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High Schoolers Experience 'Anastasia'

High Schoolers Experience 'Anastasia'
High school juniors and seniors recently visited New York City to view the Broadway show “Anastasia.” The hit musical, nominated for the Drama Desk award, was adapted from the 1997 film of the same name, both based on the legend of Russian Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia.

“The staging of this production was amazing, from the elaborate palace sets to the train car, with the screens in the background giving a sense of travel as scenes of Russia's lush landscapes blended into Paris's magnificence,” said English teacher Linda Leach, who accompanied the students. “The universal themes of love lost and found, familial relationships torn asunder due to war, and discovering who you are all played out to music sung beautifully by Christy Altomare and Zach Adkins.”

A Special Day for EI’s 13 Olympians

A Special Day for EI’s 13 Olympians

The East Islip Special Olympics team took the field for the third consecutive year, competing on May 19 at the Long Island Spring Games North hosted by Bethpage High School. Despite heavy rain, the student-athletes maintained their focus and competitive spirit, resulting in the team bringing home a total of 24 medals.

East Islip had a team of 13 this year, consisting of six middle schoolers (Riley Carrillo, Madeline Director, Jake Kozak, Janissa Lloyd, Julia Modico and Michael Pacheco-Uvidia) coached by physical education teacher Laura O’Donnell, and nine high school students (Delany Conlon, Danny DiOrio, Robert Phillips, Jake Pippatone, Michael Quagliara, Sara Spruyt and Kelly Stupplebeen), coached by physical education teacher Julie Susskind.

The team trained for approximately two months to prepare for their track and field events – 50-meter dash, 50-meter assisted walk, 100-meter dash, turbo javelin throw, softball throw and tennis ball throw – with each athlete competing in two events. With their hard work and dedication, alongside the commitment of the coaching staff and support of the volunteers, the year was another huge success for East Islip’s team, which earned 11 gold, 11 silver and two bronze medals.

The team members and their families had gathered for a pregame breakfast the day before, hosted by the East Islip Athletics Department, and the district’s Special Education Parent Teacher Organization showed its support with the purchase of a new team banner. Volunteers included East Islip teachers and staff such as Paula Brinker, Renee De Vries, Josephine DiMaggio, Christine O’Connell, Marissa Rymer, Donna Tuck and Diane Wahrenburg; family members of competing athletes like SEPTO President Noni Kozak, Thomas Di Orio and Anthony Matteran; community members like EI alumni Alfio DiMaggio, Frankie DiMaggio and Teresa DiMaggio; and even a middle school student, Antonia Tuck, who was the first student volunteer since the team was organized.

“This day could not happen without the support of volunteers,” said O’Donnell. “They stand side by side with our athletes throughout the entire event, and this year they too stood in the rain. They were all amazing.”

Also on the field rooting for the athletes were East Islip Middle School Principal Mark Bernard and Superintendent John Dolan.

“It’s great for the kids to see the administrators out here cheering them on,” said Susskind. “Having the principal and superintendent at an all-day Saturday event shows support for the program and everyone involved.”

“It just gets better every year,” said O’Donnell. “Even in the pouring rain, there’s nothing better than the high five at the finish line or the pride each athlete exudes while holding up their medal. We couldn’t be more honored to share this day with everyone on the team. I’m already looking forward to next year and hoping more students and more volunteers join.”

Senior Basketball Players Visit Former Teachers

Senior Basketball Players Visit Former Teachers
Senior Basketball Players Visit Former Teachers 2
In advance of graduation, seniors on the high school boys basketball team members brought flowers to their elementary school teachers to show their appreciation and give the educators a chance to see the end result of their teaching process. Among them was Patrick Connelly, who surprised Kim Loeffler, his former teacher at Ruth C. Kinney Elementary School.

A Year of Musical Dedication

A Year of Musical Dedication
A Year of Musical Dedication 2
A Year of Musical Dedication 3

An entire school year of hard work, passion and dedication to music from both students and teachers was celebrated in style at East Islip’s annual spring concert series. The performances, all held at Rydzeski Hall, included the middle school on May 7 and 9, JFK on May 14, RCK on May 16, and the high school on May 22 and 23.

