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Onward Toward High School

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An enthusiastic crowd of family, friends, faculty and staff recently celebrated the promotion of the Ronkonkoma Middle School’s graduating Class of 2019 as they took the next step toward their futures during a moving up ceremony held on June 25 at Connetquot High School.

At this year’s joyous celebration, held at the Eric Martinsen Performing Arts Center at Connetquot High School, more than 200 Ronkonkoma Middle School students received their certificates to the applause of proud family members. Interim Principal Joseph Licato congratulated the Class of 2019 and their parents, and wished them good health, happiness and success in all they do. “I urge you to dream big, and work hard to make those dreams come true,” he said. Assistant Principal Wayne Myers added his congratulations for the graduates as well, and expressed his gratitude toward their dedicated parents.

Attending dignitaries added their own congratulations and assisted, along with members of the Ronkonkoma Middle School PTA, in the distribution of the certificates to the students. 

Connetquot School District Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lynda G. Adams, as well as Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dean Mittleman, Board of Education President Milynn Augulis and Trustee Jaclyn Napolitano-Furno were on hand to offer congratulations and present awards to the students. 


Students Raise Funding for ALS Research

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Students at Ronkonkoma Middle School recently took part in the school’s annual “Ramp Shot” fundraiser in an effort to raise money for a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, more commonly known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

After contributing a $15 donation per player, students and their teammates were able to engage in fun and friendly competition in the school’s gymnasium for a few hours. Dozens of students put their skills to the test as they played the popular backyard game, which was created by Josh Bonventre and Kevin Texeira, both of Long Island. As a result of the fundraiser, the students raised $1,000 to support the cause. 

Student-winners of the competition went home with gift cards, and their very own “Ramp Shot” game to enjoy on summer vacation. The district would like to thank staff members Justin Hertz, Brianne Hertz, Chris D’Andrea and Shannon Lehnert for once again organizing the fun and exciting tournament. 

Hitting All the Right Notes

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Ronkonkoma Middle School eighth grade student Katlyn Morgan Smith continues to make vast strides in both the Long Island music community and surrounding areas. 

Katlyn is an active participant in Ronkonkoma Middle School’s Tri-M Music Honor Society, Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra. She also participates in LISFA, NYSSMA, SCMEA, and was recently the Grand Prix winner at the International Concert Festival Competition at Weill Recital Hall this past March. 

She began playing violin and piano at the young age of 5, and due to her commitment to her studies, she is now currently studying under Anton Polezhayev, who was a part of the New York Philharmonic. 

Along with her older sister Ashely, the two student-musicians formed their own ensemble, and were booked by Live Nation to perform at Westbury Music Fair and other fundraising performances. They have also recorded at Sound City Cove Studios and have many music videos available to watch on YouTube. 

Her aspiration this year is to prepare and participate in the Menuhin Competition in 2020. Katlyn would like to thank her parents, instructors, arrangers and the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra for her successes thus far. 

“My compassion for music has always come from my heart,” she said. “It brings people together, it makes them feel emotion, and brings them back to their favorite memories.”

Studying the Life of Penguins

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Students enrolled in Tiffany Prin’s class at Ronkonkoma Middle School recently completed a unit of study on penguins, which then culminated with a trip to The Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead. During their time spent in the scientific unit, the students learned about how penguins’ blubber insulates their body from the freezing cold temperatures in Antarctica. With this information on hand, the students used household materials to create their own forms of insulation and dipped their hands in cold buckets of ice to see how much of an improvement insulation can make.  

Becoming One with Nature

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Without having to book an international plane ticket, sixth and seventh grade students from Ronkonkoma Middle School recently interacted and learned about a handful of exotic animals, courtesy of Nature Nick of Nature Nick’s Animal Adventures.

For his presentation, Nature Nick brought along a number of animals to showcase including “Bananas” the toucan, “Bubbles” the African Barbary falcon, “Meatloaf” the Flemish giant rabbit, “King Arthur” the Western crowned pigeon, along with “Fabio” the Chilean flamingo. 

In addition to offering rich descriptions detailing the animals’ native land, diet and life cycles, Nature Nick also allowed a handful of volunteers to hold the animals for a few moments, which they clearly enjoyed.