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Science Research Student Presents at Distinguished Conference

Science Research Student Presents at Distinguished Conference photo
Sachem High School East science research student Vincent Zhang was recently selected to present his research at the 2018 Materials Research Society Conference in Boston on Nov.29.

The MRS Fall Meeting and Exhibit serves as a key forum to present research to an interdisciplinary and international audience. Vincent’s work, “The Influence of Exposure to TiO2 Nanoparticles on Staphylococcus Aureus Infection,” addresses the health issues related to nanoparticles found in our environment.

“Vincent is an outstanding research student,” said High School East Science Research teacher Michael Vaccariello. "With the exception of publishing research in a scientific journal, presenting work at a professional conference is the highest goal for any high school science research student." 

Last year, Vincent presented his research on a study to identify gray matter lesions in the subcortical structures of the human brain brought on by multiple sclerosis. He is formalizing this work to submit to the 2019 Regeneron Science Talent Search.

Cayuga Students Craft With Candy Corn

Cayuga Students Craft With Candy Corn photo

The basic principles of engineering and design were at the forefront of a recent second-grade activity at Cayuga Elementary School that challenged students’ ingenuity with two simple supplies.

Second-graders in Faith Baker’s, Jaimie DiPalma’s and Kristin Ruhs’ classes were tasked with constructing the tallest towers they could using only 100 toothpicks and a cup of candy corn. To begin the activity each student group drafted a design which they would follow using the supplies provided. As the construction of their towers began, students worked collaboratively to problem-solve throughout the difficult build process. 

“You had to be very gentle because the candy corn could break easily,” said Allie, a second-grade student who participated in the activity. “My favorite part was finally getting our tower to stand.” 

Throughout the activity, teachers reiterated the importance of developing solutions for problems that arose during the lesson and working together with their peers to reach their goals.

Grundy Avenue Holds Veterans Day Parade

Grundy Avenue Holds Veterans Day Parade photo

In honor of Veterans Day, students across grade levels at Grundy Avenue Elementary School held a parade recognizing veterans from each branch of the United States military.

With flags waving in the air, students gathered in front of the school building to cheer for the veterans as they walked the short parade route. As part of the day’s activities, fifth-grade students had the opportunity to ask the veterans questions about their experiences in the military, such as the places they traveled, food they ate and the uniforms they wore. The veterans spoke to the students about the importance of teamwork, communication and creating connections with people who are different from themselves. 

Throughout the Sachem Central School District, each elementary school has recently participated in various activities honoring the bravery and commitment of military members across the country. 

Special Programs Teach Student Safety

Special Programs Teach Student Safety photo
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Special Programs Teach Student Safety photo 3
Special Programs Teach Student Safety photo 4
Students at Sachem High School East recently attended special programs spanning a variety of speakers and experiences as part of National Teen Driver Safety Week.  

On Monday, Oct.22, a member of the Empower, Assist, Care Network discussed with all health classes numerous ways to stay safe as a driver. On Tuesday, Oct. 23, Marianne Angelillo came to High School East to speak with health classes and the Students Against Destructive Decisions club about her son’s death in a drunk driving crash. Suffolk County Deputy Sheriff Tom Indence and Deputy Sheriff Philip Doukas also visited each health class to discuss driving under the influence. Students learned the dangerous effects alcohol has on the central nervous system by wearing alcohol-impairment goggles and performing simple tasks. In addition, Isai Fuentes from Mothers Against Drunk Driving came to High School East to present the Power of Youth program, which encourages students to be safe and empowers them to make good decisions.  

Through the efforts of these individuals and agencies, students learned useful tips to remain safe within a vehicle as a passenger and while driving. 

Wenonah Students Take a Stand Against Bullying

Wenonah Students Take a Stand Against Bullying photo
Throughout the month of October, students across Wenonah Elementary School have participated in numerous activities designed to educate students about bully prevention and the effects it has on others as part of National Bullying Prevention Month.

As part of this monthlong effort, Principal Christine DiPaola visited classrooms to read books with a bullying component and generated discussion with the students on what to do if they are being bullied. Each afternoon, Bully Bulletin announcements were made, which explained the difference between conflict and bullying and types of bullying, and gave tips on how to combat the matter. Additionally, students wore blue shirts and “be a buddy, not a bully” wristbands each Monday as a visual symbol of their collective efforts to stomp out bullying. 

Lastly, YMCA Family Services and the Suffolk County Police Department held a parent presentation on cyberbullying and ways to identify and prevent it. 

Sachem North Wins Long Island Championship, Eyes State Championship

They’re not done yet, and they’re certainly enjoying every second of this ride. The Sachem North boys volleyball team achieved its latest milestone, winning a Division I Long Island championship Saturday, Nov. 10 after defeating Nassau County’s Plainview-Old Bethpage, 25-17, 25-11, 25-22. This marks the program’s first Long Island title since 2015. 

