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Innovations and musical creations at Annual STEAM Symposium

Innovations and musical creations at Annual STEAM Symposium

For three years, the school district’s annual STEM Symposium featured dozens of tables set up with interactive activities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics in the high school gymnasium. This year, the front entry and hallway of the school featured music and arts to showcase the accomplishments of the fine arts department, aptly making it a STEAM Symposium. District teachers and students displayed and discussed student projects from albatross bolus dissection to forensics and robotics. Guests learned how to make binary bracelets, were taught about static electricity, and even tasted fresh arugula grown in the school’s vertical tower gardens in the Long Island Sustainability class. Life-size cardboard cutouts of Marie Curie, Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton and Alan Turing were just a few of the inventors and scientists who greeted the hundreds of curious guests at the entrance to the gym. High School music students performed classical music as guests experienced the colorful creations in the gallery set up for their viewing pleasure. The District’s School-to-Community program partners were in attendance to share resources and access to STEM opportunities and post-high school careers. Mad Science, an educational program that works to spark students’ curiosity, engaged the audience with a science-themed performance. Organized by Dr. Amy Meyer, Shoreham-Wading River School District’s director of STEM, the evening was another successful showcase of the many educational endeavors taking place throughout the district.


A Showcase of AP Research Projects

A Showcase of AP Research Projects
In the High School’s AP Research course, students explore an academic topic, problem, issue or idea of their choosing and design, plan and implement a yearlong research project. Recently, the school hosted its first Research Day, where each student manned a station with a research poster and activity related to their project to help engage fellow students.

Topics ranged from developing methods to grow protein crystals, to a cost benefit analysis of NHL player salaries, to the implementation of adolescent literature into the curriculum. All teachers were invited to bring their classes throughout the day to learn and engage with their peers. In addition, several members of the district’s School-to-Community Program – who earlier in the school year provided these students with feedback on drafts of their work – attended to see and hear about the students’ finished products.

Honored for Integrity & Character

Honored for Integrity & Character
Seniors Francesca Lilly and Wesley Pase were each nominated for the Dellecave Award. The two students were the nominees from the high school – each district in Suffolk County nominates one female and one male graduating senior – for the award, which is named after longtime Suffolk County basketball official and founder of the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame Butch Dellecave. In addition to being outstanding athletes, both students were selected for their exceptional character and integrity. They were recognized along with nominees from other Suffolk County high schools at a recent breakfast ceremony.

Applying ‘Big Science’ at SWR High School

Students in Dana Schaefer’s Seminar in Science and Engineering class are hard at work with their ongoing research project investigating the health of the pond that sits on the high school property and working to facilitate a revitalization of the surrounding ecosystem.

As part of a yearlong investigation the four students – Brianna Donnelly, Torre Ann Parrinello, Taylor Peperno and Jalal Sawas – removed sediment core samples from in and around the pond and then performed initial chemical analyses on extractions of the samples to identify particular elements. The samples were then prepared for further analysis at the National Synchrotron Light Source-II at Brookhaven National Laboratory, (a particle accelerator used for high resolution X-rays and spectroscopy, among other applications).

Fine Arts Students Continue Their Studies in College

Shoreham-Wading River High School Fine Arts students have been committed to their craft during their academic careers and worked hard on their path to higher education. Part of their work is the inclusion of an audition or portfolio review in the college application process. The students are assessed by college professors and admitted into a Fine Arts program based not only on grades, test scores and essays – they are selected for their ability to create art.

“The teachers of the art, music and theater program at Shoreham-Wading River High School are very proud of these students for all of their hard work over the last four years,” music teacher Dennis Creighton said. “We are thrilled to see them continue their studies.”

Congratulations to:
Rachel Biemer: Kent State, Fashion Design
Brett Callagy: Potsdam/Crane School of Music, Music Education
Vanessa DeRosso: Hofstra University, Music Education
Michael Kruzynski: Nazareth College, Music Therapy
Andrew Ligouri: Rhode Island School of Music, Music Education
Sophia Mastrangelo: Stony Brook, Music minor
Kayla Napolitano: Manhattanville, Fine Arts
Ryan Nowak: Fredonia- Music Education
Justin Stuart: Fredonia – Theatre Design
Molli Serdock: Bloomsburg University, Theatre and American Sign Language
Anna Strack: Fashion Institute of Technology, Illustration
Christopher Wygonik: Purchase, Music Performance​

Senior Earns Brookhaven Science Associates Scholarship

Senior Earns Brookhaven Science Associates Scholarship
Congratulations to senior Julia Petreczky for being named a recipient of a Brookhaven Science Associates 2019 college scholarship. She will receive $2,500 per year for up to four years of study at Stony Brook University, where she will major in biochemistry for a career in research.

Brookhaven Science Associates is an organization that manages Brookhaven National Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy. The annual scholarships they present are awarded to children of employees at BNL – a longstanding tradition that began in 1965.

“We are so proud of Julia for this accomplishment,” Principal Frank Pugliese said. “Her pursuit of higher education in this field is a great representation of the scientific and academic skills she gained in high school. She will certainly benefit from this scholarship and have many opportunities to follow her career passions.”

