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December Athletes of the Month

Whitman Principal Mr. John Murphy congratulates Aniyah and Joe for earning Athlete of the Month for December.  thumbnail161536
Whitman Principal Mr. John Murphy congratulates Aniyah and Joe for earning Athlete of the Month for December.

Congratulations to Aniyah Walters on earning Athlete of the Month for December! Aniyah is captain of the Girl’s Varsity Track Team this winter as a junior and has been running track since the 7th grade. Aniyah competes in the hurdles, triple jump, and 4x200 meter relay, and has had a number of personal bests this season so far. She ran an 8.31 in the hurdles at the Ocean Breeze Holiday Festival in Staten Island and her 4x200m team ran a 1:45.52 at the Zeitler Relays at Suffolk Community College, just missing the national qualifying time of 1:42.80. This year, she holds first place in League II for the 55 meter hurdles and is ranked top 3 in the state. Aniyah is looking forward to the States meet in February and for the opportunity to move up in the rankings. As a junior, she is looking to run track at a Division I university, with major interest in LSU, Texas A&M, and Alabama State.

Congratulations to Joe Feola on earning Athlete of the Month for December! Joe is a senior wrestler who has been captain of Whitman’s wrestling team since his sophomore year. Joe has been wrestling since he was 3-years-old at a youth wrestling program through the South Huntington School District and would like to continue to wrestle post graduation. This season, Joe has been no stranger to the podium as he won 1st place in his 152lb weight class at the Andrew Peers Tournament and at Half Hallow Hills East. As the season continues, he has hopes to see the team move up in the rankings and has faith that they can take 3rd in the league. While Joe considers prospective colleges with potential wrestling programs, he is most interested in joining the ROTC and has looked at schools such as Virginia Tech and The Citadel Military College of South Carolina where he can enroll in their training program.

Congratulations Aniyah and Joe for this recognition and for an impressive winter season thus far!

Whitman Hosts NDA Regional Championships

Congratulations to the Stimson Dance Team on taking 1st place in the Junior High ‘Pom’ division! thumbnail161638
Congratulations to the Stimson Dance Team on taking 1st place in the Junior High ‘Pom’ division!
The Middle School Dance Team was full of energy as they were ready to hit the floor for their first routine of the day.  thumbnail161639
The Middle School Dance Team was full of energy as they were ready to hit the floor for their first routine of the day.
This annual event, sponsored by Mathnasium and Huntington Honda, has become a signature showcase for our district as we host schools from across the metro NY area. Our Middle School Lady Wildcats shown here performed their beautiful ‘Jazz’ routine.  thumbnail161642
This annual event, sponsored by Mathnasium and Huntington Honda, has become a signature showcase for our district as we host schools from across the metro NY area. Our Middle School Lady Wildcats shown here performed their beautiful ‘Jazz’ routine.
Whitman’s Dance Team made perfect hosts for the NDA Regional Championships for the 5th year in a row.  thumbnail161643
Whitman’s Dance Team made perfect hosts for the NDA Regional Championships for the 5th year in a row.
Both of Whitman’s ‘Game Day’ (shown here) and ‘Varsity Kick’ routines won them 3rd place. thumbnail161644
Both of Whitman’s ‘Game Day’ (shown here) and ‘Varsity Kick’ routines won them 3rd place.
The day of competition ended with stellar ‘Hip-Hop’ performances.  thumbnail161645
The day of competition ended with stellar ‘Hip-Hop’ performances.
Getting everything just right requires a tremendous amount of work, and our team and their coaches are very thankful for the support of the Dance Team Parents. thumbnail161646
Getting everything just right requires a tremendous amount of work, and our team and their coaches are very thankful for the support of the Dance Team Parents.

On Saturday, January 18, Walt Whitman High School hosted the National Dance Alliance (NDA) Whitman Winter East Coast Regional Dance Championships. Hosting the highly anticipated event for their fifth straight year, hundreds of spectators came out to support their teams. In addition to Whitman, there were numerous Long Island and Regional schools represented, including Bartram Trail High School’s Dance Team from St. Johns, Florida. Our Whitman team, under the direction of Ms. Kiva Boozer, did not disappoint the home crowd by placing in all of the divisions they competed in. Congratulations on placing 3rd in the ‘Game Day’ and ‘Varsity Kick’ divisions and 5th in 'Hip-Hop!'

