Librarian of the Year
Forest Avenue Elementary School media specialist/librarian Andrea Francisco has been named the 2014 School Library Media Specialist of the Year by Western Suffolk BOCES School Library System during its 16th annual conference, “Digging Digital: Engaging Students.” This award is presented to a school library specialist who has demonstrated exceptional commitment to students and staff and a love of reading through creative programming. Ms. Francisco was also given this award for having participated in professional development in support of excellence in librarianship.
The West Babylon School District congratulates Ms. Francisco on this outstanding achievement and wishes her continued success in her career at West Babylon Schools.
Excelling Toward a New Future
As West Babylon’s graduating Class of 2014 processed onto the field of the West Babylon Junior High School for the annual commencement exercises, they were serenaded by the ceremonial “Pomp and Circumstance,” as performed by the high school band, and cheered on by proud family members and friends. The exercises began with a greeting from Principal Dr. Ellice F. Vassallo, the Pledge of Allegiance led by National Honor Society President Alexandra Martocci, and performances of the national anthem and “God Bless America” by the band.
In his opening remarks, Class of 2014 President John Modica encouraged his peers to never give up on themselves and to have confidence in their choices. “When you give up on yourself, you give up on all those who have supported you,” he said. Salutatorian Julie Barrett defined the Class of 2014 as “remarkable for [its] differences and dedication” and encouraged her peers to keep laughter in their lives. Valedictorian Nicole Cutrone encouraged her peers to pursue something they love and remarked that her classmates’ experiences had been defined through the “many magical moments” they had experienced in high school that had helped them succeed.
Superintendent of Schools Anthony Cacciola thanked the class for bringing pride to both the district and their parents. He encouraged the graduates to put life into perspective and appreciate what is truly important. “Life is measured by the moments that take your breath away,” he said.
Board of Education President Diane Thiel noted that the visiting class of 1964 and the graduating class had something in common: the spirit of helping others and giving back to the community. “You are a generous class and a living example of gratitude,” she said. “One person can make a difference in the world. Be that person.”
In celebration, the concert choir played a “senior medley,” arranged by concert choir director Joseph Barone, that included melodies from “Thanks for the Memories,” “Survivor,” “Best Day of My Life” and more. Together, the choir and band performed “Like an Eagle.”
The graduates were then called one by one to receive their diplomas from Dr. Vassallo and become official alumni of West Babylon High School. The district extends its best wishes and happiness to the Class of 2014.
Santapogue Moving Up 2014
Welcome to our new website!
Welcome to the new website of the West Babylon School District! The district is pleased to announce the launch of our new site which has been created to serve as a reliable source of information for parents, students, community residents, and anyone interested in knowing more about the district. You are invited to visit this site often for up-to-date information on district activities, student achievements and access to important school information. We hope you find the new website informative and interesting.
Meet the District’s Top Two Students
West Babylon Senior High School seniors Nicole Cutrone and Julie Barrett have been named valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, of the Class of 2014. Each is an exceptional student whose academic achievement is equaled by her athletic, co-curricular and philanthropic pursuits.
With a 109 grade point average, Nicole maintains that her personality is partly behind her academic success. “With my personality, I was never able to slack off. It mattered that I did the work,” she said. “It is really nice to know that all my hard work has been validated.”
Nicole is a National Advanced Placement Scholar and a Board of Regents Scholarship recipient. As a member of the Science Olympiad team, she placed in three regional competition events and acquired fourth and fifth place at the New York State competition. The Town of Babylon recently granted Nicole an Historical Society scholarship for top scores in history. Nicole is a member of the Leaders Club, where she organizes and participates in local fundraisers, and the Leo Club, which focuses on community service and local charities. She is editor of the Yearbook Club and a member of the National Honor Society, as well as the Vincent Foley Foreign Language and math and science honor societies. Nicole has been a member of the field hockey team during all four years of high school and has received two varsity letters for her achievements on the field. She also volunteers at the library, where she teaches young children how to read, and tutors peers in math. Nicole will attend Fordham University, where she will pursue her studies in biology.
