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Tickets Available for HS Musical 'Miss Saigon' on March 28-30


This year's East Islip High School musical, "Miss Saigon," will be performed on Thursday, March 28; Friday, March 29; and Saturday, March 30, all at 7 p.m. at the high school's Rydzeski Hall.

Exploring love and loss during the Vietnam conflict, "Miss Saigon" is one of the most stunning theatrical spectacles of all time. Nominated for an impressive number of Olivier, Tony and Drama Desk awards, the musical is the second highly successful offering from Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boublil, the creators of "Les Misérables."

Please visit the link below for tickets, or call the box office at 631-224-2145.


HS Key Club Talent Show on April 10


The high school's Key Club will hold its annual talent show from 7-9 p.m. on Wednesday, April 10.

Tickets are a $5 suggested donation.

The club has raised thousands of dollars over the years for charitable causes, and the talent show extravaganza is a big part of this fundraising tradition, having served to obtain donations for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, the Red Cross and even various members of the East Islip community who are facing financial crisis due to mounting medical bills.

"Our Key Club is always looking for ways to help in our community as well as looking at problems that face our world," said teacher Daniel Falkman, the club's adviser.

Students interested in performing can sign up in front of Room 262.

Freshman Yankus Wins President’s Volunteer Service Award

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

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

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

Community Book Club on March 21

Community Book Club on March 21

The East Islip Community Book Club's next meeting will be held on Thursday, March 21 at 6:30 p.m. in the district office boardroom. All members of the East Islip learning community are invited to join Dr. Sara Anderson, the district's director of humanities, in a book discussion of “The War That Saved My Life” by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley.

See the attached flier for more information on the meeting.


An Evening of Reading, Pajamas and Hot Chocolate at Connetquot

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

Spirit of Community Award Winner

McNamara Earns Spirit of Community Medallion

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

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

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

Financial Literacy Night on April 9


Nine from HS Chosen for College Art Show

Nine from HS Chosen for College Art Show

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

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

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

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

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

GSA Hosts Astrologer Colin Bedell

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

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

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

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

Brianna Campson Signs with UPB

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

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

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

Upcoming BOE Budget Meetings for March-April


The Board of Education will hold the following upcoming workshop and business meetings regarding the 2019-2020 budget. They will be held at 1 Craig B. Gariepy Ave. in Islip Terrace. The community is invited to attend.

Thur., March 14 at 8 p.m. - Business Meeting and Budget Presentation #2

Thur., March 28 at 7 p.m. - Workshop Meeting and Budget Advisory Committee Presentation

Thur., April 11 at 7 p.m. - Workshop Meeting and Board Response to Budget Advisory Committee

Wed., April 17 at 8 p.m. - Business Meeting and Annual Budget Adoption

February Students of the Month Recognized by Chamber

February Students of the Month Recognized by Chamber

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

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

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

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

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

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


Spreading Love and Positivity

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

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

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


Conway to Play for Union College

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

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

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

Budget Presentation #1


Cultural Exchange Unites Schools

Cultural Exchange Brings Schools Together

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

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

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

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

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

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

JFK’s Social Media Club Explores Digital Ctizenship

JFK’s Social Media Club Explores Digital Ctizenship

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

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

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

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

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

FTK 22nd Annual Gala to Be Held April 6

FTK Invite

East Islip's For the Kids Foundation will hold its 22nd annual Gala, with the theme "Sunset on the Bay," on Saturday, April 6 at 7 p.m. at Land's End in Sayville. Timber Point teacher Teresa Frisina and high school teacher Bridget Lopiccolo will be honored as Educator Advocates of the Year, and Suffolk County Legislator Tom Cilmi will be honored as Community Advocate of the Year.

See attached invitation for more information.



