Schools: STEM Night; Honors for Students, Teacher

Flower Hill Primary School staff hosted a STEM night for families last week  The goal was to encourage curiosity and ignite passion for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics learning. School district photo.

Northport’s Top Students

Emily Wickard and Luke Tuthill have been named valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, at Northport High School.

Wickard will be attending Northeastern University, where she will continue running track and plans to major in biochemistry. In addition to being a member of the Northport Varsity Cross Country and Track teams, she is also an accomplished science research student.

Tuthill is headed to Purdue University next year and will be majoring in computer science.

He is a member of the Northport High School Robotics team and enjoys participating in community-focused events led by the team.

“Both Emily and Luke are exceptional students who are terrific representations of
what it means to be a Northport High School Tiger,” said Principal Rob Dennis. “They are
well-rounded, have diverse interests and talents and are kind and considerate individuals. I have no doubt they will be successful at Northeastern and Purdue University in the fall.”
Both students will address their peers during the Class of 2024 commencement
ceremony in June.

Northport High School Principal Rob Dennis, Salutatorian Luke Tuthill, Valedictorian Emily Wickard, Assistant Principal Denise Keenan and counselor Louis Acconi.


Huntington Students Recognized

10 Huntington students were recognized with Student Leadership Awards by the Suffolk Zone of the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance. Honorees included J. Taylor Finley Middle School eighth graders Violet Palacios, Charles Rosselli, Isabella Rodriguez and Andrew Guandique; Woodhull Intermediate School sixth graders Joxhiel (Joe) Rodriguez, Charlotte Kindelmann, Lyla Crowley and Jaydon Hernandez Suazo; and Jack Abrams STEM Magnet School sixth graders Matteo Dasaro and Juliette Creegan.

Adapted Phys Ed Award

Walt Whitman High School physical education teacher Bonnie MacConnell has been recognized as Adapted PE Teacher of the Year (2023-2024) by the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Suffolk Zone.

The organization recognizes the outstanding contributions of physical education, health, dance and recreation teachers across Suffolk County each year.  MacConnell was recognized for her work in Adapted Physical Education, which provides specialized instruction to meet the needs of students with disabilities.

“It’s the same phys ed that everybody else gets,” MacConnell said. “We just have more modifications so we can meet everybody’s needs.  For instance, a student’s motor skills for being able to defend themselves when a ball is coming at them might be slower.  So we use different balls, different equipment, some that move slower, some that are softer. So if they can’t get their hands up or they can’t get their leg out in time, they can still enjoy it and have fun without the fear of getting hurt.”

 She helped develop and runs Whitman’s ALTO phys-ed class, along with Rory Sherman.  ALTO stands for All Learning Together as One.  It combines mainstream students with Life Skills students who require Adapted PE.  The South Huntington School District’s Life Skills program is for students with mild to severe intellectual and developmental disabilities, such as Down Syndrome and autism, and/or physical disabilities.

 MacConnell has been a physical education and health teacher in the South Huntington district since 2004.

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