"Our spring concert series, featuring students from grades 3-12, began with our third-graders performing on the recorders and singing, and ended with our seniors performing their final number on the East Islip High School stage,” said Dr. Robert J. Wottawa II, the district’s director of art and music. “Smiles and tears of joy were shared among our students, teachers and community members as the music department took our breath away with each performance. We are so very proud of all the students and teachers who shared their musicianship this spring season.”

“I couldn’t be more proud of both of my beginner and advanced orchestras,” said JFK Orchestra Director Jaime DeMaria. “They performed with energy, dynamics and – most importantly – heart. I am so honored to be their teacher and wish the fifth-graders all the best as they continue their musical journey to the middle school.”

“I am exceptionally proud of the performances of the seventh- and eighth-grade orchestra students,” said East Islip Middle School Orchestra Director Judith Fischer, whose students performed material ranging from Rimsky-Korsakoff to The Beatles. “I truly believe that their concerts were an outstanding example of the hard work we do each and every day in class. Congratulations on a job well done.”



Seniors Honored on Awards Night

Seniors Honored on Awards Night

At the high school’s annual Senior Awards Night, held on June 5, more than 90 scholarships and awards sponsored by local organizations were presented to the school’s outstanding seniors as an audience of proud parents and family members looked on.

Among the many winners were Kaitlyn Burk and Courtney Herrera for the Kimberly Coffey Foundation Memorial Nursing Scholarship; John Camlet for the East Islip Fire Department Albert Nemecek Humanitarian Award; Lauren Christie for the EJ Autism Foundation Scholarship; John Clyne and Cierra Colon for the Gregory R. Huether Memorial Scholarship; Julia DiNatale for the Kiwanis of the Islips-Bay Shore Scholarship; Evan Mauner for the Kerri L. Becvar Memorial Scholarship for Music; Mikaela Naccarato for the Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia, LLP Community Service Scholarship; and Kevin Varga for the East Islip PTA Council Roy Goddard Scholarship.

“We are very proud of our students and we wish them the very best in their future endeavors as they begin their journey of life,” said Guidance Director Israel Malinowitzer, who hosted the ceremony. “We are also grateful for the continued support from our scholarship sponsors, as their dedication to our students has helped reduce some of the costs for college for our seniors. We look forward to continuing our Senior Awards Night so that we can present these scholarships to our future graduates.”

Keenan Wins SCMEA Scholarship

Keenan Wins SCMEA Summer Scholarship

High school junior Victoria Keenan was recently announced as the winner of the $500 SCMEA Burnhart Rydzeski Summer Scholarship, providing her the opportunity for music study at the Ithaca Summer Music Academy this summer. Keenan, a violinist, has previously been selected to perform with the All-County Orchestra and Long Island String Festival Association concert. She also plays in the school’s pit orchestra for musicals.

'Smashed' Cars Convey Important Message

Smashed Cars Convey Important Message
Smashed Cars Convey Important Message 2
Smashed Cars Convey Important Message 3

The high school’s Students Against Destructive Decisions Club recently held its annual "Smashed" program, partnering with Gershow Recycling and JoMacs Towing to get out an important message to students and the community. Two smashed cars were installed on the school’s front lawn along with a sign display saying, “It’s choice not chance that determines your destiny – don’t text or drink while driving!”

“We are approaching the 100 most deadliest days, and it is important for students to know that drinking and driving kills,” said SADD adviser Bridget Lopiccolo.

Eighth-Grader Wins at Social Harmony Writing Contest

Eighth-Grader Wins at Social Harmony Writing Contest
Eighth-Grader Wins at Social Harmony Writing Contest 2
Eighth-Grader Wins at Social Harmony Writing Contest 3

Michaela Fitzsimmons, an eighth-grader at the middle school, recently won third place and a $100 prize in the 2018 Social Harmony Writing Contest.

The goal of the contest, which is sponsored by the Suffolk County Asian-American Advisory Board, Wellbrook Foundation and JEI Learning Center Stonybrook, is to inspire students to think of ideas to promote cultural understanding and social harmony. Participants were asked to write an essay on how to improve the race and ethnic relations in society.

Accompanied by English teacher Claire Voss, Fitzsimmons was honored for her achievement on May 26 at the 10th annual Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Celebration held at the Vajira Buddhist Temple and Thai Cultural Center in Centereach.  

