A Tribute to MLK’s Life and Legacy

Students and staff at New Visions celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by dressing in black and white and performing a variety of inspirational songs during a special ceremony prior to the national holiday.

The program featured several vocal performances by students in each grade, as well as the presentation of the school’s annual MLK Peace Award to one extraordinary fourth-grader. The award, which recognizes a student’s exceptional contributions of peace and leadership, was presented to Shirley Benavides, who received a trophy, medallion, certificate and the honor of having her name displayed on a plaque inside the school. Benavides was chosen from a pool of five students nominated for the award by their teachers and classmates. Medallions and certificates were presented to the four runners-up to the award.

Dr. King’s dream was celebrated with a variety of songs, including “What a Wonderful World,” “This Little Light of Mine,” and “Hall of Fame,” as well as with a poem titled “Peace” recited by students. Facts about Dr. King’s life were also presented by students throughout the program.

The ceremony celebrated Dr. King’s virtues of leadership and peace, and recognized New Visions’ students who continue to exhibit those ideals daily.

Liberty Health Awareness Campaign

Students from the Liberty Program at Atkinson created posters demonstrating and emphasizing important health, wellness, and hygiene tips. The after-school program includes a community service component, and students were proud to share and display their work with the school nurses and their peers.

Super Spellers

Bayview fourth-grader Savannah Dixon won the school’s Spelling Bee by correctly spelling the word, “vocabulary.” Second-place winner was Hannah Islas. Dixon will be representing the school in the Scripps Spelling Bee at Hofstra on Feb. 5.

Principal Odette Wills and Assistant Principal Alma Rocha, along with all Bayview staff, are proud of Dixon, Islas and the participants of the Spelling, and wish Dixon luck as she moves on.

Students Help Out

Bayview students hosted the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society student series, “Learning to Make Someday Today” campaign kickoff. As part of the event, students watched “You’re Never Too Young to Help Others,” and then collected change to help support the organization. Students learned about the importance of being in position to help save lives, and the donations helped fund more effective therapies.

Super Spellers

New Visions fourth-grader Kiran Manansingh won the school’s Spelling Bee by correctly spelling the word, “infuriating.” Second- and third-place winners were Bryana Quiros and Mustafa Asif, respectively.
Manansingh will be representing the school in the Scripps Spelling Bee at Hofstra on Feb. 5.

On Air at the Airport

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Students from Dodd and the high school spoke about the district’s nanotechnology initiative on the Long Island News Radio 103.9 FM radio broadcast at McArthur Airport.

Accompanied by high school science research teacher Edward Irwin, senior Rajiv Chanda and seventh-graders Cedenia Henry and Sameerah Lawal discussed the district’s ongoing partnership with Brookhaven National Laboratory, which recently accepted Freeport’s proposal, “Bringing Nanotechnology into the High School Curriculum,” and spoke about their own experiences. The show ran for 30 minutes and was led by Robert Vecchio, president of the William Floyd School District Board of Education.

The students’ experience was a testament to not only their passion for learning and nanotechnology, but also to the Freeport Schools’ commitment to providing them with opportunities in advanced science topics.

STEMming for Success

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Students in Archer’s Science Enrichment morning program are learning the fundamentals of engineering and their relationship to STEM. Recently, they were tasked with building a structure using plastic cups, and worked as teams to build the tallest structure possible. To accomplish this, they demonstrated their understanding of related concepts and what limitations were presented by the materials. Students were then tasked with creating a building that could hold weight using 20 marshmallows and 20 toothpicks; they worked in pairs and combined their materials.

Upcoming Parent University - Spanish flyer



Prioritizing Safety

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The district hosted an informational session about cyberbullying that provided parents and guardians with information about internet safety, and tips to ensure the safety and security of families and children.

Doreen Hantzschel, an educational facilitator from SCOPE Education Services, spoke about the importance of maintaining open lines of communication, and why guardians should monitor their children’s internet activity to protect them. Members of the New York State Police Internet Crimes Against Children task force also provided insight about the topic, and urged parents and guardians to remain vigilant.

