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Hillman Honored for Photography

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Recent high school graduate Sarah Hillman was honored at the Town of Islip’s 2017 Student Achievement Awards for her work in fine arts. Hillman’s exceptional photographs have been displayed at numerous exhibits including the town’s Festival of the Arts, Colors of Long Island in Stony Brook, and the 2017 Long Island Media Arts Show at Five Towns College’s Performing Arts Center in Dix Hills. She has been recognized for her work in the school’s yearbook and “Broadcaster” newspaper, and won two consecutive PTA Reflections Awards of Excellence.

Hillman will attend Cazenovia College in upstate New York this fall on scholarship, where she plans to major in photography.

HS Photographers Chosen at LIU Post

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HS Photographers Chosen at LIU Post 1

Outstanding work by 10 high school photography students was recently chosen for LIU Post’s 14th annual 12x12 High School Art Exhibition. The selected students were senior Max McGibney (for “Nightmare”); juniors Alexa Benitez (“Somber Contemplation”), Keala Sanders (“Negative-Creep”) and Nina Senn (“Morgue”); and sophomores John Camlet (“Behind Blue Eyes”), Jenna Donnelly (“Reflections”), Tyler Franklin (“Earths Tears”), Jake Kenney (“Juniors”), Chris Palmer (“Strike 3”) and Gia Piazza (“Creepy Night”). Their work was displayed at the Art League Students Gallery at LIU Post’s B. Davis Schartz Memorial Library in Brookville.

"The students chosen for this exhibit have demonstrated an strong interest in their photography and I am so proud of them for getting to exhibit their work in a professional gallery,” said teacher Heather Toomey. “I am happy that LIU Post gives high school students this opportunity.” 

“I plan on continuing photography next year and this was a good experience to have for college,” said Donnelly.

Connetquot Kids Tackle 30-Minute Running Challenge

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The physical education program at Connetquot challenged their students from kindergarten through second grade to run or jog with music, non-stop for 30 minutes. According to teacher Dennis Jones, dozens of the students accomplished this feat, some of them three or four times each.

BOE Business Meeting on Aug. 10


The Board of Education will hold a business meeting on Thursday, Aug. 10 at 7 p.m.  at 1 Craig B. Gariepy Ave. in Islip Terrace.

Carney Named New Board President

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Jessica Carney was chosen as the East Islip Board of Education's new president for 2017-2018. First elected as a trustee in 2015, Carney was named president on July 6 during the Board’s annual reorganization meeting. She replaces former President Christopher Zachry, who remains as a trustee.

Philip Montuori Sr., who last served as Board president in 2015-2016, was named as vice president.

Varga Wins Rensselaer Medal

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Kevin Varga, a junior at the high school, has been named as the winner of this year’s Rensselaer Medal. The award honors academic achievement and seeks to inspire students to pursue careers in engineering, science and technology.

First awarded in 1916, the Rensselaer Medal guarantees a scholarship of $15,000 per year for four years, if the recipient applies, is accepted and chooses to attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.

In addition to earning excellent grades in his many rigorous courses, Varga was accepted to the National Grid Engineering Pipeline program for the summer. This program allows students to experience real-world learning opportunities and compete for summer internships, and may lead to an opportunity for an engineering career at National Grid.

“I am so proud of Kevin’s achievements throughout high school, and I look forward to working with him as he applies to colleges in the fall," said his counselor, Jessica Pignataro. “He is a conscientious, talented student who will certainly continue to make East Islip proud.”

Celebrating Learning and Growth at JFK and RCK Moving Ups

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Ruth C. Kinney and John F. Kennedy Elementary Schools held their respective fifth-grade moving up ceremonies on June 21 and 22, providing the young scholars a chance to celebrate another major step in their educational journey and look forward to a challenging road ahead in middle school.

RCK’s event included a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance by Brady Kneisel and Emily Standish, and a rendition of the school’s song, “Learning Is the Way..Here at RCK.” JFK’s moving up featured Katharine Lee Bates singing “America the Beautiful” and a version of “I’m on Top of the World” by Imagine Dragons, sung by the entire class. Both included the presentation of academic, athletic and other awards.

