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Financial Literacy Month

For the last week of Financial Literacy Month, why not try these activities with your children to start the conversation about saving, spending and all things financial?

Choices and Consequences Flyer


Passing of Mr. Lasher

Dear Connetquot Community,

It is with a heavy heart that I write to inform you of the passing of one of our beloved educators – Connetquot Director of Fine Arts and Music Jon-Michael Lasher.

A graduate from Connetquot, Mr. Lasher worked in the district for many years and was known to many as a champion for music and fine arts education. As a young student, he possessed a true love of the subject and therefore it was only a natural progression that he became an educator and worked to help shape the lives of the next generation of student-musicians and artists. His tenacity for a fine arts education resulted in elevating our robust programs to new heights and his unmatched dedication to his colleagues and students is one that stemmed from the heart – the best sign of a great educator.

Mr. Lasher was at the helm of so many of our initiatives, cheering from the wings of our musical performances, accompanying our attendees to various competitions, encouraging young artists to pursue their passions and often lending a listening ear to anyone in need. He was the type of educator that instilled a love of learning in so many and surely has helped to develop some of the world’s emerging talents.

To say that he will be missed in the halls of our schools is one of the truest understatements, but the legacy that he leaves behind will certainly benefit all that walk through our schools for many, many years to come. 


Please join me in keeping Mr. Lasher’s family and friends in your thoughts and deepest prayers.



Dean Mittleman

Assistant Superintendent


A Friendly Visit

A Friendly Visit photo
Members of Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School’s National Junior Honor Society, along with chaperone Mary McGonnell, visited the residents of The Arbors Assisted Living at Bohemia earlier this month. During their time with the residents, the students played bingo and afterwards shared a snack with them.

Weekly Sports Update – April 15-19, 2019


Boys Lacrosse Team Outscores Walt Whitman High School

The Connetquot High School boys lacrosse team defeated Walt Whitman High School at home on April 17 by a final score of 14-7. The T-Birds, with a conference record of 6-2, are now ranked seventh in the 23-school Conference I division.

Tyler Cordes scored six goals and added three assists for the T-Birds, while Michael Carere and Jack Ponzio each scored twice, and added four assists between them. Additionally, Michael Ballinger, Zach Pizzimenti, Kyle Strayer and Derek Walter each scored a goal against Whitman. Goalie Jack McAteer is credited with 13 saves for the home team. Way to go, T-Birds!

Boys Tennis Team Defeats Lindenhurst High School

Connetquot High School boys tennis coach Ryan Cavanagh and his T-Birds continue to impress their supporters, as they recently defeated Lindenhurst High School by a score of 7-0, improving their record to 12-2 for the season. Connetquot holds second place in the challenging Suffolk League III, behind the undefeated Bay Shore High School.

“Junior Alan Sabovic maintained his undefeated record to an impressive 14-0,” coach Cavanagh said.  “The team record is now 12-2 with one match remaining.” 

Senior day will be celebrated on April 30, and the Suffolk County tennis playoffs will begin on May 14.

Boys Spring Track Team Remains Undefeated

Connetquot High School boys spring track coach Shelby White and his staff were impressed by the team’s outstanding effort at home recently against Sachem North High School. The T-Birds hosted the visitors on April 16 and won the dual meet by an impressive score of 80-37. With this win under their belt, Connetquot now stands at 4-0 and sole possession of first place in Suffolk County League II.

Coach White congratulated each member of the team for their part in the impressive win, but singled out the following team members for their exceptional performances.

Senior Tom Domozych won the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes with a time of 11.3 and 23.4 seconds, respectively; senior Matthew Lopez won the 800-meter and 3,200-meter runs with times of 2:03 and 10:40 minutes, respectively; junior Jeremy Bertolet won the triple jump with a jump of 42 feet, 6¾ inches; and sophomore Tyler Goldofski won the discus with a throw of 113 feet, 3 inches.

Congratulations to the coaches and members of the boys spring track team on their outstanding win over Sachem North, and best wishes for continued success this season!


Hardworking Hackers

Hardworking Hackers photo

Four students from Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School recently attended the inaugural OYO Hackathon/Code Conquest which took place at Mineola Middle School on April 12.

The four student-representatives from Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School –Akshat Kamboj, Shawn Kovarik, Tyler Ramos and Sameer Umar – were joined by students from Bellmore-Merrick, Eastport South Manor, East Williston, Harborfields, Hauppauge, Kings Park, Manhasset, Mineola and Syosset school districts during the event. 

During the competition, students competed by creating coded projects to conquer territories on a map. Large monitors throughout the event displayed the live map as game play occurred during a three-hour, highly competitive period, with one team ultimately emerging as the Code Conquest winner. 

“Although the team’s score didn’t make it to the top of the charts, they showed amazing perseverance, and fought until the very end,” said Connetquot Central School District Elementary STEM Chairperson Bethanie Rizzo. 

An Electrifying Education

An Electrifying Education photo
An Electrifying Education photo 2
An Electrifying Education photo 3
In coordination with their lessons on electricity, students from Bosti Elementary School were recently paid a visit from representatives of PSEG Long Island for their “Electric Safety Town” presentation. Led by Resources Recovery Specialist Ryan Alworth, the presentation touched upon subjects such as conductors and insulators, and the safest way to use electronic devices within the household setting. Additionally, a model home was on display which created small sparks of fire when unsafe scenarios such as tampering with power lines came about. 

Fun and Friendly Competition

Fun and Friendly Competition  photo

The Connetquot High School’s National Business Honor Society held its fourth annual Badminton Tournament on April 10 at the Connetquot High School gymnasium. According to advisers Andrea Pizzimenti and Gina Senft, more than 75 participants and advisers took part in the fun, as many of the participants displayed their spirit and creativity by creating matching uniforms. The National Business Honor Society officers demonstrated leadership and professionalism throughout the planning stage, and on the night of the event as well. Players, supportive fans and friends agreed that the 2019 National Business Honor Society Badminton tournament was a big success for all involved.

