The Board of Education will hold a meeting on Nov. 19, 2014 at 8 p.m. in the MS/HS Mini-Theater.

The Board of Education will hold a meeting on Nov. 19, 2014 at 8 p.m. in the MS/HS Mini-Theater.

Judge Brings Lessons Alive


With gavel in hand and legal facts to share, fourth-graders at Locust Valley Intermediate School learned about the court system from Supreme Court Justice Timothy S. Driscoll.

Judge Driscoll visited LVI to reinforce the lessons the fourth-graders are learning. Hearing about his experiences in the courtroom helped bring their studies of the government’s judicial branch alive. 

“It can be hard for these students to visualize exactly what the judicial branch represents,” said fourth-grade teacher Christine Worsdale. “Hearing about the judge’s responsibilities helped them more clearly understand how our government works.”

Worsdale reached out to Judge Driscoll, the father of her student Timmy Driscoll, inviting him to make the presentation. She said the information he shared will help her students throughout the year. “As we begin our study of Native Americans, we will be able to connect our own government to their ideas and values,” she explained.

Judge Driscoll created an interactive courtroom to demonstrate how he can tell when witnesses are telling the truth or lying. With selected students playing the roles of witness, attorney and court stenographer, the group saw how body language and facial expressions can indicate whether or not a witness is being honest.

The judge also showed them the law books he studies each night to help him with cases and encouraged them to work hard to achieve success in life. While he was not able to share the details of actual cases, he was able to give students general information about past cases, which helped them understand how he makes his decisions.

The district extends special thanks to Judge Driscoll for taking time out of his busy schedule for this presentation.

Blood Drive Nov. 7

The high school's Interact Club will host a blood drive on Friday, Nov. 7 from 7:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. in the MS/HS Mini-Theater. All community members are invited to donate. 

Lacing into Breast Cancer


The pink may be on their feet, but for the high school’s athletes, the sentiment is in their hearts. For the second year in a row, every junior varsity and varsity athlete purchased pink shoelaces to wear throughout the month of October in honor of breast cancer awareness. The money raised from the sale of the laces will be donated to cancer research.

“Our student-athletes not only excel on the field and in the classroom, but they also care about helping others,” said Athletic Director Mark J. Dantuono. “They recognize that they are not only part of an athletic team, but also part of a larger community.” 

The high school teams hold various fundraisers throughout the year; however, this is the only one that involves every team. 

“The entire athletic department comes together for this important cause,” Dantuono said. He added that it is personal for some students and coaches who have loved ones affected by cancer. The hope is that every dollar collected can make a difference toward finding a cure.

The shoelace fundraiser was made possible with the help of the Carlstrom, Famiglietti and Scott families. 



National Honor Society Tutoring Service

The National Honor Society tutoring program begins on Monday, Oct. 20. High School students needing tutoring in a subject area or for a specific exam may request a tutor through the link below. There is no charge for tutoring.

National Honor Society members who excel in various subject areas will serve as the tutors and receive community service credit for their time. Prospective tutors should use the links below to sign up and to track the time spent tutoring.

NHS Tutor Request Form

NHS Tutor Availability Survey

NHS Tutor Time Log 

Digging for Dollars


From the tips of their toes to the tops of their heads, high school volleyball players were decked out in pink to raise awareness for breast cancer research during their fourth annual “Dig Pink” event.  Their efforts raised just over $1,000 through the sale of T-shirts, baked goods and other small items.

The fundraiser was not only a financial success, but also helped the team members bond with each other. Varsity Captain Taylor Herlich said preparing for the event created bonds that will last beyond the volleyball season. “We spent hours together tie-dying socks and baking, and we really got to know each other as friends,” the high school senior said.

Varsity Coach Bobbee Brancaccio and Junior Varsity Coach Janet Ratner supported both teams as they worked together to prepare for the event. “The girls really did it themselves,” Brancaccio said. “They are very dedicated to the cause, and we are so proud of them.”

In addition to a bake sale, which included scrumptious goodies decorated in pink, the teams each played a non-league game against Glen Cove. They have been playing each other in the Dig Pink event since Locust Valley started it five years ago.

MSG Varsity and Fios1 covered the event. The FIOS1 feature can be seen on FIOS1 Friday, Oct. 17 at 11 a.m.; Saturday, Oct. 18 at 9:30 a.m. and Sunday, Oct. 19 at 3:30 p.m.

Click here to view the MSG Varsity video.







Tenure Ceremony Celebrates Excellence


After proving that they are among the best in their fields and are making a notable difference for the district’s students, eight faculty members have earned tenure.

