Oakwood’s Pumpkin Patch Was a Ton of Fun

These lucky eleven native North American squashes found their perfect match.

The Oakwood Primary Center's annual pumpkin hunt was another resounding success. With the sun barely up, the Oakwood staff did the hard work of bringing the pumpkin patch to the students as they strategically placed over 700 pumpkins across Oakwood’s vast back-field.  Once carefully placed, each of the native North American squashes patiently waited for their perfect match to show up. With big smiles on their faces, students from kindergarten through 2nd grade, enjoyed picking their own pumpkins.

Some pumpkins went home to decorate homes while others remained in school for special projects. Teachers integrated math lessons with pumpkin weight and measurement, others used the seeds for counting by ones and ten. Any way you slice it… Oakwood’s Pumpkin Patch is a ton of fun. 

As you can see from the photos, staff, students, and pumpkins all had a wonderful morning.

 Photo Gallery

Stretching Their Bodies, and Their Minds

Yoga instructor Amy Cohen, left, guides students through a series of moves that brought about a relaxing calm.
Silas Wood teacher Michelle Anglisano, with one of her students, focuses on achieving a calm environment.
Focus and balance were crucial to achieving a soothing atmosphere.

As part of their 6th-grade course curriculum, students in Ms. Michelle Anglisano’s class at Silas Wood got to stretch their minds as well as their bodies when in came to studying the culture of India. “In preparation to learn about India, I decided to incorporate a part of Indian culture through Yoga,” said Ms. Anglisano.  “I asked Ms. Amy Cohen, one of my Yoga instructors, who is also a speech pathologist and children's Yoga instructor, to introduce our students to this interesting side of India's culture.”  

While in Ms. Anglisano’s classroom, Yoga instructor Amy guided the students into positions that were either practiced individually or with a partner.  In order for Yoga to be practiced correctly, focus and balance are needed, and the students worked tirelessly for one hour and enjoyed this social, yet relaxing experience. “It was wonderful to observe and participate in such an important piece of India's culture and tradition with our students,” said Ms. Anglisano.  From the quiet, calm energy radiated by the students, it was clear everyone benefited from this unique experience.

New Teachers Find Tremendous Support System in South Huntington

Maplewood’s staff with new teachers, left to right front row: Ms. Elisa Steininger, Ms. Jill Belz, Ms. Melissa Dawes. Back row: Ms. Renee Schumm, Principal Dr. Vito D’Elia, Ms. Elisa Guerriere, and teacher mentor, Ms. Sue Simonds.

The South Huntington Teacher Mentor Program, under the direction of Mr. Robert Cangero, and in collaboration with the South Huntington leadership team, the South Huntington Teachers Center (SHTC), and the South Huntington Teachers Association (SHTA), have mentored many new teachers who have gone on to be our most valuable South Huntington educators.

During both formal and informal meetings, South Huntington’s new teachers work on a wide variety of topics, some of which include district and building procedures, classroom management, and instructional strategies and planning.

“Throughout the year our new teachers meet with their building mentor to discuss various topics related to many areas, including observations and professional development,” said Maplewood Principal Dr. Vito D’Elia.  “As the building principal, I like to attend some of these new teacher meetings to give them an opportunity to ask questions, and for myself, to review building and district goals.”

“The goal of the South Huntington Teacher Mentor Program is to support the success of new personnel,” said Maplewood’s teacher mentor Ms. Sue Simonds. “Every mentor has a core body of knowledge and skills to share with his or her new teachers. It is my goal as a Maplewood Mentor, to play a role in this process by developing a positive relationship in order to foster confidence and support the success of these new teachers.” 

Overtime Win Sends Boys Soccer Deeper into Playoffs

Each face tells it’s own story as an epic battle unfolds in front of the Sachem net. Witman Hernandez (right) and teammates Albert Martinez (3) and Fabrizio Chamorro (7) prevail as Hernandez sends the ball to the back of the net for his second score of the day.
All eyes are on the ball as it finds its way to the back of the net for Witman Hernandez’s (17) first goal on the day.
Walt Whitman junior Michael Lorello (10), a fast and talented midfielder, puts the ball in the back of the net and heads to the sideline to celebrate with his teammates.
Wildcat players thank their fans after the game.

Boys Soccer won their first playoff game in grand fashion before a crowded stadium on Tuesday afternoon. Up against a tough Sachem North team, who equaled the talent, drive, and tenacity of their Wildcat opponents, the game came down to overtime knotted at 3.

“Sachem is a Division 1 playoff team, so we had a quality win today,” said coach John DiGiacomo. “But we could have put a few more in the back of the net, we missed some quality opportunities, so we need to work on that.”

“A lot of teams would have folded after getting equalized and then put back down again,” said coach Brian Karcz. “I give a lot of credit to our guys to find the where-with-all to settle down, and keep pressuring."

Witman Hernandez scored 3 goals on the day, giving him 20 goals on the season, three goals short of the all-time Whitman season record set in 1996, by whom other than coach Brian Karcz. Hernandez scored his 3rd goal of the game off a cross from Jon Consolo with 5:09 left in the first overtime. Michael Lorello tallied his 11th goal of the season off an assist from Albert Martinez. Albert finished with 2 assists. Austin Salas made 4 saves to preserve the win. “I’m proud of our guys today, they showed heart and determination,” said coach DiGiacomo, as he headed off the field to prepare for Whitman’s next opponent.

The Wildcats' record now stands at 13-3-1. They are currently ranked 5th in Suffolk County and 12th in New York State. The 4th seeded Wildcats will now face 5th seeded Ward Melville in the quarterfinals at home on Friday at 2pm. Please come out and support the team. Come down to the turf field after dismissal.

Photo Gallery

Assemblyman Lupinacci Visits Silas Wood

He’s a natural teacher and the 6th graders enjoyed Assemblyman Lupinacci’s presentation.

New York State Assemblyman and South Huntington resident Mr. Chad Lupinacci visited several Silas Wood classes over the course of two days.  He did a presentation about the structure and function of both the Federal and State governments.  His presentation included facts about the various branches of government, the differences between state and federal structures, the roles of each position. 

Mr. Lupinacci delved into his personal role and experiences as a current NYS Assemblyman.  In addition, Mr. Lupinacci also shared some of his South Huntington memories and how his many positive school experiences became very important later in his life.  The students responded with interest and eagerness as he encouraged and fielded many different student questions in each class.  Afterwards, Mr. Lupinacci commented on what a great audience the Silas students were and he also expressed his thanks to the staff for welcoming him into their classes.

Birchwood Safety Patrol Induction

Properly wearing the Safety Patrol sash and badge are important. With a little help from Mom, this student is on her way to a successful year.
Membership in the patrol helps develop leadership qualities and a sense of social obligation. AAA’s Gerri DeSalvo led the students in the official pledge.
Each student was presented with his/her sash and badge by AAA representative Karen Blackburn.

Each day across the nation, thousands of students guide and assist their classmates as they navigate their school halls and playground areas. In an effort to help create and maintain safety, AAA has sponsored the School Safety Patrol Program for more than 80 years. Birchwood Intermediate School fifth-grade students are participating in this exciting program, and it turns out that the Birchwood program is the largest on Long Island and the second largest in the southeast portion of New York State.

The students are selected on the basis of leadership potential and character, reliability, punctuality, ability to follow rules, dependability, interest in traffic safety, good judgment, and respect for classmates.

This year's Safety Patrol officers participated in an induction ceremony that took place on October 23rd. Parents of the Safety Patrol officers were invited to attend the ceremony, which was led by Karen Blackburn and Gerri DeSalvo, representatives from AAA.  Ms. Blackburn, a traffic safety specialist at AAA, has been working with Birchwood’s students for 8 years. “For many of these young students, Safety Patrol is their first job,” said Ms. Blackburn. “Safety, and making good decisions is something we can take with us everywhere in life.”

Congratulations to our Birchwood Safety Patrol students on their prestigious induction. These fine students have distinguished themselves and brought pride and honor to their families. We congratulate our newest Safety Patrol students and look forward to following their success throughout the year:

Ms. Barbaccia’s class:  Bryanna Bardales, Michael Emanuele, William Lemus, Ryan Rynkowski and Johan Sanchez.

