The Board of Education held the annual reorganization meeting on July 2 with two new trustees being sworn in.
Through careful planning and exceptional creativity, the district has built and installed “Little Free Libraries” at each of the five elementary school buildings.
The initiative was initiated and implemented by District Director of Literacy and Funded Programs, Mr. Frank Lukasik. Additionally, each individual library was constructed by East Meadow students enrolled in the district’s carpentry classes which are led by teachers Mr. Scott Stacy, Mr. John Scerbo, Mr. William Burke and Mr. Gregory Greco.
There are more than 75,000 “Little Free Libraries” around the world in 85 countries. East Meadow joins the movement to share books, bring people together and create a community of readers.
The “Little Free Libraries” were installed for everyone in the community to promote literacy through book sharing. The district encourages readers to not only select a book to read, but to also add books to the collections at the elementary schools.
In addition to the installation of the “Little Free Libraries,” summer reading challenges have been created to spark excitement for the new resource and build a community of readers. Students are encouraged to visit the libraries, take a picture, post them to social media, tag @emeadowschools and/or the elementary school and use the #emeadowreads in the post.
“The community can help by keeping this collection stocked with good reading material,” said Mr. Lukasik. “We hope everyone enjoys this precious gift to our community!”
The district celebrated employee service and student success at the final Board of Education meeting of the school year on June 19.
Prior to the start of the Board of Education meeting, the district honored 12 staff members who are retiring at the end of the year. The retirees were joined by family members and friends, administration, staff and Board trustees for a special reception in their honor. The district thanked Judith Arabian, Jill Artus, Robin Boucher, Susan Byrne, Victor DeLiso, Thomas Feggler, Teresa Fjellstad, Gail Galluci, Janice Oldak, Cherly Safren, Jody Targove and Annemarie Viscuso for providing more than 300 years of combined service to East Meadow.
Also at the meeting, Director of Social Studies and 21st Century Learning, Jim Mendonis, and Director of Literacy and Funded Programs, Frank Lukasik, continued the meeting with a spotlight of W.T. Clarke Middle School students Faith Fuller and Shreejita Satpathy. Faith and Shreejita were presented certificates of excellence after qualifying for the New York State History Day Contest in Cooperstown that was held in April. The two earned the placement through their fourth-place finish at the Long Island History Day event held at Hofstra in March. The duo earned distinction with their Junior Group Documentary project titled, “Frances Oldham Kelsey: The Thalidomide Crisis.”
Accolades continued at the Board meeting as Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth A. Card, Jr., presented a plaque of appreciation to PTA Council President Robin Fitzpatrick. Dr. Card thanked Mrs. Fitzpatrick for her dedication, service and contributions to the students and community for the past two years.
Outgoing board members Joseph Parisi and Marcee Rubinstein were then acknowledged by Board President Matthew Melnick for their years of service to the district and community as they completed their terms.
“Congratulations to all of the honorees and retirees recognized tonight,” said Dr. Card. “Thank you for your years of dedicated service and commitment to the students and families of the East Meadow School District.”
Meadowbrook Elementary School presented a special thanks to retiring Assistant Principal Gail Gallucci on June 14, following a building-wide Flag Day Ceremony.
Principal Kelly Di Scalfani-O’Brien opened the surprise tribute to Ms. Gallucci and discussed how each grade prepared a special gift despite the difficulty of keeping the farewell party a secret. Students offered books, jokes and performances to honor Ms. Gallucci in her final weeks at Meadowbrook.
The ceremony was highlighted by the announcement that school’s garden will be renamed “Gallucci Garden,” and a redbud tree will be planted in her honor. The tree’s heart-shaped leaves represent the positive impact that Ms. Gallucci has left on the school community.
“Thank you everyone for these tremendous gifts and recognitions,” said Ms. Gallucci. “I look forward to returning to Meadowbrook during my retirement to visit (and work in) ‘Gallucci Garden.’ I also look forward to seeing the students and staff as well.”
All five elementary schools throughout the district welcomed senior class members from East Meadow High School and W.T. Clarke High School for the district’s second annual “Senior Walk Through” on June 19.
The seniors returned to the elementary school they graduated from seven years ago to take one more tour of the building they grew up in before officially moving on from the district. Current elementary school students, staff and administration welcomed the Class of 2019 with cheers, signs and wishes of good luck and encouragement as they embark on their next chapter.
