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Prodell Orchestra Students Perform at Tesla Benefit

Prodell Orchestra Students Perform at Tesla Benefit photo
Prodell Middle School chamber orchestra students recently performed at a benefit for the Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe at East Wind Long Island in Wading River.

“The students had the opportunity to play for community members, which gave them an authentic performing experience outside of the normal school concerts,” orchestra teacher Mr. Fred Volz said. “They had an awesome time.”

For their commitment to their artistic craft and being able to highlight the District’s exceptional music program, thank you to students Sarah Alessi, Patrick Carrier, Sean Dany, Bradley Doherty, Catie Donnelly, Anja Minty, Asma Rashidzada, Alex Zhang, Alston Zhuo, Siena Faragasso, Yiya Hu, Alicia Minty, Sasha Seletskaya, Kathryn Winters, Shiqi Cheng, Anna Marino, Jocelyn Nastasi, Kerrin McGuire, Killian O'Reilly, Sophia Stadler, Lucas Portuese and Cameron Sheedy.

An Evening of SWR STEAM



Greetings from Philadelphia!

Wading River School fifth-graders are on the District’s annual trip to Philadelphia and according to Principal Lou Parrinello, they are traveling back and forth through time! First, learning about the founding of our nation with visits to the Liberty Bell and other historic sites and then a specially arranged visit to The Franklin Institute, where they were immersed in science and technology and got to witness the raw power of electricity with the igniting of the Tesla Coil. The young scientists also experienced virtual reality in a 3D design and printing exhibit that was opened early for them to explore and enjoy

Sharing a Positive Culture at Prodell

Sharing a Positive Culture at Prodell photo
Prodell Middle School Student Council members presented an update on happenings and activities in the school at the May 7 Board of Education meeting. Courtney Greene and Matthew Cerniglia shared the podium and spoke of their ideas and accomplishments in promoting a positive culture throughout the building. The new bulletin boards that are located in the front hallway display words of kindness with an ‘April showers bring May flowers’ theme and the student council members sold festive flower pens for Mother’s Day with proceeds put back into the club.

“Our student leaders continue to share encouraging and positive messages with their peers,” school social worker Andrea Monz said. “In addition to building their public speaking skills, they understand that a very simple concept such as kindness really has a powerful impact on our school community.”

Prodell’s Christian Club Demonstrates Kindness and Charity to All

Prodell’s Christian Club Demonstrates Kindness and Charity to All
Since the beginning of the school year, Prodell Middle School’s newly formed Christian Club has been creating initiatives to help those in need within the school and the greater community. Creating holiday baskets for children and making sandwiches for people living in a homeless shelter are just some of the projects the students have been accomplishing along with adviser Ms. Alexa Bello.

“I am so proud of the work our students have done this year to share with families in need,” Ms. Bello said. “Their generous hearts are a great example of what the Christian Club stands for, and we look forward to continuing to give back in the future.”

Social Studies Enrichment at Prodell

Social Studies Enrichment at Prodell
A recent enrichment activity that coincided with the eighth grade social studies curriculum was fully embraced by teacher Greg Schmit’s students. Visiting various sites in Pearl Harbor such as Diamond Head and some of the memorials and moving on to the beaches of Normandy, France where the pivotal D Day landings took place in 1944, were some of the sights seen with the Albert G. Prodell Middle School’s virtual reality technology.

According to Mr. Schmit, the students used the information to document their observations and answer inquiry questions. They then visited various parts of the White House and other Washington, D.C. landmarks as a preview to the annual eighth grade trip to the nation’s capital in April.

“Technology in the classroom is not just the wave of the future, it’s here now,” said Mr. Schmit. “As an educator, seeing students engaged in a lesson is what teachers strive for every day.”

Mr. Schmit also commended library media specialist Ann-Marie Kalin for introducing him to the technology that helped bring history to life for his students.

Public Notice - 5/21/19 Budget Vote and Board Election Meeting


S.A.D.D. Club Members Share Important Messages

Shoreham-Wading River High School’s newly formed S.A.D.D. club have had a busy few months. Organized in March, the chapter already includes 48 students who have dedicated their time and talents to filming an anti-tobacco video, participating in the TextLess Live More national awareness campaign, coordinating a distracted driving video, and organizing a community car wash.

Along with advisers Maryanne Agius and Melissa Hollywood, the school community thanks the following students for their commitment to this effort:

Cassidy Albano, Nicole Ambrecht, Connor Blunnie, Jordan Carroll, Honore Cavaco, Brianna Cohen, Olivia Daleo, Liam Daly, Christina DeLuca, Eric Dilisio, Isabella Dipaola, Brendan Donnelly, Ethan Eisenberg, Liam Flatley, Sara Grosso, Samantha Gruenberg, Eric Guili, Jaqueline Holden, Alexa Ibrahim, Dylan Jung, Madisyn King, Gabe Kent, Denis Lane, Melissa Liguori, Mia Lombardi, Katie Loscalzo, Paulie Loscalzo, Morgan Lynch, Gianna Mango, Nick Mango, Robbie Marigliano, Grace McMillan, Arianna McMorris, Chloe McNamara, Sasha Medvedeva, Carolyn Merced, Rosie Minneci, Brianna Montes, Emily Mulcahy, Aiza Naim, Michael Sabino, Rachael Scarbrough, Elle Schepis, Molli Serdock, Avagrace Stalzer, Nicolette Tingo, Shannon Washburn and Christina Wygonik.

