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Class Day Recognizes Achievements

Class Day Recognizes Achievements Photo Collage
Fifth-grade students throughout the Copiague School District celebrated their academic accomplishments and reflected on their elementary school years as they move up to Copiague Middle School in September at their respective Class Day celebrations on June 15 and 16.

Administrators, faculty, parents and invited guests gathered to celebrate as the fifth-grade students marched in to “Pomp and Circumstance.” Student council officers greeted their classmates at each of the ceremonies and remembered the memories shared over the last six years.  

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kathleen Bannon offered words of encouragement for the fifth-grade classes at Susan E. Wiley and Great Neck Road elementary schools, while Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Jeanette Altruda addressed audiences at Deauville Gardens East and Deauville Gardens West elementary schools.

At each of the Class Day ceremonies, the fifth-graders were recognized with awards for academic merit, leadership, principal’s awards, Presidential Awards for Educational Excellence and Educational Improvement, and citizenships awards. The fifth-grade teachers and principals at each of the four elementary schools facilitated the presentation of diplomas. 

Students also showed off their musical talents by performing a variety of selections, including their elementary class songs for the final performance. Students and guests gathered for a celebration following each of the ceremonies. 

Deauville Gardens East Class Day Photos

Deauville Gardens West Class Day Photos

Great Neck Road Class Day Photos

Susan E. Wiley Class Day Photos

Class of 2017 Celebrates Final Chapter

Class of 2017 Celebrates Final Chapter Photo

Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School celebrated the 58th annual commencement exercises on June 22 as the Class of 2017 was honored at their graduation ceremony.

As administrators, Board of Education members, faculty and invited family and friends watched, the Class of 2017 marched on to the football field to “Pomp and Circumstance” played by the concert band and directed by Eric Dobmeier.

Board of Education President Brian Sales addressed the graduates and urged them to have the right attitude and make the right choices moving forward. “Be good listeners; truly listen and don’t just hear,” he said. “Embrace different points of view. Always be a lifelong learner. Even with all knowledge you may amass over time, there is no substitute for good common sense.”

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kathleen Bannon wished the students all the best in their future endeavors. “Each of you have made a positive imprint at Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School,” she said. “This is far from being the end – it’s the beginning of all of your tomorrows. I have taken great pride in watching each of you grow into the fine young people you are today.”

Class of 2017 salutatorian Mikayla Angel spoke to her classmates about expectations. Not only did she deliver her speech in English, she also recited it in Spanish as well. “This is the time to make your own expectations,” she said. “You now decide whether you will challenge yourself or remain the same; that’s up to you. You control your expectations. You control how you deal with the doubt of others. I implore you to have hope and remember to stand up for yourself. My legendary kings and queens of ’17, you are unstoppable.”

Valedictorian Tomasz Solecki addressed the Class of 2017 and challenged them to be the change they want to see in this world. “If all people work together in harmony, we as a society can accomplish unimaginable feats,” he said. “It’s you, the people who have the ability to change things for the better. You the people have the power to create happiness. You the people have the power to create a better world for everyone, not just for yourselves. You have the power to make this life free and adventurous. Let not class, religion, race, ethnicity nor gender divide us. If we all live by that motto and offer helping hands to the community with even little acts of kindness, we can truly make this world a better place for all.”

Principal Joseph Agosta spoke to the students about their journey to graduation and the path that lies ahead. “In the future, I have great confidence in your abilities,” he said. “It’s an honor for me to know that I have been a part of your final year as high school students. As you move on in life, remember the values, pride and sense of community that each member of the Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School staff has worked so hard to provide. I have had the distinct privilege of seeing many of you enter your first year of kindergarten and now I have the honor of granting you your high school diploma.”

Senior class president Lyndsey Wilson presented the Class of 2017 gift – a donation to the incoming freshman class – to Assistant Principal Bradley Reminick. Mr. Reminick and Assistant Principal Jonathan Cutolo then called the names of each member of the Class of 2017, where Dr. Bannon and Mr. Agosta presented them with their diplomas.

Prior to turning their tassels and tossing their caps high in the air, the Class of 2017 received a final message from Sen. Chuck Schumer. He encouraged the students to live their lives to the fullest, and always follow their dreams. Following the cap toss and the cheering of the crowds, the Class of 2017 marched off the field to “Chorale and March.”     





Varsity Club Connects with Bubble Soccer

Varsity Club Connects with Bubble Soccer Photo
Varsity Club Connects with Bubble Soccer Photo 2
Members of the Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School Varsity Club took a trip to Long Island Bubble Soccer in Oceanside on May 31. Bubble soccer is a mix of soccer and bumper cars. The Varsity Club student-athletes connected with their fellow club members while having fun playing the game. 

Biology Students Take Technology to the Next Level

Biology Students Take Technology to the Next Level Photo
As part of their final exam, Advanced Placement biology students at Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School were tasked with researching and presenting on different current biotechnologies. 

In addition to a PowerPoint presentation, students used virtual reality zSpace computers to design images of different technologies. After the design phase was complete, students printed models of their images using a 3-D printer. 

Some of the 3-D items generated included a heart, DNA strands, kidneys, a nose and teeth, which are all representative of biotechnologies such as cloning, heart transplants, tissue engineering, embryonic and adult stem cell research. 

