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Long IslandEducation

Students, teachers gather for back-to-school activities

Incoming sixth-graders at Jonas E. Salk Middle

Incoming sixth-graders at Jonas E. Salk Middle School in Levittown gathered for an orientation assembly to learn more about their new building and its policies. Credit: Levittown School District

The 2017-18 academic year started well before the first day of class for many local students and teachers.

Across Long Island, schools held everything from back-to-school barbecues to team-building activities to campus and community tours.

In Freeport, the high school hosted an orientation for incoming freshmen and their parents, with administrators and department leaders explaining the many programs available to students. Members of the school’s peer leadership program led freshmen on a tour of the building and conducted small group discussions in various classrooms.

“We have tried to make possible anything and everything you can think and dream of here,” Superintendent Kishore Kuncham said of the school’s academic opportunities.

In Mineola, Chaminade High School hosted a 3-C Week of parent and student orientations for the Class of 2021, a chance to meet with homeroom moderators and senior leader volunteers, and a social in the school’s Activity-Athletic Center. The incoming freshmen also received iPads, locker assignments and gym class uniforms.

In Bethpage, 25 new educators assigned to district schools attended a daylong orientation that began with breakfast and included a bus tour of the community, with stops at local businesses such as Gold Coast Studios, where they toured the set of the CBS sitcom “Kevin Can Wait.”

In Glen Head, North Shore Middle School hosted an orientation and barbecue for incoming sixth-graders that included a tour of classrooms, practice in opening lockers and “fun meet-and-greet games,” school officials said.


New principal

Eric Gomez has been appointed principal of Wellington C. Mepham High School in the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District. He replaced Michael Harrington, who now is the district’s assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and assessment.

Gomez previously spent six years as assistant principal for guidance at the district’s Sanford H. Calhoun High School. He also has been a business teacher at Baldwin High School and at Queens Vocational and Technical High School.

“Since I was appointed by the board of education, I attended several events at Mepham and am impressed with the level of commitment that the students, parents, faculty and staff bring to our school,” Gomez said. “I’m looking forward to working with the Mepham community on providing students with unique opportunities that will allow them to continue to excel academically, athletically and socially.”


New superintendent

Michael Dantona is the new superintendent of the Floral Park-Bellerose school district. He replaced James Opiekun, who retired.

Dantona most recently served as director of core curriculum for the Middle Country school district in Centereach and before that was a principal in that system. He began his career as a high school English teacher in Brooklyn and has held administrative positions in Hicksville and Queens.

“It is clear that our school community is passionate about their children,” Dantona said. “I share this passion, and I enthusiastically look forward to working with our learning community to build upon a strong tradition of educational excellence.”


New principal

David Trizano has been appointed principal of Valley Stream North High School. He replaced James Bolen, who now is principal of Cold Spring Harbor High School.

Trizano served as the school’s assistant principal since 1998. He was an administrative associate at Valley Stream Central High School from 1986 to 1990. Between those two positions, he was a principal at a school in upstate Orange County.

“It’s an honor and I’m sure it’s going to be a very exciting and interesting year,” Trizano said.

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