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Students Shine in ‘Les Misérables’

Students Shine in ‘Les Misérables’ photo

Students thespians from Glen Cove High School’s Masquers recently delivered an outstanding rendition of “Les Misérables School Edition” for family members, peers and community members.

The world-renowned play, set in 19th-century France, tells the tale of Jean Valjean, who is released from years of unjust imprisonment, but finds nothing in store for him but mistrust and mistreatment. Valjean breaks his parole in hopes of starting a new life. He begins a lifelong struggle for redemption, but is relentlessly pursued by police inspector Javert, who refuses to believe he can change his ways. Finally, during the Paris student uprising of 1832, Javert must confront his ideals after Valjean spares his life and saves that of the student revolutionary who has captured the heart of Valjean’s adopted daughter.

“Words cannot express the pride that I feel as the music director and conductor for the Masquers students. These kids took the daunting task of preparing and performing one of the hardest theatrical pieces in the repertoire with ease. To see that level of focus and commitment from our kids was just inspiring,” director Ed Norris said. “To have this show come out the way it did, especially with all of the obstacles is something that I will never forget. 

Mr. Norris expressed his gratitude to stage director Chakira Doherty for her spirit and vision, and to all of the students for their continued commitment to excellence. Bravo!

Students Visit National September 11 Memorial & Museum

Students Visit National September 11 Memorial & Museum
Students Visit National September 11 Memorial & Museum 2
Students Visit National September 11 Memorial & Museum 3
Glen Cove High School students visited the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City on May 2. As part of their visit, they participated in a workshop with a 9/11 Memorial educator, who discussed the significance of September 11 and how that day impacts our lives today. She also explained the history of the World Trade Center. The students took a guided tour of the museum, visited the Memorial Pools and the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, known as the Oculus. They were accompanied by Glen Cove High School teachers Liana Caesar-Quaye, Scott Johnson, Laura Makula and Rachel Sheridan. 

Cultures Celebrated at International Night

Cultures Celebrated at International Night

Glen Cove High School hosted International Night on April 15. The theme was Travel Through the World, and families were welcomed by students dressed as flight attendants who issued them a passport.

Upon entering the gymnasium, visitors were invited to explore students’ posterboard projects representing different countries and locations. The boards included information about the region’s population, languages spoken, currency, music, art, legends, famous sites, biomes and more. As the visitors walked further, they were met by student-volunteers who had prepared games, riddles, a photo booth and a group Kahoot! game session. Additionally, senior Olivia Martino created henna drawings at the event. 

Several community-based organizations also attended, providing information about the services and resources they provide. This year, New York Institute of Technology’s STEP program participated as well, with activities including a makerspace based on Earth Day projects, Wobble Bots, making of seed pods to take home, the science behind bath bombs, beach cleanup and a blood pressure station for adults.

Finally, the families were treated to an international food tasting while listening to music by DJ Simeon. Junior Ylka Valdez shared a passionate speech about immigration in Spanish and English, part of a solutions project for the NYIT STEP program. The evening concluded with a Dance Club performance.

It was a great event that was enjoyed by all of our attendees. Students came together to celebrate their diversity and proudly shared their projects about the different countries and regions represented in the school.

Photography Student Receives National Award, Others Win Regional Awards

art image

Several Glen Cove High School photography students won awards on both the local and national level of this year’s Photographic Society of America’s Youth Showcase. Juniors Michelle Bratcher, Elizabeth Ceriello, Michel Quezada-Cordova and senior Alexa Dominguez took home first, second and third place honors in various categories of the PSA’s regional competition.

Michel’s photograph then went on to win first place in the People/Animals category of the national competition. Her photograph and artist’s statement will soon be featured on the PSA’s website ( Michel has had several photography wins throughout her high school career, which her family and photography teacher Mrs. Melissa Johnides are incredibly proud of.   


Another Spark! Challenge Victory for Glen Cove Students

Another Spark photo
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A Glen Cove High School Spark! team was awarded first place and $2,000 in prize money for their presentation on emergency medicine at the Northwell Health Spark! Challenge competition, held on April 11 at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury. This is the third consecutive win in the past three years for the group.

Twenty-nine students, who were recruited from the high school’s honors anatomy and physiology electives, comprised three teams that presented the fields of emergency medicine, radiology and occupational therapy to judges who are top-level administrators in the Northwell Health System. Additionally, four high school seniors who had won the competition in previous years served as student coaches to support this year’s teams. 