To bring more awareness to their efforts, view the video that SADD members created below:​

SWR Shows Off STEAM Projects to East End Educators

SWR Shows Off STEAM Projects to East End Educators
Miller Avenue School, Wading River School and Albert G. Prodell Middle School students had an opportunity to share in the STEAM programs that take place when educators from the Mattituck-Cutchogue School District recently visited.

A day-long schedule, organized by Director of STEM Dr. Amy Meyer, included projects such as Squishy Circuits, Bristle Bots, Escape the Classroom and Mystery Science activities with students working together on building towers, engaging in structured play, producing music and thinking outside the box as real-life engineers and scientists do. Lessons in writing like a scientist and a whirlwind of LED lights, dough, buzzers and motors, STEM challenges, and even marshmallows were items the students used to create and collaborate with. Tours of the computer lab and updated library spaces at Miller Avenue and the library makerspace, 3D printer and augmented and virtual reality opportunities at Prodell were just some of the highlights of the advances provided to SWR students.

Meet the Candidates – 5/13/19

Students Honored for WISE Participation

Seven SWR High School students in the Women in Science and Engineering course, along with science teacher Lori Racaniello, recently participated in the WISE Capstone Event at Stony Brook University. The event showcased the students’ work on their research with Stony Brook mentors throughout the school year. They presented posters at the event and spoke about their learning experiences and their research.

The students were presented with certificates of recognition for their participation in the WISE programs: Julia Petreczky for Applied Mathematics and Statistics; Jackie Holden, Elle Schepis, Eilis Casey for Computer Science and Python coding; Sofia Stirpe, Caroline McDowell, Mika Misawa, Torre Ann Parrinello and Chelsea McCleary for Biomedical Engineering. (Torre Ann and Chelsea were not in attendance, but recognized for their work).

Dr. David L. Ferguson, Chair of SBU’s Department of Technology and Society was the keynote speaker and the students had the opportunity to interact with many other groups from schools on Long Island to learn about their research experiences.

Student Council Delivers Smiles and Gifts to Children’s Hospital

Student Council Delivers Smiles and Gifts to Children’s Hospital
After weeks of raising money and awareness for their efforts, Miller Avenue School Student Council members took a field trip to Stony Brook Children’s Hospital to deliver toys and smiles to children there.

The students raised money and purchased new toys to donate to the hospital. As many students and staff members saw their display in the corridor at the school, they in turn generously donated to the cause. The group was given a special tour of the new, state-of-the-art facilities at the children’s hospital by Sharon Meinster, the Associate Director of Facilities Planning.

Duo from Miller Avenue Named BNL Science Fair Winners

Duo from Miller Avenue Named BNL Science Fair Winners
Kindergarten student Connor Nugent won in the kindergarten grade level competition for his project, Spaghetti Strength: Does spaghetti get stronger when it gets cooked? Second grader Zachary Lister won in the second grade level competition for his project, Slippery Sock Science: What kind of sock is the slippiest?

Both young scientists will be honored at the Suffolk County Legislators meeting in early June.

SWR Boasts National Board-Certified Teacher

SWR Boasts National Board-Certified Teacher photo
SWR High School mathematics teacher Ellen Fraser has been named a national board-certified teacher by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. She was honored at a recent Board of Education meeting for her achievement.

The well-respected professional certification in K-12 education was designed to develop, retain and recognize accomplished teachers and to generate ongoing improvement in schools nationwide. Ms. Fraser was commended for her continued development of expertise in the field of mathematics and for her mission to develop a lifelong love of mathematics in all of her students.

“Ms. Fraser exemplifies everything that is great about teaching and learning,” Principal Frank Pugliese said.

According to Mr. Pugliese, she is a champion of sharing additional math learning opportunities for her students who embrace these lectures, presentations and even weekend courses. “This certification is a lengthy process, but it models exactly what she teaches,” said Mr. Pugliese. “You learn every day. You grow every day. You become stronger every day. She is an exemplary role model for our students.”

Character Counts Tenfold at Wading River School

Character Counts Tenfold at Wading River School
Wading River School’s Character Counts committee has been organizing holiday food drives to benefit local churches, veteran groups and food pantries for numerous years. The theme of this year’s food drive was inspired by a children’s book author visit to the school, Kathryn Otoshi and her book Beautiful Hands.

During her visit, students at Wading River School pledged to do something beautiful with their hands. They used the pledge to encourage students to decorate a box and fill it with nonperishable food items and toiletries for the local food pantries.

To build momentum and add an element of excitement to the food drive, a competition component was added. For two weeks, each grade level competed against one another to determine which one collected the most boxes of food – the fifth grade students were declared the victors.

Additionally, a contest was held for the best decorated box in each grade. Congratulations to third grader Jasmine Macias, fourth grader Sean Logan and fifth grader Jocelyn Kavanaugh for this achievement!
The successful food drive culminated in donations to local churches St. Mark’s, St. Anselm’s, St. John’s the Baptist and the Wading River Congregational Church. Each church received approximately 36 boxes of food.

“Students were so inspired by Kathryn Otoshi’s story and took to heart her motivating words of planting ideas, stretching their imaginations and reaching for dreams,” said reading teacher Kelly Toole, who works with reading teacher Tracy O’Lear, school psychologist Patricia Aretakis and math teacher Mark Vallina guiding the positive character traits in the schools’ students. “We are so proud of their reading efforts and giving efforts.”