“I’m just really proud of our guys,” Sachem coach Matt Rivera said after the match. “It’s a great feeling every time we set out to do something, and we’re able to see our guys win their final game on Long Island. This group in particular worked so hard since the season started. Every day, just grinding it out. For them to achieve their goal of winning a Long Island championship, and the way they did, I’m just really happy for them.” 

Sachem, now 18-0 on the season, turns its attention to the New York State tournament Saturday, Nov. 17 in Albany. Follow @SachemSchools via Twitter for updates from the state tournament.

Letter from the Superintendent - Closing or Delay of School


Chippewa Students Explore New Sport

Chippewa Students Explore New Sport photo
Chippewa Students Explore New Sport photo 2
Chippewa Students Explore New Sport photo 3
Chippewa Students Explore New Sport photo 4
As part of a recent physical education class, third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students at Chippewa Elementary School learned floorball, courtesy of a program sponsored by the New York Islanders hockey team. 

During the unit, students learned numerous hockey skills, such as stick handling, passing and shooting. As the students progressed with their new skills, they were then put to the test in several floorball games before they collectively played a game of traditional floorball. 

The floorball unit served as an excellent opportunity to introduce a new sport to students and strengthen the skills of students who were familiar with hockey. 

Sachem Student Attends Prestigious Science Conference

Sachem Student Attends Prestigious Science Conference photo
This past June, Sachem High School East senior Eram Alam attended the National Leadership Academy’s prestigious Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders in Boston, Massachusetts. 

Students selected to attend the conference are recommended by their teacher or guidance counselor for leadership ability, academic achievement and dedication to science and technology while also holding a GPA of 3.5 or above. 

Eram is enrolled in numerous Advanced Placement classes and is a member of Student Government, the treasurer of the Diversity Club and the vice president of the National Honor Society. 

The three-day conference includes a collection of seminars lead by Nobel Prize winners and industry-leading inventors. The annual event draws more than 1,000 students from across the country and showcases several captivating technological advancements. 

Nokomis Students Study New York State

Nokomis Students Study New York State photo
As part of a recent project on New York State, fourth-grade students across Nokomis Elementary School explored numerous geographic features of the state and learned the essential components of a map. 

Incorporated within each creative project, students labeled identifiable landforms such as the Catskill and Adirondack mountains, the Great Lakes and the Finger Lakes. Each map also included the state capital, bordering states and the Atlantic Ocean. Completing their projects, students added a compass signifying the cardinal directions and a key to identify the symbols found throughout the map.

Sachem Board of Education Recognized During Board Appreciation Week

board slide
During the most recent meeting of the Sachem Central School District Board of Education, the seven esteemed members of the Board were recognized for their tireless efforts representing the students, staff and members of the Sachem community. 

Numerous organizations, including the Sachem Administrators Association, Sachem Classroom Teachers Association, Sachem Clerical Association, Sachem Nurses Association, Sachem Supervisors Association, Special Education Parent Teachers Association, and the Sachem custodial, maintenance, facilities and security unions, all presented the Board with tokens of appreciation or made donations in their name for their continuous outstanding contributions to the Sachem Central School District and community. 

Sachem East Girls XC Best in Suffolk County

Sachem East Girls XC Best in Suffolk County photo
Just 10 days after Sachem East claimed the overall team title at the Section XI Divisional championships, the girls cross-country squad returned to Sunken Meadow with eyes set on winning the Suffolk County championship, a victory that would punch the team’s ticket to next week’s state championship meet.

Everyone knew it would be a difficult task to accomplish. Last week, Sachem East’s victory at the divisional meet was a narrow one, as each of the top five teams – Smithtown, Ward Melville, Commack and Bay Shore - were separated by a mere 25 points. With all five teams ranked in New York State’s top 25, and all five teams back for a shot at winning Suffolk County’s overall title, everyone expected a hotly contested race.

When the dust (and mud) settled on a wet and windy day at Sunken Meadow, Sachem East stood at the top of Suffolk County’s podium, beating out the best that the rest of Section XI was able to throw at them. Led by Junior Melissa Merone (third, 19:33) and senior Lindsey Dodenhoff (8th, 20:00), it was ultimately the strength of Sachem’s main pack that was the difference in team scoring. Senior Chiara Marziali (18th, 20:56), sophomore Sabrinna Mena (19th, 20:56) and sophomore Alexis Violi (42nd, 21:45) separated Sachem from the top pack of five teams, with senior Lexi MacAneney (58th, 22:30) and sophomore Anna Murphy (60th, 22:33) providing critical backup in the crucial sixth and seventh positions.

The victory is the second consecutive cross-country title for Sachem East and its fourth in the last five years. 

“Today was all about the team,” said senior Lindsey Dodenhoff. “We fought and struggled for each other and all of us – even those not racing in our top seven today have grown so much throughout the summer and fall.” 

This year’s victory was particularly sweet with Sachem returning only two out of the seven athletes that toed the line for last year’s county championship. It began the season as a relatively unknown group, but have certainly changed that perspective in the last two weeks of racing.