The Parent University about cyberbullying was the district’s latest endeavor to help ensure the safety of all students by keeping parents informed.

BOE Action Meeting at Leo F. Giblyn School - January 25, 2017

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First Snowfall


As part of an ongoing tradition, the Newcomer class at Atkinson celebrated their first snowfall together. The students in Raquel Steffa’s and Yeraldine Tineo’s classes — many of whom are native to countries with warm climates — made snow angels with principals to supplement their reading of snow-themed literature. The experience served as a fun and educational way to mark the students’ milestones.

Science Explorations

Science Explorations

The below are various spectacles taking place in Christine Myers’ 21st Century Science Exploration class:

Pipe Cleaner Tower: Free-standing towers were created out of pipe cleaners. The students tried to stack the pipe cleaners and keep it balanced at the same time. Then, they each put one hand behind their backs to make the experiment more challenging. They then tried to stack them up with one hand. For the final seconds of the challenge, Ms. Myers allowed the class to take their arms out from behind their backs and assemble the rest of their tower. Finally, students had a contest to see whose tower was taller.

Egg Drop: Students conducted an experiment where they dropped an egg to test gravity. Their theory was that specific items could be used to drop a fragile, heavy object and it would land safely. They used certain items for the experiment such as balloons and tape to help their eggs land safely on the ground without a crack. This tested gravity by weight. The heavier it was, their guess was, the faster it would fall. Their eggs both cracked and landed safely depending on the materials used. From this experiment, the class concluded its theories on gravity.

Quicksand: During this program, the students made quicksand and learned about the states of solid, liquid and gas. They mixed cornmeal and water to create this. When they placed their hands into the mixture, the “quicksand” felt like a liquid. However, when they squished it with their hands it turned into more of a solid. They concluded that the quicksand could be a solid and a liquid at the same time.

Volcano: The class organized a volcano experiment by using a base and an acid. They used a beaker and combined vinegar and baking soda. The resulting experiment smelled like salt and vinegar potato chips, was white, and bubbled and fizzed while it flowed and resembled Sprite soda.
Walking Rainbow: To make the Walking Rainbow, the students used water, food coloring and paper towels. They poured water and food coloring into cups, and then folded pieces of paper towel into them and watched as the water was absorbed from one cup into another cup because it acted as a conductor for the water.    

Lava Lamp: The students gathered all the necessary materials: empty water bottle, baby oil, water, food coloring and an Alka-Seltzer tablet. They poured the baby oil in the bottles and added the food coloring and watched as it traveled to the bottom. They then filled the rest of the bottle with water and added the Alka-Seltzer tablet to watch as a chemical reaction took place.

Chorale Performs National Anthem at Gov. Cuomo’s Address

On Jan. 10, the high school’s Select Chorale had the prestigious honor of performing the national anthem prior to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “State of the State” address at SUNY Farmingdale. The group, who received a special invitation to perform by the Governor’s Office, showcased the poise and harmony that have earned it remarkable acclaim under the leadership of Director Monique Retzlaff. At the governor’s address, Retzlaff conducted a balanced ensemble of 10 students on stage, while other members of the group supported them from the audience.

The Chorale adds this performance to a list of prestigious venues it has been privileged to showcase its excellence at, including Carnegie Hall, the Empire State Building and Kennedy Center.

It is also the second time this school year that Freeport students have had the opportunity to observe the Democratic process; last month, students attended the Electoral College certification in Albany.

“This amazing group’s musical talents, stage presence and overall etiquette as individuals collectively exhibit a level of excellence worthy of earning the honor of performing at an event for the Excelsior Empire State,” said Retzlaff.

December 2016 Points of Pride


Board of Education Honors LI Champion Football Team

On Wednesday, Dec. 21, the Board of Education recognized the Red Devils varsity football team for their extraordinary season that culminated in winning both the Nassau County Class 1 Championship, defeating the Farmingdale Dalers 53-28, and the coveted Long Island Class 1 Championship with a 28-14 win over the William Floyd Colonials.
Prior to the Board of Education meeting, the members of the Board, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham and administrators celebrated the victorious season with a dinner for the team, their coaches and their families.
The recognition continued during the Board meeting, as each member of the team was presented with a commemorative medallion. “On behalf of our school district and community congratulations on your amazing win” said Dr. Kuncham. “Your triumph will always reign in the halls of Freeport High School and in our school district. You will forever be part of the history of our legendary football program.”  
On behalf of the Board of Education, President Michael Pomerico also expressed his congratulations. “Football brings our school district and the community together,” said Pomerico. “You have made our school district and community very proud and we can hold our heads up high.”

