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					                                                                             VOLUME 5 ISSUE 2

SACHEM SHOWCASE                                                              MARCH 2010



Dear Members of the Sachem Family,

There are truly so many wonderful events taking place throughout our district. The pages of this
newsletter offer a sampling of these activities and success stories. It is truly a credit to our
teachers, administrators, staff members, students and families that Sachem continues to be a
very effective and positive learning environment.

As I meet with my colleagues from around Long Island, I am always reminded of the fact that
the members of our Sachem Family enjoy a mutually respectful relationship which always bene-
fits our children. My hope is that we continue to grow together, that we respect differences of
opinion, that we seek to understand and that we support each other always.

We are coming to the end of our budget process, but please know that we are always receptive
of your input. I am confident that we will present our community with a budget that supports
high quality educational programs for our students while always being sensitive to the needs of
our taxpayers. Please do not forget to vote on May 18.

I sincerely thank you for your continued help and support. If you ever require my assistance or
wish to discuss anything, please feel free to stop by my office or give me a call. Thank you.

James J. Nolan
Superintendent of Schools
                                                             Inside this issue:

                                                              Highlights and Happenings       2

                                                              High School Highlights          3

                                                              Middle Schools Make a Difference 6

                                                              Elementary Excitement           8

                                                              BOE Goals                       17
                                                                                                             Page 2

...As part of the annual P.A.R.P program at Hiawatha Elementary School the Sachem North
Football team and their Head Coach David Falco came over to Hiawatha on three different
occasions to participate in the kick-off assembly and read to classes. The players provided Hia-
watha students with the motivation necessary to read 1,200 books in three weeks. The collabo-
ration was a great success!

...Reflections Winners honored at Tamarac. The Tamarac PTA honored the Reflection
Contest winners at an awards ceremony on January 26, 2010. The winners included:~Film
Production: Gabrian Chua (Gabrian also won at the county level and will move on to the
NYS competition!!) ~Literature: Samantha Kelly, Emily Yellen, Steven
Karl ~Photography: Samantha Kelly, Emily Yellen, Alexis Gali ~Visual Arts: Nikki
Credidio, Dana Heffernan, Abinaya Anand

...When they heard about the devastating earthquake in Haiti, the students at Tamarac wanted to
help. The “Hearts for Haiti” fundraiser, sponsored by the “Tamarac 911 Chapter” of NEHS gave
the Tamarac Learning Community an opportunity to make a difference. Hearts were purchased for
a dollar, decorated, and hung in one large heart in the Tamarac Cafeteria. The Fundraiser raised
over $2,000.00, which will be donated to the American Red Cross for relief efforts.

….Sequoya Art Student Recognition-The following students had work selected for an exhibition in the Youth Art
Showcase in the Mills Pond House Gallery in St. James. The Showcase is open to all Suffolk County students in grades
8-12. The exhibition runs from February 12th – March 12th with an opening reception on Saturday, February 13th from
2:00-4:00 P.M. Be sure to congratulate these students as you see them. Artists: Brittany Bennet, Danielle Doyle,
Jessica Laveroni, Marisa Pandolfo, Rebecca Smith and Andrew Wooster.

... Go Red Day at Waverly-Once again, Waverly teachers and staff donated time and money for
a worthy cause! When Waverly parent Mrs. McKenna, American Heart Association’s Eastern Suf-
folk County Regional Director, called for fund raising help, Waverly answered. The Physical Edu-
cation staff celebrates Healthy Heart Month throughout February and were happy to add Go Red
Day to their many activities emphasizing the importance of heart health. Friday, February 5, 2010,
was National Wear Red Day and Waverly was ablaze in red! Faculty and staff wore red and
proudly displayed their red dress pin earned through their donation. At the end of the day a
check for $160.00 was sent to the American Heart Association care of the wonderful teachers and staff at Waverly
whose hearts are both healthy and generous!

...Winter Olympics come to Waverly- Mr. Jon Norberg, a retired physical education teacher from Middle
Country School District, visited Waverly in January and set up a Winter Olympic theme in the gymna-
sium. Mr. Norberg gave the students some background information on the Olympics and demonstrated to
the students various events that are played at the Olympics. Mr. Norberg started each class off by having
an Olympic torch-light ceremony. Once the Flame was lit, the students were able to participate in Wav-
erly’s Winter Olympics.

...Sagamore held a volleyball tournament to raise funds for the victims of the Haitian earthquake.
Approximately $1500 was raised for Americares.