Gymnast Bergin Outstanding at States

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


STEAM/Robotics Festival on March 27


Seuss on the Loose at Timber Point

Seuss on the Loose at Timber Point

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

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

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

Message from Superintendent Dolan


Passionate Production of ‘Beauty and the Beast’

 Passionate Production of ‘Beauty and the Beast’

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

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

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

High Schooler Jinete’s Design Chosen for eiMAPS Magnet

High Schooler Jinete’s Design Chosen for eiMAPS Magnet

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

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

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

Cole Zanni Wins Soccer Scholarship

Zanni Wins Soccer Scholarship
Zanni Wins Soccer Scholarship 2

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

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

HS ELA Lesson Spurs Innovation

High School ELA Lesson Spurs Innovation

High school teacher Greg Kguloian recently built a lesson for his English language arts class around the storyline of Robert Cormier’s 1979 young adult novel “After the First Death,” which dealt with the fictional terrorist hijacking of a summer camp bus.

Earlier in the school year, to connect with this lesson, Kguloian’s students had researched back issues of “Newsday” from Sept. 9, 2001 through Sept. 9, 2018, a 17-year survey of events from 9/11 onward, as well as other newspapers and “Time” magazine articles. The experience helped them gain an appreciation for printed news rather than relying solely on digital media.

“My kids found the use of tangible primary source documents interesting, and it made the lesson more memorable by tying the fiction in with nonfiction,” said Kguloian.  “We also used our 9/11 teachable moment to help them connect with this tale of a young terrorist to offer a comprehensive perspective of this dynamic topic.”

Students then conducted additional research and wrote reports about what they learned. They also created mock newscasts about the terrorist event from the novel, as if the story was taking place in real time. Kguloian then encouraged the students to write, act and produce their own version of “After the First Death” as a mini-movie, filmed in the school’s courtyard.

Kguloian said, “My pupils asked, ‘Is there a movie for this book?’ I replied, ‘Only if you can make one up.’”

Several of his students decided to soldier on beyond their storyboard and are in the process of creating their own indie film on their own time, titled “Dog Day After Spoon” as a parody of “Dog Day Afternoon”.

“They told me that they are doing their own version of the story to build off of the lesson that I worked so hard to convey, to take a story that we read in our class and innovate from it, said Kguloian. “My kids have done exactly what I hoped they would. They have taken something valuable away from our class and made it their own. Now they are the innovators.”

Local Vets Stay Warm Thanks to Alumnus

Local Vets Stay Warm Thanks to Alumnus

Thanks to East Islip High School alumnus Robert Hoelzer Jr., owner of the local business Island Air Heating and Cooling, veterans at the American Legion hall are staying warm with a new heating system.

Hoelzer, a graduate of East Islip’s Class of 1988, resides in East Islip with wife Timmi. They have three children: Oakdale resident Tricia, college sophomore Tyler, and East Islip Middle School sixth-grader Takoda. He started Island Air in 1999, and the company soon grew from one man and his van to a burgeoning business with 10 employees and an entire fleet of vans.

When Hoelzer learned that the local veterans were without heat, he worked with Bruce Bartlett of Platsky Company, who donated a heating unit, and Gary Teich of Lee’s Auto Body. Island Air provided labor and additional materials to ensure the job was complete.

At a recent East Islip Chamber of Commerce meeting, Island Air was named Business of the Month for February 2019 for this effort, and Bartlett, Hoelzer and Teich were honored with plaques by the American Legion Four ‘S’ Post 1635.

MS and HS Dance Clubs Earn Places at Kickline Championships

MS Dance Club
HS Dance Club
East Islip’s high school and middle school dance clubs recently competed against schools from across Long Island as well as Connecticut at the Scholastic Kickline Championships, held at Nassau Community College. The high schoolers placed second in the pom category, as well as fourth in both jazz and hip hop.  The middle school squad, competing in pom, finished in third place.

