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Social Studies


LBHS Students Register to Vote

As part of an annual tradition, members of the Long Beach League of Women Voters visited Long Beach High School senior government, American history, sociology, economics and IB Theory of Knowledge classes to lead discussions about the importance of voting and civic responsibility. While they were there, league members helped a record 173 seniors register to vote. Those students who will turn 18 before the respective dates of the school board elections and budget vote, primary elections and November elections are eligible to vote.





Long Beach Students Register to Vote

As part of an annual tradition, members of the Long Beach League of Women Voters visited Long Beach High School senior history and economics classes to lead discussions about the importance of voting and civic responsibility. While they were there, league members helped 169 seniors register to vote. Those students who turn 18 before the respective dates of the school board elections and budget vote, primary elections and November elections are eligible to vote.


LBHS Hosts National Issues Forum

On Feb. 7, Long Beach High School played host to the 100th National Issues Forum sponsored by Hofstra University. The forum was facilitated by Hofstra history professor Dr. Michael D’Innocenzo, who is co-director of Hofstra’s Public Policy Institute.

After discussing the issues of immigration and the national debt in class prior to the forum, approximately 40 seniors in the high school’s IB History of the Americas classes broke into three focus groups to share their views on these two issues of vital national concern. The students worked under the guidance of several Hofstra democracy fellows, who have been assisting Dr. D’Innocenzo with the National Issues Forum. Each group was given the opportunity to discuss both topics. Students were encouraged to deliberate these issues in a nonpartisan, non-confrontational way, helping them gain a broader understanding about these two issues of great national importance. Through their participation in the forum, students also learned how the act of discussing different points of view in this manner can help them reach educated conclusions, which in turn can inspire them to engage in social action to effect positive change in their communities.

National Issues Forums (NIF) is a nonpartisan, nationwide network of locally sponsored forums that invites citizens to engage in dialogue about important issues. They are rooted in the simple notion that people need to come together to reason and talk — to deliberate common problems.


Field of Honor Erected in Aftermath of Storm

Before Hurricane Sandy rolled into town on Oct. 29, Long Beach Middle School seventh-graders were gearing up to begin construction of their second annual Field of Honor—a field of commemorative flags recognizing both veterans and those currently serving in the military—that was to be on display in front of the district administration building on Lido Blvd. from Nov. 7 – Dec. 7.
After the superstorm flooded most of the barrier island, leaving the City of Long Beach without water, gas or electricity and closing schools for two weeks, it seemed like it might be an impossibility to erect the Field of Honor this year. But due to the determination and resourcefulness of Social Studies Director Sean Hurley, Middle School Principal Dr. Michele Natali, teachers Joseph Hoffman and Lauren Behan, the Creagh family, Grace and Kerry Hoffman and Patricia and Lauren Natali, the Field of Honor was erected on Nov. 7 as scheduled. It will remain on display through Dec. 7 (Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day) to serve as a symbol of perseverance and bravery of those who sacrificed so much to protect our freedoms, but also as a symbol of the perseverance and bravery of the residents of Long Beach as they work to rebuild this island community that has been so severely damaged.

LBHS Students Visit Philadelphia

During a field trip to Philadelphia on Oct. 25, a group of 50 Long Beach High School students were able to gain some firsthand perspective about the history lessons they had been studying in their AP Government and IB History of the Americas classes.

Recent classroom lessons included discussions about the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution and the presidencies of George Washington and John Adams. The trip allowed the students to visit some of the historical locations where many of the events they had been studying had actually taken place. The first stop on the trip was Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was debated and signed. This was also the location where delegates from the United States held the Constitutional Convention and created the Constitution of the United States. Next, students were able to step inside Congress Hall, where the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate met from 1790 until 1800. It was here that President George Washington was sworn in for his second term of office and where he willfully transferred presidential power to our second president, John Adams. Congress Hall was also the site where the Bill of Rights was debated and voted on by our founding fathers.

While in Philadelphia, students also went to the National Constitution Center, where they were able to tour the museum and participate in many interactive activities, including taking a presidential oath of office and voting in a mock election. Other stops on the trip included the Liberty Bell and the gravesites of Benjamin Franklin and Betsy Ross. They were also lucky enough to visit an 18th century printing house to gain a better understanding of how Benjamin Franklin and other printers from his day operated printing presses and distributed written works. Students were accompanied on the trip by teachers Jonathan Bloom and Jennifer Quinn.

“This trip allowed our students to gain a greater appreciation for our founding fathers, who left us with a representative democracy that allows us to exercise all the basic rights and freedoms that we still enjoy today,” said Mr. Bloom. “The experiences they shared will serve them well as they continue their studies of American history and government.”

An Inside Look at Hofstra Debate

Long Beach High School students had three unique opportunities to get an inside look at the production of the presidential debate at Hofstra University: meeting with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews; touring the debate site the day before the debate; and stepping inside the C-SPAN Campaign 2012 Tour Bus on the day after the debate.

