Dedication is Rewarded at May 8 BOE Meeting

Dedication is Rewarded at May 8 BOE Meeting photo
Dedication is Rewarded at May 8 BOE Meeting photo 2
Dedication is Rewarded at May 8 BOE Meeting photo 3
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Valley Stream Central High School District students were commended for an assortment of achievements at the May 8 board of education meeting. The majority of these distinctions were focused on the arts, and the evening also included the granting of tenure. 

As the meeting opened, the Board of Education first announced the awarding of tenure for four faculty members and one administrator. Assistant Superintendent for Personnel and Administration Clifford Odell, Central High School and Memorial Junior High School Social Worker Joann Hundertmark, Central High School and Memorial Junior High School Social Studies Department Chair Brian Suckle, Memorial Junior High School Language Teacher Van Grasso and South High School Psychologist Jennifer Shindman were applauded for their career milestones.

“Our schools really are the product of what our teachers deliver and the wonderful education that they provide,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bill Heidenreich.

Board of Education President William Stris, Dr. Heidenreich and Director of Fine and Performing Arts Dr. Adam Erdos then led the awarding of certificates to talented art students from each of the four buildings. Dr. Erdos extended special thanks to the art teachers and parents who provide the support that encourages and inspires young artists. 

Representing Central, Rico Ford was a winner in the 12th Anniversary Shanti Fund Peace Art Calendar Contest and won the “People’s Choice Award” and a fourth-place honor in the Long Island’s Best Young Artist Exhibit. Christina Mui placed first in the Congressional Art Competition and selected for the national level, and also placed first/Best in Show at the Nassau County High School Juried Art Competition and Exhibition. Ethan Andres, Steven Inderdeo and Angeline Saget excelled in Art in Heart and Catia Bacus, Rico Ford, Aaliyah Foster, Terrence Huston, Jr., Aaron Torres and Roodney Ulysse were featured in the ASA All County Art Show. Nyallah Abrahams and Aaron Torres were both finalists in the Photographer’s Forum Magazine Photography Contest.

Next, Memorial Junior High School artists were applauded. Nicolle Gregory had work featured in Art in Heart, while Andre Alexis, Uwakmfon-abasi Ebong, Domenika Garibaldi, Nadia Merivil, Mariam Mohammad, Sara Roopnarine, Najalia Singh, Sabrina Solaman and Dawn Tortora displayed their talents at the ASA All County Art Show. Taylor Dixon and Marek Polkosnik earned honors in the Valley Stream Lions Club Peace Poster Contest.

Many North High School students were celebrated. Daniela Crimi, Tessa Graine, Rendise Joseph, Chrys Philemon, Tayler Rochester, Angelina Somma, Arielle St. Amand, Alexandra Valme and Justine Woracek presented their work at the ASA All County Art Show and Alexandra received the ASA Student Leadership Award. Sylvia Ayala, Daniela Crimi, Kenya Pinos, Alexandra Valme and Justine Woracek participated in Art Guild of Long Island exhibits and Daniela Crimi, Alena Moreira and Alexandra Valme participated in OVA. Jessica Sossi Romano was an exhibitor in the Long Island’s Best Young Artist Exhibit, Rebekah Buon was named a Long Island Scholar Artist and Kenya Pinos showcased her work at a Huntington Arts Council exhibit. 

South High School students rounded out the evening’s recognitions with numerous accomplishments. Keren Dial won first place in the 12th Anniversary Shanti Fund Peace Art Calendar Contest, Cy Valentin created the first-place winning design for a t-shirt contest presented by the Achilles Foundation and Maham Ayaz was named Login Page Design winner through Eschooldata. Ann Ballesteros had work selected for the Long Island’s Best Young Artist Exhibit, Nicole Ayora-Gonzalez and Dylan Roca took spotlight in the Advanced Visions Advanced Placement Show and Joseph Iccari and Lesly Tapia-Ramos were featured in the Nassau County High School Juried Art Competition and Exhibition. At Art in Heart, Yelena Bolante won the Excellence in Art Award and Nicole Wojtkielewicz was also an award winner. Faith Acevedo, Nicole Ayora-Gonzalez, Ann Ballesteros, Mariam Chaudhry, Christopher D’Costa, Keren Dial, Ana Salazar, Lesly Tapia-Ramos and Victoria Vermilye participated in the ASA All County Art Show and Nicole Ayora-Gonzalez, Kaylei McDonald and Paige Manini were honored in the Congressional Art Competition. 

Faith Acevedo and Nicole Wojtkielewicz shared their work at the C.W. Post Annual 12 x 12 Show, as did Zoe Briksza, Brianna Cieza, Alysse Fazal and Paige Manini at the Long Island Museum Colors of Long Island Show. Matthew Arevalo, Ann Ballesteros, Naomi Bermeo, Kasey Chong, Alysse Fazal, Kathleen Gattis, Angelina Mercado, Aleasha Wattoo and Tessa Yan were commended for involvement in the Nassau Community Honors College Show and Maya Alschuler-Pierce, Emily Avalos, Katherine Chong, Keren Dial, Alysse Fazal, Jade Hornick, Paige Manini, Gabrielle Onesto, Ameena Qadri, Ibrahim Qadri, Eleanor Schroll, Isabella Secaira, Victoria Vermiyle and Nicole Wojtkielewicz represented South in the NYSATA Portfolio Project. In the PTSA Reflections Contest, Angel Burgos received a New York State Award of Merit, Zaeem Chaudhry won a New York State Award of Excellence (1st Place) and Brianna Cieza earned a Regional Award for High School Photography.

The meeting also included recognition of Central senior Adam Birch, who was highlighted in a televised segment as a News 12 Scholar Athlete in April. The district looks forward to sharing more success stories as the end of the school year approaches.