Multiple district students in grades 4-9 recently attended the 17th annual Thunderbird Football Clinic. With assistance from Connetquot High School football coach Mike Hansen and varsity defensive coordinator Mike Konsevitch, the five-day clinic was held in an effort to enhance students’ football skills and help them meet some new friends along the way.
The program, which is non-contact, assisted the students in developing power, speed and agility while emphasizing teamwork and sportsmanship. Along the way, players were introduced to the skills required to play all offensive and defensive positions. Each session ended with fun games that left them looking forward to the upcoming football season.
“The weather was perfect, and it was great to see the next generation of Connetquot T-Birds having fun while working on the skills and techniques that will continue our program’s success for years to come,” said Coach Hansen.
At the conclusion of the week, each student received an official Connetquot Thunderbird football jersey and shorts.
The Connetquot Summer Basketball Camp came to a successful conclusion on June 30 after more than 70 students spanning grades 5-12 participated in a week of basketball-oriented fun with both old and new friends alike. Connetquot High School boys basketball coach Tim Trava and his enthusiastic staff engaged the students in a variety of dribbling, shooting, rebounding and defensive drills. The exercises were designed to provide students with the opportunity to learn both basic and advanced skills to further their basketball playing ambitions, and develop a love for the game.
The district once again hosted the nationally recognized “Camp Invention” at Bosti Elementary School from June 26-29. More than 65 district students, counselors and teachers were invited to take part in an innovative program of exploration and inspiration in an effort for the young students to expand their educational horizons regarding STEM.
Additionally, the students’ family members were invited to marvel at this year’s showcase, which displayed projects the children have been working on during the week. Projects included “Mission Space Makers” which asked them to work collaboratively as they used their imaginations to create “inhabitable planets,” and the “Duct Tape Billionaire” activity, in which they designed their very own products in order to gain real-world entrepreneurial experience.
“Camp Invention is the only nationally recognized, nonprofit elementary enrichment program backed by the National Inventors Hall of Fame,” said program director and C-Quest adviser Lisa Manzo. “Over the past 40 years, and in partnership with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, this program has encouraged nearly two million children, teachers, parents, college students and independent inventors across the country to explore science, technology and their own innate creativity, inventiveness and entrepreneurial spirit. The camp experience provides the opportunity to think ‘outside the box’ by exploring science, technology, engineering and math concepts in a new and exciting way.”
Each day the students rotated through themed modules that employed creative thinking to solve real-world challenges while learning vital 21st century life skills such as problem-solving and teamwork. The Camp Invention program enhances a child’s ability to learn through teamwork and subject-immersion while cultivating a new appreciation for discovery through fun-filled activities.
Sycamore Elementary School Principal Stuart Pollak, along with Youth and Family Services Coordinator Laura Michelsen and members of the Bohemia Fire Department, recently contributed to a very special last full day of school for the fifth-grade students.
Gathered on the backfield, the students formed a giant infinity symbol to represent the countless memories made during their years at Sycamore. The moment was captured as a photo via an aerial camera.
The fifth-graders also placed “kindness rocks,” which they had previously painted in their classrooms, around the Peace Pole located in front of the school.
Parents of Slocum Elementary students were welcomed to the school on June 21 in celebration of Fifth-Grade Day. During the event, the students and their families celebrated the soon-to-be-graduates’ final day of school by playing games, signing yearbooks, enjoying snacks and having fun.
Students, staff and parents of Slocum Elementary School recently joined first responders to celebrate Flag Day.
For the celebration, students dressed in red, white and blue, recited the Pledge of Allegiance and sang patriotic songs around the school’s flag pole. Retiring teacher Tina Rote was given the honor of raising the American flag, with the assistance of two first responders.
Slocum physical education teacher John Zambriski organized the day’s festivities with the cooperation of staff and parents, inviting first responders living in the community to join the festivities. After the flag-raising ceremony, the guests visited the classrooms to talk to students about their professions and their dedication to the community they serve.
Congratulations to the Connetquot High School senior Class of 2017, including Valedictorian Mit Patel and Salutatorian Anthony Mannino! Below are photos from the commencement ceremony. Please check back later for more information.
