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Outstanding Senior Selected as 2019 Coca-Cola Semifinalist

Outstanding Senior Selected as 2019 Coca Cola Semifinalist Photo
Lynbrook High School senior Kaylie Hausknecht was recently selected as a Coca-Cola Semifinalist in the 2019 Coca-Cola Scholars Program. Kaylie is one of 1,896 high school seniors in the nation who were chosen from more than 95,000 applications. She will continue through the selection process in the hopes of becoming one of only 150 students to earn the title of Coca-Cola Scholar and receive a $20,000 scholarship.

The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation provides scholarship programs and lifelong enrichment opportunities in support of individuals who seek to make a difference in the world. Kaylie received the honor for her exceptional leadership skills, her academic abilities and community service. Among her leadership roles, she is the president of the school’s National Honor Society, the captain of the high school’s Mathletes Team and a member of the Nassau County All Star Mathletes Team. She is also a valued member of the school’s Science Olympiad team and the Lynbrook High School Science Research Program. 

This fall, she was selected as a semifinalist in the prestigious National Merit Scholarship Competition. She has taken every Advanced Placement science course offered at Lynbrook High School and as a sophomore, was enrolled in the highest Advanced Placement mathematics class, AP Calculus BC. Kaylie was also one of five finalists in the nation in the Genes in Space contest for her DNA experiment proposal fit for the International Space Station. As a finalist, she traveled to San Francisco during the summer to present her research at the International Space Station Research and Development Conference.

Her community service efforts include volunteering with SIBSPlace, Survivorship in Brothers and Sisters, an organization that works with those whose loved ones are impacted by cancer and terminal illnesses. She also volunteers her time at a local Hebrew school.

As a semifinalist, Kaylie will submit her application which will be reviewed in Jan. 2019. After the review process, the Program Reading Committee will select 250 regional finalists who will continue to compete to become one of the 150 Coca-Cola Scholars. 

Congratulations, Kaylie on this great achievement!

West End Gives Back This Holiday Season

West End Gives Back This Holiday Season Photo
The West End Elementary School community recently celebrated the season of giving by supporting in the Marine Toys for Tots program, which gives toys to children in need. Coordinated by third grade teacher Lisa Liguori, the school collected unwrapped toys and raised $417 for Mrs. Liguori to buy more toys to send to the Toys for Tots organization. 

To raise money, Principal Dr. Cindy Lee suggested having two “dress down” days for staff. Those that wore West End attire or colors (red and white) or Lynbrook colors (green and gold) donated $5 or more towards the cause, with many showing their generosity and giving more.

“’To whom much is given, much is expected,’ is my favorite quote,” said Mrs. Liguori. “I’ve been so fortunate in my life, and it feels great to make others happy. I got involved in the Marine Toys for Tots program years ago because they distribute toys to children whose parents cannot afford to buy them gifts for Christmas. The program was founded in 1947, so they have a long record of helping the needy.” 

LHS Student-Athletes Commit to College

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Surrounded by proud family members, nine Lynbrook High School student-athletes from the Class of 2019 made their college commitments to play their sport of choice at their desired colleges on Nov. 29. 

Seniors who will continue to play lacrosse at the collegiate level include Anthony Andrews (Dominican College), Kierstin Aroksaar (Hartwick College), Sean Barrett (SUNY Cortland), Joseph DeMonte (University of Hartford), Jake DiBenedetto (SUNY Cortland), Jack Dorney (SUNY Plattsburgh) and Mason Pontrelli (SUNY New Paltz). In addition, Sarah Gaudet will continue her passion for swimming at James Madison University and Jessica Graepel will take her softball talents to SUNY New Paltz. 

The district extends its best wishes to these seniors as they embark on the next chapter of their athletic careers.
 

More Than 100 Student-Musicians Selected for All-County

More Than 100 Student Musicians Selected for All-County Photo
A total of 114 talented student-musicians from throughout the district will take the stage at the Nassau Music Educators Association’s All-County Festivals in Jan. 2019. This represents a new record of students participating in All-County for the district. 

Lynbrook participants in grades 5-12 will join student-musicians from across Nassau County for concerts featuring select chorus, orchestra, band and jazz ensemble performances. Each year, students are chosen for these elite ensembles based primarily on their performance scores at the New York State School Music Association Solo Evaluation Festival. 

In addition, the district recently had 14 fourth-graders perform in the NMEA’s Parents Educators And Kids Festival. This festival is a General Music equivalent of the performing groups at All-County. The event allowed the students to participate in several workshops throughout the day culminating in a final performance to prepare them for their futures as All-County participants. 

Congratulations to the following students: 

PEAK Participants:
J'adwin Dumel
Valentina Esposito
Madison Hoffman
Emilly Olalde
Olivia Pomponio
Chonyse Prunty
Skylar Wolkoff
Jack Bourquin
Bennett Franklin
Ethan Lunati
Avery Milukas
Mackenzie Reis
Sophia Romanelli
Jessie Vuotto


Waverly Park School
Miley Leu
Jake Prince
Averi Taub
Addison Norris
Joeli Deninno
Charles Horton
Cameron Kirby
Sophia Svartz
Shawn Unger


West End School
Sophie Deiful 
Ashian Islam
Timothy Neri
Ella Carroll
Angelina Macchia
Eric Matern 
Ryan Dugger
Molly Schutzman
Cathlyne Cueto
Cadhla Reynolds


Marion Street School
Payton Stalter
Mason Cofer
Sophia Woods
Alexa Rutigliano
Jack Green
Brianna Baum
Antonio Maiorino
Sophia Schoen 
Payton Linneman
Aaron Malinka
Grayson Prestianni
 