Seniors Picked for ‘APE’ Exhibit

 Four Seniors Picked for ‘APE’ Exhibit

High school seniors Hanna Benardos, Max Calarco, Genevieve Imhof and Gia Piazza – all enrolled in Daniel Figliozzi’s AP Studio Art 2D Design class – were selected for the Art League of Long Island’s 12th annual Go APE Advanced Placement Exhibition, which showcases exceptional work by art students from all over Long Island. The show, displayed at the Art League’s Jeanie Tengelsen Gallery, runs from Feb. 16 through March 3, culminating in a closing artists’ reception and awards presentation on March 3.

“These four students are exceptional,” said Figliozzi. “They each have a unique vision and demonstrate a variety of strong technical abilities in their chosen craft, whether it be traditional drawing, digital photography, fashion illustration or digital illustration. I have no doubt that they will do something creative in their futures.”

All four East Islip seniors plan to attend art school in the fall and are in the process of finishing applying and committing to schools.

Benardos plans to attend fashion school and is leaning toward the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles or the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Known for her unique vision aligned with her creative and humorous personality, she is exploring feminism and freedom of expression in her designs this year as well as concepts that may be considered taboo or unconventional. Her “Go APE” artwork, for example, is an empowering and challenging visual work for women.

“I am extremely grateful for my teachers and peers who pushed me to become the best artist I can be,” said Benardos. “This year, I have learned to be more confident with my work and being picked to display my art in the ‘Go APE’ show was a huge honor. My work displays gender equality and fluidity throughout fashion and photography, which to me is a concept that relates to what is going on today. Individuals should feel comfortable in their own skin.”

Max Calarco, an accomplished illustrator and cartoonist with a knack for humor, will major in digital art and design at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida. His current works showcase his breadth of knowledge, depicting invented cartoon characters that are drawn inside real-world environments. The piece chosen for “Go APE,” titled “Electric Byte,” features a glowing blue snake about to attack its prey.

“I’m excited to be a part of this showcase with so many other talented artists,” said Calarco. “I believe that this piece is one of my strongest works so far because it depicts lighting very accurately. I also really enjoy the energy and excitement the piece gives off.”

Imhof will attend the College of New Rochelle, studying art education. Her specialty, as displayed in her work “Bound,” is creating photorealistic drawings and paintings.

“I feel very honored to be a part of this whole experience as I’ve never been a part of anything like it before,” said Imhof. “It’s very surreal to have my work showcased for everyone on Long Island to see. I’m extremely thankful for this opportunity.”

Piazza plans to pursue photography in college. She has been acclaimed for her strong eye for composition and lighting, and her dynamic triptychs such as “Angles of Adventure,” which showcases the angles and complexities of an everyday bicycle. Piazza is currently exploring movement and shutter speed in her works.

Physical Education/Health Strategic Plan Presentation


Middle Schoolers Complete Coat Rack Project

Middle Schoolers Complete Coat Rack Project
Students in the middle school’s Technology Club recently put the finishing touches on their coat rack projects. Guided by teacher Hal Kench, each member learned about shop safety and proper use of machines and hand tools such as box saws, hammers, routers, drill presses and orbital sanders. They concluded the project by applying stain and varnish to the racks.

First Trip to Nationals for Cheerleaders

The high school’s cheerleaders.

The high school varsity cheerleading team, guided by coaches Ariel Abesamis and Melissa Graziano, competed for the first time in the UCA National High School Cheerleading Championship, held this year from Feb. 8-10 at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

“This group of 13 girls made history,” said Graziano. “As an alumni cheerleader for East Islip and their coach for eight years, I could not have been prouder of them. Their hard work, dedication and determination has really paid off. It has always been a dream for East Islip cheerleaders to go to nationals and these group of girls finally achieved it. Unfortunately, it was not the outcome that we wanted, but we still made history and they did an amazing job. Ariel and I are lucky to coach this group of girls.”

The cheerleading team, ranked first in their division, will next compete in the Suffolk County finals on Feb. 17 at Centereach High School.

