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Letters to Community on Building Safety and Emergency Procedures



‘Slacker’ Author Gordon Korman Visits RCK

‘Slacker’ Author Gordon Korman Visits RCK 1
‘Slacker’ Author Gordon Korman Visits RCK 2

RCK was recently paid a visit by author Gordon Korman, sponsored by the school’s PTA. The Canadian-born Korman has written more than 80 children's and young adult fiction books, including numerous series and the recent stand-alone efforts “Slacker” (2016) and “Restart” (2017), both popular with RCK’s students.

“It was very exciting hearing from an author of books we are all reading,” said Principal Hillary Bromberg.   

Football in the Library at EIMS

Football in the Library at EIMS
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The middle school’s library staff recently prepared for Super Bowl LII with a book display, a bulletin board with playoff brackets and a “Guess the Winning Team” contest. Various prizes were given to students who guessed the winning teams each week of the playoffs. Grand prize winner Christopher Dopfel received a gift basket including a football autographed by New York Giants running back Rashad Jennings.

Middle Schooler Chosen for Day of Tuba

Middle Schooler Chosen for Day of Tuba
Ryan Renaneschi, a seventh-grader at the middle school and exceptional young musician, was selected to participate in the Suffolk County Music Educators Association’s 37th annual Day of Tuba and Euphonium, held at Smithtown High School East. At the event, hundreds of Suffolk students gathered for a day of rehearsing, clinics and a culminating concert.

Four Seniors Go ‘APE’ with Art League Exhibition

Four Seniors Go ‘APE’ with Art League Exhibition

High school seniors Melissa Mavrich, Jordan Rant, Zoe Stengel and Jenna Tergesen have been featured in the Art League of Long Island’s 11th annual Go APE Advanced Placement Student Exhibition. The exhibit, which will run from Feb. 17 through March 4 at the Art League’s Jeanie Tengelsen Gallery in Dix Hills, celebrates the exceptional talents of Long Island’s young AP art students, as selected by their teachers.

These East Islip students are enrolled in Daniel Figliozzi’s AP art 2D design course; they will attend a Go APE closing artists’ reception at the gallery on March 4. All four seniors plan to attend art school in the fall and are in the process of applying and committing to schools.

“These four girls are amazing,” said Figliozzi. “This is my fourth year teaching all of them, and they have shown amazing growth and transformation in their art practices. I was more than happy to select them for this exhibition, as it is a wonderful opportunity for them to share their work with a larger audience.”

“I’m honored to be a part of such a prestigious event and couldn’t wait to see artists’ works from other schools,” said Stengel.

She has taken nearly every art course that East Islip High School has to offer and received a 5 on her AP drawing exam last year. Stengel plans to pursue a career in illustration, and was awarded with the highest merit scholarship to attend the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan next fall.

“I can’t believe I was given this amazing art-pportunity,” said Rant. “My artwork, ‘Peacocking,’ is based on personal experience and my interactions with the people I surround myself with.”

A skilled drawer and cartoonist with a knack for humor, Rant is likewise considering SVA, but plans to pursue cartooning. She has also been accepted to Columbia College in Manhattan and Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia, and is in the process of making a decision for her college career. 

“Being selected for the Go APE show was unexpected,” said Mavrich, acclaimed for her ability to create photorealistic portraits. “I feel accomplished. My artwork, ‘Emma & Jenny,’ showcases my best friend and my cousin. I captured the calmness of Emma and the energetic nature and excitement of Jenny in the work.”

Mavrich has also applied to SVA and plans to attend the fine arts program there. 

“I was excited to be able to showcase my work after four years of hard work in my art classes,” said Tergesen of Go APE. “My progression over the years has lead to an artwork that I’m really proud of. I feel accomplished that am able to show this piece alongside other AP art students on Long Island.”

Tergesen plans to pursue interior design next year and hopes to attend the New York School of Interior Design this fall.

Brunner Signs with NYIT Soccer

Brunner Signs with NYIT Soccer
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Brunner Signs with NYIT Soccer 3

High school senior Lyndsie Brunner recently signed a national letter of intent on Feb. 14 to play soccer this fall for the New York Instititute of Technology in Old Westbury. She cited her prior training experience with NYIT Assistant Coach Karim Diallo as a factor in her choice.

Brunner, a starter on the Lady Redmen varsity team since her sophomore year, was named team captain as a senior and earned All-League status for 2017-2018. She will major in nursing while playing for the NYIT Bears.

2018-2019 School Calendar Approved

2018-2019 School Calendar Approved
At the Feb. 15 business meeting, the Board of Education adopted the 2018-2019 school calendar, attached below.


Board Business Meeting on Feb. 15


The Board of Education will hold its next regular business meeting on Thursday, March 8 at 8 p.m at 1 Craig B. Gariepy Ave. in Islip Terrace. The community is invited to attend.

See below for a complete list of Board meetings for the 2017-2018 school year.


Smart Boards Bring Exciting Tech to EI Classrooms

Smart Boards Bring Exciting Tech to EI Classrooms

Since school started in September, there has been excitement in the air in East Islip’s schools revolving around the installation of Smart Boards in every classroom. This new technology was quickly embraced by teachers, who have utilized the boards in classroom instruction and lessons for everything from mathematics and literacy to music.

“Our students are engaged with writing, math, and art lessons through the use of the interactive Smart Boards,” said John F. Kennedy Elementary School Principal Deborah Smith. “Easy access to videos to highlight content area has increased students’ interest and participation. It is wonderful how much the teachers have been exploring the various applications the boards have to offer.”

In elementary band classes, East Islip student-musicians have taken advantage of a new program on the Smart Board called Smart Music. Lesson books are uploaded to the program, which follows along with a cursor while playing background accompaniment. This program also has an assessment component.

Volunteer As a First Responder

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To our East Islip Community:

The heart and soul of a community is grounded in its volunteerism. There are many ways to give back to your community and many organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce, Historical Society, KIC, Rotary, Lions Club, Kiwanis, Youth Athletics, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. I apologize if I left anyone off this list; please let me know if I did and I will give you a shout out.

One organization is desperately in need of volunteers due to our aging population: our volunteer first responders in the fire departments. As our population ages, they are being called on more and more with fewer volunteers available. When you volunteer as a first responder, it is not only heroic but it can also lead to a career for young people. We encourage families to have a conversation with your children to see if there is any interest; stop by the fire department and inquire about volunteering. Volunteer first responders can be eligible for college credit, free or reduced college tuition and tax credits, as well as a pension. More importantly, if a young person is interested in making a career as a first responder, when you join a local fire department or first responder agency, you will be surrounded by mentors and friends of all ages who can be excellent role models for your children.

The school district’s main mission is to help support and guide our children to make good healthy choices about their future. We will be working with our first responders to raise awareness and hopefully recruit the next great generation of first responders. Please remember when you see a first responder or volunteer, smile, wave and say simply thank you.

Superintendent John V. Dolan

Emergency Preparedness Message from Superintendent



Wrestlers Take Six Spots at Kris McDonald Tournament

Redmen Wrestlers Take Six Spots at McDonald Tournament
The high school’s varsity wrestlers captured six spots on the podium at the recent Kris McDonald Tournament, held at Islip High School.
Finalists for the Redmen were seniors Zach Cabrera (126 pounds), Nick Picece (132 pounds) and Kiernan Stanton (220 pounds). Other East Islip place winners were sophomore Nick Agresta (182 pounds), senior Stephen Donohue (170 pounds) and junior Jonathan Guadagno (160 pounds).

MS Spelling Bee Winners

MS Spelling Bee Winners

After 17 grueling rounds, middle school seventh-grader Robert Hilbert proved the most adept at the school’s annual spelling bee on Jan. 12, taking first place out of 39 participants from sixth, seventh and eighth grades by spelling the word “hydrant.” Finishing second and third, respectively, were eighth-graders Toniann Santamaria and Steven Squillante. East Islip’s bee was coordinated by teachers Brian Deedy and Ann Mingione; Barbara Huether served as the official word announcer.

“This year's spelling bee was a tremendous success,” said Mingione. “We had many talented spellers representing our entire school body. Congratulations to all of this year's participants for an action-packed spelling bee."

