Written by Rich Forestano Thursday, 26 June 2014 00:00
The Mineola School District is debating the fate of the Latin program offered for foreign language requirements in Mineola High School, due to the possible retirement of the program’s lone teacher, Gigi Foge, in 2016, and the lack of certified Latin teachers. Officials say the program will not disappear.
“We’re not cutting Latin,” School Board President Artie Barnett said.
Fifteen seventh-graders have expressed interest in studying Latin next year. Mineola also offers Spanish, Italian and French.
“We have a responsibility to make sure that if a student starts a program in level one, they can finish a program in level three,” District Superintendent Michael Nagler said. “When we find out information that it may not happen, we have to plan for it. The discussion that you heard wasn’t about getting rid of Latin. It was making sure that we can find a teacher because there are not too many Latin teachers out there if or when Mrs. Foge retires.”
He said that Foge has not confirmed she will retire to district administrators, but has “made it known” to colleagues that it’s likely. Foge did not return calls for comment.
“I’m not confident we can find a replacement, especially the way students love [Foge],” Nagler said. “We’re committed to it. We’ll be running Latin 1 next year.”
While district officials are discussing options, one parent, who started a Facebook group on June 2 dedicated to preserving the class, feels finding a replacement if Foge leaves is the only way. The group currently holds 41 members.
“I strongly oppose [ending the program] and am asking anyone, especially Mineola parents, to make sure that this does not happen,” parent and Facebook group moderator Mary Goodfellow said. “[Latin] strengthens one’s ability to learn French, Spanish, and Italian. Oh, and by the way, Latin helps a student maximize their SAT scores.”
Eighth-grade students currently enrolled in the high school’s three-year Latin program would be able to complete their studies with Foge. After that, it’s unknown.
“Right now, we’re good,” Nagler said. “The program is running and hopefully it’s going to run a long time and we can find a person to teach it.”
Nagler said a letter was sent to district residents apprising them of the situation, stating Mineola is exploring a new hire if Foge departs or offering the third year of Latin via online courses.
“[Latin’s] definitely the best class I’ve taken at the high schools so far,” said student Kayleigh Dipietra-Antonio. “Not only is it educational, it’s fun and has a creative process. Most people would think it’s very boring but our teacher makes it very enjoyable. I’d rather learn from a teacher and not a computer.”
“You cannot compare sitting down at a computer versus the guidance of a fine teacher,” she said. “A computer cannot get my son excited about Roman and Greek history.”
Board Vice President Christine Napolitano stressed more discussion at a recent meeting, considering there hasn’t been official notice of Foge’s departure.
“We need to look at all avenues,” she said.
Future students interested in Latin may need to take two languages if Foge retires and Mineola does not find a replacement, meaning children that take two years of Latin would have to take a new language course for another two years to graduate.
“You can double up,” Nagler said. “You’d have to start a [new language] course in 10th grade.”
Wednesday, 22 October 2014 00:00
Local school districts are reaffirming student hygiene standards in the wake of the non-polio enterovirus (EV-D68) that’s been found in the United States. A strain of the enterovirus was found in Southampton’s middle and high schools, but officials say it was not the virus that has caused the national EV-D68 outbreak.
The enterovirus disproportionately affects infants, children and adolescents who lack immunity, according to the Center for Disease Control. School districts have been notified to follow New York State Health Department guidelines to combat possible infections.
Saturday, 11 October 2014 00:00
Audition Hosts: Eleanor Rigby’s Restauant, Mineola Village Hall, Piccola Bussola and Plum Tomatoes
Audition Team: Master Performance Artist Ed Dennehy of Huntington/ formerly of Mineola
Robert Busch, Little Neck and Melville Fire Department, Adrian Gaeckler: Oyster Bay/ Nassau Coliseum Staff, Nigel Gretton: Hempstead/ St John’s University Performing Arts Chair Lady Laura, Hempstead/ Global Performing Artist, Ralph DeSalvo: Williston Park, Musician/ Band Leader.
Al Trompeter, Entertainment Promoter
Special Touches: Bagelman of Mineola ( Entertainment Committee Host)
Creations de Belle of Mineola (Street Decorations/ Balloons)
Thursday, 16 October 2014 00:00
The Mineola Mustangs ended last year’s playoff run in a 34-6 drubbing from the West Hempstead Rams. Mineola was poised for another post season push in 2014 and it showed last week, with a 15-14 victory over the Rams in homecoming weekend.
With a slow start in the first half, Mineola (4-1) put their first points on the board in the second quarter with a field goal by senior Robert Lang. After a touchdown by the Rams (2-3), they headed into halftime 7-3.
Thursday, 09 October 2014 00:00
Despite two goals from Liam Going, the BU11 Mineola FC squad fell to a relentless and talented Hota Panthers team at Soccer Park in Plainview on Sept. 6. Hota jumped out to a 4-0 lead before Going connected on his first tally, launching a 30-yard free kick that dropped over the Hota keeper. The Mineola striker’s second goal brought his team to within two goals of their opponent, but Hota scored several more goals in the second half in a strong performance. Mineola’s Nicholas Buffolino and Luke Sommese gave solid efforts for Mineola in the season-opener for both teams.