School News

Tuckahoe School student Santiago A. was nominated as a state representative for the Be Strong global initiative. Independent/Tuckahoe Common School District


Be Strong State Rep

Tuckahoe School’s Santiago A. was nominated as a state representative for the Be Strong global initiative.

Be Strong is a nonprofit empowering youth to prevent bullying, isolation, and suicide by igniting change in peer behavior through a comprehensive student-led approach to encourage all students to reveal challenges they are facing, train and equip students to become more resilient, arm them with the Be Strong app to access real-time and local resources that can help, and unite them to change their families, schools, communities, states, and country.

Santiago came to the U.S. speaking very little English, and in just one year learned everything he possibly could. Santiago worked hard, asked questions, and continues to do so. According to the district, his English has blossomed, and “he is an amazing young man who helps others who are transitioning into this school.”

“Although our school is small and may seem easy to transition into, it takes a special person to make others feel welcomed right away,” the district said. “Santiago has been through many changes himself and has worked through them in a positive way. He includes others to make them feel welcome by talking to them on the bus, sitting with them at lunch, or simply saying a kind word in the hallway. Since he is one of the older students in the building, he is a wonderful role model for the younger students as well. It’s wonderful to see him interact with others on a daily basis.”

Santiago said he wants students to be more inclusive.

“I choose to be strong in my school and my community by stopping the bullying,” he said. “That’s why today I invite you to say ‘Stop.’ No more rejection or teasing because we all have the same capabilities.”

Full STEAM Ahead

With the help of technology teacher Jessica Ovanessian, science teacher Dennis Schleider, art teacher Barbara Imperiale, and woodshop teacher Eugene Scanlon, the Tuckahoe grand prix was held March 10.

Seventh-graders completed a unit of study on force of motion in science. They had to design a dragster car using specific constraints and criteria, and had to cut and sand the cars out of blocks of wood, paying close attention to the aerodynamics of the body. The classes raced against each other and ultimately came up with the fastest car.

Nick Beeker and Carlos Zamorano reached the finals.

Hampton Bays

Honor Society Induction

Thirty-three Hampton Bays Middle School students were named members of the National Junior Honor Society, one of the oldest and most prestigious national organizations for students. The candle lighting ceremony for official induction, originally scheduled for March 26, has been postponed due to the COVID-19-related school closure.

To be eligible for membership, the students were required to maintain an unweighted GPA of 92 or better; meet the standards of leadership, service, citizenship, and character; and complete 45 hours of community service.

Tri-M Inductees

Eleven Hampton Bays Middle School seventh and eighth-grade students were named members of the school’s Tri-M Music Honor Society chapter. The induction ceremony, originally scheduled for April 1, has been postponed due to the COVID-19-related school closures.

To earn the honor, the students were required to maintain a GPA of 85 or above in all their classes and a 90 average in all music classes, perform 15 hours of community service, and attend various music-related events throughout the school year.

A High Note

Hampton Bays High School senior Tristan Halsey became the school’s first student selected to participate in the New York State Band Directors Association Festival, based on his New York State School Music Association scores last spring and teacher recommendations. The trombonist also earned a first-chair placement in the festival. He plans to attend the University of Rhode Island in the fall.


Connecting Through Podcasts

To stay connected to students while schools are closed due to COVID-19, Southampton Intermediate School has kicked off a new weekly podcast series.

The Southampton Intermediate School anchor podcast will be posted each week to the district’s Facebook page and website and feature a variety of guests.

The first episode, “A Brave Remote World,” includes messages from Principal Tim Frazier, seventh-grade guidance counselor Jalai Duroseau, and school resource officers Tiffany Lubold and Lisa McCulley. There is also a performance by student-musicians Bella Duque, Anabella Fischette, and Liam Lavinio, courtesy of band teacher Danielle Schulman and chorus teacher Kyle Benaberger.

To view the podcast, visit—A-Brave-Remote-World-ec0q5d.

Bedtime Stories

To connect with students and families while schools are closed due to COVID-19, Southampton Elementary School kicked off a bedtime stories video initiative. The videos are posted on the district’s Facebook page and feature teachers and students reading a variety of children’s books from their homes.


Practicing Mindfulness

In the wake of mandated school closures due to COVID-19, Roanoke Avenue Elementary School kicked off a mindfulness video initiative to help ease the minds of young students.

As part of the program, the school posts instructional videos every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to its website and Facebook page that engage students in mindful thinking and activities. The school is also encouraging students to send in photos of themselves practicing mindfulness.

Prior to the closure, Roanoke Avenue infused mindfulness practices into the daily curriculum, with teachers providing daily mindfulness activities during morning announcements.

The school also shared a video that features teachers and administrators sending positive messages to students.

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