From left, students Sean D'Onofrio, Gabriella Arnemann, Zachary Abend and...

From left, students Sean D'Onofrio, Gabriella Arnemann, Zachary Abend and Cian Murphy, all from Cherry Avenue Elementary School in West Sayville, were among the winners of a local public service announcement contest promoting environmental awareness. With them are teacher Melinda Moran and PSEG Long Island’s senior analyst Peter Hornick. 

Credit: PSEG Long Island

Four dozen students have been named winners of a local public service announcement contest promoting environmental awareness.

The contest, which was coordinated by PSEG Long Island, attracted more than 200 video submissions in grades 4-12. Winners received $75 Amazon gift cards, and their teachers received $100 gift cards.

The winning videos can be viewed at

“It’s great to see how these young environmental advocates are putting their newfound knowledge into action to protect their communities and our planet,” said Michael Voltz, PSEG Long Island’s director of energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Winners and their schools were Miley Leu, Sophia Schoen and Lara Vardar, Lynbrook South Middle School; Reese Devins, Olivia Dos Santos, Ava Lopez and Isabella Yiu, Mineola Middle School; Bastian Rojas Araya, Lurbin Ulloa Rodriguez, Lineth Funes Salgado and Wilber Vasquez, Oyster Bay High School; Aurelia Accornero, Amelia Fernandez, Zoe Nobel, Brayan Nolasco, Nicolas Paleos, GraceAnn Winter and Louis Xie, James H. Vernon School in East Norwich; Zachary Abend, Gabriella Arnemann, Sean D’Onofrio and Cian Murphy, Cherry Avenue Elementary School in West Sayville; Naomie Desilier, Eve Goldman, Nadia Mathew, Vanessa Mathew, Abigail Rus and Gabriella Spinelli, Smithtown High School West; Evelyn Jin, Quinn Lanzilotta and Lucy Straub, Minnesauke Elementary School in East Setauket; Nathaniel Bellini, Jacob Childs, Scarlet DellUniversita, Robert Denmeade, Ryan Feil, Jaquelyn Galeas, Gabriella Genovese and Stella Spatolini, Bayview Elementary School in West Islip; and Joseph Abbaticchio, Jenessa Basile, Nyasia Bass, Lily Crawford, Tianna Johnson, Krista Malone, Nissi Flores Perez, Henry Schoneboom and Cristy Alvarado Vazquez, William Floyd High School.


New apiary

Commack school district recently welcomed the arrival of hundreds of honey bees at the opening of its new apiary located at the nearby Marion Carll Farm. The facility is designed to provide hands-on learning experiences for all grade levels, school officials said.

To prepare for the bees, Commack Middle School's Bee Club created bee boxes and a special enclosure with the help from the district's facilities crew.

"Our students are not only learning the biological functions of honey bees, but also the essential role they play in the wider ecosystem all while having a fun time," said Jordan Cox, the district's executive director of curriculum and instruction.


Economics Challenge

Teams from Half Hollow Hills High School East were first-place winners in both divisions of this year's New York State Economics Challenge, which tested knowledge of international economics as well as micro and macroeconomics principles.

Mia Bordwin, Jake Bornstein, Hamza Masood and Dylan Rosenberg placed first in the David Ricardo Division, which was open to first-time competitors who have taken no more than one economics course. Amir Estejab, Chase Keskinyan, Matt Pell and Jake Swersky placed first in the Adam Smith Division, which was open to returning competitors and those enrolled in advanced placement, international baccalaureate or honors classes.

Each team was awarded $500.



Odyssey of the Mind

Teams from the Long Beach School District placed first in three divisions at the state finals of Odyssey of the Mind, which is a creative problem-solving program for students in kindergarten through college.

Long Beach Elementary School’s Team No. 1813 placed first in its divisions for the Odyssey ReOMvention and Life is a Circus categories, while Long Beach Middle School’s Team No. 48553 placed first in its division for the Life is a Circus category.

The Odyssey ReOMvention category asked teams to present performances about fictional inventions that removed an environmental threat, while the Life is a Circus category asked teams to present performances about a youngster who was transported to a circus world.



Congressional App Challenge

James Toscano of Seaford High School, Nikhil Trepeta of Jericho High School and Alexander Wiegand of Holy Trinity Diocesan High School in Hicksville were among 275 winners nationwide of the Congressional App Challenge, which asked participants to create original apps. It is an initiative of the Congressional Internet Caucus and the U.S. House of Representatives.

Toscano’s app is a space for teens to express their thoughts and feelings. Trepeta’s offers help in various subject matters without the need for financial or administrative resources. Wiegand’s app teaches kids which items are recyclable.



LIMHoF scholarships

Four Long Island students — Emily Wei of Great Neck North High School, Gioianna DiGiorgio of Half Hollow Hills High School West, Andrew Arloro of Half Hollow Hills High School East, and Stephanie Massimo of Syosset High School — have been named winners of $500 music scholarships from the Long Island Music Hall of Fame.

The scholarships were awarded to graduating seniors who plan to study music in college and pursue a career in the field.

“The Long Island Music Hall of Fame is honored to have the opportunity to support and acknowledge accomplished high school seniors who are pursuing a future in music,” said Tom Needham, the hall’s chairman.  

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