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Peer Mentors Guide Students to Success

Peer Mentors Guide Students to Success photo
Sachem High School North has enhanced the existing homeroom period with an advisory element that introduces members of the Peer Mentor Club to freshman and sophomore students in an effort to develop new relationships and provide academic advice and support. 

Led by advisors Grace Cervini and Mary Kuerner, the 200-member Peer Mentor Club at High School North is the largest peer mentor group in New York State. Each year, the club members are professionally trained through the New York State Mentoring Program to provide one-on-one assistance to fellow students.  

“As a ninth-grader, my mentor really helped me through the start of high school,” said student mentor and current junior, Mason Stassi. “I want to be able to help students in the same way.” 

Each peer mentor works with a specific homeroom group where they lead numerous teambuilding activities to strengthen connections among students, provide academic support and generate group discussions to help new students become socially acclimated to their new environment. 

“Our job as mentors is to help new students make connections in the building as they begin high school,” said Mike Pellomo, a senior. “Providing guidance as a mentor has been one of my greatest experiences in high school.”  

As the year continues, the student mentors will act as an informational resource to students during the homeroom period, providing valuable insight into building activities, special events and educational opportunities. 

Sachem North Caps Homecoming With Thrilling Victory

Sachem North Caps Homecoming With Thrilling Victory photo

In dramatic fashion, Sachem North threw an unforgettable homecoming weekend this year. The Flaming Arrows beat Pat-Med, 17-14, off the leg of sophomore Will Szewczuk, who drilled a 35-yard field goal in overtime.

“It’s unreal,” said Szewczuk, who missed two field goals during regulation and overcame in-game adversity to be the hero. “To hit something like that is great and I’m glad to have helped the team.”

Students had been celebrating all week leading up to the game with spirit festivities. From a pep rally on the field to a homecoming dance, a first-ever carnival on Saturday afternoon and a club parade around the track, every event was well received and attended by large numbers of students, staff and alumni.

Homecoming royalty were honored during the dance on Friday night. Among those honored were seniors Nick Gambino (King), Meaghan Lombardo (Queen) and Austin Ziegler (Jester); juniors Matt McCord (Prince), Ally LaSala (Princess) and Kelly Curran (Jester); sophomores Vinnie Giordano (Dutch) and Meagan O’Halleran (Duchess); and freshmen Trey Morstaht (Count), Sarah Contrast (Countess) and Zachariah Miller (Jester).

On the gridiron, Gambino, a senior quarterback, was 17-for-34, throwing for 218 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He connected with Josh Walker on a 52-yard touchdown pass. Sam Walker also rushed for 11 carries, 17 yards and one touchdown. Ryan Kinsley had six catches for 71 yards. Justin Wank had 17 carries for 52 yards. 

With his passing performance, Gambino reached the 1,000-yard passing mark for his career.

The win is also the first career victory for Sachem head coach and alum Dave Caputo.


Sachem Student Named Semifinalist in 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program

Sachem Student Named Semifinalist in 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program photo
Sachem High School North senior Amy DeLury has been selected as a semifinalist in the National Merit Scholarship Program. 

Amy excels in multiple Advanced Placement courses, including calculus, economics, English and physics. In addition to her continued academic success, she is also an integral participant in multiple extra- and co-curricular activities, such the Eurochallenge Club, in which she serves as a mentor, and the Model United Nations Club, in which she is a delegate. 

Adding to her impressive résumé of academic accomplishments, Amy has seen great success as a science research student, having placed second at the Long Island Brain Bee last year and having been selected for Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s Professor for a Day program. During the latter, she worked to examine protein homeostasis in health and disease. 

“I am very excited,” Amy said, when asked about her accomplishment. “It is a great honor to be selected as a semifinalist for this scholarship.”

Approximately 1.6 million juniors from high schools across the country entered the 2019 National Merit Scholarship program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The nationwide pool of 16,000 semifinalists represents 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors, who now have the opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million. 

In February, more than 90 percent of the semifinalists will be selected to advance to finalist standing and about half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title. 

Freshman Orientations Welcome Incoming Students

Freshman Orientations Welcome Incoming Students photo
Sachem High School East and North recently welcomed the incoming classes of 2022 at the annual freshman orientations this August. 

Principals at each high school greeted the new students and their families as they introduced various administrative members and reviewed building policies and procedures. The guidance department then led students through an informative presentation on the numerous resources available to them. 

Concluding the orientation, students and parents had the opportunity to tour the building with their class schedules and locate their lockers in preparation for the first day of school on Sept. 5.

Sachem High Schools Host Inaugural Freshman Academies

Sachem High Schools Host Inaugural Freshman Academies photo

As the 2018-19 school year approaches, both Sachem High Schools East and North welcomed the incoming classes of 2022 with a morning of informative presentations and interactive activates aimed to familiarize the new freshmen with building layout and academic opportunities, as part of the newly implemented Freshman Academy.

At Sachem High School North, following a day of hands-on workshops and teambuilding group sessions, Sachem alumnus Chris Vaccaro welcomed the incoming freshmen as he highlighted opportunities available to students and notable alumni that thrived as Sachem students. The freshmen were then introduced to members of the Peer Mentor Club, who will be providing assistance throughout the year as they become acclimated to the building. The Peer Mentor Club members answered questions about the freshman experience and what to expect as they begin high school. 

Freshmen at Sachem High School East were welcomed by building administrators before being introduced to the Project Happiness initiative, which was implemented as a key component of the building’s culture last year. Students were then led on guided tours to multiple key locations throughout the building that they will visit during their time as high school students. Randomly assigned student groups then participated in six, 25-minute workshops that further explored the main principles of Project Happiness, mindfulness and meditation techniques, how to easily access building information and what events and clubs are available to students. 

In addition to the annual freshman orientations, the new Freshman Academy experience serves as a hands-on, discussion-based introduction to each high school that engages students in activities with their fellow peers.