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National Merit Scholarship Commends Students

The college search and application process can prove to be a daunting task that carries life-long ramifications. Oyster Bay High School and its Counseling Center do an exceptional job helping students and their families with guidance and informational events every step of the way. The process begins in the eighth grade when students are taken on the first of two college tours to experience first-hand what the college experience is really like. The second tour takes place in the tenth grade. College Awareness Tours are designed to get students thinking about their college aspirations while they are young enough to design the resume that will prepare them to get into the college of their choice.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation recognizes outstanding students based on their performance on national standardized tests. Ryan McEvoy was selected as a semi-finalist this year.

Three remarkable OBHS seniors were also selected to receive Letters of Commendation. They are Claudia Mastrogiacomo, Halsey Quinn and Grey Warwick-Clark.

In late September, more than two-thirds (about 34,000) of the approximately 50,000 high scorers on the PSAT/NMSQT receive Letters of Commendation in recognition of their outstanding academic promise. Commended students are named on the basis of a nationally applied Selection Index score that may vary from year to year and is typically below the level required for participants to be named semifinalists in their respective states. Although commended students do not continue in the competition for National Merit Scholarships, some of these students do become candidates for special scholarships sponsored by corporations and businesses.

Mastrogiacomo is looking to study public health in college. She is active in student council at OBHS and a member of the acclaimed OBHS Wind Ensemble.

Quinn plans on studying biology in college with an eye to perhaps pursue veterinary medicine. Quinn was a member of the highly successful Girls Varsity Field Hockey Team and is also a member of the OBHS Wind Ensemble.

Warwick-Clark, who is a talented singer songwriter, plans on majoring in biology at college where she hopes to enter a pre-med program. She is being pursued by some schools for her rowing abilities, thanks to the Sagamore Rowing Association of Oyster Bay. And, yes, she is also a member of the acclaimed OBHS Wind Ensemble. Warwick-Clark will return to the big stage of the OBHS Performing Arts Center (The PAC) to sing in the annual Student and Staff Talent Show on Friday, January 17, 2014. All three girls are looking forward to performing at Carnegie Hall on Friday, March 7, 2014 with the Oyster Bay High School Wind Ensemble Symphonic Band.

New to the OBHS Counseling Center this year is Debra Strell, on board to serve as the supervisor of counseling services. Strell attended Hunter College where she earned a bachelor of the arts degree, and then went on to Fordham University where she achieved a master’s in business administration. She also holds a masters in school counseling from Long Island University at the CW Post campus and a Certificate in Educational Administration from Queens College. Before coming to Oyster Bay,  Strell worked for the West Hempstead School District as the director of guidance and before that as a guidance counselor at Lindenhurst High School.

Strell has already made a difference with her innovative thinking. One of her first big accomplishments is her effort to reach out to the Spanish speaking families in the community.

On Oct. 29, Oyster Bay High School hosted its first Spanish-language College Information Night in the high school library. Admissions representatives from Nassau Community College, SUNY at Old Westbury and LIU Post presented admissions information to the parents and students in attendance. This valuable program was able to highlight for the families not only the admissions criteria for each school, but also educate them on financial aid options available to them whether they attend public or private universities. This program was such a success that Strell plans to make this an annual event.

For all college preparation needs, visit the OBEN website for scholarships, testing schedules, and college application assistance at www.obenschools.org/departments/guidance/

News

Matt Bentz, of Forest Hills, was the winner of the Oyster Festival Raffle that took place as the event ended at 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19. He had a choice between winning a 2015 Chrysler 200 three-year lease or $15,000 in cash. He chose the cash. He is the “Perfect Oyster Festival Raffle winner.”

Bentz is a computer systems administrator with Spa Creek Software, a company that writes software for other software developers, and has been to the festival numerous times over the years; in fact, next year he is hoping to sail here on his 24 ft. sailboat. He got it “reasonably” from a friend who was buying up.

Richie Cannata may be best known for his song credits but his name will become a part of history this week. Cannata, a 28-year resident and business owner of Glen Cove, will be inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame on Thursday, Oct. 23 at The Paramount in Huntington.

As a member of the Billy Joel Band, the saxophone player was propelled to fame in 1975 when he joined the band and played on songs including “New York State of Mind” and “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant.”


Sports

The autumn varsity sports season is well on its way in Oyster Bay. Many young athletes have distinguished themselves. Several fine young athletes excelled right out of the gate and were chosen by the Oyster Bay Hight School coaches as Athletes of the Month for October 2014.

Cross Country Coach Kevin Cotter has athletes who consistently qualify for the states. Picking one to honor is a difficult task. Within this impressive group of talented athletes, one stands out: junior Alex Tosi, who recently broke the 17 minute barrier for a 5K course at Bethpage State park with a time of 16:52. This feat has not been accomplished since 2008.

5- and 6-year-old Peanuts

The Little Generals (Peanuts) stepped out into the cold Sunday morning ready to give the home crowd a show as they battled the Bellmore Braves, and that’s just what they did as the Generals beat the Braves 14-7. The teams battled to a first half tie as the Generals’ touchdown came on a 26-yard run by Kody Gehnrich, thanks to great blocks by John (Jack) Grace and Jack Symanski.

In the second half, where the Generals are usually at their best, the defense shut out the Braves as Rodney Hill, Jr. and Brandon Babel stepped in on the defense line to create a great push to allow Francesco Allocca to make eight tackles. The offense got a big boost with Allocca being allowed to play RB after playing QB the past two games, and boy did he respond behind great lead blocking from Luca Granito. Allocca carried the ball nine times for 60 yards and a TD coming on the last play of the game.


Calendar

Boys & Girls Club Gala

Thursday, October 23

Halloween Party

Saturday, October 25

Property Tax Exemptions Workshop

Tuesday, October 28



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com