Up next, Sachem East will race at the New York State championship meet where it looks to take a top-five position in a field which includes two teams currently ranked nationally, Fayetteville-Manlius and Saratoga Springs, along with the current top runner in the nation, Katelyn Tuohy from North Rockland.

The state championship will be held this year at Sunken Meadow State Park Saturday, Nov. 10, with races starting at 9:00 a.m. and Sachem racing at 9:30 a.m.

Victory! Sachem East Field Hockey Rolls to LIC

Victory! Sachem East Field Hockey Rolls to LIC photo
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Victory! Sachem East Field Hockey Rolls to LIC photo 3
The team needed only one goal and a stellar defense to win it all. Sachem East did it again, and won a Class A Long Island championship after beating Massapequa, 1-0, on Saturday, Nov. 3. 

Kristen Shanahan scored the game-winning goal with 27:16 left in the contest to give Sachem its first Long Island crown in field hockey since 2014. 

Sachem’s Marissa Cuevas recorded the shutout in net.

The Flaming Arrows are now 18-0 this season. 

The run to a New York State title continues on Saturday, Nov. 10 in the state semifinals against Williamsville North High from Section VI. Check @SachemSchools via Twitter for updates during and after the action! #GoArrows 

Sachem October 2018 Review

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Local Fire Departments Share Lifesaving Lessons

Local Fire Departments Share Lifesaving Lessons photo

During the month of October, local fire departments across the Sachem Central School District visited each of the 10 elementary buildings to educate students on the importance of fire safety for annual Fire Prevention Week.

As part of the numerous districtwide presentations, firefighters performed several engaging demonstrations highlighting the unique abilities of the department’s equipment. Students watched in awe as firefighters descended more than 70 feet from a ladder truck, removed car doors as part of an extrication drill and watched firefighters adorn self-contained breathing apparatuses and fire gear. 

In addition to the demonstrations, firefighters explained in detail several fire safety lessons and ways to stay safe in emergency situations. Concluding each visit, firefighters held question-and-answer sessions with students to answer any additional questions. 


Undefeated Arrows Win Suffolk Field Hockey Title

Undefeated Arrows Win Suffolk Field Hockey Title photo
Sachem East field hockey captured the Suffolk County Class A field hockey championship for the first time since 2014.

Sachem, undefeated at 17-0 this season, beat Northport, 3-1, on Tuesday night at neutral Patchogue-Medford High School. Sachem East was led in scoring by Kristen Shanahan, who recorded two goals, and Emily Allingham.

The Arrows aim for a Long Island title and will face Massapequa Saturday, Nov. 3 at 6:30 p.m. at Berner Middle School in Nassau County. Congratulations and good luck to the team!

Sagamore Celebrates Unity Day

Sagamore Celebrates Unity Day photo
Students and staff across Sagamore Middle School recently celebrated Unity Day in a collective effort to eliminate bullying in their school community and beyond. 

Unity Day is a worldwide initiative with the goal of preventing bullying through active social change and ensure that all youth are safe and supported in their schools, communities and online. Each day, Sagamore Middle School staff and students wore similar hats, shirts and colors to raise awareness of the issues associated with bullying. 

A Noteworthy Duet of Music and Technology

A Noteworthy Duet of Music and Technology photo
An energized audience of sixth-grade students filled the auditorium at Samoset Middle School for a recent assembly led by Brent Daniels, an award-winning composer, producer, sound designer and recording artist. 

Daniels, whose most recent work has appeared in numerous notable movie trailers, wowed students with his ability to improvise and create music using only sounds he created himself. With help from several student volunteers, Daniels brought to life a musical production composed of words spoken by the students. Throughout the assembly, students learned about several areas of sound design, including different ways to make sound and digital sampling techniques. 

At multiple points during the production process, Daniels reiterated the accessibility of technology that is capable of mirroring the musical production he and the students crafted. 

Sachem Students Named AP Scholars

Sachem Students Named AP Scholars photo
The College Board recently recognized 126 Sachem High School students as Advanced Placement Scholars for their extraordinary performance on Advanced Placement Program exams. 

The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program offers academically excelling students an opportunity to enroll in college-level courses while still in high school to earn college credit. The College Board recognizes varying levels of achievement based on students’ performance on the course exams. 

At Sachem High School East, 25 students were recognized as AP Scholars, receiving a score of 3 or higher on three or more AP exams. These students were Emily Allingham, Sophia Antonelle, Diana Atoian, Samantha Autar, Samaa Baig, Kristen Bashen, Nicholas Corvi, Lauren Faust, Jocelyn Fisher, Rebecca Grunski, Victoria Hyl, Jared Jackson, Ryan Kinsella, Kayla Krempasky, Caitlin MacDermott, Nicholas Mulieri, Michael Mullen, Rachel Sauer, Abigail SeMonte, Danielle Spak, Maira Suleman, Nicholas Traina, Isha Trivedi, Aaron Ullger and Julianna Viola.

