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Meet The East Meadow Class of 2017 Valedictorians And Salutatorians

Meet The East Meadow Class of 2017 Valedictorians And Salutatorians Photo
Meet The East Meadow Class of 2017 Valedictorians And Salutatorians Photo 2
Culminating their years of educational accomplishments, extracurricular activities and community involvement, East Meadow High School valedictorian Mahalia Mathelier and salutatorian Sonali Persaud, and W.T. Clarke High School valedictorian Alby Joseph and salutatorian Priya Aggarwal, reflected upon their time in the district.  

Finishing her academic career with a 107.856 GPA, Mahalia excelled in her Advanced Placement, honors and college-level classes while participating in school organizations and volunteering within her community. Her diverse interests and talents were evident as a member of Model Congress, French Club, and Business and Social Studies honor societies. A leader among her peers, she served on the National Honor Society Executive Board and was treasurer of the English Honor Society and secretary of Key Club. Her activities were rounded out as a member of the school’s kickline team, the Rockettes, and news editor of the school newspaper, the Jet Gazette.

Outside of the classroom, Mahalia volunteers at the Nassau County Youth Court in Hempstead, where she has been learning the ins and outs of the legal process. The program provides an opportunity for children and adolescents who commit low-level offenses to be adjudicated by their peers.

Among her fondest memories, Mahalia cites the moment that the entire student body cheered for her when she was announced as this year’s valedictorian.

“The outpouring of kindness I received from my peers and teachers was so heartwarming,” she recalled. “Being stopped and congratulated by so many people made me realize how much I am going to miss this school.”

She will pursue a major in economics with a minor in political science at Harvard University in the fall.

Graduating with a 107.4 GPA, Sonali was a leader within the student body as well. She served on the executive board of the National Honor Society, was co-president of the Social Studies Honor Society, chaired the Key Club, and was a member of Model Congress, Mathletes, Peer Leaders, and the Tri-M Music and Science honor societies. In addition, she played on the varsity tennis team for all four years. Her intrinsic motivation to help others prompted her founding of Glamour Girls, an organization that promotes female leadership and provides free cosmetic services to residents of senior citizen homes. She is also a Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership alumna and school representative.

In her scientific studies, Sonali measured and manipulated oscillatory gene expression in caenorhabditis elegans at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory under the guidance of Dr. Christopher Hammell.

Within her community, Sonali completed her Girl Scout Silver Award and, for her leadership award, aims to start an organization similar to Glamour Girls at hospitals for patients and their families. She has shadowed doctors at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, where she also volunteers in the maternity ward, garnering her interest in pediatric health.

The Class of 2017 salutatorian looks forward to the next phase of her education at Georgetown University, where she plans to study health policy on a pre-med track with the goal of becoming a pediatric oncologist or cardiologist.     

“I will always remember my caring teachers and friends at East Meadow for being my greatest support system over the years,” Sonali said. “The help they gave me when my research project unexpectedly took a wrong turn resulted in me winning the NYSSEF [New York State Science and Engineering Fair] Andromeda award.”  

 As valedictorian, Alby ends his tenure at W.T. Clarke High School with a 110.39 GPA. Along with achieving success in the classroom, his community service, involvement in school clubs and musical accomplishments have left an impression on the Class of 2017.

The top-ranked senior is president of the National, Tri-M Music and Science honor societies, as well as a member of Mathletes, Science Olympiads, the English, Math and Foreign Language honor societies, and the Mock Trial team, which recently won the New York State championship. In addition, he is features editor of the school newspaper, the Vanguard. Playing the cello since the fourth grade, Alby has performed in All-Eastern, All-County, All-State and Long Island String Festival Association concerts, in addition to performing in the pit orchestra for the school’s musicals. Outside of Clarke, he has volunteered at the information desk of Nassau University Medical Center.

Through the school’s Science Research program, Alby interned at Stony Brook University, where, under the mentorship of Professor Iwao Ojima, he studied a new way to treat pain by attacking a specific protein. His project earned him third place in the national Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, designation as a  Siemens Competition semifinalist and Regeneron Scholar, and publication of his work in the Columbia University Junior Science Journal.     

Along with his scientific achievements, Alby was named a National Merit Scholarship Program winner.

The Clarke valedictorian will attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the fall, where he will major in chemical engineering.

“One of the reasons I chose MIT was because it seemed the most like Clarke,” he explained. “Clarke’s diverse, close-knit community is what I’m going to miss most but also what I’m most looking forward to when I arrive at MIT.”

Finishing her high school career with a 108.42 GPA, Priya graduates as W.T. Clarke salutatorian following years of challenging course loads and heavy involvement in school and community activities.

During her tenure at Clarke, Priya studied computer science on her own time, which led her to create a computer science initiative on campus. Due to her efforts, a course in the subject will be offered to students in the fall. Applying her strong work ethic to science research, she conducted an experiment at Molloy College that focused on applying the principles of evolution to evaluate how cancer recurs after a variety of treatments. Additionally, she was named a 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program Commended Student for her outstanding academic performance and SAT scores.

Aside from her studies, Priya was involved in Science Olympiads and Mathletes, served as layout editor of the Vanguard, and belonged to every honor society at her school. Her greatest passions were serving as DECA president for two consecutive years and actively participating in the school’s Multicultural Club. The DECA team made school history this year by sending 70 members to the state competition and 16 to the International Career Development Conference in California. In April, during the Multicultural Club’s annual show that highlights the different cultures of Clarke High School, Priya performed two Indian dances and two American Sign Language routines.

“The best experiences of my life came about as a member of the Multicultural Club for the past four years,” said Priya. “I’ve always loved being involved in a tight-knit group and making connections that I know will last the rest of my life.”

Outside of Clarke, Priya volunteered at St. Francis Hospital in Port Washington, where she shadowed doctors and assisted visitors.

Capping off her academic achievements, Priya received the Stony Brook University Presidential Scholarship, covering the cost of tuition at SBU, where she will enroll in the Women in Science and Engineering program and major in human evolutionary biology in the fall.

“Clarke has done so much for us by providing all these wonderful opportunities,” she said. “Being a part of this community, having these teachers and interacting with all the grade levels has shaped me into the person I am today. I could not be more grateful for my time at Clarke.”

Celebrating Their Kindness

Celebrating Their Kindness Photo
Members of Bowling Green Elementary School’s Goodwill Ambassadors, Bridges to Friendship club and Bully Prevention Squad received an end-of-year celebration for their kindness, devotion and success over the school year. All three organizations spend their time volunteering to break isolation among students and prevent bullying within the school, lunchroom and at recess.
Goodwill Ambassadors in grades two and three volunteer twice a week to interact with students who are alone during recess and notify the staff if there is any bullying going on. Members in grades four and five spend one day a week interacting with isolated students as well as assisting lunch aides with kindergartners and first-graders during their lunch periods.

Student volunteers of Bridges to Friendship assist special needs students, as well as report any issues of bullying in the school, on the buses, in the lunchroom and during recess to members of the Bully Prevention Squad.

The Planning Management Team, school social worker Steven Sacks, administrators, faculty and parents organized the end-of-year bash, providing pizza and ice cream to the volunteers and bestowing certificates of recognition upon all members who have helped to make Bowling Green a better place.

Clarke HS Mock Trial Team Wins Championship

Clarke HS Mock Trial Team Wins Championship Photo
Clarke HS Mock Trial Team Wins Championship Photo 2
The W.T. Clarke High School Mock Trial club won the New York State High School Mock Trial Championship, held in Albany, New York, May 21-23.

