MS Wounded Warrior Fundraiser


Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015

Wounded Warrior Wednesday


Wear Your Pajamas


Pay your Home Room teacher $1 for our fundraiser:

IPADS for Wounded Warriors

Bedtime in Bayville


All cozy in their pajamas, Bayville Primary students snuggled in for a bedtime story and hot cocoa, but they weren’t at home in their beds – they were at school for the Winter Wonderland.

The event, sponsored by the Bayville Elementary PTA, was organized by Assistant Principal Dorothy McManus, who read “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” to kindergarten through second-graders. Students also made winter-related crafts, such as reindeer picture frames that they filled with a photo of themselves from the event.

“It’s a special night that helps us kick off the holiday season as a family,” said McManus. “Everyone wears their pajamas, and that helps create a very relaxed atmosphere.”

Families donated pajamas and a book for the One Million Good Nights pajama program, which strives to make children feel safe and comfortable at bedtime. According to McManus, the Bayville students learned that not all children have warm pajamas or a book to read at bedtime. “It made them feel good to help children their own age who are not as fortunate,” she said.

Cheering for Those Who Need It Most


Cheerleaders are known for cheering on high school athletes, but Locust Valley cheerleaders like to spread cheer to those less fortunate as well. The junior varsity, varsity and middle school cheerleaders visited local rehabilitation facilities to perform their favorite cheers and sing some holiday songs. They also collected teddy bears for children in hospitals.

Varsity cheerleading coach Doreen Kobus said the team enjoys making others feel good. “The smiles on the faces of the patients at the rehab facility make it all worthwhile,” she said. The girls also brought the patients eyeglass holders as holiday gifts, which the sixth-grade home and careers students had made by hand. 

A teddy bear collection helped provide smiles for children in hospitals. The cheerleaders donated these bears to the Nassau County Courthouse, where the court officers held their 11th annual teddy bear collection. 

Old-Fashioned Fun


Holiday spirit, family fun and artistic skills came together when primary school students created gingerbread houses from scratch. Sitting with their parents around tables covered with graham crackers, icing and a huge assortment of candy, the children used their imaginations to create their masterpieces.

Ann MacArthur and Bayville Primary Schools had a few classes that created these gingerbread houses with their own unique features. Some had shingles or fences, while others included doorknobs or snowmen on the lawn. The one thing they all had in common was that they were fun to create and will surely be fun to eat!

Sending Holiday Cheer


Carolyn Sumcizk’s first-graders at Bayville Primary School created holiday cards for a young girl whom they haven’t met – 6-year-old Addie Fausett. Because of an illness, Addie cannot play with other children in the same way a healthy child can. Her family hoped that by getting cards from children all over the country, she would feel as if she were surrounded by friends.

For the children in Sumcizk’s class, the lesson came with many benefits. They learned that not everyone their age has the ability to do the same things they do. They also discovered that it is very easy to help others feel good, all while brushing up on their writing and drawing skills.

The beautiful handmade cards were sent to Addie’s home in Utah.

Gratitude for the Troops


Putting their writing skills and caring nature into practice, the Locust Valley Intermediate School student council mailed holiday letters to soldiers to boost their spirits, which may be the best gift of all this holiday season. The students’ handwritten letters expressed their gratitude for the soldiers’ service to our nation.

“We can’t think of a better way to practice writing than to create letters that will show our thanks to soldiers,” said student government co-adviser Shari Zindman. “It’s the perfect blend of education and altruism.” Co-adviser Jane Benstock worked with Zindman to help the children think of things to say.

The letters are being sent to Operation Gratitude, an organization that provides care packages, letters and more to deployed soldiers to help lift their spirits.

LV Wrestlers Featured in Newsday

LVHS wrestlers Nick Casella, Hunter Dusold, Jonathan Gomez and Sam Ward were featured in Newsday as wrestlers to watch in the 2014-2015 season. Congratulations!

High School Wrestlers in Newsday - click here.


Author Offers Inspiration


There is much to be learned from meeting a professional author, including tips on writing, drawing and coming up with story ideas. The best advice elementary students may have received from author Megan McCarthy is to keep trying, even after a failure. 

