Craft Fair Saturday!

You don't want to miss this event!

The 12th Annual Fine Art & Crafts Fair 
at Walt Whitman High School
Saturday, November 22th, 10AM-5PM
301 West Hills Road, Huntington Station, NY 11746

Over 100 professional artists and craftsmen selling: Paintings, Photography, Sulpture, Ceramics, Jewelery, Wooden Items, Florals, Handbags, Clothing, Dolls and many other handmade gifts for the holidays!

Come for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner, or just a quick snack at our amazing SHEF food court!

Admission $2 Children under 12 FREE

Cleanup @ Countrywood

Our courtyard looks amazing thanks to our outstanding team effort!
Everyone pitched in raking leaves.

Ms. Workman along with her first grade students and a handful of parents gathered recently to clean up the Countrywood courtyard.  The weather was magnificent and a perfect day for being outdoors.  Parents arrived with gardening tools (rakes, shovels, gloves) and potted plants to beautify the overgrown outside area.  Everyone pitched in raking leaves, bagging leaves, and planting beautiful yellow mums.  Our courtyard looks amazing thanks to their outstanding team effort!

At The Heart of Generosity

Volunteers from Stimson help unload truckloads of donated food. Left to right: Steve Scharph, Scott Munyon, Anthony Sansotta, Jenn Schmelter, Robyn Gooch, Helen Pascucci, Maggie O’Brien, Arlette Demarest, and Josh Landau.
Stimson Technology teacher Josh Landau, along with fellow staff members, made numerous trips delivering food.
Stimson Science teacher Steve Scharpf tackles the heavy stuff

“This is a miracle,” said Fran Leek, Director of St. Hugh’s Parish Outreach Program. “The Stimson Community has always been very generous to us, but this year it’s over the top, which we love of course…this is great.”  The Stimson Penny Wars food donations were delivered to the St. Hugh’s Parish Outreach Food Pantry yesterday and will feed approximately 1400 families in total. This translates to about 2 months of food, and filled both rooms at the pantry. The Outreach program currently feeds well over 600 Huntington Station families per month, and with the holidays fast approaching, that number is sure to increase. “We’re expecting about 140 Turkeys to be delivered soon, so a portion of this food will go into Thanksgiving baskets,” said Ms. Leek.

“Our students, their families, and the Stimson community donated 4,199 food items which set a new Penny Wars record,” said Stimson Assistant Principal Anthony Sansotta. The St. Hugh’s donation was only one of several outreach programs currently at Stimson. “One day of Penny Wars was set aside strictly for food donations that will be used to put together 22 Stimson Thanksgiving baskets,” said Sansotta.  The Stimson baskets, and baskets donated by each of the District’s schools are currently being collected and will be distributed by district social workers directly to families with children in South Huntington schools.

While we are proud of all the important things we teach in South Huntington, there is something undeniably special about the lessons of human compassion and community spirit.

Honoring Our Veterans @ Countrywood


Mrs. Sanicola’s first grade students at Countrywood wrote “Thank You” letters to veterans for their service.  The children learned who veterans are and what they do for our country.   The letters will be sent to an organization called “Operation Gratitude” where they will be delivered to troops and veterans around the world.   This project was a wonderful way to honor veterans!

STEM HUB-Whitman Team Up for Amazing Hospital Experience

Students observed several surgeries in progress, and spoke with the surgeons and nurses as the surgeries progressed.
Students will pay their experience forward by visiting the Silas Wood 6th Grade Center in January to create an in house “Hospital for a day” for the 6th grade students.
The future of healthcare is “Sprouting” as fourteen of Whitman’s future healthcare workers explored the clinical aspects of Cohen’s Children’s Hospital in New Hyde Park as phase one of North Shore LIJ’s SPARK Challenge.
Ready for disaster, healthcare workers today prepare for anything and everything.
“I was very impressed with how they organized and kept everything clean,” reported Sudhakar Sood, who is especially interested in the OR.

What better way to spark an interest in a medical career than to shadow hospital employees for a day?  That’s exactly what 14 ambitious Whitman students did on November 6, when they teamed with North Shore LIJ’s Cohen’s Children’s Hospital to experience a wide range of hospital careers as part of the LI STEM Hub SPARK! Challenge.

Students had the opportunity to experience life as a hospital chaplain, child-life professional, operating room surgeon, anesthesiologist, operating room nurse, lab technician, food and nutrition professional, neonatal ICU nurse, and social worker.  Students actually suited up and visited the OR suite, where they observed several surgeries in progress, and spoke with the surgeons and nurses as the surgeries progressed.

Were the students impressed by anything?  “How calm and reassuring the doctors were,” reported Elizabeth Fernandez, referring to the way the OR staff interacted with the patients.   And, regarding the neonatal ICU, she added, “When a baby was in distress, the nurses and doctors came running!” 

“I was very impressed with how they organized and kept everything clean,” reported Sudhakar Sood, who is especially interested in the OR.

“Everyone loves their jobs,” noted Maureen Leiva.