Inspiring healthcare leaders of the future

Inspiring healthcare leaders of the future
Eleven Shoreham-Wading River High School juniors and seniors, along with science teacher Ms. Lori Racaniello and English teacher Mr. Ed Storck, participated in the 5th annual Northwell Health Spark Challenge competition recently held at the Crest Hollow Country Club. The goal of the challenge is to engage and inspire healthcare leaders of the future.

Eilis Casey, Jackie Holden, Jenna Lesiewicz, Katlynn McGivney, Danielle Ohrtman, Julia Petreczky, Mahdi Rashidzada, Emma Reilly, Erin Reilly, Zana Sawas and Elle Schepis presented to a group of vice presidents of Northwell Health and other industry leaders. They also interacted with over 70 other groups from schools on Long Island to learn about their learning experiences in health care and tested a Da Vinci machine, which is a minimally invasive robot that surgeons use to perform operations with faster recovery times.

Earlier this year, these students who are in the school’s Advanced Placement Research and Women in Science and Engineering program, visited Northwell Health’s Islandia location where they learned about the economics of the healthcare industry, the importance of meaningful patient care and had the opportunity to interview a registered nurse who leads a team of nurses. They used this event to help create the presentation and informational materials to help educate others on what they learned through this experience as part of the competition.

“Healthcare is one of the fastest growing industries and this was a really amazing opportunity to share learning experiences with other students,” said junior Jackie Holden, who is in both the WISE program and Advanced Seminar class.

A Legacy is Built with Community Support

A Legacy is Built with Community Support
Dozens of community members came out to help recognize the opening of the Thomas Cutinella Memorial Field Concession with a recent ribbon-cutting ceremony. Thirty-eight community members and business organizations who helped see the project from its initial development phase through fruition were honored with an individual plaque as well as their names engraved on a plaque affixed to the side of the building.

Landscapers, masons, architects, painters, electricians, plumbers, utility professionals, staff members, Wildcat Athletic Club supporters, current and former Board of Education trustees and others were recognized for their time, materials and service that helped make the facility a reality.

In addition to being a well-stocked concession for athletic events, students in SWR High School’s Life Skills program will have the opportunity to take part in work experiences at the concession. Supervised by certified special education staff and supported by the district’s food service staff, the students will learn valuable skills including using the register to process sales, setting up and cleaning up the concession before and after events and assisting food service staff in the preparation and service of food items as permitted by regulation.

Frank and Kelli Cutinella, parents of Thomas, were grateful for the many people who embraced the project and helped to not only symbolize the true spirit of community, but to help to keep the legacy of Thomas alive.

To the Moon and Back: Virtual Reality at Prodell Middle School

Seventh grade students welcomed New York State Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo to a demonstration of the school’s new Google Expedition kits.

With a lesson conducted by librarian Ann-Marie Kalin using virtual reality, the students had an opportunity to enhance classroom lessons on the historical 1969 trip to the moon with Ms. Kalin explaining how she can control and customize any subject they are studying.

Mr. Palumbo was instrumental in securing additional state funds for the District as it continues to provide advances in technological learning opportunities for students.

Lab Lessons in Living Environment

Lab Lessons in Living Environment photo
Students in Dana Schaefer and Ann Augsbach’s Living Environment class gained a new skill set as they dissected and examined rat specimens in the lab. The activity was the culmination of a study on the human body systems and allowed for students to visualize the connections and relationship between related body systems and between the function of the body system and the anatomy.

The Scientific Method at Work

The Scientific Method at Work
Taste tests, a duct tape experiment, the density of liquids and research on the cleanliness of a dog’s mouth were just a sampling of the vast display of original scientific experiments conducted by Wading River School students as part of the school’s annual science fair. The grade level winners – third grader William Lister, fourth grader Ethan Reilly and fifth grader Logan Jung – represented the school at the Brookhaven Laboratory Science Fair on May 4.

Nineteen Shoreham-Wading River High School students judged the work of the younger students using an evaluation rubric with criteria that included the originality of a student’s question, hypotheses, procedures, investigations, analysis and conclusion.

The district thanks and commends Anya Ahern, Juan Arango, Ryan Betcher, Trevor Coster, Julia DeGoyler, Tyler Heeter, Brian Hernandez, Conor Hughes, Joey Krause, Andrew Liguori, Isadora Petretti, Kendall Pluschau, Skylar Princi, Carlos Scott, Molli Serdock, Chris Sicari, Alexandra Smith, Colin Waldemar and Shannon Washburn for their efforts in selecting the student work.

A Positive Ecological Impact

A Positive Ecological Impact 1
For the past several months, Wading River School students raised 65 healthy trout from eggs to help restock depleted local supplies in a special partnership that combines learning about the life cycle of animals in the local ecosystem with making a real-world impact.

Exploring their new environment, the trout were released by members of Wading River’s Science Olympiad Club in the Schiff Scout Reservation in Wading River.

Wading River School’s security guard, Mr. William Schaefer, volunteered his time to help lead this project along with Mrs. Mary Anne McCarrick, the Science Olympiad Club adviser.

Senior Honored for Swimming Feats

Senior Honored for Swimming Feats photo
SWR High School senior Jason Louser was recently honored by Suffolk County Legislator Sarah Anker at a legislative meeting where he was presented with a proclamation for his accomplishments as a competitive swimmer. He was commended for winning the Suffolk County championship in the 500-yard freestyle and the 100-yard breast stroke competitions; setting records at the state level; placing second at the Winter Nationals, being named the 18 and under National Champion and qualifying to compete in the 2020 Olympic trials.

