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Reminder on Pride Day and Pridewear


As a reminder, the district has designated Friday, Sept. 15 as East Islip Pride Day. We also encourage you to wear your EI colors and apparel each Friday this school year to show your EI Pride.

To purchase apparel, please visit the Pridewear page under the Community tab on the district website. The following stores are now open:
   Boys/Girls Cross-Country
   Boys Soccer
   Boys Volleyball
   Girls Soccer

Enjoy the rest of your summer.

Sawtelle Tops Traffic Safety Contest

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Kathryn Sawtelle, a second-grader at Connetquot, won first place in the annual AAA Traffic Safety Poster Contest for her poster “Don’t Be a Fuddy Duddy, Have a Street Buddy.” After a rigorous judging process, Sawtelle’s poster was chosen out of more than 600 entries in the grade K-2 Pedestrian and Child Passenger Safety category.

The poster contest, part of art teacher Christina Spera-Bartlett’s curriculum for second-grade classes at Connetquot, helped to promote and raise awareness of traffic safety as well as introduce the topic of how to create an effective poster using art techniques.

“All of the students worked very hard for many weeks on their poster entries and should feel very proud of their effort,” said Spera-Bartlett. “Kathryn’s design and message stood out to the judges and therefore kept moving up in the judging process, landing her in first place.”

A special luncheon was held to honor poster and video contest winners for various grade levels. As a first-place winner, Sawtelle received a plaque and a $300 check, presented by John Corlett, AAA New York’s director of traffic safety.

Brainstorming for a Blue Crayon at Timber Point


Kindergartners, first-graders and second-graders in art classes at Timber Point participated in a contest by the Crayola company to name a new vivid blue crayon. Each class brainstormed a large list of name ideas for the new crayon, then voted on a class choice. Teacher Christina Spera-Bartlett listed all of the class choice names for each grade on on a PowerPoint slide so all the students could vote on a final grade choice crayon name.

“We used a very complex voting system of colored square papers that corresponded to the name of the crayon they wanted,” said Spera-Bartlett. “They had a lot of fun brainstorming ideas and during the voting process.”

The students’ creative and innovative name ideas included “Shattered Ice,” “Bluejay,” “Blue Gusher” and “Blueberry Cloud.” The final name of the crayon will be announced in early September.

BOE Business Meeting on Aug. 31


The Board of Education will hold a business meeting on Thursday, Aug. 31 at 8 p.m.  at 1 Craig B. Gariepy Ave. in Islip Terrace.

District Calendar and Directory Posted

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The East Islip 2017-2018 district calendar and directory has been posted and is attached below.


Students Create Haring-Inspired Mural


High School student-artists in teacher Daniel Figliozzi’s drawing classes recently created a large-scale sharpie drawing mural inspired by influential 1980s artist Keith Haring.

The mural, located on a high school wall between the cafeteria and the music wing, features a famous quote from Haring – “Whatever you want to do, the only secret is to believe in it and satisfy yourself. Don’t do it for anyone else” – surrounded by student doodles and designs. Many of these designs were technically inspired by the intricate line work of Renaissance artists Francesco Bartolozzi and Albrecht Durer, as well as the cluttered and condensed work of contemporary artist Kath Fidler.

The students filled the mural with multiple memes, cartoon characters and numerous images of “SpongeBob Squarepants” character Squidward Tentacles. In a manner reminiscent of Where’s Waldo, Squidward is located in the mural multiple times, hiding and peeking out in places, challenging viewers to see how many they can find.

“My students enjoyed doing the mural, as they got to draw whatever they wanted,” said Figliozzi. “The work is expressive, dense and fun and really did come together; unifying with line work and ranges of dark and light values. The two central large figures in the work were inspired by Haring’s iconic figures. Each figure’s head is opening up, releasing the designs to signify endless possibility, relating to the quote from Haring.”

EI Pride Day and Pridewear

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The East Islip School District has designated Friday, Sept. 15 as East Islip Pride Day, and our first annual Homecoming Festival is Saturday, Sept. 16.

You can now purchase EI Pridewear and team apparel for the upcoming school year via a new online store link here. You must order by Aug. 12. The store will also be open at various additional times throughout the year to order apparel.

We hope you visit the store and order your EI Pridewear for Pride Day and the Homecoming Festival. It’s a great way to show your spirit, pride and support.

