Accolades For Our
- 5/13/14 - Michelle Sicurella, North Middle Health Education Teacher, was selected as the 2014 Health Education Teacher of the Year by the Nassau Zone of the NYS Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance.
- 5/8/14 - Five high school students are winners in the American Sign Language (ASL) Song Interpretation Competition sponsored by the Long Island Language Teachers.
- 5/8/14 - The South High School team of Jessica Kwong, Angus Yuen, and Jay Zussman recently tied for second place at the 2014 Protein Modeling Challenge, competing against 28 other Long Island teams.
- 5/1/14 - Thirty-four young scientists from North and South High Schools took awards at the WAC Lighting Foundation Invitational Science Fair, including five First Place winners.
- 4/22/14 - South High was ranked 115th nationally and 21st in NYS by US News & World Report's annual list of high performing high schools, and among the top 200 schools nationally in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education.
- 4/17/14 - John Motchkavitz, South High Business/Technology Education Department Chair, was selected as a Finalist in the Live with Kelly and Michael Teacher of the Year contest.
- 4/17/14 - North High School junior, Brittany Ma, took First Place in the recent American Sign Language (ASL) Idol Competition. Brittany interpreted “Fighter,” a song by Christine Aguilera.
- 4/17/14 - Great Neck South High’s DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) Club excelled at the State Career Conference, held in Rochester, early last month. There were some 120 students in attendance from South, more than half of all club members. Twenty-six students (listed below) scored high enough to advance to the International Career Development Conference (ICDC) to be held in Atlanta, in May. Seven students took First Place in their events. In addition, 41 students placed in the Top 10 for their test; 33 students placed in the Top 10 for their roleplay; and 55 students placed in the Top 10 overall. DECA faculty advisors are business teachers Sheryl Burger and Rick Vine.
- 4/3/14 - For the seventh time in eight years, the Great Neck Public School District has been named among the “Best Communities for Music Education” by the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Foundation, a coalition of music and educational organizations.
- 4/3/14 - Kudos to the South Middle violinists who took top honors at the Long Island String Festival, and to the North High School musicians who have been invited to perform at Carnegie Hall. South Middle School sixth-grade violinists Jaehyun and Alexandra were chosen Concertmaster and Assistant Concertmistress, respectively, for the Long Island String Festival Association (LISFA) Orchestra, Elementary Division (grades 5-7). Some 50 North High School musicians have been invited to perform at Carnegie Hall, on Saturday, April 19, at 2:30 p.m., as part of the Worldstrides Heritage Performance Programs at Carnegie Hall.
- 3/20/14 - South High School’s Science Olympiad Team A took First Place at the 2014 NYS Science Olympiad, Nassau West Regional (Division C, High School), competing against 32 other teams. The team took medals in 19 of the 22 events. Team members included: Su Yeon (Rachel) An, Lelina Chang, Evangeline Giannopoulos, Jarett Gross, Elliot Horowitz, Robbin Jang, Joseph Kim, Cristina Lai, Jacob Mathai, Lora Pavlovich, Robin Shum, Cassie Wang, Sherry Yang, Jaysen Zhang, and Jay Zussman.
- 3/13/14 - Talented music students from South High School and North and South Middle Schools have been selected to perform at prestigious Lincoln Center concerts.Two South High chamber ensembles were chosen by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center to perform in the 31st annual Young Musicians Concert (for grades 9-12), on April 10, at Alice Tully Hall. They will join 10 other ensembles selected from 45 entries in the tri-state area. Lindsay, cello; Sam, violin; Helena, viola; and Alison, violin, will perform Mozart’s String Quartet in F major, First Movement. Diana, soprano; Rachel, alto; Alex, bass; Steven, tenor; and Lucia and Annabelle, pianists, will perform Johannes Brahms’ Liebeslieder Waltzes, Op. 52, No. 1, 2, 5, 6, and 8. Michael Schwartz, performing arts department head/director of instrumental music, and Dr. Pamela Levy, vocal director, theory and piano, are faculty advisors for the school’s Chamber Music Society. Talented music students from North Middle School and South Middle School have been selected to perform at the 19th annual Lincoln Center Young Ensembles Concert (for grades 6-8), on May 15. Out of the many submissions from the tri-state area, only eight chamber music groups were selected to perform at the Concert. North Middle’s ensemble consists of: Junhyuk, violin; Jeremy, cello; Maxim, piano; and Adam, violin. They are students of Jacquelyn Tomlet, instrumental and classroom music teacher. South Middle’s ensemble group will be: Grace, piano; Asia, violin; and Michael, cello. They are students of Alan Schwartz, music department chair.
- 3/6/14 - Twenty seniors from South High School have advanced to Finalists (from Semifinalists) in the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Competition. They are: Alexandra Chen, Elizabeth Chi, May Hlaing, Da Young (Clara) Hong, David Hong, Joseph Kim, Kevin Kim, Kyutae (John) Kim, Allison Kornrich, Kara Kupferberg, Cristina Lai, Christine Lee, Lora Pavlovich, Alexander Putter, Seung Yeon (Christine) Song, Radhika Viswanathan, Avir Waxman, Caroline Weinberg, Angell Xiang, and Chae Rin Yoon.PSAT scores for these students were among the highest in the state and their scores on a second examination were as good or better.
- 3/6/14 - An unprecedented number of teams from the Great Neck Public Schools entered and won awards at the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) LEGO League (FLL) Regional Qualifying Competition, on Feb. 1, at Central Islip High School, and at the Long Island Championship Competition, on March 2, at Longwood School in Middle Island.Participating at the Regional Qualifying Competition were teams from North Middle, South Middle, Baker, Kennedy, Lakeville, and Saddle Rock Schools. All teams were competing for the first time, except North Middle's; they were rookies last year. South Middle's team combined with a team from Greenlawn to form Tea "Rebel's Fury." The two teams scored the highest combined points to receive the Alliance Award. Baker's team won the Judges Award. Kennedy's team won the Gracious Professionalism Award. Lakeville won the Teamwork Award. Saddle Rock won the Mechanical Design Award. Baker, Kennedy, Lakeville, and Saddle Rock won four of the available 12 awards that qualify a team to compete at the next level, the Long Island Championship. The teachers at each of these schools worked tirelessly with their students to help them learn not only the various concepts of robotics, but also cooperation and the importance of teamwork. Faculty coaches for FLL events are: Elizabeth Gallo (North Middle), Randy Lane and Jonathan Ruvio (South Middle), Diane Boylan and Lisa Malfi (Baker), Maddy Constantino and Amy Mendel (Kennedy), Adam Feinstein, Eileen Magilligan, and Leslie Watnik (Lakeville), and Nicole Alexander, Melissa Diamond, and Janene Rowland (Saddle Rock). Teams from Baker, Kennedy, Lakeville, and Saddle Rock participated in the Long Island Championship Competition. Three of the four teams copped awards. Baker's team won the Judges Award. Kennedy's team won the Teamwork Award. Lakeville won the Inspiration Award.
- 3/6/14 - The Village School, an alternative high school, was recently honored by the Great Neck Historical Society as part of their Heritage Recognition Program. The school was presented with a plaque, to "identify and honor" the Village School as among Great Neck's "Most Notable Homes & Buildings," and with a recognition certificate that contains a brief history of the Village School building.
- 2/27/14 - South High School's National Science Bowl Team recently took Second Place in the National Science Bowl Long Island Regional Competition, sponsored by the Department of Energy National Science Bowl for High School Students, held at the Brookhaven National Laboratory. Team members Jin Hyup (Joe) Hong, Joseph Kim, Allan Lee, Melody Yang, and Jay Zussman competed in the round-robin/double-elimination tournament.
- 2/27/14 - North Middle School's Science Olympiad Team won medals in five events at the Regional Science Olympiad competition in early February. Megan and Hong coped Second Place in Dynamic Planet and Third Place in Solar System. Sachita and Joshua took a Fifth Place in Anatomy. Megan and Amy earned Fifth Place in Disease Detective. Michael and Junhyuk (Jason) took Sixth Place in Simple Machines. The team competed in 19 events and ranked eleventh overall out of the 40 teams participating. Faculty advisors were Donna Plante and Zehava Vitberg.
