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Tying a Knot for Survival

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Fifth-graders of Bowling Green Elementary School made paracord “survival” bracelets through Operation Gratitude for U.S. troops and first responders.
    
According to its website, Operation Gratitude annually sends more than 200,000 care packages filled with food, entertainment, hygiene and handmade items as well as personal letters of appreciation to veterans, first responders, wounded heroes, new recruits and active U.S. service members deployed overseas.
    
Each student of Jennifer Abshire’s class braided parachute cords to create a bracelet that can withstand 550 pounds of weight. When unraveled, the bracelets can provide eight feet of strong rope or string in emergency situations. The outer sheath and inner strings of the bracelets can be used as a sling or tied on a splint, as a tripwire, to make nets and traps, or as thread to stitch wounds.
    
Additionally, each fifth-grader attached a personalized message thanking the servicemen and women for their service to our country.      

Seniors receive visit from Rep. Kathleen Rice

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East Meadow High School seniors received a special visit from Rep. Kathleen Rice on Nov. 22.
    
The 12th-graders in the college-level Contemporary Business, Advanced Placement Government, and AP Comparative Government and Politics classes attended an in-school assembly featuring Rice, who discussed her experiences as a Congresswoman, District Attorney and Public Servant.
    
Following, Rice answered students’ questions about the recent election, her passion for public service and how she became involved in politics.  

Visit from Vietnam Vets

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The W.T. Clarke Middle School student government received a special visit from members of the Vietnam War Veterans Association on Nov. 23.
    
The visit, coordinated by student government advisors Marge Sweeney and Lisa Scully, gave the students an opportunity to learn about the hardships of the Vietnam War. The servicemen discussed the extreme weather conditions, shared their memories and experiences during the war, and circulated authentic materials used by soldiers such as helmets, photo albums and vests.
    
The veterans also held a question-and-answer session to address students’ inquiries about life in Vietnam.

Pre-K Registration/Pre-K dates and Kindergarten Registration Information

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An Evening of Excellence in East Meadow

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Community members, staff and students were recognized during the District Board of Education communication meeting on Nov. 17. Among them, the Board honored Gerald Caldera for his service in World War II, Woodland Middle School for receiving the “Inviting School” award from the International Alliance for Invitational Education (IAIE), and sixth- through eighth-graders from both Woodland and W.T. Clarke middle schools for being named “Terrific Kids.”  
    
During this celebratory meeting, the violin, flute and brass ensembles from Woodland Middle School performed for members of the Board of Education, administration, faculty and community.
    
The evening proceeded with the honoring of East Meadow resident Caldera, who served during WWII in the European Theater of Operations as part of the third army under General George Patton, receiving the Distinguished Service Award, a recognition bestowed by the district’s Board of Education to honor veterans in the community for their loyalty and devoted service to our country. In addition Caldera served the East Meadow Schools as an educator for 26 years.  
    
The Board also acknowledged Woodland Middle School for receiving the “Inviting School” distinction by the IAIE for its extraordinary teachers, administrators and faculty who create a sense of family and respect within the school community. According to its website, the IAIE recognizes schools, districts and universities that have demonstrated exceptional implementation of invitational education philosophies.  
    
“This is one of the most prestigious, one-of-a-kind awards that can be given to a school,” said Superintendent of Schools Leon J. Campo. “The work that the [Woodland] staff have done over the years to evolve the welcome wagon for children to grow, learn and want to be in school every day is truly remarkable of the Woodland family.”
    
During the meeting, members of the Woodland staff gave a presentation about how the school continues to create an environment that encourages both staff and students to realize their valued potential.
    
Closing the evening, the Board and middle school Principals James Lethbridge and Stacy Breslin presented certificates of recognition to the September, October and November middle school “Terrific Kids.” The Terrific Kids program is sponsored by the East Meadow Kiwanis to recognize sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students who continuously improve as individuals, students and leaders of the community.

Kindness from Kiwanis Kids

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The Kiwanis club at Bowling Green Elementary School held a Thanksgiving food drive from Nov. 1-17 that yielded roughly 800 pounds of donations for families in the community.

Bowling Green staff and students were encouraged to donate canned goods and nonperishable items such as canned corn, beans, rice, pasta and soup. Each week during the drive, the Kiwanis members collected the donated goods from each classroom.

On Nov. 18, the members of the Kiwanis board gathered to sort through the donations and prepare boxes for local families to celebrate the holiday.




