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Board of Ed Recognizes County Champion Bowlers

Board of Ed Recognizes County Champion Bowlers
Board of Ed Recognizes County Champion Bowlers
Board of Ed Recognizes County Champion Bowlers
The high school’s 2019 county champion boys and girls varsity bowling teams were recognized at the Board of Education’s April 17 business meeting. The student-athletes, boys coach Judith Fischer and girls coach Harold Cooley were all congratulated by Superintendent John Dolan, Board of Education President Christopher Zachry and Athletic Director Stephen Restivo.

SEPTO Resource Fair on April 30


Letter to Community & Staff on Budget


East Islip Sends 57 Musicians to SCMEA All-County Concerts

East Islip Sends 57 Musicians to SCMEA All-County Concerts

Recognized by the Suffolk County Music Educators’ Association for their skill and diligence, 57 exceptional elementary, middle and high school students from East Islip were selected for this spring’s All-County Concerts.

John F. Kennedy Elementary School musicians chosen were Keira Bloch, Angelina Codispoti, Jayden Dell’Isola, Heather Heffernan, Justin Manfredi and Olivia Primiano.

Ruth C. Kinney Elementary School musicians chosen were Mya Dandona, Krista Deutsch, Alexandra DeVita, Zeynep Oztas, and Matthew Pasfield.

East Islip Middle School musicians chosen were Erin Ackerman, Ryan Buchan, Daniel Carroll, Stephen Coleman, Joseph Cruz, Rachel Furey, Kiersten Galli, Tristan Hearth, Lauren Holmes, Brendan Kearney, James Kelly, Stephen Law, Samuel Martinez, Natalia Mendolia, Melissa Mirabelli, Jada Poindexter, Olivia Quintero, Ryan Renganeschi, Ella Tantillo, Keira Tantillo, James Terhune, Aidan Thompson, Marissa Triolo, Brianna Tucci, Brooke Tursi, Nicholas Wodicka and Brandon Zane.

East Islip High School musicians chosen were Jacob Arens, Ryan Auffant, Robert Finn, Joseph Graziano, Kelli Karlin, Mia Lembo, Jillian Lopez, Michelle Mirabelli, Chiara Mosca, Vince Papillo, Olivia Pause, Olivia Pena, Joy Petersen, Kaitlyn Rice, Emily Rottkamp, Samantha Seibert, Marie Tohill and Shannon Wodicka.

Letter to Community from Superintendent Dolan


Winter Athletes Honored at HS

Winter Athletes Honored at HS

The high school held its winter sports awards on March 26, honoring the outstanding efforts on its varsity athletes. The ceremony included recognition of the varsity boys basketball, girls basketball, boys bowling, girls bowling, cheerleading, boys swimming, boys winter track, girls winter track and wrestling teams.

“It was a pleasure honoring several students for not only their accolades on the field but also in the classroom,” said Athletic Director Stephen Restivo. “It is very impressive to see how our students balance their time on and off the field.”

Middle School Art Spotlight


This video feature takes an in-depth look at the middle school's art program and the work of our student-artists. Look for a future video on the elementary art program at the end of the school year.

‘Miss Saigon’ Draws Standing Ovations

‘Miss Saigon’ Draws Standing Ovations

Record-breaking numbers of tickets were sold for this year's high school musical, “Miss Saigon,” directed by Bethany Affelt and performed on March 28, 29 and 30 at Rydzeski Hall. Set during the Vietnam conflict, the Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boublil creation was nominated for an impressive number of Olivier, Tony and Drama Desk awards.

East Islip’s dedicated stage crew worked tirelessly to build and maneuver a stunning set that incorporated multiple staircases, two-story buildings and a giant “Lady Liberty” crown, and the school’s pit orchestra musicians played continuously throughout, as the production featured no spoken dialogue.

The talented cast included Tori Tiernan as Kim, Luke Ferrari as Chris, Kieran Tohill as the Engineer, Andrew Timmins as John, Karina Gallagher as Ellen, Kevin Coles as Thuy and Alex Bertolini as Gigi.

