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JFK Students Take on Preamble Challenge

JFK Students Take on Preamble Challenge photo

Students at John F. Kennedy Middle School honored Constitution Day on Sept. 17 by participating in the school’s annual Preamble Challenge.

In a challenge created by Principal Kevin Fullerton, each student had the opportunity to memorize and recite all of the words in the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution. Those students willing to participate gathered in a classroom during the final 15 minutes of their lunch period to recite the Preamble in front of the judge – Mr. Fullerton.

The student from each grade who recited all of the words correctly in the shortest amount of time is rewarded a special lunch with their Social Studies teacher as well as Mr. Fullerton and Assistant Principal Erin Hayes.

The district congratulates the winners and all participants! This year’s winners are sixth-grader Matthew Cusumano, seventh-grader Adrienne Blonder and eighth-grader Georgia Karaisarides. The school’s overall runner-up is sixth-grader Marco Perla. 

Bethpage trio selected for NYSSMA All-State

Bethpage trio selected for NYSSMA All-State photo
Three high school students have been chosen to perform in the New York State School Music Association’s All-State ensembles at the Annual Winter Conference after being recognized by NYSSMA for music excellence. The conference will be held in Rochester from Nov. 29 through Dec. 2. 

The three musicians selected are Will Katartzis, voice, A.J. Vita, guitar, and Soham Maiti, bass guitar. 

More than 6,500 sophomores and juniors within the state performed in NYSSMA solo evaluation festivals last spring with the hopes of being selected for All-State. Students that received a score between 98 and 100 after being evaluated by a NYSSMA All-State judge on their solo performance would qualify.

The district commends Will, A.J. and Soham on their accomplishments and selections.

Bethpage Senior Best Among Scholar Artists

Bethpage Senior Best Among Scholar Artists photo

In addition to being one of only 20 students to earn a Scholar-Artist designation by the Long Island Arts Alliance, high school senior Michelle Zheng was honored with the highest overall score for her portfolio. The prestigious award carries with it the highest possible level of media attention for students and for their district art programs.

Zheng was the top of art students on Long Island that met the criteria of an unweighted average of at least 90 and a portfolio submission containing 10 works of art. The portfolio must demonstrate both technical and conceptual skill in addition to a written essay. 

The portfolio submitted by Zheng contained work created in Courtney Young’s fine arts class at the high school in addition to independent projects. The Long Island Arts Alliance held its annual Scholar-Artist Gala on Sept. 12 at the Tilles Center for Performing Arts on the campus of LIU Post.

Dittrich Honored with Bethpage PTA Honorary Life Award

Dittrich Honored with Bethpage PTA Honorary Life Award photo
The Central Boulevard Elementary School Parent-Teacher Association of the Bethpage Union Free School District honored kindergarten teacher Jennifer Dittrich on Sept. 13 with the Honorary Life Award for her dedication and enthusiasm in the district for the past 17 years.

Ms. Dittrich was nominated for and presented with the PTA award, voted on annually by the parents of Central Boulevard, based on many variables that include her positivity, energy, understanding, perseverance and hard work. 

After spending the better part of four years as a first-grade inclusion teacher in the East Flatbush school district, Ms. Dittrich came to Bethpage in 2001. She earned a degree in elementary education from the University of Scranton and a master’s degree in special education from LIU Post. 

On the night of the award ceremony, Central Boulevard PTA President Theresa Re praised Ms. Dittrich. “This evening we celebrate a truly amazing woman and teacher, someone who has been a pillar of support over the last 17 years with our school,” she said.

The district congratulates Ms. Dittrich on this well-deserved honor and recognition!

Seniors Honored as National Merit Semifinalists

Students Named National Merit Semifinalists photo
Two seniors from Bethpage High School were selected as semifinalists in the 64th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. The Bethpage Union Free School District congratulates Stacy Kappel and Soham Maiti for this outstanding achievement.

A total of 16,000 U.S. semifinalists have been chosen to compete for finalist status and ultimately, 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million. They were filtered from an initial pool of 1.6 million U.S. students who took last year’s PSAT/NMSQT, a qualifying test.

This year’s semifinalists scored in the top one percent nationally on the exam. Winners of the National Merit Scholarships will be named this spring.

