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Kindergarten Students Form New Friendships

Kindergarten Students Form New Friendships photo
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Lynbrook Kindergarten Center students prepared to enter their new elementary schools in September by making connections with other kindergartners who will also be attending their school. The event, “Making New Friends” which was held on June 10, broke students up into three groups, determined by what school they will be entering in the fall: Marion Street, Waverly Park or West End schools. 

Coordinated by school social worker Carol Woehr, the goal of the day was to introduce students to those who will be their peers for the next five years in elementary school.

“It’s really to build some friendships so that they have a familiar face on their first day of school,” said Woehr. 

Throughout the morning, the three groups rotated stations and completed different activities to build their relationships with their future peers. Students played a parachute game together in the gymnasium, got to know each other better while in a large circle and gathered in classrooms to complete a one-on-one activity with another student. 

Key Club Earns Second Hemoglobin Award

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The Lynbrook High School Key Club recently received the Hemoglobin Award from the New York Blood Association for the second consecutive year. The honor is given to a school with an outstanding number of blood donations. At the end of May, Lynbrook High School Key Club officers and other important members were accompanied by adviser Dr. Benedict Tieniber on a trip to LIU Post to receive the award. 

During the 2018-2019 school year, the Lynbrook High School Key Club hosted their annual blood drives which through their success, led to this award. The Key Club’s April blood drive was just one of three blood drives that generated 256 donations, saving a total of 768 lives. Leading up to each drive, Key Club members broadcasted the events and spread awareness while sharing the importance of each contribution. Through this, the students ultimately empowered their peers to donate and save a life. 

“The blood drive was another outlet that fabricated unity, allowing students and members of the community to come together and share strength,” said Dr. Tieniber. “Without deliberation, the blood drive forges a comforting atmosphere, fostering an environment where one can give solace to an unfamiliar face without hesitation.” 

At LIU Post, Lynbrook’s Key Club members, among other students representing their schools, participated in a ceremony where the deserving schools received awards and recognition. The New York Blood Association organized games and had a speaker who shared her dismal yet inspiring story about the hardships she faced as child and how an abundance of blood transfusions aided her on her path to recovery. The story allowed the students to see deeper into the issue and really shed a light on the importance of donating blood. 

“This was my second time getting the privilege to represent my school and both times were an insightful reminder on what’s behind all the meetings, planning, and hundreds of donations,” said Lynbrook High School senior and Key Club member Matt Geller. “It shows how important what we’re doing really is.” 

In the upcoming years, the Lynbrook High School Key Club will continue to put fourth its best efforts to obtain an immense amount of donations and preserve its devotion to the New York Blood Association. 

Congratulations, Key Club!

Board of Education Reorganization Meeting Date Change

Please be advised, the reorganization meeting of the Board of Education will take place on Monday, July 8. The public portion of the meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Waverly Park’s Girls on the Run Team Take On 5K Event

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Third through fifth grade girls at Waverly Park Elementary School were given the opportunity to join the Girls on the Run after-school program this year. Girls on the Run is a nationally known physical activity-based, positive youth development program that helps teach life skills to girls in grades 3-8. During this 10-week program, girls participate in lessons that foster confidence, build peer connections and encourage community service while they prepare for the end-of-season celebratory 5K event. Girls on the Run inspires girls to recognize their inner strength and celebrate what makes them one of a kind. 

This year’s volunteer coaches, Mrs. Rubin, Ms. Mastropolo and Mrs. Greenfeld led their Waverly team of 13 girls through a curriculum that included dynamic discussions, activities and fun running games. The program culminated with the girls positively impacting their community through a service project and being physically and emotionally prepared to complete a celebratory 5K event.

On June 1 at Hofstra University, Waverly’s team and coaches gathered with more than 950 girls, spectators, volunteers and community members for the Girls on the Run Long Island Spring 5K event. All the girls crossed the finish line proud and smiling! 

Lynbrook Community Summer Evening Recreation 2019

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Boys and girls entering ninth grade and older are invited to participate in the Lynbrook Community Summer Evening Recreation program. Running Monday-Thursday from July 1 through Aug. 7, participants will engage in basketball, volleyball, weight training and other activities. The free program will take place 6-9:30 p.m. in the Carpenter Avenue entrance gymnasium at Lynbrook High School. All participants must have identification to ensure proof of Lynbrook residency. Athletic clothing and proper footwear are required to enter.

Citi Field Performance

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West End students performed the National Anthem at Citi Field during a recent Mets game! 

Marion Street Chorus Performs at LI Ducks Game

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The Marion Street Elementary School Chorus recently had the opportunity to sing at the Long Island Ducks game! The students opened the game with the National Anthem. Music teacher Kara Boulay conducted the students while their families watched in delight!  

