A Memorial Day Message from the Superintendent of Schools

I want to take a moment and wish the members of our South Huntington community a very warm, healthy Memorial Day. While the weekend will undoubtedly be filled with barbecues and family time we should also take a moment to thank those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom. If history has taught us anything, it is that liberty is not free. Our democratic way of life was secured by generations of Americans who sacrificed both at home and abroad to provide us the blessings we enjoy today. So let's embrace this weekend's unofficial start of summer, while simultaneously remembering the brave men and women who defended our great nation.

Principal's List Celebrated

Students who were in attendance for 2015 Principal‘s List Awards Ceremony.

At the recent Board of Education meeting, as members of the community voted in their annual school budget and BOE elections in the South Gymnasium, many of Walt Whitman’s smartest students were across the hall in the Performing Arts Center being acknowledged for having achieved a 3.5 year cumulative average of 95 or better. It’s the Principal’s List awards, where each student is brought up in front of classmates, family, and friends, a brief bio is read about his or her accomplishments and camera flashes abound. Seventy-three seniors were awarded certificates for their accomplishments.  The honorees names are placed on a plaque that will be displayed on the walls of Whitman for years to come.

Congratulations to the following exceptional students:

Valedictorian – Jonathan F. Sparling

Salutatorian –Isabel Jantana Sakarin

Jennifer Kristan Agell, Alexandria K. Alpy, Alexa Lee Arthur, Olivia Gayle Banting, Kristen Taylor Cardascia, Paola Jolie Cespedes, Amy Chen, Maryam Choudhary, Abigail Lynn Daniels, Alexis Nicole Darrow, Jade Lauren Darrow, Justin Roz Devaraj, Joseph R. Di Piero, Collin Tyler Donovan, Jasmine A. Erfan, April Rose Fallon, Thomas S. Ferrante, Gerard W. Foley, Thomas P. Foley, Brandon Gallipoli, Connor Galvin, Hunter Payne Goldsmith, Nicole Patrice Grennan, Sumona Halder, Colleen Harrington, William J. Heath, Robert J. Herley IV, Allysia Marie Jones, Jacob Christian Kahrs, Russell Kielawa, Lauren Nicole King, Heather Nicole Kurash, Jameson C. Latko, Mindy Lin, Marissa A. LoCastro, Kathryn V. Marchesiello, Ryan Mc Allister, Sean Thomas Mc Entee, Christina Marie McFelia, Nandi Nyanda Morancie, Jonathan P. Mozoon, Zarmeen Mussa, Katelyn Neuman, Margaret M. Nostrand, Jonathan Robert O’Toole, Shayna Gabrielle Pehel, Nicole Jamie Peluso, Julia Kishanie Persaud, Danerah Yvabeth Pierre, Linda M. Powell, Cheryl Rose Rodriguez, Joshua Christian Roiland, Nicole L. Rowe, Benjamin Jahmon Sakarin, Allison Saltz, Rebecca D. Sansotta, Jack Michael Schatten, Kristen Marie Schmidt, Ashley Rose Seebach, Robert J. Senecal, Ayumi M. Shiraishi, Mahum Jamil Siddiqui, Elisabeth Silverman, Sabrina Helen Simanoff, Nikki Yetta Smith, Tariq Soliman, Jenna Nicole Traina, Ellen R. Tricomi, Gabrielle Elizabeth Vital, Eliza Wong, and Hannah Lillie Zaiff.

Each student photographed at the Principal's Awards Ceremony will receive a photo print in their Graduation packet on June 27th. Photo may also be downloaded from the district website.

Photo Gallery

Stimson Awarded at Long Island Science Congress

Front row left to right: Sarah Nace, Sydney Khan, Madison Fulcher, Andrew Ferreri, Brady Mondry, and Kayla Sakayan. Back row l-r: Riley Turner, Heather Abbene, Chris Pileggi, Shaan Kahn, Stimson Science Chairperson Mr. Marcus Maddy, and Stimson Principal Mr. Edwin Smith. Absent from photo is Sarah Choudhary.
Stimson Middle School students accepting their awards at the Long Island Science Congress Junior Division Awards. Back row, left to right, Chris Pileggi, Shaan Kahn, Brady Mondry, Kayla Sakayan and Riley Turner. Front row, left to right, Sydney Khan and Sarah Nace.

On Monday evening, May 18, a number of students from Stimson Middle School represented South Huntington at the awards ceremony for the Long Island Science Congress. All of these students started their research earlier in the school year and continued to make improvements and prepare for the competition.  The following students received well-deserved recognition:

Highest Honors: Sarah Nace and Riley Turner

High Honors: Shaan Kahn, Chris Pileggi

Honors: Madison Fulcher, Sydney Khan, Brady Mondry, and Kayla Sakayan

Achievement: Heather Abbene, Sarah Choudhary and Andrew Ferreri

Thank you to all the students that participated!

They're Golden!

The Award Winning Wind Ensemble at Wednesday nights Spring Concert.

We are pleased to report that our High School Wind Ensemble, under the talented direction of Mr. Allan Deitz, has won a coveted Gold Medal in the NYSSMA Majors Festival.  This award, reserved for only the finest performing groups in our region, speaks volumes about the talent and preparation that our music program dedicates to success.

Congratulations to: Lila Amin, Alexa Arthur, Ariel Khatchatourian, Christina Mc Felia, Linda Powell, Samantha Ruotolo, Umaimah Saleemi, Paige Tortorice, Gabrielle Vital, Keya Bartolomeo, Neyda Diaz-Vilorio, Natalie Hayes, Jilliam Leydon, Shayna Pehel, Jessica Persaud, Antoinette Riehl, Ellen Tricomi, Lindsay Varolian, Kate Manson, Katelyn Neuman, Melanie Schwartz, Jonathan Sparling, Paige Gladstone, David Grey, Melissa Shaiman, Matthew Cusumano, Derek Lap, Omar Ramos, Austin Salas, Isaac Renderos, Dana Roach, Margaret Nostrand, Steven Ciravolo, Michael Di Maulo, Emily Ferrante, Will Flood, Jefferson Hector, Josh Kaplan, Jack Schatten, Colin Sherland, Brittany White, Zach Bruno, Katie Clark, Lauren Connolly, Mara Keen, Megan Lo, Arianna Monterroso, Jack Zuckerberg, Margaret Nostrand, Mary Rose Stone, Joonho Ko, David Hamilton III, Josh Devaraj, Alec Gonzalez, Nicole Grennan, Casey Leonick, James Reilly, George Marr, and Derick Ramos.

Photo Gallery

From the 5-20-15 Spring Concert











Starting a Winning Tradition

The South Huntington Lacrosse Club’s 3rd and 4th Grade girls felt they might be ready to take on their Varsity friends for real.
The youngsters look to catch-up to their varsity mentors in a real fast break situation.
Whitman senior Katelyn Neumann works with the young players demonstrating some quick passing and shooting.
Varsity player Kelly Baumann looks to pass the ball as her defender moves in.
Basics, like passing, catching, and ground balls are crucial to any successful lacrosse player.
Kelly Baumann encourages a player to run hard and play good defense.
South Huntington Lacrosse Club’s coach Steve Scharpf gets his players ready before their big game.

Two teams came together on Thursday night May 14th to start a tradition that could pave the way to a great future for the Whitman Girls Lacrosse program.  The varsity girls’ lacrosse team hosted the South Huntington Lacrosse Club’s 3rd and 4th Grade girls’ team on the turf for a game that will live in the memories of all involved for years.  Coaches Lisa Christiansen and Joseph Pipolo brought their varsity team to take on the 3rd and 4th graders in an effort to show the younger team what it takes to be a varsity player, and more importantly… how to have a lot of fun playing lacrosse. 

This game was a chance for the young ladies to meet some of the older girls, make a new friend, and find a role model.  The older girls moved the younger players into the right spots, encouraged them, joked with them, pushed them to run hard and play good defense... lessons they will carry with them as they grow. 

The game had the feeling of a Globetrotters game, with the 3rd and 4th graders playing the role of Globetrotters and the varsity girls playing the role of the Generals.   Although many of the younger girls said the varsity girls were a bit too nice to them (“They should play us for REAL!”), every now and then the varsity girls turned on the jets and gave the young team a look at a real fast break, some tough defense, or some quick passing and shooting.  The real score is unknown, but it is believed that the 3rd and 4th graders managed a slight victory over their gracious hosts.

All the girls playing in the game were from Birchwood, Maplewood, and of course Walt Whitman.   To the parents and coaches in attendance, it was another example of just how great our kids are and what a bright future they have in front of them.  The South Huntington team and their coaches would like to thank the varsity girls for this great experience and hope to do it again soon. The young ladies look forward to playing on the other side in a few years when they are varsity players themselves.  It truly was the start of a winning tradition!!




Important Update from Dr. Bennardo

Hi All:

I want to apprise you of a situation that took place after school today.  Late this afternoon, we received word that a Stimson student had called 9-11 from his bus because he thought he saw a young man with a gun on the street.  The police came to the Stimson student’s bus stop, where our Assistant Superintendent had also arrived.  The police questioned the reporting student, who claimed that he saw three young men and a young woman by a silver late model car.  The student further reported that he observed the young man taking a firearm out of a backpack.  The police are handling the investigation and speaking with other children that were on the bus.  The school district is cooperating with authorities and will assist the police in any way necessary.  At this point the 2nd Precinct has labeled the event a “menacing investigation” and assured that both marked and unmarked police presence would be increased in the area. We will of course be increasing our adult presence on this bus.  We will follow-up if new information arises.