“We are incredibly proud of this year’s production,” said Affelt. “The talent featured on stage was of Broadway caliber and the audience was brought to tears by the leading actors’ beautifully emotive performances. The students and advisers all worked so hard on this extremely challenging production, and their efforts were acknowledged each night by an instantaneous standing ovation as soon as the stage lights were brought up for the curtain call.”


RCK Enjoys Two Weeks of March Mathness

RCK Enjoys Two Weeks of March Mathness
RCK Enjoys Two Weeks of March Mathness 2
RCK Enjoys Two Weeks of March Mathness 3
The entire student body at RCK gathered in the gym as teacher Robert Chiarelli launched the school’s fourth year of March Mathness. Teachers shot baskets as students skip-counted while the band played classic stadium anthems. For the following two weeks, students competed – both in and out of school – on IXL’s web-based math platform, working on algebra, geometry, numbers and operations.

MS Math League Competes in Challenging Tournament

MS Math League Competes in Challenging Tournament

Five students in the middle school’s Math League – Muhammad Abdullah, Rachel Furey, Krina Patel, Khushnood Rahim and Marisa Triolo – participated in a math tournament at North Shore Middle School in Glen Cove on April 5, competing in a series of STEM challenges as well as team and individual math contests. They worked with each other and were also split up into teams consisting of students from different Long Island schools. Rahim’s team won first place out of the 210 students involved.

“This was the first time the Math League participated in an event like this, so it was an exciting afternoon for the students,” said teacher Alyssa Tripi. “The questions they were given were incredibly challenging and we are very proud of the effort and diligence they put into this tournament.”

Sophomore Smalley Wins HOBY Award

Sophomore Smalley Wins HOBY Award
Sophomore Smalley Wins HOBY Award  2

High school sophomore Hannah Smalley has won the 2018-2019 Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Award, recognizing her outstanding leadership and community service. She will represent East Islip at this year’s three-day HOBY New York Metro Leadership Seminar conference, held from June 7-9 at Adelphi University in Garden City.

Smalley earned the award based on her entry in the school’s annual 300-word essay contest, which asks 10th graders to talk about leadership in their school or community. Her essay discussed her surgery and her work to help other children deal with injuries.

“It’s a huge honor and a big thing for me to be chosen,” said Smalley. “Not many schools offer this and few students get a chance to do it.”

Lions Club of the Islips representative Eugene Petraitis of the Lions Club, which sponsors East Islip’s HOBY winner each year, personally congratulated Smalley at the school and presented her with a check to cover the seminar’s expenses.

Founded in 1958 by civic-minded actor Hugh O’Brian, HOBY’s mission is to inspire a global community of youth and volunteers to a life dedicated to leadership, service and innovation. Programs like the Adelphi seminar provide selected students with unique leadership training and motivation-building experiences.

UPK Information for the 2019-2020 School Year

Click here to access the UPK page

Girls Golfers Start Strong

Girls Golfers Start Strong
Girls Golfers Start Strong 2

Led by captain Sofia Ferrezza, the high school’s varsity girls golf team spent the month of March working to get into shape for the start of matches. They won their April 4 opener against Islip High School by an impressive 9-0 score.

“We have a very competitive team this year,” said coach Judith Fischer. “I expect we will have a successful season and hope to qualify for the county tournament for the 13th year in a row.”

Showcasing STEAM at East Islip

Showcasing STEAM at East Islip

More than 350 community members participated in the district’s second annual STEAM/Robotics Festival, held at the high school on March 27. The exciting evening event, open to all students from kindergartners through seniors, featured diverse science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics activities and showcased the district’s current STEAM and robotics programs.

Student groups taking part included the high school and middle school STEM Clubs, the high school’s Chess Club, and science fair winners from JFK and RCK. Also in attendance were members of the East Islip Chamber of Commerce, representatives from East Islip Public Library, Solar Dad and Sons, Long Island University, Good Samaritan Hospital and Northwell Health, and numerous vendors and business organizations.

“This event was created to show students of all ages that STEAM is where they should begin to start looking for their future careers,” said East Islip Guidance Director Israel Malinowitzer, who co-coordinated the festival with teacher Genesis Dawson. “This field is in dire need of workers and schools need to start promoting these programs and educating our students about the importance of STEAM and all the skills that they need to develop and learn in order to be successful in their future endeavors. We are also trying to encourage our students to get their education and continue to stay on Long Island and raise their families here.”