Before being tenured, staff and faculty members must secure an interview in the district to prove themselves as being the best candidates for the position. Once on the staff, these individuals still need to prove that they were the right choice. Because of their hard work and dedication, this year’s tenure recipients are truly worthy of the honor.

A reception was held in the high school auditorium to recognize the achievements of these fine professionals. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Anna F. Hunderfund and the Board of Education hosted the ceremony, while administrators shared with guests the accomplishments of the honorees. Those granted tenure include: LVHS reading teacher Adrienne Cahill, LVI teacher Wendy Carswell, LVMS science teacher Julie Feltman, LVMS English teacher Carole Hellyer, LVHS social studies teacher Jennifer Masa, LVE psychologist Alexis Provetto, LVI teacher Stacey Singer and districtwide school media specialist Jane Sutton.

Dr. Hunderfund said the dedication and hard work of these exceptional faculty members help to make Locust Valley the excellent school district that it is. “We are fortunate to have an outstanding staff,” she said, “and it is a pleasure to honor those who have proven they will be an asset to the schools.”

Congratulations to all of the tenure recipients!

Artwork Embraces Diversity


High school sophomore Alyssa Arena has embraced diversity through her artwork, which has been chosen for a selective art exhibit this month. 

The Suffolk Center on the Holocaust, Diversity and Human Understanding selected Alyssa’s piece as one of only 27 works to be displayed in the exhibit “Embracing Our Differences.”

The organization’s executive director, Steven Schrier, said the exhibit is “a meaningful effort to build a community that values peaceful coexistence and cultural understanding.”

The exhibit will be open from Oct. 16-29 at Suffolk Community College in Brentwood. A reception for the artists will take place Oct. 20 at 4 p.m.

You’re Invited to Homecoming!

Don't miss Homecoming on Saturday, Nov. 1, when the Locust Valley Falcons take on Malverne High School. This year’s Homecoming theme is “America.”

10 a.m. – Parade begins at Centre Island

11 a.m. – Parade ends at LVHS

11:30 a.m. – Judging of floats

11:55 a.m.– Senior celebration on the track

12:50 p.m. – Coin toss

1:00 p.m. – Kickoff


All community members, alumni and friends are invited! 

College Fairs Come to LVHS


Meeting college admissions representatives in person can give high school seniors an advantage over their peers applying to the same schools. That is one of the goals of the mini college fairs organized by the high school’s guidance department. 

Having a contact in any school’s admissions office can be very helpful throughout the application process, explained LVHS Assistant Principal Rebecca Gottesman. “When students have the opportunity to make an impression and then follow up with the representatives they met, they increase their chances of admission,” she said.

Additionally, the mini college fairs allow juniors and seniors to gather information about many schools in a short period of time. They may want to know what types of sports teams a school has, or how many freshmen are admitted each year. Students attend the fairs with prepared questions in order to make the most of their time.

Although many of these fairs took place during the beginning of the school year, several colleges are still scheduled to visit the high school. Details can be found at





Varsity Football Team Undefeated


The Varsity Football team defeated Mineola High School 24-21.

The Falcons are undefeated this season. Nick Petralia kicked a 24-yard field goal with 34 seconds left to give the Falcons a 24-21 lead on a 4th and 4 from the 7-yard line. Kevin Wright made an interception with 20 seconds left to seal the victory. The go ahead drive was set up by a 4th down stand by the Falcons on their own 13-yard line. Kevin Spence made the tackle on the play. John Pedranghelu broke a 49-yard run on the first play of the go ahead to give the Falcons the ball in Mineola territory. Tyler Liantonio threw for two touchdown passes. Allen Williams, Kevin Wright and John Pedranhelu each had an interception for the Falcons.

Based on his performance, Nick Petralia was featured in Newsday's "Great Performances in High School Football." 

The Falcons return to action Saturday, Oct. 11 at  3 p.m. at Clarke HS. High School

Newsday captured the action at Thursday's game against Mineola. View Newsday's photos here.

Sue Peterson Lubow Inducted Into Hall of Fame

LVCSD Board of Education Trustee Sue Petersen Lubow was recently inducted into the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Athletic Hall of Fame. Ms. Lubow was the academy's Athletic Director for 25 years after being the first female appointed as the Director of Athletics at any U.S. Federal Academy in 1989. She began at the Academy in 1979 as the Women's Physical Education Instructor and became the head of the men's swimming & diving program one month later.

Ms. Petersen Lubow helped to develop their athletic program to include more than 20 teams and helped develop the Blue & Gray Club, Athletic Hall of Fame, Blue & Gray Golf Classics and other numerous traditions and awards at the academy.

