Top Prize for History Archive Project

P.J. Gelinas Junior High School ninth-grader Sahil Sangwan was named the winner of the 2015 New York State Archives Student Research Award Competition, sponsored by the New York State Education Department, in the grade 6-8 category.

For Sahil’s entry, “Impact of Melville Family’s Contribution to the Three Village Area,” he worked closely with Gelinas library media specialist Nicole Connelly to create a detailed presentation, including an annotated bibliography and documented use of historical records.

The annual contest encourages students to explore the wealth of historical records held in New York State repositories. It is also designed to increase cooperation between schools and organizations that administer historical records useful for education.

Student Scientists Honored

During its late November meeting, the district’s Board of Education honored Ward Melville High School students who were named semifinalists and regional finalists in the 2015 Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology.
Below is an overview of the projects the students completed:
Emily Huang – Semifinalist
“TCA Contamination in Groundwater: Inflammatory and Pro-Cancer Effects through Estrogen Signaling.”
Emily’s work focused on determining the effects of groundwater pollutants on inflammation and breast cancer development and how these could be inhibited using an estrogen blocker currently targeted as a breast cancer drug treatment.
Harriet O’Brien – Semifinalist
“The Characterization of Immunomodulatory and Remyelinating Agents on Microglial Polarization.”
Harriet studied the damage to nerve cells associated with multiple sclerosis propagated by pro-inflammatory immune cell infiltration and attack of the myelin sheath that may be reversed by potential therapeutic agents.

Jennifer Yang – Semifinalist
“Exploring the Anti-cancer effect of Phospho-Aspirin, an novel aspirin derivative, in Pancreatic cells.”
Jennifer was able to determine that Phospho-Aspirin significantly reduced new pancreatic cancer cell growth while inducing apoptotic cancer cell death and will further evaluate this compound as a potential chemotherapeutic agent.
Kathryn Zhao – Semifinalist
“Degrees of a Minimal Solution to a Linear Diophantine Equation over Finite Fields.”
Kathryn’s theoretical math project defined a function on a linear Diophantine equation over the polynomials that measured the degrees of the minimal solutions to the equation and found that one can fix the degrees of the two given polynomials and the defined function in order to characterize the size of the set.
Roshan Patel – Finalist
“Enhanced power output and tolerance to fuel impurities demonstrated in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell utilizing a graphene oxide nanoparticle coated nafion membrane.”
Roshan’s group worked with graphene oxide nanoparticles to improve the performance of fuel cells by reducing the poisoning of the membrane from impurities in the hydrogen fuel that can hamper efficiency.

Baked Holiday Pies

R.C. Murphy Junior High School’s Community Connections Club made the holiday season a bright one for area families by rolling out tasty chicken pot pies.

Working with club advisors Ginger Ferraro and Emma Domino, the group created 16 pot pies from scratch, which were then donated

A Thankful Celebration

R.C. Murphy Junior High School staff celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday with their first staff feast.

The event, organized by the PBIS Committee and members Dana DePersio and Melissa Lacapria, ran during school lunch periods and included tasty holiday dishes created by staff members from each department. Each staff member was invited to decorate a paper feather with what they are grateful for this holiday, and the finished creations were displayed on a huge turkey bulletin board during the feast.

This year, as part of the school’s character education program, the building is focused on promoting staff cohesion in order to positively impact the student population.

Celebrating Thanksgiving


Students throughout the district celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday with interactive and festive events this November.

As a culmination to their classroom studies, Minnesauke Elementary School kindergartners in Jennifer Lazarou’s kindergarten class enjoyed a feast with their classmates and families. Those in attendance shared what they are thankful for and sang a holiday-inspired song. Leading up to the event, the students fashioned Native American and Pilgrim hats, wrote compositions on what the Native Americans had taught them, and drew creative pictures of turkeys. 

First-grade students at W.S. Mount Elementary School showcased their newfound knowledge of the Thanksgiving holiday during skits and concluded with a classroom feast. Songs varied by class and included “The ABCs of Thanksgiving” and “Albuquerque Turkey.”

Kara Gorski’s fourth-graders at Minnesauke celebrated by making "Thanksgiving blessing mixes," which will be donated to the R.C. Saint James Church Soup Kitchen. The special treats, which included a personal note from each student,  will be distributed at the soup kitchen’s Thanksgiving dinner.