...Congratulations to Michael Andreassi, a junior at Sachem North and Lacrosse player, for recently
securing his spot at UMass playing for the Minutemen in the 2011-2012 school year.
                                                                                                                          Page 3

       Sachem North HS Delivers: Students, Faculty, Staff Make Special Delivery to SBUMC Emergency Department

On Monday, December 14, 2009, the Sachem School District celebrated, in part, its Tree of Lights
Festival, when 14 students accompanied by faculty and staff, led by Mr. Jose Cruz, Assistant Prin-
cipal from Sachem North High School (pictured far right), delivered a fully decorated Christmas
tree to the Emergency Department at Stony Brook University Medical Center as a symbol of gratitude
for taking care of beloved teacher, Laura Clifford, who suffered a heart attack earlier this year while
swimming laps in the pool at Sachem North High School. The District credits the quick actions of the
SBUMC ER that saved her life. The attending emergency physician, Dr. Erika Newton, and ED nurse,
Jeffrey Popp, who initially treated Ms. Clifford and were invited to the dedication, credited the first responders who adminis-
tered CPR on the scene. "They saved her life," said Dr. Newton. "This is a wonderful surprise," she added. "We were not
expecting it. It's not often that our patients think of the ED staff -- we treat them and admit them, the shorter amount of
time they spend with us, the better."

                          Sachem North Cheerleaders Land Third in UCA National Championship

Sachem North cheerleading would kindly like the world of high-spirited stuntmen and women to know its name. The team
will even spell it out for you. With a few lively screams and a routine set to a medley of songs such as "Heaven on Earth"
and "Public Service Announcement," the girls of S-A-C-H-E-M reintroduced themselves to the national cheerleading world
this week at the UCA National Championship in Orlando, Fla. And as it turned out, they're pretty good at this whole cheer-
leading thing. "The feeling you get when you hear 'Sachem North' and 'third place,' it's a complete shock moment," senior
and co-captain Jillian Schook said. The team's third captain is also a senior -Stephanie Deboer.

Sachem placed third behind Bob Jones (Madison, Ala.) and Upper Darby (Pa.); Sachem East placed sixth. Though the
Flaming Arrows have come in first in smaller divisions, this is the best the team has ever done, said coach Jamie D'Andrea.
In the past three years, Sachem North placed 10th in large schools and sixth in a coed smaller school division. Even so,
when it came to the large school varsity group, the most competitive division in nationals, few people picked out the girls in
gold and black as competitors to watch.

"We weren't really known and no one was expecting us," Schook said. When Dunbar [Lexington, Ky.], last year's third-place
team and the subject of an episode of "Cheerleader Nation," passed them in the practice area, "they didn't look at us. They
didn't know we were a team to look out for," she said. With different teams came similar reactions: "No one could pro-
nounce it," Schook said. "The teams didn't know who we were. They'd say 'Sah-chem.' "

In the end, it was their high difficulty routine that spoke for them. Double back handsprings, round-off handsprings and full-
up stunts - over the course of a grueling few months of practice, these became just a few of Sachem North's favorite things.
"We were doing stunts and tucks from the beginning," D'Andrea said. "We went to [cheerleading] camp in August and we
already had a full team doing full-up [aerial] stunts from the get-go." Executing from those first tentative days to the finals
was "a big accomplishment," said senior Jackie Tomascello, also a captain. The team lost some 13 seniors to graduation
and revamped in the new school year. The talent was certainly there, D'Andrea said, but some had to hurdle mental road-
blocks in order to pull off more difficult stunts. "The big thing was don't be afraid," D'Andrea said. "With trying the much
more elite stunts, they had the talent, but they lacked the confidence . . . They write it on their socks now, 'Confidence.' "
The magic marker seems to work.

One of the Flaming Arrows' premier tumblers was one of those unsure freshmen: Kristina Hadnagy. During the national
routine, she took over most of the double back handspring tucks along with Taylor DeSimone. "We didn't do our best rou-
tine," Tomascello admitted, as the team lacked a touch of the polish it had in other competitions. "But the difficulty was
there. We were expecting the worst, but they kept calling the names and the placing and
we realized they hadn't called our name." Indeed, the routine had demanded respect. The
medley hits the familiar strains of the Aretha Franklin hit, "Respect," when four fliers exe-
cute identical aerial portions of a kick twist basket toss. They fly up in the air, almost sus-
pended, before twisting their bodies 360 degrees - landing surely in the arms of four await-
ing teammates. It was an attention-getter, to be sure - even for people who can't pro-
nounce Sachem.

"Yeah," Schook said, laughing. "I'm pretty sure next year, they'll know who we are."
                                                                                                Page 4


“When our ESL teacher told us we were going to stand up in front of native-English-speaking stu-
dents and talk about what it was like to come to this country speaking no English, I told her she
should just give me a zero. I wasn’t going to do it,” admits Melina Marte from the Dominican Re-

“We were very nervous when we heard about the presentations because none of us had ever spo-
ken in front of a big group before,” Safia Munawar agrees, “but we practiced for two weeks –
over and over again – working on our accents, our volume, and learning to smile.”

