The Board of Education held the annual reorganization meeting on July 2 with two new trustees being sworn in.
Spring athletic teams at East Meadow High School and W.T. Clarke High School capped off a rewarding school year for the East Meadow School District’s athletic department with various team and individual honors.
The boys track and field team at East Meadow High School matched a sixth straight Conference 2 Championship title during the winter season with the same feat achieved in the spring season. Brandon Love earned All-State honors in the pole vault while Paul Choi, John Meah, Matt Owens, Nabeel Sheikh, Zach Van Houten and Bryan Villafuerta were All-County athletes throughout different events. The girls’ spring track team finished second at the conference meet with the 4x800 meter relay team qualifying for the state championship.
Jake Rosenthal led the W.T. Clarke High School boys’ spring track and field team by racing to the individual Nassau County Championship in the 200 meter dash and becoming a state qualifier. He also joined David Stewart, Sobin Ouseph and Alex Pereira on the 4x100 meter relay team that ran to a second place finish at the county championships. The W.T. Clarke girls spring track and field team also enjoy a successful season that included the 4x400 meter relay team of Juliana Vanegas, Karina Romero, Marisa Simone and Isabella Deleon qualifying for the county championship and state qualifier.
The East Meadow High School softball team captured its third straight Nassau County and Long Island Championship and went on to compete in the New York State Championship in Glen Falls. Jenna Laird, Julianna Sanzone, Amy Mallah and Amanda Thompson all earned All-County recognitions.
The W.T. Clarke High School baseball team finished the season with 24 wins including the conference and county championships. During the season, the Rams held the top ranking in the county and Long Island in addition to the third spot in the state. Chris Giardino, the Conference 2 MVP, and Brendan Turton were each named All-State selections and head coach Tom Abruscato was named the Conference 2 Coach of the Year.
The two schools combined for 32 All-County awards and 49 All-Conference selections throughout the entire season.
Through careful planning and exceptional creativity, the district has built and installed “Little Free Libraries” at each of the five elementary school buildings.
The initiative was initiated and implemented by District Director of Literacy and Funded Programs, Mr. Frank Lukasik. Additionally, each individual library was constructed by East Meadow students enrolled in the district’s carpentry classes which are led by teachers Mr. Scott Stacy, Mr. John Scerbo, Mr. William Burke and Mr. Gregory Greco.
There are more than 75,000 “Little Free Libraries” around the world in 85 countries. East Meadow joins the movement to share books, bring people together and create a community of readers.
The “Little Free Libraries” were installed for everyone in the community to promote literacy through book sharing. The district encourages readers to not only select a book to read, but to also add books to the collections at the elementary schools.
In addition to the installation of the “Little Free Libraries,” summer reading challenges have been created to spark excitement for the new resource and build a community of readers. Students are encouraged to visit the libraries, take a picture, post them to social media, tag @emeadowschools and/or the elementary school and use the #emeadowreads in the post.
“The community can help by keeping this collection stocked with good reading material,” said Mr. Lukasik. “We hope everyone enjoys this precious gift to our community!”
A picture-perfect day set the stage for a pair of graduation ceremonies in the district on June 23 as East Meadow High School and W.T. Clarke High School gathered on their respective football fields to salute the Class of 2019.
Both classes walked onto their fields to enthusiastic and excited crowds, followed by musical numbers to officially open the ceremonies. At each school, students, school and district leaders offered words of reflection and advice for all gathered in attendance. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth A. Card, Jr., delivered remarks at both ceremonies to congratulate the graduates and wish them well in the years ahead.
“Today concludes a significant and wonderful chapter of your lives,” Dr. Card said to the graduates. “And an equally significant chapter is about to begin.”
Class presidents, salutatorians and valedictorians from each school addressed their peers with words of encouragement and reflection.
“Let’s remember how much East Meadow High School has impacted us,” said East Meadow High School president Leila Sayan. “It is now up to us to turn our challenges into achievements.”
“Don’t be worried about feeling lost in life,” W.T. Clarke High School valedictorian Jonathan Melkun told his fellow graduates. “What you need to do is find a motivation, find a reason to keep moving forward. Go forth, chase your dreams, and find your place in the world.”