Budget Newsletter Now Available


Sophomore Places in Congressional Art Competition

Sophomore Places in Congressional Art Competition photo
SWR High School sophomore Yusra Rashidzada recently had her artwork entered into the Congressional Art Competition. At a reception at the Artspace gallery in Patchogue, it was announced that Yusra won third place out of approximately 60 candidates from across the First Congressional District. Her painting will be hung in Congressman Lee Zeldin’s office in Patchogue.

“Yusra’s dedication to her art is inspiring and I am always impressed by her artistic abilities,” art teacher Sam Shepard said. “Receiving third place in the Congressional Art Competition is a great accomplishment for a tenth grader. I look forward to working with Yusra on more art competitions in the future.”

Honoring Student-Musicians

Honoring Student-Musicians photo
In 2016, Shoreham-Wading River High School established its own chapter of the Tri-M Music Honor Society. Students in grades 9-11 are eligible to apply each spring. Eighteen students were accepted to the Shoreham-Wading River High School Tri-M Music Honor Society Chapter 7752 for the 2019-2020 school year. They will be honored at an induction ceremony on Wednesday, May 8 at 7 p.m. in the Shoreham-Wading River High School auditorium.

Congratulations to our newest members:

Kaeleigh Carberry, Katie Dinowitz, Liam Flatley, Sarah Friedlander, Eric Guli, Mia Lombardi, Morgan Lynch, Gianna Mango, Gena McGivney, Grace McMillan, Ella Panasci, Yusra Rashidzada, Elle Schepis, Selene Tan, Andrew Vignola, Madeline Wilson, Abigail Wing and Blythe Wing.

Supplementing Social Studies Lessons

Eighth grade students recently spent two days and one night visiting Washington, D.C. where they were able to connect what they’ve learned in their seventh and eighth grade social studies classes to various places in our nation’s history.

Arranged by eighth grade social studies teacher Greg Schmit and chaperoned by nineteen other staff members, the full itinerary included a stop at Arlington National Cemetery where students visited John F. Kennedy’s grave site with the eternal flame and observed the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown soldier. Various landmarks were visited which spanned different parts of American History including the Lincoln Memorial, the WWII Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and Iwo Jima Memorial, among others.

Students also visited the Capitol Building and the National Museum of African American History and Culture, as well as the National Archives where they were able to see firsthand the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

“It was a great trip and I'm grateful that the district allows us the opportunity to go,” Mr. Schmit said. “Students made a lot of lifelong memories and learned about our nation’s history in a way that can’t be replicated.”

Seniors Featured in Newsday

Seniors Featured in Newsday
Shoreham-Wading River High School seniors are featured on the May 1st cover of the “Explore Long Island” section of Newsday wearing shirts that represent the universities they will be attending next fall. On the cover are Elisabeth, Alexa, Brendan, Dylan, Joshua, Mahdi, Andrew, Caroline, Kyle and Julia. Read the article here and good luck to all of our 2019 graduates!

Students Present at Long Island Science Congress

Students Present at Long Island Science Congress photo
Six SWR High School students in Dana Schaefer’s Introduction to Science Research class presented their work to judges at the annual Long Island Science Congress, recently held at St. Anthony’s High School. Students Ryan Nowak, Sofia Stirpe and Vanessa Turecamo shared their findings on the health of the pond on the high school’s property through work accomplished for their Barcode Long Island genetics project. Students Blythe Wing, Ivan Cruz and Billy Steele discussed their research into native pond species to plant around the pond and the effect of invasive species on the native macroinvertebrate population present in this aquatic community.

“This wonderful experience allowed both teams to interact with other young scientists in the research community, as well as the opportunity to discuss their ongoing work with other science teachers in a professional setting,” Mrs. Schaefer said.

Making the Earth a Healthier Place

Fourth grade students at Wading River School attended a special assembly program where they learned all about the importance of trees and the background of Arbor Day. They were visited by members of the Rocky Point Lions Club, Brookhaven Town Supervisor Edward Romaine and councilwoman Jane Bonner.

Each student was presented with a Norway Spruce sapling to plant at home and Principal Lou Parrinello was presented with a certificate of appreciation, which honored the students for joining others across the country as part of the Fourth Grade Forester Program in helping to revitalize the observance of Arbor Day and making the earth a healthier place.

Timothy Nigrel, a student in Alison Quenzer’s class, was especially happy to welcome one of the Lions Club members: his grandmother Anita Nigrel, who serves as president of the organization.

VIDEO: National Volunteer Appreciation Month


Thank you to all who volunteer to make this a great place to learn, grow and live.

A Musical Master

A Musical Master photo
Congratulations to Shoreham-Wading River High School senior Sophia Mastrangelo for her participation in the All-Eastern Honor Ensembles as a member of the treble chorus, recently held in Pittsburgh, PA. Accompanied by music teacher Dennis Creighton, she was one of only twelve choral students from Long Island who was selected to perform at this prestigious musical event.

“Sophia’s growing strength in musical performance is both a testament to her interests and hard work and to the music program opportunities she is afforded in the Shoreham-Wading River School District,” Mr. Creighton said.

Eagle Scout

Eagle Scout photo
Congratulations to senior Joshua Louser for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. According to the Boy Scouts of America only four percent of all those who start in scouting achieve this honor. Joshua’s Eagle Scout project was to design and build a portable message board for the Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe.