Bethpage Educational Foundation Announces 2018 Hall of Fame Inductees

The Bethpage Hall of Fame has announced its inductees for 2018:

Steven Furrey
Bethpage High School, Class of 1973

Dr. Brian McGrath
Bethpage High School, Class of 1992

Pamela Puglisi
Bethpage Director of Guidance, Retired

Robert Sarli
Bethpage High School English Teacher, Retired

Dr. Bernard Schutz
Bethpage High School, Class of 1964

Colonel Michael Trotter
Bethpage High School, Class of 1990

Sandra Watson
Board of Education Trustee

2013 Girls Gymnastics Team with 
Coaches Kim Rhatigan-Drexler & Vicky Vitale 
(with support from former longtime Coach Debbie Rut)

The dinner in their honor will be held on Saturday, October 27 at 7PM at Bethpage High School.  All community members are invited.  The cost to attend is $75 and all proceeds go to the Bethpage Educational Foundation which supports our schools with scholarships, programs and enhancements.  To attend, click on the PDF of the invitation, print it out and mail your check with the RSVP to the address listed.

Past honorees have included journalists, novelists, generals, artists, first responders, former staff members and local politicians/civic leaders.  We have many distinguished alumni.  You can see all the past inductees at  If you need more information about the upcoming ceremony, call 516-644-4001.


Bethpage Opens New School Year

Bethpage Opens New School Year photo

Students worked through warm temperatures to bring in supplies, backpacks and books for the first day of school as the district began the 2018-19 school year on Sept. 5.

First-year Superintendent of Schools David Schneider was part of the welcoming committee at all five buildings to greet and encourage all students throughout the morning drop offs.

The district wishes all elementary, middle and high school students all the best throughout the school year and encourages the entire community to make it the best year yet!

Superintendent’s Conference Day Kicks Off School Year

Superintendent’s Conference Day Kicks Off School Year photo

Staff and faculty from the District kicked off the 2018-19 school year with the annual Superintendent’s Conference Day, for which they gathered in the high school’s auditorium on Sept. 4.

First-year Superintendent of Schools David Schneider began on a light note by asking the teachers to pick a photo on their phone and share a story about it with a nearby staff member. The room erupted into chatter and laughter as the teachers swapped summer stories and learned more about their colleagues. Congratulations were extended to those who celebrated marriages, children and retirements, while the new teachers and administrators in attendance were acknowledged. 

Schneider moved matters to updated school safety and security practices the district is undertaking. With regard to curriculum, a mental-health component will be added to all health classes in grades 6 through 10. The district also added a school psychologist in order to provide the support students may need. 

“We want kids to have emotional and social success as well as academic success,” Schneider noted.

Schneider also challenged the teachers to continue to grow and learn themselves. He asked them, “What are you going to do this year to take ownership of your own journey? What do you want to learn? And also what do you need to learn? That’s what being a professional is and that’s what we have in this room.”

In conclusion, the superintendent encouraged the teachers to take chances and expressed enthusiasm for a great school year.

Class of 1978 Reconnects For 40th Reunion

Class of 1978 Reconnects For 40th Reunion
The Bethpage High School Class of 1978 returned to campus on Aug. 10 to take a walk down memory lane as part of the 40th reunion weekend.

“It was a thrill to meet these Golden Eagle alumni and show them how their school has changed and yet remained the same,” said Superintendent of Schools David Schneider. “Their faces were beaming with pride as we walked through the entire campus, with many of them returning for the first time in several years.”
The alumni walked the halls and toured the pool, auditorium, courtyard and football field while observing many other facility upgrades. Most importantly, they reconnected with former classmates, near and far.

“I hope they enjoyed their reunion weekend and continue to remember their time growing up in Bethpage fondly,” Schneider added.  

Bethpage Inducts New Group Into Athletic Wall of Fame

Bethpage Inducts New Group Into Athletic Wall of Fame photo

A new cohort of distinguished individuals was inducted into the Bethpage School District Athletic Wall of Fame during a July 22 ceremony on the high school’s football field. This year’s group of honorees, who were the fifth to be inducted, included Anne DiPrima; “The Three Amigos” Thomas Cilmi, Frank DeCicco and Vincent Valenti; and the 1971 men’s high school track team.

