Thank You

To those who serve our country – past, present and future – the Babylon School District thanks you for your sacrifices.

Research Pair Earns High Honors

Junior-Senior High School research students recently competed at the Long Island Science Congress at St. Anthony’s High School.

Four total projects represented Babylon in both the biology and environmental science categories. The research conducted by Freddy Nocella and Sneha Kumar earned a High Honors award for placing in the top 15 percent of more than 2,000 participants in the fair. Their project, “The use of clove and neem oil as a natural repellent against Acyrthosiphon pisum on Pisum sativum,” focused on using essential oils in home gardens to repel damaging pests while maintaining the health of the plants and the people who will eventually consume them.

Four Named Zone Winners

Four Babylon students were recipients of the Suffolk Zone Physical Education Leadership Award for their outstanding leadership qualities in physical education.

Sixth-graders Sophia Corrado and Lucas Montalto and eighth-graders Meghan Green and Evan Parise were honored with the award by the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. To be selected, these students excelled in the following areas: physical education achievement and leadership, overall academic achievement and leadership, outstanding character and being a positive role model.

Social Studies Lesson Becomes Work of Art

Fifth-graders at Memorial Grade School were recently challenged with taking what they had learned in their social studies lesson and transforming it into art.
Students in Lisa Necroto’s class spent the last month learning about their Underground Railroad as part of their fifth-grade social studies curriculum. After studying the different people involved and how they overcame many obstacles, the students were tasked with making their own Freedom Quilt.
The class researched designs from old quilts and also read “Sweet Clara’s Freedom Quilt” to get inspiration for their own patches. The fifth-graders choose one element from that period of time and designed a square piece of a quilt using felt and glue.   

Memorial Grade School art teacher Pat Stork worked with the class in their designs, which ranged from the North Star, depictions of Harriet Tubman and Joe “Pegleg” Morgan to the Bear Claw and Monkey Wrench symbols. Stork took the squares and sewed them together to form their own Freedom Quilt, which will hang outside the school’s cafeteria.

Launching into Learning


Elementary School students designed and tested their own catapults on April 28 as part of a hands-on experiment using the forces of motion and the effects of gravity.

Second-graders in Beth Dieterich’s class have been writing lab reports, generating hypotheses and writing conclusions in their “writing like a scientist” unit. As a culminating activity, the students designed and tested their own catapults.

Using popsicle sticks, tape, rubber bands, plastic spoons and a wooden block, the second-graders worked in teams of three to build a catapult. The groups then tested their designs using a cotton ball and Ping-Pong ball after making educated predications on which ball would launch the furthest distance.

After carefully measuring and recording their results, the second-graders will write lab reports based on their findings.

Memo on Internet Safety to Babylon Families


Poets for a Purpose


In the outdoor courtyard at the Elementary School, first-graders in Bernadette Forthmuller’s class celebrated spring with a poetry reading on April 27. Invited guests gathered in the courtyard to hear each student share their special poem on the topic of Arbor Day, Earth Day or spring.

After filling a whole book with their poetry, the first-grade students had the option of choosing an acrostic, shape or free-verse poem to share with the audience. The poets reflected on how much they cared for the planet as well as their excitement for all the new happenings now that spring is here. With that idea in mind, each student participated in a planting project, digging and planting flowers in both the courtyard and boxes to be placed in front of the school.

New Message from the Superintendent


Buddies Pair Up for Learning


Kindergartners in Mary Jo Graffagnino’s class at the Elementary School paired up with their fifth-grade buddies in Deirdre McIntee’s class at Memorial Grade School to share their nonfiction writing assignments on April 27.

The kindergartners were excited to share the fantasy stories they developed with the fifth-graders, showing off their writing skills while also spending time learning from the older students. The fifth-graders were equally excited to see the improvements their young buddies made since the two classes came together earlier in the school year to work on reading skills.

Art Olympics

Junior-Senior High School students participated in the 34th annual New York Art Teachers Association Olympics of the Visual Arts in Saratoga Springs on April 21. Nineteen students, along with art teachers Pat Stork, Cheryl Schweider and Stacey Famiglietti, competed in four teams.
More than 800 students from 34 school districts throughout New York State participated in the art competition in categories including fashion design, architecture, photography, sculpture, drawing, painting, illustration and graphic design. Babylon students worked as teams and were required to create a project prior to the event. At the competition, each team worked together to complete a spontaneous team challenge. Students were judged on brainstorming, research, creativity, how they solve the problem given and craftsmanship.
One junior high school team worked on “Trashy Fashion,” creating a wearable garment entirely out of reused paper products. The other junior high school team created a sculpture based on the theme “Shake, Rattle and Roll.” The senior high school team created a sculpture using one of Adele’s songs as the subject. The second senior high school team, a graphic design team, created stamps based on American artists.

