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Curriculum Fair Path to Success

Curriculum Fair Path to Success photo

West Hempstead High School welcomed students in grade 8-11 along with their parents for a Curriculum Fair on Jan. 17. This event served as an opportunity to view course offerings and requirements for graduation and paths beyond high school.

Those in attendance were detailed to information on new courses, the registration process, college and career pathways, electives, AP requirements and graduation requirements. Also in attendance were 35 high school student volunteers that were willing to share details about the classes they enrolled in during their high school careers.

Assistant Principal Adam Hopkins delivered a comprehensive presentation in the auditorium regarding the curriculum offered throughout the district and high school. District alumni Chris Mistretta, son of Director of Physical Education, Health and Athletics Christopher Mistretta, was the evening’s guest speaker and shared his perspective on the importance of AP and college level courses.

“The Curriculum Fair had an encouraging turn out as students and parents are laying the groundwork for paths at West Hempstead High School and beyond,” said Principal James DeTommaso.

Students shine at science expo

Students shine at science expo photo

Students from the middle school and high school participated in the district’s Science Expo on Jan. 10, showcasing projects they executed following research.

Through authentic research, students cultivated a topic of interest and tested it using the scientific method. They used college-level databases to find articles related to their topic and become more knowledgeable in order to start the process of the scientific method. 

Students were initially judged by their science teachers in the classroom setting prior to the expo. Those deemed to have exceptional projects were judged for a second time during the science expo by another teacher in the school’s library, where projects were displayed.

Winners were announced during a ceremony at the end of the expo following the tallying of votes to determine first, second and third place in each category. Awards were granted to projects in science 7, science 8, earth science, living environment, chemistry and physics.

In addition to student awards, this year’s Joseph Harding Memorial Award was presented to West Hempstead Middle School teacher Dina Gould. The Harding Award is presented to a staff member who thoroughly supports their students through the process of researching and demonstrating scientific method.

The district congratulates Ms. Gould as well as all of the students that presented at this year’s expo!


Singing the Days Before Christmas

Singing the Days Before Christmas photo

The West Hempstead High School Chorus joined kindergarten students at Chestnut Street School on Dec. 21 to put a twist on the “Twelve Days of Christmas” during the Annual Holiday Assembly.

Members of the chorus organized 11 groups of kindergarten students to create new lyrics for each day in the Christmas song. The traditional “a partridge in a pear tree” remained “on the first day of Christmas” while the groups added unique versions for days two through the end. Among the unique changes was “on the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me, two large gifts.”

Following the activity, the chorus sang “Santa is Coming to Town” to introduce an appearance from Santa Claus. Superintendent of Schools Daniel Rehman was in charge of watching the reindeer while Santa passed out candy canes and greeted all in attendance. 

Mr. Rehman thanks Santa for stopping by Chestnut Street and to the chorus for establishing a festive mood.

Athletic Excellence Recognized

Athletic Excellence Recognized photo

At its Dec. 18 meeting, the West Hempstead Union Free School District’s Board of Education and administration honored seniors Isabella Caldwell and Ryell Walker for being selected as recipients of the Nassau Zone Outstanding Physical Education Students of the Year Award.

Sponsored by the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, this award recognizes one male and one female Nassau County high school senior from each school district who exemplify outstanding scholastic ability, physical education performance and leadership qualities. Isabella and Ryan are this year’s West Hempstead honorees, and the district congratulates them on this tremendous honor.

The Board of Education meeting also included a performance from the West Hempstead High School chorus. The ensemble provided entertainment by singing holiday classics.


Cards for a Wish

Cards for a Wish photo
The District recently took part in helping to grant the wish of a 14-year-old boy in Pennsylvania by creating holiday cards.

Class of 2018 graduate Lauren Faulds reached out to Superintendent of Schools Daniel Rehman to support Maddox Hyde. Maddox, an eighth-grader in Pittsburgh, has been battling neuroblastoma for the past eight years and his request this Christmas was to receive cards from all around the world.

Mr. Rehman asked all five school buildings in the district to support the cause by having each class to make cards for Maddox. On Dec. 14, Lauren collected the cards and drove to Pittsburgh to personally deliver them.

“Community is everything and helping someone out, even if it’s the littlest thing, is the greatest gift you can give,” said Lauren.

Hoops for SIBSPlace

Hoops for SIBSPlace photo

West Hempstead High School boys’ varsity basketball program held its annual “Hoops for Hope” charity game against Hewlett High School on Dec. 12. The team raised $800 to be donated to SIBSPlace.

SIBSPlace is a free program serving children between the ages of 5-17 that live with a sibling with cancer or another illness or a parent with cancer. An affiliate of South Nassau Communities Hospital, the program focuses the attention of the challenges well siblings face in coping with their emotional response to the medical diagnosis of a loved one.

The boys’ basketball program raised money through t-shirt ads, concession sales and donations while t-shirts were also sold at the game. Both teams were presented with certificates of appreciation from SIBSPlace representatives during the Dec. 12 game.

Dworsak Appointed Supervisor of School Facilities and Operations

Dworsak Appointed Supervisor of School Facilities and Operations photo
At a special business meeting on Dec. 4, the Board of Education appointed William Dworsak to the position of Supervisor of School Facilities and Operations.

