Senior Selected as Samsung American Legion Scholarship National Finalist

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The American Legion Boys’ State of New York has selected senior Alexander Barrett as one of 97 Samsung American Legion Scholarship National Finalists on the basis of academics and school and community involvement. As a finalist, Alexander will compete for one of 12 scholarships, each totaling $20,000.

The Samsung American Legion Scholarship is part of a $5 million endowment bestowed by Samsung in appreciation for the service of Korean War veterans and to provide educational opportunities to descendants of wartime veterans. Alexander’s great-grandfather served with the U.S. Army during World War II.

The district congratulates Alexander on this outstanding accomplishment and wishes him continued success in the competition.
     

Spring Sports Season Is a Wrap

Baseball:
Nicholas Brigandi – All-League
Adam Dell’Isola – All-League
Nicholas Gilley – All-League and All-County
Joseph Granieri – All-League
Robert Ingui – All-League
Timothy Kranz – All-League and All-County
Ncholas Squillante – All-League
Frank “Joseph” Zappia – All-League

Softball:
Taylor McIntosh – All-League

Tennis:
Syed Irshad – All-League
Troy Womble – All-League

Track and Field:
Chris Gaymon – All-League (high jump)
Grace Glennon – All-League (100-meter)
Tara Hauff – All-League (3,000-meter)
Paige Keefer – All-League (400-meter)
Brittany Korsah – All-League (200-meter)
Justin Leeb – All-League (pole vault)
Melissa Riback – All-League (400 hurdles)
Davis Woloszyn – All-League (400-meter)
David Zimmer – All-League (pole vault)

Lacrosse:
Samantha Apuzzo – All-County
Kali Benvenuto – Unsung Hero Award
Kayla Downey – All-Rookie Team Award
Samantha Geiersbach – All-County
Sean Joyce – All-League
Joseph Kolano – All-League
Fran McCall – Unsung Hero Award
Ryan McNally – Unsung Hero Award
Kelsey O’Connor – All-Division
Samantha Ruic – All-Division


Celebrating the District’s Top Athletes

Each year, the district celebrates the achievements of the top athletes. The athletic department thanks the families and Parent Sports Association for their continued support of the athletic department throughout the 2014-2015 school year. Thanks also go to the West Babylon Athletic Association for providing the MVP and special awards.

Scholar-Athlete Teams
There were 21 scholar-athlete teams during the combined fall, winter and spring athletic seasons. The following is a list of teams that acquired a combined academic average of 90 percent or above.

Fall: Boys and girls cross-country, field hockey, football, gymnastics, boys and girls soccer, girls swimming, girls tennis, and boys and girls volleyball

Winter: Girls basketball, girls bowling, cheerleading, and boys and girls winter track

Spring: Boys and girls lacrosse, boys tennis, and boys and girls track and field

2014-15 Gold Key Winners
The Section XI Gold Key award is the highest honor in the section that an athlete can receive for sports participation. It is awarded to student-athletes who letter in eight junior varsity or varsity seasons while enrolled in grades 10-12.

Peter Agostinello – soccer, spring track and field, and winter track and field
Nicholas Gilley – football, baseball and basketball
Rae-Anne Guglielmo – soccer, spring track and field, and winter track and field
Mariana Krulish – field hockey, spring track and field, and winter track and field
Melissa Massman – bowling, lacrosse and swimming
Kelsey O’Connor – lacrosse, soccer and winter track and field
Taylor Shannon – football, lacrosse and wrestling
David Zimmerer – lacrosse, spring track and field, and winter track and field

Spring 2015 Varsity Awards

Sport MVP Sportsmanship
Baseball Timothy Kranz Adam Dell’Isola
Girls Golf Kelsie Gering Gina Perez
Boys Lacrosse Sean Joyce Taylor Shannon
Girls Lacrosse Samantha Apuzzo Kelsey O’Connor
Samantha Ruic
Softball Taylor McIntosh Erin Ehrichs
Boys Tennis Isaak Morales Troy Womble
Boys Track and Field Justin Leeb Andy “Manny” DeLeon
Girls Track and Field Melissa Riback Tara Hauff

Updates on the Capital Project Bond Referendum

Click here to view the updates.