Spreading Roots of Kindness

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In honor of Unity Day on Oct. 19, the staff and student body of the East Meadow School District joined together to take a stance against bullying by creating a unity tree in the Leon J. Campo Salisbury Center.

Throughout the day, students, teachers, faculty members and central administrators signed leaves as a pledge to be upstanders and put an end to bullying within their community.

With more than 75 leaves signed and collected, members of the W.T. Clarke High School Art Honor Society pasted the foliage on a 16-by-12-foot painting in the Salisbury Center’s conference room. The tree symbolizes kindness, togetherness and partnership across the district.        

At the building level, schools celebrated Unity Day by creating their own trees, rainbow arches and hosting Mix-It-Up Days during their lunch periods, where students sat with peers they didn’t know in order to cultivate new friendships.

Helping Others One Lap at a Time

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Parkway Elementary School held its second annual Turkey Trot fundraiser on Nov. 10 to help families have a bountiful Thanksgiving.

Since September, students in kindergarten through fifth grade trained for the event by running laps outdoors during their gym classes to improve their running times. In honor of this year’s race, students were encouraged to bring in canned goods and nonperishable items to assist Island Harvest in providing families on Long Island with a delicious Thanksgiving meal.   

On the day of the fundraiser, students in grades 3-5 ran 12 minutes around the building, while those in K-2 completed the run in the gymnasium. Before they started the run, the students dropped off their donations in marked receptacles.

To keep their energy and spirits up, members of the Parkway PTA cheered the students on and helped them stay hydrated by handing them cups of water as they ran.     




Hearts of Gold

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Students at Meadowbrook Elementary School raised awareness for pediatric cancer research by participating in the schoolwide Whip Pediatric Cancer Heart of Gold program.
    
According to its website, the program was established to put an end to pediatric cancer by spreading awareness and raising funds for pediatric cancer research.  
    
Beginning Oct. 19, children received a gold paper heart and were asked to return the heart filled with a colorful design and the recommended donation of $1.
    
More than $400 was raised over the course of two weeks and donated to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and the hearts were arranged in the lobby to demonstrate Meadowbrook’s efforts in the fight against pediatric cancer.

Going for the Gold

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East Meadow High School seniors Paul Imperiale and Nicole Kane have been recognized as school and state winners, respectively, in the Wendy’s High School Heisman program.
    
According to its website, the program was established in 1994 through a partnership between Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas and the Heisman Memorial Trophy Trust, host and custodians of the Heisman Memorial Trophy, and recognizes and honors high school seniors who strive for excellence in the classroom, on the playing field and through community involvement.
    
To qualify for entrance into the competition, students must maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher, be leaders within their school and community, and perform in one of the 43 school-sponsored sports recognized by the International Olympic Committee in the Summer and Winter Olympic Games or the National Federation of State High School Associations. After submitting an application, participants undergo the selection process and are named either a school winner, state finalist, state winner, national finalist or national winner.
    
Imperiale was acknowledged as a school winner for his athleticism as a linebacker on the high school football team, and received a certificate of distinction and Wendy’s High School Heisman patch. Kane was designated a state winner for her talents as a defensive field hockey player, receiving a silver medal, Wendy’s High School Heisman State Winner patch, $50 Wendy’s gift card and $1,000 college scholarship.
    
The district congratulates both students for excelling within the district and community and earning this distinguished recognition.  

Saluting our Soldiers

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In observance of Veterans Day, Barnum Woods Elementary School kindergartners received a special visit from veteran Master Sergeant Peter Gong while sophomores at East Meadow High School participated in an assembly with members of the Vietnam War Veterans Association on Long Island.

Wearing patriotic colors and carrying miniature American flags, kindergartners gathered in the school’s small gymnasium, where they learned about the different branches of government, the embellishments on Master Sgt. Gong’s uniform and what the colors on the American flag represent.

As a thank-you for his service and dedication to the country, the entire Barnum Woods kindergarten class presented Master Sgt. Gong with an American flag they had created. The flag’s red and white stripes consisted of construction paper hand cutouts that bore the name of each student.       

Across the district, sophomores heard Vietnam Veterans speak about patriotism and acts of service to the nation. Veterans also shared their experiences from Vietnam and discussed hardships of the war, including serving duty overseas in extreme weather conditions of steaming hot temperatures and monsoons. Providing a firsthand look at the war, they circulated authentic materials used by soldiers such as helmets, vests, books, photo albums and enemy equipment.

In turn, the students expressed their gratitude to the veterans for serving the country and devoting their lives to protecting the freedoms of the United States. 

