The W.T. Clarke High School Chorale helped enhance the holiday mood during the Community Association of Stewart Avenue and East Meadow Chamber of Commerce Tree Lighting Ceremony on December 7. They presented a variety of holiday songs that brought the season’s joy to their audience.
Prior to the lighting of the tree, the ensemble took the stage to sing many holiday tunes for the community members in attendance. Some of the numbers included “Deck the Halls,” “Jingle Bells” and “Joy to the World.”
The tree lighting served as the first of many public performances for the W.T. Clarke music department during the month of December. The Chorale is also scheduled to perform on December 19 at the RXR Plaza in Uniondale along with the W.T. Clarke Middle School Chamber Singers at noon.
Each year Bowling Green Elementary School, the Hope for the Holidays Team sponsors Cozy Day to help pay it forward. On November 30, students and staff members at Bowling Green were invited to dress “cozy” to raise money.
Everyone that participated in Cozy Day was asked to contribute $1 to buy gifts for those less fortunate in the community. Proceeds were combined with donations from the Jeans for Joy Fridays held throughout the first few months of school. Mrs. Abshire’s fifth-grade students budgeted and estimated how much could be spent on each recipient. The students also shopped, sorted and wrapped the gifts and created gift tags and cards.
Bowling Green hopes these gifts help make an impact for those that receive them during the holiday season!
Student-athletes from East Meadow High School gathered at the December 5 Board of Education meeting to be honored for their accomplishments this past fall.
Members of the boys’ varsity cross country team and the girls’ varsity soccer team were recognized with certificates of excellence and commended by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth A. Card, Jr. and Board President Matthew Melnick. The cross country team earned a conference championship, second place at the Nassau County Championship and placed ninth in the New York State Class ‘A’ race. The girls’ soccer team went 12-3-3 during the season and were crowned co-county champions.
District Director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics Kristi Detor, along with East Meadow High School Director of Athletics Kevin Reegan, also acknowledged senior Meadow Perez for her qualification in the New York State Swimming Championship, as well as Katherine Marsh for representing the Jets in the girls’ cross country state championship.
“These students not only represent East Meadow with pride and class in competition, but also in the community and the classroom,” said Mr. Reegan.
The fall athletic season was full of highlights for the District as various teams and students-athletes at East Meadow High School and W.T. Clarke High School put forth admirable performances.
East Meadow High School Senior Meadow Perez was among the high achievers as a qualifier for the New York State Swimming Championships in the butterfly stroke. She was also one of 17 student-athletes to earn the All-County recognition. Similarly, two East Meadow High School football players were named All-County Honorable Mention and 18 student-athletes earned All-Conference and All-Division accolades.
At the team level, the East Meadow High School boys’ varsity cross country team was crowned conference champion and advanced to runner up in the Nassau County Championships. The team also placed ninth in the New York State Championship Class ‘A’ race. The season ended with the program earning the top ranking in Nassau County and second on Long Island. The East Meadow High School girls’ varsity cross country team finished third at the county championship and Katherine Marsh represented the Jets at the State cross country championship.
The East Meadow High School varsity girls’ soccer team tied as co-county champions behind a 12-3-3 record before winning two games in the county playoffs. Meanwhile, the varsity field hockey team qualified for the semifinal round of the county playoffs and the varsity football, girls’ volleyball and boys’ volleyball teams all competed in their respective quarterfinal rounds.
A total of seven student-athletes at W.T. Clarke High School earned All-County awards with an additional three honorable mention selections. All-Conference selections included 15 individuals from football, boys’ soccer, girls’ soccer, girls’ volleyball, cross country and field hockey while two more student-athletes were named All-League.
The W.T. Clarke High School varsity football team posted a 7-1 record for the season to help head coach Timothy O’Malley earn Coach of the Year honors from the league. The team’s season extended into the county playoffs.
The W.T. Clarke varsity boys’ volleyball team compiled an 11-8 overall record and earned a spot in the county playoffs after defeating Valley Stream South in a play-in match. Additionally, the cross country program competed at the county championships.'
“The 2018 fall season was a big success for the East Meadow High School and W.T. Clarke High School athletic departments,” said district Director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics Kristi Detor. “Congratulations to all of our teams and student-athletes for demonstrating the great of East Meadow!”
