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Board of Education Holds Reorganization Meeting

Board of Education Holds Reorganization Meeting photo

The Board of Education welcomed a new trustee during the annual reorganization meeting on July 2 with District Clerk Kathryn Girolamo administering the oaths of office.

Gavi Hoffman was sworn in for a three year term as the newest trustee while Karen Brohm and Patricia Greaves took oaths for new terms. Mrs. Brohm was also elected president for the seventh straight year and Andrea Shinsato was voted as vice president for the third consecutive year. 

Notice of Special Business Meeting - July 24


Notice of Regular Business Meeting - August 20


A Rate of Excellence

A Rate of Excellence photo
The district was proud to announce a 97% graduation rate at West Hempstead High School for the Class of 2019. This represents an increase of five percent from last year.

“We are so proud of the Class of 2019 for raising the bar of excellence and expectations for future West Hempstead students,” said Principal James DeTommaso.

Many factors contributed to this accomplishment, including support from administration and the Board of Education to provide quality and targeted professional development for the faculty. Additionally, assistant principals Adam Hopkins and Michelle Maron helped to place students in appropriate courses to ensure a path to graduation. 

Increased instructional time was added to provide students with more one-on-one time with teachers. Office hour appointments, academic meetings and the motivation of the School Counseling Team helped lead to further success. English as a New Language support was also enhanced with the assigning of teacher caseloads as well as morning and roundtable meeting to acclimate students and specify their needs.

The entire district congratulates this year’s graduating class for this impressive feat and setting an example of success for classes to follow. 

West Hempstead Graduates Raise the Bar


 The district community gathered at the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of LIU Post to celebrate the 65th annual West Hempstead High School commencement on June 30.

Assistant Principal Adam Hopkins served as the master of ceremonies and opened the festivities by introducing the evening’s speakers after the seniors paraded down the aisles and onto the stage. The co-presidents of the senior class committee, Autumn Collins and Harpinder Kaur, delivered the farewell address directed towards their classmates.

“We all came together to turn gravel into strong, solid concrete - and for that I am forever grateful for the Class of 2019,” said Autumn. “Congrats graduates as for this is not the end but the start to a bright and better future.”

Salutatorian Isabella Caldwell and valedictorian Marisa Sheehan each thanked their families, friends, educators and peers for the past while looking ahead with excitement and opportunity. 

“The last four years have prepared us for this moment,” Marisa said to her classmates. “It’s up to you to decide what the next four will lead you to. Thinking about our future can be overwhelming but everyone here is capable of success.”

Superintendent of Schools Daniel Rehman and high school principal James DeTommaso shared the theme of congratulating the graduates, thanking the class for making an impact on the school and community, encouraging their dreams and expressing that they will always have a home at West Hempstead.

“I am extremely proud that many of you have met the challenge and raised the bar,” said Mr. DeTommaso. “Now that your post high school life is almost upon you, it is time for you to set the bar in the next phase of your life.”

Music teacher Nicole Blier led the chamber choir in a performance of the school’s alma mater followed by Pentatonix’s “Light in the Hallway” prior to the awarding of diplomas to the seniors. Mr. DeTommaso congratulated the graduates and officially presented the Class of 2019 to a standing ovation from the Board of Education, administration, staff as well as families and friends in attendance. 

“You will always be a Ram, you will always have a home here and if you ever need anything, all you need to do is ask,” Mr. Rehman told the graduates. 

A structure of movement

A structure of movement photo

The district celebrated a successful school year following the districtwide restructuring, as the Chestnut Street School, Cornwell Avenue Primary School, George Washington Intermediate School and the middle school recently celebrated moving up ceremonies.

District administrators and staff honored students as they took the next step in their educational path in the district. The principals shared their gratitude to the students and families that helped to make the transition of restructuring a success for each building.

The district congratulates each moving up class for their achievements thus far and looks forward to the positive impact the students will have on West Hempstead.

Pre Prom 2019

A Celebration of Literacy Growth and Achievement

A Celebration of Literacy Growth and Achievement photo

Julie Healey’s English 7 class at the middle school earned a celebratory pizza party on June 19 after winning a recent Achieve 3000 Read to Succeed contest.

The contest was a school-wide 30-day race to accelerate and motivate literacy growth. Ms. Healey’s class completed the most activities with a 75% or better correction rate in the school to earn the pizza party.

Achieve 3000 representative Robert Marantz sponsored the pizza party by visiting and congratulating the class with achievement certificates. Principal Sean Murray also applauded the students for their success.

