Back to School 2021!



As the new school year washes over us, many are entering the building for the very first time, either as freshmen, or as sophomores who were fully-remote during the 2020-2021 school year. Some may even be returning to the school to witness its new addition for the first time. There are also several students who are new to the district. From students to staff, we haven’t seen this many new faces here in about eighteen months. Luckily, Ms. Khudeja Ellahi can tell us her experience of being a new teacher to the district, as she states, “It has been a wonderful experience. The teachers, staff and students are all very nice and welcoming. It was a bit challenging in the first few days to get used to the new schedule, building, and routine, but now I am finding it much easier. Each morning I look forward to coming to AMHS and try my best to make a positive difference in my student’s lives.”

Mr. Didonna, a new science teacher, told us this was his dream job. Being new to teaching as a whole, he is loving every moment. He says the staff and teachers are very helpful and lend a hand in anything that he needs assistance in. He also loves the new science wing.

With the return of fully in-person education, many are concerned about new Covid cases popping up and students becoming sick, but in comparison to many other districts, Amityville has surprisingly contained this within the school districts, having only a few cases within each school. Even with the risks of this virus spreading, many are hopeful for the removal of masks by the end of this year or the beginning of next year (which may be unlikely if numbers keep rising).


As we return to a physical learning environment, grade nine has been pushed up from the Edmund Miles Middle School and is now within the high school building, which is one major reason for the building of the new addition. There is also a greater diversity of students within the building as a result of this influx, which allows for the possibility of new ideas to flourish within the building. I have personal insight from two freshmen on this topic, as Erin Kreuder personally believes that the building took some time getting used to, as it seemed intimidating being in this new building with such older students (especially since they are coming back to the district after years). Another freshman believes that other freshmen should ¨get their stuff together and get under control, as they should not act like they own the place¨ (very harsh words, especially coming from a fellow freshman).


With the return of students, Amityville gained another new section of the school. Last year, the math and science wing was added, along with a new cafeteria, gymnasium, locker rooms, and tennis courts. This year, the new music and fine arts wing opened up after being under construction for the previous year and summers. There are many opinions about the new wing and the teachers and students combined feel very happy with this new addition. Mrs. Grasso, an art teacher and advisor of the National Art Honor Society, said she was “thrilled” and that it had a “college-like feeling” while Ms. Scoca, an art teacher and the art club advisor, had a similar review. She stated it was “fabulous” and that it was “dedicated more to the space that the teachers need to teach the students.” She also said, hopefully, the art program will be able to grow more with the added space. Mrs. Westphal, another art teacher, compared the new wing to the bunk bed scene in the movie “Step Brothers,” as it was very exciting and there’s a lot more space to be able to do everything that is included within their classes. She said it was very nice to have a space dedicated to art and it was helpful being closer to the other art teachers.

Ms. Ferrante and Mrs. Macaron, the orchestra and band teachers, both agree that it’s amazing to have our own music space and own rooms, in comparison to last year. They said it’s great– we don’t have to move around, fight over space, or get disrupted during class and lessons. Included in the new band and orchestra/chorus room, we got a lot of new practice rooms. Ms. Macaron said it “opened up a door of opportunity for kids to be more creative” and Ms. Ferrante stated, “our space now has practice rooms where students are able to practice in small groups and it really caters to the needs of the music department.” The new wing was a needed addition to the school and the students, staff, and teachers of Amityville are very lucky to have received it. With all of these major changes happening, the school can now be difficult to navigate, so Mr. Castro created a handy map to help us out!


As the new school year rolls around, we have quite a few new names to learn. Here’s a “Who’s Who” list to help everyone out!

Principal: Mr. Plaia
Vice Principals: Dr. Cardone, Mr. Suckle
Dean of Students: Ms. Lim
Main Office Staff: Ms. Diane O’Neil, Ms. Paige, Ms. Donovan
Attendance: Ms. Diliberto (aka: Miss Carol)
Nurse: Miss Amy
Guidance Staff: Ms. Brown, Mrs. Graham
Guidance Counselors: Ms. Borja, Ms. Gross, Ms. Noon, Mrs. Salerno
School Psychologist: Ms. Rankin
School Social Workers: Mr. Marreo, Ms. Spady
Librarian: Ms. Rosario