Students and Alumni Mix It Up at Volleyball Tournament

Students and Alumni Mix It Up at Volleyball Tournament

The high school’s varsity girls volleyball team recently hosted the school’s first Alumni Mix and Match Tournament, a friendly competition between current students and alumni. Participants ranged from future members of the graduation Class of 2023 all the way back to alumni from the Class of 2014.

The players tried to spike their way to the grand prize but only two teams reigned victorious. The Palmer Family were named overall tournament winners, with the Snack Pack team earning the team spirit prize.

“The Lady Redmen would like to thank everyone for coming out and hope to continue this tradition in the years to come,” said coach Romina Ackley.

Guadagno Takes First at Tourney

Guadagno Takes First at Tourney

The varsity wrestling team recently competed in the Kris McDonald Tournament at Islip High School, scoring 104 points to earn fifth place overall out of 14 teams competing.

Senior captain John Guadagno (182 pounds) won first place in the tournament, beating the top-ranked wrestler in Suffolk County, Central Islip’s Malachi Lord-Kelly, in the finals by a 10-6 score. The victory earned Guadagno the Most Outstanding Wrestler award voted on by the coaches.

Junior Nick Agresta (195 pounds) placed second overall, while junior Mark Shayew (160 pounds) and junior Arjay Wilko (170 pounds) both placed third. Eighth-grader Justin Shayew (99 pounds) placed fourth while sophomore Mike Colon (152 pounds) took fifth overall.

All-Eastern Honors

All-Eastern Honors
All-Eastern Honors 2

Seven stellar high school students were recently named All-Eastern musicians and chosen to participate in the National Association for Music Education’s Eastern Division Conference ensemble concerts, to be held in April in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After being selected for the New York State All-State Conference, the seven students were picked by NAfME from a pool of musicians from 11 different states from Maine to Maryland. They were recognized at the district’s Jan. 10 board of education meeting.

Alexandra Stewart (flute) will perform with the All-Eastern Band; Victoria Keenan (violin) will perform with the All-Eastern Orchestra; Alexandra Bertolini (soprano) will perform with the All-Eastern Treble Choir; and Emily DaSilva (soprano), Karina Gallagher (alto), Katelyn Spina (alto) and Victoria Tiernan (soprano) will perform with the All-Eastern Mixed Choir.

“The application process is intensive and the competition is very high,” said band director Christopher Neske. “We couldn’t be prouder of these incredible student musicians and of the East Islip Music Department for being so well represented this year at the All-Eastern Conference.”

2019-2020 School Calendar Adopted

The Board of Education adopted the 2019-2020 school calendar at its Jan. 7 business meeting.


Bowling Teams Are County Champions

Bowling Teams Are County Champions
Bowling Teams Are County Champions 2

The high school’s boys and girls varsity bowling teams were both named 2019 Suffolk County champions, winning at the Section XI Championship tournament held on Feb. 2 at Bowlero Lanes in Sayville.

The boys team, led by Aaron Rice and Joseph Zagari, finished with a perfect 14-0 season and won the county title for the third year in a row. The girls team likewise ended with an impeccable 10-0 record, with Julianna Spina and Julia Bocamazo earning second and third place in Long Island girls bowling average, respectively, for the regular season.

Both teams will move on to compete in the state bowling championships in Syracuse on the weekend of March 8-10.

Redmen Wrestlers Make a Splash at League Championships

Redmen Wrestlers Make a Splash at League Championships

The high school’s varsity wrestling team finished fourth overall, scoring 110 team points, and placed seven wrestlers at the league championships held on the weekend of Feb. 2-3 at Kings Park High School.

Junior Nick Agresta (195 pounds) led the Redmen with an outstanding performance in the finals over Eastport-South Manor’s Alijah Carter, winning the League V championship with a pin at 4:30.

Senior Rich Squeglia (145 pounds) captured second place overall, losing a tough match to Ben Hawthorne from Eastport-South Manor.

