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Graphic Designers

Graphic Designers Photo
Ward Melville High School students enrolled in the building’s Introduction to Graphic Design classes have gained real world experience this year as they worked to create logo designs for a professional client – The North Shore Montessori School.

As part of the assignment, the students not only used their design skills to create artistic logos – they focused on developing problem solving skills, cognitive development of an idea, understanding of color, time management skills and understanding the printing process on promotional items including the client's possible budget. The students learned how to verbally articulate what was on their visual presentation and incorporated public speaking skills taught by their teacher, Cortney Weisman.

For 18 years, the schools' graphics program has brought the real world in and focused on careers in the communications industry, specifically graphic design.

Designing and Constructing Insulated Devices

Designing and Constructing Insulated Devices Photo

Minnesauke Elementary School sixth-graders recently worked to become design engineers during their STEM class, as they studied thermal energy transfer and 3-D printing.

With the help of their teacher, Sean Dowling, the students created insulated containers based upon their knowledge of heat transfer – conduction, convection and radiation – as well as conductors and insulators.

The students designed a container encompassing two inner joining parts and then selected which type of insulation to fit between the two parts. Once the designs were finalized using the computer CAD software, they were brought to life using the school’s 3-D printer. Students then ran a test to see which printed device was able to keep the most of an ice cube’s mass in solid form after putting it under a light source for 20 minutes. Two project designs per class were chosen to complete in a final grade level challenge. The ice cube enclosed in the device that won the overall competition was found to have only lost 0.66 percent of its mass.

In addition to the hands-on component to the lesson, the students had the opportunity to meet with a Minnesauke parent – Mr. Cutting – who works in the field. During the in-class presentations, Mr. Cutting spoke about the company he works for – Sartorius – and the insulated devices they create and use daily.

Mural of Caring

Mural of Caring Photo

In an effort to leave a lasting legacy at the school, this year’s Arrowhead Elementary School sixth-grade class worked with art teacher Rachael Inversa to paint a colorful mural on the wall outside of the building’s cafeteria.

The mural depicts two things very near and dear to the school’s student body – the new Arrowhead Panda “C.A.R.E.S.” Bear mascot and the building’s outdoor buddy bench. The mascot is a visual reminder for the students of the character education/PBIS program, which promotes the ideas of compassion, acceptance, respectfulness, encouraging and sharing.  

Back from Broadway

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W.S. Mount Elementary School sixth-grader Ava Della Pietra received a star-studded welcome back to school this May – as she ended her multi-month performance in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “School of Rock – The Musical” on Broadway.

On her first day back to school, Ava’s classmates and teacher - Anthony Prinzo – created a large welcome back sign and red carpet outside their classroom. The group was eager to hear about her Broadway experience and was happy to have her back with them at Mount.  

Nassakeag Students Learn About History

Nassakeag Students Learn About History Photo
As part of their social studies lessons, Nassakeag Elementary School sixth-grade students learned about one of the world’s darkest time periods when Holocaust survivor and author Ruth Minsky Sender spoke to them about her remarkable story of courage and survival.

Ms. Minsky Sender described how the dreams she had for her future came to a halt following the German invasion of Poland, where she was born. The heart-wrenching stories she shared – from the loss of her family to the day her oldest friend became a Nazi soldier – painted a clear picture of this devastating part of the history that the students had been studying in class. Additionally, she reflected on many of the stories documented in her memoirs, one of which many of the students had read.

Student Earns National Writing Award

Student Earns National Writing Award Photo
R.C. Murphy Junior High School eighth-grader Kaitlyn Tung has won the highest award in the 2017 NCTE Promising Young Writers Program, a Certificate of Recognition.  Only 67 students were selected for this award nationally.  

For this competition, the students had to write a piece based on the theme “Innovators, Visionaries and Rebels: Celebrating Risk-Takers.” The students were invited to choose a book, poem, story, news article, film, website, or something else they read that was innovative, inspiring, or provocative in its content, form, or subject matter. Then they were asked to write about why they chose this text and why/how it was innovative, inspiring, or provocative in important ways.

Kaitlyn chose to read “Animal Farm” because it is a book that “shows its readers what happens to those who cannot think beyond what they are told.” Kaitlyn added, “One of the reasons I decided to choose “Animal Farm” was because it discusses the theme of warped ideals and how rhetoric can be used as an instrument of control,” she said.

Additionally, students Jessica Liao and Valerie Corrente each received Certificates of Participation for having been selected by their teachers to represent Murphy in this national writing competition.

