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Walter G. O'Connell Copiague High School


Exterior photo of 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: David Aguado, Jonathan Cutolo, Timothy Gilroy , Janine Proulx


Hours: 7:40 a.m. to 2:23 p.m.
Students: 1,507
Faculty and Staff: 200


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. 

Current News

Basketball Game Honors Student’s Memory

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Copiague School District honored the memory of Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School student Carmyne Payton during the first Carmyne Payton Classic varsity basketball game on Nov. 29. Administrators, teachers, staff and students came together to celebrate the life of Carmyne, who tragically passed away two years while trying out for the varsity basketball team. The Copiague basketball team and coaching staff wore the “Love Big” shirts in his honor as well. Bracelets and snacks were on sale during the event to raise money for scholarships that will be presented to a varsity female and varsity male basketball player.

Date Added: 12/4/2023

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

Copiague’s Top 10 in the Class of 2024

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Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School has announced the top 10 students for the Class of 2024. With a weighted GPA of 105, Kemmora Simmons has been named the valedictorian. Jonathan Singh has been named salutatorian with a weighted GPA of 104.97.

The district congratulates the top 10 students in the graduating of Class of 2024: Kemmora Simmons (valedictorian); Jonathan Singh (salutatorian); Rebecca Alara (third); Shenn Barredo (fourth); Shawn Smaldon (fifth); Jorge Villatoro-Amaya (sixth); Theresa Soraire (seventh); Victoria Wheby (eighth); Giselle Peralta (ninth); and Andrew Falco (10th).

Date Added: 11/30/2023

Copiague Celebrates Accomplishments of Fall Student-Athletes

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On Nov. 14, Copiague School District held its annual Fall Sports Awards to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of its fall varsity student-athletes. Sponsored by the Booster Club, student-athletes in gymnastics, girls soccer, boys soccer, field hockey, girls tennis, volleyball, cross-country, cheerleading, swimming and football were recognized for their dedication to their sports by family members, coaches, Copiague School District administrators and members of the board of education.

Throughout the night, coaches praised the student-athletes for their success and distributed individual awards, including the Coaches’ Award, Most Improved and the MVP award, to worthy recipients. Six special memorial awards were handed out to outstanding athletes for demonstrating leadership on and off the field. Jonathan Valle (cross-country) was presented with the Christopher Urban Award, and Kennedy Hodges (gymnastics) was the recipient of the Dolores Sandefur Award. The Barbara Day Award was given to Julianna Milonas (field hockey), and Jocelyn Teel (volleyball) received the Debra Tekosky Award. Millie Cisneros (girls soccer) was presented with the Michael S. Cohen Award and Ashley Matute (girls soccer) was the recipient of the Brittany Walsh Memorial Award.

Click here to view the photo slideshow.

Date Added: 11/20/2023

Mock Trial Room Houses Copiague’s Criminal Justice Students

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The members of the Advanced Criminal Justice class at Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School now have the chance to participate and witness the justice system in action. Last year, the school unveiled a new mock trial room where the students can participate in a simulated trial and moot court competitions.

Taught by Stephanie Rafuse, students learn about the law and criminal justice system but also can work on their public speaking, debating skills and evaluate the effectiveness of the current criminal justice system. Students work on research projects and form oral arguments, which they can then present in moot court and mock trial competitions.

This month, the class will take a field trip to the federal court and witness a naturalization ceremony and get a tour of the facilities by a federal judge. The students also have plans to visit the Town of Babylon’s new courthouse this winter.

Date Added: 11/6/2023

Senior Attends Leadership Conference

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Last year, Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School senior Hadasa Argueta-Botzec was chosen by the social studies department to participate in the Angelo Del Toro Puerto Rican/Hispanic Youth Leadership Institute.

Hadasa was one of 60 participants representing Long Island at the student leadership conference. She had the opportunity to work with members of the NYS Assembly to debate current bills and participate in a mock assembly. She was selected as one of the outstanding student leaders because of her excellent participation throughout the event. Hadasa stood out among her peers in training, leadership and overall performance. Thanks to her hard work, she was chosen to travel with other students to Washington, D.C., last June, where she met members of Congress and visited the House of Representatives while it was in session.

Hadasa once again stood out among her peers and was chosen to attend the Somos conference, where she will spend five days in Puerto Rico from Nov. 8-12. She will participate in legislative workshops and a day of service. “These experiences have helped me to connect with my peers and hone my leadership and communication skills,” Argueta-Botzec said.

Date Added: 11/6/2023

Leadership Class Honored with Gold Award by Junior Achievement

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Students in Colleen Gurtner’s leadership class at Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School were recently presented with the gold award from Junior Achievement for their work with the High School Heroes program. The leadership class worked with students at Deauville Gardens East Elementary School last year. The High School Heroes is a service-learning and leadership development program for high school students to teach the Junior Achievement curriculum to elementary students.

Date Added: 10/31/2023

Pumpkin Paintings Bring History to Life

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History came to life on the faces of pumpkins thanks to Advanced Placement U.S. History students at Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School on Oct. 27. Juniors in Dr. Allison Weller’s class came together after school in the courtyard to recreate historical events or historical figures on their pumpkins. Students chose events that have some historical significance to them and explained why they think it is an important event or figure in U.S. history, which helps build their historical thinking skills. This is the third year of the annual event, which started as way to bring what students are learning about in U.S. history into conversation with each other and help them socialize with each other. It serves a way for students to feel connected to the class and to each other.

Click here to view the photo slideshow.

Date Added: 10/31/2023

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

Copiague’s PTSA Unveils School of Excellence Banner

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Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School’s PTSA recently held an unveiling and ribbon-cutting for being recognized as a School of Excellence on Oct. 18. Joined by Town of Babylon Councilman Terence McSweeney, Town of Babylon Deputy Supervisor Antonio A. Martinez, New York State PTA President Helen Hoffman, administrators and board of education members, PTSA president Mary Sotomayor officially unveiled the new banner in the school’s hallway. Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School’s PTSA was recognized for its accomplishments in building a strong, effective family-school partnership that is enriching the educational experience and overall well-being for students.

Date Added: 10/24/2023

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

Local Officials Visit Copiague Seniors

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As part of a social studies lesson, senior students at Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School were visited by Town of Babylon officials for insight into local government and policies on Oct. 5. Town Councilman DuWayne Gregory and Suffolk County Legislator Jason Richberg spoke out their own personal journeys, civic engagement, the importance of being involved in the local community and voting. The officials took time for a question-and-answer session and spoke to students about local internship opportunities.

Date Added: 10/6/2023

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