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A celebration of achievements for Prodell graduates

A celebration of achievements for Prodell graduates photo

Prodell Middle School’s graduation was an evening to celebrate the achievements of the eighth-graders who will enter Shoreham-Wading River High School in September.

The moving up ceremony held at the high school was packed with proud family members, teachers, administrators and members of the Board of Education. After a welcome by Principal Kevin Vann, dozens of students were recognized with outstanding achievement awards in subject areas, principal’s awards and presidential awards for educational excellence. The students were then presented with middle school certificates, marking their transition to high school.

The ceremony also included a slideshow of student highlights. After the acknowledgements and words of wisdom, the festive evening for the students continued in the elaborately decorated gymnasium for a Paris-themed dance to celebrate their success.


Spring athletes honored

Spring athletes honored photo
At the final Board of Education meeting for the academic year, the SWR High School spring athletes were recognized for their successful season.

Principal Frank Pugliese announced the names of 51 student-athletes and praised their accomplishments and commitment to their sport. He also noted that all spring teams were named New York State Scholar-Athlete teams before Superintendent of Schools Gerard Poole presented those in attendance with a commemorative district pin.

Congratulations to our spring athletes!

The Boys Track team were named league champions. Other honors include:

* All-League: Damien Caputo, Mike Casazza, Rick Casazza, Mark Costas, Anthony Guzzone, Dylan Jung, Joey Krause, Ryan Ledda, Dan Montenegro, Luke Rey, Matt Rose, Calvin Schmalze, Blake Wehr and Adam Zelin
* All-County: Rick Casazza
* All-Academic: Calvin Schmalze
* SWR Most Improved: Dylan Jung
* SWR MVP: Rick Casazza

Girls Golf:

* All-League: Natalie Jepson, Katie Loscalzo and Carolyn Merced
* SWR MVP: Natalie Jepson and Katie Loscalzo
* SWR Most Improved: Caroline Morgan
* All-Academic: Jackie Holden, Natalie Jepson, Katie Loscalzo, Carolyn Merced, Caroline Morgan, Yusra Rashidzada and Zana Sawas

Girls Track:

* All-League: Nicole Garcia, Katherine Lee, Emma Longboat, Torre Parrinello and Alexandra Smith
* All-Division: Katherine Lee and Torre Parrinello
* All-County: Katherine Lee
* All-Academic: Katherine Lee
* SWR MVP: Katherine Lee
* SWR Most Improved: Torre Parrinello
* Katherine Lee: County champion in the 1,500 and 3,000 meter events

Boys Lacrosse:

* All-Division: Xavier Arline, Kyle Boden, Tim Cairo, Trevor Kessel and Jack Schirtzer
* All-County: Xavier Arline, Tim Cairo and Jack Schirtzer
* All-Country Honorable Mention: Kyle Boden

Girls Softball:

* All-County: Katlynn McGivney
* All-Division: Melissa Marchese and Joy Papagianopoulos

Boys Baseball:

* All-League: Ethan Baumack, DJ Brown, Gabriel Romano, TJ Wachter and Tyler Widercrantz
* All-County: Jesse Keshner and Ryan Mullahey
* Academic All-League: Joe Brown
* SWR MVP: Jesse Keshner
* SWR Most Improved: Mike Smith
* SWR Courage Award: Jack Crowley
* League VII champions

Girls Lacrosse:

* All-Division: Julie Kadletz
* All-County: Isabella Meli and Erin Triandafils
* All-County Honorable Mention: Gabrielle Cacciola and Mikayla Dwyer
* All-Tournament: Sarah Sheridan
* Section XI Unsung Hero: Jenna Lesiewicz

Tenured staff congratulated

Tenured staff congratulated photo
The Shoreham-Wading River Board of Education granted tenure to staff members during the last Board meeting of the school year.

To the applause of family members, colleagues and community members, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Brian Heyward introduced the five educators – Barbara Araujo teaching assistant at Prodell Middle School, Brian Ferguson, Kristin Fierro and Christina McCormick, all three special education teachers at Prodell and Mark Verity, music teacher at Wading River Elementary School.

At the meeting, Superintendent of Schools Gerard Poole also congratulated the Board members for their tireless efforts on behalf of the district and the recent New York State School Boards Association training they completed on the essentials of school board governance and their accountability and fiduciary responsibilities.

Seniors celebrate end of secondary education

Seniors celebrate end of secondary education photo

High School seniors celebrated the culmination of their secondary education at the school’s annual Senior Day. A full day of activities started with a breakfast and senior slideshow of school highlights, yearbook signings and a bus ride to the district schools to say farewell to their primary educators and younger students. They then returned to the high school for some friendly and competitive athletic games and events, a barbecue and memories of their educational journey throughout the Shoreham-Wading River schools.

Prodell students are leaders in gratitude

Prodell students are leaders in gratitude photo
With all of the end-of-school-year activities taking place, Prodell Middle School students still have time to share gratitude and discover the leadership within themselves.

Inspired by a TED Talk, Student Council members encouraged others to write a short note – an overdue thanks for a long-ago gesture, a spontaneous thank-you to extend appreciation to someone, even just a happy face with a person’s name on it – to add to the growing number of sticky notes on the bulletin board outside the main office.

