skip to main content

Essay Contest

Essay Contest Photo
Emma Leiman earned 2nd place in Nassau County for the 2016 -2017 VFW Patriot's Pen Essay Contest. The theme for the 2016-2017 VFW Patriot's Pen Essay Contest was “The America I Believe In.” Pictured with Emma are Gus Scutari and Commander Bill Santini from the Syosset VFW, James Kassebaum (HBT principal), and Heather Schulman, Emma's seventh grade social studies teacher.   In addition to certificates of recognition, Mr. Scutari and Commander Santini awarded Emma checks totaling $100 for her outstanding achievement.

Syosset High School’s VEI team Takes 2nd in the Nation

VEI team Pic 1
VEI team Pic 2
Congratulations to Syosset High School’s Virtual Enterprise International (VEI) team Flip Chip for taking 2nd place overall in the country in the National Business Plan Competition finals held at the Microsoft Technology Center in New York City earlier this month!  Over 570 teams from across the country competed in this year’s NBPC finals.
Flip Chip marketed a line of all-natural, environmentally sustainable and tasty potato chips. Since palm oil is not used in the production of its chips, Flip Chip’s product line offers a healthier alternative to the common potato chip and does not aid in deforestation associated with the palm oil industry.  
In the VEI program, students take on the roles of business professionals and create a workplace environment in the classroom. They brainstorm ideas for a product, service or marketable concept, and then establish their company by submitting resumes and cover letters to hopefully land an interview for various positions, including the CEO. Once the company is established, students develop marketing initiatives to promote their business and participate in various competitions involving other VEI teams from schools throughout the country. This year, the Flip Chip team has been extremely successful out of the gate in the district’s first year offering the VEI program.
According to Flip Chip teacher/advisor Matthew Fiasconaro, students reviewed video from previous competitions, recorded themselves and made adjustments to their presentation just prior to the national competition.  
“In between rounds at the NBPC we would meet as a team and go over my notes to try and find ways to improve,” said Fiasconaro.  “We were making adjustments every time we presented all the way through the final presentation.”
Flip Chip also won a gold award for its potato farm themed booth in the Best Booth category and a silver award in the Best E-Commerce Website category at the International Trade Show held at Pier 92 in New York City in conjunction with the NBPC and other competitions sponsored by VEI’s Youth Business Summit. Another Syosset High School VEI team, Nice Pops, also received silver awards in the Best Booth and E-Commerce Website categories at the trade show. Syosset’s VEI team  Alternatitive Reality Entertainment also won Honorable Mention in the Youth Business Summit’s National Marketing Competition. Max Cohen of AAA Turbo Tech (another Syosset VEI team) also joined students from other VEI programs around the world to win 2nd place in the Global Business Challenge, yet another event held at Pier 92.
“It is so rewarding to see the students have so much success after how hard they have worked,” added Fiasconaro. “They would practice over school vacations when school was out and on weekends. I’m glad the students get to see that hard work does pay off.”
“The VEI program overall has achieved tremendous success in just its first year at Syosset High School,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Tom Rogers, who provided input to Flip Chip after taking the time to sit in on their presentation. “All four of the school’s VEI teams have achieved some level of success and recognition. To be named second in the nation after what amounts to less than seven months of participating in the program, is a tremendous achievement for these students and Mr. Fiasconaro. I commend them, and all of our VEI teams and teachers for once again demonstrating that Syosset High School is one of the best schools in the country.”
Pictured are Flip Chip’s NBPC presenters: Zach Appel, Jack Santoro, Aaron Rosenfeld, Matt Catton and Scott Mansouri.

Autism Acceptance

Autism Acceptance Photo
Students and staff at Syosset High School once again showed they care for fellow classmates and all others who live with autism, as the school honored national Autism Acceptance Month. Since the color red is symbolic of love, students and staff members decided to get on board with a campaign to “wear red instead.” In the past, blue was the official color of autism awareness, however the symbolic color has changed to take on a deeper meaning.

Special education teachers and students, Community Health classes and Student Government members as well as others, joined together to decorate the Syosset High School halls with puzzle pieces, important facts and other significant messaging about autism. On April 4, all those who lent their support showed their love and acceptance for those living with autism, by wearing a little love on their backs.

Special thanks to: Assistant Director of Pupil Personnel Services Mary-Lou Sapienza, Student Government adviser and special education teacher Dale Iovine, special education teacher Debi Hunter, Stacey Balducci and her Community Health students, special education teachers Susan Botta and Kristin Fuchs and their students and Samantha Feigelson of the Student Government office.

More than 300 Inducted into National Honor Society

More than 300 Inducted into National Honor Society Photo 1
More than 300 Inducted into National Honor Society Photo 2
More than 300 Inducted into National Honor Society Photo 3
This year, Syosset High School’s National Honor Society inducted 315 new members into the Thalian Chapter during two special ceremonies held in the school’s Harvey P. Karp auditorium, which was filled with proud parents, faculty, school officials and scholars.

NHS advisors Jessica Rosenberg and Beth Waschitz welcomed the audience as Syosset High School Principal Dr. Giovanni Durante and NHS President George Chai each gave accounts about the dedication and hard work that goes into becoming a NHS member, as well as all of the wonderful efforts of NHS members over the years to make Syosset High School and the community a better place.

Executive Board members lit the ceremonial candles that represent the four key principles of NHS membership: character, scholarship, leadership and service. Then, one by one, the new inductees’ names were announced and each stepped up to the stage to receive their certificates prior to taking the NHS pledge.

Special thanks to the Syosset High School chamber orchestra, led by Stephanie Merten, for providing the processional, interlude and recessional.

