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Bayview Celebrates Cafeteria Staff

Bayview Celebrates Cafeteria Staff photo
Faculty members at Bayview spearheaded an initiative to celebrate the hard work and commitment of the school’s cafeteria staff, comprised of head cook Diane Anatra, Mary Cox, Elva Lopez, Rosa Nunez and Corinne White. The five outstanding members of the Bayview family were treated to a slate of festivities and heartwarming gestures throughout a week in May.

On Monday, the team was greeted with doughnuts and student-handwritten cards that lined the wall of the kitchen; on Tuesday, teachers decorated hand lotion bottles with quotes to gift to the team; on Thursday, the team was presented with a banner signed by each student; and on Friday, each member of the cafeteria staff received a personalized apron and enjoyed a special brunch served by students. In addition, students in Geraldine LaPenne’s class created cards and gifted each member of the team a Bayview “Make Us Smile” bracelet.

The initiative was organized by teachers Martha Bermeo, Lindsey Chmura, Jennifer Leal, Tanisha Mason, and Lisa Ann Zabala.

Atkinson Hosts Career Day

Atkinson Hosts Career Day photo
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Sixth-graders at Atkinson were exposed to a wide variety of occupations that they can pursue in the future during Career Day.

Professionals across a variety of fields, including law enforcement, culinary arts and engineering visited the school to discuss their jobs with students. Students were tasked with asking questions of the professionals, taking notes and analyzing their findings to determine which careers interested them the most.

May Points of Pride

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Archer STEAMs Ahead

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Students at Archer Street were joined by their families as they supplemented their classroom lessons in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics during the second annual Family STEAM Night, themed “Full STEAM Ahead.”

More than 280 attendees participated in a fun and educational slate of activities that included collaborative coding, radical robots, construction junction, imagination station, cardboard challenge, ScribbleBots and upcycled instruments. In addition, teachers and facilitators were assisted by student “TechSperts” who demonstrated their knowledge of STEAM-related concepts.

Archer Stresses Importance of Stress Management

Archer Stresses Importance of Stress Management photo
As part of its observance of Mental Health Awareness Week in May, Archer Street hosted a variety of unique activities.

The school designated one full day for students and staff to wear the color green — the nationally recognized color for mental health awareness — including a green ribbon they had been given throughout the week. Teachers in each class conducted activities that were designed to encourage positive thinking and offered tips for dealing with stress, such as having kindergartners create their own stress balls.

The week’s activities taught students about the importance of stress management and taking the proper steps to ensure a happy and healthy mindset.

Archer Hosts Zumba Program

Archer Hosts Zumba Program photo
As part of an ongoing slate of Parent University workshops it has hosted throughout the school year, Archer Street hosted Zumba exercises. Staff members, students and their families participated in the hourlong dance fitness program that was designed to reinforce the importance of maintaining a physically active lifestyle.

Archer ‘ACES’ Altruism for FEF

 Archer ‘ACES’ Altruism for FEF photo
Students and staff at Archer Street participated in the Project ACES (All Children Exercise Simultaneously) program designed to benefit the Freeport Educational Foundation and teach students about the importance of maintaining a physically active lifestyle.

The program featured the entire student body gathering on the playground and participating in warm-up exercises followed by a fitness walk around the school. As a result of their fundraising efforts, FEF was presented with a 1,250 check, which qualified the school as a Gold Sponsor for this remarkable initiative.

FHS Students Meet Former Astronaut

FHS Students Meet Former Astronaut photo
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As a follow-up to the district's remarkable opportunity to make audio contact with an astronaut aboard the International Space Station in March, approximately 25 students from the high school visited the Cradle of Aviation Museum for an hourlong presentation by former astronaut and current U.S. Senator Bill Nelson.

Sen. Nelson spoke to students about a variety of space-related topics, including his experiences orbiting the Earth in the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1986, and how it shaped his views on the environment and future space explorations. He also discussed lesser-known stories of the late American astronaut John Glenn.

The ongoing partnership between Freeport Schools and the Cradle of Aviation is an extension of the district’s commitment to providing students with unique scientific-enrichment opportunities.

