Boys Basketball Season Ends in Second Round of Suffolk County Tournament
On Saturday, Feb. 16, the Connetquot High School boys basketball team traveled to Longwood High School for a second-round game in the Suffolk County championship tournament.
The T-Birds had previously defeated Northport by a score of 53-47 in the first round, while Longwood advanced by defeating Comsewogue 73-52. Connetquot coach Tim Trava knew that his team would have to bring their A-game to get a win at Longwood, and the boys certainly did.
However, despite Taevon Bazemore’s 19 points and Sean Andersen’s 14 of his own, Longwood beat Connetquot by a final score of 64-48, and advance to the tournament quarterfinals on Wednesday, Feb. 20 against Half Hollow Hills East at Longwood. With this win, Longwood improves to 21-1, while Connetquot ends the season with an impressive record of 14-8.
Jaden Kealy (7), Ryan Vaughn (4), Alex Ungar (2) and Emmanuel Mondesire (2) also scored for Connetquot.
The student-athletes played their hearts out and Longwood knew they had to play their best to beat the T-Birds. The players and coaches would like to like to thank all the fans, friends and family members that supported the team this year, especially those that came to Longwood.
In an effort to optimize their physical health and keep a close eye on their fitness levels, students at Ronkonkoma Middle School are currently utilizing heart monitors in their physical education classes.
Using the HeartZones system technology, the students strap a rubber band which resembles a wrist watch to their arm, as it accurately reads their active heart rate while they engage in cardiovascular activities. With assistance from physical education teacher Justin Hertz, a part of the school’s gymnasium was transformed into multiple stations where the students could test out the new technology, including a calisthenics course, a station for planking and a section devoted to jump rope.
As the students continue to work out and engage in their activities, they are able to reference a giant screen displayed in front of the gymnasium so that they are easily able to keep track of their heart rate and pace themselves at a more appropriate speed.
The Connetquot Central School District would like to thank the Ronkonkoma Middle School PTA, school administrators, computer teacher Jackie Houston and network and systems technician John Mocko for their assistance with bringing the monitors to life at the school.
“The students have really been into it and are learning a lot about how to manage their heart rates during a workout,” said Mr. Hertz.
Earlier this month, the Connetquot High School Model United Nations Club welcomed students and advisers to the 2019 Model UN Regional Conference, inviting 15 schools from Nassau County, Suffolk County and Queens to take part in the annual forum.
During the conference, participants simulated the structure and function of the United Nations organization, as each student-delegate was assigned to represent a foreign nation, placed on a committee to discuss important current world topics and concerns, and asked to make recommendations. The delegates do their best to emulate the role of the United Nations Organization to solve problems that are meant to both protect and improve the lives of citizens around the world.
The conference began at 8 a.m., and was filled with a multitude of educational activities throughout the day as it ended with closing ceremonies at 9 p.m.
“This year’s conference was our biggest and best yet, as we had over 300 people in attendance,” said Model UN Club adviser Jennifer Bay.
Mrs. Bay would like to thank the students, chaperones, Connetquot Central School District administrators, custodial and secretarial staff for their assistance in making this year’s “ConnetMUNC” event such a success. Additionally, a special thanks goes out to Connetquot’s Hannah Mayer and Noah Thielke, who served as secretary-general, and chief of staff respectively.
Students from Duffield Elementary School recently joined thousands of other students in the worldwide phenomenon known as “Global School Play Day,” replacing traditional classroom instruction for a day filled with imagination and team-building activities.
Throughout the course of the day, students of all grade levels practiced how to play amongst one another in a social setting, trading in their SMART boards and worksheets for a number of fun-filled activities dispersed throughout the building’s classrooms.
As each classroom was transformed into a designated space for imaginative learning, the students took part in arts and crafts, board games, puzzles and strengthened their engineering skills with building blocks. Additionally, the students were able to practice how to show mutual respect, safely solve problems and enhance their listening skills amongst their classmates.
“Global School Play Day serves as a structured, safe day encouraging unstructured play which yields a purpose,” said Helen B. Duffield Elementary School Principal Lisa Farrell.
According to their official website, since Global School Play Day’s inception in February 2015, the initiative has grown to include more than 535,690 students from 72 nations in the fun-filled and educational day.
Click here to see the performance!
