CAM Students Get CPR Training
Students in East Islip High School’s Medical and Health Technology Career Academy recently received special CPR training in the school's library. A total of 24 of the students were CPR certified.
Ancona to Play Lacrosse at Hofstra
East Islip High School senior Carlee Ancona signed a National Letter of
Intent on Nov. 15 to play for Hofstra University's girls lacrosse team,
The Pride. She was accompanied at the signing ceremony by East Islip Athletic Director Stephen Restivo, East girls lacrosse coach Steven Levy, and her father, East Islip boys lacrosse coach Joe Ancona.
An elite player, the midfielder has been on East Islip's varsity
squad since eighth grade, has twice been named an All-County player
(2012 and 2013).
"I can't wait to get started and work with
Shannon Smith," said Ancona, referring to the coach of Hofstra's women's
lacrosse program. Ancona has already had experience playing for Smith
on her travel team, the Long Island Top Guns.
Ancona's major at Hofstra is currently undecided.
Artist of the Week: Dec. 2, 2013
Connetquot Elementary: Second-grader Noah Siniscalchi
John F. Kennedy Elementary: Kindergartner Kaleb Calixto
Ruth C. Kinney Elementary: First-grader Kara Marshall
Timber Point Elementary: First-grader Drew McCarthy
Heyward Wins Top Lineman Award
East Islip High School varsity guard Bobby Heyward, one of the Redmen's most dominating and consistent football players, was named a co-winner of the Zellner Award for Suffolk County's top lineman. Heyward, a senior, was presented with the award at the Suffolk County Football Coaches Association annual dinner in Hauppauge on Dec. 2.
Successful STARS Food Drive
STARS stands for Students Together Achieving Respect and Success, and one of the East Islip High School club’s biggest successes, year after year, is the annual holiday food drive, held on the Thursday before Thanksgiving.
Teams of club members and volunteer parent drivers head out into East Islip, Islip Terrace and Great River on the weekend prior, visiting houses and handing out fliers to let the entire community know that the students would be back on the evening of Nov. 21 to pick up donations of nonperishable food and frozen turkeys to donate to those in need.
During the food drive, the teams returned to those houses to collect the food “trick-or-treat” style, then dropped off the donations directly into vehicles from local churches and food pantries that were waiting at the high school’s parking lot.
“The STARS food drive was a huge success,” said guidance counselor Nicole Vincenti, the club’s adviser this year. “Some students had to make multiple drop-offs at the school because they collected so much from their assigned areas. We filled up seven vans full of food for a total of six local churches and food pantries. The students had such a great time making a difference.”
Students Help Seniors with Medicare
On East Islip High School’s annual Medicare Awareness Day, members of the school’s Medical and Health Technology Career Academy supported efforts by the Long Island Senior Education Council’s Merri Ciano to educate local senior citizens about their online Medicare programs. During the course of the Nov. 5 event, students guided seniors through the Medicare application process. More than 30 senior citizens took advantage of this opportunity, which is provided free of charge by Ciano, an East Islip resident and financial adviser.
Toys for Tots Collection
The East Islip High School Math Honor Society is coordinating with the U.S. Marine Corps as a depositor for this holiday season's Toys for Tots drive. Receptacles are located at the high school (in the main lobby, Room 208 or Room 214) and at all four of the district's elementary schools. New gifts in original packaging (no gift-wrapping paper) may be dropped off at any one of these locations by Dec. 12.
Mittleman & Revello Sign LAX Letters
East Islip High School seniors Tyler Mittleman and Troy Revello have signed National Letters of Intent to play for two prominent college lacrosse teams from upstate New York – Mittleman will attend Pace University in Pleasantville, while Revello will attend Cornell University in Ithaca. Both of the outstanding student-athletes were congratulated by their respective families, East Islip Athletic Director Stephen Restivo and East Islip boys lacrosse coach Joe Ancona at the Nov. 15 signing ceremony.
For midfielder Mittleman, Pace and the NCAA Division II program led by new Setters coach Tom Mariano are a natural fit. “The coach is great and really knows what he’s doing,” Mittleman said. “It’s a good atmosphere.”
Mittleman, who has played lacrosse since kindergarten and also suits up for the Connecticut Hurricanes travel team, cites his support system. “I have to thank my coaches and parents for supporting me,” he said. His future plans include majoring in finance while at Pace and eventually working on Wall Street.
Teammate and fellow midfielder Revello also credits those around him for his athletic success and treasures his experiences as a member of the lacrosse team. “I was blessed with a lot of great coaches and mentors who helped me along the way,” he said. “It has been great to play my favorite sport with my best friends.”
“Cornell fits my hardworking mold,” he explained as his reason for choosing the Ivy League university and its Big Red NCAA Division I program. “And obviously it’s a great school and staff.” A top student at East Islip (he ranked seventh in his class, with a 104.461 GPA), Revello plans to study environmental science and sustainability while at Cornell.
Fourth-Grade Musicians Perform at PEAK Fest
Fourteen East Islip School District fourth-grade music students from Connetquot, Ruth C. Kinney and Timber Point elementary schools were chosen to represent East Islip at the fifth annual Suffolk County Music Educators Association’s PEAK Festival, held Nov. 23 at Northport High School. Dedicated to the idea of fourth-graders learning and experiencing music, PEAK (which stands for Parents, Educators and Kids) is a full-day workshop where young musicians are given the opportunity to play and perform with other Suffolk students.
