W.T. Clarke Middle School Students to Attend Science Competition Finals
The East Meadow School District is pleased to announce that four W.T. Clarke Middle School students enrolled in the seventh-grade Honors Science Research Program will compete in the finalist round of the Christopher Columbus Foundation Competition in Orlando, Florida this June. Under the direction of teachers Cindy Dale, Donna DelVecchio, and Wendy Wansor, student-scientists Ryan Abraham, Zachary Boccio, Matthew Rubenstein and Pavit Suri will present their project “Mission Insaltable,” which studies the problem of too much sodium in the teenage diet.
This is only the second year that the seventh-grade Honors Science Research Program has entered this nationwide competition that encourages students to identify and solve a community problem. The students worked in groups of three or four, interviewed experts, conducted research and proposed solutions. In addition, each group submitted an entry that included a 10-page paper and visual presentation.
“We are extremely proud of both the effort and fine work of the students and staff,” Principal Stacy Breslin stated. “The students problem-solved in the interest of their community.”
In the first year of the program, W.T. Clarke Middle School boasted three semifinalist teams. This year, four teams, including Mission Insaltable, made it to the semifinalist round of competition. They include:
“Let It Rain” – Anaha Babu, Olamaide Bakare, Alexia Huang and Kate Su
“Just Relax” – Dean Frucci, Melanie Hock, Bradley Seltzer and Samantha Vicari
“The Mold Squad” – Melissa Batenga, Gabby Torrento, Natalie Zaba and Natalie Zuniga
Assistant Principal Linda Lynch also commented on the students’ achievements this school year. “Teamwork is very important here at Clarke Middle School, both at the student and teacher level,” she said. “This competition fosters both higher-level thinking and working together on so many levels.”
East Meadow Students Are Tops in Regional Arts and Science Fair
W.T. Clarke Middle School is proud to announce that three science research students from Megan Denecke’s and Carol Simowitz’s honors earth science classes took first place in Nassau Community College’s fifteenth Annual Arts and Science Fair held on April 6. Danielle Fuchs, Skylar Hanson and Cindy Pham’s winning project was titled “The Effect of Propeller Size on the Energy Production of Windmills.”
These science research students worked for several months to conduct background research and perform experiments in preparation for the science competition. The entrants displayed their research on project boards and then orally presented their findings to a panel of judges.
The district would like to congratulate Danielle, Skylar and Cindy on this prestigious achievement.
Woodland Middle School Spring Concert Thanks U.S. Soldiers
Onlookers were captivated by the musically talented students of Woodland Middle School who performed in the beautifully produced eighth-grade spring concert. An assortment of melodies from jazz to Tchaikovsky filled the auditorium as the audience reveled in this fun filled evening.
The jazz ensemble, directed by John Marshall, opened the show with an enchanting trio of songs, starting with Bobby Timmons’ “Moanin’.” The eighth-grade orchestra, directed by Mindy Lamonica, performed next, ambitiously taking on a portion of Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake” as their first number.
The eighth-grade chorus, directed by Jonathan Ross, harmonized on three songs with accompanist Meegan Coleman. The chorus was then joined by both the chamber orchestra and wind ensemble for a special performance of Michael and Angela Souders’ “Thank You, Soldiers.” This salute to Unites States military personnel, both past and present, featured solo vocalist Christina Prussen and was performed against a slideshow backdrop that was projected onto the auditorium stage.
The concert culminated with the eighth-grade concert band, directed by Stephen Engle, playing three songs, including Claude-Michel Schonberg’s famous theme from “Les Misérables” as their finale.
Annual ‘Run with the Rams’ Held in East Meadow
The W.T. Clarke High School and Middle School athletic community held its fifth annual Run with the Rams fundraiser on April 27, with the proceeds from donations, apparel sales and raffles benefiting a local family in need and the W.T. Clarke athletic program.