North Middle School 
Ezequiel Bermudez
Ella Chatterton
Bobbie Applebaum
Jack Ceglie
Charisse Cueto
Brianna Lamoreaux
Gianna Longo
Anisa Lopez
Liam Mylan
Danielle Ramsammy
Catriona Reynolds
Kristen Samuel
Ryan Moore
Zachary Buxton
Alexandra Spector
Ezekiel Callahan
Kerry Cullen
Stephanie Neri
Gabriella Ramsammy
Kristen Samuel
Emma Dichter
Micala Dugger
Andrew Schiller
  

South Middle School
Andrew Malinka
Eric Reilly
Aleena Khan
Peyton Leighley
Isabella Melaram
Maria Pugliese
Sophie Rolnick
Rachel Stein
Nina Tomao
Lilah Walsh
Maxine Weiss
Kaitlyn Benedict
Emma Breen
Genevieve Dellacona
Rebecca Marzari 
Dylan Baltes 
Regan O'Callaghan
Lola Sokolsky
Kalley Dunne
Ava Murello
Sydney Seifert
Jaiden Moreno
Grace Benedict
Alexi Deninno
Ashley Olaide
Ava Schwam
Naiya Stephens
Benjamin Svartz
Cristian Calderon
 

Lynbrook High School
Emily Bergin
Camilla Bahri
Lucy Hepburn
Andrew Moscheni
Ryan Marrione
Max Moscheni
Meaghan Grinder
Mackensi Deninno
Conor Rogan
Victoria Artz
Petra Roberts
John Kelhetter
Olivia Dublin
Danny Neri
Benjamin Gagliardo
Eric Levine
Kaylin Tephly
Arpie Bakhshian
Sara Bahri
Leo Glassman
Juliana Condoleo
Victoria Marzari
Lydia Merkle
Lillian Mata
Harrison Glassman
Brennan O'Grady
Brook Beck
Elise Candreva
Kara Vito
Kaylin Tephly
Kayleigh Stalter
Caroline Ridings

Marion Street Student Council Toy Drive

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Learning with Longhouses

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Fourth-graders in Christine Castellano’s class at Marion Street Elementary School constructed longhouses with their classmates as part of their unit on Native Americans. Great job! 

Up for the Regeneron Challenge

Up for the Regeneron Challenge Photo
Ten talented science research students from Lynbrook High School recently submitted their original research to the 2019 Regeneron Science Talent Search, known to be the most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors. The 10 Lynbrook students hope to being among the top students in the nation who will be selected as one of the Top 300 Scholars. 

Approximately 1,800 students from throughout the country enter Regeneron STS each year in competition for more than $3.1 million in awards. This year’s Lynbrook High School seniors include Kai Beattie, Alyssa Burton, Juliana Condoleo, Kaylie Hausknecht, Brandon Pekale, Kyle Schneider, Pooja Shah, Jason Shao, Jason Sitt and Matthew J. Venezia. The students have worked diligently on their science research projects at Lynbrook High School under the guidance of science research teachers Peter Dennis, David Shanker and Charles Vessalico and at various colleges and universities such as Columbia University and Yale University. Semifinalists will be announced on Jan. 23, 2019. 

“Every November, for over seventy years, a small group of students all over the country submit reports about their original research to the Science Talent Search, making it one of the most prestigious pre-college research competitions, creating an atmosphere of excitement as well as the stress of meeting deadlines,” said science research teacher David Shanker. “This year, ten Lynbrook High School Research Program seniors exceeded their expectations, submitting papers that reflect months and, in many cases, several years of hard work. The district is so proud of these students’ accomplishments and have pride in being a part of this tradition of academic excellence.”

North Middle School Students Assemble for Those in Need

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More than 40 members of Lynbrook North Middle School’s Community Service Club recently volunteered their time in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday by participating in the club’s annual table setting event to benefit the Mary Brennan Inn, a soup kitchen that serves Long Islanders in need.
 
Under the guidance of club advisor Donald Seibert, the students met after school to wrap utensils and in just two hours, were able to wrap between 2,500 and 3,000 settings. The utensils were donated by the student families and members of the PTA.

Great job, North Middle School! 

West End STEAM Night

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More than 125 students and their special guests attended West End Elementary School’s first STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) Night on Nov. 13, in collaboration with Molloy College. Prior to the anticipated event, West End students from grades 1-5 were encouraged to sign up with an adult for the evening of exploration and innovation. Learn more about the exciting event by watching the video below!

Voyager Program Looks to the Future at BOE Meeting

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During district’s Board of Education meeting on Nov. 14, central administrators and the board commended students and an outstanding teacher on recent accomplishments while providing important district updates, including a presentation about the Voyagers Program. 

West End Elementary School science teacher Annmarie Roth was recognized for being designated as a New York State Master Teacher of Science. To earn this prestigious title, Roth went through a vigorous application process and is among a select 275 educators from across the state to receive the honor. 

Dressed in their orange T-shirts, members of Lynbrook High School’s National Art Honor Society were praised by the board on their fantastic annual Night of the Pumpkins event on Oct. 27. The students presented a $4,000 check during the meeting to the Community Chest South Shore, which was raised during the event. 

Board trustee Alicemarie Bresnihan spoke about her positive experience attending the New York State School Board Conference and Board Vice-President Lesli Deninno updated the community on the discussions of the facilities committee. The committee gathered on Nov. 13 to brainstorm ideas for more space at Marion Street Elementary School. 

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak presented her report which consisted of a recap of Superintendent’s Conference Day and how the district celebrated Unity Day. A video from band teacher Edward Leone’s class at Lynbrook South Middle School was showcased, which fully displayed the Unity Day message. 

Dr. Gerard Beleckas, assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction, and assessment, and Neil MacDermott, instructional technology coordinator, presented recommendations to enhance the district’s Voyagers Program. Voyagers is an enrichment program for students in grades 3-5 who require an additional challenge. After visiting various districts, they shared two recommended options that the Voyager Task Force committee formulated. Dr. Beleckas and Mr. MacDermott focused on the academic, admission, cost and time comparisons of both options for the board to consider. 

