Among a sea of community members, faculty and students, the East Meadow Board of Education recognized the March and April “Terrific Kids” of Woodland and W.T. Clarke middle schools during their communication meeting on April 20.
Kicking off the celebratory evening, the Bowling Green Elementary School Chamber Orchestra, consisting of 28 fourth- and fifth-graders, serenaded those in attendance under the direction of the school’s orchestra teacher, Kristen Bean.
Following, students from both middle schools were honored by East Meadow Kiwanis President Ross Schiller, members of the Board, and middle school Principals Stacy Breslin and James Lethbridge for being role models in their school communities. Sponsored by the East Meadow Kiwanis, the Terrific Kids program recognizes sixth- through eighth-graders who continuously improve as individuals, students and community leaders.
“We recognize these middle school students because they are role models who set an example for others and demonstrate exceptional character within the community,” said Superintendent of Schools Leon J. Campo.
Members of East Meadow High School’s National Social Studies Honor Society and Model Congress traveled to Washington, D.C., from April 5-7 for an authentic learning experience.
Over the three days, the 38 juniors and seniors, who are enrolled in Advanced Placement social studies courses, received a guided tour of historical monuments, including the Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Martin Luther King Jr., Thomas Jefferson, Lincoln and Vietnam Veterans memorials. During their travels the group visited the White House, Arlington National Cemetery, the National Museum of American History and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Students also received a special visit from Congresswoman Kathleen Rice, who spoke to the group about her work in D.C., outside the U.S. Capitol.
In addition, the group stopped by the Newseum, an interactive museum that promotes, explains and defends free expression and the five freedoms of the First Amendment.
Through this opportunity, the students enhanced their knowledge of U.S. history while experiencing the nation’s capital.
RESIDENTS APPROVE BOND
On Tuesday, March 7, East Meadow residents approved the community’s first joint East Meadow Schools and Public Library capital project bond referendum by a vote of 2,031 Yes to 835 No.
Projects included in this bond will address major repairs and renovations to schools districtwide, improve energy efficiency, support science initiatives, and restore natural grass athletic fields for school and community use. The bond will also fund major repairs and upgrades to the public library that will support additional programs and services, improve energy efficiency and security systems, and increase opportunities for students and patrons.
“The Board of Education and administration would like to thank all community residents who voted on the bond and for their approval and continued support,” said Superintendent of Schools Leon J. Campo. “This is an exciting time for our community and we look forward to improving our schools for our students and for future generations to come.” East Meadow Public Library Director Carol Probeyahn said, “On behalf of the library Board of Directors, we want to thank the community for your vote of support. We are looking forward to improving our library to provide expanded services for our children and community residents.”
Tuesday, March 7 is the East Meadow Public Schools and Public Library joint bond vote. Please plan to be part of the future of our community and remember to vote. Every vote counts! Polls will be open from 7 a.m.-9 p.m. at all elementary schools.
Information on Artificial Turf fields
East Meadow Schools and Public Library Joint Bond Presentation
Thursday, March 2, 2017 • 6:30 p.m.
Leon J. Campo Salisbury Center
Prior to 2017-18 Budget Input Session and Board of Education Meeting
East Meadow Joint Bond Vote March 7 from 7 a.m.- 9p.m. at All Elementary Schools
Average annual cost to taxpayers = $57.53 or less than 16¢ per day
On Tuesday, March 7, 2017, residents will have an opportunity to vote on a joint bond referendum proposed by the East Meadow Public Schools and the East Meadow Public Library that, if approved, will renovate and improve the schools and library to better serve students and community residents into the future. For the first time in East Meadow’s history, residents will vote on a joint bond at significant savings to the taxpayer.
The East Meadow schools are more than 60 years old and in need of major repairs and renovations that are too costly to include in the annual school budget without significantly increasing taxes and/or cutting programs and services to students. The public library has not undertaken a major renovation in more than 30 years, and requires major repairs and upgrades.
The bond initiative will fund the repairs and renovations to the schools, improve energy efficiency, support science initiatives and restore the district’s natural grass athletic fields for school and community use. The proposed bond would also support major repairs and upgrades to the public library to enhance additional programs and services, improve energy efficiency and security systems and increase opportunities to serve students and patrons.
