Return to Headlines

Celebrating Excellence

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.


Honoring Student-Athletes

The Manhasset Board of Education and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Vincent Butera honored the district’s varsity fall and winter athletes for their individual and team accomplishments during a special recognition ceremony held in Manhasset Secondary School’s Black Box Theater in April.

Highlighting the evening were the Nassau County champion boys and girls cross-country squads as well as the recently crowned Nassau County champion varsity boys basketball team. Indians. Boys varsity basketball coach George Bruns was also applauded for recently being crowned Newsday’s Long Island Coach of the Year after guiding the Indians to the Long Island Class A championship and their first trip to the state semifinals since 1986.

The Board recognized 10 student-athletes from both the boys and girls cross-country squads who qualified for statewide competition and another 13 who qualified for states from both the boys and girls varsity swim teams.

Also receiving special recognition were 11 members of the boys and girls winter track teams who achieved All-Long Island honors, including All-State, All-Federation and All-Long Island runner Angeline Caamano.

Manhasset Director of Physical Education, Interscholastic Athletics and Health Services James Amen was on hand to introduce the team and present the students with certificates of excellence. Congratulations to all of Manhasset’s fine student-athletes!


Three Manhasset Teams Place in Top 10 at NYS Economics Regional

Congratulations to the three teams of AP Economics students from Manhasset High School who placed in the top 10 in the New York State regionals of the National Economics Challenge.

Team Nash’s Angels placed fifth, Team Utility placed seventh and Team The Perfect Substitutes tied for ninth place. Overall, Manhasset High School sent six teams to the competition this year, with Team Nash’s Angels and Team Utility advancing to the New York State finals, which were held on April 7.

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. While the two Manhasset teams did not qualify for nationals, they showed great grit during the state round, which was held the morning following their senior prom.

All of the teams are coached by Manhasset AP Economics teacher and team adviser Annie Law.

“Congratulations to these distinguished students for their accomplishments and zeal for learning!” said Manhasset Coordinator, Social Studies and Home and Careers Mara Steindam, who also praised Law for once again leading Manhasset students to success in the challenge. Last year, under Law’s direction , two teams placed in the top 10 at the state regionals, one of whom took first place.

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. Each year more than 10,500 students from across the U.S. participate in the competition.

Members of Team Nash’s Angels and Team Utility are pictured. From left, Richard Lee, Benjamine Mo, Ashley Luo, Isabelle Lin, Abigail Kolyer, Sophie Vincoff and Emily Hahn, and coach Annie Law.



Musicians Honored

The Board of Education and Administrator for the Arts Dr. Anthony Ambrogio awarded certificates of recognition to the District’s All-State, All-Eastern and All-National musicians at the January Board meeting. A number of these students were selected to perform with more than one ensemble, and as a result, were recognized with multiple honors.

The following students performed at the New York State School Music Association All-State Winter Conference held in Rochester in late fall 2018: Luke Chan, Owen Connor, Ashley Huber, Jonathan Kim, Albert Liu, FayFay Ning and Jasmine Zhong. Jonathan served as principal bassist for the All-State orchestra.

Ashley, Jonathan and FayFay will join Alexandra Hong at the National Association for Music Education All-Eastern Music Festival, scheduled to take place in Pittsburgh this April. Alexandra was principal violinist in the NAfME All-National Honors Ensemble, which was held in Orlando last November. Festival rules prohibit student-musicians from performing with both the NYSSMA All-State winter ensemble and the NAfME All-National ensemble.

Congratulations to these fine musicians for making wonderful music and making Manhasset proud!



Impressive Showing for Science Olympians

On Saturday, February 2, 49 Manhasset students competed at the Nassau West Regional Science Olympiad Competition held at Kellenberg Memorial High School. The competition consisted of 24 events ranging in all branches of science and engineering. The students won 16 medals in 15 different events. Of the 40 teams that competed from all across Long Island and New York City, Manhasset's three teams ranked 8th, 12th, and 17th. Manhasset also won the Spirit Award and a trophy for being the 6th best school overall!

