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Board of Education Appoints New Superintendent of Schools

Board of Education Appoints New Superintendent of Schools Photo
At its communications meeting on April 20, 2017, the East Meadow Board of Education appointed Dr. Kenneth Card, Jr. as the district’s new superintendent of schools, effective July 1, 2017. Dr. Card joins the district with more than 14 years of experience as a district and school-based leader, most recently serving as the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction in the Huntington School District for the past seven years. His past experience also includes serving as principal at Woodhull Intermediate School in Huntington, and an assistant principal and social studies teacher in the Harborfields Central School District.

Dr. Card also currently serves as an adjunct assistant professor at the School of Education at LIU Post and as an adjunct instructor at the School of Education at SUNY Old Westbury. He is a visionary leader in a K-12 setting and has extensive experience in strategic planning and resource development, a deep dedication to academic excellence and a passion for preparing students for productive and successful lives.

“Dr. Card is highly regarded and respected in the educational community and described by his peers as a creative thinker, a problem solver, a strong long-range planner and an effective leader,” said Board of Education President Marcee Rubinstein. “The Board believes that Dr. Card will be effective at connecting and communicating with faculty, staff, students, parents and the community at large. We welcome him to our district and look forward to his leadership and vision.”

Dr. Card’s primary goal for East Meadow is to enable the district to fully achieve its mission and aspirations for all students. He plans on building on East Meadow’s many strengths and promote a rich academic life that fosters student success, advances the intellectual, artistic and athletic abilities of students to ensure that they are well prepared for student success well into the future.

“Dr. Card has our district’s entire support in his efforts to lead and to uplift our children to greater heights in knowledge, kindness and respect of others,” said current Superintendent of Schools Leon J. Campo. “On behalf of our dedicated staff, I welcome him to the East Meadow School District family!”

Special Message to the Community – Bond Initiative

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On Tuesday, March 7, East Meadow residents approved the community’s first joint East Meadow Schools and Public Library capital project bond referendum by a vote of 2,031 Yes to 835 No.

Projects included in this bond will address major repairs and renovations to schools districtwide, improve energy efficiency, support science initiatives, and restore natural grass athletic fields for school and community use. The bond will also fund major repairs and upgrades to the public library that will support additional programs and services, improve energy efficiency and security systems, and increase opportunities for students and patrons.

“The Board of Education and administration would like to thank all community residents who voted on the bond and for their approval and continued support,” said Superintendent of Schools Leon J. Campo. “This is an exciting time for our community and we look forward to improving our schools for our students and for future generations to come.” East Meadow Public Library Director Carol Probeyahn said, “On behalf of the library Board of Directors, we want to thank the community for your vote of support. We are looking forward to improving our library to provide expanded services for our children and community residents.”

Tuesday, March 7 is the East Meadow Public Schools and Public Library joint bond vote. Please plan to be part of the future of our community and remember to vote. Every vote counts! Polls will be open from 7 a.m.-9 p.m. at all elementary schools.

Information on Artificial Turf fields

East Meadow Schools and Public Library Joint Bond Presentation
Thursday, March 2, 2017 • 6:30 p.m.
Leon J. Campo Salisbury Center

Prior to 2017-18 Budget Input Session and Board of Education Meeting

East Meadow Joint Bond Vote March 7 from 7 a.m.- 9p.m. at All Elementary Schools
Average annual cost to taxpayers = $57.53 or less than 16¢ per day

On Tuesday, March 7, 2017, residents will have an opportunity to vote on a joint bond referendum proposed by the East Meadow Public Schools and the East Meadow Public Library that, if approved, will renovate and improve the schools and library to better serve students and community residents into the future. For the first time in East Meadow’s history, residents will vote on a joint bond at significant savings to the taxpayer.

The East Meadow schools are more than 60 years old and in need of major repairs and renovations that are too costly to include in the annual school budget without significantly increasing taxes and/or cutting programs and services to students. The public library has not undertaken a major renovation in more than 30 years, and requires major repairs and upgrades.

The bond initiative will fund the repairs and renovations to the schools, improve energy efficiency, support science initiatives and restore the district’s natural grass athletic fields for school and community use. The proposed bond would also support major repairs and upgrades to the public library to enhance additional programs and services, improve energy efficiency and security systems and increase opportunities to serve students and patrons.

During the life span of the bond, the average annual cost to the taxpayer is $57.53, or approximately 16¢ per day. The projected average annual cost to the taxpayer is calculated using the average assessed property value as determined by the Nassau County Assessor’s Office. It is anticipated the work in the schools will begin during the summer of 2018 and the library work will also begin sometime in 2018.

This is an exciting time for the community. All residents are encouraged to vote on Tuesday, March 7, from 7 a.m.-9 p.m., at all district elementary schools. For more information, visit the school district website at or the library website at You can also find information on the bond on Facebook by liking East Meadow Schools and Public Library Joint Bond.

School District and Public Library Joint Bond Referendum
In a joint decision, the first of its kind in the community’s history, the school district and public library plan to propose a single bond referendum that would support major renovations and improvements to both the district’s schools and athletic facilities, and the public library. If approved by voters, the proposed work will bring the public library into the 21st century and facilitate greater opportunities to serve the community, while the school district will be able to address much needed repairs and improve its instructional space and athletic facilities at schools that are more than 60 years old.


Parkway’s Got Rhythm

Parkway’s Got Rhythm Photo

Kindergartners at Parkway Elementary School got into the rhythm with the help of dance instructor Diane Gibaldi from Higher Minds Dance.

The visit kicked off the school’s five-week K Dance program, during which Gibaldi is teaching students basic concepts such as in front of, behind, over and under through dance routines and music. Practicing in groups, the kindergartners follow the music by applying critical thinking, collaboration and coordination skills to complete tasks.