East Islip music teachers – including Kathleen Carter, John Murphy, James Santoro and Malgorzata Strzelecka – and parents participated with the students in workshops featuring music and dance of Australia, songs of Native Americans, and traditional folk dance and music from New England and Latin America. The music from these world cultures was learned in authentic style and languages, and performed on a variety of traditional and unusual instruments. The festival culminated with an informal sharing session during which students, parents and teachers performed the songs and dances learned in the workshops, and the grand finale featured all of the students singing in the PEAK Chorus.
“I am so proud of our fourth-grade music students who were so very enthusiastic and performed beautifully on stage,” said Timber Point’s Carter. “Students and parents alike thoroughly enjoyed themselves at the workshops,” said Strzelecka, of RCK. “It was a musically and culturally rich experience for all.” Added Murphy, who teaches at Connetquot, “It was wonderful to see our students along with their parents, joyfully singing and dancing together. The folk dances and music offered a cultural tour around the world without ever having to leave Long Island.”
Connetquot’s Courier of Courage
A Connetquot Elementary School student was recently honored at a New York Islanders hockey game at Nassau Coliseum. As part of the Courier of Courage contest, Joseph Penny was given the opportunity to skate the hockey puck to the referees at center ice before the team’s game against the New York Rangers on Oct. 29. The program selects children that have overcome obstacles and invites them to meet the Islanders and and skate the puck before a game.
“Joseph is an amazing student that loves hockey,” said his teacher at Connetquot, Crystal Ann Chiari. “I think he was the perfect candidate for the Courier of Courage because three years ago, when I met him, he was very shy and overwhelmed by large groups of people. He has since shown that when you fight hard and never give up, dreams can come true. Skating in front of thousands of people was very brave of him. He did a great job and his whole family was there to cheer him on. Joseph has grown academically and socially and I know his family and the Connetquot family are proud of him and his hard work.”
RCK Takes Native American Journey
Students at East Islip’s Ruth C. Kinney Elementary School enjoyed an in-house field trip on Native American cultures of the Eastern Woodlands and Plains during the “Journeys into American Indian Territory” workshop on Nov. 21. The program, which supplemented the school’s social studies curriculum, included stories, games, songs, dances, a fully constructed longhouse and a museum of Native American artifacts, which was assembled on-site.
Konnerth Gives Back in Bosnia
Like many graduates of East Islip High School, Alexandra Konnerth wasted little time in giving back to her community and the world. Konnerth, currently a freshman at SUNY Cortland, left right after graduation this past June for a 10-day International Servant service trip to Bosnia-Herzegovina, participating in the 2013 Friendship Camps. During the trip, sponsored by the New Jersey Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Konnerth traveled with a group of 17 other youths and adults as part of an NGO to help children in Bosnia overcome segregation and the wounds of war from the 1992-1996 conflicts in the Yugoslavian civil war. The team visited schools and orphanages, working with third- through seventh-graders, giving out athletic and craft supplies, and providing positive experiences through art, music, drama and game activities in nine Friendship Camps. To date, the program has helped more than 24,000 children in approximately 200 camps.
Konnerth’s interest in giving back through the Friendship Camp program was sparked when she heard stories about previous International Servant trips taken by her cousins. She conducted her own fundraising for the trip, including the raffling of a pair of Taylor Swift concert tickets. In several after-school “Bags for Bosnia” decorating sessions, she enlisted fellow East Islip students to help create individual gifts for the children and teachers at the Bosnian camps. With the help of East Islip’s National Honor Society, Konnerth and her classmates decorated more than 200 canvas bags, signed by the EI students, to be shared with children attending the Friendship Camps.
At Cortland, she is majoring in childhood education with a concentration in environmental studies. “I plan on earning a degree in teaching,” said Konnerth. “I also hope to go back to Bosnia to continue making an impression with the kids, and to strengthen friendships that have just begun.” Before starting college, Konnerth also spent time during the summer teaching at the Vacation Bible School at Trinity Lutheran Church in Islip, and worked in a local daycare center.
This notable member of the Class of 2013 made the most of her time at East Islip, where she first attended John F. Kennedy Elementary School starting in fourth grade. At the high school, she participated as a member of the National Honor Society and Tri-M Music Honor Society, Peer Leaders, the Drama Club, the chamber orchestra, the varsity girls tennis team, and as a morning announcer. An outstanding student, she was awarded the Paul Snyder Memorial Scholarship, as well as the Kiwanis of Islip/Bay Shore Scholarship, the Teachers Committee Scholarship and the Pat Drance Scholarship.
Music has always been a significant interest, beginning with cello, something that has been part of her family through many generations. “Cello has been in my life since fourth grade,” said Konnerth. “When I became serious about playing during my freshman year of high school, my parents offered to take my great-grandfather's cello to a luthier to have it ‘remade.’ My cello ‘Eve’ – as I named her because it was a new start to the way I looked at my playing – has since performed at Carnegie Hall with the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra, along with other groups such as East Islip’s symphony orchestra, string orchestra and chamber orchestra, and with a quartet at the FTK Black Tie Gala for four years in a row.”
She also is an accomplished guitarist, learning the instrument during her freshman year in East Islip and later performing at the school’s talent show, Embers Coffeehouse and Earth Day events, and with the Peer Leaders. “I had taken a liking to guitar because of Taylor Swift,” she explained, “as well as the aspect of it being more of a social instrument, one that I could play and make conversation with more people just by playing a few songs.” This came in handy during her volunteer work in Bosnia. “While I was there, I played guitar in front of a couple of kids at a camp in Mostar,” she recalled. “Their faces lit up immediately as some began singing along to the chorus of the song ‘Hallelujah.’ It was one of the high points of my trip, and helped me appreciate my beginnings at East Islip High even more.”