With a 108.5 grade point average, Julie received the rank of class salutatorian. Like Nicole, she explained that hard work is the key to being one of the top students. “There are students who are smarter, but did not take the time to do homework or to work hard,” Julie said. “Doing the work everyday is the key to success.”
Julie is an Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction and the recipient of a Board of Regents scholarship. She is a member of the National Honor Society and the math and science and Vincent Foley Foreign Language honor societies. Julie was a gold medalist in the Russian Olympiada and secretary of the Science Olympiad team. Julie is an accomplished percussionist and a member of the jazz band and marching band, where she is section leader and drum captain. She recently received the West Babylon Music Parents Scholarship for her music achievements. Julie is a member of the cross-country team and has received six varsity letters and a sportsmanship award during her high school athletic career. Since fourth grade, Julie has been an active Girl Scout and regularly gives her time to the community as a church camp counselor and altar server, as well through honor society community service events. She will attend Binghamton University this fall.
2014 Spring Varsity Athlete Awards
The spring athletic season was a great success, with student-athletes making strides on and off the field and the court. The following is a list of athletic awards and designations received by the district’s top student-athletes.
Nicholas Brigandi – All-League
Adam Dell’Isola – All-League
Nicholas Gilley – All-League
Robert Inguli – All-League
Timothy Kranz – All-League, All-County and MVP
Christian Reyes – Sportsmanship Award
Nicholas Squillante – Academic All-League
Joseph Zappia – All-League
Amanda Vong – MVP
Megan Whitehead – Sportsmanship Award
Alexa Casale – Sportsmanship Award
Shannon Clancy – All-County and MVP
Breanna Kuhner – All-League
Shannon Apuzzo – All-County, All-Tournament and MVP
Kali Benvenuto – Sportsmanship Award
Hope Coticchio – All-Division
Jessica Geiersbach – All-County
Samantha Geiersbach – All-County
Jessyca Held – All-Division
Joseph Kolano – All-Division
Kelsey O’Connor – All-Division and All-Tournament
Anthony Rowland – Sportsmanship Award
Michael Schneider – All County and MVP
Madison Vasquez – Unsung Hero
Greg Axelson – JV Coach of the Year – Boys Lacrosse
Track and Field
Dana Beggins – All-Division
Patrice Cunningham – All-League and Sportsmanship Award
Myaysa Evans – All-League
Christopher Gaymon – All-League
Tara Hauff – All-League, All-Division and All-County
Paige Keefer – All-Division
Brittany Korsah – All-League and All-Division
Nicholas Morfesi – All-League and MVP
Melissa Riback – All-League, All-Division, All-County and MVP
Christopher Smith – Sportsmanship Award
Joseph Fiorante – All-Division and Sportsmanship Award
Michael Liguori – All-Division and MVP
Elijah McCall – All-League
Kieran Yee – All-League
All Around Outstanding Senior Girl Athlete – Madison Vasquez
All-Around Outstanding Senior Boy Athlete – Scott Avery
Superintendent Trophy – John Nash and Tara Smith
Helmer Petersen Baseball Award – Nicholas Brigandi
Donald F. Bolinger Memorial Track Award – Nicholas Morfessi
George Kruse Memorial Lacrosse Award – Keith Maerki
Richard Rowcroft Lacrosse Award – Michael Schneider
In the Zone
West Babylon elementary and middle school students were selected as recipients of the Suffolk Zone Award. Sponsored by the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, this award recognizes one male and one female from each class who exemplify outstanding leadership, fitness, citizenship and excellence in physical education. The following recipients were honored at Longwood High School on May 7:
West Babylon Junior High School – Robert Aguanno and Victoria Kilfeather
Forest Avenue Elementary School – Justin Scotto and Olivia Vergano
JFK Elementary School – Russell Brueckner and Kaitlyn Russell
Santapogue Elementary School – Michael Cascone and Allison Cella
South Bay Elementary School – Cole Maucere and Marissa Moran
Tooker Avenue Elementary School – Taylor Morra and Diego Saravia
Winner of Riverhead Art Competition
West Babylon High School student-artist Anna Fleury was named the first-place winner in Riverhead’s East End Arts Gallery art “Composition” competition. Her artwork titled “Red Roof” is a photo on canvas and an aerial view of the Fire Island Lighthouse. Her work will be on view from June 20 through August 1.
