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Oyster Bay Enterprise Pilot - Schools

High School Course: ‘Program Of Excellence’

The Oyster Bay High School English elective course “Essay Writing for College” has been selected by New York State English Council (NYSEC) as a 2014 Program of Excellence. The course was developed by retired Oyster Bay High School English teacher Kathi Reilly and has been offered for 10 years. In recent years, the course has been taught by English teachers Karen DiMaggio and Lydia Brady. Under their tutelage, the program has been recognized by News 12’s “Cool at School” and now by the New York State English Council.  

The NYSEC President Elect, Christine Zandstra, shared the exciting news with the Oyster Bay High School saying, “It gives me great pleasure to inform you that the New York State English Council has selected your school’s submission, ‘Essay Writing for College,’ for a NYSEC 2014 Program of Excellence Award. We received many programs that were of extremely high quality, so selecting our recipients was a challenge. Ultimately, we found your program to be clearly of exceptional merit and innovation. It is a program that includes many teachers, students, families, and, community members. The nature of the program touches the lives of many and contributes to a lifetime of learning...Your program has much to offer others in their endeavors to continue to improve and innovate the teaching of English Language Arts.”

This graded course, taught with the support of OBHS Guidance Department, takes students through the key components of the college application process as well as scholarship writing. Throughout the course students hone the following skills: selecting target, safety, and reach schools, building a resume, sharpening interview skills, and creating essays that captivate the reader via the development of a hook, voice, figurative language, appropriate diction and subject. The course is writing intensive and students delve into the editing process in a workshop setting. The course is open to Oyster Bay High School seniors and carries a half credit.

English Language Arts / Reading / Library Media Supervisor Valerie Vacchio added, “Congratulations to Ms. Brady and Ms. DiMaggio. Your devotion, wisdom, and expertise are valued and appreciated."