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Ward Melville High School Class of 2017!

Ward Melville High School Class of 2017 Photo

Celebrating Educational Milestones

Celebrating Educational Milestones Photo

Sixth and ninth-grade students from throughout the district marked the end of their journey through elementary and junior high school during celebratory and commemorative moving-up events this June.

Teachers, administrators and esteemed guests gathered to celebrate the students’ educational milestone and cheered proudly as they walked across the dais to receive their moving-up certificates. 

Below are photos from several of the ceremonies. 

R.C. Murphy JHS

P.J. Gelinas JHS

Minnesauke Elementary School



Celebrating Achievements

Celebrating Achievements Photo

During the district’s last meeting of the 2017-18 school year, the Board of Education celebrated a multitude of student and staff achievements.

W.S. Mount Elementary School students were honored for their successful participation in the National History Bee, a competition that four students qualified to take part in. P.J. Gelinas and R.C. Murphy Junior High School’s award-winning Science Olympiad teams were honored for their placement at the national and state levels, respectively. Gelinas’ talented speller and National Spelling Bee contestant Ryan Himmelsbach was celebrated for his talents and successes and Gelinas ninth-grader William Sun was honored for receiving a perfect score on the ACT. Furthermore, Gelinas English teacher Doug Elliot was recognized for being awarded by the New York State Bar Association the Educator Emil Zullo Distinguished Service Award. Additionally, 12 members of the district’s faculty were honored with tenure.

Several athletic accomplishments were celebrated during the meeting. The members of the boys swimming and diving team were honored for their participation in the New York State swimming championship. The five members of the Ward Melville High School girls track team were celebrated for their successful participation in the New York State Track and Field Championship. The boys varsity lacrosse team was also commended for being named New York State champions. 

Lastly, the district proudly accepted the donation of five pediatric trauma kits from the local Kiwanis Club. 

Kindergarten Celebration

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Minnesauke Elementary School kindergarten students celebrated the end of the school year during a colorful event.

During the celebration, the students dressed in colors and hats to represent each season. They sang songs they learned throughout the year and remembered all the fun they had season by season.  

The students participated in designing the program, painting props, holding props and signs, as well as speaking at different points during the show to introduce the songs. Members of the Minnesauke music staff played guitar, piano and violin for several songs. Highlights included the students performing sign language for one song and for the finale all the students wore sunglasses and sang a song to celebrate all the friends they met and achievements of kindergarten.

Track Stars Named All-Americans

Track Stars Named All-Americans Photo
Ward Melville High School girls track team members Allyson Gaedje, Sam Rutt, Liz Radke and Sam Sturgess have been named All-Americans as a result of their third-place finish in the New Balance National Outdoor Championship in North Carolina. The 4x800 team finished the race with a time of 9:05.41, the second fastest time in school history.

Celebrating Flag Day

Celebrating Flag Day Photo

Students from throughout the district celebrated the nation’s stars and stripes at commemorative Flag Day events this June.

During ceremonies held at the respective elementary schools, the students sang a number of patriotic songs, shared patriotic themed essays and donned clothing items and artistic creations in the nation’s colors – red, white and blue.

At W.S. Mount Elementary School, the raising of the American flag was an exceptionally special one this year. Thanks to a successful cookie drive fundraiser for servicemen and women, local Girl Scout Troop 337 received a flag that was flown by the United States Army over Afghanistan. In turn, the troop presented that flag to the school and assisted the building’s boy scouts and girl scouts with the traditional raising of the flag at the start of the ceremony. This particular flag flies on each Flag Day at Mount for as long as the scout members are students.

SBU Basketball Team Visits Setauket

SBU Basketball Team Visits Setauket Photo
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Setauket Elementary School third-grade classes celebrated their love of literacy when several members of the Stony Brook University women’s basketball team visited the school.

During the event, the basketball team members read aloud to each class and answered questions about their college experiences and athletic careers.

Honored for Service

Honored for Service Photo

Two hundred twenty-one district students were praised and commended for their philanthropic actions and presented with the Presidential Volunteer Service Award in June.

This national award is issued for service hours accumulated during a 12-month period. According to the official criteria, the awards are offered in multiple levels and are designed to recognize each milestone of service. Levels include bronze, silver, gold and the highest honor, the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award, for those who contribute more than 4,000 hours of service in their lifetime.

During the event, Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn, Superintendent of Schools Cheryl Pedisich and Three Village Teachers’ Association representative Brian Pickford offered their collective congratulations to the recipients before the building principals presented the official awards. 


