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Nassau School Notebook: Long Island winners in History Day competition

Hebrew Academy of Long Beach students, some of

Hebrew Academy of Long Beach students, some of whom are pictured here with staff, were among the winners of the 2021 Long Island History Day, which was held virtually last month becuase the COVID-19 pandemic.  Credit: Hebrew Academy of Long Beach

Thirty-nine Long Island students have been named first-place winners for their efforts researching local, national and international history.

The 2021 Long Island History Day, held virtually last month because of the COVID-19 pandemic, challenged more than 400 participants to explore topics of their choice on the theme of "Communication in History: The Key to Understanding." Groups or individuals could submit entries in one of five categories: documentary, exhibit, paper, performance or website.

This year's submissions included topics ranging from Norman Rockwell's efforts to communicate racial inequity through art to music's role as a communication tool in the Holocaust.

Ninety-four projects advanced to the state level, which will announce its results on April 30.

First-place winners and their schools were: Jacob Leshnower, Half Hollow Hills High School East in Dix Hills; Amisha Brahmbhatt, Aanya Goel, Alisha Gwalani, Genesis Kang, Prableen Kaur, Sarah Ninan, Roshni Patel and Stephanie Sukhraj, Herricks High School in New Hyde Park; Mikhaela Abayev, Talia Beck, Rebecca Berg, Shira Friedman, Ruth Ginsburg, Gabrielle Heller, Ayala Hoschander, Abby Karkowsky, Olivia Papilsky, Kayla Paul, Nina Plaut, Sima Ross, Avtalya Teitelbaum, Shoshana Waxman and Rachel Yadgarov, Hebrew Academy of Long Beach; Talia Addeo, Laurel Bonn, McKenna Buffa, Isabella Lima, Rachel Morina and Mikah Schueller, Huntington High School; Kaitlyn Choi, Jericho High School; Manfred Lim, Jericho Middle School; Caroline Hsu, Syosset High School; Charlotte Iannone, Maximilian Melnikov, Sonia Patel and Madeline Rong, Wheatley School in East Williston; and Maliha Bhalloo and Willow Grosskopf, Willets Road School in Roslyn Heights.

"They put their best foot forward under difficult circumstances and produced amazing projects," said Kristen Waterman, History Day coordinator for Hebrew Academy of Long Beach.



Students from Garden City High School, Half Hollow Hills High School West in Dix Hills and MacArthur High School in Levittown placed first in various categories of this year's Chemagination Competition, coordinated by the American Chemical Society's New York Section.

The competition, held virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic, asked students to imagine they were living 25 years in the future and describe a recent breakthrough or innovation in chemistry or its applications that has improved the quality of people's lives today.

Winners and their high schools were: Sylvia Diaz, David Digan, Erin Gately and David Hernandez-Arroyo, Garden City; Viti Chandra, Ellis Eisenberg, Mariam Hassan, Alex Huang and Seohyun Lee, Half Hollow Hills West; and Naeel Quasem, Angie Rodriguez and Noah Yousha, MacArthur.


Literary magazines

Three literary magazines from Long Island schools were among six statewide to receive a "first class" distinction — the highest honor — in the National Council of Teachers of English's 2020 Recognizing Excellence in Art and Literary Magazines program. Judging was based on a point system: first class (93-100), superior (86-92), excellence (71-85) and merit (70 or fewer).

First class winners were Eastport-South Manor High School's Unlocked Underworld, Herricks High School's OPUS (Issue 62) and Jericho High School's Pegasus.

Other winners were Valley Stream South High School's Trials of Society, which received a "superior" rating, Smithtown High School East's Solstice, which received an "excellent" rating, and Smithtown High School West's Penumbra, which received a "merit" rating.


New principal

Nichole Allen has been appointed principal of Sewanhaka High School. She has served as the school's interim principal since July.

Allen had been the school's assistant principal since 2007. Before that, she was an assistant principal and social studies chairwoman, respectively, in the Uniondale and Westbury school districts.

"I look forward to working with the entire school community — my Sewanhaka family — to making this school the model for innovative programs and excellence," Allen said.


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