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W.T. Clarke HS Student Represents East Meadow in Thanksgiving Day Parade

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Matthew Michaelis, a senior and baritone player at W.T. Clarke High School in the East Meadow School District, participated for the second time in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Nov. 28. 

Matthew was one of approximately 250 high school students from across the United States chosen to participate in the Macy’s Great American Marching Band. The full band is comprised entirely of high school students and included a color guard as well as dancers. The students spent six days rehearsing and attending workshops at the Teaneck National Guard Armory in New Jersey prior to the parade. 

During their free time, the students took part in some New York City adventures, including a trip to the famous Ellen’s Stardust Diner.

Thanksgiving Day began at 2 a.m. in Herald Square for Matthew and his fellow musicians. After rehearsing their performance, they fueled up at the Hard Rock Café. They were then positioned for their spot in the parade, where they were surrounded by notable acts. 

“We were actually right behind Idina Menzel and in front of the ‘Frozen’ float!” said Matthew. 

As his second year in attendance, Matthew was able to experience the event a bit differently than during his initial year. “Last year, this experience was new for me, so I was really concentrating,” he said. “But this year, I met a lot of people and it was humbling. The caliber of the group is just amazing and makes me want to do even better!”

Even in the big city surrounded by millions of people, Matthew remembered what it meant for him to be there representing his hometown and school. “It was awesome to represent East Meadow and W.T. Clarke High School,” he said. “I did the best I could, and I think I did great!”

The district congratulates Matthew on his achievements and is proud to have had him represent East Meadow on the world’s stage for the past two years.

Parkway Students Become Part of the Story

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Fourth graders at Parkway Elementary School in the East Meadow School District became scientists for a day when they took part in a Submerge Storytelling lesson on Nov. 21. 

Submerge Storytelling is an immersive experience used to provide uniquely engaging curricula and enrichment for grades K-5. Leading the experience was program founder Cory Levine, who transformed a classroom into a scientific lab to set the stage for a particular story. The storyline was that the earth was running out of two important lithium minerals – lepidolite and petalite – used to manufacture a variety of batteries. The students were tasked with testing the properties of those minerals to help astronauts identify and retrieve them from other sources in the universe.

The students were organized into teams to examine the minerals for properties such as hardness, color, streak and luster. They followed directions, collected tools and conversed with their teammates throughout the project. The multifaceted lesson allowed them to think outside the classroom walls while practicing collaboration, problem-solving and critical thinking. 

Announcing the East Meadow Class of 2020 Valedictorians and Salutatorians

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On behalf of the entire East Meadow community, we would like to recognize the following students on earning the titles of Valedictorian and Salutatorian of their graduating classes:

East Meadow High School 
Valedictorian: Ikshu Pandey
Salutatorian: Brendan Wilkowski
W.T. Clarke High School
Valedictorian: Abishek Ravindran
Salutatorian: Arjun Panickssery

Congratulations to each of these students on their dedication and hard work which led them to accomplishing this notable achievement. 

East Meadow HS Student Recognized For Hundreds Of Volunteer Service Hours

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East Meadow High School senior Ikshu Pandey has been presented with the Gold President’s Volunteer Service Award for 2018 in recognition of her commitment to volunteerism. Sponsored by the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership for Service Program, the award acknowledges more than 250 hours of volunteer service that Ikshu completed in one year. 

Ikshu participated in volunteer work at Nassau University Medical Center, primarily in the emergency room and burn unit. “I was able to experience the reality of what it is like being in the medical field,” she said of her experience. 

The Gold President’s Volunteer Service Award is the highest level of recognition in the program and is presented by the Corporation for National and Community Service. The East Meadow School District commends Ikshu on her commitment and congratulates her on receiving this prestigious award.  

East Meadow HS Student-Athletes Recognized For Excellence

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Two East Meadow High School seniors have been recognized by the Heisman High School Scholarship program for their achievements on the field and in the classroom. Danielle Hippner, a member of the girls varsity basketball team, and Sean Kennedy, a member of the varsity baseball team, are the school’s winners for the 2019-20 academic year. 

The program is an extension of the renowned collegiate Heisman Trophy award and has honored more than 600,000 student-athletes in the past 25 years. To qualify for the scholarship, students must maintain a 3.0 GPA, participate or have participated in specific athletics in grades 9, 10 or 11, and be a leader in the school community. 

The East Meadow Union Free School District congratulates Danielle and Sean on their impressive accomplishments. 
For more information on the Heisman High School Scholarship program, visit