The two-week event continues to grow, with the wall showcasing a display of gratitude for peers, teachers, coaches, administrators, secretaries, custodians and bus drivers.

“Although it is always a busy time of year, the students collectively said, ‘Let’s do this,’ and set out to engage others in the project,” said Andrea Monz, school social worker and Student Council adviser. “They are learning that greatness is taking the time to express one’s gratitude for others.”

According to eighth-grader and Student Council president Joelle Ialacci, there is no better way to learn about leadership than to just do it. She was excited to see the results on the bulletin board for all to remember over the summer break.

SWR Retirees Recognized

SWR Retirees Recognized photo
The Shoreham-Wading River Board of Education recognized the service of four retirees during the last Board meeting for the school year.

Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Brian Heyward introduced building principals who touted the special efforts of instructional materials assistant Patricia Reilly, music teacher Paula Albertfranz, head custodian Walter Danowski and sixth-grade teacher Anne DeSimone, before their families, friends and colleagues.

Miller Avenue Principal Christine Carlson commended Reilly for her tireless efforts in getting the library organized for each academic year and making it a warm and inviting place for students. She also spoke of the influence music teacher Albertfranz has had on the thousands of children she has worked with in her 32 years of teaching throughout the district. WRES Principal Lou Parrinello praised Danowski for his dedication and integral role in keeping the children of the district safe. He was lauded for helping to oversee special events, the merging of the elementary schools and the completed bond projects including the new cafeteria at WRES this past school year. Prodell Principal Kevin Vann spoke highly of DeSimone and the positive impact she has had on her students and the entire school community with her admirable attributes of being firm, friendly, flexible and fair.

Class of 2018 seniors walk with pride

Class of 2018 seniors walk with pride photo

Students from the Class of 2018 boarded school buses and took a final ride around the district schools, serving as a collective inspiration to those who will follow in their footsteps in the coming years.

Students and teachers filled the halls of Albert G. Prodell Middle School, Wading River Elementary School and Miller Avenue School to cheer and applaud the graduates, who proudly strolled through, getting high-fives and hugs and reconnecting with teachers who had made a lasting, positive impact on their lives.

Wading River Elementary School Principal Lou Parrinello took a few moments to offer words of advice to the graduates. His three points of importance – to make mistakes, to make a difference in their own life, their family and their community, and to make a life of something beautiful – was met with much applause.

The successful event was a source of pride and achievement for everyone.

Seniors nominated for elite award

Seniors nominated for elite award photo
SWR High School seniors Cooper Cummings and Katherine Lee were each nominated for the Dellecave Award.

Each district in Suffolk County nominates one female and one male graduating senior for the award, which is named after longtime Suffolk County basketball official and founder of the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame Butch Dellecave. In addition to being outstanding athletes, both students were selected for their exceptional character and integrity.

They were recognized along with nominees from other Suffolk County high schools at a recent breakfast ceremony.

Congratulations Cooper and Katherine!

Enriching scientific symposium for HS research students

Enriching scientific symposium for HS research students photo
Students from the High School’s Introduction to Science Research Class visited Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s campus marking the end of an exciting first year in their research experience. The lab hosted its annual Barcode Long Island Student Symposium, the culminating event in the year-long Barcode Long Island project. Two student projects were presented from the SWR group: Biodiversity of Aquatic Macroinvertebrates in a pond on Long Island and Presence of Marine Worms in the Peconic Estuary. Students discussed their work with other research students from across Long Island and their mentors, as well as academic scientists, including Nobel Prize winner Dr. James Watson. The event put a finishing touch on a successful and enriching year of research for the young scientists.

Seeing the needs of others at Prodell

Seeing the needs of others at Prodell photo
Throughout the academic year, Student Council members at Prodell coordinate and engage in activities with their peers and spearhead fundraising opportunities to benefit the larger community.

One of their recent accomplishments was collecting 88 pairs of glasses for New Eyes, an organization that provides eyeglasses to those who cannot afford them.

School social worker and student council adviser Andrea Monz noted she is proud of the accomplishment of the council members and the school community and families, whose donated used eyeglass frames will be outfitted with new prescriptions and distributed to people in need around the world.

Sixth-grader Matthew Cerniglia, seventh-grader Courtney Greene, eighth-grader and Student Council president Joelle Ialacci, sixth-grader Elizabeth Sabino, and seventh-grader Corinne Suppa were instrumental in getting others to share their vision.

Two honors bestowed on SWR High School senior

Two honors bestowed on SWR High School senior photo
Shoreham-Wading River High School senior Alexandra Meli has been honored with both a local and a national achievement award.

Alexandra was honored at the East End Arts Teeny Awards, a local event that recognizes the best in local high school theater. She tied for first place for lead female performer in a musical for her role of Katharine in Shoreham-Wading River’s fall musical production of “Kiss Me Kate.”

She was also recognized on the national level as an outstanding soloist at Downbeat Magazine’s 41st annual Student Music Awards. The magazine, which is self-described as devoted to “jazz, blues and beyond,” lists in its Hall of Fame such legendary female jazz performers as Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith and Sarah Vaughan.

