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Walter G. O'Connell Copiague High School

 

1100 Dixon Avenue
Copiague, New York 11726
(631) 842-4010
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Principal:
Joseph M. Agosta
Assistant Principals: Tamika Eason, Jonathan Cutolo, Bradley Reminick, Francis Salazar

 

Hours: 7:40 a.m. to 2:23 p.m.
Students: 1,544
Faculty: 180
 

The educational program at Walter G. O'Connell Copiague High School is designed to meet the needs of every student through a unique variety of course offerings and support programs. The diversity of the school's student population enriches all who enter its doors and is one of the school community's greatest strengths. The faculty and staff of Walter G. O'Connell Copiague High School believe that a student's high school education is the most important four years of a student's life.

The school serves approximately 1,600 students in grades nine through twelve. Through outstanding academic opportunities, support programs, and counseling, each student is constantly encouraged to reach his/her full potential. Walter G. O'Connell Copiague High School has instituted a successful all-Regents program, an in-school and after-school remediation program, Advanced Placement courses in all disciplines, and offers a wide variety of elective courses such as drama, sports and entertainment marketing, and criminal justice.


Class of 2021 Graduation Live Stream


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Current News

Board of Education Appoints Officers

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Copiague School District’s Board of Education held its annual reorganization meeting on July 7. Brian J. Sales was unanimously elected and sworn in to serve as president of the board of education for his third consecutive term in that seat. Kenneth Urban and Anthony S. Pepe were elected and sworn in to serve as vice president and second vice president, respectively. District Clerk Mary Ellen Ruppert swore in the board officials.

Michael Higgins and Ledy Torres were each elected to three-year seats on the board of education in May. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kathleen Bannon was also sworn in during the meeting.

Two Science Research Students Honored for Work

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Despite all the challenges of the past year, the Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School science research program has thrived. While the students have made so many accomplishments in venues across the state, the most significant accolades are lauded to senior Kiran Ahmad and junior Cathrine Sakin, according to science research advisers Renee Locker and Tracy Wenzler.

In addition to graduating with AP Capstone recognition, the students entered their research projects in both the Long Island Science Congress and the Southeast Asian American Women’s Association science fairs, held virtually this year. The two students received top awards at both competitions including best in chemistry and the Edith M. Stillwaggon award for chemistry at the LISC fair. At the SAAWA fair, Cathrine won first place in the STEM division and Ahmad took second place. Cathrine also won second place in the essay competition. Cathrine was selected to partake this summer in the Girls Who Code computer coding organization. 

Valedictorian Kiran, who is Harvard bound, was recognized by the American Chemical Society’s Project SEED and selected as a science researcher at Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Copiague Bids Farewell to Retirees

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Copiague School District administrators and Board of Education members recognized the faculty and staff members who will be retiring at the end of the 2020-2021 school year during the June 21 board of education meeting.

Copiague School District’s Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kathleen Bannon, board of education members, district administrators and department chairs offered their congratulations to the 13 retirees, who have close to 350 years of combined service to the district. Retiring at the end of the school year are:

Brenda Bryant, security guard/resource officer, Copiague Middle School, 23 years
James Cleary, English teacher, Copiague Middle School, 18 years
Robert Clemens, custodial worker, Copiague Middle School, 25 years
Nickie Fradelos, cook, Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School, 34 years
Angela Rodriguez-Greaves, social worker, Deauville Gardens East/West, 23 years
Elaine Remstein, elementary teacher, Great Neck Road, 30 years
Karen Sheridan, assistant superintendent for student services, district, 19 years
Christine Sklar, speech teacher, Copiague Middle School, 20 years
Antoinette Spencer, physical education teacher, Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School, 23 years
Susan Weisenseel, senior office assistant, district, 21 years
John Williams , science teacher, Copiague Middle School, 21 years
Valarie Williams, speech teacher, Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School, 33 years
John Young, science teacher, Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School, 20 years

Valedictorian Highlighted on Local Radio Show

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Newsday partnered with WALK 97.5 to promote valedictorians in the Class of 2021. The radio show highlighted the students’ achievements, plans for the future, and a portion of the incredible speeches. Copiague’s valedictorian Kiran Ahmad was featured on the show.

