A Visit with the Butterfly Man

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First-grade students received a personal account of tropical rain forest adventures from butterfly collector Steve Fratello, who shared his rare and varied collection of butterflies and moths. Mr. Fratello educated the students on the differences between butterflies and moths and how these beautiful creatures adapt to their environment through mimicry and camouflage. He also showed the students photographs and illustrations of rainforests in Ecuador, Guyana, Peru and more.  

Senior Vocalist Nominated for Gershwin Award

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Senior vocalist Alexa Lucchesse is one of six students on Long Island and one of 45 students from the New York area to be nominated for a prestigious Gershwin Award, based on her outstanding performance in the school’s production of the “Wizard of Oz.” 

The Gershwin Awards were established by Camp Broadway LLC to provide New York Area students with the opportunity to participate in the National High School Musical Theater Awards.

On May 30, Alexa will travel to Chelsea Studios in New York City to participate in a daylong audition by a team of Broadway coaches, who will direct the nominees through a rehearsal and presentation of an original musical theater production number. A student talent showcase, which features each student actor singing a solo of a song performed in his or her high school musical, follows the ensemble performance. A panel of industry professionals will then select two Gershwin Award winners, Best Leading Actor/Actress in a Musical.

The winners will represent the New York metro area in the National High School Musical Theater Awards, held at the Minskoff Theatre on June 29, following an all-expenses paid five-day musical theater intensive workshop held at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts Studio on Broadway.

During the 2014-2015 school year, Alexa was designated as a Nassau Music Educators Association All-County vocalist and a New York State School Music Association All-State vocalist for the women’s chorus. In addition, she played the leading role of Dorothy in the “Wizard of Oz.”       

Sage Chasen Receives Mayor E. Donald Conroy Scholarship

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High School student Sage Chasen is the recipient of the Mayor E. Donald Conroy Scholarship totaling $10,000 for his community service and scholastic record. He will be honored at the awards dinner, being held at the Venetian Yacht Club on June 3.

The goal of the Mayor E. Donald Conroy Scholarship is to recognize and award high school seniors and Babylon Village residents, who have demonstrated service to the community in the unselfish way exemplified by the former mayor. After service in World War II, Conroy returned to Babylon to serve as a police officer, volunteer fire fighter and as chief of the Babylon Fire Department. He comforted the sick in hospitals, raised funds for hospice and volunteered his time to a myriad of community events and activities. His vision was to make Babylon a wonderful place to reside. During his tenure as mayor, Conroy expanded the Village pool, revitalized the train station, and erected the Sept. 11 Memorial Garden, to name a few projects. 

Sage utilizes his passion for music to improve the environment and the lives of the elderly. Through his a cappella group, a cappella Performers Opposing Pollution, Sage performs and spreads the message to reduce human footprints on the world by decreasing pollution. He also uses his instrumental skills through his organization, Piano for Patients, playing piano for residents in local nursing homes. 

Sage will be attending LeHigh University this fall, where he will pursue his studies in engineering and music production.The West Babylon School District congratulates Sage on this outstanding accomplishment.

An Evening of Health and Fitness

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An evening focused on physical activity, health and wellness drew more than 800 participants to West Babylon School District’s 11th annual Fun Run and second annual Fitness Fair, held at West Babylon Junior High School.

 

Residents Approve 2015-2016 School Budget

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Thank you to all residents who participated in the 2015-16 budget vote and trustee election. Proposition No. 1, the School District Budget, passed by a vote of 1,190 to 508.

In addition to voting on the budget, residents cast their ballots for three seats on the Board of Education. Jennifer Wandasiewicz and Lucy Campasano were re-elected, and John Evola was elected for a three-year term. The trustee vote was as follows:

Lucy Campasano – 979
Raymond Cascio – 784
John Evola – 825
Todd Sheets – 776
Jennifer Wandasiewicz - 865

Author and story teller Heather Forest entertains J.F.K. students.

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J.F.K. Walk to School Day

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J.F.K. 5th Grade Circus

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Signed!

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Five West Babylon Senior High School senior-athletes signed National Letters of Intent to continue playing their sport at Division III colleges/universities.

The district congratulates these athletes on their outstanding accomplishments and wishes them continued success.

Dan DiMaio – St. Joseph University - Baseball
Dashea Edwards – State University of New York at Oswego – Wrestling
Joe Granieri – Immaculata University – Baseball
Ricky Lindsey – State University of New York at Oswego – Wrestling
Robert Mandich – City College of New York – Baseball


Mother's Day Crafts

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Children throughout the school are creating Mother's Day books, poems, and Crafts.

West Babylon Families Participate in STEM Night

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Kindergarten through eighth-grade students participated in a fun-filled evening of science, technology, engineering and mathematics activities during the district’s STEM Night.

Hosted by the senior high school’s Math and Science Honor Society, National Technical Honor Society and Science Club, hundreds of students tried their hands at making ice cream, working a crime scene investigation, learning about robotics and many more activities designed to engage young students’ interests in STEM learning.    

