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High School Pays Tribute to Parkland Victims

High School Pays Tribute to Parkland Victims photo
High School Pays Tribute to Parkland Victims photo 2
Amityville Memorial High School students joined their peers from across the country on March 14 in paying tribute to the victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida and other schools over the last 20 years.

During a morning assembly in the auditorium, student leaders spoke about the 17 people who lost their lives in the Florida tragedy, held a 17-second moment of silence and shared a video, which included the father of Parkland victim Alex Schachter reading a poem his son wrote a few weeks before his death. Additionally, 17 Amityville students took a vow of silence for the day to honor the victims. 

The assembly was part of nationwide movement by students to show solidarity for improved school safety. Principal Maria Andreotti spoke about security procedures that are in place in Amityville schools. She also encouraged students to be the “eyes and ears” of their community by reporting any concerns, including social media posts. 

“The students, staff and administration of Amityville Memorial High School all want to create a safe and secure environment where the focus is on learning,” Ms. Andreotti said. “I am very proud of our students who paid tribute to their peers in Parkland and engaged in meaningful discussions about school safety.”

Sophomore Jeffrey Reyes Espinal said students need to make their voices heard. Students wrote letters to several lawmakers expressing their desire for legislation that addresses school safety.

“It is important to make sure that something like this will never happen again,” he said. “We can change for the better.”

Junior Meghan Luders, one of the student speakers at the assembly, spoke of the importance of having a respectful dialogue with school administrators about safety within their own school. She was one of several hundred students who signed a banner that will be sent to Parkland, which read, “Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, We Hear You, We See You, Amityville Memorial High School Stands With You.” 

See ‘Seussical’ at Amityville High School

See ‘Seussical’ at Amityville High School photo
See ‘Seussical’ at Amityville High School photo 2
See ‘Seussical’ at Amityville High School photo 3
See ‘Seussical’ at Amityville High School photo 4
See ‘Seussical’ at Amityville High School photo 5
The Amityville Memorial High School Drama Club will present “Seussical” from March 23-25. The musical production features 35 students from the high school, Edmund W. Miles Middle School and Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School, along with two alumni. 

The show is based upon the works of renowned children’s author Dr. Seuss and features popular characters from at least 15 of his stories. Follow the adventures of Horton and Jojo as they travel through the Jungle of Nool and Who-ville, as the Cat in the Hat narrates.

Lead actors include senior Shival Sohan as the Cat in the Hat, sixth-grader Ayden Carton as Jojo, fifth-graders Arianna and Brianna Cuevas as Thing 1 and Thing 2, senior Jacob Marrero as Horton the Elephant, freshman Colleen Compitello as Gertrude McFuzz, sophomore Trinity Tobin as Mayzie LaBird, sophomore Alexa Victor as General Gengus Khan Schmitz and freshman Alexander Diaz as the leader of the Wickersham Brothers.

Shaakirah Nazim-Harris plays Sour Kangaroo, Tiffany Asbell is Young Kangaroo and Daniel Lutz and Imagine Halyard star as Mr. and Mrs. Mayor. There’s also Amber Palmer as Yurtle the Turtle, Johnatan Blanchard as the Grinch, Kyra Lee as the Lorax and DeAsia McCorvey as Vlad Vladikoff. 

The show is directed by Melissa Asbell and Megan Ashe, and the pit orchestra director is Jolene Maccarone.

Show times are Friday, March 23 at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 24 at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, March 25 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door. 

Boys Win State Basketball Title

Boys Win State Basketball Title photo
Amityville Memorial High School’s boys varsity basketball team captured the Class A New York State championship with two wins at the Final Four tournament. The team earned the berth after winning the Suffolk County and Long Island championships.

The Warriors defeated Irondequoit High School, 52-42 on March 17. After knocking off the defending state champions, Amityville played Ardsley High School the following day. With a 74-54 win, the boys in red and gray earned their first state title since 2003.

Including the regular season and playoffs, Amityville finished the season with a 27-1 record, and have a 19-game winning streak. Senior captain Josh Serrano had 29 points in the clinching game and Jayson Robinson had 18 points. 

The team was guided by head coach Gordon Thomas and assistant coach Paul Robinson. Season highlights included Josh scoring his 1,500th career point for Amityville and Mr. Thomas earning the Suffolk County Coach of the Year award. 