Nassakeag Elementary School coordinated a Touchdown Tuesday Food Drive for local food pantries. The school collected hundreds of nonperishable food items, and each student who donated received a certificate and voucher for a free ticket to the Stony Brook University Seawolves game on Nov. 21.


Science Tuesdays


Ward Melville HS Presents Young Frankenstein - Dec. 10, 11, 12

Inspired Young Author

P.J. Gelinas Junior High School eighth-grader Aidan McIlvaine has accomplished something not many peers his age have – he has become a published author, with his first book hitting online shelves this fall.

The book, “The Elementals: The Beginning,” is about a team of teens with powers based on elements such as fire and earth, and their work to defeat an evil reign of terror. Aidan, who completed the book over the course of a year, was inspired to put pen to paper after an author visit at his elementary school. That author, Lou Petrucci, a sixth-grade teacher in the district, spoke about his experience writing his book, which sparked Aidan’s interest in penning his own novel.

 “Writing is an outlet for me…[it’s] something that I enjoy doing in my free time,” said Aidan.

He credits his friend, Dylan Matthews, with providing inspiration for the storyline throughout the development process, and aspires to create a sequel to the book in the future.

Math Scholars

P.J. Gelinas Junior High School eighth-graders Neil Shady, William Sun, Benjamin Templeton and Rebecca Zhang and R.C. Murphy Junior High School ninth-grader Daniel Schwartz have been named Long Island Young Scholars of Mathematics by the Institute of Creative Problem Solving for Gifted and Talented Students at The College at Old Westbury.

The honor acknowledges that these students are in the top one-tenth of 1 percent of all local math students in their grade. As Scholars, they will now have the chance to spend 60 hours in math classes over the span of 20 Saturdays. The program’s curriculum covers mathematical topics in algebra, geometry, discrete math and number theory. Topics not included in the standard course of study, such as problem-solving applied to probability, drawings of ocean bottom profiles, the theory of finite differences, topics in science and mass point geometry, will also be presented.
More than 600 students from school districts on Long Island were nominated for this honor, and only 84 were accepted.

APPR Letter to Parents


Jeans for Troops

R.C. Murphy Junior High School and Minnesauke Elementary School students and staff sported their favorite jeans this November to raise funds and awareness for U.S. troops.

Murphy staff raised $500 and Minnesauke raised more than $140. Both schools’ donations will benefit the GI Fund, which helps veterans secure employment, receive job training, continue their education and improve their health benefits, as well as provide basic aid and assistance to low-income and homeless veterans.

My Military Hero

R.C. Murphy Junior High School seventh-grader Amelia Larkin was named a winner in an essay contest held in celebration of Veterans Day. 

Titled “Red, Write and Blue,” the contest, sponsored by Genser, Dubow, Genser & Cona Elder Law Counselors, called for students to draft essays on either “What America Means to Me” or “My Military Hero.” Amelia’s essay on the latter theme, which she drafted in her social studies class with teacher John Black, centered on her uncle Kevin, who has served in both the Navy and Army. In her piece, she noted, “I hope that someday I could be like him, inspiring people and being a hero to America.”

As an award winner, Amelia was honored during the Salute to Veterans: An Inter-Generational Heroes’ Celebration at the Long Island State Veterans Home in Stony Brook. 

“Our district always embraces the opportunity for our students to see Veterans Day as a chance to recognize past and present individuals in order to remember what has been done in the country to keep us free,” said Dr. Paul Gold, K-12 director for social studies. “Students like Amelia embody the dedication and commitment to citizenship we hope to instill in all our scholars.”

Creativity Fills Balloons


Connecting curriculum with Thanksgiving, W.S. Mount Elementary School fifth- and sixth-grade students honed their creative writing skills as they penned persuasive essays to Mr. Macy of Macy’s department stores.

Teachers began the assignment by sharing the historical fiction books “Balloons Over Broadway” and “Milly and the Macy’s Parade.” In groups, the classes discussed the historical importance of the annual parade, reviewed the types of balloons that are already featured and brainstormed ideas for the debut of a new balloon in 2015. The students collaborated on large-scale mock-ups of the designs they envisioned and drafted essays convincing Mr. Macy why their pieces should be included in the time-honored parade.

The completed projects were put on display for all to enjoy during Mount’s Giving Day Parade.