On February 24th, the Advanced ESL students at North described to three Peer Educator
classes what it feels like to leave your life and culture behind, come to the U.S. speaking no Eng-
lish, and enter a new school. The ESL students showed pictures of the uniforms they wore in their
native countries, and described the freedom they felt there because most of them walked to
school and ambled home with friends afterwards. “My friends and I hung out on the central Plaza
after school, buying snacks or kicking a soccer ball,” said Nazary Escamilla. “I miss my life in

Sahdia Munawar profiled the different literacy rates in the countries our ESL population repre-
sents. In Senegal, for instance, only 39% of adults can read and write. In Pakistan, where Sahdia
comes from, 63 % of men can read and write, but only 36 % of women, because girls are often
kept home.

All the ESL students underscored the loneliness they felt when they first came here speaking no
English. “Some people tried to talk to me,” said Mo Numsinvicheitchai from Thailand, “but I
couldn’t understand them and they couldn’t understand me, so we couldn’t hang out.”

All of the Advanced ESL students have learned English now and made new friends. “Meeting the
Peer Educators was a great opportunity to share our experience with other students,” said Jenny
Escobar of El Salvador. After the presentations, all the students in the room broke into small
groups. “They asked us lots of questions,” related Jeffen Benson of India. “They were friendly
and we had fun.”

“I am a little shy and can’t really talk in front of people,” conceded Veronica Rivera of Mexico,
“but I think I did a good job that day and I really enjoyed the experience.”
                                                                                                Page 5


Volunteer Service Pays Off for Sachem East Senior

Sachem East senior, Nicole Mieczkowski has been honored for her exemplary volunteer service
with a Certificate of Excellence from the 2010 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards Program. As a
member of Sachem East’s Interact Volunteer Club, Nicole has played an integral role in the op-
eration of blood drives as well as other fundraising activities to support worthy causes such as Park-
inson’s disease research and efforts to help workers from the site of the World Trade Towers who
have fallen ill. Nicole has demonstrated a clear passion for helping others and we are proud to
share her recognition with the Sachem community so that she may serve as a role model for other
young people.

Caption: Nicole Mieczkowski with her guidance counselor, Ms.
Jackson, Interact Volunteer Coordinator, Mr. Lemke and Princi-
pal, Rory Manning

Science Research Student Receives NSF Travel Grant

Congratulations to Sachem East senior Beverly Agtuca who received a travel
grant from the National Science Foundation to present her research at the 6th
Annual International Phytotechnology Conference in St. Louis. This is an excep-
tional accomplishment because these grants are typically reserved for collegiate
or professional researchers. Beverly was the only high school student to present
at this conference. She was recognized by the Sachem Board of Education in

Caption: Sachem East senior Beverly Agtuca with Principal, Rory Manning

Sachem East DECA Team Successful at Regional Competition

Sachem East DECA returned from regional competition in early January with an impressive 18
awards and an honorable mention. The students competed in varied events within the business
theme such as Business Law and Ethics, Automotive Services Marketing, Public Speaking and Free
Enterprise. The top finishers in each category received a plaque and are eligible to participate in the
NYS Career Conference held in Rochester in early March.

Caption: Sachem East DECA award winners
                                                                                                        Page 6


On January 14, 2010, blues musician “Little” Toby Walker led Seneca students on a musical journey from
the hardships of the American South to the teeming cities of the North, following the historical Great Migra-
tion of African Americans.

Faced with the challenge of bringing history to life for his students, social studies teacher Mr. Donald
Kazmark seized upon the idea of bringing this talented performer to Seneca. Mr. Walker is a unique and
accomplished fingerstyle guitar virtuoso, as well as skilled singer and songwriter. After years studying blues
and other traditional American music and tracking down his musical forbears, as well as touring concert
halls and festivals throughout the United States and Europe, Mr. Walker began visiting schools around the
country in order to share his historical understanding and love of the blues.

Using his various guitars, harmonica, and even the primitive one-string “Diddley Bow,”
Mr. Walker presented a highly entertaining and educational performance that touched
upon his personal experiences in the South as well as the racism faced by African
Americans. From work songs and mournful acoustic laments through to raucous elec-
trified blues, Mr. Walker’s music followed the chronology and geography of post-Civil
War migration. A particular highlight was his use of the harmonica to imitate the
sound of a locomotive, Model T Ford, and even a little boy’s voice.

It is rare for students to have the opportunity to experience and interact with such a
renowned musician first hand, and they left that day both elated by the event, and a
little wiser about their country’s history. They have “Little” Toby Walker and Mr.
Kazmark to thank for that.


As the once rigid ground shifted violently on the streets of Port-au-Prince on January 20, 2010, any sense
of security or calm that existed in the hearts of the island’s population was immediately decimated in a
manner comparable only to that of the toppling Haitian infrastructure. On surer ground at Seneca Middle
School, the reverberation of the initial earthquake sent students and teachers into instantaneous response

Often times in education, students are asked to understand a word or idea through that term’s relationship
to a fixed thought or image. In this particular case, working to aid those in need, the student population
banded together to understand a term not by rote recitation, but rather through humanitarian action.

