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Nassau: Bellmore winners in good company

Students from John F. Kennedy High School in

Students from John F. Kennedy High School in Bellmore beat out 20 Long Island teams to take the top two spots at the regional level of Virtual Enterprise International. Photo Credit: Handout

Bellmore students turned ideas for fictional businesses into a real-life regional win.

Teams from John F. Kennedy High School beat out 20 Long Island teams to take the top two spots at the regional level of Virtual Enterprise International, a competition in which students create and manage a virtual company in class. They handle every aspect of running a business, from human resources decisions to accounting to product development.

The first-place team's business, titled Cupcake Break, was an upscale and luxurious bakery specializing in making custom cupcakes with an option for catering. The team will next present its business plan at the national level, later this month in Manhattan.

"The students actually come to class as if they are employees," said Victoria Cardinale, a business teacher and facilitator of Kennedy's first-place team. "This is a class that's totally different than anything else they take in high school. It introduces them to the real world."

First-place teammates are Nicole Barclay, Skyler Brodman, Dante Dano, Halley Davide, Tim Dillon, Austin Goldman, Zackary Haefling, Zach Hecht, Jim Karp, Brandon Lerner, Joe Marcus, Mike Rejtig, Alan Sorin and Rob VanNess.

The runner-up team's company, Baja Backyard Accessories, was an outdoor supply company that turned a backyard into a "paradise" in an economy that makes it hard for people to travel on vacation, school officials said.



Anti-bullying week

The Bethpage school district recently educated students on the importance of preventing bullying with an anti-bullying week that included police lectures and school art projects.

At Bethpage High School, students wrote positive messages in footprints that were displayed on a banner in the school lobby, while John F. Kennedy Middle School hosted a breakfast in which 90 high school volunteers delivered anti-bullying messages to younger students.

The elementary schools coordinated poster contests and anti-bullying pledges.

"Themed weeks are essential in emphasizing the importance of what goes on in classrooms on a regular basis, in terms of teaching students social skills necessary to be productive and kind citizens," said Kerri McCarthy, principal of Kramer Lane Elementary School.



Cancer fundraisers

Long Beach High School recently raised $1,200 for the National Breast Cancer Foundation through a Badminton for Breast Cancer event spearheaded by National Honor Society members Lila Martz and Brigitte Gilbert.

To raise the funds two-person teams donated $10 each to compete, with the rest coming from local businesses and individual sponsors.

In other news, various clubs at the high school recently raised $1,084 to help purchase a digital mammography machine for Long Beach Medical Center's Breast Health Alliance.



Schools to Watch

Both Oceanside and Jericho middle schools have been recognized nationally and on the state level as an Essential Elements School to Watch for 2012.

The schools will be honored at a spring conference in Washington, D.C. The award was issued by the New York State Middle School Association.

Schools were examined in a process that included two visits by a team of middle school evaluators who spoke with students, faculty and board members.

"We are fortunate to have a team of visionary educators and the community support to constantly raise the bar," Oceanside Superintendent Herb R. Brown said in a statement. "It comes down to one all-important factor, which is the dedication to students."



Youth essay contest

The Long Island Outdoor Communicators Network, On the Water magazine and the Coastal Conservation Association New York have launched a 2012 Youth Essay Writing Contest designed to introduce youngsters to the enjoyment of fishing and other outdoor activities.

The contest is open to all Long Island students in grades 1-12. The deadline is Oct. 31.

Contest themes are: 1. My Favorite Fishing Story; 2. What Fishing Means to Me; or 3. How My Generation Can Help Conserve the World's Fish Populations. Entries should be submitted to the network's contest coordinator via email at

All entries will be honored at an awards ceremony, and some may be chosen for publication.

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