- Manhasset Union Free School District
One of the proud traditions of the Manhasset Public Schools is the ongoing acknowledgement and celebration of our student’s efforts to achieve excellence. We firmly believe that regardless of the level of honor attained, the lessons learned along the journey are invaluable and worthy of our community’s praise.
Marching Band Places 5th at Championships
The Manhasset Marching Band placed fifth at the U.S. Bands National Championships held at J. Birney Crum Stadium in Allentown, PA this past Saturday, November 3. The group performed their competition show “Pirates” and garnered a score of 90.30 for a fifth-place finish in Division 1A. This year’s final score was an improvement of seven points over last year’s score. Students and staff are looking forward to the continued growth of the program heading into next year’s season and would like to thank the Manhasset community for its support.
Marching Band Wins State Championship
The Manhasset High School Marching Band won their 10th consecutive New York State Championship at the Group 1A United States Scholastic Band Competition held on the campus of LIU Post in Brookville this past Sunday.
The group bested rival North Rockland High School with their performance of “Pirates,” receiving a score of 87.94. Manhasset also received awards for Best Color Guard, Best Percussion, Best Music, Best Visual Design and Best Overall Effect. They now set their sights on the Regional Championships to be held at j. Birney Crum Stadium in Allentown, PA on November 3.
Congratulations to the members of the band and Director Randy Knudsen, Assistant Director David Van Boxel, Music Arranger/Instructor Hector Minaya and Color Guard Instructor Sandra Baskin.
A Lesson in Health Care Ethics
Dr. Michael Gross of Northwell Health challenged our science scholars in his presentation on ethics in healthcare. Students role played as heath care professionals and had to make difficult decisions using the foundations of bioethics.
Honoring Excellence in Teaching
The Manhasset Public School District honored 10 teachers for excellence in instruction by awarding them tenure during the 2018 Tenure Celebration held on Oct. 23. Congratulations to the following teachers for your dedication to the students of Manhasset:
Manhasset Secondary School
Daniel Bohn – Special Education/Math
Cassandra Mercurio –Special Education/English
Jessica Gallagher – Science
Melissa O’Malia – Social Studies
Gina Page – Science
Munsey Park Elementary School
Kerri Briody – Elementary (Classroom)
Jill Snyder – Special Education
Hae Jung Yang – Math
Shelter Rock Elementary School
Andrea Fassenfeld – Math
Matthew McGrane – Physical Education
To see these fine teachers in action, click here https://youtu.be/058CmWOA9Eo
Junior Science Olympians Place 22nd in NYS
This spring the Junior Science Olympiad team competed in the New York State Science Olympiad held in Syracuse, finishing 22nd overall in the state! Students competed in a wide array of events which covered all areas of science and engineering. Team members took home individual medals in the following events:
Science Quiz Bowl (3rd place) - Josh DeLeuw, Wilson Hu and Emma Wang
Wright Stuff (3rd place) - Wilson Hu and Aaron Zhang
Parasitology (8t place) - Samantha Chen and Emma Wang
Herpetology (10th place)- Sanjna Kedia and Emma Wang
Congratulations to the team on their excellent performance and achievement!
U.S. News & World Report names Manhasset a top high school
Manhasset High School has been ranked No. 31 in New York State and No. 200 nationally in U.S. News & World Report’s rankings of the “Best High Schools in America.” Manhasset is one of just six schools on Long Island ranked in the top 200 in the nation.
U.S. News evaluated data from 20,500 public high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to determine the top public high schools. The company factored in overall student performance on state-required tests, how effectively schools educated their disadvantaged students and graduation rates in their methodology for this year’s ranking. Schools were also evaluated on how well they prepared students for college based on participation in and performance on Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams.
Manhasset High School has an AP participation rate of 81 percent with an 88 percent AP passing rate. The school received a college readiness index of 73.3 ¬– scoring in the top 2 percent of the top-ranked schools, resulting in gold medal distinction. The school also has a proficiency rating of 99 and 95 percent in reading and math, respectively. Manhasset’s graduation rate is 99 percent.
“It’s always nice when our schools are recognized among the best in their region and the nation, especially when it comes to high achievement and preparation for the future,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Vincent Butera. “While no single ranking can truly define the success of Manhasset Secondary School, this is certainly a moment of pride for the dedicated faculty and staff, led by Dr. Dean Schlanger. I applaud the entire administration, staff and students as well as our parents for their ongoing commitment to a culture of excellence, rife with opportunity in so many areas.”