Students Pen Award-Winning Books

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Four Three Village Central School District students were named top winners in this year’s Emma Clark Library third annual Helen Stein Shack Picture Book contest. In recognition of their outstanding submissions, each student was presented with a monetary scholarship and had a copy of their book bound and added to the library’s Local Focus Collection.  

The Helen Stein Shack Book Contest called for teens in grades 7 through 12 who live in the Three Village Central School District to create a children’s picture book. Each entry could be the work of a single author/illustrator or a collaborative effort of an author and an illustrator. The contest was divided into two grade categories, grades 7 through 9 and grades 10 through 12, with one first prize winner and one second prize winner selected from each group. This award is given in memory of Helen Stein Shack by her family.  

The district proudly congratulates the following winners:

First Prize (Grades 7 – 9 category): “We Can Still Be Friends!” by Eliana Sasson
First Prize (Grades 10 – 12 category): “Claire and Her Bear” by Katie Zhao
Second Prize (Grades 7 – 9 category): “Sammy the Sock Monkey” by Nicole Freeley
Second Prize (Grades 10 – 12 category): “Color Your World” by Cassidy Oliver

Hatched Science Lessons

Hatched Science Lessons Photo
Minnesauke Elementary School first-grade students learned about the life cycle of animals this spring as they observed baby chicks – from their start in an egg to their eventual hatching 21 days later.
The students helped to keep the eggs warm in incubators, charted the embryos’ progress by candling the eggs and learned about the various stages the animals go through in their development. The project tied together the science and English Language Arts skills, as they regularly reflected upon the experience in journal form and kept track of the eggs in a chick embryology folder.

Additionally, the classes compared the chicks’ lifecycles to others, including ladybugs that the students studied in kindergarten.

Town of Brookhaven Youth Bureau June 6th Event – The More You Know


Public Notice: June Board of Education Meetings


Food Drive for Pet Pantry

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Three Village Central School District’s Academy students recently helped to feed local animals through a highly successful pet food drive spearheaded by Legislator Kara Hahn and Long Island Cares.

As part of the initiative, the students collected pet food from employees in the district as well as at Stop and Shop. They provided lists of items needed by the shelters and asked shoppers to purchase one of the needed items when visiting the store.

The supplies collected, including a number of bags of food donated by Agway, were delivered to Baxter’s Pet Pantry, a branch of Long Island Cares.  

Learning About Law Enforcement

Learning About Law Enforcement Photo
W.S. Mount Elementary School's fifth-graders learned about the work of the police department when they attended Law Enforcement Day at Suffolk County Police Department headquarters in Yaphank.   

During the visit, the students had the opportunity to watch police car, motorcycle, and helicopter demonstrations, and visit the 911 center and police museum, as well as see a K9 unit demonstration.  

Writing to Promote Harmony

Writing to Promote Harmony Photo
Ward Melville High School students Shannon Berry and Odeya Rosenband were named the first and second place winners, respectively, in the Suffolk County Asian American Advisory Board Wellbrook Foundation and JEI Learning Center of Stony Brook’s 2017 Social Harmony Writing Contest.

The main purpose of the contest was for students to come up with ideas on how to promote cultural understanding and social harmony. They were encouraged to participate in the contest by writing an essay that explains what can be done to improve race and ethnic relations. Students used personal experience, observation, current events, history and literature to support their ideas.

Literacy Comes Alive

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Students enrolled in Catherine Duffy’s English classes at R.C. Murphy Junior High School took a step back in time to experience the Renaissance period as part of their study of William Shakespeare’s famous play “Romeo and Juliet.”
The students made Renaissance-style masks and created a choreographed dance to Renaissance music in order to re-enact the masked ball where Romeo and Juliet met. Additionally, working in small groups, the students brought the written words to life as they acted out the play’s act two prologue.

Poster Contest Winners

Poster Contest Winners Photo
As a result of their submissions, Arrowhead Elementary School students Nickolette Costigan, Jillian Gallagher, Ava LaRusso, Caly Reischman, Adam Wain and Lexi Wilcken were named winners in this year’s Long Island Speech and Hearing Association poster contest.

Participants from several schools across Long Island submitted original works of art to help illustrate the importance of "communication" in celebration of May being named Better Speech and Hearing Month. Each of the winning Arrowhead students will receive a monetary prize and be honored at an awards ceremony and reception on May 22nd in Westbury, New York.

In addition to the poster contest submissions, Arrowhead’s speech-language therapeutic program teachers worked to highlight "communication" throughout the school in May. Their efforts included sharing tips for teachers, associated quotations read on the morning announcements and small posters placed in the hallways.

