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.  

East Meadow HS holds Holocaust Awareness Week


Members of East Meadow High School’s Expressing Pride in Israeli Culture (EPIC) club and Social Studies Honor Society held an awareness week for students to understand the atrocities of the Holocaust.

East Meadow resident and Holocaust survivor Alex Konstantyn spoke to students about how his mother saved his life by escaping Varenz, Poland, during World War II. He discussed how his family disguised as Polish refugees, using his father’s gold coins to buy food, water and shelter, to hide from the Nazis. After much suffering, including the murder of his father, Mr. Konstantyn and his mother were liberated by Russian soldiers in 1944 and immigrated to Israel.

Following his deployment by the Israel Defense Forces, Mr. Konstantyn moved to the United States, where he graduated from Pace University and the Jewish Theological Seminary. He has devoted his life to Jewish education, serving as principal of the East Meadow Jewish Center Religious School for 26 years.

To continue the week of awareness, members of EPIC and the Social Studies Honor Society organized a Holocaust Museum, through which they educated fellow classmates about the Holocaust, genocide and other massacres.   

As part of the museum, EMHS senior Jake Weiner shared his experiences in Israel and Poland through his participation with the March of the Living, an international educational program that brings individuals to Poland and Israel in order to study the history of the Holocaust.

In addition, East Meadow students signed peace cards and placed them in a suitcase, symbolizing the commitment and stance they have taken to promote tolerance in memory of all the innocent lives who were victims of war crimes, violence and hate.      

Design for donations

W.T. Clarke Middle School eighth-grader Lauren Galarraga won the Design-a-Card contest, run by the Long Island chapter of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, in the middle school category.
According to its website, the AATSP promotes the study and teaching of the Spanish and Portuguese languages and their corresponding Hispanic, Luso-Brazilian, and other related literatures and cultures at all educational levels.
The Design-a-Card contest gives students an opportunity to create an original Hispanic design for the front of a blank notecard. The winning entries will be printed and sold as a fundraiser to support the Long Island chapter’s Judy Abrams/Margaret Fernández National Spanish Examination Scholarship Fund.
The district congratulates Lauren for demonstrating her support of the community through her artistic talents.  

Carousel of Achievement


Students at Parkway Elementary School welcomed parents, families and community members to participate in the “Carousel of Achievement” on May 17.

Each grade prepared a special activity reflecting their work over the course of the year. Students in grades K-2 welcomed guests to watch dance performances, compete in quiz games such as “Jeopardy” and create mathematical graphs using candy. Parkway students in grades 3-5 had guests listen to debates about the Civil War, explore science fair exhibitions and travel around the world tasting exotic food.   

In addition, students were encouraged to visit other classrooms and experience each other’s projects.

Two schools named Reward Schools by NYSED

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) has recognized East Meadow High School and W.T. Clarke High School as 2016-2017 Reward Schools.
The NYSED identifies Reward Schools as schools with 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 220 schools to receive this honorable designation.
“It is a tremendous honor that two of our schools have received this prestigious recognition,” East Meadow Superintendent of Schools Leon J. Campo said. “We are extremely proud of our administration and staff for giving their very best to our students.”

Battle of the ’bots

Three teams comprised of 13 seventh- and eighth-graders from W.T. Clarke Middle School competed in the Lego School Robotics Competition at Adelphi University on May 7.
During the competition, more than 30 teams from Long Island and New York City delivered PowerPoint presentations to a panel of judges that outlined the challenges they had faced, lessons they had learned and obstacles they had overcome in building and programming their robots. Guided by their technology coaches, the students had applied their skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to build Lego robots that could solve real-life problems.
Teams then battled in four rounds of competition, where their robots were required to complete a challenge – collecting balls and staying within the contest area – to acquire the most points during an allotted time period.  
Elliott Oppenheim’s and William Burke’s seventh- and eighth-grade technology classes fielded three teams: Team Robo RIK, consisting of Isabella Petz, Kristina Romano and Raheem Sheikh; BOT Squad, comprised of Nyla Jane Batista, Hadi Javed, Alexandra Karavias, Victoria Lorusso, Isabella Michaelis and Ryan Walsh; and Team LAJE, made up of Anjali Aggarwal, Emma Brown, Lilli Greene and Jeena Trinh.
W.T. Clarke Middle School placed first in the presentation segment of the competition.
The district is tremendously proud of these students for the diligence, collaboration and engineering skills they demonstrated during the competition.  

