Copiague Middle School’s eighth graders celebrated the end of their middle school years and the start of their academic journey at Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School during their moving up ceremonies on June 25 at the Copiague Middle School auditorium.
The students marched into the ceremony to “Pomp and Circumstance” played by members of the Tri-M Music Honor Society. Copiague School District Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kathleen Bannon addressed the soon-to-be middle school graduates.
“When you moved up from the elementary schools to the middle school three years ago, I am sure you never thought the time would pass as quickly as it did,” Dr. Bannon said. “Because the time goes so quickly, we want to be sure that you take advantage of what the high school has to offer you. High school isn’t only about academics; there’s so much more to do outside the school day. There are more than 40 clubs at the high school, musical groups and sports – find something that interests you. I encourage you to get involved. You don’t want to be someone who looks back four years from now and says, ‘I wish I had or I should have tried.’ Instead be someone who says, ‘I did it all and I have no regrets.’”
Class representative Emmylie Coreas spoke during the first ceremony of the day about her three-year middle school journey. “As we went through middle school, we all started to build character, maturity, responsibility and growth,” she said. “The immense support of the teachers, staff and administrators helped us to grow. I hope we leave the middle school with a feeling of achievement and each one of us feels proud of their hard work.”
Middle School Principal Andrew Lagnado then introduced the students as the Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School Class of 2023. “As you enter this next phase of your education, be sure to remember a few important things that will set you up for success,” he said. “Stay involved in all the positive things that are offered at our high school. There are so many wonderful academic and extracurricular activities for you to take advantage of. Try a new activity, a new sport, take an interesting elective, get out of your comfort zone and take a risk. Stay motivated, focused and goal driven. Go that extra mile because what you put into it will determine what you get out of it. These next few years will lay the groundwork for your futures. So, remember to always make positive decisions, work hard and simply be a good person.”
Middle School assistant principals Stephanie Valeiko and Michael Ferretti then announced each student’s name as they walked across the stage and received their certificates from Mr. Lagnado and a congratulations from Dr. Bannon.
The soon-to-be elementary school graduates of Deauville Gardens East, Deauville Gardens West, Susan E. Wiley and Great Neck Road elementary schools celebrated the completion of their grade school years during their respective Class Day ceremonies on June 20 and 21.
Joined by district administrators, faculty members, parents and invited guests, the students proceeded two by two into the ceremony.
“The Star-Spangled Banner” was performed by students at each school, which included members of the fifth grade ensemble and members of the American Sign Language Club. Each school’s respective principal welcomed guests to the ceremony. Student council officers greeted their classmates at each of the ceremonies and shared some of the highlights of their last six years together.
Special awards were presented for academic merit and excellence, citizenship, President’s Awards for Educational Excellence and Educational Improvement, PTA Citizenship Award, principal’s awards, most improved awards, ELA/Math awards and the Joseph Ferriso Memorial Award at Deauville Gardens East Elementary School.
For the presentation of the fifth grade diplomas, each student was called up to the stage to be celebrated and acknowledged individually. The fifth grade teachers read each name and principal’s presented the diplomas. Students also showed off their musical talents by performing a variety of selections, including their elementary class songs for the final performance.
Deauville Gardens East
Deauville Gardens West
Great Neck Road
Susan E. Wiley
Watch how Great Neck Road students witnessed the metamorphosis of the butterfly.
Copiague School District administrators and Board of Education members recognized the faculty and staff members who will be retiring at the end of the 2018-2019 school year and also acknowledged teachers who were granted tenure during the June board of education meeting.
Superintendent of School Dr. Kathleen Bannon, board of education members and district administrators offered their congratulations to the seven retirees, who have more than 170 years of combined service to the district. Retiring at the end of the school year are: Pete Cesare, director of physical education and athletics (32 years); Monica Csorny, science teacher, Copiague Middle School (23 years); Lorraine DeLuca, office assistant, Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School (16 years); Carol Geakel, assistant cook, Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School (15 years); Victoria Miranda, office assistant, Susan E. Wiley Elementary School (27 years); Diana Murphy, food service worker, Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School (28 years); and Sarah Rowan, ESL teacher, Copiague Middle School (31 years).
Seven Copiague School District teachers – Brittni Ferlazzo, Copiague Middle School mathematics teacher; Courtney Folan, Copiague Middle School music teacher; Susan Graber, Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School special education teacher; Brittany Jones, Copiague Middle School special education teacher; Maria Kennedy, Copiague Middle School psychologist; Lauren Lupinacci, Copiague Middle School special education teacher and Melissa Maggio. Great Neck Road Elementary school teacher – who were recently granted tenure, were also celebrated prior to the board of education meeting.
