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Long IslandEducation

Four LI student teams advance to business contest finals

The Zenith team from Westhampton Beach High School

The Zenith team from Westhampton Beach High School includes, left to right, Nicholas La Mura, Rachel Glover, Sydney Crawford, Skyler Trager, and Keenan Kossman. Credit: Westhampton Beach School District

Four Long Island teams are heading to the national level after being named finalists in a regional business competition.

The teams — Flip Chip of Syosset High School, Poseidon Pure of Sanford H. Calhoun High School, ROC Security of George W. Hewlett High School and Zenith of Westhampton Beach High School — beat out six other semifinalists earlier this month at the seventh annual Long Island Virtual Enterprises Competition.

The competition challenged teams to form fictional companies and present business plans to a panel of judges. The teams first beat 72 others to be among 10 regional semifinalists in January, and were named among the final four during the regional finals at American Portfolio Financial Services in Holbrook.

They will next vie at the National Business Plan Competition in Manhattan on April 3.

“This is our first year even having a virtual enterprises team,” Syosset business teacher Matthew Fiasconaro said. Of his team, he said: “They eat, sleep and breathe Flip Chip.”

Flip Chip marketed a line of all-natural environmentally sustainable potato chips, while Poseidon Pure marketed filtration systems to provide safe, drinkable water.

ROC Security marketed an array of security products, while Zenith marketed drones made of a plastic formed from biodegradable material.

“These young, aspiring entrepreneurs certainly have successful futures in store,” Westhampton Beach business teacher Amy Demchak said. “I am very proud of the strong initiative that my students have taken to research real-life business operations and develop a company that has a unique competitive advantage over existing firms in the marketplace.”


Hog & Haircut

Verne W. Critz Elementary School Principal Brian Ginty recently rewarded his students for reading more than 10,000 books this school year by kissing a pig and cutting off his shoulder-length hair during a schoolwide assembly. The effort was part of the school’s Hog & Haircut Reading Challenge, which was designed to help foster a love of reading among the youngsters.

As part of the reward, a teacher from each grade level whose class read the most books made one cut of Ginty’s hair, with his local barber completing the “high and tight” haircut, school officials said. After the trim was finished, Ginty completed his promise of kissing a pig.


Bright Lights

Sixteen Long Island educators have been named 2017 Bright Lights by Suffolk ASSET (Association of Suffolk Supervisors for Educational Technologies) for “inspiring and innovating digital curriculum and technology into the teaching and learning process,” the organization said.

Honorees and their school districts are: Steven Carbo, Amityville; Jessica Raniere, Cold Spring Harbor; Stephen Cooney and Brian Washington, Copiague; Jeremy Ferrara, Deer Park; Glen Habibi, Elwood; Patrick Rendon, Half Hollow Hills; Dennis Peterecsak, Hauppauge; Tina Mottl, Lindenhurst; Alison Morris, Mount Sinai; Lisa Bing, Patchogue-Medford; Lauren Cierski, Sayville; Brian Thomas, South Huntington; Deidre Rubenstrunk, Three Village; Susan Kearns, Westhampton Beach; Dawn Battaglia, William Floyd.


Distinguished teachers

Twelve Long Island educators were recently named 2017 Distinguished Teachers by the Harvard Club of Long Island for their positive impact on their students’ lives. They were nominated by Harvard University undergraduates who went to local schools.

Winners were: John Buglione, Baldwin High School; Michelle Flanory, Elmont High School; Celia Blum, Farmingdale High School; Michele DeCicco, Herricks Middle School; Alan Semerdjian, Herricks High School; Thomas Santacapita, Lynbrook High School; Annie Law, Manhasset High School; Gary Kulik, Mount Sinai High School; James Lecci, Sayville High School; Eric Premisler, Sewanhaka High School in Floral Park; Joe Rodichok, Smithtown High School East; Kimberly Costa, South Woods Middle School in Syosset.


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