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Board Holds Annual Reorganization Meeting

Board Holds Annual Reorganization Meeting photo
Board Holds Annual Reorganization Meeting photo 2
Board Holds Annual Reorganization Meeting photo 3
The Board of Education held its annual reorganization meeting on July 9 at Glen Cove High School, where they welcomed two new trustees and one returning trustee to the Board. Mary Murphy and Rose Sekelsky were sworn in for their new three-year trustee terms by attorney Christopher Powers of Ingerman Smith LLP. In addition, re-elected board member Gail Nedbor-Gross was sworn in for another term. 

Nedbor-Gross was elected Board president for the 2018-19 school year, while trustee Alexander Juarez was elected vice president. The pair were sworn in to their elected positions.

Glen Cove Class of 2018 Begins Bright Future

Glen Cove Class of 2018 Begins Bright Future photo

Glen Cove High School’s Class of 2018 knew that graduation would be worth the wait. Delayed from Saturday to Sunday, the graduation ceremony on June 24 was held under crisp blue skies, with the bold sun reflecting the bright future waiting for the newest Glen Cove Knights alumni.

The graduates marched onto J.C. Maiden Field as the high school band played the traditional “Pomp and Circumstance” and friends and family applauded and cheered. Following performances by the concert choir, honored speakers shared words of wisdom and reflections on the Class of 2018.

Superintendent Dr. Maria L. Rianna and high school Principal Antonio Santana shared their pride in the class, wishing them luck in their future endeavors and applauding their successes while at Glen Cove High School.

Board of Education President Amy Franklin, whose daughter is a member of the Class of 2018, told the graduates not to be scared of the future. “Just don’t ever give up,” she said. “You’ll be fine. Just remember Glen Cove will forever be your home, a place where you can always come to find support and guidance.”

Valedictorian John Dong acknowledged the support of family and teachers in helping the class succeed. “To the parents and families that have stood with us and behind us, no matter the obstacle or cost, thank you.” Dong asked his own parents to rise from their seats in the stands so he could publicly thank them for all they have done for him.

In his address to his fellow graduates, salutatorian Brandon Kolanovic reminded his peers that they are now adults. “In front of us is a new chapter, whether it be attending college, working or just soaking up some free time – the responsibility to dictate the future is in our hands.”

Reflections from class president Talia Sakhaee and honorarian Isabel Blas included memories of hard work, friendship and fun. As is tradition, the graduates chose a faculty member to speak at the graduation ceremony. After completing his first year at Glen Cove High School, Ryan Pearsall stood at the podium honored that the students had accepted him, respected him and invited him to be part of their special day.

The Class of 2018 marched off the field, leaving the high school as a group for the last time, but they left an indelible mark.

Finley Students Move Up

Finley Students Move Up photo

Eighth-graders at Robert M. Finley Middle School bid farewell to teachers and administrators during the school’s moving up ceremony on June 20.

The ceremony began with the seventh-grade band playing “Pomp and Circumstance” as students processed into the school’s auditorium. It continued with Emmanuel Marquez-Chalen leading those in attendance in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Finley’s top two eighth-graders, Doris Serrano and Colleen Coelho, addressed their classmates at the ceremony. Doris’ speech, “A Walk Through Middle School” reflected on the class’ growth since sixth grade, while Colleen’s focused on the “540 Days” of middle school, and encouraged peers to make every day count now and in the future. 

“We are a powerhouse of unlimited potential. We will continue to inspire generations, embrace our individuality and push boundaries set by those too afraid to make every… day… count,” Colleen said.  

Assistant Principal Lawrence Carroll spoke about the three short years the students have spent at Finley.  

“Coming to the middle school is hard,” he said. “All of us working here remember when you first started here, looking somewhat overwhelmed by the whole experience, but we were the lucky ones because we had the privilege of watching you grow, not only in your studies, but as individuals.”  

Mr. Carroll also encouraged the students to continue to give back to the community and to reach out to others in positive ways. 

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Maria Rianna also addressed the graduating eighth-graders and their families, congratulating them on their outstanding achievements. Dr. Rianna also urged the students to be kind. 

“You are so amazing, each and every one of you in your own special way. Respect yourself and respect those around you,” Dr. Rianna said. “Be happy. My wish for you tonight and always is that your future be filled with choices and that kindness will always lead your way.” 

After Dr. Rianna’s comments, students were presented with certificates marking their completion of the eighth grade. They were also treated to a musical performance by a select group of eighth-graders, who sang “I Lived” and later enjoyed dancing and taking photos at the annual eighth-grade dance. 

