FTK Carnival on Oct. 2-4

This year's FTK Carnival will be held on Oct. 2-4 at Timber Point. See the attached flier for more information.


Summer Grads Rise to Challenge


Five determined new graduates of the Class of 2015 – Joshua Castillo, Elaina Drywa, John Munoz, Lauren Saxberg and Hugens Tranquille – participated in a summer commencement ceremony on Aug. 27 at the high school’s library. Jonathan Thomas also graduated, but did not attend the ceremony.

Clad in red robes and caps, the five future alumni entered to the sound of “Pomp and Circumstance,” in front of an audience that included their proud families as well as central administration, district directors and Board of Education President Philip Montuori Sr. and trustee Jessica Carney.

“Your high school diploma is a prize that no one can take away from you,” said Principal William Brennen. “Be proud that you didn’t give up, be proud that you rose to the challenge and be proud that you have earned the right to call yourselves East Islip High School alumni.”

“This isn’t the end of your academic road, it is the springboard to lifelong learning,” Superintendent of Schools John V. Dolan told the new graduates, before Montuori handed a diploma to each young man and woman and they stepped off onto the next path to their futures.

Welcome Back from Superintendent Dolan

Please note the below welcome back to school letter from Superintendent of Schools John V. Dolan, and his attached 10 helpful hints for success.


Culinary Cruise Shows Student Skills


In its first extracurricular event for the new school year, East Islip High School’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality Career Academy joined more than 40 members of the East Islip Community Chamber for the chamber’s second annual Long Island Sound cruise on July 20.

Accompanied by teacher Patricia Emmons-Fritz and Career Academy director Israel Malinowitzer, the culinary students prepared, delivered and served all of the food for the evening event, held on the Moon Chaser boat from Captree State Park.

“This was an amazing opportunity for the students who took part in this event,” said Malinowitzer. “It was absolutely wonderful to see them work as a team to make this event a huge success. Everyone was so impressed by the students and how they handled themselves.”

Alumnus Finds Success on YouTube


East Islip High School alumnus Matt Philie recently visited his alma mater for a presentation to technology teacher Jim Connell’s video production class.

Philie, a member of East Islip’s Class of 2014, creates videos for his popular YouTube channel, Swashin TV, focusing on tips, tricks, and tutorials to improve gaming setups while also reviewing products that help with working and gaming at home. He hosts, produces and edits his own successful online show on YouTube, called “Pimp My Setup,” which provides a venue for viewers to submit their gaming setups for critique by Philie and special guests such as fellow content creator LinusTechTips and Philie’s brother Thomas, a 2012 East Islip graduate.

Philie’s channel has grown exponentially since its inception more than a year ago, with 55,880 subscribers and more than 3 million views, leading to partnerships with companies such as Velcro Brand, IKEA and Logitech and showcase visits to expos such like VidCon in California and Gnomedex in Seattle.

Interim Principal Announced for RCK

The district is pleased to announce that Dr. John Cassese has been approved to be the interim principal of Ruth C. Kinney Elementary School. Dr. Cassese has over 20 years experience as an elementary administrator and filled in for our district as principal of Timber Point Elementary School for a short time several years ago. Dr. Cassese will serve for approximately 30 days. During that time, a committee consisting of administrators, teachers and parental representatives will continue to interview candidates to be considered as RCK’s next principal. It is the committee’s intent to recommend finalists to Superintendent Dolan and the Board of Education for appointment at the next Board of Education meeting on Sept. 1.

Changes at RCK, Timber Point, Special Education

The district has announced that Dr. Lisa M. Belz, the former Timber Point principal, has been named as the new director of special education.

Danielle Naccarato, formerly principal at RCK, will be the new principal at Timber Point. 



Wottawa Named New Art and Music Director


The district has named Robert J. Wottawa II as its new director of art and music, replacing the outgoing Stephen Guarino.

An acclaimed music educator for the past decade, he comes to East Islip from Longwood School District, where he most recently served for four years as department chairperson for music and fine arts. Prior to that, he was band and choral director at Longwood High School, band director at Longwood Junior High School, and a music and chorus teacher at Longwood Middle School.

Wottawa holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Franklin Pierce University for classical guitar performance. He also earned his master’s degree in music education from Long Island University, where he is currently pursuing an educational doctorate.

