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FHS Seniors Celebrate Milestone

FHS Seniors Celebrate Milestone Pic

With loved ones applauding their dedication and commitment to success throughout their academic journeys, the high school's graduating Class of 2017 gathered at Hofstra University for its annual commencement ceremony.

Following the Presentation of Colors by the NJROTC Color Guard, the high school’s Select Chorale performed an outstanding rendition of the national anthem. In his address that followed, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham spoke about his faith in the graduates’ ability to change the world and encouraged them to use their fearlessness as a catalyst for success.

“You all have worked so hard and come so far to reach this wonderful milestone,” Dr. Kuncham said. “As we celebrate this journey, it is time for you to be bold, embrace risks and act with urgency. I ask you to be fearless. Fearlessness does not mean the nonexistence of fear; it means that fear exists, but you have tremendous energy, faith and courage to limit it and face it. I’m optimistic about you and our country. I have so much faith in each and every one of you, and I can’t wait to see all that you achieve in the years ahead.”

Class of 2017 valedictorian Kimberly Serna, salutatorian Karissa Collins and president Victoria Wright each spoke to their classmates about the memories they have shared throughout their four years at the high school. They attributed not only their success, but the fondness of their experiences, to the strong support system at the school, friendships they have formed and faculty members’ remarkable level of instruction.

Principal Linda Carter delivered an inspiring speech in which she quoted Nelson Mandela: “Education is the most powerful weapon, which you can use to change the world.”

“You are leaving a legacy to our underclassmen, who will follow in your footsteps, and this will be your gift to our students,” Carter continued. “You are leaving a legacy of character. You have integrity, resourcefulness, strength, intelligence and determination. You also have resilience, compassion and kindness. As you enter the adult world, remember that your education does not stop after graduation. Learning is a moral duty and a lifelong process.”

One by one, graduates walked onto the stage to receive their diplomas, and collectively moved their tassles from right to left following the announcement of all class names. With their families giving them a thunderous ovation, they then tossed their caps high into the air.
Twelfth-grade Assistant Principal Joseph Mille expressed his appreciation for the Class of 2017, thanking the graduates for the experiences they have shared together.

“I have stated over the years that we are a family, for better and for worse,” Mille said. “The bonds that we have formed can never be broken and will last a lifetime. This group always wanted to be different and special, and you were and are; I knew from the beginning of your ninth-grade years that you were. You have made me a better administrator and a better man, and the doors of Freeport High School will always be open to you.”

Dodd Graduates Set Sights on FHS

Dodd Graduates Set Sights on FHS Photo
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The high school’s Class of 2021 is set to begin freshman year in the fall following its graduation from Dodd. The ceremony, which took place at Atkinson, included families, administrators, members of the board of education and staff members celebrating students’ past two years of hard work and commitment to success. Following a welcome by Principal Johane Ligondé, Select Chorus Director Sherill Spruill led her group through a remarkable rendition of the national anthem.

Student addresses were delivered by Aaliyah Daniels and Allesandro Benitez Pineda, who recognized faculty members who they said were instrumental in their progress and journey at Dodd. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham and Board President Michael Pomerico then spoke to the graduates about the importance of continuing their hard work through high school and beyond, and to begin thinking about where they would like to be in the future.

“There’s an ancient proverb: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,’” said Dr. Kuncham. “You are about to take that important step. The choices you make are going to impact your path. I urge you to push yourselves, to do your very best, and give all you can to your studies, as well as to any clubs, arts or sports that you are interested in. Remember that it is the effort you put into something and the repeated practice that move you to the next level. Set your goals high and choose to reach them.”

“It’s not going to be easy; there will be setbacks, but start thinking now about where you want to be in four years when you’re graduating high school,” said Pomerico. “You cannot wait. What opportunities do you want to take advantage of? What extracurricular activities do you want to join? What classes do you want to take? Take advantage of all that awaits you.” Pomerico also shared the inspiring story of Freeport High School Class of 2017 graduate Ismary Jimenez, who years ago did not speak any English but learned the language, graduated sixth in her class and will be attending Princeton University in the fall. “I would love to be here in four years talking about someone sitting here right now and about the success you have achieved,” Pomerico said.