Guided by Mrs. Ruggero and Mrs. Curry, and working with the Ameri-
can Red Cross and Haitian Americans for Change, Seneca students have
collected water, non-perishable food items, medical supplies, personal
hygiene products, and - through a “Hats for Haiti” day during which they
could wear hats in exchange for a donation - approximately $1,000.

The goal is quite simple: to collect necessities for those most in need, not for praise or
admiration, but for the individual satisfaction of doing good.
                                                                                                                   Page 7

As part of the new Technology Education energy curriculum, students at Sequoya Middle School are learning
answers to the question “Where does electricity come from?” Students explore the “pros” and “cons” of the use of
coal, wind, nuclear, hydroelectric, solar, and oil for our main sources of electricity. The internal workings of each
power plant are explained to them and they get to experience first hand a small student-powered power plant.

Using an electric motor from a donated treadmill, Mr. VanKurin built a pedal-powered generator. With a little help
from the students, a series of light bulbs are lit up on the display board; however, it becomes harder to pedal each
time a light bulb is turned on. Students are thus challenged to see how many bulbs they can light up.

We typically have little understanding of the energy needed to power our lights, televisions and other electronics we
take for granted each day, so as students struggle to power one 60 Watt light bulb on the bike generator, they can
more accurately imagine how much energy a power plant produces to light their house when the sun goes down.
When they experience how easy it is to power one, two and even three compact fluorescent light bulbs, they truly feel
the need for energy conservation.

Further studies into electric measurement, AC vs. DC current, insulators vs.
conductors, energy conversions, energy conservation, gear ratios and much
more can be covered with the bike generator. Plus, it is a great way for the
students let off a little steam!

There is no slowing down at Samoset just because it is winter! Our seventh grade visited Old Bethpage Restoration
Village in December in order to experience colonial life in winter and returned with a new appreciation for heated
homes and warm gloves. That same day, the sixth grade visited with Mike Herrold who presented his collection of
artifacts from Egypt along with a slide show that helped students understand the culture and country they were learn-
ing about in social studies. Our eighth grade was enthralled by former Suffolk County Police Officer Paul Failla’s
presentation dealing with character development and personal responsibility. As always, you could hear a pin drop
during his three period assembly.

The winter also brings holidays and at Samoset we focused on our friends in need. The Thanksgiving Food Drive was
very successful and helped to make the day pleasant for thirty-two families in the Sachem community. Our annual
Giving Tree was the most successful yet as students and staff provided toys and games for Brookhaven Interface as
well as for families in the neighborhood. In order to be sure that our own Samoset families were well provided for,
our Guidance Department ran a Holiday Boutique that provided students with the opportunity to purchase gifts for
parents and siblings. Profits from the sale were used to help make the holidays brighter for families in our own Samo-
set community.

The 8th grade Honors Social Studies classes discovered a new way to learn about the Depression Era. Students
created videos re-enacting key concepts of the time and presented the videos in class. It is very possible that you will
be seeing the work of some of these budding film makers in the future. The films were very impressive and I would
not be surprised if some of these students find themselves in the business of making movies as they find their career

The third quarter promises to be just a busy at Samoset. We look forward to sharing more good news in the next
                                                                                                         Page 8

                   Sculpture Artist John DiNaro Visits Hiawatha

Sculpture Artist John DiNaro visited Hiawatha’s students during the week of January
4th through January 8th in all art classes to create benches for our school community.
The students used cooperation and teamwork to design, construct and paint the
benches. The benches are located around our school and will be used by all of the stu-
dents for many years to come. Every student played an important role in the creation of
the benches and all had a great time working together!

                                 Hiawatha has Heart

In reaction to the tragic news of the events in Haiti, Hiawatha families have shown
their true spirit of generosity and kindness. Students and families
voluntarily donated over $2800.00 to the Haiti Emergency Relief
Fund through the Save the Children organization.

Families “purchased” hearts with their donations that were sent
home to be decorated. The returned hearts are currently decorat-
ing the hallway of Hiawatha Elementary School. The money raised
will go to help the Save the Children organization re-unite or-
phans with families, and to try to return normalcy to the lives of
the children in Haiti.

Further information about this organization can be found at


The third grade students at Hiawatha Elementary School have recently completed a unit on the United
States Government. As a culminating project to our unit, the third graders and their families generously do-
nated a variety of items that the troops might need while serving overseas. Together, we collected items
such as newspapers, word find activity books, disposable cameras, pasta and sauce, deodorant, candy,
toothbrushes, and much, much more! To go along with the five full boxes of supplies and treats collected,
the third graders worked very hard on friendly letters, informing the soldiers of all of the important concepts
that they learned about the United States Government. In their letters, the students included the names of
the three branches of government and what each is responsible for, in addition to why it is so important to
vote. Thank you so much for all of your donations. The generosity and support of the third graders and
their families will definitely bring warm smiles to the faces of those serving overseas.
                                                                                                     Page 9

Every year our basketball unit culminates with the Nokomis Basketball Shootout. Students from
each class in grades K-5 are selected to compete against each other in a shooting contest. Each
student is given one minute to make as many shots as they can. The students from the Nokomis
Leaders Club help run the event by organizing and keeping track of all of the students. The No-
komis teachers also compete in their own shootout. Congratulations to this year’s teacher winners-
Mrs. Nangle and Mrs. Tutton. Great job to all of the students and teachers at Nokomis!