The project is not over.  Students will pay their experience forward by visiting the Silas Wood 6th Grade Center in January to create an in house “Hospital for a day” for the 6th grade students.  Then, they will produce a video about their experience.

Two additional teams of Whitman Students will be going back to North Shore LIJ in December, one to experience careers in neuroscience, and another to experience the business end of the hospital business.  

We look forward to hearing about their experiences. 

Buster Captures Students Attention

The children were in awe of “Buster” and were delighted when he talked to them.
Buster introduced the students to his big brother and a Huntington Coach instructor spoke to the students about ways to be safe on a school bus.

At Countrywood Primary Center, Ms. Cacioppo and Ms. Lamorte’s kindergartners were introduced to a two-part bus safety program. The first part of the Buster program took place in the All Purpose Room (APR) where a Huntington Coach instructor spoke to the students about ways to be safe on a school bus. Then “Buster” (a small motorized bus) was cued to enter the APR. Buster questioned the students on ways to be safe on the bus. The children were in awe of “Buster” and were delighted when he talked to them.

The second part took place outside where Buster introduced the students to his big brother (a large school bus). The instructor and Buster demonstrated safe crossing procedures. At the conclusion of the program, Buster thanked the students for their participation and all students received a gift. All of the kindergarten classes will attend the program over the course of a couple of weeks.

Challenges and Rewards @ STEM Expo

The STEM Expo is a great opportunity for students to explore outside of the classroom.
Quite a few companies on Long Island need a qualified work force and are coming up with new ways to keep their potential employees on Long Island.
The Cradle of Aviation Museum provides a perfect backdrop to present careers of the future.
A real flight simulator gives students closer look into careers in the avionics field.
The Lunar Module, build on Long Island in the mid-sixties by Grumman is on display. A total of 14 flight vehicles were build at the Grumman plant in Bethpage.
Students are able to explore careers right in our own backyard.

Whitman students recently attended the Fourth Annual Long Island STEM Career Expo. The STEM Expo provided a great opportunity for our 10th and 11th-grade students to make connections with company representatives in STEM industries. The best part, these companies have roots on Long Island!

In recent years, local companies have had a difficult time finding employees who fill their workforce need. Why? Young adults are leaving Long Island for higher education opportunities elsewhere, and as a result hunt for employment in those regions. To bridge this gap, the Cradle of Aviation Museum seeks to introduce students to careers right in their backyard!

The STEM Expo is the perfect venue for students to be introduced to and prepare them for the careers of tomorrow by establishing a foundation to develop 21st century skills and achieve the new heights in education needed for success.

Exhibitors, professionals, and local colleges, featured careers opportunities, conducted hands-on demonstrations and showcased real world applications of STEM.

Exhibitors included Lockheed Martin, Northrup-Grumman, Precision Gear, Jet Blue, Farmingdale State College, North Shore LIJ Health System, and Brookhaven Lab.

Rock the Shelter Concludes Busy Weekend

Walt Whitman’s African American Heritage Club members with Mike Giuffrida from LI Coalition for the Homeless.
Whitman senior Danerah Pierre gave a stirring performance.
The rock band: Abandoned In Fire, comprising: Ianni Kay, Ben Morales, Jack Zuckerberg, and Daniel Alivio, had everyone on their feet.
Michele Brunet & Anthony Morace sounded perfect together.
Joe Sansivero, Scott Honickman, Daniel Alivio, Anthony Manaro, and Rob Pattison make up the band: Warehouse, and delighted the PAC crowd.
The duo of Elizabeth Plaisir & Emmanuella St. Charles harmonized perfectly together.

It sure was busy last week in the South Huntington school community, and this past weekend brought continued energy as our Booster Club dedicated an entire Saturday to the Silas, Stimson, Walt Whitman “3-on-3 Fundraising Basketball Tournament.” Once again, this small but committed group of volunteers generated enthusiasm for healthy competition, while simultaneously raising funds to support students and programs throughout the district.

The weekend was not complete until our African American History Club, under the direction of Ms. Cynthia Quinlan, hosted "Rock the Shelter" in the Walt Whitman Performing Arts Center. Principal Acker literally beamed with pride as her students and staffed worked cooperatively with the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless to provide life-changing help for those in desperate need.

Just How Good is Our Water?

Something they have always taken for granted…until they begin to travel, and taste the difference.
One young student ponders while the other clearly shows his assessment.
Stay tuned for the surprising results!

Silas Wood students begin work on their STEM Engineering Water Challenge project by devising a blind taste test to see if it's really possible to tell the difference between South Huntington tap water and bottled water.  Stay tuned for the (possibly) surprising results!

Generous Donations @ Whitman's Senior Blood Drive

Thirty-one Walt Whitman seniors who served as blood drive captains, many in this photo, take a quick break during their busy day.
Sade Bamgbelu and Kassandra Hernandez (Wildcat Willie) were two reasons why this year’s blood drive was such a success.

Walt Whitman’s Senior Class Advisor Diane Langhorst-Zamow is happy to report that the Fall Blood Drive, run by the senior class and the New York Blood Center, was an overwhelming success.  31 blood drive captains, listed below, registered over one hundred students who donated 103 pints of blood.