Art-Themed Breakout

Art-Themed Breakout Photo

P.J. Gelinas Junior High School seventh-grade students in Lisa Capiello’s art classes recently used their detective, critical thinking and art appreciation skills to complete a fun-filled “breakout” exercise designed specifically in line with their course curriculum.

Breakout exercises are immersive game platforms where participants work collaboratively to solve a series of critical thinking puzzles in order to open a locked box that is often secured by multiple locks. During the Gelinas event, students analyzed classic works of art – including pop art and impressionism – to locate and decode clues and open the five locks securing the box.

The art exercise, which was set up in the library, was designed by Ms. Capiello with help from Assistant Principal Corinne Keane and library media specialist Nicole Connelly.  

From Page to Center Stage

From Page to Center Stage Photo

Minnesauke Elementary School sixth-graders in Jayne Murphy’s class helped to bring five scenes from the famous book “The Lightning Thief” to life during a recent in-school tableau performance.

During the event, the students worked in small groups to embody several of the book’s key characters. Visitors watched each scene in isolation, as the students performed in small, enclosed sections of the classroom. The performances were interactive, as the students remained frozen until a visiting viewer tapped them on the shoulder to bring them to life.  

The event was held in connection with the students study of the book and of ancient Greece, in particular gods and goddesses.

Masters of Math

Masters of Math Photo

Three teams from R.C. Murphy Junior High School performed exceptionally well at this year’s Suffolk County Math Teachers Association Math League events and each took home first place prizes. The seventh grade team A, eighth grade team C and ninth grade team A took first place for their division. On top of that, seventh grade team A and ninth grade team A took first place for the county.

Murphy’s math team is a club that meets once a week from October to February. Students work on mathematics problems and compete monthly in different events. During the competitions, the students are separated by grade level and given a series of five questions, which get progressively harder. The scores are based on correct answers and tallied throughout the season. The team with the highest score at the end of the season wins the division. Those same scores are used to establish which teams have the highest scores for the county.   

The district proudly congratulates the following team members:

Seventh-Grade Team A - Division Winners/County Winners
Claire Yang
Carolyn Liu
Matthew Chen

Eighth-Grade Team C - Division Winners
Neil Mahta
Animesh Ghose
Jonah Pichler
Akshay Malhotra

Ninth-Grade Team A - Division Winners/County Winners
Christopher Moore
Jonathan Huang
Keene Lu

Information Regarding Regents Exam Opt Outs:

Three Village Central School District has been selected for Regents field testing. Regents Examinations are developed with teacher input. The information garnered from the field tests is valuable for students and teachers. We encourage all students to participate. However, if you wish to opt your child out of the field testing, please contact your respective principal. Thank you.

16th Annual WMHS Building Art Show – June 1

Art Show Poster

Designed to Win

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Two Ward Melville High School art students received top honors during this year’s Journalism Education Association's student design write-off competition.

Lauren Berlinghof received a Superior rating for her logo design and Cecilia Orduna received an Excellent rating for her graphic layout design. 

Both students created their work as part of their Advertising Practices and Applications class, during which they were given specific topics to design for. Lauren was tasked with designing a logo for the burger appreciation society, which had to work in color and black and white. Cecilia’s project was to design a spread for a sports team for a yearbook.

Winning Writers

Winning Writers Photo
R.C. Murphy Junior High School seventh-graders Matthew Chen and Alana John were named the first and second place winners, respectively, in the 2017 Long Island Language Arts Council Kenneth F. Gambone Writing Contest. 

Both students will be honored at a celebratory luncheon later this month, where they will receive their awards and have the opportunity to hear from featured presenter, veteran songwriter, poet and teacher Alan Semerdjian.

Matthew’s winning piece is titled “When the War Came to Us” and told the story of a small town in Poland that was invaded by the Germans. Alana’s piece was untitled and followed the theme of two sisters who reunited in Japan. Both students completed their award-winning submissions with the help of their English teacher, Bev Gilmore. 

Educators Awarded for FACS Support

Educators Awarded for FACS Support Photo
As a result of their commitment to the field of family and consumer science, P.J. Gelinas Junior High School Principal William Bernhard and teacher Nancy Jenkins received two coveted awards from the New York State Association of Family and Consumer Sciences Educators. 

Mr. Bernhard was presented with the Ellen Swallow Richards Award for Administrative Support and Ms. Jenkins received an award for Distinguished Service.

