Current News

Freezing for a reason

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Nineteen members of the Bellport High School Athletes Helping Others club raised over $2,000 for the Special Olympics by participating in the “Freezing for a Reason” polar plunge at Cedar Beach on Nov. 18. This is the 13th year that the club has taken part in the annual fundraiser. Over the years, the club has raised over $14,000 for the Special Olympics organization, which raises funds for athletes who want to participate in the Special Olympics and provides them with training. The Athletes Helping Others club also recently donated full Thanksgiving dinners to two families in need.

Date Added: 11/28/2023

Varsity athletes serve as role models

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Bellport High School fall varsity athletes recently spent time with third grade students at Verne W. Critz Elementary School as part of the South Country School District’s social and emotional learning program Second Step.

The program was inaugurated during the 2022-2023 school year, with fall and winter athletes visiting students at Kreamer Street and Brookhaven elementary schools.

Second Step aims to create lasting bonds between Bellport High School student-athletes and third graders in the district’s elementary schools. The athletes serve as role models as they shadow the third graders and support them in all aspects of their day, from assisting with lessons and academics to accompanying them to lunch.

Prior to the visit, all of the student-athletes were trained in social and emotional learning techniques.

Date Added: 11/21/2023

Bellport High School teacher earns national award

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Bellport High School teacher Andrew Budris has been recognized by the National Council for the Social Studies with the distinguished 2023-2024 Secondary Teacher of the Year Award. He will be presented with the award and $2,500 at a ceremony in Nashville on Dec. 1.

“I don't think this award indicates I'm the best social studies teacher,” said Budris. “Instead, I think it shows that at South Country, I've been allowed to be innovative in areas that the National Council for the Social Studies values. Those include project-based learning instruction, real-life civics and the teaching of controversial topics in a responsible way. And I'm honored that our district is recognized for leading in those areas.

Budris plans to use the monetary reward to sponsor a Bellport High School scholarship program that will be open to members of the Class of 2024 who are first generation college students and are interested in a career in education.

This is the second impressive award that Budris has earned for his teaching. Last year, he was recognized by the New York State Council for the Social Studies with the distinguished Outstanding High School Social Studies Classroom Teacher Award.

Budris credits much of what he has accomplished in his classroom and within the social studies department to the unwavering support that he has received. In his classroom, Budris reinforces the curriculum through problem-based learning, a teaching tool that he has brought to his co-workers and that has earned him the opportunity to present at conferences at the local, state and national level.

Budris has also presented on the New York State Seal of Civic Readiness program, which he and Jackie O’Hagan, director of the South Country School District’s humanities department, implemented in the district in 2022. South Country was one of only a handful of school districts on Long Island last year to offer the new Civic Readiness pathway, an all-encompassing program that teaches students how to apply civic knowledge, skills and mindsets to make positive impacts in their school, community and the world. It also aims to strengthen relationships with community partners and civic leaders. An impressive 95% of the Class of 2023 graduated with the Seal of Civic Readiness attached to their diplomas.

Budris, a Bellport resident, has been teaching at Bellport High School for the past 26 years. He currently teaches AP U.S. Government and Politics and co-teaches AP Research. He also serves as the lead teacher for the social studies department, a position he has held for the past seven years. He taught for two years in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn before moving to Bellport.

The accomplished teacher earned his undergraduate degree in political science from Siena College and his master’s in liberal sciences from Stony Brook University. He is currently working toward his doctorate in learning and teaching from Hofstra University.

When not teaching, Budris and his wife, Ellen Hoffman, who is an English teacher at Bellport High School, are supporting their three-sport-athlete daughter, who is a senior at the high school.

Date Added: 11/9/2023

Sharing a love of words

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To celebrate National Day on Writing, Bellport High School students penned a variety of written works in their English language arts classes for display in a writing gallery at the school. The works included blackout poems as well as memoirs. The event also featured a contest where ELA classes visiting the gallery voted on their favorite work.

Date Added: 10/27/2023

Successful college fair

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Bellport High School recently hosted a College Fair, where students spoke to admissions representatives from more than 100 colleges and universities to gain information about admissions, programs of study and scholarships.

Date Added: 10/25/2023