Name: Franklin Parra
Hometown: Copiague, NY
Elementary School Attended: In Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Write a Three-Word Scouting Report on Yourself: Great athleticism, competitor, student of the game
Favorite Current MLB Player: Luis Severino, New York Yankees
Favorite Sport to Play Other Than Baseball: Basketball
Favorite Sport to Watch Other Than Baseball: NBA basketball
Favorite All-Time Professional Athlete: Pedro Martinez
My Favorite Copiague Baseball Memory: My favorite baseball memory from Copiague is when I got my first win of my senior year. It was exciting pitching in front of big league scouts. It was great that my teammates were able to finish the game and preserve the win for me after I came out of the game.
My Role Model/Inspiration: Definitely my Dad. He is a hard working man who always made baseball possible for me. Even though he worked many hours, he would always make sure that I was able to play and to get where I needed to go.
What Will You Miss the Most About Copiague: My coach, Coach Bennett, and the relationship we had. My teammates and some of my teachers, especially Ms. Alyssa Marino, who helped me so much through school with my academics and offering caring guidance and support along the way.
In Five Years, I Will Be: Hopefully standing on the mound pitching at Citi Field for the New York Mets in front of thousands, but most importantly in front of my family and Coach Bennett.
Copiague School District administrators and Board of Education members recognized the faculty and staff members who will be retiring at the end of the 2017-2018 school year and also acknowledged teachers who were granted tenure during the June 4 board of education meeting.
Superintendent of School Dr. Kathleen Bannon, board of education members, district administrators and department chairs offered their congratulations to the 17 retirees, who have more than 400 years of combined service to the district. Retiring at the end of the school year are: Rosary Bertuzzi, foreign language teacher (32 years, HS); Vincent Calla, security aide (13 years, central office); Denise Cordella, elementary teacher (33 years, Susan E. Wiley Elementary); Karen Coyle, elementary teacher (32 years, Deauville Gardens East Elementary); Marie Deblasio-Silsdorf, social studies teacher (26 years, Middle School); Linda Drenckhauhn, elementary teacher (18 years, Susan E. Wiley Elementary); William Estees, security guard (20 years, HS); Patricia Field, senior clerk typist (19 years, HS); Lissette Feliz, foreign language teacher (14 years, Middle School); Lisa Flores, speech teacher (32 years, Deauville Garden East/Great Neck Road); Louise Gravina, elementary teacher (23 years, Great Neck Road Elementary); Linda Herbst, special education teacher (34 years, Middle School); Michael Kelly, elementary principal (14 years, Deauville Gardens West Elementary); Robert Pasqualone (12 years, HS); Maria Riviello, foreign language teacher (32 years, HS); Marie Salvia, senior clerk typist (23 years, Deauville Gardens West Elementary); and Karen Swenson, music teacher (34 years, Susan E. Wiley Elementary).
Thirteen Copiague School District administrators and teachers – Jeanette Altruda, Natalie Aviles, Kristina Biamonte, Karla Cangelosi, Ashley Cuffaro, Crystal Dicioccio, Heidi Fehring, Deysi Garcia, Alyssa Marino, Danya Plochochi, Vanessa Soto, Jennifer Spizuco and Katie Zecha – who were recently granted tenure, were also celebrated prior to the board of education meeting.
Eighth-grade students in Travis White’s Studio in Art class recently
displayed their talents in a collaborative street art project that
celebrates their skills and talents through the pop culture medium.
Bethel AME Church – Kingz Kidz
June 25-August 17
Breakfast: 8:30-9:45 a.m.
Lunch: 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
20 Simmons St., Copiague
Christian Life Center Church
July 9-August 17
Lunch: 12-1 p.m.
450 Bayview Avenue
Copiague Memorial Public Library
July 9-August 24
Breakfast: Mondays and Thursdays Only
Lunch: Tuesdays and Fridays
11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
50 Deauville Blvd., Copiague
North Amityville Pool
July 9-August 17
Lunch: 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m.
Albany Avenue, North Amityville
To honor the accomplishments of its student-athletes both on and off the field, Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School held its 18th annual Spring Sports Awards in the school’s cafeteria on May 22. Sponsored by the Copiague Booster Club, the event brought together invited guests, coaches, administrators and board of education members to celebrate the accolades of its athletes 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 receipients.
Six Golden Eagle Awards were presented to students from each team with the highest cumulative grade point average. This year’s receipients were: Nicole Hernandez (girls track); Christopher Canenguez (boys track); Victor Gamarra (boys lacrosse); Justin Taveras (baseball); Kriyal Patel (girls lacrosse); and Samantha Sanchez (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 Keenon White, Jonathan Angel was the recipient of the Sean Ryan Noonan Memorial Lacrosse Award, and Matthew Collins received the Daniel O’Connell Memorial Baseball Award.