After winning the middle school bee, Hilbert moved on to the first round of the Long Island regional spelling bee, held on Feb. 4 at Hofstra University, where he and 134 other competitors took a written test. Hilbert and 40 other students were then invited back to Hofstra on Feb. 11 for the final round, called the traditional spell down, where he made it through the first three rounds before finally misspelling “pizzicato.”

Photography Pair Chosen for Colors

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Photography Pair Chosen for Colors 2
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Two high school photography students – senior Alexa Benitez and junior Sophie Bingham – were chosen for the 20th annual Colors of Long Island student art exhibit, held at Stony Brook’s Long Island Museum.

This annual student art exhibition, sponsored by Astoria Bank, provides an opportunity for K-12 students to show their artwork in a museum setting. Both students along with parents and teachers have been invited to attend the reception on April 8.

Benitez, who was selected for Colors of Long Island for the second consecutive year, said, “It is an honor to have my work shown in the Long Island Museum."

“Having my work in a museum is great, and I am really happy that I was given this opportunity,” said Bingham.

“I am so proud of Alexa and Sophie for being recognized for their outstanding artwork,” said teacher Heather Toomey. “They are excellent students and dedicated to creating high quality work. The Long Island Museum provides such a wonderful opportunity for high school students to exhibit their work in a professional space.”

Four LISFA Selections from the Middle School

Four LISFA Selections from the Middle School
The middle school has garnered four student selections for this year’s Long Island String Festival Association concert. Chosen as among the best young string orchestra musicians in Suffolk County were sixth-grade cellist Ethan Greene, eighth-grade viola player Chiara Mosca, sixth-grade violinist Hanna Ross and seventh-grade violinist Keira Tantillo.

Kindergartners Begin Journey of 1,000 Books

Kindergartners Begin Journey of 1,000 Books

The district embarked on a new reading adventure this school year. The 1,000 Book Project is a voluntary, read-aloud program offered to students in kindergarten, made possible by a generous donation from the district’s From For the Kids Foundation.

At both Connetquot and Timber Point elementary schools, kindergartners were challenged to begin a journey of reading 1,000 books before they move on to the grade 3-5 buildings. To participate, students had to register for the program in their elementary building. 

The books were chosen by Sara Anderson, the district’s director of humanities alongside Connetquot Principal Danielle Flaumenhaft  and Timber Point Principal Danielle Naccarato. Each of 100 book bags provided contained 10 books, including a high quality read-aloud, two fiction read-alouds, two nonfiction read-alouds with a science or social studies focus, one counting book, one alphabet book and three titles with predictable or rhyming texts. Many of the titles were Caldecott Honor Books, Theodore Seuss Geisel Honor Books or Ezra Jack Keats Honor Books.

“The heart of the 1,000 Book Project is to foster a lifelong love of reading, beginning at an early age,” said Sara Anderson, the district’s director of humanities. “The hope is that our families will enjoy the time reading together.”

Wrestlers Earn 11 League Medals


The high school’s varsity wrestling team competed in the League V championships at Comsewogue High School on Feb. 3, capturing 11 medals.

Senior captain Zach Cabrera (126 pounds) and fellow senior Kiernan Stanton (220 pounds) were both finalists in their respective weight classes. Third-place winners included senior captain Nick Picece (132 pounds), junior Jonathan Guadagno (160 pounds), and sophomore Nick Agresta (182 pounds). Earning fourth place were freshman Anthony Buccino (113 pounds), junior Rich Squeglia (138 pounds), sophomore Mark Shayew (145 pounds), freshman Michael Colon (152 pounds) and senior Isaiah Robinson (182 pounds).

All Redmen wrestlers qualified to compete in the Suffolk County championships to be held on Feb. 10 at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood.  

HS Tech Students Explore MTV Studios in NYC

HS Tech Students Explore MTV Studios in NYC

A selected group of 20 high school students in technology teacher James Connell’s video production, broadcast television and independent film classes recently visited the studios of MTV News in New York City. The field trip was facilitated by Dan Montalto, the digital, television video development and digital strategy director at MTV Networks, as a way for the students to examine possible future career paths.

