Sophomores Mentor Connolly Students


Glen Cove High School students in Lauren Jensen’s 10th-grade English class traveled to Connolly School on May 20 to mentor young writers in Lucretia Simone’s third-grade class.

The sophomores provided one-on-one tutoring for the third-grade students that focused on all levels of the writing process, from composing a first draft to editing and revising. The writing mentorship is part of a social studies unit designed by the third-grade teachers at Connolly. The third-graders are currently composing persuasive essays on countries of their choice, a culminating assignment that teachers developed to emphasize writing across the curriculum.


Composer Carl Strommen Visits Finley

Members of the Finley Middle School Jazz Band enjoyed a surprise visit from world-renowned composer Carl Strommen during their May 4 rehearsal. 

Strommen is known for composing many genres of music, including vocal, wind band and orchestra. He also composed one of the pieces the jazz band performed at their Spring Concert on May 12.

During the visit, Strommen listened to several musical selections the group was rehearsing, offering tips to help students better perform at the concert.  He also worked with students on the arrangement he created, providing them with insight and advice on their performance. Initially, the students were nervous about performing the composer’s piece, but settled in for a great experience.

A Lesson on Shakespeare

Finley students explored the language of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” during a three-day workshop led by Dr. Valerie Clayman Pye, an assistant professor of dance and theater at Manhattanville College.

The workshop, titled “Exploring Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ Through Practice,” introduced students to Shakespearean language through a series of practical exercises that helped to demystify the structure and complexity of Shakespeare’s verse while fostering a deep understanding of how the language functions in performance. During the sessions, students learned about iambic pentameter. They were also asked to stand and read text from the first two acts of “Macbeth,” which they have been studying in class, while Dr. Pye provided insight to the author’s meaning.

“We are looking at Shakespeare’s words through an actor’s perspective to gain better understanding of the text,” Dr. Pye said. “By exploring [‘Macbeth’] physically, the students are able to tap into the text and hear and understand things that are sometimes missed in reading.”

National Honor Society Welcomes Inductees


Forty-eight students were inducted into Glen Cove High School’s National Honor Society.

The ceremony began with senior Andrew Gerin reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by members of the Select Chorale singing the national anthem. Interim Principal Roseann Cirnigliaro welcomed students and their families and congratulated them on their outstanding achievements.

Highlights of the ceremony included a musical interlude performed by senior Samantha Smith on clarinet and the comments offered to students by guest speaker Charmaine Clarke, mentoring director of the Glen Cove Youth Bureau. Clarke urged students to live by their own set of values and to not be defined by labels. “Be who you are, not what people expect you to be,” Clarke said.

National Honor Society officers lit candles as they described each of the characteristics deemed necessary to be considered for induction, including scholarship, leadership, service and character, prior to each inductee crossing the stage to receive their certificate of membership.
The students also took time to honor teachers and fellow students for their service at the ceremony.

Finley Bands Earn Gold Honors

Finley Middle School’s sixth- and seventh-grade bands were awarded the gold level at the 2015 NYSSMA Majors Festival at Hofstra University on May 19.

At the festival, bands, choruses and orchestras from around Long Island perform and are graded by two adjudicators. The seventh-grade band performed under the direction of teacher Brittney Frank Rifkind. Rifkind also led the sixth-grade student-musicians along with teacher Keith Schmidt.
Each of the Finley bands played three musical selections, which were also performed at this year's spring concert.  The judges were especially impressed with the bands’ skillset and musicality. Congratulations to the bands for their hard work and dedication!

Voters Approve 2015-16 School Budget

Budget Vote Results:
Yes – 731, No- 247
Budget Passes.

Board of Education Election Results:
Amy Franklin: 654
Gail Nedbor-Gross: 671
Maria Venuto: 523
Gail Nedbor-Gross was re-elected to the board. Amy Franklin and Maria Venuto have also been elected.

National Junior Honor Society Induction


Finley’s National Junior Honor Society inducted 27 students during a traditional candle-lighting ceremony on May 13 at Wunsch Auditorium.

The ceremony, led by adviser Kristen Muratore, began with NJHS officers lighting candles while describing the traits needed to become a member, which include scholarship, leadership, service, citizenship and character. The inductees were then called to the stage individually to receive their certificates of membership, before taking the honor society pledge.

Principal Nelson Iocolano congratulated the inductees, reminding them of their commitment to uphold the tenets of the National Junior Honor Society. He also challenged them to make their mark on the world.

“I congratulate you on your achievements and I thank you in advance for what I know you will do to make us proud in the years to come,” he said.

Superintendent of Schools Maria Rianna and Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Technology Dr. Michael Israel also joined the students and their families at the ceremony.

Photography Students Visit Canon

Students in Melissa Johnides’ Photography 2 class enjoyed a rare trip to Canon U.S.A. in Melville.

D.J. Montalto, the parent of junior and photo student Delaney Montalto, helped select 25 Photography 2 students to explore the showroom at Canon U.S.A.’s new office building. The students were given a taste of Canon through a number of presenters who covered various topics, including Canon's mission statement, intern program, photography and printing equipment, medical equipment and virtual reality devices. The students also enjoyed a hands-on experience with all of the items in the showroom.