Senior-Athletes Commit to College Sports

Senior-Athletes Commit to College Sports Photo
Senior-Athletes Commit to College Sports Photo 2
The district recognized 11 senior student-athletes who have committed to play their respective sports in college next year.

The following Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School students were recognized: Tyrone Browne (football, SUNY Brockport); Cris Castillo (field hockey, Manhattanville College); Kory Corkins (football, Delaware Valley University); Rigaud Destime (basketball, College of Staten Island); Ashley Hudson (lacrosse, Western New England University); Deanna Iannotta (lacrosse, Farmingdale State College); Maraya Jones (soccer, College of Staten Island); Jabbar Morris (football, Hobart College); Brionna Silva (volleyball, St. Joseph’s College); Alicja Zaborowska (volleyball, Nassau Community College); and Anna Zaborowska (basketball, Mercy College).


Sixth-Grader Honored for her Service Initiative

Sixth-Grader Honored for her Service Initiative Photo
Senator John Brooks visited Copiague Middle School on May 31 to present a proclamation to a sixth-grade student who is making a difference in her community. 

“I wanted to recognize this young lady in front of her whole class so you can really understand what she is doing in her community and the initiative she is taking on her own,” Sen. Brooks said.
 
For almost a year, student Lydia Pacheco has spent her Sunday mornings helping to feed the homeless both in her neighborhood and beyond. Pacheco started by using the money she received for her birthday and allowance to buy food at local fast-food restaurants. Now, the sixth-grader’s movement has grown to include family, friends and members of her church community who travel with her or on their own for weekly deliveries. 

“I’ve gotten to know a lot of the people I see every week and they look forward to seeing me and my dad,” Pacheco said. “It brings me a real feeling of joy to know that I am helping someone.”

Spring Sports All-Stars

Spring Sports All-Stars Photo
Congratulations to the student-athletes who were awarded for their play on the field and in the classroom during the spring 2017 sports season. For a full list of winners, click here.

District Celebrates Retirees, Newly Tenured teachers

District Celebrates Retirees, Newly Tenured teachers photo

Copiague School District administrators and Board of Education members recognized the faculty and staff members who will be retiring at the end of the 2016-2017 school year and also acknowledged teachers who were granted tenure during the June 5 board of education meeting.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kathleen Bannon, board of education members, district administrators and department chairs offered their congratulations to the five retirees, who have close to 150 years of combined service to the district. Retiring at the end of the school year are Stacy Bach, Rose Marie Bell, Lynne Cook, Deirdre Whiston and Rosette Verriotto. 

Four teachers ¬– Karen Kazlaukas, Michael Olsen, Danielle Russo and Ioanna Spyris – who were recently granted tenure, were also celebrated prior to the board of education meeting.  

Twenty-Eight Inductees Welcomed into National Honor Society

Twenty-Eight Inductees Welcomed into National Honor Society Photo

Twenty-eight new members of the Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School’s Isabella Driscoll Chapter of the National Honor Society were inducted in a ceremony held in the school’s auditorium on June 1.

Members of the National Honor Society each held candles as they entered the ceremony. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kathleen Bannon offered welcoming remarks to the board of education members, administrators, family, friends and community members in attendance and congratulated the new inductees for their hard work, community involvement and academic excellence in achieving membership into the National Honor Society.

After National Honor Society advisers Allison Weller and Clare Nugent lit the first candle of knowledge, National Honor Society officers each explained the four main pillars of scholarship, leadership, service and character before lighting their respective candles. 

National Honor Society members chose social studies chairperson Michelle Penyy as guest speaker for the ceremony. Ms. Penyy spoke about her many travel experiences and lessons she had learned along the way with each new trip. “As National Honor Society members, you are all stewards of our past and your knowledge and appreciation of it will guarantee all of us a better future. Each of you has taught me and your fellow students how to be more confident, flexible, humble, appreciative and kind,” Ms. Penyy said. “The fact that you are being recognized for your service, scholarship, character and leadership demonstrates that you possess the very characteristics needed to be global citizens. Think of your membership into the National Honor Society as your passport.”

Principal Joseph Agosta offered words of encouragement before reading the oath for new members. The district congratulates the following inductees: senior Ona Kean; juniors Ashley Collado, Brittany Faustin, Ayana Fields, Sierra Lenee Gaul, Isabella Gilbert, Jordy Hernandez-Rivera, Kyria Moore, Rianna Rivera and Davina Smith; sophomores Jackson Bright, Aleksandra Bugajczyk, Ajhani Carroll, Mercy Gomez Herrera, Jeanine Guelee, Melinda Harris, James Holland, Emily Korba, Faith McCombs, Lacy McIntyre, Gabriela Ordonez, Jimmy Padilla-Ortez, Kriyal Patel, Kembalee Rolle, Abigail Romero, Owen Rosenberg, Samantha Sattler and Deana Simon. 



Free Summer Food Program

To ensure students continue receiving proper nutrition during the summer months, the District will offer free lunch for children 18 years old or younger at no cost to local taxpayers. Open sites will serve lunch Monday-Friday, from July 10 through Aug. 18. Additionally, the Bethel AME Church will have breakfast service. Please note, the Copiague Memorial Public Library site is only open on Tuesdays and Fridays. There will be no residency or identification required; however, all meals must be eaten on site. Menus vary by location.

Below is a list of sites, serving times and addresses.

