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Northside Elementary School

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Northside Elementary School would like to congratulate the Class of 2020.

  • Northside Elementary School Ceremony on 8/13 at 7 P.M. at Howitt Field - Livestream Link

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    A New Season, A Renewed Sense of Hope

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    Heroes work here. Signage attesting to that fact adorns the grounds around the Farmingdale School Districts’ six school buildings as it marked the one-year anniversary of the schools shutting their doors to in-person instruction due to the Coronavirus pandemic. With Spring, though, comes the promise of better times ahead. Signs of this are evident throughout the district. Students are back in school, sports are up and running, and a long-awaited vaccine is finally here.

    "I am so thankful for the volunteer effort of our administrators, nurses, Walgreens, Village, and South Farmingdale EMS, The Marketplace at 317,” said Superintendent Paul Defendini. “Dozens of people donated their time and services to support this critical event, and together we vaccinate more than 300 staff members. Farmingdale is an exceptional community, and I am prouder than ever to call myself a Daler.”

    The Walgreens Pharmacy staff was on-site at Farmingdale High School on Monday, March 22, from 2 PM to 8 PM to distribute the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine to interested staff members. Over 300 people signed up! Having teachers and staff vaccinated is essential to the full safe reopening of all school buildings. Navigating through the New York state’s websites to find an available appointment at a local vaccine center has been a struggle for many Long Islanders. The Farmingdale School District is extremely thankful to Walgreens for making their School District a priority and making the vaccination process seamless for the community.

    The long hours distributing these vaccines was also made easier by a generous donation of catered, grab-and-go food provided by local merchant, the Marketplace at 317. Joe Fortuna, named the Farmingdale Outstanding Businessperson of the Year by the village's chamber of commerce, graciously offered the Walgreens staff and volunteers food to help get them through the long hours. Fortuna owns The Nutty Irishman and 317 Main Street, a duo of eateries in Farmingdale Village. The Marketplace at 317 opened earlier this year and is located behind 317 Main Street.

    “The Farmingdale community has been so supportive of the restaurants throughout these challenging times,” said Joe Fortuna. “When Paul Defendini reached out about having food catered, I was eager to pay it forward and show my appreciation.”

    For more information about the Farmingdale Union Free School District, please visit the district’s website at and like our Facebook page: @FarmingdaleSchoolDistrict.

    Farmingdale Alumnae Fortuitous Encounter

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    There are times when our abilities are tested, and the education we were afforded throughout our academic careers is put to good use. This past Saturday, during the Farmingdale versus East Meadow varsity football game, Nassau County high school football official Phil LoNigro collapsed during the second quarter of the game. Thanks to the training and quick-thinking of the athletic trainers also on the field that day, what could have been an unbelievably tragic event emerged as one of inspiration and hope.

    “It was a team effort, said Farmingdale athletic trainer Phil Fandale. Dan was doing chest compressions, and I got the AED. From the time he went down until we got him back with the AED was less than a minute and a half. It was a whirlwind.”

    On that seemingly ordinary Saturday morning, Mr. LoNigro’s heart stopped beating. Farmingdale athletic trainer and alumni Phil Fandale, and East Meadow athletic trainer, Dan DeSimone, did not allow the situation to get the better of them. Instead, they used the training and resources at their fingertips and saved Mr. LoNigro’s life. Mr. DeSimone was first on the scene and began chest compressions right away. Mr. Fandale was quick to join Mr. DeSimone on the field, employing the use of a defibrillator to provide the lifesaving shock to Mr. LoNigro, who laid unconscious and unresponsive on the field. The duo’s collaborative efforts were integral in this heroic moment. What makes this story even more incredible is the fact that Mr. LoNigro is also one of Farmingdale’s own, as a graduate of the Class of 1980.

    “It is moments such as these that I am reminded by the community we continuously build upon in the halls and classrooms of our schools, said Superintendent Paul Defendini. “The odds of two Farmingdale graduates crossing paths is not so far-fetched, but the chances of one saving the other’s life? Some may call it a coincidence. I am inclined to call it a miracle.”

    At this time, Phil LoNigro is still in the hospital having tests run but is doing well.

    NEWSDAY: Football official saved with defibrillator after collapse at Farmingdale game

    ABC NEWS 7: Long Island athletic trainers bring referee back to life after game collapse

    CBS: Quick-Thinking Athletic Trainers Save Official Who Suffered Cardiac Arrest During High School Football Game

    For more information about the Farmingdale Union Free School District, please visit the district’s website at and like our Facebook page: @FarmingdaleSchoolDistrict.

    Farmingdale’s Legislative Action Committee Advocates for Community

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    Members of Farmingdale’s Legislative Action Committee (LAC) met with local legislators in a Town Hall style meeting in early March to present their 2020-21 legislative proposals and to discuss the impact of pending and future legislation on public schools. Farmingdale is fortunate to have several local representatives who listen and work together to benefit our school district and community.

    “The LAC is committed to meeting with local elected representatives to bring forth the concerns our district and community have in regards to legislation,” said BOE Trustee Kathy Lively. “Our students who participate learn about the legislative process; their participation also enables the committee and elected representatives to understand the views, concerns that our future voters may have.”

    The Farmingdale LAC committee—made up of students, teachers, administrators, staff, parents, and Farmingdale Board of Education Trustees Suzanne D’Amico and Kathy Lively—meet with local legislators throughout the year then typically travel to Albany to visit legislators and tour the Capitol. COVID-19 canceled the annual trip to Albany, but the LAC pivoted and organized a Google Meet Town Hall with local legislators and invited fifteen high school students to lead the conversation.