South Woods Sensational in the Science Olympiad Regional Competition

South Woods Sensational in the Science Olympiad Regional Competition Photo
All three teams from South Woods Middle School scored high enough to participate in the 2017 New York State Science Olympiad Regional Competition, with each group delivering impressive results.  South Woods Team 1 finished in first place at the competition Team 2 scored in fourth place and Team 3 scored in sixth place. Team 1 won a total of 44 medals; Team 2 took home 33 medals and  Team 3 collected 26 medals.  Altogether South Woods took home an amazing 103 medals!         
Team 1 finished with an exceptional score and fell just two points short of first place.  The team, comprised of students Nolan Smithwick, Akitora Iyoda, Stella Chen, Evan Cheng, Edward Duan, Elena Hong, Eric Huang, Ashley Jung, Kevin Li, Kenneth Lin, Angela Mao, Jenny Ou, Augustine Park, Giselle Rasquinha and Andrew Zhang, advanced to represent South Woods at the New York State Science Olympiad Competition this month.                 

Coach Stollow is very proud of all the teams.

HBT Science Olympians Impress

HBT Science Olympians Impress Photo

Congratulations to HBT Middle School’s Science Olympiad Team 34, which took eighth place overall at the New York State Science Olympiad Regional competition and earned a trip to the New York State Science Olympiad finals!

Overall, HBT earned 14 medals in 12 different events at regionals. Special thanks to the hardworking sixth and seventh graders, who will be counted on to lead the team next year.  Coaches are also hopeful that some of this year’s stellar eighth graders return as mentors next year. Current high school freshmen Sophia Jang and Caroline Ruggiero, members of last year’s HBT Science Olympiad team, returned to lend their expertise to this year’s group.


Robbins Lane PTA Holds Annual Carnival

The 2017 Robbins Lane Luau Carnival provided traditional carnival games such as "Can Smash" and "Hoop Shot," and new favorites like "Tic-tac-toe Basketball," for children of all ages to enjoy. Popcorn, cotton candy, and hot dogs were the snacks of the day as children took pictures at the luau-themed photo booth, had their face painted, made a fish craft and participated in other fun activities available. There were many raffles, including Disney World Park Hoppers, Mets tickets, and autographed baseballs and posters. Kids had tons of fun, enjoying relief from the cold and a day in the sun.

Robbins Lane Dances the Night Away

Robbins Lane School held its MVP (Most Valuable Person) dance on Friday, March 17.  The event was a huge success as each student invited a loved one to come do-si-do and have some fun line dancing!


Robbins Lane Students Read for PARP

This March, Robbins Lane Elementary School participated in the PARP (Pick A Reading Partner) program. The two-week long PTA-sponsored program encourages students to read at home with family members to develop a culture of reading outside the classroom. This year’s theme at Robbins Lane was “Under the Sea.” Parents and teachers were reminded to encourage their readers to get involved in reading and participating in fun reading-related activities.

PARP kicked off with award winning author, educator and storyteller Jason Edwards who engaged the students during schoolwide assembly with a collaborative story-telling experience. The Robbins Lane Book and Author committee also sponsored a day of captivating assemblies presented author Lisa Funari-Willever.  Two lucky readers per grade were chosen to have lunch with the author where they asked her questions about her work and her experience as a writer. The entire school brought home an grade-appropriate autographed book from Ms. Funari-Willever.

The class and top three students from each grade who logged the most minutes read received awards.  As a school, Robbins Lane read an amazing 86,733 minutes over the two-week period! Although PARP has ended, the thirst for reading still continues in our young readers. 

Snow Make-Up Day Notice

Due to inclement weather, the district was closed for instruction on Tuesday, March 14, 2017. With this closure, it became necessary for the District to use one of the snow make-up days scheduled in the District calendar. Accordingly, the District will be open on Thursday, May 25th for a full day of instruction. In the event that there is a future additional weather-related school closure, the District would have to be open on Friday, May 26th.

Six Take Top Honors at LISEF; Advance to International Fair

Six Take Top Honors at LISEF Photo 1

Six students from Syosset High School won first place at the Long Island Science and Engineering Fair held on March 23, qualifying them to compete at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in May.

Students Rahul and Sahil Chaudry captured first place in the biochemistry and translational medicine category, Dahyun “Elle” Park and Jordan Sanford took first place on the energy category, Rushabh Meta took first in physics and astronomy, and Mohamed El-Abtah won first place in the biomedical and health sciences grouping. These projects are four of only 20 from the LISEF competition that earned this distinction.                                       
"ISEF is the premier time for high school students to network with other young scientists and solve problems,” said Veronica Ade, the district’s research facilitator. “These six students emulate exactly what the Syosset High School research program is about: perseverance and dedication to scientific inquiry."

The following students earned second-place honors in their categories at the event:
•    Christopher Moon (microbiology)
•    Jarrad Li (biomedical and health sciences)

Honorable mention awards were given to:
•    Zan Ahmed (microbiology)
•    Adam Canarick (embedded systems, engineering mechanics, and robotics and intelligent machines)
•    Justin Cohen (behavioral and social sciences)
•    Andrea He (computational biology)

Special awards were also presented to the following students:
•    Justin Cohen, American Psychological Association
•    Rushabh Mehta, Mu Alpha Theta Award
•    Elle Park and Jordan Sanford, Ricoh Sustainability Award
•    Jarrad Li, Society for In Vitro Biology
•    Adam Canarick, US Metric Association Award
•    Mohamed El-Abtah, US Airforce Award

Pictured from left are the six LISEF winners from Syosset High School who advanced to ISEF: Mohamed El-Abtah, Sahil Chaudry, Rahul Chaudry Rushabh Mehta, Elle Park and Jordan Sanford.

