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Deer Park Honors Superintendent Demyen and Student Accomplishments

Deer Park Honors Superintendent Demyen and Student Accomplishments
At Deer Park’s June 18 Board of Education meeting, the district honored numerous impressive student achievements and said farewell to longtime Superintendent Eva Demyen, who is retiring.

The evening began with a performance of a song by Robert Frost students from Rachel Burkel and Stephanie O’Connell’s classes and the Friends of Frost Social Club, which was dedicated to Demyen, along with the screening of a film on Frost’s BandAid Project and the presentation of a certificate to Frost student Stephanie Sheeler.

Next up was recognition of JFK’s Math Olympiad winners by adviser Lisa Baker. The 21 students honored were Danny Alvarado-Valle, Vincent Cacciola, Arianna Chowdhury, Emily Dong, Katherine Flores, Adam Hassanin, Adan Herrera, Ethan Nelson, Cristian Miller, Gianna Montes, Nobin Nath, Dave Osorio Lara, Mollie Pellicano, Frankie Pisano, Jaidyn Schabe, Jayna Singh, Allessandra Tejero, Arib Uddin, Hailey Weisse, Eshan Zaman and Ali Zorakhsh.

Ashley Rosenberg, the district administrator for ENL and world languages, then presented the winners of the 2019 Grand Concours National French Contest, an annual competition sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of French. Middle school honorees included bronze medalist Anabelle Thelisma and honorable mention winners Emily Kleiber, Alexis Lazarte, Eadie Liu, Adithan Omprakash, Ayesha Shaukat and Anthony Vasquez; while high school honorees were gold medalist Saima Hoque, silver medalists Victoria Egan and Bartlett Polster, bronze medalists Kristin D’Souza, Sameer Riaz, Naomi Sauveur and Diondra Talleyrand, and honorable mention winners Rebecca Fox and Esteysy Yanes Amaya.  

Business-minded high schoolers participating in the DECA club were then presented with certificates by adviser Gregory Menig.

Closing out the evening and the moving tribute to Demyen’s remarkable career, Town of Babylon Supervisor Rich Schaffer presented her with a proclamation presentation.

Garret Noblett Hired as High School Associate Principal

Garret Noblett Hired as High School Associate Principal

The district hired Garret Noblett as an associate principal for Deer Park High School.

Noblett had recently worked as a special education teacher at Walt Whitman High School in Huntington Station for the past seven years. He was also the alternative high school principal at Whitman for the past two years, as well as a principal for the Western Suffolk BOCES Regional Summer School for the past three years. Noblett’s prior positions also include a social studies/special education teacher at Deer Park High School, Robert Frost Middle School and Abraham Lincoln Alternative High School from 2007-2012, and a social studies teacher at Rocky Point High School during 2006-2007.

The Kings Park resident earned his bachelor’s degree in history and sociology from Stony Brook University, his master’s degree in secondary social studies education and middle school extension certificate from Hofstra University, an advanced certificate in special education from Dowling College, and school building/school district educational leadership certificates from Stony Brook University.

“As a graduate of Deer Park High School, I am very excited to come home to my alma mater and serve the community that has given me so much joy in my life,” Noblett said. “My goal as an associate principal is to foster a safe and successful learning environment for both students and staff while working towards district educational standards and goals.”


JFK’s Falcon Friends Club Unveils Buddy Bench

JFK’s Falcon Friends Club Unveils Buddy Bench

The Falcon Friends Club at JFK hosted a buddy bench dedication ceremony on June 19, joined by administration, staff, parents, Board of Education members and representatives of club sponsor Realty Direct NY.

Falcon Friends, a new club at JFK, was guided by two co-advisers, art teacher Briana Nussbaum and special education teacher Joseph Verdicchio. The organization’s goal is to bring students of differing abilities together to build friendships and appreciate each other’s differences. Over the course of the year, students were able to collaborate, problem solve and build meaningful friendships. Members of Falcon Friends worked hard on designing and painting the bench during club time.

During the ceremony, fourth grader Glenn Calautti and fifth grader Mackenzie Rubinstein unveiled the bench. Following the reveal, fourth graders Nadia Elsergany and Gina Garcia spoke about the purpose of the bench and how it will help students to make new friends at JFK.

“The Falcon Friends Club built friendships and relationships as we worked toward a common goal of constructing our buddy bench,” Verdicchio said. “I am honored to see the teamwork and effort that was shown throughout the project.”

“It was such a privilege to work with these students,” said Nussbaum. “Their empathy and compassion towards one another is so admirable. I am proud of their hard work.”



Deer Park’s Primary Students Move Up to JFK

Deer Park’s Primary Students Move Up to JFK
Deer Park’s Primary Students Move Up to JFK 2

Deer Park’s youngest graduates – 132 second graders from JQA and 119 from May Moore – celebrated their ascension to JFK in a proud pair of sunny moving up ceremonies.

