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Six Second-Graders Serenade Board of Ed

Six Second-Graders Serenade Board of Ed

In honor of School Board Recognition Week in October, students and staff from each of the district’s buildings presented gifts of appreciation to each board member, recognizing the time and commitment they make to the school community.

One of the schools, May Moore, “adopted” trustee Donna Gulli Grunseich, whose children attended May Moore. Six May Moore second-graders – Sharon Offiah, George Montes, Kaitlyn Mosquera, Mohammed Rauf, Karina Salgado and Alexa Thiesen – presented Gulli Grunseich with flowers, a card created by the school’s art teachers that was signed by all of the May Moore students, and a specially made blanket in Deer Park’s colors of maroon and grey, portraying the school’s students. In closing, under the direction of music teacher Kristen Lombardo, the sextet of students serenaded the board with “Thank You Board, Thank You,” including kazoo solos.

May Moore Starts Up Engines at Annual Safety Program

May Moore Fires Up Engines at Annual Safety Program

Students from May Moore recently learned all about fire safety with Deer Park Fire Department Assistant Chief Phil Scarfi and his team. Held annually in the district’s elementary schools as part of national Fire Prevention Month, Scarfi’s annual safety program also features an outdoor visit to one of the department’s fire trucks.

Perseverance Pays Off for Top 10 Seniors

Perseverance Pays Off for Top 10 Seniors

The high school recently announced the top 10 ranked seniors at a ceremony held in the library, with proud parents in attendance. Saraf Faruk was ranked first and named Class of 2018 valedictorian, with Megan Zhang ranking second as salutatorian. Rounding out Deer Park’s list were Catherine Taipe (ranked third), Tamara Beauchamp (fourth), Alan Korsiak (fifth), Isabella Colacioppo (sixth), Danielle Tirado (seventh), William Buckley (eighth), Lauren Leon (ninth) and Sean Sanchez (10th).

“A student who is recognized in the top 10 at Deer Park High School has shown tremendous dedication and perseverance in their academic pursuits,” said Principal Charles Cobb. “This accomplishment is just the beginning for these extremely talented students, and I am proud to honor them.”'

Freshmen Focus on Careers at Deer Park’s Day of Discussion

Freshmen Focus on Careers at Deer Park’s Day of Discussion

The high school’s freshmen recently got a head start on career ideas as they participated in the school’s annual Career Day, meeting and talking about jobs and entrepreneurship with dozens of presenters from a variety of different careers including banking, health care, law enforcement, nursing, law, psychology, fiction writing, marketing and social work. These professionals included Deer Park alumni, members of the Deer Park Chamber of Commerce, local business owners and parents of current students.

Rob Pannell, a much-awarded legendary lacrosse player for Cornell University and the New York Lizards, kicked the event off with a well-received keynote speech.  

“Career Day 2017 was a great success,” said business teacher Jill Perry-Eising. “It is a large event to coordinate, and we couldn’t have run the event without the enthusiastic cooperation our local business community.”

Pumpkins Abound at JQA Learning Stations


After an exciting morning of picking pumpkins from the patch at JQA, the fun continued for kindergartners in Laura Oddo and Vanessa Pizzo’s class as they moved to a series of different learning stations themed around pumpkins.

Oddo, who teaches kindergarten, and Pizzo, an ENL teacher, are teamed in a co-teaching classroom featuring math, science and art stations.

“The students truly enjoy moving to different stations and working on different activities,” said Oddo.

“They love the hands-on approach in each station, and the small groups create a great learning space,” said Pizzo.

In the science station, the students experimented with different fruits and vegetables and made predictions to whether they would sink or float. In the math station, students measured their pumpkins. In the art station, students created faces to make their pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns.

Six Musicians Named to All-County Ensembles

Six Musicians Named to All-County Ensembles
Six outstanding high school student-musicians were chosen for All-County honors this year, and will participate in the annual New York State Council of Administrators of Music Education All-County concert on Nov. 17, held at Hauppauge High School. Students were selected for the band, chorus and orchestra ensembles by NYSCAME from a pool of the finest young musicians in Suffolk County, based on NYSSMA solo evaluations.

