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Committed to Excellence

Measuring Mass at Commack Road

Measuring Mass at Commack Road
Measuring Mass at Commack Road 2
Measuring Mass at Commack Road 3
Fourth graders at Commack Road recently worked on measuring the mass of small objects using pan balances and gram weights. Working well in collaborative groups, the students predicted and then confirmed the actual measure.


Middle School Inducts 71 Into NJHS

Middle School Inducts 71 Into NJHS

The middle school welcomed 71 new students into the National Junior Honor Society in a memorable May 20 induction ceremony.

The new members are seventh graders Abigail Baaden, Alexander Baaden, Parker Barry, Eagan Biscari, Lucas Bohr, Katherine Cando, Edward Caroselli, Erica Carter, Christine Chen, Emma Cirulnick, Katherine Cottral, Nichole Crimi, Fiona DeFalco, Erica DeLapi, Aristea DeLucca, Bella DePersis, Dominique DiJulio, Selley Diop, Aidan Files, Sabrina Frazer, Isabella Governale, Lia Guzman, Ryder Hansen, Brooke Hayes, Maxwell Haynes, Carly Herrington, Jean Johnson, Louise Kane, Ryan Kelly, Lawrence Lena, Rebecca Leo, Emily Lewis, Lauren Limmer, Leela Lopez, Caitlyn McDonald, Kylie McDonald, Lauren McSweeney, Connor Mullins, Carlo Napolitano, Jaci Narducci, Tatianna Olds, Andrew Owen, Anthony Pepe, Lia Pesiri, Mora Peterson, Breanna Questel, Matthew Ramirez, Daniel Rubinson, Jack Ryan, Michael Sanko, Jacob Schifter, Tyler Simonetti, Daniel Turk, Brenna Weber, Sadie Wimmers and Daniel Yanyak; and eighth graders Logan Basile, Julian Byrnes, Ayanna Carter, Olivia Eifert, Ciara Hand, Lars Heimlich, Brianna Henning, Nicole Labate, Maya Levy, Jake Lindskog, John Mullins, Juliana Paolicelli, James Riordan, Sarah Scheidel and Emilio Shabib.

“At Islip Middle School, we celebrate student achievements for a variety of accomplishments,” said Principal Timothy Martin. “These students were recognized for outstanding academic and citizenship success and are true role models for our community.”

“We are so proud of our students who earned this designation,” said Assistant Principal Bryan Miltenberg. “This is a testament not only to the students’ hard work and dedication, but to the tremendous support of their families and the ongoing commitment of our staff.”

Sherwood Welcomes Incoming Second Graders from Wing

Sherwood Welcomes Incoming Second Graders from Wing
Incoming second graders came to visit at Sherwood on May 22, greeted by Principal Chad Walerstein. The students, currently attending Wing, will transition to Sherwood in September.   


Budget Passes!

The district's 2019-2020 budget passed on May 21, with residents casting 1,150 yes votes to 391 no votes. The district thanks the community for voting.

For the Board of Education, incumbent trustee Danielle Flora, running unopposed, was reelected, winning 1,058 votes.

For the seat held by trustee Matthew Clareen, he defeated challenger Kristian Woppel, 975 votes to 465.

 

New HS Principal Meet & Greet

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Current and incoming Islip High School students and parents are cordially invited to join new Islip High School Principal Jon LaRochester at a Meet & Greet on Thursday, May 30. The informal gathering will begin at 6 p.m. in the HS cafeteria. Please join us to say, "Hello," and welcome Mr. LaRochester to the Islip community.

High School Trio Named LI Winners in PSA Contest

High School Trio Named LI Winners in PSA Contest
High School Trio Named LI Winners in PSA Contest 2
High School Trio Named LI Winners in PSA Contest 3

A trio of high school video production students – Chaiti Paul, Chrystle Stewart and Stephania Teran – were recently named Long Island regional winners in The Greatest Save Teen PSA Program’s video contest for their entry “Abduction.” The program is sponsored by KinderVision, a charity of Major League Baseball.