Manhasset High School has received high marks in past rankings of top high schools conducted by U.S. News & World Report, The Washington Post, Niche.com and Finder.com.
Outstanding Readers Honored
At their June 21 meeting, the Manhasset Board of Education honored five middle school students from Manhasset Secondary School with the District’s Outstanding Achievement in Reading award for achieving tremendous growth in their reading scores.
Congratulations to Brandy Aguila, LaRon Hemphill, Nicholas Krieger, Marco Mazzei and Jeremy Santos, who were awarded certificates of recognition by the Board and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Vincent Butera. Special education teacher Sally Doulton, who works closely with these students, was also on hand to applaud them. Doulton attributes the programs System 44 and READ 180 – the latter of which was developed by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and adopted by Manhasset in 2008 – as influential in helping these students, and many more, improve their reading and writing abilities.
“READ 180 is changing the lives of my students both in and outside of the classroom,” said Doulton. “The support of administration, as well as the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt community, has made it possible for all my learners to achieve success in the classroom.”
More Manhasset seniors awarded National Merit Scholarships
Congratulations to Manhasset High School seniors Andrew Batteria and Walter Stackler, who were among 3,500 winners of scholarships sponsored by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Andrew is the recipient of the National Merit Tufts University Scholarship, while Walter has been awarded the National Merit Carleton College Scholarship.
Andrew is a gifted student, musician and athlete. He has been recognized by the College Board as an AP Scholar with Distinction and is a member of the National and Italian honor societies. Apart from academics, he engages in numerous extracurricular activities that reflect his multifaceted interests. He is passionate about singing and belongs to the most selective choral groups. Leading by example and with a positive attitude, he commands the attention of his fellow musicians as a section leader and student conductor, and he contributes his talents to his school and community as a member of the Tri-M Music Honor Society. Andrew is also a fierce competitor on the football field. As captain of the junior varsity and varsity teams, he has demonstrated his ability to rally his peers through his leadership. His love for football extends beyond his own participation, as he has volunteered his time working with middle school athletes in a flag football league. He has also worked hard to become a certified lifeguard, a role in which he has served for the past two summers.
Walter is active in service to his community and has continuously challenged himself as a student, musician and actor. As a result of his hard work and academic ability, he was recommended for the most rigorous classes offered and inducted into the Spanish Honor Society. An outstanding violinist, Walter is a four-year member of the symphonic orchestra and was inducted into the Tri-M Music Honor Society. He was recognized twice by the New York State School Music Association as an All-County musician and, in 2017 and 2018, after scoring a perfect 100 on his solo, he was distinguished as All-State and played in the All-State Symphony Orchestra at the annual NYSSMA Winter Conference. Walter was also selected as first violinist for the Long Island Youth Orchestra and has spent the past two summers attending the New England Music Camp, where he was named an honors musician. Along with his love for music, Walter is a talented actor and has participated in several productions with the Manhasset Theater Program. Within the community, he has served as a volunteer for the Plandome Junior Fire Department for two years.
In May, Manhasset High School seniors Rachel Chang and William Peng were also awarded scholarships by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. The Manhasset School District wishes Andrew and Walter, as well as Rachel and William, all the best in their future endeavors.
Economics Students Honored
The Manhasset Board of Education recently honored two teams from Manhasset High School who placed in the top 10 in the New York State Regionals for the National Economics Challenge.
Team “Visible Hand” won first place while team “Ceteris Paribus” took sixth place in the state competition. Overall, Manhasset High School sent seven teams to the competition this year, with “Visible Hand” one of five teams that advanced to the state finals.
For the competition, students took an online exam requiring them to demonstrate their knowledge of economics and apply it to develop real-world financial solutions. State finalists competed in rigorous testing to assess their knowledge in micro and macroeconomics, along with international economics and current events.
Both teams that placed in the top 10 are coached by Manhasset AP Economics teacher and team adviser Annie Law, who praised team members for volunteering their free time to come to school early to prepare for the challenge.
“The amount of dedication and zeal for learning demonstrated by all these students was inspiring,” said Law. “Not only do they push each other to reach their potential but most importantly they do so with joy and excitement.”