Select Openings in Connetquot UPK Program for 2019-2020

Following the official lottery drawing, a select few openings remain in the Connetquot Central School District’s UPK program for the 2019-2020 school year. Any community resident interested in applying for their child to be enrolled in the program is encouraged to do so as soon as possible. The remaining spots will be filled on a first come, first served basis. A wait list for all locations will be maintained and activated should any further openings arise in the future.

For more information about the program and how to apply, please visit:

Top of the Class

Top of the Class  photo
Top of the Class  photo 2
The district is thrilled to announce that students Dylan Macejko and Michele Muscolo have been selected as the valedictorian and salutatorian for the 2019-20 school year, respectively, based on their academic successes and unwavering commitment to higher learning. 

Dylan has committed to attending Binghamton University in the fall, where he will study computer science. During his time spent at Connetquot High School, he served as captain for the varsity swim team, and was a member of the National Honor Society and World Language Honor Society, to name a few. Dylan is also a highly accomplished lifeguard, often lending his time to teach younger students on the weekends as a swim instructor. In addition, he was named an AP Scholar with Distinction, signifying that he achieved an average score of at least 3.5 on all exams taken with scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams.

Although undecided as to where to attend this fall, Michele is certain that she will pursue biology as her declared major. While attending Connetquot High School, she too was a member of the National Honor Society, along with the Tri-M Honor Society and Marching Band. In addition to being named an AP Scholar with Honor, Michelle also took part in a number of extracurricular activities such as Habitat for Humanity, the Animal Conservation Club and various Church fundraisers. 

Excellence In Art

The district would like to congratulate five Connetquot High School students for having their artwork chosen to be displayed in the Bay Area Friends of Fine Arts’ High School Student Invitational Juried Exhibit in Sayville.

Congratulations to Kristin Balser (Ceramic Art), Jason Cheng (Digital Art), Colleen DiMarzo (Digital Art), Toni Gerbino (Ceramic Art) and Sarah Vicente (Ceramic Art). In the Ceramic and Sculpture category, Sarah took first place, Toni secured second place and Kristin received an honorable mention for her work. 

“It has been a pleasure working with these students, as they have proven themselves to be passionate, hardworking and dedicated throughout all of their artistic endeavors,” said Vincent Osmers, Connetquot High School sculpting and ceramics instructor. 

A reception was held at the Gillette House in Sayville on April 7 as the students were joined by their family members, along with district staff members and administrators who praised their work and congratulated them on their accomplishments. 

Additionally, the gallery will be open on the weekend of April 13-14, from 1–4 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. 

Reporting from the Field

Reporting from the Field photo
Reporting from the Field photo 2
Without having to take a flight to another continent, elementary-level students from both the Idle Hour and Duffield elementary schools recently enhanced their newsroom skills by “reporting” from foreign lands.

With assistance from technology integration specialist Victoria Pappas, a number of third grade students at Idle Hour Elementary School stepped in front of a green screen and mimicked multiple professions from the journalism field, including newscasting, field reporting and operating the teleprompter. Prior to their excellent reporting, the students were asked to choose a specific aspect of nature to research, such as snakes, whales or wolves, which ultimately went hand in hand with the “Animal Planet” theme which was chosen for them. 

At the conclusion of the students’ content being filmed, the fifth-grade students at Duffield Elementary School will be editing the footage themselves and piecing together the video to make a concise and fun, video package. 

Healthy Hearts

Healthy Hearts photo
As a means of promoting heart-healthy activity and collecting funds to benefit the American Heart Association, staff and students from John Pearl Elementary School recently took part in a two-day “Kids Heart Challenge” jump rope event. With assistance from physical education teacher Nicholas Sturtz, the school’s gymnasium was transformed into a marvelous area designated for students to engage in jumping rope as they received support from their parents on the sidelines, along with motivation from an upbeat music soundtrack. The district is thrilled to announce $10,002 was raised during the course of the two-day event due to overwhelming community support. 

Magnificent Musicians

Magnificent Musicians photo
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Magnificent Musicians photo 4

In an effort to sharpen their scales and improve techniques, elementary-level students from the district recently visited with Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School music students for one-on-one musical mentoring sessions. After being welcomed by a number of student volunteers, the younger students were paired up with a Tri-M Music Honor Society representative who further prepared them for their New York State School Music Association performances.


Hakuna Matata

Hakuna Matata photo

The Duffield Elementary School Drama Club recently put on two stunning performances of Disney’s “The Lion King” for invited guests for two consecutive days of performances beginning on April 8. The students did an excellent job recreating the classic film through song and dance, as they told the tale of the young cub Simba and his many adventures. The district would like to thank Karen Pitka and Michael Innace for co-directing the production and assisting the students throughout the many weeks of rehearsals leading up to the performances.


Showcase of the Arts

Showcase of the Arts photo

On April 5, the district hosted its annual Showcase of the Arts event, inviting students throughout the district to highlight all of the wonderful art projects they have been working on throughout the course of the school year. On display were beautiful illustrations, unique sculptures and stunning photographs, to name a few. Additionally, joining the student-artists as a musical accompaniment during the evening was an orchestra section from both district middle schools, the Kickline team from Ronkonkoma Middle School, Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School and Connetquot High School, along with elementary-level orchestra, recorder, band and chorus groups.

Creating Equality

Creating Equality photo

In recognition of Autism Awareness Month, students enrolled in Tiffany Prin’s class at Ronkonkoma Middle School recently launched a detailed project in an effort to create a sense of inclusion throughout the school community.