Meet Salutatorian Kevin Varga

 Meet Salutatorian Kevin Varga
The high school’s Class of 2018 salutatorian is Kevin Varga. An AP Scholar with Distinction, he is a member of the school’s National Honor Society and serves as captain of the varsity golf team. He was named a Commended Student by the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program, was named a National Grid Engineering Pipeline Program Scholar and earned the High Minds in Motion Scholar-Athlete Award. Varga won the Rensselaer Medal merit scholarship last year for his outstanding academic achievement in math and science; he will major in civil engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.

Girls Golf Team Plays at County Tournament

Girls Golf Team Plays at County Tournament
Girls Golf Team Plays at County Tournament 2
Girls Golf Team Plays at County Tournament 3

The high school’s girls golf team ended the season on a high note, finishing second in League III with a record of 7-3 and qualifying for the county tournament as a team.

During the two-day tournament, held at Middle Island Country Club, team captain Sofia Ferrezza also qualified for the second day as an individual. Other Lady Redmen golfers participating in the competition were Nicole Muroff, , Jaclyn Schiano, Jamie Smith, Sophia Stryjewski and Cassidy Triolo.

Meet Valedictorian Jason Burke

 Meet Valedictorian Jason Burke
The high school’s Class of 2018 valedictorian is Jason Burke. An AP Scholar with Distinction, Burke is a member of the school’s National Honor Society and Tri-M Music Honor Society. Playing on the varsity golf team, he earned the White Letter Award as well as the High Minds in Motion Scholar-Athlete Award. Burke will attend Northeastern University in Boston this fall, majoring in computer engineering and computer science.

Marine Copters Touch Down at EI

Marine Copters Touch Down for Fleet Week

As part of Fleet Week NYC, East Islip’s high school and middle school once again welcomed U.S. Marine Corps Aviation to the district. Two Marine helicopters from New River, North Carolina filled the sky on May 24 and landed with great fanfare on the middle school field, providing fascinated secondary students with an opportunity to talk to the pilots and view the inside of the helicopters. The Corps had previously visited East Islip during Fleet Week for the first time in 2011.

The first helicopter to land was the AH-1W Super Cobra from HMLA-167, with a crew of four Marines, followed by the massive CH-53E Super Stallion out of HMH-366, holding approximately eight Marines and two Corps photographers. Both of these helicopters are exclusive to the Marine Corps, specifically constructed for the organization’s needs. Helicopter landings are performed yearly as part of Fleet Week for community outreach.

“This was a wonderful way to thank our military men and women and to honor all of our military branches as we prepared for Memorial Day,” said Israel Malinowitzer, the district’s director of careers and student services, who helped to arrange the visit with Marine Corps Recruiting Station New York and Staff Sgt. Jason Rodriguez from Marine Corps Recruiting Sub Station Smithtown. “It was a beautiful day, and we are very grateful to our Marines for their service. It gives me great joy to present these types of events that showcase our Marines and the hard work they do every day to protect our country and our freedom.”

Booster Club's Redmen Golf Outing Set for July 12

The East Islip Athletic Booster Club's 16th annual Redmen Golf Outing will be held on July 12 at Timber Point Country Club. See the attached flier for more information.


Successful Showcase for STEM

Successful Showcase for First STEM Night

In a massive celebration of all things science and technology, the East Islip School District recently hosted its first STEM Night, welcoming more than 200 guests to the East Islip High School to see students from all of the district’s schools promote their work and organizations, including the high school’s and East Islip Middle School’s robotics and STEM Club students, the East Islip National Honor Society, and John F. Kennedy and Ruth C. Kinney elementary schools’ fourth-grade science fair winners, and other fifth-grade elementary STEM students.

Students enrolled in the high school’s Medical & Health Technology Career Academy, AP Capstone program and other scientific research classes showcased the projects they have been working on all year.

Representing East Islip’s K-5 STEM program that began this year, students demonstrated how to build bridges and create towers and skyscrapers with the use of wooden blocks.

The high school’s robotics team members were on hand to show off their newly designed 3D chassis robotic bodies that were created and designed in CAD classes and developed on the 3D printer. Visiting students from all grades were allowed to play with the new robots and learn how to operate them.

Ken White, the operational director of educational management at Brookhaven National Laboratory, served as the keynote speaker.
Additionally, representatives from the East Islip Public Library manned a booth to showcase 3D printing and virtual reality technologies. Students were able to put on the library’s new 3D video viewfinders to virtually visit different places in the world.