The captains played a crucial role in helping collect blood and save lives. The captains provided care, attention, and assistance to the many dedicated blood donors who rolled up their sleeves to give life. The donors gave generously of themselves and helped save lives in the New York area.

Many thanks to everyone who made this event such a success! Captains: Emily Alvarado, Sade Bamgbelu, Patrick Cammer, Sabrina Chavez, Sally Cohen, Fatima Cuadra, Abigail Daniels, Sean Delle, Jasmine Erfan, Lesley Garay, Abdul Halaimi, Kassandra Hernandez, Cendy Interiano, Melissa Jean Pierre, Jacob Kahrs, Russell Kielawa, Marina Kopf, Narenghie Ladonis, Maureen Leiva, Phoebe Levin, Marissa LoCastro, Ryan McAllister, Zarmeen Mussa, Joel Quiles, Greta Salguero, Ashley Seebach, Mahum Siddiqui, Charles Thurer, Gabrielle Vital, Kabir Zafar, and Sabrina Phillippe.

Thunderbirds Spread Their Wings at Birchwood

Left to right: Allan Star, from the Lenape tribe in Southern New Jersey, Louis Mofsie, who is half Hoppe (Arizona) and half Winnebago (Nebraska), and Ray “Two Feathers,” an Eastern Cherokee from the mountains of Georgia, captivated their Birchwood audience.
Mr. Louis Mofsie instructs a Birchwood volunteer in the dance he is about to perform.
Ray “Two Feathers,” and Birchwood participants pick up a feather using only their mouth.
Ray “Two Feathers” along with Allan Star perform a dance celebrating the Bald Eagle.
Allan Star, a Lenape Indian, depicts a hunting scene in one of his dances.

Birchwood students were treated to a fantastic assembly last week. This colorful performance taught our students about American Indian culture that weaved history, dance, and song into forty-five minutes of pure fun. "This is how we keep our culture alive and how we identify with it," said Louis Mofsie, director of the New York-based Thunderbird American Indian Dancers.

“I think that when they teach about American Indian history in many schools it’s always in the past tense, and we are here to let students know that the American Indian culture is still very much alive, as we have over 4 million Native Americans living in North America,” said Mr. Mofsie, who is half Hoppe (Arizona) and half Winnebago (Nebraska).

Joining Mr. Mofsie was Allan Star, from the Lenape tribe in New Jersey, and Ray “Two Feathers,” an Eastern Cherokee from the mountains of Georgia. “All dances have a history,” said Mr. Mofsie. “There were traditional dances for men and women, as well as ones with more unique names, like "shawl dance" and "fancy dance." Each dance has its own history, which I talk about with the Birchwood students before we perform that dance.”

Thank You Birchwood Cultural Arts Committee who brought our students the dynamic Thunderbirds. 

Photo Gallery

October Athletes of the Month

Athletic Director Dr. Jim Wright, and Whitman Principal Kathie Acker are justifiably proud of their October Athletes of the Month, Kate Manson and Chad Maier.

Our female Athlete of the Month for October is Kate Manson. Kate just finished a very respectable Field Hockey season where she was integral in the team’s success. “I’ve known Kate since she played in the junior field hockey leagues in the 4th grade,” said Varsity Coach Karen Schmitt. “I saw right away that a player with her skill was going to be a great asset to our team.  I was able to move her up to the JV team as an 8th grader, and then to varsity as a 9th grader.” The Wildcat field hockey team improved greatly this year and narrowly missed the playoffs in a tough Division 1 standing. Their season ended with a 7-9-0 overall record. “Kate has proven herself to be a dedicated and passionate player,” said Coach Schmitt.

“Kate served as a captain this year and she will be greatly missed next year,” said Coach Schmitt. “The team admired her skill and abilities on the field, translating to strong leadership qualities.” Kate has recently signed a National Letter of Intent to play Field Hockey at Adelphi University next fall. Kate is now preparing for Whitman's spring lacrosse season. 

Senior cross-country runner Chad Maier like to run, so much so, that other than bringing in excellent grades, which keeps him in one place longer than he would like, he’s always running. “The 500 miles he ran this past summer paid off,” said Cross Country Coach Rob Conroy.  Chad, a 1st team All-County runner, has recently finished leading his Wildcat Cross Country Team to a Division Title, with a 16:58 time in the Sunken Meadow 5K. Chad will shorten his game a little and run the 3200-meter in Winter and Spring Track.

“Chad is a warrior and a gentleman,” said Coach Conroy.  “He is a great leader who leads by example.” Although Chad missed qualifying for the state championships by .7 of a second, he feels strongly that he will be back on the cross-country trails next fall as a college freshman.

Congratulations to Kate and Chad, and to their families for their dedicated support.

Career Cafe Piques Design Interest

Maria Ruotolo, 4th from left, is passionate about careers in design and shared ideas on what is possible for those with talent, tenacity, and willingness to try new things.

This past week, Maria Ruotolo, a Digital Marketing lead for IBM, was the latest guest speaker at our Career Cafe.  Ms. Ruotolo, the mother of Isabel and Ben Sakarin, Seniors at Walt Whitman High School, leads world wide digital efforts encompassing web, social and mobile tactics to drive interest and leads for the enterprise hardware division while protecting the IBM brand.

