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Teachers Teaching Teachers


The Locust Valley High School hallways were abuzz with enthusiasm, excitement and eagerness to learn during the district’s Superintendent’s Conference Day on Nov. 6. While it was a day off for students, staff from every LVCSD school sat in the seats in the classrooms usually filled with teenagers, while their colleagues and some outside experts expanded their minds with new information about mental health, technology, teaching, learning and so much more.

The day began with keynote speaker Julie Wise, who inspired the group to be inquirers, to speak with intention and to have what she called courageous conversations. Following her presentation, faculty and staff went to sessions for specific departments and to sessions they chose for themselves.

With nearly 80 sessions on 40 topics, participants had the opportunity to choose what would benefit them the most. There were eight outside presenters and almost 40 presenters from within the faculty.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Anna F. Hunderfund said that while hours of planning by many people went into making Superintendent's Conference Day the success that it was, she expected that the benefits of the day will last for a long time. 

“Supporting mental health continues to be a top priority for each of us, for our families and for our students,” she said. “It is the foundation for all that we do and hope to accomplish. Everyone walked away from Superintendent’s Conference Day with tools and insights about mental health and other topics of interest that are invaluable.” 

She added that professional development continues to be a priority in the district, and she was thrilled to see the commitment of the staff to sharing their insights and to learning from each other and from outside experts.

International Baccalaureate Coordinator Angela Manzo, who is also a high school math teacher, taught two sessions and said her class of teachers was so eager to learn that it was energizing. 

“Knowing that I was able to contribute to the growth of my colleagues is so rewarding,” she said. She and many others were tweeting photos and praise for the day using #EdCampLVCSD. 


Dedicated Wrestlers

Five Falcon wrestlers made sacrifices during the offseason to improve their bodies and minds, proving they have the attitude to become the best wrestlers they can be. This dedication earned junior Gage DeNatale All-American Honors.

Gage flew halfway around the world for an 11-day training session in Russia, where he trained with some of the best young wrestlers in the world and gained valuable knowledge and experience. Juniors Tommy Coll, Vincent Marchand and Kyle Shriberg spent 15 days of their summer vacation participating in the J Robinson Intensive Wrestling Camp in California. 

The dedication put into training during the offseason proved valuable at the Freak Show wrestling tournament held Oct. 21-22 in Las Vegas. Three Locust Valley wrestlers attended the tournament, often referred to as the Nationals of the West. Gage, Vinnie and junior Vito Rodriguez tested themselves against fierce competition, with Gage making the finals of the 132-lb. weight class in which he earned the All-American honor. Vinnie Marchand and Vito Rodriguez won multiple bouts. 

“Locust Valley wrestling is a family and the goal of individuals to improve themselves is driven by the desire to improve the entire team and the wrestling program as a whole,” said Dr. Danielle Turner, Director of Physical Education, Health and Athletics. “We are all very proud of the boys.”

Senior Earns National Award

Senior Brooke Cody has been named a Wendy’s High School Heisman 2018 School Winner. Of nearly 42,000 high school scholar-athletes considered, Brooke is among only 7,500 chosen for this designation. Honorees must maintain a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher, participate in at least one sport and be a leader in the school community.

Brooke is an IB Diploma candidate and is president of the IB Leadership Club. She is also the editor of Perspective, the school’s literary magazine, secretary of the National Honor Society and vice president of the Italian Honor Society. She will graduate with the Seal of Biliteracy, awarded to students who have attained proficiency in two or more languages.

A well-rounded young woman, Brooke is an avid rower with the Sagamore Rowing Association and a dancer with a focus on ballet. She has also performed with the Locust Valley Jesters in the school musicals.

Congratulations to Brooke on being chosen for this outstanding honor!

Science Research Class Hosting Movie Screening

A middle school science research class is hosting a screening of the documentary "Chasing Coral" as part of their action plan for their submission to the Lexus Eco Challenge competition.

A marine biologist will be in attendance to answer questions about the film, which investigates why coral reefs are disappearing.

The screening will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 28 from 7-9 p.m. in the MS/HS auditorium.


Honoring Our Veterans

veterans image 1

Audience members needed to grab their tissues as Ann MacArthur Primary School students honored veterans with emotional songs and tributes. The stage was a sea of red, white and blue with stars and flags mixed in as second-graders, dressed for their important roles in the Celebration of Gratitude.

As the children took turns reading about the meaning of Veterans Day, the importance of our flag and gratitude for the veterans who fought for our freedom, the audience dabbed their eyes, caught up in the emotion of the very serious words coming from the young mouths.

Following the singing of patriotic songs including “I Love My Country,” “Thank You Soldiers,” and “America,” six students introduced their special guests. These honorees were all veterans, having served in various branches of the armed services.

