Pre-K Open House – Dec. 2 at 6:30 pm

The district, in partnership with SCOPE, will launch a Pre-Kindergarten program at Nassakeag Elementary School in Sept. 2015. The community is invited to learn more about this program during an Open House event on Tuesday, Dec. 2 beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium at Nassakeag. Meeting topics will include the vision of what the program will offer the community, as well as give parents an opportunity to view a pre-kindergarten classroom.

To learn more about this program, please view the following presentation:


Promoting PRIDE


Building upon past programs, Ward Melville High School students, faculty and staff focused on creating a culture filled with compassion, acceptance and awareness during this year’s Patriot PRIDE (Peace, Respect, Integrity, Dependability, Encouragement) Day.

Keeping in line with the school’s PBIS program and New York State Dignity for All Students Act regulations, the program offered students many outlets to help create a culture of kindness.

The event began with keynote speaker Shadrack Boakye, who focused on the struggle of humanity and spoke about his personal experiences. Students then had the chance to attend some 30 different thematic workshops with a variety of professionals. Presenters discussed topics such as the Holocaust, how to prevent harassment in college sports, tips for overcoming anxiety and stress, and animal cruelty. Hands-on workshops afforded students the chance to learn about the impact of a group by playing handheld African drums and fashioning 1,000 paper cranes as a symbol of peace.

Ithaca College Choral Composition Contest Images of Stars by Richard Ewer

Letters for Veterans

In honor of Veterans Day, Arrowhead Elementary School’s Kindness and Compassion Club organized a letter-writing campaign to give thanks to those who served our country. Through the initiative, more than 190 letters were created and submitted to the Northport VA Medical Center.

Providing Comfort

In recognition of Veterans Day, R.C. Murphy Junior High School’s SHARP Club gave thanks to those who served the country by organizing a creative project.

Students wrote messages of thanks and hope on pieces of fabric. The completed squares were donated to Operation Quiet Comfort in Alabama and will be used to make quilts for troops overseas.  

Students-Films Debut in NYC

Three talented Ward Melville High School art students – Henry Da Costa, Rose Kelso and Jordan Pollak – were spotlighted on the national stage this fall as the original films they created were viewed during the All-American High School Film Festival at the AMC Theater in Times Square.

The students’ films were selected from applicants from 17 countries and 48 states. As part of the festival, the entrants competed against a number of tough entrants, many of whom came from private arts high schools where students attend film, screen writing classes and other career-related classes each day all year long. In addition, many of the students from these private schools had raised upwards of $20,000 to produce their films.

The students’ entries received high praise during the event and Henry’s film, “Hysteria” was nominated for best horror film.

Teaming Up With the Islanders

With the help of the New York Islanders, Arrowhead Elementary School students focused on the importance of working together and remaining dedicated to their academics during a special assembly program this November.

During the event, representatives from the Islanders and mascot Sparky the Dragon spoke about the importance of teamwork and how students, teachers and school staff members can work together to accomplish a goal. To further demonstrate this concept, several students were challenged to work in a group to try and dress in head-to-toe goalie gear, while a teacher worked to accomplish the task alone.

The assembly also included a video of the current team members relaying what traits make a good teammate, the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle and remaining bully-free.

At the end of the event, the students were encouraged to enter the team’s Blades for Grades program. This initiative rewards students who demonstrate increased academic performance with two tickets to an upcoming Islanders home game.

Grades 7-12 Report Cards Now Viewable in the Portal

First quarter report cards are available for viewing in the Campus Portal in the section called "Reports".

Learning from a Broadway Star

The mysteries of the Great White Way were the topic of conversation when one of Broadway’s rising stars, Giuseppe Bausilio, visited and conducted a dance and master class workshop at P.J. Gelinas Junior High School this fall. The teenage Broadway actor, who has starred in such shows as “Billy Elliot the Musical” and “Newsies,” shared his dancing expertise and experiences as a performer with more than 60 students and staff members. 

During the program, attendees were treated to a performance of “Electricity,” one of “Billy Elliot’s” most popular songs, and participated in a question-and-answer session before engaging in the dance workshop. The students were taught moves that they would eventually put together into a choreographed portion of one of the numbers from “Newsies.”