Virtual Enterprise Team Heads to National Finals in First Year

Flip Chip Photo
Congratulations to Syosset High School’s Virtual Enterprise International (VEI) team Flip Chip for advancing to the 2016-17 National Business Plan Competition. Flip Chip is one of only four teams from Long Island heading to the national finals, which will be held at the Microsoft Technology Center in New York City on April 3.

In its inaugural year in Syosset, the VEI program has experienced tremendous success, with all four teams (Flip Chip, Alternative Reality Entertainment (ARE), Nice Pops and AAA Turbo Tech) receiving accolades. Flip Chip and ARE were two of only 10 teams chosen to participate in the Long Island Regional Competition held earlier this month at American Portfolios Financial in Holbrook.

VEI students take on the roles of business professionals and create a workplace environment in the classroom. They brainstorm ideas for a product, service or marketable concept, then establish their company by submitting resumes and cover letters to hopefully land an interview for various positions, including the CEO.  Flip Chip markets a line of all-natural, environmentally sustainable and tasty potato chips.

According to Flip Chip VEI teacher Matthew Fiasconaro, the team has been reviewing video from the previous competition and making adjustments to their presentation. They also invited Superintendent of Schools Dr. Tom Rogers and Deputy Superintendent Adele Bovard to sit in on their presentation and provide feedback. Fiasconaro said the intent was for the students to rehearse their presentation in front of district administrators to match the intensity the students expect to face during the national competition.  

"The Flip Chip team is really excited with all the attention that they
have been receiving lately,” said Fiasconaro. “Yet they remain focused and driven on the task at hand, which is to win the National Business Plan Competition."

To read more about Flip Chip’s success, please click the links below:

Artists Honored as Visionaries

Artists Honored as Visionaries Photo
Two of Syosset High School’s finest student artists received Honorable Mention in the LIU Post Art Department’s Advanced Visions 13: High School Artists of Excellence Exhibit. Maxine An was recognized for her dress design titled “A Rose is a Rose is a Rose” while Laurel Birkhahn was noted for her artwork portfolio “Organized Chaos.”

Advanced Visions includes expressive and original works by regional Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and portfolio preparation high school artists who demonstrate creative minds, synthesizing concept, materials, skill and form. Laurel (left) and Maxine are pictured displaying their acclaimed works as they are congratulated by their art teacher Demi Protonentis.  

“Go APE” artists Mitva Shah and Ryan Spicijaric and their teacher Chrysoula Highland are congratulated by Syosset High School Principal Dr. Giovanni Durante (left) and Coordinator of Fine and Performing Arts Michael Salzman.
Advanced Visionary 13 artists Laurel Birkhahn (third from left) and Maxine An (alongside her dress design) and their teacher Demi Protonentis are congratulated by Syosset High School Principal Dr. Giovanni Durante (left) and Coordinator of Fine and Performing Arts Michael Salzman.

Loud and Clear: Syosset HS Student is NYS Poetry Champion

Loud and Clear: Syosset HS Student is NYS Poetry Champion Photo
Congratulations to Syosset High School junior Iree Mann, who is the New York State champion in the 12th Annual Poetry Out Loud competition. Iree will represent the state in the national semifinals to be held in Washington, D.C., in April following her victory at the state finals held earlier this month in Syracuse.
Iree outshined 24 of the brightest, most creative young student poets in the state, reciting a wide range of poems from the official POL anthology. As state champ, she received $200; an all-expenses paid trip to the national semifinals and Syosset High School will be awarded a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books.
Iree’s winning recitations were of the following poems, which she recited from memory:
•    “American Smooth,” by Rita Dove
•    “The Golden Shovel,” by Terrance Hayes
•    “Break of Day,” by John Donne
POL competition participants are evaluated on a cumulative point total covering all three recitations that factor in accuracy, dramatic appropriateness, evidence of the poem’s understanding, presence, and voice and articulation as well as overall performance. For the competition Iree had to recite from an extensive list provided by the organization, with a pre-20th century poem required. Syosset High School English teacher Lydia Esslinger, who is also Iree’s adviser on the Forensics Society, coached her.
“I am thrilled not only that Iree will represent Syosset High School and the state of New York on the national level, but that she was put in touch with beautiful and powerful language that captures moments of experience the way only an exquisite poem can,” said Esslinger, who continually spreads the word about POL to colleagues and students. “My hope is that she becomes a poetry fan for life.”            According to Esslinger, Iree has also distinguished herself as a member of the Forensics Society, most recently by qualifying as one of three students from the entire downstate area to represent New York in Dramatic Performance at the National Speech and Debate Association's national championship in Birmingham, Alabama in June, joining six other Syosset students. Esslinger is pictured congratulating Iree.
The POL national semifinals will be held at George Washington University on April 25. Nine semifinalists will advance to the national finals, also held at the University, the following day.
Created by the National Endowment for the Arts and The Poetry Foundation, POL is a nationwide poetry recitation competition for high school students. The program is carried out in partnership with State Arts Agencies. New York’s POL program is managed by Teachers & Writers Collaborative in New York City, on behalf of the New York State Council on the Arts, with support from the State University of New York.

Three from Syosset Named “Coach of the Year”

The Syosset Central School District Athletics Department is proud to announce that three varsity coaches received Nassau County Section VIII “Coach of the Year” honors for the winter season. Congratulations to boys basketball coach Greg Cardona, girls basketball coach Michael Ferreira and boys swimming coach Chris Schleider. Each led their teams to successful seasons and were voted the top coach for their respective sport by their coaching peers. 

Syosset Middle Schools Ranked in Top 10 in NYS by

In its latest study of quality schools, has ranked both Syosset Central School District middle schools in the top 10 in New York State.  
According to their website,’s 2017 Best Public Middle Schools ranking is based on a rigorous analysis of key statistics and millions of reviews from students and parents using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Ranking factors include state test scores, student-teacher ratio, student diversity, teacher quality, middle school ratings, and the overall quality of the school district. Both Syosset middle schools received an “A+” grade in academics and teaching, two of the main criteria for the ranking.                            

