Birch Lane School in Massapequa held its back-to-school barbecue Sept. 20. With a perfect 80-degree day and music playing, the smell of BBQ was in the air and the smiles on the children’s faces signaled a successful day out. Each year, the PTA arranges the event for the children and the parents as a welcome back and best-of-luck in the new school year.
Families from East Lake Elementary School in Massapequa Park gathered Sept. 20 for its annual Back to School Outdoor Movie Night. Students and their families from the elementary school set up chairs and blankets to watch the 1971 classic “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” The event was sponsored by the East Lake PTA, with PTA 1st and 2nd Vice Presidents, Lauren Gonzalez and Roseann Blejec co-chairing the event. The evening was complete with popcorn and drinks, as well as treat bags for the kids. Additionally, five lucky children received candy bars that had a golden ticket, mimicking the film. Each of the five golden tickets entitled the holder to a special prize basket.
For inspiring excellence in students and teachers alike, Kevin Harrington, English language arts curriculum associate K-12 for Massapequa Public Schools, will receive the Educator of Excellence for Administration Award by the New York State English Council.
The honor will be presented at the 63rd Annual NYSEC Conference at the Desmond Conference Center in Albany Oct. 16 through 18.
The Massapequa School District welcomed 16 new staff members to its school buildings for the 2013-14 school year. Among them are six part-time instructors and three replacements for teachers on leave.
Newly hired are technology teacher Brian Rossi and part-time guidance counselor Laura Hutt at Berner Middle School, special education teacher Kate Rosenzweig at Fairfield Elementary School, speech teacher Maria Papoulis at Fairfield and Lockhart elementary schools, leave replacement psychologist Jaclyn Quercia at Unqua and Fairfield elementary schools, speech teacher Vanessa Groff at East Lake Elementary School, leave replacement music teacher Robert Lombardo at McKenna Elementary School, part-time special education teacher Kurt Stoeber at Massapequa High School-Ames Campus, leave replacement speech teacher Anna Iadevaia, special education teacher Angela Gallucci, part-time physics teacher Robert Tobia and part-time family and consumer sciences teacher Patricia Skjoldahl at Massapequa High School; special education teacher Samantha Montemurro and part-time technology teacher Michael Severson at Massapequa High School and Ames Campus; and part-time English teacher Angela Camera and psychologist Kimberly Dempsey at Massapequa High School and Berner Middle School.
Under sunny skies and cooler temperatures that signified the end of summer, more than 7,500 students from Massapequa returned to school with new backpacks, school supplies and a willingness to learn.
“We are delighted to welcome back our students and staff and look forward to a year of new growth on all measures,” said Superintendent Lucille F. Iconis. “Like all districts across the state, we are beginning a year with the full K-12 implementation of the Common Core Learning Standards, new evaluations systems for our educators known as APPR, which connect students’ academic growth to professional performance, and a new benchmark for achievement based on the widely publicized test scores on the more rigorous CCLS-aligned assessments. As we meet these state mandates and continue to operate under the state-imposed property tax cap, our main focus, as always, is to provide the best core instructional program for our students.”
Summer was bustling with activity in the Massapequa School District as nearly 2,500 students took advantage of a rich array of athletic, artistic and academic programs.
“We offer something for everyone,” said Superintendent Lucille Iconis. “These programs are a convenient and economical way for students in our community to explore their interests and develop skills in a fun and enriching environment.”
Through its partnership with Nassau BOCES, the district offers a number of summer programs for its residents at substantial savings. The partnership qualifies the district for BOCES aid and has helped reduce costs associated with planning and implementing the programs, according to district officials.
Five recent graduates from Massapequa High School set a new record for the district and raised the bar on student achievement when they were named winners in the National Merit Scholarship Program. As they enter college this fall, Joseph Mogavero, Melanie Sheehan, Robyn Tse, Joanna Urli and Joseph Zappa are considered among the top one percent of the nation’s brightest and most promising students.
The winners earned the honor by achieving outstanding scores on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) and by maintaining stellar academic records, participating in school and community service activities, demonstrating leadership abilities and receiving honors and awards during all four years of high school.
Unqua Elementary School students met their guardian angels, the students and staff at Milton Terrace South Elementary School in Ballston Spa, New York, during a 30-minute videoconference aimed at expressing their appreciation for the more than $1,500 in clothes and gift cards their upstate friends donated to the district’s Sandy victims. The Massapequa School District was adopted by Milton Terrace South through the Schools Helping Schools program, launched by the New York State Council of School Superintendents as a way for districts to help other districts devastated by Sandy.
Unqua students were tickled to see the entire Milton Terrace South student body for the first time and thank them for rallying together to help their recovery, and Milton Terrace South students were equally thrilled to gain a better understanding of how the storm impacted their Massapequa peers and how their generosity helped them get through this difficult time.
Christopher Arena, Grace Day School’s valedictorian for 2013, received congratulations from Congressman Peter King for his outstanding test score on this year’s Catholic High School Entrance Exam. The young academic’s performance placed him among the top 25 test scores and earned him a scholarship to St. Anthony’s High School, where Christopher will matriculate this September. Well-liked by his peers, teachers and the community, academics is not the only arena in which Christopher excels. Since he was seven years old he has been swimming competitively, practicing every day after school. Those efforts have made him a nationally ranked swimmer in his age class for the past three years.
A sea of vibrant blue caps and gowns streamed onto the floor of the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Center at Hofstra University, June 24, as 673 Massapequa High School students crossed the flower-studded stage and took their final steps as seniors and their first as high school graduates.
The joyous ceremony was punctuated with cheers and applause by a packed arena as each speech was made and each diploma was awarded. This year an honorary diploma was presented to Superintendent Charles Sulc, who retires this month after serving the district for 44 years. Outstanding students in each academic department were also recognized for their achievements; Board of Education President Maryanne Fisher presented them with honor awards.
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