Students at Wyandanch Memorial High School have a new gym for the first time in more than 50 years.
The school district held a ribbon-cutting ceremony earlier this month to unveil a renovated high school gymnasium that includes new hardwood floors sporting the school's logo, new bleachers and walls repainted by volunteers in the school's green-and-white colors.
It is the school's first complete gym renovation since 1960, district officials said.
"This brings a great sense of pride to our school," said Kenneth McCloud, the district's athletic director, who called the project one of the district's "most major improvements" during his 11 years at Wyandanch.
"A gymnasium is supposed to be the mecca of a building, and for years our kids would see other gyms and say: 'Why can't ours be like this?' "
The improvements began in August and culminated with a group of 15 community volunteers spending at least a month painting the gymnasium's high walls, McCloud said. The finished facility was unveiled as part of a school pep rally Oct. 12 that included student dance performances and a ceremony to honor project volunteers.
The $114,000 project was funded by a Qualified Zone Academy Bond, valued at roughly $19.5 million, provided by the U.S. Department of Education. Wyandanch is planning a "laundry list" of other improvements throughout the school district -- including a new high school science lab -- as a result of the grant, McCloud said.
New backboards and rims as well as new athletic banners highlighting the school's past championships will be added in time for the start of basketball season in mid-November.
Charles Soriano has been appointed principal of East Hampton Middle School. He replaced Keith Malsky, who now is an associate principal at John M. Marshall Elementary School in East Hampton. Soriano previously served as assistant superintendent of East Hampton Union Free School District for the past nine years.
Stephanie Montecalvo has been appointed principal of Fort Salonga Elementary School, replacing Arlene Mullin, who retired. Montecalvo previously served as the elementary school's assistant principal for the past five years.
John Christie has been appointed principal of Dayton Avenue Elementary School, replacing Barbara Lassen, who now is principal of Eastport-South Manor Central School District's alternative high school. Christie previously held the position of assistant principal at Eastport-South Manor Junior-Senior High School.
"It is my privilege to join the rich tradition of the Dayton Avenue Elementary School," Christie said in a recent letter to the school community. "I am eager to meet the families that make Dayton a great place to work and go to school."
Marine tech gifts
Eastern Suffolk BOCES' Harry B. Ward Career and Technical Center in Riverhead recently received a gift of more than $40,000 in outdoor motors and various parts from the Yamaha Motor Corp. for use by its marine and outdoor power equipment program.
The donation included two 250-horsepower outboard motors, tools and software -- ranging from test equipment to manufacturer-approved diagnostics to repair procedures -- that will enable students to learn various engine systems and diagnostic techniques.
"This amazing gift will enable our students to train on current production Yamaha engines that are very common, not only nationwide, but on Long Island specifically," BOCES instructor Jason Pickerell said. "This opportunity makes our students even more valuable to Yamaha, the marine businesses and the end user."
World Food Day
Stop World Hunger Inc., in Amityville, in conjunction with the Mobilized Interfaith Coalition Against Hunger (MICAH), recently announced that they are accepting entries for the 25th annual World Food Day Essay Contest in recognition of World Food Day, which was Oct. 16.
This year's essay topic is: "What is the best way to prevent world hunger?"
Submissions are judged based on creativity, sensitivity, practicality, clarity, conciseness and neatness, Stop World Hunger officials said. There are four divisions: grades 1-3, 50 words; grades 4-6, 100 words; grades 7-8, 150 words; grades 9-12, 200 words. First-place winners earn $100 savings bonds.
Entries should be sent to Stop World Hunger, 53 Elm Pl., Amityville, NY 11701. The deadline is Nov. 7.