Journey Around the Continents

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Students in third through fifth grade at Bowling Green Elementary School recently embarked on a voyage to different continents with the help of Michael “Mr. Mike” Harrold of Jambo Productions.

Gathered in the all-purpose room, students journeyed to South America, North America and Asia to learn about the history, geography and multiculturalism of each land.

Through Mr. Mike’s pictures, personal accounts and artifacts, the students examined the native insects, animals, fashions and lifestyles of people around the world. In South America, for example, they studied beetles, vampire bats, butterflies, howler monkeys and three-toed sloths; examined photos of a suspension bridge in Peru that crosses through the Amazon rainforest; and touched a shoe created out of an old car tire.    

By opening their eyes to the world around them, the students discovered how similar people are despite cultural differences.

Lending a Helping Hand in the Parkway Garden

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Students of Parkway Elementary School lent a helping hand in a schoolwide mural painting constructed by art teacher Franceska Baer. During art class, students in kindergarten through fifth grade assisted Ms. Baer in the enormous garden mural by leaving their handprint in the foliage, and in the roots and stems of the roses.  

District Staff Convenes for Superintendent’s Conference Day

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East Meadow administrators, teachers and staff assembled on Nov. 8 to participate in workshops led by academic professionals and district faculty during Superintendent’s Conference Day.
    
Superintendent of Schools Leon J. Campo commended the instructional staff for their hard work during the beginning of the school year and their continued effort to give their best to the children of the district.
    
Grouped according to subject area, educators attended workshops modeled after this year’s theme, “Planning with a Purpose: A Deep Dive into Curriculum, Part II,” designed to emphasize the importance of education and provide educators with effective teaching strategies for student success. Teachers collaborated to learn new strategies, methods and tools for higher student engagement in the classroom.
    
Among the workshops educators attended included grade level collaboration meetings, STEAM – science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics – learning platforms, writing standards, designing curriculum maps, 21st century learning classrooms, Microsoft Office 365 training and scope and sequence in areas of business, technology, and family and consumer science.

The Parkway Third-grade Class President is…

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Amidst the election season, Parkway Elementary School third-graders held their own election on Nov. 7 to decide who would be president of the school’s third-grade class.
    
As part of the social studies curriculum, all third-grade classes studied the election process, including the history of voting and how it has progressed over the years, the responsibilities of voters, and the difference between electoral and popular votes. Among the classes, the students were divided into the electoral college representing “electors” from one of the 50 states. Third-graders created signs, researched interesting and unique facts specific to their state, and decided which candidate they would vote for prior to the election.
    
The grade’s candidates included presidential nominees Ian Schub and Julian Morales and their respective vice presidential running mates, Jonathan Almendares and Timothy Diep.
    
On the day of the election, the third-graders gathered in the all-purpose room with their posters and signs to determine who would be class president. As each state representative shared their electoral votes and unique fact, the remaining students colored the state on their map of the United States — red for Schub and blue for Morales. Schub and Almendares came out the victors, winning the spots for president and vice president of their grade.

Musical Numbers Full of Love

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Members of the East Meadow community gathered at W.T. Clarke High School on Nov. 5 for the FREE Players’ production of “The Broadway Classics with Twenty Years of Love,” a medley of the talented group’s original music and Broadway classics.
    
“The FREE Players returned to the district for another terrific performance,” said Superintendent of Schools Leon J. Campo of the acting troupe, which consists of individuals who have special needs. “They have inspired us because they are so successful at dealing with challenges, developing their abilities and, ultimately, sharing their talents with all of us.”   
    
The production, directed by FREE Players directors Bridget Livingston and Steven Jackson with set creation by Jillian Brunner and the BayWay Crew, had the audience singing, clapping and dancing along to hit songs from Broadway musicals including “The Wizard of Oz,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Les Miserables” and “Rent.”   
    
In addition, Hempstead Town Clerk Nasrin Ahmad, former New York State Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg and Campo presented a certificate of recognition, on behalf of Town of Hempstead Supervisor Anthony Santino and the Hempstead Town Board, to Jessica Gallone. Gallone, the Senior Director of Supports and Development at Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, was recognized for her work in the community and with the FREE Players.  

East Meadow Students Cast their Vote

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Across the district, East Meadow students participated in the election fun by casting their vote for the next President of the United States.

On Nov. 4, East Meadow High School students took to the “polls” to vote for the next president of the United States during the school’s mock election, sponsored by the school’s Social Studies Honor Society and Model Congress.