The National Economics Challenge, sponsored by the Council for Economic Education, is the nation’s most prestigious economics competition for high school students. The challenge teaches and supports critical success skills, which apply to any and every career option or course of study that a student may pursue.
Congratulations to Ms. Law and the following students:
Team Visible Hand
Team Ceteris Paribus
Manhasset Superintendent of Schools Dr. Vincent Butera is pictured congratulating Manhasset AP Economics teacher and adviser Annie Law and members of her two award-winning teams who placed in the top 10 in the New York State Regionals for the National Economics Challenge.
LLS Students of the Year
Congratulations to Manhasset Secondary School students Casey Roszko and Maddie Girard, who won first place in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Students of the Year campaign. The two girls led the “For the Love of the Blood” Team in conjunction with the Manhasset High School Key Club and raised an impressive $118,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The team’s contribution made up more than one-third of all the funds raised during this year’s campaign.
Over the course of a seven-week period spanning from early March to late April, Casey and Maddie hosted numerous events and donation collections. Among them were a spare change donation drive, a dress drive, a bake sale, a ribbon sale, fundraisers through Moe’s Southwest Grill in Greenvale and Flower Shop Inc. in Manhasset, and spin sessions at Peloton indoor exercise bikes of Manhasset. They also hosted a “Dress Your Teacher Like a Bunny” campaign through the school and culminated their efforts by hosting an age-appropriate cocktail party.
“We are so proud of this team of young adults who had an amazing opportunity to show how motivated, passionate and creative they have been during this fundraising process,” said Key Club co-adviser Samantha Lupa, whose group helped to host many of the fundraising events along with a team of 17 other helpful students and adults who were led by Maddie and Casey. Stephen Guildolin also co-advises Key Club.
In 2011, Maddie was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, around the time she moved to Manhasset with her family. Shortly after her diagnosis, she began treatment, enduring six rounds of chemotherapy over the course of eight months. Today, Maddie is cancer free. From the day Maddie was diagnosed in the fourth grade, her best friend Casey and fellow co-captain on the Manhasset High School girls varsity lacrosse team has been by her side. Upon hearing of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Student Series and Student of the Year campaign, Casey and Maddie decided to coordinate with Key Club and the team for this fundraiser and raise money to help find a cure for blood cancer.
“Maddie and I wanted to do this campaign because blood cancers have had such a strong impact on our lives,” Casey said. “We wanted to give back to LLS and continue to raise awareness for this cause. Throughout our campaign we held many fundraisers and reached out to the community and were able to raise over $118,000. This was such an amazing experience for us and we were able to learn so much and make a huge difference.”
The funds raised through Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Students of the Year campaign are used for continuing research of therapies that are saving thousands of lives. Additionally, funds are used for awareness education; patient support and policy advocacy make new treatments more accessible.
“Participating in the Student of the Year campaign for LLS was an experience I’ll never forget. I was fortunate to have this opportunity to raise money for a cause I relate to, and better yet, I got to do it with my best friend since birth,” Maddie said. “My firsthand experience with the disease made me want to help other people going through it and hopefully one day put an end to blood cancers.”
You can follow the story of Casey and Maddie’s campaign on Instagram at @fortheloveoftheblood. For more information about the Student of the Year campaign, go to http://www.studentseries.org/participate/high-schools/for-students.
“Casey and Maddie’s story has been so inspiring with love and friendship,” said Ms. Lupa, who was also one of the teachers who was voted by students to dress as a bunny to raise funds. “It’s our hope that their fight and passion to help others resonates within our student community and inspires other students to do the same!”
Junior Mathletes win LI MATHCOUNTS competition
Members of the Manhasset Secondary School Junior Mathletes won first place at the MATHCOUNTS Long Island Chapter Competition on Feb. 3.
According to its website, MATHCOUNTS is a nonprofit organization that provides engaging math programs to U.S. middle school students of all ability levels in order to build confidence and improve attitudes toward math and problem-solving.
During the regional event, Manhasset Junior Mathletes competed against other middle school students from Nassau and Suffolk counties in four rounds. The competition series – Sprint Round, Target Round, Team Round and Countdown Round – focused on evaluating students’ problem-solving skills and collaboration in a variety of obstacles, including speed and accuracy with and without the use of a calculator.
As winners, the team will now compete in the state MATHCOUNTS competition in Troy, New York, on March 17.
