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Tickets for the Fourth Annual Ward Melville Senior Prom Fashion Show

The fourth annual Ward Melville High School Senior Prom Fashion Show, which is sponsored by the school's PTSA, will take place on January 29, 2009 from 7:00-11:00 p.m. at Watermill Caterers, located at 711 Smithtown Bypass, Smithtown, New York. Tickets will go on sale January 7th & 12th from 6:30-8:00 p.m. In the high school auditorium and on January 9th in the high school commons area during all lunch periods. Tickets are $50 and checks can be made out to the WM PTSA. 100% of the profit from this event goes to the PTSA Scholarship Fund. For more information, please contact Luann Monteleone at 246-5864 or Karen Foda at 246-5161.


Showcasing Talent Before Audiences

R.C. Murphy Junior High School student William Stieglitz was invited by the Performance Poets Association to read his original poetry “Tzedakah” at the Smithtown Library this December. This was a great honor for William and the school congratulates him for being recognized as an up-and-coming writer.




Ward Melville Named a First Prizewinning School

Ward Melville High School in the Three Village Central School District has been selected as the first prizewinner in the Samsung’s Hope for Education contest. For this honor, the school has been awarded $61,000 in prizes, including $30,000 in Samsung equipment, $30,000 in Microsoft software, and a $1,000 DIRECTV package. Only 30 schools nationwide were awarded this honor.

Ward Melville High School was nominated by psychology and world history teacher Robert Wilson, who wrote an essay describing how the school could benefit from being selected as a contest winner.

Ward Melville Presents The Secret Garden

Ward Melville High School’s Music Department and the Ward Melville Players proudly presented the 1991 Best Book of a Musical Tony Award winner The Secret Garden as this year’s school musical. As the lights went down on opening night, the auditorium’s stage was transformed into a vine-covered garden and the audience embarked on a captivating journey with a young girl named Mary Lennox.
The play, which is a musical written by Marsha Norman and Lucy Simon, and is based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, tells the story of Mary, who is sent to live in England with her uncle following the death of her parents in a cholera outbreak in India. There, she brings to life not only a neglected garden, but also all of those who surround her.
Approximately 200 Ward Melville High School students were involved in this production on stage, off stage, and in the pit. They rehearsed for months before the play’s debut under the direction of Acting, Vocal, and Staging Director Linda Contino; Orchestra, Set, and Technical Director Phil Preddice; Choreographer Denise Baio; Theatrical Consultant George Loizides; and Costume Directors Irene Gische and Kathy Loizides.
The students performed nearly flawless shows for three evening performances before packed crowds, and left the audiences hoping next year’s production would be as wonderful.



Turkey Casserole

With the help of some volunteers, second-grade students in Suzanne Payne’s class at W.S. Mount Elementary School in the Three Village School District created turkey craft bags before the holiday season. The cute craft project came complete with a recipe for “Gobble-Good Turkey Casserole.”



Swinging for the Holidays

As a culmination to a physical education golf unit, Nassakeag Elementary School’s gymnasium was recently transformed into a miniature golf course, complete with holiday music. The students, who have been learning the principals of and skills necessary to successfully play miniature golf, had the chance to take a swing at the beloved passtime.

Through the sixteen holes, the students practiced different swinging techniques, kept score of their progress, and worked to improve their golfing methods. Each class had the chance to travel through the course two times.



Grants Funded to Further Education

The Three Village Central School District is proud to announce that ten teachers and one administrator have been acknowledged as leaders in their fields and been awarded MESTRACT grants from the Mid-East Suffolk Teacher Center. This organization supports new and innovative ideas in teaching through the funding of Terri Peters Mini Grants, Technology Grants, Parent Projects, and Design Your Own Staff Development Grants.
In order to be considered to receive one of these grants, the recipients needed to complete a comprehensive application process, including detailing how their proposed project was aligned with the New York State Standards for education.
Congratulations to the following Three Village educators:


Terri Peters Mini-Grant Program Recipients:
Kerry Magnuson – “Get to the ‘Heart’ of the Matter” Project
Cynthia Carrucciu – “Connecting Students to their Community Through Service- Learning” Project
Antonio Santana – “Rachel’s Challenge” Project
Corinne Connors – “Rachel’s Challenge” Project
Pete Schuchman – “Rachel’s Challenge” Project
Sarah Doepp – “Citizen Science: Classroom FeederWatch” Project
Derek Angermaier – “Citizen Science: Classroom FeederWatch” Project
Barbara Kmioteck – “Weather Station – Future Weather Reporters” Project
Allison Cooper – “Weather Station – Future Weather Reporters” Project