Inspiring and Recognizing Musical Excellence

Shoreham-Wading River High School inducted 18 new members into its chapter of the Tri-M Music Honor Society at a recent induction ceremony. A program of the National Association for Music Education, which focuses on creating future leaders in music education and music advocacy, SWR chapter’s goal is to inspire and recognize musical achievement in the school music department. In addition to writing a music-inspired essay, each student performed a New York State School Music Association Level 3 or higher solo for the high school music faculty. Inductees must also maintain a minimum average of 90 in music classes and an overall GPA of 80. They are also required to participate in one of the high school’s music ensembles – band, orchestra, chorus, jazz band, chamber orchestra or the Vocal Express. At the ceremony, students Brett Callagy, Grace DelSeni, Alexander Kravchenko, Margaret Panasci, Stephanie Searing, William Wells and Christopher Wygonik performed string music for the processional and recessional. Student Emma Longboat sang the “Star-Spangled Banner” and the newly-formed Tri-M Jazz Orchestra performed “New York, New York.”On behalf of the school district, congratulations to the following students for being inducted into the Shoreham-Wading River High School Tri-M Music Honor Society for the 2019-20 school year: Kaeleigh Carberry, Katie Dinowitz, Liam Flatley, Sarah Friedlander, Eric Guli, Mia Lombardi, Morgan Lynch, Gianna Mango, Gena McGivney, Grace McMillan, Ella Panasci, Yusra Rashidzada, Elle Schepis, Selene Tan, Andrew Vignola, Madeline Wilson, Abigail Wing and Blythe Wing.

Spring Newsletter Now Available


Father’s Day

News 12’s On the Spot featured Miller Avenue second graders speaking about their dads in honor of Father’s Day. Please click the link below:

Students as Ocean Stewards

High School students in Lori Racaniello’s two oceanography classes experienced a real-life outdoor laboratory when they visited the Fire Island National Seashore at Smith Point Park to explore the physical parameters of the marine environment and catalogue the organisms residing there. The students toured the Nature Center and learned about the FINS’ ongoing research of the dynamic coastal environment with David Raymond, an environment program specialist from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Among the important aspects of their visit were lessons on the horseshoe crab and piping plover and how these are being managed by local scientists. They also learned about the breach from Hurricane Sandy that has developed into a new inlet that is being studied by scientists from Stony Brook University.

The students also participated in hands-on inquiry labs to determine the physical parameters at the beach. They developed a beach profile using surveying equipment; explored the composition and size distribution of sand along three sections of the beach; studied the wind and wave conditions, which are the fundamental forces that shape the beach; determined the water quality of the ocean and the bay and seined in the bay to observe some of the local flora and fauna that inhabit the shallow waters. They also collected water samples for further analysis back in their classroom and to observe the microscopic organisms of the ocean and bay. A hike along the boardwalk and many photos of the flora and fauna were also taken to catalogue the native species and develop a nature field guide for the area they explored.

“The day’s enrichment activities are an important aspect of the oceanography’s curriculum to have a fundamental understanding of barrier island dynamics and to learn about global warming and how it is affecting Earth’s oceans and coastal communities,” Mrs. Racaniello said. “Knowledge about these physical parameters, observations and data collected is crucial to maintain a sustainable coastal environment as future stewards of this local resource.”

Senior Presents Eagle Scout Project

Senior Presents Eagle Scout Project
With statistics showing that only four percent of Boy Scouts make it to the rank of Eagle Scout, SWR High School senior Josh Louser was proud to share his project at a recent Board of Education meeting.

Introduced by Principal Mr. Frank Pugliese as a young man with character and integrity, Josh spoke of his hard work starting in seventh grade and working through the ranks, which culminated in an information sign he built for the Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe in Shoreham.

His vision was to help the center with a way to inform the community of upcoming events and help them publicize the location of the growing museum.

Way to Go!


VIDEO: Fashion Design


Seniors Commit to College Sports

Seniors Commit to College Sports photo
As a result of their commitment to academics and steadfast dedication to athletics, 11 seniors have been selected to continue their athletic accomplishments at the collegiate level this fall.

To commemorate the occasion, the distinguished students wore team caps and shirts from their school of choice and were surrounded by proud family members, coaches, peers, faculty and Mark Passamonte, the District’s Director of Health, Physical Education, Athletics and Nurses during a recent recognition ceremony.

Congratulations to the following Shoreham-Wading River High School seniors who have committed to participate in collegiate athletics:

DJ Brown - Springfield College - baseball/football
Anthony Cimino - University of Tampa - lacrosse
Joe Daleo - Johnson & Wales - soccer
Jenna Lesiewicz - Marist College - lacrosse
Jason Louser - University of California Berkley - swimming
Joshua Louser - Cornell University - crew
Liam Mahoney - LIU Post - football
Peter Minneci - Limestone College - baseball
Joe Puckey - Ithaca College - football
Mike Smith - Keene State College - baseball
Dominic Visintin - Muhlenberg College - football/lacrosse

Drafted by the White Sox!

Read all about it

Notice of Board Meeting Location Change - June 25


Unique Educational Experience

Unique Educational Experience
Seven Shoreham-Wading River High School students had a unique educational experience when they attended Molloy College’s Women in Science Day to celebrate the accomplishments of well-known women in science.

Along with science teacher Lori Racaniello and teaching assistant Denise Kohart, the five WISE club and two Science Research students attended a keynote lecture by Dr. Sylvia Earle who spoke about her experiences being a chief scientist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; founder of the Sylvia Earle Alliance; and subject of the award-winning documentary Mission Blue, which highlights her campaign to create a global network of protected marine sanctuaries; among other accomplishments.

The students also heard from other renowned research scientists including Dr. Betty Borowsky, Dr. Julianne Chase, Dr. Merryl Kafka, and Dr. Jennifer Mattei. After the lectures, the students were treated to a meet and greet where they were able to speak with each of the research scientists.