Outside of school, the Farmingville resident enjoys spending quality time with his wife and two daughters.

“I am excited to be part of the East Islip family, and look forward to growing together,” Wottawa said.

District Calendar and Directory Posted

The East Islip School District 2015-2016 district calendar and directory has been posted and is attached below.


Fun with Fables at RCK


After reading various fables from different cultures, third-graders at Ruth C. Kinney Elementary School presented performances of fable plays for audiences of parents and fellow students.

Bowling Coach Cooley Makes Hall of Fame


Harold Cooley, the girls varsity bowling coach at the high school since 1985, was named the first inductee in the Suffolk County Sports Hall of Fame for the sport of bowling. He was honored in a May 8 induction ceremony at the Upsky Long Island Hotel in Hauppauge.

Cooley’s varsity teams have enjoyed numerous undefeated seasons, including a remarkable five-year streak from 2004-2005 through 2008-2009. He has won 20 league and nine county titles, and won the New York State championship for the third time last year.

“I thank the Suffolk County Sports Hall of Fame Committee for inducting me, and special thanks to Pete Blieberg for nominating me for this prestigious award,” said Cooley. “I have been very fortunate to live, attend school, teach for 34 years and coach for 40 years at East Islip. I would also like to thank all of the parents for trusting me with their daughters over the years, and my girls for their hard work, loyalty and dedication to the East Islip varsity bowling program and to me. It is difficult to win so many league, county and state titles without having talented athletes to coach.”

He went on to thank the four athletic directors he worked with – Hank Kreitzer, Dennis Maloney, Blieberg and Stephen Restivo – and numerous fellow coaches, as well as his own family.

Middle Schoolers Greet Returning WWII Vets


Helping to honor veterans and strengthen ties within the community, the East Islip Middle School Builders Club participated in another act of patriotism and service with Long Island Honor Flight, greeting veterans returning from a recent trip to Washington, D.C.

This latest Honor Flight in May included 48 World War II veterans and two Korean War veterans, aided by 60 accompanying guardians. Among the veterans of note were Joe LaBarbera, one of the last living members of Darby’s Rangers, and couple Hank and Rhona Aron, who met during WWII and have been married for 71 years.

After an early morning motorcycle escort by Boots on the Ground New York, Red Knights of New York, American Legion Riders and Iron Shields of New York, the vets departed from Islip’s Long Island MacArthur Airport. Upon arrival at Baltimore-Washington International Airport, they were greeted by a fire truck escort and water cannon salute, and were given a standing ovation by passengers and crews from all of the other airlines. Buses took the vets to the National World War II Memorial, where they spent two hours in reflection, followed by visits to the Iwo Jima Marine Corps Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery. 

When the returning vets arrived back at the airport in Islip that evening, a crowd of several hundred people were there waiting to welcome them, including family members, the East Islip Middle School Builders Club, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and honor guards from various organizations. The Builders Club students, led by teacher Rena Costello, had created “welcome home” signs with the veterans’ names on them. They also wrote “mail call” thank-you letters to the veterans, which Honor Flight gave them to read during the trip as a heartwarming way to relive the experience of receiving mail from home.

“I’m not sure what made me prouder, to see great American heroes grateful to the community welcoming them home, or to see our children looking up to them and cheering them on,” said airport attendee Michael Arens, whose son, Jacob, is a member of the Builders Club. “My family greatly appreciates Mrs. Costello’s dedication to the Builders Club and for giving our children the opportunity to support our nation’s veterans.”

Honor Flight Long Island, based in Southampton, has been in existence since 2006, providing free plane trips and daylong tours for veterans to relevant sites in Washington, D.C. The nonprofit has flown 32 missions to the capitol for more than 1,250 participating Long Island WWII veterans.

“It’s safe to say that we all get more out of our participation than we put into it, and we look forward to working together on the next fall flight,” said Honor Flight committee member Tina Bates, whose children, Lucas and Sophia, are Builders Club members and participate in Honor Flight events.

According to Bates’ husband, Phil, who serves on the group’s board of directors, Honor Flight Long Island continues to seek WWII veterans who would be interested in taking advantage of the program and attending the flight, and encourages donations from the community to pay for sending the veterans to D.C. The organization can be contacted at 631-702-2423, or via their website.

