Two Western Suffolk BOCES students won about $45,000 in scholarships for taking first place among local teams in a regional automotive competition.
Kevin Donaldson and Matthew Uricchio, Smithtown High School West students who take courses at the BOCES Wilson Technological Center in Northport, were the victors among 15 Long Island teams. The contest is part of the National Automotive Technology Competition, developed by the Greater New York Auto Dealers Association.
In the January regionals each two-person team had 90 minutes to diagnose and repair vehicular problems such as inadequate tire pressure or electrical malfunctions.
"We couldn't believe it," Uricchio said of the win. "It's pretty cool knowing that we're among the top auto students in the area." They will compete Feb. 11 in Queens against about 15 other teams at the state level, collaborating to debug a 2014 Toyota Corolla.
Students in the top four runner-up teams from the regional event also advanced to the state level. They are Ted Beach and Jeffrey Yac of H.B. Ward Technical and Academic Center in Riverhead, Joseph Mucaria and Nicholas Sanita of the Levittown Automotive Program, Eric Downs and Francesco Nicotra of H.B. Ward, and Manny Mojica and Ruben Tabares of Joseph M. Barry Career and Technical Education Center in Westbury.
Families with special-needs children in the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District recently learned about eligibility and employment opportunities after high school through a transition fair hosted by the district's Special Education PTA and Community Parents Education Center.
The fair included workshops on topics from recreation and crisis services to prevocational training programs. About 40 local agencies offered information at booths during the event.
"Our goal is to assist families of special-needs students gain the resources they need to be successful and productive members of their communities," said Cheryl Gitlitz, the district's transition coordinator.
Tyler Fales and Elle Kanganis, fourth-graders at Lindell Elementary School, were among only 50 students in their grade level nationwide to earn perfect scores in the blue division of the WordMasters Challenge, the most difficult level.
The competition, which has three yearly meets, challenges students in grades 3-8 to complete 20 analogies in a half-hour using vocabulary above their grade level.
The pupils participated in the competition as part of the district's "Learning Activities for Raising Creativity" program.
Social media lessons
Sixty parents of Massapequa High School students learned about the pros and cons of social media during a presentation coordinated by the school's Student Advisory Council.
Topics at the event, held last month, included how to create privacy settings and guidance about monitoring children's social media habits without being too invasive.
"Many parents didn't realize their children can block them from certain posts on Facebook, even though they are 'friends' with them," junior class president Matt Spinelli said.
The council will deliver similar presentations this month at the district's six elementary schools and at the middle school.
Thirty-one Long Island students won top awards for their presentations in the 11th annual Business Leadership Competition hosted by the Young Professionals Chamber of Commerce.
The competition, with entries in categories from fashion marketing to hospitality services, included more than 340 students from 14 local high schools. The young professionals group is a program of the Huntington Chamber of Commerce.
First-place winners were: Stephen Baruch, Colin Casaccio, Patrick Casaccio, Casey Dugan, Mike Guaglione, Katie Hughes, Kaitlin Kline, Gabriella Martino, Allie Napoli and Jillian Weiss of Commack High School; Kristina Ricigliano of Garden City High School; Zayan Ahmed, Natasha Biajaj, Justin Gewirtz, Eric Gesuale, Jack Kronrad, Dylan Mastrandea, Justin Schwartz, Areeta Shah and Bradley Weltmann of Half Hollow Hills High School East in Dix Hills; Victoria Saccatti and Skylar Schneider of Half Hollow Hills High School West in Dix Hills; Emily Chisholm and Jenny Peteka of Northport High School; Cailin Cook of Oyster Bay High School; Catherine Aiello, Jordana Lunz and Misha Patel of Walt Whitman High School in Huntington Station; and James Charlton, Mark Polcer, Colton Schwartz and Sydnie Wittenberg of Western Suffolk BOCES' Wilson Technological Center in Northport.