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Eastern Suffolk BOCES students win auto competition

Nick Camarata, left, and Adam McAlister, both seniors

Nick Camarata, left, and Adam McAlister, both seniors at Eastern Suffolk BOCES Harry B. Ward Technical Center in Riverhead, won last month's Long Island Auto Tech Competition. They are pictured here with Eastern Suffolk BOCES teacher Michael O'Hara. Credit: Dominick Totino

Two Eastern Suffolk BOCES students have taken the title in a local competition for their skills as auto technicians.

Nick Camarata and Adam McAlister, who attend Harry B. Ward Technical Center in Riverhead and are seniors at Riverhead High School, won first place last month in the Long Island Auto Tech Competition. For winning, they each received about $14,000 in scholarships.

The competition required teams to demonstrate their skills during 15-minute intervals at 10 different workstations. It was held at the Center for Automotive Education & Training in Queens.

Camarata and McAlister, along with the three runner-up teams, will compete next week at the state finals for a chance to reach the national level this spring at the New York International Auto Show. There, teams will vie for $3 million in prizes and scholarships.          

"I was happy that we won and our hard work paid off," Camarata, 17, said of the duo's achievement. 

McAlister, 17, added: "Even though we won, we'd still like to get more practice."

Second place went to Spencer McKee and Benjamin Scelza of Western Suffolk BOCES, third place went to Harvey Edwards and Shane Hampson of Harry B. Ward Technical Center, and fourth place went to Andrew Albers and Nick Pascone of Edward J. Milliken Technical Center in Oakdale.


New superintendent

Donna Jones has been appointed superintendent of the Patchogue-Medford School District. She held the position on an interim basis this summer after replacing Michael Hynes, who is now superintendent of the Port Washington School District.

Jones has worked in the Patchogue-Medford district for more than 10 years and most recently served as the district's deputy superintendent.

"This is a very exciting step for our district as we move forward to assure that our programs are strong, we provide the best possible education for all of the students of our district, the best resources for our staff, and the best possible interaction with our community," Patchogue-Medford Board of Education president Anthony O'Brien said.



Many local schools held educational events and activities last month in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

In Huntington Station, Walt Whitman High School students were treated to a performance of the musical “Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom,” which is based on a memoir by Lynda Blackmon Lowery. Lowery was the youngest person to walk the 54-mile route from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, during the Selma Voting Rights March in 1965.

In Coram, Longwood Central School District hosted a Unity Walk in conjunction with the Middle Island Teachers Association and Coram Fire Department. The half-mile walk was followed by live performances and a student art exhibition at the firehouse.

In Orient, students in the Oysterponds School District discussed how King's character traits could be used to help solve differences in the classroom.


Calendar contest

Twelve Long Island students were winners in a Peace Poster Art Contest coordinated by the Shanti Fund, a Medford-based organization committed to promoting peace and enlightenment through education. For winning, their artwork appears in the organization's 2020 calendar, and they received prize money ranging from $101 to $1,201 based on their grade level.     

Winners and their school districts were: Devin Lugo, East Meadow; Emily Alvarenga, Freeport; Matias Archer and Valentina Carr, Garden City; Eila McGowan, Kings Park; Anabel Miller, North Merrick; Connie Choi, Sania Parikh and Ziliana Zhang, Plainview-Old Bethpage; Nethmi Withanage, Smithtown; Keren Dial, Valley Stream Central; and Yasmeen Darwich-Abdulsalam, William Floyd.

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