The Sewanhaka Central High School District interviewed three construction firms on Sept. 2 for the upcoming renovations to its five high schools. The district will announce its selection on Sept. 23. The firms and bids are unknown as of press time.
The district passed a $86.6 million bond referendum in May by nearly 2,479 votes. District officials plan to hold a bond groundbreaking ceremony on Sept. 17 at 6:30 p.m. at the Alva T. Stanforth Athletic fields in Elmont, signaling the start of work. The site will be closed for 18 months.
As we approach the upcoming school year, we will be celebrating the 86th year of instruction in the Sewanhaka Central High School District. Before our students arrive in September, our professional staff will return on Aug. 27 and 28 for our opening day program, during which we will welcome new and returning faculty and staff. We also will honor our Teachers of the Year and employees who have been with the district for 25 years or more. Our goal continues to be to ensure that each child is provided with an education designed to meet his or her needs. We believe that our professional staff is instrumental in providing for this success.
There have been several capital projects that are underway and the goal remains to complete these projects prior to the beginning of the school year. The New Hyde Park Memorial High School gymnasium has been painted and a new ceiling has been installed. As a result, this facility is now one that is in the condition that our students deserve. At Elmont Memorial High School, a new elevator will be installed prior to the opening of the school year.
After rides and games all afternoon at Spirit Day, middle school students are invited to continue the fun at the Middle School Dance Party in the St. Anne’s School cafeteria on Saturday, Sept. 20. This year’s theme of “Frozen”, along with the school’s new air conditioning system, will transport students into a virtual winter wonderland of dancing and music.
“This is such a great event for our middle school students,” says event organizer Barbara Tranfaglia. “It’s a chance for them to continue the momentum of the day in a friendly, safe environment with their friends. We always have great music and it’s a really popular event.”
This September, the staff and students at Our Lady of Victory (OLV) School in Floral Park will have a fresh new perspective on things. More than 300 windows on the school’s two buildings were replaced, after enduring more than 20 years of weather and wear.
“It was time; we had been researching it for a long time.” said OLV Principal Peg Augello. “They had to be done; they were just too old.”
The Sewanhaka Central High School District renewed Superintendent Dr. Ralph Ferrie’s contract for the next five years at a recent board meeting. Ferrie will receive no pay increase in 2014-15 at a $238,000 salary. The contract expires on June 30, 2019.
“You can’t get [work] done without a unanimous board,” Ferrie said. “This board took a leap of faith with the program plans for the district. We also have an excellent team [of administrators]. That’s an awesome team.”
The Sewanhaka Central High School District recently amended its student code of conduct to include the ban of e-cigarettes at its five high schools. School officials say measures were taken to address the issue.
“Some of the principals expressed a discomfort with attempting to discipline students when there was nothing in the code of conduct which would prohibit the possession of an e-cigs, rolling papers or things of that sort,” said Sewanhaka School Board President David Fowler. “The e-cigarette particular is something that has been brought up.” According to Fowler, student suspensions have been challenged during the school year, with children arguing certain items are not illegal paraphernalia.
On June 19, sixth-grade students from John Lewis Childs School were honored with their end-of-year awards. The following are the honorees:
John W. Robertson Library Award: Gwynne E. Smith
Dr. Luella Jordan Citizenship Award: Brigid M. Hearne
PTA Athlete Sportsmanship Award: Michael Buzzeo and Lea Reichert
Floral Park Youth Council Award For Outstanding Effort: Nicholas Cherpelis and Meghan Kenney
My First School welcomes Becky Kane to lead the newest “Two Time! Gradual Separation” class. This new program was such a success this year that a third class has been put into the school’s schedule.
Kane holds a BA in communications and media studies from Fordham University and a Masters in early childhood education from Hunter College. This is her tenth year teaching preschool and each year brings new adventures and expands curriculum ideas. Kane believes that children thrive in a warm, nurturing environment in which their creativity and imaginations can run wild. She creates curriculum around seasonal themes, as well as children’s ideas and interests, and always incorporates art, science, math and dramatic play. Kane lives in Floral Park with her husband and two daughters.
— Submitted by Jeannine Votruba
Sewanhaka High School recently held its 84th commencement ceremony and graduated 249 seniors at the David S. Mack Sports Complex at Hofstra University. At the ceremony, Senior Class President Joseph Mazzeo welcomed the class in his speech, recalling the class activities the students shared over the past six years, and recognized their class advisors Meredith Herbert and Michael Nola.
Salutatorian Daniel Sullivan and Valedictorian Robert Myrick also spoke to their classmates. At graduation, the faculty awarded the Harold W. Wright Memorial Scholarship to Myrick, for earning the highest average on 10 New York State Regents exams.
Keleigh Power of Floral Park Memorial High School is among the recipients of the 2013-14 Sewanhaka Federation of Teachers (SFT) Etta Schneiderman Scholarship Fund Award. The award is given in memory of Etta Schneiderman, a veteran math teacher from the Floral Park Memorial faculty who was not only an outstanding teacher, but also a profile in leadership through her tireless efforts with the SFT.
Schneiderman was a dedicated union member for many years and served in multiple executive board positions; in 2002 she was elected president and held this position right up until her untimely passing in 2007. Schneiderman was a true advocate for the best interests of the students via the needs of the professional staff and she is fondly remembered as a dynamic teacher, mentor, and friend.
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