Lincoln Driven to Give on May 11


Grim Reaper Strikes for Change

Grim Reaper Strikes for Change

Guided by Students Against Destructive Decisions club adviser Bridget Lopiccolo, the high school’s Grim Reaper – a SADD student volunteering for this somber task – “struck” 16 fellow students on March 28. The annual Ghost-Out Day remains the signature event in the club’s year-long substance abuse awareness campaign.

As a gong sounded every 20 minutes throughout the school day and Lopiccolo read police call transcripts about teens being killed as a result of drugs or alcohol, the Reaper chose its “victims,” who then wore black T-shirts and remained silent for the remainder of the day to represent the numerous lives affected by substance abuse. 

“Our SADD club is making a difference and wants high school students to know this is preventable,” said Lopiccolo. “Overdose doesn’t have to be the No. 1 killer of people under the age of 50. We can stop it. Just don’t start using drugs or alcohol. Be the generation of change and change this statistic.”

Basketball Buffs Score at Sharp Shooter

Basketball Buffs Score at Sharp Shooter
Basketball Buffs Score at Sharp Shooter 2
Basketball Buffs Score at Sharp Shooter 3

Basketball buffs from fourth- and fifth-grade classes at JFK and RCK competed at the school level for the 33rd annual Town of Islip Sharp Shooter Basketball Contest.

Sponsored since 1993 by the Islip Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs and the Islip Elks, the Sharp Shooter “Just Say No to Drugs” program offers local students the challenge of scoring as many baskets as possible in one minute, improving their skills in basketball while providing an alternative to drug abuse.

Earning first place for JFK at the school level were fourth-graders Olivia Shaw and Lucas Trager, and fifth-graders Kiera Bloch and Ian Frey. JFK’s second-place finishers were fourth-graders Avery Bowden and Evan Gordon, and fifth-graders Chloe Garatina and Jake Nieves.

Earning first place for RCK at the school level were fourth-graders Kevin Deflippis and Alexis Kneisel, and fifth-graders Iyana Carpenter and Blake Gilchrist. RCK’s other finishers included fourth-graders Kayla Penny and Syiel Tunstall and fifth-graders Devin Franklin, Brianna Martin and Grace Micali in second place, and fourth-graders Brea Oquendo, Carman Ortiz and Liliana Pasha and fifth-grader Jack Connors in third place.

Each school’s four first-place winners moved on to participate in the townwide contest’s final round, held on March 2 at East Islip High School.

Celebrating Knowledge of Social Studies at JFK

Celebrating Knowledge of Social Sudies at JFK

Fifth-graders at JFK proudly shared their knowledge of the Western Hemisphere at the school’s Social Studies and Art Fair on March 25. The well-attended event celebrated what they have learned in social studies over the past year, showcasing creative student artwork and 150 different projects that represented the United States, Canada and Latin American countries, indigenous people in this region of the world and famous people in history.

“Our students engaged in meaningful conversations with parents and friends about the research they did and the information they gained,” said Principal Deborah Smith. “Conversations on the geography, economics, governments and cultural diversity of the regions were heard throughout the gym and cafeteria where the projects were displayed.”

DellOrto to Play Softball for Ithaca

DellOrto to Play Softball for Ithaca
DellOrto to Play Softball for Ithaca 2
DellOrto to Play Softball for Ithaca 3

High school senior Allison DellOrto signed a national letter of intent on March 29 to play softball this fall for Ithaca College, where she plans to major in health science. During her East Islip career, the stellar shortstop earned All-State, All-Long Island, All-County, NFCA Regional All-American and NFCA Academic All-American honors.

“It was a combination of feeling at home there, and Ithaca’s good softball and academic programs,” DellOrto said of her choice.

Snow Day Memo


RCK Selects Science Fair Winners

RCK Selects Superb Science Fair Winners

Young scientists at RCK put on their thinking caps to concoct an exciting array of projects for the school’s annual fourth-grade science fair. Charlotte Galli was the winner for her project “My Dog Ate My Homework.” Jacob Crowell was the runner-up for his work on “Fortnite Brain Rot,” while Kate Habel (“Is Your Dog’s Mouth Cleaner than Yours?” and Juliana Schmidt (“Are Your Hands Clean?”) earned honorable mention.