Ward Melville 2017 Spring Athletics Recap

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Academic Achievements

221 Scholar Athletes – 66% of our varsity athletes

Butch Dellacave Award Winners – Megan Raftery and Dominic Pryor

New York State Scholar Athlete Teams

  • Varsity girls lacrosse
  • Varsity boys tennis
  • Varsity girls spring track
  • Varsity softball


Girls Track

  • 800M Division Champ/State Qualifier – Ally Gaedje
  • Long Jump Division Champ – Marina Vostrova
  • 400M Division Champ – Sam Rutt
  • 4 x 800 Relay Team Division Champs – Ally Gaedje, Sam Rutt, Liz Radke, Shannon Ryan
  • 4 x 800 State Qualifiers – Ally Gaedje, Sam Rutt, Liz Radke, Shannon Ryan(All placed 6th in State)
  • Pentathlon State qualifier – Marina Vostrova (Placed 6th in State)


Girls Lacrosse 17-1 Season Record

League Champs

County Semifinalists


Boys Varsity Lacrosse 20-2 Season Record

League Champions

Suffolk County Champions

Long Island Champions

State Champions


Boys Track

Division qualifiers and third place winners – 4 x 800 Relay – Josh Meyer, Mike Rippa, Danny Ryan and Eric Zulkofske

Division qualifier and third place mile – Eric Zulkofske


Baseball 21-6 Season Record

League Champs

No. 1 seed in playoffs (first time)

No. 1 ranked in New York State (5/24)

4 Playoff Wins 

Suffolk County Semifinalist


Boys Tennis

League Champs

Division 3 Champs

Big Four Semifinalist

No. 2 seed

Six County Qualifiers 

Division 3 Champ/County Quarterfinals – Dan Meinster

Division 3 Doubles Champ – Tyler Ancona and Deven Wackett


Individual Honors

(All names listed on the athletics department page)

  • All League/Division – 40
  • All County – 19
  • All State – 8
  • All Long Island – TBD

Murals Inspired by Local Artist

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In one of their last acts before moving up to junior high school, Setauket Elementary School’s sixth-grade class came together to create an exquisite mural inspired by two paintings by local artist Doug Reina. 

Not only did the students lend their artistic skills to the project, they also had the chance to meet with Mr. Reina and learn how he chooses the locations for his artwork. During his visit, Mr. Reina also explained his process of painting and provided the students with feedback on their replicas of his work. 

This year’s mural artwork, which was created with the help of art teacher Maria Maritato, are titled "Yellow Double Arrow" and "Pins."

Mount Musical

Mount Musical Photo

W.S. Mount Elementary School’s Drama Club took audiences back to River City, Iowa in their production of "The Music Man Jr."

The cast and crew, under the direction of Dan Hayes, Gretchen Tranchino, Lauren Horn and Melissa Levenson, included over 50 students from the fifth- and sixth-grade. The show, which includes such numbers as "Trouble", "Till There Was You", and "Seventy-Six Trombones," took months of hard work and dedication from all those involved.

Murphy’s Musical High Note

Murphy’s Musical High Note Photo
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R.C. Murphy Junior High School Jazz Band, under the direction of Brendan Meier, competed in the Long Island Music Fest at LIU Post this spring and took home high honors.

Performing for a panel of judges, the group competed against other groups from around Long Island. As a result of their performance, the students earned the highest ranking of "Superior" and also scored the highest numeric score of the entire festival; a 99/100. 

After a brief workshop with one of the judges, they celebrated their successes at The Adventure Park at Long Island; a high ropes course in Wheatley Heights.


Making Mathematical Memories

Making Mathematical Memories Photo

Setauket Elementary School first-graders are working to build mathematical fluency and numeral understanding as part of the school’s math club.

The club, which has been meeting weekly before school, enables students to work with teachers Lisa Wall and Christine Beck to play a variety of differentiated math games focused on such concepts as numerical operations, regrouping and multiples. After the teachers model the game and discuss the proper strategy, the students work in small groups to play at least two different games each session. 

Fifth-graders at the school volunteer to assist with the club for community service hours and help to mentor the younger students. 

A similar club was held earlier this year for kindergarten students. 

Ward Melville Patriots Commit to College

Ward Melville Patriots Commit to College Photo
Surrounded by proud parents, teachers, friends and coaches, 59 Ward Melville High School seniors were celebrated for their decision to continue their athletic careers at some of the nation’s top colleges and universities this fall. 

During a commemorative breakfast ceremony, each student was individually honored for his or her commitment to their academics and chosen sport as well as reminded that no matter where their future leads that they will always be a part of the Ward Melville Patriot family. 

Twenty-three of the students will compete at Division I schools and 36 will take part in Division II and III athletic programs. 

Click here for a list of the students’ names and the schools they will be attending.

Celebratory Count Down

Celebratory Count Down Photo
As has become a tradition at Setauket Elementary School, students in Christine Beck’s class are celebrating their academic successes this year with a “Last 20 Days of School” countdown. 

