Teacher And Student Honored By Board

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Celebrating the hard work and talent of students and teachers in the district, the Glen Cove Board of Education meeting began with recognition of those who recently won awards. Finley Middle School student Ava Ruiz won a national poetry award contest and Glen Cove High School teacher Christopher Contorno was named the Outstanding Long Island Social Studies Teacher of the Year; both were given accolades at the May 23 meeting, held at Finley Middle School.

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Landing School teacher Denise Reynolds is pictured with Finley Middle School student Ava Ruiz.

Ruiz was honored for the inclusion of her poem “Coming True,” in The America Library of Poetry’s book Eloquence. Less than 20 percent of all submissions to the national student poetry contest were utilized in the collection, which included entries from students around the country. Ruiz submitted her poem in the competition while she was a student at Landing School. Landing fifth-grade teacher Denise Reynolds was on hand at the meeting and presented Ruiz with a copy of the book.

Contorno was celebrated for being named The Long Island Council for the Social Studies Outstanding High School Social Studies Teacher of the Year. Social studies coordinator Melanie Arfman nominated Contorno for the honor and shared some kind words about his contributions to the district’s students with those at the meeting.

“All and all I think you are the epitome of what we want out children to experience,” Superintendent Maria Rianna said. “We have the opportunity to have you involved in so many things and we thank you for the time you give our students.”

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Glen Cove High School teacher Christopher Contorno is pictured with Superintendent Maria Rianna and social studies coordinator Melanie Arfman

Dr. Michael Israel, assistant superintendent for curriculum, gave an update on the technology committee and the district’s iPad initiative and the smart bond initiative. The district has provided iPads and Apple TVs to classrooms and has improved infrastructure to allow for faster Internet. They are in the process of applying for a grant to help further improve infrastructure.

The board adopted three policies, including the Children’s Internet Protection Act: Internet Content Filtering/Safety Policy, Purchasing and the Scheduling and Routing policy based on the results of Proposition No. 2 that passed on May 17. This policy will allow all students attending grades six through 12 who reside within the corporate limits of the City of Glen Cove and live one mile or more from the school to which they are assigned, and all students attending grades kindergarten through fifth to be eligible for transportation, beginning in the fall. Rianna said that school start times for all buildings will still need to be finalized to accommodate this new policy.

Trustee Gail Nedbor-Gross asked for an update on the middle school honors program, which has been discussed at several meetings since November and has received a  lot of input from parents and students. The district is considering making curriculum changes; Rianna said that nothing has been “set in stone” and they have taken into account all of the comments and feedback from the community in making a decision about how to proceed with the curriculum next year. The topic will be discussed at the Monday, June 6, board of education meeting, which will be at the Robert M. Finley Middle School library.

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