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Check out The Chief’s complete review of this year’s drama production. p4-5


Massapequa High School

APRIL 15, 2011

Vol. LIX - ISSUE 4

Orange soda – the key to winning Mr. Massapequa 2011 BY NOELLE WITT & TOM STRONG-GRINSELL EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & MANAGING EDITOR

Orange soda may be the key to winning Mr. Massapequa – if you are senior Alex Breslau, winner of the sixth annual Mr. Massapequa, that is. “When we rehearsed, all we drank was orange soda,” Breslau said. His fellow group member Brian McKeon added, “It’s the drink of champs.” But in all seriousness, Mr. Massapequa is more than just a can of orange soda (or Coke, if you are Mr. Schwartz

the Chiefettes’ kickline routine alongside the Mr. Massapequa contestants and throughout the rest of the night. The night started off with the casual-wear portion, for which the guys strutted down the runway to show off their relaxed sense of style. Alex Breslau donned a kilt, a move that could have contributed to his success (unless it was purely the orange soda). The participants then gathered their props and costumes for the night’s talent portion. Banana suits, fur coats,


Seniors Brian McKeon, Alex Breslau, Conor Wetzel and Pat Miller celebrating after Breslau was crowned the winner at the sixth annual Mr. Massapequa and perform a stunning magic trick that earns you the title of Mr. Massapequa in the teacher division for the second time). It is an event that make MHS… well, MHS. Hosts and seniors Rich Staubitz, Stephanie Jarmolow, and Shannon Garrity led the night’s festivities and helped to create excitement among the audience. “Are you ready to see a good show tonight?” Rich Staubitz asked, encouraging cheering that continued through

and giant steak suits may not sound like typical high school event attire, but Mr. Massapequa is not exactly your average high school event. Senior John Valerie started his act with the aforementioned banana suit and a limbo stick – an interesting combination in itself. He then cleared chairs with a running jump, building to an astounding total of six chairs before he pulled Shannon Garrity up onto the runway for a quick dance. Junior Max Braunstein stunned

the audience with a drum routine he performed on spackle buckets. The talented musician played alongside Mike Cantalupo, Dan Kalin, and Steve Smith until the four danced to Jimmy Cliff’s “I Can See Clearly Now.” A medley of popular songs filled the gym as seniors Bryan Locher and Steve LaMantia took the stage for an act that left students and staff cheering. A blonde wig, a champagne bottle, and canes all built up to the final moment of the performance when Bryan dramatically dumped a bucket of water over Steve’s head. Seniors Alex Breslau, Conor Wetzel, Brian McKeon, and Pat Miller brought the highlight of the night, however, when they donned skirts, wigs, and tank tops as they performed a mix of songs, assuming a different role for each tune. The group mimmcked the opening lines to Aqua’s “Barbie Girl,” and danced to Enrique Iglesia’s “Do You Know,” (ping-pong paddles included) and Haddaway’s “What is Love,” among many others. “It was really great to have us all win this,” Alex said. “We put the work in, and we got the win.” Impressive acts continued with Mr. Schwartz’s stand-out card magic trick that allowed him to read junior Daniel DiBendetto’s mind as he showcased a five-of-hearts card emerging on a sheet of paper. The audience’s shocked reaction may have encouraged Mr. Schwartz’s success “I’m really pleased. Everyone was fantastic and it as great to be here,” Mr. Schwartz said. “I had an amazing time and every one of the contestants were great.” “It was a huge success,” Ms. Zapulla, organizer of the event, said. “It was a great show. The kids were great; the teachers were great; the audience was great; and we have two great winners to represent Mr. Massapequa.”

Typically, many think of a gong as a musical instrument, although, Massapequa students better know it as the instrument used to end performances at Mr. Massapequa. In a student’s opinion, the gong may be synonymous with the more comical acts of the night even if the judges think the acts are inappropriate or run over the time limit. This year, two acts were gonged. Senior Charlton Villavilez. was the firstact to be gonged for telling inappropriate jokes. The second act of the night to be gonged was senior Adam Ashmawi alongside partner and fellow senior, Justin Rempy for a dance involving the removal of multiple layers of clothing. Senior, Rob Zupo, the “gong-er” of the night, received some discontent from the audience when he gonged Charlton Villavelez in the middle of his performance. However, it is not the decision of the audience or the gong-er; the decision is based on a consensus made by the judges. Historically speaking, in the event’s six year run, the number of people gonged usually hovers around one or two according to Mrs. Zapulla, Senior class advisor.

From left to right: Senior Rich Staubitz jumping over Kevin Watson during their performance, Mr. Schwartz performs a magic trick of refilling a can of coke. Senior Bryan Locher ALLIE GIORDANO// THE CHIEF dumping a bucket of water on fellow Senior Steve LaMantia ending their routine, Senior Charlton Villavelez warming up for his act.

