Jefferson teacher Maria Mazzola with the school's Artists of the Month for December.

Huntington School Briefs

Jefferson teacher Maria Mazzola with the school's Artists of the Month for December.

December 19, 2017

Jefferson Primary School recently honored its Featured Artists of the Month for December. The artwork of the spectacular students is now on display in the school’s main hallway. Art teacher Maria Mazzola recently posed for a photo with the talented youngsters.

The honored artists include Gianna Brady, Claire Carmody, Rhys Carrillo, Bladimir Cordova Parada, David Cruz Ponce, Kevin Dominguez, Alison Hahn, Erin Hanlon, Maxwell Manu, Jack Popp, Ahilyn Ramirez Hernandez, Heidy Rodriguez Hernandez, Jayden Rubio-Perez, Benjamin Sheetrit, Jordan Thornell and Isaac Vasquez Aguirre.

“All of us at Jefferson are so proud of these conscientious students,” Principal Valerie Capitulo-Saide said. “They all enjoy displaying their creative side in art class and the completed work is beautiful.”

Ms. Capitulo-Saide has been Jefferson Primary School’s principal since August 1, 2012. She came to Huntington after serving three years as principal of PS 101Q-The School of the Gardens in Forest Hills, Queens. She worked earlier as that school's assistant principal for two years.

Ms. Capitulo-Saide earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in creative studies-dance at Hofstra University. She pursued graduate level studies at LIU-C.W. Post College, obtaining a Master of Science in elementary education and a certificate in education administration-school building leader.

Huntington UFSD Enrollment Report

The Huntington UFSD’s enrollment stood at 4,526 as of December 8. Huntington High School’s enrollment is 1,507 with 403 freshmen, 435 sophomores, 325 juniors and 344 seniors.

J. Taylor Finley Middle enrolls 723 students, including 349 seventh graders and 374 eighth graders. Woodull Intermediate School has 465 fifth and sixth graders. Jack Abrams STEM Magnet School enrolls 335 students spread across grades 4-6.

Washington (405), Southdown (384), Flower Hill (359) and Jefferson (348) primary schools have a combined total of 1,496 students in grades K-4.

Tri-CYA to Honor Trustee Xavier Palacios

Tri-Community & Youth Agency will honor Huntington School Board member Xavier Palacios at the organization’s Hall of Fame gala on March 22 at the Woodbury Country Club.

Tri-CYA provides a variety of services and activities for youth aged 5-21. “The majority of youth who attend the Tri-CYA live at or below the poverty level,” according to the organization. “Tri-CYA often stands between the streets, gangs and drugs for at-risk youth who attend.”

The private not-for-profit community based organization serves 90 youth daily at three locations. Its facilities are open six days and four evenings per week. There is special summer programming. All services are free.

Mr. Palacios was elected to a third term on the Huntington School Board in May 2017. He has enjoyed a long association with the district.

A member of Huntington High School’s Class of 1988, Mr. Palacios earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at Columbia University and a Juris Doctor at Boston University’s School of Law. He is the owner and managing partner of a Mineola-based law firm with multiple satellite offices.

Mr. Palacios and his wife, Laura have three children, including a daughter who was a member of Huntington’s Class of 2016 and who is now a University of Pennsylvania sophomore and two daughters at Flower Hill Primary School; a second grader and a fourth grader, both in dual language classes.

In 2008, Mr. Palacios purchased and renovated a distressed property in Huntington Station where he established a satellite law office along with a community revitalization non-profit organization.

Mentoring has been a priority throughout Mr. Palacios’ life. At Columbia, he taught SAT prep and biology courses to inner city students. He has continued mentoring young people and families in the community and encouraged parents to be actively involved in their child’s education. He has been recognized for his work in the community and his efforts to strengthen opportunities for young people.

Mr. Palacios volunteered in each of the past two years to serve as the high school mock trial team’s legal advisor, training students in the art of courtroom skills and strategies. He has spent many hours working behind the scenes with coaches and athletes to help spur participation and promote excellence in the Blue Devil athletic program.

