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A Remarkable Year - Highlights of the 2017-2018 School Year

A Remarkable Year Photo
September
• A record number of seven Lynbrook High School seniors earned All-State music honors from the New York State School Music Association. 
• A total of 81 students from the classes of 2017, 2018 and 2019 earned the designation of Advanced Placement Scholar.
• Students, faculty and administrators held fundraisers and drives to help those in Texas who were impacted by Hurricane Harvey and those in Florida affected by Hurricane Irma.
• Fifth-graders at Marion Street Elementary School served as student volunteers in the Little Doctors Program during the school’s annual blood drive. 
• During the district’s board of education meeting, Dr. Paul Lynch, assistant superintendent for finance, operations and information systems, presented on the revised bond proposal where he highlighted the district’s needs based on extensive input from the community.


October
• Senior Dustin Mandell was recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Program as a Commended Student based upon his excellent 2016 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test score. 
• West End Elementary School science teacher Annmarie Roth was recognized as the recipient of the Anton Banko Award for Excellence in Teaching Elementary Science, courtesy of the Science Teachers Association of New York State.
• On Tuesday, Oct. 3, residents in the district approved the district’s capital project bond referendum with 1254 YES votes to 767 NO votes. 
• In honor of School Board Appreciation Month, board members were presented with a special thank you from Lynbrook North and South middle schools during the district’s board of education meeting. Chorus students performed “Thank You School Board” during the meeting and gifted each board member with a framed copy of the lyrics. 


November
• Twelve students in Dr. Benedict Tieniber’s Virtual Enterprise class competed in the 2017 Virtual Enterprises International Elevator Pitch Competition at the LIU Entrepreneurship and Leadership Conference, becoming finalists with their company, “Fuel It.”
• Sixteen orchestra students from throughout the district were selected to perform at the Long Island String Festival Association’s Nassau intermediate and secondary festivals. 
• For the third consecutive year, art students in Tom Sena’s Senior Portfolio Art class participated in the “Virtual Professional Artist Series.” The program allowed the students to speak to a variety of different artists each month throughout the school year.
• Lynbrook High School students showcased their talents during their sold-out production of “Fiddler on the Roof.” 
• Lynbrook High School seniors TJ Aroksaar, Gina Giovinco, Sophia LoCicero, Tim Marski, Ryan Mueller, Matt Renz, Spencer Sundeberg and Tom Urena made their college commitments to play their sport of choice in college. 
• West End Elementary School students heard from professional hockey players Jaroslav Halak, Dennis Seidenberg and Alan Quine from the New York Islanders who spoke about their family life, passion for hockey, teamwork and trying your best. 
• In an effort to promote positive decisions and a healthy lifestyle, students at the Lynbrook Kindergarten Center and Waverly Park Elementary School celebrated Health and Wellness Week, while students at West End Elementary School participated in Safety Week.
• During the district’s monthly board of education meeting, Lynbrook High School Principal Joseph Rainis and teachers Drew Bidart, John Cornicello and Charles Vessalico presented on how the high school’s new one-to-one tablet initiative has been embraced by both students and staff. 


December
• Senior Allison Kunstler was selected as a Coca-Cola semifinalist in the 2018 Coca-Cola Scholars Program. 
• For the second consecutive year, Lynbrook High School’s student newspaper, Horizon, received a Gold Award for Best All-Around Publication in the 2017 Empire State Scholastic Press Association awards program. Horizon staff members and contributors also won a total of 29 individual honors, including two gold, seven silver, 10 bronze and 10 honorable mention awards. 
• A record number of seniors entered the 2018 Regeneron Science Talent Search. The 24 science research students submitted their projects in the hopes of being among the top students in the nation who will be named one of the Top 300 Scholars.
• The girls volleyball team was crowned conference champions and their coach Allison Glass was selected as Conference Coach of the Year.
• Eight fall teams received New York State Scholar Athlete recognition.
• During the district’s monthly board of education meeting, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Gerard Beleckas presented on the district’s Voyagers Program, an enrichment program for students in grades 3-5. He spoke about the future of the program and what the Voyager Task Force committee is looking to do next. 


January
• A total of 103 students performed at the Nassau Music Educators Association’s All-County Festivals. This represented a new high in the number of selected students for the school district.
• Seniors Gina Giovinco and Michael Schwartz were recognized as Nassau County Outstanding Physical Education students from the Nassau Zone of the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. 
• Freshman Ally Fitzgerald earned Most Outstanding Wrestler for winning the 99-pound crown at the South Side tournament, reeling off four consecutive wins.
• The Lynbrook community gathered for an evening of exceptional performances during the Lynbrook High School Tri-M Music Honor Society’s annual benefit concert “Cabaret Night.” 
• During the district’s board of education meeting, students and staff from North and South middle schools presented instructional highlights of the new electives offered. 


February 
• Due to its continued high academic performance, Lynbrook High School was recognized as a Reward School by the New York State Education Department.
• Seniors Kyle Bergin and Tim Marski qualified for the 2018 New York State Public High School Athletic Association boys swimming and diving championships based on their top times from individual swim meets. 
• Students and staff at Lynbrook North Middle School embraced the positive messages of the new film, “Wonder” by participating in “Wonder Day.”
• Community members, parents, teachers and a student were honored during the Lynbrook Council of PTAs annual Founders Day Celebration. 
• In an effort to educate Lynbrook High School students on real-life experiences, the school’s student government with adviser Mary Kirby hosted their annual Human Relations Day. A variety of empowering organizations and individuals visited the school to speak with classes throughout the school day.
• During the board of education meeting, board members read the names of the upcoming retirees. Joan Kocher, Joanne Marra, Anne McGrath, Pamela Capone, Kathleen Novak, Ellen Kannengieser and Waverly Park Elementary School Principal Lucille McAssey were praised by the board for their dedication to the district, each serving 15 years or more in the Lynbrook schools. 
• In honor of Black History Month, third-graders at Marion Street Elementary School hosted their annual Civil Rights Presentation where they recognized Joseph McNeil, a leader in the Civil Rights movement and member of the Greensboro Four. 