Earlier this month, several residents of the Arbors Assisted Living facility at Bohemia traveled to Bosti Elementary School to work with students in preparing colorful Valentines to be sent to local veterans as a means of thanking them for their service to our country. “Today, our students gathered together with our Grandfriends to make Valentine’s for military veterans,” said teacher Emily Sciame. “The Grandfriends highly enjoyed the opportunity to engage with our students, while assisting them in decorating these special Valentine Day greetings.”
Students, teachers, friends and family were recently welcomed to John Pearl Elementary School’s ‘O-Town Circus’ assembly, as the fifth-grade students were able showcase the “circus skills” recently acquired in their physical education classes.
Throughout the course of the week, students learned the skills necessary to work as clowns, jugglers, plate spinners, stilt walkers and the Diabolo stick. The circus program is designed to motivate students to participate more fully in physical education and cultural arts activities.
The district would like to thank the O-Town Circus coaches, the school’s fifth-grade teachers, Parent-Teacher Association and John Pearl Elementary School Physical Education Teacher Nick Sturtz for their support and cooperation throughout.
The Ronkonkoma Middle School drama club recently put on an incredible nautical-themed performance of “The Little Mermaid Jr.,” for three consecutive evenings beginning on Feb. 7. Adapted from the popular Disney classic, the play tells the tale of mermaid Ariel who dreams of visiting the surface world, bringing her trusty friend Flounder along for her many adventures. The production was brought to life with assistance from co-directors Michael and Carmela Newman, along with music director Dr. Frank Saladino.
In celebration of the Chinese New Year, students enrolled in Dina Pinelli’s fourth-grade class at Slocum Elementary School were recently visited by student Joyce Zhang’s mother, Sunny, for lessons on traditional Chinese customs and culture.
To begin the day’s lesson, the students were taught how to properly say “Happy New Year” in the Chinese language, and were presented with treat bags for their successes in correctly pronouncing the phrase. As a craft-based activity, the students were taught by both Mrs. Zhang and Joyce how to properly make Chinese lanterns, carefully following their precise instructions along the way.
Prior to the conclusion of the event, the students were given tasty treats such as rice crackers and Haw-flavored sweets, based off the popular Hawthorn plant of Chinese origin.
Third-graders from Idle Hour Elementary School recently “took a trip” to Australia without having to leave the comfort of their classrooms.
With assistance from presenter and native Australian Chris Pitkin, the students were offered a glimpse into multiple aspects of Australia, including culture, geography, wildlife and art. Mr. Pitkin first showed the students a slideshow featuring various forms of wildlife, and tested their knowledge of a handful of animals native to the continent. The third-graders were excited to learn that creatures such as kangaroos, emus and dingoes are abundant in Australia, and told Mr. Pitkin that they’d be happy to take a trip there in the future to visit them.
Mr. Pitkin then introduced the students to the didgeridoo, a wind instrument created by the Indigenous peoples of Australia more than a thousand years ago. They were highly impressed by the unique sound the instrument made, and encouraged Mr. Pitkin to create more sounds as he fascinated them with the history of the instrument.
Prior to the conclusion of the event, the students engaged in a fun activity with assistance from art teacher Krystal Zaglool in which they made their own “art” boomerang using the aboriginal technique of dot painting and symbols to tell a story.
Students enrolled in Siobhan Guido’s classes at Connetquot High School are learning to grow various crops using an indoor vegetable tower garden within the classroom setting.
Tower gardens allow individuals to grow vegetables indoors all year round, and due to their vertical stature take up a limited amount of space. Once assembled, seeds germinate with the help of the device’s special built-in lighting and automatic timer and the aquaponic system regulates the appropriate water level in the unit. The students received an introduction to the device and project during a recent visit from Lety Algeri, a holistic health coach from the BOCES School Seeds program.
“This project is fantastic on so many levels,” said Mrs. Guido. “With the garden in our classroom, we will be able to explore many different scientific aspects including science principles, STEAM, nutrition, gardening, as well as environmental issues. We are pleased with the effort and enthusiasm our students demonstrated in building their own indoor vegetable garden.”
Ronkonkoma Middle School eighth-grade students enrolled in Anthony Carbonaro’s, Alma Campanelli’s, Matthew Montilleone’s and Jaclyn Salerno’s math, science and technology courses tested their creativity and engineering skills during a recent regatta boat race on Jan. 25 held at Connetquot High School.