Board of Education Reorganizes for the 2015-2016 School Year

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During its reorganization meeting on July 7, the Board of Education re-elected Lucy Campasano as board president and Dennis Kranz as vice president. In addition, trustee Peter Scarlatos was elected as second vice president. Re-elected trustee Jennifer Wandasiewicz and newly elected trustee John Evola were also sworn into office for a term of three years by school district attorney William C. Morrell of Van Nostrand & Martin.

Caption: Pictured are the West Babylon Board of Education and Central Administration: (front, from left) Second Vice President Peter Scarlatos, District Clerk Amy E. Jones, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Yiendhy Farrelly, President Lucy Campasano, Vice President Dennis Kranz, (back, from left) school district attorney William C. Morrell, Executive Director for Curriculum and Instruction Christine Tona, trustees Ray Downey, Jennifer Wandasiewicz, John Evola, Cathy Gismervik and Jennifer Longo, Executive Director for Finance and Operations Michelle Psarakis CPA and Executive Director for Human Resources Shawn Hanley. Not pictured: Trustee Diane Klein.   

Students Recognized Nationally for Community Service

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Junior high school students Leanne Coolbaugh, JoLynn Marchica, Bridget Navas, Ashley Schattner and Melissa Schattner are recipients of the U.S. President’s Volunteer Service Award.
    
Kristi Reynolds, community relations director for New York State Assemblywoman Kimberly Jean-Pierre, presented each students with a certificate and pin in commemoration to their service to others.
    
Community Service Club advisor Lorraine Zemba commended the students on their service to others and said she hopes they will continue participating in community service projects throughout their lives. Reynolds also said she was amazed by the hard work performed by the students. “Your hard work helps the community in such positive ways.”
    
Zemba pointed out that during the school year the students made Valentines Day cards for East Neck Nursing Home residents, collected toys for the John Theissen Children’s Foundation, made meal tray cards for the Northport VA Medical Center, collected money for UNICEF, made purple ribbon pins for teachers on P.S. I Love You Day, created and sold pins for Autism Speaks, designed placemats for the Babylon Methodist Church dinner and participated in the Clean the Beach Project at Venetian Shores in Babylon. In addition, JoLynn and Leanne spent their lunch period every Wednesday assisting students during their social skills class.

IXL MATH MASTERS – June 26- July 5, 2015

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The following students have practiced their math facts and activities and are being recognized as the MATH MASTERs on their previous grade level. The student whose name is marked with an asterisk accumulated the most minutes practice during the time period.  Congratulations to:

Kindergarten          Catherine Reyes-Guillen
Gr 1                          Nandini Ramesh
Gr 2                          Umamah Satti *
Gr 3                          Jiavana Schweigert
Gr 4                          Dylan Viera
Gr 5                          Sameer Sayar

Reflecting and Celebrating Elementary Milestone

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Forest Avenue fifth-grade students participated in the annual moving-up exercises in the senior high school’s performing arts center this June.
Throughout the ceremony, the administration and families in attendance collectively reflected on the students’ achievements and, with great anticipation, looked ahead to the boundless success they would have in junior high school.
The students’ celebration continued the following day with the annual fifth-grade dance.



West Babylon High School Graduation Video

Click here to view the video.

Celebrated for Excellence in Teaching

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South Bay Elementary School teachers Hillary Fazio and Kenneth Schneider from the West Babylon School District were two of 22 honorees recognized for excellence in teaching during the Suffolk County Legislature’s Teacher Appreciation Awards Night.
    