Dr. Paul Lynch, assistant superintendent for finance, operations, and information systems, also shared a capital projects update. He reported that the boiler and the electrical upgrade at Waverly Park Elementary School is complete. Moving forward with this year’s projects, Director of Facilities James Saitta is working with the architect to develop plans to go to the New York State Education Department Office of Facilities Planning for the projects that were voted on last May. Major projects that are in the drawing stages include a new elevator at Waverly Park Elementary School, five bathrooms at Marion Street Elementary School, new doors at Lynbrook South Middle School and a bathroom at West End Elementary School. After the drawing phase, the plans will be going to the state for approval with construction anticipated to begin next summer. Dr. Lynch also shared that the bond high school project is successfully moving forward in preparation for plans to go to the state.
 

Lynbrook Educator Earns Master Teacher Title

Lynbrook Educator Earns Master Teacher Title Photo
Annmarie Roth, a West End Elementary School science teacher, was recently designated as a New York State Master Teacher. Mrs. Roth is among 275 educators from across the state to receive an invitation into the New York State Master Teacher Program and is one of only six elementary teachers who were selected from across Long Island. 

NYS Master Teachers are educators who demonstrate a deep understanding of their content area, pedagogy, students’ families and communities, as well as a commitment to grow in these areas. These passionate professionals teach coding, computer science, engineering, math courses, robotics, science and technology throughout grades K-12. As part of this prestigious program, Master Teachers share best practices with each other to provide the most innovative STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education for all students. They also mentor current and pre-service teachers and inspire their students, who are the next generation of STEM teachers. 

Mrs. Roth has proved her abilities time and time again in connecting with the community and inspiring West End students. She coordinated West End’s first STEAM Night on Nov. 13 with professors and students from Molloy College. The evening of innovation allowed students, along with their special guest, to challenge themselves with STEAM projects. The event was highly successful. 

This was the first year that New York State selected elementary school teachers into the NYS Master Teacher program. To be selected, Mrs. Roth went through an intensive yearlong application process, which included a science content test, letters of recommendation, essays, submitting prior observation reports, Annual Professional Performance Review scores and college transcripts. After she was selected as a finalist, Mrs. Roth went to Stony Brook University for a panel interview, essay and conducted a presentation on a STEM topic.

“I’m thrilled to represent Lynbrook as a NYS Master Teacher,” said Mrs. Roth. “I’m looking forward to collaborating with other Master Teachers and sharing innovative STEM practices with Lynbrook’s students.” 

Spreading Kindness One Can at a Time

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In honor of World Kindness Day, Waverly Park Elementary School students and staff participated in a “Waverly Park CAN be Kind” project on Nov. 13. The school community collected approximately 200 canned goods to be donated to Island Harvest, a hunger relief organization on Long Island.

During the school day, students decorated their cans with personalized stickers featuring inspirational quotes or sayings that reinforced the kindness message. They then dropped their decorated cans off in the kindness boxes in the school lobby. The goal was to bring a smile to the faces of those receiving the food donation. 

In addition, classes spoke about the importance of being kind, a message that Waverly Park reinforces throughout the school year. Principal Allison Banhazl visited each classroom during the day to read a book about kindness and students were encouraged to fill out a slip of paper to recognize acts of kindness and place it in the Kindness Box located at the entrance of the school. The acts of kindness will be read over the announcements. 
 

Students Pen Letters of Appreciation for Veterans Day

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While students and staff throughout the district commemorated Veterans Day in their own special ways, sixth-graders in James O’Hara and Katie Casey’s social studies class at Lynbrook North Middle School received a visit from O’Hara’s father and army veteran, James E. O’Hara on Nov. 9. 

Students listened to his story of being drafted into the army when he was only 19 years old during the Vietnam War. As he spoke about his story, they passed around his photo album and money that he brought back from Vietnam. He also spoke about the importance of giving back. Although he is now retired, he spends his time at a local VA hospital visiting patients. 

During the visit, the class asked questions and learned about how great it feels for military personnel to be acknowledged and thanked by young people. Mr. O’Hara encouraged each of them to write a letter and thank these heroes.  

“Everybody talks about mail,” he told students. “Just to hear from somebody and know that someone cares.” 

While listening to patriotic music, each student created their own card for a veteran in their own life or one who resides at the VA hospital. They wrote personalized notes showing their appreciation and colored their cards to brighten up a veteran’s day. Each student was also asked to thank a veteran during the weekend as their homework assignment. 
 

LHS Key Club Shares Safety Tips With Kindergartners

LHS Key Club Shares Safety Tips With Kindergartners Photo
This past Halloween, Principal Ellen Postman at the Lynbrook Kindergarten Center invited members of the Lynbrook High School Key Club with their advisor Dr. Benedict Tieniber, to speak with kindergarten classes. This is an annual Halloween event for the Key Club who aim to give back to the community. About 20 members visited the school to teach the young students about the importance of Halloween safety and stranger danger. Great job, Key Club! 
 

West End Hosts Annual Turkey Trot

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South Middle School Unites for the Launch of Book Challenge

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Kicking off their exciting 2018-19 literacy initiative titled “Get Lost in a Book,” Lynbrook South Middle School held spirited grade level pep rallies on Nov. 7.

Coordinated by Lynbrook English Department Chairperson Roxanne Migliacci and South staff members, each grade level gathered to hear about the initiative and the school’s book challenge which will take place during the course of the year. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak was also present for the celebration.

During the pep rallies, teachers and student speakers challenged the school community to read 2,500 books by memorial day weekend. They also discussed ways in which every student could get involved to help the school reach its goal while showcasing various book trailers as book suggestions. A book festival will be held at the end of the school year if the school community reaches its goal. 