VOTING RESULTS

2018-2019 SCHOOL BUDGET: PASSED YES: 638 NO: 176 TOTAL: 814
PROPOSITION #2 FREEPORT MEMORIAL LIBRARY BUDGET: PASSED YES: 631 NO: 166 TOTAL: 797
PROPOSITION #3: EXPENDITURES FROM EXISTINGH CAPITAL RESERVE FUNDS: PASSED YES: 662 NO: 121 TOTAL: 783

BOARD OF EDUCATION TRUSTEE ELECTION
ERNEST J. KIGHT JR. RE-ELECTED 711 VOTES

VOTING RESULTS MESSAGE

2018-19 Budget Approved Board Trustee Ernest J. Kight Jr. Re-elected

On Tuesday, May 15, community residents voted overwhelmingly to approve the Freeport Public Schools 2018-2019 school budget 638 YES to 176 NO. This was the fourth consecutive year the district proposed a budget with a tax levy decrease. Voters also approved the expenditure of funds from existing Capital Reserve Funds 662 YES to 121 NO for the purpose of performing numerous renovations and improvements to district facilities at no additional cost to taxpayers. The Freeport Memorial Library budget also passed 631 YES to 166 NO. Board of Education Trustee Ernest J. Kight Jr., who ran unopposed, was re-elected to a three-year term starting July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2021. He received 711 votes.
    
“It is our priority to offer our students extraordinary academic and extracurricular opportunities.” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham. “This budget expands our programs and plans for numerous capital improvements with instructional rigor and fiscal responsibility. We are proud of the amazing accomplishments of our students in academics, sports and the arts. With the support of our community, we will continue to move our students to reach greater heights.”
    
The approved school budget will support the continuation of existing programs and provides for additional staff to support students and programs; new course offerings and instructional materials; additional support services for students with special needs, including BOCES services; substantial capital improvement projects; continued support to increase safety; continued expansion of instructional technology; and support for the summer arts academy, a new science technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) summer program and after-school programs and clubs, including robotics.
    
The expenditure of funds from the district’s Capital Reserve funds, previously approved by voters in 2009 and 2017, will be used to fund districtwide repairs and renovations; exterior improvements; air conditioning; security upgrades; building security and entry vestibules; classroom, flooring and lighting renovations; science room and bathroom renovations; ceiling tile and lighting replacements; masonry work; band room, chorus room and display case renovation at Freeport High School and the classroom addition project at Atkinson Intermediate School.  
    
“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all Freeport community residents who voted and to thank you for your continued confidence and support,” said Board of Education President Michael Pomerico. “The Board of Education is pleased to bring our taxpayers a tax levy decrease for the fourth year in a row, while still enhancing our programs.”

District Ushers in Spring with Festivals

District Ushers in Spring with Festivals photo

The fact that the district has been named a Best Community for Music Education was clearly on display during the past few weeks. The musical groups at the secondary and intermediate schools in the district welcomed spring and showcased their outstanding talents in Spring Festivals of the Arts for the Board of Education, administrators, families, staff and community members.

The four concerts — FHS Choral and Instrumental, Dodd and Atkinson— were all held on separate days in the Performing Arts Center located in the high school. The festivals featured each school’s music teachers leading their students through harmonious and riveting performances of song and dance, including jazz, mariachi and step. Artwork by students from each school was also on diplay in the lobby of the high school.

The Spring Festivals of the Arts highlighted the outstanding musical and artistic talents of the students and the level of visual- and performing arts instruction and enrichment across the district.

Phenomenal Physical Education Students

Phenomenal Physical Education Students photo
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Students across the district were recognized with the 2018 Outstanding Elementary and Middle School Physical Education Student Award by the Nassau Zone of the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. The award is bestowed upon two students from each school who demonstrate a physically active lifestyle, responsible behavior and leadership and overall physical education excellence following nomination by their physical education teachers.

The district extends its congratulations to: Manny Cruceta and Zanai Thomas Minor (Archer Street); Angelo Gordon and Cassie Smith (Atkinson); Justin Martinez and Madison Starks-Alexander (Bayview Avenue); Dillon DeBourg and Shelby Jackson (Dodd); Shaniya Bonny and Ryder Suarez (Giblyn); and Jhonniel Nunez Estrella and Rihanna Sealy (New Visions). The students were honored at a special awards ceremony at Roslyn High School.

Career Pathways Brochure

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Career Pathways Modules Spreadsheet

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FHS Science Teacher Honored

FHS Science Teacher Honored photo
FHS teacher Peggy Parigoris has been named the Nassau County Outstanding High School Science Teacher of 2018 by the Science Teachers Association of New York State. This is the third consecutive year that district educators have been recognized by the organization for their outstanding science instruction. Last year, Atkinson science facilitator Matthew Yatsyla was named the Nassau County Outstanding Intermediate Teacher of 2017, while Archer Street librarian Debbie Bergen and Atkinson teacher Thomas Doyle were named Outstanding Elementary Teacher and Outstanding Intermediate Teacher, respectively, the year prior.