After being named Nassau County champions, the Clarke students presented the same mock case of Robin Berkman v. County of Dover against the top eight regional winners at the James T. Foley Courthouse on May 22. In the semifinal round, Clarke presented both sides of the case — the plantiff and defendant against Iroquois High School and Postdam High School, respectively — before a panel of judges.

Emerging victorious over both schools, Clarke advanced to the finals, where the team served as the plantiff’s lawyers and witnesses to win the Mock Trial Championship against Regis High School.
"I am extremely proud and humbled by the team’s accomplishments,” said Paul Henning, the Clarke Mock Trial advisor. “Their focus and commitment is inspiring and has created a positive environment for future teams to emulate and aspire to achieve. I am also very thankful for the commitment and dedication to this program by [attorneys] Allan Hyman and George Michel."

Special Message to the Community – Bond Initiative

Main Photo

On Tuesday, March 7, East Meadow residents approved the community’s first joint East Meadow Schools and Public Library capital project bond referendum by a vote of 2,031 Yes to 835 No.

Projects included in this bond will address major repairs and renovations to schools districtwide, improve energy efficiency, support science initiatives, and restore natural grass athletic fields for school and community use. The bond will also fund major repairs and upgrades to the public library that will support additional programs and services, improve energy efficiency and security systems, and increase opportunities for students and patrons.

“The Board of Education and administration would like to thank all community residents who voted on the bond and for their approval and continued support,” said Superintendent of Schools Leon J. Campo. “This is an exciting time for our community and we look forward to improving our schools for our students and for future generations to come.” East Meadow Public Library Director Carol Probeyahn said, “On behalf of the library Board of Directors, we want to thank the community for your vote of support. We are looking forward to improving our library to provide expanded services for our children and community residents.”

Tuesday, March 7 is the East Meadow Public Schools and Public Library joint bond vote. Please plan to be part of the future of our community and remember to vote. Every vote counts! Polls will be open from 7 a.m.-9 p.m. at all elementary schools.

Information on Artificial Turf fields

East Meadow Schools and Public Library Joint Bond Presentation
Thursday, March 2, 2017 • 6:30 p.m.
Leon J. Campo Salisbury Center

Prior to 2017-18 Budget Input Session and Board of Education Meeting

East Meadow Joint Bond Vote March 7 from 7 a.m.- 9p.m. at All Elementary Schools
Average annual cost to taxpayers = $57.53 or less than 16¢ per day

On Tuesday, March 7, 2017, residents will have an opportunity to vote on a joint bond referendum proposed by the East Meadow Public Schools and the East Meadow Public Library that, if approved, will renovate and improve the schools and library to better serve students and community residents into the future. For the first time in East Meadow’s history, residents will vote on a joint bond at significant savings to the taxpayer.

The East Meadow schools are more than 60 years old and in need of major repairs and renovations that are too costly to include in the annual school budget without significantly increasing taxes and/or cutting programs and services to students. The public library has not undertaken a major renovation in more than 30 years, and requires major repairs and upgrades.

The bond initiative will fund the repairs and renovations to the schools, improve energy efficiency, support science initiatives and restore the district’s natural grass athletic fields for school and community use. The proposed bond would also support major repairs and upgrades to the public library to enhance additional programs and services, improve energy efficiency and security systems and increase opportunities to serve students and patrons.

During the life span of the bond, the average annual cost to the taxpayer is $57.53, or approximately 16¢ per day. The projected average annual cost to the taxpayer is calculated using the average assessed property value as determined by the Nassau County Assessor’s Office. It is anticipated the work in the schools will begin during the summer of 2018 and the library work will also begin sometime in 2018.

This is an exciting time for the community. All residents are encouraged to vote on Tuesday, March 7, from 7 a.m.-9 p.m., at all district elementary schools. For more information, visit the school district website at or the library website at You can also find information on the bond on Facebook by liking East Meadow Schools and Public Library Joint Bond.

School District and Public Library Joint Bond Referendum
In a joint decision, the first of its kind in the community’s history, the school district and public library plan to propose a single bond referendum that would support major renovations and improvements to both the district’s schools and athletic facilities, and the public library. If approved by voters, the proposed work will bring the public library into the 21st century and facilitate greater opportunities to serve the community, while the school district will be able to address much needed repairs and improve its instructional space and athletic facilities at schools that are more than 60 years old.


Meadowbrook Students Receive Visit From Assemblyman McKevitt

Meadowbrook Students Receive Visit From Assemblyman McKevitt Photo
Meadowbrook Students Receive Visit From Assemblyman McKevitt Photo 2

Fifth-graders at Meadowbrook Elementary School about local government when they received a special visit from District 17 Assemblyman Thomas McKevitt on June 9.

During his visit, McKevitt described the duties of an assemblyman and gave an explanation about how laws are passed in the state of New York. He also explained the legislation process and discussed the importance of being civically engaged.  

In turn, students asked McKevitt about his work, including how he became an assemblyman, what laws he has helped to enact, and his favorite and least favorite aspects of his position.

2017-2018 Transportation Pilot Program


A Year Of Accomplishments

A Year Of Accomplishments Photo

The district held its annual awards ceremony on June 6 to recognize 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, humanitarianism, 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.

Clarke’s Simplastic Takes First Place at JANY Business Plan Competition

Clarke’s Simplastic Takes First Place at JANY Business Plan Competition Photo

The district congratulates team Simplastic from W.T. Clarke High School on winning $10,000 in the final round of the Junior Achievement of New York’s 10th Annual High School Business Plan Competition on June 1.

According to its website, JANY is the local affiliate of Junior Achievement USA, the nation’s largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future and make smart academic and economic choices.

Simplastic, designed by seniors James Curran, Stephan Gavrielidis, Naman Shakrani and Joseph Zirkel, is an interlocking roadway system that will replace deteriorating roads with more durable high-density polyethylene material.

To reach the final round of competition, five Clarke business teams submitted their business plans, including a PowerPoint presentation and 90-second video pitch, to JANY representatives, who then selected Simplastic to compete against the top 12 schools at the regional finals at Baruch College in New York City on May 26. Advancing to the finals, Simplastic presented among the top six schools at the Kohlberg, Kravis and Roberts office in Manhattan, where each member of the team received a cash prize of $2,500 and a trophy.

W.T. Clarke High School Principal Timothy Voels commended the team for their innovative business concept, explaining that in the past nine years, this is the school’s sixth victory.

“Congratulations to these four young men who created an innovative idea that I believe will one day come to fruition and change the pavement of our roads,” said Voels. “I would also like to extend my congratulations to business teacher Joseph Pavia for his unconditional support and guidance to these students throughout the competition.”

East Meadow Board of Education appoints new assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction

The East Meadow Union Free School District’s Board of Education unanimously appointed David Casamento as the district’s assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. Mr. Casamento returns to East Meadow after a 27-year educational career that began in the district as an AP chemistry/biology and chemistry teacher at W.T. Clarke High School in 1990, a position he held until 2005.

Mr. Casamento most recently held the position of director of science and technology for the East Williston Union Free School District, a post he held for seven years.  In this position, he was responsible for the supervision and evaluation of the science, technology and instructional technology teaching staff, as well as curriculum alignment and development, professional development and establishing a technology vision for the district. Prior to that, he served as director of science and instructional technology in the Huntington School District, and was the director of science for the North Babylon Union Free School District.

“On behalf of the entire Board of Education, I welcome Mr. Casamento back to the East Meadow School District,” said Board of Education President Marcee Rubinstein. “His knowledge and extensive background compliments our district’s  offerings in the fields of science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics. I am confident that his contributions will help us further advance in these areas, as well.”