SWR introduces Class of 2018 top students

SWR introduces Class of 2018 top students photo
SWR introduces Class of 2018 top students photo 2
Seniors Christian Wesselborg and Calvin Schmalzle were formally introduced to the Board of Education and community as valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, of the Class of 2018. High School Principal Frank Pugliese recited the impressive academic, athletic, musical and community accomplishments of both students and congratulated them on their college studies – Christian at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to major in biology and Calvin at Clarkson University to study engineering.

Mr. Pugliese then alphabetically listed the students in the top 10 percent of the Class of 2018, noting that often a difference of a few hundredths of a point is what defines the top students, and he wanted to be certain they were all publicly recognized. The Shoreham-Wading River School District is pleased to announce the top 10 percent of the Class of 2018:

Rikkimarie Alessi
Keyi Chen
William Christine
Jacqueline Colalillo
Victoria Coman
Jillian Dinowitz
Valerie Facini
Jenna Friedman
Kyra Gately
Julia Green
Emily Lynn Hassid
Raymond LaPorte
Michelle Maloney
Alexandra Meli
Emily Niski
Cheyenne Roth
Kendall Sicari
Sarah Tedesco
Amanda Tepper

Superintendent of Schools Gerard Poole congratulated the students and presented each one with a SWR School District commemorative pin.

Community Participation on Board of Education Advisory Committees

The Board of Education welcomes resident participation on Board of Education Advisory Committees. Advisory Committees serve to inform the Board of Education and to assist in the implementation of District goals. All committees include Board of Education trustees and District administrators. Committee members are appointed by the Board of Education.

Please visit the link below for a committee application.

For a description of each advisory committee please see below:

Audit Committee - is a mandated committee by the New York State Comptroller and operates according to the Audit Committee Charter. The Committee has two primary functions: to assist in the oversight of the annual external audit and assist in the oversight of the internal audit function. This Committee is comprised of three (3) Board members, the Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations and community members. In the past, the Committee has met in the evening.

Technology Committee - reviews the District's Technology Plan, reviews policies related to District technology, reviews the existing technology to see if it is in accordance with the plan and considers if the Plan needs revision. This Committee is comprised of teachers, administrators, staff and Board member(s). In the past, the Committee has met in the evening.

Legislative Committee - works with surrounding districts and local legislators to ensure that State laws and Board of Regents policies benefit our district. This Committee is comprised of Board member(s), community members and the Superintendent. In the past, the Committee has met in the evening.

Space and Facilities Committee - works preparing for the capital projects and bond projects. This Committee is comprised of Board member(s), the Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations, Director of Plant Facilities III and community members. In the past, the Committee has met in the evening.

SWR celebrates student-athletes’ next steps

SWR celebrates student-athletes’ next steps photo
Surrounded by proud parents, coaches and friends, 17 senior student-athletes were honored at the High School’s 2018 College Commitment ceremony for continuing their academic and athletic accomplishments at the collegiate level in the fall.

The festive celebration exemplified the district’s high level of student achievement and outstanding athletic program.

The students are:

Ethan Baumack Lebanon Valley College Baseball
John Betcher Roger Williams Lacrosse
Caleigh Capek St. Joseph’s College Cross-country/Track
Rick Casazza Monmouth Track
Copper Cummings Roger Williams Wrestling
Sarah Fabian Plymouth State Volleyball
Jason Guevara SUNY Oneonta Lacrosse
Anthony Guzzone SUNY Purchase Soccer
Jesse Keshner SUNY New Paltz Baseball
Julianna Kohlus St. Joseph’s College Swimming
Ryan Ledda Monmouth Track
James Mirabell SUNY Brockport Lacrosse
Daniel Montenegro SUNY Cortland Track
Matt Moran SUNY Brockport Soccer
John Carl Petretti SUNY Oneonta Wrestling
Wayne Pisani SUNY Plattsburgh Lacrosse
Matt Rose Adelphi Track

“The district is proud to recognize these student-athletes who will compete at the collegiate level,” said Mark Passamonte, director of health, physical education, athletics and nurses. “Congratulations to all of our athletes.”

Students honored for mathematical excellence

Students honored for mathematical excellence photo
High School students Keyi Chen and Mahdi Rashidzada were honored at the recent Suffolk County Math Teachers’ Association awards dinner.

Mahdi, a junior, was recognized for his performance on the Suffolk County Pre-Calculus Course contest. Keyi, a senior, was honored for his performance on the Suffolk County Calculus Course contest. Keyi was also recognized as an individual high scorer for the league in which the SWR Mathletes compete.

Developed by the Suffolk County Mathematics Teacher Association, the Course contests are designed to challenge students in their specific math courses. All Honors math students at Shoreham-Wading River participate as part of the honors curriculum. Students who score in top five in the county are celebrated at the annual SCMTA awards event.

Spring Newsletter Now Available

Click here to view the Newsletter

Educator to serve on national editorial review board

Educator to serve on national editorial review board photo
SWR High School English teacher Edward Storck has been selected to serve as a member of the editorial review board for the English Journal, a publication of the National Council of Teachers of English.

Storck has an impressive record serving for the past two years as a reviewer for the English Journal. Of the more than 600 reviewers, he is one of only 20 members of the editorial review board who will work to improve the quality of writings that appear in the publication.