A YouTube audition video helped East Meadow School District’s W.T. Clarke High School junior Matthew Michaelis earn a spot in the Macy’s Great American Marching Band, which was featured in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 20.
The famous marching band has been spotlighted in the parade since 2006. The finest high school musicians from across the United States attempt acceptance to this ensemble, which is directed by Auburn University’s Dr. Richard Good.
W.T. Clarke music teacher Molly Ingoglia encouraged Matthew to submit an application and audition video with hopes of placement in the brass percussion section for the Euphonium. He is among 30 brass percussion members that were ultimately chosen for the 225-person band that included musicians, flag holders and dancers.
“Being one of only a few students from New York selected was a great honor,” said Matthew. He also said, “it was a great experience that I look forward to returning to next year.”
In addition to performing at the parade, the band also made an appearance on NBC’s Today Show on November 19.
The district was proud and excited to see Matthew represent W.T. Clarke High School, and looks forward to seeing him again next year!
Bowling Green Elementary School welcomed special guests on November 28 when the Viscardi Ambassadors discussed disability awareness. As members of the Henry Viscardi School, a state-supported special education school in Searingtown that serves disabled students from pre-K through high school, the speakers gave their East Meadow peers a glimpse at their daily lives.
While visiting classrooms, the Viscardi Ambassadors shared information such as their interests, dreams, families and experiences as well as details about their disabilities. The interactive sessions encouraged students and teachers to ask questions about the presenters, the challenges they face and the programs and settings at Viscardi School.
The Viscardi Ambassadors is a club that presents to elementary, middle and high schools, as well as colleges and businesses. The club is comprised of boys and girls of different ages, grade levels, hometowns and disabilities. The aim of the presentations is to aid in breaking down the barriers that exist between the able-bodied world and those that are physically challenged.
Bowling Green thanks the Viscardi Ambassadors for visiting our school and showcasing the great happening at Viscardi.
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Turkey trots at Meadowbrook and McVey elementary schools helped to promote family fitness while boosting excitement for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Due to inclement weather on November 20, the Meadowbrook Elementary School physical education department moved its second annual turkey trot indoors to the building’s gymnasium. Students accumulated a great number of laps around the basketball court to the sound of holiday music. The event demonstrated the community pride and generosity of students and parents as non-perishable food items were collected and donated to Island Harvest for the holiday season.
McVey Elementary School was fortunate to have the cooperation of the weather on November 21, when students were able to welcome special guests to join them for laps on the school’s back lawn. The physical education department set up a quarter-mile lap that participants enthusiastically walked or ran around. Each grade participated at designated times during the day with the goal of completing at least two individual laps.
The district congratulates and thanks the students and special guests for their involvement in the turkey trots and for giving back to the community!
Eighth-grade students at Woodland Middle School experienced an emotional presentation on November 20 when John Halligan presented the “Ryan’s Story” assembly.
Students gathered in the auditorium as Mr. Halligan shared valuable lessons about the effects of bullying and the impact it has on students and their families. Through a powerful slideshow and presentation, Mr. Halligan delivered an anti-bullying program that focused on the devastating suicide of his 13-year-old son Ryan in 2003.
Mr. Halligan shared details of the struggles and bullying Ryan faced that resulted in taking his own life. He also described the painful effect that Ryan’s death had on his family and the ultimate power of forgiveness.
As a main message, Mr. Halligan encouraged each of the eighth-graders to stand up to those being unkind and demonstrated how treating others nicely can have positive effects throughout their school and community.
Eighth-grade students at Woodland Middle School came together to develop their team-building skills through various activities on November 15 and 16.
The eighth-grade students are split into a pair of “houses,” each of which participated in a full day of team-building activities that helped foster cohesion and collaboration. Through group efforts, students accomplished their goals in a variety of exercises – a “stepping stones” challenge forced groups of eight to ten students with the task of getting from one side of the room to the other by placing circular dots, which represented lava, across a floor. There were numerous requirements and one was keeping every dot occupied. Other tasks such as “switch sides” and “toxic waste” presented similar problems for the students to solve.
