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CHS Senior Danielle Ranucci Awarded Hank Logeman/News 12 Journalism Award

Charles Schulz, Coordinator of English, Danielle, and English teacher and journalism advisor, Christina Semple, in the school’s Journalism suite.Commack High School senior, Danielle Ranucci, has been awarded the prestigious Hank Logeman/News 12 High School Journalism Award. This award is given to the student who does the most to promote high school journalism on Long Island. 

An avid writer, Danielle’s storytelling ability and natural curiosity about people led her to journalism. She attended the Stony Brook University Robert W. Greene Summer Institute for High School Journalism, and the Columbia Scholastic Press Association Summer Journalism Workshop. 

Danielle credits her success to the experience she gained through leading the school newspaper, The Courant, and the school’s literary magazine, Etchings

Christina Semple, adviser of The Courant since 2001, shared that Danielle is the second Commack High School student to ever win this award. The publication has been honored with over 400 awards for writing, art and design since 2001. “Danielle has covered a variety of stories throughout her time on the newspaper staff.  She never backs down from a challenge in reporting. It has been a pleasure to watch her skills grow and flourish over these past four years,” said Semple.

Danielle will be attending Princeton University in the fall as an English/Comparative Literature major with a certificate in Creative Writing.

Photo courtesy of the Commack School District (Brenda Lentsch)



SHSE Student Ian Winkeler Named 2019 National Merit Scholar


Smithtown East student honored as National Merit Scholar

Smithtown High School East senior Ian Winkeler has been named a 2019 National Merit Scholar. He is pictured with Smithtown High School East Principal Dr. Kevin Simmons. Smithtown High School East senior Ian Winkeler has been named a 2019 National Merit Scholar. He is among the 2,500 winners of the 2019 National Merit $2,500 Scholarship. The winners were selected from a pool of more than 15,000 finalists.

Winkeler is a member of the National, Math, English and Tri-M honor societies. He also plays the alto saxophone in the school’s jazz ensemble. Winkeler is a member of the Quiz Bowl team and plays both volleyball and tennis. Outside of school, he is a certified EMT and a volunteer with the Nissequogue Fire Department. Winkeler will be attending Stony Brook University in the fall, majoring in biochemistry. 

National Merit winners are judged based on their accomplishments, skills and potential for success in rigorous college courses. The judges evaluate grades, difficulty of courses, standardized test scores, contributions and leadership both in school and in the community, an essay and a recommendation from a high school official. 

The merit scholarship program was created in 1955. Students in grades nine through 12 vie for academic recognition and financial support. About 1.6 million students take the qualifying test every year and about 50,000 of the highest scorers have the chance to be considered.

“Ian exemplifies the best and brightest our school has to offer,” said Smithtown High School East Principal Dr. Kevin Simmons. “He is hard working, diligent and courteous. He is a role model both in the classroom and on the athletic field. He will be a fine asset to Stony Brook University next fall.” Photo courtesy of Smithtown Central School District


Smithtown HSW Artist Rebecca Lee Wins Art Competition

Smithtown High School West artist wins local contest

Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty hosted an art competition for Smithtown High School students at their Smithtown branch. Smithtown High School West student-artist Rebecca Lee was presented with a $500 check as the contest winner at a reception held on May 2. The artwork was on display at Daniel Gale in March and April. Photo courtesy of Smithtown Central School District

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