The students will culminate the program on May 16 by performing a choreographed dance to Lonestar’s “Let Them Be Little” for parents, faculty and administrators.   

East Meadow Students Take Center Stage With FREE Players

East Meadow Students Take Center Stage With FREE Players Photo
The district invites the community to attend the FREE Players Variety Show Extravaganza featuring East Meadow REACH students on Friday, April 28 at 7 p.m. at W.T. Clarke High School.

Over the past few months, mentors from FREE – Family Residences and Essential Enterprises – integrated into REACH classrooms at W.T. Clarke middle and high school to teach students verbal and nonverbal communication techniques through theater exercises. The FREE Mentors also exposed students to a variety of music and assisted them with reading and memorizing three-minute skits from popular movies and theatrical productions.

The months of practice and dedication put in by the East Meadow REACH students will meet the talents of this one-of-a-kind theater troupe in a performance that is sure to captivate audiences. The extravaganza will also feature a performance by the FREE Players Drum Corps and students from the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased the night of the show. A percentage of the proceeds will benefit the East Meadow Special Education Parent Teacher Association. SEPTA will also host a bake sale and a 50/50 raffle the evening of the performance.

“The collaboration between the FREE Players and our students is truly remarkable,” said Superintendent of Schools Leon J. Campo. “The enthusiasm, creativity and passion that the FREE Players have sparked in our children are sure to be seen on stage at this performance.”  

Clarke HS DECA team advances to international conference

Clarke HS DECA team advances to international conference Photo
Sixteen members of the W.T. Clarke High School DECA team have qualified for the International Career Development Conference, to be held in Anaheim, California, from April 26-29. They met this qualification after excelling in the New York DECA State Competition.

According to is website, DECA is a nonprofit student organization that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs from high schools and colleges around the world in marketing, finance, hospitality and management.

Seventy Clarke DECA members attended the New York State regional conference in Rochester on March 8-10, where they participated in competitive events aligned with the National Curriculum Standards in marketing, business management and administration, finance, and hospitality and tourism. Students were evaluated on written components such as an exam, as well as on creative work such as their business manual. The contest also contained an interactive component in which they presented their work before an industry professional who served as a judge.

At the state competition, 29 Clarke students received top 10 overall winner status, 10 placed in the top 10 for testing, and 12 were recognized in the top 10 role play category. Sixteen of these high-placing DECA members were tapped to advance to the national-level competition.     

In addition to this prestigious accomplishment, Clarke seniors Priya Aggarwal and James Curran were inducted into the New York DECA Honor Society for demonstrating outstanding leadership and service, holding more than three years of membership in the club, maintaining a business average of 90 or above and an overall average of 85 or above, and having competed at the state level.

The district congratulates the Clarke High School DECA team on their dedication, critical thinking abilities and thought-provoking work and wishes them much success as they advance to nationals.  

The Clarke High School DECA members heading to nationals are:
•    Bhavya Arora for Hospitality and Tourism Professional Selling
•    Joe Collica, Bailey McNamara and Avani Singh for Buying and Merchandising Operations in Research
•    Caitlyn Eng and Cynthia Johnson for Financial Services Series
•    Kerri Goldfuss for Sports and Entertainment Marketing Series
•    Logan Mark for Professional Selling
•    Abishek Ravindran for Principles of Finance
•    Megan Rodrigues for Human Resources Series
•    Ankit Sayed and Pantho Sayed for Business Services Operations in Research
•    Joseph Zirkel for Start-up Business Plan

Building A Better You

Building A Better You Photo
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Pursuing her Girl Scout Gold Award, Leila Osman, an East Meadow High School junior and former Woodland Middle School student, presented “Brand New, Brand You: Personal Brand Awareness for Teens” to Woodland Middle School sixth- and seventh-graders on April 3.

According to the official Girl Scouts website, the Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest and most prestigious award in Girl Scouting. To achieve this recognition, high school students must complete a seven-step project that focuses on a community issue they care about.

During her presentation to the Woodland students, Leila explained how a personal brand is created through verbal cues, including use of tone and pitch when speaking; the written word, such as texting and posting on social media; and outer appearance, including clothing, style and body language. She explained the influence that brands have on social and school life, college, employment, marriage and other areas of life. She concluded by encouraging the students to be proud of who they are and make right decisions regarding friends, classmates and the internet.

“When I went to Woodland, I was growing and changing,” said Leila. “I want these students to be aware of the persona they’re sending out in the world and how powerful the internet can be in damaging their personal brand.”

Following, the Woodland classes completed a personal brand activity, designing an image surrounded by words that represent who they are as individuals.   

East Meadow students Take Top Honors in West Islip ASL Idol

East Meadow students Take Top Honors in West Islip ASL Idol Photo
East Meadow students Take Top Honors in West Islip ASL Idol Photo 2
Students in the district earned top honors in West Islip High School’s seventh annual American Sign Language Idol.

Months of preparation and practice paid off for W.T. Clarke High School senior Alyssa Pancho, who won first place and a $100 cash prize for signing the comedic song “I’m So Humble” by Lonely Island. Taking home third were Woodland Middle School eighth-graders Isabella Conti, Saliha Deir, Valerie German and Daniel Scheir, who signed Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Satisfied.”

Woodland Middle School ASL teacher Barbara Woo was very impressed by her students’ performance.

“I am very proud of them, especially since they competed against high school students and earned third place,” she said.
 More than 450 people were in attendance to watch 20 performances from students representing 10 different school districts on Long Island.

East Meadow Named a Best Community for Music Education

East Meadow Named a Best Community for Music Education Photo
The East Meadow School District has been recognized by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation as one of the 2017 Best Communities for Music Education.

The district was one of 528 across the country to receive this honor, which recognizes the outstanding efforts of teachers, parents, administrators and community members to ensure all students are offered exceptional music education in their curriculum.

