Student Art Show At Massapequa Perk


Pictured by their artwork is a group of Birch Lane students.

Students from Birch Lane and Fairfield elementary schools currently have their artwork on display at Massapequa Perk, located at 117 Front St., Massapequa Park. The opening for this exhibit was held on Dec. 10, and artwork from grades 1-6 will be available for viewing until Dec. 19.

This is an annual exhibit put together by Massapequa School District art teachers Melinda Wolfe and Dorothy Veltre in collaboration with Massapequa Perk.


Local Athletes Sign Letters Of Intent


10 Massapequa High School senior athletes have committed to play
college sports next year. More are expected to commit throughout the year.

The Massapequa School District is proud to announce that 10 senior varsity athletes have signed National Letters of Intent to play college sports at some of the most prestigious institutions in the country, many at the Division I level.

Members of the boys’ varsity lacrosse team and the colleges they committed to are Griffin Barnathan; U.S. Air Force Academy, Sean Gleason, SUNY Albany; Carter Hawthorne, Weslyan University; Grif Konen, Binghamton University, Danny Taylor, Mount Saint Mary College; and Nick Yevoli, Yale University.

Members of the girls’ varsity lacrosse team and the schools they will attend are Maddy Lee, SUNY Geneseo; Olivia Batista, Binghamton University and Kerri Sayrafe, Robert Morris University in Pennsylvania.
In addition, boys’ varsity track member John Putnam has signed with Auburn University in Alabama.

“It is always exciting to see our students athletes, who have contributed so much throughout their high school careers, advance to the college level,” said John Piropato, the district’s director of health, physical education, athletics and recreation. “These strong athletes will be great assets to their future teams and to their chosen institutions.”

Audette Is Authoritative


Tyler Audette is the senior guard for the Red Devils Varsity Basketball team at Plainedge High School. (Photos by William Trinity)

“It’s the high intensity and motivation to beat the man in front of me that sets basketball apart from any other sport.”

That quote comes straight from the talented Tyler Audette, the senior guard for the Plainedge Red Devils Varsity Basketball team. Audette is a diverse Plainedge Red Devil playing football, basketball and lacrosse. But it’s basketball that has this young athlete’s heart. [Read more...]

Students “Victimproof” Themselves

How to become “victimproof” from bullying was the lesson shared by renowned anti-bullying speaker Tom Thelen during a recent assembly for freshmen at Massapequa High School-Ames Campus.

“Victimproof,” which is also the name of Thelen’s book, is a phrase he developed to show students how to release the resentment and pain inflicted by bullying so they can move forward with a new outlook, confidence and promise for success. [Read more...]

Chiefs Cheerleaders Team Up With Dalers Squad


Massapequa and Farmingdale Varsity Cheerleaders broke longstanding rivalries between the two districts when they amicably sat together at the football playoffs’ halftime show.

It was a glorious vision of respect and sportsmanship at the recent Massapequa vs. Farmingdale playoff football game. The Massapequa Chiefs Cheerleading team asked their coach Jennifer Rabie if they could watch the halftime show from the Farmingdale side with their cheerleaders. The request was certainly something to cheer about as the gesture softened the rivalry that has stood between the two teams for years.

“It was amazing. Both teams welcomed each other with open arms,” said Rabie. “Halftime was spent sharing a bag of candy, something the Farmingdale coach always provides at games; laughing, taking photos and making memories. It was a moment of great pride and showed that we can come together with respect for one another and have a great time.” [Read more...]

Massapequa Schools Host AIDS Quilt Viewing

In an effort to heighten awareness, spark conversation and commemorate those who lost their lives to HIV/AIDS, the Massapequa School District will host a public viewing of the AIDS Memorial Quilt on Thursday, Dec. 4, from 7:30-8:30 p.m. in the Massapequa High School Baldwin auditorium. AIDS_120314A

The event is being held in close proximity to World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, and is part of the district’s annual HIV/AIDS Awareness Week, which runs through Dec. 5. During this time, state-mandated, age-appropriate lessons will be taught to students in kindergarten through 12th grade.
Three quilt panels are being provided by the Names Project Foundation, the custodian of the 54-ton handmade tapestry that consists of more than 48,000 panels dedicated to more than 94,000 individuals. All community members are encouraged to attend this educational event and support the district’s ongoing efforts to ensure the health and safety of its students. Massapequa High School Peer AIDS Educators will be on hand to answer any questions.

Massapequa Starbursts Finish Undefeated

Starbursts_112814AMassapequa GU11 Starbursts pose for a picture after completing their undefeated season. They finished in first place in their LIJSL division with an 8-0-1 record. Players from left: Ava Cammarata, Nicole Karis, Alyssa Mayo, Christina Mullan, Colleen Shine, Jess Damico, Isabella Vincenzi, Kaleigh Walsh, Rachel Castonguay, Emily Keaveney, Kate Serpe and Molly Desir


2014-’15 Chiefs Dig Another LI Championship

With great determination the Massapequa Girls Volleyball team headed to their second consecutive Long Island Championship. Head coach Carol Ann Habeeb-Kiel had prepared her players with great confidence to win yet another coveted title.