In the past she has been the Design Manager for The New York Botanical Garden and the Art Director for The New York Hall of Science, responsible for all things design related.

She has run her own design consultancy and has been a Thesis Advisor and an Adjunct Instructor for Design Management and Marketing at Pratt Institute. She is passionate about careers in design and shared ideas on what is possible for those with talent, tenacity, and willingness to try new things, in the ever-changing field of design.

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 are interested in volunteering please contact Mr. Callahan, College and Career Ready Coach for Walt Whitman High School at: 


Storybook Playoff Run Comes to an End


The Boys Varsity Soccer Team's season abruptly came to end with a difficult 1-0 loss to the #2 seed Commack in the Suffolk County Championship Game on Friday November 7.  It was an even game with both teams getting offensive chances. Commack broke through halfway into the second half.  Whitman threw everything they could at the Cougars, but could not get the equalizer. 

Although the season ended on a loss, the Wildcats created quite a buzz around the district.  The team won the League II Title for the first time in 18 years.  They upset top seeded Brentwood in OT in the County Semi-finals. The team scored 60 goals on the year.  This mark was near the top of Suffolk County.  Whitman finished ranked #2 in Suffolk County, #4 in Long Island, and #13 in the New York State polls.

“We are so incredibly proud of our Men's Varsity Soccer Team and their coaches on a storybook playoff run,” said Superintendent Bennardo in his weekly email newsletter. 

“This team will certainly miss its graduating seniors who provided leadership and tough play,” said Coaches John DiGiacomo and Brian Karcz.  “However, there is a strong nucleus of sophomores and juniors that will be returning next year.  Coupling that with a JV Team that went undefeated for the second straight year under Coach Tedesco, the near future does indeed seem bright.”

The goal for the Wildcats next year will be to pick up where they left off.  That was the goal this year after losing in the quarterfinals last year against eventual champion, Smithtown West.  And each year the Wildcats get closer and closer to their goal of winning it all.

Coach DiGiacomo and Coach Karcz are extremely proud of this team's accomplishments this season.  The team will begin working again towards their goal of a championship season in a few months--starting in the weight room. “We would like to thank everyone who supported us this year,” said the coaches. “We heard you cheering from the stands.  See you next year.”

Congratulations to:  Henry Alfaro, Oscar Alfaro, Blake Aronson, Fabrizio Chamorro, Jose Chavez, Jonathan Consolo, Javier Dubon, Matthew Goodman, Carlos Granados, Witman Hernandez-Fernandez, Jameson Latko, Michael Lorello, Marrion Mahadeo, Albert Martinez, William Mejia, Jonathan O’Toole, Christian Pineda, Derick Ramos, Isias Reyes, Shane Sacks, Austin Salas, Matthew Schindler, Edwin Ulloa Moreira, and Sean Zagorski.  Congratulations, as well, to the dedicated coaches—John DiGiacomo and Brian Karcz—and the parents who supported the team during the season.

The Science Behind Roller Skating


On Monday, November 10, Silas Wood's Team 1 attended a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) focused field trip to United Skates of America in Seaford, New York. The students were taught a lesson by a STEM Specialist entitled the "Science of Roller Skating." They learned about the parts of a roller skate by assembling a pair of skates and then tested their skate on two different surfaces to discover the affect friction has on speed. They also studied how distance and special relationships play a roll in the operation in the roller rink. Following the classroom experiments, the students laced up and put science in action on the rink. There was evidence of team building as many students supported each other in this endeavor with some students being beginners and others already being able to skate successfully.

A great time was had by all.

Fire Safety Message @ Countrywood


Mrs. Crocco’s and Mrs. Wright’s second-grade classes at Countrywood received a special visit from Huntington Manor Fire Fighters Mike Bruno and Andrew Dolgin.  The children listened to a presentation about fire prevention and learned what they should do in the event of a fire. 

Mrs. Crocco put on the fire fighter’s gear to show the students what a fire fighter would look like if they were called to their home for assistance.  Next, the students were taken outside where they each had the chance to sit in the fire truck and witnessed the power of the water hose being sprayed into the field. 

Finally, the students were given fire hats, pencils, temporary tattoos and an informative activity book to take home to share their knowledge with their families.   “We are so grateful for the community members who volunteer their time to protect, serve and educate us and our children,” said Mrs. Crocco.  “We are very fortunate to have such a wonderful group of committed, selfless volunteers to be there for us in our time of need.”

Thank You Huntington Manor Fire Fighters!

Setting Sail with the Duclay Brothers

Walt Whitman Principal Kathie Acker is proud of Sean and Kilian Duclay and their Sailing Initiative for Veterans.

With fall in full swing and the chill of winter not far ahead, two young students at Walt Whitman are ready to begin an annual adventure that would make most of us shudder. Zipping up their dry suits, Sean and Kilian Duclay are ready to slip onto the waters off Oakcliff Sailing Center in Oyster Bay for a day of winter sailing. And they aren’t alone. Each winter weekend, weather permitting, the Duclay brothers host Long Island’s men and women military veterans, many with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), serious trauma, or other illnesses.

