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Santapogue’s Rock Garden Celebrates Uniqueness

Santapogue’s Rock Garden Celebrates Uniqueness photo

Throughout the school year, students and staff at Santapogue Elementary School worked on coloring their individual rocks for their new rock garden. The school was inspired by the lessons in the book “One You,” which stresses how everyone is unique, and that each of us have something to contribute to the world.

On June 21, the school celebrated with a ceremony for each student to lay their rocks in the garden. Each year, the new kindergartners will paint rocks to add to the garden.  

“There’s only one you in this great big world,” said Santapogue Principal Jennifer Carere. “Make it a better place. Not only are these stones a colorful addition to our school, they can serve as a daily reminder to students that no matter what, they’re special and that they have the power to change the world. This message is hugely powerful.”



More Than a Lesson in Writing

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As part of their journalism class, West Babylon Senior High School students Georgia Evola and Rebecca Kennedy spent two months working on an article about Hilde Raimondi. Mrs, Raimondi, who grew up in Germany during World War II, worked as a custodian for 18 years in the district. The students sat down with Mrs. Raimondi for various interviews and went through a number of drafting and revision processes. Click here to read the finished article. 

Top Honors in Math League Contest

Top Honors in Math League Contest photo
Senior High School student Joseph Ronzetti won state recognition by winning second place in the New York Math League. As a team, West Babylon came in 15th place.  About 200 New York State schools and more than 1,000 students participated in the New York Math League. Students have 30 minutes to solve six problems with the aid of the calculator. There are six contests overall for the year. Ronzetti is pictured with Senior High School Principal Dr. Ellice Vassallo (left) and math teacher Christina Montalvo. 

Bench Dedication

Bench Dedication photo
Forest Avenue students and teachers dedicated a bench in memory of their teacher and colleague Mrs. Germano.  

Earth Day poster design takes first

Earth Day poster design takes first photo
Fifth-grader Nicole Olszewski from Forest Avenue Elementary School won first place in the 2018 Covanta Earth Day Poster Contest for her poster on “how to make a recycled squirrel feeder.” Nicole won a $500 Barnes & Noble gift card for her school and a Fire HD tablet for herself.

Fun in the Sun at JFK

Fun in the Sun at JFK photo

Students in Lisa DeGennaro’s first-grade class at John F. Kennedy Elementary School celebrated beach day in their classroom. Students worked from the comfort of their beach towels on summer-themed activities. They did a summer writing, a sun filled with describing words and a literacy lemonade. The first-graders also collected seashells, wrote beach pail math story problems and created a whale-shaped book filled with ocean facts while listening to beach music.

Junior High Artists Earn BACCA Honors

Junior High Artists Earn BACCA Honors photo

Five Junior High School eighth-graders earned honors in the spring Babylon Citizens Council on the Arts judged show. The district congratulates the following students: Olivia Price (left), second place; Cara Cirasole (second from right); third place and honorable mention winners Stephanie Curley (right), Michael Alexiadis (second from left) and Dianna Binning (not pictured).

Leadership Award Winners

Leadership Award Winners photo
West Babylon Senior High School students Britney Jahrmarkt and Rocco Longo recently received a New York State Youth Leadership Award Scholarship from Senator Boyle.

Students Recognized with Athlete of Year Awards

Students Recognized with Athlete of Year Awards photo
Senior High School students Grace Glennon and Michael McMahon celebrated their nominations for Athlete of the Year at the Butch Dellecave Foundation awards ceremony last month. The Butch Dellecave Foundation recognized the top Suffolk County senior male and female from each school who show excellence in athletics, academics and the community. The students are pictured with athletic director Lou Howard.

Tooker Teacher Honored

Tooker Teacher Honored photo
Lynn Gendron, fifth-grade teacher at Tooker Avenue Elementary School, was honored with a proclamation from Suffolk County Legislature Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory during the 2018 Teacher Appreciation Awards Night. She is pictured with Tooker Avenue Principal Charles Germano. 
 