JQA’s event on June 13 featured the students singing “Well, It’s Been Fun,” “A Million Dreams” and “Best Day of My Life.” May Moore’s moving up a day later included a rendition of the school song as well as “America” and a medley of tunes from “The Greatest Showman.”

The May Moore ceremony marked an emotional farewell to Principal Alicia Konecny, who was also moving up to be the district’s new its assistant superintendent for pupil personnel services. Both ceremonies paid tribute to retiring Superintendent Eva Demyen and featured a welcome address from the next principal of JFK, Kelly Benson.

“The moving up ceremony is one of my favorite events of the year, met with plenty of emotions,” said JQA Principal Christopher Molinelli. “Watching these young boys and girls grow and blossom over the past three or four years is quite amazing. Everyone couldn’t be prouder of our graduates and we will miss them all. We’re looking forward to hearing about all of the great things they will do in their future.”

  

 







Seniors Millien and Petit Win $1,000 Omega Psi Phi Scholarships

Seniors Millien and Petit Win $1,000 Omega Psi Phi Scholarships
Seniors Millien and Petit Win $1,000 Omega Psi Phi Scholarships 2
Seniors Millien and Petit Win $1,000 Omega Psi Phi Scholarships 3
High school seniors Warren Millien and Steve Petit were awarded $1,000 scholarships by the Chi Rho Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity at the organization’s 10th annual Pride of Fatherhood Breakfast, held at the Radisson Hotel in Hauppauge on June 15. Millien and Petit earned their awards via an essay contest in which they discussed their community service and future plans.

A Special Evening for Seniors

A Special Evening for Seniors

The high school recognized the achievements of its best and brightest on June 6, handing out numerous scholarships, department awards and schoolwide awards at the annual Senior Awards night as proud families looked on.

Student Council President Katherine Cho began the ceremony with the Pledge of Allegiance, before Jada Smith led the attendees in singing “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The school’s jazz ensemble, directed by Jerry Cannarozzo, provided tasteful music before and during the event, including Steely Dan’s “Peg” and John LaBarbera’s “Tiger of San Pedro.”

“This is truly one of the special evenings for us here at the high school,” said Principal Charles Cobb. “Our students here are being recognized for their vast accomplishments, not only this year, but through their many years in the Deer Park school system.”

“Each and every one of us in this auditorium has been incredibly impressed by each and every one of you on the stage tonight, and I know all of us cannot wait to see what you do next,” said Associate Principal Sean O’Brien. “Please take this evening as an opportunity to celebrate the miles you put behind you as you prepare for the miles that lie ahead.”







Jack Bixhorn Named Associate Principal of Frost

Jack Bixhorn Named Associate Principal of Frost

The district has named Jack Bixhorn as an associate principal for Robert Frost, replacing Philip Paniccia, the incoming principal of May Moore.

Bixhorn’s nine years of classroom experience most recently included working as a sixth grade math and science teacher and elementary math specialist in the East Rockaway School District. He previously taught algebra and grades 6-8 special education at the Dr. Richard Izquierdo Health and Science Charter School in the Bronx.

A resident of Long Beach, he earned his bachelor’s degree in health science from the University of Delaware and a dual master’s degree in elementary education and special education as well as a middle school math extension certificate from St. John’s University. He recently completed a postgraduate program in school building and districtl through the College of Saint Rose.  

“I am excited to join the Deer Park school community,” said Bixhorn. “My goal as the associate principal of Robert Frost is to cultivate a safe, caring and supportive learning environment that promotes success for all students.”


Reinforcing Math Knowledge at JQA

 Reinforcing Math Knowledge at JQA

At JQA, the annual Math Fair on May 22 found students participating in a variety of different learning centers ranging from basic skills to mathematics in daily life. Based on the school’s math curriculum, these activities help to reinforce what was learned throughout the year.

“Our goal is to foster positive learning experiences in order for the students to develop a love of math,” said JQA math lab specialist Marianna Grieco.




ShopRite Dietitian Gives Students Nutrition Advice

ShopRite Dietitian Gives Students Nutrition Advice

Joelle Porush, a retail registered dietitian at the local ShopRite, recently visited with Deer Park secondary students – including seventh grade family and consumer science classes, life skills students and high school food and nutrition classes – to discuss the importance of eating healthy, how nutrition effects our bodies, how to examine the different nutrients listed on a nutrition facts label, and how to create a simple, healthy five-ingredient meal.

“We had a great time, and the students showed a lot of interest in nutrition,” said Porush.

“Joelle provided our students the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of nutrition through hands-on experiences,” said teacher Gabriella Gilmartin. “She is a fantastic resource for the Deer Park community.”