Amusement Park Serves as Lab for Physics Students


Junior-Senior High School students in Steve Silipo’s physics classes attended Physics Day at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey on April 22.

Using the preselected rides as their laboratory, students collected real time data on their cell phones. During their time at the park, they made valuable connections between STEM disciplines.

“It was a unique opportunity for the students to engage in performance-based tasks with real-world applications that demonstrate the meaningful application of knowledge and skills that they have been discussing in class throughout the year,” Silipo said.

Students spent the day collecting data using cutting edge technology. They had access to apps that analyze video, measure distance and even used a three-axis accelerometer app. “This is the type of learning experience that truly prepares our students as college and career ready,” Silipo added.

Back in the classroom, they compiled the data collected and analyzed it using a powerful program called DataStudio. Combining this program with their problem-solving and critical-thinking skills learned throughout the year, students were able to solve for the variables included in the rides that could not be directly measured.

Video Reviews Add Technology Element

The first-grade classes at the elementary school spent the last six weeks recording video versions of the book reviews they presented in class for their writing assignments. The students learned how to record video, make comments on peer videos and work collaboratively with other classes.

Poem in Your Pocket Inspires Creativity

In celebration of National Poetry Month, Junior-Senior High School’s English department hosted a Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 21.

Students embraced their 21st century skills by using the 4Cs – creativity, communication, collaborative and critical thinking – by analyzing and writing poetry in their classrooms.
Throughout the day, classes gathered together in the library during their English periods to share their favorite poems with their peers, either original works or a poem by one of their favorite authors. Students were invited to share a poem with the audience.

Walking for a Cause

Memorial Grade School held its annual walkathon to support the ALS Ride for Life organization to raise money and awareness for Lou Gehrig’s disease on May 5.

Student participants donated $1 to spend their recess walking the perimeter of the school. On May 12, students will again have the opportunity to support the cause by donating $1 to “put ALS to sleep” by wearing their pajamas to school.

All donations will be presented to Chris Pendergast and ALS Ride for Life when they make their annual ride from East Hampton to Manhattan on May 17, stopping at the Grade School and Junior-Senior High School. The donations help families with medical expenses and fund research efforts for ALS.

In March, students and staff at the Grade School attended a presentation about the importance of perseverance and hard work, hosted by representatives from the organization.

Making Tunes with Trash

As part of an Earth Day celebration, the elementary school held an assembly featuring a special performance by Bash the Trash on April 21. A combination of science, music and environmental awareness, Bash the Trash taught students about sound and sustainability by using recycled and reused items in their musical performance. 

Top Honors for Babylon Researchers

Tenth-grade research students from the Junior-Senior High School recently competed at the Molloy College High School Science Fair. This is the first time Babylon students have presented at this fair.

Four total projects represented Babylon in both the biology and environmental science categories. The project by Emily Demieri, Anna Glynn and Kyra Pitagno placed in the top 10 percent of the almost 500 projects at the fair. Their winning project, “The effects of differing SPF sunscreens on E. coli K12 bacteria under UV light,” investigated how different SPF sunscreens impacted the morphology and life cycle of bacteria to demonstrate the importance of sun protection.  

A Taste of Paris

Junior-Senior High School students in French 3 and 4 and College French, along with students from Global History classes, recently visited New York City. The students viewed a performance of “An American in Paris” on Broadway and dined at Cafe Un Deux Trois.

First-Graders Bring Folktales to Life

As a culminating activity to their studies of folktales, Leah Weissinger’s first-grade class at the elementary school took to the stage on April 20 for a presentation of three classic folktales. Dressed in their costumes, the first-graders performed the tales of “The Fisherman and His Wife,” “The Three Billy Goats Gruff” and “The Little Red Hen” to their peers.


On April 20, Babylon Rotary Club members presented each first-grade student at the elementary school with a seedling, planting and care instructions as well as an Earth Day Celebration proclamation. Students promised to bring their trees home to plant, care and protect them through the seasons so they will remain a part of nature for life.

Board Recognizes Musical, Athletic Accomplishments

The Board of Education recognized the accomplishments of many of the district’s student-athletes, elementary and secondary student-musicians as well as other achievements during its April 18 meeting.

Haley Watt was recognized for receiving the Principal’s Leadership Award from the Suffolk County High School Principals Association. All-County students-musicians were recognized for their participation in the 2016 SCMEA Festival.

