One of the first subjects many Long Island students tackled this school year was one of global importance: peace.
Dozens of schools held programs and activities in celebration of the United Nations' International Day of Peace on Sept. 21.
In Jericho, George A. Jackson Elementary School hosted a "Peace Week" in which each day represented a letter of the word "peace" — a peace-themed Art Day for letter "A," for example, and a Culture Day for letter "C." Children also were taught conflict resolution and "peaceful breathing" techniques to calm the body and mind, school officials said.
"Our Peace Week is dedicated to understanding we create our tomorrows by our actions today — that our students can and will make a difference in their world," said principal Benny D'Aquila. "Students are encouraged to make a connection between the ideal of peace in the world and respectful, responsible and peaceful behavior in their everyday lives."
In Amityville, high school students participated in a "Pinwheels for Peace" event by planting homemade pinwheels on the lawn and reading original peace- themed poetry. At the middle school, student volunteers decorated hallways with inspiring slogans and used ribbons to spell the word "peace" on the school's perimeter fence.
Third-graders in Nancy Winkler-Brogan's class at Edna Louise Spear Elementary School in Port Jefferson pledged to steer clear of bullying and read aloud original poetry in which they used the five senses to describe the word "peace."
"Rather than discussing the sadness surrounding 9/11, we decided to teach the students about peace," said Winkler-Brogan, who also taught kids to say "peace" in different languages using Karen Katz's children's book, "Can You Say Peace?"
In Oceanside, School No. 8 students assembled outside the school in the shape of a peace sign, wearing patriotic and tie-dye T-shirts and holding pinwheels as they sang John Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance."
GREENVALE: New principal
Lisa Paolucci is the new principal of Nassau BOCES' Iris Wolfson High School, replacing Steven Sitkoff, who retired.
Paolucci served as the school's assistant principal for three years, and before that was a special education coordinator in Hyde Park.
"I am excited to collaborate with the staff and students to continue to provide a high level of service and bring new educational opportunities to the program," Paolucci said.
HICKSVILLE: Interim superintendent
Carl Bonuso is interim superintendent of the Hicksville school district. He replaced Maureen Bright, whose relationship with the district ended in July because of "issues which have arisen between the parties," the district said at the time in a statement.
Bonuso most recently served two years as interim superintendent of the Sag Harbor school district. Before that, he was the longtime superintendent of the Wantagh school district.
PLAINVIEW: New principals
The Plainview-Old Bethpage school district has named two new principals: Christopher Donarummo at Howard B. Mattlin Middle School and Karen Heitner at Plainview-Old Bethpage Kindergarten Center.
Donarummo most recently was an assistant principal at Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK High School. He replaced Dean Mittleman, who now is assistant superintendent of curriculum for the Connetquot Central School District in Bohemia.
Heitner, who replaced Francine Leiboff, previously was a literacy coordinator in the Great Neck school district.
Donarummo said his goal as the middle school's leader is "to foster a learning environment for all students to critically think and energize them to become lifelong learners."
ISLANDWIDE: Farm scholarship
The New York and Long Island farm bureaus announced they are accepting entries for the New York Farm Bureau's 2014-15 Agricultural Youth Scholarship.
High school seniors who are involved in agriculture and plan to continue in the field after graduation are eligible. The awards are $1,500 for first place, $1,200 for second place and $1,000 for third place.
Participants must submit an essay answering the question: "If you had the power to change something in your community or on your farm, what would you change and why?" Entrants must have a bureau family/student membership or include a membership application with their submission.
For application details, call 800-342-4143 or visit nyfb.org. The deadline is Nov. 15.