APRIL 2011



Despite state aid cuts, district keeps tax hike low BY TOM STRONG-GRINSELL MANAGING EDITOR

As yet another school year comes to a close the next school year has already started – at least planning for the district’s finances, that is. The district has proposed a budget of $179,209,899 for the 2011-2012 school year, an estimated increase similar to last year’s percentage per taxpayer. The tax increase is approximately 1.64 percent – the lowest increase in twelve years. The district aims to still be able to commit to its theme of “Excellence in Education” while also providing a budget that is suitable for all residents. “Even though these numbers are low,” Deputy Superintendent Alan Adcock said, “We are still able to preserve all of the programs and services that our students need and that we have been able to deliver in past years.” The four points of the district’s budget are to maintain successful programs for children, preserve resources for high student achievement, continue as a high value school district and utilize rainy day funds to lower tax impacts. After copious discussions between the Board of Education and Central Administration, this is the budget that MSD finds suitable as a fair increase for the 2011-2012 school year.

Although many may not be happy with an increase, it’s impossible to please everyone and of course a lower budget would call for cuts to be made. For the first time, the district

expenditure, it’s a means to speed up the process and keep the district current. The proposed budget differs by a small margin of approximately three million dollars as compared to the fiscal


“The district aims to still be able to commit to its theme of ‘Excellence in Education’ while also providing a budget that is suitable for all residents” will be using computerized voting machines, keeping up with current technology. Although this is a $25,000

budget that was passed for the 20102011 school year last May. “With the data we know now,

event turned out to be more successful than last year.” Many famous hits were played, including the 1970s classic “Freebird.” Hunter Krusow did an outstanding job playing the song on the piano, a nice variation from the original electric guitar solo, and it was the only act that did not include any vocals. Radio favorites were continued as Sara Dramer sang and played guitar to the song “Breathe (2 A.M.)” and Kait Schlesinger and Chrissy Floridia, whose duet to Christina Perri’s “Jar of Hearts,” was beautifully arranged.

Azoulay also did a very sweet rendition of “The Only Exception.” Both versions were done well and were successes with the audience. “I think it went really well, everyone did an amazing job and the performances were great and awesome and cool,” junior Mike Savidge said. He sang “Goodbye Neverland” as the audience clapped along to his song. Talented editors Paige Snider and Rob Duffy performed songs that night as well. Paige performed an impressive version of “Brand New Key,” a 1970s

A night of acoustics, vocals and raw talent BY EILEEN LIEBLER COPY EDITOR

It was a night to remember as the artists took the stage and made it their own. Students proved their talent as they performed in the upper gym on Friday, April 1 for the fourth annual free-style show, MHS Unplugged. Pat Regan and Andrew Dacunto started the night off singing the hit song “More Than Words.” Their rendition of the song, with Pat’s vocals and Andrew’s guitar playing, was a perfect opening to the night. Although the performances are

we are the fourth lowest on the budget increase side out of fifty-six Nassau schools and on the tax levy side we are the second lowest out of fifty-six,” Adcock said. Long Island is notably known for having high property taxes and quality school systems, with Massapequa being no exception to this rule. Massapequa serves approximately 8,000 students throughout its nine schools. Although Massapequa’s budget is one of the highest in the county, it also is one of the lowest in per pupil spending. And while some may be skeptical about this statistic, there is no association between per pupil spending and school performance, according to Newsday. “This budget is one of the most fiscally sound budgets in Nassau County,” District Superintendent, Charles Sulc said, “that continues to provide a high level of education that our kids have experienced and benefited from, at a time when there is still a sensitivity to the economic climate, built into the budget.” The fate of the 2011-2012 school year remains undecided until May 16 when Massapequa residents will vote though many feel there is little debate over whether it will pass or fail.

erything he did,” said seniors Katie Gordon and Jimmy Gardner. “Paul Weyer, Erin Calvert, Steve Sohmer, and Paige Snider were great. Overall everyone was really good.” Taylor Scibilia and Jennifer Enochs sang the last song of the night, “Bound to You,” Christina Aguilera’s song from Burlesque. Their voices were very powerful, creating an impressive combination. G.O. President Bryan Locher and G.O. member Steve LaMantia finished the night off with an encore presentation of their Mr. Massapequa dance with the


Junior Andrew Dacunto, senior Hunter Krusow, junior Sarah Dramer and senior Melanie Kalin, seniors Paige Snider and Pat Regan impressed the audience at Unplugged. considered to be “unplugged,” there were a few electric guitar players throughout the show. “In the beginning kids weren’t signing up for unplugged, and I was worried there wouldn’t be the same turnout as last year,” Ms. Bonvoglia, the coordinator of the event, said. “But by the last day more kids signed up and the

Senior and performer Melanie Kalin said, “I felt the night went well overall. Some people did their own songs, and it was cool that they expressed themselves. It was a lot of fun to be in it.” Melanie sang a powerful version of Paramore’s “The Only Exception” as Sara Dramer played the guitar. Danielle

hit that is featured in an ePrint television commercial. Rob jammed out to the Third Eye Blind song “Jumper”. Some of the performers sang original songs, including Andrew Dacunto with his song, “Questions.” Jacky Bernhard also rocked an original untitled song. “Pat Regan was really good in ev-

addition of Rob Duffy. They had the audience laughing and ended the night on a high note. MHS Unplugged was an unforgettable night. If you like listening to music, then you should come on by next year to see your talented peers perform.