The event welcomed participants of all ages and featured a 1-mile “fun run” as well as a lengthier 5K street race. The several hundred runners who had registered for the charitable event came out early to warm up and put on their official timing bibs so that their personal paces could be tracked. The races circled the neighborhood streets and finished in the rear of the schools’ athletic complex. Training for the 5K race was available for W.T. Clarke students and staff, and Janine Heilbronn and Josh Friedman served as race directors.
Woodland Students Are Winners in Nutrition Analysis Competition
The next time Woodland Middle School students Natalie Insinna and Aleena Manji purchase food, they will be experts in analyzing their meals’ nutritional guidelines. The two seventh-graders were recently named grand-prize winners in the Long Island Family and Consumer Sciences Challenge Meal at the Mall Competition.
Using their knowledge of nutrition and meal planning, while employing mathematical skills, the students worked together to analyze data provided by four fast food establishments at the mall. They competed against their peers from across Nassau and Suffolk counties and will share a $100 cash prize.
The Meal at the Mall Competition is sponsored by Family and Consumer Sciences. Their goal is to help individuals make healthier food choices.
East Meadow High School Language Arts Honor Societies Induct New Members
The East Meadow High School Languages Other Than English (LOTE) honor societies inducted their newest members in a ceremony complete with inspiring speeches, classical music and stylish dancing.
“Tonight we are celebrating the passion and commitment to learning a language other than English. We do this through song, dance, poetry, and sign,” said District LOTE Chairperson Jenice Morgani.
The American Sign Language, French, Italian, and Spanish honor society chapters took turns having their newest inductees repeat the prescribed oath in their studied language before crossing the apron of the school stage to receive a certificate, commemorative pin, and applause from the gathering of family, friends and classmates. Each group also presented a brief history of their society along with a song or dance relevant to their newly learned language.
“With so many things going on in the world today, good and bad, don’t you really want to know what other people are thinking? It is your future,” said Spanish teacher and former Foreign Language Association of Chairpersons and Supervisors (FLACS) President Carman Campos, who served as the guest speaker for the event.
A Mingling of Generations
Members of the Parkway Elementary School Service Club hosted a gathering with residents of East Meadow’s The Bristal Assisted Living facility. The students and seniors bridged the generation gap while playing games that utilized SMART Board technology.
Service Club advisers Kelly Rohan and Pam Tobin explained that this activity was an excellent community outreach opportunity for the students. Subsequently, the young people were given a chance to mingle with older residents.
After the students served snacks to their guests, they presented them with homemade flowers and decorative pillows for their homes. The seniors also received Parkway Elementary School tote bags in appreciation of their visit to the school.
A Show of Multicultural Song and Dance
W.T. Clarke High School students showcased their talents during the school’s annual Multicultural Show for fellow students and members of the community. An interpretation of a popular tune that utilized American Sign Language was included in the thirteen featured acts. In addition, the show highlighted Latin, Indian and Irish dancing; martial arts; and Latin songs.
The Multicultural Club, which hosts the annual show, was established approximately eight years ago in an effort to promote tolerance and acceptance of diverse cultures. This tradition allows the students to embrace their own cultural heritages, as well as those of their peers. The performance demonstrates the success of this greatly supported endeavor.
East Meadow High School Presents ‘Guys and Dolls’
Community audiences were transported back to the bustling streets of New York City in the 1950s as talented theater and music students from East Meadow High School performed in Damon Runyon and Frank Loesser’s “Guys and Dolls.” Directed by Christopher Hale, with staging and musical choreography by Karen Goldman, the gifted cast and crew belted out popular favorites such as “Bushel and a Peck,” “I’ve Never Been in Love Before” and “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat” for appreciative fans.
The classic show tells the story of Nathan Detroit, who bets fellow gambler Sky Masterson that he can’t convince cold female missionary Sarah Brown to accompany him to Havana. The plot becomes complicated, however, as Sky and Sarah fall in love and as Miss Adelaide tries to convince Nathan to marry her. Lots of missteps and a flair for the dramatic is the prescription for an unforgettable story.