This year for the first time ever, Chippewa Elementary School has its own team of reporters for the
school newsletter. Under the direction of Mrs. Penny Smith, first grade teacher, some 32 fourth and fifth
graders gather news and conduct interviews with the interesting people who work or visit Chippewa. The
following is an example of one of the fine articles written by the Chippewa News Team:

On Monday, February 1st, Mr. Nolan came to visit Chippewa. Mr. Nolan is Sachem’s new superintendent. Be-
ing reporters for the Chippewa News Team, we got to interview him. We asked Mr. Nolan some questions
while he was here and these were his answers. Mr. Nolan likes anything to do with children. He has been a
superintendent for a little over one month. He was not a superintendent at another district. Mr. Nolan went
to Bayport High School and after that he went to LeMoyne College to be an English teacher. Next he went to
Stony Brook for his Masters Degree. Mr. Nolan went to C.W. Post to teach special education. After years of
teaching, he went to the college of New Rochelle to become a principal. Mr. Nolan was the principal at Sa-
chem North. Finally, he decided to go to Dowling College to further his education to become a superinten-

What Mr. Nolan likes least about being a superintendent is that he misses being around students. The advice
he would give to someone going into this career is to remember that it’s always about the children. We were
very excited about meeting Mr. Nolan and having the privilege to talk to him. We thought he was very nice
and we can tell he cares a lot about Sachem. We welcome Superintendent Nolan and wish him good luck in
his new job!— Reported by: Isabella R., Taylor L., and Cecilia A.
                                                                                                         Page 10

The cold winter weather did not interfere with parents and teachers who were warm and cozy at the
Tamarac Tea held on Friday, January 8, 2010. In the fall, the Tamarac BLT surveyed parents to deter-
mine topics that they wanted to know more about. Based on the results, parents were invited to partici-
pate in a series of parent workshops. The first workshop held in October was provided by Dr. Scheidet
and was entitled, “Student Success in the 21st Century.” During this workshop, parents worked in teams
to analyze research and determine the essential skills that students will need to be successful in the 21st
Century, including: developing strong academic skills, thinking and reasoning skills, teamwork skills, and
proficiency in using technology. The second Tamarac Tea held on a
cold January morning was on “Homework and Study Skills.” During
this Tea, parents rotated through a series of workshops provided by
teachers on the topic. The workshops were designed to assist par-
ents in their work with their children at home. Feedback from both
Tamarac Teas was very positive. As one parent put it, “The message
is clear, “Teachers and parents at Tamarac are partners in our chil-
dren’s education. This is very comforting!”


January 26th marked Wenonah’s second annual Mix It Up at Lunch Day with a simple call
to action: take a new seat in the cafeteria! By making the move, students crossed lines of divi-
sion, met new people and made new friends. Mix It Up is a nationwide campaign that seeks to
break down barriers between students, improve intergroup relations and help schools create
inclusive communities where there are fewer misunderstandings that can lead to conflicts, bul-
lying or violence.

At Wenonah, students completed a Mix It Up survey designed to foster greater awareness of
diversity and signed the Mix It Up pledge posted in our hallway. At lunch, older students inter-
viewed each other using “conversation starters” that were brainstormed by our fifth graders,
while our younger students drew pictures of their new lunch buddies. Then students shared
what they learned about their new lunch partners as Mrs. Trezza, Wenonah’s school psycholo-
gist, called students up to the microphone in the cafeteria. Both
students and staff agreed the day was a great success with the
seeds sown for new friendships that will surely grow over the
years at Wenonah!
                                                                                               Page 11


Waverly’s Randy Reader Program, created and coordinated by Marie McNair and Susan
Hart, hosted its annual Valentine community service project. Randy Reader, “the giving gator”
has encouraged all students to help the homeless. Waverly’s children brought in beautifully
decorated shoeboxes filled with books, school supplies, treats, and encouraging notes. These six
hundred and seventy eight boxes were delivered by the Sachem Buildings and Grounds Depart-
ment to six local homeless shelters. Once again, it is Waverly’s way to say,
“Someone cares”.

On Wednesday, March 3, Waverly Avenue School held its annual Bus Driver and Crossing
Guard Appreciation Day. Each year, the students write letters to thank the people who see
them safely to and from school. They are literally there where “the rubber meets the road”. In
all kinds of weather and under difficult and sometimes hazardous conditions, these people pro-
tect our children from harm each and every day.

