Food for Thought
“Fortune favors the bold.”
- Publius Vergilius Maro (Virgil)
I want to thank everyone who joined us for last weekend’s dynamic Homecoming celebration. The exciting week of activities, which included a pep rally, Hall of Fame dedication, marching band performance, parade and varsity football game brought remarkable spirit to our school community. It was inspiring to see students, parents, teachers, administrators and alumni work together for such a special common cause. The feelings of pride and collective energy that were generated during Homecoming are destined to sustain us in the weeks and months to come.
Thank you to Ms. Acker and her high school team for their tireless efforts in planning and supervising the countless celebratory activities. Thank you, as well, to our other building administrators and teachers for helping make Homecoming a genuine district-wide event. Thanks also to Ms. Harris for her meticulous work in preparing our Hall of Fame brunch and dedication ceremony. It was truly heartwarming to see our district’s brightest and best graduates honored in such grand public fashion. Congratulations to our football team and coaches for the impressive victory that brightened Saturday afternoon. Special thanks to our Booster Club members for the untold hours of work that contributed to the Homecoming events. We are very fortunate to have such a dedicated group of volunteers operating on our behalf.
Hall of Fame Inductees
Shirley Chaikin Mayer, Class of 1968
Laura Carino-Schroff, Class of 1970
Daniel Levin, Class of 1973
Stuart Udell, Class of 1985
Andy Farber, Class of 1987
Rolando George, Class of 1989
Michael McGuinness, Class of 1990
A.J. Preller, Class of 1995
We are proud to report that our Whitman Dancers have distinguished themselves as part of the Hofstra University Democracy Project. These dedicated students, working under the talented leadership of mentor Susan Radin, dazzled the Adams Playhouse audience with an original performance entitled “Borders.” The show, which chronicled the American-immigrant experience, highlighted the special quality of our Whitman dance program. We all join in congratulating our students and their teacher, Ms. Radin, on this very special honor.
Sean Breen; Aren Kabarajian; Elizabeth Aiello; Jessica Barahona; Karen Brenseke; Sophia Briscoe; Atalia Collier Parker; Kayla Collins; Brenda Givargidze;
Rachel Guida; Jonathan Heller; Jennifer Lucarelli; Sabrina Odette; Pamela Pulvirenti; Victoria Rosa and KellyJane Watson.
Please join in congratulating our Varsity Girls’ Tennis Team on an outstanding fall season. These talented scholar athletes took their league by storm, finishing with an undefeated record for the first time in school history. We all join in applauding the work of Coach Erica Nichols and her wonderful players. Congratulations also to the dedicated parents who supported our champions throughout the season.
Tennis Team Members
Elizabeth Aiello; Asha Burwell; Jacqueline Calamari; Paola Cespedes; Elsa Cheung; Casey File; Troy Haas; Sumona (Rini) Halder; Nicole Katz; Jordana Lanz; Christina O’Donnell; Nikki Smith; MaryRose Stone; Karla Thomas and Eliza Wong.
We are proud to report that our Varsity Boys’ Cross Country Team has captured yet another League Championship title. The recent victory over Bay Shore High School sealed the deal, bringing the coveted League III crown home to Whitman High. The dedicated runners performed with distinction throughout the season, recording the fastest five-man average for Walt Whitman since 1979. Congratulations to Coach Robert Conroy and Whitman’s top eight runners: Mike Damato, Zach Cammer, James Vallar, Matt Rebolini, Brian Windisch, Josh Roiland, Shamar Powell and Ryan Gioe on a job well done. Congratulations, as well, to the parents who have nurtured these dedicated athletes in their homes.
Please join in congratulating our most recent Stimson Middle School students who were “Caught Being Good.” This special program honors young people for their acts of honesty, academic achievement and compassion. Each month, students who distinguish themselves as safe, respectful and responsible people are recognized with this award that epitomizes the Stimson values. We are all very proud of our winners, and thank them for serving as shining role models for our community. Thank you, as well, to the dedicated teachers who nominated these students for their awards. Special congratulations to our award-winning parents for raising such exemplary children in their homes.
