SADD's Grim Reaper Strikes


Elementary Posters Explore Traffic Safety


Students at Timber Point and Ruth C. Kinney elementary schools learned a lesson in traffic safety during March while creating poster entries for the annual AAA traffic safety poster and video contest.

Second-graders at Timber Point learned about effective poster design under the direction of art teacher Christina Spera-Bartlett, and created posters showing ideas about pedestrian and child passenger safety. The topics they explored included how to play safely away from cars, proper booster seat use and school bus safety.

RCK third- and fourth-grade students created persuasive posters under the direction of art teacher Dana Belfiore that examined ideas about getting to school safely, such as bike safety, walking to school and being aware of traffic.

Double Doctorates for District


Two of the district’s most respected administrators recently added a new title to their resumes, adding “Dr.” in front of their names. Sara Anderson, the district’s director of humanities, and Aileen O’Rourke, the principal of John F. Kennedy Elementary School, were both awarded doctoral degrees this year from St. John’s University.

The purpose of O’Rourke’s study, completed at St. John’s from 2012 through 2015, was to determine factors that influence parents’ decision making regarding refusing to take the New York State Common Core Assessment in Suffolk County.

“This journey has been a fulfilling and gratifying experience,” said O’Rourke, who previously had obtained a bachelor’s degree in English and secondary education and a master’s in elementary education, both at the City University of New York at Queens College, as well as a professional diploma in school leadership and administration from CUNY Brooklyn.

Anderson’s dissertation explored New York State’s principal evaluation system, offering a qualitative case study of the perceptions of principals and evaluators in one Suffolk County school district. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a Master of Science from Dowling College, and an educational leadership certification from Stony Brook University.

“Many people have accompanied me on this adventure of obtaining my doctorate degree,” said Anderson. “Without the support of these individuals, my journey would have been much more difficult. I am forever grateful to all who have offered professional expertise, guidance and support throughout this challenging endeavor.”

Snow Day Calendar Change

Please see the below memo regarding snow day changes to the 2014-2015 district calendar.


MS Leaders Club Visits Vets


The middle school eighth-grade Girls Leaders Club recently visited the Long Island State Veterans Home in Stony Brook for a morning of creative crafts and tribute to the veterans.

During the annual visit, supervised by club adviser Diane Wahrenburg, the students worked with the veterans to make cards and posters. The veterans talked about their lives outside the military, told stories of their military days, shared heartfelt memories and gave life-changing advice to the students. 

“This field trip was one of our favorites,” said Leaders Club Vice President Victoria Keenan. “It was a true eye-opener and taught us the value of devotion to a cause. We learned to give back to the people to whom we owe it all. Our veterans really drove home the point that freedom isn’t free – truly an important lesson to learn.”

April 16 BOE Workshop Meeting, Budget Presentation and Response to BAC

The East Islip Board of Education will hold a workshop meeting (including the third budget presentation and the Board's response to the Budget Advisory Committee recommendations) on Thursday, April 16 at 7 p.m. All community members are invited to attend.

Artist of the Week: March 23, 2015


John F. Kennedy Elementary: Fourth-graders Robert Graziano and Nicholas Wodicka (“Cherry Blossoms”)

Ruth C. Kinney Elementary: Fourth-graders Rhiannon Donahue, Alexandra Edwards, Shannon Kennedy and Raymond LaRocca (“Spirit Animal Bust")

Timber Point Elementary: Second-graders Eric Ritter and Haley Trifaro ("AAA Traffic Safety Poster Contest")

Artist Goes for Gold with ‘Yukon’


Nicholas Dahill, a senior in Dan Figliozzi’s Advanced Placement drawing portfolio class at the high school, submitted his digital drawing “Yukon” to the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards this past December. Awards were recently given to students across the country, and Dahill was recently named the recipient of SAWA’s prestigious Gold Key Award.

Dahill is an active participant in the school’s art department, taking additional drawing and electronic illustration courses. “Being in a community of people with similar interests is an inspiring and positive experience, where I’ve made many great friends,” said Dahill.
He continues to hone his skills in these courses in preparation for collegiate study, and has received feedback from numerous top art schools. “I aspire to pursue illustration or game art in college and hope to one day get a job in the game or comic book industries,” said the senior.

