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Tri-M Honor Society Rises $2,004 for Food Banks

Tri-M Honor Society Rises $2,004 for Food Banks

The middle school’s Tri-M Honor Society’s main objective is community service. In the past, the Honor Society has adopted families during the holidays, collected hygiene products for women’s shelters, collected socks for the homeless, ran food drives and gift drives for children’s hospitals, and this year, with the help of the For the Kids organization, helped install a beautiful memorial garden in front of the school.

Tri-M members participate annually in the Long Island Cares-Harry Chapin Food Bank Practice-a-Thon, with all proceeds going to local food banks. This year, Tri-M raised a new high of $2,004.

“The Practice-a-Thon is a wonderful way to strengthen students’ practice habits while encouraging empathy and empowering them to make a difference in their community,” said adviser Concetta Stevens.

Student Achievements Recognized

Student Accomplishments Recognized

Superintendent John Dolan recognized the outstanding accomplishments of numerous students and community members during the June 14 Board of Education meeting, including the middle school's Tri-M Music Honor Society, athletic honorees, local veterans, the “If You See Something, Say Something” award winners, and the students and local businesses in the career development program.

A Special Day for EI’s 13 Olympians

A Special Day for EI’s 13 Olympians

The East Islip Special Olympics team took the field for the third consecutive year, competing on May 19 at the Long Island Spring Games North hosted by Bethpage High School. Despite heavy rain, the student-athletes maintained their focus and competitive spirit, resulting in the team bringing home a total of 24 medals.

East Islip had a team of 13 this year, consisting of six middle schoolers (Riley Carrillo, Madeline Director, Jake Kozak, Janissa Lloyd, Julia Modico and Michael Pacheco-Uvidia) coached by physical education teacher Laura O’Donnell, and seven high school students (Delany Conlon, Danny DiOrio, Robert Phillips, Jake Pippatone, Michael Quagliara, Sara Spruyt and Kelly Stupplebeen), coached by physical education teacher Julie Susskind.

The team trained for approximately two months to prepare for their track and field events – 50-meter dash, 50-meter assisted walk, 100-meter dash, turbo javelin throw, softball throw and tennis ball throw – with each athlete competing in two events. With their hard work and dedication, alongside the commitment of the coaching staff and support of the volunteers, the year was another huge success for East Islip’s team, which earned 11 gold, 11 silver and two bronze medals.

The team members and their families had gathered for a pregame breakfast the day before, hosted by the East Islip Athletics Department, and the district’s Special Education Parent Teacher Organization showed its support with the purchase of a new team banner. Volunteers included East Islip teachers and staff such as Paula Brinker, Renee De Vries, Josephine DiMaggio, Christine O’Connell, Marissa Rymer, Donna Tuck and Diane Wahrenburg; family members of competing athletes like SEPTO President Noni Kozak, Thomas Di Orio and Anthony Matteran; community members like EI alumni Alfio DiMaggio, Frankie DiMaggio and Teresa DiMaggio; and even a middle school student, Antonia Tuck, who was the first student volunteer since the team was organized.

“This day could not happen without the support of volunteers,” said O’Donnell. “They stand side by side with our athletes throughout the entire event, and this year they too stood in the rain. They were all amazing.”

Also on the field rooting for the athletes were East Islip Middle School Principal Mark Bernard and Superintendent John Dolan.

“It’s great for the kids to see the administrators out here cheering them on,” said Susskind. “Having the principal and superintendent at an all-day Saturday event shows support for the program and everyone involved.”

“It just gets better every year,” said O’Donnell. “Even in the pouring rain, there’s nothing better than the high five at the finish line or the pride each athlete exudes while holding up their medal. We couldn’t be more honored to share this day with everyone on the team. I’m already looking forward to next year and hoping more students and more volunteers join.”

A Year of Musical Dedication

A Year of Musical Dedication
A Year of Musical Dedication 2
A Year of Musical Dedication 3

An entire school year of hard work, passion and dedication to music from both students and teachers was celebrated in style at East Islip’s annual spring concert series. The performances, all held at Rydzeski Hall, included the middle school on May 7 and 9, JFK on May 14, RCK on May 16, and the high school on May 22 and 23.

"Our spring concert series, featuring students from grades 3-12, began with our third-graders performing on the recorders and singing, and ended with our seniors performing their final number on the East Islip High School stage,” said Dr. Robert J. Wottawa II, the district’s director of art and music. “Smiles and tears of joy were shared among our students, teachers and community members as the music department took our breath away with each performance. We are so very proud of all the students and teachers who shared their musicianship this spring season.”

“I couldn’t be more proud of both of my beginner and advanced orchestras,” said JFK Orchestra Director Jaime DeMaria. “They performed with energy, dynamics and – most importantly – heart. I am so honored to be their teacher and wish the fifth-graders all the best as they continue their musical journey to the middle school.”

“I am exceptionally proud of the performances of the seventh- and eighth-grade orchestra students,” said East Islip Middle School Orchestra Director Judith Fischer, whose students performed material ranging from Rimsky-Korsakoff to The Beatles. “I truly believe that their concerts were an outstanding example of the hard work we do each and every day in class. Congratulations on a job well done.”



