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A Remarkable Year - Highlights of the 2017-2018 School Year

A Remarkable Year Photo
September
• A record number of seven Lynbrook High School seniors earned All-State music honors from the New York State School Music Association. 
• A total of 81 students from the classes of 2017, 2018 and 2019 earned the designation of Advanced Placement Scholar.
• Students, faculty and administrators held fundraisers and drives to help those in Texas who were impacted by Hurricane Harvey and those in Florida affected by Hurricane Irma.
• Fifth-graders at Marion Street Elementary School served as student volunteers in the Little Doctors Program during the school’s annual blood drive. 
• During the district’s board of education meeting, Dr. Paul Lynch, assistant superintendent for finance, operations and information systems, presented on the revised bond proposal where he highlighted the district’s needs based on extensive input from the community.


October
• Senior Dustin Mandell was recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Program as a Commended Student based upon his excellent 2016 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test score. 
• West End Elementary School science teacher Annmarie Roth was recognized as the recipient of the Anton Banko Award for Excellence in Teaching Elementary Science, courtesy of the Science Teachers Association of New York State.
• On Tuesday, Oct. 3, residents in the district approved the district’s capital project bond referendum with 1254 YES votes to 767 NO votes. 
• In honor of School Board Appreciation Month, board members were presented with a special thank you from Lynbrook North and South middle schools during the district’s board of education meeting. Chorus students performed “Thank You School Board” during the meeting and gifted each board member with a framed copy of the lyrics. 


November
• Twelve students in Dr. Benedict Tieniber’s Virtual Enterprise class competed in the 2017 Virtual Enterprises International Elevator Pitch Competition at the LIU Entrepreneurship and Leadership Conference, becoming finalists with their company, “Fuel It.”
• Sixteen orchestra students from throughout the district were selected to perform at the Long Island String Festival Association’s Nassau intermediate and secondary festivals. 
• For the third consecutive year, art students in Tom Sena’s Senior Portfolio Art class participated in the “Virtual Professional Artist Series.” The program allowed the students to speak to a variety of different artists each month throughout the school year.
• Lynbrook High School students showcased their talents during their sold-out production of “Fiddler on the Roof.” 
• Lynbrook High School seniors TJ Aroksaar, Gina Giovinco, Sophia LoCicero, Tim Marski, Ryan Mueller, Matt Renz, Spencer Sundeberg and Tom Urena made their college commitments to play their sport of choice in college. 
• West End Elementary School students heard from professional hockey players Jaroslav Halak, Dennis Seidenberg and Alan Quine from the New York Islanders who spoke about their family life, passion for hockey, teamwork and trying your best. 
• In an effort to promote positive decisions and a healthy lifestyle, students at the Lynbrook Kindergarten Center and Waverly Park Elementary School celebrated Health and Wellness Week, while students at West End Elementary School participated in Safety Week.
• During the district’s monthly board of education meeting, 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 both students and staff. 


December
• Senior Allison Kunstler was selected as a Coca-Cola semifinalist in the 2018 Coca-Cola Scholars Program. 
• For the second consecutive year, Lynbrook High School’s student newspaper, Horizon, received a Gold Award for Best All-Around Publication in the 2017 Empire State Scholastic Press Association awards program. Horizon staff members and contributors also won a total of 29 individual honors, including two gold, seven silver, 10 bronze and 10 honorable mention awards. 
• A record number of seniors entered the 2018 Regeneron Science Talent Search. The 24 science research students submitted their projects in the hopes of being among the top students in the nation who will be named one of the Top 300 Scholars.
• The girls volleyball team was crowned conference champions and their coach Allison Glass was selected as Conference Coach of the Year.
• Eight fall teams received New York State Scholar Athlete recognition.
• During the district’s monthly board of education meeting, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Gerard Beleckas presented on the district’s Voyagers Program, an enrichment program for students in grades 3-5. He spoke about the future of the program and what the Voyager Task Force committee is looking to do next. 


January
• A total of 103 students performed at the Nassau Music Educators Association’s All-County Festivals. This represented a new high in the number of selected students for the school district.
• Seniors Gina Giovinco and Michael Schwartz were recognized as Nassau County Outstanding Physical Education students from the Nassau Zone of the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. 
• Freshman Ally Fitzgerald earned Most Outstanding Wrestler for winning the 99-pound crown at the South Side tournament, reeling off four consecutive wins.
• The Lynbrook community gathered for an evening of exceptional performances during the Lynbrook High School Tri-M Music Honor Society’s annual benefit concert “Cabaret Night.” 
• During the district’s board of education meeting, students and staff from North and South middle schools presented instructional highlights of the new electives offered. 


February 
• Due to its continued high academic performance, Lynbrook High School was recognized as a Reward School by the New York State Education Department.
• Seniors Kyle Bergin and Tim Marski qualified for the 2018 New York State Public High School Athletic Association boys swimming and diving championships based on their top times from individual swim meets. 
• Students and staff at Lynbrook North Middle School embraced the positive messages of the new film, “Wonder” by participating in “Wonder Day.”
• Community members, parents, teachers and a student were honored during the Lynbrook Council of PTAs annual Founders Day Celebration. 
• In an effort to educate Lynbrook High School students on real-life experiences, the school’s student government with adviser Mary Kirby hosted their annual Human Relations Day. A variety of empowering organizations and individuals visited the school to speak with classes throughout the school day.
• During the board of education meeting, board members read the names of the upcoming retirees. Joan Kocher, Joanne Marra, Anne McGrath, Pamela Capone, Kathleen Novak, Ellen Kannengieser and Waverly Park Elementary School Principal Lucille McAssey were praised by the board for their dedication to the district, each serving 15 years or more in the Lynbrook schools. 
• In honor of Black History Month, third-graders at Marion Street Elementary School hosted their annual Civil Rights Presentation where they recognized Joseph McNeil, a leader in the Civil Rights movement and member of the Greensboro Four. 


