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Levy Lakeside School

Principals Page


Welcome to the 2018 - 2019 school year. As the old African Proverb states, “It takes a village to raise a child,” I look forward to our continued partnership. I am confident that together we will bestow upon our children the greatest gift possible; a love of learning.

Levy Lakeside is one of the three elementary schools in the Merrick Union Free School District, educating over 500 students in kindergarten through sixth grade. At Lakeside, we provide a strong academic program and a nurturing, respectful environment where we value kindness. The dedication of the Levy Lakeside staff combined with support from our central administrators, the Board of Education, parents and community affords our students the opportunity to achieve academic, personal success and become lifelong critical thinkers and learners.

The District continues to focus on the “Beginnings of a Bright Future” through improving academic skills for all of our students. Our high standards challenge students to delve deep into topics and text across curricular areas. Additionally, we strive to provide our students with the necessary critical attributes which include, but are not limited to: strategic thinking, creativity, synthesis/evaluation of information, and high levels of engagement.

With the implantation of the New York State Standards, accountability and assessments have become prevalent. It is important to know that this is just one measure of who your child is as a learner. At Lakeside, we make every effort to find middle ground, in order to focus on students’ individual strengths, skills, needs and interests. On our website,, you will find an instruction tab. This drop down menu has information about curriculum. 

A culture of professional growth is emphasized amongst our staff through targeted discussions, review of student work, and the analysis of various data sources. We strive to ensure that all students at Levy Lakeside will be successful.

Justin Gabrus will be the new assistant principal of Norman J. Levy Lakeside Elementary School. Justin began his career as an AIS instructor in the North Bellmore School District in 2008. In 2009, he became an elementary school teacher in the Freeport School District. As an elementary teacher, Justin worked with Teacher’s College finding ways to differentiate instruction to give his students the best opportunities to be successful. In September of 2013, Justin was selected to be a reading specialist for the Malverne School District where he received tenure and remained until June 2018. As a reading specialist, Justin gathered and analyzed data to inform instruction and ensure his students were receiving the services they needed to flourish. He took on many leadership roles throughout the Malverne School District and continued those roles while he was completing his administrative internship. Having experience in the planning and implementation of fully digital classrooms, Justin has found ways to infuse technology in instruction and help provide staff and parents with resources to help their students utilize various technologies to their highest potential.

Outside of his academic responsibilities, he directed the Malverne Saturday Academy, created and chaired book clubs for 6th, 7th and 8th grade students, worked as the 6th grade dean and was a member of various committees geared toward school improvement. He also coached soccer at the middle school and high school varsity level.

As a graduate of the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District and a current resident of North Bellmore, Justin is excited to give back to a community that has given him so much. Justin holds a Bachelor of Science in Childhood Education from SUNY Old Westbury, a Master of Arts in Literacy from Touro College and has completed the School Building and District Leadership Program through The College of Saint Rose. Justin holds certification in Childhood Education, Literacy B-12, and School Building Leadership and School District Leadership.

As a school, we continuously discuss the importance of creating a positive experience for all students. The Dignity Act supports our focus in recent years to develop school-wide positive support approaches. Levy Lakeside promotes our overarching social-emotional belief of a positive behavioral approach with our Bucketfilling Program in grades K – 3 and “Lakeside ROARS” in grades 4 – 6 which stands for Respectful, Open-minded, Accepting, Responsible Students. The Lion’s Quest program has been implemented school wide. It is integral in fostering responsible decisions, the ability to communicate effectively, to problem solve and to develop conflict resolution strategies.

Student council, intramurals, various clubs and numerous cultural arts programs are some of the annual traditions and special programs in which our students are involved.

There is truly no better way to support the Levy Lakeside School than by becoming involved in the PTA. The PTA provides wonderful opportunities for our children and tremendous support to our school. The PTA assists with community building through varied activities, provides classroom and academic support through the organization of class parents, as well as PTA funded/planned field trips and cultural arts programs. 

I am excited to continue the wonderful traditions of excellence that have been firmly established in the Merrick School District. The year ahead is full of great opportunities for learning and growing throughout the Lakeside community. I look forward to sharing in these educational experiences with you and your children.

With warm regards,

Libby Trencheny