APRIL 2011




Got school spirit? Got any spirit at all?

Massapequa’s motto, “Home of the Chiefs,” might be more accurately changed to “Home of the Apathetic.” The common cold and the flu are not the only diseases that have passed throughout the halls of MHS. A rapid infestation of apathy has plagued the

of The Chief. Notably, in issues such as this one. While skimming the pages of this issue, the front page may appear to be dripping in blue and gold; pictures beaming with pride as they capture some split seconds of school spirit. And as

“But let’s not bury our spirit along with our ambition; fatigue comes daily but high school comes once.” lobbies, the classrooms, the lockers, and even the gum that’s stuck underneath the desks. The chief still wears his colors boldly, but it’s the students who seemed to have let their blue and gold begin to fade. Many would assume that as graduation and senior prom approach, the class of 2011 would be brimming with shades of blue and gold on even the dullest of days. And as the outfits of each spirit week lacked their usual luster and complaints of boredom were heard after the annual Mr. Massapequa this year, it seems that spirit lives only in the pages

each picture is placed next to the other, it appears that the spirit really was there. But was it? “When I first came to MHS as a sophomore I felt like more people were getting into Spirit Week, Mr. Massapequa, and a bunch of other events,” said senior Meaghan Haskell, “but now as I’m graduating, I don’t see the same type of enthusiasm.” While the end of the school year quickly approaches, it seems that the pep-less rally, held the day before Homecoming in October, really was an omen of the future – after all, the Chiefs did lose their homecoming game the year that it wasn’t raining. However,

some feel The Chief is not the only place where school spirit lives. “I think it’s decreased a little over time, but as push comes to shove, I do believe there is still some school unity,” said Mrs. Zappulla, advisor of the class of 2011. Perhaps it is just that time of year– the time where students begin to throw out their planners, stop bringing in their daily supply of pencils, and start to daydream about summer instead of how much homework they have. But let’s not bury our spirit along with our ambition; fatigue comes daily, but high school comes once. The Chief makes every effort to print news that is relevant to the student population in a fair and unbiased fashion. Letters to the editor may be sent to We reserve the right to edit for grammatical errors. The Chief does not accept anonymous letters; however, names may be withheld upon request. Like us on Facebook. Visit us at www. for additional coverage.

The Chief Editorial Staff EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Noelle Witt ASSISTANT EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Jenna Fratello MANAGING EDITOR Tom Strong-Grinsell BUSINESS MANAGER Lynn Horowitz CHIEF COPY EDITOR Nick Barbieri CHIEF PHOTO EDITOR Paige Snider GRAPHIC DESIGNER Lauren Reisig SPORTS EDITORS Jason Celaru Rob Duffy COPY EDITORS Eileen Liebler Karan Chhatpar EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS Joe Zappa Ashley Adler ADVISER Elyn Coyle

Students express themselves at MHS Xpress BY NOELLE WITT EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

MHS Xpress Night featured a cozy atmosphere and an appreciation of individuality and artistic talent – a combination that fits the Visions Art and Literary Magazine perfectly. Seniors and Co-Editors-inChief Paul Weyer and Caitlyn Buttigieg confidently hosted this showcase of Massapequa’s performers and visual artists on March 8. Junior Jacky Bernhard opened the night with an introduction that commenced the display of the clear talent of each student. Throughout the night, many students chose to exhibit their musical ability. Musicians performed stunning pieces, such as pianist Brittany Garcia’s rendition of Debussey’s “Clair de Lune” and violist Erin Kohler’s rendition of “Bach Suite II.” Senior Jane Lee charmed spectators with a slight mishap during her piano performance of Yiruma’s “River Flows in You,” for they related to the nervousness that comes with performances and admired her endearing apology. Students also accompanied their instruments with another gift – their voices. Hunter Krasnow and Taylor Scibilia combined their voices, the piano, and the keytar for their song “All You Need is Me.” Julia DeGasperis sang alongside Jenn Enochs as they performed Christinia Perri’s “Jar of Hearts,” perfectly. “It was a huge success,” Visions advisor Ms. Curiale said. “We were really pleased with the variety of acts.” Original poetry and readings also highlighted the participants’ creativity.

