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GNPS/TV Wins National Award


Great Neck Public Schools Television (GNPS/TV), for the second year in a row, took top awards from the Alliance for Community Media (ACM). The district won five 2016 Hometown Media Awards that were presented at a ceremony in Boston, in August.

Awards - given to GNPS/TV were: Overall Excellence in Educational Access; Best Educational Activities Video (for "Dancing Classrooms); Best Documentary/Biography (for "GNPS: The First 200 Years," produced in conjunction with the district's 200th Anniversary); Best Educational Profile Video (for "GNPS: The First 200 Years"); and Best Original Film (for "The Pioneers"). Robert Zahn, Great Neck Public Schools district educational cable TV producer/director, said, "These awards not only recognize educational programs, but with the competition open to Public Access TV and government channels throughout the country, it became extremely challenging. The five awards are more than won by any other institution." The video, "GNPS: The First 200 Years," also won the only First Place Award of Excellence, in the DVD/Video Category, in the 2015 New York School Public Relations Association Annual Communications Contest.

For information - about GNPS/TV and its student-produced programming, please contact Mr. Zahn by phone at (516) 441-4676, or by e-mail at


Program Featured in Teaching Music Magazine


The North High School music program, "orchestrated" by Joseph Rutkowski, instrumental music teacher, is featured in the August 2016 edition of Teaching Music magazine. The article, titled, "A Community-Minded Program," explains how Mr. Rutkowski not only brings his musicians into the school and local communities, making them an indispensable part of both, but also helps to make music a part of their daily experiences. Mr. Rutkowski said that North High's music program offers students both the "basics of musicianship and a thorough exposure to the greatest pieces of music. Our goal is to provide every student with the tools and desire to continue to practice and play her/his instrument after [graduating] high school, and to continue to attend concerts and listen to great music." While North High musicians perform in the traditional yearly concerts, they also perform in small, chamber-size groups in North's main entrance lobby each Friday morning before classes. These groups can also be found entertaining the community at "restaurants, supermarkets, railroad stations, parks, hospitals, nursing homes, senior living institutions, and Board of Education meetings," Mr. Rutkowski explained. Mr. Rutkowski emphasizes that the district music programs would not be possible without the unqualified support of the Board of Education, the administration, and parents. He also makes relationship-building a vital part of the normal duties of his job, following up every off-campus performance with personal thank-you letters to all the students who performed. These letters are shared with administrators and the Board of Education. Says Teaching Music, "These non-music elements of this program play a large role in ensuring the continuity of the program's presence in the community." One of the favorite places that Mr. Rutkowski likes to bring his students is to nursing homes. "When teenagers see men and women in their 80s and 90s enjoying their company and performance of music," he said, "they realize that there is more to life than getting good grades and getting into a good college. The students realize that their talent and caring is vital and must be shared with others."