Listen to the broadcast here

Celebrating Success at Copiague’s Commencement

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Copiague School District celebrated the Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School Class of 2021 at the 62nd annual commencement exercises held on June 24 at Kenneth LaValle stadium at Stony Brook University.

Joined by family, friends, administrators and board of education members, the students processed onto the field to “Pomp and Circumstance.” Senior class president Denison Rosa led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Board of Education president Brian J. Sales offered congratulatory remarks on behalf of the board. “They say that adversity builds character and clearly you have gotten your share over the last year and a half,” he said. “You have all persevered through it all to be here today. You had to adapt to be successful. You had to use what you learned going through the pandemic and look forward to the future. Your life today is a result of your attitudes and choices made in the past. Your life tomorrow will be the result of your attitudes and choices that you make today and every day moving forward.”

Copiague School District Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kathleen Bannon welcomed the soon-to-graduates and commended them on the resiliency they have shown during the last two years. “When I think about this graduating class, I think about all the wonderful accomplishments you have had during your years at Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School; and they took place under very unusual circumstances,” she said. “You’ve excelled in the classrooms, on the fields, on the stage and everywhere in between. You’ve certainly made an indelible mark on our high school. You are to be commended for your positive energy, effort, flexibility and dedication, which you put into everything that you did. I’ve watched you grow over the last 13 years and I know that you’re leaving us more than ready to embark on the next chapter in your lives.”

Class of 2021 salutatorian Sofia Lounici spoke to her classmates about remaining positive and staying motivated to be the best version of themselves. “Over the years, I’ve learned how rewarding it is to step out of your comfort zone and do what scares you most because afterward, you feel like you could accomplish anything,” she said. “And we should all remember that nothing we aspire to achieve comes easy, because the reality is, you must work incredibly hard and put in your all, without any excuses. Maybe you didn’t get the best grades in high school, or you didn't get accepted to the schools of your top choice. But that doesn't mean your journey to success stops. In fact, it's only the beginning. Sometimes, we need to feel the sting of rejection and failure in order to become much more willing to attack back with a greater ambition to succeed and conquer our dreams. Now as you all go on to start the next chapter of your lives, remember to keep looking forward, because the future is always something to hope for, and each day we are given is a new opportunity to better ourselves and to work toward the future we envision.”

Kiran Ahmad, Class of 2021 valedictorian, took to the podium to address her classmates about overcoming challenges and obstacles and accepting each other’s differences. “I stand before you today as the class valedictorian,” she said. “But I’ve struggled, just like many of you. Like many of you, I come from an immigrant family. Like many of you, I am the first in the family to graduate high school. Like many of you, I will be a first generation college student, and like all of you, I have dreams, hopes, and aspirations. I would like to commend you all for overcoming your personal challenges, for proving that you are resilient human beings, and for pushing through all the obstacles that were in the way of you being here today. Thank you for showing us that it’s completely acceptable to stand out from the crowd because there will always be individuals willing to accept you for who you are. I encourage you to never be ashamed of your challenges, but rather to recognize that your ability to face and overcome adversity is one of your greatest assets.”

Reflecting on the past 13 years, Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School Principal Joseph Agosta acknowledged the hard work and dedication of the class. “When you look back and reflect, you will recognize that for much of these 13 years you have been supported by loving families, caring and dedicated teachers and administration and a board of education focused on providing you with the skills needed to help you reach your true potential,” he said. “Stand on your own and take your place as productive world citizens. Looking forward much is expected of you and I have great confidence in your abilities.”

Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School assistant principals Jonathan Cutolo and Francis Salazar called out the names of each graduate as they stepped forward to be recognized by Dr. Bannon and Mr. Agosta. After each name had been called, Mr. Agosta instructed the students to turn their tassels and officially announced them as graduates of the Class of 2021. After a thunderous round of applause, the graduates tossed their caps high in the air.

Copiague Celebrates its Senior Class

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Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School seniors celebrated Senior Day on June 17. The soon-to-be graduates showed off their Copiague pride as they dressed in school colors to pick up their caps and gowns, graduation tickets, yearbooks and senior awards, all set up outdoors of the high school. Seniors also stopped at the selfie booth for a photo opportunity with their classmates.

