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Students Become Official Authors and Illustrators

Students Become Official Authors and Illustrators photo
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A collaborative project at Chippewa Elementary School recently combined literacy, math and art as first grade students in Donna Gianfortone’s class published their very own book, “A World of Math.”

Inspired by a love for math, students in Gianfortone’s class set out to publish a book that depicted where math is present in our everyday lives. Each student wrote a page for the book and created an illustration to accompany their writing, showcasing their artistic abilities. 

At the conclusion of the project, students attended a “red carpet event” where family and friends were invited to hear the first reading of their new literary masterpiece before celebrating their impressive accomplishment. 

Sachem Teams Top Annual Envirothon Competition

Sachem Teams Top Annual Envirothon Competition photo
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Two teams of Sachem High School North student-scientists recently showcased their scientific prowess as they secured top finishes at the 21st Annual Long Island Envirothon on April 30. 

Out of 32 teams participating in the regional competition, Sachem North Team-1 earned a first place finish in oral presentation and first place overall for both Nassau and Suffolk counties. The winning team featured senior Emily Gelardi, juniors Kaya Monolt, Alena Thotam and Caitlin Tucker, and sophomore Catalina Vera, who navigated hands-on tests in five environmental science categories which included aquatics, forestry, wildlife, soils and this year’s current issue, “Agriculture and the Environment: Knowledge and Technology to Feed the World.”   

Additionally, Sachem North Team-2, composed of juniors Anika Banerjee, Miranda Garcia-Cassani and Madison Tutone paired with sophomores Grace McGowan and Andzelika Tislenko, earned second place in Suffolk County. 

Also included in the challenging competition is an oral presentation for which students are given an environmental problem and are required to research the issue, prepare a solution and orally present their results to a panel of judges. The reference materials that students must master for each content area are extensive, and the preparation for the 10-minute, project-based-learning style presentation requires an enormous amount of extracurricular time and commitment.

As first place winners, each team member received $500 and a local field guide and was awarded an all-expenses-paid trip to compete at the New York State Envirothon in Geneva, New York, on May 22 and 23.

Chippewa Students Team Up to Create Tall Towers

Chippewa Students Team Up to Create Tall Towers photo

A collaborative effort from third-grade students at Chippewa Elementary School in Amy DeJesus’ class made for a successful STEM activity, as students worked together to assemble the tallest tower they could.

Working in teams, the third-graders discussed their designs before they began to assemble their towers using only the index cards provided. Throughout the activity students implemented problem-solving skills to overcome obstacles that affected their original designs. 


Waverly Learns to Care for Canines

Waverly Learns to Care for Canines photo
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A group of furry, four-legged friends paid a visit to Waverly Avenue Elementary School recently as part of a workshop that taught first grade students basic dog care and safety. 

For more than 10 years, the Suffolk Obedience Training Club has visited Waverly to educate students on the responsibilities of owning a dog and the proper way to safely approach a dog for the first time. Throughout their recent workshop with first grade students, the dogs’ handlers demonstrated a series of commands that showcased the animals’ remarkable intelligence. 

Concluding the workshop, students used their newly acquired skills to meet each of the dogs that participated in the lesson. 

Teamwork Shines Through Circle of Dance

Teamwork Shines Through Circle of Dance photo
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Recently at Hiawatha Elementary School, each first grade class performed a creative, choreographed dance for an audience of kindergarten students and their fellow first graders as part of the Circle of Dance program.

During the program, students learned essential dance skills, such as balance, coordination and flexibility, while memorizing each of their individualized dance routines. Working together through eight practices, students also learned the importance of teamwork and collaboration while working to perfect their routines.  

Field Trip

Budget Radio Show 2019

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Grundy Avenue Walks the Great Wall of China

Grundy Avenue Walks the Great Wall of China photo
Technology took third-grade students at Grundy Avenue Elementary School on a trip across the world during a recent activity that utilized Google Expedition headsets to explore the Great Wall of China. 

With help from technology integration specialist Claudia Camassa, the third-graders used the virtual reality headsets to visit iconic locations along the Great Wall such as the Gubeikou Pass, the Long Fortress, the Simatai Section and the Tower. At each stop along the virtual trip, students learned interesting information about the area. 

The virtual visit to the Great Wall served as a culminating activity to lessons on China that explored economy, government, geographic features, tourist areas and culture. 

Sachem Named Runner-Up at 2019 Eurochallenge

Sachem Named Runner-Up at 2019 Eurochallenge
The Sachem Eurochallenge team of Isha Kinare, Stephanie Michael, Connor Patton and Lauren Peralta finished in the runner-up bracket out of over 80 participating schools from 15 states. 

The Eurochallenge event, which takes place in New York City, puts some of the most focused social studies and policy-driven students in a very competitive environment.

A number of these students also compete in the Federal Reserve Challenge as well.

This was the fourth straight year Sachem North reached the national semifinals.

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Merrimac Raises Money for the Special Olympics

Merrimac Raises Money for the Special Olympics photo
A recent student-led service-learning project at Merrimac Elementary School helped raise money for an incredible cause, as students across grade levels rallied together to collect money for the Special Olympics. 

