Steps to Learning Summer 2016


East Meadow and Clarke HS Students Honored for Academic Excellence

Members of East Meadow and W.T. Clarke high schools’ Classes of 2016 were honored for academic excellence with special scholarships, as well as district and community awards, during two separate senior academic awards ceremonies.

W.T. Clarke High School Principal Timothy Voels welcomed parents, teachers, administrators, community leaders and scholarship sponsors to acknowledge the outstanding achievements and accomplishments the seniors had made over the past four years, noting, “Tonight is a celebration of scholarship, talent, skill and perseverance of the human spirit.”

At East Meadow High School, Assistant Principal Robert Hardwick closed the ceremony by congratulating the “extraordinary senior class” for their hard work, dedication and determination during their time in the district.

“To the Class of 2016,” he said, “I thank you for making our school and community a better place.”

Rewarded for their Generosity

Woodland Middle School seventh-graders received a visit from Linda Sue Park, author of “A Long Walk to Water,” as a reward for placing second in the Water for South Sudan Iron Giraffe Challenge.

The Iron Giraffe Challenge, established by Water for South Sudan founder and Executive Director Salva Dut, invites schools to pledge and raise $1,000 to help provide a new drill rig (“iron giraffe”) that will supply clean water to the children of South Sudan.  

The English department welcomed Ms. Park to the school with a breakfast, during which she shared her experiences in writing her novel and her time spent with Mr. Dut.

Afterward, Ms. Park addressed the entire seventh-grade class, expounding on “A Long Walk to Water,” the water issue in South Sudan, the Lost Boys of Sudan – referring to the thousands of boys displaced or orphaned during the Second Sudanese Civil War – and the refugee camps.

 She concluded her visit by thanking the students and teachers for their contributions and encouraged all students to consider their own memories as potential writing topics. 

Sounds of Musical Success

Isabella Martinez, a sixth-grader at W.T. Clarke Middle School, received a scholarship from the Long Island String Festival Association to participate in the district’s Summer Music Program.  

To apply for the scholarship, Isabella had to submit a letter explaining why she should be considered and how music has transformed her life, including why she had to discontinue playing the violin for a year. In addition, Clarke Middle School orchestra teacher Kelly Gelfer submitted a requisite letter of recommendation on Isabella’s behalf.

The district’s Summer Music Program is open to students throughout Nassau County and will be held from June 27 through July 29 at East Meadow High School. The program boasts beginner, intermediate and advanced level bands, orchestras, jazz ensembles and chamber orchestras. Students also have the option to sing in the show chorus and experienced vocalists have an additional opportunity to participate in the advanced chorus, a new offering this year. The summer program culminates in concert performances for family, friends and community members.

Isabella was both honored and ecstatic upon hearing that she had received the scholarship.

“I am super excited to be going to my first summer music program,” she said. “I didn’t think I was going to be in this position.”

Isabella hopes to attend next year’s summer music program, as well.

Board of Education Holds Reorganization Meeting

The district’s Board of Education held its annual reorganization meeting on July 5 where Marcee Rubinstein and Joseph Danenza were elected to the roles of president and vice president, respectively.

The board’s newest trustee Matthew Melnick, alongside re-elected trustees Joseph Parisi and Rubinstein, were officially sworn into their new three-year terms. Superintendent of Schools Leon J. Campo also took the oath of office for the 2016-17 school year and Jeanne Puma was sworn in as district clerk.

Singing under the sun

Under sunny skies, Bowling Green Elementary School students partook in a schoolwide outdoor concert on June 13 with children’s singer and songwriter Rick Charette.

Mr. Charette taught the audience dance moves and specific lyrics to accompany his songs. Following his demonstrations students, teachers and invited guests joined Mr. Charette as he performed his hit songs “I Love Mud,” “Popcorn” and “Going Through the Car Wash.”

Magic from the Hair Fairies and Godmothers’ of Woodland MS


Fifty-three students, “hair fairies” and five teachers, “hairy godmothers” from Woodland Middle School granted the wish of patients by individually donating eight inches of their own hair to create wigs through Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths program.

The Beautiful Lengths program helps women battling cancer feel like themselves again by partnering with the American Cancer Society to make and distribute free real-hair wigs.  

Woodland Middle School held its “big cut” ceremony on June 13, during which students in grades 6-8 and teachers volunteered to have their family and friend sponsors cut off eight inches of their hair. Sponsors measured the hair with the help of Impressions Salon stylist Gina.
Following the event, all students who donated their locks had their hair styled by volunteers from local salons.  

Middle school students move on up


Eighth-graders of Woodland and W.T. Clarke middle schools celebrated the conclusion of their past three years with moving up ceremonies on June 22.

As the schools’ vocal jazz ensembles performed, a sea of red gowns assembled to the cheers and praise of families, friends, teachers and administrators.

In his address, Superintendent of Schools Leon J. Campo encouraged the Class of 2016 to make the right decisions and build upon their experiences in athletics, the arts, music and extracurricular activities as they head to high school.

