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Districtwide Achievements

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The recent Babylon School District Board of Education meeting celebrated the accomplishments of both students and staff alike. 

To begin the night’s celebrations, Superintendent of School’s Linda Rozzi recognized the Babylon Junior-Senior High School students named as this year’s valedictorian and salutatorian. Both valedictorian Danish Farooq and salutatorian Sophia Sherman were in attendance, and accepted tokens of appreciation from the board for their stunning accomplishment. 

Multiple district students spanning grades six through 12 were recently named winners and successful participants in the Science Research Competition held at Molloy College as well as the Long Island Science Congress and the Covantage EcoTech competitions. In honor of their scientific successes, the students were presented certificates.

Additionally, in honor of their dedication and commitment, Babylon School District staff members Laura Doherty, Julie Zanghi and Andrew Sheltz were honored and granted tenure by the Board of Education. 

Field Day 2018

Field Day photo 2018

Honoring WWII veterans

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Just before the Memorial Day weekend, Babylon School District came together to honor the lives of Babylon High School alumni lost during WWII during a special plaque unveiling ceremony in the lobby at Babylon Junior-Senior High School’s Rowe Hall on May 25. The event came to fruition based on the efforts of the school district and in partnership with the Babylon-based American Legion Post 94.

After introductions and expressions of gratitude from both Babylon Junior-Senior High School Principal Al Cirone and Babylon School District Superintendent of Schools Linda Rozzi, Babylon Junior-Senior High School senior class president Joseph Rende and American Legion Squadron 94 Vice Commander Jon Taylor spoke in honor of those who served. 

“I challenge you to shake a veteran’s hand when you see one, and thank them for allowing you to have this freedom,” said Joseph. “Thank them for the sacrifices they have made, and for the ultimate sacrifices their comrades have made.”

“It is imperative that we do not allow the knowledge of our history of this nation to fade away, both the good and the bad,” said Mr. Taylor. “If we are to understand why we are, and who we are, only then can we chart our nation’s course for the future.”

Along with the members of Post 94, Babylon High School Class of 1945 alumnus Gabe Grenci was in attendance. Mr. Grenci served in the U.S. Army where he was discharged at the rank of staff sergeant, served at the Allied Forces headquarters in Caserta, Italy, and was both a friend and classmate of Rocco Grasso, whose name will forever remain on the plaque.

The district would also like to recognize those alumni who served in the country’s armed forces – Tony Ciervo, John Dawley, Jerry Grant, Rich Villanueva and Jim Woods – along with the current Babylon Junior-Senior High School seniors committed to entering various branches of the military – Anthony Gerola, Szymon Giembic, Emma Iandoli, Ian Mikulicic, Nicholas Ruf and Sophia Sherman.  

 

Celebrating Staff Members

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During the May 7 Babylon School District Board of Education meeting, two Babylon School District staff members were celebrated by the community for both their accomplishments and for their commitment to enhancing education for students. 

Babylon Elementary School first-grade teacher Yanirez Rodriguez was presented with a certificate courtesy of the Board of Education for being recognized by Sen. Phil Boyle as a “Teacher of Excellence” at his annual Teacher of Excellence Awards Dinner. Ms. Rodriguez has been with the district for more than 10 years and is credited with being involved in multiple district committees, and greatly assisting with English as a New Language students in her native Spanish language in an effort to build confidence among students. 

“She is always championing the finest instructional practices to advance student growth,” said Babylon School District Superintendent of Schools Linda Rozzi. “She makes sure that the students meet their benchmarks as first-grade learners, and, more importantly, she really knows how to make that connection with parents and families of the students that she has in her class.”

Additionally, former Babylon Junior-Senior High School football coach Hans Wiederkehr was recognized for being inducted into the 2018 Suffolk County Sports Athletic Hall of Fame. During his time as coach from 1988-2002, the football team reached the playoffs 12 times and won nine league titles. Mr. Wiederkehr committed 32 years of his life to the Babylon School District working multiple educational buildings. While in district, he served such roles as physical education teacher, district director of interscholastic athletics, physical education and health and as an administrative assistant at Babylon Memorial Grade School. He will be retiring this year. 

