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2019 Tenure Tea and June Board Meeting

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. 

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

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.

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.

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.

Award Winning Presence at Long Island Science Congress

Award Winning Presence at Long Island Science Congress photo
Award Winning Presence at Long Island Science Congress photo 2
The district was represented by students from the middle school and high school at the Long Island Science Congress on April 9 and 10. A total of 14 West Hempstead students earned awards for their presentations.

High school students Jordan DeJesus and Jaci Gillen were each presented with the Achievement Award for their projects in the Senior Division. Raees Bacchus, Barrett Schenk, Nicholas Solar and Sophia Varone all earned Honorable Mention Awards.

Middle school student Ariana DeJesus garnered the Achievement Award for the Junior Division while Lauren Ford and Grace Leppard were each presented with the Meritorious Award. Xharlize Avila, Christina Gabayan, Xavi Galdamez-Febus and Matthew Watterson all earned Honorable Mention accolades.

“Our students performed very well and should be proud of their accomplishment,” said Director of STEM Joseph Cangemi.

2019 Art Show

Spring College and Career Day

A First for Biliteracy in West Hempstead

A First for Biliteracy in West Hempstead
Senior Neven Vaduthala will become the first graduate in school history to have the New York State Seal of Biliteracy included in his diploma.

The State Seal of Biliteracy was signed into law in 2012 and was established to recognize high school graduates who have attained high levels of proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing in one or more languages, in addition to English.

Neven completed steps that were required in order to earn this honor. He wrote an essay on the history of social equality in America in both English and Spanish, inspired by the book “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Márquez.

“I really learned a lot about myself as I went through this application process for the Seal of Biliteracy,” said Neven. “It was beneficial in doing some self-reflecting as a student in addition to a great highlight on my resume.” 
Following submission of both his essays, Neven went through an interview process in which he discussed the impact of English and Spanish in his life as he has been studying Spanish since seventh grade. Following the interview round, he was notified of his selection as the first West Hempstead student to earn this high honor. 

“Neven is a trailblazer for future West Hempstead students that can speak and write in two or more languages,” said Principal James DeTommaso. “He sets the bar and inspiration for graduates in years to come to also apply for this tremendous honor.”

The district congratulates Neven on being bestowed the Seal of Biliteracy and wishes him luck as he enrolls at Northwestern University this fall.

Bowling Over Knowledge

Bowling Over Knowledge photo

Teams of students at West Hempstead High School put their wide array of knowledge to the test during the school’s Quiz Bowl competition on May 3.

Groups competed against one another throughout the day in various locations of the high school and answered questions on topics ranging from pop culture to academics. Student volunteers coordinated the head-to-head games by asking the questions and keeping score.

The team “Super Neighbors,” comprised of Katelyn La Rosa, Kelley LaRosa, Joseph Tudisco and Victoria Tudisco, defeated “Delta Mind” to take on a team of teachers in the final round. Teachers Ariana Casa, Michele DiRico, Jared Kufta and Julie Weiss earned the title of Quiz Bowl Champions by winning the final game.

“Thank you to everyone that volunteered and participated in this year’s Quiz Bowl,” said teacher Jacqueline Lawson. “Congratulations to the teacher team for winning!”

A Period of Opportunity

A Period of Opportunity
The West Hempstead Union Free School District’s secondary schools will be reinstating the nine-period school day schedule starting in 2019-20, as announced at a Board of Education meeting on May 7.

Earlier this year, the Board of Education and Superintendent of Schools Daniel Rehman discussed their goal to bring back the nine-period schedule as a way to expand learning opportunities for students. This change has no impact on the budget. 

“We look forward to this wonderful opportunity for our students and thank all of those involved,” said Board of Education President Karen Brohm.

2019 High School Top 25 Dinner

Connecting Countries Virtually

Connecting Countries Virtually photo

West Hempstead High School welcomed 20 students from Bruchsal, Germany, to experience a day in the life of a student in the United States. The recent gathering, held on April 15, marked the fifth consecutive year of this partnership.

The guests were visiting New York to participate in the Virtual Enterprise Youth Business Summit at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, also attended by West Hempstead students, on April 17. During their time in West Hempstead, the German students were given a tour of the high school and treated to a New York style lunch that included pizza and local desserts. They were intrigued by the school’s gym classes, clubs and cafeteria as their buildings back home do not have those elements.

Each group of students also shared and presented information on their VE firms and compared similarities and differences in strategies and methods. The guests also showcased information about their hometown, school system and education.

“We hope the students from Bruchsal enjoyed their visit as much as we enjoyed welcoming them to West Hempstead,” said business teacher Michael Silberman.