She was elected to the Locust Valley Board of Education in 2013 and has been a valuable member of the Board for the past year.

Music Honors Abound!

It was music to our ears to hear that Locust Valley musicians are receiving honors at the state and national levels for their exceptional skills.

All-National Honor Ensemble Honorees

Cameron Carrella, Kimberly Sabio and Andrew Wee have been accepted into the NAfME All-National Honor Ensembles, which represent the top performing high school musicians in the United States. These students will perform with the ensembles at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tenn., Oct. 26-29, 2014.

Cameron, Kimberly and Andrew were first selected into the 2013-2014 All-State Festival and endorsed by the ensemble director in order to be considered for the All-National ensembles. They are all active members of the high school music department.

Cameron has played in the Gemini Youth Orchestra and Adelphi Preparatory Band, as well as performed with the All-County Jazz Band and All-State Jazz Ensemble. He is currently in a private jazz band and plans to study jazz theory and performance in college.

Kimberly attends the Juilliard Pre-College Division, where she studies with David Krauss of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and serves as principal trumpet in both the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra and the Long Island Youth Orchestra. She was also selected as principal trumpet for the 2013 All-State Orchestra. Kimberly attended the New York State Summer School of the Arts School of Orchestral Studies in the summer of 2013, and has attended the Eastern U.S. Music Camp at Colgate University for the past five years.

Andrew began violin lessons at the age of 4, won second prize in the 10th YWCA New York Music Competition, and performed at Carnegie Weill Hall at the age of 9. He entered the Juilliard Pre-College Division when he was only 12. He won first place in the TOBAC Talent Competition, third place in the 7th Annual LISMA International Competition, and has performed at Flushing Town Hall in the Rising Star Concert. Additionally, he was a featured soloist at Carnegie Hall in the Young Musicians’ Benefit Concert for Young Artists. He was chosen to perform at Alice Tully Hall for the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Festival.

All-State Festival Honorees

Three students have been accepted to the All-State Festival. Joseph Tancredi, Patrick Wilhelm (alternate) and Sarah Miller (alternate) will attend the NYSSMA 2014 Winter Conference in Rochester, Dec. 4-7, 2014.

Joseph has attended the Westminster Choir College Summer Arts program and is participating with the Metropolitan Youth Chorus this year. He has been a participant in the All-County Festival and received a perfect NYSSMA score of Level 6 A+ on his audition at the NYSSMA Solo Evaluation Festival held last spring.

Patrick was accepted into the Juilliard Pre-College Division, has attended Boston University Tanglewood Institute, and performed in the Citywide Youth Opera. He will be participating in this year’s All-County Festival and also received a perfect NYSSMA score of Level 6 A+ at the auditions last spring.

Sarah is a Level 6 cellist and began cello lessons at the age of 4. She attends the Manhattan School of Music Pre-College Division and was assistant principal cellist at the NYSSSA School of Orchestral Studies. Sarah is a member of the All-County Orchestra and Metropolitan Youth Orchestra, and has participated in the LISFA Chamber Music Festival. She was accepted to perform at Alice Tully Hall for the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Festival and placed second in the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra solo competition. Sarah is one of 70 students from around the world to receive a scholarship to the Heifetz International Music Festival.

Class Rings on Sale Nov. 6 & 7


Attention Class of 2016: Junior class rings will be on sale in the cafeteria Thursday, Nov. 6 and Friday Nov.  7, 2014 from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Interested students should purchase their rings during their lunch periods.  More detailed information will be mailed home.  Please contact Ms. Caiati or Ms. Grasso with any questions. 

Highest Honors for LVHS Scholar-Athletes


Locust Valley High School was recently honored for being named a New York State Scholar-Athlete Team School of Distinction. This prestigious honor means that every one of the high school’s varsity athletic teams earned scholar-athlete status, achieving a grade point average of 90 or higher during the 2013-2014 school year. Nina Van Erk, executive director of interscholastic athletics for Nassau BOCES, attended the Board of Education meeting to present the award to Superintendent of Schools Dr. Anna F. Hunderfund, High School Principal Dr. Kieran McGuire and Director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics Mark J. Dantuono. A ceremony was also held at Nassau BOCES. 

“It is a true honor to be recognized as a School of Distinction,” said Dr. McGuire. “Our student-athletes excel both on and off the field. They make the effort to prioritize both being a member of a team and being a member of an academic program. We couldn't be prouder.”  

Locust Valley is one of only seven high schools in Nassau County to earn School of Distinction status for the 2013-2014 school year.  

Congratulations to all the athletes, along with the coaches and teachers who supported them!

