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Long Islanders advance in Broadcom MASTERS

Elmont Memorial High School freshman Marvia Pressoir, left,

Elmont Memorial High School freshman Marvia Pressoir, left, and Akuchinyerem Onyeobia are among 300 semifinalists nationwide in Broadcom MASTERS. Their project explored the effect of green visible light on C. elegans-induced Parkinson's disease. Credit: Sewanhaka Central High School District

Eight Long Island students were among 300 national semifinalists in a prestigious competition for science, technology, engineering and math.

The sixth annual competition, titled Broadcom MASTERS, was open to students in grades six through eight who appeared this year in one of 300 regional and state science fairs, including the Long Island and New York State science and engineering fairs.

The semifinalists had placed in the top 10 percent in their affiliated fair and were chosen from more than 2,400 applicants.

Long Island’s semifinalists were Isabella DeBrino of Northport High School, Maxwell DeBrino of East Northport Middle School, Elan Yakov Moskowitz of Hebrew Academy of Nassau County, Elizabeth Wu and Serena Zhao of Manhasset High School, Kate Weseley-Jones of North Shore Middle School, and Akuchinyerem Onyeobia and Marvia Pressoir of Elmont Memorial High School.

“This year marks the Broadcom MASTERS highest competition pool ever,” said Paula Golden, president of the Broadcom Foundation, the event’s sponsor. “We are delighted to see growing interest in STEM fields among both girls and boys.”

Each application received readings and evaluations by distinguished scientists, engineers and educators, Broadcom said. All semifinalists received prize packages that included a ribbon, certificate of accomplishment, backpack and decal, an inventor’s notebook, and a copy of the graphic novel “Howtoons: Tools of Mass Construction.”

“These are really hardworking kids and we just couldn’t be happier,” said David Spinnato, the junior high school science research teacher for Elmont.

None of the local students was in the pool of 30 finalists.

Broadcom MASTERS, a program of the Society for Science & the Public, stands for “math, applied science, technology, and engineering for rising stars.”


New principal

Christine Moore is principal of Lawrence Primary School at #2 School. She replaced Cindy Lee, who now is principal of West End Elementary School in Lynbrook.

Moore, who joined the Lawrence district as a special education teacher 13 years ago, most recently was a pupil personnel services supervisor and assistant principal for both Lawrence Middle School and Lawrence Elementary School. She earlier taught at St. Mary’s Hospital for Children in Bayside, Queens, and The Hebrew Academy for Special Children, which has several locations in New York City.

“My vision is to enhance the culture and climate within the building with students, staff and families,” Moore said. “As a first- and second-grade building, it will be a special place where children love to be.”


New Martin Avenue principal

Leyna Malone has been appointed principal of Martin Avenue Elementary School. She replaced Frances Bennett, who became assistant administrator for district administration.

Malone most recently served as assistant principal of Saw Mill Road Elementary School in North Bellmore. Before that, she was a classroom teacher, lead teacher and literacy coach in Rego Park, Queens.

“I am going to work my hardest to ensure that the students of Martin Avenue get the highest-quality education, because that’s what they deserve,” she said.


New high school principal

Sharon Lasher is the new principal of Oyster Bay High School. She replaced Dennis O’Hara, who became superintendent of the Hauppauge school district.

Lasher most recently served six years as assistant principal of Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK High School. Before that, she was a business teacher there for 13 years.

“I’ve seen firsthand how important Oyster Bay-East Norwich is to its residents and how the schools play such an important role within the community,” Lasher said. “My goal is to establish relationships with staff and students, and together continue to make Oyster Bay High School the best it can be.”


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