At the May 14 Board of Education meeting, the Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jennifer Gallagher’s report began with student highlights and accolades relating to two Long Beach programs, Learning Activities to Raise Creativity (LARC) and Long Beach Science Research.

To start, Long Beach teacher and coach of the Long Beach LARC Robotics teams Dr. Caitlin Fuentes King shared Long Beach LARC fifth graders scored seventh in the nation out of 113 teams nationally on the final WordMasters Challenge™ meet. The WordMasters Challenge™ is an exercise in critical thinking that first encourages students to become familiar with a set of interesting new words (considerably harder than grade level), and then challenges them to use those words to complete analogies expressing various kinds of logical relationships. Working to solve the analogies helps students learn to think both analytically and metaphorically. The following student awards were acknowledged and presented with a certificate for their recent LARC achievements.

Five students representing Long Beach LARC received a perfect score in the final meet for this year’s WordMasters Challenge™. Fifth graders Micah Schwartz and Paxton Cavallo and fourth graders Wolfe Scanio, Jack McNicholas, and Madeline Eckert earned a perfect score of 20 on the meet. Nationally, only 33 fifth graders and 125 fourth graders achieved a perfect score out of over 3,000 students nationally taking the final meets. Eleven students representing Long Beach LARC achieved High Honors in this year’s WordMasters Challenge. WordMasters recognizes the top 2% of cumulative scorers on three meets in their grade level as High Honor recipients. Fifth graders Micah Schwartz, Diane Seman, Justin Richter, Lucas Onufrock, Paxton Cavallo, and Edward Grossman and fourth graders Wolfe Scanio, Rowan McLaughlin, Arwyn Donofrio, and Caylee Donaghy and third grader Jiya Klarner earned that impressive distinction.

WordMasters also recognizes the top 10% of cumulative scorers in their grade level as Honorable Mention recipients. The following students earned that achievement: Ariana Coto, Savannah Koehler-Maly, Fiona Sorensen, Brooke Varian, Logan Marcus, Emmett Klein, Ella Weiss, Cooper-James Kessler, Isla Lomitola, Cole O'Connor, Brendan Smith, Colton Bargellini, Joseph Montone, Madeline Eckert, Laina Sisko, Truman Rodabaugh, Rosalia Heindrichs, Jackson Ferraro, Slate Koss, Jack McNicholas, Brody Dowler, Mason Bermeo, Presley Cavallo, Noah Johnson, Theodore Bergman, and Colin Cestaro.

The following Long Beach LARC students achieved nationally recognized results on at least one of the three meets: Justin Richter, Diane Seman, Ariana Coto, Fiona Sorensen, Logan Marcus, Micah Schwartz, Ella Weiss, Edward Grossman, Colton Bargellini, Lucas Onufrock, Isla Lomitola, Paxton Cavallo, Cooper-James Kessler, Cole O'Connor, Madeline Eckert, Rowan McLaughlin, Arwyn Donofrio, Wolfe Scanio, Truman Rodabaugh, Rosalia Heindrichs, Jackson Ferraro, Caylee Donaghy, Slate Koss, Jack McNicholas, Brody Dowler, Mason Bermeo, Savannah Munisteri, Jiya Klarner, Theodore Bergman, and Charlie Johnston.

LARC students also received an Honorable Mention Award for the Northeast Toshiba NSTA ExploraVision Science Competition. The Toshiba NSTA ExploraVision competition is a project-learning based collaborative program which encourages innovation and real-world problem solving. Students must imagine and produce a system or a technology with the potential to solve the problems of the future. Projects are judged by a multidisciplinary panel of scientists across various sectors of government (e.g., NIH, NASA, NSF), academic researchers, biotechnology scientists and physician researchers.

This year’s winners have shared innovative proposals to help overcome some of the greatest challenges facing the world today, from healthcare challenges to sustainability efforts and energy efficiency. The Honorable Mention award places the teams’ projects among the top 10% of all projects submitted in the United States and Canada. The following Long Beach students are commended for a job well done in demonstrating innovative thinking in their exploration of science, engineering, and technology to solve real world problems.

Seager Aull
Ariana Coto
Ella Weiss
Jack O’Grady
CCV: Coral Cleaning Vacuum

Justin Richter
Diane Seman
Savannah Koehler-Maly
Andrew Voege
TPS: Tantalizing Siren Plant to Decrease Spotted Lantern Flies

Fiona Sorensen
Emmett Klein
Kash Hadpawat
Brooke Varian
AIR Board: Adaptive Inclusive Remarkable Surfboard

Victoria Silva
Nash Hoeffner
Logan Marcus
DyslexAI: Device for Dyslexia

Micah Schwartz
Kamron Garcia
Zoey Pinto
Harper Tomao
*SIDE Eyes: Device for Blindness

Sam O’Donoghue
Edward Grossman
Genetically Modified Tree for Thermal Pollution

Cooper-James Kessler
Brianna Cohen
Colton Bargellini
*D-Glass for Dyslexia

Sullivan Limmer
Isabella Loguidice
Cole O’Connor
Water Non-Compression Mini Movable Tank

Brendan Smith
Isla Lomitola
Callen Gasunas
Joseph Montone
F.I.S.H: Financial Corporation that Solve Hazardous Waste

Additionally, Dr. Caitlin Fuentes King was recognized for being awarded International Wonder League Robotics Competition Super Coach of the Year Award!

Following LARC recognitions, Long Beach Science Research teacher Kristen Conklin presented a student showcase video featuring Long Beach Science Research. The Science Research Program aligns with the mission statement of the Long Schools by encouraging critical thinkers and problem solvers, providing experiences beyond the classroom, encouraging partnerships in the community, providing collaborative and hands on experiences for students, allows students to think locally, act globally and sparks curiosity.

Long Beach Middle School students who participate in the program focus on skill-building including data collection and analysis. Introduction to community partnerships, environmental concerns, and analyzing research papers. Ninth graders who participate focus on skill-building with 2-3 guided experiments and compete in local and national science fairs. Students who participate in grades tenth, eleventh and twelfth apply new skills to research project of choice, work collaboratively in teams, find mentors and present at pre-college research science fairs. The following students were acknowledged for their recent accomplishments.

* Thea Olmstead for recognition by the Long Island Science and Engineering Fair and the South Asian American Women’s Alliance.
* Noa Kaye for recognition by the Long Island Science and Engineering Fair and the South Asian American Women’s Alliance.
* Troy Moriarty for recognition by the South Asian American Women’s Alliance.
* Nate Nash for recognition by the South Asian American Women’s Alliance.
* Acacius Fischer for recognition by the South Asian American Women’s Alliance.
* Sydney Olivia for recognition by the South Asian American Women’s Alliance.
* Victoria Sinnona for recognition by the South Asian American Women’s Alliance.
* Rylee Varian for recognition by the South Asian American Women’s Alliance.
* Vanessa Maltez for recognition as a Semifinalist at Round 2 of the NYS Science and Engineering Fair.
* Kayla Piazza for recognition as a Long Island Congress State Finalist.
* Winter Collinson for recognition as a Long Island Congress State Finalist.
* Sam Adler for recognition of publication of research.
* Joshua Cohen for recognition of Nassau STANYS Outstanding Science Award.

It was noted that several students were nominated for additional awards and recognitions but were awaiting notification. For more information about the Long Beach Science Research program, visit:

Meeting attendees and Board of Education members were happy to celebrate all the outstanding achievements of the Long Beach students who were recognized at the meeting.

To watch the full meeting, visit:

Date Added: 5/24/2024