Football Team Wins LI Championship!


The high school varsity football team capped off an incredible season (11-1) on Nov. 25 by capturing the Long Island Class I title with a 28-14 win over the William Floyd Colonials at Hofstra University. The Red Devils scored all of their points in the first half, and won their fifth Class I title in seven appearances.

“It never gets old, and this is just as exciting as the first one,” said Coach Russ Cellan. “The kids worked extremely hard since the spring, and everything worked out. Nothing is guaranteed and there’s no substitute for hard work, and I am thrilled for our players to be able to experience this.”

Board of Education Recognizes Academic and Athletic Excellence

During the Board of Education meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 21, the members of the Board and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham recognized and congratulated the Class of 2017 Top Ten. These extraordinary students have earned the distinction of being the named the highest academic achievers in their graduating class. One by one, their impressive resumes were shared along with their career goals and the list of prestigious colleges and universities they hope to attend.

The Board also recognized sophomore Shannon Welcome for her amazing winning record as a stand out member of the swim team. The members of the Red Devils varsity football team, the Nassau County Class 1 Champions and the Long Island Class 1 Champions, were applauded and awarded medallions to commemorate their memorable and victorious season.

“Tonight is definitely the night to celebrate excellence in the classroom, on the field and in the water,” stated Dr. Kuncham. We are very proud of all you have achieved.”

Board of Education Accepts Donation from Freeport Educational Foundation

During the Dec. 21 Board of Education meeting, the Board accepted a generous donation from the Freeport Educational Foundation totaling $20,834. This much appreciated donation will be used to support the implementation of nine innovative grants in the district and to fund four scholarships of $500 each to four graduating members of the Class of 2017. On behalf of the Board and the school district both Board President Michael Pomerico and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham thanked the FEF for their ongoing support and continued generosity.

MakerSpace at Archer

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Under the direction of school librarian Debbie Bergen, students at Archer participated in Holiday MakerSpace activities prior to the holiday break. The students had the opportunity to continue developing their 21st-century skills, such as creativity, collaboration and problem solving.

MakerSpace stations included LEGO design challenges using the LEGO wall; designing a winter story on iPads using coding app Scratch Jr.; creating a holiday card for someone special; programming Ozobots robots to avoid the Grinch; and decorating interactive gingerbread houses on laptops.

Dodd Musicians Amaze the Elderly

Dodd Musicians Amaze the Elderly

Music students from Dodd spread holiday cheer by performing for senior citizens in the community at the Atria Assisted Living Facility prior to the break. Groups included members of the Jazz Band under the direction of Adam Rubin, the Vocal Tapestry Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Sherill Spruill, and the Select Orchestra under the direction of Candice Mordhorst. Principal Johane Ligonde expressed her appreciation for the groups’ performances, and extended her warmest holiday wishes upon the gracious audience.

Sax Quartet Lights Up Rec Center

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Under the direction of tenor saxophone player and high school student Heaven Jenkins, the Saxophone Quartet showcased their talents at the Freeport Recreation Center’s annual tree lighting — the second consecutive year they have performed on the stage.

The student-ran group also featured Aaron Anderson on baritone saxophone, and Kyle Jackson and Jasmine Brown on alto saxophone. The quartet performed upbeat and jazzy rendition of holiday classics, including “Santa Baby,” “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” “Winter Wonderland,” “We Wish You a Very Merry Christmas,” “Let it Snow,” and an arrangement of “Angels We Have Heard on High,” created by Aaron Anderson.

The group was delighted to be able to not only participate in a Freeport community staple, but to also spread cheer with its remarkable sounds.