“As superintendent of schools, I join your families, teachers, friends and administrators in applauding your success,” Mr. Campo said. “We are all proud of you, as you should be proud of yourselves and know your hard work has brought you to this day of recognition. You deserve it.”  

Following his speech, middle school class representatives reflected upon their milestones and memories from the past three years. They also encouraged their fellow graduates to broaden their horizons and expand upon their experiences in school as well as in life.

Officiating his 11th moving up ceremony at the school, Woodland Middle School Principal James Lethbridge spoke fondly of the dedication, perseverance and growth that the Class of 2016 had experienced during their time at Woodland. “The middle school years are some of life’s most memorable moments, and I want you to think about the experiences you’ve gained,” he said. “You’ve grown physically, emotionally, intellectually and socially since your arrival at Woodland in 2013 as sixth-graders. Apply what you have learned here as you head to the next chapter of your lives.”  

At W.T. Clarke Middle School, Principal Stacy Breslin recalled fond memories with the eighth-grade graduates while reminding them to stay consistent. “You have been consistent in your efforts, kindness and generosity over the past three years,” she said. “It is your consistent performance and dependable nature that will bring you continued success as you move forward to the next phase of your life.”   

During the ceremonies, Vanessa Froehlich from Woodland Middle School and Sanjana Ahmed and Abishek Ravindran from W.T. Clarke Middle School were honored with the Superintendent’s Award. This honor is bestowed upon students at the middle school level for their overall academic excellence, good citizenship, leadership qualities and dignified character.    

The district congratulates the middle school graduates on arriving at this prestigious milestone and wishes them continued success as they advance to high school. 

Elementary Students Move Up

Fifth-graders from Barnum Woods, Bowling Green, McVey, Meadowbrook and Parkway elementary schools reflected upon their elementary memories and looked forward to their middle school experiences with moving up ceremonies on June 23.

The principals at each school congratulated the students on their hard work, devotion and accomplishments over the past five years. They encouraged the fifth-graders to take advantage of what the middle school has to offer, and to be thirsty for knowledge and curious about all of life’s possibilities.

The district congratulates its fifth-grade graduating class and wishes them happiness and many new opportunities as they move on to middle school. 

Hats off to the Class of 2016


Clad in blue and maroon caps and gowns, hundreds of East Meadow and W.T. Clarke high school graduates were joined by honored parents, family members, faculty and administrators to celebrate the peak of their academic journeys with commencement ceremonies on June 26.

Filing in to the traditional strains of Elgar’s “Pomp and Circumstance,” the seniors assembled on their respective schools’ football fields to the applause and cheers of welcomed guests in the stands.

In his address, Superintendent of Schools Leon J. Campo acknowledged the seniors for their hard work that had guided them to this place of distinction, recognition and accomplishment. He expressed his hopes that as they become the district’s newest alumni, they would take the knowledge and experiences gained over the past 13 years and embark on new horizons.

“Remember that each one of us has been helped by others to reach this place of achievement and recognition,” Mr. Campo said. “Before you take leave of our wonderful school, thank those who have helped you. As you thank them, you enrich yourself.”

The valedictorians and salutatorians of both classes created one last memory with their fellow graduates by reminiscing about fond high school memories. They also encouraged them to thank their biggest supporters and embrace the uncertainty that the world has to offer.

East Meadow High School Principal Richard Howard congratulated the Class of 2016 for not only achieving outstanding academic, athletic, artistic and musical accomplishments, but also breaking a school record by having nine sets of twins in one graduating class.

“I think here today at East Meadow, we have a record that will never occur again,” he said. “From Feb. 14, 1998 through Nov. 30, 1998, eight sets of twins were born and somehow found their way to East Meadow High School’s graduating class of 2016. And as if eight weren’t enough, on July 1, 2014, we welcomed the Fuentes sisters into our East Meadow family.”

Across the district, W.T. Clarke High School Principal Timothy Voels commended the seniors for their academic successes, community service efforts and passions, while also wishing them a lifetime of happiness.

“My wish for you is that you find happiness in whatever you choose to do,” he said. “May your successes be more numerous than your setbacks, and [may you] ultimately experience less stress than contentment.”

Concluding his speech, Mr. Voels asked the graduates-to-be to venture out into the world with pride, holding on to the knowledge that they’ll forever be Rams.  

After receiving their diplomas and moving their tassels to the left, the Class of 2016 tossed their caps in the air, rejoicing with friends and family. The district congratulates both classes and wishes them happiness, prosperity and greatness as they embark on their new journeys. 