“This event was a huge success and the parents and students had a great time learning about STEM and how it will help their children to be successful in their future careers,” said Israel Malinowitzer, East Islip’s technology director, who coordinated the event with Math and Science Director Janet Jones.

“We weren’t really sure if we would have any visitors at our table, but were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and interest the young people had,” said Jason Terhune of the East Islip Public Library’s computer services department. “We appreciated the opportunity to showcase our public library to the community.”

FTK’s Annual Gala Celebrates 21 Years of Giving

FTK’s Annual Gala Celebrates 21 Years of Giving

At the For the Kids Foundation’s 21st annual Black Tie Gala, East Islip administrator Dr. Lisa Belz was honored as Educator Advocate of the Year, and Mary Finn, Cathy Lemon and Suzanne Zembrzycki were honored as Community Advocates of the Year. This year’s “The Castle on the Green”-themed Gala, held on March 17, saw a return to Land's End in Sayville. It is the FTK organization's primary fundraising event to benefit East Islip students, and has donated well over $1 million for educational programs since its formation. 

Belz earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Dowling College, then obtained a master’s degree in liberal studies from Stony Brook University and a professional diploma in school leadership from Dowling. In 2008, she earned a doctorate in education from St. John’s University. She began her educational career as a teacher, spending 14 years in the classroom in the South Country and Brentwood School Districts before being named assistant principal for William Floyd Elementary School in 2002. She joined East Islip two years later as principal of the Early Childhood Center, Connetquot Elementary School and eventually Timber Point Elementary School, which earned a National Blue Ribbon School award during her tenure. In 2014, she became the district’s executive director of special education/pupil personnel services 6-12. She has also served as the vice president, president and current co-president of the East Islip Association of School Administrators; and for a three-year term as a Board of Education trustee for the Bayport-Blue Point School District. Belz and her husband Rob have three sons, Austin, Zachary and Dylan. 

Finn, FTK’s treasurer, was born in Bay Shore and graduated from Brentwood High School. After earning master’s degrees from Hofstra University in audiology and speech-language pathology, she embarked on a career as an audiologist and cochlear implant specialist at Mount Sinai Hospital. She currently holds a private audiology practice and teaches the field as a professor at Hofstra. Finn has volunteered with FTK for 13 years, including stints as John F. Kennedy Elementary School representative and FTK Carnival chair, and served as recording secretary for East Islip’s PTA Council. She and her husband Bobby have two children, Jillian (a 2017 East Islip graduate) and East Islip Middle School eighth-grader Bobby.

Lemon, who was unable to attend the Gala, is a member of the FTK Board of Directors and longtime advocate for volunteer work since her days growing up in Hawaii. She owns the local business Tire Express with husband Robert Lemon, with whom she has three children, Gabrielle, Bobby and Olivia. Lemon also donates her efforts to the Islip Breast Cancer Coalition and Poppy’s Angels.

Zembrzycki, a West Islip native and Farmingdale College alumna, operates Yellow Dog Lawn Care with her husband Jim. She has resided in East Islip for 19 years, and has a long history of community service. Zembrzycki has been a member of FTK’s Board of Directors since 2011, and serves as its secretary. She has two children, Kayla (a 2017 East Islip graduate) and current high school freshman Tyler.

“Congratulations to all of our amazing honorees, four women who have contributed so much to the success of FTK,” said President Pat Blair. “We are grateful for our community that supports FTK and continues to do so after 21 years. Here’s to 21 more!”

Nine Awards Earned at Long Island Media Arts Show

Nine Awards Earned at Long Island Media Arts Show

The high school earned nine “Best in Show” awards at the 2018 Long Island Media Arts Show, recognizing the creative talent and dedication of its students in the fields of electronic illustration, photography and video.

“Best in Show” electronic illustration and photography winners at the recent event, held at Five Towns College’s Performing Arts Center in Dix Hills, were Sophie Bingham, Julia Desiderio, Jenna Donnelly, Tyler Franklin, Jake Kenney, Christopher Palmer, Zoe Stengel and Bryan Stupplebeen.

“This was my third year at the Long Island Media Arts Show and I’ve enjoyed it each year, seeing what other students create,” said Stengel. “It’s an honor to have one of my pieces chosen for a ‘Best in Show’ award all three years.”

“It was exciting to have my passions and hard work recognized,” said Desiderio.