Be well,

Dave Bennardo


I got a few requests regarding  the specific location of the bus incident referenced in my earlier email.  The Stimson student made this report from bus H14 in the area of Birchwood Road, Hare Place and Bradbury.  That is inclusive of all information that we have at this point. 

Spring Concerts Hit the High Note

The Concert Orchestra got the evening off to a great start with three selections including “Rhythmical Transformations,” “Celtic Roots,” and “Variations on a Well Known Sea Chanty.”
The Concert Orchestra Violin section featured 35 musicians that when combined with the rest of the orchestra created a powerful sound.
Soprano Sarah Heppler captured the audience with her solo performance of ‘Over The Rainbow.”
Alto singer Olivia Banting and tenor Samuel Hoffman were soloists in the performance of ‘It Take a Village.”
Like an exclamation point at the end of a sentence, the Brass section of the Concert Band lends a familiar and powerful component to the “Gallant Marines March.”
The Clarinet section of the Concert Band led the way in a selection of music from the familiar ‘The Lion King."

We are in the midst of spring concert time, and our talented high school performing groups, under the direction of Mr. Deitz. Mr. Yolango, and Mr. Altinel, are taking to the stage this week to display the products of their talents and efforts.  Congratulations to the following students who put on an incredible display of talent this past Monday evening:

Concert Orchestra - Frank Yolango-Music Director

VIOLIN I: David Calliendo, Natalie Dunn, Jasmine Erfan, Tara Edouard, Alison Calzada, Mara Keen, Chloe Blumberg, Ilana Desmond, Scott McEntee, Christie Franz, Danielle Barbarito, Siam Ahmed, Serah Carbon, Emma Dunn, Johnique Aiken, Kyla Magrane, Vanessa Guardado, Stephanie Jean.  VIOLIN II: Valentina Mendez, Lauren Brown, Christina Diffley, Lindsay Bayley, Lauren Wesch, Ally Gottessman, Leanna Vergis, Josue Velasquez, Lily Pelliccia, Sydney McCrea, Jason Girard, Tiffany Cheun, Sofia Cruz-Gomez, Christopher Bamburger, Katherine Hernandez, Michelle Jiang, Mariella Suarez. VIOLA: Lauren Ragone, Grace Noonan, Melissa Konakli, Kathleen Dugan, Timothy Jobson, Amanda Tobin, Emily Petrone, Aksa Qureshi, Kristen Conroy, Tajear Farquharson, Michael Seitz, Joseph Van Gostein, Daniella Pasquarello, Meaghan Liegey, Robert Leonick. CELLO: Brittney Salerno, Rachel Vaughn, Charles Rutolo, Joanne Nguyen, Alexandra Sherry, Karthikeyian Mayilvahanan. BASS: Jaelin Trench, Matthew Bromschwig, Justin Ullman, Joshua Joseph, Anthony Christopher.


Concert Band - Allan Deitz, Director

FLUTES: Ife Adebola, Olivia Biederman, Desiree Chouinard, Bailey Dye, Holly Fontanetta, Erin Haddock, Elizabeth Havjar, Sarah Kim, Kiersten O’Rourke, Shailee Patel, Kaitlyn Riha Amina Sadiq, Shannon Yodice CLARINETS: Kristen Coletti, Christina Corry, Allison DiStasi, Leanne Haddock, Danielle Harris, Nellie Klein, Katie Latko, Catherine Ledbetter, Timothy Mahadeo, Tyler Malone, Andrew Martin, Kelly O’Neill OBOE: Maelyn Latko BASS CLARINET: Steven Nappi ALTO SAXOPHONES: Kristy Campana, Kelvin Colato-Velez, Katie Hoppe, Erin MacLeod, Anthony Pray, Natalie Zakrzewski TENOR SAXOPHONES: Kayla Campana, Cayleigh DelGado BARITONE SAXOPHONE: Leevon Black  TRUMPETS: Thomas Brostowin, Max Eidinoff, Paul Follo, Matthew Haddock, Justin Joachim, Matthew Kaputa, Ryan King, Miles Lewis, Michael Naughton, Clifford Sweezy, Bijan Tabibzada, Perry Tripi, Alec Wurtz FRENCH HORNS: Grace Kongevold, Sara Lopez, Joseph Thyer, Matthew Torres TROMBONES: Christopher Babinski, Samson Grimm, Aiden Smyth EUPHONIUMS: Michael Bottini, Joe Kaye, Johnathan Lew, Graham Lunt, Brenda Mendez, Sean Smyth TUBA: Jack Anest PERCUSSION: Daniel Abbruzzese, Joshua Berger, Vanessa Brown, Erin Collins, Correy Pearlman, Matthew Ruiz, Matthew Stampfel.


Whitman Chorale - Mr. Steven Altinel, Director

SOPRANO:  Heather Aadal, Caitlin Dermody, Lauren Giglio, Sarah Heppler, Marina Kopf, Jess Menditto ALTO: Olivia Banting, Adrienne Cantave, Kelsey DeRosa, April Fallon, Megan Lo, Alyssa Torchon TENOR: Trevor Ewald, Delaney Guiliano, Samuel Hoffman, Michael Jackson, Kalif Jones, Brandon Scott BASS: Patrick Canniff, Thomas Foley, Gregory Josenhans, Derek Lap, Nicholas Magnus, Carlos Villatoro.

Photo Gallery

Art Students Leave Lasting Legacy @ YummyTummy

Clockwise from top left: students April Fallon, Hannah Karkari, and Abdjine Lemaitre; YummyTummy owner Patti Kielawa; Assistant Superintendent Dr. Joseph T. Centamore, and Whitman Art Teacher and Advisor to the National Art Honor Society Gina Tinucci.
Art students created an imaginary world inside YummyTummy where children’s parties can be held.
While these student will graduate and move on to the next phase in their young lives, their wonderfully painted murals will be a lasting impression to the strong partnerships with the members of our business community.

Our School-to-Career initiative takes many forms and provides numerous opportunities to our students. In recent weeks our artists had a chance to partner with local businesses to leave a lasting legacy in the South Huntington community. It was impressive to see Ms. Gina Tinucci and her National Art Honor Society students create beautiful murals for the Grand Opening of Yummy Tummy Candy. One only has to stroll through the store to see and feel the talent inherent in our wonderful students. It is a genuine pleasure to have such fantastic young people in our schools and to enjoy such strong partnerships with the members of our business community.

Congratulations to: April Fallon, President of the National Art Honor Society; Kristen Barone, Alyssa Denis, Hannah Karkari, Curator for the National Art Honor Society; Abdjine Lemaitre, Grace Noonan, Maria Petrizzo, Amanda Ruiz, Rachel Shapiro and Nicole Sohn.

Photo Gallery

A Message of Thanks to the Community

The members of the South Huntington Board of Education, administration, and staff wish to thank the community for their support of our 2015-2016 school budget. We recognize that this overwhelming endorsement is a sign of genuine faith and promise to make wise and efficient use of the precious resources you have allocated to our schools. There was an unmistakable sense of cooperation reflected in this year's budget development process, and we appreciate the efforts of all constituent groups in developing a balanced, contemplative spending plan. Fortunately, our learning community was able to craft a budget that methodically enhances our district's instructional programs and facilities in a fiscally sound, sustainable manner. Through the entire process our South Huntington team remained keenly aware of the need to provide our students with cutting-edge, "21st Century" opportunities, while simultaneously respecting the pressures on our local taxpayers. We thank the community for recognizing that collaborative work and supporting the important mission of our schools.

While there is great pride in the budget plan that was ultimately approved by our voters, we are cognizant of the need to keep a watchful eye on the future. We want to ensure that each and every budget recommendation be thoughtful, collaborative, and sustainable into the next decade. With this in mind, we will continue to build upon the strong relationships the Board of Education, administration, and staff enjoys with our PTA, Booster Club, and Educational Foundation and work collaboratively on behalf of our students. In addition, we will continue to partner with government, not-for-profit, and business organizations to bring creative resources to the district. The reality is that this week's budget passage represents not an end, but the beginning of a journey that will carry our school district into an exciting new year. There is a genuine renaissance taking place in South Huntington, and great things are on the horizon.


Be Well,

Dave Bennardo

A Program On The Way Up

Seniors, along with their parents and coaches share a moment before their final high school game.
A salute to their seniors, Colleen Harrington (3) with proud mom and dad get ushered onto the field
Ready for game-time the girls put on their game faces.

"Build up your weaknesses until they become your strong points." Knute Rockne

The girls Lacrosse program is rebuilding, and led by a strong group of seniors, new head coach Lisa Christiansen is optimistic with where the program is headed.  “They [seniors] demonstrated outstanding leadership, and they were all about taking care of their team, coming out everyday and setting a good example for themselves and their teammates,” said the first year coach. “They pushed each other all season long, through thick and thin, and always came out with a smile on their face.”

The Lady Wildcats play in a tough Division 1, where over 50% of the teams ended their regular season with a record over 500. But they didn’t get down with their losses and worked hard at improving so that next year’s team has a better shot.

“I really love the fact that they put all their trust in a new coach and a new system,” said Assistant Coach Joseph Pipolo. “They never flinched on what they were asked to do, and they had a lot of faith in her every minute. I think that’s pretty cool. Their record doesn’t indicate anything about the character of this team."