While Konnerth has her eye firmly on her future, her days in East Islip remain close to her thoughts. “There are so many wonderful highlights from EI,” she said. “For example, being able to walk into almost any classroom and have a teacher eagerly prepared and enthusiastic to teach and help you succeed to your best.”
Alumna Roccaro Nominated for Soccer Honor
One of East Islip High School’s recent graduates, women’s soccer star Cari Roccaro, has been nominated as one of the five finalists for 2013 U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year. Roccaro is currently a sophomore at the University of Notre Dame.
Supporters can cast a vote for Roccaro here
“This is an amazing honor for Cari to be nominated,” said Julie Susskind, East Islip’s girls varsity soccer coach. “There is no doubt that we have and need to continue supporting our amazing student-athletes as they progress to the next level.”
Cleary Students Begin Season of Giving
East Islip High School’s Cleary Secondary Program visited the local Shop & Stop on Oct. 25 to collect food for the Cleary School for the Deaf food pantry, part of the students’ participation in “Make a Difference Day,” the largest day of community service in America. The students greeted patrons with flyers that explained their goal and offered donation suggestions. The collection was a huge success, with community members giving both food and money.
“We met some generous people we recognized, including a parent of a student that attends Cleary Elementary School and a father of a student on the East Islip football team – it truly is a small world,” said Cleary teacher Lisa Smith. “The warmth of the smiling faces helped us to brave the cold weather and warmed our hearts.”
In the next step of the food pantry program, Cleary students filled and decorated boxes of food to provide to local families in need, ready to be delivered in time for Thanksgiving Day.
“The class enjoyed their community service experience,” said Smith. “One of my students, Leanna Booker, asked if we could do something for the people of the Philippines. That will be our next project.”
Test-Driving for Career Academies
More than 60 committed students and educators from East Islip High School’s three Career Academies joined with Sayville Ford to host EI’s fourth annual Drive 4 UR School fundraising event on Nov. 9.
Drive 4 UR School was developed as a fun and engaging way to help high schools raise money to support special programs. For every person per household that test-drives one of the brand-new Ford vehicles on display, Ford Motor Company donates $20 to East Islip’s Career Academies. More than 250 parents, relatives and friends visited the school’s parking lot to support the cause and take a new car for a test drive.
The school’s collaboration with Sayville Ford was spearheaded this year by East Islip alumnus James DiGiovanna, the dealership’s event planner. DiGiovanna began his internship at Sayville Ford during his senior year of high school, when he was a leader in East Islip’s Environment Green Career Academy program.
“All of the teachers in the Career Academy programs were delighted to take part in this Saturday morning event, and many of the teachers from the district’s other buildings also joined us to help our Career Academy students raise funds for their educational field experiences,” said Israel Malinowitzer, the school’s director of careers and student services and head of the Career Academies. “On behalf of all the students and teachers that are part of the Career Academy, we thank everyone for their support and hope you will join us in our future ‘test-drives’ at East Islip High School.”
to view video footage from the Drive 4 UR School event in East Islip.
MS Builders Club Sends Packages to Troops
As part of its efforts on behalf of members of the U.S. armed forces stationed overseas, the East Islip Middle School Builders Club gathered at the East Islip Post Office on Oct. 15 to meet with Suffolk County Legislator Tom Cilmi, who generously paid for the week’s shipping of seven care package boxes. Also in attendance were four members of the Suffolk County Detachment Marine Corps League: Frank Dunn, Leo Maese, Carmine Raineri and Luis F. Sanchez.
“All of the students who participate are really helping to send a ‘taste of home’ to the service men and women who are 8,000 miles away,” said teacher Rena Costello, who helped coordinate the donation efforts for military personnel. She noted how the thought of caring for the troops has become second nature for the East Islip school community, citing the Humpf family as one example. “They have two daughters, Nicole and Kristina, who have been involved for years; recently Kristina Humpf had a birthday party and in lieu of gifts, she asked for donations to be sent to the troops,” said Costello.
Students Connect with Mentors
Another year of mentoring began at East Islip High School with the Catch-a-Career Breakfast, held on Oct. 30 at the Irish Coffee Pub in East Islip. The event, sponsored by North Shore-LIJ Southside Hospital, is the first in a three-part career exploration program at the school, developed by the East Islip/Dowling School Business Partnership and coordinated by business education teacher Paul McHugh.
Catch-a-Career provides a forum in which students can discuss their career plans with business professionals in their career interest fields. “Our students can gain insight as to current trends and specific skills needed to successfully prepare for employment in that career field,” said McHugh.
Dressed in business attire, more than 105 ambitious students participated in this year’s breakfast, learning from more than 40 table facilitators representing fields such as medicine and health services, business, law and law enforcement, journalism and media, politics, education, environmental science and information technology. Keynote speaker Merri Ciano of the Long Island Senior Education Council discussed the importance of working through setbacks and giving back to others.
“This year’s student participation represented one of the largest groups we have ever had attend the Catch-a-Career Breakfast,” said McHugh. “It is encouraging to see so many East Islip students taking an active role in their college and career preparation. Many of the business professionals commented on how focused and engaged the students were during the table discussions. Student interaction was excellent and there was a lot of energy in the room.”
“This hugely successful event offered our students a better understanding of what it takes to be successful in any career, and the education and hard work that a student must be prepared for to climb the ladder of success,” added Israel Malinowitzer, the school’s director of careers and student services.