Families of first-grade students at Sycamore Avenue Elementary School were recently invited to celebrate their children’s writing experiences, as the young authors read for their family members and showcased their colorfully decorated written work. As a token of their appreciation, the first-grade teachers rewarded their students with small gifts.
Additionally, second-grade teachers Brooke Madison and Mary Parisi worked with Sycamore parents to arrange an end-of-the-year carnival for their students, complete with fun games and tasty snacks.
The Connetquot Foundation for the Advancement of Children recently hosted its first CFAC Showcase in the atrium of Bosti Elementary School, inviting district staff, personnel and administration to learn more about the grants that have been provided through the district in an effort to further students’ educational and extracurricular experiences.
Throughout the course of the afternoon, presentations were set up around the perimeter of the room and attendees were encouraged to interact with each grant recipient’s representative to learn more about their individual effort.
Several grants could be viewed throughout the room including the Recycling Rangers project which was brought to Duffield Elementary School in an effort to get students thinking in an eco-friendly fashion; Stand Up Desks at Slocum Elementary School to promote healthy activity in the classroom; and an elementary-level foreign language night to introduce young students to the many opportunities and languages the world has to offer.
Staff, students and community members of Ronkonkoma Middle School recently came together for two fundraising events to benefit individuals diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
The Ronkonkoma Middle School Honor Society hosted an ALS-Awareness car wash with support from classmates, faculty and local residents. Proceeds from this event were donated to Ride for Life, an organization started by Chris Pendergast, a retired teacher living with ALS for more than 24 years.
“This organization has been a tremendous supporter of the cause over the years and has raised over $7 million,” explained Ronkonkoma Middle School Principal Charles Morea. “Their most recent effort involved participants – including Mr. Pendergast – completing a trip in their wheelchairs from Yankee Stadium to Washington, D.C. in order to raise ALS awareness and funding.”
Additionally, RMS students and staff participated in a “Ramp Shot” tournament in the school gymnasium, which raised $1,900 toward ALS research and included a generous $500 donation from Mittan Chathan and Ankita Chathan, owners of a local 7-Eleven store.
Thanks to the efforts of Ronkonkoma Middle School physical education teacher Justin Hertz and other staff members, 82 students participated in the event. The winners received a “Ramp Shot” game to take home for themselves as well as gift cards to Applebees, which were donated by school guidance counselor Christine Valente and the RMS Honor Society. The winners will also have their names placed on a trophy created by technology teacher Nate Giagios.
Congratulations to the hundreds of students who recently celebrated their moving up ceremonies! Below are photos from several recent ceremonies. Please continue to check back for additional photos!
All students at Sycamore Avenue Elementary School recently took part in a fun and educational assembly called “The Brain Show.” They were able to “rock” to the sounds of upbeat music and partake in fun quizzes on the subjects of music, math, history and current events.
Sycamore Avenue Elementary School kindergartners, teachers and classroom assistants made the best of the inclement weather in late June by moving their end of the year picnic indoors so the classes could enjoy fresh pizza, cool drinks and a fun afternoon playing games with their classmates and teachers.
As an opportunity for students to have some fun, and possibly make lifetime friends along the way, third-grade students from Christine Brennen-Chanowsky’s class at Cherokee Street Elementary School traveled across town to visit with their “Pen Pals” in Karen Phillips’ class at Duffield Elementary School.
“Students have been writing to one another throughout the school year,” said Mrs. Phillips. “This program was an opportunity to polish their writing skills, while creating new friendships and memories as well.”
Students, teachers and family members of Idle Hour Elementary School recently attended the school’s 2017 musical performance, titled The Jukebox Time Machine, produced and choreographed by Idle Hour music teacher Kelly Daugherty.
During the performance, the fifth-grade students transported audiences through different decades as they performed a hit song from a different era, including songs from the 1920s right up to the present. Songs featured during the show included such hits as “Dancing Queen,” “She Loves You” and “Don’t Stop Believin’.”
“This was one of the most fun plays we have ever done at Idle Hour,” said Mrs. Daugherty. “Congratulations to all the students, and parents, that made this such a phenomenal production!”
Many fifth-grade students at Bosti Elementary School were recently recognized for their achievements in music, physical education, art, citizenship, character and academics during this year’s Awards Day celebration.
