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Honoring the Heroes of 9/11

East Islip honors heroes of 9/11 at commemoration ceremony thumbnail197592
East Islip honors heroes of 9/11 at commemoration ceremony thumbnail197593

On Sept. 10, the East Islip School District held a 20-year commemoration to remember and honor the heroes and victims of 9/11. The back-to-back ceremonies – one attended by East Islip High School students, the second for East Islip Middle School classes – were both held at Sal Ciampi Field at Boomer Esiason Stadium.

Guests included Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter, Suffolk County Legislator Tom Cilmi, members of the East Islip Board of Education, the Islip Terrace and East Islip Fire Departments, bagpipe player and former East Islip student James Faughnan, and the area’s AMVETS and American Legion posts. Also in attendance were members of the Cross and Otten families. Three FDNY firefighters from East Islip were lost in the Sept. 11 attacks: Dennis Cross, Thomas Kennedy and Michael Otten. 

“Twenty years ago on a beautiful, sunny day, as Americans were putting their children on school buses and going about their daily responsibilities, our nation was attacked,” said Assistant Superintendent for Instruction and Personnel Paul Manzo. “This attack was intended to break our spirits. However, it actually strengthened the resolve of the American people. An amazing reaction that day was the unity, compassion and strength that flowed through our country. Strangers cried together, held hands, helped one another, stood in line to donate blood and rallied together in a bond, which was extended through tears. A sense of brotherhood and unity swept across our nation in a way of many of us have never seen before. America vowed to never forget, and we never will.”

“Patriot Day is a national observance that honors the memory of those who were killed in the 9/11 attacks,” said Superintendent John Dolan. “This day seeks to turn the tragic anniversary into a day of unity and service. Charitable acts are done in tribute to those who were killed and injured as well as our first responders and military who have served and are serving us all around the globe today. To the brave Americans who gave their lives at the Pentagon, the field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and in New York City at the World Trade Center, and to their families – you live on in our minds and in our hearts. We grew stronger through your sacrifice and thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”

Addressing the assembled students, Dolan said, “We honor those we have lost by never forgetting. Honor their memory by always helping others. EI Pride is based on a belief that through hard work, community-minded spirit and a positive attitude, we will all be better at sunset than we were at sunrise. EI Pride honors the memory of 9/11, never forgetting, never ending our quest for justice. EI Pride channels the pain of our loss into the energy to build a better future. EI Pride honors the memory of 9/11 by reminding all of us that good will conquer evil when good people never forget. So today, let’s all promise to honor the memory of all our loved ones and brave soldiers and first responders by rededicating ourselves to reaching out to help others, not just on Sept. 11, but every day.”

To close the ceremony, East Islip Executive Director of Special Education/Pupil Personnel Services K-12 and CPSE Aileen O’Rourke sang Lee Greenwood’s “I’m Proud to be an American” and “God Bless America,” accompanied by her husband Eamonn O’Rourke on guitar.


Proudly Placing Flags for Patriot Day

East Islip’s students proudly place flags for Patriot Day thumbnail197509
East Islip’s students proudly place flags for Patriot Day thumbnail197510
HS_Patriot_Day_1.jpg thumbnail197511

Across the district, students placed flags in the ground on Sept. 10, symbolizing the schools’ Patriot Day signs declaring “United We Stand” and observing the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

“Last Friday, we recognized patriotism and took the time to decorate the outside of JFK with many flags,” said Principal Deborah Smith. “It was a beautiful day to reflect on how fortunate we all are to live in our great country. Students wore red, white and blue and engaged in activities that focused on recognizing heroes in our communities and honoring those who dedicate their lives to protecting us. Each class took a photo of everyone holding a flag. It was a great day to show our pride in being Americans.”

School Year Starts With Smiles

East Islip’s school year starts with sunshine and smiles   thumbnail197345
East Islip’s school year starts with sunshine and smiles   thumbnail197346

In contrast to the gloom of the hurricane the night before, excited East Islip students enjoyed beautiful weather on Sept. 2 as they began a new school year ready to learn. Each of the district’s buildings – from the high school and middle school to Connetquot, JFK, RCK and Timber Point elementary schools – welcomed new and returning faces to the next step in their educational journeys.

“We had an amazing first day at Timber Point,” said Principal Danielle Naccarato. “Students and staff were full of enthusiasm and excitement for what is sure to be a sensational year. It was a fabulous way to start.”

“The first day of school brought sunshine, smiles and sounds of happiness,” said JFK Principal Deborah Smith. “It was inspiring to see the enthusiastic children return to school to engage in new and exciting learning experiences. The staff was equally energized to begin a new school year.”


RCK's Year-Ending “Farm Experience”

RCK students enjoy year-ending “Farm Experience” thanks to PTA thumbnail188314

RCK’s PTA Board worked hard to help ensure that all the students at the East Islip school ended the 2020-2021 year on a high note, booking a special “Farm Experience” enjoyed by both the children and school staff. Each class was able to come outside for a half hour to enjoy learning about various farm animals including baby piglets.

“The entire RCK PTA was extremely supportive during this difficult year,” said Principal Janet Jones. “They went above and beyond on Staff Appreciation Day and their efforts were great appreciated. Many of the PTA members were parents of fifth graders now headed to middle school, and they will be missed dearly at RCK.”

Thursday, September 16, 2021