Board Holds Annual Reorganization Meeting

Members of the Board of Education held its annual reorganization meeting on July 7 at Finley Middle School. During the meeting, newly elected trustees David Huggins and Alexander Juarez took their oaths of office. The group also elected Amy Franklin as president and re-elected Maureen Pappachristou as vice president. The next Board meeting will be held on Aug. 1, at 7:30 p.m., at Finley Middle School.

Important Message from the Superintendent


Blood Drive at Finley


Finley Middle School’s Builders Club sponsored a blood drive on June 22 to assist the with the blood shortage emergency in New York. A special thanks to all the volunteers and donors!


Fifth-graders at Connolly Move Up


Connolly School fifth-graders were filled with excitement as they took part in the school’s annual Moving Up ceremony on June 22.

The ceremony began with students singing the national anthem and Connolly School song. It continued with Superintendent of Schools Dr. Maria Rianna and Principal Rosemarie Sekelsky extending their congratulations to students as they move to Finley Middle School and beyond. Connolly students Matthew Basil, Destiny Foy and Carter Suozzi also addressed their peers at the ceremony. In addition to celebrating the students’ completion of fifth grade, Presidential Awards, Triple C Awards, the Principal’s Citizenship Awards and Academic Achievement Awards were presented. Congratulations to all students!

Finley Students Head to High School


On June 22, eighth-graders at Robert M. Finley Middle School bid farewell to teachers and administrators during the school’s moving up ceremony, which was highlighted by musical performances and well wishes.

The ceremony began with the seventh-grade band playing “Pomp and Circumstance” as students processed into the school’s auditorium. It continued with Alex Beckhard-Suozzi leading those in attendance in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Finley’s top two eighth-graders, Nicole Khaimov and Megan Fahey, addressed their classmates at the ceremony, as did Principal Nelson Iocolano. Iocolano used Nick Offerman’s book “Gumption: Relighting the Torch of Freedom with America’s Gutsiest Troublemakers” as inspiration for his remarks to the graduates.

“I want to light the torch inside each and every one of you to be gutsy… gutsy troublemakers,” he said. “It’s my hope that you will come to understand that spirit and gumption are just as much, if not more, vital than any preconceived notions of success or achievement you may have. True bravery, real gumption is exemplified by taking one more step forward when everyone else stops moving.”     

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Maria Rianna also addressed the graduating eighth-graders and their families, telling students they deserved this moment because they worked hard.    

After Dr. Rianna’s comments, students were presented with certificates marking their completion of the eighth grade. They were also treated to a musical performance by eighth-grader Elena Ortiz-Moreno, who sang “Lean on Me,” and later enjoyed dancing and taking photos at the annual eighth-grade dance.

Glen Cove’s Class of 2016 Graduates


In what was a culmination of four years of hard work and dedication, the senior class at Glen Cove High School graduated in front of friends, family and members of the community during the annual commencement exercises on June 25.

Visitors cheered as the Class of 2016 marched onto the field to the high school band’s performance of “Pomp and Circumstance.”

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Maria Rianna and Principal Antonio Santana thanked the students for their hard work and commitment to excellence during their time in the Glen Cove City School District. Santana reflected on the last time he spoke at a graduation, which was at his own high school ceremony as class president in 1989. His remarks focused on success, the same topic he spoke about to his own class all those years ago.

“Success is not measured by the things you accumulate – cars, money, jewelry – but rather by the worth you gain as a human being,” he said. “Success is not labeled in titles; it’s labeled in good deeds.”  

Dr. Rianna described the graduates as an amazing group of individuals and wished them a long road filled with adventure and choices and rich with dreams that become a reality.

Board President Richard Maccarone reminded the class that Glen Cove was like family, while salutatorian Michelle Melfi encouraged the graduates to “fake it till you make it.” Honorarian Justin Sobelman thanked teachers, classmates, Google and Spark Notes. The Class of 2016 selected teacher Theresa McHale as guest speaker for the ceremony.

“The foundation that you have already established will give you the ability to accomplish whatever you set your mind to,” McHale said.

Valedictorian and class president Maria Krisch used fortune cookies in her valedictory address to offer classmates advice for the future. She encouraged her fellow graduates to chase down their passions, reminded them that nothing is over until you stop trying, and urged them to be generous and kind. She further noted that a person’s greatest fortune comes from the support base they have, and thanked her family for everything they had done for her.