The day culminated with a marshmallow challenge and a reflection on the initiative through flipgrid. Flipgrid is an online resource that enables teachers to create a set of short, discussion-style questions that the students respond to through video recordings.
This was the first of three events geared towards eighth-grade team-building at Woodland Middle School throughout the year. The objective is for students to develop and strengthen collaborative skills before moving on to high school.
Students in the English as a New Language (ENL) program at Bowling Green Elementary School were introduced to their year-long buddies on November 14. Through the ENL Buddy Reading initiative, students work as partners and help each other to improve their English writing and literacy skills.
Led by ENL teachers Jaclyn Goldstein, Michelle Brenner and Jennifer Roman, the introductory session brought students from various grades together in the school’s all-purpose room to connect with their buddies. They asked each other questions and to get to know one another and practiced writing and reading in English. Following the introductions, students wrote down something they enjoyed. The papers containing their responses were mixed together in a pile. Each student chose one of the pieces of paper and attempted to guess which peer wrote it as a way to further facilitate conversation within the group.
In addition, the program encourages the buddies to connect outside of the scheduled time as the group only meets once a month. The ENL Buddy Reading program looks forward to future meetings and the progress of the ENL students as they move toward English literacy!
Community members, staff and students gathered at the Leon J. Campo Center, for the East Meadow Board of Education meeting on November 14, where various accomplishments were celebrated and educational topics were presented.
Among the evening’s honors was the acknowledgement of Board Recognition Week, which is nationally recognized each October. The newest Board Trustee, Eileen Napolitano, was presented with a self-portrait that will be hung with those of her fellow Board members in the Campo Center. The portrait was created and presented by East Meadow High School senior Daniel Tellerman. Additionally, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth A. Card, Jr. invited all members of the Board to open gifts from the community as a thank you for their hard work and dedication.
The evening continued with presentations on school and community safety from Nassau County Police Department Commissioner Patrick Ryder and Sheriff Vera Fludd. Both speakers addressed the security measures that are being taken throughout the county, district and community.
The audience was treated to musical performances from the Woodland Middle School seventh-grade string quartet as well as the East Meadow High School chamber choir. The meeting then segued into the Terrific Kids recognition. The Terrific Kids program is sponsored by the East Meadow Kiwanis and recognizes sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students who exhibit a positive attitude, good character and responsible citizenship and who are exemplary role models.
W.T. Clarke Middle School Principal Stacy Breslin and Woodland Middle School Principal Jim Lethbridge presented the honorees for September, October and November. W.T. Clarke Middle School commended sixth-graders Giuliana Gedarovich, Demi Mah Lee, Andrew Cardona, Rosanna DeStefano and Frederick Urias; seventh-graders Ryan Tao, Alicia Velasquez, Ravleen Kaur, Andreas Von Maier, Rita Gjonbalaj and Isabella Pertaw; and eighth-graders Kaitlyn Vo, George Neofitidis, Monica Dell’Olio, JD Azcona, Adam Kayaci, Joseph Palumbo and Savannah Eduque. Honorees from Wooldand Middle School were Jasmin Elizabeth Mendoza, Nayib Yunis, Samantha Mogilski, Javier Sebastian Aquino, Marian Ahmed and Joseph Chicas Reyes for September; Katherine Chien, Maximus Kelly, Jessica Salvador, Sean Lorentzen, Angelina Sisson and Frank DeStefano for October; and Allison Twible, Jason Chen, Lina Masaoka-Guevara, Nicholas Longardino, Eva Saragossi and Christian Smith for November.
Presentations concluded with reports on academic initiatives. Director of Literacy and Funded Programs, Frank Lukasik, led a discussion about Google Chromebooks and how sixth-graders throughout the district have benefitted from the devices’ integration into the curriculum. Mr. Lukasik was joined in his presentation by middle school English Chairperson Rebecca Regan in addition to teachers W.T. Clarke Middle School teachers Elaine Kevlin and Patricia Hartman as well as Woodland Middle School teachers Tonianne Smith and Caterina Largarna.
Also part of further additions to curriculum, Director of Music and Art, Dr. Christopher Hale, presented to the Board a proposal whereby high school art students can earn college credit in association with Farmingdale State College.