Through the collaboration of the two school organizations and support from the social studies department, all social studies classes engaged in discussions about the presidential election and the four running mates prior to voting. During these discussions, the students received brochures created by Denise Lutz’s AP U.S. Government and Politics class that highlighted the candidates’ positions on key issues such as health care, climate change and immigration.

On the day of the election, students in grades 9-12 received a ballot and were asked to vote for the leader they wished to see in office. A total of 1,346 high school students took part in the mock election.

Meadowbrook Elementary School students participated in the school’s mock presidential election by casting their vote for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump on Nov. 7.

Prior to the event, classes learned about the election process, including the difference between electoral and popular votes, candidates’ qualifications for running and the importance of having the right to vote.

During lunch periods, students in grades K-3 assembled in the main lobby to turn in their paper ballots, while fourth- and fifth-graders selected their preferred candidate in privacy booths.  

All who took part received an “I Voted” sticker to commemorate their civic duty of being an informed and enlightened citizen.  





Where We Still Stand and Why – A Message from the Board of Education and Superintendent of Schools

New York State has released the data regarding the 2015-16 State assessment results. In anticipation of community questions regarding these scores and the ongoing state assessment testing, the Board of Education has authorized the publication of this position paper.
•  The district continues to deem the NYS Assessments and those proposed to continue under the new federal law Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to be excessive and not in the best interests of the grades three through eight student body. The loss of creative, productive teacher/student time continues to be underestimated by the testing zealots.
•  The NYS Section 3012-d APPR, recently negotiated with the East Meadow Teachers Union, is a non-merit based professional accountability plan. The moratorium for applying ratings to professional staff for career purposes is seen as a delaying tactic to appease critics while ignoring the fatal flaws in the evaluation program.  However, by negotiating the new APPR, the threat of loss of NYS financial aid is eliminated.
•  The school district will continue to urge that the federal government not follow the “leadership” of Dr. King, U.S. Education Secretary, in downgrading and negatively labeling schools that have an opt-out rate greater than 5 percent. In addition, we will continue to urge State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia and the Board of Regents to develop a plan that works for students, teachers and parents –  a plan that, at its center, recognizes the importance of our students in the educational growth process.

More Thoughts About Testing
We know that our “opt-out” rate more than doubled from 2014-15 to 2015-16 to more than 50 percent of the eligible three through eight student body. Our teachers’ union, for the first time, officially endorsed the “opt-out” movement.
The tests this year were untimed and contained fewer questions.  However, the exams were only cosmetically changed. We emphasize that we have no legal alternative but to continue to test in grades three through eight.
What we have learned during the four years of excessive student testing is to remain focused on student learning objectives/standards.  Our district developed “reflective assessments” that are given to students throughout the year with the goal of gaining insight as to the strengths and weaknesses of each student in a wide range of curricula.
These locally developed ungraded “tests” are used by teachers and administration in collaboration as to how to improve instruction and student learning. Teacher by teacher, classroom by classroom, department by department, grade level by grade level within a school and across the district, we share and learn from one another to help our students. This non-competitive but collaborative approach binds our professional staff in positive ways and immeasurably enhances educational performance.  In addition, our professional development opportunities provide the basis for continued growth for our administrative and teaching staff to the ultimate benefit of our students. This professional togetherness is a big key to our success.

How Did We Do?

After years of testing, the statewide proficiency rate is 37.9 percent in ELA and 39.1 percent in math. For the 2015-16 school year, the percentage of East Meadow students reaching proficiency was 67 percent in ELA and 72 percent in math, much higher than the statewide average.
Our students are benefiting from the close working partnership of our teachers and administrators.  Ms. Cindy Munter, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, and our curriculum area directors are leaders in this striving for student progress. They deserve our praise. Also, every elementary and middle school professional deserves special credit for helping each of our students grow and learn. We have a long way to go as our work continues.  As a school district, we should be particularly proud of our dedicated professional staff.


Lead Remediation Update

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East Meadow HS Jets soar at homecoming

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Students, administrators and community members of the district filled the East Meadow High School stadium with cheers and applause on Oct. 29 as the Jets defeated Syosset High School, 51-26.

Although the annual homecoming parade was canceled the week prior due to severe weather conditions, homecoming attendees were able to participate in festivities before kickoff at the school’s PTSA fundraiser on Saturday Oct. 29 held at Burger King on Hempstead Turnpike. Guests were welcomed to play games, win prizes and have their faces painted, with all proceeds benefiting future college scholarships and the PTSA.  

