Despite school being in summer recess, students throughout Nassau County are continuing to improve their musical talents thanks to the East Meadow School District’s five-week summer music program.
The program, coordinated by the district’s music department, runs from June 26 through July 27 and is held at East Meadow High School. It invites students in grades 4-12 to hone their musical abilities while socializing with fellow student-musicians and developing their musical passion through ensemble rehearsals.
There are several courses students can enroll in, based on grade level and experience. Those entering fourth grade, who have never played a band or orchestra instrument, are introduced to playing music through the Beginner Instrumental module. The Intermediate Band/Orchestra and Advanced Band/Orchestra welcome experienced performers in middle and high school, respectively. The Advanced Choral group encourages experienced vocalists entering grades 8-12 to improve their vocal ability, tone and rhythm. Additionally, those entering grades 4-7 have the opportunity to perform their favorite music while accompany it with exciting choreography as part of the Show Chorus.
New to the program this year was the introduction of Spirit Week, held July 16-20. Students celebrated each day of the week with themes of school spirit, movie characters, crazy hat/hair, sports and Twin Day.
The program will conclude with a series of student concerts for the community at East Meadow High School on July 24-26 at 7 p.m. and July 27 at 9 a.m.
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The East Meadow School District Board of Education held its annual reorganization meeting on July 5, with District Clerk Jeane Puma administering the oaths of office.
The meeting opened with Ms. Puma swearing in Dr. Kenneth A. Card, Jr., for his second year as superintendent of schools. Eileen Napolitano was then sworn in as the newest Board member before Melissa Tell took an oath for a new three-year term.
Following a nomination, Matthew Melnick was unanimously elected President, while Scott Eckers was voted Vice President. As his first duty as president, Mr. Melnick administered the swearing-in of Ms. Puma as district clerk.
As morning clouds cleared way for sunny skies, graduates at East Meadow and W.T. Clarke high schools gathered on their respective football fields to accept their diplomas June 24.
Both ceremonies included musical numbers from the senior chorus, in addition to speeches from administrators, district officials and the first commencement speech delivered by Dr. Kenneth A. Card, Jr., as Superintendent of Schools.
“I ask you to remember that a high school diploma is a significant accomplishment and a beginning to finding your place in this world,” Dr. Card told the graduates. “Instead of the world changing you, you can change the world.”
The class president, salutatorian and valedictorian from each class addressed their peers one final time by reflecting, encouraging and looking ahead to the future.
“We need to realize that we are the future and our voices matter tremendously,” said East Meadow High School Class President Daniel Miranda. “If we want change in matters that affect us, we need to speak up.”
“As we forge ahead with our plans next year,” said W.T. Clarke High School Valedictorian Aashini Shah. “Whether it is employment, enlistment or further education, we need to remember why we were successful in high school. These lessons will be the ones we take into our adult lives.”
East Meadow Principal Richard Howard and W.T. Clarke Principal Timothy Voels each thanked their seniors for making a difference through community service and in the classroom, while also applauding them for all of their achievements and successes. Mr. Voels inserted a lyric from the song “We’re All in This Together” from the popular movie “High School Musical.”
“We are successful because we are all in this together,” he concluded. “Class of 2018, I thank you for sharing your high school years with me and I am glad ‘we’re all in this together.’”
After receiving their diplomas and moving their tassels to the left, the Class of 2018 took part in the traditional cap toss to put an exclamation point on the ceremony. The district congratulates both classes and wishes them happiness, prosperity and great success as they embark on their next journey.
The East Meadow School District welcomed 27 of the 44 staff members retiring at the end of the 2017-18 academic year during a Board of Education meeting on June 21 to acknowledge the individuals for their service and dedication.
“On behalf of the entire district, I thank our retirees for their dedication to the students of East Meadow and for developing a love of learning among our children,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Card earlier this month. “I wish them much happiness as they begin the next chapter of their lives.”
The soon-to-be retirees and family members gathered at the Leon J. Campo Salisbury Center for a reception and awards ceremony hosted by the Board of Education. Those in attendance had given more than 600 years of combined service to district. Assistant Superintendent for Personnel and Administration, Anthony Russo, led the ceremony by announcing each staff member, while Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, Dr. David Casamento, presented plaques of recognition to each retiree.