Four Student-Actors Named BACCA Winners

Four Student-Actors Named BACCA Winners photo
During the Babylon Citizen’s Council of the Arts Teen Tony Awards, four West Babylon Senior High School student-actors were recognized for their roles in the school’s play “The Mystery of Edwin Drood.” The district congratulates the following winners: David Grant (outstanding performance by an actor in a leading role in a music); Colin Murray (outstanding performance by an actor in a supporting role in a musical); Mackenzie Grimes (outstanding performance by an actress in a featured role in a musical); and Danielle Del Orfano (outstanding vocal performance by a female in a musical). Each year, BACCA awards students in the Town of Babylon for outstanding performances in their high school theater productions. 

Tooker Students Get Hands-On with Dissection

Tooker Students Get Hands-On with Dissection photo

Third-graders in Christine Kozak’s class at Tooker Avenue Elementary School participated in an owl pellet dissection. The hands-on experiment allowed students to study food chains and food webs. The third-graders dissected animal bones of moles, shrews, rats and mice and constructed skeletons.

West Babylon Students Showcase Math Skills

West Babylon Students Showcase Math Skills photo
Ten sixth-graders from the Junior High School participated in the Mathematics Tournament by the Sea at Long Beach Middle School on May 18. Students were divided into teams and collectively solved challenging math problems. The district congratulates the following student participants: Cole Bricker, Matthew Cella, Conor Davis, Justin Jastrzebski, Kai Miller, Dylan Mulieri, Olivia Saitta, Cenahi Smith, Jack Tennant and Rosalin Watras. They are pictured with Junior High School teachers Frank Ging and Nicole Craig. 
 

West Babylon Takes First in Math Competition

West Babylon Takes First in Math Competition photo
Senior High School students Eric Donohue and Joseph Ronzetti won first place in their division and second in the nation in the Advanced Math Competitions. The Advanced Math Competitions consist of 25 multiple choice questions that students must solve in 30 minutes without the aid of the calculator. This year, 1,333 students participated from 74 schools from around the country. From left: Senior High School Principal Dr. Ellice Vassallo, Eric Donohue, Joseph Ronzetti and mathematics teacher Christina Montalvo.

Eagle Pride Soars During 2018 Graduation

Eagle Pride Soars During 2018 Graduation photo

West Babylon School District’s Class of 2018 celebrated their commencement exercises on the evening of June 22 on the football field of the Junior High School. Surrounded by friends, family, board of education members and district administrators, the students marched onto the field to “Pomp and Circumstance.”

Senior High School Principal Dr. Ellice Vassallo welcomed the students and audience to the ceremony. “This class has developed a balance artistically, musically, athletically and academically,” she said. “You have shown determination and you have started many new traditions. You have shown kindness, compassion and empathy for each other and the West Babylon community. You have surpassed our expectations and I hope and believe you will take what you have learned and improve the world.” 

After the band played “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “God Bless America,” 2018 senior class president and valedictorian Eric Donohue addressed his classmates. “Remember how our class left their mark on the district and emulate that in your future endeavors,” he said. “Do something you love and be excited about leaving a small piece of yourself in your work.” During his valedictorian speech, Eric spoke to his classmates about failure. “Failure is an inevitable part of our lives and no matter what direction we decide, we should be ready to embrace it with open arms. Explore the road of failure because you can only learn from it.” 

During his salutatory address, Joseph Ronzetti offered words of inspiration. “The future of this class is very bright,” he said. “Our graduating class possesses many traits and talents. We are a class of athletes, musicians, actors and artists. These gifts and talents will allow this class to provide historic transformations to the world.”

Board of Education president Lucy Campasano spoke to the students about their accomplishments and all they have done for the community and school.  “You have risen to every standard and surpassed all of our goals and expectations,” she said. “You are the reason we love this community and country. It has been our pleasure to watch you. Sometimes to watch you succeed and perhaps a few times to be there when you failed. But always to watch you grow.” 

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Yiendhy Farrelly commended the students for their leadership and character during their time in West Babylon. “I am truly honored to be standing here as your superintendent to celebrate the significant achievements that end a chapter in your life and start an exciting new one,” she said. “I’ve seen, heard and witnessed so many of your accomplishments. You have all been amazing leaders in our school. As you all walk out and begin a new chapter, I ask you to continue to be resilient. Continue to have a vision, a goal and a drive to pursue those goals.”