“It was my first time attending the show, and I was so thrilled to be chosen for Best in Show,” said Stupplebeen.“This show is such a wonderful opportunity for students to showcase their work and get critique from professionals,” said teacher Heather Toomey. “Everyone did an excellent job, and I am proud of so many visual arts students being acknowledged for their exemplary work.”

“It was a great day,” said teacher Joy Taylor. “I’m so happy that our students were recognized for their talents. What a great experience for them.” 

In the video field, junior Nick Conzo earned a “Best in Show” video award for “Smoke and Mirrors.” Other students who presented their work included Andrew Johnson and Stephanie Milito (“Disconnected”), Eddie Sallie (“I Got a Name”),  Christian Acevedo and Josh Vogel (“Oceanman”), and Kat Bingham and Evan Mainer (“I’d Love to Change the World”).

“Our video production class had another great showing this year,” said teacher James Connell. “I was proud of all the students who presented, and we have a great group of returning students next year who will help the program continue to grow into the future.”

Middle Schoolers Experience ‘The Lightning Thief’

Middle Schoolers Experience ‘The Lightning Thief’
Middle school students in the Cleary School for the Deaf program, along with students in school librarian Valerie Ware’s Master Readers Book Discussion Club, recently took a trip to the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center to see a production of “The Lightning Thief,” a musical based on Rick Riordan’s beloved Percy Jackson book.

Young Leaders from East Islip Are in the ‘Zone’

Young Leaders from East Islip Are in the ‘Zone’

Four East Islip fifth-graders –JFK’s Ryan Flad and Erin McCarthy, and RCK’s Thomas Costarelli and Kara Marshall – recently earned the annual Physical Education Leadership award from the Suffolk Zone Chapter of the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. Also recognized were East Islip Middle School eighth graders Anthony Agresta, Anthony Kohler and Joy Peterson. The seven students were honored at the NYS AHPERD awards ceremony, held on May 2 at Bay Shore Middle School.

“These students are leaders in the classroom and have the necessary knowledge to establish and maintain an active lifestyle,” said Stephen Restivo, director of health, physical education and athletics. “They understand how physical education can enhance their performance both in the classroom and in the gymnasium as well. Congratulations to all of our award recipients.”

‘All Ants Away’ Earns Award

‘All Ants Away’ Earns Award
RCK student Kate Vessalico earned an honorable mention award at the Brookhaven National Laboratory Elementary School Science Fair on May 5. For the fourth-grader’s “All Ants Away” research project about ants and their senses, Vessalico worked to determine how ants react to different scents, colors and inks. In the end, she concluded that peppermint oil worked best at keeping pesky ants away from human living spaces.   

Rockin’ the Runway for SADD

Rockin’ the Runway for SADD

High school seniors donned formal wear for their turn on the runway at the school’s recent Fashion Show. The colorful event is sponsored annually by the Students Against Destructive Decisions club and PTSA to raise money for SADD and its worthwhile programs and scholarship.

The school’s teachers and numerous local businesses partnered with the PTSA and SADD to donate to raffle baskets. Cosmetology professionals Stephanie Domingo, Brynn Hlinko and Barbara Lhotan donated their services to do hair and makeup for the female models, RSVP Tuxedos of Bay Shore provided tuxes for the male models, and East Islip alumnus Joe Kiesel served as DJ.

“What a wonderful night this was,” said SADD adviser Bridget Lopiccolo. “The students really rocked the ‘red carpet’ for a great cause. Special thanks to the PTSA for all their support and to the teachers for really helping to make this event a great success.”


Police Week Provides Career Info for High Schoolers

Police Week Provides Career Info for High Schoolers

As part of participation in Police Week, students from the high school’s career development occupational studies class visited Suffolk County Police Headquarters in Yaphank on May 7. During the event, officers demonstrated the many facets of the department, including the bomb squad, marine bureau, and emergency service, crime scene, K9, COPE and aviation units. The gave a tour of the police museum and 911 call center, and discussed issues such as seatbelt safety, traffic stops and how to become a police officer.

“What a terrific day for our students this was,” said CDOS teacher Bridget Lopiccolo. “It was perfect for students exploring careers, because they were able to directly ask important questions about being a police officer. The students also gained knowledge about how to help the police in an emergency situation. It is delightful to see that the SCPD is opening its doors to young people to learn about the law enforcement field.”

