From March 15-17, Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School presented “Bring It On: The Musical.” Performances took place in the high school auditorium. Inspired by the motion picture “Bring It On,” the musical focused on the competitive world of cheerleading and team rivalries.
The musical was produced and directed by teachers Michelle Budion and Gina Occhiogrosso with the support of Copiague School District’s fine arts coordinator Jennifer Pierre-Louis.
Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School students Kelly Cheung and Giuseppe Dattolo have been awarded AAA’s Driver Education Award as the outstanding participants in their school’s driver education course. The pair was selected on the basis of demonstrated driving skills, knowledge of the rules of the road, and a mature attitude and approach to driving.
The award not only recognizes outstanding high school driver education students, but also is designed to encourage all young drivers to develop the skills and attitudes that help make them safe drivers.
Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School business students vied for a chance to be named the winner in this year’s Business Olympics on March 29. Four teams of students competed in this year’s “Shark Tank” themed event in front of a panel of more than 15 judges including board of education members, administrators and local business owners.
Team Vis, Team STOMP, Team Medrano and Team Flypack each presented their ideas during a 10-minute pitch. The judges had an opportunity for a question and answer period following the presentation during a networking session. Each team created a commercial along with supporting marketing and promotional materials.
The winning team was Team Vis for their lighted staircase product. Team members were Alleksandra Bugajczyk, Kriyal Patel, Iris Romero, Abigail Romero and Owen Rosenberg. All of the teams will share more than $3,000 in prizes.
As a culminating celebration to their Pick A Reading Partner activities, first- and second-grade students at Deauville Gardens West Elementary School participated in an animal parade on March 29. Dressed in masks of their favorite storybook characters – and led by Clifford the Dog – the students marched in and out of each of the classrooms in the masks they each created in their own artistic design.
Thirty-three new members from Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School were inducted into the Isabella Driscoll Chapter of the National Honor Society during a ceremony held in the school’s auditorium on March 28. Administrators, board of education members, family and friends were on hand to witness the induction ceremony.
In order to be inducted into the National Junior Honor Society, students must exhibit the society’s four pillars ¬– scholarship, leaderships, service and character. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kathleen Bannon addressed audience and spoke about the newest National Honor Society inductees. “You have distinguished yourself in the classroom and beyond and you should be very proud of the work you have done,” she said. “But more impressive is what you do outside of the classroom that has added to our school community.”
National Junior Honor Society members chose the evening’s guest speaker, Minett Hall, Advanced Placement biology teacher. “It is your hard work, combined with many other admirable traits, that has gotten you here,” she said. “It was a very rigorous selection process and those standing here today for induction represent the best of the best. I wish you every bit of success for your reminder of time in high school and beyond. Remember that good grades will only take you far, but what will take you even further is good character. Harness all of your abilities for the better and be the most positive influence you can.”
After each of the newest inductees was called to the stage for recognition, Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School Principal Joseph Agosta led them in the National Honor Society Oath.
The district congratulates the following students:
12th grade: Michelle Cox, Kayla Dixon, Jennifer Lopez-Fernandez, Wiktoria Portka and Gabrielle Swenton
11th grade: Alfredo Carillo, Kahlia Claro-Sanchez, Jonathan Conlon, Aaron Eng, Jocelyn Fernandez, Joshna Ilyas, Maybi Mendez, Melinda Mercedez, Yamilex Quiroz Vargas, Darley Senat and Angie Vasquez Sanabria
10th grade: Kiara Bennet, Jonah Breskin, Ladrea Buffaloe, Christopher Canenguez, Gabrielle Diegue, Isabella Galarza, Melanie Garcia, Nicole Hernandez, Jamilia Jackson, Marvin Pineda Lobo, Blanca Reyes, Allison Reyes, Abel Rivera, Donna Rivera, Kenia Rodriguez, Maya Wilson and Kayla Urban.