As part of a lesson on buoyancy, the young engineers spent weeks using scientific calculations to design and construct boats out of cardboard and duct tape in hopes of successfully crossing the high school pool. Although some students chose to commandeer their boats in an individual fashion, they all worked in teams when creating their boats in the classroom setting.
Despite the fact that not every boat was able to stay afloat during the race, the students enjoyed cheering one another to see which boat would make it across. According to Mr. Carbonaro, the top three competitors were able to successfully make their boats across the pool in a highly impressive time of less than 20 seconds.
With assistance from instructor Judith Jones, seventh-grade students enrolled in family and consumer sciences classes at Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School recently completed their sewing unit. Using their creative talents, the students designed patchwork pillows and sewed their own “emoji” pillows based on the popular digital icons.
“They students designed, measured and planned out the projects from start to finish; they were all very proud of their work,” Mrs. Jones said.
Students enrolled in Cindy Campanella’s and Courtney Skahill’s second-grade class at Cherokee Street Elementary School recently had a “doggone” good time in their classrooms when they were visited by Moby, a three-year-old therapy dog, along with his owner Lance Motkin.
After being introduced to Moby and Mr. Motkin, the students engaged in a series of dog-themed activity stations throughout the classroom, including bingo, board games and reading comprehension. Additionally, they were afforded the opportunity to approach Moby and pet him, compliment his temperament and ask Mr. Motkin questions about his training.
Mr. Motkin is the owner and founder of plauDogs, Inc., which has him and Moby visiting various schools and organizations. According to Mr. Motkin, Moby brings instant smiles to everyone, no matter where his four paws lead him.
To celebrate the completion of the second unit of their reader’s workshop, students enrolled in Kristyn Lineman’s kindergarten class at Idle Hour Elementary School shared their “super” reading abilities with the school’s faculty and staff members.
Dressing up as some of their favorite superheroes such as Captain America, The Flash, Batman and Wonder Woman, the young students were split up into groups to showcase their superior reading abilities with the invited guests. The students showcased their out-of-this-world reading capabilities with assistance from a reading light to help illuminate the text as they made their way across the pages.
Prior to the conclusion of this super event, all attendees were invited to the back of the classroom, where Mrs. Lineman displayed a series of large character illustrations which the students created themselves.
As a supplement to their literary studies, second- and fourth-grade students from Bosti Elementary School recently worked on a collaborative reading activity in the school’s library.
After reading engaging stories in their classroom, fourth-grade students from Linda Tabatchnick & Elizabeth Whitson’s classes met with second-graders from Diana Boyle’s class on to teach them about all of the important facts they learned.
“The students learned about authors Eric Carle, Steven Kellogg, Kevin Henkes, Mo Willems, Cynthia Rylant and Helen Lester,” said library media specialist Annamarie Tongue. “Each student read several books by their author, and researched background information about each writer.”
Edward J. Bosti Elementary School Principal Laura Kimball also participated in the activity by reading and listening to the students interacting with one another.
In an effort to preview some of the wonderful computer science and engineering and literacy initiatives taking place throughout the district, members of the Board of Education were recently invited to step into the learning taking place at Sycamore Avenue Elementary School.
While attending, the distinguished guests were joined by district administrators as they sat down with kindergarten and third-grade students to learn about their journeys to become impressive writers and readers. The students are currently taking part in the Writers Workshop of the Units of Study in Writing Program, and the visitors saw firsthand how the students have strengthened their reading and writing skills so far this school year.
Additionally, with assistance from computer science and engineering specialist Patrick Brennan, students showcased the skills they have amassed this school year while in the Innovation Labs. The district’s recently implemented Innovation Labs serve as multipurpose spaces where students can practice engineering and programming activities at a young age, developing critical thinking, problem-solving and key communication skills.
Due to the vast efforts of Director of Pupil Personnel Services Gail Santo and the Community Wellness Day Committee, the district recently hosted its second annual Community Wellness Day which promoted mindfulness practices and healthy lifestyle choices.
Held at the Connetquot Public Library, attendees visited designated areas which were converted into yoga and meditation studios. “KerBoom Kids Inc.” fitness program founder Kershel Anthony also provided a highly entertaining and physically-fun dance lesson for students and parents alike.
All with the purpose to offer beneficial health information, multiple vendors were set up for the attendees at the event which included representatives from HeartBeet Farms, Juice Plus, LA Fitness and Young Living Essential Oils.
