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High School Musicians Devote a Day to Tuba

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A trio of musicians from Amityville Memorial High School joined their peers from across Suffolk County at Day of Tuba, an annual exhibition that provides opportunities for students to learn from professionals and each other, and to hone their music skills. 

High school band members Christina Cross, Brandon Dennis and Scott Friske were among more than 200 students at the event, hosted by the Suffolk County Music Educators’ Association. They participated in music workshops at Central Islip High School in early November. One of the highlights was attending a performance by guest artist, Lauren Veronie Curran, euphonium virtuoso from the U.S. Army Field Band.

Christina, Brandon and Scott shared their musical talents as members of a mass tuba ensemble as the evening culminated with a student performance. Amityville band director Jolene Maccarone accompanied the three students at Day of Tuba.

Amityville Artists Accepted Into Advanced Exhibition

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Two art students from Amityville Memorial High School had their work selected for the Advanced Visions 16: High School Artists of Excellence exhibition at LIU Post.

Senior Ash Dixon and junior Kaya Branscum completed their projects in their Advanced Placement Studio in Art class under the direction of teacher Jayne Grasso. Ash completed a mixed media painting using colored pencils and acrylic painted titled “Culpability.” Kaya’s three-dimensional mixed media piece, “J3NN1,” combined sculpture with photography.

The Advanced Visions exhibition, sponsored by the LIU Post Art Department, features the work of talented art students from across Long Island in advanced level art programs. The exhibition runs from Dec. 9 to Jan. 22 at the B. Davis Schwartz Memorial Library, with a closing reception and awards presentation on the final day. 

Awareness Weekend Brings High School Community Together

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Amityville Memorial High School students strengthened their bonds with each other at Awareness Weekend in November, an annual tradition that includes a sleepover in the school. Warrior Awareness Club adviser Jason McGowan, who coordinated the event, said that 115 students participated in addition to 19 teachers and staff members. 

After bringing in their sleeping bags and suitcases following the end of the school day on Nov. 8, students gathered in the auditorium for opening remarks and the first of three guest presenters. Steven Prescod performed his inspirational one-man show. The following day, students welcomed tap dancer Carter Williams and Harlem Wizard basketball player Jack “Blackjack” Ryan.

Students were split into small family groups and participated in team-building activities throughout their 30-hour stay in the school, along with discussions led by the group facilitators.

There was also a student panel in which participants shared their difference experiences. The experience allowed students to get to know each other better and many left having formed new friendships. Several students said that the weekend was a transformative event filled with valuable life lessons, such as the importance of supporting each other. 

“Words can’t even express the love I felt at this event and how closer I felt with kids that I didn't even know before,” student Jamarie Henry said about her first time attending Awareness Weekend. “Those nights taught me a lot, which include not to judge someone because of their outside appearance, but what’s really inside their heart.”

Amityville Senior Achieves Ambassador Status

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Amityville Memorial High School senior Jasmin Lucero has been named a Junior Achievement Ambassador for the 2019-2020 school year. She competed in the 2019 Junior Achievement of New York Student of the Year scholarship program and finished in the top five out of 90 students from Long Island, New York City and the lower Hudson Valley.

Jasmin has been involved with Junior Achievement’s High School Heroes program, in which high school students educate youngsters at the elementary level about community, careers, financial literacy and more. She participated in the program as a sophomore and junior. 

Additionally, she took part in Junior Achievement’s Financial Park program. Jasmin and her fellow leaders facilitated lessons for students at Edmund W. Miles Middle School on topics such as budgeting, career planning, goal setting, saving and investing, taxes and income deductions, and the advantages of disadvantages of credit and debit cards.

Active in student life at Amityville Memorial High School, Jasmin belongs to the Key Club, National Honor Society, Tri-M Music Honor Society and World Language Honor Society. She is also a member of the Warrior Awareness Club, or WAC PAC, participating in its Christmas Magic and Cultural Exchange programs. 

Jasmin was nominated for the Junior Achievement award by her guidance counselor, Ashley Borja, transition coordinator, Karen Gross, and business educator, Dr. Diane Impagliazzo. Her experience, determination to succeed and poise during interviews impressed Junior Achievement’s Executive Board members, who served as judges.  

As an ambassador, she is invited to attend several Junior Achievement events in New York. Jasmin recently addressed more than 100 people at the annual golf tournament fundraiser and she will be a guest at the annual dinner in November, as well as an upcoming Board of Directors meeting. Jasmin also receives a $1,000 award and will be profiled in the organization’s New York newsletter and on its website. 

Veterans Make Connection With Amityville Students

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The district marked Veterans Day by providing students with first-hand accounts of history, as past and present servicemen and women visited Edmund W. Miles Middle School on Nov. 8 and Amityville Memorial High School on Nov. 14 to share their personal experiences.

The middle school welcomed 18 veterans who visited social studies classes throughout the day. They represented all branches of the military and served during different time periods, giving students perspective on several decades worth of world events. Volunteers from the National Junior Honor Society escorted them to the classrooms.

Among the speakers were several members of the school district who have served their country including Board of Education trustee Juan Leon, Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services Peter Paternostro, Assistant Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services Virginia Figueroa, social studies teacher Frank O’Brien and security guard Sikes Reese. Other guests included parents and representatives of local veterans organizations. Many veterans brought in artifacts to share including books, equipment, maps and photos.

“Students were able to hear multiple stories and perspectives about being in the service,” said Leslie Ciliotta, chairwoman for humanities. “We want students to not only show their appreciation for the people who fight for our country and our freedom, but also ask questions and explore a potential career path.”

Veterans also went to social studies classes at the high school. Department Chairwoman Dawn Mizrachi said that 25 men and women met with students to discuss their reasons for joining the armed forces, share stories from their service and talk about post-military life. She explained that by having veterans visit classes, students can establish connections with them and participate in meaningful dialogue about the historical events they have witnessed. 

Additional Veterans Day speakers at the middle school and high school included Loreal Best, Pierre Best, Donna Boyle, Jami Lyn Butto, Bill Coppola, Bill Demakakos, Director of Veterans’ Affairs from Farmingdale State College Eric Farina, Warren Hart, Ed Hayde, Ahad Ikram, Justin Jorgansen, Steven Labate, Nick LaLota, Chris Levi, Gene Murray, Tiffany Paurolo, Dwight Powers, Jason Rosser, Gabrielle Stewart, Mark Suckle, Jonathan Tisk, Chuck Vincuilla and Bill Walden.


Monday, December 09, 2019