Seven 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: Akajia Atkins (soccer, winter track, spring track); Joseph Gomez (football, winter track, spring track); Ashley Jean-Raymond (cross-country, winter track, spring track); Antoine Moore (cross-country, basketball, winter track, spring track); Kyria Moore (volleyball, winter track, spring track); Wilmer Reyes (soccer, football, wrestling, spring track); and Telisa Washington (soccer, winter track, spring track).
The fourth annual Science Research Symposium at Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School on May 17 celebrated the outstanding accomplishments of the high school’s science students.
Joined by district administrators, board of education members, representatives from the Town of Babylon, members of the science department and invited guests, the students in the independent science research program, the advanced science research program and the introduction to science research program showed off their award-winning works.
“These powerhouses have worked tirelessly – after school, before school and on weekends – to present their best work,” said science teacher Tracy Wenzler. “The teachers and the mentors have lent their time – their most valuable resource – to these students and they have worked tirelessly to present their hard work. They are helping to bring our science program to new heights each year.”
Fourteen science research students presented a brief overview of eight different projects, many of which have garnered notable 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.
Zachary Wilson, a Copiague alumnus and one of the first students to participate in the science research, was the keynote speaker. He presented his senior thesis to the audience.
Each student in the program was presented a certificate by science Chairperson Renee Locker in recognition of his or her accomplishments this school year. “I am very humbled at the success and dedication of our students,” Locker said. “I am very happy with all of the new partnerships we have made and the fact that we are producing some of the top STEM students here in Copiague.”
Students at Great Neck Road Elementary School had a special visit from members of the Drama Club from Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School on May 18. During two performances, the high school students improvised different scenes for the younger students based on social issues they may encounter. The students played out scenes that involve bullying, being left out, anxiety about moving to a new school and how to deal with different/changing friendships over the years. The goal was to give the elementary students the tools to learn how to react in these different scenarios.
Click here to see what these electrical students are doing.
Fifth-grade student council members at Susan E. Wiley Elementary School shared their appreciation for the special mentors at their school during an Honor a Teacher celebration on May 21.
The fifth-graders chose a person who has inspired them during their time at Susan E. Wiley. Joining the teachers were administrators, assistants, aides and cafeteria workers. The students presented them with a plaque, and wrote about why they have been inspirational to them. They connected one on one with their mentors and asked them questions about what inspired them.
For the eighth consecutive year, Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School hosted the Urban & Walsh Memorial Invitational track meet on May 14. The event, organized by varsity track coaches George Schroeder and John Sack, honors the memory of two former track members, Christopher Urban and Brittany Walsh.
Eighteen boys track teams and 16 girls track teams from across Long Island competed in this year’s meet. The invitational featured 17 events including pole vaulting, the 2,000/3,000 steeplechase, high jump, shot put and discus jump throw. Copiague’s boys and girls track teams took first place in the competition for the first time.
In addition to the standard track and field events, fifth-graders from Copiague’s 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, with each participant receiving a medal.
Some of the highlights of the event for the Copiague girls track team members included: Akajia Atkins, first place and new meet record in the 200-meter dash, second place in the 100-meter dash, and third place in long jump; Ashley Jeanne-Raymond, third place in 1500-meter run, and second place in 800-meter run; Halle Moore, third place in 400-meter run; Samelia Roberts, second place in high jump; and Kyria Moore, first place in shot put.
The Copiague boys track team members also took home some of the top awards including James Holland, first place in long jump; Edgar Tineo, second place in long jump; Joe Gomez, third place in 400-meter hurdles; John Jerrick, third place in 100-meter dash; and Aryes Garrett, second place in 110-meter hurdles and third place in high jump.
The second-grade classes at Great Neck Road Elementary School went on a hands-on, exploratory field trip to the Riverhead Aquarium on May 15. The classes watched the sea lion show in the outdoor arena, observed ocean creatures in the different exhibits and searched for different marine life that matched the clues during a scavenger hunt. Brave students reached into the touch tank to feel sea creatures and feed the stingrays. They also had the opportunity to explore the butterfly, bird and insect room.
To celebrate the special women in their life, kindergartners at Great Neck Road Elementary School held Mother’s Day festivities in their respective classrooms on May 11.
Special guests were welcomed to Jeanne DeMott’s kindergarten class, where the students shared snacks and special gifts. Students presented the special women with handmade flowers, a photo album and songs about how much they mean to them.
In Natalia Brite’s kindergarten class, the students used their literacy skills to rewrite 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.
Select fourth- and fifth-grade students from Deauville Gardens East Elementary School participated in the Suffolk Zone Fit Club competition on May 8 at Lincoln Avenue Elementary School in Sayville.