The selection for these awards is based upon an extensive application process and staff nomination, and recipients are chosen by the Long Island Family and Consumer Science Professionals.  

Capturing Memories and National Acclaim

Capturing Memories and National Acclaim Photo
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Ward Melville High School’s award-winning 2015-16 Invictus yearbook staff has received a Pacemaker Award from the National Scholastic Press Association. They are the first Long Island high school yearbook to receive this prestigious award and one of only 31 high schools in the country to be presented with this honor.

According to the association, since 1927 the National Pacemaker Awards have been given annually for excellence in American student journalism. The awards are often considered to be the highest national honors in their field and are unofficially known as the "Pulitzer Prizes” of student journalism. Yearbook Pacemakers are judged based upon the following criteria: writing/editing, design, content, concept, photography, art and graphics. 

Ward Melville’s 2015-16 yearbook was created with the help of advisor Cortney Weisman, who is a nationally certified journalism educator in addition to her art credentials. Working as a club, the students learn how to write journalistically and gain design and photography skills. 

Lessons in Government

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P.J. Gelinas Junior High School students had the opportunity to learn about the interworking of the state capitol when Temporary President and Majority Leader of the New York State Senate John J. Flanagan conducted an informative town hall assembly. 

During the event, the senator spoke about the difference in state and federal government, how he came to serve and the different types of laws that affect today’s youth, including bike helmet laws. Additionally, students were able to ask questions on current and past issues facing the nation, including education, internet safety and health care. 

Charitable Literacy Celebration

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W.S. Mount Elementary School kindergarten students in Dawn McNally's class hosted a literacy-based fundraiser to benefit the Stony Brook Children's Hospital.  

In order to encourage the students to use their talents to help others, the class held a charity writing celebration. During the event the students read the "How To" books they wrote themselves and sold over 200 originally crafted bookmarks. 

As a result of the school community’s generosity, the class raised $426 for the hospital. 

Sharing Artistic Talents

Sharing Artistic Talents Photo
Ward Melville High School senior and exceptionally talented student artist Isabella Brand was selected to create an original art piece for the United States Army recruiting center in Selden. 

Isabella’s work, which beautifully depicts the outside of Ward Melville High School, was created on a ceiling tile, which will be hung at the center. 
Isabella, who was accepted to all 11 art colleges she applied to, will attend the University of Michigan to study art this fall. 

Outstanding Educator Honored

Outstanding Educator Honored Photo
In recognition of her exemplary and engaging teaching practices, Minnesauke Elementary School teacher Kate Hunter has been honored with the 2016-17 Outstanding Elementary Social Studies Classroom Teacher Award from the New York State Council for the Social Studies. She had been previously honored by The Long Island Council of the Social Studies with a similar award.
“Ms. Hunter is able to inspire her students to look at the world through a critical lens and has created a microcosm of society within her classroom,” said Minnesauke Principal Dr. Brian Biscari. “It is because of her tenacity and inspired approach to teaching that her students are destined to have a positive impact on their school community and our world.”

This award is presented to current teachers who have demonstrated exceptional teaching ability at the elementary, middle or high school level, knowledgeable in social studies content as well as pedagogy. They must also be able to relate successfully to students at the level for which the nomination is made. 

“I love being an elementary school teacher and I am in love with the subject of social studies because of all the hope and possibility it creates for our students,” said Ms. Hunter. “We as teachers of social studies have the beautiful privilege and awesome responsibility of helping to guide [students] to their life’s purposes and responsibilities.”

President’s Volunteer Service Award - 2017–18 Information

President’s Volunteer Service Award - 2017–18 Information Photo
The President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) is the premier volunteer awards program, encouraging students to live a life of service through presidential gratitude and national recognition.

The district encourages all students to take a look around, be inspired and take positive action that changes the community and even the world.

Presidential recognition sets students apart from their peers. It is a tremendous honor and sets an example that can deliver a powerful message – that anyone, no matter their age, can take action.

The President’s Volunteer Service Award recognizes United States citizens who have achieved the required number of hours of service over a 12-month time period. The next service period will run from April 1, 2017 - March 31, 2018. Log submission deadline is April 13, 2018 and ceremony honoring award winners will be held in June 2018 at WMHS.

For more information, please read the PVSA Guidelines below and use the PVSA Log & Acknowledgement to start logging hours.


Committed to Civics Education

Committed to Civics Education Photo
During the district’s late April Board of Education meeting, the Three Village Central School District honored and celebrated P.J. Gelinas Junior High School English teacher Douglas Elliot for being awarded excellence in civics education by the Federal Bar Association for his outstanding achievement as an educator of interdisciplinary studies and civics.