Recognition Highlights Glen Cove Board Meeting

Outgoing Board of Education President Richard Maccarone and trustee Grady Farnan were thanked for their tireless service on behalf of Glen Cove students and the community at the June 20 BOE meeting.

“They work on weekends, they work well into the evenings, especially every other Monday night and at special board meetings,” Superintendent Dr. Maria Rianna said. “And I appreciate all of the work, all of the support and all of the commitment that both of these board members have shown.”

Farnan and Maccarone each served as board trustees for six years and will vacate their seats on June 30, after opting not to re-run for their current positions.

Also recognized at the meeting was Glen Cove High School English teacher Lauren Jensen, who received the Milken Educator Award in the fall.   

After the recognition was concluded, principals from each school in the district presented site-based committee reports for their respective school buildings. The building leaders discussed efforts to build character education, cultivating leadership skills, student decorum and improvements to facilities.    

Connolly K-Kids Create Get Well Bears

As their final project for this year, Connolly School’s K-Kids made get well bears. The bears will be presented to the emergency room at Northwell Health in Glen Cove. 

The bears will be used when an upset child has to pay a visit to the hospital. A nurse will provide a bear to help allay any fears. The bears were made by each club member and satisfies their love and the desire to perform community service. Advisers Nancy Cox and Sandy Vigliotti expressed their pride in the students’ community service efforts.  

Connolly K-Kids Take Part in Scrapbook Contest


The Connolly School K-Kids, sponsored by North Shore Kiwanis, recently won second place in the Kiwanis statewide Scrapbook Contest.

The book highlighted all the community service projects performed by the children during the school year. Archivists Victoria Limbrick-Rosado, Lori Yamond and Keilyn Zavala gathered photos, printed material and put together the book for the club.

Field Day Fun at Landing


Landing School students who achieved success in physical education throughout the school year were celebrated during the school’s annual Field Day event.

Congratulations to twins Edith Vanegas and Jeffrey Vanegas for receiving the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance award for excellence in physical education. Physical education awards for excellence were earned by students Valerie Acosta, Colette Brunelle, Aidan Costella, Ashly Freeman, Danielle Ginez, Chaaya Letellier, Evan Rodriguez, Allison Salinas, Edith Vanegas, Jeffrey Vanegas, Noe Velasquez and Parker Wiesner. Elias Vassilakis was the recipient of the Courage Trophy.

Students who broke the P.A.C.E.R. records held at Landing School were also recognized, including fourth-grader Jonathan Patino (70 laps), who also holds the boys' grade 3 record of 61 laps; fifth-grader Valerie Acosta (69 laps), who also holds the grade 4 record of 59 laps; and fifth-grader Jeffrey Vanegas (81 laps).
Other recognition was given to students in the 80s club. These students achieved 80 sit-ups on both their pre- and post-tests for curl-ups as part of their baseline and summative fitness tests.

All in all, it was a fun day, as teachers, staff and parents participated in the adult water balloon toss to the delight of Landing students! Many thanks to water balloon fillers and to those who helped set up for the event.
Field Day was a success thanks to the Landing PTA, Principal Benjamin Roberts, parents, staff and the custodial staff.

Deasy Students Catch the Wind

Second-grade students at Deasy School received a lesson in engineering when STEM teacher Jessica McKenna educated them on how wind can be a clean alternate energy source when transformed with the help of technology.

The students learned about windmills and turbines and how they operate. McKenna also showed students a video of a wind turbine from the East End of Long Island and discussed the possibility of a wind farm being installed off the coast of Long Island.

Students used the Engineering Design Process outlined by the Museum of Science in Boston to design and create blades for a windmill design. The seventh-graders worked in pairs to brainstorm and sketch out their designs. Once they decided which designs would be best, they constructed their prototypes.

To conclude the unit, students tested their prototypes. Once testing was complete, they shared their thoughts about why certain designs were successful and why others failed. In STEM, McKenna says, “fail” stands for first attempt at learning. STEM class students are taught not to get discouraged when something doesn't work, but to persevere and redesign if they aren’t successful on the first try. The second-graders were encouraged to think about how they would improve their blades to successfully complete the challenge.

Next year, the second-grade students will bring their knowledge of STEM to Landing School and will continue their STEM exploration with Landing STEM teacher Kenneth Altamirano.