Galli will represent RCK at the Brookhaven National Laboratory Elementary Science Fair Competition, held on May 4 at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton.

Message from Superintendent on Summer School

Dear EI Parents/Guardians/Students:

Due to the extensive roofing project taking place at the high school and middle school, we will not be hosting summer school this summer. At this time, I would like to appeal to all our students to make a concerted effort to do their school work to the best of their ability. In my 33 years of education, I have never seen a child fail a class who did not do the following:
✓ Come to class every day prepared to work.
✓ Give their best effort every day in class.
✓ Complete all assignments to the best of their ability.
✓ If they missed class, they are consciousness and make up the missed work.
✓ When grades are not passing grades, they seek out their teachers, go to extra help and have a conversation with their teachers on what they need to do to be successful in class.

I am appealing to all students to simply treat their classes the way we want them to treat their jobs when they go out into the world: to be on time, be prepared, give their best effort and when things are not going well to look in the mirror and seek advice so they can succeed.

The previous statement applies to local course work. Passing the New York State Regents Examinations is not an option and may present other hurdles. A child who passes classes and not the Regents Examinations will be given support, so they can take the regents in August and be successful.

My hope for every East Islip student is to be successful from September to June and be free to enjoy the beautiful summers that Long Island provides. If we all work together and encourage our young people, we could eliminate the need for summer school and those resources could be used in other areas.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.

John V. Dolan
Superintendent of Schools

Connetquot’s Birthday Boxes Bring Happiness

Connetquot’s Birthday Boxes Bring Happiness

For the third consecutive year, Connetquot participated in bringing birthday parties to homeless children through the Birthday Wishes organization. Classes made birthday boxes containing everything needed for a great birthday celebration, while students brought in items such as balloons, plates, party hats and streamers.

Rylie Meyer, a second-grader in Melissa Love’s class said, "The kids who get the boxes will be so happy.”

Celebrating the Love of Languages at the HS

Celebrating the Love of Languages at the HS

National Foreign Language Week was celebrated in the high school’s library from March 4-8, bringing a diversity of cultures to the forefront, including American Sign Language. For ASL Day, advanced students signed popular songs, taught vocabulary and the alphabet as well as other survival signs, and played fun, interactive games to spread deaf awareness. On a day for Italian culture, students danced the Neapolitan tarantella.

In Dr. Janet Hiller’s annual Foreign Language Week poster contest, Olivia Zhang took first place, Shannon Wodicka came in second and Olivia Pena in third, with Christian Guiliano earning honorable mention. Hiller, the district’s retired world language chairperson, provided the winners with Barnes & Noble gift cards.

Four high schoolers were also honored as World Language Students of the Month, representing each of the four languages taught by the World Language Department: George Ayoub for American Sign Language, Markus Higgins for French, Gianna Armstrong for Italian and Victoria Keenan for Spanish.


Saying Something Important at the MS

Saying Something Important at the MS

To emphasize the East Islip school community’s commitment to supporting the Sandy Hook Promise movement to save lives and protect all students from harm, eighth-graders Kaylee Norton and Marisa Triolo recently read important morning announcements each day at the middle school during Say Something Week. Like many other participating students, the pair wore green in support of the cause. Norton and Triolo told their classmates, “If you see something, say something,” and urged them, “be an upstander not a bystander.”

“This was a very important week that sent a very important message,” said Triolo. “Sandy Hook made many people sad for the lives lost, but it also made others scared, wondering if their school was next. Little did everyone know things like Sandy Hook can be prevented by saying something when you see something. If you see something that could be concerning, you should tell a trusted adult. If you tell a trusted adult, they might be able to do something to help someone or prevent something. If you see a warning sign, you especially need to tell a trusted adult. Say Something Week was very powerful.”

Gebhard & Stephen Chosen for NYSATA

Gebhard and Stephen Chosen for NYSATA
Gebhard and Stephen Chosen for NYSATA 2
Gebhard and Stephen Chosen for NYSATA 3

Artwork by seniors Sabine Gebhard and Cassidy Stephen was recently showcased at the New York State Art Teacher's Association exhibition, held at the 99th annual NYSSBA Conference at the Sheraton NY Times Square.

