BOE Business Meeting on Oct. 9

The East Islip Board of Education's next monthly business meeting will take place Thursday, Oct. 9 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.

‘Taste of the Town’ Showcases Culinary Academy


Guests attending East Islip’s “Taste of the Town,” to be held on the evening of Oct. 16 in the district’s administration building, will have the opportunity to sample outstanding dishes provided by more than 25 local food businesses. The event will be hosted by students enrolled in the high school’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality Career Academy, a new program designed to prepare seniors for careers in the culinary and hospitality fields, through a rigorous academic schedule, internships and mentoring programs, and exposure to career professionals and experiences in catering halls, hotels and commercial kitchens.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for students and parents to enjoy an evening of delicious food and entertainment,” said Career Academy Director Israel Malinowitzer.

Tickets – $12 per adult, $6 per student – are on sale from Sept. 29 through Oct. 13. Contact Malinowitzer for purchase information.

Proceeds from the event, which also features a basket raffle, will support the academy as well as the local EJ Autism Foundation.

Redmen Earn Shutout vs. Deer Park


Fans at sunny Boomer Esiason Stadium were thrilled when the varsity football team’s crushing defense proved too tough for Deer Park’s visiting squad on Sept. 27. Permitting just 37 offensive yards and never allowing the Falcons past the 50-yard line, the Redmen cruised to a 21-0 victory.

Among Saturday’s stars were Eric Flynn, with a 30-yard touchdown, an interception and 58 yards rushing, and Sean Karika, with a TD run and eight tackles. Quarterback Kyle Fleitman had a solid day, hitting receiver Hugens Tranquille with a 37-yard pass to set up Karika’s score. Kicker Jake Piacenti delivered when asked, scoring two early field goals of 37 and 21 yards and booting three punts inside the Deer Park 20-yard line.

East Islip, now 2-1 in the standings, faces Smithtown West on Oct. 1.

Alumna Salice Earns NEA Position

Dominique Salice, a 2003 graduate, was recently promoted to a prominent position as senior campaigns and elections specialist at the National Educational Association. Based out of the NEA’s Washington, D.C. headquarters, Salice’s new job entails applying political campaign expertise to support the organization’s strategic objective to focus the energy and resources of its 3 million members toward great public schools for every student.

“I will be working with members across the nation to identify opportunities for action around what most effects educators and their students,” said Salice. “I hope to raise the voices of educators, to give them leadership over what goes on in the classroom and the opportunity to humanize education, to consider the whole child without the fear of standardized test results, and to have access to professional development to do so,” she said. “I believe with all my heart that without a strong public education system, we will not see progress in our country – social, economic or otherwise.”

Following her graduation from East Islip, Salice attended SUNY Purchase where she earned a degree in political science with a minor in economics. She worked as a regional field director for the Human Rights Campaign’s work for marriage equality in New York before taking a state director position at the Service Employees International Union Wisconsin State Council.

She cited three of her mentors at East Islip – Guidance Director Israel Malinowitzer; history teacher Nicholas Bilotti, now the school’s assistant principal; and English teacher Greg Kguloian – as inspirations in helping her overcome her difficulties with standardized testing.

“I thank them for seeing students as people, for openly caring about us, and showing that they had faith in us and our abilities,” Salice said. “Eleven years later, they’re still influencing a student who had no confidence in her mind and academic abilities, to be strong. I hope I get to have a hand in giving more teachers the freedom and security to be like them.”

“It makes me so proud to think of Dominique interacting with all of these politicians for the wellbeing of our students and teachers,” said Malinowitzer. “She has come a long way since high school and I knew she would be a success story.”


FTK Carnival Offers World of Fun

RCK’s Quilt of Remembrance


In a moving effort to honor the heroes of Sept. 11, students in Jennifer Beebe and Dennis Clancy’s third-grade class at East Islip’s Ruth C. Kinney Elementary School created a special remembrance quilt on Patriot Day. Each quilt square was individually designed and contained various symbols of freedom and sacrifice. The students, some wearing T-shirts honoring loved ones lost on 9/11 such as NYPD Officer Glen K. Pettit and FDNY Battalion Chief Dennis A. Cross, prepared for the project by reading character education books; discussing the meaning of words such as honor, heroes, remembrance, service, freedom and sacrifice; brainstorming images to draw; and listening to patriotic music.

“We have done this activity in our classroom for the last couple of years, to remember and honor our heroes in a child-friendly way,” said Beebe. “The children do an incredible job of capturing patriotic ideas in their drawings.”