McCarthy shared with students at Bayville and Locust Valley Elementary Schools that she has failed, but has always gotten right back up and kept on trying. “You can’t succeed if you don’t keep trying, “ she said. 

Sharing photos and anecdotes from her childhood, McCarthy read from stories she wrote in elementary school, including spelling errors and all. This helped the young writers to see that she didn’t start out writing professional-quality books, but that practice and education helped her reach her goals. McCarthy talked about her process, from brainstorming and writing rough drafts to drawing sketches and painting her pictures. 

The students at Locust Valley and Bayville have been reading McCarthy’s books, many of which are nonfiction and written to be informative and entertaining at the same time. With the help of the art teachers, students also created artwork based on her books – a mural at Bayville Primary School and individual pictures at the other schools. 

“It is a wonderful experience for children to meet an author that they already love,” said Bayville Intermediate School Librarian Paige Coppola. “They were able to ask her questions and learn about her process.” Coppola said meeting professional authors often inspires children to write more creatively and read more books.

Author visits take place each year and are sponsored by the Locust Valley Parents’ Council and the Bayville PTA, in cooperation with the librarians at each of the elementary schools. 

Athletes Make All-Long Island Teams

Two LVHS athletes have been honored by Newsday for their outstanding performances during the fall athletic season.

Senior football captain, Dan Syrett, earned Newsday All-Long Island Second Team for his strong defensive end play this year. 

Junior tennis player, Alex Koniaev earned Newsday First Team All-Long Island for her exceptional performance on the court.

Congratulations to both Alex and Dan for a great fall season!


MS Musician Shines at International Competition


Recently seventh grader Michelle Hsu won first place for her performance of  “Clari de Lune” by Claude Debussy on piano at the 2014-2015 Crescendo International Music Competition.

Although this was her first competition, Michelle has been playing piano since she was only six years old. The judges praised her playing, describing it as colorful, atmospheric, free form, harmonic, and an exceptionally beautiful style of playing.

The competition is held at venues across the world including New York, Germany, Korea, and Russia and has thousands of participants. Only the top one percent of performers are selected as first place winners. Michelle’s first place achievement has earned her the honor of performing at the Winner’s Concert at Carnegie Hall in January. 

Master Musicians Across the District


Locust Valley students are making musical history. Recently, Kimberly Sabio, Joseph Tancredi and Andrew Wee were accepted to perform in the All-Eastern Festival this April in Rhode Island this spring. This honor completes a trifecta for Kimberly and Andrew as they are the first Locust Valley High School musicians ever to earn All-State, All-Eastern and All-National honors. 

Kimberly plays the trumpet, Joseph is a tenor and Andrew plays the violin. Each of these accomplished musicians has dedicated themselves to being the best they can be through hard work and plenty of practice. 

William Margiotta, subject matter coordinator for music, said he is extremely proud of the accomplishments of these students. “They take their music very seriously, yet have fun in the process,” he explained. “They work hard and their efforts are being recognized at very high levels.” 

Margiotta said the musical talent and willingness to work hard is a theme across the entire district. “We have incredible honors at all levels, from elementary school to high school.”

Many students have been accepted to the Long Island String Festival Association and to the All County Music Festival for their outstanding abilities.

Congratulations to all of these musicians!

Click here for a list of the LISFA participants.

Click here for a list of the All-County participants. 





Falcons Umbrellas for Sale


Keep dry under a Locust Valley Falcons umbrella and the weather won't dampen your spirits!

The Locust Valley High School Parents' Council has green LV Falcons umbrellas for sale for $25. To purchase an umbrella, you can contact Amy Hochberg by calling 624-0121, texting 729-2169 or emailing

The Board of Education will hold a meeting on Jan. 6, 2015 at 8:00 p.m. in the Middle School/High School Mini-Theater.

The Board of Education will hold a meeting on Jan. 6, 2015 at 8:00 p.m. in the Middle School/High School Mini-Theater.

