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Tri-M induction ceremony

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Hampton Bays High School recently honored continuing Tri-M Music Honor Society members and inducted another 27 student-musicians during a special ceremony.

To earn induction, students are required to maintain a GPA of 90 or above in all their music classes and an 85 cumulative average in all classes. They must also attend all meetings and events hosted by Tri-M and participate in community service projects throughout the school year.

The Hampton Bays School District congratulates the following new Tri-M members: Gianna Betta, Allison Booth, Julia Brandes, Audrey Chiliquinga, Christopher Clinton, Cooper Foley, Valeria Gamboa, Noah Hafemeister, Andrea Jarrin, Matthew Luce, Emily Lucero Tito, Caitlyn Lupia, Lillyann Maffia, James Maroulas, Sarah Mendel, Brendyn Molnar, Natalia Neal, Nellie Nicolova, Julianne Palmieri, Connie Penafiel, Colby James Peterson, Meghan Peterson, Maizie Poulakis, Joffre Proano Guarnizo, Leah Russell, Kelly Velasquez and Mackenzie Wilson.

Date Added: 3/28/2023

Basketball stars earn awards

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Five Hampton Bays High School varsity basketball players were recently presented with postseason awards at the Suffolk County Women’s Basketball Coaches Association dinner. The Hampton Bays School District congratulates the following players on a job well done:

Academic All-County: Sophia Corredor and Nicole Lupercio
Rookie of the Year: Eden Brown
Unsung Hero: Mia Camey
All-League: Asha Pensa-Johnson

Date Added: 3/24/2023

Art grant provides students with outlet to express themselves

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A grant from the Partners in Education, Arts and Community Empowerment (PEACE) Program and the Patchogue Arts Council is providing Hampton Bays High School students an outlet to express themselves and share their stories of immigration with the assistance of artist local Andrea Cote.

The project is part of a larger educational and social-emotional exercise inaugurated by English as a New Language teacher Alexa Toyas for her students during the 2021-2022 school year. To begin the project, the students shared their immigration stories in an essay form, practicing past-tense language, editing and punctuation. They also worked closely with high school social worker Maira Zavala to navigate the complexity of sharing their personal stories.

“Sharing their stories is not easy. It’s hard for them to talk about,” said Zavala.

To assist the students, Zavala taught them mindfulness skills and engaged them in a community circle, where they interacted with each other, shared their immigration stories and made connections. She was also able to gain a better understanding of the students’ needs to provide support.

Through the grant, the project has now expanded to incorporate various artistic mediums. Art teachers Keegan Bishop and Regina Papile have been able to guide the students through expressive art activities that included the exploration of art materials and transforming the students’ stories into impressive pieces of artwork. For her part, Cote is engaging the students in charting their respective immigration journeys and crafting images that depict what they observed and felt on a hand-drawn floor to ceiling map. She is also photographing them with their art.

“I was moved from the first time Alexa told me about this project,” said Cote. “The passion she had for her students and the vulnerability it took for the students to write of their experiences was inspiring. As an artist, I know how powerful sharing the work is — both for the young artists and writers to be seen and heard, and the importance of having the community engage with it. I’m honored to be a part of it.”

Students indicated that the project is helping them to establish relationships with their peers and provided inspiration to explore art and writing.

The students’ stories, photographs, maps and images will all be incorporated into a display in their school.

Date Added: 3/23/2023

Therapy dog brings smiles to students at Hampton Bays Elementary

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After bringing the Love on a Leash therapy dog program to Hampton Bays Elementary School last school year, teacher Nicole Neroulas was further inspired to train her 4-year-old Aussiedoodle, Luna, to become part of the program and offer smiles to her students and others.

“I became friendly with the dog owners from Love on a Leash and told them I was interested in having my dog become a therapy dog,” said Neroulas. “Luna is super-friendly, loves people, and they love her.”

Neroulas began the process by enrolling Luna in an obedience training program, followed by six certified therapy dog training classes and 10 supervised visits through the Love on a Leash program. Luna completed her last supervised visit on March 20 while visiting Neroulas’ third grade class.

“Many of my students know of our journey, and I couldn’t wait for them to meet Luna,” said Neroulas. “I knew it was going to be an exciting day with lots of smiles.”

And it was. As Neroulas and Luna walked through the classroom door, the faces of the students lit up with excitement and each waited patiently for the opportunity to bond with Luna.

“It's amazing to see how Luna knows when it's a therapy visit and loves when people pet her and show her love,” said Neroulas.

Luna’s journey to becoming a therapy dog was made possible with the assistance of Heather Myers and her dog Sailor and Bob Lynch and his dog Ray, who have become staples at the elementary school, visiting classrooms every Monday.

Now that Luna is certified, Neroulas plans to volunteer at the many places Love on a Leash visits — and, of course, at Hampton Bays Elementary School from time to time.

Date Added: 3/22/2023

Sharing The Luck

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Hampton Bays Elementary School’s community service club, K-Kids, recently donated $500 to the Ronald McDonald House as part of a St. Patrick’s Day-themed fundraiser. To raise the funds, the students sold four-leaf clover necklaces during their lunch periods. The fundraiser is just one of several that the K-Kids have participated in this year. They also raised money for breast cancer and autism awareness.

Date Added: 3/21/2023