Frost Track Athletes Bring Home the Medals at Elks Invitational

Frost Track Athletes Bring Home the Medals at Elks Invitational
Robert Frost track athletes recently brought home three gold, one silver and two bronze medals at the Elks Invitational track meet. These outstanding students included Evan Attrino, winner of the gold medal in the 1,500-meter race; Ebony Coleman, winner of the gold medal in the 100-meter and 55-meter races; Lutherson Chauvette, winner of the silver medal in the 400-meter race; Santos Barahona, winner of the bronze medal in shot put; and Natalia Lee, winner of the bronze medal in the 400-meter race.

Spring Athletes Recognized at HS

Spring Athletes Recognized at HS

The high school honored exceptional athletic efforts by varsity teams on spring sports awards night, held on May 30 at the high school’s auditorium. Members of the baseball, girls golf, kickline, boys lacrosse, girls lacrosse, softball, boys tennis, boys spring track and girls spring track, teams were lauded, receiving certificates and plaques including Most Valuable Player awards, Coaches Awards, Spirit Awards and Scholar-Athlete awards.

“Without our coaches and athletes putting in the commitment and hard work that they do, we wouldn’t have a fighting chance at being successful,” said Athletic Director Dominick Fontana. “We thank them for all the sacrifices they made.”

Fontana also expressed gratitude to the Board of Education, administration and parents for their continued support as well as the Booster Club for sponsoring both the event and scholarships.




May Moore’s New Principal is Philip Paniccia

May Moore’s New Principal is Philip Paniccia
The district has named Philip Paniccia as the new principal of May Moore Primary School, replacing Alicia Konecny, the incoming assistant superintendent for pupil personnel services.

Paniccia had served since 2016 as an associate principal at the district’s Robert Frost Middle School. He previously worked as a teacher for 10 years in the Sayville School District and as principal of Sayville Summer School, following a 15-year career in financial service.

A Setauket resident and graduate of Sachem High School, Paniccia earned his bachelor’s degree in child study, master’s degree in liberal studies and advance graduate degree in educational leadership from St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue and Stony Brook University.

“I couldn’t be more excited to become the new principal of May Moore and to continue serving the Deer Park community,” said Paniccia. “I look forward to working collaboratively with the entire school community to emphasize a safe, warm, whole child learning environment in which every student is recognized as a unique learner who can excel and succeed. While preserving May Moore’s tradition of excellence, we will continue to work with Deer Park’s youngest learners to build the 21st century and social-emotional skills needed to thrive as leaders and productive citizens of tomorrow.”


Meet Deer Park’s 2019 Valedictorian and Salutatorian

Meet Deer Park’s 2019 Valedictorian and Salutatorian
Cho
Nawaz
The high school’s Class of 2019 valedictorian and salutatorian are Katherine Cho and Eiman Nawaz, respectively.

Cho, who earned a 105.86 weighted GPA, is a member of the school’s National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, Tri-M Music Honor Society, Newspaper Club, student council and varsity tennis team. She will attend Princeton University, majoring in biology.

Nawaz, who finished with a weighted GPA of 105.26, is a member of the school’s National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, Red Cross Club and DECA. She will attend Stony Brook University, majoring in biochemistry.


A Night of Personnel Recognition for Deer Park’s School Community

A Night of Personnel Recognition for Deer Park’s School Community

Deer Park’s May 28 Board of Education meeting was dedicated to recognizing and rewarding personnel, including newly retired, tenured and appointed administrators, teachers and staff. Also honored were those reaching milestones in years of service.

Superintendent Eva Demyen began the evening with recognition for school physician Anthony Donatelli, who was recently inducted into the Wrestling Hall of Fame, and JFK cafeteria aide Shalay Rutherford, who saved a student from choking by using the Heimlich maneuver. 

Those retiring included both Demyen herself, who was lauded by incoming Superintendent James Cummings, and JFK Principal Susan Bonner. Other new retirees congratulated included teachers John Abeltin, Francis Amendola, Paula Behrens, Cheryl Bica, Debra Bradbury, Aida Buckley, Eve Deitch, Cindy Jewell, Patricia Kurman, Jean Ludlow, Iris Marchon and Joanne Pendzinski; and non-instructional employees Rosalyn Baskin, Ann Castagna, Patricia Collins, Mary Galea, Richard Miller, Pearl Rogers and Philip Russo.

“They’ve honed the skills of thousands of students,” said Demyen. “I couldn’t be prouder to be retiring at the same time as such a fine group of people.”

Recognized for their years of service were Robert Frost teaching assistant Phyllis Otto for 35 years; Jack Lovascio and Laurie Schwartz for 30 years; and Laurie Blank, Ann Bullis, Gary Fricke, Steven Jaklitsch, Deana LaPlaca, Krista Militello, Joseph Orecchio and Rosanna Shooshtary for 25 years.