“It was fun to hear stories of what it is like to work on and perform in a Broadway show,” said ninth-grader Meghan Forte. Added ninth-grader Megan Kuhnel of Bausilio, “He was so nice and open about his life, it made it easy for us to connect with him. We gained a greater respect for him and what he does because of that.”  

Penning a Winning Entry

Based on her creativity and superior writing skills, Ward Melville High School student Emily Pashinsky was named the first-place winner of the Hofstra Celebration of Suburban Diversity 2014 student essay contest.

The contest, which was sponsored by Bethpage Federal Credit Union, was developed in collaboration with the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University.

Emily’s piece was reviewed by a panel of judges, who assessed her submission based on content, creativity and organization. The panel unanimously decided that her work best demonstrated knowledge and a keen interpretation of the diversity issues facing Long Island for future generations.

Emily and her family will attend an awards banquet next month, where she will be presented with her scholarship.

Gelinas Play Focuses on Bullying

P.J. Gelinas Junior High School’s annual adolescent issues play focused on a prevalent topic facing today’s youth – bullying.

The show, “Pickin’: A Bullying Story,” detailed the subject from several angles and perspectives: the bullies, the bullied and those who witness the behavior. Twenty-four students and five teachers performed in the show and told the story of a student who was bullied by peers and the tragic repercussions that ensued.

A preview of the play was held during the school day for students in grades eight and nine. The community was invited to attend a free performance in the evening. 

This is the 12th year the school has produced a show of this nature. The school extends a special thank-you to Nancy Jenkins and Keri Rimmer for all of the hours of time and dedication they have committed to making the Gelinas theater arts program a success.

Garnering Support and Donations

Minnesauke Elementary School’s character education program STARS encourages students and staff members to not only display positive behavioral choices, but also support those around them. In union with that mission, the school coordinated a number of philanthropic activities this fall for families in need, both locally and abroad.

The annual pajama drive received dozens of donations from the school community. The new bedtime clothes were collected in conjunction with Scholastic’s Great Bedtime Story Pajama Drive. As part of the effort, the Pajama Program will provide new pajamas and books to children in need.  
The school’s student council organized a Soles for Souls drive in conjunction with Stride Right. Minnesauke families generously donated more than 500 pairs of shoes and boots to the effort, which benefited international communities in need.

In concurrence with Making a Difference Day, and to ensure children across Long Island experience an enjoyable Halloween, the building also collected many bags of gently-used costumes for Little Flower and local families.

Donating to Island Harvest

With the holiday season right around the corner, W.S. Mount Elementary School students and staff members teamed up with Cub Scout Troop 601 to raise funds and donations for Island Harvest, a food bank that assists individuals throughout Long Island.

Through a schoolwide food drive, the building donated more than 2,300 pounds of food to the cause. To elicit extra support for the worthy cause, troop members shared information and statistics over the announcements each morning, and Principal Kathryn White pledged to reward the grade level that donated the most items with extra recess time. The winners were the third and fifth grades.

In addition to the building drive, the Cub Scout troop collected more than $300 through a weeklong coin drive. 

“We hope this drive allowed the students to realize the large impact even a small donation can have and to continue to appreciate what they have,” said Cub Scout community service chair Faith Silverman.

Walking to Promote Healthy Living

Combating Childhood Obesity


In celebration of National Food Day, Arrowhead Elementary School students and staff members focused on the importance of making healthy life choices through a series of events and activities.

The entire school took a bite out of childhood obesity by sampling healthy snacks during the 2014 Big Apple Crunch Challenge. From carrots to fresh fruit, students and staff members enjoyed wholesome foods during snack and lunch times.

Thanks to a donation from the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), the school’s fourth- through sixth-graders received yellow T-shirts and pedometers. As part of AAPI’s Childhood Obesity Awareness Campaign, guest speaker Dr. Malhotra and his colleagues from Stony Brook University spoke with the students about how they can work to incorporate healthy meal choices into their daily routines. The group discussed what portion of a plate should be comprised of fruits and vegetables and the diseases that can stem from obesity.