Anna, a sophomore, is a student in Heather Korchma’s Drawing and Painting II class and Christine Iaquinto’s Photo II class. She will continue her art studies in Ms. Korchma’s Advanced Placement Studio class this fall.
The district congratulates Anna on this exceptional achievement and continued success in her art studies at West Babylon High School.
The Most Important Meal of the Day
First-grade students in Ms. Lauricella’s class at South Bay Elementary School learned about the importance of breakfast during a presentation by Jeannette Frabizio, district food service director, and Mary Payan, South Bay cook. Not only did the students learn that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, they learned about foods that will fuel their bodies and help them learn. After the presentation, the students were able to sample some delicious breakfast treats.
Making the World a Better Place
A gardening effort between the West Babylon Junior High School Community Service Club and Daisy Troop 1022 not only improved the school courtyard, but assisted in the younger girls’ earning of the Golden Honey Bee Award. The goal for receiving this coveted award is to make the world a better place through a gardening project.
Chip DeGennaro of DeGennaro’s Landscaping generously donated flowers for the group to plant and showed the students how to properly plant them in the courtyard. Not only did all of the participants have a wonderful time, the courtyard was beautifully planted in time for the eighth-grade dance.
A Garden of Kindness
Being kind to others is an important tenet of Santapogue Elementary School’s character education program. Under the direction of West Babylon third-grade teacher Cara Kerr and art teacher Kelly Myers, each student made a flower during the months of May and June for the Kindness Garden, writing kind thoughts and observations to and about their peers. The result was a beautiful paper garden of colorful flowers and kind thoughts for the whole school to read and enjoy.
Character Certainly Counts
Santapogue Elementary School students in the West Babylon School District participated in the Character Certainly Counts character education program. Students from each grade dressed in a color-related shirt to represent a character trait and carried character trait signs and links to show that the entire school is connected through character.
The West Babylon Fire Department also attended this special activity, and the faculty and students thanked the firemen for their dedication to the school and community. The students then recited the Kids for Character pledge as they stood in proximity to the fire truck’s extended ladder.
West Babylon Residents Support the 2014-2015 School Budget
The West Babylon Board of Education and administration wish to extend their appreciation to all residents who voted. The budget, which was approved 1,432 to 532, will enable the district to provide quality instructional and co-curricular programs for students.
“This was an extremely difficult budget season, but with the support of the community and a good working relationship between the Board and central administration, the district was able to create a school budget that maintains the majority of instructional and co-curricular programs and sports,” Superintendent of Schools Anthony Cacciola said. “We thank the entire community for its support.”
West Babylon Student Wins National Photographic Competition
Ryan Flanagan, a senior at West Babylon High School, was a first-place and Best in Show winner in the Photographic Society of America National Youth Showcase competition. This is the first time a West Babylon student has placed in a national competition.
Ryan submitted two photographic works that were judged among 700 entries from students across the United States. He was awarded first place and Best of Show for his photo titled “The Girl in the Woods.” In addition, Ryan’s submission titled “Going Out to Sea” placed third.
Ryan will attend the Rochester Institute of Technology this fall, where he will study photographing imaging technology.
The district congratulates Ryan on this achievement and wishes him continued success.
West Babylon Students Become Junior Beetle Busters
The detection and reporting of Asian long-horned beetles by students at South Bay Elementary School in the West Babylon School District has become important to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. During an assembly, USDA representatives taught the students about the physical and destructive characteristics of this insect that has started to invade deciduous trees on Long Island, including the maple, elm, willow, poplar and horse chestnut.