The musical production boasted an 80-member cast, technical staff, crew and design team, and the pit orchestra flawlessly played the challenging musical sets under the direction of Joel Levy.
W.T. Clarke Middle School Presents ‘Once Upon a Mattress’
Lively fictional characters and bright costumes set the stage for the W.T. Clarke Middle School Drama Club’s presentation of Jay Thompson, Dean Fuller and Marshall Barer’s “Once Upon a Mattress.” Under the direction of Douglas Castillo, the 55-member cast and crew performed the adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Princess and the Pea” in true comedic fashion. Laughs and applause from family and community residents who attended the performances flooded the auditorium.
In this fairy tale classic, Queen Aggravain has ruled that no one within the kingdom will be allowed to marry until her son, Prince Dauntless, has found a marriage partner. The queen is unprepared, however, for her decree has managed to sabotage every available princess that comes along. Lively lyrics by Marshall Barer and talented enthusiasm from the middle school cast made these performances memorable.
McVey Students Donate to Pennies for Patients
The McVey Elementary School Student Council received a visit from Leukemia and Lymphoma Society representative Isai Fuentes. Mr. Fuentes discussed the mission of the society to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma and to improve the quality of patient life.
After Mr. Fuentes’ presentation, student council members presented him with a generous donation totaling $400 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Pennies for Patients fund. As a reward for their kindness, the students were granted a schoolwide Pajama Day celebration.
Meadowbrook Elementary Celebrates Favorite Fictional Characters
Meadowbrook Elementary School fifth-graders celebrated “Book Character Day” by dressing up as their favorite fictional characters. Such beloved literary personas included Thing 1 and Thing 2, SpongeBob and Disney princesses. The activity was held in conjunction with the Parents as Reading Partners program to promote reading and literacy in the district.
Assistant Principal Gail Gallucci got into the spirit by dressing in pajamas to celebrate her favorite polar bear, Percy, in “The Practically Perfect Pajamas” by Erik Brooks. Fifth-grade teachers Emily Caroddo and Valerie Kasper and intervention assistant Bonnie Kircher were dressed as characters from the book “Esperanza Rising” by Pam Muñoz Ryan, a book being read by all fifth-grade students as part of the Expeditionary Learning program.
Book Character Day not only offered students the opportunity to name their favorite character and book, it also fostered discussion about literature. In addition the students spoke with their peers about many of their much-loved stories.
East Meadow School District Summer Music Program
W. T. Clarke Robotics Team Ranks in Regional Top Third
Robotics Club students from W.T. Clarke High School participated in the 2013 Long Island Regional FIRST Robotics Competition at the David S. Mack Sports & Exhibition Complex at Hofstra University. This annual national program challenges students to build a 130-pound robot during a six-week timeframe, using a standard “kit of parts” and common set of rules.
For this year’s theme, “Ultimate Ascent,” the robotics students designed and built a robot which can shoot Frisbees and climb a metal pyramid. The robot uses two motors to shoot each Frisbee out from the robot and a pneumatic system to climb the bottom rung of the metal pyramid. For the first 15 minutes of the competition, “the autonomous period”, the robot was able to shoot Frisbees automatically without being controlled by the driver. For the remainder of the last two minutes and 15 seconds, a driver operated the robot.
Adviser Mike Conners explained that for the first few rounds of the competition, the team was having difficulty during the autonomous period and attained the 33rd place position out of fifty teams. “However, we turned it around the second day and were able to secure 16th place by the end of the competition,” Mr. Conners said.
Students Place in Science Olympiad Competition
Working under the direction of science teacher Megan Denecke, 15 students from W.T. Clarke Middle School attended the Science Olympiad competition at Kellenberg Memorial High School. Of these, six students took home awards in their respective events.