Glen Cove’s Filippone Receives Music Scholarship

Glen Cove High School senior Samantha Filippone received the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock’s Edward Miller Memorial Music Scholarship.

Samantha will attend Hofstra University’s Honors College in the fall. She sang soprano with Glen Cove’s regular chorus while at the same time leading the altos during bimonthly sectional rehearsals. As a member of the select chorale, she performed at Saint Peter’s Basilica before Pope Francis. She also performed in the Nassau Music Educators Association’s All-County Chorus in 2014 and 2015.

Samantha is an instrumentalist as well. She played baritone in the wind ensemble, trumpet in the jazz band and cymbals in the percussion ensemble. She also served as conductor of the district’s pep band. She is a member of the Tri-M Music Honor Society and National Honor Society and president of the high school’s drama club.

Landing Students Participate in Jr. NBA Contest

Students at Landing School participated in the Jr. NBA skills challenge and contest in April 2016.

In preparation for the Jr. NBA contest, Landing’s student winners took part in many practice drills to perfecting their skills. They also demonstrated their talents in front of Landing School students and staff on May 13 and participated in a practice session at Finley Middle School thanks to physical education teacher Angela Zupa.

Landing School physical education teacher Karen Serani extended her gratitude to teacher Steve Tripp for assisting with the trip. She also expressed her pride in all the students that entered the contest. Congratulations to all 13 winners on their achievement! The following students were winners in their age division:
Girls 9-10 years old
1st place: Nia Phillips (12 points)
2nd place: Kathryn Houghton (11 points)
3rd place: Lexi Bivona (6 points)

Boys 9-10 years old
1st place: Parker Wiesner  (26 points)
2nd place: Jordan Howe (19 points)
3rd place: Mitchell Muzante (15 points)

Girls 11-12 years old
1st place: Alyssah Lomini (16 points)
2nd place: Millie Guevara (7 points)
3rd place: Destiny Brown (7 points)

Boys 11-12 years old
1st place: Daniel Battle (18 points)
1st place: Jeffrey Vanegas (18 points)
2nd place: Rodni Leftwich (17 points)
3rd place: Cameron Williams (11 points)

The 13 finalists took part in the regional competition on June 5 at Chelsea Piers Connecticut in Stamford, Connecticut. The following students placed in three of the 12 winning positions at the regional finals:   
Kathryn Houghton – Girls 9-10 division, second place
Alyssah Lomini – Girls 11-12 division, third place
Parker Wiesner –Boys 9-10 division, third place

Congratulations to Kathryn, Alyssah and Parker for their winning efforts!

Deasy First-Graders Celebrate Dad


First-graders at Deasy School spent quality time with their dads when the school held its annual Father’s Day celebration on June 14.
During the morning event, students and their fathers played kickball, under the guidance of physical education teacher Christopher MacDonald. They also enjoyed a snack and constructed wooden toolboxes, thanks to Home Depot. The retail chain donated the materials for the toolbox activity, which included work aprons for the students. The first-grade dads were also presented with pictures and stories that the students had created.   

Gribbin Kindergartners Learn About Butterflies

Kindergartners in Irena Kamola’s class at Gribbin School recently experienced the life cycle of the butterfly. The students had an opportunity to watch the caterpillars grow, form their chrysalis and hatch into butterflies. Then, on a beautiful spring morning, they invited their first-grade friends in Antoinette Hatzopoulos's class to join them as they released the butterflies. The children also pretended they were butterflies, using a straw as the proboscis of a butterfly as they sipped delicious pear nectar.

Senate Members Raise Money and Awareness

Glen Cove High School’s Student Senate, under the guidance of adviser Ellen Lynch, sponsored a team for the Relay for Life hosted at North Shore High School. 

One of the team’s fundraisers was to tape Glen Cove High School Assistant Principal Allen Hudson to a wall, which assisted them in raising $200 in approximately 45 minutes! During the Relay, the students played games, including kickball. They also got up on stage to sing karaoke and participated in a scavenger hunt.

To donate to this worthwhile cause, visit the team’s donation page:

Animal Museum at Gribbin


Second-grade students at Gribbin School recently organized an Animal Museum, which included dioramas, murals and nonfiction books that students wrote on specific animals from habitats they researched in class.

