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Students bring home honors in Long Island History Day contest

Herricks Middle School had six first-place winners in

Herricks Middle School had six first-place winners in the 2016 Long Island History Day contest. Credit: Herricks School District

Thirty-seven Long Island students were first-place winners in a regional contest that asked them to investigate local, state, national and world history.

The 2016 Long Island History Day competition, which attracted nearly 600 pupils from more than 30 districts to Hofstra University, required participants to research historical topics of their choosing through libraries, archives, museums and oral interviews. The subjects ranged from Buffalo Bill to the Cuban Missile Crisis.

The top two or three winners in each category are eligible to compete at the state level in Cooperstown on April 18.

“The research these students do is just incredible,” said Samantha Gerantabee, a Herricks High School library media specialist and co-adviser of the school’s National History Day Club. Herricks led the event’s senior division with 15 finalists — the most of any school — and 11 top-three placements in various categories.

First-place winners were: Elizabeth Jacobs, Commack Middle School; Anya Chabria, Willets Road Elementary School, Roslyn Heights; Ashley Vincenzo, The Wheatley School, Old Westbury; Frank Hufnagel and Reah Vasilakopoulos, Hauppauge High School; Selina Chiang, Alison Chou, Grace Kim, Anokhi Ladhani, Maggie Lau and Emily Wei, all of Herricks Middle School; Brittany Battista, Nikki Cohanpour, Alan Chen, Esme Chen, Matt Cohen, Alysha Kamat, Karishma Kamat, Rachel Kim, Melissa Lau, Felisha Ma, Vanessa Sun, Ashley Wong and Ania Zolyniak, all of Herricks High School; Rachel Poutre and Lindsay Shatz, Woodmere Middle School; Renee Nakkab, Gillian Polakoff and Jolie Schornstein, George W. Hewlett High School, Hewlett; Benjamin Joseph, Henry L. Stimson Middle School, Huntington Station; Sophie Bernard, Abby Blick, Connor Chen, Ronit Dhulia, Riley Kelly and Kiera Sherman, all of Harry B. Thompson Middle School, Syosset; and Nicole Avidon of Syosset High School.


Winning essay

Sanskriti Bimal, a senior at Mineola High School, is the first-place winner of an essay contest coordinated by the South Asian Women’s Alliance for her piece regarding the impact of social media on cultural diversity.

She will be awarded a plaque and a $500 prize at the alliance’s annual gala in June.


Lexus Eco Challenge

Teams from Locust Valley Middle School and Jericho High School are among 32 national finalists in the 2016 Lexus Eco Challenge, which asked participants to solve problems in their own communities related to issues such as global warming and renewable energy.

The two teams participated in the competition’s Air & Climate Change Challenge.

Locust Valley’s team, titled “E.L.L.I.! (Eat Local, Long Island),” focused on reducing greenhouse gases by encouraging school cafeteria and local restaurant workers to take a farm-to-table approach. Jericho’s team, titled “Methane X,” created presentations about composting to educate local politicians and organizations.

Each project was judged on its action plan, team effort, writing quality and project gallery. Both teams are heading to the finals to vie for grants and scholarships of up to $30,000.


St. Baldrick’s Day

Many local schools raised money and awareness for childhood cancer research with head-shaving events to aid the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.

In Merrick, Sanford H. Calhoun High School hosted an event that attracted 85 participants and raised more than $35,000. “Calhoun Football” was the top fundraising team, with $5,776, and Merrick Avenue Middle School teacher Matt Chicco was the top individual fundraiser, with $6,283.

In Bellmore, Wellington C. Mepham High School hosted a sixth annual “Chop Your Locks for Charity” event, complete with raffles and baked-goods sales that raised more than $45,000.

In East Northport, 60 pupils, parents and teachers raised $24,000 through an event at East Northport Middle School.

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