Attaining an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP exams taken and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams, 14 students from High School East were named AP Scholars with Honor. These students include Jessica Cormier, Amira Farag, William Gavin, Gwendlyne Guido, Lana Ho, Winnie Lam, Thomas Marks, Vincent Marzitello, William Monderine, Dylan Lenin Santos, Miranda Seely, Alexa Storzinger, Celia Toral and Alfredo Viera. 

Twenty-three students from High School East were recognized as AP Scholars with Distinction for achieving an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP exams taken and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams. Students who received this honor are Eram Alam, Nicholas Alonzo, Valentina Arrieta, Ulfeen Ayevan, Rohan Bapat, Emma Berk, Mibitha Biju, Luke Burk, Alyssa Cortes, Tanay Karnik, Ryan Kennedy, Ian Limjoco, Alyssa Mei, Julianna Mercado, Yash Pande, Nicholas Sanacore, Jennifer Seibert, Jeffery Shaffar, Nicholas Smith, Joseph Tan, Sean Tierney, Joseph Traina and Vincent Zhang. 

Earning the highest honor presented to an AP Scholar was Vincent Zhang. He was named a National AP Scholar for receiving an average score of at least 4 on all AP exams taken and scores of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams.  

In addition, Sachem High School North boasts 26 AP Scholars. These students are Nicholas Ambrosino, Zaria Brathwaite, Nishkreencha Chowdhury, Megan Cooke, Madison Eaton, Dylan Flaxman, Daniel Gernert, Emily Ingraffia, Hannah Kimura, Isabella Lorenzo, Carmine Lucidi, Matthew Lucyk, Allison Marvelli, Patrick Melfi, Christopher Moriarty, Erin Netuschil, Alper Ozdemir, Connor Perron, Sahana Ramrakhiani, Andrea Rodas, Marissa Sheldon, Christian Stilwagen, Christopher Ventre, Samantha Weckesser, Angela Zheng and Tyler Ziems. 

Twenty-one students receiving recognition as an AP Scholar with Honor from High School North are Raymond Calascibetta, Christopher Duong, Amber Farruggio, Emily Gelardi, Paeton Hartmann, Catherine Houston, Hui Fang Huang, Christopher Korth, Deirdre McBreen, Daniel Mckay, Emily Papazian, Mariana Perron, Isabella-Ros Quaranta, Emily Rowan, Sofia Sangiorgio, Rachael Severino, William Sexton, Ustav Shah, Sofia Vallecillo, Nicholas Wodzenski and Emma Zanfardino.  

Being recognized as AP Scholars with Distinction are 16 High School North students, including Corinne Amato, Erin Avanzato, Adam Barker, Albert-Alexi Bregonia, Amy DeLury, Christopher Dibenedetto, Casey Fox, Chris George, Masi Kinare, Miguel Maramara, Carmine Passarella, Drew Racz, Taylor Rijos, Maximiliano Rinaldi, Nicholas Sexton and Natalie Sill.

Last year, 193 graduating seniors from Sachem High Schools were recognized at various levels as AP Scholars. 

Spectrum of Dreams Aids Students in Need

Spectrum of Dreams Aids Students in Need photo
At the start of the 2018-2019 school year, the Spectrum of Dreams Foundation generously donated 35 backpacks for students in need at Sachem High School North. 

Throughout the year, Spectrum of Dreams, a locally founded nonprofit organization, provides a number of enriching educational opportunities for students across the district. These past initiatives have included sponsoring several college scholarships for Sachem students. 

Furry Friend Shares Methods of Meteorology

Furry Friend Shares Methods of Meteorology photo
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The science of meteorology shined through during a recent educational assembly at Merrimac Elementary School that explained numerous weather concepts in a unique way. 

As the assembly began, all second-grade classes were greeted by an unfamiliar face. Schmitty the Weather Dog, the pup with a nose for weather adorned in vibrant yellow rain gear, was ready to share meteorology knowledge with the eager students. Incorporating a unique musical element into the lesson, Schmitty’s owner, Meteorologist Ron, taught students about numerous different storms, including the difference between hurricanes and tornados. Continuing the engaging event, student volunteers answered various questions identifying the five forms of precipitation: rain, sleet, hail, snow and freezing rain. 

At the conclusion of the assembly, teachers were invited to sing the weather songs along with the students. Throughout the month of October, Schmitty the Weather Dog will make several stops throughout the Sachem Central School District. 

Polar Plunge - Saturday, November 17, 2018


Fun, Community Spirit and Victory for Sachem East During 2018 Homecoming


There is nothing like a big victory on homecoming. Sachem East football beat Patchogue-Medford, 27-0, to cap off a spirited week of pride and fun on Saturday, Oct. 20.

Adriel Robinson led Sachem with 159 rushing yards and two touchdowns, while Ryan Paoella had 71 rushing yards and two touchdowns. 

Led by the efforts of Student Government and Class Government, Sachem East had a number of themes during spirit week, from TV Tuesday to Sachem spirit day. Sachem East invited its peers from Sachem North for a school showdown one evening, where they competed in various spirited contests, from pie eating to tug-of-war. 

Later in the week the school celebrated with a pep rally and crowned homecoming royalty. Senior royalty included Thomas Syron (king), Miranda Seeley (queen) and Ian Limjoco (jester). Joshua Mileto was named honorary homecoming king. Junior royalty included Michael Efron (prince), Kristen Shanahan (princess) and Nicholas Addamo (jester). Sophomore royalty included James Walsh (duke), Julia Luchetti (duchess) and Nicholas Grottola (jester). Freshman royalty included Asweel Mehaboob (count), Gabriella Erdmann (countess) and Patrick Bell (jester).

The weekend began with a newly minted homecoming carnival and, of course, ended with a win on the gridiron.


Six Seniors Named National Merit Commended Students

Six Seniors Named National Merit Commended Students
Six Sachem Central School District seniors have been named Commended Students in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program.

At the end of September, about 34,000 of the approximately 50,000 highest scorers were chosen for this honor based on their PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test results. All six students boast impressive academic résumés, including enrollment in numerous Advanced Placement courses, integral involvement in clubs and memberships in a plethora of honor societies. 

Selected to receive this honor are Sebastian Caparas, Alyssa Mei and Vincent Zhang from Sachem High School East and Mansi Kinare, Miguel Maramara and Carmine Passarella from Sachem High School North. 

The selected students received letters of commendation in recognition of their outstanding academic performance and are candidates for special scholarships sponsored by corporate businesses.  

Captivating Speaker Shares Inspiring Messages With Students

Captivating Speaker Shares Inspiring Messages With Students photo
“We should all outline our lives in pencil, not pen,” Rohan Murphy loudly projected across the Samoset Middle School auditorium to an audience of eighth-grade students. Murphy, a motivational speaker from Islip, New York, encouraged his student audience to try new things and to not be afraid to fail in the process.

In his second year speaking at Samoset Middle School, Murphy shared the humbling story of his journey through life as a man with no legs. A successful high school wrestler, collegiate wrestler and Penn State University graduate, Murphy outlined his struggles growing up disabled and undeniably inspired the audience with his fearless determination to succeed in the stories he shared. Murphy emphatically challenged students to embrace each challenge in life and to never give up, to be inclusive, not exclusive and to look past excuses. 

The presentation closed with a question-and-answer period before Murphy left students with one last inspiring message. “Everyone has a choice to be average, good or great. Choose to be great, choose to be the greatest you that you can be.” 

Bacteria Grows Infectious Passion for Science

Bacteria Grows Infectious Passion for Science photo
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The scientific method was on full display at Waverly Elementary School as students recently participated in a hands-on science experiment that emphasized each specific step in the scientific method.

Fifth-grade students in Kristina Fulcher and Lynn Kmiotek’s class carefully followed each step of the scientific method as they began an experiment that will eventually finish with a stink later this school year. The goal of the experiment is to determine how fast mold will grow on bread after being exposed to varying conditions that could affect it. Preparing one sample, students used their unwashed hands as they placed a piece of bread into a ziplock bag that was then sealed. For another, they used hand sanitizer before handling the bread sample. Following a strict procedure, each sample was placed into a bag and labeled to reflect how the bread was handled. 

As part of the experiment, students also learned how to develop a hypothesis, label and track data, and about numerous types of bacteria, fungus and germs that cause mold. 


Samoset Receives Donation From Local Chamber of Commerce

Samoset Receives Donation From Local Chamber of Commerce photo
The Lake Grove Chamber of Commerce recently organized a school supply fundraiser that collected five backpacks filled with various school supplies. The school supplies were generously donated to the Sachem business department and will be distributed to students in need at Samoset Middle School. 

The business department is actively engaged with numerous chambers throughout the district in expanding internship and job opportunities and providing additional educational events for students. 

Wiggling Worms Tested Student Ingenuity at Waverly Elementary

Wiggling Worms Tested Student Ingenuity at Waverly Elementary photo

Sweet treats served as challenging STEAM supplies in a recent third-grade activity at Waverly Avenue Elementary School that required students to utilize precise planning principles to problem solve.

Students in Gina Menechino’s class worked in pairs to save Fred, a gummy worm whose boat had capsized. Using only paper clips, the third-graders were tasked with the challenge of putting a circular Lifesaver gummy around Fred to save him from the treacherous waters. To begin, students first planned how they would approach their task by imagining solutions, explaining how it would work and then testing their plan. Each pair worked diligently to put the Lifesaver around Fred in the time given to complete the activity. 

At the conclusion of the activity, Menechino emphasized the importance of revisiting and revising previous plans to efficiently problem solve. Students who did not complete the task on the first try were then able to try their revised plans. 

Industry Expert Lends Insight to Future Business Leaders

Industry Expert Lends Insight to Future Business Leaders photo
Mission, vision and value were a few key components emphasized during a recent innovative business workshop at Sachem High School East led by Dr. Robert Valli, dean for the School of Business at LIU Post. 

