Deserving Seniors Receive Scholarships

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The Lynbrook High School gymnasium was filled with proud administrators, staff, family, friends, board of education and community members to celebrate the Lynbrook High School Class of 2019 during the school’s annual Senior Awards Night on May 29. Thousands of dollars in scholarships were generously presented to deserving seniors throughout the evening by community organizations, families and individuals. 

Principal Joseph Rainis opened the event by thanking the faculty of Lynbrook High School and all those in attendance who chose to honor members of the Class of 2019. One by one, seniors were recognized with scholarships and awards for their academics, leadership abilities, character, citizenship and service in the community. In addition, memorial scholarships were presented to a number of seniors in honor of loved ones gone too soon, and each student was praised for exemplifying the values of their award.

Congratulations to all the award recipients on their well-deserved recognitions! 

Senior Rises to the Top at International Science and Engineering Fair

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Lynbrook High School senior Kaylie Hausknecht recently competed in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Arizona and took home numerous top awards for her independent research project. This year, approximately 1,800 high school students from more than 80 countries, regions and territories showcased their projects at the Intel ISEF, the world’s largest international pre-college science competition. 

Kaylie presented her research titled “Disentangling Spatial Correlations from Inhomogeneous Materials with Shift-Invariant Artificial Neural Networks,” during the fair. Her research was conducted while working in a condensed matter physics laboratory studying superconductors which are able to conduct electricity without losing any energy to resistance. Kaylie’s goal was to solve the issue that scientists have when looking to make higher temperature superconducting materials which are extremely disordered on the atomic level. It complicates the task of distinguishing what is a relevant feature of the material from what is just noise from disorder. For her project, Kaylie developed a new methodology with a form of artificial intelligence that is able to disentangle the essential properties of these materials from their nanoscale disorder, a methodology that may be useful for studying different materials, as well as other disordered physical systems.

Her impressive research earned her first place in the Physics category and granted her $3,000. Kaylie also took home the prestigious Best in Category award for Physics and Astronomy and received $5,000. This distinction means that Kaylie was recognized as the best high school physics researcher in the world. 

In addition, she earned the European Union Young Scientist Award, allowing her to proudly represent the U.S. with an all-expenses paid trip to the European Union Contest for Young Scientists in September. Furthermore, Kaylie had an asteroid named in her honor and the Intel Foundation awarded a $1,000 grant to Lynbrook High School and the affiliated fair they represent in honor of her success.  

Science research teacher David Shanker attended the fair with Kaylie and expressed how proud he was of his hardworking student. 

“Kaylie has achieved the highest level of success in the Lynbrook High School Research Program since it was formed in 1999,” he said. “On the day of judging, Kaylie was confident and handled the grueling seven hours of presenting, cool and composed. It was at the Grand Awards ceremony when I lost it after I heard these words, ‘For Physics and Astronomy, the Best in Category, from Lynbrook New York, Kaylie Hausknecht.’ I’ll never forget that; Kaylie’s was the best physics project in the world.” 

The district congratulates Kaylie on this tremendous achievement and looks forward to seeing all that she accomplishes in the future! 

LHS Students Bring “Fit Pet” to Youth Business Summit

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Lynbrook High School students in Dr. Benedict Tieniber’s Virtual Enterprise course participated in Virtual Enterprise International’s 2019 Youth Business Summit Trade Show in Brooklyn, where they showcased their company, “Fit Pet.” 

The one-of-a kind global business convention for virtual enterprise students allowed them to network and show off their products, goods and services to others. Lynbrook was commended during the event as “Fit Pet” sales for the day totaled more than $250,000. After the third and last review of form operations by VEI International, “Fit Pet” was ranked again as a top 50 firm nationwide.

It has been a successful year for the Lynbrook VE students and their company. During the 2018-2019 national online competitions, “Fit Pet” placed in the top 25% for elevator pitch and company branding and earned honorable mention for their website, newsletter and video commercial. The students also earned the silver award for company branding when they presented “Fit Pet” at the 2019 Long Island Regional Conference and Exhibition. 

“Virtual Enterprise has been a valuable experience in showing me how the business world operates,” said Lynbrook High School senior Billy Miata. “Through Virtual Enterprise, Dr. Tieniber has become a great mentor to me, inspiring me to pursue a future in business. This class has given me opportunities to find my interests in business and has given me the self-confidence I need before I leave high school.” 

