Jericho High School seniors Laura Zhao, left, and Emma Schwarzwald deliver a virtual...

Jericho High School seniors Laura Zhao, left, and Emma Schwarzwald deliver a virtual presentation of their marketing plan for the New York Islanders and their home at UBS Arena in Elmont at the 19th Annual Emerging Leaders Competition, in which they won first place in the sports marketing category. Credit: Nicole Izzo

Long Island students recently demonstrated their abilities to think like businesspeople.

The 19th Annual Emerging Leaders Competition, which was held virtually last month because of the COVID-19 pandemic, challenged more than 265 teens from 16 local high schools to prove their knowledge and capability in a business environment. It was hosted by the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce.

Participants presented volunteer judges from various professions with their solutions to business-related topics in 13 categories ranging from retail marketing to graphic design. Winners were selected based on their professionalism, innovation and solution-based thought processes.

"This competition is so valuable because it provides students with the opportunity to solve real business issues currently facing local businesses by developing creative and innovative solutions," said Nicole Izzo, a business teacher for Jericho High School, which had the most first-place winners.

First-place winners and their high schools were: Rebecca Cole and Rayna Kolodny, Commack; Skyler Turner, Half Hollow Hills East; Watson Baek, Jocelyn Chiu, Kelly Ferg, Prableen Kaur, Sana Nabi and Isabella Pang, Herricks; Jennifer Baek, Alex Boyarski, Kaitlyn Choi, Alexa Coven, Elaine Jiao, Elana Kane, Neha Malhorta, Ranya Parekh, Zara Qizilbash, Emma Schwarzwald, Danush Sinnan, Carolyn Wang and Laura Zhao, Jericho; Jennifer Buckley, Finnegan Gilbert and Alexa Gunning, Kings Park; Maya Almalish, Samuel Sherry and Sam Swerdloff, Syosset; and Drew Garcia, Eastern Suffolk BOCES Gary D. Bixhorn Technical Center in Bellport.

BELLPORT

Equity Library

In Plainview, Pasadena Elementary School recently unveiled a peace pole...

In Plainview, Pasadena Elementary School recently unveiled a peace pole in honor of World Kindness Day. The pole bears the message, "May peace be in our communities," in different languages on each of its four sides. Credit: Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District

Bellport High School has launched a new Equity Library within its main library that gives teens access to fiction and nonfiction texts with diverse characters and stories.

One of its recent activities was a "book tasting" for English Language Arts students that featured a menu of books and viewings of book trailers. Pupils also discussed books written by Hispanic authors and featuring Hispanic characters during Hispanic Heritage Month.

"It's important to provide students with windows and mirrors through characters who come from a variety of backgrounds and content that shines a light on diverse lived experiences," said Bellport librarian Colleen Oates-Robesch.

VALLEY STREAM

Kindergartners at Lee Road Elementary School in the Levittown School...

Kindergartners at Lee Road Elementary School in the Levittown School District recently completed a STEM challenge to see who could build the tallest tower using cups and popsicles sticks. STEM Stands for science, technology, engineering and math. Credit: Levittown School District

New principal

Robin Small has been appointed principal of North High School in the Valley Stream Central High School District. She had been the school's interim principal since July.

Small, who joined the district in 2007, also has been a special-education teacher and department chairwoman for special education. She was appointed an assistant principal at North in 2018.

"I'm proud to continue my service to the North High School community, and will continue to ensure that all students feel welcome and receive the best possible education," Small said.

COUNTYWIDE

In Holtsville, Waverly Elementary School students recently participated in an...

In Holtsville, Waverly Elementary School students recently participated in an annual tradition by writing pledges about how they can make their school a better place. They also planted daisy bulbs that will bloom in the spring to remind them of their promises to promote peace. Credit: Sachem Central School District

'Hour of Code'

Thousands of Long Island students learned the fundamentals of computer programming last month as part of the nonprofit Code.org's "Hour of Code," a worldwide effort held in conjunction with Computer Science Education Week.

In Massapequa, Alfred G. Berner Middle School students drew lines for small robots, called Ozobots, to follow and added color-coded sequences that triggered different movements. Meanwhile, high schoolers enabled characters to navigate a simulated world using Blockly, which is a drag-and-drop visual programming tool.

At Clear Stream Avenue, Forest Road and Shaw Avenue elementary schools in Valley Stream, students tackled a variety of coding challenges — such as programming video game characters to move with the press of a button.

In Seaford, kindergartners created a world featuring emoji characters, and third-graders made animated poems at Seaford Harbor Elementary School.

In Ronkonkoma, Helen B. Duffield Elementary School first-graders Jackson Santillo,...

In Ronkonkoma, Helen B. Duffield Elementary School first-graders Jackson Santillo, left, and Paige Kolmos harvest a tower garden with school counselor Joanne Pisani. Credit: Connetquot School District

ISLANDWIDE

Expansion grants

Six Long Island school districts were among 31 statewide to recently receive Universal Prekindergarten Expansion Grants enabling them to increase prekindergarten availability from the New York State Education Department. Recipient districts were: Bay Shore, $280,000; Farmingdale, $360,000; Glen Cove, $400,000; Riverhead, $600,000; Roosevelt, $540,000; and Springs, $420,000.

The grants were awarded based on factors including the district's plan to service its highest-need schools and students, its level of existing prekindergarten services, and the extent to which it plans to maximize the number of eligible 4-year-old children in its programs.

"When we strengthen supports and provide equitable opportunities for children in their early years, we see the benefits throughout their school years and beyond," said the state's education commissioner, Betty A. Rosa.

— MICHAEL R. EBERT

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