“We are relying on children like you to locate the beetle and save the trees,” Joseph Gittleman, USDA New York project manager and “chief beetle buster,” told students. “Make sure that if you see any signs of an Asian long-horned beetle, you alert your parents and teachers so they can contact the USDA.”
During the assembly, master storyteller Jonathan Kruk engaged and educated the students with “Tale of the Beetles,” in which he expressively described the symptoms to look for in an infested tree and the characteristics of this colorful insect. He explained that the beetle is black with white spots, has blue legs and is equipped with extra-long antennae that search for bark to eat. Students also learned that the beetle leaves holes large enough to fit a finger, sawdust on the ground (frass), and dead or bare limbs at the top of the tree. Infested trees are cut down by the USDA, ground up and replaced with saplings to handle the infestation.
After the assembly, the students were given a hunt project packet to help them identify trees that may be blighted by the Asian long-horned beetle, along with USDA contact information. They were also deputized as “junior beetle busters.”
United States Department of Agriculture regarding the Asian Longhorned Beetle Eradication Program
Child Care Transportation Form
An Evening of Health and Fitness
An evening focused on physical activity, health and wellness drew more than 700 West Babylon residents to the 10th annual Fun Run and Fitness Fair. Organized by the district’s Wellness Committee and PTA Council, the district hosted an array of activities to support the overall health and fitness of students and community members. Some of the activities included lessons in paddle boarding, yoga, Frisbee toss, relay races, and more. In addition, there were vendors from the community who discussed healthy lifestyle options and organized races for students and adults, as well as free raffles for summer camps and sport registrations.
“The district would like to thank the members of the Wellness Committee – which is comprised of administrators, teachers, and parents – for their tremendous efforts in planning this event,” said Christine Tona, executive director for curriculum and instruction. “It was wonderful to see students, family and staff come together to share an evening focused on physical activity, health, wellness options and community spirit.”
The district congratulates the following Fun Run winners:
Preschool – Michelle Cardenas and Jenna Kozodoy
Kindergarten – Anthony Clements, Julian Cruz, Brody Richert (multiple heats) and Isabella Rowe
First grade – Sean Flaack and Hannah Lee
Second grade – Niomi Allison and Liam Henshaw
Third grade – Ryan Adams and Sarah Goebl
Fourth/fifth grade – Giselle Amaya and Michael Mazzilli
Sixth grade – Kyle Adams and Amirah Jarrett
Seventh/eighth grade – Nadja Ashley, Trent Boock and Allan MacKay (boys tied)
HS (grades 9-12) – Sabrina Esposito and Jon Flores
Adults – Danielle Richert (district PE teacher) and Royce Ukpabia
Learning Is Ducky at Tooker Elementary School
As part of their science curriculum, second-grade students at Tooker Elementary School in the West Babylon School District have been learning about the lifecycle of ducks. The students conducted independent research on this interesting animal in the computer lab and learned many interesting facts such as they are omnivorous and have an egg tooth to help them break out of their shell while hatching.
Of course, for the students, the most exciting part of their study was watching the ducks hatch. As the ducks broke out of their shells between May 6 and 11, the students named their fluffy friends Peep, Lewis, Fuzzy and Fluffy. They even watched their ducklings run around and take a bath. The ducks were then returned to a local farm and were adopted by willing families.
Who Is Your ’SHero?
West Babylon High School students Carissa Graziosa, Erin Kenney, Emily Londono, Frankie Lyon and Alexa Pulizzi were winners in the high school essay contest “Who Is Your ‘Shero?’” The contest, sponsored by Suffolk County Legislature Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory, celebrated National Women’s History Month by shining a spotlight on women heroes in the community.
Students in grades nine to 12 were instructed to write a short essay of approximately 250 words about a woman he or she knows personally, but is not related to, whose actions or character are inspirational.
The West Babylon District congratulates these student-essayists on their winning entries.
