North High & Israeli Students Make Music Together

The music rooms at North High School came alive with the sounds of wonderful music when students from Israel's Afula Municipal Conservatory interacted with North musicians in a day of music. The Afula musicians, 34 band students and 28 singers, performed with North's orchestra, band, and choral classes. They were also given a tour of the school and enjoyed socializing at lunch in the school Commons.

The Afula group joins a long list of performing artists/educators who have come to North High to lead workshops, conduct classes, perform with the students, and greatly enrich the schools' music program. These musical visits are organized by Joseph Rutkowski, North's instrumental music teacher. Guests in the past have included flutist Tara Helen O'Connor, conductor JoAnn Falletta, and the Jurong Primary School String Ensembles from Singapore.

During their stay in Great Neck, the Afula students also performed at Temple Beth-El and Temple Israel as part of their two-week tour of the US.


Success Out of Adversity

Perseverance in the face of adversity was the positive message conveyed by Amy Palmiero during her visit to North High School. Ms. Palmiero, a former high school track and swimming star, is a below-knee amputee who currently holds eleven world records in various track events. She was awarded the AAU James E. Sullivan Award as the top amateur athlete in the US (2009), and the ESPN ESPY Award as the top female athlete in the world with a disability (2010).

In 1994, Ms. Palmiero was involved in a motorcycle accident that crushed her left leg. After three years and twenty-five surgeries, her leg was amputated below the knee. Six years later, fitted with a walking prosthesis, and five months pregnant, she came in second place in her division in a San Diego marathon. The following year, she placed third in her division in the New York City Triathlon.

She then decided it was time to get serious about competing and enlisted the support of A Step Ahead Prosthetics and Orthotics in Hicksville. Fitted with customized running and biking prostheses, Ms. Palmiero competes as a member of Team A Step Ahead, a group of disabled athletes. She is also an avid motivational speaker for athletes and others.

North High's Athletic Leadership Club helped make Ms. Palmiero's visit possible. Club faculty advisors are physical education teacher Marisol Mahler and science teacher Christopher Ceasar.