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Ten Tigers Against Bullying

Sifu, which means “teacher,” is how Kung Fu students address Rik as they learn different techniques for self-defense at Ten Tigers Kung Fu Academy in Huntington Station.  thumbnail135307
Sifu, which means “teacher,” is how Kung Fu students address Rik as they learn different techniques for self-defense at Ten Tigers Kung Fu Academy in Huntington Station.
“Usually you think it’s just a couple of kids but you look around and you see that everyone has experienced being bullied one way or another.
“Usually you think it’s just a couple of kids but you look around and you see that everyone has experienced being bullied one way or another." - Rik Kellerman
“Your words have power,” Sifu Rik said to students as he demonstrated how creases or “scars” are left behind on a piece of paper after it’s been crumpled.  thumbnail135414
“Your words have power,” Sifu Rik said to students as he demonstrated how creases or “scars” are left behind on a piece of paper after it’s been crumpled.
Sifu Rik showed student volunteers a simple Kung-Fu move to demonstrate self-defense.  thumbnail135415
Sifu Rik showed student volunteers a simple Kung-Fu move to demonstrate self-defense.
Learning how to stand up for yourself enables you to stand up for others. thumbnail135416
Learning how to stand up for yourself enables you to stand up for others.

Rik Kellerman of Ten Tigers Kung Fu Academy in Huntington Station spoke to Birchwood students about bullying on Tuesday. Rik has been practicing Martial Arts since he was 15-years-old and has been teaching Kung Fu for over 30 years, providing his students with the necessary tools to be confident and defend themselves against bullies.  

Sifu Rik, along with Shue and Richard, started the assembly by asking the students if they have ever been bullied or know someone who has been bullied before. Almost every student raised their hand, and they were surprised to see how many of their classmates have experienced this. “This shows us that this is a very big issue,” Rik said as the children also came to this realization. Rik had the students describe what they believe makes someone a bully to determine that not all bullies fight or get physical but rather, use their words and exclude others to cause harm.

Rik explained how bullies target those who appear weak and lack confidence. With both feet planted firmly on the ground, back straight, and chins up, Rik demonstrated how to appear confident as he had Birchwood students stand up and do the same. “The way you stand, the way you speak, the way you hold yourself is the way you’re going to feel,” Sifu Rik explained from Birchwood’s stage. “If you want to develop confidence, act as if you already have it and you will develop that confidence overtime.” This type of confidence translates through all aspects of life, including peer pressure that so many are confronted with. “Sometimes peer pressure pushes us because we don’t have the confidence to say ‘No’.” Kung Fu and Martial Arts provides an outlet to practice being assertive. Becoming an upstander, someone who stands up to bullies and doesn’t look away as it’s happening, helps confront the bully and protect who is being victimized. Forming a group, including the victim, and reporting the situation to an adult is the best way to put an end to bullying.

While the students at Birchwood may not experience cyber-bullying as often as perhaps middle school or high school students do, Rik thought it be important to address. “When I was in school, only a handful of kids were bullied. That’s how big of a problem it’s turned into. Back in my day when you got bullied, it ended as soon as you got home and closed the door. This follows you home now, and there’s the added pressure that it’s worldwide and it’s forever.”

Rik, Shue, and Richard provided a simple demonstration of self-defense that got our Birchwood students more than excited. Rik made it clear that the best defense isn’t about getting physical, but to avoid the bully from the beginning and to choose your friends and inner circle wisely. Surrounding yourself with people who respect you and have the best intentions for you allow you to create meaningful and lasting friendships.

Thank you Rik, Shue and Richard from Ten Tigers for sharing this message of confidence to our Birchwood students!

Varsity Field Hockey Wins at Home

Great defense secured the win for Walt Whitman. thumbnail133784
Great defense secured the win for Walt Whitman.

The Varsity Girls Field Hockey team had a great win against Copiague last week on Whitman’s home turf. The team displayed great defense, keeping the final score at 2-0 from the first half of the game. Sophomore Kristy Chillemi scored the first goal of the game, followed by sophomore Brianna Morrissey shortly after. Join us this Saturday, September 21st at 11AM on Whitman’s turf as the girls take on William Floyd!

Whitman Sophomore Selected to Play Overseas

 Varsity Soccer Coach Moccia (left) and Whitman Principal Mr. John Murphy (right) congratulate Ella alongside her supportive parents.  thumbnail135275
Varsity Soccer Coach Moccia (left) and Whitman Principal Mr. John Murphy (right) congratulate Ella alongside her supportive parents.

American International Sports Teams (AIST) is proud to have Sophomore Ella Brower from Walt Whitman High School joining the U-15 Soccer team traveling to the United World Games in the summer of 2020. The AIST select team will represent the USA in the UWG Tournament, which takes place June 25-28, 2020. The team will travel to Munich, Germany for a couple nights prior to arriving in Klagenfurt, Austria. After the tournament, the tour will continue to Venice, Verona, Milan, Bellagio, and Como Italy, where athletes will have the opportunity to balance competition with sightseeing.

AIST recruits across the country from both high school and club level, looking for athletes from showcase events, tournaments, college coach referrals, and/or online profiles. Ella Brower, who has been playing soccer all her life, was selected during the first draft of recruitment. Ella has been playing Varsity Soccer for Walt Whitman since 8th grade and is excited to be representing her school overseas at the United World Games. “I think it’s a great opportunity for Ella to not only be able play soccer in Germany this summer, but also to meet people with similar interests around the world,” commented Varsity Soccer Coach Moccia. 