Congratulations to Dr. Tieniber and his students! 

Lynbrook Student-Athletes Finish Season Strong

Winter Athletes

Numerous student-athletes from Lynbrook High School had a memorable winter season as they received honors and accolades for their dedication and success. This included student-athletes on the cheer team, boys swim team, wrestling team, boys basketball team, girls basketball team, boys winter track team and girls winter track team. Among the individual awards, 17 students were selected for All-Conference in their designated sports, while three were recognized as scholar athletes and two were honored for All-County.

A highlight of the winter season was the Lynbrook High School boys basketball team who brought the community together as they played their hearts out on the court and proudly earned the title of Conference Champions. Among the many accomplishments of the team during the season, senior Rylan Blondo also earned the distinction of Small School Nassau County Player of the Year. 

Congratulations to all the following student-athletes on their awards:   

Boys Swimming

All-Conference: Danny Dalrymple and Samir Souidi


All-County: Johnny Dibenedetto

All-Conference: Jordan Camilo, Jessie Candel, Sean Curley, Johnny Dibenedetto, Tyler Heaney, Jassjeet Singh, David Vivar, Justin Weinberger and Henry Quilca  

Boys Basketball 

All-State: Rylan Blondo 

All-Honorable Mention All-State: James Montgomery 

All-Conference: John Donaldson and Brandon Pekale

Scholar Athlete: Brandon Pekale

Girls Basketball

Scholar Athlete: Katie Bamman 

Honorable Mention All Nassau County: Kayla Schweizer and Leanna Sullivan

All-Conference: Kyla Nembach and Camilla Bahri 


All Division: Gwyneth Favichia

Scholar Athlete: Nicole Malik

Section VIII Coach’s Award: Rebecca Domiguez

Boys Winter Track

All-County: Billy Miata

All-Conference: Shane Nembach 

Girls Winter Track

All-Conference: Caitlin Buchala 


District Holds Budget Hearing; Shares Updates With Community

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Lynbrook High School orchestra students kicked off the Lynbrook Public Schools Board of Education meeting on May 8. Administrators, board members, faculty, students and community members gathered in the Lynbrook High School cafeteria for the district’s budget hearing in preparation for the budget vote on May 21. Student recognitions and important district updates were also shared with the community. 

Assistant Superintendent for Finance, Operations, and Information Systems Dr. Paul Lynch presented an overview of the district’s 2019-20 budget. For further details on the budget and presentation, please click here

Student artwork was displayed throughout the cafeteria from the district’s All-County artists. The board recognized one of the 2019 Nassau All-County Art Exhibition artists from Lynbrook High School who was accidentally left out of the program. Junior Kiera Derrig was commended by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak and the board for her outstanding piece and received a T-shirt and certificate from the Art Supervisors Association. The board also honored Lynbrook High School senior Millie Coria for receiving the Nassau BOCES Outstanding Student award for animation and digital media design. 

In preparation for the upcoming school year, Board President William Belmont welcomed two new teachers to the district: Kristen Montgomery (Kindergarten Center) and Alexa Carvelli (Marion Street Elementary School). He also announced that Lynbrook High School’s guidance chairperson Laurie Mitchell will be the district’s new director of guidance and will begin her new role on July 1. 

Board Vice President Lesli Deninno provided an update from the recent facilities committee meeting regarding the student population at Marion Street. The committee is utilizing Suffolk BOCES to develop a census of the area and are looking into the possibility of working with a demographer to review what steps the committee should take next. 

During the Superintendent’s Report, Dr. Burak announced that the district was once again selected by the NAMM Foundation as one of the Best Communities for Music Education. She commended the district’s entire music department and Fine and Performing Arts Director Joseph Pallotta. Dr. Burak also reminded the community about the upcoming budget vote on May 21 and encouraged everyone to register to vote if they had not done so already. Registration is open until May 15. On that date at Lynbrook High School, the district will be partnering with the Lynbrook Teacher’s Association for the Child ID program. Community members can register to vote while also getting ID cards for their children.

In addition, Dr. Burak provided an update about New York State’s substantial equivalency requirement (equivalent education between private schools and public schools). At the district’s February board of education meeting, she explained that the unfunded mandate would require superintendents from public schools to review their local private schools to ensure that they are meeting the same standards. According to Dr. Burak, the New York State Education Department heard the outcries of school officials and has suspended the substantial equivalency guideline. 