Both the students and parents were unaware of the recipients of any particular award, making the Monday morning experience that much more exciting. Bosti Elementary School Principal Dr. Gail Cholden congratulated all students for their hard work and continued successes in the future.
Jordon Volper’s kindergarten class at Bosti Elementary recently welcomed a representative from the Maritime Museum in Port Jefferson, NY, to experience the wonders of research and archaeology.
Throughout the course of the activity, the students were given the opportunity to ‘dig for fossils’ through pans of dirt on their desks, and discover colorful stones, bones, and other fossils.
All students, alongside a handful of staff, at Bosti Elementary School recently transformed themselves into prominent historical figures for the schools Wax Museum Leadership Day. After carefully researching their chosen individual, the students donned outstanding displays of outfits, wigs and makeup to create their very own impressions of characters such as Benjamin Franklin, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Amelia Earhart, and even Super Mario himself! Family members, fellow students and Bosti Elementary staff alike were impressed as they pressed on the students’ cookie buttons which “brought them to life” for an excellent display of historical knowledge.
Fifth-grade students from Edward J. Bosti, John Pearl, Idle Hour and Sycamore elementary schools were recently invited to Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School to get an early glimpse into the near future at this year’s “Transition Day.”
Throughout the course of their visit, the fifth-graders were divided into small groups with the assistance of a sixth-grade chaperone who led them along their mock schedule into different classrooms. The current OBMS sixth-grade students offered helpful advice along the way, informing the younger students about locker usage, school rules, and the multiple clubs and activities they’ll be able to look forward to come September.
Additionally, OBMS teachers were on hand to further explain to the fifth-graders what to expect once they attend the middle school.
Elementary students throughout the district recently celebrated the end of the school year with fun-filled Field Days.
The events, which were organized by the schools’ physical education teachers and PTA staff, enabled the students to participate in such games as the 25-yard dash, obstacle course, potato sack races, relay races with sponges filled with water, and the ever-popular tug of war as cheering classmates and family members encouraged them from the sidelines.
In accordance with their elementary science curriculum, the second-graders in Kelly Randazzo’s class at Duffield Elementary School have been observing and caring for a group of baby chicks to gain a deeper understanding about life cycles.
After visiting the Suffolk County Farm and Education Center in Yaphank, the class received several eggs to incubate in the classroom. They candled the eggs to see the chicks’ development, waited patiently for them to hatch and observed them after they had broken free from their shells.
Fifth-grade Drama Club members at Sycamore Avenue Elementary School recently performed a theater production titled “Aesop’s Modern Fables: Aesop and his Fables Live Today!”
To prepare for the production, the students rehearsed under the direction of Drama Club advisor and third-grade teacher Lori Tutino. Throughout the course of the performance, the students put modern day twists on popular fables, such as “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” and “The Tortoise and the Hare,” to reinforce key messages of such as making the right decisions in school and respecting peers.
More than 400 fifth-grade students spanning all elementary schools throughout the district recently celebrated the 26th annual “Coming Together Day” to mark the end of the school year as well as meet their future classmates before moving on to their respective middle schools.
During the event, the students sported colorful shirts representing their elementary school and took part in a variety of sport-themed activities.
“Coming Together Day has always provided students with the opportunity to have some fun and make friends with the same students who will join them at the Oakdale-Bohemia and Ronkonkoma middle schools in September,” explained Mark Dellecave, Connetquot School District director of health, physical education, athletics and recreation.
Connetquot seniors started a new tradition this year, as they walked the
halls of their prior elementary schools donning their graduation caps
and gowns. This new senior walk tradition inspired the district's
youngest students to always reach for their dreams.
John Pearl Elementary School fourth-grade students in John Kreuscher’s class and School Youth and Family Services Coordinator Donna Leopardi recently visited their ‘Grandfriends’ of The Arbors Assisted Living Facility of Bohemia for a special ‘Game Day.’
Throughout the course of their visit, the class was able to have some fun and share a few smiles with the residents as they played games such as Scrabble, UNO, Hedbanz and the ever-popular checkers.
“The program is designed to extend beyond the schoolhouse, and to encourage students to also be model citizens within their community,” said Mrs. Leopardi. “Students develop empathy and the understanding of the importance of what another generation has to offer.”