Parigoris will be commemorated for this tremendous honor at the 21st annual Science Awards Dinner on May 22 at the Coral House in Baldwin. The district extends its congratulations to Parigoris and wishes her continued success in her career.

Giblyn Supports Ride for Life

Giblyn Supports Ride for Life photo
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As a way of displaying its continued and unwavering support for the fight against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Giblyn welcomed Chris Pendergast and the Ride for Life Group for the fifth consecutive year.

Chanting “Strike Out A-L-S,” students displayed colorful signs and banners of support for the riders, who are all at different stages of the neurological disorder. They also serenaded them with moving performances under the direction of music teacher Shannon Abramovitz. As a result of the school’s fundraising efforts, the group was presented with a check for $2,200, an amount that figured to increase in the coming weeks.

The event reinforced the importance of altruism, perseverance, compassion and determination, and supported a tremendous cause in a heartwarming way.

Nearly 3,000 Attend Ninth-Annual Peace March and Health and Wellness Fair

Nearly 3,000 Attend Ninth-Annual Peace March and Health and Wellness Fair photo
Nearly 3,000 Attend Ninth-Annual Peace March and Health and Wellness Fair photo 2

Thousands of joyful participants took part in the ninth annual Freeport Cares Peace March and Health and Wellness Fair. Board of Education members, administrators, staff and students from the district along with Village of Freeport community members and invited dignitaries came together to promote peace and wellness locally, nationally and globally. 

“We are peace, and we must return to it every day and every moment,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham. “We must raise awareness and promote peace within our families, community, country, Mother Earth and the universe. Inner peace transcends to global peace. Let us resolve to amplify our work, let us celebrate our differences and become superheroes of peace, advocates for change and not allow injustice to happen here or anywhere.”

Board of Education Vice President Anthony Miller, Freeport Mayor Robert Kennedy, Sen. John Brooks, Legislators Debra Mulé, Kevan Abrahams and Steven Rhoades, and Assemblyman Brian Curran encouraged the crowd with their thoughts of peace for the community and the importance of Freeport’s efforts. 

The peace march, following a route marked with yellow ribbons and peace signs, began at Freeport High School and returned there, creating a sea of yellow throughout the community, as nearly all participants, including members of the board of education, several elected officials, students and district staff, dressed in the color yellow representing peace. This year’s march was one of the most highly attended, with nearly 3,000 participants promoting peace.

Musical performances, including the Freeport High School jazz ensemble and district elementary chorus group, provided inspiration at the beginning of the program. Following the march, students, parents and community residents participated in activities and gathered information from the numerous vendors at the Health and Wellness Fair.

The Freeport Cares Peace March brought the community together and was designed to continue fostering unity throughout the entire Village of Freeport as well as a personal sense of harmony within each person.

New Visions Plants Peace Pole

New Visions Plants Peace Pole photo
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As a testament to its commitment to peace and harmony across the world and stemming from its very own community, New Visions unveiled a brand new Peace Pole on its front lawn. The dedication ceremony, which was attended by administrators, teachers, students and parents, was designed to formally introduce the symbol of unity.

Following fourth-grader Alexis Skewer’s reading of the poem, “Promise of Peace,” students and staff members placed yellow flowers before the Peace Pole, and students then translated messages of peace in various languages: “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in Japanese; “May Peace Be in Our Hearts” in Russian; “May Peace Be in Our Community” in Hebrew; “May Peace Be in Our Schools” in Spanish; and all of these messages of peace in American Sign Language.

“Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values and your values become your destiny,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham. “’The future depends on what you do today,’ as Mahatma Gandhi said, and what you have done here this afternoon is extraordinary — connecting each one of us together through this amazing Peace Pole and connecting to 180 countries and connecting to all of humanity.”

The ceremony was a momentous occasion and precursor to the ninth annual District Peace March and Health and Wellness Fair.

FHS Select Chorale Places First in Festival

FHS Select Chorale Places First in Festival photo
The high school's Select Chorale recently showcased its exceptional talents at the Music in the Parks Competition Festival, a conference in Virginia attended by orchestras, symphonic bands and choruses ranging in levels from elementary to high school.

Freeport’s group, adjudicated alongside students across the Eastern Seaboard, earned first place in the AA High School Division, Group 1, under the leadership of director Monique Retzlaff. In addition to its dazzling performance, the students networked and interacted with fellow aspiring musicians in Williamsburg’s Busch Gardens amusement park, visited colonial museums and observed historical landmarks.

The district extends its congratulations to the Select Chorale for another outstanding showing at the festival.

