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EI Earns 40 AP Scholar Recognitions

EI Earns 40 AP Scholar Recognitions

At the high school, an outstanding total of 40 current students were named AP Scholars for 2018 by the College Board. The Advanced Placement Program recognizes several different award levels for college-level student academic achievement on AP courses and exams.

Twelve students – Kristen Bayreuther, Marcela Gallardo, Steven Gieseler, Jonathan Guadagno, Shannon Hubany, Joshua Koretz, Stephanie Milito, Isabella Pasha, Maggie Ruland, James Smalley, Kenneth Terwilliger and Cole Zanni – were named 2018 AP Scholars with Distinction.  
Nine students – Zara Aziz, Jenna Buquicchio, Kyle DeLisi, Trevor Garnett, Kylie Goess, Victoria Keenan, Jolie Lenox, Shane McGarry and Natalie Stergakos – were named 2018 AP Scholars with Honor. 

Nineteen students – Kevin Coles, Emma Commisso, Natalie Davies, Allison Dell Orto, Nicholas Finger, Karina Gallagher, Thomas Gonzalez, Kiana Blandin, Nicole Catanzarite, Daniel Guthleim, Christina Haig, Robert Kelly, Madison Lane, Annie McLean, Fatima Reyes, Julianna Spina, Cassidy Stephen, Colin Tadlock and Logan Witte – were named 2018 AP Scholars. 

“We congratulate all 40 of our AP scholars for the results of their hard work and determination to achieve in the rigorous AP courses we offer,” said Principal Mark Bernard.

EI Earns 13 All-State Musician Nods

EI Earns 13 All-State Musician Nods
EI Earns 13 All-State Musician Nods 2
EI Earns 13 All-State Musician Nods 3

The high school earned All-State recognition by the New York State School Music Association for 13 student-musicians this year.

At this year’s All-State Music Conference, Alexandra Bertolini (soprano), Emily DaSilva (soprano), Karina Gallagher (alto) and Katelyn Spina (alto) will perform with the All-State Mixed Chorus; Victoria Tiernan (soprano) will perform with the All-State Treble Chorus; Liam Greene (French horn) will perform with the All-State Symphonic Band; Victoria Keenan (violin) and Alexandra Stewart (flute) will perform with the All-State Symphonic Orchestra; and Cassidy Triolo (clarinet) will perform with the All-State Wind Ensemble.

Additionally, Max Calarco (jazz trumpet), Luke Ferrari (tenor), Vincent Guiliano (bass clarinet) and Jason Novellano (alto saxophone) were chosen as alternates.

Students were selected after performing for an All-State judge at last year’s NYSSMA festival and their performance and application reviewed by a committee in Syracuse this past summer. The nine selected students will travel to Rochester, NY on November 29 to rehearse with the All-State ensembles, under the direction of selected university professors and professional conductors from around the nation. After three days of rehearsal with the finest musicians in New York State, their hard work will culminate with a performance at the historic Eastman Theatre in front of an audience of over 2,000 people.

“The All-State selection process is very intense and competitive,” said East Islip’s band director Christopher Neske. “Thousands of students across New York State audition for a very limited number of seats. To have nine students from East Islip selected to perform at the conference this year, along with four students designated as alternates, is not only a testament to these students’ incredible hard work and dedication, but also a recognition of the strength of our districtwide music program.”

East Islip Shows Gratitude to eiMAPS

East Islip Shows Gratitude to eiMAPS
East Islip Shows Gratitude to eiMAPS 2

At the district’s Oct. 25 Board of Education meeting, three members of the eiMAPS organization – President Meghan O’Hara, Vice President Gigi Guiliano, Treasurer Mickey Neske and Correspondence/Membership Coordinator Maureen Meier – were recognized for the group’s continued support. The district’s art programs have been the recipient of nearly $25,000 in donations from eiMAPS over the past several years, including a Pearl drum set and other musical instruments, sewing machines, MacBook Pro computers, and the Picasso People program.

The eiMAPS parent organization, whose abbreviated name stands for East Islip Music and Arts Program Support, was initially developed in 2012 to preserve the art and music curriculum, and now continues its effort by donating items, assisting with field trips, distributing scholarships, and providing guest presenters and special programming. Recently, eiMAPs invited the district’s National Art Honor Society and Tri-M Music Honor Society to its monthly meetings to incorporate student ideas, enhance community outreach, and support students’ vision and endeavors. 

“Our art and music programs, as well as our community, are looking forward to a bright future with such a caring and supportive organization as eiMAPS,” said Dr. Robert J. Wottawa II, the district’s director of art, ENL, music and world languages.

Three National Merit Honorees

Three National Merit Honorees
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Two seniors, Joshua Koretz and James Smalley, have been named National Merit Semifinalists in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program, and a third, Jonathan Guadagno, was named a Commended Student.

Koretz and Smalley were among only 16,000 students across the country honored as Semifinalists, and will compete for $31 million worth of scholarships. All three East Islip students were recognized for their exceptional test results in the 2017 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. More than 1.6 million students nationwide participated in the annual competition.