“It was always their goal to help lead this program on the way back up,” said Coach Christiansen.  “We’ve had our tough points but I think the girls feel like we’re in a position now where we’re going to take this program back up to where they want it to be, and I’m really proud of how hard they worked.”

Congratulations to our seniors: Captains Katelyn Neuman, Kate Manson, and Paige Gladstone, and teammates Colleen Harrington, and Emma Manson.

Photo Gallery

Oakwood Parents Enjoy A Night Out

Many of the Oakwood parents who were instrumental in the success of the evening gather for a brief moment.
Oakwood Assistant Principal Mitch Levy and Nurse Helene Falcone enjoying the warm evening on the patio at the Crest Hollow County Club.
Entertainer Ricky Roch offered an extensive request list and created a perfect ambiance to the evening.
Before everyone headed inside to the evening’s main event, appetizers and drinks found their perfect match as the sun set.
Pouring over the 145 extravagant baskets and labeling the raffle tickets allowed everyone to work up their appetite.

Oakwood Primary Center held their annual Cultural Arts Fundraiser on Thursday evening, May 14. From drinks and appetizers outside, to the scrumptious dinner and talented music from Ricky Roch inside, Crest Hollow County Club provided the perfect setting. Co-Chaired by Dayna Cioffi and Kim Phillips, the evening was a great opportunity to mingle with friends and colleagues, and vie for any of the over 145 amazing raffle baskets.

“Thank you to all of the families that joined us at our annual cultural arts fundraiser. This event was only possible because of all of the support from the families that contributed so generously of their time and efforts.” said Oakwood PTA President Solange Rich. “The monies raised will help pay for many of the special assemblies and programs that promote the arts that our children love. On behalf of all of the children who benefit from your dedication, thank you.”

The Oakwood Primary Center PTA expresses their sincere thanks to the Oakwood Parents, Teachers, Staff, and Invited Guests for supporting our PTA and School.

A big thanks to the parents who gave their time to help make this event a huge success including: Maureen Basedow, Elke Butera, Kristen Cuozzo, Reina David, Kim Donahue, Theresa Duffy, Valerie Gaus, Nancy Gorman, Janine Isernia, Danielle Koffer, Lesley Logue, Erica Ranieri, Kristen Rombaldi, Erika Wolf, and the Members of the PTA Executive Board.

And a special thank you to all the class parents who collected and created the amazing class baskets represented: Deanna Avella, Amy Baker, Lisa Bass, Christina Bonilla, Cynthia Bowe, Elke Butera, Dana Crocco, Elizabeth Costa, Ashley Cruise, Theresa Duffy, Marie Fischer, Chrissy Flathmann, Nicole Franz, Nicole Giacaponello, April Hiller, Katie McKinley, Michelle Norris, Laura Palmieri, Kim Phillips, Jennifer Preller, Erica Scharf, Roxanna Sorto, Christine Statlers, Erin Verdi and Andrea Verga.

The Parents Night Out Night Committee would like to especially thank the many area businesses who were so generous in making the evening such a success.

Photo Gallery

Special Olympics @ Whitman

South Huntington Olympian Megan Bushey is off to a great start in the 55m dash.
Whitman Principal Ms. Kathleen Acker calls the winners to the podium and South Huntington Assistant Superintendent Dr. Joseph T. Centamore presents medals and a sincere congratulations.
Many of the South Huntington volunteers grab a quick photo moment before the morning got really busy with events and activities.
This young Olympian is very proud of his hard-earned medal.
The Wildcat Booster Club unveiled their new ‘Food Truck.’ Sponsored in part by the St. Hugh-St. Elizabeth Baseball/Softball League, the fully equipped, major addition to the Whitman Sports Campus was made possible through a generous donation from the Kaden Family.

We were honored on Saturday, May 2, to host the New York State Special Olympics and see over 200 of our faculty, students, and parents host the thousands of visitors that came to the Walt Whitman campus. It was a heartwarming day that exemplified the genuine commitment to others, which characterizes our learning family. The people of our community should be very proud to have collaborated in such a worthy collective mission. Special thanks to Dr. Wright for coordinating this event and to all the volunteers who made the day special.

Photo Gallery

Budget Vote 2015 Results

Proposition 1 - School Budget


School Board

Edward Nitkewicz - 1074

Linda LaCara - 1137

Michele DeGaetano -1193

Andrew Bronson - 1064


Haitian Heritage Highlighted


The Haitian-American students at Walt Whitman High School are proud of their heritage and today, May 18, is Haitian Flag Day.  This morning during announcements students read a poem and throughout the day are sharing with classmates the significance of this day.  The Red and Blue Haitian flag has a set of symbols that create their "Coats of Arms."  The Coat of Arms depicts a trophy of weapons ready to defend freedom and a royal palm tree for independence. The palm is topped by the Cap of Liberty.  The Haitian flag's origin is tightly linked to a history of struggle for freedom.

Thank you Psychology Intern Ms. Soraya Bonny, Mathematics teacher Mr. Malaury Samedy, and especially to our students: Abdjine Lemaitre, Elisabeth Auguste, Meghann Alphonse, Cindy Richard, Rose Saint Charles, Narenghie Ladonis, Djounlie Dormilien, Weed Florvil, and Thayler Guirand.

Silas Wood Heads to Adventureland

Before embarking on their adventure, students, teachers and staff met on the back lawn for their annual group photo.
The log flume was one of the more popular rides and an opportunity for a little pre-season splash.
Principal Steve Toto, right, as well as his students all had a great time.

Roller coasters, and the log flume, and bumper cars, OH MY!   Last week, sixth-graders from Silas Wood took an end-of-year trip to Adventureland.  The students and staff had exclusive rights to the park on a warm and beautiful day. The sounds of laughter and excitement could be heard and the sea of smiling students and teachers filled the park. 

National Junior Honor Society Induction

Stimson 8th grader and NJHS Officer Sean Rankel lights the leadership candle after speaking about why leadership is a crucial element in the five qualities that exemplify membership in the National Junior Honor Society.
NJHS Officer Desiree Kleberg spoke about the importance of scholarship.
Stimson Advisor to the National Junior Honor Society Ms. Jessica Voorhees congratulates Logan Slansky on his induction.
NJHS Grace Roiland lights the Citizenship candle and talks about its importance to the new members of the National Junior Honor Society.

It has been an exciting week as we approach the homestretch of our school year. Our Walt Whitman Honor Society induction was followed by Monday night's National Junior Honor Society ceremony, and there were proud smiles and applause throughout the Stimson Forum. We congratulate all of our new Stimson National Junior Honor Society members, as well as their advisors, Jessica Voorhees and Seth Goldman, along with their dedicated teachers. We also offer special recognition to our inductees’ parents who have nurtured and supported them throughout their academic careers. We know that there are more wonderful things to come from this talented group of emerging scholars.

Congratulation to: Heather Abbene, Isabella Adamovicz, Aleena Ali, Christopher Arthur, Michelle Berrios, Nathan Blank, Olivia Bonomo, Isabella Bonvicin, Christopher Borges, Gregory Borysowski, Anthony Bosco, Mariah Boyle, Meghan Brady Fuchsman, Patrick Bresnan, Matthew Calandra, Jordan Campanelli, Annelise Campo, Izabella Canales, Samantha Carey, Victoria Cassellia, Jessica Castagna, Daljeet Cheema, Juliana Chiriboga, Julia Chiusano, Iza Choudrey, Sarah Clopper, Kayla Coll, Olivia Cunsolo, Luke Cunsolo, Kara De Bruin, Nicholas De Gaetano, Kaitlin De Moore, Corinne De Rosa, Hailey Dearborn, Michael Deitch, Jake Donahue, Joseph Dowling, Brandon Dowling, Shane Duffy, Emily Engoran, April Farrell, Kristen Finnerty, Diana Fogel, Jeremy Forman, Michelle Franco, Madison Fulcher, Jake Fullerton, Janna Garden, Anna Garziano, Gabrielle Girard, Cassidy Giudici, Colby Goldsmith, Olivia Golembiowski, Yoseline Gonzalez Contreras, Olivia Gorecki, Lauren Gotard, Emma Graff, Christopher Gallo, Ethan Halle, Gretel Huber, Nimra Ishtiaq, Kate Jenkins, Jillian Jobson, Priya Katwala, Sydney Khan, Nicholas King, Marianna Kliampas, Olivia Kongevold, Daniel Kulesa, Rebecca Lamanna, Jake Lang, Karina Lew, Sofia Lorente, Aidan Luebker, Kevin Martin, Marissa Martino, Jessica Mason, Amanda Mc Quade, Tyler Meyer, Katherine Miata, Gabriella Mingin, Dean Mirissis, Brady Mondry, Kevin Morrissey, Patrick Muccini, Joshua Muellers, Emily Murphy, Sarah Nace, Julia Nerzig, Anna Noonan, Samantha O’Connor, Rebecca Oltedal, Jefferson Orellana, Eleni Papaiacovou, Jennifer Parada Melgar, Tyler Phelan, Matthew Philip, Juan Ramirez, Connor Rankel, Nicole Rapacciuolo, Mikaila Rattazzi, Lauren Redelman, Dylan Rehman, Mycaela Reilly, Amanda Riha, Emily Riha, Destiny Robinson, Isabella Rombaldi, Jayda Rosene, Stephanie Ross, Jackson Zaiff, Kayla Sakayan, Yamilex Salamanca Lopez, Sofia Saykovska, Nohl Schwandtner, Julia Seitz, Ariana Shaikh, Umema Siddiqui, Logan Slansky, Rachel Smith, Fiona Smyth, Meghan Stengl, James Thomann, Jacqueline Thomann, Barbara Tripi, Gregory Tully, Emma Tuohy, Riley Turner, Kalynn Twist, Natalie Ugenti, Wilmer Valle, William Valle, Joseph Varisco, Stephen Verderame, Jessica Vesque, Christopher Williams, Ryan Wittleder, Kevin Wrobel, Subhana Zafar, Daniel Zahn, Shane Zarcone, and Mikaela Zukaitis.