Guests viewed detailed presentations from Dr. Michael Sredniawski, DC, Inspiring Wellness owner and Cherokee Street Elementary School Youth and Family Services Coordinator Nicole Coogan, along with representatives of Kings Park Chiropractic who highlighted the importance of maintaining a well-rounded, healthy lifestyle and best practices to remove toxins from the body.
Students enrolled in Ashley Lefevre’s French classes at Connetquot High School recently visited with Edward J. Bosti Elementary School C-Quest students in an effort to engage in activities and lessons surrounding the French language and culture.
Throughout the duration of their visit, the students interacted with one another and engaged in activities such as learning how to count to 20 in the French language, along with rotating in a number of French-themed activity stations. The activity stations consisted of distinguishing body parts, classifying classroom objects, naming animals and studying the geographical locations of France.
Additionally, utilizing the Kahoot web-based program, the high school students prepared an interactive quiz for the younger students displayed entirely in the French language.
With help from C-Quest advisers Lisa Manzo and Kevin Keane, Connetquot’s C-Quest program is dedicated to enhancing the educational experience of fourth- and fifth-grade students. Based at Edward J. Bosti Elementary School, the C-Quest program services the needs of more than 100 students throughout the district.
The entire seventh-grade class at Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School recently took part in their annual Brave Day event alongside faculty and staff in an effort to promote togetherness, antibullying and self-appreciation.
Throughout the course of the day, students took part in programs consisting of team-building activities and thoughtful discussions around the topics of breaking boundaries and prejudices, and being brave enough to share authentic feelings while making peer connections. The students highly enjoyed themselves as they engaged in the “Would You Rather Activity,” which asked them questions such as which superpower they would prefer, and if they would rather have a cat or a dog as a pet.
According to the staff, their mission is to create a safe learning environment that brings forth a culture of compassion, connection and curiosity, all in an effort to eliminate bullying at the roots.
The district would like to thank OBMS staff members Diana Burke, Shannon Lehnert and Mairead McInnis for their help in coordinating this wonderful event.
This past December, the Ronkonkoma Middle School Soul Singers performed holiday tunes at MacArthur Airport for all of the travelers going to visit their loved ones during the holidays. Under the direction of Nicole White, the vocal performers were joined by the RMS Select Band members, conducted by Stacy Stollberger and Elizabeth Piekut, as they filled the air will holiday favorites, such as “Frosty the Snowman” and “Let it Snow,” for the sixth year in a row. The event was part of the airport’s annual Holiday Concert Series.
In late December, faculty and staff members of the Bosti Elementary School community welcomed family and friends to the annual Polar Express reception featuring the school’s pre-K students.
Thanks to the efforts of Nichole Johnson and her colleagues, the school’s atrium was adorned with a giant-sized bell hanging from the ceiling, as well as a locomotive passenger car and tables adorned with images surrounding a railroad theme. The students were joined by their family members as they took part in singalongs and indulged in tasty treats.
Prior to the big celebration, the young students gathered in their classrooms for a reading of the classic holiday book. The story is about a young boy who takes a magical adventure to the North Pole, and comes to believe in the possibilities and wonders, of the holiday season.
Additionally, the last part of the morning presentation included a visit from very special friend, Santa Claus, who came prepared with books and treats for the children.
Private First-Class U.S. Marine and Connetquot High School alumna Lauren Sherer recently returned to the Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School to visit with a few of her former teachers and surprise her sister in class this past December.
Lauren’s sister, Brooke, who was completely unaware of the visit, was overwhelmed with joy when her older sister stepped foot into her social studies class taught by Jonathan Agatstein. Mr. Agatstein displayed a video about the history and traditions of the U.S. Marine Corps during Lauren’s visit, and she then answered students’ questions which ranged from the types of training she underwent, to makeup and hair styles that are regulated while she is in uniform.
PFC Sherer graduated from Connetquot High School in June 2018, and three days later she was headed for Parris Island Recruit Depot in South Carolina. The 12-week training program turns recruits into a fighting force and earns each of them the title of U.S. Marine when they receive their Eagle, Globe and Anchor.
It was a wonderful visit home for Lauren, and even more enjoyable for Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School Principal Susanne Bailey and Lauren’s former teachers who remember a young and shy little girl, who blossomed into a confident and highly trained member of the U.S. Marine Corps.