Fourth-grade student Gabriel Nagel developed a plan to raise money for the Special Olympics and brought his idea to Building Principal Veronica DeCicco to make it a reality. Gabriel held a coin drive where students donated spare change, and he also organized a kickball tournament with various incentives for the winning team. 

Additionally, Gabriel reached out to the popular Long Island organization John’s Crazy Socks, which came to Merrimac to host an assembly program for students. Before the assembly, students learned about Down syndrome, what the Special Olympics are and about the inspirational story of John’s Crazy Socks. John’s Crazy Socks is a father-son team which was co-founded by John Lee Cronin, a young man with Down syndrome. During the assembly, John shared information about the Special Olympics and how he never lets Down syndrome hold him back. 

To conclude the assembly, John answered questions prepared by the students and presented Gabriel with his own special socks. 

Wenonah Takes It Back to the Future

Wenonah Takes It Back to the Future

An elaborate collection of student projects and local history was recently showcased at Wenonah Elementary School’s Back to the Future Community Night where students, family and friends enjoyed an assortment of activities throughout the building.

The expansive list of available displays and events, focused on the history of Sachem, Wenonah and the Lake Ronkonkoma community, included a vintage toy and collectables display, a history of Sachem football, a history of the Ronkonkoma Fire Department, a past Wenonah teachers meet-and-greet, a 1980s guess-who bulletin board and a time capsule display. In addition, students could participate in several history-themed activities, such as Dancing Through the Decades, a vintage video arcade, face painting and “guess the theme song” game. 

Family and friends could enjoy additional displays of student projects such as a fourth grade recreation of Lake Ronkonkoma, complete with notable landmarks, and Spheros that were coded to take viewers on a tour of the recreated town. Also, students in kindergarten presented their project, “Toys Are Still a Favorite Past Time;” first grade students made a “Flat Stanley Travels Back in Time” display; second grade students made a “Time Travel Through Space History” display; third grade students collected year-in-review newspaper articles; fourth grade students presented a green-screen project; and fifth grade students presented “The Life of a Wenonah Student: Past, Present and Future.” 

The event also offered other forms of themed entertainment, including live performances and a car show featuring vehicles from different decades. 


Sachem Student-Athletes Sign On For Next Chapter

Sachem Student-Athletes Sign On For Next Chapter
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Seventeen student-athletes from Sachem East and Sachem North combined signed their national letters of intent to play at Division I or II schools.
A ceremony was held at both schools on May 3 to honor these students and their families.

There were similar ceremonies in the fall and winter as well, all based around the signing day deadlines set forth by the NCAA. More than 100 student-athletes from Sachem across the Division I, II, III and Junior College levels will graduate in 2019. 

More photos from the event are available via

Sachem East
Jeilyn Balbuena, Track, East Stroudsburg
Sal Carricato, Baseball, Eckard
Lindsey Dodenhoff, XC/Track, Stony Brook
Ryan Famiglietti, Track, Siena
Stephen Hollis, Soccer, Bloomsburg
Timmy Livingston, Lacrosse, Caldwell
John Madigan, Football, Sacred Heart
Kaylee Maier, Field Hockey, Molloy
Isabelle Makinen, Track, Iona
Daniella Meyer, Track, Marist
Andrew Oakland, Baseball, Pace
Nick Sanacore, Soccer, NYIT
Liam Sheehy, Basketball, Pace

Sachem North
Nick Ambersino, XC/Track, Fairfield
Erin Avanzato, Lacrosse, Jefferson
Jordyn McDonnell, XC/Track, Hofstra
Hailey Wetherbee, Swimming, Stony Brook

VIDEO: Teacher Appreciation

Teacher Appreciation photo

Seneca Chefs Secure Fourth Consecutive Win

Seneca Chefs Secure Fourth Consecutive Win photo
Five Seneca Middle School student-chefs showcased their cooking creativity as they secured a first place finish at the ninth annual Junior Iron Chef competition held at Whole Foods Market in Lake Grove.

For the fourth consecutive year, Seneca assembled a team of talented student-chefs who finished first amongst junior chefs from across Long Island. All students attended the competition with a prepared recipe and cooked their dish in the allotted one-hour cook time. 

The educational cooking event encourages students to learn and execute the culinary skills necessary to prepare dishes essential for a healthy lifestyle. The competition promotes the use of local food to support farmers and the environment. Each recipe was judged on taste, presentation, creativity, use of local ingredients, use of USDA ingredients, healthy choices and cafeteria readiness. 

Each team worked closely with its family and consumer science teachers to develop recipes and practiced for many hours leading up to the contest. Seneca’s team, “The GOATS,” composed of eighth grade students Leah Ferrara, Sofia Iacono, Andrew Macchio, Gianna Scolaro and Jackie Volo, secured the first place finish with their dish, Caribbean Breakfast Salad.  

The winning dish consisted of a fluffy French toast base topped with a hearty slice of grilled pineapple, topped with an arugula salad covered in a raspberry Dijon glaze.  

Business Students Practice With a Pro

Business Students Practice With a Pro photo

Sachem High School East business students engaged in hands-on learning in William Ward’s class during a recent visit from mindSHIFT Senior Manager for Human Resources, Janelle Alberigo.