Our Dance Team at Stimson also competed with the team placing 1st in the Middle School ‘Pom’ division!

All of our talented students performed with distinction, adding a special touch of athletic and artistic class to our school community. We also join in thanking the numerous Dance Team parents who labored tirelessly throughout the weekend to bring the prestigious competition to our schools. Of course, our South Huntington family offers special praise and gratitude to Jeff Hindla of Huntington Honda and Rupi and Tony Parmar of Huntington Mathnasium for their contributions in funding the show. We are so very fortunate to have partners like Huntington Honda and Huntington Mathnasium who genuinely care about the quality of our schools.

Congratulations to the entire Whitman Dance Team: Addie Balogun, Ashley Di Bartolomeo, McKayla Charles, Mia Coll*, Julia Dong, Bethany Ilnitzki**, Alessia Maffei, Meghan Murray, Chloe Murphy, Daniella Padinha*, Alexia Rivera, Luisa Valencia, and Ashley Winch.

Congratulations also to the Stimson Middle School Dance Team: Georgette Athanassiou, Reanna Bailey, Tessa Binsol, Scarlett Bolanos, Abby Brosnan, Mikaila Cortes, Emmaleigh Goldfarb, Sage LoPalo, Allie Lynde, Giuliana McGuigan, Isabelle Minero, Morgan O'Donoghue, Anna Sabellico, Molly Scavo, Jayda Smith, and Nina Thomas.

*Captain
**Manager

Whitman and Stimson Dance Photo Gallery
All other Dance Teams Photo Gallery

Warm Performances at Winter Concerts

The Birchwood Orchestra played “First Scale March” and “Ode To Joy” that brought the feelings of the holidays full circle.  thumbnail161783
The Birchwood Orchestra played “First Scale March” and “Ode To Joy” that brought the feelings of the holidays full circle.
This 5th grader helped the Birchwood Band warm up before their debut. thumbnail161784
This 5th grader helped the Birchwood Band warm up before their debut.
Birchwood Principal Darth Vader and Assistant Principal Storm Trooper made a special appearance as the 5th grade band played theme music from Star Wars.  thumbnail161785
Birchwood Principal Darth Vader and Assistant Principal Storm Trooper made a special appearance as the 5th grade band played theme music from Star Wars.
 A lively and interactive performance of “Hey! Ba-Ba-Re-Bop” had the 5th grade Chorus, and the audience, singing all the way home.  thumbnail161786
A lively and interactive performance of “Hey! Ba-Ba-Re-Bop” had the 5th grade Chorus, and the audience, singing all the way home.
Maplewood students sang proudly with the help of chorus teacher Ms. Melillo. thumbnail161787
Maplewood students sang proudly with the help of chorus teacher Ms. Melillo.
The stage in Whitman’s PAC was packed with young talented musicians.  thumbnail161788
The stage in Whitman’s PAC was packed with young talented musicians.
Conductor Ms. Weiss guided her orchestra students from Maplewood and Birchwood on both concert nights.  thumbnail161789
Conductor Ms. Weiss guided her orchestra students from Maplewood and Birchwood on both concert nights.

After a very busy holiday season, students at Maplewood and Birchwood had the chance to show off their musical talents they’ve been fine-tuning since the beginning of the school year. Parents and families were treated to two special evenings in which each school took the stage in Whitman’s Performing Arts Center to share holiday songs they’ve been practicing for months. The seats were packed with impressed parents and proud teachers who were happy to see the students’ hard work come to fruition. With another holiday in the books, our intermediate school students helped bring the season to a close in the most delightful way.

Thank you to our music teachers Ms. Sarah Weiss, Dr. Paul Kosak, Ms. Janet Holly, Ms. Melillo, and Ms. Brasch for your commitment in helping our students excel early on within the South Huntington music program.