Technology Mini-Grant Program Recipients:
Linda Barrett – “None for the Road” Project
Maureen Kost – “None for the Road” Project


Baking Goods for the Holidays

Students in the Home & Careers club at P.J. Gelinas Junior High School in the Three Village Central School District teamed up to bake cookies, bundt cakes, breads, brownies, and coffee cakes for the candlelight house tour sponsored by the Three Village Historical Society. The finished baked goods were delivered to the president of the society. Pictured here are club members Tatiana Torres, Haydee Ruiz, Meinke Hora, Eva-Marie Billadello, and Marissa Paglia with some of the items they made.


As a culmination to their study of dinosaurs, second-grade students in Kim Rosner’s and Jessie Oppenheim’s classes at Nassakeag Elementary School in the Three Village Central School District put on a musical called “Dinomotion.” The musical, which was created by Michael and Jill Galina, included a number of catchy songs, including “Can You Dig It” and “Dino Soaring,” and many interesting facts about these prehistoric mammals. Throughout the play, the students took on the roles of bone hunters, professors, and different dinosaurs.

In addition to their studies on dinosaurs, during their social studies lessons the students have been learning about the different communities and how people work together to accomplish tasks. With hearts filled with holiday spirit, the second-grade actors wanted to do their part to help others in need.
After some research, the two classes selected Angela’s House as the recipient of their donations. Angela’s House is an organization that provides services to families with medically frail children. In lieu of an admissions charge for the students’ evening performance of “Dinomotion,” attendees were asked to make a tax-deductible donation to Angela’s House. In total, the two classes raised $830.

Coats & Coins Collected During the Holidays

Positive character traits have been on display recently at Nassakeag Elementary School in the Three Village Central School District. With the help of teacher Debra Cocco, the school’s fifth-grade students conducted a three-week coat drive for the less fortunate in Suffolk County. As a result of the generosity of the school community, the fifth graders collected more than 350 coats and other outdoor apparel.

Through an interschool project, Nassakeag students have also been raising funds to bring a bit of holiday cheer to a troop of soldiers serving in Afghanistan. Ward Melville High School eleventh graders Laura Yasson, Kristen Davies, Chloe Martirano, and Matt Kerner, along with their guidance counselor Barbara O’Leary, have been coordinating a schoolwide collection drive for U.S. army soldier and Three Village alumnus Greg Holownia, and enlisted the student council at Nassakeag to help collect funds to ship the packages. With the help of student council advisors Adele Gibbons and Robbin Teitelbaum and the building’s Shared Decision-Making Team, the school participated in a “Postage for Patriots” drive.

“We really wanted to bring a piece of home to Greg and the men and women in his troop,” stated Laura. “We hope that these packages will bring a smile to their faces this holiday.”

In the months leading up to the holiday season, the high schoolers sent packages to the troop and received correspondence from the servicemen and women.

Students Suggestions Delivered to White House

What would you do if you were elected as the next President of the United States? Well, the kindergarten students in Patty Woods’s class at Nassakeag Elementary School in the Three Village Central School District were happy to share their answers after working on a book they called “Tips for President Barack Obama.”

“This November Americans made history by electing the first African American president,” stated Ms. Woods. “Our class wanted to do something to help wish him luck in his new role…I was really impressed with some of the ideas that the students came up with.”
The book, which includes a cover design by kindergartener Jillian Culaci, included a story from each student on what they would do if they were the next president, and a picture of the child. The students recently shared their tips, which included to work and keep the flag safe, stop car crashes, and make sure that people ate healthy, with their sixth-grade buddies from Judy Larsen’s class and their parents, before sending the book to President-elect Obama at the White House.

Big Win During Business Competition

Four teams comprised of business students, student government members, and Future Business Leaders of America club members from Ward Melville High School in the Three Village School District recently competed in the Annual Business Plan Competition at Briarcliffe College in Patchogue.

In their first appearance ever in the contest the Ward Melville teams triumphed over the competition and took home several first and second place wins. Congratulations to the following students and business teacher Ilene Littman on this accomplishment:

Zachary Baum, Lindsey Brekne, Ryan Maloney, and Adina Mehl –
Second Place and a cash prize of $150

Jeff Stern, Michael Prestia, and Jordan Feldstein –
First Place and a cash prize of $250

All four Ward Melville teams –
Second Place Trophy for their school average score

The second place trophy also recognizes Jonathan Corona, John Kelly, Austin Kelly, Scott Brekne, Zachary Herman, Aaron Lifton, and Max Tcherevik, who competed during the event.


College Decisions Come Early

Anyone who has gone through the college application process knows just how stressful that time can be. In an effort to provide some relief to anxious seniors and help them complete their application process, Ward Melville High School in the Three Village School District embarked on unique collaborations with several Long Island colleges and universities this fall.

During the “On-Site Admissions Programs”, college admissions staff visited with seniors to conduct personal interviews, evaluate their applications, and ultimately render a decision for acceptance and if the students qualify for any scholarships. Students came to their interviews prepared with completed applications, high school transcripts, and SAT/ACT scores. This year, hundreds of students registered to participate in the program.
“This is a great program that not only allows a student to see where they stand with the school, but also helps them practice interviewing and make connections with the school’s admissions staff,” stated Associate Dean at SUNY Stony Brook Robert Pertusati. “While the school they meet with might not be their top choice, on the spot acceptance into any of these great schools is a nice insurance clause for the students,” added Ward Melville guidance counselor Steven Levenson, who noted that students who applied to any of the SUNY schools generally don’t find out if they are accepted till March or April.

Ward Melville began offering this program to seniors nine years ago. At that time, the school’s only partner was SUNY Stony Brook. Today, the program has expanded and includes on-site programs with St. Joseph’s College, Hofstra University, Adelphi University, Dowling College, C.W. Post University, and SUNY Farmingdale. Additionally, all private schools waved their admissions fees for these events.

Drops For Relief

Even though the students do not yet meet the criteria for donating, sixth-grade students at Minnesauke Elementary School in the Three Village School District recently organized a school blood drive with Long Island Blood Services in order to do their part to help combat the shortage of blood donations across America.

Prior to the drive, representatives from the Long Island Blood Services visited the school’s sixth-grade classes to teach the students about blood, blood donation, and blood transfusions. The students learned how blood circulates throughout your body, what blood is made of, and what makes an ideal blood donor. On the day of the blood drive many of the sixth graders volunteered as “Little Doctors,” and assisted donors with such things as filling out their paperwork and serving much-needed post-donation drinks.

“Although we can’t donate ourselves, it feels great to help during the blood drive because I know what is collected here will go to help people in need,” stated sixth grader Matthew De Livero. “So many people would die each year if they could not receive donated blood…I would donate in a minute if I could,” added sixth grader Joe Bonomo.

The Minnesauke blood drive collected a total of 21 pints of blood.

He’s Making a List

Dressed in their holiday best, Three Village Central School District children of all ages gathered at R.C. Murphy Junior High School for the opportunity to sit on Santa’s lap and share their holiday wish lists with the big man himself during the school’s student government-sponsored Holiday Breakfast.
While listening to joyful carols by the school’s talented singers under the direction of Anthony Pollera, attendees enjoyed a holiday breakfast and constructed holiday crafts, including frames and ornaments, with the assistance of student government volunteers dressed as elves and characters. Additionally, the students also enjoyed watching magic tricks by a professional magician.

The event was a great kickoff to the holiday season!

Murphy Students Published in New Communications Anthology

Creative writing abounded at R.C. Murphy Junior High School when fifteen eighth grade-students from Jackie Pardi’s English class were recently selected to be published in the Creative Communications new anthology, “Celebrating What is Important to Me.”
According to a letter the school received from the publishers, “The fact that you have numerous students accepted makes a strong statement about your school. Less than 50% of the essays submitted were selected to be published. The list of your students that have been accepted to be published represents a lot of talent, hard work, and dedication from your teachers and students.”

Congratulations to the following outstanding writers who were published and recognized with the Writing Achievement Award:

Brianna Backiel
John Fiore
Michael Jin
Rachel LaMantia
Kim Lee
Melvin Li
Christopher Lin
Nicholle Pandolfi
Violet Penuelas
Max Reff
Sanjula Singhal
Eric Soler
Allee Surgeary
Christina Wang
Amy Zhu


Seven Seniors Sign Letters of Intent

After demonstrating a high level of athletic talent and academic excellence during their high school career, seven Ward Melville High School seniors have been selected by top institutions of higher education to continue their academic journey on their campuses this September. Additionally, by signing National Letters of Intent with these schools, the students will be afforded the opportunity to continue their athletic journey on one of the schools’ sports teams
“Congratulations are in order for not only our students but also their parents and coaches, who continue to support our student-athletes,” stated Director of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Athletics Don Webster. “I look forward to reading about your accomplishments in the future and hearing about your successes.”
The district wishes the following seniors the best of luck next year:

Mark Brode – Syracuse University (Boys Soccer)
Chelsea DeVerna – SUNY Albany (Girls Soccer)
Maggie DeVerna – SUNY Albany (Girls Soccer)
Jennifer Granger – University of Notre Dame (Girls Lacrosse)
Makenzie Hommel – Duke University (Girls Lacrosse)
Kerry Kresse – Stony Brook University (Girls Lacrosse)
Steven Matz – Coastal Carolina University (Baseball)


Making Poetry Slammin’

Twelve R.C. Murphy Junior High School eighth and ninth-grade students, along with three teacher chaperones, Laurie Burke, Michael Flanagan, and Catherine Duffy, traveled to Madison Square Garden on Saturday, November 15th to participate in the NY Knicks’ Poetry Slam competition. Students had an opportunity to compete in the Poetry Slam (AKA Performance Poetry), “American Idol Style,” and other meet students with a passion for writing and performance from throughout the New York area.
The Knicks Poetry Slam Program was broken up into two contests, spoken word and written. Participants had the option of performing poetry live or competing online through KnicksPoetrySlam.com. The Knicks and Urban Word NYC decided to make the program year-round in May 2008 by adding a Summer Slam Series with the NY Liberty. The 2008-2009 Program will provide more than $200,000 in college grants and prizes.

The Knicks Poetry Slam was created in 2003 to reach today's high school youth by using the popularity of hip-hop and poetry as a vehicle to motivate and inspire expression through the written and spoken word. With the growth of the program, the Knicks and program partner Urban Word NYC have provided greater opportunities for high school students to use their poetic skills and talents to pursue higher education. The program serves over 10,000 students annually through school site visits, a Poetry Open Audition, a College Fair, workshops and Poetry Slams.

The school and district commends the following students who participated:


As a result of their participation, Danielle Brando, Rocco Morra, and Sonya Li were selected to compete in the semifinalists’ round of the Knicks Poetry Slam. They are now in the running to win more than $150,000 in scholarship money, laptop computers, and Nike ID sneakers. These students will attend six weeks of Saturday workshops, during which they will work to refine their skills and create three-minute poems for the semifinal slams in January.


Stamping Out Smoking

The number of dangers and health concerns smokers can face are astronomical. In an effort to help better inform their peers, teachers, and other adults about the hazards cigarettes can cause, tenth-grade students from Maureen Kost’s class at Ward Melville High School coordinated an informational event in celebration of The Great American Smoke Out this November.

Prior to the day, the students learned about quality research, how to find health information on different topics, and announced the upcoming Smoke Out over the school’s public address system. Additionally, they created material to display during the event, including a three-foot tall replica cigarette and handouts.

During the school’s lunch periods and while standing before a display that included an actual blackened lung and a spooling information video, the student presenters shared a newsletter they created on the topic of smoking and encouraged students to sign a banner to symbolize their pledge to be smoke free. Additionally, sponsor sheets to sign were available for individuals wishing to help someone quit smoking
In addition to their project for The Great American Smoke Out, members of Ms. Kost’s class also made presentations during their lunch periods on stress and depression as well as one in honor of World AIDS Day.



When Fibbing Takes You to Broadway

The creativity and imagination of R.C. Murphy Junior High School eighth grader Amy Zhu ran wild when she put pen to paper and entered the Wicked Writing Contest sponsored by Newsday and the Broadway show Wicked. The contest challenged students to take a current fairytale and either tell it from another point of view, change it, or pick up where the story left off. Amy’s submission, which was called “Fibber,” was a continuation of the famous tale of Pinocchio and how he could not stop lying. As a result of her hard work and inventive story, Amy was named a runner-up in the contest and awarded a once-in-a-lifetime prize.

Amy and the rest of her English class, taught by Jacqueline Pardi, were invited into New York City where they had the chance to meet David Cote, the companion book author, Winnie Holzman, the play wright, David Stone, the producer of the Broadway show Wicked, and Stephan Schwartz, the play’s music producer. During the meeting, the guests of honor listened as the professionals spoke about how they translated the book into a musical and shared some insight into the meanings behind the musical. Additionally, the students had a chance to ask any questions they had about the play, Broadway, or the music profession.

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