On Oct. 10, juniors and seniors from the IB History of the Americas class traveled to the Adams Playhouse at Hofstra University to see a presentation by political analyst and host of MSNBC’s Hardball Chris Matthews, titled “A Political Insider’s View of Washington.” In the presentation, Matthews spoke about the election and upcoming debate and entertained questions from the audience. Long Beach High School was one of only five schools invited to attend.

“It was a great opportunity for our students to hear a major political pundit express his views on the election,” said teacher Dr. Andrew Smith. “One of our students, Daniel Hanson, had an experience he will never forget—he asked a question in front of the entire audience and Chris Matthews responded!”
On Oct. 15 (the day before the debate), a group of 19 AP American Government students were invited to tour the debate venue and media room at Hofstra. They began their tour at the spin room and media-filing center, where they tried on the journalists’ seats for size. They were then escorted into the debate room, where the stage was set for the town hall debate. A security officer gave them insight into the amount of preparation it had taken to ensure that President Obama and Governor Romney would be safe and secure. As mementos of their adventure, students were given goody bags filled with banners, t-shirts and coffee cups emblazoned with the official debate logo. They will be using the knowledge they gained from this experience to help them run their own mock campaigns for each of the presidential candidates in the weeks leading up to the election.

“My students agreed that it was the best field trip they had ever been on,” said teacher Jennifer Quinn. “We were so fortunate to be so close to history in the making. This is what American government is all about!”

On Oct. 17 (the day after the debate), the C-SPAN Campaign 2012 Tour Bus visited the Long Beach High School campus to demonstrate to students how C-SPAN produces and broadcasts its news segments. C-SPAN representatives Doug Hemmig and Matt McGuire showed students how to conduct research using the C-SPAN video library and explained the reporting and filming techniques that C-SPAN uses to ensure that their reporting is neutral and unbiased. “We have to be sure that we are simply delivering the message, not creating the message,” explained Hemmig.

A total of 60 students were able to visit the trailer in one of four 30-minute tours. The invitation was extended to students in the Photo/Video, Music in Our Lives and Studio in Theater classes, as well as to the students who produce “The Morning Show,” Long Beach High School’s own morning announcement extravaganza. This event was made possible through a partnership with Cablevision’s MSG Varsity media creation program.

"Touring the C-Span TV production bus, our students were able to truly "feel" what our democracy is all about,” said teacher Eric Krywe. “The fact that the debates were so close to us at Hofstra University added to their excitement. Through this experience, students were fully engaged in learning about the issues of this year’s election. Many of the students exited the bus ready to vote in November, or in another four years once they're of voting age."

WWII Vet Earns LBHS Diploma

It was a proud day for 92-year-old Long Beach resident Thomas Robert Elliott as his family gathered around him to share his joy when he accepted a degree he had waited seven decades to receive—his high school diploma. The youngest of 15 children, Elliott was orphaned at age 10, supporting himself with odd jobs until he was old enough to join the army, serving in both the U.S. and Europe. After the war, he made a successful career for himself in the millinery textile industry. His work took him all over the world and made it possible for him to help all three of his children go on to earn graduate degrees, even though he himself had never completed high school.

Elliott was finally able to achieve his lifelong dream of receiving a high school diploma through a New York State program called Operation Recognition. Through this program, veterans who served in WWII, the Korean War and the Vietnam War can receive a high school diploma if they were honorably discharged from military service and currently reside in the state of New York.

The ceremony, which took place at the Long Beach High School library on Sept. 21, began with a stirring rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner,” performed by senior trumpeter Jesse Klirsfeld. Then student government officers Ashita Patel and David Velez, both seniors, bestowed upon Elliott one of the Long Beach High School medals that is traditionally worn by seniors on graduation day. They also invited him to join them as a member of the Class of 2013 at their high school graduation ceremony in June. Superintendent of Schools David Weiss congratulated Elliott as he presented him with his official diploma. Board of Education trustees Patrick Gallagher and Dr. Dennis Ryan also extended their congratulations.

“Thank you all for going through so much trouble for me,” said Elliott with a tear in his eye. “I am very grateful to receive this honor.”

When asked about his plans for the future, the unstoppable high school graduate quickly responded with a twinkle in his eye that he plans to attend Harvard Law School as soon as he completes his bachelor’s degree.

This ceremony marked the kickoff to the district’s annual Field of Honor, a field of commemorative flags recognizing those who have served our nation, which will be on display in front of the administration building from Nov. 7 through Dec. 7. Last year, the Long Beach Middle School seventh grade teamed up with the Kiwanis Club to erect the district’s first Field of Honor, which has now become an annual event. To sponsor a keepsake flag to display as part of the Field of Honor, please visit