“My students have been selling Autism Awareness T-shirts, puzzle piece lollipops and rubber bracelets,” said Mrs. Prin. “Half of our profit from these sales will be going to a boy with autism who was diagnosed recently with Ewing’s sarcoma, while the remaining funds will be used for student-supplies and for end of the year activities with our pen-pals from Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School.  Additionally, students and staff members will be wearing our special T-shirts each Friday in the month of April.”

Promoting Kindness

Promoting Kindness photo

Staff and students from Idle Hour Elementary School recently took on Maggie's Kindness Challenge in late March in honor of Maggie Schmidt of Greenlawn, who lost her battle with a rare form of cancer in 2017.

With assistance from PTA Cultural Arts Representative and Maggie’s Mission Advocate Michelle Burke, the students at Idle Hour took on the challenge to live life to its fullest, show kindness to all and be mindful of others and surroundings.  

As students performed challenges such as donating clothes, baking for friends and family, enjoying a sunset, spending time with others and dressing up for theme days, pictures were sent to Mrs. Burke as she put them together and displayed them during a schoolwide assembly for all to see. 

Throughout course of the week, more than 100 students participated in the challenge and kindness was spread throughout the community. Students also received bracelets as they handed in their participation pledges and certificates after they submitted their challenge trackers.

According to the official website, Maggie’s Mission was created in an effort to raise awareness of pediatric cancers, fund research and provide help to families and children in need. Although Maggie passed away in 2017, she is remembered as a wonderful young woman who loved everything life had to offer.

Capital Project 2019 Video

Capital Project

2019 Memorial Day Weekend Memo


Calendar Adjustment – Schools Now Closed for Students May 23, May 24 and May 28


Social Studies Honor Society Induction Ceremony

Social Studies Honor Society Induction Ceremony photo

Earlier this April, 110 Connetquot High School students were inducted into the Connetquot High School chapter of Rho Kappa, the National Social Studies Honor Society, by adviser Gregory Nizewitz.

Mr. Nizewitz introduced the officers of this prestigious group along with Margaret Ronai, the Connetquot Central School District director of social studies and business. Mrs. Ronai welcomed the newly inducted members, as well as the proud family members and friends who attended the ceremony. Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter, Connetquot High School Principal Kenneth J. Costa and Board of Education President Milynn Augulis were also on hand to congratulate the honorees and their proud family members.

The three co-presidents of the Connetquot chapter of the Rho Kappa Honor Society – Victoria Cipriani, Michael DiMaio and Crystal Monge – introduced the new members. Additionally, treasurer and founding member Lauren Kennedy led the students in reciting the pledge. The new inductees joined together in reciting, “I do promise to serve others, to search for truth, to utilize knowledge, and to seek wisdom through the pursuit of academic excellence in the social studies. I promise service to Connetquot High School and to the community, for true scholars of the social studies lead by example.”

Congratulations to the newly inducted members of the Connetquot High School Chapter of Rho Kappa National Social Studies Honor Society:
Class of 2019 – Fariah, Basharat, Christopher Battista, Nicolle Brodowski, Emma Bunicci, Anesha Chowdhury, Sarah Delillis, Christopher Guevarra, Alex Halinar, Ciana Kaplan, Kendall Lillie, Matthew Lopez, Courtney Lyons, Andrea Martino, Hannah Mayer, Christina Monahan, Abby Navarez, Melissa Olcay, Christina Otero, Sara Perez, Sarah Rahim, Serena Roopnarine, Noel Root, Paige Sapienza, Alexis Smith, Sara Vincente; Class of 2020 – Paige Adamo, Sayida Afghani, Jenna Anderson, Abigail Audia, Emily Augulis, Daniel Bach, Deanna Beattie, Kelby Bishop, Alyssa Brady, Joseph Brimlow, Hannah Causin, Dmitri Cavanagh, Diproprosad Das, Colleen DiMarzo, Alaina Drennan, Hellena Elster, Sarah Fonsecca, Toni_Elena Gallo, Kayley Gross, Alexa Hartmann, Audrey Joseph, Dominick Katrivanos, Niko Keddy, Atif Khan, Meagan Lenihan, Denise Llivicura, Amanda Manuel, Kylie McGee, Karly McGee, Alexa Molinelli, Genevieve Moulton, Reilly Murphy, Victoria Opiela, Amanda Perrone, Kimberley Pettersen, Maddie Pittigher, Anna Polcini, Katie Postel, Kate Priolo, Kelly Romadi, Giovanni Santiago, Grace Saravia, Nicole Serravillok Ashley Sullivan, Nicole Thumann, Mackenzie Waile, Alex Young; Class of 2021 – Francis Aiello, Lisa Baldinucci, Kainaat Sacharat, Emma Brenner, Emma Cochran, Nicolette DiSilvestre, Joseph Duszak, Carmella Eade, Morgan Elliott, Adrianna Empaynada, Kate Engeldrum, Kylie Ferrentino, Mikayla Gibbons, Scott Gifford, Kayla Hansen, Michael Hanson, Daniel Haughie, Olivia Herrera, Keeghan Lavery, Julianno Leddy, Emily Medina, Emily Mysliwiec, Jacqueline Palumbo, Jenna Pellicano, Julianna Pereira, Hayley Rodriguez, Adriana Romano, Gabrielle Rowe, Tugce Sezer, Anna Stahurski, Isabella Truglio, Isabella VanKalmthout, Melanie Walsh, Kevin Wilk, Amanda Young, Elaina Zacynski.

The induction ceremony was held in the Eric Martinsen Performing Arts Center, followed by a reception where the students were presented with their certificates and offered light refreshments for them and their proud family members and friends. 

The mission and purpose of the Rho Kappa National High School Social Studies Honor Society is to promote scholarship and to recognize academic excellence in social studies among high school students; to provide through its local chapter, opportunities for exploration in the social studies in secondary school environments, and the community; and to encourage interest in, understanding of, and appreciation for the social studies.