“It was very nice to have my artwork exhibited,” said Gebhard. “I worked really hard on my digital painting in electronic illustration class.”

“I am so proud of Cassidy and Sabine,” said art teacher Heather Toomey. “They were two of the top students in electronic iIllustration when I had them last year, and it was an honor to have their work exhibited.”

Redmen Roundup - EI Sports News Item of the Week


Middle School Honors 47 Champions of Character

Middle School Honors 47 Champions of Character

The middle school held its 12th annual Breakfast of Champions on March 14, recognizing 47 sixth- and seventh-graders who best demonstrated the school’s “six pillars of character” – citizenship, dedication, integrity, positive attitude, respect and responsibility – during the 2018-2019 school year. Each honoree was selected by a team or department at the middle school.

With the students’ families in attendance, the ceremony began with greetings from Principal Bill Brennen. Assistant principals Jason Stanton and Michael Thorley then presented the students with certificates and lanyards commemorating their achievement.

Honored for outstanding character were Logan Alfalla, Derek Alfaro, Adian Allen, Max Berlin, Breanna Blacks, Amanda Bolen, Logan Brandt, Quinn Carolan, Ryan Fioresi, Ryan Flad, Leah Garvey, Dylan Gaulrapp, Charles Heffernan, Samuel Henderson, Jonathan Henke, Keira Higgins, Georgia Hodge, Jesse Hodge, Sophie Jensen, Emma Johnson, Christian Kozak, Brendan Kroupa, Johanna LeRoux, Jason Lopez, Jordan Maloney, Reese McGuire, Emily McIntee, Natalia Mendolia, Rachael Mercado, Lorelai Mucciolo, Dylan Nelson, Samantha Olsen, Sophia Parrillo, Samantha Penny, Andrew Perez, Gabrielle Procaccini, Isabella Procaccini, Matthew Rigogliosi, Gabriela Rivera, Hanna Ross, Catherine Sasso, Melissa Stewart, Ella Tantillo, Devin vonHassel, Kaylee Wilko, Casey With, and Jack Wodicka.

A Night of Living History at RCK

A Night of Living History at RCK

History came alive on March 7 at RCK as third-graders presented a Night at the Wax Museum.

Prior to the big night, each student read a biography and researched a historical figure, created a presentation board to display what they had learned about their chosen person’s life and historical significance, and wrote a speech in the voice of their subject. During the Wax Museum, the students came in costume and stood like wax figures in front of their displays. When family or friends pushed their buttons, the students came to life and gave their speeches. 

“Everyone was amazed by the students’ hard work and creativity,” said Principal Janet Jones.

Freshman Yankus Wins President’s Volunteer Service Award

Freshman Yankus Wins President’s Volunteer Service Award
Freshman Yankus Wins President’s Volunteer Service Award 2
Freshman Yankus Wins President’s Volunteer Service Award 3

High school freshman Johnathan Yankus was recently recognized for his exemplary community work at the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead, earning Prudential’s President’s Volunteer Service Award. The East Islip Board of Education honored Yankus at its March 14 meeting, where he was presented with a certificate by Prudential representatives.

Presented annually by Prudential Financial as part of its Spirit of Community Awards, the President’s Volunteer Service Award recognizes Americans of all ages who volunteer significant amounts of time to serving their communities.

An Evening of Reading, Pajamas and Hot Chocolate at Connetquot

An Evening of Reading, Pajamas and Hot Chocolate at Connetquot
With winter coming to an end, pajama-clad students arrived with their families at Connetquot for a snow-themed Reading Night, part of the school’s Parents as Reading Partners program. Principal Nicholas Bilotti read a story to a group of students in the gym, followed by smaller break-out groups reading with teachers in their classroom and a student vote for favorite decorated door. The evening finally ended with hot chocolate and cookies in the Connetquot cafeteria.  

Spirit of Community Award Winner

McNamara Earns Spirit of Community Medallion

Honoring her outstanding volunteer service, senior Heather McNamara was named a top runner-up in the 2019 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, earning a Distinguished Finalist bronze medallion. She also qualified for Prudential’s President’s Volunteer Service Award.