The district congratulates senior Taylor Cole for committing to continue both her educational and athletic careers at Iona College in New Rochelle as a member of the NCAA Division I Volleyball Gaels.
“Taylor was an All-Suffolk County selection as a senior, and our team’s MVP,” said Justin Hertz, Connetquot High School volleyball coach. “She is one of the most committed student-athletes to ever wear a T-Bird uniform, as her work ethic is unmatched and her passion and pride make her special on and off the court.”
As a senior, Taylor had 140 volleyball kills along with 60 service aces. Taylor was the winner of the Dawg Award, and was selected to the All-Suffolk County Academic and volleyball teams. She has helped lead the T-Birds to three Suffolk County, two Long Island, and one New York State Championship during her outstanding four-year high school career.
Taylor has earned a 97 percent unweighted academic average, and ranks 17th in the 2017 Connetquot High School graduating class. Additionally, she is a member of the National Honor Society, as well as the National French and Spanish Language honor societies. She was heavily recruited by several universities, but decided to accept the challenge of the Honors’ Program at Iona College.
Bosti Elementary School fifth-grade students in Joanna Zalewski’s have been learning yoga-based movements, focus skills and relaxation techniques this year through workshops with yoga instructor Margot Harris.
Ms. Harris, an instructor of Little Flower Yoga, utilizes the tools of yoga and mindfulness to assist in developing the skills necessary to handle mental and emotional stress. The School-Yoga project provides students with 20 in-school sessions designed to teach students those skills for daily use.
“These practices serve as a tool that children can use immediately to facilitate a stronger connection to self, and the world,” said Mrs. Zalewski. “The program also helps students recognize their tremendous potential and inner ability.”
Fifth-grade classes at Idle Hour Elementary School recently welcomed former student and current mindful educator Erin McManus-Goeke as she shared strategies with them throughout a three-week program, demonstrating to the students what your body can do when a person is mindful.
The simple techniques offered in Mindful Education recognize the connection between classroom behavior, self-esteem and academic performance, while the training aids in stress management and develops increased empathy toward others. The program also seeks to help students develop stress-coping skills and improved self-esteem.
During the workshop, Mrs. McManus-Goeke talked about her own challenges at school, both in the classroom and as an athlete, and how she went on to excel in all areas.
Wounded Warrior Project representatives Ben Mitchell and Matt Pennington recently visited with the fifth-grade students at Sycamore Avenue Elementary School to talk about their unique sporting experience, and explain what keeps them motivated.
Both speakers spoke about their involvement with the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team, an organization whose intent is to inspire and educate others while promoting the health and welfare of other wounded veterans. The team travels the country competing against other teams of athletes in exhibition games. Afterward, the students asked questions.
After sharing their stories with the group, several students had the chance to ask the presenters questions and, separately, second-grade teacher Brooke Madison and her class presented the pair with a colorful American flag, which was made using handprints to show their respect for all of veterans.
Connetquot High School students, staff and faculty recently came together for an evening of fun physical activity during the Connetquot National Honor Society’s Hoops-4-Troops basketball tournament benefiting America’s soldiers.
Between registration fees, T-shirt sales, refreshments and donations, the NHS raised more than $1,000, alongside collecting donations of new clothing for the local chapter of the Blue Star Mothers and the General Needs for veterans group. Both organizations are dedicated to providing support to service members and their families.
NHS advisors Cheryl Sosa and Robert Bachisin extended their gratitude toward everyone that took part in this annual fundraiser.
Bosti Elementary School teacher Joanna Zalewski recently invited students to volunteer to have their hair trimmed in order to assist women and girls suffering from hair loss due to cancer treatments.
With assistance from representatives of Bayport’s Vamp Hair Studio, the students’ hair donations will go toward Pantene Beautiful Lengths, a program that provides real-hair wigs for women who suffer hair loss as a result of cancer treatment. Pantene uses hair provided by thoughtful volunteers, and works with HairUWear and the American Cancer Society, to transform the donations into the highest-quality, real-hair wigs.