Financially Smart Students

Financially Smart Students photo

In celebration of Financial Literacy Month, Connetquot High School students enrolled in Pamela Carey’s Personal Finance Classes recently travelled to Cherokee Street Elementary School to share important money saving tips with the Universal Pre-K Students. In addition to enlightening the young students on financial tips, the students also read from “One Cent, Two Cents, Old Cent, New Cent” by Bonnie Worth in an effort to further reinforce these skills.


Tri-M Benefit Concert 2019


Legislator Cilmi visits CHS Students

Legislator Cilmi visits CHS Students photo
As a means of bridging a real-life connection to their classroom instruction, Suffolk County Legislator Tom Cilmi paid a visit to Connetquot High School’s Participation in Government classes on Wednesday, April 3. During his visit, Mr. Cilmi discussed county government, running a campaign and answered student and staff questions regarding his position on a variety of issues.

Bringing Designs to Life

Bringing Designs to Life photo
Bringing Designs to Life photo 2
Fifth-grade students from John Pearl Elementary School recently enhanced their computer science and engineering skills as they created their very own projects from a MakerBot Replicator+ 3D Printer with assistance from library media specialist Karen Deaner. 

For the past few weeks, the young engineers spent time in the school library using the Tinkercad program to design three-dimensional miniatures of their choosing from scratch. Utilizing their creative talents, the students created keychain-sized designs featuring their names, humorous phrases and small robots. 

Tinkercad is credited as being one of the most popular classroom tools for creating 3D simple designs from scratch, as students are able to quickly rearrange their tangram-style designs without hassle. 

Helpful Career Advice

Helpful Career Advice
Twenty-one students representing Connetquot High School’s National Business Honor Society recently attended the National Grid/Junior Achievement Young Women’s Leadership Workshop held at National Grid’s Technical Training Center in Melville.

The young women began the morning by attending a keynote address given by Mary Genoy, vice president of National Grid. Afterward, they participated in three round-robin sessions which focused on strengthening their career skills - Business Communications, Career Panel and Working in Teams.

This full-day conference provided real life experiences for the students, as they met with diverse women in leadership roles and learned from their life experiences in the workforce. One of the main goals of the conference is to expose young women to other professionals who have pursued careers in a variety of fields.

Anything Goes

Anything Goes

The Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School drama club members recently took to the stage to put on a fantastic performance of “Anything Goes” before audiences for three consecutive evenings. The school’s adaptation was based off the classic 1934 musical, which chronicles the humorous antics of the passengers along an ocean liner on a path from New York to London. To prepare for this year’s production, which was directed by David Bentley-Garfinkel, the students spent months rehearsing their lines and perfecting the choreography before opening night.

Recognizing Autism Awareness Month

Recognizing Autism Awareness Month

In recognition of Autism Awareness Month, staff and students from Cherokee Street Elementary School recently wore blue-colored outfits and focused on lessons that celebrated the unique qualities that all individuals bring to the school community.

Due to the efforts of speech and language pathologist Nicole Bren and Cherokee students, a beautiful art piece featuring puzzle pieces stating “I am unique because…” was put on display in the school hallway. Students contributed their creative talents to come up with myriad reasons why they themselves are unique. 

Additionally, throughout the month of April, the school will be accepting monetary donations to benefit the Special Olympics. 

Financial Literacy Month


In celebration of Financial Literacy Month, the district is aiming to ensure that all students have a strong foundation in financial education so that they can establish and maintain healthy financial habits.  

An increased focus on financial literacy will enable students to think critically and make positive decisions regarding finance. Through various lessons and activities, students will become wise and knowledgeable consumers, savers and investors.

As a means of strengthening the home-to-school connection, the district’s Financial Literacy Committee, consisting of parents, teachers and administrators, has made vast strides toward implementing programs to enhance districtwide student financial education.

Please see below to view a number of informative resources and articles which pertain to enhancing financial literacy. Additionally, check back within the coming weeks as we highlight some of the activities our students have been taking part in within the classroom to help strengthen their financial knowledge.

The Council for Economic Education:

Jump Starts Financial Smarts for Children:

The Khan Academy:

GFC Global:


Rockstar Finance:

US Securities and Exchange Commission:

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau:

Wall Street Journal Article “Schools Aim to Teach Teen’s Financial Savvy”:

Business Insider article on Rob Gronkowski:

Business Insider article on Brandon Copeland:

Celebrating the Colonial Era

Celebrating the Colonial Era
The fourth-grade classes at Cherokee Street Elementary School recently celebrated “Colonial Day,” as the students mimicked the lives of Americans living in the era. During the course of the past month, students researched different trades of the time, including ship building, farming and smiting by using resources made available in the school library in an effort to prepare reports they could share with the classmates and visiting parents. As an additional twist, the students got into character by dressing in costumes showcasing the clothing styles of the period, as girls were able to make their own “mob cap bonnets,” while the boys wore “tricorn hats.” 

Magnificent Mathematicians

Magnificent Mathematicians photo
Four Connetquot High School students recently participated in the 64th annual Suffolk County Mathematics Teachers Association Mathematics Contest, performing extraordinarily well and earning high honors along the way.

The students - Atif Khan, Saaim Rahman, Jinal Sheth and Aiden Spicciatie - were named top scorers for Connetquot in calculus and pre-calculus, and achieved scores which are competitively aligned with other Suffolk County participants. 

“We are very proud of all of the students who participated in the contest; this serves as a great accomplishment for Connetquot Mathematics,” said Connetquot Central School District Director of Mathematics Louise Burger. “A big thank you goes to Mu Theta Alpha as well for sponsoring our Connetquot Competitors.”