Learning to Appreciate Differences
First-grade students at John F. Kennedy Elementary School in West Babylon are learning about respect and the acceptance of others’ differences. As a culminating activity, Dayna Troisi and Danielle Notaro from Hofstra University’s Club Limbitless visited the students. This special organization raises funds for the Amputee Coalition for America and A Leg to Stand On in order to provide free corrective surgery, prosthetic and orthopedic devices, mobility aids and rehabilitation to children with limb differences.
Troisi, club president and a congenital amputee, showed the students her prosthesis. Troisi and Notaro entertained the students with physically challenged puppets to teach the students about being physically challenged. The guests also read books about friendships that celebrate differences and similarities and led a discussion about the subject matter. The highlight of the activity, however, was when Troisi sang “Let It Go,” from the Disney movie “Frozen,” honing in on the lesson about being different.
First-grade teacher Donna Anselona-Troisi said, “These social skills need to be taught to children at a young age, thus making the world a more accepting and happier place to live. We don’t always know the right thing to say or do, so we need to display these good manners and rules.”
At the end of the program, each student brought home a bag of M&Ms, symbolizing that we are all different on the outside and the same on the inside. A list of “The Good Manner Rules for Meeting People Who Look Different and Learn Differently” was distributed to each student, as well as a bibliography of books that teach good character.
In order to contribute to this cause, the school will host a fundraiser for amputees.
Music Is in the Air
Under the direction of Debbie Cicogna, kindergarten students at Santapogue Elementary School in the West Babylon School District delighted their parents, grandparents and staff during the annual spring concert. The school’s youngest students sang a variety of songs and even played instruments.
Servicing the Global Community
Community service is an important tenet of the West Babylon Junior High School’s character education program, which was eagerly displayed by the community service club’s participation in Global Youth Service Day.
The goal of Global Youth Service Day is to mobilize young people throughout the world to improve their communities through service to others. Established in 1988 as a campaign of Youth Service America, GYSD is the largest service event worldwide and addresses critical community issues through young people working together.
During an assembly, Babylon Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer, Councilman Tom Donnelly, Tax Receiver Corrine DiSomma and New York State Assemblyman Joe Saladino spoke to the students about the importance to giving back to the community.
The important guests even purchased items being sold by the Community Service Club as a fundraiser to benefit Autism Speaks.
A Special Lesson with Live Chicks
The peeping sounds of puffy yellow chicks reverberated throughout the kindergarten, first- and second-grade classrooms at South Bay Elementary School in the West Babylon School District. Borrowed for the day from Long Island Poultry in Riverhead, the special guests served as a live lesson on animal species, life cycles and spring.
In each of the participating classrooms, the students learned about the life cycle of chickens, wrote about the chicks’ characteristics, and read books about the animals. The favorite activity for all of the students, however, was taking turns petting their new animal friends.
Alexa Lucchesse to Perform with Camp Broadway at Carnegie Hall
For the second consecutive year, West Babylon High School junior Alexa Lucchesse was selected to perform with Camp Broadway Kids at Carnegie Hall. As part of the cast, Alexa was one of 60 students featured at the New York Pops 31st Birthday Gala on April 28, and had the opportunity to perform alongside Broadway star Andrea Martin to celebrate the hit-making careers of composer, lyricist and arranger Marc Shaiman and director, lyricist and writer Scott Wittman.
As a member of the cast, Alexa performed Trey Parker’s and Shaiman’s “Blame Canada,” from the film “South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut,” which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Song in 1999. Under the baton of New York Pops director Steven Reineke, the concert also featured Christian Borle, Jane Krakowski, Patti LuPone, Katherine McPhee and Marissa Jaret Winokur.
Alexa was selected from a national audition of more than 500 amateur performers between the ages of 12-16. The Camp Broadway Kids participated in a three-day rehearsal that included master classes in vocal performance, dancing and acting under artistic director Tony Parise, whose credits include “Me and My Girl” and “42nd Street.”
The district congratulates Alexa on this accomplishment.