Cited for his long-standing commitment to the National Council of Teachers of English and to the publication, Storck was selected in part for consistently providing timely feedback for writers and advice to the editors as to whether a piece should be published. His new position will task him with reviewing articles for the five volumes that will be edited, giving substantive feedback on other articles and offering general advice about themes, column topics, selected features in the journal and providing mentorship to a new reviewer.

Fourth-graders visit with four-legged protectors

Fourth-graders visit with four-legged protectors photo
Students at Wading River Elementary School had an opportunity to meet Wolf and Champ, two integral figures who help protect the local community. The German Shepherds, from the Suffolk County Police Department Canine Section, were accompanied by their handlers, Sgt. Kevin Krause and police officer Matthew DeWitt, respectively.

To prepare for the visit, the fourth-graders in Frank Ulrich’s class came up with a list of questions to ask, such as why German Shepherds are chosen (they have all the characteristics needed for the job) and why only male dogs are chosen (they maintain their natural behavioral characteristics as one of their work requirements).

The students viewed a PowerPoint on the history of using canines in helping police officers locate explosive devices, find people and identify illegal drugs. They also learned about the intense training techniques the officers use and the intelligence, agility and amazing sense of smell the versatile animals possess.

Miller Avenue students make a difference with a rain garden

Miller Avenue students make a difference with a rain garden photo

Miller Avenue students in Alice Steinbrecher’s class are proud of their green thumbs.

During a lesson from Cornell Cooperative Extension youth educator Mark Cappellino, the second-graders learned about the benefits of a rain garden to the environment. They chose the rear building entrance to plant some native plants, wild flowers and suitable shrubbery to be able to soak up stormwater runoff from the school’s roof and other impervious areas and protect water quality.

With help from parents and grandparents, and many of the plants donated by Cornell Cooperative and family gardens, the school now boasts another beautiful garden planted in conjunction with the class’ Caring for Our Community project.

According to Mrs. Steinbrecher, students also learned that their new garden will provide a habitat for wildlife and increase the diversity of birds and butterflies.

Demonstrating Excellence

Demonstrating Excellence photo
Sixty-one new members were inducted into the Shoreham-Wading River High School National Honor Society at a recent ceremony. Two existing members were also formally inducted.

On behalf of the entire SWR school community, congratulations to all on your demonstrated excellence in the four core values of scholarship, service, leadership and character.

Two music scholarships for Christopher Wygonik

Two music scholarships for Christopher Wygonik photo
High School student Christopher Wygonik has a busy musical summer ahead – being the recipient of two music scholarships.

Christopher was awarded the Suffolk County Music Educators’ Association Scott Hammer Summer Scholarship for summer music study and the Long Island String Festival Association Award for high school juniors. He was chosen for these scholarships based on his participation and achievements in music, past evaluations at the New York State School Music Association solo festival and teacher recommendations.

He will continue his musical studies at the NYSSMA New York State Summer School for the Arts at Skidmore College.

The Shoreham-Wading River School District congratulates Christopher for his musical achievements.

A plethora of engaging activities at STEM Symposium

A plethora of engaging activities at STEM Symposium photo

Marie Curie, Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton and Alan Turing were just a few of the inventors and scientists who were on hand to greet the hundreds of guests at the District’s third annual STEM Symposium.

Their life-size cardboard cutouts stood at the entry to the high school gym where dozens of tables were set up with interactive activities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. District teachers and students showcased the projects taking place in classrooms through the year.

The community event featured exhibits demonstrating the District’s successes in STEM education, High School AP Seminar and AP Research student presentations, science fair winning projects from both Miller Avenue and WRES and lessons in forensics, oceanography and robotics, among many other engaging activities. The District’s School-to-Community program partners were in attendance to share resources and access to STEM opportunities and post-high school careers.

Organized by Dr. Amy Meyer, director of STEM, and manned by the educators who implement many of the classroom lessons – from Google Expeditions virtual reality to the Japanese traditional folk-art technique of gyotaku – the evening was another successful showcase of the many educational endeavors taking place throughout the District.

The District thanks the following business representatives who participated in this event: Bob MacDowell and Larry Kick from Applied DNA Sciences Inc.; John Searing from ASRC Federal Holding Company; Donna Boeckel, Jeffree Boeckel and Jaclyn Rodriquez from Awsomotive Car Care; Bernadette Uzzi from Brookhaven National Laboratory; Nusnin Akter, Prerana Kankiya and Dr. Vivian Stojanoff from Brookhaven Women in Science; Dr. Jason Kronberg from Dr. Jason Kronberg Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine; Gregory Wilson from Innovation Lab; Tina Mills from Harbor Hot Tubs; Jarret Acevedo from Jarret Acevedo Plumbing & Heating; Mary Cunningham from Long Island Science Center; Elizabeth Tilton and Erica Collins from Luitpold Pharmaceuticals; Jane Alcorn, Carol Davis-Wiebelt and Mary Riotto from Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe and SSG Holzer and SSG Flores from the United States Amy. They all demonstrated “real-world” applications of STEM in their daily work and/or careers.

Building resiliency skills at Prodell

Building resiliency skills at Prodell photo
Students at the Middle School recently took part in workshops designed to engage them through the power of connection, hope, help and strength.
The eighth-graders worked with Meryl Cassidy from Response of Suffolk County on developing resiliency skills, building supportive relationships and ways to help them cope with stress in a healthy manner.