Storybook characters came to life when Deauville Gardens East held a
Family Literacy Night in March. Click the video to see highlights from
To benefit the American Heart Association and learn about the effects of heart disease, students at Copiague Middle School participated in a Hoops for Heart fundraiser to raise money for the organization on March 23 and 26 during their physical education classes.
During a basketball-themed obstacle course, students were timed as they raced through the different stations. Students recorded their time on a poster for the different classes to attempt to beat. The Copiague Middle School students are hoping to meet or exceed their goal of $5,000 raised during last year’s event.
Not only did students help raise money for a good cause, they learned about leading a heart-healthy lifestyle and making positive choices. Hoops for Heart is a national fundraising program sponsored jointly by the Society of Health and Physical Educators of America and the AHA. Through the program, students raise funds for the AHA while participating in activities that promote physical fitness.
To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, first-grade students in Katianne Howe’s class at Deauville Gardens West Elementary School built their own leprechaun traps and showed off their creations to their classmates. The class voted for their favorite traps and awards were given out for creativity, innovation and detail. Even though they didn’t catch a leprechaun, he left a St. Patrick’s Day gift for the students.
As part of Junior Achievement’s High School Heroes program, 20 Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School students enrolled in the leadership class became teachers for a day at Great Neck Road Elementary School on March 27.
The high school students spent the day in the third- and fourth-grade classrooms teaching five different lessons. Materials were provided for the lessons and both the high school students and the third-grade teachers completed a training program through Junior Achievement.
The Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School students acted as teachers for the day, following Junior Achievement’s Our City module. “The high school students followed the teacher schedule and were able to make some great connections with the staff and students,” said Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School Assistant Principal Jonathan Cutolo. “The elementary student were extremely excited about the High School Heroes and some made welcome signs and asked them for their autographs.”
The curriculum introduces students to financial literacy and learning objectives for social studies, including the characteristics of cities, the importance of economic exchange, and how people and businesses in cities manage their money. At the end of the day, the third-graders were each provided with a certificate of completion.
“Copiague is a great place to learn and our high school students were able to give back to their community and at the same time work on skills that will make them successful young adults such as time management, organization, responsibility, preparation and commitment,” Cutolo said. “One of the most important aspects of bringing our leadership class to the elementary school is that it gives the younger students the opportunity to interact with the high school students as role models.”
The High School Heroes program is a service learning project that provides high school students the opportunity to become role models by teaching and empowering elementary students within their school district. High School Heroes work in teams to mentor students with hands-on, interactive lessons to students centered around work readiness, financial literacy, and entrepreneurship.
It was a morning of creativity, community and collaboration, as Copiague Public Schools held its annual Community Summit Breakfast on March 17.
Focusing on its theme “Creativity Abounds in Copiague,” the board of education and administration welcomed various community organizations, local legislators, students and families to spotlight its programs and celebrate its successes. “Across the grades, from kindergarten to high school, a goal of the district has been to infuse our curriculum with the most cutting-edge technology, inquiry-based instruction and instruction that taps into students’ multiple intelligences,” said Dr. Kathleen Bannon, superintendent of schools.
“I believe it is very important for our community members to see and hear what our students and staff are doing on a daily basis,” Board of Education President Laura Gavey said. “Because of the support of our community and our legislators we are very lucky that we are able to keep our programs alive in the ever-changing education system. We are fortunate that we have been able to budget properly over the last few years and our programs are still intact.”
Gavey continued her speech to discuss the need for increased state and federal funding in order to maintain its educational programs.
During her “State of the District” address, Dr. Bannon focused on the district’s multitude of positive accomplishments and provided an update on the district’s ongoing capital project. She also mentioned the district’s 2018-19 budget process and the need for increased state funding.
“In a perfect world, there would be adequate and equitable funding for public education,” she said. “Funding that is predictable, transparent and sustainable. So that we can plan for the long term, rather than year to year.”
