Points of Pride - June 2015

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Class of 2019 Graduates Dodd

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Dodd’s Class of 2015 celebrated its moving-up surrounded by their delighted family members and district staff members on the Atkinson field.

Students assembled on the field for what was their final moving up ceremony prior to entering high school in the fall, and Dodd Chorus Director Ms. Sherill Spruill led her Select Chorus group in a singing of the national anthem. Students Leah Hochman, Wendy Bermudes and Gabriel Alvarado then addressed their peers, reflecting on their wonderful years at Dodd while recognizing their teachers for motivating them to maximize their potential.

The student address was followed by a motivational speech by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham, who expressed how proud he was of the outgoing eighth-grade class and encouraged them to continue reaching for the stars, and Board of Education Vice President Mr. Anthony Miller, who said that students ought to take full advantage of the opportunities they have to achieve their goals. Following a choral supplement led again by Ms. Spruill, Principal Ms. Johane Ligondé addressed her students.

“At Dodd, you began to unlock the power that lies within you,” Ms. Ligondé said. “You learned that your voice and your choices matter because they are expressions of your capabilities. Nurturing the power within you with knowledge will enable you to achieve the very best of yourself. Be an artist with a canvas, and paint the world you’d like to live in — a world full of colors, light and beauty.”

Standout students were then presented with awards for excellence in various areas, including English, science, social studies, math, music and athletics. Sixty students were celebrated for their inductions into the National junior Honor Society, 83 students received the President’s Award for Educational Achievement and 52 students received the President’s Award for Outstanding Academic Excellence.

One by one, students then received their certificates marking their culmination of middle school, and the ceremony came to a close as families celebrated with them.

Congratulations to all outgoing Dodd students and Freeport High School’s Class of 2019!

Elementary Schools’ Students Move On Up

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Fourth-graders at each of the district’s four elementary schools celebrated the end of the school year with moving-up ceremonies, as they reflected back on their first years of education and prepared to come together next year at Atkinson for fifth-grade.

With their proud families, teachers and administrators in attendance, students at Bayview, Giblyn, Archer and New Visions schools paid homage to the support and guidance of staff prior to receiving certificates for completing elementary education.

At Bayview, top-performing Freeport High School students of the Class of 2015, who are alumni of the elementary school, were in attendance to watch their counterparts move up. The keynote speaker was high school salutatorian Lois Evans, who encouraged the younger students to never give up, try their best, and to remember that the sky is the limit. The fourth-graders then honored their teachers with heartfelt words, and personally delivered flowers to them. The entire group serenaded all guests with a performance of “Little Wonders” prior to a slideshow presentation featuring events and special moments throughout the students’ Bayview careers. The program culminated with the ceremonial announcement of moving-up students’ names.

“I am truly excited because I believe we have given our students strong roots and strong wings through our partnership,” Principal Ms. Odette Wills said to families. Ms. Wills went on to tell students to make well thought-out choices, and to stay focused on achieving their goals and dreams.

Congratulations to all moving up students, and best of luck at Atkinson and beyond!

Freeport High School Class of 2015 graduates

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With their proud families, friends, teachers and administrators in attendance, Freeport High School’s Class of 2015 celebrated its graduation at Hofstra University.

The ceremony opened with a musical performance by the symphonic orchestra, conducted by Jill Boardman, and a rendition of the national anthem by the select chorale, directed by Monique Retzlaff. Prior to the announcement of graduates’ names, several speakers, including Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham, Principal Ms. Linda Carter, valedictorian Mohdshobair Hussaini and salutatorian Lois Evans, delivered motivational words to the graduating class.

Dr. Kuncham encouraged the students to be fearless and to use their uniqueness to further pave their paths to success.

 “As you move on to your new journey, be fearless and be all you can be. If you don’t already know it, know that you are unique,” said Dr. Kuncham. “Find your unique talents, gifts and dreams, and be your own personal best. Compare yourself to no one — only to yourself. Don’t let other opinions suppress your inner voice, and don’t try to live up to someone else’s notion of perfection. Your uniqueness is your best friend. Find it, accept it, and love it. The world is filled with endless possibilities, and it is your world.”

Ms. Carter urged students to keep in mind those who have supported them, guided them and encouraged them as they strive towards making a difference in the world.