Following a beautiful rendition of “I Believe” by the Select Chorus, Ligondé spoke about how crucial it is for students to keep their sights set on their goals and to never let any setbacks deter them from their will to conquer them. She referenced the career and motivation of National Basketball Association superstar LeBron James as an embodiment of that advice.

“Our commitment is to ensure that every child who walks through the doors of Dodd walks out a winner,” Ligondé said. “In life, every winner needs two types of goals: short-term goals and a long-term ultimate goal. So I ask you first, what is your ultimate goal in life? Really think about it. LeBron James’ ultimate goal was to win the NBA championship. He achieved this goal, and still strives to be a champion after winning three. Even after this year’s loss, he didn’t give up. What would you ask yourself if you were him? Would you quit? Would you give your 100 percent? Did you use all your resources? These are the questions that you should ask yourself every day at the high school.”
Assistant Principal Paulette Acquavito then spoke about the heart and character of the graduating class as a prelude to the presentation of the graduates by eighth-grade homeroom teachers. Students’ names were individually announced, and each proudly rose from their seat to be recognized.

Graduation ensemble directors Candice Mordhorst and Adam Rubin led the performance of “Sine Nomine” during the recessional, and the new Dodd graduates walked off the Atkinson field and into the horizons of their promising futures.

Fourth-Graders Move on Up

Fourth-Graders Move on Up Photo

Students across the district’s four elementary schools celebrated their successful completion of fourth grade in moving up ceremonies. With their loved ones applauding their success, students received certificates and awards to commemorate their advancement and accomplishments, respectively.

At Bayview, representatives of the class graced the stage to thank faculty members and parents for their remarkable support at school and home, and honored retiring school Principal Odette Wills with heartfelt words of appreciation.

“When I look into your faces, I see the next mayor of Freeport, police officers, firefighters, senators, governors, and I see the next president of the United States,” Wills said. “Understand that the choices you make from this day going forward will determine the type of life you will live. Boys and girls, you know that I love you, I appreciate you and I respect you. There is greatness in each and every one of you.”

In addition, students read aloud author Nancy Tillman’s book, “You’re Here for a Reason,” personally relating it to their own experiences at Bayview. Freeport High School Class of 2017 valedictorian and Bayview alumna Kimberly Serna spoke to students about the fond memories she cherishes of her elementary years, and wished them the best of luck during their transition to Atkinson.

Teachers then announced the names of students, who proudly walked up to receive their certificates and were met with warm congratulatory hugs by Wills.

A Field of Fun at Columbus

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Prior to the end of the school year, Columbus Avenue hosted Field Day to teach students about teamwork and the importance of an active lifestyle. Students participated in activities such as scooter racing, balloon ball hopping and wiffle-ball carrying, and worked in groups to accomplish certain goals. With staff members and parent volunteers providing assistance, students enjoyed participating in the outdoor tasks and learning how to work with one another.

Staff Celebrate Success

Staff Celebrate Success Photo
As part of an annual “Celebration of Success” tradition, the final meeting of the Board of Education featured each of the eight principals recognizing a faculty member at their school who demonstrates excellence and goes above and beyond in their craft. Each month, a theme was assigned to each school, and an extraordinary teacher who exemplifies that theme was selected. At the board meeting, the principals delivered speeches about the honorees, who were then presented with celebratory plaques by Board of Education President Michael Pomerico. The ongoing tradition is another way for the district to celebrate the hard work and dedication of staff members throughout its schools.

Spectacular Chorale

Spectacular Chorale Photo
Continuing a trend of astounding performances at prestigious venues throughout the year, the Select Chorale at the high school was invited to perform under the leadership of director Monique Retzlaff at Carnegie Hall and National September 11 Memorial and Museum on separate weekends. At Carnegie Hall, the group performed Ola Gjeilo’s “Sunrise Mass” to a standing ovation by a full house, and performed remarkable renditions of patriotic, secular and sacred selections at the memorial. The latest invitation to perform at Carnegie Hall represents the eighth consecutive year that the Select Chorale has had the honor of showcasing its talents on its grand stage.

View the Dodd Middle School Graduation on Livestream

Click on the link to see the 2017 Dodd Middle School on Livestream.