Kara Barci spoke emphatically of those lost in war or tragedy in an emotional reading of “Hush My Child.” Breze McLoughlin read “6 Minutes,” a poem she wrote in health class that expressed the pain of a loved one struggling with the pain of substance abuse. The talent continued in Eileen Roque’s “What Are You Looking For” and Kelly McNeice’s “Turn Off the Darkness,” which were both maturely recited. Nicole Henevald gave an elegant reading of the moral burden of insults in “Glass Battlefield,” in which she discussed the implications of two hackneyed sayings. Caitlyn Buttigieg closed the poetry readings with her ode to writer’s block, a notion that the Visions club members commonly experience. Talent included musical performances and original poetry readings. “I’m surpised at the turnout,” from Mrs. Domingo, Mrs. Thornton, program with a surprise performance Caitlyn said. “I’m really happy about the and Mrs. Schneider’s art classes. Com- “Goodbye Neverland.” He inspired the amount of people who came to support puters also displayed videos created audience as they clapped to his guitar the arts.” in Ms. Kasin’s video communications and whimsical vocals and reflected upon To encompass all talent, the li- classes. the celebration of individuality that brary boasted the work of many students Junior Mike Savidge closed the MHS Xpress Night supported.

The performers and hosts of the 2011 MHS Xpress came together to enjoy the night and each other’s talent



APRIL 2011

An MHS production Premiered Friday, April 8 and Saturday, April 9 In the Baldwin Auditorium


APRIL 2011



MHS Fiddles with Fiddler BY JENNA FRATELLO


It didn’t take a matchmaker to know that Fiddler on the Roof, which premiered on April 8 and 9 in the Baldwin Auditorium, was a perfect match for the MHS stage. Although Gwen Stefani’s “Rich Girl,” the adaptation of Fiddler’s most well-known song “If I Were a Rich Man,” was not scripted into the lineup of musical numbers, the Music Department’s production of the first Broadway show in history to surpass the 3,000 performances mark was a production of the richest quality. Backstage, as last minute lines and solos were rehearsed, the last pins of the costumes were pinned and each fake beard was perfectly glued on, there was no shortage of anticipation among the cast and crew. “I hope everyone has so much fun,” Assistant Stage Manager Kait Schlesinger said amidst the preparation. “We have spent so much time and put so much dedication into perfecting this production.” That time and dedication promptly came to a close as the clock ticked closer to curtain call, and the entire cast huddled into a circle with Director Mr. Harrington standing in his rightful position – the center. “The cast has worked like mules to get to this point,” Zach Urban said, who played Perchik, a nonconformist student, in the show. “And now, we will perform like show horses.” And as the cast confidently prepared themselves just minutes before the curtain call, perhaps it was the doings of the director, the core of the production, which guided the cast and crew to perform at such a professional level. “You’re all standing in a circle,” said Director Mr. Harrington, “because there is a tradition in the world of theater. It is the power of touch, of transmitting energy from person to person, that leads to collective success.” And as he spoke of the cast’s dress rehearsals, describing them as “virtually flawless,” he even mentioned an elderly couple who had attended Thursday’s performance for senior citizens and decided to return to the show for a second time. Yet despite such praising acclamations, it did not stop him from speaking of the small disease that plagues the stage of any theatrical production – nerves. “I get a little nervous before each show,” he said. “But that is the reason to

be strong, and then, it will be spectacular.” Maybe his pep-talk was the cure to any nerves that may have lingered as the curtain rose. The melodic sound of the fiddle strung its strings as the audience took their seats, the pit orchestra prepped, and MHS fiddled with a new production – keeping to the age-old tradition of theater and fashionably beginning the show precisely seven minutes late.  The opening number “Tradition,”

Tevye, sang of his desires to be a wealthy man on the eve of the Russian Revolution and danced a humorous jig, accompanying his impressive vocals and bringing laughter to the crowd. “I kinda just made it my own thing, and didn’t really think about it,” said Kugler. “Mr. Harrington told me to go for it, so I just went up there and had fun.” It seemed as though all of the cast members did not have to think about their performance, and it was


Top: Jagger Kugler as Tevye in this year’s prduction of Fiddler. Bottom: The cast of Fiddler on the Roof. a recurring theme throughout the in their skill and precision in even the production, led the cast into a performance most sonically audacious of theatrical of strong, defined vocals alongside the numbers, including the festive “To Life,” notable dance sequences – bottle dancing and of course, the collaborative dream included – choreographed by student sequence, that the essential distinction choreographer Chloe Durkin, who also of Fiddler on the Roof was seen. Compounded with the familiar played the role of Chava in the show. One dance in particular caught materials of comedy and emotion, the the attention of the audience as Jagger cast combined and transcended each Kugler, who played the lead role of score and scene to reach an integrated