“Hans has done amazing work as both a teacher and a football coach on Long Island,” said Mrs. Rozzi. “You’re not just retiring from Babylon, but you’re going on to wonderful things too, and just know that we valued all the times you’ve been teaching here.”

District on News 12 for Honoring Veterans

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‘Once Upon A Time’

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Students enrolled in Leah Weissinger’s first-grade class at Babylon Elementary School recently put on an enchanting theater performance, “Once Upon A Time,” for their fellow classmates, school staff and family members.
 
The wonderful performances included renditions of popular tales “The Three Billy Goats Gruff,” “The Little Red Hen” and “The Fisherman and his Wife.”

The entertaining event reinforced several key skills students have learned in class, including public speaking, reading fluency and collaboration.

“They worked hard practicing and remembering all their lines,” said Mrs. Weissinger. “They were brave and did a wonderful job; we are all so proud of our future actors and actresses.”

2018 Booster Club Golf Outing

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A Tour of Stony Brook University’s Laboratory

A Tour of Stony Brook University’s Laboratory photo

Sophomores enrolled in Claire Birone’s Science Research Class at Babylon Junior-Senior High School, along with Nick Radesca, treasurer of the Babylon Breast Cancer Coalition, recently toured Stony Brook University Cancer Center’s lab facilities for an in-depth look into this engaging career path.

While there, the students were able to meet two leading researchers, Marcus Seeliger, Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmacology and associate director MD/Ph.D. Training Program, and Lori Chan, Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmacological sciences.

Stony Brook Cancer Center’s affiliation with the Babylon Junior-Senior High School Research Program was facilitated by Stony Brook’s longstanding community relationship with the Babylon Breast Cancer Coalition, to invest in novel research and engage future scientists in the ecosystem of cancer research innovation at Stony Brook.     

“The students had a wonderful day and definitely got a lot out of the experience, and the researchers were really impressed by the knowledge and passion of our students,” said Ms. Barone.



Forensics and Field Hockey for the Baldwin Sisters

Forensics and Field Hockey for the Baldwin Sisters photo

Due to their unwavering commitment both in the classroom and on the athletic field, Babylon-Junior Senior High School seniors Erin Baldwin and Amy Baldwin recently committed to furthering their education at the University of New Haven this upcoming fall season. While attending college, both sisters will be studying forensic science and playing on the school’s field hockey team.

Suffolk Zone Award winners

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The district congratulates the Babylon Memorial Grade School and Babylon Junior-Senior High School students who were recently presented with awards from the Suffolk Zone Chapter of the New York Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance based on their high academic scores and outstanding athletic capabilities. Pictured, from left, are winners Aidan Vergano (Grade 8), Colin Schmidt (Grade 6), Hailey Lassen (Grade 6) and Elena Khavikin (Grade 8).

Taking to the Stage

Taking to the Stage photo

On April 27, the Babylon Junior-Senior High School French National Honor Society hosted the second annual student/faculty talent show, bringing together members of the school community for a night of fun and fundraising.

Teachers took to the stage with students as they sang, danced and raised $1,190 for Batay Baraguana, a small community of Haitian immigrants living in the Dominican Republic. Babylon Junior-Senior High School junior Payton Mathews travels to the Dominican Republic every summer, rebuilding homes and schools in these communities. 

During the performances, teacher Melissa Anderson and student Anna Romero kicked the night off with a classic rock duet. Teachers Rebecca Olivieri and Ashley Tomei rocked out on some classic tunes, while Alexander Marange and Kyle Cropsey led the country band in a rousing rendition of “Country Roads,” featuring art teachers Cheryl Schweider and Patricia Stork. Alexa Grant also hosted a country line dance.

Throughout the course of the night, there were also poetry slam performances, classical ballet routines and power ballads. French 1a, French 2 and French 4 all engaged in a very tight lip sync battle, with French 2 coming out victorious for the second year in a row. The students also sat by the “Eiffel Tower” and sang in French, making the audience feel like they were on the banks of the Seine. 