Meet our Top Two Students

Meet our Top Two Students
Shoreham-Wading River High School is proud to announce that seniors Mahdi Rashidzada and Katlynn McGivney have been named valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, of the Class of 2019.

Mahdi’s list of achievements includes taking 12 AP courses and six honors courses. He is on the school’s track and field team and is vice president of the National Honor Society, captain of the Debate Team, a member of Mathletes, president of the National History Day Club and a member of the Riverhead Youth Court. He has an impressive list of accolades, including a Suffolk County Math Teachers’ Association fourth-place honor, and school awards in Advanced Placement Chemistry, AP Language, Spanish IV, Human Physiology and STEM.

Outside of school, he is a Sunday school teacher at the Islamic Center of Long Island, was involved in a local political campaign as an intern and volunteers for Long Island Cares and Stony Brook Hospital. He was also named an RPI Science and Mathematics scholar and a New York State Debate qualifier. He has received National Merit commendation and conducted research on the antimicrobial properties of herbal hydrosols in the high school’s science lab as well as at St. Joseph’s College.

“Do what you love,” Mahdi said when asked to share some sentiments with his fellow graduates and future seniors at the high school. “It is important to find what you love and what you’re good at and really pursue it.” He will major in neuroscience on the premed track and looks forward to entering the freshman class at the University of Pennsylvania in September.

Throughout high school, Katlynn McGivney has participated in a well-rounded educational, academic, athletic and volunteer career. She has taken advantage of the school’s numerous Advanced Placement and honors courses, and has been recognized with excellence awards in Biology Honors, Chemistry Honors, French III and AP Capstone Seminar. She has played volleyball since ninth grade, softball since eighth grade, ran winter track and has received a varsity letter for three years. Katlynn is secretary of the school’s student government and a member of the National Honor Society as well as the Women in Science and Engineering Club. As for community service, she enjoys her work in the district’s Round Out summer camp as a volunteer and has also volunteered for local community programs. She is a page at the North Shore Public Library and plays travel softball for the Long Island Crush and club volleyball.

Katlynn succinctly summed up some words of wisdom for her peers: “Make the most of your high school experience and enjoy it while you can. It will be over before you know it.” She has committed to study at Hamilton College to pursue biochemistry and play on the softball team.

“I am proud and honored to have Mahdi and Katlynn represent Shoreham-Wading River High School as our top two students,” Principal Frank Pugliese said. “They both exemplify the mission and vision we all have for our students while they are here and as they head out into college and careers – maximizing their potential, creating responsible citizens and fostering a lifelong appreciation for learning.”

Virtual Versailles at SWR High School

Virtual Versailles at SWR High School
A first for the SWR High School social studies department was a recent supplemental activity that coincided with classroom lessons. Mrs. Maria Lovasco and Mr. Russ Mitchinson’s classes visited the school’s library where librarian Ms. Kris Hanson introduced them to using the virtual reality goggles. The students had an opportunity to view the historic Palace of Versailles and evaluate the characteristics of absolute monarchs in France.

“The VR technology gave the students a different perspective of the whole estate, essentially bringing to life its importance as a national palace, Mrs. Lovasco said. “It really sparked an additional layer of interest for the students in learning about its significance.”

NYS STAR Update Information

Changes to the NYS STAR program were recently enacted by New York State. The STAR program decreases property taxes homeowners pay to school districts. The 2019 state budget has changed that program to an income tax credit managed by the state tax department. Please visit the link below for important information on changes to the NYS STAR program from the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance.

LISFA Studio Award for Sophomore

LISFA Studio Award for Sophomore photo
Congratulations to sophomore Kaylee Thomsen, who is the recipient of the 2019 Long Island String Festival Association Studio Award. Kaylee was selected for this scholarship on the basis of her freshman year’s New York State School Music Association score, essay assignment and teacher recommendation.

“We are very proud of Kaylee for this accomplishment,” music teacher Ashley O’Connor said.

Notice of Reorganization Meeting - July 9


Senior Performs with Innovative Chamber Orchestra

Senior Performs with Innovative Chamber Orchestra
Congratulations to senior Christopher Wygonik who was selected to participate in a full-day Strings Convocation held recently at the Tilles Center. Christopher performed on the string bass with The Knights, a young, innovative chamber orchestra based in New York City, who joined forces with members of the Long Island University Post music department and Long Island high school students in a multi-session residency program. Christopher was among those high school students who qualified for the performance as a result of his All-State status and as one of Long Island’s finest student string performers.

SWR Bids Farewell to Retirees

The Shoreham-Wading River Board of Education recently honored six retiring employees of the school district.
Albert G. Prodell Middle School Principal Kevin Vann spoke highly of guidance counselor Kelly Young for her 31 years of distinguished service to the students, citing her institutional knowledge of the school district, connection with multi-generational families and compassion for the students and fellow colleagues.
Wading River principal Lou Parrinello commended fourth grade teacher Marguerite Kitz and third grade teacher Kathryn Granzen, who both started in the district on the same date in 1988. He applauded both for their creativity, dedication and teaching styles and wished them joy and success in the next chapters of their lives. 
Mr. Parrinello also recognized teaching assistants Mary Anne McCarrick, stating that she puts her heart into everything she does and inspiring so many students and families in the district and Yvonne Meyers for her positive spirit and helping children discover the joy of learning and literacy in the school library.
Nicoletta Onufrak, the Shoreham-Wading River High School’s library materials assistant, was recognized by Principal Frank Pugliese for her 38 years at the high school.
“Nikki has literally influenced thousands of students, teachers, parents and community members alike,” Mr. Pugliese said. “When I think about Nikki’s work ethic there are two things that come to mind, the first is that early is on time, on time is late, and late is fired. Nikki absolutely epitomizes that. The second is there’s only way to do a job and that’s the right way. Nikki [has] shown everyone how to do the job the right way.”
The Shoreham-Wading River School District thanks our retirees and wishes them great success in their new endeavors. 

