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Long IslandEducation

School collect food to donate for the holidays

Members of Oyster Bay High School' Student Council

Members of Oyster Bay High School' Student Council display food items they collected for those in need. Credit: Oyster Bay-East Norwich School District

Dozens of local schools hosted collections of food in recent weeks to help fill the kitchens of less-fortunate families with everything from Thanksgiving fixings to Christmas cookies.

In Locust Valley, several of the district’s schools collected items ranging from stuffing mix to piecrusts to fill Thanksgiving baskets for donation to the Grenville Baker Boys & Girls Club.

The district’s Bayville Primary and Bayville Intermediate schools donated to a food pantry at St. Gertrude’s Parish.

“One of the most important lessons anyone could learn is that the greatest gift anyone can give to themselves is the gift of helping others,” Locust Valley Superintendent Anna Hunderfund said.

In Oyster Bay, the high school’s Student Council led a drive that collected about 40 boxes of nonperishable items and 10 Stop & Shop gift cards.

Meanwhile, the district’s James H. Vernon Elementary School collected 1,000 items through a Student Council-run contest in which the highest-donating class won an ice-cream party. Frank Sommo’s fifth-grade class won, with 304 items.

In Port Washington, special education students at the Vincent Smith School had collected more than 250 food items as of Thanksgiving Day for the nonprofit Island Harvest. That effort, which continues through Friday, is part of the school’s “Random Acts of Kindness” initiative.

In the East Meadow school district, the Kiwanis Kids Club at Bowling Green Elementary School in Westbury collected about 1,100 pounds of food for local families through a Thanksgiving food drive.


Winning video

Great Neck Public Schools Television placed first in the School/Educational Program category of the Alliance for Community Media Northeast Region’s 2017 Video Festival. Great Neck was the only Long Island school district to win any category.

The winning submission was a six-minute video featuring highlights of a cultural heritage celebration at Great Neck South Middle School in 2016.

GNPS/TV contains student-produced programming that reflects the school system’s offerings and the achievements of its students and staff, district officials said.

Great Neck also placed third in the historical documentary category for a video titled “Great Neck Public Schools: The First 200 Years.”


New principal

Diana Ketcham has been appointed principal of Woodland Elementary School. She replaced Mary Hance, who retired.

Ketcham previously was principal of Blue Point Elementary School, a position she had held since 2007. Before that, she spent a decade teaching general education and inclusion classes in various elementary grades in the Babylon school district.

“As I begin this next phase of my career, I am excited to be working in collaboration with staff, students and community to continue enhancing Woodland School and supporting the district’s efforts as we prepare all of our students for success,” Ketcham said.


nErD Camp

More than 300 educators gathered last month to celebrate their love of reading, while networking and participating in professional development sessions, during the 3rd Annual nErD Camp Long Island.

The event, held at James H. Boyd Intermediate School in the Elwood school district, helped educators learn new skills and techniques to bring into their classrooms.

The participants decided what to discuss in the sessions, which included topics titled “Books to Promote Mindfulness” and “Ideas and Inspiration to get Students Writing.” They also had the opportunity to speak with some 60 authors and illustrators who attended.


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