Deauville Gardens West students are learning all about gardening and plants this month. Kindergarten students learned about the different parts of the plants, while second graders planted their own seeds and watched their plants grow over a number of weeks.
The Copiague School District celebrated the accomplishments of its student-athletes both on and off the playing field during the 19th annual spring sports awards dinner sponsored by the Copiague Booster Club.
Coaches, administrators, board of education members, friends and family gathered to share the notable accomplishments of the sports teams in varsity softball, boys lacrosse, girls track, girls lacrosse, baseball and boys track.
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 recipients.
Six Golden Eagle Awards were presented to students from each team with the highest cumulative grade point average. This year’s receipients were: Kiara Bennett (girls track); Christopher Caneguez (boys track); Victor Gamarra (boys lacrosse); Henry Molina (baseball); Kriyal Patel (girls lacrosse); and Carol Rodriguez Rodriguez (softball).
Three special memorial awards were presented to student-athletes for boys lacrosse and baseball. The Jared J. Pennington Memorial Lacrosse Award was given to Tquan Wint, D. Johnson Moline was the recipient of the Sean Ryan Noonan Memorial Lacrosse Award, and Justin Taveras received the Daniel O’Connell Memorial Baseball Award.
Fifteen student-athletes were named Gold Key winners. The Gold Key Award is the highest honor in the section that an athlete can receive for sports participation. It is awarded to student-athletes who letter in eight junior varsity or varsity seasons in grades 10-12. Copiague School District Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kathleen Bannon presented each winner with a special pin. Winners were: Jackson Bright, Christopher Carbajal Vargas, Ajhani Carroll, Luis Castillo, Nia Cooper, Robert Elias, Emmanuel Espinal, Aryes Garrett, Melinda Harris, James Holland, John Jerrick, Faith McCombs, Kriyal Patel, Melissa Perdomo and Eric Tavarez.
The rain held off long enough for the third through fifth grade classes
at Deauville Gardens West Elementary School to enjoy their Field Day on
Students at Deauville Gardens West Elementary School are working on their technology and coding skills. The students are using programs like Code Monkey to begin their coding journey. Students even used coding language to create their own paper pizzas.
Students in Nancy Csorny’s class at Deauville Gardens East Elementary School had a hands-on lesson in coding with the district’s director of technology Kelly Urraro and the building’s technology mentor Cynthia Ruiz on May 3. The class participated in three different coding activities. They were tasked with coding the Dash robot to go through mazes and bowl. Students also created mazes using color coded markers for the Ozobots to follow on paper. They worked in groups to write their own step by step code and acted it out when it was completed.
Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School art students in Christie Layden’s ceramic class had an in-school Raku firing field trip with guest artist Gina Mars. Students learned how to build an outdoor kiln, fire their work using traditional Raku techniques and then learned techniques on the potter’s wheel.
Check out the high school students working on their ceramics project.
Kindergartners at Susan E. Wiley Elementary School recently showed off their musical abilities during their music class with music teacher Nicole Davidson. After singing a St. Patrick’s-themed song, the students took turns using the xylophone to the tune of “The Itsy Bitsy Spider.” The kindergartners also fine-tuned their skills using rhythm sticks and egg shakers.
Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School celebrated the many successes of its science research students during the fifth annual science symposium held in the school’s cafeteria. Invited guests, district administrators, board of education members, Town of Babylon officials and local members of the science community gathered at the symposium to recognize the students’ accomplishments.
“[Almost 10 years ago], we had the idea we should have a science research program; we knew we had science students walking through our halls who could achieve great things in science,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kathleen Bannon. “We had a germ of an idea to start the science research program; that was nurtured by [science research teachers] Mrs. Locker and Dr. Lecesse. They took that idea and grew it into what you see today.”
Research students – from the introduction to research, independent and advanced research classes – had the opportunity to showcase their project during a poster presentation walk before and after the symposium, allowing attendees an opportunity to speak with the students about their projects. Thirteen science research students presented a brief overview of 10 different projects to the audience, many of which have garnered notable awards throughout the school year.
“The research and recognition you receive at competitive events speaks to the quality and timeliness of your projects,” said Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School Principal Joseph Agosta. “Your successes also speak to the support and guidance you receive from your mentors both at the Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School and the variety of institutions with which you collaborate. We celebrate the scientific knowledge of our outstanding students today. These intellectual powerhouses have demonstrated that they can recognize problems, understand experimental methods, organize and interpret data, understand how data relates to the solution of a problem, plan experiments and test hypotheses and make generalizations and assumptions. These are the students that will change the world.”
