By Stefanie Sadocha
This fall, the Oyster Bay-East Norwich CSD welcomed a new Director of Special Services, Ms. Lynette Abruzzo. Ms. Abruzzo is ecstatic to learn more about the tight-knit community of Oyster Bay-East Norwich as she continues to become acquainted with students and staff.
Ms. Abruzzo grew up in Queens and earned her Bachelor's Degree in Special Education and Elementary Education at St. John’s University. She then continued her education at Queens College, where she received her Masters Degree in Speech/Language Pathology.
By Ava Aschettino
OBHS welcomes Ms. Megan Galioto to the 2020-2021 new teacher lineup with open arms. Ms. Galioto is the newest member of the English Department, teaching English 7 and Humanities Research. She received a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in education from Villanova University. When Ms. Galioto first joined the OBEN community last year, she worked in the writing center and served as a leave replacement, teaching the Literacy Connections course at the middle level. Interested in learning more about one of OBHS’s newest staff members? Ms. Galioto introduces herself in an in-depth Q&A!
By Sammie Cohen
OBHS reopened in early September with new safety protocols in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Schools in the district reopened for in-person learning for the first time since March when New York implemented statewide rules and lockdown measures. Some of the new protocols at OBHS include maintaining six feet of social distance, wearing masks, participating in temperature checks, and using desk guards.
Over the summer, a reopening committee, which included parents and administrators, was formed. The committee worked together to generate the best plan for reopening schools safely. The plan implements changes that meet CDC guidelines, which align with Governor Cuomo’s state guidelines.
The plan called for middle level students to attend school every day, while students in grades 9-12 participate in a hybrid schedule, attending in person only every other day. Students are designated by their last names into two groups, A-L and M-Z. When students are home, they are required to attend school remotely via Zoom and/or Google Meet with the other half of their class.
By Stefanie Sadocha
Rope swings and balance beams were only a few of the activities the OBHS Seniors participated in on October 14th. The Class of 2021 took a field trip to the Nassau BOCES Brookville Outdoor and Environmental Campus, where they engaged in numerous team building activities while enjoying a day in nature.
The seniors started their day off as a large group, participating in ice-breaking activities like the game Categories. The students were then broken up into small groups with whom they would spend the rest of their day. Each small group was headed by a naturalist who led and supervised each group activity. The naturalists provided real life scenarios to maximize communication and teamwork within each group.
By Kaitlyn Aasheim
After almost ten months, Nassau County has set a start date for high school sports seasons to resume in January of 2021.
Coaches and athletes in Oyster Bay are excited about the possibility of sports returning for this school year. Ms. Wink, a physical education teacher who also coaches at OBHS, said, “As a coach of three different teams during the school year, I am excited for the possibility of athletics starting this January. Regardless of start dates and duration of time, I will be grateful to be back on the field and court with my student athletes.”
While many are excited and optimistic about the return of sports, safety is still the top priority in both Nassau County and OBHS. “Although I have missed coaching tremendously,” Ms. Wink shared, “the safety of student athletes, coaches, families, and officials has been, and will continue to be, the priority.”
By Matthew Tepper
As the 2019-2020 school year comes to an end, the Class of 2020’s Valedictorian, Aavi Gupta, has proven to be an accomplished student. This fall, Aavi will head to Princeton University to pursue a career in the field of science, majoring in either chemistry or molecular biology.
Aavi’s passion for science stems from his family members’ health conditions. “I grew concerned about my predisposition to the possibility of a heart condition in the future, so I grew interested in cardiology through some of the research I did when I was younger,” he said.
While attending a summer program at Stony Brook University during his sophomore year, Aavi had the opportunity to explore dozens of different medical professions. “I learned not only about interesting surgeries, but also why some of these doctors entered the medical profession in the first place. Some of them had been interested from a young age, and others felt a need to give back to the communities that fostered them, so medicine was their way of doing so.” After attending the program, Aavi decided he wanted to dedicate his life to improving the lives of others.
By Ava Aschettino
Julia Cutajar has earned one of the most coveted spots in her class: Salutatorian of the Class of 2020. Julia’s strong character, impressive accomplishments, and years of dedication and hard work make her an exemplary member of the student body. In addition to her involvement in school clubs, honor societies, and volunteer organizations, Julia managed to earn one of the highest GPAs in her class. Interested in learning more about this star student? Julia recently sat down to answer some questions about her experience at OBHS and her future plans.
Where do you plan to attend college and have you made any decisions on what to study?
“I will be attending the University of Notre Dame, and I will be majoring in architecture. My dream job is to design buildings and amusement park rides that are perfectly accustomed to those with special needs or complex medical conditions. Through volunteering, I have seen first-hand how there are limitations in their everyday experiences. My mission came to be when I volunteered at a children’s hospital and saw an inclusive playground. I realized that I wanted this inclusivity to go beyond hospital walls and playgrounds.”
What will you miss the most about high school?
“I will miss the faculty at OBHS the most. Over the years, I have had great experiences with my teachers; I have always been able to go to them for advice and support. They are not only my teachers, but they are my mentors.”
By Amelia Hahn and Katherine Pinnock
While quarantined, students and staff members have been looking for a way to stay connected and engaged.The Instagram account @OysterBayStudents has allowed teachers to interact with students through livestreams, takeovers, and more!
@OysterBayStudents is operated by yours truly, Amelia Hahn and Katherine Pinnock. When virtual learning first began back in March, we pitched the idea of creating an Instagram page to the administrators at Oyster Bay High School. Our goal when starting this account was to unite our peers and faculty members, as well as keep school spirit alive while we were stuck at home.
Since launching the account, we have worked hard to keep everyone connected. We have reached out to staff members who we thought would be open to participating. We then brainstormed ideas for interactive events like pizza making and pictionary on live streams, and touring the NYC boroughs on story takeovers. The Instagram then quickly became a hub for the high school community as students began to interact with staff members.
By Katie Moore
With the shift from in-person learning to virtual learning, both students and teachers have found new ways to keep in contact. Although classes have scheduled Google Meets, both the faculty and student body craved a deeper connection with the people they used to see on a daily basis. To help bring everyone closer together, many individuals have created Instagram accounts to share information, participate in fun challenges, recall memories, and stay in touch. Plenty of teachers have created these accounts in order to remain in contact with as many students as possible as well as to share some personal insight into what they have been doing during quarantine. Student Instagram pages have been focused on making quarantine a bit more fun for the student body struggling at home.
Dr. Faughey and Ms. Kalamidas are two staff members who started Instagram accounts. Dr. Faughey created her account soon after the closing of schools. She posts content about novels she’s reading to keep busy. Dr. Faughey shared that although she uses this platform to stay in touch with OBHS, it also allows her to “communicate with a global community of people who care about reading.” She also shares information about her classes, including AP Research and Introduction to Film.
By Neal Mehta
On May 26th, teachers and staff from OBHS, decked out in purple and gold apparel and carrying hand-made signs, lined the front lawn of the high school to cheer on the Class of 2020. Despite school closing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the faculty still wanted to celebrate seniors in a unique way. So, they decided to throw them a parade.
Over 60 students paraded down Main Street in their cars, many of whom decorated their vehicles with streamers, posters, and paint. A cloud of OB-colored balloons even trailed one student’s cars. Parents and community members were encouraged to join in the festivities, lining up on the streets alongside staff and maintaining social distancing guidelines.
Principal Sharon Lasher held up her own poster to support the Class of 2020. She shared that she wanted to celebrate seniors in a safe setting. “We wanted to bring everyone together in a safe way. This is not a gathering and no one has to come in contact with anyone else, so it is a safe way to say and wave hello.”