Maplewood Photo Gallery

Birchwood Photo Gallery

Super Sophomore Selected to Compete in Iceland

Gianna will compete in the 400m and 4x200m relay at the Reykjavik International Games in Reykjavik, Iceland. thumbnail161461
Gianna will compete in the 400m and 4x200m relay at the Reykjavik International Games in Reykjavik, Iceland.

We are thrilled to share that sophomore Gianna Paul is one of 12 High School athletes across the country invited by the National Scholastic Athletic Foundation (NSAF) to compete in the Reykjavik International Games in Reykjavik, Iceland on Sunday, February 2nd. Gianna was selected to compete on Team NSAF based on a number of factors, the most important of which is her potential to represent the United States in the future. Gianna will compete in the 400m, as well as the 4 x 200m relay. She will be accompanied by her parents, and the Whitman Girls Track Coach, Rufus Shepard. This is a great accomplishment for Gianna, her family, and the South Huntington academic and athletic programs.

Gianna’s personal records include 54.85 in the 400m, 25.07 in the 200m, 39.63 in the 300m, and 18’5” in Long Jump. Paul’s fast start to her current indoor season includes 300m runner-up with a 39.99 finish at Bishop Loughlin. Her 400m PR came at a great time of 54.85 that won her the NY State and Federation Championship last June. Gianna followed that with 55.93 (3rd in the Nation- 9th grade level) and scored her big 18’5” Long Jump at Long Island Elite Meet.

We wish Gianna the best of luck as she competes in Iceland. Go Wildcats!

Vaping Prevention at Silas Wood

Over 70% of young adults believe e-cigarettes cause no or only moderate harm.  thumbnail144026
Over 70% of young adults believe e-cigarettes cause no or only moderate harm.
A simple breathing exercise was shared with students that can help to refocus and stay centered: inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 2, exhale for 6 seconds and repeat at least 3 times.  thumbnail144027
A simple breathing exercise was shared with students that can help to refocus and stay centered: inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 2, exhale for 6 seconds and repeat at least 3 times.
Students volunteered to demonstrate how energy travels through one another, similar to a closed circuit.  thumbnail144028
Students volunteered to demonstrate how energy travels through one another, similar to a closed circuit.

With a rise in E-Cigarette use among younger generations, Silas Wood decided to take preventative measures. Recently, advocates against the underage use of electronic cigarettes came in to speak with our sixth-graders about the risks of using unregulated substances. Prior to 2016, the sales, marketing and manufacturing of e-cigarettes were not regulated by the FDA. It was found that marketing for these products target younger generations by advertising a variety of flavors that are appealing to kids. E-cigarettes are now the most popular tobacco product on the market and surpassed traditional cigarettes as teens’ preferred tobacco product in 2014. With the increased use, it is important to understand the facts and risks of this new trend. E-cigarettes are devices that allow users to inhale vapor containing nicotine or other substances. They are generally battery-operated and use a heating element to heat e-liquid from a refillable cartridge, releasing a chemical-filled aerosol. As of August 2018, e-cigarette companies are allowed 2 years to comply with FDA evaluations from 2016. The nearly 500 brands and 7,700 flavors of e-cigarettes will remain on the market before FDA is able to fully evaluate them. Until their evaluation is done, there are very few ways for anyone other than the manufacturers to know what chemicals are contained in e-liquid, or how e-cigarette use might affect health, whether in the short term or long term.

As an alternative, representatives from Drug Free Long Island offered mindfulness techniques to steer students in a healthier direction. Students at Silas Wood learned how mindfulness and other healthy coping mechanisms can be used to aid in a range of symptoms including ADHD, anxiety, depression, and stress, symptoms that often lead to using and abusing drugs and alcohol. By becoming aware and practicing healthy coping skills such as exercising, relaxation, and creative self-expression, it lessons the likelihood for teens and young adults to turn to chemical substances for relief.

Thank you to the Huntington Drug and Alcohol Counseling Center for providing this information to our students and to the Drug Free Long Island group for sharing healthy coping skills and alternatives for our students managing stress.