During the life span of the bond, the average annual cost to the taxpayer is $57.53, or approximately 16¢ per day. The projected average annual cost to the taxpayer is calculated using the average assessed property value as determined by the Nassau County Assessor’s Office. It is anticipated the work in the schools will begin during the summer of 2018 and the library work will also begin sometime in 2018.
This is an exciting time for the community. All residents are encouraged to vote on Tuesday, March 7, from 7 a.m.-9 p.m., at all district elementary schools. For more information, visit the school district website at www.eastmeadow.k12.ny.us or the library website at www.eastmeadow.info. You can also find information on the bond on Facebook by liking East Meadow Schools and Public Library Joint Bond.
School District and Public Library Joint Bond Referendum
In a joint decision, the first of its kind in the community’s history, the school district and public library plan to propose a single bond referendum that would support major renovations and improvements to both the district’s schools and athletic facilities, and the public library. If approved by voters, the proposed work will bring the public library into the 21st century and facilitate greater opportunities to serve the community, while the school district will be able to address much needed repairs and improve its instructional space and athletic facilities at schools that are more than 60 years old.
Kindergartners at Parkway Elementary School got into the rhythm with the help of dance instructor Diane Gibaldi from Higher Minds Dance.
The visit kicked off the school’s five-week K Dance program, during which Gibaldi is teaching students basic concepts such as in front of, behind, over and under through dance routines and music. Practicing in groups, the kindergartners follow the music by applying critical thinking, collaboration and coordination skills to complete tasks.
The students will culminate the program on May 16 by performing a choreographed dance to Lonestar’s “Let Them Be Little” for parents, faculty and administrators.
Amid a sea of doting parents, kindergartners at Bowling Green Elementary School hopped around the school’s front lawn wearing handmade bunny ears and carrying baskets as they collected colorful plastic eggs during a PTA-organized egg hunt. Each egg contained a prize, including a pencil eraser, sticker, adhesive tattoo or penny. If a student found a penny in their egg, they won a grand prize of a soccer ball, stuffed animal or coloring book.
Hundreds of musically talented students from the district took center stage at LIU Post’s Tilles Center for the Performing Arts on March 15 for the district’s annual music festival, captivating an audience of friends, family, faculty and administrators.
The event featured performances by students districtwide, from the combined chamber choir and wind ensemble — each consisting of students from W.T. Clarke and East Meadow high schools — to the All-District Elementary School Advanced Bands, made up of young musicians from the district’s five elementary schools.
Accompanied by the East Meadow High School Chamber Orchestra, the high school chamber choir opened with a stirring vocal performance featuring solos from seniors Erin Carlin, Juan Lucas Orozco, Alissa Rojas and Arun Sam, under the direction of Dr. David Fryling. Dr. Fryling is the director of choral activities at Hofstra University, where he conducts the university’s chorale and chamber choir and teaches choral conducting and choral literature courses.
The All-District High School Wind Ensemble followed with ballads by renowned band composers Robert Sheldon, John Barnes Chance and Henry Fillmore. The All-District Middle School Wind Ensemble, comprised of Woodland and W.T. Clarke middle school students, sustained the tone with a dynamic performance of their own. Both groups were led by Robert Dalpiaz, a 33-year veteran of the Brentwood School District whose expertise has led to several outstanding musical accomplishments by the Brentwood High School Jazz and Wind ensembles.
The All-District Elementary School Advanced Bands closed the program with two riveting performances, one from Barnum Woods and George McVey, the other from Bowling Green, Meadowbrook and Parkway, that brought the crowd to its feet. They performed under the baton of Erica Hartmann, an educator with the Farmingdale School District since 1999. Hartmann also conducted the Hamptons Music Educators Association Middle School Band in 2013 and the Suffolk County Music Educators Association West Division I Band in 2014.
The district commends these musically talented students for their hard work, diligence and collaboration.
Honors and recognitions abounded for outstanding students at the March 16 communication meeting of the East Meadow School District Board of Education.