Additionally, while Lauren was on holiday leave at home, she had the chance to visit Connetquot High School as a recruiter, answering questions from graduating seniors who had an interest in knowing more about the military branch.
Lauren will be headed to Mississippi for additional training in the area of Aviation Supply, and is hoping to be assigned to a base on the California coast after her training is complete.
For those students looking to build a repertoire of professional skill sets prior to applying to colleges and universities, Connetquot High School is now offering a brand-new course, Advanced Placement Capstone, for the 2018-19 academic year.
According to the College Board, AP Capstone is a diploma-based program based on two yearlong AP courses: AP Seminar and AP Research, the first of which being AP Seminar. These courses are designed to complement other AP courses that the AP Capstone student may take as well as enrich their diverse skill set. Instead of teaching specific subject knowledge, AP Seminar and AP Research use an interdisciplinary approach to develop the critical thinking, research, collaboration, time management and presentation skills students need for college-level work.
With assistance from instructor Melissa Moynihan, the students are currently in the five-month span of their AP Capstone Seminar Exam, completing two parts in the classroom setting, whereas the final component will take place during AP finals week later this school year. During class time, the students brainstormed on topics they were interested in learning more about, and were then able to sample their selected topics amongst their peers.
The selected topics included women’s rights, environmental concerns, immigration, mental illness, education and human rights. While breaking down these topics, the students were asked to address the points of interest, discuss further inquiries toward the topics and ultimately come to a consensus based on the information presented before them. Along the way, the students utilized multiple tools to assist with their research, including Google Chromebooks, collaboration boards and various texts.
Additionally, they were asked to write an analytical essay based on one chosen topic prior to showcasing a practice multimedia presentation discussing what they learned based on their discussions.
The Connetquot High School community recently gathered in the school’s large group instruction room to show their full support for 11th-grade student Diana Santillan-Gress, who had her wish fulfilled by the Make-A-Wish Foundation during a recent “Sendoff Party.”
Prior to the big reveal that Diana’s wish had been granted, student-members of Connetquot High School’s Concert Choir were on hand to display their dazzling musical talents and show Diana that she always has a friend in music.
Thanks to the overwhelming support of the high school community’s fundraising efforts, a check valued at more than $6,000 was presented to Make-A-Wish Community Relations Coordinator Alexis Alpert. Connetquot High School graduate Marina Duszak, along with her mother Patty Duszak, brother Joe Duszak and the school’s Interact Club, were instrumental in raising funds for Make-A-Wish as they’ve held an ornament drive for the past few years in celebration of the holiday season.
Diana was joined by her family members, student-members of the Connetquot High School Interact Club, the Duszak Family, and fellow Connetquot High School students when she learned Make-A-Wish granted her wish and would meet WWE Superstar Charlotte Flair at the WWE Live Holiday Tour at Nassau Coliseum on Dec. 27, 2018. All in attendance were thrilled to see Diana’s wish fulfilled, and rounds of applause thundered throughout the room in support of her.
The district would like to thank Susan Schiappa and members of the Interact Club, the Duszak family, the staff members, administrators and students who attended the event, along with the Make-A-Wish Foundation for their efforts in making this dream a reality for Diana.
Thirty-six Connetquot High School students were recently inducted into the Mu Alpha Theta chapter of the National Mathematics Honor Society on Dec. 5.
Adviser Christopher Dolce introduced the officers of this prestigious group, along with District Director of Mathematics Louise Burger. Mrs. Burger welcomed the newly inducted members, as well as the proud family members and friends who attended the ceremony.
The induction ceremony was held in the appropriately-decorated high school cafeteria, and began with MAT officers addressing the history of the national organization, its purpose, as well as the history of mathematics. According to Mr. Dolce, membership in the Mu Alpha Theta chapter is quite selective for the more than 2,100 chapters across the United States and several foreign countries.
During the ceremony, Mr. Dolce asked the newest members stand up and take the honor society pledge before distributing the commemorative certificates to each of them.
“I am beyond proud of our students and their achievements in mathematics,” said Mr. Dolce. “I would like to thank our entire team of math teachers, our director, Mrs. Burger, and the board of education for their support as we honor our outstanding mathematics students.”
Following the ceremony, light refreshments were available for the members and their proud family members and friends.