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Amityville Students Connect With Long Island Peers

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Amityville Memorial High School students and their peers from across Long Island are exploring issues affecting society through the Breaking Borders program. This is the second year Amityville has partnered with high schools in other districts, including Freeport, Levittown, Oyster Bay-East Norwich and Syosset, to spark meaningful and productive conversations about serious topics.

Each school hosts a gathering of students, who bond over a pizza lunch before splitting in smaller groups to talk about the topic of the day. Every group is led by a student facilitator who introduces discussion prompts. When Amityville hosted, the topic was “How does racism affect our society?” Sophomores Alexia Gordon and Carlos Reyes began the program by introducing their guests to Amityville and its diverse student population. 

Amityville social studies teacher Matthew Tomasi explained that the premise of Breaking Borders is to give students a chance to interact with their peers from different backgrounds. He said that when people step out of their comfort zones, it makes the world more inclusive. While the transformation is not overnight, Mr. Tomasi explained that holding these discussions are “the first steps” toward change. 

“They are getting to see how different people live their lives,” he said, “and gain an understanding of how people are both similar and different.”

Amityville Musicians Earns String Festival Selection

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The Long Island String Festival will welcome three Amityville student-musicians to its ensembles in January. Amityville Memorial High School junior Alex Diaz, Edmund W. Miles Middle School eighth grader Madeline Shingleton and Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School fifth grader Joel Biju will represent the district at the festival which will feature talented musicians from schools all over Long Island.

Alex, who plays the viola, will join the Suffolk secondary orchestra for a performance on Jan. 12 at St. John the Baptist Diocesan High School. Additionally, Alex was a member of the New York State School Music Association’s All-State Symphonic Orchestra, which performed in early December in Rochester, earning the fourth seat in his section.  

Madeline and Joel, who both play the cello, will perform as members of the Suffolk intermediate orchestra on Jan. 26 at Northport High School. This is Madeline’s third LISFA selection and she will play in the grades 7 and 8 concert while Joel will make his festival debut in the grade 5 concert.

The district’s orchestra teachers are Christine Klimek and Bianca Ferrante.

Amityville Students Introduced to Health Care Careers

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Nearly 20 students from Amityville Memorial High School and Edmund W. Miles Middle School learned about different professions in the medical field this past summer and were recently recognized for their participation in Stony Brook University’s Health Careers Academic and Readiness Excellence program.

The students took part in the free, six-day program. Medical professionals including doctors, nurses, physical therapists, radiologists, hospital administrators and more visited the high school to talk about their vital roles in health care and answer roles. HCARE Educational Specialist Erik Flynn said that the program gives students an opportunity to learn about “all careers that are part of the health care team.”

Participants in the program were recognized at a white coat ceremony at the Dec. 11 Amityville Board of Education meeting. Mr. Flynn presented students with certificates and white medical coats. The students were seniors Kayla Campbell, Kaeia Fuller, Aaliyah Hunt, Nurys Matos-Mejia and Tamara Stuart, juniors Monica Mejia and Derick Rodriguez, sophomores Diana Alvarez, Leah Friedland, Kenia Hernandez, Samantha Molina, Kameron Muirhead, Alisson Ramos-Lopez, Randy Rodriguez, Stephanie Urbina and Shane Wright, and freshman Adrianna Velasquez-Bautista.

High School Students Play Santa for Amityville Kids

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Amityville Memorial High School students are making the holidays better for children right in their own community through the Christmas Magic program. Members of the Warrior Awareness Club, known as the WAC PAC, recently purchased more than 200 toys to benefit 62 children at Northwest Elementary School.

WAC PAC adviser Jason McGowan said the school has had a long-term partnership with nonprofit organization Christmas Magic to help grant the wishes of children across Long Island. Every year, the organization provides the WAC PAC with Christmas lists for dozens of children along with funds to purchase the gifts. With a budget of $60 per child, the students made three trips to Target to shop, then returned to the high school to wrap the presents. 

Mr. McGowan said that this is not the first time they have provided toys for Amityville children, but it has been several years. It meant a lot to the high school students to know their efforts were helping youngsters in their own community.

“I love doing this,” senior Isabella Mohan said. “It’s great to give back and we’re giving back within the district.”

Amityville Art Students Make Their Mark for the Holidays

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The artistic talents of students at Amityville Memorial High School and Edmund W. Miles Middle School will be on full display to shoppers and motorists passing through the Village of Amityville this holiday season. For the second consecutive year, students painted holiday scenes on the windows of several local businesses.

Under the guidance of art teachers Jennifer Dibble, Jayne Grasso, Heather Pickard and Nicole Scoca, more than 20 students spent the morning of Dec. 4 creating the festive holiday displays. The windows of The Cheesecake Spot, Family Dollar and Gerald’s Market on Broadway were covered in designs created by students, as well as the Marks of Excellence child care center on Albany Avenue in North Amityville.

Teachers outlined the designs with white paint a day in advance before students arrived to add color. The displays featured Christmas lights, holly, ornaments, snowmen, wreathes and more. Participating students include members of the National Art Honor Society at the high school and interested art students from the middle school.

Superintendent Dr. Mary T. Kelly, Director of Fine Arts Dr. Fran Fernandez and high school transition coordinator Karen Gross partnered with the Amityville Chamber of Commerce to beautify the community for the holidays. 

Monday, January 27, 2020