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Exceeding expectations at Malverne High School

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Recognized for its overall record of success, Malverne High School was recently named one of eight schools in New York, and the only one on Long Island, to be featured in an academic study by SUNY Albany. The report, NYKids, is an annual analysis that examines the best practices a district uses to achieve success for all students.

“We strive for an atmosphere of excellence and equity,” said Malverne High Principal Dr. Vincent Romano. “Everyone here embraces that — the teachers, students, support staff, counselors, librarians, security guards, lunch aides, you name it — and that’s what makes the difference for us. Everyone plays a role, and everyone gives 110 percent.”

According to the State Education Department’s website, Malverne’s graduation rate in 2017 was 93 percent, well above the state’s average of 80 percent. Fifty-five percent of Malverne students earned Regents with Advanced Designations, compared with the state average of 33 percent.

“Our students have really risen to our level of expectations,” Romano said. “Every time we raise the bar, our students keep exceeding it, and these awards keep coming in.”

He added that Kristen Wilcox, an associate professor at SUNY Albany who took part in the study, told him that his high school is a special place.

“That’s the ultimate compliment that we can get as a school,” Romano said. “Everyone in this school plays a very, very special role, and that’s what makes Malverne the special place that it is. It doesn’t happen without the people who stand before our students every single day, and that’s our teachers.”

“That speaks volumes to the dedication and caring of everyone involved, including the Board of Education, who is here to support everything that’s done in our schools,” said Superintendent Dr. James Hunderfund. “It’s the culmination of the entire school system.”

Being a smaller school district, Hunderfund added, has helped Malverne cultivate a culture of success. “That only enables us to devote more personal attention to making sure that every student has the resources they need to achieve their maximum level of success,” he said. “We’re so proud that this is one of the things in recent years that has pointed to the excellence that our high school delivers for its children in this community.”

Malverne High was also featured in the book “Schools That Succeed: How Educators Marshal the Power of Systems for Improvement,” by Karin Chenoweth, and was the recipient of the National Education Policy Center’s “Schools of Opportunity” Gold Award for its efforts to increase learning opportunities and maintain a healthy school culture.