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SADD/PTSA Fashion Show on March 14

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Superintendent's Valentine Message

After experiencing the joy of P.S. I Love You Day at the middle school last Friday, I see the irony of celebrating Valentine’s Day only once a year.

We have so much to be thankful for in our East Islip learning community. We have rich traditions, hardworking students, faculty, staff and supportive parents and community.  

I woke up this morning and realized I didn’t need a Hallmark card to tell me that I love coming to work each day here in East Islip, because of people like you, all ages, shapes, sizes and backgrounds. So, my Valentine message to all of you is to simply say, I enjoy coming to work each day because of you and I promise that several times a year I will sit down and send you the following message: P.S. I love you today, tomorrow and every day.

Enjoy your Valentine’s Day and February break. I look forward to seeing everyone rested and rejuvenated after spending time with the ones you love doing what you love.

Fondly,
John Dolan

P.S. I love you  

Physical Education/Health Strategic Plan Presentation

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Middle Schoolers Complete Coat Rack Project

Middle Schoolers Complete Coat Rack Project
Students in the middle school’s Technology Club recently put the finishing touches on their coat rack projects. Guided by teacher Hal Kench, each member learned about shop safety and proper use of machines and hand tools such as box saws, hammers, routers, drill presses and orbital sanders. They concluded the project by applying stain and varnish to the racks.

Students and Alumni Mix It Up at Volleyball Tournament

Students and Alumni Mix It Up at Volleyball Tournament

The high school’s varsity girls volleyball team recently hosted the school’s first Alumni Mix and Match Tournament, a friendly competition between current students and alumni. Participants ranged from future members of the graduation Class of 2023 all the way back to alumni from the Class of 2014.

The players tried to spike their way to the grand prize but only two teams reigned victorious. The Palmer Family were named overall tournament winners, with the Snack Pack team earning the team spirit prize.

“The Lady Redmen would like to thank everyone for coming out and hope to continue this tradition in the years to come,” said coach Romina Ackley.

First Trip to Nationals for Cheerleaders

The high school’s cheerleaders.

The high school varsity cheerleading team, guided by coaches Ariel Abesamis and Melissa Graziano, competed for the first time in the UCA National High School Cheerleading Championship, held this year from Feb. 8-10 at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

“This group of 13 girls made history,” said Graziano. “As an alumni cheerleader for East Islip and their coach for eight years, I could not have been prouder of them. Their hard work, dedication and determination has really paid off. It has always been a dream for East Islip cheerleaders to go to nationals and these group of girls finally achieved it. Unfortunately, it was not the outcome that we wanted, but we still made history and they did an amazing job. Ariel and I are lucky to coach this group of girls.”

The cheerleading team, ranked first in their division, will next compete in the Suffolk County finals on Feb. 17 at Centereach High School.





Guadagno Takes First at Tourney

Guadagno Takes First at Tourney

The varsity wrestling team recently competed in the Kris McDonald Tournament at Islip High School, scoring 104 points to earn fifth place overall out of 14 teams competing.

Senior captain John Guadagno (182 pounds) won first place in the tournament, beating the top-ranked wrestler in Suffolk County, Central Islip’s Malachi Lord-Kelly, in the finals by a 10-6 score. The victory earned Guadagno the Most Outstanding Wrestler award voted on by the coaches.

Junior Nick Agresta (195 pounds) placed second overall, while junior Mark Shayew (160 pounds) and junior Arjay Wilko (170 pounds) both placed third. Eighth-grader Justin Shayew (99 pounds) placed fourth while sophomore Mike Colon (152 pounds) took fifth overall.



Upcoming BOE Budget Meetings

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The Board of Education will hold the following workshop and business meetings regarding the 2019-2020 budget. They will be held at 1 Craig B. Gariepy Ave. in Islip Terrace. The community is invited to attend.

