Santa’s in the House at East Islip High


Santa was in the house for back-to-back events at the high school, from a game-filled evening to a celebratory breakfast.

The festivities began on the night of Dec. 4, when teacher Kelly Schwender and 75 students in her child development classes as well as former students hosted their fourth annual Evening with Santa community event in the high school cafeteria. All of the high schoolers involved put in more than 60 hours of preparation for the evening, which was open to all of the district’s prekindergartners through third-graders. 

Two of Schwender’s advanced child development students, Jillian Spanier and Serena Zagari, developed this year’s “Candy Land” theme as their National Honor Society leadership project. The child development students created life-size props to replicate all the characters in the Candy Land board game, as well as huge lollipops, candy canes, cotton candy and gingerbread men, and designed over 15 new games. The attending children each received a laminated Candy Land “Game Trail” map to guide them through the various games and other activities that included candy tattoos, face painting, gingerbread crafts and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus.

At Breakfast with Santa, the school’s annual holiday party for the Toddler High program, parents brought the program’s toddlers in to the school library on Dec. 17 for photos with Santa and the chance to have breakfast with and thank the high school’s juniors and seniors who serve as their children’s “buddies.” 

“The toddlers were so happy to see Santa, and it was wonderful to see the high school students take such good care of the little ones and join them in the Santa photos,” said Guidance Director Israel Malinowitzer.