Ms. Correll’s class:  Kaylin Alvarez, Gabrielle Bausano, Christian Cornejo, Emily Gorecki, Brianna Morrissey, Neil Palmieri, Marie Saint Charles, Nicky Scala, and Natalie Zarcone.

Ms. DelGiorno and Ms. Maddy’s class:  Gianna Conte, Frankie Doria, Marissa Emanuele, Shain Hanover, Sarah Jacoutot, Luke Kannovos, Gabriella Linares, Esteban Maraboli, Nicholas Mauro, Kate McAuley, Matthew Meberg, Jose Moreno, Mahum Saleem, and Anthony Velasquez.

Mr. Denson and Ms. Patino’s class:  Carla Araujo, Ella Brower, Evelyn Hernandez, Estefani Moradel Munoz, Declan Motherway, Tyler Philips, Luca Rombaldi, Diego Romero, Manuel Sagastizado, Nicholas Saunders, Chris Silverio, and Jullian Vesque.

Ms. Fitzgerald’s class:  Kristina Lineen, Jennifer Manzanares, Kasey McArdle, Jimmy Roldos, Eric Quintilla, and Morgan Wobig.

Mr. Ginsberg’s class:  Mekhi Stevenson, Jeffrey Vilorio Reyes, Christian Lizama, and Tyriek Mays-McCoy.

Ms. Gruttadauria’s class:  Emily Alas, Aaliyah Barrett, Matthew Brown, Katie Donovan, Liam Heather, James Joy, Ruben Reyes Santos, Bryan Saravia, Erin Torres, and Alexandra Wheeler.

Ms. Mearkle and Ms. Nieroda’s class:  Maria Brown, Leonardo Castro, Justin Grillo, Nathan Karpinos, Jack Noble, Danny Rich, Samantha Salazar, and Quinlan Sellars.

Ms. Rabideau’s class:  Adriana DePrisco, Arianna Firouznia, Eudy Furcal, Liam Hill, Violet LeClaire, Juan Mata Flores, Elvin Moreira Castillo, Stephanie Moreno, Jessie Moreno, Rachel Reyes, Briana Sorto, Jamie Suazo, Keisy Valencia, Liam Villanti, and Dylan Vincent.

Mr. Ryan’s class:  Natalie Bausano, James Boccone, Jazmin Cardenas, Owen Connolly, Brandon Ivy, Dylan Koerner, Carly McEntee, Joslyn Moreira, Liam Murphy, Kevin Rankel, and Martin Stone. 

Photo Gallery

Five Guys & PetSmart Delight Vocational Learners

Did anyone say lunch?
PetSmart is always a welcome environment, especially where the pet adoption area is located.

As the College and Career Ready Coach at Walt Whitman High School, Mr. Rob Callahan is always looking for new ways to integrate all of our school community in his quest to introduce students to the real working world. So when he was speaking with Whitman’s Special Education teacher Ms. Angela Cucciniello about her Life Skills Vocational Program that runs the Whitman School store, he was already formulating a plan for them to visit some of our local businesses.

On a day that included some career path exploration along with furthering their socialization skills, a group of Ms. Cucciniello’s students, along with Mr. Callahan visited PetSmart to learn about the various job opportunities they offer. Anyone familiar with that area knows that a hundred yards away, a familiar aroma fills the air, emanating from Five Guys Burgers and Fries. This group of students is accustomed to fulfilling orders and giving change, running their school store, but now it was their turn to place their order and pay. Thank you Five Guys and PetSmart for helping show our students how an efficient operation works.

The Results Are In…

Front row l-r: Sebastian Koch, Pamela Carey, Matthew Crocco, and Christopher Scortichini. Back row l-r: Administrative Dean Mr. Adam Obletz, Co-advisors for Student Council, Ms. Kristen Bernard and Ms. Carol Kelley; and Principal Mr. Stephen Toto.

The Silas Wood Sixth Grade Center is proud to announce the 2014-2015 Student Council Officers as elected by their peers. The President is Sebastian Koch, Vice-President is Pamela Carey, Treasurer is Christopher Scortichini and Secretary is Matthew Crocco. The mission of the Student Council is to serve the students, staff, and families of the South Huntington school district by promoting school spirit and unity and helping others in the community. We are looking forward to many great activities throughout the school year.


When The Lights of Broadway Beckon

To the delight of many students who may be interested in a career in the entertainment industry, the Career Cafe' Program at Walt Whitman hosted entertainer Michelle Mallardi.

On October 22nd, at Walt Whitman High School, entertainer Michelle Mallardi spoke to interested students during the Career Café Series coordinated by Mr. Callahan, the College and Career Ready Coach for Walt Whitman High School.

MICHELLE MALLARDI (Actor, Director, Choreographer, Teacher) has played Belle in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast on Broadway at both the Palace and Lunt-Fontanne Theatres. Other New York credits include Chess, Internal Combustion, and Astronauts, at the Fairbanks Theatre. She also performed live as a soloist at Radio City Music Hall in the Christmas Show and with Liza Minelli. National tours include Les Miserables, Frank Wildhorn’s Jekyll and Hyde, A Chorus Line, and in Europe as Maria in West Side Story.  

As a voice teacher, Michelle is happy to be on faculty in the musical theatre department at CW Post and also teaches from her home on Long Island. She has taught with Joan Lader and Deborah Gibson in NYC workshops and assisted John Carrafa in choreographing the latest revival of Into the Woods.

The purpose of our Career Café Speaker Program is help students learn about possible careers from the people who are in those careers. Our mission is to bring in guest speakers to talk to students about their careers, schooling requirements, job expectations, workplace environment, and lifestyle. While we are actively recruiting speakers to participate, we would greatly appreciate any volunteers.  If you would like to volunteer to be a speaker, please contact Mr. Callahan via email at RCallahan@shufsd.org to arrange for a presentation.

New District Record Set

Gianna Paul (out front early in the race) ran the 800 Meter is a brisk 2:56.5. breaking a 1995 record previously held by Katie Robinson.
The 4x100 Relay can be won or lost with the baton exchange.
The 50 Meter dash is an all-out sprint.
The distance throw combines distance and accuracy.
This young student is flying during the Running Long Jump.

5th graders from Maplewood and Birchwood Schools participated in the annual Track & Field Meet held at Walt Whitman High School this morning.  Today was the rain date from last Thursday’s rain-swept postponed event. All students were encouraged to do their own personal best in the various running or field events.

Photo Gallery

A special recognition goes to one particular student who broke a previous held District record: Gianna Paul, a student at Birchwood ran the 800 Meter is a brisk 2:56.5. breaking a 1995 record previously held by Katie Robinson.

Thank you to all of our physical education teachers who work so hard to make the Track and Field Meet happen!

Congratulations to all the 5th graders for demonstrating great sportsmanship and effort at this meet.  The following students were winners in the following events.

Girls 50 Meter Dash: Carly McIntee, Desiree Alvearez, Sophia Iovino, and Victoria Hocknell.

Boys 50 Meter Dash: Josh Alms, Daniel Muccini, Tyler Phillips, and Ryan Gannon.

Girls 80 Meter: Desiree Alvarez, Ella Brower, and Tahila McCoy.

Boys 80 Meter: Ryan Gannon, Josh Alms, Josh Jaramillo, and Ethan Campos-DiPalma

Girls 800 Meter: *Gianna Paul, Marisa Bobal, Mia Brunetti, and Amelia Kongevold.  *New District Record set

Boys 800 Meter: Luca Rombaldi, Jack Noble, Jack O’Brien, and Michael Phillips.

Girls 4x4 Relay: 1st Place from Birchwood: Ashley Magee, Bernadette Baake, Charlotte O’Harra, and Natalie Zarcone.

Boys 4x4 Relay1st Place from Birchwood: Conor Asma, Daniel DeBruin, Anthony Chiusano, and Kevil Rankel.

Girls Accuracy Throw: Mia Stampfel, Chelsea Carino, Judith Anest and Kasey McArdle.

Boys Accuracy Throw: Ryan Caldwell, Liam Murphy, Jonathan Ward, and Gavin Cooper.

Girls Distance Throw: Rebecca Biekert, Marisa Bobal, Judith Anest, and Natalie Zarcone.