March
• For the fifth consecutive year, the district was awarded with the Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting for the fiscal year ending 2017 by the Association of School Business Officials International. 
• Members of the high school student newspaper, Horizon, took home awards in five of the six categories that they entered, with two first-place wins at Adelphi University’s 2018 Quill Awards. Senior and editor-in-chief Dustin Mandell also won the prestigious Most Outstanding Reporter award during the event. 
• Senior Ashley Cegelski was recognized with the President’s Volunteer Service Award by the Corporation for National and Community Service for her exemplary volunteer service. 
• South Middle School seventh-grader Jaiden Moreno won first place, eighth-grader David Padilla placed second and seventh-grader Emilia Berkowitz earned third place in the Nassau Community College Honors Program Monologue competition. 
• After months of practice and preparation, Lynbrook High School students showcased their school spirit during the school’s 90th annual Class Night Skits where the seniors came out victorious. 
• Lynbrook High School math teacher Maria Mantikas was recognized for receiving the Harvard Distinguished Teacher 2018 Award, after one of her students, a current Harvard freshman, recommended her for her teaching efforts. 
• Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak thoroughly explained the district’s safety protocols during the district’s monthly board of education meeting and encouraged the community to get involved in helping to push the pending Smart Bond proposal along. 


April
• Fourth-grader Miley Leu from Waverly Park Elementary School was recognized as a Grade 4 State Level winner in the Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest.
• The high school student newspaper, Horizon, was presented with four awards, the most of any school in attendance, at LIU Post’s Press Day and Best of High School Journalism Awards. 
• Waverly Park Elementary School received a Hess Toy Truck Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Kit grant to enhance its STEM curriculum. With the grant, the school was presented with twelve 2017 Hess Dump Truck and Loader kits, along with a corresponding STEM curriculum.
• During the district’s board of education meeting, Director of Facilities James Saitta presented on the Lynbrook facilities five-year capital improvement plan. He shared the facilities committee’s objectives and the plans for 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 school years, including the anticipated large scale projects forecasted for the next three to five years.


May

• For the sixth consecutive year, the district received the 2018 Best Communities for Music Education designation by the NAMM Foundation, due to its outstanding commitment to music education.
• A total of 120 high school choir students showcased their talents during their culminating performances at the Choral Convergence Festival and performed on the prestigious stage of Carnegie Hall among 12 different choirs from around the country. 
• Lynbrook High School student-athletes Kyle Bergin, Matt Ferrante, Julianne Graepel, Erin Pender, Charlie Schueler and Gabby Vogt commited to play their sport of choice at the collegiate level. 
• A total of 84 students were inducted into the Lynbrook chapter of the National Honor Society based on their ability to maintain high standards of scholarship, service, leadership and character.
• For the third consecutive year, West End Elementary School was designated as a No Place for Hate School by the Anti-Defamation League for the 2017-2018 school year.
• Lynbrook High School was recognized by U.S. News and World Report as one of the 2018 Best High Schools. The high school was ranked No. 809 nationally, up from last year’s ranking of No. 877. The school was also ranked No. 80 within New York State and received a silver medal for performance. 
• A total of 25 sports teams were designated as Scholar Athlete teams for the 2017-2018 school year by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association. 
• Lynbrook High School freshman Christina Franco wrote and illustrated a children’s book titled “Ben’s Boat Trip” and shared it with Lisa Genicoff’s kindergarten class at the Lynbrook Kindergarten Center. With the help of her American Sign Language teacher Elaine Miller, Franco interpreted her story through sign language as Miller read the book aloud to the class.
• The district’s budget for the 2018-2019 school year passed by a vote of 767 to 359.


June
• Seventh-grader Jaiden Moreno and eighth-grader James Malinka from Lynbrook South Middle School, along with sophomore Terence Deegan from Lynbrook High School were selected as winners in the Nassau Reading Council’s Young Authors’ Contest for their personal narrative submissions.
• Lynbrook North Middle School seventh-grader Catie Wren and Lynbrook High School junior Benjamin Gagliardo were among 70 winners out of approximately 2,500 student submissions from grades 3-12 in the Walt Whitman Birthplace Student Poetry Contest. 
• Waverly Park Elementary School chorus students, along with kindergarteners from the Lynbrook Kindergarten Center, performed the national anthem at Citi Field before the New York Mets and Arizona Diamondbacks game. 
• The Lynbrook High School Key Club received the prestigious Heroglobin Award from the New York Blood Center for collecting 234 pints of blood in the Blood Donor Program during the 2017-2018 school year.
• Fine Art Seniors collectively amassed over $1 million in talent scholarships for the 2017-18 school year ($1,169,440 to be exact) and have been accepted to some of the most prestigious art programs in the nation. 
• Junior Kaylie Hausknecht was named a finalist in the Genes in Space contest for her DNA experiment proposal that could be done using lab equipment on the International Space Station. She will present her idea at the International Space Station Research and Development Conference in San Francisco in July to a panel of space scientists and judges, with the hope to send her experiment into space to be completed by astronauts. 
• During the district’s board of education meeting, it was reported that the district’s SMART Bond was officially approved by New York State thanks to the efforts of the community and legislators. The district is working on the final planning and anticipates everything to be completed in less than a year.