The students and their technology teacher Mike Reilly were invited to a New York Mets game, where they were recognized during a pre-game ceremony in front of a crowd of 30,000. Their PSA entry will now move onto the national competition, giving them the opportunity to earn scholarship money and additional recognition.

'The 30-second video submission can be viewed here under 2019 Long Island Winner.
You can vote for Islip’s entry here.


Eighth Graders Explore Ellis Island

Eighth Graders Explore Ellis Island
The entire eighth grade class at the middle school visited both Liberty Island and Ellis Island on May 2 as part of a larger lesson on the history of immigration in the United States. The students were able to tour the grounds surrounding the Statue of Liberty as well as explore the museum on Ellis Island.

2015 Alumna O'Hara Named Female Athlete of the Year at College

2015 Alumna O'Hara Named Female Athlete of the Year at College
Class of 2015 graduate and All-County soccer player Mary O’Hara was recently named Female Athlete of the Year at Florida Atlantic University.  

Four Islip Seniors Set to Play College Sports

Four Islip Seniors Set to Play College Sports

In a May 8 ceremony in the school’s library, four outstanding seniors signed national letters of intent to continue their athletic careers in college this fall. Tara Casucci will play lacrosse for SUNY New Paltz, Bailey Kolovich will play football for Utica College, Angel Rodriquez will play football and track at Keystone College, and Christopher Snyder will play baseball at Mount Saint Mary College.

Principal Michael Mosca reminded the student-athletes that their priority should be their educations, and to enjoy the enhanced college experience that playing collegiate sports can bring.

“Remember, the educational piece is still the top priority,” Mosca said. “This is a great means to enhance that experience, but just enjoy it because it will go fast. I have a lot of faith in all of you.”


Celebrating Islip’s Accomplished ‘Champions’

Celebrating Islip’s Accomplished ‘Champions’

The district held a magnificent Spring Night of Champions on May 7, celebrating the many recent accomplishments of students and staff in areas ranging from science and technology to athletics and business. Administrators, teachers, coaches and proud family members were on hand to congratulate the honorees at the event, which took place in the Islip Middle School auditorium.

Among those recognized were the middle school’s EXCEL Future City team, which won first place in the Long Island regional competition and qualified for the national event; the EXCEL Science Olympiad team, which earned fifth place in the regional competition and qualified for nationals; the high school Science Olympiad team, which took sixth place in the Eastern Long Island regional competition and qualified for nationals; the high school’s Robotics Club, which earned first place for the Inspire Award, first place and the first runner-up spot for the Think Award, first runner-up for the Innovate Award, and second runner-up for the Connect Award, Design Award and Innovate Award in the FIRST Tech Challenge; the high school’s video production students, who were Long Island regional winners in “The Greatest Save” teen PSA program; the high school’s Virtual Enterprise teams, which won gold medals and silver medals at the Long Island Business Plan Competition and Regional Trade Show; the Suffolk County small school champion varsity boys bowling team; varsity wrestlers who earned 100 career victories and All-County designation; varsity track and field athletes who earned All-County and All-Long Island designation; All-State gymnast Kerin Spadaro; high school senior Owen Eubanks, who earned second prize in the America’s Best High School Pastry Chef Competition; high schooler Bianka Morales, the winner of the Suffolk County High School Principals Association’s Principal’s Leadership Award; and high school library media specialist Gina Seymour, a national finalist for the American Association of School Librarians’ Social Media Superstar award.

“Our honorees all achieved their best selves and greatness this year,” said Superintendent Ellen Semel.



Middle School Trombonist Cruz Receives $1,000 Music Scholarship

Middle School Trombonist Cruz Receives $1,000 Music Scholarship

Middle school seventh grader Jessica Cruz was recently announced as the recipient of a $1,000 scholarship from Life is Music, Music is Life. The funds are set aside to support Cruz’s growth as a musician through private music instruction.

Cruz plays trombone in the middle school’s seventh and eighth grade band and jazz band, as well as Islip High School’s marching band. In addition to her work as section leader, she serves as mentor to the sixth grade trombonists and is a member of the school’s Board Game Club and the Science and Nature Club.

“Jessica is motivated, excited and a joy to work with,” said her band teacher, Allison Jeanes. “She rises to every musical challenge put in front of her and then looks for more.”

