Lynbrook High School’s Horizon newspaper won the Quill Award for “Most Outstanding Newspaper” at Adelphi University's Press Day.  Credit: Lynbrook School District

Long Island’s aspiring journalists were recently recognized for their outstanding work in the field.

Dozens of media-minded teens were honored with Quill Awards last month during Adelphi University’s Press Day, which this year consisted of 160 students from 18 high schools in Nassau, Suffolk and Queens.

The university issued awards in nine categories — from best layout to best news article — for content that appeared in local high school print and online publications between February 2022 and January 2023. The event also included breakout sessions and panel discussions designed to give students an opportunity to explore their passion for media.

First-place winners, their high schools and categories were: Farah Alzafarani, Brentwood, best opinion piece (column and editorial); Aryana Borjas and Ibrahim Rasheed, Hewlett, best layout; Madison Kane and Willa Lefkowicz, Jericho, best feature article; Zaara Malik, Jericho, most outstanding reporter; Alyssa Inserra, Lynbrook, best news article; Lucas Weisser, Roslyn, best visual (photograph or artwork); Jessica Ramlakan, Thomas A. Edison Career & Technical Education High School in Queens, best arts review.

In addition, Jericho High School’s sport staff won for best sports story and column, while Horizon from Lynbrook High School was named most outstanding newspaper.

“I am so proud of this group,” said Lynbrook’s newspaper adviser Jessica Sanders. “It is an honor for me to work on Horizon with such hardworking, dedicated, talented and fun students.”

Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK High School’s student-run business, The Hawks Nest,...

Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK High School’s student-run business, The Hawks Nest, was one of four statewide to earn gold re-certification by DECA (which stands for Distributive Education Clubs of America) for the 2022-23 school year. Pictured are two of the school’s DECA members Sofie Nelson, left, and Divbani Sabharwal.  Credit: Plainview-Old Bethpage School District


Interim acting superintendent

Janine Sampino has been appointed interim acting superintendent of Locust Valley School District. She replaced Kenneth Graham, who departed to become superintendent of the North Babylon School District.

Sampino was previously Locust Valley’s assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, and before that was an assistant superintendent and the curriculum coordinator/director for grades K-12 in the Rockville Centre School District. She has also been a classroom teacher and professional developer for Nassau BOCES.

“This is a wonderful community,” Sampino said. “We have an incredible administrative team, fantastic teachers, supportive parents and the best kids. I look forward to what is to come.”

In Franklin Square, students hold up “I Love To Read” activity sheets completed after a livestream event with three authors who shared their writing processes and read their stories as part of Willow Road Elementary School’s World Read Aloud Day celebration. Credit: Valley Stream School District 13


Breathe, stretch, relax

Lockhart Elementary School has introduced a Calm Classroom initiative that incorporates rest breaks during classes at least once a week.

The initiative, which typically takes about 10 minutes, consists of scripted three-minute routines that include breathing, stretching and relaxation exercises — some of which are done with the lights off to help set the mood. The exercises are then followed by discussions on how the students are feeling, school officials said.

“We need to teach our students easy and engaging ways to calm themselves and pay attention to their emotional state,” said Lockhart psychologist Chanah Greenstein, who implemented the initiative at the school.

In Deer Park, sixth-graders at Robert Frost Middle School recently used household items – including straws, tape and paperclips – to create freestanding structures for the least amount of money.  Credit: Deer Park School District


Shinnecock science lessons

The Brookhaven National Laboratory recently teamed up with the Boys & Girls Club of Shinnecock Nation for a Do It Yourself STEM Program geared to children ages 9 to 12. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math.

The program was designed to relate a series of STEM lessons to Native American culture to increase the students’ interest in the field and help them connect scientific principles to the real world. For example, a lesson on electricity was linked to the Thunderbird, a legendary creature said to generate lightning by flashing its


“We often don’t realize the connection our Shinnecock ancestors had to their understanding of the universe,” said the club’s director, Dyashwa Sylvester.

In East Northport, students at Harley Avenue Primary School in...

In East Northport, students at Harley Avenue Primary School in the Elwood School District recently used a variety of household materials – including tissue paper, paper cups and pipe cleaners – to create a “rocket” with a parachute as part of a STEAM activity. STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art and math.  Credit: Elwood School District


School bus poster winners

Three Suffolk County students were first-place winners in a statewide school bus safety poster contest conducted by the New York Association for Pupil Transportation in partnership with the New York State Education Department. Their posters have been forwarded to the national competition conducted by the American School Bus Council.

The first-place winners were: Ruhaani Kaur, Half Hollow Hills School District, Division III (grades three to six); Anthony Russo, North Babylon School District, Division II (grades three to five); and Brianna Flores Andrades, Eastern Suffolk BOCES, Division IV (special education). They were each awarded $100.

Submissions were judged on criteria including originality, execution and visual impact.

Eastport-South Manor Jr.-Sr. High School students recently learned about the...

Eastport-South Manor Jr.-Sr. High School students recently learned about the techniques of various African American artists, then created their own works of art. High school-level students were inspired by potter Tasha Renee, while seventh-graders were inspired by the paintings of Glenyse Thompson. Credit: Eastport-South Manor School District


Researchers head to nationals

Five students were named regional delegates at this year’s Long Island Science and Humanities Symposium, which invited high schoolers to
report the results of their original research in science, technology engineering and math — also known as STEM. To participate, students submitted research papers for evaluation by a panel of judges, with the best selected for presentation at the symposium held at York College in

The delegates and their high schools are: Addison Klebanov, Great Neck North; Alexandre Tourneux, Hewlett; Jessie Dong and Aasiya Zaidi, Roslyn; and Chloe Hickman, Kings Park. They have each received all-expenses-paid trips to compete in the 61st National Junior Science & Humanities Symposium in Virginia Beach, Virginia, on April 12-15.

The regional event was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense.

In Setauket, eighth-graders in Kevin Stiegelmaier’s farm-to-school elective learn how to tap maple trees on school grounds to collect sap and make their own syrup.  Credit: Three Village Central School District

Belmont racing expected to resume … Korbell: Air quality to improve … Meth lab found in Ronkonkoma  Credit: Newsday

Smoke a public health crisis ... Korbell: Air quality to improve ... Shoe store crash ... LI athlete 

Belmont racing expected to resume … Korbell: Air quality to improve … Meth lab found in Ronkonkoma  Credit: Newsday

Smoke a public health crisis ... Korbell: Air quality to improve ... Shoe store crash ... LI athlete 

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