Thur., Feb. 28 at 8 p.m. - Special Business Meeting and Budget Presentation No. 1

Thur., March 14 at 8 p.m. - Business Meeting and Budget Presentation No. 2

Thur., March 28 at 7 p.m. - Workshop Meeting and Budget Advisory Committee Presentation

Thur., April 11 at 7 p.m. - Workshop Meeting and Board Response to Budget Advisory Committee

Wed., April 17 at 8 p.m. - Business Meeting and Annual Budget Adoption




All-Eastern Honors

All-Eastern Honors
All-Eastern Honors 2

Seven stellar high school students were recently named All-Eastern musicians and chosen to participate in the National Association for Music Education’s Eastern Division Conference ensemble concerts, to be held in April in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After being selected for the New York State All-State Conference, the seven students were picked by NAfME from a pool of musicians from 11 different states from Maine to Maryland. They were recognized at the district’s Jan. 10 board of education meeting.

Alexandra Stewart (flute) will perform with the All-Eastern Band; Victoria Keenan (violin) will perform with the All-Eastern Orchestra; Alexandra Bertolini (soprano) will perform with the All-Eastern Treble Choir; and Emily DaSilva (soprano), Karina Gallagher (alto), Katelyn Spina (alto) and Victoria Tiernan (soprano) will perform with the All-Eastern Mixed Choir.

“The application process is intensive and the competition is very high,” said band director Christopher Neske. “We couldn’t be prouder of these incredible student musicians and of the East Islip Music Department for being so well represented this year at the All-Eastern Conference.”


2019-2020 School Calendar Adopted

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The Board of Education adopted the 2019-2020 school calendar at its Jan. 7 business meeting.

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Bowling Teams Are County Champions

Bowling Teams Are County Champions
Bowling Teams Are County Champions 2

The high school’s boys and girls varsity bowling teams were both named 2019 Suffolk County champions, winning at the Section XI Championship tournament held on Feb. 2 at Bowlero Lanes in Sayville.

The boys team, led by Aaron Rice and Joseph Zagari, finished with a perfect 14-0 season and won the county title for the third year in a row. The girls team likewise ended with an impeccable 10-0 record, with Julianna Spina and Julia Bocamazo earning second and third place in Long Island girls bowling average, respectively, for the regular season.

Both teams will move on to compete in the state bowling championships in Syracuse on the weekend of March 8-10.


Redmen Wrestlers Make a Splash at League Championships

Redmen Wrestlers Make a Splash at League Championships

The high school’s varsity wrestling team finished fourth overall, scoring 110 team points, and placed seven wrestlers at the league championships held on the weekend of Feb. 2-3 at Kings Park High School.

Junior Nick Agresta (195 pounds) led the Redmen with an outstanding performance in the finals over Eastport-South Manor’s Alijah Carter, winning the League V championship with a pin at 4:30.

Senior Rich Squeglia (145 pounds) captured second place overall, losing a tough match to Ben Hawthorne from Eastport-South Manor.

Third-place winners included senior John Guadagno (182 pounds) and freshman Richie Lawrence (195 pounds), while fourth place finishers were sophomore Michael Colon (152 pounds) and juniors Mark Shayew (160 pounds) and Arjay Wilko (170 pounds).


FTK Gala Set for April 6

FTK Gala One-Day Ticket Sale on Feb. 13

The For the Kids Foundation's 2019 Gala will be held on Saturday, April 6 at 7 p.m. at Land's End in Sayville. Timber Point teacher Teresa Frisina and high school teacher Bridget Lopiccolo will be honored as Educator Advocates of the Year, and Suffolk County Legislator Tom Cilmi will be honored as Community Advocate of the Year.

JFK’s Sambo Honored by Chamber

JFK’s Sambo Honored by Chamber
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JFK’s Sambo Honored by Chamber  3

The East Islip Chamber of Commerce honored JFK student Kylie Sambo as January’s Student of the Month at the organization's Jan. 29 meeting. Sambo was selected due to her role in the JFK Student Council, her demonstration of good citizenship and the characteristic of acceptance, and her innate ability to understand the importance of inclusivity.

“Kylie serves as a positive role model by exhibiting tremendous school spirit and leadership,” said Principal Deborah Smith. “She always has a smile for all Student Council members, and she is an integral part of the club. She is wonderfully welcoming and makes sure that all students in the council’s meetings feel comfortable and included. Kylie is a wonderful and conscientious student, she participates in class and always challenges herself to reach for excellence, and she is very cooperative and helpful in the school community.”


