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Fundraising for ALS Research

Fundraising for ALS Research photo

In an effort to help those affected by this terrible disease, staff and students from the Babylon Memorial Grade School recently did their part to combat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, by taking part in their annual “Let’s Put ALS to Sleep” fundraiser.

During the course of the day, staff and students wore fun and festive sets of pajamas, all the while contributing small donations toward funding ALS research. The school is thrilled to report that $450 was successfully raised during this year’s fundraiser. 

"ALS is a debilitating disease that has no known cure,” said Babylon Memorial Grade School Principal Steve Goldberg. “We continue to support Chris Pendergast and the Ride for Life Foundation as we raise funds to ‘Put ALS to Sleep’ with our annual Pajama Day fundraiser, and are proud to fight alongside the ALS Ride for Life Team.”

Additionally, students were thrilled to be able to contribute toward the cause. "It made me feel good to bring in a dollar to help ALS and be comfortable wearing my pajamas in school,” said sixth-grader Caera Larkin.

Babylon Memorial Grade School will continue the fight against ALS this spring as they plan to host a “Walk for A Cure” fundraiser where staff and students are encouraged to make a small donation and walk laps around the school’s track.  

“Babylon Memorial Grade School has always been a strong supporter of this amazing organization and to Mr. Pendergast’s cause to bring awareness and find a cure,” said Superintendent of Schools Linda Rozzi. “For those of us who have been personally affected by ALS, we continue to thank the ALS Ride for Life Foundation for all they do to combat this disease.”

VIDEO: Music Theory

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Continuing with the highlights of the district’s newly implemented Advanced Placement courses, this week we’ll take a sneak peek into the AP Music Theory course. 

Turkey Trot

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More than 60 Babylon Memorial Grade School students worked up an appetite for Thanksgiving dinner when they participated in the school’s annual Turkey Trot event which took place on Nov. 17.  
 
Due to the organizational efforts of fifth-grade teacher Joseph Rossi, the third- through sixth-grade student participants were invited to run the 700-meter course in the spirit of the holiday season. Upon finishing the course, all participants were awarded with a medal to commemorate their efforts.

VIDEO: Global Maker Day

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Community Bond Walkthrough

The district would like to extend an invitation toward all community residents for a districtwide bond walkthrough, set to begin on Saturday, Jan. 26, at 10 a.m., at the Babylon Junior-Senior High School. During the walkthrough, residents will be able to experience a firsthand account of the numerous upgrades and repairs which have been made to both the interiors and exteriors of the district’s educational buildings over the past several years.

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All-Eastern Musicians

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The Babylon Junior-Senior High School is thrilled to announce that two student-musicians, Sydney Altbacker and Isabela Gaskill, were selected to perform at the 2019 National Association for Music Education’s All-Eastern Honors Ensembles based on their unparalleled musical talent. During the festival, which is to be held April 4-7, 2019 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Sydney will be singing with the All-Eastern Treble Choir and Isabela will be singing with the All-Eastern Mixed Chorus.  

With assistance from their music teacher, Brian Kroll, these exceptional students will prepare remarkably challenging music that they will perform under the leadership of prominent conductors in this biennial event. Students will spend three days rehearsing with one of five conductors, which will ultimately lead to the performances on April 7. 

Both Isabela and Sydney are to be joined by more than 780 of the most musically talented high school students in the Eastern region of the United States. According to Babylon Junior-Senior High School Director of Fine Arts and Music Angela Turk, this is one of the highest honors a high school musician can attain. 

Connecting Literature to Theater

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In recognition of the Babylon Junior-Senior High School Drama Club’s upcoming production of “To Kill A Mockingbird,” eighth-grade English students will be connecting their literary analysis of the novel during an in-class field trip of the theater production in early December.
 
In a collaborative effort, “To Kill A Mockingbird” Director Eddie Storey, District Director of Fine Arts and Music Angela Turk, and Director of English Language Arts Teresa Collins joined forces to bring a humanities-based learning experience to the eighth-grade students. According to Mrs. Collins, the novel has been a literary staple in the eighth-grade English curriculum for some time, and, according to a recent article in Newsday, was just named best-loved novel in the United States. 

