CPR Training

As part of the Ward Melville High School health education curriculum, students recently had the opportunity to perform hands-only CPR during class and were instructed on the proper use of the AED (automated external defibrillator). During this interactive class, students also learned how to spot signs of cardiac arrest and how to properly respond in the event of an emergency.

New Coordinating Chair of Music


Veteran educator and longstanding employee Anthony J. Pollera has been appointed as the district’s new coordinating chairperson of music.

Mr. Pollera joined the district in 2002 as a teacher of chorus and chamber choir, as well as director of the R.C. Murphy Junior High School musical theater program. Under his direction, the ninth-grade chamber choir won first place seven times at the Music in the Parks competition, where they also received the prestigious Esprit de Corps Award, which is given to students who demonstrate significant respect, cooperation and consideration of each other, other student groups and teachers at the festival.

Mr. Pollera has been one of the lead music teachers in the district for the past three years and has directed and organized countless events in the Three Village community throughout his tenure, including 10 cabaret nights, six district faculty musical productions to raise money for student scholarships, and several family night’s and Murphy’s Got Talent competitions. These events have brought parents, teachers and students together to work towards a common goal through the medium of music and theatre.

In addition to his teaching experience, Mr. Pollera has showcased his musical talents professionally in New York City, where he preformed as a musician and worked with Showtime Networks. Additionally, he was hired as musical director of the Off-Broadway production of “Birdsville,” produced by David Merrick Productions.  Other experiences include vocal coach and accompanist for the Kings Point Merchant Marine Academy Glee Club, Musical Director of the Glen Cove Community Players, Stars of Tomorrow and the Harbor Arts Music Theatre Camp.  In 2004, Anthony founded the Three Village Musical Theatre Company, with which he has directed and accompanied 12 summer musical productions for students in grades 1-12. 

Mr. Pollera received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and his master’s from Stony Brook University. He has been honored with the Outstanding Achievement as Director of a Districtwide Program Award by the New York State English Council, the Performing Arts in Education Award by Theatre Three in Port Jefferson, and the 2011 SCOPE Outstanding Teacher Award.  

Published Authors

Original written and creative works produced last school year by Brianna Rovegno’s fourth-grade class are set to hit newsstands this October, as they will be featured in the Sunday, Oct. 25 Kidsday section of Newsday.

For the feature, the students worked as journalists under the guidance of a Newsday editor to create jokes, puzzles, surveys and articles on a wide array of topics. They also had the chance to conduct an interview with Auggie Maturo, one of the stars on the show “Girls Meets World.” The venture enabled the class to strengthen both their writing skills and research abilities.

October 7 Meeting of Three Village SAGE is Cancelled

Commended Scholars

Twenty-nine Ward Melville High School students have been named Commended Students by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation based on the exceptional academic promise they demonstrated on the PSAT, the qualifying test used for program entry.

The National Merit Scholarship Program recognized approximately 34,000 students throughout the nation with this honor. Although they will not continue in the 2016 competition, these students placed among the top 5 percent of more than 1.5 million students who entered the  competition by taking the 2014 PSAT.

Congratulations to the following students:

Sage A. Beasley
Natalie E. Butkevich
Kevin Caoo
Sean Cassidy
Sophia Chen
Shannon Dalton
Drew A. Ehrlich
Arman Esmaili
Sarah R. Gutman
Joseph L. Hines
Thomas P. Kernan
Woonyoung Kim
Maho Koga
Rhea J. Lieberman
Rachel C. Marotto
Andrew A. Mata
Rajiv S. Moturu
Megan G. Patton
Katerina Sadov
Heidi E. Scarth
Rebecca E. Schneider
Selina Tang
Fangrui Tong
Orion S. Weiss
Emily L. Winston
Jennifer Y. Yang
Grace Y. Zhang
Elizabeth Zhao
Grace Zhao

Making Buddies at Minnesauke

Thanks to a generous gift by the Minnesauke Elementary School’s sixth-grade Class of 2014, a new buddy bench has been installed on the school’s playground.

The purpose of the new bench is to provide a space for students to sit while looking for a friend with whom to share recess time. In conjunction with the school’s character education program, students are encouraged to regularly check the bench and extend a welcoming hand to anyone sitting upon it to join them in a recess activity.