Matthew Heitner and Joshiah Phillips placed second in the “Metric Mastery” category; Erjin Choi and Cindy Pham placed fourth in “Dynamic Planet - Glaciers”; and Alby Joseph and Bismen Singh received a sixth-place finish in “Reach for the Stars.”
Prior to the competition, the students worked diligently to prepare for their events by researching, taking practice exams and compiling information regarding their topics. W.T. Clarke was one of fifty middle school teams from Long Island to participate in these competitive events that tested students’ knowledge in astronomy, earth science, engineering, mapping, biology and chemistry.
“The students’ hard work clearly paid off,” Ms. Denecke stated, “all team members should be very proud of their performances and for participating in this academic event.”
East Meadow High School Winter Guard Takes Top Honors
The East Meadow High School Winter Guard placed first out of 10 competitive teams in the Scholastic Novice division of the Bridgewater-Raritan High School Competition. This was the group’s fourth public performance of the season.
Winter Guard is an indoor color guard activity usually performed in a gymnasium or indoor arena. Unlike color guard, the performance is accompanied by prerecorded music instead of a live band or orchestra.
Under the direction of teacher Molly Tittler, the 28-member group performed for the first time at Mineola High School in January. Their polished performance earned them first place against two other groups in the Scholastic Novice division. The season will conclude at the Mid-Atlantic Indoor Network Championship at South Brunswick High School on April 20.
The district would like to wish the East Meadow High School Winter Guard team the best of luck with their competition.
W.T. Clarke H.S. Students Inducted Into Tri-M Music Honor Society
Twenty-six students from W.T. Clarke High School were welcomed into Chapter 1768 of the Tri-M Music Honor Society in an induction ceremony held on April 9 at Verdi’s restaurant in Westbury.
The event included a flute and clarinet duet by W.T. Clarke musicians Alexandra Leonardo and Brianna Riggs, along with a vocal duet by Margaret Cotter and Gina Principato. Jordi Ariel Lotito and Daniel Wang also entertained the crowd with a dazzling violin duet.
Later in the evening, Clarke alumna Kristen Norwark was presented with an honorary lifetime membership into the society, and Tri-M officers were introduced to the crowd. Abby Behr, the district’s director of music and art, presented certificates to the new inductees and recognized the society’s continuing members.
The Tri-M Music Honor Society is the international music honor society for middle/junior high and high school students, and is designed to recognize young musicians for their academic and musical achievements. According to the National Association for Music Education website, the society’s purpose is to reward the student-musicians for their accomplishments and service activities, and to inspire other students to excel in music and leadership.
East Meadow Musicians Perform at Tilles Center
In front of an adoring crowd of family members, classmates and school faculty, hundreds of musicians from the East Meadow School District gave an exquisite performance at Long Island University’s Tilles Center for the Performing Arts in Brookville on March 20, 2013. The district high school chorus and chamber orchestra, under the direction of guest conductor Dr. James John, opened the event with Mozart’s “Requiem.” The middle school chorus followed with Greg Holden and Drew Pearson’s “Home.”
Later in the evening, the combined middle school and high school district chorus performed a Stephen Hatfield arrangement of “Son de Camaguey,” featuring Joshua Dawson, Aliyah Gill, Jordan Moldowsky and Jaden Nogee on percussion. The high school symphonic band, under the direction of guest conductor Roger Cichy, capped the night with two Roger Cichy numbers and John Philip Sousa’s “The Stars and Stripes Forever.” This extraordinary event was made possible in part by the Community Outreach Program at the Tilles Center, and it was co-sponsored by the Tilles Center Arts-in-Education program.
Making a World of Difference
In an effort to curtail bullying and promote friendships amongst the student body, student members of the Social Emotional Literacy Committee at Woodland Middle School participated in “A Classroom of Difference” workshop, which was sponsored through a grant from the Anti-Defamation League. Having been previously named as a “Gold Star No Place for Hatred Award” recipient, Woodland Middle School was honored by receiving the opportunity to host this workshop. Under the direction of teacher facilitators Tolanda Tolbert and Denise Ham, students and school staff worked together in this full-day program, where they learned how to promote respect, inclusiveness and civility by addressing issues of bullying and cyberbullying.
