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Showcasing Student Achievements

Showcasing Student Achievements Photo

Copiague School District recognized its finest artists and student achievements during a special ceremony held prior to the June 19 board of education meeting.

District administrators, faculty and board members gathered with invited students and their guests in the Copiague Middle School auditorium to celebrate their successes. 

Chosen by the Board of Education, the Student Recognition Awards highlight students for their outstanding achievements in their academic, fine arts or community service. They are presented twice a year to a small number of students for their special accomplishments. “Publicly recognizing excellence is our way of celebrating some of the great successes of the Copiague schools’ programs and, at the same time, enabling us to showcase outstanding role models to our school community,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kathleen Bannon. 

Twenty students were honored during the ceremony, as board members read a brief description from teachers and principals on why the students were chosen for the award. 

The 2017 Superintendent’s Art Gallery inductees and Fine Arts Festival crowd favorites were on display for the audience to enjoy. Now in its 21st year, the Superintendent’s Art Gallery began when the Copiague art teachers selected several pieces of student artwork to display. 

Over the years, the collection has grown to provide a showcase of student artwork in corridors and offices in each of the schools. Each of the framed pieces is identified by a brass plate noting the student-artist’s name, grade level and year the piece was completed. Crowd favorite art pieces – four in total this year from the elementary, middle school and high school – are also chosen by the community during the annual Fine Arts Festival. 

Closing the Middle School Chapter

Closing the Middle School Chapter Photo

More than 400 eighth-grade students from Copiague Middle School celebrated the end of their middle school days and the beginning of their high school years during two moving up ceremonies on June 21 at the Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School auditorium.

With central administrators, board of education members, families and invited guests in attendance, the future Class of 2021 proceeded into the ceremony to “Pomp and Circumstance” played by select members of the Tri-M Music Honor Society and gathered on the stage to celebrate the culmination of their middle school careers.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kathleen Bannon offered words of advice and encouragement to the future high schoolers. “Take advantage of all the high school has to offer,” she said. “Your middle school teachers have prepared you well for the next chapter. Continue to work hard and put in the effort and you will continue to be successful. I challenge you to join the clubs, musical groups or sports that interest you. I encourage you to get involved in high school.”

Student Council president Aniyah Woods addressed her fellow classmates and echoed Dr. Bannon’s sentiments. “In high school, we all have a chance to get involved,” she said. “High school offers many opportunities and it is important to take advantage of all of them.”

Principal Andrew Lagnado advised the eighth-graders to get out of their comfort zone and take a risk. “These next four years will lay the groundwork for your future,” he said. 

Assistant principals Stephanie Valeiko and Michael Ferretti called each student center stage to present his or her diploma before the class exited to “March and Chorale.”

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.”

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.  

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. 

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.

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.”