During the game, Jets quarterback Anthony LaRosa had 14 carries for 181 yards and five touchdowns, and running back Joe Matchekosky had 13 carries for 68 yards and scored two touchdowns. As for defense, linebackers Paul Imperiale and Kyle Barker each had a sack. Imperiale also had eight tackles and Barker blocked a punt for a safety.

At halftime, the cheerleaders, Rockettes kickline team and marching band gave a spectacular performance and received a standing ovation from the crowd. Carlos Villafuerte and Isabella Oliverio were announced as homecoming king and queen, joining this year’s homecoming court of David Hellman, Joe Franzese, Nicole Leary, Olivia Megale, Sonali Persaud and Lauren Schiffer. Halftime also featured the display of custom floats created by each high school class, which included “The Cat in the Hat” by the seniors, “Winnie the Pooh” by the juniors, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by the sophomores and “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by the freshmen.

Special Message to the E.M. Community

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Community Residents, please see attached report regarding air quality in the H Wing at East Meadow High School. Report states that environment is safe for students and staff.

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Trick-or-Treat at East Meadow High School

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East Meadow High School students got into the spirit for the district’s Safe Halloween event by decorating the school hallways for younger children in the district and their families to safely trick-or-treat.

The school’s Students Against Destructive Decisions club invited varsity sports teams, organizations and other clubs from the high school to volunteer their time to dress in costume, design hallways with Halloween-themed games and activities, and hand out candy to young trick-or-treaters. Hundreds of young children walked the hallways dressed as princesses, superheroes, police officers and Pokemon characters.  

Hallway themes included the tropics, which young children did the limbo through; princesses and pirates, where students posed for photos in princess face cutouts and pirate ships; and sports arenas, where children could dunk a basketball and receive a prize for every basket they scored.



W.T. Clarke HS Senior Named a Siemens Semifinalist

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Alby Joseph, the Class of 2017 valedictorian of W.T. Clarke High School has been recognized as a semifinalist in the 2016 Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology. This program, sponsored by the Siemens Foundation, is considered to be the nation’s premier research competition for high school students.
    
“My heart was racing when I found out I was a semifinalist,” Joseph said. “I was receiving recognition for doing something that I loved, and all the hard work I had done had finally paid off.”
    
Joseph was among 498 semifinalists who were recognized from over 1,600 projects submitted nationally. During the summer entering his senior year, he interned in a laboratory at Stony Brook University, where he looked at a new way of treating pain by attacking a certain protein. After learning about the Siemens competition through the internship and receiving hearty support from his research teacher, Erika Rotolo, Joseph submitted his project, titled “Optimized Fatty Acid Binding Protein Inhibitors Investigating the Viability of a Novel Pain Relief Mechanism.”
    
“Alby is a wonderful student to teach and have in class,” said Ms. Rotolo. “I am incredibly proud of his accomplishment in the competition and know he will do great things.”
    
Aside from his love of science, Joseph has another passion — music. Playing the cello since he was a fourth-grader at Bowling Green Elementary School, he gained confidence by making music, being creative and using music as an outlet to unwind from the everyday pressures of school work, extracurricular activities and the anticipation of college. Additionally, he serves as president of the school’s Tri-M Music, Science and National honor societies. He is also a member of the Math Honor Society, the school newspaper, Mathletes, Science Olympiad, and has performed in the pit orchestra for the last three years in the school’s plays.
    
This September, Joseph was recognized as a semifinalist in the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program. Approximately 1.6 million students entered the competition by taking the 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Semifinalists are recognized with a selection index score based on their combined scores in critical reading, mathematics and writing.  
    
While in college, Joseph plans to study chemical engineering.
    
The East Meadow School District commends Joseph for achieving this honorable distinction and wishes him tremendous success as he finishes his senior year and pursues his interests in college.      

District Welcomes Back Williams to Administrative Role

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The East Meadow School District has appointed Arthur Williams as the Assistant to the Superintendent for Administration and Special Projects, effective Sept. 1, replacing Patrick Pizzo, who has become the district’s Assistant Superintendent for Business and Finance.
    
Williams began his educational career in 2004 as an intern in East Meadow for the Assistant Superintendent for Business. Among his responsibilities, he documented capital equipment to be included in the district budget, reviewed investment procedures, bond reports and state aid reporting, and shadowed the business administrator. He went on to become the district’s Internal Auditor, processing audits of custodial supplies, payroll, monthly expenditures and budget transfers. He later advanced to Assistant Business Administrator, a position he held for four years in which he reached tenure in the district and assisted in the development of a the district’s school budget. He also closed out energy performance bonds and prior bond construction, as well as supported payroll, technology, transportation and procurement functions.
    