To begin the special visit, Alberigo explained the role of someone who works in human resources, the career path she followed and the versatility of the position she holds today. With the guidance of Alberigo, students participated in mock interviews in which they pretended to be a human resources manager. They received bad interview calls and calls in which the interviewee was well prepared. Throughout the informative, hands-on activity, students gained insight into this and other aspects of the human resources profession. 


Student-Musicians Honored by Board of Education

Student-Musicians Honored by Board of Education
At the most recent meeting of the Sachem Central School District Board of Education on April 17, 41 extraordinary student-musicians were recognized for their selection to participate in the Suffolk County Music Educators’ Association’s annual All-County Festival. 

Students in band, orchestra and chorus were selected for this great honor based on previous New York State School Music Association scores and teacher recommendations before being selected by the SCMEA Board.  

VIDEO: Wavery Art Competition - Chopped

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Board Recognizes Exemplary Winter Athletes

Board Recognizes Exemplary Winter Athletes photo

On April 3, the Sachem Central School District Board of Education recognized a collection of extraordinary athletic teams which excelled in their respective sports during the winter season.

Teams honored included the Sachem High School North Arrowette team who secured a National Dance Alliance national title for team performance, a small varsity jazz national championship and an award for technical excellence. Also, the Sachem High School North cheerleaders were named Suffolk County champions and also won the first state championship in program history. The Sachem High School East varsity wrestling team won the League I Dual Championship and the League I Tournament Championship before going on to finish first as the Section XI Duals Champion. 

In addition to the impressive team accomplishments, numerous students were also recognized for receiving All-League, All-County or All-State honors. 


Sachem Students Create Worldwide Connections

Sachem Students Create Worldwide Connections photo
Students at Sachem High School East continue their long-standing tradition of exchanging letters with pen pals at Collège Privé Jean Yole in Les Herbiers, France, which connects students through the use of a world language. 

Les Herbiers is a city in the western part of France in the Loire region. Each year, freshman French students at High School East are assigned a pen pal and consistently exchange letters throughout the yearlong class. 

These new relationships allow students to create meaningful connections to the French language. 

Technology Helps Create Connections to Curriculum

Technology Helps Create Connections to Curriculum photo

Curriculum connections were plentiful for students at Sachem High School North during a recent visit from the Sachem Public Library, as students engaged in several activities utilizing high- and low-tech educational tools.

During science and math classes, students across grade levels experimented with educational technologies that emphasized science, technology, engineering and math. Students used Magical Magnets to create three-dimensional figures, structures and shapes in addition to testing their design abilities using Strawbees and Legos. 

Exploring more complex technologies, students used the Autodesk program to improve their freehand drawing skills and fuel interests in digital art. Additionally, students tried on virtual reality headsets and used iPads to control mBot robots. 

The visit from the public library allowed students to explore current curriculum concepts using a versatile selection of educational materials.   


Hiawatha Book Initiative Unites School Community

Hiawatha Book Initiative Unites School Community photo
Students, faculty and staff at Hiawatha Elementary School recently participated in a buildingwide reading initiative that fostered a collective love for learning through the Andrew Clements book, “Frindle.” 

One Book, One School is an annual initiative at Hiawatha that provides each student and staff member with a copy of the same book to read. This year’s book, “Frindle,” is about a boy who renames a pen a “frindle” and it eventually becomes a new word in the dictionary. 

In celebration of the initiative, Hiawatha hosted a family event on Feb.28 organized by librarian Kim Walker and art teacher Nicole Healy where students and their family members created invisible ink, bookmarks and made new words in addition to other engaging activities.

Chippewa Takes Learning Long Distance

Chippewa Takes Learning Long Distance photo
A cross-country connection between an Alaskan elementary school and second grade students in Mary Bernhard’s class at Chippewa Elementary School led to an eye-opening look inside a school community much different from their own. 

As part of the yearlong project, students in Bernhard’s class have been communicating with students in Alaska in an interesting way. They have been taking photos with Flat Stanley’s around their school community and sharing places they go around Long Island. Then, the Alaskan students did the same. Through this interactive project, Chippewa students learned about numerous aspects of Alaska, including climate, population, landscape and animals. 

Later this year, Bernhard plans to set up a video chat between each class for the students to meet face to face. 

Professional Artist Shares Lessons in Cultural Creations

Professional Artist Shares Lessons in Cultural Creations photo

Creativity flourished at Waverly Avenue Elementary School as second-grade students in Susan Kinsey’s art class were led through the Day in Clay instructional workshop presented by professional artist, sculptor and potter Cliff Mendelson.

As part of the hands-on workshop, students learned how Native American ceramic vessels are made and about their connection to world cultures. Using some of his brilliant work as examples, Mendelson discussed the history of art in Asian, Greek and Native American cultures and how its applications are alive in the world today. 

Guided by Mendelson, students created their own individual clay vases using the style and techniques of the Native Americans. The various symbols, patterns and imagery of their culture were utilized in the students’ artwork as they explored the tradition that is rich in ceramic history.


Sachem East Girls Track Claims League Title

Sachem East Girls Track Claims League Title photo
While gathered in the Brentwood High School bleachers for their post-meet discussion, the young women of Sachem East track and field waited to hear the meet’s final score. They had been prepared for a tough contest; not only did the Brentwood squad pose some difficult match-ups for Sachem in sprints and jumps, but the Arrows were dealing with a group of their own seniors who were sleep-deprived and out of rhythm from their annual senior trip to Washington, D.C. Likewise, the meet interrupted normal training routines as they found themselves hosted at Brentwood a day later than expected thanks to a weather cancellation the previous day.