“Our fifth-grade students are a group of enthusiastic young minds that will thrive in the middle school,” said RCK Principal Hillary Bromberg. “The virtues and knowledge learned at RCK, and their continued education in the middle school and high school, will afford them the tools necessary to compete in this globally competitive environment.”

"This celebration provided us all with time to reflect on the wonderful activities and learning that occurred this past year,” said JFK Principal Deborah Smith. “Our proud JFK scholars are ready to embark on their secondary education. They are self-confident and enthusiastic about the exciting opportunities they will have to continue to learn and grow as sixth-graders.”

JFK's video can be viewed here.

Class of 2017 Turns the Page

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As the sun wrestled through the clouds, the 342 members of the high school’s Class of 2017 marched in a sea of red-and-white caps and gowns into Boomer Esiason Stadium on June 23 to start the school’s 90th commencement ceremony. The graduates nevertheless experienced a rain of inspiring words about honesty, competition and perseverance from fellow students and administrators as they prepared to turn the page on a new chapter in their young lives.

The high school band, directed by Christopher Neske, performed the processional music. Brittney Berke, accompanied by Vincenzo Mediate, led the Pledge of Allegiance, and Kendra Canavan sang the “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The vocal quartet of Roy Anderson, Amanda Baranek, Berke and Kurt Eide delivered the school’s alma mater. Members of the school’s Class of 1967 were presented with certificates recognizing their golden anniversary of graduation. 

“Dreams are important because they are what motivates us,” said Principal William Brennen in his opening remarks. Emphasizing the importance of character building based on honesty, he encouraged the graduates to develop and pursue goals and show appreciation for their parents, teachers and others who help them along their journey. 

Quoting from Adam Smith and Charles Darwin, valedictorian Jack Palmeri extolled competition as essential to productive activity in each person’s life and for whole nations, saying that it furthers innovations, sparks creativity and advances civilization.

“It’s what influenced individuals such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs to strive to be their best,” Palmeri said. “Without competition, society would have no drive, no determination and no choices. Competition is what separates the great United States of America from the rest of the world.”

Salutatorian Alexandra Belyea reflected on how her accomplishments throughout her East Islip school career would have been unattainable without the guidance of her teachers, friends and parents, who always told her to be nice, kind and happy and befriend those that would make her a better person.

“In the end, people will only truly care about and remember the type of person you are,” Belyea said. “As we all move past high school, it is crucial to be a positive influence in society and surround yourself with genuinely good people who raise you up instead of pull you down.” 

Superintendent John Dolan encouraged students to pick career paths that would energize them, set their goals high and chase them with unbridled enthusiasm.

“Make good choices and take responsibility for them, and be sure to follow your moral compass,” he said.

Board of Education President Christopher Zachry told the graduates that they would fail only if they didn’t believe in themselves through life’s inevitable obstacles and unexpected events. He stressed that time, unlike money, is a commodity that they can’t afford to lose because it can never be regained.

“If there’s something in your heart that you want to do, don’t put it off,” he said. “Don’t waste time. Don’t wait until you’re 25 or 30. Start working towards it now.”

Click here for Island Photography slideshow.

McCall Honored as Young Poet

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Kaitlyn McCall, a student at JFK, was honored by the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association for her achievement in the 31st annual Young Poets Contest. McCall’s poem, “Dreams” was considered “outstanding” by distinguished poetry judges and selected from 2,700 entries for the fifth- and sixth-grade category. She attended a June 4 ceremony commemorating the 198th birthday of Walt Whitman.  


Eighth Graders Enjoy Backyard Bash

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Celebrating the end of the school year and future learning opportunities at the high school this fall, eighth graders at the middle school participated in the annual Backyard Bash on June 19, enjoying music, dancing, food and games with their classmates.

“Once again, our eighth-grade students thoroughly enjoyed this year-end celebration,” said Principal Mark Bernard. “We wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors.”

