A North Merrick Minute
An e-newsletter from the North Merrick Schools: May 2022
Update from the Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Cynthia Seniuk
Dear Parents, Faculty and Staff,
We are fast approaching the end of the school year but still have much to look forward to, as more of our cherished programs and events return to their traditional, in person format. The Community Open Houses last week were a great success with families and faculty greeting one another as they viewed the wonderful displays of student art and classwork. A special outdoor Parent University is on tap tomorrow night, and there's still time to register and attend! Our spring concerts are in motion with the Jazz Band and Senior Chorus already performing and the Junior and Senior Band and Orchestras scheduled this week. Up next in June are the Sixth Grade Field Day, Dr. Irene H. Lenhart Awards Night, Fun Days, Kindergarten Celebrations, and Sixth Grade Moving Up Day. Mark your calendars!
Summer is right around the corner so be sure to sign up for the Summer Learning Adventures - SCOPE Recreation, Camp Invention, Spanish Academy, and Instrumental Music. The After Lunch Bunch Clubs are also returning in the afternoons and will be taking registrations very soon. Learning in North Merrick continues throughout the year, and we are pleased to offer these fun, educational experiences to our students.
It's been a tremendous year of growth and renewal, and we thank you for your support and partnership as we already begin to plan for the 2022-23 school year!
Theatre Arts is Baaack!
North Merrick School District’s Theatre Arts production of We’re Baaack!!! once again delighted audiences with performances on March 25 and 26 in the Brookside auditorium. Sixth grade students from Camp Avenue, H.D. Fayette, and Old Mill Road Schools formed an ensemble cast and art and stage crews to present selected scenes and songs from Annie, Shrek, and Bye Bye Birdie.
The three musicals were previously staged by Theatre Arts and chosen for this year’s performance for their themes of overcoming adversity, resiliency, and positivity. The Theatre Arts performance of Shrek was cancelled in 2020 and the theater program was suspended in 2021 due to pandemic restrictions.
Theatre Arts is led by faculty director and choreographer Joyce Kelley and musical director Gail Appel with assistance this year from Kristin Seaman, Lisa Sokol, Olivia Taylor, and Christine Vanella. Ms. Kelley saw this production as an opportunity for a teaching moment and history lesson. She created the characters of a professor and narrators in transition points between the musical numbers to directly discuss the impact of the pandemic on the school community and to celebrate the human spirit.
The performance ended on an uplifting note with a surprise character reveal during the finale in which the entire cast sang “Now I’m a Believer” from Shrek.
College and Career Week in the North Merrick Schools
Field of Flags 2022
The flags are now flying on the Fayette front lawn for the North Merrick Field of Flags 2022! The opening ceremony on May 12 was once again held in person with local legislators and boy and girl scouts in attendance. H.D. Fayette Student Council, and their adviser Amanda Hocevar, hosted the event this year, and they selected the Wounded Warrior Project as the non-profit to receive all proceeds from the flag sponsorships.
Dr. Cynthia Seniuk, Superintendent of Schools, gave the opening remarks and noted that the North Merrick Field of Flags commemorates both Memorial Day and Flag Day. The districtwide Marching Band, under the direction of Andrew Brunson and Craig Willis, played "Marching Marines" and "Fanfare Heroica." Commander Robert Dishman of American Legion Post 1282 spoke about honoring the American flag. American Legion Chaplain John O'Neill then gave the commemoration of the flags and stressed the importance of passing down patriotism to the younger generation.
HDF Student Council donated a special New York State memorial 9/11 flag to recognize the 20th anniversary of September 11, 2001, as well as all who continue to suffer from that day and the aftermath at Ground Zero. The Student Council executive board, together with Principal Howard Merims and Ms. Hocevar, placed their flag as the first flag for 2022.
Dr. Seniuk thanked the local legislators, the American Legion, and the boy and girl scouts for attending and supporting the North Merrick Field of Flags. She asks everyone to stop by often to see the flags gracefully waving in the wind over the next several weeks.