As the meet developed, and several early events were split between Brentwood and Sachem, it would be difficult for an outsider to recognize the growing lead for Sachem. Brentwood won seven out of the 14 open events. This should have made the meet a virtual toss-up. To help limit the damage done by these seven Brentwood victories, however, several Sachem team members stepped up to secure a third-place finish in the 400-meter dash, the triple jump and the shot put. Sachem was also able to claim key points in the other events won by Brentwood, with a second-place finish in the 100-meter dash, a second- and third-place finish in the 200-meter dash, a second- and third-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles, and a second- and third-place finish in the high jump. Without these points secured in events won by Brentwood, it was likely the meet would have come down to the wire or ended with a Brentwood victory.

Sachem was able to flex its own muscle, as well, dominating with a first- and second-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles, a first- and second-place finish in the 800-meter run, a first- and third-place finish in the discus, a victory in the long jump, and a sweep of first through third in the 1,500-meter run, race walk and 3,000-meter run. Before the 4x100-meter, 4 x 400-meter and 4x800-meter relays started, victory had already been secured. When the dust settled and the team gathered in the bleachers to recap the meet, the final score stood at 91-59, good enough for Sachem East to claim a 2019 league title.

The news of a league title, their fourth in the last five years, came with plenty of smiles and cheers, but the real celebration occurred one week earlier at Sachem when they defeated league rival Longwood 83-67, on April 10, in a head-to-head match-up of the best two teams in the league. The victory over Longwood avenged last year’s loss to the eventual county champions and set up the April 16 showdown with Brentwood to finish the job. That job now complete, Sachem looks ahead to some serious training through spring break, senior day on April 29 and the start of championship season that kicks off at the St. Anthony’s Invitational on May 3 and 4.

There have been many key players on the track thus far in the season: in the sprints and jumps are Jasmine Ahmed, Jeilyn Balbuena, Arya Deshpande, Julianna Grillo, Erica Hecht, Kylie Koerner, Isabelle Makinen, Julianna Mercado, Daniella Meyer, Arianna Moore, Gianna Pepitone, Victoria Scheller and Jaidyn Simmons; in the mid-distance and distance are Lindsey Dodenhoff, Lexi MacAneney, Chiara Marziali, Sabrinna Mena, Anna Murphy, Jessica Schaefer, Sydney Sherbitsky, Lauren Trejo, Emily Venturi and Alexis Violi; in the throws are Ericka Craig, Kaiya Fragala, Farrah Kuchcicki, ToniAnn McNerney, Ashley Nash and Marissa Scimeca; in the race walk are Marcela Araujo, Angelina Colon, Lauren Faust, Amanda Harnos, Kayla Manel and Marissa Sciotto; and finally newcomers to the squad are Gillian and Michaela Barresi, Molly Grow, Jamie Levin, Anna Morrongiello, Erica Urbancik and Jaidyn Wolfe.

Middle Schools Participate in Italian Celebration

Middle Schools Participate in Italian Celebration photo
In honor of Fat Tuesday and the Carnevale season, seventh grade Italian classes at Sachem middle schools learned about the Carnevale celebration and the ways it was celebrated hundreds of years ago in cities throughout Italy.

As part of their study, students watched videos that explained the deep-rooted history of Carnevale. Students focused their research on Venice, which is most well-known for its costumes, masks and long-standing traditions that are still celebrated in modern times. Classes crafted masks that represented the alter ego they decided to portray during their masquerade ball and interviewed one another in the target language. 

Concluding the activity, students celebrated Fat Tuesday with a party of their own where they sampled delicious Italian food typical of Carnevale. 

Sachem Business Students Head to Federal Reserve

Sachem Business Students Head to Federal Reserve photo
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American high school students will gather to compete in the annual Euro Challenge contest at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on May 2.

Following regional contests, a total of 25 teams from across the country, including our very own from Sachem North, will travel to New York City for the semifinal and final rounds. Students compete by showcasing their financial literacy and knowledge of the European Union and its single currency, the euro.

Participating teams prepare a detailed presentation of current economic conditions in one of the 19 countries that share the euro, and proceed to make policy recommendations to improve that country’s competitiveness, human capital and sustainable growth.

This year’s contest takes on special importance as the euro celebrates its 20th anniversary. Since its launch in 1999, the euro has brought stable prices, lower transaction costs, more transparent and competitive markets, and increased trade.

“The Euro Challenge is a unique learning opportunity for young Americans that teaches students about financial literacy and policy making from an EU perspective,” said Moreno Bertoldi, special advisor to the ambassador and head of the Economic and Financial Affairs Section at the Delegation of the European Union to the United States. “It also highlights that the EU is the largest economic partner of the United States. Since we launched the Euro Challenge in 2006, I am proud to say that hundreds of American students have participated in this exciting competition.”

The top five winning teams will receive monetary awards generously provided by the Moody’s Foundation. The top two placing teams will receive a free trip to Washington, D.C., also sponsored by the Moody’s Foundation, to present solutions to the embassy of the country they researched.

