OBHS Students Excel in the Language Arts
Many Oyster Bay High School Students have shown excellence in a variety of writing and language arts.
OBHS Senior Isabella Pace's poem, “Cliffs of Moher,” was a winner of the Martin J. Kelly Writing Contest of the Irish Cultural Society Gaelic Poetry Contest.
OBHS Senior Steven Keehner's personal narrative, “Why Journalism?,” was a winner of the Nassau Reading Council Young Author's Contest.
OBHS Senior Michelle Yu's essay about her mother was a winner of the Nassau English Council Essay Contest.
OBHS Senior Elaine Mylonas's essay about her pacemaker was a winner of the Nassau English Council Essay Contest.
OBHS Sophomore Melanie Aguilera is the latest recipient of another poetry award in her Creative Writing class. Her poem, “Dreams of Water,” is a 30-line piece, highlighting a central message about her dreams. She will be honored on June 4th at the Walt Whitman Birthplace in Huntington Station, New York.
OBHS Freshman Anna Tsoumpariotis’s personal narrative about 9/11 was a winner of the Nassau Reading Council Young Author's Contest.
The 2017 George Farber Outstanding Student Award Honors Franklin Villatoro Sierra. A year ago, Franklin started in the English Literacy Alternative Program (ELAP) to improve his English language skills. He’s been known for his dedication to learning. He is an exemplary student and a mentor for others in the class and is always willing to help his classmates with assignments. He is determined to do well and hopes to continue his studies in college. Franklin is always looking to find opportunities to improve his reading and writing skills. He always tries to be the best he can be. He is also in the barbering program where he is excelling at giving haircuts, shaves and facials. Franklin is a leader in his class and demonstrates his maturity in all situations. Franklin participated in the blood drive and can be found serving food to those less fortunate or in need at his local church. He is polite, well-mannered and sets a positive example by being respectful of all students and staff. (Reprinted from the BOCES website at http://www.nassauboces.org/Page/9516 )
The Winning Writings
"Cliffs of Moher" by Isabella Pace
A cold embrace that runs deep.
Mist over rolling cliffs soars,
Wind that pours into a heap.
"Why Journalism?" by Steven Keehner
“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing” is what I scribble on my Senior Quotes and Activities sheet. As I sketch the words into my paper, I flashback eight years, to when I was standing with my Mom in our kitchen. By this time, I had become obsessed with Sports Center. I was glued to watching these journalists tell stories throughout the sporting world, it seemed like the perfect job to me. “Is that their actual job Mom?” “Of course Steven, why wouldn’t it be?” My eyes flashed open with excitement! With one seemingly pointless question, my life would be changed forever; I knew from that moment what I wanted to do. I wanted to be a journalist.
I’ve always had an interest in writing, I believe that everyone has a writer within, but I also believe it happens in different ways. I’ve never been able to put together a thrilling short story, nor have I been able to lace words to create an awe-inspiring poem. Hence, I had my doubts about finding my niche as a writer, but as I found out in 10th grade, life can work in odd ways.
In sophomore year, I knew at some point I would take Journalism, so I made an appointment to see my guidance counselor to review my electives. When I finally went to her, she told me that the only class available was Journalism; “You can take it, if you’re interested.” My eyes, much like eight years prior, flashed with excitement! I had the chance to take journalism!
I was set on immediately becoming an integral part of my school newspaper, and this quickly became my focus and passion. I would become Oyster Bay High School’s Sports Editor! I also discovered my calling; I could write articles! I realized that I was good at this when I would bring my work to my teacher, and he would be impressed to see a novice write multiple pages about a variety of topics, whether it was soccer’s growth in the US, presidential previews, John Lennon’s legacy, or an album review. While I still couldn’t create a fictional masterpiece, I was able to find the narrative within a news story, and while I wasn’t able to develop a poem, I could lace together facts and my personality to create something unique. I confirmed much about myself; I had a passion for presenting news and facts to people while also keeping my own personal touch as a writer.