Syosset schools have received high marks from in recent studies, including No. 16 in the nation as a district. To learn more about the school rankings please go to provides information on K-12 schools, colleges and neighborhoods, using comprehensive school data from the U.S. Department of Education as well as school reviews and online survey responses.

Baylis Science & Technology Fair 2017

On Wednesday, March 8, 2017, 260 Baylis students participated in the school’s Science and Technology Fair. Kindergarten through fifth-graders displayed approximately 130 projects in the gymnasium.

Many collaborated to design experiments and find answers to their hypotheses, creating models to demonstrate their unique inventions. From robotic garbage cans to making the best slime, students used inquiry and creativity in conducting scientific investigations. Teachers were impressed by how eloquently students displayed their projects. During a 60-minute evening program, students also explained the “science” behind their projects to fellow students and family members.

Have you ever seen “elephant” toothpaste or walking water? How about geodes made from eggs? Ever wonder which species breathes faster – goldfish or humans? Ever wonder how much iron is in your cereal? If you attended the Baylis Science and Technology Fair, you would have learned about all of these and much more! It was an exciting and educational experience for children of all ages!

Students Show How to Clean Up an Oil Spill

Students Show How to Clean Up an Oil Spill

Tech Club Knows Design

Congratulations to the H.B. Thompson Middle School Technology Club and adviser Tom Kleint (pictured) for winning 3rd place in the Mechanical Design category of the SBPLI FIRST Lego League competition at Longwood High School on March 5.

Science Olympians Take 1st in Regionals, 8th in States

Science Olympians Take 1st in Regionals, 8th in States
Science Olympians Take 1st in Regionals, 8th in States 2
Congratulations to Syosset High School’s SYO SCI OLY group, which combined for 40 medals at the Science Olympiad regional competition held at Wantagh High School in February. When all the points were tallied from the competing 44 teams, all three SYO SCI OLY teams finished impressively, with Team A winning 1st place overall in the competition. Syosset’s Team B placed 4th and Team C finished in 8th place.    

Composed of 45 students in grades 9-12 and 20 consultants, SYO SCI OLY earned the right to advance to the State Science Olympiad competition held at Le Moyne University in Syracuse. They won 15 medals and finished in eighth-place overall at states from a field of 55.     
SYO SCI OLY also faired well at the recent UPENN invitational where they faced tough competition from national contending teams. Out of the 43 teams competing at UPENN, SYO SCI OLY placed 9th winning 8 medals. Mildred Castañeda advises the team, and thanks all of the members for an incredible year; especially her captains, pictured (l-r) Radhika Patel, Philip Jang, Ethan Zeng, Mark Thomas, and Julianna Bianco, for their tireless dedication.


Parents Get a Lesson in their Children’s Technology

Parents Get a Lesson in their Children’s Technology Photo 1
Parents Get a Lesson in their Children’s Technology Photo 1
Parents Get a Lesson in their Children’s Technology Photo 1
Parents at Robbins Lane Elementary School had an opportunity to participate in several free instructional workshops to learn about Google Docs, a web-based application used by students to create, edit and store documents and spreadsheets online. Led by teacher Melanie Spiegel, technology specialist Colleen Vereline and Principal Thea Pallos, parents learned to create a Google account and document, navigate through the Google menu bar and practice using some of the special features that differentiate Google Docs from other word processing apps.       

Robbins Lane students also participated in the lessons, presenting on how they use the system.                                   

 “Students are using more and more technology, so it’s important that parents know what’s taking place in the classroom,” said Spiegel. “It keeps the lines of communication open.”                                         

Read and Pay It Forward

Read and Pay It Forward

Berry Hill Elementary School culminated a successful PARP week with a special donation. After reading a total of 29,923 minutes during the school’s weeklong celebration of reading, students gathered for a special ceremony in which Principal Mary Kolkhorst and members of the PTA presented a representative of Reading Reflections with 2,487 gently used books.

Reading Reflections is an organization run by school-aged students and young adults that collects and sends books to millions of children around the world with limited access to reading materials due to less fortunate economic circumstances and other challenges. Eden, one of the student representatives from the organization, was on hand to accept Berry Hill’s donation and to thank the students and staff and remind them of the importance of their contribution. Special kudos to Kerri Deangelo’s class for collecting 640 books!         
This year’s PARP theme at Berry Hill was “Go Bananas for Reading.” In addition to the donation and the tremendous amount of time spent reading at home and in school, students were treated to a visit from best-selling children's author Michelle Knudsen.   
Pictured is Principal Kolkhorst (standing, far left) and Eden from Reading Refletions (far rght), members of the school’s PTA executive board and PARP committee and students displaying some of the books they donated.

A Fair of the Heart

A Fair of the Heart
A Fair of the Heart 2
A Fair of the Heart 3
A Fair of the Heart 4
It was only appropriate that on Valentine’s Day Syosset High School’s Interact Club held its latest philanthropic endeavor to raise money to provide life-saving heart surgeries to children in need. The group hosted a Sweet-Hearts Fair in the student lobby area, which doubled as a celebration of life, as students videoconferenced with a recipient of a lifesaving heart procedure made possible through Interact and the community’s generosity.

The Sweet-Hearts Fair offered a dessert bar, games, a mural painting project, a photo booth and much more – all for a mere $5. All proceeds from the event were donated to the school’s charitable partner, Rotary International’s Gift of Life, which assists in the treatment of pediatric heart patients around the world.

