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The Budget Has Passed. Thank You!
Yes - 1180
No - 327

Congratulations to Hansen Lee and Colleen Wolcott on winning the Board election.
Hansen Lee – 948
Lauri Levenberg – 630
Freda Manuel – 248
Colleen Wolcott – 846
El presupuesto ha sido aprobado. ¡Gracias!
Sí - 1180
No - 327

Felicitaciones a Hansen Lee y Coleen Wolcott por ganar la elección de la Junta.
Hansen Lee – 948
Lauri Levenberg – 630
Freda Manuel – 248
Colleen Wolcott – 846

Letter from Dr. Ianni regarding Budget Vote


The Ancient Art of Mosaics

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Local artist Esther Tollen visited the students of HHS to teach the ancient art of mosaics on May 20. Students heard from Ms. Tollen about her art career and gleaned helpful techniques for mosaic making, such as keeping the layer of grout (the adhesive agent) consistent on their mosaic tile and the value of keeping a flow of material sizes moving through the piece. Students then worked throughout the afternoon to create their own unique masterpiece. After completion, the tiles will be permanently installed in the high school’s art wing.

“Our district's support of cultural arts programs allows our students to experience different art forms first hand,” said art teacher Ms. Eugenia Ritter, “and it’s truly an invaluable experience for our young artists.”

HHS County Champ

HHS County Champ photo
Congratulations to HHS student-athlete Alex Rzehak for securing the Suffolk County Boys Singles Tennis Championship title—a first in Harborfields’ history!

Alex was named county champ after winning two close sets at the Section XI Individual County finals at Half Hollow Hills West on May 18.

On May 30, he will be traveling to the USTA National Tennis Center to compete in the Section XI New York State Tennis Championship.

Way to go Alex!

Medical Marvels Recognized

At the Board of Education’s May 14 meeting, a group of HHS science research students were recognized for participating in the Northwell Hospital-Feinstein Institute’s annual Medical Marvels Competition. This collaborative research competition is for freshmen and sophomore students across the Island who desire to pursue a career in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

In order to enter this competition, students were required to collaboratively write a fourteen-page proposal on the harmful effects of vaping and propose a solution to the state-wide high school vaping crisis . The team, consisting of sophomores Jonah O’Brien, Jacqueline Bohk, Caroline Greco, Angeline Miraglia, and Diana Orfanakos, then presented to a panel of emergency room doctors, cardio pulmonary surgeons, and administrators at Northwell Hospital.

“Developing a project of that magnitude and then presenting it in front of a group of experts can be intimidating, but our students rose to the challenge,” said Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction and Administration Dr. Rory Manning, “and we are extremely proud of them!”

Way to go, students!

No One Fights Alone

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The Harborfields High School varsity softball team hosted a childhood cancer awareness game against Hauppague High School on May 2. The team not only honored fighters and the survivors of cancer but also raised nearly $500 through a bake sale, T-shirt sale and donations from game attendees.

Before the game, players donned golden shirts with “No One Fights Alone” written across the back. Additionally, team members showed their support for Harborfields sophomore Gabby Cava by standing together and raising signs that read “Team Gabby.”

The opposing team also joined in supporting the game’s cause by wearing gold, ribbon color for childhood cancer.

“This cause is very close to our community’s heart,” said John Valente, director of health, physical education, and athletics. “We’re so proud of our student-athletes for rallying together to raise awareness and show support for those affected by this disease.”

Food Chain Fun

Food Chain Fun
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Fifth-graders at TJL recently learned about the wonders of the food chain through hands-on activities and fun simulations in Ms. Rebecca Turano’s class.

Students had the opportunity to create a live simulation of a food web by taking on different producer, consumer and predator roles and tossing a ball of yarn from person to person, creating a complex and interlocking unit. Later in the week, students participated in a lab where groups of students had five seconds as a specific animal—mice, snakes, or hawks—to scurry around and gather food. Afterwards, students recorded and compared their results. To wrap up the unit, students dissected owl pellets to see the first-hand results of the food chain from producer, to consumer, to predator.