Senior high school science teacher and STEM Night coordinator Aimee Mendoza said the goal for the evening was for high school students to engage their younger peers in a variety of STEM activities in order to garner interest in STEM subjects.

“What was really awesome was that my high school students had the opportunity to share in their younger peers’ love of learning, which seemed to reopen their eyes to the excitement I am sure most of them had in their elementary school years,” Mendoza said. “They have been approaching me every day and saying how much fun they had teaching and watching the younger students learn.”

Safe Driving is a Senior’s Passion

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West Babylon Senior High School student and Students Against Destructive Decisions President Samantha Mammarella is the recipient of the Suffolk County High School Principals Association/Allstate Safe-Driving Award for her determined efforts to raise awareness of distracted driving. She was recently honored for her efforts during the SCHSPA luncheon in April.

Mammarella has been an active member of SADD for the past four years, having participated in the Halloween Party event to encourage safe driving. She and SADD members also draw messages in chalk about safe driving on the high school walls during the annual Chalk Walk. She also assists in the Celebrate My Drive campaign by hanging posters about texting and drinking while driving and obtains pledges from peers and staff not to drink or text behind the wheel.

One additional way in which Mammarella touts the dangers of unsafe driving is by taking a central role of the Grim Reaper, who coordinates the Day of the Dead event. On this day, students are taken out of the class, their faces painted white and their tombstone hung in the hall, to represent an unsafe driving death. The escorting of students out of their classes provides non-participating students with a powerful display of the consequences of drunk driving, SADD advisor Chris Jonasson explained.

“I believe that kids are really starting to see the importance and understand the effects of safe driving,” Samantha said. “We show students that it is not just their life they’re going to impact and possibly save, but many others.”     

Marine Uses Mascot Costume to Surprise Brother

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It was no ordinary lesson on the world’s rain forests for South Bay third-grader Tristan Cabrera. He received a surprise visit from older brother, U.S. Marine Corporal David Cabrera, who has been stationed at Camp Pendleton, California for several months after a tour of duty in Iraq. Corporal Cabrera appeared in the classroom full of students wearing the West Babylon School District mascot costume and introduced as a “special guest.”   

After introducing the mascot, Ms. Brett asked Tristan to help the guest take off the head portion of the costume. Upon realizing his brother was inside, his kind gesture resulted in hugs and tears of gratitude.

‘The students have been studying the rain forests and the colorful birds that live there,” teacher Carol Brett explained. “I thought it would be a great surprise for Tristan to have his brother give an appearance in the bird outfit. It was also fun for the rest of the class.”   

During Corporal Cabrera’s visit, the students also had the opportunity to ask Corporal Cabrera about what it is like to be in the military and about his experiences oversees.

West Babylon BOE Adopts 2015-2016 School Budget

The Board of Education has adopted a proposed 2015-2016 school budget totaling $100,893,074 and representing a 1.60 percent budget-to-budget increase and a tax levy increase of 1.89 percent, which falls below the allowable tax levy limit.

As the proposed levy increase is below the district’s allowable limit, the budget requires a simple majority of voters (50 percent plus one) to pass, as per New York State’s tax levy cap law.

Through careful analysis and the efficient streamlining of costs, the proposed budget maintains all current instructional and non-instructional programs and reinstates athletics and clubs currently being funded through a generous grant from New York State Sen. Phil Boyle. The proposed budget also allows for the appointment of three new special education teachers, three new English as a Second Language teachers and one new grounds personnel member, as well as the increase of a psychologist position from part-time to full-time. In addition, the proposed budget includes the ability to transfer money to the capital fund in order to fund important and necessary buildings and grounds maintenance.

The Board of Education encourages community members to become informed about the proposed budget by reading the budget presentations, which may be found by clicking here. The community is also encouraged to attend the district’s budget hearing on Tuesday, May 12 at 7 p.m.
     
Voting will take place on Tuesday, May 19 from 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Residents north of Sunrise Highway will vote at Santapogue Elementary School, while residents south of Sunrise Highway will vote at the administration building.

A Closer Look at Owl Pellets

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South Bay fifth-graders in Mrs. DeCarlo’s class are studying owl pellets as part of their science curriculum. The class first learned that indigestible materials eaten by owls, including teeth, feathers, claws and skulls, are excreted in the form of pellets.

As part of the activity, the students were instructed to catalog their findings, much like an archeologist or museum curator. Pictured is Gianna Bruno, who worked hard to catalog her findings with care.

“It is so great to have the students experiencing some hands-on science,” Principal Joann Scott said.   
   

A Tree Is a Friend for Life

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First-graders at Santapogue Elementary School celebrated Arbor Day on April 24. Each student received a small tree from the Babylon Rotary Club and made a promise to plant, water and protect their trees through all four seasons, making the tree a friend for life. Each child recited an Arbor Day pledge and received a special certificate for participation in this day of conservation.  

Pre-K for 2015-2016

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