Boys Distance Throw: Tyriek Mays McCoy, John Lupton, Nicholas Bottoni, and Javier Ochoa.

Girls Standing Broad Jump:  Carly McEntee, Sarah Jacoutot, and Gianna Paul.

Boys Standing Broad Jump: Tyriek Mays McCoy, Joe Chandler, Andrew Hernandez, and Johan Sanchez

Girls Running Long Jump: Ella Brower, Amelia Kongevold, and Brianna Barthold.

Boys Running Long Jump:  Richard Ratchford, Armany Alfaro, and Brian Dammer.

Class of 2027 Ushers in a Bright Future

All of the resources of our South Huntington Educational family will continue to help ensure that these youngsters excel in everything they do.
Can you find your kindergartner?

Countrywood Kindergartners, shown with Principal Barbara Kenney (right), Assistant Principal Kellie Njenga (left), and their teachers, were the second and final group of kindergartners to be photographed.

They may not be thinking that far ahead, but South Huntington’s kindergartners represent the Class of 2027 and the photographs will serve as a fun way to track their progress through their years in South Huntington.

6th Graders Pledge During Silas Wood’s Red Ribbon Week

Ms. Jessica Aragones with students who are helping spread the word about the importance of remaining drug free.
Posters from Mrs. Hickey’s Art classes adorn the walls at Silas Wood.

Red Ribbon week is a time to educate students on the dangers of drug use and encourage participation in drug prevention activities. Students at Silas Wood Sixth Grade Center kicked off Red Ribbon Week with the Huntington Youth Bureau. Annie Guthrie and Katie Delargey from the Huntington Youth Bureau played trivia games and spoke with students about the importance of remaining drug free. Students signed a banner pledging to stay drug free and wore red to acknowledge the start of Red Ribbon Week. Students in Ms. Hickey’s Art classes have created posters about why they choose not to do drugs. The posters are displayed throughout the school. Students in Ms. Aragones’ Home and Careers classes wrote about why they choose not to do drugs. These public service announcements are read during the morning announcements.

Be A Wildcat Cheerleader for a Day!


Come Join the Varsity Cheer Team at our Youth Clinic!

Learn how to Cheer, Dance, Tumble and More! At 1:30pm parents are invited to watch their children perform what they have learned!

When: November 8th and/or November 15th

Where: Walt Whitman HS [South Gym]

Times: 10:30am-1:30pm Grades: K-6

Cost: $25 per day or $40 for both days*

[Covers: Snacks, Drinks, Bow & Goodie Bag!]


Registration Due by November 7th, 2014

To register or for additional information see attached Flyer

Any Questions? Contact Coach at traykoch@yahoo.com

Proceeds go to: WWHS Cheerleaders



Congratulations Golf Team

Congratulations to Brandon Gallipoli and Colin O’Hara on earning a spot in the Section XI County Golf Championships to be held in May. Brandon shot 88 and Colin shot a 92 at the Nissequogue Country Club on Monday. Joe Blackall also earned an alternate spot with his 94.

Good luck in May Gentlemen!

Junior Chix Take The Game and Senior Boys Take Halftime

Seniors had the upper hand at the beginning of the game.
Juniors celebrate the winning touchdown.
Senior boys, along with a some girls, celebrate after learning they had won the halftime entertainment competition.
One team of Juniors, huddle to discuss special play.

Besides graduation, the annual fall classic Powder Puff football game has become one of the best-attended events of the year, and from the looks on everyone’s faces, it's easy to see why this classic battle, between senior and junior girls, is so popular. Both sides battled back and forth with the score tied 12-12 at halftime.

The halftime entertainment show was something that you just don’t see every day. While there was, thankfully, no wardrobe malfunctions, just watching our senior and junior boys dressed-up as girls, dancing and prancing while the hundreds of fans and players cheered them on for more, was a sight to behold. The senior boys stole the show, winning the judges favor.

The second half of action on the football field proved as exciting as the first. The junior girls outpaced their older classmates and scored 2 touchdowns in the second half to take the lead.  As time expired the juniors came out on top 24-18. Congratulations Walt Whitman students on a fantastic afternoon!

Photo Gallery

Board of Education Appreciation Night

Students, school administrators and Board of Education members gather for a group photo.
Board Trustee Lisa Brieff.
Board Trustee Linda LaCara accepting for Laura Carey.
Board Trustee Edward Nitkewicz.
Board President Jim Kaden.
Board Trustee Linda LaCara.
Board Trustee Lisa Brieff accepting for Michele DeGaetano.
Board Vice President Nicholas Ciappetta
BOE President Jim Kaden joins Superintendent Dr. Dave Bennardo, in presenting the New York State School Board Association Level 3 Board Mastery Award to Mr. Nicholas Ciappetta, BOE Vice President.
Created by the Long family - one of the clever gifts given to each BOE member by PTA Council President Dom LeClaire and daughters Violet and Milly.

At the last Board of Education meeting, students from Oakwood and Countrywood Primary Centers were on hand to thank the board members for their dedication and commitment to providing a quality education.

Dedicated as Board Appreciation Night, the young students gave each board member a handcrafted present and read a card that talked about all the things they were appreciative of. A special thanks to Oakwood students: Jack David, Mark Tracy, Heather Kowalczyk, and Brianna Verga. And a big thank you to Countrywood students: Tatianna Cote, Abrianna Mandarino, and Samuel Lipson.  PTA Council President Dom LeClaire also made a presentation to each Board member thanking them for their service to the district.

Dr. Bennardo presented the New York State School Board Association Level 3 Board Mastery Award to Mr. Nicholas Ciappetta, BOE Vice President.  To achieve this level of mastery, Mr. Ciappetta accumulated 250 points by attending NYSSBA training seminars and conferences.  Mr. Ciappetta was given a certificate and commemorative padfolio from the NYSSBA in recognition of this honor.

At board meetings, educational and musical presentations are presented, policy discussions take place, and issues are debated in an open forum where residents are given a chance to be heard.  If you haven’t been to a board meeting, you owe it to yourself to attend and participate or just listen and become informed. If you’re already attending board meetings regularly, we thank you for your participation.

Join us at our next meeting Wednesday November 5th at Birchwood Intermediate School on Wolf Hill Road in Melville. Meetings start promptly at 7:30PM

Pizza With The Principal

Left to right: Griffin MacPherson, Principal D’Elia, Natalie Biryla, Kiera Adams, and seated is Paige MacPherson.

One of the ways Maplewood Principal Dr. Vito D’Elia works to increase attendance at PTA meetings is to hold an informal contest where the winner’s child gets to have lunch with the Principal.  Dubbed ‘Pizza with the Principal,’ Dr. D’Elia began this popular program when he first came to Maplewood about nine years ago.

“Parents sign-in at each PTA meeting, at the end of the meeting I randomly call out a number and whose-ever name is on that line wins,” said Dr. D’Elia.  “The winning child gets to invite three friends to lunch and the whole arrangement works great for two reasons,” said Dr. D’Elia. “First, it’s a great way for me to have one-on-one with a few students and get to know them, and second, we are seeing better attendance at our PTA Meetings.”

In September the winner was Maplewood 4th grader Paige MacPherson. Paige got to invite her brother Griffin, a Maplewood 3rd grader, and fellow 4th graders Kiera Adams and Natalie Biryla.

Congratulations to our October winner, Julia Seifried, a 4th grader in Mrs. Brendel's class. 

National Day on Writing @ Stimson

The six-word memoir proved a tough challenge for students in Mr. Karcz’s English class.
A pep talk from the Kid President in Ms. Chapman’s classes posed the question “What if Michael Jordan quit when he got cut from his high school basketball team?”
"What Would Happen Next" if these two characters met? Can only be answered in Ms. Braun’s English Class.
Figurative language exercises are used in Mr. Morris’s classes.
Students in Mr. Kazandjian’s English classes are had at work.
"No man is an island." Led to a spirited conversation in Ms. Smith’s classes.

We’re hearing from Stimson’s English Department Chairperson Ms. Joann Hili-Carbone that teachers and students at Stimson spent this past Monday, October 20th, celebrating a National Day on Writing.