“These three students have worked very hard over the last few years, and we congratulate them on this accomplishment,” said Israel Malinowitzer, East Islip’s director of guidance.

Outstanding Orchestral Masterclass

Outstanding Orchestral Masterclass

Three SUNY Fredonia professors – cellist Natasha Farny, viola player David Rose and violinist Maureen Yuen – visited the high school on Oct. 24 to teach orchestra students in a masterclass. Senior musicians Trevor Garnett, Victoria Keenan, Joshua Koretz and Kathryn O’Neill performed solos and were given feedback by the Fredonia faculty.

“Everyone in attendance remarked on how great it was to hear the students perform individually and learn from the feedback they were given,” said Giovanna Ruggiero, East Islip’s orchestra director. “I am so glad my students had this wonderful opportunity and I hope to provide more experiences like this in the future.”

New WFTK Broadcasting Studio

New WFTK Broadcasting Studio
New WFTK Broadcasting Studio 2

At the Board of Education meeting on Oct. 9, the district honored an esteemed local organization, the For the Kids Foundation, for its $40,000 donation to fund East Islip High School’s new WFTK broadcasting studio.

The school’s old studio debuted in 1989 and has been running for the last eight years under the guidance of teacher James Connell. The upgraded facility, including new cameras and electronics, will now be home to a modern state of the art video production studio capable of broadcasting live video over the internet. It is scheduled to start running in December, with the broadcasting of live events commencing by next June.

High school students in Heather Toomey’s art classes competed in a contest to design a logo for WFTK, with senior Michael Laird’s effort named the winner.

“We are very grateful to the FTK family for their very generous donation and we look forward to having them come visit our broadcasting studio and watch our students in action,” said Israel Malinowitzer, East Islip’s director of technology.


Learning Civics at the Justice Institute

Learning Civics at the Justice Institute

High school students recently participated in the Eastern District of New York’s Justice Institute program, a camp experience focused on learning about the judicial system, held in the Federal Courthouse building in Central Islip. The program, developed by U.S. District Judge Joseph Bianco in collaboration with the Touro Law Center, provides attending students with the civics education and advocacy skills that will prepare them for college, career and civic engagement.

East Islip sophomores Jacob Arens, Kate McGaugh, Vince Papillo and Kimberly Turtell – all members of the school’s mock trial team coached by Patricia Lester – competed in a championship mock trial round against Massapequa High School, earning first place in the tournament. Turtell was recognized for Best Opening Statement for the Prosecution.

The program concluded with an inspirational talk by guest speaker Mitsue Salador, an American citizen of Japanese descent. Salador was attending college in 1942 when she was deported to an internment center in Portland, Oregon for U.S. residents who had Japanese ancestry.  A current resident of West Islip, where she served as a reading teacher in the public schools, Salador spoke about racism during World War II that led to Pres. Roosevelt’s signing of Executive Order 9066, which authorized the physical removal of all Japanese-Americans living on the West Coast into internment camps. She discussed the discrimination that existed during the wartime years and emphasized the importance of acceptance and tolerance of all people. She also shared her pride in being an American citizen and pointed out that over 40 years later, the federal government passed the Civil Rights Act of 1988, which apologized for the mistake it had made and provided monetary compensation to the survivors of the internment camps.”

“It was heartening to me to observe this group of young people, who were intensely interested in the circumstances of this injustice that took place approximately 76 years ago,” Salador said. “I was happy to inform them that the U.S. government admitted they made a mistake and took responsibility for it.”

Volleyball Teams Unite for Dig Pink

Volleyball Teams Unite for Dig Pink
Volleyball Teams Unite for Dig Pink

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the high school’s boys and girls volleyball programs volleyed for a cure by participating in the Side-Out Foundation’s Dig Pink initiative, collectively raising $1,128 over the course of a few weeks for breast cancer awareness.

All teams assisted by selling Dig Pink shirts prior to game days. On Oct. 9 and 10, the boys and girls teams took to the court to help block out cancer. The gym was adorned with inspiring posters, pink donation balls and balloons, and a court outlined in bright pink. Girls team members also raised funds by making baked goods to sell on game day.

“It’s always inspiring to watch a school come together for a great cause,” said girls coach Romina Ackley. “We hope to continue to raise awareness and fundraise.”

“I am so glad that the boys wanted to get involved in the Dig Pink games,” said boys coach Laura O’Donnell. “We often forget that men too are at risk for breast cancer. The participation of the boys and their families in this fight unites all of us at East Islip in supporting a great cause.”

Fantastic Flutist Earns Award of Merit

Fantastic Flutist Earns Award of Merit
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High school flutist Alexandra Stewart was recently chosen to receive a Long Island Arts Alliance Scholar–Artist Award of Merit for 2018-2019. The LIAA’s Scholar-Artist Awards program, presented by the New York Community Bank Foundation in cooperation with Newsday and the Arts Reach Fund, annually recognizes 20 outstanding Long Island seniors who have demonstrated excellence in academics as well as their chosen arts specialty.