Setting the tone throughout the celebratory evening were the Woodland Middle School sixth-grade chorus and W.T. Clarke Middle School string ensemble, who performed for the Board, administration, faculty and community members in attendance.
The recognitions began with East Meadow High School Class of 2016 graduate Henry Zaradich, who was granted the Superintendent’s Award for Excellence for having obtained the rank of Eagle Scout with Boy Scout Troop 157. According to the Boy Scouts of America website, very few amount of Boy Scouts are granted this rank after completing an extensive list of requirements in the Eagle Scout rank application.
“With good citizenship, dedication and achievement, you have made a difference in the lives of others, which I believe is the finest expression of leadership,” said East Meadow High School Principal Richard Howard. “Thank you for making our community and school a better place.”
Honors were also bestowed upon students in grades 6-8 from W.T. Clarke and Woodland middle schools. East Meadow Kiwanis President Ross Schiller, members of the Board, and middle school Principals Stacy Breslin and James Lethbridge presented certificates of recognition to the December, January and February “Terrific Kids.” This East Meadow Kiwanis-sponsored program recognizes sixth- through eighth-graders who continuously improve as individuals, students and community leaders.
“We are very proud of our ‘Terrific Kids’ recipients,” said Superintendent of Schools Leon J. Campo. “They are role models who set an example for others, and they will be the leaders of tomorrow.”
Students in first through fifth grade at Bowling Green Elementary School took a step forward in promoting heart health by participating in the schoolwide Jump Rope for Heart program, raising more than $9,000 for the American Heart Association.
Prior to the event, the students created posters that brought awareness to heart disease prevention. Covering the gym walls, the posters featured drawings about living a healthy lifestyle, not smoking, eating nutritious meals and engaging in 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
On the day of the fundraiser, the students divided into groups and exercised their heart muscles by jumping rope to popular pop music, generating a total of $9,408.
Classic Dr. Seuss favorites sprang to life among vibrant scenery as the Woodland Middle School Drama Club presented their spring musical, “Seussical,” on March 30 and 31. The spectacular performances were staged before large audiences of district faculty, families, peers and community members.
A cast of talented actors and musicians captivated the crowd as they portrayed scenes and characters from some of the most popular stories written by Dr. Seuss. Among those represented were “The Cat in the Hat,” “The Lorax,” “Green Eggs and Ham,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “Horton Hears a Who.”
The drama club’s cast and crew would like to express their gratitude to director Douglas Castillo, technical director Gregory Greco, musical director Jonathan Ross, choreographer Miriam Lerner, the design team, the stagehands, the tech squad and the district’s central administrators for helping to make the musical a sensational hit.
The artwork of 66 students in the district was on display at the Art Supervisors Association’s 13th Annual Nassau All-County Art Exhibition at Farmingdale State College on March 12.
The exhibition honored more than 1,200 K-12 students for demonstrating excellence in a wide variety of 2-D visual art forms, including drawing, painting, printmaking, graphic design and photography. For their demonstration of creativity and artistic talent, ASA also awarded scholarships to more than 40 graduating seniors at the Scholarship Awards Ceremony prior to the opening of the exhibit. Among them were East Meadow High
School’s Caitlyn Herlihy and W.T. Clarke High School’s Paige Anderson.
The district congratulates Caitlyn and Paige for this achievement and all of the students whose work was selected for the annual exhibit.
On March 30, parents of first and second-grade students were invited to attend the district’s first STEAM night, geared at providing parents with a first-hand look at the innovative lessons that their children are engaging in during the school day. Organized by Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Cindy Munter and Director of Math and Science Debra Harley, the evening gave parents the opportunity to rotate between four different hands-on stations where they created a zip line, constructed miniature boats to float and experimented with Ozobots and Dot and Dash robots.
“It was wonderful to see children working alongside their parents to teach them about the valuable lessons they are learning,” said Ms. Munter. “As a district, we remain committed to providing ongoing education and training for our parents so that they understand what is going on in the classroom and can better relate to what their children are learning. We look forward to providing more evenings such as this in the future!”
Thirty-five East Meadow High School students were honored for demonstrating exemplary character and conduct during the school’s annual Breakfast of Champions ceremony on March 24. They were recognized among their parents, teachers and administrators for displaying admirable character traits and positive qualities both in and outside of the school community.