In light of the significance of writing in our national life, to draw attention to the remarkable variety of writing we engage in, and to help writers from all walks of life recognize how important writing is to their lives, the National Council of Teacher of English (NCTE) established October 20 as The National Day on Writing.

“I am having my annual Character Ball,” said Ms. Braun, an English teacher at Stimson.  “Students come in dressed as the main character from the project book they are reading.”  The students had a ball and after a short period of socializing at a "Character Ball," students move into partner-pairs to create "What Would Happen Next" if these 2 characters met?  Students apply knowledge of characterization, setting, conflict, and theme to create this extension activity.

In Mr. Morris’s seventh-grade English classes, students had to pick a place in the community that is important to them and describe it and its importance using figurative language.  Students were then asked to bring in a photo, drawing, menu, etc... from the specified place. This actually lead into The Misfits (the Candy Kitchen hangout of the misfits) reading.

In Mr. Kazandjian’s English classes, students took the phrase: "If Only They Knew" as a theme and explored writing about what that meant to them.

Mr. Visslailli took a slightly different approach for his ESL classes.  “We're writing letters to Congressman Steve Israel and asking him to push for a formal program which allows military veterans to adopt the military dogs they work with in the field, said Mr. Visslailli. “This [idea] is from an article we read on the subject.”

"No man is an island" A quote like that can conger up all kinds of questions and discussions, so students in Ms. Smith’s classes discussed the quote, and from there the conversations let to a discussion about the words: community, unique, contribute, and values.  Then, the students answered a series of short response questions based on their discussion.

Students in Ms. Chapman’s classes got right into action by writing mission statements, with action plans of course, about how they can help to support their community at the grass roots level.  Her honors classes got to post their mission statements on Edmodo. A big part of Ms. Chapman’s “Do Now” for all classes, had her students writing about how "writing is an art to be mastered."

Mr. Karcz had his 7th and 8th grade English classes stretch their minds and create a memoir in only six words.  The six-word memoir proved a tough challenge as student researched words with greater meaning.

A National Day on Writing was a busy and successful day at Stimson as students learned, outside-of-the-box, many fun examples of the significance of writing in their lives.

Boys Soccer Wins League II Title

The Boys Varsity Soccer Team clinched its first League title since 1996 with a 1-0 victory over Bay Shore today. The team's overall record stands at 12-3-1 on the season. Michael Lorello notched the game winner off a cross from Carlos Granados in the 58th minute. The defense led by Blake Aronson, Jose Chavez, Albert Martinez and Sean Zagorski weathered the storm and helped Austin Salas secure 3 saves for the shutout.

Please come out and support the team in their first round playoff game at home on Tuesday, October 28th at 2pm.  Please come down to the turf field right after dismissal.

Anti-Bullying Ambassadors Back From Hofstra

Left to right in Photo: Abdjne Lemaitre, Elizabeth Plaisir, Stacey Auguste, Amani Howard, Alexandra Greaves, Aleczandrya Bergeau, Danerah Pierre, Emmanuella St. Charles and Jimmiesha Rowe.
Reinforcing what middle school students learned took the form of creating posters that brought home their anti-bullying message.
Small workshops and discussion groups enables students to openly share their experiences for others to learn from.

We hear from Ms. Cynthia Quinlan, Walt Whitman’s Advisor for the African American Heritage Club (AAHC) that many of her club members were ambassadors and volunteers at the 2nd Annual Anti-Bullying Campaign at Hofstra Univeristy on Friday, October 17th. The conference was sponsored by Hofstra’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communications, WRHU Radio, The American Academy of Pediatrics, North Shore-LIJ, and Teens For Leadership.

Students helped facilitators guide middle school students, from many of Long Islands’ school districts, through activities and workshops designed to educate and create an increased awareness about bullying.

Congratulations to club members: Danerah Pierre-president, Amani Howard, Alexandra Greaves, Stacey Auguste, Jimmiesha Rowe, Emmanuella St. Charles, Abdjne Lemaitre, Elizabeth Plaisir, and Aleczandrya Bergeau.

Special Seven Inducted Into Hall

Accepting the Hall of Fame Induction for Michael Macari, MD - Class of 1983 Posthumously, was his wife Kim and their 4-year-old son, Miles. Making the award presentation to the Macari’s is HOF committee member Mr. James Metzak.
Genevievette Walker-Lightfoot - Class of 1990, is congratulated by Jacqueline S. Harris, Hall of Fame Chairperson and South Huntington Deputy Superintendent.
HOF committee member, and Walt Whitman High School Assistant Principal Colleen Grady, shares a warm moment with HOF special guest Mr. Pat DeRosa- Class of 1940.
HOF committee member Jennifer DeNoble, left, introduces inductee Jane M. (O’Donnell) Reich - Class of 1978.
Dr. Brenda L. Moore - Class of 1968 thanks the HOF nomination committee and eloquently recalls her experiences growing up in South Huntington.
Left to right: New York State Assemblyman Chad Lupinacci - Class of 1997 is congratulated by Board of Education Vice President Nick Ciappetta and Jacqueline S. Harris.
Retired teacher and Walt Whitman Social Studies Chairperson Ms. Alice D’Addario accepts the induction award for Christopher Cerrone who was unable to attend.
Accepting HOF Induction proclamation for Stephen Axman - Class of 1965, is his brother Doug and his daughter Melissa. South Huntington Athletic Director Dr. Jim Wright makes the introduction and presentation.
Hall of Fame Inductees and Special Guest Mr. Pat DeRosa, participate at the Homecoming football game coin toss.

South Huntington inducted seven distinguished alumni into their Hall of Fame at Saturday’s homecoming celebration.  The day began with a celebration breakfast where inductees were honored with introductory speeches and congratulatory messages. With their families and special guests in attendance, the Whitman Chamber Orchestra, directed by Mr. Frank Yolango performed and attendees were welcomed back home to Walt Whitman High School. “From the outset, I knew this year would be special, but I could have never imagined just how magnificent the day would be,” said Jacqueline S. Harris, Hall of Fame Chairperson and South Huntington Deputy Superintendent.”

Schools Superintendent Dr. Dave Bennardo thanked the inductees for their contributions to the community, and Board of Education President Jim Kaden welcomed the inductees home to South Huntington. The following inductees, in alphabetical order, were honored: Stephen Axman - Class of 1965; Christopher Cerrone - Class of 2002; Chad Lupinacci - Class of 1997; Michael Macari, MD - Class of 1983 – Posthumously; Brenda L. Moore - Class of 1968; Jane M. (O’Donnell) Reich - Class of 1978; and Genevievette Walker-Lightfoot - Class of 1990

“Hearing such accomplished alumni speak proudly of their time in South Huntington, the wonderful foundation laid by the teaching staff, and the success they have achieved since graduation was an inspiring tribute to this school community,” continued Ms. Harris. “It was such a pleasure to have Mr. Pat DeRosa, Class of 1940, join us this year for a special acknowledgement celebrating his incredibly full life.”

Mr. DeRosa, who turns 93 in December, joined his daughter and granddaughter in performing several musical numbers to the delight of the audience. Closing the breakfast celebration was the award-winning Whitman Chorale, Directed by Mr. Steven Altinel.  After their breakfast feast, the Hall of Fame inductees were escorted onto the football field for an official induction ceremony conducted by Superintendent Bennardo, and then boarded a special float for the homecoming parade. Greeting the new Hall of Fame members at the end of the parade was a fully catered tailgate party to properly prepare for the upcoming football game.

Thank you, Moe’s Southwest Grill, and Brio’s Tuscan Grill for the incredible array of food. Thanks also to our Wildcat Booster Club for manning the grills, satisfying the hungry attendees. The new HOF inductees were presented with proclamations from U.S. Congressman Steve Israel and Suffolk Legislator Steve Stern. Suffolk Legislator Louis D’Amaro and Huntington Councilwomen Ms. Susan Berland were on hand to personally award proclamations to the inductees as well.

As the 4th biennial Hall of Fame came to a close, Hall of Fame Chairperson Jacqueline Harris and the Hall of Fame Committee would like to thank the South Huntington community and the many Journal advertisers who so graciously supported the 2014 Hall of Fame celebration.