Stewart received her LIAA award and certificate on Sept. 12 at the annual Scholar-Artist Gala at the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts. She has received numerous accolades during her high school career; in 2017, she was chosen for the New York State School Music Association’s All-State Symphonic Band as well as the Suffolk County Music Educators Association’s All-County Orchestra.

Girls Volleyball Team Catches Alumni Game

Girls Volleyball Team Catches Alumni Game

The high school’s girls varsity volleyball team recently traveled to Farmingdale State College to watch two alumni play, Alyssa Barbara of Mount Saint Mary College and Kate Flamio of Farmingdale.

The East Islip players were given a tour of the Farmingdale athletic facility and had the opportunity to ask questions about college majors, player recruitment and college life. They then watched their former Lady Redmen captains go head to head in an exciting match that ended with a 3-0 Farmingdale victory over Mount Saint Mary.

“It was a pleasure to take our current team to watch these two former EI players,” said coach Romina Ackley.  “It is beyond rewarding as a coach to watch players you’ve had for so long grow into strong, intelligent, young women that continue their passion academically while also playing volleyball. I look forward to watching future players follow in Kate’s and Alyssa’s footsteps.”

Sconone & Sidorski Nationally Ranked

Sconone and Sidorski Nationally Ranked

High school lacrosse stars Melissa Sconone and John Sidorski, both playing attack, were recently honored with prestigious national rankings by “Inside Lacrosse,” with Sconone ranked No. 25 and Sidorski ranked No. 33.

Sconone, the third ranked attacker in the 2019 class, has been the team captain since last season and the MVP in 2017 and 2018. She earned All-County status in 2017 and 2018, finished 13th in Suffolk County scoring as a sophomore and 16th as a junior, and participated in the Under Armour All America Underclass Tournament and U.S. Lacrosse Women’s Division National Tournament.

“Melissa is a coach’s dream,” said East Islip girls coach Steven Levy. “She is ultra-competitive with an intense desire to win and compete. She has incredible hands and lacrosse IQ.”

Sidorski, likewise a team captain, was named All-County and All-League in 2017, finishing the latter year at No. 3 in the county in scoring and fourth on Long Island with 94 points and this year at No. 4 in county scoring and No. 5 on Long Island with 89 points. He was selected to the rising juniors and sophomores All-Star games in 2016 and 2017, and named All-American in 2018 and a member of the Super 7 Champs team in 2017. He has a total of 245 points in the last three seasons.

“I have coached John for the last five years,” said Redmen boys coach Chad Spruyt. “He is a smart player with a tremendous lacrosse IQ. He has become the player that any coach would want on their team and an offensive coach on the field. He is my captain this season and a fantastic leader, the type of player that can make any other player on his team better.

EI Enjoys Enthusiastic Pep Rally!

Pep Rally Features Athleticism & Enthusiasm
Pep Rally Features Athleticism & Enthusiasm 2
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A full house of students filled the high school bleachers with cheers on Sept. 21 at the annual pep rally as Athletic Director Stephen Restivo introduced the school’s 14 proud 2018-2019 athletic squads, including girls swimming, boys and girls cross-country, gymnastics, boys and girls soccer, girls tennis, boys golf, girls and boys volleyball, field hockey, kickline, cheerleading and football.

Keeping the excitement level high were terrific performances by the cheerleaders, the gymnastics squad and the high school pep band, the latter directed by Christopher Neske.

Enthusiastically overseeing his first rally, new principal Mark Bernard welcomed the homecoming court – freshman attendants Emily Blair and Jack Rice, sophomore attendants Enzo Ditta and Jeilene Law, junior attendants Sophia Bates and Joseph Falcon, and senior attendants: Hailey Cooke, Nicholas Conzo, Trevor Garnett and Kendall Mittleman – as well as the nominees for king and queen.


A Homecoming Full of Fun & Pride

A Homecoming Full of Fun & Pride
A Homecoming Full of Fun & Pride 2
A Homecoming Full of Fun & Pride 3

A marvelous homecoming full of family fun and Redmen pride began for East Islip on the morning of Sept. 22, as celebratory community members gathered at the Early Childhood Center soccer fields for the second Homecoming Festival, replete with numerous carnival games manned by spirited high schoolers. The face painting booth was particularly busy, resulting in a sea of faces daubed with red and white.

Later in the day at Sal Ciampi Field, the varsity football Redmen beat Eastport-South Manor, 21-14, in a tightly contested game. Quarterback Steve Sassi completed 11 of 17 passes, including a 3-yard throw to Nick Peluso for the game-winning overtime touchdown. Dylan Rigo ran for 56 yards and a touchdown. Joe Fragala and Tom Higgins led the defense with 10 and 13 tackles, respectively.

Following strong halftime performances by the EI band, kickline and cheerleaders, Principal Mark Bernard crowned Jolie Lenox as this year’s homecoming queen, alongside Matthew McHugh as king, while the Class of 2019 seniors were awarded the Class Cup – another new tradition in its second year – for showing the most school spirit throughout Spirit Week.

“Another wonderful homecoming is in the record books,” said school counselor and homecoming organizer Jessica Pignataro.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018