achievement of uncommon quality. Described as a “quality classic,” by Jacky Bernhard, who played Shaindel, the production was able to develop a gallery of human portraits which authentic character – something a high school production often finds difficult, but what the cast of Fiddler accomplished with evident ease. “I’m so honored to be a part of a show that I am so impressed with,” said Bernhard. “I believe we’ve outdone ourselves this year.” For some, this year was bittersweet, as it completes the years on the MHS stage for the seniors. “As my last production, it feels sad to be leaving the stage behind, but through all of these years, it has been such a rewarding experience,” senior Meaghan Sullivan said. And as Fiddler signifies the importance of unity, the production would not have been complete without assistance of Conductor Mark Stempel, who described his pit orchestra’s performance as “absolutely fantastic.” The musicians brought the support of musical eloquence to the show. Art Director, Mrs. Domingo and her students also played a vital role in the show. “I’m so proud of my students and how they were able to completely capture the director’s vision,” Domingo said. Her student’s artistic assistance poignantly made the production come to life. Through the humor, the wit, and the humane tales of Sholem Aleichem, the man who composed the basis of stories for Fiddler, the cast and crew exposed a caliber of professionalism and excellence as they captured the show’s familial origins and emphasis of unconditional tolerance. “In a word – spectacular,” Director Mr. Harrington said of the performance after the show – notably, in Harrington’s speech prior to curtain call he promised the show would be “spectacular.” “I am so unbelievably astounded and proud of my cast and crew,” he said. “It was truly an indescribable performance.” And as the sun set on the stage and the fiddle played its last medley, the production of Fiddler on the Roof caught the essence of a moment in history with sentiment and tenderness.

APRIL 2011



As prom season gears up, students model latest trends


(From left to right) Seniors Pat Miller and Denise Regan, juniors Alyssa Biondo and Valentina Viscardi, seniors Alexa Castaldo and Jess Sickles, senior Kim Gentry and junior Spencer Nord model in the prom fashion show, wearing the latest trends available at local retailers.

Prom is the most important time to be fashionable. The annual junior and senior prom fashion show, hosted by the PTSA, showcased the anticipation and the heels. The runway was filled with dresses, tuxedoes – minus the corsages – and

gowns, specially designed by local retailers. As the models strutted, posed, and owned the runway, Dr. Williams announced each outfit ensemble with a personal bio as well. Up until the show, many were

unaware that senior Bryan Locher studies the socio-economic standings of middle class America, nor did they have senior Pat Miller’s BBM pin in their phone, which were just some of the fun facts in the bios. The majority of male models

Bands on the battlefield: a sneak peak BY JOE ZAPPA


Music is a battlefield, and on Friday April 29 MHS will be hosting a Battle of the Bands, presented by the PTSA. Bands made up of Massapequa students will be sharing their unique musical talents in what is sure to be a tight competition. The battle consists of eight bands: The Dawning, SIRA, The Greater Sky, Faded Horizons, The Dinner Party, Deal, Hostile, and Me, Shawn, and the Drum Machine. The Dawning, is a three piece metal band from Massapequa with Anthony Petrik on guitar, Dave Van Nostrand on bass, and Nick Petrik on drums. The band, formed in January

2010, is influenced by Metallica, Korn, and Avenged Sevenfold to create songs that are six minutes and longer. SIRA stands for “Shining in Rusted Armor.” Made up of four seniors, the members of SIRA all have unique talents that they offer to the band’s music. “We love nothing more than to bounce ideas off of each other and create a sound that transcends normal genre in what we like to call Pre-Post,” lead vocalist Paul Weyer said. “The idea of Pre-Post is that we will be changing our methods and styles as we progress as both musicians and as people. We feel

we will be able to have the most fun with our music and create something we can be proud of.” Paul gets his inspiration from the alternative genre, particularly AFI and The Smashing Pumpkins. The other

members of the band are Erin Calvert, Brandon Lew, and Steven Sohmer, who are influenced by punk, blues and metal, and rock music respectively. The Greater Sky is a six piece posthardcore/pop punk band based out of all corners of the island. Getting a start in early 2010, they are now recording a full length album, set for release by the end of this summer, from Killingsworth Recording Company. The band gained notoriety for their cover of “Like A G6,” originally written by Far East Movement. Still carrying on a year later, the band is going strong and is ready to share what they do best at the battle. Faded Horizon is an original rock band from Long Island. The band formed in October 2010, and since then has recorded a studio EP, has been put on iTunes, played at the Crazy Donkey, Vibe Lounge, Hot Topic, and was featured in our town’s paper. The members of the band are Andrew Eisenberg (guitar and vocals), Bryan Baroniunas (drums), and Cory Azmon (bass). Their influences are Green Day and Guns N’ Roses. If the band rises to victory on

April 29, they plan to donate the money to charities. You can check out their music at

The Dinner Party is a pop-rock band consisting of MHS junior Bryan Somaiah, alongside his friends, Jon Campbell, and Eddie Massetti. When the band started out, Bryan already knew how to play guitar, and since then Jon and Eddie have worked continuously on

learning to play their instruments. “Many Massapequa students haven’t heard our name or our songs, so Battle of the Bands is a good opportunity to get ourselves out there,” Somaiah said. The band Deal is a classic-rock and heavy metal band that formed to make a change in current musical styles. Its members include Gary Loiacano,

must have taken a lesson from Charlie Sheen, as Dr. Williams announced – on multiple occasions – that they were “bi-winning.” With both junior and senior prom upon us, the time to order dresses and tuxedos is now.