East Meadow High School Principal Richard Howard and W.T. Clarke High School Timothy Voels applauded the accolades achieved by each class that included academic, athletic and community service honors. Each principal noted how the classes set standards of excellence for future graduates.
After the official awarding of diplomas was completed, the students officially transitioned to alumni by moving their tassels to the left and tossing their caps into the air with excitement and elation.
The district congratulates all members of the Class of 2019 and wishes them luck and happiness as they embrace the next step in life.
The East Meadow High School held the graduation ceremony for the Class of 2019 on June 23. Congratulations to all of the graduates!
W.T. Clarke High School held a graduation ceremony for the Class of 2019 on June 23. Congratulations to all of the graduates!
The district celebrated employee service and student success at the final Board of Education meeting of the school year on June 19.
Prior to the start of the Board of Education meeting, the district honored 12 staff members who are retiring at the end of the year. The retirees were joined by family members and friends, administration, staff and Board trustees for a special reception in their honor. The district thanked Judith Arabian, Jill Artus, Robin Boucher, Susan Byrne, Victor DeLiso, Thomas Feggler, Teresa Fjellstad, Gail Galluci, Janice Oldak, Cherly Safren, Jody Targove and Annemarie Viscuso for providing more than 300 years of combined service to East Meadow.
Also at the meeting, Director of Social Studies and 21st Century Learning, Jim Mendonis, and Director of Literacy and Funded Programs, Frank Lukasik, continued the meeting with a spotlight of W.T. Clarke Middle School students Faith Fuller and Shreejita Satpathy. Faith and Shreejita were presented certificates of excellence after qualifying for the New York State History Day Contest in Cooperstown that was held in April. The two earned the placement through their fourth-place finish at the Long Island History Day event held at Hofstra in March. The duo earned distinction with their Junior Group Documentary project titled, “Frances Oldham Kelsey: The Thalidomide Crisis.”
Accolades continued at the Board meeting as Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth A. Card, Jr., presented a plaque of appreciation to PTA Council President Robin Fitzpatrick. Dr. Card thanked Mrs. Fitzpatrick for her dedication, service and contributions to the students and community for the past two years.
Outgoing board members Joseph Parisi and Marcee Rubinstein were then acknowledged by Board President Matthew Melnick for their years of service to the district and community as they completed their terms.
“Congratulations to all of the honorees and retirees recognized tonight,” said Dr. Card. “Thank you for your years of dedicated service and commitment to the students and families of the East Meadow School District.”
Meadowbrook Elementary School presented a special thanks to retiring Assistant Principal Gail Gallucci on June 14, following a building-wide Flag Day Ceremony.
Principal Kelly Di Scalfani-O’Brien opened the surprise tribute to Ms. Gallucci and discussed how each grade prepared a special gift despite the difficulty of keeping the farewell party a secret. Students offered books, jokes and performances to honor Ms. Gallucci in her final weeks at Meadowbrook.
The ceremony was highlighted by the announcement that school’s garden will be renamed “Gallucci Garden,” and a redbud tree will be planted in her honor. The tree’s heart-shaped leaves represent the positive impact that Ms. Gallucci has left on the school community.
“Thank you everyone for these tremendous gifts and recognitions,” said Ms. Gallucci. “I look forward to returning to Meadowbrook during my retirement to visit (and work in) ‘Gallucci Garden.’ I also look forward to seeing the students and staff as well.”
All five elementary schools throughout the district welcomed senior class members from East Meadow High School and W.T. Clarke High School for the district’s second annual “Senior Walk Through” on June 19.
The seniors returned to the elementary school they graduated from seven years ago to take one more tour of the building they grew up in before officially moving on from the district. Current elementary school students, staff and administration welcomed the Class of 2019 with cheers, signs and wishes of good luck and encouragement as they embark on their next chapter.
The district would like to thank the principals and staff from both high schools and each of the five elementary schools for continuing the tradition of honoring its graduates.
The district celebrated the Class of 2019 Awards Ceremony at both East Meadow High School and W.T. Clarke High School with a ceremony at each building during the week of June 17.