Top of their class at East Meadow

Following years of dedication to academics, extracurricular activities and the community, East Meadow High School valedictorian Zainab Nathani and salutatorian Nirali Mandavawala, and W.T. Clarke High School valedictorian Justin Melkun and salutatorian Ryan Seerattan, reflect upon their educational accomplishments in the East Meadow School District.  
Zainab, who finishes her academic career with a 109.521 GPA, excelled in her course load of Advanced Placement, honors and college-level classes, in addition to her involvement in school organizations. She was a news editor for the school newspaper, the Jet Gazette, and a member of the Environmental Club, Key Club, Math and Science Research teams, and every honor society offered at her school. In addition, she volunteers as a youth group leader at her mosque, mentoring younger children.

Along with graduating at the top of her class, Zainab is a recipient of the President Volunteer Service Award, the Distinguished Key Club Lieutenant Governor Award, the Senator Kemp Hannon Youth Leadership Award, and the Bausch and Lomb Honorary Science Award. She also won a National Merit Scholarship and a New York Higher Education Services Corporation Scholarship for Academic Excellence. In addition, she is a Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership alumna and school representative.

In the fall, Zainab, who aspires to become a doctor, will study medicine at Brooklyn College. She credits her AP Biology teacher, Dr. Joseph Emmitt, for having a major impact on her future.

“Learning from Dr. Emmitt’s AP Biology class influenced me to pursue a career in medicine,” she said. “I never thought I’d like the class or material, but because of his teaching style, I truly enjoyed it.”  

With an equally challenging course load and heavy involvement in school organizations and community activities, East Meadow High School salutatorian Nirali Mandavawala will be graduating with a 108.526 GPA.

Nirali was involved in the Math and Science Research teams, was a member of every honor society at her school, belonged to the Key Club and played varsity tennis. She also teaches piano to younger musicians.

In addition to her achievements in the classroom, Nirali received the New York State Board of Regents Scholarship for Academic Excellence and the Stony Brook University Presidential Scholarship.  

Reminiscing about her time in the district, Nirali will miss her friends and teachers the most.

“I’ve been together with my friends since the seventh or eighth grade,” she said. “Not seeing them every day is going to be a difficult adjustment. I’m also going to miss the constant guidance from my teachers, especially my English teacher, Ms. Sideri. She was passionate and always went the extra mile for us.”

In the fall, Nirali will attend the Honors College at Stony Brook University, where she will major in biology.   

Graduating with a 109.843 GPA, W.T. Clarke High School valedictorian Justin Melkun achieved this honorable designation by exploring all opportunities during his high school years. He enrolled in multiple Advanced Placement, college-level and honor courses, served in an array of school organizations and clubs, was involved in sports and volunteered within the community.

Beyond the classroom, Justin was a member of Mathletes, DECA, the Science Research team, and the Mathematics, English and Foreign Language honor societies. He also played alto saxophone in the marching band and jazz ensemble. On the field, he was a running back and safety for the school’s football team and ran winter and spring track. In his scientific studies, he conducted a research project about the ocean’s dead zone to rehabilitate vegetation from which future generations would benefit.       

In reflecting on his time at Clarke, Justin remembers the great experiences he had while playing organized sports with his friends. “I’ve grown up with these kids, and I’m going to miss getting together with them to play sports,” he said.

The top-ranked senior will attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute this fall, where he plans to major in engineering. “I have a love for both math and science, and I hope to pursue a career that encompasses both elements,” he said.

Continuing the advanced academic course load he’s had since the eighth grade, salutatorian Ryan Seerattan will be graduating with a 108.806 GPA. While achieving success in the classroom, Ryan also participated in numerous organizations, clubs and sports, in addition to helping other students in the community.

Ryan was co-president of DECA, a research liaison, and a member of Mathletes, the Science Research team, and the Mathematics, Science, Foreign Language and English honor societies, as well as president of the National Honor Society. He utilizes his musical talents as a member of the chamber orchestra and second chair viola in the school’s orchestra. Ryan also played on the varsity tennis team during his time at Clarke. In his free time, he privately tutors special needs students.

Ryan will be heading to Macaulay Honors College in the fall, where he plans to major in biology. He said he will miss the small atmosphere of Clarke High School, noting, “Everyone knows everyone here at Clarke. It’s nice to be a part of a small community with administrators, teachers and classmates who support and care for you.” 

United by T-shirts

Kindergartners at Bowling Green Elementary School expressed their gratitude to Francesco Martiniello, whose daughter is in Kristine Goldrick’s class, for generously donating Class of 2028 T-shirts.  

Cheers to Woodland and Clarke MS Classes of 2016


Congratulations to the Woodland and W.T. Clarke middle schools’ Classes of 2016. The district congratulates these wonderful eighth-graders for their hard work, dedication and triumph over the past three years, and wishes them continued success as they move on to their respective high schools. Further information regarding the two commencement ceremonies will be given on a later date.

Celebrating the Stars and Stripes


Across the East Meadow School District, Barnum Woods, Bowling Green and Parkway elementary schools honored the adoption of the United States flag with an array of activities on June 14.

