BOE Budget Adoption This Week

The East Islip Board of Education's next monthly business meeting will take place on Thursday, April 24 at 8 p.m. in the district office boardroom at 1 Craig B. Gariepy Ave. in Islip Terrace, and will include the adoption of the 2014-2015 budget. The community is welcome to attend.

Bunnies Hop at HS Breakfast

At East Islip High School’s seventh annual Hop Into Spring Bunny Breakfast on April 9, toddler “bunnies” traveled through the building in search of eggs, accompanied by their high school buddies in teacher Kelly Schwender’s parenting program and greeted by other older students and district staff. As the Spring Bunny arrived, all of the toddlers were given a chance to have their picture taken with the fluffy character.

“The Bunny Breakfast is another wonderful opportunity for the high school buddies to work closely with the toddlers,” said Israel Malinowitzer, the guidance director. “Kelly Schwender does an excellent job all year providing these toddlers with many different types of events that allow them to be part of the high school and bring joy to the entire community.”

RCK Students in Earth Day Contest

Under the direction of art teacher Dana Belfiore, third-graders at East Islip’s Ruth C. Kinney Elementary submitted Earth Day artwork to State Sen. Phil Boyle’s “Every Day Is Earth Day” poster contest. The students created posters on the theme of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” and slogans to encourage others to celebrate Earth Day by taking care of the planet

The 22 participating RCK students were: Humile Amar, Ryan Aldovino, Emily Bott, Emma Burns, Reese Clark, Sofia Costarelli, Gabriele Crowell, Rachel Furey, Samantha Gut, Filomena Herpfer, Marni Jacobowitz, Shannon Kennedy, Nicole Longo, Jacob Lopez,Madison Lozyngier, Anthony Rigogliosi, Emma Rivera, Kenneth Scholl, Olivia Simonetti, Gabriella Smith, Olivia Viteri and Kelly Waldron.

Career Academy Makes Presentation

Students from East Islip High School’s vaunted Career Academy program and their director Israel Malinowitzer made a special presentation at a recent Board of Education meeting. A total of 25 students from the program attended, along with seven of the program’s teachers.

The evening was an opportunity to showcase the three existing Career Academy programs – Environmental Green, International Business Globalization, and Medical and Health Technology – and announce the upcoming fourth program, the Culinary Arts and Hospitality Career Academy.

“This is a terrific program that gears students up for careers,” said Superintendent of Schools Linda J. Rozzi.

Malinowitzer began by thanking the teachers who have been part of the academy programs for the past five years, as well as the students this year who have been actively involved in every related event, educational field trip and internship program. “There is a very special bond between the teachers and the courses they teach, and a true collegiality that has developed over the last few years,” he said. “No longer are teachers sitting in their department ‘silos.’ Rather, they are developing curriculum that will connect the different academic courses with the CTE courses that these students take as part of the Career Academy program.” He also explained how they can earn CTE certification through the New York State Education Department. “Our students will receive a special state seal on their diplomas if they complete the program and sit for an assessment exam that is provided through NOCTI, which is the organization that provides the exams for these programs. For example, students in the Business Career Academy are required to take the Virtual Enterprise International Assessment Exam.”

Discussing the internships, mentoring and networking opportunities available to each East Islip student who enrolls in the program, Malinowitzer noted articulation agreements with Adelphi University, Dowling College, Farmingdale College and Suffolk County Community College that enable students to leave high school with as many as 24 college credits.

Diligent parents were also cited as an important source of support. “We can always count on parents to drive our students to the different events outside the district,” Malinowitzer said. “These parents speak very highly of the Career Academies and can see a huge difference in their children and how they interact with the other students and teachers in the program.”

Malinowitzer selected 10 of his current students – Kelsey Bettex, Danielle Drywa, James Mellett, Kaila Minieri, Steven Morrell, Joseph Moschetto, Allison Pinz, David Stringer, Thea Tsolomitis and Austin Ward – to speak about the Career Academy they enrolled in and how it impacted their senior year.  

“This program helped me become more familiar with new career pathways that were not available 10 years ago,” said Morrell of the Green Career Academy. “It has given me the opportunity to meet business leaders, become educated about environmental issues that we are all facing and find solutions to deal with these problems.”

Ward has been learning about the Environment Green Career Academy since ninth grade, developing a strong interest in field internships and meeting business leaders. “I have mentored Austin for the last four years,” said Malinowitzer, “and have watched him grow and develop into a student who will not only be successful, but who will always give back to his community and school district.” In his speech, Ward mentioned the importance of having Career Academy programs in every high school, saying, “Schools that do not have Career Academies are doing a great injustice to their students.”

Mellett found his future career in environmental engineering as a result of the impact of Career Academy teachers like John Reilly and Maude Walsh. Addressing the audience, he encouraged parents in attendance to bring their sons and daughters to Malinowitzer’s office so that they can hear firsthand why the Career Academies are so valuable. “It will make a huge difference when applying to colleges,” he said.

Pinz spoke about how shy she was when she entered the Business Career Academy, and how confident and poised she is now after a year in the program. She also discussed her involvement in the Academy’s business plan competition, in which she prepared a resume, cover letter, PowerPoint presentation, and company brochures and logo. “I learned so much about running a business and loved coming to school every day,” she said. “The Career Academy is an experience like no other.”

Tsolomitis spoke highly about her position as CEO of the Business Career Academy’s VE Connected firm, detailing how she took charge of the firm and worked alongside her executive team to make this year’s company one of the most successful in the virtual enterprise program. She gives full credit to the Academy for her recent acceptance to Hofstra University on a $92,000 scholarship, which gave her the edge against competition from all over the world.  “I realized how much I enjoy running a company and being involved in every facet of the business operation,” she said.

Formerly shy Stringer credited his successful senior year to the Business Academy, noting his newfound ability to work with a team and put all of his effort into supporting the virtual firm as vice president of the sales department. “He is no longer afraid to speak in front of groups of people and enjoys networking with business people and local politicians,” said Malinowitzer. Stringer discovered a love for accounting, his planned future career path, while part of the VE firm.

Moschetto, a student in the Medical Academy, explained how he was initially interested in being an EMT. After serving an internship through the Academy, and learning more about the medical field, he decided to pursue a career in nursing. He has since been accepted to the honors program for nursing at Mount St. Mary College, on scholarship.

Bettex, another Medical Academy student, told of her experience in switching majors to forensic science. She has been accepted to New Haven College with a Presidential Scholarship.

Drywa, also in the Medial Academy, informed the audience how being in the Academy enabled her to explore what areas of the medical profession she is not interested in pursuing, something that she feels will prove of financial benefit for her parents when she attends college.

While on a sailing expedition this year, Green Academy student Minieri found her career passion. Upon graduating from East Islip, she will be heading off to the U.S. Navy. “I would like to be involved in helping to save the environment,” she said.

Now in its sixth year, the Career Academy program at East Islip is designed to have students work individually and in teams. It utilizes teachers as facilitators to offer suggestions while allowing students to use their critical thinking skills and ability to communicate with one another and business leaders in the field. Students in their senior year who are accepted to the Career Academy are required to spend the entire day in high school and must participate in an internship program as well as after-school events and workshops.

“We want to bring real-world experience to the classroom, something that will provide our students with the opportunities to be ready to compete in the college and career world,” said Malinowitzer.  “As the coordinator of the program, I can say without any doubt that students enrolled in any of the four Career Academies will be viewed more positively by the colleges they wish to attend.”

Math Honor Society Raises Pennies for Patients

Aided by the generosity of East Islip High School staff and students, the school’s Math Honor Society collected more than $1,300 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Pennies for Patients fundraiser, to be used directly for the benefit of children fighting cancer.  

Among the participants were juniors Michael Borelli, Elizabeth Loizides, Meghan Mueller, Jennifer Rottkamp and Carolyn Sidoti, and seniors Andrew Dobkowski, Jackson Domenech, Danielle Drywa, Max Gieraltowski, Patricia McLoughlin, William Meehan and MHS President Kaitlyn Terrio.
“These students opened their hearts and emptied their pockets without the slightest hesitation,” said Math Honor Society adviser Maria Burns.


EJ Autism's Jigsaw Run on April 27

The EJ Autism Foundation's eighth annual Jigsaw 4 Mile Run/Walk for Autism will take place Sunday, April 27, starting at 9:30 a.m., at the East Islip Marina on the end of Bayview Avenue.

The event will also include a quarter-mile kiddie run at 9 a.m. and a post-race party at Jackson Hall.

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.

"Run or walk four miles for autism and be part of the difference," urges EJ Autism founder Bea Huste-Petersen.

For more information including registration, please click on the attached flier. Walkers and runners can also register online at the EJ Autism Foundation, or on the morning of the race (from 7:30-9 a.m.) at Jackson Hall.


Medical Marvels Study Storm Impacts

Eleven science research students from East Islip High School – Emma Benardos, Nick Carney, Laura Coffin, Meaghan Coles, Jake MacMorris, Peter Mendez, Hetal Patel, Karli Pipitone, Julia Rizzo, Caleb Schulman and Alex Viruet – participated in the second annual Medical Marvels competition, held at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset on March 14.

Two teams of students developed an action plan to respond to a hypothetical catastrophic storm hitting a coastal community, similar to the impact of Superstorm Sandy on Long Island. Their plan focused on preparation before the storm, actions taken during the emergency and subsequent recovery efforts. The students spent several weeks researching the public policy, science and technology aspects of their plan, and then submitted a research paper to the Feinstein Institute. The plan was judged according to protocols used at the National Institutes of Health. Each team then created a poster summarizing the major aspects of their plan and rehearsed an oral presentation for the judges. On the day of the competition, judges visited each project and asked follow-up questions to the students. The poster session was followed by a presentation describing the North Shore-LIJ Health System’s actual response to Superstorm Sandy.

Softball Team Helps Homeless

East Islip’s altruistic varsity softball team attended this year’s “Have a Heart for the Homeless” Candlelight Vigil for the Homeless event at Farmingdale College on April 8, an annual event sponsored by the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless. The softball squad volunteered their time by handing out winter coats, nonperishable food items, candles and bracelets, and each member of the East Islip team personally donated items for the homeless such as clothing, baby items, toiletries and canned goods.

Board Special Meeting on BOCES on April 23

The East Islip Board of Education will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, April 23 at 8 a.m. regarding the 2014-2015 BOCES budget.

The Board's next monthly business meeting will take place on Thursday, April 24 at 8 p.m. in the district office boardroom at 1 Craig B. Gariepy Ave. in Islip Terrace, and will include the adoption of the 2014-2015 budget. The community is welcome to attend.