Ms. Jane Alcon, President of the Tesla Science Center Board of Directors, was at the ceremony along with numerous state and local officials to congratulate Joshua and five other young men on this amazing accomplishment.

Enhancing Presentation Skills

Enhancing Presentation Skills photo
Shoreham-Wading River High School recently hosted the spring School-to-Community Program in the High School library. The program provides opportunities for students to learn 21st century, real-world skills to better prepare them for life after high school graduation.

The program’s focus was centered around Advanced Placement Research students and provided them with opportunities to enhance their presentation skills. The District’s community partners served as expert advisers and were tasked with posing questions to students to promote deeper levels of critical thinking and reflection, combined with pointed feedback to identify strengths and areas for improvement before the students perform their actual presentations later this month. The District thanks the individuals from the following organizations for participating:

* ​St. John's University
* Stony Brook University Social Competence & Treatment Lab
* ASRC Federal
* Brookhaven National Lab
* Celebrate Your Home Team at Keller Williams Realty
* Solnste Yoga
* Hounds Town
* East Wind Catering
* Intelligent Fitness
* Maryhaven Center of Hope
* Visa
* Michele Loesch, Integrative Nutrition Coach

How our Vertical Garden Grows

How our Vertical Garden Grows photo
Students from Shoreham Wading River High School’s Long Island Sustainability class recently toured Maryhaven’s vertical tower garden in Yaphank, where an abundance of lettuce and basil was growing. Along with teacher Kevin Nohejl, the students learned the steps necessary to get SWR’s newly acquired vertical tower garden up and running. They were treated to an informative tour of the facility by Shoreham Wading River High School 2010 alumni Justin Fabrizio, who, according to Mr. Nohejl, went above and beyond to explain the entire process of indoor hydroponic production.

Students then utilized the tips and advice they were given to establish a healthy and thriving hydroponic production schedule back at school. They constructed the towers, inserted plants and now take time to check water levels and quality as they test the plant growth and watch them thrive.

Maryhaven is a participating member of the District's School-to-Community program.

Board of Education Honors Former Trustee

Board of Education Honors Former Trustee photo
At the April 9th meeting of the Shoreham-Wading River Central School District Board of Education, former Board Trustee Erin Hunt was honored for her two years of dedicated service to the district and her continued advocacy on behalf of the students, staff and members of the Shoreham-Wading River school community.


Congratulations to senior lacrosse player Bella Meli for scoring her 150th career goal in an 11-7 win over Miller Place on April 15. Pictured with Bella are coaches Brittany Davis and Nicole Virdone.

Advances in STEM Research

Advances in STEM Research photo
Two students from the High School recently attended the 2019 Plum Island Animal Disease Center High School STEM Forum. Senior Mahdi Rashidzada presented his research on the efficacy of herbal hydrosols on Cutibacterium acnes, a collaborative project with his mentor, Dr. Andrea Stadler a professor at St. Joseph’s College. Student Stephanie Searing presented her findings on the organ shortage in America. They were accompanied by Mr. Edward Storck, Advanced Placement Research teacher and Dr. Amy Meyer, Director of STEM.

The students presented to scientists from Plum Island, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, University of Connecticut, Suffolk County Community College, Mystic Aquarium and more.

“This was a great networking experience,” Stephanie said. “I appreciate the opportunity to build my confidence in delivering a professional presentation to members of the scientific community.”

Added Mahdi “I feel that it was great to get an idea of what other students are doing and what research is happening right now. We know that these students will be our colleagues one day and I appreciate the opportunity to network.”

1206 Books Strong

1206 Books Strong ph
Students in Mrs. Joan Jacobs kindergarten class had a special guest reader when Wading River School principal Mr. Lou Parrinello visited to read Dr. Seuss’ Oh, the Thinks You Can Think as a culmination to a reading challenge they pursued to honor the famed author. They set out to read 500 books, when they achieved that goal in less than three weeks, they raised it to 600, then 700 and their passion for reading reached a collective 1,206 books by the end of March. “It was a fabulous opportunity for students to understand the importance of reading and a positive way for them to keep on this journey throughout their lives,” Mrs. Jacobs said. “We are so proud of their efforts.” To continue with their reading and writing skills, the students wrote letters to additional administrators and school staff inviting them to join the class in reading their favorite Dr. Seuss stories. As a culmination to the project, they were celebrated with a pizza party, courtesy of student Jack Illiano’s father, who owns Tony’s Pizza in Medford.

National History Day

National History Day
Eight Middle School students recently participated in National History Day at Hofstra University. The students conducted extensive research on their selected historical topics with the theme of Triumph and Tragedy for presentation at the event.

The highly regarded academic program was an opportunity for students to analyze and interpret their research and present their topics’ significance in history. They completed their research utilizing the district's Virtual Reference Collection as well as the Library of Congress, oral history interviews, NoodleTools and G-Suite.

Aaron Russell, who presented in the Junior Individual Exhibit with his project Easter Rising, was the Irish Specialty Award winner and Carly Mulroy was honored with the History Club Commendation for her research on Nikola Tesla: Man Out of Time. Anja Minty also exhibited at the individual level with her project The Atomic Bomb: A Scientific Revolution and Ethical Disaster.

Presenting in the Junior Group Exhibit were Natalie Casey and Melanie Hagen with their project on The Equal Rights Amendment and Alexandria Kall, Kathryn Winters and Alex Zhang for their presentation on The Industrial Revolution.