Dahill’s drawing “Yukon” is a self-portrait of the artist wearing the hide of a bear. “Through the use of delicate line work and saturated color gradients, he conveyed the importance of embracing what you are passionate about,” said Figliozzi, who noted that Dahill is continuing to explore this idea in the body of work he is developing for the concentration section of his Advanced Placement drawing exam.

The East Islip Big Egg Hunt Begins Saturday


The East Islip Big Egg Hunt begins on Saturday, March 28 and runs through April 28. Participating stores will “hide” the eggs until their secret date to display them publicly. The first East Islip student to see an egg will be recognized on the certificate accompanying the egg and will get a small gift/treat from the store it is found in. See list of participating stores below.


Mock Trial Team Visits Courthouse


Members of the high school’s mock trial team and their adviser Patricia Lester visited the Alfonse M. D’Amato U.S. Courthouse in Central Islip on March 12, a visit arranged by East Islip mock trial alumnus Kevin Yim.

Yim, of East Islip’s Class of 2006, earned his undergraduate degree at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts and his Juris Doctor degree at Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law in Philadelphia. He passed the New York State Bar Exam and was hired as a clerk by Gary R. Brown, a federal magistrate judge for the Eastern District of New York.

Since earning his law degree, Yim has been eager to help out with East Islip’s mock trial team. After regularly attending the team’s practices on Saturday mornings, he facilitated the visit to the court with Judge Brown. While there, the students were able to watch a portion of a civil rights trial and meet with the judge in his chambers. The judge invited the students into his courtroom and listened to an opening statement by Elizabeth Loizides and a closing statement by Joe Teknus. Brown offered helpful advice and feedback to the students on the mock trial problem they will be using in this year’s state tournament. 

“The visit was a great success and all of the students felt they benefited from the experience,” said Lester.

Speed and STEM at MS


Seventh-graders in Hal Kench’s middle school technology education classes recently completed their CO2 dragster activities, which involved miniature racing cars propelled by a carbon dioxide cartridge.

David Gomez took top honors with his car by hitting the highest speed of 57 mph. “David’s car was lightweight and extremely aerodynamic, two very important properties for a fast car,” said Kench.

The CO2 dragster project served numerous STEM-related educational functions, according to Kench, starting with learning about basic hand tool and machine safety. “Those are things that will come in handy throughout everyone’s lifetime,” he said.

Additional concepts and skills that the students learned included scientific concepts like Newton’s laws of motion, forces, friction, inertia, mass and acceleration; technology skills such as technical drawing, CAD, specifications and tolerances; engineering concepts like design, prototyping, analysis, production and improvement; and math elements like measurement, calculation and comparison.

Hoops Were in the House at MS Tournament


The middle school hosted a “Hoops for the House” three-on-three charity basketball tournament on March 19 to support the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island. Planned by the middle school’s student government and Girls Leaders Club, with teacher and basketball coach Chris Padgur serving as master of ceremonies, the event also served to kick off the school’s March Madness Spirit Week.

A total of 91 students on 24 teams participated, raising $220 in charity funds through dollar entrance fees and snack sales. Each member of the winning Hornets team – Brendan Cox, Matt McHugh, Adonic Nunez and Ryan Spatola – received a $10 iTunes gift card as a prize.

Track Stars Finish Big at Cornell


High school track stars Katharine Newhoff and Faith Penny enjoyed an outstanding finish to their seasons, both earning All-State status at the New York State Track and Field Championships, held on March 6 at Cornell University in Ithaca.

Penny, the new state champion in high jump, finished in first place for all high jumpers, earned her All-State recognition for the third consecutive year.

Newhoff finished in second place for all race walkers in all of New York State public schools and state federation schools, narrowly missing being state champion by three seconds. 

The two students and their coach, Mike Drozd, were honored at the Board of Education’s March 12 meeting.

Focus on Friendship at JFK

Through the school’s Book of the Month Club, JFK highlights a different character trait each month. For February, the entire school read the book “The Piano” by William Miller, and focused on the character trait of friendship. Students in each class were recognized for displaying outstanding friendship qualities, and Student Friendship Stars were recognized on the character trait bulletin board in the main lobby; all received an acknowledgment letter from Principal Aileen O’Rourke along with a character pencil and special gift.

Rare Disease Day Connects Schools


In a joint awareness effort that spanned Redmen Street, the high school and middle school recognized Rare Disease Day on Feb. 27.