Dressed in red, white and blue, Barnum Woods students gathered on the front field under sunny skies for their Flag Day ceremony, held prior to the school’s wellness walk. The fifth-grade band and chorus opened the ceremony with a patriotic tribute to the U.S. Navy, followed by opening remarks from Nassau County Legislator Kevan Abrahams and Principal Gregory Bottari about the significance of Flag Day.
“I am very happy to be here with you today,” said Legislator Abrahams. “One, to celebrate Flag Day and show our patriotism to our country, and two, to be a part of [the wellness walk], because walking and exercising strengthens our hearts and allows us to live much longer lives.”

After his address, Mr. Bottari shared a few facts about the flag. “Each color of the flag represents aspects of our country. The white stands for purity and innocence; the red stands for heartiness and valor which means great courage; and the blue is the color of the chief vigilant which means to keep a watchful eye, perseverance and justice.”

The entire school then assembled for the wellness walk through the neighborhood, touting a healthy lifestyle with banners, hats and signs and waving miniature American flags.

On the other side of the district, Bowling Green students, administrators and faculty convened on the front lawn for their ceremony. The school band opened with a set of patriotic songs as the color guard raised the flag, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and the singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” accompanied by the school’s orchestra. One student from each grade read an original piece of writing, such as a poem, personal reflection or essay, sharing what Flag Day means to them. They also delivered a brief presentation about the importance of celebrating Flag Day and saluting the brave men and women who continue to protect this country.

At Parkway Elementary School, students, teachers, administrators and faculty gathered on the school lawn to celebrate Flag Day with patriotic performances from the school’s band and special guest children’s singer and songwriter Rick Charette.
Following the celebration, Mr. Charette visited second-graders in their classrooms to help them develop their own songs. The visits culminated with a schoolwide concert with Mr. Charette, in which the entire second-grade class performed their two newly written songs — “Third Grade, Here We Come” and “Second-Grade Memories.” In addition, Mr. Charette performed his hit songs “I Love Mud,” “Popcorn” and “Going Through the Car Wash,” as well as “I’m an American” and “Our Flag” for the holiday.

Clarke MS Students Place in National History Bee Finals

Two W.T. Clarke Middle School eighth-graders competed in the National History Bee Finals, receiving high honors.  

According to its website, the National History Bee is an academic competition for elementary and middle school students that tests their knowledge of a wide range of historical topics. Divided into three stages, students first complete an online qualifying exam. The top scorers on that exam then compete in the regional finals, and the top finishers in the regional competition advance to the national finals, vying for the title of National History Bee Champion.

Within the competition, Ankit Sayed placed among the top 16 entrants, ranking 12th in the nation, and Arjun Panickssery ranked among the top 64, placing 40th in the nation.
The district congratulates Ankit and Arjun on their success in the finals.

Recycling Through Ecofriendly Stations

East Meadow High School Environmental and Horticulture Clubs educated McVey Elementary School second-graders about the importance of environmental sustainability.


Writers Inspired by Whitman

Fifth-graders at Meadowbrook Elementary School were recognized for their poetry in the 30th Annual Walt Whitman Birthplace Association Young Poets Contest.

The contest encouraged students to write poetry inspired by Walt Whitman. This year’s theme was “There Was a Child Went Forth,” inspired by the poem of that title from Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass.”

The anthology written by Valerie Kasper’s class, titled “Poems Inspired by Walt Whitman,” won the fifth-grade category. In addition, the poems of Madison Dunn, Nicholas Gambina and Shivein Sharma merited first place in the 5-6 grade category.

Meadowbrook’s fifth-grade class, alongside the other winning poets, was honored in an awards ceremony at the Walt Whitman Birthplace State Historic Site in South Huntington on June 5, where they met poet in residence Robert Pinsky, who encouraged them to keep writing and creating.

East Meadow HS Senior Athletes Recognized for Accomplishments


East Meadow High School senior athletes were honored for their achievements on and off the field during the school’s Senior Athletic Awards ceremony on June 9.

The evening began with administrators, coaches, athletic department faculty and families acknowledging every senior from all fall, winter and spring teams. In addition to individual and team awards, students also received scholarships, certificates and awards for their commitment to excellence.

East Meadow High School Athletic Director Kevin Regan commended these students for their dedication and hard work over the course of the year.

“This is an outstanding group of student-athletes who have represented East Meadow High School, their parents and themselves in such a positive matter,” he said. “You have competed hard and well throughout the year…my congratulations to all of you.”

Concluding the ceremony, the Athletic Wall of Fame inductees were formally announced.

The district congratulates these students on their athletic success and wishes them the best in their future endeavors. 

A Year of Accomplishments


The district held its end-of-year awards ceremony on June 8 to recognize its middle and high school students for their outstanding achievements throughout the year.

Central administrators, Board of Education members and faculty from all four schools congratulated the students on their accomplishments in art, athletics, business, journalism, writing, math and science.

As the students accepted their awards, certificates and medals in their respective categories, families and friends applauded their hard work, dedication and perseverance.

The district congratulates these students on a successful school year.