The second part of East Islip’s career exploration series, called the Mentor Me program, encompasses the annual Meet My Mentor Breakfast and follow-up Shadow Days. At the breakfast, held on Nov. 21 in the high school’s library, more than 85 participating students met with specific mentors – in fields ranging from medicine, nursing and physical therapy to law, accounting, marine biology, set design, computer graphics and journalism – and learned how to network and make the most of their mentoring experience. Past mentors spoke of their experiences and the importance of getting an edge in the workplace.
“This program opens many doors for the students and provides that firsthand look at what their future might resemble,” said Bridget Lopiccolo, the coordinator of the Mentor Me program, now in its 11th year. “The East Islip/Dowling School Business Partnership provides these and many other programs for students to reach out and explore their future career choices.”
Shadow Day, the final piece of East Islip's mentoring puzzle, will take place in January, with students “shadowing” their chosen career mentors. “Many Shadow Day experiences turn into internship possibilities later on,” said Lopiccolo.
To view video footage of the Meet My Mentor Breakfast, click here
Artist of the Week: Nov. 25, 2013
John F. Kennedy Elementary: third-grader Kiera Tantillo
Timber Point Elementary: first-grader Joseph Doobinin
High Schoolers Learn Meaning of Empathy
The concept of empathy is at the forefront in the latest edition of East Islip High School English teacher Greg Kguloian’s ongoing Lit.2 Life cross-curriculum lessons revolved around the theme of “related and connected,” bridging English language arts, math, science, social studies and other components.
Lit.2 Life 8.0 incorporated ELA and physical education. Students were asked to keep a journal related to a specific game played in gym, then research the game’s origins and how it is played in other parts of the world. Lit.2 Life 9.0 connected current lessons with the school’s foreign language department studies.
The most recent incarnation, Lit.2 Life 10.0, involves the concepts of empathy, selflessness and altruism. “It offers the potential for our students to learn the true meaning of empathy,” explained Kguloian, the former co-chairman of the New York State Cultural Education Committee. “We are learning about what other teens have done and what can still be done to make a positive difference for ourselves, our families, and/or others. Our students are then expected to do some research about other cultures and brainstorm about potential solutions to problems that exist in the world today.”
Red Ribbon Week in East Islip
The annual drug awareness program known as Red Ribbon Week was recognized throughout the East Islip School District from Oct. 21-25, culminating in visits to fifth-grade classrooms in all four of the district’s elementary schools by the East Islip High School Students Against Destructive Decisions Club.
“Red Ribbon Week is not only a great program for the elementary students who learn about the hazards of drugs, but it is also a great program for the high school students as they learn to be positive role models and facilitators,” said SADD adviser Bridget Lopiccolo. “It is wonderful to see the connection and enthusiasm of both the high school and elementary students.”
During the visits, SADD members presented short skits, role-playing what could happen if a student is approached and asked to try drugs, followed by question-and answer-sessions. In the program’s concluding Red Ribbon contest segment, the fifth-graders were given the opportunity to design and create anti-drug slogans, assisted by the older students. One ribbon winner from each elementary school will receive a $25 gift certificate to Friendly’s and a memento. SADD will announce the contest winners at the East Islip Board of Education meeting on Dec 12.
Palmer to Pitch for New Haven
Standout baseball player David Palmer, a senior at East Islip High School, signed a National Letter of
Intent on Nov. 15 to pitch for the University of New Haven. Palmer, who has played for East Islip's varsity team since eighth grade, was an important factor in the Redmen's Suffolk League IV championship title run this past spring. New Haven was an easy choice for Palmer, who said, "It's a good school, good team and the right academic profile." His major is undecided.
HS Drama Club Opens Season with Two Plays
The East Islip High School Drama Club began its season on Nov. 1-2, presenting not one but two comedies, billed as “An Evening of One-Act Plays by Lindsay Price.”
The first play, “Swimming With Sins,” followed three Vices (Sloth, Greed and Envy, played by juniors Peter McDermott, Joseph Janover and Corinne Koubek) and three Virtues (Kindness, Generosity and Zeal, played by juniors Samantha Sampollo and Cami Clemens and senior Shannon Caturano) as they set out to compete in an annual summer camp swimming competition. “Price's quirky, offbeat humor was brought to life by these six talented student actors and the audiences were very responsive to their efforts,” said East Islip’s choral director, Bethany Affelt, who led the production.
The second comedy, “Anne-Arky,” provided a backstage look at a group of high school-aged students and their teacher/stage manager on the opening night of a musical version of “Anne of Green Gables.” The audience experienced the trials and tribulations of putting on a high school show as the teacher, Mr. O'Neill (played by junior Andrew Sciallo) bemoaned, “Why does everything have to happen on opening night?” Cast romances going awry, flashlight batteries dying, scripts accidentally lit on fire, ankles getting broken, lines being forgotten and wigs being knocked off – all were there in this hysterical farce. The performances of East Islip’s student actors (freshman Vinny Altman; sophomores Laura Coffin and Meg Tohill; juniors Joseph Janover, Peter McDermott, Jake Osburn and Andrew Sciallo; and seniors Emily DeMaio, Erin Geraghty and Shelly Zimms) did not go unappreciated by the audience. “The Forum was bursting with the sounds of the standing-room-only audience’s laughter on each night,” recalled Affelt.
Art teacher Daniel Figliozzi’s Set Design students provided the backdrop for the actors to emote. “Mr. Figliozzi's class did an amazing job on creating a realistic ‘onstage/offstage’ set for ‘Anne-Arky,’ and they brought the beach scene to life in ‘Swimming With Sins’ with colorful beachy props,” said Affelt. Also helping out backstage were senior Jennifer Coffin on the soundboard and juniors Thomas DiOrio and Matthew Spatola, who served respectively as stage manager and assistant stage manager.