Eighth-Grader Wins at Social Harmony Writing Contest

Eighth-Grader Wins at Social Harmony Writing Contest
Eighth-Grader Wins at Social Harmony Writing Contest 2
Eighth-Grader Wins at Social Harmony Writing Contest 3

Michaela Fitzsimmons, an eighth-grader at the middle school, recently won third place and a $100 prize in the 2018 Social Harmony Writing Contest.

The goal of the contest, which is sponsored by the Suffolk County Asian-American Advisory Board, Wellbrook Foundation and JEI Learning Center Stonybrook, is to inspire students to think of ideas to promote cultural understanding and social harmony. Participants were asked to write an essay on how to improve the race and ethnic relations in society.

Accompanied by English teacher Claire Voss, Fitzsimmons was honored for her achievement on May 26 at the 10th annual Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Celebration held at the Vajira Buddhist Temple and Thai Cultural Center in Centereach.  

Marine Copters Touch Down at EI

Marine Copters Touch Down for Fleet Week

As part of Fleet Week NYC, East Islip’s high school and middle school once again welcomed U.S. Marine Corps Aviation to the district. Two Marine helicopters from New River, North Carolina filled the sky on May 24 and landed with great fanfare on the middle school field, providing fascinated secondary students with an opportunity to talk to the pilots and view the inside of the helicopters. The Corps had previously visited East Islip during Fleet Week for the first time in 2011.

The first helicopter to land was the AH-1W Super Cobra from HMLA-167, with a crew of four Marines, followed by the massive CH-53E Super Stallion out of HMH-366, holding approximately eight Marines and two Corps photographers. Both of these helicopters are exclusive to the Marine Corps, specifically constructed for the organization’s needs. Helicopter landings are performed yearly as part of Fleet Week for community outreach.

“This was a wonderful way to thank our military men and women and to honor all of our military branches as we prepared for Memorial Day,” said Israel Malinowitzer, the district’s director of careers and student services, who helped to arrange the visit with Marine Corps Recruiting Station New York and Staff Sgt. Jason Rodriguez from Marine Corps Recruiting Sub Station Smithtown. “It was a beautiful day, and we are very grateful to our Marines for their service. It gives me great joy to present these types of events that showcase our Marines and the hard work they do every day to protect our country and our freedom.”

Successful Showcase for STEM

Successful Showcase for First STEM Night

In a massive celebration of all things science and technology, the East Islip School District recently hosted its first STEM Night, welcoming more than 200 guests to the East Islip High School to see students from all of the district’s schools promote their work and organizations, including the high school’s and East Islip Middle School’s robotics and STEM Club students, the East Islip National Honor Society, and John F. Kennedy and Ruth C. Kinney elementary schools’ fourth-grade science fair winners, and other fifth-grade elementary STEM students.

Students enrolled in the high school’s Medical & Health Technology Career Academy, AP Capstone program and other scientific research classes showcased the projects they have been working on all year.

Representing East Islip’s K-5 STEM program that began this year, students demonstrated how to build bridges and create towers and skyscrapers with the use of wooden blocks.

The high school’s robotics team members were on hand to show off their newly designed 3D chassis robotic bodies that were created and designed in CAD classes and developed on the 3D printer. Visiting students from all grades were allowed to play with the new robots and learn how to operate them.

Ken White, the operational director of educational management at Brookhaven National Laboratory, served as the keynote speaker.
Additionally, representatives from the East Islip Public Library manned a booth to showcase 3D printing and virtual reality technologies. Students were able to put on the library’s new 3D video viewfinders to virtually visit different places in the world.

“This event was a huge success and the parents and students had a great time learning about STEM and how it will help their children to be successful in their future careers,” said Israel Malinowitzer, East Islip’s technology director, who coordinated the event with Math and Science Director Janet Jones.

“We weren’t really sure if we would have any visitors at our table, but were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and interest the young people had,” said Jason Terhune of the East Islip Public Library’s computer services department. “We appreciated the opportunity to showcase our public library to the community.”

Middle Schoolers Experience ‘The Lightning Thief’

Middle Schoolers Experience ‘The Lightning Thief’
Middle school students in the Cleary School for the Deaf program, along with students in school librarian Valerie Ware’s Master Readers Book Discussion Club, recently took a trip to the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center to see a production of “The Lightning Thief,” a musical based on Rick Riordan’s beloved Percy Jackson book.

Young Leaders from East Islip Are in the ‘Zone’

Young Leaders from East Islip Are in the ‘Zone’

Four East Islip fifth-graders –JFK’s Ryan Flad and Erin McCarthy, and RCK’s Thomas Costarelli and Kara Marshall – recently earned the annual Physical Education Leadership award from the Suffolk Zone Chapter of the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. Also recognized were East Islip Middle School eighth graders Anthony Agresta, Anthony Kohler and Joy Peterson. The seven students were honored at the NYS AHPERD awards ceremony, held on May 2 at Bay Shore Middle School.

“These students are leaders in the classroom and have the necessary knowledge to establish and maintain an active lifestyle,” said Stephen Restivo, director of health, physical education and athletics. “They understand how physical education can enhance their performance both in the classroom and in the gymnasium as well. Congratulations to all of our award recipients.”

Friday, July 20, 2018