A team of 10 high school students from across Long...

A team of 10 high school students from across Long Island took the top spot in Adelphi University’s Apprentice Challenge. Pictured here are the winning team members with this year’s judges and Matthew Tesoriero, right, the founder and CEO of Guac Shop Mexican Grill.  Credit: Justin Kresse

A 10-student team made up of teens from across Long Island has taken the top spot in a competition that challenged participants to create strategic marketing plans.

The group has been named the winner of Adelphi University’s Apprentice Challenge, which asked teams to create proposals to make Guac Shop Mexican Grill locations eligible eateries in university meal plans in a manner that would be mutually beneficial to the school and the restaurant chain, which is based on Long Island.

The winning team consisted of: Benny Biniamin of George W. Hewlett High School in Hewlett; Leah Devoe of Kings Park High School; Nick Gerbasi of Plainedge High School; Tyler Groppe of Wantagh High School; Grace Iadevia of Carle Place High School; Naman Maniar of New Hyde Park Memorial High School; Maria Michael of North Shore High School in Glen Head; Mauricshat Murray of Wyandanch High School; Max Scharf of Jericho High School; and Anthony Sepe of H. Frank Carey High School in Franklin Square.

“The judges were highly impressed with the professionalism and creativity that was displayed by all student participants,” said Sherria Cotton, the event coordinator for Adelphi’s Office of University Admissions. “Students . . . demonstrated their ability to work collaboratively as a team under pressure to develop strategic and relevant ideas to integrate Guac Shop into the university community.”

This year’s competition included 209 students from 26 local high schools.


Auditorium dedication

Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to rename its auditorium after the late Jon-Michael Lasher, who is a 1992 alum of the Connetquot Central School District and its former director of fine arts and music.

Lasher, who died in 2019, was also Connetquot High School’s director for the wind ensemble, marching band and jazz ensemble. In addition, he was adviser of the school’s Tri-M Music Honor Society from 2003 until 2009, and is credited with creating the district’s third-grade music performance ensembles.

“Jon-Michael’s legacy and love for music and the arts was unmatched and continues to inspire us all today,” said the district’s current director of fine arts and music, Vincent Malafronte.


New makerspace

Babylon Elementary School recently unveiled a new makerspace, which is an area designed to provide children with opportunities for innovation and collaboration. Students are allotted time in the space every other week as part of their enrichment classes.

The makerspace, which is located in the school’s library, provides pupils with items such as linking cubes and wooden blocks. They also have opportunities to construct magnetic tracks and Lego walls.

“I am beyond excited to see our students taking advantage of our new makerspace,” said Principal Thomas Keogh. “It gives them an environment where students can have fun while also learning and growing intellectually.”


Heritage room

The South Huntington school district recently unveiled a new heritage room within its administrative offices in celebration of the district’s 100th anniversary.

The room features news clippings and photos highlighting the district’s history and accomplishments as well as an interactive touchscreen that lets users scroll through old yearbooks dating to the 1940s. It also features portraits of three individuals who have schools named after them in the district — 19th century Congressman Silas Wood, poet Walt Whitman and former U.S. Secretary of War and Secretary of State Henry L. Stimson.

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