 

Kindergarten Center's 20th Reunion

Please join us as we announce the Lynbrook Kindergarten Center’s 20th Reunion!

As we begin to prepare for this event, please spread the word and e-mail Mrs. Postman, KC Principal, any e-mail and contact information of past KC graduates. Future correspondence will be shared with reunion date, time and location (early spring). We are so excited to bring our Lynbrook Owl’s back together 1998-1999/2018-2019.

The Lynbrook owl is a wise old scholar, if you’re in kindergarten stand up and holler!
 
Contact Information: Mrs. Ellen Postman Principal

e-mail: epostman@lynbrook.k12.ny.us

Phone: 516-887-8065

Lynbrook BOE Holds Reorganization Meeting

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The Lynbrook Public Schools’ Board of Education held its annual reorganization meeting on July 3. The 2018-19 school year has officially begun, and the district is excited to move forward with new ventures. 
 
William Belmont, Lesli Dennino and Robert Paskoff were unanimously reelected president, vice president and secretary, respectively, and took oaths of office for their roles. Mr. Paskoff, Ms. Deninno and David Yaker were also sworn into new three-year terms as a result of being reelected to the board of education in May, and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak and District Clerk Theresa Moran were sworn into their positions. 

The meeting also included reports and student recognitions. Class of 2018 graduate Robert Bing, now getting ready to head off to Boston University, was applauded for being published with a co-writer for his research on “The Uncanny Valley Effect.” He explained that this involves the tendency for humans to feel more comfortable with things that have human characteristics and those that they can empathize with. 

Dr. Burak discussed the Summer Playground Program and noted that 685 students are enrolled in two campuses. Students are also participating in the Summer STEAM Academy and summer academic programs for both middle school and high school students are operating this summer.

Assistant Superintendent for Finance, Operations, and Information Systems Dr. Paul Lynch summarized capital projects that are under way for the summer. The major undertakings include boiler replacement and electrical work at Waverly Park and brick pointing at West End, while numerous smaller projects will take place throughout the district. New classroom doors at South Middle School, sidewalk replacements at Waverly Park, computer lab upgrades at Marion Street and new nets at the softball field are all on the list. He also noted that the district’s SMART Bond plan was approved and the district will put security vestibules out to bid in September with the hopes of having them installed by the end of the year. 

The board members expressed their enthusiasm for the promotional events that took place as the 2017-18 school year came to a close and extended their congratulatory remarks to all the graduates.

Senior Seminar Students Equipped for the Future

A Spotlight on Senior Seminar Photo
As the 2017-18 school year drew to a close, approximately 30 Lynbrook High School seniors enrolled in Dr. Benedict Tieniber’s senior seminar class showcased what they had learned during their valuable internship experiences in the community. These students interned with nurses, doctors, certified public accountants, dentists, restaurants, real estate firms and many more during the school year.

The senior seminar class affords students the opportunity to incorporate and apply the learning from their high school coursework into a meaningful and relevant on-the-job internship experience. The students intern for a minimum of 50 hours of unpaid service.

“It is important to connect students with the world outside of the academic school day in order to assist in the development of a multitude of skills necessary to go on to further education or enter the workforce,” said Dr. Tieniber. “Internship experiences promote the relevance of a student’s high school experiences. Employment-related experiences help students understand the importance of academics in relation to what it takes to be successful in the workplace.” 

The students work with an adult mentor at an internship worksite and have the opportunity to acquire skills and techniques in their chosen path to begin to develop a foundation of general workplace experience.
 

A Seussical Start to Summer Reading

A Seussical Start to Summer Reading photo

Although school is officially out for summer, students throughout the Lynbrook Public Schools received a jump start on reading with the help of Random House Children’s Books and Dr. Seuss’s Super-Dee-Dooper Bus Tour on June 26. The event corresponded with the district’s 2018 summer reading program, “Get Lost In A Book.”

Parked across from Lynbrook High School, Dr. Seuss’s Super-Dee-Dooper Bus featured interactive activities for students to partake in and encouraged the children to read with their Dr. Seuss’s Word Challenge. To celebrate the new publication “Dr. Seuss’s 100 First Words,” Random House Children’s Books and Dr. Seuss Enterprises launched the word challenge this summer, asking children across the country to read with the hope of reaching 100 million words nationwide. Children have the opportunity to track their process online to be in the running for the grand prize of a Carnival Cruise vacation package. Attendees had the opportunity to sign up for the challenge while visiting the bus and each child who stopped by the event generously received a free book courtesy of Random House. 

The event brought students from across the district together, fueling their love of reading. Administrators also showed their support by greeting family members and students during the event. On the wall of the bus, students completed puzzles, wrote down their good deeds and used a large magnifying glass to help Horton find the missing Whos. A tent was set up outside of the bus which featured bean bag chairs and a table for children to color, complete word searches and sit back and read. In addition, a special appearance by The Cat in the Hat allowed the students to greet the lovable character and take photos to commemorate the event. 

Summer Playground Updates

Click here to view the Summer Programs page for more information

Attachments:

Lynbrook Student Sets Her Sights on Space

Lynbrook Student Sets Her Sights on Space Photo
Rising Lynbrook High School senior Kaylie Hausknecht was recognized as one of five finalists in the Genes in Space contest for her DNA experiment proposal fit for the International Space Station. As a finalist, she will present her research at the International Space Station Research and Development Conference in San Francisco from July 23-26 with the hope of sending her experiment into space to be completed by astronauts in 2019. 

This year, Hausknecht was among a record number of entrees from across the United States who participated. There were 559 submissions from approximately 1,200 students in grades 7-12, who submitted their proposals. The students were challenged to design DNA experiments that address challenges in space exploration. From these submissions, the contest selected 10 honorable mentions and five individuals or teams as finalists. 

