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Suffolk: Science Olympiad honors

Ward Melville’s team, above, placed fifth in the

Ward Melville’s team, above, placed fifth in the high school division at the ’13 Science Olympiad National Tournament in Ohio. Another Three Village district school ranked eighth among middle schools. Credit: Handout

Teams from two schools in the Three Village Central School District placed among the nation's best last month in a prestigious Science Olympiad competition.

Students from Ward Melville High School in East Setauket finished fifth in the high school division, and those from Paul J. Gelinas Junior High School in Setauket finished eighth in the middle school division of the 2013 Science Olympiad National Tournament in Dayton, Ohio.

The tournament included 120 middle school and high school teams, which advanced from about 350 state-level competitions, to participate in events pertaining to science, technology, engineering and math.

Ward Melville, in addition to its overall ranking, won seven medals in various categories, including forestry and tech problem-solving. Gelinas won four medals in categories including "disease detectives" and rocks/minerals.

"It is truly a pleasure to be a part of the most talented Science Olympiad team in Ward Melville history," said Steven Malusa, the group's coach.

To reach the national level, Ward Melville and Gelinas placed first this spring in their respective divisions of the Eastern LI Regional and New York State tournaments.

"I am honored to have the opportunity to work with such gifted students, and it is rewarding to see that my efforts have had an impact in helping them achieve their goals," Gelinas coach Gary Vorwald said.

Teams from Ohio's Solon Middle and High schools made history by winning their respective divisions at the national level for three straight years.



Chemagination essays

Three students from Half Hollow Hills High School West -- Matthew Avallone, Jordon Brodsky and Brandon Nomberg -- were first-place winners this spring in the environment category of the New York Section of the American Chemical Society's Chemagination 2013 competition.

Half Hollow Hills was the only first-place winner from Suffolk County in the essay and poster contest's four categories.

This year, teens were asked to answer the question "What innovation or breakthrough in the field of chemistry will be important in the lives of teenagers 25 years from now?"



New superintendent

Linda J. Rozzi has been named superintendent of East Islip Union Free School District, replacing John J. Finello, who held the position on an interim basis.

Rozzi most recently served as assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and technology of the South Country Central School District in Brookhaven. Before that she was superintendent of Tuckahoe Common School District in Southampton.

In other news, East Islip eighth-grader Amanda Baranek was the winner of the Town of Islip's "Waste Reduction" Poster Contest, which attracted more than 100 participants from schools townwide. She received a $50 gift card and was honored at the town's Earth Day celebration in April.



Technology scholarships

Three Suffolk County students have been named the first recipients of technology scholarships from the Long Island Forum for Technology.

Yander Reyes of Wyandanch, Luis Sanchez of Amityville and Jose Yanez of Copiague all were enrolled in technology courses at Western Suffolk BOCES' Wilson Technological Center in Farmingdale.

The scholarships are designed for science, technology, engineering and math students in eastern Suffolk, western Suffolk or Nassau BOCES. Up to 10 awards are given yearly, in amounts of up to $5,000.

"At LIFT we hear from manufacturers all the time who have unfilled jobs because of an inability to find skilled workers," said Joseph Garone, LIFT's chairman of the board. "Wilson Tech is helping address this need by helping build a skilled workforce and enabling our young people to get good jobs and stay on Long Island."



Best schools for finance

Nine Long Island high schools were named to the inaugural list of "100 Best High Schools Teaching Personal Finance" by Working in Support of Education (w!se), a Manhattan-based educational nonprofit organization.

Southold High School, which ranked 24th, was Long Island's highest-ranked school. Others in the top 100 included Garden City High, Gen. Douglas MacArthur High in Levittown, George W. Hewlett High, Herricks High, Plainview-Old Bethpage High, Roslyn High, Smithtown High School West and Wellington C. Mepham High in Bellmore.

The rankings, released last month, were based on the average score by pupils on the organization's financial literacy certification test. Consideration was given to the proportion of test-takers to the school population and the number of students who were eligible for free lunch.

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