ESBOCES Extended Day Enrichment Program

The registration packet for the ESBOCES Extended Day Enrichment Program is now available on the website under the "Parents" tab. The registration dates are Monday through Wednesday during the weeks of Aug. 8 and 15, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., and on Monday, Aug. 22 from 6-8 p.m. Please complete the packet and bring it with you when registering.

A Fresh Film Fest at the HS

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Providing the opportunity to showcase student film projects created throughout the school year, the fourth annual East Islip High School Film Festival was held May 25, hosted by teacher James Connell’s video production and broadcast television classes in the school’s television studio.

The Film Festival programming for 2016 included a wide variety of videos ranging from educational digital video packages, short independent films, comedies and horror films, as well as live musical performances by students such as Kate Maretsky and Karli Pipitone, who sang and played guitar on songs from popular film soundtracks. Interactive games were played in which members of the audience were selected to get up and play a game show in the television studio’s green screen, and a live Twitter feed gave students in the crowd a chance to provide instant feedback on the event as it was happening. Many of the students dressed in costume.

“This year’s Film Festival was a great success and was extremely popular with the students of East Islip,” said Connell. “We always try to keep everything fresh and exciting for the crowd.”




HS Students Practice Future Workplace Skills with Sir Research-a-lot

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“In an age of internet-based research, my students actually enjoyed doing their required research papers this year,” said high school English teacher Greg Kguloian, who initiated the Sir Research-a-lot Fact-Finding Enterprise during 2015-2016, which he defined as an independent research and report cooperative turned that turned into a startup company for life experience. “My intention was to recreate a mock workplace to show my kids how what they learn in school can actively prepare them for college and careers,” he said.

A follow-up to his prior Lit.2 Life cross-curricular lessons, which revolved around the theme of “related and connected” and bridged both personal and American history with literature, the Sir Research-a-lot program found freshmen English students researching either the Great Depression (via John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men) or the Civil Rights Era (via “Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun”), while sophomores investigated World War II (through Eli Wiesel’s “Night” and John Knowles’ “A Separate Peace”).

“These students are getting a taste of what it’s like to do relevant and appropriate research and formally present it in the MLA format,” said Kguloian. “They will need these skills to be successful in college or potential future careers. By creating our own practice place of academic business, the pupils are able to see how they too can make their own startup company, work with others and produce a valuable intellectual product. They have taken the experience of working with some literary canons and uncovered information that is related to those classic works of literature, and they have taken ownership of these discovered facts and made something productive out of their research. Although this student-centered research company is not real, the experience of working with others to create something of value really is.”

MS Leaders Club Hits the Trees

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To celebrate the accomplishments of the Middle School Leaders Club for the latest school year, 45 club members traveled to the Adventure Park at Long Island in Wheatley Heights to challenge their bodies and minds on the obstacle courses in the trees.

This year’s Leader Club group was the first to attempt this field trip, according to adviser Diane Wahrenburg, who said, “I was a bit nervous and wasn’t sure what to expect, but I knew these students would step up to the plate and challenge themselves, which is exactly what they did.”

Prior to climbing on at least three courses each, the club members were instructed on how to use their harnesses and clips properly so they would be attached to the safety cable for each course at all times.  The courses were color coded and progressed from lower, easier courses, to higher and more difficult courses.  Club members mustered their courage to jump off platforms, test their balance and strength, and zip line through the trees. Mental toughness was also a definite requirement.

“With the encouragement and help of their friends, some of our club members completed courses they did not think they could handle and pleasantly surprised themselves by pushing out of their comfort zones,” said Wahrenburg. “At the end of the day, everyone was happy, tired and feeling accomplished.”

Timber Pointers ‘Lend a Hand’

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Students at Timber Point “lent a hand” to complete the school’s "We’re All in This Together" mural in the cafeteria.

Marianne Borruso-Gilmore, a member of Timber Point’s PTA, donated her time to paint the original mural in August 2015. Fellow PTA members Sue Kiernan, Dawn LaMacchia, Dawn Sandler and Colleen Varley worked throughout the year to help every student and teacher, Principal Danielle Naccarato and the remainder of the Timber Point staff in taking turns placing a handprint somewhere in the mural.

“The children were excited to see each handprint then turn into a flower, forest creature or the planet, reminding us that we are all on this Earth together and we must take care of it and each other,” said Borruso-Gilmore.

Other features in the mural include the “Timber Point Express Train,” with a different food group in each train car, as well as the “Wonder Wall,” which serves to remind the children to never lose their sense of wonder.