"It is with great excitement that I am being afforded the opportunity to return to the East Meadow School District as the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction,” said Mr. Casamento. “It was a sad day when I left my science teaching position at W.T. Clarke High School, so coming back makes me feel as though I've truly come full circle professionally. I look forward to working with all of the students, staff, and community members who made me feel welcome 27 years ago and who I look forward to partnering with once again. East Meadow is a place of great opportunity, and I know that together, we will continue to build upon the district's successes and programs for the education of all students."

Mr. Casamento will officially assume his new role in the district on July 17.

Mastering The Art Of The Interview

Mastering The Art Of The Interview Photo

East Meadow High School business students honed their interview skills with members of the East Meadow Chamber of Commerce on June 1.

Dressed in business attire, juniors and seniors practiced nonverbal communication techniques such as maintaining appropriate eye contact, holding a good posture and a giving a firm handshake. They also highlighted their successes and greatest assets and asked thoughtful questions pertaining to the job offer.

Along with rating the students’ nonverbal techniques, speech delivery and qualifications, the interviewers also gave them advice on preparing for future interviews.

The district thanks the East Meadow Chamber of Commerce for dedicating their time to help prepare students for future careers.  

East Meadow District Spring Art Show

East Meadow District Spring Art Show Photo

Widespread talent was on display as students in the district were recognized for their artistic abilities at the District Spring Art Show, held May 30 to June 1 at the Leon J. Campo Salisbury Center.

Under the direction of music teachers David Fletcher and Alexandria deVries, members of the W.T. Clarke Middle School and High School chamber ensembles performed while students, faculty and family members viewed more than 1,200 works of art.

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

Clarke HS DECA Team Earns Top Honors at ICDC

Clarke HS DECA Team Earns Top Honors at ICDC Photo
Clarke HS DECA Team Earns Top Honors at ICDC Photo 2
Sixteen students from W.T. Clarke High School recently traveled to Anaheim, California, to participate in the DECA International Career Development Conference. Members of the Clarke DECA team qualified for the competition by earning top ranking in the state regional conference in Rochester.

Two students placed in the top 15 overall within their category – senior Joseph Zirkel in Start-Up Business Plan and junior Megan Rodriguez in Human Resources Series. Additionally, freshman Abishek Ravindran made Clarke history by earning a top 10 medal in testing for his work in the Principles of Finance category.

The district congratulates these talented business students and commends advisors Joseph Pavia and Carol Duckfield for their dedication to them throughout the year.

W.T. Clarke High School Senior Named National Merit Scholarship Winner

W.T. Clarke High School Senior Named National Merit Scholarship Winner Photo
W.T. Clarke High School senior Alby Joseph has been named one of 7,500 National Merit Scholarship (NMS) Program winners. 

Recipients of a National Merit Scholarship are selected from among the competition’s 15,000 finalists based on their abilities, skills and accomplishments. The National Merit Scholarship Corporation evaluates participants on their academic record, school’s curricula and grading system, two SAT scores, school official’s written recommendation, extracurricular activities, leadership and personal essay. 

Alby felt honored and excited upon hearing that he had received a $2,500 scholarship award from the NMS. “I am so grateful to have received this scholarship, because only a few people are granted this recognition and it shows me that my hard work has paid off,” he said.

The district congratulates Alby on this tremendous achievement and wishes him much success in his future endeavors.     

East Meadow Places Second in Nassau County Comptroller’s High School Business Challenge

East Meadow Places Second in Nassau County Comptroller’s High School Business Challenge Photo

PediaCore, a nine-member team of business students from East Meadow High School, earned second place in the fifth annual Nassau County Comptroller’s High School Business Challenge.

The East Meadow group competed against 20 other teams from nine Nassau County high schools at the Theodore Roosevelt Legislative and Executive Building in Mineola. This year’s entrepreneurial challenge asked teams to conceptualize, develop and bring to market a mobile application with broad appeal in the area of public safety, health care or homeland security.

PediaCore is a mobile app that alerts the user to whether their doctor is on time or not, allows them to make or change appointments, and identifies illnesses within the school district and community. It also refers the user to participating providers in their insurance plans and provides them with access to their medical bills, payment history and immunization forms.    

During the competition, each team presented their business plan and a prototype of their mobile app to a panel of judges, consisting of business professionals and community leaders as well as Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos. 

The East Meadow team won $600 for their second-place finish, provided by the Long Island Conservatory.

Toni McIntosh, the district’s Business and Technology Education Chairperson, congratulated the students on their achievement. 

“This was a remarkable experience and I am beyond impressed with the hard work, dedication and perseverance that these students demonstrated over the course of the year and at the competition,” she said.    

A special thank-you to advisor Marybeth Kane for her support and guidance to the team throughout the year.


Making The Change By Giving

Making The Change By Giving Photo

Culminating their collective fundraising efforts, the W.T. Clarke Middle School Change 4 Change club presented donations to 10 worthy charitable organizations during a special ceremony on May 31.

Change 4 Change is a student-driven service club in which members develop creative fundraising projects and hold competitions throughout the year to benefit charities of their choosing. Over the course of the academic year, members have organized and participated in fundraising events, provided services to the community and advocated for organizations close to their hearts to receive donations at the end-of-year assembly. This year’s fundraisers included Dunk-A-Teacher, Teacher Polar Plunge, Ugly Sweater Day, Guess the Candy Corn, Principal for a Day, Coin Collection: Competition of the Grades, Denim for Dollars, and raffles and book collections.  

Opening the Change 4 Change Giving Assembly, W.T. Clarke Middle School Principal Stacy Breslin welcomed students, faculty and honored guests to this heartwarming celebration. 

“I am very proud of each and every one of you for bringing our motto, ‘Clarke Cares,’ to life today,” Breslin said. “It is through your generosity, strong moral character and fundraising efforts that you have made a positive impact on the school and community.” 

 The festivities continued as W.T. Clarke Middle School Homes and Career teacher Anne LaGreca received the “Be the Change” award for going above and beyond in making a positive difference at W.T. Clarke Middle School and in the community.     

Prior to presenting the charity representatives with their checks, club members explained why the organization is important to them and how it has made an impact in their lives. This year’s charities included the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa Research Association of America, Last Hope Animal Rescue, the League of Yes, the Hagedorn Little Village, the Henry Viscardi School, Building Homes for Heroes, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Bethany House and the Cerebral Palsy Association of Nassau County. 

Change 4 Change advisors Katie Pienkos and Ashley Sanalitro express their gratitude to the W.T. Clarke Middle School administration, faculty, students and custodial staff for their support, guidance and help throughout the year. They also thank the club members for their dedication and hard work each week and throughout the year. 

Sweet Taste Of Generosity

Sweet Taste Of Generosity Photo
Sweet Taste Of Generosity Photo 2
The fifth-graders of Gene Vassel’s class at Barnum Woods Elementary School were declared the winners of a recent schoolwide shoe drive. The class won a brunch celebration with Superintendent of Schools Leon J. Campo and Barnum Woods Assistant Principal Harriet Alfano for donating the most shoes during the drive. 

Vassel’s class collected 177 pairs of shoes, aiding in the school’s total contribution of 2,351 pairs to the clothing recycling company Wearable Collections. According to its website, the New York City-based company keeps clothing, textiles and shoes out of landfills while generating funds for local charities.

“It’s truly remarkable to see our young children garner this enormous donation to help those in need,” said Campo.  

