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Teaming began in Locust Valley Middle School in 1995. Students in these teams share the same teachers for the core subjects of English, Math, Social Studies Science. This team approach permits teachers including Individual Needs teachers to meet daily to coordinate curriculum, assessments, field trips, and special activities for their students. One day a week has been set aside for the team to meet with the parents of students. At least once a year an interdisciplinary event is held to highlight the curriculum focus for the entire year.

National Junior Honor Society Inducts Newest Members

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With nearly 80 Locust Valley Middle School students earning the right to join the exclusive National Junior Honor Society, the school’s auditorium was filled with proud family members for the formal induction ceremony.

Kieran Moran, the president of the Locust Valley chapter, opened the ceremony with the grace and professionalism of a seasoned speaker. He welcomed the inductees and guests and led the traditional candle lighting ceremony with fellow officers Vice President Carly Wolfe, Secretary Catherine Blackman, Treasurer Christopher Cooney and Service Officer Bela Castellanos.

Assistant Principal Michael LoGerfo said the students being inducted and the current members have all persevered. “Perseverance is a word that means we are going to keep on going no matter what the obstacles may be,” he said. He explained that there was so much pride for this group because they have proven that they can do just that.

Board of Education President Jennifer Maselli, whose daughter was one of the inductees, thanked the students for embracing the five pillars of the National Junior Honor Society, which are scholarship, service, leadership, character and citizenship.  Ms. Maselli said she searched the internet for famous members of National Honor Society, and some that stood out to her were the founders of YouTube. 

“They took a chance on an idea, they invested all of their time into solving a problem and they knew they risked failure,” she said. She emphasized that success has no formula, but rather often comes from taking risks.

Interim Superintendent of Schools Thomas P. Dolan, Ed.D., said, “We know that you will exceed our expectations as you have done here tonight.” He said the inductees were on a path to showing us that their contribution to society will be far greater than anyone has imagined.

National Junior Honor Society advisers Kelley Grassi and Jennifer Tichy offered guidance to ensure the event ran smoothly.

Congratulations to all of the inductees!


County Recognition For Paula Dragone

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Paula Dragone, senior account clerk in the athletic office, has been awarded the Bondene Westring Award by the Nassau County Chapter of the New York State Athletic Administrators Association. This award is given to the administrative assistant who displays devotion to duty, commitment to excellence and a love of children. 
“We all know that Paula is the backbone of the athletic department,” said Dr. Danielle Turner, LVCSD Director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics. “I am thrilled that she is being recognized at the county level for the hard work she does in Locust Valley. Her efforts are often recognized by coaches and players, and now a wider audience will understand her value to our program.”
Ms. Dragone will be given her award and recognized at a luncheon given by the Nassau Chapter of the NYSAAA on June 12.

Sixth Graders Have the World in Their Hands

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Sixth graders recently took a trip around the world through the eyes of a true world traveler. During a presentation by Michael Harrold of Jambo Productions, the students viewed an educational program that allowed them to interact with actual artifacts and hear firsthand anecdotes about other cultures.

With a focus on Egypt, the traveling museum aligned with the sixth grade social studies units of study on ancient river valleys and classical civilizations. 

“The opportunity to view photographs and feel real artifacts helps bring history alive for students, and they are likely to remember much about Egypt from the engaging manner in which the information was presented,” said Bryan Sarandrea, Locust Valley coordinator of social studies and business, K-12. He added that Mr. Harrold’s reinforcement that other cultures should be viewed with positivity and respect was an important message for the middle school students.

Jambo Productions works with schools to celebrate the world’s cultural diversity and brought many items from a variety of countries to demonstrate that children and adults live differently around the world. From musical instruments to household tools, students had the opportunity to examine and try things they have never seen in person before.


Seventh Grader Becomes Two-Time Spelling Bee Champ

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An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but for one student a McIntosh made her the Locust Valley Middle School spelling bee champion.

Spelling McIntosh correctly, seventh grader Inshaal Abid took the school title for the second year in a row. Last year, her winning word was “astonishment.” Both as a sixth grader and seventh grader she has beaten her older classmates to the podium.

Sixth grade runner-up Evie Bergman helped prove that age does not guarantee a win. The girls competed among 25 middle school students who had each been the winner in their individual English classes. 

Inshaal now must take a 50-question written computer test to qualify for the Teachers Federal Credit Union Long Island Regional Spelling Bee on March 12, 2020. Each round of competition is part of the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

We are rooting for you, Inshaal! 

Two-Time Geography Bee Winner

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For the second year in a row, seventh grader John Hartnett took first place in the Locust Valley Middle School level of the National Geographic GeoBee. As a sixth grader, John traveled to Albany after qualifying to compete in the state level of the competition.

With 25 students in sixth, seventh and eighth grade competing on stage at the school-level geography bee, John answered every question correctly, with topics ranging from United States cities to identifying the continent in which a particular city is located. Rowan Shenoy took the second place spot in the competition.

Answering questions based on topics covered in the middle school social studies curriculum, the students earned their spots in the schoolwide competition by first winning at the classroom level.

"This year's competitors were extremely well prepared and knowledgeable,” said coordinator of social studies and business, K-12, Bryan Sarandrea. “Their ability to correctly answer questions that stretched their knowledge base far outside of social studies class was impressive."

John will now take an online test to qualify to compete at the state level again. 

Good luck, John!