Clowning Around


The circus may seem like fun and games, but for Bayville Intermediate School fifth-graders, putting on a circus was serious work. 

Thanks to the Bayville Elementary PTA, the National Circus Project has been visiting the school for one week each year, teaching circus skills to fifth-graders and helping them prepare to present their very own circus. The students learned physical and mental skills such as balance, coordination, concentration and cooperation. They also learned about perseverance and focusing on having fun rather than being perfect. Putting on an actual circus show, including several acts, was the culmination of the weeklong training. 

The National Circus Project is an arts-in-education program, physical education program and cultural program all rolled into one. Bayville Elementary Principal Scott McElhiney said the program enriches the curriculum in many ways. “Many of the strategies they learn preparing for the circus can be used in the classroom as well,” he said. He explained that learning to stick with something that is difficult is one of those skills. He added that although the students are gaining valuable educational experiences, they think they are just having fun.

The students held two performances, one for students and another for families. Acts included walking on stilts, tumbling, balancing, comedy routines and engaging the audience to use their imaginations.


Jazzing Up the Day


A typical school day was transformed into an impromptu jam session when a local musician and his friends took center stage. Students were tapping their feet and singing along as familiar tunes were jazzed up by the visiting artists. The program took place at Ann MacArthur Primary School and Locust Valley Intermediate School.

The assembly, sponsored by the Locust Valley Parents’ Council, introduced students in kindergarten through fifth grade to jazz and to the various instruments used by the performers. Locust Valley resident Bob Merrill played the trumpet and other band members played the clarinet, banjo, tuba and trombone. Merrill and his partners explained the history of jazz, taught the students about each instrument and demonstrated how jazz is impromptu. The band played the traditional “Happy Birthday” to a student at LVI and then played the same song as a jazz piece. Merrill said the musicians felt the music and kept the real tune in their heads as they improvised on the original notes.

While the band performed at each of the schools, the LVI performance included student participation. Four members of the LVI student band joined the professionals on stage, playing their own instruments. The professionals helped them warm up, played along with them, and then had a jam session where they encouraged the young musicians to play freestyle. 

Parents’ Council member Lisa Mullarkey organized the program with the goal of introducing children to a new artistic medium and to the instruments they will have the opportunity to play. “Some of these students will soon be asked to choose an instrument to play, and this will help them to decide what excites them,” she explained.

LVMS Welcomes Wounded Warrior

Retired Colonel Gregory D. Gadson received a hero’s welcome at Locust Valley Middle School on Nov. 24 when he addressed the student body with inspiring words. He posed for photographs and signed autographs for students.

Col. Gadson is a wounded warrior, retired from the U.S. Army after serving more than 25 years. While serving as a commander in Iraq, Col. Gadson lost both of his legs and normal use of his right hand and arm when his truck was struck by an improvised explosive device. Despite this life-altering event, he remained on active duty in the Army and inspired those around him with messages of courage, perseverance and determination. These are the same messages he shared with the middle school students.

“You have opportunities,” Col. Gadson said. “You need to take advantage of those opportunities.” He spoke about patriotism, his commitment to the military and his personal struggles. A video depicted his role as a mentor to the N.Y. Giants, who consider him an important part of the team, as he inspires them to stay strong and work hard. Col. Gadson was a linebacker at West Point, where he began his military career. He originally intended to serve the required five years to pay back his education; however, when the five years were up, he couldn't see himself anywhere else. “I loved serving my country,” he said.

Col. Gadson is the recipient of two Distinguished Service Medals, two Legions of Merit, three Bronze Stars, a Purple Heart, three Meritorious Service Medal and three Army Commendation Medals. 

Locust Valley resident Kaye Weninger, who spearheads Operation Democracy, met Col. Gadson at a conference and was so inspired by his story and attitude that they became friends. Weninger used that friendship to secure a speaking engagement by Col. Gadson for the middle school. She explained that she could not think of a better favor to ask of the colonel than to impart his wisdom on the students. 