“It was exciting to see our students share their talents and enthusiasm with the community, playing before a packed house at the high school,” said Board of Education trustee Glenn Reed. “All of the students involved worked extremely hard to put together an evening that was fun, funny and refreshing for all,” added Affelt.
Photos by Glenn Reed
Artist of the Week: Nov. 18, 2013
Connetquot Elementary: Fifth-grader Derek Ancewicz
John F. Kennedy Elementary: Fourth-graders Chad Fleischman and Haley Mierzejewski
Ruth C. Kinney Elementary: Kindergartner Alexandra DeVita
Timber Point Elementary: Kindergartner Jake Simmons
Eliminate the GEA
Dear East Islip Families:
The East Islip School District and students ask for your support in
fighting for the repeal of the GAP Elimination Adjustment (GEA) starting
in the 2014-2015 school year.
Formerly known as the Deficit Reduction Assessment, its original purpose
was to reduce state aid to our public schools in order to close the
state’s $10 billion budget deficit. This annual practice hurts public
education on Long Island and hurts taxpayers. Now is the time to work
together to eliminate the Gap Elimination Adjustment.
Click on the attachments below to learn more and be informed.
Timber Point’s Rainbow Looms of Love
The student council at East Islip’s Timber Point Elementary School raised more than $500 for Long Island Cares in just five hours at a Rainbow Looms of Love sale on Nov. 9. Taking time on a cold Saturday, these determined students created Rainbow Loom bracelets and sold them on the front lawn of the school.
The objective of the fundraiser was to keep the student council involved in helping others. “The sale not only taught the children how much work it is to follow through with a community project, but also how rewarding it can be to do something for other people,” explained Patrice Mercurio, a teacher at Timber Point and fourth- and fifth-grade adviser to the student council. “We decided to donate to Long Island Cares because it is a local charity that helps fellow Long Islanders in need. People need help, especially during the holidays.”
The council members planned the sale, made the bracelets, conducted advertising, asked their peers for help, collected student donations, made banners and signs to use during the sale, and handed out fliers which were sent home with each student at Timber Point. They also worked the tables at the sale, selling bracelets for $1 each to numerous customers including other students, teachers, parents, neighbors and even Board of Education trustee Kim Phillips.
“The children of the student council – along with many students who donated their time and bracelets; parents who donated their time, brought down pizza and hot chocolate, and made donations to the cause; and teachers who drove to the school to donate in person – worked so very hard for this fundraiser,” said Mercurio. “I am so proud of each and every person involved.”
Mercurio is planning a tour later this year for the students at the Long Island Cares facility, a trip that will add another layer of meaning to their efforts. “I know that these children learned so much during this experience,” she said. “Hopefully it will serve as a stepping stone toward lives rich with community service in their future.”
BOE Recognizes Artists, Scholars, Quilters
Student achievement in a variety of areas was recognized at the East Islip Board of Education’s monthly business meeting on Nov. 14.
First to be honored were the district’s 52 secondary school students whose artwork appeared in the pages of the 2013-2014 district calendar. Representatives from East Islip Middle School were sixth-graders Jenna Bosco, Christie Czajka, Kyle DeLisi, Jenna Donnelly, Joseph Fragala, Shannon Hubany, Natalia Lozinski, Stephanie Milito, Kathryn O’Neill, Sayha Oztas, Olivia Parrillo, Isabella Pasha, Katelyn Spina and Katie Waldron; seventh-grader Thomas Allen; and eighth-graders Roisin Ashe, Michael Carolan, Eve Collier, Michael Deehan, Hunter Engrassia, Alexandra Faraj, Amber Farbman, Emma Hillman, Matti Interdonati, Kyle Kreuscher, Howard Lemon III, Christina O’Brien, Meghan O’Reilly, Megan Palmer, Varun Sookdeo, Zoe Stengel, Mia Tassa and Eric Wilson. From East Islip High School were freshmen Erica Budovsky, Jennifer Casey, Dulan Hirx, Atakan Kemal, Kristin Linz, Dylan Rogers, Jessica Sabal, Michelle Suter and Bryant Weingarten; sophomores Grace Bogdanowich, Samantha Casteluche, Melissa Gallardo, Kimberly Moreno and Juliet Witkowski; and juniors Jesse Friel, Ashley Godden, Lindsay Mauro, Allison Pinz and Jeloni Williams.
Next to be recognized were East Islip High School’s top 10 students of the Class of 2014 – William Meehan, Grant Stroehlein, Christina Giordanella, Leah Stevens, Maria Guadagno, Jackson Domenech, Troy Revello, William Farrell, Max Gieraltowski and Andrew Dobkowski – for both their superlative grade point averages as well as their achievements in being named National AP Scholars (Meehan), AP Scholars with Distinction (Meehan, Stroehlein, Giordanella, Guadagno, Domenech and Farrell) and National Merit Scholarship Commended Students (Meehan, Stroehlein and Gieraltowski).
The Board then honored the combined efforts of staff and students in East Islip Middle School’s family and consumer science classes, students from Connetquot, John F. Kennedy and Ruth C. Kinney elementary schools, the East Islip/Dowling School-Business Partnership, and parent volunteer and master tailor Vicente Vasquez, who together created a special Cancer Awareness Quilt in honor of World Cancer Day. Presenting the finished quilt were middle school student government representatives Madison Lane and Maggie Ruland, middle schools FACS representatives Erin Meagher and Stephanie Milito, Connetquot student Sarah Parker, JFK student Molly Zec and RCK student Reese Clark. Also in attendance were teachers who participated in the quilt project – including Connetquot’s Wendy Frees, JFK’s Donna Marshall, RCK’s Francisca Tomasello, East Islip Middle School’s Dani Shehada and Dawn Ann Zeffiro, and middle school librarian Valerie Ware – as well as Vasquez, who was given the quilt as a final gift for his volunteerism.
