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Teamwork Leads to Robotics Tournament Victory

Teamwork Leads to Robotics Tournament Victory

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

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

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

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

Redmen Roundup - EI Sports News Item of the Week

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Three Wrestling Redmen Recognized as Finalists at Rocky Gilmore

Three Wrestling Redmen Recognized as Finalists at Rocky Gilmore

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

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


Hilbert Wins Again at Spelling Bee

Hilbert Wins Again at Spelling Bee

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

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

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




All-District Concert Rescheduled to March 5

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

SWAT Officer and EI Alumnus Colondona Visits Connetquot

SWAT Officer and EI Alumnus Colondona Visits Connetquot

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

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

Timber Point Second-Graders Collect 153 Pairs for Pajama Program

Timber Point Second-Graders Collect 153 Pairs for Pajama Program
Timber Point Second-Graders Collect 153 Pairs for Pajama Program 2
Timber Point Second-Graders Collect 153 Pairs for Pajama Program 3

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

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


Drama Club Presents Terrific ‘Tenor’

Drama Club Presents Terrific ‘Tenor’

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

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

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




Chamber Honors December’s Students of the Month

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

Swim Star Kreuscher Signs with URI

Swim Star Kreuscher Signs with URI

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

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

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

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





High School Recognizes Fall Athletes

High School Recognizes Fall Athletes

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

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

Winter Concert Series Impresses

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

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




Signing Seniors Bring ASL to JFK

Signing Seniors Bring ASL to JFK

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

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

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

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

SEPTO Snowflake Event on Jan. 25


 

Attachments:

Gingerbread Time at Connetquot

 Gingerbread Time at Connetquot

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

Middle School Musicians Impress with Holiday Favorites

Middle School Musicians Impress with Holiday Favorites

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

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

Softball Team Bonds Through Christmas Charity Work

Softball Team Bonds Through Christmas Charity Work

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

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

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


Pair of Red Ribbon Contest Winners Honored

Pair of Red Ribbon Contest Winners Honored

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

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

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

Lamando to Play Soccer for Potsdam

Lamando to Play Soccer for Potsdam

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

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

High School Art Spotlight

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

Donning Hoodies to Help EJ Autism’s Crucial Work

Donning Hoodies to Help EJ Autism’s Crucial Work
Donning Hoodies to Help EJ Autism’s Crucial Work 2
Donning Hoodies to Help EJ Autism’s Crucial Work 3

EJ Autism Foundation founder Bea Huste-Petersen welcomed sweatshirt-clad members of the community to the local organization’s ninth annual Black Tie Hoodie Event, held Dec. 6 at Captain Bill’s in Bay Shore. The fundraiser serves to support EJ Autism’s dedicated and crucial work to help East Islip children with special needs.

“The 2018 Hoodie was a great success with another sold-out crowd,” said Huste-Petersen.

A Fourth Year of Winning for Mock Trial Team

A Fourth Year of Winning for Mock Trial Team

The East Islip High School Mock Trial team competed in the Empire Mock Trial World Tournament in November, an event that brought 40 teams and almost 500 students from the entire nation and six countries to New York to compete in the Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Courthouse.

This year’s fact pattern concerned a defendant charged with hate crime: an assault based on the victim’s perceived race. East Islip’s students faced off against schools from Oregon, Texas, Connecticut, Utah and California, with the prosecution team going 3-1 for the weekend. Jacob Arens, Sofia Frigiola, Justin Martinez and Tyler O’Neil were ranked for best performances in their rounds, and sophomore Kaitlyn Rice was recognized as one of the top 15 lawyers at the tournament, bringing home an Outstanding Attorney trophy. 

This is the fourth year that East Islip has competed in the Empire Mock Trial World Tournament, and the fourth consecutive award for the program, having won Outstanding Witness Awards in 2015 and 2017, and the Spirit of Empire Award in 2016. The team is coached by social studies teacher Patsy Lester, with assistance from attorney Brian Mitchell, Touro Law School professor Tracy Norton and the students of the Touro Trial Advocacy and Practice Society. 