Amityville Artists Selected to SCALA Show

Amityville Artists Selected to SCALA Show photo

Four art students from Amityville Memorial High School had their work selected for local exhibitions hosted by the Suffolk County Art Leaders Association.

Senior Jennifer Ayala Martinez and sophomores Astrid Dixon and Odalys Murcia were part of SCALA All-County Art Exhibition. The selected pieces included Jennifer’s pen and ink drawing “Identity Hand Design,” Astrid’s colored pencil and gel pen drawing “Pink Lady” and Odalys’s watercolor pencil drawing “Trees.”

Sarah Isaac entered her artwork within the Senior Scholarship portion of the SCALA All-County Exhibition. The students completed their work under the direction of art teachers Jayne Grasso and Heather Rickard. A reception for the show was recently held at the Old Town Hall in Babylon.

Boys Basketball Wins Long Island Title

Boys Basketball Wins Long Island Title photo
Amityville Memorial High School’s boys varsity basketball team brought home the Class A Long Island championship, its first since 2013. The Warriors defeated Nassau County champion Garden City 84-71 on March 10 at Farmingdale State College. 

It was an impressive year for Amityville, which finished with an overall record of 25-1, won the Suffolk County Class A title and the overall Suffolk County title. The team now heads to the state tournament in Binghamton. The Warriors will take on defending state champion Irondequoit High School, from Rochester, in the first game of the Class A Final Four on March 17 at 9 a.m. 

In the championship game, Jayson Robinson and Josh Serrano paced Amityville with 23 and 29 points, respectively. The team was led by coach Gordon Thomas.

Class of 2018 Top Graduates Announced

Class of 2018 Top Graduates Announced photo
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Class of 2018 Top Graduates Announced photo 3
Amityville Memorial High School has announced its top 10 graduates for the Class of 2018. Trevony Palmer has been named the valedictorian for achieving the highest grade point average among seniors, and Jerinna Solanges is the salutatorian. 

Ranking third through 10th in the class are Isaiah Williams, Eddie Marrero, Gemma Rojas, Shival Sohan, Brandon Gonzalez, Mario Iorio, Ana Candia-Flores and Uhlensky Pierre-Louis.

“I admire these students for their dedication and perseverance,” Principal Maria Andreotti said. “They’ve certainly distinguished themselves among the graduating class. They worked extremely hard and were committed to their studies.”

Trevony will attend the University of Chicago on a full scholarship to study economics or mathematics. He has taken eight Advanced Placement courses in multiple subject areas. Additionally, he is president of the National Honor Society, treasurer of student government, and played junior varsity football in 10th grade.

Jerinna plans to study psychology and is currently deciding among several prestigious universities. In addition to taking numerous Advanced Placement courses, she is a member of the National Honor Society and president of the Tri-M Music Honor Society. She is first chair clarinet in the school band, and conducted Amityville’s marching band at the Newsday Marching Band Festival. With an interest in writing and helping others, she has written several books about teenagers overcoming adversity.

Trevony volunteers in the transport department at Stony Brook University Hospital and Jerinna interns at Cold Spring Harbor National Laboratories studying the decision-making process of rats. Both tutor other students at the Amityville Public Library and have taken courses at Farmingdale State College through the Smart Scholars program. 

Boys Earn County Hoops Title

Boys Earn County Hoops Title photo
The Amityville Memorial High School boys varsity basketball team is headed to the Long Island Championship. With an 83-66 win over Westhampton on Feb. 23 at SUNY Farmingdale, the Warriors captured the Suffolk County Class A title.

The team, led by the strong play of captain and returning All-Long Island player Josh Serrano as well as fellow seniors Jayson Robinson and Julius Goddard, finished with a regular season record of 19-1. The Warriors were undefeated in conference play. One of the highlights of the season was the Jan. 31 game against Hampton Bays in which Josh scored his 1,500th career point for Amityville.

Head coach Gordon Thomas was named the league Coach of the Year. He was assisted by Paul Robinson.

Evan Farkas, the director of athletics, physical education and health, said the team was full of talented, fast and athletic players who worked hard to achieve their goal of capturing a county title.

“They had a great season,” Mr. Farkas said. “It was their mission to do everything they needed to do, on the court and off the court, to accomplish this.”