To conclude the ceremony, the crowd joined in to sing “God Bless America.” 
Second-grade teachers Tanya Becker, Amanda McCarthy and Tara Rice, along with music teacher Jane Benstock worked with the children to learn their parts. 

Locust Valley Elementary School Principal Dr. Sophia Gary said the ceremony was beautiful and a fitting tribute to veterans. “The faculty did a tremendous job to ensure that our veterans were honored in the way the deserve and the children made the assembly the beautiful tribute that it was.”

The following veterans were honored during the Celebration of Gratitude:
Edward Ja-kob (great-great-grandfather of Jackson Bosch), Bob Lonigro (grandfather of Kaymon Lonigro), Joe Novack (grandfather of Penelope Novack), Patrick Tomlinson (grandfather of Alex Tomlinson), Warren Wasp (family friend of Charlotte Munsill) and Rick Zappala (family friend of Henry Postillino).

Reinforcing the Importance of Responsible Decision Making

red ribbon collage

Programs and presentations that emphasized making healthy choices filled the days at the middle school and high school during Red Ribbon Week, Oct. 22-26. Events were organized and sponsored by the schools’ Students Against Destructive Decisions clubs, using the theme of the 2018 national Red Ribbon Campaign, “Life is Your Journey, TravelDrug Free.”

From the dangers of drugs to the consequences of inappropriate use of social media, students at both schools were reminded of the importance of making decisions that are healthy, both emotionally and physically. 

Among many activities, high school juniors heard a presentation from two social workers from the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. Amanda Cioffi and Lauren Navarra, who is an LVHS alumna, shared facts and anecdotes about the use of marijuana, alcohol, opiates and vaping. They discussed healthy ways in which students can reduce stress and anxiety, such as exercise, meditation and spending time with friends.

Middle school students attended a presentation by Katie Duffy Schumacher, the founder of Don’t Press Send, an organization that promotes a mindful approach to using social media. Schumacher stressed the importance of thinking before posting to social media, the ramifications that negative posts can have and the ways in which social media can be used appropriately. Schumacher presented her program to parents on the evening of Oct. 24.

High school SADD Club members visited middle school classes to help facilitate discussions on topics related to drinking, decision-making and peer pressure. Middle school SADD Club members asked students to write down how they make good decisions and then hung hundreds of answers in one of the school corridors.

High school psychologists Adriana Marin and Kristen Sylvan, the high school SADD advisers, helped club members coordinate the week’s events. Middle school SADD Club advisers Liz DeGennaro and Amanda Noren helped coordinate the middle school events. Cooperation and assistance from psychologists, guidance counselors and administrators were appreciated.

“The SADD clubs celebrate Red Ribbon Week to help engage students and staff in conversations regarding healthy decision-making and positive coping strategies,” Dr. Marin said. “The goal of the week is to help empower our students if they are ever faced with difficult decisions.”


Don't Miss the LVHS Jesters in Check Please!

check please poster

The Jesters will present the drama Check Please on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 18 at 2 p.m. in the Middle School/High School Auditorium. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door with limited seating for this immersive theater production. Ticket price includes light refreshments.

The audience will be part of the fun as the Jesters act out this story about a series of blind dates that go very wrong. The drama makes it clear that dating can be hard, especially when your date happens to be a raging kleptomaniac, or your grandmother's bridge partner, or a mime. Could there possibly be a light at the end of the tunnel? 

Tickets can be purchased here:  

For group sales or questions, please call 516-277-5144.

December Board of Education Meeting Rescheduled

The Board of Education meeting originally scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 12 has been RESCHEDULED for Thursday, Dec. 6 at 7:30 p.m. in the MS/HS Mini-Theater.

Halloween Celebrations at Intermediate Schools

carved pumpkins

Coming Together in Pink and Green

Bayville Primary School staff members came together to support a colleague on Oct. 29 for PSC Awareness Day. Stacey Eno, a teacher in the school, has a daughter, Hayley, with primary sclerosing cholangitis, a long-term progressive disease that causes inflammation and scarring of the bile ducts of the liver, causing among many other medical conditions, the need for a liver transplant in 2016 when she was 15 years old. 

Some staff members wore pink T-shirts that said “Fight Like Hayley” to show their support and raise awareness of the rare disease. Others wore green shirts in honor of liver disease/cancer awareness month, which is observed in October.

Ms. Eno said her co-workers have helped her get through a difficult time. “The staff at Bayville Primary has been so supportive and I am very grateful,” she said.

Bringing Community Together for Halloween

kids in Halloween costumes

Elementary students dressed in their Halloween costumes went from door to door, trick-or-treating on Sunday, Oct. 28. They didn’t confuse the date for the real Halloween – they went to classrooms at Locust Valley High School, where the student government sponsored Safe Halloween, providing the community’s children with a safe and fun trick-or-treating experience.