The Building Leadership Team sponsored the breakfast. Several of our fourth grade stu-
dents read their letters of appreciation aloud. The kindergartners and first graders, under
music teacher Mrs. Businski’s direction, serenaded the group with “What Color is Love”,
“Friend of Mine” and “For My Valentine”. (The breakfast had to be postponed twice since Valen-
tine’s Day because of snow days!). The third graders decorated place mats, and each driver
and crossing guard received a bag filled with notes from their children and a small gift from the
school. Each was given a Proclamation proclaiming March 3, 2010 as Waverly Avenue School
Bus Driver and Crossing Guard Appreciation Day.

We were especially pleased this year to welcome Superin-
tendent James Nolan, Assistant Superintendent for Ele-
mentary Instruction, Jill Karp, Assistant Personnel Admin-
ister and former Waverly teacher, Andrew Larson, and
Administrative Assistant for Music and Fine Arts, Bradley
Johnson. They, too, offered their gratitude to these
guardians of Waverly’s children.
                                                                                                     Page 12

In an effort coordinated by Waverly’s permanent substitute teacher, Vanessa Pinello, along
with Waverly parents, Andrea Ankner and Christine Pazienza, Waverly students sent in con-
tributions for Haiti’s earthquake victims. A box was set up outside the
cafeteria and students on their way to lunch dropped their donations,
along with their names on a heart, in a decorated box. The hearts
are on display in the lobby and Waverly is proud to say that over
$1300 has been collected and will be sent to the Bush/Clinton Haiti
Relief Fund. Thank you to the generous hearts of the entire Waverly


The Lynwood Community recently came together to help out America’s troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Our students, parents and staff worked together to collect personal care items and snack foods for five
special soldiers and their units. Our Holiday Care Package Project, sponsored by the Lynwood PTA, be-
gan in October when our Peer Leaders began putting together boxes before school. Our students and
teachers sent supplies in daily and before long our Multi-Purpose room became a warehouse overflowing
with goodies for the troops. A joint effort was made by our custodians and parents to coordinate a pack
out on November 6th. Many of our students wrote letters and made decorations to cheer our troops who
will not be home this holiday season. We are proud to say that we shipped out 72 cartons to Iraq and

Two of the soldiers whose units will be recipients of our care packages share a unique Sachem story.
Captain Richard Macchio, who is serving in Iraq, is the son of Suzanne Macchio, Kindergarten
teacher at Lynwood. And Captain Christopher Aviles, serving in Afghanistan, is the son of Carol Av-
iles, Special Ed teacher at Nokomis. Both Captain Macchio and Captain Aviles are 2002 graduates of
Sachem North High School. They became close buddies in high school when they ran varsity track
together. That friendship followed them to West Point when they were both accepted to the academy
and reported as new cadets the day after their high school graduation. Both graduated as 2nd Lieuten-
ants in 2006. The story doesn’t end there. Rich and Chris went on together to complete aviation training
at Fort Rucker, Alabama, where they both received their wings and became certified helicopter pilots.
Rich is an AH-64D Apache Longbow pilot and Chris flies the UH-60 Blackhawk. Both are serving in their
first deployments and are looking forward to returning home in the
spring. We’re so proud of their accomplishments!

The Lynwood community would like to extend a big thank you to our
students, parents, teachers and staff, for making our Holiday Care
Package Project a huge success. We also extend a big thanks to Lisa
Zaput, Lynwood parent and President of Boiloff Monitoring Solu-
tions of Holtsville, who donated a major portion of our shipping costs.
Without the generosity of so many, this labor of love wouldn’t have
been possible. Lynwood, you ROCK!
                                                                                                        Page 13

At Cayuga this winter we learned that Mrs. Veltri’s
fourth grade class was selected to write an upcoming edi-
tion of Kidsday in the Sunday Newsday! On January
27th, Mrs. Veltri’s students, along with the rest of
Cayuga’s fourth grade, conducted a taste-test for Tyson
Chicken. The survey results will be published in Kidsday.
On February 5th, four students were chosen to travel into
New York City to view the movie premiere of Percy Jack-
son and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and then
interview stars from the movie at the Empire State Build-
ing! This article (shown above) was published in the Feb-
ruary 12th Newsday. Also on February 12th, four more students were chosen to attend NBC’s The Today
Show where actress and singer Selena Gomez performed. After the show, the students had a chance to
interview the star and this report will be published in the May 2nd Kidsday article. Last but certainly not
least, another lucky four students TOOK a trip into New York City on February 26th to tour Yankee Sta-
dium! This has been an outstanding learning experience for this group of fourth graders!


On January 28th the fourth grade at Cayuga enjoyed a special assembly where they met
Quackerjack and Ray Navarete of the Long Island Ducks baseball team. One of our very own
fourth grade students, Stephen Florio from Mrs. Hecht’s class, entered an essay contest over
the summer and won a visit from the team. He was also awarded a $50 Visa Gift Card from TD
Bank! Way to go, Stephen!