“To Kill A Mockingbird” will premiere at Babylon Junior-Senior High School’s Rowe Hall for four consecutive evenings, beginning on Thursday, Dec. 6, for a private showing for the Babylon community’s senior citizens. Babylon Elementary School art teacher Elizabeth Losito also assisted Storey to bring this classic novel to the stage.

VIDEO: AP Computer Science

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Over the course of the next three weeks, the district will be shining light on the new Advanced Placement courses introduced to the Babylon Junior-Senior High School curriculum for the 2018-19 academic school year. These three courses serve as a supplement to the already robust number of AP course offerings, which will further prepare the students for college-level courses, and serve as an opportunity to earn college credit at the conclusion of the AP examinations distributed later on in the school year. In order to further their understanding of the courses and ensure mastery of the material, instructors Charles Leech, Frank Mancuso and Eric Rosasco each attended extensive training sessions, both locally and throughout the country. For this week, we’ll take a look inside the framework of the AP Computer Science course 

Giving Thanks

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The Babylon Junior-Senior High School celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday by hosting their annual “Thankful to Have You Here” party on Nov. 20, in which staff and students celebrated and formally welcomed the new registrants of the Babylon JSHS community. 

This year, a group of seniors and juniors served as the welcoming committee, handing out desserts to the attendees and engaging them in friendly conversation. Additionally, all of the new registrants were gifted with “Panther’s Pay it Forward” T-shirts in preparation of the upcoming season of giving.  

“This event always reminds us how proud we are of our students, as they get to know students who are new to the community and remind them we are thankful to have them here,” said Babylon Junior-Senior High School Assistant Principal Jennifer Mangone.

Celebrating Student Accomplishments

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The Nov. 19 Board of Education meeting celebrated the accomplishments of a number of Babylon Junior-Senior High School seniors. 

To begin the night’s recognitions, Superintendent of Schools Linda Rozzi announced that 39 Babylon Junior-Senior High School students have earned Advanced Placement Scholar awards from the College Board. These honorees include both current students and members of the Class of 2018. 

The students were met with words of praise from Mrs. Rozzi and members of the Board of Education for their stunning accomplishment, and were presented with tokens of appreciation on behalf of the district.

Paying Respects to the French

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Students enrolled in Melissa Anderson’s French IV classes at Babylon Junior-Senior High School recently took an in-class “field trip” to Pére Lachaise Cemetery to commemorate the French holiday of La Toussaint, their version of All Saints’ Day.

After researching famous musicians, scientists, performers, writers and revolutionaries, the students applied their knowledge of the French past tenses to write their biographies to be displayed for all to see. As the students made their way around the transformed classroom, their classmates were greeted with some “tourist” information about the very famous cemetery, along with being given a checklist of graves to visit and a flashlight to navigate the terrain. 

France celebrates La Toussaint on Nov. 1 every year. During the remembrance, they visit the famous cemetery and leave chrysanthemums on the graves of those who have passed away.

Celebrating our Nation’s Veterans

Celebrating our Nation’s Veterans photo

The Babylon Memorial Grade School recently hosted a Veterans Day celebration earlier this month, inviting servicemen and women from various branches of the U.S. Armed Forces to be recognized and thanked. During the celebration, the veterans were met with uplifting patriotic songs from students, along with speeches and poems about what Veterans Day means to them. Additionally, the students visually displayed the story of the Fallen Solider Table, setting it in a proper and respectful manner.



Dinner and A Show

The Babylon Junior-Senior High School Leo Club invites local senior citizens to enjoy a dinner and a show on Thursday, Dec. 6, at 3:30 p.m., in the high school cafeteria. 

Attendees will be served salad, bread and pasta, followed by a delicious dessert. After the refreshments are served, the attendees will be escorted to the drama production of “To Kill a Mockingbird” which begins at 5 p.m. in Babylon Junior-Senior High School’s Rowe Hall. Please call Jeanmarie at 631-893-7911 to R.S.V.P. by Friday, Nov. 29. 