Patriot Pride





Welcoming New Faces

R.C. Murphy Junior High School hosted a student breakfast program in late September for the nearly 25 students new to the district and school this year.

Staff members and several upperclassmen were on hand during the breakfast to speak with the newcomers about the school’s programs and extracurricular offerings. The event provided a warm welcome to the students and afforded them the chance to meet some of their peers.

College Decisions

Thanks to a college awareness initiative, Ward Melville High School seniors have the opportunity to explore a variety of programs offered at nearly 80 postsecondary institutions without ever leaving campus.

The on-site college visitation program helps to connect the soon-to-be graduates with representatives from schools across the nation in small-group settings during the school day. The meetings focus on the schools’ application processes, areas of study and opportunities offered beyond core academics. 

“It was nice to make a personal connection with the individual who will likely be the one to read my application,” said Rachel Rosenfeld, who attended the Northeastern University on-site visit.

Later in the fall, seniors will have the chance to meet with these and other representatives as part of the high school’s on-site admissions program. During these events, participating college admissions representatives will meet with applicants to conduct personal interviews, evaluate their applications, and ultimately render a decision for acceptance.

Focused on Good Character

As part of the school’s character education program, Rachel's Challenge, Nassakeag Elementary School students and staff have once again pledged to cause a chain reaction of kindness. Individuals documented their joint effort to create an inclusive environment and promote compassion for others by signing a large banner displayed in the main hallway of the school.

Awareness for the yearlong initiative kicked off during an interactive assembly called “Make a Good Choice,” led by musical storyteller Lou Del Bianco. During the event, Mr. Del Bianco took the audience on an exciting journey through his childhood, sharing the daily joys, dreams and missteps he encountered along the way. Students had the chance to consider what types of choices they would make if they were in his shoes and reflected how those choices would affect their own lives.

Musicians Selected for Festivals


In recognition of their talents, many Ward Melville High School student-musicians have been chosen to perform at renowned regional, state and national festivals in the coming months.

As a result of their outstanding scores at the 2015 NYSSMA solo and ensemble evaluation festivals, nearly 50 juniors and seniors were selected for the NYSCAME/SCMEA All-County Music Festival, and 22 were chosen as All-State participants or alternates for this year’s NYSSMA Winter Conference in Rochester, New York. 

Additionally, seniors Matt Hoffman and Rajiv Moturu were chosen to perform with the National Association for Music Education’s All-National Honor Ensembles through a rigorous selection process. Matt will perform as a tenor 1 in the Mixed Choir, and Rajiv as a violinist with the Symphony Orchestra. The ensembles’ final performances will be held at the historic Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee.

NYSCAME/SCMEA All-County Musicians

All-County Band
Reilly Becchina
Cameron Bosch

Caroline Bosch

Peter Jespersen

Thomas Kernan

Shane Kim

Dylan Maggio

Alexander Smith

Kevin Wen
All-County Orchestra
Allison Dana
Kathryn Forcone

Sarah Gutman

Crystal Her
Amy Huang

Ellen Li
Thomas Li
Ariel Leong

Kathryn Leung

Elizabeth Merrifield

Nima Mohammadi

Constance Mulford
Ariella Napoli
Jason Rahner
Matthew Roberts
Emily Winston
All-County Mixed Choir
Caitlyn Albano

Alexandra Bassin
Sage Beasley
Drew Ehrlich
Jacob Haff
Christopher Helenek
Joseph Hines
Matthew Hoffman
Joseph Lombardi
Connor Meehan
Elizabeth Merrifield
Ethan Meyer
Heidi Scarth
Benjamin Shea
Anna Skolnick
John Stimmel
Martin Vaillancourt
Marina Vostrova
Lucas White
All-County Women’s Choir
Meaghan Kruse
Tamryn Rosner
Alexis Salerno
Shawn Tellekamp
Sarah Whelan