Each day, the class pops a balloon that hangs from the classroom ceiling to discover a new way to celebrate. The message in that balloon provides information about what the focus will be for the following day. To date, the activities have included different theme days – such as crazy hat day – as well as activities tied to the school’s character education program. 

SACC Registration 2017-2018

SACC Registration begins June 8th-July 7th. Click here to access the SACC Program page.


Powerful Written Words

Powerful Written Words Photo
Based on their outstanding writing skills, Ward Melville High School juniors Noor Kamal and Arianna Parkideh were named winners in the National Council of Teachers of English annual Achievement Awards in Writing Competition.

For the contest, each student submitted a sample writing piece that they considered to be their best work as well as a themed writing based on a topic developed by the Achievement Awards Advisory Committee. This year’s theme was based on the popularized phrase “With great power comes great responsibility,” and asked the writers to evaluate and analyze those in positions of power and what they are doing to live up to the responsibilities they are bestowed.  

National judges evaluated each piece of writing for content, purpose, audience, tone, word choice, organization, development and style.

Shining STARS at Minnesauke

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Minnesauke Elementary School’s National Junior Art Honor Society has helped to promote the building’s character education program – STARS – this spring through two colorful projects.

The students, with the help of their advisor and Minnesauke art teacher Christine Sacco, created 700 unique mini artworks in the shape of a star and presented one to each member of the school community on a day they called "Stars for STARS." The stars were created to symbolize how each individual is unique, special and important and everyone wearing them together is a reflection of how they are unified as a community.

As a lasting gift for the sixth-grade, the NJAHS helped to create a STARS theme mural in the style of graffiti artist Keith Haring. The students glazed the tiles that border the large display and helped to paint the main subjects in the mural. Each sixth-grader was then able to add a memory they had from Minnesauke to the mural’s title background.
Minnesauke’s STARS program stands for sharing, trustworthy, accepting, respectful and serving.

A Mathematical Mark

A Mathematical Mark Photo
R.C. Murphy Junior High School students Matthew Chen, Animesh Ghose, Jessica Liao, Neil Mehta and Claire Yang recently placed third in the state at the 2017 MoMathlon Tournament of Champions at the MoMath Museum in New York City.

During the event, which was supported and sponsored by Con Edison and Brookhaven National Laboratory, the top 10 middle school teams in New York State competed in four challenging rounds – Individual, Team, Mixed Team, and Team Relay – to solve challenging mathematical questions, all without the use of a calculator.

“The students had a great time not only competing but also working and meeting kids across New York and exploring the MoMath museum, which for most of them was the 1st time,” said Murphy mathematics chairperson Rocco Vetro.

A Presidential Study

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As part of their social studies unit on government, W.S. Mount fifth-graders in Janet Von Bargen’s class learned about many of the nation’s leaders during a recent research project on presidents.  

The students chose a president to research and created a scrapbook of pictures and mementos their president might have saved. They also created a Time magazine cover that their president might have appeared on and a newspaper front page highlighting an important event during his presidency.

Additionally, using what they learned about their president's talents, interests, education and background, each student decided what kind of teacher their president might have been. They then created a figure representing the teacher president, using caricatures of their faces and appropriate "clothing" and props.

Festival of Music Honors

Festival of Music Honors Photo
Ward Melville High School’s jazz band, string orchestra and symphony orchestra took part in and captured top honors during the Festivals of Music in the Parks competition in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
All three groups scored superior ratings, Jason Rahner won best overall soloist for jazz, the symphony orchestra won best overall orchestra, and the entire music department won the collective Esprit de Corps award for character, behavior and deportment.

Elected DECA Officer

Elected DECA Officer Photo
Ward Melville High School junior Suraj Singh has been elected to serve as the Suffolk County DECA Vice President of Communications.  

Earlier this year, Suraj applied for the position by submitting a resume, essay and formal application. Additionally, he delivered a compelling speech during this year’s annual DECA Dinner/Dance and Officer Installation Ceremony as he campaigned for the position against other candidates from Suffolk County DECA chapters.

Three Village Authors and Illustrators in Print

Many district students were included in this year’s "Pens and Pencils" feature in the Village Times Herald. To see copies of the students’ work, please visit


Posted with permission from TBR News Media.

June Drug & Alcohol Awareness Event Sponsored by the Bates House


A Nose for a Cause

A Nose for a Cause Photo

Setauket Elementary School was blanketed with individuals donning red noses as the school community came together to raise funds and awareness for two important causes.

As part of the building’s sprit week celebration, individuals donated $2 to purchase a red nose and help make a difference in the lives of children. As a result of the building’s generosity, Setauket raised close to $800 to benefit Room4Love and national Red Nose Day.