Savvy Savers

Savvy Savers
Students at Duffield Elementary School are gaining important financial literacy advice with assistance from school math specialist Cathy Ebbecke. During an activity hosted by Mrs. Ebbecke, the students were asked to compare and contrast items in hopes of determining if they were worthy of short-term saving goals, or long-term saving goals. The students were able to conclude that expensive pieces of technology such as laptops and iPads required months of saving, whereas the purchase of toys and candy could be made once a small amount of money was saved up. 

An Evening of Recognitions

The district’s Board of Education recognized a number of student accomplishments during a recent meeting held on the evening of March 26.  
To begin the night’s recognitions, Idle Hour Elementary School fourth-grade student Brynn Burke was congratulated for being named a regional-level winner in the Suffolk Region PTA’s Reflections competition based on her lovely original song she both wrote and performed on her guitar, surrounding the theme of “Heroes Around Me.”

Connetquot High School junior Edward Sollazzo was praised by the board of education for completing his Eagle Scout project, in which he donated a “Buddy Bench” and “Outdoor Lending Library” to the elementary school he attended as a child, Sycamore Avenue Elementary School. Additionally, Edward was kind enough to donate all of the supplementary funding received for this buddy bench back to Sycamore Elementary School in an effort to support future school endeavors. 

Connetquot High School girls gymnastics coach Renee Guerrieri spoke about her teams astounding success during the New York State Gymnastics Championships Competition which took place in Cold Spring Harbor on March 2. Student-athletes Amanda Pisano and Sarah Moussa were selected to compete, while Arianna Platti and Alexandra Melchiona were selected as alternates in the event of injuries. In addition to their achievements at the state competition, the team finished the regular season with an impressive record of 10-1.

Lighting Shores with STEM Lessons

Fourth-grade students from John Pearl Elementary School recently applied their robust engineering skills to create their very own miniature “lighthouses” during the Long Island Maritime Museum’s “Explore the Shore” event. Working in pairs, the young engineers utilized a number of conductive supplies such as paper clips, aluminum foil and brass fasteners in an effort to successfully create a light source for their battery-powered “lighthouses.” Additionally, the students were able to design and create the structure of their lighthouses with materials such as paper bowls, egg cartons and plastic containers. 

Celebrating St. Joseph’s Day

On March 19, Italian language students enrolled in Loredana Costa’s classes at Ronkonkoma Middle School recognized aspects of traditional Italian culture during a St. Joseph’s Day-themed celebration.

 “We had the chance to celebrate this very special Italian holiday, similar to how the Irish celebrated St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th,” said Ms. Costa. “We had fun in class and I talked to the students about how special this holiday is, not only in Italy, but around the world as well. As they enjoyed their special holiday pastries of Sfingi and cannolis, they also watched a video of the San Giuseppe procession in my hometown of Alcamo, Sicily.”

Individuals named Joseph or Josephine are traditionally presented with special pastries in honor of the holiday, which are generally available in the month of March.  Those lucky individuals usually share their ‘St. Joseph’s Pastries’ filled with cannoli cream, or custard, with loving family and friends.

‘Escaping’ from Australia


Third-grade classes at Cherokee Street and Edward J. Bosti elementary schools recently worked collaboratively to complete a series of Breakout EDU activities, which aligned with their current unit focused on cultural and geographical aspects of Australia.

During the activity, the students worked through a sequential order of clues in an effort to “escape” from their computer science classrooms. The puzzles featured popular elements of the continent such as wildlife, geographical location and traditional cultural aspects. 

At the conclusion of the breakout portion of the activity, the students then formed a circle and discussed how they went about their methods, and what they could have done in order to “escape” in a more efficient manner. 

Breakout EDU, which is based upon the popular “escape the room” interactive games, grants students the opportunity to communicate, collaborate, team build, and develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

All third-grade participants were able to "crack the codes" in less than the forty-minute time frame provided.


Finding the Facts

Students enrolled in Christine Walther’s newsroom class at Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School were recently afforded the opportunity to increase their research-based broadcasting skills by recording footage in front of a green screen based on prior investigative research. 

With assistance from the school’s library media specialist, Mairead McInnes, along with the school’s virtual reference collection, students first spent time acting as investigative reporters. In doing so, they researched and learned as much as they could about the issues surrounding climate change, including the polar ice caps melting, wildfires and draught.

Once they gathered their information, they then devised their news reports, which were recorded in front of a green screen with assistance from BOCES technology integration specialist Gustavo Loor. Students learned how to edit the video footage, then composed a finished news clip with the ultimate goal in mind of being viewed by a television audience comprised of their classmates. 

Survey Says, ‘Let’s Have Some Fun!’


On the evening of March 20, staff members, students and their families gathered within the Cherokee Street Elementary School cafeteria as the school hosted their annual “Faculty Feud” event in the style of the popular “Family Feud” game show.

Prior to the start of the game, the survey questions utilized were answered by the third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students of Cherokee. The competing teams consisted of teachers, parents, office staff and Principal Jill Lahey as they answered the survey-style questions in hopes of picking the top answers for each category. 

The district congratulates all of the evening’s participants – “The Good Sports,” consisting of Mrs. Lahey, Mrs. Francess, Mrs. Leo, Mrs. Lagravinese, Mr. Mike; “The Dynamic Duo’s,” featuring Mrs. Litchhult, Mrs. Suarez, Mrs. Campanella, Ms. Skahill, Mrs. O’Connell and Mrs. Meade; “PTA T-Birds,” with a lineup of Mrs. DeSiano, Mrs. Martin, Mrs. Widing, Mrs. Beisel and Mrs. Miller; and “Sesame Street,” rounded out by Mrs. Bren, Mrs. Raimondi, Mrs. Gallo, Mrs. Valenti and Mrs. Mongiello. By the end of the final round, the “PTA T-Birds” were declared the winners of this year’s event. 