Each class studied a different habitat and researched an animal from that specific habitat, writing a book based on their findings. Each class rotated to a different teacher over five days, learning about different habitats, including the ocean, rain forest, savannah, arctic, desert and woodland forests. Students researched their animals’ classification, appearance, diet, habitat, movement, sounds and babies. Along the way they also found fun facts. On the day of the museum, the students came in wearing clothing related to the habitat studied in their classroom. Parents and administrators were invited to attend the museum, as well as the Gribbin student body as a whole.

Finley’s Honor Society Members Get Inducted


Finley Middle School inducted 48 new members into its National Junior Honor Society chapter on June 13 during a candlelighting ceremony.

Under the direction of adviser Kristen Schnall, junior honor society officers lit candles while describing the traits needed to become a member, including scholarship, leadership, service, citizenship and character. The inductees were then called to the stage one by one to receive their certificates of membership, before taking the honor society pledge.

Principal Nelson Iocolano congratulated the students on their induction and explained that by reciting the pledge for the prestigious organization they had committed to upholding the tenants of the society. Iocolano also commended the current members who he said “exemplified the tenants in an extraordinary way.”

“They have committed themselves and our school to the WE Schools initiative after hearing the great works implemented across the globe by the charity Free the Children, along with the inspirational story of its founder,” Iocolano said. “Finley Middle School has committed to combatting hunger both on a local and a global front. Globally they have raised enough money to feed 10 students in Kenya for a year and locally they have opened the Finley Middle School Food Pantry.”

Glen Cove Students Receive Physical Education Awards

Finley Middle School students Eder Leiva and Daniella Reyes; Connolly students Michael Piccirillo and Brooke Tan; and Landing students and twins Edith Vanegas and Jeffrey Vanegas received Outstanding Physical Education Awards from the Nassau Zone of the New York State Association for Health Physical Education Recreation and Dance during a ceremony at Roslyn High School on May 12.

This award recognizes the efforts of one male and one female student exiting from fifth grade and eighth grade in June for exhibiting a physically active lifestyle and lifelong learning; demonstrating responsible personal and social behavior; displaying good character and leadership; and overall excellence in physical education.  

Glen Cove High School Honors Students of the Month

Glen Cove High School recently celebrated its Students of the Month for March, April and May. Every month, students are recognized by grade level for their hard work and achievement. In addition, the Glen Cove Rotary Club and local Knights of Columbus chapter each name their own student of the month.

The Students of the Month for March were Delaney Montalto (Rotary); Enaiya Awan
(Knights of Columbus); freshmen Tyler Brooker and Giustina Sposato; sophomores Marquis Richardson and Juana Maria Carranza; junior Rosa Guardado; and senior Nicholas Pasucci.
The Students of the Month for April were Justin Sobelman (Rotary); Samantha Barry (Knights of Columbus); freshmen Yaquelin Clavel Flores and Julianna Willson; sophomores Mason Kletter, Loren Negovan and Delilah Perez; juniors Briana Lofton, Joy Scotti and Nyzia Vaughan; and seniors Andrew Liu and Dominic Waites.
The Students of the Month for May were Andrew Retoske (Rotary); Alyssa Zangari (Knights of Columbus); freshmen Haley Gielbeda, Annmarie McInnis, Yazmin Santiago and Javier Yanes; sophomores Eric Bonilla, Brayan Villatoro Melendez and Grace Tenke; juniors Dominic Gaudio, Jocelyn Yanes and Sophia Zias; and seniors
Dani Dratch and Victoria Tripp.

Finley Cellist Earns Scholarship


Finley Middle School eighth-grader Axelle LaBaw, a cellist in the school’s string orchestra, received a scholarship from the Nassau Music Educators Association to attend Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts.

Axelle has a strong desire and passion to study music and develop her skills on the cello. She was recognized for her performance at NYSSMA and her leadership role in the middle school orchestra. Orchestra instructor Chris Lippe, the Glen Cove Music Department and the Glen Cove School District would like to congratulate Axelle on her hard work and achievement and wish her the best of luck on her future musical endeavors.

May Students of the Month

Lawrence Pascucci
Pedro Espino Benavides
Amedea Cipriano
Christine Clermont
Delmy Henriquez
Jade Ferreris
Joseph Ceriello

Varsity Athletes Honored at Sports Night


Glen Cove High School students, parents, faculty and community members celebrated varsity athletes who participated in fall, winter and spring athletics at the Booster Club’s Athletic Awards Night on June 7.