Third-place winners included senior John Guadagno (182 pounds) and freshman Richie Lawrence (195 pounds), while fourth place finishers were sophomore Michael Colon (152 pounds) and juniors Mark Shayew (160 pounds) and Arjay Wilko (170 pounds).

FTK Gala Set for April 6

FTK Gala One-Day Ticket Sale on Feb. 13

The For the Kids Foundation's 2019 Gala will be held on Saturday, April 6 at 7 p.m. at Land's End in Sayville. Timber Point teacher Teresa Frisina and high school teacher Bridget Lopiccolo will be honored as Educator Advocates of the Year, and Suffolk County Legislator Tom Cilmi will be honored as Community Advocate of the Year.

JFK’s Sambo Honored by Chamber

JFK’s Sambo Honored by Chamber
JFK’s Sambo Honored by Chamber  2
JFK’s Sambo Honored by Chamber  3

The East Islip Chamber of Commerce honored JFK student Kylie Sambo as January’s Student of the Month at the organization's Jan. 29 meeting. Sambo was selected due to her role in the JFK Student Council, her demonstration of good citizenship and the characteristic of acceptance, and her innate ability to understand the importance of inclusivity.

“Kylie serves as a positive role model by exhibiting tremendous school spirit and leadership,” said Principal Deborah Smith. “She always has a smile for all Student Council members, and she is an integral part of the club. She is wonderfully welcoming and makes sure that all students in the council’s meetings feel comfortable and included. Kylie is a wonderful and conscientious student, she participates in class and always challenges herself to reach for excellence, and she is very cooperative and helpful in the school community.”

HS Students Experience TV Production on NBC Tour

HS Students Experience TV Production on NBC Tour

Students from the high school’s English 11, creative writing and broadcast television classes recently toured the famed NBC Studios in New York City, enjoying behind-the-scenes access to the studio’s sets, broadcast centers and writing rooms.

The tour included the broadcast sets of shows such as “NBC Nightly News,” “Saturday Night Live” and “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” as well as NBC’s new 4K theater, production gallery, studio rooms and broadcast operations center. Students also experienced a description of the entire television production process from the writing of the sketches and monologues to the steps for production and means of viewer access to shows.

Additionally, the students on the tour had the opportunity to create their own unique productions, utilizing their personal scripts and performances. The production was recorded for students to later download.

As a follow-up activity in creative writing and broadcast television, the high schoolers wrote their own sketches, working cooperatively to create characters, scenario and dialogue and taking part in a group editing process they learned on the tour. Meanwhile, the junior English class, focused on speech, discussed the skills of performance and poise demonstrated by various actors and television show hosts, and put into practice such speech techniques as enunciation and holding for laughter.

ENL Students Show Their ‘Command’ of English

ENL Students Show Their ‘Command’ of English

East Islip hosted its very first “Commanding” ceremony on Jan. 8 for 29 English as a new language students in the district who had scored “commanding” on the NYSESLAT exam. These students exhibited sufficient knowledge in reading, writing, listening and speaking the English language.

“Here at East Islip, we have over 100 ENL students that represent 15 different languages of our world,” said Robert J. Wottawa II, the district’s director of art, ENL, music and world language. “This evening was a celebration of excellence and culture, bringing together our ENL students and families with East Islip’s teachers and administrators. We hope to make this wonderful evening a tradition here at East Islip.”

Murphy to Play for Queens College

Murphy to Play for Queens College

Senior Jenny Murphy signed a national letter of intent on Jan. 23 to play softball for Queens College this fall. She plans to major in special education while attending the college.

A centerfielder and four-year starter on East Islip’s varsity team, Murphy was named All-Division in 2018 and earned Golden Glove and Minds in Motion honors. She also earned All-County recognition as a bowler for the Lady Redmen.