The district would also like to thank Assistant Principal Patricia Murthy and her son, Joshua Murthy, for coordinating the game, recruiting the players and coming up with the survey questions. 

Scientific Explorers

Scientific Explorers

Students enrolled in the district’s C-Quest Program based out of Edward J. Bosti Elementary School recently experienced a fun and educational field trip to the reopened Long Island Science Center in Riverhead.

During their time spent in the center, the students were able to expand their scientific horizons with a number of hands-on activities and games. Included within the experience were an immersive Virtual Reality simulator, a “Magnetic Reality Wall” and an “Art in Action” station in where students scanned still pieces of art into a tablet in an effort to bring the pieces to life. 

In addition to the hands-on experiences, the students were able to engage in interactive classes with assistance from representatives of the Long Island Science Center, in which they were afforded the opportunity to take part in themed maker space activities.  


VIDEO: Connetquot's Curriculum


Excellence in Computer Science & Engineering

In an effort to share best practices and shed light onto the district’s robust computer science curriculum, computer science and engineering specialists from the district recently presented at the 21st annual ASSET Technology Conference held in Melville.

During their attendance, the specialists shared details about the K-5 computer science program, along with its progression thus far. They carefully explained how the district’s program is designed to meet the NYS P-12 Science Learning engineering practices and standards in an effort to develop the necessary skills for the 21-century learner. According to Elementary STEM Chairperson Bethanie Rizzo, particular attention was made to the equitable experiences across the district, as all K-5 students receive lessons and design challenges during their time spent learning.

The district would like to thank computer science and engineering specialists Patrick Brennan, Jill Ferraro, John Llanes, Cathy Mongiello and Connetquot Central School District Elementary STEM Chairperson Bethanie Rizzo for attending this prestigious event. 

Making Wishes Come True

Making Wishes Come True

Students, faculty and staff members from Edward J. Bosti Elementary School were recently congratulated by representatives of the Teachers Federal Credit Union for their outstanding efforts to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Due to their ability to come together to support a good cause, students collected more than $500 in pennies, while the Teachers Federal Credit Union donated an additional $500 of their own. At an assembly held in the school’s atrium marking this milestone, mathematics specialist Stephanie Gozaloff joined TFCU representative Jennifer Gunn in presenting a check in the amount of $1,050 to Make-A-Wish Foundation representative Frank Gaeta Jr. The school would like to thank Mrs. Gozaloff and Youth and Family Services Coordinator Ryan McGuckin for arranging this annual fundraiser. 

The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants a wish on average, every 34 minutes to a child with a critical illness in hopes of bringing out some extra smiles. The district congratulates Michelle Semder’s pre-school class for being named the top fund-raiser this year, and being rewarded with a celebratory pizza party in the near future.

Celebrating 50 years of OBMS

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In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School, students of all grade levels recently took part in a number of exciting activities geared toward celebrating the history of the school’s half-century of existence.

This past January, members of the school’s social studies staff asked if they could create a historical research project for their students to teach them about the history of the school. 

The sixth-grade teachers proposed having students look at artifacts from a time capsule in the building, as well as observing trends from 1969 to present day by reviewing yearbooks from the past. In doing so, the teachers set up the artifacts from the capsule in library like an archeological dig on a table. Students rotated through several tables with yearbooks by decade and reviewed particular areas such as sports, fashion, clubs and activities during their time spent on the activity. 

Seventh-grade students decided to present an oral history lesson, and reached out to former teachers, students and administration through social media to see if they’d come to the school to speak to the students. The students then created questions related to school rules, lunch, structure of the sports teams, attire for students, etc. and presented their findings during a highly informative PowerPoint presentation. 

For their aspect of the celebration, eighth-graders decided to have students investigate the history of the school. The young historians looked at factual information such as the original blueprints for the building, reviewed why the school was built on this property, the population at that time, cost of food and household products, jobs in the area and the average salary at the time.

The OBMS staff worked closely with library media specialist Mairead McInnes, Assistant to the Superintendent John Allen and the Connetquot Library in order to obtain historical records for students to review.  

Successes in Reading

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Another successful Reading Fair was held at Helen B. Duffield earlier this month as part of the school’s annual Family Literacy Night.
The goal of the Reading Fair is to give students a chance to share one of their favorite books in a fun and creative way. Prior to the event, students created trifold display boards about their selected fiction or nonfiction books incorporating required elements, as they demonstrated their knowledge during presentations to a panel of judges.   

More than 80 students participated this year, and there were 27 first-, second- and third-place winners for fiction and nonfiction from Grades K-5, along with an additional 31 students who received the honorable mention title. 

Family Literacy Night is a joint effort between a Literacy Committee made up of 18 teachers, administrators and the school’s Parent-Teacher Association. The Reading Fair is coordinated by the building’s Reading Teachers, Pat Dow, April Oquendo and Jackie Sackoor.  

Doctors for the Day

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Kindergarten and first-grade classes from John Pearl Elementary School recently welcomed Stony Brook Children’s Hospital Trauma Center registered nurse Kristi Ladowski to the school for a fun and informative “Teddy Bear Clinic” event.

The students were asked to bring a stuffed animal to school to serve as their “patient” as they worked with Ms. Ladowski during the clinic, carefully listening as she described important safety lessons to be used at home, at play or in school. The attentive students also listened as Ms. Ladowski described the importance of seat belt safety and using helmets to protect themselves while riding bicycles and skateboards.

The students also enjoyed watching an experiment that had two eggs dropped at the same time, in which each egg was into a plastic bag, but only one egg was protected inside a special “helmet.” As predicted, the unprotected egg did not fare well in the drop, while the protected egg was still in one piece.

At the conclusion of the safety demonstrations, the students sat at their desks and played “doctor” using band-aids, gauze, and tongue depressors on their stuffed animals’ “injuries.”

