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Bellmore-Merrick Broadcasting Maximizes On-Air Capabilities

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When school shifted to online only in March due to the pandemic, the Bellmore-Merrick Broadcasting program made a collective decision to keep the cameras rolling.

They posted 163 videos during the 90-day stay at home period.

“I became the director and producer of our daily update show,” explained senior Andrew Fried, who is now the news director. “I was up late working on the videos for each day and it was a great learning experience. Along with the daily show, I also continued to host the morning announcements show.”

BMB students then volunteered to produce the livestreams of the 18 graduation ceremonies from all three of the district’s high schools during the course of three days in late June.

Even though the 2019-20 school year ended on June 13, the broadcasting program continued throughout the summer, with editorial board Zoom meetings and a midsummer beach meet up. In late August, the students of BMB created a back to school special that highlighted the changes that students and parents would expect in the district’s six buildings.

With the school year ramping up, BMB has returned to its studio housed at Mepham High School it is resuming its busy production schedule.

“We really just want to continue what we’ve been doing and make it better,” added Fried. “We want to show the district that we can’t be put down by challenges. We take what is given to us and we work with it to get the job done.”

The school year’s first morning announcements show was produced Sept. 11 and the team came up with a clever way to socially distance.

“We appropriated a room around the corner to create a second studio,” explained Broadcasting teacher Stu Stein. “We connected the two studios using network technology so it can appear that our hosts are together but they're actually in separate rooms allowing them both to be unmasked but to appear to be on camera together.”

In addition to the weekly update show, the team had to fill a scheduling void left by the cancellation of fall sports.

“We have a monthly, three-show shooting schedule,” explained senior Sean Petraitis. “One week, we will film our show, Sports Talk, where we will discuss professional sport leagues. “Another week we will film, Talking Cookies, an interview-based show about what is going on at Mepham. Lastly, we will shoot What's Poppin Pirates, a comedy show that promotes school events. We will have our hands full of content for Mepham students and students all around the district to enjoy.”

Twenty-four freshmen joined the program this fall. Stein, along with colleagues Lisa Kalish and Matthew Russell, are seeking ways to create opportunities for upperclassmen to share what they’ve learned while maintaining social distancing protocols.

“Like everyone, BMB is adjusting to this new reality and we're just taking things one day at a time,” Stein added. “For our students, we treat our shoots as hands-on real-world experience and we really want our underclassmen to have an opportunity to learn on location from our seniors before they move on at the end of the school year.”

Seniors Named All-State Musicians

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Seniors from the Central High School District have been selected to participate in the New York State School Music Association All-State Music Festival.
· Tara Fusillo (*two-time participant), String Ensemble – Viola (Kennedy High School, teacher – Robert Salzer)
· Jordan Novak, Vocal Jazz Ensemble – Alto (Calhoun High School, teacher – Sanford Sardo)
· Jack Parr, Mixed Chorus – Tenor 2 (Calhoun High School, teacher – Sanford Sardo)
· Jessica Sarubbi – Vocal Alternate (Kennedy High School, teacher – Jeanette Pincus)

The All State Performance Ensembles are honors groups comprised of the top students from school music departments across the state. To be considered, students must receive a certain high score on their NYSSMA solo performance as well as receive a nomination by their teacher.

“This year, the COVID-related cancellation of the 2019 NYSSMA adjudications made the process a little more complex,” said Cheryl Fontana, director of the fine & performing arts. “Since no festivals took place this past spring, students were evaluated based on their tenth-grade scores. The high level of playing these students achieved at such an early point in their high school career is truly remarkable.”

While the usual in-person concert and winter conference will not be taking place, students will be participating in a professionally produced virtual performance.

Kennedy Students Recognized by NY State Senate

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Kennedy High School students Rachel Nossen and Julie Pulewitz were recognized last year by the New York State Senate with Youth Leadership Recognition Awards.

Nossen serves as a student leader in the school’s Student Government, girls' basketball team, and Ambassador program. Pulewitz is a student leader in the choral program and One World club.

As cited in the letter, the seniors were chosen because they “embody the characteristics of a true student leader.”


Bellmore-Merrick Students Named National Merit Semifinalists

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Six students in the Central High School District have been named National Merit Semifinalists in the 2021 competition.

Connor Gibson and Stamatia Papazis from Kennedy High School, Lucas Ahrens and Dakota Guo from Calhoun High School and Samantha Green and Tyler O’Neill of Mepham High School were all included on the list.

“Once again we are in awe of the academic accolades achieved by our students,” said Superintendent John DeTommaso.

The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. High school students enter the National Merit program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Approximately 16,000 students, or approximately one-third of the 50,000 high scorers, qualified as semifinalists.

Finalists will be notified in February 2021 and scholarship winners will be announced in the spring of 2021.

Bellmore-Merrick Students Named National Merit Semifinalists

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National Merit Semifinalists
Six students in the Central High School District have been named National Merit Semifinalists in the 2021 competition.

Connor Gibson and Stamatia Papazis from Kennedy High School, Lucas Ahrens and Dakota Guo from Calhoun High School and Samantha Green and Tyler O’Neill of Mepham High School were all included on the list.

“Once again we are in awe of the academic accolades achieved by our students,” said Superintendent John DeTommaso. 

The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. High school students enter the National Merit program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Approximately 16,000 students, or approximately one-third of the 50,000 high scorers, qualified as semifinalists. 

Finalists will be notified in February 2021 and scholarship winners will be announced in the spring of 2021.
 
 

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