Grim Reaper’s Graphic Reminder

Thank you to Emma Kongevold, our Grim Reaper, and her ‘victims’ played by: Ife Adebola, Katie Latko, Noelle Bryggman, Erin Glidden, Christie Franz, Robert Herley, and Ben Morales for helping to remind all of us of the dire dangers of texting or drinking and driving.
In the hustle and bustle of Walt Whitman’s busy hallways, as students were headed to their next class, they happened upon a scene that made them pause and think, and that’s exactly what junior Emma Kongevold wanted to happen.
Thank you Maureen McCormick, Chief of the Nassau County District Attorney’s Vehicular Crimes Bureau, for her powerful Choices and Consequences program.

As we enter the final weeks of school, there are many opportunities for celebration, such as proms, the senior banquet and graduation parties.  Though we want everyone to enjoy these festivities, we also care about their wellbeing.  The SADD Club and Cultural Arts program is working hard to send messages to the student body to remind them of the dangers of distracted driving, driving under the influence, and using excessive speed when behind the wheel. 

As you may have noticed, there is a car placed on the front lawn of the high school, provided to us by the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office that was involved in an accident where individuals tragically did not survive.   Though it is an upsetting sight, the message provided on the SADD sign next to the car, “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk,” is an important one.  It is critical that students take care of each other and make life-saving choices. 

Parents, you are encouraged to review the Parent/Teen Contract link:

Additionally, on May 12th, Maureen McCormick, the Chief of the Nassau County District Attorney’s Vehicular Crimes Bureau, presented her powerful Choices and Consequences program to our senior class, which is designed to combat drunk, drugged and reckless driving. The program is based on a “reality TV” model that relies on real cases, real evidence, and real people in order to break through natural teenage invincibility and teach lifesaving lessons. 

Also, this past Thursday the high school participated in a Grim Reaper program where, throughout the day, pre-selected students were pulled out of class by a Grim Reaper, and a sign was placed around their neck stating the following, along with a black tear painted on their face:

            1.    I would have seen that oncoming car if I wasn’t texting.

            2.    Thanks to that drunk driver, now I’m only a memory.

            3.    Maybe I should have called a cab instead of driving drunk.

            4.    I should have waited until I parked before I texted my friend.

            5.    Why didn’t I call someone to drive me home when I was drunk?

            6.    My life was more valuable than that beer.

            7.    A drink should not have been the reason why I lost my life in an accident.

            8.    I was so busy texting and driving that I didn’t realize I was driving through that red light.

Drinking and driving has received a lot of publicity over the last decade, but that is now eclipsed by distracted driving—specifically, texting while driving—as the nation’s number one killer of teens. At the end of the day all of the students that participated as 'victims' laid down in the PAC lobby to represent the lives lost throughout the day.

Birchwood and Maplewood Fifth-Graders Predict a Healthy Future at the Annual Mini-thon

Coming down the homestretch these 5th-graders give it one last burst.
Birchwood 5th-Grader Isabella Mosca leads the Mini-thon crowd in the National Anthem. Birchwood PE Teacher Russell Rufrano, who led the opening ceremony gets some help from Countrywood PE teacher Janice Reichert.
With the end of Intermediate School on the horizon, these 5th-graders are ready for Silas Wood 6th-Grade Center.
The guys get off to a quick start.
Fresh cold water tasted great after completing their mile run.
Good friends relax after the race and enjoy meeting students from South Huntington’s other Intermediate Center.
“It’s a great day because it gives everyone an opportunity to win,” said Birchwood’s Physical Education teacher Mr. Russell Rufrano.

One of our primary focuses in the South Huntington School District is to educate the whole child. The mind-body and body-spirit connection that is developed in school helps prepare children for the challenges of adulthood and provides a foundation for a healthy, productive life. This commitment to both mental and physical fitness was on grand display during the week as our Birchwood and Maplewood fifth-grade students participated in the annual Mini-Thon.

Coordinated by Birchwood PE Teacher Mr. Russell Rufrano, each runner predicts how long he or she will take to run one mile. They practice all year and predict their time before the actual race. Now in his 12th year running the mini-thon, it never gets old for Mr. Rufrano. “It’s a great day because it gives everyone an opportunity to win,” said Birchwood’s Physical Education teacher. “Students of all abilities work with me for three years as they learn who they are as athletes, this day is the pinnacle as they predict how well they know themselves physically and how fast they are as runners.”

The air at Memorial Field was filled with excitement, and there was a palpable energy circulating through the 445 runners who participated in this special day. We join in thanking our Physical Education teachers, Russ Rufrano, Erika Barrett, Joe Slovak and Mary Gross, for organizing this event, and congratulate all of our students who took the challenge.

An added bonus to the day is that the 5th-graders get to meet students from South Huntington’s other Intermediate Center as they get ready to graduate to the Silas Wood 6th-Grade Center.

Congratulations South Huntington 5th-Graders

Photo Gallery

Albert Martinez Signs With Dominican University

Albert Martinez, with a proud mom, dad, and little sister, get congratulated by Whitman Principal Kathie Acker and Coach John DiGiacomo.

Please join in congratulating soccer standout, Albert Martinez, who has signed a National Letter of Intent to accept a scholarship and compete at Dominican University. Albert is a gifted player who used his multitude of talents to lead our soccer team into the playoffs, and will now continue his athletic and scholastic career at the college level. “Albert brings tremendous talent and work ethic to the field,” said varsity coach John DiGiacomo.  “As a coach you wish for athletes like Albert, they don’t come by that often and he will truly be missed.”  We are very proud of Albert and congratulate his coaches, and his parents, on this impressive accomplishment.



News Correspondent Visits Silas Wood

Channel 7 Eyewitness News Reporter Kristin Thorne takes Ms. Abbondondolo's students back in time to when she first became interested in journalism.
Students in Ms. Abbondondolo's class asked thoughtful and meaningful questions.
Silas ‘Scribes’ in Mrs. Brown's English class were delighted to meet a well-known news reporter and ask her questions.
Mrs. Brown's English class with 7 Eyewitness News Reporter Kristin Thorne.
Sue Cirillo’s class proudly display their autographed photos of their new friend.

Channel 7 Eyewitness News Reporter Kristin Thorne visited Silas Wood on Friday, May 8, 2015.  Kristin visited classrooms to talk about the power of journalism and her experiences as a news reporter.  The "Silas Scribes" in Mrs. Brown's English class and students in Mrs. Abbondondolo's class asked thoughtful and meaningful questions.  Kristin even learned how to tap dance when a student taught her in Ms. Cirillo's class. “I loved the way she connected with the students,” said Ms. Cirillo. “Kristin spoke about her interest in reporting since being a child with her passion being reporting on storms. The students also learned about the colleges she attended and her path to becoming a journalist.”

Thank You Kristin Thorne for inspiring our students. 

County Champions!

Left to right: Pete Guestella and Brandon Gallopoli are the new Suffolk County Badminton Doubles Champions.
Left to right: Heather Kurash, MaryRose Stone, Nikki Smith, Brandon Gallipoli, Peter Guastella, Jameson Latko, Coach Wolff

We hear great news from Varsity Badminton Coach Scott Wolff: The Whitman Badminton team had a great showing at the individual county championships yesterday, May 11th. Whitman seniors Pete Guestella and Brandon Gallopoli are the 2015 Suffolk County Champions in Doubles. Nikki Smith and Heather Kurasch placed fourth in doubles. In the Singles portion of the tournament Jameson Latko and MaryRose Stone both placed second in the County. Congratulations to all!  

Oakwood Blasts to the Past

Everyone had a blast getting dressed up in period costumes for photographs.
Ms. Luella Pinelli and her talented singers performed many patriotic and historical songs.
The Long Islander, founded in 1838 by American poet and legend, Walt Whitman, displayed early copies of their paper. Current Editor Luann Dallojacono was on hand to answer questions.
Education in Huntington got an early start with some very unique rules for teachers in 1872.
Left to right: Mrs. and Dr. Alfred V. Sforza, and Huntington Archivist Ms. Antonia S. Mattheou.

Thank you to our Oakwood PTA for their work in coordinating the "Blast from the Past." This wonderful night, spearheaded by Ms. Lynn Blaney, included our talented Oakwood Singers, under the direction of Ms. Luella Pinelli (and her bass playing husband), as well as historical presentations from Huntington Archivist and author Ms. Antonia S. Mattheou and Dr. Alfred V. Sforza, a local historian and author who has documented the historic Huntington area in several books. It was wonderful to see so many of our Oakwood family members assembled for this outstanding program.