Each classroom had a theme, designed and run by members of various high school clubs. The Robotics Club, for example, held a trivia competition complete with electronic buzzers. There was also mummy wrapping, face painting, bowling, arts and crafts and more. In each room, children were given Halloween candy, leaving them with full buckets by the end of the day.

From school families to staff members, the community came together, bringing their children to celebrate, play and show off their costumes. Patrick DiClemente, who attended his first Safe Halloween as the new high school principal, said the event was a great success. 

“Sunday was a proud day as our youngest and oldest students, our staff members and residents joined together for an event filled with many smiles, outstanding costumes and a positive community atmosphere,” he said.

Reinforcing Fire Safety

fire safety collage
Bayville firefighters shared lifesaving tips with students at Bayville Primary School during the fire department’s annual visit on Oct. 19. Reinforcing fire safety tips that are taught to students as part of the primary school curriculum, Bayville’s bravest donned their firefighting gear to show the children that although they may look scary in their protective pants, jackets, helmets and facemasks, they are there to help and children should not hide from them. 

They also demonstrated the Darth Vader-type sound that is heard when they breathe through their oxygen masks. “When you hear that sound, you know help is there,” said firefighter Rashad Abdel. He and his fellow firefighters reminded the children in kindergarten through second grade that they need to have an escape plan and a meeting place that they’ve determined ahead of time with their families. Some other safety rules shared included not rescuing pets or toys themselves, staying low to the ground and, of course, calling 911 for help. 

While the fire safety tips were the most important part of the day, the opportunity to sit in the fire trucks was surely the highlight for this audience. 

Many thanks to the members of Bayville Fire Company No. 1 for taking time out of their busy schedules to promote fire safety to the Bayville Primary School students!


Bilingual Night Builds School/Community Relationships

Photo Collage
A two-night event brought 85 Spanish-speaking parents together in an effort to improve the community/school relationship and facilitate an increase in parental involvement. Bilingual Night was held at Bayville Primary School and Ann MacArthur Primary School on Oct. 16-17. Parents from the elementary, middle and high schools were invited to attend.
Facilitated by Cyndy Ergen, a teaching assistant at Locust Valley Intermediate School, the program covered topics including ways in which parents can obtain support for their children in academics and where they can find information and homework assignments. They were offered assistance in filling out forms and told who to call at the schools for various topics. Attendees were shown that the district website, at, has an option to translate pages into a variety of languages, an option that helps non-English-speaking parents stay informed.
Ms. Ergen assists in translating for the district, by speaking with Spanish-speaking families and translating documents that are sent home. She said the attendees of the bilingual nights were thankful for the information shared. “They were very happy with all the information we gave them because they want to stay involved in their children's academic lives,” she said.
District employees and representatives from outside organizations provided information about services available to families, as Ms. Ergen translated what they were saying.

In its fourth year, the event has proven successful and helpful to district families. Many thanks to Ms. Ergen for her efforts.

Apple Detectives Investigate

A student works on her apple project

A classroom full of desks with plates of apple slices in front of each student usually indicates snack time. However, in Victoria Shishkoff’s first-grade class at Bayville Primary School, this scene is part of a collaborative lesson that teaches math, science, writingand art. Ms. Shishkoff wanted to expand on the apple theme and 
provide an opportunity for the students to have a hands-on experience.

Students were given red, green and yellow apple slices and asked to predict if they would be sweet or sour, if they would sink in water and what color the fruit would turn when soaked in various liquids. They measured the apple slices using various manipulatives, such as cubes, and they stamped the fruits with paint to create pictures.

Ms. Shishkoff said the first-grade curriculum includes lessons on the life cycle of plants, the parts of an apple and how plants protect themselves, so incorporating apples into other lessons was a positive crossover that led to increased learning.  Drawing, graphing, predictions and descriptive writing were incorporated, keeping these young apple detectives engaged and interested.

“I was thrilled with the result of our investigation,” Ms. Shishkoff said. “Giving students the ability to be independent thinkers and make their own decisions based on their very own investigations created a high level of engagement in the activity, therefore increasing the learning.” 

Bayville Primary School Assistant Principal Dorothy McManus said the activity was not only creative, but also inclusive of many learning objectives, making it the perfect lesson. “The entire class was engaged in several interdisciplinary modalities, while feeling independent and having a great time,” she said.


HS Senior Apparel For Sale

Class of 2019 apparel is being sold to raise funds for the senior prom. Orders can be placed by clicking here.

See attached flyer for more details.