Board trustee Brian O’Flaherty was also recognized for his fifteen years of commitment and service to the district with a presentation to acknowledge his last meeting as a Board member.
“I’d like to thank Brian for his years of service and loyalty to the district and Board of Education,” said Board President Scott Eckers.
Fifth-grade students from Barnum Woods, Bowling Green, McVey, Meadowbrook and Parkway elementary schools celebrated their past six years of education while also looking forward to middle school during moving up ceremonies on June 21.
The principals at each school commended the students on their hard work, devotion and accomplishments during their elementary school years before encouraging them to take full advantage of a new chapter in middle school and beyond.
The district congratulates the graduating fifth-graders and wishes them bright and successful futures, as they look forward to new opportunities at W.T. Clarke and Woodland middle schools.
Members of the East Meadow School District Class of 2018 were recognized for academic excellence with special scholarships along with district and community awards during annual senior awards ceremonies. W.T. Clarke High School honored its graduates on June 18, followed by East Meadow High School on June 19.
Parents, administrators, Board of Education members, community leaders and scholarship sponsors joined the students on the two special nights to honor the soon-to-be graduates.
At W.T. Clarke, Principal Timothy Voels delivered opening remarks along with senior class president Megan Rodriguez. Various teachers and special guests presented students with specific honors and awards throughout the night. Soon-to-be Superintendent of the Bethpage School District, David Schneider along with his brother presented a scholarship in memory of their sister, Alison, to graduating senior Erin Connolly.
Prior to awarding the seniors at East Meadow, Principal Richard Howard presented Class of 2018 Hall of Distinction inductees Bob Israel (1969), Neal Israel (1963) and John Mauceri (1963).
Bob Israel is a producer, writer and actor that includes producing Ace Ventura: Pet Detective as well as Bachelor Party. He is also the co-founder and former CEO of Aspect Ratio. An executive at both ABC and CBS, Neal Israel wrote the first Police Academy while also directing and co-writing movies such as Bachelor Party, Moving Violations, Real Genius, Look Who’s Talking Too and Surf Ninjas. Mauceri was the first East Meadow student to attend Yale University before going on to win three Emmy Awards as a performer, writer and on-camera host.
Organized by the school’s Planning and Management Team, the Hall of Distinction acknowledges exceptional alumni for their accomplishments in their individual vocational fields or contributions to the community. “Through their leadership, dedication and outstanding ability, we are pleased to celebrate the inductees’ successes and have them serve as role models for our current students,” said Howard.
Eighth-grade students from Woodland and W.T. Clarke middle schools in the East Meadow School District look ahead to the next step in their scholastic careers following moving up ceremonies on June 20.
Woodland opened the day with a pair of ceremonies for the Class of 2018 as staff, faculty, administration and family members gathered in the building’s auditorium. Both the Vocal Jazz Ensemble and The Woodland String Quartet provided musical entertainment at each ceremony. Principal James Lethbridge greeted the crowd with opening comments before the issuing of certificates. Select students called the names of their fellow peers during the presentation ceremony.
That evening, W.T. Clarke welcomed guests to the high school gymnasium to celebrate the soon-to-be freshman. Middle school principal Stacy Breslin greeted the capacity crowd before the awarding of special achievements and certificates. The presentation of certificates followed with a special slide show to recap the graduates’ past three years.
Each principal ended their ceremonies with an additional congratulations and best wishes for the group as they prepare for high school this fall. Principal Breslin used the words from this year’s graduation song, “Most People Are Good” by Luke Bryan, to lead the class into a positive future.
Graduating seniors from both East Meadow High School and W.T. Clarke High School were afforded the opportunity to return to their elementary schools on June 20 before graduating from the district.
Parkway Elementary welcomed back nearly 75 members of the East Meadow class of 2018 who graduated from the school seven years ago. Barnum Woods and McVey Elementary schools also greeted alumni from East Meadow High School. Meanwhile, Meadowbrook and Bowling Green Elementary school were able to celebrate seniors from both W.T. Clarke and East Meadow High Schools.