Sachem Student Receives Awards for Outstanding Service

Sachem Student Receives Awards for Outstanding Service photo
Sachem High School North senior Lauren Breuer was recently awarded the Suffolk County Principals Leadership award and was named a recipient of the President’s Volunteer Service Award for her continued efforts focused on improving her school community through community service initiatives.

Lauren boasts an impressive academic résumé. She is enrolled in several Advanced Placement classes such as English, Government and Politics, and Spanish. In addition to her academic accomplishments, Lauren has been class president for each of her four years at High School North and an active member of the Buddies Club, Leadership Club and Mentors Club. She is also a member of the Business, Foreign Language and National honor societies. 

“I just love to help people,” Lauren said. “If I can help just one person, no matter how big or small, that makes all the hard work worth it.” 

PARP Celebration Sheds Light on an Important Lesson

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Kings and queens filled the cafetorium at Wenonah Elementary School for a magical celebration of literacy and learning as part of the building’s monthlong Pick a Reading Partner initiative.

As the PARP assembly began, the magical kingdom on Wenonah was under siege by a ferocious dragon. At the beginning of the month, students learned that if they read books it would protect Wenonah from the dragon. With each book the students read, a brick was added to their kingdom. The bricks were represented by old cereal boxes that now showcased information about the books the students read. As the theatrical assembly continued, building administrators and staff acted out the enchanting fairy tale dressed in vibrant costumes. 

At the conclusion of the production, students discovered the dragon was not scary at all; he just wanted to visit Wenonah to read all of its wonderful books. The engaging performance shared the popular sentiment that you should never judge a book by its cover. 


Sachem East Uses Models to Study Extinction

Sachem East Uses Models to Study Extinction
Sachem High School East students in Daniel Egbert’s new Evolution Science elective recently worked cooperatively to use cutting-edge 3-D printers to create models of extinct, fossilized creatures.  

With the help of High School East librarian Jacque Wrightson, students learned how to use two programs, and, that enabled them to import and modify existing templates to create their models. Research on each species, as well as the mechanisms of fossil formation, were also studied as part of the project. Concluding the project, students presented their models and research findings to their class.

Samoset Studies the Effects of Force and Motion

Samoset Studies the Effects of Force and Motion photo

A series of science stations at Samoset Middle School reinforced important curriculum concepts for sixth-grade students during a recent workshop led by the Brookhaven National Laboratory.

As part of the hands-on workshop, students rotated between stations that examined science topics, including gravity, motion, friction and force. At one station, students were tasked with constructing a roller coaster for a marble to travel through while being mindful of how speed and momentum affected the marble’s travel. At another station, students examined how different surfaces can affect travel and distance as they rolled a toy car down a ramp. While testing each surface, students collected data on the tests they conducted. In an additional station, the students studied energy transfer by playing a game where they hit one marble into another, knocking it from a circle and reflecting on the result that speed and force had on the collision. 

This timely visit from the Brookhaven National Laboratory served as an engaging review to conclude the recent science unit on force and motion.  


Annual Internship and Career Connection Opens Doors to Opportunity

Annual Internship and Career Connection Opens Doors to Opportunity photo

Sachem high school students recently explored an eclectic assortment of future opportunities during the second annual Internship and Career Connection hosted at Sachem High School North.

The expansive event featured 28 local businesses and organizations that provided junior and senior students with information on future career and internship opportunities. The long list of groups who participated in the event included the New York Jets, Sachem Public Library, Nichols College, Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, Seeds of Achievement, the Boy Scouts of America, Splish Splash, RE/MAX Real Estate, Techworks, Civil Air Patrol, the United States Marine Corps, Long Island Community Hospital, the United States Army, RG Financial Investment Solutions, the United States Navy, Ronald McDonald House, Bob’s Stores, National Tax and Financial Services, New York City Police Department, American Pools, Keiser University, RFC Fence, Suffolk County Police Department, Accucare Health, the National Guard, First National Bank, FDNY and the Guitar Guy.

During the event, which was organized by the Sachem Business Department, hundreds of students conversed with business representatives to further their knowledge in their areas of interest. Assisting with the daylong event were a group of Sachem High School North business students, who arranged tables and escorted the representatives to the gymnasium. 

Once the event had concluded, business teacher William Ward reflected on how it impacted the students. "The beautiful thing about having success as a business teacher and creating an event with students, colleagues and professionals is that the impact, like waves, continues to manifest and pay dividends further than the eye can see."

Chippewa Creates Crazy Pudding for St. Patrick’s Day

Chippewa Creates Crazy Pudding for St. Patrick’s Day photo
Chippewa Elementary School third-grade students in Amy Dejesus’ class recently made green leprechaun pudding in recognition of St. Patrick’s Day. 

As part of the activity, third-graders observed ingredients being combined and watched how the properties changed as liquid was added to the powder ingredients. 

Sachem Hosts Conference Led by Prestigious Geneticist

Students and staff from multiple Long Island school districts converged on the Sachem High School North auditorium for a genetics program presented by nationally renowned genetics educator Dr. Sam Rhine.

In its 14th year at Sachem High School North, the one-day genetics conference designed for community members, high school students and their teachers provided key insight for students interested in careers in medicine, biological research or other life science careers.