“As you leave Freeport High School today, you leave not just with an education, but with the tools to make a difference in the lives of others,” said Ms. Carter. “Take what you have learned from your parents, family members and the amazing educators, teachers and administrators you have come in contact with, and use it as you begin the next chapter of your life. As you meet new challenges, use it to accomplish your goals and create your own legacy, but do it for the sake of others.”

Valedictorian Hussaini, salutatorian Evans and class vice president Maya Henson reflected on their personal experiences, and thanked their families and friends for being their guiding lights.

“After a shake of the hand, you’re told that this is the moment your real life begins,” said Evans. “But your life began when you swept up your tears and walked to work after school, or when you barely passed that test, but vowed to ace the next one.”

“I would like to thank my mom and dad for all they have done for me, especially my mom, who’s the greatest gift God could’ve ever given me,” said Hussaini. “The moment you step out of this arena tonight, I’m hoping you realize that the ball is in your court, you make your next move, you control your own future and you write your own destiny.”

Following the announcement of all of the graduates’ names, students participated in a celebratory toss of their caps into the air. Assistant Principal Mr. Nelson Holland then addressed the students, assuring them that with the support of their families and Freeport High School staff, they are equipped with the tools to help them navigate any road their dreams take them down.  

Best of continued luck to Freeport High School’s Class of 2015!



Freeport BOE Trustee Debra Mulé celebrated for her service

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The Freeport Public School District Board of Education honored longstanding board trustee Ms. Debra Mulé for her tireless service and dedication on behalf of the students and families, and for her ongoing advocacy efforts in support of public education.

Ms. Mulé, who has been a member of the Board since 2006, has held multiple leadership positions, serving as board president for two years and board vice president for three years. Throughout her nine years of service, Ms. Mulé has made significant contributions through her service on several board committees and organizations, including the district’s Policy Committee, Community Outreach Committee and Parent Teacher Association Council, for which she served as president.

At the recognition ceremony, Ms. Mulé received a plaque on behalf of the Board of Education and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham to commemorate her years of service. She also received numerous citations from several elected officials, and Nassau County Legislator Laura Curran and a representative from State Sen. Michael Venditto spoke highly about Ms. Mulé’s service. Board of Education President Mr. Michael Pomerico, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham and the members of the board each also spoke about Ms. Mulé’s dedication and commitment to the children of Freeport and the community.

“You are an incredible woman with many talents, and you devoted yourself wholeheartedly to serve the children of Freeport,” said Dr. Kuncham. “This brief tribute to you is a small token of our deep appreciation of your wonderful contributions. Thank you for your dedicated service. You will be missed by all of us, and many others.”

“Your intelligent insights and child-centered approach were incredible assets to the board,” said Mr. Pomerico. “Above all, I consider you a friend, and I commend you for all you have done.”

Ms. Mulé thanked everyone for their kind comments and wishes, and said she was happy to see the district’s improvement in various ways.

“I am so proud to have been on a team that guided the district through difficult fiscal times, increased the graduation rate to record levels, and was recognized by the Office of the State Comptroller as a model for fiscal management,” said Ms. Mulé. “I’m also proud of the independent study that found our board to be an exemplary board, and one that is a model for how school boards across the state should function. The district is very fortunate to have Dr. Kuncham as its superintendent, and it has been an honor to work with him and his cabinet.”  

The Freeport Public Schools gratefully acknowledges the valuable contributions made by Ms. Mulé on behalf of the children and Freeport community.

1: (Left to right) Board of Education trustee Ronald Ellerbe, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham, President Michael Pomerico, trustee Vilma Lancaster and Vice President Anthony Miller honored trustee Debra Mulé (third from left) with a plaque and thanked her for her nine years of service.

Atkinson Enjoys Grease-y Goodness

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Culminating their yearlong preparation involving memorizing lines, designing costumes and creating scenery, students at Atkinson showcased their theatrical production of Grease to the delight of their peers and family members. Students Dillon DeBourg and Jaden Scott shared the roles of Danny Zuko and Elise Smith, while Emily Clukies played Sandy Dumbrowski. Principal Ms. Connie Velez commended the students for their remarkable performances.

New Bell Schedule for 2015-2016 School Year

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Freeport Memorial Library Bibliographies

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Community Awards Scholarships to Class of 2015

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There was a sense of heightened anticipation during the Freeport High School’s forty-seventh annual scholarship and honors program, as selected members of the Class of 2015 anxiously awaited the presentation of the coveted community scholarships.

More than $72,000 was generously donated by the Board of Education, administration, staff PTA, parent groups, alumni, veteran organizations, community residents and community organizations in recognition of the Class of 2015.

“We are here this evening to recognize your exemplary and unwavering commitment to expanding your intellectual capacity,” stated Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham. “Know that we understand the work you have accomplished to be here this evening. Tonight is one part of the rich and rewarding life that awaits all of you.”  Dr. Kuncham continued to recognize all those who generously donated scholarships to the Class of 2015 and thanked them for their ongoing support of the Freeport Public Schools and especially the Class of 2015.

Throughout the evening, more than 100 individuals and organizations presented generous scholarships to the appreciative and surprised members of the Class of 2015. The scholarships recognized students who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, achievement while overcoming adversity, school service and community service.

“You are our shining stars,” stated Board of Education President Michael Pomerico. “Remember your families helped to build you into the fine young men and women you are today. They created the foundation for your success and now it is up to you to build upon that foundation. There are so many opportunities awaiting you.”

During the program, this year’s valedictorian Mohdshobair Hussaini, who will be attending Fordham University, in the fall and salutatorian Lois Evans who will be attending New York University in the fall were also recognized for their outstanding achievements.  

 

Atkinson Students’ Independent Study Projects Impress

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Students at Atkinson exhibited a wide range of independent study projects at the school’s annual Independent Study Festival.

The program, attended by families and teachers, featured research papers, display boards, informational cubes, mobiles and artifacts that the fifth- and sixth-graders created to demonstrate their knowledge of various topics, including World War II, Egypt, sharks and “Star Wars.”

Students researched their topics throughout the year. Following their selection of a topic, they were assigned to research them and prepare four separate components to represent their knowledge of the subject. To conduct their research, students visited the library, navigated the Internet, visited relevant destinations such as museums and zoos, and interviewed experts in their chosen fields.  

Students who successfully completed the four components of the project earned trophies. The purpose of the comprehensive project was to teach students how to conduct research in a variety of ways, to set a goal of obtaining information, to translate that information into presentable formats, and to enhance their knowledge.    

 



BOE Honors District Retirees

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The district Board of Education celebrated the 2014-2015 retirees with a special ceremony, and thanked them all for their years of commitment, hard work and dedication to students. All retirees received plaques as tokens of appreciation for their decades of service.

The list of retirees is comprised of Patricia Bennett; Allan Brimer; Susan Bua; Deborah Butler; Edward Decker; Susan DeLuca; Arthur Dozier; Betsy Funch; Carol Gilliam; Ronald Grinnell; James Heberer; Donna Henshaw; Lillian Jackson; Shirma John; Deirdre Loughren; Andrea Miller; Sila Nunez; Catherine Player; Catherine Rode-Flores; Dawn Schlich; Deborah Tiedemann; Catherine Whritenour; Saundra Wilson; and Richard Wolfsdorf.

“We thank you for all the great things that you have accomplished here,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham. “You helped put in place the very foundations that have made this organization such a success. You have touched very deeply, and inspired so many of our students and so many of your colleagues. It is not possible to measure what each of you meant to our school district, and you are leaving a lasting legacy. We celebrate the fact that you have touched countless lives in powerful and meaningful ways. We salute you.”

The ceremony served as a special way to commemorate individuals who have been long-standing members of the school district, and to wish them the best of luck in retirement.


Holocaust Survivor Visits Dodd

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Students at Dodd received a special visit from Holocaust survivor Sami Steigmann.

Steigmann, who was an infant when his family was imprisoned in Ukraine, spoke about his life and experiences to the students. He candidly discussed surviving genocide and serving as a moral witness, and urged students to be the best people that they can be. Steigmann also answered questions from students and faculty members near the conclusion of his discussion.

Steigmann’s visit served to supplement eighth-grade students’ reading of Night by Ellie Wiesel and The Diary of Anne Frank in conjunction with the World War II unit in social studies. His firsthand accounts added an invaluable perspective of a major chapter in world history.


Bayview Students Shine in Math Bees

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Students at Bayview showcased their math skills in the school’s annual math bee competitions.