The students also had a chance to speak with several other professionals who work at MTV News and see what their daily work lives are like, including social media manager Josh Edwards, teleprompter operator Alissa Godwin, hip-hop writer Charles Holmes, studio and lighting technician Rory Moon, video director Steven Roberts, producer Stacey Sommer and editorial director Rebecca Thomas.

The day was filled with everything from guest speakers to watching newly edited MTV News digital essays, a trip through the editing suite as well as a film shoot within their own studio room. The students’ videos (view below) were edited and delivered back to Connell’s class by the end of the day.

“I was so happy that the students got the chance to see what it’s like to work in a professional television or online studio environment,” said Connell. “Many of my students are pursuing careers within the field and got a real in-depth look into what could be their very own future employment might look and feel like.”

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JFK's Tantillo Chosen for LISFA

JFK's Tantillo Chosen for LISFA
Young violinist Ella Tantillo, a fifth-grader at JFK, was selected for this year’s Long Island String Festival Association concert, recognizing her as one of Suffolk County’s finest school string orchestra musicians. Tantillo was chosen based on recommendation from her orchestra teacher and her scores at last year’s New York State School Music Association Solo Festival.

Bond Tour and Forum Schedule

Bond Tour and Forum Schedule


East Islip Relay for Life Events


East Islip will hold a Relay for Life celebration on Saturday, May 12 from 5-11 p.m. at the high school track. Northwell Hospital will be providing financial support as well as providing food and refreshments. Relay for Life is an organization celebrating cancer survivors, and all proceeds from Relay for Life events are donated to cancer research.

An East Islip Relay for Life kick-off meeting will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. in the ECC cafeteria.

Additionally, East Islip Relay for Life will hold a group outing to a Duck baseball game on Wednesday, May 16.

Please see the attached fliers for further information on these three events.


Redmen Winter Track Team Succeeds at Championships

Redmen Winter Track Team Succeeds at Championships

The high school’s boys winter track athletes competed in the Section XI Boys Indoor League Championships, held on Jan. 20 at Suffolk Community College in Brentwood in front of an audience that included several alumni from East Islip’s track program.

Individual place winners for the Redmen included senior Anoune Basse, who finished second in the 55-meter dash and second in the long jump; senior Rob Skidmore, who earned third place in shot put; senior Zac Abbate, who took fourth in  high jump; and the 4x200 relay squad of junior Max Castronova and seniors Basse, Mike Drywa and Brian Snyder, who placed third. East Islip’s team finished seventh overall out of 10 teams participating.

“Our alumni came back to cheer the Redmen, and the team was excited and grateful for their loyal support,” said coach Ralph Tubello.

Eight Excellent EI Wrestlers Place at Rocky Gilmore

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With eight place winners for the day, the high shool’s varsity wrestling team were happy hosts of the 31st annual Rocky Gilmore Classic wrestling tournament on Jan. 6.

Senior Zach Cabrera placed third overall at 126 pounds. Cabrera pinned his first opponent and came from behind to earn victory over fifth seed Esteban Sandoval of Brentwood in the quarterfinals. Cabrera lost a hard-fought semifinals match but came back to face second seed Shane Santora of Bayport for third place, winning 9-3 by decision.

Sophomore Nick Agresta also placed third overall at 182 pounds. Agresta pinned Kellenberg’s Alex Cooper in 44 seconds in the quarterfinals. After losing in the semifinals, he took third with a win over second seed Malachi Lord-Kelly of Central Islip.

Other place winners for the Redmen were freshmen Emily Conlon (106 pounds), Jack Flynn (106 pounds) and Nick Vetrano (120 pounds); junior Jonathan Guadagno (160 pounds); and seniors Nick Picece (132 pounds) and Kiernan Stanton (220 pounds).

Sophomore Photog Picked for SVA Show

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“Weep for the Departed,” a photograph by East Islip High School sophomore Rebecca Bast, was recently chosen for “2017 America” at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, a show that displayed photography from high schools all across the United States.

“Rebecca is a very bright and creative student,” said her photography teacher, Joy Taylor. “I’m really proud of her and excited that she could be a part of this.”

Bast, who attended the gallery showing with her family at the opening reception at SVA, is currently attending Sunday Live classes at Fashion Institute of Technology, studying principles of design in FIT’s pre-college program. She hopes to continue her studies in the arts at East Islip.