Board Responds to Budget Advisory Committee

The East Islip Board of Education response to the Budget Advisory Committee's presentation can be viewed below.


SADD’s Grim Reaper Visits Classrooms

As part of a yearlong substance abuse awareness campaign, East Islip High School’s Students Against Destructive Decisions club staged its 11th annual Grim Reaper Day on March 28. Approximately every 25 minutes throughout the school day, a gong sounded and a rotating cast of anonymous students dressed as the Grim Reaper selected and “struck” a student. The 16 students chosen as “victims” were asked to don black T-shirts
and remain silent for the remainder of the day as a reminder of lives lost due to alcohol abuse.  

“Each year when SADD runs the Grim Reaper program, I hope that it saves a life and helps the students understand that one bad choice can change your life or the life of another,” said teacher and SADD adviser Bridget Lopiccolo.

Girls Golf Team Starts Strong

The East Islip varsity girls golf team finished 3-0 this week, beginning with a 6-3 victory at Gull Haven on April 7 against Connetquot, with captain Cathy Marku shooting a 46 to lead the team to a win.
“It was a total team effort this week,” said coach Judith Fischer. “It was tough weather to play in, but we won nevertheless. The team will practice over vacation to get ready for two matches scheduled for the week that we return from spring break.”

Connetquot Science Fair Projects

Close to 100 students extended their knowledge of science topics by participating in Connetquot Elementary School's annual science fair on March 11.

“The many outstanding projects demonstrated the hard work and commitment that the students displayed in conducting and presenting their experiments,” said Principal Deborah Smith.   

Friends and families viewed the various projects while attending the fair, which was organized by adviser David Lake. Teacher Vivian Reilly also assisted in facilitating the judging. Students were tasked with following strict guidelines, with the most important being the scientific method. Critical thinking skills were required to select ideas, develop a hypothesis, gather materials, write out the procedures and keep a detailed journal on the findings.   

This year’s winners, one for each grade, were kindergartner Sophia Chillemi, first-grader Michael Stadelman, second-grader Jake Vassalico, third-grader Daniella Chillemi, fourth-grader Brianna Zinkiewicz and fifth-grader David Dreyer. Runners-up included kindergartner Kiera Zeledon; first-graders Kelly Nelson and Vanessa Rossa; second-graders Alessandro Jarvis and Brendan Munno; third-graders Carlie Edmonds, Angelina Sekela and Anthony Sekela; fourth-graders Michael Baldino and Johnathan Yankus; and fifth-graders John Rizzo and Jonathan Stanzione.

The five winners will be continuing on to Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Elementary School Science Fair on May 3, competing against more than 500 students from more than 100 Suffolk County schools. Brookhaven National Laboratory scientists and elementary school teachers will serve as judges for the contest.

Prepping for Earth Day

East Islip High School’s sixth annual Earth Day celebration, hosted by the school’s Environment Green Career Academy, will feature dozens of environmental exhibitions promoting new and green technology, visits from local legislators, the event’s traditional mascot frogs and performances by student-musicians. The event will take place on April 11 from 8 a.m. through 1:15 p.m.

As special guests, visiting science research students from William Floyd High School will attend and showcase their energy-saving “UFO Phantom Load” project, and technology students from East Islip Middle School will present an environmental display.

Long Island Cares – The Harry Chapin Food Bank will also have a booth at this year’s event, collecting canned food items to donate to Long Islanders who are in need.  

In conjunction with Heather Toomey’s art students, the high school’s community service class prepared for Earth Day by creating a special flower display in the lobby.

Baseball Team Runs to First Place

In the first two weeks of the spring baseball season, East Islip High School’s terrific varsity squad has vaulted into a tie with West Babylon for first place in Suffolk’s League 4.

They began with a 5-0 blanking of Miller Place on March 27, followed by another home shutout against Comsewogue on April 1 (winning 4-0). East Islip’s sole loss to date came on April 2, falling 0-4 at Kings Park. Back on East Islip’s field, the team roared back to beat Eastport-South Manor on April 3 (5-1) and Copiague on April 9 (7-2).

The Redmen are 4-1 overall and 2-0 in league play, with pitcher Dave Palmer’s two wins earning him a spot among Suffolk’s leading pitchers.


Artist of the Week: April 7, 2014

John F. Kennedy Elementary: Kindergartner Kayla Varga and first-grader Ella Tantillo ("Picasso-inspired Self-portraits")

Ruth C. Kinney Elementary: Fourth-graders Selina Ayoub and Dylan Hernandez ("Georgia O'Keeffe Flower Bowls")

Timber Point Elementary: Fourth-graders Thomas Henderson ("Robo-dog Found Object Sculpture”) and Anthony Koehler ("Statue of Liberty Found Object Sculpture”)

HS Journalists Win Quill Awards

Four talented staff members of East Islip High School’s award-winning newspaper The Broadcaster were winners at the annual Quill Awards ceremony on March 12, part of the Press Day event sponsored by Adelphi University in Garden City. This year’s Quill competition involved 14 categories and 250 entries, and 27 high schools from across Long Island were represented.

Broadcaster centerfold editor Anne Flamio and layout editor Maxx Vogelsberg won first place in the layout category. Their victory was in recognition of their work for the three Broadcaster editions published so far during this school year, particularly the February 2014 issue, which showcased a “Redmen Through and Through” centerfold of faculty who are East Islip alumni.