Deserving Seniors Receive Scholarships

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The Lynbrook High School gymnasium was filled with proud administrators, staff, family, friends, board of education and community members to celebrate the Lynbrook High School Class of 2019 during the school’s annual Senior Awards Night on May 29. Thousands of dollars in scholarships were generously presented to deserving seniors throughout the evening by community organizations, families and individuals. 

Principal Joseph Rainis opened the event by thanking the faculty of Lynbrook High School and all those in attendance who chose to honor members of the Class of 2019. One by one, seniors were recognized with scholarships and awards for their academics, leadership abilities, character, citizenship and service in the community. In addition, memorial scholarships were presented to a number of seniors in honor of loved ones gone too soon, and each student was praised for exemplifying the values of their award.

Congratulations to all the award recipients on their well-deserved recognitions! 

Bash the Trash

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Marion Street Elementary School students are putting their own creative spin on music during their music classes. Under the direction of music teacher Kara Boulay, students in grades 1-5 have started using recyclable materials to make their own instruments.

Students have been creating whatever instrument they desire with their materials. Some have successfully built a guitar using a tissue box, rubber bands and paper towel roll, while others have made drums using milk cartons and more. The lesson allows students to not only become innovators but also has inspired teamwork and an enhanced love of music. The classes will perform with their instrument creations before the school year comes to a close.  


Senior Rises to the Top at International Science and Engineering Fair

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Lynbrook High School senior Kaylie Hausknecht recently competed in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Arizona and took home numerous top awards for her independent research project. This year, approximately 1,800 high school students from more than 80 countries, regions and territories showcased their projects at the Intel ISEF, the world’s largest international pre-college science competition. 

Kaylie presented her research titled “Disentangling Spatial Correlations from Inhomogeneous Materials with Shift-Invariant Artificial Neural Networks,” during the fair. Her research was conducted while working in a condensed matter physics laboratory studying superconductors which are able to conduct electricity without losing any energy to resistance. Kaylie’s goal was to solve the issue that scientists have when looking to make higher temperature superconducting materials which are extremely disordered on the atomic level. It complicates the task of distinguishing what is a relevant feature of the material from what is just noise from disorder. For her project, Kaylie developed a new methodology with a form of artificial intelligence that is able to disentangle the essential properties of these materials from their nanoscale disorder, a methodology that may be useful for studying different materials, as well as other disordered physical systems.

Her impressive research earned her first place in the Physics category and granted her $3,000. Kaylie also took home the prestigious Best in Category award for Physics and Astronomy and received $5,000. This distinction means that Kaylie was recognized as the best high school physics researcher in the world. 

In addition, she earned the European Union Young Scientist Award, allowing her to proudly represent the U.S. with an all-expenses paid trip to the European Union Contest for Young Scientists in September. Furthermore, Kaylie had an asteroid named in her honor and the Intel Foundation awarded a $1,000 grant to Lynbrook High School and the affiliated fair they represent in honor of her success.  

Science research teacher David Shanker attended the fair with Kaylie and expressed how proud he was of his hardworking student. 

“Kaylie has achieved the highest level of success in the Lynbrook High School Research Program since it was formed in 1999,” he said. “On the day of judging, Kaylie was confident and handled the grueling seven hours of presenting, cool and composed. It was at the Grand Awards ceremony when I lost it after I heard these words, ‘For Physics and Astronomy, the Best in Category, from Lynbrook New York, Kaylie Hausknecht.’ I’ll never forget that; Kaylie’s was the best physics project in the world.” 

The district congratulates Kaylie on this tremendous achievement and looks forward to seeing all that she accomplishes in the future! 

Students Join ALS Ride for Life To Help Find a Cure

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Lynbrook students and staff from North Middle School, South Middle School and Marion Street Elementary School put on their walking shoes and recently participated in the annual ALS Ride for Life fundraising event. Students proudly held up handmade signs and cheered on ALS Ride for Life founder and ALS patient Chris Pendergast and his team as they walked and rode in their motorized wheelchairs by the schools to raise money and ALS awareness.

Mr. Pendergast, along with his team of supporters and fellow ALS patients, first arrived at North Middle School where with the help of local law enforcement, students and staff joined his ride to South Middle School. After arriving at South Middle School, students and staff there traveled with him to Marion Street. It was a great way for the community to come together for an important cause. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak also joined in the memorable morning. 

Leading up to the event, all three schools raised money for the ALS Ride for Life Foundation which will be used for ALS research. Together, the schools raised more than $7,000 towards finding a cure. 

“Thank you guys for being out here this morning to support us and encourage us because you guys inspire us to keep doing what we’re doing,” said ALS patient Paul Weisman. “We’re going to stay on the road until we find this cure.”

Logo Winner

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Congratulations to second grader Lucas Pollin from Ms. Callahan's class for winning the district's summer reading logo contest! 

LHS Students Bring “Fit Pet” to Youth Business Summit

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Lynbrook High School students in Dr. Benedict Tieniber’s Virtual Enterprise course participated in Virtual Enterprise International’s 2019 Youth Business Summit Trade Show in Brooklyn, where they showcased their company, “Fit Pet.” 

