Four Long Island students and one teacher recently won the opportunity to broadcast their love of school over the local radio waves.
Student winners were Ryan Cozzolino of North Side Elementary School in East Williston, Rena Shapiro of John Philip Sousa Elementary School in Port Washington, Regan Kielmeyer of Accompsett Middle School in Smithtown and Robert Langerman of Patchogue-Medford High School. Melanie Sirof, an English teacher at Wellington C. Mepham High School in North Bellmore, was the winner of the inaugural teacher category.
They were selected based on their essays on the topic, "How School Makes Me Feel Good About Me," in the 13th annual essay contest sponsored by the Long Island Presidents' Council.
Each person recorded his or her winning essay during the summer at the studios of WBAB/102.3 and WBLI/106.1, under the guidance of Ray Adell Media Enterprises.
"I kept thinking while writing, and it seemed as though my mind had taken control of my pencil," Shapiro said. Of being named a winner, she said: "I was more than happy. In fact, I was crying from joy after I had read the letter."
The winners each received $500 and their essays aired last month on WBAB, WBLI and nine other stations: FM stations WALK/97.5, WBZO/103.1, WHFM/95.3, WJVC/96.1, WKJY/98.3, WLNG/92.1 and WWSK/94.3, and AM stations WHLI/1100 and WTHE/1520.
Diana DeVivio has been named principal of The Henry Viscardi School, a school for severely disabled students who require a specialized educational setting with medical supports. She replaces Patrice McCarthy Kuntzler, who now is the school's vice president of program development.
DeVivio previously was a special-education teacher and administrator for several local school districts and has served as a consultant for the International Organization of Advancement in Disability Education.
"I am thrilled to be here in this warm and supporting learning community, an institution of excellence," DeVivio said. "I believe that parents and staff are essential partners in our joint educational endeavor, and our collective strengths, perspectives and participation in our learning community will foster continued excellence and positive outcomes for all of our children."
Ivy Sherman has been appointed principal at Robert Seaman Elementary School in the Jericho school district. She replaces Adam Winnick, who now is a second-grade teacher at Cantiague Elementary School.
Sherman has spent the past 10 years as an elementary school principal in the Baldwin Union Free School District. Before that, she spent six years as the principal of PS 139 in Brooklyn and four years as an assistant principal in District 22, also in Brooklyn. She also has taught curriculum development at the College of Saint Rose in Albany.
"I am honored to be the principal of Robert Seaman Elementary School," Sherman said. "The staff, students, families and entire Jericho community have been so welcoming, and I look forward to a long career here in Jericho."
Allison Ackerman has been appointed principal of Michael F. Stokes Elementary School in the Island Trees Union Free School District. Ackerman, who replaces Lisa Newman, had served 17 years in various capacities for the Oceanside Union Free School District.
"Joining the Island Trees community has enabled me to work alongside a highly effective staff combined with a dedicated community," Ackerman said. "Every day, as a school, we strive to deliver instruction that is engaging, meaningful and fun. When a student comes to school happy and leaves school with the same smile, we know we have done our job."
The New York and Long Island farm bureaus invite high school seniors who are involved in agriculture and plan to continue studies in the field after graduating to apply for the New York Farm Bureau's 2013-14 Agricultural Youth Scholarship.
To participate, students must answer the question: "If you had the power to change something in your community or on your farm, what would you change and why?"
Scholarship amounts are $1,500 for first place, $1,200 for second place and $1,000 for third place. The first-place winner will be invited to present his or her essay at one of the bureau's spring events.
Applicants must have a farm bureau family or student membership. The contest is sponsored by the bureau's Promotions & Education Committee.
For application information, visit nyfb.org or call 800-342- 4143. The deadline for submissions is Nov. 18.