Megan's Law Presentation

Two students act out emotions
Ask first, check first was the mantra at elementary school presentations aimed at preventing sexual abuse and abduction. Jen Waters, a sexual offense protection educator with Parents for Megan’s Law, provided students at Ann MacArthur Primary School and Locust Valley Intermediate School with important tips for preventing sexual abuse and for reporting any uncomfortable interactions should they occur.

Ms. Waters told children that it was an unconditional rule that they check with their parents or teachers before going anywhere with an adult that is not the person in charge of them. She explained that predators can use trickery to lure them, such as pretending they need help finding a missing dog. 

“Grownups should never ask children for help,” Ms. Waters said. She explained that if they feel compelled to help someone, they must ask the grownup in charge first and explained that adults should only ask other adults for assistance.

Through stories, roleplaying and videos, Ms. Waters covered various scenarios that children could encounter, such as being touched inappropriately by strangers, neighbors or even relatives. She stressed the importance of telling someone they trust if this happened to them. 

“There are no secrets,” she said. She also stressed that victims are never at fault and by telling someone, the predators can get the help that they need to stop abusing. 

Fourth-grade volunteers participated in a roleplay exercise intended to demonstrate that adults cannot know something happened based on a child’s behavior or facial expressions, but rather may think the youngster is feeling ill or tired. Ms. Waters had the student volunteers act happy or sad without using words and then asked the audience to guess what was making them feel those emotions. 

“Without using words, your parents will not know what happened to you or why you feel sad,” she explained.

Similar presentations are shared with the students each year and geared towards particular ages. As students get older, more detailed information is shared. Ms. Waters gives a more detailed presentation to fifth-graders than to third-graders, for instance. 

Class of 2019 Valedictorian and Salutatorian

The valedictorian and salutatorian pose together
Locust Valley High School is proud to announce that Alim Merchant and Joanna Yu have been named Class of 2019 Valedictorian and Salutatorian respectively. Both students have achieved at extraordinary levels and participate in various activities.
Alim has earned an impressive grade point average of 107.98. He is an IB Diploma candidate and an AP Scholar with Distinction. In addition to the five AP courses and 15 IB courses Alim has taken, he is a member of the Science Research program and is undertaking independent study in multivariable calculus because he advanced past the mathematics courses offered at the high school.
Earning a perfect score of 36 on the ACT performance test puts Alim in an elite category with one-tenth of 1 percent of all those who have taken the ACT. Alim began taking high school courses in middle school, earning a grade of 102 in Algebra, 108 in Living Environment and 98 in Spanish I all while still in seventh grade. He has earned perfect scores of 100 on the U.S. History and Government Regents, Global History Regents and Spanish Checkpoint B.
Active in the history and debate clubs, the ethics and quiz bowls, Odyssey of the Mind and the school’s theater productions, Alim is a well-rounded student who has a zest for learning in all areas.
Joanna has an equally impressive grade point average of 107.29 and is also an IB Diploma candidate and AP Scholar with Distinction. She has taken four AP courses and 13 IB courses, is a Biliteracy Diploma Candidate and has earned perfect scores of 100 on Spanish Checkpoint A and B.
Joanna also began taking high school courses in middle school, excelling in these advanced subjects. She earned grades above 100 in several accelerated subjects while in the eighth grade.
Joanna hones her writing skills as a member of the high school newspaper staff, an activity she enjoys and feels passionate about. She is the captain of the cross-country team and a member of Tri-M Honor Society, as well as a participant in clubs such as Odyssey of the Mind and the high school’s book club. Joanna is grateful for the opportunities she was afforded in school and has taken advantage of them to earn the success that has awarded her the status of salutatorian.
Congratulations to Alim and Joanna!

Three Seniors Named National Merit Commended Students

The commended students pose together
Locust Valley High School congratulates seniors Dean Creedon, Alim Merchant and Joanna Yu who were named National Merit Commended students by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. They are recognized for achieving exceptional scores on the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) as juniors. From among the 1.6 million students across the nation taking the exam, approximately 34,000 were named commended students. 

This elite accomplishment will be a highlight for their resumes and college applications. Congratulations to Dean, Alim and Joanna on this achievement!

Building Towers Builds Skills

Students pose with their tower of cups
Building a tower with classmates is an activity that first-graders in Kim Derenthal’s class enjoy so much that they hardly notice that the Ann MacArthur Primary School teacher is providing instruction that conforms to the curriculum.

Working on problem-solving activities during mathematics instruction, the students worked collaboratively to determine the best way to create a tower by stacking empty cups. The group took turns counting and placing the cups one on top of another. If the tower fell, the students needed to start over, recounting and rebuilding. 

Ms. Derenthal said the class “practiced important skills, including counting, arranging, and organizing, while having fun in the process and reinforcing to always have a growth mindset!”