The one-of-a kind global business convention for virtual enterprise students allowed them to network and show off their products, goods and services to others. Lynbrook was commended during the event as “Fit Pet” sales for the day totaled more than $250,000. After the third and last review of form operations by VEI International, “Fit Pet” was ranked again as a top 50 firm nationwide.

It has been a successful year for the Lynbrook VE students and their company. During the 2018-2019 national online competitions, “Fit Pet” placed in the top 25% for elevator pitch and company branding and earned honorable mention for their website, newsletter and video commercial. The students also earned the silver award for company branding when they presented “Fit Pet” at the 2019 Long Island Regional Conference and Exhibition. 

“Virtual Enterprise has been a valuable experience in showing me how the business world operates,” said Lynbrook High School senior Billy Miata. “Through Virtual Enterprise, Dr. Tieniber has become a great mentor to me, inspiring me to pursue a future in business. This class has given me opportunities to find my interests in business and has given me the self-confidence I need before I leave high school.” 

Congratulations to Dr. Tieniber and his students! 

West End Wrap Up! May 31st

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Students at West End Elementary School participated in a fun-filled Field Day! Fifth graders also hosted their Living Wax Museum of Famous Athletes. They all did a great job sharing with others what they learned about their famous individual! 

Lynbrook Students Explore Possible Future Careers

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Eighth graders from Lynbrook North Middle School and Lynbrook South Middle School recently participated in an engaging career fair at Lynbrook South Middle School. Coordinated by guidance counselors Jennifer Arena from South Middle School and Alexandra Etra from North Middle School, the career fair is facilitated each year to get eighth graders to think about their futures and learn from different professionals. 

Fourteen professionals presented their careers to students throughout the morning and offered words of advice for those interested in pursuing a job in their field. The eighth graders learned about careers such as K-9 police officer, teacher, forensic scientist, producer, journalist, industrial engineer, music director and more. They rotated throughout the morning to learn more about the careers on their schedules. At the conclusion of the career fair, students completed evaluations with the hope of having a better understanding of what they want to pursue in the future. 

Marion Street’s ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Marion Street’s ALS Ice Bucket Challenge photo

Marion Street Elementary School students, staff and families recently gathered outside the building for Marion Street’s annual ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Leading up to the anticipated event, classes were encouraged to raise money for ALS, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Lynbrook Student-Athletes Finish Season Strong

Winter Athletes

Numerous student-athletes from Lynbrook High School had a memorable winter season as they received honors and accolades for their dedication and success. This included student-athletes on the cheer team, boys swim team, wrestling team, boys basketball team, girls basketball team, boys winter track team and girls winter track team. Among the individual awards, 17 students were selected for All-Conference in their designated sports, while three were recognized as scholar athletes and two were honored for All-County.

A highlight of the winter season was the Lynbrook High School boys basketball team who brought the community together as they played their hearts out on the court and proudly earned the title of Conference Champions. Among the many accomplishments of the team during the season, senior Rylan Blondo also earned the distinction of Small School Nassau County Player of the Year. 

Congratulations to all the following student-athletes on their awards:   

Boys Swimming

All-Conference: Danny Dalrymple and Samir Souidi


All-County: Johnny Dibenedetto

All-Conference: Jordan Camilo, Jessie Candel, Sean Curley, Johnny Dibenedetto, Tyler Heaney, Jassjeet Singh, David Vivar, Justin Weinberger and Henry Quilca  

Boys Basketball 

All-State: Rylan Blondo 

All-Honorable Mention All-State: James Montgomery 

All-Conference: John Donaldson and Brandon Pekale

Scholar Athlete: Brandon Pekale

Girls Basketball

Scholar Athlete: Katie Bamman 

Honorable Mention All Nassau County: Kayla Schweizer and Leanna Sullivan

All-Conference: Kyla Nembach and Camilla Bahri 


All Division: Gwyneth Favichia

Scholar Athlete: Nicole Malik

Section VIII Coach’s Award: Rebecca Domiguez

Boys Winter Track

All-County: Billy Miata

All-Conference: Shane Nembach 

Girls Winter Track

All-Conference: Caitlin Buchala 


Global Read Aloud Students Give Back to Community

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Lynbrook South Middle School students involved in the school’s Global Read Aloud program recently raised $600 for a new Power Through Scholarship, to give to a graduating senior from Lynbrook High School’s Class of 2019.

The program, which is new to Lynbrook South Middle School this year, allows students in grades 6-8 to volunteer their time during their lunch periods to reflect on social-emotional learning across the globe through literature and connections with students from other parts of the world. 