Teachers were also encouraged to get involved. Social studies teacher Al Marrazzo presented Flipgrid, a video discussion platform that allows both students and teachers to record short videos, share, leave responses and recommend books to others. Students watched Flipgrid entries from the South Middle School staff including Principal Joseph Wiener, who recommended a book for students to read. Students also learned about book series options that might interest them. 

Keeping with the spirit of the event, the Lynbrook owl Darius was introduced. Students looked under their seats for a golden owl and lucky winners received a free book of their choice from Darius at the conclusion of the pep rally. With the guidance of chorus teacher Annie Pasqua, the school’s select chorus entertained the crowd with their performance of “Just Read It,” fit to the tune of Michael Jackson’s hit, “Beat It.” 

Dressed in custom green T-shirts inscribed with the words “Just Read It” and “#GiveAHootForReading” in gold lettering, the select chorus continued to help during the pep rally as they passed out goodie bags to each student which included a paper owl. Paper owls will be filled out each time a teacher or student reads a book. Photos of the students reading and getting involved in the challenge will be posted throughout the year on South Middle School’s Twitter, @LynbrookSouthMS. 

LHS Captivates Audiences with “The Sound of Music”

LHS Captivates Audiences with “The Sound of Music” Photo
The Lynbrook community packed the John F. Branciforte Auditorium at Lynbrook High School as the Lynbrook Public Schools’ Department of Fine and Performing Arts and high school proudly presented “The Sound of Music” from Nov. 2-4. The show was a roaring success with completely sold out performances thanks to the hard work and dedication of the cast, crew, pit orchestra and their respective designers, directors and coordinators.  

With the leadership and vision of director Kevin Harrington, the district’s Fine and Performing Arts Director/musical orchestra director Joseph Pallotta, vocal director Barry Wyner, costume designer Barbara Kirby, choreographer Michael Canestraro, scenic artist Michael Kunz and program coordinators Rosanne Bogard and Christopher Marino, audiences experienced a memorable evening of music and storytelling. 

Based on the music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and the book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, the students charmed audiences by performing the beloved musical about Maria, played by senior Julia Tucker, and the von Trapp family. “The Sound of Music” spotlights Maria, a young woman studying to become a nun who is sent to serve as the governess of Captain Georg von Trapp’s, played by senior Ben Gagliardo, seven children. Set in Austria, Maria opens the family’s world to love and music while falling in love and marrying Captain von Trapp during a time when the Nazi’s try and invade. 

The show featured popular songs such as “My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi,” “So Long, Farewell,” “Climb Every Mountain” and more. It was also a success due to the support of Sensory Lighting and Sound, Inc. for lighting and sound design and Plaza Theatricals for set construction. 

South Middle School Bands Together for Unity Day (Video)

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Click here to watch!

Kindergartners Discover the Spirit of Diwali

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Throughout the school year, kindergarten students in Kim Fitzsimmons and Michelle Reagan’s class at the Lynbrook Kindergarten Center are embracing the cultures of their peers. Leading up to the Hindu holiday Diwali, students learned about Diwali through literature and the traditions it entails. The class created diyas (festive candle holders) which are lit on Diwali to signify goodness and created Rangoli designs to bring good luck upon the classes of the Kindergarten Center on Nov. 5.  

With the guidance of Fitzsimmons, each student received two different colored pieces of air dry clay and molded it into their own diya. The activity was not only a hands-on celebration of Diwali, but also a lesson on the five senses. The students spoke about how the clay felt as they transformed it into a diya and placed a fake candle in the center. The students put their creativity to the test as they incorporated different colored beads and foil confetti into their diya. 

With Diwali music playing in the background, the class showcased their Diwali dance at their tables and continued their celebration with Rangoli designs. Students worked together on a black piece of paper to color in the different Rangoli designs with chalk. The class then placed their designs outside each classroom in the building, just as Rangoli designs are placed at the entrances of homes to bring prosperity and good luck during Diwali. 

In addition to activities, Fitzsimmons’ class incorporates the different cultures and holidays into the math curriculum with word problems and into the students’ writing and reading workshops, fitting into the theme of learning around the world. The Diwali celebration also furthered the students’ understanding of the word respect, the Kindergarten Center’s October character trait of the month. 

“They are excited to learn about each other’s cultures,” said Fitzsimmons. “Together, we are making world connections.” 

LHS Concert Choir: Superintendent’s Conference Day Video

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Click here to watch!

South Middle School Strengthens Character

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Lynbrook South Middle School students in grades 6-8 celebrated Character Education Day on Oct. 26 with engaging lessons and activities throughout their classes. The day focused on the school’s social and emotional literacy domains which included self-awareness, self-management, social-awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision-making. The goal was to get the students to acknowledge and develop these skills throughout the school day. 

Each teacher wove one or more of the SEL domains into their lessons. Among the many different classroom activities, sixth-graders learned about the power of perception and how not to judge a book by its cover. Seventh-graders learned about the power of communication in connection to relationship building and took personality tests online to determine which traits they possess. They then compared their own results to famous people who have similar character traits and discussed their findings with their peers. In addition, eighth-graders learned about respecting and appreciating differing opinions with an activity where students traveled to certain parts of the room if they agreed, disagreed or felt neutral about a situation. 

“This is important to us and it’s important as a community and society, that’s why we take some time out of the regular day to focus on these skills,” said Principal Joseph Wiener. “We recognize that the way students acquire skills is through practice so the ongoing work that we will do after this week will be continuing to give students feedback about their social emotional literacy and recognizing when they are applying the lessons and the competencies that we have described to them. We are also giving them expectations for what we expect people to do in our community. That’s really important for keeping communities together with a common vision.”  
 

A Spectacular STEAM Night

Thank you to all those who came out for our first West End STEAM Night last night! We hope you had a great time experimenting, exploring and learning! Special thanks to Mrs. Roth and Molloy College for coordinating and facilitating such a successful evening. Check back soon for a full video of the event!