Individual medals were won by students in the following events:
Astronomy- 4th place- Kevin Gauld and Matt Kiley
Chemistry Lab- 4th place- Guanming Lin and Elizabeth Wu
Circuit Lab- 7th place- Richard Lee and Kendrick Tal
Disease Detectives- 8th place- Benjamine Mo and Fayfay Ning
Dynamic Planet- 6th place- Billy Apostolou and Harrison Chin
Experimental Design- 3rd place- Richard Lee, Kendrick Tak, and Elizabeth Wu
Fermi Questions- 4th place- Josh DeLeeuw and Ethan Howowitz
Fossils- 6th place- Taylor Fox and Sanjna Kedia
Geologic Mapping- 4th place- Sanjna Kedia and Serena Zhao
Herpetology- 3rd place- Sanjna Kedia and Emma Wang and 7th place- Ava Klissouris and Lea Klissouris
Mission Possible- 4th place- Sean Bock and Ella Wesson
Science Tech Bowl- 8th place- Liam Cash, Kristin D’Angelo, Sanjna Kedia
Sounds of Music- 2nd place- Kevin Gauld and Josh DeLeeuw
Water Quality- 2nd place- Richard Lee and Elizabeth Wu
Write it Do it- 1st place- Ava Klissouris and Lea Klissouris 

Please join the coaches Pavithra Sundar and Matthew Kaufman in congratulating the entire team on a job well done! Go Science!


National Teaching Recognition

Congratulations to Manhasset teachers Candyce Kannengieser and Eric Shapiro, who recently received National Board Certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

Ms. Kannengieser and Mr. Shapiro, both English teachers at Manhasset Secondary School, are additions to an already impressive group of Manhasset educators who have achieved National Board Certification – the most respected professional certification available in K-12 education. According to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, this represents a consensus among educators about what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do.

The certification process is rigorous, requiring candidates to present standards-based evidence of the positive effect they have on student learning in alignment with the Five Core Propositions: a deep understanding of their students; content knowledge; use of data and assessments; effective teaching practices; and collaboration. Additionally, each has demonstrated how they participate in learning communities and provide ongoing reflection and continuous learning.

The Manhasset Board of Education and administration recognized Ms. Kannengieser and Mr. Shapiro at a recent Board meeting. Manhasset’s commitment to excellence in teaching and nurturing National Board Certified teachers is emphasized through its professional development opportunities and the support of its Teacher Resource Center, which is documented in an article authored by Manhasset faculty member Gigi Marasco and published by the National Board Council. The article can be viewed here (pages 11-12):



Athletes Ready to Make Their Mark at the Collegiate Level

Twelve of Manhasset High School’s most distinguished student-athletes recently signed National Letters of Intent to play their respective sports at the collegiate level. Director of Physical Education, Athletics and Health James Amen and Manhasset Secondary School Principal Dr. Dean Schlanger hosted a ceremony in the school gymnasium, where students, donning spirit wear from their school of choice, signed their respective letters with their family members by their side.

Congratulations to the following Manhasset High School seniors who have committed to participate in collegiate athletics:

• Edward Arnold – lacrosse at University of Pennsylvania
• Olivia Dooley – lacrosse at University of Sothern California
• Christopher Glynn – lacrosse at Georgetown University
• Rebecca Hance – field hockey at Colgate University
• Jacklyn Mitaritonna – volleyball at Catholic University
• Caroline Mondiello – lacrosse at Stanford University
• Mary Nikakis – rowing at Villanova University
• Louis Perfetto – lacrosse at Boston University
• Casey Roszko – lacrosse at Drexel University
• Erin Trotta – lacrosse at Wesleyan University
• Kelly Trotta – lacrosse at Marist College
• Steven Vlahakis – lacrosse at Embry-Riddle


Shelter Rock Student Leaders Honored for Helping Others

The Manhasset Board of Education and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Vincent Butera recently honored three groups of student representatives from Shelter Rock Elementary School who are doing their part to make their school the best place it can be for all.

During the Board’s Nov. 29 meeting, hosted by Shelter Rock, the Board and Dr. Butera honored a panel of 10 sixth-graders who played an important role earlier this year as school ambassadors. These students gave an informative presentation for parents of Shelter Rock’s newest students at the school’s New Parents Welcome on Sept. 13. They spoke articulately and confidently about their positive experiences with the student council, band, orchestra, chamber chorus, field day, the book fair and after-school programs, among others.