Junior Katherine Cho (clarinet) will perform with the All-County Band; junior Sara Felipe (soprano) and senior Nolan Maggio (tenor) will perform with the All-County Chorus; and junior Alexandra Doogan (double bass) and seniors Ginele Tanis (bassoon) and Megan Zhang (flute) will perform with the All-County Orchestra.

Developing Deer Park’s Digital Innovators

Developing Deer Park’s Digital Innovators 2

Ten Deer Park teachers –the high school’s Katelyn O’Brien; John Heeg, Matthew Oleaga, Jon Steigerwald and Scott Surdi from Robert Frost; Michael Capobianco, Thomas Fitzmaurice and Lori Palopali of JFK; and Dana Grafstein and Sue Steinman from May Moore – were recently chosen to participate in the district’s new Digital Innovator Program. The goal of the program is to align classroom instruction with technology, rather than vice versa.

“In the past, teachers would often ask how to use a piece of tech in the classroom, rather than focusing on what the instructional goal or outcome is, and then using the technology to get there,” explained Christopher Kauter, the district’s administrator of instructional technology, who developed the program. “It’s been a lot of reflection and sharing.”

The Digital Innovator Program uses the SAMR Model of ongoing monthly collegial workgroup sessions to allow sharing multilayered ideas for technology use with peers and administrators, focusing on areas such as digital classrooms and storytelling, maker education, coding and curriculum development, and establishing learning spaces. The teachers also develop an action plan and pilot programs and software.

Homecoming Highlights a Strong Community

Homecoming Highlights a Strong Community 1
Homecoming Highlights a Strong Community 2
The Deer Park community came out in force for the homecoming parade on Oct. 21, filling the streets from John F. Kennedy Intermediate School to the high school with a sea of proud maroon and white. Leading the way was grand marshal Tony Martinez, a managing partner of Texas Roadhouse.

After arriving at Al Centamore Football Field, the crowd was addressed by Martinez, principal Charles Cobb and Superintendent Eva J. Demyen. Also serving as a guest speaker was Babylon Town Clerk Carol Quirk, whose three sons are Deer Park alumni.

“The kids walking on this field are the most important people,” said Quirk. “I’m proud to be here representing the town, and homecoming shows that Deer Park is strong, not only today but tomorrow.”

The speakers soon ceded center stage to an array of exciting performances by the marching band, the step team, the high school and middle school kickline teams, and cheerleaders from the high school, middle school and PAL.

In the pre-game finale, Alan Korsiak and Kaylee Houlahan were crowned as homecoming king and queen, congratulated by the remaining members of the homecoming court: Daniela Cornelia, Kasey Dorney, Tara Hentze, Evan Mallon, Anthony Pascal and Josh Pismeny.

The varsity football Falcons came out strong in the homecoming game against Smithtown East, driving to a 14-0 lead after two quarters and holding on for a decisive 26-14 victory over the Bulls. Falcons quarterback Derrick Toledo passed for 124 yards and three touchdowns, Vincent Tavella rushed for 136 yards and a touchdown, and receiver Rayshion Bienaise caught four receptions for 120 yards and two touchdowns.

At halftime, the freshman class was chosen as the winner of the float competition for their excitingly aquatic “Nemo”-themed construction.

Frost Preps for Homecoming with Exciting Pep Rally

Frost Preps for Homecoming with Exciting Pep Rally

Students at Robert Frost prepared to support homecoming on Oct. 20, showing their school spirit with a pep rally, replete with performances by the school’s cheerleaders and kickline. The rally also served to recognize the fall sports teams, including the introduction of the Frost football squad, who demonstrated several plays.

“Our students were so excited to support the high school during homecoming by holding a pep rally,” said Principal Eliana Levey. “We came together as a school community to cheer on the Falcons.”

