BOE Special Business Meeting on Sept. 18

The East Islip Board of Education will hold a special business meeting on Thursday, Sept. 18 at 8 p.m. in the district office boardroom at 1 Craig B. Gariepy Ave. in Islip Terrace. It will be preceded by an executive session at 6 p.m.

The community is welcome to attend.

JFK Class of 2014 Gives Gift of Art

In a special display of artistic gratitude, JFK Elementary School’s entire fifth-grade graduating class donated a handmade mosaic mural to the school. The approximately 105 students each created a section of the 6-foot by 4-foot mural, a permanent piece of art that now hangs in the lobby of JFK.

Each class created six of the square-beaded mosaics, as a group, with each square representing something from nature. The students worked cooperatively, sorting beads and gluing them to a cardboard background to form their individual group pieces. The square pieces were then assembled by art teacher Donna Bernard with the assistance of fifth-grader Samantha Koslow.

“Our fifth-grade graduates of 2014 have left a legacy behind for all to admire and appreciate,” said Bernard.

Cross-Country Begins with Win


Picking up where last year’s league champion track team left off, the boys cross-country squad earned a 25-40 victory over league rivals Bellport on Sept. 9 at Sunken Meadow Park.

Junior William Reed led the field over the 3-mile course, finishing in 17:03, followed by Ammar Chishti in third place, Ray Filippone in sixth, Brian Allgeier in seventh, and finishing out the scoring, Jack Burke in eighth.

Coach Ralph Tubello’s enthusiastic approach to building the Redmen running program has led to increases in both enrollment and team spirit, boding well for the remainder of the season. The East Islip harriers now look forward to their first invitational this weekend and an important contest against League IV rivals Hauppauge on Sept. 23.


Photos by Glenn Reed

Shirts Mark Spirit Day at RCK


Ruth C. Kinney celebrated its first school spirit day on Sept. 5. To mark the occasion, special RCK shirts were purchased by the school’s PTA as gifts for all students and staff to wear with pride throughout the year.

“My thanks to the RCK PTA for their generosity,” said Principal Danielle Naccarato. “It was a great success and really a nice thing for them to do to welcome our school.”

Community Organizations for 2014-2015

The East Islip School District encourages membership in local school community organizations such as eiMAPS and the East Islip Athletic Booster Club, both of which have posted new membership forms (attached below). Visit the district website's Community Links section for more information.


An Exciting Start to the School Year


For the high school and middle school, the first day of classes on Sept. 4 was business as usual, welcoming returning students as well as new sixth- and ninth-graders for a fresh year of educational enrichment and challenges. For the four elementary schools in the district, it proved more of an exciting change due to the shift to a different grade-level configuration, with both students and teachers moving to new schools.

At Connetquot and Timber Point, the focus has shifted to the youngest students, as the schools educate kindergartners, first-graders and second-graders as well as those enrolled in the SCOPE preschool program. 

“There was such excitement in the air as former Connetquot students quickly made friends with the new entrants, and it was impressive to see students engaged in many meaningful learning experiences.” said Principal Deborah Smith. “We are off to a wonderful start, thanks to the assistance of our talented staff members who welcomed each child to the Connetquot community.”

Meanwhile, third- through fifth-graders streamed into the JFK and RCK schools, ready to learn and grow at the next stage of their academic journey.

“RCK had an amazing opening,” said Principal Danielle Naccarato. “Our students and staff were enthusiastic and excited, and I am looking forward to a great year.”

USDA Fundraiser Ruling, Smart Snacks in School

Please note the attached informational sheet pertaining to the USDA's ruling on fundraisers and the Smart Snacks in School rules.


Sixth-Graders Get Ready for Success


At their orientation on Sept. 2, new sixth-graders at East Islip Middle School had the opportunity to meet their teachers, set up their lockers and walk their schedule in preparation for the first day of school. Seventh-graders at the school also joined in the following day to get their lockers in tip-top shape.

“It was a pleasure to see the excitement on the faces of the incoming sixth-grade students,” said Principal Mark Bernard. “We look forward to a productive and successful school year.”

Summer Grads Show Determination


Displaying their determination and character, three members of the high school’s Class of 2014 – Kristin D. Emerson, Geovany A. Landaverde Palacios Martinez and Derrick T. Middleton – participated in the school’s summer graduation ceremony on Sept. 2.

As proud family members waited in the high school’s library, the red-robed trio walked in to the strains of “Pomp and Circumstance.” District and school representatives in attendance included Principal William Brennen and Assistant Principals Nicholas Bilotti and Michael Thorley; Superintendent of Schools Linda J. Rozzi; Stephen Harrison, the district’s new assistant superintendent for business; Alise Becker-Santa, assistant superintendent for instruction and personnel; Susan Kosser, assistant to the superintendent for student support services; Eric Woellhof, plant and facilities administrator; Kate O’Callahan, director of special education; Sarajean Anderson, director of humanities; Janet Jones, director of math and science; and Israel Malinowitzer, director of careers and student services.

Principal Brennen told the three new alumni to be proud, noting how hard they had worked to graduate and that they deserved their moment in the spotlight to celebrate a milestone ceremony. “Your high school diploma is a prize that no one can take away from you,” he said. “Twenty years from now, the timing will mean nothing. You have earned the right to call yourself an alumnus of East Islip High School.”

Quoting motivational author Brian Tracy, Superintendent Rozzi congratulated the three graduates and told them, “You have within you, right now, everything you need to deal with whatever the world can throw at you.”

New Name for EI SEPTO

Over the summer, the organization providing support to parents of special education children in the East Islip School District changed its name from SEPTA to SEPTO, reflecting a switch from a parent teacher association to a parent teacher organization. You can find out more information on the change and its benefits in the attached document, which also serves as a membership form. Visit the East Islip SEPTO website here.


2014-2015 Mission & Vision Statement

Please note the East Islip School District's new mission and vision statement for the 2014-2015 school year.


Writing Winners Recognized


Two East Islip students and incoming freshmen at the high school – Thomas Allen and Shannon Carney – were recognized for their writing talents at a recent Board of Education meeting.

Allen was awarded honorable mention in the 2014 Letters About Literature writing competition by the Empire State Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. Carney was a first-place winner of the annual AMVETS National Americanism Essay Contest. This year’s theme was “What the American Flag Means to Me.”

Both Allen and Carney were students last year of eighth-grade teacher Claire Voss, who was on hand to congratulate them along with East Islip Middle School Principal Mark Bernard and Suffolk County Legislator Tom Cilmi, who presented the students with special certificates.

“It’s always a privilege for me to join in recognizing outstanding student accomplishments, and there’s no shortage of them in East Islip,” said Cilmi. “Congratulations to Thomas, Shannon, their parents, their teacher Ms. Voss and everyone at East Islip Schools on setting a standard of academic excellence which is simply inspirational.”

Cisco Certified in East Islip


East Islip has offered the two-year Cisco Network Academy program for the past 13 years, readying students for both college and careers in the information technology field. Utilizing a Cisco lab that allows students to work on authentic Cisco equipment like routers and switches, more than 350 students have participated in the program, learning through real-world activities such as network design and troubleshooting, and accessing all class materials and exams through an online portal.

The course prepares several dozen students per year for the Cisco Certified Entry Network Technician exam. During the past school year, senior Dan Murphy passed the certification exam on his first attempt, becoming the first East Islip student to pass the CCENT exam before completing the class. CCENT certification is a benchmark for proficiency in the IT field. Murphy also placed 39th in the North American Cisco Netriders Competition against Cisco students in high school and college from across the U.S. and Canada.

East Islip’s Cisco Network Academy class is taught by Paul McHugh, who was recently designated by Cisco as an Advanced Level instructor, recognizing his status as one of the top 25 percent of instructors globally in crucial areas such as student performance, use of resources, attention to student needs, participation in online instructor communities and completion of professional development opportunities.

World Cup Walker Katharine Newhoff


East Islip High School student and All-County race walking phenom Katharine Newhoff, 17, finished 41st overall in the 10K at the 2014 IAAF World Race Walking Cup in Taicang, China. on May 4. With a time of 52:52, she was the first American junior athlete to cross the finish line.

“We are very proud of Kate, who worked long and hard to accomplish this,” said East Islip track coach Jim Marino, who noted that she was the first East Islip track athlete to ever participate in a World Cup event. As an 11th-grader, Newhoff had placed third in the 10K race walk at the World Cup trials in Whiting, N.J. on March 30, qualifying her as one of just three athletes to represent the United States in Taicang. Most impressive is the fact that while she has only been participating in race walking for two years. “They still call me a newbie,” she said.

“My experience at the World Cup was absolutely amazing,” said Newhoff, who praised the coaches and staff for their work ethic and leadership skills. “Team USA welcomed me in and made me feel like I was part of a family. All my teammates were incredible – I could not have asked for a better group of athletes to travel to China and share memories with. I now have friends from all over the world who I met while training or in the dining hall.”

Newhoff found the experience at the World Race Walking Cup – a biennial event featuring competitors from more than 50 countries – both educational and culturally enriching, particularly during the team’s local excursions in Taicang after workouts. “We explored a market, a main street and a very modern mall, and also visited a temple and park,” she said. “Because we were Team USA, many people wanted to take pictures with us and get our autographs. I hope I have many more opportunities like this in the future, because it was an unforgettable experience.”  

In addition to mentoring from race walk coach Brian Savickis, Newhoff attributes her success to family tradition, as elder siblings Jason, Josh, Rachel and Alex all participated in track at East Islip High School. Her father John was the driving force behind her adoption of race walking. “He recognized that I had the right physiology for the sport,” she explained.

Newhoff, a member of East Islip’s track and cross-country squads, ran a record-breaking race en route to winning the 1,500-meter race walk at the League III track championship meet at Suffolk Community College in January. She also participated in the IAAF World Junior Championships, held in July in Eugene, Ore., where her time of 51:40.42 in the 10,000 meter race walk earned her 32nd place. Her many supporters in the East Islip school community are certain the best is yet to come for this athletic shining star, who will be an incoming senior at East Islip High School in September.

Click here to view Newhoff at the World Junior Championships.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014