Presented by Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory as part of the Outstanding Teacher Recognition Program, Fazio, a resource room teacher, and Schneider, a fifth-grade teacher, were honored as top educators, along with teachers from area school districts.

Poised to Start a New Life Chapter

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It was an evening of excitement and pride as the graduating Class of 2015 marched onto the junior high school field to the playing of “Pomp and Circumstance” by the high school band and the applause of parents and family. After opening remarks by Principal Dr. Ellice Vassallo and the band’s performance of the national anthem and “God Bless America,” Class President Geovanny Amaya welcomed the community to the annual commencement exercises and thanked friends, family and faculty for their support throughout high school.

In her salutatory address, Melissa Riback told her peers that by adopting principles of success, using good management skills and putting forth effort, they would certainly be successful. Valedictorian Winnie Wong imparted to her fellow classmates that “passion is just as important as knowledge” and “the only person I have to impress is myself.” She also encouraged them to find their own definition of success.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Yiendhy Farrelly said the graduates had brought great pride to the district with their myriad of accomplishments and thanked the community, Board of Education and faculty for their commitment to education. She advised students that “life is what you make of it” and encouraged them to set goals, stay focused, learn from mistakes and reflect. Board President Lucy Campasano told the graduates that the community and district are indebted to them, stating, “You are the reason we strive to be better.” In her closing remarks, Dr. Vassallo noted that the graduates had brought great joy to the community and are well-prepared to make their way in the world.   

In celebration of the occasion, the concert choir performed a medley, arranged by teacher Joseph Barone, that included melodies from “Ain’t It Fun,” “Hakuna Matata” and “Why We Tell the Story.” As a tradition, the community joined the band and choir as they performed “Like an Eagle.”
The graduates were then called one by one to receive their diplomas and become official alumni of the West Babylon School District. The district extends its best wishes for success to the Class of 2015.           




Top School Artists

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Art students from the West Babylon Junior High received top honors at this year’s 26th annual BACCA Judged Art Show on June 5. Public viewing was held from June 8-13 at the Old Town Hall in Babylon.

The winners from the Student A (grades 5-8) category were: first place — Siobhan Yostpille (tempera on paper); second place — Jake Schindler (pastel on velour paper); third place — Jessie Dolan (pastel on velour paper); and honorable mentions — Kerry Leary (tempera on paper), Danielle Agtuca (pencil on paper), Amanda Linken (colored pencil on paper) and Yostpille (pastel on velour paper).

‘Wizard of Oz’ Wins Best Musical

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During the Babylon Citizen’s Council of the Arts Teen Theatre Awards on June 12, the district’s production of the “Wizard of Oz” won the Best Musical award.

Each year, BACCA awards students in the Town of Babylon for outstanding performances in their high school theater productions. West Babylon students were judged among nine other school districts.

“We all knew that this production was magical with its timeless story, the amazing scenery, our special effects, a perfect cast and an amazing group of teachers and staff who worked together for three solid months to bring the community this masterpiece,” musical director Joe Barone said.

In addition to Best Musical, Alexa Lucchesse (Dorothy) received the award for outstanding performance by an actress in a leading role, as well as outstanding female vocal performance. Matthew Lightsey (Scarecrow/Hunk) received the award for outstanding performance by an actor in a supporting role. Angeline Meller, who played the role of the Wicked Witch/Miss Gulch, was also awarded outstanding performance by an actress in a featured role.

