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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.”



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.

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.

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.

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.

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, 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.”

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.


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.

Deer Park School District