Sewanhaka Central High School District welcomed back its teaching staff during its annual opening day ceremony at Sewanhaka High School on Sept. 1.
Student-musicians from the district’s chorus opened the event, performing an outstanding rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner.” Assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction Dr. Cheryl Champ then welcomed the district’s professionals back to school, expressing gratitude for their service and offering words of encouragement for the upcoming school year.
“Despite the heat, despite the long list of to dos that we all have to get done before that first bell rings on Sept. 6, we are hoping that you leave here this morning feeling reconnected, recommitted and inspired to make this your best year yet,” Dr. Champ said.
Board of Education President David Fowler, Sewanhaka Central Council of PTA’s president Veronica Golderg and Sewanhaka Federation of Teachers President Joseph Grossi also addressed the group, wishing the district professionals a great school year.
Members of the district’s custodial staff were highlighted at the ceremony, entering the auditorium to the Rocky movie theme song “Gonna Fly Now” to resounding applause from those in attendance. Superintendent Dr. Ralph Ferrie commended the group for their exceptional work over the summer months. Dr. Ferrie also thanked members of the clerical staff and those in the technology department for their tireless service.
Staff members with 25 years of service to the district were honored at the event, as were the recipients of the Superintendent’s Teacher of the Year award—Elmont Memorial High School science teacher David Spinnato, Floral Park Memorial High School special education teacher Susan Bach, H. Frank Carey High School social studies teacher Paul Luzzi, New Hyde Park Memorial High School physical education teacher Jacqueline Rizzuto and Sewanhaka High School Career and Technical Education teacher Jack Chen.
Superintendent Dr. Ferrie delivered the closing remarks, which began with the district’s professionals watching “Animal School,” an animated video that focuses on the diverse needs of students and how they’re educated.
“I would hope that you will reflect on what you saw here and put it in the back of your minds — how important it is that we really pay attention to the needs of all these students. It is our responsibility to ensure that we make these students feel accepted.”
Dr. Ferrie discussed the challenges in education that presented themselves over the last few years and thanked those in attendance for their patience during the district’s extensive renovations. He concluded his remarks wishing the district’s professionals a wonderful school year.
—Submitted by Sewanhaka Central
High School District