“It takes a lot to devote so much time and energy to one place and one job and I commend them highly for that,” said Demyen.

Congratulated for receiving tenure were ESL teachers Joseph Buscarino and Lisa Kiernan and guidance counselor Rachel Glaubach of Deer Park High School; art teacher Michelle Sarco of Robert Frost; ESL teacher Kimberly Essig and elementary teacher Luisa Moynihan of JFK; and special education teacher Alannah Boccard and teaching assistants Erebuni Babakhanian-Gonzalez, Danielle Calandra and Jennifer Paduano of May Moore.

“It’s no easy task getting to this point, so I want to congratulate every single one of you receiving tenure,” Demyen told the proud educators.

New appointments included Jay Murphy as district administrator of technology, Philip Paniccia as principal of May Moore and Jack Bixhorn as associate principal of Robert Frost.

The night ended with a welcome to incoming Board of Education trustee Jerry D. Jean-Pierre.

Planting Peace at Robert Frost

Planting Peace at Robert Frost

Calling themselves the “Peacekeepers,” members of the World of Difference Club at Robert Frost volunteered to plan and plant a courtyard peace garden. The club worked with two other groups, the Site-Based Team and Friends of Frost, to create this special space. The garden was sponsored by the Horodnicki family in memory of their son Ryan.

“The Peace Garden is a symbol of the diversity among our school community,” said speech-language pathologist and club adviser Stephanie O’Connell. “At Robert Frost, we cultivate an environment of acceptance and celebration of all people. No matter your race, religion, nationality, intellectual ability or identity, you are welcome here.”

Following the garden’s creation on May 21, Frost’s World of Difference Club received recognition for its second year of achieving the Anti-Defamation League’s “No Place for Hate” school designation. Participating schools conduct activities and events that maintain an inclusive and respectful climate. Eighth grade student ambassadors from the club traveled to New York University on May 23 to receive a banner and certificate for this honor.

 




HS Business Students Find a “Spark!”

HS Business Students Find a “Spark!”

The high school's business students competed in Northwell Health System’s Spark! Challenge this spring, held at the Crest Hollow Country Club.

Earlier in the year, the students spent a day shadowing accountants in Northwell’s corporate finance office to learn about accounting careers. They were then challenged with creating a poster to advertise a career in accounting while tying the poster’s message in to Northwell’s “CARE” mission, which stands for connectedness, awareness, respect, and empathy. The students had to create a presentation that highlighted what they learned during their job-shadowing experience at Northwell, which also had to relate to the poster that they had created about the CARE mission. Finally, the Deer Park students made a presentation to Northwell executives, including the CEO and CFO, under the watchful eye of the finance department’s management team.

“This was an outstanding experience for our students to be able to work with industry professionals and present to high-level executives,” said business teacher Jill Perry-Eising.




Year of Accomplishment Showcased at HS Spring Concerts

Year of Accomplishment Showcased at HS Spring Concerts

Marvelous music was in the air on May 22 and 23 as the high school hosted its annual spring concert series, showcasing a year’s worth of hard work and accomplishment for the school’s student-musicians.

 




JQA’s Seventh Year of Pennies for Patients Proves the Best

JQA’s Seventh Year of Pennies for Patients Proves the Best
JQA’s Seventh Year of Pennies for Patients Proves the Best 2
In its seventh year of holding the Pennies for Patients event for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, JQA raised $2833.32 to benefit the charity, $800 more than the school’s previous yearly total.

“We are so excited to partner with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society each year to help those affected by these diseases,” said Principal Christopher Molinelli.


May Moore Enjoys Vibrant Visit from Ugandan Singers

May Moore Enjoys Vibrant Visit from Ugandan Singers

A classroom at May Moore was the recent scene of a special visit from three members of the Amani Childrens Choir from Kampala, Uganda – ninth grader Angel May Nakafero, sixth grader Hussinah Nanteza and fourth-grader Denise Umotoniwase – accompanied by chaperone Stella Asio.

After a slide presentation and video, the visitors took questions from the class, discussing such topics as favorite places in the U.S. that they have visited and what languages they speak. To conclude the presentation, the Ugandan students – who were hosted by Debbie Sellers, the grandmother of one of the students in the class – treated the May Moore students to vibrant performances of traditional dances and songs.




Frost’s French Dinner Proves an Important Night for Language Students

Frost’s French Dinner Proves an Important Night for Language Students

In celebration of French culture and language, Robert Frost hosted its 19th annual French Dinner on May 2. This year’s theme, chosen by the students themselves, was “Beauty and the Beast.”

