South Huntington

School District

Whitman Today - Prepping

Parents of Incoming Freshmen

Just before the end of the 2nd marking quarter, Walt Whitman High School hosted an informational night for guests and parents of 8th graders looking to learn about the educational programs and academic opportunities Whitman has to offer to those entering. These “special” guests were introduced to department chairpersons and the high school administration to answer questions about coursework, extracurricular activities, and what to expect as their children plan their schedules for the upcoming year.

In addition to this evening event, parents were invited to come back to the high school the following morning to gain the perspective of current students. Various leadership students from Mrs. O’Neill’s Leadership classes provided a Q&A session with parents, as well as a student guided tour of the building, to give them an idea of a typical day at Walt Whitman High School.

The questions asked by both parents and guests varied, focusing on how it’s been for students to balance extracurriculars with academics, sports and club involvement, the diversity of the student body, as well as how it’s been for them in adjusting to virtual and hybrid learning.

Senior Salma Laraki commented, “The teachers are a very good support system. They helped to ease back in very well and I really felt supported so we can readjust.” Senior Victoria Isernia added, “All the teachers and staff here, they really were supportive of us and we took it as a family as they said ‘this is what we're dealing with, and we're going to overcome it together. We're going to do the best we can, do our best every day and try to keep a positive outlook.’”

Parents asked questions regarding classes at Whitman that offer college credits, helping students to get a head start on their secondary education. One parent, who had the privilege of graduating early with her bachelors degree because of similar programs that offered college credits, expressed “I’m so glad to be able to have the same opportunities available for my kids here.”

One student was able to share some of her experiences with Whitman’s new internship program, where students are matched with specific sites around Huntington with help from internship coordinator Tracy D’Alonzo. Throughout the Town of Huntington, Whitman’s students have been placed at internship sites to gain this first hand experience, including places such as Splashes of Hope, the offices of Congressman Suozzi, Hidden Smiles Orthodontics, Excellent Choice PT, Sunrise Assisted Living, and more. This opportunity is great for students to gain first hand experiences in fields that may interest them, and it looks great on their transcript when applying to colleges.

In regards to South Huntington’s diverse population, one parent noted how receiving an education surrounded by students and staff of various cultures and ethnicities plays an important role in creating well-rounded and understanding individuals. The panel of students were all in agreement that they appreciate Whitman’s diverse culture as opposed to that of many other Long Island school districts. They see diversity as first hand learning opportunities to engage with people of different backgrounds with whom they would not necessarily be exposed to in other parts of the island. As the parent mentioned how the district in which he grew up in didn’t offer that same opportunity, he went on to say how Whitman’s population of various backgrounds “pays tribute to the diversity of the town, and that’s a tribute to Whitman and as a district.”

Events such as these allow parents to truly experience the activities, events, culture and programs that Whitman offers to all students. The district is appreciative of our students who were well prepared to discuss their courses and spoke extremely highly of their experiences and our staff. A special thank you to Kathleen O’Neil for organizing the student panel for Whitman Today. This is a testament to your dedication and care for the students of South Huntington. A special thank you to Christine Scharpf, Nicole Guido, David Rickmers, Susan Radin, Gina Tinucci, Erica Raji, Joseph Pipolo, Daniel Trebour, Kim Latko, Brittany Baran, April Kaufman, Eileen Berkowitz, Caitlin Drohan, Tara Woods, Thomas Donlon, Elizabeth Kenney, Deanna Morga, Lori Bolger, Sandy Stueber, Manuela Stefanelli-Fasano, Alexa Sanchez for volunteering to open their classrooms to parents for Whitman Today.  It is not easy to open your classroom a week before the quarter is ending!

Click here to access the Parent Orientation Presentation

WWHS Principal, Mr. Ken Costa, welcomed parents and guests of 8th graders to the Parent Orientation to discuss what can be expected as their children enter the high school.

Guests had the opportunity to learn more and ask questions about class offerings and extra curricular activities at the informational night.

Social Studies Department Chairperson, Dr. James Corcoran, shared the various social studies electives offered at the high school level.

As part of Whitman Today, a panel of Leadership Students from Mrs. O'Neill's class answered parent questions and shared their personal experiences as current students of Walt Whitman High School.

Special guests received a tour of the building to peek into classrooms and ask students what their children can expect as freshmen next fall.

Parents took a look at the aquatic tanks in Mr. Feraco's classroom where students are provided with opportunities to further develop their independent science research skills.



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