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Long IslandNassau

Nassau: Many explored summer enrichment

Long Beach student Josmin Lopez hit the waves

Long Beach student Josmin Lopez hit the waves this summer with the help of trained instructors from the local nonprofit Surf for All. The district also offered swimming, tae kwan do and bowling. Credit: Handout

For many local schools, just because it was summertime the doors didn't close.

Thousands of Long Island youngsters spent the past two months convening at schools for everything from art academies to playground programs to reading and math camps. The programs were designed as a way for students to continue learning between school years.

In Long Beach, the district's Extended School Year Program for Students with Disabilities teamed up with the local nonprofit Surf for All to teach the sport to special-needs students under the guidance of trained surf instructors. The district's other activities included lessons in taekwondo and swimming, as well as field trips to bowling alleys and movie theaters.

"We are pleased to be able to provide students with many enriching summer activities while giving them a fun way to practice and maintain all the skills they learned during the school year," said Sabrina Cantore, the district's executive director of special education and pupil personnel services.

In Valley Stream, more than 500 students participated in annual summer activities at Howell Road Elementary School, such as hockey and music lessons, a daily literacy component, and an English and math program offered through SCOPE Education Services. Children demonstrated what they learned to parents during a culminating DJ Family Party.

In Freeport, the district's Summer Academy of the Arts provided more than 200 students with the opportunity to continue their artistic development through "The Power of the Arts," a program that ended with a display of student art and performances of theatrical vignettes and dances.

In Massapequa, nearly 2,500 students participated in various summer activities -- ranging from guitar lessons to visual arts workshops -- via a partnership with Nassau BOCES.

"We offer something for everyone," Massapequa Superintendent Lucille Iconis said. "These summer programs are a convenient and economical way for students in our community to explore their interests and also develop skills in a fun and enriching environment."



New superintendent

James Scannell has been named superintendent of the Baldwin Union Free School District, replacing James D. Mapes, who retired. Scannell was the district's assistant superintendent for instruction the past four years, and before that he was an educator and administrator in the East Williston Union Free School District.

"I look forward to open communication with the community, highlighting the strengths of our schools and working together with parents, the school board and our dedicated staff to build on the success of our wonderful students and signature programs," Scannell said.



New superintendent

John DeTommaso is the new superintendent of the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District. He replaces Henry Kiernan, who retired after serving in the position since 2005.

DeTommaso most recently served as assistant superintendent for instruction and technology in the Bethpage Union Free School District, where he also had been a high school principal. Earlier, he taught social studies at Wellington C. Mepham High School in North Bellmore and was an assistant principal at Sanford H. Calhoun High School in Merrick.



New principals

Johane Ligondé has been appointed principal of John W. Dodd Middle School. She replaced Robert Micucci, who held the position on an interim basis after former Principal John O'Mard was arrested earlier this year on criminal charges of having sex with a minor he met online. Charges against O'Mard are pending, according to the Nassau County district attorney's office. He has pleaded not guilty and is free on bail.

Ligondé most recently served as principal of Shaw Avenue Elementary School in Valley Stream. Previously, she was curriculum director of English language arts, reading and social studies in the Lawrence Union Free School District, an English and literacy teacher in Georgia and South Carolina, and a school principal on the British island of Anguilla.

In other news, Anne-Marie Hudley-Simmons is interim principal of the district's Early Childhood Education Center, replacing Peggy Miller, who retired after 26 years in Freeport. Hudley-Simmons also will remain in her role as interim coordinator of the arts.



Siemens entries

The Siemens Foundation and the College Board are accepting entries for the 2013 Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology, one of the nation's premier research competitions for high schoolers.

Entries must be original research projects in math, science and technology and are eligible to win college scholarships from $1,000 to $100,000.

Regional competitions are held at six universities across the country in November, and winners are invited to compete in the national finals this winter in Washington, D.C. Submission instructions are available at The entry deadline is Sept. 30.

"We hope that by participating in the Siemens Competition, students will embark on a lifelong journey in science, technology, engineering and math," foundation president Jeniffer Harper-Taylor said.

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