In the best feature category, Ray Epiquin and Savannah Parker-Davis garnered third place for their memorable feature story, “Black Americans Make Great Strides,” written in honor of Black History Month and highlighting African Americans who have made significant contributions in areas such as art, music and politics.

The four winning East Islip seniors, all new to this year’s newspaper staff and to their respective fields, were congratulated by Danielle Campbell, an anchor at News 12 Long Island who attended the ceremony.

“Our journalism students prove time and again that they can compete with the best students and programs from across the Island,” said East Islip teacher and Broadcaster adviser Joan Dlouhy.

Young Scientists Take on Protein Challenge

Three young scientists from East Islip High School – Laura Coffin, Derek Dattero and Jake MacMorris – participated in the annual Protein Modeling Challenge at Stony Brook University on Feb. 28. In their first time competing, East Islip’s team scored eighth out of 28 schools, scoring above average in all categories.

Prior to the contest, the entire science research class – also including Christopher Cangelosi, Nick Carney, Gabbie Marino, Joe Nickel and Hetal Patel – researched and built a model of the Ras 5p21 protein, which plays a role in cell growth and division. The model was judged by a team of protein scientists at the university.

On the day of the competition, hosted by Stony Brook’s Center for Science and Mathematics Education,  representatives Coffin, Dattero and MacMorris worked together on-site to build another protein using computer modeling software and completed a rigorous exam on proteins.

“The class looks forward to improving in next year’s competition,” said science teacher Kathleen Dinota.

MS Musicians Perform at SCMEA

More than two dozen outstanding band, chorus and orchestra musicians from East Islip Middle School participated in the Suffolk County Music Educators Association All-County Division I Central (for sixth-graders) and All-County Division II West (for seventh- and eighth-graders) concerts on March 9. The SCMEA ensembles, including students from more than 30 other Suffolk middle schools, were directed by acclaimed guest conductors from some of Long Island’s best music programs.

East Islip musicians in Division I included Fiona Ashe, Sophia Bates, Kayla Cappe, Giavanna Dushaj, Gracie Edmonds, Gia Geamaux, Peter Gerace, Liam Greene, Kaylee Hoffman, Thomas Locke, Caroline Meehan, Matthew Micalizzi, Justine Rizzo and Toby Zollner.

Division II musicians included Jake Acocella,Connor Barnes, Alexandra Bertolini, Sarah Bloom, Anthony Ciadella, John Clyne, James Daley, John Donovan, Lauren Florenz, Victoria Keenan, Madison Lane, Stephanie Millito, Elisa Mingo and Cassidy Triolo.

Conducted by James W. Dragovich, the West II Festival Band performed Carl Strommen’s “Grand Tetons Overture,” Robert W. Smith’s “The Great Locomotive Chase,” and Warren Barker’s “An Irish Ayre for Winds” and “A Galop to End All Galops.”

Led by Mark Kimes, the West II Festival Chorus sang pieces including Mozart’s “Dies Irae,” pan-African anthem “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika,” Brian Lewis’ “Exsultate, Jubilate,” traditional spiritual “Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel” and Linda Spevacek’s “Kimineero (The Carrion Crow).”

Conducted by Anthony J. Pianelli Jr., the West II Festival Orchestra tackled selections from the musical “Les Miserables” as well as Bela Bartok’s “Romanian Folk Dances,” Shirl Jae Atwell’s “Drifen” and Percy Fletcher’s “Folk Tune and Fiddle Dance.”

The Central Festival Band, conducted by Daniel Bilawsky, played selections including John O’Reilly’s “Jefferson County Overture,” David Shaffer’s “Now the Winter’s Come to Stay,” Michael Story’s “The Curse of Tutankhamun” and James Ployhar’s “Song of the Whaler.”

Conducted by Kamilla Ozman, the Central Festival Chorus sang “We Will” by Jim Papoulis, Cesar Franck’s “Panis Angelicus,” “The Lion and the Unicorn” by Ed Harris, Martin Shaw’s “With a Voice of Singing” and the swing medley “It Don’t Mean a Thing if It Ain’t Got That Sing, Sing, Sing.”

The Central Festival Orchestra, conducted by Reynard Burns, tackled Burns’ own “Crossroad,” Robert Frost’s “Hornpipe,” “Habanera” from the Bizet opera “Carmen” and a selection from Joseph Boulogne Chevalier de St. Georges’ Symphony XI No. 2.

“These SCMEA concerts were probably some of the best I’ve ever seen,” said band teacher and Tri-M co-adviser Concetta Stevens. “Parents told me that they were blown away and that the kids’ performances brought tears to their eyes.”

One East Islip student, trombonist Steven Gieseler, was awarded SCMEA’s Burnhart Rydzeski Scholarship, providing him full tuition to attend the challenging six-week New York State Summer Music Festival in Oneonta. Gieseler, a member of the East Islip Middle School Tri-M Honor Society, plays trombone in the seventh- and eighth-grade concert band, jazz ensemble and Tri-M Holiday Brass.

“Steven’s musical accomplishments and a wonderful and compelling essay that he wrote won him this tremendous honor,” said Stevens. “I cannot be more proud and excited for him. He is going to have such a wonderful musical experience and meet and collaborate with musicians from all around the country. Friendships and memories will develop that he will cherish for life.”

