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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

Driving rain and an early start time did not deter 600 people who arrived at Crest Hollow Country Club recently to celebrate the Women’s Fund of Long Island’s 20th year and to honor four exceptional women.

The breakfast started with a meet and greet and a chance to showcase Women’s Fund contest winner Patti Hogarty, designer of “Women as Bamboo.” Inspired by her neighbor’s bamboo, she entered the contest drawing a design of the bamboo, which Ambalu Jewelers of Roslyn then turned into various pendants of which 40-percent of the profits would go to WFLI. Hogarty wrote a short essay comparing women to bamboo in that they are strong and can weather difficult storms, yet remain graceful and continue to grow sending out new shoots.

Oyster Bay High School Principal Dr. Dennis O’Hara addressed the board of education at Tuesday night’s meeting about offering a summer school program at the high school. It would be the first time the district had a summer school program in more than 12 years.

Dr. O’Hara explained that with the institution of the Common Core state standards, students are faced with a greater level of academic rigor and more challenging coursework. The program would offer remedial and enrichment classes for students both in and out of district.


Sports

In the history of Oyster Bay High School athletics, no one has ever won a Girls’ Tennis New York State Championship. Celeste Matute and Courtney Kowalsky became the first when they won the 2014 New York State Doubles Championship in Latham on Nov. 3. What makes this tremendous achievement even more remarkable is that Matute is a junior and Kowalsky is a sophomore.

The girls, who are usually singles players, teamed up to take on the very best players in Nassau County and New York State. They won all 10 matches in the section XIII and NYSPHSAA tournaments and left Latham as the 2014 New York State doubles champions.

The conditions were as fierce as the competition earlier this month at Oakcliff Sailing’s Halloween Invitational.

Ten teams from the U.S., Canada and Bermuda battled 30-knot-plus winds, heavy rain and biting cold to see who would take top honors at Oakcliff’s final match racing event of the 2014 season.


Calendar

Raingarden Workshop

Wednesday, November 19 & Thursday, November 20

Informative Hospital Talk

November November 20

Opera Night

Sunday, November 23



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