The students learned that relying on various sources of strength is more powerful than relying on just one. They broke up into groups, discussing eight key categories: mental health, medical access, spirituality, generosity, healthy activities, mentors, positive friends and family support. They then created posters that included inspiring words or activities they enjoy – things that they can turn to strengthen these sources of protection so that when times get hard they can rely on them.

Students also lined the hallways with posters of their Sources of Strength. Music, media, gaming, sports, biking, friends, family and favorite teachers were among their most popular.

The program was facilitated by Cassidy, and middle school social worker Andrea Monz and psychologist Doreen Armstrong who serve as mentors to the students.

“Our hope is that students take away from these workshops a pure understanding of helping one another and becoming change agents in promoting positive peer relationships,” Monz said.

Recognizing musical achievements at Tri-M Induction

Recognizing musical achievements at Tri-M Induction photo
At a festive and harmonious ceremony and reception, the High School has inducted 24 new members into its chapter of the Tri-M Music Honor Society.

A program of the National Association for Music Education, which focuses on creating future leaders in music education and music advocacy, SWR chapter’s goal is to inspire and recognize musical achievement in the school music department.

In addition to writing a music-inspired essay, students had to perform a New York State School Music Association Level 3 or higher solo for the high school music faculty. They must also maintain a minimum average of 90 in music classes and an overall GPA of 80. Inductees were also required to participate in one of the high school’s music ensembles – band, orchestra, chorus, jazz band, chamber orchestra or the Vocal Express, the school’s acclaimed a cappella group.

At the ceremony, students Grace DelSeni, Alex Kravchenko, Margaret Panasci, Stephanie Searing and William Wells performed string music for the processional and recessional, and Alexandra Meli sang the “Star-Spangled Banner.”

The following students have been inducted into the Shoreham-Wading River High School Tri-M Music Honor Society:

Kevin Beagen, Ben Carrier, Ray Colon, Olivia DesRoches, Sara Grosso, Daniel Julian, William Keck, Maya Klatsky, Michael Kruzynski, Sarah Kruzynski, Andrew Liguori, Emma Longboat, Rianna Lotito, Mika Misawa, Torre Ann Parrinello, Michael Sabino, Rachael Sereno, Sarah Sheridan, Sofia Stirpe, Justin Stuart, Kaylee Thomsen, Nicolette Tingo, Eleanora Undrus and Larissa Verdi.

SWR Art Show 2018

WISE Students Conduct Water Quality Research

WISE Students Conduct Water Quality Research photo
The Women in Science and Engineering students Eilis Casey and Elle Schepis along with their coach, SWR science teacher Lori Racaniello, embarked on Stony Brook University’s SoMAS Research Vessel out of Southampton. The students participated in water quality research and observed the flora and fauna of the Shinnecock Bay. They were able to observe local fish, crabs, invertebrates, algae, sea gulls, egrets, cormorants, osprey and ducks. The naturalist on board described the history of the area and the environmental concerns and local human impact on the waters and wildlife, and what the students could do to become stewards of the area.

Guest readers add pep to Miller Avenue’s PARP program

Guest readers add pep to Miller Avenue’s PARP program photo
Wading River Elementary School Principal Louis Parrinello shared one of his favorite reads, Eugene Trivizas’ “The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig,” as part of the PARP activities at Miller Avenue. Community members were invited to be guest readers in kindergarten, first- and second-grade classrooms, where they shared a favorite book and answered student questions. It was a great opportunity for students to meet some local community members, including politicians, school administrators and parents. In addition to Mr. Parrinello, the entire Miller Avenue community would like to thank the following volunteers:

Lori Blend, North Shore Public Library
Jane Bonner, Councilwoman
Dr. and Mrs. George Dubato, local veterinarians
Beverly Killeen and Clare the therapy dog
Dan Losquadro, Town of Brookhaven Highway Superintendent
Perry Maraglia, a member of the United States Military
Anthony Palumbo, New York State Assemblyman
Ed Romaine, Town of Brookhaven Supervisor

and district administrators:

Brian Heyward, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources
Alan Meinster, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment
Amy Meyer, Director of STEM
Mark Passamonte, Director of Physical Education, Health, Athletics and Nurses
Gerard Poole, Superintendent of Schools
Kevin Vann, Principal, Albert G. Prodell Middle School
Ethan Wivietsky, Director of Humanities

Greetings from Philadelphia!

Greetings from Philadelphia photo
Fifth-graders are stepping back in time, learning about the founding of our nation in historic Philadelphia. Exploring an abundance of American history and building connections from classroom instruction, they visited the iconic Liberty Bell – and along with parents and faculty from Wading River Elementary School, will spend an educational “night at the museum” with an overnight stay at the Franklin Institute.

First place for SWR student at SkillsUSA state competition

First place for SWR student at SkillsUSA state competition photo
High School student Wayne Wadington was recognized as a first-place winner in the SkillsUSA state competition.

A junior, Wayne, also known as Blake, competed in the Small Engine Service competition, using his classroom expertise to navigate a series of assigned tasks, including troubleshooting and repair of marine application systems. He was judged on his organizational skills, safe work practices, accuracy, speed, cleanliness and thorough completion of paperwork.

