The East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School’s auditorium was filled with cheer during the May 24 board of education meeting, as board members and administrators celebrated the accomplishments of its students and those staff members who received tenure.
The celebrations kicked off with announcing this year’s Poetry Madness Contest honorees. Four Junior-Senior High School students earned high marks for their poems, which focused on the theme “hope.” Madeleine Prucha took first place for her work, “Plight by Pomegranate;” Leslie Madera also took first place for her piece, “Crown;” Isabelle Anderson took second place for her piece, “A Man With Alzheimer’s” and Nolan Annarelli took third place for his piece, “Hourglass.”
Fine and Performing Arts Chairperson Peter Ceglio took to the podium to honor those student performers and volunteers who participated in this year’s NYSSMA festival, which was hosted at the Junior-Senior High School. Approximately 110 districtwide students, staff and volunteers represented East Rockaway for the festival. To honor their hard work, Mr. Ceglio asked attending festival participants to stand for an applause from the crowd.
Junior-Senior High School art teacher Kristie Galante spoke on behalf of the amazing success of Junior-Senior High School student Natalie Hayes. For her artwork, Natalie has received top honors in more than one competition, including taking first place in the 2022 Congressional Art Competition, first place in The Art Guild’s 2021 Nassau County High School Student Juried Exhibit & Competition, National Gold Medalist in the 2022 Northeast Regional Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and was the Renzo & Lynette Bianchi Scholarship recipient for the 2022 Long Island’s Best Young Artists at The Heckscher Museum exhibit.
The board of education then turned to highlighting the district’s five tenure recipients, including Emily Judge (high school special education teacher), Alexandra Pietrantonio (high school science teacher), Donna Robbins (high school counselor), Jessica Salaway (elementary music teacher), and Luke Tesoriero (high school social studies teacher). Each recipient was introduced and recommended for tenure by their respective building principals. Superintendent of Schools Lisa Ruiz congratulated all recipients on this significant steppingstone in their careers and was proud to pass them through with flying colors.
The night’s celebrations concluded with East Rockaway Teachers Association Presidents Gail Beyrer and Michelle Healy presenting three Little Libraries that the association plans to donate to the district. The Little Libraries will be installed in front of each building where students and community members can take a book or leave a book at any time. The board of education plans to officially accept the donation at the June 14 board of education meeting.
Date Added: 5/26/2022