Pieces of Energy

Members of R.C. Murphy Junior High School’s SHARP club, National Art Honor Society and student government found their inner artist as they organized a creative community service project to raise awareness for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America.

The initiative, which was inspired by W.S. Mount Elementary School sixth-grader and 2015 Shining Star for the CCFA Rebecca Rogak, called for 55 students, along with their club advisors, to create inspirational pieces, pendants, key rings and bracelets known as “pieces of energy.”

Academic All-Stars

Ward Melville High School’s JV Academic Team had an impressive performance at the 2015 Regional Quiz Bowl Tournament this spring. With one player short of a full team, Ian Baram, Nima Mohammadi and Dylan Masters won a series of decisive victories against their competition and took home the first-place trophy.

Melodic Spring Performances


Ward Melville High School student-musicians performed a number of selections during their spring concert series. The Concert I showcase included performances by the concert band, honors jazz ensemble, symphonic band and wind ensemble. Below are a few pictures from the program.

Photos courtesy of Greg Catalano.


Jumping into Nature

Summer Enrichment Newsletter


Friday, May 8 - 4th Annual Gelinas JH Carnival

Friday, May 8, 2015 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.  Please see flyer for details.

Purifying Water Supplies

P.J. Gelinas Junior High School eighth-grade student Joshua George was awarded honorable mention for his submission to the DuPont Challenge Science Essay Competition.

Considered by many to be the nation’s premier scientific essay competition, the DuPont Challenge Essay has more than 10,000 student applicants annually from 50 states. All of the students enrolled in the Earth SMART classes at Gelinas submitted essays to this science competition in fulfillment of a course requirement. Josh was one of only 20 students selected out of the thousands of applicants from the Junior Division for the Honorable Mention status and will receive a $200 U.S. savings bond.

For his essay, “Humidity Save Lives,” Josh described how water vapor in the air could potentially be a source of drinking water for areas of the world that are facing shortages. In his paper, he described a machine that would run off solar power and collect the water from the atmosphere where it wasn’t present on the ground (essentially a solar-powered dehumidifier and filter). His writing displayed a high level of understanding of the problem parts of our planet face with regards to water supply (today and in the future), as well as a unique solution that may be feasible in certain areas.

Sports Spectacular


Nassakeag Elementary School’s community came together for a charity event in support of Contractors For Kids in advance of the districtwide event this April.

During the Nassakeag Sports Spectacular event, faculty and staff members competed in various fun and exciting relay races. Attendees donated more than $4,200 for Contractors For Kids through ticket and concession sales. In addition to enjoying the display of athleticism present during the event, the school quadrupled the number of CFK Walk/Run participants to almost 110 athletes.

Nassakeag’s faculty and staff thanks all of the supporters.

Budget Newsletter now Available


Qualifying for Scholarships

Forty-six Ward Melville High School students qualified to enter the 2016 National Merit Scholarship program for the chance at the annual contest’s wide-ranging scholarships. The following students were granted this opportunity based on their results on the 2014 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

Eleni Aneziris
Sage Beasley
Natalie Butkevich
Kevin Caoo
Sean Cassidy
Sophia Chen
Shannon Dalton
Drew A. Ehrlich
Cory H. Emery
Arman Esmaili
Hannah R. Goldberg
Sarah R. Gutman
Yiran S. He
Joseph L. Hines
Ashley Hong
Thomas P. Kernan
Woonyoung Kim
Maho Koga
Ariel K. Leong
Thomas T. Li
Rhea J. Lieberman
Alice S. Liu
Amanda Liu
Rachel C. Marotto
Andrew A. Mata
Jeffrey R. Michel
Nima Mohammadi
Rajiv S. Moturu
Mark F. Nie
Megan G. Patton
Katerina Sadov
Heidi E. Scarth
Rebecca E. Schneider
Mohit M. Singh
Sarah Sun
Joshua D. Tanenbaum
Selina Tang
Fangrui Tong
Jason M. Wallach
Katherine E. Wang
Orion S. Weiss
Emily L. Winston
Jennifer Y. Yang
Grace Y. Zhang
Elizabeth Zhao
Grace Zhao

State Champs – AGAIN!