“When a seventh grader is achieving such tremendous recognition, you know it is only the beginning of a beautiful thing,” said Principal Timothy Martin.

Life is Music, Music is Life is an organization that believes that children with a passion for music should have the opportunity to receive quality music lessons to enable them to express themselves artistically and creatively.

“This is a wonderful group of people with a true passion for music,” said Vincent Green, Islip’s director of fine and performing arts. “They shared their mission with me and when Ms. Jeanes told me about Jess, I knew she was a perfect fit.”


Islip’s Virtual Firms Bring Home Three Medals from NYC

 Islip’s Virtual Firms Bring Home Three Medals from NYC

The high school’s two Virtual Enterprise International teams – the Worldwide Entertainment Corporation and Entertainment Express firms – successfully competed in the VEO Youth Business Summit from April 15-17.

On April 15, the firms’ department heads participated in a human resources, accounting and marketing competition at Microsoft in Manhattan. On the following day, the COE and COO of each firm were paired up with other schools across the world in a Global Challenge. On the Summit’s final day, both of Islip’s VE firms competed in the International Trade Show against more than 3,000 high school firms across the world at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal.

Worldwide Entertainment, which supplies party themes and food packages to customers, and Entertainment Express, a mobile bus-themed entertainment company, placed in two out of the three events and brought home a combined three medals: two gold medals in the Sales Material category and a silver medal in Booth Design. The firms will close out the school year by completing their companies’ annual reports.  




Middle Schooler Katherine Cottral Wins Sustainability Challenge

Middle Schooler Katherine Cottral Wins Sustainability Challenge

Middle school student Katherine Cottral recently won first place in the middle school division of the Long Island Family and Consumer Sciences Professionals’ Sustainability Challenge. She was presented with a $150 award for her waste-reduction project, which advocated using household ingredients and buying items in bulk.

“I really enjoyed making my project,” said Cottral. “I got to use a bunch of different skills and explore different things in FACS.”

“I’m so proud of Katherine,” said teacher Natalie DeSena. “She worked so hard and is well deserving of this award.”


Juniors Network with Visiting Professionals

Juniors Network with Visiting Professionals

The high school recently held its annual junior interview and networking skills workshop, planned by Assistant Principal Curt Juengerkes and teacher Renee Clock of the Islip School to Careers Partnership. The event incorporated the school’s business teachers as well as 10 other educators. Visiting professionals interviewed students in classrooms and conducted networking sessions in the school’s gymnasium.

Guest participants included the Suffolk County legislators Tom Cilmi and Steve Flotteron; the Town of Islip’s Arthur Abbate and Stefanie Ohayon; YES Youth Enrichment Services’ Carolyn Baez, Juan Munoz and MaryAnn Pfeiffer; Great South Bay YMCA’s John Borromeo; Junior Achievement of NY’s Lorraine Englander; Northwell Health’s Teri Hughes and Maureen Pecorella; LIU Post’s Betsy Madey, Dennis O’Hara and Christopher Salute; Bethpage Federal Credit Union’s Samantha Scherger; and Suffolk County Department of Civil Service’s Theresa Gianmugnai and Gina O’Brien.

Local Wellness Vendors Flock to HS Health Fair

Local Wellness Vendors Flock to HS Health Fair
Local Wellness Vendors Flock to HS Health Fair 2
The high school’s Health & Wellness Committee sponsored at Health Fair on April 5 in the school’s cafeteria, joined by visiting vendors such as South Oaks Nutrition & Mental Health, Orange Theory Fitness, Sayville Running Company, Beach Bowls Acai Café, Amityville Acupuncture and social worker Brandi Amadio.

Business Students Get the Real Story from Analyst Vincent Daniel

Business Students Get the Real Story from Analyst Vincent Daniel

The high school’s Business Academy students were recently treated to a visit from Vincent Daniel, the real-life stock analyst portrayed in the 2015 film “The Big Short” and the 2010 Michael Lewis book it was based on, “The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine.” Both stories showed how Daniel predicted the housing market crash of 2007.