After a “Welcome Back to East Islip” video presentation by Superintendent of Schools Linda Rozzi, the Board approved several student trips (Business Career Academy Virtual Enterprise students to Germany, the Medical Career Academy to Washington, D.C., an Honors Spanish field trip to Spain, and four music students performing at the All-State Music Festival in Rochester), and two donations: $3,821.80 from the high school’s Athletics Club to East Islip Middle School for basketball hoop equipment in the latter’s auxiliary gym, and $5,000 from the East Islip Athletic Booster Club for field improvements and new dugouts in the varsity baseball field.
The Board’s next monthly business meeting will take place on Thursday, Dec. 12 at 8 p.m. in the district office boardroom. A nonpublic executive session meeting to discuss negotiations will also be held on Wednesday, Nov. 20 at 7:30 p.m.
Salim Signs with Presbyterian LAX
East Islip High School senior Lee-Ann Salim signed a National Letter of Intent on Nov. 15 to play for the Blue Hose girls lacrosse team of Presbyterian College in South Carolina.
Salim, a standout goaltender, has been playing lacrosse since third grade and cites the East Islip coaching staff as important to her success. “They have been great – reliable and helpful,” she said.
While at Presbyterian, founded in 1880 and located in Clinton, S.C., Salim plans to study physical therapy. She listed “the atmosphere, the coaches and the players” as the main elements in her choice of college.
White Coat Ceremony for Medical Academy
The members of this year’s Medical Health and Technology Career Academy at East Islip High School were the recipients of white lab coats donated by North Shore-LIJ Health System at a special white coat ceremony on Oct. 24, recognizing the significance of their choice of studies. This ceremony, traditionally held for students pursuing health-related careers, creates a psychological, intellectual and ethical contract for the health care profession and promotes empathy in the practice of medicine from the very start of medical training.
During the event, held in the high school courtyard, each Medical Academy student was individually honored, “cloaked” in his or her first white coat, and congratulated by Cheryl Davidson, the workforce director for North Shore-LIJ, East Islip Superintendent of Schools Linda Rozzi, Israel Malinowitzer, the school’s director of careers and student services, social studies teacher Frank LaBella, and English teacher Maude Walsh.
“The white coat ceremony signifies the beginning of your studies as a health care student,” Davidson told the assembled students, who are all required to complete internships in a medical facility during the school year. “Although you are not going to recite the Hippocratic Oath today, this ceremony symbolizes your commitment to hard work, learning and the importance of compassion. This is a rite of passage in the journey toward a career in health care.”
“Although the Medical Health and Technology Career Academy is in its second year, this is the first year that we have had a white coat ceremony,” said Malinowitzer. “Our students were delighted to receive their new lab coats.”
Movie Night at MS Benefits Food Pantry
As a community service project, East Islip Middle School’s student government and National Junior Honor Society teamed up on Oct. 25 to host a fun-filled movie night to benefit a local food pantry. There was no admission fee to attend the event, which included a screening of the comedy film “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian.” Instead, all of the attendees brought in nonperishable food items for a total of 192 collected donations to the food pantry.
Hallway Art Showcases Drawing Skills
East Islip High School art teacher Daniel Figliozzi’s Drawing 1 and 2 students started the year off using one of the most basic yet essential elements of art. Line was used to create one-point perspective hallway drawings, done on site. Each student chose a specific location in the school lobby and used his or her viewfinder to map out a composition, using drawing boards and rulers to complete the process. “My students had fun going down to the lobby every day,” said Figliozzi. “Drawing on site and from life is always a challenge because the objects in the space can easily change, requiring the artist to question their drawing and make edits if need be.”
Locks of Love at JFK
When second-graders in teacher Donna Marshall’s classroom at East Islip’s John F. Kennedy Elementary School worked on a nonfiction project during the month of October, student Isabella Eason chose to research Locks of Love. The organization provides prosthetic hairpieces made from donated ponytails to financially disadvantaged children suffering from long-term medical hair loss, aiding them in restoring their confidence and self-esteem.
The research project spurred Eason to action. “After doing a fabulous job on her poster project, Isabella took it a step further and made the decision to cut her hair to donate to Locks of Love, right in our classroom,” explained Marshall.
With Eason’s parents, Maurice and Nancy, in attendance, hairdresser Dale LaFata was on hand on Nov. 4 to administer the haircut, snipping Eason’s ponytail to the admiring cheers of the supportive students. “What a memorable experience for Isabella as well as her classmates,” said Marshall.
“We are so proud of Isabella for donating her hair and making another child happy,” said Nancy Eason. “This incredibly selfless act of true kindness can hopefully bring more awareness to this wonderful cause.”
Veterans Day Celebrations
Students at all four elementary schools in the East Islip School District participated in Veterans Day assemblies last week, honoring the service of the community’s military veterans through patriotic songs, poems, artwork, parades and musical performances. Students in each school had the opportunity to invite veterans in their families to attend the events, speak about the experiences serving in the armed forces, and enjoy snacks and refreshments. It was a welcome return to the district’s annual Veterans Day celebrations after Superstorm Sandy led to their cancellation last year.