Basketball Magic

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Earlier this month, an All-Star Team consisting of district staff members, administrators and talented student-athletes joined forces to play basketball against the world-famous Harlem Wizards. Coached by Sycamore Avenue Elementary School Principal Stuart Pollak, Assistant Principal Brian Wrinkle and Connetquot High School Principal Kenneth J. Costa, the T-Birds dribbled, shot and highly enjoyed themselves as they challenged the traveling group of professional athletes/comedians.

A loud and supportive crowd consisting of more than 800 attendees filled the Connetquot High School gym for this special event. Sponsored by the Sycamore Avenue Elementary School Parent-Teacher Association, the proceeds of this fun night will go to provide students with funding needed for additional equipment and programs. 

The Harlem Wizards are celebrating their 57th year of entertaining, and from the reaction of this Connetquot crowd, it’s easy to see why fans look forward to watching these talented athletes in action.

The Wizards were led by talented athletes with appropriate nicknames such as “Big J,” “The Rocketman,” “The Artist” and “LaFiesta.” Individually, these showmen excelled as student-athletes both at the collegiate level and internationally. Together, as Harlem Wizards, they combine their feats of athleticism with comedy routines that keep the students laughing, as the players go into the crowd to bring students and families alike onto the court to join in the fun.

Mr. Pollak extended his thanks to the supportive members of the faculty that took part in the game, along with all of the wonderful fans for their support, and gave a special thanks to the dedicated members of the school’s PTA and President Amy Dowdell.  

Beauty and the Beast

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The Connetquot High School Musical Theatre Club presented a stunning adaption of “Beauty and the Beast” for three consecutive evenings this March before packed audiences. Inspired by the popular fairy tale, the play chronicles the adventures of the beautiful bookworm Belle, as she slowly begins to fall in love with the cursed Beast who roams his dark and mysterious castle. The production was brought to life with assistance from the following individuals – Ryan Cavanagh (choreography), Peter Coffin (sound advisor), Patrick Downes (technical operator), Brad Drinkwater (producer), Gregory Johnson (pit director), Vincent Malafronte (director), along with musical accompaniment from the Connetquot High School Pit Orchestra.

Exploring Outer Space

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In coordination with the year’s theme of the 50th anniversary of landing on the moon, students of all grade levels at John Pearl Elementary School were recently paid a visit from Cradle of Aviation educator Tim Sarro for an informative presentation on space exploration.

Throughout the course of the assembly, Mr. Sarro spoke to the attentive students about the many aspects of outer space, including how rockets operate, the daily routines of astronauts and scientific facts about the sun and the solar systems’ planets. According to Mr. Sarro, water, food, oxygen, fuel/power and shelter are absolutely essential to an astronaut in order to complete their mission while in space, bearing striking similarities to our survival needs here on Earth. 

Additionally, two student volunteers were asked to mimic the spacesuits that astronauts wear as they geared up with two layers of thick gloves and attempted to tie their shoelaces, both to success.


Excellence in Education

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The district would like to congratulate Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School social studies teacher Carmela Gustafson for earning her doctorate in education from the Columbia University Teachers College.

Due to her rigorous years of study, Dr. Gustafson was awarded her doctorate on Feb. 13 after defending her dissertation, “It’s Like a Puzzle in a Million Pieces, the Productive Possibilities of Conflict in a Teacher Inquiry Group.”

According to Dr. Gustafson, pursuing a doctorate has been a dream of hers since before she started teaching. While her parents never had the opportunity to finish high school, she believes it was as a result of their struggles that they instilled in her a strong sense of the importance of education.  

“My decision to pursue a doctorate specifically in education was simple - to me, there are few professions as important as teaching,” said Dr. Gustafson. “Continuing to grow as an educator helps me to offer the best of myself to students. Above all, I strive to be a role model who shares at least a bit of my love of learning with my students, who themselves teach me something new every day.”

Dr. Gustafson has been teaching social studies in OBMS for the past 12 years, along with a seasoned total of 21 years within the district. 

ENL Family Fun Night

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The district recently hosted their biannual English as a New Language Family Night at Slocum Elementary School on March 5, inviting ENL students and families throughout the district for a night full of fun, dancing, cultural appreciation and a bit of magic.

Members of the Connetquot High School Civic Club were on hand to volunteer throughout the course of the night, as they joined the younger students in arts and crafts, dancing and friendly conversation, along with the setup of the evening’s activities.

After a welcoming address from Director of ENL/World Languages Denise Hannaoui, Connetquot Public Library librarian Christine Moltzen spoke to the attending families about all of the wonderful programs that the library has to offer, including the multitude of free ENL classes. Additionally, Mike Maione, aka “The Silly Magician,” provided some fun and educational entertainment to the students, along with their family members who joined them later in the presentation.

The attendees were also able to enjoy a number of delicious foods throughout the course of the evening, consisting of elements of different cultures.

Appreciating Literacy

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Sixth-grade students from Ronkonkoma Middle School recently crafted letters to authors explaining how their work inspired them and what they learned about life as a result of reading the authors’ books in coordination with the 2018-19 Letters about Literature National Writing Contest. 

The students’ letter writing was supported by lessons about audience, reading and theme. Due to their heartfelt and thankful letters, author Maribeth Boelts, the author of “Those Shoes,” emailed Mr. Black and wrote individual, personal responses to students. Additionally, Marla Frazee, the author of “Roller Coaster,” sent handwritten letters to the students as well, thanking them for taking the time to appreciate her work. 

The students were incredibly excited to receive these letters, and look forward to continuing to write throughout the remainder of the school year. 