Empowering Students with Flexible Seating

Two students sit on yoga balls

Second-graders in Dani Schatz’ class at Bayville Primary School are often given choices as to where they would like to sit during a lesson. What makes these choices unique is that they can choose the type of seat, not just the location of that seat. Students can be found sitting on scoop rockers and yoga balls or working at standing desks and on stools while Ms. Schatz walks around the room leading various lessons.

The concept of flexible seating is one that Ms. Schatz researched prior to instituting, with the goal of providing the right work environment for each student. “Every student’s ideal work environment isn’t necessarily sitting at a desk,” she said. “Research shows that when you give students a choice in their physical environment they feel more responsible and empowered, which leads them to completing their work more efficiently.”

Her classroom contains various types of seats, some on the floor, others with writing tables attached. Students are given the opportunity to choose their preferred seating before certain lessons begin. Ms. Schatz said she notices that using the flexible seating options has become a large motivator for students. 

“When they choose the seat that makes them most comfortable, they become more attentive.”  She added that giving them such choices shows students that she trusts them, which gives them a sense of pride and confidence.

Anthony Davidson, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, said flexible seating channels children’s natural need for movement, allowing for the fact that for some children, the opportunity to fidget and move actually increases focus and attention. 

“When educators like Ms. Schatz recognize that sitting still is not an option for many young people and offer flexible seating, students are empowered, their performance increases and negative behaviors decrease,” he said.

Recognizing Excellence Among the Faculty

Five tenure recipients with certificates
Five faculty members have demonstrated that they are among the best in their fields and contributing to the success of the district’s students at a level that is consistent with Locust Valley’s high standards. These distinguished teachers were granted tenure and recognized at a reception hosted by the Board of Education on Oct. 10.

The challenges that these five professionals overcame became when they decided to apply to teach in the district. They first had to be chosen for an interview and then had to make an impression that landed them the job. Having secured a spot as a member of the district’s esteemed faculty, these individuals then had to prove that they did indeed deserve to serve as role models, mentors and teachers to the community’s children.

Being granted tenure is proof that they excelled during the past three years, helping their students to reach educational milestones and to achieve at high levels. They have instilled confidence in these children and gained the respect of their peers and administrators.

For their dedication and excellence, the following faculty members were honored: Brittany Fassari, Bayville Primary School Special Education Teacher; Marie Fonzo, Bayville Elementary School Teacher; Devon Gallagher, Ann MacArthur Primary School Librarian; Doreen Kobus, Middle School/High School Home and Careers Teacher; and Wendy Mendoza, High School Mathematics Teacher.

Board of Education President Brian T. Nolan and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Anna F. Hunderfund welcomed the honorees and their guests, praising and thanking them for being exceptional educators. Administrators from each building spoke about the newly tenured teachers with pride.

“We are grateful to have such outstanding individuals on our faculty,” said Dr. Hunderfund. “It is my honor and privilege to recognize each of them for the exceptional impact that each has had on our children and our district.”

Congratulations to all of the tenure recipients!

Board of Education Honors Academic Excellence

Locust Valley High School congratulates the accomplishments of current and past students who have distinguished themselves as International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement Scholars, some with honors and distinctions.

Presented with certificates at the Oct. 10 Board of Education meeting, the AP scholars were recognized for their dedication to academics. The achievement is an elite designation for resumes and college applications.

AP scholars have earned a score of three or higher on at least three AP exams. AP Scholars with Honors have earned at least a 3.25 on all of their AP exams and AP Scholars with Distinction have earned a score of three or higher on a minimum of four AP exams.

Students earning the Locust Valley IB Scholar designation have achieved a four or better on no fewer than three IB exams. The alumni were recognized based on exams scores that were released during the summer and therefore could not attend the meeting as many are at colleges and universities outside of the area.

Congratulations to the following Locust Valley High School students and graduates from the Class of 2018:

Advanced Placement Scholars

Student AP Designation Grade
Zophie M. Lemaitre AP Scholar 10
Alexandra L. Amendolara AP Scholar 11
Sophie A. Barteau AP Scholar 11
Christopher E. Bartell AP Scholar 11
Lisa A. Cheung AP Scholar 11
Nina R. Cialone AP Scholar 11
Nils R. Coffey AP Scholar 11
Avery E. Denatale AP Scholar 11
Gage X. Denatale AP Scholar 11
Michael C. DiSpirito AP Scholar 11
Patrick J. Fallon AP Scholar 11
Julia G. Forte AP Scholar 11
Benjamin T. Levin AP Scholar 11
Emma R. Livoti AP Scholar 11
Jordan A. Mastrodomenico AP Scholar 11
Nitha J. Paulus AP Scholar 11
Michelle M. Perrin AP Scholar 11
Noah S. Pietrafesa AP Scholar 11
Ferah L. Shaikh AP Scholar 11
Katherine H. Simon AP Scholar 11
Francis B. Valdinoto AP Scholar 11
Eriks J. Zamurs AP Scholar 11
Victoria A. Chisari AP Scholar w/ Honors 11
Michelle A. Hsu AP Scholar w/ Distinction 11
Katherine G. Berritto AP Scholar 12
Dean Creedon AP Scholar 12
Matthew J. Doyle AP Scholar 12
Christopher J. Dunne Jr. AP Scholar 12
Howard T. Hogan AP Scholar 12
Victoria M. Mangelli AP Scholar 12
Doran B. McCormack AP Scholar 12
Joseph M. McNamara AP Scholar 12
Nicolas L. Reimer AP Scholar 12
Caroline M. Rice AP Scholar 12
Vincent S. Valli AP Scholar 12
Olivia H. Van Velsor AP Scholar 12
William R. VonToussaint AP Scholar 12
Brooke F. Cody AP Scholar w/ Honors 12
Marlene J. Goldstein AP Scholar w/ Distinction 12
Alim S. Merchant AP Scholar w/ Distinction 12
Olivia G. Olynciw AP Scholar w/ Distinction 12
Kyra A. Schmeizer AP Scholar w/ Distinction 12
Joanna Yu AP Scholar w/ Distinction 12

Advanced Placement Scholars - Graduates

Student AP Designation
Danya W. Karch AP Scholar
Kendall E. Morfis AP Scholar
Jessica E. Penny AP Scholar
Margaret S. Ryan AP Scholar
Spencer M. Weingord AP Scholar
Nicholas E. Chisari AP Scholar w/ Honors
Jake Lachman AP Scholar w/ Honors
Jack Ward AP Scholar w/ Honors
Elisabeth Baumann AP Scholar w/ Distinction
Charlotte A. Creedon AP Scholar w/ Distinction
Brooke P. DiSpirito AP Scholar w/ Distinction
Lucas Ferrante AP Scholar w/ Distinction
Hannah R. Fitzgerald AP Scholar w/ Distinction
William A. Fitzgerald AP Scholar w/ Distinction
Andrew P. Weiss AP Scholar w/ Distinction

IB Scholars – Graduates

Katherine Avazis Carly Knopf
Kelly Barker Jake Lachman
Elisabeth Baumann Evangelia Linardos
Alexandra Bebry Sarah Loher
Bridget Bianco Arianna Lombardi
Isabella Byrne Caroline Martocci
Jarred Byron Maya Mehta
Julia Cervoni Elizabeth Meringolo
Nicholas Chisari Alec Miranda
Craig Conn Emily Moran
Charlotte Creedon Kendall Morfis
Edgar Cruz Julia Orski
Leonardo D'Auria-Gupta Hannah Paulus
Gabrielle Dammers Ella Paz
Danielle DeStefanis Jessica Penny
Brooke Di Spirito Emily Petersen
Thomas Eletto Ravi Prasad
Lucas Ferrante Olivia Proko
Rebecca Finke Margaret Ryan
Hannah FitzGerald Ava Schieferstein
William FitzGerald Shannon Simak
Natalia Gonzalez William Trampel
Olivia Guma Jack Ward
Sophia Haynes Spencer Weingord
William Holowchak Andrew Weiss
Larissa Izaguirre Tyler Williams
Danya Karch Danielle Zambuto
Kyle Kavrazonis Jason Zhou
Maxwell Keller

Outstanding String Musicians

Musicians pose with instruments and teacher
For their outstanding performances at the New York State School Music Association last spring, two high school musicians have earned one of the highest accolades of acceptance to the NYSSMA All-State Winter Conference to be held in Rochester on Nov. 29-Dec. 2.

Double bassist Nils Coffey and violinist Nicholas Siconolfi will take the stage with the All-State String Orchestra at the festival. The high school juniors are both members of the school’s orchestra and chamber orchestra and participate in ensembles outside of school. 

Music subject matter coordinator Marc Yavoski said the music department faculty is extremely proud of Nils and Nicholas for being accepted into this highly competitive festival. 

“Nils and Nicholas are diligent and talented young musicians who are very deserving of the opportunity to represent Locust Valley High School at the NYSSMA All-State Festival. This will be a musical experience that they will cherish always,” he said.

The Board of Education will hold a meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 7:30 p.m. at Bayville Primary School

The Board of Education will hold a meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 7:30 p.m. at Bayville Primary School.


Digging Deep for a Cure

JV and varsity teams at bake sale
JV and varsity teams with pink volleyball
JV team at bake sale
Student buy goods at bake sale
Varsity and junior varsity volleyball players became bakers, salesmen and philanthropists in support of the ninth annual Dig Pink fundraiser. The event, held on Oct. 1 to commemorate the start of Breast Cancer Awareness month, raised nearly $800 for breast cancer research in just one day. 