Daniel began by discussing his college accounting studies at Binghamton University, his, career trajectory and possible job pathways.

“The goal in college for me was to come out and get a job, and I wanted to be in business, so accounting was best way at the time,” he said. “My goal was to get my CPA. But I hated what I did. I loved what accounting taught me, but I always wanted to get to Wall Street.”

After two years of working as an accountant, he shifted to Oppenheimer and Co., researching financial service companies that specialized in mortgages. It was there that his analysis of flawed subprime mortgages led to the events depicted in the book and film. Daniel later worked at Keefe, Bruyette, & Woods; was a partner, executive director and financial analyst at FrontPoint; and cofounded Seawolf Capital, where he served as head analyst.

In describing what he does today, Daniel likened his job as a portfolio manager to being a professional gambler.

“I make investments on stocks and hopefully produce a return for my investors,” he said.

Before diving into a question-and-answer session, Daniel left the eager students with solid career advice, saying, “If you remember anything I said today, it’s this: Choose a profession that you love. One of the greatest things in life is to wake up and want to go to work. So, whatever you want to do, do that. Secondly, take public speaking classes and get over the fear of speaking. It’s very important to communicate and understand how to communicate. Three, if you want to be in my profession and get on Wall Street, you’re going to have to learn how to program and code, and if you want to analyze companies, learn how to use Excel. If you want to do what I do, model out a company. Look at their financial statements in the past and project forward. Invest in them, see how it feels to make money, and more importantly, see what it’s like to lose money.”




 

High Schoolers Create Epoxy Skateboards with Tech Teacher Jesse Eilbeck

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Numerous New Honor Society Inductees Honored

Numerous New Honor Society Inductees Honored
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Numerous New Honor Society Inductees Honored 3

In a night of candles and kudos, the high school held its annual Honor Society Induction Ceremony on April 16 in the school auditorium, welcoming parents and friends to recognize the newest inductees. Valedictorian Victoria Arthus and salutatorian Matthew Southard led the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by a welcome from Assistant Principal Curtis Juengerkes. Dr. Christopher Smalley, the district’s assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, provided the keynote speech. Before Principal Michael Mosca delivered his closing remarks, the school had honored 68 new inductees into the World Language Honor Society (10 for Italian and 58 for Spanish), 22 new inductees into the Math Honor Society, 27 new inductees into the English Honor Society and 39 new inductees into the National Honor Society.


Local Artist McEvoy Demonstrates a Passion for Painting at MS

Local Artist McEvoy Demonstrates a Passion for Painting at MS

Local fine artist Kevin McEvoy recently spoke to middle school students in the EXCEL program as part of the ongoing “Inventing Self” series of inspirational guest lectures.

After studying at the Charles Cecil Studios painting school in Florence, Italy, McEvoy began a decade-long career teaching classical drawing and painting. The Islip resident serves as director of the Atelier at Flowerfield classical art studio and exhibition space in Saint James. His work has been exhibited widely in New York City and Long Island.

During the EXCEL visit, McEvoy demonstrated live portrait painting for the students and discussed the use of an iPad as a tool to capture inspiration. For McEvoy, art is about personal growth as well as community values.

“I think passion is the thing you can’t not do,” he said. “Each has to find their own. I support things for society to be healthy, for each and every person to find their passion, and then to water and feed it, to cause sun to shine on it. We all as a community can help invest in each other’s lives and cause a hospitable environment to grow.”




Islip Musicians Earn 36 SCMEA Selections

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A total of 36 hardworking and talented student-musicians from the Islip School District were selected to participate in the Suffolk County Music Educators’ Association All-County Concerts this spring, based on their performances at last year’s New York State School Music Association Solo Festival and music teacher recommendations by their school music teachers.

Chosen from Commack Road Elementary School were Tiana Arroyo (chorus), Ailsa Canales (chorus), Abigail Dieumegard (alto sax; band), Olivia Pue (chorus) and Avery Roche (violin; orchestra).

Chosen from Maud S. Sherwood Elementary School were Connor Ancipink (French horn; band), Addison DeFalco (chorus), Ryan Nieves (violin; orchestra) and Jadyn Zink (alto sax; band).

