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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.

Hip Hop Club Creates Positive Culture

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Hip Hop Club Creates Positive Culture Photo 2
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.

Track Stars Shine at Penn Relays

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Track Stars Shine at Penn Relays Photo 3
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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.

Students Recognized for Safe Driving Skills

Students Recognized for Safe Driving Skills Photo
Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School students Rachel Korba and Juan Miguel Gubisch have been awarded AAA’s Driver Education Award as outstanding students in their school’s driver education course. They were selected on the basis of demonstrated driving skills, knowledge of the rules of the road, and a mature attitude and approach to driving.

The purpose of the award is to not only recognize outstanding high school driver education students, but to also encourage all young drivers to develop the skills and attitudes that will contribute to their being safe drivers.

Winter Sports All-Stars

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Congratulations to the student-athletes who were awarded for their play on the field and in the classroom during the winter 2016-2017 sports season. For a full list of winners, click here.

Firsthand Lesson in History

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Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School students had a firsthand lesson in history when guest speaker Spirit Trickey, daughter of Minnijean Brown-Trickey, a civil rights movement icon who was part of the Little Rock Nine, visited the school on March 31.

Students in the Facing History and Ourselves classes studied the civil rights movement in depth prior to her visit to the high school. Trickey told students that she started to think about the importance of history and activism during her last years in high school. “I was failing math at 17 and when my mother was that age she was changing the world,” she said.
She described the challenges growing up as a biracial child and shared her experiences as the chief of interpretation and public information officer at Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site.

Trickey is the playwright of One Ninth, an exploration of human dignity and racial conflict as seen through the eyes of her mother. She is one of 10 Americans who won the “Ticket to History” essay contest (with more than 250,000 submissions) to witness the inauguration of President Barack Obama, and attend the Inaugural Ball. In 2010, she was named one of the “Top 100 History Makers in the Making” by the and featured on NBC Nightly.

Business-Savvy Students Pose a Revival Plan

Business-Savvy Students Pose a Revival Plan Photo

On March 29, the Walter G. O’Connell Industry Advisory Board hosted its first Business Olympics in the Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School auditorium.

Teams of business students were given the task to remediate and revitalize an abandoned building at 1305 S. South Strong Ave. in Copiague. Four teams of students – BizHub, Eagles on Wheels, Vovola and Revival – presented a variety of innovative ideas during their 10-minute presentations, followed by a five-minute question and answer session from judges.

Each team created a Google presentation, commercial for their business and promotional materials to present to the judges. Judges included Industry Advisory Board members from local community businesses, Copiague School District administrators and faculty and Copiague Board of Education members.

The winner was Team Revival for their gym/spa combination. This team included Kriyal Patel, Jeannie Guelee, Catherine Gonzales and Alexsandra Bugajczyk.

A ‘Sea’ of Talent

A ‘Sea’ of Talent Photo

Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School presented its version of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” from March 16-18. Performances took place in the high school auditorium.

Leading the cast were Jade Dickenson (Ariel); Kishaar Hodge (Sebastian); Lesly DeCastro (Prince Eric); Crystal Betz (Ursula); Amy Rodriguez (Flounder); Nick Favichia (Scuttle); Kyree Scott (Grimsby); and Alec Soltau (King Triton). 

The musical was produced and directed by teachers Michelle Budion and Gina Occhiogrosso with the support of the district’s Fine Arts Coordinator Jennifer Pierre-Louis.