Field Day a Fun Favorite at Timber Point

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At Timber Point, students from kindergarten through second grade enjoyed a fun-filled Field Day full of activities, including an obstacle course, hula hooping, box car races, potato sack races, balance activities and a ball toss game.

“Field Day has always been a favorite year-end event for Timber Point,” said physical education teacher Pat Bush. “It is such a rewarding experience to watch the students participate in all the activities. They worked together, demonstrated good sportsmanship and had a tremendous amount of exercise while maintaining their smiling faces. Congratulations to them all.”

EI: Where Amazing Things Happen Every Day


A Successful Spring Concert Series

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East Islip closed out another school year of growing musical skill and diligent practice with a terrific May series of spring concerts representing musicians from the high school, middle school, and John F. Kennedy and Ruth C. Kinney elementary schools.

The programs of the six concerts, all held at the high school’s Rydzeski Hall, included classical compositions by Bach, Dvorak, Haydn, Holst, Mozart, Stravinsky and Vivaldi; traditional and folk tunes from various traditions; pop songs like “From a Distance” and “Happy”; and dramatic pieces from films and musicals such as “Hairspray,” “Les Miserables,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Jurassic Park” and “Moana.”

“Our spring concert series was a brilliant success,” said Dr. Robert J. Wottawa II, the district’s director of art and music. “Our children’s hard work and dedication is a reflection of their teachers’ passion for their teaching craft, performance level, and high expectations.”


NHS Fundraises for Fox Foundation

Demonstrating the students’ commitment to helping worthy causes, the high school’s National Honor Society collected $1,200 at a recent car wash fundraiser for the benefit of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

Exemplary Videos and Strummed Guitars Highlight Film Fest


Offering everything from videos to guitar performances, the high school’s fifth annual Film Festival highlighted the exemplary work created by film students during the school year. Held in in the school’s television studio, the event held was again hosted by teacher James Connell’s video production and broadcast television classes, and featured videos in numerous genres and formats, as well as live guitar-and-vocal performances.

“My special thanks go out to students such as Steven Murello, who provided many of the Film Festival’s videos,” said Connell. “Steven has been an incredible asset to the program over the years and will be missed as he pursues his filmmaking aspirations at the School for Visual Arts in New York City next year and beyond.”

EI Fields 19 Special Olympians


East Islip entered a team of 19 student-athletes in this year’s Special Olympics Long Island Spring Games South, hosted by Bellport High School on May 7.

Physical education teachers Laura O’Donnell and Diane Wahrenburg became Special Olympics coaches and started a training program at East Islip Middle School last year, entering six middle school student-athletes in the 2016 games. This year, the team more than tripled, growing to include both middle school and high school students, as well as an additional coach, Julie Susskind. 

After eight weeks of training, the athletes attended a special breakfast, held in honor of the team, on the Friday preceding the event, hosted by the middle school and sponsored by SEPTO. Their families, coaches and district administrators were on hand to celebrate and congratulate the athletes on their hard work and to wish them luck at the games.

The students competed in two events each at the Special Olympics, including the turbo jav throw, softball throw, tennis ball throw, 50-meter dash, 100-meter dash and 100-meter walk. Middle school athletes Anthony Agresta, Madeline Director, Ryan Guerra, Krish Khajuria, Jake Kozak, Janissa Lloyd, Timmy McCall, Julia Modico, Michael Pacheko, Sarah Spruyt and Christopher Urraro took numerous gold, silver and bronze medals and ribbons in their events. High school athletes Delaney Conlan, Danny DiOrio, Jon Michael Jacobs, Emily Maccarone, Robert Phillips, Michael Quagliara, James Stiso and Kelly Stupplebeen also came home with multiple medals and ribbons.

“We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day for our Special Olympics athletes to compete,” said Wahrenburg. “I am proud of each and every one of them, and I am grateful to be a part of our team and this organization.”

“The kids were excited about competing in the events that they had spent weeks training for,” said O’Donnell, who noted that the coaches look forward to putting together an even bigger team next year. “They were proud of their personal achievements and cheered on their friends. It was a day of victory and pride for everyone involved.”

