Student Entrepreneurs Find Success at Regional Conference

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Virtual Enterprise students from Lynbrook High School participated in the Virtual Enterprises Long Island Regional Conference and Exhibition with advisor Dr. Benedict Tieniber on Jan. 9 at LIU Post. The students presented their virtual enterprise company, “Fit Pet,” during the event, earning the silver award for company branding. 

Approximately 90 student-created firms were represented during the event, including more than 2,000 students, educators and business leaders who represented the virtual economy. The students competed on booth design, salesmanship, impact marketing and more. Lynbrook students presented their business plan which was led by Chief Executive Officer Eric Levine and valuable members of the “Fit Pet” team – Salvatore Cimato, Jonathan Mottola, Allison Shifflett, Aidan Tuosto and Miranda Zaransky. The company brought in more than $140,000 through Trade Show sales alone during the event. 

Further results are expected to be released in early February for the oral and written part of the business plan competition. “Fit Pet” was also selected as a top 50 Virtual Enterprise company in the program within the United States. To earn this distinction as a top firm, the program looks at a firm’s engagement and achievement of benchmarks during the year. 

Lynbrook High School Students Take on the Spark! Challenge

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Lynbrook High School students in Dr. Benedict Tieniber's virtual enterprise class participated in the Northwell Health’s Spark! Challenge last month, designed to ignite students’ interest in healthcare careers. Northwell teams, educators and students from across Long Island are coming together for the Spark! Challenge to inspire and introduce students to the many career areas which require science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills. 

Northwell professionals provided the students with an immersive experience as the class visited a new Northwell Health building in Syosset where they received a closer look at operating rooms, a sterilization room, storage rooms, inpatient room and more. They also visited a Northwell Health building in Great Neck where students learned about the 3-D printing involved to make prosthetics. Here, students observed prosthetic hearts, fins, skulls and more. 

Through these two visits, the students were able to see the businesses in action. The behind the scenes experience and chance to interact with members of the Northwell team was a special one for many of the students. 

“This opened my eyes to new job opportunities in life,” said senior Sal Cimato. 

The students involved will create a career advertisement for one of the careers or jobs that they observed during their visit to Northwell Health. Students will connect their career advertisement to Northwell Health’s Culture of C.A.R.E. (Connectedness, Awareness, Respect, and Empathy) patient promises. Following the career advertisement project, the students will conduct a two-minute presentation about the same career and Culture of C.A.R.E. promise spotlighted in each of the students advertisement during a Spark! Challenge Awards Celebration on April 11.

Lynbrook BOE Honors Students; Receives Guidance Update

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The community gathered for the first Lynbrook Public Schools Board of Education meeting of 2019 on Jan. 9. Students were praised for their recent achievements while important updates were shared, including a presentation on the elementary guidance requirements. 

During the evening, the board spoke about Corner of the Sky, an annual musical revue at Lynbrook High School which features student performers, cast, crew, lighting and set designers from Lynbrook High School’s career development program. The board commended Lynbrook High School seniors Benjamin Gagliardo and Kara Vito for continuing the program, which was started by a former Lynbrook student, and taking the initiative to make the show a success. The board also recognized Lynbrook South Middle School eighth-grader Scarlett Dellacona, whose writing piece titled, “Michael (Excerpt),” was published in The Ellipsis, one of Writopia Lab’s online literacy magazines.  

Following the recognitions, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak spoke about the district considering an early dismissal policy for snow days. This would not be in effect until the 2019-2020 school year but would be a solution to incorrect weather reports and wasted snow days. Dr. Burak stressed that calling an early dismissal would not be abrupt and that families would receive a phone call in the early morning announcing that an early dismissal could be placed.  

During the superintendent’s report, Dr. Burak spoke about the 2019-2020 school calendar which was officially adopted during the meeting. She then introduced Lynbrook High School guidance chairperson Laurie Mitchell, who presented the district’s K-12 school counseling and guidance plan. Ms. Mitchell explained that the New York State Education Department now requires a guidance program not only for students in grades 6-12 but for elementary students as well. She spoke about the social-emotional learning, career and academic-driven curriculum that the district already has implemented and how the new program will be more data-driven, focusing on accountability. The program will begin in Sept. 2019 as a way to look at how the curriculum is measured and what could be improved. 

Dr. Gerard Beleckas, assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction, and assessment, also shared a curriculum update with the community regarding the English as a New Language initiatives. He announced that an elementary and secondary class were established this past summer to help maintain and continue language development for students. Dr. Beleckas also spoke about the Wise Owl Program at West End Elementary School which gives students homework support and families the proper tools to support their children at home. The Wise Owl Program has been extended to Lynbrook North Middle School and Lynbrook High School this year. Dr. Beleckas also reported that the district is offering courses through the Lynbrook Teacher Center and offering conferences to help educators support English Language Learners in their classroom. 

Dr. Paul Lynch, assistant superintendent for finance, operations, and information systems, updated the public on the district’s capital projects. He reported that the air conditioning projects for the gymnasiums at Waverly Park Elementary School, Lynbrook North Middle School and Lynbrook South Middle School are due to come out of New York State around March. Additionally, he stated that the Marion Street Elementary School and West End Elementary School air conditioning projects that were expected to come out of the state in June are now undergoing an expedited third party review process based on the Board’s approval last month. The district has already received feedback which is a great sign that the project review is moving forward.

Lynbrook Key Club Serves Up Holiday Spirit

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Members of the Lynbrook High School Key Club hosted their annual holiday party for senior citizens at the Lynbrook Recreation Center last month. The special event brings students and community members together in the spirit of the holiday season.