HS Students Experience TV Production on NBC Tour

HS Students Experience TV Production on NBC Tour

Students from the high school’s English 11, creative writing and broadcast television classes recently toured the famed NBC Studios in New York City, enjoying behind-the-scenes access to the studio’s sets, broadcast centers and writing rooms.

The tour included the broadcast sets of shows such as “NBC Nightly News,” “Saturday Night Live” and “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” as well as NBC’s new 4K theater, production gallery, studio rooms and broadcast operations center. Students also experienced a description of the entire television production process from the writing of the sketches and monologues to the steps for production and means of viewer access to shows.

Additionally, the students on the tour had the opportunity to create their own unique productions, utilizing their personal scripts and performances. The production was recorded for students to later download.

As a follow-up activity in creative writing and broadcast television, the high schoolers wrote their own sketches, working cooperatively to create characters, scenario and dialogue and taking part in a group editing process they learned on the tour. Meanwhile, the junior English class, focused on speech, discussed the skills of performance and poise demonstrated by various actors and television show hosts, and put into practice such speech techniques as enunciation and holding for laughter.


ENL Students Show Their ‘Command’ of English

ENL Students Show Their ‘Command’ of English

East Islip hosted its very first “Commanding” ceremony on Jan. 8 for 29 English as a new language students in the district who had scored “commanding” on the NYSESLAT exam. These students exhibited sufficient knowledge in reading, writing, listening and speaking the English language.

“Here at East Islip, we have over 100 ENL students that represent 15 different languages of our world,” said Robert J. Wottawa II, the district’s director of art, ENL, music and world language. “This evening was a celebration of excellence and culture, bringing together our ENL students and families with East Islip’s teachers and administrators. We hope to make this wonderful evening a tradition here at East Islip.”


Murphy to Play for Queens College

Murphy to Play for Queens College

Senior Jenny Murphy signed a national letter of intent on Jan. 23 to play softball for Queens College this fall. She plans to major in special education while attending the college.

A centerfielder and four-year starter on East Islip’s varsity team, Murphy was named All-Division in 2018 and earned Golden Glove and Minds in Motion honors. She also earned All-County recognition as a bowler for the Lady Redmen.




Anatomy Students Get Certified in CPR

Anatomy Students Get Certified in CPR
Anatomy Students Get Certified in CPR 2
Anatomy Students Get Certified in CPR 3

Juniors and seniors in high school science teacher Genesis Dawson’s human anatomy and physiology classes recently stayed after school to complete a CPR AED advanced first aid certification course.

East Islip’s human anatomy and physiology class, accredited for college credit through SUNY Farmingdale, emphasizes becoming familiar with each major body system and the anatomical structures as well as various types of equipment and techniques involved in diagnosing and treating immediate injury and disease. The students are now officially certified following American Heart Association guidelines

“This course helped the students gain the skills to help adults and children during medical, breathing, and cardiac emergencies,” said Dawson. “Between both the lecture and hands-on skills sessions, this class gave students time to become accustomed to the simple techniques and ask questions.”

“I feel that in taking the course, I was able to actually apply what I have been learning in class to a real-life scenario,” said senior Isabella Pasha. “It is important to us, especially in the field of medicine, to learn the fundamentals at an early stage. Ms. Dawson and our course instructor really helped us understand the processes and get a good hands-on experience.”


RCK's Scholl Attends Day of Horn

RCK's Scholl Attends Day of Horn
RCK's Scholl Attends Day of Horn 2
RCK's Scholl Attends Day of Horn 3
Peyton Scholl, a fifth-grader at RCK, recently attended the 14th annual Suffolk County Music Educators’ Association Day of Horn, held at Northport High School. Scholl participated in clinics and rehearsals with acclaimed guest artists and performed in an evening concert with horn players from all over the county.

Community Book Club on March 21

Community Book Club on March 21

The East Islip Community Book Club's next meeting will be held on Thursday, March 21 at 6:30 p.m. in the district office boardroom. All members of the East Islip learning community are invited to join Dr. Sara Anderson, the district's director of humanities, in a book discussion of “The War That Saved My Life” by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley.

See the attached flier for more information on the meeting.