“Hands-on simulations help every type of learner,” said Ms. Turano. “It helps students to realize the importance of trial and error and making mistakes and learning from them—especially in science. When students understand that scientists have to get their hands dirty to make discoveries, that what they know didn't just come from reading a book, it motivates them to want to do the same.”

Tulip Festival Art Contest Winner

Oldfield Middle School students recently participated in the of Town of Huntington’s 19th Annual Huntington Tulip Festival Art Contest, and sixth-grader student Emily Xie was named one of two winners of “Best in Grade” in the entire town of Huntington! Along with being presented with an award certificate, students were congratulated by town officials. The print Emily’s winning artwork is now on display in the front lobby of Oldfield Middle School. Congratulations Emily!

Going Green at Washington Drive

Going Green at Washington Drive

In a belated celebration of Earth Day, Washington Drive Primary School celebrated “Green Week” from April 29 to May 3. Throughout the week, students spent time reflecting on ways to “go green” for the planet and actively helping the environment by bringing in waste-free lunches and snacks.

Each morning ways to preserve the environment were read over the morning announcements, and throughout the day, in-class lessons included “going green” activities. Students were reminded each day that together, they can make a difference by doing things such as recycling, picking up litter, taking shorter showers. Students also made paper dolls and connected them, hand by hand, throughout the school, to show their collaborative efforts for the environment. At the end of the week, the school came together to celebrate the week’s success with an Earth Day sing along.

“The Earth is the only planet we’ve got,” said Alex, a first grader in Ms. Melissa Owen’s class. “There’s nowhere else for us to go if it gets too dirty or polluted…so we have to take good care of it!”

HHS College Fair

The high school guidance department hosted a college fair on April 16. The evening began with a presentation on the college admissions process and was followed by a private college fair. During the evening, over 100 college and universities from all over the country were available to speak with our students and families. It was a great opportunity for students and families to ask questions and learn more about specific colleges and the application process, better preparing them for the future.

RYLA Leadership Experience

At the end of April, HHS Interact Club members attended the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA). RYLA is an intensive experience organized by Rotary clubs and districts where students develop leadership skills while having fun and making connections. Students enjoyed the experience and gleaned a lot from the intensives.

“I learned important skills like looking for the positives in life, how to do well among others, and how to improve the way you live,” said Interact member Meredith Marsh. “One of the most impactful things I learned was that being a leader is action, not position. This weekend was very eye opening and I’m so thankful I was able to experience it."

Video: Reading with Moby


Community Generosity and Academic Excellence Honored

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At the district’s April Board of Education meeting, both community members and students were honored for their accomplishments.

Thanks to the amazingly successful benefit gala that the Harborfields Community Educational Foundation (HACEF) hosted earlier in 2019 and the amazing generosity of the HACEF board, $55,000 has been donated to the district. This money will help the district continue to invest in and enhance the education of the community’s children, which is part of HACEF’s mission. Committee chairs Suzie Lustig, Karin Fey, and Kelly Walker and the rest of committee members were honored for their efforts.

“We are so thankful and proud of the tremendous effort that went in to this event, and we know that the students in our community will benefit greatly from this gift,” said Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction and Administration Dr. Rory Manning.

Additionally, students Bryan Hyun, who was selected to be an EarthEcho Water Challenge Ambassador, and Cameron Best, a senior robotics student who was nominated for the First Dean’s List award, were recognized by the Board for their outstanding accomplishments.

Annual Bike Rodeo

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Kindergarten through fifth grade students had the opportunity to attend a “bike rodeo” hosted by the Harborfields High School Interact Club and TriFit Club on April 10. After receiving a tire pressure check and a helmet if they lacked one, children were led by club members in practicing bike safety skills by simulating real-life situations. Local businesses, including Adam’s Cyclery and Bicycle Playground, donated time and materials, helping make this event possible. Thank you to all who made this event possible!

