Bradley Earns Alger Scholarship


High school senior Jenna Bradley was named the recipient of the Horatio Alger Association Scholarship on May 1. In order to earn the scholarship, Bradley was required to submit an application that exhibited integrity while overcoming personal adversity, which correlates with the Association’s youth message of responsibility, success and productivity.

“Jenna is extremely deserving of anything positive coming her way,” said her guidance counselor, Perri Sachs. “She has worked hard throughout high school and will continue her higher education after graduation.”

Undefeated Girls Spring Track Earns League Title


The high school’s girls spring track team finished with an undefeated 6-0 record and won its first league title since 2008. Their 82-68 victory over previously undefeated Kings Park on May 16 earned them the championship.

Among the top individual performers were juniors Jackie Ginty and Katie Ginty, who excelled in the sprints, particularly the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes, where they finished first and second in the 100-meter every meet, and first and second in the 200-meter at every meet save one. The Ginty sisters also were part of the undefeated 4x100-meter relay team with junior Shannon Lauinger and senior Jackie DeRosa.

Jackie Ginty also performed exceptionally in the long jump all season, reaching 16 feet, 2 inches; Lauinger was undefeated in the pole vault, jumping 8 feet, 6 inches; and DeRosa was the school’s primary threat in the triple jump, hitting a season-best jump of 33 feet, 5 inches.

The Lady Redmen throwers had a terrific season, led by sophomores Jessica Churpita, Buse Duyku and Nina Senn. Duyku had a best shot put throw of 30 feet, 5 inches, while Senn threw the discus 102 feet, 8 inches.

East Islip’s race walkers were led by senior Jackie Rulon and junior Madison O’Toole, while the distance squad, which dominated all season long, was consistently spearheaded by by seniors Amanda Engrassia and Jessica Carino, along with freshman Christie Czajka.

“Overall, it was a great season for our team,” said coach John Reynolds. “We had a goal of winning the league title, and through hard work and preparation, the girls achieved that goal. While track and field is typically viewed as an individual sport, these young ladies worked together as a team, constantly sacrificing their own success for the team success in a quest for a championship. The bigger the occasion, the better the performance. It was a pleasure working with such outstanding student-athletes and watching them grow throughout the season.”

Another Successful Run for EJ Autism


More than 1,000 people attended or participated in the 10th annual four-mile Jigsaw Run on April 24, hosted by the local EJ Autism Foundation. The successful race, which began at the East Islip Marina, raised more than $30,000 for autism programs, according to EJ Autism founder and race organizer Bea Huste-Petersen.

Technical 12 Named Finalists in STEM Research Challenge


Twelve East Islip High School students were selected as finalists in the school’s debut STEM Research Challenge, with six going on to win prizes. The competition was offered by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Education’s Long Island Section and Life Members Affinity Group, who provided financial support for the project.

The STEM Challenge – designed to encourage high schoolers to pursue careers involving science, technology, engineering, medicine and math – required each participating student to write a technical paper on the subject “STEM Research: Scientific Exploration in the Digital Age with Micro/Nano Technology.” The research papers had to be based on current activities and developments being pursued by scientific communities around the world, creating a strong focus on current and developing science.

“This was a major incentive for students to become familiar with current scientific disciplines,” said East Islip’s guidance director, Israel Malinowitzer. “With the continuing advancements in STEM fields, it was important not only to provide an expansion of recognition of the vast scientific endeavors in the many fields, but also reveal the educational requirements for those activities. With the large array of scientific and technical research journals and publications available online, students had a broad selection of current research topics to examine, and were encouraged to express their opinions about their findings, as well as highlight possible careers in developing fields.”

Of the 29 papers that were submitted, 12 were selected by the school faculty as finalists – six representing the Lower Division (grades 9 and 10), and six representing the Upper Division (grades 11 and 12). These 12 papers were then reviewed by a panel of judges from academia and business, chaired by Marjaneh Issapour, a professor of electrical engineering and computer engineering technology at Farmingdale State College. The papers were judged on the novelty of the work, relating to STEM concepts; the impact of the work on society; the goals, objectives and complexity of the work; the significance of the findings, results and conclusions of the work; and its overall organization. 