At the high school, the student council and Girls Leaders Club organized the day’s activities, purchasing special T-shirts for the event to benefit the NBIA Disorders Association. Numerous students clad in the Rare Disease Day shirts celebrated in the auditorium during homeroom with Kyle Engblom, a sophomore at the high school who has a rare disease known as FAHN-FA2H. According to guidance counselor Jessica Pignataro, Engblom sees Rare Disease Day as an opportunity to raise awareness and share his story.

Meanwhile, in the middle school, where Rare Disease Day was first recognized several years ago while Engblom was attending, students and staff wore white in support of the Ronald McDonald House. During the week of Feb. 23, middle schoolers were educated about families and children living with rare diseases and medical conditions, and collected pantry wish list items for the Ronald McDonald House, an organization that provides comfort and shelter to families experiencing the pain of having a sick child in a local hospital. “Our focus for Rare Disease Day was to raise awareness and increase acceptance,” said school social worker Alison Johnstone.

Esteemed Elders Gala Event on April 1

See the attached flier for information on the Esteemed Elders Gala Event, to be held from 5-8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 1 at the Early Childhood Center at the district office. Admission is $8 and RSVP is due by March 26.


The Magnificent 17: All-State Students Honored


The high school garnered 17 All-State student selections this school year by the Suffolk County Chapter of the New York State Council of Administrators of Music Education. The student-musicians, who performed at the NYSCAME/SCMEA All-County Concert last Nov. 21 at Half Hollow Hills High School East in Dix Hills, were honored by the district at a March 12 Board of Education meeting.

Named to the All-State Orchestra were seniors Doug Keller (trombone), Valli Mani (flute), Nicholas Pepino (horn) and Carolyn Sidoti (violin); and juniors Laura Coffin (oboe), Sarah Commisso (violin), Harrison Gieraltowski (clarinet) and Jake MacMorris (tuba).

Named to the All-State Band was senior Krista Cook (clarinet).

Named to the All-State Mixed Chorus were seniors Joseph Janover (tenor), Faith Penny (soprano), Samantha Sampollo (alto), Sam Sharkey (tenor) and Alyssa Stephens (soprano); and junior Jonathan Coffin (bass).

Named to the All-State Women’s Chorus were juniors Emily Fishman (soprano) and Danielle Pafundi (soprano).

Artist of the Week: March 16, 2015


John F. Kennedy Elementary: Fourth-graders Lauren Holmes and Melissa Mirabelli ("Imagine a Night Surrealist Scenes”)

Ruth C. Kinney Elementary: Fourth-graders Erin Kroupa and Madison Lozyngier (“Spirit Anima Bust”)

Timber Point Elementary: First-graders Kayla Varga, Michael Donlin and Keira Bloch ("3D Paper Bald Eagle Sculptures")

District Dancers Make Green Scene


Dancers and bagpipers made a green scene in East Islip on March 16, celebrating St. Patrick’s Day one day in advance. Timber Point hosted a special set of Irish-themed performances in the school’s cafeteria, including a demonstration of Irish step dancing by four students from the district.

JFK fourth-graders Izzie Lemke and Rhiannon O’Boyle, RCK fourth-grader Reese Clark, and Timber Point second-grader Abby Lemke performed five dances for the school and taught volunteers how to step dance.

The dancing display was followed by a performance of traditional Irish music on bagpipes and drums by four members of the Suffolk County Police Officers Emerald Society Pipe Band. 

“The students really enjoyed the performances by the step dancers and the pipe band,” said Timber Point Principal Lisa Belz. “It was nice to be able to expose the students to a piece of the Irish culture.”

Dental Visit Promotes Smiles at JFK


East Islip Dental representatives visited JFK’s Cafetorium on Feb. 11 to promote healthy smiles, providing oral hygiene instructions and gifting the students with toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss and educational materials.

“Early intervention with education for students, plus basic oral hygiene supplies, can make a difference now and in the future,” said Principal Aileen O’Rourke.

Second Budget Presentation Posted

The East Islip School District's second 2015-2016 budget presentation, presented at the March 12 Board of Education meeting, is available to view.


Girls Bowling All-Stars Shine


Olivia Lopera and Lyndsay Mavrich, both athletes on the girls varsity bowling team, finished the season as two of the top six bowlers in Suffolk County, earning them spots on the Section XI All-Star team.