Miller Avenue School Principal Appointed



Gratification of Giving

Gratification of Giving photo
Once more, the Shoreham-Wading River School District community came out to support the National Honor Society Blood Drive. Spearheaded by officers President Kathleen Loscalzo, Vice President Mahdi Rashidzada, Secretary Caroline Morgan and Treasurer Andrew Honold, the drive collected 34 donations.

“We are so proud of these students for not only taking this leadership role in coordinating this drive but for bringing the school and community together in the spirit of teamwork to potentially help more than 100 people who urgently need the lifesaving blood,” said social studies teacher Maria Lovasco who co-advises the NHS along with social studies teacher Russ Mitchinson.


Seniors Provide Service to the Riverhead Youth Court System

Seniors Provide Service to the Riverhead Youth Court System
The Shoreham-Wading River School District congratulates seniors Katie Loscalzo, Mahdi Rashidzada, Leah Roth and Zana Sawas for their volunteer participation and graduation from the Riverhead Youth Court. The students took part in many hours of mandatory training by law enforcement professionals to assume the roles of judge, prosecutor, defense attorney, clerk-bailiff, jury foreperson and juror.

“This was such a valuable learning experience for our students,” Shoreham-Wading River High School Principal Mr. Frank Pugliese said. “In addition to developing real-world skills such as public speaking and debating techniques, these students helped to provide their peers a more positive understanding of authority and the law. We congratulate them for their volunteer service.”

Giving Thanks!

The Albert G. Prodell Middle School Leadership Club held a military donation drive in honor of Memorial Day. Students were given patriotic bags and asked to fill them with items to be sent overseas to service men and women. More than 1,000 items were collected and sorted for shipment. The Army recruitment office in Riverhead helped coordinate the effort. This project was developed by eight-grader Camila Pinos as part of her participation in the Leadership Club.

Tenured Educators Named

Tenured Educators Named
The Shoreham-Wading River Board of Education recognized a milestone in the careers of several teachers when they granted tenure to five educators at a recent Board meeting.

To the applause of family members, colleagues and community members, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Brian Heyward named the teachers – Miller Avenue School reading teacher Carrie Fox; Wading River School special education teacher Kerry Hennessey and language teacher Susana Vique-Kearney; Albert G. Prodell Middle School math teacher Robert Mancuso and Shoreham-Wading River High School math teacher Melissa Hollywood.

The Shoreham-Wading River school community commends these educators for their efforts in advancing the goals and mission of the district.

Talented Trio Earn Riverhead Women’s Club Scholarships

Talented Trio Earn Riverhead Women’s Club Scholarships photo
High School seniors Julianna Asaro, Rachel Biemer and Katie Loscalzo represented the school community with confidence and grace when they were honored by the Riverhead Women’s Club. Each student received a $1,000 scholarship at a reception at The Vineyards in Aquebogue, where they were celebrated for their accomplishments. Julianna was awarded the Science and Medicine scholarship, Rachel was honored with the Visual Arts scholarship and had an opportunity to showcase some of her creative work at the event and Katie was recognized with a scholarship for Social Sciences and Business.

The Shoreham-Wading River school community commends all three students on this well-deserved honor.

Barcode Long Island Project

Barcode Long Island Project
Shoreham-Wading River High School students in Research in Science and Engineering Seminar are building upon skills learned last year in Introduction to Science Research as they continue working on their Barcode Long Island genetic analysis projects.

With assistance from research teacher Ms. Dana Schaefer, research questions were developed independently by the two student teams. Students then wrote proposals that were submitted to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, the sponsor of the Barcode Long Island program. After the proposals were approved, they collected specimens. Students Taylor Peperno and Jalal Sawas collected wild mushrooms and Brianna Donnelly and Torre Ann Parrinello collected mosses from various locations on the high school campus. Once they extracted the DNA, amplified by polymerase chain reaction and verified by gel electrophoresis, the students sent off their samples for DNA sequencing. Their next step includes analyzing their sequences using computer software and aligning to known sequences. They will then present their projects at the Barcode Symposium at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in early June.

Guiding Students to Overall Wellness

Guiding Students to Overall Wellness photo
Middle School students recently participated in a two-day mindfulness/yoga workshop during physical education classes. The positive program helped them with skills in reducing stress and cultivating wellness.
The students took part in a guided meditation and learned various breathing techniques and had an opportunity to journal about their experience. The instructors ended the sessions with several ways for the students to incorporate mindfulness into their everyday lives. On the second day, students engaged in a yoga class that focused on balance, breath control, cardio exercise and staying mindful.

“The middle school health and physical education department felt that students could benefit from a program that not only focused on the physical but also the mental aspect of wellness,” physical education teacher Allison DeMarco said. “Students seemed more relaxed and focused after each session. They learned skills that they can take with them and use for a lifetime.”