Recent Syosset Interact campaigns include “Mission Heartbeat” and “7 in 7.” Two years ago, the club shattered its goal of raising $35,000 by raising over $65,000 for the organization. This year, the club sold Syosset spirit wear on True Blue Day in support of the cause, last year they sold dog tags.

Natasha, the latest child to benefit from Syosset Interact’s fundraising efforts, stole the show during a brief ceremony to kick off the Sweet-Hearts Fair. Skyping from Uganda, Natasha and her family thanked Interact, Gift of Life representatives and other students and school staff members in attendance. Although soft-spoken, and at times speechless, her visual presence served as a touching message that resonated with everyone in the room. She was operated on in a hospital in Kampala, the country’s capital, just a day after the fair. Her procedure was made possible through this year's True Blue event (Syosset spirit hats are still on sale!)                   

Interact co-adviser Carisa Steinberg put it best: “We are just trying to heal one little heart at a time.”                                                  

Jump Rope for Heart Raises $2,600+

On February 14th, Baylis School held its annual Jump Rope for Heart fundraiser in the gym. Sixty-two students participated in heart healthy activities, such as jump roping, hula-hoops, and basketball to raise money for the American Heart Association. We surpassed our goal by raising $2,610.14! Thank you to the Baylis students and families for supporting this wonderful fundraiser!

Oh My! Characters Come to Life at the Baylis Wax Museum

Third-grade Baylis students celebrated learning as they presented the annual Wax Museum. Students dressed in costume as their favorite fictional characters and silently portrayed them, bringing their stories to life. Parents were invited into their child’s classrooms for a brief tale of fiction delivered through each student’s voice. The presentations marked the culmination of a character study unit in reading and literary essay unit of writing, while the wax museum provides a fun exercise for young children to share their knowledge and love of characters with the entire Baylis school community.

Students Place No. 1 and 2 in Junior Forensics Challenge

Congratulations to South Woods Middle School seventh-graders Sage Gladstone and Elena Andrade for their recent success at the Long Island Junior Forensics League Tournament. After weeks of practicing under the guidance of Syosset High School English teacher Lydia Esslinger and members of the high school forensics team, Sage and Elena competed at a middle school forensics tournament held at Kellenberg High School in February. Both students competed in the category of Oral Interpretation. Sage recited a collection of Judith Viorst poems and won first place overall. Elena recited a collection of Maya Angelou poems and placed second overall. Both Sage and Elena worked hard to prepare for this event and were very proud to represent South Woods Middle School.

Baylis Celebrates PARP Week

Baylis hosted several activities in celebration of PARP week! Baylis alumni (current Syosset High School students) came back for a special visit to read a selection of award-winning picture books to current Baylis students. The staff was excited to host their former students in their classrooms. Additionally, the entire school participated in “Drop Everything and Read,” an activity in which all students and staff spontaneously took out their favorite book and read for fun. The PTA also hosted an author presentation with Max Brallier, who expressed his passion for creative writing and shared some of his childhood experiences as inspiration for his books. During the “Buddy Up and Read” activity classrooms were paired together to celebrate reading with new partners. As a culminating event, students wore their favorite jerseys to support Student Council’s “Wear a Jersey” Spirit Day.

While Baylis students enjoyed all these special reading experiences, the school continues to celebrates its love of reading every day.

Harvard Club Honors Three From Syosset

Harvard Club Honors Three From Syosset
Harvard Club Honors Three From Syosset2
Harvard Club Honors Three From Syosset 3
Harvard Club Honors Three From Syosset 4

The Harvard Club of Long Island has recognized three members of the Syosset Central School District for excellence in their field. Syosset High School Principal Dr. Giovanni Durante has been named a “Distinguished Educator” while Kim Costa, who teaches English at South Woods Middle School and Georgette Kagan who teaches social studies at the high school have each been named a “Distinguished Teacher.” 

Each year, HCLI asks current Harvard undergraduates to nominate a secondary-level teacher who made a positive difference in their lives.

Costa’s former student credited her for instilling a love for reading, writing and public speaking that was absent prior to becoming her student. “This year I am writing my senior thesis and I often remind myself of the skills I learned in [Costa’s] eighth-grade class: reading texts carefully, making a cogent analysis, and clearly articulating an argument. Ms. Costa’s influence is even apparent in my extracurricular activities: her penchant for poetry kindled one in me, which led to the vice presidency of my high school literary arts magazine, and at Harvard to create a Poetry Public Service Project with a federal judge,” wrote Costa’s former student.                    

Dr. Durante’s nominator compared the principal to a teacher and called him a mentor invested in all students who instilled in her empowerment and optimism and supported her along the way. “Dr. Durante made it an absolute joy for all of us to come to school every day, creating a positive environment, not only for us to excel in our work, but also for teachers to. He made me recognize the importance of creating such an environment in my own work, which I continually strive to do in my leadership activities at Harvard,” wrote Dr. Durante’s nominating student.        

In nominating Kagan, her former student called her an inspirational teacher who fascinated students with her account of international trips, her insight into historical events and her personal awareness of current events. “Most noteworthy is Ms. Kagan’s investment in each and every one of her students. I will always remember how she allowed my thoughts to be heard in a sea of other students. I would consider myself a success if I could inspire just one of my students that way she has inspired me,” said the student.             
“On behalf of the Board of Education and the entire central administration team, I congratulate and thank Ms. Costa, Ms. Kagan and Dr. Durante for their dedication to our students,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Tom Rogers. “We are fortunate to have these three as part of our team, and they deserve this recognition. They epitomize what a Syosset education stands for: preparing students for success in college, their careers and life.”   

Every year the HCLI recognizes 40-60 Distinguished Teachers, with 12-14 honored as finalists for a Harvard fellowship, the latter of which Costa has been named. Fellowship winners will be announced at a university luncheon in April.

Kindergarten students learning how to use chromebooks in the library.