Photo Gallery


Stimson Wildcats Finishing Strong

Catch him if you can…Jackson Zaiff (40) is off on a nice gain to put his team in scoring position.
A touchdown run by Danny Beltran (3) put the Wildcats up early.
Quarterback Mike Aloisi (12) has an accurate arm but can scramble when he needs to.
Greg Borysowski (89) is off on a big gain after a catch from QB Aloisi that will set up a touchdown.
Quinn O'Hara (2), a solid quarterback, can also get his team out of trouble as an excellent punter.
Ryan Muccinni (82) with 18 seconds left in the game brings in a pass and goes on to score.

Coaches Steve Barbosa and Robin Naggar are pleased to report that the Stimson Wildcat Football team rallied late to come back and tie West Hollow 18-18 this past Friday.  In the prelude to Homecoming weekend, the Wildcats showed much poise and vigor by racing out to a 12-0 lead early in the second quarter behind a touchdown run by Danny Beltran and a beautiful pass and catch from the combination of Mike Aloisi to Greg Borysowski. 

West Hollow did not fold though and rallied. They even took an 18-12 lead early in the infamous 5th quarter.  The Wildcats were burned by a controversial lost fumble at the West Hollow 5-yard line.  After forcing a punt, the Wildcats took possession at their own 40-yard line with 1:30 left in the game. 

Quinn O'Hara led a 7-play drive that concluded with a 4th down touchdown pass to Ryan Muccinni with 18 seconds left in the game.  West Hollow stopped the conversion attempt and the defense held on the final two plays of the game resulting in the tie. 

The Wildcats take their 2-0-1 record on the road and face Elwood M.S. on Friday, October 24 at 4PM. Come out and support the team at their last home game, Thursday, October 30, at Walt Whitman’s Turf Field at 4PM.

Photo Gallery

Whitman Captures Division Championship

Whitman’s Josh Roiland is positioned for a great finish, with teammate Shamar Powell right behind him.
The seven qualifiers catch their breath with coach Rob Conroy.

Led by senior Chad Maier, Walt Whitman’s Boys Cross Country team has once again captured the Division II Trophy. The 5K race was held today, Tuesday, October 21st at Sunken Meadow. Chad finished with a time of 16:57 and was closely followed up by several more Whitman runners. Congratulations to coach Rob Conroy and to our seven qualifiers who brought the first place trophy home.

Boys Volleyball Digs In

Matt Dougherty (maroon jersey) had 5 digs and 4 aces in the recent win against West Babylon.
Whitman senior Collin Donovan (7) had 17 digs in Monday’s win.
Junior Matt Stockfeder is having a solid season at the net.
Joe Esposito (33) continues to distribute the ball effectively.

Walt Whitman’s Boys Varsity Volleyball beat West Babylon 3-0 on Monday night with scores of 25-9, 25-9, 25-13.  Congratulations to the team as they keep pushing toward a playoff berth. In Monday's win, Matt Dougherty had 5 digs and 4 aces, and Collin Donovan had 17 digs.

Come out and support the boys at their final home match next Wednesday, October 29th at 6PM when they faceoff against Hills. 

Homecoming Parade Highlights

American Legion Post 1244 led the parade with the Color Guard, followed by the Walt Whitman Marching Band.
South Huntington Hall of Fame Honorees, fresh off their induction ceremony on the turf field, acknowledge the crowds that lined Jericho Turnpike and the neighboring streets surrounding the Whitman campus.
The Stimson Marching Band always exhibits a genuine sense of pride and unity throughout our wonderful community.
Walt Whitman senior class members who marched with their float, included Principal Kathie Acker and Class Advisor Diane Zamow.
South Huntington’s Primary Centers and Intermediate Schools love a great parade, especially one that briefly closes down Jericho Turnpike.

From Dr. Bennardo:

Thank you to all of the students, staff, parents, school district and community groups that participated in this weekend’s beautiful Homecoming celebration.  The Hall of Fame dedication, parade, and ballgame activities generated a genuine sense of pride and unity throughout our wonderful community.  There was something special about seeing the members of our South Huntington family marching down the center of Jericho Turnpike as a sea of Wildcat “maroon and white” filled the streets. 

Our varsity dancers, cheerleaders, marching band, class floats, clubs, and athletes were joined by Hall of Fame inductees, the local scouts, teams, elected officials, advocacy organizations, police, and fire departments for a day of true South Huntington spirit.  We are truly blessed to live, work, and learn in such a special community, and the days ahead promise great things for our South Huntington family.

Photo Gallery

And the winner is….. Mary Beth Kraese!

Whitman Principal Kathie Acker gives a gratulatory hug to the winner of a 2015 Toyota Corolla, Mary Beth Kraese.
Left to right: Booster Club President Christine Dickson, Raffle winner Mary Beth Kraese, and Huntington Toyota General Manager Thabiti Lee celebrate with the help of the Wildcat Cheerleaders.
Booster Club President, Christine Dickson (right) with Huntington Toyota General Manager Thabiti Lee (left), are surround by Wildcat Cheerleaders before the winning ticket is pulled.

The Booster Club Homecoming Raffle was a big success and the crowd at the end of the 3rd quarter of the Homecoming football game waited with bated-breath as the winning ticket was drawn. And the winning ticket belonged to a Mary Beth Kraese. The Kraese family is a big supporter of the district and you can find Mary Beth at many events. The Booster Club President, Christine Dickson, would like to thank the South Huntington community for their tremendous support of the Homecoming raffle.

Prizes included:

1st Prize: 2-year lease on a 2015 Toyota Corolla LE with maintenance

2nd Prize: 4 Jets tickets in a suite

3rd Prize : 4 Giants tickets in a suite

Champions Reunite


The 1984 Walt Whitman Championship Football team members are celebrated at half time on the turf field. The 1984 team was the Suffolk County Division 1 Champions having defeated Sachem 17–24 in final. Members in attendance include: Rich Spadaro, Joe Grella, Pete Hansen, Kurt Lemke, Brian Long, Sean McAuley, Mike McGinley, Chris Montanaro, Kirt Murphy, Anthony Milano, Brian McEntee, Jack DeWitt, Steve Donnelly, Tony Aguidio, and Chris Cammer. 


Best in Suffolk Celebrate 40 Years Later

Halftime recognition for the 1974 Football Championship team.
A message for all to remember is easy with a Booster Club field sign.

The Rutgers Trophy is presented by the Rutgers Club of Long Island to the season's outstanding football team in Suffolk County. Walt Whitman High School was the 1974 Suffolk County Conference AAA Champions defeating Huntington 32-30 in final. The 1974 Rutgers Trophy Championship Football team was part of the South Huntington Homecoming celebrations this past weekend as members gathered to relive their glory days and catch up with team members.

Congratulations to: Jim Dietrich, Tommy Smith, Glen Thourborne, Dave Loehle, Dave Lasek, Rich Thompson, Robert L Meissner, John Walsh, Mike Heiser, Tom Livingston, Marty Riccio, George Melillo, Gerry Farrell, Coach Triolo, Coach Mangerotti, Rob Stanco, Mike Bussey, Eric Fisher, Arty Phalen, Coach Cariddi, Eddie Hill, Bob Albino, Rich Landress, Ed Steitzle, Mark Lepera, and Denise Buzzy Engle.

Green & Gold Go For The Win

Revisiting their glory days, our gridiron greats prepare to battle, all for raising important funds for student programs at Maplewood.
A ticket to the big game, check. A night out with friends screaming support for our favorite teachers, check. Helping to support great programs for our 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders, priceless!
Special thanks to our Maplewood PTA for sponsoring this wonderful activity and to all of the dedicated fans who attended the game.

Special thanks to all of the teachers and staff members who participated in Friday night’s Maplewood Green and Gold Bowl.  This special tradition generates tremendous spirit, while raising important funds for student programs.  Special thanks to our Maplewood PTA for sponsoring this wonderful activity and to all of the dedicated fans who attended the game. The final score was 28-28 and clearly, everyone won, especially the students at Maplewood.

The Maplewood Green Team:  Mr. Fauci, Dr. Centamore, Mr. Slovak, Ms. Vitale, Mrs. Dawes, Mr. O’Connor, Mrs. Isaacson, Mrs. Trapani, and Mrs. Guerriere.