After a performance of the senior medley by the chorus, the band played the school’s song, “Like an Eagle.” Along with members of the board of education and district administrators, Dr. Vassallo presented the diplomas to each member of the Class of 2018. After moving their tassels, the graduates tossed their caps high in the air and were joined by family and friends on the field.  

 

Technology Students Test Their Rocket Power

Technology Students Test Their Rocket Power photo

Seventh-grade technology students at West Babylon Junior High School constructed soda bottle rockets while learning about the history of rocketry from the ancient Chinese to modern day inter-planetary space rockets. Students learned the science behind how all objects, including rockets, move on Earth and in space. Using technology, students transformed a soda bottle into a rocket and tested its launching abilities in the field outside the school on June 12. Custom fins, guidance tubes and transition cones were designed by students to create their own individual rockets. After launch, the students used mathematical formulas to calculate the altitudes their rockets were able to reach.

Click here to view a video

Soccer Game at Forest Avenue

Students in Ms. Wilken's class enjoyed a game of soccer with Dr. Farrelly and Mrs. Acocella for meeting their reading goal for the year. The class read 3100 books!

Donohue Earns Elks Scholarship

Donohue Earns Elks Scholarship photo
Senior High School student Eric Donohue has been named a national finalist of the Most Valuable Student Scholarship Program by the Elks National Foundation. Twenty students from across the county receive a scholarship of at least $20,000. 

ENF is a nonprofit organization that focuses on veteran aid, charity and investment in student education. After the initial application, several thousand students advance to the state finalist level and then 500 move on to the next level of regional finalist. The 500 regional finalists each receive an award of $4,000. From the 500 regional finalists, 10 males and 10 females are selected as national finalists and are invited to attend the Most Valuable Student Leadership Weekend in Chicago, Illinois, in late April. The finalists learn leadership skills, explore Chicago, and interview for the top national awards. 

Literacy Show

Literacy Show photo
On June 20, students in Ann Lauricella’s first grade class at South Bay Elementary School shared some of their best writing from the school year with their family members during a literacy show.

Senior Prom 2018

Having a Ball

On June 21, Forest Avenue Principal Patricia Acocella and Superintendent Dr. Yiendhy Farrelly joined students for a friendly game of soccer.

Relay for Life

Donohue Named 2018 Coca-Cola Scholar

Donohue Named 2018 Coca-Cola Scholar photo
Senior High School student Eric Donohue has been named a 2018 Coca-Cola Scholar. Each year, the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation awards 150 scholars with a $20,000 scholarship to be used toward post-secondary education.

This year, 150,000 applicants applied for the 150 scholarships. The scholarship is based on merit, academics, extracurricular involvement, community service and leadership. After the initial application, the applicant pool reduces to about 2,000 students, then the next round of applications advance 250 students to an interview process in which the 150 scholars are selected. 

Scholars attended a leadership weekend in Atlanta, Georgia, in April, where they participated in leadership development training, and visited attractions in Atlanta, including the World of Coca-Cola Museum. 

Blue and Gold Breakfast Honors Top of the Class

Blue and Gold Breakfast Honors Top of the Class photo

West Babylon Senior High School’s top 25 students in the Class of 2018 were recognized during the inaugural Blue and Gold Breakfast with the Superintendent on June 12.

Hosted by School District Superintendent of Schools Dr. Yiendhy Farrelly and joined by district administrators, students were invited to celebrate their accomplishments in the board of education room. The students were asked to choose a West Babylon staff member who has greatly impacted their educational career to join them as their guest for the breakfast.

“Kudos to all of you for being here,” said Dr. Farrelly. “I’m so proud of each and every one of you. Not only have you been in the top of your class, you have been actively engaged in so many aspects of our senior high school. I’m impressed by your leadership skills, your poise, your drive and by your ability to handle so much at the same time at such a high level.”

Each student was recognized and called to the stage to receive congratulations and a gift from the superintendent before gathering for a group photo with their classmates and invited guests. 