Mr. Navarete spoke to the fourth graders about the importance of not giving up on your dreams
and shared quite a bit about his interesting life story. I know the students truly enjoyed this day
and walked away with the positive message of “Don’t ever give up!”
                                                                                                Page 14

After the devastating earthquake that struck the small island of Haiti, the Tecumseh community
rallied and decided to do something to help. After careful consideration, we decided to hold a
“Healing Hearts for Haiti” campaign. For every dollar donated, a personalized message from our
Tecumseh families would be written on a red heart and shared for our whole community to see.
The red hearts were displayed in the cafeteria window and put together to spell the words
HAITI. The staff, students, and parents collected over $600.00 for this worthy cause. All mon-
ies were donated to the Red Cross to help the people from Haiti.

The second grade staff and students also wanted to do something to contribute to this worthy
cause so they created an iced-tea stand! Second grade students took turns selling glasses of
iced-tea for .25 each during the lunch periods and collected almost $300.00. All money was do-
nated to the Red Cross.


This year, the PTA at Gatelot has started a new Reading Committee. The committee’s goal
is to get students excited and engaged in reading. To help reach this goal, several activities will
be taking place throughout the remainder of the year. To start, each student is going to be
paired with a book buddy from a different grade level. Once a month, the book buddy classes
will get together to share some reading. For the first meeting, the book buddies will be conduct-
ing interviews to get to know each other. Each additional month will have a different focus. In
March, students will be encouraged to bring a Dr. Seuss book to read to their book buddy. In
April, to coincide with a Author and Illustrator Night, students will be encouraged to find a book
by the author their class adopted. In May, we will have a
night event, where various authors and illustrators will be
at Gatelot for the students to meet and talk to. Our cul-
minating activity in June will be a magic show that em-
phasizes the magic of reading. We are very excited to
help all of our students learn to love reading!
                                                                                                  Page 15

On February 5th, the second grade at Grundy put on a wonderful celebration of peace and
friendship. Each class cooperatively worked together to beautifully recite poems and sing songs
that promoted unity, self-esteem, respect and the realization of similarities that all people share.
While the classes were preparing for the performance the students learned about how they can
play an active part in creating a world of peace. Ryan Baudille (2-1) announced that he
learned that, “We can all help to make peace because it starts by being kind.” Brianna Gagen
reflected on the importance of friendship when she was recall-
ing how the song, “That’s What Friends Are For” made her
remember that “friends let you know it’s ok to be you!”
Melissa Guercio (2-4) and Peter Wasik (2-3) said that
when they sang the songs, “It’s A Small World” and “We
Share the Rainbow” that they learned that, “The world seems
big but it really isn’t because people are all the same.” Kait-
lyn McNamara (2-1) and Summer Golden (2-2) added
that, “We all look different on the outside but are the same on
the inside.” The children loved learning about peace and
friendship. Samantha McNamara (2-2) told us that she, “loved learning about friendship with
her classmates!” We were very proud of all of the work that the second grade students and
teachers did to create such a fantastic performance to spread such positive messages!


On February 1st, Grundy kicked off our Parents As Reading Partners Program. The PARP
Committee, headed by Mrs. Cohen, hosted a motivational assembly program to tell the stu-
dents how reading at home with their parents can help their teachers move down PARP Moun-
tain. The teachers participated in realistic representations of what would happen when the stu-
dents read by pretending to move ahead as Mrs. Cohen read their weekly totals. The class that
reads the most will help their teacher to move the furthest down the mountain and win a prize.
The students are very excited to look at the bulletin board each day. At the end of week one,
Ms. Rothenthal’s third grade class put her in the lead of the pack of teachers racing down
the mountain. We are very excited about how motivated the students are to read and partici-
pate in PARP events. Keep up the good work Grundy!
                                                                                                                      Page 16

During the first week of February, the students and staff of Merrimac Elementary celebrated PEACE AWARENESS
Week. We implemented several activities to promote a school wide sense of community and working together
peacefully. It included such events as:

•   Each child created a handprint. We used them to create BIG peace signs in our main lobby and outside our li-
    brary. It is a creative way to show our students that we are all united but unique in our own special way.
•   Each class designed a large puzzle piece. We put these pieces together to form a symbol of the Merrimac com-
•   In physical education classes, Ms. Nicole Kessinger and Mr. Robert Romano focused on peacemaking ac-
    tivities with the students.
•   In art classes, Mrs. Colette Hoar and her student teacher, Ms. Jillian Berner, worked in cooperative groups
    to create CRUT. They created sculptures with the same materials and supplies. These sculptures represented
    the cooperation, respect, understanding and trust the students gave each other to complete the assignment.
•   The celebration of Peacemaking Night- Our fourth and fifth grade students, teachers, and parents joined
    together for a night of problem solving activities, games and put teamwork into practice.
•   Mix-It-Up at lunch. Students have an opportunity to sit at different tables in the cafeteria to encourage making
    new friends.
•   The street signs have arrived!! We are naming the Merrimac hallways. We have already named our main hall-
    way, Respectful Drive. We are focusing on important character traits which symbolize working together peace-
    fully and productively.

