North & South High Among Top US Schools

The competitive annual listing of "American's Best High Schools," a long-standing event published by Newsweek magazine, has, this year, moved to the Washington Post newspaper where it has been renamed "The High School Challenge." North and South High Schools ranked among the top 150 on the national list of 1,905 schools. North High is 99 and South High is 146 in the listing. Other Long Island high schools that made the top 150 list: Jericho, South Side (Rockville Centre), Wheatley (Old Westbury), Manhasset, Cold Spring Harbor, Syosset, Locust Valley, and Herricks. The Washington Post's data was based on a ratio of the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and/or Cambridge tests taken by all students each year, divided by the number of graduating seniors.


South High's Battle of the Bands

On Friday, June 3, beginning at 7:30 p.m., the South High School Music Department will present its first-ever "Battle of the Bands," in the school auditorium, 341 Lakeville Rd. Five bands will each perform a 15&endash;20-minute set of music. Styles will range from rock, to hip-hop, to electronic. All performers are students in the Great Neck Public Schools; all but four attend South High. Most of South's performers come from the Contemporary Music Club, the Symphonic Band, the Jazz Band, and/or the Music Technology and Guitar classes. Some have learned to play independently. Battle of the Bands will be judged by a panel for four South High teachers: Christopher Beaujon, special education; Danielle Dorkings, mathematics; Patrick Graham, English; and Anthony Virgilio, guitar and music technology. The winning band will have its name engraved on a plaque to be displayed at South High. Mr. Virgilio, event organizer, is very enthusiastic that Battle of the Bands will become a much-anticipated annual event.


National French Exam Winners

Twenty high school students are winners in the National French Exam (Le Grand Concours), Nassau County Level. Their teachers are Miriam Hollander at North High, and Harriet Cinco and Mary Ann Schwartz at South High. There were seven winners from North High, and 13 winners from South High.


National Spanish Exam Winners

Two-hundred thirty-four students from North and South High Schools are winners in the National Spanish Exam, sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese. Their teachers at North High are Department Head Madalyn DeLuccia, Caitlin Gorta, Bessie Karanikolas, Lilian Krowne, and Ivania Marinero. The South High teachers of Spanish are Department Head Lissa Baily, Fatima Colman, Laura Giunta, Christine Montllor-Gil, Gabriel Pastrana, Paula Sanchez-Kucukozer, and Ana Tavares. North High had four Gold, 23 Silver, 20 Bronze, and 59 Honorable Mention winners. South High had 12 Gold, 37 Silver, 27 Bronze, and 53 Honorable Mention winners.


South Middle's "Dancing with the Stars"

South Middle School's entire eighth-grade participated in the "Dancing Classrooms" arts-in-education program that culminated with their own "Dancing with the Stars" performance. The Dancing Classrooms curriculum integrated physical education, music, and character education through 20 sessions of ballroom dancing. Students learned self-confidence, respect for others, social awareness, and cooperative teamwork. They also gained an appreciation of cultural diversity through the variety of dances taught, including foxtrot, merengue, rumba, salsa, swing, tango, and waltz. In addition, students journaled their dance experiences. Several journal entries were read aloud at the culminating event that was attended by parents, family members, faculty, and administrators. Professional Dancing Classrooms teachers instructed the students in conjunction with South Middle physical education teachers Andrew Berlin, Kristin Randazzo, John Schneidmuller, and Karen Sulinski. Reflecting on the Dancing Classrooms project, Principal James Welsch said, "From the beginning of February through the first week of April, students took risks and overcame personal anxiety while learning respect, poise, and compassion for each other. At the Dancing with the Stars event, students brought tears of joy to many as they assumed escort position, got into dance frame, and showed us how elegantly and masterfully they had learned seven ballroom dances. Smiles on their faces and those connected with the project were a testament to the magical evening." David Zawatson, director of athletics, recreation, and physical education, was instrumental in bringing this pilot program to the district. His hope is to obtain grant money to repeat Dancing Classrooms next year and expand it to include North Middle School, as well.