The Maplewood Gold Team:  Dr. D’Elia, Mr. Winters, Mr. Cardella, Mr. Dwyer, Mr. Schmidt, Mrs. Schumm, Mrs. Belz, Mrs. Whittall, Ms. Carron, and Mrs. Gross.

Photo Gallery

Gymnastics Team Honors Former Coach


The Walt Whitman Girls Varsity Gymnastics Team attended the "Long Island Pancreatic Cancer Research Walk" on Sunday, October 12th at Jones Beach in honor and memory of former Gymnastics coach Mr. James Barish. The walk raised more than $1,300,000 and attracted over 8,000 supporters.

Way to go girls!

Congratulations Girls Volleyball!

The Varsity Girls volleyball team set the pace for a great night in the North Gym.

On Wednesday evening, October 15, the Junior Varsity and Varsity Girls volleyball teams played their volleyball games to raise money for their annual Dig Pink breast cancer fundraiser. The girls transformed the North gym into a sea of pink, sold T-shirts, bracelets, and conducted a 50/50 raffle.  We hear that the 50/50 raffle winner, a dad from HHH East, gave back his winnings and donated the money!

Dig Pink® is The Side-Out Foundation’s trademark name for its fundraising events in the sport of Volleyball. To learn more about Dig Pink go to: http://www.side-out.org.

The Whitman team worked hard to fundraise for the event. Congratulations Girls!



Walt Whitman’s Boys Cross Country team ran themselves right into another League III Championship on Wednesday at Sunken Meadow State Park. There are always a couple schools with a couple great runners, but what makes the Wildcats and their coach Rob Conroy so successful, year in and year out, is the shear number of really good runners.  A quick scroll down the various events, as posted by Just-In-time Racing, shows just how consistent the Whitman Cross Country program places runners in top positions.

Next up are the Section XI Division Championships on October 21st, the Suffolk Frosh/Soph Championships on October 24th and the New York Section XI State Qualifier on October 31st.

Congratulations: Christopher BIAS, Thomas BLACKALL, Jonathan BRIGATI, Zachary BRUNO, Steven CIRAVOLO, John CREERON, Christopher DYBUS, Jonathan EICHNER, Connor GALVIN, Michael GIARRIZZO, Alec GONZALEZ, Matthew HARRIGAN, Mark HUSTEDT, Jonathan JULIANO, Jacob KAHRS, Jack KARMEN, Zachary LELLA, Graham LUNT, Brett MAIER, Chad MAIER, Tyler MALONE, Andrew MARTIN, Ryan MC ALLISTER, Ryan MC QUADE, Joseph MENDOZA, Michael MORCK, Benjamin NACE, Michael NAUGHTON, Shamar POWELL, Dylan RACANIELLO, Joshua ROILAND, Brett SCHANKIN, Raj SHAH, Aiden SMITH, Sean SMITH, Jonathan SPARLING, Perry TRIPI, Jonathan VITAL and Jack WROBEL.

Randy Pawlyk... Whitman’s Secret Weapon

“Randy is very sharp in sports and in life. He doesn’t miss a thing.” Coach Tom Fitzpatrick.
When Kieran Elmore is home for a visit, he knows exactly where to find Randy.
Randy, with Jaron Batts before a recent football game.
Randy, with coach Mike Moccia at last Spring’s Gold Key - Sports Hall of Fame Dinner.
Randy, with Rose Pedretti after a basketball game last season.
Danielle Muller- Walt Whitman Class of ’03 was inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame last year and spent some time catching up with Randy at the Gold Key - Sports Hall of Fame Dinner.

You see him at almost every football, basketball, and lacrosse game, and practice too, no matter what the weather. Rain, snow, sleet, hail, he’s out there, bundled against the elements.  Randy Pawlyk, at 32 years of age, has learned to endure more than most of us will ever have to. Randy was born with cerebral palsy and has spent his life in a wheelchair. When you first meet Randy, you might be a little nervous. “When I first met Randy in 2001, I had some difficulty communicating with him,” said South Huntington Athletic Director Dr. Jim Wright. “But it didn’t take him long to make me feel comfortable, and we quickly developed a great relationship. He made it so I stopped looking at the wheelchair and focused on him.” 

“I didn’t know who Randy was at first,” said senior Jaron Batts, Whitman’s outstanding three-sport athlete. “When I was a sophomore, I looked up to our quarterback, Mitchell Bermudez, and saw that he was always spending time with Randy, so I thought that Randy must be a good guy. So I started talking and hanging out with Randy as well.”  

Once you spend time with Randy, it doesn’t take long to see that he is a special guy, and when it comes to sports, a very smart guy as well. He’s quick to point out a moment of laziness, and he’s just as quick to compliment a great play. “No matter what the score, whenever I came off the football field, Randy was there, telling me to keep my head up and never quit,” said Jaron. “It could be bitter cold out at practice, and there he is, and you say to yourself, Randy’s here; I have no excuse to not get out there and give my best.” 

Kieran Elmore knows what Randy brings to Whitman’s teams. “I miss Randy a lot,” said the offensive lineman, now in his sophomore year playing for the Bryant Bulldogs. “Whenever I came over to him from the playing field, he knew exactly what to say, and he was always right,” said Kieran. “I always incorporated the advice Randy gave me into my game because seeing how hard he works to get here everyday and the positive comments he always had for me made me a better player.” When Kieran recovered a fumble against Hills West, Randy’s old high school, and ran it in for a touchdown, the very first thing Kieran did was run the ball to the sideline to give to Randy. 

Kieran is one of many young men who learn from their previous Whitman classmates and pay it forward to the next group. “I saw what Randy meant to our team through Myles Jones and then, when it was my turn, I could see Jaron Batts was ready to run with it,” said Kieran. The relationship Randy shares with Whitman’s athletic teams works both ways. Randy is a tough guy and yet there are days when he experiences painful discomfort as well as disappointment, so when the teams rally around him at the beginning for each game and when they share big wins with him in the center of the celebration, it provides Randy with a source of comfort and joy that no medications could come close to replicating. “A kid who doesn’t talk to Randy, who doesn’t help him with his drink, or put his parka on when it’s raining out, doesn’t get it,” said Wright.

Randy works well with Whitman’s coaches and helps push our athletes, imploring them not to take anything for granted. “Randy looks at life a little differently than most,” said Varsity Head Football Coach Robin Rosa. “He doesn’t look at what’s wrong; he looks at all that is great with life and admires the kids and how they play the sport.” 

For Varsity Basketball Coach Tom “Coach Fitz” Fitzpatrick, Randy is a fixture at Whitman’s games and practices. “I’ve known Randy for a good 20 years, even back to when he was a student here at Stimson.  I’m now entering my sixteenth year coaching Whitman basketball, and I can honestly say he always has a smile and is an inspiration to myself, my coaching staff, and the team,” said Coach Fitz. “Randy is very sharp in sports and in life. He doesn’t miss a thing.” 

Whitman’s Varsity Lacrosse Coach Bob Howell loves what Randy brings to his team. “Randy is a very special young man. He is so positive and inspirational for the players,” said Howell. “He speaks to them in the locker room, and they listen and respect him.” The leaders in any sport, boys or girls, always seem to gravitate to Randy because they respect him as a member of their team family and what he adds to the mix. “Randy is a true leader in his own right,” said Howell. “Kids with leadership qualities recognize that.”

Varsity basketball player Rose Pedretti appreciates the support both she and the Lady Wildcats get from Randy. “When I see him on the sidelines, I know it’s not easy for him to get here, and when he does, he helps inspire the whole team to play better,” said Rose.  “There are things we all take for granted, and to get to know Randy and know his story with his high school friend David Kleet, it really opened my world.” 

After his parents moved, Randy went to high school in the Half Hollow Hills School District, and for years made his presence known on the athletic fields, dreaming of what it would feel like to run.  Randy met David Kleet, a Hills West student athlete, in 1997. David at first thought he had little in common with Randy. “My circle of friends were typically athletes, which obviously did not include Randy,” wrote David in a 2001 letter. “Later, I could come to understand what I was missing.” David and Randy became friends when Randy was appointed football team manager.  But it was a speech Randy gave before the first game of David’s senior year that made all the difference. Having suffered an ankle injury, David was feeling a little sorry for himself, something Randy’s speech in the locker room would all but fix in a few short moments. “Meeting Randy has been a turning point in my life,” Kleet went on to write. “He has taught me so much about courage, determination, spirit, and overcoming adversity. That individual I was reluctant to interact with 3 years ago has become somewhat of a hero for me. His example has helped me to become a more mature, understanding, and better person.” 