“I am so proud of the students involved,” social studies teacher and History Club adviser Danielle Senneca said. “To present historical research at a university is quite an accomplishment, especially while in middle school.”

The students have already started planning for the 2020 competition with the theme of Breaking Barriers in History.

Musical Memories and Helping Hands

Musical Memories and Helping Hands
The High School’s Tri-M Music Honor Society recently hosted its Second Annual Suites and Treats Recital. The event featured performances by the honor society students, the Albert G. Prodell Middle School jazz band and chamber orchestra, and the debut performance of the new Tri-M jazz orchestra. Audience members enjoyed delicious desserts and beverages as they listened to the student performances. With the help of Wildcats Helping Art and Music, and with the encouragement from adviser Ashley O’Connor, Tri-M was able to raise money for student scholarships and 150 items of food to donate to the Island Heart Food Pantry.

Buddy Bowls are a Community Event

Buddy Bowls are a Community Event photo

The High School’s Best Buddies program were bolstered with much community support when Martin Accardi, owner of Brekky in Wading River, joined a Best Buddies chapter meeting to make Buddy Bowls with students as well as present them with a matching check to funds they raised during March. Filled with açaí, granola, strawberries, graham crackers, chocolate chips and marshmallow fluff, the celebration was a culmination of Best Buddies Month and a monthlong fundraiser at the shop that raised $520 for the program.

“The money will be going toward our end of the year festivities, including our Best Buddies Friendship Ball, an island-wide prom for all Long Island Best Buddies chapters, as well as t-shirts for the Long Island Friendship Walk,” SWR High School senior and chapter president Brennan Gorman said.

Making the Match

Making the Match
Shoreham-Wading River High School students learned about options for higher education and careers during the recent mini-college day hosted by the high school guidance department. Dozens of colleges, universities, two employment representatives and various branches of the military from around the country were eager to meet with students, who were encouraged to ask questions, view brochures and gather additional information to make knowledgeable decisions about their future goals and ambitions.

Exploring the Growth Mindset

Exploring the Growth Mindset photo
Faculty members at Miller Avenue School were introduced to Breakout EDU, an interactive game program that teachers can use in their classrooms to encourage critical thinking and collaboration. Along with Dr. Amy Meyer, the District’s Director of STEM, the educators collaborated on a growth mindset escape room challenge while exploring the growth mindset concept in the elementary classrooms.

Pennies for Patients

Pennies for Patients photo
The Miller Avenue School Student Council collected change from Miller Avenue families to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The Pennies for Patients program is a way for elementary students to heave an opportunity to fundraise to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. A total of $379 was donated by the Miller Avenue community.

Spring has sprung!

Students in the High School’s Long Island Sustainability class recently prepared raised garden beds by turning over the soil and working the material into a fine and loose consistency before sowing the season's first crop, peas! According to teacher Kevin Nohejl, students planted both sugar snap and sweet pea varieties and are hoping for a delicious harvest around the third week of May. Along the way, they will be track plant growth and development in response to a variety of planned manipulations including soil type, nutrient solutions, and varied integrated pest management practices.

Lessons in the Realtor Market

Students in Melissa Cosgrove’s Business Law class at the High School were studying “Ownership and Leasing of Real Property” and welcomed a special guest speaker to teach them some important details to help understand the concepts in a more substantial way.

Amanda Eckart, a real estate agent from Keller Williams Realty, presented to the class. She taught the students about the Fair Housing Act, rental agreements, renters insurance and the responsibilities of a real estate agent.

Ms. Cosgrove noted that the students enjoyed the presentation, which was arranged by teacher Ed Storck as part of the District’s School-to-Community Program.

“I learned a lot about residential leasing,” Natalie Epp, a senior, said. “The presentation was very valuable, since I will probably rent an apartment in college in a few years.” Her classmate junior Peter Flanagan added “I thought having a guest speaker was great! I learned a lot about what a real estate agent does."

District Hosts SCMEA Festival

Shoreham-Wading River High School recently hosted the Suffolk County Music Educators Division II East band, orchestra and choir festival. Students from numerous Suffolk County schools were selected to participate based on their musical performance in New York State School Music Association concerts and teacher recommendations.

“Our Tri-M Honor Society students, under the leadership of adviser Ashley O’Connor, led the volunteer movement needed to pull off this event,” said concert choir teacher Dennis Creighton, of the more than 400 students from other schools who participated in the three ensembles during the first two weekends of March.

Albert G. Prodell Middle School eighth-grader Carter Rubin was selected as the Division II soloist for the piece “Joyful, Joyful.”

Students from Shoreham-Wading River also attended the Division I festival, held in the Port Jefferson School District and the Division III festival, held in the Patchogue-Medford School District, and were chaired by Albert G. Prodell Middle School orchestra teacher Mr. Fred Volz and band director Mr. Jim Finnerty, respectively.

The two-weekend event was filled with some of the best young musicians in Suffolk County. Sixty-eight students represented Shoreham-Wading River at SCMEA this year.

Possibilities are Endless with Author Kathryn Otoshi

Possibilities are Endless with Author Kathryn Otoshi
Students in Miller Avenue School and Wading River Elementary School had an opportunity to meet award-winning author/illustrator Kathryn Otoshi. Students prepared for her visit by reading some of her books including her most popular ones - Zero, One, Two, Beautiful Hands and Draw the Line and were excited to meet her in person.

She engaged the students in conversations about metaphors and symbolism and how she builds her stories in layers. They talked about character development, standing up for one another, community building, leadership qualities and making a difference in the world.

“Her books are so inspiring to our students,” Wading River Principal Lou Parrinello said about the stories that help students make connections through the power of reading, art and literature.

Eureka Math

Miller Avenue School and Wading River School conducted Eureka Math parent workshops recently where parents had an opportunity to explore effective strategies, tips, homework helpers and address frequently asked questions at each grade level as well as an ENL session.

“There was a lot of information provided to help parents help their children and the agenda was well received,” said Dr. Amy Meyer, Director of STEM.

To learn more about the program and view a video on some of the student successes, please visit:

Wading River Students are Stronger Together

Wading River Students are Stronger Together photo
When students in Wading River School learned about the mystical powers of Redwood trees and the vitality and longevity they symbolize in a lesson with art teacher Rosemarie Petruzzellis, they learned that they are stronger together.

With a root system that grows outward instead of deep in the ground, the trees wrap around one another and form a bond until they are all connected and grow tall and strong together.

When students in grades 3-5 took part in creating a large paper collage that lines a hallway in the school, the project and concept took on one of the school’s principles: “Our strength is shared together and it grows together.”

Festive Celebration for French Class

In recognition of National Foreign Languages Week, students in Ms. Sharon Kommor’s French class at Albert G. Prodell Middle School learned about the cultural celebration of Carnaval. Along with the historical significance of masks, they joined in the glittering spectacle of Mardi Gras festivities by listening to Classic Dixieland Jazz while creating their personally expressive and decorative masks.

Understanding Global Social Issues during National Foreign Language Week

A successful Foreign Language Week was recently celebrated at both the Middle School and the High School. In addition to festive world music and books from around the world displayed in the libraries, students and staff who wore shirts that represented their heritage and student-produced videos that introduced French, Chinese, Russian and American Sign Language to viewers, was a thoughtful way to help artisans of Nicaragua and Guatemala.

Students volunteered during lunch hours to sell one-of-a-kind pulseras (Spanish for bracelets) and purses and raised $2,110 for the Pulsera Project which in turn will help sustain employment for the artisans, in addition to fund costs for their schooling and housing.

The project, spearheaded by Mrs. Nicole Waldbauer, Director of Humanities, is win-win for the district: highlighting global social issues while building awareness and leadership skills in students.

District’s Newest Cohort of Young Scientists!

From testing the strength of spaghetti to observing sleep time vs. screen time, students in Miller Avenue School used the scientific method for their informative and creative projects that were part of the school’s annual Science Fair and Evening Expo. Shoreham-Wading River High School students from Kevin Nohejl’s science classes served as judges who selected the first-place and honorable mention projects. Once they narrowed down the projects to the top three at each grade level, the budding scientists were invited to share information about their chosen topic.

“Our students have so many opportunities to engage in STEM activities and having older students serve as judges really adds to the authentic educational experience for them,” Principal Christine Carlson said.

The three first-place winners will represent the school at the Brookhaven National Laboratory Science Fair later in the spring.

Congratulations to kindergarteners, first-place winner Connor Nugent and honorable mention recipients Sean McGuire and Madison Tees; first-graders first-place winner Lucas Durfee and honorable mention recipients Samuel Marceau and Faith McKeirnan; and second-graders first-place winner Zachary Lister and honorable mention recipients Eve Calvert and Grant Connell.

Choices and Consequences at SWR High School

Choices and Consequences at SWR High School photo
Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney Brendan Ahern conducted a presentation on choices and consequences, an educational program on drunk, drugged and other reckless driving situations to Shoreham-Wading River High School students.

Introduced by Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini and student Arianna McMorris, the 90-minute program’s message portrayed the importance of safe driving, good judgment, healthy decision making and arranging alternative plans for transportation if a person feels that they are in an uncomfortable or unsafe situation. The dynamic presentation was culminated by a presentation by Arianna’s parents John and Alisa McMorris, who spoke of the alleged drunk driver who struck and killed their son Andrew last fall while he was walking on the side of the road with boys from his Boy Scout troop. Their presentation was a loving tribute to honor Andrew’s legacy and a call to action to the students to help harness the power for effective changes in safe driving situations.

Honored for Dedication to Education

Honored for Dedication to Education photo
Five members of the Shoreham-Wading River School District community were recognized as honorees at the recent SCOPE Educational Service Awards dinner.

Each were honored in categories that recognized their leadership, fiscal responsibility, dedication and countless hours of service in improving the educational experiences of all Shoreham-Wading River School District students.

The recipients are Mr. Michael Lewis, Shoreham-Wading River Board of Education president for School Board Service; Mrs. Gina Bettenhauser, active PTA parent and Recording Secretary for the Wildcats Athletic Club for Community Service; Mr. Alan Meinster, assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and assessment for Administrator Service; Ms. Ellen Fraser, Shoreham-Wading River High School mathematics teacher for Teacher Service and Ms. Manette Derosa, office assistant to the Plant Facilities Administrator for Support Staff Services.

A Voice of Her Peers

A Voice of Her Peers photo
Senior Katie Loscalzo will represent her peers as the ex-officio student member of the Board of Education for the remainder of the school year.
Katie, who was sworn into office at the March 12 meeting by district clerk Janice Seus, will attend regular meetings with the elected board members where she will present a report of the high school’s activities and events.