Freshmen Stay ‘Classical’ with Presentations

Freshmen Stay ‘Classical’ with Presentations

Each student in Greg Kguloian’s freshman global history class was recently given the opportunity to join intellectual forces with three other classmates to do research on a “reach and teach assignment” on one of six classical civilizations: the Persian Empire, ancient Greek city-states, the Mauryan Empire, the Gupta Empire, the Qin Dynasty and the Han Dynasty.

The ninth-graders were encouraged to use classroom textbooks, the internet and other reputable resources to gain information, put it into an interesting format and prepare audiovisual presentations. The groups of four were then asked to teach their “lesson” the way they would want to be taught. A peer-interactive question-and-answer session at the end of each presentation served to not only find out what the students learned, but also to allow the students teaching the lesson to determine how effective their lesson was via instantaneous feedback.

“I was most impressed with how each person in our classroom respectfully paid attention to their fellow students as they gave reports on their given classical civilization, took notes and asked appropriate questions,” said Kguloian. “I am extremely proud of the way they all helped each other to learn more. Our young people today deserve to be given the tools to be better potential leaders tomorrow.”

Middle School’s Monaghan Named Teacher of Excellence

Middle School’s Monaghan Named Teacher of Excellence
Middle School’s Monaghan Named Teacher of Excellence 2

In recognition of her outstanding teaching career, Rayna Monaghan, a longtime seventh- and eighth-grade English teacher at the middle school, was honored at the third annual Teacher of Excellence Awards ceremony. The event was hosted by State Sen. Phil Boyle on April 26 at the North Babylon Fire Department.

During her time at East Islip, Monaghan transformed from a novice teacher to a leader in her department, working closely with the school’s literacy consultant over the last three years to implement a balanced literacy program. She has developed curriculum with her colleagues, which she has presented at a local conference and to other districts. She also participates in the New York State Network Team Institute, gaining knowledge which she has then shared with her department.

A Terrific Year of Exploring Careers

A Year of Exploring Careers

A terrific year of career exploration and mentoring opportunities, developed for the high school’s Student Career Connection program by the East Islip School-Business Partnership, has wound down.

The Catch-a-Career Breakfast, the first event in the year-round careers program, was held on Nov. 1 at the Irish Coffee Pub. It provided a crucial forum for students to discuss their career plans with business professionals representing their personal career interest areas. The participants gained insight on current trends, specific skills, and the academic or vocational programs that will help the students prepare for success in their intended career field. A total of 71 students attended, networking with 44 table facilitators representing more than 30 career fields including medical and healthcare, business and finance, law and law enforcement, journalism, media, politics, education, engineering, environmental sciences, and information technology.

East Islip alumna Veronica Pasha, a Class of 2011 graduate and registered nurse at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, served as the keynote speaker. Pasha spoke about her journey into nursing and acknowledged her family and teachers who helped guide her to a rewarding career.

“Veronica’s inspirational words echoed the importance of seeking advice from others when pursuing a career,” said teacher and School-Business Partnership coordinator Paul McHugh. “Student interaction was excellent, and there was a lot of energy in the room.”

The next step was the Mentor Me program, now in its 18th year of providing students with hands-on experiences in career fields they wish to pursue after high school. It began with the Meet My Mentor Breakfast on Nov. 29, where the high schoolers made their first contacts with experienced professional mentors, who guided the students into the business world. Participating mentor organizations and individuals included Bideawee, Country Village Florist and Gifts, attorney Jodi Ann Donato, The Electrical Training Center, architect Joseph Gabriel, Glen Head Country Club, JVC Broadcasting, dentist Raymond Mascolo, Northwell Health, St. Francis Hospital, Signature Bank, the Suffolk County Police Department, Suffolk Transportation, the Town of Islip and Zebra Technologies. Each student then began to exchange emails with their selected mentor and were given the opportunity to “shadow” the mentor for a full day in 2018, enabling them to see what it is like to work in that career field.

“This worthwhile program is a must for students, as it opens their eyes to what their future will look like,” said teacher Bridget Lopiccolo, the coordinator of the Mentor Me program. “It is truly remarkable to see the students as they light up and feel the passion of the career that they want to pursue.”

“I would like to extend thanks to all the career professionals who offered their time and experience during this school year to help our students in preparation for college and career success,” said McHugh. “Thanks also to the district and high school administrators for their continued support.”

