Suffolk: 2 named Davidson Fellows

Harrison Li, left, a senior at Ward Melville

Harrison Li, left, a senior at Ward Melville High School in East Setauket, has received a $25,000 scholarship for being a 2013 Davidson Fellow. Emily Lipstein, a recent graduate of Paul D. Schreiber High School in Port Washington, has received a $10,000 scholarship for being a 2013 Davidson Fellow. Photo Credit: Handout

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Two Long Island teenagers are among a group of 20 students nationwide named 2013 Davidson Fellows for creating projects that have the potential to benefit society.

Harrison Li, a senior at Ward Melville High School in East Setauket, and Emily Lipstein, a recent graduate of Paul D. Schreiber High School in Port Washington, received college scholarships worth $25,000 and $10,000, respectively. The Davidson Fellows is a program of the Davidson Institute for Talent Development, a nonprofit that supports gifted youth.

"I was beyond thrilled to find out that I was named a Davidson Fellow," said Lipstein, 17. "Working in conservation biology, something I've always been interested in, is its own reward, but being recognized for my efforts validates what I've been doing the past two years."

Li's project created statistical models that attempted to predict the occurrence of convective thunderstorms, based on certain atmospheric variables in different regions of the northeastern United States. Li said the work represents an important step in understanding how the frequency of thunderstorms will change in the future as a consequence of climate change.

Lipstein's project analyzed inherited portions of microsatellites in DNA from 95 Grecian seals -- which are endangered and genetically non-diverse due to a surge in mortality over a short period of time -- in order to quantify that population's genetic variation.

Lipstein is majoring in biology at the University of Chicago.


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New principals

The Half Hollow Hills Central School District has appointed two new building principals: Michael Catapano at Half Hollow Hills High School West and Maryann Fasciana at Chestnut Hill Elementary School.

Catapano most recently served as an assistant principal at Half Hollow Hills High School East. He replaced Wayne Ebanks, who is now an assistant principal at Half Hollow Hills High School West.

"I am excited and proud to lead such an outstanding building, and I look forward to a successful year," Catapano said.

Fasciana was an assistant principal at the district's Otsego Elementary School. She replaced Chad Snyder.



New principal

Elizabeth Doyle is the principal of John M. Marshall Elementary School. She replaced Gina Kraus, who is now is a first-grade teacher at the school.

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Doyle most recently served as principal of the Explore Empower Public Charter School in Brooklyn, and before that was coordinator of English for grades K-12 in the White Plains City School District.

"I am most looking forward to working with teachers that are dedicated to improving their practice in order to meet the demands of the Common Core standards," Doyle said.



New principals

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The Elwood Union Free School District has two new principals: Dana Basile at Harley Avenue Primary School and Lynn F. Burke at James H. Boyd Intermediate School.

Basile most recently served as principal of Babylon Elementary School and before that was an elementary school principal in the Three Village Central School District. She replaced Burke, who served as Harley Avenue's interim principal last year following the death of Maryann Llewellyn.

"I am very excited to join Elwood and be a part of a school and neighborhood community that places a positive and collaborative emphasis on education and child life," Basile said.

Burke, who also has served as an elementary principal in Port Jefferson and an interim principal in Islip, replaced Pamela Fine, who now is the district's director of humanities.

"It is my pleasure to return to Elwood this year," Burke said. "My goal is to work together with all members of the school community in order to help every child to achieve academic and personal success."


Community awards

Entries are being accepted for the 2013-14 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards Program, which recognizes students in grades 5-12 who have made "meaningful contributions to their communities" in the past year.

The program is conducted by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

Two pupils from each state and the District of Columbia will be named honorees in February. They will receive $1,000, silver medallions and a paid trip to Washington, D.C.

There in May, 10 students will be designated America's Top Youth Volunteers. They will receive $5,000, gold medallions and $5,000 grants for a nonprofit of their choosing.

Entry forms are available online at The deadline is Nov. 5. Those without Internet access can get a paper version of the application by calling 877-525-8491.

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