In addition, the production also won the following awards:

Elementary Munchkins – Future Stars Award
Kyle Garcia, Kyle Henshaw, Joey Partain and Joey Valenti – Best Stage Crew
Kyle Thomas – Assistant Stage Manager of The Laramie Project
Cassidy Lilly – Assistant Stage Manager
Maria Napoli – Choreographer
Wizard of Oz – Best Production value
    Mr. Barone thanks the following district staff for their essential roles in the production:
Mary Ann Cafiero – musical director
Fashion Club and Adriene Hettherington and Mary Colonna – Jitterbug costumes
Barbara Kelly – accompanist
Dana Meadows – pit orchestra and playbill
Andrea Montalvo – scenic design
Mark Palminteri – special effects
Debbie Plezia – costuming and props
Eugene Rogovitz – tools
    


Be a Summer Reader

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Library specialist Andrea Francisco, the West Babylon Public Library and New York State Sen. Phil Boyle teamed up to motivate students to read over the summer vacation through participation in the New York State Senate Summer Reading Program. This year’s theme is Every Hero Has a Story, and fun-filled activities will take place at the West Babylon Public Library throughout the summer for elementary school students.

Students entering up to fifth grade and their caregiver are invited to join the West Babylon Public Library for its Summer Reading Club kickoff party on Saturday, June 27 from 11-11:45 a.m. or 12-12:45 p.m. There will be face painting, balloon twisting, crafts, a bubble freeze dance and a visit from the Spiderman. Participants must register at the library. 

Promoting Safe School Bus Transportation

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Junior high school art teacher Jennifer Tomeo’s students participated in the New York Association for Pupil Transportation’s poster contest by designing posters based on the theme “Bully-Free Zone.” Judging took place at the New York State office building in Hauppauge on May 19.
 
Giuliana Grosso, Nicole Nowakowski and Jade Ung were the top three winners, respectively, in the Suffolk County Grade 6-8 Division. Giuliana’s poster was also entered into the New York State School Bus Safety Poster Contest, held in Albany.

A Musical Extravaganza

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An audience of parents, grandparents and friends enjoyed the spring concert in the high school’s performing arts center on June 15. Under the direction of music teacher Deborah Cicogna, the third-grade recorder band performed a variety of upbeat tunes, while the fourth- and fifth-grade combined chorus entertained the audience with songs related to the theme of finding a lost tune. The performances culminated with a grand finale combined choral selection of grades three to five.   

First Grade Holds Author’s Tea

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First-grade teachers Patti Caffey and Kristen Wilken held an Author’s Tea during which parents, guardians, Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction Christine Tona and Principal Patricia Acocella attended as guests of honor.

The student-authors read aloud their written works, which included persuasive writing and nonfiction planet reports, to a captivated audience. The activity was a great way to share their written work with an audience.

Top Writing Entries

Author/illustrators in Ann Lauricella’s first-grade class earned an “I Read to the Principal” bookmark for sharing their original “Diary of the Fly” entries. Writing from the vantage point of the fly the students’ work demonstrated a great deal of scientific knowledge, as well as proficiency in writing and illustrating.

A Terrific Field Day

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Fourth- and fifth-grade students participated in field day activities on June 10. Students on the blue and gold teams cheered for one another as they participated in numerous races. The tug of war was the culminating activity for all teams and grades. Thanks to coaches Nemeth and DiStefano for implementing a great event and making this a terrific day.

Wax Figures Come to Life

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Tooker Elementary School’s first fifth-grade Wax Museum Day was a huge success. Prior to the event, students researched a famous American. Parents and students spent the afternoon visiting the real-life wax statues.

When a visitor stepped on the star in front of each display, the wax statue, or student dressed as their famous American, came to life and told their accomplishments and historical significance.

“We definitely plan on having more days like this at every grade level next year,” said Principal Charles Germano.

Dissecting Owl Pellets

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As part of the third-grade science curriculum and through the dissection of owl pellets, students in Deborah LoSardo’s class discovered and learned what owls eat. With the assistance of parent-helpers, the students were able to uncover skeletal remains, which were then catalogued and displayed for all to study.

A Star Student

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First-grader Aidan Fudenski, a student in Ann Lauricella’s class, was designated as a Star Student. Aidan visited principal Joann Scott’s office to share his Star Student poster, which included interesting facts about himself, a photo and a listing of his favorite things. He revealed that he wants to be a police officer when he grows up, green is his favorite color and his favorite sports are soccer and basketball. He also shared that he likes to make his friends laugh and that he has worked very hard to receive the title of Star Student.  