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Annual Embers Serves Up Entertainment and Coffee

EI’s Annual Embers Serves Up Entertainment and Coffee

Continuing a winter tradition at the high school, technology education teacher James Connell’s video production and broadcast television classes recently presented the annual Embers Coffee House variety show in front of live student audiences throughout the day in the high school’s broadcast room.

Among the students who worked hard to ensure an entertaining event were hosts Lauren DeCanio, Nick Conzo and Andrew Johnson; music and comedy performers Chris Alessi, Mal Brewster-Holland and Ben Chovnick; co-producers John Lennon and Stephanie Milito; technical director Jenna Donnelly; audio technician Sam Lichter; stage crew manager Jake Kenny; and coffee and hot chocolate barista Chris Cerrito.

This year’s Embers was a little smaller than previous events, due to the fact that the studio is still under construction and in the process of getting a full make-over, including new studio equipment donated by the For the Kids Foundation and former video production alumni Cameron and Matt Philie.

“Our plan is to have a much larger version of this show in the spring, and use it as a showcase of the new studio and all its upgrades and capabilities,” said Connell. “The students are super excited about being able to design, create and perform in this upcoming show.”

McHugh Signs with St. Joseph’s

McHugh Signs with St. Joseph’s
Senior pitcher Matthew McHugh signed a national letter of intent on Jan. 11 to attend St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn. He plans to major in business. A Scholar-Athlete in soccer, McHugh is also a member of the school’s National Honor Society and Foreign Language Honor Society as well as the local Ancient Order of Hibernians organization.

Photographing Beauty in Nature at Bayard

Photographing Beauty in Nature at Bayard

High school students in Joy Taylor’s and Heather Toomey’s photography classes recently enjoyed a working field trip to a local state park, Bayard Cutting Arboretum. Toomey's students were photographing a narrative in film photography, and also had a digital scavenger hunt to complete.

“It was great to get to see all of the students interact and work together,” said Taylor. “Taking photos is something that the students have to do on their own time, and it was really nice to be able to help them as they worked to complete the assignments. For a lot of students, it was their first time visiting the Arboretum.  What a beautiful day we had.”

“It was a wonderful opportunity to be able to photograph beauty in nature at a place so close to home,” said independent study photography student Gia Piazza.

“I hope we can continue the tradition of field trips in photography, it’s such a valuable experience for the students,” said Toomey.




Kindergarten 2019-20 Parent Mailing

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JFK Learns to Protect Local Waters

JFK Learns to Protect Local Waters

Young scientists at JFK are learning important lessons this year from representatives of the Cornell Cooperative Extension. During a recent CCE visit, fifth-graders enjoyed a “Stormwater Superheroes” presentation in which they learned about ways to help keep local bays and watersheds clean, how harmful pollution is to marine life in the area, and how a storm drain system can help. The students also participated in hands-on science activities and met a friendly horseshoe crab.

“It was wonderful to see how eager our students were to learn about how critical it is to protect the water around us,” said Principal Deborah Smith. “They realized that it is vital to become responsible citizens who are aware of harmful pollutants and the negative impact they can have on our environments.”

Mock Trial Team Trophies Honored by Board of Ed

Mock Trial Team TrophieHhonored by Board of Ed
The high school’s Mock Trial team and coach Patsy Lester were recognized by Superintendent John Dolan and the Board of Education at the district’s January board meeting, honoring outstanding recent accomplishments, including earning an Outstanding Attorney trophy at the Empire Mock Trial World Tournament in November, the team’s fourth consecutive award at that event, and Outstanding Witness and Outstanding Attorney awards at the Angela R. Matthew High School Seminar Program at Harvard University.

Czajka Signs with University of Hartford

Czajka Signs to Attend UHart

Senior Christie Czajka signed a national letter of intent to attend the University of Hartford on Jan. 9, where she will compete for the Division I Hawks in cross-country and track and field. She was congratulated at the ceremony by her family, coaches and Athletic Director Stephen Restivo.

A member of the Lady Redmen’s varsity girls cross-country and track teams teams since eighth grade, and captain of both teams for the last three years, Czajka earned the Cary Award for Leadership as well as Scholar-Athlete recognition. She was named All-Division in the 800-meter, 4x400, 4x800; All-League in the 600-meter, 1,000-meter and 1,500-meter; and division champion and school record holder in the 4x800. She has earned high honor roll and is a member of the school’s Foreign Language Honor Society. While at UHart, she plans to major in business.

