Katelyn Diaz, a junior at W.T. Clarke High School, was recently recognized for her positive contributions to the community with the Nassau County District Attorney SHIELD Award. The award, created by former District Attorney Madeline Singas, is presented to a high school junior who, selected by their school, showed an outstanding strength of character, commitment to self-growth and the spirit and initiative.
Academically, Katelyn is an incredibly strong student with an organized and strategic work ethic.
"From the time I've known her, she has consistently made appointments with me to ask questions about her future, college options, the best courses she should take, and ways for her to get even more involved in school and within her community," guidance counselor Rachel Tufano said.
"Overall, she is one of the humblest students I have encountered in my career. She is exceptionally kind, caring, genuine, and open minded. Despite the multiple personal challenges she has encountered this year, she has continued to persevere and come to school every day with a smile on her face and positive and optimistic attitude."
Every two months, Parkway Elementary School nourishes students’ social-emotional learning through Parkway C.A.R.E.S. Organized by Assistant Principal Janine Farinella, the program aligns with the Responsive Classroom approach and represents the competencies of cooperation, assertiveness, responsibility, empathy and self-control.
With each focus, Ms. Farinella discusses what the competencies mean in a comprehensive video, which is shown to classes throughout the school. The video includes worksheets, questions to ask and reading materials relating to the skills. Each teacher then incorporates the skills into their lessons with in-class activities which are then sent to Ms. Farinella. Submitted items include pictures and video highlighting the activities, which Ms. Farinella then puts together a slideshow commending the entire school community for their hard and meaningful work.
Parkway C.A.R.E.S reflects the vital social-emotional curriculum the East Meadow School District has adopted. The curriculum encourages important skills for students of all ages for them to employ inside and outside of the classroom. It also bonds students in different classrooms during a time when they may not be able to have that in-person connection.
Two Woodland Middle School robotics teams recently competed in the Long Island Lego Robotics Competition hosted by Adelphi University. The teams were required to construct and code their own unique design to complete this year's challenge. Additionally, the students completed a driver-controlled portion of the course and developed a presentation on their project.
This year's event was hosted virtually, which created a number of unique challenges for the students. The two teams were able to persevere and accomplish many great things through this year's competition.
One team, comprised of Woodland students Andrew Dungca, Christopher Verdi, Connor McKevitt, Logan Capozzoli and Liam York, placed first overall in both the challenge and the presentation, making them the champions of the competition. A near perfect score on their presentation helped to cap off what was an amazing run for this team who have been competing together since 6th grade. The team's 70 points in the challenge was the most scored by any team in the competition.
Additionally, the other Woodland team inlcuding Aidan Lehmann, Eva Kyriakidis, Kammie Capozzoli, Elizabeth Serra and Sarah Chavez-Olaya brought home the Judges Award for a superb presentation and a great run of the course. They scored 58 points in the challenge, which allowed them to finish in the top bracket. Their presentation was extremely strong and successful for them as well, scoring them a total of 96 points.
The hard work and dedication of both teams shined this year with both teams being so successful. The competition’s judges when they had discussed the importance of how organized and neat Woodland’s video was for the virtual scoring of their course runs. History was made here at Woodland this year bringing home two trophies and the first-place finish!