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Northport, Smithtown students win art contest

Northport High School's Jeanette Wells and Kayla Dotero

Northport High School's Jeanette Wells and Kayla Dotero placed first and third, respectively, in Suffolk County Community College's 2015 High School Art Competition. Pictured here from left are Principal Daniel Danbusky, Dotero, District Director of Fine and Performing Arts Izzet Mergen, Wells and art teacher Margaret Minardi. Photo Credit: Northport-East Northport School District

Two Northport High School teenagers and a Smithtown High School West senior took the top three spots in an annual art competition open to Suffolk County high school students.

Jeanette Wells, a Northport High School junior, won first place in Suffolk County Community College’s 2015 High School Art Competition, held at the college’s Michael J. Grant Campus. Second place went to Smithtown High School West senior Griffin Reynolds, with Northport senior Kayla Dotero placing third.

The students were awarded $250, $150 and $100 prizes, respectively.

“It means a lot,” Wells said of her artistic achievement. “Your family always tells you you’re good, but when someone else recognizes you, it’s so exciting.”

Wells’ winning piece, titled “Anguish,” was created using India ink, a black ink once widely used for writing and printing. The painting features a woman holding her hands to her face and was based on a photo of Wells’ friend Dayna Peters, a fellow Northport junior.

Wells, who describes herself as a self-taught artist up until high school, said she has created dozens of pieces in her spare time. She recently took a pre-college class at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan.

Honorable mentions went to Gabriella Robinson of Hauppauge High School and Sarah Berretta and Jessica Capobiano, both of West Babylon High School.


Superintendent appointment

Joseph C. Bond will be superintendent of the Bay Shore school district through the 2017-18 academic year, the district announced. He had held the position on an interim basis since July.

Before joining Bay Shore, Bond was superintendent of the Brentwood school district — the largest system on Long Island. Graduation rates rose by 20 percent during his tenure, officials said, and the system managed capital construction projects totaling $120 million.

“I am thankful the Board of Education has decided to allow me to continue the work I have begun here,” Bond said. “I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know and working alongside the teachers, administrators and staff in the district, who are truly second-to-none in their dedication to our children.”


New pantry

The Deer Park school district held a ribbon-cutting ceremony last month to unveil a food pantry that will help life-skills students learn the value of community service. The pantry is affiliated with the nonprofit Island Harvest and located in the district’s Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, which closed in 2013.

The students will regularly participate in the pantry by organizing donations and filling shelves. It is open to any local family that requests food, district officials said.

“The students are getting a true work experience and also a community volunteer experience, one where they are really helping our community’s people in need,” said Frank Caliguiri, assistant superintendent of pupil personnel services.


Bright Lights

Fourteen Suffolk County educators received Bright Light Awards from Suffolk ASSET, which strives to enhance learning and teaching processes through use of educational technology. The organization’s name stands for Association for Suffolk Supervisors of Educational Technologies.

Winners and their school districts are: Kim Apicella and Mark Dawson, William Floyd in Mastic Beach; Jennifer Baranaskas, Northport-East Northport; Caitlin Curran, Lindenhurst; Dawn Franzese, Patchogue-Medford; Lisa Hatton, South Huntington; John Heeg, Deer Park; Lisa Julian, Westhampton Beach; Shannon McCann, Sayville; Jeanie Mullins, Copiague; Charles Parker, Half Hollow Hills in Dix Hills; Anthony Pesca, Cold Spring Harbor; Amy Thompson, Hauppauge; and Danielle Weis, Babylon.


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