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School Notebook: The Stony Brook School teams win Ethics Bowl

Two teams from The Stony Brook School tied

Two teams from The Stony Brook School tied for first place in this year's Long Island High School Ethics Bowl. Credit: Sean Riley

Two teams from The Stony Brook School tied for first place at this year's Long Island High School Ethics Bowl, making it the third consecutive year the school has won the event.

The 11th annual competition, which drew 24 teams to Hofstra University, challenges students to analyze real-life, and timely, ethical issues. They are judged on the quality of their contributions to a civil discussion.

For winning, Stony Brook was eligible for the national bowl in North Carolina on April 17 and 19, which has been canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I was very proud of the students' work," said Sean Riley, Stony Brook's co-coach with Brad Brummeler. "It's a testament to the quality of our overall academic program."

Team members were Aria Amin, Chimelu Ani, Marta Bennett, Anthony Cacciato, Bobby Feng, Nathan Freeman, Pedro Gradvohl, Myles Johnson, Natalia Oben, David Song, Amelia Specht, McKenzie Taylor, Wensan Yin and Avalon Zborovsky-Fenster.

Other high schools receiving awards were: Bethpage, Best Round 4; Farmingdale, Spirit of the Ethics Bowl; Oceanside, Best Judges' Questions; Roslyn, Best Commentary; and Our Lady of Mercy Academy in Syosset, Best Response.

Third-place honors went to teams from Bethpage and Syosset high schools.


Mental health recognition

Bellport High School senior Alexis Spence has won the New York State PTA's Susanne Smoller Commitment to Youth Advocacy Award for promoting her school's annual Mental Health Awareness Week, which this year is slated from April 27 to May 1. 

For winning, she received $500 and an invitation to attend the New York State PTA Legislative Summit and Lobby Day in February in Albany. While there, she lobbied for increased state funding to support mental health awareness services for students.

"It is estimated that eight million deaths are caused globally a year by mental health related issues, which is a really scary number that can be decreased," Spence said. 


Read Across America

Many schools hosted reading-themed activities in March for the National Education Association's Read Across America Day, which coincided with Dr. Seuss’ birthday.

In Centerport, Washington Drive Primary School Principal Kathryn McNally delivered a special reading of Peter H. Reynolds' "The Word Collector" and encouraged children to find words hidden in the hallways to create poems, songs and stories. Students and staff also wore silly socks on Dr. Seuss' birthday.

In West Babylon, first-graders at John F. Kennedy Elementary School partnered to read various Dr. Seuss books and searched for green eggs with words written on them. The students then found rhyming words to write sentences.

In Amityville, Northeast Elementary School welcomed special guests — including administrators, board trustees, and members of Edmund W. Miles Middle School's National Junior Honor Society — to read books to kindergartners.


Regional delegates

Five students have been named regional delegates at this year's Long Island Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. Delegates and their schools districts are: Makenzie Komack, Roslyn; Kyle La Spisa, William Floyd; Jaime Levin, Port Washington; Rithika Narayan, Elwood; and Keena Yin, Great Neck.

To participate, students submitted research papers for evaluation by a panel of judges with the best selected for presentation at the symposium. They will next compete at the national symposium, which will be held as a virtual competition April 15 to 17.

Long Island's regional finalists and their school districts were: Ethan Sontarp, Commack; Viraj Jayam, East Williston; Rithika Narayan, Elwood; Max Goldman, Great Neck; Tong Ye, Half Hollow Hills; Richard Ren and Davesh Valagolam, Jericho; Taryn O'Connor and Kayleigh O'Melia, Kings Park; and Ella Wesson, Manhasset.


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