Patriotic Sing Along

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In an effort to showcase their admiration and respect for the nation’s veterans, Babylon Elementary School recently hosted their annual, music-filled “Patriotic Sing Along” in the school’s gymnasium.

With assistance from Babylon Elementary School music teacher Eddie Storey, students of all grade levels raised their voices in unison to sing their hearts out to patriotic anthems as Mr. Storey accompanied them on his guitar. During the course of the assembly, the students were joined by U.S. military veterans, Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini, district administration as well as students’ parents.

Additionally, the attendees were treated to a special surprise as they exited the gymnasium and entered the “Hall of Heroes,” as the school’s lobby was filled with decorative banners listing the names of family members who served in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Sharing Small Moments

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In accordance with their literacy curriculum, first- and second-grade students at Babylon Elementary School recently collaborated to showcase their “small moments” written pieces of work to one another. After spending weeks studying how to properly craft stories in their classrooms, the young authors drew inspiration from real-life experiences to write their literary pieces which were shared amongst their classmates. Examples of topics the students chose to share with their new friends included family camping trips, attending sporting events and losing their first tooth.

Finding Inspiration

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Several English as a New Language students from Babylon Junior-Senior High School recently attended a field trip to the fifth annual Long Island Dreamers’ Conference held at Suffolk County Community College on Nov. 2.

While attending, the students attended workshops pertaining to rights of immigrant students, college and career readiness, stress management, and became familiar with the college application process. Additionally, all five student-attendees decided to become members of Long Island Immigrant Student Advocates, an organization which provides community service and networking opportunities, as well as scholarship opportunities to those interested in joining.

“Our ENL students returned to school with hope and were genuinely excited about these opportunities,” said District Director of World Languages Michelle Scharff. 

Dia De Los Muertos

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Celebrations honoring the traditional Mexican Day of the Dead were clearly alive and well in the Spanish Level IV classrooms of Babylon Junior-Senior High School as instructors Laura Jayne and Marianne Shaw engaged their students in a number of festive activities surrounding the holiday.

To commemorate the holiday, students were asked to create displays known as “ofrendas,” similar to those created in Mexican homes to celebrate the lives of the dearly departed on “Día De Los Muertos.” Traditional ofrendas feature either a photo or multiple photos of the deceased family members, along with “papel picado,” which is a cut-out type of decoration and “cempazuchitl” (Marigolds). Additionally, the students created sugar skulls known as “calaveras de azucar” for their displays. 

Congratulating the AP Scholars

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The district is proud to announce that 39 Babylon Junior-Senior High School students have earned Advanced Placement Scholar awards from the College Board. These honorees include both current students and members of the Class of 2018. 

Of the 39 total students, 22 received the AP Scholar title for receiving a score of 3 or higher on three or more AP Exams. Five students were named AP Scholars with Honor, as they achieved an average score of at least 3.25 on all of their AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams. Additionally, 12 students were awarded as AP Scholars with Distinction, as they achieved an average score of at least 3.5 on all exams taken with scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams. 

During a brief ceremony held in the Babylon Junior-Senior High School library, students were met with praise from District Director of Guidance Dennis Murphy and Superintendent of Schools Linda Rozzi for all of their hard work and effort.

Excellent Essays

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As part of the English Department's schoolwide writing initiative, three students from Babylon Junior-Senior High School recently participated in a local writing contest surrounding the topic “Why should we honor our Veterans?” and took home the top three prizes with their excellent essays.

Eighth-grader Molly Higgins secured first place, while fellow eighth-graders Rori Nugent and Keira Bucaro took home second and third place, respectively. The contest was sponsored by the Town of Babylon Veterans' Advisory Council in conjunction with New York State Assemblywoman, Kimberly Jean-Pierre to kick off Veterans' Awareness Week on Nov. 2. All students received a gift card as a prize for their valiant efforts in the contest. 

Due to their victory, all three students were invited and attended the Veterans Awareness Week event in the Town Board Room where they read their essays aloud.

"As a community of writers, as well as readers, we understand the power of our words,” said Babylon School District Director of ELA Teresa Collins.