Two former Setauket Elementary School students and their parents started an organization call Room4Love, an organization that raises money to remodel bedrooms of children who are diagnosed with cancer. Red Nose Day is an initiative aimed at ensuring that children are safe, healthy, educated and empowered in all 50 states as well as in many countries in Latin America, Asia and Africa.

The schoolwide initiative was organized by the Setauket student council.

Fencing Coach Receives National Award

Fencing Coach Receives National Award Photo
Ward Melville High School fencing coach Jeff Salmon has been selected as the inaugural winner of the USA Fencing National High School Coach of the Year Award for 2017.  Eighteen individuals from high schools around the country were nominated for this prestigious award and a pool of five finalists were selected and evaluated by a special committee.

Under Salmon’s leadership, Ward Melville’s teams have continued a winning tradition, including capturing the 2016-17 Long Island Championship title. Additionally, over the past 15 years, the program has maintained an unparalleled winning streak that ranks among the most impressive in interscholastic athletics nationwide.   

Reading to Man’s Best Friend

Reading to Man’s Best Friend Photo

Minnesauke Elementary School kindergarten students in Beth Diviney’s class practiced their literacy skills when golden retriever Colby visited their classroom.

During the event, the students took turns reading to him from their guided reading books. The initiative aims to provide students – namely young readers – with a safe opportunity to read to a calm and captive audience.

Colby is an 11-year-old golden retriever who visits other elementary schools and hospitals.

Arrowhead on Broadway

Arrowhead on Broadway Photo

Arrowhead Elementary School’s Drama Club took to the stage this spring to perform a collection of musical favorites during this year’s show “Arrowhead on Broadway: A Musical Review!”

The students worked tirelessly under the direction of Melissa Anderson, Paul Mueller and Krista Prestia to perfect their routines and create the sets for the show. The production featured such familiar songs as “Getting to Know You,” “Anything You Can Do,” and “Footloose.”

Graphic Designers

Graphic Designers Photo
Ward Melville High School students enrolled in the building’s Introduction to Graphic Design classes have gained real world experience this year as they worked to create logo designs for a professional client – The North Shore Montessori School.

As part of the assignment, the students not only used their design skills to create artistic logos – they focused on developing problem solving skills, cognitive development of an idea, understanding of color, time management skills and understanding the printing process on promotional items including the client's possible budget. The students learned how to verbally articulate what was on their visual presentation and incorporated public speaking skills taught by their teacher, Cortney Weisman.

For 18 years, the schools' graphics program has brought the real world in and focused on careers in the communications industry, specifically graphic design.

Designing and Constructing Insulated Devices

Designing and Constructing Insulated Devices Photo

Minnesauke Elementary School sixth-graders recently worked to become design engineers during their STEM class, as they studied thermal energy transfer and 3-D printing.

With the help of their teacher, Sean Dowling, the students created insulated containers based upon their knowledge of heat transfer – conduction, convection and radiation – as well as conductors and insulators.

The students designed a container encompassing two inner joining parts and then selected which type of insulation to fit between the two parts. Once the designs were finalized using the computer CAD software, they were brought to life using the school’s 3-D printer. Students then ran a test to see which printed device was able to keep the most of an ice cube’s mass in solid form after putting it under a light source for 20 minutes. Two project designs per class were chosen to complete in a final grade level challenge. The ice cube enclosed in the device that won the overall competition was found to have only lost 0.66 percent of its mass.

In addition to the hands-on component to the lesson, the students had the opportunity to meet with a Minnesauke parent – Mr. Cutting – who works in the field. During the in-class presentations, Mr. Cutting spoke about the company he works for – Sartorius – and the insulated devices they create and use daily.

Mural of Caring

Mural of Caring Photo

In an effort to leave a lasting legacy at the school, this year’s Arrowhead Elementary School sixth-grade class worked with art teacher Rachael Inversa to paint a colorful mural on the wall outside of the building’s cafeteria.

The mural depicts two things very near and dear to the school’s student body – the new Arrowhead Panda “C.A.R.E.S.” Bear mascot and the building’s outdoor buddy bench. The mascot is a visual reminder for the students of the character education/PBIS program, which promotes the ideas of compassion, acceptance, respectfulness, encouraging and sharing.  

Back from Broadway

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W.S. Mount Elementary School sixth-grader Ava Della Pietra received a star-studded welcome back to school this May – as she ended her multi-month performance in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “School of Rock – The Musical” on Broadway.

On her first day back to school, Ava’s classmates and teacher - Anthony Prinzo – created a large welcome back sign and red carpet outside their classroom. The group was eager to hear about her Broadway experience and was happy to have her back with them at Mount.  

Nassakeag Students Learn About History

Nassakeag Students Learn About History Photo
As part of their social studies lessons, Nassakeag Elementary School sixth-grade students learned about one of the world’s darkest time periods when Holocaust survivor and author Ruth Minsky Sender spoke to them about her remarkable story of courage and survival.