Contributions to Scientific Research

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On May 5, the Town of Babylon and Covanta Energy honored 12 Babylon School District students through the Covantage EcoTech Scholarship Program for their incredible contribution to the field of science research.

This program, open to any student residing within the Town of Babylon, focuses on scientific research done in the fields of sustainable energy or environmental-based research.

Five Babylon projects were awarded monetary scholarships – seniors Danish Farooq, Greg Kowalczyk and Michael Steffanetta won second place ($750); sophomores Erin Corcoran, Maddy Graham and Nikki Santucci won third ($500); sixth-grader Sara Womack won fourth place ($300), seniors Paige Bzdyk, Freddy Nocella and Sophia Sherman won sixth place ($175) and sophomores Madison Baudille and Kate Hannon won seventh place ($125 each).

Additionally, science teacher Andrew Sheltz was awarded this year’s Teacher Award for his positive impact on working with his students.  

“Congratulations to all who represented the Babylon science department so professionally,” said Babylon School District Director of Science Melissa Callahan. “We are looking forward to seeing next year’s projects from our younger students and wish our graduating research seniors luck in their college scientific endeavors.”

A Firsthand French Experience

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As a means of promoting a firsthand cultural exchange experience, students enrolled in Melissa Anderson’s French classes at Babylon Junior-Senior High School recently welcomed 15 visitors from Paris, France to the school.

The group, which was comprised of 12 students ages 11–13 and three adults, spent two weeks visiting New York City before spending the last day of their trip in Babylon.

Following a meet and greet session in the school’s library with the French Honor Society, additional students from Mrs.  Anderson’s class joined the group for an informal question and answer session, along with a short film presentation. 

The French visitors were then paired up with the Babylon students and shadowed their class schedule for three periods. During their time shadowing, the guests sang with the chorus, completed math equations and read poems together as a language exercise. 

VIDEO: Lad In A Battle

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For a behind the scenes look at the making of the video and for the completed video, please watch the clips below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gho9Dddkck&list=PL4IwAU8Mp5GEqAOurCYiaAKPBVpzCpswS&index=98

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ncpgsGu9R0&index=97&list=PL4IwAU8Mp5GEqAOurCYiaAKPBVpzCpswS

A Trip to the Theater

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Several Babylon Junior-Senior High School students recently had the privilege of attending a matinee performance of the hit Broadway musical “In the Heights” at the John W. Engeman Theater in Northport.

This wonderful piece of musical theater tells the universal story of a vibrant community in New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood on the brink of change. Locals are full of hope, dreams and pressures and their biggest struggles can be deciding which traditions to keep and which ones to leave behind. The show, created by Lin Manuel Miranda of “Hamilton” fame, was the winner of four Tony Awards including Best Musical.
 

Essay Contest Winner

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The Babylon School District congratulates Babylon Junior-Senior High School eighth-grade student Ryan Dunne for being named the first-place winner in the New York State Conference of Mayor’s “If I Were Mayor for A Day” writing contest. Within his essay, Ryan wrote that he would assist the town of Babylon by installing solar panels throughout the village, finding new ways to rid Southard’s Pond of litter and coordinate a means to reduce street flooding. Ryan was selected as the winner out of a pool of more than 1,200 applicants.

DECA International Career Development Conference

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Based on their excellent business-oriented skills, Babylon Junior-Senior High School students Danish Farooq, Agnes Goldin and Allie Van Rossem were invited to Atlanta, Georgia to participate in the New York State DECA International Career Development Conference held in late April. 

During their attendance, Danish presented his winning Community Service manual to the judges, while Agnes and Allie took tests on their topics and performed role playing activities in which they solved a particular business “problem.”

The keynote speaker for the opening ceremony was Joseph Abboud, a fashion designer from Boston, Massachusetts, best known for his own line of menswear, as well as for his Men’s Wearhouse designs. He spoke about perseverance and determination, and detailed his often-bumpy road to success.

In addition, the conference offered the opportunity for the students to network with other students from all over the United States, as well as some countries abroad. They were also able to interact with representatives from a variety of colleges, military branches and corporations.