Budget Passes, Bond Approved


The East Islip School District's 2018-2019 budget passed on May 15, with 1,873 yes votes outweighing the 933 no votes. The district thanks the community for their participation and support.

East Islip voters also approved the ballot proposition for a capital improvement bond by a total of 1,680 yes votes to 1,116 no votes.

For East Islip's five-person Board of Education, voters reelected two incumbents, Board President Jessica Carney (1,852 votes) and Vice President Philip Montuori Sr. (1,704 votes), both running unopposed.



Would You Like to Hire the Superintendent?

Please contact the superintendent’s office to schedule an appointment after reading below.

We are looking to clean up East Islip and provide our students with a positive way to do community service.

In conjunction with Keep Islip Clean, if you are a community organization, civic association, team or a group of neighbors interested in doing a cleanup, please call the superintendent’s office at 631-224-2010. We would love to concentrate on the exit and entry ramps of the main thoroughfares into the community. This is a great way to exercise while we provide good community service opportunities for our children.

JFK's Sambo Awarded at Science Fair

JFK's Sambo Awarded at Science Fair
JFK's Sambo Awarded at Science Fair 2

Landon Sambo, a fourth-grader at JFK, received an honorable mention award at the Brookhaven National Laboratory Elementary School Science Fair on May 5. Sambo’s research project, titled “’C’ for Yourself,” sought to determine which fruit juice had the most vitamin C.

“We are all proud of Landon and the work he put in to this incredible project,” said Principal Deborah Smith.

RCK’s Wax Museum Amazes with Recitation and Research

RCK’s Wax Museum Amazes with Recitation and Research

Third-graders at RCK recently took visiting friends and family members on a journey through time, transforming the school into a wax museum. Each student researched the life of a chosen historical figure and recited information in the role of their figure, demonstrating the knowledge they had gained.

“The students amazed me with the research they collected and the speeches they created,” said Principal Hillary Bromberg. “Some of the students really remained true to character and stayed ‘frozen’ until someone walked by and pushed the button.”

Bowler Kreush Signs with Molloy

Bowler Kreush Signs with Molloy

Amanda Kreush, a star senior bowler for the high school, signed a national letter of intent on May 4 to play for Molloy College in Rockville Centre his fall. She plans to major in early childhood education while bowling for the Lions.

Kreush, who joined the varsity team as a seventh-grader and served as captain of the Lady Redmen during her junior and senior years, had a remarkable career at East Islip. During her tenure, the team went undefeated as league champions for six consecutive years as well as winning state and county championships. Kreush won the Section XI sportsmanship award twice, and earned All-County, All-League, Scholar-Athlete and Minds in Motion recognition. Her academic honors include three years as secretary of the Class of 2018 and membership in the National Honor Society and Foreign Language Honor Society.

Excellent EI Students Selected for 12x12 Art Exhibition

Excellent EI Students Selected for 12x12 Art Exhibition

A group of talented high school student-artists were chosen for display in the 15th annual 12x12 High School Art Exhibition, held from May 7-16. Sponsored by LIU Post, the competition asks students to create works of art that are 12 inches wide by 12 inches high.

Chosen students included Caitlin Breitenbecker, Kaylin Cuba, Julia Lambert, Christopher Palmer, Gia Piazza and Alicia Rodriguez for photography; and Eliza Channing, Hailee Cornell, Sabine Gebhard and Kevin Mesa for electronic illustration.

“I’ve never had my artwork shown in a college exhibit, and it’s an honor,” said Mesa.

“The students selected for this exhibit have such excellent pieces, and I am so proud of their artwork,” said teacher Heather Toomey. “It is such a wonderful opportunity that LIU Post provides, exhibiting high school students in their gallery space.”

Gelato and a Show Highlight Italian Culture for HS Language Students


The high school’s Italian-language students recently enjoyed a three-part field trip celebrating the language and culture of Italy, beginning with a visit to Caffe Italia in Deer Park to taste fresh gelato. The students tasted a wide variety of gelato flavors as well as biscotti, pastries and cappuccino.

“It was like we were in Italy,” said Emily Gerde, one of several language teachers accompanying the students. “It is the most delicious and fresh gelato you will taste on Long Island.”