Maker Space Challenge

In the sixth-grade Maker Space challenge, students were given a “blind box” with generic objects and had to work as a team to create something that moves.

Seniors Walk Down Memory Lane

Seniors Walk Down Memory Lane photo

West Babylon Senior High School’s Class of 2018 took a walk down memory lane, literally, when they returned to their respective elementary schools for a senior walk on June 11.

Dressed in their caps and gowns, the seniors walked the elementary school hallways before concluding their academic journey in West Babylon. School district administrators, teachers and elementary students lined the hallways in each building to offer their congratulations and well wishes as the seniors begin the next phase of their lives. 

At Tooker Avenue, Forest Avenue, John F. Kennedy, Santapogue and South Bay elementary schools, the soon-to-be graduates had a chance to reconnect with their former teachers and staff, look at old class photographs and reminisce. 



Battle of the Classes

Students enjoyed the 2nd day of Battle of the Classes! They did a football throw and kick, 50 and 100 yard dash, balloon and sponge relays, a gigantic puzzle, basketball throws, just dance and much more! 

Forest Avenue Kindergarten Literacy Ball

Kindergarten students at Forest Avenue celebrated their favorite authors and characters from books at their Literacy Ball.

 

Introducing the 2018 Valedictorian and Salutatorian

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Forest Avenue Field Day

Forest Avenue students had a great time participating in Field Day!

Hard-Working Gardeners

Hard-Working Gardeners photo

The Junior High School Garden Club has been hard at work beautifying the grounds and planting all vegetables that will eventually be donated to a local food pantry.

 

A Tower of Toothpicks

A Tower of Toothpicks photo

Junior High School students in Heidi Birr’s class were tasked with creating a tower out of toothpicks and mini-marshmallows as part of a makerspace activity in the library. The tower design needed to be strong enough to hold several bookmarks and a paint pallet. The tallest structure was 6.5 inches and held the bookmark. The sturdiest structure was 4.25 inches and held the bookmark and paint pallet.



Flag Day Display

Flag Day Display photo
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Students in Debra Henthorne’s class at the Junior High School made an art project in honor of Flag Day at the end of their unit on the American flag. The flag will be displayed in Eagle's Landing at the entrance of the school. 

Four Students Place at MagLev Comp

Four Students Place at MagLev Comp photo
Junior High School eighth-grade technology students participated in Brookhaven National Laboratory’s annual MagLev competition. The district congratulates the following students who took home awards: Burak Kaya, second place, futuristic design; Michael Alexiadis, first place, electrified track; Allison Milla, second place, electrified track; and Lauren Russell, third place, electrified track.

Saving the Gingerbread Man During STEM Lessons

Saving the Gingerbread Man During STEM Lessons photo
After reading “The Gingerbread Man” with their classes, kindergartners at South Bay Elementary School participated in a hands-on STEM lesson during their FLEX library period on May 22.  Students were tasked with creating a bridge to bring the gingerbread man safely home and away from the hungry fox. Students used straws, toothpicks, pipe cleaners and Q-Tips and created their own gingerbread man to test their creations.
 

2018 Santapogue Graduates Return

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Class of 2018 Walk Through

Class of 2018 visit their elementary school for a congratulatory walkthrough.

Senior Walk

JFK congratulates former students on their High School Graduation and wishes the entire class of 2018 all the best.

senior walk photo

Forest Avenue Family Picnic Night

STEM Learners at Tooker Avenue

STEM Learners at Tooker Avenue photo
Throughout the school year, fourth- and fifth-grade students in STEM enrichment program at Tooker Avenue Elementary School have been engaged in hands-on learning activities. The students made lava lamps and learned that oil and water do not mix, and oil forms circles on the top due to surface tension. They further realized the results of carbon dioxide gas introduced into the solution. The students also designed, created, engineered and constructed a foosball table. They collected data while kicking goals. 
 

2nd grade field trip to the Fire Island Light House

Eighth-Grade Dance

Grade 5 Boat Trip

Math, Science Lessons Take Flight

Math, Science Lessons Take Flight photo

As part of a cross-curricular science and math lesson, sixth-graders at the Junior High School were tasked with creating their own kites made up of polygons during their math lab class and then attempting to fly them.