As part of the Veterans Recognition Program, Col. Gadson was joined at the middle school by members of the Locust Valley and Bayville American Legions. Town of Oyster Bay Councilwoman Michele Johnson recognized the veterans and presented Col. Gadson with a certificate of appreciation. He also received special gifts from the middle school representing Locust Valley and Long Island. The seventh- and eighth-grade chorus performed a patriotic tribute to the veterans, and high school senior Patrick Wilhelm sang “The Star-Spangled Banner.” 

Middle school student government advisers Penny McElwain and Kathleen Reilly organized the event and said they hoped that the students would recognize the sacrifice of veterans who risk their lives for our nation.
The middle school has also kicked off plans for a fundraiser to help purchase iPads for wounded warriors at Walter Reed Medical Center. 

Athletes Commit to Colleges


Five student-athletes have committed to continuing their athletic careers in college by signing National Letters of Intent. Lindsay Bleistein, Nick Casella, Lauren Sabatino, Sam Ward and Cassandra Vnook donned their new collegiate clothing as they were recognized for their accomplishments. 

Lindsay will attend Wagner College as a member of the lacrosse team. A well-rounded and dedicated student, she is a three-sport varsity athlete, playing field hockey, basketball and lacrosse, and is captain of the field hockey and lacrosse teams. Lindsay has earned many Section VIII honors, including All-County Honorable Mention in lacrosse and All-Conference in field hockey and lacrosse. She played a key role in the lacrosse team’s conference championship season in 2014. 

Nick will become a member of the University of Maryland wrestling team. He has been on the LVHS varsity wrestling team since eighth grade and has emerged as one of the top wrestlers in his weight class in the state, earning All-State honors three times and advancing to the state finals twice. He won the Division II county title multiple times and most recently he was a key cog in the success of the 2014 Division II NYS championship team. Nick continues to wrestle throughout the year and has earned All-American honors at the national competition.

Lauren will join the SUNY Oneonta softball team. She is a talented three-sport varsity athlete in field hockey, basketball and softball. A starter in all three sports, Lauren is a diversified athlete. She brings enthusiasm and tremendous spirit to her teams. Starting as pitcher last season, she earned a perfect record in conference play at 16-0 and also pitched a no-hitter. She is a powerful hitter as well and led her conference in home runs. Lauren earned All-County honors as a junior and All-Division honors as a sophomore in softball. Her outstanding play both offensively and defensively assisted her team in capturing the conference title.

Sam will continue his wrestling career at Columbia University. As a junior, he placed third at the state championships, earning All-State honors. He has won multiple individual county championships and was an integral part of the success of the high school’s 2014 Division II state championship team. Sam also wrestles at the national level, where he has earned All-American honors. He is considered by his coaches and teachers to be an exceptional leader. He is also a caring and supportive friend and teammate, and embodies the true characteristics of a successful student-athlete.

Cassandra will join the Bryant University lacrosse team. Cassandra has established herself as one of the top lacrosse goalies in the county. As a junior, she earned All-County honors and gained All-Conference honors as a sophomore. Her skill was a key ingredient to the lacrosse team’s conference championship season in 2014. Cassandra was also a longtime member of the varsity tennis team and has served as captain of the lacrosse and tennis teams.

“We have talented students who excel both academically and athletically,” said Director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics, Mark J. Dantuono. “These students worked hard to achieve success on and off the field and I have no doubt they will work just as hard at the collegiate level.”

Congratulations to these accomplished student-athletes!


Thank You Board of Education!


Members of the Board of Education were thanked for their dedication to the school district at a meeting that celebrated their hard work. Students from each of the schools presented Board members with hand made artwork, books and athletic items adorned with the Locust Valley falcon. 

Board of Education members volunteer their time to the district for no pay. They work countless hours for the benefit of the children and wouldn’t have it any other way. 

The district wants to extend an official thank you to the Board of Education for working tirelessly to ensure that students get the best education possible and have bright futures.

Preserving History

High school film students have been working in collaboration with the Locust Valley Rotary Club to document the stories of local veterans. With the support of Katherine Gibson, students filmed veterans telling their stories, and history was captured. 

