For Dana DiCapua the news that she would become the new assistant superintendent for business was “thrilling, really, really thrilling.”
“It’s a privilege to be a part of it,” she said. “I’m looking forward to it.”
DiCapua departs from the Wantagh Public School District, where she was also the assistant superintendent for business. She comes to Garden City under the same title. With nine years experience in school business, she has the potential of being a worthy successor to Al Chase, who had served the district for the previous seven years. Prior to her position at Wantagh, she held the same position in Island Trees and similar positions in Plainview-Old Bethpage and Hempstead.
The latest chapter in the ongoing common core state standardized test controversy saw the release of the spring scores last week. This year’s state assessments were the first for New York students to measure the “common core” learning standards for grades 3-8. Across the state, 31 percent of students met (Level 3) or exceeded (Level 4) the proficiency standards in both English and math. In the Garden City Public School District, the number of students meeting or exceeding these standards was nearly double the state average, with grade 7 doing the best (ELA-76.2; Math-75.9) and grade 5 faring the worst (ELA-54.1; Math-59.5). (Grade 8 had the worst overall math score at 57.2).
Given the stellar reputation of Garden City schools, it’s no wonder the test results turned out as well as they did. But these numbers fall well short of the high expectations administrators and teachers have although Dr. Theresa Prendergast, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction feels its not quite feasible to compare this year’s results to those of last year due to a number of mitigating factors.
Students in Mrs. Beovich’s seventh grade Home and Careers classes learned about hunger on Long Island through a unique program with Long Island Cares, Long Island’s food bank and food pantry. They watched a video explaining the origin of the charity, how it works and who it serves, along with information about its founder, Huntington native singer/songwriter Harry Chapin, who died tragically in 1981.
Students used the Peapod website to calculate how much a typical day’s meals cost for each of them. They were then each assigned to an actual person’s biography. These were people (names changed) who had previously been helped by Long Island Cares. Based on the individual’s situation and finances, students calculated how much money they had left from their incoming funds for daily food, after deductions for rent, utilities, transportation and other expenses were made. The students were all surprised to see how little these families had left to spend on food, compared to what the students’ daily meals cost.
Graduation Day turned out to be an event blessed by beautiful weather. It provided relief from an otherwise rainy week and befitted the festive mood of the Buckley Country Day School graduates, their families and friends who had gathered to celebrate the graduation of the Class of 2013.
Reverend Joseph R. Gibino, pastor of Holy Trinity R.C. Church in Whitestone and friend of several of the graduates’ families, gave this year’s invocation and offered his blessings and prayers to the class of 2013. He was welcomed to Buckley’s commencement exercises by Ricky Rengifo ’13 who introduced Father Gibino as “a truly spiritual leader and a really great friend, not just to me but the whole world.”
Congratulations go out to 14 Garden City High School Spanish students for achieving gold medals on the 2013 National Spanish Exam.
Students from Peter Giacalone’s, Nora Artibee’s, Michael Berg’s, Marie Nuzzi’s, and Dr. Christina Failla’s classes earned a total of 19 gold, 20 silver and 20 bronze medals along with 50 honorable mentions.
“Congratulations to this year’s winners,” stated World Language Coordinator Peter Giacalone. “Garden City students have a long history of high achievement on these exams.”
The Garden City Historical Society congratulates Garden City High School senior Kelsey Tierney, the 2013 recipient of the Stewart Fund Scholarship in Memory of St. Mary’s and St. Paul’s, presented annually by The Garden City Historical Society. Criteria for the $2,500 scholarship includes placement in the top 10 percent of the class, demonstration of excellence and enthusiasm in social studies, and evidence of quality community service.
Tierney graduated with a weighted GPA of 100.04, and will attend Cornell University, where she will major in industrial and labor relations. She plans to become a lawyer and work in the field of government.
The Western Property Owners Association (WPOA) established its high school scholarship program 12 years ago, granting its first scholarship in 2002. Over the years, the program has assisted deserving Western Section students, who’ve combined academic efforts with volunteer community service in high school, and will go on to continue their education. The WPOA awards two $500 scholarships annually, and congratulates its 2013 winners, Jessie Lyons and Matthew Trabold.
Jessie Lyons is the recipient of the WPOA scholarship in memory of Past Presidents John F. Traxler and Paul J. Muscarella. She will attend Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, NY, pursuing a degree in music industry and technology with the goal of developing a career as a voice over artist in television and movies.
At Garden City High School’s Class of 2013 Awards ceremony, Edward W. Blatz, Jr. received the Garden City Chamber of Commerce’s “Althea Robinson Excellence in Business Education Scholarship Award” in the amount of $3,000. One of the initiatives of the Garden City Chamber of Commerce in 2007 had been the formation of a charitable foundation. Among the Foundation’s missions is the awarding of an annual scholarship to a deserving Garden City High School senior who has excelled in the area of business and who best exemplifies the spirit of the Garden City business community. Blatz had previously been recognized as a special guest at the 11th annual Pineapple Ball on April 19 at the Garden City Hotel.
He achieved a 95 average in his business classes and an overall GPA of 91 at Garden City High School. Blatz also completed classes in finance, college business management, business law, marketing and advertising plus college accounting.
Garden City Public Schools is pleased to welcome Dana DiCapua as assistant superintendent for business. She began her work in the district on July 1 and is replacing Al Chase who is retiring after seven years of service. DiCapua is departing Wantagh Public Schools where she worked as the assistant superintendent for business. She also held the same position in Island Trees, and similar positions in Plainview-Old Bethpage and Hempstead. DiCapua holds a B.S in business administration from SUNY Oswego and an M.B.A. from Dowling College. Prior to working in school finance, she enjoyed a successful career in the banking industry.
In joyful celebration of outstanding student achievement, the Class of 2013 Senior Awards Ceremony took place at Garden City High School, awarding over $100,000 in scholarship monies. From memorial scholarships to department honors, 102 high school seniors were recipients of the evening’s 207 awards.
Members of the board of education, district and Garden City High School administration express their gratitude to the sponsoring individuals and organizations for making these scholarships possible.
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