The district commends the Manhasset Junior Mathletes and coach Mona Lee on winning the Long Island Chapter Competition and wishes them much success as they contend for the state championship in March.
Shelter Rock Singers are Gold
Congratulations to the Shelter Rock Elementary School sixth-grade Chamber Choir for winning a Gold Award with Distinction at the recent New York State School Music Association’s Major Organization Evaluation Festival. The group is seen here displaying their award as they are congratulated by choral teacher Sarah Duke and Principal Robert Geczik.
Munsey Park Author Honored
Congratulations to Munsey Park Elementary School sixth-grader Daniella Dell’Aquila, who was named a winner of the grade-level competition in the Nassau Reading Council’s Young Authors Contest.
Daniella won for her piece “To Ski, or Not to Ski,” a humorous recounting of her family’s adventures on the ski slopes. According to her English Language Arts teacher, Melinda Smith, Daniella often uses descriptive language to paint a picture in her writing.
The NRC awarded Daniella a certificate of recognition and a journal for her winning entry. She had the opportunity to read her piece at the NRC awards ceremony, held at Molloy College on June 4. Daniella is congratulated here by Smith.
Board honors student-athletes at March meeting
Numerous students of the Manhasset Union Free School District were recognized for their outstanding athletic achievements at the district’s Board of Education meeting on March 8. Gathered in Manhasset Secondary School’s Black Box Theatre, members of the Board, administration, faculty and community applauded these individuals for their commitment to sportsmanship.
“Tonight, we honor our student-athletes who earned All-County, All-State or were part of a championship team,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Vincent Butera. “The number of students being recognized tonight is a testament not only to the high school but James Amen, the district’s Director of Health Services, Physical Education and Athletics and the athletic program, and the community for the support they provide throughout the year.”
As students received their certificate of recognition from Mr. Amen, members of the Board of Education, Dr. Butera, Manhasset Secondary Principal Dr. Dean Schlanger and Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Charles Leone applauded these students for their athletic accomplishments.
Four from Manhasset Heading to ISEF
Congratulations to Manhasset High School students Fred Chu, Emily Cruz, Susan Wu and Vanessa Zhang on advancing to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, to be held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from May 13-18. Manhasset has the largest contingent of students attending ISEF from any school on Long Island this year.
Fred, Emily, Susan and Vanessa all advanced by winning first place in their respective areas of research at this year’s Long Island Science and Engineering Fair, held earlier this spring. They won top honors as follows:
• Fred Chu – first place in Engineering/Mechanical
• Emily Cruz – first place in Earth and Environmental Sciences
• Susan Wu – first place in Materials Science
• Vanessa Zhang – first place in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
Fred sought to detect sound on the atomic level by designing novel filters that only allow a specific sound frequency to pass through a nano-stethoscope. Emily tested the health of marshes along the Hudson River and Long Island Sound to identify negative impacts caused by human interference and influence future preservation policy. Susan engineered inexpensive devices to attach to a standard laboratory syringe for the production of lipid nanoparticles at targeted sizes to achieve effective treatment of cancer cells. Vanessa studied DNA mutations using an algorithmic framework known as the DeepSEA method to determine whether they could be related to autism.
Intel ISEF unites the top young scientific minds, showcasing their talents on an international stage, where doctoral-level scientists review and judge their work. Each year, approximately 1,800 high school students from more than 75 countries, regions and territories participate in the event. The district wishes Fred, Emily, Susan and Vanessa the best as they prepare to present their research on the world stage.
Pictured from left are Vanessa, Fred, Susan and Emily.
Manhasset Board of Education honors Shelter Rock’s compassion
During their February meeting, the Manhasset Board of Education commended students of Shelter Rock Elementary School for demonstrating compassion and generosity in their school community.
The evening began with welcoming remarks from Superintendent of Schools Dr. Vincent Butera, who applauded the Shelter Rock students for their willingness to help others and thanked the parents, teachers and administrators for instilling kindness and character in them.
“A focus of ours is not being concerned about ourselves, but about others,” said Dr. Butera. “This district prides itself on teaching students that it’s not all about oneself, but the impact we make on others.”
Kicking off the recognitions, Shelter Rock Principal Robert Geczik acknowledged the dedication, hard work and service of the school’s student council officers.