Mavrich finished fourth overall with a season average of 204, while Lopera finished first overall with a new Suffolk County and Long Island record high average of 228.

The Section XI All Star Team finished second at the NYSPHSAA state championship tournament, held on March 8 in Syracuse.    

The two students and their coach, Harold Cooley Jr., were honored at the Board of Education’s March 12 meeting.

Champions of Character


The middle school held its eighth annual Breakfast of Champions on March 10, honoring sixth- and seventh-grade students who demonstrated the schools  “Six Pillars of Character” during the 2014-2015 school year. Each of the 51 honorees was selected by a team or department at the middle school.

The event began with greetings from Principal Mark Bernard. Christian Seifert and Jason Stanton, the assistant principals, then presented the winning students with certificates and lanyards commemorating their achievement. Upon completion of the ceremony, the students enjoyed breakfast with their proud families and school staff.

Sixth-graders recognized included Nikolas Allen, Faith Calabrese, Steven Chen, Everlyse Connolly, Brianna Csoban, Christopher Febbraro, Ashley Fuchsman, Christian Guiliano, Markus Higgins, Deirdre Kennedy, Mia Lembo, Colin McCarthy, Kaeli Miller, Madeline Miller, Sophia Nelson, Ryan Norton, Brandon Palomba, Joseph Raso, Kaitlyn Reilly, Kaitlyn Rice, Samantha Ryan, Matthew Sandler, Katelyn Schwarz, John Seybert, Hannah Smalley, Andrew Stanzione, Steven Stassi, Joshua Vogel, Skye Weichbrodt and Jeffrey Wills.

Seventh-graders recognized included Gabriel Abruzzo, Emily Alexander, Niamh Amitrano, Autumn Bashwiner, Eric Berke, Justin DeSane, Shannon Dodenhoff, Gracie Edmonds, Gabriela Ekbom, Joseph Falcon, Harold Heffernan, Joshua Isacksen, Brandon Keaney, Thomas Locke, Isabella Marrone, Caroline Meehan, Emma Mendolia, Jason Novellano, Colleen Ryan, Emily, Sensabaugh and Toby Zollner.

100 Days, 100 Legos at TP


To celebrate the 100th day of the school year, second-graders in Vanessa DiPalma  and Gail Rhatigan’s class at Timber Point Elementary School enjoyed a Lego challenge. During math time, the students were each given a bag of 100 Legos and asked to construct something of their own choosing, using all of the pieces. After the building phase, the students wrote descriptive paragraphs about their structural creations.

2015-2016 Calendar Approved

At the March 12 business meeting, the Board of Education approved the revised 2015-2016 school calendar, attached below.


Artist of the Week: March 9, 2015


Ruth C. Kinney Elementary: Fourth-graders James Buonincontri and Gianna Cipriano (“Spirit Animal Bust”)

Timber Point Elementary: Kindergartners Kayla Timmers and Sophie Snoble ("Jackson Pollock Solar System Splatter Painting")

Calendar Creativity Recognized by Board


A total of 98 student-artists from East Islip School District were honored at consecutive Board of Education meetings for contributing artwork to the district’s 2014-2015 calendar. At each meeting, Stephen Guarino, East Islip’s director of art and music, introduced colorful slideshow presentations for the elementary, middle school and high school artists, respectively. Each student (see below for a complete list) received a certificate recognizing his or her artistic success.

“I am aways so impressed with the art created by all of our students throughout the year,” said Guarino. “These students should be proud to have their work included in the district calendar and it was my pleasure to present the images to the board of education, district office staff and community.”


Boys Bowlers Roll to State Title


Rolling on to their second New York State championship in the last three years, the East Islip High School boys varsity bowling team claimed the title at Strike ’N Spare Lanes in Syracuse on March 7. The 14-0 Redmen – seniors Matt Amin, Nick DeFazio, John Kavanaugh, Anthony Riggi and Nick Salentino; juniors Mike Orobello and Mike Riolo; and freshman Justin Orobello; guided by coach Bob Cheadle – scored 5,985 in the series to best second-place Fulton’s 5,814.