Ward Melville High School students and staff continued their mission of creating a culture filled with compassion, acceptance and awareness as they celebrated Patriot PRIDE (Peace, Respect, Integrity, Dependability, Encouragement) Day.

This year’s program centered on the words and story of Rohan Murphy, an inspirational speaker who promotes the message of living a “no excuses” life. Mr. Murphy, who lost his legs at birth, spoke about how he worked to overcome life’s obstacles and physical challenges in order to achieve his personal standards for success. He told the students about how he pushed himself to achieve both academically and athletically, as he went on to attend and become a Division I wrestler at Penn State University.

“Every single day in the world, ordinary people are doing extraordinary things in their lives,” said Mr. Murphy. “Don't let anyone tell you that you can’t or get in the way of accomplishing the goals you have set for yourself. Life is all about choices, and even the small choices will shape a large part of your future.”

To continue the message of the day, several school clubs organized informational booths in the school’s commons area. The activities at these booths included creating a chain of kindness, writing pride-filled messages on a Tree of Kindness and seeking inspirational messages from the leaves of a paper tree.

Saturday Enrichment Program 2015-2016 - Deadline Extended to 11/20


Buckled Up for Safety

The tragic results that poor decisions can have on motor vehicle drivers and passengers served as the foundation for a recent eye-opening program offered to Ward Melville High School students.

The event, called Driving Equation Teen Presentation, focused on the importance of wearing a seat belt, as well as the negatives of distracted driving and driving under the influence of substances. Presenter Al Ferrari visually and verbally demonstrated the quick turn these actions can take and how one’s life can change seven seconds after impact.

The program was open to all health classes and was delivered on behalf of the EAC Network through a grant from State Farm.

Exploring History

Setauket Elementary School fourth-graders had the chance to step back in time and learn about Native Americans as they participated in the interactive program Journeys into American Indian Territory.

As part of the fourth-grade curriculum, the students learn about the culture of Native Americans and New York State. The in-house field trip, funded by the PTA, deepened their understanding of the Eastern Woodlands Native Americans.  

Throughout the program, the students listened as presenters spoke firsthand about tribal traditions, including games, arts and crafts, and songs and dances. They also visited museum exhibits displaying a variety of Native American artifacts, including bows and arrows, period clothes worn before European contact, and a 4-foot-long longhouse. Additionally, the fourth-graders learned about different aspects of the Iroquois government and the important roles animals played in the Native American lifestyle. They also created their own pinch clay pots.

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, ninth-grade students at P.J. Gelinas and R.C. Murphy junior high schools participated in an essay writing contest.  

The freshmen were required to choose a Latino from the past or present with whom they would like to spend the day and explain why in 500 words or less. During their foreign language classes, students visited the library to research several famous Latinos before making their choice. The essays needed to include the students’ own research, writing and original thinking. The winning essays from the in-house contest have been submitted to the Annual Hispanic Heritage Month Essay Contest sponsored by Cablevision.  

Congratulations to the following winners, who will now compete at the regional level: (Gelinas JHS) Lucia Buscemi, Lizzie Concepcion, Sahil Sangwan, Megan Specht and  Elizabeth Wang; (Murphy JHS) Bre Cohn, Leah Cussen, Thomas DiPietro, Kelsey Ge, Steven Holmquist, Daniel Liquori, Michael Santiesteban, Noelle Walker and Alisa Walsh.

Patriotic Project for Veterans

Minnesauke Elementary School’s new Kids Care Club worked on a community service project for the Long Island State Veterans Home in Stony Brook during a recent meeting. The club members wrote letters for residents and decorated wreaths for the facility in anticipation of this year’s Veterans Day.

What’s for Lunch?

This month, students throughout the district will enjoy a lunch designed by Minnesauke Elementary School second-grader Sadie Miranda, as she was named the winner of the National School Lunch Week contest.

Students throughout Three Village schools designed a balanced lunch including their favorite fruit, vegetable, protein, grain and milk choices. They drew images of these items and submitted their meal plans to their school’s cafeteria during a set time frame.

Sadie’s selection, which included apples, carrots, chicken nuggets, rice and chocolate milk, will appear on Three Village lunch trays this month. As the winner, she was presented with a commemorative certificate and $10 iTunes gift card.