“We couldn’t be as successful as we are without the help of the school community, Touro Law School and of course, our Mock Trial parents who have generously supported us every step of the way,” Lester said.

Fantastic Field Hockey Team Earns Accolades

Fantastic Field Hockey Team Earns Accolades

The high school’s division champion field hockey squad earned numerous deserved accolades at the Suffolk County Field Hockey Coaches Association’s annual awards dinner. The Dec. 4 ceremony was held at Villa Lombardi’s in Holbrook.

Seniors Lindsay Guzzetta and Kendall Mittleman earned All-County status; seniors MaryKate Carroll and Sarah DiPrima and juniors Allison Chiarelli and Alyssa Levy earned All-County Honorable Mention; Carroll and Guzzetta both won All-Tournament recognition; and Melissa Sconone took home the Unsung Hero award.

“This is a great team, better every day on and off the field,” said coach Christopher Veit.

Bowler Spina Signs with Arkansas

Bowler Spina Signs with Arkansas

High school senior and star bowler Julianna Spina signed a national letter of intent on Dec. 13, committing to Arkansas State University. Girls varsity bowling coach Harold Cooley and Athletic Director Stephen Restivo were in attendance to congratulate Spina, along with her family.

While bowling for the Red Wolves, Spina plans to major in biology and chemistry. A member of East Islip’s National Honor Society and Foreign Language Honor Society, she will graduate in the top 10 percent of her class. As an athlete, she earned All-State, All-County and All-League status, was a key member of the state champion team, and was the 2017-2018 Suffolk County Match Play winner at 29-1. She bowled a 754 series with the Lady Redmen, the highest in the county at the time.

“Julianna is one of the hardest working and most dedicated student-athletes you will find,” said Cooley. “She puts 100 percent of herself into everything she does, both in and out of school, thus putting her at the top of the list in both categories. I'm proud to be her coach and wish her all the best in her future endeavors.”




Fourteen Chosen for LISFA

Fourteen Chosen for LISFA
Fourteen Chosen for LISFA MS
Fourteen Chosen for LISFA RCK

Fourteen fabulous string students from East Islip will participate in this year’s Long Island String Festival Association concert series. Each student was chosen through a rigorous process that included New York State School Music Association scores, teacher recommendations and the LISFA selection committee.

East Islip High School students Sophia Bates (violin), Trevor Garnett (cello), Peter Gerace (bass), Victoria Keenan (violin), Joshua Koretz (viola), Mia Lembo (bass), Caroline Meehan (violin), Michelle Mirabelli (viola), Chiara Mosca (viola), Kathryn O’Neill (bass) and Samantha Seibert (viola) will rehearse for LISFA on Jan. 11-13, culminating in a performance at St. John the Baptist High School in West Islip.

Ruth C. Kinney Elementary School fifth-grader Zeynep Oztas and East Islip Middle School students Melissa Mirabelli and Keira Tantillo will rehearse for LISFA on Jan. 25-27, culminating in a performance at Hauppauge High School.

 

Letter from Superintendent Dolan Regarding Armed Guards

Dear Parents and Guardians:

As you know, the safety and security of our school buildings, students and staff is, and always has been, our number one priority. With that being said, the Board of Education and district administrators have spent the last several months discussing the many options to safeguard our most treasured assets – your children. Through many discussions at Board meetings, the conversation to arm our security guards has been at the forefront.

At last evening’s Board meeting, the trustees voted in favor of the placement of armed security personnel within our buildings when the students return from the holiday break. This decision was made after months of thoughtful deliberation, research and multiple conversations with law enforcement, security professionals, our insurance carrier and district lawyers.

The district will be equipping many of our existing security guards, all of whom are qualified retired police officers. Our current security staff is already aware of our buildings, students and staff as well as our security procedures. There is no need for the district to hire any new personnel. Our security personnel will undergo any necessary training if applicable and adhere to the guidelines set within the Board policy.

As always, the topic of safety and security is discussed among our staff often and we continually enhance and update our security protocols and infrastructure based on these discussions. We also constantly seek advice from and meet regularly with law enforcement authorities to ensure our personnel are well-informed and our Crisis Management Plan is updated regularly. 

