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W. Tresper Clarke, Kings Park teams win in business competition

A team from W. Tresper Clarke High School

A team from W. Tresper Clarke High School won first place in the Junior Achievement of New York's 10th Annual High School Business Plan Competition. From left, team members James Curran, Joseph Zirkel, Naman Shakrani and Stephen Gavrielidis. Credit: Junior Achievement of New York

Teams from W. Tresper Clarke High School in Westbury and Kings Park High School won first and second place, respectively, in a prestigious business competition.

Junior Achievement of New York’s 10th annual High School Business Plan Competition saw 180 tristate-area teams strive to fix problems in their communities as part of the theme, “Think Local.” For winning, Clarke’s team members each received $2,500, while Kings Park team members each received $1,500.

This is the fifth time in nine years that Clarke has placed first, while Kings Park has placed in the top three in each of its three years in the competition.

“It’s been an incredible ride and journey,” said Joseph Pavia, Clarke’s adviser. “The minute we started, there was something about this team. They were two steps ahead of everything.”

W. Tresper Clarke’s “Simplastic” team — James Curran, Stephen Gavrielidis, Naman Shakrani and Joseph Zirkel — proposed replacing deteriorating roads with more-durable high-density polyethylene material. Kings Park’s “TranSPORT” team — Ryan Adell, Nick Fazio, Joe Ribaudo and Zach Wenzler — proposed a transportation service for kids who need rides to and from sporting events.

Teams started with $250,000 of fictional seed money and drafted plans to market their idea. The competition was narrowed to seven finalist teams that presented their proposals this month to a panel of judges in Manhattan.

“The skills they learned are ones you’re never going to get in the classroom,” Kings Park adviser Susan Portnoy said.


Essay winners

Lee Avenue Elementary School students placed first in two of four divisions in the 29th annual World Food Day Essay Contest, coordinated by the Amityville-based nonprofit Stop World Hunger. The two other winners were from a Hicksville parochial school and Garden City High School.

This year’s contest, which drew more than 1,200 entries, asked students to answer the following question: “Who can stop world hunger?”

Winners were: Sophia Kim, Lee Avenue School in Hicksville, primary division (grades 1-3); Evan Chun, Lee Avenue School in Hicksville, intermediate division (grades 4-6); Katrina Diano, Our Lady of Mercy School in Hicksville, junior high division (grades 7-8); and Caroline Munn, Garden City High School, high school division (grades 9-12).

Each first-place winner received a $100 savings bond.


Scholarship winners

Thirteen Nassau County students were among more than 3,200 winners nationwide of college-sponsored scholarships issued through the National Merit Scholarship Corp. The scholarships will provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at one of 182 higher education institutions.

Winners and their high schools were: Domenico D’Erasmo, H. Frank Carey; John Luke Hoonhout and Joseph Jackson, Chaminade; David Liu, Great Neck North; Lucia Geng and Amanda Shen, Great Neck South; Patrick Xu, Jericho; Alexandra Penzi, Manhasset; Hannah Ericsson and Zachary Miller, Paul D. Schreiber; Gabriella Zabatta, St. Mary’s; and Janvi Pamnani and Michael Ye, Syosset.


Business winners

Fourteen Long Island high school students placed first in various categories of the Long Island Business Teachers Association’s 2017 Contest, which required teens to demonstrate skills in topics ranging from sports marketing to web design.

Winners and their high schools and categories were: Nicole Avidon, Syosset, accounting; Matthew Losquadro, Syosset, business calculations; Ryan Letterio, Miller Place, business law; Christian Roth, Farmingdale, business principles; Daniel Berenson, Syosset, college accounting; William Sussman, Miller Place, computer applications; Hannah Giambertone, Commack, entrepreneurship; Alexa Khazzam, Roslyn, fashion merchandising; Danielle Giannetti, Smithtown East, marketing; Sarah Pethani, Roslyn, personal finance; Erin McDonald, Smithtown East, sports marketing; Tia Brown and Sydnie Jamie, Floral Park, web design; and Grace Patterson, Miller Place, word processing.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misspelled the last name of Joseph Pavia, adviser of W. Tresper Clarke High School’s winning team in Junior Achievement of New York’s 10th annual High School Business Plan Competition.


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