Must-See Award Winning Film at Locust Valley Middle/High School


A must see movie will be shown on Tuesday, Jan. 31 at Locust Valley Middle/High School that explores one of the biggest parenting issues of all time – kids and screen time. The feature documentary “Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age” details how the use of technology impacts your child’s development and your family relationships. The film also offers reasonable and realistic solutions.

The movie weaves stories of real teenagers with cutting edge science and insights from leading scientists.  One true story highlighted is of a 14-year-old who was being bullied on social media and another features a college student who has to enter an internet rehab center.

LVCSD parent Lisa Barcellos and her family viewed this film and it had a positive impact on them. Mrs. Barcellos said all families should make the time to see it. “Screenagers made us squirm, laugh and gasp in recognition. Since then we have learned to master our technology,” she said.

This 68-minute film by Dr. Delaney Ruston helps families find ways to minimize the harmful effects of technology. Themes covered in the movie include:

• Use of screens in school

• Boys and video games

• Girls and social media

• Risk of addiction

Don’t miss this eye-opening film that is worthy of some screen time. All community members are welcome to this free showing of Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age on Tuesday, Jan. 31 at 6:30 p.m. in the Locust Valley Middle/High School Auditorium. The event is sponsored by the District Health and Wellness Council. More information about the film is available at

The Board of Education will hold Public Budget Forum I on Wednesday, Jan. 25 at 8 p.m. in the MS/HS Mini-Theater.

The Board of Education will hold Public Budget Forum I on Wednesday, Jan. 25 at 8 p.m. in the MS/HS Mini-Theater.

Writers/Directors' Monologue Workshop - Jan. 19

Original comedic and dramatic monologues were written and will be performed by LVHS students during the 11th Annual Writers/Directors’ Monologue Workshop. This year’s theme is “LOVE” and each student wrote a monologue with their own interpretation of this theme.

Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017 at 7 p.m. in the LVHS Mini-Theater. Admission is free.

Come enjoy the show presented by Sabrina Amian, Sergey Babcock, Michael Catalano, Brooke DiSpirito, Lucas Ferrante, Hannah FitzGerald, Jessica Flores, Valentina Friedrich, Julia Giannoutsos, Hana Glavan, Larissa Izaguirre, Amanda Jones, Carly Knopf, Kristina Lollo and Tim Peguillan.  

Directed & Produced by Mr. Lynch and Mrs. Bolitho, LVHS English Dept. Stage Manager: Estela Maldonado, Lighting: Colin White, Evan Lautato

Class of 2018 Class Rings on Sale

Class of 2018: it's time to buy your class rings! Jostens will be outside the High School Cafeteria Jan. 19-20 from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Extra catalogues are available in the High School main office. Please visit for more information. 

Family Math/ELA Night

Kindergarten through second-grade parents and students are invited to Family Math/ELA Night. Families will be able to take home ELA/Math games to play with their children. The program will be presented by K-12 Math Coordinator, Kim Ferina and K-5 ELA Coordinator, Dorothy McManus.

Parents are asked to RSVP to so that there will be enough materials for attendees. Please include your child's name, number of attendees and which night you are attending.

The event will be held on two evenings:

Thursday, Jan. 12, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Ann MacArthur Primary School (RSVP by Jan. 10)

Thursday, Jan. 19, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Bayville Primary School (RSVP by Jan. 17)



How STEM Helped the Three Little Pigs


Second graders in Tanya Becker’s class at Ann MacArthur Primary School were tasked with protecting the Three Little Pigs from the Big Bad Wolf by building a house that could withstand the huffing and puffing of the predator. Could they accomplish this using only mini marshmallows and toothpicks? Ms. Becker was sure they could if they worked together  - and they proved her right.

The activity fit into the STEM curriculum as participants used relevant skills to complete the task. First, they brainstormed ways to build the house. Then, they predicted whether or not they believed that their creation could be blown down. They also compared their model to the houses created by the pigs in the story and described the materials they wish they had when building the house.

In addition to planning the project, the young builders also needed to do the actual construction, collaborate and then reflect on their work. Their grades on the project were determined by a rubric that included each of these factors. A printout of the wolf was taped to a large fan and each house was subjected to the force of the wolf’s blowing.

Ms. Becker said that providing exciting projects for students to complete is the best way to reinforce the curriculum and get students to think creatively. “The entire class was enthusiastic about building the best house for their little pig and therefore they used all the skills we’ve learned to complete the task with success,” she explained.

Senior Wins Prize in National Science Competition


High school senior Michael Catalano has been named a Scholar in the prestigious Regeneron Science Talent Search (formerly the Intel Science Talent Search.) He is among 300 students nationwide to earn this honor (previously called semifinalist in the Intel STS) and is among only 58 Scholars on Long Island. In addition to earning a $2,000 cash prize and advancing to the next level of competition, he has also won $2,000 for the high school. Finalists will be announced on Jan. 14, 2017.

Michael submitted a project called “The Use of Double Stranded RNA for Silencing Genes in Caenorhabditis elegans: Decoding the Epigenetic Mechanisms of Autism.” He began his research by looking at a gene silencing technique known as RNA interference using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (a type of worm). He studied the life cycle of C. elegans in the classroom lab, learning the techniques of cultivation, picking, chunking and food preparation, and used feeding vectors to attempt genetic changes in the worms. He continued his research over the summer at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory under the direction of Dr. Christopher Hammell. The goal is that one day, RNAi can be used to silence genes that are harmful to humans and therefore prevent cancers and autism.

Locust Valley Science Research Coordinator Christopher Hoppner said Michael worked extremely hard, putting in countless hours of work and revisions to reach this point. “The dedication that it takes to reach this level is enormous and I am very proud of Michael, as I am of all the Locust Valley seniors who submitted papers to Regeneron this year,” he said.

According to the company’s website, the Regeneron Science Talent Search recognizes and empowers the most promising young scientists in the U.S. who are creating the ideas and solutions that solve our most urgent challenges.

Congratulations to Michael and good luck at the next level of competition!

Rizzo Brothers Earn Top Two Spots in Class of 2017


High School seniors Matthew Rizzo and Nicholas Rizzo have stood side-by-side on athletic teams, in after-school clubs and in advanced academic classes. They will now stand together at their high school graduation as the Class of 2017 Valedictorian and Salutatorian.

The twin brothers have pushed each other in all areas and it has paid off. Nicholas is the Valedictorian with 107.90 grade point average and Matthew is the Salutatorian with a 107.77 GPA. They are both IB Diploma Candidates and AP Scholars with Distinction and have excelled in the most rigorous courses that Locust Valley offers including IB Chemistry, IB Physics and IB Italian. They both began taking Advanced Placement and IB courses in ninth grade. 

The brothers also joined each other in the National Honor Society, National Foreign Language Honor Society, and as scholar athletes on the cross-country and bowling teams. Along with mutual friends, they co-founded the Computer Engineering Club during their sophomore year and have been active in Interact, Quiz Bowl and Robotics. 

They are both bilingual, speaking fluent Italian and each earning outstanding scores on the Italian Checkpoint A exam. Matthew earned a perfect score of 100 and Nicholas earned an impressive 98. Nicholas earned perfect scores on the Geometry and Chemistry Regents.

Matthew was named a National Merit Commended Scholar for his achievement on the PSAT. He is among a very small percentage of students nationwide to score at exceptional levels on the exam. 

Congratulations to Nicholas and Matthew on their outstanding achievements!

All the Buzz on Bees


First Lego League Jr. teams work hard to complete challenges that require them to learn about a topic, create moving models that represent the subject and to present their final work. Coaches to Bayville Primary School teams found an interesting and informative way to help students with their current challenge by bringing in the presentation “Mrs. Bee and the Buzz.”

The program was presented by beekeeper Moira Alexander and thoroughly enhanced the robotics program, which is currently focusing on a Creature Craze challenge, which requires students across the country to explore an animal and build a model that shows that animal sharing its habitat with a honey bee.   Ms. Alexander showed students her bee boxes, protective gear, a smoker, frames and other examples of items she uses to harvest honey. She also brought samples of her honey for the children to taste, explaining that honey tastes different from different bees, depending on what types of trees and flowers the bees are getting their nectar from.  

The presentation included learning about the life cycle of the bee, the various jobs that bees have in their hives such as guard bees, nurse bees and worker bees, and all about the Queen bee. Alexander explained that bees take their jobs very seriously. The guard bees, for example, will not allow a bee from another hive to enter their hive. If the bee does not smell like the Queen from their hive, he is pushed away from the entrance.   Alexander also taught the children about her bee boxes and the smoker that she uses to calm the bees before putting her hand into the boxes. Kaira Kirkpatrick, one of the team coaches, said the smoker is a perfect example of a simple machine that is relevant to the First Lego League, Jr. challenge as students must build a model with moving parts.

Senior Selected as News12 Scholar Athlete


Senior Roisin O’Neill has been named a News12 Scholar Athlete. To be selected for this prestigious honor, a student must have an unweighted grade point average above 90,an SAT score of 1950 or higher (or ACT score of 30 or higher), participation in community service or leadership activities and exemplary achievement in athletics. Roisin will receive a $1,000 scholarship sponsored by Bethpage Federal Credit Union and will be in the running for an additional $2,000 scholarship.

Roisin is one of Locust Valley High School’s strongest cross-country runners. She is a dedicated three-sport student and a two-time All-County honoree in cross-country. Roisin led her team to a Conference Championship in 2014 and as a junior she earned the Class B Sportsmanship Award which is given to one student-athlete out of all of the Class B schools. She also qualified for the New York State Cross Country Championships, earned All-Conference honors in winter track and All-Division honors in spring track and field leading the Falcons to the 2016 Division IV Championship. 

Roisin is a member of the National Honor Society and will graduate with an Advanced Regents with Honors Diploma, Math Mastery, Science Mastery and a Locust Valley Diploma with Distinction.

“Roisin is an exceptional young lady who places the needs of her teammates above her own,” said Mark J. Dantuono, Director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics.  “She is a tireless worker who leads by example and is always willing to assist a peer or teammate in need. Roisin is extremely deserving of this award.”

News12 will feature Roisin on Tuesday, Dec. 27 at 5:50 p.m. She will be honored at a reception hosted by News12 this spring.

Talented Musicians


Throughout the district, students displayed their musical talent during winter concerts for friends and family. Holiday songs and classics were among the selections and were played with skill and enthusiasm. Fourteen high school students were inducted into the Tri-M Honor Society at the high school concert. Congratulations to Juliana Criblez, Madeline Daly, Nicole Dressler, Matthew Guerra, Hanna Guglielmo, Megan Halpin, Larissa Izaguirre, Megan Meehan, Michael Porco, Ravi Prasad, Liam Reimer, Luke SanAntonio-Bialecki, Andrew Weiss and Joanna Yu.


Cooking for a Cause


Members of the high school’s culinary club used their talents in the kitchen to make life a little easier for those having a difficult time this holiday season. The group spent the day at the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island cooking for the families currently staying there.

Salad, French toast, pasta with broccoli, quesadillas, corn bread and cupcakes were on the menu. Culinary Club Advisor Meris First purchased the ingredients with funds donated by club members who worked together to cook the food from scratch. Their nutritious efforts were offered to the 39 families staying at the house that day. 

“The students prepared a meal from the heart so the families could relax after a difficult day at the hospital, while focused on the health of their child,” said First. “They made a big difference, which was tremendously gratifying and very rewarding for them. 

According to Ronald McDonald House of Long Island President Matt Campo, the meal program is an important part of how the house operates, with various volunteer groups arriving daily to help out. He was very grateful for the Locust Valley High School volunteers. The Ronald McDonald House of Long Island provides a home away from home for families experiencing the pain of having a child who is sick in the hospital. The facility can accommodate 42 families at a given time. Having meals prepared each day allows family members a reprieve from the hospital environment.

Get Well Olivia

The LVMS sixth graders created a get-well video for their classmate Olivia LoRusso who is battling cancer and can't be at school with them.


Three Cheers for the Cheerleaders!


Middle school cheerleaders shared their holiday spirit and high energy with the residents of two Glen Cove rehabilitation centers. The team performed for the patients and brought them cards and gifts.

Residents at the Marquis Rehabilitation and Nursing Center and the Glen Cove Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation enjoyed the cheers, dancing and holiday sing-along. They were also grateful for the holiday surprises. The cheerleaders created handmade cards and brought eyeglass cases that were made by the sixth-grade Home and Careers class.

Cheerleading coach Doreen Kobus said the team loves to visit the rehabilitation centers to bring holiday happiness to those who can’t be home with their families.


LVHS Wrestlers Noticed by Newsday

LVHS seniors Hunter Dusold and Jon Gomez have been identified By Newsday as among the top ten wrestlers to watch in the 2016-17 season. Congratulations to them both!

Click here to see the Newsday list

Spreading Frosting and Holiday Cheer


Frosting, sprinkles and gingerbread men helped bring two generations together for a festive holiday activity. Two classes from Bayville Primary School stepped into the role of Santa’s helpers by visiting the residents at Rosewood on the Sound to decorate gingerbread cookies together and help make the holiday a bit more festive.

The young children and the senior citizens worked together spreading frosting and carefully placing colorful sprinkles on each cookie. Although they enjoyed doing the activity together, it didn’t take long before they ate their creations. Dressed in black and red, with elf hats, the children sat alongside the senior citizens, answering questions as they worked. The seniors wanted to know their names, what grades they were in and how old they were.

The children were from Carolyn Morales’ second-grade class and Tracy Dennis’ kindergarten class. Following the cookie decorating, the group sang holiday songs, accompanied on the piano by music teacher Denise Bender. The residents were tapping their hands on the table and singing along. As the children filed out to head back to school, many of the residents were smiling and waving goodbye.

“The students learned the importance of being good citizens by spreading holiday cheer to the older generation,” explained Mrs. Morales.

Intermediate School Students Take the Stage


Intermediate school students have been busy memorizing lines, rehearsing songs and learning choreographed dance moves for their recent theater productions. Locust Valley Intermediate School presented The Lion King and Bayville Intermediate School performed the Wizard of Oz.

The young actors portrayed their characters with passion and talent and the audiences smiled from beginning to end. The plays were produced by mainstages, an educational theater company for children brought to the schools by the parent organizations.

Click through the slideshows for photos from each of the fall shows.


Creating a Computer Programming Foundation


Ann MacArthur Primary School students often use computers for educational purposes, sometimes working on programs that enhance their math skills or increase their vocabulary. Recently, these children were using their screen time to learn how to code as AMP librarian Devon Gallagher led them in the global movement, “Hour of Code.”

The initiative, created by Computer Science Education Week and introduces students to computer science and programming. Kindergartners through second graders learned what a programmer does, about the language used to code and the importance of putting the code in the proper sequence so that the program works correctly.

Each class used a code to program a volunteer student "robot" to perform various tasks.   Students also used Chromebooks to access, a game in which they input a series of commands to move an alien through a course. The young programmers had to put the commands in the correct sequence, just like a professional programmer would, or the alien wouldn't make it out of the course. Each level progressed in programming difficulty and new commands were added to the code as the students advanced.  

Ms. Gallagher said feedback from several parents was positive noting that that their children enjoyed the lessons so much that they wanted to continue learning about coding at home. “This was a very valuable use of our new technology,” she said.

Bundles of Books


Members of the high school Book Club love to read, but they do more than get together to discuss the writing of their favorite authors. The group recently joined with the Long Island Book Fairies organization to spread their love of reading to those who may not have books to read. They collected gently used books and magazines for distribution to needy organizations throughout Long Island and the greater New York area.

The Book Drive was spearheaded by Book Club co-presidents Rebecca Finke and Olivia Guma, who were enthusiastically assisted by Elisabeth Baumann, Bridget BiancoCaileigh Burnett, Charlotte Creedon, Maya Mehta, Emily Moran, Jessica Penny Joanna Yu , club advisor, Barbara Mierlak and the high school library staff.  The students created and distributed posters and flyers around the school encouraging students and staff to donate to the cause ... and donate they did!

The generous Locust Valley MS/HS community donated a whopping 1,518 children’s and adult books along with a boxful of current magazines! A total of 42 boxes was collected by members of the Book Fairies organization, a non-profit group headquartered in Freeport, Long Island. The organization’s goal is “to foster literacy and academic success, provide a respite from personal struggles, and nurture a love of reading across age groups.” Books go to schools and libraries in high poverty areas, as well as to hospitals, homeless shelters, prisons and more

Colorful Welcome to the MS Library


Eighth graders Grace LaPollo and Daniel Palleschi used their art skills to create a colorful mural depicting three books that are read by middle school students each year. Working with Library Teaching Assistant ErinPiersa, the student-artists painted the murals at the entrance to the middle school library to welcome students as they arrived.

Mrs. Piersa designed the mural, depicting graphic covers of three novels, and Grace and Daniel painted the designs. They worked tirelessly each day after their seventh grade final exams last June to complete the artwork. The covers represent a novel read at each grade level.

The sixth grade reads The Adventures of Ulysses by Bernard Evslin, seventh graders reads The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton and eighth graders read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

Creativity and Strength Earn Club Second Place


The Locust Valley High School fashion club earned second place in the annual Bra-Ha-Ha competition held in Manhattan. The event, which the club has participated in for several years, is sponsored by the Karen Allen Donovan Foundation to support breast cancer research.  The club members were recognized by the Board of Education at its Dec. 14 meeting.

The fashion club students held bake sales to raise the money for the contest admission fee of $25. Club advisor Melanie Mooney said the group wanted to do something unique and challenging for this year’s competition and decided on a space theme. “We named the bra "Venus" after the powerful mythical goddess in Sandro Botticelli's "The Birth of Venus," this being symbolic toward all of the strong and brave women fighting this life-threatening illness," said Ms. Mooney.

The students worked collaboratively on their submission and used a variety of mediums in their creation. The bra has a painted galaxy with the correct proportions and locations of the planets and real lights that illuminate for the stars. The team also wrote an artist statement about the bra.

"The students really love this fundraiser/art challenge while promoting breast cancer awareness and empowering women by having the inner "Venus" inside each of us show our strength and bravery," said Ms. Mooney. Congratulations to Victoria Campanella, Abby Flicker, Danya Karch, Grace Yeager and Ms. Mooney on this creative and wonderful accomplishment.

Artists Win Awards at Local Festival


The work of Locust Valley students earned several awards at the Engel & Volkers Harvest Festival Art Show. The winners were recognized by the Board of Education at its Dec. 14 meeting. The students’ submissions were displayed during the festival and winners were announced at an awards ceremony at the end of the festival.

Congratulations to the following student artists for receiving awards in their age groups:

Ages 13-15

First Place – Olivia Sinkoff

Second Place – Sophia Sinkoff

Third Place – Summer Mavros

Ages 12 and Under

Second Place – Noelle Valdinoto

Third Place – Tanner Rave

Popular Vote – Maria Bubyulinis, Reilly Souther

Ages 16-18

First Place – Margot Ryan

Second Place – Kristina Lollo

Third Place – Nicole Wolert

Popular Vote – Ava Schieferstein

Photography First Place – Kirsten Scott

Regents Review Sessions

The high school is offering Regents review sessions for the January Regents. See the attached schedule.