Nassau Cool Note: Middle School Science Bowl Winner


The Great Neck South Middle School team won first place at this year’s Regional Middle School Science Bowl in Long Island and New York City.

Victory means that junior high school has won the regional bowl for the fourth consecutive year. It also means that the Great Neck South High School team won the Long Island Regional High School Science Bowl in January, which means that the Great Neck School has wiped out the regional middle and high school bowls in a row.

The Bowl, with 20 teams from 11 junior high schools, is a “Jeopardy!” Style contest that covers topics such as math and general, life and physical sciences. It’s usually held at Brookhaven National Laboratory, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was virtually held this year.

Team members of Great Neck South are Ashley Nguyen, Yilin Qiao, Allen Vee and Zican Zhang. They will then virtually compete in the National Science Bowl in May.

“After answering two life science questions in a row in the elimination round, morale improved significantly,” Chao said of the regional bowl.

The 2nd and 3rd place honors of the Regional Bowl were awarded to the Hunter College High School team in Manhattan and another team from the Great Neck South Middle School, respectively.

This year’s event also featured a cybersecurity challenge that imposes students on completing crypto puzzles. First place went to Anant Gupta at the Great Neck South Middle School.


Activity wheel

Steel Elementary School has used an outdoor hand-painted “activity wheel” during a COVID-19 pandemic PE class. Using cardboard boxes and stencils made from paint donated by Baldwin’s Ace Hardware, wheels were created to provide a fun fitness challenge while maintaining a social distance.

The fitness station has a promenade with hopscotch, mazes, painted “grass” and blue “lakes”. They were created by PE teachers Joseph Billy and Richard Gargillo.

“The dedication, passion and creativity proven in Billi and Gargiro’s efforts to create the activity wheel have helped to provide countless meaningful physical activities to all children and have been a source of great joy. “We are,” said Principal Steele Nicolehan.

North Belmore

New principal

James O’Brien was appointed Principal of Martin Avenue Elementary School in the North Belmore School District on July 1st. He will replace Reina Malone, Secretary General of Student Personnel Services and Special Education in the school district.

O’Brien, who has worked in the district for 20 years, is now the Vice-Principal of Somil Road Elementary School in the district. He also taught sixth grade at school.

“I’m really looking forward to working with staff, parents, and especially students,” O’Brien said. “We look forward to building relationships with the entire Martin Abbey School community.”

The entire county

Distinguished children

Thirty-eight students were named “Kids of Distinction” by Nassau County for their diligence, dedication and success.

The winners and their school districts are: Jacob Fine, Joshua Fine, Caroline Gross, Arjunmeta, Jericho. Anna Catherine Court and Jenna Harpin, Locust Valley; Daniel Siccone, Manhasset; Stella Gold, North Shore; Mariela Altamirano, Tate Baehr, Kevin Biggiani, Joseph Brienza, Matthew Carlinsky, Kaitlynn Chang, Amelia Hahn, Ali Khalfan, Elise Kim, Chase Lordi, Liliana McEvoy, Jancarlos Moran, Kaela Miley, Samantha Myers, Julia Noboa, Katherine Pinnock, Peter Sapienza, Audrey Underberg and Mariel Basquez, Oyster Bay-East Norwich; Curly Smithson, Roslyn; Jake Gagliano, Joseph Gagliano, Baani , Sabrina Guo, Uma Kaushik, Eesha Kaushik, Matthew Kusnetz, Anoushka Rishi, Ethan Silverstein, Aayush Turakhia, Syosset.

— Michael R. Evert

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