The district would like to thank the principals and staff from both high schools and each of the five elementary schools for continuing the tradition of honoring its graduates.
The district honored Flag Day on June 14 across all four elementary schools. Special morning ceremonies at each building welcomed students, staff and community members.
Barnum Woods, Bowling Green, Meadowbrook and Parkway elementary schools took their tributes outside, where student bands performed and administrators addressed the significance of Flag Day and the country’s flag.
Barnum Woods extended the celebration with the annual wellness walk through the surrounding neighborhood with students waving American flags. At Meadowbrook, the school hosted a surprise recognition ceremony to honor retiring Assistant Principal Gail Gallucci.
“Thank you to all students, staff and community members, including those that serve, that helped us celebrate Flag Day throughout East Meadow,” said Superintendent of Schools Kenneth A. Card, Jr.
Third grade students at Meadowbrook Elementary School immersed themselves into a mystery story experience lead by Submerge Storytelling during the week of May 27.
Submerge Storytelling is an educational program that transforms a classroom into the setting of a story, motivating students to draw conclusions about the characters, plots and themes.
Cory Levine of Submerge Storytelling transformed a Meadowbrook classroom into the bedroom of 12-year-old Trevor Cool, who breaks codes for the CIA. The room contained a twin-sized bed, desk, Legos, wall decorations, sports memorabilia, codes and ancient artifacts. Students examined evidence and applied their literacy and critical thinking skills to become detectives in search of Trevor as he is being chased by the notorious CIA double agent, Cobra.
Throughout the week, third graders learned how to make connections with evidence without jumping to conclusions. They also discussed the importance of evidence and order of events. Students then created a timeline to help figure out the accurate plot line.
Meadowbrook thanks Mr. Levine for putting on the week-long activity as well as the PTA for providing students with this detective opportunity.
The Board of Education meeting on May 29 was a full showcase of excellence from staff members and students alike as selfless acts, academic success and musical talents were on display.
The W.T. Clarke High School Saxophone Quartet opened the evening’s festivities by performing the Star-Spangled Banner. Following opening remarks from President Matthew Melnick and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth A. Card, Jr., the focus shifted to the honorees.
Bowling Green Elementary School Principal Maria Ciarametaro honored third grade teacher Christine Reiman for her efforts in supporting her student Mahdi Islam as he awaited a heart transplant. Ms. Reiman helped to host a “Super Hero Day” that raised $4,000 combined between the Bowling Green and Meadowbrook Elementary Schools. Additionally, she kept Mahdi involved in classroom activities through webinars and Google Hangouts. Ms. Reiman was presented with a Certificate of Excellence for her endless dedication and devotion.
The selflessness theme continued as Meadowbrook student Emma Vulpi was recognized for supporting the Child Life Program at NYU Winthrop Hospital. Emma decided that instead of receiving birthday gifts this year, she wanted to donate new toys to the hospital program to help those in need. Principal Kelly DiScalfani-O’Brien presented Emma and her parents with a medal and certificate for generously donating $300 worth of toys.
In the area of academic achievement, Director of Social Studies and 21st Century Learning, Jim Mendonis, along with Director of Literacy and Funded Programs, Frank Lukasik, spotlighted academic excellence by honoring middle school students that excelled at the recent Long History Day. W.T. Clarke Middle School students Umme Hani Bootwaia and Mubaraka Ezzi were recognized for receiving the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory sponsored Science History Award. Woodland Middle School’s Maya Del Rosario was applauded for her Latin American History Award sponsored by the Long Island Council for the Social Studies.
Next, attendees were treated to two musical selections by the East Meadow High School String Ensemble. The group opened with a rendition of AC/DC’s “Back in Black” followed by a medley of Queen songs, all to the delight of many in the audience.
Recognitions concluded with the presentation of Terrific Kids from W.T. Clarke Middle School and Woodland Middle School for the months of April, May and June. These awards are sponsored by the East Meadow Kiwanis Club. Kiwanis Club President Gary Fromowitz, along with Principals Stacy Breslin and James Lethbridge, highlighted sixth, seventh and eighth graders who have exhibited a positive attitude, good character, and responsible citizenship while also being exemplary role models for their peers.
Congratulations to all the night’s honorees and presentations, once again demonstrating the great that happens in East Meadow.