East Meadow High School Student Named National Merit Scholarship Winner

East Meadow High School student Zainab Nathani was named one of 7,400 National Merit Scholarship Competition Winners.
Merit Scholarship winners are selected among the 15,000 finalists based on their abilities, skills and accomplishments. The National Merit Scholarship Competition evaluates participants on their academic record, school’s curricula and grading system, two SAT scores, school official’s written recommendation, the finalist’s extracurricular activities, leadership and personal essay.
When Zainab was notified that she received the National Merit $2,500 Scholarship award, she was ecstatic and honored. “I was extremely excited when I found out that I was granted this award because only a few people receive this recognition,” she said.
The district congratulates Zainab on this tremendous achievement and wishes her much success in her future endeavors.       

East Meadow HS student a winner in Congressional Art Competition

The district congratulates East Meadow High School junior Caitlyn Herlihy on being named the overall winner in the 2016 Congressional Art Competition. The Congressional Institute sponsors this nationwide high school visual arts competition every spring to recognize and encourage artistic talent in the nation and in each congressional district. Caitlyn won for her photography submission.

Congresswoman Kathleen M. Rice will recognize Caitlyn and other congressional district winners for their artistic creativity and talents at Adelphi University on June 3. During the ceremony, the university will also announce scholarships for all winners.   

As the competition’s national winner, Caitlyn will be invited to a special reception at the Capitol Visitor Center Atrium and Auditorium in Washington, D.C., on June 23. Furthermore, beginning in June, her piece will be exhibited for one year by the Architect of the Capitol in the pedestrian tunnel, the most traveled corridor between the Capitol and the Cannon House Office Building.

Caitlyn’s art teacher, Ryan Rochford, is extremely proud of her artistic abilities and success in the competition. “Having the artwork of one of our very own students displayed in the Capitol Building for an entire year is a wonderful accomplishment,” he said.

The district is exceptionally proud of Caitlyn and wishes her the best in her future endeavors.

"District Administrator Offers Insight into Green Cleaning Programs"

Congratulations to Patrick Pizzo, assistant superintendent for administration and special projects, who was published in a recent issue of Facility Cleaning Decisions magazine. Mr. Pizzo's article offers tips for managers on how to launch green cleaning programs and stresses the importance of collaboration. Congratulations to Mr. Pizzo on this accomplishment!

Clarke’s Smart Buddies Show Their Business Acumen


Congratulations to team Smart Buddy from W. T. Clarke High School, which won the school-level round of the Junior Achievement Business Plan Competition. Following their triumph over three other Clarke finalists, Smart Buddy will now advance to the regional finals at Baruch College in New York City on May 20.

Three business executives from FedEx Express, Chase Bank and National Grid adjudicated the school competition, in which student teams were assigned the task of writing a business plan, then pitching their idea to the three judges. Smart Buddy won for their idea of a child-friendly iPad case. The team is comprised of students Jamie Gaeta, Matthew Gutierrez, Caterina Lamberti and Marissa LoVerde.

In qualifying for the Baruch competition, Smart Buddy will have the opportunity to advance to the Junior Achievement Business Plan Finals, to be hosted by the major private equity group Kohlberg, Kravis and Roberts in Manhattan on May 26. The winning team receives prizes, including a cash award of $12,000. In the last eight years, Clarke High School teams have won the overall competition five times and have placed in the top three seven times during that span.   

“I really feel that wherever these students place, this experience will stay with them for the rest of their lives,” said Clarke business teacher and competition adviser Joe Pavia. “I have had former students from nine years ago come back to tell me how much this has helped to shape their careers. Win, lose or draw, this is one of those projects that will have a long-lasting effect on them as individuals.”

Honors, Accolades and Praise

The East Meadow Board of Education acknowledges many during the April Communication Meeting
The Board of Education recognized the accomplishments of students, community and board members, as well as other achievements during their April 21 communication meeting.
Woodland Middle School Principal James Lethbridge and W. T. Clarke Middle School Principal Stacy Breslin acknowledged the March and April “Terrific Kids.” The Terrific Kids program is sponsored by the East Meadow Kiwanis Club to recognize sixth, seventh and eighth-grade students who constantly improve as individuals, students and members of the community.  
Initiated by Board trustee Jeffrey Rosenking, the Board established a new tradition to recognize the contributions of community veterans who served our country. During the meeting, the Board and central administration honored Michael C. Ambrosio with the Distinguished Service Award for his service in World War II. Mr. Ambrosio, an East Meadow resident of over 60 years, served as an Army Air Corps Regimen on B-17 Flight Fortress in the 447th bomb group and was a member of the Mighty Eighth Airforce.
Following this prestigious award, Board Vice President Marcee Rubinstein and trustee Brian O’Flaherty were recognized for their additional training as Board members. The Board presented Ms. Rubinstein and Mr. O’Flaherty with the Board of Excellence Award for participation in the New York State School Board Association’s Recognition Program.

