Fifteen students from Long Island are among about 550 nationwide named to this year's All-National Honor Ensembles by the National Association for Music Education.
The ensembles — which include a concert band, guitar ensemble, jazz ensemble, mixed choir, modern band and a symphony orchestra — participated in a virtual program on Jan. 7-9. That event included rehearsals with conductors, workshops with clinicians, and the recording of a performance that will be premiered online.
Students were selected through an audition process after having qualified for their state's 2019-20 All-State Festival. Their selection means they are among the nation's "top-performing high school musicians," the association said.
Long Island's selectees and their high schools were: Alexander Diaz, Amityville; Ethan Young, Eastport-South Manor; Enzo Cupani, Garden City; Adrian Otero, Half Hollow Hills West; Luca Iallonardi and Aidan Lobenstein, Hauppauge; Catherine Kim, Jericho; Chandler Rosenzweig, Long Beach; Andrew Bova, Miller Place; Ana Victoria Serna, Mineola; Logan Mazer, Newfield; Samantha Civil, Oceanside; Kenny Kim, Roslyn; Garrick Neuner, Valley Stream North; and Steven Fontana, Ward Melville.
"I am beyond excited to have been invited to participate," said Iallonardi, a senior at Hauppauge High School, which was the only local school to have multiple students selected. "It is a culmination of the effort I put in through high school."
CTE Mission: CubeSat
A 14-student group from Freeport High School is one of five finalists in the U.S. Department of Education's CTE Mission: CubeSat, a national challenge that helps students build technical skills for careers in space and beyond.
To participate, high schoolers were asked to create mission proposals for cube satellite projects involving topics important to their school community and broader space exploration. Freeport's project measures the Earth's surface temperature to study differences in heat absorption and retention between urban and rural areas.
Finalists received $5,000 and prizes that may be used to build cube satellite prototypes in the challenge's second phase, which runs from January to May.
Academic Wall of Fame
Oyster Bay High School recently unveiled an Academic Wall of Fame that recognizes students for high achievement on Advanced Placement exams administered by the College Board. The wall's inaugural class included 19 students, whose names were placed on a bronze plaque.
Seniors Miriam Coor and Riya Gupta attained the highest honor of National AP Scholar, a distinction granted to students who receive an average score of at least "4" on all AP exams taken, and scores of "4" or higher on eight or more exams.
"We are thrilled to commemorate our students' great academic achievements," Oyster Bay Principal Sharon Lasher said.
Elevator pitch competition
Six Virtual Enterprise teams from Long Island have placed in the top 10%, meaning they won 4.5 out of 5 stars, in a national elevator pitch competition held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The competition, which received 289 entries, challenged students to a deliver a 60-second pitch for a simulated business to a panel of business leaders and entrepreneurs.
The top-placing teams and their high schools were: METAkey, Bethpage; Apollo, Herricks; Pro-Tech, Oyster Bay; BreAkoUt, Rocky Point; Not Your Grandma’s Pudding, Syosset; and UV Clean, Syosset. The first-place winner will be announced in April.
In addition, three Long Island teams — Allergy Alligator from Paul D. Schreiber High School in Port Washington, and ENGYM Fitness and Not Your Grandma's Pudding from Syosset High School — placed in the top 10% of a first-time creative problem-solving business competition called "Design for Delight" coordinated in collaboration with the software company Intuit.