“Congratulations to Ms. Healey and students on their accomplishment of building outstanding literacy growth in the classroom,” said Mr. Murray.

Middle School Moving Up 2019

2019 Moving Up Ceremony Video

A Toast to Merit in West Hempstead


The district celebrated excellence, achievement and tenure during the annual Tenure Tea and final Board of Education meeting of the school year on June 18.

The annual Tenure Tea recognized tenure recipients, district retirees and employees with 20 years of the service in the district. Board of Education members and administrators congratulated all of the honorees for their dedication to West Hempstead.

The staff members honored for tenure were Jennifer Brickman, Sheila Dempsey, Nicholas DiBenedetto, Carol Gordon, Michelle Lambo-Maron, Jaclyn Kaszubski, Dr. Erica Kozakis, Nicholas Maggio and Madeline Valencia.

The district’s retirees who were celebrated include Barbara Hafner, Mary Durham, Derrick Fore and Deborah Wyner.

Those employees recognized for 20 years of service to the district include Jaclyn Adrejko, Edward Cosgrov, Virginia Fagan Pusater, Joanne Gallipoli, Kathryn Girolamo, Julie Levitt, Cari Lubliner, Paul Selhorn, Michele Stoll, Nancy Sulliva and Danny Walter.

The festivities continued at the Board of Education meeting as a pair of varsity athletic teams and a stand-out senior were celebrated. 

Neven Vaduthala was spotlighted for earning the Biliteracy Seal from the New York State Board of Regents for his upcoming diploma. He was also recognized for being a recipient of the 2019 Good Deed Award for Long Island Teenagers. Presented by the National Committee for the Furtherance of Jewish Education of Nassau County, the distinction honors teenagers who are thoughtful, helpful, charitable, kindhearted, supportive, community minded and positive.

Director of Physical Education, Health and Athletics Chris Mistretta honored a pair of spring varsity teams for outstanding seasons. The varsity softball team won 16 straight games during the season towards a 16-0 conference record, a conference regular season championship and an overall 16-2 mark that included a berth in the Nassau County Class A playoffs. The varsity girls’ badminton team was also acknowledged for qualifying for the Nassau County playoffs following a 9-1 conference record.

The district congratulates all of those celebrated at the Tenure Tea and Board of Education meeting for demonstrating Ram Pride.


Chesnut Street Moving Up 2019

George Washington Moving Up 2019

Cornwell Avenue Moving Up 2019

Education Growing from STEM

Education Growing from STEM photo

The George Washington School hosted its inaugural STEM Education Day for fourth graders on June 17.

The day was scheduled to help introduce various STEM activities to the fourth grade students as they prepare for similar lessons going into fifth grade and beyond. Constructed with the help of Director of STEM Joseph Cangemi, Director of Innovation, Music and Art Ryan Emmanuel-Cooke and STELLAR teacher Dara Perlow, the day provided students with opportunities to participate in a dissection, ice cream making, mathematical board games, coding and robotics throughout the day.

The district thanks the staff members at George Washington for introducing engaging and interesting STEM lessons that fourth graders can look forward to as they progress through West Hempstead schools.

2019 Middle School Orientation

SCOPE Education Services 2019-2020


A Special Tour

A Special Tour

Kindergarten students from the Chestnut Street School visited Cornwell Avenue School on June 12 to become familiar with their future school building.

Cornwell Avenue Principal Deanna Sinito welcomed students before inviting first grade teachers and students to speak about expectations for the 2019-20 school year. Students described their favorite subjects, activities and traditions at Cornwell Avenue. Teachers spoke about the schedule for next year’s first graders in addition to the fun and learning that will occur.

Third graders acted as tour guides for the kindergarten students by showing them various areas of the building including the nurse’s office, gymnasium and main office. Upcoming first graders also had the opportunity to view their future classrooms in addition to meeting teachers and building staff throughout their walk.

The district thanks all of Cornwell for welcoming Chestnut Street students for this important step in becoming first graders next fall.

2019 Underclassmen Awards

Shining the Light on Seniors


West Hempstead High School honored the accomplishments and achievements of the Class of 2019 during the annual Seniors Awards Assembly on June 10.

Families, administrators and community members gathered to celebrate this year’s seniors as they received various scholarships, awards and certificates for leadership, character, academics and community service. Additionally, valedictorian Marisa Sheehan and salutatorian Isabella Caldwell were formally acknowledged. 

The district congratulates the seniors and their families for representing the best of West Hempstead. 