The dinner was planned by Frost’s middle school students and their teachers, Susan Bollag and Kimberly Gallipoli. French students from Deer Park High School also attended to help set up the event. In addition to serving delicious French cuisine, students performed music, played games and asked French trivia questions.

“This event become such an important night in our French students’ culture,” said Ashley Rosenberg, Deer Park’s district administrator for ENL and world languages.

JQA Teacher DeAcetis Named "Bright Light" for Mentoring Work

JQA Teacher DeAcetis Named
Ashley DeAcetis, a second grade teacher at John Quincy Adams, was recently honored by Suffolk ASSET with the Bright Light Award for her work as an Edtech mentor. She was recognized at the annual ASSET luncheon at Timber Point Country Club in Great River.

DeAcetis is in her second year in the district. She previously spent three years teaching in Malaysia at the International School of Kuala Lumpur and four years teaching at the American School of Guatemala.

Deer Park initiated its Edtech mentorship program this year, with teachers chosen from each building to help guide and initiate new ways to integrate technology thoughtfully into the curriculum. DeAcetis was the first selected from JQA.

“I was excited about the opportunity to be more involved in my building and to spend time helping teachers with whatever they needed,” she said. “Working with colleagues that were not afraid to try something new and a supportive administration really helped the mentorship take flight.”

In December, working with the nonprofit organization Code.org, DeAcetis proposed a challenge to the faculty, asking every classroom to participate in the international Hour of Code.

“Without any formal training, our faculty took on this challenge and with almost 100% participation from all classrooms, unlocked the world of coding for their students,” DeAcetis said. “I was truly amazed to see teachers and students learning side-by-side and challenging themselves as they problem-solved using this new type of technology, many for the first time. Productive struggle, critical thinking, and collaboration just happened naturally as students attempted different levels of challenges. I provided coding options to meet the needs for our young learners, making sure that reading directions would not be an obstacle. Technology is ever changing, and our students at JQA, all under the age of 8, may be heading into career paths that we cannot yet imagine. When we take time to create learning experiences for our students, that’s when they make connections and truly develop the 21 century learning skills they are needed to be successful.”

JQA’s Math-A-Thon Raises Over $2.5K for Children’s Hospital

JQA’s Math-A-Thon Raises Over $2.5K for Children’s Hospital
JQA’s Math-A-Thon Raises Over $2.5K for Children’s Hospital 2

For the eighth consecutive year, John Quincy Adams participated in the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Math-A-Thon, raising more than $2,500 through solving problems in Math-A-Thon Funbooks. Over the past seven years, JQA has donated more than $50,000 to the hospital.

“We are proud and happy to help children and their families at St. Jude,” said math lab specialist Marianna Grieco, the event’s coordinator.


Deer Park Summer Camps 2019

Attachments:

Scenes from the STE@M Expo

Scenes from the STE@M Expo

The district’s annual STE@M Expo, held at the high school on the night of May 21, featured an exciting exhibition of student-created works and events from Deer Park’s science, technology, engineering, arts and math programs. Families visiting to vote on the budget enjoyed a variety of displays from live string music and theater to science fair projects, dragster races and art displays.

 



Budget Passes, Jean-Pierre Elected as Trustee

Residents voted to support the Deer Park School District's 2019-2020 budget on May 21, by a vote of 963 to 305. The district thanks the community for participating in this important process.

Two Board of Education incumbents, President John Gouskos (945 votes) and trustee Kristine Rosales (935 votes), both running unopposed, were reelected. In the race for the open seat currently held by Keith Rooney, who did not seek reelection, the winner was Jerry D. Jean-Pierre (684 votes) over Anthony Henkel (517 votes).

Baseball Field Dedicated to Carmine Argenziano

Baseball Field Dedicated to Carmine Argenziano

The high school unveiled Carmine Argenziano Baseball Field, dedicated in honor of the former coach, in a May 14 ceremony dominated by moving speeches from family and colleagues such as Board of Education trustee Al Centamore.

Argenziano had a storied three-decade career in Deer Park highlighted by a dozen league championships. His teams included the 1980 Suffolk County and Long Island champions; the 1997 county and Long Island champions and New York State runners up; and the 2004 county and Long Island champions and New York State semifinalists.

“It’s a great honor for my father that the field was dedicated after 30 years of coaching baseball,” said Ryan Argenziano, Carmine’s son and the Falcons’ current baseball coach. “He really put his heart and soul into this baseball program. He would give all the credit to his former players and the Deer Park community, because he always felt that without them, there’d be no program.”

View the ceremony and speeches here.

Marilin Gutierrez Named JFK Associate Principal

Marilin Gutierrez Named JFK Associate Principal

The district has named Marilin Gutierrez as an associate principal for JFK, replacing Kelly Benson, the incoming principal. Her appointment is effective July 1.

