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Long IslandEducation

Top students in Heckscher Museum art contest

Shannon Culhane, a junior at Northport High School,

Shannon Culhane, a junior at Northport High School, placed second at this year's Long Island's Best at the Heckscher Museum of Art. Credit: The Heckscher Museum of Art

Valley Stream and Northport students took the top spots in a local art contest that received a record number of entries for the fifth consecutive year.

Ricky Vargas, a Valley Stream South High School senior, won best-in-show in “Long Island’s Best,” a juried competition and exhibition at the Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington. The 21st annual event drew 387 entries from 56 schools.

Second place went to Northport High School junior Shannon Culhane, while Long Beach High School senior Kristen Miciotta and Hicksville High School senior Gurjot Kaur placed third and fourth, respectively.

“The caliber of work is more remarkable every year,” said Joy Weiner, the museum’s director of education.

High school students earlier had visited the museum and selected one piece to serve as a “point of inspiration,” museum officials said. Juried selections narrowed the field to 84 pieces, which appeared in a monthlong exhibition.

Some of the works from the exhibition will be featured in the front window of Mitchells department store in Huntington from Wednesday through May 9.

“I was very grateful people were impacted by it,” Vargas, 18, said of his graphite and charcoal drawing, titled “Restraining Hatred,” for which he was awarded $750. “I wanted to represent hatred as something you lock away and chain up.”

Culhane, who was awarded $500, said her acrylic painting, titled “Release,” was a self-portrait intended to capture a moment of releasing feelings.

“I mainly do colored pencil pieces, so painting was experimental for me,” she said.


Future City

A three-student team from Trinity Regional School — Jackson Kobylarcz, Andrew McCollum and Lillie Smutny — placed first in the New York City regionals of this year’s Future City Competition, a program of the nonprofit DiscoverE.

The competition tasked middle schoolers with designing public spaces that serve a city’s diverse population. Teams designed virtual cities using SimCity software, wrote an essay and built a scale model using recycled materials.

The team qualified for the national level in Washington, D.C., where they received a special award titled “Mission Possible: Positively Impacting the Community.”


Youth & Government

William Floyd High School captured eight of 12 leadership positions at the 81st annual New York State YMCA Youth & Government Conference in Albany, which drew about 500 students from across the state to a simulated session in the Capitol’s legislative chambers.

William Floyd students who were “elected” to state positions were Evan Meinke, lieutenant governor; Dahlia Ramos, Senate president pro tempore; Khadija Saad, chief justice; Katie Lindley, speaker of Assembly Freedom; Robert Henn, deputy speaker of Assembly Freedom; Daniel Hintze, speaker of Assembly Liberty; Julia Mastrup, deputy speaker of Assembly Liberty; and Cassidy Connelly, attorney general.

William Floyd secured seven and nine leadership positions in 2015 and 2016, respectively.


Ethics Bowl

Twenty-six teams from Long Island high schools recently competed in the 2017 Long Island High School Ethics Bowl at Hofstra University.

The eighth annual competition, sponsored by the Squire Family Foundation in East Northport, challenged teams to analyze and contribute to a civil discussion on a series of predetermined moral dilemmas.

First place went to the Syosset High School team of Aram Moghaddassi, Jana Pamnani, Jonah Wu and Hannah Zwick. Second place went to a Roslyn High School team, while teams from Sacred Heart Academy in Hempstead and The Stony Brook School tied for third.

Additional awards went to a Hauppauge High School team, a second Roslyn High School team and a Northport High School team.

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