Teaming Up For Kindness

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Marion Street Elementary School aimed to foster a community of acceptance, inclusion and kindness during Unity Week from Oct. 22-26. As a culmination of the week, classes participated in “Manners Escape Room,” a team building activity with their peers on Oct. 26. 

Each class used their imaginations as they were challenged to work together to help tame wild animals that escaped from a safari park. The students had to show basic manners to return the animals to the park and discovered the manners through puzzles which unlocked doors. The activity emphasized collaboration, problem-solving skills and the students’ team work abilities as respect and polite actions were reinforced. Students were tasked with finding clues around the classroom which they read aloud on their journey. 

The team building activity, along with other Unity Week initiatives, were made possible due to the support of Marion Street’s Unity Committee. The team included faculty members Kara Boulay, Amy Brennan, Katie Bruno, Alexa Carvelli, Diana Intrabartola, Colleen Kiss, Jennifer Powder, Michelle Puglisi, Nicole Sherry and Margaret O’Brien. 

“Throughout the week our kindness theme was using good manners and being good friends so we decided to try to escape the room in honor of our theme today which is Teaming Up for Kindness,” said reading/ENL teacher Nicole Sherry. “We were encouraging all the classes to work as a team to try and solve the different manner puzzles to figure out the secret phrase at the end which was ‘Be The Reason Someone Smiles.’”
 

Students Dare to Dream During Red Ribbon Week

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As part of Red Ribbon Week, students throughout West End Elementary School participated in an engaging “Drugs Won’t Ruin Our Dreams” project in their classes on Oct. 26. Red Ribbon Week is celebrated annually across the nation as a drug prevention awareness program. Students are encouraged to live a drug free life by participating in different activities and lessons during the week. 

West End students and staff members were invited to wear their best pajamas to school and make their mark on Red Ribbon Week by discussing their dreams. Students learned that dreams are unattainable when bad decisions and drugs come into play. Each student received a dream bubble and let their dreams run wild, writing their biggest dream and coloring their creation. First-graders in Johanne Gaddy’s class spoke about dreams before the activity and read the children’s book “Violet the Pilot” by Steve Breen to reinforce the importance of following your dreams. 

The students then brainstormed their own dreams and wrote their ideas in their dream bubbles. After adding some color to their creations, the students gathered back on the carpet and went around in the circle, sharing their dreams to the delight of their peers. 
 

Waverly Tackles Health and Wellness with NFL Legend

Waverly Tackles Health and Wellness with NFL Legend photo

Waverly Park Elementary School capped off their Health and Wellness week in a big way with a visit from former New York Jets fullback Tony Richardson on Oct. 26. Administrators including Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak, board of education members, students and staff gathered in the school gymnasium for the anticipated event to hear Mr. Richardson speak.

Showing pride for their favorite sports teams, students and staff members were encouraged to wear sport shirts and jerseys. Many represented the Jets proudly for their guest of honor. Principal Allison Banhazl introduced Mr. Richardson who appeared with a roar of applause.  

Mr. Richardson, who played for the Minnesota Vikings, Kansas City Chiefs and most recently, the New York Jets, spoke with students about making healthy choices for the mind and body. This included discussing the National Football League’s program, Play 60. The program encourages young people to be active 60 minutes a day. Mr. Richardson also spoke about his career and personal life. He told students about what it was like to grow up in a military family and how he constantly changed schools. He stressed to students that they should always be an upstander, to tell an adult when faced with a bully and to always be a friend.

Toward the end of the presentation, Ms. Banhazl facilitated a trivia game with the students. Questions were asked about health and wellness topics that were covered throughout the week. During the week, the students participated in lessons that captured what it means to keep your mind and body healthy. This included yoga, martial arts, healthy eating, jump roping and anti-bullying lessons. Students were eager to answer the questions and those who correctly answered, received a handshake and a signed football from Mr. Richardson to be displayed in their classrooms. The important week was made possible by Waverly Park’s Health and Wellness Committee, teachers and the school PTA who showed their support. 

 

Champion Shout-Out!

Champion Shout Out Photo
Yesterday, Luke was engaged in reading first thing in the morning. We are so proud of him. Great job, Luke! 

LHS National Art Honor Society Hosts Night of the Pumpkins

LHS National Art Honor Society Hosts Night of the Pumpkins photo

Members of Lynbrook High School’s National Art Honor Society did not let the stormy weather deter them from giving back as they hosted their annual Night of Pumpkins event on Oct. 27. Watch the video to learn more about this year’s charity event and the incredible talents of the National Art Honor Society members!

Lynbrook Takes a Stand Against Bullying

Lynbrook Takes a Stand Against Bullying photo

Administrators, students and staff throughout the district donned orange clothing and accessories to celebrate Unity Day on Oct. 24. Unity Day is recognized across the country as a stance against bullying and a day to gather together in support of kindness, acceptance and inclusion.

Each building in the district did something special to commemorate the day and the strong message it pertained. From a variety of in-class activities, to creating a school-wide peace sign at the Lynbrook Kindergarten Center and Waverly Park Elementary School, each student and staff member showcased their support of the day. At Waverly Park Elementary School, students also enjoyed a Unity Day puppet show performed by fifth-graders and tied an orange ribbon to the school fence to signify their pledge for unity. Marion Street Elementary School students celebrated unity throughout the week as they participated in a Unity Walk around the school track with their crafted mustaches symbolizing, “we mustache you to be kind.” 

At West End Elementary School, students performed Unity Day skits and marched with staff members to represent that “every step you take matters.” Each student held up an orange cutout of a shoe which they decorated with signs of peace and words of how they will promote kindness. At the middle school level, Lynbrook South Middle School students decorated doorways with positive messages while Lynbrook North Middle School students created orange pinwheels as part of Pinwheels for Peace. In addition, Lynbrook High School building administrators, faculty and students created a sea of orange as they gathered for a schoolwide Unity Day photo. 

