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3 Nassau teens win blood cancer research fundraiser

High school students were honored last month for

High school students were honored last month for participating in the inaugural Students of the Year campaign of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Long Island Chapter. In six weeks, more than $168,000 was raised. Credit: Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Three Nassau County teenagers have taken the title “Students of the Year” in a first-time competition that raised more than $168,000 to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Roslyn High School juniors Evan Jaslow and Bradley Mussman and Syosset High School sophomore Zachary Luchs, who formed “Team Go With Courage,” placed first last month in the contest that enlisted high school students to raise funds for blood cancer research. They won a $2,500 scholarship for raising the most over a six-week span.

On the runner-up “Team A Cure for To-Marrow” were Valley Stream North High School students Laila Drosman and Clara Leyendecker.

The nonprofit said it is not disclosing the amounts raised by teams.

“These students are an inspiration to all of us, as they are truly making a difference and helping to cure blood cancers — not someday but today,” said Sara Lipsky, executive director of the society’s Long Island Chapter.

In addition, the contest awarded three $500 scholarships for making “significant contributions” to cure blood cancers through student campaigns, the society said. Winners were: Vanessa Shapiro of Fusion Academy of Woodbury, Mission Focus Award; Maya Kovic and Alyssa Robb of Deer Park High School, Volunteerism Award; and Avi Nessim of North Shore Hebrew Academy High School, Community Involvement Award.

A committee selected participants based upon applications and their leadership, community involvement and “passion to find a cure,” society officials said.


‘Pines Got Talent’

Pines Elementary School raised more than $10,000 through a talent show to benefit Makenzie Cadmus, a 1-year-old with dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa, a rare genetic disorder that causes skin to develop painful blisters.

Each year, about 200 babies nationwide are born with the condition.

The 1980s-themed show, titled “Pines Got Talent,” included performances ranging from Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” to “Ghostbusters”-themed comedy routines. More than 70 students participated and more than 800 community members attended the show last month.

“I am very proud of each and every one of the children,” said Danielle Brady, the school’s talent show club adviser. “Not only did the children gain confidence on stage, they made friends and honed their talent.”


Show choir

Uniondale High School’s Rhythm of the Knight show choir placed in the top 10 last month at the Show Choir National Competition in Nashville after being first runner-up at the FAME Show Choir National Championship in New York.

The 43-member show choir also received a silver medal at the Daniel Hand Connecticut Classic 2017.

At FAME, Uniondale won awards for Best Band and Best Set Design, with junior Emmanuel Beauge being named Best Male Stage Presence. Senior Derrell Saunders was named Best Show Stopper at the Connecticut Classic.

This is the fifth consecutive year Uniondale’s show choir has competed at the national level.


Schools to Watch

Three Nassau County schools — Carrie Palmer Weber Middle School in Port Washington, Garden City Middle School and Valley Stream Memorial Junior High School — are among five statewide named “2017 Essential Elements: Schools to Watch” by the state Education Department.

This is the third time that Garden City and Carrie Palmer Weber have received the designation.

The program recognizes schools that demonstrate continuous improvement and excel in four domains: academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, social equity and organizational structure. Schools hold the designation for three years, then must reapply and be re-evaluated.

“It is an acknowledgment of all the hard work our staff members have been doing for students,” Valley Stream Principal Bret Strauss said.


Latin Certamen

The Port Jefferson and Riverhead school districts each took home four awards, out of 12 total prizes issued in four levels of competition, at the Suffolk Classical Society’s Certamen 2017.

The “Jeopardy!”-style contest was designed to test students’ knowledge of the classical antiquity period.

The competition, which attracted 16 Long Island school districts to Stony Brook University last month, required four-person teams to answer questions on topics of Roman culture and mythology and Latin grammar, translations and vocabulary.

“Though bested only by our perennial rivals from Port Jefferson, our Blue Wave spirit was high with all the Latinists,” Riverhead High School Latin teacher Lorene Custer said.


Maglev contest

Robert Moses Middle School in North Babylon led the way last month by winning six of 20 trophies awarded in the 27th annual Middle School Maglev Contest at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Great Neck South Middle School, Longwood Junior High School and Northport Middle School each won three awards.

The contest, which attracted teams from 11 Long Island middle schools, challenged students to design and construct magnetic levitation vehicles according to engineering specifications in a choice of seven categories: electrified track, futuristic, wind power, gravity, self-propelled balloon, self-propelled other and scale-model design.

Judging was based on speed, efficiency, appearances and the students’ written description of the design process.

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