Japanese Legends Inspire Clay Creations

Japanese Legends Inspire Clay Creations
Wading River School fifth graders created clay koi fish sculptures by shaping and joining two pinch pots together. They then rolled out a slab of clay and cut out fins, etched scales and gills and added the eyes.

The work was inspired by stories about the legendary fish and how they symbolize strength, perseverance and determination that art teacher Rosemarie Petruzzellis shared with the students.

“We learned that the koi fish swam to the top of a waterfall and turned into a dragon,” student Chris Murray said. “They are known for their courage and help us to know that anything is possible that you believe in.”

Prodell Orchestra Students Perform at Tesla Benefit

Prodell Orchestra Students Perform at Tesla Benefit photo
Prodell Middle School chamber orchestra students recently performed at a benefit for the Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe at East Wind Long Island in Wading River.

“The students had the opportunity to play for community members, which gave them an authentic performing experience outside of the normal school concerts,” orchestra teacher Mr. Fred Volz said. “They had an awesome time.”

For their commitment to their artistic craft and being able to highlight the District’s exceptional music program, thank you to students Sarah Alessi, Patrick Carrier, Sean Dany, Bradley Doherty, Catie Donnelly, Anja Minty, Asma Rashidzada, Alex Zhang, Alston Zhuo, Siena Faragasso, Yiya Hu, Alicia Minty, Sasha Seletskaya, Kathryn Winters, Shiqi Cheng, Anna Marino, Jocelyn Nastasi, Kerrin McGuire, Killian O'Reilly, Sophia Stadler, Lucas Portuese and Cameron Sheedy.

Greetings from Philadelphia!

Wading River School fifth-graders are on the District’s annual trip to Philadelphia and according to Principal Lou Parrinello, they are traveling back and forth through time! First, learning about the founding of our nation with visits to the Liberty Bell and other historic sites and then a specially arranged visit to The Franklin Institute, where they were immersed in science and technology and got to witness the raw power of electricity with the igniting of the Tesla Coil. The young scientists also experienced virtual reality in a 3D design and printing exhibit that was opened early for them to explore and enjoy

Sharing a Positive Culture at Prodell

Sharing a Positive Culture at Prodell photo
Prodell Middle School Student Council members presented an update on happenings and activities in the school at the May 7 Board of Education meeting. Courtney Greene and Matthew Cerniglia shared the podium and spoke of their ideas and accomplishments in promoting a positive culture throughout the building. The new bulletin boards that are located in the front hallway display words of kindness with an ‘April showers bring May flowers’ theme and the student council members sold festive flower pens for Mother’s Day with proceeds put back into the club.

“Our student leaders continue to share encouraging and positive messages with their peers,” school social worker Andrea Monz said. “In addition to building their public speaking skills, they understand that a very simple concept such as kindness really has a powerful impact on our school community.”

Prodell’s Christian Club Demonstrates Kindness and Charity to All

Prodell’s Christian Club Demonstrates Kindness and Charity to All
Since the beginning of the school year, Prodell Middle School’s newly formed Christian Club has been creating initiatives to help those in need within the school and the greater community. Creating holiday baskets for children and making sandwiches for people living in a homeless shelter are just some of the projects the students have been accomplishing along with adviser Ms. Alexa Bello.

“I am so proud of the work our students have done this year to share with families in need,” Ms. Bello said. “Their generous hearts are a great example of what the Christian Club stands for, and we look forward to continuing to give back in the future.”

Social Studies Enrichment at Prodell

Social Studies Enrichment at Prodell
A recent enrichment activity that coincided with the eighth grade social studies curriculum was fully embraced by teacher Greg Schmit’s students. Visiting various sites in Pearl Harbor such as Diamond Head and some of the memorials and moving on to the beaches of Normandy, France where the pivotal D Day landings took place in 1944, were some of the sights seen with the Albert G. Prodell Middle School’s virtual reality technology.

According to Mr. Schmit, the students used the information to document their observations and answer inquiry questions. They then visited various parts of the White House and other Washington, D.C. landmarks as a preview to the annual eighth grade trip to the nation’s capital in April.

“Technology in the classroom is not just the wave of the future, it’s here now,” said Mr. Schmit. “As an educator, seeing students engaged in a lesson is what teachers strive for every day.”

Mr. Schmit also commended library media specialist Ann-Marie Kalin for introducing him to the technology that helped bring history to life for his students.

S.A.D.D. Club Members Share Important Messages

Shoreham-Wading River High School’s newly formed S.A.D.D. club have had a busy few months. Organized in March, the chapter already includes 48 students who have dedicated their time and talents to filming an anti-tobacco video, participating in the TextLess Live More national awareness campaign, coordinating a distracted driving video, and organizing a community car wash.

Along with advisers Maryanne Agius and Melissa Hollywood, the school community thanks the following students for their commitment to this effort:

Cassidy Albano, Nicole Ambrecht, Connor Blunnie, Jordan Carroll, Honore Cavaco, Brianna Cohen, Olivia Daleo, Liam Daly, Christina DeLuca, Eric Dilisio, Isabella Dipaola, Brendan Donnelly, Ethan Eisenberg, Liam Flatley, Sara Grosso, Samantha Gruenberg, Eric Guili, Jaqueline Holden, Alexa Ibrahim, Dylan Jung, Madisyn King, Gabe Kent, Denis Lane, Melissa Liguori, Mia Lombardi, Katie Loscalzo, Paulie Loscalzo, Morgan Lynch, Gianna Mango, Nick Mango, Robbie Marigliano, Grace McMillan, Arianna McMorris, Chloe McNamara, Sasha Medvedeva, Carolyn Merced, Rosie Minneci, Brianna Montes, Emily Mulcahy, Aiza Naim, Michael Sabino, Rachael Scarbrough, Elle Schepis, Molli Serdock, Avagrace Stalzer, Nicolette Tingo, Shannon Washburn and Christina Wygonik.