Team Work in Athletics and Academics

Team Work in Athletics and Academics

The high school athletic department was pleased to recently announce that 15 of the school’s 24 varsity teams were honored as scholar athlete teams in the 2018-19 school year.

In order to achieve this distinction, 75 percent of the roster must earn a grade point average of 90 percent or better. In total, 196 student athletes were named scholar athletes throughout the athletic department. The girls’ varsity teams honored were soccer, tennis, cross country, volleyball, swimming, bowling, winter track, winter cheerleading, softball and badminton. The boys’ scholar athlete teams were cross country, volleyball, bowling, basketball and tennis.

The district congratulates the players, coaches, staff and administration members that helped these teams succeed in the classroom and in competition.


Carrying Generational Lessons

Carrying Generational Lessons

On June 4, the George Washington School welcomed Holocaust survivor Werner Reich for a presentation about his journey and lessons that can still be learned from the Holocaust.

The German native described his family’s move to Yugoslavia in 1933 as the Nazis came into power. In 1943, he was jailed for seven weeks after being arrested by the Gestapo before later being sent to camps in Theresienstadt and Auschwitz I and II.

Reich ended up in Mauthausen, Austria following a seven-day death march in January 1945 and returned to Yugoslavia before escaping to England in 1955. He married his wife and they later immigrated to the United States together, where Reich became an engineer. The couple has two children and four grandchildren.

Reich is a founding member of the Long Island Multi-Faith Forum and is a frequent speaker. His speeches include progressive lessons on bullying and how Holocaust experience can be used as an educational lesson.

“Thank you to Mr. Reich for visiting our district to establish the valuable lessons he has learned through his life,” said Director of Innovative Education Ryan Emmanuel-Cooke. 

West Hempstead Welcomes ENL Jericho educators

West Hempstead Welcomes ENL Jericho educators

The district welcomed Jericho School District teachers on June 5 to showcase the content and pedagogy of the English as a New Language program in West Hempstead High School.

Director of ENL Faith Tripp welcomed Jericho High School ENL teacher Tina Keeling and Jericho Middle School ELA teacher Jennifer Han to view the various ENL classes the high school offers students. The educators observed coteaching classes as well as Stand Alone ENL, Sheltered English and content support classes.

In addition to visiting classrooms, Ms. Keeling and Ms. Han were able to compare ideas, ask questions and have discussions with Ms. Tripp, Superintendent of Schools Daniel Rehman, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dina Reilly, high school principal James DeTommaso and members of the ENL team. The group shared strategies that best support the academic and social-emotional learning needs of English Language Learners.

“We hope that Ms. Keeling and Ms. Han enjoyed their visit to West Hempstead and are able to bring some ideas back to Jericho,” said Ms. Tripp.


2019 Senior Yearbook Breakfast

Re-Registration for All Incoming 4th, 7th and 9th Grade Students


Families Generating STEAM

Families Generating STEAM

West Hempstead Middle School welcomed district students and families for the annual Family STEAM Night on May 30.

The evening was filled with a variety of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics activities for the entire family to participate in. Organized by Director of STEM Joseph Cangemi and high school students enrolled in Advanced Placement science courses, attendees had the opportunity to create slime, watch dissections of pigs, play math games, conduct gravity testing, test the power of the sun and more. 

“Thank you to all the students and staff who participated in Family STEAM Night,” said Superintendent of Schools Dan Rehman. “The district is thrilled to be able to offer a night for district families to explore areas of STEAM.”

Celebrating Progress

Celebrating Progress photo

Students in the high school and middle school’s English as a New Language program came together for the annual international luncheon on May 30 to celebrate progress, achievement and challenges that were overcome during the past year.

High school and middle school students gathered in the high school’s gymnasium to enjoy a buffet of native dishes brought in by their peers and teachers. Pictures and posters from the past year also covered the wall to showcase the progress of the program. Students and teachers reflected on the accomplishments of the past several months and looked forward to the future with excitement.

The district thanks ENL Director Faith Tripp and the entire staff for their dedication and hard work to the students and ENL program.

Instrumental Lesson

Instrumental Lesson photo

The West Hempstead High School String Ensemble and Concert Band visited Cornwell Avenue School on May 30 to demonstrate the various instruments that musicians play.

High school students showcased instruments such as the bass, violin and drums to the Cornwell students. The high schoolers also spoke about when they started to learn to play, the time they take to practice and the events they perform at during the school year.

“We hope the younger students’ interest in instruments will be sparked thanks to this visit from the high school musicians,” said Director of Innovative Education Opportunities and Fine Arts Ryan Emmanuel-Cooke. 