In the three morning games of the tournament, despite DeFazio bowling a 233 and 229, the Redmen were left in third place, trailing by 54 pins. They moved into first place after a 1,020-point fourth game, led by Justin Orobello’s 240 and Kavanaugh’s 223. The team bowled a 1,084 – the highest in the tournament – in the sixth and final game to win by 171 pins. In that last game, Kavanaugh, who finished with a 206.50 average, bowled a 239, Salentino a 231, DeFazio a 224 and Amin a 214.

“As you go through a long season, things will occur that will test your team in different ways,” said coach Bob Cheadle, reflecting on the team’s road to the championship. “We always do the physical work required, so I had no doubt that we were good enough to compete. During the season, however, our commitment to each other was being challenged. Once we made the collective decision to put the team goals ahead of individual glory, I knew we were ready to win.”

For the year, East Islip (also including team members Vincent Altman, Craig Griffith, David Sherman, James Spina and Matthew Waldron) won all four team championship contests, finishing as league, division, county and state champions. In defining the character of his student-athletes, Cheadle emphasized the team’s motto – “There can be only one state of mind as you approach any profound test: total concentration, a spirit of togetherness and strength” – as a source of their success. “This year we proved these are not just words, they are words to live by,” he said.

The team and Cheadle were honored at the Board of Education’s March 12 meeting.

Sharp Shooters a Highlight in Hoops


Fourth- and fifth-graders from John F. Kennedy and Ruth C. Kinney elementary schools were among 8,000 students participating in the 28th annual Town of Islip Sharp Shooter Basketball Contest.

Sponsored since 1993 by Islip’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, along with co-sponsors Southside Hospital, the Islip Elks and the Town of Islip Housing Authority, the Sharp Shooter “Just Say No to Drugs” challenge encourages children in local schools to improve their basketball skills while serving as an alternative to drug and alcohol abuse.

The initial competition, held during schools’ physical education classes and directed by JFK teachers Keith Gerard and Jennie Nagengast and RCK teachers Michael Delia and Bernie Ruhlig, gave each student the chance to score as many baskets as possible in one minute.

East Islip first-place winners at the school level were Anthony Affrunti, Lauren Holmes, Robby Moore and Jenna Rigo for JFK, and Michael Giaccone, Nicole Longo, Evie Orlando, and Nicholas Rizzo for RCK. JFK runners-up included Victoria D'Amico, Aidan Harty, Jack Kerns and Marisa Triolo.

The final round in the 2015 Sharpshooter competition was held on Feb. 21 at the West Islip High School gymnasium, with Councilman Anthony Senft Jr., Islip Town Parks Commissioner Kerry Bassett and Elks members on hand to congratulate the winners from among the 38 competing elementary schools.

Among all fourth-grade girls, Holmes scored 33 points and came in first place while Longo achieved third place. Moore’s score of 40 points was all-time highest score ever achieved at the Sharp Shooter finals, earning him first place among all fifth-grade boys.

Shadows Spur Success


More than 90 students at the high school participated in this year’s Shadow Day, the culminating activity of the school’s long-running Mentor Me program sponsored by the East Islip School-Business Partnership.

In the first phase of the mentoring program, the students attended the Catch-a-Career Breakfast in the fall, where they spoke to business professionals in various fields, and learned how to write a proper email and make initial contact with their mentors. During the annual Shadow Day event, the students “shadowed” chosen mentors who work in their desired career fields.

Organizations participating in this year’s mentoring days included North Shore-LIJ Southside, St. Francis and Winthrop-University hospitals; the Tierney & Tierney law firm; accountants Albrecht, Viggiano, Zureck & Co.; J.J. Nazzaro Associates; Joseph Gabriel Architects; Residence Inn Marriott; East Islip Health & Fitness; Amanda Honig Zebra Technologies; Zebra Net; Bideawee; Solar Dad and Sons; Long Island Blue Point Oyster; the Suffolk County Police Departmen, Suffolk County Bus Transportation ande Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s Office; the Town of Islip; and Suffolk County Legislator Tom Cilmi.

“All of these businesses provided the program’s students a day to help them understand the occupations within these companies,” said teacher Bridget Lopiccolo, the coordinator of the Mentor Me program. “Without the cooperation and partnering of these businesses, this program would not work.”

“Students are always nervous about their Shadow Day, trying to make the most of their experience, but once they are actually shadowing, they beam with excitement and absorb all they can from their mentors,” said teacher and School-Business Partnership coordinator Paul McHugh. 