Academic Milestones at Woodland MS


Over the course of the school year, the students of Woodland Middle School have proven their intellect and skill in writing, science and mathematics through a variety of achievements.

Standing out for writing excellence, sixth-grader Christopher Ignatiou and eighth-grader Emily Stea were recognized for placing in the 28th annual World Food Day Essay Contest. Christopher placed third in the intermediate division, while Emily earned an honorable mention in the junior high division. The contest, open to students in grades 1-12 from 46 local schools, was sponsored by Stop World Hunger, which, according to its website, provides food and life-saving aid to children and families of Long Island and works to end global hunger.

Scientific accomplishments abounded at Woodland, with two teams of eighth-graders earning second place and an honorable mention, respectively, for their work at the Long Island Science and Engineering Fair, held in Woodbury.  During the fair, more than 200 middle school students presented their research and in-depth experiments in biology, behavioral science, physics, earth science and mathematics to local universities, scientific institutions and professionals in their related fields.

Continuing the success, an additional set of Woodland Middle School eighth-grade teams were recognized for their science and engineering experiments at the Hicksville Gregory Museum Science and Engineering Expo. Michael Ettinger, Alyssa Fong and Madison Muggeo earned second-place honors, while Vanessa Froehlich, Zahra Lakhani and Jhalak Lund took home third. The competition required students to conduct experiments using the standard scientific method and principles of physics and chemistry to solve a common or uncommon problem. Both teams had to provide a written report describing their projects’ purpose, initial research, experiment details, observations, preparation of data and conclusion. They accompanied their work with a display board that depicted their experimental findings through charts, graphics and diagrams.

At Nassau Community College’s annual Arts and Science Fair, three teams comprised of nine Woodland eighth-graders applied the scientific method to conduct experiments inspired by “What Matters?” This year’s theme urged participants to think about their lives and focus on those aspects that hold the most importance. Eighth-graders Vaishnavi Adupa, Zoya Cheema and Alana Jiminez placed first with their experiment, “The Effect of Aquaponics on Water Purity.” Taking home second were Matthew Owens, Kaamil Saeedullah and Ryan Schneebaum for their work on “The Effect of Gender on Memory.” Alvin Kuruvilla, Michael Walsh and Alexa Wiencek placed third with their project, “The Effect of Light and Location on the Growth Rate of Bacteria.”   

Forty Woodland students excelled in the Long Island Science Congress, Junior Division, held at Saint Anthony’s High School on April 12. During the regional competition, which was sponsored by the Science Teachers Association of New York State, the teams delivered an eight-minute presentation, followed by a question and answer session, on original research they had conducted in chemistry and ecology. Among the list of honorees, eighth-graders Sarena Sahadeo and Mariam Zahran received the highest honors and the Listemela Leadership Award for their work.

Five Woodland eighth-graders medaled in the Al Kalfus Long Island Math Fair. The math fair invites middle and high school students to conduct mathematical projects outside of the traditional math realm, requiring them to develop their own ideas, create an in-depth report and present their work to a panel of judges. Vanessa Froehlich earned a gold medal for her project, “Solids of Revolution,” while Ikshu Pandey took home silver for her work on Pascal’s triangle. Bronze medalists included Alyssa Fong for “Math in Music: Through the Decades” and Ashish Johnson and Lucas Mun for “Math and Architecture.”

The district congratulates these students on a successful school year and applauds each of their accomplishments. 



Knitting for a Cause

Members of Parkway Elementary School’s Knitting Club donated more than 80 hats to patients at Nassau University Medical Center.

Over the course of three months, fourth- and fifth-graders spent their lunch periods knitting small hats to benefit young patients in the pediatric intensive care unit, burn centers, and maternity and neonatal intensive care units.

Representatives from NUMC thanked the students for their thoughtful donations, discussed their involvement with patients and shared how members can volunteer at the hospital.  

In addition, students celebrated their year’s success with an ice cream party and raffles to win knitting baskets and supplies.

Woodland MS Soars in Stock Market Game


Three students at Woodland Middle School won first and second place in the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association’s (SIFMA) 2016 Stock Market Game.

SIFMA is dedicated to fostering knowledge and understanding of the financial markets with a focus on youth. The organization’s Stock Market Game is a curriculum-based program where teams of students in grades 4-12 learn about the global marketplace and long-term saving and investing fundamentals by using hypothetical brokerage accounts. Students work together to build and manage investment portfolios, analyze, strategize and explore their choices for success.

Eighth-grader Aniello Morgillo placed first and Saily Gamez and Sarah McKenzie placed second among 119 teams in the middle school division of the competition. The students invested their money in Apple, Dollar Tree, Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks and Victoria Secret Pink.

The district congratulates these students on their achievements.  

Clarke HS Senior Named Gatorade Softball Player of the Year


Sarah Cornell, a senior at W.T. Clarke High School has been recognized as the 2015-2016 Gatorade New York Softball Player of the Year by the Gatorade Company and USA Today High School Sports.