Learning the Power of Yoga

Learning the Power of Yoga Photo

In celebration of International Yoga Day on June 21, students learned about the power of mindfulness and peace by participating in yoga-related exercises. The exercises, which were led by seventh-graders at Dodd, were designed to give younger students an opportunity to experience the wide array of benefits of yoga.

“You can accomplish anything you set your mind to if you are at peace with yourself,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham to students prior to the exercises. “Yoga helps you focus, it makes you more mindful and it calms the soul. I encourage you to incorporate yoga into your daily lives; even a few minutes a day can work wonders.”

Under the direction of their principal Johane Ligondé and health teachers, the Dodd students visited Atkinson, Bayview and Archer to conduct interactive yoga lessons. They began with a ‘Get Loose’ exercise in preparation for the Sun Salutation, comprised of the 12 basic yoga poses, each of which was demonstrated by alternating Dodd students. Following the Sun Salutation, the seventh-graders discussed and demonstrated the Power of the Breath — also known as Straw Breath — a breathing technique used to clear the mind.

The day’s program was a supplement to the practice of yoga and cultivation of mindfulness in the district that is taught throughout the year. Programs such as YES (Youth Empowerment Seminar) and YogArt, which combines elements of art and yoga, are district staples. On International Yoga Day, whether it was students teaching or learning about yoga or the power of mindfulness and peace, participants were able to unite their minds, bodies and spirits.

District Fosters Cop Connection

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As part of a tradition, the district participated in an annual Adopt-A-Cop culminating event at the Freeport Recreation Center prior to the end of the school year. The program featured students and staff from across the district’s schools having the opportunity to interact with and learn about the work of police officers in the Village of Freeport. Throughout the year, schools foster the connection among students and local law enforcement officials; students learn about the importance of respecting police officers and understanding their roles to serve and protect the community.

Community Supports Class of 2017

Community Supports Class of 2017 photo

A sense of pride and anticipation filled Freeport High School during the 49th annual Scholarship and Honors Program, where families and members of the community gathered to recognize the outstanding members of the Class of 2017.

Through the generosity of the community, more than $78,000 in scholarships was presented to graduates who successfully met the criteria in the areas of scholarship, leadership, athletics, the arts, the ability to overcome adversity and community service. 

Freeport High School Principal Linda Carter welcomed all in attendance and thanked the donors for their support and donations. “We are so grateful for your continued support and your amazing generosity to our students. We truly appreciate all that you do for our students each year,” she said.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham also acknowledged the generosity of the scholarship donors and congratulated the students who were the recipients. “Thank you to all of our donors for making this evening possible through your generous donations,” he said. To the students being recognized he added, “You are being recognized for expanding your intellectual capacity, for your zest for life, your character and leadership, for overcoming adversity and your persistence and dedication to excellence. We commend you for your achievements.”

Before the awarding of the scholarships began, Board of Education President Michael C. Pomerico spoke to the graduates and donors. “Your hard work and commitment to success are what brings you here this evening. Your tenacity and drive will enable you to achieve much more in the future. Thank you to all of our donors, who have helped our students achieve their goals.”

The school-community partnership that has grown stronger over the years was quite evident, as one by one the scholarship recipients heard their names and their scholarships announced. It was truly an evening to remember as family members proudly applauded as the graduates were recognized.


Business Brilliance

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The high school’s Distributive Educational Clubs of America club hosted a special installation ceremony for new officers who will lead the team for the 2017-2018 school year under the direction of adviser Nela Hawthorne.

DECA is an international association of high school and college students and teachers of management and entrepreneurship, business, finance, hospitality and marketing sales and service. The ceremony featured the team’s current officers speaking about the wide array of skills they have acquired and honed as a result of their membership, and how their experiences have shaped them as they prepare to begin their college careers. The new officers — co-presidents Jaidiver Morales and Sadiki Skeete; co-vice presidents Justin Budhu and Jhon Sandoval; historian Audrey Arias; treasurer Krystel Chombo; secretary Miranda Perez; and Parliamentarian Jennifer Perez — raised their right hands and pledged to represent the team with pride and dignity.

The ceremony also featured students being inducted into the Freeport Chapter of the New York State Business and Marketing Honor Society, and a special plaque presented by Hawthorne to Principal Linda Carter, who was named an honorary DECA member.