In 2009, Williams became the Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Administrative services in the Kings Park Central School District. There, he coordinated, tracked and managed a $76 million general fund budget and was responsible for business functions, operations, non-instructional staff, transportation, school lunch and athletics.    
    
Following, he served as the Executive Director of Finance and Operations in the West Babylon Union Free School District, coordinating and assisting in the reconstruction of the South Bay Elementary School after a devastating disaster. He also maintained the district’s business and operational matters. Among his key accomplishments in West Babylon, he refinanced high-interest construction bonds, reducing the bond debt services, increased purchasing efficiencies with cooperative purchasing programs, reduced yearly summer procurement costs, and reduced yearly copier costs.  
    
Mr. Williams holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics and political science from York College, a Master of Public Administration in fiscal policy from John Jay College and an Advanced Certificate in School Business Leadership from LIU Post.

Accepting Rachel’s Challenge

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Woodland Middle School sixth-graders learned about creating a positive and bully-free school environment by participating in Rachel’s Challenge.

After the 1999 tragedy at Columbine High School, Rachel’s Challenge was established to inspire and equip every person to create a permanent, positive change in their school through assemblies, team building exercises and the acceptance of others.

Sixth-graders began their day with an assembly led by Rachel Scott’s uncle Larry Scott, who educated the students about Rachel’s story of spreading kindness, dreaming big and starting a chain reaction of positive change. At the conclusion of the assembly, Scott gave the students five challenges to complete during the school year: look for the best in others, dream big, choose positive influences, speak with kindness and start your own chain reaction.

Members of the school’s organization Friends for Rachel participated in student leader training, also led by Scott, to assist students in making the club more productive. Scott inspired club members to help spread Rachel’s message by creating positive banners around the school and activities to engage students in compassionate acts.  

Rounding out the day, East Meadow High School students visited sixth-grade classrooms to conduct lessons about the six pillars of character – trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. The middle school students were also asked to acknowledge the positive people in their lives and consider the impact a single compliment can have on someone.  




Blast from the Past

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Fourth-graders at Bowling Green Elementary School traveled back more than 2,000 years with the help of Journeys into American Indian Territory to learn about the civilization of American Indians.

The in-school field trip immersed students in American Indian culture with a museum display of tools and clothing that helped communities gather food, hunt, build wigwams, and protect themselves from wild animals and extreme weather conditions.

Guided by presenters Maddi Cheers and Marianna Franzese Chasen, students established their own Iroquois government among their classmates. They were divided into groups and asked to select one leader based on the qualities of kindness, equality and open-mindedness to assist in leading their village.  

The fourth-graders also re-enacted the lives of American Indian children by playing games, reading authentic stories, creating clay pots and dancing to traditional music.   




Party in the Pumpkin Patch

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Amidst the fall season, the Bowling Elementary School PTA held a pumpkin patch festival for kindergartners to pick and decorate their own pumpkins.

Gathered eagerly on the front lawn, the young students ran toward scattered pumpkins, picking their favorites from a wide selection. Afterward, they took part in photo opportunities with bales of hay and scarecrow face cutouts.

The festivities wound down in the all-purpose room, where the students and their parents enjoyed refreshments and decorated their pumpkins with Halloween themed-stickers and pipe cleaners.



Tying the Knot for a Healthy Life

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In observance of Red Ribbon Week, which kicked off Oct. 17, Parkway and Meadowbrook elementary schools hosted a week of festivities to reinforce lessons on the importance of living a healthy and drug-free lifestyle.

Meadowbrook’s students were encouraged to dress up in fancy clothing, interesting hats and hairstyles, mismatched outfits and patriotic colors in accordance with their Red Ribbon spirit week.

At both schools, PTA members and social workers displayed drug-free messages along the fences, on which students and staff could tie red ribbons. By tying the knot, students pledged to make healthy choices and avoid drugs. Parkway’s slogan was “Hands Off Drugs,” while Meadowbrook’s declared “Vote No for Drugs.”

In addition, fourth- and fifth-graders from both schools planted red tulip bulbs around the buildings’ grounds to symbolize their ongoing commitment to remaining drug-free and living a healthy lifestyle. 



