Plainedge High School students Deepika Dhawan, Justin Law and Christina Szi represented the Plainedge School District at two prestigious research competitions this past weekend. Their papers were selected as social science semifinalists from among thousands of Long Island and metro area science research experiments considered for the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. They were invited to give oral presentations about their research at CUNY York College this week. In addition, these students presented their projects at the Long Island Science and Engineering Fair. Winning papers will continue on to the regional finals for these competitions. Their success is the culmination of several years of intense research.
If you ask Alfred G. Berner Middle School eighth-grader Liam Higgins where Yakutsk is, chances are he’ll know the answer: a remote corner of Siberia and one of the coldest places on Earth.
Liam was crowned the winner in the school-wide round of the National Geographic Geography Bee, allowing him the opportunity to qualify for the state level and advance to the national level.
Success adds up for 12 eighth-grade students from Alfred G. Berner Middle School. They achieved the highest marks on the 2013 American Mathematics Contest 8 exam out of 243 students tested in their grade.
Their marks ranged from 13 to 16 out of a possible 25; the national average is a score of 10. Deborah Lobaccaro received a 16, the highest score, followed by James Kiernan, Ryann Regan, Jake Bresnihan, and Kayla Collins who all scored a 14. Seven more students scored a 13, including Victoria Bal, Kevin Voigt, Talia Nieto, Connor Curley, Michael Venezia, Matthew Schector and Kaitlin McWilliams.
Fairfield Elementary School’s artistic talent shined in a recent art contest. The school had not one, not two, but three winners out of 24 Island-wide. Congratulations to Patricia Hansen, a 5th-grade student who won in the “portraits” category for her drawing of singer Demi Lovato; Anthony Ripo, also a 5th-grader, who won in the “sports” category for his artwork of two football players, one from the New York Giants and the other from the San Francisco 49ers engaged in a play; and Juliann Goodwin, a 1st grader, who won in the “cartoons” category for her depiction of Princess Rose. Each winner had their artwork published in a local publication and received an awards certificate. Fairfield art teacher Dorothy Veltre also recognized their talent with an art achievement certificate and a set of markers and colored pencils so they can continue to hone their skills. Congratulations to all the students who entered their work in the contest.
Morgan Daly, a former Unqua Elementary School student and current Julliard School of Music student majoring in performance on string bass, played for 5th-grade orchestra members and then discussed her experiences after graduating from Massapequa High School. She talked about performing in New York City, performing at Carnegie Hall, and meeting world famous violinist Itzhak Perlman. Later, she answered questions and gave lessons to the Unqua 5th-grade bass players, focusing on string bass technique.
Raymond J. Lockhart Elementary School reached a 25-year milestone of granting wishes to ailing children through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Students and staff raised more than $4,100 to build Zachary, 6, a treehouse so that he can sit outside and experience the outdoors. Zachary suffers from aplastic anemia, an illness that prevents him from participating in outdoor activities.
In one of Birch Lane Elementary School’s nicest annual traditions, students, staff and parents came together to pool their generosity and help brighten the days of sick and less fortunate children. Students in John Coyne’s fifth-grade class planned and facilitated the yearly toy drive that resulted in the collection of 1,449 new toys. Through the John Thiessen Children’s Foundation, the toys were delivered to children in hospitals across Long Island. The foundation aims to provide hospitals and child-care facilities with therapeutic and recreational equipment and to support families with financial assistance to defray medical expenses.
Members of the National Honor Society at Plainedge High School created a mission to eradicate the r-word from student vocabulary. Typically held in March, the students launched a Spread the Word campaign, asking their peers to pledge, as part of their New Year’s resolutions, to no longer use the word “retarded” and its variations. Seniors Deepika Dhawan, Monica Marshall, Lynne Rader and Stephanie Slovak solicited pledges from more than 150 students and staff prior to the holiday break. The school’s Robotics Club donated pins to help spread the word, and the Art Club created posters announcing the pledge drive. This national campaign was brought to the student’s attention by a special education teacher at the school.
Silence was golden at Fairfield Elementary School when Massapequa High School’s American Sign Language (ASL) students taught fifth-graders how to communicate without uttering a word. The program, now in its 18th year, is hallmarked as a “wonderful learning experience for both the fifth-graders and the ASL students,” said ASL teacher Melanie Smith.
Massapequa High School’s music ensembles brought the spirit of the holidays to the community during its annual holiday concert, Dec. 16.
Performances by the Women’s Chorus, Symphony Orchestra, and A Capella Choir directed by Ilena Dempsey, Marjorie Spagnuolo and Nichole Greene, respectively, had audience members smiling as they delivered a festive variety of traditional songs and those enjoyed around the world. Highlights included the beautiful “Hashivenu,” as well as “A Christmas Festival,” “I Saw Three Ships,” “Sleigh Ride,” and “Chanukah Festival Overture.”
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