Student-athletes were recognized with trophies and scholarships for their contributions to the school’s various athletic teams. An athlete from each sports season was also honored with the Superintendent’s Trophy, an award given by Glen Cove Superintendent Dr. Maria Rianna to outstanding seniors. Congratulations to Michael Payton (fall), Catherine Hatala (winter) and Grace Blinkoff  (spring). In addition to the Superintendent’s Trophy, Principal Antonio Santana presented the Principal’s Cup to Tristyn Hudson and Brian Shannon.

The following students were honored with scholarships and awards:

Glen Cove Jr. Soccer Scholarship Award:                
Liam Cox                                       

Hall of Fame Scholarships in Memory of John Maccarone:                                          
Grace Blinkoff
Gaetano Famiglietti                                
Catherine Hatala                           
Amanda Heavey                          
Michelle Melfi                                          

Hall of Fame Scholarship in Memory of Dr. Sidney Canarick:    
Christian Guevara                                                      

Glen Cove Jr. Football/Cheerleading Scholarship Awards in Memory of Rob Kormoski:               
Michael Payton           
Victoria Tripp    

Glen Cove Jr. Lacrosse Scholarship Awards:                    
Geoffrey Field
Michael Hatala                                   
Brandon Leon                                                       

The Annual Memorial Henry T. Boguszewski Golf Scholarship:          
Christian Filippone   

Todd Weber Award:                                                
Dennis Filippone    

Charles McGuckin:                        
Jonathan Capobianco                          

Thomas Renison Scholarship Award:                
Christina Ng    

Glen Cove High School Booster Club Scholarships:
John “Red” Lamberson:                                        Michael Payton           
Virginia A. Maccarone:                                         Catherine Hatala                   
Booster Club:                                                    Grace Blinkoff                                
Booster Club:                                           Jonathan Capobianco

Kenneth Spy “Heart of the Team” Scholarship: 
Michael Hatala
Michelle Melfi

James Fantry Memorial Award:                                                 
Timothy Hogan                                  
Victoria Tripp

Knights of Columbus Award — E.J. Gribbin:            
Catherine Hatala
Michael Payton                                

Kenneth R. Andrews Sportsmanship Awards:                                 
Corey Dinkins
Lila Nolan

F. J. DiMenna Award:                                
Gaetano Famiglietti                                                                                

Lola Schmitz Berg Award:
Sara Tenke 

Charles Johnson Physical Fitness Award:
Christian Guevara                                     
Kayla Monahan                        

U.S. Marine Distinguished Athletes:                        
Alexandra Casale
Geoffrey Field                                            

Army Reserve National Scholar/Athlete Award:                
Amanda Heavey
Kevin Hernandez                                     

Glen Cove High School Athletic Achievement Award:                
Grace Blinkoff
Khalil Zachary                                           

Golden G Award:                                
Gaetano Famiglietti
Victoria Tripp


High School Musicians Compete in Music in the Parks

The Glen Cove High School Wind Ensemble and Orchestra traveled to New Jersey on June 3 to compete in the 2016 Music in the Parks competition.

Both ensembles performed for a panel of judges and competed against high schools from all over the tri-state area. The wind ensemble was awarded first place in their division, while the orchestra was awarded second place in their division. Teachers Brittney Frank Rifkind and James Guarini could not be more proud of how the groups performed and the level of musicianship and professionalism that was demonstrated. Congratulations to all!

Landing Hosts PRIDE Ceremony


Landing fifth-graders celebrated the conclusion of its participation in the City of Glen Cove City’s PRIDE program during a ceremony on June 7.

The PRIDE (peer resistance, instruction, drug and education) is an eight-week program, which brings City of Glen Cove Police Department members into the district’s elementary schools to educate children on a variety of topics, including drugs, cyberbullying and stranger danger.

Highlighting the ceremony was the presentation of a special book that Landing fifth-graders created for members of the police department, under the direction of Sgt. Jack McDougal and AIS teacher Donna Staab titled “Reflections of the Thin Blue Line.” The commemorative book is a compilation letters, poems, stories and pictures created by the students to pay tribute to the brave members of the police department.