The students were also honored at the district’s June 8 Board of Education meeting.

MS Trio Succeeds at STEM Challenge


The middle school sent a team of three students to the Team Packard 2017 STEM Challenge at Northport High School this spring. Brandon Palomba, Emily Puglisi and Olivia Zhang, all members of the school’s STEM Club, competed in four different challenges against 32 teams representing 10 different school districts. East Islip’s team placed second in the Density Challenge.

“These kids worked hard all year attending the STEM Club, and their hard work paid off,” said club adviser Darcie Schlott.

Girls Golf Team Is on the Rise


The high school’s girls golf team recently finished a successful season, with three students earning All-League recognition: ninth-grader Sofia Ferezza, sophomore Jamie Smith and eighth-grader Sophia Stryjewski.

A young team with a majority of freshman and sophomore starters, the Lady Redmen displayed consistent improvement throughout the season on skills and match performance. The lineup included five new fulltime starters – Smith, Stryjewski, freshman Sophia Bates, sophomore Danielle Muroff and sophomore Cassidy Triolo – alongside three returning veterans, Ferrezza, junior Krissy Mercurio and sophomore Nicole Muroff. Ferrezza, Smith, Stryjewski and Triolo all posted new individual low scores this year. Season highlights included a 7-2 victory over rivals West Islip for the first time in three seasons.

“They will be a team to watch over the next several seasons,” said coach Judith Fischer.

Senior Awards Night


Dozens of the high school’s outstanding seniors from the Class of 2017 were recognized at the school’s annual Senior Awards Night, held on June 5. The students received well-deserved awards and scholarships from presenters who included Superintendent John V. Dolan, Principal William Brennan, district administrators, local sponsors and community members.

“It is always great when students are recognized and rewarded for their hard work and commitment to their education,” said Principal William Brennen. “Kudos to all of our recipients and their proud parents.”

TP Students Raise $12K for Children’s Hospital


Students at Timber Point put their math skills to work to raise $12,040 in the school’s 14th annual Math-A-Thon to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. During those 14 years, Timber Point’s contributions to St. Jude have reached an impressive total of $135,600.21.

At a May 16 assembly, Principal Danielle Naccarato congratulated the kindergartners, first-graders and second-graders on a job well done. They were joined by Superintendent John V. Dolan, who handed out medals to the participants.  

“All of the students’ hard work really paid off,” said teacher Michelle Kilkelly, who coordinated the event with fellow teacher Carolyn McGee. “Our thanks to the Timber Point staff and families for making this another successful year for the Math-A-Thon.”

Ginty and Moschetto Qualify for States


Following their superlative track performances at the NYSPHSAA Section 11 State Qualifier, held on June 2 and 3 at Port Jefferson High School, seniors Jackie Ginty and Andrew Moschetto moved on to the New York State meet. Ginty won first place and was named Suffolk County champion in both the 100-meter race, with a time of 12:21, and the 200-meter, with a time of 24.91. Moschetto took second place in the 200-meter race with a time of 22.01.

Ginty and Moschetto competed on June 9 and 10 at the NYSPHSAA Championships at Union-Endicott High School in upstate Broome County. Ginty took sixth place in both the 100- and 200-meter dashes. Moschetto took sixth place in the 200-meter dash.

Other results for East Islip boys track athletes at the state qualifiers included Moschetto earning third place in the 100-meter race; senior Mike Krebs finishing sixth in the 200-meter; junior Anoune Basse finishing eighth in the long jump; junior Rob Skidmore finishing 13th in discus; and the 4x100 relay team of Basse, Krebs, Moschetto and Mike Quast earning third place.

Other results for East Islip girls track athletes at the state qualifiers included sophomore Christie Czajka finishing in 12th place in the 800-meter race, eighth-grader Hannah Smalley finishing 12th in the 1,500-meter; junior Nina Senn earning eighth in discus; and the 4x100 relay team of Jackie Ginty, Katie Ginty, Shannon Lauinger and Alexandra Stewart finishing in seventh place.