The district congratulates all of the honorees and thanks the presenters for educating the community and board on all of the great that is happening in the East Meadow School District!
The East Meadow School District’s Parkway Elementary School held its fourth annual Turkey Trot on November 8 and 9 for the purpose of providing families in need with food for Thanksgiving.
Since September, kindergarten through fifth-grade students in the building trained for the event by running laps during physical education classes in an effort to improve their times. They were encouraged to bring in canned goods and nonperishable items on their race days to help support the Kiwanis Thanksgiving Food Drive.
Throughout the Turkey Trot, each grade came together for a set amount of time to complete as many laps as possible. Students sported race bibs that they designed themselves, while being cheered on by PTA members who gathered around the school circle handing out water and encouragement.
The district congratulates all Parkway students on their wholehearted efforts and thanks them for their contributions.
A time-honored tradition at Barnum Woods Elementary School continued on November 9, when Elena Maria Dicocco’s fourth-grade class hosted a meaningful Veteran’s Day ceremony. This marked the thirteenth year that Ms. Dicocco has organized this special tribute to those who have served our country.
Approximately 27 veterans were in attendance and included Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth A. Card, Jr. and school psychologist Dr. LeeAnne Bonnet. Dr. Card served as a personnel man second class in the United States Navy and Dr. Bonnet was a captain in the Army. They both emphasized the fact that individuals can serve in the military and also pursue professions such as theirs. Ms. Dicocco’s father and several of his friends were also among the honored guests, as were parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and family friends of students and staff members.
The fourth-graders welcomed the veterans into the All-Purpose Room as Lee Greenwood’s, “God Bless the USA” played, and flags were waved. Student Council representatives led the Pledge of Allegiance and the Star-Spangled Banner, and Principal Gregory Bottari shared introductory remarks. Students took turns at the podium, where they explained the significance of Veteran’s Day, led a moment of silence while Taps was played, and described positive qualities that soldiers exemplify. For each of the seven Pillars of Character, Nicolas Rodriguez and Maxton Shafran folded an American flag to form a tri-cornered shape representative of hats worn by soldiers during the Revolutionary War.
The students introduced their guests and paid homage to the veterans who are either deceased or were unable to attend the ceremony. Several of the veterans then spoke, noting the meanings behind this annual event that acknowledges their humbling, life-altering experiences in the military.
Korean War Veteran Richard Begandy, who served as a Petty Officer Third Class in the United States Navy, shared ten inspiring lessons that focused on qualities such as responsibility, trustworthiness, determination and gratitude.
“If you keep trying, your confidence grows tremendously,” Begandy said. “Eventually, you feel that nothing is beyond your reach.” He also expressed that in the military, people are relying on each other all the time and are able to count on one another.
“Being a veteran is significant because it represents fealty and fidelity to one’s country,” said Dr. Card. “It was through my military service that I learned how to be honest, a good citizen and a leader.”
The class came together to perform Mariah Carey’s “Hero,” guests viewed a slideshow of the veterans being honored and Mr. Bottari addressed attendees once more. Students concluded the ceremony with a “Greenlight a Veteran” gesture, in which they lit green glowsticks symbolizing hope as the veterans exited the stage. This act is intended to shine a light on the impact transitioning veterans make, in and out of uniform, in communities across the country.
The class prepared for the ceremony through lessons leading up to it. They read about, researched and discussed Veterans’ Day and wrote reflective pieces about why veterans should be honored.
“I want my students to have an appreciation and respect for those men and women who served our country and protected our freedoms,” Ms. Dicocco said.
A special gathering took place at Meadowbrook Elementary School on November 8, when United States Air Force Sgt. Thomas Hartley returned home after four months of deployment surprising his two daughters.
Fourth-grade and kindergarten students assembled in the building’s All-Purpose Room to create thank you messages as part of a Veteran’s Day lesson. Hartley’s daughters fourth-grader Averie and kindergartener Alyssa, were among them.
While teachers were instructing the students on the next part of the activity, Hartley entered the APR to the shock of Averie and Alyssa. In the background, the school band played Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the U.S.A.”
