Absentee Ballots for School District Voting

Qualified resident voters of the Great Neck Public School district may obtain applications for absentee ballots for the May 15 school district election from the district Web site (greatneck.k12.ny.us -- click on Budget, then choose Absentee Ballot) or from the Office of the District Clerk, Great Neck Public Schools, Phipps Admin. Building, 345 Lakeville Rd., school days, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Absentee ballots are automatically sent to residents who are qualified voters and whose registration records have been marked "permanently disabled" by the Board of Elections.

Completed absentee ballots from approved applicants must be received by the District Clerk no later than 5 p.m., Tuesday, May 15.

For more information, please call the District Clerk at (516) 441-4020.


Best in Music Education Award

For the fifth consecutive year (and six times overall), the Great Neck Public School District has been named among the "Best Communities for Music Education" by the NAMM Foundation, a coalition of music and educational organizations. The 176 winning districts in this thirteenth-annual nationwide survey "provide access to music education as an essential part of a complete education and exemplify commitment and support for music education," a NAMM spokesperson said.

Selection was based on answers to a survey. Districts were measured across a variety of programs and curricula. Entrants answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, and other relevant factors in their music education programs. Responses were verified with district officials, and advisory organizations reviewed the data.

This year, Michael Schwartz, South High performing arts department head, prepared the district's submission for the Best Communities survey. Commenting on this comprehensive task, he said he was "happy to support our district and our outstanding music teachers in gathering and supplying the required information for the survey. Being selected now for the sixth time recognizes the support we all receive as teachers from the Board of Education, the administration, and the community, and the important role our district places on arts education for all our students."

Great Neck's proud music faculty include: Roger Ames and Joseph Rutkowski, North High; Mark Boschen, Dr. Pamela Levy, Department Head Michael Schwartz, and Anthony Virgilio, South High; Denise Eisner, Department Head Joseph Rutkowski, Jacquelyn Tomlet, and Matthew Trinkwald, North Middle; Mark Boschen, Department Head Alan Schwartz, Anthony Virgilio, and Shelley Willcox, South Middle; Anne Fogarty, Cynthia Gorney, and Jennifer Hood, Baker; Jennifer Hood, Amy Kempton, and Dr. Janine Robinson, Kennedy; Robin Golub, Juan Garcia, Jennifer Hood, Robert Pietromonaco, and Dr. Christopher Wilson, Lakeville; Robin Golub, Parkville; and Juan Garcia, Jennifer Hood, Chad Lasky, and Dr. Christopher Wilson, Saddle Rock.

The Best Communities survey was conducted by the NAMM Foundation with the support of these organizations: Americans for the Arts, League of American Orchestras, Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation, Music for All, Music Teachers National Association, National Guild for Community Arts Education, Yamaha Corporation of America, Young Audiences, and VH1 Save the Music Foundation.


Mathcounts Winners

Mathcounts teams from North Middle School and South Middle School took several awards at the Regional and State levels. Competing against 12 other schools at the Regional Mathcounts held at Hofstra University, South Middle's team earned Second Place and North Middle's team placed Third. Among the 100 individual competitors at the event, Jaysen, from South Middle, placed Third, and North Middle students August and Nicholas placed Seventh and Ninth, respectively.

The two teams went on to the State Competition, held at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where they made a very respectable showing. Out of 48 teams, South Middle placed 23rd and North Middle placed 25th.

North Middle's team advisor is mathematics department chair Leslie Blank. Math teacher William Giannone is South Middle's team advisor.

"Mathcounts" is not just a clever expression--it is the name of a national middle school mathematics enrichment, coaching, and competition program that promotes middle school mathematics through a series of fun and engaging critical-thinking and problem-solving written and oral contests. The program is supported by numerous sponsors and volunteers, under the leadership of the National Society of Professional Engineers at the state and local levels.


Scholastic Young Artists

Seventeen students took Key (individual) and Portfolio awards in this year's Scholastic Alliance for Young Artists and Writers competition.

Student winners, in alphabetical order, and their awards: Emily, Silver Key and two Honorable Mentions; Katherine, Gold Key; Alexa, Honorable Mention; Emilie, Silver Portfolio; Allison, Silver Key; Alexandra, Honorable Mention; Paige, Silver Key; Jung Min (Erin), Honorable Mention; Laura, two Silver Keys and Honorable Mention; Jenny, Gold Key and two Honorable Mentions; Jacqueline, Silver Key; Kana, two Silver Keys; Hyo In (Irene), Gold Key Portfolio; Jin Kyung (Grace), Silver Key; Benjamin, Silver Key; Jung Ah, Honorable Mention Portfolio; and Jennifer, Silver Key.