Dubbing his project the “Sailing Initiative for Veterans,” Kilian, struck upon the idea last year when he was beginning this college search. “I was intrigued by the Coast Guard Academy and how they, as well as most colleges, are looking for students who stand out and are doing something different,” said the Whitman senior. Kilian and his sophomore brother Sean contacted the NYPD Marine Corps Association and told them of their plan.

“This is the best therapy I’ve ever had,” said a Vietnam veteran who quickly took to the fast-paced, adrenaline-rushing sport. The brothers sail Hobie Cats. Small, fast, and nimble, these racers are the Porches of sailing, a ticket to all-out thrills. “The vets are fast learners,” said Sean. “Many have experienced the worst conditions in war, so the cold, biting wind and salt water spray don’t seem to phase them a bit.” Many times over the winter, the brothers and their vets push through snow and ice to get into clear waters.

Both of the brothers sail out of the Oakcliff Sailing Center in Oyster Bay. Oakcliff offers a place for virtually every sailor, but it is famous for its unique student programs. Participants can sail everything from high-performance dinghies to match racing boats to offshore racers. Sailing is positively one of the best therapies for many.

“This opportunity gives both of us the chance to meet new people with really interesting stories,” said Sean. “And in turn we get to share our love for sailing.” Both boys have grown up in a family who feels strongly about giving back. “My grandfather was a prisoner of war in Germany, and when he was freed, he instilled in my dad to never take anything for granted,” said Kilian. “Both my mom and dad have instilled their strong community-service beliefs and have taught us to be thankful for what we have, in all of us.” Kilian shares his commitment with brother Sean and sisters Jennifer and Maya. Holding dual citizenships, the Duclay's spend each summer in France with their dad’s family. Kilian hopes to begin college in Paris next fall, and he is interested in studying engineering.

No matter which side of the Atlantic the brothers are on, the time they spend giving back to our military veterans has left an indelible mark on both of them. “I know they have gone through hell where they fought,” said Sean. “So it amazes me how kind they all are. And they are so happy to experience the therapeutic benefits of sailing.”

“Spending time with our vets and listening to their stories makes me realize that we all need to do more to welcome them home and help them adjust after what they have experienced,” said Kilian. “I started this program as a way to stand out on college applications, but now it’s become all about our veterans and the sacrifices they made for us.”


Want to see what Sean and Kilian are up to in the Winter:



Return Trip Paints a Different Picture

Walt Whitman Principal Kathie Acker talks with Veteran Frank Romeo via Skype, about the changes he has seen in Vietnam 45 years later.
Whitman senior Patrick Cammer asks Frank Romeo about what was his biggest fear going into the trip.
Students asked various questions such as: How will your trip back to Vietnam influence future "Art of War" presentations? And, How does it feel seeing normal day-to-day life in what was once a war zone?

“As young men and women at war we felt life and death with an intensity that is beyond any civilian emotion, and we formed bonds, as soldiers, that do not exist in everyday life. We were forever changed and will forever stand apart, for war has left its footprint on us.” - Frank Romeo

News12 was at Walt Whitman recently as Veteran Frank Romeo and students in Mr. Tom Donlon’s Social Studies class held a live Q&A Skype session as Mr. Romeo delved into what he has been encountering on this amazing journey back to Southeast Asia.

News 12’s Virginia Huie chronicles Frank’s return to the battlefields of Southeast Asia for the first time since leaving in a medevac helicopter 45 years ago. Students have been blogging with Mr. Romeo as he retraced his Unit’s movements in Southeast Asia during 1968-1970.

Each spring, Whitman’s junior classes attend Mr. Romeo’s presentation “The Art of War,” where he takes students on a journey about his experiences in Vietnam and how creating art has helped heal old wounds, specifically posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). His blog about what he encounters on his return to Southeast Asia can be viewed at:

The News12 segment is airing on Veterans Day, and can be accessed on the News12 Website.

Welcome home Frank Romeo, and thank you for your service.

Run for Wounded Warriors Brings Out the Best

Countrywood kindergarten teacher Maria Rodriguez and her son Leonardo and husband Leopoldo.
Michelle Sherman with daughters Chloe and Olivia.
On Sunday, November 9, several teachers and their families participated in the 7th Annual Long Island Run for the Warriors in Lindenhurst. This race is dedicated to the men and women wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan, their families, and families of the fallen. We hear that Countrywood kindergarten teacher Maria Rodriguez and her son Leonardo ran the 5k, and her husband Leopoldo ran the 10k.  We also hear that Rory Sherman, PE teacher at Silas Wood, was there as well with his wife, Michelle, and two daughters, Chloe and Olivia. Each year the race raises over $200,000 for the hope for Warriors foundation

First-Graders Ready to Adopt Sweetbriar Animal


First grade classes at Oakwood will be visiting the Sweetbriar Nature Preserve in Smithtown this fall.  In the woodlands, the students will observe the deciduous and evergreen trees and listen to blue jays and woodpeckers.  In the sunny meadow, they will see butterflies and bees enjoying the last of the milkweed and the black-eyed Susan's. 