Bethel AME Church
Breakfast: 8:30-9:45 a.m.
Lunch: 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

20 Simmons St., Copiague

Copiague Memorial Public Library
11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.
Tuesdays and Fridays Only

50 Deauville Blvd., Copiague

North Amityville Pool
11:45 a.m.-1 p.m.

Albany Avenue, North Amityville


Math Mania Tests Speed and Accuracy

Math Mania Tests Speed and Accuracy Photo

Students at Great Neck Road Elementary School have been busy working on honing their math skills throughout the school year in preparation for the Math Mania event on May 26.

Students came to school dressed in shirts with numbers to show their support for the Math Mania event. Each grade gathered in the library for their online mathematical quiz. Fifth-grade members of the TechTeam club helped assist students in their online setup while Great Neck Road Elementary School technology coach Jeanie Mullins read the rules of the competition.

Students in grades K-5 have been practicing basic math facts throughout the month to commit them to memory. During the first round of Math Mania, students competed to be named one of the top three in their class. Using their tablets, students had to answer 10 questions accurately and quickly. The top three students from each class then went against the other classes from their grade level to be named champions of the competition.






Six Inductees Named Members of National Junior Honor Society

Six Inductees Named Members of National Junior Honor Society Photo

Six Copiague Middle School students were inducted into the National Junior Honor Society during a ceremony held at the school on June 1.

Advisers Paul Harvey and Francesa Walker welcomed the board of education members, administrators, family and community members to the ceremony. In order to qualify for membership, seventh- and eighth-grade students must possess a cumulative grade point average of 92 or above and receive faculty recommendations. The National Junior Honor Society officers spoke about the qualities of scholarship, character, service and leadership that members must demonstrate in order to qualify. 

Principal Andrew Lagnado led the oath for newest inductees to the National Junior High Society: Adam Antosiak, Arlin Alvarez Almonte, Adela Guifarro Soto, Sofia Lounici, Marcela Torres and Emmeli Vizcaino. 



MS Students honored at L.I. Science Congress

MS Students honored at L.I. Science Congress Photo
Two Copiague Middle School students – Olivia Healy and Sophia Bright – were named winners in the Long Island Science Congress. Olivia’s project on different insulations took an honors award at the ceremony on May 23 at St. Anthony’s High School. Sophia’s project on the effects of pesticides on bees took a high honors award. Long Island Science Congress is an adjudicated exhibit of science projects by students in middle and high schools in Nassau and Suffolk counties, sponsored by the Long Island Sections of the Science Teachers Association of New York State.

Key Club Members Honored at Kiwanis Breakfast

Key Club Members Honored at Kiwanis Breakfast Photo

Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School students received accolades and scholarships from the Kiwanis Club of Copiague during their annual breakfast on May 31.

Members of the Key Club were recognized with scholarships presented by Kiwanis Club president elect Phil Guerra. The Anthony Iannotta Scholarship of $1,000 was awarded to Lyndsey Wilson. The Robert McIntosh Scholarship was presented to Jackalyn Gonzalez and Sofie Wilson won the Warren Gumbs Scholarship, both for $500. Additionally, six Key Club members were awarded $250 scholarships each: Ashley Burgos, Jenna Langan, Nicole Mikolajczak, Amorelle Penick, Tiana Roe and Nilsu Yildiz. 

Key Club president Alexandra Saczawa and vice president Joshua Taveras spoke about the many volunteer activities in which the club participated this year. Sophie Bright, president of the Middle School Builders Club, the junior version of the Key Club, also shared some of the various community service activities completed this year. 

The cast of the recent production of “The Little Mermaid” treated the audience to a special performance of some of the favorite hits from the show. 




Empowering Words During Women’s Breakfast

Empowering Words During Women’s Breakfast Photo
Empowering Words During Women’s Breakfast Photo 2
Empowering Words During Women’s Breakfast Photo 3
The Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School Industry Advisory Board held a women’s power breakfast on May 24 featuring district administrators, local businesswomen and community leaders along with Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School students.

Assistant Principal Tamika Eason offered opening remarks, encouraging students to find their voice. “Ask yourself how you want to be perceived,” she said. “Women are faced with many different challenges in the workplace; the playing field isn’t always equal. Know your craft, identify your passion and goals and turn that interest into your professional goals.”

District administrators and community leaders shared their career experiences and obstacles with students in an effort to prepare them as they enter the workforce. Each shared stories of how they navigated through their career paths. Attendees included: Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kathleen Bannon; science chairperson Renee Locker; Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School teachers Linda Aims, Allie Stanton and Allison Stritzl; Lasheca Lewis (New York State Assembly); Danika Hall (Teachers Federal Credit Union); Linda Penuela Rannazzisi (Bethpage Federal Credit Union); Melissa Firmes (Kids Need More); Sharon Fattaruso (Copiague Chamber of Commerce); Stacy Screiber (Professional Physical Therapy); and Tammie William (New York State Senate). 

Students had the opportunity to ask questions and seek advice from the professional attendees. The following Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School students participated in the breakfast: Katherine Abreue, Sully DeLaCruz Brito, Alexandra Bugajczyk, Jennifer Diaz, Catherine Gonzalez, Jeanine Gulee, Cameren Jackson, Carla Jackson, Kriyal Patel, Tiana Roe and Sarah St. Jean. 

