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Around Our Schools: November 22, 2013

Syosset Seniors Make Siemens Competition Semifinals

Three Syosset High School seniors—Reva Abrol, Kaveh Issapour and Eric Song—have been honored as semifinalists in the prestigious 2013-2014 Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology. Eric and Reva worked on their project with their chemistry teacher, Brian Belanger. The project, which was conducted using the school’s lab equipment, consisted of constructing a nonintrusive consumer-friendly acoustic device to determine fruit ripeness in cantaloupes. The apparatus was used to generate vibrational frequencies through the fruit, which were recorded using audio spectrum analysis software. Sound measurements were compared to sugar contents to confirm the correlation between acoustic resonance and ripeness.

Kaveh conducted research over the summer at Stony Brook University with other students. His team’s project, “Improving Organic Polymer Solar Cell Efficiency by Increasing Active Layer Organization via PSS and PMMA channels and Graphene,” sought to optimize the process of making organic solar cells by organizing the structure of the solar device in order to improve its efficiency. They added a polymer to the basic solar cells, allowing the transfer of electrons to take place more smoothly and therefore be a more efficient sample.

Syosset Seniors Commended

The Syosset Central School District announced that 33 Syosset High School seniors have been designated as Commended Students in the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program in recognition of their outstanding academic promise. Commended Students received a congratulatory Letter of Commendation for achieving this honor. They are: Matthew Appel, Sang Bae, Ann Bauer, Candace Butera, Christopher Cardoz, Anisha Chaudhry, Eric Chiang, Joseph Choi, Sarah Griffin, Matthew Hrybenko, Sungan Huh, Jimin Kong, Danielle Kroll, Sharon Lam, Rachel Lee, Anthony Lobko, Benjamin Locke, Benjamin Lorin, Kari Mau, Jake Miller, Dale Mittleman, Jeanine Mojum, Eric Oh, Arundhati Paul, Jennalynn Phillips, Meghana Reddy, Jordana Rosenzweig, Adam Rubinstein, Kevin Shan, Samuel Tell, Jeffrey Wang, Bram Wiseman and Esther Yoo. These students, along with 1.5 million other entrants, took the 2012 PSAT/NMSQT in October 2012. Students are ranked with a selection index score based on their combined scores in critical reading, writing and math.

Jericho Educational Foundation Announces Grant Recipients

The following Jericho staff members were announced as recipients of the Jericho Educational Foundation’s Initiative project:  Jacqueline O’Neill from Seaman’s science department received a grant to purchase STEM materials and equipment; Todd Benjamin, high school social worker, received a grant to fund the Syn-Nap Center, which helps reduce student stress, improve social and cognitive skills and introduce students to alternative snacks for improved health and well-being; Shana Kotlus and Erin Motkin, special education, received a grant to purchase SMART Tables, which are interactive learning tools geared toward children with special needs; Joanne Verdino and Casey Snyder from the middle school’s BRAVE program received a grant to enhance the Olweus Bully Prevention Program; Suzanne Valenza and Denise Ryder, high school JerEcho co-advisors, received a grant to purchase iPads and iPad stands; and Maureen Judge, a middle school reading teacher, received a grant to purchase rights to use These grant recipients were awarded up to $2,500 to fund projects that inspire, enhance or enrich the standard of educational excellence for students within the Jericho School district.

Honors & Degrees

Victoria Harrison, a resident of Jericho, was inducted into Ithaca College’s Oracle Honor Society on Nov. 4. First-year students who maintain a GPA in the top 10 percent of all students in their school throughout their first full academic year are invited into the society. Harrison is majoring in clinical health studies in the School of Health Sciences and Human Performance.

Syosset Sophomore

Named Math Scholar

Syosset High School tenth-grader Daniel Hirsch has been named a Long Island Young Scholar of Mathematics by the Institute of Creative Problem Solving for Gifted and Talented Students at SUNY College at Old Westbury.

Daniel was one of 80 students selected for this prestigious honor out of 950 students nominated from districts across Long Island. To be selected, students must rank among the top 0.1 percent in mathematics of all Long Island students in their grade level.

Acceptance to the program was based on school transcript, teacher recommendation, student’s personal statement and a rigorous entrance examination.

Selected students are expected to spend 60 hours in class over the course of 20 Saturday mornings, as well as time on related outside projects. Students cover material including algebra, geometry, discrete math and number theory, as well as several topics not covered in standard courses of study.

Rising Star

Syosset’s Mara Sparacino performs as the “Little Girl” in Six Characters in Search of an Author by Luigi Pirandello. Sparacino is a third-grader at the Greenvale School. Over the summer she played Sprintze in St. Paul’s CenterStage production of Fiddler on the Roof. Six Characters in Search of an Author runs through Nov. 24 at East Line Productions in Wantagh.


Eight students from Jericho High School, the largest number of students from any school on Long Island this year, are among the 300 semifinalists picked from 1,800 entrants nationally and overseas in the annual Intel Science Talent Search.

Brookville’s Green Vale School students were featured in the September/October 2013 issue of Sport Rocketry, the official journal of the National Association of Rocketry.

The seventh-grade students competed nationally at the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) last May in Virginia and were the youngest rocket scientists competing. They were also the only team from Long Island that qualified to enter the competition and one of only two teams from New York State.


The Syosset Braves 11-year-old football team recently won the Superbowl Championship Game against the Rosedale Jets with a final score of 13 to 0.

The Farrell & Schmidt Ho Ho Ho 5-Kilometer Run started and finished at the John F. Kennedy Middle School in Bethpage on Dec. 21. The top local finisher was Tim Mahony of Syosset, who scored in 11th place overall and third in the 15 to 19 age group.

Other locals winning awards in this year’s Ho Ho Ho Run were Gina Ferraro of Syosset (2nd woman, 35-39 age group), Patty Santella of Syosset (3rd woman, 45-49 age group), Kim Solomine of Syosset (2nd woman, 55-59 age group).


Jericho Wheelchair Basketball

January 17

Reality Check on America’s Economy, Health Care & Budget

January 17

Open Forum: Now What Do I Say?

January 21


1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller,

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry,

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller,