Early Dismissal Drill - May 24, 2013
Attn: Pre-K Parents/Guardians -Please be advised that only the afternoon session will be included in the early dismissal drill.
National Mathcounts Honors
Long Beach Middle School was one of only 240 schools nationwide to achieve Gold Level Status in the 2013 Mathcounts Club Program. The participating students successfully completed a total of six rigorous critical thinking math challenges throughout the school year. On the final math challenge, a total of 20 Long Beach seventh-graders scored 80 percent or higher. Benedict Albergo, Derek Bannon, Sarah DeFlorio, Karleke Dennis, Blaise Derenze, Logan Friedman, Tristan Groh, Jahan Khan, Adam Leavitt, Sean McCarthy, Marina Meyer, Morgan O’Brien, Trevor Radin, Dillon Razler, Lindsey Rudtner, Christopher Scandole, Jesse Scott, Liam Thornton, Jared Weissberg and Gabriel Wilkens-Vega received a Gold Level trophy and banner from Mathcounts that will be proudly displayed in the middle school lobby.
The Mathcounts Club Program is a national math enrichment program designed to inspire excellence, confidence and curiosity in middle school students. Long Beach Middle School students in grades six and seven participate in Mathcounts as an enrichment program that meets every other school day, under the direction of teacher Kelly Honerkamp.
District Art Show Receives Rave Reviews
The commons area of Long Beach High School was transformed into an art gallery for Long Beach’s annual District Art Show on May 17-18. The exhibit filled the newly renovated lobby and continued through the upper commons area. This provided visitors with a fitting venue to enjoy the exhibit, which included more than 700 paintings, photographs, prints, three-dimensional pieces, ceramics, graphic art pieces, drawings and fashion designs, all created by students in grades K-12. A number of pieces by high school students that have won awards at juried art shows around the county were on display, along with works created by the district’s 33 All-County artists.
Freshman Sean Donlon opened the festivities on Friday evening with a contemporary guitar performance, setting a festive mood for visitors as they viewed the artwork.
School Budget Passes
Roy Lester Reelected to Board
Voters in the Long Beach City School District approved the 2013-2014 proposed budget of $123,767,293 by a vote of 1.432 to 610.
Incumbent Roy Lester was reelected to the one open seat on the Board of Education with 1087 votes. Challengers Matthew Adler received 543 votes, challenger Elizabeth Treston received 423 votes and challenger Jess Bellsey received 361votes.
The Long Beach Board of Education and administration would like to thank members of the community for voting.
National Junior Honor Society Induction
Long Beach Middle School’s National Junior Honor Society welcomed 90 new seventh- and eighth-grade members in an induction ceremony steeped in pride and long-held tradition. “We know that today’s students are our world’s greatest resource,” said NJHS adviser John Rooney. “They will lead us into our future.”
The inductees were called individually to the stage to receive their certificates acknowledging membership. Once all were on stage, they took the oath to uphold high standards of scholarship, service, leadership, character and citizenship.
Mr. Rooney pointed out that in addition to achieving an impressive mean average of 93.1, the new inductees have also participated in a variety of community service activities. A brief slide show spoke volumes of the number of good causes fulfilled by this group, particularly in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.
“To have an organization that motivates kids to do good things in their community – not just when it’s an event like Sandy, but all throughout the year – is really great; don’t ever lose that,” said Board of Education President Roy Lester.
Superintendent of Schools David Weiss also spoke of the devastating storm and the determination of the students and the district to follow through with recovery efforts. “Perseverance is critical to the many tasks of life that you will face,” he said. “I applaud you for the perseverance you have demonstrated so far and for the perseverance you will demonstrate ahead.”
Allegria Hotel Sponsors and Hosts Annual Long Beach High School Senior BBQ
On Monday, June 10, the annual Long Beach High School senior class barbeque will be hosted by the Allegria Hotel in its luxurious, South Beach-style rooftop lounge. Located on the oceanfront in the city of Long Beach, the beautiful rooftop venue and magnificent barbeque buffet meal is being generously donated by the hotel's owner, Alan Rosenberg, and coordinated by Nasser Samman, the hotel's general manager, and Peter Pizarro, the hotel’s director of catering (pictured, right).
Traditionally held in the School's gymnasium, this long-standing and highly-anticipated senior class event was in jeopardy of cancellation until Peter Pizarro, director of catering at the Allegria Hotel, contacted the School's senior prom advisor, Adriane Glassberg, to see if the hotel could be of service to the graduating students.
"After seeing the devastation that the Long Beach community endured from Superstorm Sandy, I kept wondering how the school and students were dealing with it," said Mr. Pizarro. "I wanted to find a way to help support these students during this extremely difficult time."
The past six months have presented unusual and overwhelming challenges for the Long Beach High School seniors, as Superstorm Sandy interrupted classes, added extra pressure to the students' college application process and displaced many students from their homes for months. The storm also destroyed the gymnasium floor, disrupting sports programs and leaving the School scrambling to find a venue for the high school graduation and other end of year events.
"Thanks to the amazing generosity of the Allegria, we went from having no place to host the senior barbecue to being able to offer our seniors an unforgettable event to cap off their year," said Ms. Glassberg. "We are truly grateful."
"These students and their families have endured so much stress this year from the storm," said Mr. Pizarro. "The Allegria Hotel is proud to sponsor what promises to be a memorable celebration for Long Beach's graduating seniors. We have tons of surprises in store and look forward to having them as our special guests for the afternoon."
Port Washington Third-Grader’s Selfless Birthday
Struck by the devastation caused in Long Beach in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, 9-year-old Tyler Fazzari of Port Washington did something not many children his age would do. In lieu of birthday presents, he asked his friends to donate money to help Long Beach Public Schools. His goal was to raise enough money to buy East Elementary School a new Smart Board. Tyler also received support from family members, who contacted Smart to let them know about Tyler’s ambitious plan. Smart put Tyler in touch with Teq, its regional sales representative in Huntington Station. Representatives at Teq were so impressed with Tyler’s selfless efforts that they agreed to donate a Smart Board, along with a Smart Document Camera and Smart Slate.
“The school got flooded and they needed to rebuild,” said Tyler when he was asked what motivated him to embark on this lofty endeavor. “I feel good that they got everything back.”
“When Tyler’s family told us what he was doing, we were happy to get involved,” added Damian Scarfo, chief executive officer of Teq.
Tyler and his family made a special trip to East Elementary School on May 14 to see the equipment in use in the school’s computer lab and to meet the children who will be benefiting from his generosity. Principal Sean Murray presented Tyler with a giant thank-you card signed by every student in the school. He also gave Tyler the honor of being the first to activate the Smart Board. After the ceremony, Mr. Murray took Tyler on a tour of the building and brought him to meet all his fellow third-graders at East School, who were duly impressed with Tyler’s kindness and resourcefulness.
“We are extremely grateful to Tyler for his efforts to aid in our recovery,” said Mr. Murray. “We are hoping that someday our students will be able to pay it forward.”
Long Beach Board of Education - May 14 Meeting
The Long Beach Board of Education held a regular meeting on May 14 at Long Beach Middle School. Prior to the start of the meeting, Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg joined board members, administrators and community members for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the completion of work on the middle school auditorium lobby. The school is undergoing extensive renovations as part of a districtwide School Preservation Plan approved by voters in May 2009.
At the start of the meeting, Assemblyman Weisenberg presented the district with a grant for $125,000 to provide technology upgrades in the district. A previous grant for $100,000 secured by the assemblyman last year enabled the district to install 21st Century Learning Network equipment.
The next order of business was a presentation by Dean Whalen of CS Arch and Robert Firneis of Savin Engineers, who outlined the award of bids for storm reconstruction work that must be done in buildings throughout the district. Superintendent of Schools David Weiss explained that the district facilities suffered $40 million in damage as a result of the storm. Working closely with FEMA representatives, the district expects to receive 90 percent reimbursement from the federal government, with the district and state expected to split the remaining 10 percent of costs. District representatives have been investigating grant programs as well. They have also met with Rep. Carolyn McCarthy and worked with Sen. Charles Schumer’s office to help secure additional funding. The board questioned the presenters and heard comments from the public before unanimously approving the award of bids. For a copy of the presentation, visit www.lbeach.org
Among the other items on the agenda was a review of the proposed 2013-14 budget of $123,767,293, as approved by the Board of Education on April 23. The proposed budget carries a tax levy increase of 1.02 percent, which is among the lowest in Nassau County. Voters will be asked to vote on the proposed budget on May 21. Polling locations throughout the district will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Visit www.lbeach.org
for more details.
Hispanic Youth Leadership Institute
Long Beach High School senior Darling Gutierrez was chosen to participate in the 2013 Angelo Del Toro Puerto Rican Hispanic Youth Leadership Institute in Albany. Darling joined delegates from all over New York State. She was selected to represent Nassau County in leading the Pledge of Allegiance before the Mock Assembly in the State Assembly Chamber. In addition, she was nominated as Outstanding Student Delegate for Nassau, and was invited by Felix Ortiz, chairman of the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force, to the Somos New York Gala.
Darling is a high honor roll student and a member of the National Honor Society, as well as a semifinalist in the Coca-Cola Scholars program. A leader in student government and community service, she has dedicated herself to making a difference in her school and local communities. Darling is the senior class vice president and a student representative of the Shared Decision Making Team. As vice president of Key Club, she has organized food and coat drives, prepared meals for families at Ronald McDonald House and participated in other community service activities. Darling also serves as vice president of her school’s ASPIRA chapter, a leadership integrity program that is dedicated to developing the educational and leadership capacity of young adults. She helped organized the annual ASPIRA Cultural Collision event and received the ASPIRA Award for Exceptional Service and the Circulo de la Hispanidad Award for students of Latino descent who achieve excellence in academics.
SCOPE - 2013 Summer Enrichment Program
Irish Writing Contest Winners
Long Beach High School juniors Nina Tassiello (left) and Hope Henry won awards in the Irish Cultural Society of Garden City annual writing contest. Nina earned a second-place prize and Hope won honorable mention. In this year’s contest students were asked to use the iconic photograph of eleven men having lunch on a steel girder during the construction of Rockefeller Center as a springboard for imaginative writing.
Newsweek Names LBHS one of America’s Best High Schools
Long Beach High School was named one of the best public high schools in the nation in Newsweek’s 2013 List of America’s Best High Schools. The schools were chosen based on their ability to turn out college-ready graduates. The list is based on six components: graduation rate, college acceptance rate, AP/IB/AICE tests taken per student, average SAT/ACT scores, average AP/IB/AICE scores and percent of students enrolled in at least one AP/IB/AICE course.
Long Beach High School was officially authorized as an International Baccalaureate World School in 2010. Since then the school has greatly expanded its college-level course offerings. Students can now choose from a selection of college-level courses offered in their junior and senior years. An estimated 600 students are currently enrolled in at least one International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement or Syracuse University Project Advance course at Long Beach High School. All of these courses are open to any student willing to rise to the challenge. This year the school expects to administer 790 IB and AP exams to 450 students. Over the past three years, the school graduation rate has reached new highs and the number of students receiving Regents diplomas with Advanced Designation continues to increase. Long Beach High School students continue to gain acceptance to top colleges around the country.
“One of the top priorities of Long Beach Public Schools is to supply our students with the skills they will need to prepare for college and careers,” said Superintendent David Weiss. “We are proud to be recognized for our efforts by Newsweek as one of America’s best high schools.”
East School Spring Fling Dance Showcase
To the delight of family and friends, fifth-graders at East School in Long Beach danced the night away in their Spring Fling Dance Showcase, demonstrating the fancy footwork and teamwork they had mastered in the Dancing Classrooms program. Through ballroom dancing lessons, this innovative character education program has been encouraging the students to cultivate mutual respect, teamwork, collaboration and self-esteem, as well as teaching them to do a mean tango, fox trot and waltz.
Students worked with Dancing Classrooms teaching artist Katie de Bruin, as well as their classroom teachers, health and physical education teachers, music teacher and FLES teacher, not only to master their dance steps, but also to learn the history and cultural significance of dances that originated in Latin America, Europe and the U.S. This year was especially challenging because the East School gymnasium, where they usually practice and perform, was undergoing repairs as a result of damage caused by Superstorm Sandy. Students and their teachers adapted by setting up makeshift practice areas in their classrooms, the music room and other spaces in their building.
At the culmination of the program, the students hosted a Spring Fling ballroom dancing showcase at the Long Beach Middle School gymnasium, in which they demonstrated their knowledge and skill in the merengue, fox trot, rumba, waltz, swing and polka. At the end of the evening, each student invited one special guest from the audience to join him or her on the dance floor.
Jazz in many forms, from the Big Band era to more contemporary numbers, was interpreted in all its smooth, cool and smoking hot glory when the Long Beach High School music department hosted its annual Jazz Night. Student performers from the middle school jazz band, high school lab jazz band, high school select choir and high school jazz ensemble filled the auditorium with the music of Duke Ellington, Herbie Hancock, Irving Berlin, Chuck Mangione and other jazz greats. Mike Carubia, who is a well-known jazz performer and composer also worked with the jazz ensemble, who performed his “Buffalo Wings” as one of their featured numbers. At Jazz Night, Carubia made a surprise appearance on stage to perform with the jazz ensemble for a lively rendition of Chuck Mangione’s “Feels So Good,” with Carubia and senior Jesse Klirsfeld as the featured soloists. Many of the evening’s selections, including “Feels So Good,” featured improvisational solo performances that highlighted the depth of the students’ understanding of this classic American musical art form. As another added surprise, seniors Russell Goetz, Jesse Klirsfeld, Matthew Birnbaum and teacher Michael Capobianco performed together in a melodic rendition of “My Funny Valentine.”
At an opening reception, the high school commons area was transformed into a cozy lounge. Hors d'oeuvres prepared by students in Scott Brecher’s home and careers class were passed around to guests. Members of Friends of the Arts were on hand to welcome guests, and National Honor Society members volunteered their time as ushers.
During a brief intermission, Friends of the Arts gave away raffle prizes and Long Beach’s own Halftime Howie and friend Benior presented a check for $1,500 to the Friends of the Arts Sponsor a Marching Marine program. Halftime Howie also sponsored a tuxedo giveaway for 30 lucky seniors.
Director of Comprehensive Arts Dr. Dale Johanson served as the master of ceremonies for the evening. Marino Bragino, III directed the High School Jazz Ensemble. He was joined by fellow directors Elizabeth Altbacker (Middle School Jazz Band), Michael Capobianco (Select Choir) and Zachary Rifkin (Lab Jazz Band)
“Jazz Night was an amazing success,” said Mr. Bragino. “Working with Mike Carubia gave my students, as well as the audience, a unique opportunity to further expand their appreciation and understanding of jazz. Thanks to all who helped make this event such a success."
Art Honor Society Has Heart
Members of the Long Beach High School National Art Honor Society visited Lindell School in Long Beach to help students paint ceramic hearts for Mother’s Day gifts. During a previous visit to the school, the NAHS members helped the Lindell students make the hearts. The hearts were brought back to Lindell after they were fired so that the younger students could put the finishing touches on their creations in time for Mother’s Day. With guidance from the NAHS members, the Lindell students painted the hearts with watercolors and finished them with a protective glaze.
“The younger students were thrilled to have the high school students help them with their creations,” said NAHS faculty adviser Sue Presberg. “The high school students were equally thrilled to work with the younger children and visit with their past teachers.”
Long Beach High School Student Sarah Colletti Wins Award at Locust Valley Film Festival
Sarah Colletti, a Long Beach High School junior, won a third-place award at the eighth annual Locust Valley Film Festival on April 10. She entered the Music Video category, competing against 35 other entrants, from which 10 finalists were chosen. Eight other schools took part in the festival. All entries were reviewed by professional directors, editors, producers and educators in the fields of film and television.
Sarah's music video, which she directed, filmed and edited, was based on the song "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen. Actors in her video were fellow Long Beach students Alexandra Brodsky, Connor Duffy and Jon Muratori.
Bangladesh Medical Association Donates $15K
Touched by the plight of Long Beach Public Schools in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, the New York Chapter of the Bangladesh Medical Association made a $15,000 contribution to the school district. The money will be used to help Long Beach Middle School replace library books lost in the flood. Chapter President Dr. Masoom Qadeer and members at large Dr. Mujibur R. Majumder and Dr. Fazlul H. Yusuf visited Long Beach Middle School to visit with students and personally deliver the check.
“Thanks to the enormous enthusiasm, hard work and participation of members of the BMANA New York Chapter, I am very pleased to be able to raise funds for the victims of Superstorm Sandy,” said. Dr. Qadeer. “Among our relief activities during and after the storm, we were very gratified to be able to donate money to Long Beach Public Schools to help with the rebuilding efforts of the middle school library. We wish the school much success in the future.”
The BMANA is a non-political socio-cultural and philanthropic organization founded by Physicians of Bangladeshi heritage living in the U.S. The organization participates in activities to benefit others, regardless of race, ethnicity or religion.
High School Dance Recital
The auditorium became a stage for world dance as students in the Long Beach High School dance classes presented their spring recital. The recital consisted of dance numbers reflecting folk dances, traditional ballet and modern dance movements that students have been learning throughout the course of the year. In addition to numbers by historical choreographers Donald McKayle and Pearl Eileen Primus, the program also featured choreography, costume design and staging by students in the International Baccalaureate dance classes, and by dance teacher Christianne Donohue. Through their choreography, students were challenged to create movement that enhanced the rhythms, tempos and accents of the music. Each of the student choreographers wrote an artist’s statement, which was included in the program. Members of the Sound and Recording Club designed the dramatic lighting for the show.
Dance classes at the high school, which include dance fitness, modern dance and IB dance, are offered through the Athletics, Physical Education and Health Department. The IB dance course, which was offered for the first time last year, integrates the study of dance performance, composition and analysis. During the course of the year, students explored dance styles from cultures throughout the world. In addition to gaining performance skills, they studied master choreographers from past centuries and learned to compose their own dances through a variety of improvisational techniques and creative projects. By exploring a wide variety of dance forms, from ballet to modern to folk dance, they acquired a well-rounded understanding of the significance of dance in every culture and the pattern of its development throughout the world.
“I am so pleased to be presenting our second annual dance recital,” said Ms. Donohue. “My goal, as always, is to share dance as a true performing art to students, faculty and community members. The seniors of the IB dance program have created meaningful choreography. I invite you to watch as their visions become reality in a theatrical setting.”
“I am proud of the accomplishments of our dance students,” said Director of Athletics, Physical Education and Health Arnold Epstein. “I look forward to seeing many more students benefit from Ms. Donohue's talent and expertise as the program grows.”
LBHS Makes Most Challenging High School List
Long Beach High School has been ranked among the top high schools in the nation in the Washington Post’s ranking of America’s Most Challenging High Schools. America's Most Challenging High Schools ranks schools through the Challenge Index, an index formula determined by a simple ratio: the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests given at a school each year, divided by the number of seniors who graduated that year. A ratio of 1.000 means the school had as many tests as graduates. Long Beach High School achieved a Challenge Index of 2.186, an increase from a Challenge Index of 1.71 in 2012 and 1.228 in 2011. The list is designed to identify schools that have done the best job in persuading students to challenge themselves by taking college-level courses and assessments.
Long Beach High School was officially authorized as an International Baccalaureate World School in 2010. Since then the school has greatly expanded its college-level course offerings. Students can now choose from a selection of college-level courses offered in their junior and senior years. An estimated 600 students are currently enrolled in at least one International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement or Syracuse University Project Advance course at Long Beach High School. All of these courses are open to any student willing to rise to the challenge. The number of tests administered for these college-level courses has been steadily climbing, from 340 in the 2008-2009 school year to 669 in 2011-2012. This year the school expects to administer 790 IB and AP exams to 450 students.
Research shows that high school students who take college-level courses experience greater academic success in college and have higher college graduation rates than students who do not avail themselves of the rigorous curriculum offered by advanced-level high school courses.
“One of the top priorities of Long Beach Public Schools is to supply our students with the skills they will need to prepare for college and careers,” said Principal Gaurav Passi. “We are proud to be recognized for our efforts by the Washington Post as one of America’s most challenging high schools.”
High School Art Awards
Heckscher Museum’s Best Young Artists Exhibit – The artwork of Long Beach High School students Laura Capozzi, Dan Chen and Caroline Obed was selected for the Heckscher Museum’s Best Young Artists exhibit.
All-County Art Scholarship – Long Beach High School senior Natalia Podboraczynska was singled out to receive a scholarship award at the All-County Art Exhibition. She was one of 33 students from around the district whose work was chosen for this exhibition. The All-County Art Exhibition and Scholarship Program are sponsored by the Art Supervisors Association to showcase and support the creativity, talent and skill of student-artists.
NCC Arts and Science Competition – Three Long Beach High School artists won awards at the Nassau Community College Arts and Science Competition. Dan Chen won an award of excellence for ceramics, Laura Capozzi received an award of excellence for photography and Ellie Cho earned honorable mention for drawing.
NHS Induction Ceremony
Proud family and friends gathered for a solemn ceremony marking the induction of 90 new members into the Long Beach High School Arista Chapter of the National Honor Society. These initiates, taken from the ranks of the sophomore and junior classes, were chosen based on their ability to meet the society's standards with regard to scholarship, leadership, character and service. They will join their fellow members in upholding these principles by contributing their time and talents to better their school and local community through volunteer activities, civic involvement and adherence to the highest standards of academics, morality and ethics.
A candle lighting ceremony, officiated by NHS officers and faculty coordinator Nora Bellsey, highlighted the four ideals of the society. Each new member was asked to come to the stage to light a candle as a symbol of his or her commitment to uphold those ideals. Foreign language teacher Aime Rivera was chosen as this year's recipient of an honorary membership, in recognition of her dedication to her profession and to the students of Long Beach High School.
The festivities included two vocal selections by the select choir, conducted by Michael Capobianco, as well as an instrumental performance by the chamber orchestra, conducted by Felicia Wilson.
“This evening we celebrate, not just your grades, but the sum of you as human beings,” said Ms. Bellsey in her opening remarks. “Take responsibility for making something happen. You can make a difference.”
“This was a year of challenges,” recalled Superintendent of Schools David Weiss, referring to the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. “Tonight is an opportunity for you to recognize your achievements and to challenge yourself to make a difference in the world. Set high goals and expectations for yourself during your years at Long Beach High School.
Over the course of the year, under the leadership of officers Alex Blum, Scott Blumenfeld, Melanie Jasper, Natalia Podboraczynska, Shannon Romig and Ethan Sukonik, National Honor Society members have organized numerous community service projects, including a Zumba-thon for the American Cancer Society, March Madness for St. Jude Children’s Hospital and a Sponsor a Snowflake fundraiser to support local businesses after Superstorm Sandy. Members have also acted as ambassadors for the Give Kids a Smile program and volunteered countless hours as tutors, coaches and ushers for school events.
Students Rock at Boardwalk Ceremony
Three talented Long Beach Public School musicians shared the stage with Joan Jett, as they performed at the City of Long Beach boardwalk groundbreaking ceremony on April 27. Pictured (l to r): Long Beach Middle School seventh-graders Andrew Buskey and Troy Morris who did a saxophone and guitar duet, Joan Jett, District Director of Comprehensive Arts Dr. Dale Johanson and Long Beach High School senior Jesse Klirsfeld, who performed the “Star Spangled Banner” at the opening of the ceremony.
Cantor Fitzgerald Returns
After distributing hundreds of $1,000 prepaid debit cards to Long Beach elementary school families on March 1, representatives of the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund returned to the Long Beach School District on April 22 to hand out gift cards to families who had been unable to attend the March event.
The Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund, through the support of Cantor Fitzgerald and its affiliate BGC Partners, has committed to provide every family of a student enrolled as of Oct. 29, 2012 at Blackheath Pre-K, East, Lido, Lindell and West schools a $1,000 prepaid debit card to aid with post-Sandy rebuilding efforts.
These five Long Beach schools are among 19 schools in Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and New Jersey that were “adopted” by Cantor Fitzgerald in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. In total, $10 million has been pledged to help families with young children in these 19 schools. Long Beach Public Schools, with approximately 1,350 eligible families, has been the largest distribution to date.
Cantor Fitzgerald lost 658 of the company’s 960 New York employees in the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks. The mission of the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund, which was formed in the wake of these attacks, is to provide direct aid and support to victims of natural or civil disasters or emergency hardships and to support the efforts or relief workers and relief organizations that provide aid to victims. No stranger to disaster and hardship, Cantor Fitzgerald has been reaching out to help others in need ever since that fateful day.
“We have taken the knowledge gleaned from assisting our 9/11 community and applied it to families impacted by Superstorm Sandy, providing them with direct financial assistance,” said Edie Lutnick, co-founder and executive director of the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund and author of “An Unbroken Bond.” “We are grateful for the opportunity to assist these families and to help communities such as Long Beach to heal.” She added that Cantor Fitzgerald and BGC Partners are matching all donations to the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund for Superstorm Sandy assistance.
“On behalf of our district and the Long Beach community, I thank Cantor Fitzgerald for this extremely generous gesture,” said Long Beach Superintendent of Schools David Weiss. “We also appreciate the extra effort that was made to return to help families who were unable to make it on the first distribution date.”
Calhoun High Donates $10,000
Through their Senior Experience Fashion Show, students at Sanford H. Calhoun High School in the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District raised $10,326 to aid in the Long Beach School District’s post-Sandy recovery efforts. Senior Experience students traveled to Long Beach with teachers Jason Elias and Ryan McSherry and Principal David Seinfeld on April 23 to present the donation to the Long Beach Board of Education.
“Since Senior Experience has entered the curriculum, we have raised over $100,000 for global causes, such as Invisible Children and Reason 2 Smile,” said Calhoun student representative Kari Schaefer. “This year, after the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy, we felt it was only appropriate to go local and support the Long Beach School District. As Calhoun students, none of us could possibly imagine what it would be like to go back to school, the place where we spend a majority of our time, with classrooms without any supplies or learning materials. The show wouldn’t have been anywhere near as successful if it weren’t for all of the people who had attended and donated to such an important and close-to-home cause.”
Long Beach Students Win French Poetry Awards
Seven Long Beach High School students competed in the Long Island Language Teachers Foreign Language Competition this year, with five of the seven earning top awards. In the Original French Poetry Level 3 category, Azza Ben Moussa placed first, Allyson Golden placed second and Alec Wall placed third, sweeping the category. Marc Pittinsky received an honorable mention in that category as well. In the French Essay Level 4 category, Samara Rynecki received an honorable mention. Haley Ricciardi and Ryan Silverman received certificates of participation. Students participated in the competition under the guidance of teacher Arlys Digena.
LBHS Music Honor Society Inducts New Members
The Long Beach High School Chapter of the Tri-M Music Honor Society welcomed 18 new members this year. At the ceremony, officiated by Long Beach Tri-M officers Jesse Klirsfeld, Jennifer Nash, Shannon Romig, Paula Servellon, and Rachel Weiss and Tri-M faculty adviser Felicia Wilson, new members were inducted into this international honor society that recognizes students for their academic and musical achievements.
The evening program also included several musical performances by Tri-M members. Dana Berman and Alexandra Gruber performed a violin duet, Rachel Barkan sang “O del mil dolce ardor,” and Joseph Keiserman presented a vocal rendition of “Angel Eyes,” while Klirsfeld played “There Will Never Be Another You” on the trumpet. The wind ensemble and string quartet also performed.
Honorary lifetime memberships were bestowed on Long Beach High School Vice Principal John Emmons, East School music teacher Michele Bennett, and parents Bari Klirsfeld and Maureen Romig. Each honoree was acknowledged for the vital role he or she plays in supporting music education in Long Beach Public Schools.
The main goal of Tri-M is to inspire students to excel at music, leadership, character, academic achievement and service. Members act as goodwill ambassadors, performing at local nursing homes, school events and community functions. They also assist younger students in preparation for their NYSSMA solo evaluation performances.
LBHS Student: Inside Albany
Long Beach High School junior Joanne Conklin was selected to attend the Students Inside Albany Conference on April 16. This conference, sponsored by the League of Women Voters of New York, is an intensive four-day training experience designed to immerse students in the process by which public policy is proposed, enacted and changed in New York State, and to educate them as to how they can influence and affect this process. Joanne heard from Albany insiders about how New York State government operates and how policy is shaped and enacted. She was also given the opportunity to attend Assembly and Senate sessions and to shadow Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg and Sen. Dean Skelos. Joanne was selected for this honor through the joint efforts of Long Beach High School and the Long Beach League of Women Voters.
According to its official website, the League of Women Voters of New York believes that educating and empowering the youth of our country is vital to maintaining a strong democracy. Through the League’s Education Foundation, the State League and many local leagues operate programs that provide students with the information, motivation and skills needed to become informed voters and engaged citizens. The State League’s primary youth program is Students Inside Albany.
Odyssey Angels Help Long Beach
In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, fourth- and fifth-grade students in the Long Beach School District’s Learning Activities for Raising Creativity program embarked on a creative mission to help with their community’s recovery efforts through the Odyssey of the Mind’s Odyssey Angels program. After meeting with City Council members to assess the post-Sandy needs of their community, the students embarked on a project called “Messages That Matter.”
Through their research, they determined that the Long Beach community needed to be better prepared to face future emergencies. They also discovered that Long Beach Public Library, which is a hub of community activity, was in need of funds to help with its rebuilding efforts. Through creative brainstorming, the students found a way to address both needs in the form of their Messages That Matter campaign. They put together an emergency supply kit list, which also included useful contact information and helpful advice about what to do before, during and after a disaster. Students rolled their messages up and placed them in empty recycled water bottles, which they decorated with handmade beaded bracelets. Then they held a community event on March 20 at the Long Beach Catholic School, where they distributed the messages in a bottle in exchange for donations for the library. Through their efforts, students were able to collect more than $2,000, which the library plans to use to purchase a new book drop. Library Director George Trepp said the new book drop will be inscribed with the Odyssey Angels team name in recognition of their valuable contribution to the library.
The idea to participate in Odyssey Angels was actually an outgrowth of a hardship caused by the storm. Before Sandy hit, the LARC students had just begun to prepare for the annual Odyssey of the Mind competition, an international educational program that provides students with opportunities to apply their creativity to solve problems. Having missed so much preparation time as a result of the storm, it looked as if this year’s Odyssey of the Mind team might have to forgo entering the competition. Since at least one Long Beach team has qualified for the state level of competition for more than 25 consecutive years, the prospect of not being able to continue this legacy was devastating to the students. In the spirit of creative problem-solving, they refused to succumb to defeat. Working with coaches Beverlee Bertinetti, Caitlin Fuentes and Eileen Shannon, they discovered Odyssey Angels, a new charity group that was unveiled by Odyssey of the Mind last summer. Through Odyssey Angels, they utilized the teamwork, brainstorming and problem-solving skills they learned through Odyssey of the Mind to provide a valuable service for their community.
ExxonMobil Teachers Academy
Long Beach elementary math teacher Kelly Beleckas has been selected to attend the 2013 Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy on July 21-26 at Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, N.J. She was chosen from among 1,500 teachers across the country who applied for this program. The selection panel based their decision on her qualifications, dedication to inspiring students and overall commitment to enhancing the teaching profession.
The Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy was launched in 2005 to provide third-through fifth-grade teachers with tools to enhance curricula, as well as an opportunity for them to network with other educators and help them discover innovative ways to teach math and science to their students. Over this time period, more than 3,600 teachers have attended the academy, impacting the lives of more than 230,000 students nationwide.
Helping Out On Earth Day
Long Beach students of all ages rolled up their sleeves to help make Long Beach a cleaner, greener place as they participated in Earth Day activities in their community and schools.
The district’s School Business Sponsorship put together a team of volunteer workers to pitch in for the City of Long Beach’s Comeback Crew, planting greenery at the Park Avenue median at New York Avenue on April 20.
On April 22, East School second-graders invited their parents to the school to join them for an Earth Day celebration that expanded their understanding of the natural world and the importance of recycling and preserving the earth. Assisted by parent volunteers, students circulated through nine different learning stations, at which they participated in a variety of activities designed to enhance their awareness of how they can help preserve the delicate balance of nature. Students planted seeds, decorated reusable shopping bags and made Earth Day posters. One of the more popular stations deliciously demonstrated the role that earthworms play in enriching the soil, as students made edible dirt from pudding, chocolate cookie crumbs and gummy worms.
In acknowledgment of Earth Day at Long Beach Middle School, team 7-1 reached out to survival international.org to find out how they can help support Earth's most threatened tribe, the Awa. In science class, students learned about how deforestation has posed a great threat to the existence of this tribe the their way of life. In response to their inquiry, they were asked to write letters to Brazil’s minister of justice, the only person who can order the invaders out of the Amazon. They were also encouraged to recreate the hands that represent the survival of tribal peoples. Students brainstormed about how to use the stencil together with a few well-chosen words to make their petition. The photo of the student work will be emailed directly to the organization, and the letters will be mailed to the Minister in hopes that they will be part of the global movement to save our Earth and preserve the diversity of cultures that exist on our planet.
Meanwhile at Lido School, under the leadership of the Students Against Destructive Decisions Club, students in grades K-5 celebrated Earth Day with activities inside and outside their classrooms. Kindergartners and first-graders decorated and displayed paper trees prepared for them by SADD members. Those in grades 2-5 wrote down their Earth Day wishes during lunch hour, which were then placed in an Earth Day box. Selected wishes were read during afternoon announcements for the rest of the week. SADD members also planted trees and flowers to beautify the courtyard outside their new cafeteria. Students worked under the guidance of SADD faculty advisers Shelly Cepeda and Marilyn Pilo.
Chateau Briand Hosts Prom Dress Party
For the past seven years, Long Beach High School has been holding its prom at Chateau Briand in Carle Place. After discussing the special situation the school was facing in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy and the hardships being endured by the people of Long Beach with general manager Joe Mandaro, owner Victor Scotto Jr. offered to donate the prom this year.
Victoria Scotto of Chateau Briand set out to make every lucky senior girl at Long Beach High School feel like a princess for a night by hosting a Prom Dress Party on April 18. Long Beach High School senior girls who will be attending their prom were able to choose from a selection of new and gently used donated dresses, handbags and costume jewelry. There were also raffles and giveaways such as limousine rides, hair and makeup services, shoes, gift cards and accessories. Among the vendors contributing to this event were Estelle's Dressy Dresses, Bridal Reflections, the Dessy Group, Vivo Hair Salon, Tuxedo Park, Kiersten’s Jewelry of Holbrook, Men’s Wearhouse, Frippery Boutique, Thomas Knoell and Body Rock DJ.
Bridal Reflections donated 150 dresses, and the Manhattan-based Dessy Group provided 50 gowns. Kiersten’s Jewelry and Frippery donated accessories, and Steve Madden delivered an assortment of shoes and handbags. Estelle’s provided accessories for the young ladies. Vivo Hair Salon made sure each girl left with an assortment of hair products, and also donated gift cards to be used on prom night. Ms. Scotto also received an additional 400 new and gently used dresses from individual donors.
Holocaust Remembrance Day Honoree
Long Beach High School sophomore Ilana Blumenthal was chosen by the State Assembly of New York and the Jewish Community Relations Council of Long Island to take part in a special ceremony honoring Nassau County high school students who are working to create a more civil society. The ceremony took place at Hofstra University on April 18, which is Holocaust Remembrance Day.
As a leader in the Oceanside Jewish Center’s junior congregation, Ilana educates teens and children about religious tolerance, showing them ways to eradicate and recognize bullying. She organizes events to promote these issues and is a driving force, leading by example in her interaction with others. She is also on the planning committee for the annual Yom Hashoah program at the Oceanside JCC. Additionally, she is a member of the Harriet Seifman inclusion committee, which helps to ensure that people with disabilities and allergies are able to attend, enjoy and participate in the services at the temple. This includes arranging for American Sign Language interpreters for the holidays as well as building a ramp to make the facility accessible to all. Ilana, who participates in the Talented Writers program at Long Beach High School, uses her pen to promote awareness and activism.
Ilana was nominated for this honor by Long Beach High School teacher Rachell Koegel, who described her as embodying the traits of altruism and activism that she would love to see in all her students. “She lives what she preaches and on a daily basis stands proud in her heritage and is not intimidated to share her thoughts about her beliefs or the importance of her religion in her daily life,” said Koegel. “She is respectful of all people and does whatever she can to promote awareness and tolerance wherever she can.”
Fender Donates Instruments to LBHS
The Fender Music Foundation donated five electric guitars, two electric basses, a guitar amplifier and various other items to Long Beach High School. The Fender Music Foundation is a public nonprofit organization funded by people who want to strengthen the state of music education, people who believe music is an integral part of society and want to make music more accessible to everyone. For more information, visit www.fendermusicfoundation.org
This generous donation was arranged through the efforts of members of the newly formed non-profit, Friends of the Arts LBSD INC, who were able to establish a relationship with the Fender Music Foundation.
In addition, Friends of the Arts President Bari Klirsfeld and her committee have reached out to several other music organizations that have responded in a very generous manor for Long Beach Public Schools. Friends of the Arts is also working to replace the Marching Marine uniforms that were damaged or destroyed in students’ homes during Superstorm Sandy. Please visit www.friendsoftheartslbsd.org
to make donations.
LBHS Featured on CBS TV
During filming of a CBS television special program, Long Beach graduate and REAL Change producer Liam Murphy visited Long Beach High School with Office Depot and Adopt-A-Classroom to donate $20,000 worth of school supplies, as well as provide teacher grants. Long Beach High School will be featured on a segment of the REAL Change program, which aired nationally CBS on April 23 on at 7:00 p.m., together with notable musical artists such as Quincy Jones, Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus who recognized teachers who have inspired them.
The REAL Change Artists for Education Project is a nationwide campaign focused on the importance of education in America to promote and to inspire people American to become involved in supporting education. The one-hour, prime time television network special, which aired on CBS on April 23 detailed stories of students and their teachers, who will share the challenges and hardships they have faced and overcome in their lives. The story of Long Beach and its schools, students and teachers in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy was part of that story. The special will also stream for a few weeks on the REAL Change website.
Through May 31, anyone wishing to be part of the REAL Change movement can visit www.officedepot.com/realchange
to make a donation. Office Depot will match all donations made during this period. Every dollar donated will go directly to aid the adopted classroom. Many Long Beach teachers have registered their classes for direct donations.
For a video clip of Long Beach High school, visit http://www.liverealchange.com/real-change-productions-cbs-ny-news-report/
For the REAL Change web site, visit http://liverealchange.com/
For the Office Depot matching grant web site, visit http://www.officedepot.com/a/promo/pages/realchange/
Composer Visits LBMS Orchestra
The Long Beach Middle School chamber orchestra has commissioned a new piece of music composed especially for them. As part of this project, the composer, John Caponegro, visited the middle school to work with the students and their teacher David Lobenstein during a special session on April 10.
“Mr. Caponegro is a renowned composer of orchestral music,” said Lobenstein, “His pieces are performed worldwide. This will be a unique educational experience for all students involved.”
The piece, which is titled “Shadows Across the Moon,” will be performed at the spring concert on May 16 at the middle school.
‘Footloose’ Rocks the House
Undeterred by setbacks caused by Superstorm Sandy, the Long Beach High School theater department was proud to present a musical production of “Footloose” on April 18-20. Although the storm delayed the opening of the show from February to April, it did not dampen the spirits of the young actors who showed amazing energy and jubilance despite the hardships many had faced in recent months. This tale of some courageous teens who revitalize the spirit of their town by rebelling against an oppressive ban against dancing provided an uplifting evening of entertainment for a community struggling to return to normalcy in the aftermath of Sandy.
As the show opens, Ren McCormack (played by Joseph Keiserman) and his mother Ethel (Kelly Vargas) are bidding farewell to their native Chicago. After Ren’s father walks out on them, they are forced to live with relatives in the town of Beaumont — a place no one in Chicago has ever heard of.
Thinking at first that he might find solace in small-town life, Ren finds himself at odds with the repressive atmosphere of the town, and especially at odds with the local minister, Reverend Moore (Russell Goetz). The good reverend, who wields considerable influence over his flock, had convinced the town to impose a ban on dancing after his own son and three other Beaumont teens were tragically killed in a car accident five years ago on their way home from a dance.
Complicating life even further for Ren is a budding relationship with Reverend Moore’s headstrong and rebellious daughter Ariel (Alexandra Brodsky). Not only does Ren’s friendship with Ariel further set the reverend against him, but it also pits him against Ariel’s rough-and-tumble boyfriend Chuck Cranston (Christian Musto), who vows to take him down.
It seems that the only friends he has made in Beaumont are Willard Hewitt (Max Tunney) and Mrs. Moore (Annie Gloeggler), who does her best to convince her husband that Ren is not the troublemaker that Reverend Moore makes him out to be.
As Ren tries to adjust to his new life in Beaumont, he becomes increasingly frustrated with the oppressive atmosphere of the town and takes Ariel, Willard and their friends to a dance hall outside of town, where they all cut loose. Inspired by the enthusiasm he has reawakened in his new friends, Ren tries to petition the town council to lift the ban on dancing, but his petition is denied.
After Ren later learns that the vote was rigged by Reverend Moore, he decides to pay the reverend a visit to try to convince him to open his heart and let go of the overshadowing pain that he has been harboring since his son’s death. After realizing how much misery he has been causing his town by holding so tightly to his own grief, the reverend finally announces that he thinks a dance might be a good idea — and “Everybody Cuts Footloose.”
Their final musical performance marked a bittersweet moment for seniors Russell and Joseph, who have been sharing the Long Beach High School stage in various roles since freshman year. This show proved to be the most dramatically challenging for both young men, as they channeled the angst and pain of loss through their characters. This was the second time that Alexandra and Christian were paired romantically on the stage, although the roles both young actors played this year were much more serious than their comedic turn in “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.” After delivering a standout performance in the fall production of “The Odd Couple,” Max Tunney once again showed his comedic talent in his portrayal of the goofy but loveable Willard. Katherine Murphy, Kayla McAvoy and Anna Falvey, who played Ariel’s friends Rusty, Urleen and Wendy Jo, respectively, showed equal skill in their well-delivered comedic lines and melodic vocals, including a standout performance of “Let’s Hear It for the Boy.” Kelly and Annie, as the two loving mothers, also blended beautifully in a duet titled “Learning to Be Silent.” The entire cast’s outstanding vocals and energetic dancing combined with rocking orchestral accompaniment brought audiences to their feet for curtain calls each night.
The show was directed by Christie Holub, in her first Long Beach musical, with Russell Goetz taking on the role of student director. Marino Bragino III led the smoking hot pit orchestra and Michael Capobianco brought the vocals to perfection as musical director. Marcus Quiroga once again dazzled with his creative and energetic choreography, and stage manager Taylor Barje and her crew deftly handled all the scene changes. Eric Krywe was the technical director and Kenneth Horgan was in charge of scenic design.
LBHS Wall of Fame Nominations Open through June 1
Nominations for the 2013-2014 inductions into the Long Beach High School Wall of Fame will be accepted through June 1, 2013. To nominate a candidate, please pick up a nomination form at any Long Beach public school, the Long Beach Public Schools Administration Office, the Athletic Office at Long Beach High School, or download a form at www.lbeach.org
The Long Beach High School Wall of Fame was conceived to honor present and former members of the Long Beach community who have made substantial contributions either locally or to the world at large, including contributions in the area of athletics. This year, in honor of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the district, nominations of historical figures, living and deceased, who have played a critical role in politics, cultural affairs, business and education, will also be accepted. Historical figures who have already been inducted to the Wall of Fame in previous years will not be considered. Please visit www.lbeach.org
to view a complete list of the past inductees to the Wall of Fame.
In 1996, the Wall of Fame was dedicated by the Long Beach Booster Club in cooperation with the Long Beach Public Schools to serve as an inspiration for the youth of Long Beach. Qualified candidates must have either attended Long Beach High School for at least two full years, or in lieu of such attendance, must have been associated with the Long Beach community for a period of no less than 10 years. In honor of the 100th anniversary of the district, the definition of qualified candidates was expanded to include historical figures who have had a lasting impact on the cultural, political, economic or educational development of the Long Beach community.
Please detail specific achievements, dates worth noting, and any and all other supporting information, documentation, photographs, newspaper articles, testimonials and the like. Completed forms and all other supporting information should be sent to the Office of the Superintendent, 239 Lido Boulevard, Lido Beach, NY 11561-5093 before Saturday, June 1, 2013.
Any resident of the Long Beach School District, or district staff member who has been employed in the district for no less than five continuous years, may nominate a candidate for inclusion into the Wall of Fame.
AMC Math Winners
Six Long Beach High School students earned top scores in the American Mathematics Competition. Their scores gained them recognition by the AMC as having exceptional mathematical talent.
Michael Heiss, Hunter Rogoff and Frank Valdez finished in the top three of the 56 Long Beach High School juniors and seniors who competed in the AMC 12. Michael had the highest score, earning him the “Winner” designation. Hunter and Frank received the “Team” designation. Of the 66 Long Beach freshmen and sophomores who took the AMC 10, Jordan Torregrosa achieved “Winner” designation with the highest score in the school, while the other two top scorers, Andrew Klang and Eric Zeppa, earned the designation of “Team.” Students’ scores in both competitions were comparable to those of their peers across the nation.
Long Beach High School administered the AMC to all students who were interested in rising to the challenge. According to the competition’s official website, AMC is dedicated to the goal of strengthening the mathematical capabilities of our nation's youth by challenging them to problem-solve mathematical concepts beyond the scope and sequence of their grade level, and by identifying, recognizing and rewarding excellence in mathematics.
The AMC 10 and AMC 12 are 25-question, 75-minute multiple-choice examinations in secondary school mathematics containing problems that can be understood and solved with pre-calculus concepts. The main purpose of the AMC 12 is to spur interest in mathematics and to develop talent through solving challenging problems in a timed multiple-choice format.
“What happens before and after the AMC can have lasting educational value,” said District Mathematics Director Cheriese Pemberton. “It is our hope that our students who participate in this competition will increase their interest in pursuing mathematical careers.”
Long Beach High School students Frank Valdez, Michael Heiss, Eric Zeppa and Andrew Klang earned the top scores in their school in the AMC 10 and AMC 12 math competitions. Absent from photo: Top scorers Hunter Rogoff and Jordan Torregrosa.
Lido Career Day
There was a decidedly personal atmosphere at Lido School’s annual Career Day, as alumni, parents and local business people visited the school to share their experiences in fields as varied as music, cultural arts, sports, advertising, merchandising, pizza making, firefighting, law enforcement, recreation and web design. The event was even more meaningful for students because they already had personal connections with many of the presenters.
Local surf instructor Cliff Skudin, who is a graduate of Lido School, returned to speak with students about beach safety and how he started his popular Long Beach surf school.
Long Beach police officer Stephanie Marro spoke to students about her career in law enforcement.
Todd Kaminsky, who grew up in Long Beach, told students about his career as an attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice. During his presentation, he gave students many insights into the workings of the criminal justice system.
Anthony Fallon of the Long Beach Fire Department is the father of a Lido student. He demonstrated how he and his fellow firefighters use equipment like heat sensors to help them rescue people from burning buildings.
Priscilla Mistretta, whose daughter is a student at Lido School, demonstrated how she makes the “Magic of Macy’s” come alive. Over the years she has been involved in merchandising, marketing and advertising for this retail giant.
Long Beach Middle School teacher Michael Lundwall, who is also a Long Beach lifeguard, spoke to students about how he works to keep everyone safe at the beach.
Michael Cupani, who is the husband of Lido teacher Debra Cupani, told students how he makes a living as a street artist.
Students even made a trip over to the middle school for a lesson in pizza making that was conducted by the district’s Nutritional Services Department.
Other local business people who shared their talents included tax consultant Bob Brenner, who plays in a band on the side, and Web wizards Ian Danby and Mike Longworth of the CyberNet Place. Professional photographer Matt Mendelsohn, a Long Island native who now resides in Virginia, also shared his expertise with students.
Albion CSD Helps Long Beach
A Music Department Faculty Recital hosted by the Albion Central School District in Albion, N.Y. raised over $2,200 to benefit the Long Beach Public Schools Music Department. Albion's Director of Bands Mike Thaine, a college friend of Long Beach Middle School orchestra teacher David Lobenstein, contacted Mr. Lobenstein in an effort to direct funds to Long Beach's music department in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.
“They have kids – just like we do – who eat, sleep and breathe music,” Mr. Thaine said. “Those kids went from playing, practicing and making music every day to nothing. And many of those same students’ homes were heavily damaged or destroyed, so there’s misfortune on so many different levels for them. In the midst of this chaos, music could have been their stability, their rock, but they didn’t even have that anymore.”
Music Rising Grant
Thanks to generous funding from Music Rising, the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation has been able to donate $18,430 worth of instruments to Long Beach Middle School to assist with the school's rebuilding efforts in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. The donation included one 88-key digital keyboard, two baritones, two violas, one double French horn, one 3/4 tuba and two alto saxophones.
“Our hearts go out to all of you in the Long Beach community as you heal from this tragic disaster,” said Tricia Steel, program director of the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation. “We hope the donated instruments will help get the music program back on its feet so that students can once again enjoy the tremendous benefits of music education.”
Long Beach Students Register to Vote
As part of an annual tradition, members of the Long Beach League of Women Voters visited Long Beach High School senior history and economics classes to lead discussions about the importance of voting and civic responsibility. While they were there, league members helped 169 seniors register to vote. Those students who turn 18 before the respective dates of the school board elections and budget vote, primary elections and November elections are eligible to vote.
LBHS Athletes Earn State Honors
After all they faced in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, it was a great tribute to the determination of Long Beach High School winter varsity athletes to have four players in three separate sports earn state honors.
Senior Steven Sewkumar (left), who won the county wrestling title in the 113-pound weight class, went on to become an All-State wrestler who came in third in the 113-pound weight class at the state competition.
For the second consecutive year, senior Nicholas Stoski and sophomore Max Willard were state qualifiers in swimming. Nicholas, who won the division title in the 100-yard breaststroke, finished 13th at the state competition. Maximilian, who finished second in the 500-yard freestyle at the county meet, went on to finish 11th at the states.
Senior John Delahanty, a conference champion, finished second in the county in the pole vault. He finished 18th in the states with a 13-foot vault.
‘Beauty and the Beast’
Undeterred by the obstacles thrown in their way by Superstorm Sandy, Long Beach Middle School students came together in a spirit of community to bring Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” magically to life, just a few months after the originally scheduled date. Based on the classic French fairy tale, the musical tells the story of Belle, an intelligent young woman who longs to escape from her provincial French village, and the Beast, a once-handsome prince who longs to escape from the imprisonment of his monstrous body. Thrown together in the Beast’s enchanted castle, they learn to look beyond appearances to discover that true love has the power to free them both.
The show was directed by Jean-Marie Marciano, with Lauren Diesu acting as assistant director. Scott Powers was the stage manager. Choreography was directed by Marciano and Jesse Scott. Brian Pross and Laura Swan were in charge of set construction. Tatiana Ramos was the prop master and Alexis Robinson handled lighting.
2013 Best Community for Music Education
The Long Beach School District was one of 307 school districts across the country and 14 in Nassau County to be recognized as a Best Community for Music Education by the NAMM Foundation. On March 18 the NAMM Foundation announced the results of its 14th annual Best Communities for Music Education survey, which acknowledges schools and districts across the U.S. for their commitment to and support for music education in schools. This is the third year in a row that the Long Beach City School District has earned this distinction.
According to NAMM, the Best Communities designation recognizes collaborative, from-the-ground-up efforts of teachers, administrators, students and parents who continually work to keep comprehensive music education as an integral part of the core curriculum. The BCME survey is a nationwide search for communities whose programs exemplify a strong commitment to music education. Established in 1999, BCME recognizes and celebrates schools, their administrators, teachers, board members, parents and students for their support of music education and their efforts to ensure access to all students as part of the core curriculum.
The BCME program requires each school and district to detail funding, staffing, commitment to standards and access to music instruction. Responses are meticulously reviewed by researchers at The Institute for Educational Research and Public Service of Lawrence, Kansas (an affiliate of the University of Kansas) and the NAMM Foundation to calculate the designated districts and awarded schools.
More than 1,600 students participate in the Long Beach School District’s 36 bands, orchestras and choral ensembles. Students in grades 5-12 participate in All-State, All-County, LISFA and NYSSMA festivals. One All-Eastern, two All-State and 53 All-County musicians were named in 2012-13. Eight were chosen to perform at the Long Island String Festival. The high school’s marching band participates every year in the Newsday Marching Band Festival held at Hofstra University. This year the marching band was invited to perform at the New York City Columbus Day Parade. Long Beach High School is one of only a handful of schools on Long Island that offers a guitar class as part of its arts curriculum, and the only guitar program in which students present a multi-act stage show at the end of the year. School groups also perform at various venues throughout Long Beach as a service to the community. The high school gives talented music students the opportunity to join the Tri-M Music Honor Society. Members tutor younger musicians and perform community outreach work.
“This three-time honor is a well-deserved recognition that our community, district leaders, teachers and parents believe in music education and are assuring that it is part of a complete education for children in our schools,” said Dr. Dale Johanson, the district’s director of comprehensive arts. “It holds us up as an example of community support and commitment to music education.”
A copy of the survey can be downloaded for review at www.nammfoundation.org
Sen. Schumer Calls on Feds for Post-Sandy Busing Relief
U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer today called on the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force to help reimburse local school districts such as Long Beach that are seeing greatly increased busing costs for students displaced by Superstorm Sandy. By law, school districts must provide busing to students that have been displaced up to 50 miles, but the districts are not receiving reimbursements for these significant costs, placing the burden on the children and local taxpayers. While the total costs are not yet clear, at least a dozen Long Island school districts have spent tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars each to provide additional services to the approximately 1,000 students displaced by the storm. Schumer called on the Task Force to find a way to reimburse school districts, like Lindenhurst and Long Beach, which are administering special transportation services to displaced students.
The Long Beach School District has spent approximately $75,000 per month for the more than 150 students displaced by the storm, and although the number of displaced students has decreased since the storm, the district is still spending approximately $20,000 per month as of today. The district reallocated buses and routes to keep costs down, while at the same time providing full transportation services, and has spent approximately $170,000 more than it would otherwise on transportation to date.
“It's important for students to get back to their schools, teachers and friends as soon as possible after a major disruption like Sandy, but local school districts shouldn't be left responsible for the costs of a national disaster,” said Schumer. "Congress passed legislation to reduce the impact of Sandy on local governments, and it makes perfect sense for some of the relief dollars to go to school districts to help them transport students affected by the storm. Otherwise the cost, which may be in the multi-millions, will be borne entirely by local taxpayers and could impact the education of every child in the affected districts."
After Superstorm Sandy, over 1,000 students were displaced and in need of transportation services to pick them up and drop them off at school. Schools districts on Long Island have spent over $1 million on these post-Sandy services, and the final cost may be much higher.
The school district's obligation comes from the McKinney Vento Assistance Act, which says that school districts must provide transportation to displaced or homeless students within a 50-mile radius of the district.
Grades 3-8 Testing Letter to Parents
‘Les Miz’ Sing for Long Beach
Great Neck North High School joined forces with Long Beach High School for a fund-raising concert featuring the songs from “Les Misérables” to benefit the Long Beach Public Schools Comprehensive Arts Department, which suffered huge losses of equipment, musical scores, pianos, and rehearsal rooms as a result of Superstorm Sandy.
Coming together on March 23 in the North High School auditorium was a combined chorus of some 125 voices made up of North High’s Jazz Choir, the Long Beach High School Select Choir and Great Neck North High alumni, some of whom performed in North’s production of Les Misérables last year. Solos were performed by members of the Jazz Choir and numerous alumni. Audience members were not just viewers at this special event—they were invited to sing along on selected pieces.
The singers rehearsed together the afternoon of March 23. The North High Music Boosters provided dinner prior to the concert.
Great Neck North High School composer in residence Roger Ames and English teacher Jeffrey Gilden coordinated the event, with Dr. Janine Robinson, choral director, and parent Jeff Blye assisting on keyboards. Long Beach Director of Comprehensive Arts Dr. Dale Johanson and music teacher Michael Capobianco worked hand in hand with them to organize this cooperative endeavor between the two schools.
The idea to do a fund-raiser for Long Beach grew out of a desire by North High music students to help their fellow musicians. It began with the Jazz Choir donating the money they usually raise to cover the cost of their annual trip to perform at Disney World. Under the guidance of fine and performing arts department chair Neil Saggerson and Mr. Ames, the idea took off.
Random Act of Kindness
The Long Beach Middle School Peace and Wisdom clubs joined forces for a special fundraising effort to help the middle school Bridge Program for special needs children. When the two clubs were brainstorming ideas for projects to commemorate Random Acts of Kindness Week, they didn’t need to look any further than their own building. After learning that the Bridge classroom had lost a tremendous amount of specialized learning materials and classroom accessories in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, the students in the two clubs collaborated in an effort to raise money so that some of these much-needed supplies could be replaced.
Club members posted information about what kinds of supplies were needed all over the middle school, and all week they visited the different cafeteria periods and asked for donations from the students and staff. Together they collected $344.45, which they presented to the Bridge class on March 20. Club members worked under the direction of advisers Tamara Richards and John Anfossi.
Project Noise Documentary
Long Beach Middle school music teacher Elizabeth Altbacker was featured in a short film made by an organization called Project Noise. The film chronicled the story of how Altbacker’s personal and professional life was turned upside down by Superstorm Sandy. Undeterred, she pushed ahead in stride to give her students a chance to make music and heal. The filmmakers visited her school and her home, interviewed her, spoke with students, and toured the City of Long Beach to see firsthand the effects of the storm and how Altbacker and her students are coping with life after Sandy.
“I went to the middle school the day after the storm,” said Altbacker. “There was mud everywhere, and so many of the instruments were ruined. I went to school here myself and I have been teaching here for 18 years. I remember when all these instruments were purchased. After the storm, I wrote to every music company I could think of and reached out to former students. I knew that I had to do whatever it took to put instruments in my kids’ hands again.”
One of the companies that came through for Altbacker was Fender, who donated 24 instruments to the school. Fender contacted Project Noise to make this documentary to promote their donation and make other companies aware of the need to donate.
Project Noise is a nonprofit that creates videos and media campaigns at no or low cost to organizations working to better the world, with the goal of amplifying the impact of nonprofits and raising awareness about critical social issues.
Long Beach High School to Appear on National TV as Part of REAL Change Project
On Feb. 24, REAL Change Productions
, in partnership with Office Depot and the Adopt-A-Classroom program, visited the Long Beach High School classroom of Dr. Andrew Smith as part of the REAL Change Project.
Long Beach graduate (1996) and REAL Change producer Liam Murphy has been working on this project for six years, connecting superstar celebrities, including Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Pitbull, Lady Antebellum, LMFAO and Jason Mraz, with their hometown schools in an effort to give back to those who helped them get their successful start.
Murphy and his family are Long Beach natives who have deep ties within the community. His father Jack taught at Long Beach High School for 30 years, his grandmother was a lunchroom monitor, and Liam is passionate in supporting his district, as well as schools in need throughout the country. Murphy visited Long Beach High School with Office Depot and the Adopt-A-Classroom program to donate $20,000 worth of school supplies, including 30 Samsung tablets, a printer, printer paper, notebooks, pens, pencils and folders to help rebuild and replenish supplies following the devastation of Superstorm Sandy. In addition, Adopt-A-Classroom has pledged to donate $125 to every Long Beach teacher who registers with the Adopt-A-Classroom program.
Murphy’s visit to Dr. Smith’s class was captured on film and will be incorporated into a REAL Change telecast. This prime-time nationally televised compilation show will air on April 23 at 7 p.m. on CBS. In addition to the Long Beach High School segment, the telecast will also feature several notable musical artists such as Justin Bieber, Pitbull, Miley Cyrus, Jason Mraz and Quincy Jones, as they visit their hometown classrooms and recognize a teacher who has inspired them.
Starting March 1 and running through May 31, anyone wishing to be part of this special movement can visit www.officedepot.com/realchange
to make a donation. Office Depot will match all donations made during this period. Every dollar donated will go directly to aid the adopted classroom.
“We want people to know that you don’t have to be a rock star to make a difference,” said Murphy. “Anyone can make a difference by adopting a classroom.”
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