Mock Trial Team Continues Winning Ways

The East Islip High School mock trial team participated as semi-finalists at the Long Island Moot Court Tournament at Plainview -Old Bethpage High School on April 3.  Led by adviser Patricia Lester, the team – which included senior Brooke Ryan, juniors Elizabeth Loizides and Chloe Poroslay, and sophomores Brittney Baker, Kierstin O’Hara and Joe Teknus – advanced to the Suffolk County playoffs for the 12th year in a row, going undefeated in the qualifying rounds. East Islip finished with six wins and only one loss, placing the students in third overall.

Students Submit to Long Island Science Congress

Two of East Islip High School’s science research students submitted projects to the 2014 Long Island Science Congress held at St. Joseph’s College on March 19.

Senior William Meehan completed the work on his project last summer during his participation in the Simons Summer Research Program at Stony Brook University under the direction of John Noe. Meehan’s research paper, ““Creating Cylindrical Vector Beams Using Spatially-varying Birefringence,” has applications in the field of microscopy.

Junior Derek Dattero studied at Montefiore Hospital last summer under the supervision of Dr. Aleksandra Djukic, the director of the Tri-State Rett Syndrome Center. Dattero’s project was titled “The Ability Of Patients with Rett Syndrome to Use Tobii Eye Gaze Technology.”

Softball Season Starts Well

The East Islip varsity softball team began the spring season with several impressive wins, beating Comsewogue on March 24 (12-2) and Kings Park on March 27 (19-7).

After losing 5-1 to Eastport-South Manor on March 28, they defeated Huntington on April 1 by the score of 3-2. Eighth-grader Cierra Colon picked up her first varsity win, throwing three innings of scoreless relief. Down 2-0 in the bottom of the fifth, eighth-grader Jessica Selle hit a solo home run into the tennis courts (her second of the year) to make the game 2-1. After a Heather Zenk single, Megan Munn hit a triple to tie it. In the bottom of the seventh, tied 2-2, Selle led off the inning with a double, Zenk bunted her over to third and Munn hit a walk-off single to win the game.

The team was blanked 12-0 by Half Hollow Hills West on April 2, with Colon making her first varsity start.

East Islip is now 3-2 in league play.

Photos by Glenn Reed.

A Month of Marines Donations

Throughout the entire month of March, the English department at East Islip High School, students and their families collected donations for care packages for U.S. Marines serving in Afghanistan, a an annual project organized by teacher Dori Hirsch. Students helped Hirsch load up the donations to bring them over to Rena Costello, a home and career skills teacher at East Islip Middle School who facilitates the districtwide program of donations for overseas troops.

“I would sincerely like to thank you for collecting items and sending out care packages to me and my Marines,” wrote 2nd Lt. Patrick J. Burns, an engineer operations officer in Combat Logistics Battalion 7 stationed in Afghanistan. “Everything you sent is extremely appreciated and really helps keep the morale high through these difficult and demanding days. The fact that so many Americans are still sending out packages after all these years truly reinforces how strong a nation we really are.”

Costello also arranged a March 24 visit to the high school from U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. John Jones, a double amputee who was injured in January 2005. Expressing his gratitude for the district’s ongoing support and care packages, Jones was welcomed by Principal William Brennan and talked with students in Hirsch’s and Timothy McDermott’s classes.

Web-questing for 1940s ‘Museum’ at High School

As they read the classic John Knowles novel “A Separate Peace,” set in 1942-43, sophomores in Greg Kguloian’s English class have labored hard to gather factual information about the World War II era. Taking initiative, students performed self-directed “web-quests,” searching for interesting facts, people and events from the same time period. Acting as museum curators, they then created PowerPoint and museum presentations to share their factual findings with the class.

The next step, according to Kguloian, is to follow these discoveries with a carefully crafted cross-curricular  ELA-social studies lesson, inspired by the National Institute of Trial Attorneys unit, in which the students will put Gene Forrester, a character from the novel, on trial.  

“I have been a teacher at East Islip for nearly 20 years and I am still learning every day,” said Kguloian. “We all work together and learn and accomplish so much more than we could alone. The students deserve to learn as much and do as much as they can, and they discover that they can enjoy learning more and doing more with what they learn. This student-made museum is proof of that, and I am so proud of my kids.”

Artist of the Week: March 31, 2014

Ruth C. Kinney Elementary: Kindergartners Ethan Jensen and Julia Perry ("Orange Owls")

Timber Point Elementary: Third-grader Katelyn Nelson ("Optical Illusion")

Coffee House at MS Set for May 16

The East Islip Middle School student government is sponsoring the school's seventh annual Coffee House on Friday, May 16 at 7 p.m., including a ticketed auction to support the Special Olympics New York.
Tickets are $5 and each paid admission will include a coupon for a free beverage and a coupon for a free food item. The last day to purchase tickets is Wednesday, May 14. Please place ticket order forms (attached below) in box labeled “Coffee House” in the Main Office.
For those interested in participating (categories include original or published poetry; original short stories; band, chorus and orchestra solos, duets and trios; and acoustic/electric guitar), there will be an informational meeting on Friday, April 25 directly after school in Room 217. Students interested in participating should fill out the bottom of the attached participation form and return it to Mrs. Zeffiro in Room 217 by 3 p.m. on Thursday, May 1.  