Current students, faculty and staff at each building lined the hallways to cheer on the graduates as they walked the hallways they once did as elementary school students. Students also created posters to congratulate, welcome back and encourage the soon-to-be alumni.
This marks the first year of the ceremony for the district. Special thanks to the principals and staff at Barnum, Bowling Green, McVey, Meadowbrook, Parkway and both high schools for making each of the senior walks a success.
New friendships were celebrated at Bowling Green Elementary School in the East Meadow School District on the afternoon of June 15, as students and teachers in the English as a New Language Buddy Reading Program gathered to mark the progress made during the first-year initiative.
English language learners in different grades were chosen to participate in the pilot program and buddy up with a designated mentor who is also a student at the school. Throughout the year, the buddies developed a bond as they met to read to each other, play games, and discuss life at home and school. Most importantly, the program enabled students to practice speaking, listening, reading and writing in English in a risk-free environment.
As a highlight of the year-end celebration, students and teachers read books that different buddy pairs had written and illustrated together. There were also a variety of game stations, as well as prizes and certificates given to both mentors and mentees.
Bowling Green congratulates all of the students that participated and made new friends!
Students at Parkway Elementary School in the East Meadow School District gathered on the morning of June 14 to honor Flag Day with a community-wide ceremony.
The fifth-grade band welcomed guests with a lineup of patriotic songs, including “America the Beautiful” and “This Land Is Your Land.” Fourth-graders acted as the color guard, carrying an American flag that was raised on the flagpole.
In her opening remarks, Principal Jamie Mack discussed the importance of the American flag and the meaning behind its design, and selected fifth-graders displayed their illustrations of what the flag means to them. The class then joined in chorus to sing Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the U.S.A.” while those in attendance sang along.
Among the attendees were parents, veterans and community residents, many of whom dressed in red, white and blue to show their support.
A sea of eighth-graders at W.T. Clarke Middle School in the East Meadow School District assembled in the school’s auditorium on June 11 for the school’s annual awards ceremony to recognize their academic, civic, philanthropic and athletic achievements. In attendance to congratulate these accomplished students were proud district officials, faculty, parents and peers.
Principal Stacy Breslin and Assistant Principal Linda Lynch delivered welcoming remarks and shared words of encouragement about the honorees before various teachers and school and disitrct administrators presented them with their awards. They also offered best wishes to the students before they enter high school this fall and congratulated all on a job well done at the middle school.
“[You] are the leaders of our school,” Breslin said. “And remember, the true reward lies in knowing you did your best.”
Fourth-grade students at Parkway Elementary School in the East Meadow School District put together their own Kid EdCamp on June 12 as part of an interactive experience designed to recognize the strengths and successes of all students. The practice is intended to foster community, collaboration and a growth mindset while also empowering them to become leaders.
Topics from the fourth-grade presentations included karate, creating squishies, slime and origami, as well as Kahoot quizzes on Harry Potter, dinosaurs and science.
Fifth-grade students led a Kid EdCamp on June 7. In both grades, students who were not leading sessions were able to participate and interact with their peer instructors. The sessions were broken down into three 20-minute segments where students could choose which topics they would like to attend.
Woodland Middle School students assembled in the auditorium on June 6
for a celebration of their academic achievements by district
administrators, faculty, parents and peers during the annual Academic
Awards. Principal James Lethbridge and Assistant Principal Patricia
Graham personally congratulated the 235 students receiving awards for
their hard work and determination and extended them best wishes and much
success as they enter high school this fall.
Graham told the students that she hopes they will approach high school
with the same passion and determination as middle school. “Remembering
to reflect on your past will give direction to your future,” she said.
It was an evening of celebration as more than 400 East Meadow students were recognized for their scholastic and athletic accomplishments during the annual District Awards Ceremony, held at East Meadow High School on June 5. Board of Education trustees, central administrators and faculty from W.T. Clarke Middle School, Woodland Middle School, W.T. Clarke High School and East Meadow High School joined parents and peers in congratulating students who excelled in the areas of athletics, journalism, science, technology, mathematics, social studies, writing and extracurricular clubs.
To the parents, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth A. Card Jr. said, “As a district, we share your pride in these students’ accomplishments.”
The district congratulates the students on a successful school year.