Each school honored recipients of scholarships and awards for their excellence in academics, athletics, music, art, clubs and community service. Among the accolades distributed at both schools was the Superintendent’s Award presented by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth A. Card, Jr., to deserving individuals. This year’s recipients were Jonathan Melkun and Joel Matthew of W.T. Clarke High School and East Meadow High School’s Christian Cang Cuesta.
In addition to honoring the Class of 2019, East Meadow High School also inducted a new member to the Hall of Distinction. Principal Richard Howard welcomed alum Stephen B. Corn, MD, ’78. Dr. Corn is the founding editor-in-chief of TheAnswerPage.com. The website is a recognized leader for providing comprehensive education on the endocannabinoid system and medical cannabis, pain medicine and opioid prescribing practices. Dr. Corn and his wife, Meredith Fisher-Corn, MD, have created well over 200 continuing medical education courses in multiple areas of medicine.
The district congratulates all of the honorees from both East Meadow High School and W.T. Clarke High School for their hard work and achievements to this point in their academic careers.
W.T. Clarke High School students and entrepreneurs Shayan Huda, Abishek Ravindan, Makaeel Sheikh and Louis Zaino claimed victory in the final round of the Junior Achievement of New York’s 12th Annual High School Business Plan Competition on June 5. They represented the East Meadow School District proudly and achieved first place for their proposed product, InnoAir.
InnoAir is a reusable alternative to inhaler actuators that would offer consumers with asthma a product that reduces the amount of waste caused by single-use plastic actuators. The method creatively addressed this year’s theme of sustainable solutions to Americans’ dependency on plastic.
“Each member of our group has asthma and struggles with the stigma associated with using an inhaler,” said Abishek. “Many of those that suffer from asthma are afraid to use inhalers in front of their peers.”
Each member of the team received a cash prize of $1,500 and a trophy for the school. This is the second time in three years that a group from W.T. Clarke was victorious in the final round, with a 2017 win going to the team Simplastic.
JANY is the local affiliate of Junior Achievement USA, the nation’s largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future and make smart academic and economic choices.
“This process and project helped us gain experience in terms of networking and presenting in front of a group,” said Makaeel. Additionally, he said, “This project has helped me grow as a person and helped me pursue my interests.”
The district honored Flag Day on June 14 across all four elementary schools. Special morning ceremonies at each building welcomed students, staff and community members.
Barnum Woods, Bowling Green, Meadowbrook and Parkway elementary schools took their tributes outside, where student bands performed and administrators addressed the significance of Flag Day and the country’s flag.
Barnum Woods extended the celebration with the annual wellness walk through the surrounding neighborhood with students waving American flags. At Meadowbrook, the school hosted a surprise recognition ceremony to honor retiring Assistant Principal Gail Gallucci.
“Thank you to all students, staff and community members, including those that serve, that helped us celebrate Flag Day throughout East Meadow,” said Superintendent of Schools Kenneth A. Card, Jr.
Bowling Green Elementary School held a raffle contest during the week of June 3 to benefit the Brain Injury Association of America and honor student Ilana Shedrow.
Students entered the contest by donating a $1 for a chance to win a Rubik’s Cube. All submissions went directly to the Brain Injury Association to honor their peer. A total of $400 was raised and 16 students were announced as raffle winners on June 10.
The district thanks Bowling Green for their effort in raising money for a great cause and congratulates the raffle winners.
Third through fifth grade students in the English as a New Language program at Barnum Woods Elementary School celebrated the inaugural Family Heritage and Culture Museum on June 5.
Students showcased projects based on their family’s culture and the countries from which they hail. Trifold poster boards were filled with facts and fun information from students’ research on countries such as China, Brazil, Honduras, India and Columbia. Students were also encouraged to bring in a native dish for their classmates to enjoy.
“We are so proud of these students for working so hard on their projects,” said fifth grade teacher Jessica McCann.