Lessons on the Mighty Oak


From their leaves and their trunks to the acorns that fall from their stems, the life cycle of an oak tree is the subject of a creative learning project for kindergartners at Bayville Primary School.

In collaboration with kindergarten teachers, librarian Stefanie Lipsey began a science observation project that incorporates art, science, writing and more. The project also fosters open-mindedness, caring, knowledge, inquiry and higher-level thinking skills, which are the learner profiles incorporated into the curriculum.

Lipsey began by reading to each kindergarten class from a book about the life cycle of an oak tree. The children quickly became familiar with new vocabulary words, including acorn, seedling, stem and trunk. Once familiar with the parts of the oak tree, the classes headed outside to observe the trees in their natural setting. They worked to identify which trees were oaks by looking for the familiar leaves. 

The groups gathered in front of one of the large oak trees on the school lawn and, using the tree as a model, drew their own renditions of the oak. This drawing will become the first page of a book they will work on throughout the year. Each season, they will draw the tree again – with yellow and orange leaves, with no leaves, and as the green leaves return. 

“This is part of a larger study of seasons and life cycles,” Lipsey explained. “There is no better way to learn about nature than to observe it, take notes on what you see and keep track of the changes as they occur.” She added that the children enjoy the creative lesson and therefore more easily remember what they learn. 


Sarah Miller: Scholar-Artist of Merit



High school junior Sarah Miller has been named a 2014 Long Island Arts Alliance Scholar-Artist Award of Merit winner for her exceptional talent playing the cello.

The award is designed to recognize students judged to be “the best of the best” on Long Island. Every Long Island public, private or parochial high school may nominate up to five juniors in the disciplines of music, visual arts, media arts, theater or dance. Students must represent the highest level of artistic excellence and superior academic achievement with an unweighted GPA of 90 or above.

Students nominated in music must submit a performance DVD and past NYSSMA scores, and write an essay on how participation in the arts has enriched their lives. Panels of leading artists and arts educators review submissions. Only 20 students are then named LIAA Scholar-Artists, and up to 20 additional students may receive Awards of Merit.

Sarah attended a kickoff event at Half Hollow Hills School East and will attend an end-of-year reception at the Tilles Center in June to receive a certificate.


Fostering a Love of Reading


Under bright blue skies, blankets were spread across the field as third-graders from Locust Valley Intermediate School enjoyed an afternoon of reading with their families.

The third-graders have been reading “The Relatives Came” by Cynthia Rylant, and the teachers organized their own rendition of the story for their students. In the book, relatives show up en masse to be together. Parents were invited to show up to school and surprise their children with a variety of books to read on the lawn. One by one, just as in the book, children hugged their relatives as they saw them and smiled as they learned that they would be staying for a special reading treat.

While some relatives could not make it, nobody was left out. Administrators from around the district attended the event to “adopt” a child for the afternoon and read to them from some of their favorite books. These children read books with the superintendent, assistant superintendent and various directors.

Assistant Principal Amy Watson said the event helped to foster a love of reading. “The third-grade teachers did an outstanding job planning this event,” she said. “We hope that by enjoying some quiet time reading together, children went home and wanted to read with their families, and will continue to do so.”  

Three National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists Named


Three high school seniors have been named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation for their outstanding achievement on the Preliminary SAT taken during their junior year. Mary Kate Guma, Tazim Merchant and Andrew Wee are in an elite class of students, as less than 1 percent of the 1.4 million juniors who took the exam in 2013 achieved the highest scores that merit this designation. 

Mary Kate, Tazim and Andrew will now compete to become finalists in the competition, which offers $33 million in scholarships. To be considered for finalist standing, the students must have a record of continued high academic performance, achieve an SAT score consistent with their PSAT results, and be endorsed by the high school principal. 

“These students consistently achieve at high levels,” said high school Principal Dr. Kieran McGuire. “They are academic role models for our school and community. This recognition is well-deserved.”


From Farm to Table


Crisp lettuce, sweet figs and sun-ripened tomatoes are a few of the fresh fruits and vegetables that can be found in the Locust Valley High School garden. The produce is planted and cared for by the Garden Club.

While the club teaches its members basic gardening skills, students gain so much more as they learn about the environment, nutrition and working together. Once it’s ready to harvest, the young farmers bring their produce to the school cafeteria, where the staff turns it into delicious salads and vegetable dishes. The prepared dishes are offered to the student body during lunch. 