Trading in their usual volleyball uniforms for pink T-shirts that read “Volley for a Cure” next to the iconic pink breast cancer awareness ribbon, the girls sold baked goods to students and staff after school. From pink cupcakes to pastries tied up with pink ribbon, the event not only raised funds, but increased awareness as well. 

Both teams played their annual nonleague games against Glen Cove High School following the bake sale. The Glen Cove teams also wore special pink uniforms.

Varsity coach Bobbee Brancaccio said the event is important to the volleyball teams. “The girls work hard to make this event a success, as they want to make a difference and see a decrease in the number of people diagnosed with cancer.”

Dig Pink is a national breast cancer rally organized by the Side-Out Foundation, which encourages middle school and high school volleyball teams to hold events supporting the cause each October.

Cheering for a Cause

Cheerleaders pose with socks
The varsity cheerleaders have become the cheering section for an important cause that has hit them personally. The team worked together to raise awareness for childhood cancer during September, in support of their teammate Gianna LoRusso and her sister Sabrina who lost their 12-year-old sister, Olivia, to leukemia in 2017. 

For the entire month of September, which is designated Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, the team wore black socks with large gold ribbons, the color that represents childhood cancer. Additionally, the girls placed gold ribbons throughout town to raise awareness. The socks came from the Olivia Hope Foundation, an organization started by the LoRusso family to raise awareness and funds to find a cure for childhood cancers.

Gianna, a junior at Locust Valley High School, said that it means a lot to her that her team recognized the importance of spreading awareness. “This is happening and it’s a big deal,” she said of childhood cancers. “It was Olivia’s hope that other children wouldn’t have to suffer, and we are going to help make her wish come true.” Gianna said that raising awareness is important because people don’t realize how many children are diagnosed with cancer. 

Gianna attended the high school’s grade-level assemblies at the start of the school year to discuss this topic and share with her peers ways in which they could help. 

Varsity cheerleading coach Carole Hellyer said she was proud of the team for taking on such an important cause and for recognizing that one of their teammates needed support. 

Dancing the Night Away

Girls and boys at dance

The high school’s first homecoming dance was a success, with 175 students dancing to the music of a DJ and getting in the spirit for a weekend of fun. The senior class organized the event as a fundraiser for the senior prom. The Class of 2019 student government members thought that having a dance would help keep the enthusiasm going for the homecoming parade and game the following day. They were right!

Homecoming Victory!


The Locust Valley Falcons gave fans something to cheer about as they clinched a homecoming win with a field goal during overtime. Cheerleaders and fans stormed the field to celebrate the 19-18 win over the Malverne Mules.

It was a perfect ending to a full day of celebrating Locust Valley. The day started off with extraordinary spirit as residents and business owners lined the streets to cheer on the high school students as they paraded through town with their Disney-themed floats. Following the official parade, elementary students dressed in Disney costumes paraded on the high school track, escorted by cheerleaders and cheered on by onlookers. 

In addition to making a float for the parade, each grade had a booth to raise money for their class. Students were selling Falcon gear, popcorn, raffles and one class had a photo booth with Falcon-themed props. Athletic Council not only manned the concession stand where fans could get snacks and drinks, they also coordinated the homecoming events, including the pep rally and Spirit Week, which helped enthusiasm grow leading up to the big day. Each day of Spirit Week focused on celebrating the Falcons. The fun included dress-up days at every school, from Disney day and tourist day to wearing green from head to toe. Each high school class decorated a hallway in the school and competed for most spirited and then for best float in the parade. The freshmen took first place in both categories. 

During halftime, seniors Ava Famiglietti and Brock Sandillo were announced as homecoming queen and king, respectively. Princess and prince went to juniors Carlyn Liebold and Matt Barnaby. Exciting performances by the cheerleaders and kickline teams kept the energy high in preparation for the second half of the football game. Throughout the game, the high school pep band provided a musical backdrop.

Homecoming 2018 was not only a victory for the Falcons, but for the entire community, which came together to celebrate. 

Spirit Soars at High School Pep Rally


Falcons Unite Through Play

Three photos depict students playing at FalconFest.

A volleyball flew across a net, a kickball soared to the outfield and runners dashed across the field in relay races during Locust Valley Middle School’s first-ever Falcon Fest. The field day, initiated and sponsored by Falcon Pride Athletic Booster Club, allowed sixth-graders to bond with their teammates, some of whom they had not met before entering middle school.