Student-Athletes Honored with Zone Awards

Student-Athletes Honored with Zone Awards Photo

The Suffolk Zone of the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance sponsored the annual Physical Education Student Leadership Awards Ceremony at Longwood High School on May 3. Students who qualify for the award are recognized for their achievements in physical education, leadership, character and academics.

Honored at the ceremony was Copiague Middle School eighth-graders Sarah Manzanarez and Kenneth Tejada; Deauville Gardens East Elementary School fifth-graders Ava Reichelt and Zachary Rosenzweig; Deauville Gardens West Elementary School fifth-graders Stanley Buissereth and Stefana Lipari; Susan E. Wiley Elementary School fifth-grade students Brian Gonzalez and Jordana Jagnarine; and Great Neck Road Elementary School fifth-grade students Nicole Araujo and Kamar Birthwright.

Student-Athletes Honored for Dedication On and Off the Field

Student-Athletes Honored for Dedication On and Off the Field Photo

The Copiague School District honored its spring student-athletes during its annual Sports Awards dinner at the Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School on May 23. District administrators, board of education members, friends and family gathered to honor the athletes in girls track, girls lacrosse, boys track, boys lacrosse, softball and baseball.

As coaches recognized each of the student-athletes for their contributions throughout the season, individual awards were given to most improved players, most valuable players and coach’s award for each team. Three special memorial awards were presented to student-athletes for boys lacrosse and baseball. The Jared J. Pennington Memorial Lacrosse Award was given to Noble Matubber, Tquan Wint was the recipient of the Sean Ryan Noonan Memorial Lacrosse Award and Joshua Lester received the Daniel O’Connell Memorial Baseball Award.

The Section XI Gold Key Award, the highest Section XI honor that an athlete can receive, is awarded to student-athletes who letter in eight junior varsity or varsity seasons in grades 10-12. This year’s recipients were Mikayla Angel (field hockey, winter track, spring track), Cris Castillo (field hockey, winter track, lacrosse), Maya Jones (soccer, winter track, spring track, softball), Amira Kemp (tennis, winter track, spring track), Vincent Ruggiero (soccer, bowling, baseball), Matthew Spadone (soccer, bowling, lacrosse), Sean Walsh (soccer, football, bowling, lacrosse) and Anna Zaborowska (volleyball, basketball, lacrosse).

The Golden Eagle Award is given to the student on each team who had the highest cumulative grade point average for the season. For the spring season, Mikayla Angel (girls track), Kelly Cheung (girls lacrosse), Noble Matubber (boys lacrosse), Peter Milillo (baseball), Christopher Canenguez (boys track) and Sofie Wilson (softball) received the Golden Eagle.

BACCA Nominations Plentiful for Student-Actors

BACCA Nominations Plentiful for Student-Actors Photo
The Babylon Citizens Council on the Arts and the Teen Theatre Committee has nominated student-actors from Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School for Teen Theatre Awards for their performances this year. Winners will be announced at the June 9 ceremony at Lindenhurst High School.

The district congratulates the following actors and support staff on their nominations: Kishaar Hodge – Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical; Crystal Betz – Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical; Amy Rodriguez – Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical; Jade Dickenson – Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Play; and Amorelle Penick – Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Play.

Other nominations include: Outstanding Production Value of a Musical; Outstanding Ensemble of a Musical; Outstanding Stage Crew of a Musical; Outstanding Musical; Outstanding Production Value of a Play; and Outstanding Stage Crew of a Play.
 
From the recent production of “The Little Mermaid,” dance captains Nicholas Favichia, Jenna Langan and Amorelle Penick will be recognized. Future Star awards will be given to Sydney Walsh, Alejandro Claros-Sanchez and Madison Dudley for their performances in “Drama Night.”

The “Teens in Tune” award – given to outstanding pairs and small groups – will be presented to Ladrea Buffaloe, Samantha Sattler, Darley Senat, Taylor Sharpe-Adams, Samantha Sloane and Nilsu Yildiz. The Teen Theatre Committee will honor the Hip Hop Club’s performance of “Taking Back the Music” as a special performance and club members will be recognized with awards.


Key Club Recognized for Service Efforts

Key Club Recognized for Service Efforts Pic
The Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School Key Club was recently presented with an appreciation award from the New York Blood Center for holding three blood drives during the 2016-2017 school year. The Key Club blood drives yielded 169 pints of donated blood.


Artists, Musicians Inducted Into Honor Societies

Artists, Musicians Inducted Into Honor Societies Photo
Artists, Musicians Inducted Into Honor Societies Photo 2
Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School recognized its finest musicians and artists during the third annual Fine Arts Honor Society Induction on May 22. Fourteen students were inducted into the Tri-M Music Honor Society and 14 students were inducted into the National Art Honor Society in front of administrators, board of education members, friends and family.

Jennifer Pierre-Louis, director of fine arts and Tri-M Honor Society advisor, offered opening remarks about the hard work and dedication of the student-musicians who were nominated for induction to both their school and community.

Five points of distinction – scholar, character, leadership, cooperation and service – must be possessed by these students in order to qualify for the Tri-M Music Honor Society as explained by the society’s officers. They must also receive teacher recommendations, maintain a 90 average or above in music courses and an 85 average or above overall.

National Art Honor Society inductees must also receive teacher recommendations, possess a 90 or above average in art classes and submit a piece of artwork, according to Damin Gomes, National Art Honor Society advisor. Each new candidate for induction also adds signs their name to a canvas, adding their personal touch to a piece of art.

