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Nassau BOCES educators awarded grants to benefit students

People sitting and holding an oversized bank check that represents funds given for grants. There is a large group of people standing around them smiling.
Members of the Nassau BOCES Educational Foundation and the Nassau BOCES Board and Administration were on hand when the Foundation presented a check to Nassau BOCES for 19 grants to benefit students.

The Nassau BOCES Educational Foundation awarded 19 grants totaling over $56,000 to Nassau BOCES employees to support various educational initiatives at a recent ceremony. These grants will provide resources and innovative opportunities for students in various Nassau BOCES programs and schools to enhance the learning experience.

“We are delighted to support these exciting projects that will have such a positive impact on our students,” said Anthony Fierro, Foundation Chairperson and Executive Director, Nassau BOCES Department of Facilities Services. “In its 17 years, the Foundation has awarded more than 330 grants totaling over $644,000, that’s a record we’re very proud of.”

The location, grant description and grant winners are listed below:

Adult Education, Training in the plumbing and electrical trades for Facilities Services Employees. Michele Cohen, Principal, and Judith Hynes, Associate Director, Department of Regional Schools and Instructional Programs.

Barry Tech, Purchase ice cream machines for hot and cold dessert lessons so students can observe and demonstrate the proper use of a commercial ice cream machine. Chef Danielle Chieffo, Daniel Cava, Assistant Principal, Peter Dalton, Principal and Dr. William Poll, Acting Principal.

Career Preparatory High School:

  • Tuition Scholarship Fund for Nassau BOCES Early College High School Students at Nassau Community College. Renee Tarzia, Special Education Teacher, and Easton Hazell, Principal.
  • Tuition scholarship fund for students with disabilities. Christina Berner, School Counselor, and Easton Hazell, Principal.
  • Provide the opportunity for grades 9-12 to have an outlet for their frustrations and anger through a mindfulness/calming room called the Wellness Center. Christina Berner, School Counselor, Annalisa Riccio, Bianca Albano, Students and Easton Hazell, Principal.

Center for Community Adjustment:

  • Tuition scholarship fund for students with disabilities at the Center for Community Adjustment. Monica Adams and Jeannine Stutz, Principal.

Carman Road:

  • Purchase a posture chair that is an adjustable therapeutic device to promote proper symmetrical alignment of a child's pelvis and lower extremities, enabling the child to partake in a greater range of play activities and learning. Sarah Lynas-Koenig, Physical Therapist, and Gina DaRocha, Principal.
  • Purchase a Cricut machine to teach students what it means to go into business by making and selling their own products. Fran Shapiro, Special Education and Gina DaRocha, Principal.

Children’s Readiness Center/Seaman Neck Middle School:

  • EDGE (Exploratory Developmental Growth Environment) gives students the opportunity to learn self-regulation through interaction with sensory materials therapeutically introduced. Marva Bowen, Occupational Therapist, Karen Loughlin, Physical Therapist and Jennifer Gielarowski, Principal.

George Farber Outstanding Student Award:

  • Scholarships for winners. Monetary prizes for George Farber Outstanding Student Award winners. Theresa Schaefer-Bell, System Specialist/Information Specialist II.

Iris Wolfson High:

  • Tuition Scholarship fund for students with disabilities at Iris Wolfson High School. Diana Schneider, School Counselor and Lisa Paolucci, Principal.

Jerusalem Avenue Elementary School:

  • The Kerboom Kidz program teaches students to live a healthy and active lifestyle through movement and music. Meghan Oliveri, Guidance Counselor, Kerri Connell, Speech Pathologist and Dr. Shaundrika Langley-Grey, Principal.

Language Programs and Assessment Services (LPAS)/English as a New Language (ENL) Robert E. Lupinskie Center for Curriculum, Instruction and Technology

  • Purchase iPads for English as a New Language classrooms. Dr. Joan P. Zangerle, Teacher and Donald Brosnan, Supervisor.

Robert Williams Middle School:

  • Purchase science lab tables to allow students to demonstrate collaborative learning. Jennifer Kaden, Teacher and Heather Soffer, Principal.

Rosemary Kennedy School:

  • Use a Cricut machine to create school-wide shirts for 3 holidays during the school year. This will provide vocational experiences, including functional academics and social skills. Cristina Moore, Karen Walker, Alexandra Zakian, Amanda Coyle, Karen Young, Teachers and Matthew Zegers, Principal.
  • Create a Gross Motor Garden as an outdoor extension of the OT/PT therapy space enabling students to work on their gross motor skills in a natural environment. Tracy Gil, Physical Therapist, Lisa Cohen, Occupational Therapist and Matthew Zegers, Principal.

Twilight Alternative Program at Massapequa UFSD:

  • Use virtual reality software to increase the engagement of students who are most typically distracted by external factors. Grace Hussey Massapequa Twilight Coordinator, and Kellie Cook McLaurin, Principal, Specialized Schools.

Willet Avenue Middle School:

  • Provide "buddy benches" outside by the garden so children who are still unsure about participating can observe and feel included. Randi Kirchenberg, Speech Pathologist and Margot Owen, Principal.
  • Purchase a basketball hoop to give students the ability to play basketball-related games to develop their fine and gross motor movements. Therese Quinn, Curriculum Teacher and Margot Owen, Principal.

Each year, as one of its main fundraisers, the Foundation holds a gala honoring the Nassau BOCES Education Partner honorees. That gala will be held on May 7, 2024, at the Crest Hollow Country Club.

For more information about the gala and other ways to support the Foundation, visit,, for information about how to nominate an Education Partner, visit,