"Thank You" From Deer Park, Texas School District


Fall Newsletter Now Available

Fall Newsletter


Zhang Named to All-State Wind Ensemble

Zhang Named to All-State Wind Ensemble
Zhang Named to All-State Wind Ensemble

High School flutist Megan Zhang, a senior, was recently chosen by the New York State School Music Association to participate in the annual All-State Music Conference in Rochester, NY in December. Zhang will perform as a member of the 2017 All-State Wind Ensemble, with Dr. Ricky Fleming from Buffalo State College as conductor.

“The Deer Park music department is delighted to be represented by Megan,” said Bradley Murphy, the district's curriculum associate for fine and performing arts. “She is one of the top high school musicians in New York State.”

Additionally, senior and choral student Nolan Maggio (tenor), an alternate selection, was accepted into All-State as well.

Two Honored for Potential in Science and Medicine

Two Honored for Potential in Science and Medicine

High School senior James Raymond and junior Domenico Recine were recently presented with awards of excellence for their outstanding participation in science conferences held this summer in Boston. Raymond attended the Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders, while Recine attended the Congress of Future Medical Leaders.

Admission to these honors-only academy programs was based on the students’ high grade point averages, demonstrated leadership potential and their declared aspirations to pursue careers as physicians, scientists or technologists.

“It was a great opportunity,” said Raymond. “I learned a lot.”

“I’m really happy I went to the event and hope it helps me in the future to become a doctor,” said Recine.

Flu Notification


A New ‘Point of View’ at Robert Frost

A New ‘Point of View’ at Robert Frost

Sixth- and seventh-graders at Robert Frost Mrecently experienced Camfel Productions “Point of View,” a new 40-minute multi-media production designed to look beyond the world’s violence, racism, intolerance, harassment and hate, giving students a new perspective on the differences that separate them from their peers, their parents and others around them.

According to Associate Principal Gary Ramonetti, the assembly helped the students gain a new sense of their own innate worth, while appreciating the diversity of race, language and culture that make up the community in which they live.

‘Social’-izing Safety Presentation on Superintendent’s Conference Day

‘Social’-izing Safety Presentation on Superintendent’s Conference Day
‘Social’-izing Safety Presentation on Superintendent’s Conference Day 2
‘Social’-izing Safety Presentation on Superintendent’s Conference Day 3
The district’s annual Superintendent’s Conference Day in September was highlighted by a safety presentation on social media and electronic communications by attorney Joseph Lilly of the firm Frazer & Feldman, Garden City, New York.

After providing some background on the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and how education records include all information relating to a student, including printed and computer records such as teacher’s emails, Lilly went over the district’s computer usage, social media and internet policies, both during and outside work hours. He then delved into the basics of free speech in relation to teachers, using numerous well-known case law examples such as Monroe v. Central Bucks School District.

“It’s a serious subject,” Lilly told the district’s educators, noting their special position in society. “What you say on the internet can have lasting and serious repercussions. As a teacher who interacts with the public, because of that special position you hold, even when you express things on the internet that for another person might be protected by the Constitution, if your speech is disruptive to the operation of the school and its ability to provide an important service to the public, the courts say that the school district’s interest in providing that service is going to outweigh the teacher’s interest of expression.”

Lilly then suggested some best practices for district employee use of the internet and websites, and urged them to exercise a level of care in using social media, such as not commenting on or befriending students.

“These guidelines I’m giving you are to help you avoid anyone ever questioning your integrity or professionalism,” he said.

Two Seniors Commended by National Merit Scholarship Program

Two Seniors Commended by National Merit Scholarship Program
High school seniors Fabiha Khan and Lauren Leon were recently named Commended Students by the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program.

Khan and Leon were recognized for their outstanding test results in the 2016 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, where they finished among the top 5 percent out of more than 1.4 million students nationwide participating in the competition.

District Decides on DePrima as New Secondary Special Education Administrator

District Decides on DePrima as New Secondary Special Education Administrator

Deer Park has named David DePrima as district administrator of secondary special education, replacing Brian Norton.