Letter from the Superintendent regarding the 2019-2020 Budget Adoption


Weather-Proofing Challenge

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TJL third-graders in Noreen Paccione’s and Diane Brown’s classes were recently challenged to build weather-proofed structures. However, in an attempt to engage students in taking control of their own learning, they were given no further direction. With the knowledge they already had, students worked together to build structures that could withstand both a hurricane and tornado.

“We didn’t explain to them what a foundation does, or how weather proofing a building keeps water out,” said Ms. Paccione. “With the knowledge they had of both powerful phenomena, they had to figure out to combat them.”

Students congregated outside to test each structure. Groups presented their designs to the class, explaining the reasoning behind the materials they used, and why they believed it would be safe.

“We build our house on a platform so the area below would flood, but none of the house would flood,” one group explained.

Each structure then went through hurricane conditions, which consisted of large cups of water being dumped overtop. If the structures foundation didn’t flood, it passed the first test. Next, a giant leaf blower was turned on the structure to test whether it could withstand a tornado. Most of the groups passed both tests, and they were very proud of their work.

“Students respond positively when they’re encouraged to take control of their learning,” said Ms. Paccione, “and we try to teach in a way that provides students with continuous hands-on opportunities.”

Harborfields Walks for a Wish

Harborfields Walks for a Wish photo

The rain couldn’t dampen the spirits of those in attendance on April 13 for the 13th annual Walk for a Wish event on the track of Harborfields High School. Despite the less-than-ideal weather conditions, hundreds of people showed up to support Frank, who’s been battling a life-threatening illness and his dream is to go to Atlantis in the Bahamas.

Not only did the Harborfields community raise the appropriate amount to grant Frank’s wish, but the grand total has eclipsed $19,000, which will allow the event to grant another wish as well.

Third-grader Becky Pashman was one of many students who went the extra mile to help someone in need. She, along with her sister and parents, used a kit to make bracelets with inspirational words and messages on them. Then, along with friends who made cupcakes, they had a stand where the bracelets and tasty treats were sold. All in all, the effort raised $100.

“I wanted it to go to good use,” she said of the bracelets. “I thought this was a good way to raise money for Walk for a Wish.”

Sixth graders Lea Jaffe and Kasey Wrede coordinated a bake sale, which collected more than $700.

“It’s really important to raise this money for those who truly need it,” Jaffe said. “We were happy we could do our part to help.”

Fifth grader Erin Lindqvist had a lemonade and iced tea stand, and she was able to raise $180 as well.

“I’m happy he’s able to go where he wants to go,” she said. “It just makes me smile to know we did great!”

Alexis Alpert, who now works for Make-A-Wish of Suffolk County, had her wish granted in 2005, and she went to Disney World. She was in attendance to see all of the fantastic work that was done to raise money for such a great cause.

“It just shows how the support of such a wonderful community can bring such inspiration and such life. It’s making such a difference,” she said. “It’s people like those here today and everyone participating over the past few months that help us grant these wishes.”

Coders Compete in “Hackathon”

Coders Compete in “Hackathon” photo
A team of eight cognizant coders from Oldfield Middle School competed in a “hackathon” held at Mineola Middle School on April 9. The OYO Hackathon, or Code Conquest, drew ten Long Island teams to compete in a series of sprint-like coding rounds. This event was held in collaboration with kidOYO, which is an educational platform used to teach students creative computing.

These rounds, tracked on large monitors for everyone to see, required team members to work together to correctly code projects to conquer territories on a shared map. Oldfield Middle’s team, coached by teachers Drew Lockwood and Mary-Lynn Karpenske, came in fourth place and are determined to return next year to take the gold.

“Our students are so interested in sharpening and mastering the computer science skills that they learn in the classroom,” said Mr. Lockwood, “and they continue to impress me daily with how quickly they’re advancing.”

Students Sharing Scrumptious Reviews

Students Sharing Scrumptious Reviews photo
Students in Mrs. Phillips second grade class at Washington Drive were recently challenged to practice review-writing skills by evaluating local restaurants. Second-grader Riley enjoyed the assignment so much that she shared her review, which praised a local burger joint’s cheeseburger for being “so juicy and tasty”, with the restaurant. She received a wonderful reaction from the store manager and Riley and her family were treated to free menu items upon their next visit.

