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Village School Wins Finance Award

The Village School has again been named a W!SE Blue Star School having excelled on the W!SE Financial Literacy Certification Test. This marks the eighth time the school earned this award, which will be presented in November. It is for the 2015-16 academic year. Village School students met the award requirement by having a majority of students on a given grade take the test (the entire senior class took the test) and attain an average score of 85 percent. David Anderson, W!SE executive vice president, said of the Village School: "We are proud of your students' accomplishment and of your teachers who helped them become Certified Financially Literate. You have given your students vital knowledge about their personal finances and provided them with the tools they need to become financially capable young adults." The Certification Test, designed by W!SE (Working in Support of Education) on behalf of the New York Financial Literacy Coalition, reflects the New York State Education Department's economic curriculum on finance. It evaluates students' knowledge of banking, savings, investing, credit, insurance, and money management, and also gauges their ability to manage their own finances. The New York Financial Literacy Coalition works with non-profit organizations, financial service firms, teachers, school administrators, and parents. The W!SE program, developed in 2003 in Queens and the Bronx, has expanded nationally and has been widely recognized for its success, including receiving the US Treasury Department's John Sherman Award for Excellence in Financial Education.


Scholar Artist Award Winner


Zachary Lee, a senior at North High School, has been chosen as Nassau County's Long Island Scholar Artist for September. Newsday sponsors this competition. The goal of the Scholar Artist program is to honor exceptionally accomplished high school seniors, September to June. Newsday wrote of Zachary: "With talents spanning the arts from multi-instrumental music performance to musical composition and singing, Zachary Lee has distinguished himself as a true artist. Proficient in both piano and flute, he has performed at Carnegie Hall in the Great Neck Music Conservatory high honors concerts and with the Colorado Performing Arts Intensive for their performance at Central City Opera. Zachary has also performed voice, flute, and piano, both solo and ensemble, at the Oyster Bay Music Festival." At North High, Zachary is head of Improv Club and of Theater Club's art and design crew. He is co-president of Tri-M Music Honor Society and of Junior Players Theater Club. Zachary is a member of Chamber Music Society, Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic Band, Jazz Ensemble, and International Thespian Society. He was selected for this year's NAfME All-National Honor Ensembles Mixed Choir, as a Bass 2 singer, and NYSSMA All-State Conference, playing flute in the Symphonic Band. Zachary is a National Merit Scholarship Competition Semifinalist and an Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction, excelling in Advanced Placement Music Theory. His college plans include music, theater, the humanities, and sciences. At North High, Joseph Rutkowski is his instrumental music teacher, Dr. Janine Robinson is his vocal teacher, and Ilana Schikler is his drama teacher. Neil Saggerson is chair of the Fine and Performing Arts Department.


Principal Honored

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Ronald Gimondo, principal of the John F. Kennedy School, was recently honored by the Town of North Hempstead during Hispanic Heritage Month for having a "positive influence" in the North Hempstead community. The award was presented by Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth and Town Councilwoman Anna Kaplan, who nominated him for the award. The award Proclamation reads, in part: "Mr. Gimondo's mother emigrated from Argentina and his father from Italy. He is proud of his South American heritage. As principal of the Kennedy School, he is happy to help his Hispanic-American students and their families, on a daily basis. The JFK community can count on Mr. Gimondo to be dependable, knowledgeable, trustworthy, and loyal. He leads by example with integrity and has earned the respect of the staff, parents, and, most importantly, the students."


Collaborative Book Project


Last year, 25 fourth- and fifth-grade budding authors at Saddle Rock School worked collaboratively with student artists at South High School to produce joyful picture books. In preparation for the project, Saddle Rock students studied components of picture books, including language repetition, design, structure, story elements, problems/solutions, and character development. Melissa Diamond, Saddle Rock enrichment teacher, who originated the book project, said that she has been doing this project for several years, using the school's fifth-graders as book illustrators. "This year," she said, "in order to simulate a real-world author/illustrator relationship, I contacted South High to enlist their art students." At South High, 37 student artists in Studio Art II and Advanced Studio Art read the manuscripts and created illustrations for the picture books, bringing them to life. South High Art Department Head Karen Cuchel said, "Illustrating someone else's story worked perfectly with the Studio Art curriculum as students thought about the power of images to reinforce a text and also tell a story of their own." When the project was completed, Saddle Rock authors joined the South High artists in a celebratory gathering in the South High Library. Artwork was on display and some Saddle Rock students read their stories aloud. In addition, Saddle Rock students asked questions of the South High students and learned about the illustration process. At Saddle Rock, the project was under the guidance of Ms. Diamond and Nicole Alexander, technology staff developer. At South High, Ms. Cuchel and Katherine Saltoun, art teacher, oversaw their artists.