After graduating from high school, and for reasons unknown to most, Hills West decided Randy’s presence on the sideline was no longer welcome, and it wasn’t long before Randy’s athletic contacts landed him courtside at Walt Whitman High School. The inclusive culture at Whitman is unlike many school districts on the Island. Over the years and after hundreds of interviews, students have pointed out that it is precisely that diversity that makes the Whitman experience so real and so true. Whether it’s students with special needs or students of our minority population, respect and a true sense of a school community is a guiding principle. 

Each year, student athletes welcome Randy into their confidence. These students know about compassion, and they are leaders, many of whom come back to Whitman each year as alumni. When they do, their first stop is to visit with Randy. They know that the moments they spend with him are as priceless as the smile on his face when they leave. 

So if you see Randy tooling around one of Whitman’s sports events, there is no need to be nervous. Come up and say hello! Randy is smart, friendly, and the best inspirational and motivational volunteer coach any high school could ever want.

Stimson Teachers in the Pink


October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Stimson teachers and staff rallied their support to help provide mammograms, education, and support services to women in need. This annual campaign, to increase awareness of the disease, has made a lot of progress but still has a long way to go and needs your help! “While most people are aware of breast cancer, many forget to take the steps to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages and encourage others to do the same.” Says the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) on their website: http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org

NBCF’s mission is to save lives through early detection and to provide mammograms for those in need. This mission includes increasing awareness through education, providing diagnostic breast care services for those in need, and providing nurturing support services. 

The Sweet Sound of Success

The Oakwood Singers illuminated the room at last Wednesday's Board of Education’s public meeting.

Where do our award-winning choral groups at Walt Whitman High School get their start? Is it with the very talented Stimson Middle School Show Stoppers, directed by Ms. Terri Haas or Ms. Orlando’s eighth-grade chorus? Perhaps it's with Ms. Vanessa Riva’s sixth-grade chorus at Silas Wood. Or maybe it's with our fifth graders, led by Mr. Paul Kosak at Birchwood and Ms. Vanessa Melillo at Maplewood, who have no trouble finding dedicated students eager to practice before their school day begins.

The further back we look, the more it becomes clear that as early as kindergarten, our students are immersed in music as a part of their education. Our community has the pleasure many times over the course of the school year to hear Mr. Adam Slawitsky's students at Countrywood perform; their holiday concert at our December Board of Education meeting is always eagerly anticipated.

Over at Oakwood Primary Center, music teacher Ms. Luellia Pinelli has created a choral culture that is second to none. Oakwood’s dual-language second graders were the featured entertainment at past Long Island Teachers’ Institute conferences, and Oakwood’s various singing groups perform regularly for several senior groups in our community. But there is nothing like the voices of primary school children to bring smiles to the faces of audiences from every walk of life. The Oakwood Singers illuminated the room at last Wednesday's Board of Education’s public meeting. We join in thanking our district's youngest musicians for reminding us just how special our South Huntington community can be.

The Oakwood singers, under the direction of Ms. Luellia Pinelli include: Alexandra Schindler, Kyle King, Zachary Gluckstal, Brandon Reader, Anna Isernia, Katelyn Roberts, Morgan Franz, Shayleen Michel, Ciara Coleman, Grace Blaney, Erin Conlon, Ivelysse Rodriguez, Jennifer Portillo, Katherine Nodell, Dylan Reader, Christian Ortez, Leah Petronella, Christian Umana Benitez, David Escobar Henriquez, Joseline Moreno, Kimberly Rivas Carballo, Georgette Athanassiou, Christofer Bonilla, Tyler Francisco, Angelin Fuentes, Annelisa Boise, Reilly McKinley, Heather Kowalczyk, Ashley Ervolino, Chris Flores, Eva Moreno, Jake Schwantner, Ethan Jacoutot, Eva Blaney, Luca Cioffi, Marissa DeWitt, Sienna Gresser, Sean Haritonides, and Harpreet Rattu.


Oakwood Second Graders Off to a Super Start



With the summer now well behind us, Oakwood’s second grade teachers are already taking on the changes, challenges, and rewards that a new school year always brings. Teachers began by organizing and decorating classrooms, settling old friends into new positions, and sharing the wonderful ways they relaxed over the summer vacation.

Our second grade teachers spent quite a bit of time becoming familiar with the newly acquired Foundations phonics and handwriting program and RTI model of intervention, as well as, welcoming the many new faces that now comprise their new 2014-14 class families.

Students began with a few quick tours throughout the building; the newly arrived students fell quickly into the routines of the classrooms and were thrilled to know they were finally the big kids on the block. Along with the many responsibilities they now had as role models, they found out they would get ‘grown up’ agenda books where they would copy their homework assignments, finally be in the school Sing-along’s, and be voted in as student reps by their peers.

It was only the first week or two of school, but as you walked by various rooms, the second graders could be heard chanting the alphabet and tapping out their sounds led by the Fundations owl; Echo. They were writing and carrying out classroom rules, reviewing various school, lunchroom, and snack policies, and thumbing their way through handwriting, health, and vocabulary booklets.

Student preparation for curriculum night included: all about me projects, self and family portraits, and welcome notes and journal entries left upon their desks for eager parents to see.  This exciting evening was certainly a success with its wonderful turnout of interested parents.  It gave teachers the opportunity to share with those eager moms and dads what their classrooms are like and what lies ahead for their second graders.

And so it begins… another year packed with new opportunities for learning, watching students grow both socially and academically, observing the blossoming of individual learning styles, creating and implementing instruction for every learner, and instilling a sense of pride and success in all of our students.

As always, we look forward to working with our PTA and reaching out to all of our classroom families by asking that we all work together to make each child’s second grade experience a wonderful one!

Floating Classroom Thrills Whitman Marine Biology Students

With their eyes closed, most of the Marine Biology students from Walt Whitman enjoyed guessing what creature was in their hand.
Surprise! Long Island is full of Spider Crabs.
Good thing these guys have their own environment.
Low tide on a sand bank in the Peconic Bay provides a perfect opportunity to get out and see first hand Long Island’s unique Marine Eco-System.
Another one of the fantastic marine environments that allow you to get up close with the undersea world.

In late September 49 Marine Biology students from Walt Whitman set sail for a 2-hour tour. They wanted to experience Long Island’s marine life first hand.  Students arrived at The Long Island Aquarium promptly at 9am and were greeted by playful seals swimming in their outdoor enclosure. 

Students then embarked onto the Atlantis Explorer Boat and traveled out into Peconic Bay... viewing and leaning about the wildlife that resides there. The Atlantis Explorer is a unique “floating classroom,” and a fascinating way to discover the ecological wonders of Long Island’s waterways.

The students got to play the "Fear Factor Game" trying to guess what was put into their hands.  The boat spent two hours sampling the water for temperature, purity, and salinity, pulling up crab traps and then beached on a salt marsh where the student got to seine for small animals, wade into the bay, and dig and catch fiddler crabs! 

After the boat tour, students then got to explore the entire aquarium, visiting all the exhibits; the Coral Reef Tank, the Amazon Tank, the Shark Tank, and the sea horses where all big hits!!  The playful sea lions and the ever-hungry sting rays where also favorites of the students.

If you would like to learn more about our local aquatic systems, visit the Long Island Aquarium at http://www.longislandaquarium.com


Marching Bands Rock Whitman

The Senior Ceremony of Flowers is always a highlight of the home show festivities.
Schools Superintendent Dr. Dave Bennardo congratulates the Whitman Marching Band Drum Majors and Color Guard Captains.
Overall winner Arlington High School gets congratulated by NY State Assemblyman Chad Lupinacci.
The Walt Whitman High School Wildcats performing their 2014 season show titled “Joy” under the direction of Dennis Pettas and Caitlin Cumatos, Band Co-Directors; and Allan Deitz, the Wildcats Marching Band Coordinator.