The summit also featured student musical performances, spotlights on various creative student programs and projects and an introduction of the Class of 2018 top 10 students. Additionally, New York State Sen. John Brooks, Brendan Cunningham, Chief of Staff for New York State Assemblywoman Kimberly Jean-Pierre, and Town of Babylon Supervisor Richard Schaffer were in attendance.
Fourth-graders in Jennifer Spizuco’s and Kristina Sudano’s classes at Deauville Gardens East Elementary School recently completed a project, “Eye Can Show What Eye Know.” The students finished the plant and animal structure unit in science and created a 3-D model of the eye. They represented each part of the eye and wrote about and explained its function. Students were able to get creative and use any materials to display the cornea, pupil, iris, lens, retina and optic nerve.
Recognizing the accomplishments of its student-athletes both on and off the field, the Copiague School District held its winter sports awards night in the cafeteria of Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School on March 6. Coaches, administrators and Copiague Board of Education members were on hand to congratulate athletes from girls bowling, boys bowling, girls basketball, girls winter track, boys basketball, boys winter track and wrestling teams. The evening is sponsored by the Copiague Booster Club.
Coaches called athletes up front to be recognized and celebrated both their individual and team achievements during the season. They also distributed individual awards, including the Coaches’ Award, Most Improved and the MVP award, to worthy receipients.
Seven Golden Eagle awards were presented to students from each team with the highest cumulative grade point average. This year, Melanie Garcia (girls bowling), Jarrett David (boys bowling), Marvin Pineda Lobo (wrestling), Faith McCombs (girls basketball), Jackson Bright (boys basketball), Kriyal Patel (girls track) and Christopher Canenguez (boys track) were recipients of the Golden Eagle awards.
Second-graders in Nancy Csorny’s class at Deauville Gardens East Elementary School celebrated Dr. Seuss’s birthday/Read Across America Day on March 2 by performing different works by the famous writer in a reader’s theater. After reading “The Lorax,” students discussed the cause and effect, the theme, and message of the story. The students made mustaches and told the Lorax’s point of view. Students also crafted truffula trees and wrote about what they would do if they found the last truffula seed.
The nationally-recognized marching band from Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School visited Copiague Middle School student-musicians on March 2 in effort to pique their interest in joining the band.
The marching band, led by band director Eric Dobmeier, showed off some of their instruments and musical selections to the middle school students. Marching band members spoke about some of their individual experiences. The musicians, along with members of the Color Guard, played part of their routine for the audience of young musicians. They also showed a video of their performance in Syracuse last year.
The band is beginning its recruiting process now before it starts rehearsals in May. The band practices during the summer months and culminates its season with a performance in Syracuse.
Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School recognized Black History Month with a celebration on Feb. 28 that showcased the many talents of the student body. Performances featured the dance and step team as well as musical selections by the Madrigal Choir and jazz band.
The celebration, themed “Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future,” was hosted by Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School students Kyree Scott and Tiare Gordon. The Madrigal Choir presented three musical selections, including “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”
The dance ensemble’s performance was followed by the Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School and the Copiague Middle School step teams. The Drama Club presented powerful and inspiration quotes from famous African-Americans past and present.
For the final performance of the show, Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School senior Osazuwa Eghafona played the bass guitar while his brother joined him on stage on the trumpet for a musical selection. All proceeds from the Black History Month celebration benefit the security department’s scholarship fund.
Fifth-graders in Jennifer Rosario’s class at Susan E. Wiley Elementary School transformed their classroom into an interactive “wax museum” on March 1.
Students researched a person who has had a major impact on history and portrayed that person as a “wax” figure. Dressing the part, students played the role of their person. Wax museum visitors walked around, looking at the famous people and pushed the button on the backdrop to hear about their life and why they are important to history.
Click here to see a video of Deauville Gardens West students conducting science experiments.
On Feb. 15, the second-grade classes from Deauville Gardens East Elementary School took a field trip to the Long Island Children’s Museum in Garden City. The interactive exhibits provided opportunities to explore, play and create. Students enjoyed stretching their imaginations and enriching their learning with different hands-on activities.
