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Long IslandEducation

Nassau School Notebook: 6 students named winners in writing competition

Dylan McCreesh, left, and Aman Mistry of Smithtown

Dylan McCreesh, left, and Aman Mistry of Smithtown High School East were among the winners of the Stony Brook Young Investigators Review's 2020 Young Investigators Writing Competition. Credit: Smithtown Central School District

Six Long Island students have been named finalists in an inaugural writing competition and will have their pieces published this fall in a science journal.

The Stony Brook Young Investigators Review recently held its 2020 Young Investigators Writing Competition, which invited Long Island high schoolers to write articles of up to 1,000 words that explored scientific dilemmas. The competition received 121 entries.

The winners were Arnav Hak and Angela Zhu of Jericho High School, Aman Mistry and Dylan McCreesh of Smithtown High School East, Yashita Chaudhary of Half Hollow Hills High School West, and Natalia Pszeniczny of MacArthur High School.

"I had a lot of fun writing my paper since the topic had a lot of interesting perspectives and was quite relevant given the COVID-19 crisis," said Chaudhary, whose article explored a systematic approach to administering experimental therapies.

The competition's semifinalists, whose entries have been posted to the journal's website, were Lauren Avilla of St. Anthony's High School, Leeya Azemoun and Alice Shvartsberg of George W. Hewlett High School, Trevor Kim of Roslyn High School, Jillian Martin of Half Hollow Hills High School East, and Sarah Ninan of Herricks High School.


New principal

Calia Kelly has been appointed principal of Centre Avenue Elementary School. She replaced Sherry Ma, who is now principal of the East Hills Elementary School in Roslyn Heights.

Kelly previously served as an assistant principal and a self-contained special education teacher for grades six to eight at MS 158 Marie Curie in Queens where she worked for 14 years. She began her career as a K-8 resource room teacher at All Saints Elementary School in Brooklyn.

"As the new principal, my main goal is to continue to foster a safe school environment where students experience high quality education by anchoring to the values and morals that our community holds dear while celebrating the uniqueness of all students," Kelly said.


New principal

Kaitlin GaNun has been named principal of Lynbrook South Middle School. She replaced Joseph Wiener.

GaNun has served as a math teacher at the school since 2015, and before that she was a math teacher at IS 204 Oliver Wendell Holmes Middle School in Astoria. She also has been a modified field hockey coach in the Hendrickson Hudson School District and a teacher aide in the applied behavioral analysis program at Putnam Northern Westchester BOCES.

"I look forward to working alongside our amazing and dedicated staff, our families and community to continue to enrich our student’s lives and education," GaNun said. "I am honored to represent South."


Patriot Day

Many local schools honored the memory of those who lost their lives during the terrorist attacks on 9/11 through activities held in recognition of Patriot Day.

In Stewart Manor, elementary schoolers gathered on the front lawn for a moment of silence as staff members who are relatives of first responders joined in raising the American flag. Principal Amanda Sagnelli also spoke to students about the importance of remembering and honoring the heroes of that fateful day.

In Seaford, high schoolers paid their respects to those who died by visiting the 9/11 memorial on the school's front lawn, which was filled with hundreds of American flags. The monument is dedicated to five school graduates who died that day and features a piece of steel recovered from the World Trade Center.

In Point Lookout, the liturgical choir ensemble from Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale provided musical accompaniment at the Town of Hempstead's 9/11 Memorial Service.


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