May 2017 Points of Pride


Splendid STEAMers

Splendid STEAMers Photo

Archer Street hosted Family STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) Night for its second-, third- and fourth-grade students and their families. The event, which was funded through a Freeport Educational Foundation grant, was comprised of a series of fun and educational workshops led by teachers and student volunteers — ‘Techsperts’ — who demonstrated their knowledge of particular workshops by offering their assistance.

The workshops featured a variety of activities, including coding, creating jitterbugs using circuits and motors, robotics, making instruments from recycled materials and a Makerspace room. The goal of each session was to offer students and their families many opportunities to work together and hone important skills.

FHS Journalist Awarded Scholarship

FHS Journalist Awarded Scholarship Photo
High school junior Maya Brown has been selected as the 2017 recipient of The Press Club of Long Island’s Hank Logeman/News12 High School Journalism Scholarship. The $2,000 scholarship, in memory of United Press International reporter and Mineola pressroom veteran Hank Logeman, is presented annually to a high school journalist who has demonstrated outstanding efforts to promote high school journalism on Long Island.
Brown is co-editor of the student-run school newspaper, “Flashings,” and has participated in Stonybrook University’s Robert W. Greene Summer Institute for High School Journalists.

Splendid Stetson

Splendid Stetson Photo

High school junior Zoe Stetson was presented the Rensselaer Medal Award by Principal Linda Carter and Director of Science Dr. Vincent Pereira for her exceptional achievement in Advanced Placement Physics. The award, which Stetson was nominated for by teacher Dr. Robert Capalbo, guarantees a $25,000 per year merit scholarship for four years if Stetson decides to enroll at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute following high school.

The district extends its congratulations to Stetson for her outstanding work and wishes her continued success.

Recognizing 757 years of dedicated service to Freeport students

Recognizing 757 years of dedicated service to Freeport students Photo

During the board of education meeting on June 7, the board and administration recognized the district’s retirees for the 2016-2017 school year. Mixed emotions filled the room, as colleagues, families and friends gathered to congratulate these dedicated professionals for their combined 757 years of service to the Freeport School District, students and community.

“Thank you for the goals that you have accomplished and for creating the foundation that has made our school district a success,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham. “Each of you have affected and inspired our students and your colleagues, so we salute you. You are leaving a lasting legacy. The best part of your life is just beginning.”

Thirty-one retirees were individually recognized for their accomplishments and personal memories were shared as each was presented with a plaque to commemorate this momentous event. Congratulations to the following retirees shown with their years of service:

Laura Baines, teacher, 16 years; Joyce Beckford, security, 10 years; Nancy Berg, teacher, 29 years; Wanda Braxton, clerical, 10 years; Linda Carter, principal Freeport High School, 12 years; Joseph Cinquemani, custodial, 21 years; Maria Duran, teacher, 34 years; Marilyn First, clerical, 23 years; Brenda Floyd, security, 8 years; Carolyn Geraci, clerical, 15 years; Carlos Goday, custodian, 12 years; Nancy Hanrahan, teacher, 33 years; Mary Ann Helfrich, cafeteria, 33 years; Linda Hendrickson, teacher, 48 years; Mary Anne Keane, teacher, 30 years; Barbara LaPlaca, teacher, 16 years; Rosa Lienhard, teaching assistant, 10 years; Janine Martorano, teaching assistant, 27 years; Susan McNulty, clerical, 18 years; Cathy Montuori, teacher, 28 years; Ruth Muniz, teaching assistant, 31 years; Bonnie Murphy, teacher, 32 years; Diane Notti, teacher, 36 years; Susan Reinke, teacher, 34 years; Lisette Santiago, teacher, 31 years; Lisa Scicchitano, teacher, 29 years; Fara Strekas, teaching assistant, 17 years; Judith Summers, teacher, 36 years; Carmen Tarantino, teacher 16 years; Randolph Thomas, custodian, 32 years and Odette Wills, principal, Bayview Avenue School, 30 years.

Giblyn Fundraises for the ‘ride’

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As part of an annual tradition, students and staff at Giblyn helped to raise awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and offered their support for patients by welcoming the ALS Ride for Life group to their school.

Giblyn, is in its fourth year participating in the fundraiser, presented a check for $2,100 to Ride for Life and founder Chris Pendergast. Students performed encouraging songs and displayed signs and banners of encouragement for the riders, who recently completed a journey from Yankee Stadium to Washington, D.C. in commemoration of its first ride 20 years ago.

