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Walter G. O'Connell Copiague High School

9th Grade Orientation – 8/28 @ 10:30 – 12:15

1100 Dixon Avenue
Copiague, New York 11726
(631) 842-4010
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Joseph M. Agosta
Assistant Principals: Tamika Eason, Jonathan Cutolo, Bradley Reminick, Jonathan Krawchuk

Hours: 7:40 a.m. to 2:23 p.m.
Students: 1,600
Faculty: 131


HS Graduation Video



The educational program at Walter G. O'Connell Copiague High School is designed to meet the needs of every student through a unique variety of course offerings and support programs. The diversity of the school's student population enriches all who enter its doors and is one of the school community's greatest strengths. The faculty and staff of Walter G. O'Connell Copiague High School believe that a student's high school education is the most important four years of a student's life.

The school serves approximately 1,600 students in grades nine through twelve. Through outstanding academic opportunities, support programs, and counseling, each student is constantly encouraged to reach his/her full potential. Walter G. O'Connell Copiague High School has instituted a successful all-Regents program, an in-school and after-school remediation program, Advanced Placement courses in all disciplines, and offers a wide variety of elective courses such as drama, sports and entertainment marketing, and criminal justice.

Current News

Celebrates Student Success

Celebrates Student Success photo

In an effort to recognize students for their artistic talent, character, academic successes, leadership and citizenship, Copiague School District held its Superintendent’s Art Gallery Inductees and Student Recognition Awards ceremony prior to the June 18 board of education meeting in the Copiague Middle School auditorium.

District administrators, faculty and board of education members gathered with invited students and their guests to celebrate their successes. 

The Superintendent’s Art Gallery inductees and Fine Arts Festival crowd favorites – 34 pieces of art – were on display for the audience to enjoy. Now in its 22nd year, the Superintendent’s Art Gallery began when the Copiague art teachers selected several pieces of student artwork to display. 

Through 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 – three in total this year from the elementary, middle school and high school – were also chosen by the Copiague community during the annual Fine Arts Festival. The crowd favorite artwork is professional framed, and each winner receives a $100 check courtesy of the Copiague Teacher’s Association.

Chosen by the Board of Education, the Student Recognition Awards highlight students for their outstanding achievements. They are presented twice a year to a small number of students for their special accomplishments. Thirty-five students were honored during the ceremony, as board of education members read a brief description from teachers and principals on why the students were designated for the honor.  

“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. 

Copiague’s Class of 2018 marches on

 Copiague’s Class of 2018 marches on photo

Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School celebrated the 59th annual commencement exercises as the graduating Class of 2018 was recognized on June 21 at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood.

Greeted by school administrators, board of education members, family and friends, the 370 members of the Class of 2018 marched in to “Pomp and Circumstance” played by the concert band and directed by Eric Dobmeier. 

Board of Education President Laura Gavey offered congratulatory remarks to the class. “We know that you have worked hard during your educational years and have taken advantage of the many opportunities presented to you to get to this very special night,” she said. “The board has had the pleasure of seeing you excel on the field, the stage and in the classroom during the last four years. The Class of 2018 has definitely made memories both inside and outside of Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School. Tonight is the beginning of the rest of your lives. Please grasp it firmly and head down a path leading to eternal success, which is measured by your happiness.”

Sen. John Brooks also spoke to the soon-to-be graduates and offered words of advice. “Take a minute and look around at your fellow graduates. Fifty years from now, you may not recognize one another but you will remember one another. You will remember what you shared in this school. Treasure the last four years; the friends you made, the things you did, what you learned.”

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kathleen Bannon imparted words of wisdom by sharing the song “Humble and Kind” by Tim McGraw with the students. “When I think about this class, I marvel how you have exceled in the classrooms, on the athletic fields, on the stage and everywhere in between,” she said. “You have certainly left an indelible mark on Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School. You are to be commended for all of the positive energy, effort and dedication you put into everything you did while you were in high school. I wish you all the best in whatever your future holds for you.”

Salutatorian Samantha Sanchez urged her classmates to embrace their fears and follow their dreams. “I know many of us are scared of what’s to come and are not certain of what our next stage of life will look like,” she said. “No matter what plans you make for the future, we can’t predict the paths we will go down. Each of us has a purpose in this world; each one of us is a puzzle piece of what we call humanity and the goal is to find where we fit as individuals. We will go through highs and lows and those points in our lives will mold us and shape us into who we will become.” 

Valedictorian Alexandra Saczawa talked about setting goals and working hard. “Some of you might still not be sure of what you want to happen in the future and all of these things are ok because it’s the journey that you will remember and not the destination,” she said. “However, during the journey, it is important that you have some sort of purpose. Without a purpose in life, people become lifeless and feel as if their life has no meaning. My parting advice to my class is to always set goals for yourself. Even if they are constantly changing, always have something to work toward and always try to improve yourself to ensure that you are growing as a person. Also, stay confident in yourself and know that you are capable of being great because everyone sitting in front of me can do amazing things if they set their minds to it.”