Falcon Pride Board members John Johnson, Rick Pisciotta and Gary Terrell, along with club member Joe Gallo, arrived at the school’s upper field early on Sept. 14 to set up. They offered support and encouragement to participants who were smiling, cheering and having a great time in their team colors of red, blue, yellow and green.

Dr. Danielle Turner, Director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics, said she was thrilled to be part of Falcon Fest. “The success of Falcon Fest 2018 was a direct reflection of just how special the Locust Valley community is. In addition to support from faculty, administrators and grounds crew, Falcon Pride took the lead and went above and beyond to ensure that our sixth-graders were all smiles to start the year with their new classmates.”

John Johnson said the objective of Falcon Fest was to build unity within the sixth-grade class as the students begin their middle school/high school years together. “This was also a great way for the parents, teachers and athletic coaches to meet one another and form bonds that will benefit the students as we all work together to support them.”

Middle School Assistant Principal Michael LoGerfo said that Falcon Fest was a huge success. “The students had a great time and felt connected. This was a wonderful teambuilding activity to bring them together and provide a foundation for success throughout the year.”

Falcon Pride has provided support to the Locust Valley schools in a number of ways over the years, including through donations of big-ticket athletic items that the school district would otherwise not be able to purchase. The organization’s generous donations include, but are not limited to, the Wall of Fame, the concession stand, scoreboards, tennis courts, golf cart, wrestling mat, dugouts and signage.


Senior Named National Merit Semifinalist

Locust Valley High School congratulates senior Adit Dutta for being named a semifinalist in the National Merit Scholarship Program sponsored by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Adit is recognized for achieving an exceptional score on the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) as a junior when he took the exam along with 1.6 million students across the nation. Of those high school students, only approximately 16,000 were named semifinalists. 

Adit will now compete for a spot as a finalist by providing proof of his high academic achievements throughout high school and by earning a score on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) that is consistent with his performance on the PSAT. In February 2019, the National Merit Corporation will name the finalists who will go on to compete for the actual scholarships.

An IB Diploma candidate, Adit is also a member of the wrestling team and the AIDS Awareness Club. He plays the piano and has a talent for drawing, which he practices in his IB Art course.  Adit is considering majoring in Biology and preparing for a possible career in dentistry. 

Congratulations to Adit on this elite accomplishment!

Welcoming New Teachers

New teachers pose for a photo during orientation
The district welcomed new teachers at an orientation held prior to the start of school. The newest members of our Locust Valley school community were given a tour of the schools and plenty of information to help them succeed during the 2018-2019 school year and beyond.

Representatives from the human resources department, business office and technology department met with the teachers in the administration building. Superintendent Dr. Anna F. Hunderfund welcomed the group as well. The new employees then went to their individual schools to meet with their principals.  

The teachers were well prepared for the first day of school and started off successfully. Please welcome the following faculty members when you see them:

Melaina Badalian, high school mathematics; Patrick Barry, high school social studies leave replacement; Allison Basdavanos, elementary speech; Charles Bull, middle school music leave replacement; Abigail Casale, high school English; Louis DeRose, high school science leave replacement; Dr. Melissa Furino, Ann MacArthur Primary School psychologist; Roberto Gutierrez, high school physical education; Deniz Gumusdere, Locust Valley Intermediate School ESL; Thomas Russo, Bayville Primary School special education; Valerie Russo, middle school special education leave replacement; Victoria Shishkoff, Bayville Primary School; and Allison Sidor, Locust Valley Elementary School. 

Preparing for a Successful School Year

Students learn to use their new lockers

Students and staff were gracing the hallways of LVCSD schools as preparations were made to open the doors on a new year on Sept. 5.

During the last week of August, orientations were held for incoming sixth- and ninth-graders at their respective schools. Middle school orientation included eighth-graders giving tours to the newest students, teaching them how to use their lockers and offering advice on a variety of topics important to middle school survival. The students were also welcomed by the administrators and shown where all of their classrooms are, based on their individual schedules.

At the high school, freshmen were introduced to Naviance, an important program they will use throughout high school to keep track of items they will need for college applications as seniors. They also received a welcome from administrators and met the new high school principal, Patrick DiClemente. Upperclassmen guided tours of the high school and shared a pizza lunch with their newest classmates before saying goodbye.

On Sept. 4, the entire staff was welcomed back for Superintendent’s Conference Day. Teachers, teaching assistants and nurses from across the district gathered at the middle school/high school for faculty meetings, department meetings, professional development and Challenge Day. Challenge Day is an interactive program that helps to break down walls of separation and isolation and replace them with compassion. The program’s intention is to inspire people to live, study and work in an environment of acceptance, love and respect.

District administrators, counselors and psychologists brought the Challenge Day workshop to the staff to help them bond and to have tools to use to share the benefits of the program with their students. 

The district is off to a good start for the 2018-19 school year!