Students each received a certificate and pin before reciting the pledge of their respective honor society in unison with their fellow inductees.

The district congratulates the following students inductees: Tri-M Music Honor Society – Kaihya Banks, Ladrea Buffaloe, Ashley Collado, Nelson Flores, Daniel Galeas, Melanie Garcia, Anthony Gonzalez, Shari Jackson, Jaime Kister, Michelle Kumah, Marvin Pineda Lobo, Jonah Ramdas, Allison Reyes and Jake Weiss. National Art Honor Society – Patric Gudel, Spencer Hodges, Liam Mahabir, Faith McCombs, Jacqueline Mendez, Melinda Mercedes, Wendy Moreno Marroquin, Jessica Norwood, Nayeli Pena, Jillian Petroglia, Kailee St. Angelo, Olivia St. George, Yafreycy Taveras and LeeAnna White.

Current Tri-M members played for guests prior to the start of the induction ceremony, and artwork produced by current seniors was on display around the cafeteria.  



Chamber Choir Goes Gold

Chamber Choir Goes Gold Pic
The Copiague Middle School chamber choir participated in the New York State School Music Association’s Music Festival on May 30 and received the highest possible rating of “Gold with Distinction.” A Gold rating is awarded to organizations that demonstrate an outstanding level of technical and artistic skill in tone, intonation, balance, technique, diction, accuracy/execution, interpretation, discipline and appropriate choice of music. A Gold with Distinction rating is awarded only to those choirs that achieve a standard of performance deemed exceptional in all of the three selections performed for the NYSSMA judges.


National School Boards President Gets Inside Look at Copiague

National School Boards President Gets Inside Look at Copiague Photo

National School Boards Association President Kevin Ciak, along with district administrators and Copiague School District Board of Education members, spent the afternoon of May 31 touring the many academic offerings of the Copiague School District.

Ciak, who was on Long Island for a speaking engagement at the Nassau-Suffolk School Boards Association’s annual dinner, connected with the Copiague School District through Copiague Board of Education President Brian Sales, who also serves as president of the Nassau-Suffolk School Boards Association.

“We are very proud of Copiague School District and the things we accomplish here and we are honored to be able to share that on a national level,” Sales said.

The tour of the district included classroom visits at an elementary school, middle school and high school. “From the minute I walked in, I felt very much at home in this district,” Ciak said. “I was very impressed with all of the 21st century learning going on in the classrooms. Students were fully emerged in learning and using high-level analysis.”

At the elementary level, the visit showed the district’s use of technology with its 1:1 computing class and students using the zSpace virtual reality, 3-D computers. Copiague Middle School students demonstrated their earth science and English language arts skills, while science research students at Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School presented some of their recent studies.

“In the visit I conducted, I was able to see exactly what public education was built for: addressing the needs of all of its students,” Ciak said. “This district is building its student body up from when they enter kindergarten. That type of planning and culture starts from above with a Board of Education and administration that knows what their students need to be successful.”

Wedding Ceremony Celebrates the Unity of Q and U

Wedding Ceremony Celebrates the Unity of Q and U Photo
Wedding Ceremony Celebrates the Unity of Q and U Photo 2
Wedding Ceremony Celebrates the Unity of Q and U Photo 3
Wedding Ceremony Celebrates the Unity of Q and U Photo 4
It was a match meant to be for two letters that always seem to pair well together. The kindergarten students at Susan E. Wiley Elementary School celebrated the unity of the letters Q and U in a special wedding ceremony on May 18.

Since the beginning of the school year, the kindergartners have been learning the sounds that letters make together and that letters, such as Q and U, appear together in most words. Dressed in their best ensembles, the wedding guests wore Q and U hats and veils to the wedding.

The large Q and U cutout letters, held by two students, walked down the aisle as ceremonial wedding music played. “There will be quarrels but you have to stick together like quicksand to solve any quandaries,” the officiant told the couple before concluding the ceremony.

After the ceremony, the marriage celebration continued back in the classroom as guests enjoyed juice and wedding cake.


Student-Researchers Shine at Science Symposium

Student-Researchers Shine at Science Symposium Photo

Celebrating the notable accomplishments of the science students at Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School, the district held its third annual 2016-2017 science research symposium on May 18.

District administrators, board of education members, representatives from the Town of Babylon, members of the science department and invited guests gathered to recognize the hard work, determination and perseverance of the students currently enrolled in the independent science research program, the advanced science research program and the introduction to science research program.

“You have all worked a tremendous amount of hours with teachers who have fostered your love of science enough to do this work outside of the classroom,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kathleen Bannon. “Congratulations to all of the recognition you have brought to yourselves and your school for your dedication and perseverance.”

Seven Copiague science research students presented a brief overview of their projects, many of which have garnered numerous awards throughout the school year. Projects were on display for a poster presentation walk following the ceremony, giving attendees an opportunity to speak with the students firsthand about their research.

Each student in the program was presented a certificate by science chairperson Renee Locker in recognition of their accomplishments this school year.