“Today is a day where our nation takes time to talk about eating healthier and taking care of their bodies,” said Principal Marisa Redden.

Giving Thanks to Volunteers

In honor of School Board Recognition Week, the district took time during its Oct. 22 meeting to honor the seven community members, along with the Board’s student representative and the district clerk, who serve the school district. During the event, principals and students from each school honored their building’s representative with words of appreciation and presented them with small tokens of appreciation.

“Our Board exemplifies an unwavering dedication to educating the whole child and supporting innovative programs and new initiatives that inspire and motivate learning at all levels,” said Superintendent of Schools Cheryl Pedisich. “They are the consummate volunteers; their efforts are altruistic, purposeful and meaningful. We are incredibly grateful for their support and the collective wisdom they bring to this often challenging and complex position.”

Patriot Pride Soars


Ward Melville High School Patriots scored a winning homecoming for the Three Village Central School District community when they triumphed over the competition under particularly sunny skies this October.

The weekend’s activities began with a spirited pep rally and bonfire on Friday evening, followed by a widely attended carnival the following afternoon. Entertaining booths and displays created by representatives at each of the district’s schools and several high school organizations blanketed the backfield at Ward Melville. Carnival attractions included spirited games, face-painting stations, bounce houses and an obstacle course.

Before the varsity football team took to the field, students from each of the district’s elementary schools proudly entered the stadium to display their submissions to this year’s banner contest. During halftime, Arrowhead Elementary School was announced as the winner of the competition.

When the hometown Patriots took on a strong Bay Shore team, their weeks of preparation were evident. After a scoreless first quarter, Ward Melville scored 12 points and the lead to end the first half. The team ended the game with a 40-33 victory over their opponents.

Siemens Regional Finalist

Ward Melville InSTAR senior Niyati Desai was named a regional finalist in the Siemens Competition for her study of graphene, a form of carbon, as the possible future technology to make smaller, more efficient integrated circuit chips and computer processors. Niyati’s work was performed at Stony Brook University under the guidance of professors Xu Du and Matthew Dawber and graduate student M. Humed Yusuf.

Niyati will next present her research to the Siemens committee at Carnegie Mellon University on Nov. 21 and 22. As a finalist, she has won a $1,000 scholarship, and can win up to $100,000 at the national competition in December.

Performing Nationally

W.S. Mount Elementary School fourth-grader Ava Della Pietra will soon see her name in lights, as she has been cast in the national tour of Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas.”

Ava will be appearing as Susan Waverly in the stage adaptation of the beloved classic film. In this dramatic role, she will perform a solo song and work with the entire cast to help tell the story of two showbiz buddies putting on a show in a picturesque Vermont inn, and finding their perfect mates in the bargain. The tour will be traveling to Peoria, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Boston and New Haven during the 2014 holiday season.

Performing on the national stage is not something new to Ava, as she traveled to 27 cities in the role of Little Cosette in the 2013 national tour of “Les Miserables.”

Ava studies with Michael Livering of the Performing Arts Studio in Port Jefferson.

Ward Melville HS Track is Closed for Reconditioning

The High School track is undergoing reconditioning and will be closed through the end of December.

Promoting Kindness and Compassion

The notion that every action can have a positive reaction was the basis of a recent character education program – Rachel’s Challenge – at Arrowhead Elementary School.

For the past several years, the school has been integrating this national program with its character education program PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports). Both programs reward and praise students for exhibiting positive behaviors as a means of encouraging similar actions in the future.

The assembly introduced students to the inspiration behind the program – Rachel Scott, a victim of the tragedy at Columbine High School in 1999 – and discussed how they can work to promote a culture of inclusion, acceptance and kindness. As a symbol of their commitment, students and staff members were invited to sign a banner in the days following the program.

Throughout the year, students who are “caught” demonstrating acts of kindness are given a paper chain of kindness link, which bears their name and the behavior displayed. Teachers connect these links in a display throughout the building, and at the end of the year the links are all connected for a schoolwide celebration. A kindness and compassion calendar is also distributed each month for families to follow.