East Islip’s students may contact their mentors in the future, and many do take advantage of these contacts for assistance in career guidance. The program also results in numerous opportunities for internships, part-time work and even full-time employment, results that are beneficial for both the students and the businesses.

“Students either love the occupation or hate it, which is fine, because both are valuable experiences and provide students the opportunity to learn that before post-graduate study,” explained Lopiccolo. “Our goal is to help students find a career they are looking to enter, and it’s hard at only 17 or 18 years old to know what you want to do the rest of your life.”

EI Artists Honored at SCALA Show


Artwork by East Islip High School students Kimberly Moreno, Lee Pelling and Rebecca Schreiner was recently chosen by the Suffolk County Art Leaders Association for exhibition at the All County SCALA Scholarship Show, which highlights some of Long Island’s finest young artists. Following installation, the students attended an honorary reception at Old Town Hall in Babylon on Feb. 7.

Moreno, who is taking a photography class with teacher Heather Toomey, displayed her digital photograph on metallic photo paper.

“I am so proud of Kimberly,” said Toomey. “She is a talented photographer and artist who was just accepted into many art colleges and who has exhibited in numerous art shows during her East Islip career.”

Pelling, studying electronic illustration under the direction of Erin Jacob, utilized Adobe Illustrator to create a vector self-portrait.

“Lee was so inspired by the vector process, she continued to create multiple portraits of her family members,” said Jacob.

Schreiner, a student in Daniel Figliozzi’s drawing class, displayed her surrealist-inspired portrait of Cosette from the theatrical production “Les Miserables.”

“Rebecca used her talent and drawing skills to create a beautiful colored pencil portrait that was nearly photorealistic,” said Figliozzi.

Welcome to Naviance

The East Islip High School Guidance Department is pleased to introduce Family Connection from Naviance, a web-based service designed especially for students and parents. Please see the below presentation regarding registration for new accounts for parents and students, and visit the department's Naviance page to log in.


Snow Outside, Books Inside at TP


In an appropriate analog to the area’s weather, this year’s Parents As Reading Partners program at Timber Point revolved around a wintry theme of “Snow Is Falling…Books Are Calling.”

The annual PTA-sponsored initiative featured a “If I Lived in a Snow Globe" story project, a “Warm and Cozy Guest Reader Day” with students donning pajamas, and a “Snow-e-tree” writing contest. In the latter, five winning poems were chosen and read over the loudspeaker at morning announcements, and all of the entries were printed into a booklet for students to enjoy.

“My co-chair Kristen Moriarty and I had a great time creating lots of fun ways for the students to enjoy reading at home, fitting in with our theme,” said PTA representative Denise Feldman, whose organization awarded weekly raffle prizes to outstanding readers. “The feedback was great and the kids did an awesome job with everything.”

The program kicked off with an assembly that featured magician Robert McEntee, who related all of his applause-inducing illusions to reading.

In a special “Principal’s Challenge,” the students surpassed their goal by collectively reading over 42,000 minutes during the two weeks of PARP. The reward was seeing Principal Lisa Belz spending an entire day dressed as a snowman. “I’m not sure who had more fun, the students or Dr. Belz,” said Feldman.

As PARP came to a close in February, the class in each grade with the highest rate of participation – Josette Welton’s kindergartners, Christine Vaglica’s first-graders and Erica Sherlock’s second-graders – was rewarded with an “Ice-PARP” party in the cafeteria.

For the final day, a vocabulary hat parade through the halls was organized by the school’s reading teachers, with students choosing new vocabulary words and decorating a hat with their definitions.  

100th Day Celebration at Connetquot


Connetquot celebrated the 100th day of school on Feb. 24 with centenarian costumes, exercises in counting and a special can campaign.

Students and teachers alike dressed as if they were 100 years old, and the students enumerated more than 100 reasons why they loved their school and created posters that each collected 100 items. Tying in to the math curriculum, the students also counted to 100 utilizing a variety of objects as well as their rectangular 10 frame counting tools.

“The day was filled with numeracy lessons on the many different ways to count to 100,” said Principal Deborah Smith. “Everyone agreed that the children were 100 days smarter and there were hundreds of happy smiles throughout the school.”

