The students, staff and administrators at Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School are working to start a chain reaction of kindness in their school, local community and beyond, thanks to a presentation on Oct. 11.
After two hourlong assemblies presented by Rachel’s Challenge, the school is committed to performing acts of kindness and compassion. Based on the life philosophy of Rachel Joy Scott, the first victim of the Columbine High School shooting in 1999, the challenge gives students an opportunity to see just how far a little kindness will go.
Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School students were presented with five challenges: look for the best in others; dream big; choose positive influences; speak with kindness; and start your own chain reaction. Students signed a banner to pledge their commitment to the challenge.
“Students learned the valuable lesson of how going out of your way to help someone else could be life changing,” said Jonathan Cutolo, assistant principal. “Rachel’s story provided examples of how she changed people’s life with a simple hello or a kind remark and its message has reached across the globe.”
In addition to the two assemblies, more than 100 Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School students and 20 staff members participated in a training session to help spread Rachel’s Challenge. Students worked in groups to brainstorm ways to promote kindness and reduce/eliminate the negative use of social media by other students. They also created goals/initiatives to implement throughout the school year.
More than 150 students and their families attended an evening presentation at the high school. Parents were able to see portions of the students’ presentation from the morning and learn how the program can spread positive change.
The Deavuille Gardens West PTA hosted a family fun night on Oct. 11. The
night featured a fall celebration full of games, dancing and face
More than 100 students and their families gathered together on the evening of Oct. 4 to celebrate their love of literacy. Susan E. Wiley Elementary School held its first Family Literacy Night of the school year for students in kindergarten through second grade.
The theme was “Read with Me,” and students and their families joined teachers in their classrooms to learn reading strategies parents can use at home. Students and their families read together using “We Both Read” books where each book is specially formatted for a parent and student to take turns reading aloud alternate pages. The parent pages feature higher-level text, while the student pages feature text that matches the student’s reading level.
Susan E. Wiley will hold its next Family Literacy Night for grades 3-5 on Nov. 1.
Thanks to a hands-on experience from the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office, more than three dozen driver’s education students at Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School now have a better understanding of the dangers of drinking and driving.
On Oct. 4, the S.T.O.P.P.E.D. (Sheriffs Telling Our Parents and Promoting Educated Drivers) community education program visited the school to demonstrate the effects of driving while intoxicated. Deputy Thomas Indence and Deputy Thomas Young spoke to the juniors and seniors about how one bad decision to get in the car after consuming alcohol could affect the rest of their lives.
More than just a lecture presentation, students then had the opportunity to test out their driving skills after having too much to drink. Students drove a pedal car through a cone maze while wearing goggles that impair their vision and balance as if under the influence of alcohol. The cones were designated as people and each time they hit a cone, they were responsible for taking a life.
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.
Driver’s education instructor Karen Perrone and members of the Sheriff’s Office have been working together to present the program to Copiague students for the last six years in the hopes of spreading the message.
This summer, incoming pre-K to fifth-grade students had the opportunity
to engage in learning activities during the elementary summer school
program housed at Susan E. Wiley. Check out this video for some of their
hands-on learning activities.
During the week of Sept. 19, students at Deauville Gardens West connected with veterans both near and far. To help the students begin working on their projects for the Town of Babylon’s Veterans Awareness Week Essay Contest, the veterans answered questions and spoke about their time in the military.
On Sept. 19, students in Yolanda Jamiolkowski and Samantha O’Neill’s third-grade class and students in Dana Felicetti’s fourth-grade class had the Google Hangout with U.S. Army Sgt. Jose Pagan. He showed some of the gear he would use while deployed, as well as medals he earned. He talked about how the Army stresses the importance of respect, discipline and teamwork and how the students should use those lessons in their daily lives.
Master Sgt. Chris Geackel visited with different classes in grades three through five on Sept. 20 to talk about his time serving in the Air Force. Geackel, who is a Copiague graduate, currently works as the night custodian at Deauville Gardens West. He worked as a chief education and training officer in the Air Force and served 23 years all around the world. Students asked him about his job and some of the favorite places he was stationed.
Fourth-graders in Megan Moore and Kate Castellano’s class had a special visit from U.S. Navy veteran Harold Murray, who is also Moore’s grandfather. Murray is a Korean War veteran who loved traveling the world during his four years of service. He served on the USS Wallace L. Lind 703 and was a member of the engineering crew.