The NAMM Foundation, assisted by the Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas, evaluates schools and districts based on their funding, highly qualified music teachers, commitment to high music standards, community support, and participation and access to music instruction.

“We are extremely proud of our talented music department for receiving this incredible honor and for providing the absolute best music education to our students,” said Superintendent of Schools Leon Campo.

Hopping Around

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Amid a sea of doting parents, kindergartners at Bowling Green Elementary School hopped around the school’s front lawn wearing handmade bunny ears and carrying baskets as they collected colorful plastic eggs during a PTA-organized egg hunt. Each egg contained a prize, including a pencil eraser, sticker, adhesive tattoo or penny. If a student found a penny in their egg, they won a grand prize of a soccer ball, stuffed animal or coloring book.


Woodland Middle School Students Present at LISEF

Woodland Middle School Students Present at LISEF Photo
Six Woodland Middle School eighth-graders were recognized for their scientific research and experiments at the LISEF-SSP Broadcom MASTERS Fair on March 23, one of three science fairs held by the Long Island Science and Engineering Fair. Of Woodland’s three student teams, two received honorable mention and one was awarded third place for their work.

According to its website, LISEF promotes three science fairs that allow students to present their work to more than 1,000 judges consisting of leading scientific professionals. The middle school fair, a partnership between the Society for Science and the Public and Broadcom, encourages sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders to perform an investigation and present their findings to a panel of judges.

During the fair, held at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury, more than 200 middle school students presented their research and in-depth experiments in biology, behavioral science, physics, earth science and mathematics to representatives of local universities, scientific institutions and other professionals in their related fields.  

The results for Woodland’s students were favorable. Kate Laico and Carly Herman captured second place with their experiment, “Rethink How You Drink.” The team of Caleb Philips and Mitchell Goldberg received honorable mention for their project, “Dive into Aquaponics,” an honor also bestowed upon Tyler Sugrim and Julian Shin for their work, “Hurricane Proof Homes.”

The district congratulates these students on the success of their scientific research and applauds each of their accomplishments.

Woodland MS Students Place Third at NCC Science Fair

Woodland MS Students Place Third at NCC Science Fair Photo
Two Woodland Middle School students in the East Meadow School District earned third place at Nassau Community College’s 19th annual Science Fair, held March 17-18.  

Eighth-graders Brian Lin and Noel Manalio applied the scientific method to conduct experiments inspired by this year’s theme, “Identity.” Participants were urged to create their own definition of “identity” and examine it in light of their chosen discipline. Brian and Noel’s experiment, “Crazy Colored Logos,” examined the effect that color has on companies’ logos.

The district commends Brian and Noel for this recognition of their scientific research.

East Meadow Students Give Dynamic Performance at Tilles Center

East Meadow Students Give Dynamic Performance at Tilles Center Photo 1

Hundreds of musically talented students from the district took center stage at LIU Post’s Tilles Center for the Performing Arts on March 15 for the district’s annual music festival, captivating an audience of friends, family, faculty and administrators.

The event featured performances by students districtwide, from the combined chamber choir and wind ensemble — each consisting of students from W.T. Clarke and East Meadow high schools — to the All-District Elementary School Advanced Bands, made up of young musicians from the district’s five elementary schools.

Accompanied by the East Meadow High School Chamber Orchestra, the high school chamber choir opened with a stirring vocal performance featuring solos from seniors Erin Carlin, Juan Lucas Orozco, Alissa Rojas and Arun Sam, under the direction of Dr. David Fryling. Dr. Fryling is the director of choral activities at Hofstra University, where he conducts the university’s chorale and chamber choir and teaches choral conducting and choral literature courses.  

The All-District High School Wind Ensemble followed with ballads by renowned band composers Robert Sheldon, John Barnes Chance and Henry Fillmore. The All-District Middle School Wind Ensemble, comprised of Woodland and W.T. Clarke middle school students, sustained the tone with a dynamic performance of their own. Both groups were led by Robert Dalpiaz, a 33-year veteran of the Brentwood School District whose expertise has led to several outstanding musical accomplishments by the Brentwood High School Jazz and Wind ensembles.    

The All-District Elementary School Advanced Bands closed the program with two riveting performances, one from Barnum Woods and George McVey, the other from Bowling Green, Meadowbrook and Parkway, that brought the crowd to its feet. They performed under the baton of Erica Hartmann, an educator with the Farmingdale School District since 1999. Hartmann also conducted the Hamptons Music Educators Association Middle School Band in 2013 and the Suffolk County Music Educators Association West Division I Band in 2014.   

The district commends these musically talented students for their hard work, diligence and collaboration.   

East Meadow Board Honors Terrific Students

East Meadow Board Honors Terrific Students Photo

Honors and recognitions abounded for outstanding students at the March 16 communication meeting of the East Meadow School District Board of Education.

Setting the tone throughout the celebratory evening were the Woodland Middle School sixth-grade chorus and W.T. Clarke Middle School string ensemble, who performed for the Board, administration, faculty and community members in attendance.   

The recognitions began with East Meadow High School Class of 2016 graduate Henry Zaradich, who was granted the Superintendent’s Award for Excellence for having obtained the rank of Eagle Scout with Boy Scout Troop 157. According to the Boy Scouts of America website, very few amount of Boy Scouts are granted this rank after completing an extensive list of requirements in the Eagle Scout rank application.  

“With good citizenship, dedication and achievement, you have made a difference in the lives of others, which I believe is the finest expression of leadership,” said East Meadow High School Principal Richard Howard. “Thank you for making our community and school a better place.”  

Honors were also bestowed upon students in grades 6-8 from W.T. Clarke and Woodland middle schools. East Meadow Kiwanis President Ross Schiller, members of the Board, and middle school Principals Stacy Breslin and James Lethbridge presented certificates of recognition to the December, January and February “Terrific Kids.” This East Meadow Kiwanis-sponsored program recognizes sixth- through eighth-graders who continuously improve as individuals, students and community leaders.