Since Sweetbriar is a refuge for wounded animals, students also get to see eagles, hawks, and owls that are being cared for by the Sweetbriar staff.  It is be a wonderful experience to see these magnificent birds up close.

In the reptile room, students will compare and contrast the attributes of a box turtle and a painted turtle.  They may even have the opportunity to gently touch the resident corn snake.  In the mammal room, they will meet a rabbit and an opossum and discuss ways that they are similar and different from human beings.

To prepare for their trip, students are reading, writing, illustrating, and discussing ways that mammals and reptiles are similar and different, and learning the attributes of birds and butterflies, they are also practicing how to walk quietly through the woods. Oakwood's students look forward to an enjoyable and educational visit to the Sweetbriar Preserve and to “adopting” a Sweetbriar animal and contributing to its care. 

U.S. Bands Regional Championship Competition

Wildcat Marching Band members await their scores at this year’s New York State Competition in Syracuse.

Congratulations to the Wildcat Marching Band on their winning performance at the U.S. Bands regional championship show at Union High School in New Jersey on Saturday November 1st.

Led by drum majors Rebecca Sansotta and Mara Keen, the band earned their first place win with a score of 89.65. In addition, the band won special awards including best music, best general effect and best color guard led by captains Alexa Arthur and Melissa Shaiman.

Congratulations to all the band members on a great finish to a great season.

See Photo Gallery from NY State Competition

Photo Gallery

Penny Wars 2014 – The Most Successful Ever

Ms. Jaimi Goldberg (back row left) with her winning team at TD Bank making a large deposit. Back row right- Thank you Mr. Scott Munyon and Mr. Anthony Sansotta for all your help.

We hear from Assistant Principal Anthony Sansotta that the Stimson Middle School Penny Wars has officially come to a close. Mr. Sansotta’s final wrap-up is as follows: The buckets have been emptied, the coins have been counted, the food has been sorted, the military items have been packaged, the Box Tops have been tallied, and the winner has been named. After battling hard all week Ms. Jaimi Goldberg’s Team 213 was declared the victor.

Ms. Jaimi Goldberg’s Team 213: Isabella Adamovicz, Christopher Ballentine, Nathan Blank, Isabella Bonvicin, Annelise Campo, Jessica Castagna, Juliana Chiriboga, Nicholas De Gaetano, April Farrell, Jeremy Forman, Gabrielle Girard, Cassidy Giudici, Emma Graff, Sydney Khan, Andrew Kim, Jake Lang, Nicole Mendoza, Brady Mondry, Kayla Sakayan, Ariana Shaikh, Caleb Sullivan, Stephen Verderame, and Mikaela Zukaitis.

Penny Wars 2014 was unquestionably our most successful ever. Today, Friday November 7th, Team 213 ran all the change through the Penny Arcade at TD Bank to get their official total. Unofficially, it appears that we broke every Penny Wars record in Stimson’s eight-year history of Penny Wars. We broke the $5,000 mark for the first time with $5,015.65 Penny Wars dollars raised. We added another $339.00 in Mad Hatter money to bring our 2014 grand total to $5,354.65. This blows away the previous record of $4,770.05 set in 2012.

Our Stimson community also donated 4,199 food items, which is a new Penny Wars record. The donated items will be delivered to the St. Hugh's Community Outreach food pantry to help needy families in our community.

Finally, the Box Tops rolled in like never before. Early estimates indicated that these Box Tops will earn Stimson an additional $1,500. The amazing thing about all of this is that any one of these things would have been considered a successful fundraiser on its own. Stimson did it all at once over the course of 5 short days, and the results speak for themselves. I cannot say enough about the generosity shown by our students, their families, and our staff.

So, there you have it. Penny Wars 2014 comes to a close. Once again, thank you parents, staff members, and especially students for your generosity and for making Penny Wars 2014 a great week to be part of the Stimson family.

It will be hard to top the record breaking Penny Wars 2014.

Seventh graders: Start saving your pennies now. Don’t forget about those Box Tops. Cut them out every time you see them. Ask your family members, friends, and neighbors to do the same.

Until next year…

Stimson Silas Wood Fundraiser

Left to right, committee members: Monica Fulcher, Laura Carey, Fran Block, Nancy Hauser, Alyssa Slanksy, Laura Morelli, Michelle Murphy, Ellen Scortichini, Carmella Posillico, Maria Llanos, Sue Crowley, Julie Schrama, and Mary Beth Kraese.
Left to right: Stimson Principal, Edwin Smith; Silas Wood Administrative Dean, Adam Obletz; Silas Wood Principal, Steve Toto; and Stimson Assistant Principal, Anthony Sansotta.
The Robby Deitz Quartet performed a great mix of classic and contemporary Jazz classics.
Stimson music and chorus teacher Terri Haas lends her talented voice to the evenings entertainment.