The check presentation was a follow-up to the group’s visit to Giblyn in the fall, which provided students with information and background about ALS and Ride for Life. Both events are designed to supplement the school’s ongoing character education, and teach students about the importance of perseverance, compassion and hope.

Music and Rides

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Fifth- and sixth-graders at Atkinson were recognized for Superior Performance at the High Note Festival in New Jersey. One hundred eighty-five students — from the Wind Ensemble, Concert Orchestra, Mariachi and Select Choruses — performed remarkable selections for a panel of music adjudicators. The students received a trophy representing the highest level of achievement at the festival.

Following the awards ceremony, the students celebrated their achievement with a trip to Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey.

Book Fairies at Columbus

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More than 500 pre-kindergartners and kindergartners at Columbus had the opportunity to select books to take home during a visit from nonprofit organization Book Fairies. The book fair promoted the importance of literacy and encouraged students to continue fostering their love of reading outside the classroom.

Standout Service Learners

Standout Service Learners Photo
Five seniors from the high school were recognized for their service to the school and the Freeport community at the Holocaust Remembrance Day program at Hofstra University. Following a speech by Holocaust survivor Leo Ullman, students Santana Hernandez, Jennifer Herrera, Ismary Jimenez, Nyeem Maloney and Victoria Wright were all commended for their commitment to altruism by the Jewish Community Relations Council, and also received citations from New York State Sen. John Brook and New York State Assemblyman Brian Curran.

The students’ recognition is a testament to not only their dedication and passion for assisting others, but also an example of the character education and service learning across the district.

Dodd Students Experience Nanotechnology

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Seventh-graders at Dodd visited Brookhaven National Laboratory and learned a variety of nanotechnology-related lessons. They participated in several activities following a presentation by Dr. Perez, such as nanoscale calculations, building nanoscale molecular structures and studying protein molecular structures in 3-D Databank.

Literacy Camp Out

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New Visions was transformed into a literacy campground during its first Family Literacy Camp Out/Parent University, where "campers" and their families rotated through bilingual literacy stations such as Camp Scavenger Hunts, First Aid Clinic, Camp Build a Word, and "Mess Hall," where attendees followed recipes with the PTA to make smores, trail mix and fishing pretzel rods. Each station encouraged families to work together to complete a tactile literacy activity and then write about it. Bilingual "tour guides" supported Spanish-speaking families throughout the evening as well. The evening also featured camp singalongs, led by former Columbus teacher John Schreiber.  Students and parents also received books from Book Fairies in Freeport.  

New Visions Reading Teachers Tricia Stasi and Lori Golbert served as camp director and assistant camp director, respectively, to host the evening.

FHS Students Visit Microsoft

FHS Students Visit Microsoft Photo
Students in the robotics club and AP computer science and science research classes as the high school learned about educational programs, technology and the roles of industry experts during a visit to Microsoft Times Square. Activities they participated in included a yammer scavenger hunt, a videoconference call with a college student studying aerospace engineering and a Microsoft employee’s discussion about being a computer scientist.

Dodd Strives to Keep ‘Every Kid Healthy’

Dodd Strives to Keep ‘Every Kid Healthy’ Photo
Students at Dodd participated in Every Kid Healthy Week and learned about the link and importance of nutrition and physical activity. The week also highlighted the remarkable efforts of Dodd staff to teach healthy habits to all students.

Senator Visits New Visions

Senator Visits New Visions Photo
Senator John Brooks visited New Visions and presented Lourdes-Saunders Blake with a certificate for winning the Earth Day contest in Nassau County. Stephanie Sorto and Cynthia Reyes Carbajal also received certificates for their participation.

Teacher Honored

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Matthew Yatsyla, science facilitator at Atkinson, has been named Nassau Outstanding Intermediate Teacher of 2017 by the Science Teachers Association of New York State.

This is the second consecutive year that an educator from the district has been honored with the remarkable distinction; last year, Debbie Bergen and Thomas Doyle were named Outstanding Elementary Teacher and Outstanding Intermediate Teacher, respectively.