Celebrating Aesop’s Fables

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Santapogue Elementary School third-grade students in Christina Kelskey and Cara Kerr’s class performed skits for family, staff and peers during the Fable Festival. The festival culminated a unit of study on Aesop’s fables in which students wrote their own fables, creating fictitious characters and morals for their stories.

Some of the skits performed during the Fable Festival included “The Goose Who Laid the Golden Egg,” “The Hare and the Tortoise,” “The Lion’s Share” and “The Boy Who Went into the River.”  

Celebrated for Excellence in Teaching

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South Bay Elementary School teachers Hillary Fazio and Kenneth Schneider were two of 22 honorees recognized for excellence in teaching during the Suffolk County Legislature’s Teacher Appreciation Awards Night. Presented by Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory as part of the Outstanding Teacher Recognition Program, Fazio, a resource room teacher, and Schneider, a fifth-grade teacher, were honored as top educators, along with teachers from area school districts.
 

Becoming College-Ready

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The 2014-2015 school year is winding down, and members of the Class of 2015 have already received their acceptance letters to some of the top regional and national colleges and universities, including Boston College, Clemson University, colleges of the State University of New York, Duke University, Northeastern University, Rochester Institute of Technology, Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology, and the University of Virginia.

Acceptance to any higher educational institution takes work, and the district has set in place a number of key programs and courses to ready students and their parents for the important educational milestone of applying to college.        

Advanced Placement and College Credit Courses
Over the past two decades, there has been a consistent expansion of Advanced Placement courses, senior high school Principal Dr. Ellice Vassallo explained. The senior high school currently offers 17 AP courses and is adding AP European History to its course catalog for the 2015-2016 school year. In order to prepare younger students for more rigorous learning and offer a wider range of courses, the high school allows ninth-grade students to take AP Biology and the first part of AP World History. Tenth-grade students can enroll in AP World History, AP Chemistry and AP Statistics, while juniors are offered enrollment opportunities in AP U.S. History and AP Literature.  

Assistant Principal Stephen O’Leary reported that in 2014, 251 students took a total of 502 AP exams, with 175 students receiving a passing score or greater. This represents a passing rate of 69.7 percent, which exceeds the New York State passing rate by 2.6 percent and the global average by 8.4 percent.

Recommended students who satisfy both university and departmental requirements may also enroll in college credit courses either at SUNY Farmingdale or St. John’s University. SUNY Farmingdale offers calculus, principals of engineering, college marketing, business law and college accounting. In addition, St. John’s University offers Spanish, Italian, criminal justice and forensics for students who want to get a jump-start on their college credits while still in high school.  

PSAT and SAT Test Preparation
O’Leary explained that the district also readies students for college with PSAT and SAT preparatory programs and testing. In fact, the Board of Education has continually funded all students to take college preparatory exams in grades 9-11.  The goal of this testing is to prepare students for exams such as the SAT and ACT.

The Ready Step program is offered to students in ninth grade, and there is an incline in the number of students enrolling to take the ACT each year. The district is also reviewing the American College Testing practice test, which is currently being redesigned, O’Leary explained.

Naviance Program
Today, high schools send out student transcripts, scores and recommendations through the Naviance Program. This online tool assists students with their college search and the guidance department in gathering pertinent pre-college information.

Linked to the guidance department’s web page, Family Connection, Naviance allows students and their parents to research credentials needed for admittance to target colleges. Graphics also allow the student to see if they are suited to a particular college or university program.

“The Naviance Program empowers the student,” guidance counselor Paul Satriano said. “Students can find out if they have a shot of getting into their top choice college based on their transcripts.”

Satriano explained that there are individualized planning meetings with juniors and their parents to start the college application process. During the meeting, the student receives a rundown of his or her preliminary GPA and class rank and discusses ways to strengthen his or her resume.