Comedians and psychics aside, all you needed for a great time was the company of friends and co-workers, great music and good food.  Once inside the Carlyle at the Palace in Plainview you knew this was going to be a fun and highly successful fundraiser.  The PTA did a fantastic job as always. There were lots of amazing raffle baskets, and live music featuring the Robby Deitz Quartet who created the perfect atmosphere to get caught up with co-workers, friends, and neighbors.

Thank you PTA for such a fantastic evening. The committee would especially like to thank the many businesses that graciously supported this year’s fundraiser. The success of the evening will greatly add to the cultural arts programs at both Stimson and Silas Wood. A big thank you to the Party at the Palace Committee for make the evening a success:  Co-Chairs Laura Carey and Nancy Hauser, and committee members Ellen Scortichini, Alyssa Slanksy, Michelle Murphy, Monica Fulcher, Mary Beth Kraese, Fran Block, Laura Morelli, Carmella Posillico, Sue Crowley, Julie Schrama, and Maria Llanos.

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Town of Huntington Youth Council "Sport Swap"


Creative Thinking on Election Day


This past Tuesday, with schools closed for election day voting, the district’s art teachers elected to further their knowledge and explore the power of art in developing creative thinking and fueling 21st–century innovation.

In a special presentation sponsored by the Heckscher Museum of Art, K-12 art teachers from schools across Long Island were invited to spend the day exploring the power of art as an exciting approach to the Common Core.  Their day included touring the Museum’s Richard Gachot’s America and Long Island Biennial exhibitions.  Exhibiting artist Dee Shapiro spoke with the teachers about her interdisciplinary creative process. Artist Tullio DeSantis also joined the discussion via Skype, as participants discoverd the exciting 21st-century collaboration between these two artists.

The teachers were also one of the first to experience the Museum’s new interactive Action Painter digital drawing software on a 55-inch touchscreen.  This innovative program allows children to “paint” using paintbrushes that are sensitive to fingertip pressure.

The teachers left Heckscher energized by Patricia Miranda’s keynote address on making meaningful connections between art, science, history, and culture. Thank you Heckscher Museum for providing innovative programs for our teachers, as well as our students.


Career Day @ Stimson

Registered Nurse Kathleen Ugenti talks about nursing careers and how nurses stay safe in our increasingly complex world.
Accountant Teena Nguyen surprises students with an informational presentation of how a career in accounting can also lay the foundation to many areas in the business world.
David Rankel, also an accountant shows students how accounting will play a role in their everyday lives, event if they don’t realize it yet.
Christine Mondry, a video editor, peaks students interest in an area that is rapidly expanding.
Left to right: Ms. Zamow and Ms. Engels set the tone for their students to "Dress for Success."
Dianne Martin an Executive Director for a large Non-Profit in New York talks with students about the corporate world.

Ask any student at Stimson Middle School what they want to be when they grow up and the answers are as varied as they are extensive.  An Account? A Veterinarian? Perhaps a Nurse or an Attorney?  Stimson Middle School’s Annual Career Day is one way for students to learn first-hand about careers they may be interested in.

Our middle school 7th graders were treated to presentations from a vast array of local professionals who fielded questions and talked about what it’s like to be a Psychologist, an FBI Agent, a Computer Programmer or even a Musician. Whether their interests are in public safety, landscape design, personal training, carpentry, real estate, or the law, local professionals whet students’ appetites for making career choices.  Students were invited by their teachers and coordinators of the program, Ms. Engels and Ms. Zamow, to "Dress for Success" to meet these professionals.  It was a great day for the 7th grade Home and Career students!

We would like to thank the following community members for volunteering their time at Stimson Middle School’s Annual Career Day: Mr. John Deitch, Mr. Chris Williams, Mrs. Denise Robinson, Mr. Robert Fisher, Mr. Anthony Davi, Mrs. Christine Mondry, Mrs. Teena Nguyen, Mrs. Kathleen Ugenti, Mrs. Dianne Martin, Ms. Ronella Manhoralall, Mr. David Rankel, Mr. Jack Papaiacovou, Ms. Cindy Wift, Mr. Ray Matusa, Mrs. Kerry Jaffee, Mrs. Erica Jenkins, Dr. Heidi Hoefer, Mrs. Genneth Banting, Mrs. Lisa Fullerton, Mr. Michael Holzman, Mr. Steve Kellerman, Mr. Pete Carey, Mr. Pat Nicolino, and Mrs. Laura Carey. 

The Singing Bus Driver Returns to Oakwood

Joe Guida- The Singing Bus Driver has his volunteers up and dancing.
Joe says: remember to stay in your seat, buckle up, and have a safe ride to and from school!

The Singing School Bus Driver was back at Oakwood again this year to help our kindergartners learn all about bus safety!  Joe Guida has become one of Long Island’s favorite performers at schools. 

Our kindergartners thoroughly enjoyed singing and dancing to some of Joe’s famous bus safety songs which include “Buckle Up”, Dinosaur Walk”, and “Macaroni and Cheese”. 

We hope all of our kindergartners remember the very important bus safety rules that Bus Driver Joe reminded them of during his performance. Remember to stay in your seat, buckle up, and have a safe ride to and from school!