FHS Marching Band Amazes

Marching Band Amazes

The high school Marching Band performed at the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex during Hofstra University’s basketball game against St. Bonaventure.

The Marching Band’s 142-piece unit is comprised of instrumentalists, color guard, rifles, batons and kick line. During halftime, the drumline led its unit onto the court for its rendition of the Marching Cadence. The crowd displayed its appreciation for the ACDC show, as well as for the high-spirited pep style music played from the seats throughout the game.

Marching Band directors Mr. Lasorsa, Mr. Rubin and Ms. Scott thank student drum majors Aaron Anderson, Christina Morris and Elijah Zelaya, and color guard captain Kira Brizill for their dedication and hard work.

Holiday Concert and Art Exhibit

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Fifth- and sixth-grade Atkinson students performed like professionals at Freeport High School and put on a phenomenal holiday show. Mrs. Arnell, Dr. Thomas, Mr. Federici, Mr. Friedman, Mrs. Morales and Ms. Beck coached their student-musicians to perform songs such as “Fix You,” which included students holding candles and singing proudly. Outside of the auditorium Mrs. Barry and Ms. Hertzberg hung an inspiring student art display that enhanced the ambiance of the evening.

Lights and Sounds: Chorale Astounds

The beautiful voices of the high school’s Select Chorale illuminated the Freeport Recreation Center at its annual Christmas Tree Lighting. The group, led by director Monique Retzlaff, performed outstanding renditions of classic holiday carols, including “Angels We Have Heard on High,” “Carol of the Bells,” “Silent Night,” “Joy to the World,” and its own jazz rendering of “All Come All Ye Faithful.” The repertoire also featured a performance of “Elijah Rock” and pieces from George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah.” Select Chorale President Christina Morris and Vice President Michael Desir each also had the opportunity to showcase their choral leadership skills by conducting the group at various points in the performances.

“Leave it to this hardworking and supremely talented group of vocalists to brighten a tree lighting with their harmony,” said Retzlaff. “We are delighted to be a part of one of the community’s holiday staples, and to be able to spread festive cheer across Freeport.”

Nursery Rhyme Night at Columbus


Parents learned how to work with students at home with basic, everyday materials as a way to supplement their classroom lessons on Nursery Rhyme Night. With student volunteers from the high school also working with them, students and parents participated in various activities including rhyming, letter recognition and math, and received materials to take home with them.

Archer Zumbas

Archer Street hosted a Zumba Parent University for students and their parents to participate in at the school. The event served as a fun, active and informational program for the Archer community.

KEVA at Archer

Representatives of the Long Island Children’s Museum visited Archer Street to work with third-graders on a KEVA planks project. KEVA planks are building blocks that are designed to be the same size, shape and weight, and the project helps students develop their engineering skills by tasking them to build structures as a team. The students experimented with gravity and speed during their collaborations.

Archer Discovers the Universe

Students at Archer Street had the opportunity to discover the universe directly from the school’s parking lot. The Vanderbilt Planetarium’s Discovering the Universe: Mobile Classroom hosted students as they supplemented their classroom lessons about astronomy and the universe. The Mobile Classroom, which is comprised of the self-contained modules Light, Telescopes, Digital Imaging, Gravity and The 3-D Universe, served as a fun, educational and unique way for students to learn how astronomers use different processes to acquire information.

Dodd Donates

The Future Corps at Dodd visited the Freeport Salvation Army and donated 100 items during the holiday season. The benevolent endeavor served to promote the importance of community service.

Dignity and Discipline on Display


Members of the high school’s Navy Junior ROTC demonstrated their poise and precision at the annual Inspection and Battalion Parade before the Freeport Public School District Board of Education, administrators, Village of Freeport trustees, local war veterans and families.

The program’s 269 students performed their drills accurately and in harmony en route to passing their inspection, which was conducted by Navy Recruiting District New York Executive Officer Commander Christian Gaskill.

