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The USDA has extended the free breakfast and free lunch offerings for all school districts participating in the National School Lunch Program through June 2022. Therefore, all students remain eligible for breakfast and lunch at no cost for the entire 2021-2022 school year. Please note that a' la carte items are not considered "meals" and do not qualify as free, but are still available for purchase. THESE ITEMS INCLUDE INDIVIDUAL CARTONS OF MILK, INDIVIDUAL JUICE, BEVERAGES, SNACKS, INDIVIDUAL FRUIT. For additional information, please contact Child Nutrition at 631-382-5000.

Great Hollow's Colleen McKillop Named County's Middle School Physical Ed. Teacher of Year

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Colleen McKillop with Pat Smith at Thursday night's award presentation.

Great Hollow Middle School physical education teacher Colleen McKillop earned a highly respected award on Thursday night.

McKillop was honored as the Suffolk Zone Middle School Physical Education Teacher of the Year by the New York State Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance at its awards dinner.

In addition to her physical education duties at Great Hollow, McKillop also coaches the school’s field hockey team.

“Colleen earned this prestigious award due to her innovative technology and interdisciplinary teaching strategies infused into her physical education lessons,” district coordinator of physical education Pat Smith said. “These strategies were particularly impressive through adaptations and enhancement made due to virtual learning.”

Date Added: 1/21/2022

Middle School Musicians Get Preview of Opportunities That Await in High School

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Eighth grade musicians received a taste on Thursday of what awaits them when they arrive in high school next academic year.

Great Hollow Middle School students zoned for High School West as well as Accompsett Middle School students visited their future home on Thursday morning for performances from current members of the high school’s concert band, symphonic orchestra, concert and jazz choirs, and symphonic band, including the woodwind and jazz ensembles.

Nesaquake and the other Great Hollow Middle School musicians similarly will visit High School East on Friday.

The goal is to introduce the eighth graders to options that await them next year and beyond, and energize them about wanting to participate once they arrive at the high school.

High school teachers began each performance with information about when the different music groups meet and the requirements to join.

The symphonic orchestra even previewed an upcoming concert gala performance by playing Star Wars’ Yoda theme song for the middle school students.

“The people on the stage are the present,” orchestra teacher Joe Cotignola told Great Hollow eighth graders while motioning to the current-day High School West symphonic orchestra on stage. “You are the future — the seeds. … I look forward to when you’re playing for Great Hollow students in the years to come.”

Date Added: 1/20/2022

Smithtown CSD Students Selected for All-County Band, Orchestra, Chorus Ensembles

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The High School West concert orchestra performs on Dec. 14.

A bevy of Smithtown Central School District musicians and singers in fifth through 10th grades have been selected for all-county honors ensembles.

The honorees, who now may participate in county bands, orchestras and choruses:

High School East: Emily Lam (cello), Jolene Cao (harp), Sanjivani Singh (violin 1), Shriyans Singh (violin 2), Rishabh Dholakia (violin 1), Jessica Penna (cello), Jake Lomando (viola), Jolene Cao (violin 2), Josephine Lent (percussion), Carter Lam (alto sax 2), Leo Carnevale (trumpet 3), Michael Van Brunt (percussion), Sarah Schrier (soprano 2), Ariana Glaser (alto 2), Joseph Newman (tenor 2), Ashley Irmscher (alto 2).

High School West: Rose Link (flute 2), Ethan Benstock (trumpet 1), Mikayla Grafstein (flute 2), Erika Gehrling (alto 2), Noella Sexton (soprano 2), Hatim Husainy (bass 1), Jarod Hirsch (tenor 2), Zachary Podair (tenor 2), Jia Macalinao (also 2), Vincent Fallacaro (bass 2), Melvin Cheng (violin 1), Henri Buchet (violin 1), Abigail Jung (violin 2), Anabelle Krietzman (violin 2), Hannah Ren (violin 1), Heng Ye (cello), Kayla O’Hagan (violin 1).

Accompsett Middle School: Keith Carden (percussion), Allyson McCabe (trumpet 3), Matthew Segal (trumpet 3), Matthew Galletta (alto sax 2), Rose Scavuzzo (flute 2), Jacey Lin (violin 1), Katherine Norris (violin 2), Lilah Carden (violin 2), Asha Andrews (soprano), Emily McNiff (alto), Michael Lagnese (children’s voice 1), Dominic Scavuzzo (children’s voice 1), Emmerson LeBrecht (alto).

Great Hollow Middle School: Juliet Chong (violin 1), Laina Magguilli (violin 2), Vanya Sharma (viola), Jake Saidens (violin 2), Ava Tagliavia (percussion), Madeline McCullough (Bb clarinet 3), Matthew Benstock (percussion timpani), Hannah Waller (soprano), Marilena Castoro (soprano).

Nesaquake Middle School: Sophia Leodis (flute 2), Maisie Havis (baritone/euphonium), Kevin Ronan (baritone/euphonium), Ryan Mitchell (trumpet 1), Justin Basile (tuba), Jack Moylan (Bb clarinet 3), Robert Boccafola-Fritz (bass clarinet), Eleanor Hottenroth (French horn 4), Riley Poole (French horn 4), Lyla Groneman (percussion mallet), Naomi Sanabia (violin 2), Nicholas Puccio (cello), Madelyn Geldmacher (violin 1), Ethan Tuzinkiewicz (viola), Allison Song (violin 2), Jaden Robinson (soprano), Jonathan Setzer (baritone), Joanna Hurd (children’s voice 1), Jordan Greenridge (children’s voice 1), Dahlia McHugh (children’s voice 1).

Accompsett Elementary: Veronica Leitner (children’s voice 1), Julia Lovejoy (children’s voice 1), Gabrielle Conforte (children’s voice 1).

