From the desk of Mineola High School principal Whittney Smith

The Island Now

Mineola High School begins celebrating its seniors from the beginning of the year, after all, they spend five years with us where most high school experiences are four.

This year began with the senior sunrise where our students watched the sun rise together to start their final year of high school.

Soon after that homecoming was celebrated with streamers, banners, decorating the gym, pep rally, and a spectacular parade down Jericho Turnpike to Hampton Field where our football team declared victory over Division Avenue High School.

The fall continued with playoff appearances, senior recognitions, college signings and a second straight marching band New York State Championship, we were on a roll. Our fall play was a hit, our seniors attended our college mini-fairs, and pushed send on their applications to college.  

The winter was equally special with award ceremonies, senior project presentations, field trips, and the annual class picture in the gym. It was also a time for Board of Education recognitions and our winter concert series that celebrate the hard work of our students.

Soon enough, the holidays were upon us and we returned to to honor Christian Melendez in our second annual charity game and celebration of his life. Our alumni came back to share their experiences in college, our students gave TEDEd talks, our Reggie Carter game was played, and we had a state champion wrestler to celebrate.

 The spring began with our specialty concerts, a Hackathon, Challenger basketball games, and more fun and excitement. We entered Spirit Week with energy and exuberance. It was a week like no other that was capped off with our craziest and most electrifying Battle of the Classes ever.

 Inside of the classroom and outside, our senior class was on a roll… then, enter Covid-19. March 13, 2020 was the last time we were physically together in the high school. 

 Since this pandemic, Mineola High School has been looking for ways to keep our Senior Class together. With the help of technology and our school district’s 1:1 initiative, we were given the opportunity to host virtual “Senior Hang Outs” every Friday at 4 p.m. where we open up a WebEx meeting and invite all 200 of our seniors from Mineola High School to virtually hang out and relax. 

This Senior Hang Out has been an absolute success. On these Fridays, we discuss updates, feelings, and concerns while generating ideas and revisions to ensure all class members are celebrated and our traditions stay alive.

Along with the Senior class advisors, Mrs. Bucchio and Mr. Fretz, principal, Dr. Whittney Smith, also participates in these sessions, allowing students to speak freely and openly.

Smith supports his students and reminds them that their opinions are always valued and incorporated into future solutions! On Friday, May 15, we were joined by motivational speaker Gian Paul Gonzalez’s participation in our Senior Hang Out to keep the Class of 2020 smiling!  

He spoke to the group about resilience, staying humble, having faith, and showing gratitude. Seniors have been part of the active brainstorming process in restructuring end of year celebration events.  We also launched a virtual Decision May campaign (see pictures below), celebrating the future plans of our Seniors throughout the month of May via Twitter and Instagram (see below). 

One of our seniors has also been collaborating with his classmates to create a commemorative video designed to reflect on their favorite memories and to honor teachers who have made a major impact on their lives at Mineola.

 The year is not over, albeit different. We are excited about our upcoming Senior Week (June 8 – June 12). This week will include recorded and livestream events as well as an epic car parade to honor our seniors.  

 

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