To conclude her report, Dr. Burak encouraged the community to come out on May 15 as Lynbrook North Middle School, Lynbrook South Middle School and Marion Street Elementary School participate in the ALS Ride for Life event. Students will be walking and cheering on ALS Ride for Life founder Chris Pendergast and his team as he travels through Lynbrook. She also shared with the community that summer program information will be available after the budget vote. This year, Summer Playground will begin on July 1 at West End and Marion Street schools. Also beginning on July 1 will be the summer high school program at Lynbrook High School and the summer middle school program at Lynbrook South Middle School. The district’s Summer STEAM Academy will be held at Lynbrook High School and will begin on July 8. 

Dr. Gerard Beleckas, assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and assessment, also provided more information about summer. To keep students engaged over the summer months, Dr. Beleckas explained that this year’s summer reading program was designed based upon a survey that all elementary students completed about their favorite books and what they are planning on reading next. The titles are in the process of being compiled into a brochure and FlipGrids are being created for the texts to allow students to share their thoughts and insights on the books as they read them. In addition, elementary students of all ages will be encouraged to read “The Wild Robot” by Peter Brown. At the end of the summer, the district is hoping to partner with the Lynbrook Public Library to host a book talk across the grade levels. Dr. Beleckas shared that Allison Curran, elementary curriculum specialist, will be hosting summer reading pep rallies to get students excited about the program.

Toward the end of the meeting, Dr. Lynch provided a capital projects update for the community. He stated that the board was voting that evening on awarding the contracts for the initial bond projects. This included contracts for the new locker rooms at North Middle School and South Middle School, the wrestling room at Atlantic Avenue and the gymnasium air conditioners at Waverly Park, North and South middle schools. Dr. Lynch also said that on May 9th the district would open the bid for the work being done this summer at Marion Street School. There will be five student restrooms which will be replaced, and the locker room will be completely redone. In addition, a contract for work on a bathroom at West End will also be awarded. 

Two Star Seniors Earn $2,500 National Merit Scholarship

Seniors Earn National Merit Scholarship
The district is pleased to announce that two outstanding seniors from Lynbrook High School were selected as 2019 National Merit Scholarship winners in the prestigious National Merit Scholarship Program. Sam Cohen and Kaylie Hausknecht are among 2,500 Merit Scholar designees from across the country who will each be presented with a $2,500 National Merit Scholarship award.

The tremendous achievement is one of many that Kaylie and Sam have received during their senior year. This past March, Kaylie was selected as Lynbrook High School’s valedictorian for the Class of 2019, while Sam was chosen as the salutatorian. Both students entered the National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test during their junior year which approximately 1.6 million high school students take each year. They continued on in the competition, making their mark as semifinalists and then finalists. 

Both students were selected as scholarship winners in the program after a review of their abilities, skills and accomplishments. Kaylie and Sam will both attend Harvard University in the fall. Congratulations to both students! 

LHS Hosts Golden Paddle Tournament

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Lynbrook High School’s Student Government Association hosted the school’s fifth annual Golden Paddle tournament on May 2. Through the fun-filled event, SGA members raised $350 for a new scholarship which will be presented to two “Unsung Heroes From the Class of 2019” during Senior Awards Night at the end of the month. 

Lynbrook High School graduate Luke Germanakos created the Golden Paddle Tournament as a senior in 2015. This year more than 60 teams participated in the tournament while dressed in costumes. Principal Joseph Rainis even joined in on the fun. 

Brothers Peter Donnarumma and John Donnarumma ultimately came out victorious as first place winners, while Joseph Giovinco and Anthony Campos followed in second place. The competition was fierce as Ben Tetelman and Justin Weinberger, who have been reigning Golden Paddle champions for the past two years, lost to Joseph and Anthony in the semi-finals. 

Peter and John received the grand prize of two $25 gift cards to the Regal Movie Theater and an actual, table top ping pong table. As runner-ups, Joseph and Anthony received two $15 gift cards to Cold Stone Creamery.  

Thank you to all those who participated in the event and congratulations to our first and second place teams! 