At Timber Point Elementary’s assembly, held on the morning of Nov. 7, a variety of performances – by the school’s fourth- and fifth-grade chorus, directed by Kathy Carter (“Thank You, Soldiers,” “America the Beautiful”); band students, led by Lynda Maniscalco (“Marines’ Hymn”); and the school's orchestra, under the direction of Jaime DeMaria (“Yankee Doodle” and “America the Beautiful”) – set the patriotic mood, along with poetry readings by student council representatives Anna Koch, Peter Jacobsen and Frank Naccarato and an extensive question-and-answer session with the vets in attendance.
“The celebration at Timber Point was very moving and a great learning experience for our students,” said Principal Lisa Belz. “It was a wonderful tribute to those who serve and protect our country.”
At Ruth C. Kinney Elementary later that afternoon, visiting veterans were escorted in a Parade of Heroes walk through the hallways, led by representatives of Cub Scout Pack 38, and all those assembled viewed an impressive collection of patriotic student art in the Gallery of Heroes.
“Our annual parade was a great success,” said RCK Principal Danielle Naccarato. “The students were chanting ‘USA!’ with such enthusiasm. It made me feel so proud to be an American and even prouder that our students were able to honor the men and women who have and continue to serve our country and provide for our freedom.”
Music held sway at John F. Kennedy Elementary School’s celebration, held in the Cafetorium on the morning of Nov. 8, beginning with a soulful rendition of “God Bless America” sung by Principal Aileen O’Rourke. The fourth- and fifth-grade chorus, directed by James Santoro, sang “In Service of Our Country” and “Thank a Vet.” Other performances followed from first-graders (“Thank You, Soldiers”), third-graders (“It’s a Veteran Who Salutes the Flag”), fifth-graders (“Thank a Vet”) and JFK’s band, directed by Ronald Fox, who played “Patriotic Bits & Pieces” by Michael Storey.
The final celebration that afternoon was at Connetquot Elementary, presented by the school’s fifth-graders, who spoke eloquently about the meaning of Veterans Day. Orchestra students directed by DeMaria played “America the Beautiful” and “Yankee Doodle,” while music and chorus teacher John Murphy led the students in several musical numbers, including his own arrangement of “The Fifty States Rap.”
“We were all so proud of our performers and thankful that so many veterans attended,” said Principal Deborah Smith. “Our fifth-graders enthusiastically participated, dancing and singing while learning the true meaning of being grateful for the opportunity and privilege to meet our veterans and to live in this magnificent United States of America.”
Connetquot Explores Pumpkins in Patchogue
Students at Connetquot Elementary School – three second-grade classes of teachers Carolyn Biscardi, Leslie Davis, Melissa Love and Maria Marinelli, and three self-contained second-through-third-grade classes of teachers Crystal Ann Chiari, Danielle Sternberg and Elizabeth Vann – took field trips on Oct. 30 and 31 to Woodside Nursery in Patchogue.
The students enjoyed a seasonal hands-on experience as they visited a farm and learned more about the life cycle of a pumpkin. They also picked and decorated their own pumpkins, heard a scary story and learned how to trick-or-treat safely.
“All of the students really enjoyed this fun, educational trip,” said Love. “They had a great time and were able to carry over science and social skills,” added Chiari. “Afterward we did a writing activity where we sequenced the events and wrote about our favorite part of the field trip.”
Stevens Performs All-National Concert
East Islip High School senior and standout musician Leah Stevens performed as principal flute of the National Association for Music Education's 2013 All-National Honor Symphony Orchestra at NAfME's gala concert on Oct. 30 at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in
Nashville, Tenn. The ensemble was directed by prominent conductor
Timber Point Teacher Speaks at Springfield
Mike Delia, a physical education teacher at East Islip’s Timber Point Elementary School, was invited to be a guest speaker at Springfield College in Massachusetts on Veterans Day. Springfield, located in the city of the same name, is famous for being the site where the sport of basketball was invented.
Delia was asked by Keith Bugbee, the head coach of the college’s men’s lacrosse team, to visit Bugbee’s Principles and Problems of Coaching class. He and the 25 Springfield students in the class discussed strategies on how to communicate effectively with parents using preseason parent/player meetings.
“I'm grateful to Coach Bugbee for giving me the opportunity to share my years of experience in the coaching profession with his students,” said Delia, who is in his 27th year in the East Islip School District. Currently the girls junior varsity basketball coach at East Islip High School, Delia has coached multiple sports for 32 years at age levels ranging from youth to college.
Rocketry at Middle School
Bringing their study of the history of rocketry, the Space Race and Newton’s three laws of motion into focus, as well as discovering how rockets actually work, students in East Islip Middle School technology teacher Harold Kench’s seventh- and eighth-grade classes conducted an exciting series of rocket launches on Oct. 17 at the school’s athletic field. The seventh-graders launched rockets made of soda bottles, reaching approximately 100 feet in altitude, while the eighth-graders used solid rocket engines for their launches, ascending to 500 feet.
Kench’s popular rocket course takes approximately 14 class days to complete, beginning with the very first rocket scientists, the ancient Chinese, and moving forward through the Space Race, the anatomy of a rocket, the difference between solid and liquid-fueled rockets, and biographies of rocket pioneers such as Robert Goddard, considered the father of modern rocketry.
“The rocket activity is the perfect multicurriculum lesson,” said Kench. “By the end of the unit, my students will have utilized their skills from many subject areas.” The project draws in everything from English language arts (reading directions and vocabulary) and physics (Newton’s laws of motion) to math (measurement) and technology (the safe construction of the rocket). There’s even some physical education involved, with the students chasing down each rocket after it is launched and drifts back down.
