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Great Neck schools' television station wins four national awards

Great Neck Public Schools Television won four awards

Great Neck Public Schools Television won four awards this summer at the Alliance for Community Media's 2018 Hometown Media Awards. Members of GNPS/TV's crew pose for a photo with Robert Zahn, holding his son Zachary Zahn, far left, the district's educational TV and broadcast media director. Credit: Anna Zahn

Great Neck Public Schools’ television station has won four awards — including the highest award for an educational channel — in a national competition that honors community media and local cable programs.

The station, also known as GNPS/TV, received the awards this summer at the Alliance for Community Media’s 2018 Hometown Media Awards in Baltimore. There were more than 1,000 entries. GNPS/TV’s awards included Overall Excellence in Educational Access Award, which was the competition’s highest honor, and three student division awards.

The latter three awards were for specific content — including a news-style piece about the district’s Thank-a-Veteran Program in the educational activities category, a broadcast of Great Neck South High School’s Cultural Heritage Night in the local performances category, and a student production titled “Just Film Things” in the original drama/comedy category.

The student division awards require that the overall direction, production and all technical tasks be performed by pupils. Entries were evaluated on factors including budget, experience and subject.

“There are a lot of kids who find a home with their interest in filmmaking, TV and media,” said the district’s educational TV and broadcast media director, Robert Zahn. “These awards are validation of the students’ great work.”

GNPS/TV, which started in the 1950s, involves about 175 students covering district events and activities. Programs are available on the district’s website as well as on Optimum’s channel 75 and Verizon FIOS’ channel 32 within the Village of Great Neck.

The television station also won four awards, including the Overall Excellence in Educational Access Award, in 2016.


New superintendent

Seth Turner has been appointed superintendent of the Amagansett School District. He replaced Allan Gerstenlauer, who held the position on an interim basis after the departure of longtime superintendent Eleanor Tritt.

Turner had served as superintendent of upstate Saugerties School District since 2009, and before that served six years as an elementary principal and three years as a high school assistant principal.

“During my first several months on the job, I will be focusing on meeting with students, their parents, teachers, staff members and community leaders to gain a comprehensive understanding of the culture of Amagansett and to learn of concerns and ideas,” Turner said.


New principal

Michelle Richards is the new principal of Washington Primary School. She replaced Marsha Nelville, who retired.

Richards had been an assistant principal in the Elmont School District since 2013. She also has been principal of Elmont’s summer enrichment program as well as a district professional development facilitator, district testing leader, and curriculum map developer for English language arts.

“As the instructional leader of this dynamic school, I pledge to capture the imagination of teachers and parents in order to best attend to the academic growth and social-emotional development of the children,” Richards said.


Bus-safety poster contest

Four Long Island students have been named first-place winners in various divisions of the 2018 New York School Bus Safety Poster Contest, coordinated by the New York Association for Pupil Transportation in conjunction with the Cyr Foundation. Winners received $100 checks and have advanced to the contest’s national level.

The winners and their school districts were: Joshua Marino, Farmingdale, Division 1 (grades K-2); Hunter Koeppen, Longwood, Division 2 (grades 3-5); Rachel Sirico, Farmingdale, Division 3 (grades 6-8); Dennis Benitez, Nassau BOCES, Division 4 (special education).

Entries were required to illustrate this year’s theme, “My School Bus, the Safest Form of Student Transportation.” Judging criteria included originality, execution and visual impact.


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