City of Glen Cove Mayor Reginald Spinello attended the celebration and commended the students on the creation of the book, which he described as “amazing.” The mayor also told students that the City of Glen Cove was proud of them all.  

Superintendent Dr. Maria Rianna was also in attendance and told students she reflected on what students learned as part of the PRIDE program.

“You are all getting older and as you get older you’re going to have to make decisions and we want to give you all of the skills necessary, all of the tools and knowledge necessary for you to make good choices. Not just for yourself, but for your friends and your family,” Dr. Rianna said.  

The ceremony concluded with students explaining what they learned during the program and receiving certificates of achievement.

Finley Students Visit Boston


Finley Middle School students traveled to Boston on June 3. The group arrived at the New England Aquarium around 9 a.m. and enjoyed visiting the exhibitions and viewing an IMAX movie about the Galapagos Islands. After the aquarium, they made their way to the Prudential Center for lunch and onto the Duck Boats for a tour of Boston, with students getting to drive the boats on the Charles River.

After the boat trip, they assembled at Faneuil Hall for a group photo. Students then had the opportunity to buy souvenirs as they explored Quincy Market. The day concluded with dinner at the Hard Rock Café, conveniently located across the street from Quincy Market.  

The group was all smiles as they rolled into the Finley Horseshoe around 11 p.m.

Mentoring Program Grows Friendships at Gribbin


Participants in Gribbin’s mentoring program gathered at the school’s library on June 6 to celebrate another successful year of the program.

During the meeting, the mentors, who are made up of community members, teachers and staff, spent quality time with their student-mentees, enjoying conversation and refreshments. The mentors were also presented with hand-painted coffee mugs crafted by the students to thank them for the time they spent with them throughout the school year.   

According to school social worker Kristin Brosnan, the school’s mentoring program has been in place for 10 years and allows adult volunteers to visit with students in grades K-2 during their lunch and recess periods either weekly or biweekly depending on their availability. She said the mentors serve as positive role models for the students, and the school and children are thankful to have them.

Gribbin School is looking to recruit new mentors for the program, for more information, please contact Brosnan at  

Tenure Recipients and Retirees Celebrated

Board of Education members, district officials and school personnel recognized retiring educators and tenure recipients during the Board of Education meeting on June 6 at Finley Middle School.   

Those honored with tenure included Finley Assistant Principal Thomas Pye, special education teacher Nicole Venticinque and counselor Kristen Schnall; Glen Cove High School teachers Liana Caesar-Quaye (special education), Clare Germino (foreign language) and Lauren Jensen (English); Connolly physical education teacher George Kearnes Jr. and special education teacher Kathleen Madigan; Deasy teacher Jennifer Hajok and physical education teacher Christopher MacDonald; and Gribbin reading teacher Amy O’Regan.

A special congratulations to Glen Cove High School’s Theresa McHale (English); Finley’s Ann Meyer (home and careers) and Bruce Trousdell (social studies); Connolly’s Amy Cooke (ENL); and support staff members Cathy Curren, Bernice Hudson, Maureen Pickering and Horace Townsend on their retirement.  

Jazz Fine Arts Festival at Gribbin


Gribbin School held its annual Jazz Fine Arts Festival on June 1. The festival featured the showing of a jazz cartoon created by music teacher JoAnn Criblez and second-grade students.

During the evening event, students took part in a jazz dance presentation, which was the culmination of a dance residency they participated in last month under the guidance of teaching artist Mickey Davidson during physical education classes. The students also took part in a jazz singalong and escorted their families around the school building to view the wonderful jazz-inspired art show they created under the direction of art teacher LeeAnn Palazzo.

Everyone in attendance enjoyed refreshment outside in the beautiful early evening while live jazz musicians played. They included Gribbin alumnus Michael Alvarez, who is also the uncle of a first-grade student, as well as two of his musician friends on keyboards and stand up bass. Everyone had a great time!



Glen Cove Students Take Up Gardening


Students in the district’s Life Skills Vocational Training Program are creating a garden chock-full of vegetables in Glen Cove High School’s courtyard, under the direction of Special Education teacher Monique Redman and teacher’s assistant Jenny Schlaefer.

Schlaefer discussed the idea of a garden with students, who then came up with and presented the plan to the high school’s administration for approval. The students’ objective was to design and build a permanent 100 percent organic garden. During the students’ presentation to administrators, Life Skills student Bryan Flores reflected, “As the vegetables grow the students grow.”