To bring more awareness to their efforts, view the video that SADD members created below:​

SWR Shows Off STEAM Projects to East End Educators

SWR Shows Off STEAM Projects to East End Educators
Miller Avenue School, Wading River School and Albert G. Prodell Middle School students had an opportunity to share in the STEAM programs that take place when educators from the Mattituck-Cutchogue School District recently visited.

A day-long schedule, organized by Director of STEM Dr. Amy Meyer, included projects such as Squishy Circuits, Bristle Bots, Escape the Classroom and Mystery Science activities with students working together on building towers, engaging in structured play, producing music and thinking outside the box as real-life engineers and scientists do. Lessons in writing like a scientist and a whirlwind of LED lights, dough, buzzers and motors, STEM challenges, and even marshmallows were items the students used to create and collaborate with. Tours of the computer lab and updated library spaces at Miller Avenue and the library makerspace, 3D printer and augmented and virtual reality opportunities at Prodell were just some of the highlights of the advances provided to SWR students.

Meet the Candidates – 5/13/19

Students Honored for WISE Participation

Seven SWR High School students in the Women in Science and Engineering course, along with science teacher Lori Racaniello, recently participated in the WISE Capstone Event at Stony Brook University. The event showcased the students’ work on their research with Stony Brook mentors throughout the school year. They presented posters at the event and spoke about their learning experiences and their research.

The students were presented with certificates of recognition for their participation in the WISE programs: Julia Petreczky for Applied Mathematics and Statistics; Jackie Holden, Elle Schepis, Eilis Casey for Computer Science and Python coding; Sofia Stirpe, Caroline McDowell, Mika Misawa, Torre Ann Parrinello and Chelsea McCleary for Biomedical Engineering. (Torre Ann and Chelsea were not in attendance, but recognized for their work).

Dr. David L. Ferguson, Chair of SBU’s Department of Technology and Society was the keynote speaker and the students had the opportunity to interact with many other groups from schools on Long Island to learn about their research experiences.

Student Council Delivers Smiles and Gifts to Children’s Hospital

Student Council Delivers Smiles and Gifts to Children’s Hospital
After weeks of raising money and awareness for their efforts, Miller Avenue School Student Council members took a field trip to Stony Brook Children’s Hospital to deliver toys and smiles to children there.

The students raised money and purchased new toys to donate to the hospital. As many students and staff members saw their display in the corridor at the school, they in turn generously donated to the cause. The group was given a special tour of the new, state-of-the-art facilities at the children’s hospital by Sharon Meinster, the Associate Director of Facilities Planning.

Duo from Miller Avenue Named BNL Science Fair Winners

Duo from Miller Avenue Named BNL Science Fair Winners
Kindergarten student Connor Nugent won in the kindergarten grade level competition for his project, Spaghetti Strength: Does spaghetti get stronger when it gets cooked? Second grader Zachary Lister won in the second grade level competition for his project, Slippery Sock Science: What kind of sock is the slippiest?

Both young scientists will be honored at the Suffolk County Legislators meeting in early June.

SWR Boasts National Board-Certified Teacher

SWR Boasts National Board-Certified Teacher photo
SWR High School mathematics teacher Ellen Fraser has been named a national board-certified teacher by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. She was honored at a recent Board of Education meeting for her achievement.

The well-respected professional certification in K-12 education was designed to develop, retain and recognize accomplished teachers and to generate ongoing improvement in schools nationwide. Ms. Fraser was commended for her continued development of expertise in the field of mathematics and for her mission to develop a lifelong love of mathematics in all of her students.

“Ms. Fraser exemplifies everything that is great about teaching and learning,” Principal Frank Pugliese said.

According to Mr. Pugliese, she is a champion of sharing additional math learning opportunities for her students who embrace these lectures, presentations and even weekend courses. “This certification is a lengthy process, but it models exactly what she teaches,” said Mr. Pugliese. “You learn every day. You grow every day. You become stronger every day. She is an exemplary role model for our students.”

Character Counts Tenfold at Wading River School

Character Counts Tenfold at Wading River School
Wading River School’s Character Counts committee has been organizing holiday food drives to benefit local churches, veteran groups and food pantries for numerous years. The theme of this year’s food drive was inspired by a children’s book author visit to the school, Kathryn Otoshi and her book Beautiful Hands.

During her visit, students at Wading River School pledged to do something beautiful with their hands. They used the pledge to encourage students to decorate a box and fill it with nonperishable food items and toiletries for the local food pantries.

To build momentum and add an element of excitement to the food drive, a competition component was added. For two weeks, each grade level competed against one another to determine which one collected the most boxes of food – the fifth grade students were declared the victors.

Additionally, a contest was held for the best decorated box in each grade. Congratulations to third grader Jasmine Macias, fourth grader Sean Logan and fifth grader Jocelyn Kavanaugh for this achievement!
The successful food drive culminated in donations to local churches St. Mark’s, St. Anselm’s, St. John’s the Baptist and the Wading River Congregational Church. Each church received approximately 36 boxes of food.

