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Alden Terrace in Valley Stream wins Schools of TechXcellence Award

Music teacher Andrew Tilles listens to student Jordan

Music teacher Andrew Tilles listens to student Jordan Simpson-Fisher's performance in the digital piano program at Alden Terrace elementary school as student Ananya Samuel looks on. Credit: Elmont School District

A Valley Stream elementary school is among 22 schools nationwide to be recognized for its innovative, effective and replicable technology programs.

Alden Terrace elementary school in the Elmont school district was named among the recipients this summer of District Administration magazine’s Schools of TechXcellence Award for its digital piano program, which was implemented last November.

The award recognizes programs that “contribute meaningfully to student or operational success,” the magazine said. It is sponsored by HP and Intel. 

“The students love it,” Alden Terrace music teacher Andrew Tilles said of the school's digital piano program. “They help each other, they teach each other. They’re doing very well, and there’s a wide range of experience.”

To launch the program, Tilles conducted a survey of students to gauge their interest and learn which kids had a keyboard at home to practice. The school also provided pupils with USB bracelets containing music selections to plug into their home computers so they can hear the music they’re trying to learn as they practice.

Roosevelt Middle School was among 11 recipients of the Schools of TechXcellence Award in December 2017. It was selected for the implementation of science-focused professional development sessions for teachers.


New principal

Gerard Owenburg is the new principal of John F. Kennedy High School. He replaced Lorraine Poppe, who retired.

Owenburg had been an assistant principal at the school for the past decade. Before that, he taught social studies at West Babylon High School.  

"I have tremendous pride in the Kennedy community and look forward to working with our families to provide a rich and caring high school experience for every student," Owenburg said.


New appointments

The Hicksville school district has appointed Marianne Litzman as superintendent. It also appointed several new principals: John Comer at Burns Avenue Elementary School, Janine Rossi at Dutch Lane Elementary School, Laura McConnell at Old Country Road Elementary School, and Beth Swanson at Woodland Elementary School. 

Litzman was previously the district’s assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. She also has been principal of Dutch Lane, assistant principal of Hicksville Middle School, and principal of the district’s evening high school. She replaced Carl Bonuso, who retired.

"I look forward to continuing to strengthen the home-school connection in order for our district to shine brightly throughout the future," Litzman said.  

Comer served the past 13 years as an assistant principal in East Meadow, while Rossi spent the past 13 years as an assistant principal in Baldwin. They replaced Michael Dunn and Susan Strauss, respectively, both of whom retired. 

McConnell was previously an assistant principal in Massapequa, and Swanson was previously an assistant principal in Levittown.          


Sept. 11 events

Many schools hosted events and activities earlier this month in commemoration of 9/11.

In Seaford, more than 1,000 people attended a ceremony at the high school that paid tribute to the victims — including five alumni — of the 2001 terrorist attacks. It included remarks from Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) and Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder, with the five alumni celebrated for their accomplishments during and after high school.

In East Rockaway, students and staff at Waverly Park Elementary School in the Lynbrook School District formed a human chain and sang “God Bless the USA.” Classes also wrote kind words on slips of red, white and blue paper, which were linked to form an American flag.

In Glen Cove, Gribbin Elementary School students participated in a flag ceremony, and high schoolers distributed remembrance pins to educators in their building.

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