Events in New York City

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Fire Safety at Meadowbrook

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Meadowbrook Elementary School students learned valuable fire safety tips from local firefighters during the school’s annual fire prevention program.

Gathered in the cafeteria, the firefighters discussed the importance of having working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their homes, establishing an escape route and creating a designated meeting location with family, as well as assisting firefighters when they arrive to the scene.

Following the presentation, students were able to examine the equipment on fire trucks and learn about the tools firefighters use to extinguish fires.



Fall 2016 Steps to Learning Newsletter now available!

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Beautifying Bowling Green

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As the seasons change, students of Bowling Green Elementary School are beautifying their school by sprucing up their surroundings.

With the help of the PTA, the students enhanced their school’s sidewalks and curbs with colorful flowers. Wearing gardening gloves and using shovels, they planted mums, pansies and perennials.



Woodland MS Student Poem Published

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Yana Vilchynskaya, a seventh-grader at Woodland Middle School in the East Meadow School District, has been named a winner in the America Library of Poetry 2016 National Student Poetry Contest.
    
According to its website, the America Library of Poetry is dedicated to the expression of creativity through writing and provides an outlet for students to share their thoughts, feelings and experiences.
    
Titled “Accomplished,” this year’s contest invited students across the United States to submit an original 20-line poem on any subject and style they prefer.
    
Yana’s poem, “We’ve Always Been Grown Up,” earned her an Amazon gift card and publication in the 2016 Student Poetry Compilation, which publishes less than 20 percent of all contest entries.
    
The district congratulates Yana on this literary achievement.     
    

WTCHS Student Named Semifinalist in the Siemens Science Talent Search

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The East Meadow School District is proud to announce that W.T. Clarke High School student Alby Joseph has been named a semifinalist in the Siemens Competition for Math, Science and Technology, the nation’s premier science research competition for high school students. Congratulations to Alby on this great success! The district will profile Alby in greater detail in the coming days about this tremendous achievement. Congratulations once again!

EMHS Senior Chosen for Cold Spring Harbor Lab Program

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East Meadow High School senior Sonali Persaud has been selected to participate in the 2016-2017 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Partners for the Future program.
    
Partners for the Future provides high school seniors with an opportunity to experience biomedical exploration for seven months by conducting original research under the guidance of a scientist mentor at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. At the conclusion of the program, Sonali will present her research findings to an audience of science students, mentors, CSHL administrators, parents and teachers.    
    
East Meadow High School research teacher Ginna Gabalski nominated Sonali for this opportunity during her junior year. Sonali became a finalist after expressing her academic goals, scientific aspirations and experiences related to medical research through an extensive interview.
    
The district congratulates Sonali on this achievement and wishes her tremendous success in the program.


Students Selected for NYSSMA All-State

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Seven students from the District have been recognized by the New York State School Music Association for their outstanding musical talents and chosen to perform in the All-State Festival at NYSSMA’s 81st Annual Winter Conference from Dec. 1-4. An additional six East Meadow High School students were named alternates.
    
More than 6,500 sophomores and juniors in New York State performed in NYSSMA solo evaluation festivals last spring in the hopes of being selected for All-State. To qualify, students had to receive a score between 98 and 100 on their solo performance, judged by a NYSSMA All-State adjucator.
    
From W.T. Clarke High School, Alby Joseph will perform the violoncello in the symphony orchestra, Juan Lucas Orozco, tenor II in the mixed choir and Emily Shaiman, jazz soprano in the vocal jazz ensemble.
    
From East Meadow High School, Kevin Martin has been selected to perform double bass in the string orchestra, Jolie Rebelo, violin for the symphony orchestra, Alissa Rojas, alto I for the mixed choir and Won Son, contrabass clarinet for the symphonic band.
    
The district commends these exceptionally talented students for their passion and dedication to music.

Four W.T. Clarke HS Students Named National Merit Commended Students

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W.T. Clarke High School seniors Priya Aggarwal, Caitlin Eng, Naman Shakrani and Bisnemjett Singh have been named Commended Students in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program.

Approximately 34,000 students across the country were recognized for their outstanding academic performance with this designation. These four placed among the top 5 percent of 1.6 million students who entered the competition by completing the 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.
    
The district congratulates Priya, Caitlin, Naman and Bisnemjett on their distinguished academic performances.

Seniors to Perform in All-National Honor Ensembles

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Two seniors from East Meadow and W.T. Clarke High School have been invited to perform in the National Association for Music Education All-National Honor Ensembles in Grapevine, Texas, on Nov. 13.
    
