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Starting off the new school year with big changes

Michael Riggi, Editor-in-Chief

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As the cirrus clouds of the once warm summer sky dissipate to the orange-yellow overcast of the brimming fall horizon, a new light of change reflects off the looming water tower and onto MHS.   

With the 2018-29 school year finally falling into place, students and faculty can expect many changes in the building and beyond, some of which have already occured.

“There are many expansions this year that will continue the long tradition of excellence in the Massapequa School District,” district superintendent Mrs. Lucille Iconis said.  

Whether it be changes in faculty, clubs, security, traditional lanyard colors, or even the physical building itself, the new school year undoubtedly marks a new step forward in the high school’s history.

The most important force for all of the ever-expanding projects in the high school are all the new faces behind them. Undoubtedly, the future shines bright with this new light for MHS as new sophomores and faculty members are welcomed into the building.

Most notable of these new faces for the 2018-19 school year is Interim Principal Mr. Brian Conboy. Mr. Conboy, a well-qualified veteran administrator from the neighboring Seaford school district with 33 years of educational experience under his belt, is excited to have stepped out of retirement and into the principal’s seat.

“I’m very honored to be here and excited to work here because there’s such a great environment to work with,” Mr. Conboy said. “It’s something I’ve been excited about for a long time.”

Mr. Conboy has stepped in for the year following the departure of former principal Mr. Patrick DiClemente, who is now serving as principal for Locust Valley High School.  

Having lived in Massapequa for 27 years and watched both of his children graduate from MHS, Mr Conboy is thrilled to take the reins of principal for the year and continue the school’s high Blue Ribbon standards.

Another major addition to the school this year comes in the form of new security initiatives, including the addition of two armed security guards on the perimeter of the campus and a new colored lanyard system for standards. Implemented as part of the school’s ongoing security initiative, both the two armed guards and yellow, blue, and gray lanyards help keep unwanted visitors out of the building and tighten safety concerns.  

Further change in the MHS landscape includes the opening of the brand new state-of-the-art library, where students will have the ability to utilize new workspaces to complete coursework alone or meet with one of the school’s many clubs after ninth period.

Within the forthcoming weeks students should also look forward to introduction meetings for new and old clubs, major sporting events such as homecoming and counties, and the return of annual traditions such as SADD club’s ‘Safe Halloween.’

“The calendar is definitely full this year,” Mr. Conboy said. “I encourage students to listen to the announcements and take advantage of everything the high school has to offer.”

With a wide variety of clubs and activities, it is important for all students, both new to the building or returning, to take part in unique activities and make the best of what the high school has to offer.

Additional new club offerings such as the safety committee at the high school, which talks about everything related to student safety in wake of this year’s Parkland shooting, are sure to get students excited and involved with their peers in the school.

“My advice for students is to get involved,” Mr. Conboy said. “If you’re only coming here from 7:30 until 2:26 you’re doing something wrong. Take a chance and do something you normally wouldn’t be interested in doing.”

Mrs. Iconis, along with many others, is excited to see the growth of the science research program in particular, and the opportunities students will have available to them in the group’s upcoming second trip to MIT over February break. Students in the arts programs, including band, chorus, and orchestra, can also can look forward to the annual four-day Disney World trip at the end of March.  

Students should also note newly introduced academic offerings such as the “Go Green” class and the AP Capstone program, and strive to challenge themselves in their academic experiences ahead. The district is also excited to introduce new STEM and computer science classes in partnership with the Hofstra Engineering Department.

“Stay positive and persevere,” Mrs. Iconis said. “You have to develop grit. You’re going to have those low points and high points, but keep smiling and working the hardest you can.”

Whether a sophomore, junior, senior, or even a teacher, it is important to make all time in this building count. Make your mark on Massapequa this year, and it will make its mark on you.

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Starting off the new school year with big changes