McNamara was recognized for her remarkable achievement at the March 14 Board of Education meeting, where Prudential representatives were on hand to present her with the medallion.

The East Islip High School Key Club president is also a member of the National Honor Society, National Art Honor Society and SADD Club; a Make-A-Wish Foundation and Kiwanis Club of the Islips ambassador; a New York Blood Center and NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center spokesperson; and a diligent volunteer at the Hospitality Too Soup Kitchen at St. Anne’s Church in Brentwood. Following graduation in June, McNamara plans to major in special education and minor in sign language, with the goal of teaching as a career.

Nine from HS Chosen for College Art Show

Nine from HS Chosen for College Art Show

High school students Louis Akl, Nicholas Bentrewicz, Camila Corral, Jake Kenny, Samantha Koslow, Madison Kranz, Michael Laird, Emily LaMorta and Michaela Penafiel were chosen to participate in the annual High School Art Competition at Suffolk County Community College, culminating in an artist reception. Kenny earned an honorable mention in the exhibit, held at the college’s Michael J. Grant Campus in Brentwood. The nine students are all enrolled in classes with art teachers Joy Taylor and Heather Toomey.

“I had a positive experience at the art show,” said Penafiel. “It was cool to see art from other people who share the same interest as me.”

“It was nice to be exhibited in a gallery at a local college, and I am so happy I was picked to have my artwork shown,” said Corral.

“These students work hard consistently and always do exceptional work,” said Taylor. 

“I am incredibly proud of all of the students that were selected to be exhibited, and I am happy Suffolk Community College provided this opportunity to showcase student work in a professional gallery,” said Toomey. “Their artwork demonstrates their hard work, talent and creativity.”

GSA Hosts Astrologer Colin Bedell

GSA Hosts Astrologer Colin Bedell
GSA Hosts Astrologer Colin Bedell 2
GSA Hosts Astrologer Colin Bedell 3

The high school’s Gay-Straight Alliance welcomed author and astrologer Colin Bedell to a club meeting. Bedell, a Long Island native, recently published his first book, “A Little Bit of Astrology.” The students enjoyed a talk about Bedell’s life, his journey to become an astrologer and an overview of the astrological signs and how they relate to one another.

“Each sign is loved, valued and worthy of belonging,” Bedell told the students, who were each given a signed, inscribed copy of Bedell’s book, provided by Sterling Publishing.

“One of our ongoing missions is to introduce our GSA to diverse members of the LGBTQ community,” said club adviser Jessica Pignataro. “It was an honor for us to host such an energetic, genuine and engaging speaker.”

Brianna Campson Signs with UPB

Brianna Campson Signs with UPB
Brianna Campson Signs with UPB 32
Brianna Campson Signs with UPB 3

High school senior Brianna Campson signed a national letter of intent on March 7 to play soccer at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford this fall. She was congratulated at the ceremony by her family and Athletic Director Stephen Restivo.

Campson, who plays defense, chose UPB after an invitation from the college’s soccer coach. She began playing soccer at the age of 4 and went on to earn 10 varsity letters by the end of her senior year as well as eight High Minds in Motion awards. As a track athlete, she was named All-League and was a key member of the 2015-2016 undefeated league-champion spring track team. She is a member of East Islip’s Foreign Language Honor Society and Girls Leaders Club.

February Students of the Month Recognized by Chamber

February Students of the Month Recognized by Chamber

The East Islip Chamber of Commerce recently recognized three fifth-graders – JFK’s Jason Engel and RCK’s Krista Deutsch and Grace Micali – as February Students of the Month, chosen for their outstanding community service and participation in school activities.

Engel has been an important member of the JFK Student Council, where he actively participates and demonstrates exceptional citizenship qualities.

“Jason always comes into my classroom every morning with a smile on his face,” said JFK teacher Danielle Chiapetta. “He is respectful, responsible and always ready to work. Jason is a natural leader as well as a natural helper who sets a positive example for his classmates and peers daily. He is an absolute pleasure to have in class.”