Bully No More

The fall foliage was not the only thing turning orange this October, as R.C. Murphy Junior High School students and staff members joined together in the autumnal color to celebrate Unity Day.

The event, hosted by the school’s PBIS committee in conjunction with National Bullying Prevention Month, symbolized the school’s commitment to increase awareness of bullying and connect the community with the school.

During Murphy’s Bullying Prevention Week, students memorialized how they would end bullying and stand up for kindness on pieces of orange paper, listened to daily announcements on the topic and attended a workshop with renowned speaker Lee Cutler. The slips of paper were joined together to form a chain that was displayed outside the school’s library. Students and staff members also received orange bracelets, which were worn to promote kindness and tolerance.

During his address, Mr. Cutler shared several personal stories and how these life events inspired him to think about the individual he wanted to be. He challenged students to think about how they would address similar situations, particularly ones dealing with civil and human rights as well as moments of peer pressure and personal ethics.

Mr. Cutler conducted a similar program at P.J. Gelinas Junior High School.

High Praise for Student-Musicians

Ward Melville High School student-musicians regularly impress audiences with their talents, and many were selected this fall to showcase their abilities as part of the 2014 All-County and All-State music festivals.

As a result of their outstanding scores at the 2014 NYSSMA solo and ensemble festivals, 48 juniors and seniors were selected for the All-County Music Festival, and 29 were chosen as All-State participants or alternates at this year’s NYSSMA Winter Conference in Rochester.

In addition to the individual students selected, the school’s award-winning chamber orchestra has been invited to perform at the NYSSMA Winter Conference. Last year the ensemble, directed by Philip Gelfer, submitted several audition pieces as well as a list of competitions attended in the last two years. A panel of judges selected the group as the only string orchestra to be represented at the conference.

Congratulations to the following students:

All-State Musicians
Thomas Avella, Symphonic Band
Sage Beasley, Mixed Chorus
Haebin Chang, alternate
Mary Conley, Women’s Chorus
Devin Cowan, Symphony Orchestra
Emily Gates, Mixed Chorus
Kristen Gonzalez, alternate
Nick Greene, alternate
Sophie Hintze, alternate
Matthew Hoffman, Mixed Chorus and alternate
Haarika Korlipara, String Orchestra
Ariel Leong, alternate
Thomas Li, String Orchestra
Edward Liu, alternate
Elizabeth Merrifield, Women’s Chorus and Symphony Orchestra
Nima Mohammadi, Symphony Orchestra
Rajiv Moturu, Symphony Orchestra
Justin Pinard, alternate
Jordan Reuter, alternate
Heidi Scarth, alternate
Swathi Sekar, Mixed Chorus
Jack Tanzi, Mixed Chorus and alternate
Erin Tiedemann, alternate
Martin Vaillancourt, alternate
Jake Vincel, String Orchestra
Allison Wallace, Mixed Chorus
John Welde III, alternate
Emily Winston, Wind Ensemble
Eric Wortzman, Instrumental Jazz

All-County Band
Thomas Avella
Jordan Pollack
Alexander Smith
Eric Wortzman

All-County Orchestra Winds
Constance Mulford
Jordan Reuter
Emily Winston

All-County Orchestra
Haebin Chang
Devin Cowan
Micaela Cunningham
Nick Greene
Haarika Korlipara
Ariel Leong
Karen Li
Thomas Li
Edward Liu
Amanda Lu
Elizabeth Merrifield
Nima Mohammadi
Rajiv Moturu
Rebekah Rosenberg
Dylan Webb
Jeremy Wong
Jake Vincel
Elizabeth Zhao

All-County Mixed Choir
Sage Beasley
Donald Della Pietra
Alexandra Droual
Kaitlyn Gillen
Kristen Gonzalez
Joseph Hines
Matthew Hoffman
Meaghan Kruse
Elizabeth Merrifield
Jack Tanzi
Shawn Tellekamp
Martin Vaillancourt
Allison Wallace
Sarah Whelan

All-County Women’s Choir
Mary Conley
Jessica Fowler
Emily Gates
Isabella Kyle
Olivia Passanante
Heidi Scarth
Swathi Sekar
Jenna Stimmel
Erin Tiedemann