The next stop was the Jamaica Performing Arts Center in Queens, where the students took in an interactive performance by Incanto Productions, sponsored by the Italian American Committee on Education. The interactive show, “I Sette Mondi,” incorporated dancing, trapeze artists, and spoken and sung Italian, with audience participation geared toward different levels of language learners.

The day was completed with a trip to Heckscher Park in Huntington, where the students ate lunch and enjoyed the beautiful setting.

Raguseo Recognized for ‘Storywork’

Raguseo Recognized for Great ‘Storywork’

Michael Raguseo, a sixth-grader at the middle school, was recently chosen as the winner of the “Storyworks Magazine” creative writing contest sponsored by Scholastic.

Teacher Dawn Zeffiro had entered students in her class into the contest, which was based on the nonfiction LiLou story “Why Is This Pig at the Airport?” The students were required to use adjectives, nouns and an idiom from the story to create an original creative writing piece. Raguseo’s entry, “The Scary Night,” was chosen as the winner, and he received a congratulatory letter and prize from “Storyworks.” 

“My students put forth great effort into this creative assignment activity,” said Zeffiro, “and all of us were extremely excited to know that Michael’s creativity and outstanding effort was recognized by the Storyworks staff.”

An Unforgettable Tour of Spain

An Unforgettable Tour of Spain

A group of 35 advanced language students from the high school had the opportunity to travel to Madrid and southern Spain on an unforgettable educational tour during spring break.

The trip began with a visit to the Prado Museum, home of Spain’s great masters such as Goya, Velazquez and El Greco. The students enjoyed life in Madrid, centered on outdoor cafes, eating tapas and walking through the Plaza Mayor.

Later, the group visited the medieval city of Toledo and viewed a demonstration of sword making. The students walked the twisted alleyways and cobbled streets of Seville, visiting the old Jewish quarter as well as the Columbus gravesite in the world’s largest cathedral.

In Granada, near the snowcapped peaks of the Sierra Nevada, the group toured the imposing but delicate Moorish castle the Alhambra and its luxurious gardens. In the evening, students enjoyed a flamenco dance show.

The high schoolers’ last stop was Cordoba, to see one of Spain’s most impressive monuments, the Mosque-Cathedral dating to the 8th century.

“We walked through picture-perfect narrow white-washed alleys, passing tile-covered patios dotted with vibrant colored flowers,” said teacher Lisa Rapiejko. “Our students enjoyed speaking Spanish and learning about the history of Spain, where the medieval and modern blend seamlessly.”

Community Collaborates on VetVan Project

Community Collaborates on VetVan Project

Over the course of several months, all six schools in the district collaborated with the East Islip Teachers’ Association and East Islip School-Business Partnership in raising more than $2,000 to help the VetVan project. Student representatives Meagan Diaz, Grace Micali, Miranda Stockton and Sean Togher attended the March 27 meeting of the East Islip Community Chamber at the American Legion Hall to present the funds to the veterans of the East Islip American Legion and thank them for their service.

The VetVan program was pioneered by the East Islip High School Career Development Program and local business Lee’s Auto Body, who are donating a van to the East Islip American Legion to be utilized by any local veteran who needs a ride to the doctor, shopping, a parade. The monies donated from the school community for the VetVan project will be used to provide insurance coverage for the van. Streaming Steve’s Auto of East Islip offered to maintain the van with oil changes and general maintenance for its lifespan, after the veterans receive it. Through the school’s CORE work-based learning program, two East Islip High School students, Adonees Akl and Timothy Carberry, were given an opportunity to spend six months working on reconditioning the van at Lee’s Auto Body guided by Lee’s owner and Community Chamber President Gary Teich.

“While these two young men have learned many great skills in the automotive field, they are also learning the valuable skill of helping others,” said teacher Bridget Lopiccolo. “With the help of the community and school pulling together to support such a worthwhile cause, veterans will be able to get what they deserve – to be supported because of their selfless service.”

Grippi Signs with Mount Saint Mary

Grippi Signs with Mount Saint Mary

High school senior athlete Lauren Grippi signed a national letter of intent on April 18 to play soccer for Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh this fall.

“It was good for distance, for soccer and for academics,” said Grippi of her choice of Mount Saint Mary and its Knights program.

Grippi, a left midfielder, served as captain of East Islip’s varsity team this year. A member of the school’s Medical Career Academy and Girls Leaders Club, she also played for the East Islip Red Storm travel team and engaged in extensive volunteering work.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018