“When I look at what this program is meant to achieve, it’s about citizenship, service to country, and teaching these young men and women about responsibility and accomplishment,” said Commander Gaskill. “I got a chance to inspect these men and women, and I asked them why they joined the program. Almost every one of them said ‘I wanted the leadership, camaraderie, and the sense of pride.’ And that’s exactly what they’re getting. I want to give a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to all the families here, because without the support they have at home, they’re can’t do what they do.”

Board of Education President Michael Pomerico and Freeport High School Principal Linda Carter each told the cadets and their leaders how proud they should be for showcasing such stellar skills and composure, and encouraged them to continue developing their leadership skills. They also praised Senior Naval Science Instructor Major Donald Moore, Jr. and Naval Science Instructor Chief Louis A. Lopez for their unwavering dedication to the school’s NJROTC program and its members.

The inspection and parade served as a forum to celebrate the hard work of the members and staff of the high school’s NJROTC program.

Mentorship Magnificence


Students at Dodd had the opportunity to reconnect with their mentors and express their appreciation to them during the school’s mentoring program celebration prior to the holiday break. The mentoring program, now in its eighth year, connects faculty members with students in a mentor-mentee relationship. The mentors help to ease students’ transition from sixth-grade and prior to high school, and annually offer their time, assistance and leadership to students who seek to make the most of their middle school experience. The event was organized by school social worker Felice Niland, who started the program in 2008 and has overseen its increasing participation since then.

Hour of Code

Students at Archer Street and New Visions participated in Hour of Code during the week of Dec. 5-11. The global event, which the school hosted for students in each grade level, introduced students to the basics of computer science and coding.

Archer Street School Turkey Trot

 Freeport TV

New Visions Math Bee

New Visions students participated in the annual schoolwide Math Bee, showcasing their skills in a competitive format. The students were selected to represent their respective classes in a test of math fluency and speed, and used “mental math” to solve addition, subtraction, multiplication and division problems.
Congratulations to winners Brian Cruz-Molina (first-grade), Nicholas Pereira (second-grade), Malaki Cadet (third-grade), and Kiran Manansingh (fouth-grade).

Giblyn’s Drive


In November, Giblyn held its annual Thanksgiving Spirit Week and Food Drive, encouraging students to bring in donations for Freeport Outreach to help families throughout the community.

The presidents and vice presidents of the fourth-grade classes helped organize and pack up all of the donations, and each day had a different theme: students and staff displayed their spirit on Neon Monday, Twin Tuesday, Western Wednesday, Team Thursday and Superhero Friday.

The week ended with the theme of superheroes to reinforce that each and every one of Giblyn’s students is a superhero for their altruism and helpfulness. In total, Giblyn students brought in 3,438 items to be donated.

Shell Decorations


Students in Dodd’s 21st Century Expressions Through Art program, led by school social worker Felice Niland, painted shells as part of an art project they selected. The shells, which were supplied by staff member Donna Riso from nearby Nautical Mile, were first scrubbed and then painted by the students.

Dazzler at the Empire State Building

The high school’s Select Chorale had the honor of showcasing its remarkable talents at the Empire State Building during the holiday season. The group, led by Director Monique Retzlaff, performed on the 80th floor at the Dare to Dream exhibit, and was then treated to a tour on the 86th observatory floor.
“Our Select Chorale brought such joy to the tourists with their beautiful voices,” said Retzlaff. “The group cherishes the privilege to perform in such a majestic landmark, and I am so proud of the hard work and practice they have put in.”

Class of 2017’s Top 10

The high school has announced its top 10 students of the Class of 2017 — those with the highest cumulative grade point averages, including the valedictorian and salutatorian. The district extends its congratulations to these students, who have consistently demonstrated a dedication to learning and outstanding work ethic: valedictorian Kimberly Serna, salutatorian Karissa Collins, Victoria Wright (3), Melissa Alvarez (4), Rajiv Chanda (5), Ismary Jimenez (6), Kaitlin McLaughlin (7), Abbey Ebesu (8), Erica Matos-DeLosSantos (9), and Kristen Kumi (10).

Giblyn’s Summer Readers

Giblyn students were honored at the November PTA meeting for their participation in the Summer Reading Club at the Freeport Memorial Library. Their hard work and dedication to reading earned a trophy for Giblyn for the second consecutive year. The district extends its congratulations to Giblyn’s top readers, Arianna Persaud and Ethan Francois.

