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Great Hollow Students Test Newton's Law Of Motion

Putting Newton’s Law to the test

Eighth-graders in Katerina Dicpinigaitis’ science class at Great Hollow Middle School in the Smithtown Central School District tested Newton’s First Law of Motion – an object will remain at rest or in uniform motion in a straight line unless acted upon by an external force – during a hands-on station demonstration lab on Oct. 4. 

With more than a dozen different stations, students rotated around the room and recorded their findings about how the different laws of motion worked. Some of the many hands-on activities included trying to catch a penny off their elbows, stacking bowls and getting them to drop together, spinning an egg, simulating a car accident using toy cars, pulling a tablecloth out from under a stack of dishes and trying to get a Lego figure to drop into a beaker. 

Photos: Science students at Great Hollow Middle School in the Smithtown Central School District tested Newton’s First Law of Motion.Photos courtesy of Smithtown Central School District


Tackan Students Hit The Track For PTA

Tackan hits the track to raise money for PTA

Having fun, keeping active and helping to raise funds for its Parent-Teacher Association, students at Tackan Elementary School in the Smithtown Central School District participated in a Boosterthon Fun Run on Oct. 3.

Dressed in their school spirit wear, the students went outside to run the race course. Students garnered pledges from family and friends for each lap they ran. The money raised, more than $15,000 in total, will be used to benefit the PTA’s Cultural Arts programs. 

As the students ran the course, teachers marked off each lap completed on the back of their shirt. Since the school exceed their fundraising goal, the students had the chance to duct tape Tackan Principal Dr. Allyn Leeds to the wall. 

Photo caption: Tackan Elementary School in the Smithtown Central School District raised money for their Parent-Teacher Association during a Boosterthon Fun Run on Oct. 3. 

Photos courtesy of Smithtown Central School District


Nesaquake joins the battle against childhood cancer

Nesaquake joins the battle against childhood cancer

Nesaquake Middle School in the Smithtown Central School District helped raised money to fight childhood cancer by going gold on Sept. 28. Students are pictured with Assistant Principal Matthew Furey (left) and Principal Daniel McCabe.Nesaquake Middle School in the Smithtown Central School District is doing its part to help fight the battle against childhood cancer. In recognition of Childhood Cancer Awareness month in September, the school participated in a number of fundraising and awareness efforts.

To kick off the fundraising efforts, the middle school’s sports teams “laced up” to fight cancer, sporting gold laces during their athletic functions. On Sept. 28, students, faculty and staff were encouraged to “Go Gold,” dressing in the color and purchasing gold hearts that were hung throughout the building. Later that evening, the fundraising continued at the school’s street fair. 

Nesaquake seventh-grader Sarah Schrier spearheaded the school’s effort as part of her Girl Scout project. Schrier also has some fellow classmates who were affected by the disease and wanted to raise awareness to support the cause. All of the school’s efforts tie into the district’s goals of social-emotional learning, empathy and citizenship. 

The school’s Parent-Teacher Association was also selling hearts as part of a districtwide effort to “whip pediatric cancer.” In total, the school raised approximately $400 for the cause. 

Photos courtesy of Smithtown Central School District


Commack SD Announces Six 2018 National Merit Semifinalists

rincipal Leslie Boritz (left), Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction Jordan Cox and Director of Guidance Nicole Kregler.Six Commack High School seniors were named National Merit Semifinalists. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists represents less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors and includes the highest-scoring students who took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®). The PSAT serves as the  initial screening of program entrants in each state.

Congratulations to Kathy Cao, Gabriel Chan, Joshua Lee, Delina Levine, Deniz Sinar, and Kyle Spinelli. These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to compete for one of 7,500 National Merit Scholarships. Winners will be announced in the spring and will share in scholarships totaling more than $31 million.

Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.

Photo courtesy of the Commack School District.


Smithtown's Swim Team Raises $9,000 For Cancer Research

Smithtown swimmers support cancer research

The Smithtown High School East/West combined girls swimming team recently raised approximately $9,000 for cancer research by participating in Swim Across America. Joined by the girls swimming team from Harborfields High School, the athletes raised money for the Nassau/Suffolk chapter of the organization. Proceeds from the swim will support immunotherapy research at the Swim Across America Laboratory at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, lung cancer clinical trials at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, pediatric brain cancer research at Feinstein Institute of North Shore and pediatric oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital.


Photo courtesy of Smithtown Central School District


Arbor Day Poster Contest For Fifth Grade Students

New York State Announces Arbor Day Poster and Artwork Contests

“Habitats for Bats” Themed Posters Must Be Submitted by December 21, 2018

Original Artwork Entries Must Be Received by December 31, 2018

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced the start of DEC’s annual 2019 State Arbor Day poster and artwork contests. New York’s fifth graders are invited to showcase their artistic talents and help to increase public awareness about trees by participating in the 5th Grade Arbor Day Poster Contest. The Arbor Day Planning Committee will also be accepting original art and photography submissions to be selected as the New York State Arbor Day Poster.

“Trees play a vital role in the lives of New Yorkers and are an important part of our ecosystem and quality of life,” Commissioner Seggos said. “I encourage all fifth graders to join in on our celebration of trees to showcase why trees are important in our daily lives and to submit art or photos that depict the beauty of New York’s trees.”

The winner/s will have his or her artwork replicated as the official 2019 New York State 5th Grade Arbor Day Poster and the official 2019 New York State Arbor Day Original Artwork Poster. The winning artists will be announced and honored at the annual Arbor Day celebration, held the last Friday in April. Last year, New York printed more than 200,000 Arbor Day posters for distribution at schools, libraries, government offices, nursery and landscaping businesses, and environmental organizations throughout the State.

Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “New York State is home to nearly 19 million acres of forest. That’s nearly two-thirds of our land. We have a remarkable history of protecting this natural resource. Arbor Day celebrations and this poster contest help remind us how trees not only drive our economy but enhance our outdoor recreation and improve our quality of life.”

Promote Arbor Day with your Artwork

The Arbor Day Committee includes DEC, Empire State Forest Foundation, NYS Arborist Association, State Department of Agriculture and Markets (DAM), as well as the International Paper Company.

DEC will accept artwork on behalf of the committee through December 31, 2018. Original artwork entries should be sent to arborday@dec.ny.gov. For more information about the contest, visit DEC’s website or email arborday@dec.ny.gov. To obtain past NYS Arbor Day posters, contact any local DEC forestry office or call 518-402-9428.

5th Grade Arbor Day Poster Contest

The annual 5th Grade Arbor Day Poster Contest is sponsored by DEC, DAM, and Education. Students are asked to create an original poster depicting this year’s contest theme: “Habitats for Bats.”

Posters must be submitted by December 21, 2018 to your local DEC regional office to allow time for judging and printing of the artwork. The contest is open to all students enrolled in fifth grade. For more information, contact Mary Martin, DEC’s Arbor Day 5th Grade Poster Contest coordinator, at (518) 402-9428, or visit DEC’s website.




Upholding the Classroom Constitution at Mills Pond

Photos courtesy of Smithtown Central School District

Mills Pond Elementary School in the Smithtown Central School District recognized Constitution Day on Sept. 17. During morning announcements, students learned facts about the U.S. Constitution. Throughout the day, students spoke about the U.S. Constitution  and the Bill of Rights.Photos courtesy of Smithtown Central School District

Clad in red, white and blue, students worked with their classroom teachers to set up a list of their class rules. After penning their rules for the year, each member of the class signed their names to uphold their constitution throughout the school year. The school’s computer lab was decorated and used as a meeting place for the constitution signing. The rules and signatures will be prominently displayed in each classroom.

Students at Mills Pond Elementary School in the Smithtown Central School District recognized Constitution Day on Sept. 17 by signed their own classroom constitutions.







Eight Smithtown HS Seniors Named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists

Eight named National Merit winners in Smithtown

Eight seniors from Smithtown Central School District were among 16,000 students across the county who were named semifinalists in the 64th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. 

SHSW 2018 National Merit Scholarship SemifinalistsFrom Smithtown High School East, the receipients are: Rileigh Dowling, Justin McArdle, Matthew Mullahy, Dylan Ross and Ian Winkeler. From Smithtown High School West, the semifinalists are Catherine Eng, Emily Eng and Michael Fischetti. 

To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition. National Merit finalists will be announced in February. These winners will then have the opportunity to compete for 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million, which will be announced in the spring.

West: From left: Smithtown High School West National Merit Scholarship semifinalists Emily Eng, Catherine Eng and Michael Fischetti pictured with Principal John Coady and guidance counselor Nicole Dean.


SHSE 2018 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists

East: Smithtown High School East Principal Dr. Kevin Simmons (left) and guidance counselors with the National Merit Scholarship semifinalists. From left: Ian Winkeler, Dylan Ross, Rileigh Dowling, Matthew Mullahy and Justin McArdle.

Photos courtesy of Smithtown Central School District


Smithtown Elementary Students Learn Have Fun With Math

Making social and mathematical connections 

Fifth-graders in Janis Frankel’s class at Smithtown Elementary School in the Smithtown Central School District started off the new school year playing engaging games during math class that focused on place value. The objective of the game was to identify place values to create larger numbers. The game was a fun way to review math skills, make new friends and work cooperatively with their classmates.


Photos courtesy of Smithtown Central School District


VFW Voice Of Democracy Essay Competition Accepting Applications

2018 VFW Voice of Democracy Essay Competition

Applications now being accepted at 3 Smithtown High Schools.

The Voice of Democracy competition provides high school freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors the opportunity to write and record a 3-5 minute broadcast script on a patriotic theme, competing for more than $2.3 million in college scholarships and incentives. 

State winners receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to enjoy our nation’s capital and compete for $152,000 in additional scholarships, with first place receiving a $30,000 scholarship.  All entries must be submitted by the schools, to Smithtown VFW Post 10870 by November 1st.

Smithtown VFW Post 10870 sponsors the competition locally every year and has now expanded the program to include Smithtown HS East, Smithtown HS West, and Hauppauge HS. The Post awards cash scholarships to winners of the competition, as judged by the Post Voice of Democracy committee, and presents Certificates of Achievement to all winners and finalists. The 1st Place Post winner’s essay is submitted to County level VFW competition and can go all the way to VFW National winner.

The theme for this year’s audio essay is:  “Why My Vote Counts”

Last year’s 1st place winner was Nick Camson, from Smithtown HS West. Nick read his essay at the 2017 Smithtown Veterans Day ceremony. His essay was also entered in County Level competition to compete for additional scholarship awards.


Bryan Frank, Director, Social Studies Department of the Smithtown Central School District acknowledges the value of the Voice of Democracy program, and encourages all students to participate.

For additional information, contact Tom Mooney, VoD Committee Chairman at 631 834-4128, or the 3 local high school contest coordinators. The VFW.org website [https://www.vfw.org/VOD] has additional information, application forms, and previous winners essays.