In a final, charitable endeavor for the 100th day celebrations, students collected a total of 560 cans to donate to St. Peter’s food pantry.  Each classroom completed various activities with the cans, such as graphing and sorting by 10s, then brought the cans down to the cafeteria, where they were sorted and counted by students in Crystal Ann Chiari’s class.

Artist of the Week: March 2, 2015


John F. Kennedy Elementary: Third-grader Gianna
Bruno and fourth-grader Mikey Raguseo (“Cool Sunset Silhouettes”)

Timber Point Elementary: First-grader Christian Horeis ("Henri Rousseau Jungle Collage - Part 2")

Presenting a Legacy of Leadership


In the final edition of teacher Greg Kguloian’s Lit.2 Life cross-curriculum lesson program, dubbed “Blue and Gold (Leadership and Legacy)”, high schoolers worked in cooperative groups to create a student-centered learning project for a mock National History Day competition.

Groups in each of Kguloian’s English 10 classes worked together to create the three components of their presentation: a news report about their research on a chosen historic leader, an original skit about that leader and how they came to power and what they accomplished with their power, and a lesson which allowed the students to actually “teach” each other about what they learned via their cooperative research. All of the students used appropriate sources of information and included proper citation for verification of the validity of their reports.

Among the leaders selected for research were Mahatma Gandhi, Jackie Robinson, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. The latter’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech was reenacted by one of the students. 

“I was bursting with pride about how my students approached and executed their mock National History Day project,” said Kguloian. “It reminded me why I come to work every day.”

“We carefully plan and implement our objectives for the betterment of those entrusted to us as educators,” he explained. “However, this student-centered activity has been proven to benefit everyone concerned. My kids worked very hard on this final Lit.2 Life endeavor and they have proven to be the epitome of what EI Pride can achieve.”

“I enjoyed observing how our students were encouraged to continuously search for evidence in primary source documents that truly made them dig deep,” said Superintendent Linda J. Rozzi, who visited the classroom during the presentations. “It's funny how the Common Core has emphasized meta-cognition, yet English educators by training have always taught that way.”

Heroes and Ducks at EIMS


Middle schooler Nicholas Illare recently received a school assembly visit from the Long Island Ducks’ mascot, QuackerJack, as a result of winning TD Bank’s “Take a Duck to Class” essay contest.

Illare was one of only four winning students on Long Island out a field of hundreds of applicants; each had to write an essay on the topic, “Who is a hero in your community and why?”

The sixth-grader selected his cousin, architect and real estate developer Anthony Westenberg, as the subject of his contest entry.

“Even though Hurricane Sandy destroyed his home, he still found time to help others”, noted Illare in his essay, describing how Westenberger, the owner of AMW Development Corp., sponsored a “meals on wheels” type of event in his neighborhood.

Trio of Future Medical Leaders


High school students Katie Bunde, Matthew DeLuca and Joe Nickel were nominated to attend the prestigious Congress of Future Medical Leaders in Washington, D.C. Each of the three received an Award of Excellence from the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists.

Students are nominated for this honor based on leadership ability, high grade point averages, and aspirations to become physicians or medical scientists.

While at the Congress, the trio and fellow high school delegates from around the country watched live surgical procedures, had the opportunity to submit questions to the surgeons in real time, and discussed state-of-the-art diagnostic tools. The students were personally instructed by prominent scientific leaders including U.S. Surgeon General Boris D. Lushniak, National Institutes of Health Director Francis S. Collins, National Medal of Science winner Dr. J. Craig Venter, Harvard University Medical School professor Bohdan Pomahac, Georgetown University Dean for Medical Education Stephen Ray Mitchell, and Nobel Prize winners Dr. Mario Capecchi, Dr. Ferid Murad and Dr. Richard Roberts.

EJ Autism's Jigsaw Run on April 26

The EJ Autism Foundation's ninth annual Jigsaw 4 Mile Run/Walk for Autism will take place Sunday, April 26, starting at 9:30 a.m., at the East Islip Marina on the end of Bayview Avenue.
All proceeds from the event will be used by the EJ Autism Foundation to support programs on Long Island that work with children diagnosed with autism.

For race information and application, see the attached flier. 


Fridge Donated for Life Skills Students

The EJ Autism Foundation donated an apartment-sized refrigerator to the district this school year, for placement in the life skills room at the middle school. The unit has provided the students with valuable opportunities to store, prepare and cook foods that require refrigeration.
Tuesday, March 31, 2015