Separate bees were held for the second-, third- and fourth-grade levels, and students represented their classrooms while displaying their knowledge of solving rigorous math problems that they worked on throughout the year. The math problems became tougher with each passing round, and first, second and third place winners in all grade levels were awarded ribbons and math puzzles. All participants received certificates for their efforts.

DECA and Business Honor Society Students Celebrated

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Several high school students were inducted into the Business Honor Society for their remarkable work throughout the 2015 school year in a special ceremony.

The program also featured the appointment of the newest officers in the Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) club, led by advisor Nela Hawthorne. The standout business students received certificates for their inductions, and high school alumni spoke about the advantages of the DECA club. The students attributed many of the skills they use everyday and in their careers to the club, and said that the networking opportunities DECA afforded to them continue to pay dividends.

“I am very proud of all the work you have done, and I commend you for taking on leadership roles,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham, who was also in attendance. “You represent Freeport very well by bringing high honors to the school.”

Morlon’s Motivation

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Students and staff in the district received a special visit from Morlon Greenwood, one of its most famous alumni.

Greenwood, who played linebacker in the National Football League for the Miami Dolphins, Houston Texans and Oakland Raiders, revisited Freeport High School and Atkinson to speak to students about his journey and the importance of following their dreams. In separate assemblies, Greenwood told students to never give up, to listen to the advice of their parents and families, and that if they believe in reaching their goals, they shall achieve them. Greenwood’s visit was designed to motivate students, and to inspire them to continue working hard.

The famous alum also encouraged all students and their families to attend the first annual Morlon Greenwood Foundation Football Camp on July 10 at 6 p.m. The free event will be held at the high school, and will feature giveaways, refreshments and visits from several professional athletes.

May Points of Pride

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FHS Hero Remembers His Roots

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During the Board of Education meeting following Memorial Day, the district received a special gift honoring the nation’s war veterans from Freeport High School alum U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Samuel Rodriguez.
    
Staff Sergeant Rodriguez, who has returned home from serving in Afghanistan, presented a framed American flag that was flown over Afghanistan and a certificate to the high school. High School Principal Linda Carter, FHS JROTC advisor Major Donald Moore and members of the school’s JROTC, who were also in attendance, were presented with this remarkable patriotic memento. The members of the board of education, administration and community residents showed their appreciation to Sergeant Rodriguez with a standing ovation.
    
“We cannot thank you enough for your selfless service to our nation,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham. “You are a hero in every sense of the word, and your gift to us will not only have a special place in our school, but a special place in our hearts.”
    
The meeting, which was held at Columbus, also featured a performance by the school’s kindergarten students, who sang about the lessons they learned throughout the year, such as counting, reading and shapes.
    
The certificate presentation spotlighted community pride following a national day of observance, and the Columbus performance served as a way for the students and their families to look back on the 2015 school year as is comes to a close.

Columbus Students Have a Field Day

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Students and staff at Columbus didn’t let a rainy day deter them from participating in a day full of fun and friendly physical activities.

The school’s pre-kindergartners and kindergartners worked together to accomplish tasks during its annual Field Day program. Physical education teacher William Timmes, who organized the daylong spring staple, set up a variety of stations around the school gymnasium. Students were tasked with activities including balancing a ball on a cone, balancing a ring on a giant foam lollipop, crawling through a tunnel made of rolled-up mats to touch a cone and reverting back the starting point, and racing in potato sacks.

During a break, kindergartners also picnicked in the gymnasium, just as they would have on the field of Northeast Park in Freeport.

Field Day was designed to continue developing students’ motor skills and coordination, in addition to encouraging teamwork and physical activity.

FHS Spin Room Now in Session

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The high school welcomed several elected officials to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony at its brand new spin room.

Students and staff joined Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham, Board of Education President Michael Pomerico, Principal Linda Carter, Athletic Director Jonathan Bloom and Director of Facilities Thomas Fucci to celebrate the Spin Room’s grand opening. The room features dozens of spin cycles, as well as a surround-sound system and television screens to fuel workouts.

Elected officials in attendance included Town of Hempstead Councilwoman Erin King-Sweeney, Legislator Laura Curran and Legislator Steven Rhoads.

The ceremony served to introduce a new element to the school’s physical education curricula, and also promoted the district’s ongoing dedication to teaching its students the importance of a healthy lifestyle.