Archer’s Giving Tree

In partnership with Our Holy Redeemer Parish Outreach in Freeport, Archer Street sponsored a holiday “Giving Tree” prior to Thanksgiving.

The Archer community collected donations of canned and packaged foods, paper goods, plastic ware, and other nonperishable items that Our Holy Redeemer Parish Outreach would then provide to children and adults throughout the community. Students who brought in donations had their names written on paper leaves that were placed on the “Giving Tree” in one of the school’s hallways. The activity served as a way for Archer Street to give back to its community, and also taught students the importance of charitable endeavors during the season of giving.

Dodd’s Mentoring Program

Eight years ago, Dodd social worker Felice Niland attended a conference featuring speaker John Hershey of the Mentoring Partnership of Long Island, now known as Mentor NY.
Hershey charged each participant with returning back to their school and starting a mentoring program, and Niland began the quest right away. During the first year of mentoring, Dodd had 12 teachers mentoring 12 students. Eight years later, Dodd has 53 mentors mentoring 103 students. In November, Dodd was invited to have one of their mentees speak about what mentoring has meant to her at the Mentor NY annual fundraiser at Neiman Marcus.
Jasmine Figueroa, now a high school freshman, gave a moving and eloquent speech about how mentoring helped her through middle school. She spoke highly and emotionally about her mentor, Michele Haimes, FACS teacher at Dodd. Haimes mentored Figueroa for two years — informally the first year and formally the second — and provided her with support.
Mentoring has been proven to reduce truancy, improve academics and help students feel more connected to school. Eighty percent of students who have had a mentor go on to become mentors themselves later in life.
The mentoring program has proven to be a worthwhile initiative, and one the school will continue for many years to come.

Liberty Partnership at Atkinson

The Liberty Partnership Program Family Dinner took place at Atkinson on Nov. 18, where parents were introduced to this unique after-school program. The program partners with Nassau Community College to promote students’ academic assistance, social and emotional learning, community service projects, enrichment/art projects, field trips, a summer program, and ensuring college and career readiness.

The director, Donntoya Bailey, introduced the program to parents and also had informational pamphlets available about college resources, career planning and financial aid opportunities. Parents were also introduced to the Liberty Partnership Program staff at Atkinson, comprised of Principal Consuelo Velez and teachers Bryan Fiore, Sharin Gross, Emily Hertzberg, Mauricio Riveros and Mariella Ryan.

Giblyn Ninjas


Giblyn was transformed into an obstacle course of fun and friendly competition as it hosted family sports night for its staff members, students and their families.

This year’s theme was “American Ninja Warrior Challenge,” based on the television series, and featured a wide variety of physical activities such as rock-climbing, rope-swinging, and wiggling through hula hoops and tents. While most of the activities were set up in the gymnasium, there was fun to be had all around the school as the hallways also featured various challenges. Students prepared for the obstacle course by training in their gym classes.

Giblyn’s family sports night was a fun way to promote the benefits of an active lifestyle and the importance of teamwork.

Giblyn Celebrates Writing

Second-graders at Giblyn culminated their unit in narrative writing with a shared class reading. Students in Ms. Corbo’s and Ms. Correnti’s classes paired up, as well as students in Ms. Moloney and Ms. DeFranco’s classes. Over the course of 10 weeks, the students worked through the writing process by adding craft moves, revising, and editing to their small moment stories. Each student also brought a published piece of writing to share in a group and enjoyed receiving feedback from their peers.

We Won! Freeport Red Devils Win Nassau County Class I Championship

On Nov. 17, the Red Devils capped off an amazing season and defeated the Farmingdale Dalers 53-28 to win the Nassau County Class I Championship. Freeport (10-1) will compete against the winner of the William Floyd vs. Ward Melville game for the Long Island Class I Championship on Friday, Nov. 25 at noon at Hofstra University. Tickets to the game will be sold at game time at Hofstra. Please plan to attend the game and support our team. Go Freeport!