Photo Gallery

Starting Off Right


Special thanks to our Countrywood Dual Language classes, under the direction of Ms. Babcock, Ms. Layer, Ms. C. Covington, and Ms. DiNorcia, for performing beautifully at Monday's PTA Council meeting. There was no finer way to start a week than with the sweet voices of our primary school children.

Congratulations to: Esmeralda Benitez Fuentes, Tyler Biblow, Valery Canales, Nicolas Castillo, Mariza Catalan Hernandez, Alex Chicas, Anderson Cisneros Espinoza, Mikayla Diee, Kenneth Espinoza, Katerin Figueroa Flores,  Angelica Garcia, Danna Garcia Martinez, Diana Garcia Villatoro, Tatiana Marr, Yennifer Martinez Ruoano, Janelle Palencia, Jose Posada Orellana, Aristides Reyes Ochoa, Ruben Romero, Sydney Rosengold, Shayaan Siddiqui, Jake Williams, Kassandra Alvarado, Catherine Amaya, Jack Biblow, Kian Bowditch, Camila Canales, Indy Carrillo, Jordan Churchman, Daskne Diaz Garay, Jose Duarte Menjivar, Christopher Flores, Nataly Hernandez Guillen, Shay Lublin, Marin McDonnell, Ayleen Navarro, Ludmery Perez, Junior Quintanilla Gonzalez, Sarah Rizvi, Ayaan Siddiqui, Angel Sorto, Marion Sorto Guevara, Kritz George Taku, Jose Abrego, Jessica Aldana, Yonny Alfaro Granados, Stephanie Arevalo Umanzor, Jordy Castillo Guevara, Cole Cella, Joel Chavez Granados, Marilin Cortez Lopez, Julia Dean, Jackson Dillon, Charley Dyckes, Sthefany Estrada Acajabon, Antoni Gamez, Delmy Garcia, Liza Gugliuzza, Alyssa Guillite, Marisol Lopez, Nathan Lublin, Christian Martino, Bianca Recinos Romero, Isis Reyes, Navin Sahadeo, Hector Vargas Garcia, Katelyn Adams, Christian Alvizures Morales, Denis Aykanat, Lily Brown, Marisa Castillo, Aaron Cimadevilla II, Angelee Cordova Palma, Jenny Cuchillas Quintanilla, Lillian Fleischer, Sandy Garcia Ulloa, Nathan Goldberg, Madeleen Hernandez Buillen, Hector Hernandez Menor, Christhian Interiano Monge, Leah Linsner, John Marr, Luis Martinez Ruano, Fexar Melendez Contreras, Isela Padilla Treminio, Gissel Rios Reyes, Alex Torres, Mainor Ulloa Ulloa, and Emily Vilorio.

Parent University Proves You’re Never Too Old To Learn

Committee member Roberto Torres introduced Suffolk Supreme Court Judge Fernando Camacho who delivered a passionate keynote address to our Spanish speaking audience.
Left to right: Parent University Chairperson Mr. David Perkins, Keynote Speaker Professor Alfred ‘Coach’ Powell, and Deputy Superintendent Jacci Harris.
Thank you to the many student volunteers who were instrumental in making the evening run smoothly.
Spirit of Huntington Director Michael Kitkis leads an art class for children while their parents are taking a variety of classes just down the hall.
Jungle Bob had all the children excited to see the many ‘creatures’ he brought with him. Children were able to get up-close and touch a Tarantula, Giant African Frog, and Bull Snake.
Parent University Committee member Richard Garcia, helps a family with registration.

On Thursday, April 30, our community celebrated the fourth Annual Parent University at Walt Whitman High School.  This special program brought together several hundred members of our community for an evening of seminars, discussions and educational presentations.  Approximately 85 different speakers and vendors volunteered their time-sharing advice on topics ranging from adolescent drug abuse to bullying and college preparation. 

Our guests were also able to enjoy a wonderful dinner, while availing themselves of the childcare and Spanish-language translation of many seminars.  The PARENT UNIVERSITY program serves as a shining example of the cooperative spirit and collective energies that characterize our South Huntington Community.  There is simply no question that we stand united in our quest to raise successful, well-adjusted children in our great school district.  Special thanks to all of the sponsors, speakers and vendors whose generosity made this evening possible.

“Parent University is always one of my favorite events because it allows us to showcase the teamwork behind our talented Student Services Department,” said Deputy Superintendent Jacci Harris.  “The closeness of our community, and ability to learn from each other, is really a tribute to the sense of family demonstrated throughout our school district.”

Photo Gallery

Thank you to Mr. David Perkins for all of his work in coordinating this evening.  Thank you, as well, to the Parent University Committee members: Bidania Criscuolo, Stacey Fletcher, Alexandria Haynes, Dr. Anne Lecci, Dr. Jared Bloom, Roberto Toledo, Carol Rubin, Cecilia Blanco, Christie Honaski, Debbie Rimler, Denise Curran, Dominic Distasio, Heather Reilly, Irem Franco, Jacqueline Oltedal, Jane Samuels, Jennifer Provda, Johanna Torres, Karina Cabrera, Kristine Duffy, Lisa Rappa, Marilyn Mandaro, Dr. Martin Zizi, Patricia Urgiles, Pwendy Fenelus, Raymond Holgado, Richard Garcia, Roberto Toledo, Ruth Love, Shaka Williams, Steve Bartholomew, Susie Blackman, Susan Schiavone, Roberto Torres, Tracy Spink, Ventura Trent, and Yuan Pang.  

We are also very grateful to our presenters for their efforts in sharing crucial information for our parents and community. These presenters must be commended for volunteering their time and expertise with us:   Tom Ehlers, Robert Dwyer, Dr. Anne Lecci, Janine D’Elia, Patricia Wilkinson, Leah Lugoviña, Dr. Martin Zizi, Tracy Murphy, Kristen Steele, Kristen Savino, Dr. Lou Corrado, Robert Callahan, Dr. Jean Bacon, Rebecca Medina, Karen Trzaska, Jessica Gaitan, Christopher Clines, Laura Van Tassell, Susana Lopez, Elaine Sefcik, Dr. Jim Wright, Anthony DeGuzman, Edward Nitkewicz, Alyssa Slansky, Denise Elmore, Jennifer O’Dougherty, Annie Guthrie, Sgt. First Class Joshua Mahoney, Johanna Torres, Andrea Lopez, Nicole O’Shea, Alfredo Rosario, Daisy Torres, Thomas Keogh, Dr. David Curtis, Dr. Tracy Hudson, Veronica Jennings, John Russo, Detective Graziano, Susan Schiavone, Maria Rodriguez, Ever Martinez, Staff Sgt. Mervin Leonor, Juan Garcia, and Osman Canales.

A special thanks to our generous sponsors: Affinity Health Plan, Astoria Federal Savings Bank, Bethpage Federal Credit Union, Brooklyn Pizza, Coca-Cola, Colonial Coffee, CHL Mortgage (a Division of Freedom Mortgage), Dunkin’ Donuts (795 East Jericho Turnpike), FIT 4 Long Island (Kids and Teens), Florian Food Service Inc., Glaceau Inc., Habberstad MINI, Jungle Bob’s Reptile World, La Nonna’s Pizza, Lisa R. Brieff, Magic Beyond Imagination, Mario’s Pizza, Monaco’s Pizza, NAACP Huntington Branch, Panera Bread, Progressive Dentistry, St. John’s Episcopal Church/Cold Spring Harbor, South Huntington Public Library, South Huntington Teachers’ Association, The Spirit of Huntington Art Center, Tariq Auto Services Inc., Tri CYA, Umberto’s Restaurant, YogaFlex, and Zaro’s Café.

Thanks to our vendors:  100 Black Men of Long Island, AFY-EAC, Bethpage Federal Credit Union, Boy Scouts of America, The Children’s Sangha, Dolan Family Health Center, Drug Free Long Island, FIT 4 Long Island, Girl Scouts of Suffolk County, Horsability, Huntington Hospital, North Shore LIJ, Huntington Sanctuary, Tri CYA, The Life Center, Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Independence, Long Island Jobs for Justice, Long Island Parenting Institute-EAC, NAMI of Suffolk County, NAACP of Huntington, NCNW (National Council of Negro Women), Pederson Krag-Early Recognition Program, Pederson Krag-The Prevention Unit/Addictive Recovery Program, Pride for Youth, Retreat Inc., Sepa Mujer, South Huntington Public Library, Stat Script Specialty Pharmacy, Town of Huntington Human Resources Department, VIBS, and the YMCA.

The custodial staff at Walt Whitman High School is top notch. Carlo Giordano and his team made sure that every aspect of the evening was executed flawlessly. A special thanks to the Whitman Lamplighters and Lou Mangieri and the Tech Department for ensuring our presenters had what was needed to share important information with our parents. All in all, it was another proud evening for our school community.


Whitman Scores at Badminton Championships

Jameson Latko and MaryRose Stone won two exciting matches in singles to earn All-County titles.
Nikki Smith and Heather Kurasch advanced to the finals of the County Tournament today, May 11th, at Suffolk Community College in Selden.

This past weekend at the Individual County Championships the badminton team earned more All-County Honors that it has in six years.  Jameson Latko and MaryRose Stone won two exciting matches in singles to earn All-County titles.  Likewise, the doubles teams of Brandon Gallopoli and Peter Guestella and Nikki Smith and Heather Kurasch advanced to the finals of the County Tournament today, May 11th, at Suffolk Community College in Selden.  Eliza Wong earned All-League honors.  Congratulations to all the tournament players and good luck at today’s finals!

