Bright Lights Winner

Bright Lights Winner photo
Westhampton Beach High School math teacher Nick Kochis is one of 23 Long Island educators to be recognized this year with a Suffolk ASSET Bright Lights Award for integrating technology into the classroom. 

Kochis, who has been teaching in the Westhampton Beach School District since 2009, earned the recognition for engaging his students through innovative learning platforms. He has used Google Classroom to pair his students with those in other states to collaboratively solve math problems. He also uses the math website GeoGebra to bring visual understanding to a variety of concepts, and this year introduced an augmented reality app to engage them even further. 

“I am very thankful for the district’s technology initiative and how it allows me to use technology in so many ways in my classroom,” said Kochis.  
 

Valedictorian and Salutatorian Named

Valedictorian and Salutatorian Named photo
Westhampton Beach High School has announced Chris Bender and Frank Lapinski as its Class of 2019 valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively. The two seniors earned the top spots in their class through their outstanding commitment to academics. 

Valedictorian Bender has achieved a number of academic accomplishments during his tenure at Westhampton Beach High School. He is a National AP Scholar, a National Merit Commended Scholar and the soon-to-be recipient of an AP Capstone diploma. He is also a member of the National, Math, Science and Foreign Language honor societies, serves as co-president of the Interact Club, and is a two-sport athlete on the varsity football and lacrosse teams. 

Bender plans to attend Williams College in the fall. He has not yet declared a major.  

Salutatorian Lapinski has an equally impressive academic track record. He is an AP Scholar, a member of the National, Math, Science and Foreign Language honor societies, president of his school’s mock trial team, co-president of the Interact Club, co-captain of the varsity quiz bowl team and chief financial officer of the school’s Virtual Enterprise team. In addition, he plays the saxophone and performs with his school’s jazz ensemble and pep and pit bands. Outside of school, he participates in the Riverhead Youth Court. 

Students Sign with Colleges

Students Sign with Colleges photo
Five Westhampton Beach seniors penned their names to national letters of intent during a recent signing ceremony. Pictured, from left, McKinley Skala, Geneseo University, soccer; Jon Mendoza, Yale University, football; Maeve Murphy, Boston University, track; Liam McIntyre, Brown University, football; and Brooke Walker, New York Institue of Technology, softball.


Students Advance in Business Plan Competition

Students Advance in Business Plan Competition photo
Westhampton Beach High School’s Virtual Enterprise team, Team Sway, has advanced to the final round of the Virtual Enterprises International Long Island Business Plan Competition. The virtual firm became semifinalists after competing against 96 teams from across Long Island at VEI’s 2019 Long Island Regional Conference and Exhibition, held Jan. 9 at LIU Post. They were one of 11 teams to advance.

Team Sway’s winning virtual business plan focuses on the development and promotion of hammocks made from recycled fibers. Their plan includes donating a portion of their profits to combating suicide and depression in teens. 

The Westhampton Beach team will next compete on Feb. 26 at American Portfolios in Holbrook in the final round of the Virtual Enterprises International Long Island Business Plan Competition.


Students Assist with Public Service Announcement

Students Assist with Public Service Announcement photo
Several Westhampton Beach High School students participated in the filming of a public service announcement series sponsored by the Southampton Town Opioid Addiction and Recovery Committee. The announcements, which feature all five East End town police chiefs, warn about the lethal dangers of fentanyl. They will air on local government channels and will be provided to schools and other community groups. Student participants included Maddie Donahue, Valerie Fink, Natalie Gosnell, Mackenzie Jenkins and Alex Slover.