Jake Stremel/Deal, Sean Anderson, Justin Goldat, and Frank DeVito. The group decided to battle it out for more recognition. “We want to get out as many songs and albums as we can, and we want the band to get as big as we can make it,” Gary said. The notorious Hostile is a punkrock band made up of Greg McManus, Chris Spinosa, Chris Diaz, and Matt Mangione. The band has been together since eighth grade when Chris’ brother inspired him to get his friends together to share in the fun they get out of making music. “We really wanted to play school events because it attracts a much larger crowd,” Diaz said. “We got a good chance to play in Massapequa, which we usually don’t get.” Me, Shawn, and the Drum Machine is composed of members: Chris

Diaz - yes, the same Diaz from Hostile, Bryan Carpentieri, Shawn Hayes, and Sean Lanahan, who describe their music as “funk rock.” The band will continue after high school. The lineup is talented, the competition is tight, the battle is on. Contributed to by K. Chhatpar and J. Graff. Photos and graphics courtesy of individual bands


APRIL 2011


Students of the northeast carry on western tradition BY JULIE EXPOSITO STAFF WRITER

“There is a Shindig in the Barn. Come on and get your square dance on!” As the Lady Gaga-inspired Shindig tune echoed through the halls during the homeroom announcements, students knew it was that time of year again. On

“A sea of plaid-clad students flooded the gym, eager to square dance one last time” Wednesday, March 9, the CARE Club hosted the annual Shindig in the Barn fundraiser, just in time to conclude the square dancing unit. A sea of plaid-clad students flooded the gym, eager to square dance one last time before the end of the school year. After everyone had gathered in sets of eight, square dance callers Lou and Sue turned on the microphone and got ready to start.

At first, the songs only included basic moves that students had already learned in gym class. But later, Lou introduced some new moves, such as step to an ocean wave, all eight circulate, and the humorous scatter promenade -- a move in which couples flee chaotically to the outskirts of the gym. These new moves were more difficult for some than for others, but that was part of the fun. But the dancing did not stop at square dances. Students also got to learn various line dances, such as Popcorn, a dance that gets faster as it progresses, and the Funky Monkey, a dance where students had to show off their best “monkey face.” During the Funky Monkey, Lou and Sue wandered the gym, pulling aside the best dancers and having them compete for the title of the Funky Monkey Champion. The winners of the competition were juniors Gabby Flavoni and Andrew Dacunto, who were awarded with monkey t-shirts for their dancing. “I had a lot of fun and I can’t wait until next year,” said winner Gabby Flavoni. “I’m so glad everyone got to see my moves.”

Blood drive a success BY SOPHIA PARISI


People all over the world struggle with all different types of diseases and illnesses. Some may be suffering from anemia, cancer or kidney diseases. Many are in desperate need of blood transfusions. To provide aid for such patients Blood Drives are set up across the country, where all blood types can donate. Massapequa High School held its own annual Blood Drive in the Upper Gym on March 3. Senior Nick Pollich donated blood for the first time last year. “Giving blood has many benefits, which is why I’m doing it. Helping other people is a good thing and it’s nice to help someone out who really needs it.” Teachers and staff donated blood as well. Mr. Don Seddio, special education teacher said that he donates four to five times a year and started when he was a teenager in high school -- just like the seniors who donated. Mr. Seddio feels strongly about giving blood as well. “A lot of people are in need of blood. I have a rare blood type, so this

is why I give. I also feel that it’s great to give. It’s the gift of life and I hope that someday if I need blood someone will donate for me.” Louise, a Phlebotomist nurse who began donating blood when she was nineteen, visited MHS during the blood drive and helped students and staff to donate. “I’ve been a phlebotomist, which is a person who specializes in veins and donating, for 10 years,” she said. “I donate two to three times a year and I absolutely love my job. I feel very strongly about saving lives.” “What made me start to donate blood was when I found out my three year old nephew had been hit by a car and was in desperate need of blood” she added. “I never knew how big of a deal giving blood could be and seeing this made me want to help and donate for others.” Those who give blood know that it is extremely rewarding and can give back to others in need. Helping people is the best gift you can give someone. Make sure to stop by the upper gym next year and to donate blood.


Senior Nick Pollich is one of the seniors who signed up to donate blood.