Students in Keith McCaffery’s Virtual Enterprise class attended an inspiring presentation that provided assistance for students in the development of innovative business ideas for this year’s Virtual Enterprise competition. The yearlong Virtual Enterprise class teaches upperclassmen valuable business skills as they navigate each aspect of a complete business plan. Throughout the year, the simulated student businesses will compete with other student groups from across Long Island, New York State, the United States and internationally at a plethora of competitions throughout the school year. 

Dr. Valli emphatically spoke to students about the importance of adapting to adversity quickly, how to effectively and efficiently utilize available resources and how to create connections between varying industries to benefit your business. 

As the workshop came to a close, Dr. Valli reiterated the importance of creating a business team consisting of asymmetrical collaborations to optimize brainstorming while developing business concepts and ideas. 

To begin the competition season, students will participate in the 2018 National Elevator Pitch Competition, which will be held this October. 

Chippewa Students Get Set for the Big Stage

Chippewa Students Get Set for the Big Stage photo
It was lights, camera, action for third-grade students at Chippewa Elementary School during a recent interactive educational presentation that introduced students to the fundamentals of acting.

A creative drama presentation led by Karen De Mauro, a Broadway acting coach for more than 20 years, guided students through numerous elements of acting, including the importance of focus, objects, characters, motive and place. Students were challenged to use their imaginations to envision themselves in several settings, such as on a boat in the year 1492 with Christopher Columbus and in a New York City alleyway navigating imaginary broken glass on the floor. 

To conclude the activity, students participated in several improvisation exercises that tested their ability to problem solve quickly. 

Peer Mentors Guide Students to Success

Peer Mentors Guide Students to Success photo
Sachem High School North has enhanced the existing homeroom period with an advisory element that introduces members of the Peer Mentor Club to freshman and sophomore students in an effort to develop new relationships and provide academic advice and support. 

Led by advisors Grace Cervini and Mary Kuerner, the 200-member Peer Mentor Club at High School North is the largest peer mentor group in New York State. Each year, the club members are professionally trained through the New York State Mentoring Program to provide one-on-one assistance to fellow students.  

“As a ninth-grader, my mentor really helped me through the start of high school,” said student mentor and current junior, Mason Stassi. “I want to be able to help students in the same way.” 

Each peer mentor works with a specific homeroom group where they lead numerous teambuilding activities to strengthen connections among students, provide academic support and generate group discussions to help new students become socially acclimated to their new environment. 

“Our job as mentors is to help new students make connections in the building as they begin high school,” said Mike Pellomo, a senior. “Providing guidance as a mentor has been one of my greatest experiences in high school.”  

As the year continues, the student mentors will act as an informational resource to students during the homeroom period, providing valuable insight into building activities, special events and educational opportunities. 

Silly Substance Teaches States of Matter

Silly Substance Teaches States of Matter photo
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Silly Substance Teaches States of Matter photo 3
Silly Substance Teaches States of Matter photo 4
Silly Substance Teaches States of Matter photo 5
States of matter were the topic of discussion during a recent hands-on science activity in Emily Cole’s fifth-grade class at Waverly Avenue Elementary School.

As the experiment began, students carefully proceeded through each step of the scientific method, including creating a hypothesis, identifying the procedure for the experiment, conducting the experiment and then recording data. The purpose of the experiment was to determine which state of matter the substance they created would be in. Mixing cornstarch, water and food coloring, the students created a substance called Oobleck that they then observed to determine the state of matter to be recorded in their conclusion. 

After carefully observing the Oobleck, students determined that the substance could be found in either a solid or a liquid state. The Oobleck remained a solid when left in the bowl and transformed into a liquid once it was removed. At a later date, students will do further research on Oobleck and other substances that can be found in multiple states. 

Efficient and Sustainable Schools

Efficient and Sustainable Schools photo
Over the past several years, the Sachem Central School District entered into three energy performance contracts (EPC) in an effort to reduce energy consumption, reduce our carbon footprint and control future costs. An energy performance contract is provided to school districts in New York State to engage an independent, third-party engineering firm for the purpose of performing a comprehensive energy audit. Such an audit specifically looks for improvements that can be made that fully pay for themselves. The EPC is expected to carry no financial impact to the district’s taxpayers and has the potential to be cash positive. Before any work can be done, the proposed projects are forwarded to the New York State Education Department, where they are reviewed by engineers in NSYED’s Facilities Planning Department to ensure that the construction design complies with all federal, state and local regulations, as well as to confirm the calculations on the projected savings.

The Sachem Central School District has been a leader in these projects and, in 2013, became the first school district in New York State to install a wind turbine. Some of the other projects completed over the past few years to many of our schools include: exterior insulation and new siding, interior lighting system upgrades and occupancy sensors, upgraded energy management system, boiler controllers and boiler replacements, wireless clocks, pipe and valve insulation, steam trap replacements, waste oil heaters in repair garages, computer management system, heat reclaim system, domestic hot water system upgrades, vending machine controls, chiller replacement, synchronous belts, window film and window replacements, and various weatherization projects districtwide.