Board Honors Advocates and Students

Board Honors Advocates and Students
The district recognized noteworthy community advocates and students at its Jan. 17 Board of Education meeting. Honored were eighth-grader and All-County gymnast Evie Orlando; high school seniors and National Merit Scholarship Program Commended Students Claudia Banville and Evan Mauner; and members of the East Islip Music and Arts Program Support group, also known as eiMAPS.

O’Neill Honored with HOBY Award

O’Neill Honored with HOBY Award 1

Tyler O’Neill, a sophomore at the high school, was recently named the 2017-2018 Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Award for his outstanding leadership skills and participation in community service. O’Neill will representing East Islip at this year’s HOBY New York Metro Leadership Seminar, a three-day conference held at Adelphi University in Garden City from June 8-10.

O’Neill was selected for the award based on his entry in the school’s annual 300-word essay contest, asking students in 10th grade to describe the most rewarding and challenging aspect about being a leader in their school or community. O’Neill’s essay discussed his involvement in Boy Scouts and his experiences working with and helping younger scouts develop their skills.

“Tyler is a well-rounded young man and dedicated student,” said his guidance counselor Nicole Vincenti. “He is passionate about his service to Boy Scouts of America and is looking forward to working on his Eagle Scout project. I am very proud of Tyler and happy that he will have this amazing opportunity to attend the HOBY leadership conference.”

Each year, the Lions Club of the Islips sponsors the school’s HOBY winner and donates the expenses for attending the seminar. Lions Club representative Eugene Petraitis visited the school to congratulate O’Neill and present a check.

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.

Dr. Dewey Discusses Addiction

Dr. Dewey Discusses Addiction

Dr. Stephen L. Dewey, a research professor at NYU School of Medicine's Department of Psychiatry, gave a hard-hitting presentation to high school students in grades 8, 9 and 10 on Jan. 16 regarding his research on the disease of addiction and the effects of addictive drugs on the human brain. He spoke about the substances that can lead to addiction, and answered student questions throughout and after the presentation.

Dr. Dewey also held a second, in-depth assembly that evening in the high school auditorium for students, parents and other community members, regarding the problems with drugs facing Long Island schools and communities. 

“This presentation was absolutely amazing and so informative for parents and students,” said Guidance Director Israel Malinowitzer. “Substance abuse is an epidemic in the United States and everyone must work together in order to find a way to control these substances from entering our country and even our homes.”

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Capital Improvement Bond Information

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Embers Showcases Creative Crew

Embers Showcases Creative Crew

In an annual early winter tradition, the Embers Coffee House variety show at the high school entertained student audiences throughout the day while giving technology education teacher James Connell’s video production and broadcast television classes the chance to put their studies into practice and produce and film a live TV program.

Alexa Benitez, John Camlet, Stone Locke, Andrew Johnson and Stephanie Milito served as genial hosts for the event, held in the broadcast room, while creative student talents Mal Brewster-Holland, Jess Chirpita, Micheal Gengo, Julia Lambert, Evan Mauner, Isaiah Robertson, Alicia Rodriguez and Katie Spina performed an array of music and comedy.

Producers Emily Baio, Kathryn Bingham and Jenna Donnelly; technical directors Kimberly Halliday and Michael Soloman; audio technician Bailey Nelson; and stage crew members Robert Heller IV, Eddie Sallie and Zach Wenksus ensured that Embers ran smoothly, while baristas John DiOrio, Rob Iadanza and Kim Villano served up hot coffee and snacks to the more than 500 students who attended this year’s show.

“This was my third year being a part of the event,” said Camlet. “I feel like I can safely say that this was my favorite year by far. I love being a part of this crew.”

High School English Students Visit NYC

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Accompanied by teachers Jean Flood, Linda Leach and Carene Mahoney, 42 high school English students visited New York City in December, including viewings of Macy’s decorated windows, Bryant Park’s Christmas tree, and Rockefeller Center’s Christmas tree and ice rink.