Spirit Week Competition Brings Out the Best @ Silas Wood

Team 2 gathers for a celebratory group photo.

Silas Wood school spirit was in full gear as students participated in theme dress days, a food drive and box top competition, an Academic Bowl, and the chicken run.  All of the 6th graders showed great teamwork and cooperation as they participated in all of the exciting events.  Congratulations to Team 2 winning Spirit Week 2014.

Team 2 teachers:  Stephanie Brown, Gay Bullock, Joe Poller, Michelle Berger, Patty DeLorenzo, and Sue Cirillo. Teacher Assistant's:  Terri Oddo, and Cathy DeSousa.

Annual Halloween Parade Backed By Talented Musicians


Countrywood’s annual Halloween Parade on Friday, October 31, brought much joy and laughter to our staff, students, and parents.  All of our classes and staff marched around the traffic circle waving and chanting Happy Halloween to the onlookers.  Thank you to Mr. Allan Deitz and his talented woodwind musicians from the high school for their upbeat accompaniment.  It was a treat to see our former Countrywood friends.  A fun time was certainly enjoyed by all!

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Fundations Owl Strengthens Critical Thinking, Speaking, and Listening Skills

Students participate in carefully sequenced skills such as learning the letters of the alphabet, tapping out the sounds in words, decoding, fluency practice, and spelling.
Students add a little something extra by learning sign language for each letter.
The Fundations Owl helps students focus on phonological/phonemic awareness, phonics and spelling.

Countrywood students are participating in a new Fundations program this year which focuses on phonological/phonemic awareness, phonics and spelling.  Led by the “Owl” students participate in carefully sequenced skills such as learning the letters of the alphabet, tapping out the sounds in words, decoding, fluency practice, and spelling.  Critical thinking, speaking and listening skills are also practiced during Storytime activities.  Ms. Lebit and Ms. Bonamo’s students are just one example of how engaging this program is for our students as they add a little something special by teaching the students the sign language for each letter.  We all look forward to the gains that our K-2 students will make this year!

Whitman Swimmers Qualify

The Walt Whitman girls independent swim team is supervised by Coach Rufus Shepard.
Eight dedicated swimmers from Stimson and Whitman had a good fall season and will continue to improve in the off season.
Captain Emily Fung, closest to camera, waits for the start.

The girls independent swim team has eight athletes this year, all working hard to improve their individual times in their events, and seeking to qualify for the County Championships. 

Swimmers practice with their club teams 6 days a week and are supervised by Coach Rufus Shepard.  The team is made up of 8 dedicated swimmers from Stimson and Whitman.   Members include: 3 year Captain Emily Fung (Qualified for county meet in 100 backstroke/200 IM), Casey McKenna (2nd year 100/500 freestyle), Kathryn Gamble (first year on team/50 freestyle), Jillian Leydon (2nd year/100 fly), Vanessa Franco (qualified for county meet in 100 fly), Dana Keogler (100 backstroke/breaststroke ), Madison Fulcher (first year on team/100 fly), and Michelle Franco (first year on team/100 fly)

Let’s wish Emily Fung and Vanessa Franco good luck as they prepare to compete in the Suffolk County State Qualifying Meet on November 8th at Suffolk Community College.

Wounded Warrior Honored

Left to right: Matias Ferreira; Whitman’s senior captains: Don Bonaventure, Gerald Riley, Andre Harris, and Jaron Batts, with Head JV Football Coach Curt Russell.

He didn’t seem to mind the cold steady rain, the wind had picked up and you could feel the soaking on your side. For Marine Lance Corporal Matias Ferreira, our local weather this past Saturday did little to dampen his spirits, as he was our guest of honor at Walt Whitman’s last home football game of the 2014-15 season.

Lance Corporal Ferreira is a Wounded Warrior and a True American Hero.  In September 2010 he was assigned as a Machine Gunner with the 1st Battalion 8th Marines in Helmand Province Afghanistan.  In September 2011 while on a combat mission, Lance Corporal Ferreira received a life threatening injury which ultimately caused him to leave active service from the Marines. As a result of the injuries sustained in Afghanistan, Lance Corporal Ferriera received the Purple Heart. He honored Walt Whitman and South Huntington with his presence for the coin toss that opened the final home game for our high school seniors. Whitman won the game 17-14.

Thank you Lance Corporal Ferreira, and thank you Head JV Football Coach Curt Russell. As a member of the Wounded Warrior Project Mr. Russell was instrumental in bringing our honored guest to South Huntington.


Halloween @ Whitman Thrills Area Youngsters

It’s hard to see who has more fun, high school students or their trick or treat guests.
Each room contained fun activities supervised by Walt Whitman students.

Halloween night at Walt Whitman found the annual Safe Halloween underway with area youngsters enjoying escorted tours of many of the elaborately decorated rooms in the 500 and 600 wings of the high school. Each room highlighted different themes as planned by the many groups of Whitman students. From the Jungle Creatures to cowboys and Indians, from Hawaiian adventures to Iron Man, from Disney to Super Heroes to Robotics, the halls were filled with delighted children.

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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.” 

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.

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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.