Flag Appreciation

Flag Appreciation photo
Congratulations to the 5th grade semi-finalists at the Caroline G. Atkinson Intermediate School, who participated in Assemblyman Brian Curran’s “What Does the American Flag Mean to You?” Flag Day Contest under the direction of 5th grade art teacher Ms. Emily Hertzberg. The 5th grade semi-finalists are Diana Galdamez, Carina Vigil, Melissa Thorpe, Jason Cuellar, Raschel Siguenza, Clarissa Negron, and Sydney Martial! 

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Freeport HS senior designated Gates Scholar earns full four-year scholarship

Gates Scholar
Freeport High School senior Franco Ramirez has been selected as a recipient of the prestigious Gates Scholarship, an award earned by only 300 students from a pool of 28,700 applicants nationwide this year. As a result of this remarkable honor, Ramirez’s full tuition for all four years of college will be completely funded when he begins attending New York University in the fall, where he plans to major in civil engineering.

“We are all extremely proud that the Gates Foundation has chosen to recognize one of our students as a Gates Scholar,” stated Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham. “Congratulations to Franco for this outstanding distinction and the pride he brings to our school district and community. He is truly a role model for students following in his footsteps and I am sure we will continue to hear more about his great achievements in the future.”

The Gates Scholarship is a highly selective award that is designed to provide top minority students with the opportunity to maximize their potential in college without the burden of tuition. Criteria for consideration include the student’s outstanding academic record in high school — in the top 10 percent of the student’s class — exceptional leadership abilities and personal success skills. Throughout his four years at Freeport High School, Ramirez has gone above and beyond in all areas, which is why he is a worthy recipient of this recognition. 

With a grade-point average of 102.91, Ramirez is ranked fifth in his class of 491 students. He is a member of the National Honor Society, an AP Scholar With Distinction, an honored cadet with the Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps, and will be graduating in June earning a Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation with Honor. Ramirez has consistently challenged himself academically, having enrolled in eight Advanced Placement and 10 Honors level classes during his time at Freeport High School. He has been an active member of several clubs and held a variety of leadership positions, including academics captain of the Leadership Club, platoon commander of the Drill Team, band manager of the Marching Band and a participant in the Peer Tutoring group. Ramirez has routinely volunteered his time and efforts for worthy causes, including back to school shopping and distribution of school supplies to families, holiday gift wrapping and walks for Lupus and Peace, all as part of Student Government.

Ramirez, who was accepted to each of the 14 colleges and universities he applied to, was nominated for the Gates Scholarship by Freeport High School social studies teacher Joshua Levitt and naval science teacher Major Donald R. Moore Jr. He has earned the respect of both his peers and staff members by displaying selflessness and a relentless work ethic.

“Franco is a focused, determined and hardworking student who is always willing to help others,” said guidance counselor Rosemarie Alario, who has known Ramirez since he was in fifth grade. “He’s so self-motivated, and one of the most unique things about him is how he motivates those around him. Franco is a fine young man and I can’t think of anyone more deserving of the Gates Scholarship than him.”

Best Community for Music Education

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The Freeport Public School District has been named a 2018 Best Community for Music Education by the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation. This prestigious distinction is earned by school districts across the nation that exhibit exceptional efforts and commitment toward maintaining music education as part of the schools’ core curriculum, excel in their instruction of music and in their extensive array of music programs offered to students. 

“This national distinction is a testament to the importance Freeport Public Schools places on music education in the lives of our students ,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham. “Our Board of Education, administration, staff, and community members have been staunch supportors of our music and performing arts programs, giving our students incredible opportunities. We are proud to be named a Best Community for Music Education.” 
       
Freeport’s renowned music department fosters strong and positive relationships between its students and staff and annually hosts districtwide collaborative events for peace and Black History month. The talented music staff, combined with the music curriculum aligned with the Next Generation Arts Standards, have led the district and its music students to achieve numerous accolades and honors, including semifinalist status in the Grammy in the Schools competition and Gold Level recognition by the Long Island Music Hall of Fame. This year was the first year that the district offered Advanced Placement Music Theory at Freeport High School; hosted a Tri-M Music Honor Society, inducting 47 outstanding students.  Students in various ensembles have routinely been invited to perform at prestigious venues, such as Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall and numerous local, community, state and national events.
      
Director of Arts and Community Relations Ruth Breidenbach said, “Together, teachers and students create a culture of music excellence and enjoy a sense of belonging to a family.” This school year, 23 music teachers have provided music instruction to approximately 2,000 students districtwide. There are seven orchestras, 11 bands, 13 chorus groups, three mariachi bands, two jazz bands and several unique student-led groups, including brass, string, saxophone and chorus ensembles. A new districtwide chorus, developed for students in grade 4-12, debuted at this year’s Black History celebration.  