The following students were presented with certificates: Jackson Bright, Tatiana Henry, James Holland, Kriyal Patel, Owen Rosenberg, Osazuwa Eghafona, Marianna Espinoza, Brittany Faustin, Jade Dickenson, Claudia Motley, Brayan Pena, Alexandra Saczawa, Joshua Taveras, Sofie Wilson, Shane Abney, Kiara Bennett, Baron Chen, Vincent Cipriani, Erhumwunse Eghafona, Daniel Galeas, Melanie Garcia, Nicole Hernandez, Gregory Jean-Baptiste, Elijah Johnson, Nolan Johnson, Jade Jones, Austin-Sing Loo, Sheza Mirza, Richelle Modestil, Marwin Pineda Lobo, Blanca Reyes, Jeniffer Romero, Josh Simon, Gianna Torres and Tamara Washington.  



Furry Friend Visits First-Graders

Furry Friend Visits First-Graders Photo

Deauville Gardens East Elementary School had a special visit from a furry friend on May 15. Therapy dog Buffalo Bill Cody, and his trainer Bruce Kollmar, from the program Love on a Leash, spent the morning in Kevin Beach’s first-grade class. The students are learning all about what a therapy dog can do and took turns reading to him.

Copiague Takes Top Honors at Covanta Contest

Copiague Takes Top Honors at Covanta Contest Photo
Copiague Takes Top Honors at Covanta Contest Photo 2

Ten students from the Copiague School District were recognized by the Town of Babylon for placing among the top students who entered the Babylon Covantage EcoTech Scholarship Contest during an awards presentation at Babylon Town Hall on May 6.

Under the advisement of High School Science Chairperson Renee Locker and Middle School Science Chairperson Dr. Daniel Leccese, students submitted an energy or environmental-based science project, through which they carried out an experiment and wrote a detailed scientific paper explaining their procedure and conclusion.

Brittany Faustin placed first among all entrants and earned a $1,000 scholarship for her project “The Effectiveness of the Antibacterial Activity Utilizing Silver Nanoparticles on the Growth of Aspergillus niger.” Other winners from Walter G O’Connell Copiague High School included: Brayan Pena and Osazuwa Eghafona, who received a $625 scholarship for their project “Doped Magnesium Aluminate as a Viable Basis for Production of Inorganic, Long Lasting, Non-Toxic, Pigments;” Sofie Wilson and Jade Dickenson, who won fourth place and a $250 scholarship for their project “A novel investigation surrounding Geukensia demissa as a probable control mechanism for the invasive species Phragmites australis;” Erhumwunse Eghafona received a $250 scholarship for his project “Falling Temperature on a Species of Tree;” and Claudia Motley took home a $125 scholarship for her study on “Cultural Orientation and its Effects on Secondary Education in Japanese and American Students.”

The three Copiague Middle School students each took home $125 scholarships for their projects. Dylan Bedell project was to show how drones can be used to monitor coastal erosion. He used his drone to fly over a shoreline of the Great South Bay and looked at evidence that showed decreasing levels of coast. Olivia Healy examined how different insulating materials help keeps a home warm in the winter. DaVeyah Williams studied nanosilver and how nanosilver affects pond life. Nanosilver is called colloidal silver and is found in many consumer products with the purpose of killing bacteria. Her project studied how greater amounts of nanosilver decreased the population of daphnia (microscopic pond organism).  

Open to students in grades eighth to 12th throughout the Town of Babylon, the Covantage EcoTech Scholarship Contest awards scholarships annually to students who create the top-ranking science projects with eco-tech themes. Through this program, students are encouraged to explore concepts related to sustainability and environmental solutions.

“Covanta and Babylon have been exceptional in not only encouraging STEM among our students, but offering an incentive for pursuing science discovery and excellence. Even more noteworthy and distinctive by Covanta is the endorsement of environmental science as an area of focus,” said Ms. Locker.



New Assistant Principal Appointed

New Assistant Principal Appointed Photo
Jonathan Krawchuk has been named an assistant principal at Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School, effective July 1.

Krawchuk began his teaching career in the Copiague School District in 2009 as a living environment and special education teacher. This past school year, he served as the district’s B.A.S.E. adviser. From 2010-2014, he was the assistant varsity football coach at Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School.

Krawchuk earned his Bachelor of Science degree from St. Joseph’s College. He also received his master’s degree and educational leadership certification from Stony Brook University.



Copiague Track Event Honors Memory, Love of Sport

Copiague Track Event Honors Memory, Love of Sport Photo

Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School hosted the seventh annual Urban & Walsh Memorial Invitational on May 15. Organized by Copiague track coaches George Schroeder and John Sack, the annual event is held to honor Christopher Urban and Brittney Walsh.

Hosting 28 teams from across Long Island, the invitational featured 18 events including girls and boys shot put, boys and girls disc, long jump, high jump, triple jump, pole vault, the 2,000/3,000 steeplechase, 100/110 high hurdles, high jump and more. In addition to the standard track and field events, fifth-graders from the four elementary schools – Deauville Gardens East, Deauville Gardens West, Great Neck Road and Susan E. Wiley – participated in a special boys and girls 4x100 relay.

For the Copiague boys, David Lawrence placed second in the 100-meter dash with a time of 0:11.74, took third place in the long jump with 21 feet, 7.5 inches and placed second in the triple jump with 43 feet, 2.5 feet. Antoine Moore Jr. placed second in the 400-meter dash with a time of 0:50.82. Jackson Bright, Aryes Garrett and Brenton Bennett took fifth, sixth and seventh place, respectively, in the high jump.