Ariste, Germany Academic Achievement Ms. LaRosa
Betancourth, Alexa Helping Others Ms. Haas
Haller, Sarah Helping Others Ms. Tom
Hoppe, Katie Helping Others Mr. Zamek
Moreno, Jennifer Helping Others Mr. O’Brien
Nguyen, Joanne Kind to Others Ms. Irizarry
Parrish, Jalen Academic Achievement Ms. LaRosa
Pepe, Chris Helping Others Ms. Haas
Rhodes, John Helping Others Ms. Tom
Saslaw, Bridget Helping Others Ms. Tom
On Thursday, October 18, our Birchwood and Maplewood fifth graders squared off in a track and field exhibition that featured some of the finest performances in tournament history. Over 200 students from our two intermediate schools gave their best efforts in events ranging from the long jump to a 55-meter dash. Spirits were high throughout the heart-pounding competition as students worked diligently to reach their personal bests. We are very grateful to our Birchwood and Maplewood fifth-grade teachers for all of their efforts in supervising the games. Special thanks to Mary Gross, John Labate, Erika Barrett and Russell Rufrano for organizing this special event.
Track and Field Award Winners
Girls’ 50-Meter Dash
1st - Kimberly Hoppe
2nd - Brianna Hansen
3rd - Tianna Hilton
4th - Fiona Smyth
Boys’ 50-Meter Dash
1st – Peter Marion
2nd – Jamel Manigault
3rd - Shane Zarcone
4th - Patrick Muccini
Girls’ 80-Meter Dash
1st – Brianna Hansen
2nd – Cassidy Giudici
3rd – Samantha Carey
4th - Fiona Smyth
Boys’ 80-Meter Dash
1st - Andrew Ledbetter
2nd – Daniel Beltran
3rd – Jake Salerno
4th - Jackson Zaiff
Girls’ 800-Meter Race
1st – Isabella Adamovicz
2nd – Tara Browning
3rd – Ariana Elvir
4th - Mikaela Zukaitis
Boys’ 800-Meter Race
1st – Dylan Cella
2nd – Matthew Calandra
3rd – Onandi Young
4th - Anthony DeLorenzo
Girls’ Running Long Jump
1st – Cassidy Paige
2nd - Jamie Montague and Olivia Kongevold
3rd - Sydney Khan
4th – Ariel Isaac
Boys’ Running Long Jump
1st – J.P. Barone
2nd – Jackson Zaiff
3rd – Mike Courte Manche
4th - Billy Collins
Girls’ Standing Broad Jump
1st - Mikaela Zukaitis
2nd – Michelle Franco, Alexa Seifert, Ariana Elvir
3rd - Kara DeBruin
4th – Heather Abbene
Boys’ Standing Broad Jump
1st – Shane Zarcone
2nd – Greg Tully
3rd – Danny Kulesa
4th – Ryan Meyer
Girls’ 4x100 Relay
1st – Talia Taylor, Emily O’Mara, Nicole Mendoza, Gabby Giudici
2nd – Michelle Pirozzi, Sydney Khan, Isabella Rombaldi, Christina DeBlasio
Boys’ 4x100 Relay
1st – Jeffrey Sorto, Kevin Martin, Jamel Manigault, Greg Tully
2nd – Dylan Thyer, Richard Barone, Jake Donahue, Thomas McNulty.
We are proud to announce the annual “Shop with SEPTA” fundraising event on Thursday, November 1, from 6-10 p.m. in the Walt Whitman High School South Cafeteria. Please join us and make those early holiday purchases in support of this important parent-teacher organization.
Please join us at the Fine Art and Crafts Fair at Walt Whitman High School on Saturday, November 17, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Over 100 professional artists and craftsmen selling paintings, photography, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, wooden items, handbags, clothing, dolls and other handmade gifts for the holidays will be in attendance! Come on in for breakfast, lunch or dinner or just a quick snack at our amazing new food court presented by SHEF. Admission to the fair is $2, and children under 12 are free. All proceeds will go to benefit scholarships for the Arts and a proposed Interactive Student Gallery at Walt Whitman High School.
