Ashley Park's mixed-media piece “This is Who I Am” was named...

Ashley Park's mixed-media piece “This is Who I Am” was named the best-in-show winner of “Long Island’s Best: Young Artists at The Heckscher Museum.”  Credit: The Heckscher Museum of Art

A student artist from Half Hollow Hills High School West has been named the best of "The Best."

Ashley Park, a junior at the Dix Hills school, was the best-in-show winner of "Long Island's Best: Young Artists at The Heckscher Museum," an annual juried art contest coordinated by The Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington.

The contest, which this year received a record 399 submissions, challenged participants to select an artwork as their inspiration piece and then create an original piece and write an artist's statement explaining their creative process. Seventy-nine submissions were selected for a curated show that runs through May 29.

Park's winning artwork, "This is Who I Am," is an interactive mixed-media piece that features a mirror and various portraits on hinged doors. She created it by collecting photographs of people and asking them how they would express themselves through a painting before replicating their faces using acrylic and oil.

"I want viewers to answer the question 'Who am I?' and recognize that no one fits in a stereotype and no one deserves an unjust judgment made of them because of the color of their eyes, the amount of wrinkles in their faces, how curly their hair is, or which shade foundation they use," Park said.

Second place went to Manhasset High School senior Anjali Gauld for his mixed-media piece "Bowerbirds Baubles"; third place went to Khizran Fatima of Hicksville High School for her mixed-media piece "Sinf e Aahan (Women of Steel)."

BALDWIN

Third-graders recently practiced “unearthing” fossils from clay using such items...

Third-graders recently practiced “unearthing” fossils from clay using such items as clay, toothpicks and plastic knives at Martin Avenue Elementary School in the North Bellmore School District. Pictured here, left to right, are students Charlotte Brigandi, Mia Rocker and Emma Orellana.  Credit: North Bellmore School District

Workforce Innovation Award

Baldwin School District is one of four winners of the inaugural New York State Workforce Innovation Awards from the Business Council of New York State. The award recognizes "outstanding workforce development training and education providers as well as business leaders focused on developing a strong and diverse talent pipeline," the council said.

Baldwin, which won the prekindergarten through grade 12 category, was recognized for its Academic Academies program that immerses students into areas of study ranging from education to engineering.

"We have worked diligently to create a program that provides equitable access to invaluable hands-on professional learning experiences and coursework," Baldwin Superintendent Shari Camhi said.

In Glen Head, students enrolled in the entrepreneurship elective at...

In Glen Head, students enrolled in the entrepreneurship elective at North Shore Middle School recently had the opportunity to pitch original business plans to real-life entrepreneurs from the local community.  Credit: North Shore School District

EAST ISLIP

STEAM Day

The East Islip School-Business Partnership recently held an inaugural STEAM Day in which students participated in activities ranging from building towers to observing drones. STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art and math.

The first-time event, which was held in the East Islip School District's Early Childhood Center, attracted hundreds of second- and fourth-graders who were assisted by the district's middle and high school students. It culminated with a robotics contest.

"It's important that the students attend this kind of event," said the school's robotics club president, Zoe Elder. "I got into STEAM because of an event like this when I was younger."

In Port Jefferson, Edna Louise Spear Elementary School hosted a...

In Port Jefferson, Edna Louise Spear Elementary School hosted a “petting zoo” in which third-graders had an opportunity to learn about chorus as well as band and orchestra instruments from members of the instrumental and choral ensembles at Earl L. Vandermeulen High School.  Credit: Port Jefferson School District

EAST SETAUKET

$50,000 scholarship

Ward Melville High School senior Riley Meckley is one of three winners nationwide of a $50,000 James W. McLamore Whopper Scholarship from the Burger King Foundation.

To be selected, Meckley "rose above tens of thousands of applicants due to her passion for education and extensive community involvement," the foundation said. She was honored last month with a surprise check presentation.

"We're so happy to be supporting Riley in this next chapter of her life and can't wait to see all the amazing things we know she's capable of accomplishing," the foundation said in a statement.

In Manorville, second-graders at South Street Elementary School recently celebrated...

In Manorville, second-graders at South Street Elementary School recently celebrated the completion of a readers workshop unit by dressing as fictional characters . Credit: Eastport-South Manor School District

MERRICK AND MINEOLA

Essay contest winners

Danielle Dukofsky of Sanford H. Calhoun High School and Luke Moran of Chaminade High School were among 10 winners nationwide of "In Their Own Words," an essay contest coordinated by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

This year's contest invited students to demonstrate historical interpretation and textual analysis by exploring primary sources in the Gilder Lehrman collection. Dukofsky's essay,  was titled "The Impact of Art in Historical Understanding," while Moran's essay was titled "Unearthing the Motives of Lincoln's Wartime Pardons."

They won $500 prizes, and their teachers each received $250 for history programming.

Elwood Middle School seventh-graders explored how DNA fingerprints work with...

Elwood Middle School seventh-graders explored how DNA fingerprints work with visiting scientists from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s DNA Learning Center.  Credit: Elwood School District

ISLANDWIDE

My Brother’s Keeper

Ten Long Island students are among 86 students statewide named My Brother's Keepers fellows by the New York State Department of Education. The designation means they have been identified as leaders who will be provided with mentorship opportunities in business, education and government.

Long Island's fellows and their high schools are: Benny Osorio, Cristian Pangolo, Louis Penaranda and Stephon Mehki Zeigler, Brentwood; Terrell Lewis and Nicholos Sylvester, Elmont; Jeffrey Joel Lemus and Jeremiah King Maynard, Roosevelt; Nazir King and Fritz Pajotte Jr., Sewanhaka; and Joel Charles and Edward Genao, Uniondale.

"My Brother's Keeper Fellows are leaders in their communities, helping build a culture and society of opportunity where every student can be successful," said Board of Regents Chancellor Lester Young Jr.

— MICHAEL R. EBERT

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