The district thanks the Barnum Woods Planning Management Team for organizing the drive and hosting the brunch to recognize the students’ generosity and hard work. 

Celebrating The Earth

Celebrating The Earth Photo

Members of the East Meadow High School environmental and horticulture clubs invited Meadowbrook Elementary School to the high school on May 26 to teach second-graders about environmental sustainability.

The club members were accompanied by the high school’s step team, who performed a routine to welcome the Meadowbrook students and explained the importance of protecting the earth. 

Divided into groups, the high school students guided the second-graders through a series of interactive stations, where they learned about various ways to help save the Earth and signed an Earth Day pledge, wrapped seeds in strips of newspaper to plant organic gardens, ate non-GMO food, decorated recycled canvas bags, and received organic modeling compound after learning how to make it from household materials. They also launched bottle rockets by pumping air into used plastic bottles and posed for pictures in tree and sunflower cutout boards.  

The day concluded with a lesson on the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling to live in a healthy and sustainable environment.  

Meadowbrook Unveils Buddy Bench

Meadowbrook Unveils Buddy Bench Photo
Meadowbrook Elementary School held a special dedication ceremony to reveal the school’s new buddy bench in honor of Tanner Eichele, who passed away from a brain tumor.  

Initiated by Christian Bucks, a first-grader from Roundtown Elementary School in Pennsylvania, the buddy bench is designed to eliminate loneliness and foster friendship on the playground by spreading the message of inclusion and kindness.
Opening the ceremony, Meadowbrook Principal Kelly O’Brien welcomed students, faculty, central administrators, PTA members and Tanner’s parents, Melissa and Andrew Eichele, to honor Tanner’s legacy of being a “buddy to everyone he met” with the new bench.

Mrs. Eichele expressed her gratitude to the entire school community for honoring her son.

“Knowing that children at Meadowbrook will be extending a friendly hand and supporting each other when they need it most is exactly what Tanner would want,” she said. “He would be so proud to see all of you helping each other, making friends and being kind.”

The Meadowbrook student body followed these poignant remarks by performing a song, written for the occasion by school choral and general music teacher Linda Braun, and taking the school’s “Buddy Bench Pledge” to be kind, respectful, understanding and a good friend to all.

The bench will be located near the playground so that students can make new friends and invite others to play during recess.

The district is proud to honor Tanner’s memory and extends a special thank–you to Meadowbrook’s administrators, faculty and PTA for coordinating this special event.     

Bowling Green Celebrates Red Nose Day

Bowling Green Celebrates Red Nose Day Photo
In honor of Red Nose Day, a worldwide effort dedicated to ending child poverty in communities across the globe, students at Bowling Green Elementary School collected monetary funds and nonperishable food donations for the Parish of St. Raphael in East Meadow.
The drive was organized by the Bowling Green Kiwanis Kids, who encouraged their fellow students to wear red and donate $1 or a nonperishable food item to the cause.

Sister Judy from St. Raphael visited the school on May 26, collecting $341.55 and a box filled with rice, pasta and canned vegetables for those less fortunate in the community. 

10 EMHS Student-Athletes Sign Letters of Intent

10 EMHS Student-Athletes Sign Letters of Intent Photo

Ten seniors from East Meadow High School pledged to continue their athletic pursuits in college by signing National Letters of Intent at a recent ceremony for the occasion. Parents, siblings, coaches and school administrators joined the seniors in celebrating the athletic accomplishments that earned them selection to college teams.

East Meadow High School Athletic Chairperson Kevin Regan congratulated the athletes, saying, “You’ve represented us well and we’re very proud of you.”

The students are:
•    William Ayers, football, University of New Haven
•    Gianna Azzato, softball, Stonehill College
•    Daniel Blanco, cross-country and track, William Penn University
•    Timothy Euler, track, Monmouth University
•    Stephen Falco, lacrosse, Dominican College
•    James Howell, lacrosse, Chestnut Hill College
•    Gabriella Piccolo, lacrosse, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
•    Connor Ring, track, Molloy College
•    David Roldan, football, East Stroudburg University of Pennsylvania
•    John Whitenack, lacrosse, LIU Post

Students, Veteran, Board Members Honored in East Meadow

 Students, Veteran, Board Members Honored in East Meadow Photo

Recognitions and accolades abounded on May 25 as the district’s Board of Education acknowledged outstanding students, administrators, fellow Board members and community members during its communication meeting.

Throughout the evening, the Woodland Middle School vocal jazz ensemble, Meadowbrook Elementary School choir and advanced band, and George McVey Elementary School chamber orchestra performed for the Board members, administrators, faculty and community residents in attendance. 

Kicking off the recognitions, Board President Marcee Rubinstein presented Superintendent of Schools Leon J. Campo and Board Vice President Joseph Danenza with certificates of appreciation for their tireless efforts and ongoing commitment to advancing the success of the district. 

The evening proceeded with Cindy Munter, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, and Kathryn Behr, Director of Music and Art, receiving the School District Partner of the Year Award from the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts. Since 2013, the district has set records for attendance at the center by bringing nearly 5,000 students to to see world-class performances in dance, theater and art. The district has also established Enrichment Through the Arts, a powerful early childhood art literacy program, through the close collaboration of Munter, Behr and the Tilles Center. This program gives all district kindergartners an opportunity to explore the arts through teacher-artist visits, theater performances and field trips. 

Acknowledging three years of partnership, Stephanie Turner, Director of Education and Outreach at the Tilles Center, said, “East Meadow is a district that understands that incorporating the arts into teaching and learning is a valuable practice. The arts have the power to make us sympathetic, aware and sensitive to the world around us.”

The attention then turned to veteran Angelo Auletta, who was presented with the Distinguished Service Award by Campo and the Board for his bravery and devoted service to the U.S. during World War II. 

“It is a privilege to recognize individuals who served our country,” said Campo. “All of us are here today because of those who sacrificed to protect our freedoms.”

Following, Robert Schoen, Area 11 Director of the New York State School Boards Association, presented Danenza with the Board Lifetime Achievement Award, NYSSBA’s highest recognition for a Board member. Schoen also bestowed Rubinstein and trustee Brian O’Flaherty with the Board Mastery Award. All three members received these honors for continually striving to expand their knowledge and skills for better board governance by earning credit through NYSSBA training opportunities.

Concluding the evening, students in grades 6-8 were honored as the May and June “Terrific Kids,” in accordance with the East Meadow Kiwanis-sponsored program that recognizes sixth- through eighth-graders who continuously improve as individuals, students and community leaders. Certificates of recognition were presented by the Board, W.T. Clarke Middle School Assistant Principal Linda Lynch and Woodland Middle School Principal James Lethbridge. 

“We are very proud of our Terrific Kids recipients,” said Campo. “They are role models who set an example for others, and who will be the leaders of tomorrow.” 

Preparing Students For The Future

Preparing Students For The Future Photo

As a culmination of their work this year, 12th-graders at East Meadow High School presented their senior projects to fellow classmates, administrators and faculty at the school’s senior project fair.

Members of the Class of 2017 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, they completed a minimum of 25 hours in their placement, recorded hourly logs and wrote a research paper about their experience. They volunteered their time in a variety of vocational fields, including animal care, business, cosmetology, carpentry, education, health and law.

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

The district congratulates the students for their dedication and diligence and thanks the East Meadow High School faculty, staff and administration for coordinating this exceptional program.     