“Foot on the gas and don’t let up because everyone has the drive to win and the momentum can switch at any course of the game,” said Coach Habeeb-Kiel.

Throughout the championship game against the Connetquot T-Birds, the Chiefs stuck to their game plan. It was a real thriller with momentum changing from Massapequa, who lead early on to Connetquot, which fought back. But with Massapequa’s great patience and focus to stay in the game, they came out successful with their second consecutive Long Island Championship.

Coach Habeeb-Kiel spoke upon a major component to Massapequa’s game plan.

“Composure and patience is key and at the high school level, this is a huge aspect for the girls,” she said.


The 2014-2015 Girls Varsity volleyball team with head coach Carol Ann Habeeb-Kiel (Photo courtesy of the Massapequa Athletic Department)

Volleyball is a sport that incorporates patience, stamina and composure. Fortunately the girls’ volleyball team hold those three qualities in a tremendous fashion. As one of the best volleyball programs on Long Island, every year the Chiefs make their school proud. They have been undefeated for the past eleven consecutive seasons, winning fifteen consecutive Nassau County Championships, along with two consecutive Long Island Championships and a state championship in 2007. It is hard to not be taken back by this team’s incredible accomplishments. But combining the immense amount of talented players being coached under the outstanding Habeeb-Kiel, there is no question as to why Massapequa is elite.

Coach Habeeb-Kiel is also the eighth grade coach—the legacy of the Massapequa girls’ volleyball team begins in eighth grade. Habeeb-Kiel has 27 years of coaching experience and shares her wealth of knowledge with the youth of Massapequa.

“It’s not about winning, but appreciating and getting a feel for the sport; as well as making the transition to the high school level smoother for the girls,” said Habeeb-Kiel of the younger girls.

Once these young girls get to the high school level, volleyball is full throttle. Each practice is two hours and it’s not your standard volleyball practice. Habeeb-Kiel incorporates conditioning, whether running a mile or on the bleachers, jumping rope, squat jumps and abdominal work. These workouts are in addition to the girls’ in depth volleyball practice.

The Chiefs also get added practice when they play in different tournaments on Long Island. They’re facing stronger competition, including the top Catholic school St. Anthony’s, whom they defeated.

“I start subbing early, working in each girl and creating different chemistry,” said Habeeb-Kiel as she prepares her girls for game time. “We play every game like we are the underdog because come playoffs, it is anyone’s game.”

Habeeb-Kiel coaches her team as if they are the 10 seed, which reflects the girls’ tremendous degree of respect and passion each game.

“Defense wins championships,” she said.

Volleyball is the epitome of a team sport. In order to be successful, the team must have trust and chemistry with one another, as well as a leader, who leads by example. For Massapequa, they have two of these stand out players; seniors Mikayla Porr and Jamie Schlesinger. Porr, who is the Chiefs libero, was an All State volleyball player as a junior. She is also one of Massapequa’s stronger defensive players as she is dominant and always alert. Schlesinger on the other hand, runs the offense. She has transformed into a setter this year and executes her job with excellence. Schlesinger is a hard worker and distributes the ball well. As early as November, the Chiefs already have a volleyball college commit, senior Allie Dillon, who will be taking her talents to Skidmore College next fall.

Although the Chiefs won a Long Island Championship last year, it did not make this year’s victory any less special. Last year Massapequa had a team with just two seniors, and the nerves of younger players were at an all time high. This year, the returning players showed up with a vengeance as they wanted to prove to everyone that they deserved to be at the top. They succeeded.
This elite bunch holds themselves with great integrity towards their sport. With renowned coach Habeeb-Kiel, Long Island can always expect potency from Massapequa’s volleyball team. It is a legacy at Massapequa High School that shall surely and enduringly, live on.

‘One School-One Book’ Initiative


Parents, community members and students discuss the social-emotional messages in the book Wonder, by R.J. Palacio at Berner Middle School.

Alfred G. Berner Middle School has launched a “One School-One Book” initiative for the 2014-15 school year in an effort to integrate social-emotional learning into the school’s culture in alignment with the Dignity for All Students Act.

Through the initiative, students are learning beyond the classroom content by reading a common text, R.J. Palacio’s Wonder, with all staff members and the greater school community. The book is about a 10-year-old boy with facial differences and his experience attending public school for the first time. As a part of this initiative, staff and students are not only analyzing the text, but are looking deeper at the social implications and how students and the community can impact change together. [Read more...]

MHS Anti-drug Programs


The Chief’s Challenge Club’s recent “Positive Post-It Day” left uplifting messages on students’ lockers and common areas of the high school.

As headlines on heroin addiction splash across the media—heightening parents’ fears and concerns on how to protect their children—there’s one centralized place where parents can turn for information and resources on how to keep their children safe.

Massapequa Takes Action (MTA) is a group that connects school, parents and community to receive the education needed to better guide children away from risky behaviors. Made up of PTA members, YES Community Counseling Center members and school professionals, the group also educates students about the dangers of risky behaviors through age-appropriate programs and empowers students with strong anti-drug activities and clubs that promote pro-social behaviors. [Read more...]