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Syosset Board of Education Celebrates Athletes, Bids Farewell to Trustee

At the Monday, June 14 Syosset Central School District Board of Education meeting, the excitement of the upcoming summer break was tempered with sadness, as members of the board said their goodbyes to longtime trustee and former board vice president Patricia Maschio.

The first item on the agenda was the confirmation of the recent school budget vote, handled by Acting District Clerk Angela Pierce. There were a total of 2,715 yes votes and 1,967 no votes. Proposition B, the library budget, received 2,623 yes votes and 1,887 no votes.

Board President Dr. Marc Herman was re-elected with 3,237 votes, Trustee Lana Ajemian was re-elected as a trustee with 2,964 votes, and Stephanie Avidon was elected to the board for the first time with 3,097 votes; all were elected to serve three-year terms. Jane Evans was re-elected as Syosset Public Library Board Vice President for a five-year term with 3,297 votes.

The cash on hand value was $27,861,99.94. During the Superintendent’s Report, Dr. Hankin noted that as of June 8, the Syosset High School Class of 2010 has received college academic scholarship offers in an aggregate amount of over $34 million, a record for the district.

The main event of the night was the presentation of awards to the district’s many accomplished athletes. The Varsity Cheerleading Team kicked off the awards presentation with a spirited cheer.

Two students, Max Segall and Jonathan Cohen, were recently named News 12 Scholar-Athletes. While Segall was not in attendance, Varsity Lacrosse coach John Calabria had this to say about Cohen: “I put him up for the award among some tremendous competition in our high school, including our valedictorian, and not just Jon’s ability on the lacrosse field, but his ability in the music department as well really put him over the edge. He’s a tremendous young man; he is someone that the students of Syosset High School have looked up to, and will continue to emulate.”

Michael Murtha, the Varsity Wrestling Coach, presented awards to two students. The first was Danny Gewolb, Nassau County Champion this year with a record of 44-5, who maintained a 98 GPA and will be attending SUNY Binghamton in the fall. The second was three-time New York State Champion Nick Arujua, who will be attending American University with a full athletic scholarship. Arujua also broke the Nassau County consecutive win record, which is now 185.

In Girls Track, Jade Knaster, Christina DiBernardo, and Rachel Ngu were recognized for their participation on the championship 4X800 meter relay team. Ngu was also recognized for placing 14th in the state in the 1500 meters, with a time of 4:38.

On the Boys Track Team, senior Ryan Healy was recognized for making All-County in the 600 meters, and being named MVP of the winter season; he will be attending Molloy College in the fall. Senior Josh Halpern, who will be attending SUNY Geneseo, was recognized for making All-County in the mile run.

In Girls Golf, senior Tara Petruzillo, a two-time All-County golfer, was recognized for qualifying for the State Championships. Petruzillo will be attending Penn State in the fall. Elizabeth Choi, currently a seventh-grader, was recognized for qualifying for the State Championships. Senior co-captain Eda Lee was recognized for making All-Division, and will be attending Wellesley College. Junior Megumi Tajima and freshman Rosaline Fagiano were also honored for their contributions to the golf team.

In Boys Golf, Brett Augenstein was recognized for his two years of participation on the team; he will be attending Skidmore College in the fall. Peter Bergman was credited with playing a good season, despite missing the past season due to an injury. Dillon Krouner was commended for an undefeated season. Donald Enga, Spencer Levine, and eighth-graders Willis Huynh and Matt Csillag also received awards for their performance on the greens this season.

Coach Calabria revealed that the Boys Lacrosse team had been chosen once again, for the fourth year in a row, as the New York State Scholar-Athlete Championship Team. In addition to their success on the field, the team had the second-highest GPA of any team in any sport in the New York State. “As far as what these boys accomplish in the classroom, having three-hour practices every day after school in the springtime is just flat out-amazing,” said Calabria.

For their stellar accomplishment, every member of the Boys Lacrosse team was applauded by the board and members of the community: Justin Barth, Nick Bruno, Dan Cappetta, Justin Cassandro, Jonathan Cohen, Matthew Dantona, Alirio Demeireles, John Diaz, Justin Feit, Ryan Feit, Jared Godsell, Dylan Gordan, Zachary Gropper, Kyle Haber, Rich Happel, Christian Hoelzli, Ryan Hunter, Kris Kaneblei, Brandon Kaufman, Andy Lee, Harris Lipton, Zach Lombardi, Vincent Lombardo, Luke Mangiameli, AJ Monniello, DJ Schmeider, Steven Siegel, Rob Storrie, John Sullivan, Jeffrey Sumcizk, Doug Tesoriero, Andrew Tranchina, and Jesse Yoskowitz.

Finally, the Boys Basketball Team also achieved both on and off the court; the team had an average GPA of 93.5. The team also produced two All-County Players for the first time in 19 years: Matt Quinn and Spencer Hazan. Additionally, Brett Schwartz made All-Conference. Receiving certificates were the rest of the basketball team: Dan Cappetta, Adam Cohen, Matt Cohen, Jake Fried, Mike Friedman, Conner Greene, Spencer Hazan, Mohammad Kassamali, Henry Koslowski, Peter Kozey, Jacob Luft, Chris Park, and Erik Schwartz.

In response to an audience question from the previous week, Dr. Herman revealed that the district had spent $210,888.90 for the MTA payroll tax. “We will be receiving reimbursement in June, 2010- assuming we still have a government in New York,” said Dr. Herman dryly.

Before voting, the board took a few moments to recognize Patricia Maschio, who is leaving the board after serving for 18 years. Dr. Herman read a short poem in Maschio’s honor, and other board members shared their thanks and good wishes. “She has been an advocate for the children of Syosset and public education for 36 years,” commented trustee Fern T. Resnick, referencing Maschio’s 18 years as a member of the PTA before her term on the school board. “She has been both a mentor and a great friend to me personally.”

“She made the district a better place,” added Dr. Hankin. Maschio received a standing ovation from the community.

The board voted on an impressive 68 resolutions, all of which passed. Among them was the appointment of current Science Coordinator Dolly Krantz to the position of Acting Secondary Assistant Principal, and Christopher Ruffini to Acting Secondary Assistant Principal for Guidance. Other resolutions included appointment of 2010 summer school staff, authorization to contract with TD Bank for the sale of the Woodbury School, and authorization to contract with DMT Web Ventures, Inc. The contract with DMT Web Ventures will allow members of the community to register and pay online for adult education courses, and order course materials online as well.