Virtual Business Plan Proves a Success

Once again, the poised, ambitious students from East Islip High School’s International Business Globalization Career Academy made waves in the annual Virtual Enterprises International business plan competition, beginning with their successful appearance at this year’s preliminary event at Farmingdale State College.

While displaying their products and services to more than 500 guests, teams from 22 virtual firms made PowerPoint and oral presentations of their business plans and answered questions from a panel of judges consisting of business leaders, lawyers, accountants and administrators from companies such as Capital One Bank and North Shore-LIJ.  

“They did a fantastic job explaining their company's business plan,” said Career Academy director Israel Malinowitzer. “Each student was required to present one area of the VE Connected firm and explain the company's goals for the year and future financial expectations.”

East Islip’s six-person VE team did so well, they moved on to the next round of the competition, as one of seven firms competing at American Portfolios Financial Services in Hauppauge, the first time in four years of participating that the school has reached the semifinals. 

“This was a joint effort on the part of all the Business Academy teachers, administration and two very special people from the business sector – Capital One Bank Vice President Andrew Corrado and EI graduate and mentor Michael Russo – who volunteered their time to come to the classroom and help our students prepare for the presentation,” explained Malinowitzer. “We are extremely proud of all the Business Career Academy students.”

HS Photography Book Winners

East Islip High School students Kimberly Moreno and Teresa Teuschler were selected as finalists in the 34th annual College and High School Photography Contest, co-sponsored by Nikon and Photographers Forum. More than 16,600 photographs were submitted for the contest from around the world. Moreno and Teuschler’s work will be published in a hardcover book, “Best of College and High School Photography 2014.”

“I am so proud of Kimberly and Teresa for being recognized for their talent in photography,” said art teacher Heather Toomey. “It is an honor that they will have their photographs published in a book with some of the best high school and college photographers from around the world.”


Middle Schoolers Play at Day of Tuba

East Islip Middle School students and tuba players Jack Donovan and Matthew Michaels participated in this year’s SCMEA Day of Tuba and Euphonium festival at Smithtown West High School, featuring guest artist Phil Sinder, a professional musician and professor at Michigan State University College of Music.

Thirty-three years after its founding as the OcTubafest, the Day of Tuba and Euphonium festival continues to uphold its original mission of bringing performances of tuba music to the public, providing awareness about the instruments’ capabilities, and inspiring public school students to play them.

Breakfast of Champions at Middle School

Honoring sixth- and seventh-grade students who demonstrated the “Six Pillars of Character” during the 2013-2014 school year, East Islip Middle School held its seventh annual Breakfast of Champions on the morning of March 11. Each honoree was chosen by a team or department at the middle school.

After greetings from Principal Mark Bernard, the school’s two assistant principals, Christian Seifert and Jason Stanton, presented each honoree with a certificate and lanyard commemorating his or her special achievement. After the ceremony, the students enjoyed sharing breakfast with their families and the school staff.

For the sixth grade, the students recognized were Emily Alexander, Justin Anderson, Fiona Ashe, Autumn Bashwiner, Eric Berke, Thomas Boyd, Gianni Cottone, Jenna Golini, David Gomez, Reece Grimm, Grace Hurlbert, Joshua Isacksen, Brandon Keaney, Kayla Kerrigan, Nikki LaFrancesca, Zoe Long, Emily Maccarone, Bruce Malyon, Andrew Meehan, James Norrby, Neel Patel, Jenna Piacenti, Emily Porti, Colleen Schmidt, Rafael Torres, Halle Trahey, Christian Tuck and Bridget Welch.

For the seventh grade, the students recognized were Deanna Baldwin-Jimenez, Julia Bocamazo, Marykate Carroll, Hannah Christym, Kevin Coles, Charles Curran, Christie Czajka, Vincent Guiliano, Brooke Hommel, Robert Kelly, Victoria Koop, Zachary Kristensen, John LaFrancesca, Madison Lane, Jaclyn Long, Zachary MacMorris, Luke Marinich, Stephanie Milito, Andrew Nelson, Isabella Pasha, Kyle Platt, Noah Stiles and Ryan Stutzenstein.

Lots of Socks Honors World Down Syndrome Day

East Islip High School honored World Down Syndrome Day on March 21 with a “Lots of Socks Day” event. In order to raise awareness and show support for students with Down syndrome who are integrated into the East Islip School District, the school’s career development program encouraged the many participating students and staff to wear brightly colored or funny socks. The idea behind it was that the socks would provoke questions, providing opportunities for the wearers to inform others about World Down Syndrome Day, which is celebrated annually on March 21 to symbolize the third copy of the 21st chromosome in people with Down syndrome.

“We currently have and have had several students with Down syndrome in the career development program,” said teacher Sabina Uettwiller, who helped organize the event. “It is important that we raise awareness and understanding of what Down syndrome is, what it means to have Down syndrome, and how people with Down syndrome play a vital role in our lives and communities.”

Boys Track Season Opener

The spring season opened on March 27 with a win at Half Hollow Hills West for the East Islip varsity boys track team. While the wind had died down a bit from earlier in the week, the cold remained, but the athletes found the best way to warm up – run fast! Guided by coach Ralph Tubello, the Redmen racked up the points, besting their league rivals, 85-41.