March
• For the fifth consecutive year, the district was awarded with the Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting for the fiscal year ending 2017 by the Association of School Business Officials International. 
• Members of the high school student newspaper, Horizon, took home awards in five of the six categories that they entered, with two first-place wins at Adelphi University’s 2018 Quill Awards. Senior and editor-in-chief Dustin Mandell also won the prestigious Most Outstanding Reporter award during the event. 
• Senior Ashley Cegelski was recognized with the President’s Volunteer Service Award by the Corporation for National and Community Service for her exemplary volunteer service. 
• South Middle School seventh-grader Jaiden Moreno won first place, eighth-grader David Padilla placed second and seventh-grader Emilia Berkowitz earned third place in the Nassau Community College Honors Program Monologue competition. 
• After months of practice and preparation, Lynbrook High School students showcased their school spirit during the school’s 90th annual Class Night Skits where the seniors came out victorious. 
• Lynbrook High School math teacher Maria Mantikas was recognized for receiving the Harvard Distinguished Teacher 2018 Award, after one of her students, a current Harvard freshman, recommended her for her teaching efforts. 
• Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak thoroughly explained the district’s safety protocols during the district’s monthly board of education meeting and encouraged the community to get involved in helping to push the pending Smart Bond proposal along. 


April
• Fourth-grader Miley Leu from Waverly Park Elementary School was recognized as a Grade 4 State Level winner in the Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest.
• The high school student newspaper, Horizon, was presented with four awards, the most of any school in attendance, at LIU Post’s Press Day and Best of High School Journalism Awards. 
• Waverly Park Elementary School received a Hess Toy Truck Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Kit grant to enhance its STEM curriculum. With the grant, the school was presented with twelve 2017 Hess Dump Truck and Loader kits, along with a corresponding STEM curriculum.
• During the district’s board of education meeting, Director of Facilities James Saitta presented on the Lynbrook facilities five-year capital improvement plan. He shared the facilities committee’s objectives and the plans for 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 school years, including the anticipated large scale projects forecasted for the next three to five years.


May

• For the sixth consecutive year, the district received the 2018 Best Communities for Music Education designation by the NAMM Foundation, due to its outstanding commitment to music education.
• A total of 120 high school choir students showcased their talents during their culminating performances at the Choral Convergence Festival and performed on the prestigious stage of Carnegie Hall among 12 different choirs from around the country. 
• Lynbrook High School student-athletes Kyle Bergin, Matt Ferrante, Julianne Graepel, Erin Pender, Charlie Schueler and Gabby Vogt commited to play their sport of choice at the collegiate level. 
• A total of 84 students were inducted into the Lynbrook chapter of the National Honor Society based on their ability to maintain high standards of scholarship, service, leadership and character.
• For the third consecutive year, West End Elementary School was designated as a No Place for Hate School by the Anti-Defamation League for the 2017-2018 school year.
• Lynbrook High School was recognized by U.S. News and World Report as one of the 2018 Best High Schools. The high school was ranked No. 809 nationally, up from last year’s ranking of No. 877. The school was also ranked No. 80 within New York State and received a silver medal for performance. 
• A total of 25 sports teams were designated as Scholar Athlete teams for the 2017-2018 school year by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association. 
• Lynbrook High School freshman Christina Franco wrote and illustrated a children’s book titled “Ben’s Boat Trip” and shared it with Lisa Genicoff’s kindergarten class at the Lynbrook Kindergarten Center. With the help of her American Sign Language teacher Elaine Miller, Franco interpreted her story through sign language as Miller read the book aloud to the class.
• The district’s budget for the 2018-2019 school year passed by a vote of 767 to 359.


June
• Seventh-grader Jaiden Moreno and eighth-grader James Malinka from Lynbrook South Middle School, along with sophomore Terence Deegan from Lynbrook High School were selected as winners in the Nassau Reading Council’s Young Authors’ Contest for their personal narrative submissions.
• Lynbrook North Middle School seventh-grader Catie Wren and Lynbrook High School junior Benjamin Gagliardo were among 70 winners out of approximately 2,500 student submissions from grades 3-12 in the Walt Whitman Birthplace Student Poetry Contest. 
• Waverly Park Elementary School chorus students, along with kindergarteners from the Lynbrook Kindergarten Center, performed the national anthem at Citi Field before the New York Mets and Arizona Diamondbacks game. 
• The Lynbrook High School Key Club received the prestigious Heroglobin Award from the New York Blood Center for collecting 234 pints of blood in the Blood Donor Program during the 2017-2018 school year.
• Fine Art Seniors collectively amassed over $1 million in talent scholarships for the 2017-18 school year ($1,169,440 to be exact) and have been accepted to some of the most prestigious art programs in the nation. 
• Junior Kaylie Hausknecht was named a finalist in the Genes in Space contest for her DNA experiment proposal that could be done using lab equipment on the International Space Station. She will present her idea at the International Space Station Research and Development Conference in San Francisco in July to a panel of space scientists and judges, with the hope to send her experiment into space to be completed by astronauts. 
• During the district’s board of education meeting, it was reported that the district’s SMART Bond was officially approved by New York State thanks to the efforts of the community and legislators. The district is working on the final planning and anticipates everything to be completed in less than a year.