W.T. Clarke MS Student To Compete At World Youth Chess Championship

W.T. Clarke MS Student To Compete At  World Youth Chess Championship Photo
Seventh-grader Katherine Qi of W.T. Clarke Middle School has been selected as a United States Delegation representative for the 2017 World Youth Chess Championship in the girls under 14 section. She will compete in Montevideo, Uruguay from Sept. 16-26.

According to its website, the nonprofit U.S. Chess Federation is the official governing body for chess players and chess supporters in America. Their mission is to empower people through chess and enrich the lives of all persons and communities through increasing the play, study and appreciation of the game.

The district congratulates Katherine on being selected to represent the U.S. and wishes her much success at this prestigious competition.

Video: Woodland Middle School Stuffs The Bus

Woodland Middle School Stuffs The Bus Photo

Staff members, faculty and the entire student body of Woodland Middle School joined together on May 16 to fill a full-sized school bus with basic household necessities for the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island.

The fundraiser, known as Stuff-the-Bus, was spearheaded by the school’s National Junior Honor Society, which decided at the beginning of the school year to focus the school’s collective efforts on benefiting one charity. Woodland’s service clubs and organizations responded by donating within a specific category of need, such as cleaning supplies, disposable products or pantry items. The clubs held individual fundraisers to collect the necessities or to raise funds to purchase the products themselves. Parents, faculty and community members also contributed by dropping off donations in the school lobby’s collection bin throughout the year.

On a bright and sunny Tuesday morning, the middle school’s students, faculty and administrators gathered in front of the building to load the bus, working in assembly line fashion to fill the seats and aisle with paper goods, cleaning supplies, bedding and nonperishable food items, among other sundry products. Once it had been filled, 30 students from the service clubs followed the packed-out bus to the Ronald McDonald House in New Hyde Park, where they unloaded the massive donation.

The district extends a special thank-you to all donors and to the Guardian Bus Company for graciously providing their services.  

Success At The Symposium

Success At The Symposium Photo

Students, family members and the school community gathered at the Leon J. Campo Salisbury Center on May 18 for the district’s Science Symposium, where the science research projects of students from both district high schools were on display.

“The Science Symposium showcases the hard work, dedication and creativity of our high school Science Research students,” said Debra Harley, the district’s Director of Math and Science. “These students have dedicated years to experimenting and discovering new advances in science.”

W.T. Clarke High School senior Harsh Patel welcomed attendees to the event, thanking all of the parents, teachers and students for their support of and dedication to the Science Research program at both schools. Following his remarks, nine seniors discussed the areas of study and findings of their three-year-long research projects, as well as the competitions they had entered and the awards they had earned with them. The presentation ensued with guests browsing more than 100 projects that demonstrated the high schoolers’ dedication and hard work.

The district extends special thanks to Harley, Science department chairpersons Debbie Langone and Nicole Hiken from East Meadow High School and W.T. Clarke High School, respectively, and the science research teachers from both campuses for their support and guidance in assisting the students’ research projects and arranging this year’s symposium.  

W.T. Clarke MS Duo Advances to State Science Congress

W.T. Clarke MS Duo Advances to State Science Congress Photo
W.T. Clarke Middle School eighth-graders Emma Jones and Elianna Rivera, have qualified to compete in the junior division of the New York State Science Congress, to be held in Buffalo, New York, on June 3.

The state science competition, sponsored by the Science Teachers Association of New York State, exhibits the science projects of middle, junior high and senior high school students. Projects encompass the fields of behavioral science, biology, chemistry, earth, energy, space, ecology and physics.
To qualify for states, Emma and Elianna conducted an independent research study and three-month experiment titled “What is the Effect of Various Filtration Methods and Materials on the Quality of Water?” They presented their research at the junior division of the Long Island Science Congress, at Saint Anthony’s High School on April 4. The regional competition required them to deliver an eight-minute presentation on their experiments, followed by a Q&A session.   

The district wishes Emma and Elianna the best of luck as they advance to the state competition.

East Meadow Honors Artistic Accomplishments, Musical Milestones and Exemplary Character of Students

East Meadow Honors Artistic Accomplishments, Musical Milestones and Exemplary Character of Students Photo

Hundreds of elementary and secondary school students were honored for their excellence in music, art and humanitarianism during the district’s annual Music and Art Awards ceremony on May 9.

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.

“Tonight is about recognizing our students who diligently worked to develop their talents in music, art and humanitarianism,” Mr. Campo said. “As long as we work together in partnership for the benefit of our children and our children continue to share their talents, 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 each other.

In addition, more than 300 students were honored for their outstanding achievements in music and art.

As each student accepted their award, families, central administrators, faculty and members of the Board of Education applauded their creativity, diligence and compassion.

Music highlights included:
•    Seven students were selected as All-State musicians and six were named alternates for the New York State School Music Association Winter Conference in Rochester, New York.
•    Thirty-three students were selected to perform in the Long Island String Festival Association festivals.
•    A total of 147 students performed in the Nassau Music Educators Association All-County Festival at the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts.
•    Two high school seniors were selected to perform in the National Association for Music Education All-National Ensembles in Grapevine, Texas.
•    Three high school seniors were selected to perform in the National Association for Music Education’s Biennial Eastern Division Conference in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
•    One high school senior was invited to perform in the United States Army All-American Marching Band in San Antonio, Texas.
•    Seven elementary school students performed in the Nassau Music Educators Association’s PEAK (Parents, Educators and Kids) Festival.

Art highlights included:
•    Sixty-six students participated in the Art Supervisors Association All-County Art Exhibition.
•    Twelve students were selected to participate in the Long Island Art Teachers Association Art in HeART Exhibition and two students participated in the New York State Art Teacher Association Legislative Student Art Exhibition.
•    Eight elementary school students created illustrations for the district’s 2017-18 budget book.
•    Ten high school students participated in the Olympics of the Visual Arts state competition in Saratoga, New York.

Two elementary school students were New York State merit winners in this year’s PTA Reflections Program, which had the theme “What’s Your Story.”

VIDEO: Incoming Middle School Students Were Delighted To Be Invited

Delighted To Be Invited Photo 1
Delighted To Be Invited Photo 2
Delighted To Be Invited Photo 3

Fifth-grade students from Barnum Woods, Bowling Green, George McVey, Meadowbrook and Parkway elementary schools in the district were treated to a special concert by Woodland Middle School’s eighth-grade band, chorus and orchestra as part of the Woodland Invitational “Unite and Delight” event on May 18.

“The Unite and Delight Music Invitational was designed as a showcase for our performing music ensembles while also serving as a warm welcome for the incoming sixth-graders who will be attending middle school this fall,” said the district’s Director of Music and Art Kathyrn Behr. “The eighth-grade student musicians have worked diligently to prepare their musical pieces and are excited to demonstrate their talents for our young audience.”

Whether it was the recently revived theme from “Beauty and the Beast” performed by the Woodland orchestra or a Disney medley that included the signature song “Be Our Guest” from the same movie delivered by the chorus, the fifth-graders were thoroughly entertained and greeted with many smiles by the Woodland staff and student leaders upon arrival. As an added treat, each fifth-grader received a Woodland string bag filled with a water bottle, lanyard and a few school supplies.

“Unite and Delight will ease the students’ transition to middle school and help them understand more about who we are as a school,” said Woodland eighth-grader Jacob Craven, a member of the chorus and volunteer greeter for the event. “The advice I would give them is to not be scared, let everything happen and do the best you can in your classes.”

The fifth-graders also attended a sixth-grade orientation earlier in the year, during which they toured the building where they will attend middle school in the fall.