- 2/6/14 - Six students from Great Neck North and South High Schools were named winners in the 2013-14 Long Island High School Psychology Fair. Awards were given for Best in Category and Honorable Mention. North High winners, with their category, were: Monica Beeferman, Honorable Mention in Interdisciplinary Psychology (room 2); Lauren Pomerantz, Best in Category, Developmental Psychology; and Clara Sava-Segal, tie for Best in Category, Biological Psychology. Faculty advisors were Alan Schorn and Dr. Marie van Nieuwenhuizen, science research teachers. South High winners, with their category, were: Evangeline Giannopoulos and Alexander Putter, tie for Best in Category, Biological Psychology; and Andrew Schneider, Honorable Mention in Interdisciplinary Psychology (room 1). Dr. Carol Hersh, science research teacher, was faculty advisor for Evangeline and Alex. Science research teacher Michelle Sorise was faculty advisor for Andrew.
- 2/6/14 - Twenty student musicians in the Great Neck Public Schools excelled at this year's All-County Music Festival held at the Tilles Center, in January. Students earned positions of recognition after being tested for proficiency at rehearsals just prior to the All-County concerts. North High Honorees - Division V-Chris Peter, English horn (second seat), band; Spencer, English horn (first seat and soloist), band; and Liza, principal second flute (first seat), band. Division IV-Casey, principal tuba (first seat), orchestra; and Scott, principal second clarinet, orchestra. These students are taught by Joseph Rutkowski, instrumental director. South High Honorees - Division V-Christine, assistant principal first flute (second seat), orchestra; and Emily, assistant principal first bassoon (second seat), orchestra. Division IV-Jonathan, principal cello (first seat), orchestra; Robin H., associate principal viola (third seat), orchestra; Robin, principal first oboe (first seat and soloist), band; Christine, violin, concertmistress (first seat and soloist), orchestra (also violin soloist with Division IV choir); and Hye Rin, associate principal first violin (third seat), orchestra. These students are taught by Michael Schwartz, performing arts department head/instrumental music teacher. North Middle Honoree - Division II-Madeline, flute (second chair), band. Her teacher is Jacquelyn Tomlet, instrumental music teacher. South Middle Honorees - Division III-Rachel, principal flute (first chair), band; and Stephen, principal bass clarinet (first chair), orchestra. Division II-Michelle, principal oboe (first chair), band; Jaehyun, violin, co-concertmaster (second chair), orchestra; Alexandra, violin, co-concertmistress (third chair), orchestra; Ann, violin, concertmistress (first chair), orchestra; and Michael, principal first clarinet (first chair), band. Having Ann, Jaehyun, and Alexandra selected as the top three orchestra violinists (concertmistress, co-concertmaster, and co-concertmistress, respectively) from the same school, is unprecedented. South Middle instrumental students are taught by Alan Schwartz, music department head. Division I Honoree - Lakeville-Eli, first chair clarinet, band. Juan Garcia is his instrumental music teacher. Special Recognition - Recognition for several Great Neck music teachers is also due. They devoted substantial amounts of time, energy, and talent to help make All-County Music Festival possible. Kudos to: Amy Kempton (Kennedy), who chaired the Division I West Orchestra; Dr. Janine Robinson (North High), who was the official accompanist for the Division III Chorus; Joseph Rutkowski (North High), for conducting one wind sectional rehearsal for the Division IV Orchestra; Michael Schwartz (South High), for coordinating the bus chaperoning assignments; and Jacquelyn Tomlet (North Middle), for conducting the woodwind sectional for the Division II Band.