The films, which will be cataloged in the Library of Congress, will be used in social studies classes as part of students’ history lessons. Recently, Gibson attended a Board of Education meeting and presented the high school with a check for $300 to support the media program and allow students to continue this meaningful work.

“This project not only preserves the invaluable stories of our veterans, it also gives students a chance to experience history in a unique way,” said media teacher Bruce Campbell. “In addition, it provides an opportunity for the community and school to collaborate for the good of the students.” The Rotary's generous gift will help fund the purchase of video equipment that the program may have been unable to obtain otherwise. 

The district wishes to thank the Locust Valley Rotary Club and specifically Katherine Gibson for supporting this project and for being the driving force that allowed it to become such a success.

Festive Feasts


Primary students throughout the district were grateful to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with their friends and teachers. Each school held its own celebration, including traditional feasts and Thanksgiving-related performances. 

Ann MacArthur Primary School kindergartners invited their families to join them for homemade soup. Dressed as Native Americans and Pilgrims, the youngsters sang songs to entertain their guests before the holiday meal. Following the performance, the soup was served, which had been made from scratch by the kindergartners, with the help of their teachers, of course.

Bayville Primary School students enjoyed a traditional turkey dinner served by parent volunteers. Also dressed in costumes to represent the holiday, the students colored their own placemats for the meal. Carolyn Sumcizk’s first-grade class performed a holiday play, which was videotaped for the students’ families to watch at home. The boys and girls sang warnings to each of the vegetables and the turkey about what was to come on Thanksgiving Day. 

Across the district, Thanksgiving offered opportunities for students and staff to have fun while learning about being thankful.

National Merit Recognizes LVHS Students


Because of their outstanding performance on the Preliminary SAT/NMSQT, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation has named senior Christopher Lee as a Commended Student and senior Chloe Georgiades as a National Achievement Outstanding Participant.

Commended Students were chosen by the NMSC for their outstanding academic promise based on their 2013 PSAT scores. The National Achievement Scholarship Program honored the top achievers from among the 160,000 black Americans who took the 2013 PSAT.

Lee and Georgiades are among the top students in the high school, earning top grades on Regents and Advanced Placement exams. They are both involved in a variety of extracurricular activities, as well. 


Joseph Tancredi Featured on News12

High school senior and varsity football player Joseph Tancredi was featured on the News12 segment Sports Rush for his exceptional singing abilities.

To watch the show, click here

Joe's segment can be viewed at the nine minute mark.

Congratulations Joe!

LVCSD Gives Back to the Community


When LVCSD students and staff hear about community members in need, they jump into action to help. Community partnerships so often help the schools and, in this case, the district was able to return the favor by providing more than $7,000 worth of Thanksgiving dinners for those in need. 

Each year, the Grenville Baker Boys and Girls Club collects baskets filled with all the fixings for Thanksgiving dinners for families in need. To supplement the club’s collections, students and staff from every building in the school district donated a total of 100 baskets, plus more than $500 to help provide delicious dinners to local families. Additional donations came from the Board of Education, superintendent and administrators.

At some schools, each class created a basket and at others, various clubs organized the collection. Stuffing mix, potatoes, cranberry sauce, cake mix, coffee and much more filled each basket. Gift cards provided money for turkeys and cash donations allowed the club to purchase any items they felt were still needed.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Anna F. Hunderfund said that the Locust Valley school community is one of the most altruistic she has ever come across. “The students and staff heard there was a need and the donations immediately poured in,” she said. “Being part of such a wonderful community can only make you feel good, and I hope the actions of our district will make the recipients of the baskets feel just as good.”

Thankful for Students


It’s a typical Thanksgiving activity in elementary schools across the country –teachers have their students write essays about what they are thankful for. At Locust Valley Intermediate School, third-grade teachers decided it was time for a twist on tradition. This year, they told their students why they were thankful to have them. 

At the annual Thanksgiving feast, students wore name tags that stated what made them special in the eyes of their teachers – for example, the student is kind and caring, or a diligent worker. Some were appreciated for always cooperating, others for making their teacher laugh.