Making fun out of a multiplication lesson, second grade students at Great Neck Road Elementary School practiced their skills during hands-on activities. Some students used Play-Doh, which was rolled up into small balls to make different arrays. Other classes tested their array knowledge using Cheez-Its, while yet another class crafted their own “array of sunshine.”
In an effort to alleviate the fear of hospitals and doctors, kindergartners got hands-on as they played the role of caregivers during a teddy bear clinic on May 7.
Representatives from Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip visited with students at Great Neck Road Elementary School in the Copiague School District to teach them about seatbelt, helmet and bike safety and how to care for injuries by practicing on their own stuffed animals from home.
The class learned about the importance of injury prevention and how to keep safe in the car. Using an egg, the students had a chance to see what could happen during sporting and other activities if they don’t wear a helmet.
During the hands-on portion of the educational program, the kindergartners became the doctor as they took care of their stuffed animals. After they applied bandages to their wounds and aftercare instructions to their stuffed friends, the students nursed them back to health with plenty of hugs.
Spring has sprung at Deauville Gardens East Elementary School and third graders are hard at work honing their literacy and mathematical skills this April. Students in Ms. Masure’s class are working on fraction fun by creating a bulletin board using fraction flowers. Ms. Newman’s class also created a bulletin board to show off their poetic prowess and Ms. Nicolini’s class used board games as a fun way to practice their math skills. In Ms. Byrne’s class, the students recently read the “One and Only Ivan.” Students created posters about the gorilla and shared their work with the fourth graders.
Kindergartners at Great Neck Road Elementary School showed their moms and invited guests just how special they are with Mother’s Day festivities in their respective classrooms.
Invited guests were welcomed to Jeanne DeMott’s kindergarten class, where the students shared snacks and showed off their artistic abilities with creative gifts. Students presented their special women with handmade flowers, a photo album and songs about how much they mean to them. Each student then recited a poem in the front of the class about what makes their mother so special.
Students in Natalia Brite’s kindergarten class used their writing skills to rework the book “If You Give a Moose a Muffin” to “If You Give a Mom a Muffin.” They presented their books, along with handmade vases, to their guests during a Muffins with Mom tea party.
Second-graders in Jackie Oquendo’s class at Susan E. Wiley Elementary School are practicing their math fluency in fun ways. The classroom divides into different math centers and rotates through different stations to hone their addition and subtraction skills. In one station, students used dice, the students tested their fluency with math word problems, while another station used popsicle sticks to work on different placement values. Students also played math games using their Chromebooks.
Driver’s education students at Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School had a hands-on lesson in the dangers of driving under the influence from the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff’s S.T.O.P.P.E.D. program uses simulation driving carts to teach the consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol. Students drove a pedal car through a cone maze while wearing goggles that impair their vision and balance. After the simulated driving portion, students then had to wear the goggles and walk through the maze with a partner, trying to avoid the cones and get home safely.
After learning about the food chain, students in Mrs. Ramstein’s fifth-grade class at Great Neck Road Elementary School got hands-on during a science lesson. The students dissected owl pellets and charted their findings, which included bones and other natural artifacts that helped to tell the story of the owls' habitats and food choices.
Members of the student council at Deauville Gardens West Elementary School spent April doing their part to spread the message of protecting the earth around their school.
The student council visited classrooms in kindergarten through second grade to speak to students about the environment. After reading “Pesky Plastic: An Environmental Story,” the fifth-grade members of the student council shared information with the younger students on how they could protect the oceans.
The student council members made a poster and crafted a matching game featuring the characters from the book. The game required students to match the animal to the proper food they were supposed to be eating in the ocean and “recycle” the plastics to match up with a recycling bin when they uncovered those cards. Students in grades three through five also participated in an Earth Day project by crafting their own bookmarks for a schoolwide contest.
Prior to their spring recess, first graders at Deauville Gardens West Elementary School went on a math egg hunt to practice their skills. Students worked on place values by matching eggs to their numbers and filling them with the correct number of beads. They also practiced addition, subtraction and word problems themed for the spring holidays.
The varsity club from Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School attended the AHRC Suffolk’s second annual Polar Splash on April 13 at the Bay Shore Marina. The club raised $200 to donate to the AHRC Suffolk by selling coffee and hot chocolate during parent-teacher conferences. The student-athletes who attended were able to brave the bay in 40 degree temperatures for a good cause.