National Honor Society Inductions

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The Babylon School District would like to congratulate the 51 Babylon Junior-Senior High School students who were recently inducted into the school’s National Honor Society during a highly-attended ceremony held at Rowe Hall.

In order to qualify for the National Honor Society at Babylon, the following criteria must be met: an 89.5 unweighted cumulative average; 20 hours of community service; a profound demonstration of character, leadership, and service through an application process and two teacher recommendations. 

“While being inducted into the National Honor Society is a testament of your scholarship, service, leadership and character, at this point on your educational path, it is also an opportunity for you to continue setting standards, reaching for your goals and continuing on the road to success,” said Superintendent of Schools Linda Rozzi. “An honor such as this is a wonderful way for the school and our community to recognize and celebrate the choices, and sometimes sacrifices, you have made and will continue to make throughout the rest of your high school years.”

All in attendance were invited into the school’s library for refreshments following the induction ceremony. 



SMART Goals Year-End Presentation

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Top Students Named

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The Babylon School District is proud to announce that seniors Danish Farooq and Sophia Sherman have been named the valedictorian and salutatorian for the Class of 2018, respectively. Both Danish and Sophia were bestowed upon this high honor for their exceptional academic record, commitment to success and devotion to higher learning throughout their academic careers at Babylon Junior-Senior High School.

“The biggest thing about both of them is their level of involvement – both in our school and community,” said Babylon Junior-Senior High School Principal Al Cirone. “Danish is really big on giving back and making this planet a better place for everyone, whereas with Sophia, any time a student is looking for a mentor or a tutor, her name pops up immediately. We just couldn’t be prouder of both of these incredible students.” 

 

2018 SCOPE K-6 Summer Enrichment Program

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Protecting Mother Earth

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In celebration of Earth Day, students enrolled in Jennifer Brooks’ kindergarten class at Babylon Elementary School have been learning about the planet and ways to protect it. 

In class, they discovered helpful ways to reduce, reuse and recycle materials. Additionally, they took part in an engaging project in which they looked through their recycling bins and selected materials to recreate something else entirely. The kindergartners made piggy banks, pots for plants and even musical instruments with recycled items.  

Chris Morra Named ‘Coach of the Year’

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The district congratulates Babylon Junior-Senior High School varsity boys basketball coach Chris Morra, who was recently named “Coach of the Year” during the Suffolk County Basketball Coaches Association Annual Awards Dinner, held on April 12. The Panthers finished their season with an 18-4 record and competed for the Suffolk County Class B Championship. All-League student-athlete Joseph Rende (right) will attend the University of Rochester, and All-League & All-Conference student-athlete Aidan LaRock (left) will attend SUNY Cortland this upcoming fall. 

Bright Futures Ahead

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Due to their unwavering commitment both in the classroom and on the athletic fields, a number of Babylon Junior-Senior High School students recently committed to attend some of the nation’s premier colleges and universities, along with branches of the United States Military, at a signing ceremony held in the Babylon Junior-Senior High School library.

The district congratulates Amy Baldwin (University of New Haven/Field Hockey), Erin Baldwin (University of New Haven/Field Hockey), Vlad Cullinane (George Mason University/Track & Field), Mitchell Carmody (Penn State-Altoona/Baseball), Raymond Fasano (Ithaca College/Football), Samantha Layton (SUNY Maritime/Swimming), Taylor Tanner (SUNY Cortland/Football) and Frank Vano (SUNY Maritime/Football).

The district also congratulates the following students who are joining the military: Anthony Gerola (Navy), Szymon Giembic (Marines), Ian Mikulicic (Marines), Nicholas Ruf (Navy) and Sophia Sherman (Navy ROTC).

“This process of getting here is an accomplishment that should be celebrated,” said Babylon School District Director of Guidance Dennis Murphy. “To those of you who helped support our students along the way, we offer a heartfelt thank you from all of us in the district."



SCOPE Summer Explorations Program

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Budget Presentation #5

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Friday, June 22, 2018