 

Fall 2018 Newsletter Available

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LHS Key Club Earns Heroglobin Award

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Carolyn Cestaro from Long Island Blood Services recently presented the Lynbrook High School Key Club with the 2017-2018 Heroglobin Award for donating 234 pints this past school year. With the help of advisor Dr. Benedict Tieniber, this is the first time that Lynbrook has received this award. The club is looking to break their record this year.  

“Our goal is 300 pints this year,” said Key Club Treasurer Jesse Candel.
 
The Key Club will be hosting three blood drives this year:

November 21, 2018
February 1, 2019
April 12, 2019

They encourage people to donate at the upcoming blood drive on Wednesday, Nov. 21 between 7:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at Lynbrook High School. Congratulations, Key Club!  
 

Embracing Entrepreneurship at Lynbrook High School

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Mr. Jonathan Spector and Dr. Benedict Tieniber set up a networking opportunity with Babson College on Oct. 23. Babson College is the number one entrepreneurship college in the country. Assistant Director Ryan Stanley spoke with Dr. Tieniber’s virtual enterprise class about the importance of networking, entrepreneurship, start-ups and internships starting sophomore year at Babson. 

A Very Happy West End Halloween

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Outstanding LHS Orchestra Students Selected for Festival

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Six Lynbrook High School orchestra students were recently selected to perform at the Long Island String Festival Association’s Nassau Secondary Festival at Wisdom Lane Middle School from Nov. 16-18. 

Participants include sophomores Camilla Bahri (cello) and Emily Bergin (bass) who will showcase their talents in the LISFA ninth/tenth grade orchestra. Juniors Sara Bahri (violin), Arpie Bakhshian (violin) and Kaylin Tephly (violin), along with senior Leo Glassman (bass), will perform in the LISFA eleventh/twelfth grade orchestra. 
  
Students were nominated by their music teacher Alyssa White and were recognized by the association as representing the highest quality string musicians at their grade levels. They will join other exceptional orchestra students from throughout Nassau County during the annual festival. The district congratulates all six student-musicians on this great achievement!

VE Students Take On Elevator Pitch Competition

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Lynbrook High School students enrolled in Dr. Benedict Tieniber’s virtual enterprise course participated in the elevator pitch competition at the Long Island Virtual Enterprise Business and Entrepreneurship Leadership Conference on Oct. 19 at LIU Post. The students pitched their company “Fit Pet” and heard from key speaker Marie Moody, the founder and president of Stella & Chewy. 
 
More than 1,500 students from across Long Island attended the event which focused on career-readiness and entrepreneurial enterprise. The conference was open to all VE high school students on Long island and gave them the opportunity to hear from successful entrepreneurs and industry experts. In addition, the students were able to practice networking and attend engaging breakout sessions.

Although Lynbrook High School did not make it to the final round of the competition, the group did well. Eric Levine, CEO, led the elevator pitch and did a phenomenal job. After the elevator pitches, all the students attended breakout sessions. Breakout sessions included leadership and personal banking, financing your business, marketing your business, and social impact of your business. 

West End Wrap Up! Oct. 26th

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It has been an exciting week at West End Elementary School as students and staff participated in Red Ribbon Week, dressed in pink to honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month and celebrated Unity Day on Oct. 24 along with the rest of the district (full story coming soon). Seventeen fifth-graders presented a short skit called “Bullying Stops Here,” which focused on how to make friends and help stop bullying. They presented the skit with 5 songs which were also learned by the entire student body. Together, the entire school sang songs about friendship, compassion, and doing the good they know to do.

In addition, West End students involved in the Math Olympiad Club showcased their problem solving skills during their second session with club advisor Ms. Chelsea Jaret. The school also raised $283.35 for the Owl Coin Project. This project allows the community to donate spare change that will go towards outstanding food service bills for Lynbrook families with children who have a demonstrated need. Last year, the schools were able to help over 50 families just by collecting donated nickels, dimes, quarters and pennies. All funds collected will go directly towards purchasing meals for Lynbrook students.

Leading the Way to Healthy Habits

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Reinforcing the importance of living a healthy lifestyle, kindergarten students at the Lynbrook Kindergarten Center learned about the benefits of exercise, eating right, dental hygiene and more with the help of 28 Molloy College nursing students on Oct. 18. Senior nursing students enrolled in the Community Health course, visit the Kindergarten Center each year to educate on health and wellness. 

Kindergarten classes visited the school gymnasium throughout the day in which they rotated stations and heard from the nursing students. With colorful display boards and different items to reinforce health concepts, the kindergartners learned how to properly brush their teeth, what healthy foods are, how to cross the street safely, a variety of exercise moves and more. They also answered questions and received worksheets and stickers for their participation in the stations.

Molloy College nursing faculty members Elaine Burger, Lynnelle Glenn, Elizabeth Perez, Irene Rush and Joy Scharfman were on hand to support their students, along with Kindergarten Center Principal Ellen Postman and the kindergarten teachers who walked around with their classes. 

“The nursing students are presenting health education topics such as hand washing, care of the teeth, bullying, street safety and healthy eating to teach the kindergarten children and get them off to a good start,” said Molloy nursing professor Elaine Burger. “Healthcare is now really in the community.” 

Promoting a Positive School Culture

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Fourteen Lynbrook North Middle School eighth-graders recently participated in a full-day peer leadership conference hosted by Sayville Middle School. The day included a variety of workshops intended to empower students and help them transform school culture by being positive influences on their peers. Lynbrook was one of 17 schools to attend from across Long Island. 

The 14 students were selected by teachers and staff. Social worker Sandra Gettenberg and guidance counselor Ali Etra also attended the leadership conference with the students. 