Kindergarten Students Photo 1
Kindergarten Students Photo 2
Kindergarten Students Photo 3

Distinguished Teacher

Congratulations to South Woods MS English teacher Kim Costa, who has been named a “Distinguished Teacher” by the Harvard Club of Long Island.

k costa

Geo Bee Finalist

Congratulations to South Grove Elementary School fourth-grader Samuel Wang, who is among 100 state finalists in the National Geographic Geo Bee competition and one of only three fourth-graders to advance.

nat geo

Geo Bee Finalist

Congratulations to South Woods Middle School sixth-grader Daniel Chan, who is among 100 state finalists in the National Geographic Geo Bee competition.



Geo Bee Finalist

Congratulations to HBT Middle School Trisha Sinha, who is among 100 state finalists in the National Geographic Geo Bee competition.


HBT Talent Show

Just before February Break, HBT students showcased their varied talents in two entertaining performances.  This year's Talent Show featured singers, modern dancers, and instrumentalists.  Classic and modern styles from Gene Kelly to Adele were seen in choreographed song-and-dance numbers.   Unique acts, always a specialty at Thompson, wowed the crowd.  This year, a large unicycle provide quite unique!  Our Audio-Visual Club provided lights, sound, and backstage help.  Congratulations to the entire cast and crew.

Meet the Class of 2017 Valedictorian and Salutatorian

 Meet the Class of 2017 Valedictorian and Salutatorian
 Meet the Class of 2017 Valedictorian and Salutatorian 2
Syosset High School is proud to announce that Yash Samantaray is the Class of 2017 valedictorian and Benjamin Rhee is the salutatorian.           

“Yash and Ben are two exceptional students who we have already heard much about,” said Principal Dr. Giovanni Durante. “In addition to being at the top of their class, they are very involved in their respective extracurricular activities and both have received numerous accolades to date.  I’m sure there will be more great things to come from both of them and I wish them continued success in the future.”                               

Yash plans to major in material science engineering and is awaiting word from Harvard, MIT, Stanford and Yale, among others. Ben will major in biosciences and has been accepted to Harvard but is waiting to hear from other colleges before making a commitment.             

“It feels great! It was never a big goal of mine, it was never something I really believed I could achieve,” said Yash, who attributes his success to a strong work ethic instilled by his family. “Now that I am here, being named valedictorian is pretty amazing.” 

“I’m really thankful that all of my hard work has paid off,” said Ben, whose attention to meeting his responsibilities on a day-to-day basis has been a big factor in his success. “Overall it feels wonderful receiving this honor.”                 
Yash is president of the high school Mathletes team, a three-time letter winner with both the varsity tennis and badminton teams and a violinist in the school’s chamber orchestra. Musically he is a New York State School Music Association Level 6 soloist, achieved All-County status and participated in the Long Island String Festival Association. He is also an executive board member and web designer for the National Honor Society. Among his many awards and accomplishments in the areas of math and science, Yash was an American Invitational Mathematics Exam qualifier, won gold and bronze medals at the Al Kalfus Long Island Math Fair, and was a semifinalist in both the Siemens Science Research competition and a prizewinning scholar in the Regeneron Science Talent Search. He was also named a National Merit Finalist, National AP Scholar and Presidential Scholar candidate this year.    
Ben serves as editor-in-chief of the high school newspaper “The Pulse,” is senior class treasurer and vice president of Model Congress. He has placed high in math and science competitions, including reaching the finals and semifinals in national Chemistry and Biology Olympiads respectively, along with being named a Regeneron prizewinning scholar and achieving multiple honors participating in Mathletes.  Ben is also a violinist with the school’s chamber orchestra, has served as concertmaster, is the Chamber Music Club President and was selected for All-National and All-Eastern ensembles. Other musical honors include performances at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. He also enjoys tennis, volleyball and ran winter track in his freshman year. He was named a National Merit Finalist and a National AP Scholar of Distinction.     
Both students spend their free time volunteering in their community. Yash participates in Piano for Patients, a student-run charity that performs for senior citizens in nursing homes. Ben also volunteers at a local nursing facility as well as at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.    
“Just a few days prior to being named this year’s valedictorian and salutatorian, I had the pleasure of introducing Yash and Ben to our community and our Board of Education for their accomplishments in the Regeneron Science Talent Search, so it comes as no surprise that they are at the top of the Class of 2017,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Tom Rogers. “These are two exceptionally talented, well-rounded and extremely dedicated young men who serve as fine ambassadors to our school community. We are proud to have them represent Syosset.”     
Yash and Ben are pictured being congratulated by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Tom Rogers and Syosset High School Principal Dr. Giovanni Durante.


Young Reporters Keeping You In the Know

Young Reporters Keeping You In the Know

Ten student reporters at H.B. Thompson Middle School are learning what it’s like to be published in a major daily newspaper thanks to Newsday’s Kidsday feature. Under the direction of teachers Florence Izzo and Nicole Mammolito, students have been working together as their own ‘editorial board’ to brainstorm ideas with a member of the Kidsday editorial staff to identify topical events, places and movies to cover and write reviews on.

These young reporters have already covered indoor skydiving at iFly in Yonkers and given their take on the movie “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” Next up is a full spread in an upcoming edition of Kidsday scheduled to run the week of March 19.

According to Izzo, the students have taken a greater interest in reading and writing as a result of their participation, and their writing has improved significantly as a result. “It’s a positive way for them to have their writing published and for others to see,” said Izzo.

Pictured are HBT’s Kidsday contributors Mahima Bhandari, Riley Fink, Haley Goldberg, Nicole Weinstein holding a print edition of their iFly review.