Additionally, in accordance with the passage of the bond referendum in May 2018, the district will further its security enhancements at the entrances of our schools. The vestibule and door projects at each school aims to secure the perimeter and create safer entrance vestibules, including “mantraps.” Exterior doors will be replaced with new hardware, vestibules and lobbies will be reconfigured, and new security devices will be added. Designs for this project have been completed and await final comments and permit from the New York State Education Department. We anticipate the permits to be approved before the end of the year, with bids released in January.

In addition to the above, our district has also increased our efforts to support the social-emotional well-being of all students. Our mental health staff will be working with our students more closely with the goal of helping them feel connected and invested while at school. In addition to our established programs, the Sandy Hook Promise, Challenge Day, the Amityville Cultural Exchange Project and our See Something Say Something Hotline (631- 312-0620), are initiatives we began this year in an effort to ensure all kids are connected to school. Furthermore, during the budget process this spring, we will be reviewing our staffing needs in the area of mental health staff for the next school year and adding a peer mentor program.

I would like to take a moment and thank the Board of Education, district administrators and all residents who have shared their input with us during these last several months. As partners in education, it is critical to have the cooperation of our community.
I wish you a wonderful holiday season.

Sincerely,

John V. Dolan
Superintendent of Schools


High School Students Named KIC Junior Commissioners

High School Students Named KIC Junior Commissioners
High School Students Named KIC Junior Commissioners
High school students Sofia Frigiola, Jonathan Guadagno, Benjamin Hutter and Deirdre Kennedy were recently inducted in the Keep Islip Clean Junior Commissioner program. They were recognized during a ceremony at Islip Town Hall West. The KIC junior commissioner program choose high school students from the township to help in recycling and town beautification initiatives.

Interact Club Decorates Donated Tree at Brookwood Hall

Interact Club Decorates Donated Tree at Brookwood Hall

Each December, the high school’s Interact Club participates in the Islip Arts Council’s Festival of Trees event at Brookwood Hall, in which holiday trees are purchased by community groups and local businesses to benefit the Council. During the Dec. 6 event, alongside more than 50 other local community groups, Interact students decorated their tree, purchased by the Rotary Club, with a community service theme.   

“This is a wonderful event that gives students the opportunity to participate in a fun and meaningful service project that has become a great tradition in the East Islip community,” said Interact Club adviser Lisa Rapiejko.


Zone Awards for Palmer & Sconone

Suffolk Zone Awards for Palmer & Sconone

High school seniors Christopher Palmer and Melissa Sconone were named recipients of the 2017-2018 Suffolk Zone awards. Both students were honored at the annual Suffolk Zone Awards dinner, held at Villa Lombardi’s on Nov. 28.

The awards are presented to the top male and female physical education students in each Suffolk County high school’s graduating class, by the Suffolk Zone Chapter of the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. The criteria for selection include outstanding character and leadership qualities, strong contributions to the overall positive tone of physical education and health classes as well as their school, and an A average or above 90 in physical education classes and an overall grade point average of 3.0.

“Melissa and Christopher make a terrific effort to be cooperative, honest, poised, self-confident, attentive, industrious and enthusiastic regarding all class activities, and they are always working to support the instructional efforts of their classes,” said Stephen Restivo, East Islip’s director of health, physical education and athletics.

Getting Set for Success

Getting Set for Success

This year’s Catch-A-Career Breakfast at the Irish Coffee Pub was another great success for East Islip High School’s career exploration program, with more than 90 students spending the morning discussing careers and future plans with over 60 professionals from numerous fields.

During this annual networking event, developed by the East Islip School-Business Partnership and teachers Bridget Lopiccolo and Paul McHugh, each student had the opportunity to meet with two professionals during the morning. The high schoolers heard firsthand what it takes to enter a specific career field and what college courses would be optimal, and learned about the skills that they will need when applying for a job and what resources are available to them as they begin their journey from high school to college to a full-time job.

“We want to thank all the professional men and women who attended this event and provided our students with some very important information that will help them to prepare for the next step in their journey to success,” said Israel Malinowitzer, East Islip’s director of careers and student services.