DePrima, an alumnus from Deer Park High School’s Class of 1999, had previously worked as a special education social studies teacher for the district since September 2003.

A Babylon resident, he earned his associate’s degree from Nassau Community College, his bachelor’s degree in history from Hofstra University, a master’s degree in special education at Dowling College, and his educational leadership certificate from Stony Brook University.

“It is my focus to provide leadership to ensure that the students with special needs in Deer Park are appropriately educated and supported,” DePrima said.

Kozlowsky Named Secondary Administrator

Kozlowsky Named Secondary Administrator

Former high school associate principal Jeanne Kozlowsky has been named the new district administrator for secondary curriculum and instruction, replacing Christine Criscione.

Before serving as associate principal at the high school for seven years, Kozlowsky worked as a math teacher at the school for six years prior.

An East Setauket resident, she obtained her bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from North Carolina State University, her master’s degree in adolescence education mathematics at Long Island University and her graduate certificate in educational leadership from Stony Brook University.

“I have had the pleasure of working within the Deer Park School District for the last 13 years,” said Kozlowsky. “Collaborating with our parents and community members to ensure students’ success continues to be the goal of our educational team. I look forward to working with all the dedicated teachers, administrators and staff who are committed to delivering instruction that prepares students for the next phase of their education and future.”

Deer Park’s Day of Remembrance

Deer Park’s Day of Remembrance

With small but symbolic American flags in their hands, the young students at John F. Kennedy, John Quincy Adams and May Moore honored Patriot Day by planting the flags in front of each school in honor of all those lost on 9/11. The schools also read poems, played the national anthem and offered a moment of silence.

“Although our students were born long after the tragic events of September 11, 2001 happened, we honor Patriot Day as a day of remembrance by planting flags and wearing red, white and blue,” said May Moore Principal Alicia Konecny. “We teach our students that 9/11 changed our world. But with each story of sorrow and pain comes one of hope and courage. As we move forward, all of us have an opportunity to become better people and to learn valuable lessons about heroism, love and compassion.”



The District Welcomes Three New Associate Principals

The District Welcomes Three New Associate Principals
Kristen Anisis, Heather Levine, Sean O'Brien

The district has welcomed three new associate principals to the administrative team. Kristen Anisis and Sean O’Brien will work at Deer Park High School, and Heather Levine will serve at John Quincy Adams and May Moore primary schools.

Anisis previously worked as an English teacher at Freeport High School. The Long Beach resident earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Stony Brook University, a master’s degree in literacy at Queens College and a post-master’s certificate in educational leadership from Stony Brook.

“I am honored to join the administrative team at Deer Park Schools,” said Anisis. “I am excited to serve this wonderful community and will tirelessly work to reach our collective goal of student success.”

O’Brien most recently worked for three years as a school counselor at Elmont Memorial High School, and previously served as a guidance counselor at Roosevelt High School. A resident of Saint James, he earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology fron Stony Brook University, and his master’s degree in school counseling from Long Island University.

“ I look forward to working together with the amazing faculty and families of Deer Park High School as we prepare our students for the future,” he said.

Prior to joining the Deer Park administrative team, Levine worked for the Connetquot Central School District as a special education administrator. She has been in the field of education for over 14 years, and previously worked as special education teacher, chairperson and supervisor, as well as an instructional coach for the New York City Department of Education.  Levine earned her bachelor of science in human development and sociology from Binghamton University, her master’s degree in special education and general education from St. John’s University, and a gifted and talented advanced course of study from Touro College. She later obtained an advanced certificate in school building and school district leadership from the College of Saint Rose, and participated in the Teachers as Leaders program through Columbia Teacher’s College.

“Education is my passion,” said Levine, who resides in Levittown. “I am deeply committed to collaboration and support for all our students and believe in staying current with newest research-based trends in education. The early childhood years are critical times for students. What happens during these years will have a lasting impression on their growth and development, and we are the foundation that gives each student the opportunity to become a lifelong learner.”

Deer Park School District