DiPrima earned her place on the honorary wall as a pioneer for interscholastic sports at the middle school and high school levels since joining the district in 1970 as a teacher and coach. As the high school softball coach, she won 406 games in 34 seasons before retiring from the helm in 2014. As the current high school volleyball coach, she has accumulated 594 victories, the most in Nassau County history. 

Dubbed “The Three Amigos,” Cilmi, DeCicco and Valenti exemplify the meaning of a Golden Eagle as strong supporters of the high school football team. The trio received their nickname during the 1970s by the high school football coaching staff for their dedication to the program and their attendance at every game, home and away. The three supporters have 22 children and grandchildren altogether who have attended district schools.

The men’s high school track team of 1971 was named the top team in the state by the New York State Scholastic Track Association after going undefeated and winning the North Shore Championship. The group edged out Mount Vernon, Boys and Archbishop Molloy high schools in the closest decision in the history of state track selections. The Fred Meder-coached team also won the Mid Island Meet and the prestigious Eddy Meet during the 1971 season. 

Among the speakers at the event were current Superintendent of Schools David Schneider and recently retired Superintendent Terrence Clark, who served as master of ceremonies. Schneider concluded the ceremony with a presentation of a plaque to Clark from the athletic department for his support and dedication as superintendent. 

JFK Moving Up

Congratulations to all our 8th Graders who had a terrific Moving Up ceremony today!  BHS is looking forward to your arrival!

Photo Gallery

Maritime Festival at BHS


This year’s Maritime Festival is dedicated to our longtime friend and educator Sue Rankin.  Mrs. Rankin has onboard from the very first year, teaching the third grader’s all about the marine food web and the vital role of plankton.  This Maritime Festival was her last, she’s retiring in June and we wish her great happiness.  Mrs. Rankin’s energy, creativeness and love of all things related to the sea will be missed.  A special thanks to all the building and grounds, custodial, clerical and teaching staff who help make this event possible every year.

Photo Gallery

Ms. Sciara- Teacher of the Month!


Abby Ouslander an 8th grader at JFK middle school nominated Ms.Sciara on K98.3’s Teacher of the month competition. Ms. Sciara went against one other teacher on Long Island where everyone was able to vote once a day. At the end of the month Ms. Sciara won and is now taking 25 students to a Long Island Ducks game on June 17th where she also gets the throw the first pitch! 

Honoring Joey

Congratulations to Joey Gilio for being recognized as the Long Island Student of the Year by LISEA.  It was a great honor and Joey gave a great speech thanking his family and all his teachers!  Joey works hard and deserves this honor!

Valedictorian/Salutatorian Breakfast

Bethpage was honored to be represented at the Nassau County celebration of academic excellence by 2018 BHS Valedictorian Smiti Shah and BHS Salutatorian Gillian O'Boyle.  All the valedictorians and salutatorians in the county were present.  Mr. Spence and Mr. Clark were proud to stand alongside Smiti and Gillian and their parents!  Congratulations to both and thanks for being such fine students!

21st C: Trip to NY Aquarium

On Saturday students from BHS visited the New York Aquarium that is still recovering from super storm Sandy.  Many of the animals are in temporary enclosures waiting for the scheduled July re-opening of several main exhibit halls.  The visit began with a guided tour by an aquarium specialist.  This was followed by an amazing sea lion show in the aqua theater.  Participants had time to revisit their favorite exhibits before lunch on the world famous boardwalk including the iconic Coney Island Nathan’s.  Several of the photos below were taken by Bethpage’s own aspiring photographer Daniel Wilson.

Photo Gallery

Honoring Bud Steubing

The New York Yankees honored Bethpage resident Lawrence "Bud" Steubing as their Veteran of the Game this past Saturday!  Bud has been a frequent guest in the Bethpage Schools over the years to talk about his service in World War II.  His children and many of his grandchildren attended Bethpage Schools and he loves the Golden Eagles!  Congratulations to Bud and his family!

Harlem Wizards Put on a Show!

Thanks once again to the Harlem Wizards for coming to Bethpage and putting on a great game!  The CBS PTA did a great job organizing the event and thanks to Mrs. Wodicka and her team of volunteers!  Thanks also to the Bethpage teachers, administrators and staff for agreeing to play in the game!  A great time was had by all!
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