Students in Kevin Delaney and Frank Ging’s math lab classes started their lesson by measuring the interior angles and finding the area and perimeter of their polygons. Next, they had to enlarge their blueprints and fabricate a kite that could actually fly by determining the area and perimeter of the new kite. 

On May 21 and 22, the sixth-graders put their creations to the test by going outside to the back field of the school and testing to see their kites would take flight.



Grade 5 Field Day Fun

Four Students Make Finals in Acting Comp

Four Students Make Finals in Acting Comp photo
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After making it through the first round of judging, four West Babylon Senior High School actors and actresses competed in the final round of the 2018 Roger Rees Awards for Excellence in Student Performance, the New York Chapter of the Jimmy Awards, also known as the National High School Musical Theatre Awards. Fifty students from across New York were chosen for the final round of competition.

The district congratulates the following students: David Grant (Chairman); Mackenzie Grimes (Princess Puffer); Danielle Del Orfano (Rosa Bud); and Amanda Riche (Edwin Drood). The four students will be competing based on their performances in the high school’s musical, “The Mystery of Edwin Drood.” The students were coached with industry professionals at a studio in New York City on May 19. 

Buddy Club’s End-of-Year Celebration

Tooker Students Are Out of this World

Tooker Students Are Out of this World photo
First-graders in Louise Pino’s class at Tooker Avenue Elementary School recently completed their science unit of study on the solar system. Each student in the class researched a planet, wrote a report and made a poster of their planet. 

Principal's Quality Achievement Awards Ceremony

Click here to watch the video

Student Volunteers ‘Spring’ into Action

Student Volunteers ‘Spring’ into Action photo
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Senior High School students from the National Honor Society and SEA Club worked with the West Babylon Main Street Organization during its annual spring clean up on May 12. This year, students planted flowers, removed weeds, and cleaned up the grounds of the American Legion, Sgt. John Sardiello Post 1634. Students were accompanied by the National Honor Society adviser Kathryn Mauro and SEA Club adviser Dana Meadows.

SCOPE Pre-Kindergarten Application

Registration for the SCOPE pre-kindergarten program for the 2018-19 school year is now open. 

Attachments:

Look, Listen and Learn at Forest Avenue

Look, Listen and Learn at Forest Avenue photo
In recognition of Better Speech and Hearing month in May, second-graders at Forest Avenue Elementary School learned about the parts of the ear and their functions during a lesson with the school’s speech-language pathologist Caitlin Bavolar. Students then made model ears out of Play-Doh.

Ozobots at the JHS

Ozobots showed the students how to draw lines for the robots to follow. The Botley Robot is the advanced ozobot. It comes with pre-drawn lines on six boards, a controller, obstacle courses and more. The Botley Robot will react to the codes that the students program.

Learning in the Field

Learning in the Field photo
The fourth-grade classes from Santapogue Elementary School recently took a field trip to Connetquot State Park. The trip began with a tour of the hatchery and students discovered the underwater world of ponds through hands-on sampling and field observations. After visiting the pond, the class went indoors to look at microscopic organisms and discuss their role in the food chain. 

Tooker’s Tennis stars

Tooker’s Tennis stars photo
Fourth- and fifth-grade students at Tooker Avenue Elementary School are participating in a before-school tennis program. Led by Tooker Avenue Principal Charles Germano and physical education teacher Mike Bellacosa, the students meet once a week for instruction on technique and rules of the sport. 

Distinguished Educator

Distinguished Educator photo
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South Bay math specialist Jaime Szypula was honored as a Distinguished Educator at the Suffolk County Legislature Teacher Appreciation Awards Night. She received a proclamation from Presiding Officer Duwayne Gregory at the awards ceremony on May 30.

Healthy Hearts at Santapogue

Healthy Hearts at Santapogue photo
Santapogue Elementary School recently held a Hoops for Heart fundraiser. The school earned more than $10,000 to benefit the American Heart Association. Students jumped rope and talked about the importance of heart health all month in their physical education classes. 