Anatomy Students Get Certified in CPR

Anatomy Students Get Certified in CPR
Anatomy Students Get Certified in CPR 2
Anatomy Students Get Certified in CPR 3

Juniors and seniors in high school science teacher Genesis Dawson’s human anatomy and physiology classes recently stayed after school to complete a CPR AED advanced first aid certification course.

East Islip’s human anatomy and physiology class, accredited for college credit through SUNY Farmingdale, emphasizes becoming familiar with each major body system and the anatomical structures as well as various types of equipment and techniques involved in diagnosing and treating immediate injury and disease. The students are now officially certified following American Heart Association guidelines

“This course helped the students gain the skills to help adults and children during medical, breathing, and cardiac emergencies,” said Dawson. “Between both the lecture and hands-on skills sessions, this class gave students time to become accustomed to the simple techniques and ask questions.”

“I feel that in taking the course, I was able to actually apply what I have been learning in class to a real-life scenario,” said senior Isabella Pasha. “It is important to us, especially in the field of medicine, to learn the fundamentals at an early stage. Ms. Dawson and our course instructor really helped us understand the processes and get a good hands-on experience.”

RCK's Scholl Attends Day of Horn

RCK's Scholl Attends Day of Horn
RCK's Scholl Attends Day of Horn 2
RCK's Scholl Attends Day of Horn 3
Peyton Scholl, a fifth-grader at RCK, recently attended the 14th annual Suffolk County Music Educators’ Association Day of Horn, held at Northport High School. Scholl participated in clinics and rehearsals with acclaimed guest artists and performed in an evening concert with horn players from all over the county.

Annual Embers Serves Up Entertainment and Coffee

EI’s Annual Embers Serves Up Entertainment and Coffee

Continuing a winter tradition at the high school, technology education teacher James Connell’s video production and broadcast television classes recently presented the annual Embers Coffee House variety show in front of live student audiences throughout the day in the high school’s broadcast room.

Among the students who worked hard to ensure an entertaining event were hosts Lauren DeCanio, Nick Conzo and Andrew Johnson; music and comedy performers Chris Alessi, Mal Brewster-Holland and Ben Chovnick; co-producers John Lennon and Stephanie Milito; technical director Jenna Donnelly; audio technician Sam Lichter; stage crew manager Jake Kenny; and coffee and hot chocolate barista Chris Cerrito.

This year’s Embers was a little smaller than previous events, due to the fact that the studio is still under construction and in the process of getting a full make-over, including new studio equipment donated by the For the Kids Foundation and former video production alumni Cameron and Matt Philie.

“Our plan is to have a much larger version of this show in the spring, and use it as a showcase of the new studio and all its upgrades and capabilities,” said Connell. “The students are super excited about being able to design, create and perform in this upcoming show.”

Photographing Beauty in Nature at Bayard

Photographing Beauty in Nature at Bayard

High school students in Joy Taylor’s and Heather Toomey’s photography classes recently enjoyed a working field trip to a local state park, Bayard Cutting Arboretum. Toomey's students were photographing a narrative in film photography, and also had a digital scavenger hunt to complete.

“It was great to get to see all of the students interact and work together,” said Taylor. “Taking photos is something that the students have to do on their own time, and it was really nice to be able to help them as they worked to complete the assignments. For a lot of students, it was their first time visiting the Arboretum.  What a beautiful day we had.”

“It was a wonderful opportunity to be able to photograph beauty in nature at a place so close to home,” said independent study photography student Gia Piazza.

“I hope we can continue the tradition of field trips in photography, it’s such a valuable experience for the students,” said Toomey.

McHugh Signs with St. Joseph’s

McHugh Signs with St. Joseph’s
Senior pitcher Matthew McHugh signed a national letter of intent on Jan. 11 to attend St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn. He plans to major in business. A Scholar-Athlete in soccer, McHugh is also a member of the school’s National Honor Society and Foreign Language Honor Society as well as the local Ancient Order of Hibernians organization.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019