West Babylon High School Robotics Competition Season a Success
West Babylon High School’s robotics club competition teams ended a successful season and are now preparing for next year’s competitions. The 2013-14 season concluded with a first-place alliance for the gold competition team during the FTC Long Island Qualifying Tournament, which qualified them for the NYC/Long Island Regional Championship competition at the NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering.
In March, the club’s gold and blue teams participated in the FIRST Tech Challenge at Syosset High School, a new experience for the club members. The teams designed, programmed and built two different robots and competed against 22 teams from across Long Island. As a result of their hard work and dedication, both of the robots performed well, with the gold team’s robot ranking in the top five, and the blue team’s robot ranked in the top 10. Even with a number of mechanical issues, the students were able to fix problems and continue in the competition.
Adviser Gerard DeSimone said the best part of the day was being asked to compete in an alliance, where the top teams request a playoff grouping against each other. “It’s a real honor to be asked to be part of an alliance,” Mr. DeSimone said. “The fact that both of our teams were picked by different alliances is truly an accomplishment for our club.”
The gold competition team includes: Luke Bianco, Ronald Bolosan, Michelle Diep (captain), Seamus Earekson, John Kryjak, Ryan Meurlin, Anthony Mistretta, Javier Reyes, Michael Valenti and Troy Womble.
The blue competition team includes: Matthew Hellriegel, Justin Hyner, Andrew Karatnytsky, Anthony Lanfranchi (captain), Isaak Morales and Johnny Starzee.
Dominick Sora and Keiran Yee are part of the programming team.
West Babylon High School photography student Luke Adams was awarded the prestigious Renzo S. Bianchi Scholarship Award during the opening of the Long Island’s Best Young Artists exhibit at the Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington.
Luke is a senior art student who will attend the Fashion Institute of Technology in the fall. He is currently enrolled in the art department’s Photo II course. Luke has also taken Advanced Placement studio, drawing and painting courses, as well as ceramics.
The West Babylon Art Department wishes Luke continued success in his art career.
Selected for a Prestigious Student-Art Exhibit
West Babylon High School senior-artists Luke Adams and Ryan Flanagan were selected to display their artwork in the juried Long Island’s Best Young Artists Exhibition sponsored by the Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington from March 20 to April 27. The students were two of 80 students chosen to present their artwork in this prestigious show out of 350 submissions from 51 public and private schools in Nassau and Suffolk counties.
Both artists, taught by Christine Iaquinto, entered their work into the category of digital media. Luke’s digital art piece is titled “Aura,” while Ryan’s is titled “Lost Signal.” Luke is also the winner of the prestigious Renzo S. Bianchi Scholarship Award.
“To have two students’ work selected is quite an accomplishment for the artists, as well as the art teachers who have taught them throughout their careers at West Babylon High School,” Principal Dr. Ellice Vassallo said.
West Babylon Students Compete in Russian Language Competition
West Babylon High School students who are studying Russian attended the Olympiada of Spoken Russian, sponsored by the American Council of Teachers of Russian, at SUNY Albany in March. Julie Barrett, Andrej Gryschenko, Cassidy Lilly and John Martin earned silver medals, while six other students received bronze medals. The students competed in categories such as conversation, culture and reading.
The following students were bronze medal winners in the annual Olympiada of Spoken Russian competition: Scott Coleman, Ryan Flanagan, Ryan Powers, Shannon Schachtel, Jacob Topor and Troy Womble.
2013-2014 Winter Varsity Awards
The winter may have been especially cold, but West Babylon student-athletes warmed up the court, lanes and track during the 2014 winter sports season. The following awards were received by the district’s top athletes.