Research Students Study River Health

Research Students Study River Health

Students in Lauren Ferlin’s and Lisa Carpenito’s Honors Research classes at the high school recently participated in the “A Day in the Life of a River” program, traveling to Bayard Cutting Arboretum to study the health of the Connetquot River ecosystem.

During the program, which is coordinated by Brookhaven National Laboratory, the Central Pine Barrens Commission, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Suffolk County Water Authority, students gathered data by collecting and identifying biological samples, performing chemical analyses of water samples, and collecting physical data and performing analyses of the river bottom. When uploaded to the program database, the data will provide a snapshot of a typical day in the life of the Connetquot River.  



JFK-RCK Football Players Feed 40 Families in Need

JFK-RCK Football Players Feed 40 Families in Need

Coach Henry Nunez’s East Islip Redmen football team, all 10-year-old students at JFK and RCK, recently took up a food collection for the Adopt-A-Family Program through Long Island Cares food pantry to help those in need during the holiday season. The team collected enough food to feed 40 families this year, packing it and delivering it personally to Long Island Cares.

“The boys learned that there is no one factor that determines one’s struggles, and that any face can be the face of hunger,” said team mom Kerri Ierardi. “This selfless task has given these players a greater understanding and appreciation for the blessings in their own lives, as well as the feeling of great pride in the power of giving back to and representing their community.”




Cross-Country Teams Compete at Disney

East Islip cross-country teams compete at Disney

The high school’s boys and girls cross-country teams recently traveled to Orlando to compete in the Disney Cross Country Classic, battling some of the best teams from around the country as well as the oppressive heat. Many of the Redmen athletes earned personal best times in the five-kilometer race at Disney’s Wide World of Sports. Guided by coaches John Reynolds and Ralph Tubello, both teams ran well and competed valiantly in their respective divisions, the girls team finishing fifth out of 12 and the boys team seventh of 13.

“Our Disney trip was an overall fun and athletic experience,” said fellow senior and girls team captain Christina Haig. “Runners had the chance to compete with top schools from around the country, encounter different athletic courses and adjust to running in the Florida climate. The team bonding that existed through the entire trip really made my experience 10 times more enjoyable. As captain, I can safely say that our cross-country team gained a sense of trust, acceptance and encouragement because of this opportunity.”

“It was a great experience,” said senior and boys captain John Leddy. “Obviously the parks were enjoyable, but I feel most of the value in the trip existed in the team bonding that we experienced. It was also beneficial to race with top-tier competition. As a senior and leader of the team, I feel like I really got closer to my teammates, and now I believe that the younger guys know what high-tier runners look like and hopefully they’ll be motivated to reach that level themselves.”




Chamber of Commerce Honors Two Students of the Month

Chamber of Commerce Honors Two Students of the Month
Chamber of Commerce Honors Two Students of the Month 3
Chamber of Commerce Honors Two Students of the Month3

The East Islip Chamber of Commerce recently honored East Islip High School senior Heather McNamara and junior Ashley Rosenthal as Students of the Month. Both were chosen for their community service as well as the numerous afterschool activities that both students are actively involved in every day of the year.

McNamara, who will graduate next June, plans to major in special education and minor in sign language as part of her career goal of becoming a teacher. She is president of the Key Club and a member of the National Honor Society, National Art Honor Society and SADD Club. McNamara serves as an ambassador for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, helping grant wishes to six children to date, as well as the Kiwanis Club of the Islips, and as is a spokesperson for the New York Blood Center and NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center. She volunteers at the Hospitality Too Soup Kitchen at St. Anne’s Church in Brentwood.

Rosenthal, the webmaster for the school’s Key Club, also serves as treasurer for the Student Council and is a member of the Foreign Language Honor Society, Academic Club, Environmental Club, French Club, Interact Club, Leaders Club, Peer Club, STARS Club and Yearbook Club. She also tutors hearing impaired students in English and geometry at the Cleary School for the Deaf.  

Four Sign Lacrosse Letters

Four Sign Lacrosse Letters

Four outstanding student-athletes and team captains from the high school – Lindsay Guzzetta, Kendall Mittleman, Melissa Sconone and John Sidorski – signed national letters of intent on Nov. 21, committing to play lacrosse in college next September. The seniors were congratulated by Superintendent John Dolan and Athletic Director Stephen Restivo for their achievement, in front of their proud families.

