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Jericho BOE Says Goodbye to Retirees, Congratulates Award Recipients

At the Board of Education meeting on June 17, 15 retirees from the Jericho School District were honored and congratulated for their many years of dedicated service. Those honored were as follows: Mary Bauer (JHS English and reading), Paula Cardias (JHS art), Kathy DeFina (Cantiague elementary teacher), Barbara Harris (JHS math), Phyllis Kasow (learning center), Dolores Katzenstein (clerk typist), Francis Koppeis, (music), Josephine Langone (French), Michael Malkush (technology), Kathleen Maurer-Rittel (library), Andrea Messinger (social work), Janice Raphan (Spanish), Nancy Sammis (physical education), William Wuest (athletic coach), and Beverly Young (learning center). Board President Barbara Krieger personally thanked the retirees and wished them well in their future endeavors.

Krieger also took a moment to congratulate all of Jericho’s teachers for their students’ many impressive accomplishments this year. Special focus was given to science research teacher and advisor, Serena McCalla, who mentored 2010 Presidential Scholar Yvette Leung. As Presidential Scholar, Leung was given the opportunity to invite one of her teachers to receive a Teacher Recognition Award in Washington, D.C. this month. Leung nominated McCalla, citing her as the most challenging teacher in her education so far.

Other highlights of the evening included countless student achievements. Nearly 100 Jericho students placed between 1st and 10th in foreign language state and national competitions.

Fourth-graders Vincent Eng and Bilal Siddiqui won the 2010 Northeast Region Young Writers of America Student Poetry Contest; their poems will be published in the anthology titled Award-Winning Young Writers of America.

Sixth-grader Dante Vigliotti and Junior Brett Schumer are the recipients of the Town of Oyster Bay Kids of Distinction Award.

Seniors Suraj Sharma, Mike Smith, and Nathan Weinberg won 3rd place in the competitive CW Post Film Festival.

Seniors Michael Gerazounis, Joshua Goodfarb, and Matthew Lanz won the Best in Show Award for their video at the 2010 Long Island Media Arts Show, which is the first time Jericho has won in the video category.

Seniors David Kim, Jeremy Duggan, and Aury Mejia participated in the Project Citizen program and received the Outstanding Use of Technology Award.

Brandon Li, one of seven valedictorians this year, is the recipient of the prestigious Northrop Grumman Engineering Scholarship. The Board also congratulated ISEF Finalists, STANYS Science Congress Finalists, and All-State Music Students.

Both the Girls and Boys Varsity Track Teams were named the Spring 2010 Scholar/Athlete Team State Champions. Senior Sahil Iyer was one of the top golfers at the Nassau County Golf Tournament and will be competing at the state level this month. Senior Matthew Zakian has been selected to play in The Outback Steakhouse Empire Challenge, an All-Star football game that features the top 50 players from Long Island and the top 50 players from New York City; Zakian is the first Jericho football player to compete in this game.

In business news, 29 resolutions were put to a vote, all of which passed. Among those resolutions were the 15 retirements, the approval to extend a formal agreement to several substitute teachers for fall 2010, and the Board’s acceptance of the Korean community’s donation of new lighting and seating in front of the Middle School and High School. Krieger expressed her heartfelt thanks to the Korean families in attendance and said that their “time and support throughout the entire year” is much appreciated. Krieger and Superintendent Henry Grishman encourage the public to visit the school’s new addition and to take note of the poignant Korean poem inscribed on a nearby plaque.

In the monthly report of the superintendent, Grishman discussed the recent Newsweek ranking of the best U.S. high schools. While extremely proud and appreciative of Jericho’s #32 placement, he reminded the community of the “many measures of an outstanding school district.” The superintendent explained that Jay Mathews of Newsweek does not take into account other, equally valuable factors, such as music and arts and the ever-increasing number of students who participate in math competitions. Grisham emphasized that it takes much more than high test scores to sustain a “broad, comprehensive program like the one we offer here in Jericho.”

The new Joint PTA Council president Ilene Joachim introduced herself to the community and congratulated all the “unbelievable students who were recognized tonight.” She wished Jericho families a safe and happy summer, and looks forward to kicking off another successful school year in the fall.