Global Maker Day

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In celebration of the nationally recognized “Global Maker Day” event, students at Babylon Memorial Grade School spent the majority of class time of Oct. 23 engaging in a series of activities which allowed them to expand upon their creative talents in a fun and educational manner.

Sixth-grade students enrolled in Heather Hosek’s science classes were asked to engineer a catapult using popsicle sticks, rubber bands, straws, pipe cleaners and a cup. Using these everyday items, the catapult was required to launch a projectile and had to undergo an accuracy test and a power test. The pre-challenge lesson taught students the science behind the engineering of the catapult, including energy transfer from potential energy to kinetic energy, simple machines, forces and measurement. After the catapult challenge, students graphed and analyzed data collected and shared findings with classmates.

In the library, students were challenged by school librarian Lisa Lindeman to select items from a "Magic Bin" of random items and use their creative genius to “create something that did something.”

Students in Donna Hendrickson’s fourth-grade class utilized their architectural skills to build a tower made out of spaghetti and mini marshmallows with the goal in mind of making it stand up for more than 20 seconds. Before beginning the challenge, students brainstormed ideas, chose their best idea and then drew their design. They were then allotted 30 minutes to build their prototype.  Afterward, they recorded their results and discussed what they could do to improve their designs.

Additionally, third-graders enrolled in Brittany Mueller's class were challenged to recreate the facial details of a historical figure using the Paint application on their computers and the Colored Pencil application on iPads. As a final challenge to their projects, students printed out their completed designs and challenged their classmates to guess who they created based off facts and information read aloud about their chosen historical figure. 

Global Maker Day is an international event which was organized by United States educators to provide a day of making for students with an authentic global audience in mind. Babylon Memorial Grade School joined more than 1,000 classrooms spanning 39 countries by planning, creating, testing and problem solving to complete the fun and exciting challenges.  

Future Leaders

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Along with more than 1,500 high school students across Long Island, students enrolled in Babylon Junior-Senior High School’s Virtual Enterprises class recently attended the Virtual Enterprise Business and Entrepreneurship Leadership Conference held at Long Island University’s C.W. Post Campus.

The VE Entrepreneurship and Leadership Conference is open to all VE high school students throughout Long Island. While there, the attendees were given the opportunity to deliver an elevator pitch, network with industry experts and successful entrepreneurs, and participate in exciting breakout sessions. 

This year’s keynote speaker was Marie Moody, founder and CEO of Stella & Chewy’s, a growing pet food provider organization. 

Showcasing Artistic Talents

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As part of their robust art curriculum, students of all grade levels at Babylon Elementary School recently engaged in a number of artistic projects using the “line” element and showcased their work at the Conklin House Barn for the Apples and Arts Festival during weekend of Oct. 20.
 
The kindergartners used their creative talents to create sunflowers using oil pastels and glue to create 3D lines and texture. For their grade level, first-graders created visually stunning Leaf “Zentagles” using permanent marker, watercolor paints and oil pastels. Additionally, the second-graders displayed their beautiful “Watercolor Geodes” after researching geodes and how they are formed. 

Assisting the Elderly

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Members of Babylon Junior-Senior High School’s Distributive Education Clubs of America helped facilitate a pumpkin painting event held at the Babylon Beach House on Oct. 20.

Under the direction of DECA member Erin Corcoran, a Babylon DECA member for three years as well as an active Girl Scout, the students helped residents decorate and paint pumpkins in celebration of the fall season. The students also handed out snacks and drinks to the residents.
 
DECA is a co-curricular, national business organization with more than 150,000 students which reinforces the skills students learn in their business classes, including, but not limited to, marketing, accounting, human resources, sales and other business subjects.
 
Scott Lockwood, owner of the Babylon Beach House, graciously asked Babylon’s DECA students to return and participate in additional community service events throughout the course of the school year. Additionally, Mr. Lockwood invited Babylon Junior-Senior High School’s accounting class to visit and get a behind the scenes look at the business operations of his successful business.

DECA is Babylon’s largest extra/co-curricular club and has dedicated its time and resources to helping out in the community for more than 19 years.