Sixty-two members of the Class of 2018 will graduate from the music program at Freeport High School, with approximately 50 percent committed to majoring, minoring or incorporating music into college programs such as music education, music performance, music therapy and music business. These students plan to attend schools including the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, Hofstra University, Molloy College and SUNY Purchase, having benefited immensely from the wide range of opportunities afforded them by the Freeport Public Schools’ robust and award-winning music program.
 
 

Jazzing it Up

Jazzing it Up photo

Students at the high school and Dodd took the stage to showcase their extraordinary musical talents in the ninth annual Night of Jazz.

With Adam Rubin and Michael LaSorsa directing the middle- and high-school musicians, respectively, the evening was filled with song, dance and a celebration of American history, people and places. Highlights included the student ensemble Brass Bois, led by high school senior Myles Carter, marching through the audience during a spirited performance of a Dixieland hit, in addition to the finale featuring a combined ensemble of seventh- through 12th-graders performing together and showcasing soloists’ improvisation skills.

The event was a harmonious testament to the remarkable talents of students and the high level of jazz instruction in the district.

Flag Tutorial at Archer

Flag Tutorial at Archer photo
Third- and fourth-graders at Archer Street received a visit from members of the Nassau County Veterans Services organization.

The special guests presented facts about American history, how the American flag originated, and spoke about the importance of flag etiquette. Students then joined the veterans in a display of artwork depicting iconic moments in history and symbols of freedom and American pride.

Superb Scientists

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Students at the high school presented their outstanding science research projects in the school’s 14th annual Science and Engineering Fair.

The fair provided an opportunity for students to demonstrate their experiments, and present their research and conclusions under the leadership of science teacher Edward Irwin to a team of judges. The team was comprised of district staff members, college professors and representatives from science-related industries. Subject areas of research projects included behavioral and social sciences, biochemistry, chemistry, engineering, medicine and health, and microbiology. 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 highlighted the exceptional work and research conducted by students and the high level of science instruction at the high school.

Fraction Fundamentals

Fraction Fundamentals photo
Students at Bayview Avenue were tasked with determining fractional parts of a set of fictional cakes during Math Olympiads.

Following their study of the story, “Full House” by Dayle Ann Dodds, students used the area model for fractions as a standard for the math problems they were presented with, and then calculated the monetary value associated with each fraction. The lesson, known as “The Unusual Baker Fraction Investigation,” reinforced the mathematical concept that the whole matters when comparing fractions.

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Giblyn Students Crack Codes

Giblyn Students Crack Codes photo
Fourth-grade dual language students at Giblyn participated in an “Escape the Classroom” workshop as a culminating activity to their mathematics unit on area and perimeter.

As part of the workshop, students were tasked with working together to complete challenges and solve a variety of problems in order to defeat the fictitious Macho Man supervillain, discover the code to open a key chest and ultimately escape the cafeteria. The activity was a fun and educational way for students to apply their classroom math lessons and accomplish a particular goal.

FHS senior Sebastian Mauras honored at second annual youth leadership event

FHS senior Sebastian Mauras honored at second annual youth leadership event photo
Assemblyman Brian Curran praised Freeport High School senior Sebastian Mauras for his academic success, athletic abilities and his selfless acts of kindness toward others during the assemblyman’s second annual Youth Leadership event.

Captain of the high school wrestling team, and the recipient of the Most Outstanding Wrestler honor, Mauras also serves as a role model and mentor working with younger wrestlers at Dodd Middle School providing advice and motivation. 

Upon graduation, Mauras has decided to join the U.S. Marines, where he will serve his country and add to his family’s sense of pride. 
 

New Visions Learns About Health, Hygiene and Social Harmony

New Visions Learns About Health, Hygiene and Social Harmony photo
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Students at New Visions learned about a variety of topics focusing on self-awareness and improvement during a health fair led by senior nursing students from Molloy College.

The fair was comprised of several learning stations that the elementary students rotated through in 15-minute intervals. Topics included healthy eating, dental hygiene, socialization and antibullying, street safety, sleep, personal hygiene and internet safety. At each station, students participated in question-and-answer sessions and played interactive games to complement their takeaways not only from the discussion, but from what they learn daily in the classroom.

 

Columbus Paints Puzzle Pieces

Columbus Paints Puzzle Pieces photo
As part of their observance of Autism Awareness Month in April, students at Columbus Avenue painted jigsaw puzzle pieces and glued them to ribbons.

The ribbons featuring the puzzle pieces, a national symbol for autism awareness, will be sold and the funds raised will be donated to the Nassau Suffolk Autism Society of America. The activity provided students with an opportunity to continue developing their art skills and was aligned with Columbus’ ongoing commitment to altruism.

