Middle School Students Recognized as ‘Terrific Kids’
At the East Meadow School District’s Nov. 21 Board of Education meeting, Superintendent of Schools Louis R. DeAngelo and board members honored W.T. Clarke and Woodland middle school students with Terrific Kids Awards in recognition of their positive attitude, good character and responsible citizenship during the months of September, October and November.
The Terrific Kids Program is sponsored by the East Meadow Kiwanis Club, which recognizes students in sixth, seventh and eighth grade and presents them with certificates of achievement. W.T. Clarke Middle School Principal Stacy Breslin and Woodland Middle School Principal James Lethbridge were on hand to help present the student awards, along with Board of Education trustee Brian O'Flaherty, who also serves as treasurer to the East Meadow Kiwanis.
Thanksgiving Spirit on Display
In celebration of the Thanksgiving season, students at Meadowbrook and McVey elementary schools performed in school plays.
On Nov. 26, Meadowbrook kindergarten students, led by their teacher Maria Balsamo, recited lines describing the events that led up to the first Thanksgiving. Dressed in costumes reflective of the Native Americans and Pilgrims, students sang songs and performed the "turkey wobble" dance.
The following day, all McVey first-graders performed their school play, which again included students reciting the events that led to the first Thanksgiving. Also dressed as Native Americans and Pilgrims, students sang several Thanksgiving songs and spoke about the things they were thankful for this season, including their friends and families.
Thanksgiving Food Drives
Students at Bowling Green and Parkway elementary schools collected nonperishable food items throughout November for annual food drives at their respective schools this Thanksgiving season.
Bowling Green fifth-grade teacher Richard Santer, who also serves as adviser of the Bowling Green K-Kids club, said club members spearheaded the food drive. Through the generosity of students, a variety of canned goods, boxed pasta and other items were collected. Students prepared gift bags of food, which were donated to six families.
This year, Parkway Elementary collaborated with Island Harvest, Long Island’s largest hunger relief organization, on a “Strike Out Hunger” food drive for Long Island families.
Students donated various canned goods, pastas, cereals and other items to help those who are in need this holiday season. This was the school’s first year working with Island Harvest, and one which students and faculty said they will always remember.
Pre-K Registration Flyer and Important Dates
Cultural Arts Group Visits Students
Just before the Thanksgiving holiday, fourth-grade students at Barnum Woods Elementary School engaged in educational workshops hosted by Journeys into American Indian Territory, a cultural arts group that offers educational programs on Native American culture to schools in the New York tri-state area.
Presenters Maddi Cheers and Uaian Bruno kicked off the two-day program on Nov. 26 with an introductory film called “The Eastern Woodlands,” which clarified a variety of questions still asked about Native American culture today and focused on how Native Americans used to live years ago. During the program, students learned that Native Americans are spiritual people and as part of their culture, they always give thanks on a continual basis. In recognition of Thanksgiving, students were asked to name three people who have made their lives better, and to give thanks for their friends, families and loved ones.
A number of workshops were held over the course of the program, with classes focused on Native American art, storytelling and cultural games. Students were also offered the opportunity to visit an in-school Native American “museum,” where they were able to handle authentic artifacts and learn of their historical importance. The fourth-graders took away a wealth of knowledge from the workshops and look forward to a return visit from Journeys into American Indian Territory.
Woodland MS Presents Mural
On Nov. 22, the Art Club at Woodland Middle School presented a student-made mural of scenes from “The Nutcracker” to the Eglevsky Ballet Company of Long Island, a nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching Long Island and its surrounding communities through the presentation and training of ballet.
Woodland Art Club adviser Dr. John Healy said that last spring, he asked his students if there were any organizations that they or their parents were affiliated with that would be receptive of a mural. Current seventh-grade student Leah Von Ohlen, a dancer at Eglevsky Ballet, suggested Woodland create a mural for Eglevsky Ballet.
Students completed the artwork in November. Previous murals have been completed for other companies and organizations, including the Nassau County Legislature, American Airlines and the Cradle of Aviation Museum on Long Island.
Laszlo Berdo, artistic director of the Eglevsky Ballet Company, Nassau County Legislature Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves and Woodland Middle School Principal James Lethbridge were on hand for the unveiling of the mural.
EMHS Inducts New Members into National Honor Society
In what made for a memorable ceremony, a total of 123 new members were recently inducted into the East Meadow High School Chapter of the National Honor Society.