In addition to the Funky Monkey, there was a sudden-death square dance competition -- if your square messed up, you were out and had to sit down -- and awards for best costumes. Overall, the event was met with positive feedback from the students who attended. “It was really fun and there were a lot of laughs. Plus, you are doing a good deed,” junior Tina DiTommaso said. These “good deeds” really did

pay off. “We raised 2,000 dollars, and 1,000 dollars are going to go to pediatric cancer,” said CARE Club advisor Mrs. McCarthy. “It was a huge success.” With such success, the Shindig in the Barn was a fun and productive way to end the square dancing season at MHS. But for those who are upset that it is over -- no worries. The unit will return once again next winter to what Lou dubbed “the best square dancing school on Long Island.”

Photo courtesy of Lors Studio

Students get in tune with their Western roots to tunes of Lou at the Shindig in the Barn

Teachers are talented, too BY NICK BARBIERI CHIEF COPY EDITOR

For once, there was an evening to celebrate the talents of teachers and not just the talents of students. To celebrate Music in Our Schools Month, the Music Department held a faculty recital on Wednesday, March 23 showcasing the musical talents of various faculty members throughout the district, from elementary school teachers to Executive Assistants. Admission to the event was free, but donations were accepted to support the the High School Music Scholarship fund. The night began with a jazz ensemble, featuring the talents of Birch Lane’s music teachers, Gary Loock, Michael Molloy, Michael Perticone, Bill

rie’s Song” from The Tenderland. Closing part one of the recital, Dr. Thomas Fasano, Assistant to the Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, performed David Foster’s “Winter Games” on the piano, uncovering a talent of his not widely known to the district. After intermision, Berner Middle School’s Dennis McLoughlin and Birch Lane’s Michael Molloy performed “March Medley” on bagpipes and snare drum, clad in kilts. This lively number was well received, and certainly something not seen or heard everyday. Traditional instruments continued to prevail, as the high school’s Katherine Cahalan and Berner’s Jeremy Einhart and Dennis McLoughlin

“For once, there was an evening to celebrate the talents of teachers and not just the talents of students” Pollock, and Thomas Tucker. Together, they performed Chick Corea’s “Spain” The group was certainly an excellent way to start off the evening, livening up the audience and setting up a fantastic night. Next, wind ensemble director Mark Stempel performed a bassoon solo, playing the second movement of Weber’s “Concerto for Bassoon, Opus 75,” accompanied on piano by Nancy Deutsch. Mrs. Deutsch accompanied eight other acts, and performed Billy Joel’s “The Root Beer Rag” in an ensemble with Mr. Loock. The show continued with a duet performed by chorus teachers Ilena Dempsey and Nichole Greene. They sang Vivaldi’s “Laudamus Te.” Dempsey’s soprano and Greene’s alto earned them a standing ovation from their students. Ms. Greene also performed a solo of Aaron Copland’s “Lau-

performed as a trio. The trio was highlighted by Ms. Cahalan’s performance of “Were you at the Rock?” a traditional slow air on the fiddle. MHS Executive Assistant to the Principal Yvonne Knott revealed her musical talent to the district, singing the widely known song “On My Own,” from Les Misérables, and truly gave a powerhouse performance The night culminated with another performance by the jazz ensemble, this time with the additions of Neal Bellon and Christopher Marson. Once again, the jazz performance was a lively and fun-filled musical presentation, and certainly a crowd-pleaser. Overall, the faculty recital was an entertaining evening enjoyed by all.


APRIL 2011

Girls lacrosse continues to fight for first BY LAUREN REISIG GRAPHIC DESIGNER

For five bitter years, the Massapequa Girls Lacrosse Team has earned silver at the Nassau County Championship. They have worked and struggled all year only to lose to the dreaded Dalers each time in the championship. This year, Massapequa has its sights set on dethroning the reigning Nassau County Champs. The last time the Massapequa Girls Lacrosse team won the Nassau County Championship was in 2005, and

unity this year. Both captains, who plan to play in college this fall, have started off the season pretty well, with goalie Christina Fiorinelli having already 36 saves in the first six games. Fortunately for Massapequa, its offense is back and ready to fight as attacker, Kelsey O’Brien returns. O’Brien led the team in scoring last year, earning All-Conference designation, and is already leading the team in scoring this year with 18 goals in the first six games of the season. “I think the season is going really


Jaqueline Kennedy passes to teammate Madalyn Pimental during a recent game. each year after, Massapequa has been so close to grasping another title. Last year, Massapequa had a strong team and once again lost to Farmingdale. However, much of the defense from last year’s team has graduated. The leadership of the team has been given to co-captains, Keri Giaquinto and Christina Fiorinelli, defense and goalie, respectively. In an interview with Massapequa Patch, both captains had a positive outlook for the team, and praised the team’s

well so far,” O’Brien said. “We have a number of girls returning this year so the team has a lot of experienced players.” Some of these experienced players include sophomore and All-County player Danielle Doherty, junior midfielder Maddie Pimental, and junior attacker Cassie Sadoff. These experienced players will be needed if Massapequa is to compete with the high caliber of teams within the A-1 Division. In this division, Massapequa faces teams such as Oceanside,

