skip to main content

Class of 2018 Made Their Mark


The Locust Valley High School Class of 2018 gathered together for the last time to receive their diplomas during a beautiful graduation ceremony marking the milestone. For a high school class that achieved at extraordinary levels, the class as a whole is also known for being kind and giving and talented in a variety of areas.

Honored speakers noted that graduate Billy Fisher helped teach them about strength. After surviving a double brain tumor in elementary school, Billy accepted his high school diploma with his class amid applause and cheers. 

High school principal Dr. Kieran McGuire at his last graduation before his retirement said the Class of 2018 not only made their own memories, but left the faculty with memories as well. He noted, “Memories of Billy Fisher’s calm acceptance and consistent courage in the face of adversity,” as one of those worth mentioning. He also acknowledged that the class includes a National Merit Scholarship winner, accomplished athletes, artists and musicians. He added that the Class of 2018 leaves behind memories of their smiles and friendships.

Salutatorian Rebecca Finke discussed three of her classmates’ yearbook quotes. One of those was Billy Fisher’s quote from Bob Marley, which is “In this bright future, you can’t forget your past.” Rebecca said the quote beautifully sums of their time in Locust Valley. “While our futures are incredibly promising, it is important to remember our foundation. “

Valedictorian Nicholas Chisari said the Billy Fisher had an everlasting impact of the lives of the entire class. “He is always upbeat, always smiling, always joking and never fails to put a smile on any of our faces. I strongly believe that if all of us has even half the strength, determination and life experience that he has, we would all be successful.” 

Board of Education President Brian T. Nolan encouraged the graduates to look for opportunities to succeed. Mr. Nolan pointed out that when he graduated from Locust Valley High School 20 years ago, he had no idea that he would have the opportunity to address the Class of 2018. “What I recommend is that you take advantage of the opportunities that come your way - big, small and everything in between.”

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Anna F. Hunderfund said that the class has earned endless accolades. The list of achievements included more than 3 out of 4 students earning Advanced Regents Diplomas, others earning International Baccalaureate Diplomas and AP Scholar honors. The high school was named a New York State School of Distinction for the sixth year in a row because every single varsity athletic team earned a grade point average of 90 or better. “Your collective talents have earned you scholarships that amount to more than $10 million.”

Congratulations to the outstanding Class of 2018!


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.

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.

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!

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!