By Jillian Haguisan
In 1985, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) created the “No Place for Hate” initiative to promote inclusivity and safety within schools. Since then, over 1,600 schools across the United States have implemented the program—including Oyster Bay High School.
Mrs. Rebecca Menuzzo, OBHS Assistant Principal for grades 7-9, organized the program. Beginning in late January, Mrs. Menuzzo encouraged students who demonstrate leadership qualities, from all grades, to join.
By Caleigh O'Toole
Oyster Bay High School was lucky enough to welcome many new teachers and staff members to our community this year. Among the many newcomers is Mrs. Keegan Harris. The Oswego State University alumnus joined our OBHS family as a 9th Grade Advanced World History and Participation in Government teacher.
Mrs. Harris is in her 13th year of teaching and is excited to be working at OBHS. Being that Mrs. Harris has been teaching for so long, I wanted to know what initially piqued her interest in becoming an educator. Mrs. Harris says, “When I was twelve years old, my mother had me watch Schindler's List. I remember crying hysterically after the film and asking her why she had me watch something so sad. She simply said, ‘If you want to change the future, you have to learn from the past.’ That was the moment I knew I wanted to become a social studies teacher.”
By Stefanie Sadocha
The OBHS Music Department was pleased to hold their annual winter concert on November 24th. Under the direction of Mr. Sisia and Mr. Gianetta, the Middle Level Band, Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble abided by state regulations in order to put on a virtual, socially-distant concert.
This annual performance was moved to a virtual format that enabled students to perform without an audience in the high school gym. A recording of these performances was just released to the community on the Fine and Performing Arts Department’s website on December 17th, the night the concert was originally scheduled for.
By Amelia Hahn
This fall, Oyster Bay High School welcomed a new Social Studies teacher, Mr. Towers. Mr. Towers looks forward to getting to know all of the students and staff, and he says that he “can already tell what a great school this is.”
After graduating from college, Mr. Towers taught for four years upstate in Dover Plains, NY. He then moved to Long Island and began working at Cold Spring Harbor High School, where he worked for the next nine years prior to coming to Oyster Bay.
Mr. Towers says he was inspired to be a teacher because he has “always enjoyed school.” He adds, “I had a positive experience during my days as a student, and I always felt that teaching would be a good fit for me.”
By Beryl Rosenberg
This fall, Oyster Bay High School welcomed a new physical education teacher, Mr. Geiger. Mr. Geiger is excited to be teaching here at OBHS, and he is passionate about making connections with students and staff who are happy to meet and welcome him into the OBHS community. Mr. Geiger kindly participated in a Q&A.
Did you always know you wanted to have a career in education?
“For as long as I can remember, I knew I wanted to work in education. My family is filled with educators, so growing up, school always was the main priority. During every holiday and social gathering, the conversations were always centered around teaching and what was happening in their schools. This ignited my passion for teaching at such a young age.”
By Stefanie Sadocha
From November 16th-20th, the OBHS senior class participated in their own Senior Spirit Week. Seniors proudly displayed their school spirit by wearing a unique outfit correlating with each day’s theme.
Neon bows and high socks flooded the hallways as seniors took a trip back to their middle school persona on Monday, which was “Dress like Your Younger Self Day.” Students chose to wear an outfit that best represented their style from when they were in middle or elementary school.
By Jillian Haguisan
Oyster Bay High School welcomed two new science teachers for the 2020-2021 school year, one of whom is Ms. Lisa McDougal.
Ms. McDougal teaches 8th grade science, Applied Chemistry, Applied Physics, and Regents Chemistry. Although she taught Living Environment in the past and loves biology, she also enjoys chemistry for its application to everyday life and its ability to connect us to the world in which we live.
Having previously taught 7th and 8th graders at Edmund W. Miles Middle School, Ms. McDougal is learning how different teaching high school students can be. “My 10th through 12th graders are more self-directed and independent, and we get through the work quickly,” she says. “I enjoy being able to have more in-depth scientific discussions with them.”
By Neal Mehta
Social workers and psychologists at OBHS welcome Dr. Matthew Jurgens as the new Assistant Director of the Special Services Department. Dr. Jurgens joined the Oyster Bay faculty in July, replacing the interim supervisor, Dr. Laurie Scimeca. He also serves as a Committee Chairperson on the OBEN-CSD’s Special Services Committee. Together, Dr. Jurgens and newly appointed Director Ms. Lynette Abruzzo lead the Special Services Department.
Before joining the administration of the Oyster Bay-East Norwich CSD, Dr. Jurgens was a Transition Specialist at a grant-funded program for Eastern Suffolk BOCES. After that, he worked in the Commack School District for five years as a Special Education Coordinator.
By Grace Barrios
Sending your child into a school full of students, teachers and administrators in the midst of a pandemic cannot be comforting for parents. There is no guarantee that students are 100% safe when they walk through the doors of their schools. Although precautions are put in place, parents can't help but wonder, how safe is my child?
Some parents are content with hybrid learning and believe it is the best solution to ensure safety for students and staff during the pandemic. Theresa Kelly, an OB parent, says, “I feel a bit tentative about sending my children to school; however, I believe the state and the school are taking the necessary precautions to ease my concerns about sending my child to [school].”
By Jillian Haguisan
Oyster Bay High School welcomes Ms. Maria Zambuto to its Science Department. This year, Ms. Zambuto teaches 7th grade science and Living Environment.
Ms. Zambuto earned her Bachelor's of Science and Master’s of Teaching in Biology at Stony Brook University. During her time as part of the Gurevitch Labs as both an undergraduate and graduate student, she conducted plant ecology research in the campus greenhouse. She studied the invasive plant species known as spotted knapweed (Centaurea Stoebe) and how it interacted with native plant species--orchard grass, specifically. While researching, Ms. Zambuto gathered evidence about how dangerous spotted knapweed was to local ecosystems in New York.