2015 NYSSMA Winter Conference
Reilly Becchina – Flute (alternate)
Cameron Bosch – Alto Saxophone (alternate)
Sarah Gutman – Piccolo (alternate) and Flute (alternate)
Jacob Haff – Mixed Chorus
Crystal Her – Violin (alternate)
Ariel Leong – String Orchestra
Kathryn Leung – String Orchestra
Dylan Maggio    – Snare Drum (alternate)
Erin McSweeney – Snare Drum (alternate)
Elizabeth Merrifield – Mixed Chorus and String Orchestra
Nima Mohammadi – String Orchestra
Constance Mulford – Wind Ensemble
Shane Kim – Symphonic Band
Meaghan Kruse – Alto II (alternate)
Jason Rahner – Wind Ensemble
Heidi Scarth – Mixed Chorus and Jazz Alto Voice (alternate)
Benjamin Shea – Mixed Chorus
Alexander Smith – Wind Ensemble
John Stimmel – Bass I (alternate)
Martin Vaillancourt – Vocal Jazz
Kevin Wen – Alto Saxophone (alternate)
Emily Winston – Symphony Orchestra

National Change Makers

As the nation paused to honor the 14th anniversary of 9/11, Nassakeag Elementary School fifth-graders in Adele Gibbons took the 9/11 Good Deed Pledge.

After watching an informational piece about the hope that was born out of the tragedies – namely in the children who were born that day – the class embraced the notion that they each have the power to make a positive difference in the world. Each student then documented how he or she would help effect change through a written pledge, which was displayed to share with the school community.

Annual Adolescent Issue Play at Gelinas - October 16, 7:00 pm

GOSSIP (13th Annual Adolescent Issue Play) at Paul J. Gelinas JHS - Friday, October 16, 2015 @ 7:00 PM in the Auditorium

Click here for IMPORTANT details.

Readers Capture Trophy

Minnesauke Elementary School earned the top prize during this year’s Emma S. Clark Library Summer Reading program. With 14 percent of the school’s student population participating in the initiative, Minnesauke earned the first “Emma Cup” in honor of its students’ reading achievements.

To be considered for the program, which was open to all elementary-aged children in the area, individuals were challenged to read at least seven books during the summer months. Minnesauke Information Specialist Taylor Kinsley and representatives from the library spoke with the school’s students about the program prior to the end of last year.

“I am very proud of all of the students who participated in this great program,” said Ms. Kinsley. “It was a nice way to encourage our community’s learners to develop a lifelong love for reading.” 

In celebration of Minnesauke’s top participation rate, Brian Debus, the head of children’s services at Emma S. Clark, recently visited and presented the school with the official trophy.

Annual Grade K-9 Holiday Inn Express Art Show – Reception Nov. 2


National Honors for 293 Students

As a result of their scholastic dedication, 293 Ward Melville High School students, both current and members of the Class of 2015, have been named Advanced Placement Scholars by the College Board. Students earn this honor, which is divided into four categories, based on the number of AP exams taken and their average scores. 

A total of 125 students were named AP Scholars with Distinction, as they received an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP exams taken and a score of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams. Sixty students were given the distinction of AP Scholar with Honor, as they received an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP exams taken and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams. One hundred eight students were named AP Scholars, as they received scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP exams. Of these students, 30 also earned the highest honor of National AP Scholar, as they received an average score of at least 4 on all AP exams taken and scores of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams.

“I am very pleased that Ward Melville High School has steadily improved the number of students achieving AP Scholar designations,” said Principal Dr. Alan Baum. “It is a testament to the students’ hard work and dedication to their studies.  AP courses, as well as college-level courses offered through Stony Brook University, Suffolk County Community College, etc., offer our students a challenging program and position them for the rigors of a college education. Students enrolling in these courses are better prepared, develop better time management, study, reading and writing skills, and develop a deeper understanding of the content.”

Seniors Vie for National Scholarships

In recognition of their academic aptitude, 17 Ward Melville High School seniors have been named semifinalists in the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program. These academically talented seniors now have the opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,400 National Merit Scholarships worth about $32 million.

The students entered this program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test and by meeting published program entry and participation requirements. Every year, approximately one-third of the 50,000 high scorers are notified that they have qualified as semifinalists.

Congratulations to this year’s Ward Melville semifinalists:

Eleni Aneziris
Corey H. Emery
Hannah R. Goldberg
Yiran S. He
Ashley Hong
Ariel K. Leong
Thomas T. Li
Alice S. Liu
Amanda Liu
Jeffrey R. Michel
Nima Mohammadi
Mark F. Nie
Mohit M. Singh
Sarah Sun
Joshua D. Tanenbaum
Jason M. Wallach
Katherine E. Wang

Artists Earn International Honors


Three Minnesauke Elementary School students and eight current and recently graduated P.J. Gelinas Junior High School students were touted for their exceptional artistic talents during this year’s International Interdependence Hexagon Art Exhibit in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Minnesauke sixth-graders Julia Horan, Meaghan O'Brien and Karolena Zvokel received Most Relevant to Interdependence Theme or Themes in the 2-D Collaborations category. Secondary students Emily Cabrera, Kathleen Esfahany, Courtney Heaney, Antonella Jones, Jake Okrent, Ashley Resnick, Amelia Shannon and Hallie Wastiewiz also earned top honors. Jake received Most Effective All-Over Interpretation, Hallie received Most Creative Expression, Amelia earned Most Relevant to Interdependence Theme, Emily and Courtney received honorable mentions, and Kathleen, Ashley and Antonella earned 2015 Theme Recognition: Solutions.

The students received their awards at a ceremony in Scranton on Sept. 13. 

The International Interdependence Hexagon Project is a visual arts opportunity for students ages 4 to 18 worldwide and calls for entrants to create art within the infinitely interlinking shape of a hexagon, a metaphor for interconnectedness. The district’s students created their submissions under the guidance of their 2014-15 art teachers.



Spotlighting Safety & Security

WMHS Named Reward School by NYS

The New York State Education Department recently commended Ward Melville High School for its academic achievements and designated it a New York State Reward School. NYSED bestowed this award based on high student performance on state assessments, graduation rates and overall academic progress.

“This honor is a well-deserved recognition for our high school,” said Superintendent of Schools Cheryl Pedisich. “On behalf of the Board of Education and administration, I commend the teachers, staff and students at Ward Melville for continuing our district’s longstanding tradition of academic excellence.”

Honoring Patriot Day


District students and staff marked the 14th anniversary of 9/11 in various ways this year.

At Ward Melville High School, administrators and students lined the sidewalk in front of the school campus with more than 70 large American flags.

The iconic symbols served as a reminder of the heroic acts of volunteerism that transpired in the days, weeks and months that followed that day.

P.J. Gelinas Junior High School students and staff gathered around the building’s flagpole on the morning of 9/11 to mark the occasion in solitude.

After a moving patriotic song and a moment of silence, Principal William Bernhard reminded the crowd of the nation’s unbreakable spirit and ability to rise after such tragedy. Several student jazz musicians performed a traditional selection before the students and staff resumed the school day.  

In addition to the students and staff, Murphy's ceremony was attended by three retired NYC Firemen – Louis Andrade, Glenn Healy, and Christopher Paglia – as well as Tech Sergeant Sean McEvoy and Airman First Class Joseph Jaramillo-Zaruma from the Westhampton Air Base. During the ceremony, Tim Grant played Amazing Grace on the bagpipes as the American flag was lowered to half-mast. The school was presented with a piece of steel from the World Trade Center, and bell from the fire department, from Kevin Yoos. The Murphy Chamber Choir and Orchestra also performed “America the Beautiful.”

Coming Together to Welcome the New Year

P.J. Gelinas Junior High School hosted a series of events aimed at welcoming new and returning students to the 2015-16 school year.

To help familiarize them with their new surroundings, the school’s student government hosted a breakfast program for nearly 25 incoming students. The program offered the students — who came from as far as China, Korea and the Philippines and as locally as neighboring school districts — the chance to learn about the buildings’ clubs, classes and extracurricular offerings.

“We want our new peers to feel happy and welcomed in their new environment,” said ninth-grader Olivia Ross.

“We hope that today’s event shows them that they are not alone in their new school and reminds them that they have friends in student government,” added ninth-grader Will Sartain.

The student government also hosted a back-to-school recreation night for all students at the end of the first week of school, and the PTA organized a welcome-back breakfast for parents.

R.C. Murphy Junior High School hosted a similar new student breakfast program for the school’s incoming 25 students.

Patriots Play Under the Lights

Come cheer on the Ward Melville High School varsity football team as they play their first-ever night games under the stadium lights this fall! The team will take on Division I County Champs Lindenhurst on Friday, Sept. 11 at 6 p.m. and Central Islip on Friday, Oct. 9 at 6 p.m. The events will also feature the district’s talented marching band, color guard and cheerleading squad. Admission to the games is free.

Friday, October 09, 2015   |  District Home