Twelve Long Islanders and four local organizations have been named 2014 Education Partners by Nassau BOCES for their impact on public education in Nassau County.
"Through this innovative program, everyone who has ever been influenced by public education has an opportunity to show their appreciation by nominating outstanding candidates for the award," said Thomas Rogers, district superintendent for Nassau BOCES.
Chan Lian, a senior at Sanford H. Calhoun High School in Merrick, and Rachael Martines, a Carle Place High School senior, are the two students among those chosen last month.
Other honorees are Patricia Banhazl, a school-to-career consultant in the Baldwin school district; Anindya Bhattacharyya, a coordinator at the Helen Keller National Center in Sands Point; Gary Bixhorn, chief operating officer of Eastern Suffolk BOCES; Joseph Dragone, assistant superintendent for business of the Roslyn school district; Ellen Kessler Dubinsky, a math teacher for Nassau BOCES' Joseph M. Barry Career & Technical Education Center in Westbury and Doshi STEM Program; Jonathan Hughes, a professor and director at St. John's University's Center for Educational Leadership and Accountability in Oakdale; Maryanne Lehrer, an executive board member for the Nassau-Suffolk School Boards Association; Ginger Lieberman, president of the Plainview-Old Bethpage Board of Education; Carrie Siff, a physical education teacher at Nassau BOCES' Carman Road School in Massapequa Park; and Angela Zimmerman, a coordinator for family support at Molloy College.
Honored organizations are the Town of Hempstead's ANCHOR Program, the Children's Learning Center of United Cerebral Palsy Association of Nassau, the Family & Children Association in Mineola, and the Long Island Crisis Center in Bellmore.
The Nassau BOCES Educational Foundation will recognize all awardees at a gala in April.
Carle Place Middle School students learned about potential dangers of the Internet from Nassau County Assistant District Attorney Brian Heid.
Heid, in a visit to the school last month, outlined rights to privacy and showed clips of news stories that illustrated how simple situations can become more serious.
"The fence line that separates what you do at home and at school doesn't exist for this generation," Heid said. "Anything between two or more people can become public at any time."
Dutch Broadway Elementary School has launched a new program, titled Reading Buddies, to establish mentoring relationships between students in prekindergarten and those in the fourth and fifth grades.
The pupils meet twice monthly to read books and complete a craft or writing activity.
"The pre-K students get a sense of feeling empowered when they have their older buddies with them," teacher Ashley Zuckerman said. "It helps guide their way for the rest of the years that they have in the building."
Long Beach High School's juniors and seniors got insights about life after high school from some of their former classmates -- graduates of the school's Class of 2013.
Topics during the recent Alumni Day ranged from the importance of taking college-level courses during high school to the pros and cons of dorm life.
"Even though the workload is greater in college, you have more time to get it done if you just stay on top of your work," graduate Andrea Wilkins said.
In other news, the high school recently hosted a Model Congress competition that raised $1,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and $1,000 in gift cards for local residents affected by superstorm Sandy.
Dozens of local schools educated students on peace and equality through events tied to the national holiday on Jan. 20 honoring the life and legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
In Syosset, students at Harry B. Thompson and South Woods middle schools commemorated the 50th anniversary of King's "I Have a Dream" speech by reciting it at the district's Board of Education meeting on Jan. 13. In addition, South Woods' eighth-grade peer mediators paid homage to King by creating an abstract mural in his honor.
In Glen Cove, Landing Elementary School students gathered on the front lawn for the planting of a "peace tree." Kids also wrote hopes for peace on pieces of paper and dropped them into the hole to symbolize their peace-growing efforts.
Fourth-graders at East Elementary School in Long Beach, in a demonstrative analogy on equality, cracked open brown and white eggs to see that their contents are the same.