Yatsyla was nominated for the award by District Director of Science Dr. Vincent Pereira for a wide array of accomplishments and initiatives, including: currently redesigning a density lab to conform to New York State Science Learning Standards’ three dimensions of learning; writing assessments on density; developing an astronomy curriculum for the Summer Science Enrichment program that he teaches each year; participating in the NASA Jove Radio Telescope Project and building a radio telescope, which facilitated the introduction of radio communications — wireless technology — to students; helping to initiate the district’s Astro Night program, training his students and high school students how to use telescopes to explain the night sky to their families; obtaining a Freeport Educational Foundation grant and introduced his students to engineering design and computer programming; and serving as adviser for the Robotics Club.

The honor earned by Yatsyla is not only a testament to his remarkable commitment to innovative education, but also an example of the extraordinary level of science instruction provided in the district.

Columbus Lights it Up Blue

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Students and staff at Columbus celebrated Light It Up Blue Spirit Day, and raised $230 to donate to the Nassau Suffolk Chapter of the Autism Society of America. The money was raised by students creating customized blue ribbons to sell to the Columbus community.

YES at Archer

YES at Archer Photo
During their physical education classes, students at Archer received a visit from Youth Empowerment Seminar (YES) program instructors and learned about the importance and benefits of mindfulness, yoga and stretching.

Litterbug Lessons

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As part of their celebration of Earth Day, students at Atkinson created litterbugs out of ecofriendly and reusable materials. With plastic juice or soda containers as foundations, the students used materials such as bottlecaps, snack wrappers, and plastic utensils and bags to develop their litterbugs. The multifaceted activity not only encouraged the students to continue using their imaginations in creative ways, but also promoted the importance of recycling and taking care of the planet in honor of Earth Day.

Reflection Winners

Reflection Winners Photo
Atkinson extends its congratulations to PTA Reflections contest winners Lebron Linshue, Thor Cepeda, Sejla Omeragic, Donovan Lingonde, Brianna Bras and Yadira Cruz, who created stunning visual arts, photography and literature aligned with the theme, “What is Your Story?” under the leadership of Mrs. Barry and Ms. Hertzberg.

Freeport School District Voting Results

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The Freeport School District Board of Education and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham would like to thank all community residents who participated in the 2017-18 school budget vote and board trustee election. Below are the voting results:

Proposition One: 2017-18 School Budget: YES 812  NO 180 TOTAL 992 - Approved

Proposition Two: Freeport Memorial Library Budget: YES 800 NO 176 TOTAL 976 - Approved

Proposition Three: Establishment of a Capital Reserve Fund Known as the Facilities Improvement Program 2017: YES 783 NO 164 TOTAL 947 - Approved

Board of Education Trustee Election:
Ronald J. Ellerbe     810
Vilma I. Lancaster    801  
Both board trustees were reelected to three-year terms beginning July 1, 2017 and ending June 30, 2020.

New and familiar faces

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During the district’s Board of Education meeting on May 16, the board unanimously approved the following appointments: Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Mary Anne DeVivio; Director of Pupil Personnel Services Dr. Helen M. Kanellopoulos; Freeport High School Principal Joseph G. Mille; and Bayview Elementary School Principal Mary Garguilo. All appointments are effective July 1, 2017.

Dr. DeVivio is currently serving the Bergenfield, New Jersey Public School District as Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction. She earned a Doctorate from Russell Sage College, a Master’s degree from Pace University and a Bachelor of Science from St. John’s University.

Dr. Kanellopoulos is currently the Assistant Director of Special Education and Pupil Personnel Services for the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District. She received a Doctorate in Educational Administration and Supervision from St. John’s University, a Certificate of Advanced Studies, Educational Administration from Long Island University, a Master of Education and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Molloy College.

A familiar face in the district, Mille is currently the assistant principal at Freeport High School. He has earned a Professional Diploma in Administration Education, a Master of Science in Special Education from Dowling College and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Molloy College.

Currently the assistant principal at Archer Street Elementary School, Garguilo earned her School District Administration Certification and School Administration and Supervision Certification from Long Island University, a Master of Science in Elementary Education and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Hofstra University.

“After a diligent and thorough search to fill these critical leadership roles, we are pleased to welcome these highly competent administrators to their new positions,” said Board of Education President Michael Pomerico. “We are confident they possess the leadership skills and vision to continue to provide our students with the education and services they need to be successful.”

