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One Chapter Ends and Another Begins for LVCSD Students


The district’s fifth-graders and eighth-graders celebrated their accomplishments and officially advanced to middle school and high school during touching moving up ceremonies held during the last week of school. Family, friends, teachers, administratorsand Board of Education members joined together to mark the occasion with speeches that praised their success and offered advice for the next chapters in their education.

At Locust Valley Middle School, the moving up ceremony honored the hard work and dedication of the entire eighth-grade class, who were dressed in green graduation gowns to mark the formal occasion. Board of Education Vice President Kerian Carlstrom addressed the eighth-graders and their guests with inspirational words, while class officers shared their memories of their middle school years. The ceremony also focused on how well prepared the students are to enter high school, thanks to their hard work and the support of faculty, staff and their parents. The eighth-grade select chorus and the seventh-grade band brought musical energy to the ceremony with their performances.

Bayville Intermediate School fifth-graders received praise from Board of Education trustee Sarah Henris, who encouraged them to be all they can be in middle school. The graduates performed multiple songs for their guests, including a song written about Bayville 125 years ago. Bayville Elementary School Principal Scott McElhiney and Assistant Principal Dorothy McManus each told the children how much they would be missed and how much they enjoyed having them in their schools. 

Locust Valley Intermediate School graduates smiled through their fifth-grade moving up ceremony, which included musical numbers and speakers that shared their pride in the students for their incredible growth throughout their six years of elementary school. Board of Education President Brian T. Nolan, a graduate of Locust Valley Intermediate School himself, said he knew firsthand that the faculty had prepared them well for middle school and beyond. Locust Valley Elementary School Principal Dr. Sophia Gary and Assistant Principal Amy Watson both spoke at the ceremony, sharing advice for the future.

At both intermediate schools, children rang the bells signifying the number of years they had been there. This tradition is included in the moving up ceremonies each year. 

Congratulations and good luck to all of the students that moved up!



BP Students Perform and Remind: Nobody Stands Alone


Second-graders in Carolyn Morales’ class at Bayville Primary School took to the stage to present an adorable version of “The Cheese Stands Alone.” The musical production shared an important lesson about standing up for what you believe in and being a good friend.

The performances from the young actors were convincing as they played the roles of the cat, the farmer, the wife and several varieties of cheese, among other notable characters. With six musical numbers included, the show had everyone tapping their feet along to the beat.

The students were able to shine with the help of many staff members from art and music teachers to the custodial staff and most importantly the dedication of Mrs. Morales.


Kindergarten Celebrations!


Tears of joy and pride rolled down the faces of kindergarten parents as they watched their children celebrate the completion of their first year of school. At Ann MacArthur Primary School and Bayville Primary School, kindergarteners dressed in their best clothes smiled big and sang songs about growing up.

Classroom teachers and music teachers worked together to help the children perform for their families in the schools’ multipurpose rooms. Although there are still officially a few days left of school, when the singing was done, the children were congratulated for completing kindergarten.

See the slideshow below for photos from both schools.

The Board of Education will hold a meeting on July 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the MS/HS Mini-Theater

The Board of Education will hold a meeting on July 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the MS/HS Mini-Theater

Driving Home Dangers of Distracted Driving

High school juniors and seniors experienced the dangers of distracted and impaired driving without the actual danger during a program sponsored by the SADD Club. The club brought the international Save a Life Tour to the school to impress upon students what can happen when a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or texting behind the wheel.

This safe driving awareness program began with a presentation that included personal stories of those that lost loved ones through either distracted or impaired driving accidents. Following the presentation, students were invited to jump in the driver’s seat of highly advanced simulators set up in the mini-theater. After strapping on their seatbelts, turning the key in the ignition and putting the car in drive, these young drivers began their journeys. They started out driving well, stopping at red lights, following the speed limit and respecting the laws of the road. Then, the simulator gradually took away their control and their cars were speeding, hitting curbs, going through stop signs and red lights and often crashing. During the texting simulation, each driver was given a mobile phone and told to respond to the text messages they received. When doing so, their cars were swerving, hitting other cars and driving off the road.

“The simulation is a very sobering experience for the students, reminding them that they have no control under these circumstances,” said SADD Club Adviser Adriana Marin. She said the program, which she co-advises with Kristen Sylvan, was first at the high school two years ago, and is an important and effective tool in teaching new drivers the dangers of driving while impaired or distracted.

Fair Focuses on STEM


A second-grade class at Bayville Primary School recently worked to complete challenges using the STEM skills they learned throughout the year. Each challenge involved various aspects of each STEM subject – science, technology, engineering and mathematics. 

Working collaboratively in pairs, the students in Dani Schatz’s class used trial and error, failing at times and discovering that their mistakes were helping to lead them to success. How to drop an egg without it breaking, making a working roller coaster, building a fast-traveling bus and developing a structure that could float were among the many projects the class completed and then presented at their STEM Fair held in the school’s multipurpose room.

Ms. Schatz said the students worked on smaller challenges throughout the year, building up their skills and then bringing everything they learned together for a bigger project that they worked on for a longer period of time. For the STEM fair, the young scientists created posterboards describing their projects, which incorporated other parts of the curriculum such as vocabulary, writing, art and public speaking, that the children presented to the parents and students who visited each booth.

“The goal of this aspect of the project was for students to learn how to present information clearly and concisely, as well as summarize their experience,” Ms. Schatz said. “Students also had to take into account the audience they were presenting to. They knew that they would present information differently to their parents than they would to a kindergartner.”

Bayville Elementary Schools Assistant Principal Dorothy McManus said the STEM fair brought many aspects of the second-grade curriculum together beautifully. “The students honed their skills in many areas, learning that the subjects we teach them all interconnect.”



Musical Accolades Across the District


Student musicians throughout the Locust Valley Central School District are performing their way to the top. Members of bands, orchestras and choruses have proven that Locust Valley musicians have talent! The Board of Education honored these musicians at its June 7 meeting.

Music in the Parks
On April 28, the Locust Valley High School Music Department competed at the Six Flags Music in the Parks Festival. Participants were adjudicated by judges from across the country and each performing ensemble was rated superior, excellent, good, fair, or poor and ranked within their ensemble classification.  The Locust Valley awards were as follows:

The string orchestra, under the direction of Marc Yavoski and AnnMarie Buonaspina was awarded First Place, Excellent Rating.  
The concert band, under the direction of Vincent Guerra and Lisa Conti was awarded Second Place, Excellent Rating.  
The concert chorale, under the direction of Allison Hungate Wood and Jessica Pezdan was awarded First Place, Superior Rating.  


Four groups participated in the NYSSMA Majors Music Festival at Hofstra University. Each ensemble performed three pieces and was adjudicated by two judges. The awards were as follows:

Middle School Concert Band directed by Vinny Guerra and Lisa Conti earned Gold with Distinction.
High School Chamber Singers directed by Allison Hungate Wood earned Silver
Sixth Grade Orchestra directed by AnnMarie Buonaspina earned Gold
Middle School Orchestra directed by Marc Yavoski and AnnMarie Buonaspina earned Gold

Lincoln Center Summer Internship

Three Locust Valley High School students were accepted for a summer internship at Lincoln Center. Senior Leonardo D'Auria-Gupta and Juniors Sophie Matthaei and Timothy Peguillan. The summer program, Middle School Arts Audition Boot Camp, is a partnership between Lincoln Center Education, Carnegie Hall, and the NYC Department of Education.  The student interns will support the teachers, teaching artists and students involved in the summer program. 

Long Island String Festival
The following students participated in the Long Island String Festival (LIFSA) this spring:

Bayville Intermediate School: Ciaran Bowden, bass and Abigale Maselli, cello.
Locust Valley Intermediate School: Sophia Koler, violin.
Locust Valley Middle School: Gianna Palleschi, violin; John D’Addario, bass; Tessa Hutton, violin.
Locust Valley High School: Hannah FitzGerald, bass; Nils Coffey, bass; Nicholas Siconolfi, violin.

All-County Musicians
Students listed below performed in the Nassau Music Educators Association All-County Music Festival. They were selected for the festival based on their New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) evaluations and teacher recommendations. 

Bayville Intermediate School: Owen Pye, band,;Kathryn Constantin, chorus; Julianna DiLorenzo, chorus; Caleigh Encarnacion, chorus; Lauren Hoy, chorus; Ciaran Bowden, orchestra; Molly Bowden, orchestra; Abigail Maselli, orchestra.

Locust Valley Intermediate School: Sara Nearenberg, band; Mia Goodman, chorus; Rani Kapoor, chorus; Sofia Maragos, chorus; Hailey Martin, chorus; Julia Siegel, chorus; Alexander Kanter, orchestra; Sophia Kohler, orchestra; Andrew Wieman, orchestra. 

Middle School: Aidan Moran, band; Olivia Cody, chorus; Brett Dailis, chorus; Claire Sellars, chorus; Ava Titus, chorus; John D’Addario, orchestra; Tessa Hutton, orchestra; Kieran Moran, orchestra.

High School: Ashley Capozzi, chorus; Nils Coffey, orchestra; Hannah FitzGerald, orchestra; Matthew Guerra, band; Timothy Peguillian, chorus; Noah Pietrafesa, band; Nicholas Siconolfi, orchestra.

LVCSD Honors Employees for Service to District

The Locust Valley Central School District Board of Education celebrated 21 employees who are retiring or have hit service milestones during a special dinner in their honor on June 11.

Each year, the district honors those who have worked for 25-, 30-,35- and 40-years. Board of Education members shared speeches touting their successes and thanking them for their dedication. Outgoing Board of Education trustee Erika Bruno was also honored at the event for her 12 years of volunteer service.

Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Anna F. Hunderfund said the event is bittersweet. “While we are thrilled to honor our retirees, we are losing dedicated, valued employees who are difficult to replace and will be missed on a professional and personal level.” She added that she hopes the service honorees will continue on with the district for many more years.

Congratulations to the following honorees:

Mauricio Gallardo
Carolyn Keys
Dolores Lippe
Jennie Lupinski
Kieran McGuire
JoAnn Morley
Thomas Morra
Andrew Murphy
Janet Ratner
Sandra Riccardo
Jeanne Salazar

35-Year Anniversary
Sandra Riccardo
Lynn Youngs

30-Year Anniversary
Juana Adames
Janice Cassone
Mauricio Gallardo
Erin Keys
Irene Leahy

25-Year Anniversary
Charles Boyle
Mark Kardonsky
Catherine Kemp
Lisa Kleinberg

Service to the Board of Education
Erika Bruno

LVHS Senior Earns National Merit Scholarship

Locust Valley High School senior Brooke DiSpirito has been named a National Merit Scholarship winner, receiving her scholarship from Northeastern University. Brooke is one of only 3,500 high school seniors nationwide to receive a university-sponsored National Merit Scholarship.

Brooke was among 16,000 students chosen in the fall as a semifinalist from 1.6 million high school juniors based on her 2016 PSAT scores. She then was among 15,000 high school students to advance to the finalist stage this spring after submitting a detailed application and an essay including information about her extracurricular activities, awards and leadership positions.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation states that its sponsors join them to enhance the educational opportunities for America’s scholastically talented youth and to encourage the pursuit of excellence.

Congratulations to Brooke on this elite accomplishment!

LVCSD Appoints New Director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics

The Locust Valley Central School District Board of Education at its June 7 meeting appointed Dr. Danielle Turner to the position of Director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics, beginning July 9, 2018.
Dr. Turner brings to the district experience gained in the Port Jefferson Union Free School District, where she held the same position. Prior to that, she was the Assistant Principal at North Country Road Middle School in Miller Place and the Assistant Principal for Eastern Suffolk BOCES Sayville Academic Center and Premm Learning Center. Prior to becoming an administrator, Dr. Turner held the position of Physical Education teacher in Longwood Central School District.
Dr. Turner earned a Doctor of Education in educational administration and supervision at St. John’s University, Oakdale Campus; a Master of Science in school building and school district administration at Touro College, Bay Shore Campus; a Master of Arts in liberal studies and an athletic administration and coaching health certification at Stony Brook University; and a Bachelor of Science in physical education at the State University of New York College at Cortland, where she had a minor in sports management.
In addition to her experience and education, Dr. Turner is DASA certified, is a crisis prevention certified instructor, first aid and CPR certified instructor and a certified personal trainer.
Locust Valley Central School District Superintendent of Schools Dr. Anna F. Hunderfund said that Dr. Turner will be a wonderful addition to the district. “After an extensive search for the right candidate, I am sure that Dr. Turner will be a
​valuable​ asset to Locust Valley and will bring experience, innovation and enthusiasm to ​her role as Director.” Dr. Hunderfund said that Dr. Turner made quite an impression on members of the hiring committee, who felt she was going to be a great fit for the community.
“It is truly an honor to have been chosen to lead the Locust Valley Health, Physical Education and Athletic Departments. I am both humbled and honored to join a school system with a rich history of academic and athletic excellence,” said Dr. Turner said. “I can assure the students, staff and community that I will work diligently to uphold and enhance the ideals of the Locust Valley Central School District as a great place to live, learn, grow and play. I look forward to working with the talented staff, and I am confident that together, we can build upon the already strong foundation that exists throughout the district.”

Spring Athletic Accomplishments

Congratulations to the Locust Valley High School spring athletes on their athletic achievements. See the attached list of award winners.


Learning to Love Lepidopterology

A butterfly sits on leaves
Locust Valley Intermediate School science lab coordinator, Caroline McBride recently stood outside the school with a monarch butterfly resting on her finger. She walked around to each student in the class and showed them the colorful insect up close, reinforcing lessons they had learned during classroom instruction, including how to tell if the specimens were male or female. Asking if they knew whether she was holding a male or female, they did know, based on the markings on its wings.
The butterfly Mrs. McBride held had been a resident of a screened habitat that was constructed by the husband of third-grade teacher, Diane Yanez. Through the screens, third-graders witnessed the actual life-cycle of painted lady butterflies, monarch butterflies and luna moths. They visited daily to see which insects had emerged, noting how long it took, what they looked like and their habits. In conjunction with this observation, students learned how to use a microscope to view slides of insect body parts and enhanced their research skills by further researching other butterfly and moth species in the library.
“The butterfly habitat literally brought our lesson to life, helping students to see first-hand what they were learning and appreciate the beauty of nature,” Mrs. McBride said.
After the insects emerged from their pupas, students said farewell by releasing them outside of the school. Some flew off immediately, while others lingered on tree branches, the school building, or even on Mrs. McBride’s fingers.

With their scientific study of the butterflies and moths, these students would make any lepidopterologist proud.

Falcons Headed to State Track and Field Championships

Students pose on the track
Senior David Fernandez and sophomore Nina Cialone have each earned a chance to compete at the New York State Track and Field championships at Cicero North High School in Syracuse, New York on June 8-9.
David earned his spot on the Nassau County state team in both the discus and shot put. Competing in the Nassau County qualifier, David placed first in the discus with a throw of 121 feet, 2 inches and first in the shot put with an outstanding throw of 45 feet, 3.5 inches. David’s performance came on the heels of being named Class A county champion in the shot put and placing second in the county in the discus. This will be the second consecutive year David competes in the state championships, as he made his first appearance last season competing in the shot put.
Sophomore Nina Cialone will compete in the state championships after qualifying in the triple jump with a career-best jump of 36 feet, 2.75 inches. As a sophomore, Nina has established herself as one of the top jumpers in Nassau County this season in both the triple jump and long jump. Nina recently placed second in both events at the Nassau County Class A championships.
We would like to wish David and Nina the best of luck in the upcoming state championships. Go Falcons!  

Flags for Freedom

A student accepts a flag from a veteran
Locust Valley High School’s fourth annual Flags for Freedom ceremony was a patriotic tribute to members of the military and an important lesson for the high school’s graduating seniors.
The event, sponsored by Operation Democracy and organized by that group’s President Kay Weninger and high school social studies curriculum coordinator David Ethé, included honoring local veterans for their service and presenting each member of the Class of 2018 with their own American flag, hand folded by members of the Bayville and Locust Valley American Legion posts. These veterans also handed the flags to each senior in a symbolic ceremony.
Ms. Weninger told the students that freedoms they have are because of the sacrifices made by members of the military and that the flags they are receiving are a reminder of those freedoms. “Today we will be presenting each of you with an American flag,” she said. “This is a true symbol of America. We are here to remember our fallen, honor our veterans, our community, our country and our graduating seniors.”
Guest speaker Jay Erskin, tactical operations officer and Blackhawk pilot in the United States Army, shared his military story, explaining that serving his country gave him purpose. “It is with great respect for our red, white and blue, our nation’s flag, that I asked you to cherish this flag. It is a very unique thing.” He reminded them that the flags they received represent their very freedom and encouraged them to read the copy of the Constitution they also received. Mr. Erskin said he understands that everyone cannot serve in the military, but encouraged the students to find some way to give back to the country or their community.
The Bayville American Legion Robert H. Spittel Post 1285 and Locust Valley American Legion Howard Van Wagner Post 962  opened the ceremony with the presentation of colors. These veterans spent hours prior to the event folding the flags for the seniors.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Anna F. Hunderfund spoke to the seniors about remembering the sacrifices our military makes. Mr. Ethé also shared the meaning of Memorial Day and the importance of our flag, our veterans and our military.
Student government members Bridget Bianco, Leonardo D’Auria-Gupta and Ella Paz presented readings as veterans demonstrated the proper folding of a flag and then presented that flag to Mr. Erskin.
The high school concert chorale, under the direction of Ms. Allison Hungate Wood, performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” along with “United We Stand” and “A Million Dreams.”
The district thanks all the guests and organizers who made the ceremony special for the veterans who attended and for our graduating seniors.

Memorial Day Salute

Flags line a field
Elementary students gave patriotic tributes that showed that they truly understand the meaning of Memorial Day and the importance of honoring our country’s veterans.

Students and staff from Ann MacArthur Primary School and Locust Valley Intermediate School gathered together at AMP to show their respect and to listen to words of wisdom from a local veteran.  Joe Rydzewski shared stories of his time in the military and encouraged students to appreciate the freedoms they have because of soldiers that work to protect the United States of America.

Bayville Primary School and Bayville Intermediate School students and staff walked to Bayville Village Hall for their Memorial Day ceremony. Veterans in attendance were honored for their service.

Decked out in red, white and blue, carrying American flags and performing patriotic songs, children at both events proved that they care about our veterans and that they appreciate the sacrifices these men and women have made. The bands and orchestra from both intermediate schools made the events more festive, while still respecting that this holiday commemorates those that were lost while serving the country in the armed forces. Students placed flowers at the base of the flagpoles and played taps as is customary at military memorial services.

Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Anna F. Hunderfund and Board of Education trustee Margaret Marchand attended both ceremonies. Nassau County Legislator Josh Lafazan attended the Bayville event and told the children that because of our veterans, they have the freedom to live the American dream.

We wish everyone a safe Memorial Day weekend and send our thanks to all of our country’s veterans.

Spring Fling Fun!

Foru students pose dressed in white

The high school gymnasium was transformed into a beautiful dance hall with lights strung on the walls, white balloons carefully placed on the floor and high school students dressed their best in all white. The event was the first ever Spring Fling, sponsored by the junior class as a fundraiser. Students from all grades joined together to enjoy the sounds of a DJ, share a meal and let out some stress during the busy exam season.

Check out the slideshow to see the fun!


High School Club Learns Importance of K-9 Teams

Group photo of K-9s, polic officers, students, faculty and guests.
The Locust Valley High School gymnasium was abuzz with activity on a recent afternoon. Like usual, there was running, jumping and participants taking direction from their trainers. Unlike a typical afternoon, on this day, those demonstrating their skills on the gymnasium floor were German Shepherds who are part of an MTA police K-9 team.

The visit was arranged by the high school’s Back the Blue Club, which supports Police Officers through fundraisers and events that raise awareness of the important work the police department does.

Police Officer Allen Kirsch and his five-year-old dog Sentry demonstrated how an experienced explosives detection dog can keep the public safe. Sentry was placed in front of a maze of cardboard boxes and led through them. As he came to one with the scent of explosives, he sat down to alert Officer Kirsch. Four other dogs, each close to two years old, demonstrated their skills as well, including commands important in the field such as come, sit, down, stay and heel. The younger dogs, which were said to still be in training, were still impressively obedient.

Officer Kirsch said the dogs work together on a regular basis and are an important part of the police department, performing tasks that their human counterparts cannot.

Back the Blue adviser Rita Conforti-Spence said the K-9 visit was a highlight for the club. “The demonstration by the dogs and their handlers was most impressive and made all of us understand what an important part they play in protecting us in public places.”

Ms. Conforti-Spence explained that the Back the Blue Club was conceived by a group of Locust Valley students who wished to honor the dedicated people who serve our community every day and put their lives on the line to protect each and every one of us.

MTA Sgt. Ryan Doherty, a Locust Valley High School alumnus, joined the K-9 handlers for the visit as did Lisa Tuozzolo, the wife of fallen Police Officer Paul Tuozzolo, also a Locust Valley High School alumnus. One of the dogs attending the demonstration, Zolo is named for Sgt. Tuozzolo. Transit Officers all name their dogs for fallen officers or members of the military. Zolo is handled by Police Officer Patrick Schondebare, who said he is honored to partner with Zolo.

Sgt. Doherty explained to the group of students and staff members attending the demonstration the importance of the work these K-9 teams do and the dangers Police Officers face. He said this was the only Back the Blue Club he was aware of in a high school and that it meant a lot to know the school supports the police department. He presented the club with a certificate and following the demonstration, the club members and Police Officers posed for photos in front of the plaque that honors Sgt. Tuozzolo.

Special thanks to the entire K-9 team, which also included Police Officer Charlie Spahr and his dog Hoss (named in honor of U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Anthony L. Mangano), Police Officer Alison Schmitt and her dog Mac (named in honor of NYPD Detective Steven D. McDonald) and Police Officer Giselle Gil and her dog Willie (named in honor of NYPD Officer William Rivera).

College Fairs Offers Something for Everyone

Three students fill put forms for a college
With a record number of colleges and universities in attendance, Locust Valley High School hosted a college fair that offered something for everyone. The event was held for sophomores, juniors and their parents with the intent of exposing them to as much information as possible as they begin to navigate the college application process.
The high school gymnasium was lined with tables, manned by admissions representatives from a wide variety of universities, spanning the country, ranging in size and offering a diverse scope of programs. Some of the schools in attendance brought representatives from their disability programs and spokesmen from the United States Army and Marine Corps were also available to provide information and answer questions.
“We worked hard to ensure that our students were offered the opportunity to meet with as many school representatives as possible,” said High School Assistant Principal Michelle Villa. “As students begin to decide where to apply, it is beneficial to learn as much as possible about the pros and cons of each type of school, including its location, size and programs offered.”
Ms. Villa said students were coached on the types of questions to ask in order to make their experience at the college fair as beneficial as possible.

Using Their Senses to Improve Their Skills

Two students dig through rice to fine objects

Little hands dug through a rice bath, tiny fingers painted with chocolate pudding and entire bodies crawled through a tunnel during a celebration of Sensory Awareness Day at Bayville Primary School. An array of sensory-based activities provided students with opportunities to experience the benefits of sensory stimulation.

Occupational therapist Dr. Doreit S. Bailer created a sensory awareness room where children rotated through multiple stations that required them to use their senses to complete various tasks. “Multisensory environments improve the development of thought, intelligence and social skills, offering those with cognitive impairments and other challenging conditions the opportunity to enjoy and control a variety of sensory experiences,” Dr. Bailer said. She added that multisensory environments generate a relaxing and calming effect and activate different perception areas aimed at basal stimulation for those that are neurologically impaired.

A tub filled with rice contained hidden objects that children had to find using not only their sense of touch, but also their vision to look at cards identifying the objects they needed to find. Crawling through a giant tunnel helped them gain spatial awareness of their own bodies in relationship to the environment. Using their fingers to create artistic designs in shaving cream was not only fun but helped improve fine motor skills. Pinching, pouring and lacing movements are also common ways to build fine motor skills, such as when participants pinched chopsticks to sort a bowl of foam pieces by color.

Bayville Primary School Assistant Principal Dorothy McManus said the activities these students experienced during the sensory awareness program provided them many benefits. “The children thought it was a fun, special event and the benefits they gained were a bonus.”

Mathletes Earn Gold in National Competition

Student in a classroom
The Locust Valley Middle School Mathletes Club earned Gold Level status in the National Math Club competition. The students have been competing in web-based math competitions throughout the year, playing creative and challenging math games between matches, and developing original games of their own. The original game submitted to represent the team for the competition was created by sixth-grader Nicholas DiLorenzo.  

Team members played the game and offered modifications to improve play. The National Math Club recognized the team’s efforts with Silver Level status in April and then awarded them the highest honor of Gold Level after seeing the game in play. Each student received a certificate and the school received a banner to display. 

Coached by Kevin Gabrysiak and Joseph Lee, the team includes Miklos Argyelan, Virag Argyelan, Maria Bubulinis, Robbie Burns, Theo Burns, Ryan Chen, Max Cohen, Bella Craft, Nicholas DiLorenzo, Daniel Glavin, Katherine Gu, Leonard Gu, Aria Khwaja, Thomas Lynch, Aidan Moran, Kieran Moran, Molly Murray, Griffin Postley, Tito (Edilberto) Rivas-Cruz, Olivia Roedel, Francesca Speringo, Phillip Strauss, Alisha Uduevbo, Sophia Veteri, Antonia Vitale and Samantha Wolfe.

Kimberly Farina, mathematics subject coordinator, said participation in this competition is beneficial for the students. “This competition afforded our students the opportunity to think creatively and work collaboratively to create math games that foster a deeper understanding of mathematics.”

Congratulations to the entire team and the coaches on this outstanding academic accomplishment!

LVCSD Community Supports 2018-19 Budget

Thank you graphic

The LVCSD community approved the 2018-2019 budget as follows:

Proposition 1 - LVCSD 2018-2019 Budget



Proposition 2: Expenditure from Capital Reserves



Proposition 3: Creation of Capital Reserve Fund



Proposition 4: Locust Valley Library Budget



Proposition 5: Election of Board of Education Trustees:

Two people, Brian Nolan and Jennifer Maselli were elected to the Board of Education for three-year terms.

One person, Margaret Marchand was elected to the Board of Education for a one-year term to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of a Board of Education trustee earlier this school year.


Jennifer Maselli:1137 

Brian Nolan:1110

Margaret Marchand:955

Tyler Raciti:536



Theater Programs Enhance Arts in the Schools

Actors on stage

Elementary and middle school students have been taking to the stage to stretch their theatrical muscles. The parent organizations at Bayville Intermediate School, Locust Valley Intermediate School and Locust Valley Middle School have partnered with mainstages, an educational theater company for children, to offer performing arts opportunities for students.

Young actors at Bayville Intermediate recently took their audiences on a sweet trip to a candy factory as they performed “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” Locust Valley Intermediate thespians showed us the way home as they brought “The Wizard of Oz” to the school stage. At the middle school, a truly beautiful performance of “Beauty and the Beast” impressed audiences.

Students dedicated many hours after school to rehearsals and performed in multiple shows for their peers and their families. The smiles on the faces of the performers and the audience members offered proof of their success.

Click on the slide shows to get a glimpse of the onstage action.

Bayville Intermediate School


Locust Valley Intermediate School


Locust Valley Middle School

LVHS Takes the Classroom Abroad

Group photo in Prague
Thirteen Locust Valley High School students had an immersive learning experience during a trip to Prague that turned their spring break into an experience they will never forget. The students attended a Board of Education meeting to share their experiences and each one stated that they learned more in the week than they ever imagined they could. They thanked high school principal Dr. Kieran J. McGuire who chaperoned the trip.
Dr. McGuire said the purpose of the trip was to promote the goals of the experience, which were to educate, challenge and inspire students through the IB CAS model of Creativity, Action and Service. The Locust Valley students joined a group of 130 students from all over the world, including Bahrain, Brazil, Indiana, Jordan, Rwanda and Singapore.
Working with these other high school travelers, the Locust Valley students participated in activities that enhanced their critical thinking, creativity and teamwork skills. Building chairs during a sustainable design workshop resulted in one of their designs being chosen for use in an actual Prague kindergarten class.
Cooking for the homeless, selling magazines to raise funds for the homeless and working at an organic farm were among the ways in which the group gave back and left their mark on the city. They also went on street art tours, visited a concentration camp and learned about Nazi propaganda regarding the ghetto town and concentration camp of Theresienstadt in Terezin. They attended a classical concert in an ancient church and visited all of the major tourist attractions, including the Charles Bridge, the Jewish Quarter, Old Town Square and Prague Castle.
Dr. McGuire said the students learned an enormous amount of history from late medieval times through the present, including the Holy Roman Empire, the Black Death, the Hussite religious wars, the Protestant Reformation and Catholic Counter-Reformation, World Wars I and II, the Iron Curtain and the fall of communism, and modern Europe. He said the experience of learning about things they were actually seeing was exciting for them and helped them to realize that there are many ways to learn.
Another benefit of the trip that Dr. McGuire described was the relationships the students formed. Many of them were not yet friends prior to the trip. They may have known each other, but not known much about each other. “We had a variety of personalities traveling together and the group bonded, respected each other’s differences and learned from one another.” He added that most days, they walked 10 miles and all were glad to do so.

Bilingual Night Provides Support

Graphic stating Bilingual Night
Spanish-speaking parents in the Locust Valley Central School District were offered support at Bilingual Night, held in Locust Valley and Bayville. The event was open to elementary, middle and high school parents.

The school/community partnership was emphasized for more than 80 people to facilitate and improve parental involvement in education.

Information was shared by building principals, ENL teachers, SEPTA and representatives of outside organizations, such as the library and medical facilities.

Topics included ways in which parents can obtain support for their children in academics and where they can find information and homework assignments. The district website at has an option to translate pages into a variety of languages, one way the non-English-speaking parents can stay informed.

The information sessions were facilitated and organized by Cindy Ergen, teaching assistant at Locust Valley Intermediate School, who assists in translating for and communication with Spanish-speaking parents. Parent organizations assisted by providing snacks.

Ms. Ergen said the feedback from attendees was overwhelmingly positive. “They appreciated the presentations and said they feel more comfortable now reaching out and being part of the school community.”

Bilingual nights will be scheduled for the 2018-19 school year as well. “We will continue to make sure our Spanish population feels included and informed,” Ms. Ergen said.

LVHS Earns School of Distinction Status Again

Locust Valley High School qualifies as a New York State Scholar-Athlete School of Distinction for the fifth consecutive year and the sixth time in the past eight years. This prestigious honor means that every one of the high school’s varsity athletic teams earned scholar-athlete status by achieving a grade point average of 90 or higher during the 2017-18 school year. Typically no more than 20 schools in New York State achieve this honor, making this recognition quite significant.

“We are honored to qualify as a School of Distinction,” said Joseph Pennacchio, Interim Director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics. “Our student-athletes have given their best on the field and in the classroom and are proud of their achievements.”   

Congratulations to all of the students, coaches and teachers who were instrumental in helping the teams achieve at high levels.

Seniors Strut Down the Runway

A happy pair is all smiles on the runway.

Dressed in glamorous gowns perfect for a ball, chic outfits for a night on the town and sportswear that would make any athlete look good, the senior class came together to raise funds for their prom by strutting down the runway during the annual fashion show. The proceeds from ticket sales and goods sold during intermission will offset the cost of prom tickets.

Parents, students and staff members worked for months to bring this show together and the result of their efforts can be seen in the slideshow below.

Six Teams Honored in National STEM Competition

Six winning teams pose with certificates
Six elementary school teams in the Locust Valley Central School District earned Honorable Mentions in the Toshiba ExloraVision competition, which encourages students to find solutions to modern-day problems using STEM research.

From Locust Valley Intermediate School, fifth-grade team Brain Saver proposed using the protein RBM3 to help end Alzheimer’s disease. The protein is found in hibernating animals and allows them to wake from a “torpor” state by rebuilding brain synapses. The team, mentored by Mrs. Moran, included Hailey Leonard, Grace O’Mahoney, Julia Siegel and Brady Toher.

The MicroG PT Center team invented an idea to create a microgravity physical therapy center, which would revolve around the Earth in low orbit, providing microgravity rehabilitation services to those in need. Researchers on this team included fifth-graders John Gambino and Jackson Hoban and fourth-grader Anna Cavallo. Caroline McBride served as the team’s mentor.

The team Geckobot proposed using a gecko-like robot to patrol behind walls and in air ducts to detect toxic black-mold spores. The Geckobot would be covered with a smart fabric “skin” to detect mold spores and alert property owners. This team of fourth-graders, Liam Baker, Gregor Blaise, and Will Bohner, along with third-grader Tyler Leonard, was mentored by Anne Joyce.

Mrs. Joyce also mentored a team that had a different solution to help Alzheimer’s patients. They presented the Memory Restore Chip, a graphene-based chip implanted in the brain’s hippocampus and entorhinal areas to replace dead neurons. The chip would allow Alzheimer’s patients to make lasting memories again. The team included third-graders Lillian DeNatale, Natalia Figoni, Jacob Sabow and Taylor Zarou.

The Bayville Intermediate School team of Mushroom Miracles looked to help the environment. They proved that these miracles of nature could help disposable diapers decompose at a quicker rate. The team included third-graders Maxwell Bamba, Madeline Hattier, Meghan Johnson and Alexa Riccardo. This team was coached by Paige Coppola and mentored by Debbie McKillen.

Bayville’s Pur Energy Survivor Box team created a survival box powered by natural energy, which purifies water, has a beacon for light, GPS capabilities and more. It is meant to be used during natural disasters such as hurricanes. The team included fifth-graders John Hartnett and Owen Pye, with fourth-graders Lucia Connolly and Mirabelle DelGuidice. The team was coached by Paige Coppola and mentored by Amy Hartnett.

Congratulations to all of these young science research students!

Creations for a Cause

Fashion Club Members
Fashion Club members pose with creation
Fashion Club creation
Fashion Club creation
The Locust Valley High School Fashion Club helped raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research by participating in the annual Bra-ha-ha competition sponsored by the Karen Allen Donovan Foundation. The club has participated in this event for several years.

The club members, as well as artists and fashion designers, designed creative interpretations of bras that were displayed on mannequins as part of the event held in a photography studio in Manhattan earlier this year.

The creations from Locust Valley included “Inner Beauty” by Nitha Paulus and Ferah Shaikh; “We’ve Done It” by Kendall Morfis; and “Frida Brahlo” by Victoria Campanella, Danya Karch, Jake Lachman and Grace Yeager.

Fashion Club adviser Melanie Mooney said the students spent countless hours brainstorming and creating their bras, which symbolized strength, courage, empowerment and beauty. The students held bake sales to raise funds for the cause. “This was our best year yet with our most creative bras and I continue to be both inspired and proud of my students,” she said.

Nitha and Ferah said their design was inspired by the version of Cinderella that was scrubbing floors dressed in rags, before she ever stepped foot in a castle. With “Inner Beauty,” they aimed to redefine the qualities seen as beautiful, describing Cinderella as beautiful in the way she carried herself, with humility, kindness and dignity, whether she was dressed up or not. They remarked that there are also many women battling breast cancer with enormous amounts of patience and courage, which can only be described as beautiful.

Kendall used denim in her design to represent hardworking men and women. She explained that denim is long-lasting and tough and will never go out of style. In comparison, she said that standing up for what you believe in and working hard to achieve a goal no matter the circumstances is a very tough thing to do.

“The traits of hard work and perseverance will never go out of style, due to their rewarding benefits” Kendall said. “To women who have breast cancer, your determination and drive inspires this bra, “We’ve Done It,” to show that people have survived this cancer in the past and will continue to in the future.”

“Frida Brahlo” is a tribute to Frida Kahlo, the Mexican painter, whose name alone is synonymous with artist, woman, feminist and rebel. Danya, Grace, Jake and Victoria  thought their bra would represent breast cancer by recognizing the physical and emotional pain that this artist endured in her life. They explained that she was never afraid to defy female beauty expectations and gender stereotypes. The artist’s unplucked eyebrows, mustache, men’s clothing and tequila drinking all defied gender expectations and symbolized her fight for equality of the sexes. The student-artists wanted their design to represent the same things.

Congratulations to the entire Fashion Club for making a difference with its thoughtful creativity.

HS Filmmakers Win 12 Awards

Locust Valley High School filmmakers took home seven first-place awards and 12 prizes in total in the 14th annual Locust Valley High School Film Festival. Judged by ABC Television’s film critic Sandy Kenyon, the students were recognized for their overall filmmaking talents.
Awards included first place in the categories of cinematography, editing, sound design, documentary, commercial, public service announcement and music video. Additionally, the Locust Valley team earned best performance by an actor and the Audience Choice Award. They won second place for comedy and sound design and third place for drama.
Twelve schools from the tri-state area participated in this year’s festival, submitting films in 11 categories for prejudging. The submissions were sent to film professors at Five Towns College who selected the finalists in each category. Those 63 films were shown at the festival and judged by Mr. Kenyon.
The film awarded best overall will be shown at the Long Island International Film Expo in July. Debra Markowitz, executive director of the Nassau County Film Advisory Board and vice president of the Long Island International Film Expo, presented the award and praised the quality of all of the submissions.
Five Towns College representative Theresa Donoghue selected two attendees at random to receive scholarships to the college.
Film teacher Roger Boucher said he was thrilled that his students’ hard work and dedication to their art paid off. Students from all four of his film classes and every grade won awards, including 10 students taking the subject for the first time. 

“All of the filmmakers put a lot of hours into their projects,” Mr. Boucher said. “Seeing their films play on a big screen, in front of hundreds of their peers, is an emotional experience. It’s a tremendous validation of their efforts.” 
Mr. Boucher said that the constructive criticism given by Mr. Kenyon is an important part of the festival. “Our young filmmakers take his suggestions and implement them to improve their films and ultimately that is the goal, for them to learn as much as possible,” he said.
Mr. Kenyon suggested that filmmakers look outside of their friend group for actors, pulling from the school’s theatrical program or even actors at a local college. “This can improve your films greatly,” he said. 

He also suggested having actors play their own age, rather than high school students playing middle-aged parents, for example. Lighting and sound were other topics he covered, while also stressing that often removing a few minutes from any film will be an improvement, saying that every scene should be necessary to the film.
Congratulations to all of the Locust Valley winners!
First Place, Cinematography:
“Sunrise” – Danny Dessner, Alec Miranda
First Place, Editing:
“Sunrise” – Danny Dessner, Alec Miranda
First Place, Sound Design:
“Sunrise” – Danny Dessner, Alec Miranda
First Place, Documentary:
“Repercussions” – Madeline Daly
First Place, Commercial:
“Heptybenzolite” – Anthony Bonadonna, Andrew Burkhard, Brian Graham, Teegan Rowe, Nick Sanchez
First Place, PSA:
“Lightsaber Safety” – Anthony Bonadonna, Andrew Burkhard, Brian Graham, Nick Sanchez
First Place, Music Video:
“Rolled” – Justin Manzi, Chris Muller, Ian Pedro, Raymond Weilert
Best Performance:
Darren McMahon – “The Job Interview”
Audience Choice Award:
“Stranded” – Marc Ambrosino, Danny Dessner, Anthony Madsen, Chris Madsen, John Madsen
Second Place, Comedy:
“The Job Interview” – Robert LaPollo, Natalia Mahoney, Darren McMahon
Second Place, Sound Design:
“Stranded” – Marc Ambrosino, Danny Dessner, Anthony Madsen, Chris Madsen, John Madsen
Third Place, Drama:
“Let It Out” – Chris Madsen, John Madsen, Alec Miranda, Hans Kiessling

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