We invite you to support the Wildcat Booster Club Dodgeball Tournament on Saturday, November 10 at 2 p.m. in the North Gym. Interested Whitman students can register by completing the attached form (also found on the Booster Club eboard) and returning it to the high school main office. The exciting tournament has divisions for boys, girls and coed teams. There are 6-7 players per team with 6 players allowed on the court at a time. Teams are invited to create their own school-appropriate uniforms. Deadline for registration is Tuesday, November 6.
Parent Portal Suggestions from Dr. Bloom
The Infinite Campus Parent Portal allows authorized parent/guardians to access student related information about their children. Once you have activated your online account, you can use the portal to:
Verify and check attendance - Grades K-12
Review NYS test assessment scores - Grades K-12
Review immunization record - Grades K-12
Review this year’s quarterly progress and report cards - Grades 6-12
Directions for accessing the Parent Portal:
- Email email@example.com to ask for an activation code. You will receive an email with the GUID activation code within 48 hours.
- Once you receive the activation email, go to http://www.shufsd.org/district/parentportal or visit the South Huntington UFSD homepage and click on the Infinite Campus Parent Portal Link.
- In order to use the Parent Portal, you must agree to abide by the Parent Portal User Agreement by clicking on the words “I agree.” You can read the agreement on the website or by going tohttp://www.shufsd.org/district/InfiniteCampus/ParentPortalAgreementFinal.pdf
- When you enter the system for the first time, you will see the following: “If you have been assigned a Campus Portal Activation Key, click here.” Click on the words “click here.”
- Enter the unique activation key
- Click “Submit.”
- The system will prompt you to create a unique username and password.
- The next time you login, please use the username and password that you created. You will not need to use your activation key again.
Board of Education Notes
The Board of Education is proud to announce that Ms. Jacqueline Harris has been named as the Deputy Superintendent of Schools. Ms. Harris has served South Huntington Schools with distinction, and her talents and energies add richly to the culture of our district. We all join in congratulating Ms. Harris on this well deserved accomplishment.
On Wednesday, October 24, the Board of Education asked the administration to present an opening discussion of the 2013-2014 school district budget. Our business official, Mr. Larry Light, provided a brief overview of the inevitable revenue-to-costs gap. Mr. Light explained that there are a number of yet to be determined variables (health-care costs, actual tax-cap rate, etc.) that make a final budget number impossible at this time. The data will, of course, get more specific with each passing month. While we don’t know the exact size of the gap, we are certain that there will be a difference between our roll-forward costs and expected revenues in the year to come. The goal of this presentation is to begin a dialogue about the choices that will have to be made as we work to make revenue and expenditures coincide. An initial list, which includes some important salary costs as well as discretionary programs within the district, was provided. It was noted that the approximate costs attached to each program was deliberately based on this year’s budget and designed strictly for the purposes of comparative discussion. The PowerPoint presentation will be available on the district website.
A Look at the Weeks to Come
October 25-26: Oakwood School Photos
October 25: Maplewood PTA Meeting @ 9:30 a.m.
October 25: Stimson/Silas Fundraiser at Governor’s Comedy Club @ 7 p.m.
October 26: Countrywood Book Fair @ 6 to 8 p.m.
October 26: Countrywood Halloween Dance
October 26: Silas Halloween Dance @ 3 to 4:30 p.m.
October 26: Stimson Halloween Dance @ 6 to 8 p.m.
October 26: Walt Whitman Safe Halloween @ 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
October 27: ACT at WWHS
October 28: Marching Band Championships in Syracuse, NY
October 29: Guidance Night, Grade 9 Parents @ 7:30 p.m.
October 29: Booster Club Meeting, Walt Whitman High School @ 7:30 p.m.
October 29-Nov. 2: Countrywood Book Fair
October 30: Stimson 7th and 8th Grade Picture Make-Up Day
October 30: PTA Council Meeting @ 10 a.m., District Office
October 31: Oakwood’s Halloween Parade and Countrywood’s Halloween Parade
November 1: Stimson Career Day
November 1: Shop With SEPTA @ 6-10 p.m., WWHS
November 2: Silas/Stimson Pride Day
November 2: Birchwood Family Dinner Dance @ 6:45-8:30 p.m.
November 3: SAT I and II Exam at WWHS
Upcoming Athletic Schedule