“I chose the University of Hartford because of the Barney School of Business, which is ranked as one of the top business schools in the country,” said Czajka. “I am excited that I was accepted into the Business School along with the honors program. I was also impressed with Stacie Wentz, the head coach of Hartford’s women’s and men’s cross-country and track and field teams. She’s very knowledgeable, takes academics very seriously and is very organized. I am also looking forward to see the university’s new track and field facility that is being built.”




Food for Thought: Reading

Dear EI Community:

Growing up in a house of book readers can be intimidating. It hurts to say this, but I often felt like an alien who could not master the reading skills of the natives. It was with great envy that I watched my brothers, mother and father pick up books, begin on page 1, go to page 2, finish chapter 1 and systematically read the book to completion. No matter how hard I tried, my eyes would begin to read, but I was distracted by every passing butterfly and change of the wind.

Just when I thought I would never be a reader, my fifth-grade teacher, Mrs. Kramer, recognized that I was struggling and asked me a question I will never forget.  She said, "John, what do you like to read?" I told her I liked to read newspapers and magazines that were delivered to my home. She said, with a big smile on her face, "John, reading is reading, but as long as you promise to read the newspaper and magazines every day, your future will be bright."

Looking back on my experience and applying all the research that tells us reading is the key to success, I have come to realize what saved me was newspapers and magazines. We often equate reading with books, but not all children’s minds are wired the same. It is with great joy that I would pick up the newspapers or magazines which did not have to be read in linear sequential order. The beauty of newspapers and magazines is they contain a rainbow of stories as opposed to the structure of the novel. It is with great pride that over the years, I have been able to retrain myself so that I can now enjoy newspapers, magazines and books.

Ladies and gentlemen, the research doesn’t tell us what we must read, but shows us why it is so important to read. The more words, thoughts and ideas that go into our brain through our eyes and ears, the better solutions that come out of our mouth or through our writing.

Please take a moment to look at the chart attached and do all you can to encourage our children to be better readers. Reading is the exercise our minds needs to make healthy decisions. Isn’t it great that we work in a profession where we could all become a Mrs. Kramer? Please join our movement and find positive, proactive ways to encourage our children to read. A little encouragement is the start of a a lot of big things.

Sincerely,

John V. Dolan
Superintendent of Schools


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Teamwork Leads to Robotics Tournament Victory

Teamwork Leads to Robotics Tournament Victory

High school students from James Connell’s Robotics I and II classes recently put on a demonstration in the school library, showcasing their newly designed robots, which consisted of team-designed “manipulators.”

In robotics, a manipulator is a device used to manipulate materials without direct human contact. These manipulators were designed to play the VEX EDR “Swept Away” game, with students competing in a two-day tournament to determine which group’s design was most effective. The team of Jairo Alvarado, Sophia Bates, Jonatan Caravantes, Franklin George, Tristan Herr and Selvin Yanes – all first-year robotics students – won the overall competition with their robot Stardust. Alvarado, Caravantes, George and Yanes are all members of East Islip’s Cleary School for the Deaf program, while Bates and Herr are veterans of the school’s video production and CAD technology classes.

“I was extremely proud of this group, as they worked very diligently to create their design,” said Connell. “Through positive teamwork and collaboration, there was no doubt as to why their design won the competition.”

For the remainder of the school year, Robotics I students will continue to learn the basics of robotics technology and move into robotic programming as well as the creation of bigger and more complex robots that will play in the VEX EDR “Turning Point” game.

Three Wrestling Redmen Recognized as Finalists at Rocky Gilmore

Three Wrestling Redmen Recognized as Finalists at Rocky Gilmore

The high school’s varsity wrestlers scored big on Jan. 5 as they hosted the 32nd annual Rocky Gilmore Classic wrestling tournament, including three finalists: junior Nick Agresta (195 pounds), senior John Guadagno (195 pounds) and senior Kevin Mesa (220 pounds).

