Student’s Mural Graces Eatery


Massapequa High School senior Ana Ruiz Garcia paints her mural on the bagel store wall.

The murals painted on the side wall of Town Bagel next to Massapequa High School have become one of the most visual displays of school spirit in the community. Now, Massapequa High School senior Ana Ruiz Garcia can add her name to those who have created one. Ana’s design was chosen as the new mural after several mural designs were submitted then voted on by the student body and staff. The mural was recently painted by art students under the supervision of art teachers Gale Domingo and Julie Thornton. Ana, who has taken several art classes including Drawing & Painting I, Computer Art & Design, Sculpture and Creative Crafts, plans to pursue a career in animation.

Ames Triples Cancer Donations


Debra Ienna of Safie Salon and Day Spa measures the ponytail of teacher Jennifer Rabie.

Amid clusters of pink balloons and a sea of cheering students and faculty, a group of 47 teachers and students from Massapequa High School-Ames Campus set a new record for the school.

Each took a seat at the makeshift haircutting station, set up in the school’s hallway by Debra Ienna of Safie Salon and Day Spa of Massapequa, to have their hair carefully measured and cut for the Pantene Beautiful Lengths program. The program transforms hair into free, high-quality wigs for patients undergoing cancer treatments. Each person who donated received a complimentary haircut and style at the salon.

More than 50 ponytails of hair was donated to the cause, after a few other ponytails from those who had recent haircuts contributed to the event, tripling the amount of ponytails collected last year.


Ames health teacher Denise Baldinger, organizer of the event, displays her ponytail.

“We had a tremendous turnout and great support from our school and faculty,” said health teacher Denise Baldinger, coordinator of the event. “We are so pleased to be able to help cancer patients feel better about their appearance as they undergo treatment by giving them the opportunity to wear a wig made with real hair.”

Grads Grab Top Honors

Two Massapequa High School students recently received top honors in their class, as the school named Joseph Fiola its valedictorian and Brian O’Sullivan its salutatorian.


Valedictorian Joseph Fiola

Valedictorian Fiola has a focused plan for the future. With a 99.979 grade point average and about a dozen advanced placement classes under his belt, he heads to Stony Brook University this fall to study biomedical engineering with hopes of one day becoming a surgeon.

A summer workshop experience at Brookhaven National Laboratory, where he participated in protein crystallography experimentation used in drug research, a part of biomedical engineering, helped him decide on his major. That, along with the practical thinking that he could work in the field with a bachelor’s degree should his plans on medical school change. [Read more...]

The Power Of Pequa Minds


Superintendent Lucille Iconis with Fairfield team members.

Five teams from the Massapequa School District competed in the New York State Odyssey of the Mind contest at Binghamton University April 12 after dominating the regional tournament last month. While no trophies were brought home, students called the opportunity “a once-in-a-lifetime experience” that gave them a great sense of accomplishment.

Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program based on creative problem-solving. Students select from a variety of problems that range from building mechanical devices to interpreting literary classics and compete at the local, state and world levels.

A team from Fairfield and another from Unqua competed at the Division I level for grades 1-5. Fairfield’s team members, coached by Jennifer Tand,  included Ethan Jackson, Joseph Mocniak, Brian Bongiorno, Aryon Seraji and Joseph Rollo. Unqua’s team, coached by  Loree Moran, consisted of Alyssa Buback, Erin O’Grady, Addison Taylor, Annabelle Lesser and Caroline Pappas.

Two more teams, one from McKenna and another from Lockhart, competed at the Division II level for grades 6-8. McKenna’s team members, coached by Elizabeth Natke,  included Daniel Lobaccaro, Matthew Prusan, Aidan Gregory, Jared Gould Christopher Merlini and Christopher Bruhnke. Lockhart’s team, coached by Joanne Markowski, consisted of  Joseph Pattay, Talia Cartafalsa, Kirstin Lisnoff, Juliette Liebov and Jessica Gruenfelder.

A team from Massapequa High School competed on the Division III level for grades 9-12. Team members were Amanda Gordonson, Joe Mottola, Mackenzie Conkling, and Courtney Conkling. The team was coached by Matthew Swanson.

“We are very proud of our students for attaining this opportunity to compete at the state level and for displaying exemplary levels of levels creativity, collaboration and problem-solving throughout this year’s competitions,” said Superintendent Lucille Iconis, who attended the state tournament.

Amazing Technicolor Castmates

stageIn celebration of Arts Week, Friends Academy middle schoolers put on a tremendous production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat—despite a rehearsal schedule two weeks shorter than in most years. 

Massapequa youngster and local thespian Sharothy Mahmud made a stage appearance.

Eighth-grader Drew Donner of Old Westbury anchored the show in the challenging title role of Joseph, delivering an especially robust closing-night performance.

Old Westbury’s Ife Anyokou was one of the three Narrators, the play’s Greek chorus, who set the ‘tone’ in both senses—literally with strong voices and figuratively with elegant poise.
Courtney Taylor of Westbury Hills, playing the wandering wife to Christian Nesfield’s Potiphar, won big laughs with her exuberant mugging.

Ellis Collier of Glen Cove, as an Elvis-inspired Pharaoh, was a crowd favorite. [Read more...]

Massapequa Freshmen Jumpstart College Planning

SchoolNews_042514AIn an effort to increase college readiness, the Guidance Department at the Massapequa High School–Ames Campus took 30 ninth graders to College Awareness Day at Adelphi University. The group toured the campus, spoke to college students, addressed questions to admissions representatives and even sampled lunch.

The trip gave students the opportunity to see what college life is like, the majors that are available, and the university’s academic expectations. The trip was a culmination of the department’s effort to supplement the education students receive about career-planning. In addition, the entire freshman class will learn about a host of careers from accomplished Massapequa graduates during the 7th Annual Alumni Career Day scheduled for Friday, April 25.