Josephine Rothstein said she and her colleagues are thankful for each and every student. “They are the reason we come to work each day,” she said. “Each child offers something unique that makes us smile.” Rothstein explained that they wanted the children to feel good about themselves, and added that Thanksgiving is an opportune time to reinforce the importance of self-esteem.

Of course, the feast was traditional in other ways, with delicious food and friends to share it with. Volunteers from the Locust Valley Parents’ Council sponsored the event and shared in the festivities.



Mastering Math


Who says learning isn’t fun and games? Board games, card games, and song writing are helping fourth graders at Bayville Intermediate School become proficient in math. The students recently held a math fair to present the games they invented based on the math skills they are learning.

Students had gathered, analyzed, and organized data as they developed creative games that required the use of multiplication concepts and skills. Finding ways to incorporate mathematics into games required that these young inventors really master the math concepts in order how to apply them.

Fourth grade teacher Margaret McDermott said the activity helped to create enthusiasm for math. “The students saw that the math skills they were learning could actually be applied to things that they enjoy doing and to things that have real life value.” 

Students created mathematical versions of their favorite games such as Candy Land, performed their favorite songs with new lyrics relating to math and invented brand new games. During the math fair, each of the fourth grade classes viewed and played the games that their peers had created. ‘Playing their classmates games reinforced the math skills even further,” McDermott said. “The end result of the project left them feeling confident and capable.”



Locust Valley Jesters Receive Rave Reviews

The Locust Valley High School Jesters presented an impressive performance of Noel Coward’s wacky comedy “Hay Fever” on Nov. 15 and 16.

The cast brought the characters to life on the high school stage and the crew created scenery that placed the audience right in the home of the Bliss family in the 1920s.

The story highlights stage star Judith Bliss, her novelist husband and their two grown children, each of whom invited houseguests for the weekend. But as the Bliss family indulges their artistic eccentricities in a hilarious whirlwind of madcap zaniness, the guests begin to wonder if they’ve landed in a madhouse – and if they can survive the weekend with their own wits intact!

The Jesters’ on stage presence often had the audience forgetting that they were high school students. Impeccable costumes, including flapper style dresses, helped recreate the roaring 20s. The performance was a wonderful escape that provided laughter and fun for everyone.

The cast included Kevin Byrnes, Magnus Carlstrom, Christine Caroll, David DePerez, Kristin Hutchins, Sara Kaiser, Julia Rivadeneira, Shanaz Sanjana and Connor Sivacek.

Senior Implements Tutoring Program


Tazim Merchant is singlehandedly transforming the landscape of tutoring for both tutors and those in need of tutoring. Merchant, a senior at the high school, created the National Honor Society Tutoring Program, which matches high school tutors with middle school and high school students in need of tutoring, for free.

Using a simple online form, National Honor Society members can register to tutor subjects in which they excel, and any student can submit a request to be tutored in just about any subject area. Merchant saw the need for an alternative to the practice of hiring costly tutors and knew that members of the NHS needed to earn community service credits, so she developed the program to help fill both voids. She created the forms and organized the participants on her own.

“It is very successful so far,” Merchant said. “In just the first week, we had requests almost every day through our NHS Tutor Request Form, and both the tutors and their students have been happy with the results.” She said she is using the project to achieve her Girl Scouts Gold Award and hopes to present her idea to the NHS at the national level. “I would like to place this model in schools all over the country,” she said. She aspires to run the national model as a volunteer.

In visiting middle school and high school classrooms to present the program, Merchant has found the students and teachers very receptive. She said teachers are encouraging their students to use the program and students are grateful for the help, whether it is for one test or an entire unit of study.

The society’s advisors said the program is doing more than just providing academic support. “Students feel comfortable to come and ask for help from others, knowing it won't cost them anything,” explained co-advisor Valerie Russo. “It also helps students form great bonds while making new friendships, and it helps build their confidence.” Co-advisor Rachel McShane said Merchant is an incredible leader who took this project from an idea to reality without skipping a beat.