The Life Skills Vocational Training Program provides students with an opportunity to work at different businesses on Mondays through Thursdays, including Walmart, T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and Toys “R” Us. On Fridays, they take part in other activities, including working in the garden. The students have built birdhouses, painted a birdbath, transplanted bushes and planted vegetables. They also watered and weeded around the area regularly.

According to Redman, the gardening has created a strong bond between her students and has had a calming effect on their daily routine.  She said they are looking forward to seeing the vegetables and plants grow.        

Deasy Students Learn About Fish


First-graders at Deasy School learned about the anatomy of fish when the Long Island Children’s Museum outreach program Fish Tales took place at their school on May 16. The students learned about the function of different organs, and even got to taste a piece of cooked fish!

Finley Students Honored by Kiwanis


The Long Island North Division of Kiwanis International honored Finley eighth- graders Brandon Cruz and Tyler Kaffl at New Hyde Park-North Shore Elks Lodge in New Hyde Park on May 23. Brandon received an award for most improved student, while Tyler was recognized as most improved athlete. Congratulations!

Glen Cove Seniors Honored


Glen Cove High School celebrated the outstanding achievements of members of the Class of 2016 during its Senior Awards ceremony on May 26.

The evening began with Principal Antonio Santana greeting students and their family members. It continued with seniors receiving a wide variety of scholarships and recognition from organizations such as the Police Benevolent Association, the League of Women Voters and Glen Cove Teachers Association, among many others. Superintendent Dr. Maria Rianna presented honors to valedictorian Maria Krisch, salutatorian Michelle Melfi and honorarian Justin Sobelman.

Principal Santana commended all of the students on their accomplishments, acknowledging that they were the “direct result of many conscious and unconscious choices and decisions, evidence that things were done right.”

Glen Cove Girls Varsity Lacrosse Players Celebrated

The Girls Varsity Lacrosse Team held their annual Senior Night on May 11, which honored Class of 2016 graduating seniors Catherine Hatala (University of California at Berkeley), Michelle Melfi (Stony Brook University), Erin Moore (Marywood University), Kayla Monahan (Johnson & Wales) and Dani Dratch (University of Delaware).  

The seniors all did a wonderful job this season, serving as great role models for their younger teammates and will be greatly missed. The entire team fought hard this season to make it to the very competitive conference IV. Some of the highlights included the girl’s games over spring break where they won two nail bitters in a row. The first game was a 7-6 win over Valley Stream, and the second win occurred on Lax Fest Day where the girls came out on top over Plainview with an 8-6 win.  Congratulation to the 2016 award winners: Catherine Hatala (All-Conference), Michelle Melfi (Senior Scholar Athlete) and Tristyn Hudson (Unsung Hero). Congratulations on a well-fought season!

Glen Cove’s Bellomo Earns Gold Award

Glen Cove High School junior and Girl Scout Jessica Bellomo partnered with the Animal Lovers League to shed a light on the ongoing problem of animal abuse and neglect that takes place globally every single day.

After completing more than 245 hours toward her project, “Operation Pet Safety and Animal Cruelty Awareness,” Jessica has achieved Gold Award status, the highest honor acquired in Girl Scouting. She will be honored and receive her award at a ceremony in June.  

The Gold Award requires the completion of 80-hours or more of an individual leadership take action project that makes a sustainable and measurable impact on an important issue or need in the community and that serves to educate and inspire others in the community. The intent of the Gold Award program is to inspire communities in Nassau County to promote acts of kindness and goodwill.  Earning the Gold Award is an incredible achievement that only 5 percent of all Girl Scouts nationwide obtain.

To learn more about Jessica’s project, visit her Facebook page:

Deasy Families Gather for International Night


The Deasy Outreach Committee hosted International Night on May 17 at Finley Middle School and Deasy Elementary School.

The evening began in Finley’s cafeteria, with Deasy families arriving with a variety of ethnic homemade entrees and desserts, including rice and beans, a Peruvian potato dish, as well as salads and pasta selections to share. After dinner, families moved from the middle school to Deasy’s All Purpose Room, where Aloha Dancers entertained them. The children and parents also had the opportunity to put on grass skirts and test out their hula skills. At the end of the evening, Deasy School Principal Ken Craft adorned a headdress and hula skirt and danced the last hula of the night. It was a wonderful evening for everyone in attendance.