About 40 students, along with library media specialist Jennifer Wasielesky, read “Refugee,” by Alan Gratz, during the program. “Refugee” focuses on three children’s lives from three different time periods and parts of the world. By the end of the book, their worlds collide. The book is a work of historical fiction, however many of the characters are based on real people. While reading the book, South Middle School students connected with students in Greece through Skype to discuss the literature and different cultures. The book and Skype session inspired the South Middle School students to pay it forward and create a scholarship for someone in the Lynbrook community who has shown great strength, courage and determination through their hard work.

To raise money for the scholarship, Mrs. Wasielesky and the students hosted a two-day bake sale and then deliberated on what the new scholarship should be called. Together, they formed the Power Through Scholarship which will be presented by Lynbrook South Middle School eighth graders Caitlin Melaram and Ryan Donovan on May 29 during Lynbrook High School’s Senior Awards Night. According to Mrs. Wasielesky, Global Read Aloud hopes to continue the scholarship for years to come. 

Budget Approved! Presupuesto Aprobado!

Budget Approved! Presupuesto Aprobado!

Budget Approved:
YES – 1,318
NO – 500

Board Election:
*William Belmont (incumbent) – 1,115
*Heather Hanson (incumbent) – 982
Danielle Longo – 674
Dana Franklin – 584


Proposition 2:
YES – 1,433
NO – 359

Proposition 3:
YES – 1,432
NO – 369

Presupuesto Aprobado:
Sí – 1,318
No – 500

Elección de la Junta:
*William Belmont (el titular) – 1,115
*Heather Hanson (la titular) – 982
Danielle Longo – 674
Dana Franklin – 584

*fideicomisarios electos

Proposición 2:
Sí – 1,433
No – 359

Proposición 3:
Sí – 1,432 
No – 369

Blooming Appreciation This Mother’s Day

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Kindergarten classes at the Lynbrook Kindergarten Center have been learning about plant life cycles just in time for spring. Students in Kimberly Murphy and Michele Regan’s class incorporated their unit on plants into a special Mother’s Day activity on May 10. 

Students rotated to three different stations in the classroom. At the first station, Ms. Murphy read a Mother’s Day poem and had the kindergartners recite it before each student planted a flower in a cup to give to their mother. Students worked with their classmates to help pour the soil into their cup as the group discussed the different parts of the flower. At the second station, Mrs. Regan helped students plant sunflower seeds which the students will watch grow in the classroom. Students worked on their reading skills and finished coloring a book about plants at the final station. 

In addition to giving a flower to their loved ones, the students each created a book with their hand print as a flower on the cover. Inside, students showcased their writing skills as they wrote about their mothers. 

Field Day Fun

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West End Embraces Ecology Week

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West End Elementary School students and staff celebrated Ecology Week during the week of May 6-10. At the start of the week, the students planted flowers in the front of the school building. They also went to the school garden and planted lettuce which will be harvested and used to make salad for Health and Wellness Week in June.
Continuing to be mindful of the environment, students learned how to compost any organic waste left over during their lunch periods. They also participated in two engaging assemblies sponsored by the West End PTA. 

Students received a visit from Nature Nick who educated them on different animals, and naturalist Mary Watros from Nassau BOCES’s Earth Balloon program. Ms. Watros walked students around a giant inflated model of the Earth where they learned about the different countries, people and animals. Students were also able to step into the Earth balloon where Ms. Watros showed classes the plate tectonic perspective. The fun-filled week of learning concluded with a plant sale. 

District Holds Budget Hearing; Shares Updates With Community

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Lynbrook High School orchestra students kicked off the Lynbrook Public Schools Board of Education meeting on May 8. Administrators, board members, faculty, students and community members gathered in the Lynbrook High School cafeteria for the district’s budget hearing in preparation for the budget vote on May 21. Student recognitions and important district updates were also shared with the community. 

Assistant Superintendent for Finance, Operations, and Information Systems Dr. Paul Lynch presented an overview of the district’s 2019-20 budget. For further details on the budget and presentation, please click here

Student artwork was displayed throughout the cafeteria from the district’s All-County artists. The board recognized one of the 2019 Nassau All-County Art Exhibition artists from Lynbrook High School who was accidentally left out of the program. Junior Kiera Derrig was commended by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak and the board for her outstanding piece and received a T-shirt and certificate from the Art Supervisors Association. The board also honored Lynbrook High School senior Millie Coria for receiving the Nassau BOCES Outstanding Student award for animation and digital media design. 

In preparation for the upcoming school year, Board President William Belmont welcomed two new teachers to the district: Kristen Montgomery (Kindergarten Center) and Alexa Carvelli (Marion Street Elementary School). He also announced that Lynbrook High School’s guidance chairperson Laurie Mitchell will be the district’s new director of guidance and will begin her new role on July 1. 

Board Vice President Lesli Deninno provided an update from the recent facilities committee meeting regarding the student population at Marion Street. The committee is utilizing Suffolk BOCES to develop a census of the area and are looking into the possibility of working with a demographer to review what steps the committee should take next. 