Locust Valley High School Assistant Principal Rebecca Gottesman calls the model for this program outstanding. “It would be a wonderful program to extend into the elementary schools,” she said. “It benefits all students involved on so many levels.” She looks forward to assisting Merchant and the advisors in transitioning the program to future NHS officers, ensuring that it expands next year when Merchant is no longer available to facilitate the day-to-day operations.  

Although Merchant will graduate in June, she will hand over the reins to the club’s officers so her work can continue to benefit generations of students to follow. “When I visit the middle school classes,” she said, “I tell them that they may be in need of a tutor now, but one day they may be running this program.”


Freshman Team-Building


It may have seemed like fun and games, but the high school guidance department’s ice breaker program had a definite purpose. The activity was intended to help the ninth-grade students become familiar with their high school counselors, understand the importance of becoming involved in extracurricular activities, and begin to familiarize themselves with the college planning process.

The guidance counselors introduced each ninth-grade English class with an ice breaker activity. Students tossed a beach ball to each other and the counselors, stopping only to answer the question printed on the spot that the student touched when catching the ball. Before long, students knew about each other’s favorite cell phone apps, biggest pet peeves, where they hope to travel and more.   

Following the introductory exercise, students were reacquainted with Naviance, the computer program that guidance counselors utilize as a comprehensive goal-setting and college planning program and which students were introduced to in middle school. With Naviance, the counselors emphasize the importance of keeping the resume section current and completing the various surveys honestly and with sincerity. This information becomes critical for students when they begin to work individually with their counselors to develop a list of college choices that will ultimately be a good match for them.

“The college planning process must begin in ninth grade,” said Assistant Principal Rebecca Gottesman. “The information required to produce a thorough, well-rounded application requires years of cumulative information, which includes rigorous academics, extracurricular involvement and leadership, and most importantly, career interests and long-term goals." She added that it is just as important to develop new friendships and to never be afraid to try something new, saying the best high school memories often include friendships formed through shared interests.   

Counselors remain with students throughout their four years of high school, guiding and supporting them every step of the way. They encourage students to not be shy about reaching out, as they genuinely look forward to cultivating these relationships over the four years.

Keeping Young Students Safe on the Internet


Students at Bayville Intermediate School are learning early how to use technology safely. A cyber safety presentation on Nov. 5, highlighted the positive ways in which social media can be used and the negative behaviors that need to be avoided.

Katie Schumacher, founder of the Don’t Press Send Campaign, shared age-appropriate examples of how social media can hurt feelings and change lives. She pointed out that using social media to make plans with friends or to perform research would be positive ways to use these tools. She presented third- through fifth-graders with scenarios that should be avoided at all times, and when she said them, she had the entire room shout, “Don’t press send!”

“The students who interact with this technology get younger and younger all the time,” said Principal Scott McElhiney. “We want to make sure we are proactive and teach them about the dangers of social media before they encounter situations that could be harmful to them.”

Schumacher reminded students to use empathy and think about how they would feel being on the receiving end of a comment before they choose to hit send. She added important rules about not taking photos without clothing, not sharing their passwords and keeping their social media circles small. “There are not 500 people whom you can trust,” she said. “So you should not have 500 friends on Facebook.”

Other tips included not having cell phones on during homework time, choosing an early evening time to turn the phone off for the night, and not posting photos of outings with friends. “You might be having fun with your ‘bestie,’ but your other ‘bestie’ might see that photo and feel left out,” she said. She suggested that children and adults take photos to remember their special moments, but that they only share them with those who are in those photos. She also advised them to never post photos of anyone without their permission.

News12 covered this important presentation and will air a story on the topic today after 6 p.m.


Artist Enhances Curriculum


Young artists brought a still life to life when they received an art lesson from a professional artist. Visual artist Rob Zeller brought his special skills to the students at AMP and LVI and shared his best tips for producing beautiful artwork.

Zeller brought several of his paintings and drawings to show the students and he set up a still life for the children to draw. After watching Zeller draw the same still life from scratch, the children set out to outline the picture in pencil and then fill in the colors. He encouraged them to follow the lines of the actual scene, while adding their own personal touches.