Both Deutsch and Micali are active members of RCK’s Student Council. Both are gifted athletes, Deutsch playing for the U-12 Clarkstown Elite girls soccer team and earning an invitaton to compete in Barcelona, Spain, this year in the biggest children’s international soccer tournament in the world, and Micali recording the best long jump for her age group and receiving the 2018 USA Track & Field Long Island’s Athlete of the Year award. 

“Krista is an exceptional student who is always there to help her classmates,” said RCK Principal Janet Jones. “She is a wonderful person and always puts forth her best effort in the classroom. Her teachers are all very proud of her.

“Grace is an excellent student and exhibits high achievement in all subject areas,” said Jones. “She always comes to school prepared for her classroom exams, and never misses a homework assignment. She is a world-class role model for her peers and is always involved in school-related activities.


Spreading Love and Positivity

Secondary Schools Spread Love and Positivity MS
Secondary Schools Spread Love and Positivity HS

Students and staff at both the high school and across the street at the middle school celebrated P.S. I Love You Day on Feb. 8, wearing purple and signing banners to promote positivity.

“It was great to see our school come together for this event,” said Jessica Pignataro, the high school’s Student Council adviser. The founders of P.S. I Love You Day believe that positivity and kindness can change the world, and our kids and staff showed that. We hope everyone will continue spreading love throughout our schools and community all year round.”


Conway to Play for Union College

Conway to Play or Union College
High school senior Ryan Conway signed a national letter of intent on March 1 to play soccer at Union College in Schenectady this fall. She was congratulated at the ceremony by her family and Athletic Director Stephen Restivo.

An exceptional athlete, Conway earned All-State, All-Long Island and All-County honors, as well as Division II Player of the Year and Minds in Motion awards. She has maintained a GPA of above 95 during her athletic career.

“I chose Union because it’s an amazing academic school,” said Conway, who plans to major in business. “I love that it’s Division III, so I will have time to study as well as play sports.”

Cultural Exchange Unites Schools

Cultural Exchange Brings Schools Together

In January, 39 students from East Islip High School spent an entire day 15 miles west at Amityville Memorial High School as part of a Cultural Exchange program to promote friendship and cultural diversity. East Islip returned the favor in February, welcoming 39 Amityville students for the first time.

“Guys, get out there and have a great day,” Superintendent John Dolan told the gathered students. “Smile and make new friends.”

At both schools, the visiting students enjoyed breakfast, conversation and icebreaker activities before attending classes with their “buddies” from the host school. They finished the day with a shared lunch and an informal discussion of what they had experienced. Suffolk County Legislator Tom Cilmi was in attendance to speak to the students from both schools.

Amityville teacher Jason McGowan, who also serves as the coach of East Islip’s varsity girls volleyball team, has been coordinating Amityville’s Cultural Exchange program for years.

“I started this in 2009, with Plainedge High School, and now we do it with Bayport-Blue Point and East Islip,” said McGowan. “Our kids love this tradition.”

“We are really glad that we got to do our first Cultural Exchange and we’d like to see this partnership grow,” said teacher Genesis Dawson, who coordinated the event for East Islip. "I’m really grateful to the great bunch of kids who volunteered for a program that has never been here before. These students really stepped out of their comfort zone.”

JFK’s Social Media Club Explores Digital Ctizenship

JFK’s Social Media Club Explores Digital Ctizenship

At JFK, a new afterschool club has sparked student awareness and creativity. JFK’s Social Media Club, a group of fifth-graders, meets weekly after school to learn about social media, including digital citizenship and issues facing society as technology changes the ways in which people connect, communicate, collaborate and relate to each other. Guided by Laura Meehan, the students are also working to promote the school by writing for the school’s online newsletter and using various social media platforms.

“I love being in the Social Media Club,” said James Downey. “We have so much stuff we want to learn, and we get to have a chance to get some of our writing into our school newsletter.”

“We have lots of fun,” said Nicholas Costantini. “We type and do videos on the ChromeBooks. We all follow the rules and we also respect them and respect others.”

“This club teaches kids about social media and videos as well as cyberbullying and how to stop it,” said Nicholas DeSantis. “We’ve learned to remember to always watch your electronic footprint, and that when you post something, it’s out there forever.”