The workshop focused on the students’ ability to become “allies” to one another by reacting to name-calling or bullying. In addition, the group developed an understanding of how to address cyber-bullying. “Now that you are older, you have a moral responsibility to do something and not just place yourself in the role of a bystander,” Ms. Tolbert stated.
The second session of the workshop concentrated on the online and cellphone cyber-bullying component. Ms. Tolbert explained that the way to stop this form of bullying is to not forward a message. “The rule of thumb for how to live our lives is the same rule for our online behavior,” she advised.
Woodland Drama Club Presents ‘Leader of the Pack’
The stage came alive at Woodland Middle School as the 60-member Drama Club cast and crew successfully presented “Leader of the Pack” for the school community. The musical is a retrospective honoring the life and times of American songwriter, singer and record producer Ellie Greenwich, whose music skyrocketed to the top of the 1960s music charts.
The audience could not help but dance in their seats as they silently mouthed the words of this musical parade of over 20 popular and catchy tunes, which included “Be My Baby,” “Do Wah Diddy,” and “Then He Kissed Me.” All musical selections were expertly played by the pit band under the direction of conductor Scott Eckers.
Directors Shelly Brennan and Mathias Holtzman explained that this production was more challenging because of the extent of the many songs included in this musical review. “Generally, a typical show for us has eight to twelve songs,” Ms. Brennan stated, “so our challenge was to learn the words, harmonies and choreography.”
Tri-M Honors for W.T. Clarke Middle School Students
W.T. Clarke Middle School welcomed 23 new members to its chapter of the Junior Tri-M Music Honor Society during an induction ceremony at Verdi’s in Westbury.
“Tri-M membership is a true honor,” said W.T. Clarke Middle School Principal Stacy Breslin in her address to the inductees. “I am proud of your dedication to your music and amazed by your talent. With continued effort, I am certain you will exceed all of our expectations.”
The new honorees join the roster of the 27 continuing members who also took part in the ceremony. Students inducted into the Tri-M Music Honor Society have demonstrated academic excellence in music in addition to outstanding character and service.
The W.T. Clarke Middle School Tri-M inductees are:
Middle School Students Inducted into National Junior Honor Society
Continuing the district’s tradition of academic excellence, 68 students enrolled at W.T. Clarke Middle School were inducted into the National Junior Honor Society during a candlelighting ceremony held at Verdi’s of Westbury. This prestigious society serves to honor those students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, leadership, citizenship, service, and character. The honorees, considered to be among the finest students nationwide, are commended for their outstanding achievements both inside and outside of the classroom.
Principal Stacy Breslin praised the parents in attendance as she acknowledged that they were their children’s first inspirational influence in life. She reiterated that parents are “the first teachers”. To the students she stated, “Your academic record speaks for itself, but what makes us most proud is your mindset, determination and work ethic.”
After the officers lit each candle and explained the requisites for induction into the society, the inductees were called up individually to the dais to receive their certificates.
Guest speaker and English teacher Patricia Hartman also congratulated the students on their impressive achievements. “Always remember this moment and the accomplishments you have made to achieve this great honor,” she stated. “You are all individual stars shining high and brilliantly in the night sky.”
After the induction, the students celebrated with their families over a wonderful meal.
Schools Celebrate Literacy at Barnes & Noble
McVey and Parkway elementary schools each recently held “a celebration of reading” event at Barnes & Noble Booksellers in Carle Place as part of their annual Parents as Reading Partners program. The festivities were sponsored by PTA members from their respective schools and offered an opportunity for administrators and teachers to read their favorite books to students. In addition the children were allowed to browse for books in the vast wonderland of literature at the Barnes & Nobles book store.