Band Brilliance

Band Brilliance photo
Five extraordinary student-musicians from the high school were selected to be a part of the Tilles Center Festival Band and participate in the 14th annual Long Island University Band Festival at Tilles Center on April 13.

Under the direction of Michael LaSorsa, the selected students — Kevin Brown, Joseph LaRocca, Katherine Leon, Heaven Jenkins and Elijah Zelaya — joined an ensemble comprised of the LIU Post Wind Symphony and student-musicians and their directors from high schools across the New York metropolitan area.

Together, the Tilles Center Festival Band rehearsed and performed four pieces under the batons of LIU Post Director of Wind Studies Dr. James McRoy and 2018 Composer-in-Residence Mark Camphouse.

The district extends its congratulations to these talented students for their musical excellence.

(Kevin Brown not pictured as he was unable to attend due to a scheduling conflict)

School Board President Receives Prestigious Education Partner Award

School Board President Receives Prestigious Education Partner Award photo
District Board of Education President Mr. Michael Pomerico received the Nassau BOCES 2018 Education Partner Award on April 11 for his outstanding contributions to public education in Nassau County. He was one of 15 individuals who were honored at the 12th annual Nassau BOCES Education Partner Awards Gala.

Mr. Pomerico has served on the Freeport Public School District Board of Education for the past 10 years, and as president for the past four years. During this time and under his leadership, the district has submitted resolutions to the New York State School Board Association to advocate for appropriate funding to meet the varied needs of its English language learners and to raise the limit on unrestricted fund balance. He has also consistently advocated for Freeport and public education among local representatives, as well as legislators at the state level. Mr. Pomerico has called for fair, timely and equitable funding through state aid, and discussed issues including increased costs to public education, numerous unfunded mandates pertaining to special education, unaccompanied minors and the tax levy cap. He has ensured that he is up to date with the latest information and issues impacting public education, and routinely presents advocacy information to the public regarding pending regulations, trends and concerns. Mr. Pomerico also works closely with the PTA Council and the building PTAs so that they are able to share information as well.

Under his leadership, the board has been active members of the Reform Education Financing Inequities Today and the New York State School Boards Association legislative committee. The district has also been able to expand the number of advanced placement and dual enrollment classes it offers, in addition to increasing its graduation rate to record highs under his leadership.

The district extends its congratulations and appreciation to Mr. Michael Pomerico for his remarkable contributions to public education, especially to Freeport Public Schools and for being recognized with the Nassau BOCES Education Partner Award.

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Poetic Lessons at Archer

Poetic Lessons at Archer photo
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Students at Archer Street received a special visit from award-winning author Douglas Florian, who conducted presentations and signings of his book, “Comets, Stars, the Moon, and Mars.”

As part of the interactive events, students learned about various elements of poetry, including alliteration, rhyme, rhythm and onomatopoeia. The visit was a fun and educational supplement to students’ classroom lessons in English language arts.

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FHS Inducts 47 in First Tri-M Music Honor Society Induction Ceremony

FHS Inducts 47 in First Tri-M Music Honor Society Induction Ceremony photo
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The high school inducted 47 outstanding student-musicians to its first Tri-M (Modern Music Masters) Music Honor Society on March 27.

Led by Chapter 7760 adviser Jill Boardman, the students received medals to commemorate their excellence in music and exceptional demonstration of the tenets of scholarship, character, leadership and service. The students inducted ranged from sophomores to seniors in the concentrations of Select Chorale, Sinfonietta and Wind Ensemble, and the six officers inducted were Marcus Brodsky, president; Myles Carter, vice president; Heaven Jenkins, treasurer; Marty Scott, secretary; Elijah Zelaya, librarian; and Michael Desir, historian. Each of the inductees briefly spoke about the impact of music in their lives in the form of the assertion, “What music means to me” prior to receiving their medal.

“You all are extraordinarily talented,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham. “I know you talked about the three ‘M’s’, but the three ‘M’s’ that I think of are modest, majestic and magnificent because that’s what all of you are. I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to the finest and a most amazing music department.”

Archer’s Animal Altruism

Archer’s Animal Altruism photo
Students in the Enrichment for Leaders program at Archer Street conducted a pet drive designed to benefit local animal shelters. As part of their efforts, students created posters to promote the drive and made morning announcements to encourage donations, such as food, treats, toys and collars. The drive was a testament to the character education taught at Archer and the latest example of its continuous altruism.