Hausknecht’s proposal focuses on engineering a photosynthetic bacteria using a recently discovered gene from tardigrades (the only known animal that can survive the vacuum of space) to allow the bacteria to survive on Mars. The idea is that these engineered photosynthetic bacteria could then begin the process of creating an atmosphere on Mars. 

During the conference, she will present to a panel of space scientists and judges. As a finalist, Hausknecht has been partnered with a scientist from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who is mentoring her as she prepares for the conference. If selected as the winner of the contest on July 26, she will work with her mentor to prepare her experiment for space and be invited to see it launch to the International Space Station. 

“Kaylie’s accomplishment is really amazing and exciting,” said her Advanced Placement Biology teacher Charles Vessalico. “When we received word that Kaylie was selected as a finalist it was unbelievable. I remember the excitement in Kaylie’s voice when she called me on the phone to tell me she was selected.” 

Vessalico challenged his AP Biology students to partake in the competition where each student or team of students had to propose a DNA experiment that could be done using lab equipment that is on the International Space Station. To inspire their entries, Vessalico was able to obtain, through a loaner program and with the help of high school science chairperson Carol Ann Winans and Lynbrook High School Principal Joseph Rainis, the same exact equipment that is on the ISS. Students were able to do a predesigned lab with this equipment to learn about the science. With that insight, students worked in teams or independently to write proposals for their own unique experiment, leading Hausknecht to her successful entry in the contest. 

Marion Street Students Go the Extra Mile for Fitness

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As part of Marion Street Elementary School’s Health and Wellness Week, student council members with the help of advisors Kelly Donovan and Melissa Sider, facilitated a Fitness Fair on the field of the school on June 13. Fitness stations were set up for students of all grade levels to enjoy as they rotated through. 

The student council members helped run the stations as students showed off their dance moves during freeze dance, took a spin with hula-hoops, competed with their peers in jumping rope, practiced their yoga skills and walked around the track. 

This was just one of the many events that Marion Street students participated in during the week to promote living a healthy lifestyle. Throughout the week, students also engaged in a jump rope assembly, a tech neck presentation to teach students about correct posture when using technological devices, a bicycle safety presentation and lesson on walking safety on the school track. 

Fifth-Grade Graduates Set Their Sights on Middle School

Fifth-Grade Graduates Set Their Sights on Middle School photo

Fifth-grade students throughout the Lynbrook Public Schools’ closed the book on their elementary school careers as they celebrated moving up to middle school on June 21. Marion Street, Waverly Park and West End graduates held their respective moving up ceremonies surrounded by proud central administrators, board of education members, faculty, family and friends.

The clouds scattered and the sun appeared just in time for Marion Street School’s ceremony where the entire school gathered on the field to bid a fond farewell to the fifth-graders. Fifth-grade student council president AJ Berkowitz spoke about the future of the graduates while vice president Genevieve Dellacona reflected on each grade level and the experiences shared. One by one, the graduates received their certificates of completion from Principal Theresa Macchia in front of proud loved ones. In true Marion Street tradition, the fifth-graders filed out of their seats as the underclassmen moved up to symbolize their passage to the next grade.

During Waverly Park School’s ceremony at Lynbrook High School, fifth-graders recited an original creative poem, sang “Home” and read their “Last Will and Testament,” each sharing the special mark that they will leave on their school. Guest speaker Dr. Gerard Beleckas, assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and assessment, congratulated the graduates and recognized beloved Principal Lucille McAssey who will be retiring at the end of the month, for her service to the district. After receiving their certificates, the students reflected on their time at Waverly with a slideshow of photographs as they sang “Forever Young.”

West End fifth-graders also reflected on their time in elementary school during their ceremony with a slideshow presentation in the Lynbrook High School gymnasium. Following the montage, students proudly received their diplomas from Principal Dr. Cindy Lee as loved ones cheered. Special academic awards were also presented to deserving students. With the guidance of music teacher Maria Stella Kruh, the graduates sang an original West End song titled “These Special Things” along with “Like an Eagle,” before proudly exiting the ceremony to “On Top of the World.”   

Off to Lynbrook High School

Off to Lynbrook High School photo

Proud family, friends, central administrators, board of education members and faculty packed the Lynbrook High School gymnasium for Lynbrook North and South middle school’s commencement ceremonies on June 20. The eighth-grade graduates dressed to impress for the evening as they entered their respective ceremonies to “Pomp and Circumstance.”

During South Middle School’s ceremony, the eighth-grade chorus performed “Waving Through a Window” from the popular Broadway musical “Dear Evan Hansen,” along with the song “Everlasting Light.” Student speakers James Malinka and Emma Ward from South and Emily Paladino from North addressed their peers and the audience during their ceremonies as they reflected on their middle school careers, thanked their teachers and set their sights on the future.

Lynbrook South Principal Caryn Blum, who will be retiring at the closing of the school year, provided an overview of the graduate’s middle school years while offering words of advice. “Take advantage of all that Lynbrook High School has to offer,” she said. “Remember all the many things that we taught you while you were at South.”

Lynbrook North Principal Sean Fallon also addressed North’s graduating class, stating that he could say something kind about every single student and how amazing the Class of 2018 is. He reflected on their time together and like Blum, left students with words of advice to take with them into the next chapter of their educational journey. This included “find what you love,” “don’t give up easily,” “don’t quit when you face failure,” and “realize that the choices you make now will shape who you become later.”