Mr. Elliot has served as the advisor of the district’s award-winning and well decorated mock trial team and was instrumental in creating an introductory junior high school program mock trial at Gelinas this year.

Celebrating Waste Free Lunch

Celebrating Waste Free Lunch Photo

Nassakeag Elementary School students worked to create a cleaner Earth as they celebrated Waste Free Lunch week.

Throughout the celebration, students were encouraged to wear coordinated apparel based on a daily theme and use waste free materials when packing their lunches. To help ensure the success of the initiative, students from Robyn Weinstein’s sixth-grade class who once again spearheaded the program, visited their peers’ classrooms to conduct a skit on waste-free lunches, a math lesson and read a book with an environmental theme.

The grade level that generated the least amount of trash during the initiative was the sixth-grade. As a special reward for the students’ efforts, building Principal Gail Casciano, Assistant Principal Nancy Pickford and building employee Mike Milano served them lunch in the cafeteria one afternoon.

Keys to Artistic Honors

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As a result of their exceptional talents, Ward Melville High School art students Isabella Brand and Michal Zadok received top recognition in this year’s Scholastic Arts & Writing Awards contest.

Isabella received two Gold Keys, one Silver Key and six Honorable Mentions for her artwork. Michal received a Gold Key for her animation "Bees" (you can view a short clip from her animation below).

Both students' work can be seen on June 1st in the High School library at the 16th annual Art and Technology Building Exhibit.

Reflecting Upon Civil Rights

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Ward Melville High School junior Odeya Rosenband was named the second runner-up in Stony Brook University’s Department of Africana Studies 2017 inaugural essay competition: What Do Civil Rights Mean to Me in the 21st Century? 

For her entry, Odeya shared a time in her personal life when she felt her rights were infringed. 

Odeya was recognized at a ceremony at Stony Brook University where she read her essay and received her awards. 

Measuring Capacity

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As part of the Minnesauke Measures series, an initiative created by math center teacher Paul Wilgenkamp, Minnesauke Elementary School students are having fun learning about capacity in a hands-on way.
Using a capacity cart, which has containers for metric and customary capacity, students are estimating the amount of liquid in a larger container while at the same time beginning to recognize and identify the various capacities. Weekly, students are invited to write down their guess on a slip of paper and enter a contest to win bookmarks. One week alone, almost 600 students participated.

Award-Winning Essayists

Award-Winning Essayists Photo
Ward Melville High School juniors Sophia LoBiondo, Cameron Liquori and Cathy Ma earned top honors in this year’s Suffolk County District Administrative Judge's Women in the Courts Committee essay contest.

For the competition, students across the county were asked to address the statement "I can't wait to vote because...". Based on their submissions, Sophia earned the first place award and Cameron and Cathy each earned third place awards. In addition to the honorable recognition, they received monetary awards and an opportunity to shadow a Suffolk County judge at the East Islip Courthouse. 

Annual Great Brookhaven Clean Up

Please see a message below from the Town of Brookhaven regarding an upcoming event:

This year, individual volunteers and groups can once again join the10th Annual Great Brookhaven Cleanup, part of the Great American Cleanup™, the nation's largest organized cleanup, beautification and community improvement program.

Last year nearly 3,300 Brookhaven residents joined 5 million volunteers in more than 20,000 communities across America to pick up over 40 million pounds of litter, over 200 million pounds of recycling, beautify 81,000 miles of roadway, and clean up rivers, lakes and seashores in their communities.

This year's Great Brookhaven Cleanup is scheduled for May 20, 2017. We hope that you will participate in this amazing event and become part of Keep Brookhaven Beautiful's good people doing great things in 2017.

There are several ways in which your group can participate:
* Litter cleanups on streets, parks, playgrounds
* School cleanups
* River, lake and seashore cleanups
* Commercial Site / Shopping Center cleanups
* Nature trail, woodland trail and field cleanups
* Beautification/community improvement projects

Please register online at or call the Town of Brookhaven Department of Waste Management at 451-TOWN to explore your best option for participating in this worthy community event. Don't miss this great opportunity to be part of the 10th Annual Great Brookhaven Cleanup and help fight litter. Thank you for all that you do.

Engineering a Win

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As a result of his structurally sound engineering skills, Ward Melville High School junior Andrew Zhang was named the winner of this year’s Brookhaven National Laboratory Bridge Building Contest and has qualified to have his design compete at the 2017 International Bridge Contest in Dallas, Texas. 