Lynbrook High School Students Raise $330 for SunriseWALKS

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Members of Lynbrook High School’s Key Club and START Club teamed up for the school’s first annual Paint Night event on April 11 to raise funds for the SunriseWALKS, an event that supports Sunrise Day Camp. The camp is dedicated to giving children with cancer and their siblings a fun-filled day camp experience free of charge. Together, the club members raised a total of $330 and all who participated had a great time!

“For someone who has never taken an art class, it was truly enjoyable,” said senior Salvatore Giuseppe Cimato. 

The members of both clubs, along with their advisers Ms. Davis and Dr. Tieniber, would like to thank everyone who participated! 

Lynbrook Students Recognized in STEM Competition

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Five teams of students from throughout the district were recognized as honorable mention award recipients for their projects in the 2019 Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision STEM competition. Open to students in grades K-12, the competition challenges teams of two to four students to test their science and technology skills by designing a technological device for the future. Receiving the honorable mention award placed the projects among the top 10% of all ExploraVision projects submitted to the competition this year.

Two fifth grade teams from Waverly Park Elementary School and their projects, Healthy Teeth Toothbrush Pro (Maha Ajmal, Charlie Horton, Julia Palay) and J Squared Headwear (Jake Giddings, Jake Palay), earned honorable mention in the competition, as well as two fifth grade teams from Marion Street Elementary School and their projects, SphingoDonor (Julian Galo, Colin Linzer, Gianna Mastrande) and TherapyME (Aidan Michaels, Kaden Rogers, Payton Stalter, Thomas Dunne). All students completed the projects with the guidance of teacher Corinne Teichman while in the district’s Voyager Program. Voyager students from West End Elementary School also worked extremely hard and submitted entries into the competition. 

Throughout the project process, the elementary students were mentored by science research students from Lynbrook High School. The high school students offered feedback on the projects and provided advice through the digital note-taking platform, Microsoft OneNote and video conference platform, Skype. 

“The high school mentors gave us a lot of suggestions and spoke with us about what was to come in the future with this project,” said Waverly Park fifth grader Julia Palay. “They also had a base of knowledge about what we were doing so they helped us the best that they could and we really enjoyed their help.” 

In addition, under the direction of science teacher Charles Vessalico, a team of students from Lynbrook High School were also selected as honorable mention award recipients for their entry in the competition. Sophomores Dylan Moreida and Joshua Santoro were recognized for their project “Stroke Detection and Tissue Plasminogen Activator Via an Implantable Device.” 

Congratulations to all the students!

Star Students and Staff Honored

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Student and staff recognitions abounded during Lynbrook Public School’s recent board of education meeting at Lynbrook High School. The community also received important district updates including the security upgrades from the SmartBond. 

The board approved the upcoming retirement of Anastasios Skartsiaris, a cleaner at West End Elementary School who has served the district for 12 years. Mr. Skartsiaris was commended for his hard work and dedication and received a plaque as a thank you for his service. The Spector family also returned to the Lynbrook Public Schools to award the Charles and Marjorie Spector Grant for Professional Development in the Fields of Reading, Writing and Research, established to honor the memory of Charles and Marjorie Spector. This year’s award recipient was Lynbrook High School science teacher Charles Vessalico, who will use the grant to enhance workshops for students as they write and re-vise their research papers for science competitions.

Student recognitions included two regional PTA Reflections winners. Marion Street student Alexa Reilly and South Middle School student Kailey Dunne were commended for their winning entries fitting the Reflections theme, “Heroes Around Me.” Alexa was awarded for photography, while Kailey was awarded for musical composition. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak also recognized the Lynbrook High School varsity girls lacrosse team for their outstanding fundraising efforts for the HEADstrong Foundation, an organization that helps those impacted by cancer. The team was the top fundraising team against other high schools and colleges for the HEADstrong Foundation’s Game Hair Havoc. The online fundraising campaign encourages girls lacrosse teams to braid and style their game hair to raise awareness and money for families affected by cancer.
During the report from trustees, Board Vice-President Robert Paskoff and trustee Alicemarie Bresnihan spoke about their experience attending the National School Board Convention and Board President William Belmont discussed the meeting that the district had with Senator Todd Kaminsky and Assemblywoman Judy Griffin. He noted that a big discussion point during the meeting was unfunded mandates for school districts. 

