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5 LI teams vie in national business plan competition

Jason Pollack, Zachary Herman, Luke Petrsoric and Karissa

Jason Pollack, Zachary Herman, Luke Petrsoric and Karissa Eisinger, members of Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK High School's Elluminate team, will be one of five Long Island teams competing in the 2018 National Business Plan Competition. Credit: Plainview-Old Bethpage School District

Five virtual enterprise teams from local high schools will compete at the national level this week after taking top spots at the Long Island Business Plan Competition.

The teams are among 28 nationwide to qualify for the 2018 National Business Plan Competition, which challenges students to demonstrate global business expertise through written business plans and oral presentations. The event will be held during Virtual Enterprises International’s Youth Business Summit in Manhattan on Monday and Tuesday.

The local teams are Elluminate from Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK High School, EVO Tech from Patchogue-Medford High School, Flash Task from John F. Kennedy High School in Bellmore, Fresh Direct from Islip High School, and SPFy from Westhampton Beach High School.

To reach the national level, the teams were first among 90 simulated businesses competing at the Long Island Regional Conference and Exhibition in January. Twelve teams advanced to the final round at American Portfolios Financial Services in Holbrook in February.

“I am beyond excited for them,” John F. Kennedy team facilitator Roseann Damato said of Flash Task, a subscription-based company that provides app-based errand-running services. “I think what impressed me the most is their knowledge of the industry.”

Elluminate’s business plan consists of an all-natural energy drink, while EVO Tech is dedicated to producing technology in a way that is beneficial both for the consumer and the environment.

Fresh Direct is a gourmet food delivery service using a store-to-door mentality, while SPFy marketed natural organic sunscreen and skin-protection products.


New principals

The Herricks school district has named two new principals: Loren Borgese at Denton Avenue School and Diana DeGiorgio at Searingtown Elementary School.

Borgese, who has served the past five years as principal of P.S. 115 The Daniel Mucatel School in Brooklyn, will replace Mary Louise Haley, who is retiring. She also has served as an assistant principal, literacy staff developer and fifth-grade teacher at the school.

DiGiorgio, who will replace interim principal Robert Neufeld, currently is director of elementary special education in the Oceanside school district. She also spent seven years as a special-education teacher in the Wantagh school district.

The changes take effect July 1.


Mindfulness Club

East Broadway Elementary School, in the Levittown school district, is educating third-graders on living in the present moment and being aware of their emotions through a new Mindfulness Club.

The club had about 35 students sign up for its first installment, which met weekly for two months during the winter, with plans for a second installment this spring. Activities have included a guessing game featuring different smells and having the children guess objects based on how they felt to heighten their senses.

“My hope is that students learn to slow down, breathe, take in the world around them and understand that they have the ability to control themselves and their reactions to whatever comes their way,” said club co-adviser Lisa Gribetz.


Distinguished teachers

Twelve Long Island educators have been named 2018 Distinguished Teachers by the Harvard Club of Long Island for their positive impact on students’ lives. They were nominated by current Harvard University undergraduates who previously attended local schools.

Winners and their school districts are: Jason Boland, Bellmore-Merrick; Rebecca Grella and Laura Lastorino, Brentwood; John Halloran, Connetquot; Evelyn Sideri, East Meadow; Adam Plana, East Williston; Renee Barcia, Herricks; Dave Rifkind, Hewlett-Woodmere; Maria Mantikas, Lynbrook; Jacqueline Wiley, Manhasset; Glynis Nau-Ritter, Mount Sinai; and Soowook Lee, Roslyn.

They will be honored Sunday during an awards ceremony at the Heritage Club at Bethpage.— MICHAEL R. EBERT

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