    “In this new, virtual format, our students successfully articulated how they are currently feeling during these unsettled times,” said BOE Vice President Suzanne D’Amico. “Mental Health awareness, support and destigmatizing being at the top of their priorities, they had a productive dialog with our local legislators who were so willing to listen and support their feelings.”

    The meeting started with a brief welcome and then quickly moved into legislative priorities. Farmingdale High School students came prepared to share their concerns and ideas for what our legislators should focus on for the Farmingdale community. During the Town Hall meeting, the topics covered spanned various issues that impact the school district: predictable funding, support for mental health, digital equity, and school safety.

    “Having our students lead the conversation was particularly special and delivered a greater impact during this unprecedented time,” said LAC Committee Chair and Assistant Superintendent for Innovation & Organizational Development, William Brennan. “Our students passionately expressed the challenges they face today and raised their concerns about the future.”

    “I am grateful for the opportunity to speak with some of our legislators and have our voices heard,” said Farmingdale High School Junior Amanda Treulich. “Many important issues were discussed, regarding topics that hold a lot of weight, especially in today's society. We have to keep working towards improvement, and I hope I get the chance to participate at one of these meetings again in the future.”

    For more information about the Farmingdale Union Free School District and a complete list of the LAC’s Legislative Proposals and members, please visit the district’s website at and like our Facebook page: @FarmingdaleSchoolDistrict.


    R.E.A.L Harmony Club

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    Please enjoy this encore performance of the first-ever Black History Month Program—sponsored by the R.E.A.L. Harmony Club. A brand new introduction has been created by members for 2021. The program was an opportunity for students to recognize and celebrate the central role that black Americans have played in the history of the United States.

    “Last February we were able to put on the first ever Black History Month Program. It was a truly inspiring program highlighting the accomplishments of Black Americans while also featuring the struggle for equal rights that has unfortunately been a large part of the Black experience in America,” said teacher and club advisor Esther Hernandez-Kramer. “Though we were not able to put on a performance this year due to COVID restrictions, we are proud of our work last year and would like to invite you to enjoy and reflect with us the meaning of Black History Month by watching last year’s performance.”

    The program included student performances in a variety of artistic mediums, including: music, song, skits, dance, and poetry readings. The Steppin’ Dalers also performed one of their routines. The finale was performed by Raniyah Elguerouat, Makai Jones, Tania Gomez, Matthew Murrell, Deja Prewitt Hailey Batista, Isabell Bitsimis, Girannah Jean-Louis, and Joe Magazzo, who sang “I Know Where I’ve Been” from the musical Hairspray.

    The goal of the R.E.A.L. Harmony club is to promote ethnic and multicultural awareness and diversity at Farmingdale High School. The R.E.A.L. stands for Respect- Education- Awareness- Love. Upcoming projects include Multicultural Storytime with students from district elementary schools. The sponsors of this club are Esther Hernandez-Kramer and Josseline Morales.

    Farmingdale School District’s Transportation Specialist Posthumously Honored

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    Although Joseph Williams Jr.—the transportation specialist for the Farmingdale School District—passed away in February of 2019, the legacy he leaves behind can still be felt today. In recognition of his incomparable role as amember of the Farmingdale School District, Mr. Williams has been posthumously inducted into the New York Association for Pupil Transportation’s (NYAPT) Hall of Fame. Each year, NYAPT selects one individual who upholds its mission of supporting, developing, and representing professionals who are responsible for the safe and efficient transportation of our school children for this honor. Joe’s exemplary track record embodies all that an honoree must possess. In May of 2000, Mr. Williams began his tenure at the District and stepped into his role of providing safe transportation for thousands of students to and from school every day. It was a role he met with a sense of great responsibility and determination.

    “Joe Williams was so much more than the district's transportation supervisor. He was a highly skilled professional in the field of student transportation, he was a mentor to many of us who worked in central administration, he was a kindhearted friend to all that knew him and he was a committed and tireless member of our family,” said Superintendent, Paul Defendini. “Although his legacy is intact, we miss him and we miss the genuine kindness that he showed for everyone that was lucky enough to pass him in the halls.”

    Throughout his time as Farmingdale School District’s transportation specialist, Joe was in the driver’s seat. Overseeing the routing of the District’s buses, implementing bus safety drills, and being responsible for preventative maintenance inspections on all District vehicles, Joe truly did it all. Additionally, he was responsible for spearheading the development of the District’s satellite-mapping program, which prepares bus routes for every student in the District. As an active member of the Farmingdale community, Mr. Williams engaged in a number of committees and took part in workshops and conferences in order to stay literate on all emerging school bus laws. As a strong proponent for legislation regarding bus safety, Joe attended several State Education Department advisory committee meetings and participated in NYAPT’s Lobby Day, the association honoring Joe with this honor.

    “Seeing Joe inducted into the NYAPT Hall of Fame is something that I will never forget. He meant so much to me personally, professionally and to this District as a whole,” said Farmingdale Supervisor of Transportation, Marc Medina. “I'll always take a piece of what Joe taught me in the transportation industry throughout my whole career.”

    NYAPT is dedicated to the support, development and representation of the professionals who are responsible for the safe and efficient transportation of our school children. NYAPT is a membership-based professional association incorporated in 1974. Members come from many levels within the school bus industry, including supervisors and managers, mechanics and technicians, trainers and safety specialists, dispatchers and drivers.

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