“The message of the mural is that we are all different but we are all important, and every child’s hand was needed to fill in the spaces and make the mural beautiful,” said Borruso-Gilmore. “It was wonderful to see everyone come together to create it.”

HS Musician's Quintet Earn First Prize

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High school music student Michael Stevens recently performed with his woodwind group, the Noname Quintet, in the first ever M-Prize International Chamber Competition, taking the $5,000 first prize in the Junior Winds Division.

The competition took place in May at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where two intensive performance rounds were held. The semifinalists were chosen from over 170 chamber groups from 13 countries, making this competition – which offered a $100K grand prize in the Senior Division – bigger than any other competition of its type.

“In February, during our regular quintet rehearsal, we recorded ourselves and just decided to send it in,” said Stevens, who begins his senior year in September. “We didn’t expect this.”

After being informed that they had made the live semifinal rounds, the young student-musicians had their work cut out for them.

“In the period of just less than a month, we prepared enough music to give two full-length recitals,” said Stevens. “Our coach at Juilliard had us perform every week up until the trip, and in some cases, we would start a piece at our 9 a.m. Saturday rehearsal, then perform it that night in a recital. It was crazy how much we crammed in.”

The Noname Quintet, as they are called, stem from the Juilliard PreCollege Division and are coached by Prof. Bärli Nugent. In addition to Stevens, the group includes four New York area music students, all of whom graduated high school in June: bassoonist, Steven Ekert (Harvard Class of 2020), flutist Nicholas Ioffreda (Princeton Class of 2020), clarinetist Alec Manasse (Juilliard Class of 2020) and oboist Laura Michael (Yale Class of 2020).

Stevens has been playing French horn and piano since the age of five. He current serves as principal horn of the Juilliard PreCollege Orchestra and as a member of the New York Youth Symphony. He is touring Europe this summer as co-principal horn of the Carnegie Hall National Youth Orchestra.


BOE Business Meeting on Aug. 11

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The next Board of Education business meeting will be held on Thursday, August 11 at 8 p.m.  at 1 Craig B. Gariepy Ave. in Islip Terrace.

See below attachment for a complete 2016-2017 Board meeting schedule.

Attachments:

Zachry Named New BOE President

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Christopher Zachry was chosen as the East Islip Board of Education's new president for 2016-2017. First elected as a trustee in 2014, Zachry was named president on July 5 during the Board’s annual reorganization meeting. He replaces former President Philip Montuori Sr., who remains as a trustee.

William Carpluk, who also joined the Board as a trustee in 2014, was named as vice president.
 

Softball Stars Earn Postseason Honors

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Four members of the high school’s strong softball squad earned post-season honors. Juniors Jackie Carty and Courtney Greene and sophomore Alise Colandro were named All-County athletes, with Greene also named to the All-Long Island first team, while freshman Ashley Benvengo was named All-League and League IV Rookie of the Year.

“I am very proud of these four athletes,” said coach Jason McGowan, who was named League IV Coach of the Year. “They put in the work during the offseason, and it showed. It’s an honor to coach them.”

Greene, a pitcher and the team’s junior captain, had an outstanding season, leading the Lady Redmen to the Suffolk County final after losing in the second round of the playoffs. Behind Greene’s solid pitching performances, East Islip rattled off five straight wins to reach the final. As a pitcher, Greene won 17 games and set a new school record in striking out 176 batters in 155 innings. She notched her 500th career strikeout this season as well, finishing the year with 518 career strikeouts, also a school record.

According to McGowan, Greene’s season was highlighted by an epic matchup with Eastport-South Manor in the semifinal, in which she pitched 12 innings, struck out 13 batters and hit a home run that cut the lead in half. On offense, Greene batted .327 (.375 in the playoffs) and scored five home runs (including four playoff homers), 32 hits and 27 RBI.

Greene has committed to play softball for Molloy College starting in the fall of 2017.

Colandro, the team’s catcher and leadoff hitter, had a breakout season after earning League IV Rookie of the Year last year. According to McGowan, Colandro had one of the best offensive seasons in the history of East Islip softball, batting .435 while compiling a school-record 47 hits. She also scored 26 runs and stole 19 bases, and in the playoffs, batted .394 with 13 hits and eight runs.

“Alise caught every inning of every game this season, which is a credit to her toughness and her resiliency,” said McGowan. “Alise was clutch during the playoffs and was the catalyst of our county finalist team. When she got going, the team got going. She handled our three different pitchers this season with ease and was a vocal leader on the field. We look forward to Alise leading us again next year.”

Carty, playing shortstop for the first time, and batting third, led East Islip with six home runs, tying a school record, including three in the playoffs. She also scored 27 runs, walked 21 times (another school record) and had 27 RBI. With no seniors and only two juniors on the team, the four-year varsity player emerged as a leader on and off the field.