“We are very proud of our ‘Terrific Kids’ recipients,” said Superintendent of Schools Leon J. Campo. “They are role models who set an example for others, and they will be the leaders of tomorrow.” 

“Happiest Place on Earth” Welcomes EMHS Marching Band

Nearly 200 members of the East Meadow High School marching band traveled to Orlando, Florida to participate in musical events sponsored by Walt Disney World from February 10-13. Throughout the weekend, students performed in workshops with Disney musicians and gained the experience of participating in a backstage studio recording session at Epcot. The weekend culminated with a parade through Disney’s Magic Kingdom.

Skipping To The Beat

Skipping To The Beat Photo

Students in first through fifth grade at Bowling Green Elementary School took a step forward in promoting heart health by participating in the schoolwide Jump Rope for Heart program, raising  more than $9,000 for the American Heart Association.

Prior to the event, the students created posters that brought awareness to heart disease prevention. Covering the gym walls, the posters featured drawings about living a healthy lifestyle, not smoking, eating nutritious meals and engaging in 60 minutes of physical activity every day.    

On the day of the fundraiser, the students divided into groups and exercised their heart muscles by jumping rope to popular pop music, generating a total of $9,408.

Woodland Middle School Presents ‘Seussical’

Woodland Middle School Presents ‘Seussical’ Photo

Classic Dr. Seuss favorites sprang to life among vibrant scenery as the Woodland Middle School Drama Club presented their spring musical, “Seussical,” on March 30 and 31. The spectacular performances were staged before large audiences of district faculty, families, peers and community members.

A cast of talented actors and musicians captivated the crowd as they portrayed scenes and characters from some of the most popular stories written by Dr. Seuss. Among those represented were “The Cat in the Hat,” “The Lorax,” “Green Eggs and Ham,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “Horton Hears a Who.”

The drama club’s cast and crew would like to express their gratitude to director Douglas Castillo, technical director Gregory Greco, musical director Jonathan Ross, choreographer Miriam Lerner, the design team, the stagehands, the tech squad and the district’s central administrators for helping to make the musical a sensational hit.

Board Meeting Notice - April 2017


Students’ Work Featured in All-County Art Exhibition


The artwork of 66 students in the district was on display at the Art Supervisors Association’s 13th Annual Nassau All-County Art Exhibition at Farmingdale State College on March 12.

The exhibition honored more than 1,200 K-12 students for demonstrating excellence in a wide variety of 2-D visual art forms, including drawing, painting, printmaking, graphic design and photography. For their demonstration of creativity and artistic talent, ASA also awarded scholarships to more than 40 graduating seniors at the Scholarship Awards Ceremony prior to the opening of the exhibit. Among them were East Meadow High

School’s Caitlyn Herlihy and W.T. Clarke High School’s Paige Anderson.
The district congratulates Caitlyn and Paige for this achievement and all of the students whose work was selected for the annual exhibit.

Parents Gain First-Hand Look at STEAM Education


On March 30, parents of first and second-grade students were invited to attend the district’s first STEAM night, geared at providing parents with a first-hand look at the innovative lessons that their children are engaging in during the school day. Organized by Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Cindy Munter and Director of Math and Science Debra Harley, the evening gave parents the opportunity to rotate between four different hands-on stations where they created a zip line, constructed miniature boats to float and experimented with Ozobots and Dot and Dash robots.

“It was wonderful to see children working alongside their parents to teach them about the valuable lessons they are learning,” said Ms. Munter. “As a district, we remain committed to providing ongoing education and training for our parents so that they understand what is going on in the classroom and can better relate to what their children are learning. We look forward to providing more evenings such as this in the future!”

East Meadow High School Honors ‘Champions’

East Meadow High School Honors ‘Champions’  Photo 1
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Thirty-five East Meadow High School students were honored for demonstrating exemplary character and conduct during the school’s annual Breakfast of Champions ceremony on March 24. They were recognized among their parents, teachers and administrators for displaying admirable character traits and positive qualities both in and outside of the school community.

“It is a pleasure and an honor to recognize these students for being who they are and making a positive impact on the East Meadow High School community,” said Assistant Principal Robert Hardwick. 

An East Meadow Champion is one who thinks of others and makes consistent positive contributions to his or her surroundings. The honorees were nominated by their teachers for exemplifying academic success, respect and positivity among their peers, school and community. 

This year’s East Meadow Champions are:

Alyssa Brouillet
Skylar Caruso
Jae Citarella
Jennifer Conk
Julia Cuttone
Joseph De Nicola
Ridannelyn Gibs Gallo
Aliandro Goncalves
Haley Hatzelman
Jillian Hendler
Jackson Himonidid
Sydney Inger
Alessandro Ippolito
Gina Italiano
Tiffany James
Nicole Kane
Kristen Kavanagh
Shermeen Khan
Kyle Lao
Mahek Laul
Isabel Londono
Ana Maldonado
Ana Martines
Wilmer Mejia
Samantha Miller
Rhyan Mogilski
Anoosha Mumnoon
Matthew Mustakis
Ashley Pereira
Nathalie Polanco
Kacie Price
Nayha Salman
Sabrina Varga
Leah Von Ohlen
John Whitenack 

Fitness With Dr. Recess

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Second-graders at Parkway Elementary School learned about the importance of being active and maintaining a healthy lifestyle when PlayFit Education founder Dr. Curt Hinson — aka “Dr. Recess” — led an interactive assembly at the school on March 23. 

According to its website, PlayFit Education specializes in fitness, health, physical education and playground programs that focus on play, fitness and social-emotional health. The company’s Dr. Recess Assembly and Playground Games Program was created to serve elementary schools throughout the nation. 

