Westhampton Beach school news

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Westhampton Beach

Graduate Skye Osteicher was so appreciative of the help she received from her former high school guidance counselor, Christine Minnear, that she nominated Ms. Minnear for an “Excellence in Counseling Award” last summer. Ms. Minnear, who bested more than 300 other nominees, was honored on January 22 at the University of Miami, where Ms. Osteicher is now a freshman. Ms. Osteicher and other members of the university’s freshman class nominated a former school administrator who they believed was deserving of the honor.

“I thought all 34 of the counselors there were receiving the award,” Ms. Minnear said after returning from collecting her plaque in Miami. She has been employed as a guidance counselor at Westhampton Beach High School for the past 12 years.

“Not only did Christine provide outstanding guidance and service to Skye, she provides the same to all students,” added Westhampton Beach School Superintendent Lynn Schwartz. “The district is very fortunate to have someone of Christine’s caliber.”

Westhampton Beach Elementary School kicked off Character Education Month by hosting several student assemblies. School Principal Ronald Masera presented awards to deserving students during the kick-off assembly. Nominated students were called to the front of the auditorium, where they were greeted with applause and an award from Mr. Masera.

“You can be enthusiastic today, but if you’re not determined to work hard and stay enthusiastic, you’re not going to be successful,” Mr. Masera said.

Three high school seniors placed in the Quogue Library Juried Art Show held in December. Lindsay Mager earned Best in Show, Julia Christ placed second and Kristen Stalfer finished third. The competition was judged by East End artists, art administrators and industry professionals.

Westhampton Beach hosted a technology forum attended by more than 15 school districts from across Long Island on December 18. An estimated 40 school administrators from East Rockaway, Lawrence, Valley Stream and Southampton listened as Michael Radday, the assistant superintendent for personnel and instruction in Westhampton Beach, discussed how new technology has had a positive influence in his school district.

“We really believe that our technology plan is second to none in public education in New York,” said Westhampton Beach School Superintendent Lynn Schwartz. “It has changed our curriculum, helped us evolve as a school district, and positively impacted our students.”

During the visit, Westhampton Beach administrators offered tours of their classrooms to showcase the district’s technology and laptop initiatives and allowed visitors the opportunity to speak with teachers and students. Following the tour, the visitors, who are all looking into implementing new technology programs in their respective school districts, listened to a presentation on how Westhampton Beach implemented its technology program.

Eight Westhampton Beach High School seniors—Alexander McKillop, Josh Ozpinar, Christian LaDu, Joelle Dorskind, Megan Passarelle, Sarah Haupt, Jeffrey Kabot and Leah Buletti—were recently nominated for the Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship Program, a federally-funded and state-administered initiative designed to recognize exceptional high school seniors who show promise of continued excellence in postsecondary education. If chosen, the students will each receive a $1,500 scholarship that is renewable up to four years.

Fifth-grader Claire Beaver recently took first place in an essay contest during which she defined “What My Community Means to Me.” In addition to a $50 gift card from contest sponsors TD Bank and the Long Island Ducks, Claire and her classmates enjoyed a visit from Long Island Ducks coach Kevin Baez and the team mascot, QuackerJack.

Three high school freshmen recently received certificates of merit and scholarships from the Quogue Veterans of Foreign Wars for their submissions in the national VFW “Voice of Democracy” essay contest.

Gabrielle Shea was awarded first place in the contest during which students were asked to write an essay based on the following theme: “Service and Sacrifice by America’s Veterans Benefit Today’s Youth.” Her essay will be forwarded to the next level of the national competition and Gabrielle will be eligible to win additional scholarship money.

Her classmates, Augusta Greenbaum and Ashley Arcuri, finished in second and third place, respectively, in the essay contest.

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