“Jackie was our emotional leader and a major factor in the team’s success,” said McGowan. “Her hustle, performance in the clutch and desire to be great are what makes her so special.”

A three-sport athlete, Carty has committed to play soccer at Molloy College in the fall of 2017.


Watts Wins Recycling Poster Contest with Compost Creation

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East Islip High School career development student Christopher Watts recently won the Town of Islip’s annual Earth Day Poster Contest, and his work was put on display on the third floor of the town’s Main Street building in Islip. Watts received a certificate of recognition from the town along with a $50 Walmart gift card, which he used to purchase a gift for his father on Father’s Day.

“I am really happy to have won the poster design contest,” said Watts. “I worked really hard on it. It was challenging and a bit out of my comfort zone, but I was excited to try something new.”

His original poster design, illustrating the process of composting, was done in colored pencil on 18x24 poster board. Watts drew renderings of compost and used his slogan “Recycling To Beauty: From This to This” to explain how compost can create beautiful flowers and fauna.

“I am proud of Chris,” said art teacher Daniel Figliozzi. “Winning this contest is a great achievement. He worked really hard all year on his art and continues to push himself. I am excited to work with him again next year.”


Class of 2016 Chase Their Destinies

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As the high school’s Class of 2016 stepped onto the football field on June 24, taking their central role in the school’s 89th commencement, they also took a giant step in the game of life, ready to pursue new dreams and new destinies.

After the initial processional music from the high school orchestra, directed by Susan Rydzeski, the Pledge of Allegiance was led by Caleb Shulman and Shannon Ransom, followed by Jon Sawyer Coffin singing “The Star-Spangled Banner”. Rising above the wind, a quartet of Danielle Pafundi, Karli Pipitone, Ashley Karlin and Noelia Vazquez delivered a rendition of the school’s alma mater.

“Find what you are passionate about,” Principal William Brennen urged his former charges. “Follow your dreams now, before life gets in the way. There will be obstacles and ups and downs, and it will not always be easy, but a dream worth living is one that you have to work for. Congratulations to the Class of 2016. I wish you all the best of luck.”

Board of Education President Philip Montuori Sr., an alumnus of East Islip’s Class of 1966, recalled his own graduation 50 years ago, telling the seniors about his memories sitting in the student section where they now waited.

Superintendent John V. Dolan, in his first commencement address since joining the district last year, began by thanking the community. “Your work ethic, your enthusiasm and your EI pride have been inspirational,” he said, before issuing a special congratulations to the parents in attendance. “You were your child’s first teacher, your are their lifelong teacher, and you’ve done an excellent job,” he told them. He then turned his attention to the graduates, who he called intelligent, empathetic and caring. Reminding them of the value of pride and a work ethic, he told them, “The East Islip community – your parents, schools, teachers, friends, grandparents – has worked together to build a solid foundation so you can go out into this world and make it a better place.”

“Today marks the end of our time here in East Islip, and the culmination of more than a decade of work,” said salutatorian Joseph Teknus. “It’s also about the people we met, and the friends we have, and the memories we made.”

“Thank you to my classmates who continue to teach me more about myself every day,” said valedictorian Meaghan Coles, telling her fellow graduates to keep moving forward while acknowledging their accomplishments. “It has taken 12 long years to get to where we are right now – 12 years of homework and summer projects, but also 12 years of making new friends, discovering who we are and creating memories that will stay with us for a lifetime,” Coles said. “Sitting here on this field, we have all accomplished something. We have reached a goal set for us by our parents, our families, our friends, our teachers. This moment is validation that in the past 12 years, we have all done at least one thing right. Our lives in these hallways are over, they are no longer ours to walk. New students will sit in our desks, and life will go on for East Islip High School without us. But life will go on for each of us as well. We all have our own destinies to chase.”



HS and MS Fall Sports Physicals and Practices

The middle school nurses will be available on Wednesday, Aug. 31 from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. to collect sports physicals and to hand out orange cards.

The high school nurses will be available at the high school to collect physicals and orange cards on the following days from 8 a.m.to 11 a.m.:
   Monday, Aug. 15 through Thursday, Aug. 18
   Monday, Aug. 22 through Thursday, Aug. 25

See the attached document for JV and varsity summer open workout schedule, as well as first practice and tryout dates and times.

Attachments:

MS Celebrates Backyard Bash

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Eighth graders at the middle school celebrated their transition to high school with games, dancing and a BBQ lunch, enjoying a delightful day in the sun at this year’s Backyard Bash. The annual event, held on June 20 in the athletic fields behind the school, served as the culmination of their hard work and dedication over the past three years.