“Coach Tubello has fielded a team that seems stronger and deeper than I’ve seen in many years, as evidenced by some strong early season performances and the obvious enthusiasm of the team,” said Board of Education trustee Glenn Reed. “We can look forward to a winning season.”

Photos by Glenn Reed

Budget Presentation and BAC Recommendations

The second budget presentation (attached below) for the 2014-2015 budget was detailed at the East Islip Board of Education's budget workshop on March 27, along with the Budget Advisory Committee's presentation to the Board (also attached).




JFK and Timber Point Compete as Sharpshooters

Fourth- and fifth-graders from two of East Islip’s elementary schools – John F. Kennedy and Timber Point – were among the participants in the 28th annual Town of Islip Sharpshooter 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 Sharpshooter “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.

Taking place during scheduled physical education classes, the competition allows each student the chance to attempt to score as many baskets as possible in one minute. Participants can select designated shooting spots on the gym floor, with each spot differing in point value.

A pair of first-place finishers – one boy and one girl – in each grade received custom gold medals and T-shirts and advanced to the final townwide competition against other schools’ representatives. The two runners-up were awarded silver medals and all student competitors were presented with certificates of participation.

First-place winners at JFK were fifth-graders Sophia Nelson and Ryan Thompson and fourth-graders Anthony Cruz and Kristy Murphy. Finishing in second place for fifth-graders at JFK were Phoebe McCann and Trevor Regan. Fourth-grade finishers in second place were Jessica Peluso and Tobey Weichbrodt.

Timber Point’s representatives at the Sharpshooter contest included fifth-graders Omar Belford, Peter Carino and Elizabeth Glynn and fourth-graders Frank Alessi, Anthony Koehler, Dylann Trahey and Sahara Wilks.

The final round in the 2014 Sharpshooter competition was held on Feb. 22 at the West Islip High School gymnasium, hosted by the local Elks Lodge Association. Timber Point’s Wilks took third place overall for fourth-grade girls.

Artist of the Week: March 24, 2014

John F. Kennedy Elementary: Second-grader Adriana Ozzimo ("Monet Inspired Painting")

Ruth C. Kinney Elementary: Third-graders Genesis Madera Blondet and Filomena Herpfer ("Geometric Robots")

Timber Point Elementary: First-grader Haley Trifaro ("Georgia O'Keefe Flower Painting")

Timber Point Grid Self-Portraits

The entire fifth grade at Timber Point Elementary School recently embarked on an ambitious art project, creating self-portrait grid enlargements in art teacher Christina Spera’s classroom.

Each student was provided with a 4x6 print of his or her school photo, and using math and measuring skills as well as the grid-enlargement technique, redrew larger versions on white paper, multiplying to determine how much larger to make the boxes. They then copied what was in each small box on the small photo onto the larger boxes on their big drawing paper.

The fifth-graders then learned about color families, such as monochromatic, analogous and complementary colors, and chose one of them to color in their project abstractly using watercolor pencils. After finishing their artworks, the students strengthened writing skills by filling out question sheets about what they learned.

Shadow Days Provide Mentoring Experience

In the culminating activity of East Islip High School’s Mentor Me program, students “shadow” selected career mentors in various professions including teaching, architecture, radiology, law enforcement, marketing, international business, veterinary medicine, theater, broadcasting, journalism, physical therapy, law, nursing, human resources, set design, pathology, social work, psychology, funeral directing, marine biology, athletic training, dentistry, and hotel and restaurant management.

Involving more than 90 East Islip students, Mentor Me is a comprehensive mentoring program coordinated by teachers Bridget Lopiccolo and Paul McHugh as part of the East Islip/Dowling School Business Partnership’s Career Development Committee. Shadow Days, which began this year in January and will continue through March, follow the program’s prior mentoring events for the school year, the Catch-a-Career Breakfast and Meet My Mentor Breakfast, both held in the fall.

“This program is tremendous and takes many hours to put together and organize,” said Lopiccolo. “But it is the students and the mentors that make this program so amazing. It is truly a wonderful thing to see the students show up to Shadow Day and receive a hands-on experience while visualizing themselves participating eventually in that career. Mentor Me grows each year because students realize that the decision for college and work is a difficult one, and this program helps them clarify what they want to do after high school.”

Businesses and organizations participating in the mentoring Shadow Days this year include the Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s Office, Joseph Gabriel Architects, News 12 Long Island, North Shore-LIJ Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, Infiniti Sports Performance, Residence Inn Long Island/Islip Courthouse Complex, the U.S. Coast Guard, AHRC Suffolk, Motorola Solutions, Cleary School for the Deaf, Suffolk County Police Department, Simply Music, CM Performing Arts Center and the Town of Islip, along with attorney Jodi Capobianco and dentist Raymond A. Mascolo. 

“We hope that students understand how this program can really open up doors for them after high school,” added Lopiccolo. “Some of this year’s mentors have already offered students internships for summer and next year.”

Schilling Honored for Second Year

Amanda Schilling, a senior at East Islip High School, has been honored with the President’s Volunteer Service Award, recognizing her outstanding spirit of volunteerism for the second year in a row. Principal William Brennen presented Schilling with her second award certificate and letter from President Barack Obama.

“Winning the President’s Volunteer Service Award once is a major achievement,” said Israel Malinowitzer, East Islip’s guidance director. “Being honored with the award as both a junior and a senior is truly remarkable and a testament to Amanda’s commitment to giving back.”