At the 54th annual induction ceremony at Milleridge Cottage in Jericho, N.Y., parents, faculty, administrators, Board of Education members and current NHS members gathered to recognize new members, who were selected based on their ability to maintain high standards of scholarship, service, leadership and character. Inductees will now join their fellow members in upholding these principles by working to better their school and local community through civic involvement, volunteer activities and adherence to the highest standards of morality and ethics.
Superintendent of Schools Louis R. DeAngelo congratulated new members on their induction and encouraged them to continue to strive for excellence in all their endeavors and to lead by example.
“The choices you’ve made and the actions you’ve taken have earned you a place of honor in this prestigious society,” Mr. DeAngelo said. “By your actions and your commitment to excellence, you have earned the distinction of membership in a society to which only approximately 10 percent of students nationally gain entry. Enjoy this evening among your parents, friends, teachers and administrators and revel in the sense of accomplishment which is rightfully yours.”
After being congratulated by Mr. DeAngelo and East Meadow High School Principal Richard Howard, the new members received honorary certificates from NHS advisers Evelyn Sideri and Kim Themistocleous and were officially inducted. NHS Executive Board members Hassan Alam, Katrina Bamba, Dharsan Chandrakumar, Ali Francese, Rabihah Huda, Dominique Richards and Nathan Siegelaub officiated over the ceremony.
Ms. Sideri and Ms. Themistocleous offered closing remarks, once again congratulating new members on this milestone accomplishment.
SADD Club Raises Funds for a Good Cause
On Nov. 12, the Students Against Destructive Decisions Club at Woodland Middle School donated $100 to the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping individuals, families and members of the workplace prevent or recover from alcoholism or other drug addictions.
SADD adviser and Woodland health teacher Jill Feinman said students raised the funds by making rubberband bracelets and selling them at McVey Elementary School’s first annual 5K and one-mile fun run on Oct. 27 and at Woodland Middle School’s Halloween dance.
At the club’s Nov. 12 meeting, Lisa Ganz, student assistance program coordinator at LICADD, was on hand to accept the check donation and speak with students about the dangers of drugs. Ms. Ganz and students discussed the signs and symptoms of drug use, how students can educate themselves on the effects of drugs, and the importance of a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.
W.T. Clarke High School Presents ‘Smoke and Mirrors’
The W.T. Clarke High School Drama Club presented two riveting performances of its drama production “Smoke and Mirrors” on Nov. 22 and 23.
The production, a collection of one-act plays, included performances of “The Sequel” and “His Return” by Percival Wilde, “Fourteen” by Alice Gerstenberg, “Porcelain and Pink” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, “A Matter of Husbands” by Ferenc Molnar and “The Game” by Louise Bryant.
Both performances were well-attended and drew rave reviews from members of the community and school district. W.T. Clarke High School’s “Smoke and Mirrors” will be remembered for years to come.
Woodland Middle School Raises Bullying Awareness
Woodland Middle School in the East Meadow School District recently hosted Ryan’s Story, an anti-bullying program based on Ryan Halligan, a 13-year-old middle school student from Vermont who committed suicide on Oct. 7, 2003 because of bullying and cyberbullying.
At the assembly at Woodland, Ryan’s father John Halligan spoke with eighth-grade students about his son’s life and the humiliation he endured by peers at school and on the Internet, as well as the devastating impact that his son’s suicide has had on his family and the importance and power of forgiveness.
John Halligan, a vocal supporter for more education and prevention of bullying, cyberbullying and teen suicide across and outside of the U.S., spearheaded the Vermont Bully Prevention bill, which was signed into law in 2004. He also led the passage of the law pertaining to mandatory suicide prevention education in public schools in 2006.
The assembly is an example of the district’s commitment to supporting the social and emotional learning and development of all K-12 students in an effort to make schools safe and foster a caring climate while enhancing motivation and high achievement.
Superintendent’s Conference Day
Faculty and staff throughout the East Meadow School District gathered at their respective schools on Nov. 5 for Superintendent’s Conference Day. The workshop topic discussed in each of the buildings was “The Nature of Learning.”
Using the text “Enhancing Professional Practice: A Framework for Teaching” by Charlotte Danielson as a point of reference, faculty explored the types of teaching skills required at higher levels of performance through discussion of planning and practice, and considered how levels of practice align with the Common Core Learning Standards.
While paired in groups, teachers participated in various exercises, including listing the attributes they felt are characteristic of a quality teacher and quality instruction.
Principals and staff also discussed top priorities for teaching in the classroom, including designing instruction to allow students to build upon their knowledge and understanding of material. They also discussed the importance of engaging students with challenging learning activities that require them to think deeply and apply what they’ve learned.