Freshmen Explore Treatment of Native Americans


After reading about the treatment of Native Americans during the 1800s in the allegorical short stories “St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves” by Karen Russell, and  “Cheyenne Again” by Eve Bunting, East Islip High School students in Greg Kguloian’s freshman English class went on a virtual field trip, conducting research on the Dakota Access Pipeline situation in North Dakota as it unfolded and developed, and comparing current and past treatment of Native Americans. They explored the facts and history behind eminent domain and the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which requires the government to provide just compensation to the owner of private property to be taken. After doing the appropriate research, the students formulated arguments to consider their essential curriculum question for the year regarding the individual’s role within his or her society.

“The educational merit of this project went far beyond anything we’ve done in our class before,” said Kguloian. “It had real-world and real-time ramifications regarding the environment. It was both poignant and timely in regards to the treatment of Native American lands as they hung in the balance of promised sovereignty vs. national energy interests. The takeaway from the short stories was to help our young people see history from the point of view of the Native Americans, learn about what they lived through and then ask themselves, ‘Is it right?’ The interaction between my pupils was extremely impressive. Every one of them was engaged and couldn’t wait to share what they discovered via their research and even their conversations with family members, friends and relatives.”

EI Takes Second at Law Day Tournament


Competing against 15 other teams from Suffolk, Nassau and New York City, the high school’s Mock Trial team took second place in the New York State Law Day Tournament, hosted by Northport High School on April 21. East Islip was represented by students Shannon Dodenhoff, Joshua Koretz, Ewere Emma McGaugh, Tyler O’Neill and Christian Thomesen, accompanied by their coach, social studies teacher Patsy Lester.

The civil law tournament, now in its 43rd year, was sponsored by the New York State Bar Association and the Law, Youth, and Citizenship Committee. Teams of five students were given 12 minutes to prepare a legal case based on a one-page summary of facts. At the end of the 12-minute prep period, the students had to argue the case as attorneys and witnesses against another school’s team. A coin toss determined which team was plaintiff and defense during each round. This year’s cases included negligence, defamation, assault and battery, product liability, vicarious liability, and breach of contract. 

East Islip’s team went undefeated through five rounds, picking off strong teams such as Syosset and Plainview-Old Bethpage. Facing hosts Northport, they came in second in the championship round, which featured a judging panel that included New York State Bar Association Past-President A. Thomas Levin, District Court Judge Hon. James C. Hudson, Professor Thomas Schweitzer of Touro Law School, and Queens Assistant District Attorney Josh Mandel.    

Broadcaster Wins Big at Hofstra


The hardworking staff of the high school’s The Broadcaster student newspaper proudly took home 23 awards from the Long Island Press High School Journalism Awards ceremony, hosted at Hofstra University on May 30.

The night started off with an introduction by Beverly Fortune, the chief operating officer of Morey Publishing. Following Fortune’s speech were opening remarks by Josh Schnepps, a publisher for the Long Island Press, and his mother Victoria Schnepps, the program’s founder, and a keynote address delivered by Evan Cornog, dean of Hofstra’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication.

Following these inspiring speeches, Long Island Press high school program coordinator David North presented the event’s awards to their respective winners, with prizes given in 106 different categories.

The night was a success for both the Broadcaster staff and individual members. The Broadcaster itself earned an honorable mention for Newspaper of the Year, won second place in both the Layout-Section category, for its sports section, and in the Layout-Issue category, for the paper’s February 2017 issue.

