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Celebrating Dia de los Muertos

Celebrating Dia de los Muertos photo

Without having to take a trip to Mexico, students from the district recently learned about the traditional Spanish celebration of Dia de los Muertos during events held right in their classrooms.

Students enrolled in Aimee Padavan’s Spanish classes at Ronkonkoma Middle School participated in a homemade feast, consisting of traditional Mexican dishes such as empanadas, fried plantains, plantain chips and pan de muerto.

The students also used their creative talents to create an “ofrenda” or offering in an effort to commemorate their loved ones who have passed away. For this activity, the students were asked to interview their relatives and trace back their family trees in order to provide facts and information about their loved ones to be shared amongst their classmates on the ofrenda. Prior to watching the Disney film “Coco,” the students took part in a sugar-skull decorating contest which was guest-judged by Ronkonkoma Middle School Acting Principal Joseph Licato. 

Additionally, students in William Bedell’s Spanish classes at Connetquot High School kicked off Dia de los Muertos by decorating edible calaveras, which portrayed sugar skulls, a popular symbol representing the Day of the Dead.  Students also completed reading and writing activities pertaining to the holiday and Mr. Bedell created copal, an incense intended to fill the air with sweet scents during the holiday’s celebrations.

Becoming Best Buddies

Becoming Best Buddies photo

As part of an international organization that pairs student leaders with other students, the Connetquot High School Best Buddies club was recently implemented to help students make friends and develop leadership skills. On Oct. 23, club members and their parents met at the high school cafeteria for a fun evening of games and tasty refreshments.

The current Breaking Boundaries club has been working with the Best Buddies club to help get the program off the ground with organizational and financial support. The club assists with creating events to strengthen one-to-one friendships, along with integrated employment and leadership development for individuals with disabilities.

“Student volunteers for the new Best Buddies club have been so helpful and supportive of the new members, and we expect this to become a highly successful club at Connetquot High School,” said Breaking Boundaries co-adviser Carolyn Klinkhardt Paul.

Community members are encouraged to mark their calendars for March 23, 2019 as the clubs will host the “STAYAWAKEATHON” from 8 p.m.–8 a.m. Additionally, as a means of engaging in more fun activities, the Best Buddies Club will soon host a Superhero photo shoot to be photographed by Connetquot students.

The district would like to thank Connetquot High School Dean of Students Michael Hansen, along with Carolyn Klinkhardt Paul and Eileen Gering for their assistance with bringing the club to fruition.

Drawing Inspiration from Experience

Drawing Inspiration from Experience photo

Retired Connetquot High School music teacher John Leddy recently returned to the school and spoke to students enrolled in Spanish language classes about his recent 500-mile, five-week journey through northern Spain along the world-famous Camino de Santiago.

During his visit with the students, he talked about his experiences, new-found appreciation for history, architecture and tradition as he and his friend joined hundreds of other travelers making their way along the route.  

Mr. Leddy also talked about the wonderful fellow travelers from as far away as Australia that they met, ate meals with and shared stories about their own experiences along the journey. Many pilgrims walk the Camino to the resting place of Saint James, taking different routes from their homes to reach Santiago de Compostela.

Students were impressed with the presentation, and the amazing slide show of photos Mr. Leddy had taken along the trek. Spanish language teachers Eileen McGinnis and Will Bedell joined the students in thanking Leddy for his visit, and remarkable tale of the Camino de Santiago.

Mr. Leddy currently serves as the founding director of the Spirit of Stony Brook Marching Band and holds the title of athletic bands, director emeritus and arranger at Stony Brook University.

Successes in Science

Successes in Science photo
The district is thrilled to announce that Connetquot High School students Ava Galante and Timothy Ciavolella received Awards of Excellence for their participation at the Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders held in Boston, Massachusetts.

The theme of each year’s congress is “Greatness Awaits,” as it offers students the opportunity to be mentored by some of the most important leaders who are changing the future for the better. Examples of some individuals affiliated with the Congress include former Chief Technology Officer of the United States Megan J. Smith and Austin Wang, the 2016 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair Grand Prize Winner. 

In order to qualify for this award, both students were required to aspire to be physicians, scientists or technologists; have attained a grade-point average of 3.5 or above and possess qualities of a leader.

Informing the Community

Informing the Community photo
The district is proud to introduce the three Connetquot High School student representatives who will be attending the district’s board of education meetings scheduled for the 2018-19 school year.

While attending the district’s bi-monthly board meetings, students Sabah Bari, Nicholas Keddy (alternate) and Adam Moussa will join the elected board of education officials and district administrators as non-voting members to share their insight about various happenings taking place at both Connetquot High School and throughout the district. 

All three students currently hold various titles in the school’s Student Government Club, and partake in a number of other extracurricular clubs and activities currently offered at Connetquot High School.
 

Excellence in Physical Education

Excellence in Physical Education photo
The district congratulates Connetquot High School seniors Karly Hokenson and Harrison Finnerty for being named Suffolk Zone Physical Education Award winners for the 2018-19 academic school year. Chosen by the New York State Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, these annual awards are presented to one male and one female student from each school district based on their effort, leadership, athleticism and outstanding character. 

In addition to their high academic averages, each student has earned a grade of 100 percent in their physical education classes. Regarding extracurricular athletics, Karly is a member of the Connetquot varsity field hockey and basketball teams, while Harrison is a member of the varsity football and baseball teams. Additionally, both Karly and Harrison are members of the National Foreign Language Honor Society, as well as several other honorary academic organizations.