The Warriors will play the Nassau County Class A champion in the Long Island title game on March 10, at 6 p.m., at SUNY Farmingdale. The winner moves on to the state championship tournament. 

Deonte Wilson Wins State Wrestling Title

Deonte Wilson Wins State Wrestling Title photo
Amityville Memorial High School wrestler Deonte Wilson is a New York State champion. With four match wins in the state finals, the senior captured the title in the 285-pound weight class.

Deonte finished the season with a 31-2 record, then won his second consecutive Suffolk County championship on Feb. 11 at Suffolk County Community College. That earned him a berth in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association’s 2018 wrestling championships at the Times Union Center in Albany on Feb. 23 and 24, which he entered as the top-seeded wrestler in his weight class. With a win in the finals over a wrestler from Commack, he became Amityville’s first state champion in 17 years. 

“Deonte is a model athlete,” said Evan Farkas, director of athletics, physical education and health. “He leads by example and is a role model to our younger athletes. He is disciplined, has a great work ethic and is overall an amazing student.”

Deonte was led this season by head coach Greg McCoy and assistant coaches Mike Albano, Pat Fallot and Billy Maisel. From March 23-25, Deonte will compete at the National High School Coaches Association competition in Virginia Beach. He plans to continue wrestling in college and is in the process of selecting a school. 

Students Tapped for Local Music Festivals

Students Tapped for Local Music Festivals photo

A dozen students were selected to represent the district at a pair of music festivals.

Eleven students will participate in the Suffolk County Music Educators’ Association All-County festival in March. Choral students Shacquan Swaby and Jordan Tobin were chosen from Amityville Memorial High School. Performers from Edmund W. Miles Middle School will include vocalists Jeff Cruz and Keiry Martinez, and violinist Kayla Marrero. 

From Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School, band students Donovan Graham Martinez (bass clarinet) and Tatiana Martinez (oboe) were selected. Alanna Gayle will play the violin with the All-County orchestra, and Cherice Quintyne-Best, Katya Ramos Rojas and Madeline Shingleton will join the chorus. 

Kayla and Madeline, as well as Edmund W. Miles Middle School ninth-grader Alex Diaz, all participated in the Long Island Strings Festival in January. Alex played the viola with the secondary school orchestra, Kayla played the violin with the seventh- and eighth-grade orchestra, and Madeline was a cellist with the sixth-grade orchestra. 

“We congratulate these fine young musicians, along with their parents and music teachers, on being selected to participate and perform in these prestigious festivals,” said Director of Fine Arts Dr. Fran Fernandez. 

Student Explore Health Care Professions

Student Explore Health Care Professions photo
Amityville Memorial High School students who participated in a summer medical program were recognized at the district’s Board of Education meeting on Jan. 12.

Ten Amityville Memorial High School students attended the two-week Health Careers Academic and Readiness Excellence program through the School of Medicine at Stony Brook University. HCARE is designed to give high school students an introduction to various professions in the health care field. 

HCARE administrator, Erik Flynn, attended the board meeting to present certificates and white coats to the participants. He then led the students in the white coat oath.

Forensics Class Comes to Life

Forensics Class Comes to Life photo

Forensics students at Amityville Memorial High School put their deductive skills to the test during a three-day lesson using Breakout EDU kits. They investigated a mock crime scene in the library, conducted interviews and determined suspects and motives. From all the clues, students had to figure out combinations to a series of locks.

The lesson was planned by librarian Kathryn Beleckas and forensics teacher Jenna Ellis. Students had to apply the investigative skills they have been learning throughout the year to “break out.” They interviewed other teachers who played different characters in the scenario and had to identify their top suspect, which served as the clue to open the final lock. It turned out to be Spanish teacher Reynaldo Bueno, who said he enjoyed taking part in the activity.

Ms. Ellis explained that the activity gave students an opportunity to apply the course content through hands-on inquiry. They had to work in teams to collect evidence and analyze data. Students completed police and witness reports, evidence logs, fingerprint sheets and crime scene sketches. 

Senior Jada Roberts said the breakout activity made her feel like a part of a television crime show, and it has her considering a career in forensics. Classmate Argelio Reyes said it brought the classroom lessons to life, such as when he had to take fingerprints.  

“It was interesting to find all of the clues,” said junior Zainab Mujeeb. “I felt like a real forensic scientist.”

Friday, March 23, 2018