AIST has a reputation for having some of the strongest teams traveling to these international events. Trips like this give student athletes a chance to explore amazing destinations, benefit from personal growth, experience new cultures and develop friendships with people from all over the world. Congratulations Ella and safe travels!

Huntington Awareness Day Celebrates Unity

“Mr. Ben Blair’s reputation is that of a one of a kind teacher and administrator who found something good in every child,” spoke Deputy Superintendent of SHUFSD Dr. Joe Centamore, as he presented the morning’s Special Honoree. Assistant Principal for Guidance Mr. Corey Blair, alongside his family, received this recognition in loving memory of Ben Blair.  thumbnail133771
“Mr. Ben Blair’s reputation is that of a one of a kind teacher and administrator who found something good in every child,” spoke Deputy Superintendent of SHUFSD Dr. Joe Centamore, as he presented the morning’s Special Honoree. Assistant Principal for Guidance Mr. Corey Blair, alongside his family, received this recognition in loving memory of Ben Blair.
Grand Marshall Willie Perez shared his passion for bringing the community together as one. thumbnail133772
Grand Marshall Willie Perez shared his passion for bringing the community together as one.
Thank you to co-chairperson Dee Thompson for leading the organization of such a meaningful day and to Officer Fiorillo and the Suffolk County PD for helping the day run without a hitch.  thumbnail133773
Thank you to co-chairperson Dee Thompson for leading the organization of such a meaningful day and to Officer Fiorillo and the Suffolk County PD for helping the day run without a hitch.
Kids of all ages enjoyed the thrills of an incredible day. thumbnail135282
Kids of all ages enjoyed the thrills of an incredible day.
Walt Whitman Cheerleaders added extra pep to the unity parade. thumbnail133775
Walt Whitman Cheerleaders added extra pep to the unity parade.
Huntington High School Student Leader Daniela Ramos Campos marched with the United Amigos before being recognized as one of the morning’s honorees.  thumbnail135283
Huntington High School Student Leader Daniela Ramos Campos marched with the United Amigos before being recognized as one of the morning’s honorees.
The Latino Heritage Club gave us all music to move and groove to! thumbnail133777
The Latino Heritage Club gave us all music to move and groove to!
Huntington’s color guard kept their flags flying along Oakwood Road. thumbnail135280
Huntington’s color guard kept their flags flying along Oakwood Road.
The Marching Knights of Elwood-John H. Glenn High School kept the beat in perfect time.  thumbnail133783
The Marching Knights of Elwood-John H. Glenn High School kept the beat in perfect time.
The Ambassadors Club shows what it means to stick together. thumbnail135284
The Ambassadors Club shows what it means to stick together.
Councilwoman Joan Cergol and Huntington Receiver of Taxes Jillian Guthman recognized Ms. Cecilia Blanco for her efforts as Coordinator of Dual Language and ENL Programs in South Huntington.  thumbnail135281
Councilwoman Joan Cergol and Huntington Receiver of Taxes Jillian Guthman recognized Ms. Cecilia Blanco for her efforts as Coordinator of Dual Language and ENL Programs in South Huntington.
Co-chairperson and Superintendent of South Huntington Schools Dr. Dave Bennardo received recognition from Co-chairperson and “second mom” Dee Thompson, alongside Mrs. Bennardo herself.  thumbnail133782
Co-chairperson and Superintendent of South Huntington Schools Dr. Dave Bennardo received recognition from Co-chairperson and “second mom” Dee Thompson, alongside Mrs. Bennardo herself.

On Saturday, September 14, 2019, the South Huntington School District was thrilled to host the Unity in the Community Parade & Fair. First held in 2010, this event has become a tradition to celebrate the community’s unity, diversity, and solidarity. The South Huntington School District perfectly embodies the spirit of this event by encouraging inclusion and supporting the many ethnicities, cultures, and religions that make this community so special.

This year, the Huntington Awareness Day had one of its largest turnouts. The South Huntington School District invited our neighboring school districts to attend, including Harborfields, Huntington, Northport, and Elwood, and it was clear to see how events such as these truly allow for the community to come together as one.

The morning kicked off at Huntington High School, with the Greenlawn American Legion Post 1244 color guards leading the parade that traveled down Oakwood Road to Stimson Middle School. Here, students, families, teachers, and community members alike were welcomed to a festival that had something for everyone. From inflatable slides, tasty food, vendors, and live music, the day was not shy of a good time. After an awards program that honored our community’s most valued heroes, those in attendance were able to enjoy a beautiful afternoon amongst friends and family.

The goal of this event has always been to raise awareness and inspire togetherness and solidarity throughout the community. The Unity Parade and Fair was created to bring us all together and celebrate our neighbors, families and local businesses, and this year we proved to do just that. Thank you to all of our sponsors who helped make this event possible, and thank you to the this wonderful community for coming out and embodying the true meaning of togetherness.

Parade Photo Gallery
Fair/Festival Photo Gallery
Awards Program Photo Gallery

Chromebooks for Silas Wood

With technology constantly growing, it is important to give students access to web-based resources.  thumbnail135276
With technology constantly growing, it is important to give students access to web-based resources.
Silas Wood students will receive their Chromebooks this Thursday.  thumbnail135279
Silas Wood students will receive their Chromebooks this Thursday.

On Monday, parents met at Silas Wood for the Sixth Grade Curriculum Night. Principal Stephen Toto welcomed parents and provided information about Chromebooks that will be provided to students in the sixth-grade center. Chromebooks are laptops that are primarily used to perform a variety of tasks using the Google Chrome browser. Most of the applications and data accessed on the device use cloud storage which allows for students to access files anywhere at anytime. Parents were informed of how their children can take full advantage of this device in order to enrich their learning beyond the classroom.