The East Meadow Supervisory and Administrative Association applauded the Board for their continued efforts in service to the East Meadow School District throughout the school year. They noted that under the Board’s leadership, initiatives have been launched to reform, renew, cultivate and promote positive communications and increase the level of collaboration within the district. The Association presented a plaque to the Board that displayed a triangle to represent students, staff and community in appreciation of the Board’s ongoing efforts in leadership to restore and strengthen the partnership with the entire staff to benefit the community.
In addition, the East Meadow Custodial and Maintenance Unit thanked the Board of Education for praising the work of the custodial and maintenance staff. The unit commended the Board and acknowledged their dedication and sincere appreciation for the work the custodial and maintenance staff provide.

Artistic Accomplishments and Musical Milestones


Hundreds of elementary and secondary students were honored for their excellence in music, art and humanitarianism during the district’s annual Music and Art Awards ceremony.

Superintendent of Schools Leon J. Campo opened the ceremony by highlighting the exceptional students for their many accomplishments over the course of the year and thanking the talented teachers, administrators and community members for their continued support of the district’s fine arts program.
“We have a great opportunity to make this world a better place, and those of you gathered here tonight are a major example of that,” Mr. Campo said. “As long as we work together in partnership for the benefit of our children and our children continue to work hard, this is going to be a much better world.”
Following his welcoming remarks, students from each of the district’s nine schools were recognized with humanitarian awards for their strong character, tolerance and leadership skills. The honorees had also demonstrated outstanding citizenship by promoting kindness, sensitivity and acceptance of one another.
In addition, more than 300 students were honored for their outstanding achievements in music and art. As they were announced, they were applauded by family, friends, administrators, teachers and community members for their creativity, talent and diligence.

Music highlights included:

•    Eleven students were selected as All-State musicians for the New York State School Music Association Winter Conference in Rochester, New York. Twelve students were named alternates.

•    Twenty-five students were selected to perform in the Long Island String Festival Association festivals.

•    A total of 178 students performed in the Nassau Music Educators Association All-County Festival at the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts.

•    One student was selected to perform in the National Association for Music Education All-National Orchestra in Nashville, Tennessee, and perform in the United States Army All-American Marching Band in San Antonio, Texas.

•    One student was selected to perform in the American Choral Directors Association Honors Choir at the Eastern Division Conference in Boston, Massachusetts.

Art highlights included:
•    Sixty-six students participated in the Art Supervisors Association All-County Art Exhibition.

•    Fourteen students were selected to participate in the Long Island Art Teachers Association Art in Heart Exhibition.

•    Eleven students created illustrations for the district’s 2016-17 budget book.

•    Fifteen students participated in the Olympics of the Visual Arts state competition in Saratoga, New York.

Marching in Full Bloom

The W.T. Clarke High School marching band performed in the Washington, D.C. National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade on April 16.
Spectators gathered in the streets to see giant colorful helium balloons, intricate floats, celebrity entertainers and performers, and marching bands from across the country parade down Constitution Avenue in honor of the nation’s greatest springtime celebration.
The district commends the marching band for their musical talents and performance during the parade.

East Meadow HS Students Attend Olympics of the Visual Arts

Fourteen art students from East Meadow High School attended the New York State Art Teachers Association’s 2016 Olympics of the Visual Arts program, held in Saratoga Springs, New York, on April 21, placing third in the Photography category.
OVA offers students an opportunity to solve artistic problems using historical references, brainstorming, problem-solving and creative solutions in eight different categories: architecture, photography, fashion design, sculpture, painting, drawing, illustration and graphic design.
The district congratulates these students for their hard work and creativity during the competition.

Parkway Student Recipient of the Nassau Reading Council Young Author Contest

Parkway Elementary School third-grader Ava Hurtes was announced as a recipient of the Nassau Reading Council Young Author’s Contest.
The thirty-third annual Nassau Reading Council Young Author’s Contest invites Nassau County students in kindergarten through twelfth-grade to submit a personal narrative derived from the author’s own experience. Entries are evaluated on content, authenticity, voice, focus, organization and mechanics.
Winning entries will be honored at the Nassau Reading Council award ceremony in June at Molloy College.

Where We Stand and Why – An Important Message from the Board of Education


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Jun 26, 2016