At the same Board meeting, 40 student volunteers from Shelter Rock were recognized for their work with the district’s Children at Play Plus program. CAPP is a structured, extended school day program that focuses on encouraging the social interaction between students with autism/related disorders and those in the mainstream program.

CAPP provides peer modeling opportunities to teach social skills appropriate for play and academic behavior. Student volunteers learn more about students with special needs and are taught how to assist them in learning, making new friends, and taking on responsibility in a fun, friendly learning environment. The program has allowed the volunteers and special-needs students to develop lasting friendships while building social skills that extend through the school day, at home and in the community.

Shelter Rock Student Council officers were also honored for the various community service projects they organize and lead on behalf of the school. These include food and clothing drives to benefit those less fortunate in and around the community.

Each Shelter Rock student leader received a certificate of excellence for their respective efforts, and for setting a positive example for the entire school community.


All-National Musician Plays Principal Viola

Congratulations to Manhasset High School student Alexandra Hong, who was selected to perform with the All-National Honors Orchestra in Disney World in November. Adding to this prestigious honor, she was chosen to serve as principal viola of the All-National Orchestra following a competitive audition.

“Appointment to a principal chair is a distinct leadership honor,” said Administrator for the Arts Anthony Ambrogio. “In Manhasset, Alexandra has thrived musically, distinguishing herself at the local, state and now national level. We are all so proud of her. I would also like to recognize her orchestra teacher, Mrs. Caroline Shyr, and all of our excellent music faculty who have played a role in her development.”

Alexandra has also been selected to perform at the All-Eastern Music Festival, to be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in April.



Students Honored for Musical Talents

Manhasset Public Schools is proud to announce that high school students Alexandra Hong, Ashley Huber, Jonathan Kim and FayFay Ning have been selected to perform at the All-Eastern Music Festival, to be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in April. Alexandra was also selected to perform with the All-National Honors Orchestra in Disney World this month.

Ashley, Jonathan and FayFay were among seven high school students chosen to participate in the New York State School Music Association All-State Music Festival in Rochester, New York, from Nov. 29-Dec. 2. Along with these three, congratulations are extended to Luke Chan, Owen Connor, Albert Liu and Jiaming Zhong.

The district is also proud to announce that 113 students in grades 5-12 were selected to participate in the Nassau Music Educators Association All-County Music Festival, to be held in January at the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts.

In addition, 24 talented string musicians in grades 5-11 were selected to participate in the Long Island String Festival Association concerts, to be held in Levittown and Uniondale.

Congratulations to these talented students!

Pictured are our All-Eastern and All-State Musicians.

Three AP Italian Students Honored for Video Project

Manhasset Secondary School is pleased to announce that three AP Italian students have been chosen as winners of the “La Resistenza in Cucina (The Resistance in the Kitchen)” video project sponsored by the Italian American Committee on Education. Congratulations to Despina Frankis, Alexis Powers and Alessia Ruffo for their award-winning video.

Under the guidance of their teacher, Maria Mellace, students analyzed authentic materials from post-World War II Italy which were relevant during the time the Italian constitution was ratified. After reviewing the materials and researching the topic, they submitted their original video on how the culinary habits of the Italian population were shaped due to the economic difficulties and the social/political environment in the aftermath of WWII when the Italian constitution was approved.

“I am particularly impressed with how these students constructed insightful connections between their own community and cultures and the theme of the video, a skill which is essential for success on the AP exam,” Ms. Mellace said.

As part of the award the students, Ms. Mellace and administrators attended a dinner sponsored by the Italian American Committee on Education on Nov.19 at the Italian Cultural Institute in New York City. Pictured in the feature photo (from left) are Superintendent of Schools Dr. Vincent Butera, Ms. Mellace and IACE President Berardo Paradiso congratulating Despina, Alexis and Alessia.

The students also received monetary awards. You can view their award-winning video here.





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.

1  2


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


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, and




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.


2  3



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
Stephen Lee
Zachary Leng
Alex Mazer
William Peng

Team Ceteris Paribus
Fred Chu
Emily Cruz
Ryan Thorpe
Ryan Watson

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

“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.