Satriano also noted that mini-college fairs in the fall and spring are excellent ways for students in grades 10-12 to learn more about the colleges they are interested in by speaking with the representatives on hand. In addition, these fairs serve as a starting point for students who need the extra push to begin the college application process.

Class of 2015 Valedictorian Honored By Suffolk Superintendents

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School superintendents, administrators and parents acknowledged and honored the highest achieving students of Suffolk County’s Class of 2015 during the Suffolk County School Superintendents Association’s 21st annual Valedictorian Luncheon, held at the Hyatt Regency Wind Watch Hotel in Hauppauge. Winnie Wong, valedictorian of the Class of 2015, attended the event with her parents, Desmond King Shing Wong and Suet Mei Wong, principal Dr. Ellice Vassallo, Executive Director for Curriculum and Instruction Christine Tona and guidance counselor Dr. Paul Satriano.   
    
Congratulating the students on their hard work and academic achievements were Dr. Roberta A. Gerold, SCSSA president and Middle Country School District superintendent of schools; Susan A. Schnebel, SCSSA president-elect and Islip School District superintendent of schools; Dr. Charles T. Russo, SCSSA vice president and East Moriches School District superintendent of schools; and Lars Clemensen, SCSSA secretary and Hampton Bays School District superintendent of schools.
    
Keynote speaker Roger Tilles, a member of the New York State Board of Regents, encouraged the valedictorians to always put things in perspective, develop a backbone, become proactive and involved, use imagination and creativity to propel forward, and find a job that matters.
    
“Love what you do and feel that it matters,” Tilles said. “There is no greater fun than that.”    
    
Each valedictorian was called to the stage to receive a certificate and gift of recognition. During their acknowledgment, the universities they plan on attending were announced, along with their intended majors. The SCSSA and its corporate partners also awarded 10 scholarships to graduates planning to pursue a career in education or social services.
    
This was the only event in which the Suffolk County Class of 2015 valedictorians were honored together, and it was a truly memorable occasion for all in attendance.  

A Day of Fun-Filled Competition

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Santapogue kindergarten and first-grade students spent the afternoon in a friendly competition during the school’s annual field day held on June 3. To offer encouragement, parents and grandparents cheered for the blue and gold teams from the sideline. In addition, the PTA coaches provided each girl and boy with a blue or gold Santapogue field day t-shirt to commemorate the occasion.

The administration would like to thank the coaches Nemeth and DiStefano for creating such a fun-filled day, as well as the teachers and fifth-grade volunteers.

It was a wonderful and memorable day for all of the students.

2015 Summer Assignments

Click here for more information

Promoting School Spirit

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During Santapogue’s Spirit Week on May 18-22, a different color combination or theme was highlighted each day.

To kickoff the weeklong event, students were encouraged to wear mismatched clothing and socks. On Tuesday, while residents were voting on the school budget, students wore blue and gold for Eagle Pride, and the eagle mascot visited the school during lunchtime.  

On May 20, prior to Memorial Day, the school held Red, White and Blue Day, and the fifth grade students wore patriotic colors to celebrate the occasion. This color combination also provided additional patriotic spirit for the second-grade students who attended the American Fair that same day.  

In addition, students dressed like a teacher on Thursday and wore their team jerseys to end the week.  

Meet the Class of 2015’s Valedictorian and Salutatorian

Enjoy this version of WBTV, where we spotlight the valedictorian and salutatorian of the Class of 2015.

Maintaining a Green World

In celebration of Earth Day, first-grade students at Santapogue Elementary School learned about the importance of keeping the earth green.

Representatives from the Long Island Center for Art and Science visited each of the classrooms and explained the importance of reduce, reuse and recycle in minimizing our footprints on the planet.

To promote a green world, the students planted seeds in pots made out of recycled newspaper. They also discussed which objects to recycle and how to conserve energy resources.


Pre-K for 2015-2016

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