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High School Drama Club to Perform ‘Shrek’

High School Drama Club to Perform ‘Shrek’ photo

The animated tale of an ogre who finds love will be told on the Amityville Memorial High School stage with the Drama Club’s upcoming production of “Shrek the Musical.” There will be four performances by the cast of 40 student actors.

Junior Alexander Diaz stars as the title character. Additional lead roles include Colleen Compitello as Fiona, Johnatan Blanchard as Donkey, Shaakirah Nazim-Harris as Dragon, Alexa Victor as Lord Farquaad and Nathalie Larin as Pinocchio. While the story is based upon the 2001 movie, the musical adaptation also features several other well-known fairy tale characters.

Musical numbers include “Story of My Life,” “ Freak Flag” and “What’s Up Duloc.” There is also a surprise closing number. 

The show is directed by Megan Ashe. The assistant director is Bianca Ferrante and the technical director is Paul Cimmino. Several high school students are also serving on the tech crew.

Show times are Friday, April 12, at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 13, at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, April 14, at 3 p.m. in the high school auditorium. Tickets are $10 per person at the door. 

Amityville Celebrates Female Athletes and Coaches


There was a strong sense of Warrior pride as the district celebrated its female athletes and coaches during a special ceremony on March 22.

The inaugural Warriors Girls and Women in Sports Day was held in the Amityville Memorial High School cafeteria to coincide with Women’s History Month. All varsity and junior varsity athletes from the three sports seasons were invited to attend, along with their coaches. The program featured guest speakers, dinner and a photo station, and each athlete received an “I am a Warrior” T-shirt.

“This is just a wonderful way for us to honor all of the female athletes and coaches we have in our district and to show them our appreciation,” said Evan Farkas, director of athletics, physical education and health. 

Coach Margot Howard opened the program by speaking about Women’s History Month and noting ways that opportunities have expanded for Amityville’s female athletes, including the introduction of a competitive cheer team and girls lacrosse program. 

Board of Education Second Vice President Laura Pawlewicz and trustee Allie McDonough, who were both Amityville athletes, helped coordinate the event. Ms. Pawlewicz, a four-year varsity soccer player, said they wanted to show the present-day female athletes just how much support they have from their community. She noted that the Amityville Parent Teacher Council and several local businesses helped make the event possible with generous contributions. 

Ms. McDonough said playing soccer and softball were among the best memories of her life. She told all of the girls that there are numerous opportunities for them to continue their athletic pursuits after high school. 

Superintendent Dr. Mary T. Kelly, a volleyball, basketball and softball player in high school, said that Amityville’s female athletes are wonderful competitors who have had great successes in their sports, in addition to demonstrating great sportsmanship, remaining committed to their academics and carrying themselves with pride. 

The keynote speaker was girls varsity basketball coach Cherese Hinckson. She graduated from Amityville Memorial High School in 1997, and played soccer and basketball. Ms. Hinckson shared stories from her playing days and explained how that gave her a sense of determination. If she had just given up when times got tough, she said she never would have made the second All-Long Island team in basketball, received a college scholarship of been inducted into Amityville’s Sports Hall of Fame. She reminded today’s athletes that they should never let temporary bad moments stand in the way of greatness. 

The athletes participated in an interactive game to get to know each other better by having to find 25 people who met certain descriptions, such as someone who plays multiple sports, is a team captain, plans to play in college or has won a national championship.

High School Students Explore Medical Careers

High School Students Explore Medical Careers photo
Six Amityville Memorial High School students, who participated in a summer medical program, were recently recognized at a white coat ceremony. The students attended the two-week Health Careers Academic and Readiness Excellence program through the School of Medicine at Stony Brook University. 

The participants included Albiery Amaya-Gomez, Jeffrey Reyes Espinal, Jeffrey Garcia, Sukhleen Kaur Nathalie Larin and Z’Dhanne Williams. HCARE administrator, Erik Flynn, presented certificates and white coats to the participants at the March Board of Education meeting. He then led the students in the white coat oath.

Holocaust Survivor Preaches Acceptance and Kindness

Holocaust Survivor Preaches Acceptance and Kindness photo
Holocaust Survivor Preaches Acceptance and Kindness photo 2
Holocaust Survivor Preaches Acceptance and Kindness photo 3
Holocaust Survivor Preaches Acceptance and Kindness photo 4
Amityville Memorial High School sophomores received a first-hand account of one of the darkest periods in the human history as they gathered in the library to hear from Holocaust survivor Werner Reich.

Through personal stories and pictures, Mr. Reich vividly described the historical event that resulted in the death millions of people. He shared his own tales of persecution, capture and imprisonment before liberation by American military forces when he was 17. After returning to Yugoslavia for two years, he moved to England and then the United States, where he was finally able to complete his education.

Mr. Reich said that while the Holocaust occurred many decades ago, there are lessons that apply to modern society. He called on students to fight any and all forms of oppression, including bullying. Even if someone isn't the victim of bullying, they should not be a bystander if they see it happening.

“Be the first to act,” he said. “Help without being asked.”

He added that speaking up is not snitching. Before concluding his presentation, Mr. Reich asked students to reflect on the question, “What kind of person will you be when others are in need?” 

Sharing Without Borders in Amityville

Sharing Without Borders in Amityville photo

Forty students from three Long Island high schools came together after school at Amityville Memorial High School on March 12 to continue their discussion on issues affecting society. Through the Breaking Borders program, Amityville students welcomed their peers from Oyster Bay and Syosset high schools to share their thoughts about inequality.

After bonding over pizza in the cafeteria, students moved to the gymnasium where they met in small groups. Discussion prompts included their perceptions of inequality and why it exists, gender pay equality, reasons some people don’t stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, and personal experiences with inequality. Each group had a student leader to facilitate conversation. 

Amityville social studies teacher Matthew Tomasi said the rules were simple: students had to come in with an open mind and respect each other’s opinions. The purpose was to foster an honest dialogue among teenagers who have grown up in different communities. 

“It’s nice to learn about other people on Long Island and to speak to people with different perspectives,” Amityville sophomore Johnatan Blanchard said about his reasons for taking part in the Breaking Borders program. 

Earlier this year, Mr. Tomasi took a group of 12 Amityville students from his Advanced Placement European History class to Freeport High School for a Breaking Borders program on family traditions. In addition to thoughtful and productive discussions, students also wrapped Christmas presents for children in the community.

Mr. Tomasi said that word quickly spread among the Amityville student body about the experience. He then took a group of 30 interested students to the next program at Elmont Memorial High School, where the conversation centered on immigration. Students also brought canned goods to donate to Elmont’s food drive. Joining students and Mr. Tomasi on that trip were Assistant Principal Brian Suckle, social studies teacher Robert Annese and science teacher Patrick Fallot.  

“It’s good for the students to meet different people from different parts of Long Island to bring issues to light,” Mr. Tomasi said. “It allows the students to face the challenges currently in our society, because they are going to be the generation that finds solutions.” 

Breaking Borders is a student-run leadership program which aims to break down ethnic, socio-economic, racial and religious barriers among students from different Long Island school districts. The program fosters respect, tolerance and understanding by encouraging open and honest dialogue among students. Mr. Tomasi said after the sessions at three different high schools, Amityville students “walked away seeing things from a different perspective.”

Wednesday, April 24, 2019