As part of the school’s InSTAR program, members of the junior class participated in this event by engineering and designing a structure within the stipulations set by BNL. They were required to draw bridge plans to scale and construct models for maximum efficiency, which were then tested using a hydraulic pressure plate. The amount of force per mass that each bridge can withstand is measured and students were able to tweak their final designs based on the data received. 

During the BNL contest, Andrew’s bridge competed against the top entries from across Nassau and Suffolk counties, and was found to be able to withstand 1,049 times its own mass. 

Winning Results for New Team

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Students from the P.J. Gelinas Junior High School “Justice - You and the Law” club recently participated in the 34th annual Western Suffolk BOCES mock trial tournament. 

The team, comprised of seventh and eighth-graders, made a splash in their first competition, winning both of their trials against experienced programs. This year’s problem centered on a civil negligence suit regarding proper concussion protocol in sports. 

To help prepare for their first competition season, the students were mentored by the district’s highly successful high school mock trial team during recent practices. 

Sports Spectacular

Sports Spectacular Photo
Nassakeag Elementary School staff members hosted a fun and spirited sports spectacular event for a good cause in April. 

During the event, many members of the staff sported the school’s colors and engaged in friendly sporting events to raise funds for Contractors For Kids. This year’s event raised over $2,500 for the cause. 

According to their website, Contractors For Kids is a not-for-profit organization that works to assist children and their families overcome obstacles that have impacted their lives through the sickness, injury or death of a child. 

Top of Their Class

Top of Their Class Photo
Ward Melville High School is proud to announce that Kirti Nath and Isabelle Scott have been named the Class of 2017 valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively. 

Both students are well-decorated scholars, having earned countless awards and recognitions throughout their educational careers. 

Kirti will attend the University of Pennsylvania in the fall and enroll in the life science and management program. Isabelle will attend Brown University and will major in journalism.    

Performance at Mets Game

The Three Village Central School District sixth-grade All-District Chorus performed the National Anthem and Take Me Out To the Ballgame during a recent home Mets game. The links below are the videos from the performance.



Celebrating Founder’s Day

Celebrating Founder’s Day Photo
Making a living connection to lessons they are learning about in the classroom, fourth-grade students from across the Three Village Central School District came together in late April to reflect upon the community’s early start and celebrate Founder’s Day.

During a two-day event held at Setauket Elementary School, the students were able to learn about how the area began as a working community more than 360 years ago. Led by members of the Three Village Historical Society and the Town of Brookhaven, they studied the beautiful Vance Locke murals that grace the walls of the school’s auditorium, which visually documents the community’s growth. Additionally, they learned about the importance of the wooden sculptures – the New York State Coat of Arms and images of Benjamin Tallmadge and Richard Woodhull – which are affixed to the exterior of the building.

Throughout the remainder of the program, the students were led on a walking tour of the community. With the assistance of their teachers and community volunteers, they visited seven local sites rich in historical importance, including the Frank Melville Park and Sanctuary, Patriot’s Rock, the Caroline Episcopal Church and Cemetery, and the Amos Smith House.

Better Hearing and Speech Month

Better Hearing and Speech Month Photo
Arrowhead Elementary School students worked with the building’s speech department to help mark May as Better Hearing and Speech Month as they created colorful posters for the Long Island Speech-Language-Hearing Association contest.     

Each student created an original poster emphasizing communication, hearing, sounds and parts of the face integral to speech and hearing. The boards helped to create awareness of the cause and promote discussion on the topic.

The LISHA will judge the students’ posters in May by grade-level categories and the top submissions will receive monetary awards.

Conversations on Second Chances

R.C. Murphy Junior High School students learned about the effects that choices have on one’s life and the importance of working to overcome obstacles during a Town Hall assembly with inspirational speakers Jerry Figgiani and Robert Aliano.   

During the assembly, both men shared messages of determination, overcoming adversity and perseverance as they told Robert’s story – which included how he sustained a traumatic injury that almost ended his life and the path he took to change his future. That path included working with Jerry who inspired him to learn how to walk again with the help of karate.

After the event, the students participated in a Google Classroom activity where they were provided with the opportunity to reflect on their experience and share how they overcame obstacles in their own lives and who they go to for support.

Advancing to Tournament of Champions

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Two junior high school math teams from the district earned first and second-place during this year’s Suffolk County MoMathlon held at Brookhaven National Laboratory and have qualified to compete in the tournament of champions at the MoMath museum in New York City.