“The best part of the field trip was the tour of NBC Studios,” said Leach. During this segment, the students got to see the stages used for “Saturday Night Live,” “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” and “Late Night With Seth Meyers” while soaking up behind-the-scenes information and gossip from their tour guides, the NBC pages. The tour ended with an interactive video where the students were able to participate in an Olympic broadcast production.

Suffolk Zone Winners

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High school seniors Jenna Anderson and Evan Mauner were recognized as this year’s winners at the 2017-2018 Suffolk Zone Awards dinner, held on Dec. 6 at the Hyatt Regency Long Island in Hauppauge.

The Suffolk Zone awards are presented annually by the Suffolk Zone Chapter of the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance to the top male and female physical education students in each Suffolk County high school’s graduating class.

“Both Jenna and Evan contribute to the overall positive tone of the physical education class as well as the school,” said Athletic Director Stephen Restivo. “They continue to make an outstanding effort to be cooperative, honest and enthusiastic in class, and Jenna and Evan have made East Islip proud once again for their accomplishments.”

Beautiful Winter Concert Performances

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The young musicians in the district showed off their growing talents and the results of long hours of practice through a memorable series of winter concerts held during December in the high school’s auditorium.

Audiences flocked to the performances by the students of JFK, RCK, the middle school and the high school, with highlights including JFK band director Ronald Fox dressing up as Darth Vader to conduct music from “Star Wars,” the JFK and RCK advanced orchestras both sharing their experiences through a “Vivaldi School Year” program; selections from the musical “Hamilton” performed by the middle school concert choir and girls chorus, directed by Patricia Bryan; and the audience joining hands to sing John Lennon’s “Imagine” with the high school’s honors choir and director Bethany Affelt.

“During our winter concert series, our students performed beautifully, and it is a pleasure to watch each grow under the direction of our dedicated teachers,” said Dr. Robert J. Wottawa II, the district’s director of art, ENL, music and world languages.



HS Video Classes Learn from Local Pro

HS Video Classes Learn from Local Pro

James Connell’s video production classes at the high school recently participated in an interactive lighting workshop with returning visitor, local professional photographer John Lennon.

The students were given a chance to use Lennon’s professional camera and lighting equipment, enhancing their technical skills. Lennon, whose son Jack is enrolled in the video production class, talked to the students about lighting as it pertains to digital video. His full-period lesson covered everything from his own personal professional philosophy and skills to a hands-on activity in which students practiced various techniques on his equipment.

“I always enjoy bringing professionals into my classroom to speak with my students,” said teacher James Connell. “These types of visits really help put the topics we cover in class in perspective. Mr. Lennon was an amazing guest speaker and the students thoroughly enjoyed the hands-on portion of the presentation.”

Board Accepts Facilities Committee Report

At the Jan. 10, workshop meeting, the Board of Education accepted the Facilities Committee report. The Facilities Committee recommended approximately $59.9 million in capital improvements for the district to be funded with a previously established capital reserve fund and bond. The vote to expend funds from the capital reserve account and bond is expected to be held in May on the same day as the budget vote.
The Board of Education plans to vote at the Jan. 17 Board of Education meeting on the resolution to put a bond referendum up for community vote.


JFK Fourth-Graders Donate a Dozen for Pajama Project

JFK Fourth-Graders Donate a Dozen for Pajama Project

Donating a dozen pairs of pajamas, students in Jessie Ferraro’s fourth-grade class at JFK participated in Scholastic’s Pajama Program as a way of spreading some cheer to at-risk children during the holiday season. The Pajama Program offers at-risk children the gifts of pajamas and books through matching donations from Scholastic Book Clubs.

“Our class believes that every child has the right to a loving good night, complete with new, clean pajamas and a comforting bedtime story,” said Ferraro.

Ten Terrific Student-Artists Displayed at Suffolk Competition

Ten Terrific Student-Artists Displayed at Suffolk Competition

High school students Niamh Amitrano, Sophie Bingham, Alli Bunde, Hailey Cooke, Julia Desiderio, Cassandra Fernandez, Gia Piazza, Jordan Rant, Paige Roses and Zoe Stengel participated in Suffolk County Community College’s 10th annual High School Art Competition. The students are currently enrolled in Joy Taylor’s photography class and Heather Toomey’s electronic illustration class.