Two seniors from Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School had their pieces chosen to be featured in the Photographer’s Forum Contest sponsored by Cannon. Katherine Del Valle (left) and Ashley Jean-Raymond will have their work published in the annual National Best of College and High School Photography compilation. The students are pictured with Lorraine Ciccotto, digital photography teacher (right) and Director of Fine Arts Jennifer Pierre-Louis.
Students and staff at Great Neck Road Elementary celebrated being 100
days smarter in February. Dressed like they were 100 years old, the
students participated in various activities that centered on the number
100. Check out the video from the day.
Students at Great Neck Road Elementary School recognized Kindness Week in mid-February by performing random acts of kindness throughout their school and community. The students celebrated “going the extra mile to make someone smile” by discussing what makes them smile and how they can be good friends.
The district held its second annual Prince and Princess Ball on Feb. 9 in the cafeteria of Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School. This year’s theme was “Under the Sea.” Elementary students were dressed in their finest formalwear and stopped at the photo booth for a quick picture with their accompanying guest.
The guests spent most of the night on the dance floor, with plenty of time for games and dining. Sponsored by Copiague School District’s security department, all proceeds from the event are used toward the security department’s Corey Swinson Memorial Scholarship, which benefits seniors from Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School.
For close to 15 years, Copiague Middle School’s Builders Club participates in an annual tradition of visiting local seniors on Valentine’s Day. On Feb. 14, along with their adviser Maria Ostrofsky, the students traveled to the Tanner Park Senior Center for their yearly celebration.
The Builders Club members connected with the local seniors by spending quality time with one another. During their visit, students created personalized Valentine’s Day cards for the seniors and hand-delivered the cards along with a rose. The seniors and students spent time together on the dance floor, learning the moves to some of their favorite songs.
Lysa Mullady, newly published author and guidance counselor at Deauville Gardens East Elementary School, shared her new book and her path to becoming an author with fourth-graders in Kristina Sudano’s class on Feb. 8.
Ms. Mullady’s children’s book “Bye Bye Pesky Fly” was published just last month but she told the class about the long road to becoming a published author. She shared her dreams of being a writer and spoke about her love of books and writing. Ms. Mullady also told the students about the many different stories she wrote and attempted to get published over the years, from which she received many rejection letters.
As the school’s counselor, she often finds inspiration and ideas from her students as was the case for “Bye Bye Pesky Fly,” which teaches readers how to be peaceful inside and not let other people bother them. Ms. Mullady told students about the writing, editing and illustrating processes and encouraged them to write down their ideas if they dream of one day becoming an author.
At the end of the discussion, students asked Ms. Mullady questions about her book and her ideas and learned she is in the process of having a second children’s book published. Before school, Ms. Mullady facilitates a fifth-grade writers club and will be hosting a fourth-grade club for aspiring authors in the spring.
Second- and third-grade students, along with their families, from Great Neck Road Elementary School enjoyed an evening together at Family Literacy Night on Feb. 6.
Students gathered in their respective classrooms to enjoy the book “Dragon Was Terrible” by Kelly DiPucchio. After discussing their thoughts on the main character and his behavior with their teacher and peers, the students made their own “dragon treats,” complete with green icing, horns and colored eyes to take home and enjoy. There was also a take-home worksheet that students could bring back to school for a special prize from their teacher.
Students in Louise Curci’s fashion class at Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School are showing off their creativity by designing and creating their own do-it-yourself projects, including shoes, jackets, jeans and more. The class will be displaying these items throughout the semester.
Fourth-graders in Jennifer Spizuco’s class at Deauville Gardens East Elementary School recently completed a hands-on science experiment to coincide with their unit on plant and animal structures. Filling a cup with water and blue dye, the students placed a white carnation and a celery stalk and predicted if the flower and celery would change color all the way up or only in the parts that were in water. At the end of the week, they were surprised to see their white flowers turning blue.