In addition, special awards were presented during both ceremonies to exceptional students. For the first time at South Middle School, a new scholarship award called the “Spellbound Distinguished Artist Award” which was created by eighth-grader David Padilla, was presented to eighth-grader Rachel Edelstein. The award was formed from Padilla’s original song “Spellbound,” which Padilla donated some of the proceeds from the song to the scholarship award. The award honors a student-artist at South Middle School and was Padilla’s token of appreciation to his music teacher Annie Pasqua and the school’s music department for all of their support in his various music endeavors. 

During North Middle School’s ceremony, a video yearbook was presented which highlighted the Class of 2018’s memorable experiences at North. Before the conclusion of the ceremonies, the board of education presented the graduates with their diplomas, officially granting them the title of incoming high school freshmen. 

Presenting Lynbrook High School’s Class of 2030

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Lynbrook’s littlest graduates proudly took the stage at Lynbrook High School during their Kindergarten Center graduation on June 20. Students were dressed in their class colors as they celebrated the milestone in their young lives. 

The ceremony opened with a student performance of “It’s a Small World” which followed by remarks from Principal Ellen Postman.

“All of your children’s laughter, bright smiles and kindness have turned the Kindergarten Center into its own small world,” she said.

With the guidance of their teachers, including music teacher Madeline Jabin, the students performed a choral poem titled “Kindergarten” and several other songs in front of loved ones, central administration, board of education members and faculty. These included “The Star Spangled Banner,” “Circle of Friends,” “This Little Light of Mine” and “The World is a Rainbow.” Special recognition for upcoming retiree Joan Kocher, a teacher for 20 years at the Kindergarten Center, was held during the ceremony by members of the Parents Club and Principal Postman for Kocher’s dedicated service to the students of Lynbrook. 

Before announcing the graduating class of 2018, the soon-to-be first graders performed “Time to Say Good-Bye” and “I Am a Promise” as they prepared to take the next step in their educational journey. One by one, classes took a bow on stage at the conclusion of the ceremony as family and friends cheered for their graduates.  

High School Summer Recreation Program

High School Summer Recreation Program Photo
The district invites all students entering grades 9-12 to the High School Summer Recreation Program from July 2nd - August 9th! This program, held at Lynbrook Senior High School Gym, runs six weeks during the summer, from Monday through Thursday, from 6:00 P.M. to 9:30 P.M. It will be closed on July 4th and 5th. Appropriate athletic clothing and footwear is required as students may participate in basketball, volleyball, weightlifting and more. We hope to see you there! 

A Bright Future Ahead for Lynbrook’s Class of 2018

A Bright Future Ahead for Lynbrook’s Class of 2018 photo

As storm clouds began to roll in over the football field at Marion Street Elementary School, the 226 members of Lynbrook High School’s Class of 2018 did not let that ruin their big milestone occasion; celebrating their time at Lynbrook High School with their commencement ceremony on June 22. Family and friends filled the stands while central administrators, board of education members and faculty watched as the graduates made their way to their seats to “Pomp and Circumstance,” performed by the high school concert band and directed by Brian White.

Principal Joseph Rainis introduced salutatorian Jack Hunter to the podium to reflect on his high school career and address his fellow graduates. Hunter, proud Class Night chairperson who spearheaded the seniors Class Night victory this year with their theme “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,” centered his four lessons around Disney to fit the occasion. Valedictorian Dustin Mandell followed with pride for his graduating class and offered encouragement. 

“My fellow graduates, we have the skills, tools and now freedom to go out and do what we love,” he said. “Let’s follow our passions and make life worthwhile.” 

Focusing on the many accomplishments that the Class of 2018 has achieved during their years at LHS, Rainis listed the positive impacts that the graduates left on the school. He also discussed the meaning of time and how quickly it passes, encouraging the graduates to embrace every second. 

“Your time is now,” he said. “As you leave Lynbrook you have the opportunity to create, to persuade and to change your communities and with it, the world we live in.” 

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak also spoke about how proud she was of the graduates and the positive mark that they made in the high school; from embracing the district’s 2017-18 theme “Where Tomorrow Begins Today,” to the various charitable efforts that the students have participated in during their years at LHS.

“Lynbrook was only your foundation,” she said. “The choices you make and paths you take from here on will be your most decisive. Class of 2018, continue to be driven, continue to care about others, continue to speak up to be a positive change agent.” 

As each graduate’s name was called, the board of education proudly presented them with their diploma as Dr. Burak also congratulated them on a job well done. The rain held off just in time as all the graduates were recognized. Before the conclusion of the ceremony, Rainis asked all the LHS alumni in the stands to rise as he then asked the Class of 2018 to do the same and join their fellow alumni. The graduates tossed their green caps high, ready to take on the future and all that is holds.  

Board Honors Dedicated Lynbrook Staff

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The Lynbrook High School cafeteria was filled with administrators, staff, community members and students during Lynbrook Public Schools Board of Education meeting on June 13. The board recognized exceptional administrators and staff members who have gone above and beyond for students and acknowledged those who received tenure. 

At the start of the meeting, the board announced the sudden passing of beloved Waverly Park evening custodian Steve Reilly and had a moment of silence in his honor. Reilly’s family was present, along with his Waverly Park family as the board shared his positive impact that he made to the school community. 

Staff members that received tenure during the evening included school media specialist Maureen Bertolini, social studies teacher Danielle Reinert, physical education teacher Lindsay Trugman, school psychologist Deborah Mann, school social worker Samantha Lancaster and elementary teacher Chelsea Jaret. In addition, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak honored seven faculty members with the “You Go the Distance” recognition. 