“Our eighth-grade students thoroughly enjoyed themselves at our 2016 Backyard Bash,” said Principal Mark Bernard. “We wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors.”

A Quilt Is Built at Middle School

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Showcasing their growing planning and tool use skills as well as pride in their school, eight students in the middle school’s Family and Consumer Science Club – Mia Castillo, Juli Chillemi, Meagan Diaz, Evie Orlando, Emma Sasso, Miranda Stockton, Kasey Turtell and Kim Turtell – worked tirelessly to complete an “East Islip Pride” T-shirt quilt, now on display in the school’s main lobby.

With help from FACS teacher Dani Shehada and paraprofessional Diane Doyle, the students used East Islip Redmen shirts to create a unique continuous quilt pattern.  Once the colors were chosen, the students were taught how to properly trace the shirts into 12x12 fabric squares and to cut them out accurately using fabric shears.  Then the students assembled the quilt by pinning all of the T-shirts together in the pattern they created. Each student took a part in sewing the quilt permanently on the sewing machine. In a final creative decision, the FACS Club members chose to add a thick black border around the quilt to finalize its look. 

“I love how the quilt came out,” said Orlando, a sixth-grader. “I can’t believe how professional it looks.

“Our East Islip Pride T-shirt quilt was a labor of love which took over four months to complete,” said Shehada. “Quilt making is a fun, creative and practical way to create something that you can have forever.”

Connetquot Honors ‘Granny Awards’

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Second-graders at Connetquot recently gave several performances of the musical “The Granny Awards.” Directed by music teacher Emily King, the show gave the young actors a chance to demonstrate their talents in transforming into fairytale characters and bestow mock awards in categories such as Best Female Vocalist, Best Male Vocalist, Best Dramatic Scene, Best Choreography, Best Rap and Best Villain.

The production was enhanced by life-size character figures of Cinderella and Prince Charming, created by Liz Gibbons. 

“The involvement of administration, teaching staff, parents and students was essential to creating such successful performances,” said King. “Our second-graders were fantastic and I couldn’t be more proud.”

“The singing, dancing and acting was first rate,” said Principal Deborah Smith. “The students of Connetquot once again demonstrated that they have a bright and exciting future ahead in the performing arts. Bravo to Ms. King and the second-grade students.”


Broadcaster’s Banner Year

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It was another banner year for the high school’s official student newspaper, The Broadcaster, whose staff – led by Jen Converso and Meg Tohill, the co-editors in chief – recently earned a first place award for excellence for the fourth time in a row from the American Scholastic Press Association. For the first time, ASPA, a national organization of high school newspaper competitions based in College Point, New York, also named The Broadcaster one of the 18 "Most Outstanding High School Newspapers" in the nation.

On May 23, the newspaper continued its winning streak by amassing a remarkable 37 awards – a new school record – at the annual Long Island Press High School Journalism Awards, hosted by Hofstra University. East Islip’s students won 11 first place, 11 second place, 13 third place and two honorable mention awards in the categories of writing, layout, design and cartooning, succeeding in a pool of 2,000 entries submitted by students from high schools all across Long Island. 

“These students work so hard at what they do,” said journalism and English teacher Joan Dlouhy, co-adviser for The Broadcaster along with James Connell. “They always work as a team, help each in offering feedback on their articles, respect one another’s work and offer assistance when needed. They are truly the voices of East Islip High School and deserve every one of these awards.”


Coupe to Throw for Queens College

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High school senior Jared Coupe signed a National Letters of Intent on June 15 to continue his sterling track and field career at Queens College.

Competing in discus, hammer and weight throw since he was a freshman, Coupe broke out during his senior year, earning All-League and All-Division honors and breaking a school record in discus. His participation in East Islip’s track and field team’s undefeated championship season has been his high school highlight.

The senior was also a strong football player at left tackle and defensive end for three years, contributing to multiple Redmen championship game victories and earning a six-letter jacket.

Coupe, who plans to major in criminal justice, chose CUNY Queens primarily for its academics.



Connetquot Kindergartners Get Back to Nature

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Kindergartners at Connetquot Elementary learned about the abundance of nature close to home on May 10 and 11, enjoying the fine spring weather as they participated in a series of guided nature walks at the local South Shore Nature Center. Naturalists from the Seatuck Environmental Association introduced the children to the life cycles of the local flora and fauna, and the students had a chance to encounter and observe tadpoles and turtles, a black racer snake, flying ospreys, and a mother deer.

Saturday, July 30, 2016