Teacher and Students Earn Invitation to Science Symposium

Teacher and Students Earn Invitation to Science Symposium photo
High school earth science teacher Elodie Bourbon and five of her students have earned the unique opportunity to attend the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic Region Student Research Symposium in Buffalo, New York, on May 4-5. The trip will be fully funded by the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment program.

In order to receive a grant from the Freeport Educational Foundation in December 2017, Bourbon and her students studied the relationship between the surface temperature and the snow on the ground around Freeport High School. The students then sent their data to scientists who are involved in the GLOBE program, and also participated in a webinar with GLOBE program director and University of Toledo professor Kevin Czajkowski.

The students who may be joining Bourbon on the trip to the symposium, where they will present their results, are juniors Kateryn Diaz Valladares, Reina Jimenez Mendez, Jose Maldonado Velasquez, Fernando Hernandez-Cruz and Wilmer Ajiataz Barrios.

The high school’s science department extends its appreciation to the Freeport Educational Foundation for laying the groundwork to make this opportunity possible.

District Makes Live Contact With Astronaut Scott Tingle Aboard the ISS

District Makes Live Contact With Astronaut Scott Tingle Aboard the ISS photo

Freeport became one of only 13 districts nationwide and the only one in Nassau County to provide its students with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to speak directly to an astronaut in space. Following a rigorous selection process by NASA, the district was chosen to make contact through ARISS, the Amateur Radio International Space Station, program.

The Performing Arts Center of the high school, which was transformed into a galaxy of astronomical proportions, was filled with the board of education, administrators, teachers, local elected officials and students eagerly anticipating this unique event. The district prepared for months to be ready for the remarkable opportunity to ask questions of astronaut Scott D. Tingle aboard the International Space Station, which was nearly 250 miles away from Earth and traveling at approximately 17,500 miles per hour.

“When I think about the excitement, curiosity, deep thinking and critical questioning our students have been doing in preparation for this event, I am invigorated,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham. “We have been busily preparing for this awe-inspiring occasion, to provide you [students] with amazing and unforgettable experiences, to provide you with the tools to explore the outer world as well as the inner world, and to inspire you to be all that you can be: explorers, innovators, creators. I can’t wait to see where our next steps will take us.”

With excitement and momentum building, all district students participated in Discovery Days and research projects on space exploration and the International Space Station in order to prepare for this amazing event. Students submitted research-based essays and questions for astronaut Tingle. Ten students were selected from these essays from elementary school through high school to ask their questions.

The students who had been selected to ask astronaut Tingle their questions were Jonavan Figueroa from Archer Street; Johan Romero from Bayview Avenue; Sarah Boco and Giovanni Crisanti from Atkinson; Lesley Fernandez and Adisa Johnson from the high school; Jayden Easy and Brenna Igneri from Dodd; Gabriela Aleman from Giblyn and Ava Smith from New Visions.

The program was comprised of a variety of informative segments including the history of the Freeport Science Astronomy program by Director of Science Dr. Vincent Pereira, who was instrumental in bringing the ARISS program to Freeport, a Discovery Days video, and student essays. Long Island Mobile Amateur Radio Club Vice President Craig Ross presented information on “The Role of the Amateur Radio Operator.”

In conjunction with the amateur radio telebridge network with a ground operator in Italy, contact was made for about 10 minutes with astronaut Tingle as the ISS moved rapidly over the area. Students were fortunate to be able to ask almost 20 questions including the impact of space on immune systems to challenges faced by the astronauts during spacewalks. Astronaut Tingle was impressed with the thoughtful questions and provided detailed answers. It was a thrilling time for everyone in the audience and an experience they will not forget.

“This is close to my dream, I hope to go into things like theoretical physics,” said Adisa Johnson, who asked Tingle about how often the ISS must readjust its trajectory to stay in orbit. “Science [is one of] my favorite subjects hands down, so this is a big deal for me.”

“I’ve always had some love for astronomy and space, so I really put my effort into writing my essay and thinking of the question,” said Jonavan Figueroa, who asked astronaut Tingle what the typical duties of an astronaut are on his/her first day in space. “Having the chance to actually speak to someone on the International Space Station is just really amazing to me.”

The once-in-a-lifetime event is a testament to the district’s commitment to ensuring its students are provided with a sound STEM education and world-class learning opportunities, and stands as a momentous occasion that students will remember forever. Before contact was lost, astronaut Tingle stated he would see the students when he returned to Earth. The district hopes it will be able to meet him in person in the future.

 

Service worthy of recognition

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SCOPE Education Services recognized more than 100 members of the various educational communities across Long Island, who significantly contributed to the field of education and to the school districts they are affiliated with during the SCOPE 17th Annual School District Awards Dinner.

