Marion Street Students Sing Praises for Their Veterans

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Marion Street second graders proudly dressed in red, white and blue as they honored the veterans in their lives during their patriotic sing along event on Nov. 15. Second grade classes at Marion Street Elementary School host the special event each year to show their appreciation for those who have served.

Family members and central administrators packed the school gymnasium as second grade teacher Anne Conway kicked off the event by expressing her gratitude for the veterans in attendance.

“We want to sincerely thank you for your service on behalf of all the citizens of our great country,” she said. “You honor us by your service and your presence here today.” 

Students proudly entered the gymnasium holding their American flags high as they took their places on the bleachers. Together, the second graders performed patriotic songs such as “God Bless America,” “Yankee Doodle,” “You’re A Grand Old Flag” and “This Land Is Your Land.” Led by music teacher Kristen Scalice, veterans and family members were encouraged to sing along with the students.
Each second grader donned a patriotic button with their name on it which they created with the help of art teacher Patricia Wierzbicki. Select students also shared facts about America in between their song performances. At the conclusion of the event, students took photos and embraced their loved ones. 

Board Honors Eight Exceptional Students

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It was an evening of recognitions as the Lynbrook Board of Education praised several outstanding students at the Lynbrook Public Schools Board of Education meeting on Nov. 13. The community also heard important updates, including a presentation on the Advanced Placement and Regents assessment results.

Lynbrook High School senior Djellza Pulatani was honored for being selected as a girls panelist for the nonprofit advocacy group She’s the First, in partnership with Akili Dada and MAIA. She was one of six girls to travel to the United Nations to present the first Global Girls’ Bill of Rights. The board also recognized Commended Students Sara Bahri, Charles Gebbia and Julianne Lampert and Semifinalist Anna Rath in the National Merit Scholarship Program.

As a result of showing their exceptional characters, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak praised Lynbrook North Middle School student-athletes David Barrere and T.J. Sexton for their outstanding sportsmanship at a recent cross country meet. During a race, the two students witnessed a runner from an opposing team fall down and injury himself. Barrere and Sexton picked him up and walked him about 100 yards back to the coaches and the starting line.

“That great sportsmanship is what we are all about,” said Dr. Burak. “People are going to remember how you treat them, not all the accomplishments that you have earned.” 

Lynbrook High School student Michael Frank was also honored for his incredible act of kindness. Frank was recently at a local eatery during his lunch period when he saw a man choking on food and swept in to perform the Heimlich maneuver. His quick action saved the man’s life. 

In addition to the recognitions, Board Secretary Robert Paskoff and trustee Alicemarie Bresnihan spoke about their experience attending the New York State School Board Conference and Board Vice President Lesli Deninno provided a facilities committee update. The committee recently looked at the completed summer projects, reviewed possibilities and needs for the upcoming budget, discussed the security vestibules and the upcoming high school project and reviewed the findings of the board walk-throughs. 

The board and the community also heard from Dr. Gerard Beleckas, assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and assessment. He presented the districtwide AP and Regents assessment results at the middle and high school level.

“Our students on average are taking more of the assessments than students in other schools in the county and they are doing better on the ones that they are taking,” he said.
Dr. Beleckas also shared a timeline of the New York State Education Department’s new assessments and reported changes that are expected to occur with some of the exams.

During the Superintendent’s Report, Dr. Burak discussed the Reimagining Readiness Conference which is the first of three conference days that a team from Lynbrook, including Dr. Burak, attended. Educators gathered to examine what is needed to graduate and how to prepare students for life after graduation. Dr. Burak also reported on Superintendent’s Conference Day which was held on Election Day. The district partnered with the Lynbrook Teacher Center who helped organize different workshops. Staff members shared their expertise on various topics and trainings were facilitated. 

Before the close of the meeting, Dr. Paul Lynch, assistant superintendent for finance, operations, and information systems, provided a capital projects update. There are currently three bids out for the air conditioning at Marion Street and West End elementary schools and the Waverly Park elevator. Dr. Lynch stated that the bids will be opened in the Atlantic Avenue board room on Nov. 26 at 11 a.m. and the public is welcome to attend. 

Home Sweet Home

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Students in Marisa Minicus’ Spanish 8 classes at Lynbrook South Middle School recently put their language skills to the test with a real estate project about the home. As an engaging way to learn home terminology in Spanish, the eighth graders were asked to create an original home online and serve as the real estate, pretending to sell it.
Using their tablets, the students conducted research on the Multiple Listing Service of Long Island website in the Spanish language to become familiar with isolated vocabulary and important details that would be essential in a real estate advertisement. They also worked with the school’s technology specialist Jill Robinson to highlight their house and its details using the platform Microsoft Sway.
After about four class days, the students presented their homes in Spanish to their class. Students worked individually or as a group and either read their house details aloud or pre-recorded their information into audio clips which was embedded into their presentations. The class filled out a questionnaire during each presentation and listened for specific information such as how much the house would cost to buy and how many bedrooms and bathrooms it featured. Afterwards, the eighth graders were asked to reflect on their projects in the aspects of contribution, presentation, planning and preparation.
This was the third year that Mrs. Minicus assigned the project to her students as a fun way to culminate the home unit.
“I love the way that they put things together,” said Mrs. Minicus. “What’s neat is that they all have the same rubric and every single one of them turns out unique.”
The Spanish 8 course is one of a few courses offered at Lynbrook South Middle School that qualifies students for high school credit. 

A Sweet Taste of Home

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Members of the West End Elementary School Student Council recently facilitated an “Operation Sweet Tooth” candy drive where they collected more than 200 pounds of Halloween candy to donate to Operation Gratitude. The candy will be used in care packages for heroes serving overseas and here at home. Great job, West End! 

LHS Students Showcase Innovative Company

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Lynbrook High School’s Virtual Enterprise students recently participated in an elevator pitch competition at the Long Island Virtual Enterprise Business and Entrepreneurship Leadership Conference at LIU Post. More than 2,000 students from across Long Island attended the event which was open to all VE high school students.

Students showcased their companies and participated in breakout sessions that focused on social media marketing and the financing of a successful business. Lynbrook High School senior Ethan Marcus represented Lynbrook High School’s VE company “Checkmate,” a financial help app that will track subscriptions, personal finances and stocks to help manage customer’s savings. Marcus serves as the company’s vice president of communications and pitched “Checkmate” against more than 105 other firms. 

“Marcus did a phenomenal job captivating the crowd and he kept spirits high while managing to steal laughs and applause from the audience,” said Lynbrook High School VE teacher Dr. Benedict Tieniber.

Although “Checkmate” did not progress to the final round of the competition, the day was a valuable experience for the students.

“Aside from the competition, a lot of great things happened that day anyway,” said Lynbrook High School senior and “Checkmate” chief executive officer Jane Hoeflinger. “We made strategic networking moves and have since completed a significant amount of sales from companies we met at that competition. Ethan did an amazing job and we are all so proud of him.”
Following the pitch competition, the students were divided into breakout sessions to learn about their corresponding departments.

“The breakout sessions were helpful and talking to professionals who have real world experience in the finance sector will help us when we format our official business plan, due Dec. 13,” said Lynbrook High School senior and co-chief financial officer Jared Moreida.

After the event, the students learned that "Checkmate" ranked in the top 25% nationally in the 2019-2020 National Elevator Pitch Competition. The company will participate in their next competition on Jan. 9. Students will be presenting their business plan and competing against other schools.