The Scholastic organization identifies teenagers with exceptional artistic and literary talent and brings their remarkable work to a national audience. South's regional winners will now advance to national adjudication.

Art teachers of these talented students are: Department Head Karen Cuchel, Katherine Saltoun, and Lisa Stancati.


YoungArts Winner

South High School senior Gabrielle is a winner in the national 2012 YoungArts competition, in the area of Voice. Gabrielle joins 596 other winners from 39 states, selected from a pool of over 5,000 applicants nationwide. Winners were chosen through a blind adjudication process and evaluated by celebrated masters in their artistic fields.

Since its founding in 1981, YoungArts, the core program of the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, has been the only national organization to recognize 15-18 year-old students in these artistic areas: cinema, dance, jazz, music, photography, theater, visual arts, voice, and writing.


Board Commends North Middle Students

The Board of Education recognized 63 students for contributing to the quality of life at their school. All received Certificates of Commendation form the Board.


Correction: Guide Post Journalism Awards

In a previous article highlighting the Adelphi University Quill Awards for excellence in high school journalism won by North High School's student newspaper, Guide Post, two errors were inadvertently made.

Managing Editor Claire won a Third Place for her Opinion Column titled, "Claire-ification:," not "Clarification"; and Contributing Writer Kristine, not Kristen, took an Honorable Mention for her Feature Article, "Alex's Our Town," an insightful interview with the student director of Thornton Wilder's Pulitzer Prize-winning play.


Upcoming at the Adult Program

The Great Neck Public Schools Adult Program offers a wide array of classes that foster personal growth, inspire creativity, explore health issues, teach new skills, and provide enjoyable leisure-time activities for adults, as well as parent or grandparent and children together. Descriptions of several upcoming courses are below. All classes meet at the Cumberland Adult Center, 30 Cumberland Ave., Great Neck. For more information, or to register, please call the Adult Program at (516) 441-4949 or visit www.greatneckadulted.org for online registration and complete catalog descriptions.

Live Your Life without Fear

Are fear and anxiety problems in your life? Do you avoid flying or other activities and places because of panic attacks? If anxiety is a factor in the choices you make, this course is for you. Retired Airline Captain Robert Schapiro will show you the real cause of panic and anxiety and will teach you a special technique to remove fear as a controlling factor in your life.

Mr. Schapiro has spent 34 years flying around the world in a career that included both military and civil aviation. He now lectures on anxiety and aviation-related topics. Class meets two Wednesdays, May 16 & 23, 10-11:30 a.m. Fee: $29.

Jewelry in Swarovski Crystal: Beginner

Learn easy techniques to make unique, beautiful, crystal jewelry--as seen in Madison Avenue boutiques. Weave and knot brilliant Swarovski crystals and string them into your own design. Make necklaces, bracelets, pins, pendants, earrings, or small decorative objects and animals. Instructor Emma Wang came to the US from Taiwan in 2003. A skilled artisan, Emma designs and creates beautiful and unique Swarovski crystal jewelry. Her professional work also includes the art of eggshell carving, leather engraving, paper vase, batik, Japanese and Chinese flower arrangement, the Japanese craft of making artificial flowers, and traditional Chinese painting. This class, for beginners only, meets five Thursdays, May 24-June 21, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Fee: $99 for Great Neck and Manhasset residents; $109 for nonresidents. Kits, approximately $20 per session, are available from the instructor.

Puppy Kindergarten

Puppies and their owners will be introduced to new, social experiences with other people and puppies in a fun, unstructured environment. Some introductory commands will help turn your puppy into a well-behaved, well-adjusted, and obedient dog. The puppies will experience normal play and interaction with other puppies to develop their social skills and confidence. The bond between you and your puppy will improve and strengthen. Your puppy must be 10 weeks or older, and be in your possession for at least two weeks before first class. Proof of bordatella shot must be presented at the first session. One puppy per registrant; additional family members welcome, $10 per person. Instructor Craig Francisco, of VIP Dog Training, specializes in the home training of dogs, including obedience, protection, problems, housebreaking, and chewing. Class meets five Mondays, June 4-July 2, 6:15-7:15 p.m. Fee: $45 for Great Neck and Manhasset residents; $55 for nonresidents. Each additional family member, $10.

