Middle School Entrance Transformed by New Gardens


A terrific transformation has taken place at the middle school with the addition of new gardens to beautify the main entrance. The project, two years in the making, was led by special education teacher Suzanne Lange, who has pulled double duty as the chairperson of the middle school’s Standards of Excellence Committee for the past few years.

“Suzanne was able to harness the energy of many entities to see this project come to fruition,” said Dr. Timothy Martin, the principal. “This was no easy task when you take budgeting, clubs, volunteers and timelines into account.”’

Taking advantage of favorable weather, a creative coalition – including SOE Committee members; KIC Club, student government, art, and technology students; and the buildings and grounds crew – worked over the course of the two months to plant the two new garden beds to enhance the school’s curb appeal. Retired math teacher Barbara Knoth and her horticulturist husband Bob volunteered to spearhead the garden display. An assortment of purple asters and gold mums, as well as native Long Island grasses and shrubs, now adorn the building facade. The native plants will be incorporated into an outdoor learning environment and living classroom. 

According to Dr. Martin, the garden project is not finished, but is a work in progress seeking to grow and expand as the creativity continues. Expressing his excitement with the makeover, he said, “There are all kinds of first impressions, and when people approach the doors of Islip Middle School, they should get the impression that we care.”