My discovery of editing and designing was also born; I took pride in making sure that the paper was the best it could possibly be. In my junior year, I took this passion even further; I initiated a website for the school paper, and one year later, I was named not only the Editor-in-Chief of “The Harbour Voice,” but I was also named the Head Editor of the Online Website; which I designed by myself! Recently, I was given an opportunity to showcase my writing with not only Oyster Bay High School, but with Oyster Bay entirely, as I was given the chance to write for the town paper, The Oyster Bay Enterprise-Pilot. I was incredibly honored to be given this opportunity, and when I saw my name in an actual newspaper, it only fueled the fire inside of me even more to keep working harder.
“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” I look at the quote again, it’s definitely the right choice for me; it’s how I want to be remembered. I want to change the world with my words; I want people to read my work and feel something, whether that’s happiness, sadness, or anger, that’s not for me to decide. I’m not sure if I believe in fate, but I do know one thing: I want to be a journalist.
"Dreams of Water" by Melanie Aguilera
A cool gem in water catches my eye,
A glint of sunlight on its majesty
Emphasizes the water’s clarity.
To think that many are too vain,
And too oblivious-
To appreciate the eighth wonder of the world,
Many wake up for a thirst
For either a gem or a glass of water.
Put a line of people on the bank of the river.
Watch who runs for the gem,
And watch who goes for water.
A fight breaks out for the gem.
Lives are lost,
A child is left without a parent.
Many have torn clothing
and blood streaked cheeks,
Others are on the ground catching their breath,
Many are on the ground who will never gain theirs back;
Only one has the gem.
But at what cost was the gem so valuable,
That you had to hurt someone in order to grasp its coldness.
To the left is man,
Scooping as much water as he can into his parched mouth,
Swimming in the wonder that is water.
Enjoying the earth’s gift to him,
He has won more than any other.
Now tell me, do you dream of gems or water?
Personal Narrative by Anna Tsoumpariotis
What is your story? Some people may say that they do not have a story or their story is not worth telling. Everyone has a story. Whether if it is big or small, all stories must be told. My story is shared from generation to generation, person to person, state to state, country to country. This story has affected the lives of every person in the world.
9/11 was almost the day I lost my dad. This day was the day many lives were lost, and families were impacted forever. Over the years, I have heard countless times what our nation went through and how much terror had sprung from the grounds of New York City, spreading this terror all over the world. My dad woke up as if it was a normal day at work. He got ready, kissed his wife and kids good-bye, and started his day. This day seemed ordinary, but two things were off. The air felt different, and my dad’s train was late. My dad’s train was never late. My dad became frustrated because he knew he was going to be late for work. On his heels, he rushed into the train and took a seat beside an old frail lady with a walnut-shell complexion. Other than small talk, the train was unusually quiet. You were able to hear the creaking of the tracks and scattering of feet. Once my dad reached his stop, the doors opened, and at that precise second, a voice came on the loud speaker: “There has been an attack on the Twin Towers. Do not proceed to your destination. I repeat do not proceed to your destination.” My dad wasn’t considering himself; he was thinking about his colleagues and the people that worked for him. He knew each of them had a life to live and families to take care of. He proceeded to the Twin Towers, where he worked in the Second Tower. Screaming and cries were heard in the distance. Police sirens pierced ears, and fear filled the streets, wrapping around the people of the United States. The air wasn’t breathable. Smoke filled all lungs. My dad ran more than his feet could carry him. Once he approached the Towers, he froze in his tracks. He was being pushed back by the police, and he was only able to say the words, “They are still inside.” The officer told my dad not to panic. The Second Tower was on lockdown. All of a sudden, an overwhelming crash erupted, and the Second Tower fell to rubble. Silence fell among everyone. Standing united was what we did best. In the action between the first tower collapsing and Second Tower collapsing, my dad witnessed people jumping from the towers. That was how they wanted to die. Overwhelmed with emotion, my dad observed many people were covered in ash, their whole bodies grey. My dad only had one grey speck on his left shoe. The train that was late saved my dad’s life. I call that a miracle. My dad would have been among the ashes that still remain today on the grounds of New York City. I would not have been born nor my little brother.
There are countless stories of 9/11, and none will be forgotten. This day has impacted the lives of people around the world only in one way, negatively. The lives that were taken and the Twin Towers will always be remembered. We will never forget the unity, sacrifice, and emotion that took place on September eleven, two-thousand one.