Senior Sarah Hillman took home the first award of the night, winning third place in the Arts Review-Book Review category for her critique “Flaming Over Firestarter.” Junior Cierra Colon was next to receive an award, taking first place in the Arts Review- Local Music category for her article “Meet Long Island’s Newest Knockout Band: Nexus.” Carla Garavito, another senior, won third place in the Arts and Entertainment category for her recap of the Oscars in “A Wrong Winner Overshadows the Oscars.” Junior Kerri Kolensky received second place for her article “Finding Emily and Finding Myself” in the Aura Diaz Award for First Person Perspectives. Emily Glennon, senior and editor in chief, took third place in the next category, Business, for her article “EI Alumni Creates Self-Made Business.” Fellow senior Julia Piazza and Garavito both received second and third place awards in the category of Fashion Feature for their articles “Students and Teachers Strut Their Stuff at EI Fashion Show” and “Straight off the Streets: The Best Looks from Around the World,” respectively. Junior Scott Long earned second place in the Q&A-School-Related category for his questionnaire, “What Keeps Athletes Motivated?” Junior Sarah Bloom and seniors Defne Duyku and Taylor Kozak received second place in the Photo Essay category for their work on The Broadcaster’s November issue centerfold, depicting photo highlights from the school’s homecoming.            

For three of The Broadcaster’s staff members, the night was especially successful. Sophomore Victoria Keenan and seniors Michael Dondero and Kozak walked away with four awards each in a wide variety of categories. Keenan garnered first place in both the Arts Review-Film and Opinion-Pop Culture categories for her articles “A New Adventure on the Great Wide Movie Screen: A Beauty and the Beast Review” and “It’s a Tale Keeping Up With New Times.” She also received second place in the ceremony’s Storytelling category, giving readers a glimpse of her summer adventures in “Ithaca College Makes the Summer of a Lifetime,” and a third-place nod for her piece “The Heart Behind Organ Donations” in the Short Feature category.

Dondero’s artistic abilities took him far, earning a first-place award in the Cartoon-Political category for his work accompanying the article “Are Fur Coats Worth the Lives of Our Furry Friends?” He also earned second place in the Illustration category and third place in the Cartoon and Cartoon-Entertainment categories.

Kozak’s creativity also led to her success throughout the evening. Her winning advice earned her a third-place spot in the Column-School category for “Committing to a College? Here’s What You Need to Know.” Her creative use of the high school faculty also earned her second place in the Q&A category for her Roving Reporter question for November’s issue, “What would you be if you weren’t a teacher?” Kozak achieved two awards in the Photo Essay category, with her photography for both homecoming and the school’s SADD Fashion Show winning her second and third place awards.      

“With over 2,000 submissions, student journalists from all over Long Island and our high school alike demonstrated that a collective passion for truth, writing and sharing knowledge with the world can truly bring about the most honest nature of society,” said Keenan.

Giraffe Calf Spurs Middle School Library Contest


The middle school’s library held a contest to guess the gender and weight of April the giraffe’s newborn calf. The Animal Adventure Park near upstate Binghamton had been holding a contest to name April’s baby. On April 15, April delivered a healthy calf named Oliver, weighing 129 lbs.

There were three winners in the contest: AJ LaMacchia guessed 143 pounds earning third place, Kayla Sciallo guessed 117 pounds, for second, and Rayanne Abdelbaky won first place with a guess of 120 pounds. Each student won a prize of a a giraffe clip and Rita’s Ices gift certificate.

“We had been waiting and watching April’s progress daily in the library, along with more than 1 million people at the end of a long and virally popular pregnancy,” said librarian Valerie Ware Comneck. “We learned a lot about giraffes and the fact that there are only approximately 600 West African giraffes left.”

Four Fifth-Graders Earn Leadership Awards

Four East Islip fifth-graders – Max Berlin and Isabella Procaccini of John F. Kennedy Elementary School, and Angelina DeAmicis and Jesse Najera of Ruth C. Kinney Elementary School – recently received the annual Physical Education Leadership award from the Suffolk Zone Chapter of the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. The four students and other Suffolk County award winners attended an NYS AHPERD awards ceremony on May 3, held at Longwood High School in Middle Island. They were nominated by their physical education teachers for their leadership skills and for how they help their peers.  

Summer School 2017



Valedictorian Jack Palmeri


The high school’s Class of 2017 valedictorian is Jack Palmeri.

An AP Scholar with Distinction, Palmeri is a member of the school’s Math Honor Society and Academic Team. From freshman through senior year, he annually earned the High Minds in Motion Scholar-Athlete Award. He competes on the varsity track team and volunteers at the Emanuel Lutheran Church soup kitchen in Patchogue.