Dr. Burak shared an update of the district’s mission and vision statement and introduced Director of Facilities James Saitta for a security presentation. Mr. Saitta spoke about the upcoming security enhancements that will be made in the district to ensure safety. Through the SmartBond funding, the district will create safer school entryways with new entry procedures and also update the technology infrastructure. 

During the superintendent’s report, Dr. Burak provided a recap of the productive Superintendent’s Conference Day which was held last month. Staff participated in workshops, presentations and activities to help them grow in the classroom. She also noted minor changes that were made to the district’s Code of Conduct as part of a mandated review and announced that school would not be in session on May 24 due to the unused snow days this year. 

Dr. Gerard Beleckas, assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and assessment, provided a curriculum update for the community. He reported that the district’s participation rate for the New York State assessments in ELA increased by approximately 4% compared to last year. The increase is important and a move in the right direction. With more participation in the assessments, the less likely the district will have to get involved in participation rate improvement plans that are required under Every Student Succeeds Act. In addition, Dr. Beleckas reported that district administrators met with representatives from the instructional data warehouse at BOCES to discuss how the district can use the data derived from the state assessments to positively impact teaching and learning in the classrooms. 

Following the curriculum update, Dr. Paul Lynch, assistant superintendent for fi-nance, operation, and information systems, shared a capital projects update. The district opened bids on April 17 for seven projects associated with the bond. This included the air conditioning for the gymnasiums at Lynbrook North Middle School, Lynbrook South Middle School, Waverly Park Elementary School and the Lynbrook Kindergarten Center. In addition, bids will be open for the locker rooms at North Middle and South Middle and the wrestling room at the Kindergarten Center. The board plans to award the contracts at the May meeting and work on these projects should commence this summer. 

At the conclusion of the meeting, Dr. Burak spoke about the budget vote polling locations. Since the district has moved to an electronic system for keeping track of voters, it was discovered that some residents have been voting in the wrong locations. The district is sending postcards to everyone in the community which will state their correct polling location. 

LHS Teacher Honored as Trailblazer

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Lynbrook High School English teacher Mary Kirby was recently recognized by Leg. C William Gaylor as a recipient of the 2019 Nassau County Legislature Women’s Trailblazer Award for the 6th Legislative District. 

Mrs. Kirby has been a valuable member of the Lynbrook High School family since 1997. As a dedicated educator, she creates meaningful connections with her students and has served as the director of the Lynbrook Teacher Center and the director of the Lynbrook Summer Program. She has also been an internship coordinator, a class adviser, a coach and a Lynbrook Teachers Association representative. Mrs. Kirby continues to show her leadership as an adviser to the high school’s Student Government Association and yearbook committee.

She has played an instrumental role in making the Lynbrook Teacher Center the heart and soul of professional development for the Lynbrook Schools Community. Here, Mrs. Kirby has planned conferences and initiated “collaboratorium” Saturdays which have inspired teachers, retirees and former students to gather together to learn and share ideas. 

“Mary Kirby combines her caring nature and her enthusiasm for the community in a dynamic manner in the classroom and in all she does as an educator and professional,” said Lynbrook High School Principal Joseph Rainis. “Her students enjoy her positive energy and our community continuously benefits from her desire to enrich the educational experiences of our students. Mary Kirby blazes trails so that others can have a chance to thrive. She is most deserving of the Nassau County Trailblazer Award.” 

Congratulations, Mrs. Kirby! 

LHS Students Take Stadium Field Trip

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Students in Mrs. Ehrlich's Advertising and Marketing class at Lynbrook High School took a stadium tour field trip on April 11. Mrs. Ehrlich plans this annual field trip as part of her Stadium Design Unit while the students are studying Sports & Entertainment Marketing.

The students started the day with a tour of Citi Field. Students got to see the museum and the most exclusive restaurants at the stadium. They had the privilege of touring the Mets clubhouse and offices and then held their own press conference in the press room. They also walked along the warning track to visit the dugout and the bull pen.

Next, the students enjoyed lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe at Yankee Stadium. Students got to see music memorabilia from events and concerts at the stadium. On their tour of Yankee Stadium, they visited the historical Monument Park and saw hundreds of famous artifacts in the Yankee Museum. Students also got to sit in the Yankees dugout. 

Throughout the day, the students made real-world connections to concepts learned in class. It is an experience that they will remember for a lifetime!