Pizza & Cannoli Party: Parent/Grandparent & Child

Make cannolis and have fun seeing how pizza is made and how delicious it tastes when you make it yourself! While waiting for the pizza to be done, fill a box of your own cannolis--for dessert and to take home. Cannoli, a popular Italian dessert, is a tubular pastry shell that's filled with sweetened ricotta and chocolate chips. Yum! Then together, enjoy a delicious meal of pizza and cannolis. Instructor Cathy Coluccio Fazzolari is co-owner of her family's legendary Italian specialty-food importing company and retail store, D. Coluccio & Sons, Inc., located in Brooklyn. Cathy travels to Italy and various food shows to acquire ingredients that represent the very best of Italy. She will be assisted by her 11-year-old daughter, Isabella. Class meets Saturday, May 19, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Fee: $55 for one adult and one child, ages 5 to 12; each additional child $11.

Collage Is Fun! Parent/Grandparent & Child

Have fun working together to make collages by cutting and pasting parts of photos, colored paper, and other fragments of different sizes, shapes, and textures. Materials will be supplied. Instructor Amy Finkston has had a lifelong involvement in the arts including painting, drawing, printmaking, and collage. She has brought her talent to the Adult Program for more than three decades. Class meets Saturday, June 2, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Fee: $31 for one adult and one child, ages 6-12; each additional child $5.


Westport Playhouse & Mme. Alexander Dolls: Adult Program Trips

Join the Great Neck Public Schools Adult Program for two day trips in late May: Sondheim's Into the Woods at the Westport Country Playhouse, CT, followed by dinner; and the Madame Alexander Doll Company and a sumptuous tea-party-themed lunch at Alice's Teacup in New York City. Details follow. Both trips depart from, and return to, the Cumberland Adult Center, 30 Cumberland Ave., Great Neck. For more information, or to register, please call the Adult Program at (516) 441-4949 or visit www.greatneckadulted.org for online registration and complete catalog descriptions.

Westport Country Playhouse: Into the Woods & Dinner

Westport Country Playhouse has served as a treasured home for the performing arts since 1931. It continues to offer polished, professional productions. The original production of Into the Woods, with music and lyrics are by Stephen Sondheim, won Tony awards for Best Score and Best Book. The New York Times wrote, "Follow the music. It will take you somewhere wonderful." Enter a dark and beguiling world of fairy tales, where the essential stories of youth are freshly revealed in all their sinewy complexity. This seamless tapestry of beautiful words and haunting melodies offers a mature vision of what really happens after happily ever after. Following the matinee performance, there will be an informal talk by a Westport staff member. Then, enjoy an early dinner at Rizzuto's, a popular Westport restaurant. Helene Schachter leads this trip on Wednesday May 23. Depart at noon; anticipated return 9 p.m. Fee: $125 (includes orchestra ticket, dinner, transportation, and all gratuities).

Madame Alexander Doll Co. & Alice's Tea Cup

Begin with a behind-the-scenes tour of the Madame Alexander Doll Company. Experience over 80 years of doll-making history and learn about the social tastes and trends from the 1920s through today. Visit the Heritage Gallery, the doll hospital, and the factory that manufactures the unique Madame Alexander dolls. A customized tour will explain the worldwide fascination with these outstanding collectibles. See over 600 dolls on display, the equipment used to make them, and the haute-couture-inspired designs for their clothing. After the tour, you can browse or shop in their wholesale doll shop. Then enjoy a private, late lunch at the charming Chapter II location of Alice's Tea Cup. In the Looking Glass and Fairy Rooms, enjoy an elaborate, English-style, Mad Hatter Tea Service of scones of the day, freshly baked and served with raspberry preserves and clotted cream; assorted tea sandwiches refilled throughout our visit (cucumber and watercress, albacore tuna, curried chicken salad, smoked salmon, smoked chicken breast, roasted cumin carrots, egg salad, and Black Forest ham and gruyere); desserts (chocolate chip cake, lemon tart, and assorted cookies); and unlimited tea, coffee, and soft drinks. After lunch, there will be time to browse the Tea Cup's enchanting gift shop where you can purchase cupcakes, scones, cookies, gourmet teas, and other confections, if desired. Jill Muller leads this trip on Thursday, May 24. Depart 10:15 a.m.; anticipated return 5:30 p.m. Fee: $109 (includes Madame Alexander tour, lunch and gratuity, transportation and gratuity to driver).