The fun-filled evenings included a scavenger hunt, a station where students could create their own bookmark and musical performances by the schools’ bands and orchestras. Lending to the festive atmosphere, many students dressed up as their favorite storybook characters.
Thank you to the McVey and Parkway PTAs for making these events memorable for everyone in attendance.
Learning the Art of Mosaic
Parkway Elementary School students recently had an opportunity to work with Northport artist Esther Tollen in creating a mosaic that will eventually decorate a wall in the school’s building. Funded through the Cultural Arts Committee, Ms. Tollen worked with each class in creating all components of the mural. In addition to the school’s name, the picture depicts a garden scene with billowing clouds and sunny skies
During the weeklong activity, the students were taught the entire process of creating a mosaic, from first sketching an idea to the actual application of tiles. Prior to beginning their creation, students received a history lesson about the art of mosaic and were able to view photographs of ancient artwork. “One piece of artwork tells us what people wore and what role they played in history,” Ms. Tollen told the students.
Each student worked with Ms. Tollen in placing the pieces of tile, glass and stone and then filling in the grout lines. To reinforce the art of mosaic, the students were instructed to create individual paper mosaics.
“This has been an incredible experience for the entire school,” Principal Jamie Mack stated. “We really appreciate the new skills learned through this exciting artist-in- residence workshop.”
Parkway Elementary School Welcomes Guest Readers
In March, community members, administrators and Board of Education trustees volunteered to share their favorite children’s books with students at Parkway Elementary School, as part of a month long “Parents as Reading Partners” celebration. The daylong activity encouraged students to become excited about literature, while supporting their reading and listening skills.
Superintendent of Schools, Louis R. DeAngelo, visited Jacki Rudin’s first-grade class and read his favorite children’s book, “I Wanna Iguana” by author Karen Kaufman Orloff. Former Superintendent of Schools Leon J. Campo, accompanied by his reading buddy “O” (a stuffed orangutan), visited Kelly Zawasky’s second-grade class to read “Bendemolena” by Jan Slepian and Ann Seidler. “A book is like a friend,” Mr. Campo told the students. “It takes you to different places on the earth.”
Celebration of Foreign Language and Culture
The W.T. Clarke High School Chapters of the Languages Other Than English (LOTE) Honor Societies held their annual induction ceremony. The evening’s celebration was highlighted by musical ensembles, a dance exhibition, poetry readings, and an American Sign Language demonstration. Congratulatory speeches were read and multilingual oaths were repeated, as this select group of students was granted inclusion into these prestigious societies. A total of 47 students were inducted into the Alpha Sigma Lambda Chapter of ASL, La Société Honoraire de Français, La Società Onoraria Italica and La Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica.
Assistant Principal Geraldine Doddato explained that knowing a country’s culture is as important as learning its language. She also reiterated that there is now proof that speaking two languages expands the brain. “Language is the doorway to another world,” Ms. Doddato stated. “It will become even more important in the acquisition of a job.”
The ideal candidates considered for induction into these societies distinguished themselves in their chosen language study, as well as in their overall academic achievement, responsibility and community service.
Students Receive Visit from National Theatre of the Deaf
Students throughout the district, who are enrolled in the middle and high schools’ American Sign Language (ASL) courses, attended a unique assembly with performances given by the Little Theatre of the Deaf, which is the children's ensemble troupe of the National Theatre of the Deaf. This troupe’s mission is to simultaneously educate and entertain through their performances. The actors use sign language in an effort to broaden the audience’s awareness, understanding and appreciation of deaf culture.
Using simple props, the actors combined the spoken word with sign language during a performance of a show called “The W 5.” During this act, students were asked to identify the essential components of the story including “who, what, when, where and why.” In addition, students were selected to participate in the presentation of the many other stories that were told, including “Time Machine to 601,” “Why There are Stars in the Sky,” “What Happens Next?” and “Your Game.”
For the students in the audience, the assembly was an opportunity to sharpen their sign language skills. The district’s ASL program is the largest in New York State with over 450 students enrolled.