He is a student in the Marine and Motor Sports Technology Program at the Eastern Suffolk BOCES Bixhorn Technical Center in Bellport, pictured here with Jason Pickerell, his BOCES teacher.

The Shoreham-Wading River School District commends Wayne on showcasing his expert technical skills.

Cultivating kindness at Prodell

Cultivating kindness at Prodell photo
The Kindness Challenge started by members of the Student Council at the Middle School has evolved into a schoolwide showing of affection and concern for others.

Under the leadership of school social worker Andrea Monz, students encouraged peers to embrace patience, hope, self-confidence, peace and humility, with sticky notes left on every school locker with messages such as “you are awesome,” “stay strong” and “work hard and you will reach your goals.”

Ms. Caitlin Bolembach and Mrs. Michele Vitale’s advisories also got into the spirit when they created flower pens to continue the theme of kindness in the school. The pens were distributed to others when they were caught in an act of kindness toward one another.

Lessons on American pioneers

Lessons on American pioneers photo
Fifth-graders learned of the travels of American pioneers as an extension of their classroom studies, when they visited the the Long Island Museum’s Wagons West exhibit.

The students experienced what life was like for a family traveling the more than 2,000 mile Oregon Trail from their home in Missouri. Taught by a museum educator, the students learned about the authentic vehicles used, what the job of a blacksmith was, and what was needed for the American adventurers who traversed the terrain on a six-month journey to their new home.

“It is great to have this very visual opportunity for our students to connect with the historical facts of the migration west for the pioneers of the mid-1800s,” teacher Melissa Levonick said.

Musical Master Class

Musical Master Class photo
High School orchestra students had a unique opportunity to work with Dr. Ching-Chun Lai, assistant professor of music and director of orchestras from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam.

Hosted by music teachers Ashley O’Connor and Fred Volz, Dr. Lai led an orchestra rehearsal, workshop and master class with the students. During the workshop, students learned about the numerous career options available in the music field, the preparation required to pursue a music degree in college and the degree options offered at the Crane School of Music. Students also attended and performed in a master class led by Dr. Lai in which they were given valuable feedback and suggestions for developing their performance skills.

“Giving our students the opportunity to work with a professional conductor and college professor helped push their musical abilities to the next level,” Mr. Volz, who studied under Dr. Lai’s tutelage while a student at Potsdam, said. The students also gained positive insight to the many career options in the music field.”

Embracing differences at Wading River Elementary School

Embracing differences at Wading River Elementary School photo
Students from the High School’s Reaching Independence through Structured Education program displayed a vast array of talents when they visited Wading River Elementary School for several Autism Awareness presentations.

Along with SWR High School special education teacher Caitlin Maher, the students shared their “superpowers” – from running, singing, drawing, acting and remembering birthdays – with third- and fourth-graders during their physical education classes.

“This is a great grade level to engage our community of students with acceptance
and to embrace the differences of others,” said Lynda Kranidis, special education teacher at Wading River Elementary School.

The high school students helped the younger students develop a better understanding of autism through personal stories, musical skills and an interactive true or false game.

“It’s encouraging to witness the appreciation for our students,” Maher said. “They are truly valued for their unique talents and gifts.”

After she spoke, student James Hunt shared his drawing “superpower,” one that he is very proud to show. He is a talented artist and displayed a portrait of Maher that he created.

Celebrating college commitments

Celebrating college commitments photo
Students from the High School’s Class of 2018 celebrated their commitment to continue their post-high school education in the fall, by wearing the apparel of their college of choice.

Members the Class of 2018 will start their next academic phase of learning at schools including Boston University, Clarkson University, Colby College, Georgetown University, Los Angeles’ Studio School, Monmouth University, Quinnipiac University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University of Vermont and a host of State University of New York schools.

On behalf of the entire school community, best wishes to the Class of 2018 on its pursuit of higher education, achievements and career aspirations!

A closeup view of Broadway for Prodell students

 A closeup view of Broadway for Prodell students photo
Students from the Middle School took their music classroom lessons to the capital of the theater world when they traveled into New York City to take part in Broadway close-up workshops and attend a production of “School of Rock.”

Accompanied by Assistant Principal Dan Ackerman and music teachers Arthur Gross, Kevin O’Brien and Fred Voz the band, orchestra and chorus students worked with a pit musician on piano and a choreographer who taught them some of the show’s dance movements and the song “Stick it to the Man.” They also had the unique opportunity to speak with the professionals about their journey to Broadway.

“The experience really recreated an authentic Broadway rehearsal for the students,” said Mr. Ackerman. “They enjoyed the show, but also learned all of the music, staging, rehearsals and hard work that go into putting on a world-class show.”

Senior Slideshow 2018

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Dennis Creighton and Jason Malvagno are working on the senior slideshow this year. If you have photos you would like to include of your graduating senior, now’s your chance! They are looking for pictures from each year and each student.

Photos can be sent to:

When submitting a photo, please include the student’s names and the year the photo was taken. This helps in organizing the photos more efficiently so more time can be spent making a dynamic presentation.

Thank you in advance for your help,

Dennis Creighton and Jason Malvagno

‘Evening of the Arts’ celebrated!

‘Evening of the Arts’ celebrated photo
The artistic abilities of WRES students were on display at the recent “Evening of the Arts.” The festive, colorful event attracted families, district administrators and community members out to enjoy the annual celebration of the creative efforts of the students.

