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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

On Saturday, July 5, Building J on the Western Waterfront was opened to the public for a free concert of classical music played by talented youth in the Oyster Bay Music Festival. The acoustics in the large metal shed were lively as the backdrop of the Ida May, a wooden oyster dredge under construction, lent artisanal flavor to the rich stew of mostly sea-related musical selections. People sat on stacks and benches of freshly milled wood or stood in the cavernous space. They soaked in beautiful solos, duets and trios that combined voice, piano, flute, cello and violin. Frank M Flower & Sons provided fresh oysters that engaged the palate, and representatives from Steinway & Sons gave a quick overview of how their pianos are made, relating several aspects of their meticulous process to the construction of the Ida May.

Last week was one of Oyster Bay’s biggest, most anticipated summer events, the Italian American Society’s St. Rocco’s Festival. Returning to its usually spot in Fireman’s Field on Shore Avenue, the festival was filled with amusement rides, live music, and great food and company.

“We come every year to St. Rocco’s with friends,” said Laura Regan of East Norwich. “The rides and awesome food make it a lot of fun.”


Sports

Oakcliff’s intensive training program provided a high level of competition last weekend at the U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship in Oyster Bay.

This year, the teams selected for the event were highly ranked through the United States, and several of the competitors are past and current Oakcliff trainees, including Elizabeth Shaw, Kathryn Shiber, Madeline Gill, and Danielle Gallo.

A total of 11 members of St. Dominic Track Team (grades 1-8) recently medaled at the Nassau-Suffolk CYO Championship Finals at Mitchel Field. In the finals, the athletes competed against the finalists from all three regions, representing more than 2,500 athletes from 23 other parishes.

In addition to the student athletes’ success, the track coaches were honored as well. St. Dominic CYO Track coaches Phil Schade (grades 1-3), Julie and Mike Keffer (grades 4-6) and Rich Cameron (grades 7-8) were selected by peer coaches in their region for the NSCYO Team Sportsmanship Award. The Saint Dominic CYO track program, in its second year, has already proven to be a force to be reckoned with and the young runners are among the best on Long Island.


Calendar

OB Band Concerts

Wednesday, July 23

Music Under The Stars

Friday, July 25

Annual Chicken BBQ

Saturday, July 26



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