Advancing To The Finals

Advancing To The Finals Photo
Two W.T. Clarke Middle School students have advanced to the National History Bee Finals, which will be held June 1-4 in Atlanta, Georgia. 

Seventh-grader James Griesing and eighth-grader Nick Spano are moving on to nationals after competing in the New York Regional Finals of the National History Bee. They will participate in the competitions for their respective age divisions, answering 25 questions in each of four preliminary buzzer rounds and taking a written exam consisting of 40 multiple choice questions about U.S. and global history. 

The 64 highest ranked students in each division will advance to the championship buzzer round on the last day of the competition, where one student in each division will earn the title of National History Bee Grand Champion. 

The district wishes James and Nick much success as they compete at finals.

East Meadow HS Junior Spends Day as Local Official

East Meadow HS Junior Spends Day as Local Official Photo
Elise Shallbetter, a junior at East Meadow High School, had the privilege of learning about local government firsthand when she participated in the Town of Hempstead’s 18th annual Students in Government Day on May 15. She was one of 13 students throughout the township to take part in this educational opportunity.

To achieve this, Elise submitted a 250-word essay about local government, describing how it works and discussing issues she felt should be addressed. She also indicated which department she was most interested in exploring.

Along with lessons on local government, Elise’s day at Town Hall included exploring the parks and recreation department, attending meetings and participating in a mock emergency weather drill. The day concluded with all students engaging in a Q&A session with Town of Hempstead Supervisor Anthony J. Santino and Council Members.     

Celebrating Moms

Celebrating Moms Photo

In honor of Mother’s Day, Jill Hecker’s second-grade class at Bowling Green Elementary School held a tea to celebrate their magnificent moms.

Teary eyes filled the room as each student took center stage to share an acrostic poem they had written for their mother. Each letter in “mother” expressed one of the reasons why their mother means the world to them. After reciting their poems, they presented their mothers with a hug, a kiss and a rose.

Following, the students and their mothers enjoyed cookies, cupcakes and iced tea as they captured the event’s memories on their phones.

East Meadow Budget Passes

Residents in the East Meadow School District voted to support the 2017-18 budget on May 16, by a vote of 2,123 to 532.

Additionally, Alisa Baroukh and Scott Eckers were elected to the Board of Education. The vote totals were:

Scott Eckers (running unopposed): 2,268 Votes
Joseph Danenza: 780 Votes
Alisa Baroukh: 1,761 Votes

Thank you to all residents who participated in this important vote and for your continued support of the East Meadow School District.

East Meadow Holds Ninth Annual ‘Run with the Rams’

East Meadow Holds Ninth Annual ‘Run with the Rams’ Photo

Residents of the East Meadow School District joined students, faculty and Board of Education members for the district’s ninth annual “Run with the Rams” 5K fundraiser, sponsored by the W.T. Clarke Athletic Department, on April 29.

Bright and early on a warm Saturday, participants of all ages gathered in Clarke High School’s gymnasium to check in, register and pin their timing bibs for the one-mile “fun run” or 5K street race. 

Organized by Josh Friedman, the Athletic Chairperson for W.T. Clarke High School and Middle School, both races began and ended outside the athletic complex, circling through the neighborhood, with water stops managed by student volunteers.

The fundraiser accumulated $2,000 to benefit a local family in need and the W.T. Clarke Athletic program.

Clarke MS Students Stand Mock Trial

Clarke MS Students Stand Mock Trial Photo
The seventh- and eighth-grade members of W.T. Clarke Middle School’s Mock Trial club took on the roles of lawyers, witnesses and jurors as they participated in the 34th annual Western Suffolk BOCES Mock Trial Tournament on April 21.

After months of preparation and practice, the team read, analyzed and strategized the mock civil case of Jenna Hightower v. Mike Tosser, which was the case to be heard at the tournament. They met with club advisor and Social Studies Department Chairperson Lisa Scully to study and plan for the big day. 

Held at Suffolk County Community College, the one-day competition brought together 13 teams from Nassau and Suffolk counties. Clarke’s team participated in two rounds: the first as prosecutor against West Babylon Junior High School and the second as defendant against North Shore Middle School.

At the end of the day, Clarke’s students were victorious in the presentation/poised category.  

“I am very proud of the team for diligently studying the case,” said Scully. “They exhibited a high level of professionalism by transforming into the lawyers and witnesses of the trial.”  

W.T. Clarke REACH Students Perform With FREE Players

W.T. Clarke REACH Students Perform With FREE Players Photo

On April 28, W.T. Clarke REACH students shared the stage with the FREE Players as parents, faculty, administrators and community members gathered for the FREE Players Variety Show Extravaganza at W.T. Clarke High School.

“This is a first that our own children are performing with the FREE Players,” said Superintendent of Schools Leon J. Campo. “The FREE Players are an inspirational troupe who have spent time with our students in overcoming their challenges, developing their abilities and exposing their talents for all of us to enjoy.”

Alongside their FREE Players mentors, the East Meadow REACH students took center stage as they performed the “Schoolhouse Rock” segment “I’m Just a Bill,” singing about how a bill becomes a law in the United States judicial system.     

The FREE Players performed an assortment of skits, songs and dance routines from Broadway musicals including “Hairspray,” “9 to 5” and “Wicked.” Members of the FREE Players Drum Corps and Color Guard dazzled the audience with cadences from “Free Your Mind,” “Ice Kingdom” and “Intergalactic.” In addition, performers from the Bay Way Arts Center danced to “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Lorde and presented a preview of their production of “Grease.”

All who took the stage received a standing ovation for their remarkable performance.

East Meadow High School Remembers The Holocaust

East Meadow High School Remembers The Holocaust Photo

In observance of Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day, East Meadow High School students learned about hope, tolerance and courage from the Theatre Three production “From the Fires: Voices of the Holocaust.”

Organized by Assistant Principal Robert Hardwick, the high school’s Expanding Pride in Israeli Culture (EPIC) club and Social Studies department, students in grades 9-12 traveled back in time to better understand the heinous tragedy of the Holocaust. 

“This program is a powerful voice that reminds us to never forget and to always treat others with respect, understanding and compassion,” said EPIC President Allison Goldstein. 

The assembly, which was divided into two sessions – the earlier for the upperclassmen and the later for freshmen and sophomores – depicted the horrific treatment that a young high school Jewish girl, her friend and her father experienced from neighbors, colleagues and classmates in their town, as well as how they survived the concentration camps. 

Written by Jeffrey R. Sanzel, “From the Fires: Voices of the Holocaust” traces the life of Rachel Gold, a Berlin teenager, and her experiences from 1937 to 1945. The 40-minute play follows Rachel’s life from the inception of the Nuremberg Laws to the deportation to Auschwitz and the death march to Mauthausen.   

Following the performance, students took part in a Q&A session with the actors, asking about their inspiration for the play and the impact the performance had on them. 

Reuse A Shoe

Reuse A Shoe Photo
Students and staff at Barnum Woods Elementary School donated 2,351 pairs of shoes to the clothing recycling company Wearable Collections on April 28. According to its website, this New York-City based company keeps clothing, textiles and shoes out of landfills while generating funds for local charities.

Initiated by the school’s Planning Management Team, students, faculty and administrators were asked to bring in footwear of any condition during the week of April 24. Classes collected large donations of unwanted, outgrown and worn out sneakers, shoes and boots.

Among the generous contributions, Gene Vassel’s fifth-grade class collected 177 pairs of the shoes, winning a brunch celebration with Harriet Alfano, the school’s Assistant Principal. In addition, fourth-grader Natalie Kwok individually collected 97 pairs of shoes, helping her classmates earn second place with a total of 149 pairs.   