“It is a pleasure and an honor to recognize these students for being who they are and making a positive impact on the East Meadow High School community,” said Assistant Principal Robert Hardwick.
An East Meadow Champion is one who thinks of others and makes consistent positive contributions to his or her surroundings. The honorees were nominated by their teachers for exemplifying academic success, respect and positivity among their peers, school and community.
This year’s East Meadow Champions are:
Joseph De Nicola
Ridannelyn Gibs Gallo
Leah Von Ohlen
• The district will host a presentation to inform residents about the proposed 2017-2018 school budget. This meeting will take place on the following date:
• Thursday, May 4, 2017 at the Leon J. Campo Salisbury Center - 7 p.m.
• All East Meadow Union Free School District residents are invited to attend to learn more about the proposed budget.
W.T. Clarke High School’s student acting troupe, Lights Up Productions, gave a riveting performance about the joys and heartbreaks of a tight-knit community when they presented “In the Heights” on March 2-4.
According to the Rodgers and Hammerstein Theatricals website, “In the Heights” is the universal story of a vibrant community in New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood – a place where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music. It’s a community on the brink of change, full of hopes, dreams and pressures, where the biggest struggles can be deciding which traditions you take with you, and which ones you leave behind.
Prior to the main performances, the school held a Senior Citizens’ Dinner Theatre, sponsored by the W.T. Clarke PTA in collaboration with the East Meadow Kiwanis and Clarke Theater Arts Parents Association. Community residents were invited for a delicious Italian dinner and a special viewing of this year’s spring musical, with dinner service and ushering provided by members of the W.T. Clarke Middle School Builder’s Club and W.T. Clarke High School Key Club.
The Lights Up Productions cast and crew would like to express their gratitude to director Kristen Norwark, vocal director Robin Hall, the design team, the stagehands, the tech squad, the orchestra pit – led by W.T. Clarke High School Music Chairperson Stephen Engle – and the district’s central administrators for helping to make the spring musical a success.
Students at Barnum Woods Elementary School expanded upon their social-emotional learning through two special events at the school. One was participation in the schoolwide mindfulness workshops by students in kindergarten through fourth grade. The other was an effort by fifth-graders to raise funds for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center by building their own arcade games.
During the mindfulness workshops, parents and students gathered in the school’s all-purpose room to participate in deep breathing and meditation activities that taught them how to re-energize and focus on their well-being. The sessions were held with the goal of teaching relaxation and focus within a fast-paced, media-saturated world where students are under pressure to perform well in school and achieve high grades.
While those in grades K-4 turned their focus inward for stress reduction and improved cognition, fifth-graders turned their focus to a beneficial cause in the community. The students were inspired by the film “Caine’s Arcade,” which documents 9-year-old Caine Monroy and his idea that set off a global movement. According to the “Caine’s Arcade” website, Caine built his own cardboard arcade, filled with games and prizes, for customers of his father’s auto parts store. When filmmaker Nirvan Mullick walked in, he became Caine’s first and only customer, leading him to create a movie about Caine’s arcade and establish a scholarship fund for him to attend college. The fifth-graders at Barnum Woods carried out the idea over the course of a month by creating their own arcade games, including foosball, Plinko, and pinball and claw machines. Students paid 25 cents per game for the chance to win a prize, generating a total of $1,400.25 for patients at Memorial Sloan Kettering.
The members of Woodland Middle School’s Peer Helpers club in the East Meadow School District inspired sixth-graders to make a positive impact on others during their “Pay It Forward” assembly. This presentation is based on the novel by Catherine Ryan Hyde.
At the opening of the presentation, each sixth grade student was given one blue and one orange index card. Members of the Peer Helpers wrote a story about one day in the life of a student. The peer helpers instructed the sixth graders to hold up a blue card when they heard a positive statement and an orange card for negative statements. As the students held up their color cards, the peer helpers placed the matching color Post-it on a huge heart in the front of the auditorium. This served as a visual representation of how negative words and feelings can affect an individual in one day.