“Students were so inspired by Kathryn Otoshi’s story and took to heart her motivating words of planting ideas, stretching their imaginations and reaching for dreams,” said reading teacher Kelly Toole, who works with reading teacher Tracy O’Lear, school psychologist Patricia Aretakis and math teacher Mark Vallina guiding the positive character traits in the schools’ students. “We are so proud of their reading efforts and giving efforts.”

Inspiring healthcare leaders of the future

Inspiring healthcare leaders of the future
Eleven Shoreham-Wading River High School juniors and seniors, along with science teacher Ms. Lori Racaniello and English teacher Mr. Ed Storck, participated in the 5th annual Northwell Health Spark Challenge competition recently held at the Crest Hollow Country Club. The goal of the challenge is to engage and inspire healthcare leaders of the future.

Eilis Casey, Jackie Holden, Jenna Lesiewicz, Katlynn McGivney, Danielle Ohrtman, Julia Petreczky, Mahdi Rashidzada, Emma Reilly, Erin Reilly, Zana Sawas and Elle Schepis presented to a group of vice presidents of Northwell Health and other industry leaders. They also interacted with over 70 other groups from schools on Long Island to learn about their learning experiences in health care and tested a Da Vinci machine, which is a minimally invasive robot that surgeons use to perform operations with faster recovery times.

Earlier this year, these students who are in the school’s Advanced Placement Research and Women in Science and Engineering program, visited Northwell Health’s Islandia location where they learned about the economics of the healthcare industry, the importance of meaningful patient care and had the opportunity to interview a registered nurse who leads a team of nurses. They used this event to help create the presentation and informational materials to help educate others on what they learned through this experience as part of the competition.

“Healthcare is one of the fastest growing industries and this was a really amazing opportunity to share learning experiences with other students,” said junior Jackie Holden, who is in both the WISE program and Advanced Seminar class.

A Legacy is Built with Community Support

A Legacy is Built with Community Support
Dozens of community members came out to help recognize the opening of the Thomas Cutinella Memorial Field Concession with a recent ribbon-cutting ceremony. Thirty-eight community members and business organizations who helped see the project from its initial development phase through fruition were honored with an individual plaque as well as their names engraved on a plaque affixed to the side of the building.

Landscapers, masons, architects, painters, electricians, plumbers, utility professionals, staff members, Wildcat Athletic Club supporters, current and former Board of Education trustees and others were recognized for their time, materials and service that helped make the facility a reality.

In addition to being a well-stocked concession for athletic events, students in SWR High School’s Life Skills program will have the opportunity to take part in work experiences at the concession. Supervised by certified special education staff and supported by the district’s food service staff, the students will learn valuable skills including using the register to process sales, setting up and cleaning up the concession before and after events and assisting food service staff in the preparation and service of food items as permitted by regulation.

Frank and Kelli Cutinella, parents of Thomas, were grateful for the many people who embraced the project and helped to not only symbolize the true spirit of community, but to help to keep the legacy of Thomas alive.

To the Moon and Back: Virtual Reality at Prodell Middle School

Seventh grade students welcomed New York State Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo to a demonstration of the school’s new Google Expedition kits.

With a lesson conducted by librarian Ann-Marie Kalin using virtual reality, the students had an opportunity to enhance classroom lessons on the historical 1969 trip to the moon with Ms. Kalin explaining how she can control and customize any subject they are studying.

Mr. Palumbo was instrumental in securing additional state funds for the District as it continues to provide advances in technological learning opportunities for students.

Lab Lessons in Living Environment

Lab Lessons in Living Environment photo
Students in Dana Schaefer and Ann Augsbach’s Living Environment class gained a new skill set as they dissected and examined rat specimens in the lab. The activity was the culmination of a study on the human body systems and allowed for students to visualize the connections and relationship between related body systems and between the function of the body system and the anatomy.

The Scientific Method at Work

The Scientific Method at Work
Taste tests, a duct tape experiment, the density of liquids and research on the cleanliness of a dog’s mouth were just a sampling of the vast display of original scientific experiments conducted by Wading River School students as part of the school’s annual science fair. The grade level winners – third grader William Lister, fourth grader Ethan Reilly and fifth grader Logan Jung – represented the school at the Brookhaven Laboratory Science Fair on May 4.

Nineteen Shoreham-Wading River High School students judged the work of the younger students using an evaluation rubric with criteria that included the originality of a student’s question, hypotheses, procedures, investigations, analysis and conclusion.

The district thanks and commends Anya Ahern, Juan Arango, Ryan Betcher, Trevor Coster, Julia DeGoyler, Tyler Heeter, Brian Hernandez, Conor Hughes, Joey Krause, Andrew Liguori, Isadora Petretti, Kendall Pluschau, Skylar Princi, Carlos Scott, Molli Serdock, Chris Sicari, Alexandra Smith, Colin Waldemar and Shannon Washburn for their efforts in selecting the student work.

A Positive Ecological Impact

A Positive Ecological Impact 1
For the past several months, Wading River School students raised 65 healthy trout from eggs to help restock depleted local supplies in a special partnership that combines learning about the life cycle of animals in the local ecosystem with making a real-world impact.

Exploring their new environment, the trout were released by members of Wading River’s Science Olympiad Club in the Schiff Scout Reservation in Wading River.

Wading River School’s security guard, Mr. William Schaefer, volunteered his time to help lead this project along with Mrs. Mary Anne McCarrick, the Science Olympiad Club adviser.