The Spark! Challenge program is in its fifth year and provides shadowing experiences for the students within the Northwell Health System. This year, 47 school districts and more than 1,000 students from Long Island and the surrounding areas participated. After shadowing Northwell professionals, students work on projects and presentations for judging. Spark! team coach/science teacher Fran Krisch and art teacher Stephen Lombardo advise the students as they develop their projects and presentations.
This year’s team members and student coaches are Yanira Acosta-Yanes, Samantha Borgese,  Arlene Cajavilca, Paige Callaghan, Christina Cavallone, Natalie Corella, Cristian Cueva-Bonilla, Ciara Doyle, Megan Fahey, Latifa Fakhry, Fernanda Falcon, Kahley Gambino, Andres Garcia, Sara Garcia, Adriana Gigliotti, Carina Gigliotti, Caitriona Greene, Melissa Jaco, Karina Jaramillo, Neshauna Kawall, Sarah Perez, Fernando Portillo, Lauren Retoske, Lucretia Smith, Emma Spoto, Caterina Squarciafico, Evelyn Tran, Yllka Valdez, Nicole Valensisi, Greg Villafane, Reed Weimer, Abigail Weiser and Rosa Zavala.

The district is incredibly proud of the hard work that both students and teachers dedicated to this event. Their efforts have propelled Glen Cove High School to the forefront of this competition.

Students Test Math Skills at Olympiad

Students Test Math Skills at Olympiad photo
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Students Test Math Skills at Olympiad photo 3
Members of the National Honor Society and Math Honor Society recently participated in the North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad. Advisers Liana Caesar-Quaye and Laura Makula accompanied their students to a practice session and the competition at Long Island University, where 1,500 students participated. Senior Matthew Tran received first place and senior Cristian Cueva-Bonilla received second place in the Olympiad. The pair also received awards for attending the Long Island School for the Gifted in South Huntington. Congratulations to all the students who participated! 

‘Impractical Joker’ Surprises Horror and Suspense Students

‘Impractical Joker’ Surprises Horror and Suspense Students photo

It seemed like an ordinary Monday for Glen Cove High School students in Jason Bieder’s Horror and Suspense class – that was until James “Murr” Murray from the primetime comedy series “Impractical Jokers” walked into their classroom. Students were in disbelief as Murray entered and asked, “Do you know who I am?” Then the laughter began.

The class just finished reading Murray’s book “Awakened.” Brandon Aviles, a former Glen Cove graduate, donated 100 books to the school after Brandon met Murray at an event and he agreed to make a surprise visit to the high school if the students read his book. During the visit, students enjoyed listening to Murray read an excerpt from his next book, “The Brink: An Awakened Novel.” Murray also reviewed the students’ book reports on “Awakened.” The class enjoyed pizza and drinks thanks to Murray and Aviles. They were absolutely thrilled to meet Murray!   


Seniors Present Research at State Conference

Seniors Present Research at State Conference photo
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Glen Cove High School seniors Latifa Fakhry and Lucretia Smith had the honor of presenting to approximately 500 fellow students at this year’s annual New York State STEP Statewide Student Conference. 

To qualify to have their research proposal accepted at this conference, the pair began researching at the beginning of the school year. This was in addition to attending Glen Cove’s STEP program at New York Institute of Technology. Their research project focused on the semicircular canal morphology of the earliest stem mammal. Grecia Cisneros, Kenneth Gavino, Lindsay Gavino and Monica Juarez-Barnes also attended the conference, along with their adviser Ms. Jillian Romano and Diane Williams from NYIT.

Select Chorale Attends National Choir Festival

Select Chorale Attends National Choir Festival photo

The Glen Cove High School Select Chorale participated in the Music for All National Choir Festival in Indianapolis from March 13-16.

The choir worked with seven other choirs from around the country, as well as master choir conductors and composers, including Dr. André Thomas from Florida State University and composer Stacey Gibbs. During the tour the choir took part in workshops with various conductors on improvisation, movement in the choral rehearsal, the evolution of the African-American spiritual and more!

On Friday, March 15, the Select Chorale had a solo performance at St. John the Evangelist Church in downtown Indianapolis. Many of the choirs at the festival were in attendance, as well as all of the conductors/composers that were clinicians at the festival. The chorale delivered an outstanding performance that impressed all who were there. Dr. Thomas was so impressed with the singers that he wanted to work with the group after the concert. He told the students that they were the only group that he worked with throughout the entire festival, which was a huge honor. 

“Dr. Thomas is the very best in his field and having him work with our choir was amazing and humbling all at once,” Select Chorale Director Ed Norris said.

