Sparking Conversations

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Filling the school cafeteria, Bayport-Blue Point High School students and several staff members engaged in a meaningful discussion of current politics as they took part in the third annual Issues Forum, titled “Election Reflection.” The event, which focuses on a different topic each year, centered on the recent presidential election – in particular, domestic and foreign policy as well as social issues surrounding the nation’s political parties.

“This event focuses on helping our students develop a deeper understanding of politics and enables them to gain a better appreciation for the importance of such historical events as the reelection of a president,” said John Limperatos, the school’s social studies department chair and program coordinator. “Through their independent research and the information shared during the Forum, we hope the event sparks a knowledgeable and civil dialogue about issues of current importance.”

On the panel were current seniors Bridget Foley, Alex Gamcsik, Nick Keenan and Sean Rall as well as high school teachers Anthony Curran, John Limperatos and Sean Meade and middle school teacher Stacie Sosinski. Fielding questions from moderator Matt McMullan, the school’s English chairperson, the panel shared their individual viewpoints on such topics as the Electoral College, the polarization of the Republican Party and what President Obama’s second term will look like. Audience members – including students, faculty, administrators and Board of Education members – had the chance to submit questions for the panelists to discuss.  

The event not only served as a mechanism to inspire outside discussion of classroom history topics, but also as a fundraiser for a senior scholarship in honor of former teacher and New York State Assemblyman Paul E. Harenberg. Over the past three years the Issues Forum has raised hundreds of dollars for this cause.