High School Highlights and Student Accolades Abound

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During the district’s Board of Education meeting on Nov. 8, community members gathered to hear recent student accolades and important instructional highlights from Lynbrook High School.

Art teacher Michael Kunz started the meeting with his art gallery report. The high school’s art gallery currently features projects from the high school Studio Art students. He encouraged all to view their creations, which they have worked on since the start of the school year. 

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak recognized Dustin Mandell, a senior at Lynbrook High School who was recently named a Commended Student in the National Merit Scholarship Program. Senior John Krendel was also recognized for being selected as an NYSSMA All-State musician. He was unable to attend the October Board of Education meeting where his peers were all recognized. 

In addition, the board of education approved the upcoming retirement of Lynbrook North Middle School principal secretary Donna Lagasse. With 20 years of providing exceptional service and support to the district, Lagasse was commended for her commitment and received best wishes from the board of education. She is expected to receive a plaque to celebrate her retirement. 

Tim Green, fire safety officer, presented his fire inspection report to the board. He conducted the school inspections during the summer months and reported that “everything worked out good for Lynbrook this year.” 

Following Green’s report, Lynbrook High School Principal Joseph Rainis and teachers Drew Bidart, John Cornicello and Charles Vessalico presented on how the high school’s new one-to-one tablet initiative has been embraced by students and staff. Vessalico shared how classes are utilizing OneNote, a multimedia platform that allows students to save paper, organize their research in a virtual portfolio and have unlimited access to their information. Cornicello presented on the platform Nearpod, allowing him to take his social studies students on virtual field trips and participate in digital quizzes to showcase their knowledge. Bidart shared with the board how he has been using YouTube as a means of instruction to help his math students learn how to make constructions. 
“As soon as the technology was introduced here in the building, it has been embraced,” said Rainis. “The teachers are embracing it, they are learning from the students and learning from one another…we are on a very solid path and I think overall, we are ahead of where I thought we would be.”

Dr. Burak thanked the administrators and staff for their hard work and dedication in rolling out the new initiative at the start of the school year and making it a success. She then presented her Superintendent’s Report where she congratulated the high school’s 81 Advanced Placement Scholars from the class of 2017, 2018 and 2019. Dr. Burak also reported that 114 students districtwide were selected for the Nassau Music Educators Association All-County Festival. 

An overview of the district’s Superintendent’s Conference Day which was held on Nov. 7, was given. Dr. Burak explained that four professional development workshop sessions were facilitated throughout the day to meet the interests of faculty members. Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Gerard Beleckas noted the positive day and provided a curriculum update which focused on the district’s library media specialists. He spoke about the engaging activities that are occurring in the libraries at the elementary level. The library media specialists had the opportunity to share these lessons with the upper grades during Superintendent’s Conference Day. 

Dr. Paul Lynch, assistant superintendent for finance, operations and information systems, shared a capital projects update with the community. Projects that are currently at New York State waiting for approval include the boiler at Waverly Park School and the brick pointing at West End School. Dr. Lynch also discussed the bond projects. The smaller projects, including air conditioning and locker room updates, are currently in the design phase and are expected to be at the State around February. The district is putting together a timeline for the larger projects, working with the fiscal advisor to finalize a schedule. Dr. Lynch ended his report with notice that there has been minor movement with the SMART Bond projects.