The middle schoolers heard from speakers such as Tom Coverly from The Youth Alliance and collaborated with other school districts on a variety of topics including diversity, bullying, social media, drug prevention and leadership. It was a great experience for all! 
 

Research Students Further Studies During Summer Months

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Science research students at Lynbrook High School embraced the summer break with new educational opportunities to further their knowledge and research abilities through a variety of different programs and outlets. Eight juniors and 16 seniors from Lynbrook High School pursued research projects spanning different science topics. 

Below is a list of these outstanding students and their projects from the summer months. Many continued their work in the lab of Lynbrook High School this year. Students worked with science research teachers Peter Dennis, David Shanker and Charles Vessalico, and professors in the field who provided them with support in their studies. 

Juniors 

Emily Awad – Worked at New York University Winthrop in the Research and Academic Center. She studied to see the effect of trophoblasts on the offspring of pregnant women.

Arpie Bakhshian – Worked at Weill Cornell and used genetic engineering to study irritable bowel syndrome. 

Natalie Cardoso – Worked at Fordham University in the Youth Development in Diverse Contexts Lab under Dr. Tiffany Yip. Natalie cleaned data through Biopac software to advance studies in ethnic racial identities.

Elena Grajales – Worked at the New York University Langone Medical Center at the Skirball Institute of Molecular Neurobiology studying the sestrin -1 gene and its role in the brain.

Julie Lampert – Studied Cellulose Nanocrystals at the University of Colorado.

Mikayla O’Hagan and Andie Glanzer – Worked at Hofstra University studying the effect of tree canopy loss on Long Island.

Maria Russotti – Worked at Columbia University in the Banta Lab conducting various experiments associated with substrate channeling.

Seniors 

Kai Beattie – Worked at Sloan Kettering Memorial Cancer Institute to evaluate the relationship between prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and the metalloprotease meprin in genetically engineered mice and mouse prostate cancer cell lines. Kai concludes its relevance to tumor progression and growth.

Alyssa Burton – Worked in-house on a project set out to answer the question, “how can we stop school shootings?” Using publicly available student-to-counselor ratio’s and student violence data, along with socioeconomic status, Alyssa aimed to draw correlations related to school violence.

Juliana Condoleo – Worked at SUNY Farmingdale and investigated the novel role of ACK1, a protein kinase, in the learning and memory of drosophila melanogaster through an olfactory appetitive association.

Jason Holquist – Worked in-house to test the effect of alcohol exposure to adult Drosophila melanogaster on the expression of DILP peptides in future generations as a model for fetal alcohol syndrome.

Brandon Pekale – Worked in-house to construct a survey on the effect of HIV/AIDS on the Quality of Oral Health in Adults Residing on Long Island with a professor from Hofstra.

Kyle Schneider – Worked in-house to determine whether the cryopreservation of fruit fly larvae for long term storage could be enhanced using warm breaks and increasing time between cold and warm periods.

Pooja Shah – Worked at Yale to analyze the loss of TSP2 through varying extracellular matrix production deposits on prevention of diabetic nephropathy.

Jason Shao – Worked in-house to test the effect of e-cigarette vapor on the bacteria of the lungs to assess lung infection risk.

Jason Sitt – Worked at Columbia University on his project on modulation of microRNA-219 on synapse quantification in neuromuscular junctions within aging drosophila melanogaster.

Kirstin Slattery – Worked in-house to determine if the equestrian sport is moral by using salivary cortisol levels to assess stress in horses during riding lessons.

Matthew Venezia – Worked at the City College of New York to study how the color of tropical beetles relates to the elevation at which they live and how this data relates to how well these beetles can thermoregulate (control their temperature).

Richard Wiater – Worked in-house on his project which looks at the effect of the molecule PDMP hydrochloride on the longevity of Niemann-Pick Disease Type-C model Drosophila.

Christina Woodard – Worked in-house on a project that looks at the effect of Asian clams on algae blooms.

Kaylie Hausknecht – Worked at Harvard where she used artificial intelligence to extract local correlations in the cuprates. This is a new application of machine learning in condensed matter physics, which may help explain the properties of high temperature superconductors.

Danny Neri – Worked in-house on his project which assesses the state of a recent crab invasion by quantifying aggressive interactions between the invader, the Asian shore crab (Hemigrapsus sanguinues) and two species of native fiddler crab (Uca pugilator and Uca pugnax) in a Long Island salt marsh.

Odin Francis – Worked in-house on the production of a prototype assisted-back support system to help those with spinal cord injuries, workers and soldiers involved with heavy lifting.

Math Olympiad Students Soar

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Students involved in the Math Olympiad Club at West End Elementary School recently participated in their second session with club advisor Ms. Chelsea Jaret. The students did an amazing job showcasing their problem solving skills! 

Going Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness

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West End Elementary School staff dressed in their best pink outfits in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 

Safety Week Stunt Show

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Students and staff had the opportunity to watch an engaging stunt show outside during Safety Week! 

West End Raises Over $250 for the Owl Coin Project

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West End Elementary School recently raised $283.35 for the Owl Coin Project. This project allows the community to donate spare change that will go towards outstanding food services bills for Lynbrook families with children who have a demonstrated need. Last year, the schools were able to help over 50 families just by collecting donated nickels, dimes, quarters and pennies. All funds collected will go directly towards purchasing meals for Lynbrook students. Great job, West End!  
 

Lynbrook BOE Earns Praises; District Spotlights Safety

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Members of the Lynbrook community attended the district’s board of education meeting on Oct. 10. To kick off the meeting, a special video of the Lynbrook kindergarten students reciting the Pledge of Allegiance was presented, followed by the students singing “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee.” 

In honor of Board Appreciation Month, the district recognized the Lynbrook Board of Education for their support and dedication to the students. Elementary Principals Ellen Postman (Kindergarten Center), Theresa Macchia (Marion Street), Allison Banhazl (Waverly Park) and Dr. Cindy Lee (West End) presented a video to the board which featured their students learning in action and thanking the board for the technology tools the help them learn. They also received giant cards from each building as a sign of appreciation. 