For the Copiague girls, Halle Moore took first place in the 400-meter dash with a time of 60.66, while Akajia Atkins placed third in the 100-meter dash with a time of 0:13.25. The girls 4x400 meter relay team placed second with a time of 4:36.29, and high jumper Lyndsey Wilson secured third place with a jump of 4 feet, 10 inches. Akajia Atkins placed first in the long jump with a 17 foot, 3-inch jump, and Kyria Moore took fifth in the shot put with a toss of 32 feet, 6.75 inches.





Showing Off Shapes

Showing Off Shapes Photo
First-graders in Katianne Howe’s class at Deauville Gardens West Elementary School learned about three-dimensional shapes and were tasked with creating their own 3-D models. Students used everyday objects found around their homes to create models using all the different shapes they learned.

Great Neck Road Celebrates Mother’s Day (watch the video)

Video Logo

Kindergartners at Great Neck Road Elementary School recognized the special ladies in their lives with a Mother’s Day celebration on May 11. Handcrafted bags decorated with messages of love were filled with photo albums showcasing their first year in school. Paper bouquets of flowers and messages about their special person were presented to each of the attendees.

Making of a Musical Video

Making of a Musical Video Pic 1

From the musical announcement to auditions, tryouts and opening day, here’s an inside look into Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School students making “The Little Mermaid."

 

Scholastic Aptitude Test Information

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Hip Hop Club Creates Positive Culture

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The Hip Hop Club at Walter G O’Connell Copiague High School, under the direction of Yvan Garcia, recently wrapped up its annual production. This year’s show – “Taking Back the Music” – was a student created work, centered on the themes of anti-bullying and cultural acceptance. In late April, the students performed two shows for the community and one private production for more than 400 middle school eighth-graders at Copiague Middle School as part of an orientation/character education initiative.

At the conclusion of the performance, the eighth-grade students asked questions of the Hip Hop Club and step team members about their involvement in the show as well as questions related to what it takes to be successful at the high school level.


Students Honored for Cultural Work

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The Jewish Community Relations Council of Long Island recently honored three students from Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School during its annual Holocaust Remembrance Day commemoration on May 4 at Suffolk County Community College in Selden.

Mikayla Angel, Rigaud Destime and Sophia Hall received proclamations from the JCRC-LI and elected officials from Suffolk County for their work in creating a more civil society.

Keynote speaker Hannah Robinson, a Holocaust survivor, explained how her family was destroyed by the actions of the Nazis and how neighbors and strangers helped her family survive before they were ultimately sent to Auschwitz. The students spoke with Robinson following her lecture.

Second-Grader Share Stories for Mother’s Day

Second-Grader Share Stories for Mother’s Day Photo

Second-grade students in Diana Daniels’ class at Susan E. Wiley Elementary School honored their mothers and special ladies in their life during a Mother’s Day Tea on May 11.

Invited guests shared the afternoon with the students in their classroom while listening to each student share a story about their special person. Mothers, grandparents, aunts and sisters gathered together for tea and cupcakes while spending some quality one-on-one time with their special second-grader.

Track Stars Shine at Penn Relays

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The Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School girls varsity track team, coached by Antoinette Spencer, competed in the 2017 Penn Relays from April 27-29. The 4x400 meter team – Halle Moore, Jasmine Jackson-Gomes, Akajia Atkins and Mikayla Angel – brought home the silver medal with a personal record of 4:08.77. The girls 4x100 meter team of Moore, Ajhani Carroll, Shanna Greer and Atkins placed fifth with 50.71 seconds, a personal best for the 2017 season.

Under the Magnifying Glass

Under the Magnifying Glass Photo

Using their magnifying glasses, third-graders in Mary Prisco’s class at Deauville Gardens West Elementary School have been observing the lifecycle of butterflies. They are carefully watching as the caterpillars housed in jars in their classroom are transforming into painted lady butterflies. Students also made diagrams depicting their observations of the butterfly lifecycle.

Love Notes for Mom

Love Notes for Mom Photo
Kindergartners in Kirstin Cerrone’s class at Deauville Gardens West Elementary School are showing their mothers how much they love and appreciate them on their special holiday. The students crafted mod podge mason jars for their moms and filled them with love notes to be presented on Mother’s Day.

Highlighting Copiague (video)

Enjoy this video put together by Board President Brian Sales for the 2017 Community Summit.

Confidence Shines in Character Education

Confidence Shines in Character Education Photo

Fifth-graders at Deauville Gardens East Elementary School showed off their confident spirits when they presented their monthly character education assembly to their peers on April 28.

In a game show-style format, the fifth-grade students played the game “Show Your Confidence” in an effort to illustrate this month’s character education trait: confidence. While some students portrayed a game show host, others acted as contestants to answer questions about positive vs. negative thinking in everyday situations.

The students concluded the assembly by reminding their peers to show their confidence, and keep positive thoughts first to show that they believe in themselves.





A Sea of Blue

A Sea of Blue Photo
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April was autism awareness month and the students and staff at Susan E. Wiley Elementary School worked together to join the fight. Throughout the month, faculty, students and their families could purchase a puzzle piece and donate any amount to the cause. On April 28, the school participated in “Light It Up Blue,” dressing in blue to show their support. With the pieces of the puzzle displayed together in the main lobby, the school raised $125 to benefit autism awareness.