During the Superintendent’s Report, Dr. Burak announced that the district was once again selected by the NAMM Foundation as one of the Best Communities for Music Education. She commended the district’s entire music department and Fine and Performing Arts Director Joseph Pallotta. Dr. Burak also reminded the community about the upcoming budget vote on May 21 and encouraged everyone to register to vote if they had not done so already. Registration is open until May 15. On that date at Lynbrook High School, the district will be partnering with the Lynbrook Teacher’s Association for the Child ID program. Community members can register to vote while also getting ID cards for their children.

In addition, Dr. Burak provided an update about New York State’s substantial equivalency requirement (equivalent education between private schools and public schools). At the district’s February board of education meeting, she explained that the unfunded mandate would require superintendents from public schools to review their local private schools to ensure that they are meeting the same standards. According to Dr. Burak, the New York State Education Department heard the outcries of school officials and has suspended the substantial equivalency guideline. 

To conclude her report, Dr. Burak encouraged the community to come out on May 15 as Lynbrook North Middle School, Lynbrook South Middle School and Marion Street Elementary School participate in the ALS Ride for Life event. Students will be walking and cheering on ALS Ride for Life founder Chris Pendergast and his team as he travels through Lynbrook. She also shared with the community that summer program information will be available after the budget vote. This year, Summer Playground will begin on July 1 at West End and Marion Street schools. Also beginning on July 1 will be the summer high school program at Lynbrook High School and the summer middle school program at Lynbrook South Middle School. The district’s Summer STEAM Academy will be held at Lynbrook High School and will begin on July 8. 

Dr. Gerard Beleckas, assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and assessment, also provided more information about summer. To keep students engaged over the summer months, Dr. Beleckas explained that this year’s summer reading program was designed based upon a survey that all elementary students completed about their favorite books and what they are planning on reading next. The titles are in the process of being compiled into a brochure and FlipGrids are being created for the texts to allow students to share their thoughts and insights on the books as they read them. In addition, elementary students of all ages will be encouraged to read “The Wild Robot” by Peter Brown. At the end of the summer, the district is hoping to partner with the Lynbrook Public Library to host a book talk across the grade levels. Dr. Beleckas shared that Allison Curran, elementary curriculum specialist, will be hosting summer reading pep rallies to get students excited about the program.

Toward the end of the meeting, Dr. Lynch provided a capital projects update for the community. He stated that the board was voting that evening on awarding the contracts for the initial bond projects. This included contracts for the new locker rooms at North Middle School and South Middle School, the wrestling room at Atlantic Avenue and the gymnasium air conditioners at Waverly Park, North and South middle schools. Dr. Lynch also said that on May 9th the district would open the bid for the work being done this summer at Marion Street School. There will be five student restrooms which will be replaced, and the locker room will be completely redone. In addition, a contract for work on a bathroom at West End will also be awarded. 

Two Star Seniors Earn $2,500 National Merit Scholarship

Seniors Earn National Merit Scholarship
The district is pleased to announce that two outstanding seniors from Lynbrook High School were selected as 2019 National Merit Scholarship winners in the prestigious National Merit Scholarship Program. Sam Cohen and Kaylie Hausknecht are among 2,500 Merit Scholar designees from across the country who will each be presented with a $2,500 National Merit Scholarship award.

The tremendous achievement is one of many that Kaylie and Sam have received during their senior year. This past March, Kaylie was selected as Lynbrook High School’s valedictorian for the Class of 2019, while Sam was chosen as the salutatorian. Both students entered the National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test during their junior year which approximately 1.6 million high school students take each year. They continued on in the competition, making their mark as semifinalists and then finalists. 

Both students were selected as scholarship winners in the program after a review of their abilities, skills and accomplishments. Kaylie and Sam will both attend Harvard University in the fall. Congratulations to both students! 

LHS Hosts Golden Paddle Tournament

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Lynbrook High School’s Student Government Association hosted the school’s fifth annual Golden Paddle tournament on May 2. Through the fun-filled event, SGA members raised $350 for a new scholarship which will be presented to two “Unsung Heroes From the Class of 2019” during Senior Awards Night at the end of the month. 

Lynbrook High School graduate Luke Germanakos created the Golden Paddle Tournament as a senior in 2015. This year more than 60 teams participated in the tournament while dressed in costumes. Principal Joseph Rainis even joined in on the fun. 

Brothers Peter Donnarumma and John Donnarumma ultimately came out victorious as first place winners, while Joseph Giovinco and Anthony Campos followed in second place. The competition was fierce as Ben Tetelman and Justin Weinberger, who have been reigning Golden Paddle champions for the past two years, lost to Joseph and Anthony in the semi-finals. 

Peter and John received the grand prize of two $25 gift cards to the Regal Movie Theater and an actual, table top ping pong table. As runner-ups, Joseph and Anthony received two $15 gift cards to Cold Stone Creamery.  

Thank you to all those who participated in the event and congratulations to our first and second place teams! 