Following this activity, the students watched a video clip from the movie, Pay It Forward. The clip explained the theory that if you do something kind for someone, they in turn, will pay it forward to create a chain reaction of positive change. The Peer Helpers encouraged the sixth-graders to spread kindness throughout the school by extending themselves to other students, whether by saying hello, helping to carry their books to class or sitting with a new student at lunch.
Local officials and community leaders joined professionals from the district on March 16 to read to classes at George McVey Elementary School and encourage a love for reading in the young students.
The visit was part of Guest Reader Day, a special event hosted by McVey near the close of its two-week Pick a Reading Partner program, which ran from March 6-17. Sponsored by the PTA, McVey’s PARP program invited students to delve into the world of literature and engage in reading activities inspired by this year’s theme, “Reading Is Groovy.”
Among those who read to the students in grades K-6 were Assemblyman Tom McKevitt, Nassau County Legislator Norma Gonzalves, Hempstead Town Clerk Nasrin Ahmad, Hempstead Town Councilman Gary Hudes, East Meadow Board of Education President Marcee Rubinstein, district administrators and other influential community members.
After the guests had finished reading, the students asked them about their professional careers and how reading has helped them to succeed.
Parkway Elementary School students raised more than $5,000 for the American Heart Association by participating in the schoolwide Jump Rope for Heart program on Feb. 16. Fourth-grader Jace D’Jon raised the most money this year, gardening a total of $575.
According to its website, the American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To assist in the battle, schools can host Jump Rope for Heart or Hoops for Heart fundraisers that promote physical activity, heart healthy living and community service.
During their gym classes, students in grades 1-5 divided into groups where they exercised their heart muscles by jumping rope to popular pop music and played double dutch with gym teachers Kelly Rohan and Michael Romanotto. They also learned about the importance of living a healthy lifestyle while raising money for the community.
A special thank-you to the Parkway PTA for providing refreshments for students to recharge while working out.
Members of the Bowling Green Elementary School Kiwanis Kids recently teamed up to help young children in Indonesia and Nicaragua pursue their educational dreams through the Bezos Family Foundation’s Students Rebuild Youth Uplift Challenge.
The students assembled on Feb. 27 to cut out paper hands and inscribe messages on them using crayons, colored pencils and markers. The uplifting messages suggested ways to make the world a better place, such as preserving the earth, being kind to all and helping others.
According to its website, the Bezos Family Foundation was created in 2010 in response to the devastating Haiti earthquake with the mission of assisting young people to achieve their full potential and make a meaningful contribution to society through education. The Youth Uplift Challenge invests in financial literacy, job and entrepreneurship training, and youth-led groups and networks to help young people overcome the setbacks of poverty. For every hand sent in, the Bezos Family Foundation donates $1.90 — up to $500,000 — to Save the Children’s programs, which empower youth in Indonesia and Nicaragua to rise into the life they dream of.
The Bowling Green Kiwanis Kids club made and sent in 180 hands garnering a total of $342 to the organization.
A total of 74 high school students in the district – 42 from East Meadow High School and 32 from W.T. Clarke High School – were inducted into the district’s National Art Honor Society in a ceremony on Feb. 28.
To become a member of the East Meadow chapter, students must be in grades 10-12, maintain an unweighted GPA of 85 percent and have a 90 percent or higher average in their art classes.
NAHS advisors Gerard Ferrara and Jane Pawlowski of East Meadow High School and W.T. Clarke High School, respectively, opened the ceremony by recognizing the talented inductees for their hard work and dedication to the arts and their studies. Following, both schools’ NAHS presidents shared how art has impacted their lives and reflected on how it takes courage to make art in today’s society.
Continuing the celebration, guest speaker Frank Dentrone, a W.T. Clarke High School English teacher, expressed ways in which art has influenced his life and bestowed words of wisdom upon the honorees.
“My advice to you is to stay young, my friends,” said Mr. Dentrone. “Keep your eyes open for new things even in the most mundane situations, and keep your hearts open to that creative voice within you for as long as you can. I do believe you’re going to need it.”
After taking the honor society pledge, the inductees joined fellow NAHS members and guests for light refreshments in the art gallery, where they toured an exhibit of artwork created by members of the society.