Katie Kirichenko’s fourth grade class at Barnum Woods Elementary School welcomed their pen pals from the Uniondale Union Free School District’s, Walnut Street School, on June 5. Together, Ms. Kirichenko’s class and Robyn Weinstein’s fourth grade class from Uniondale held a special meeting.
The two classes began writing to each other as pen pals this past October and continued the relationship with their pen pals throughout the year. Student letters included details on different happenings in their lives, class projects being worked on and certain facts about themselves.
The culmination of the project came during the face-to-face meeting. As Mrs. Kirichenko’s class entered the building’s all-purpose room, Mrs. Weinstein’s students were holding up signs with their names and the names of their pen pals to begin the interaction.
Next, students participated in a STEM activity called “Save Fred,” that required the pen pals to work together. The exercise was based on the story “Fred the Gummy Worm,” where Fred forgot to put on his life preserver — a gummy Life Saver — before taking a ride in his plastic cup boat. With the boat flipped over, the students had to use four paperclips to put the Life Saver around Fred without using their hands.
Following the project, students wished each other a great summer.
Barnum Woods Elementary School took part in an Earth Day inspired shoe drive during May, successfully collecting 2,267 pairs of shoes for Wearable Collections.
Assistant Principal Harriet Alfano added an incentive for the students by offering to host a brunch, along with special guest Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth A. Card, Jr., for the class with the most donations. The drive took place during the week of May 6 before Wearable Collections picked up the shoes on May 14. Wearable Collections is a New York City based company focused on keeping clothing, textiles and shoes out of landfills.
By collecting a remarkable 355 pairs of shoes, Toni Ann Pelo’s first grade class earned the congratulatory brunch on June 5. In addition to welcoming Mrs. Alfano and Dr. Card, the class received a visit from Hempstead Town Clerk Sylvia A. Cabana, who offered her gratitude to the students. Students explained to their guests that supportive family members and neighbors helped them collect the most shoes.
The district congratulates the Barnum Woods community for an outstanding community service project and effort.
Third grade students at Meadowbrook Elementary School immersed themselves into a mystery story experience lead by Submerge Storytelling during the week of May 27.
Submerge Storytelling is an educational program that transforms a classroom into the setting of a story, motivating students to draw conclusions about the characters, plots and themes.
Cory Levine of Submerge Storytelling transformed a Meadowbrook classroom into the bedroom of 12-year-old Trevor Cool, who breaks codes for the CIA. The room contained a twin-sized bed, desk, Legos, wall decorations, sports memorabilia, codes and ancient artifacts. Students examined evidence and applied their literacy and critical thinking skills to become detectives in search of Trevor as he is being chased by the notorious CIA double agent, Cobra.
Throughout the week, third graders learned how to make connections with evidence without jumping to conclusions. They also discussed the importance of evidence and order of events. Students then created a timeline to help figure out the accurate plot line.
Meadowbrook thanks Mr. Levine for putting on the week-long activity as well as the PTA for providing students with this detective opportunity.
The district celebrated the academic successes of its four secondary schools during the District Awards Ceremony at East Meadow High School on June 5.
More than 450 students from East Meadow High School, W.T. Clarke High School, W.T. Clarke Middle School and Woodland Middle School gathered to be honored by district administrators for achievements earned during the 2018-19 school year. Highlighted accomplishments included scholar athlete honors, awards for excellence in academic competitions and various other academic distinctions attained over the past 10 months.
“The evening was an outstanding celebration of the academic achievements of our wonderful students,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth A. Card, Jr.
Local charitable organizations gathered in the auditorium of W.T. Clarke Middle School as the service learning club hosted the annual Change for Change Giving Ceremony on May 31.
For the 14th straight year, students started collaborating on this project in the fall. Together, students researched and selected 11 nonprofit organizations that held significance for the club’s members. Approximately $2,500 was collected throughout the school year during various fundraising events and initiatives such as the school’s Dunk Tank and the Long Beach Polar Plunge.
The giving ceremony served as a culmination of this project and was attended by representatives of local charities including the Book Fairies, Long Island Cares: Music to Meals, the school’s own Giving Tree, March of Dimes, Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa Research Association, Last Hope Animal Rescue, America’s VetDogs, John Thiesen’s Children’s Center, Sunrise Day Camp, Make A Wish and the Epilepsy Foundation.