Lynbrook High School Students Raise $330 for SunriseWALKS

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Members of Lynbrook High School’s Key Club and START Club teamed up for the school’s first annual Paint Night event on April 11 to raise funds for the SunriseWALKS, an event that supports Sunrise Day Camp. The camp is dedicated to giving children with cancer and their siblings a fun-filled day camp experience free of charge. Together, the club members raised a total of $330 and all who participated had a great time!

“For someone who has never taken an art class, it was truly enjoyable,” said senior Salvatore Giuseppe Cimato. 

The members of both clubs, along with their advisers Ms. Davis and Dr. Tieniber, would like to thank everyone who participated! 

Lynbrook Students Recognized in STEM Competition

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Five teams of students from throughout the district were recognized as honorable mention award recipients for their projects in the 2019 Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision STEM competition. Open to students in grades K-12, the competition challenges teams of two to four students to test their science and technology skills by designing a technological device for the future. Receiving the honorable mention award placed the projects among the top 10% of all ExploraVision projects submitted to the competition this year.

Two fifth grade teams from Waverly Park Elementary School and their projects, Healthy Teeth Toothbrush Pro (Maha Ajmal, Charlie Horton, Julia Palay) and J Squared Headwear (Jake Giddings, Jake Palay), earned honorable mention in the competition, as well as two fifth grade teams from Marion Street Elementary School and their projects, SphingoDonor (Julian Galo, Colin Linzer, Gianna Mastrande) and TherapyME (Aidan Michaels, Kaden Rogers, Payton Stalter, Thomas Dunne). All students completed the projects with the guidance of teacher Corinne Teichman while in the district’s Voyager Program. Voyager students from West End Elementary School also worked extremely hard and submitted entries into the competition. 

Throughout the project process, the elementary students were mentored by science research students from Lynbrook High School. The high school students offered feedback on the projects and provided advice through the digital note-taking platform, Microsoft OneNote and video conference platform, Skype. 

“The high school mentors gave us a lot of suggestions and spoke with us about what was to come in the future with this project,” said Waverly Park fifth grader Julia Palay. “They also had a base of knowledge about what we were doing so they helped us the best that they could and we really enjoyed their help.” 

In addition, under the direction of science teacher Charles Vessalico, a team of students from Lynbrook High School were also selected as honorable mention award recipients for their entry in the competition. Sophomores Dylan Moreida and Joshua Santoro were recognized for their project “Stroke Detection and Tissue Plasminogen Activator Via an Implantable Device.” 

Congratulations to all the students!

Star Students and Staff Honored

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Student and staff recognitions abounded during Lynbrook Public School’s recent board of education meeting at Lynbrook High School. The community also received important district updates including the security upgrades from the SmartBond. 

The board approved the upcoming retirement of Anastasios Skartsiaris, a cleaner at West End Elementary School who has served the district for 12 years. Mr. Skartsiaris was commended for his hard work and dedication and received a plaque as a thank you for his service. The Spector family also returned to the Lynbrook Public Schools to award the Charles and Marjorie Spector Grant for Professional Development in the Fields of Reading, Writing and Research, established to honor the memory of Charles and Marjorie Spector. This year’s award recipient was Lynbrook High School science teacher Charles Vessalico, who will use the grant to enhance workshops for students as they write and re-vise their research papers for science competitions.

Student recognitions included two regional PTA Reflections winners. Marion Street student Alexa Reilly and South Middle School student Kailey Dunne were commended for their winning entries fitting the Reflections theme, “Heroes Around Me.” Alexa was awarded for photography, while Kailey was awarded for musical composition. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak also recognized the Lynbrook High School varsity girls lacrosse team for their outstanding fundraising efforts for the HEADstrong Foundation, an organization that helps those impacted by cancer. The team was the top fundraising team against other high schools and colleges for the HEADstrong Foundation’s Game Hair Havoc. The online fundraising campaign encourages girls lacrosse teams to braid and style their game hair to raise awareness and money for families affected by cancer.
During the report from trustees, Board Vice-President Robert Paskoff and trustee Alicemarie Bresnihan spoke about their experience attending the National School Board Convention and Board President William Belmont discussed the meeting that the district had with Senator Todd Kaminsky and Assemblywoman Judy Griffin. He noted that a big discussion point during the meeting was unfunded mandates for school districts. 

Dr. Burak shared an update of the district’s mission and vision statement and introduced Director of Facilities James Saitta for a security presentation. Mr. Saitta spoke about the upcoming security enhancements that will be made in the district to ensure safety. Through the SmartBond funding, the district will create safer school entryways with new entry procedures and also update the technology infrastructure. 

During the superintendent’s report, Dr. Burak provided a recap of the productive Superintendent’s Conference Day which was held last month. Staff participated in workshops, presentations and activities to help them grow in the classroom. She also noted minor changes that were made to the district’s Code of Conduct as part of a mandated review and announced that school would not be in session on May 24 due to the unused snow days this year. 