The students competed against 24 schools from across Suffolk County. The Suffolk Zone Fit Club is designed to teach skills, tools, training and confidence to live a healthier lifestyle while participating in difficult physical challenges. “The students feel part of a team by offering support, encouragement and inspiration to their teammates while helping them achieve their highest level of fitness,” said John Sack, physical education teacher.
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 Bay Shore High School on May 2. 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 Emma Nuzzi and Werly Cormier; Deauville Gardens East Elementary School fifth-graders Chloe Allen Jackson and Taki Mason; Deauville Gardens West Elementary School fifth-graders Jailene Solomon and William Daley; Susan E. Wiley Elementary School fifth-grade students Samantha Fuentes and Alex Juszczak; and Great Neck Road Elementary School fifth-grade students Keila Corona and Anthony Armando Diaz.
Kindergarten students in Caren Steiger’s class at Great Neck Road Elementary had the chance to show off all their favorite parts of their elementary school on May 1. Flat Stanley, who arrived recently from a school in Moravia, New York, was given a guided tour of the building by the kindergartners.
After connecting with the school in upstate New York, the Great Neck Road students sent their Flat Stanley to their partner school and received the other school’s Flat Stanley in return. Flat Stanley, who is the title character in a series of books, met and toured the principal’s office, cafeteria, and nurse’s office and even had the chance to have some fun on the playground. In the upcoming weeks, the class will have a video conference with the partner school and explore the similarities and differences between the schools and communities.
In an effort to help female students find their inspiration and voice, Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School held its second annual voice to voice empowerment session in the school’s library on April 25. The mission of the initiative is to motivate and empower one another through teamwork and conversation. It was developed to provide opportunities for young women to gain awareness of their individual and collection skills, experiences and professional goals.
Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School assistant principal Tamika Eason welcomed the attendees and introduced the school’s Women’s Madrigal Choir, who performed “Rise Up.” This year’s guest speaker, a fitting choice on Administrative Professionals Day, was Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School administrative assistant Jeanette Tobar-Garcia. Ms. Tobar-Garcia spoke to the students about her upbringing, her struggles in a new country and the importance of hard work, education and family.
“You will always make mistakes,” she said. “Knowledge is power and the most important thing you can do is educate yourself.” Following her speech, Ms. Tobar-Garcia answered questions from the audience as part of the voice to voice dialogue. Working together in teams, the students reflected on the lessons learned and shared their thoughts in a brief presentation with their peers.
Great Neck Road Elementary School is coming together for a schoolwide recycled art project. During the first weeks in April, students are painting a rock to resemble a fish during their respective art classes. Inspired by the book “Only One You” by Linda Kranz, Great Neck Road art teacher Meghan Haughney tasked each of the students with creating their own fish-look rocks. In the coming weeks, all of the fish will be placed in rock garden outside of the school.
Showcasing songs throughout the decades, Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School presented its annual POPs concert in the auditorium on April 18.
The Madrigal Singers, lead by choral director Gina Occhiogrosso, kicked off the show with an evolution of music through the years. Jonah Ramdas performed “September” by Earth, Wind and Fire and was followed by the duo of Kyree Scott and Kaitlyn Besse showcasing Elton John’s “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.” Ladrea Buffaloe and Kayla Urban took to the stage for Sia’s rendition of “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile.” Darley Senat sang Demi Lovato’s “Tell Me You Love Me” and was followed by Jamila Jackson with Beyonce’s “Satellites.”
“Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina & The Waves got the audience on their feet, performed by Jessica Chochorek, Liana Daubel, Aryana Arias, Ariano Tirino and Shannon Greenlee. Nicholas Favichia gave a heartfelt performance of Gavin DeGraw’s “Not Over You,” followed by Kayla Dixon’s soulful version of “Praying” by Kesha. Closing out the first half of the show was Montell Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It” performed by James Holland.
Elenys Diaz and Yaderson Espinal showcased their musical talent with Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me,” and Kyree Scott again took the stage for “Love Me Now” by John Legend. Samantha Sloane performed the 21 Pilots version of “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and Jillian Payne belted out Florence and the Machine’s “Dog Days Are Over.” Nicholas Favichia, Kyree Scott, Oktay Yildiz, Kevin Buffalino and Jonah Ramdas showcased Billy Joel’s “The Longest Time.” Solo performances included Jonathan Angel with DJ Snake’s “Let Me Love You;” Taylor Sharpe-Adams with Sam Smith’s “The Writing’s on the Wall;” Andrew Szabo with Frank Sinatra’s “That’s Life;” and Elenys Diaz with James Brown’s “This Is a Man’s World.” The Madrigal Singers and chorus closed the show with a powerful version of Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror.”
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.