Samantha Apuzzo – All-League and Sportsmanship Award
Timothy Kranz – All-League, All-Conference and MVP
Wesley Mercado – All-League Honorable Mention and Rookie of the Year
Nicholas Squillante – All-Academic and Sportsmanship Award
Madison Vasquez – All-League and MVP
Cammi Farash – All-League and Wild Card All-Tournament Team
Matthew Insinga – All-League (second team)
James Limone – Sportsmanship Award
Sean Matwiow – All-League (second team)
Peter Ramos – All-League (first team) and MVP
Erin Reahl – All-League and Match Point Award
Shannon Reahl – Division D second-place singles, Dottie McGuire Sportsmanship Award
Gabriela Rivera – Steve Carbone Memorial Award and Scholarship and MVP
Justine Verni – All-League
Lauren Bocca – MVP
Alyssa Downes – Sportsmanship Award
Megan Krisowaty – LICCA All-Star
Jackie Schrom – Rookie of the Year
Christopher Gaymon – All-League
Tara Hauff – Sportsmanship Award and medals at Art Mitchell Meet and League Championship (1,500m)
Brittany Korsah – MVP and medals at Small School Championship, League Championship, Jim Howard meet and Art Mitchell meet (300m)
Bryan LaConte – Sportsmanship Award
John Modica – All-League
John Nash – All-League, Academic All-County and MVP
Kevin Valdes – All-League
Geovanny Amaya – Sportsmanship Award
Richard Lindsey – MVP
Students Collect Pajamas for Children in Need
Throughout the winter months, students of the district have taken part in various charitable drives to support those in need. One such collection effort was the Great Bedtime Story Pajama Drive, sponsored by Scholastic. This program provides new pajamas and new books to children in need.
According to the Scholastic website, Scholastic Reading Club classrooms have collected and donated nearly 250,000 pairs of pajamas since 2009, including 84,568 pair this year.
Second-graders at South Bay Elementary School and fourth-graders from Tooker Avenue Elementary School collectively donated 63 pairs of pajamas. For each pair of pajamas donated, Scholastic donates one book to the program.
The Butterfly Project at West Babylon Junior High School
Sixth-grade students Bella Alvino and Jamie Cozzi recently introduced a variation of the Butterfly Project to West Babylon Junior High School students. The Butterfly Project was an initiative initially established to support self-harmers, however, the West Babylon students have put an anti-bullying spin on it.
The girls met with the school’s administration and discussed the initiative in which the members of the school’s Anti-Bullying Club placed Post-it notes with positive messages on each students’ locker in hopes of creating a culture of kindness throughout the school.
“Every butterfly has beautiful and unique wings but can’t see them,” said Jamie. “It’s the same with each student in the school. They all have something beautiful about them and sometimes they just can’t see it. We wanted to remind them that they are unique and special.”
No Name Calling Week
During the week of Jan. 20, students in the district took part in No Name Calling Week, an annual campaign aimed at fostering an environment in which bullying is not tolerated in schools.
Throughout the district, students participated in a multitude of events and activities that encouraged these efforts. During the week, students wore themed attire to represent various anti-bullying ideas, such as sports jersey day to team up against bullying, and mix and match day to show that everyone is different and unique.
Books highlighting kindness were read over the loud speakers of the elementary schools and anti- bullying pledges were taken by the students. At the junior high school, students’ pledges were displayed in the cafeteria in the shape of a peace sign. Teachers received acts of kindness slips to recognize students caught doing good deeds. In addition, two junior high school students introduced the Butterfly Project, where Post-it notes with complimentary and encouraging phrases were taped to each students’ locker in an effort to remind them of the beautiful qualities they have, much like the wings of a butterfly.
The week was a success as district students came together in support of the anti-bullying campaign. This sense of unity helps to create an environment in which all students can comfortably be themselves.
Making Sweet Sounds
The district has announced the selection of 46 district student-musicians to the 2014 Suffolk County Music Educators Association All-County music ensembles.
Every year, Suffolk County music teachers nominate approximately 5,000 students for inclusion in the music ensembles. Only several hundred students are ultimately selected for each divisional music festival in March.
The district congratulates its All-County student-musicians and their school music teachers on this honor.
