Written by Elizabeth Sobel Friday, 21 June 2013 00:00
The atmosphere was filled with much excitement as the 258 graduates of the Class of 2013 as Division Avenue High School proceeded onto the floor of Hofstra University’s Mack Sports Complex to take the first step in the next chapter of their lives. Under the direction of Mark Martufi, the Division Avenue High School Orchestra played “Pomp and Circumstance” to announce the beginning of Division’s 54th annual commencement exercises. Student Council President Felicia Comuniello led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance, while the Senior Chamber Singers sang the national anthem.
Principal Dr. Francesco Ianni welcomed guests to the special occasion. In his address to the graduates, Dr. Ianni noted that it is their job to take Division Avenue pride to another level. “Don’t be a name on a roster,” he said. “Bring your story loud and clear; it is up to you to stand tall and be heard.”
Senator Charles Schumer, Councilman Gary Hudes and Legislator Dennis Dunne reflected on their past experiences and encouraged the students to reach for their dreams, work towards their goals and remember that parents are parachutes that will always try to keep them safe.
In his address to fellow classmates, valedictorian James Reilly explained that we are all authors to our own novels, of which there is only one copy. “Be your own writer, editor, publicist and critic,” Reilly advised. “You want to be satisfied with your work. Personalize it and enjoy every minute.”
Salutatorian Sukhneet Sahota asked the rhetorical question, “What do you want to do?” She explained that each graduate could answer this question if they do not succumb to fear. “You make the world what you want it to be for yourself,” she stated.
In a cherished tradition, the audience and graduates took time out from the celebratory speeches to watch a commemorative video presentation that featured photographs and short video clips of the seniors’ last year together.
Board of Education Vice President Peter Porrazzo then certified that the seniors had met the requirements for graduation, upon which each graduate was called to the podium to receive their diplomas and become an alumnus of the Levittown School District.
Saturday, 26 July 2014 00:00
A clown named Renaldo performed magic tricks for an enthusiastic audience as part of the National Circus Project, which visited Levittown Public Library on Wednesday, July 16.
All 150 tickets available for the performance were sold out in this interactive magic show for children. Throughout the entire circus act, children laughed and raised their hands as high as they could to be chosen as one of Renaldo’s helpers.
Raising her hand to participate was three-year-old Kirsten Cantwell from Seaford. “She was upset that she didn’t get picked,” said her mother Melissa Cantwell.
Kirsten Cantwell goes to any activity offered at the library, and is starting to enjoy watching magic shows. According to her mother, she really enjoyed the performance.
In the circus show, National Circus Project performer, Al Calienes, acted as Renaldo the clown.
“The show has different components of acts in the circus,” explained Calienes. “We teach children circus moves.”
With the National Circus Project, children get to see magic tricks performed live. “We infuse enthusiasm by showing them, and they in turn will be able to repeat the process,” said Calienes.
Renaldo performed plate spinning, where he spun a plate on a stick and passed it along to the stick of one of his helpers from the audience, who then passed the plate down a line of three more helpers. This interactive way of teaching the children magic tricks really allows them to absorb what they are learning.
The National Circus Project travels and performs for elementary schools, as well as middle and high schools. When the National Circus Project is not going to schools, they perform at library shows, summer camps, and other types of events.
The performance entertains the adults as well as the children. “We involve everybody,” said Calienes. “Everybody’s engaged on some level or another. “
At every library performance, Calienes donates the children’s book he wrote and illustrated Renaldo Joins the Circus to the library. He feels that he owes a lot to the library system. “Anything that ever meant anything to me I learned in the library,” said Calienes.
Calienes learned how to draw from the library, which is how he became a commercial artist. One of the main characters he would always draw would be Renaldo the clown. “I wanted to make him real so I joined the circus,” he said.
Calienes has been performing with the National Circus Project for seven years and has been in the circus business going on 26 years.
The National Circus Project brings magic to children at any school, camp or library all over Long Island as well as across the country.
Friday, 25 July 2014 00:00
Last June, Nassau County passed legislation that allows for the deployment of a speed enforcement camera system in school zones for each of the 56 public school districts in the county.
The new systems will be implemented throughout the county on July 25, and will be operational on scheduled school days throughout the year.
Thursday, 24 July 2014 00:00
Levittown’s Division Avenue High School varsity baseball team, under the direction of coach Tom Tuttle, won the Class A County Championship, garnering a third-place ranking in New York State. This is the team’s 13th county championship win and the second county championship for the school in the past four years.
In addition, senior Chris Reilly was named Championship MVP for throwing a complete game shutout in game two and going three for four with two RBIs.
Thursday, 24 July 2014 00:00
Taylor Traenkle, a junior at Division Avenue High School recently received the MVP award for the Nassau County Varsity Hockey League Association.
Traenkle, who plays no. 9 for the Levittown Ice Falcons, led the way averaging 2.8 points a game with a total of 25 goals and 23 assists in just 17 games.