Student Scientists Present Research

Student Scientists Present Research photo
Student Scientists Present Research photo 2
Student Scientists Present Research photo 3
Student Scientists Present Research photo 4
Westhampton Beach High School Science Research students presented their research projects at the Long Island Science Congress competition, held April 10 at St. Anthony’s High School. The 16 students have been working on their extensive research under the direction of science teacher Dr. Dianna Gobler. Research topics included microplastic accumulation in sediments and shellfish, the elemental composition of paleontological samples and nicotine’s effect on the behavior of Caenorhabditis elegans, among others. Results of the competition will be available in May. 

Medical Marvels

Medical Marvels photo
Westhampton Beach High School Science Research students Jack Halloran, Evan Lockwood, Jane Paulson, Casey Gallagher, Jade Hawkesworth and Matt Daleo recently participated in the Medical Marvels competition hosted by the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research at Northwell Health in Manhasset. As part of the competition, the students were challenged to find a solution to a major health issue in New York State: vaping in schools. The students, under the direction of teacher Dr. Dianna Gobler, designed a plan that included infrared technology and microchips in student identification cards to reduce incidents of vaping in high-use areas.    

VFW Teacher of the Year

VFW Teacher of the Year photo
For his unwavering patriotism and dedication to the goals of the VFW, Westhampton Beach High School social studies teacher Korey Williams has been named the VFW New York State Teacher of the Year. 

Williams earned the honor after receiving a nomination from local VFW Post 5350. He is known for supporting the post’s annual Patriot’s Pen and Voice of Democracy student essay contests and inviting post members to tell their stories to students every November. 

Williams, who has been teaching in the Westhampton Beach School District for the past 24 years, said he is extremely honored by the recognition.
“He is well-deserving of this designation,” said high school Principal Dr. Christopher Herr. 

In addition to teaching, Williams coaches the Westhampton Beach Middle School football team and the junior varsity boys tennis team. He is also a Navy veteran, a 20-year member of VFW Post 5350, a 24-year member of the Westhampton Beach Fire Department, and sits as president of the trustees at the Westhampton Beach Presbyterian Church.   

With the state recognition, Williams is now in the running to become the national VFW Teacher of the Year. 

Prudential Spirit winner

Prudential Spirit winner photo
Westhampton Beach High School junior Emily Arpino has received a Prudential Spirit of Community Award for recently spearheading a very successful breast cancer awareness and fundraising project.

A member of her school’s varsity cheerleading team, Arpino earned the recognition for making pink cheerleading bows, which she adorned with breast cancer ribbon decals and rhinestones, and selling them to cheer teams across Long Island. Her project raised $4,280 for the LI2Day Walk, which will take place on June 8. 

The Westhampton Beach junior said she came up with the idea after searching for pink cheer bows for her team to wear during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, last October. Unable to find any, she opted to make and sell her own and donate all the proceeds.

This is not the first community service project Arpino has been involved in. Through the student travel program Rustic Pathways, she has ventured to Costa Rica to assist with a sea turtle project and will be heading to Peru to work on a water restoration project in the Sacred Valley. 

Along with cheering, Arpino is a baton twirler and participates in her school’s music program.    

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program recognizes middle and high school students for outstanding service to others at the local, state and national level. More than 125,000 students have been honored since 1995. 

Fresh Focus Heads to Finals

Fresh Focus Heads to Finals photo
Westhampton Beach High School’s Virtual Enterprise team, Fresh Focus, has landed a spot in the final round of the 2019 VE Social Venture Challenge. They are set to compete on April 17 in New York City for a chance to win $10,000 to start a real business. 

As part of the contest, the students were required to create a business concept that has a social or environmental impact, submit an application and business proposal, and produce a one-minute pitch video. They were one of three teams to advance to the finals. 

For their business project, team members Joe Commisso, Elena DeVita, Frank Lapinski and Jack Meigel created a virtual business that sells stylish, reusable lunch bags made from recycled cork. The hot/cold bags are not only voguish, but also meet TSA requirements and can easily fit under an airplane seat. The students brainstormed the idea after noticing that there were little to no fashionable options for lunch bags. They plan to market their product to female millennials.   

Bright Lights Winner

Bright Lights Winner photo
Westhampton Beach High School math teacher Nick Kochis is one of 23 Long Island educators to be recognized this year with a Suffolk ASSET Bright Lights Award for integrating technology into the classroom. 

Kochis, who has been teaching in the Westhampton Beach School District since 2009, earned the recognition for engaging his students through innovative learning platforms. He has used Google Classroom to pair his students with those in other states to collaboratively solve math problems. He also uses the math website GeoGebra to bring visual understanding to a variety of concepts, and this year introduced an augmented reality app to engage them even further. 

“I am very thankful for the district’s technology initiative and how it allows me to use technology in so many ways in my classroom,” said Kochis.  

Valedictorian and Salutatorian Named

Valedictorian and Salutatorian Named photo
Westhampton Beach High School has announced Chris Bender and Frank Lapinski as its Class of 2019 valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively. The two seniors earned the top spots in their class through their outstanding commitment to academics. 

Valedictorian Bender has achieved a number of academic accomplishments during his tenure at Westhampton Beach High School. He is a National AP Scholar, a National Merit Commended Scholar and the soon-to-be recipient of an AP Capstone diploma. He is also a member of the National, Math, Science and Foreign Language honor societies, serves as co-president of the Interact Club, and is a two-sport athlete on the varsity football and lacrosse teams. 

Bender plans to attend Williams College in the fall. He has not yet declared a major.  

Salutatorian Lapinski has an equally impressive academic track record. He is an AP Scholar, a member of the National, Math, Science and Foreign Language honor societies, president of his school’s mock trial team, co-president of the Interact Club, co-captain of the varsity quiz bowl team and chief financial officer of the school’s Virtual Enterprise team. In addition, he plays the saxophone and performs with his school’s jazz ensemble and pep and pit bands. Outside of school, he participates in the Riverhead Youth Court. 

Students Sign with Colleges

Students Sign with Colleges photo
Five Westhampton Beach seniors penned their names to national letters of intent during a recent signing ceremony. Pictured, from left, McKinley Skala, Geneseo University, soccer; Jon Mendoza, Yale University, football; Maeve Murphy, Boston University, track; Liam McIntyre, Brown University, football; and Brooke Walker, New York Institue of Technology, softball.