May Spotlight Newsletter



Three From Silas Wood Earn STEM Awards

Silas Wood Science teachers Natalie Miller and Carol Kelly are proud of their first place winners l-r: Emily Teplansky, Justin Feinman and Amanda Smuss.

South Huntington students participated in the 5th annual STEM Diversity Fair at Farmingdale State College on Friday, March 20th and we want to congratulate the talented students and dedicated mentors who performed with distinction. These young South Huntington scholars have certainly made our learning family proud.

Congratulations to Silas Wood students: Logan Bermudez, Annabelle Novinski, Scott Martin, Aarav Shah, Lorraine Jean Pierre, Julianna Lopez, Emily Teplansky, Chris Scortichini, Emily Gharabaghi, Amanda Smuss, Justin Feinman, Rena Shapiro, Chloe Murphy, Ryan Rummell, James Tadlock, and Anna Keller.

April Athletes Celebrated

Whitman Principal Ms. Kathie Acker, and South Huntington Athletic Director Dr. Jim Wright congratulate their two Athletes of the Month for April.

Our honored athletes for April have been very busy this spring, each leading their respective team into the playoffs. For badminton player MaryRose Stone, she has played an integral part in Suffolk County’s leading badminton team. Her record as of press time is identical to the team’s record of 14-2. The Wildcat team has already clinched the League Championship and is in the middle of their playoff run. MaryRose keeps busy in the fall and winter as well, playing tennis and fencing respectively. As a senior, MaryRose will be attending Farmingdale College next fall where she will major in Bioscience.  She hopes to become an Endocrinologist.

Having a rock-solid ball shot at your head at over 80 miles per hour can be unsettling for most of us, but Varsity Lacrosse Goalie Shane Brennan gets a thrill from the whole experience.  That thrill has earned Shane the #1 Lacrosse Goalie on Long Island (as of press time) with 223 saves and still counting. While Shane may only be a junior, when you post stats like that, colleges come calling, and in Shane’s case, early. As a Sophomore Shane made a commitment to play at Binghamton University in the fall of 2016. This is Shane’s second season in the Whitman goal and while having opposing players bearing down on you can be unnerving, the thrill of the game, especially victory, overpowers any nervousness he may feel.

Congratulations to both of these exceptional athletes and good luck in the playoffs!


Mock Press Conference gives Media Insight to Students

Walt Whitman students Katy Molina, Sherina Parra, Daniel Reyes, Sindy Reyes, and Cesia Deras awaiting the commencement of the press conference.
Whitman’s Melissa Shaiman is an intern in Assemblyman Lupinacci’s local office.
Sherina Parra asks Assemblyman Lupinacci a question about police community relations in the local neighborhood.

New York State Assemblyman Chad A. Lupinacci, 10th Assembly District and New York State  Assemblyman Andrew P. Raia 12th Assembly District hosted a Mock Press Conference at the South Huntington Public Library. The purpose of the event was to give high school students the opportunity to participate in a simulated press conference to better understand the functions of state government and the leadership role of state legislator.

Invitees included government and journalism students, reporters, editors, and members of the high school newspaper staff. The topics for the press conference included bullying and cyber bullying, the dangers of prescription drugs, the state budget, animal rights, educational testing, common core issues, MMA legislation, and police vs citizen community relations. Students learned how the media is a very important component of our governing system, and works with elected officials to make sure the people are informed about the inner-workings of government.

In addition, Assemblyman Lupinacci has informed us of a scholarship program for High School seniors. The New York Conference of Italian-American State Legislators collegiate scholarship gives students a chance to receive 2,000 dollars to go toward a higher education. All students are encouraged to apply, and you can obtain information about the scholarship by contacting our district offices.

You may view the Mock Press Conference by clicking the link below: http://www.optimumcommunity.net/community-coverage/long- island/2015/south-huntington-mock-press-conference

Also, the same segment will premiere on 5/17 on Optimum’s channel 118 at 7pm. 

Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour

Whitman students pose with entrepreneur/speakers Bert Gervais and Devin Lars.
Patrick Cammer and Brittany Aikhuele meet with Devin Lars to discuss success and take a photo.

Whitman’s business students recently attended the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour at the Brentwood campus of Suffolk Community College.  Over 350 business students from Long Island gathered as the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour’s top young entrepreneurs spread the entrepreneurial mindset. During the half-day event students listened to inspiring entrepreneurial stories from several of the country’s top young millionaire entrepreneurs including Devin Lars.

Devin is CEO/President of ‘Doing Everything Different’ (D.E.D.). With a facility in California, D.E.D. produces its own clothing, as well as developing products for others. It counts Chris Brown (Who wore one of D.E.D. designs when he won the award for Best R&B artist at the 2011 BET's Awards.), Justin Bieber, Rick Ross, Trey Songz, 50 Cent and Terrence J, host of BET's popular music video countdown show 106 & Park, among its customers.

Students also interactively participated with presenter Bert Gervais, a.k.a. "The Mentor Guy" who is one of America's most in-demand professional speakers. Haitian born Gervais is a national best selling author, speaker, and award-winning entrepreneur who encouraged students to seize opportunities without hesitation. 

Storm Water Research Nets Gold

Left to right at the Cradle of Aviation: Anne Rodriguez, Megan Brady-Fuchsman, Emily Murphy, Ryan Wittleder, Jeremy Forman, Aidan Luebker, Connor Rankel, Daniel Kulesa, Tyler Meyer, Zachary Slansky, Stimson teacher Robert Bilicki, Michael Baranowski, and Joe Digovanni. Missing from photo is Gretel Huber.

On Thursday, April 30th, students Joseph DiGiovanni, Gretel Huber, Jeremy Forman, Tyler Meyer, Zachary Slansky, Michael Baranowski, Aidan Luebker, Daniel Kulesa, Emily Murphy, Megan Brady-Fuchsman, Connor Rankel, Anne Rodriguez, and Ryan Wittleder represented Henry L. Stimson Middle School at the Long Island STEM Hub Competition at the Cradle of Aviation Museum.  “The Stimson team chose water pollution as their topic of study,” said Principal Edwin Smith. “Right away the team discovered that storm water run-off has polluted Huntington Bay.”

Under the supervision and direction of Stimson Technology teacher Mr. Robert Bilicki, the students worked diligently over a number of months to solve a problem that severely impacts the environment-- storm water runoff.  “After much research the team came-up with several different ways to help the situation and wrote about it in their research paper,” said Principal Smith. Their hours of hard work and dedication were rewarded with a 1st Place finish.  Congratulations to all who participated!

Induction Ceremony Highlights Character and Leadership

Honored guests left to right at dais: Principal Kathleen Acker, BOE Trustee Laura Carey, and Superintendent Dr. Dave Bennardo join this year’s NHS officers.
This year’s NHS officers left to right: President Russell Kielawa, Vice President Kabir Zafar, Secretary Sean McEntee, and Treasurer Elisabeth Silverman.
After receiving their NHS pin from Principal Acker, students are congratulated by Superintendent Dave Bennardo, BOE Trustee Laura Carey and NHS Advisor Donna Talleur. In this photo, Juan Contreras Gonzalez prepares to sign the pledge book after being congratulated by Ms. Talleur.
New members sign their pledge to prove worthy of a place in the National Honor Society.
Newly minted National Honor Society members Avery and Twary McKenzie, followed by Dylan McNally are ready to meet family and friends at a reception in the South Cafeteria.
The Walt Whitman Chorale was directed by Steven Altinel.

On Monday evening, May 4, 124 juniors and 12 seniors at Walt Whitman High School were inducted into the National Honor Society (NHS) in a ceremony that celebrated their high scholastic standing, leadership qualities, superior character, and service to others. “I want you to remember your pledge as you embark on your final year as seniors at Walt Whitman High School,” said Ms. Donna Talleur, National Honor Society Advisor in her welcome address. “Your responsibilities include maintaining your academic success, guarding your character, maintaining your status as a leader, and continuing to serve in your community freely.”

The evening’s keynote speaker was Principal Kathleen Acker. “An honor such as this is a wonderful way for the school and community to recognize and celebrate the choices, and sometimes the sacrifices, you have made,” said Principal Acker. “But I believe what should make you and your parents the most proud is not the actual honor itself, but what you had to do to meet the stringent criteria to receive this honor.”

The Walt Whitman Chorale, directed by Mr. Steven Altinel, treated the audience to a performance that included Over the Rainbow and of course the Whitman Alma Mater. Current National Honor Society officers conducted the traditional candle-lighting ceremony during which they each spoke about the various qualities required to be a member of the NHS. President Russell Kielawa, Vice President Kabir Zafar, Secretary Sean McEntee, and Treasurer Elisabeth Silverman each took their turn lighting a candle.