P.J. Gelinas Junior High School’s Science Olympiad team captured first place and R.C. Murphy Junior High School finished sixth during the New York State Tournament on April 18 in Syracuse, New York. 

In one of their best performances, Gelinas’ team won medals in 22 out of 25 events as they competed against 35 of the best teams in the state. Murphy’s team also competed victoriously as they earned 13 medals.

As a first-place finisher, Gelinas’ team will now compete in the National Tournament at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, Nebraska, in May.

Award-Winning Writers

Ward Melville High School sophomores Megan Bush, Julia Coletti, Kirti Nath, Sachin Patnaik, Charlotte Schmidt and Isabelle Scott were selected to represent their school in the Kenneth F. Gambone Writing Contest.

The students were invited to participate in the contest by submitting a sample of their best writing and complete an impromptu piece. Submissions were judged anonymously and were scored by two different members of the English department using criteria established by the National Council of Teachers of English.

As the school representatives, their work will now be judged by the Long Island Language Arts Council.

Victory in Court

The district’s mock trial team – comprised of students from P.J. Gelinas Junior High School and Ward Melville High School – is setting records in its second year of competition, having recently won the Suffolk County Regional Championship.

During the contest, the district’s students defeated a tough team from Bay Shore within the Federal Courthouse. They will now compete for the state title against eight other regional champions in Albany this May.

“This is the most dedicated and unified group of young people I have worked with, and they are very deserving of the accomplishment,” said coach and Gelinas teacher Douglas Elliot. “To achieve what they have accomplished in two years is truly remarkable.”

Wrestlers Pin State Honors

Ward Melville High School varsity wrestlers Nick Piccininni and Christian Areano earned New York State Championship titles this year.

Nick earned his fourth state championship title since he began his wrestling career at Ward Melville. His latest title was earned in the 126-pound weight class. He also tied the New York State record for the most amount of championship titles held by one person. He is a five-time Suffolk County Champion and five-time All-State wrestler. Upon graduation this year, he will attend Oklahoma State University, which runs one of the premier wrestling programs in the country.

Christian won his first New York State championship title in the 195-pound weight class. On the road to the state contest, Christian also won league and Suffolk County champion titles.

Making an Impact

In celebration of Earth Day, students and staff members throughout the district participated in a variety of hands-on activities centered on the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling materials.

Minnesauke Elementary School kindergarten students in Cassie Sheridan’s and Allison Babb’s classes used upcycled milk cartons to create planters for small seeds. The students painted cartons discarded in the cafeteria and used the colorful creations to plant seeds of their choosing.

Each student received a plant journal to track their plant’s growth and will share their documented findings with their classmates each week.

Keeping with the school’s tradition, Nassakeag Elementary School’s student council members participated in the building’s annual Earth Day Clean Up, and sixth-graders in Robyn Weinstein’s class coordinated a Waste Free Lunch Week. During the clean up, the students worked to remove any debris located on the school’s grounds and planted two trees in the building’s courtyard donated by the PTA and head custodian John Moran.

As part of their class’s effort, Ms. Weinstein’s students aimed to reduce the amount of waste created during the school’s lunch times. Leading up to the week, the sixth-graders made announcements and visited classrooms to inform their peers about the initiative and the ways in which they could participate. The students were encouraged to use recyclable lunch containers, use washable trays during lunch and monitor how many disposable utensils they select. The students charted the success of the initiative on a large graph in the cafeteria. Each class received a $5 Barnes and Noble gift card courtesy of the PTA to help support the initiative. The school eliminated more than 1,000 pounds of garbage during the week.


Elementary Math Report and Recommendation Presentation - April 22, 2015


Outstanding Skills

Ward Melville High School students enrolled in the Eastern LI Academy for Applied Technology (former BOCES) program, recently competed and earned top honors at this year’s SkillsUSA regional contest at Suffolk County Community College. This national organization is found at many vocational schools and offers students the chance to demonstrate their knowledge of the hands-on subjects they are studying.
During this year’s contest, Ward Melville students earned the following awards:

Kathleen O’Brien – First place in Advertising Design
Matthew Dakhil, Kelly Degan and Nikki Yovino – Second place in Health Knowledge Bowl
Alyssa Concolino – Second place in Opening and Closing Ceremony

Scholar Artist

The district congratulates senior Amanda Spaccarelli for being named the April Scholar Artist for Suffolk County by the Long Island Arts Alliance. To learn more about Amanda, please read the feature at: http://www.newsday.com/services/programs/long-island-arts-alliance/amanda-spaccarelli-april-s-scholar-artists-for-suffolk-county-1.10253236.




Scholarly Swimmers

Ward Melville High School’s boys varsity swimming and diving team was recognized for their ability to balance a rigorous academic program with a varsity competitive sport this year by being named the 2014-15 Boys Swimming and Diving New York State Scholar Athlete Team Champion. This honor is given to the team with the highest average GPA of all of the boys varsity swimming and diving programs in New York State.

The district’s Board of Education recently commended the team members for this outstanding achievement and presented each with a certificate of recognition.

Words to Protect the Earth

Working with the help of their sixth-grade buddies, students in Tammy Oestreicher’s class at Arrowhead Elementary School became published authors by creating a class book, “Caring for the Earth.”

Working in teams, the students each created a different page in the book, including a picture and description of how they are helping to protect the earth. The pages were bound to create one hardcover book, and each student received a commemorative copy. An additional book was added to the school’s library. 

The class buddies have volunteered to work with the younger students for the past two years. They meet every other Tuesday during their lunch and recess to complete various educational projects.

Flawless Finish for Gymnasts

Ward Melville High School gymnasts Cydney Crasa and Katie Bowe have spent countless hours in the gym preparing and perfecting their skills as they worked toward becoming New York State Champions. That work paid off this year as the dedicated athletes earned top honors at the New York State Gymnastics Championship.

Cydney came in first place on the vault and beam, earning her a gold medal and champion status in both events. This is Cydney’s third individual state championship title. She also earned a team gold medal when her performance helped Suffolk County win the overall New York State Team Championship. The combination of her dedication to her academics and athletics has earned her the opportunity to be recruited by some of the most prestigious colleges in the country and being named a Varsity Gymnastics Scholar Athlete.

Katie placed first on the uneven bars during the state championship, earning her a gold medal and champion status. This was Katie’s first individual state championship title. She also earned a team gold medal, as her performance aided the county’s New York State Team Championship status.

Katie’s ability to balance her athletic commitments with her scholastic ones also earned her the title of a Varsity Gymnastics Scholar Athlete.

Perfect Score

Ward Melville High School senior Jake Welde earned an accolade shared by few others — a perfect score on the SAT exam.

Jake, a well-rounded academic scholar who regularly works to balance his academics with his co-curricular enjoyments, earned the incredible feat on the March 2014 exam. More than 1.6 million seniors took the exam worldwide and Jake is one of the 583 who scored a perfect 2400.

Jake aspires to major in robotics/engineering in college.

Patriots Commit to College

After years of hard work and dedication, 27 Ward Melville High School student-athletes have been selected to continue their athletic careers at some of the top-ranked colleges and universities this fall. As a testament to their achievements, the district’s athletic department commended the student-athletes during a spring college commitment celebration. 

Surrounded by their parents and coaches, the students put pen to paper to finalize their commitment to Division I and II institutions. Additionally, several celebrated their upcoming enrollment in Division III universities.

“On behalf of the school district and administration, I commend each of you for the hard work you have demonstrated in the classroom and the unwavering focus you have for your sport,” said Erin Blaney, executive director for health, physical education, recreation and athletics. “You have brought such pride to our school community, and we look forward to hearing about your continued accomplishments in the future.”

The district congratulates the following students:

Division I

Michael Antipas

University of Notre Dame


Molly Dearie

La Salle University


Jack Faraci

SUNY Binghamton


Kirsten Fraas

Stony Brook University


Olivia Gonsalves

Villanova University


Ilana Solomon

Columbia University


Charlie Theiss

Columbia University

Track & XC

Carly Weber Levine

Stanford University


Angela Zhang

Cornell University



Division II

Sean Adams

California University of Pennsylvania


Jeff Towle

Pace University


Bonnie Woods

Stonehill College

Field Hockey


Division III

Robert Antonio

SUNY Maritime College


Jacob Arditti

SUNY Brockport


Jessica Clemens

Springfield College


Christine Donat

SUNY New Paltz


Sabrina Ferretti

SUNY Geneseo


James Laguerre

SUNY Geneseo

Track & XC

Jessica LaRosa

Stevenson University


Matthew Lopiccolo

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


Mark Napoli

Stevenson University


Hannah Parbst

Ithaca College


Kayla Purdy

Catholic University


John Ripa

SUNY Geneseo

Track & XC

Katlyn Scarpinella

Utica College


Tracy Singleton

SUNY Cortland


Mike Stavropoulos

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute




Books by Students

Creative stories and beautiful pictures crafted separately by R.C. Murphy Junior High School eighth-grader Leah Cussen and Ward Melville High School junior Wendy Wahlert will now be enjoyed by the masses as a result of their winning entries in the first Helen Stein Shack Picture Book Contest, organized by Emma S. Clark Memorial Library.

As award winners, the students each received a $500 scholarship and will have their books printed, bound and added to the library’s Local Focus Collection. An e-book will also be available.

Leah’s book, “Lenny the Lion,” is about a lion that leaves his home to search the jungle for a place where he belongs. Ultimately, he determines that his family is the perfect fit.

“I was very surprised and really excited and proud because I had put a tremendous amount of time into researching lions and teaching myself how to draw,” said Leah.
Wendy’s book is about a character named Lilabet who is the only colorful person living in a town that is completely black and white. She is at first sad about how she is the only colorful one, but then decides to spread her color all over so the town is no longer black and white.     

“I felt extremely honored when I found out that I had won, especially since I will now be a published author, which is an exciting title to have,” said Wendy, who has a desire to pursue graphic design in college and beyond.

Celebrating Reading

Nassakeag Elementary School kindergarten through second-grade students came together to celebrate their love of reading during the building’s Annual Milk and Cookies Night.

The program, attended by approximately 50 students, featured performances by Johnny Como, included small group reading sessions and concluded with the students enjoying milk and cookies in the cafeteria. Members of the Ward Melville High School National Honor Society volunteered to conduct several of read-a-louds.

Sweep State Contest

The Ward Melville Key Club demonstrated their unwavering talents as they swept New York State for the most awards at the annual Key Club Leadership Training Conference in Albany this March.

Competing against 87 clubs in attendance, and more than 230 clubs in the entire state, the team won second place in the Platinum Division of the Single Service Awards for Walk for Beauty, the Advocacy Award for Youth Awareness of Mental Illness, second place for Public Relations, Outstanding Governor’s project for their Water Walk to support the Thirst Project and 17 Distinguished Key Clubbers — the most in N.Y. State.

Additionally, Donna Yu, the chapter’s treasurer, became the first Ward Melville student elected to hold a New York statewide position (N.Y. District Treasurer), advisor Annette Goldberg won the Distinguished Faculty Advisor Award, and several students earned individual awards:

Shannon Dalton – Outstanding Club Secretary
Nicole D’Onofrio – Distinguished Bulletin Editor
Kyra Durko – Outstanding President for New York State
Erin McSweeney – Outstanding Club Vice President
Christine Shen – Distinguished Lieutenant Governor
Donna Yu – Distinguished Treasurer Award Winner

Inspired to Remain Positive

R.C. Murphy Junior High School students and staff learned to embrace the saying “no excuses” when inspirational speaker Rohan Murphy visited the building in early April.

Mr. Murphy, who lost his legs at birth, shared his story of overcoming life’s obstacles and physical challenges in order to achieve his personal standards for success. He told the students how he pushed himself to achieve both academically and athletically as he went on to become a Division I wrestler at Penn State University.

“When I was your age, good wasn’t good enough – I wanted to be great,” he told the students. “Life is about choices…the small ones you make today are going to shape your future. Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something. If you have goals or dreams, be sure to accomplish them.”

The visit was held in conjunction with the building’s annual Town Hall Meeting, which brings the entire school together to focus on a topic of particular importance.

“This annual event provides an excellent opportunity for our entire Murphy family to come together,” said Assistant Principal Kevin Finnerty. “Our Town Halls give a voice to different areas we like to talk about as part of our PBIS program and help define how we, as a school community, should act. This year’s speaker is sure to have inspired us all to do great things.”

At the end of the Town Hall, Mr. Murphy spoke to students in small groups during their lunch periods to continue the conversation.