Ennis Proves a Dedicated Mechanic


Recent high school graduate Connor Ennis is well on his way to becoming a master mechanic, utilizing the school’s rigorous technology classes to springboard his skills and passion for repairs.

A member of East Islip’s Class of 2017, Ennis began enrolling in technology classes as soon as he entered 10th grade, the first year that students can begin these classes. During the next three years, he took every tech class taught by teacher Chad Spruyt, including basic and advanced wood shop and metal shop as well as basic automotive, where he fell in love with working with small engines. He then enrolled in advanced automotive, and began using more advanced machines as well as working on bigger motors such as go-karts, minibikes, and trikes. He rebuilt, sanded and painted an old Mercedes; made tire and oil changes; lifted a Jeep three inches; and was even called on to make machine spacers for the district’s buildings and grounds department.

“Connor found his passion and it was the ability to work with his hands, and fix and rebuild things that no longer operated,” said Israel Malinowitzer, East Islip’s technology director. “Connor was so good that Mr. Spruyt began teaching him how to work on cars and boats and how to be able to determine what was wrong with them so that problems could quickly be fixed. He spent every free moment this year in the automotive shop, visiting during his free periods and lunchtime, and staying after school to work on his projects. He has the knowledge and the skills needed to operate these machines, which will help him to move forward and be able to work for a large automotive company or even open his own repair shop in town.”

Ennis plans on attending BOCES this fall in order to expand his knowledge and to become certified in welding and mechanical applications.

“We are very proud of this young man’s dedication and commitment to this career field and we know he will be very successful,” said Malinowitzer.

Districtwide Committee Application for 2017-2018

Our district embraces a shared decision-making approach which involves all constituencies – parents, staff and administrators – in discussing matters that will have an impact on our students and our district, now and in the future. We encourage parents and community members to avail themselves of the opportunity to be selected to participate on the districtwide committees we established throughout the school year. If interested, please complete the application to serve on such committees and submit to the attention of Assistant Superintendent for Instruction and Personnel Paul E. Manzo. (For your convenience, this form may be emailed to The deadline for receipt of these applications is Friday, Oct. 13.


East Islip Honors Teich and CORE Students

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In a June 8 ceremony with Suffolk County Legislator Tom Cilmi in attendance, the district honored Lee’s Auto Body owner and Class of 1982 East Islip alumnus Gary Teich for his company’s 100 years of service. Also recognized at the Board of Education meeting were students in the high school’s CORE career development program – Adonees Akl, Scott Barry, Jason Otten, Michael Quagliara, Kelly Stupplebeen, Jeanie Warnken and Chris Weibalck – whose work experience included an internship program working at the auto body shop and refurbishing a car for the district.

French Students Explore Paris and Nice

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Accompanied by French teacher Lauren Pinka, a group of 33 East Islip High School French students recently enjoyed a culturally enriching trip to France, visiting Paris and Nice.

“In class, we had been studying French art, and our students were able to see the real paintings in the Louvre,” said Pinka, who organizes the tour biannually. “We explored the catacombs and Pere la Chaise cemetery, where we searched for many famous artists and writers including Delacroix, Voltaire, Renoir and Corot. We also visited the tomb of the iconic French singer Edith Piaf. The students had a private tour of Versailles, where we entered Louis XIV’s bedroom and private apartment. We explored Montmartre and the Sacre Coeur as well as the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe. We ended our stay in Paris with a fabulous boat ride down the Seine, experiencing the City of Lights and all its splendor with the twinkling Eiffel Tower as our backdrop. In Nice, the students visited the famous Fragonard perfume factory and the king’s palace in Monaco. It was a fantastic trip with perfect weather, and the students all left with the desire to return.”

Hillman Honored for Photography

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Recent high school graduate Sarah Hillman was honored at the Town of Islip’s 2017 Student Achievement Awards for her work in fine arts. Hillman’s exceptional photographs have been displayed at numerous exhibits including the town’s Festival of the Arts, Colors of Long Island in Stony Brook, and the 2017 Long Island Media Arts Show at Five Towns College’s Performing Arts Center in Dix Hills. She has been recognized for her work in the school’s yearbook and “Broadcaster” newspaper, and won two consecutive PTA Reflections Awards of Excellence.

Hillman will attend Cazenovia College in upstate New York this fall on scholarship, where she plans to major in photography.