As part of a continuing tradition, the East Meadow School District and Board of Education celebrated two months of “Terrific Kids” at the board’s May 24 communication meeting.
The program, sponsored by the East Meadow Kiwanis, recognizes middle school students who exhibit a positive attitude, good character and responsible citizenship, and who serve as exemplary role models for their peers.
Setting the tone for the evening were the Woodland sixth-grade chamber strings ensemble and the W.T. Clarke High School jazz ensemble, who performed for those in attendance.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth A. Card, Jr., Board trustee and Kiwanis President Marcee Rubinstein and fellow board members, along with Woodland Middle School Principal James Lethbridge and W.T. Clarke Middle School Principal Stacy Breslin, presented certificates of recognition to the “Terrific Kids” honorees for May and June. The awards were distributed to a pair of sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students from each school for each of the two months.
Along with these accolades, outgoing board member Brian O’Flaherty was presented with a certificate of recognition to acknowledge his service and commitment to the East Meadow school community.
Change for Change, the service learning club at W.T. Clarke Middle School, held its annual Giving Ceremony on May 25 to honor and benefit a number of charitable organizations.
Students of the club started the school year by holding meetings to research and select 13 nonprofits that held significance for one or more of the club’s members. Over the course of the year, the club worked tirelessly to raise funds through various events and initiatives, culminating with a ceremony in the school’s auditorium to present those funds.
Eleven of the 13 foundations were represented at the ceremony, with the other two sending along thank-you letters. This year’s selected charities were the Lustgarten Foundation, the school’s own Giving Tree, March of Dimes, Food Allergy Research and Education, the Lupus Foundation of America, the Long Island Crisis Center, Sunrise Day Camp, the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island, the Book Fairies, DEBRA (Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa Research Association) of America, Save the Children – Hurricane Maria Relief, Education Through Music and America’s VetDogs.
The event opened with the Be the Change Award being presented to Erick Greenberg, a social studies teacher at the school, for his efforts and contributions. Each organization was then introduced and welcomed by selected students and, following a brief speech, awarded with a plaque of recognition and a donation check.
Among the donations was a special contribution to the Lustgarten Foundation, a pancreatic research organization, in memory of former dean of students and head football coach At W.T. Clarke High School, John Boyle. Mr. Boyle passed away a few weeks prior to this event following his battle with pancreatic cancer.
Change for Change has been in existence for 13 years, with advisors Katie Pienkos and Ashley Sanalitro leading the initiative for the last four.
As commencement approaches for senior at East Meadow High School, a group of individuals from the class signed their National Letter of Intent to continue athletic careers at the collegiate level.
Six seniors recently came together to officially announce their decisions to join athletic programs at their respective colleges in the fall. The signings included Patrick Hoffman and William McQuillan from the varsity baseball team who will respectively join the programs at nearby Molloy College and New York Institute of Technology. Ashley Pereira also decided to stay close to home by signing with the swimming program at LIU Post. Christina Loeffler is set to continue her softball career at Post University while Celina Lo will play lacrosse at Slippery Rock and Victoria Fuduli joins the soccer team at Le Moyne.
Starting in September, the senior class at East Meadow High School embarked on a yearlong journey designed to further prepare them for life after graduation.
The objective of this journey – the senior project – is to actively engage students in “real-world” experiences by having them either participate in an internship or undertake a community service effort. This project also serves to foster compassion, creativity, citizenship and confidence in students as they enter the workforce, college and society, all while gaining positive, hands-on experience with community professionals.
The first semester consisted of resume and interview workshops to ready the seniors for the next step, which was to complete at least 25 hours of experience in a chosen activity. Beginning with the resume process, students identified areas of interest, applied and reached out to sponsors for their internships or community service work. They fleshed out this experience during the second semester, and they recorded their progress by logging their daily hours and activities.
The journey culminated on May 25th with a Senior Project Fair, where the students visually demonstrated their experiences, lessons learned and contributions through project boards. With only a few months before starting their own senior projects, the junior class was tasked with reporting on the event by conducting interviews with the presenters.
Coordination of the project was led by teachers Danielle Casamassina, Sheena Jacob and Kimberly LoFaso of the business, English and social studies departments respectively.