Lynbrook High School's VE Company Makes Top 200

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Congratulations to Lynbrook High School’s Virtual Enterprise company, Checkmate, for being recognized as a top 200 performer nationwide for the first quarter of the year! 

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. 

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.

Lynbrook Senior Advocates for Girls Education

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Djellza Pulatani, a senior at Lynbrook High School, is a natural born a leader who strives to make a positive change in the world. Djellza was recently 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.

Djellza discovered the She’s the First program while doing research about establishing a foundation for girls education. She filled out an application and was selected to be on a panel consisting of 15 trailblazing girls from nine different countries who would draft the top 10 rights that all girls should have. More than 1,000 girls from 34 countries submitted their thoughts about what rights should be included in the first Global Girls’ Bill of Rights. Djellza and the team worked together to narrow down the top ten and from there, the Global Girls’ Bill of Rights was born. 

These rights include: 
• free, quality education
• equality
• involvement in decision-making and access to leadership positions
• documentation
• comprehensive sexual education and access to free, quality reproductive healthcare 
• protection from harmful traditions and enjoyment of positive cultural practices 
• safety from all forms of violence
• decision-making about their body and sexuality 
• protection under the law without fear or unequal treatment
• freedom from exploitation 

During her trip to the U.N., Djellza and six of the girls from her team met the Executive Director of U.N. Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka to discuss why the rights are so important globally. The girls also met editor Diane Cole from NPR where they shared their hopes for the project and had an article written about their mission. After hearing about the girls presentation, Deputy Secretary-General of the U.N. Amina J. Mohammed made it her mission to meet the group as well.
“It was such an honor” said Djellza.

Following her visit to the U.N., Djellza attended the 8th annual She’s the First Summit in New York City where she met new people and heard from keynote speaker Isha Sesay, a former CNN anchor and correspondent who reported on the girls abducted from school by Boko Haram in 2014.
“We got a real perspective of someone who was an eyewitness of things that were happening and things that are currently still a problem overseas,” said Djellza. “I met a lot of interesting people. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.”

Djellza, whose family is from Kosovo, said that her passion to advocate for girls education stemmed from her immigrant family who are from a more patriarchal society. 

“It’s been really prevalent in my everyday life to feel that disconnect,” she said. “I think there’s a lot of girls out there who feel that every day…I have the privilege of being in a community where I can speak my truth and really advocate for others. I have a voice when there are millions of girls out there who are silenced so it’s really been a mission in my life to be able to advocate for others who don’t have a voice.”

Following graduation in the spring, Djellza plans to present the Global Girls’ Bill of Rights to the government of Kosovo, Albania and Montenegro. She, along with the She’s the First organization will provide toolboxes and show government officials how to implement the Bill of Rights into their society. 

Students Selected for Nassau Music Festivals

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Seventeen talented string musicians from throughout the district were recently selected to perform in the Long Island String Festival Association’s Nassau intermediate and secondary festivals.
Lynbrook High School student-musicians who will participate in the LISFA Nassau Secondary Festival from Nov. 15-17 at Wisdom Lane Middle School include freshman Dylan Baltes, sophomores Manaka Ogura and Mia Tetelman, juniors Camilla Bahri and Emily Bergin and seniors Arpie Bakhshian and Kaylin Tephly.
At the intermediate level, four fifth graders and six middle school students were selected from the district. These student-musicians will perform with top students from throughout Nassau County in the LISFA intermediate festival on March 7 and 8 at Uniondale High School.

Participants include Lilly Sloan and Sebastian Damiani from West End Elementary School, Andrew Charpentier from Marion Street Elementary School and Rayna Barnhill from Waverly Park Elementary School. Middle school participants include Lynbrook South Middle School sixth graders Nycollet Altamirano and Sophia Schoen and eighth graders Olivia Pollicino and Elizabeth Charpentier, and Lynbrook North Middle School sixth grader Timothy Neri and eighth grader Stephanie Neri.
Congratulations to all the student-musicians on this great achievement!