Immigration Story Wins Top Prize

Arrowhead Elementary School sixth-grader Steven Orland was named a first-place winner in an essay contest organized by the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Steven’s entry, which he created during his fifth-grade class with Christina Maffia, was written as a child’s first-person experience with immigrating to America. He wrote his piece about a young boy who was not only frightened by the move, but also curious as to what America would be like and the endless possibilities his new country would bring.

“Steven is a really talented writer, and I was quite impressed by how he applied all of the writing techniques he learned in fourth and fifth grade into the piece with such a strong and powerful voice,” said Ms. Maffia. “It was amazing how he could create something so realistic without having personally experienced the situation.”

As a top winner, Steven was awarded a gift certificate, medal and commemorative certificate.

Preparing for Future Careers

Creating a Culture of Understanding

Ward Melville High School celebrated National Hispanic Heritage Month this fall through a series of interactive and culturally rich activities.

To celebrate and share the love of the Hispanic cultures, students of all levels of study were invited to participate in a “Culture Fair.” The event involved the full foreign language department and approximately 60 students, who prepared presentations about different topics of interest from the Hispanic world. Some of the topics included: Cinco de Mayo, Day of the Dead, Travel in Latin America, Poets of Mexico, Etiquette in Spain, Painters and Sonia Sotomayor, as well as Mate and its origins. Students showcased their research on their subject of study through posters and/or PowerPoints before speaking to a panel of judges about their knowledge of the subject. The event was well-received and students asked that it be repeated.

Additionally, students were able to enjoy traditional foods and cultures of the regions when they visited the Pollo Rico restaurant in Centereach for a traditional lunch, a history of dance as well as a dance lesson. In total, 37 students attended, and all were on the dance floor during the visit to learn how to merengue, salsa and tango.  

AIMHighNY Online Public Common Core Learning Standards Survey Available

The AIMHighNY survey is intended to provide an opportunity for all stakeholders to go online and review as many or as few standards as they desire for the purpose of commenting on what is liked, not liked, and/or offer a suggestion for a change to a particular standard. The comments provided by the public about specific standards will be evaluated by teams of NY educators from all levels specializing in the specific content areas. Changes recommended by these teams will be presented to the New York Board of Regents for consideration. Any changes to the standards would not be implemented until the 2016-17 school year of later.


Patriots Welcome New Athletic Director

At the Oct. 28 Board of Education meeting, the district voted to appoint Peter J. Melore as its permanent executive director of health, physical education, recreation and athletics.

"I am extremely proud, honored and excited to have the opportunity to serve the Three Village School District and community,” said Mr. Melore. “Three Village is without question one of the premier school districts on Long Island, with a long tradition of excellence in education and athletics. It is that balance that drew me to pursue an opportunity to work and serve within this outstanding educational environment. I look forward to working with parents, staff, the administration and, most of all, the student-athletes to sustain the tradition of excellence and continue to move forward with new initiatives to enhance our program.” 

Mr. Melore, who comes to Three Village from the Roslyn School District, has more than 23 years of experience in the field of health education and athletics. He began his career as a middle school physical education teacher in the Farmingdale School District, where he also served as a building and district leader for internship projects, as well as a lead teacher. In his most recent role as Roslyn’s director of physical education, health, intramurals, athletics and recreation, Mr. Melore oversaw the entire health and physical education department, fostered collaborations with community groups, and organized the robust secondary athletic schedules and staff.

Throughout his professional tenure, Mr. Melore has also worked as a coach at both the high school and middle school levels. In the role of head varsity football coach, he guided Smithtown High School East to the Big Four Championship in 2012 and 2014, as well as the playoffs in 2013. He had similar success as the assistant head varsity football coach at Farmingdale High School, a role in which he accumulated 11 Big Four championships, 10 finals showings, five county championships, one Long Island championship and one Rutgers Cup trophy, and was honored with the 2007 Nassau County Assistant Coach of the Year award.

Mr. Melore earned his Bachelor of Science in physical education from SUNY Cortland, his Master of Arts in physical education from Adelphi University and his educational leadership program certificate from Dowling College. He is also certified annually in CPR and first aid.

Board Honored for Service


The collective dedication and service of the district’s seven-member Board of Education was praised and honored during the district’s late October meeting as part of the state-sanctioned School Board Recognition Week program.