Babylon wins big at Homecoming

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Despite the parade and game being moved to Friday, Oct. 26, spirits were high for the Babylon Junior-Senior High School community’s annual Homecoming celebration. The evening kicked off with the marching band leading a shortened parade route to the football field, featuring cheerleaders of all levels, as well as the Homecoming court and floats.

This year’s theme for the floats was board games, with the freshmen representing Clue, the sophomores presenting Life, the juniors showcasing Monopoly and the seniors recreating Candy Land. The winning float, announced at halftime, was the sophomore class with their excellent portrayal of “The Game of Life.” Additionally, Homecoming King Timothy Hartigan and Queen Tara O’Rourke were also announced at halftime. Congratulations to all members of the Homecoming Court - Peter Szuchy, Kim Botto, Olivia Berry, Peter Schubart, Sydney Altbacker, Dylan Pané, Katherine Bencivenga, Lauren Jurs, Tara O’Rourke and Timothy Hartigan.

Prior to the game, parents joined senior members of the football team, cheerleading squad and marching band, who were recognized. The Babylon Junior-Senior High School Panthers proceeded to take on Center Moriches High School, performing at the top of their game and shutting out the visitors by a score of 15-0. 

As part of the Homecoming weekend festivities, the district also held its second annual Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. From the numerous nominations received, four were selected via a committee for induction this year. Their families, along with the nominating parties, were invited to be part of the celebration which took place on Saturday, Oct. 27. Congratulations to Mr. Gerard Izzo (Class of 1977) Black Hawk Pilot; Mr. Marshall Coid (Class of 1974) Broadway musician; Dr. Cheryl Taylor Lee (Class of 1983) physician and professor; and the late Mr. Sheldon Salzman (Class of 1947) businessman, represented by his grandson Andrew Salzman. Plaques featuring their names and high school yearbook photos have been added to the Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame in Rowe Hall at Babylon Junior-Senior High School. The Wall acts as a reminder to those at the school of the greatness one can achieve and the pride one should have for the legacy they are part of. 



Hitting All the Right Notes

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Based on their undeniable musical talents, seven Babylon Junior-Senior High School students have been recognized as premier musicians by New York State School Music Association and were invited to participate in this year’s All-State and All-County music festivals. 

Students Sydney Altbacker (symphony orchestra), Isabela Gaskill (mixed chorus), Rachel Gordon (alternate), Julia Minicozzi (alternate) and Peter Schubart (string orchestra) have been named All-State student-musicians and were invited to participate in the 2018 NYSSMA All-State Conference to be held in Rochester, New York from Nov. 29– Dec. 2. 

Additionally, students Ryan Marrone (mixed chorus), Rachel Gordon (mixed chorus) and Anna Romero (mixed chorus) were named All-County student musicians and are slated to perform at Half Hollow Hills West High School on Friday, Nov. 16, at 7:30 p.m. alongside other selected musicians. 

STEAM Competition Champions

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Due to their vast efforts in showing care for the environment, four Babylon Junior-Senior High School students enrolled in the school’s STEAM program secured the first-place title at the high school level in EmPower Solar’s semiannual Student Solar Competition.

Under the guidance of STEAM teacher Mary-Beth Schappert, students Haylie Kelly, Jenna Petraitis, Alessandra Van Rossem and Iqra Yousef, otherwise known as “Beach Bums Solar Power” for the competition, completed a series of math problems to determine how much energy and money could be saved by using solar power in personal homes, small businesses and large corporations. The students went on to create a mock news video in which they described how using solar energy could directly impact the local wildlife and environment in and around the Babylon community. 

Due to their efforts, the four future engineers were presented with a $2,000 check toward scholarship funds, courtesy of representatives of EmPower Solar, and extended an opportunity to intern with engineers at EmPower Solar. 

EmPower Solar, a Long Island-based solar energy company, challenges New York State elementary, middle and high school students to participate in a multi-faceted competition that encompasses STEM and creative components on a semi-annual basis. The Babylon students competed alongside 64 teams from schools across both Long Island and New York City, and boasted ten total teams of its own.
Wednesday, December 12, 2018