A message from the Superintendent - New Transportation Information & School Hours for 2016-2017


The Magic Continues at Connolly


Connolly School students were treated to a free magic show by Chad Juros of the Spread the Magic Foundation in thanks for raising money to benefit pediatric cancer patients.

 The fundraising effort was led by Connolly Student Council Co-President and cancer survivor Carter Suozzi. Juros visited Carter in the hospital on his birthday last August. Carter was moved by Juros because he is also a childhood cancer survivor.

To raise money for the foundation, students held a paper airplane throwing contest and collected contributions from community members. The goal was to raise $1,000, but thanks to the generosity of the school’s students and community members, the children far exceeded their goal, raising $8,022.

Students and teachers were amazed by Juros’ magic tricks. They also served as volunteers and thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the show.  

Finley Middle School Musicians Participate in Music in the Parks

The Finley Middle School Concert Band and String Orchestra, under the direction of conductors Keith Schmidt and Chris Lippe, placed second in its division against some well-versed competition at the 2016 Music in the Parks Festival in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

The competition took place at Hershey High School and Palmyra Area Middle School, while the award ceremony was held at Hershey Park. The band and orchestra played for a panel of judges that were impressed with the musicianship they demonstrated during the performance. Congratulations to all participants!

Student and Teacher Honors at Board Meeting

The Board of Education celebrated the achievements of Finley Middle School student Ava Ruiz and Glen Cove High School teacher Christopher Contorno at its May 23 meeting.
Ava was honored for the inclusion of her poem “Coming True,” in the America Library of Poetry’s book “Eloquence.” Less than 20 percent of all submissions to the national student poetry contest were utilized in the collection, which included entries from students around the country. Ava submitted her poem in the competition while she was a student at Landing School. Landing fifth-grade teacher Denise Reynolds was on hand at the meeting and presented Ava with a copy of the book.  
Contorno was celebrated for being named the Long Island Council for the Social Studies Outstanding High School Social Studies Teacher of the Year. Social Studies coordinator Melanie Arfman nominated Contorno for the honor and shared kind words about his contributions to the district’s students with those at the meeting. Superintendent Dr. Maria Rianna also expressed her gratitude to Contorno.
“All and all I think you are the epitome of what we want out children to experience,” Superintendent Dr. Maria Rianna said. “We have the opportunity to have you involved in so many things and we thank you for the time you give our students.”

Deasy Students Set Sail

First-graders from Deasy School recently embarked on an exciting field trip to the Oyster Bay WaterFront Center. While there, students set sail on the Christeen, a 125-year old sailboat. The students learned about the history of the boat and were even put to work, helping to pull the lines to lift the sails! They also had the chance to experience marine life up close during a walk along the beach, and enjoyed observing and collecting seashells and sea creatures.

Field Day Fun at Deasy School


Deasy students enjoyed a wide range of outdoor activities when they participated in the school’s annual Field Day celebration.

Physical education teacher Chris MacDonald coordinated the event and said the main goal was for the children to have lots of fun! Field Day activities included obstacle courses, a pig toss and parachute games. Students also tested their balance and agility during relay-type games and enjoyed working together to take part in challenges. Highlights of the event, included a pizza box relay and a hula hoop challenge, which required students to keep their arms connected while passing the hula hoop to members of their team.

MacDonald expressed his gratitude for all of the parent volunteers, including members of the PTA who donated healthy snacks for the participants. The children also enjoyed deejay music thanks to teacher Steve Bromberg, who donated his equipment for the event.

Stuck for a Buck at Landing

It was a sticky situation for Landing School Principal Benjamin Roberts on May 18 as students and staff participated in the school’s “Stuck for a Buck” fundraiser.  

The activity, which gave students an opportunity to buy a piece of duct tape for a dollar and tape Principal Roberts to the wall, was part of the school’s three-week Pennies for Patients campaign to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Fourth-grade teacher Maria DePace led the fundraising efforts, which included students donating money to classroom donation boxes daily, as well as weekly pen/pencil and bake sales. Each grade level also participated in Dance for a Dollar, donating money to participate in a grade-wide dance. In all, the students raised $5,380.40 for the organization!

Saturday, July 23, 2016