Future topics will address school uniforms and the benefits of using computers vs. paper and pen. To read their reviews of iFly and “Rogue One” click here:

Three Headed to NYS Geo Bee Championship

Three Headed to NYS Geo Bee Championship
Three Headed to NYS Geo Bee Championship 2
Three Headed to NYS Geo Bee Championship 3
Three Headed to NYS Geo Bee Championship 4

Three students from the Syosset Central School District are among 100 state finalists in the National Geographic Geo Bee competition. Congratulations to South Grove Elementary School fourth-grader Samuel Wang, Harry B. Thompson Middle School eighth-grader Trisha Sinha and South Woods Middle School sixth-grader Daniel Chan who will compete in Albany on March 31 for the right to represent the state at the National Geographic Bee championship to be held in Washington D.C. in May.
Each year thousands of schools across America participate in the National Geographic Bee using materials prepared by the National Geographic Society. The contest is designed to encourage teachers to include geography in their classrooms and spark student interest and public awareness in the subject. Schools with students in grades four through eight are eligible for this entertaining and challenging test of geographic knowledge.

In qualifying, students won their respective schoolwide Geo Bees and also took an online exam.

Samuel is one of just three fourth-graders to advance to the state finals. Daniel is making his second consecutive trip to Albany as a finalist. (Daniel’s twin brother Timothy  represented South Grove as a state finalist two years ago). Trisha, who was the HBT Middle School champion in 2016 as well, is also making her second consecutive trip to the state finals, where she finished in fourth-place last year.         

Multicultural Exposition

Harry B. Thompson Middle School recently held a multicultural exposition to celebrate the rich diversity of the Syosset School District community and educate students on the people, geography, customs and culinary delights of countries around the world.

The HBT gymnasium was the center of activity, where stations were set up with informative displays, multimedia presentations, artifacts, souvenirs and food samplings. When stopping by the Japanese station, students could learn how to roll sushi, or enjoy tastes from Greece, Italy or Mexico at their respective stations. Taking a virtual tour of France was also on the table. Students also gave special performances.

Girls Bowling Team the County Champ

Congratulations to the Syosset High School girls bowling team for winning the Nassau County championship! Pictured are team members (bottom row, l-r) Jackie Tang,
Mary Pizzamenti,
Mackenzie Wagner,
Rebecca Lee (top row, l-r) Bethany Stuart,
Alexis Roth,
Stephanie Huang, and Sabrina Sussman with
coach Wayne Berbert. The team heads to Rochester this weekend for the state championships. Good luck!

Seventh Grader Pens Honorable Essay

Seventh Grader Pens Honorable Essay
Emma Leiman earned 2nd place in Nassau County for the 2016 -2017 VFW Patriot's Pen Essay Contest. The theme for the 2016-2017 VFW Patriot's Pen Essay Contest was “The America I Believe In.” Pictured with Emma are Gus Scutari and Commander Bill Santini from the Syosset VFW, James Kassebaum (HBT principal), and Heather Schulman, Emma's seventh grade social studies teacher. In addition to certificates of recognition, Mr. Scutari and Commander Santini awarded Emma checks totaling $100 for her outstanding achievement.

“All About” Books

First-grade students at Baylis School took their interests and expertise to a new level to write "All About" books. Each student began by selecting a topic to write about, then developed questions and identified areas to research before writing their books. Once written, they reread the text with careful consideration of their audience, and the information they wanted to convey in their writing. Students revised their workas needed, published their "All About" books and celebrated their finished products with family and guests at the Baylis Nonfiction Fair.

VEI Businesses Head to Finals

VEI Businesses Head to Finals

The Virtual Enterprise International program at Syosset High School continues to make headlines during its inaugural year. VEI teachers recently hosted a networking breakfast for the school’s four classes/student-run firms. The CEOs of Syosset VEI companies Alternate Reality Entertainment and Flip Chip took the opportunity to announce that their companies have each earned a spot in the Long Island Business Plan Competition Finals to be held March 1 in Holbrook.

ARE and Flip Chip are among the top 10 VE teams (and the school’s AAA Turbo Tech and Nice Pops finished in the top 25) on Long Island from the 72 student-run businesses vying for spots. Teams were selected based on scores received by judges on their written business plan and presentation of it. The top four teams identified at the finals will advance to the Virtual Enterprise International National Business Plan Competition on April 3 at the Microsoft Technology Center in New York City.

VEI students take on the roles of business professionals and create a workplace environment in the classroom. They brainstorm ideas for a product, service or marketable concept, then establish their company by submitting resumes and cover letters to hopefully land an interview for various positions, including the CEO.   

“This has been the ultimate business experience,” said ARE CEO Seth Blumer, who along with Flip Chip CEO Jack Santoro was proud to share the news with their fellow VEI colleagues and teachers. (Both are pictured in the main photo).

“The night I found out the results I was very excited for the students,” said teacher Matthew Fiasconaro, who presides over the Flip Chip team. “While not every VEI team member presents at the finals, like any business, it takes the hard work of everyone involved to create and execute a business plan.”

Flip Chip markets a line of all-natural, environmentally sustainable and tasty potato chips. ARE, led by teacher Kathleen Goldin, provides customers with headsets to take part in virtual reality games and experiences. “Considering the Syosset classes are new this year, the students have done a remarkable job,” she said.

Syosset’s other two VE businesses –  AAA Turbo Tech, led by teacher Glenn Baumann, provides smart technology products for the office or individual – and Nice Pops, led by teacher Jason Muller, sells non-genetically modified organic frozen desserts.

All four of Syosset’s VE teams have been performing well in local competitions, with multiple awards to show for it.                 
At a recent VEI trade show held in Farmingdale, Nice Pops took first-place honors in the logo and booth categories and third-place in sales, while Flip Chip took second-place honors for their booth and creativity.