This year’s conference spanned topics that included the genetics of common single-gene disorders such as cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anemia, to more complicated polygenic conditions, such as obesity, cancer, arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, recent advances within the field of genetics and information regarding the widely popular ancestry testing, currently directly available to consumers, was also discussed.

Sachem Artist’s Talents Shine at Art Exhibit

Sachem Artist’s Talents Shine at Art Exhibit photo

Sachem art teachers Alexis Curcio and Renee Parisi recently represented student-artists from Tamarac Elementary School and Sagamore Middle School at the Suffolk County Art Leaders Association’s Children’s Show on March 16 at Old Town Hall in Babylon.

The exhibit featured a mixed collection of two-dimensional and three-dimensional art from students across Suffolk County in grades K-8. The fourth-grade art that was featured from Tamarac Elementary School included poured landscape reflections inspired by Australian artist Kate Shaw and Native American-inspired spirit animal paintings representing animals students felt connected to. Additionally, Tamarac third-grade artists created Chinese porcelain plates inspired by their recent study of China. 

Students from Sagamore Middle School created two-dimensional pieces as part of their acrylic color study in which students used the grid method to render their portraits to a larger size. They then chose a color scheme and applied different shades and tints of that color to their face, filling the background with a complementary color. In other incredible displays of art, students made observation drawings, name-design projects and a transformation diptych. In addition, Sagamore students also created three-dimensional sculptures representing something manmade and something found in nature. 

Students Advocate Against Smoking on Kick Butts Day

Students Advocate Against Smoking on Kick Butts Day photo
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Students Advocate Against Smoking on Kick Butts Day photo 3
Students Advocate Against Smoking on Kick Butts Day photo 4
On March 20, a national day of activism known as Kick Butts Day, seventh-grade health education students across all three middle school buildings in the Sachem Central School District had a common message for their peers: Stay away from harmful tobacco products. 

In honor of Kick Butts Day, student volunteers shared this important message, empowering youth to make smart choices, stand up against big tobacco organizations and educate others on the dangers of tobacco product use. The districtwide participation in the initiative consisted of a collaborative effort from building drug and alcohol counselors and health education teachers. 

The students’ participation in the initiative served as a timely connection to their recent unit on substance abuse prevention and lessons on the importance of advocacy. 

Sachem Student Named Finalist in 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program

Sachem Student Named Finalist in 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program photo
Sachem High School North senior Amy DeLury has been selected as a finalist in the National Merit Scholarship Program. 

Amy excels in her Advanced Placement courses, including calculus, economics, English literature and physics. In addition to her continued academic success, she is also an integral participant in multiple extra- and co-curricular activities, such as the Economics and Finance Club and the Model United Nations Club, in which she is a delegate. 

Adding to her distinguished academic résumé, Amy has been successful as a science research student, having placed third at the Long Island Brain Bee this year and having been selected for last year’s Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s Professor for a Day program. During the latter, she worked to examine protein homeostasis in health and disease. Additionally, Amy and a partner were selected to advance to the second round of the prestigious Long Island Science and Engineering Fair. 

Approximately 1.6 million juniors from high schools across the country entered the 2019 National Merit Scholarship program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The 15,000 finalists now continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million. Those who have been selected as Merit Scholarship winners will be announced between March and June. 




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SACC Flyer - Nokomis and Merrimac (Spanish)
SACC Flyer - Cayuga, Chippewa, Grundy, Hiawatha, Lynwood, Tamarac, Waverly, Wenonah
SACC Flyer - Cayuga, Chippewa, Grundy, Hiawatha, Lynwood, Tamarac, Waverly, Wenonah (Spanish)

Author Sets the Stage for Greek Mythology

Greek mythology conquered conversation at Samoset Middle School during a recent assembly program for sixth-grade students led by author and illustrator George O’Connor. 

The inspiring assembly program took students on a journey through O’Connor’s experiences as a student just beginning to draw, to the tips and techniques he still uses today to excel as an author and illustrator. O’Connor walked students through his Greek mythology-based book series, “Olympians,” providing students an opportunity to test their knowledge of the most famous Greek gods and goddesses and the mythological stories they star in. 

Concluding his presentation, O’Connor showcased his quick drawing style during an impressive 25-second drawing demonstration of Greek god Zeus, where he emphasized the importance of working through your mistakes instead of taking them as failures.  

Sachem Robotics Places Second on Long Island

Sachem’s robotics team took second place at the Long Island Regional championships at Hofstra University in March. 

Aftershock 263 competed against 48 teams from across Long Island and international teams from Brazil, China, Norway and Turkey.

Sachem competed in a best-of-three final and narrowly missed winning. These student-engineers worked hard for a three-day tournament featuring some of the best and brightest math and science students in the region.

Readers as Leaders Event Celebrates Literacy and Learning


Grundy Avenue Elementary School recently celebrated the birthday of Dr. Seuss with a special celebration of literacy, as students across the building listened to stories read by prominent members of the school and community as part of the building’s annual Readers as Leaders event.

During the collaborative event, multiple guest readers shared stories with students that promoted literacy and learning. Those in attendance included, but were not limited to, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Graham, Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine, Suffolk County Legislator Bill Lindsay, New York State Assemblyman Doug Smith, New York State Sen. Phil Boyle, Suffolk County Police Officer Keith Murphy and Newsday sports writer Tom Rock. 