- 1/30/14 - Five students from North and South High Schools were named Semifinalists in the 2014 Intel Science Talent Search, a program of Society for Science & the Public. Intel (the former Westinghouse competition) is the country's oldest pre-college science competition and is considered by many to be the most prestigious. North High School's Semifinalists are Richard Feder-Staehle, Luhong (Larry) Li, and Terry Wei. Their faculty sponsors were Alan Schorn and Dr. Marie van Nieuwenhuizen, science research teachers. South High's Semifinalists are Evangeline Giannopoulos and Kara Kupferberg. Evangeline's faculty sponsors were Drs. Carol Hersh and James Truglio, science research teachers.
- 1/23/14 - North High School students will exhibit some 50 works representing a range of media, including: painting, drawing, architecture, digital photography, and digital design at the Great Neck Library (Main Branch, lower level, 159 Bayview Ave.), during the month of February.
- 1/9/14 - Five students from the Great Neck Public Schools have just been named Semifinalists in the 2014 Intel Science Talent Search. Intel is often considered the nation's most prestigious pre-college science competition. North High School's Semifinalists, with their project titles, are: Richard Feder-Staehle, "Analysis of Chandra X-ray Data of Elliptical Galaxies in the Cosmic Evolution Survey (COSMOS)"; Luhong (Larry) Li, "Velocity Gradients in Relation to Spatial Scale of Star-Forming Dense Cores in the Perseus Molecular Cloud"; and Terry Wei, "Comparing the Back-projection Method of Analysis with the JMA HiNet Catalogue Using the 2011 March 11 Event to Determine the Effectiveness of Imaging Aftershocks." South High's Semifinalists, with the titles of their projects are: Evangeline Giannopoulos, "The Identification of Novel Runt and Even-Skipped Transcriptional Co-factors in Drosophila"; and Kara Kupferberg, "A Study of Non-verbal Emotion Perception and Autism: Influence of Gender and Emotion."
- 12/19/13 - Young artists from Baker, Kennedy, Lakeville, Parkville, Saddle Rock, North High, and North Middle Schools took over a third of the top awards at the fifth annual Town of North Hempstead Recycled Artwork Contest. The Contest encourages students to use their creativity to promote recycling in their schools and their community. In the elementary division (grades K-5), Kennedy took three of the five individual awards. In the high school division (grades 9-12), North High took two of the five individual awards. In the group projects division, North Middle; Lakeville; and Baker, Kennedy, Parkville, and Saddle Rock took three of the six awards, including Best Overall.
- 12/12/13 - Seven young musicians were selected for the 2013-14 Long Island String Festival Association (LISFA) Orchestra, Elementary Division (grades 5-7). The concert will be held in early March. North Middle School's performer will be sixth-grade violist Brandon. South Middle School performers will be sixth-grade violinists Jaehyun and Alexandra, and seventh-grade violist Kenneth. Elementary school performers are all fifth-graders. They include: Shalin (Shay) cello, from Baker School; and Emily, viola, and Eugene, violin, from Lakeville School.
- 11/21/13 - Amy Kempton, long-time instrumental music teacher at the J.F. Kennedy School and professional flautist, is the arranger of Kendor Master Repertoire--Flute, just published by Kendor Music, Inc., music publishers. This book, edited by Carl Strommen, includes eight selections for grade 4 flute players; the pieces are especially suitable for recital and contest performances.
- North High School has two Finalists teams--the only ones from New York State--in the international 2013 CSAW@NYU-Poly HSF Competition (Cyber Security Awareness Week High School Forensics). The teams are August Chen, Jessy Lin, and Ashley Radparvar; and Maxwell (Max) Ainatchi and Daniel Hanover. North's teams are among the 14 Finalist teams from a field of over 200 entrants.
- Two brothers, from North Middle School and from Baker School, have been named Long Island Young Scholars of Mathematics by the Institute of Creative Problem Solving for Gifted and Talented Students at SUNY College at Old Westbury Campus Center. They are eighth-grader Michael and fifth-grader Albert. They are among 80 Young Scholars selected from some 700 top-ranking Long Island math students who competed for this honor.