“Students have an opportunity to take all of the knowledge they have gained in the classroom and apply it in a very realistic simulation,” said Muller.

“This is an incredible experience for the students which gives them real-world experience,” added Baumann. “They have the opportunity to talk the language of business, take risks and experience what it takes to be managers and employees in a business.”    

Griffin Halpern: News 12 Scholar-Athlete

Griffin Halpern: News 12 Scholar-Athlete
The district congratulates Syosset High School senior Griffin Halpern on being named a News 12/Bethpage Federal Credit Union Scholar-Athlete for the week of February 20.

Griffin captains the varsity basketball and soccer squads. He plays center and midfield for the soccer team and point guard for basketball, the latter of which he averaged 16.3 points per game with six assists this season. Additionally, he earned All-County honors and was named among the Top 50 players on Long Island by Newsday for both sports. He was also named Conference Player of the Year in basketball and led the team to its first playoff victory since 1991, scoring 29 points in the quarterfinal game.

Academically, Griffin has a 96 GPA and is a member of the National Honor Society and the Spanish Honor Society.

Griffin is pictured here being congratulated by Syosset High School Principal Dr. Giovanni Durante, head soccer coach Brett Waxer and Director of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation Drew Cronin.

To view Griffin’s News 12 Scholar-Athlete segment, click here:

Fit for Excellence

Fit for Excellence
Congratulations to seniors Tierney Latham and Richard Rambarran, who are Syosset High School’s recipients of the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance’s annual Zone Award. The award is given to students who exhibit a physically active and healthy lifestyle; demonstrate sportsmanship, character, civility and citizenship; exhibit exceptional achievement in physical education class; and achieve a high level of fitness on an approved fitness test.     

The school’s physical education teachers and Director of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation Drew Cronin are pictured congratulating Tierney and Richard.

Two Finalists in International Sustainability Olympiad

Two Finalists in International Sustainability Olympiad
Congratulations to Syosset High School seniors Dahyun Park and Jordan Sanford, who have qualified as finalists for the International Sustainable World Engineering Energy Environment Project Olympiad (I-SWEEEP!) to be held in Houston, Texas in May.

Dahyun and Jordan worked together to explore the use of microbial fuel cells for wastewater treatment. They worked in school and from home under the direction of Science Research Facilitator Veronica Ade. Both students were named semifinalists in this year’s Siemens Foundation Competition for Math, Science and Technology for this research project.

For the past 10 years, I-SWEEEP! has inspired students to develop projects to help preserve Earth's resources and create a sustainable planet for everyone.  Each year the competition brings together hundreds of the brightest STEM-focused students from approximately 70 countries in a fun and collaborative environment.

Syosset Named a Best Community for Music for the 16th time

   Syosset Named a Best Community for Music for the 16th time Photo
The Syosset Central School District has once again been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from the NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. Syosset CSD joins over 500 districts across the country in receiving the prestigious award in 2017. This marks the 16th time the district has received this designation.

The BCME designation recognizes outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who work together to assure access to music learning for all students as part of a well-rounded education. Districts that have been recognized by the NAMM Foundation are often held up as models for other educators looking to boost their own music education programs.    To qualify for recognition, district officials answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, and community music-making programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.                            

“This is a wonderful distinction for our program because it is an award that recognizes the Syosset community’s commitment to music education” said Syosset CSD Coordinator of Fine and Performing Arts, K-12 Michael Salzman. “Syosset has long recognized the importance of music education in the lives of its young people.   We have great teachers and talented students, all of whom achieve excellence because of the level of community support for music education found in Syosset.”

The award and the implementation of the federal ESSA law bring attention to the importance of keeping music education part of the school’s core education for all students. It also highlights music’s vital role in students’ overall success in school. Community music programs have been drawing increased attention because of a landmark study by Northwestern University brain scientists. These researchers found new links between students in community music programs and academic success in subjects such as reading.                

In light of the BCME recognition, Syosset HS students electing to pursue an Arts Pathway in their  studies will be well prepared should they choose to major in music upon entering college.                    

Young Writer a National Medalist

Young Writer a National Medalist Photo

Congratulations to Syosset High School junior Sarah Wang for winning a silver medal in the poetry category of the 2017 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards National Competition, sponsored by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. Sarah has been recognized for her original poem titled “Father.”

National medalists in the competition represent less than 1% of submissions for the Scholastic awards. Since 1923, the competition has honored celebrated authors and artists including Truman Capote, Lea Dunham, Robert Redford and Andy Warhol.

Veterans Honor Syosset Writers with Awards

Veterans Honor Syosset Writers with Awards Photo
Syosset Post 6394 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars recently honored two Syosset students for their impressive writing.

Syosset High School student Michael Wang was a recipient of the Merit Award in the VFW’s “Voice of Democracy” scholarship program. Michael was acknowledged as an “Outstanding Spokesperson for Democracy” for his essay, which captured the essence of this year’s theme titled “My Vision for America.”                 

The Voice of Democracy competition, now in its 69th year, provides students the opportunity to compete for more than $2 million in scholarship monies and incentives by writing and recording an audio essay that captures the annual theme. Michael received $500 for his contribution.

Harry B. Thompson Middle School student Emma Leiman earned 2nd place in Nassau County in the VFW Patriot's Pen Essay Contest. The theme for this year’s contest was “The America I Believe In.” In addition to a certificate of recognition, Emma received $100 for her contribution.

Michael is congratulated by Bill Santini (far left) and Gus Scutari of Syosset VFW Post 6394, along with Michael’s social studies teacher, Jennifer Lamond in the main homepage photo. Emma is congratulated by Scutari and Santini along with H.B. Thompson Principal James Kassebaum and social studies teacher Heather Schulman in the alternate photo.


Sunday, April 23, 2017