The ceremony opened with the presentation of the Be the Change Award to Elliot Oppenheim, W.T. Clarke technology teacher, for his efforts, contributions and support of the service learning club and all W.T. Clarke events. Each organization was then introduced and welcomed by students in the serving learning club, who provided a brief explanation of the charity and awarded a plaque of recognition along with the donation check.
“Thank you to advisors Katie Peretzman and Ashley Sanalitro for their efforts in leading this initiative for a fifth straight year,” said Principal Stacy Breslin.
The district congratulates the service club for another successful year of supporting local organizations.
Woodland Middle School’s Third Annual Stuff a Bus effort provided another successful set of donations to the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island.
The Stuff a Bus fundraiser is organized and spearheaded by many of Woodland’s student and service groups, including the National Junior Honor Society. The school held a drive for cleaning supplies, disposable products, pantry items and many non-perishable items to benefit the Ronald McDonald House. Throughout the year, the clubs held fundraisers to help collect the necessities or to raise funds to purchase the products. Parents, faculty and community members also contributed by dropping off goods in the collection bin or by making a monetary donation.
On the morning of May 31, students filled three buses that graciously donated by the Guardian Bus Company. A human chain from the second floor of the building through the main entrance helped to move the collected items into the buses.
Once all of the buses were filled, students and staff filled a fourth bus to transport the collected goods along with a $1,000 donation to the Ronald McDonald House in New Hyde Park for unloading.
“You should all be very proud of the effort that helped to make this year’s Stuff a Bus another success” Assistant Principal Patricia Graham said to the volunteering students. “Thank you to everyone in the community for their support.”
The Board of Education meeting on May 29 was a full showcase of excellence from staff members and students alike as selfless acts, academic success and musical talents were on display.
The W.T. Clarke High School Saxophone Quartet opened the evening’s festivities by performing the Star-Spangled Banner. Following opening remarks from President Matthew Melnick and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth A. Card, Jr., the focus shifted to the honorees.
Bowling Green Elementary School Principal Maria Ciarametaro honored third grade teacher Christine Reiman for her efforts in supporting her student Mahdi Islam as he awaited a heart transplant. Ms. Reiman helped to host a “Super Hero Day” that raised $4,000 combined between the Bowling Green and Meadowbrook Elementary Schools. Additionally, she kept Mahdi involved in classroom activities through webinars and Google Hangouts. Ms. Reiman was presented with a Certificate of Excellence for her endless dedication and devotion.
The selflessness theme continued as Meadowbrook student Emma Vulpi was recognized for supporting the Child Life Program at NYU Winthrop Hospital. Emma decided that instead of receiving birthday gifts this year, she wanted to donate new toys to the hospital program to help those in need. Principal Kelly DiScalfani-O’Brien presented Emma and her parents with a medal and certificate for generously donating $300 worth of toys.
In the area of academic achievement, Director of Social Studies and 21st Century Learning, Jim Mendonis, along with Director of Literacy and Funded Programs, Frank Lukasik, spotlighted academic excellence by honoring middle school students that excelled at the recent Long History Day. W.T. Clarke Middle School students Umme Hani Bootwaia and Mubaraka Ezzi were recognized for receiving the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory sponsored Science History Award. Woodland Middle School’s Maya Del Rosario was applauded for her Latin American History Award sponsored by the Long Island Council for the Social Studies.
Next, attendees were treated to two musical selections by the East Meadow High School String Ensemble. The group opened with a rendition of AC/DC’s “Back in Black” followed by a medley of Queen songs, all to the delight of many in the audience.
Recognitions concluded with the presentation of Terrific Kids from W.T. Clarke Middle School and Woodland Middle School for the months of April, May and June. These awards are sponsored by the East Meadow Kiwanis Club. Kiwanis Club President Gary Fromowitz, along with Principals Stacy Breslin and James Lethbridge, highlighted sixth, seventh and eighth graders who have exhibited a positive attitude, good character, and responsible citizenship while also being exemplary role models for their peers.