The following students exemplify all of the qualities that the National Honor Society holds as fundamental. We are honored to present the 2015 Walt Whitman National Honor Society inductees:

Congratulations to the following students: 

Valerie Abbene, Catherine Aiello, Emily Alvarado, Thibaud Antoniou, Keeyse Aparicio Morales, Jessica Bansbach, Waris Barakzai, Keya Bartolomeo, Sonia Bartolomeo, Hans Bas, Kimberly Bellissimo, Alexzandrya Bergeau, Jeremy Bombace, Marguerite Bonhomme, Robert Bottoni, Jacob Bronson, Joseph Buckshaw, Julia Canigiani, Kirk Christensen, Nicholas Cirillo, Sally Cohen, Kelly Conlon, Kerry Conlon, Jonathan Consolo, Katherine Cox, Jeremy Dalimonte, Christopher Davila, Kyle Davis, Nicholas De Blasio, Kelsey De Rosa, Danielle Dellaccio, Cesia Deras, Justin Devaraj, Michael Di Maulo, Zachary Dougherty, Julia Drum, Cassandra Eaches, Ahmad Ejaz, Joseph Esposito, Dillon Feinman, Elizabeth Fernandez, Theodore Fisher, Taylor Fox, Colin Gilmartin, Amanda Glaser, Alec Gonzalez, Juan Gonzalez Contreras, Laura Grajales Cardona, Alexandra Greaves, Sabrina Greenberg, Shayna Greene, David Grey, Lauren Groser, Douglas Guida, David Hamilton, Jefferson Hector Jr, Mohammad Jalili, Sarine Kabarajian, Abdullaha Khan, Ariel Khatchatourian, Jenna Kilkenny, Marina Kilkenny, Rachel Kilkenny, Emma Kongevold, Camila Korobow, Wayne Koziatek, Corina Lambraia, Derek Lap, Millicent Le Claire, Emily Lettis, Rosalie Libardi, Alicia Litt, Christina Lofaso, Michael Lorello, Hamza Mahmood, Ayesha Marghub, Avery Mc Kenzie, Twary Mc Kenzie, Dylan Mc Nally, Carol Melhado, Rumeysa Mete, Natalie Migliore, Amanda Moletz, Ellysandra Monegro, Nandi Morancie, Jesse Morra, Anali Nanavati, Michelle Nardelli, Nicole Naughton, Kayla Neiland, Christina O Donnell, Colin O Hara, Brandon O Rourke, Zannia Ojibe, Zenab Ojibe, Melanie Olinsky, Mikal Oltedal, Diana Ortega, Julianna Pasquarello, Misha Patel, Rose Pedretti, Margaret Pigliacelli, Pamela Pulvirenti, Aksa Qureshi, Hira Qureshi, Jamal Rashid, Gabrielle Ramirez, Derick Ramos, Inpreet Rattu, Julianna Richter, Vincent Rodriguez, Jenna Ruf, Verdelle Saint Jean, Umaimah Saleemi, Nicole Samba, Marisa Sanquini, Jason Saslaw, Jesse Scheiner, Matthew Schindler, Kristen Schmidt, Christopher Senecal, Yukari Shiraishi, Sudhakar Sood, Colleen Sweezey, Zanaira Tariq, Haley Tract, Kiran Usmani, Andrew Varisco, Gabrielle Vital, Carolanne Wadulack, Joseph Weindling, Ashley Weisser, Brittany White, Thao Williams, Michelle Zambrano, and Skyler Zenie.

Photo Gallery

Stimson Celebrating Silver

Celebrating Silver at the recent NYSSMA Major Festival

Congratulations to Ms. Sharon Smith and her expertly prepared 7th-grade orchestra who performed recently at the NYSSMA Major Ensemble Festival at Bay Shore Middle School.  The talented group performed three challenging pieces and after being evaluated, earned a Silver rating.

Congratulations: Josh Bukoski, Isabella Adamovicz, Emely Alfarom, Owen Banting, Brian Blanco Bueso, Meghan Brady Fuchsman, Matthew Brown, Jordan Campanelli, Annelise Campo, Izabella Canales, Samantha Carey, Herson Cisneros, Sarah Clopper, Jillian Crowley, Hailey Dearborn, Emily Engoran, Diana Fogel, Gabrielle Girard, Emma Graff, Ashley Guiteau, Brianna Hansen, Gretel Huber, Jillilan Jobson, Priya Katwala, Olivia Kongevold, Shannon Lennan, Zach Lucana, Daniel Lucas, Katherine Miata, Annosha Mubasher, Sarah Nace, Eleni Papaiacovou, Mikaila Rattazzi, Amanda Riha, Lily Robert, Stephanie Ross, Briana Seda, Juliana Sgaraglio, Rachel Smith, Meghan Stengl, Riley Turner, Susan Wahab, Aliana Wang, Eliot Yoon, and Subhana Zafar.

Whitman's Business Students Expand Their Horizons

Thank you to the Rosenthal’s for opening their doors at Nectar Corporation and sharing their expertise and experience with Walt Whitman students.

We hear from Lillian Hsiao, business teacher at Walt Whitman High School that last Friday, Whitman's business students took a field trip to the Nectar Corporation, an entrepreneurial technology company located in Farmingdale. Jared Rosenthal's father, Marshall Rosenthal, the general counsel for Nectar, graciously organized a program for the students to learn about the company, it's entrepreneurial beginnings, technological products, and services.

Afterwards, the company hosted a pizza lunch, and a special guest, Perry Williams, a former New York Giant NFL cornerback from 1983-1994 and two-time Super Bowl winner, gave a rousing motivational speech for our students. His message: "Do what you love and never give up." What a great day for our students!

Maplewood 5th Graders Are Tech Savvy

Adding a three-dimensional element to their two-dimensional eBook presentation gives students the opportunity for deeper study.
Maplewood 5th grade teacher Ms. Lisa Hatton works with each student ensuring they are grasping how technology can enhance their traditional curriculum.
Ms. Janine D'Elia has been on the technology forefront for years and now gets to visit many classrooms helping teachers and students with the most current technological advances in education.
The sound of the MakerBot hard at work encourages students to stretch their imagination creating a deeper understanding of their research material.

Students in Ms. Hatton's 5th grade class at Maplewood Intermediate School are taking a unique twist in learning about many famous architectural landmarks. After researching specific areas of the world, students selected landmarks to study in detail and then, using a 3-dimensional software program, recreated their landmark on a two-dimensional tablet screen that they then printed on their 3D printer.

Adding to their eBook landmark presentations, South Huntington’s Technology Integration Coach, Ms. Janine D'Elia spent some time in Ms. Hatton’s class to help students integrate video clips about the eBook they were creating. Ms. Hatton’s students were excited to bring their book to life with text, images, video, music and narration to tell their story as they prepare to share their eBooks with family and friends.

From the Arc de Triomphe and Empire State Building to New England’s Largest Chair, students took their new found knowledge a giant step forward thanks to the latest technology now available in South Huntington classrooms.

Photo Gallery

Countrywood Kicks Up Their Heels

LI BootKickers CEO Matt Cotty leads a class in Country Western Dancing at Countrywood.

“It's really about having fun, getting exercise, and learning county music,” LI BootKickers CEO Matt Cotty said after leading a class of Countrywood students in their introductory lesson. “It’s a lot more exercise than people think.” 

“This is especially good for cardio,” said Leslie Bartik a LI Bootkickers teacher. “They’re working muscles they probably are not used to working.”

“We had a dance unit last week, and thanks to a donation from last year’s Art & Sole Run, we thought the LI BootKickers would compliment our program nicely,” said Countrywood PE teacher Janice Reichert.  “This country western dancing really does get your heart going.”  Fellow Countrywood PE teacher Tracey Carron agrees. “Kids love to move to the music and it’s definitely something you can do at home and everyone in the family can enjoy.”

Thank You LI BootKickers and Thank You “Miles for Michael/Art & Sole Run for your generous donation.

Photo Gallery

Planting For The Future

Epiphany Ramirez, with a shovel in hand standing eighth from left, and her crew of Whitman volunteers take a quick break from their task.
Left to right: Zenab Ojibe and Verdelle Saint Jean put the finishing touches on a young tree.
Many hands make light work. Digging proved to be the toughest part of the day, but once accomplished, a sapling gets a new home.

Trees make a world of difference and a group of Walt Whitman students got the opportunity to make a difference for them. Arbor day was celebrated on the last Friday of April and this year found a large group of local high school students at a Dix Hills Park planting trees. With the help of the town of Huntington, students dug and planted young saplings that some day will provide shade on a hot summer day.

For Whitman, team leader Epiphany Ramirez organized volunteers who grabbed shovels and took charge.  With the guidance of arborists from the Arbor Day Foundation, a field of trees took shape. Congratulations to Epiphany and the following student volunteers from Walt Whitman: Alivia Barton, Danielle Wechsler, Katelyn Donahue, Nicole DeMartino, Jeanine McNulty, Kilian Duclay, Keeyse Aparicio, Juan Gonzalez Contreras, Gabrielle Ramirez, Leslie Portillo, Ilana Desmond, Zenab Ojibe, Verdelle Saint Jean, Tim Jobson, Taylor Fox, Nicole Rowe, Rumeysa Mete, Esteban Lopez, Josh Joseph, and Joel Quiles.

Photo Gallery

Autism Awareness Month at Stimson


The United States recognizes April as a special opportunity to educate the public about Autism and issues within the Autism community.   In support of people with Autism, the faculty and staff of Stimson Middle School made a donation to this great cause.  We were able to raise $400 for Autism Speaks and spread awareness by wearing Autism Awareness T-shirts every Wednesday of April. 

With the organization of this fundraiser by Stimson Middle School Special Education Teacher Justin Gravina, over 80 employees proudly displayed their support during the month of April.  There was a tremendous amount of interest from the students regarding the Autism T-shirts leading to informative class discussions.  Next year we would like to expand this opportunity to the students.