The guest visit was part of an arts program that the Locust Valley Parents’ Council brings to the schools throughout the year. “These special programs enhance the curriculum and add a memorable experience for the children,” said Principal, Dr. Sophia Gary.

LVHS Homecoming Victory!


The Locust Valley Falcons celebrated victory at homecoming on Nov. 1, defeating Malverne 35-8, and will now host the first round of the Nassau County playoffs at home on Friday, Nov. 7 at 1:30 p.m.

Energy was high for the homecoming game as Friday’s pep rally and Saturday’s pre-game festivities raised spirits and put everyone in the mood for a win. Cheerleaders and kickline team members performed in the gymnasium following a celebration for senior athletes and their parents. 

In their first-ever homecoming competition, the freshman class won the spirit award and took first place in the float competition. The varsity volleyball team won the banner award. Students throughout the high school and middle school dressed for various theme days leading up to homecoming, which celebrated the nation with the theme “Falcons Honoring America.” Floats depicted American flags, soldiers and the LV Falcon, and incorporated the required symbol of the homecoming opponent. 

Seniors Joe Tancredi and Annie Degnan were crowned homecoming king and queen, to loud applause and cheering from the crowd. Rounding out the homecoming court as princes and princesses were juniors Kevin Spence and Kyla Butler, sophomores Jeremyer Medina and Noelle Pflaumer, and freshmen Neil Noviello and Caroline Mangan.

Homecoming was the culmination of two weeks of activities, including Red Ribbon Week, organized by the high school’s SADD Club; and Spirit Week, organized by the high school’s Athletic Council. SADD Club members welcomed students to school during the week by decorating the inside and outside of the building with bright red bows. Red ribbons were handed out to students and staff, instilling a sense of community. A guest speaker shared advice on making good decisions, a bake sale raised funds for SADD, and the entire school population wore red one day in support of Red Ribbon Week.

Athletic Council co-advisors Doreen Kobus and Carolyn Collins worked tirelessly to make sure homecoming and all of the surrounding events were a success. Assisted by the Athletic Council’s student members, they organized Spirit Week to build up spirit leading to homecoming. Each day of the celebratory week, including Disney Day, Honoring America Day, Go Green Day, Neon Day and Armed Forces Day, helped bring students together as they dressed according to the daily theme. The pep rally was the final event that pumped up spirit.

Community members were invited to homecoming to cheer the Falcons on to victory – and clearly, the big win is proof that Locust Valley’s spirit and community pride provide support to the Falcons!

Congratulations to the Falcons and their coaches on an incredible season. The spirit and support will continue through the playoffs.   

Check out all the photos -the spirit is contagious!


Middle School Pep Rally


High School Pep Rally

Junior Serves Up Record Setting Tennis Season


Junior Alex Koniaev placed fourth in the New York State Public High School Tennis Championships. Alex completed a record setting year and is seeded fourth overall. Alex had a strong tournament, before eventually dropping a tight three set match in the quarter finals.

In the medal round, Alex provided a dominant performance in defeating her Section XI's opponent by a score of 6-3, 6-2 to take home the fourth place medal.

During the regular season, Alex was undefeated in conference play with a 13-0 record. She achieved All-County and All-State honors. A Nassau County tournament finalist as well, she finishes her year with a record of 19-2. 

Congratulations to Alex on a record-setting season!


Exhibit Features LVMS Artist


A middle school artist’s work has been accepted into a student exhibition by the Huntington Arts Council for the second time. Sixth grader Joseph Kuebler’s original piece, “The Black Goblin” is on display in the exhibit “Nightmare on Main Street.”


The exhibit called for submissions inspired by Halloween. Joseph’s artwork was chosen for the same exhibit in 2012 as well. 


Joseph’s work and the entire exhibit can be viewed at 215 Main Street, Huntington Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturdays from 12 to 4 p.m. through Nov. 10, 2014. 

High School Parking Update

After months of extensive research and community input, the Safety Committee presented the final findings to the Board of Education regarding parking at the high school. While the number of parking spaces was considered, the focus remained on safety for students, staff and visitors.

Click here to view the presentation.