Congratulations to all the night’s honorees and presentations, once again demonstrating the great that happens in East Meadow.
East Meadow High School seniors put their year-long senior projects on display during the annual Senior Project Fair on May 23.
Throughout the past academic year, students participated in internships or community service efforts that were designed to actively engage them in real-world experiences. They selected opportunities at locations such as radio stations, physical therapy offices, martial art studios, law offices and museums, among others.
The project required students to complete at least 25 hours participating in their chosen activity. However, many students enjoyed their work so much that they chose to continue working beyond this basic requirement.
Selection of the activity began with the resume process in September and was followed by students identifying areas of interest and reaching out to sponsors for potential internships and community service projects. During the second semester, the students’ experiences commenced and they recorded their progress and accomplishments through activity logs.
The culmination came during the Senior Project Fair where students exhibited their experiences with project boards and other visual aids to showcase the skills and knowledge they gained. Classmates, staff members and parents toured the event, held in the school’s gymnasium, and viewed the completed projects.
“The Senior Project Fair was another successful event for students as they displayed their hard work for all to see,” said Principal Richard Howard.
The district’s five elementary schools opened their doors to family and friends on May 21 to showcase the great projects, lessons and work happening every day.
Each school put a unique twist on the event, with festivities including art shows, VIP days, Carousel of Character demonstrations, wax museums, bake sales, book fairs and much more. Some guests were able to participate in classroom activities for certain grades while others served as audience members for debuted projects.
The district extends a thank you to each building’s staff members that helped to welcome community members to the schools for a day of pride and excitement.
Bowling Green Elementary School held its annual Spring Beautification Day on May 10 to enhance the grounds and gardens around the building.
Students, staff members and parents came together to attend to the area in front of the building, specifically around the new Bowling Green sign. New flowers and plants were added to embrace the beauty of the spring season.
Bowling Green extends a special thank you to the district grounds crew for prepping the areas for easier planting and for continuously improving the school’s environment.
Students and staff at Parkway Elementary School got up close and personal with wild animals when Erik’s Reptile Edventures visited on May 20.
Erik Callender, the owner and director of the reptile education program, came to Parkway with many animal friends including an albino boa constrictor named Twinkie. He also showcased frogs, turtles and insects with which students and staff had the opportunity to interact.
Parkway Elementary School thanks Mr. Callender for bringing this interesting program to the students.
As part of a school-wide initiative at McVey Elementary School, special area teachers came together for a combined second grade mindfulness and yoga unit that resulted in published books.
Music, gym, computer and library teachers each created specific curricular interpretations of mindfulness and yoga in their classrooms. Library teacher Ellen O’Neill introduced yoga poses to students through characters and animals in books. Students continued to personify animals that could be represented by yoga and vinyasa poses.
Music teacher Samantha Schick played calming sounds through the piano, guitar and other instruments as part of a seated guided meditation to further the unit. Physical education teachers Michael Simone and Deirdre O’Regan also held yoga lessons and mindfulness activities during their classes.
Following a lesson on the basics of story structure with Mrs. O’Neill, students began developing their story before going through the writing processes of illustrating and editing before publishing. Computer teacher Randy Frances helped to improve the overall structure of each student’s story. Ms. Frances presented a lesson on adjectives that were used to describe characters and their personalities.
Each student’s story and adjoining illustration were put together to create a published book for each class. The books have been made available in the school’s library.
Third grade students at Bowling Green Elementary School were treated to a visit from Steve Fratello, “The Butterfly Man,” on May 14.
Mr. Fratello shared his rare and varied collection of butterflies and moths along with amazing stories from his time researching insects, including adventures in the Amazon Rainforest. He created a show-and-tell atmosphere with several shadowboxes filled with a number of unique butterflies and moths.
Mr. Fratello presented several surprising facts and explained that there are more than 25,000 different species of butterflies and over 500,000 species of moths throughout the world. He also educated the group on how these creatures adapt to their environments through mimicry and camouflage while also using their colors to communicate and as warnings to predators.
Bowling Green thanks “The Butterfly Man” for bringing a unique and educational presentation to third grade.