Chosen from Islip Middle School were Alexander Baaden (trumpet; band), Maggie Frazer (alto; chorus), Skylar Marie Greene (soprano; chorus), Lia Guzman (flute; orchestra), Arthur Hampson (trumpet; band), Olivia Johnson (flute; orchestra), Madleynn Lang (alto; chorus), Morgan McLynch (violin; orchestra), Mia Nano (chorus), Brady Nash (clarinet; band), Mason Nasta (alto sax; band), Alexandra Noles (chorus), Alex Romeo (mallets; band), Annalise Rossano (violin; orchestra), Daniel Rubinson (violin; orchestra), Jacob Schifter (trumpet; band), Delaney Tauer (viola; orchestra), Daniel Turk (baritone; chorus), Julian Vitucci (chorus), Alex Weninski (clarinet; band) and Justin Zizza (trumpet; band).

Chosen from Islip High School were Tyler Cirulnick (soprano; chorus), Leah Cyran (soprano; chorus), Isabella Green (soprano; chorus), Alan Lawrence (bass; chorus), Erin Quinn (clarinet; band) and Ryan Van Nostrand (tenor; chorus).




Eight from Islip Earn Town Achievement Awards

Eight from Islip earn Town Achievement Awards
Eight from Islip earn Town Achievement Awards
Eight exceptional Islip High School students were recently selected to receive Town of Islip Achievement Awards. Honored at an April 16 awards ceremony at Town Hall were Deja Boucher Weiss (Performing Arts), Devi Chowdhury (Secondary Language), Lauren Cottral (Science), Hailey Franco (Scholarship & Athletics), Emma Hayes (Service to People in Need), Emily Kearon (Language Arts), Josue Mondesir (Secondary Language) and Tyler Nakken.

Wing Parade Promotes Support for Autism Awareness

Wing Parade Promotes Support for Autism Awareness
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Students at Wing wrapped up Autism Awareness Week with an April 5 parade around the building, promoting inclusion and self-determination for all. During the days prior, each student participated in activities revolving around the awareness and acceptance of all students, guided by teacher Nicole Howley and school psychologist Nancy Sferrazza. The building was filled both inside and outside with symbols showing support during Autism Awareness Month.

Commack Road Student Leaders Paint Paddles Purple

Commack Road Student Leaders Paint Paddles Purple
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 Commack Road Student Leaders Paint Paddles Purple 3
Student leaders in Catherine Nieves’ fourth grade class at Commack Road recently decided to give the bus paddles some needed improvements. They stayed after school and painted the 30 paddles purple. Gold letters were then added to complete the project.  

High Schoolers Prepare for the Future with College Conference

High Schoolers Prepare for the Future with College Conference
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High Schoolers Prepare for the Future with College Conference 3

High school students in Renee Clock’s career development work experience class recently attended the “Laying the Foundation: Preparation for College and Vocational Training Success” conference at Suffolk County Community College’s Grant Campus. The day included interactive workshops, facility tours, resource identification and demonstrations of vocational training programs for students.  The event focused on identifying services, tools, and resources that will assist college or vocational training program-bound students to achieve success while attending those programs. 

“The day was great,” said Assistant Principal Curt Juengerkes. “Our students were exposed to real-world opportunities as they obtained valuable resources and participated in the day’s workshops and tours. It seemed to ease student concerns and anxiety about taking on the post-secondary world.”

Islip’s Music Education Program Receives NAMM Recognition for Fifth Consecutive Year

Islip’s Music Education Program Receives NAMM Recognition for Fifth Consecutive Year

For the fifth consecutive year, the district has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from the NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education.

Now in its 20th year, the Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. The award recognizes that Islip is leading the way with learning opportunities as outlined in the Every Student Succeeds Act.

“The Islip community has for many decades been supportive of the arts,” said Vincent Green, director of fine and performing arts. “This designation proves again that the community's resources and efforts continue to make Islip a leader in the musical arts.”


