harvard Club’s annual University Relations Luncheon on March 18.

“This award honors teachers who transform lives,” said Dr. Judith Esterquest, chair of the Distinguished Teacher Selection Committee. “Devoted teachers honored by these awards offer Long Island students their deep expertise, extraordinary talents and countless hours of attention. By capturing the minds and imaginations of our children and preparing them for challenges that were unknown even a few decades ago, these teachers shape the future of our country.”

Cogan has been teaching social studies in Deer Park for over 21 years, and also coaches soccer, basketball and track. He earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from King’s College in Pennsylvania and his master’s degree in secondary education from Dowling College.

LoMonaco has taught in Deer Park for 20 years, the last 14 teaching AP world history. He earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Stony Brook University and his master’s degree in education from Dowling College.  

Date Added: 3/22/2023

Deer Park HS Honors 51 Math and Science Honor Society Inductees

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Deer Park High School recognized 51 exceptional scholars during the combined induction ceremony of the National Math and Science Honor Societies, held on March 2 in the school auditorium. Principal Charles Cobb addressed the inductees, noting that their foundation in math and science will serve them well in future career endeavors.

Date Added: 3/20/2023

DPHS and Frost ELA Classes Celebrate Black Authors

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Deer Park High School and Robert Frost Middle School students and teachers recently celebrated and discussed issues on the theme of Black History Month with readings from contemporary and historical Black writers. On Feb. 9, ELA classes in both schools were immersed in literature, jazz, hip-hop, slam poetry and spoken word from Black artists and writers. Students talked about the relationship between past and present, discussing how ideas from historical writers continue into today.  

“Celebrating authors that represent our diverse backgrounds is one of the important missions of the language arts classes,” said Justin Uliano, Deer Park’s ELA curriculum associate.

Date Added: 3/16/2023

JFK Fourth Graders Study Energy and Create Chain Reactions

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Students in Beth Ann Vahle’s fourth-grade class at John F. Kennedy Intermediate School recently wrapped up their energy unit by creating a chain reaction with various materials in the classroom.

This included taking a virtual field trip to the New York State Fair, learning about roller coasters and exploring ideas such as speed, collisions and energy conversions. Throughout the unit, students learned about different forms of energy, the relationship between energy and speed, changes in energy during collisions and how energy can be transferred from one location to another.

In the hands-on activity, students worked in collaborative groups to create their own chain reactions, using various classroom items such as dominoes, Legos and marbles.

“My students worked extremely well on the design process while planning their ideas, creating this reaction, testing it and finding ways to improve the design,” Vahle said.

Date Added: 3/15/2023

Students Gain College Insights at Black History Month Panel

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Deer Park High School held a Black History Month event on Feb. 15, providing students with the opportunity to engage in a panel discussion with representatives from various colleges and organizations such as Binghamton University, Queens College and Stony Brook University.

Deer Park college and career counselor Kate Maloney gave an overview of the college application process and programs available at historically Black colleges and universities, known as HBCUs. Farmingdale State College educational opportunity counselor Natiesha Reid-Smith and Queens College adjunct professor and SEEK alumnus Carmine Couloute shared their experiences and described support options for students in college. Recent Deer Park High School graduate Arianna Smith spoke on her transition to college life and discussed the stark differences between high school and college. CUNY John Jay internship specialist Muldy Fletcher, New York City Police Department Sgt. Donnie Daal, third-grade teach Khaleel James and retired Internal Revenue Service agent Cynthia Gamble discussed their membership in historically Black fraternities and sororities and explained the lifelong benefits that membership provided.

“These organizations were created to foster communal bonds and increase professional and networking opportunities within collegiate careers, but also to provide community service and develop leadership skills,” said social studies teacher and Black Student Union adviser Aleisha Forbes.

The panel discussion culminated in questions from students such as Katia Papailler and Saharabi Shariar on ways to balance social activities in college with academic life as well as general advice for students during the college application process.

Date Added: 3/14/2023