STEAMing for Success

STEAMing for Success Photo

As part of an annual tradition, New Visions School in the Freeport Public School District hosted Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM) Night for students and their families. The program was comprised of a variety of workshops designed to give the New Visions community an opportunity to work together on a wide assortment of STEAM-related projects and tasks that included computer coding; LEGO communication; 3-dimensional computer art; Doodlebots; LED design; and a fusion of yoga and art. The evening was a fun and educational supplement to the daily STEAM lessons students are engaged in at New Visions.

Class of 2017 Senior Talent Show

Lights, Camera, Action!
Super talent graced the stage as the Class of 2017 coordinated an amazing talent show this year!
Planning and coordinating were orchestrated by class officers Victoria Wright, Katiana Thompson, Maya Thompson, and Aliyah Mc Laurin. Participants ranged in talents from dance, piano, and voice!  With the crowd on its feet, Freeport High School showcased their creative talents, and the show was a huge success! Special thanks to Mr. Doug Martinez.

The Voice of Potential Ripple of Hope Project for Global Youth Initiatives

The Voice of Potential Ripple of Hope Project for Global Youth Initiatives Photo
For the past five years through grassroots efforts, students at Freeport High School have been raising awareness of important issues in our global community. This year, students raised $600 dollars. Through an ongoing global youth advocacy initiative created by FHS teacher Pamela Mary Schmidt, students in the United States are connected to children in Nepal and Haiti to facilitate human potential and promote dignity through self-sustainability and art.  Students have been generating support for disabled orphans in Haiti (2012-17) and children recently removed from exploitative labor in the rug industry by GoodWeave, USA in Nepal (2013-14) through The Voice of Potential Ripple of Hope Project.

In exchange for the bracelet made with the artwork of the children in Haiti done with Ms. Schmidt, each person’s name (students and faculty) is placed on a paper “drop of water” (1 drop for each dollar) on the wall that states, "I am a ripple of hope.” As the drops come together in the hallway, they create a wave that visually interprets the following quote by Robert F. Kennedy:

“Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others... he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current  that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” – Robert F. Kennedy

Through the concept that teaches one person can make a difference, Freeport High School students are changing their global community through research, advocacy, and collaborative art. All proceeds go directly towards the education of the children at the locations.
This summer, Ms. Schmidt will travel to India to stay with Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi. She will return with the artwork completed by children rescued from the carpet industry and rock quarries, and facilitate collaboration between the children at Bal Ashram with the students at Freeport High School 2017-18.

Astounding Artists

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Students from Dodd and the high school had the honor of displaying their remarkable artwork at the Freeport Memorial Library’s Secondary Art Exhibit in May.

At a special ceremony attended by members of the board of education, district staff members and parents, featured students received certificates commemorating their work and were encouraged to continue developing their impressive talents. In addition, Freeport High School Principal Linda Carter was presented with a framed still-life artwork by senior Abigail Aguilar and the district’s art department as a token of appreciation for all of her years of dedicated service.

The ceremony was designed to celebrate the artistic skills of students at the middle and high schools, and to honor one of its beloved administrators.

Leading the Pathway to Peace

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As part of the Freeport Cares tradition, hundreds of students and staff members of the district were joined by members of the Board of Education, local elected officials and community residents in a celebration of peace and nonviolence at the eighth annual Peace March and Health and Wellness Fair.

“Let’s all join together to celebrate the beautiful power of peace as a unifying and healing force,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham. “Let’s all believe in the harmony we can achieve with everyone around us, and let’s strive for peace both within ourselves and across the world.”

Attendees gathered in the high school gymnasium prior to the march through the Village of Freeport for inspiring speeches and a joint kindergarten-through-sixth-grade choral performance by students of various schools in the district. Participants in the walk wore glowing smiles, proudly held up peace signs and banners, and were dressed in yellow — the color for peace. They were then invited to take part in wellness-related activities, including a fair featuring several health organizations and institutions, as well as a variety of group exercises designed to promote the importance of an active lifestyle. The fair provided attendees with the opportunity to speak to representatives and learn more about their respective organizations’ purposes and roles.

The annual Freeport Cares Peace March was an extension of the combined district and community commitment to fostering unity as far as possible.

