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H. Thomas Hogan, Principal
Phone: 277-5200
Fax: 277-5208



Wednesday, April 17, 2019

"B" Day



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Real-World Experience Enhances Classroom Lessons


The benefits of participating in the middle school Model UN class are almost endless. Students polish their public-speaking skills, develop confidence and leadership abilities, enhance research and writing skills, and learn to negotiate and work as part of a team.

At Locust Valley Middle School, 32 eighth graders are reaping these benefits and more, as Model UN is offered as an enrichment elective. After preparing for months, the students participated in the Global Classrooms International Model United Nations from March 29-30 at the Grand Hyatt New York in Manhattan. They were among 1,700 students from around the world taking part in the event.

Avery Sessler and Daniel Peterson won best position paper for the Historic Security Council, and Aidan Domin and Aidan Moran won honorable mention in ECOFIN. 

All of the students prepared position papers from the perspective of either China or Burkina Faso on topics such as Adapting Agriculture to Climate Change, Illegal Antiquities Trading and Rights of Migrant Workers. They debated the topics in committees such as IAEA, Security Council, UNESCO and WHO, and then wrote and voted on resolutions in blocs. 

The students attended the closing ceremonies on Saturday in the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations Headquarters. They made friends and exchanged gifts with children from several continents!

Model UN coach Michele Gaglione said the experience was invaluable. “The preparation alone taught the students a tremendous amount,” she said. “Presenting their findings and speaking with their peers from other countries offered insight that they cannot gain from textbooks.”

Coming Together to Create Success

More than 130 people attended the district’s Bilingual Nights, an event that brings the community together and offers support to Spanish-speaking families to make them feel more comfortable being part of their children’s school lives.
The two-night event was organized and moderated by teaching assistant Cyndy Ergen, who translates documents into Spanish for the school district and communicates with Spanish-speaking families on behalf of the schools. Held at Bayville Primary School on March 13 and at Locust Valley Intermediate School on March 14, this year’s turnout was far greater than those held in the past four years.
“As word gets out about how helpful these programs are, more Spanish-speaking families want to attend,” Ms. Ergen said. She explained that the information offered helps parents understand the support available in the schools for them and for their children. “We explain how to use the website and how to translate the website into Spanish, who to call with various questions and who is in charge of different departments.”
Administrators representing areas such as special education, curriculum and health education spoke to the attendees, with Ms. Ergen translating their presentations into Spanish as they spoke.
Representatives from the local libraries provided information on their services, and various businesses donated items such as bags, reusable water bottles, toothbrushes and keychains.
“These presentations prove that bringing the community together is beneficial for everyone,” Ms. Ergen said. “The families are very thankful that we want to help them become more involved in their children’s education.”

As Henry Ford once said about teamwork, “Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success.”

All-County Honors for Artists

Daniel Dessner poses with his artwork
The artwork of 12 Locust Valley students earned All-County Honors and was included in the Art Supervisors Association All-County Art Exhibit on March 10 at Farmingdale State College.

Senior Daniel Dessner was selected as a recipient of the Art Supervisors Association Senior Scholarship Award and was presented with his award at a ceremony during the art exhibit. Daniel’s artwork was displayed with a gold seal in the exhibit, designating him as a scholarship recipient. 

The Art Supervisors Association honors students in kindergarten through grade 12 who have demonstrated excellence in a wide variety of two-dimensional visual art forms, including drawing, painting, printmaking, computer graphics and photography. 

Congratulations to the honorees and their art teachers!

The All-County Honorees are:

Genna Cecchini, Grade 9
Christopher Cooney, Grade 7
Isabella Craft, Grade 8
Daniel Dessner, Grade 12 – Scholarship Winner
Matthew Fazio, Grade 6
Emma Ginsberg, Grade 8
Jillian Kanzer, Grade 11
Tighe Mullarkey, Grade 9
Julianna Nabet, Grade 8
Daniella Orlassino, Grade 12
Jackson Palmer, Grade 9
Noelle Valdinoto, Grade 9

Random Acts of Kindness Spark Joy

Three girls pose with the lunch bags they decorated.

Learning to be kind starts young and is reinforced as students grow. At Locust Valley Middle School, health classes recently used teamwork and creativity to help students share ideas on ways they can be kind.

After viewing a video about a boy named Liam in Massachusetts who started a non-profit organization called Liam’s Lunches of Love. Liam delivers food to the homeless in paper bags handcrafted with motivational sayings, and Locust Valley Middle School health classes decided to step in to help him, just as Liam helped others. 

Sixth-graders talked about various acts of kindness, wrote examples of acts of kindness on the white board and then decorated paper bags to send to Liam’s Lunches of Love. Students researched inspirational quotes and, using colorful markers and crayons, wrote those quotes on the bags. Their own decorations surrounded sayings such as “It never gets easier, you just get better” and “Difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations.”

Middle school health teacher Laura Vera said that after learning about Liam’s Lunches of Love, she and her fellow health teachers Heather DeGregorio and Roberto Gutierrez agreed that assisting him in his efforts could act as a reminder that we all have the capacity to spread kindness.  

“By decorating the bags with motivational sayings and artwork, and writing gratitude notes to a special person in their lives, students were able to practice a random act of kindness before they even left the classroom," said Ms. Vera.

Excellence Earns Entrance to National Junior Honor Society

Five students pose in front of glitter board

More than 60 Locust Valley Middle School students proved that they had all the attributes required to join the prestigious National Junior Honor Society and were inducted during a traditional ceremony on Feb. 7.

The society accepts only those students having demonstrated qualities that exhibit scholarship, service, leadership, character and citizenship. Therefore, sitting on the stage in the middle school auditorium during the ceremony were inductees representing the school as well-rounded, hardworking and community minded. 

Assisted by the National Junior Honor Society advisers Kelley Grassi and Jennifer Tichy, the organization’s current officers led the ceremony, each describing one of the society’s required qualities and lighting the corresponding candle. President Margaret Kuebler lit the candle for scholarship, Vice President Jolie Pye for service, Secretary Catherine Saffi for leadership, Treasurer Megan McDonald for character and Service Officer Susan Meza for citizenship.

Board of Education President Brian Nolan addressed the inductees and their guests. “On behalf of the Board of Education, I congratulate each of you and thank you for being a part of what makes Locust Valley Central School District so successful,” he said. “It is you and your teachers that bring life to our school buildings and create energy in our classrooms, and we are thrilled to celebrate you.”

Principal H. Thomas Hogan said it was impressive that the students managed to be successful in a broad range of subjects over an extended period of time. “Think about that as the central attribute of success,” he said. 

Mr. Hogan led the inductees in reciting the pledge of the National Junior Honor Society and the lighting of their individual candles. 

The ceremony closed with inspiring words from Acting Superintendent Dr. Carl Bonuso. “I was truly in awe to hear the kinds of things that these young people are involved in,” he said. Dr. Bonuso explained that in his short time in the district, he has seen middle school students excel in an array of activities, including their recent musical production. 

Congratulations to all of the National Junior Honor Society inductees!