Guzzetta, a midfielder, will play for Plattsburgh University, where she plans to major in health and wellness. Guzzetta, a member of the school’s Foreign Language Honor Society and Honor Roll, was named All-Division in lacrosse as well as All-County, All-Division and All-Tournament in field hockey.

Mittleman, who plays attack, will join the Drexel University team. She has been named All-County in field hockey and All-County Honorable Mention in lacrosse, and is the president of East Islip’s National Honor Society.

Sconone, who also plays attack, signed with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She plans to major in exercise and sports science. She has been named All-County and MVP, was a member of the Under Armour highlight team and a Newsday Top 100 Player, finished as one of the top 10 scorers in Suffolk County, and was nationally ranked by “Inside Lacrosse” at No. 25 and was the third ranked attacker in the 2019 class.

Sidorski, who plays attack and midfield, signed with Lehigh University where he plans to major in business. He was named All-County and All-League, a U.S. Lacrosse All-American, 2018 Attackman of the Year, a rising junior and sophomore All-Star, and a member of the Super 7 Champs team. He was nationally ranked by “Inside Lacrosse” at No. 33 in the 2019 class.

EI Gymnasts Are League Champs

gymnast photo

The high school gymnastics team finished the season as undefeated league champions, boasting a record of 6-0. East Islip was the only team in League II to qualify for the Section XI team championships, and after a tough, competitive meet, the Lady Redmen moved up to an exceptional fourth-place finish in Section XI.

All-League honors went to Allison DellOrto, Sofia Ferrezza and Sarah Vasquez. Four team members – Cassie Bergin, Nicole O’Connor, Evie Orlando and Isabella Procaccini – earned All-County status and qualified for the Section XI individual championships, hosted by East Islip. Bergin finished first overall and qualified to compete with the New York State team for the third time.

“Each and every one of our amazing student-athletes contributed to this successful season,” said coach Dennis Jones.

Creating a Beautiful Mandala in Electronic Illustration

Creating a Beautiful Mandala in Electronic Illustration

As part of learning about the tools and capabilities of Adobe Illustrator, students in Heather Toomey’s electronic illustration classes at East Islip High School recently created a mandala coloring book for a class project.

“I was really excited about this collaborative class project,” said Toomey. “Creating art and being able to share it with others is one reason why I love teaching art so much. Each student was able to create a beautiful work of art as an individual, and then as a group, we created something that others can use and enjoy. I would invite everyone to color in a page, photograph it and post it to social media with the hashtag #eiFineArts.”

Matthew Mahon, the student chosen for the cover artwork, said, "I was honored to be selected by my classmates.

“It’s nice that we got the opportunity to express our artistic creativity and share it with others so they can experience it too,” said student Alyssa Huss.


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Middle School Master Readers Club Kicks Off Year

Middle School Master Readers Club Kicks Off Year
The Master Readers Book Discussion Club at the middle school held its first book discussion on Nov. 8, reading “Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library.” Now bigger than ever, the club and librarian Valerie Ware Comneck enjoyed a fun-filled meeting with a Dewey Library Scavenger Hunt, puzzles, riddles, Jeopardy and a lively discussion.

Mock Trial Team Shines at Harvard

Mock Trial Team Shines at Harvard
Mock Trial Team Shines at Harvard 2

Eleven members of the high school’s Mock Trial team recently traveled to Cambridge, Massachusetts with coach Patsy Lester to participate in the Angela R. Matthew High School Seminar Program at Harvard University.

The students attended two days of lectures and workshops with the Harvard Mock Trial team and competed in in two trials. Senior and team captain Meghan Walsh and sophomore Kate McGaugh were honored with Outstanding Witness awards for their performances, while sophomore Vince Papillo was recognized as an Outstanding Attorney.  Freshmen Emily Blair and Grace Gerondel were excited to compete in their first trials. 

“I learned so much and I hope we can come back next year,” said Blair.



Wednesday, January 16, 2019