The accolade distinguishes one winner from the District of Columbia and all 50 states in high school sports for their athletic excellence, high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field.   

“Sarah’s been playing on the varsity team since she was in the seventh grade,” W.T. Clarke HS Athletic Director Joshua Friedman said. “I’ve seen the work and effort she’s put in, and for it to pay off not only in team accomplishments but also in individual accolades, makes me very proud of her.”

For Sarah, who has been playing since the first grade, softball has always been an important aspect of her life, teaching her about friendship, leadership and time management skills. Upon receiving the recognition, she was ecstatic.

“It felt so amazing knowing my hard work has paid off,” she said. “This is a huge accomplishment, and I’m excited to be Gatorade’s Softball Player of the Year.”

The district congratulates Sarah on this tremendous accomplishment and wishes her success as she attends Hofstra University in the fall, where she will continue to play softball.   

Symphonies of Spring


Students throughout the district have been performing seasonal songs and instrumental pieces for faculty, family and community members as part of their schools’ spring concerts.

The programs have featured spring classics such as “Pure Imagination,” “When the Saints Go Marching In” and “Passages,” as well as musical pieces from the Broadway musical “The Lion King.”

Director of Music Kathryn Behr is vastly proud of East Meadow’s music program. “Our students continue to amaze [us] while they practice and grow as musicians, bringing musical enjoyment to our community,” she said.

Easy as pie

Nick Leeb, a seventh-grader at Woodland Middle School placed first in the Long Island Family and Consumer Sciences Professionals’ “Let Them Eat Cake” challenge.

For the challenge, Nick was tasked with creating a unique and artistic cake based on a theme. He was also judged on his presentation of the baking process. His recipe for a low-fat raspberry cheesecake brought him the win and a $100 check.

According to its website, LIFACS Professionals is a subchapter of the New York State Association of Family and Consumer Science Educators, which is an organization specifically designed to further the goals of family and consumer science education in New York State.  

Preparing students for the future


As a culmination of their work this year, seniors at East Meadow High School presented their senior projects to fellow classmates, administrators and faculty.

Members of the Class of 2016 engaged in a real-life experience through an internship or community service placement over the course of the academic year. As part of the initiative, students completed a minimum of 25 hours in their placement, recorded monthly hour logs and wrote a research paper about their experience. The seniors volunteered their time in a variety of vocational fields, including animal care, business, education, health and law.

When presenting at the senior project fair, students discussed what they had learned and how the experience might impact their future as they begin their postsecondary plans.

The district would like to congratulate the students for their dedication and diligence and express its appreciation to the East Meadow High School faculty, staff and administration.     

East Meadow District Spring Art Show


Widespread talent was on display as students in the district were recognized for their artistic abilities at the District Spring Art Show, held May 31 to June 2 at the Leon J. Campo Salisbury Center.

Under the direction of music teachers David Fletcher and Dawn Waters, members of W.T. Clarke Middle School’s and High School’s chamber ensembles performed while students, faculty and family members viewed more than 1,000 pieces of artwork.

Students in grades 1-12 were selected for their creativity in architecture, papier-mâché, painting, drawing and photography.  

District welcomes the FREE Players


The Family Residences and Essential Enterprises (FREE) Players returned to the stage at W.T. Clarke High School on June 4 with a show-stopping performance of “Legally Blonde Jr. The Musical.”

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Cindy Munter welcomed community members, families and residents to the FREE Players’ spring production. “The FREE Players is a one-of-a-kind theatre troupe, embracing the talents of performers of all abilities,” she said.

“Legally Blonde Jr.” follows the transformation of Elle Woods as she challenges stereotypes, snobbery and scandal in pursuit of her dreams. When Elle’s boyfriend, Warner, ends their relationship and heads to Harvard claiming she’s not “serious” enough, Elle takes matter into her own hands. Charming her way into law school, Elle begins outsmarting her peers and realizing law may be her natural calling.  

Clarke MS student qualifies for National History Bee Finals

W.T. Clarke Middle School eighth-grader Ankit Sayed won the National History Bee New York Regional Finals, qualifying him for the National Finals in Chicago, June 9-12.

According to its website, the National History Bee is an academic competition for elementary and middle school students that tests their knowledge of a wide range of historical topics. Divided into three stages, students first complete an online qualifying exam. The top scorers on that exam then compete in the Regional Finals, and the top finishers in the regional competition advance to the National Finals, vying for the title of National History Bee Champion.
Along with competing in the National Finals, Ankit will have an opportunity to participate in a variety of side events, including the Great History Hunt, National Citizenship Bee, Pop Culture Challenge, Family Quiz Night and ACE History World.

The East Meadow eighth-grader also qualified for the U.S. Geography Olympiad’s National Championship through the qualifying test administered at the National History Bee New York Regional Finals.

The district wishes Ankit the best of luck as he advances in the competition.