Dr. Gerard Beleckas, assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and assessment, provided a curriculum update for the community. He reported that the district’s participation rate for the New York State assessments in ELA increased by approximately 4% compared to last year. The increase is important and a move in the right direction. With more participation in the assessments, the less likely the district will have to get involved in participation rate improvement plans that are required under Every Student Succeeds Act. In addition, Dr. Beleckas reported that district administrators met with representatives from the instructional data warehouse at BOCES to discuss how the district can use the data derived from the state assessments to positively impact teaching and learning in the classrooms. 

Following the curriculum update, Dr. Paul Lynch, assistant superintendent for fi-nance, operation, and information systems, shared a capital projects update. The district opened bids on April 17 for seven projects associated with the bond. This included the air conditioning for the gymnasiums at Lynbrook North Middle School, Lynbrook South Middle School, Waverly Park Elementary School and the Lynbrook Kindergarten Center. In addition, bids will be open for the locker rooms at North Middle and South Middle and the wrestling room at the Kindergarten Center. The board plans to award the contracts at the May meeting and work on these projects should commence this summer. 

At the conclusion of the meeting, Dr. Burak spoke about the budget vote polling locations. Since the district has moved to an electronic system for keeping track of voters, it was discovered that some residents have been voting in the wrong locations. The district is sending postcards to everyone in the community which will state their correct polling location. 

LHS Teacher Honored as Trailblazer

LHS Teacher Honored as Trailblazer Photo
Lynbrook High School English teacher Mary Kirby was recently recognized by Leg. C William Gaylor as a recipient of the 2019 Nassau County Legislature Women’s Trailblazer Award for the 6th Legislative District. 

Mrs. Kirby has been a valuable member of the Lynbrook High School family since 1997. As a dedicated educator, she creates meaningful connections with her students and has served as the director of the Lynbrook Teacher Center and the director of the Lynbrook Summer Program. She has also been an internship coordinator, a class adviser, a coach and a Lynbrook Teachers Association representative. Mrs. Kirby continues to show her leadership as an adviser to the high school’s Student Government Association and yearbook committee.

She has played an instrumental role in making the Lynbrook Teacher Center the heart and soul of professional development for the Lynbrook Schools Community. Here, Mrs. Kirby has planned conferences and initiated “collaboratorium” Saturdays which have inspired teachers, retirees and former students to gather together to learn and share ideas. 

“Mary Kirby combines her caring nature and her enthusiasm for the community in a dynamic manner in the classroom and in all she does as an educator and professional,” said Lynbrook High School Principal Joseph Rainis. “Her students enjoy her positive energy and our community continuously benefits from her desire to enrich the educational experiences of our students. Mary Kirby blazes trails so that others can have a chance to thrive. She is most deserving of the Nassau County Trailblazer Award.” 

Congratulations, Mrs. Kirby! 

VIDEO: South Middle School Art Club Creates Slime

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To end the 2018-2019 club year on a high note, Lynbrook South Middle School students in the school’s Art Club created their own slime on April 4. Led by art teacher and club advisor Andrea Schnall, the students conjured up their own slime creations by mixing glue, lotion, contact lens solution, glitter and more into a plastic container.

ALS Ride for Life Founder Teaches the Power of Perseverance

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Sixth graders at Lynbrook North Middle School learned the true meaning of never giving up during a visit from longtime amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patient and activist Chris Pendergast on April 17. Mr. Pendergast founded the ALS Ride for Life organization after he was diagnosed to teach others about ALS and raise money for research and services for patients and their families. 

Unable to speak due to the debilitating neurodegenerative disease, Ride for Life volunteer April Victor helped Mr. Pendergast tell his story to the students which he shared through a computer. Ms. Victor educated students on how ALS affects a person and their families and provided facts about the disease. Mr. Pendergast reflected on when he was diagnosed and his drive to fight. He told students that instead of complaining about his situation, he decided to be part of the solution and since then, has made it his mission to find a cure for ALS. 

The students learned more about Ride for Life through an inspiring and motivational video. The video featured media clips of Mr. Pendergast riding in his electric wheelchair from Yankee Stadium to Washington, D.C. Since then, the Ride for Life event has become an annual tradition for the organization as Mr. Pendergast and fellow ALS patients ride throughout the New York City and Long Island area to raise awareness. The video also showcased the support of schools who welcome Mr. Pendergast each year during his ride, including Lynbrook North Middle School.

“Over the years of doing the ride, ordinary students like yourselves, along with your teachers and community, have helped me raise over eight million dollars,” he said.   

This year, the Lynbrook North Middle School community will raise money for ALS research before Mr. Pendergast’s next ride on May 6. At the conclusion of his inspiring presentation, he reminded students to never give up, never lose hope, always remain optimistic and be willing to defy the odds no matter what they may be.

“I hope these messages will help you in your own hour of challenge,” he said. “If it does then this time spent together will not have been wasted and my journey more worthwhile. It is through helping others that we help ourselves.” 