Ms. Minsky Sender described how the dreams she had for her future came to a halt following the German invasion of Poland, where she was born. The heart-wrenching stories she shared – from the loss of her family to the day her oldest friend became a Nazi soldier – painted a clear picture of this devastating part of the history that the students had been studying in class. Additionally, she reflected on many of the stories documented in her memoirs, one of which many of the students had read.

Student Earns National Writing Award

Student Earns National Writing Award Photo
R.C. Murphy Junior High School eighth-grader Kaitlyn Tung has won the highest award in the 2017 NCTE Promising Young Writers Program, a Certificate of Recognition.  Only 67 students were selected for this award nationally.  

For this competition, the students had to write a piece based on the theme “Innovators, Visionaries and Rebels: Celebrating Risk-Takers.” The students were invited to choose a book, poem, story, news article, film, website, or something else they read that was innovative, inspiring, or provocative in its content, form, or subject matter. Then they were asked to write about why they chose this text and why/how it was innovative, inspiring, or provocative in important ways.

Kaitlyn chose to read “Animal Farm” because it is a book that “shows its readers what happens to those who cannot think beyond what they are told.” Kaitlyn added, “One of the reasons I decided to choose “Animal Farm” was because it discusses the theme of warped ideals and how rhetoric can be used as an instrument of control,” she said.

Additionally, students Jessica Liao and Valerie Corrente each received Certificates of Participation for having been selected by their teachers to represent Murphy in this national writing competition.

Students Pen Award-Winning Books

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Four Three Village Central School District students were named top winners in this year’s Emma Clark Library third annual Helen Stein Shack Picture Book contest. In recognition of their outstanding submissions, each student was presented with a monetary scholarship and had a copy of their book bound and added to the library’s Local Focus Collection.  

The Helen Stein Shack Book Contest called for teens in grades 7 through 12 who live in the Three Village Central School District to create a children’s picture book. Each entry could be the work of a single author/illustrator or a collaborative effort of an author and an illustrator. The contest was divided into two grade categories, grades 7 through 9 and grades 10 through 12, with one first prize winner and one second prize winner selected from each group. This award is given in memory of Helen Stein Shack by her family.  

The district proudly congratulates the following winners:

First Prize (Grades 7 – 9 category): “We Can Still Be Friends!” by Eliana Sasson
First Prize (Grades 10 – 12 category): “Claire and Her Bear” by Katie Zhao
Second Prize (Grades 7 – 9 category): “Sammy the Sock Monkey” by Nicole Freeley
Second Prize (Grades 10 – 12 category): “Color Your World” by Cassidy Oliver

Hatched Science Lessons

Hatched Science Lessons Photo
Minnesauke Elementary School first-grade students learned about the life cycle of animals this spring as they observed baby chicks – from their start in an egg to their eventual hatching 21 days later.
The students helped to keep the eggs warm in incubators, charted the embryos’ progress by candling the eggs and learned about the various stages the animals go through in their development. The project tied together the science and English Language Arts skills, as they regularly reflected upon the experience in journal form and kept track of the eggs in a chick embryology folder.

Additionally, the classes compared the chicks’ lifecycles to others, including ladybugs that the students studied in kindergarten.

Food Drive for Pet Pantry

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Three Village Central School District’s Academy students recently helped to feed local animals through a highly successful pet food drive spearheaded by Legislator Kara Hahn and Long Island Cares.

As part of the initiative, the students collected pet food from employees in the district as well as at Stop and Shop. They provided lists of items needed by the shelters and asked shoppers to purchase one of the needed items when visiting the store.

The supplies collected, including a number of bags of food donated by Agway, were delivered to Baxter’s Pet Pantry, a branch of Long Island Cares.  

Learning About Law Enforcement

Learning About Law Enforcement Photo
W.S. Mount Elementary School's fifth-graders learned about the work of the police department when they attended Law Enforcement Day at Suffolk County Police Department headquarters in Yaphank.   

During the visit, the students had the opportunity to watch police car, motorcycle, and helicopter demonstrations, and visit the 911 center and police museum, as well as see a K9 unit demonstration.  

Writing to Promote Harmony

Writing to Promote Harmony Photo
Ward Melville High School students Shannon Berry and Odeya Rosenband were named the first and second place winners, respectively, in the Suffolk County Asian American Advisory Board Wellbrook Foundation and JEI Learning Center of Stony Brook’s 2017 Social Harmony Writing Contest.

The main purpose of the contest was for students to come up with ideas on how to promote cultural understanding and social harmony. They were encouraged to participate in the contest by writing an essay that explains what can be done to improve race and ethnic relations. Students used personal experience, observation, current events, history and literature to support their ideas.