Tremendous Talent

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Students at the high school took center stage to showcase a variety of their skills before their peers and teachers during the annual Talent Show. The program, which included performances in music and drama, was designed to offer students with the opportunity to continue developing their creative voices and confidence to astound in the performing arts.

One for the Record Books

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The Freeport High School varsity softball team finished in first place in their conference and will be moving forward to compete in the playoffs for the first time in 16 years.
The Lady Devils finished their season with a record of 13-2 and were led by the skills, determination, and passion of the seven graduating seniors: Carla Estrella, Alba Fernandez, Jennifer Jimenez, Wildelina Peralta, Elizabeth Sekreta, Kimberly Serna and Darielys Veras. Daelyn Ross, Zoie Gold, Naggalie Cruceta, Gianny Reynoso, and Yulianna Frometa also contributed to the team’s outstanding season.     

The team has also been honored as a Scholar-Athlete Team, which means that 75 percent of the roster achieved a combined GPA of 90 percent or greater. Congratulations on a great season.

Realtors See District's Excellence

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Real Estate agents in the Village of Freeport had an opportunity to learn about the school district's various achievements, programs, and activities, and to engage in a dialog with district officials at a Realtors Luncheon held at New Visions School on April 28.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham welcomed the special guests to the luncheon. Also present were Freeport Board of Education trustees Ronald Ellerbe, who is also a Freeport realtor, and Ernest Kight, Jr. as well as district administrators. Dr. Kuncham spoke about the unique benefits offered by Freeport’s Magnet Schools system and notable district highlights, including college credit programs at the high school, research partnerships with many universities and renowned institutions, and the historically high graduation rates. He also discussed the Gold Level music program, numerous sports accolades and the solid financial status of the district including its consistently stellar bond rating of AA by Standard and Poor’s. Members of the district’s central administration also discussed the dedication of the more than 1,000 staff members committed to ensuring the success of more than 7,000 students districtwide, and the holistic “whole child” approach in place across all eight schools.

“All of us at the Freeport Public Schools are a team, and we would be thrilled to show you what a wonderful district this is,” Dr. Kuncham said. “I encourage you to share our successes with us by visiting any of our schools so you can see firsthand our student-teacher interactions, the beautiful maintenance of our buildings and classrooms, and the opportunities students are afforded each day from pre-kindergarten through high school.”

The Realtors were impressed by the level of opportunities available to students and families from Freeport Public Schools. They left with an excellent understanding of the district’s accomplishments that they can share with prospective residents.

Students Showcase Scientific Prowess

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High school students presented their exceptional research-driven science projects in the school’s 13th annual Science and Engineering Fair.

The exhibit featured students presenting their research, experiments and conclusions under the leadership of science research teacher Edward Irwin to a team of judges that was comprised of district staff members, college professors, and science-related industries. Subject areas of research projects included biochemistry, botany, medicine and health, microbiology, physics, space science and zoology. The projects were evaluated on a point system based on students’ research displayed, methods used, validity of conclusions and presentation of results.

The science and engineering fair was designed not only a forum for students to present their remarkable research skills to experts in those fields, but also a glimpse of the extraordinary instruction and support at the high school.

Hooray for ‘Hairspray’

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Students and staff at the high school presented a remarkable rendition of the Broadway musical ‘Hairspray’ to members of the school district and Freeport community.

The play, based on the book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan, and on the New Lince Cinema film written and directed by John Waters, starred several outstanding students who showcased their talents while cast in leading roles: senior Makayla Willocks as Velma von Tussle; junior Michael Desir as Link Larkin; junior Myles Carter as Seaweed J. Stubbs; junior Jessica Moreo as Tracy Turnblad; senior Isaiah Cole Louder as Edna Turnblad; junior Joseph LaRocca as Wilbur Turnblad/Mr. Spritzer; and sophomore Gabriel Alvarado as Corny Collins. The production staff included director Geraldine LaPenne, producer Mike LaSorsa, musical director Monique Retzlaff and choreographer Mahendra Guerrier.

‘Hairpray’ captivated the audiences with inspiring themes, including racial integration, human rights and the beauty in realizing that everyone is created equal. Students performed two well-attended shows, and demonstrated their talents as testaments to their dedication and the level of arts instruction at FHS.

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