“This project is a real crowd-pleaser year after year,” Kench added. “I'm not sure who enjoys it more, the students or the teachers.”
Middle School Sports Information
Please see the attached documents for information on the 2013-2013 East Islip Middle School athletic program, including a list of middle school sports, information on coaches, and the modified schedule for early winter, late winter and spring athletics.
East Islip’s AP Scholars
The College Board has recognized six members of East Islip High School’s Class of 2014 as AP Scholars with Distinction. Seniors Jackson Domenech, William Farrell, Christina Giordanella, Maria Guadugno, William Meehan and Grant Stroehlein were recently awarded this honor, along with 22 of East Islip's 2013 graduates. Meehan also was named a National AP Scholar, the highest level of recognition.
In order to be recognized as an AP Scholar with Distinction, a student must receive an average score of at least 3.5 on all of his or her Advanced Placement exams and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of those exams. AP courses, which earn college credit for high school students, are graded on a scale of 1 to 5, with a score of 3 or above qualifying students for college course credit.
For 2013, East Islip High School can also boast 29 AP Scholars (15 current seniors and 14 who graduated in 2012), who received scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP exams; 13 AP Scholars with Honor (current senior Leah Stevens and 12 recent alumni), who received an average score of at least 3.25 on all of their AP exams and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of those exams; and four National AP Scholars (including Meehan and three members of the Class of 2013), who received an average score of at least 4 on all AP exams taken and scores of 4 or higher on eight or more of those exams.
(William Farrell is not pictured.)
Long Range Planning Committee Statement
Please note the attached statement from the East Islip School District's Long Range Planning Committee, as presented at the Oct. 17 business meeting of the Board of Education.
All-National Flutist Leah Stevens
Leah Stevens, a senior at East Islip High School, has been selected as principal flute of the 2013 NAfME All-National Honor Symphony Orchestra, sponsored by the National Association for Music Education. She will join more than 670 of the most musically talented high school student-musicians in the United States to perform on Oct. 30 at a gala concert in the Presidential Ballroom of the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tenn.
Organized by members of the National Association for Music Education, the NAfME All-National Honors Ensembles consist of a concert band, symphony orchestra, mixed chorus and jazz ensemble. These exceptional students will perform extremely challenging music under the direction of four of the nation’s most prominent conductors: Dr. Peter Boonshaft, Miriam Burns, Rollo Dilworth and Rodney Whitaker. The symphony orchestra that Stevens will perform with is comprised of approximately 150 selected instrumentalists, all of whom had previously qualified for their state-level honor ensemble program. Stevens had performed last December as principal flute in New York’s All-State Symphonic Band and in April at NAfME’s Eastern Division Conference.
“I am so honored to be selected,” says Stevens, a member of the school’s Tri-M Music Honor Society. “It’s the best way to summarize the achievements this year that I have worked so hard for.” Added Stephen Guarino, East Islip’s director of art and music, “Leah is our first principal flutist to make All-National, and we are very proud of her accomplishments.”
Stevens, ranked fourth in her senior Class of 2014, was recently named one of 20 award winners of the Long Island Arts Alliance Scholar-Artist program, a prestigious award given annually to top Long Island seniors who have demonstrated a successful school career both academically and artistically. As one of five winners in the “What the Arts Mean to Me” contest, selected from hundreds of applicants worldwide, her “Imagine Life Without Music” video will be showcased at national arts schools and conservatories including the Juilliard School, Rice University and the National Young Arts Foundation.
Although much of her development was gained from her work during summers, weekends and evenings, studying at the Manhattan School of Music Precollege and Metropolitan Youth Orchestra, and private lessons with Metropolitan Opera Orchestra principal flute Stefan Hoskuldsson, Stevens takes great pride in East Islip’s music department. “No school day would be complete without the support and guidance I receive from my teachers and peers in the music wing,” she said. “It's a part of this school that continues to thrive and provide a platform of success for so many students, including myself.”
Suffolk Community College Tests Online App at EI
Suffolk County Community College tested its new online application at East Islip High School on Oct. 11, under the supervision of Suffolk Community Colleges Guidance Officer Cheryl Every-Wurtz. This pilot program marked the first time that high school seniors at the school who were interested in attending SCCC the following year were asked to go online to complete their applications, allowing the college’s employees to access these students’ applications immediately and thus speeding up the process for the graduating seniors.
“East Islip High School has arranged for two visits in the month of October for our students to come down with their electronic notification and meet with the SCCC representative,” said the school’s director of careers and student services, Israel Malinowitzer. “We believe that this pilot program is just the beginning and other colleges will soon be doing electronic applications at high schools as well.”
Cancer Awareness Quilt Finished
This past winter, the East Islip/Dowling School-Business Partnership joined with East Islip Middle School and three of the district’s elementary schools to work on a special Cancer Awareness Quilt in honor of World Cancer Day.
Sixth-grade students in Dani Franzese’s family and consumer science classes learned sewing during the school year, including the basic skill of sewing buttons, which they demonstrated to students from Connetquot, John F. Kennedy and Ruth C. Kinney elementary schools. The older and younger students together sewed buttons on fabric in the shape of color-coded cancer-awareness ribbons.
The middle schoolers then worked to create one large combined quilt, which was finally completed in June with the aid of tailor Vicente Vasquez, an East Islip parent and custodial employee at East Islip High School. “If it were not for Mr. Vasquez, this quilt would never be constructed,” said Franzese.
The finished Cancer Awareness Quilt will be presented at the East Islip Board of Education’s Nov. 14 business meeting.