The hallways were packed with people admiring the imaginative works of the third- through fifth-grade creators. The event also featured a performance by the third-grade orchestra students sharing their musical talents and an art scavenger hunt for all family members.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the learning and development process of our students in the arts,” said Principal Louis Parrinello. “The expressive skills they are learning in our classrooms will certainly broaden their perspective on the world.”

Providing food for feathered friends at Miller Avenue

Providing food for feathered friends at Miller Avenue photo
After learning about environmental protection and the establishment of the celebration of Earth Day, students in Jillian Coster’s first-grade class at Miller Avenue Elementary School worked together to create natural wood birdfeeders and birdhouses.

Assisted by four parent volunteers, the students used colorful popsicle sticks and glue to craft their project for their feathered friends.

“We discussed needs and wants and know that birds need shelter and food and we will be able to provide both to these creatures,” Mrs. Coster said.

SWR LAX Out Cancer: A Decade of Caring

A Decade of Caring
While the High School boys and girls lacrosse teams competed out on the field during the day, the evening festivities brought out the SWR community of teachers, administrators, students and families for dinner, raffles and games to raise funds for the 10th annual Lax Out Cancer event. Here, Prodell Middle School educators along with Principal Kevin Vann do their part to help support the four selected Suffolk County families who are living with a child diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.

Prodell students hear personal perspective of WWII

Prodell students hear personal perspective of WWII
Eighth-grade students in Greg Schmit’s social studies class heard a firsthand historical account of the effects of World War II during a recent visit from guest speaker Christa Wennisch.

Ms. Wennisch shared her personal story and perspective about growing up in Germany during the second world war and living through the Allied bombing raids.

“It was a fascinating insight into an era that has passed but in many ways is still with us,” Mr. Schmit said. ‘The students were appreciative of her testimony and found it interesting to listen to someone who had memories of hearing Hitler’s voice on the radio and had experienced so much hardship.”

The overall theme and message of Wennisch’s visit was for today’s generation to be grateful for everything they have. “It’s easy to take for granted what we have, and her story was a powerful reminder that not everyone was or is so lucky,” Mr. Schmit said.

A real-world connections day at SWR High School

A real-world connections day at SWR High School photo
Engaging students in the real-world application of its curricula is an ongoing goal of the District, and the Long Island Growth Careers Day helped in building a bridge between education and industry.

Hosted by the district’s School-to-Community Program for students in grades 9-12, the daylong event offered an educational and interactive event about the growth industries on Long Island.

Students were welcomed by Principal Frank Pugliese, followed by an orientation by Lisa Strahs-Lorenc, director of CEO Works, who facilitated the event. They then listened to presentations on motivation, determination and some life lessons by business representatives Andrew Sirlin of Sirlin Success System, Brian Cohen of Long Island Speakers Bureau and Linda Kelban of GWN Securities Inc.

Students in each grade level also participated in small group discussions about the opportunities that were discussed and completed a pre- and post-assessment of what careers interested them as well as reflected on what individual or industry inspired them and why.

The District thanks the following organizations for sharing their time and energy in motivating and inspiring our students:

Business: Town of Islip Foreign Trade Zone and Equity First Foundation
Entrepreneurship: Ronjo Magic & Costumes Inc.; Jarrett Acevedo Plumbing and Heating; Hounds Town USA, Port Jefferson; Awsomotive Car Care and Sundae’s, Port Jefferson
Health Care: Ideal School of Allied Health Care; Intelligent Fitness; Long Island State Veterans Home and Nesconset Adult Day Health Services
Hospitality: East Wind Long Island
Manufacturing: HCP Packaging and East End Assemblies
IT and Health Care: Selden Army Recruiting Center
STEM: Long Island Science Center and Avery Biomedical Devices.

Miller Avenue celebrates young authors

Miller Avenue celebrates young authors photo
Students in Linda Burke’s class had the opportunity to share their writings with their families during a recent Young Authors Celebration.

After extensive research in the school library on animals that are indigenous to Long Island, the second-graders had their published works available for reading and comments. Their finished reports on owls, raccoons, ducks, deer and more consisted of a table of contents, comprehensive information on the animal and a back page that included a short bio on the author. The project demonstrated the school’s commitment and achievements in this academic discipline.

“The class was excited to have an Author's Celebration to showcase their animal research projects,” said Mrs. Burke. “It is such a pleasure to share their growth in writing and research skills with family members.”

Following the celebration, a Jeopardy-type challenge pitted students against parents to see how knowledgeable they were about Long Island’s native creatures.

SWR’s Keyi Chen honored for math abilities

SWR’s Keyi Chen honored for math abilities photo
The Board of Education honored high school senior Keyi Chen for his national rank in the top five percent of test takers in the American Mathematics Contest 12. Chen was also acknowledged as the first student in the district to qualify for entry into the American Invitational Mathematics Examination, which is the qualifying exam for the United States of America Mathematical Olympiad, the world’s most prestigious and difficult secondary mathematics examination.

“In addition to being a strong student, Keyi works diligently to increase his understanding and awareness of mathematical content,” math teacher Ellen Fraser said. “It takes a bright student who thinks logically, solves problems, persists, analyzes, organizes and makes an effort to relate all he has learned and apply it.”

