Lynbrook BOE Holds Reorganization Meeting

Lynbrook BOE Holds Reorganization Meeting Photo 1
Lynbrook BOE Holds Reorganization Meeting Photo 2
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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.
 

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. 

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!