- Four Great Neck Public Schools seniors have been named Semifinalists in the 2013 Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology, one of the most prestigious student competitions in the science community. They are Luhong (Larry) Li, Clara Sava-Segal, and Terry Wei from North High School, and Lelina Chang from South High School. North High science research advisors were Alan Schorn and Dr. Marie Van Nieuwenhuizen. Dr. Carol Hersh was South's science research advisor.
- Eight students have been accepted to perform in the New York State Band Directors Association (NYSBDA) Middle School Honor Concert Band to be held in Syracuse, in early March 2014. These students were selected by a statewide panel of NYSBDA music educators after evaluating recordings of their performances. Participating in the Honor Concert Band from North Middle School will be eighth-grader Matthew (trumpet). His instrumental music teacher is Matthew Trinkwald. South Middle eighth-graders who will be participating in the Honor Concert Band are: Kelly (oboe), Stephen (bass clarinet), and Katelyn (flute). Seventh-grade participants will be Jeremy (oboe), Rachel (flute), Noah (trumpet), and Eric (clarinet). Their teacher is Alan Schwartz, music department head. Out of the 260 students who applied to the NYS Middle School Honor Band, only 98 students were selected to participate--these students are among the best band players for their age in the state.
- Cristina Lai, a South High School senior, is a recipient of a Rising Scientist Award, presented by the Child Mind Institute, for her outstanding achievements in science. Cristina was one of 10 twelfth-graders in the New York metropolitan area to receive the award. Additionally, the science department of each award recipient's school received $500 to be used toward supplies, equipment, and books. Students were nominated by their school and then selected by the Institute through an open submission process that involved reviewing student research papers, presentations, and articles that featured each nominee's accomplishments in science and research, as well as their academic and extracurricular activities. Dr. Carol Hersh, Cristina's Advanced Placement Chemistry and Science Research teacher at South High, explained that she was nominated for this award "based on her strong performance in her science courses and in Science Research, as well as her contribution to the Science Olympiad team."
- Five secondary students were selected for the 2013-14 Long Island String Festival Association (LISFA) Orchestra. This musical experience, held Nov. 15-17, brings together Long Island's highly talented, young string musicians. Emily, North High School eleventh-grade cellist, will be participating in the High School Division (grades 10-12). Junior High Division (grades 8-9) participants are: North High ninth-grade violinist Matthew; and eighth-grade violinists Keva from North Middle, and Adrian and Asia from South Middle. Participation in LISFA is an outstanding accomplishment. These students help to set an example of excellence for their classmates in their instrumental music programs. They are taught by instrumental music teachers Joseph Rutkowski at North High, Matthew Trinkwald at North Middle, and Alan Schwartz at South Middle.
- Alyson Lamonte, a physical education teacher at the J.F. Kennedy School, will be the recipient of the Nassau Zone Amazing Person Award, to be presented at the annual New York State Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (AHPERD) Conference in November. The Nassau Zone is a local division of AHPRERD. Ms. Lamonte is a worthy recipient of this Award as reflected in several of her Nassau Zone accomplishments. She is an active board member of the Nassau Zone for over five years and was the program planner for the annual Physical Education and Health Conference. She was on the Get Moving New York Committee that encourages people to "get up and move" based on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's recommended 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous daily physical activity. Ms. Lamonte recently chaired the Elementary and Middle School Awards Committee that recognizes one male and one female graduate from each school who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in physical education. She was also the 2013 recipient of the Nassau Zone Service Award.
- Three Great Neck Public Schools teachers--Roger Ames, Joseph Rutkowski, and Daniel Weinstein--have excelled professionally in their respective areas, as elaborated below. Roger Ames, resident composer and former vocal music teacher at North High School, is the co-author of three books on teaching opera that are part of an ongoing series titled, "Music! Words! Opera!" The books are: Hansel and Gretel, Aida, and Create Your Own Opera. Joseph Rutkowski, instrumental music teacher at North High School, was the highlighted contributor to the cover-story article, "The Art of Teaching Music," in the July/August 2013 issue of Allegro, the magazine of Associated Musicians of Greater New York. Mr. Rutkowski was one of several music teachers asked to explain how to be an effective teacher since, whether planned or not, teaching becomes part of most musicians' careers. Daniel Weinstein, who teaches Advanced Placement Language & Composition and Creative Writing at South High School, will be making presentations at the New York State English Council (NYSEC) Conference in October, and at the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Conference in November. At the NYSEC event, Mr. Weinstein will speak on "The Creativity Core: Transforming Language Arts Classrooms into Creativity Workshops." (He has also written a practical manual for teachers on this topic.)