Literacy Comes Alive

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Students enrolled in Catherine Duffy’s English classes at R.C. Murphy Junior High School took a step back in time to experience the Renaissance period as part of their study of William Shakespeare’s famous play “Romeo and Juliet.”
The students made Renaissance-style masks and created a choreographed dance to Renaissance music in order to re-enact the masked ball where Romeo and Juliet met. Additionally, working in small groups, the students brought the written words to life as they acted out the play’s act two prologue.

Poster Contest Winners

Poster Contest Winners Photo
As a result of their submissions, Arrowhead Elementary School students Nickolette Costigan, Jillian Gallagher, Ava LaRusso, Caly Reischman, Adam Wain and Lexi Wilcken were named winners in this year’s Long Island Speech and Hearing Association poster contest.

Participants from several schools across Long Island submitted original works of art to help illustrate the importance of "communication" in celebration of May being named Better Speech and Hearing Month. Each of the winning Arrowhead students will receive a monetary prize and be honored at an awards ceremony and reception on May 22nd in Westbury, New York.

In addition to the poster contest submissions, Arrowhead’s speech-language therapeutic program teachers worked to highlight "communication" throughout the school in May. Their efforts included sharing tips for teachers, associated quotations read on the morning announcements and small posters placed in the hallways.

Art-Themed Breakout

Art-Themed Breakout Photo

P.J. Gelinas Junior High School seventh-grade students in Lisa Capiello’s art classes recently used their detective, critical thinking and art appreciation skills to complete a fun-filled “breakout” exercise designed specifically in line with their course curriculum.

Breakout exercises are immersive game platforms where participants work collaboratively to solve a series of critical thinking puzzles in order to open a locked box that is often secured by multiple locks. During the Gelinas event, students analyzed classic works of art – including pop art and impressionism – to locate and decode clues and open the five locks securing the box.

The art exercise, which was set up in the library, was designed by Ms. Capiello with help from Assistant Principal Corinne Keane and library media specialist Nicole Connelly.  

From Page to Center Stage

From Page to Center Stage Photo

Minnesauke Elementary School sixth-graders in Jayne Murphy’s class helped to bring five scenes from the famous book “The Lightning Thief” to life during a recent in-school tableau performance.

During the event, the students worked in small groups to embody several of the book’s key characters. Visitors watched each scene in isolation, as the students performed in small, enclosed sections of the classroom. The performances were interactive, as the students remained frozen until a visiting viewer tapped them on the shoulder to bring them to life.  

The event was held in connection with the students study of the book and of ancient Greece, in particular gods and goddesses.

Masters of Math

Masters of Math Photo

Three teams from R.C. Murphy Junior High School performed exceptionally well at this year’s Suffolk County Math Teachers Association Math League events and each took home first place prizes. The seventh grade team A, eighth grade team C and ninth grade team A took first place for their division. On top of that, seventh grade team A and ninth grade team A took first place for the county.

Murphy’s math team is a club that meets once a week from October to February. Students work on mathematics problems and compete monthly in different events. During the competitions, the students are separated by grade level and given a series of five questions, which get progressively harder. The scores are based on correct answers and tallied throughout the season. The team with the highest score at the end of the season wins the division. Those same scores are used to establish which teams have the highest scores for the county.   

The district proudly congratulates the following team members:

Seventh-Grade Team A - Division Winners/County Winners
Claire Yang
Carolyn Liu
Matthew Chen

Eighth-Grade Team C - Division Winners
Neil Mahta
Animesh Ghose
Jonah Pichler
Akshay Malhotra

Ninth-Grade Team A - Division Winners/County Winners
Christopher Moore
Jonathan Huang
Keene Lu

Information Regarding Regents Exam Opt Outs:

Three Village Central School District has been selected for Regents field testing. Regents Examinations are developed with teacher input. The information garnered from the field tests is valuable for students and teachers. We encourage all students to participate. However, if you wish to opt your child out of the field testing, please contact your respective principal. Thank you.

Designed to Win

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Two Ward Melville High School art students received top honors during this year’s Journalism Education Association's student design write-off competition.

Lauren Berlinghof received a Superior rating for her logo design and Cecilia Orduna received an Excellent rating for her graphic layout design. 

Both students created their work as part of their Advertising Practices and Applications class, during which they were given specific topics to design for. Lauren was tasked with designing a logo for the burger appreciation society, which had to work in color and black and white. Cecilia’s project was to design a spread for a sports team for a yearbook.

Winning Writers

Winning Writers Photo
R.C. Murphy Junior High School seventh-graders Matthew Chen and Alana John were named the first and second place winners, respectively, in the 2017 Long Island Language Arts Council Kenneth F. Gambone Writing Contest. 

Both students will be honored at a celebratory luncheon later this month, where they will receive their awards and have the opportunity to hear from featured presenter, veteran songwriter, poet and teacher Alan Semerdjian.

Matthew’s winning piece is titled “When the War Came to Us” and told the story of a small town in Poland that was invaded by the Germans. Alana’s piece was untitled and followed the theme of two sisters who reunited in Japan. Both students completed their award-winning submissions with the help of their English teacher, Bev Gilmore. 

Educators Awarded for FACS Support

Educators Awarded for FACS Support Photo
As a result of their commitment to the field of family and consumer science, P.J. Gelinas Junior High School Principal William Bernhard and teacher Nancy Jenkins received two coveted awards from the New York State Association of Family and Consumer Sciences Educators. 

Mr. Bernhard was presented with the Ellen Swallow Richards Award for Administrative Support and Ms. Jenkins received an award for Distinguished Service.

The selection for these awards is based upon an extensive application process and staff nomination, and recipients are chosen by the Long Island Family and Consumer Science Professionals.  

Capturing Memories and National Acclaim

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Ward Melville High School’s award-winning 2015-16 Invictus yearbook staff has received a Pacemaker Award from the National Scholastic Press Association. They are the first Long Island high school yearbook to receive this prestigious award and one of only 31 high schools in the country to be presented with this honor.

According to the association, since 1927 the National Pacemaker Awards have been given annually for excellence in American student journalism. The awards are often considered to be the highest national honors in their field and are unofficially known as the "Pulitzer Prizes” of student journalism. Yearbook Pacemakers are judged based upon the following criteria: writing/editing, design, content, concept, photography, art and graphics. 

Ward Melville’s 2015-16 yearbook was created with the help of advisor Cortney Weisman, who is a nationally certified journalism educator in addition to her art credentials. Working as a club, the students learn how to write journalistically and gain design and photography skills. 

Lessons in Government

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P.J. Gelinas Junior High School students had the opportunity to learn about the interworking of the state capitol when Temporary President and Majority Leader of the New York State Senate John J. Flanagan conducted an informative town hall assembly. 

During the event, the senator spoke about the difference in state and federal government, how he came to serve and the different types of laws that affect today’s youth, including bike helmet laws. Additionally, students were able to ask questions on current and past issues facing the nation, including education, internet safety and health care. 

Charitable Literacy Celebration

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W.S. Mount Elementary School kindergarten students in Dawn McNally's class hosted a literacy-based fundraiser to benefit the Stony Brook Children's Hospital.  

In order to encourage the students to use their talents to help others, the class held a charity writing celebration. During the event the students read the "How To" books they wrote themselves and sold over 200 originally crafted bookmarks. 

As a result of the school community’s generosity, the class raised $426 for the hospital. 

Sharing Artistic Talents

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Ward Melville High School senior and exceptionally talented student artist Isabella Brand was selected to create an original art piece for the United States Army recruiting center in Selden. 

Isabella’s work, which beautifully depicts the outside of Ward Melville High School, was created on a ceiling tile, which will be hung at the center. 
Isabella, who was accepted to all 11 art colleges she applied to, will attend the University of Michigan to study art this fall. 

Outstanding Educator Honored

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In recognition of her exemplary and engaging teaching practices, Minnesauke Elementary School teacher Kate Hunter has been honored with the 2016-17 Outstanding Elementary Social Studies Classroom Teacher Award from the New York State Council for the Social Studies. She had been previously honored by The Long Island Council of the Social Studies with a similar award.
“Ms. Hunter is able to inspire her students to look at the world through a critical lens and has created a microcosm of society within her classroom,” said Minnesauke Principal Dr. Brian Biscari. “It is because of her tenacity and inspired approach to teaching that her students are destined to have a positive impact on their school community and our world.”

This award is presented to current teachers who have demonstrated exceptional teaching ability at the elementary, middle or high school level, knowledgeable in social studies content as well as pedagogy. They must also be able to relate successfully to students at the level for which the nomination is made. 

“I love being an elementary school teacher and I am in love with the subject of social studies because of all the hope and possibility it creates for our students,” said Ms. Hunter. “We as teachers of social studies have the beautiful privilege and awesome responsibility of helping to guide [students] to their life’s purposes and responsibilities.”

President’s Volunteer Service Award - 2017–18 Information

President’s Volunteer Service Award - 2017–18 Information Photo
The President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) is the premier volunteer awards program, encouraging students to live a life of service through presidential gratitude and national recognition.

The district encourages all students to take a look around, be inspired and take positive action that changes the community and even the world.

Presidential recognition sets students apart from their peers. It is a tremendous honor and sets an example that can deliver a powerful message – that anyone, no matter their age, can take action.