Gutierrez previously served for 11 years as an elementary classroom teacher, in the Copiague School District for nine years and Brentwood School District for two years. A resident of Amityville, she earned her bachelor’s degree in education from St. Joseph’s College, her master’s degree in education at St. John’s University, and her school building and school district leadership certificates from Stony Brook University.

“My goal is to ensure that all children are treated fairly and provide them with a safe and nurturing learning environment to help them grow academically, socially and emotionally,” said Gutierrez.

Female Students Learn About Leadership at Workshop

Female Students Learn About Leadership at Workshop

The high school’s business department, led by teacher Jill Perry-Eising, hosted a Women’s Leadership Workshop in the library on April 18 for 30 female juniors and seniors. Guesting at the breakfast event was Stacy DeNoyior, a senior vice president of sales at Broadridge Financial Solutions, and members of her team, who engaged in group discussions with the students.

“Overall today we had a great time, and we learned so much from such inspiring, powerful women who are very confident and self-assured in what they do,” said junior Diana Sanchez. “It was great to see that and learn about their experiences in their careers.”

JFK Students Experience Traveling to the Mall

JFK Students Experience Traveling to the Mall

Heather Buksa’s students at JFK recently learned about different ways of traveling in the community. As a class, they looked up the bus schedule and went over a social story before taking the public bus to the Westfield South Shore mall in Bay Shore. At the mall, the students went on a scavenger hunt, looking for stores to buy specific items.

Frost Holds Weeklong Celebration of Languages and Cultures

Frost Holds Weeklong Celebration of Languages and Cultures
The Cultural Diversity Committee at Robert Frost recently planned a weeklong celebration of cultural diversity to coincide with World Languages and Cultural Awareness Month, including a cultural diversity poster contest; cafeteria menus translated into Chinese, French, Malayalam, Spanish and Turkish by several of the school’s bilingual students; and daily morning announcements which included information on several cultures and languages represented in the school and the Deer Park community. These announcements – which featured languages such as Bengali, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Spanish, Turkish and Urdu – included cultural and geographical facts as well as language mini-lessons, and ended with a song representing each culture.


JFK Students Enjoy Innovative Evening at Camp Read Away

JFK Students Enjoy Innovative Evening at Camp Read-A-Way

JFK students recently enjoyed an innovative evening of reading in the school’s gym, designated for the night as Camp Read Away. The event gave them a chance to listen to stories read by teachers and administrators in a camp-like atmosphere, including tents. Rotating to different stations, the students also enjoyed astronomy in a star lab and worked on arts and crafts.

Thousands Flock to Falcons Co-Ed Invitational Track Event

Thousands flock to Falcons Invitational track event in Deer Park
Thousands flock to Falcons Invitational track event in Deer Park 2
Thousands flock to Falcons Invitational track event in Deer Park 3
The high school boys and girls track programs hosted the sixth annual Deer Park Falcons Co-Ed Invitational on a sunny April 23. A total of 33 teams – including one from as far away as New Jersey – attended the event, with thousands of visitors flocking to the school’s track complex. Nine meet records fell alongside numerous outstanding performances.

DPHS Celebrates 14 Senior Athlete Signings

DPHS Celebrates 14 Senior Athlete Signings

The high school recognized 14 senior athletes who signed national letters of intent to continue their outstanding sports careers in college this fall: Giselle Aparicio (track; Queens College), Isabella Aparicio (track; Adelphi University), Anthony Bendici (football; Wilkes University), Katherine Buquicchio (soccer; SUNY New Paltz), Alexarae Clark (track; Southern New Hampshire University), Heather Dillon (cross-country; SUNY Old Westbury), Anthony Fasano (football; Utica College); Jacqueline Gentile (lacrosse; Manhattanville College), Juliana Knice (basketball; St. Joseph’s College), Joseph Leon (soccer; Molloy College); Warren Millien (track; Adelphi University), Kristina Pali (tennis; SUNY Cortland); Michaela Rapisarda (soccer; St. Thomas Aquinas College) and Bella Vene (soccer; Buffalo State University).

Joined in the May 2 celebration by visiting friends and family members, the students were congratulated in the auditorium by Principal Charles Cobb and Athletic Director Dominick Fontana.

 

Falcons Win First Girls Track and Field League Championship in 26 Years

Falcons Win First Girls Track and Field League Championship
Falcons Win First Girls Track and Field League Championship 2
Falcons Win First Girls Track and Field League Championship 3

The high school’s girls track and field athletes are league champions for the first time in 26 years. Led by captains Giselle Aparicio, Isabella Aparicio, Lexi Clark, Heather Dillon and Sara Felipe, the Falcons team finished the regular season undefeated at 6-0.