Dr. Hinson educated the young students about new and exciting ways to learn, grow and develop healthy lifestyles through play. This play includes grade level-appropriate games that enhance students’ social-emotional, critical thinking and motor skills.

 Following the indoor assembly, the students met Dr. Hinson outside during their recess time to participate in the activities he had taught them. Using dodge balls, hula hoops and cones, they engaged in games such as “Keep Away” and “One Bounce” with their classmates.    

Harvesting Learning in the Classroom

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In observance of New York Agricultural Literacy Week, held March 20-24, second-graders at Parkway and Meadowbrook elementary schools received a visit from Laurie Murdoch, a volunteer with Cornell Cooperative Extension, for a lesson on agriculture. 

Murdoch read “The Grapes Grow Sweet” by Lynne Tuft, a story about a young boy named Julian who is old enough to take part in the grape harvest on his family’s farm. The story provides a glimpse of what it’s like to grow up in a vineyard and explains the process of growing grapes. 

Following, students asked questions about harvesting grapes, working in a vineyard and how they can grow fruits and vegetables in their own backyards. In addition, Cornell Cooperative Extension donated a copy of the book to each school’s library for student use.


• The district will host a presentation to inform residents about the proposed 2017-2018 school budget. This meeting will take place on the following date:
         • Thursday, May 4, 2017 at the Leon J. Campo Salisbury Center - 7 p.m.

• All East Meadow Union Free School District residents are invited to attend to learn more about the proposed budget.


Registered voters may cast their ballots for the 2017-2018 school budget and trustee seats on Tuesday, May 16 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at all district elementary schools (vote at your local elementary school). Absentee ballots may be obtained from the Office of the District Clerk. For more information, please contact the District Clerk at 478-5746.

March Madness Strikes W.T. Clarke Middle School

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Inspired by the NCAA tournament, a spirit of competition was in the air in the East Meadow School District when W.T. Clarke Middle School students competed in the school’s March Madness basketball tournament on March 24. 

Thirty-two teams consisting of sixth- through eighth-grade students gathered in the gymnasium to participate in three-on-three tournament-style games, eliminating each other until one team earned the title of March Madness Champions. 

The tournament gave students the chance to hone their basketball skills while demonstrating teamwork, collaboration and sportsmanship. 

ACCESS Workshop Instill Knowledge, Empowerment and Hope

Members of the community joined East Meadow School District staff and administrators at the Leon J. Campo Salisbury Center on March 21 for the final ACCESS workshop held this year. Project ACCESS (A Community Committed to Educating Students for Success) is a subcommittee of the district’s PTA Curriculum Council that sponsors educational workshops for parents throughout the school year. The most recent workshop, titled “Never Alone,” examined the effects of addiction and the treatment and self-help programs available within the community. 

Sponsored by the East Meadow PTA Council in conjunction with the East Meadow Kiwanis, attendees experienced an evening of knowledge, empowerment and hope as guest speakers from Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous shared their testimonies about addiction and how it affected their relationships and lives. Members of Al-Anon and Nar-Anon spoke about coping with a friend’s or family member’s addiction. In addition, a representative from the YES Community Counseling Center provided a wealth of information about programs to prevent and treat addiction.

The audience was enlightened by these personal stories and appreciative of the amount of support the East Meadow community provides to help individuals and families in the fight against addiction.   

Special Guests Spread the Love of Reading

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Culminating Meadowbrook Elementary School’s two-week Pick a Reading Partner program, local officials and community leaders joined East Meadow School District professionals on March 24 to read to kindergarten through fifth-grade classes. 

Following the school’s PARP theme of “Step Right Up, Read a Book,” student representatives from each class posed with the guest readers for a picture alongside giant circus curtains and decorative props such as balloons, popcorn and top hats before escorting them to their classroom. 

Among those who read grade level-appropriate books to the students were Hempstead Town Clerk Nasrin Ahmad, Assemblyman Tom McKevitt, Nassau County Legislator Norma Gonzalves, PTA Council President Donna LaScala, district administrators and other influential community members. 

After the guests had finished reading, the students asked them about their professional careers and how reading has helped them to succeed.

W.T. Clarke HS Presents ‘In the Heights’

W.T. Clarke HS Presents ‘In the Heights’ Photo

W.T. Clarke High School’s student acting troupe, Lights Up Productions, gave a riveting performance about the joys and heartbreaks of a tight-knit community when they presented “In the Heights” on March 2-4.

According to the Rodgers and Hammerstein Theatricals website, “In the Heights” is the universal story of a vibrant community in New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood – a place where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music. It’s a community on the brink of change, full of hopes, dreams and pressures, where the biggest struggles can be deciding which traditions you take with you, and which ones you leave behind.  

Prior to the main performances, the school held a Senior Citizens’ Dinner Theatre, sponsored by the W.T. Clarke PTA in collaboration with the East Meadow Kiwanis and Clarke Theater Arts Parents Association. Community residents were invited for a delicious Italian dinner and a special viewing of this year’s spring musical, with dinner service and ushering provided by members of the W.T. Clarke Middle School Builder’s Club and W.T. Clarke High School Key Club.  

The Lights Up Productions cast and crew would like to express their gratitude to director Kristen Norwark, vocal director Robin Hall, the design team, the stagehands, the tech squad, the orchestra pit – led by W.T. Clarke High School Music Chairperson Stephen Engle – and the district’s central administrators for helping to make the spring musical a success.   

East Meadow Eighth-Grader Advances to National Geographic Bee State Competition

Buzzing About History Photo
Mitchell Goldberg, an eighth-grader at Woodland Middle School has been named a National Geographic Bee semifinalist and will compete in the New York State Geographic Bee 2017 in Albany on March 31. 
After winning his school’s geography bee in January, Mitchell took the online written qualifying test, earning a spot among the top 100 scorers in the state. 