Great job, Riley!

Educators of the Future

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Harborfields High School students interested in pursuing a career in education have the opportunity to receive hands-on experience through the Future Educators Club. Each student involved is placed in a classroom at the elementary school level. Once a week, students visit their assigned classroom teachers and assist with lessons, as well as working with the younger students one-on-one. High school students can be found confidently leading younger students in concepts like elapsed time, parts of speech, and more, throughout the district on a weekly basis.

At the club’s monthly meeting, members come together to discuss teaching strategies and share classroom experiences.

Senior Brooke Semmelmeier, the club’s president, has been a Future Educator since she was a sophomore and has known she wanted to be a teacher since she was a child. Not only has this experience given her a chance to experience teaching first-hand, but it also better prepares her for the future.

“When you’re a student, you don’t realize how much a really teacher does,” said Brooke. “They juggle so many different things—like being aware of the paces of each individual student or working to explain things differently to fit different needs. I have such a deep appreciation for all the teachers who taught me with such care and attention, and it makes me want to do the same for my future students.”

Dean’s List Finalist

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HHS student Cameron Best, a sophomore highly involved in the school’s robotics program, was recently selected as a finalist for the FIRST Dean’s Award.

FIRST is an organization that holds regional, state, and nationwide robotics competitions in order to inspire students’ interest in science and technology and seeks to award students that exhibit the highest level of skill, dedication and leadership with the Dean’s List award.

Cameron was named a finalist of only three island-wide and will be traveling to Detroit to attend the FIRST World Championship. Additionally, he will be recognized by the organization for his outstanding achievement.

“Cameron is an incredible robotics student who exhibits strong leadership in our club, even though he’s only a sophomore,” said robotics teacher Michael Pinto. “He mentors many of the younger robotics teams in the Harborfields elementary and middle schools as well, and is extremely dedicated to the field of technology.”

Cameron started working with robots when he was in fourth grade. While he is only halfway through high school, he hopes to pursue mechanical or aeronautical engineering in college.

Way to go Cameron!

Bryan Hyun Named Local Water Ambassador

Bryan Hyun Named Local Water Ambassador photo
HHS junior Bryan Hyun was recently selected by EarthEcho International, a nonprofit organization that seeks to equip the nation’s youth with resources to ensure a sustainable future, to serve as a Local Water Challenge Ambassador!

Bryan was chosen as one of 20 students nationwide to participate in the organization’s Water Challenge Ambassadors initiative. His role in this initiative will be to focus on monitoring water quality in the local community in order to help tackle the global water crisis at large.

In addition to monitoring water quality, Bryan will be increasing the knowledge of local water resources, as well as seeking to engage his community in conservation events.

“I see myself as someone who wants to change the planet, and I’m excited to start here on Long Island,” said Bryan. “I’m passionate about the conservation of water and proper disposal of waste, especially when living in a coastal community like we do. This program is the best start to making a difference that I could have imagined.”

Way to go, Bryan!

Math 24 Night


80 third, fourth, and fifth grade students from Thomas J. Lahey came back to school on a Friday night to play tournament-styled math games on March 22. Groups of four students faced off against each other, using addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division to find a solution of 24 for each challenge. Throughout the night 24 donated door prizes were awarded to raffle winners.

Members of the HHS Match Club volunteered to act as judges. After arriving early for training, volunteers proctored each table of competing students.

Trophies for first place were awarded to third-grader Joey Serventi, fourth-grader Gavin Baron, and fifth-grader Rhys Walter.

Additional medal winners included:
Grade 3: Kelvin Semmes, Michael Palermo, Aiden Keenan
Grade 4: Brian Henry, Davis Howe, Alec Gerde
Grade 5: Anderson Soper, Talia Steinberg, Grey Wilkens

The night was a great success, thanks to the coordination of Mrs. Mayer and the sponsorship of the PTA, and the volunteering staff members, administration and parents!