During his time on the Huntington School Board, Mr. Palacios has strived to be a problem-solver and to use his legal expertise to contribute to solutions regarding pressing issues facing students, teachers and taxpayers.

Flower Hill Teacher is Retiring

Flower Hill Primary School second grade teacher Barbara J. Denis submitted her resignation for the purpose of retiring. Huntington School Board members approved the request last Monday night. Ms. Denis will officially retired at the close of business on June 30, 2018.

Washington School’s 50’s Day a Blast of Fun

It was recently 50’s Day at Washington Primary School as students came dressed in the attire of that decade, danced to the music that was popular way back then and immersed themselves in numbers, numbers and more numbers.

Elementary math coach Christine Lofaro came up with the idea and Principal Marsha Neville and faculty members quickly signed onto the initiative last year. It was so popular then that the duo decided to bring it back.

Students, teachers and para-professional staff members really got into the swing of it. Some of the outfits were striking, especially for the girls, with lots of pinks and poodle skirts, long dresses and a ton of fabrics and pleats, leather jackets and all kinds of bright colors and patterns.

Washington’s boys’ came decked out, too, with dress shirts and pants, smart suits, fedoras, rolled up dungarees and white socks, white tee shirts, shirts cutoff at the shoulders and all sorts of other period wear.

Faculty members gathered in the school gym early in the morning for a group photo. The incredibly authentic outfits simply demanded it. Mrs. Neville wore one of the most eye-catching combinations.

As students entered the building they were treated to 50’s music over the public address system. That same music blared all day long in the gym, where students bounced, threw and caught balls 50 times. They jumped rope, performed jumping jacks and engaged is all kinds of other activities, all to the count of 50.

In classrooms, students embraced numbers while playing a variety of math related games. There were puzzles, problems, playing cards, dice and even mock clocks, which students set to the appropriate time on command.

Many parents and grandparents visited Washington during the course of the day to observe some of the classroom activities. They all got a kick out of the teacher and student outfits.

One youngster in the gym requested the satellite radio station playing 50’s music be changed to a different channel, but his classmates patiently explained why that simply wasn’t possible on this special day.

Many students spontaneously danced to the music. On this day, everyone seemed to be in the mood for fun.

Huntington Alum Conducts Research in Denmark

Huntington High School Class of 2015 member Zachary Hearl recently completed an intense, hands-on research project in Denmark along with a student team from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

A WPI junior, Mr. Hearl is majoring in aerospace engineering. The Denmark project, titled “Addressing the Quality of Living and Nightlife in Nirre Kvar,” involved researching, observing, and analyzing the behavior of young adults while they were engaged in nighttime activities.

At WPI, all undergraduates are required to complete a research-driven, professional-level project that applies science and technology to addresses an important societal need or issue. “A signature element of the innovative undergraduate experience at WPI, the project-based curriculum offers students the opportunity to apply their scientific and technical knowledge to develop thoughtful solutions to real problems that affect the quality of people's lives-and make a difference before they graduate,” according to the college.

Mr. Hearl was recognized as a Distinguished Senior at Huntington High School, after compiling a sterling academic record. He was a member of the Blue Devil marching band that won the state championship in 2014.

Founded in 1865 in Worcester, Mass., WPI is one of the nation’s first engineering and technology universities. Its 14 academic departments offer more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science, engineering, technology, business, the social sciences and the humanities and arts, leading to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.

Huntington UFSD Trustee Xavier Palacios will be honored by Tri-CYA.
Huntington UFSD Trustee Xavier Palacios will be honored by Tri-CYA.
Washington's Alessandra Bennett dressed as Civil Rights Movement legend Rosa Parks.
Washington's Alessandra Bennett dressed as Civil Rights Movement legend Rosa Parks.
Huntington Class of 2015 member Zachary Hearl.
Huntington Class of 2015 member Zachary Hearl.