After a tearful and excited greeting between Hartley and his daughters, school principal Kelly Di Scalfani-O’Brien presented the family with a certificate of commendation from the students at Meadowbrook and the entire district. This return home marks the sergeant’s retirement after 21 years of service.
The entire district thanks and salutes Sgt. Hartley and his family for his service to our country!
The hallways of East Meadow High School took on a different look as Halloween themes and decorations welcomed community members and younger students for a Safe Halloween event on October 30.
The event, coordinated by the school's Planning Management Team, invited school organizations, clubs and varsity athletic teams to join them in transforming the hallways into festive and haunted scenes. Student volunteers dressed the part and handed out candy to young trick-or-treaters. In addition, Halloween music was played on an organ in the main lobby by East Meadow High School senior Christian Cang cuesta.
Young attendees and their families entered in unique and creative costumes ready to collect candy and participate in games at various stations. The high school students grouped together in areas of the hallways with themes that included Disney characters, the tropics, emojis, decades, countries and many more.
The district thanks the volunteers for creating a safe environment for our younger district students to trick-or-treat.
To celebrate Halloween on October 31, fifth-grade and kindergarten students at Meadowbrook Elementary School collaborated to create shape-o-lanterns.
Shape-o-lanterns are created through a hands-on way to educate students on different shapes and colors. Smaller pieces of paper helped construct the faces of the larger pumpkin piece without the mess of carving a real pumpkin.
In addition to the shape-o-lantern activity, Assistant Principal Gail Galucci was joined by students to form a group costume as the “Incredibles.”
Students at Meadowbrook Elementary School participated in Red Ribbon Week from October 22-26, when they demonstrated promises to make positive and healthy decisions.
The week kicked off that Monday with an assembly centered on mindfulness. The PTA hosted “Try it Tuesday,” which provided samples of vegetables during lunch periods as a way to encourage healthy food choices. Finally, classes throughout the building took the Red Ribbon Week pledge to be drug-free by placing a signed sticker on a banner, titled “Life is Your Journey; Travel Drug Free.”
Red Ribbon Week concluded with “Fitness Friday,” which featured a 10-minute obstacle course that promoted physical activity in a fun setting.
Students and staff in the East Meadow School District dressed in orange on October 17 and joined together in a stance against bullying as they celebrated Unity Day.
At W.T. Clarke Middle School, there was an assembly for each of the sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade classes throughout the day. Clarke Middle School is partnering with Sandy Hook Promise to take part in the “Start with Hello” initiative, which creates a culture of inclusion by teaching students skills for reaching out to and including those who may be dealing with social isolation.
The culminating activity of Unity Day included every student, from all nine of the district’s buildings, signing their names on large paper flowers, signifying their pledge to say no to bullying and yes to kindness. The flowers were then sent to the Leon J. Campo Salisbury Center, where Art Honor Society students from East Meadow High School and W.T. Clarke High School came together with PTA Council members to create a “One East Meadow” mural. This “garden” mural will be proudly displayed in the conference room through the end of the year.
The district thanks the PTA Council and PTA members at each school for their assistance as well as the students and teachers who created the spectacular mural.
Throughout the week of October 22, fourth-grade students at Parkway Elementary School in the East Meadow School District had the unique opportunity to be part of a program called Submerge Storytelling. This opportunity helps to inspire creativity in children by facilitating a physical and metaphysical environment where they can lose themselves in their imaginations.
Following the along with the fictional storyline of “Surfing on Saturn,” the school’s literacy center was transformed into the room of Emmy Sagan by Cory Levine of Submerge Storytelling. Emmy is a 12-year-old scientist and engineer who has invented the award-winning Emmy Engine to help her best friend Broman improve his surfing skills.
As the story and week evolved, Emmy asked the students to take part in an Operation Battery simulation along with NASA. With the supply of batteries nearly gone in the world as part of the plot, NASA asked the assistance of Emmy and the students at Parkway to assist with a mission to Saturn to recover minerals that can help restore the supply of batteries.
Throughout the lesson, students used critical thinking and problem-solving strategies. Submerge Storytelling provides a pragmatic educational curriculum in addition to teaching important life skills and values through text-to-self literary connections. The interactive learning strategy is used to foster a sense of individuality, camaraderie and community.