As a way to recognize and honor the accomplishments and positive impact of its alumni – as well as inspire a future generation – Copiague School District inducted four alumni into the Hall of Achievement during the 20th anniversary ceremony following homecoming festivities on Sept. 16 at Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School.
The four inductees were nominated for their contributions to both the school and the community. They are: Silas W. Kelly, Class of 1971; Dr. Corinthia Price, Class of 1993; Ken Urban, Class of 1993; and Dave Colford, Class of 1994.
“In honoring past graduates of Copiague High School, the Hall of Achievement’s primary purpose is to introduce these alumni as positive and motivating role models to our entire school community,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kathleen Bannon. “Then we keep these role models connected in a variety of ways to our schools and students. By the nature of their accomplishments and services, inductees into the Hall of Achievement inspire our students to reach higher goals.”
Colford is the president and chief revenue officer of Hanley Wood in Washington, D.C. Volunteering is his passion, as he is active in Boy Scouts, serving as an adult volunteer and executive board members of the Suffolk County Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He is also a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Capital Partners for Education, Kiwanis Club and the Lindenhurst PTA.
Kelly graduated from Brooklyn College with dual bachelor’s degrees in broadcast journalism and public communications. He graduated with honors from Adelphi University School of Social Work and is a licensed master social worker. Kelly presently serves as a mental health social worker at Concern for Independent Living Inc. and is a substance use disorder social worker for the Town of Smithtown’s Horizons Counseling and Education Center. He is a youth lecturer and inspirational public speaker and serves on the board of directors for the National Association of Social Workers.
Dr. Price holds a bachelor’s degree in professional studies from New York Institute of Technology, a master’s degree from LIU Post and a doctorate in educational administration from Dowling College. She is the founder and CEO of Workforce Career Readiness, which specializes in workforce and economic development, 21st century college and career readiness, transition planning and re-entry programs for women and incarcerated veterans and youth. She currently serves as chief workforce development strategist and grant reviewer for the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Labor.
Urban has been the manager of a real estate firm in Syosset for the past 15 years and is also a senior litigation specialist throughout New York State. Over the years, Urban has held various positions on the PTA throughout the Copiague School District. For the past 11 years, he has served as president of the Copiague Youth League Baseball/Softball program. He is the treasurer of the District 34 Little League and director of the District 34 imitational tournament.
The community came out in full force to support Copiague School District during its homecoming celebration on Sept. 16. Eagle pride was soaring as the day kicked off with a parade, followed by a fair, football game and Hall of Achievement inductions.
Starting with a parade at Great Neck Road Elementary School, each of the district’s schools, community clubs, activities – as well as athletic teams and musicians – marched down Great Neck Road en route to Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School.
Floats from the senior, junior, sophomore and freshman classes also lined the roadway in this year’s theme of “Through the Decades.” The homecoming court – including king Josh Tavares and queen Kathy Rosado – rode atop convertible cars and waved to the crowd down the parade route.
Following the parade, Copiague Board of Education members, administrators and local government officials gathered on the school’s new turf field to welcome the community. Members of the homecoming court were introduced before the Eagles took on the Huntington Blue Devils. Despite their best efforts, Copiague was defeated by Huntington.
Later in the evening, Copiague celebrated the 20th anniversary of its Hall of Achievement, inducting four new members into the ranks. This year’s honorees were Dave Colford, Class of 1994; Silas W. Kelly, Class of 1971; Dr. Corinthia Price, Class of 1993; and Ken Urban, Class of 1993.
The Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School Class of 2021 toured their new building, received their schedule, became acquainted with administrators and reconnected with their classmates during summer orientation on Aug. 29.
High school administrators, guidance counselors and teachers welcomed the incoming freshman class, along with their parents, as they received their schedules and locker assignments for the upcoming school year.
Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School Principal Joseph Agosta addressed the students and their families as they gathered in the auditorium for an informational session.
“This marks the first step in a very important journey,” Agosta said. “You are now being introduced to the most critical four years in your life that will help prepare you for college and your post-secondary plans.”
Agosta answered some questions generated by students following the spring orientation and also had them preview a “day in the life” of a Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School freshman to give them a better understanding of the building and its workings.
Students ended the orientation with a guided tour of the building by members of one of the school’s 30 different clubs.
Students and staff at Copiague School District were welcomed back for the 2017-2018 school year on Sept. 5. Students were eager to meet their new teachers and classmates as they spent their mornings settling into a routine. Please enjoy a slideshow of pictures from the first day of school.