These included Waverly Park Principal Lucille McAssey, Waverly Park teacher Shari Bowes, Lynbrook High School teacher Mary Kirby, Marion Street special education teacher Rachel Tiran, district technology staff developer Katie Kelly, Lynbrook High School science teacher Bardhyl Fejzo and Lynbrook High School chorus teacher Barry Wyner. Each of them commended by Dr. Burak for their hard work and dedication and were awarded with a yellow gift bag. Following the recognitions, Dr. Burak introduced new South Middle School Principal Joseph Wiener to the community. Wiener was appointed during the May 15 budget meeting and will replace current South Middle School Principal Caryn Blum at the end of the school year.
 
In addition, Assistant Superintendent for Finance, Operations, and Information Systems Dr. Paul Lynch reported on the annual safety plan review. Building level committees have been meeting and reviewing their building level plans and reviews of the district level plans are underway. The board will adopt those plans officially at the August board meeting and district level plan is now open for public comment and can be found on the district website at lynbrookschools.org under district, health and safety. 

“We ask for your input if you have any suggestions that you think we should include in that,” said Dr. Lynch.
 
During the Superintendent’s Report, Dr. Burak reported on the early dismissal day and reunification plan that will take place on Oct. 5. The district will test the reunification plan, when students are reunited with their families in the case of an emergency. Although the actual reuniting will not take place during the drill, the staff will test their internal protocol in preparation of an emergency. Dr. Burak also stressed the importance of having families update their emergency contact list to include the most reliable people. 

As a positive update on security, the district’s SMART Bond was officially approved by New York State thanks to the efforts of the community and legislators. The district is working on the final planning and anticipates everything to be completed in less than a year. 

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Dr. Gerard Beleckas provided a curriculum update which included the district’s new summer reading initiative “Get Lost in a Book.” Families should expect to receive literature in their homes within the next week detailing the initiative which will give students the opportunity to read and immediately discuss their book with others using the video discussion platform Flipgrid. 

During the capital projects update, Dr. Lynch shared the projects for this summer which include the replacement of the boiler and an electrical upgrade to service at Waverly Park, as well as brick pointing at West End School. The installation of a district-wide emergency walkie-talkie system will be put in place and there will be a continuation of the ceiling and lighting project at Lynbrook High School. Additionally, there will be an installation of new doors at South Middle School, a computer lab replacement and tile and floor replacements at Marion Street School. In all buildings there will be work on the gym floors and painting. Projects that were just approved are headed to New York State and are anticipated to be completed next summer. These include five bathrooms at Marion Street, a bathroom at West End and the Waverly Park elevator. 

Waverly Park Celebrates Flag Day

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Third-graders at Waverly Park Elementary School recently celebrated Flag Day with a presentation titled, “You’re a Grand Old Flag.” Students taught their audience about the history of the flag, some famous places where the flag has been displayed and placed, flag etiquette rules and how our National Flag Day came to be!

West End Students Shine as Popular Sports Figures

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Fifth-graders at West End Elementary School channeled their favorite sports figures during their Living Wax Museum on June 8. The unit coincided with the district’s fifth-grade writing curriculum and theme of “Sports” for the 2017-18 school year.

Eighth-Graders Unite for Field Day

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It was a sea of rainbow colors as eighth-graders from Lynbrook North and Lynbrook South middle schools gathered together for field day and a BBQ courtesy of the school PTA’s on June 8. The heat did not stop the students from showing their spirit as North Middle School students met the South Middle School students onto their field and joined forces as teams of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple were assembled. 

Dressed in their team colors with face paint and fun accessories, the students engaged in a friendly competition of team building activities. Events included silly races, a 50-yard dash, four-by-four relay, an over under relay, dizzy izzy, a water balloon toss and tug-of-war. Teams were encouraged to showcase sportsmanship throughout the day and collaborate together.  
 

Waverly Walks for a Cause

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Students, staff and family members at Waverly Park Elementary School gathered for the school’s annual Walk-A-Thon on June 1 to honor and help those in need. The school community raised more than $1,500 for various children’s charities through donations and T-shirt sales. The Waverly Park student council facilitated the event and presented checks to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Fly a Kite Foundation, the Princess Deeds Foundation and the Ronald McDonald Foundation during a special assembly before the walk. 

With the help of advisers Shari Bowes and Courtney Jacobs, student council members spoke during the assembly about each foundation, which fit their schoolwide theme “All About the Kids.” Representatives were invited to the Walk-A-Thon to accept the donations on behalf of their organization. Guests included Hannah Burton, a former Waverly Park student and representative from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Liza Corvetti, a representative from the Princess Deeds Foundation. Upon accepting the donations, they expressed their gratitude to the students for their generosity. 

Following the assembly, students and staff made their way outside the school building for their walk. Wearing matching yellow T-shirts, the classes each held a sign to represent their class. Principal Lucille McAssey, staff, students and family members walked in unison around the neighborhood.   

District Launches New Summer Reading Program

District Launches New Summer Reading Program Logo

The district will be initiating a new 2018 Summer Reading Program, “Get Lost in a Book” for students in grades K-5.

For the first time this summer, students will share their thoughts about what they are reading using the platform Flipgrid, a video discussion platform. For more information and updates on the program, please visit websites.nylearns.org/summerreading/default.aspx or click the link on the “Quick Links” section of the district website, lynbrookschools.org. 

 

 

West End ENL Students Receive Special Visit

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On June 12th, ENL students at West End Elementary School welcomed Hempstead Town Clerk Sylvia Cabana. Ms. Cabana read a special story, Only One You, by Linda Kranz. The story celebrates what makes each of us unique. After the story, Ms. Cabana discussed with students about her own experiences as an ENL student and answered questions about her job as both an immigration lawyer and Town Clerk. West End says “Thank You” to Ms. Cabana for visiting our champions this year!
 