Port Washington, Syosset, Calhoun, Baldwin, Hicksville, and of course, Farmingdale. “Everyone’s been working really hard everyday,” said junior defense player Laura Waldron. “We want to get to the next level,” she said, “and our goal is to win counties, while becoming a family on the way there.” There is a sense of unity within the team as all the girls are combining their efforts to take down Farmingdale and all the other teams in the highly competitive conference. Seniors, juniors, sophomores, and even a freshman on the team, under the direction of Ms. Zimmer, are working together to become this year’s Nassau County champs. Of the talented seniors leading the team this year, five are planning to continue their lacrosse careers in college. The list includes co-captains Giaquinto and Fiorinelli, as well as attackers Keri Watson and Nicole Boylan, and midfielder Jackie Kennedy. Right now, Pequa is focused on the games ahead. After losing the first game of the season against West Islip, the Chiefs won four of the next five games, scoring in the double digits for each win. However the struggle is not over quite yet. The Chiefs still have a long road ahead, having to defeat the rest of the teams in the conference, and Farmingdale, whom they play at the last game of the season. “The team to watch for is definitely Farmingdale, which is our last game of the season,” O’Brien said.“So we hope to be at our team’s best by that game and for playoffs. Farmingdale is a tough team, but we have other games to focus on before we play them.” Hopefully for the Chiefs, this will be the season to dethrone the dreaded Dalers.



At the end of Spring 2011,

the Boys Varsity Track team will say goodbye to all-star seniors Andrew Valenski, Bryan Buttigieg, Nick Deluna, Dan Varon, John Valerie, Robin Li, Timmy Callahan and John Doria. These incredible athletes have been the force behind their team, and will go running to bigger and better things. “They’re the leaders of this team,” says sophomore sprinter Ryan Mills. “The seniors gave a lot of great advice and helped motivate us. It’s sad to see them leave.” These seniors weren’t just fast feet though, they were friends with each other and the rest of the team. Through their years of sprints and miles, they picked up memories on the way. “I remember that time [Bryan] Buttigieg got lost because he didn’t know which way Massapequa was,” says Jake MacAvoy. “He started running towards Farmingdale.” Mike Puleio shares another experience with losing the way as well. “[Nick] Deluna and I got lost on a run once so we ended up going to Wendy’s,” says Puleio. “He was always in good spirits.” The seniors were more than just leaders on the track. However, not all of the talent on the team will be graduating this year. More than a dozen freshman have begun to run for the team and sophomores Kyle Smith, Lawrence Vedilago and Mike Puleio recently ran the mile in under 5 minutes. The seniors might be moving up, but their influence on the team will stick around.

Conor Wetzel places fifth in state championships BY JOE IBRAHAM


The prestigious New York State Public High School Athlete Association (NYSPHSAA) held its forty-ninth Annual Wrestling Championship at the Times Union Center in Albany in February. Present were some of New York State’s most skilled wrestlers, including Massapequa’s own Conor Wetzel.

“To make it to the state level does not just come with luck...” Wetzel, who placed fifth in his 189-pound weight class, is content with his finish. “To be All-State is pretty elite in High School wrestling,” Wetzel said. “So yes, I am happy.” With nearly 480 student-athletes on hand, Wetzel’s finish is more than admirable. “The level of wrestling is top-notch,” senior wrestler Nick Chicoine said. “I saw some of the best wrestlers in the state get their hearts broken.” The tournament, which has doubled its attendance since 2003, has

grown increasingly popular, as over 12,000 spectators made the trip to see competitors such as Wetzel prepare to display their hard work and effort. “Section Eight champions and wildcards practiced as a team at Plainedge High School for two weeks,” Wetzel said, who dedicated himself to bettering his game. Alongside the fans, fellow MHS wrestlers and friends of Wetzel enjoyed watching his performance in Albany. “It was great to see Conor do well,” senior Rudy Lanzillotta said. “The competition is really tough.” Wetzel’s dedication to his sport is unprecedented, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed. The respect his fellow wrestlers have for his accomplishment is both strong and justified. “To make it to the state level does not just come with luck,” fellow senior Christopher Sarro said. “It comes with hard work during every practice, and during the tournament, it either makes you or breaks you.” So what is on the horizon for Wetzel? “I plan on wrestling at the University of Maryland,” Wetzel said. “And I hope to continue the sport at the next level.”

Photo courtesy of Joe Delaquilla

Fifth Place winner, senior Conor Wetzel, showing off his skills in one of his matches.

April 2011  
April 2011  

The April 2011 issue of Massapequa High School's award-winning student newspaper publication.