Islip Retires Jersey of Class of ’14 Lacrosse Star Ohlmiller

Islip Retires Jersey of Class of ’14 Lacrosse Star Ohlmiller

On March 26, Islip High School celebrated the jersey retirement of one of its most celebrated athletes, Class of 2014 lacrosse star Kylie Ohlmiller. Her accolades in high school included All-American status and stats of 247 goals and 98 assists. During her subsequent four-year career playing attack for Stony Brook University, she was team captain, America East Player of the Year and a Tewaaraton Finalist twice; an All-American four times; a 2018 America East Women of the Year winner; and earned sponsorships from Brine and New Balance. Ohlmiller was the No. 1 overall draft pick for the Women’s Professional Lacrosse League’s NY Fight team.




Islip Educators Enhance Leadership Skills with Gary McGuey

Islip Educators Enhance Leadership Skills with Gary McGuey

The district’s teachers, staff and administrators – joined by Board of Education trustees Paul Austin and Matthew Clareen – flocked to the high school auditorium on March 18 for an exciting Superintendent’s Conference Day interactive assembly with motivational speaker Gary McGuey, author of “The Inspirational Teacher” and “The Mentor: Leadership Trumps Bullying.” McGuey, a former athletic director and educator and one of the most in-demand educational speakers in the nation, provided the attendees with engaging personal and professional development as well as enhanced principle-centered leadership skills.

“Today we are coming together to be introduced to ideas and concepts that will not only help our students, but give each of us insight into ourselves,” said Dr. Christopher Smalley, the district’s assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, introducing McGuey. “We know that academics are important, and if our students are not prepared to succeed in a college or career, they will struggle. But we also know that if our students are not prepared to deal with adversity or all the soft skills necessary in life, they will struggle even more. Our students now deal with an incredible bombardment of digital information, busy schedules and the constant pressure to succeed. The good news for our students is that they are in Islip, and we all care.”

McGuey delved deeply into the ideas behind “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” explained the three types of power – positional, utilitarian and principle-centered leadership – and demonstrated the path from dependence to independence and finally to interdependence.

“The only person we change is ourselves,” McGuey said. “We can influence people, and that’s what leadership is. People follow our footsteps much quicker than our advice. Everybody in this room can think of that influence or role model, that person in our lives we’ll never forget. For some of us, that person is no longer alive, but they still have power over us because of the way they led their lives based on words like integrity, hard work, love, service and responsibility.”




Sharp Shooter Success for Commack Road and Sherwood

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Commack Road SS

Fourth- and fifth-graders from Commack Road and Sherwood recently found hoops happiness competing in the 33rd annual Town of Islip Sharp Shooter Basketball Contest, held on March 2 at East Islip High School.

Sponsored by the Islip Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs and Islip Elks since 1993, the Sharp Shooter “Just Say No to Drugs” program asks local students to score as many baskets as possible in one minute, improving their athletic skills and offering an alternative to drug abuse.

Commack Road’s in-school winners were Hailey Alvarez, Abigail Dieumegard, Amanda Owen, Carmine Rossellini and Andrew Wimmers, while Sherwood’s were Jackson Doring, Julia Dromerhauser, Tierny Recenello and Jane Tierney. Alvarez came away the first-place fourth-grade girls winner in the competition. Owen finished in second for fifth-grade girls, and Doring won second in the fourth-grade boys division.


Students Seek Summer Jobs at Successful High School Event

Students Seek Summer Jobs at Successful High School Event

The high school’s School to Careers Partnership hosted a daylong Teen Job Fair on March 7, open to all students. Business teacher Renee Clock worked with the Suffolk County Department of Labor to recruit local businesses that are seeking to hire teenagers for the summer. In addition to applying for summer jobs, the students had the opportunity to practice job interview skills and networking as well as fill out job applications and participate in on-site interviews.

Participating organizations included the Suffolk County Department of Labor, Town of Islip Department of Parks and Recreation, Tropical Smoothie of Bay Shore, SCOPE Educational Services, Local Burger of Bay Shore, American Pool Long Island, The Great South Bay YMCA, Youth Enrichment Services, Caroline’s Flower Shoppe, Splish Splash, ShopRite, and the Eastern Suffolk BOCES and Western Suffolk BOCES Technical Academies. 