In March 2015, the district entered into its third EPC, which is a comprehensive project totaling $21.7 million. Included in this contract were a number of energy savings initiatives, including: 1.05 megawatts of cogeneration, 2.19 megawatts of solar power (over 8,600 panels districtwide), replacement of more than 1,000 exterior lighting fixtures with energy-efficient LEDs, water conservation upgrades, replacement of inefficient air handler motors, new boiler/burner controllers, kitchen hood exhaust fan controllers, plug load controllers, A/C compressor controllers, freezer compressor controllers and energy-efficient transformer replacements.

Sachem is utilizing cogeneration plants at both high schools and all three of its middle schools. The plants are natural gas-powered generators that operate during the heating months. These units supplement our existing boilers to produce heat with an added by-product of 1.05 megawatts of electricity.

It is estimated that EPC Phase III will save 8.8 million kilowatt hours annually – the equivalent environmental impact of over 1,998 acres of planted trees, 756,938 gallons of gasoline and 15,460 barrels of oil. Estimated emission reductions in one year would include 14.7 million pounds of carbon dioxide and 28.5 metric tons of sulfur dioxide. This EPC will also save 291,000 gallons of water from low-flow faucets and aerators that have been installed. Each of these projects demonstrates Sachem’s lasting commitment to efficient and sustainable schools.

Lynwood Avenue Takes a Stand Against Social Isolation

Lynwood Avenue Takes a Stand Against Social Isolation photo

An inspiring collaborative effort spanning grade levels at Lynwood Avenue Elementary School resonated throughout the halls recently as numerous teachers led activities combatting social isolation for Start with Hello Week as part of the Sandy Hook Promise.

Second-grade students in Michele Tuminelli’s class read “Wilson Sat Alone” by Debra Hess to begin a conversation on how their actions impact others. As the activity continued, students participated in an icebreaker game using M&Ms. One by one, an M&M was taken from the pack by each student and they had to share a memory that corresponded with the color. Among the stories shared were a time when they were sad, a time when they were excited and a time when they made a good choice. 

In Gwendolyn Levesque’s first-grade class, students learned the importance of not leaving their peers out, how their actions can impact others and ways they can be nice to their classmates. As the activity progressed, students participated in partner shares where they conversed with one of their classmates, identified something they had in common and then spoke more about that topic together. This continued as the students rotated partners and created new friendships.  

Start with Hello Week is an initiative developed to raise awareness and educate teachers, students and the community on the effects of social isolation. Throughout the week, classes at Lynwood Avenue Elementary School continued to participate in activities to reduce social isolation and create connections within the classroom, school and community. 

Story Sparks Inspiration for Inclusive Classrooms

Story Sparks Inspiration for Inclusive Classrooms photo
At Seneca Middle School, a story of inclusion and togetherness inspired sixth-graders in Clarissa Reardon’s classes to foster a classroom culture that encompassed the entire school community.

To begin the activity, students read the Amy June Bates book, “The Big Umbrella,” in which a child carries a big red umbrella on a rainy day down a city street, welcoming countless characters of every size, shape and appearance to escape the rain under the umbrella. As the child continues on the trip, with many newfound friends, the umbrella continues to grow in size to fit more and more characters beneath it. The inclusive message resonated with students in Reardon’s classes, and they created puzzle pieces showcasing unique character traits found in themselves on each piece. The pieces were then placed together under their very own big umbrella, demonstrating the idea that although different, they all fit together. 

Through the activity, students reinforced several essential writing skills, including grammar, punctuation and spelling. 

Kindergarteners Spread Peace to Peers

Kindergarteners Spread Peace to Peers photo
Spreading peace took precedence in Nicole Stumpf and Bianca Ferranteli’s kindergarten class at Lynwood Avenue Elementary School as students participated in activities celebrating the International Day of Peace, which is on Sept. 21. 

The day’s activities began by students reading “The Peace Book” by Todd Parr and learning the meaning of peace. The kindergarteners then collectively brainstormed how they can bring peace to their class. Together the students determined that sharing, making friends, listening to each other and being kind were all ways to have a peaceful classroom environment. 

Concluding the activities, students sponge-painted peace signs on paper plates, incorporating vibrant colors into their crafts.  

Sagamore Showcases Extracurricular Opportunities at Club Fair

Sagamore Showcases Extracurricular Opportunities at Club Fair photo
At Sagamore Middle School, students across grade levels had the opportunity to explore the numerous extracurricular opportunities available to them during a recent club fair that showcased 25 clubs students can join this year. 

During their lunch period, students met with club advisers where they learned about each club available to them. Among the clubs offered this year are American Sign Language, Art Club, Coding Club, Critter Club, Debate Club, Mathletes, Student Government and Suburban Olympics Club.  