“I get to work very closely with the student council officers and am very proud of their service to our schools,” said Geczik. “They work so hard to organize, coordinate and implement spirit weeks, activities and schoolwide initiatives for our students to enjoy.”
Other students were honored for volunteering in the after-school Children at Play Plus program, managed by Shelter Rock special education administrators Gary LaFemina, Anne Soldano and Elizabeth Theo-Moloney. Student volunteers with the CAPP program assist in the social-emotional and interactive skill development of special needs students in the district. They play an integral role in the CAPP students’ learning process by providing companionship, peer modeling and friendship. They also assist in teaching social skills such as using kind words and an appropriate tone of voice when playing with friends, practicing turn taking and learning how to be around others in general.
“The students here tonight dedicate their time, energy and patience to helping their fellow CAPP students develop the skills they need to be successful in social situations,” said Soldano, who is chairperson of the Committee on Preschool Education and the school psychologist at Shelter Rock for grades K-1. “It fosters kindness, empathy, a sense of civic duty and goodwill.” Addressing the students, she warmly added, “What you do is so special and extraordinary. You should feel very proud of all you have accomplished and all you have helped others to accomplish.”
The Board also extended their gratitude to the Shelter Rock School Community Association, which donated a new baby grand piano to the school.
Senior Emily Cruz Named a 2018 Regeneron STS Scholar
Congratulations to Manhasset High School senior Emily Cruz for being recognized as a scholar in the 2018 Regeneron Science Talent Search. This program is considered to be the nation’s oldest and most prestigious pre-college science competition for high school students.
According to its website, the Regeneron STS is a program of the Society for Science and the Public that recognizes and empowers the most promising young scientists in the U.S. who are creating the ideas and solutions to solve our most urgent challenges.
The district congratulates Emily for achieving this exceptional recognition.
Board honors students and staff at January meeting
The Manhasset Union Free School District recognized numerous staff members and students at its Jan. 18 Board of Education Meeting. Members of the Board, administration, faculty and community gathered in Manhasset Secondary School’s Black Box Theatre to applaud an assortment of accomplishments that are the result of dedication, commitment and hard work.
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Charles Leone Introduced and recognized seven teachers who have achieved National Board Certification. Sean Adcroft, Diana DiPaolo-Caputi, Sarah Duke, Geralyn Marasco, Marianne O’Donnell, Loretta Schuellein-McGovern and Elizabeth Watts completed an intense program that, according to the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards, is the most respected professional certification available in K-12 education. Manhasset has one of the largest cohorts of National Board Certified Teachers in the state, just second to New York City.
“You all, in going this extra step, are showing us what it really means to be a lifelong learner,” said Board of Education President Regina Rule . “As we move forward as a community dedicated to our students and to excellence, that’s what we are all going to need to do.”
Student distinctions were presented to high school musicians and artists. Philip Barsky, Alexandra Hong, Ashley Kim, Yuna Kim, Serene Lee, Fayfay Ning, Elizabeth Rutkovsky, Walter Stackler, Sophia Tashjian, Sophie Vincoff and Jasmine Zhong were honored for their participation in the New York State School Music Association All-State Music Festival. All-State ensembles are highly selective based on students’ NYSSMA solo evaluation performances.
Chelsie Howell and Daniel Miller were congratulated for their acceptance to National Association for Music Education All-National Ensemble – a prestigious opportunity awarded to musicians of exceptional talent.
Students were also acknowledged for their involvement in the annual “Art for a Cure” event. Founded in 2010 by Manhasset graduate Brittany Wadhwani, Art for a Cure invites students, faculty and local artists to donate their artwork to be auction. In October, Astrid Angeles, Melenie Atahualpa, Katie Barnes, Chloe Chee, Erin Delaney, Sachi Kapoor, Ava Klissouras, Lea Klissouras, Adriane Kong, Kiki Lee, Brianna Li, Hantian Lin, Selina Lu, Luca Mancuso, Sabrina Nie, Rachel O’Day, Daniela Ras, Christina Ruan, Jessica Wei, Shirley Xiao, Lillian Yang, Cici Yuan, Gabriella Zahn and Jasmin Zelaya helped to raise about $3,500 for the coalition. Since its inception, the annual event has raised nearly $35,000 for breast cancer research.
“There are many terrific things going on in the district, and they’re really a direct result of the people that work here and go to school here,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Vincent Butera.