Senior Honored for Swimming Feats

Senior Honored for Swimming Feats photo
SWR High School senior Jason Louser was recently honored by Suffolk County Legislator Sarah Anker at a legislative meeting where he was presented with a proclamation for his accomplishments as a competitive swimmer. He was commended for winning the Suffolk County championship in the 500-yard freestyle and the 100-yard breast stroke competitions; setting records at the state level; placing second at the Winter Nationals, being named the 18 and under National Champion and qualifying to compete in the 2020 Olympic trials.

Sophomore Places in Congressional Art Competition

Sophomore Places in Congressional Art Competition photo
SWR High School sophomore Yusra Rashidzada recently had her artwork entered into the Congressional Art Competition. At a reception at the Artspace gallery in Patchogue, it was announced that Yusra won third place out of approximately 60 candidates from across the First Congressional District. Her painting will be hung in Congressman Lee Zeldin’s office in Patchogue.

“Yusra’s dedication to her art is inspiring and I am always impressed by her artistic abilities,” art teacher Sam Shepard said. “Receiving third place in the Congressional Art Competition is a great accomplishment for a tenth grader. I look forward to working with Yusra on more art competitions in the future.”

Honoring Student-Musicians

Honoring Student-Musicians photo
In 2016, Shoreham-Wading River High School established its own chapter of the Tri-M Music Honor Society. Students in grades 9-11 are eligible to apply each spring. Eighteen students were accepted to the Shoreham-Wading River High School Tri-M Music Honor Society Chapter 7752 for the 2019-2020 school year. They will be honored at an induction ceremony on Wednesday, May 8 at 7 p.m. in the Shoreham-Wading River High School auditorium.

Congratulations to our newest members:

Kaeleigh Carberry, Katie Dinowitz, Liam Flatley, Sarah Friedlander, Eric Guli, Mia Lombardi, Morgan Lynch, Gianna Mango, Gena McGivney, Grace McMillan, Ella Panasci, Yusra Rashidzada, Elle Schepis, Selene Tan, Andrew Vignola, Madeline Wilson, Abigail Wing and Blythe Wing.

Supplementing Social Studies Lessons

Eighth grade students recently spent two days and one night visiting Washington, D.C. where they were able to connect what they’ve learned in their seventh and eighth grade social studies classes to various places in our nation’s history.

Arranged by eighth grade social studies teacher Greg Schmit and chaperoned by nineteen other staff members, the full itinerary included a stop at Arlington National Cemetery where students visited John F. Kennedy’s grave site with the eternal flame and observed the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown soldier. Various landmarks were visited which spanned different parts of American History including the Lincoln Memorial, the WWII Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and Iwo Jima Memorial, among others.

Students also visited the Capitol Building and the National Museum of African American History and Culture, as well as the National Archives where they were able to see firsthand the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

“It was a great trip and I'm grateful that the district allows us the opportunity to go,” Mr. Schmit said. “Students made a lot of lifelong memories and learned about our nation’s history in a way that can’t be replicated.”

Seniors Featured in Newsday

Seniors Featured in Newsday
Shoreham-Wading River High School seniors are featured on the May 1st cover of the “Explore Long Island” section of Newsday wearing shirts that represent the universities they will be attending next fall. On the cover are Elisabeth, Alexa, Brendan, Dylan, Joshua, Mahdi, Andrew, Caroline, Kyle and Julia. Read the article here and good luck to all of our 2019 graduates!

Students Present at Long Island Science Congress

Students Present at Long Island Science Congress photo
Six SWR High School students in Dana Schaefer’s Introduction to Science Research class presented their work to judges at the annual Long Island Science Congress, recently held at St. Anthony’s High School. Students Ryan Nowak, Sofia Stirpe and Vanessa Turecamo shared their findings on the health of the pond on the high school’s property through work accomplished for their Barcode Long Island genetics project. Students Blythe Wing, Ivan Cruz and Billy Steele discussed their research into native pond species to plant around the pond and the effect of invasive species on the native macroinvertebrate population present in this aquatic community.

“This wonderful experience allowed both teams to interact with other young scientists in the research community, as well as the opportunity to discuss their ongoing work with other science teachers in a professional setting,” Mrs. Schaefer said.

Making the Earth a Healthier Place

Fourth grade students at Wading River School attended a special assembly program where they learned all about the importance of trees and the background of Arbor Day. They were visited by members of the Rocky Point Lions Club, Brookhaven Town Supervisor Edward Romaine and councilwoman Jane Bonner.

Each student was presented with a Norway Spruce sapling to plant at home and Principal Lou Parrinello was presented with a certificate of appreciation, which honored the students for joining others across the country as part of the Fourth Grade Forester Program in helping to revitalize the observance of Arbor Day and making the earth a healthier place.

Timothy Nigrel, a student in Alison Quenzer’s class, was especially happy to welcome one of the Lions Club members: his grandmother Anita Nigrel, who serves as president of the organization.

VIDEO: National Volunteer Appreciation Month


Thank you to all who volunteer to make this a great place to learn, grow and live.

A Musical Master

A Musical Master photo
Congratulations to Shoreham-Wading River High School senior Sophia Mastrangelo for her participation in the All-Eastern Honor Ensembles as a member of the treble chorus, recently held in Pittsburgh, PA. Accompanied by music teacher Dennis Creighton, she was one of only twelve choral students from Long Island who was selected to perform at this prestigious musical event.

“Sophia’s growing strength in musical performance is both a testament to her interests and hard work and to the music program opportunities she is afforded in the Shoreham-Wading River School District,” Mr. Creighton said.

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