After each guest concluded their chosen story, students asked questions related to their specific careers and roles within the community, gaining interesting insight from the distinguished visitors. 

Board of Education Honors 2019 Valedictorians and Salutatorians

Board of Education Honors 2019 Valedictorians and Salutatorians photo
At the most recent meeting of the Sachem Central School District Board of Education, members of the Board honored four distinguished students for their outstanding academic performance and continued dedication to educational excellence. 

From Sachem High School North, Amy DeLury was recognized as the valedictorian of the 2019 senior class and was also honored for her selection as a National Merit Scholarship finalist. Additionally, Miguel Maramara from High School North was recognized as the salutatorian of the 2019 senior class. 

Continuing the recognitions, Vincent Zhang was honored as the Sachem High School East Class of 2019 valedictorian and congratulated for the incredible accomplishment of being named a semifinalist in the Regeneron Science Talent Search, an honor achieved by only six students in Sachem’s history. To conclude the recognitions, Joseph Nestor Yu Tan was recognized as the High School East Class of 2019 salutatorian. 

SCOPE Honors the Contributions of Five From Sachem

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Five members of the Sachem Central School District community were honored for their dedication and commitment to education at the Scope Education Services 18th Annual Awards Dinner on March 18. 

Laura Slattery, president of the Sachem Central School District Board of Education, received the School Board Service award. Ms. Slattery has been a resident of the district for over 40 years and has served as a member of the Board since 2015. Her commitment to the Sachem Central School District gleams through her continued work advocating for all students, staff and community members within the district. 

Paula Attard-Lowis was honored with the Support Staff Services award. Ms. Attard-Lowis is a Sachem graduate who has worked as a clerk in the personnel office. Her 41 years of experience serve as an invaluable resource when she assists in tasks imperative to the success of the district. 

Sue Tuttle, director of student services, received the Administrator Service award. Ms. Tuttle has served the Sachem Central School District for 30 years and held positions as a teacher assistant, special education teacher, assistant coordinator and director of student services. Ms. Tuttle currently oversees a large department which is dedicated to serving Sachem students with special needs as well as their families. 

Sheryl Amallobieta, a fourth-grade teacher at Lynwood Avenue Elementary School, was honored with the Teacher Service award. Ms. Amallobieta has worked in the district for 18 years. She held various roles, including a technology integration specialist, before becoming a classroom teacher. Her student-centered classroom prepares students for the 21st century through her implementation of project-based learning that creates a diverse instructional experience and empowers all students. 

Emily Frosina, Sachem High School North special education teacher, received the Community Service award. During her years of commitment to the students of Sachem, Ms. Frosnia has been involved with the Polar Plunge and has raised large amounts of money as the team captain for several years. Additionally, Ms. Frosnia is also involved with Island Harvest and has plans to refurbish the courtyard at High School North to include a real working garden with areas for meditation and reflection. 

“This night was a great opportunity for us to honor people in Sachem who continue to make a difference,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Graham. “It was a great celebration.” 

Sachem North Model UN Delegates Have World at Fingertips

Sachem North Model UN Delegates Have World at Fingertips photo
Model UN delegates from Sachem North traveled to New York City to participate in the National High School Model United Nations Conference in March. This event is organized by the International Model United Nations Association and hosts schools from Africa, Asia, Europe and South America as well as the United States. 

Opening ceremonies were held in the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations Headquarters. Over the four days, students participated in debates on topics such as suicide prevention, environmental crime and explosive waste. 

“Our students had the opportunity to learn from and make friends with students from countries like Egypt, Jordan, Italy, Germany, and El Salvador, among others,” said Tara Jurow, a student-delegate from Sachem. 

Delegates attended a speaker series featuring the founder of MUN Impact and representatives from Rustic Pathways, an organization that provides students with educational opportunities throughout the world. The keynote speaker was Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the UN from 2009-2013 and national security advisor from 2013-2017.

Merrimac Students Collaborate to Save Sea Turtles

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Third-grade students at Merrimac Elementary School recently attended a Save the Sea Turtles assembly presented by the Riverhead Foundation, where third- and fifth-grade students learned the importance of protecting Long Island’s sea turtle population. 

As part of their effort to help the sea turtles, students at Merrimac created a service learning project fundraiser and raised enough funds to adopt 16 sea turtles.  

Lynwood Avenue Takes on Destination Imagination

Lynwood Avenue Takes on Destination Imagination photo
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For the past few years, teams from Lynwood Avenue Elementary School have been participating in Destination Imagination. They were at it again this month at a regional tournament in Ossining, New York. 

The Destination Imagination program encourages teams of learners to have fun, take risks, focus and frame challenges while incorporating STEM, the arts and service learning. 

Participants learn patience, flexibility, persistence, ethics, respect for others and their ideas, and the collaborative problem-solving process. Teams showcase their solutions at a tournament.

Lynwood’s fourth-grade team chose the Fine Arts Challenge: Game On.

For this challenge, the team needed to create and present a story that integrates research of a team-selected game, create and present a game gizmo that causes an action or event to occur, design and create a container that goes through a transformation, design either the game gizmo or the container to be a technical element, and create and present two Team Choice Elements that show off the team’s interests, skills, areas of strength and talents.