The themes of friendship and caring offered our teachers a great opportunity to introduce poetry, math, and lan-
guage arts activities that sparked creativity and critical thinking skills. Children enjoyed making new friends at lunch,
adding to our Acts of Kindness tree, creating peaceful beings, and learning ways to encourage respect, cooperation,
and kindness in our community.

We would like to say thank you to our Building Leadership Team’s parent members, Mrs. Pagnotta and Mrs.
Collins for making over 500 buttons for Friday’s PEACE AWARENESS day. Kudos
to Building Leadership Team member and second grade teacher, Mrs. Laura
Cinicola, for designing the buttons. It has been quite rewarding observing our
boys and girls as they discuss the meaning of peace and the importance of good

As many of you know, the island of Haiti has been devastated by the impact of an earthquake on January 12, 2010
and many significant aftershocks. Over the past few weeks, the Leaders Club has been brainstorming ways that
would be appropriate for us to help. After researching many charities, The American Red
Cross- Haiti Relief and Development Fund is the one we have chosen to support. From Mon-
day, February 8th – Friday, February 11th, our PTA sold Hearts for Haiti. Each heart pur-
chased that cost $1.00 and all proceeds will be directly donated to the relief fund. The hearts
have been displayed on our cafeteria windows. We have raised over nine hundred dollars.
Thank you to the Merrimac community.
                                                                                                                          Page 17

Imagine you’re a high school student in the hallway on your way back to your classroom and 55 elementary school stu-
dents cross your path. “What is going on? These kids are too small to go to high school!” you say. They were at Sachem
High School East on Friday, Feb 12th, 2010 to attend the ESL Storytime Winter Carnival held in the library. The ESL
Storytime Winter Carnival is an opportunity for the ESL students from the elementary schools that eventually feed into
East (Tecumseh, Tamarac, Chippewa, Lynwood, Waverly and Merrimac) to come and visit Sachem East High
School and interact with students and teachers.

This is the fourth time the ESL Storytime/Winter Carnival has been held. Ms. Andujar tries to give all her students a chance
to participate; although some students are only available to help decorate the library or read their book while others can
stay throughout the day. All students participate in creating a book, usually in English and Spanish. This year the books
offered a moral theme. The books are checked for spelling, grammar and content in both languages, then printed on card
stock and bound together. The books are donated to the ESL classroom for the students to read and to take home to
share with their families.

This year’s carnival was a bit different than previous carnivals because two East students from Level 4 Spanish welcomed
the elementary students in Turkish (Pinar Kiran) and Chinese (Jimmy Ye) It was amazing to see how excited the chil-
dren became when someone from the high school spoke their language! A favorite part shared by all is watching the East
students’ interacting with the elementary students. There are no language barriers when fun is involved. According to one
young lady when asked if she had fun, she replied, "I didn't have fun, I had super-duper fun!"

The ESL Storytime Winter Carnival is a combination of literacy, fun and giving of oneself. Many students are not aware of
their impact with the elementary students. Not only were books created and donated to the ESL classrooms, but East stu-
dents also created a puppet show along the theme of Little Red Riding Hood, played by Tabitha Di Stefano. Cookies/
milk/water were provided to all and interactive games were played next. Another special facet of this year’s carnival was
having Ryan De Robertis sing and play the guitar including one song in Portuguese.

According to Ms. Haussner, "It's a win-win situation for all; the elementary students look up to their high school counter-
parts with reverence and respect. East students have long forgotten what it's like to be a kid, and they get the opportu-
nity to play and have fun teaching the younger students.”

There is also a very interesting global perspective to this story. Two years ago, students at Lynwood Elementary School
adopted a school being built in Guatemala. They asked if they could send some of our books (that had been created by
previous East students) to this school.

According to Ms. Bennett, ESL teacher at Tecumseh, “From the moment we arrived, you and all the students made
our children feel so special. The welcome in other languages and the Portuguese song cre-
ated an environment that truly celebrates diversity and bilingualism, something they don’t
often get to experience.” Ms. Traina-Delph, ESL teacher at Lynwood has the following
comment, “What a wonderful time my students had! Since none had ever experienced the
winter carnival, they were so excited and felt very special.”

Mission accomplished!

                   BOARD OF EDUCATION GOALS
Goal 1: Enhance Student Achievement and Quality of Instruction
Goal 2: Improve Parent, Community and Staff Communication
Goal 3: Improve Fiscal Responsibility and Accountability Throughout the District
Goal 4: Provide Safe and Secure Schools
Goal 5: Technology Integration

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