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District Celebrates Essay Winners, Tenure Recipient

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The district Board of Education and administration had the honor of recognizing the winners of this year’s Andrew Stern Memorial Essay Contest and presenting a certificate of tenure to a staff member during its January meeting.

The evening kicked off with announcing the Stern essay contest winners, which included Nicholas Pannullo (high school category), Sophia Pappas (middle school category) and Danielle Ramos (elementary school category). This annual contest honors East Rockaway graduate Andrew Stern, who was killed during the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. It is run by members of the Stern family, who read through more than 700 student responses. This year’s essay topic asked students to reflect on the ways in which 9/11 and the COVID-19 pandemic are similar, different or both. Before presenting the victors with a certificate and a check, the Stern family invited each student to share their winning essays with those in attendance.

The celebrations continued as members of the board awarded Centre Avenue school math teacher Katie Kuck with tenure. Mrs. Kuck was lauded by her school Principal Calia Kelly for exhibiting hard work and dedication to her position.