Fluttering Through the Rain Forest

Naturalist and explorer Steve Fratello visited third-graders at Bowling Green Elementary School to educate them about exotic butterflies and moths with his spectacular collection.

Displaying his shadowboxes filled with tropical specimens from the Amazon, Caribbean and Central America, Mr. Fratello described the anatomy, climate and habitat of these creatures. Students learned that butterflies communicate through their bright wing colors, identify as male and female with their wingspan and use their antennae to smell.   

Mr. Fratello also shared pictures of his expeditions to tropical rain forests in Australia, Costa Rica, New Guinea and Peru, where he had researched and witnessed magnificent butterflies and moths.

EMHS’s Energym excel at the NCC Entrepreneurial Challenge

East Meadow High School’s Energym placed first in the fourth annual Nassau County Comptroller’s Entrepreneurial High School Challenge.

The team comprised of nine business students competed against 20 teams from 13 Nassau County high schools at the Theodore Roosevelt Legislative and Executive Building in Mineola in this year’s entrepreneurial challenge, “StartUp Nassau.”

During the competition, each team presented a business plan and prototype that could benefit local universities and Nassau County to a panel of judges including entrepreneurs, community leaders and Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos.

Energym received $2,500 for winning the competition, provided by HAB Bank for their business plan to manufacture and market a device that stores bicycle’s kinetic energy to power electrical devices.
East Meadow High School Business and Technology Education Chairperson and competition advisor Toni McIntosh congratulate these students for their astonishing accomplishment.

“A job well done to these students for placing first in this prestigious competition as this was only our second time entering since it began in 2012. I am beyond impressed with how well they did.”    

Members of team Energym:

Board of Directors
Victoria Bova – Vice President Marketing
Cameron Ketyer ¬– Chef Executive Officer
Shravan Khanna – General Counsel
Rachel Polansky – Chef Finance Officer
Michelle Romeo – Vice President of Operations

Administrative Team
Shannon Finneran
Nathaniel Mendelson
Rehmat Sakrani
Ramshaa Salian

Tour of veteran artifacts


Fourth- and fifth-graders at Bowling Green Elementary School gained new understanding of veterans’ service to the nation when active duty serviceman James Sanchez and Vietnam War veteran Jimmy Flinn from the Levittown-Island Trees Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9592 visited the school.

Mr. Sanchez and Mr. Flinn brought war artifacts with them for students to examine, discussing which war each artifact was from, how it was used and the progression of military technology to better suit military personnel.

Following the discussion, the students were able to get a closer look at the artifacts and try on helmets, gas masks and tactical vests.  

Jets soar to the next level


Eight East Meadow High School student-athletes took the next step in their academic journeys as they announced their postsecondary plans during the school’s senior athlete commitment ceremony.

Proud family members, friends and administrators surrounded the students as they were individually announced for signing National Letters of Intent to compete at Division I and II schools.

The district congratulates the following students:

Division I
Matt Mascia – University of New Hampshire, football
Crista San Antonio – Providence College, softball  

Division II  
Megan Bender – East Stroudsburg University, lacrosse
Juliane Fitzsimmons – East Stroudsburg University, soccer
Zach Fritz – LIU Post, baseball
Emily Leeb – Kutztown University, lacrosse
Melissa Peysson – Dominican College, lacrosse
Michael Reyes – Dominican College, lacrosse  

Clarke MS students qualify for LISC State Competition


Three teams comprised of eight W.T. Clarke Middle School eighth-graders have qualified to compete in the state competition of the Long Island Science Congress, Junior Division, to be held in Buffalo on June 4.

Sponsored by the Science Teachers Association of New York State, the Long Island Science Congress exhibits the science projects of middle, junior high and senior high school students in Nassau and Suffolk counties. Projects encompass the fields of behavioral science, biology, chemistry, earth, energy, space, ecology and physics.    

To qualify for states, the East Meadow teams conducted original research in chemistry and ecology, along with a three-month experiment. They presented their research at the Long Island Science Congress, Junior Division, held at Saint Anthony’s High School on April 12. The regional competition required them to deliver an eight-minute presentation on their experiments, followed by a Q&A session.   

Sherin Davis and Deeti Patel placed first in chemistry with their experiment, “What is the Effect of Varied Acidic Fertilizers on the Metal Intake of the Filter?” Placing second in the same section were Mark McMahon, Ankit Sayed and June Yeup Seong with their project, “What is the Effect of Temperature on the Efficiency of a Hydrogen Fuel Cell?” Arianna Fracchioni, Ana Pinto and Fardeena Yousuf placed first in ecology with their research project, “What is the Effect of Filter Type on the Hardness and Clarity of Contaminated Water?”

The district wishes all three teams the best of luck as they compete in the state competition.

District Celebrates Red Nose Day

Students, administrators and faculty in the district celebrated Red Nose Day on May 26 to help community members and local families in need.