The student-athletes overcame an entire season of adversity and had to pull together when the school’s top performers were injured early on. Without the team’s throwing corps, the Falcons would have been in dire straits. Led by Tassyana Blake, Morgan Keuler and Temi Oshikanlu in shot put and Felipe in discus, Deer Park completely shut down every opponent throughout the season, providing the rest of the team with breathing room to gain points and ultimately win each meet convincingly. Battling pain throughout the season, Marissa Cummings still managed to win the triple jump, long jump and high jump in meet after meet.

Winning the championship was no easy feat, as the Falcons competed in one of the most challenging leagues, filled with state-qualifying competitors on every team they faced. However, their depth and persistence proved the difference. Among the many top Falcons throughout the season was Tionny King, whose performances in the 100-meter hurdles, 400-meter hurdles and long jump helped the team tremendously until she was sidelined for the remainder of the season with an injury with two league meets left.  Freshman and winter track MVP Gianna Marquez, who was coming off a two-month injury, stepped in for King and excelled.

At the Falcons last event on May 3, which coincided with Senior Day, Deer Park defeated Eastport South Manor for the outright championship.

“These girls never let their teammates forget how much was at stake and motivated them throughout until the end,” said coach Jim Petti. “They battled every meet like it was a championship and understood the importance of what it took to become champions. What began as a dream, became a reality for the Falcons. Congratulations, girls!”



Frost Teacher John Heeg Chosen for WWI Research Program in Europe

Frost Teacher John Heeg Chosen for WWI Research Program in Europe

John Heeg, a social studies teacher at Robert Frost, was chosen to participate in National History Day’s Memorializing the Fallen program, sponsored by the World War I Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Foundation. Heeg was one of just 18 teachers accepted out of 334 who applied. This summer, he and the other participants will travel to Europe to study World War I; each will research a service member who never returned home.

Heeg has been teaching for 20 years, the last 16 in Deer Park. He also serves as an educational technology mentor for the district, mentors other teachers and coaches track. Several years ago, Heeg had participated in a teacher fellowship with the National WWI Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, which involved visiting the museum itself and producing a lesson plan, then returning home and publishing it. When the museum heard about the Memorializing the Fallen teacher professional development program, it encouraged Heeg to apply.

The 18-month study will include attending webinars and participating in online meetings. In June, the group will spend 12 days in Europe, making stops at Somme American Cemetery, St. Mihiel American Cemetery, Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, Oise-Aisne American Cemetery, Suresnes American Cemetery, Aisne-Marne American Cemetery, and battle sites and monuments at Belleau Wood, Verdun, and Meuse Argonne. On the trip’s last day, the, teachers will attend the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles at the Palace of Versailles.

“It’s great to be a part of this,” said Heeg. “I will learn a lot and bring a lot back into the classroom.”

Heeg’s mission overseas will be to research the story of a Silent Hero, an American service member who died in World War I and is still buried in Europe, conduct in-depth research on the person, prepare a profile and eulogy for them, and find ways to incorporate this into a lesson plan.  In trying to select a fallen veteran to research, Heeg focused on Marines from New York, being that Heeg himself was a Marines hospital corpsman for eight years in a prior career. He chose Sergeant Neil Evans Wheeler of Oswego, who died in combat during the Battle of Belleau Wood on June 17, 1918. Heeg is currently researching Sgt. Wheeler’s life and looking for help telling this hero’s story prior to delivering a eulogy at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in June. Anyone with information about Sgt. Wheeler’s can contact Heeg at heeg.j@deerparkschools.org.

April’s ‘Addams Family’ Musical Brought Frightful Fun to Deer Park

 April’s ‘Addams Family’ Musical Brought Frightful Fun to Deer Park

An April musical production of the “The Addams Family,” directed and choreographed by Kristen Wallace, brought frightful fun to the stage at the high school. The 2010 creepy comedy – based on Charles Addams’ original cartoon characters – was written by Andrew Lippa, Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice.

Deer Park’s delightful cast included Allie Costanza as Morticia, Louis Bianco as Gomez, Makenzie Caldone as Wednesday, Oliver Curry as Fester, Megan Bush as Pugsley, Maddie Steddick as Grandma, Ray Ugalde as Lurch, CJ Sparacino as Lucas Beineke, Michelle Trombatori as Alice Beineke, Evan Hytner as Mal Beineke, and Desmond Mesimeris and Timothy Wallace as Cousin Itt.

The musical was also brought to life through the efforts of numerous teachers and students. Catherine Lubrano served as musical director, Scott Abrams as pit orchestra director, Alex Mesimeris as set designed and director, Catherine Thompson as sound director, Alison Lacoff as costume designer and Karen Cochran as student director.

“It is such an honor to work with such amazingly talented actors, dancers, musicians, artists and crew members,” said Wallace. “I am grateful for the support and energy of the other directors, faculty musicians and parents. Everyone worked tirelessly to make ‘The Addams Family’ the success it was. I couldn’t be more proud.”