The Walt Whitman Marching Band hosted their annual Home Show on a beautiful late September evening. Eleven bands performed to a sell-out crowd with the band from Arlington High School, in LaGrangeville, NY taking home the top score of 86.85.

As hosts, the Whitman Marching Band is not an official competitor, but for many in the audience, their performance was second to none. 

Scoring for the evening was as follows:

Small School 3 Category: Garden City-66.35;

Small School 3 Category: Division Avenue-68.90;

Large School 3 Category: Suffern 62.60;

Large School 3 Category: Huntington 79.70;

Large School 3 Category: Whitman 74.40;

Large School 3 Category: Sachem 76.10;

Small School 2 Category: Malverne 75.95;

Small School 2 Category: Mineola 77.80;

Large School 2 Category: Kingston, NY  77.55.

National Category: Brentwood 82.30;

National Category: Arlington (NY) 86.85.


Photo Gallery

Congratulations Walt Whitman Marching Band, and especially all of the parents and volunteers who put in countless hours, helping to ensure a fun and smoothly run event. 

The Band Parent Association Executive Board would also like to thank the chairpersons and all volunteers in the following committees:

Norman Shaiman/ Christine Eaches - Food

Show Announcer,- Jim Pelusp

Anthony Sansotta - Record breaking 50/50

Betty Hibler- Host Hostess

Jenn Cusumano- Admissions

Darren Sherland-  Food Ticket Sales

Sharon White- Raffle Baskets

Michele Reilly - Grand Prize Vacation

Show Logistics- Donna Dukes

Money Manager- Geraldine Clark

Show Tabulator- Robert Grey

Show Hospitality- Janet Lo

Journal Ad Sales - Caroline Butterfield 

A Big Thank you to: Alumni Parents, Assemblyman Chad Lupinacci, Dr. Bennardo- Superintendent of Schools, The South Huntington BOE, Stimson/ Whitman Administration, BOCES Culinary- Hospitality Students, Security, and the South Huntington Grounds & Facilities staff.

A special thanks to: Starbucks Coffee, Arlene Stone Cotton Candy, Juniors Pizza, White Post Farms, all the visiting and participating marching band.

A Deeper Understanding Comes To Life

Silas Wood teacher Michelle Anglisano works with a student who is choosing a painting from the Chauvet Cave to recreate.
By blowing the paint through a straw, student’s hands create a stencil, similar to what the cave people in Southern France created.
The O’Dell Module units lay out an inquiry process using the latest technology mixed with a hands-on experience that gives our students a deeper understanding of the subject matter.
Working in small teams, students share ideas as they experience creating their own pre-historic art.

Michelle Anglisano’s 6th grade classes have started studying pre-historic art using the O'Dell Module. The O’Dell Module units lay out an inquiry process through which students learn how to deepen their understanding of topics.

“Our students have been observing the beautiful cave art from the Chauvet Cave, located in southern France,” said Ms. Anglisano.  “The students are also reading an article titled; Hands Across Time.  This article discusses hand stencil art, so we wanted the classes to have the opportunity to get a tactile and kinesthetic experience by creating their own pre-historic art.”

Two of Ms. Anglisano’s classes made their own paint by grinding colored chalk into a fine powder and added a little water. By blowing the paint through a straw, they shot the paint, while aiming it at the outside of their hand, onto a crumpled up piece of a brown paper bag. Their hands were placed on the paper bag creating a stencil. This entire process was similar to what the cave people did as their prehistoric hand stencil art.

Another one of Ms. Anglisano’s classes created a different version of the art found in the Chauvet Cave. These students used chalk and charcoal as their medium. The students, working in small groups or individually, chose their favorite picture from the cave paintings and then copied their own rendition of what they saw. The chosen cave painting the students were recreating, was drawn on a piece of paper with a sandy surface.

“Our students' work will be displayed as part of our classroom door which is going to be transformed into a Prehistoric cave entrance very soon,” said Ms. Anglisano “Thank you to all the assistant teachers and my student teacher for the awesome help they gave our students.”


Seizing The Moment


Walt Whitman Grad Greg Farrell, Class of 2003, was in Huntington recently at a book signing for his new book: On The Books: A Graphic Tale of Working Woes at NYC's Strand Bookstore.

A David and goliath story, On The Books is the first-hand comic strip account of the labor struggle at NYC’s legendary Strand bookstore in the summer of 2012. Told by Greg Farrell—an employee of the store who interviewed numerous other members of the staff—the book examines the motives and actions of those involved, including the store, the staff, the union local, and the people of New York City, as understood by the author.

Through interstitial comic portraits, Farrell gives voice to his comrades, who often share a nuance of the story that would have otherwise gone overlooked, and provide a depth of opinion and fairness to accompany Farrell’s often very personal interpretation of events. In its ten short chapters the book explores at once the inner workings of our national retail environment, the inner struggle to exist within it as a young working person, the current state of the book trade, and what happens when that no longer seems possible.

Congratulations Greg, You make Walt Whitman and South Huntington Proud!


PTA Reflections Open for Entries

The theme for this year’s PTA Reflections Program is “The world would be a better place if…”

If you are interested in entering your work in Visual Arts, Literature, Photography, Music, Film Video Production or Dance Choreography, the time is now to ask your teacher or stop by the Main Office and pick up an application request form.

The deadline for actual entries to be submitted is Monday, November 3rd. 


September Athletes of the Month

Whitman Principal Kathie Acker congratulates her two outstanding athletes for September.

Christina McFelia started the Field Hockey season on a hot streak. In early September she was one of the top scorers on Long Island, and has now settled in to the middle of the top-scoring group as the Lady Wildcats go up against the top teams in Suffolk’s Division I. When Christina is not attacking the goal with her hockey stick, she can be found in the award winning Wind Ensemble with a flute in her hand. She is active in the Girls Leaders Organization, as well as the National- World Language- English- and TriM Honor Societies. It’s college decision time for Christina, she may be leaning towards a business major, but where that will be is still up in the air.

Whitman senior Tariq Soliman, a right–handed, 6’1” outside hitter, set a League single game record of 30 kills in September and has helped keep his Wildcat Volleyball team in good standing in League I play. Tariq also plays for the Long Island Volleyball 17-Year old regional club, and if the fit is right, may want to continue his volleyball career in college next fall. Tariq is a member of the National Honor Society and has an interest in pursuing Law in college. Currently NYU seems to be a good fit for Tariq, so we will need to stay tuned for his decision.  Tariq fits in well at Whitman, thoroughly enjoying his teachers and the rich diversity of the Whitman student base.

Congratulations Christina McFelia and Tariq Soliman, Walt Whitman’s September Athletes of the Month.


Fall 2014 Adult Education Course Offerings


Adult Education Registration Open! 

Sign Up Today for our Adult and Continuing Education Courses.

Download course booklet below.



Upraised Math K-8

Our school community now offers Upraised Math, a resource to help families help their child(ren) succeed in math this year. Families can use Upraised Math to be informed about what your child is learning each week in grades K-8, understand today’s new teaching strategies and get tips to help with homework.  You can also access high quality resources online, including videos, practice activities, and games. Click here to access Upraised Math. 

Drowsy Chaperone Packs the PAC


Audiences simply loved The Drowsy Chaperone. The musical, performed by the incredibly talented cast of The Long Island Musical Theatre Festival, had two performances this past weekend at Walt Whitman’s Performing Arts Center.  The play opens with the houselights down, the narrator, Man in Chair, sitting on a darkened stage, greets the audience. He is a fan of vintage musicals and decides to cheer things up by playing a record of the original cast recording of a (fictional) Broadway musical entitled The Drowsy Chaperone.

No sooner has the needle touched the record, the audience, together with the narrator, are transported to a 1928 Broadway theater and the recording comes to life and The Drowsy Chaperone begins, as the man in the chair looks on. Mix in two lovers on the eve of their wedding, a bumbling best man, a desperate theater producer, a not so bright hostess, two gangsters posing as pastry chefs, a misguided Don Juan and an intoxicated chaperone, and you've got a show packed with fun, great music and dance numbers, and the perfect showcase for this talented cast.

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