The senior citizens shared stories from when they were in Lynbrook schools and their life experiences. Additionally, they offered advice to students about future endeavors such as joining the workforce and going to college. Key Club members shared stories with the community, served food, cleaned up dishes and gave away prizes from local community stores at the event. 

“I’ve been part of this event for the last four years, and each year is as rewarding as the last,” said senior Jesse Candel.
Key Club advisor Dr. Benedict Tieniber praised the students for their hard work in making the event a success. 

“Our members put in a lot of work for this event and it’s so rewarding for them,” he said. “It is important for our students and community members to work together. I am very proud of them.” 

Lynbrook Seniors Crowned Semifinalists in Regeneron Competition

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Juliana Condoleo and Kaylie Hausknecht, both seniors at Lynbrook High School are among 300 semifinalists in the 2019 Regeneron Science Talent Search, one of the nation’s most prestigious science and math competitions for high school seniors. As two of the 300 top scholars in the competition, Juliana and Kaylie will each receive $2,000 with an equal amount going toward Lynbrook High School to be applied to science, technology, engineering and math education.

Both students are now in the running to become one of 40 finalists. These students will be determined later this month. If selected as a finalist, the students will receive an all-expense-paid trip in mid-March to Washington, D.C., where they will compete for more than $1.8 million in additional awards, including a grand prize of $250,000. 

Juliana was selected for her project titled, “Investigating the Novel Role of the Activated Cdc-42-Associated Tyrosine Kinase (ACK1) in Learning and Memory using a DAck Null Allele in Drosophila melanogaster,” while Kaylie was selected for her project, “Disentangling Spatial Correlations in Inhomogeneous Materials with Shift Invariant Artificial Neural Networks.” 

Congratulations to both students on this tremendous achievement! 

Horizon Students Crowned ESSPA Winners

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For the third consecutive year, Lynbrook High School’s student newspaper, Horizon, received a Gold Award for Best All-Around Publication in the 2018 Empire State Scholastic Press Association awards program. Under the guidance of Horizon adviser Jessica Sanders, the 2017-2018 student staff members also proudly took home the Gold Award for Best New Publication for Horizon Online, the student newspaper’s newly launched website. 

Hosted annually by Syracuse University, the ESSPA awards program gives students across the state a chance to compete and showcase their talents through their school publications. During the awards program, Horizon staff members and contributors, including some 2018 graduates, also won a total of 14 individual honors, including six gold, one silver, two bronze and five honorable mention awards. 

Gold Award: 

Emily Bergin – News Writing 
Brian Egan – Feature Writing
Jane Hoeflinger – News Writing
Helaina Rehs – Sports News
Christian Sarlo – Sports Feature 
Pooja Shah – Picture Story Layout 

Silver Award: 

Terence Deegan – In-Depth Coverage

Bronze Award: 

Josh Polansky – News Writing 
Harrison Simon – Sports Feature 

Honorable Mentions: 

Marti Candel, Dustin Mandell and Djelza Pulitani – Picture Story Layout
Sam Cohen – News Writing 
Lauren Hernandez - Review Writing Portfolio
Tess Rechtweg – Feature Writing 
Horizon Staff – Front Page Design Portfolio

Congratulations, Horizon! 

Lynbrook Seniors Earn Physical Education Honor

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Seniors Jessica Grisales and Billy Miatta from Lynbrook High School were recently recognized as recipients of the Nassau Zone Outstanding Physical Education Students Award. The students were commended during an award ceremony at the Crest Hollow Country Club. 

Sponsored by the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, this award is presented to one male and one female Nassau County high school senior from each school district who exemplify outstanding scholastic ability, physical education performance and leadership qualities.

Both students are a valuable member of the Lynbrook High School family and have made lasting impressions on their peers and teachers. Jessica’s physical education teacher Mike Dieguez noted that she is a pleasant addition to his strength training class. 

“She has done a nice job of formulating her own plan that has included hard and efficient work on the most demanding, yet result producing exercises,” he said. “She asks insightful questions in her desire to improve herself and has been an excellent role model for others in the class.” 

Billy also received praises from his physical education teacher Brian Hetrick, who acknowledged him as a motivated young man. 

“Billy Miatta has displayed a great deal of responsibility throughout his high school physical education career here at Lynbrook High School,” he said. “He has constantly demonstrated good sportsmanship and character, and is well respected by his peers and teachers. The genuine love for being active, as well as his positive outlook on class and life are qualities that very few students possess.”

Congratulations to both students on this great achievement! 

Senior Bass Player to Perform at All-Eastern Conference

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Leo Glassman, a senior at Lynbrook High School was recently selected to perform double bass in the 2019 National Association for Music Education All-Eastern Honors Concert Band. Leo will join more than 780 exceptional high school musicians from across the Eastern region of the United States to perform in ensembles during the conference from April 4-7 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

To be selected for this honor, students must be a junior or a senior and have previously been chosen to participate in All-State festivals. The students are then evaluated by members of the Eastern Division for consideration. This year, Leo has also been selected for the Nassau Music Educators Association’s All-County Festival, the Long Island String Festival Association’s 2019 Nassau County Intermediate Festival, the New York State School Music Association All-State Conference and was selected as an alternate for the National Association for Music Education’s All-National honors ensemble.

With the help of orchestra director Alyssa White and band director Brian White, Leo will prepare the challenging music in the following months leading up to the conference. Here, the selected student-musicians will rehearse for three days with one of five prominent conductors. Leo will be among 150 top high school instrumentalists in the Concert Band who will perform in a culminating concert on April 7. 

Congratulations, Leo on this outstanding accomplishment! 

Outstanding Senior Selected as 2019 Coca-Cola Semifinalist

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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!

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.

Up for the Regeneron Challenge

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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.”

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.