The clubs provide additional opportunities to strengthen curriculum concepts covered during the regularly scheduled school day and allow students to explore myriad other interests. 

Sachem North Caps Homecoming With Thrilling Victory

Sachem North Caps Homecoming With Thrilling Victory photo

In dramatic fashion, Sachem North threw an unforgettable homecoming weekend this year. The Flaming Arrows beat Pat-Med, 17-14, off the leg of sophomore Will Szewczuk, who drilled a 35-yard field goal in overtime.

“It’s unreal,” said Szewczuk, who missed two field goals during regulation and overcame in-game adversity to be the hero. “To hit something like that is great and I’m glad to have helped the team.”

Students had been celebrating all week leading up to the game with spirit festivities. From a pep rally on the field to a homecoming dance, a first-ever carnival on Saturday afternoon and a club parade around the track, every event was well received and attended by large numbers of students, staff and alumni.

Homecoming royalty were honored during the dance on Friday night. Among those honored were seniors Nick Gambino (King), Meaghan Lombardo (Queen) and Austin Ziegler (Jester); juniors Matt McCord (Prince), Ally LaSala (Princess) and Kelly Curran (Jester); sophomores Vinnie Giordano (Dutch) and Meagan O’Halleran (Duchess); and freshmen Trey Morstaht (Count), Sarah Contrast (Countess) and Zachariah Miller (Jester).

On the gridiron, Gambino, a senior quarterback, was 17-for-34, throwing for 218 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He connected with Josh Walker on a 52-yard touchdown pass. Sam Walker also rushed for 11 carries, 17 yards and one touchdown. Ryan Kinsley had six catches for 71 yards. Justin Wank had 17 carries for 52 yards. 

With his passing performance, Gambino reached the 1,000-yard passing mark for his career.

The win is also the first career victory for Sachem head coach and alum Dave Caputo.


Sachem Senior Receives Long Island Scholar-Artist Award

Sachem Senior Receives Long Island Scholar-Artist Award photo
Sachem High School East senior Miriam e Silva was recently selected as one of 20 students to receive the Long Island Arts Alliance Scholar-Artist Award for her continued excellence in academics and the art of photography. 

Silva was enrolled in the Professional Photography program at the Bixhorn Technical Center at Eastern Suffolk BOCES during the 2017-2018 school year, where she was nominated for the opportunity to receive the award. As part of the arduous selection process, Silva was required to maintain an unweighted grade point average of 90 or higher and submit a portfolio of her work, including an essay to be assessed by a panel of artists and art educators. 

Silva was honored for her accomplishment at the Scholar-Artist Awards Kickoff program hosted by New York State Regent Roger Tilles on Sept. 12 at the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts at LIU Post.

Grundy Avenue Celebrates Creativity on International Dot Day

Grundy Avenue Celebrates Creativity on International Dot Day photo

In celebration of International Dot Day, students across Grundy Avenue Elementary School expressed their creativity through a number of challenging activities and engaging artistic projects.

Dot Day is a worldwide celebration of creativity which arose as a byproduct of the Peter H. Reynolds book, “The Dot.” The book depicts the story of a little girl who is shy about expressing her artistic abilities. Following some encouragement from an art teacher, she becomes inspired by a tiny dot she put on a piece of paper and from that dot creates multiple works of art.

After reading the popular book, third-grade students in Angela Coffaro and Allison Poffenbarger’s classes both participated in a dot-themed STEAM activity that emphasized design concepts and teamwork. The student groups were asked to design and construct the tallest tower they could utilizing multicolored dot stickers and index cards. As the students continued through the activity they were encouraged to identify design flaws and work together to develop alternative designs. Also joining in on the Dot Day celebration were second-grade students in Tricia Troise and Kerri Krouse’s class who crafted unique masterpieces starting from a single dot on a piece of cardstock.

In an additional activity, second-grade students in Tara McCormack’s class joined their fifth-grade book buddies in Briann Degan’s class for a collaborative STEAM activity. In groups of four, the book buddies were asked to build a structure out of Dots candy and toothpicks that could effectively hold the weight of a textbook. Throughout the activity the students used the unsuccessful designs to brainstorm amongst their peers and incorporate problem-solving techniques to accomplish their goals. 

As the day continued, the Dot Day celebration fostered a creative environment buildingwide and emphasized the importance of individuality through each student activity.

Sachem Student Named Semifinalist in 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program

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

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

Adding to her impressive résumé of academic accomplishments, Amy has seen great success as a science research student, having placed second at the Long Island Brain Bee last year and having been selected for Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s Professor for a Day program. During the latter, she worked to examine protein homeostasis in health and disease. 

“I am very excited,” Amy said, when asked about her accomplishment. “It is a great honor to be selected as a semifinalist for this scholarship.”

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 nationwide pool of 16,000 semifinalists represents 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors, who now have the opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million. 

In February, more than 90 percent of the semifinalists will be selected to advance to finalist standing and about half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title. 

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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.

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