Lynwood’s fourth-grade team members are Zhara Chaudhry, Kacey Geluso, Zach Guerrido, Emma Rudge, Ananya Sood and Abygail Wottawa.
The fourth-grade team chose the Scientific Challenge: Medical Mystery.

For this challenge, the team needed to research the human body and medical conditions that affect the human body, create and present a story about a medical mystery that affects a human character, design and build a representation that shows the medical mystery and at least one symptom, present an action or scene that is shown from two or more perspectives at the same time, and create and present two Team Choice Elements that show off the team’s interests, skills, areas of strength and talents.

The fifth-grade team members are Hannah Barkin, Ava Barrett, Dianna Burns, Jack Cordero, Kyle Fink, Keya Pai and Saiyum Sheth.

Waverly Avenue Masters Stop-Motion Movies

Waverly Avenue Masters Stop-Motion Movies photo

During an innovative art activity at Waverly Avenue Elementary School, fourth-grade students were recently introduced to stop-motion animation with the help of art teacher Susan Kinsey and technology integration specialist Keri Haas.

Students began the activity by storyboarding the scene that they were going to record and then presenting their ideas to their classmates for feedback. Utilizing the Google Slides program on laptop computers, student groups worked together to carefully move each piece within the scene while taking photos periodically to create the animation. 

Over three art classes, students used problem-solving skills to develop new techniques that created smoother animations to achieve their desired results. 


Sachem Business Students Compete in State Competition

Sachem Business Students Compete in State Competition photo
A group of students from Sachem East and Sachem North recently participated in the DECA State Career Conference that was held at the Riverside Convention Center in Rochester, New York. 

Students come to compete in over 40 different competitive events. This year’s DECA State Career Conference welcomed more than 2,300 attendees.
The DECA team consisted of Sachem East seniors Matthew Ely and Alyssa Dark; juniors Emma Hannigan, Therese Krawchuk and Gina Lelo; sophomores Logan Catalanotto, Nicholas Jason and Jayden Reilly; and Sachem North junior Stephen Iadanza.  
Students competed in categories including marketing, entrepreneurship, finance, business management, and hospitality and tourism, completing a wide range of tasks, from presenting their written business proposals to solving real-world business problems in a role-play scenario.

In addition to the competition, Sachem students participated in leadership seminars and activities that focused on strengthening their ability to solve problems, work as a team and network with others.
DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe.

Utilizing lessons learned from DECA, students become academically prepared for college and career in the previously mentioned fields while also becoming community oriented by gaining an appreciation for the benefits of service and their potential impact on the community and world.

DECA also helps push students to become professionally responsible with ethics, integrity and high standards while becoming experienced leaders by practicing key leadership skills such as goal setting, consensus building and project management.
Both advisers, Lisa Anthony (East) and Tom Sullivan (North), would like to congratulate all the students who participated in DECA this year.  

Congratulations to the following DECA students who placed top 10 in their respective competitions: Emma Hannigan – Business Services Marketing exam, Jayden Reilly – Entrepreneurship exam and Therese Krawchuk – Business Services Role Play.

Students Take Steps Toward a Healthy Heart

Students Take Steps Toward a Healthy Heart photo
As part of the American Heart Association’s Kids Heart Challenge, students at Nokomis Elementary School have been learning heart-healthy habits and implementing them through exercise.

Before school, students recently attended a one-day program where they engaged in heart-healthy exercises and games that elevated students’ heart rates and taught them about the importance of exercise.  

As part of the initiative, during gym classes students will continue to learn more about the importance of exercise and how to take care of their heart. 

Italian Fat Tuesday Celebrated at Sachem’s Middle Schools

In honor of ‘Fat Tuesday’ (‘mardi gras’ to most but martedi grasso to Italians) and the carnival season, the 7th grade Italian classes at all middle schools in the district learned about ‘Carnevale’ and how it was celebrated hundreds of years ago in various cities throughout Italy. Students watched videos about the history of ‘Carnevale’, with a focus on Venice, which is the most well-known for its costumes and masks and also about how most traditions are still celebrated in modern times. Our students made masks which represented the alter ego they decided to portray during our masquerade ball and interviewed one another in the target language. They also celebrated ‘Fat Tuesday’ with a party of their own, at which they sampled delicious Italian food typical of ‘Carnevale’. The 7th graders had a blast and their favorite part was definitely watching the video of the Battle of Oranges (Battaglia delle Arance), which takes place every year in the small, northern Italian city of Ivrea.


2018-2019 Snow Day Related Calendar Changes


Important June 2019 Calendar Announcement! DATE CHANGE

Merrimac Elementary 5th grade moving up will take place at Sachem East High School on Wednesday June 19, 2019 at 5pm.

Waverly Elementary 5th grade moving up will take place at Sachem East High School on Thursday June 20, 2019 at 7:30pm.

All other elementary schools 5th grade moving up ceremonies will take place as scheduled on the district calendar.

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As we embark on the 2018-2019 school year, we look to enhance the level of communication within the Sachem family.

In an effort to build upon our connections with our parents and community, we are excited to announce the creation of our e-newsletter. The newsletter will be sent monthly to those who sign up and will include district news, announcements and important dates. Our hope is to provide valuable information about the happenings inside our classrooms while strengthening our community bond as we move forward on the path to a successful academic year.

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