“Our students represented Islip in a professional manner and were eager to apply for summer jobs,” said Clock. “I am delighted to see so many young people actively seek employment in our community and am happy to help many of our students obtain jobs. The organizations that participated in the event realize the value that teens have to offer their businesses and they were impressed with the participation of our student body.”




IMPORTANT - Calendar Change Letter

Please see the letter linked below from Superintendent Semel regarding changes to the school calendar, as snow days were not used this year. Thank you.

Attachments:

Islip’s Top Pastry Chef Owen Eubanks

Islip’s Top Pastry Chef Owen Eubanks

High school senior Owen Eubanks finished in second place in the America’s Best High School Pastry Chef Competition presented by the Culinary Institute of New York at Monroe College on March 9.

A dozen of the best high school chefs in the nation were invited to participate in the final round of the pastry competition, held at CINY’s award-winning Culinary Arts Center in New Rochelle. Eubanks and the other student competitors were asked to demonstrate their skills by creating an original signature dessert that they are able to prepare exactly as submitted in a 90-minute final round.  The upscale-style plated dessert had to include a main item, sauce, cookie or crisp item, chocolate and fruit.

Eubanks’ creation won second prize, which earned him the right to wear the title “America’s Best High School Pastry Chef,” a partial academic scholarship for the pastry arts program at CINY, and the opportunity to apply to CINY’s study abroad program for a semester in Italy.


Islip Celebrates Cultural Diversity on Annual ENL Night

Islip Celebrates Cultural Diversity on Annual ELL Night

The district held its annual ENL Family Cultural Night on March 20, focused on the theme of celebrating cultural diversity, reflecting a district enriched by 18 different student languages.

“In Islip, our student population is culturally diverse and many students come from homes where a second language is spoken,” said Priscilla Zarate, the district’s ENL and world language coordinator. “What does cultural diversity mean for Islip? It means recognition of students’ abundant diversity of cultures, respect for the differences that exist, acknowledging the validity of different cultural expressions, valuing what other cultures have to offer, encouraging the contributions of diverse groups of students, empowering our students to strengthen themselves and others to achieve their maximum potential, and celebrating rather than just tolerating the differences in order to bring about unity in diversity.”

As one of many highlights of the event, Islip recognized the achievements of a dozen of its English language learners: William Pineda and Nicole Quinteros from Wing; Abner Barrios, Kelsey Ortiz and Natalie Pantaleon from Commack Road; David Hernandex from Sherwood; Naomi Del Re and Ashley Toro from the middle school; and Veronica Catalino, Nicole Huaylinos, Osman Marroquin and Mayra Sanchez from the high school.

The evening also included a guest appearance by poet, storyteller and performer Adriana Devers, author of “Mi Chiquitica en Luna Llena My Little One in Full Moon,” “Huellas de Una Memoria Perdida” and “Mi Vida de Cuento en Cuento.” Devers, originally from the Dominican Republic, spoke bilingually to the audience and led them in a festive traditional dance out of the auditorium and into the cafeteria to enjoy food, refreshments and numerous educational displays.

A Happy, Healthy ‘Dinner Time’ for Islip FACS Student

A Happy, Healthy ‘Dinner Time’ for Islip FACS Student

Seventh-grader Kayla James recently participated in the Long Island FACS Challenge, a contest hosted by the Long Island Family and Consumer Science Professionals organization for all middle school and high school FACS students from Nassau and Suffolk.

The idea behind James’ project, titled “Dinner Time,” came from her research that showed families who have dinner together thrive together. During lunchtime at the middle school, James handed out 40 herb seedlings to fellow students along with coinciding recipes using the herb. She encouraged her classmates to plant the seedlings and to use that herb to make a delicious meal with their families.

“Giving the herbs out was an amazing experience that gave me and many others joy,” James said. “Just to see the expression on my peers’ faces was the only thing I needed to make my day, and I know that I made their days too. I talked about the project and the importance of family and healthy eating.”

“I’m thrilled that Kayla chose to participate in the challenge and represent Islip Middle School and our family and consumer science program,” said teacher Natalie DeSena. “The other students were very receptive and loved her idea.”