FTK Carnival 2014 in Photos

MS Builders Club Honors Vets


Following a club dinner at Dave & Buster’s in Islandia this past May, the 16 patriotic students in the middle school’s busy Builders Club and teacher Rena Costello traveled to Long Island MacArthur Airport, where they displayed handmade signs to greet World War II veterans returning from an Honor Flight trip to Washington, D.C. Honor Flight, a nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring America’s veterans, provides free plane trips and daylong tours to the National World War II Memorial and other sites in the capitol.

Chief Warrant Officer Francis Romanitch, a member of the U.S. Marine Corps based on Long Island, visited the middle school in June to thank the Builders Club for its service to the veterans as well as the club’s ongoing efforts on behalf of deployed military members. Romanitch also accompanied Costello, Superintendent Linda Rozzi and Builders Club officer Sofia Ferrezza to the office of Suffolk County Legislator Tom Cilmi, a longtime supporter of the club and East Islip’s program of donations for overseas troops.    

“Under the leadership of Superintendent Rozzi and Rena Costello, the Builders Club provides a unique conduit between East Islip Middle School students and those brave men and women serving overseas in our armed forces, particularly the Marines,” said Cilmi. “Not only are needed supplies distributed to our troops who always appreciate the support, but our students gain a better understanding of the sacrifices our soldiers make on their behalf.”

Culminating the project, Builders Club members toured the American Airpower Museum in Farmingdale in July, where they met with the WWII veterans who had made the trip in May, presenting each veteran with a specially designed photo book of their Honor Flight trip.

Join Your School's PTA and PTO


The East Islip School District encourages membership in the school community's parent-teacher organizations, which include SEPTO, the East Islip High School PTSA, and the PTAs for East Islip Middle School and Connetquot, John F. Kennedy, Ruth C. Kinney and Timber Point elementary schools.

New 2014-2015 membership forms for each of these seven organizations can be found attached below.


HS Photogs Win Magazine Contest


Two high school students – current senior Angela Verlezza (right) and Class of 2014 graduate Jennifer Coffin – were both selected as finalists in Photographer’s Forum Magazine’s 35th annual College & High School Photography Contest, sponsored by Nikon. The winning photos will be published in the May 2015 issue of the magazine and entered into Nikon’s Emerging Photographers Hall of Fame.

“I was very impressed that these two talented photography students were finalists in this amateur photography contest,” said their art teacher, Heather Toomey.

Verlezza, who plans to study sign language and photography after she graduates from East Islip in 2015, noted that the chosen photo of alpacas not only was one of her favorites, but reflected her love of her aunt’s alpaca farm in upstate Calicoon. “I visit every single weekend,” she said.  

Junior Girls Shine at Jim Smith Invitational


East Islip’s girls and boys cross-country squads headed to Sunken Meadow State Park on Sept. 13 to compete against 40 other Nassau and Suffolk schools, divided by grade and gender, in the Jim Smith Invitational meet.

The junior girls – consisting of Jessica Carino, Amanda Engrassia, Julia Kurtz, Julie Rizzo and Anya Schmitt – placed second overall in a field of 29 teams in their 5K race, yielding only to perennial powerhouse Northport. Three of East Islip’s juniors placed in the top 25 out of 200 runners, earning them commemorative T-shirts. The medal-winning quintet was led by Schmitt’s sixth-place finish (with a time of 21.17), followed by Engrassia in 17th place and Carino in 21st.

“It was great to see East Islip up on top,” said girls cross-country coach Timothy Leigh-Manuell, beginning his first season at the helm of the program. “The girls blew away my expectations and I think that they caught everyone else off-guard, too. I couldn’t have asked for better performances from all of them.”

Other girls cross-country finishers included Kate Bunde (finishing 39th), Krista Cook (81st) and Julie Clyne (117th), all in the senior girls 5K; and Roisin Ashe, who ran to 21st place in the sophomore girls 5K.

Boys cross-country finishers included Ray Filippone (finishing 47th) and Vincent Bochicchio (124th) in the senior boys 5K; William Reed (10th), Troy Donnelly (57th), Brian Allgeier (76th), Caleb Shulman (114th), Kyle Rucky (124th) and Alex Viruet (127th) in the junior boys 5K; and Ammar Chishti (eighth) and Ryan Nelson (95th place) in the sophomore boys 5K.

Photos by Glenn Reed

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.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014