Mining at Sterling Hill

Mining at Sterling Hill photo
Mining at Sterling Hill photo 2
Mining at Sterling Hill photo 3
West Hempstead High School Earth Science students visited Sterling Hill Mine on April 16 to learn about florescent minerals and the formation of mines. They had the opportunity to mine caves and also saw first-hand how man-made mines differ from naturally formed caves.

Acting in the Wind

Acting in the Wind
West Hempstead Middle School eighth grade Living Environment Honors classes recently read the Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee written play, “Inherit the Wind,” and participated in many activities as part of an introduction to the evolution topic.

Students participated in activities that educated the class on the Scopes Monkey Trial as a landmark court case that debated the morality of teaching evolution in a public science classroom. The students not only read the play, they also acted out some of the scenes that helped to demonstrate the many science concepts related to evolution embedded in the play.

“This lesson helped to give students a wonderful opportunity to learn firsthand how science education has changed in the United States over the years,” said Director of STEM Joseph Cangemi.

Restructuring Survey

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Brightening Visitors

Brightening Visitors photo
Brightening Visitors photo 2
Brightening Visitors photo 3
Brightening Visitors photo 4
West Hempstead Middle School special education science teacher Louis DeVivo has helped to brighten students’ days during the school year by bringing in ducklings and chinchillas for students to visit.

When in the building, many students make their way to Mr. DeVivo’s classroom throughout the day to feed and hold the special guests.

All That Chemistry

All That Chemistry photo
All That Chemistry photo 2
All That Chemistry photo 3
West Hempstead High School science students were fortunate to take the stage and participate in activities at the off-Broadway show, “That Chemistry Show,” on March 12. The production is an interactive event that showcases chemistry-based phenomenon in an animated way.

Collaborating with North Carolina educators

Collaborating with North Carolina educators

The district welcomed Molloy College professors Dr. Andrea Honigsfeld and Dr. Maria Dove along with a group of educators from the Wake County Public School System in North Carolina on May 23. The visit provided the educators with an opportunity to observe a co-teaching classroom at Cornwell Avenue School.

Hosted by Cornwell Avenue Principal Deanna Sinito, Chestnut Street School Principal and English as a New Language Director Faith Tripp and Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dina Reilly, Dr. Honigsfeld, Dr. Dove and the Wake County educators observed a second grade class. Teachers Gina Silecchia and Jennifer Corrado demonstrated a lesson on Memorial Day through station teaching as students described the who, why and what of celebrating the holiday. 

Station teaching is an example and efficient way of teachers working with smaller groups to complete tasks. Both educators hold equally important roles in order to create an inclusive classroom. The two teachers share the responsibilities of planning, instructing and assessing their students.

Dr. Honigsfeld and Dr. Dove helped to create the partnership between West Hempstead and Wake County as they continue their research focused on coteaching, teacher collaboration and ENL strategies. The district has been featured by the two professors and authors in recent publications such as “Co-Teaching for English Learners” and “Collaborating for English Learners.”

Holding Delegations

Holding Delegations photo

West Hempstead High School students welcomed peers from H. Frank Carey High School for the Model United Nations mock delegations on May 23.

Students debated the topic of the refugee situation as it applies to the European Union. Acting as delegates from countries such as France, the United Kingdom, the United States, China, Greece, Germany, Russia, Italy, Czech Republic and Poland, students delivered speeches in addition to drafting resolutions and offering solutions.

The entire session was student-run as seniors acted as moderators to keep on schedule and hold order during speeches and caucuses. The day ended with a closing of the conference and the presentation of awards to participants.

The Model UN of West Hempstead thanks their counterparts from Carey for taking part in this year’s delegations.

Future Focus

Future Focus

An emphasis on future plans was the theme for the district on May 22 when the high school and middle school hosted alumni, local universities and organizations for Alumni Day and the Career and College Fair.

The high school celebrated Annual Alumni Day by welcoming back recent graduates for a workshop with the senior class. The alumni spoke to the soon-to-be graduates about college life including scheduling, dorm life, selecting a major, time management and other aspects of going to college. 

The addition of the Career and College Fair this year allowed students at the middle school and high school to speak to representatives from higher institutions such as Farmingdale State College, Molloy College, LIU Post, Johnson and Wales University and Nassau Community College. Local organizations such as the Long Island Nets, the West Hempstead Public Library and Winthrop Hospital were also on hand to offer potential career paths.

The district thanks all of the alumni, colleges and working professionals for sharing advice and encouragement to students as they prepare for the future.

WHUFSD Photo Gallery

HS Graduation