Palmeri won the Rensselaer Medal merit scholarship last year for his superlative academic achievements in mathematics and science, and will major in engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.

Salutatorian Alexandra Belyea


The high school’s Class of 2017 salutatorian is Alexandra Belyea.

An AP Scholar with Distinction, she serves as secretary of the National Honor Society, and is a member of the Foreign Language Honor Society, Tri-M Honor Society, SADD Club and Interact Club. She was also honored as a Breakfast of Champions recipient.

Belyea will attend the State University of New York at Binghamton, where she will major in history and minor in education.

"Litter Bugs": Timber Point’s Creative, Creepy Critters


Second-graders at Timber Point celebrated environmental awareness this spring through the construction of “Litter Bugs.” The students designed insects using recyclable materials, and researched each insect to write informative paragraphs to coincide with their creation.

“Our students were amazed at their creativity as well as that of their classmates,” said teacher Carol Wilson.

RCK's Graney Succeeds at Science Fair


Lilyana Graney, a fourth-grader at RCK, finished in the top 10 at the Brookhaven National Laboratory Elementary School Science Fair on May 6, earning an honorable mention medal. Her project, “A Bird’s Color Feast,” sought to discover whether birds have color preferences for their bird feeders.

“We are so proud of her and the great work she did with her project,” said RCK Principal Hillary Bromberg.

JFK Fourth-Graders Show Kindness to Shelter Pets


Donna Marshall, a fourth-grade teacher at JFK, began a campaign this year with her class called Be Kind, and collected animal toys and supplies for a local animal shelter.

“The kids were so excited to bring in their donations,” said Marshall. “This will surely make a difference in the lives of these shelter pets.”

The Fifth Annual Medical Career Day


In partnership with Northwell Health, the high school’s Medical and Health Technology Career Academy hosted its fifth annual Medical Career Day on April 21, with activities throughout the school for students in grades 8-12. Taking part in the event were 80 Northwell Health medical and business professionals who work in their facilities across Long Island.

High school and middle school students visiting the event had the chance to investigate 40 medical exhibits in the school’s gymnasium, manned by Northwell Health employees, along with medical and health career information tables. The school’s library and auditorium were the sites of informative lectures and presentations by professionals on health-related topics such as teen driving, sports and concussions, and drug awareness and prevention. The speakers also discussed careers at Northwell Health and job interview tips.

“This event was a wonderful opportunity for our students to get to know the employees of Northwell Health and to learn about the many different careers that make up the health industry,” said Guidance Director Israel Malinowitzer, who organized the event. “We are extremely grateful to Matthew DePace from Northwell Health, along with Vincent Cunningham and Ed Fraser, for making this event possible for the last five years. Our students and faculty learn so much, and we are pleased that this year, our eighth graders were also able to take part in the day.”

Kathleen Dinota Honored as a Teacher of Excellence


High school chemistry and AP Seminar teacher Kathleen Dinota was honored at the second annual Teacher of Excellence Awards ceremony, hosted by State Sen. Phil Boyle at the Bay Shore Fire Department on May 4.

“We celebrated the achievements of 16 outstanding educators and school professionals who have dedicated their lives to teaching and helping their students learn, thrive, and reach their fullest potential,” said Boyle. “Our school communities are so very fortunate to have such passionate educators.”

Dinota, who is retiring this year, taught at East Islip for 26 years, and at William Floyd School District before that. For the past several years, she has taught AP chemistry, honors chemistry and science research. This year, she also taught AP Seminar, which is the first course in the AP Capstone diploma. Dinota is in her third year as a participant in the New York State Master Teacher program, and works for the New York State Education Department as an education specialist in the development of the PS chemistry exam. She and her husband are lifelong residents of the East Islip School District and have been involved in the school and community in a variety of roles.

“I am deeply honored to have been chosen by the district for the award,” said Dinota. “East Islip has a faculty that is comprised of truly caring, compassionate and dedicated educators and I am humbled to have been recognized. I am proud to have worked here for the past 26 years.”

Friday, July 21, 2017