Keyi is also a valued member of the Mathletes team and recently placed fourth in the Suffolk County Mathematics Teachers Association Calculus Contest.

SWR breaks ground on upcoming middle school projects

SWR breaks ground on upcoming middle school projects photo
The District held a walk-through and groundbreaking ceremony at the Middle School to provide the Board of Education and members of the community with an update on the school’s recently completed and upcoming projects.

In 2015, residents approved a capital project bond referendum to create improved instructional space, preserve the integrity of the district’s facilities, promote energy efficiencies and improve athletic fields and resources for the schools and community.

Superintendent of Schools Gerard Poole said he is pleased and excited about the changes occurring in the district’s facilities.

“This is an exciting time for the district,” Poole told participants at the ground breaking. “We are grateful to the community for their overwhelming support.”

During the tour, participants were shown recently completed updates to the middle school, which included new exterior doors and windows; filtered water fountains and carbon monoxide detectors; roofing and a new phone system; additional AEDs, and the resurfaced track and reconditioned football field.

The Board of Education and BBS Architecture representatives then dug their shovels in the dirt to commemorate the upcoming kitchen and café addition, site and parking improvements, library reconstruction and new quarters for the main office, guidance department and nurse’s office.

‘The Curious Savage’ on stage at SWR HS

‘The Curious Savage’ on stage at SWR HS photo
Shoreham-Wading River High School students will take the stage to perform the entertaining and extravagant stage production of “The Curious Savage” on Thursday, April 26 and Friday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m. in the High School auditorium.

The comedy, written by John Patrick, highlights a woman who is left $10 million by her husband and wants to put it to good use, in spite of her grownup, self-serving stepchildren’s efforts to thwart her plans. They commit her to an asylum where an assortment of characters and their shared bond are introduced to the audience.

Directed by SWR High School music teacher Dennis Creighton, the play was a Broadway production that premiered in 1950. For tickets at $10 per person, visit:

Meet the Class of 2018 Top Two Students!

Meet the Class of 2018 Top Two Students photo
Shoreham-Wading River High School is proud to announce that seniors Christian Wesselborg and Calvin Schmalze have been named valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, of the Class of 2018.

Christian has an impressive high school résumé, which includes taking numerous honors and Advanced Placement courses. He is a well-rounded sportsman and has participated in junior varsity and varsity soccer, both winter and spring track, and wrestling. He is also a member of the high school’s robotics team and jazz band. He has received subject awards in AP Biology, AP Statistics, Honors Biology, Honors Geometry and Level 4 French. He was named an AP Scholar with Distinction and Academic All-County for varsity soccer.

Outside of school, he is involved in his church community and has participated in Relay Iowa, an adventure relay run that covers more than 330 miles across the landscape of Iowa. He has attended the Institute of Creative Problem Solving for Gifted and Talented Students at SUNY Old Westbury, has participated and medaled in the Al Kalfus Long Island Math Fair and took a coding course as part of Brookhaven National Laboratory’s educational programs. He was honored with a Rensselaer Medal for excellence in math and science, which recognizes outstanding high school students around the world.

Christian has committed to study at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and would like to pursue biosciences.

Calvin Schmalzle is excited and proud of his honor as salutatorian of the Class of 2018. His list of accomplishments is comprehensive and includes being named a National Merit Scholarship Commended Student, a Suffolk County Mathematics Teachers’ Association Contest first-place winner in Shoreham-Wading River High School and a member of the school’s robotics team. He has taken numerous Advanced Placement, honors and college-level courses, and has received numerous school subject awards.

His sports involvement includes being a member of the volleyball and both winter and spring track team, for which he was named to the All-Academic team for winter track and All-County academic elite for volleyball. He also took part in an internship at Brookhaven National Laboratory’s High School Research Program.

His community contributions have included church mission trips to repair and rebuild houses for people in need and helping with church fundraisers.

He looks forward to attending Clarkson University to study mechanical engineering.

“Christian and Calvin are both exceptional students who represent the well-rounded education at Shoreham-Wading River High School,” Principal Frank Pugliese said. “Their commitment to school, community and extracurricular activities will certainly drive their future successes.”

Successful Tri-M ‘Suites and Treats’ at SWR HS

Successful Tri-M ‘Suites and Treats’ at SWR HS photo
Leadership skills, decision-making and planning are some of the benefits that members of the High School’s Tri-M Music Honor Society reaped after their largest event of the school year.

The students presented “Suites and Treats” an evening of delicious desserts to go along with their musical selections. The suggested donation for tickets helped to raise funds for the chapter’s goals including the creation of scholarships for graduating seniors in the organization. Dozens of non-perishable food items were also collected that will be donated to the Island Heart Food Pantry in Mount Sinai.

A program of the National Association for Music Education, Shoreham-Wading River’s chapter combines students from the school’s various performing groups – the a capella group, band, jazz band, chorus, orchestra or chamber orchestra, and works to celebrate and promote music education and to give back to the community.

According to Ashley O’Connor, music teacher and chapter advisor, the students have worked diligently all year and built SWR’s chapter from the ground up. She sees the teamwork, dedication and pride of their accomplishments as an extension of their musical achievements.

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