The President’s Volunteer Service Award recognizes United States citizens who have achieved the required number of hours of service over a 12-month time period. The next service period will run from April 1, 2017 - March 31, 2018. Log submission deadline is April 13, 2018 and ceremony honoring award winners will be held in June 2018 at WMHS.

For more information, please read the PVSA Guidelines below and use the PVSA Log & Acknowledgement to start logging hours.


Committed to Civics Education

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During the district’s late April Board of Education meeting, the Three Village Central School District honored and celebrated P.J. Gelinas Junior High School English teacher Douglas Elliot for being awarded excellence in civics education by the Federal Bar Association for his outstanding achievement as an educator of interdisciplinary studies and civics.

Mr. Elliot has served as the advisor of the district’s award-winning and well decorated mock trial team and was instrumental in creating an introductory junior high school program mock trial at Gelinas this year.

Celebrating Waste Free Lunch

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Nassakeag Elementary School students worked to create a cleaner Earth as they celebrated Waste Free Lunch week.

Throughout the celebration, students were encouraged to wear coordinated apparel based on a daily theme and use waste free materials when packing their lunches. To help ensure the success of the initiative, students from Robyn Weinstein’s sixth-grade class who once again spearheaded the program, visited their peers’ classrooms to conduct a skit on waste-free lunches, a math lesson and read a book with an environmental theme.

The grade level that generated the least amount of trash during the initiative was the sixth-grade. As a special reward for the students’ efforts, building Principal Gail Casciano, Assistant Principal Nancy Pickford and building employee Mike Milano served them lunch in the cafeteria one afternoon.

Keys to Artistic Honors

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As a result of their exceptional talents, Ward Melville High School art students Isabella Brand and Michal Zadok received top recognition in this year’s Scholastic Arts & Writing Awards contest.

Isabella received two Gold Keys, one Silver Key and six Honorable Mentions for her artwork. Michal received a Gold Key for her animation "Bees" (you can view a short clip from her animation below).

Both students' work can be seen on June 1st in the High School library at the 16th annual Art and Technology Building Exhibit.

Reflecting Upon Civil Rights

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Ward Melville High School junior Odeya Rosenband was named the second runner-up in Stony Brook University’s Department of Africana Studies 2017 inaugural essay competition: What Do Civil Rights Mean to Me in the 21st Century? 

For her entry, Odeya shared a time in her personal life when she felt her rights were infringed. 

Odeya was recognized at a ceremony at Stony Brook University where she read her essay and received her awards. 

Measuring Capacity

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As part of the Minnesauke Measures series, an initiative created by math center teacher Paul Wilgenkamp, Minnesauke Elementary School students are having fun learning about capacity in a hands-on way.
Using a capacity cart, which has containers for metric and customary capacity, students are estimating the amount of liquid in a larger container while at the same time beginning to recognize and identify the various capacities. Weekly, students are invited to write down their guess on a slip of paper and enter a contest to win bookmarks. One week alone, almost 600 students participated.

Award-Winning Essayists

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Ward Melville High School juniors Sophia LoBiondo, Cameron Liquori and Cathy Ma earned top honors in this year’s Suffolk County District Administrative Judge's Women in the Courts Committee essay contest.

For the competition, students across the county were asked to address the statement "I can't wait to vote because...". Based on their submissions, Sophia earned the first place award and Cameron and Cathy each earned third place awards. In addition to the honorable recognition, they received monetary awards and an opportunity to shadow a Suffolk County judge at the East Islip Courthouse. 

Engineering a Win

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As a result of his structurally sound engineering skills, Ward Melville High School junior Andrew Zhang was named the winner of this year’s Brookhaven National Laboratory Bridge Building Contest and has qualified to have his design compete at the 2017 International Bridge Contest in Dallas, Texas. 

As part of the school’s InSTAR program, members of the junior class participated in this event by engineering and designing a structure within the stipulations set by BNL. They were required to draw bridge plans to scale and construct models for maximum efficiency, which were then tested using a hydraulic pressure plate. The amount of force per mass that each bridge can withstand is measured and students were able to tweak their final designs based on the data received. 

During the BNL contest, Andrew’s bridge competed against the top entries from across Nassau and Suffolk counties, and was found to be able to withstand 1,049 times its own mass. 

Winning Results for New Team

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Students from the P.J. Gelinas Junior High School “Justice - You and the Law” club recently participated in the 34th annual Western Suffolk BOCES mock trial tournament. 

The team, comprised of seventh and eighth-graders, made a splash in their first competition, winning both of their trials against experienced programs. This year’s problem centered on a civil negligence suit regarding proper concussion protocol in sports. 

To help prepare for their first competition season, the students were mentored by the district’s highly successful high school mock trial team during recent practices. 
Tuesday, June 27, 2017   |  District Home