The All-National Honor Ensembles represents the top performing high school musicians across the United States in concert band, mixed choir, symphony orchestra and jazz ensemble.
    
Michelle Hromin from W.T. Clarke High School will play clarinet in the concert band, while Arun Sam from East Meadow High School will sing as a tenor with the mixed choir.
    
To qualify for the All-National Honor Ensembles, Hromin and Sam participated in the 2015 NYSSMA All-State Winter Conference Honor Ensembles and submitted a strenuous application, including videos of their performance of the required audition repertoire.
    
The district congratulates these students on their outstanding talents and musical abilities.

Marching to Celebrate the Discovery of America

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In preparation for the Huntington Columbus Day Parade, the marching bands of East Meadow and W.T. Clarke high schools practiced their routines with the help of marching band clinicians.

Each school’s band and color guard set aside a full day at the end of September to improve their tone, accuracy and rhythm with individual instrument and group marching sessions.

To perfect their routine, W.T. Clarke’s students received assistance from Stony Brook University Director of Athletic Bands Dr. Christopher Parkers, high school music chairperson Steve Engle, band teacher Steve Barbieri and percussion teacher Steve Blutman.

The East Meadow High School students worked with Carl Boos, marching band clinic coordinator, as well as high school music chairperson Christopher Hale and music teachers Molly Tittler, Neil Walowitz, Zachary deVries and Gregory Sisco.

The community is encouraged to come out on Sunday Oct. 9 and support both bands during the Huntington Columbus Day Parade at 12:30 p.m. beginning on Main Street.      

Recognition Given by Board of Education

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Several recognitions were made during the Sept. 29 Board of Education communication meeting. Among them, the Board recognized resident Fred Morgana for his service in World War II, East Meadow and W.T. Clarke high schools as 2016 Reward Schools, and Assistant Superintendent for Business and Finance Patrick Pizzo for leading the green cleaning initiative in the district.  

The meeting opened with the W.T. Clarke High School Brass Ensemble performing musical numbers, including “The Star-Spangled Banner,” for the Board of Education members, administrators, faculty and community members gathered at the Leon J. Campo Salisbury Center.    

The evening proceeded with the honoring of Morgana, a resident of East Meadow for more than 60 years, member of the East Meadow Fire Department and WWII U.S. Navy veteran, with the Distinguished Service Award. Established last school year, the Board honors veterans in the community with this award for their loyalty and devoted service to our country.

Following, the district’s two high schools were recognized for being named Reward Schools by the New York State Education Department for the 2016-17 school year. The SED identifies Reward Schools as those ranking among the top 20 percent in English language arts and mathematics assessment performance, having a graduation rate above 80 percent, and obtaining the most progress and/or highest achievement in the state without significant gaps in student achievement. East Meadow and W. T. Clarke high schools are among 365 schools in New York State to receive this notable designation.

“This is an outstanding award and recognition by New York State that both of our high schools received,” said Superintendent of Schools Leon J. Campo.

Closing the evening, the Board acknowledged Pizzo for leading the green cleaning initiative throughout the district and keeping all schools safe for children. Pizzo accepted the green cleaning recognition for “excellence in environmental health and adaptation of a child safe school green cleaning policy” from the Grassroots Environmental Education on behalf of the district.  


W.T. Clarke Pride on Full Display at Homecoming

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The W.T. Clarke High School football stadium was a sea of maroon and school spirit as the Rams defeated Valley Stream South, 42-20, during Clarke’s homecoming on Oct. 1.

After the first half of the game, the W.T. Clarke varsity cheerleaders, marching band and color guard gave a show-stopping performance for the crowd.  

Following, members of the East Meadow School District Board of Education, Superintendent of Schools Leon J. Campo and central administration led the annual halftime show of class floats onto the field. This year’s theme of adventure parks included “Lego Land,” “Six Flags,” “Hershey Park” and “Disney World.” Students threw candy into the stands as visitors cheered them on.

At the rear of the parade, seniors Jesse Goodman and Jarielys Quijano waved to the audience as they were recognized as homecoming king and queen.  

As for the game, Besnik Dalipi scored the Rams’ first points with a 45-yard interception return and later added a 23-yard touchdown reception. Corey Rosenbloom had 17 carries for 176 yards with a touchdown, as well as Austin Lyons-Carman, who had 12 carries for 98 yards and a touchdown. This victory was head varsity coach John Boyle’s 150th win at the school.