Principal Joseph Agosta encouraged the graduates to make their mark on the world. “When you look back and reflect, you will recognize that there was so much support these past 13 years,” he said. “You were supported by loving families, caring and dedicated teachers and administrators, a board of education focused on providing you with the skills needed to help you reach your potential, stand on your own and take your place as productive world citizens. Looking forward, much is expected of you and I have great confidence in your abilities. As you move on in life, remember the values, pride and sense of community each member of the Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School staff has worked so hard to provide.”

Class of 2018 Senior Class President Shannon Corr presented the class gift — a donation to the incoming freshman class and funds to help beautify the senior courtyard — to Assistant Principal Jonathan Cutolo. Mr. Cutolo and Assistant Principal Jonathan Krawchuk then called the names of each member of the Class of 2018, where Dr. Bannon and Mr. Agosta presented them with their diplomas.

Mr. Agosta instructed the students to then turn their tassels and officially pronounced them Class of 2018 graduates. After tossing their caps high in the air, the students marched out to “Chorale and March.”

Class of 2018 Awards Recognize Standout Students

Class of 2018 Awards Recognize Standout Students photo

Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School honored its soon-to-be graduates of the Class of 2018 at the annual senior awards ceremony on June 7. Gathered in the school’s auditorium, the seniors were recognized for their hard work and dedication during the last 13 years.

Following the national anthem sung by Nicholas Favichia, Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School Principal Joseph Agosta welcomed the audience and praised the students for their passion and motivation. “You are here today because of your unwavering drive for success every day,” he said. 

Surrounded by family and friends, as well as members of the board of education, central and high school administration and teaching staff, more than $70,000 in local, memorial and organizational scholarships were presented to deserving seniors. In addition, students were presented with the Principal’s Recognition Award and the New York State Department of Education Academic Excellence Awards. 

To close out the evening, Mr. Agosta presented awards to the Top 10 students in the Class of 2018. 

Dellecave Award Receipients Honored

Dellecave Award Receipients Honored photo
The Economic Opportunity Council of Suffolk and the Butch Dellecave Foundation recognized the top Suffolk County senior male and female from each school who show excellence in athletics, academics and the community. Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School students Akajia Atkins and Joshua Lester received the 2018 award at a ceremony on June 10. They are pictured with (from left) Bill Bennett, physical education teacher and baseball coach, Toni Spencer physical education teacher and track coach, and Copiague athletic director Pete Cesare.

Meet Franklin Parra

Meet Franklin Parra photo

Name: Franklin Parra

Age: 18

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.

Retirees, Newly Tenured Teachers Honored

Retirees, Newly Tenured Teachers Honored 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 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.   

Poetry Slam Dunk

Poetry Slam Dunk photo
Students in Anastasia Kourtis’ class poetry slam class at Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School spent the year learning about different poets and writing their own poetry. Each week, a new poet was spotlighted. Students learned about the poet then wrote a poem that was inspired by the author. At the end of the year, students created their own scrapbook of original poems. Students designed their own cover, title, dedication page and selected 16 poems for their original book of poetry.

Honoring Spring Student-Athletes

Honoring Spring Student-Athletes photo

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).

Top Musicians, Artists Inducted into Fine Arts Honor Society

Top Musicians, Artists Inducted into Fine Arts Honor Society photo
Top Musicians, Artists Inducted into Fine Arts Honor Society photo 2
Top Musicians, Artists Inducted into Fine Arts Honor Society photo 3
Top Musicians, Artists Inducted into Fine Arts Honor Society photo 4
For their strong commitment to the arts, 45 Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School students were inducted into the Tri-M Music Honor Society or National Art Honor Society. The musically and artistically gifted students were honored during a ceremony on May 21 surrounded by family, friends, district administrators and members of the board of education. 

“These students are role models for the younger students,” said Coordinator of Fine Arts Jennifer Ross-Troise. “Not only are they outstanding musicians and artists, they are outstanding community members. They have continued to engrain themselves into the school and local community.”

During the ceremony, honor society advisers shared examples of the high level of talent and community service contributions of their society members. Each society’s executive board members explained the criteria a student must exhibit to be inducted into the society. As their name was read aloud, new inductees received a certificate and pin. In unison, they were led in reciting the pledge of the Tri-M Music and National Art honor societies. 

Honorary lifetime membership for the Tri-M Honor Society was given to Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School band director Eric Dobmeier, inducted based on student nominations. For the National Art Honor Society, Copiague Middle School art teacher Maria Ostrofsky received lifetime membership.

The event also featured artwork by graduating Copiague seniors who plan to major in art or music at the college level in the fall.

