Jericho High School had the most first-place winner in the...

Jericho High School had the most first-place winner in the 20th Annual Emerging Leaders Competition, coordinated by the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce.  Credit: Nicole Izzo

Twenty-five Long Island students have been named winners in a competition that challenged them to demonstrate their knowledge and capabilities in a business environment.

The 20th Annual Emerging Leaders Competition invited more than 250 high schoolers to make five-minute presentations on solutions to business-related topics in 15 categories including health care, hospitality and human resources. It was hosted by the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce and held at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue.

Winners were selected by volunteer judges from various occupations based on their professionalism, innovation and solution-based thought processes.

First-place winners and their high schools were: Heidi Borboris, Ava Javaheri, Manya Khatri and Anam Riaz, Commack; Jake Bornstein and Ben Stern, Half Hollow Hills East; Jasmine Jiminez, Isabella Panzavecchia and Adam Vahling, Harborfields; Prisha Agarwal, Jocelyn Chiu, Aralyn Geevarghese and Connie Huang, Herricks; and Bhavika Bhasin, Alex Boyarski, Jaelyn Chow, Benjamin Karol, Nora Khan, Ethan Kupferman, Cherry Lee, Willa Lefkowitz, Dhruv Modi, Raquel Shayani, Jared Weingarten and Chloe Yang, Jericho.

“We are very proud of how passionate our group is and happy their hard work pays off,” said Nicole Izzo, a business teacher at Jericho High School, which had the most first-place winners. “This competition gives students the opportunity to apply their business skills beyond the classroom and develop strategies that will enhance community businesses. The experience is instrumental in helping them strengthen their decision making, public speaking and overall leadership potential.”

In Valley Stream, Howell Road Elementary School students and their...

In Valley Stream, Howell Road Elementary School students and their families showcase their cultural heritage through food, the arts and music during a Multicultural Night. Credit: Valley Stream 13 School District


Revamped library media centers

The Connetquot School District recently held ribbon-cutting ceremonies to unveil renovated library media centers at Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School, Ronkonkoma Middle School, and John Pearl and Sycamore Avenue elementary schools. Last year, the district opened renovated centers at five other schools.

Each center includes an instructional space, reading nooks with comfortable furniture, and a makerspace area for innovation and collaboration. New 3D printers have also been added to each of the district’s library media spaces.

“These refurbished library media centers have been transformed from simple book repositories to central hubs of learning and space for creativity,” said the district’s director of English language arts, Michelle Laux.

In Shoreham, second-graders at Miller Avenue School learned about the...

In Shoreham, second-graders at Miller Avenue School learned about the lifecycle of a plant through activities such as examining different kinds of seeds with a magnifying glass and dissecting a lima bean to discover the parts of a seed.  Credit: Shoreham-Wading River School District


Infectious-disease drill

Students in the Practical Nursing Program at Eastern Suffolk BOCES recently participated in an infectious-disease drill in which they worked in teams to collect data from pupils who acted as patients during a crisis simulation.

Participants were told that numerous “patients” had entered their emergency room displaying multiple symptoms over the past 24 hours. No other details were provided in order to replicate realistic emergency conditions.

“All patients were isolated and pretended to have various issues, such as coughing or fever, and a few common ones, which were blisters or a rash,” said teacher coordinator Christine McNally.

In Smithtown, students at Mt. Pleasant Elementary School discover the...

In Smithtown, students at Mt. Pleasant Elementary School discover the length of the small intestine as part of an assembly about how the human body works that was led by Steve Petra, a ventriloquist and puppeteer from Petra Puppets.  Credit: Smithtown Central School District


Daily living skills center

The Franklin Square School District recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a daily living skills center that will be used to teach basic skills to students in the district’s Intensive Support Program.

The new center, which is at the district’s John Street Elementary School, features a kitchen and dining room setting, sensory toys and “flexible furniture,” school officials said. Instruction will focus on skills such as housekeeping, meal preparation and personal hygiene.

“We are leading our children into increased socialization, increased independence and inclusion for all of our students,” said the district’s director of pupil personnel services, Pamela Taylor.

In Glen Head, North Shore Middle School students collaborate on a...

In Glen Head, North Shore Middle School students collaborate on a mural to help beautify the school as part of E3 Day, which stands for “Everyone Matters, Everyone Cares, Everyone Learns.”  Credit: Shelly Newman


Library learning suites

The Herricks School District recently unveiled new library learning suites at its high school and middle school. The new spaces will provide students with an inviting atmosphere for activities ranging from collaborating in large or small group settings to simply read a book.

At the high school, the suite consists of three distinct learning areas: cocoon zones, active and flexible seating, and collaborative spaces. The suite will also maintain and update digital technologies “to promote 21st century learning,” school officials said.

“The goal of the design was to create an area that encourages participatory learning and allows for an understanding of various sources of information,” said Herricks library media specialist Samantha Gerantabee.

Students at the William Floyd Learning Center in Shirley are...

Students at the William Floyd Learning Center in Shirley are greeted each morning by positive affirmations – such as “You are smart,” You belong” and “You are unique” – courtesy of a mural painted by parent Alyssa Curtin. Credit: William Floyd School District


A donation with a lesson

William Floyd High School’s automotive program recently received a donation of a 2003 Volkswagen Beetle from the Steven B. Pescetti State Farm Insurance Agency in Mastic. It will be used in the program’s instruction about car parts and systems and how to properly maintain and fix them.

The automotive program is part of the school’s career and technical education offerings, known as CTE, which include eight “academies” in fields ranging from barbering to medical assisting.

“When it comes to our CTE programs, we try to replicate real-world scenarios for our students,” said the school’s assistant principal, Robert Felicetta. “The donations we receive, which may be at the end of the functional life for their original purpose, serve as a great asset to our programs for many years to come.”

In Copiague, second-graders at Deauville Gardens West Elementary School created...

In Copiague, second-graders at Deauville Gardens West Elementary School created their snowflakes using marshmallows, toothpicks and straws. Credit: Copiague School District


Video game club

Forest Lake Elementary School recently launched a new video game club to help students learn how to work as a team, display good sportsmanship and learn about technology.

Each meeting typically includes a Chromebook station, where children can create video games using the Scratch coding language, a Gimkit station that features a live learning game show, and a video game console station that features Nintendo Switch, Sony PlayStation and Xbox.

The club, which was founded by special-education teacher Chris Pedota, consists of about 130 students and meets after school every Tuesday and Thursday. Volunteers from Wantagh High School and Wantagh Middle School also attend the sessions and help out their elementary school peers. 

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