JFK Again Honored for Boosting Student Achievement

JFK Again Honored for Boosting Student Achievement
JFK Again Honored for Boosting Student Achievement 2
For the third consecutive year, JFK was identified by the Better Outcomes Research organization as a school that has boosted the achievement of economically disadvantaged students. This recognition was assessed via the “Beating the Odds and Building Opportunities” study of New York State demographic data and ELA assessments. JFK was recognized by the school district at the April 30 Board of Education meeting, with Superintendent Eva J. Demyen presenting a certificate to Principal Susan Bonner.

Student Achievements Honored at Board Meeting

Student Achievements Honored at Board Meeting

The district honored numerous excellent student achievements at the Board of Education’s April 30 business meeting, including the top 10 graduates from the high school’s Class of 2019, many of whom attended the ceremony. Seniors recognized and presented with certificates included upcoming valedictorian Katherine Cho, upcoming salutatorian Eiman Nawaz, third-ranked Hallie Feldman, fourth-ranked Anna Ragone, fifth-ranked Emma DeStefano, sixth-ranked Julie DeBiase, seventh-ranked Mohammed Raiyan, eighth-ranked Matthew Berhalter, ninth-ranked Yasmeen Syedda-Hensley and 10th-ranked Roha Arshad.

Also recognized were JFK student Kaylee Nguyen, winner of the New York State Assembly’s Women’s History Art Contest; Frost students Michelle D. Antonio and Sophia Zorakhsh, who placed in the Long Island Science and Engineering Fair; and high school star athletes Jahi Tucker, who placed first in the nation in the 2018 national boxing championship, and Malik Edmead, who scored his 1,000th basketball point.

Artist Ron Becker Creates "May's Cafe" Mural with Students at May Moore

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Frost Students Win Second and Third at LISEF

Frost Students Win Second and Third at LISEF
Frost students Michelle Antonio and Sophia Zorakhsh recently competed in the LISEF –SSP Broadcom MASTERS Fair, sponsored by the Long Island Science and Engineering Fair, Society for Science & the Public, and Broadcom. At the LISEF event, held in March at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury, Antonio finished in second place for her “The Dirtiest Surface in a School” project, while Zorahksh won third for her “Dissolving Rates of Ibuprofen in Different pH” project.

“I felt proud because people work hard for what they do,” said Antonio.

Both students were recognized at the Board of Education’s April 30 business meeting.


JFK’s Nguyen Named Finalist in Women’s History Art Contest

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Kaylee Nguyen, a fifth-grader at JFK, was recently named a finalist in the annual Women’s History Art Contest sponsored by the New York State Assembly. Nguyen was honored at the fifth annual Women of Distinction Award Ceremony and presented with a certificate of merit, prizes and an enlarged poster of her contest entry. For the contest, Nguyen chose to draw Judith Heumann, an American disability rights activist.

“We are so proud of Kaylee’s hard work,” said art teacher Briana Nussbaum.


High School Holds Extra-Special Sports Night

High School Holds Extra-Special Sports Night

As a way of paying it forward, the high school’s students and staff joined together on April 15 for a special night of competition, camaraderie and charity. The Sports Night event featured sign-ups to form teams in such fun events as cage ball, scooter relay race, tug of war, three-legged race, crab soccer, wheelbarrow race, dodgeball and a choreographed coed dance routine.

Proceeds from Sports Night were donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Suffolk County, and the school welcomed special guest Mira Hobson, an 8-year-old from Miller Place with a heart ailment. Hobson’s wish to be a runway model was recently granted by Make-A-Wish, who sent her to Fashion Week in Los Angeles.




Turning Trash Into Treasure at JQA

Turning Trash Into Treasure at JQA

JQA celebrated Earth Day by turning trash into treasure. First graders in Melissa Frischeisen’s class worked together to make a collage using things that would usually be thrown away. For a week, the class saved disposable items such as food wrappers and scrap paper to use for the project.



A Whole New ‘Aladdin’ Wows May Moore

A Whole New ‘Aladdin’ Wows May Moore

Directed by music teacher Kristen Lombardo, Music Club members at May Moore put on a fantastic production of “Aladdin.” Performing familiar tunes such as “Friend Like Me,” “Prince Ali” and “A Whole New World,” the second graders showed off their acting abilities and terrific costumes during shows on April 11 and 12 for both fellow students and proud parents. The main cast included Christopher Carl as Aladdin, Precious Mansibang as Jasmine, Matthew Schabe as Jafar, Brandon Jones as Sultan, Sarah Kulmatycski as Iago, Matthew Jano as Tiger God, Stanley Horner as Genie and Steven LaSpina as Avis the Flying Carpet.



Deer Park School District