Bowling Green Students Learn About The Hazards Of Tobacco

Bowling Green Students Learn About The Hazards Of Tobacco Photo

Bowling Green Elementary School fifth-graders learned about the hazards of tobacco during a “Tobacco Control” assembly led by nurses from the Center for Tobacco Control at North Shore University Hospital.

Organized by Bowling Green social worker Steven Sacks, fifth-graders gathered in the school’s all-purpose room to learn about the various forms of tobacco, chemicals added to cigarettes, the addictive drug nicotine and ways to live a healthy lifestyle.

During the assembly, North Shore nurses Andrea Spartamella and Christine Fardellone engaged students in activities that taught them about the detrimental effects that smoking tobacco has on their health. Students compared the labels of a pack of cigarettes and a bag of popcorn, learning that cigarette packs do not contain a list of ingredients. In another activity, students were given a visual of the chemicals found in a cigarette by pulling out objects representing the dangerous substances from a giant plastic cigarette. Objects included mothballs, a miniature racecar to symbolize carbon monoxide and a bottle of Clorox to represent ammonia.

Concluding the assembly, the students discussed ways to help people quit smoking, stand up to peer pressure, and keep the heart healthy by avoiding sugar, eating balanced meals and exercising for 60 minutes every day.    

Caught Being Kind at Clarke

Caught Being Kind at Clarke Photo
Caught Being Kind at Clarke Photo 2

With outdoor temperatures beginning to rise, the atmosphere at W.T. Clarke Middle School also turned warmer as the school community spread kindness throughout the month of April.

Organized by the school’s Student Government, the monthlong Kisses for Kindness initiative encouraged students, faculty and administrators to “catch” others in a benevolent act. Members of Student Government cut hundreds of paper Hershey’s Kisses on which students could document the good deeds performed by their peers and teachers. A submission box for paper Kisses was also placed in the main office for staff and administrators to note when students and faculty demonstrated kindness.

Every day, student government members delivered a bag of Hershey’s Kisses to those who had been caught the day before. The paper Kisses were posted daily in the hallway in a growing display of schoolwide kindness, with more than 600 Kisses coming to fill the hallways in acknowledgment of the school community’s thoughtfulness and compassion.

“I am so proud of the student government for thinking of this idea and including everyone in the building,” said Student Government advisor Margaret Sweeny. “The enthusiasm and excitement we received from students, teachers and administrators is truly remarkable.”

Clarke HS Mock Trial Team Places First in County Tournament

Clarke HS Mock Trial Team Places First in County Tournament Photo
The W.T. Clarke High School Mock Trial club won first place in the New York State Bar Association’s Nassau County tournament, advancing to the 2017 NYS Mock Trial Finals in Albany, New York, on May 21-23.

The competitions are part of the New York State Mock Trial program, which, according to NYSBA’s website, gives high school students an opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge of civil/criminal law and courtroom procedures by defending a case.

In preparation for the county tournament, the East Meadow students received the mock case of Robin Berkman v. County of Dover in December, which they read, analyzed and strategized with their coach, high school Social Studies teacher Paul Henning. During the competition, held at the Nassau County Courthouse in Hempstead, teams took on the role of either prosecutor or defendant against other local schools and argued their case before a panel of judges. The judges consisted of lawyers, judges and law enforcement officials.

Clarke High School’s team competed against several high schools in the preliminary rounds, including Kellenberg Memorial, Saint Mary’s, Massapequa, Great Neck North and Davis Renov Stahler Yeshiva high schools, as well as Hempstead’s Crescent School. They emerged victorious after facing the Wheatley School from the East Williston School District in the championship round, earning first place and advancing to the finals.

The team will head to Albany on May 21 to defend the same case at the James T. Foley Courthouse in the Northern District against schools from around the state.

From 2003 to 2011, the Clarke High School Mock Trial team has won six county championship titles and were named state champions in 2003.

The district commends the Clarke High School team and wishes them much success at finals.  

East Meadow High School Juniors Earn NCFJE Good Deed Award

Recognized for their upstanding citizenship and community service, East Meadow High School juniors Kristen Kavanagh and Shermeen Khan have earned the 2017 Good Deed Award for Long Island Teenagers from the National Committee for the Furtherance of Jewish Education.
According to the NCFJE website, the Good Deed Award Program recognizes outstanding caring and courageous students whose independent good deeds contribute to the community’s quality of life. These students embody the characteristics of compassion, equality and social justice, integrity, honesty and responsibility.

Both students were nominated by their guidance counselor, Joanna Silberman, for sharing their time, talents and resources with the community.

With a genuine, caring and humble personality, Kristen expresses her school spirit in numerous ways. She volunteers to decorate the halls for various activities, has helped build a homecoming float, performs at sporting events, pep rallies and parades as a member of the high school’s kickline team, the Rockettes, and serves as co-president of the Student Alliance for Equality. She is also a member of several honor societies.

Last year, following a rigorous interview process, Kristen was the only East Meadow High School sophomore to represent the school as a Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership ambassador. She joined teenagers from throughout the region at a HOBY leadership conference, where she collaborated with recognized leaders in business, government, education and other professions to discuss current world issues.

Beyond her school involvement, Kristen has been a Girl Scout for more than 12 years and earned her Gold Award with her community service project, SMILE – Smile, Manners, Interpersonal skills, Listen, Eye contact – to emphasize the importance of social interaction among middle school students. For her project, she designed interactive workshops that used games, role playing and technology to instill “old school values” and help children adopt better decision-making and social skills.

With a passion for service since middle school, Shermeen is active in numerous clubs and organizations, and is an activist for the Muslim and Hindu communities.

 Enrolled in challenging Advanced Placement and college-level courses, Shermeen is a member of the National, Science, Spanish and Social Studies honor societies, for which she assists in fundraising, tutors younger children and upholds the honor and duties of each chapter. She is also president of Key Club, public relations director and secretary of the Ethnic Awareness Club and secretary of Future Business Leaders of America.

As Key Club president, Shermeen has exercised leadership and performed countless hours of volunteer work throughout Long Island and New York State. As part of her service, she has been the chairperson of the Kiwanis Pediatric Trauma Center Foundation, a position in which she has campaigned and raised money, conducted safety presentations, and publicized information about hazardous situations children may encounter for students, parents and caregivers. Additionally, she was elected New York District Lieutenant Governor for District 6, where she leads and motivates students from 12 local high school Key Clubs. She creates newsletters, develops training workshops, and motivates and inspires others to give back to their community in a variety of ways.

Within her community, Shermeen conducted extensive research and created a petition that received over 700 signatures requesting the East Meadow School District to consider recognizing Muslim and Hindu holidays in the school calendar. Her proposal was accepted, and the district will be recognizing these religious holidays in the upcoming school year calendar.

The district commends both Kristen and Shermeen for making the East Meadow school community exceptional through their positive contributions and dedicated involvement.     

Board of Education Appoints New Superintendent of Schools

Board of Education Appoints New Superintendent of Schools Photo
At its communications meeting on April 20, 2017, the East Meadow Board of Education appointed Dr. Kenneth Card, Jr. as the district’s new superintendent of schools, effective July 1, 2017. Dr. Card joins the district with more than 14 years of experience as a district and school-based leader, most recently serving as the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction in the Huntington School District for the past seven years. His past experience also includes serving as principal at Woodhull Intermediate School in Huntington, and an assistant principal and social studies teacher in the Harborfields Central School District.

