Recognizing Neighbors In The News



Garden City High School senior Stephen Michael has been selected as the recipient of this year’s Garden City Foundation’s Althea Robinson Excellence in Business Education Scholarship, winning $3,000. Michael will receive the award at the Garden City High School’s senior awards ceremony set for June 4. Selected by the GCHS Business Education and Guidance Departments, Michael is the student judged to best exemplify the spirit of the Garden City business community by achieving academic success in the area of business.

Michael is a member of Garden City High School Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and currently serves as president. He has participated in numerous business competitions and earned first place in personal finance and business law. Michael placed second in business calculations and second and fourth place in securities and investments.

This fall, Michael will be attending New York University Stern School of Business with plans to major in finance.


New Hyde Park Road School Math Enrichment sixth graders have been participating in a virtual, free Math Madness bracket tournament offered by AreteLabs.

Students Disha Chakraborty, Shohom Chakraborty, Carmela Drossman-Schlossberg, Sherwin Fernandes, Aaryan Kapoor, Darsh Mirchandani, Ariana Muhammad and Krish Singh have been having Google Meets each week to discuss the tournament questions with district math enrichment teacher Tammie Svendsen. The team is competing at the middle school level against other teams, which consists of students in grades six through eighth.

During their first match, the team won, 28-0, as the other team was a no-show. For the second match, the Road School sixth graders won, 22-21, against an all-seventh grade team. The most recent match took place on April 14, with the Road School team winning once again. The team has to win the next two brackets to advance to the final match.


Massapequa was one of 754 districts in the United States to place on the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation’s [NAMM] 2020 list of Best Communities for Music Education.

The recognition from NAMM spotlights school districts where teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders come together to ensure that music remains a valued part of education. The best communities designation is given to districts that demonstrate an exceptionally high commitment and access to music education based on a survey that measures multiple factors.


The Farmingdale School District helped local hospitals with badly-needed medical supplies. Administrators, teachers and students all mobilized to take an inventory of what they could donate to those working on the front line.

Lead nurse Dawn Esposito, who oversees the school district’s 14 nurses, contacted Jim Spencer from Catholic Health Services, who arrived at Weldon E. Howitt Middle School to pick up the donations, which had been collected in the back of superintendent Defendini’s truck.

Farmingdale Schools Science Director Dr. Kristen Cummings gave an inventory of the items that she and the science teachers gathered from the labs at the middle school and high school: 14 boxes of small and medium exam gloves, 101 clear goggles, 152 colored goggles, 33 safety glasses and a UV goggle cabinet that decontaminates them after use. Also included were 500 masks, donated by a friend of Albany Avenue Assistant Principal Victoria LoRusso. The Farmingdale Interact Club donated the balance of their club funds, which was $600 to the district-wide effort.


For the fifth consecutive year, Hicksville Public Schools has been designated as one of the Best Communities for Music Education by the NAMM Foundation. Now in its 21st year, the designation is awarded to school districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in their efforts to provide music access and education to all students.


Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Plainview-Old Bethpage Chamber of Commerce has adapted to assist its valued members and the community.

Beginning in mid-March, chamber president Andrew Lamkin provided supportive weekly updates on the chamber website with valuable financial information for small businesses.

Workshops were then offered by members who had the skill sets to guide others regarding employment issues and personal wellness as the weeks wore on. A digital member bulletin board was created so all special offers, discounts and relevant information had a home on the website. The chamber’s regular monthly networking events and membership meetings immediately went virtual via Zoom.


Jericho High School, once again, has been named as the top high school on Long Island. U.S. News and World Reportrevealed its list of best high schools in America last week, with Jericho being placed in the 13th spot in New York and 127th in the nation.

“We are pleased to be recognized as one of the top high schools in the country,” Jericho Superintendent Hank Grishman said. “While we attempt to focus on individual student growth and accomplishments, we are keenly aware of the importance that is placed on such rankings.”

Jericho actually jumped a few spots in both the national and state-wide rankings this year. In 2019, U.S. News and World Report listed Jericho as 134th in the nation and 17th in New York.


Robert M. Finley Middle School eighth grader Virginia Graziosi is using her time away from school to contribute to the community. When she was not doing school work, she wanted to help the local medical staff at Glen Cove Hospital and started sewing reusable cloth masks.

In total, Graziosi sewed 50 masks. While Graziosi and her mother originally planned to drop the masks off at the Nassau County Public Safety parking lot, her aunt, who works in the radiology department at Glen Cove Hospital, suggested donating the masks to the local hospital. The cotton masks are often worn over disposable surgical masks and N95s, extending their wear-time for healthcare workers who have been reusing their PPE while caring for COVID-19 patients.


Spectrum Designs Foundation pivoted their custom design print work to procure desperately needed  personal protective equipment (PPE) for front line and essential workers, businesses, municipalities and nonprofits. The staff is successfully sourcing ethically priced, certified and vetted items while ensuring a quick delivery for those in need.  Workers are also warehousing and distributing from their Port Washington facility.

“In just one week, we have supplied 100,000 face masks and other PPE items to front line workers, healthcare professionals and businesses,” Patrick Bardsley, co-founder and CEO of the Spectrum Designs Foundation said. “We are proud to have been able to help keep our communities safe, while keeping on point with our mission.”


The Manhasset School District’s fine and performing arts department is conducting a Virtual Recital Hall for student-musicians to submit musical performances and receive meaningful feedback from district teachers. Manhasset music teachers are providing constructive written feedback to the students.

All Manhasset music educators have access to the student recordings and are responding as they come in. Since the Virtual Recital Hall was launched earlier this month, nearly 200 of Manhasset’s 600 NYSSMA student-performers have registered to submit their solos. The hall will remain open to students through April 30.

“From a music perspective, it almost brings a feeling of normalcy to the current situation,” Manhasset Director of Fine and Performing Arts Dr. Christopher Hale said. “It’s another way to keep our kids playing, keep their skill level up and provide them with continuity of instruction and well-deserved recognition.”


Continuing a proud tradition of academic excellence, two schools from the Great Neck Public Schools were once again named some of the nation’s best public high schools in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 rankings that came out last week.

Great Neck South High School was ranked the 26th-best high school in New York State and the 232nd best in the country. Great Neck North High School was named the 60th best in the state and the 583rd best in the country.

The report evaluated around 24,000 public high schools in the United States based on the quality of course offerings, graduation rates, test scores and preparedness for higher education. Both schools were among just 19 from Long Island to place in the top 1,000, and Great Neck was the only district to have two of its schools make the cut.

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