The Museum of Mathematics, together with supporters Con Edison and Brookhaven National Laboratory, provide New York students the opportunity to participate in several middle school math tournaments throughout the state, culminating in a thrilling tournament of champions.
R.C. Murphy Junior High School and Paul J. Gelinas Junior High School each had a team compete against more than 25 schools in Suffolk County with the top two schools advancing to the Tournament of Champions. Gelinas team members Ivan Ge, Alexander Lin, Robin Xiong, Nancy Zhong, Julia Zhu, took the first-place prize and Murphy team members Claire Yang, Matthew Chen, Animesh Ghose, Neil Mehta, and Jessica Liao, took the second-place prize. Claire Yang also was the seventh grade individual winner of the tournament with Alexander Lin, Robin Xiong and Ivan Ge taking second, third and fourth.

Bump, Set, Spike

Bump, Set, Spike Photo

P.J. Gelinas Junior High School students showcased their athletic skills during a friendly volleyball tournament this spring.

In addition to the student participants, several teachers also joined in the fun by participating in the ninth-grade bracket.

Special thanks to Chris Grippa, Tom Youngs, Brendan McNamara and Jennifer Monahan who coordinated the event with the support of Assistant Director of Physical Education and Health Erin Blaney.  

Mediocre at Best (team in blue) was the winning team but faced stiff competition from other teams, including Yeoooo, Spikeological Warfare and Nothing but Net.

Design Tips and Tricks

Design Tips and Tricks Photo
As they prepared to publish the 2017 edition of Literary Travelers, R.C. Murphy Junior High School’s literary magazine club members had an opportunity to meet with published artist Michael Grever and learn about new design techniques and layout trends.

Mr. Grever, who is the brother of club advisor Julie Grever, is a graphic designer for a textbook company and has been published in magazines and newspapers both in the United States and abroad. During the workshop, he spoke with the students about what makes a visually appealing layout, showed them how he designs the textbooks, and provided some pointers on the work they are doing with this year’s literary magazine.

Driving Safely

Driving Safely Photo

Approximately 300 Ward Melville High School students learned about the dangers of distracted driving during a simulated Safety Town program provided by the Town of Brookhaven.

During the event, presenter Al Ferrari spoke with the students about the dangers of impaired and distracted driving and invited the attendees to take part in several hands-on engagement stations.

Participating in the simulation activities, the students were able to understand the importance of not being distracted while driving. They learned where to put their phone in the car while driving to avoid being tempted to look at it and used impairment goggles while driving go-carts, operated a diving video game and navigated miniature cars on sticks through a map to simulate the dangers of driving while under the influence of substances.

Rising Math Scholars

Rising Math Scholars Photo
P.J. Gelinas Junior High School ninth-grader Grant Yu and Nassakeag Elementary School sixth-grader Ethan Yu earned top marks at this year’s Mathematical Association of America’s American Mathematics Competition 10 and, as a result, had the chance to compete in the next level of the competition.

Grant and Ethan competed in the American Invitational Mathematics Exam, a challenging 15 question, 3-hour exam. As a result of his outstanding performance on this exam, Grant has been invited to take part in the United States of America Junior Mathematical Olympiad competition.  

The top 500 students nationwide were then invited to take the USAJMO, which will be held on April 19 and 20.  The USAJMO is an even more rigorous six-question proof examination, spread out over nine hours between two days.

Showcasing Knowledge of the Ocean

Showcasing Knowledge of the Ocean Photo

R.C. Murphy Junior High School’s ninth-grade Bay Scallop Bowl Team showcased their expansive knowledge during this year’s regional competition sponsored by the National Ocean Science Bowl and held at Stony Brook University.

During the event, the students competed against 16 teams from across Long Island during several challenging rounds, including a round robin format and jeopardy style buzzer format. Questions throughout the contest covered all aspects of the subject of oceanography, such as the type of technology used to study the oceans, as well as the biological, chemical and geological aspects of oceanography.  The questions also covered national organizations and political treaties relating to global and national ocean issues.

The overall goal of the event was to encourage students to pursue an interest  in oceanography and focus on careers that will affect the oceans.

The Keys to Success

The Keys to Success Photo
Ward Melville High School’s Key Club took home several high honors during the New York State Key Club 69th Annual Leadership Training Conference, including two students who were selected to serve in leadership positions for the coming year.