Other Redmen showing skills on the mat were a fourth-place finisher, eighth-grader Mark Shayew (99 pounds); two fifth-place finishers, juniors Mark Shayew (160 pounds) and Arjay Wilko (170 pounds); and two sixth-place finishers, sophomores Michael Colon (152 pounds) and Nick Vetrano (132 pounds).


Hilbert Wins Again at Spelling Bee

Hilbert Wins Again at Spelling Bee

The middle school held another exciting spelling bee on Jan. 4, welcoming a jam-packed audience of students, parents, teachers and administrators. This year’s bee went seven rounds, with eighth-grader Robert Hilbert, the winner of the 2018 bee, again proving victorious, correctly spelling the championship word “treacle.” Sixth-grader Lee Daubaras was the runner-up, with eighth-grader Daniella Chillemi finishing in third place.

“All of our classroom participants did an excellent job representing their school,” said teacher Mingione, who served as co-coordinator and judge alongside Brian Deedy. Barbara Huether was the official word announcer.

“The only thing better than the bee was the enthusiasm of the audience and the tremendous support they showed the contestants,” said Principal Bill Brennen.




SWAT Officer and EI Alumnus Colondona Visits Connetquot

SWAT Officer and EI Alumnus Colondona Visits Connetquot

Guardians of Our Dependents founder Daniel Colondona, a current SWAT officer for Suffolk County's Emergency Service Unit, recently visited with second-graders at Connetquot. The GOOD organization assists families of deceased police department members.

Colondona, an East Islip High School alumnus and former Army paratrooper, discussed being a responsible and respectful student, calling 911 for emergencies, and the different tools and equipment used at his job.   

All-District Concert Rescheduled to March 5

The all-district concert originally scheduled for March 6 has been rescheduled to Tuesday, March 5. The event will still take place at 7 p.m. in the middle school auditorium. Rehearsals for the all-district concert have now been moved to Monday, March 4.

Timber Point Second-Graders Collect 153 Pairs for Pajama Program

Timber Point Second-Graders Collect 153 Pairs for Pajama Program
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Timber Point Second-Graders Collect 153 Pairs for Pajama Program 3

Erica Sherlock’s second-grade class at Timber Point recently organized a schoolwide drive, collecting 153 pairs of pajamas for the Pajama Program, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and supporting a comforting bedtime routine for children affected by instability. Scholastic Book Clubs will also donate a new book for each pair of pajamas donated. The second-graders created posters to display around the building and used Timber Point’s morning announcements to make the entire school aware of their event.

“The families of Timber Point did an amazing job helping with this project,” said Principal Danielle Naccarato. “A big thank you to all who helped make this such a successful learning experience. These lessons of kindness and giving are truly priceless.”


Drama Club Presents Terrific ‘Tenor’

Drama Club Presents Terrific ‘Tenor’

Inducing raucous laughter from the audience each night, the high school Drama Club recently performed a hilarious full-length play, Ken Ludwig’s “Lend Me a Tenor,” over two terrific evenings on the middle school stage.

This year’s production featured eight students. In the leading roles of Max and Maggie were sophomore Andrew Timmins and senior Karina Gallagher. The roles of Italian couple Tito and Maria Merelli were played by junior Luke Ferrari and senior Alex Bertolini, while sophomore Kieran Tohill played the comic role of Saunders. Rounding out the supporting cast were Jenni Profera as Diana and Katie Spina as Julia, while Connor Barnes brought down the house with his uniquely amusing interpretation of the Bellhop.

“I was extremely pleased with the turnout and proud of all of the students who were involved,” said Drama Club director Bethany Affelt. “The level of professionalism, comic timing and instincts, and overall talent of the actors was simply amazing. These students really raised the bar for future straight plays in East Islip. The fact that they were able to master such challenging dialogue, complete with Italian accents and an operatic duet, as well as blocking is truly a testament to their talent and love for the theater.”




Chamber Honors December’s Students of the Month

Chamber Honors December’s Students of the Month
The East Islip Chamber of Commerce recently recognized two East Islip High School students – senior Madison Lane and sophomore Kaitlyn Rice – as December’s Students of the Month, selected for their outstanding community service and participation in school activities.