Students in the high school’s Personal Academic Support Services program started the Garden Club several years ago and have watched the seeds they planted grow, both literally and figuratively. The club has expanded to include middle and high school students. PASS program participants and some of their friends have taken on the responsibility of composting five days a week. The students take the composting materials from the cafeteria’s kitchen and bring it to the composter in the garden to fertilize the crops. Club members have also borrowed kitchen space to cook their own kale chips and asparagus. In addition to partnership with the school cafeteria, the club is grateful for the help they receive from the custodial staff to maintain the garden.

Club advisers Tina Hament and Alyssa Anderson said that teaching young people to grow their own food is an invaluable life lesson. “They are learning how to feed themselves and others and to sustain the environment,” said Hament. She added that many of the club’s members had no prior knowledge of gardening and are now planting their own gardens at home. “It is a great skill that they truly enjoy,” she said.

Saving Fred


When Fred the gummy worm fell out of his boat and lost his life jacket, students at Bayville Intermediate School came to his rescue! As part of a problem-solving activity, Maureen Pederson’s fourth-grade class worked with partners to “save Fred.”

The class was presented with this problem: Fred the gummy worm was sailing along on a boat (plastic cup) when the wind capsized it. He landed on top of the boat, yet his life preserver (gummy Life Saver) was underneath the boat. Fred needed his life preserver placed around him tightly and needed to get back in the boat. 

The solution may seem simple; however, these young rescuers could touch Fred, the life jacket and the boat with only the four paper clips given to them by their teacher. They could not touch anything except the paper clips. The rules also stated that Fred could not be injured or fall into the “sea” (the table). 

As each child brainstormed with their partner various ways to accomplish this task without allowing Fred to drown, they were learning many skills, problem-solving being at the forefront. They were also learning to work cooperatively with one another and think outside the box. 

Many different strategies were employed. Paper clips were bent and used to stretch the gummy life jacket in order to make it fit around Fred, and students had to work together, as it took more than two hands to reshape the paper clips properly and save Fred without injuring (puncturing) him.

Ms. Pederson said the project was not only challenging and educational, but also fun for the students. “They enjoy creative challenges that allow them to think, and they gain a great sense of satisfaction from solving the problem,” she said.

Bayville Elementary School Principal Scott McElhiney said students learn more when they enjoy the lesson, and added that problem-solving skills are one of the most important to learn. “Learning to solve challenges will help these students throughout school and in their careers,” he said. “If they know the proper steps to take to solve a problem, they can accomplish anything.”



Remembering 9-11


Respecting the memory of those lost on Sept. 11, 2001, Locust Valley Middle School/High School students and staff reflected on the events of that day 13 years ago. David Ethe, Social Studies Curriculum Leader, read a touching message to the entire school during the morning announcements. Senior Joseph Tancredi sang “God Bless America” and junior Cameron Carella played taps during the solemn commemoration.

Mr. Ethe spoke of the tragic events and reminded the audience that it is important to remember, to grow and to unite. “Together, on this somber day, we think back 13 years with sadness as well as anger, but we draw strength from each other, and we look ahead with hope. Our memory fortifies our resolve as we go forward in pursuit of truth -- our high and common purpose.”

Throughout the day, teachers focused many of their social studies lessons on 9-11, discussing the historical impact, reading poetry about the day and watching educational movies on the topic.


Another Top Honor for LV High School


Locust Valley High School has been named a New York State Reward School for the third year in a row. The designation is the highest honor that can be given to any school by the state.

To qualify for this honor, Locust Valley High School had to meet the most rigorous criteria, which the State has established to date.

In order to earn this honor, a school must:

  1. 1. Meet Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) requirements under No Child Left Behind (NCLB) for all subgroups of students including, English Language Learners and Individual Needs students.
    2.   Rank among the top schools in the State based on unweighted scores on the ELA and math State assessments.
    3. Produce above average growth rate for:
    • - All students
    • - Lowest achieving (25% of all students)
    • -Have extremely high graduation rates for:
      • * All students
      • *The most at-risk students

When all of these criteria are met, a school will be named a “Reward School” and earn this very impressive honor.

“I am extremely proud that the State has recognized Locust Valley High School as a Reward School and as being among the best in the State,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Anna F. Hunderfund. “This is a testament to the hard work of the students, staff and administrators and the support of our Board of Education and community.” Dr. Hunderfund added that based on the rigorous process used to identify our high school as a Reward School, it is clear that despite economic challenges, Locust Valley is finding ways to continue to prepare all students for the academic challenges which they will face.
Locust Valley High School Principal Dr. Kieran McGuire was also very proud that the high school was honored with this recognition. "The Reward School recognition highlights the increasingly positive outcomes across our entire student body. We support students' growth and achievement at all levels and the State has recognized that for the third consecutive year."