Great Hollow MS Club Engages in 'Cupcake Wars'

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The Cupcake Wars have arrived at Great Hollow Middle School this week.
After school on Wednesday, students in the FCCLA club collaborated to bake cupcakes. And on Thursday, the competition began as members of the club used designs they had sketched to decorate their cupcakes, which will now be reviewed by judges.
Students added coloring to their icing to fit their concepts, and some painted faces on marshmallows to enhance their cupcake designs.
Sprinkles, melted chocolate, pretzels and Twizzlers were among the other sweets used.
One student confessed at the start of Day 2 that the only thing about the competition that concerned her was eating too many of the sweets and not having enough remaining to design her cupcake.
A clock counted down as the students decorated their cupcakes to increase the feel of a competition.
The Family, Career and Community Leaders of America club at Great Hollow is led by advisors Erin Hall, Anne D’Addario and Kristen Grismer.
Donning aprons, the trio offered tips, including how to set up the piping bag that allows icing to be dispensed onto the cupcakes.

Great Hollow Middle School Nominates Talented Musicians for SCMEA Honor

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Congratulations to Great Hollow Middle School's 2021 SCMEA nominees!
The Suffolk County Music Association stages an all-county festival featuring the most talented performers from throughout Suffolk County. Students are nominated based on their NYSSMA solo scores and teacher recommendation.
Students will find out if they are chosen in the next few weeks.
The Great Hollow nominees:
CHORUS: Marilena Castoro, Hannah Waller, Rayshelle Brown, Jillian Caulin, Danielle Blackstone, Samantha Sternberg
ORCHESTRA: Liana Cheng, Jake Saidens, Vanya Sharma, Laina Magguilli, Juliet Chong, Michael Coppola
BAND: Matthew Benstock, Madeline McCullough, Ava Tagliavia, Brooke Powell, Madison Powell, Amanda Irmscher, Mars Cliffe, Andrew Tufo.

Great Hollow MS Field Hockey Recognized as Scholar-Athlete Team

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The Great Hollow Middle School field hockey team received T-shirts on Thursday to honor their achievements in the classroom as well as on the field.

The students were recognized with the Scholar-Athlete Team Award for posting the top combined fall GPA of any team at Great Hollow.

Members of the team include Connie Armentano, Maria Armentano, Ashley Ball, Hallie Bell, Danielle Blackstone, Nicole Cappock, Olivia Cerna, Emily Cho, Colette Fox, Emily Giordano, Alex Kouvel, Veronika Leshko, Alexa Lipp, Alexandria Marulis, Samantha Mauro, Maria McDonald, Regan O’Connor, Ashley Parks, Leila Piccoli, Meghan Prevet, Julia Serrentino, Sophia Taylor, Abigail Turney, Taylor Wright, Caitlyn Wuttke and Maggie Worontzoff.

The squad is coached by Colleen McKillop.

English Students Utilize 'Sketchnoting' to Reinforce Lessons from Dickens Classic

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Seventh graders at Great Hollow Middle School will be visiting Theatre Three in the Port Jefferson later this month to watch a live performance of “A Christmas Carol.”

In advance of that field trip, students have been studying Charles Dickens’ holiday-themed novella about Ebenezer Scrooge and the ghost of his former business partner, Jacob Marley.

On Monday, that education continued in Victoria Wanser’s English classes as she read a portion of the story to her students and they sketched key concepts and terms in their notebooks — capturing phrases such as the oft-repeated “humbug” with their drawings.

Wanser believes “sketchnoting” is an effective way to teach her students. She was inspired by a class called, “Ink & Ideas: Sketchnotes for Engagement, Comprehension and Thinking,” which was taught by author Tanny McGregor.

“She emphasized the importance of making thinking visual in order to strengthen comprehension, and how a different kind of thinking happens with pen in hand,” Wanser said.

9-Year-Old Service Dog Ken Visits Great Hollow MS Health Class

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Students in Al Nucci’s eighth grade health class at Great Hollow Middle School learned about therapy dogs from a special visitor on Monday.

Ken, a nine-year-old Goldendoodle, and his partner Terry Gallogly visited the students in the school’s library.

The students learned the difference between therapy dogs and service dogs while having the opportunity to interact with Ken, who is affiliated with Therapy Dogs of Long Island.

Service dogs have a specific handler and role and typically only interact with that one person — for instance, assisting someone who is visually impaired.

Therapy dogs, by comparison, interact with all of those around them in a room. They provide tangible health benefits for those with whom they interact, the students learned, including lowering blood pressure, reducing stress, and increasing serotonin levels — the hormone that affects people’s moods.

Ken’s business card — yes, he has a business card — indicates that his favorite activity is playing ball. So the students also had a chance to toss a ball and watch Ken retrieve it for them during the fourth-period visit on Monday.

Great Hollow Musicians Return to Stage for Winter Concerts

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Band director Anthony Dazzo could not contain his excitement throughout the day at Great Hollow Middle School.

“All day I was walking around saying, ‘We have a concert tonight,’” Dazzo told an in-person audience on Wednesday evening at the auditorium at High School West. “We’re back. We’re here.”

Sure enough, for the first time in two years, Great Hollow musicians performed for a live audience. The sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade bands each held their winter concerts under the direction of Dazzo, Sandy Jurlando and Lawrence Lippman.

The sixth-grade musicians performed Jingle Bells, Battle of the Samurai, Zombie Stomp and Let It Snow. The seventh-grade musicians performed the Star Spangled Banner, Believer, Bay Town Festival and Afterburn. And the eighth-grade musicians performed March Jubilee, The Greatest Show, Shallow and Aventura.

“This is our gift for our families and community,” Great Hollow principal John Scomillio said.