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Long Island schools raise funds for childhood, breast cancer awareness months

Members of Massapequa High School's girls volleyball team

Members of Massapequa High School's girls volleyball team took a stand earlier this month in the fight against breast cancer. Credit: Massapequa School District

Long Island schools joined the fight against cancer by raising funds and awareness in recognition of childhood cancer and breast cancer awareness months.

In Massapequa, the high school's volleyball team raised more than $5,000 for the Side-Out Foundation earlier this month through a "Dig Pink" game against Hicksville High School. Massapequa's players also presented pink carnations to their opponents and those in attendance held up cards displaying the names of loved ones affected by cancer.

"Everyone knows someone who is affected by breast cancer, or any form of cancer," Massapequa's varsity coach Kelley Collins said. "Dig Pink is important to them because they can show their support and actually make a difference in the fight against breast cancer."

In Levittown, Northside Elementary School sold pink paper ribbons that were dedicated to loved ones with cancer for display in the school's hallways, as well as T-shirts featuring a pink ribbon logo and the phrase "Northside Has Hope." The fundraisers collected more than $1,200 for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Long Island.

In North Merrick, Park Avenue Elementary School in the North Bellmore School District hosted a Whip Pediatric Cancer fundraiser in which families made a minimum $2 donation and decorated hearts for display in the school's lobby. The event raised more than $850 for the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan.

In New Hyde Park, Memorial High School students raised more than $700 through a hoop-swirling competition and raffle to benefit the American Cancer Society and Adelphi University's Breast Cancer Support Program. 


New principal

Jessica Raba is the new high school principal of Long Island Lutheran Middle and High School. She replaced Denis Scannell, who has returned to being a classroom teacher. 

Raba was previously Long Island Lutheran's director of teaching and learning. She also has been executive director of the Lutheran Schools Association, a consultant for the New York City Department of Education's Innovation Zone project, and a co-project manager for Authentic Education's ToledoLearn project.

"I am blessed to work with a team that readily supports students, their growth in mind, body and spirit through the pivotal middle and high school years, and partners with students and families through the individual and collective journeys of each student to enter our doors," Raba said.  


New principal

Colleen O'Hara has been named principal of Hewlett Elementary School. She replaced Christopher Uccellini, who resigned.

O'Hara had been the school's assistant principal since 2013. Before that, she was an assistant principal at Islip and Woodmere middle Schools, as well as an English teacher at Hicksville and Woodmere middle schools. 

"Having served as the assistant principal for the last five years, I have been privileged to work with the dedicated and caring staff, supportive parents, and wonderful children who make Hewlett Elementary such a special place," O’Hara said.


New principal

Joanna Malament has been appointed principal of Nassau BOCES' Willet Avenue Middle School. She replaced Robert Lombardi, who retired.

Malament previously spent 10 years at John Adams High School in Queens where she started as a teacher and later served as administrator in charge of summer school, liaison for the renewal initiative, and assistant principal of special education. 

"I am privileged to have the opportunity to lead a school whose vision and mission align so closely to my core values as an educator," Malament said. "It is my goal to combine my range of experience with my ability to be a compassionate and determined professional who will make a positive contribution to the school."

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