District Teachers and Students Learn From the Outdoors

District Teachers and Students Learn From the Outdoors photo

The district worked with the Intercounty Teacher Resource Center to secure funds for science professional development of kindergarten teachers at both Deasy and Gribbin schools. Thanks to this partnership, they were able to bring Adelphi University professors Mary Jean McCarthy and Dr. Emily Kang to lead ecology workshops with the Greentree Foundation.

A number of teachers across the district applied last year and were accepted to the Greentree Teachers’ Ecology Workshop for a yearlong program to provide school teachers with the knowledge and techniques to better teach Long Island students about the natural world. The workshop provided participants with familiarity with Long Island’s geological history, general knowledge of local ecosystems, tools for using the outdoors as an extension of the classroom, exciting curriculum to connect students to nature and a forum to share challenges and successes with peers to create an online dialogue about nature-based teaching. As a result of this intensive workshop, teachers have brought a wealth of knowledge about outdoor science education into their classrooms. 

The district believes that outdoor science education should be emphasized in the science curriculum to initiate science lessons with natural phenomena that students can observe and wonder about. These phenomena will effortlessly lead to inquiry hands-on science lessons. To this end, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Technology Dr. Michael Israel and Coordinator of Science Alexa Doeschner, along with teachers Antoinette Hatzopoulos, Jessica McKenna and Giselle Taylor, coordinated with building principals Melanie Arfman and Francine Santoro to reach out to Professor McCarthy and Dr. Kang to develop professional development for the district.

Professor McCarthy and Ms. Doeschner co-lead a professional development session for kindergarten teachers. The focus of this initial meeting highlighted research that documents the positive impact of outdoor learning and reviewed strategies for engaging outdoor learning using literature as a springboard for student observations to record their noticings and wonderings. The professional development that is being implemented with kindergarten teachers is a series of constructive co-taught lessons with the Adelphi professors that allow teachers the opportunity to learn more about incorporating outdoor education while doing outdoor science education. Teachers from Deasy and Gribbin enthusiastically participated in the professional development and brought their own zeal for education to the co-taught lessons. Lessons became a true collaboration between the professors and teachers that highlighted each teacher’s particular passion.

At Deasy, the students headed out to the garden’s perimeter with their magnifying glasses to look for seeds to compare the plant life cycle with animals’ life cycle. Teachers connected this to what students had just observed about the life cycle of ducks. At Gribbin, students used their magnifying glasses to notice and draw shapes in nature, which the teachers connected to students’ current math work. Building on students’ interests, students from both Deasy and Gribbin also became detectives, looking for insects and engaging in a conversation about the interdependence of plants and animals in their schoolyard community. Through the act of exploring the outdoors, the diversity and unity of life is emerging as they observe that their own schoolyard is home to a marvelous multiplicity of life.


Students Mark City’s Anniversary With Time Capsule

Students Mark City’s Anniversary With Time Capsule photo

Connolly and Landing students in grades 3-5 watched closely as a 50-year time capsule was buried at Connolly School on June 15.

The students created a variety of projects to be placed in the time capsule, which coordinated with the City of Glen Cove’s 350-year celebration. Students in grade 3 conducted a survey about being a third-grader in Glen Cove, while fourth-graders generated questions about why they love Glen Cove and what it was like to be a fourth-grader. They then interviewed each other for the historical milestone. Students in fifth grade wrote a quote about something they love about Glen Cove, what they wish for and included meaningful photos. 

Connolly Principal Julie Mullan, Landing Principal Ben Roberts and City of Glen Cove Mayor Timothy Tenke buried the capsule near the new Connolly playground. It will be marked with a plaque so that it will be easily located in the future.

Carnival Fun at Connolly

Carnival Fun at Connolly photo

Connolly School students enjoyed a variety of outdoor activities, games and delicious snacks when the PTA hosted a carnival on June 15.

The PTA, led by Co-presidents Jaryme Demostheni and Deneen Jackson, planned the annual carnival for the entire student body. The group purchases games, small toys to use a prizes and outdoor equipment, such as frisbees, checkers and hoppity hops, which ultimately were donated to the physical education department for student use. They also secure vendors such as Mister Softee, to bring the students carnival-like treats. Jackson said the PTA fundraises for the carnival all year. 

“We do it because the children love it,” Jackson said. It gives them a day outdoors to really enjoy themselves.” 

Mrs. Mullen expressed her great appreciation for the PTA and everything they do for the students throughout the school year, especially the carnival, which she described as “a truly wonderful event.” 