Red Watch Band at South High

Nearly 140 South High School students participated in the Red Watch Band (RWB) program that involved CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and alcohol-related emergency training. The RWB movement began in 2009 in reaction to students dying of accidental alcohol overdose. It's mission is to train students to recognize the signs of alcohol poisoning in friends and acquaintances, and to react appropriately. RWB focuses on knowledge, skill, and confidence-building regarding preventing death from alcohol overdose. Students volunteered to be trained at an after-school event that was funded by Stony Brook University. South's Peer Educators and Jane Maher, director of girls athletics, were instrumental in implementing the program. First Aid CPR was taught by George Motchkovitz, CPR trainer and former fire chief of the Alert Fire Company. Ms. Maher said that this training gives high school students a tool that they may be called upon to use in college to make a difference and save a life. After completing their training, students were given a certificate of completion and a wristwatch with a red band that symbolizes the "band" of students who are trained to "watch" over one another.


Fine & Performing Arts with the Adult Program

The Great Neck Public Schools Adult Program invites to you join us for fine and performing arts classes and events. Discover artistic perspectives in NYC museums and galleries; explore the history of jazz; enjoy singing in a social and lively atmosphere; or view and discuss influential films. All classes meet at the air-conditioned Cumberland Adult Center, 30 Cumberland Ave., unless noted. For additional information or to register, call the Adult Program at 441-4949 or visit us at for complete catalog listings and online registration.

Gallery and Museum Visits

Visits in small groups, led by a guide, aim to develop a historical perspective of the diverse artistic expressions of our time. The most interesting shows will be selected. The first session meets at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 5th Ave. and 82nd St. Instructor/leader Wendy Gittler is an art historian, painter, and independent curator who has taught at Hunter College, the Metropolitan Museum, and Parsons School of Design. Group meets on three Tuesdays (July 5, 19 & 26), from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Fee: $88. No nonresident surcharge. Admissions are not included in fee (please wait for leader before you pay). At the Met, you are required to pay group admissions fee, even if you are a member.

Jazz: Exploration & History

Each week, discuss a group of players and singers and the particular kind of music they made between 1940-70. Through videos, get a sense of what it was like to experience a live performance. Through analysis and discussion, the value of the musicians and their music will lead to a greater appreciation and enjoyment of the music. Part of each session will have some historical, social, and political context presented, as well as a view of where the music fits within the history of jazz. Instructor Martin Saltzman teaches American history and western civilization at LIU-C.W. Post Campus. He leads this class on 11 Tuesdays, July 5-Sept. 13, from 4-6 p.m. Fee: $125 for Great Neck and Manhasset resident adults to age 59; $77 for Great Neck and Manhasset senior citizens and high school students; $135 for nonresidents.

Concert Chorus

"If you can speak, you can sing" is a motto of singers and singing teachers. Participate in the musical experience of choral singing in a friendly, non-competitive atmosphere. A program of pieces will be chosen with class participants in mind. Previous singing experience and/or training and the ability to read music are not required. There will be an optional performance at last session. Instructor/composer Sina Kiai leads the chorus on 11 Thursdays, July 7&endash;Sept. 15, from 7-8:30 p.m. Fee: $79 for Great Neck and Manhasset residents; $89 for nonresidents.

Creative Lives on Film

View and discuss three award-winning films and how artists and the arts have been portrayed, analyzed, and showcased by innovative filmmakers. Explore the lives and creative endeavors of artists in painting, theater, and dance. Instructor Erica Romaine teaches film studies at Rutgers University, and has lectured widely on cinema. --Frida (2002). Visual artist/director Julie Taymor directs this stunning production, presenting painter Frida Kahlo. The winner of numerous awards, this film brings Kahlo's colorful work vividly to life and delivers passionate and gripping performances by Salma Hayek and Alfred Molina. --Shakespeare in Love (1999). Directed by John Madden, the playwrights Tom Stoppard and Marc Norman draw on their lives in the theater for this charming, romantic, and comedic portrait of young Shakespeare, in love and out of money. From inspiration to performance, see Romeo and Juliet take shape in the theatrical world of Elizabethan London. The stellar cast includes Joseph Fiennes, Gwyneth Paltrow, Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, and Dame Judi Dench. --All That Jazz (1979). Bob Fosse directs and choreographs his fascinating autobiography. This critically acclaimed film traces the tumultuous life and creative process of the prolific Fosse and explodes on the screen with his unmistakably provocative choreography. Featured are Roy Scheider and Fosse favorites: Ann Reinking, Ben Vereen, and Leland Palmer. Class meets three Tuesdays, July 12, 19, and 26, from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Fee: $55. No nonresident surcharge.