Raising Funds and Donations for Thanksgiving

Setauket Elementary School’s student council coordinated a food drive and hosted two Thanksgiving sporting events to benefit local families. The drive and clinic fundraisers collected more than $1,250, which was used to purchase supermarket gift cards for families in the Setauket and Three Village communities.

Celebrating the First Thanksgiving

W.S. Mount Elementary School first-grade classes helped family and friends get into the holiday spirit by performing a series of Thanksgiving-inspired plays this November.

Each class focused on different aspects of the first Thanksgiving while integrating key facts about the day, including when it became a national holiday. Dressed in original costumes, the students led attendees through oral presentations and musical interludes before enjoying tasty feasts in their classrooms.

Celebrating the First Thanksgiving

W.S. Mount Elementary School first-grade classes helped family and friends get into the holiday spirit by performing a series of Thanksgiving-inspired plays this November.

Each class focused on different aspects of the first Thanksgiving while integrating key facts about the day, including when it became a national holiday. Dressed in original costumes, the students led attendees through oral presentations and musical interludes before enjoying tasty feasts in their classrooms.

Athletes Commit to Colleges

In a record year for Ward Melville High School Patriots, 28 seniors committed to compete on some of the nation’s premier athletic programs this fall.

During a special ceremony at the school, proud family and friends surrounded the students as they put pen to paper and signed National Letters of Intent with Division I and II schools, while others committed to Division III institutions.

“On behalf of the school district’s administrators, teachers and coaches, I commend these student-athletes on their athletic accomplishments, as they have committed to continue their athletic careers at some of the nation’s top colleges and universities,” said Erin Blaney, the district’s executive director for health, physical education, recreation and athletics. “The life of a student-athlete is extremely demanding, and these seniors have dedicated their time not only to their chosen sport but also scholastically to achieving in the classroom. They will always be a part of the Ward Melville Patriot family and we wish them success in all of their future endeavors.”

The district congratulates the following students:

Division I
Jennifer Balzan    University of Connecticut     Soccer
Daniel Balzan    Georgetown University     Lacrosse
Michael Cirrone    Richmond University     Lacrosse
Michael Cusamano    Stony Brook University     Lacrosse
Theresa Danetti    Monmouth University     Lacrosse
Don Donnelly    Columbia University    Wrestling
Joseph Flynn    Princeton University     Baseball
Zach Kaplan    Binghampton University     Swimming
Katie Koester    Columbia University     Field Hockey
Jake McCulloch    Cornell University     Lacrosse
Samantha Nemirov    University of Colorado at Boulder     Lacrosse
Katie O’Connor    Duquesne University     Soccer
Nicholas Piccininni    Oklahoma State University     Wrestling
Thomas Reilly    Cornell University     Lacrosse
Sarah Schoenfeld    Binghamton University     Swimming
Alexandra Vignona    University of Vermont     Lacrosse
Cassandra Vignona    UMBC     Swimming

Division II
Michelle Antonio    Pace University     Lacrosse
Morgan Antonio    Philadelphia University     Soccer
Margaret Iavarone    Queens College     Lacrosse
John Kelly    Pace University     Lacrosse
Kristi Kelly    Molloy College     Lacrosse
Amanda Milazzo    Molloy College     Soccer
Corinne Nocera    Pace University     Field Hockey

Division III
Corey Aviles    Wesleyan University     Lacrosse
Allison Cosentino    Union College     Field Hockey
Briana Dade    Oneonta College     Softball
Morgan Graham    Kean University     Lacrosse

Native American Experiences

A giant tepee and multi-sensory stations blanketed the mini gym at W.S. Mount Elementary School as the kindergarten classes participated in a Native American village program.
After completing a history lesson on the subject, the kindergarten classes experienced a typical day in the life of early Native Americans during the hands-on program. They created Native American outfits and rotated through seven learning stations, including a reading a story inside a giant tepee, hunting for buffalo, planting corn, making clay pots and gathering food. At the end of the program, each class enjoyed a delicious feast while surrounding the tepee.

Within the classrooms, students completed a diverse number of learning activities. These included constructing model tepees and creating “all about” books on the Native Americans.

Teachers Sport Turkey Hats

Two teachers at Ward Melville High School and R.C. Murphy Junior High School had the honor of wearing colorful turkey hats the day before this year’s Thanksgiving break as a result of the buildings’ widely successful food drives.

Organized by the individual key clubs, students collected thousands of nonperishable food items for local pantries and placed their donations in boxes labeled with different teachers’ names. The teacher whose box received the least amount of items was named the “winner” and graciously donned the comical hat.

As a result of their effort, Murphy collected more than 450 food items for the Our Daily Bread food pantry in Saint James, and Rocco Vetro wore the hat. Ward Melville received 4,750 donations, which were given to several local pantries; Ronald Muscarella wore the turkey hat.

Ward Melville’s student government contributed to this year’s successful drive, and the building’s sunshine fund graciously donated gift cards for the receiving families.

Ward Melville HS Presents Grease

Click here for flyer - GREASE

December 11, 12, 13, 2014 -  7:30 pm Ward Melville

Payforit.net for tickets, or call 730-4357
or email lcontin2@3villagecsd.org

All tickets $20 general admission

A Thanksgiving Adventure


Battle of the Cans

Working according to grade level, P.J. Gelinas Junior High School students and staff members teamed up to collect hundreds of nonperishable food items and combat local hunger.

The annual Battle of the Cans event challenged students to collect the most number of donations for the Town of Brookhaven’s food drive to benefit local families in need. More than 600 cans were collected, and by a narrow margin of 10 items, the ninth-grade class was named the winner.

Pre-K Open House – Dec. 2 at 6:30 pm

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

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


Promoting PRIDE


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

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

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

Ithaca College Choral Composition Contest Images of Stars by Richard Ewer

Letters for Veterans

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

Providing Comfort

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

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

Students-Films Debut in NYC

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

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

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

Teaming Up With the Islanders

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

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

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

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

Grades 7-12 Report Cards Now Viewable in the Portal

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

Learning from a Broadway Star

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

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

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

Penning a Winning Entry

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

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

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

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

Gelinas Play Focuses on Bullying

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

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

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

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

Garnering Support and Donations

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

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

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

Donating to Island Harvest

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

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

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

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

Walking to Promote Healthy Living

Combating Childhood Obesity


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

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

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

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

Giving Thanks to Volunteers

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

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

Patriot Pride Soars


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

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

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

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

Siemens Regional Finalist

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

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