Competing against the top Key Clubs from across the state, Ward Melville earned first place for digital poster and third place for public relations, as well as the following individual awards:  

Distinguished President - Amy Huang
Outstanding Vice President - Megan Specht
Outstanding Bulletin Editor - Niki Nassiri
Distinguished Key Clubbers - Niki Nassiri, Erin Pitcher, Michael Selvaggio, Anna Skolnick, Megan Specht and Jocelyn Su

In addition, Morgan Persky was elected to serve as the new lieutenant governor for the chapter’s district and Natalie D'Onofrio was named the next New York State Key Club district secretary.

WMHS Student Wins Award from Historical Society


Exploring Health Careers

Exploring Health Careers Photo
As part of the Health Occupations Students of America club, Ward Melville High School students learned about healthcare professions as part of a multi-week workshop series this spring.

During a recent workshop, the students met with two professionals from the Long Island State Veterans Home at Stony Brook. During the interactive lecture, they learned about the opportunities available in the social services profession as well as the career path for a registered dietitian nutritionist. The speakers shared some insight into their chosen careers, academic background, professional path, current position, typical professional routine, challenges, and advice for students to successfully follow in a chosen profession.

HOSA is a career and technology student organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education that provides a unique program of leadership development, motivation and recognition exclusively for secondary and post-secondary collegiate students enrolled in Health Science Technology Education Programs. HOSA provides members with leadership and scholarship information as well as opportunities to meet outstanding professionals in health careers and education.

Bear Brunch

Bear Brunch Photo

As a conclusion to their multi-week study of bears, kindergarten students in Dawn McNally’s class at W.S. Mount Elementary School celebrated the start of the spring season with a bear-themed brunch.

During the unit, the students learned about four types of bears – polar, black, panda and brown – as well as their habitats and their adaptations. Students were interested to learn about the bears’ different types of fur and the extra layer of blubber that protects them from the cold.

During the brunch, the students dressed as their favorite type of bear and feasted on items included in the traditional bear diet, including pretzel “twigs,” gold “fish,” berries, honey and apples.  

Minnesauke Takes Center Ring

Minnesauke Takes Center Ring Photo

Minnesauke Elementary School students learned how to perform a number of circus tricks during a multi-session workshop with representatives from The National Circus Project.

In addition to the in-school workshops, sixth-grade students learned how to create their own circus from the ground up and showcased their cumulative skills during a vibrant show for family and friends.

This engaging opportunity was provided by the generosity of the PTA.  

Mind Bending

Mind Bending Logo

Living History

Living History Photo

As part of their social studies curriculum, fifth-grade students at W.S. Mount Elementary School stepped back in time when they participated in an immigration simulation.

Leading up to the program, the students researched a family member who had immigrated to the United States. During the simulation, the students dressed and acted as that individual.  

Once inside the cafeteria, or “Ellis Island,” they began the process of becoming an immigrant. Parent and staff volunteers were on hand in the school’s mini-gym monitoring the different immigration stations, which checked the immigrants’ background, vocation, character and health, and ultimately cleared them for citizenship. Once accepted as citizens, the students were asked to review a copy of the federal constitution, were given a commemorative U.S. citizen identification card stamped with their fingerprints, and were asked to recite the Loyalty Oath. 

At the conclusion of the program, the fifth-graders gathered in the auditorium to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and the Loyalty Oath in unison. 

Using History to Create News

Using History to Create News Photo 1
Using History to Create News Photo 2
R.C. Murphy Junior High School seventh-grade students in Michelle Hanczor's honors English class recently completed a technology infused project that called for them to become broadcast news reporters using a program called News Maker. 

After reading a historical book, the students worked with library media specialist Betsy Knox to create and perform a news script based on the information they learned. In addition to this, they investigated the time period of their novel in order to produce a formal research paper.

By using News Maker, the students were able to actively participate in 21st Century literacies and enjoyed using their creative talents and personalities while discussing and sharing their independent quarterly reading.

Measuring Up at Minnesauke

Measuring Up at Minnesauke Photo

Minnesauke Elementary School students are putting their math skills to good use this spring as they take part in an interactive measuring project created by math center teacher Paul Wilgenkamp.

Giant wooden rulers have been placed throughout the building and students are using them to learn their heights in meters, centimeters, inches, feet and yards. To kick-start the project, Mr. Wilgenkamp visited each class to speak about the importance of being able to use the customary system and the metric system to measure length. Each Friday, the students who measure a certain height and can answer a fact win a prize.

“Since most of the rest of the world uses the metric system, I want students at Minnesauke to be “bilingual” math measurers,” said Mr. Wilgenkamp. “This project will give them the opportunity to interact with and view the rulers in the hallways daily for developing meaningful mathematics connections.”

Tuesday, May 30, 2017   |  District Home