The district congratulates the following 19 students on their induction into the Tri-M Music Honor Society: Jonathan Angel; Alfred Barredo, Emely Castillo, Dahlia Claros-Sanchez; Lauren David; Destiny Delacruz, Osazuwa Eghafona; Elizabeth Garrovillos; Joanna Hernandez; James Holland; Jamila Jackson; Maybi Mendez; Zuri Milliner; Samantha Modeste; Aidan Murphy; Donna Rivera; Linda Strzelecki; Serra Vardar; and Oktay Yildiz.

The district congratulates the following 26 students on their induction into the National Art Honor Society: Adam Antosiak; Akajia Atkins; Briana Batista; Shani Bennett; Sophia Bright; Julia Brzozka; Esdras Canales; Ajaz Chaudhry; Dominique Clement; Jahny Cuffy; Destiny Delacruz; Gabriela Espino; Jocelyn Fernandez; Gim Elger Gousse; Kimberly Martinez; Zuri Milliner; Sheza Mirza; Amy Moskowitz; Leslie Reyes-Verde; Donna Rivera; Rianna Rivera; Breon Sutton; Gabriel Tejada Nunez; Kenneth Tejada; Kyle Tobias; and Nicholas Vetere.

Getting a Kick Out of Bubble Soccer

Getting a Kick Out of Bubble Soccer photo
Getting a Kick Out of Bubble Soccer photo 2
Getting a Kick Out of Bubble Soccer photo 3
Getting a Kick Out of Bubble Soccer photo 4
On May 23, Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School’s Varsity Club members competed against each other in an end-of-year game of bubble soccer. Organized by Long Island Bubble Soccer, the participants spent the afternoon laughing and bouncing around the gymnasium.

Science Symposium Shows Off STEM Skills

Science Symposium Shows Off STEM Skills photo

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.”

Drama Club Helps Elementary Students via Role Play

Drama Club Helps Elementary Students via Role Play photo

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.

Student-Athletes Commit to College Sports

Student-Athletes Commit to College Sports photo
Student-Athletes Commit to College Sports photo 2
Copiague School District’s student-athletes who will be continuing their sport at the collegiate level were recognized during a ceremony hosted by the athletic department, coaches and athletic director Pete Cesare on May 15.

Student-athletes Akajia Atkins (girls track, Stony Brook University), Ashley Jean-Raymond (girls cross-country, North Carolina Central University) and Franklin Parra (baseball, San Jacinto College-North) have all signed national letters of intent to continue their sports next fall in college. In addition, several other students have committed to play at the collegiate level. The district congratulates: 

Kyria Moore (girls track, Stony Brook University); Hailey Fiordiliso (field hockey, Molloy College); Taylor Wolf (field hockey, Molloy College); Telisa Washington (soccer, Delaware State University); Rianna Rivera (volleyball, College of Mount Saint Vincent); Jose Acosta Jr. (football, LIU Post); Joshua Lester (baseball, University of New Haven); Giuseppe Dattolo (football, Curry College); and Joseph Gomez (boys track, SUNY Buffalo). 

Copiague Track Teams Take First at Urban & Walsh Meet

Copiague Track Teams Take First at Urban & Walsh Meet photo

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. 

Copiague Baseball Field Dedicated to Former Athletic Director

Copiague Baseball Field Dedicated to Former Athletic Director photo
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Copiague Baseball Field Dedicated to Former Athletic Director photo 3
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To recognize the many contributions he has made to both the school and the community, Copiague School District dedicated its baseball field to Tom “T-Bone” Giordano at a ceremony on May 11. Surrounded by community members, school district administrators, board of education members and friends and family, the sign marking the field’s new moniker was unveiled.

Mr. Giordano has been involved in the baseball community for 71 years. He served as Copiague’s athletic director from 1968-1979. He has been a Major League player, a minor league manager and spent many years as a professional scout. Mr. Giordano is currently a scout for the Atlanta Braves. He was inducted into the Professional Scouting Hall of Fame in 2008.

Ray Negron, community advisor for the New York Yankees, and friend of Mr. Giordano, spoke about his guidance through the years. “You are a true mentor and have done so much for so many people,” he said. “And you are still doing it every day. Copiague, he is a part of you and 100 years from now, you can look at this sign and remember Tom Giordano.”

Copiague varsity baseball coach Bill Bennett, along with the Copiague athletic department, varsity and junior varsity baseball teams, presented Mr. Giordano with a Copiague baseball jersey and made him an honorary team captain. 

“There are so many people in Copiague, present and past, that played an important part in helping me become a member of the Copiague faculty,” Mr. Giordano said. “Copiague became a great part of my life. The years that I had at Copiague were not even paralleled by my years in baseball. This is where I started and this is why I am so happy to be here today.”