Should he become the state champion, Mitchell will receive $100, the National Geographic Concise Atlas of the World, and qualify to compete in the National Geographic Bee Championship, to be held in Washington, D.C., May 15-17. 

The national champion will receive a $50,000 college scholarship, $500 cash, a lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society, a lifetime subscription to National Geographic magazine and an all-expenses-paid expedition to the Galapagos Islands.

“This has always been a dream of mine,” said Mitchell. “I study every day and am so happy to be given this opportunity to explore my passion for geography.”  

The district wishes Mitchell much success as he continues in the competition.  

Mindfulness and Compassion in the Meadow

Mindfulness and Compassion in the Meadow Photo

Students at Barnum Woods Elementary School expanded upon their social-emotional learning through two special events at the school. One was participation in the schoolwide mindfulness workshops by students in kindergarten through fourth grade. The other was an effort by fifth-graders to raise funds for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center by building their own arcade games.

During the mindfulness workshops, parents and students gathered in the school’s all-purpose room to participate in deep breathing and meditation activities that taught them how to re-energize and focus on their well-being. The sessions were held with the goal of teaching relaxation and focus within a fast-paced, media-saturated world where students are under pressure to perform well in school and achieve high grades.

While those in grades K-4 turned their focus inward for stress reduction and improved cognition, fifth-graders turned their focus to a beneficial cause in the community. The students were inspired by the film “Caine’s Arcade,” which documents 9-year-old Caine Monroy and his idea that set off a global movement. According to the “Caine’s Arcade” website, Caine built his own cardboard arcade, filled with games and prizes, for customers of his father’s auto parts store. When filmmaker Nirvan Mullick walked in, he became Caine’s first and only customer, leading him to create a movie about Caine’s arcade and establish a scholarship fund for him to attend college. The fifth-graders at Barnum Woods carried out the idea over the course of a month by creating their own arcade games, including foosball, Plinko, and pinball and claw machines. Students paid 25 cents per game for the chance to win a prize, generating a total of $1,400.25 for patients at Memorial Sloan Kettering.

Pay It Forward

Pay It Forward Photo

The members of Woodland Middle School’s Peer Helpers club in the East Meadow School District inspired sixth-graders to make a positive impact on others during their “Pay It Forward” assembly.  This presentation is based on the novel by Catherine Ryan Hyde.

At the opening of the presentation, each sixth grade student was given one blue and one orange index card.  Members of the Peer Helpers wrote a story about one day in the life of a student.  The peer helpers instructed the sixth graders to hold up a blue card when they heard a positive statement and an orange card for negative statements.   As the students held up their color cards, the peer helpers placed the matching color Post-it on a huge heart in the front of the auditorium.  This served as a visual representation of how negative words and feelings can affect an individual in one day.

Following this activity, the students watched a video clip from the movie, Pay It Forward.  The clip explained the theory that if you do something kind for someone, they in turn, will pay it forward to create a chain reaction of positive change.  The Peer Helpers encouraged the sixth-graders to spread kindness throughout the school by extending themselves to other students, whether by saying hello, helping to carry their books to class or sitting with a new student at lunch. 

Reading With A Groovy Guest

Reading With A Groovy Guest Photo

Local officials and community leaders joined professionals from the district on March 16 to read to classes at George McVey Elementary School and encourage a love for reading in the young students.

The visit was part of Guest Reader Day, a special event hosted by McVey near the close of its two-week Pick a Reading Partner program, which ran from March 6-17. Sponsored by the PTA, McVey’s PARP program invited students to delve into the world of literature and engage in reading activities inspired by this year’s theme, “Reading Is Groovy.” 

Among those who read to the students in grades K-6 were Assemblyman Tom McKevitt, Nassau County Legislator Norma Gonzalves, Hempstead Town Clerk Nasrin Ahmad, Hempstead Town Councilman Gary Hudes, East Meadow Board of Education President Marcee Rubinstein, district administrators and other influential community members. 

After the guests had finished reading, the students asked them about their professional careers and how reading has helped them to succeed.

Driver's Education Spring Program

* Tuesday Classes from 3/14 that were cancelled will be made up on Wed. 3/22 at the same times.


East Meadow Students Receive President’s Volunteer Service Award

East Meadow Students Receive President’s Volunteer Service Award
W.T. Clarke High School senior Rachel Seong and East Meadow High School junior Shermeen Khan have received the President’s Volunteer Service Award for their exceptional voluntary work in the community.

The President’s Volunteer Service Award honors U.S. citizens who have volunteered significant amounts of their time over a 12-month period to assist their communities and their country.

Rachel has been volunteering at her local church, Yale Korean Presbyterian Church in Hicksville, since the age of 14. She is a teaching assistant for the church’s summer school program and attends mission trips to build mobile-friendly homes for disabled people through the church’s partnership with Group Mission Trips. As part of a mission trip last summer, she spent a week doing renovation work on a home for a family in Schenectady, New York. Over the course of one year, she volunteered 204 hours, meriting her designation as a silver award recipient.  

Outside of volunteering, Rachel is enrolled in numerous Advanced Placement courses and plays the clarinet, piano and tennis. She is interested in studying pharmaceutical sciences in college.
With her passion for serving others starting at an early age, Shermeen has been involved in the Kiwanis Kids club at George McVey Elementary School, the Builder’s Club at Woodland Middle School and the Key Club at East Meadow High School. She currently serves as the student chairperson for the North Shore University Hospital Foundation’s Kiwanis Pediatric Trauma Center, for which she organizes fundraisers, serves as a liaison between the organization and high school students, and speaks to volunteers and potential donors about the organization’s mission.