Three Teams Selected as Finalists in STEM Competition

Three Teams Selected as Finalists in STEM Competition Photo

Three teams of Copiague Middle School students have been named national finalists in the second annual Bright Schools Competition. The competition is a collaborative effort of the National Sleep Foundation and the National Science Teachers Association that encourages students in grades 6-8 to explore the correlation between light and sleep and how it influences a student’s health and performance.

The winning students from Copiague Middle School are Qbar Velasquez, Roman Burrus and Adam Antonsiak, who investigated “How Do Different Color Lights Affect Sleep?”; Tyler Rosario, Semaya Robinson and Asiatul Hoque, who studied the “Impact of Blue Light on Sleep;” and Elizabeth Garrovillas, Olivia Healy and Lauren David, who submitted research on “How Does Asthma Affect Sleep?”

Under the mentorship of Middle School science chair Dr. Daniel Leccese, the team identified, investigated, and researched an issue related to light and sleep as it pertains to their community and/or young adolescents. Teams develop a prototype, create an awareness campaign or write a research proposal for the competition. Each team then submits a written report detailing their project along with a three-minute video showcasing their investigation. Projects are evaluated on the basis of several criteria, including scientific accuracy, innovativeness and potential impact.

The three Middle School teams were chosen among 50 national finalist teams of nearly 500 students from 53 schools. National winning teams will be announced in early May.





A Poetry Night in Paris

A Poetry Night in Paris Photo

The cafeteria at Deauville Gardens East Elementary School was transformed into a candlelit Parisian café and student-poets showed off their talents during the school’s poetry café on April 25.

Dressed in their colored berets, students in grades 3-5 celebrated literacy night by reading both original and published poems of their choice to their families and peers in an open mic format. Each student received a treat bag filled with a beret, sunglasses and an acrostic poetry book to take home. During the intermission, guests snacked on cookies and treats served by their teachers.

Storytime Conference with Spanish Students

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Kindergarten students in Maritza Benavides’ class at Deauville Gardens East Elementary School participated in a story time videoconference on April 21 with eighth-grade students in a Spanish 1 class at Berner Junior High School in Massapequa. The eighth-graders told stories in Spanish using different props. At the end of the videoconference, the kindergarten students shared a new song with their junior high school friends.

Change Collection Springs Into Action

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The Copiague Middle School’s Builders Club recently held a Pennies for Patients fundraiser. Via penny banks in each homeroom class, the club collected $1,425 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The Builders Club raffled off different spring-themed baskets for those who donated.

Environmental Game Is a Perfect Match

Environmental Game Is a Perfect Match Photo
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In recognition of Earth Day, third-grade student council members at Deauville Gardens West Elementary School participated in an environmentally friendly game about saving the ocean. After reading “Pesky Plastic: An Environmental Story,” the students played a matching game they created on the computer. The students matched plastic items with a recycling bin. They then matched animals with the fish that they are supposed to eat instead of plastic in the oceans, which can be harmful.

Pops Concert Delivers Explosive Performance

Pops Concert Delivers Explosive Performance Photo

It was a night of memorable performances as students at Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School showcased their vocal skills and dancing abilities at the annual Pops Concert on April 19 in the auditorium.

Kicking off the evening was a performance of “Calling All Hearts” by Stephanie Abreu, Cameren Jackson and the Pops Dancers. The trio of Jamilla Jackson, Halle More and Jelani Bond recreated Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name” and the Spice Girls catchy chart-topper “Wannabe” was performed by Sarah St. Jean, Cameren Jackson, Katherine Abreu, Tiana Roe and Rose Spanato. “Carry On My Wayward Son” by Kansas got the audience moving performed by Andrew Szabo, Lesly DeCastro, Kishaar Hodge, Kyree Scott, Jonah Ramdas and Nicholas Favichia.

Solo performers were also the highlight of the evening’s concert with performances by Kyree Scott of “Ride” by 21 Pilots; “Free Fallin’” by Nicholas Favichia; “Where the Streets Have No Name” by Jillian Payne; “Rise Up” by Elenys Diaz; “Can’t Stop the Feeling” by Jonathan Angel; Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing” by Kishaar Hodge; “Don’t Dream It’s Over” by Nilsu Yildiz; “Invincible” by Kayla Dixon; “Stone Cold” by Crystal Betz; and “Me and Mrs. Jones” by Lesly DeCastro.

To open the second act, the Madrigal Choir performed a show-stopping version of “Hallelujah.” Powerful duet performances included Sam Smith’s “Lay Me Down” by Taylor Sharpe-Adams and Lesly DeCastro, and Meaghan Trainor and John Legend’s “Like I’m Gonna Lose You” by Kaitlyn Besse and Kyree Scott.

Along with the Pops Choir, the Madrigals closed out the evening with “We Are the World.”





Challenged to Make a Difference

Challenged to Make a Difference Photo

In recognition of Earth Day, first-graders in Terri Alzmann’s class at Deauville Gardens West participated in “The Lorax Challenge.”

The Dr. Seuss book, which each class read in celebration of his birthday, delivers the message that one person can make a difference. For the challenge, students were invited to make a difference at home, in their community or at school.  

Ms. Alzmann’s class decided to make a difference in their community and their school by planting flowers in the front of their school. The students will continue to observe and take care of their flowers throughout the school year.