Swim Star Kreuscher Signs with URI

Swim Star Kreuscher Signs with URI

Senior swimming star Camryn Kreuscher signed a national letter of intent to attend the University of Rhode Island. At the Dec. 19 ceremony, she was congratulated by her family and Athletic Director Stephen Restivo.

During her remarkable swim career at EI, Kreuscher has achieved All-State, All-Long Island and All-County honors, and won the county championship in the 50-yard freestyle on Nov. 3. A member of the school’s Foreign Language Honor Society, she plans to major in textile and fashion merchandising while at URI.

“The two main reasons I was interested in URI was that the school offered my major and that it has a Division I swim team which competes in the Atlantic 10 Conference,” said Kreuscher. “During my official visit, I was given the opportunity to spend time with the assistant coach and head coach as well as meet the girls on the team at a pasta party at their beach house. Once the visit ended, I knew URI was a great fit for me. Being a swimmer, the close proximity to the beaches was another reason for my decision.”

After graduation, Kreuscher will spend the summer working as an ocean lifeguard on Fire Island before heading off to URI in late August.





High School Recognizes Fall Athletes

High School Recognizes Fall Athletes

The high school’s fall sports awards ceremony, held in December, recognized the impressive accomplishments of the school’s athletes.

Honored teams included varsity boys golf; varsity girls cross-country, including an All-County award to Olivia Simonetti  and All-Division and All-League nods to Caroline Meehan, Joy Petersen and Simonetti; varsity boys cross-country; varsity girls field hockey, including a League I championship, All-County awards to Lindsay Guzzetta and Kendall Mittleman and All-County Honorable Mention to Marykate Carroll, Allison Chiarelli, Sarah DiPrima and Alyssa Levy; varsity football, including a Division III Big 4 championship, All-County awards to Nicholas Baldino, Thomas Higgins and Dylan Rigo, and All-Division nods to Joseph Fragala, Richard Lawrence, Brandon Miller and Steven Sassi; varsity girls gymnastics, including an League II undefeated championship, All-State and All-Long Island recognition for Cassie Bergin, All-County awards to Bergin, Nicole O’Connor, Evie Orlando and Isabella Procaccini, and All-League nods for Sofia Ferrezza, Allison Dell’Orto and Sarah Vasquez; varsity boys soccer, including All-County and Exceptional Senior All-Star recognition for Cole Zanni, Academic All-County honors for James Smalley, All-Conference awards to Zanni and Joseph Raso, and All-League nods for Cody Goldsmith and Nickolas Mazza; varsity girls soccer, including All-County and Exceptional Senior All-Star recognition for Ryan Conway and Isabella Pasha, All-Division awards for Alexa Fusco and Halle Trahey, and a Division II Player of the Year award for Conway; varsity girls volleyball, including League V Rookie of the Year recognition for Nicole Palmer, and All-League nods for Lindsay Clark, Andrianni Kalodimos, Caleigh Kilmurray and Palmer; varsity girls tennis, including All-County recognition for Alexandra Stewart and Elizabeth Stewart, All-Division awards for Hanna Benardos and Stephanie Milito; All-Division awards for Stephania Lowman, Olivia McBride, Haley Mierzejewski and Colleen Schmidt, and a Senior Sportsmanship Award for Alexandra Stewart; swimming, including league and county championships, All-County recognition for Camryn Kreuscher and All-Division awards to Faith Calabrese, Kreuscher and Kaila O’Hara; and varsity boys volleyball, including All-County and All-Division recognition for Christopher Palmer, All-Tournament awards for Brendan Cox, Palmer and Richard Squeglia, and Academic Excellence nods for Nicholas Finger and Timothy Meier.

Winter Concert Series Impresses

Winter Concert Series Impresses
Winter Concert Series Impresses 2
Winter Concert Series Impresses 3

The district’s student-musicians brought the joy of the season and the glow of accomplishment to a splendid seasonal series of winter concerts during December, all held at the high school’s auditorium. From the youngest students starting their school music careers, hailing from JFK and RCK, to the middle schoolers and high school musicians eager to demonstrate the fruits of their long hours of study and hard work, they pleased audiences with an array of holiday favorites and challenging classical compositions.




