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School Notebook: LI students named to All-National Honor Ensembles

The ensembles - which include a jazz ensemble, mixed choir, guitar ensemble, symphony orchestra and concert band - will perform at Walt Disney World in Orlando.

Camellia Ye, second from left, is one of

Camellia Ye, second from left, is one of 23 LI students named to various All-National Honor Ensembles by the National Association for Music Education. She is seen with, from left, music teachers Angela Luftig, Stan Orlovsky and Peggy Ho. Photo Credit: East Williston School District

Twenty-three Long Island students are among 550 nationwide named to this year's All-National Honor Ensembles by the National Association for Music Education.

The ensembles — which include a jazz ensemble, mixed choir, guitar ensemble, symphony orchestra and concert band — will perform at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, from Nov. 25 to 28. Selected students had qualified for their state-level honor ensemble program and were chosen through an audition process, the association said. 

Long Island's selectees and their high schools are: Anna Grottola, Connetquot; Elizabeth Choi, Elwood; Anthony Malizia and Eric Sattler, Farmingdale; Omeed Tartak, Great Neck; Grace Kang, Herricks; Marie McCumiskey, Kellenberg; Alexandra Hong, Manhasset; Christian Scala and Jenny Testaverde, Massapequa; Hanah Leventhal, North Shore; Matthew Orgel, Plainview-Old Bethpage; Joshua Vogel, Rocky Point; Benjamin Shaposhnikov, Sanford H. Calhoun; Anthony D'Amore, Smithtown East; Sami Ahn and Gabrielle Bieder, Syosset; Maxwell Fisher and Megan Neuman, Walt Whitman; Lauren Leonardi, West Islip; Comeragh Sheehan, Westhampton Beach; Camellia Ye, Wheatley School; and Zachary Neikens, William Floyd.

"Qualifying for All-Nationals is a huge honor and validation for the years of practice I have put in," said Camellia Ye, who was one of 122 instrumentalists selected for the symphony orchestra. "I'm very excited to represent my music teachers, Wheatley’s music program, and my region at the festival."


New principal

Amy Dirolf has been appointed principal of West Elementary School. She replaced Patrick McKinney.

Dirolf previously spent 11 years as assistant principal of California Avenue Elementary School in Uniondale, where she also served as the Response to Intervention chairwoman and principal of the sixth-grade summer enrichment program. 

"It is my goal to work collaboratively with students, staff and families to provide an enriching academic program in a warm and nurturing school environment," Dirolf said.


New principals

Manhasset School District has two new principals: Chad Altman at Munsey Park Elementary School and Richard Roder at Shelter Rock Elementary School. Altman replaced Jean Kendall, who is now the district's assistant superintendent for human resources, and Roder replaced Robert Geczik, who retired.

Altman had been principal of PS 100 Isaac Clason in the Bronx since 2007. Roder had been principal of Queens United Middle School 289 since 2013.

"They both understand our emphasis on nurturing our students' social, emotional and academic growth by working with and building the capacity of our faculty and staff, while building a partnership with our parent community and our many community partners," Manhasset Superintendent Vincent Butera said.


Bullying prevention

Many area schools hosted activities last month designed to teach kindness and respect in recognition of National Bullying Prevention Month.

In Massapequa, the high school's Ames Campus hosted a Challenge Day program over a five-day span with about 100 freshmen participating each day.  Activities included "Cross the Line," in which students walked over a line if they experienced a situation described by presenters, and group discussions in which kids were asked to apologize to anyone they may have hurt in the past.

In East Meadow, Woodland Middle School sixth-graders participated in Rachel's Challenge, a program created in honor of Rachel Joy Scott, the first student killed during the Columbine High School shooting in 1999. Lessons included having students highlight a fun fact about their personality and starting a "chain reaction" of positive change, school officials said. 

In West Hempstead, Cornwell Avenue Elementary School students were treated to a reading of Carol McCloud's book "Have You Filled a Bucket Today?" and filled poster boards with examples of being a "bucket filler," which equates to spreading kindness.


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