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Graduation & Spring Concert

Woodhull’s school community came together this June to celebrate the collective successes of its students in grades pre-K through sixth grade during a special graduation and year-end concert.

During the ceremony, each member of the sixth grade class was individually honored and commended for their achievements before being presented with commemorative moving-up certificates and tokens of appreciation. In addition to honoring those moving up to middle school, the district also honored the school’s youngest scholars who completed pre-K this June. Donning miniature graduation caps and gowns, the students received certificates of promotion and took the next step in their educational journey.

After an opening performance of the national anthem by second grader Catherine Philippe, the spring concert continued with performances by the concert band. The group played such pieces as the theme from “The Avengers” movies and Dvorak’s New World Symphony, which featured solos by each of the sixth grade students. Later, younger students sang together accompanied by the third graders on ukulele, and then the fourth and sixth grade joined as the whole school performed “The Teeny Tiny Boat” in English and Spanish. Olivia Asaro-Apsley, Cailee Couch and Ariel Vizcarrondo performed stirring solos, followed by a return of the concert band to perform Camila Cabello’s “Havana” with improvised solos. Finally, the whole school performed the song “Try Everything” from the movie “Zootopia,” which ended the concert on the familiar themes of perseverance, curiosity, kindness, optimism and enthusiasm.

Exploring NYC

Exploring NYC
The annual sixth grade trip to New York City did not disappoint, as Mrs. Donovan and her students enjoyed beautiful weather and a memorable performance of “Wicked” on Broadway. The students also visited Madame Tussaud’s wax museum while in the Times Square area. This was the first Broadway experience for some of the students and certainly provided countless memories for all.

Inspiring Fundraiser

Enterprising Woodhull first grader Lydon Cole put his skills to use for the greater good by donating half of the proceeds from his lemonade/seashell stand to an organization that rescues and rehabilitates marine life – an initiative sparked by a field trip to the Long Island Aquarium. With the help of his friend Kai Sitone, to date Lydon has sold $25 in lemonade and seashells, and he plans to continue the project throughout the summer.

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Field Day Fun

Field Day Fun photo
The rainy weather wasn’t enough to stop the Woodhull School from enjoying its annual field day, which was held in the gymnasium on Tuesday June 18. After taking time to digest a wonderful lunch provided to everyone by the school, students competed by grade, in groups, and with their parents, in various relay races, parachute activities, and a tug-of-war, in the event organized by Physical Education teacher Anna Kahler. This year the students and staff sported special Fire Island rainbow tie-dyed shirts produced with the help of art teacher Bianca Daidone and generously donated by the Fire Island PTA. After the games students enjoyed ice pops and fresh watermelon.

Becoming Civically Engaged at Woodhull

Becoming Civically Engaged at Woodhull
Earlier this spring, Superintendent of Schools Loretta Ferraro, teacher on special assignment Philip Tamberino and classroom teacher Shannon Rickard facilitated a student meeting on the topic of student councils. 

Students in second through sixth grade gathered during lunch and viewed a presentation by Mr. Tamberino, which addressed basic information about how a student council functions and why. The students then participated in a discussion with each other and ultimately voted by secret ballot on whether to form a student council at Woodhull. 

The near-unanimous vote in favor of forming a student council gave way to elections of class representatives in the ensuing days, with Catherine Philippe representing grade two, Ariel Vizcarrondo representing grades three and four, and Jerzi Swanson representing grade six. The newly elected representatives have since met for an orientation with Mr. Tamberino, who is serving as the faculty adviser, and they are working on establishing bylaws for the organization as well as identifying areas for improvement within the school.

Art Show

Art Show

Parents, staff, and students enjoyed a spectacular showing of students artwork from throughout the year at Woodhull’s annual Art Show.

Art teacher Ms. Bianca Daidone had each class’ work mounted and labeled for display throughout the gymnasium, and parents were invited in to tour the display in the afternoon. Works in various media and inspired by the styles from abstract expressionism to pop art adorned the room, including self-portraits where students showcased their uniqueness. The work remained on display the following day for community members who visited the school to vote on the annual budget.

Teacher Honored by Senator

Teacher Honored by Senator photo
Woodhull Elementary School teacher Shannon Rickard was honored by New York State Sen. Phil Boyle as a Teacher of Excellence in a ceremony held at the North Babylon Fire Department this May.

Ms. Rickard, who currently teaches grades 3 and 4, has taught in Fire Island since 2012 and was praised by Superintendent Loretta Ferraro for her dedication, rigor and advocacy for students. “At any time of the day, when you enter her classroom, you find her students cognitively engaged in meaningful work,” Ms. Ferraro said.

Sen. Boyle has honored teachers annually from the school districts within New York’s 4th Senate District since 2016. Fire Island teacher Jeanene Crawson was also honored with the award in 2017.

Young Inventors Recognized

Young Inventors Recognized photo
Woodhull Elementary School’s early elementary class teacher Karen McNulty has provided invention opportunities in her classroom each year for many years and, this year, she partnered with Eastern Suffolk BOCES technology integration specialist Deborah Gerken to give students the opportunity for their inventions to be recognized in the Spark!Lab InBae Yoon Invent It Challenge.
To participate in the contest, which is run by the Smithsonian Institution and Cricket Media, students had to create an invention that will improve the lives of aging adults. To begin the invention process the students first had to imagine, with empathy, the challenges older adults face. They identified a walking cane as an invention on which they could improve and then used their science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills to sketch, revise, prototype and eventually create the finished product: an all-weather walking cane with GPS, interchangeable handles, quick-release for height adjustment, an extra support for getting up out of a chair, and on-board lighting for seeing in the dark.

Contest entries were judged according to how well the invention lived up to the contest’s theme and also how faithfully the inventors followed the process guidelines. Mrs. McNulty and Mrs. Gerken used video to document the various stages of the invention process and ultimately submitted a 30-minute piece on the invention of “The Cane That Can,” which now appears on the contest website alongside other winners and honorable mention entries.

As a result of their work, the students’ group entry was one of five in its age division to receive honorable mention among the 235 total entries.

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