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Latinx Artists on Display During Virtual Field Trip

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Copiague Middle School and Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School Spanish language students recently participated in the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook’s virtual field trip. The trip highlighted the works of art from Latinx community members. The exhibition “SOMOS/We Are: Latinx Artists of Long Island” featured more than 80 artists.

Some highlights from the virtual trip included a viewing of Ofrenda, which represented the celebration of the Day of the Dead and incorporated the history behind the person who created the Ofrenda. In addition, students were able to view Neon Bunny (Bad Bunny), a portrait of the artist Bad Bunny created with spray paint, acrylic and gold foil on canvas.

Spanish teachers Evelin Chavez and Karla Umanzor felt that one of the most important parts for their students during the virtual trip was the presentation of the Caja de Memoria Viva III. This was a living memory box dedicated to a survivor of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. In class, students had learned about Hurricane Maria and the devastation that it caused in Puerto Rico. Through this artwork, students could see the effects of the hurricane, the history behind the woman presented in the box and the objects that people preserved during and after the hurricane.

This field trip was incorporated into the students’ family tree, where they identified and described one tradition or celebration they have with their own families. Like the art pieces viewed, students used images, pictures and music to represent their traditions.

Date Added: 12/5/2023

Middle School Students Create Civics Scrapbooks

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Seventh graders in Ms. Ferrara’s civics class at Copiague Middle School are learning about citizenship and creating their own scrapbooks. Throughout the school year, students will learn about all the elements included in their scrapbook such as citizenship, voting rights and responsibilities and the election process. They will keep these scrapbooks as a reference throughout the school year.

Click here to view the photo slideshow.

Date Added: 11/13/2023

Student Council Creates Cards

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Copiague Middle School student council members recently made cards for students at Farmingdale High School. The messages let the Farmingdale students know they are thinking of them and are here to encourage them during a very difficult time.

Date Added: 10/26/2023

Copiague honors the Efforts of its Board of Education

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To thank the Copiague School District Board of Education for their ongoing support of students, members were recognized during the Oct. 16 meeting. The New York State School Board Association designates the week of Oct. 17-21 as School Board Recognition Week.

The recognitions kicked off with a performance by the Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School Madrigal Choir. The Copiague Teachers Association donated to three local food pantries and the Eagle’s Nest food pantry. The Copiague Association of Supervisors donated to the district’s Eagle’s Nest food pantry and the Copiague Association of Principals donated funds to the Chris Madden Scholarship. Copiague PTA Council provided refreshments for the celebration and donated to the American Association of Suicide Prevention and the Carmyne Payton Memorial Scholarship. The Art Honor Society created a piece for display in the board of education meeting room.

Date Added: 10/23/2023

Walking for a Cause

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On Oct. 15, the Copiague Middle School Builders Club participated in the annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk at Jones Beach. This year, the club has raised more than $2,300 for the cause.

Date Added: 10/19/2023

Copiague Students Get Firsthand Look at Vietnam Memorial

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Students from Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School’s leadership class and Copiague Middle School’s civics class– along with Town of Babylon historian Mary Cascone – visited the Wall that Heals at Tanner Park in Copiague on Oct. 6.

The Wall that Heals is a three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. The 53-foot trailer that carries The Wall That Heals transforms to become a mobile Education Center. The exterior of the trailer features a timeline of “The War and The Wall” and provides additional information about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. The additional exhibits gave students a better understanding of the legacy of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the collection of items left at The Wall. The tour was led by a Vietnam Veteran Memorial Fund staff member.

Copiague students also learned about six Vietnam veterans from their town who are memorialized on the wall: Woodrow William Adams – Class of 1968; Lawrence Joseph DeFelice – Class of 1967; Hans Peter Lutz – Class of 1963; Dennis Gerard Murphy – Class of 1968; Daniel Gerard O’Connell – Class of 1968; and Donald F. Vaughan – Class of 1966.

Click here to view the photo slideshow.

Date Added: 10/13/2023

Celebrating Success at Hall of Achievement

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Copiague School District celebrated its Hall of Achievement’s newest inductees with a ceremony held on Sept. 30. This year’s five inductees – Robert Durgin (Class of 1977), Quashier Flood-Strouble (Class of 2000), Frank Giorgini (Class of 1965), Deborah Payton-Jones (Class of 1978) and Robert Waidler (Class of 1990) – bring the total number of Hall of Achievement members to 122.

The goal of the district’s Hall of Achievement is to introduce positive role models to the school community and build a sense of pride for all Copiague graduates. Copiague School District Board of Education President Kenneth Urban welcomed attendees to the ceremony. “Inductees, you become a member of a group that has helped shape our school throughout the years – a well-rounded, diverse district with our doors always open to help everyone succeed,” he said. “Current and future students will walk our halls and read your plaques. It will help guide and steer them in the right direction for their future.”

Copiague School District Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kathleen Bannon added, “Our goal is to introduce these alumni as positive and motivating role models to our entire school community,” she said. “By the nature of their accomplishments and service, our inductees’ achievements inspire our students to reach their goals.”

Robert Durgin earned a bachelor’s degree in government and Russian language from the University of Notre Dame. He received a juris doctorate from Tulane University. He served on active duty with the U.S. Marine Corps, was certified as a judge advocate and retired as a lieutenant colonel from the Marine Corps Reserves. He practiced law and later joined Johnson & Johnson as the worldwide vice president, regulatory affairs for the DePuy Synthes Companies.

Following graduation, Quashier Flood-Strouble received a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice from Florida A&M University and a master’s degree in school counseling from Capella University. She worked at the Department of Children and Families as an abuse counselor and school counselor at Tallahassee Collegiate Academy. Recently, she co-founded and oversaw a free six-week summer camp for underprivileged children.

Noted for his tilework and designing the all-clay Udu drum and introducing it to the U.S., Frank Giorgini’s mosaic installations can be seen in Whitehall Street in Brooklyn, the 2nd Avenue subway station and the LIRR Merrick station. Giorgini received a Bachelor of Arts degree in fine art and industrial design from Pratt Institute and a master’s degree in fine arts from Southern Illinois University. He taught tile design and fabrication at Parson’s School of Design and authored a handmade tile book.

Deborah Payton-Jones holds a Bachelor of Science in business management from Florida A&M University. She worked at the Fashion Institute of Technology for 32 years, also serving as the voter registration coordinator. She recently founded VoterEducation365, dedicated to educating and organizing communities around voting. She currently works with the Suffolk County Board of Elections.

Following graduation, Robert Waidler received an associate degree in criminal justice and entered the New York City Police Department before transferring to the Denver Police Department. There, he created and coordinate a resiliency and wellness program, peer support program, Chaplain’s program, physical therapy program and reintegration

program. He also holds certifications in yoga teacher training, health and wellness coaching, personal training and behavior change specialist.

Click here to view the photo slideshow.

Date Added: 10/6/2023