Upstander Training for GSA Club

Eleven students in the High School’s Gay-Straight Alliance attended the 23rd annual LGBT Conference at the Charles B. Wang Center at Stony Brook University recently. Accompanied by physical education teacher Ms. Brittany Davis and English teacher Mr. Edward Storck, the students learned that the LGBT Network of Long Island – which provides resources for members of the LGBT community and educates students and staff on current issues – is the fifth largest in the nation, and the first largest in a suburban area.

The students took part in the day’s agenda, which consisted of three sessions, each with seven different workshops to choose from. They attended workshops including Charge-Up Your GSA Club!, Upstander Training: Don't Stand By, Stand Up!, Queer History, and Building LGBT Families.

More than 500 students and 600 participants were in attendance at the conference, touted as the largest to date.

“The conference was such an inspiring and informative experience for our GSA,” said senior Sarah Acerra. “We got to learn new things while also contributing our own thoughts and opinions, and I definitely think that it is something that will help our club in the long run.”

Perseverance Leads to Resolution #1819-249

Perseverance Leads to Resolution #1819-249 photo
More than a year ago, a paper tree trunk and branches made from twisted brown paper was created on the plain cement walls of Wading River School’s cafeteria. Students, teachers and staff throughout the school were encouraged to fill out a form when they witnessed a random act of kindness or wanted to share some inspiring words to one another. The green leaves were soon filled with colorful and heartfelt messages for all who walked past to see and admire. The project, spearheaded by now fourth-grader Madeline Rizzi, was named a kindness tree and was intended for all to help cultivate kindness.

The project did not stop there.

As the many acts of kindness at the school weighed heavy on the tree, the taped pieces of paper stopped sticking and the leaves began to fall to the floor.

In November, Madeline attended a Board of Education meeting, where she addressed the Board for permission to create a more permanent painted tree on the cafeteria wall, where only the kind words would need to be added on paper slips and the painted wall itself can remain in perpetuity. When Madeline attended the March 12 meeting, she learned that resolution #1819-249 was her request and her proposal was approved. The project, which will be headed by a volunteer workforce, will lead to a new tradition at the school.

“Kindness makes people feel good and special,” said Madeline. “I wanted to spread kindness in the school and community. I enjoy seeing everyone being kind to one another.”

Olympic Dreams Coming to Fruition

Senior Jason Louser was selected as a News 12 Scholar-Athlete. He is one of only 30 outstanding Long Island high school seniors to receive this prestigious award for excellence in athletics, academics, leadership and community service. In addition to receiving a $1,000 scholarship check, Jason was featured on News 12.

A gifted student-athlete, Jason’s GPA is 92 and he is a member of the National Honor Society and the Global Awareness Club. His swimming accomplishments started when he watched the 2008 Olympics and witnessed Michael Phelps’ numerous gold medal moments. From there, he wanted to accomplish that too. This year, Jason won the Suffolk County championship in the 500-yard freestyle and the 100-yard breast stroke competitions; set records in the 200-yard Individual Medley and 100-yard breast stroke at the state level; placed second at the Winter Nationals in the 400-yard IM and has been named the 18 and under National Champion.

He is now qualified to compete in the 2020 Olympic trials.

Jason looks forward to continuing his academic and athletic achievements at the University of California in the fall.

See more of Jason’s story here:

Three DECA Students Qualify for International Career Development Conference

As they continue to develop skills for college and careers, 12 SWR High School students had an opportunity to represent the school at the DECA – Distributive Education Club of America – state career competition, recently held in Rochester, New York. Three students now qualify for the International Career Development Conference, which will take place in Orlando Florida in April.

Participating in various business events were Josh Aliberti, Gavin Barone, Nicholas Bettenhauser, Nicholas Cacciola, Max Cavoli, Phil Deluca, Nate Donohue, Owen Donohue, Peter Flanagan, Sean Franson, Camden Sisler and Jake Vogel. They were accompanied to the competition by business teacher and adviser Melissa Cosgrove.

“They all did an outstanding job and are an excellent representation of our school district,” Ms. Cosgrove said.

International conference qualifiers are Max Cavoli in the Elevate Leadership category, Camden Sisler for Start-up Business Plan category and Jake Vogel for the Professional Selling category.

Nicholas Bettenhauser, Phil Deluca and Christopher Simonette (who did not attend the state event) were also recognized for meeting the criteria as qualified members of the DECA National Honor Society.

DECA’s competitive events help to prepare high school and college leaders and entrepreneurs in all areas of business, including marketing, finance, hospitality and management. The students also acquire key leadership skills and the professional responsibilities of ethics, integrity and high standards.

Senior Performs at SCMEA Festival

Shoreham-Wading River High School student Vanessa DeRosso was invited to perform at the Suffolk County Music Educators’ Association Eugene Reichenthal Recorder Festival on March 16 at Brentwood High School.

Vanessa, a senior, led an alto recorder sectional with the students and performed a solo piece on recorder – Johann Sebastian Bach’s Badinerie – for a large and appreciative audience of parents and students.

“We are so proud that Vanessa was able to represent our district at this festival and congratulate her on her musical achievements,” said Shoreham-Wading River High School music teacher Ashley O’Connor.

Putting on their Thinking Caps

Putting on their Thinking Caps photo
High School students in Dr. Sherry Neff’s Human Physiology class have created models of brains as an introduction to the structure of this intriguing and complex organ. The visual creations will help in the learning process as the students have a more tangible way to understand the functions of the human brain.

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