“We learn loads of awesome things, like how to be safe on the Internet, work with others and type on the computer,” said Olivia Primiano. “I think my favorite part is hanging out with my friends doing fun activities. This is a really fun after-school club.”

Gymnast Bergin Outstanding at States

Gymnast Bergin Outstanding at States
The high school’s Scholar-Athlete Cassie Bergin competed for Section XI against 121 gymnasts from across the state at the New York State girls gymnastics championships, held March 2 at Cold Spring Harbor High School. It was the sophomore’s third consecutive effort as part of the county team. With hard work, determination and focus, Bergin finished an outstanding seventh on floor exercise and uneven bars, ninth in vaulting, and 10th in all-around.


Seuss on the Loose at Timber Point

Seuss on the Loose at Timber Point

Dr. Seuss was on the loose in physical education classes during this year’s PTA-sponsored Parents as Reading Partners program at East Islip’s Timber Point Elementary School.

Teachers Patricia Bush and Diane Wahrenburg created eight stations based on various Dr. Seuss books. Students had fun fishing at “McElligot’s Pool,” pulling out some red fish and blue fish; worked on spelling numerous rhyming words with “Dr. Seuss’s ABC”; and had a blast as they tried to stack the hat of “The Cat in the Hat.” Assistant Superintendent Paul Manzo stopped by to participate in the activities, trying to flip Spooner balance boards at “The Foot Book” station.

“Reading and fitness go hand in hand at Timber Point,” said Wahrenburg.

Message from Superintendent Dolan


Passionate Production of ‘Beauty and the Beast’

 Passionate Production of ‘Beauty and the Beast’

Showing skills in acting and singing beyond their years, students from the middle school put on a masterful musical presentation of the Disney classic “Beauty and the Beast” on Feb. 8 and 9. The production was guided by director Alyssa Tripi, aided by assistant director Nicole Panetta, set designer Diane Doyle, and student directors Emily Blair, Leah Bloom and Kaitlyn Reilly.

The musical’s memorable songs by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman and Tim Rice were brought to life by the remarkably poised cast, who included Andrew D’Amico as Prince and the Beast; Kelly Waldron as Old Woman and Enchantress; Julianna D’Addario as Belle; Tristan Hearth as Gaston; Marisa Triolo as Lefou; Samantha Federico, Hanna Harbison, Sydney Holmes, Natalia Mendolia, Alexandra Totillo and Nina Walsh as Silly Girls; Brendan Kroupa as Maurice; Patrick Vasquez as Cogsworth; Hanna Ross as Lumiere; Elizabeth Ericson as Babette; Sophia LoMonaco as Mrs. Potts; Brooke Lubin as Chip; Keira Tantillo as Madame de la Grande Bouche; and Matthew Miller as Monsieur D’Arque.   

“We are very proud of the students for their dedication and hard work to make this show a success,” said Tripi. “We are very lucky to work with such a talented, passionate group of students.”

High Schooler Jinete’s Design Chosen for eiMAPS Magnet

High Schooler Jinete’s Design Chosen for eiMAPS Magnet

Student Brandon Jinete’s design was chosen by eiMAPS for the group’s new magnets, soon to be in production.

“It is cool that my design is going to be reproduced and used throughout the town for the eiMAPS magnet,” said Jinete, a member of the National Art Honor Society enrolled in Heather Toomey’s electronic illustration class at the high school.

“Brandon is an excellent student artist,” said Toomey. “He is a hard worker, has a natural aesthetic for graphic design and is always impressing me with his efforts in class. I’m so proud that his work will be reproduced for such a wonderful organization and I can’t wait to get my magnet.”

Cole Zanni Wins Soccer Scholarship

Zanni Wins Soccer Scholarship
Zanni Wins Soccer Scholarship 2

High school soccer player Cole Zanni recently won the Ray Perez Memorial Scholarship Award, given to Suffolk County’s top scholar-athlete by the Suffolk County Soccer Coaches Association. Zanni is only the second East Islip student to ever win this prize.

“This is an incredible honor,” said Zanni’s soccer coach, Ray Lang. “Only one player in the county each year is given this award, and out of 56 teams with 20 kids on each team, Cole won it because of his academics and his ability on the soccer field.”

Tuesday, April 23, 2019