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Massapequa Honors ‘Shining Stars’

Two Massapequa School District staff members and a longtime PTA volunteer were honored for “Shining above the Rest” during SCOPE Education Service’s 13th Annual School District Awards Dinner.

The non-profit organization — known for providing educational support services to school districts — presented a SCOPE 2013 Award of Excellence to Unqua Elementary School teacher Kira Wilkens, social worker Joanne Waters and PTA Council President Allison Prystupa in recognition of their exemplary service to education.

“I am delighted to see these members of our Massapequa family in the spotlight for their contributions to our district and our students,” said Superintendent Lucille F. Iconis. “They are truly dedicated and talented individuals who shine brilliantly as models of educational excellence.”

Wilkens is credited for heightening her instruction through her experience as an attendee and Fellow at Harvard University’s Project Zero educational program and for helping establish a Project Zero professional learning community by managing workshops, meetings and a website.

“Kira Wilkens embodies what it means to be a Massapequa educator,” her nominator wrote. She is an “advocate for student success who stays current on best teaching practices and translates them into meaningful practice.”  

A clinical social worker for more than 30 years, Joanne Waters’ impact on the Massapequa School District and the community has been described as profound.

“Her commitment to counseling, crisis intervention, and the creation of powerful educational and prevention programs has helped hundreds of students overcome difficulties in their lives, and, as a result, she has given them a better chance of succeeding in school,” according to her nominator.

Known by her colleagues as a devoted professional who is “always willing to go the extra mile,” Waters developed the Chiefs Challenge Club, a student club that promotes kindness, respect and civility, and has been central to many programs, such as the Red Watch Band training sessions, which teaches students to identify and respond to alcohol-related emergencies, and the Too Good for Drugs program and Awareness Week, which promote health, wellness and good-choices, among many others.

Allison Prystupa has taken on many roles in PTA, including Special Education parent member, SEPTA President, PTA Executive Vice President, PTA Council First Vice President and PTA Council President.

Described by her nominator as “a tireless and selfless worker who has devoted many hours to the children and staff of Massapequa Schools,” Prystupa always attends School Board meetings and school functions, and has organized committees and fundraisers.

“She advocates for the needs of the district both within and outside of the school system,” her nominator wrote, “and has been an integral supporter of the district’s Best Buddies program,” which pairs special needs students with regular students who help them improve their social and daily life skills through various activities.


Two hundred business students from high schools across Nassau County, including Massapequa High School, competed for scholarships and cash awards—more than $33,000 in all—from various sponsors at Nassau County’s annual Comptroller’s Entrepreneurial Challenge.

The events on Sept. 11, 2001 had a profound effect on nearly all in the tri-state area, but for first responders, the effects were overwhelming. Long-time Massapequa resident Michael Smith, a member of the New York Fire Department, experienced those effects firsthand.

“While I’ve always been a person that could appreciate life, after 9/11 I became so distraught,” he said. “I realized I need to do something I want to do — something I love to do.”

A 30-year veteran of the fire department, Smith retired in 2002. He and his wife of 33 years, Teresa, began to look for a place they could enjoy life. This mindset brought them to the East End of Long Island, where they often went for day trips. They settled down in a home in Orient Point in 2004; in a home that needed quite a bit of work. And when it was time to landscape the property, a new idea took root — a vineyard.


Massapequa athletes recently received honors from their coaches at Kellenberg Memorial High School.

Each season, the coaches of all of the Kellenberg teams choose one member of their team who stands out as an athlete that has worked hard to improve themselves in their chosen sport.

The Farmingdale State women’s lacrosse team won the first game of their Spring Break trip to North Carolina with a victory over Greensboro College. In wet and muddy conditions, the Rams (8-1) held an 8-5 lead at the half and took the eventual 13-10 win.

In the first half and tied 2-2, the Pride (7-5) pulled ahead 4-2 with two unassisted goals by junior attack Nadya Fedun. Farmingdale State answered with four straight scores for a 6-4 advantage, on goals by juniors Alyssa Handel, Nicole Marzocca and Massapequan Jackie Kennedy.

Sophomore attack Ashlynn Parks put Greensboro within a goal at the 7:03 mark, but the Rams scored two more to lead 8-5 at the halftime break.


YES Fundraiser

Saturday, April 26

Massapequa Memories

Tuesday, April 29

Spring Fashion Show

Wednesday, April 30


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