In addition to her volunteer service, Shermeen is a board member of her school’s Ethnic Awareness club and a member of the Math Team, Key Club, Students Against Destructive Decisions and Science Research, as well as the Science, Social Studies, Business, Spanish and National honor societies. She is also a member of Glamour Girls, which provides retirement home residents with cosmetic services such as hairstyling and manicures.   

The district commends Rachel and Shermeen for their exemplary service to the community and wishes them the best of luck in their future endeavors.

Jumping to the Heartbeat

Jumping to the Heartbeat

Parkway Elementary School students raised more than $5,000 for the American Heart Association by participating in the schoolwide Jump Rope for Heart program on Feb. 16. Fourth-grader Jace D’Jon raised the most money this year, gardening a total of $575.

According to its website, the American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To assist in the battle, schools can host Jump Rope for Heart or Hoops for Heart fundraisers that promote physical activity, heart healthy living and community service.

During their gym classes, students in grades 1-5 divided into groups where they exercised their heart muscles by jumping rope to popular pop music and played double dutch with gym teachers Kelly Rohan and Michael Romanotto. They also learned about the importance of living a healthy lifestyle while raising money for the community.  

A special thank-you to the Parkway PTA for providing refreshments for students to recharge while working out.  


On Tuesday, March 7, East Meadow residents approved the community’s first joint East Meadow Schools and Public Library capital project bond referendum by a vote of 2,031 Yes to 835 No.

Projects included in this bond will address major repairs and renovations to schools districtwide, improve energy efficiency, support science initiatives, and restore natural grass athletic fields for school and community use. The bond will also fund major repairs and upgrades to the public library that will support additional programs and services, improve energy efficiency and security systems, and increase opportunities for students and patrons.

“The Board of Education and administration would like to thank all community residents who voted on the bond and for their approval and continued support,” said Superintendent of Schools Leon J. Campo. “This is an exciting time for our community and we look forward to improving our schools for our students and for future generations to come.” East Meadow Public Library Director Carol Probeyahn said, “On behalf of the library Board of Directors, we want to thank the community for your vote of support. We are looking forward to improving our library to provide expanded services for our children and community residents.”

Two East Meadow Seniors Named National Merit finalists

Two East Meadow Seniors Named National Merit finalists
Two seniors from the district — Jordan Diamond from East Meadow High School and Alby Joseph from W.T. Clarke High School — have been recognized as finalists in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program.
To become one of the nation’s 15,000 finalists, Jordan and Alby had to submit a detailed scholarship application including their academic record, participation in extracurricular activities and community engagement, leadership ability, employment, and record of honors and awards. They also had to achieve an SAT score equivalent to their PSAT score, maintain their prestigious academic performance and receive a recommendation from a high school official.

The seniors will be notified this spring as to whether they are among the 7,500 students who have been selected to receive awards and scholarships from the National Merit Scholarship Program based on their abilities, skills and accomplishments. Members of the NMS committee will evaluate the seniors’ academic records, the curricula and grading systems at their schools, and their SAT scores, high school officials’ recommendations, information about their activities and leadership, and finalist essays.

 “I was pretty excited when I heard I was a finalist,” said Jordan. “This advancement is a rewarding reflection of my hard work. I believe the additional materials I submitted to the competition, such as the personal essay, also contributed to this designation.”

Jordan is involved in numerous organizations at East Meadow High School, including membership in the National Honor Society and Social Studies Honor Society. He also serves as president of Model Congress, the Environmental Club, and the Math and Research Club. In addition, he belongs to the school’s peer mentoring program, where he educates younger students about bullying and the dangers of alcohol and drug consumption. Within the program, he also mentors a fellow East Meadow High School student, providing guidance and friendship throughout the year.

Outside of school, Jordan volunteers as a student teacher at his temple, teaching Hebrew to sixth-graders. He also interned at the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County, where he researched how American journalists wrote about the Holocaust and its development in Germany during the 1930s and ’40s. His research was featured in exhibits for museumgoers.

Jordan plans to major in mathematics after graduation.

W.T. Clarke High School’s Alby Joseph balances a rigorous schedule of Advanced Placement and college-level courses while immersing himself in an assortment of extracurricular activities. Among these, he is co-president of the school’s Tri-M Music, Science and National honor societies. He is also a member of the Math Honor Society, the school newspaper, Mathletes and Science Olympiad. With a passion for the cello, he has performed for the last three years in the pit orchestra for the school’s plays, in the All-State Festival at the New York State School Music Association 2016 Winter Conference, and will perform at the upcoming National Association for Music Education’s 2017 Biennial Eastern Division Conference, the Nassau Music Educators Association All-County Festival and the Long Island String Festival Association’s Nassau Secondary Festival.      

Along with this exceptional achievement, Alby was recognized as a scholar in the 2017 Regeneron Science Talent Search and was named a semifinalist in the 2016 Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology.

“After hearing I was a finalist in the National Merit Scholarship Program, I realized how appreciative I am for my time at Clarke,” Alby said. “I am beyond thankful for the opportunities I had while growing up in the East Meadow School District.”

Alby wishes to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the fall, where he’ll study chemical engineering.

The district congratulates both students on becoming finalists in this prestigious program.    

Lending A Hand

Lending A Hand

Members of the Bowling Green Elementary School Kiwanis Kids recently teamed up to help young children in Indonesia and Nicaragua pursue their educational dreams through the Bezos Family Foundation’s Students Rebuild Youth Uplift Challenge.

The students assembled on Feb. 27 to cut out paper hands and inscribe messages on them using crayons, colored pencils and markers. The uplifting messages suggested ways to make the world a better place, such as preserving the earth, being kind to all and helping others.

According to its website, the Bezos Family Foundation was created in 2010 in response to the devastating Haiti earthquake with the mission of assisting young people to achieve their full potential and make a meaningful contribution to society through education. The Youth Uplift Challenge invests in financial literacy, job and entrepreneurship training, and youth-led groups and networks to help young people overcome the setbacks of poverty. For every hand sent in, the Bezos Family Foundation donates $1.90 — up to $500,000 — to Save the Children’s programs, which empower youth in Indonesia and Nicaragua to rise into the life they dream of.  