Work by the 10 terrific student-artists was on display as they attended a reception in the Captree Commons Building at the college’s Michael J. Grant Campus in Brentwood on Dec. 14, with friends, family and teachers in attendance.

“These students are some of the most dedicated in my class, and I'm so happy they showcased their outstanding photographs in this show,” said Taylor. “I'm fortunate to work with such great kids.”

Sophie Bingham, who had pieces chosen for display in both photography and electronic illustration, said, “I’m honored to have both my skillsets represented.”

“This was a wonderful opportunity for students to showcase their creative talents,” said Toomey. “I am so proud of these young artists and look forward to seeing how they continue to grow and develop their artistic skills.”

HS and JFK Students Sang and Signed for the Holidays

HS and JFK Students Sang and Signed for the Holidays

Two dozen high school students enrolled in teacher Jovina Bratta’s advanced American Sign Language program visited Christine Cirillo’s fourth-grade class at JFK on Dec. 18 for over an hour of celebratory singing and signing. The two groups of students sang holiday songs together, and the high schoolers taught the younger students signs and the ASL alphabet, followed by an engaging interactive game that served to enforce both receptive and expressive signing skills.

Santa's Elves Greet Children at HS

Santa's Elves Greet Children at HS

The high school welcomed Santa last month for a pair of holiday events hosted by family and consumer science teacher Kelly Schwender and students in her child development classes, beginning with the sixth annual Evening with Santa.

The high school students dressed as elves to help Santa as he greeted more than 200 children and posed for photos. Stations were set up for different activities, including face painting and games. The classic Breakfast with Santa followed, providing additional opportunity for fun and photos.

“These events bring families and community members together, and everyone has a great time watching the children’s faces as they are greeted by Santa Claus,” said Guidance Director Israel Malinowitzer.

FTK 21st Anniversary Gala to Be Held March 17

FTK 21st Anniversary Gala to Be Held March 17

East Islip's For the Kids Foundation will hold its 21st Anniversary Gala, with the theme "The Castle on the Green," on Saturday, March 17 at 7 p.m. at Land's End in Sayville. Dr. Lisa Belz will be honored as Educator Advocate of the Year, and Mary Finn, Catharine Lemon and Suzanne Zembrzycki will be honored as Community Advocates of the Year.

Tickets are $150 per person.

Stay updated by visiting FTK's website.



Spreading Some Holiday 'Magic'


High school students from the STARS club, National Honor Society and varsity softball team teamed up with local nonprofit Christmas Magic this holiday season, spreading cheer and acting as Santa’s personal shoppers for kids in need on Long Island. After shopping for the presents, purchased with donations from Christmas Magic, the students wrapped the gifts with care.

“It was a good feeling knowing that these kids will wake up to a bunch of presents that we helped pick out and wrap,” said softball team captain Katie Burk, whose team’s efforts were for children at a Middle Island shelter.

Hour of Code Proves Engaging

Hour of Code Proves Engaging

The district kicked off its annual Hour of Code initiative last month with high school computer programming students visiting classrooms in the four elementary schools to work with second- and fifth-graders, preparing the younger students for a week of coding in the computer labs. The high schoolers shared games they created to demonstrate how computers and coding work.

“Our fifth-graders were fortunate to have the high school students visit to discuss coding,” said JFK Principal Deborah Smith. “The computer science students shared their expertise about the syntax of computer programming, and their presentation was engaging and interactive.”

Pair of Students Awarded for Red Ribbon Wins

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The district honored a pair of winners – Keira Husfeldt from JFK and Ava Panepinto from RCK – for this year’s Red Ribbon poster contest during the Dec. 14 Board of Education meeting.

The two students were presented with certificates and prizes by East Islip High School SADD Club members Aiden Furey and Alexa Smith, teacher and SADD adviser Bridget Lopiccolo, Islip Board of Education President Jessica Carney, and Superintendent John Dolan.

“The fifth-graders had amazing quotes on their Red Ribbons, which sent messages of making good decisions,” said Lopiccolo. “This program is so worthwhile and really helps the high school students that participate in it to be role models, and gives the fifth-graders great information about how to not make destructive decisions.”

Friday, February 23, 2018