Dr. Card also currently serves as an adjunct assistant professor at the School of Education at LIU Post and as an adjunct instructor at the School of Education at SUNY Old Westbury. He is a visionary leader in a K-12 setting and has extensive experience in strategic planning and resource development, a deep dedication to academic excellence and a passion for preparing students for productive and successful lives.

“Dr. Card is highly regarded and respected in the educational community and described by his peers as a creative thinker, a problem solver, a strong long-range planner and an effective leader,” said Board of Education President Marcee Rubinstein. “The Board believes that Dr. Card will be effective at connecting and communicating with faculty, staff, students, parents and the community at large. We welcome him to our district and look forward to his leadership and vision.”

Dr. Card’s primary goal for East Meadow is to enable the district to fully achieve its mission and aspirations for all students. He plans on building on East Meadow’s many strengths and promote a rich academic life that fosters student success, advances the intellectual, artistic and athletic abilities of students to ensure that they are well prepared for student success well into the future.

“Dr. Card has our district’s entire support in his efforts to lead and to uplift our children to greater heights in knowledge, kindness and respect of others,” said current Superintendent of Schools Leon J. Campo. “On behalf of our dedicated staff, I welcome him to the East Meadow School District family!”

Board of Education Honors ‘Terrific Kids’

Board of Education Honors ‘Terrific Kids’ Photo

Among a sea of community members, faculty and students, the East Meadow Board of Education recognized the March and April “Terrific Kids” of Woodland and W.T. Clarke middle schools during their communication meeting on April 20.

Kicking off the celebratory evening, the Bowling Green Elementary School Chamber Orchestra, consisting of 28 fourth- and fifth-graders, serenaded those in attendance under the direction of the school’s orchestra teacher, Kristen Bean.  

Following, students from both middle schools were honored by East Meadow Kiwanis President Ross Schiller, members of the Board, and middle school Principals Stacy Breslin and James Lethbridge for being role models in their school communities. Sponsored by the East Meadow Kiwanis, the Terrific Kids program recognizes sixth- through eighth-graders who continuously improve as individuals, students and community leaders.

“We recognize these middle school students because they are role models who set an example for others and demonstrate exceptional character within the community,” said Superintendent of Schools Leon J. Campo.

Force of Fashion

Force of Fashion Photo
Members of the East Meadow High School Fashion Club held a “Force of Nature” fashion show on March 31, raising $1,500 for “The Cure Starts Now,” a pediatric cancer research foundation for diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas, a type of brain tumor.

Throughout the year, Fashion Club members developed a theme for the show, decided on a charity to which they would donate the proceeds, coordinated with local stores to donate clothing, and arranged fittings for the models as well as taught them the choreography for the runway.

After months of planning and preparation, students in grades 10-12 volunteered to model fashion inspired by the four elements – wind, fire, water and earth. Each model posed in two outfits graciously donated by Century 21 in Westbury.

“The amount of support we received from friends, family, teachers and other students was truly amazing,” said East Meadow High School senior and Fashion Club member Olivia Megale. “I am beyond proud of all the club members and models for putting on a fabulous show.”  

The district commends the Fashion Club for using their passion for fashion to help the community.  

Welcome the W.T. Clarke Middle School Champions

Welcome the W.T. Clarke Middle School Champions Photo
Fifteen students at W.T. Clarke Middle School were honored for their exemplary character and conduct during the school’s inaugural Breakfast of Champions ceremony on April 27.

“Thank you for raising such fine children,” said Principal Stacy Breslin to the parents gathered. “We honor these students for being Clarke Middle School Champions and applaud them for their contributions and achievements.”
The program recognizes students who possess strong character and integrity, a good work ethic, compassion and empathy. The honorees were nominated by their teachers for exemplifying a positive attitude, demonstrating an open mindset and taking personal responsibility for their actions.

The school’s administrators expressed their gratitude to the nominating teachers, as well as staff members Randi Bernstein, Carol Glueckert and Laura Henry, PTA President Denise Michaelis, student representatives Isabel Martinez and Anjali Aggarwal, and the Planning Management Team for their organization, support and creativity in instituting this program.

The W.T. Clarke Champions are:

Henry Asencio
Monica Dell’Olio
Nicholas Espinosa
Mubaraka Ezzi
Sebastian Fajardo
Michael Forte
Kevin Henning
Jack Hollywood
Gurleen Kaur
Brooke Noonan
Isabella Petz
Catherine Posillico
Kimberly Ruiz
Gianna Taveras
Jenna Trinh

Visit from Vietnam Veterans

Visit from Vietnam Veterans Photo

East Meadow High School juniors received a special visit from members of the Vietnam War Veterans Association of Long Island where students learned about the Veterans’ experiences during the war.

The veterans discussed hardships of the war, including serving overseas in extreme weather conditions, delay of information regarding life in the United States and surviving guerilla warfare. Providing a firsthand look at the war, the veterans circulated authentic materials used by soldiers such as helmets, vests, books, photo albums and enemy equipment.

Following the presentation, the students participated in a Q&A session with the veterans and expressed their gratitude to them for serving our country and devoting their lives to protecting our freedoms.

Chief of Clarke

Chief of Clarke Photo1
Chief of Clarke Photo 2
Andraya Givargis, a sixth-grader at W.T. Clarke Middle School accepted the title of school principal on April 21 as part of the school’s “Principal for a Day” fundraiser.

Organized by the school’s Change 4 Change club, sixth- through eighth-grade students entered the contest for the chance to serve as school principal by purchasing $1 raffle tickets. The Principal for a Day program raised more than $200.  

With Principal Stacy Breslin at her side, Andraya spent the day on Friday conducting the morning announcements, attending meetings with faculty, visiting classrooms to observe student learning and promoting educational excellence throughout the building.

Change 4 Change is a student-driven service club in which members develop creative fundraising projects and competitions throughout the year. During a culminating assembly at the end of May, the members distribute funds raised from the year to causes of their choosing. So far this year, the club has raised more than $4,000 through various drives and fundraisers. 

2017 Budget Newsletter Is Now Available


Nation’s Capital Welcomes East Meadow High School

Nation’s Capital Welcomes East Meadow High School Photo

Members of East Meadow High School’s National Social Studies Honor Society and Model Congress traveled to Washington, D.C., from April 5-7 for an authentic learning experience.

Over the three days, the 38 juniors and seniors, who are enrolled in Advanced Placement social studies courses, received a guided tour of historical monuments, including the Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Martin Luther King Jr., Thomas Jefferson, Lincoln and Vietnam Veterans memorials. During their travels the group visited the White House, Arlington National Cemetery, the National Museum of American History and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Students also received a special visit from Congresswoman Kathleen Rice, who spoke to the group about her work in D.C., outside the U.S. Capitol.   

In addition, the group stopped by the Newseum, an interactive museum that promotes, explains and defends free expression and the five freedoms of the First Amendment.

Through this opportunity, the students enhanced their knowledge of U.S. history while experiencing the nation’s capital.

Parkway’s Got Rhythm

Parkway’s Got Rhythm Photo

Kindergartners at Parkway Elementary School got into the rhythm with the help of dance instructor Diane Gibaldi from Higher Minds Dance.

The visit kicked off the school’s five-week K Dance program, during which Gibaldi is teaching students basic concepts such as in front of, behind, over and under through dance routines and music. Practicing in groups, the kindergartners follow the music by applying critical thinking, collaboration and coordination skills to complete tasks.

The students will culminate the program on May 16 by performing a choreographed dance to Lonestar’s “Let Them Be Little” for parents, faculty and administrators.