Recognized for their outstanding dedication and contribution to the Freeport School District were Board of Education Vice President Anthony Miller, who received the School Board Service Award; Maria Jordan-Awalom, recipient of the Community Service Award; Michael LaSorsa, recipient of the Teacher Service Award; Lamar Henson and Doug Martines, recognized with the Support Staff Service Award and Renee Crump-Dedmon, who received the Administrator Service Award. 

SCOPE executive director George Duffy and members of SCOPE’s Board of Directors presented the evening’s honored guests with personalized commemorative plaques. He congratulated each worthy recipient and acknowledged them for their dedication and commitment. 

Freeport Public Schools congratulates all the recipients of this year’s awards.

 

Magnificent Musical

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High school students and staff presented their remarkable rendition of the Broadway musical, “The Pajama Game” under the direction of Geraldine LaPenne. Based on the novel, “7 1/2 Cents” by Richard Bissell, the play highlighted the talents of leading cast members — including Hailey Brown as Catherine “Babe” Williams, Gabriel Alvarado as Sid Sorokin, Michael Desir as Vernon Hines, Maya Brown as Gladys Hotchkiss and Myles Carter as Myron Hasler — as well as those working behind the scenes to ensure the presentation of remarkable performances.

Talking with an Astronaut LIVE. IT’S A BLAST!

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Parent University on School Safety and Security

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More than 100 Freeport parents and community residents attended a parent university on school safety and security held prior to the district’s board of education meeting. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham, who facilitated the meeting, was joined on the panel by the board of education, administrators and Freeport Village Police Chief Miguel Bermudez.

“Thank you for being here this evening to have a conversation about the health and safety in our schools and the partnership Freeport Public Schools has with the Village of Freeport Police Department,” said Dr. Kuncham. 

The safety and security of students, staff and visitors has always been the number one priority of the board of education and administration. The district’s security plans and protocols are regularly reviewed and updated as needed. While the specific details of the district’s security plans must remain confidential to maximize their effectiveness in the event of an emergency, an overview of the plans was provided. 

There is a districtwide health and safety committee in addition to the ones at each school. By law, the district must provide their safety plan to the State Education Department for review and approval and the plan must be updated annually. The district is required to hold a minimum of 12 drills including eight fire drills and four lockdown drills. The district currently has 32 security aides and more than 400 strategically located surveillance cameras that monitor both internal and external activity and monitoring stations. The district also has an agreement with the Village of Freeport Police and the Nassau County Police Department enabling them to gain immediate access to the district’s security cameras in real time, in the event of an emergency. Should a school lockdown be needed, it can be activated by the push of a button and it will also activate notification to the police. 

Police chief Miguel Bermudez shared that the Freeport Village Police and the Freeport Public Schools have always had a strong partnership and a shared 

Archer Hosts Career Day

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Students at Archer received special visits from a variety of guest speakers as part of Career Day.

Groups and professionals across several different fields, including medicine, animal care, law enforcement and culinary arts, spoke to the students about their respective careers and the education and training required to be successful. Students asked questions of the visitors, and were encouraged to continue working hard and maximizing their potential.

Dodd’s Amazing ‘Odyssey’

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Dodd math teachers Melissa Carruthers and Annette Jones led their students through impressive performances in the Odyssey of the Mind regional competition. Carruthers’ team searched the galaxy and performed exceptionally at the Hubble Hangout, earning first place, while Jones’ team earned second place for their outstanding mockumentary of Peter Pan. Both teams will be competing at the state competition in Binghamton, New York.

The district congratulates all students and their teachers on their teamwork and skills in the competition.

District’s Award-Winning DECA Team

District’s Award-Winning DECA Team photo
Under the leadership of business and marketing teacher Nela Hawthorne, several students from the high school placed at the New York Distributive Education Clubs of America 58th annual State Career Conference held in Rochester.

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. At the competition, various contests are held that allow students to showcase their knowledge and skills in several specialized areas of business study. DECA develops leaders for careers in these specialized areas.

The students who placed are: Michael Desir and Jordyn Smith, first place in Business Law and Ethics Team Decision Making; Dillion Finch and Jaidiver Morales, second place in Business Law and Ethics Team Decision Making; Jhon Sandoval and Sadiki Skeete, second place in Buying and Merchandising Team Decision Making; Kevin Guerrero-Calderon, top 10 overall in Principles of Business Management and Adminisration; and Marcus Grizzell, top 10 overall in Principles of Finance. In addition, Hawthorne received an Outstanding Service Award for her dedication as the Freeport High School DECA team adviser.

The team will next go on to the International DECA Career Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, April 20-25, 2018.