Students Arianna Chechakos, Ava Catania, sisters Mae Noone and Kyra Noone, Hailey Priemer and Mrs. Zaleski met at the school gymnasium to demonstrate their support for the program. Each student had their hair measured, secured into ponytails and then watched as the Vamp stylists worked their magic. Additionally, the students’ parents were on hand to watch the experience and share this important moment with them.
The district thanks all the volunteers as well as the Pantene Beautiful Lengths Wig program for their generosity.
Within the heart of Slocum Elementary’s courtyard, second- through fifth-grade students are gaining valuable skills as they work with the community to plant flowers and maintain a clean environment as part of the after-school Gardening Club.
The initiative, spearheaded by Connetquot Central School District Speech and Language pathologist Tina Rote and Slocum Elementary School kindergarten teacher Linda Pennington, teaches students about proper planting techniques, how to maintain an eco-friendly environment and the life cycles of flowers – including perennials and annuals – as well as vegetables such as cucumbers, squash and radishes. The students meet for five sessions in the fall and five sessions in the spring season, and work together to plant vegetables and flowers which will ultimately be taken home by families of the school community once they’re in full bloom.
The effort is supported by several outside individuals and organizations, including but not limited to Slocum Elementary School PTA’s annual Chinese auction event. PTA President Kimberly Ungro also contributed new picnic tables and accompanying umbrellas. Additionally, the Connetquot Foundation for the Advancement of Children has also provided grant funding, which has supplied the gardens with a beautiful aluminum greenhouse and a newly installed irrigation system for maintaining healthy plants.
Kindergarten students at Sycamore Avenue Elementary School recently welcomed Joe Guida, “The Singing School Bus Driver,” to the school as he entertained the children with song, interactive dancing routines and lessons which reinforced school bus safety rules.
A licensed and veteran school bus driver, Mr. Guida spent the morning with Sycamore kindergarteners using colorful costumes to help them celebrate the fun they had in school this past year, while the students began to look forward to a safe summer vacation. Additionally, he reminded the students of the importance of being cautious, and listening to directions from teachers and their bus drivers.
Nearly 150 coaches, athletes, administrators, family members and district residents recently attended the 2017 Athletic Wall of Fame induction, held at Connetquot High School, to recognize and congratulate 10 individuals who had a positive impact on the district’s athletic community.
This year’s inductees included: Mike Barbara (Class of 1990/football), Christine Buderman (Class of 1993/track and soccer), Tom Croci Sr. (former Connetquot High School principal, coach and community contributor), Regina Ely (Class of 1996/cross-country, basketball and track), Brian Ferguson (Class of 2007/baseball), Kevin Kaminskey (Class of 1994/wrestling), Jeremy Leggiero (Class of 2009/football), Kelly Bunster Luquer (Class of 2008/swimming), Kieran McArdle (Class of 2010/lacrosse and basketball) and Eric Stolfa (Class of 2000/soccer, wrestling and lacrosse).
Replicas of the plaques, which are mounted on the Wall of Fame in the athletic wing of the high school, were presented to each of the inductees by their former coaches. Athletic Wall of Fame inductees are selected by a committee of veteran coaches, teachers and administrators from nominations submitted by qualified Connetquot student-athletes, coaches and community members.
Prior to the induction ceremony, attendees had the opportunity to catch up on the last few years over a tasty brunch provided courtesy of the Connetquot High School food service employees.
Further information about the application process can be found on the district website at www.ccsdli.org or can be picked up at the Connetquot High School main office.
The district congratulates the latest additions to its Athletic Wall of Fame.
Kindergarten students at Slocum Elementary School were recently able to step inside the shoes of an archaeologist as they uncovered “artifacts” from their personal “dig sites” with assistance from a representative of the Long Island Maritime Museum. Working as a team, the students divided their dig sites into equal-sized quadrats and carefully removed artifacts utilizing miniature shovels, brushes and magnifying glasses.
Fourth-grade students at Sycamore Avenue Elementary School recently displayed their knowledge of well-known historic figures during their Wax Museum Exhibition event after spending ample time researching their chosen individual.
While the students were able to showcase their research amongst one another in the school’s Atrium during school hours, parents and friends were invited to attend in the afternoon to witness the students’ hard work on display. The characters ranged from professional athletes to America’s founding fathers, well-known inventors and civil rights leaders.