Forest Avenue Elementary School
Brooke Gilmore Children’s Voice
Madison Kubovic Children’s Voice
Tyler Lozier Children’s Voice
Arianna Rivera Children’s Voice
Arpitha Vinod Violin
John F. Kennedy Elementary School
Julie Cooke Children’s Voice
Ashleigh Golden Children’s Voice
Andrew Hill Children’s Voice
Sara Kenney Violin
Olivia Krulish Children’s Voice
Santapogue Elementary School
Abigail Engrassia Violin
South Bay Elementary School
Andrew Bisson Children’s Voice
Chelsea Shevlin Children’s Voice
Aniyah Terry Children’s Voice
Hayden Wieber Children’s Voice
Tooker Avenue Elementary School
James Rossomangno Violin
West Babylon Senior High School
Trevor Barrett Tuba/Sousaphone
Alexander Barrett Tuba/Sousaphone
Matthew Desrosiers Flute
Thomas Iliou Trumpet/Cornet
Samantha Lobasso Alto
John Paul Louis Trumpet/Cornet
West Babylon Junior High School
Isabella Alvino Children’s Voice
Nadja Ashley Clarinet
Trent Boock Baritone
Carissa Brock Children’s Voice
Olivia Carucci Soprano
Darren Del Orfano Trumpet/Cornet
Michael Evangelista Children’s Voice
Anthony Fitzgerald Tuba/Sousaphone
Julian Franco Trumpet/Cornet
Julia Gabrell Alto
Andrew Gargan Baritone
Alexandra Gaudioso Soprano
Lucas Greengold Viola
Jenna Halvorsen Children’s Voice
Julia Karatnytski Alto Saxophone
Margaret Irene Lactaoen Alto Saxophone
Natalie McIntosh Clarinet
Gianna Mezzacappa Alto
Aidan O’Sullivan Baritone
Alyssa Ramesh Violin
Isabella Reina Alto
Erin Wade Viola
Clifford William Viola
Presentation of Long-Range Plan
In accordance with the Board of Education and superintendent’s long-range strategic plan and annual goals, the district has been examining the impact of declining enrollment. A facilitator, hired through Western Suffolk BOCES, has been working with a study group comprised of community members and staff to review the November 2012 Demographic Study. The West Babylon Facilities Study Group examined options that would address the district’s budgetary situation while maintaining the educational excellence that has become synonymous with the district.
On Jan. 7, the facilities study group reported their findings to the Board of Education and community members, presenting factual information with regard to maximizing the utilization of school facilities in the future. “We recognize that our goal is to investigate all plausible options while seeking to maintain the quality of our educational offerings in a fiscally sound manner,” said facilitator include his title Michael Keany. “We understand our role to be study and investigation, not recommendation.” Other items studied and presented by the group were an analysis of current efficiencies and cost-saving measures and the feasibility of a pre-K program.
Representatives from the group addressed questions such as whether the district can function with one less building and how many classrooms could be gained through a process known as compression. While these topics were addressed, it was emphasized to community members that no decisions would be made in the immediate future. The Board of Education will discuss the information presented at future meetings.
“It has been a pleasure to work with the facilities study group,” remarked Superintendent of Schools Anthony Cacciola. “They are a dedicated, hardworking group of individuals and their findings provided the Board with valuable information that will be taken into consideration when planning for the district’s future.”
Copies of the group’s PowerPoint presentation and the Long-Range Plan Presentation survey can be found on the district website at www.wbschools.org.
West Babylon Kindergarten Registration Information
Registration for kindergarten in the West Babylon School District will take place in the main office of each elementary school during the week of Feb. 3-7, 2014. It is imperative that parents call their elementary school’s main office to request a kindergarten registration packet, if they have not already received one. Packets must be obtained in advance of the registration week.
When registering a child, you will need to present the following:
• Original birth certificate or baptismal certificate
• Proof of mandatory immunizations
• Proof of residency
• Single-parent proof of custody
As a limited number of kindergarten slots exist in each elementary school, the district must utilize a first-come, first-served procedure. Those arriving after all available slots have been filled may be enrolled in a neighboring elementary school within the West Babylon School District.