Here's a look at the top schools stories from Sachem Patch this year:
*Note: These are non-sports related. The top sports stories list will be out Wednesday.
1. : The Freshman Class of 2014 left a lasting impact on the Sachem community with their work in developing the 9/11 memorial that will sit outside Sachem North forever. The beams of steal from the World Trade Center are a reminder of the one of the worst days in American history and we are able to remember the men and women who lost their lives that day when we look at the touching tribute.
2. : Angry with the state's decision to cut $14 million in state aide from the Sachem Central School District, teachers set out on a quest to Albany to address government officials and have their voices heard. The moment garnered regional media attention.
3. : Sachem received a record $1.5M physical education grant from the federal government, which will help buy new equipment and develop new curriculum for years to come.
4. : Food drives have become a part of the culture in the school district. Again this year students at all schools - specifically the high schools - gathered money and items to feed thousands of people across the community and on Long Island.
5. : Sachem East doubled last year’s donation total of $15,000 and pulled in around $32,000, crushing its initial goal of $17,000. Seqouya Middle School also raised $30,000 on its own. Among the more than 115 people who had their heads shaved was Sachem Superintendent James Nolan, who raised $3,645 on his own.
6. : With an emphasis placed on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s $1.5 billion cut in state educational aid across New York, more than 2,000 attended a rally held by the Long Island Progressive Coalition at Sachem High School East in February. The moment was heavily covered by regional and local media.
7. : School board meetings were extra crowded at times this year with talks of teacher layoffs throughout the end of the 2010-11 school year. The constant story of budgets, layoffs and state aide were a major theme of coverage for months on Sachem Patch. "I’m not sure if we’ve ever faced a situation like this in the history of the district,” said Superintendent Jim Nolan, who was excessed as a Sachem teacher in 1992. “There is no simple solution.”
8. : What started as a simple YouTube post ended with Sachem North history teacher Jonathan Chiaramonte appearing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in May. Known for being a peppy teacher and often dancing in class to lighten the mood, one dance caught the eye of Ellen’s people and five days later he was on the show as a guest, talking and dancing with his idol in Los Angeles.
9. : Students and staff at Tecumseh Elementary School participated in the second “DVDs For Overseas” DVD drive for the soldiers in Afghanistan. This drive was opened up to all Sachem buildings and over 500 DVDs were collected through them. They also sent dozens of energy drinks and movie posters along as well.
10. : As is the case every year, the school budget stories on Sachem Patch are big news. Since this site is based around the school district, all stories about the school budget and school board are highly read and commented on.