Spring Fling for our Senior Citizens

Thank you to a special group of students for demonstrating the character and commitment to community values that makes South Huntington special.
Connecting the generations in a heartwarming manner over good food, dancing, and lots of fun, our local senior citizens look forward to Whitman’s Spring Fling each year.
Left to right: GSO Officers Alexis Darrow, Francine Sauer, and Harris Ansari are prepared to hand out raffle baskets to the lucky winners as called by Walt Whitman Principal Kathie Acker.

As you might expect, the talent displayed on our Performing Arts Center stage when our Theater Honor Society performed Grease, was accentuated by equal amounts of compassion and community service that very same day. On Saturday, afternoon April 25, our Walt Whitman High School students and staff opened their cafeteria and their hearts to our senior citizens, presenting the annual Spring Fling for all to enjoy. This wonderful event provided a gala prom for our community's cherished senior citizens, and connected the generations in a heartwarming manner. We thank advisor Liz Leogrande and her team of students for demonstrating the character and commitment to community values that makes South Huntington special. 

GSO Officers:  Emma Kongevold, Alexis Darrow, Francine Sauer, Ashley Seebach, Harris Ansari, and Milly Le Claire.

Volunteers:  Baylee Albitz, Kiara Brown, Leatrice Brown, Jalynn Cooke, Brooke Decker, Emily Dickson, Erin Diana, Kashaf Duja, Sabrina Greenberg, Russell Kielawa, Rebecca Macloud, Brenda Mendez, Hapi Morancie, Julianna Pasquarello, Shayna Pehel, Heydi Ponce, Cheryl Rodriguez, Yadayra Romero,  Jared Rosenthal, Caitlin Rows, Lauren Rows, Mary Rose Stone, and Faiza Tariz.

Photo Gallery

Grease Delights PAC Audiences


We were fortunate last weekend to enjoy a full dose of the talent, energy, and commitment to service that characterizes our school community. Friday and Saturday brought overwhelming success as our Theater Honor Society presented “Grease” for fortunate audiences to enjoy. The music, choreography, and acting were absolutely brilliant, and applause filled the Performing Arts Center for three fantastic performances. We join in congratulating our talented cast and crew, as well as the dedicated advisor, Ms. Cheryl Irizarry, who helped facilitate the show.

CAST:  Trevor Ewald, Caitlin Dermody, Taninna Oukacine, Tyler Zioli, Ben Morales, Sam Hoffman, Marco Chiriboga, Lauren Giglio, Leanne Haddock, Chelsea Saccente, Samantha Ruotolo, Carlos Villatoro, Nicholas Magnus, Megan Montemurro, Thomas Foley, Melanie Olinsky

ENSEMBLE:  Jessica Menditto, Milly Le Claire, Erin Haddock, Delaney Guiliano, Audreiana Lesty, Haley Davis, Samantha Hartig, Holly Fontanetta, Liora Hyman

DANCERS:Melanie Olinsky, Caroline Tomaselli, Kelsy Mc Donald, Lizzie Mercurio, Gary Cisneros

DIRECTOR: Marina Kopf

VOCAL DIRECTOR: Olivia Banting


STAGE MANAGER:  Anthony Padinha

SETS:  Donald La Bianca

LIGHTS:  Robert Kraehkl


PIT ORCHESTRA:  Nicole Grennan, Keya Bartolomeo, Max Eidinoff, Nick Miata, Jack Zuckerberg, Derek Lap, Isaac Renderos

MINI-MAC GIRLS:  Haley Tract, Sabrina Greenberg

CREW:  Amina Sadiq, Mollie Korn, Adrianna Padinha, Nick Mc Nulty, Katie Clark, Josh Berger, Jessica Rastu, Leah Cozart, Paul Lahm, Zoey Bianco, Casey Iannuzzi, Natalie Hayes, Samson Grimm, Jared Saget, Marilyn Martinez, Jessica Delaney, Hans Bas, Lina Weingarten, Brittany Roche, Matthew Bromschwig, Michael Di Maulo, and Jenny Catron. 

Photo Gallery

SPARK Team Wins 1st Place

Left to right: Congratulating Whitman’s winning team at the Long Island STEM Hub’s 3rd Annual Celebration is BOE Trustee Laura Carey, Schools Superintendent Dr. David Bennardo, and Walt Whitman’s College-to-Career Coach Mr. Rob Callahan. Students left to right: Mahum Siddiqui, Shahzel Ehsan, Ariel Khatchatourian, Nicole Dia, Elizabeth Fernandez, Matt Roberts, Maureen Leiva, and Joanna Maniscalco.

Please join us in congratulating Walt Whitman High School for winning the North Shore LIJ Health Systems (NSLIJ) Spark Challenge. By partnering with over 40 high schools, NSLIJ ignited student interest by introducing them to clinical and non-clinical career paths available within healthcare, all of which require competencies in STEM.

Following their SPARK Challenge visits, student teams collaborated and produced a short video documentary recapping their experiences and what they learned about STEM healthcare careers. Prizes were awarded and we and happy to report that Whitman’s team ‘Sprouts,’ who worked with Cohen Children’s Medical Center, won the 1st place prize.

Congratulations to the following students: Mahum Siddiqui, Shahzel Ehsan, Ariel Khatchatourian, Joanna Maniscalco, Gabrielle Ramirez, Maureen Leiva, Elizabeth Fernandez, Destinee Felder, Nicole Dia, Matt Roberts, Zenab Ojibe, Pooja Navlani, Hunter Goldsmith, Jonathan O'Toole, Rebecca MacLeod, and Sudhakar Sood.

This first place team competed against over 40 other schools and 500 students across Long Island! Congratulations to the Cohen's Children's Hospital Team, and thank you Mr. Rob Callahan.

Original SPARKS Story can be found at: http://www.shufsd.org/News/Story.aspx?id=21768

Huntington Station Revitalization Project

Artist rendering of a proposed complex to include artist lofts, apartments, an hotel and medical building along New York Avenue.
At the recent Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, April 28th, Board President Jim Kaden reviewed with the audience the most current overview of the plans for the revitalization of downtown Huntington Station and the Train Station area. Both of these presentations are attached and available for community review.


Summer Music & Arts Camp


The Best Deal Out There!


The 2015 South Huntington UFSD Summer Music and Arts Program will begin on June 29th, and continue through July 24th at Walt Whitman High School.  


Registration is now open at: http://summermusicandarts.com/

For additional information please contact:

Frank Yolango- Co Coordinator- fyolango@shufsd.org 

Allan Deitz-Co Coordinator adeitz@shufsd.org


Suffolk County Boys Basketball Awards Feature Someone Special

Randy Pawlyk, center, with left to right: Jordan Aiken, Coach Tom Fitzpatrick, Coach Ray Eatmon, and Matt Kleet.
Randy, with Matt and Jordan at the 2015 Suffolk County Boys Basketball Awards Dinner.

The annual Suffolk County Boys Basketball Awards Dinner was held recently and several players from Walt Whitman were in attendance.  Our players were there to not only collect awards, but also, along with Coaches Tom Fitzpatrick and Raymond Eatmon, there to help cheer on an awards winner who was one of the evening’s highlights. 

The Frank Mackwich Award is for individuals who go well and above, from the goodness of their heart…with nothing in return. This award goes to an individual who volunteers countless hours to players, coaches, and to a basketball program.

The Frank Mackwich Volunter Award winner in Suffolk County  - our very own Randy Pawlyk   “We are very fortunate at Whitman to have somebody like Randy for the last 15 years in our athletic program,” concluded Coach Tom Fitzpatrick in his speech before congratulating Randy.

Three Walt Whitman athletes garnered awards for their play on the court this past season:  All-League - Andre Harris - not pictured – All-Conference Captain Jordan Aiken; All-Academic - Matt Kleet. 

Congratulations to Randy, Andre, Jordan and Matt, and thank you Coaches Fitzpatrick and Eatmon.

Want to know more about Randy Pawlyk? Click on the link below:



Wildcat Booster Club: Gotta Go To Mo's

​Wildcat Booster Club would like to share this 15% off coupon valid 4/17-5/28. While you save 15% Modell's will support our athletes by donating an additional 5% back to the Booster Club, win win! You can save the coupon to your phone or print it out. Use it multiple times and share with your friends and family!  
Thank you for your support!
 - Wildcat Booster Club





Wildcat Sports Camp/South Huntington Music and Arts Camp

Hi All

Our Wildcat Sports Camp, which is offered to children entering Grades K-8 as of September, 2015, is back by popular demand. Camp brochures are now available on the District’s website. You may download and open the attachment on the Athletic Department’s eboard tab under Sports Camp.


Our South Huntington Music and Arts Camp is also back for summer, 2015. The sessions for the Sports and the Music and Arts Camps run from June 29 through July 24. The Music and Arts Camp’s registration information (with some new exciting offerings) will be available through the website, under the Arts tab, for registration early next week. Also, keep an eye out for our full district mailing advertising both of these special camps. Additionally, please spread the word that out-of district campers are always welcome.

Be well,

Dave Bennardo 


Miles For Michael 5K Run-Walk


Join us again this year for an unforgettable morning. It all begins and ends at Walt Whitman High School.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

General information can be found at:



Registration forms can be found at: