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The Board of Education is holding a Special Meeting on Thursday, May 31 at 5 p.m. in the Administration Building.

The Board of Education is holding a Special Meeting on Thursday, May 31 at 5 p.m. in the Administration Building.

Flags for Freedom

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


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!

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). 

Using Their Senses to Improve Their Skills


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.”

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.

Mathletes Earn Gold in National Competition

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!

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

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

LVCSD Community Supports 2018-19 Budget


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

Middle School students 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 Schooland 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

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.

Bilingual Night Provides Support

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.

Regents Review Schedule Updated May 1

See attached schedule and check often for updates.


AP and IB Review Sessions-Updated May 1

See attached schedule for AP and IB review session schedule. Check back frequently 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.


Six Teams Honored in National STEM Competition

The 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 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

Video - Affects of Drugs on the Teenage Brain


Click here to see a video from the event 

Middle and high school students attended a presentation that focused on how drug abuse can affect the teenage brain. From caffeine and nicotine to marijuana, vapes and methamphetamines, the teenagers heard about the dangers, the long-term effects and the risks of addiction.

Dr. Stephen L. Dewey, an expert on the impact these drugs have on the developing brain shared results of his own research, explaining that drug-addicted teens are in every school district. Through images of patient PET scans, Dr. Dewey showed exactly how the brain looks different after taking various drugs, including caffeine. He also described how one drug opens the brain to allow other drugs to have a stronger impact and explained that many drugs affect the brain permanently while others can cause damage that is reversed once the drug use is stopped.

The pet scan images showed the brain changes after just one use in some cases and Dr. Dewey said that teenagers can have personality changes from the effects of these drugs on the developing brain, especially the frontal lobe.

High school principal, Dr. Kieran J. McGuire said the presentation was important and necessary. “Dr. Dewey was able to share a unique perspective based on his own scientific data to empower students to make good decisions.”

Dr. Dewey provided a more in-depth presentation for parents and community members on Thursday, March 1 at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium. 

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.


Bronze Medals at National Science Bowl

A Locust Valley Middle School team earned a bronze medal in the Long Island regional competition for the National Science Bowl held at Brookhaven National Laboratory on March 3. Sponsored by the Department of Energy, the event brings 20 schools from Long Island together to compete in a science competition.

Throughout the day, teams of middle school students answered questions on Earth science, physical science, life science, math and general science. The competition consists of a round robin followed by a single elimination final. Locust Valley Middle School entered two teams in this year’s competition. Coaches Christopher Hoppner and Julie Feltman prepared the teams for the questions.

Team A consisted of eighth-graders Nicky Berritto, Theo Burns, Mary Jane Erskin and Gia Villella. Following a tense three-way tie breaker, the team won its division and moved on to the final round. They finished third in the competition, with each student receiving a bronze medal, along with a large trophy for display in the middle school. 

Team B included eighth-graders Emma Barnaby, Trinity Benstock, Elizabeth Dunne and Griffen Postley, and seventh-grader Reilly Souther. They earned second place in an extremely tough division, winning three of their four matches. Although they did not move on to the finals, they have much to be proud of.

“I am extremely proud of the effort and long hours put in by both teams. They are beyond exceptional students, and it is always an honor to work with them,” Mr. Hoppner said.

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.

Les Misérables is a Hit

A scene from Les Miserables

The Locust Valley High School Jesters transformed the school’s auditorium into a scene from 19th Century France as they gave a moving performance of Les Misérables.

Nearly 70 students showed off their acting and singing talents to tell the story of convict Jean Valjean’s life after being released from prison and subsequently breaking his parole. Audiences were mesmerized by the dramatic and intense acting, which rivaled that of professional theater groups. Right down to the crew, the show was a perfect hit throughout three weekend performances.

Using STEAM Skills to Catch Leprechauns

Four students holding their leprechaun traps
Kindergarten students at Ann MacArthur Primary School are working hard to catch Leprechauns using scientific skills. The children were tasked with building leprechaun traps, thinking about how to lure the leprechauns to the traps and how to confine them once inside.

Some children deduced that leprechauns wouldn’t be able to resist a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, while others thought candy and a path of gold coins would best attract the mischievous creatures. The creations included boxes with tops that would fall on a leprechaun when he stepped inside and those with holes that the sneaky little creatures would fall down. 

The traps were built at home as an opportunity for these young scientists to work with their families, brainstorming and bonding.

A collaboration of skills including art, science and writing came together to turn a holiday known for fun into a lesson that required the use of higher order thinking and creativity. In addition to building the traps, the assignment required that three to five sentences be written to explain how the traps work. Each student additionally practiced their oral presentation skills by explaining to the class how their traps work.

Kindergarten teacher Candice Pellicane said the project was fun for the children while allowing them to think outside of the box. “The important part of this project is the thought process,” she said. “We want them to explain how they came up with their ideas and why they thought their traps would work.” She added that this project allowed students to learn while using their imaginations, which is an important part of the Kindergarten curriculum.

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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