As each Board member serves as a liaison to one of the district’s schools, student representatives from each building spoke on behalf of their trustee, the district clerk and the student representative, and presented them with a token of their school’s appreciation.


Patriots Bound for the Postseason **UPDATED 11/13**


Every Ward Melville High School varsity athletic team completed a successful season and earned a spot in their respective sport’s league championship game. Additionally, many student-athletes have advanced further, competing individually or as a team for regional titles. Below is an overview of where the teams stand to date:

Girls Field Hockey – Named League I, Section IX and Long Island champions. They will compete this Sat. Nov. 14 in the State Semifinals. The winner of this contest will advance to compete in the State Championships on Sunday.


Boys Cross-Country – Completed an outstanding season with strong performances by many team members. One athlete, senior Mike Reilly, has qualified for the State Championship.

Girls Cross-Country – Completed an undefeated season and was named League Champions. The team, which has been a powerhouse over the last 15 years, made a good run for the county title as they competed in the Section IX Championship.

Golf – Completed their regular fall season with a record of 12-0 and were named league champions.

Girls Gymnastics – Competed in the team championships and junior Claire Dempsey will be competing in the individual state championship this spring on both floor exercise and balance beam.

Football – With an overall season record of 5-3, the team advanced to this year’s playoffs for the first time in the past six years. The first playoff game against Connetquot High School was close one for the Patriots and ended in a tough call on the last play, resulting in a 41-40 loss for Ward Melville. A playback of the close match can be seen on MSG Varsity.

Boys Soccer – Competed in the Section XI/Suffolk County playoffs, defeating North Babylon in the first round but suffering an upset to Brentwood in the second round. 

Girls Soccer – Ranked second in the league, but suffered an upset in League I playoffs to Deer Park.

Girls Swimming – Five students - Brittany Coughlin, Casey Gavigan, Ashley Hart, Katie Wang and Jen Yavid - will be competing in the individual championship during the week of Nov. 16-20.

Tennis – Completed the season with a 12-0 record and were named league champions. They won the first round of the Section XI tournament but suffered a loss against East Hampton in the second round.

Boys Volleyball – Competed in the Section IX/Suffolk County Tournament, where were defeated by a strong team from Eastport-South Manor.

Girls Volleyball – Completed an undefeated season and were named League I champions. Ranked the No. 2 seed, the team won their Nov. 4 game against Newfield and a semifinal game against Smithtown High School East. The team's season ended with a tough loss in the finals on Thurs. Nov. 12 at Suffolk County Community College – Brentwood Campus. 

An Educational & Giving Halloween


Showing Signs of Support

Although they did not earn the title of World Series Champions, the New York Mets were the recipients of an overwhelming amount of support from students and staff throughout the district as the team played in the MLB’s highest level of competition.

As part of a fundraiser organized by Minnesauke Elementary School student Mia Butkevich and her brother, Jake, who attends P.J. Gelinas Junior High School, the town and many schools displayed large orange and blue ribbons in support of hometown Met Steven Matz. Donations from the purchased ribbons went to support the Strike Out Cancer Foundation.

Nassakeag Elementary School students and staff were seen wearing their favorite Mets apparel throughout the series, and many classes created letters, signs and posters for Matz, a graduate of the school.

Wilgenkamp’s Writers

Minnesauke Elementary School sixth-graders in Paul Wilgenkamp’s class learned the ins and outs of the journalism world, as they became writers for Newsday’s Kidsday section this fall.

The project, which aimed to teach students about the field through hands-on work as reporters, called for the class to create a variety of articles and features for an upcoming issue of the widely read publication. Included in their assignments was an interview with New York Rangers hockey all-star Rick Nash at the NHL Powered by Reebok Store in Manhattan, and a review of the new Playmobil NHL toy line.

The majority of the class’s Kidsday pieces will be included in Newsday editions the week of Jan. 10. However, based on timeliness of the product, the toy product review and interview with Nash was included in an early October issue, which can be viewed here:

"This engaging weeks-long project had the kids use literacy skills to brainstorm, interview, research, draft and publish articles for Newsday,” said Wilgenkamp. “These types of programs motivate students and show them, early on, one application for the skills they learn about each day in the classroom. After doing the project, I had a student comment that he thinks he wants to be a journalist when he gets older.”

Monday, November 30, 2015   |  District Home