The Bowling Green Kiwanis Kids club made and sent in 180 hands garnering a total of $342 to the organization.

74 Creative Minds Inducted Into East Meadow’s Art Honor Society

74 Creative Minds Inducted Into East Meadow’s Art Honor Society

A total of 74 high school students in the district – 42 from East Meadow High School and 32 from W.T. Clarke High School – were inducted into the district’s National Art Honor Society in a ceremony on Feb. 28.

To become a member of the East Meadow chapter, students must be in grades 10-12, maintain an unweighted GPA of 85 percent and have a 90 percent or higher average in their art classes.

NAHS advisors Gerard Ferrara and Jane Pawlowski of East Meadow High School and W.T. Clarke High School, respectively, opened the ceremony by recognizing the talented inductees for their hard work and dedication to the arts and their studies. Following, both schools’ NAHS presidents shared how art has impacted their lives and reflected on how it takes courage to make art in today’s society.  

Continuing the celebration, guest speaker Frank Dentrone, a W.T. Clarke High School English teacher, expressed ways in which art has influenced his life and bestowed words of wisdom upon the honorees.

“My advice to you is to stay young, my friends,” said Mr. Dentrone. “Keep your eyes open for new things even in the most mundane situations, and keep your hearts open to that creative voice within you for as long as you can. I do believe you’re going to need it.”  

After taking the honor society pledge, the inductees joined fellow NAHS members and guests for light refreshments in the art gallery, where they toured an exhibit of artwork created by members of the society.   

Donating More Than Pennies

Meadowbrook and Parkway elementary schools raised more than $5,000 collectively for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through their respective Pennies for Patients fundraisers.

During the three-week fundraisers, which were conducted under the guidance of Daniela Murphy, the social worker at both schools, students in grades K-5 were asked to donate spare change and create collection boxes so that their friends, families and neighbors would donate as well.

At the end of each school day, students sent their donations to the main office, where Ms. Murphy tallied each grade’s daily contribution. Meadowbrook surpassed its goal and accumulated a total of $3,060 – the largest donation ever raised for Pennies for Patients in school history. Parkway exceeded its objective, accruing a total of $2,000.

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Campaign Specialist Alexa Landro visited the schools on Feb. 15 to accept the total donation of $5,060. She thanked the students for their generous contribution and explained that their donations will assist in finding cures and improving the quality of life for cancer patients and their families.
Since 2007, both schools have raised more than $20,000 each for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Buzzing About History

Buzzing About History1
Four W.T. Clarke Middle School students have qualified for the New York Regional National History Bee.

The school’s qualifiers — seventh-grader James Griesing and eighth-graders Andrew Garces, Nick Spano and Roberto Sison — had taken an in-class written exam on both U.S. and global history and were among the top 20 highest scorers in the school. Having excelled on the online exam, which was the next step of the competition, they will now advance to the regional finals, to be held in Cedar Grove, New Jersey, on April 21.

At the regional finals, the students will participate in three rounds of fast-paced and interactive buzzer-format competition against other students in the region to determine who will advance to nationals.

The district wishes James, Andrew, Nick and Roberto much success as they move forward in the competition.     

Famous Americans Parade the Hallways of Barnum Woods

Famous Americans Parade the Hallways of Barnum Woods

The hallways of Barnum Woods Elementary School were filled with distinguished historical figures, thinkers and inventors as second-graders marched in the Famous Americans Parade on Feb. 15.

Prior to the celebration, held to honor Presidents Day, the students spent months researching innovators in American history, learning about their childhood, discoveries and impact upon the world. Among the illustrious individuals were Betsy Ross, Neil Armstrong, John F. Kennedy, Amelia Earhart, Juliette Gordon Low and George Washington.

After completing their research projects, the second-graders created costumes resembling their characters for the school’s Famous Americans Parade, during which they walked the halls and visited other classrooms to present facts about their historical person. Their peers were able to ask questions and guess who the students portrayed.

Caught Being Kind

Caught Being Kind
Students at Meadowbrook Elementary School exemplified good character by participating in the school’s Random Acts of Kindness Week from Feb. 13-17.

Students in grades K-5 engaged in activities and assemblies that modeled kindness and respect. With each day carrying a different theme, they learned about the importance of manners and speaking to others with kind words, took turns on the playground, donated pet supplies to the school’s Kiwanis Kids animal shelter drive and engaged with fellow students they did not know well.

As a visual display of the good deeds happening throughout the week, the students wrote their acts of kindness on paper fish, which were then posted on a “Caught Being Kind” bulletin board in the main lobby.   

The Gift Of A Good Book

Through their collaborative efforts, the entire fourth grade at Bowling Green Elementary School held a book drive that yielded more than 300 books for pediatric patients at Nassau University Medical Center.

Before the collection began, the students created flyers, delivered morning announcements and visited classrooms explaining the purpose of the drive, which was to collect gently used or new books for children at NUMC and their families.

Linda Walsh, the NUMC executive director for the NuHealth Foundation, visited the school on Feb. 17 to accept the numerous boxes of donations and thank the fourth-graders for improving the lives of patients with the gift of a good book.  

A Soup-er Bowl of Caring

A Soup-er Bowl of Caring
W.T. Clarke Middle School students recently held their annual Soup-er Bowl food drive, collecting more than 100 pounds of nonperishable food items for Island Harvest, a nonprofit established in 1992 to end hunger and reduce food waste on Long Island.

On the day of collection, students were encouraged to wear their favorite team jersey or Clarke spirit-wear as they donated items such as soup, pasta, cereal and snacks for those in need.