In the Lower Division of freshmen and sophomores, Kylie Goess won first place for “Chemistry Trick Paves Way for Safer Diabetes Medication,” earning her a $500 prize; Emily Mahoney won second for “Nanotechnology Used to Cure Cancer Without Harming Healthy Cells,” earning a $250 prize; and James Smalley won third place for “Nanoparticles Used in New Insulin Make Life Easier for Diabetic Patients,” earning him a $100 prize.

In the Upper Division of juniors and seniors, Phoebe Tedesco won first place for “Color Blindness and Biotechnology,” earning her a $500 prize; Grace Vaca won second place for “Nano/Micro Technology and Parkinson’s Disease,” earning a $250 prize; and Asma Malik won third for “Nanotechnology Engineers Use Electrospinning to Create the Super Condom,” earning a $100 prize.

Certificates of merit were awarded to the remaining six finalists: Cierra Colon, Michaela Fehn, Emily Fishman, Stephanie Milito, Ran Soto and Kenny Terwilliger.

IEEE representative Lou Luceri presented the top six student winners with their prizes in an April 20 ceremony at the school library. All of the 12 participating students were honored at the May 17 meeting of the East Islip Board of Education.

Talented 12x12 Ten Displayed at Post


Ten talented high school student-artists were recently chosen for LIU Post’s 13th annual 12x12 High School Art Exhibition. Their work was on display from May 9-19 at the Art League Students Gallery at LIU Post’s B. Davis Schartz Memorial Library in Brookville.

In digital photography, the chosen work included seniors Lauren Jackson (for “Self-Portrait”), Brittany Martin (“Bella”) and Teresa Teuschler (“Amethyst”); junior Cailin Conlon (“The Elements”); and sophomore Keala Sanders (“Adventureland”).

Junior Meghan O’Reilly was chosen for “Pensive,” a work of acrylic on paper, while senior Bryant Weingarten was selected “Deformity,” a work created with ballpoint pen, marker and colored pencil on paper.

In the computer graphics field, the chosen were senior Heather Hoffmann (for “New View”), junior Roisin Ashe (“Butterfly Garden”) and sophomore Angelo Joudah (“Urban Party”).

“It was an honor to be exhibited in a college gallery and I am happy my artwork was chosen to be displayed,” said Teuschler, who attended a closing reception with the other artists on May 18.

“It takes a lot of confidence in oneself to put your art on display for others to see, and it gives me a lot of pride seeing my student-artists take that risk,” said electronic illustration teacher Erin Jacob.

“This was an amazing opportunity for students be able to exhibit in a professional gallery,” said photography teacher Heather Toomey. “I am proud of my student exhibitors and the hard work that they put into creating their artwork all year long.”

2016 Valedictorian and Salutatorian


The high school’s Class of 2016 valedictorian and salutatorian are Meaghan Coles and Joseph Teknus.

Coles, an AP Scholar with Distinction, is the historian of the school’s Science Honor Society and a Newspaper Club member. In 2015, she attended the prestigious National Student Leadership Conference at Harvard University. She is a student EMT at Bay Shore Brightwaters Rescue Ambulance and volunteers at Stony Brook University Hospital. Coles will attend Tulane University in New Orleans this fall, where she plans to major in public health on a pre-med track.

Teknus, likewise named an AP Scholar with Distinction, serves as team captain and president of the school’s Mock Trial team, and co-president of the STARS Club. He is also a member of the National Honor Society and Newspaper Club. Teknus will attend the College of William & Mary in Virginia, where he will major in economics.

Community Safety Alert - May 20

Please note the important community safety alert attached below.


March Mathness Winners Recognized


At March Mathness, a special tournament held at East Islip’s John F. Kennedy and Ruth C. Kinney elementaries schools, students had fun solving math problems and competing against a computer, fellow students, other classes and themselves.

The four top-scoring individual students – third-grader Natalie Mendolia from JFK, and third-grader Lucas Aparicio, fourth-grader Jared Kelly and fifth-grader Alessandro Inguaggiato from RCK – were honored by the Board of Education at the April 21 business meeting.