HS Photographers Chosen at LIU Post

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HS Photographers Chosen at LIU Post 1

Outstanding work by 10 high school photography students was recently chosen for LIU Post’s 14th annual 12x12 High School Art Exhibition. The selected students were senior Max McGibney (for “Nightmare”); juniors Alexa Benitez (“Somber Contemplation”), Keala Sanders (“Negative-Creep”) and Nina Senn (“Morgue”); and sophomores John Camlet (“Behind Blue Eyes”), Jenna Donnelly (“Reflections”), Tyler Franklin (“Earths Tears”), Jake Kenney (“Juniors”), Chris Palmer (“Strike 3”) and Gia Piazza (“Creepy Night”). Their work was displayed at the Art League Students Gallery at LIU Post’s B. Davis Schartz Memorial Library in Brookville.

"The students chosen for this exhibit have demonstrated an strong interest in their photography and I am so proud of them for getting to exhibit their work in a professional gallery,” said teacher Heather Toomey. “I am happy that LIU Post gives high school students this opportunity.” 

“I plan on continuing photography next year and this was a good experience to have for college,” said Donnelly.

Connetquot Kids Tackle 30-Minute Running Challenge

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The physical education program at Connetquot challenged their students from kindergarten through second grade to run or jog with music, non-stop for 30 minutes. According to teacher Dennis Jones, dozens of the students accomplished this feat, some of them three or four times each.

Carney Named New Board President

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Jessica Carney was chosen as the East Islip Board of Education's new president for 2017-2018. First elected as a trustee in 2015, Carney was named president on July 6 during the Board’s annual reorganization meeting. She replaces former President Christopher Zachry, who remains as a trustee.

Philip Montuori Sr., who last served as Board president in 2015-2016, was named as vice president.

Varga Wins Rensselaer Medal

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Kevin Varga, a junior at the high school, has been named as the winner of this year’s Rensselaer Medal. The award honors academic achievement and seeks to inspire students to pursue careers in engineering, science and technology.

First awarded in 1916, the Rensselaer Medal guarantees a scholarship of $15,000 per year for four years, if the recipient applies, is accepted and chooses to attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.

In addition to earning excellent grades in his many rigorous courses, Varga was accepted to the National Grid Engineering Pipeline program for the summer. This program allows students to experience real-world learning opportunities and compete for summer internships, and may lead to an opportunity for an engineering career at National Grid.

“I am so proud of Kevin’s achievements throughout high school, and I look forward to working with him as he applies to colleges in the fall," said his counselor, Jessica Pignataro. “He is a conscientious, talented student who will certainly continue to make East Islip proud.”

Celebrating Learning and Growth at JFK and RCK Moving Ups

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Ruth C. Kinney and John F. Kennedy Elementary Schools held their respective fifth-grade moving up ceremonies on June 21 and 22, providing the young scholars a chance to celebrate another major step in their educational journey and look forward to a challenging road ahead in middle school.

RCK’s event included a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance by Brady Kneisel and Emily Standish, and a rendition of the school’s song, “Learning Is the Way..Here at RCK.” JFK’s moving up featured Katharine Lee Bates singing “America the Beautiful” and a version of “I’m on Top of the World” by Imagine Dragons, sung by the entire class. Both included the presentation of academic, athletic and other awards.

“Our fifth-grade students are a group of enthusiastic young minds that will thrive in the middle school,” said RCK Principal Hillary Bromberg. “The virtues and knowledge learned at RCK, and their continued education in the middle school and high school, will afford them the tools necessary to compete in this globally competitive environment.”

"This celebration provided us all with time to reflect on the wonderful activities and learning that occurred this past year,” said JFK Principal Deborah Smith. “Our proud JFK scholars are ready to embark on their secondary education. They are self-confident and enthusiastic about the exciting opportunities they will have to continue to learn and grow as sixth-graders.”

JFK's video can be viewed here.

Class of 2017 Turns the Page

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As the sun wrestled through the clouds, the 342 members of the high school’s Class of 2017 marched in a sea of red-and-white caps and gowns into Boomer Esiason Stadium on June 23 to start the school’s 90th commencement ceremony. The graduates nevertheless experienced a rain of inspiring words about honesty, competition and perseverance from fellow students and administrators as they prepared to turn the page on a new chapter in their young lives.