A Ferry Trip to Fire Island

A Ferry Trip to Fire Island photo
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On May 4, kindergarten students in Susan Mahon and Yvonne Szpilka’s classes at Santapogue Elementary School took a field trip to the Fire Island lighthouse. Students took the ferry over to Fire Island and learned about the lighthouse and its history. 
 

Field of Honor

Field of Honor photo
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Members of the West Babylon Senior High School Honor Society held an American flag fundraiser to show their support of local veterans. The students spent the morning on May 20 placing all of the flags on the front lawn of the Senior High School. All the funds raised from the Field of Honor will go toward scholarships and donations to the local American Legion.

VIDEO: Wellness Fair and Fun Run

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Check out some of the great activities happening at this year’s Wellness Fair and Fun Run.

Santapogue Students Sow the Seeds

Santapogue Students Sow the Seeds photo
In celebration of Arbor Day on April 27, the Babylon Rotary Club provided tree seeds for every first-grader at Santapogue Elementary School to take home. The first-graders took an Arbor Day pledge to take care of the trees and promised to plant them and care for them. 

5th grade steps back in time with a visit to Old Bethpage Restoration

Literacy Through Photography

Students in Cathleen Saxer’s fourth-grade class at Forest Avenuet recently read Wendy Ewald’s book "The Best Part of Me.” The students used the book to build self-confidence, appreciating who they are and accepting others' differences. Through this literacy through photography writing project, students wrote descriptive literature about their favorite part of themselves and paired them with striking black-and-white portraits. The project has cultivated a positive classroom community; one that is accepting of diversity.

Sounds Good at Tooker

Tooker Avenue students had an assembly on May 14 with Brent Daniels sponsored by the school’s PTA Cultural Arts Program. Mr. Daniels showed the students how music is composed in today’s entertainment industry and discussed the importance of education in all subjects. Students participated in the program to create a one-of-a-kind, on-the-spot sounds and song composition that had everyone in the audience dancing and singing.

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South Bay Students Help Robots Seek Shelter

South Bay Students Help Robots Seek Shelter photo
During their library class, media specialist Kara Levy challenged students at South Bay Elementary School to have some rainy weather fun. The students were tasked with creating a shelter from the storm for their Dash robots using K’Nex. They had to program the robots using Blockly to drive and park in the shelter. 

Sorting Syllables

As part of their first grade phonics program, Fundations, students in Mrs. Pino’s first grade class at Tooker Avenue learned how to identify, read and write “closed” and “open” syllables. The students, divided into four groups, were given 12 word cards each, and they had to sort them by syllable type.

Performing Artists Recognized

Performing Artists Recognized photo
Five Senior High School actors and actresses will be competing in the 2018 Roger Rees Awards for Excellence in Student Performance, the New York Chapter of the Jimmy Awards, also known as the National High School Musical Theatre Awards. They will be competing based on their performances in the school’s musical, “The Mystery of Edwin Drood.” The district congratulates the following students (from left): David Grant (Chairman); Mackenzie Grimes (Princess Puffer); Danielle Del Orfano (Rosa Bud); Colin Murray (John Jasper); and Amanda Riche (Edwin Drood). 

Skittles Experiment

Students in Kathleen Stein's CORE class at the Junior High School participated in Maker Space in the library on May 18. Students formed a hypothesis of how fast various colors of Skittles would dissolve in different types of liquids. Using a red Skittle, they experimented by dropping one into water, vinegar, and Coca-Cola.

South Bay at Science Fair

South Bay at Science Fair photo
On May 5, South Bay Elementary second grader Lucas Dispigno displayed his science fair project “Going Batty” at the Brookhaven National Laboratory Elementary Science Fair. Lucas earned a ribbon and is already thinking about next year’s research topic.
 

Career Fair

On May 18, West Babylon High School held its fourth annual career fair in the small gym. More than 20 careers were represented, ranging from law enforcement, government and politics, sports broadcasting, nursing and sales. Approximately 350 students, mostly 11th and 12th graders, attended the career fair where they had the opportunity to learn about these careers through small group sessions. The career fair was organized and coordinated by business education teacher and work co-op coordinator Colleen Kilgus.

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