Great Neck North High School is the state's best when it comes to cybersecurity.

A trio of students from the school -- Daniel Hanover, Alex Storozum and Ariel Kadouri -- recently finished first, second and third in New York State, respectively, in the U.S. Cyber Challenge.

The online competition consisted of a series of tests in three fields of cybersecurity: networking, operating systems and system administration. More than 2,000 students participated nationwide.

The challenge's goal is to attract the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.

"This is a really big deal to me," said Hanover, who received a $250 gift card for his win. "A lot of people don't realize when they do something online it can be highly insecure. With the Internet growing at such a fast pace, it's important to ensure a safe experience."

The students learned of the competition through their Advanced Placement computer science class last fall and were provided with online tutorials and videos to expand their knowledge of the subject before taking the exam.

The test itself consisted of three 20-question multiple-choice segments spread over a one-month span, Hanover said.

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Great Neck's sweep of the state's top spots was a slight surprise to Storozum, but he attributed it to the trio's preparation. "We put in about five hours of studying," he said.

The competition is a division of the nonprofit Center for Internet Security and was sponsored by the Cyber Foundations in collaboration with the SANS Institute in Maryland.

 

FREEPORT

Alums advise seniors

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More than 40 recent graduates of Freeport High School recently returned to the school during their college winter breaks to lend words of advice to college-bound seniors as they prepare for everything from seeking financial aid to living with roommates.

The visit was arranged by the College Student Network, an initiative of the school's guidance department.

"You have choices out there, even if your grades are not the best," Lindsey Johnson, a 2011 Freeport graduate who now is a student at New York University, told the seniors.

 

LEVITTOWN

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St. Jude's math-a-thon

Wisdom Lane Middle School recently raised more than $4,100 for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital through an annual math-a-thon. About 100 sixth-graders solicited sponsorships from family and friends based on their efforts solving math problems.

The school said it has raised nearly $112,000 for the hospital through math-a-thon fundraisers over the past two decades.

 

COUNTYWIDE

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Education Partners

Eleven people have been named Education Partner award recipients by Nassau BOCES based on peer nominations recognizing their impact on public education in Nassau County.

Those receiving the honor are:

Valerie Angelillo, principal of H. Frank Carey High School in Franklin Square; Patricia Chow, vice chairwoman of the Chinese Center on Long Island; Francis De Mita, chairman emeritus of the Nassau Educators Federal Credit Union.

Also: Dana Friedman, president of The Early Years Institute in Plainview; Katie Haug, a teacher at Seaford Manor School; Patricia Lally, a teacher's aide at George W. Hewlett High School; Brian Mannix, a teacher at Great Neck South Middle School; Brian O'Flaherty, a board trustee for the East Meadow Union Free School District.

Also: Vicki Payne, corporate citizenship manager for Northrop Grumman Corp.; Joe Satriano, a trustee for the Susan Satriano Memorial Scholarship Foundation; and John Theissen, executive director of the John Theissen Children's Foundation in Wantagh.

ISLANDWIDE

Chinese New Year

Dozens of Long Island schools celebrated Chinese culture and heritage last month through various activities held in conjunction with Chinese New Year 2012, the start of the Year of the Dragon.

Pasadena Elementary School in Plainview and John F. Kennedy Intermediate School in Deer Park held dragon parades during which students waved colorful streamers to a passing "dragon" in the school hallway. All children received red envelopes containing play money or a "lucky penny" -- a Chinese custom for good luck.

In Riverhead, Riley Avenue Elementary School hosted a dragon parade followed by a performance in which second-graders sang traditional Chinese songs and recited the customs of the Chinese New Year.

In Levittown, Northside Elementary School students made dragon faces with tissue paper.