Seven students from Lynbrook High School were also honored during the meeting for being selected as performers or alternates in the New York State School Music Association All-State Conference in Rochester from Nov. 29-Dec. 2. The students, Sara Bahri, Arpie Bakhshian, Juliana Condoleo, Leo Glassman, Danny Neri, Kaylin Tephly and Kara Vito, were congratulated by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak and received a T-shirt for their achievement. 

It was a bittersweet meeting for Nikolaos Kardasis, a dedicated cleaner in the district who will retire after 20 years of service on Dec. 28. He was praised by the board for his hard work at Lynbrook High School as his fellow staff members and wife were there to show their support. Kardasis received a plaque for his service. 

During the Superintendent’s Report, Dr. Burak discussed the district’s recent reunification drill which took place on Oct. 5. She thanked parents, students and staff for their support during the drill which was to test the internal safety procedures. Continuing the discussion of safety, Dr. Burak spoke about attending the Nassau County Police Department School Safety Forum with others from the district on Sept. 25. She spoke about the organizations that were present and the topics discussed. 

Dr. Burak announced that the district will be celebrating Unity Day on Oct. 24 and encouraged everyone to wear orange. Each school will be participating in a different activity in honor of the occasion. She also updated the community about the financial component of Every Student Succeeds Act, which is a transparency requirement. The district must now report district funding per building. This means that building budgets will look much different than in the past. Where some expenditures are currently shown in central office budgets, these will now be represented in building budgets. This will be presented fully during the February budget work session.

Dr. Burak also spoke about her meeting with fellow superintendents and  Congresswoman Kathleen Rice about safety related matters such as the federal government’s talk of arming school employees. The group spoke about how the federal government can help by giving district’s money to help combat mental health related issues. Dr. Burak mentioned that there is a Title Four grant that is used for the purpose of safety. This year is the first year that the district received funding in the Title Four area in a long time but with federal grants, restrictions are set. The superintendents spoke with Congresswoman Rice about giving the district’s money without the restrictions since not every district is the same. 

Lastly, Dr. Burak provided an updated on Big Brothers/Big Sisters. The district explored the mentoring program last year and has now partnered with them. Two meetings were held with a representative from the organization to go through the process of how a student might be recognized as needing a Big Brother or Big Sister. An informational packet on how to apply to become a Big Brother or Big Sister can be found on the district’s website, lynbrookschools.org under the community tab.

Dr. Gerard Beleckas, assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction, and assessment, provided the community with a curriculum update on the Every Student Succeeds Act and Next Generation Standards. He reported that the New York State Education Department released modifications of the ESSA. There will be no financial impact if the district does not meet a 95 percent exam participation rate and 95 percent participation may or may not affect the school district depending on the number of students that score at level 1 or level 2. 

“It shows that the education department is listening to feedback,” said Dr. Beleckas.

In addition, Dr. Paul Lynch, assistant superintendent for finance, operations, and information systems, shared a capital projects and Smart Bond Investment Plan update. The Smart Bond process is at the first stage and on Oct. 15, the bid will go out to the public for various construction companies to pick up the document. On Nov. 1, the district will be opening the bid documents and awarding it at the board meeting that month. The Smart Bond will fund security vestibules for each building in the district. Lynbrook High School currently has a security vestibule in place and the vestibules for the remaining buildings is expected to be built during the school year. 

Dr. Lynch also reported some movement on the large bond projects. The plans for the air conditioning are going through the New York State Education Department Office of Facilities Planning and the district is hoping to have them out before next year so that a bid can go out in the spring to possibly get them installed in the summer. The Lynbrook High School preliminary plans are at the New York State Education Department where they are making evaluations and suggestions for the purpose of state aide. The architect will then submit the detailed engineering plan. If the preliminary plan is released in time, the district hopes to have the big plan back up to them before the holiday break.

Focusing on Fire Safety

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First graders in Mrs. Gaddy’s class learned about fire safety with the Lynbrook Fire Department! 

Students Build Business Skills

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Lynbrook High School students in Dr. Benedict Tieniber’s virtual enterprise class recently put their interpersonal and professional skills to the test as they were interviewed by Principal Joseph Rainis and assistant principals Matthew Sarosy and Salvatore Brescia about their new product, “Fit Pet.” The interviews allowed the executive board to be determined for their product which monitors a pets health, location through GPS and keeps them safe.

With the help of Dr. Tieniber, the students prepared for the interview process by refining their soft skills, interview skills, cover letter and resumes. They also had to create cover letters for the positions they wanted to run for with their resumes. Before the big day, Lynbrook High School guidance counselor Susan Moller and teachers Eric Finder and Stephen LoCicero, volunteered their free time to assist the students with mock interviews and provided tips.  

The virtual enterprise course is an elective that is offered to Lynbrook High School students in grades 10-12. Corresponding with the district’s 2018-19 theme “Imagine, Innovate, Inspire,” the international program enables students to experience a simulated business environment by collaborating and solving problems in business situations. Those who successfully complete the course are eligible to receive up to nine undergraduate credits from Farmingdale State College through their University in the High School program. 

Congratulations to the following virtual enterprise students on their new “Fit Pet” positions: Eric Levine, chief executive officer; Ben Tatelman, chief financial officer; Lance Ezratty and Matthew Calabro, co-chief operating officer; Ben Cohen and Miranda Zaransky, vice president of human relations; Allison Shifflett and Connor Reichert, co-vice president of sales and marketing; William Miata and Joshua Polanky, vice president of informational technology/graphics; Kerin Bartels and Jonathan Mottola, vice president editorial. 

The students will participate in their first elevator pitch competition on Oct. 19 at LIU with “Fit Pet.”