Lynbrook Welcomes Two New Principals

Lynbrook Welcomes Two New Principals
The Lynbrook Union Free School District is pleased to announce the appointment of Waverly Park Elementary School Principal Allison Banhazl and Lynbrook South Middle School Principal Joseph Wiener, effective July 1. Banhazl will replace current Waverly Park Principal Lucille McAssey who will retire at the end of the 2017-18 school year, while Wiener will replace current South Middle School Principal Caryn Blum, who will also be retiring at the end of the month. 

Banhazl, a Rockville Centre resident, grew up in Merrick and has held the position of assistant principal in the Merrick Union Free School District for the past six years. Prior to her role in Merrick, she was a teaching assistant in the Baldwin Union Free School District while in college and served as a teacher in Brooklyn while working for the New York City Department of Education. 

During her undergraduate career at Loyola University in Maryland, Banhazl majored in elementary education. She continued her studies at Hunter College where she received her master’s degree, along with an advanced certificate from the College of Saint Rose in educational leadership.

“I am excited and honored to join the Lynbrook Union Free School District, which is known far and wide for its dedication to excellence, but more importantly, to children,” she said. “I look forward to being the principal of Waverly Park, a rich and challenging learning community where students thrive and ‘tomorrow begins today!’”

Wiener, a Merrick resident, was as a biology teacher at Benjamin Cardozo High School in Bayside, Queens, for three years. He then taught biology for seven years at Jericho High School and has served as the assistant principal at Jericho Middle School for the past 11 years. 

He comes with a wealth of knowledge, graduating from Tufts University with double majors in biology and English. Wiener also holds a master’s degree in literacy from Long Island University and a master’s degree in school administration and supervision from Touro College.

“I am most looking forward to learning from and learning with staff, students, parents and community members,” he said. 

The district welcomes both new administrators with open arms and looks forward to having them join the Lynbrook family.  

Middle School Students Explore Different Careers

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Eighth-graders from Lynbrook North Middle School and Lynbrook South Middle School banded together for the district’s annual Middle School Career Fair on May 11. Coordinated by South Middle School guidance counselor Jennifer Arena and North Middle School guidance counselor Alexandra Etra, this year’s event was hosted at North Middle School.

Students Receive a First-Hand Look at the Judicial System

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Lynbrook South Middle School eighth-graders in Roxanne Migliacci’s mock trial class recently visited the Nassau County Courthouse and the Nassau County Supreme Courthouse in Mineola. The students had the opportunity to observe an attempted murder trial, meet with Judge Meryl Berkowitz and tour the courtroom and jail cells. Students were also able to ask questions about the legal system and judicial process, as well as experience the process of being selected for jury duty. 

Students Spread Kindness Through “Bliss Tracks”

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In honor of Kindness Month at West End Elementary School, fifth-grade classes recently turned “diss tracks,” a song with a negative purpose of putting down another person, into “bliss tracks,” to do just the opposite. The idea came about after the classes had a discussion about diss tracks and how hurtful words can be. Each student was assigned a classmate to write a kind letter, song or rap about. The students then recorded their masterpieces on FLIPGRID, an educational video discussion platform and shared their projects. The students worked very hard and were extremely excited to do something so meaningful for a friend.

A Home Run Performance by Lynbrook Students

A Home Run Performance by Lynbrook Students Photo
With crowds of people gathered to watch the New York Mets take on the Arizona Diamondbacks, Waverly Park Elementary School chorus students, along with kindergarteners from the Lynbrook Kindergarten Center, took to the field to perform the National Anthem at Citi Field on May 19. 

Guided by music teacher Maddi Jabin, the students sang dressed in their school t-shirts and were featured on the jumbotron for all to see. Following their performance, Lynbrook Director of Fine and Performing Arts Joseph Pallotta was invited onto the field to throw the first pitch. To end the memorable evening, each student went home with a Stars Wars Bobble head as a souvenir to commemorate it also being Star Wars Night at Citi Field. 

Students Get a Taste of Different Cultures

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Lynbrook South Middle School seventh-graders enrolled in Roxanne Migliacci and Jeanette Roch’s “Around the World” classes experienced a world of cultures right in their own backyard during their first International Food Festival on May 24. The new class elective follows students enrolled in the fall Public Speaking class and puts their presentation skills to the test in the spring through researching foreign countries and presenting on what they learned. 

Students studied a specific country and explored what it would be like to visit as an American, as well as what it would be like for foreigners to come to the United States. They shared their research with their classes as they tried to convince their peers to visit their country of study. As a culmination to their unit, the classes joined together for their first International Food Festival in school where they brought in a dish from the country that they researched. These included Icelandic brownies from Iceland, samoas from India, lavash (a traditional flatbread) from Armenia, mandazi from Rwanda, mini pancakes from the United Arab Emirates, chicken and rice from Somalia, ginger-wasabi brown rice from Japan and many more. 

Each student placed a piece of paper with their country and the ingredients of their food by their dish as their peers walked around and had a taste. As they tried the different foods, the students wrote down their top 15 favorites. The festival was a team effort among teachers and staff members to make it a success. 

“I enjoyed making the food even though it took a while. It ended up being delicious,” said seventh-grader Hannah Seideman. “I also enjoyed tasting foods from the different countries that I didn’t think were from those places.”

Marion Street's Quail Cam!

Click here to watch the Quail Cam

West End Students Give Back for Red Nose Day

West End Students Give Back for Red Nose Day Photo
During the week of May 21, Theresa D’Amato’s fourth-grade class at West End Elementary School participated in lessons that focused on poverty and empathy while raising $273.20 for the Red Nose Day campaign to help end childhood poverty around the United States and world. 