Valedictorian Kiran Ahmad honored by Suffolk County School Superintendents Association

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The Suffolk County School Superintendents Association continued its long-standing tradition of recognizing the highest-achieving graduates in Suffolk County. On June 3, the SCSSA held its 27th annual celebration of the Class of 2021 valedictorians virtually. School superintendents, valedictorians and their parents gathered in small groups, within their own school districts, to view the event and celebrate the outstanding accomplishments of this year’s valedictorians. Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School valedictorian Kiran Ahmad was among those honored.

SCSSA president and Center Moriches School District Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ronald M. Masera hosted the event, thanked the association’s corporate partners for their support in helping to make the event possible and congratulated the valedictorians on their success.

“Some of the most highly regarded schools in the nation are located in Suffolk County,” Dr. Masera said. “To achieve the status of a Suffolk County valedictorian is an extraordinary achievement.”

This year’s keynote speaker was Jon Gordon, author of books such as “The Energy Bus” and “The Power of Positive Leadership.” He spoke to the valedictorians about the benefits of positive leadership and the true meaning of encouraging others to succeed.

“You have the power to transform the world,” Mr. Gordon said. “You decide your future. Be a positive leader and impact the people around you. Remember, the best is yet to come.”

Copiague School District Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kathleen Bannon presented Ahmad with a commemorative program, congratulatory video, a certificate of achievement, a cherished childhood storybook, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Seuss and Gordon’s book “The Energy Bus.” The program and video, which was created especially for the Class of 2021, featured information about each valedictorian’s school district, their formal senior yearbook photo, their college of choice and anticipated major. The choice of the storybook was certainly appropriate, as this year’s valedictorians plan to attend some of the most prestigious institutions of higher learning in the nation.

In addition to recognizing the valedictorians, the SCSSA and their corporate partners awarded scholarships in every high school in Suffolk County to a highly deserving graduating senior planning to pursue a career in education or social services. These worthy scholarship recipients were selected by their own school districts for this special recognition.

Walter G. O’Connell Copiague HS Students Aid in BOCES Forum

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Two Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School students – junior Paris DeFreitas and sophomore Edison Peguero Rosario – were named student facilitators for the Long Island Regional virtual student forum sponsored by BOCES. The students – who both attended the first forum in November – were chosen by their social studies teacher to act as student facilitators for the March session. They participated in an online training session and during the forum, the students moderated group discussions, took notes and ensured participants were following proper etiquette. Pictured, from left, Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School Principal Joseph Agosta, junior Paris DeFreitas and sophomore Edison Peguero Rosario and Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School social studies department chair Michelle Penyy.

Folio 2021

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Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School’s literary magazine “Folio” 2021 has launched. Please enjoy the work of the many writers who contributed to this issue.

Attachments:

Celebrating a Thriving Science Research Program

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Joined virtually by central office administrators, board of education members, Town of Babylon officials and members of the local science community, Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School celebrated the success of its science research students during the seventh annual science symposium on May 20.

“It’s no secret that it’s been a difficult two years,” said Renee Locker, Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School science research teacher. “Our students have been resilient in this virtual learning environment and we have a thriving, robust science research program in Copiague. The results of their work have been outstanding.”

Research students – from the introduction to research, independent and advanced research classes – had the opportunity to showcase their projects during a virtual presentation.

“I can’t tell you how impressed I am by the work of these students,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kathleen Bannon. “Their dedication to science has been outstanding and the tenacity they have shown will do them well over the course of their careers. We all know you will continue to do great things after you leave this science research program.”

A video presentation of the science research program was featured and local town officials commended the students for their perseverance in their science research endeavors despite the past year’s challenges. Their hard work is evidenced by their awards and accomplishments this year.

“Congratulations to our science research students for the tremendous successes they have received this year,” said Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School Principal Joseph Agosta. “Your passion for science definitely shows and you are the ones who will make a lasting impact on the world.” Two Copiague science research graduates also spoke to attendees to talk about how the program set them up for future success in college and beyond.

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