Outstanding Science Award for Glen Cove Senior

Outstanding Science Award for Glen Cove Senior photo
Glen Cove High School senior Jolee Murphy was awarded an Outstanding Science Student Award by the Nassau County Section of the Science Teachers Association of New York State. 

Jolee was nominated by Science Coordinator Alexa Doeschner in conjunction with science faculty members because of exemplary achievement in her science courses throughout her high school career. Jolee was presented by science teacher Fran Krisch to the Nassau County STANYS members at their 21st annual Science Awards Program Dinner at the Coral House in Baldwin. This coming September, Jolee is headed to Stony Brook University on a full-tuition scholarship to study biomedical engineering.

Glen Cove Alums Visit Honors Anatomy and Physiology Classes

Glen Cove Alums Visit Honors Anatomy and Physiology Classes photo
Three Glen Cove alums recently spoke to the Honors Anatomy and Physiology students about the transition from high school studies into pre-health majors in college. 

Caitlin Brown, ’15, a senior nursing major and varsity softball player at Wilkes University, shared her expertise on how to balance the rigors of studies and athletics, while Selena Guastella, ’15, a senior nursing major at Adelphi University and professional EMT for Northwell Health, encouraged students to seek outside clinical experiences while in college to make relevant what they learn in the classroom. Maria Krisch, ’16, a junior pre-medical student and undergraduate teaching assistant at Fordham University, explained study strategies and the requirements necessary to apply to medical school and other health-allied professional graduate programs.

“It is extremely valuable for my current students to get to speak with young, successful, pre-health majors who sat in their same seats just a few years ago,” said teacher Fran Krisch. “It’s a perfect way to end the year and shows the students that they really do have all the tools necessary to do well in pre-health majors if they choose to do so.”

Senior Walk Brings Nostalgia for Class of 2018

Senior Walk Brings Nostalgia for Class of 2018 photo

Glen Cove High School’s senior class took a trip down memory lane during the school’s first-ever Senior Walk on June 15.

Wearing their graduation caps and gowns, the Class of 2018 visited Connolly and Landing schools to reminisce about their time in the district. The senior students walked through the hallways of the elementary buildings to cheers and congratulations by the district’s younger students. They also received high fives and hugs from teachers and students alike. 

Assistant Principal Allen Hudson, who accompanied the students on the trip, said the school’s student government officers came up with the idea to commemorate their time in the district. Congratulations, Class of 2018!   

Flag Day at Gribbin

Flag Day at Gribbin photo
Flag Day at Gribbin photo 2
Flag Day at Gribbin photo 3
Students at Gribbin School gathered at the flag pole for a Flag Day ceremony on June 14. Principal Francine Santoro spoke about the flag, before Cub Scouts raised it for all to see. The group then recited the Pledge of Allegiance, sang “You’re a Grand Old Flag” and listened closely as a kindergartener read a poem about the flag.

Connolly K-Kids Raise Funds for Local Animal Shelter

Connolly K-Kids Raise Funds for Local Animal Shelter photo
The Connolly School K-Kids held a fundraiser for Cove Animal Rescue. Their successful effort resulted in a $312 donation to the local Glen Cove animal shelter. Diane Connolly from Cove Animal Rescue visited the K-Kids and thanked them for their generous donation to help the animals of Glen Cove. 

Introduction to Research Class Presents Final Projects

Introduction to Research Class Presents Final Projects photo
Introduction to Research sixth-graders at Finley Middle School recently completed final projects as part of the course curriculum. Students selected their own subject of research and ultimately explored topics such as the history of rap music, school shootings and gun control, and North Korea and its nuclear weaponry.

The students began their projects in January and worked extensively on them all year. Sixth-graders usually present their projects in Google Slides or exhibit panel form, but teacher Maggi Ibrahim offered students the option of doing something more advanced that might mimic the format of the eighth-grade research project. The older students have the option of completing an exhibit, paper, performance, website or documentary.
Sixth-grader Lila Santamaria took on the more advanced option of documentary and focused on the topic of anorexia nervosa. Lila was very interested in making students aware of the possible signs and symptoms of the emotional disorder. 

When asked why she chose this specific topic, Lila said, “If people know about how the media makes people feel about their bodies, they might be more aware of its dangers. Anorexia affects a lot of young people, both men and women, and I want to help people and spread awareness.” 

“I am so proud of her,” Ms. Ibrahim said of Lila. “She is so talented and did a wonderful job.”

Ms. Ibrahim expressed her pride in all of the students’ work, commending them for their dedication and thorough research.  

To view Lila’s video, please click on the following link,