The high school band, directed by Christopher Neske, performed the processional music. Brittney Berke, accompanied by Vincenzo Mediate, led the Pledge of Allegiance, and Kendra Canavan sang the “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The vocal quartet of Roy Anderson, Amanda Baranek, Berke and Kurt Eide delivered the school’s alma mater. Members of the school’s Class of 1967 were presented with certificates recognizing their golden anniversary of graduation. 

“Dreams are important because they are what motivates us,” said Principal William Brennen in his opening remarks. Emphasizing the importance of character building based on honesty, he encouraged the graduates to develop and pursue goals and show appreciation for their parents, teachers and others who help them along their journey. 

Quoting from Adam Smith and Charles Darwin, valedictorian Jack Palmeri extolled competition as essential to productive activity in each person’s life and for whole nations, saying that it furthers innovations, sparks creativity and advances civilization.

“It’s what influenced individuals such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs to strive to be their best,” Palmeri said. “Without competition, society would have no drive, no determination and no choices. Competition is what separates the great United States of America from the rest of the world.”

Salutatorian Alexandra Belyea reflected on how her accomplishments throughout her East Islip school career would have been unattainable without the guidance of her teachers, friends and parents, who always told her to be nice, kind and happy and befriend those that would make her a better person.

“In the end, people will only truly care about and remember the type of person you are,” Belyea said. “As we all move past high school, it is crucial to be a positive influence in society and surround yourself with genuinely good people who raise you up instead of pull you down.” 

Superintendent John Dolan encouraged students to pick career paths that would energize them, set their goals high and chase them with unbridled enthusiasm.

“Make good choices and take responsibility for them, and be sure to follow your moral compass,” he said.

Board of Education President Christopher Zachry told the graduates that they would fail only if they didn’t believe in themselves through life’s inevitable obstacles and unexpected events. He stressed that time, unlike money, is a commodity that they can’t afford to lose because it can never be regained.

“If there’s something in your heart that you want to do, don’t put it off,” he said. “Don’t waste time. Don’t wait until you’re 25 or 30. Start working towards it now.”

Click here for Island Photography slideshow.

McCall Honored as Young Poet

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Kaitlyn McCall, a student at JFK, was honored by the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association for her achievement in the 31st annual Young Poets Contest. McCall’s poem, “Dreams” was considered “outstanding” by distinguished poetry judges and selected from 2,700 entries for the fifth- and sixth-grade category. She attended a June 4 ceremony commemorating the 198th birthday of Walt Whitman.  


Eighth Graders Enjoy Backyard Bash

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Celebrating the end of the school year and future learning opportunities at the high school this fall, eighth graders at the middle school participated in the annual Backyard Bash on June 19, enjoying music, dancing, food and games with their classmates.

“Once again, our eighth-grade students thoroughly enjoyed this year-end celebration,” said Principal Mark Bernard. “We wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors.”

Field Day a Fun Favorite at Timber Point

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At Timber Point, students from kindergarten through second grade enjoyed a fun-filled Field Day full of activities, including an obstacle course, hula hooping, box car races, potato sack races, balance activities and a ball toss game.

“Field Day has always been a favorite year-end event for Timber Point,” said physical education teacher Pat Bush. “It is such a rewarding experience to watch the students participate in all the activities. They worked together, demonstrated good sportsmanship and had a tremendous amount of exercise while maintaining their smiling faces. Congratulations to them all.”

EI: Where Amazing Things Happen Every Day


A Successful Spring Concert Series

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East Islip closed out another school year of growing musical skill and diligent practice with a terrific May series of spring concerts representing musicians from the high school, middle school, and John F. Kennedy and Ruth C. Kinney elementary schools.

The programs of the six concerts, all held at the high school’s Rydzeski Hall, included classical compositions by Bach, Dvorak, Haydn, Holst, Mozart, Stravinsky and Vivaldi; traditional and folk tunes from various traditions; pop songs like “From a Distance” and “Happy”; and dramatic pieces from films and musicals such as “Hairspray,” “Les Miserables,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Jurassic Park” and “Moana.”

“Our spring concert series was a brilliant success,” said Dr. Robert J. Wottawa II, the district’s director of art and music. “Our children’s hard work and dedication is a reflection of their teachers’ passion for their teaching craft, performance level, and high expectations.”


NHS Fundraises for Fox Foundation

Demonstrating the students’ commitment to helping worthy causes, the high school’s National Honor Society collected $1,200 at a recent car wash fundraiser for the benefit of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

Summer School 2017



Friday, August 18, 2017