- Twenty South High School seniors have been named Semifinalists in the prestigious 2014 National Merit Scholarship Competition. Semifinalists are: Alexandra, Elizabeth, May Hlaing, Da Young (Clara), David, Joseph, Kevin, Kyutae (John), Allison, Kara, Cristina, Christine, Lora, Alexander, Seung Yeon (Christine), Radhika, Avir, Caroline, Angell, and Chae Rin. The Semifinalists scored among the highest in New York State on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which they took last year. The National Merit Scholarship Program honors individual students who show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies. a soloist). She is also a member of
North's Tri-M Music Honor Society. Paula performs at North under
the guidance of Roger Ames, vocal music teacher, and Joseph
Rutkowski, instrumental music teacher.
- Twelve highly talented high school music students have been selected for the competitive 2013 NYSSMA Conference All-State, to be held in Rochester, Dec. 5-8. In addition, nine students were named Alternates for the event. North High School All-State musicians are: Emily (cello, Symphony Orchestra), Leerone (violin, String Orchestra), Spencer (English Horn, Symphonic Band), and Eric (violin, Symphony Orchestra). North High Alternates are: Richard for vocal bass and jazz alto saxophone, and Lawrence, violin. North High instrumental students are taught by Joseph Rutkowski. Vocal students are taught by Dr. Janine Robinson and Roger Ames. Instrumental students selected for All-State from South High are: Elizabeth (tenor saxophone, Symphonic Band), Rebecca (flute, Symphonic Band), Alison (violin, String Orchestra), and Emily (bassoon, Wind Ensemble). Vocal students selected: Diana (soprano, Women's Chorus), Michelle (soprano, Mixed Chorus), Jasmine (soprano, Women's Chorus), and Alex (bass, Mixed Chorus). South High alternates include: Justin (tenor), James (bass), Christine (flute), Rebecca (piccolo), Grace (cello), Sherry (cello), and Anne (cello). South High students are taught by Michael Schwartz, performing arts department head/instrumental music teacher, and Dr. Pamela Levy, vocal teacher. At the All-State Conference, sponsored by the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA), the State's finest student musicians will perform together in various ensembles. Thousands of students auditioned for this competition last spring at solo and ensemble festivals throughout the State.
- North High School senior Paula has been selected to perform at the eighth annual New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Piano Showcase, in Rochester, on Dec. 6. She is among the 11 talented young pianists chosen from 71 perfect-score applicants statewide. At the Showcase, Paula will perform Jardins sous la pluie, from "Estampes," by Claude Debussy. She played oboe in the North High band and is a member of the Chorus and the school's Tri-M Music Honor Society. In addition, Paula was recently named a Newsday Scholar Artist for excellence in the arts and academics. Her faculty sponsor for the Showcase was Joseph Rutkowski, North High instrumental music teacher.
- Two talented South High School seniors have been selected for the highly prestigious 2013 NAfME All-National Honor Ensembles to be held in Nashville, Tennessee, from October 27–30. They are Jessica, who will sing alto in the All-National Mixed Choir, and Sam, who will play violin in the All-National Symphony Orchestra. Jessica's South High teacher is Dr. Pamela Levy, vocal music director; Sam is a student of Michael Schwartz, performing arts department head. Selection to All-National is the highest honor music high school students can receive. Applications were received from student musicians of NAfME members from throughout the United States. A total of 671 students were selected for All-National chorus, orchestra, or band, with 77 students coming from New York State. NAfME (National Association for Music Education) sponsors the All-National Conference which alternates each year with the All-Eastern Conference.