Presented by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards on behalf of the president of the United States, the award recognizes Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of time in order to serve their communities and their country. Schilling, a varsity bowler at East Islip and member of the SADD and STARS clubs, began her longtime community service work as a fifth-grader. She participated in the Spirit of Community program again this year as a representative of East Islip High School, donating many hours to the endeavor.

Sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the Reston, Va.-based National Association of Secondary School Principals, the Spirit of Community Awards program honors high school and middle school students across America for their community service activities, judged on criteria including personal initiative, creativity, effort, impact and personal growth.

“Demonstrating civic responsibility through volunteerism is an important part of life,” said NASSP Executive Director JoAnn Bartoletti. “These honorees practice a lesson we hope all young people will emulate.”

Wrestling Coach Makes Hall of Fame

In acknowledgment of his remarkable career, East Islip High School varsity wrestling coach Guy Leggio will be inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony, hosted by the Friends of Long Island Wrestling, will take place on April 25 at the Melville Marriott.

The longtime EI coach was nominated for the Hall by his father, fellow coach and Hall of Famer Gombatista “Jumper” Leggio. The pair will be the first father and son coaches to achieve this honor. “It’s an honor to be nominated by your own father,” said Leggio, “because he’s also in the Hall. He’s been an example for me all my life.”

Leggio has been the head wrestling coach at East Islip for 25 years (he was assistant coach for two years prior), amassing a 254-106-5 record and .703 winning percentage in that time. His tenure has also seen the Redmen earn 20 winning seasons, 12 league championships, 10 Top Ten and five Top Five finishes in the Suffolk County tournament, and the 2006  Suffolk team title. That 2006 squad was ranked No. 1 on Long Island. In individual records, Leggio has coached 82 league champions, 267 league placewinners, 71 county placewinners, 13 county champions, 13 state placewinners, six state finalists and six state champions. This year is no exception, with his team – boasting three All-State wrestlers – finishing second in New York State. “It was a pretty special year,” he said.

Leggio began wrestling at age 4, eventually being named captain of the county champion Bay Shore High School wrestling team, where he graduated in 1981. He then joined the U.S. Navy, and began coaching in 1985, starting with the Bay Shore junior varsity and then East Islip’s JV two years later.

A bricklayer by trade, Leggio cites one of his major accomplishments as the organization and construction of the East Islip High School wrestling room in 2000, which he assembled volunteers to build, exemplifying his belief in giving back to the community. He also began the East Islip KID elementary wrestling program in 1994, a K-8 workshop held two nights a week at East Islip High School from November through March, teaching 80-100 young wrestlers the sport during each school year. In addition to his career as a bricklayer, Leggio has been a volunteer fireman in Bay Shore for 29 years, and serves as president of the Bay Shore Board of Education.

“I have been honored to personally know Guy Leggio, and he is a gem,” said East Islip High School teacher and wrestling parent Diane Kelly. “Every athlete should experience being on a team with Leggio as the coach. He treats the players with respect while pushing them to go beyond their limits. He cares about the welfare of his wrestlers – not just on the mat, but as people. I have observed him helping players in school and in times of crisis. East Islip is fortunate to have this caliber of coaching.”

Honors Choir Raises Funds for Newtown

At East Islip High School's first of two winter concerts last Dec. 17, the honors choir performed a beautiful a cappella piece, composer Kurt Bestor’s “Prayer of the Children.” Bestor had originally written the piece to reflect the experiences of children living in war-torn Yugoslavia in the early 1990s.  However, the East Islip choir students performed it in honor of the victims and families of the 2012 tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.  

The students collected donations from the audience members during the concert, as well as from their fellow students during subsequent lunch periods. Additional donations were made by two of the high school’s staff – foreign language teacher Marylou Ferreri, who began her teaching career as a per-diem substitute teacher in Newtown, and Bethany Affelt, the director of the honors choir.

Through these means, the choir was able to make a donation of more than $1,000 to the Newtown Memorial Fund. A display of green and white “ribbons” was set up in the high school’s main lobby, signed by those who had donated money to the cause.  

“We thank all of the students and East Islip community members who donated,” said Affelt.

Elementary Schools to Move to New Configuration

At its March 13 business meeting, the East Islip Board of Education voted 4-1 in favor of implementing a new grade span reconfiguration of the district’s four existing elementary schools for 2014-2015. The new structure will help the district maintain its current four elementary school buildings, without an imminent school closure, and will pair elementary school teachers and students by grade in the same buildings next September – a model currently used in other high-performing districts.

In a series of community forums held in February and March, the district reiterated that the model can only enhance educational opportunities and will help to preserve a full-day kindergarten program, reduce current average class sizes, and maintain the current offerings in music and the arts for the 2014-2015 school year. Additionally, the district believes that opportunities for dynamic interaction among a talented teaching staff will be enhanced as it continues to distribute high-level instruction and continuity of curriculum.

Schools will have the following indicated modified grade-level configurations to maximize building capacity, efficiency and services for the district’s elementary student population as follows:

•    One K-2 primary school building – north side
•    One 3-5 intermediate school building – north side
•    One K-2 primary school building – south side
•    One 3-5 intermediate school building – south side

The School Board is considering which grades will be housed in each building and will have the respective buildings clarified shortly.

Sunday, April 20, 2014