RCK’s event was kicked off with a pep rally hosted by fifth-grade teacher Robert Chiarelli, with extra entertainment provided by Jack “Blackjack” Ryan of the Harlem Wizards. At RCK, a total of 231,474 problems were attempted schoolwide, with the top classes hitting remarkable numbers. Carrie Whitehouse’s third-grade class worked for 72 hours and 22 minutes, with 21,874 problems attempted; Jerry Orlando’s fourth-grade class worked for 61 hours and 22 minutes, with 15,868 problems attempted; and Kara Houghtaling’s fifth-grade class worked for 155 hours and 34 minutes, with 28,376 problems attempted.  

Undefeated Redmen Are Champs


The high school’s boys track team capped an undefeated 6-0 season by winning the League V Dual Meet Championship on May 12.

After defeating Rocky Point, Harborfields, Hauppauge, Westhampton Beach and Comsewogue, the Redmen bested Kings Park by a final score of 93-53 to take the league title.

“The coaching staff is very happy with everyone’s performance, and we are excited and looking forward to next season,” said coach Ralph Tubello.

Budget and Prop. 2 Pass, Behan Reelected

The East Islip School District 2016-2017 budget passed on May 17, with 1,389 yes votes outweighing the 1,106 no votes. The district thanks the community for their participation and support.

In the race for one open trustee position on East Islip's five-person Board of Education, voters reelected incumbent Steven Behan (1,024 votes) over challenger Carol Coffin (920 votes).

Proposition No. 2, to establish a Capital Reserve Fund, also passed, 1,075 to 996.


‘Bash the Trash’ Combines Science, Music and the Environment


Timber Point students learned about science concepts as well as music and environmental issues such as sustainability during a special performance of the “Bash the Trash” show on April 21.

For the last quarter-century, “Bash the Trash” has used invented instruments to teaches children how to combine science and arts while working with inexpensive materials.  

Loving Libraries at the Middle School


As part of an April celebration of National School Library Month, the middle school’s library held its annual contest to give students a chance to express their feelings about the importance of their library in their education, through the creation of essays, posters and videos.

In his illustrated poster, Jonathan Yankus said, “I love my school library because I feel safe, chill out, relax, unwind and enjoy a book with a friend.”

In his poster and essay, Nathan Willdigg said, “A school library is an amazing thing. It’s where I can explore new topics and the unknown.”

“My school library offers me a quiet place to study or do homework, and you can do anything on the computers, including playing games,” said Emily Blair in her poster.

Kevin Smith’s essay described why the school library is so crucial. “You can look at every book you can imagine,” he explained. “The librarians will help you with what your need to find.”

Kayla Sciallo’s poster illustrated her love for the school library, citing, “You can do research, homework, do projects and read.”

In the contest’s very first video entry, Meagan Diaz and Emily LaMorte filmed themselves discussing all of the options available to them in the school library, including fiction and nonfiction books, the online catalog, borrowing and renewing books, contests, events and the helpful staff.

“When I step into my school library, I take a breath of fresh air, open my book and instantly feel like time is put on hold,” said student Marie Tohill. “School can be extremely stressful and worrisome for many, but when I am in my school library, these feelings disappear. Whether I am reading a book, having a quiet conversation with my friend, or peacefully completing a homework assignment, my school library is something I am thankful for each and every day.”

Palmeri Earns Rensselaer Medal


High school junior Jack Palmeri has been named the winner of this year’s Rensselaer Medal for his superlative academic achievement in mathematics and science.

Honoring academic achievement, the medal serves to inspire students to pursue careers in science, engineering and technology. First awarded in 1916, this minimum $15,000 per year merit scholarship is guaranteed for four years for each medalist who applies, is accepted and chooses to enroll at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.

“We are proud that Jack’s hard work and dedication have resulted in this prestigious achievement,” said his guidance counselor, Nicole Vincenti.  

UPK Lottery on June 7


The East Islip School District's universal pre-K lottery will be held on Tuesday, June 7 at 6 p.m. at the ECC cafeteria.

For further information, please read the attached letter from Superintendent John V. Dolan.

For eligibility criteria and lottery entry form, please see the attachment below. 


Board Honors Orgera for Reflections


At the May 10 business meeting, the Board of Education recognized JFK fourth-grader Michael Orgera for being only one of four New York State national-level finalists in the 2016 PTA Reflections arts contest. Also on hand to congratulate him were Superintendent John V. Dolan, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction and Personnel Alise Becker-Santa and Orgera’s family.

Orgera’s project, titled “Mom,” won the New York State Reflections Award of Excellence.

New RCK Playground Rendering

This is the rendering of the proposed new playground for RCK.


Esteemed Elders Event Showcases Culinary Skills


High school students in the high school’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality Career Academy hosted their second annual Esteemed Elders event at the Early Childhood Center on April 13 for the benefit of the senior citizens of the community.

More than 125 senior citizens – including Board of Education President Philip Montuori Sr. – attended the event, dining on a home-cooked feast prepared by the students of the Culinary Academy, who served appetizers and a buffet style dinner under the supervision of teacher Patricia Emmons-Fritz.

This year’s Esteemed Elders event included a new cook-off competition between 10 different groups, each comprised of one Culinary Academy student, one high school student, and one adult parent, teacher or community member. The students were provided a recipe and a group of food items to use.  Each group was also given two mystery items that they would need to incorporate in their meal. The elders in attendance were able to watch the teams prepare and complete their meals, and then were given a chance to walk around and decide which teams did the best job. Four judges were on hand to select the three winning teams at the completion of the event.

“As shown in the students’ performance for the Esteemed Elders dinner, the Culinary Career Academy provides them with the necessary skills required to successfully take the ProStart certification exam and work in a food establishment,” said Israel Malinowitzer, Career Academy director.  



‘Best in Show’ for 10 HS Artists


In recognition of their remarkable talent and creativity in the artistic fields of video, photography and electronic illustration, 10 East Islip High School students were named “Best in Show” at the 2016 Long Island Media Arts Show, held at Five Towns College’s Performing Arts Center in Dix Hills on April 1.

Kristianna Schlosser earned three Best in Show awards for photography. Other East Islip Best in Show winners from Heather Toomey’s photography class were Defne Duyku, Delanie Fitzgerald, Rebecca Kreamer and Destiny Nalls.

“Our art department was able to send more students to the Media Arts Show this year, and it was a huge success,” said teacher Heather Toomey. “All of the students who participated did an excellent job talking about their artwork – it is not easy to put your work out to be shown and receive criticism. I am especially proud of those students who received Best in Show awards, as it is an honor to be recognized for their achievements in photography amongst their peers across Long Island.”

“Attending the Media Arts Show was a great experience because we gained a lot of insight from discussing our work with professional photographers,” said Kreamer, a junior.

“I had a lot of fun and I learned a lot from the critiques,” added Duyku, a junior. “The overall experience was wonderful and I can’t wait to go back next year.”

Best in Show graphics winners from Erin Jacob’s electronic illustration class were Zoe Stengel, Arthur Tuck and Veronica VanDerlofske.

“It was pretty cool to get recognized for my artwork and to have it seen by others,” said Stengel, a sophomore.

Best in Show winners from James Connell’s video production classes were writers and directors Ashley Karlin and Steve Murello. Karlin won for “Be Good for Goodness Sake,” a film about Santa recruiting elves to work for him at the North Pole; it starred Joe Camlet, Brandon Potter, Elizabeth Ruhrold and Eddie Sallie.  Murello earned his prize for “Where's Eddie,” a film inspired by the 1990s cult crime movies; it starred Brook Helmsorig, Meg McCaffrey, Joe Paone, Eddie Sallie and Deanna Teta.

“The entire East Islip video program had a great showing at the event, and all of the students’ hard work and involvement in class helped them come home with the awards they received,” said Connell.

Inspired Designs at Elementaries


During library classes, second-grade students at Connetquot and Timber Point recently learned about Randolph Caldecott and the Caldecott Medal, which recognizes the year’s most distinguished children’s picture book.

After examining the criteria for winning the award, students evaluated over 15 picture books. Each school held individual elections, and surprisingly, they chose the same book: “Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear,” written by Lindsay Mattick and illustrated by Sophie Blackall.

The students were then asked to design medals that represented both their building and the winning book. Twelve designs were chosen from each building, and students in each school voted for their favorite design out of the nominees. The winners were Connetquot’s Grace Micali and Timber Point’s Michael Mark.

Six Academy Achievers Win at Youth Summit


Six students from the high school’s Medical and Health Technology Career Academy and Environment Green Career Academy were named winners in the annual Long Island Youth Summit competition, held April 8 at Dowling College.

The Youth Summit is a competitive research and essay competition that draws more than 1,000 yearly submissions from 30 Long Island high schools. The students were given several categories to choose from, and then were required to research the topic or create a video for presentation to the event’s judges. The research must be based on a current challenge facing Long Island’s younger generation. 

From the Medical Academy, project winners were Meaghan Coles and Hetal Patel for the topic of mental health, self-esteem and wellness; Dayre Tello for inequality on Long Island; and Grace Vaca for substance abuse. From the Environment Green Academy, project winners were Michaela Fehn for the topic of solid waste and Christina Murphy for climate change. All six East Islip students will receive a paid internship this summer at one of Northwell Health’s hospitals, and earned scholarship money to take courses at Dowling College.

“Once again, East Islip families can be very proud of their students and what they continue to achieve as students of the Career Academy programs,” said Guidance Director Israel Malinowitzer. “As the coordinator of these Career Academies, I am extremely proud of all these students and their commitment to challenging themselves and competing to be the best they can be against so many other high schools on Long Island.”

The winners were honored by the Board of Education at the May 17 business meeting.

Earth Day Mural Created by JFK Students

As part of a weeklong activity in preparation for Earth Day in April, JFK students worked with art teacher Donna Bernard to create a special mural in the school, titled “We Are the Keepers of the Earth.”

Musical Mentors Bridge High School and Middle School


Middle school music teacher Concetta Stevens recently invited 10 high school students to visit two middle school band rehearsals in March and act as mentors for the younger musicians.

Encouraged by high school music teacher Christopher Neske, the high school students demonstrated mastery on their instruments by modeling such sonic and technical attributes as tone production, dynamics, articulations, complex rhythms and blend. 

“My band students were extremely inspired by the high schoolers and so grateful that they worked with them twice,” said Stevens. “The high school students were incredible role models and mentors, and I will be inviting them back in the near future.”

Track Stars Sign Letters of Intent


High sSchool track stars Amanda Engrassia and Anya Schmitt signed National Letters of Intent on April 22. Engrassia will attend the State University of New York in New Paltz, while Schmitt will attend Siena College in Albany. Both seniors plan to major in psychology.

“It has a great track program, and I liked the campus and coaches,” said Engrassia of her choice of SUNY New Paltz. Her East Islip career began at Connetquot Elementary School, where she came in first in a mile run. She set the high school’s records in several categories including the 1,000-meter race, and was named Academic All-County.

“Siena has a rising Division I program, and the campus is beautiful,” said Schmitt of her choice. Named All-County in cross-country, she has been running track for five years and set a school record in the 2,000-meter steeplechase.

Both students helped set a school record as members of the 4x800-meter relay team and competed in the Long Island Elite Meet this spring.

Suffolk County’s Social Host Law


In an effort to keep our children safe and prevent underage drinking, Suffolk County Legislator Tom Cilmi and the Suffolk County Police Department have established a special Community Oriented Police Enforcement hotline at 631-854-8308.

The Social Host Law makes it unlawful for owners or renters of a residence who are at least 18 years old from knowingly allowing someone under the age of 21 to consume alcohol on the premises. We thank Legislator Cilmi and Police Commissioner Tim Sini for helping to keep our students and community safe.

Please view the attached press release from Legislator Cilmi's office.


Sophomores Learn Empathy in Remembering Holocaust


In advance of Holocaust Remembrance Day, high school sophomores in Gregory Kguloian’s English Language Arts class recently finished reading the nonfiction book “Night” by Elie Wiesel, a painful and haunting memoir of what the author endured during the Holocaust. The book ends with the liberation of the concentration camp where 16-year-old Wiesel was held prisoner. According to Kguloian, his students are approximately the same age as Wiesel was, which increased their empathy and made the real-life story all the more relevant to them.

“Kids today are extremely empathetic and well aware that groups such as ISIS are the most recent scourge to threaten civilization as we know it,” said Kguloian. “However, my students have come to understand Edmund Burke’s statement that all that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing. In their understanding of the gravitas of Wiesel’s book, they showed true appreciation and sincere sympathy, which really filled me with pride and the belief that this generation is probably the best since the Greatest Generation, who lived during the time period that they just read about. It is important for our young people today to be able to connect with those who came before us and to truly appreciate what some people have gone through to better appreciate our place in the timeline of humanity.”

After the class finished reading “Night,” they were introduced to related and connected artifacts from the same time period to help make the era more tangible. This included a review of several journals written by teenagers who lived – and in some cases, died – during the Holocaust.

“This was a great lesson and an awesome resource for Mr. Kguloian’s students,” said Principal Bill Brennen. “No wonder they do so well, with all that information at their fingertips.”

Powerful ‘Pippin’ Stuns Audiences


The high school’s theater students pulled out all the stops in three bravura performances of this year’s school musical, “Pippin,” delighting audiences who attended on March 31, April 1 and April 2.

A Tony Award winner that debuted on Broadway in 1972, “Pippin” was written by Stephen Schwartz from a book by Roger O. Hirson, with additional contributions from original director Bob Fosse. The musical’s performance troupe, led by a Leading Player, tell the story of the young prince Pippin and his search for the meaning of life.

East Islip’s production starred Jon Sawyer Coffin as Leading Player, Michael Robert Krebs as Pippin, Jack Burke-McGoldrick as Charles, Noelia Vazquez as Fastrada, Caleb Shulman as Lewis, Meg Tohill as Berthe, Danielle Pafundi as Catherine and Roy Anderson as Theo.

The cast also included Kendra Canavan, Sabrina Firneno, James Kelly and Alexander O’Neill as Featured Players; Vincenzo Mediate as Player with Torch; Amanda Baranek, Karina Gallagher, Kate Maretsky, Christina Perretta, Sarah Powell and Shannon Ransom as Featured Dancers; Jenna Anderson, Brittney Berke, Karli Pipitone and Sara Rapuzzi as Featured Singers; and Jake Acocella, Alex Agati, Kristina Ali, Shequira Ashley, Claudia Banville, Connor Barnes, Alex Bertolini, Sarah Bloom, Hannah Christy, Gabby Commisso, Emily DaSilva, Dominique Degener, Beth Hillman, Emma Hillman, Sarah Hillman, Kyle Ostrowski, Sebastian Ovalle, Angelina Parisi, Brandon Potter, Bianca Schettini, Michael Silva, Katie Spina, Tori Tiernan, Isaac Trigoso, Crystal Vessalico, Matt Waldron and Kyle Westgate-Addessi as The Players.

“We are extremely proud of all of the music students who participated in this year’s production,” said choral and theater director Bethany Affelt. “The cast, crew and pit orchestra all worked together to put on a truly stellar performance that was enjoyed thoroughly by the audiences at each show. The students had ‘magic to do,’ and they sure did!”

Behind the scenes of the spring musical, the talent of many of East Islip High School’s artists was put to use. Beginning in February, Erin Jacob’s electronic illustration classes learned about marketing and promotion, and used those skills to create original artwork to promote the musical. The electronic illustration students used Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to create original imagery, and then examined how to use hierarchy to organize the required information about the play. Each student created his or her own poster, with one design chosen to represent the musical. The highly detailed winning design, created by junior Rebecca Schreiner, successfully integrated all of the elements of a successful promotional poster, and the “Pippin” cast and crew wore T-shirts bearing the design to promote the play.

“It was great having my work used as publicity for such an amazing show,” said Schreiner, whose artwork was also displayed in the music wing alongside 40 years of past posters.

Vessalico, a senior, acted as the lead photographer for the play, spending hours organizing, photographing and editing headshots and group photos of the cast, as well as action shots during rehearsals. Her three years of photography experience in Heather Toomey’s photography classes gave her the confidence and expertise to capture the energy, personality and details of the production. Junior Sarah Hillman, another photography student who will be lead photographer for next year’s play, created and arranged the display for the headshots.

“I am really looking forward to next year,” said Hillman. “Being lead photographer is a tremendous amount of work, but the end result is rewarding, as the final result is the first thing people see when they walk in the show.”

JFK's Earth Day Walk Inspires Planetary Kindness

Middle School Hoops for Hope Raises $298


The student government at the middle school hosted a fun-filled, charity 3-on-3 basketball tournament, “Hoops for Hope”, to support the Special Olympics of New York and celebrate the school’s March Madness Spirit Week. In total, 101 students on 23 teams participated in the March 23 event, which raised $298 for Ronald McDonald House.

Serving as master of ceremonies was middle school teacher and basketball coach Chris Padgur, who worked tirelessly with the student government to plan the event. More than 20 prizes were raffled to attendees, and each member of the winning “Social Anxiety” team – Ahmed Abdelbaky, Thomas Boyd, Pat Collerex, Cody Goldsmith and Christian Hard – received a $10 Applebee’s gift card.

FTK Celebrates Community Dedication


Merging glamor and giving, the For the Kids Foundation held its 19th annual Black Tie Gala on April 9, honoring Paula Caylor, the district’s before- and after-school secretary, as Educator Advocate of the Year, and Kurt Bohlsen of Bohlsen Restaurant Group as Community Advocate of the Year.

The Gala, whose theme this year was "Mystique," is the FTK organization's premier fundraising event to benefit students in the district, donating more than $1 million for educational programs since its formation. Community and local business members in attendance at Villa Lombardi's in Holbrook were entertained by a jazz band of student-musicians from the high school, directed by Christopher Neske.

Caylor, a Bay Shore native and alumna of Bay Shore High School, married her husband Rick soon after graduation, and they have two sons, Keith and Ken. She began her career as a secretary and bookkeeper for an accounting firm. After 24 years, the firm’s owner retired and she switched to public education, starting as a paraprofessional for two years in the Bay Shore School District. Caylor accepted a position with the East Islip School District in 2002, and serves as the before- and after-school secretary for the district. She has helped organize numerous events for both the district and FTK during her 14 years as an integral member of the East Islip staff.

Bohlsen and his family own and operate the Bohlsen Restaurant Group. He is among the third generation of the Bohlsen family to carry on their traditions of hospitality and community service. He began his education in the East Islip School District, attending through ninth grade. After attending Choate Rosemary Hall preparatory school in Connecticut, he returned to graduate from East Islip High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in hospitality administration from Boston University, and went on to open acclaimed restaurants including Prime and Harbor Club at Prime in Huntington, Monsoon in Babylon, H20 in Smithtown, and Verace, Tellers and Pizza Parm in Islip. He and his family have hosted and contributed their efforts to numerous fundraising efforts for Southside Hospital and causes from breast cancer to Superstorm Sandy. Bohlsen currently resides in East Islip with his wife Oriana, a mathematics educator, and daughter Hannah, who attends East Islip Middle School.

Caylor and Bohlsen both received proclamations from local lawmakers in attendance, State Sen. Phil Boyle and Suffolk County Legislator Tom Cilmi.

“We were thrilled to honor Paula and Kurt, as their consistent dedication and loyalty to the FTK Foundation certainly made them worthy of this wonderful honor,” said FTK President Nancy Goldfader. “To those who attended, sponsored or donated to the numerous raffle prizes, we salute you and thank you for your marvelous act of kindness and generosity. On behalf of myself and Vice President Pat Blair, we offer our sincerest thanks to Chairperson Gina VanDenburg, Co-Chair Cathy Lemon and the FTK Black Tie Committee, who rendered countless hours of their time and energy to ensure that the evening would be spectacular and memorable for all.”

JFK Sends Four Fifth-Grade Musicians to SCMEA


Four talented young fifth-grade musicians from John F. Kennedy Elementary were recently selected to perform in the Suffolk County Music Educators Association All-County Division I West concert on March 13 at Half Hollow Hills High School East.

Stephen Coleman was chosen for the SCMEA All-County Band, Keira Ann Tantillo for the SCMEA All-County Orchestra, and Abbey Lacy and Marisa Triolo were selected for the SCMEA All-County Chorus. The students worked hard to prepare for the concert during three rehearsals at Walt Whitman High School in Huntington.

“Congratulations to all four students chosen to perform at SCMEA,” said music teacher Jaime DeMaria. “The JFK music staff is so very proud of them.”

Clyne Signs with New Haven


High school senior Shelby Clyne signed a National Letter of Intent on April 18 to play tennis for the University of New Haven this fall, where she plans to major in psychology.

“They were interested in me for tennis, and they have brand new tennis courts and a really good psychology program, said Clyne regarding her choice to sign with New Haven’s Chargers.

A remarkable player, Clyne joined East Islip’s varsity tennis team in her freshman year, helping the team to become Suffolk Big Four champions. She was named three times All-County and four times All-League, and was twice a doubles division champion and Scholar/Athlete. As a senior, Clyne earned the All-County sportsmanship award and the team’s Most Valuable Player designation. She listed going to the county championships the last three years as the highlight of her East Islip tennis tenure.

Clyne is the latest in a line of sterling sports sisters from East Islip, including alumni Samantha Clyne (a lacrosse player who graduated last year from New Haven), Jacqueline Clyne (a current senior at Holy Family University in Philadelphia, also playing tennis) and Julie Clyne (currently attending and playing lacrosse for Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry).

Timber Point's Teddy Bear Clinic


Kindergartners at Timber Point recently learned first aid and safety basics with the help of teddy bears and the Division of Trauma and Emergency Medicine at Northwell Health’s Southside Hospital.

At the hospital’s annual Teddy Bear Clinic at Timber Point, held over two days on April 13 and 14, the students brought in teddy bears or other stuffed animals, which were used as “patients” to teach the children familiarity with first aid and medical equipment. Southside program managers Tim Dackow and Angela Scimone also discussed pool safety and the necessity of wearing bike helmets.  

Mock Trial Team Finishes in Final Four


The high school’s Mock Trial team won the first round of the Suffolk County playoffs on March 16.  The prosecution team successfully argued their case against Comsewogue High School before the Hon. Anthony Senft in U.S. District Court in Central Islip, qualifying them for the Suffolk County Elite Eight round. The lawyers for East Islip were Brittney Baker, Bella Pizzuto and Katrina Shea, and the witnesses were Steve Geiseler, Emma McGaugh and Kierstin O’Hara.

“Our team was thrilled to have the support of many parents, family members and friends who came out to watch the trial,” said team adviser Patricia Lester.

On March 23, East Islip defeated longtime rivals William Floyd in the Elite Eight competition at District Court, extending their undefeated season to 6-0. The case was argued before the Hon. Judge Robert Cicale, with defense lawyers Madison Lane, Jessica Muroff and Joe Teknus facing off against a tough and polished prosecution team from Floyd. Outstanding performances by East Islip witnesses O’Hara, Pizzuto and Christian Thomesen helped seal the verdict in East Islip’s favor. Pizzuto proved particularly impressive as she stepped in at the last minute as a substitute for a sick teammate who could not compete.

East Islip went on to compete in the Suffolk County Final Four, held at the District Court on April 6. While losing in the semifinals, the team finished among the top 32 teams in New York State Mock Trial Tournament.

They later competed in two single-day events, finishing in the quarterfinals at Long Island Law Day and in second place at the Plainview-Old Bethpage John. F. Kennedy High School Moot Court Tournament on April 7.


Sunday, May 29, 2016