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Spring Fling Fun!

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


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 Fair Offers Something for Everyone

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.

LVHS Takes the Classroom Abroad

HS Students 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.

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.

Regents Review Schedule Updated May 1

See attached schedule and check often for updates.


Senior Class Fundraiser

The senior class is holding a fundraiser at Chipotle in Hicksville on May 29, 2018. See attached flyer for details.


HS Blood Drive, May 30

The high school's Interact Club is sponsoring a blood drive on May 30 from 7:30 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. Please see attached flyer for details.


Seniors Strut Down 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.


Creations for a Cause

Fashion Club Members
Fashion Club Members Pose with their bra creation
One of the creations
One of the creations
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 Earn 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

Model UN Goes to Washington


Members of the high school’s Model United Nations Club spent four days in Washington D.C. playing the roles of various delegates and working to solve global issues.  Forty-five Locust Valley High School students attended The Washington Area Model United Nations Conference, hosted by the George Washington University from March 1-4.

Preparation for the conference included months of researching their countries and creating accurate position papers, arguments and speeches based on the opinions of their given delegate. During the conference, students were divided into various committees with the goal of creating alliances, solving global issues such as women's rights, terrorism prevention, and the peaceful uses of space. The highly competitive conference included more than 2,000 student delegations from around the world.

Faculty advisors Ashley Cannone and Stephanie Scavelli, along with Ali Cannone and Social Studies Curriculum Coordinator David Ethé chaperoned the trip. In order to enhance the trip experience, the group walked to the United States Capitol building, Supreme Court building, and the Library of Congress. Some students visited the Georgetown campus as well.

Ms. Scavelli said the students worked very hard in their committees and performed at a high level at the conference. “We are all very proud of the effort they put into the Model United Nations Conference. Everyone is already looking forward to next year’s conference.”

Mr. Ethé said that the students successfully utilized their “Model UN skills” by working collaboratively with other committee members, speaking in a public forum and writing position papers.


Clean Sweep for Odyssey of the Mind

All three of the high school’s Odyssey of the Mind teams advanced to the state finals after competing in the Odyssey of the Mind Regional Tournament in Freeport in early March. 

Their extraordinary performances earned each team a first-place award. Odyssey of the Mind provides students with the opportunity to solve problems in unique and creative ways. The problems allow students to think creatively as there are no simple solutions. “Thinking out of the box is a priority for success,” said adviser Alan Stella. 

The ninth-grade team chose the problem “Mockumentary! Seriously?” The team selected the classic story of “Gulliver’s Travels” and presented a humorous documentary-style performance where details were added, denied, exaggerated and disputed. They included interviews, behind-the-scenes clips and voiceovers that took the audience through the story and helped present the events as they really took place. Team members include Ava Barison, Emily Barison, Zosia Lemaitre, Natalie MacArthur, Shannon MacArthur, Lydia Paulus and Ally Weilert, with coaches Alan Stella and Brett Weilert. 

The second team chose a construction-based problem, “Triathlon Travels,” which utilized engineering skills in addition to creative wit to discover a solution. Team members created a vehicle for an Odyssey-style triathlon. The performance included events in curling, jousting and running track by navigating a two-directional course. All of the action took place in a team-created performance that was entertaining and unusual. Team members include Clark Brennan, Aiden Dempsey, Lucas Ferrante Marco McCormack, Olivia Olynciw, Joanna Yu and Eriks Zamurs, with Alan Stella as the coach. 

The third high school team, comprised mostly of seniors, solved a problem called “A Stellar Hangout,” which included a humorous performance centered on a science fiction hangout where creatures from different worlds stop, eat and relax. Their performance was out of this world! Team members include Edgar Cruz, Lily D’Addario, Brooke DiSpirito, Nicole Dressler, William FitzGerald, Beatrix Postley and Spencer Weingord. Alan Stella was the coach. 

“These students are exceptionally talented, hardworking and very independent. Despite all of their other obligations, they have managed to produce unique and exceptional work that brought praise from audience members in addition to first-place awards,” Mr. Stella said.

All three teams will compete in the Odyssey of the Mind State Tournament on Saturday, April 7 at Binghamton University.

Artists Chosen as Long Island’s Best

Artwork chosen for exhibition
High school sophomore Nitha Paulus and senior Victoria Campanella have been recognized as among Long Island’s Best Young Artists by the Heckscher Museum of Art. Their artwork is being featured in a juried exhibition at the museum.

Hundreds of students across Long Island submit artwork in the hopes of being chosen and having the opportunity to exhibit their art in a museum setting. The young artists visit the museum and develop an original work inspired by any piece on view in the museum. After adjudication by museum curator Lisa Chalif and artist Doug Reina, only 80 pieces are chosen for exhibition.

High school art teacher Donna Chaplin and Melanie Mooney said they are extremely proud of these very talented artists.

The exhibition is on view through April 15. During the opening reception on Saturday, March 24, Victoria's piece earned the Huntington Fine Arts Honorable Mention Award. 

Mock Trial Provides Authentic Experience

The high school mock trial team recently participated in the Nassau County Bar Association 2018 Mock Trial Tournament. Students gained an in-depth understanding of the justice system and valuable experience by preparing for both sides of a case. Performing as the prosecution and defense, students learned many skills and were able to have an authentic legal experience acting as attorneys and witnesses. 

Teams prepared and presented opening and closing statements, along with direct and cross-examinations. Students portraying witnesses prepared for questioning by their own attorneys as well as by the opposing team’s attorney. 

“Participating in mock trial gives students a unique opportunity to learn specific legal skills such as using objections, creating arguments, and learning courtroom procedures,” explained social studies curriculum coordinator David Ethé. “Presenting all materials and skills learned in preparation for the tournament made for an exciting and rewarding experience for student participants.” While preparing for the tournament, students also had the opportunity to work alongside actual attorneys, enhancing the educational value of the process.

The team narrowly won the first round and was defeated in a close call in the second round. Advisor John Baglione guided the students, who were well prepared for the tournament. 

Congratulations to team members Bobby Carroll, Lisa Cheung, Sydney Collings, Julia Forte, William Holowchak, Zosia Lemaitre, Caroline Martocci, Beatrix Postley, Ferah Shaikh and Spencer Weingord.

Winter Section VIII Athletic Achievements


Nassau County 2017-2018 Winter Section VIII Athletic Awards
First Name Last Name Grade Sport Award
Thomas Eletto 12 Boys Basketball All-County
Chris Madsen 12 Boys Basketball All-Conference
Ramell Phillips 12 Boys Basketball All-Conference
Paige O'Brien 10 Girls Basketball All-County Honorable Mention
Julia Sabatino 10 Girls Basketball All-County Honorable Mention
Rebecca Finke 12 Girls Basketball All-Conference
Caroline Mangan 12 Girls Basketball All-Conference
Nina Cialone 10 Girls Track All-Conference Long Jump & Triple Jump
Marlene Goldstein 11 Girls Track All-Conference 300m
Tom Coll 10 Wrestling All-County
Jack Croke 9 Wrestling All-County
Matt Dellaquila 12 Wrestling All-County
Gage DeNatale 10 Wrestling All-County
Jack DeNatale 12 Wrestling All-County
Will Holowchak 12 Wrestling All-County
Vinnie Marchand 10 Wrestling All-County
Bailey O'Brien 12 Wrestling All-County
Vito Rodriguez 10 Wrestling All-County
Kyle Shriberg 10 Wrestling All-County
Jack Ward 12 Wrestling All-County & ALL-State
Roarke Creedon 9 Wrestling All-Conference
Matt Jones 10 Wrestling All-Conference


Team Achievements:

All Teams were NYS Scholar-Athlete Teams
Boys Basketball - JV Coach Neilly, Coach of the Year
Boys Basketball - 4th in Conference ABC qualified for Class "A" Playoffs
Girls Basketball - First time in the history of Section VIII Nassau County Playoffs that the
15th seed beat the 2nd seed
Boys Bowling placed 3rd in the league
Wrestling - Nassau County Division II Tournament & Dual Meet Champions