Using the tools provided by the Red Nose Day campaign run by the charity Comic Relief Inc., the students watched videos and engaged in math and English Language Arts lessons that focused on the effects of childhood poverty. Students learned about how they could help others living in poverty in the United States and overseas and as a result, raised money for children in need by speaking to their family members about the cause and asking for donations. Many students even donated their own money which went straight to the Red Nose Day campaign through a local Walgreens store. On Red Nose Day on May 24, the students dressed in red and wore their red noses proudly. 

“I am so proud of how invested my students were in this project,” said D’Amato. “They were engaged in the lessons and really connected to the personal stories we heard about children living in poverty.”

Hands-On Learning

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Voyager students at West End Elementary School recently learned about the engineering behind LASIK eye surgery as they dissected an eye of a cow. 

Students Challenge Their Math Skills with Scavenger Hunt

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Under the direction of teachers Chelsea Jaret and Sara Dinowitz, second-grade students recently brought math to life as they went out to the playground to measure a variety of objects. Students were equipped with rulers, clipboards and pencils to complete a measurement scavenger hunt. All students were actively engaged and able to display their proficiency of measurement while using both inches and centimeters to find the length of objects. It was a fun afternoon indeed!

Waverly Park Students Flex Their Math Muscles

Waverly Park Students Flex Their Math Muscles photo

Waverly Park Elementary School students in grades 3-5 recently flexed their math muscles by peer tutoring others in their strongest area of math. In preparation for the event, the students completed a survey to identify the math topics that they are strong in and others that they need help with. To celebrate the occasion, students dressed up in workout gear as they showcased their “Feats of Strength” and did a great job helping their fellow peers with different math topics.

Lynbrook Helps Strike Out ALS

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Proudly holding their handmade signs, students at Marion Street Elementary School, North Middle School and South Middle School cheered as the ALS Ride for Life Foundation stopped by their schools during their travels through Nassau County on May 9. This was the first year that both middle school’s participated in the ride and between all three schools, Lynbrook students and staff helped raise a total of $6,200 towards finding a cure, which was presented to the foundation. 

ALS Ride for Life is a charity organization that serves the ALS community by raising awareness and research funds while providing services to patients and their families, along with news and information to the public. ALS is a nervous system disease that weakens muscles and impacts physical function. During the month of May, the organization honors ALS Awareness Month by conducting their annual Ride for Life event where patients and their families travel to raise awareness, spread information on ALS and raise funds for research. 

The organization traveled to the three schools throughout the morning where they were greeted by excited students. ALS patients, including Ride for Life founder Chris Pendergast rode his electric wheelchair down the row of students as they cheered words of encouragement while patient John Michael, gave students high fives and expressed his gratitude for the Lynbrook Public Schools support. 

“These kids are inspirational,” he said. “Maybe one of these children will be the one to find a cure.” 

Students at Marion Street Elementary School participated in fundraisers and events throughout the year to help raise money for ALS Ride for Life in the fight to find a cure. The students, along with Principal Theresa Macchia, presented the organization with a check during their visit of $5,400. In addition, North Middle School students presented the foundation with a $600 check and Sophia Yaker, a seventh-grader from South Middle School raised approximately $200 that she presented to the foundation. 
 

West End Earns No Place for Hate Distinction

West End Earns No Place for Hate Distinction Photo
For the third consecutive year, West End Elementary School was designated as a No Place for Hate School by the Anti-Defamation League for the 2017-2018 school year. West End is one of more than 1,800 schools from across the country to receive the distinction for promoting a positive, safe and inclusive learning environment for students.
 
To enhance a culture of respect in the school community, West End educators completed a needs assessment, formed a No Place for Hate committee with students and had students sign the Resolution of Respect, a pledge to making their school a No Place for Hate environment. In addition, West End successfully designed and implemented at least three school-wide activities throughout the year that focused on bullying prevention and anti-bias.   

The school was recognized by the Anti-Defamation League on May 25 with other New York and Northern New Jersey students and educators during a recognition ceremony at the Sheraton Hotel in New York City. They received a personalized No Place for Hate banner to display in their building.

Students Transform into Sports Professionals

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Waverly Park fifth-graders in Amy Garfinkel’s class put their creativity to the test during their Sports Cardboard Challenge on May 3. The class, along with other fifth-graders throughout the district, have incorporated careers in sports into their lessons to correspond with the Lynbrook Public Schools’ theme of the year, “Where Tomorrow Begins Today.” 

During the course of approximately two months, students were challenged to utilize cardboard and other recyclable materials to create a model of their research topic, highlighting a specific sports profession. With the help of Garfinkel and library media specialist Meghan Ceglie, the students researched professions such as sports photographer, general manager, physical therapist, sports announcer and more. Each student was required to write a creative essay about their findings. For their model, the students brainstormed ideas with their classmates for inspiration and wrote a paragraph about their projects. 

Students from various grade levels throughout the building were invited to the school library where the students displayed their projects. The fifth-graders presented on what they learned and spoke about how they built their creations.  

“I’m an NFL team owner and I made a skybox which overlooks the field because that’s where the NFL team owner sits during a game,” said fifth-grader Owen Asch. “My favorite part of the project was gluing the field to the bottom of the box and taping the skybox together.” 

Garfinkel incorporates a cardboard challenge into her lessons every other year after being inspired by the Global Cardboard Challenge. The challenge was created based on the film “Caine’s Arcade,” which takes viewers through the life of nine-year-old Caine Monroy who created a cardboard arcade. It encourages creativity among students which was the goal of the project. 

Field Day Fun

Field Day Fun Photo

ALL VISITORS MUST HAVE AN APPOINTMENT TO MEET WITH STAFF IN ANY SCHOOL BUILDING

All visitors must have an appointment to meet with staff in any school building. Please DO call ahead. Thank you!