Signing Seniors Bring ASL to JFK

Signing Seniors Bring ASL to JFK

For the past three years, seniors in Jovina Bratta’s American Sign Language class at the high school have visited Christine Cirillo’s fourth-grade students at JFK in December for a special “sign-along.”

“It is such a great experience for both the younger and older kids,” said Bratta. “This activity not only spreads some knowledge to the younger kids about the American Sign Language program that is offered at the high school, but it is also a wonderful experience for the seniors who are interested in working with children in their future careers.”

For this year’s event, the ASL seniors signed popular holiday songs and taught the elementary schoolers “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.” The fourth-graders returned the favor by signing “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer” as well as the alphabet and fun vocabulary words.

“Mrs. Cirillo teaches her students ASL throughout the year, so this is a special treat for them to be able to sign with the older kids and show us what they know,” said Bratta.

Gingerbread Time at Connetquot

 Gingerbread Time at Connetquot

Joined by Principal Nicholas Bilotti, first-graders at Connetquot enjoyed decorating gingerbread houses just before the holiday break.

Middle School Musicians Impress with Holiday Favorites

Middle School Musicians Impress with Holiday Favorites

In a happy holiday tradition, middle school musicians from the band, chorus club and Tri-M Music Honor Society visited the district’s elementary schools and the South Shore Preschool for Early Childhood Education at the Early Childhood Center, imbuing the day with impressive holiday spirit. The holiday ensemble performed with verve, tackling classics like “Deck the Halls,” “Joy to the World,” “Jingle Bell Rock” and a Hanukkah medley.

“This is always one of our favorite days of the year,” said band teacher Concetta Stevens.

Softball Team Bonds Through Christmas Charity Work

Softball Team Bonds Through Christmas Charity Work

Showing a commitment to the wider community, the high school’s varsity softball team continued its tradition of shopping for Long Island children in need, again teaming up with Christmas Magic, a local nonprofit organization. The caring students shopped for and wrapped each present, purchased via donations from Christmas Magic. The gifts will be delivered to a shelter in Mastic Beach by softball coach Jason McGowan.

“We had a great time shopping for these kids, knowing that they will wake up with a bunch of presents,” said senior Allison Dellorto. “It feels good to help those less fortunate than us.”

“It was a great night to bond with the team,” said fellow softball player Jenny Murphy. “I look forward to this every Christmas.”


Pair of Red Ribbon Contest Winners Honored

Pair of Red Ribbon Contest Winners Honored

The winners of East Islip’s annual SADD Red Ribbon anti-drug slogan contest were Deanna Bogarowksi from JFK and Krista Deusch from RCK. At the district’s December Board of Education meeting, the two students were honored by Superintendent John Dolan, Board of Education President Christopher Zachry, JFK Principal Deborah Smith and RCK Principal Janet Jones, and members of the high school's SADD Club spoke to the community about the club's work to combat drug and alcohol abuse.

Back in October, the high school’s SADD Club visited the district’s fifth-grade classes to share important anti-drug messages as part of the Red Ribbon program. The SADD members also ran the slogan contest, and presented skits to help younger students learn how to respond to bullying and drugs. In return, the fifth-graders wrote letters to all of the graduating seniors, reminding them to make good decisions during prom and graduation as well as wishing them well in their life journey after high school.   

“This program is so important because these 11-year-old students are at an age statistically that drug and alcohol abuse starts,” said Bridget Lopiccolo, the SADD Club’s adviser. “We need to get to them early and teach them that life is about choices and making the right ones.”

Lamando to Play Soccer for Potsdam

Lamando to Play Soccer for Potsdam

Senior Justin Lamando signed a national letter of intent on Dec. 14 to play soccer for SUNY Potsdam. He was congratulated by his proud coaches, family and Redmen Athletic Director Stephen Restivo.

The three-year varsity left back and team captain won the Cary Award for Leadership; he also was named All-Division as a member of the school’s tennis team. On the academic side, he was named to the high honor roll and is a member of East Islip’s National Honor Society and Foreign Language Honor Society. He plans to major in business administration and management.

High School Art Spotlight

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This video feature takes an in-depth look at the high school's art classes and talented student-artists. Look for future videos on the middle school and elementary art programs later in the school year.

Monday, February 18, 2019