Mr. Dworsak has served as the head custodian at the high school and middle school since August 2016. Prior to his time in West Hempstead, he held various custodial positions for the Oceanside, Island Trees and North Shore school districts. Mr. Dworsak possesses mechanical, electrical and plumbing knowledge and is very familiar with the buildings and grounds within the district. He is also a volunteer firefighter in Baldwin.

“We are excited to welcome Mr. Dworsak as the latest member of our administrative team,” said Superintendent of Schools Dan Rehman. “I look forward to working with him for many years ahead as part of our Ram Fam!”

West Hempstead SSAC Exchanges Ideas

West Hempstead SSAC Exchanges Ideas photo

Members of the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council had the opportunity to meet with district officials and architects to exchange ideas during the latest meeting on Dec. 6.

Superintendent of Schools Dan Rehman gathered the council, comprised of students from each building throughout the district, to sit down with district representatives to review proposed upgrades to the school buildings. Students had the opportunity to offer feedback and share comments and recommendations based on their experiences. The meeting served as a way for district officials and architects to consider the opinions of the students as building enhancements are discussed.

The SSAC ended this month’s session by reviewing what was discussed at their last session and brainstorming topics to discuss in the future. Students returned to their respective schools to report on the meeting and share ideas being discussed.


LIU Post Scholarship Awarded to Senior

LIU Post Scholarship Awarded to Senior photo
Senior Amanda Lashley has been honored as a recipient of the LIU Post Presidential Scholarship. She earned this distinction due in large part to her participation with the school’s Virtual Enterprise program. 

Amanda was afforded the opportunity to meet LIU Post’s Business School Dean, Ray Pullaro, during a presentation at West Hempstead. She also participated in a Leadership Conference at LIU Post this past fall that was designed to connect students who share entrepreneurial aspirations. The conference sessions included developing business concepts, elevator pitches and marketing materials.

Amanda serves as the vice president of accounting and human resources of the school’s Virtual Enterprise company, “At Your Service.” She also a member of the varsity volleyball, lacrosse and tracks teams as well as the National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society.

The district congratulates Amanda on this selection and wishes her luck during her decision process!

Field of Honor Generates Donation

Field of Honor Generates Donation photo

With the help of the local community in sponsoring American flags for a Field of Honor, West Hempstead High School was able to give a $915 charitable donation to the Lift and Shift Foundation on Dec. 4.

Throughout the month of November, members of the district and community were invited to sponsor an American flag that was planted in the Field of Honor outside the high school. The efforts produced a display of nearly 80 flags in addition to the monetary donation.

The Lift and Shift Foundation is a non-profit organization founded and run by American veterans that help to redirect wounded veterans following service. The foundation strives to provide access to hands-on activities in fields of science, technology and engineering. 

“We are thrilled with the results of the inaugural Field of Honor program,” said Principal James DeTommaso. “As a district and school, we are excited to give 100 percent of the profits to the Lift and Shift Foundation.”

Student athletes Net Nassau County Awards

Student athletes Net Nassau County Awards photo
A group of West Hempstead High School senior athletes were among the honorees at the Nassau County Girls Soccer Coaches Association dinner on Nov. 26 at the Crest Hollow Country Club. They received several distinctions as a result of their commitment to their sport as well as academics. 

Sydney Reitz collected the Conference AB 4 Goalkeeper of the Year award while Sabrina Rodrigues was named All-County. Shyla Burrell earned All-Conference honors, Ashley Obando was named All-Class and Catalina Fader received a Senior Scholar Athlete title.  

The district congratulates these seniors on their accomplishments and dedication on the field and in the classroom! 

STEM Connection With Alumni

STEM Connection With Alumni photo

With alumni home for Thanksgiving break, West Hempstead High School extended a welcome to recent graduates for a STEM Major Alumni Day panel and discussion on Nov. 21.

Current juniors and seniors were invited to sit in as alumni who are majoring in STEM related fields discussed their college experiences. The speakers ranged from Class of 2018 alumni to those in graduate school programs. 

A variety of campuses were represented, including St. John’s University, Johns Hopkins University, Binghamton University, Nassau Community College, Northeastern University, University at Albany and Stevens Institute of Technology. Additionally, students discussed an assortment of majors such as biology, marketing, graphic design, neuroscience, mathematics and engineering.

Topics covered included class registration, living on and/or off campus, the various lab requirements, switching majors, staying close to home and adjusting from high school to college.

The high school and the district thank the alumni for returning to West Hempstead and inspiring their younger peers as they take on the college decision processes. 

ENL Treated to Thanksgiving Dishes

ENL Treated to Thanksgiving Dishes photo

The English as a New Language Department hosted its annual Thanksgiving feast on Nov. 21, when middle and high school students joined together in the high school gymnasium. The festive luncheon serves as an opportunity for ENL students to experience the traditions of a holiday in the United States.

ENL staff members and students worked together to prepare traditional Thanksgiving dishes such as turkey, stuffing, potatoes and pies. Staff members served the food while students enjoyed conversation and interactions. On one half of the gym, a group of students engaged in a soccer game to help work up an appetite.

The district thanks the ENL staff including Director and Chestnut Street School Principal Faith Tripp as well as teachers Nicholas DiBenedetto, Lili Ferguson, Lisa McCarthy and Madeline Valencia for organizing and sharing the traditions of Thanksgiving with our ENL students.