The Glen Cove singers, combined with the other choirs, performed a concert at The Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts, the highlight of the trip. 

“I could not be any more proud of our students,” Mr. Norris said. “They handled themselves like the true professionals they are, both musically and in terms of their behavior. I truly believe this festival changed our choir forever. We are all better musicians because of it.”

To view the full performance at St. John the Evangelist Cathedral in Indianapolis, click here

To view GCTV Friday Morning News’ coverage of the trip, click here

Sophomores Learn About the Holocaust

Sophomores Learn About the Holocaust photo

Glen Cove High School 10th-grade students participated in the One Act of Courage program from March 18-21, hosted by Ms. Helen Turner, director of youth education at the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County.

The One Act of Courage program was created by Holocaust survivor Bernard Otterman, whose mission was to teach youth the history of the Holocaust and to put what they learn about the Holocaust into positive, proactive actions for the good of others. This program is designed to build a better community by asking our students to become civically engaged.

Special thanks to Ms. Turner, Principal Antonio Santana, assistant principals Allen Hudson and Katie Prudente, and the 10th-grade teachers who supported and assisted with the preparation and planning of this grade-level field trip.



Seniors Attend Leadership Institute in Albany


Glen Cove High School seniors Yanira Acosta Yanes and Mindy Morales Espinoza participated in this year’s Angelo del Toro Puerto Rican/Hispanic Youth Leadership Institute in Albany, New York, from March 9-11. Mindy and Yanira were part of a group of 42 students representing Long Island. Approximately 250 high school students statewide attended the three-day event.

The leadership institute provides an opportunity for New York State high school Latino/Hispanic students to enhance their leadership skills and knowledge in order to be productive citizens. Through the training activities completed in the months leading up to the institute, students gained knowledge of the New York State legislative process. These activities focused on public speaking and debating, research of four bills to be debated at the mock state assembly, networking, interview of their local assembly member and discussion of issues that affect the future of Latino/Hispanic youth. The training sessions were led by one of the district’s former ENL teachers, Gaetano Vaccaro, who was also the leader of the Long Island delegation. 

On Saturday, student delegates arrived at the University at Albany campus for the opening of the institute. They were greeted by opening remarks and a moderator chosen from the various delegations. The assembly continued with the keynote speaker, Julissa Arce, a CNBC media contributor, writer, speaker and social justice advocate. 

Delegates then attended various workshops to prepare leadership projects based on the theme of being bilingual and biliterate. Workshops were chosen previously and included filmmaking, dance, song, My Voice, murals, spoken word/hip hop and drama. In the evening, students presented their respective projects to everyone. Mindy and Yanira worked on a mural inspired by the theme of the presentations. 

On Sunday, all the delegations made their way to the Capitol to prepare for the Legislative Mock Assembly. Students had been previously assigned their roles, with most playing the role of their district’s assembly person. The girls represented 13th District Assembly member Charles D. Lavine. There were also some specialty roles like governor, speaker of the house, clerks, minority and majority leaders, sergeant-at-arms, color guard and bill sponsors. The Legislative Mock Assembly was run only by student delegates. They split into their party caucuses and came back together to present bills, debate and vote on them. It was truly amazing to see! The day ended with the Recognition Dinner, where awards and scholarships were presented. 

On Monday, the Long Island delegation received a tour of the Capitol by 6th District Assembly member Phil Ramos. He gave them a private tour of the legislative offices, museum and Senate chambers.

As an alumnus of the youth leadership institute (’98) and mentor to the Glen Cove delegates, it was Spanish teacher Ms. Domifer Francisco’s honor to accompany Yanira and Mindy on this journey. The Glen Cove community should be very proud of these two young ladies for their hard work and dedication to this institute. Both Mindy and Yanira agreed that this was an experience like no other they’ve had. 

When asked what their major takeaway was, Mindy said, “When we come together, we can achieve so much as a community of Latinos,” and Yanira commented, “Everyone coming together as one and representing the Latino community was one of the best feelings.” 

Board Trustee Delivers History Lesson to Juniors


Board of Education trustee Mr. David Huggins visited Mr. Christopher Contorno’s 11th-grade U.S. History and Government classes on March 14.

Mr. Huggins’ uncle, James Doran, a Glen Cove resident, left Glen Cove High School and volunteered to serve in the United States Navy during WWII. Mr. Huggins shared his family’s experiences with WWI, WWII and the Korean War, and allowed students to examine documents, military awards and artifacts that Mr. Huggins’ uncle received during and after World War II.