Members of the varsity cheerleading team were honored for their season accomplishments, including winning the Suffolk County Cheer Championship, earning a bid for the New York State Cheer Championship and placing eighth in New York State. Wrestler Bryan Larsen was recognized for winning the Suffolk County Division II Wrestling Championship and earning a bid to the New York State Wrestling Championships. Wrestler Brett Frole was honored for winning the Suffolk County Division II Wrestling Championship and earning a bid to the New York State Wrestling Championships, where he placed fourth.

The Board of Education also accepted a donation of $200,000 from Babylon resident and philanthropist Theresa Santmann to help fund the district’s Project Lead The Way program in the 2016-2017 school year.

Student-Artists on Display at Local Festival

The district, in cooperation with Farmingdale State College, Dowling College and Babylon Citizens Council on the Arts, will celebrate Long Island’s young artists at the sixth annual Babylon Art Festival.

Emmeline Gaare, Jillian Gaare, Emily Guerra and Chandler McMillan will receive Awards of Excellence. Honorable Mention awards will be presented to Jake Citarella, Erin MacQuarrie, Jenna Redmond, Anna Romero, Julianna Vota and Emme Ward.
Babylon resident and philanthropist Theresa Santmann will provide scholarships for the award-winning Babylon students. Santmann will also present the district with a $5,000 check to be used toward improvements and equipment for the art department.
The festival begins on April 29, at 6 p.m., at Old Town Hall in Babylon, with an awards ceremony at 7:30 p.m. The show will run until May 1. 


Winter Sports Wrap-Up

Babylon’s winter athletic teams closed out another successful season, winning awards both on and off the field.
The varsity boys basketball team came in second place in the league and section. The team received a NYSPHSAA Scholar-Athlete Team Award with a cumulative average of 92.018 and two players – Nick Antolini and K’Sean Reid – were named All-League.
The varsity cheerleaders were named the Suffolk County Division 2 champion, and the team placed eighth in the New York State semifinals at nationals.  The team also took home a NYSPHSAA Scholar-Athlete Team Award with a cumulative average of 93.667. Alexa Vega and Meagan Wilmoth received All-County honors, and Alexandra Singleton was named Academic All-County and Newsday All Long Island Second Team.

Varsity girls basketball earned a NYSPHSAA Scholar-Athlete Team Award with a cumulative average of 96.733. The team took fifth place in the league. All-League and All-Conference honors went to Shayne Antolini and Emily Guerra. Academic All-County awards were earned by Shayne Antolini, Carley Daniele, Emily Guerra, Nicole Holder, Sarah McLean, Shannon Hartigan and Megan Nerney.
Varsity boys winter track were also NYSPHSAA Scholar-Athlete Team Award winners with a cumulative average of 96.292. Vladislav Culllinane placed fourth in the long jump in freshman/sophomore category.
Varsity girls winter track received a NYSPHSAA Scholar-Athlete Team Award with a cumulative average of 95.874.
The varsity boys wrestling team earned a NYSPHSAA Scholar-Athlete Team Award with a cumulative average of 92.040. All-County honors were earned by Brett Frole (All-State), Bryan Larsen, Taylor Tanner and Rory O’Neill.     

Recreating Art

Junior-Senior High School students in Spanish 4 classes are learning about famous Hispanic artists and recreating some of their works.

LISFA Honors

Eight student-musicians were selected to perform at the Long Island String Festival Association Festival in January. This elite festival gave students an opportunity to perform with the most outstanding string players from school districts across Suffolk County.

Grade School student-musicians Alice Schubart, Sachi Onishi, Gwenyth Fawess and Coleman Schubart were chosen for the elementary festival from Jan. 15-17 at Smithtown West High School. Junior-Senior High School student-musicians Gabriella Albanese, Emma Schubart, Peter Schubart, and Scott Sgueglia played in the secondary festival from Jan. 29-31 at Ward Melville High School.

Top Speller

After successfully winning the schoolwide spelling bee in January, eighth-grader Anna Romero competed in the Long Island regional spelling bee at Hofstra University on March 13. Anna placed fourth out of 128 participants from schools across Long Island.

Student-Musicians Perform at SCMEA Festival

Twenty-six students were selected to perform in the Suffolk County Music Educators’ Association’s All-County Festival from March 12-13 at Half Hollow Hills High School East. This distinction marks them among the top student-musicians in Suffolk County.

Student-musicians were selected based on their musical ability and joined other musicians from surrounding schools for three rehearsals prior to the performance. In addition, at the Division III concert, junior Maxwell O’Handley received the Laurence Paul Gray Scholarship. This scholarship will pay for his tuition at the USDAN Center for Creative and Performing Arts this summer.
Monday, May 30, 2016