District Continues to Provide Top-Notch Music Education

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The Lynbrook School District was recently recognized with the 2019 Best Communities for Music Education by the NAMM Foundation. This is the seventh consecutive year that the district earned this honor due to its outstanding commitment to music education. Lynbrook joins a select 623 school districts nationwide who received the designation this year. 

School districts across the country are recognized with this honor for providing high quality music access and education to all students. This includes the hard work and dedication of administrators, teachers, parents, students and community leaders who aim to make music education an integral part of the daily curriculum. 

Starting at the kindergarten level, students throughout the Lynbrook School District participate in comprehensive musical instruction. Elementary students have the option to participate in band, orchestra and chorus programs. Junior concerts begin in third grade and progress to more elaborate performances by fourth grade and throughout the middle school years. Elementary and middle school students can also join their school’s drama club to enhance their music abilities.
Music opportunities expand even further once students arrive at Lynbrook High School. High school students can join Lynbrook’s concert and marching bands, string and symphonic orchestras, concert and mixed choirs, as well as chamber orchestra, string quartets, wind and jazz ensembles, brass choir and music theory courses. During the 2018-19 school year, students earned All-Eastern Honors Concert Band, All-State, All-County and Long Island String Festival Association musical honors. Members of the Tri-M Music Honor Society also use their musical talents each year to serve their community.

LHS Students Take Stadium Field Trip

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Students in Mrs. Ehrlich's Advertising and Marketing class at Lynbrook High School took a stadium tour field trip on April 11. Mrs. Ehrlich plans this annual field trip as part of her Stadium Design Unit while the students are studying Sports & Entertainment Marketing.

The students started the day with a tour of Citi Field. Students got to see the museum and the most exclusive restaurants at the stadium. They had the privilege of touring the Mets clubhouse and offices and then held their own press conference in the press room. They also walked along the warning track to visit the dugout and the bull pen.

Next, the students enjoyed lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe at Yankee Stadium. Students got to see music memorabilia from events and concerts at the stadium. On their tour of Yankee Stadium, they visited the historical Monument Park and saw hundreds of famous artifacts in the Yankee Museum. Students also got to sit in the Yankees dugout. 

Throughout the day, the students made real-world connections to concepts learned in class. It is an experience that they will remember for a lifetime! 

Committed to Community Service

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Lynbrook High School junior James Parco was recently honored with the bronze President’s Volunteer Service Award for his outstanding community service efforts. James, along with junior Madeline Doyle, were also both commended by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program as a local honoree. Created by Prudential and the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the program recognizes middle and high school students each year for their outstanding service at the local, state and national level.

As a President’s Volunteer Service Award winner, James had to complete a significant amount of volunteer hours. With this distinction, he received a certificate and congratulatory letter from the President of the United States. 

During the summer, James and his mother traveled with about 16 people in the agency America World Adoption, to do volunteer work in Kyrgyzstan, a country in Central Asia. Here, James worked with orphans for about two weeks, traveling to six different orphanages. 

“We played with the kids and there were some medical evaluations we had to do,” he said. “It was a really amazing experience.” 

James is also a leader in his school community as a member of the high school’s National Honor Society, Science Honor Society, track team and school newspaper (Horizon). He has also served as a counselor for the past two years in Lynbrook’s Summer Playground program. 

Madeline has also played a strong role in her community. She created a mentoring program for the Lynbrook Village Pool swim team and the summer leading into her freshman and sophomore year, Madeline spent every morning teaching a group of about 12 children how to swim. As a Girl Scout, she is committed to community service and even received her Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor a Girl Scout can obtain in the organization. At Lynbrook High School, Madeline is also on the school’s varsity swim team and is involved in the National Honor Society, Math Honor Society, Science Honor Society and Tri-M Music Honor Society. 

Congratulations, James and Madeline! We are so proud of you! 

A Celebration of Diversity

A Celebration of Diversity photo

West End Elementary School students celebrated Diversity Week with a variety of culturally-driven activities from April 8-12. Coordinated by the West End Diversity Committee, the goal of the week was to help students develop a positive self-concept by providing knowledge about the histories, cultures and contributions of diverse groups.

To kick off the week, classes watched a video of Principal Dr. Cindy Lee reading “Last Stop on Market Street” by Matt de la Peña. The story channeled the theme of diversity. During the week, a poem about diversity was read over the morning announcements each day and students learned several dances from Mexico with the PTA sponsored assembly, Viva Mexico! The Calpulli Mexican Dance Company amazed students with their beautiful costumes during the assembly and different dances which students were able to participate in. West End students also completed homework assignments which aimed to strengthen their understanding of their own heritage. 

Towards the end of the fun-filled week, students were encouraged to attend school wearing clothing which represented their heritage. That evening, the school hosted International Story Night to celebrate students’ cultures. Students visited classrooms where they enjoyed stories about different countries and people.