Edward Noble, a sophomore at Holy Trinity Diocesan High School...

Edward Noble, a sophomore at Holy Trinity Diocesan High School in Hicksville, was the 4th Congressional District's winner in the 2017 Congressional App Challenge. He is pictured with Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City), left, and teacher MaryClare Pellett. Credit: Holy Trinity Diocesan High School

Five Long Island students were winners in a competition that challenged them to code original applications.

The 2017 Congressional App Challenge received more than 1,270 original student-created apps — a 96 percent increase over last year. The challenge is an initiative of the U.S. House of Representatives and managed by the Internet Education Foundation.

Local winners were: Syreneti DeLaCruz and Daniel Iacobacci, Newfield High School in Selden, 1st Congressional District; Sarah Pethani and Jeffrey Yu, Roslyn High School, 3rd Congressional District; and Edward Noble, Holy Trinity Diocesan High School in Hicksville, 4th Congressional District.

In all, 190 Congressional districts across 42 states hosted challenges.

“I made the app because I thought it would help me learn Spanish,” said Noble, whose “Basic Spanish” app teaches vocabulary and was created using MIT App Inventor. Of winning, he said: “It’s pretty cool.”

DeLaCruz and Iacobacci’s “Newfield Wolverine” app was designed to inform classmates about important school information such as schedules and menus, while Pethani and Yu’s “Silent Voice” app brings awareness to how bullying can damage a person’s mental health.

Winners received $250 in Amazon Web Services credits and can showcase their apps this spring at a reception in Washington, D.C., called #HouseOfCode. Winning apps also are eligible for display in the Capitol and on House.gov.


New principal

Joan Keegan has been appointed principal of Herricks High School, effective July 1. James Ruck currently holds the position on an interim basis.

Keegan has been principal of Herricks Middle School since 2010. Her previous positions include serving as the high school’s assistant principal and the district’s director of physical education, athletics and health.

“I will already know most of the high school students, parents and staff, so we can really hit the ground running,” Keegan said.


Education Partners

Fourteen individuals and one organization have been named recipients of Nassau BOCES’ 2018 Education Partner Awards for their “substantial effect on public education in Nassau County,” the organization said.

Honorees are: Mara Bollettieri, deputy superintendent, Bellmore-Merrick school district; Sen. John Brooks (D-Seaford); Kevin Dougherty, principal, Elmont Memorial High School; Ralph Ferrie, superintendent, Sewanhaka school district; Lucinda Hurley, executive director, Nassau BOCES’ Department of Strategic Initiatives; Marianne Litzman, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, Hicksville school district; Peggy Marenghi, president, Levittown school district’s Board of Education; Tonie McDonald, superintendent, Levittown school district; Christine Napolitano, president, Mineola school district’s Board of Education; Michael Pomerico, president, Freeport school district’s Board of Education; Lisa Ruiz, superintendent, East Rockaway school district; Teresa Scaturro, executive assistant to the Nassau BOCES’ district superintendent; Edward Stella, automotive technology teacher, Nassau BOCES’ Joseph M. Barry Career & Technical Educational Center; Ronald Vitiello, lead project maintainer, Nassau BOCES’ Department of Facilities Services; and Surf for All, a Long Beach-based nonprofit.


VEX Robotics

Five robotics teams from Long Island high schools were winners last month in the 2018 VEX Robotics Competition at Adelphi University.

The contest featured 38 teams, which formed alliances to outscore opponents using driver-controlled robots to perform tasks such as stacking cones.

Tournament champions were: Hawks (Team No. 9932D), Jericho High School; Roverines Robotics (Team No. 97871A), Newfield High School, Selden; and Robo Chiefs (Team No. 9458A), Massapequa school district. Hawks (Team No. 9932J) of Jericho High School and Roverines Robotics won the Excellence and Robot Skills Winner awards, respectively.— Michael R. Ebert

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