Parkway thanks Mr. Levine for coming to the school for this adventure as well as the PTA for providing students with the opportunity to enter the realm.
The sun shined down on administrators, board of education members, students, staff and the community as East Meadow High School celebrated its homecoming festivities and football game against Oceanside High School on October 20.
Community members lined the streets to watch as dignitaries, the high school marching band, cheerleaders, the Rockettes kickline team, homecoming court and creative class floats made their way from Veterans Memorial Park to Carman Avenue. Fitting the 2018 theme, “Countries,” the freshmen class showcased their United Kingdom float, the sophomore class displayed their Egypt float, the junior class presented their China float and the senior class cheered as they waved on their USA float. Onlookers caught candy from the parade participants as they traveled to East Meadow High School.
At the conclusion of the parade, community members enjoyed a carnival filled with activities and food from Arby’s, Mille Grazie Pizzeria, SoBol and Qdoba. Additionally, senior football players were recognized on the field with their parents. The players gave flowers and a T-shirt to their parents for their support and encouragement. Captains of the Rockettes were also honored for their hard work and dedication to the kickline team.
The crowd roared as the Jets ran onto the field for the start of the big game. The senior chorale performed the National Anthem and the game began shortly after this. The cheerleaders showed their spirit as they entertained the crowd and displayed their Jets pride.
During the halftime show, the Rockettes, varsity cheerleaders and marching band performed on the field. This was followed by the anticipated announcement of the homecoming king and queen. The homecoming court, dressed in their best gowns and suits, were welcomed onto the field. Seniors Ryan DeRosa and Leila Sayan were crowned king and queen, respectively, to the delight of their peers. Other nominees included Victoria Cuttone, Analisa Giannone, Debbie Jaffe, Ryan Kochie, Dean Lanza, Katerina Liangus, Jeffrey Liu and Jake Wiscovitch.
Although the game did not end in a victory for the Jets, they were successful in showcasing determination and sportsmanship on the field.
Throughout two weeks in October, third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students at Meadowbrook Elementary School, in the East Meadow School District, have been helping to tidy up the garden in front of the school building.
Led by Assistant Principal Gail Gallucci, students were tasked with digging out weeds and other materials in the garden areas at the front of the school building. The process helped to showcase the flowers and trees that have been planted in front of the building while also teaching students about the responsibility of grooming a garden. Each of the three grades came together during three different sessions to tackle different areas of cleaning up.
The cleanup lesson also was intended to help beautify the entrance of the building ahead of the school’s fall festival on October 20.
Enthusiasm in the stands and on the field lasted from pregame festivities through an exciting finish at the W.T. Clarke High School varsity football game against Locust Valley during the school’s homecoming on October 13.
After overnight and morning rain cleared, parents and volunteers from the W.T. Clarke PTSA and the W.T. Clarke Parent Booster Club set up tents to sell food as well as maroon and gray items to support the Rams. Fans and community members began to fill the stands as the varsity football team ran through two banners held by the varsity cheerleading team to cheer the kickoff against the Locust Valley Falcons.
The Rams went into the locker room with a 6-0 lead at the half and then the halftime festivities began. The cheerleading team opened the halftime ceremony with an enthusiastic cheer that lead into a strong performance from the marching band and color guard. Superintendent Dr. Kenneth A. Card, Jr., along with the East Meadow School District Board of Education and central administrators led the annual halftime procession.
Following district officials’ greetings was the announcement of the homecoming royal court. This year’s court included this year’s king and queen, seniors Tom Talbot and Briana Iadevia. Due to wet conditions on the field, class floats were unable to be displayed in front of the crowd. However, class officers paraded onto the field while tossing candy into the stands while dressed as characters for this year’s theme of action movies. The Avengers, Star Wars, Jurassic World and The Incredibles were all portrayed from the senior, junior, sophomore and freshmen classes respectively.
The parade concluded with dozens of representatives from the Class of 1968, who were invited back to serve as grand marshals while also celebrating their 50-year reunion.
The action on the field led to overtime with a 6-6 tie after regulation. Trailing 9-6 after a Locust Valley field goal, the Rams came out victorious 12-9 as senior Anthony Caputo scored the winning touchdown.