Pizza Persuasion at RCK


As part of an English language arts assignment, students in Jennifer Talbot’s class at RCK wrote persuasive letters to various local stores and major companies in the hopes of convincing the businesses to send samples of their products to the class.

Frito-Lay, Sweet Frog, Crayola, the San Francisco 49ers football team and Pam’s Ice-Cream Shop of East Islip were among the companies who responded to the students. Mary’s Pizza & Pasta of Islip Terrace sent a letter offering to provide the class with a free pizza party, which the students enjoyed.

Box Tops Bonanza at East Islip


With the enthusiastic support of principals, parents and students, East Islip’s Box Tops for Education program submitted record numbers of box tops during the last school year. As a result, PTA representative Anne-Marie Orgera, who coordinates efforts for the program at both John F. Kennedy and Timber Point, was named Box Tops Coordinator of the Year.

In the Box Tops Super Heroes contest, Timber Point submitted the highest number of Box Tops since the school started collecting them, while JFK’s Box Tops cereal box collection container was featured on the Box Tops website and both schools garnered special notices in a Box Tops T-shirt contest.

“Box Tops in East Islip had an amazing year,” said Orgera. “As a coordinator, I always try to make collecting fun, and part of the fun was entering as many contests as we could. It was a surprise and honor to win Coordinator of the Year, but I did not do it alone. The kids are the real stars. Their smiling faces and excitement are what made it all worthwhile.”

Middle School Coffee House Makes Sweet Music for Charity


At the middle school’s eighth annual Coffee House, sponsored by the school’s student government, the cafeteria was transformed into a chic and cozy venue for student performers to showcase their musical, poetic and writing creativity. The theme of the June 12 event was “Sweet Music to Your Ears.”

Thanks to the generosity of local businesses who donated items for the ticketed auction, and community members who attended the Coffee House, the school raised $957.42 to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island.

Montuori Named New BOE President


Philip Montuori Sr. was elected as the East Islip Board of Education's new president for 2015-2016. Montuori, first elected as a trustee in 2012, was named as president at the Board’s annual reorganization meeting on July 9, replacing former President Steven Behan, who remains as a trustee.

Trustee Christopher Zachry was named as vice president.

It was the first Board meeting for East Islip’s newest trustee, Jessica Carney, and for new Superintendent of Schools John V. Dolan.



Magna Carta Couture


Sophomores in Nancy Fitz and Patricia Lester’s global history classes celebrated the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta on June 15 by creating their own unique Magna Carta T-shirts.

Class of 2015 Reach for Their Dreams


Donning traditional red and white caps and gowns, seniors of the Class of 2015 took a step close to reaching their dreams as they graduated from the high school on June 26.

The commencement was held on Sal Ciampi Field at Boomer Esiason Stadium in front of a crowd of proud administrators and families. Following the processional march into the stadium, Principal Bill Brennen opened the ceremony with words of wisdom for the students to carry with them as they enter their next life chapter.

“When you leave here today you cannot predict what is going to happen next,” said Brennen. “Most of you have plans, but rarely does anything go according to plan. When your plan goes astray, don’t sweat it. Sometimes those changes are a blessing in disguise. Change and adapt. Don’t be afraid of what life throws your way. The obstacles between you and your dreams are just small stuff. The truth is, your family and the education that you received here at East Islip have prepared you for those challenges and you are certainly capable of achieving the success you desire.”

Reflecting on her years at East Islip, co-valedictorian Lauren Farrell shared a personal experience of facing her fears by donating blood, despite being afraid of fainting. She reminded her classmates to stand up for what is right, even if it is a difficult choice.

“Adulthood is right around the corner, and that means big changes in our lives,” said Farrell. “There will be moments of fear and uncertainty, but facing them is necessary to surpassing them. The lesson I learned was about selflessness. I knew I was going to faint before I even walked in that room, but I still did it because I knew it was the right thing to do. I focused on helping others. Doing the right thing even without being rewarded or acknowledged is what distinguishes the heroes among us. Next time you get the chance, do the right thing and be someone’s hero.”

Board of Education president Steven Behan said goodbye to the Class of 2015 with a short, heartfelt speech, telling the students to dream big.

“Please dream as big as you can,” he said. “Get a plan and get to it. If you help yourself, the people that love you will help you too. Good luck, Class of 2015. Reach for your highest dreams.”

Thursday, September 03, 2015