According to Johnides, Canon’s staff was impressed with the level of enthusiasm and photography knowledge shown by the students and shared information regarding the visit via Twitter.    


Scenes from Connolly’s Spring Concert

Testa Commits to Mount Aloysius

Pictured (l-r): Coach Peter Falen, Assistant Principal Nadine Richards, Mr. Testa, Sara Testa, Mrs. Testa, Principal Roseann Cirnigliario, Athletic Director Denise Kiernan and Assistant Principal Allen Hudson.
Girls varsity soccer player Sara Testa will attend and play soccer at Mount Aloysius College, a Division III school in Pennsylvania, this fall.

Testa, a senior, has been an integral part of Glen Cove’s varsity soccer team since she was a freshman. Coach Peter Falen attributes her years in developmental leagues and training outside of school, along with her physical tenacity and mental edge, to her success.

In the fall of 2013, Testa was diagnosed with a life-threatening autoimmune disorder that attacked her brain stem and left her hospitalized for three months. During that time, she remained focus on her goal to survive and to play soccer in college.

Testa returned to school in June 2014 and was thrilled to take part in her final season as a student-athlete and member of the girls soccer program this year.

Falen said Testa’s journey and accomplishments have made her the young lady she is today and expressed his pride in everything she has achieved. “Her devotion and passion for her studies and her love of soccer will make her an asset to any institution of higher learning or job choice in the future,” he said.

Mother’s Day Tea

Deasy second-graders celebrated their mothers at a special tea organized by special education teacher Katie Drennan and second-grade teacher Marci Notice in honor of Mother’s Day.

During the celebration, students’ recited poems, sang songs and read the book “Five Minutes’ Peace” by Jill Murphy. Teachers also presented a heartfelt video, which featured each of the students explaining why they loved their mom.  After the video concluded, the children acted as wait staff, serving their mothers a delicious breakfast snack.

“We’ve been discussing how important moms are and all of the things they do to help their children,” Drennan said. “We should always celebrate our moms.”

In addition to the second-grade students, first-graders and kindergarten students also held special events to celebrate their moms in recognition of Mother’s Day.

Operation Safe Child

Gribbin students took part in Operation Safe Child, thanks to a collaborative effort between the Nassau County District Attorney’s office and the Glen Cove Police Department.
The program, which collects vital information on students and incorporates it on an identification card, can be used to aid parents and law enforcement officials in the event of an emergency. Students had their photographs, fingerprints, height and weight taken by members of the Glen Cove Police Department.  That information, along with the child’s hair color, date of birth and gender, are stored in a database in Albany that can be accessed within minutes all over the country.
Gribbin Principal Francine Santoro said the school has participated in Operation Safe Child for years because the safety of the school’s children is paramount.

First-Graders Study Sea Turtles

Gribbin first-graders recently completed a shared research project on sea turtles.

As part of the project, the students read nonfiction books, watched videos and used Internet sources to obtain information on sea turtles. Students then recorded the information in research packets. Once their research was complete, the children had to form a written opinion about sea turtles.

The research project kicked off the school’s Adopt an Animal Project. The project, which begins in mid-May, will focus on creating awareness for threatened and endangered species, while raising money to aid in research for their protection and care. The funds raised will be donated to the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation.

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Orlando Magic Coach Visits Landing

Landing students enjoyed a visit from Orlando Magic assistant coach Jay Hernandez on May 1.

Coach Hernandez spoke to students about the importance of staying in school and working hard to get good grades. He also demonstrated and took part in some NBA drills with the children. The visit concluded with a team building/passing game.

Student Work Is Picture-Perfect


Sophomores Samantha Barry and Alexa Mundell were selected as winners in the Photographic Society of America’s 2015 Youth Photography Showcase.

Barry placed first in the Creative Color category with a silhouette made by using a double exposure technique. Mundell placed third in the Monochrome category with her black and white self-portrait. Both winning entries will advance to the Photographic Society of America’s international competition.

Eleven of Melissa Johnides’ Photo II students entered works in the categories of Architecture, Landscapes/Seascapes, Portraits/Pets, Photojournalism, Monochrome and Creative Color. This is the second year that two of Johnides’ students have placed in this competition.

To view all of the award-winning photographs from the 2015 PFLI Youth Showcase clink on the link below:

The Blind Truth

Glen Cove resident Vinny St. Marten offered Glen Cove High School students insight on what it was like growing up blind in the 1950s during a recent visit to the school.

Members of the school’s Hero Club and DECA club listened as St. Marten shared details of his youth, including his mother’s difficulty in accepting his blindness and how music opened up his world.

“I lost my eyesight at the age of 7,” St. Marten said. “I’ve dealt with a lot of issues, including bullying and racism, but the gift of blindness and a passion for music saved my life.”

 Members of the TV studio recorded St. Marten and his longtime friend, Elysa Sunshine, as they shared his story, “The Blind Truth.” The production incorporated dialogue, recorded music and live singing by St. Marten. It also included live music and singing by Sunshine and a slideshow compiled by junior Aaron Hall.

GCHS Select Chorale Benefit Concert - May 29th @ 7 pm

The GCHS Select Chorale will perform a concert to support the North Shore Inn on May 29th at 7 pm. Please come and support this worthy cause. Glen Cove Students Free!


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