Red Nose Day, a fundraising campaign organized by the not-for-profit Comic Relief Inc., is on a mission to lift kids out of poverty across all 50 states and 15 international countries through programs that keep them safe, healthy and educated.

Every school in the district collected donations of nonperishable food items for a week and participated in an array of activities that encouraged students and faculty to support this worthy cause.

In addition, the East Meadow Kiwanis and East Meadow Chamber of Commerce supplied red noses for purchase at East Meadow and W.T. Clarke high schools. All proceeds will benefit the organization.

Addressing all participants in the district and community, PTA Council President Donna La Scala said, “Thank you all for your participation and for getting silly during this year’s Red Nose Day.”

Clarke MS Drama Club presents ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’


The W.T. Clarke Middle School Drama Club recently performed “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” a musical based on the Roald Dahl classic.

Enigmatic candy manufacturer Willy Wonka holds a contest for five individuals to tour the Wonka factory and receive a lifetime supply of candy if they find a golden ticket in his delicious candy bars. Four of the five winning children are insufferable brats. Charlie Bucket, the fifth child, is a likeable young boy who takes the tour in the company of his equally amiable grandfather. The children must learn to follow Mr. Wonka’s rules in the factory or suffer the consequences.

Under the direction of faculty members Patricia Hartman and Katie Pienkos, the cast and crew received a standing ovation for their scrumptious performance.

The circus comes to town

Students at Bowling Green Elementary School were entertained by a variety of circus acts when the National Circus Project (NCP) visited the school.

The National Circus Project is an educational outreach program that incorporates circus routines, comedy and audience participation.

With the help of NCP artists Greg Milstein and Natalie Wise, students learned how to spin plates and twirl batons during the performance. The artists also displayed their skills in juggling, riding unicycles and hula hooping.  

An evening of excellence

The Board of Education recognized the accomplishments of community members, students and alumni during its May 19 communication meeting.
Throughout the evening, the W.T. Clarke High School Brass Ensemble, Brass Band and Parkway Elementary School String Quartet performed musical numbers for those gathered in the conference room at the Leon J. Campo Salisbury Center.  
Continuing a tradition set forth by Board trustee Jeffrey Rosenking, the Board and central administration recognized the contributions of community veterans who have served our country. They honored members of American Legion Post 1082 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2736 with the Distinguished Service Award for their service to the country and for providing East Meadow students with a variety of scholarships to continue their education. While the brass ensemble performed the “Armed Forces Medley,” Daniel Carbonare, a veteran with American Legion Post 1082, accepted the award on behalf of both organizations.
The evening continued with the Board, central administration and East Meadow High School Principal Richard Howard acknowledging the recipients of the Girl Scout Gold and Boy Scout Eagle awards for their active citizenship and efforts to make their community and schools a better place.
 “On behalf of East Meadow High School and W.T. Clarke High School, we congratulate these young men and women for their organizational and leadership skills, and for their sense of community that comes from ‘going for the Gold,’” Howard said.  
Following these prestigious awards, East Meadow High School alumnus Dr. Harvey J. Miller was recognized with an award of excellence for his ongoing commitment to ensuring the health and safety of the district’s children. He was presented with the honor by the Board, central administration and Dr. Frank Saracino, a former East Meadow High School principal and district superintendent.
After 12 years, Dr. Miller’s medical work has changed New York State Education Law to allow students with patient-specific prescriptions to carry portable nebulizers for bronchial asthma exasperations anywhere on school grounds before, during and after school hours. The district is in full support of this new law and will now have nebulizers available for students who participate in interscholastic athletics, as well as in before- and after-school activities, on school grounds.  
Dr. Miller is an allergy immunology and asthma specialist who has been practicing medicine for 28 years at Southside Hospital Northwell Health. He founded the Asthma Education and Support Program at Southside and belongs to the hospital’s teaching service pediatric department. In 2015, Southside named him Teacher of the Year and granted him its Community Award for his contributions to teaching and community service.
Concluding the evening, Woodland Middle School Principal James Lethbridge and W.T. Clarke Middle School Principal Stacy Breslin acknowledged the May and June “Terrific Kids.” Sponsored by the East Meadow Kiwanis Club, the Terrific Kids program recognizes sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students who continually improve as individuals, students and members of the community.      

East Meadow social studies teacher awarded by LICSS

East Meadow High School social studies teacher Kara Zahradnik has been named a recipient of the 2016 Long Island Council for the Social Studies Outstanding High School Social Studies Teacher Award.

According to its website, the LICSS is a professional organization comprised of members who are teachers, supervisors, museum educators, librarians and others involved in social studies education in Nassau and Suffolk counties.

Sheena Jacob, social studies department chairperson at East Meadow High School, nominated Ms. Zahradnik because of her knowledge of social studies and current world issues, her inspiration to East Meadow students and her emphasis on the importance of studying history.  

The district congratulates Ms. Zahradnik on achieving this accomplishment and giving her absolute best to the students of East Meadow.  

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Jul 28, 2016