Dining on Good Books

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Duffield Elementary School’s library was recently transformed into Café Duffield for the annual “Book Tasting” event, as Karen Pitka’s fourth-grade students were invited to “taste” a number of popular genres, including science fiction, historical fiction, fantasy and mystery.

Throughout the library, each table offered a three-minute “taste,” or sampling, of a book of the student's choice. After reading their selected work, the students logged a brief menu summary including what they thought of the cover and if the student would recommend this particular piece of literature to others. 

Students then discussed their selection with the rest of the “customers” at their genre table, which included a number of district staff members and administrators. 

Treasure Hunters

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Third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students from Cherokee Street Elementary School recently got in touch with their inner “Indiana Jones” by participating in “The History Mystery” Library Adventure, right from the comfort of the school’s library.

With assistance from library media specialist Kathy Lopergalo and PTA Cultural Arts Representative Stephanie Clarelli, the students worked as a team with the ultimate goal in mind of finding the missing “historical artifact” hidden within the room. 

During their time spent in the library, the treasure hunters discovered concealed clues, solved riddles and followed trails shrouded in mystery. Additionally, the students built upon their observational and research skills, as they worked as a team to solve the multitude of riddles presented before them in the form of decoder cards, code charts and clue cards.

Painting the Colors of Long Island

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Six student-artists throughout the district recently displayed their incredible artwork in the Colors of Long Island art exhibit held at the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook on the weekend of March 1.

This year’s annual student art exhibit included hundreds of works of art by 263 student-artists from 127 schools across Long Island. In order to be considered the exhibition, teachers were asked to submit up to two pieces from their students, including both individual works and/or group projects.
The district congratulates students Riley Brennan and John Whelan (Idle Hour Elementary School); Jaden McKay and Natalya Esposito-Biondi (John Pearl Elementary School); and Lauren Bizzaro and Melissa Tribley (Connetquot High School). 

District art teachers Krystal Zaglool and Sheilah Higgins are both incredibly proud of their students’ hard work and efforts toward being accepted to take part in this year’s exhibition. 

The collection of work is open for public viewing in the Long Island Museum’s Visitors Center through April 7. 

The Benefits of Place-Based Learning


Fourth-and fifth-grade students from Cherokee Street Elementary School were recently visited by student teachers from Adelphi University in an effort to engage in and reinforce place-based education lessons.

“The heart of place-based education is to extend students’ learning experiences beyond the classroom setting, expanding into the schoolyard and surrounding community,” said fourth-grade teacher Sandra Fantauzzi.

Students who have participated in these place-based lessons have worked closely with Mrs. Fantauzzi to plant and care for a native-plant garden, monitor the migration patterns of the school courtyard’s monarch butterfly population, and report the migration patterns and behaviors of bird populations through the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Project FeedWatch citizen-science project. 

Mrs. Fantauzzi, along with the Adelphi University student-teachers, are currently preparing to present the benefits of a place-based education at an upcoming education conference, “Northern Lights: Illuminating Norwegian Culture, Environment and School Connections” in Tromso, Norway. During this time, they will be visiting schools in Norway to see how the place-based education philosophy is being applied at the elementary and secondary levels. Mrs. Fantauzzi plans to share her experience in Norway when she returns from her adventure. 


Dr. Seuss Day

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Staff and students from Duffield Elementary School recently welcomed Connetquot High School students to celebrate the life and works of Dr. Seuss as part of the National Education Association’s Read Across America program.

Ninety-five high school students, along with their English teachers Carolyn Paul and Megan Faeger, visited with Duffield students to read from Dr. Seuss’ books. Additionally, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lynda G. Adams, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dean Mittleman and Board of Education President Milynn Augulis were on hand to enjoy the day’s activities. 

“Our students planned and prepared for almost two weeks for this visit,” said Mrs. Paul.  “We used a PowerPoint presentation of past visits to Duffield to get them excited for this special day. We then broke the classes into smaller groups who visited the individual classes depending upon the grade level. The students prepared lesson plans, and created writing and art projects developing thoughtful questions about the books they would read to their new friends. They also incorporated the theme of “7 Healthy Habits” that are used at Duffield all year long.”

One group of high school students created a “Cat in the Hat” photo booth, while another brought along helium balloons to display their friends’ writing for the book “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” for the fifth-graders.

“The experience has proven, year after year, to be extremely rewarding,” said Mrs. Paul. “Students have often written their college essays about their Duffield experiences, and some have even altered their future plans and decided to enter the field of education as a result of this experience.”

Duffield Elementary School Principal Lisa Farrell thanked the students, their teachers and guests for visiting and having so much fun with the students of Duffield Elementary. 

Displaying Circus Skills

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On March 1, the famous O-Town Circus Troupe presented its spectacular traveling big top show with assistance from the fifth-grade students at Edith L. Slocum Elementary School.

Principal John Delio welcomed circus coaches Erin and Ray, who worked with all of the talented students during the course of the week. During their “training,” the circus stars learned the skills necessary to entertain the attendees, including clown work, juggling plate spinners, stilt walking and the diabolo stick. 

The students enthusiastically participated in the program during the week, and were eager to display their new-found talents during an evening showcase for parents and friends. 

Raymond Carta Sworn in as Fifth Member of Board of Education

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As a result of a special appointment process, Raymond Carta has been sworn in as the fifth member of the Connetquot Central School District's Board of Education. His term will commence immediately and run through the night of the district's budget vote and trustee election on May 21, 2019.

Districtwide Accomplishments

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The district recognized a number of staff and student accomplishments during a recent Board of Education meeting.

To begin the evening’s recognitions, the Board of Education was presented with a number of beautiful ceramic pieces of art courtesy of Connetquot High School students enrolled in Vincent Osmers ceramics class.

A number of Connetquot High School student-musicians were congratulated for being invited to participate in this year’s New York State School Music Association’s All-State and All-National music festivals based on their musical talents and academic successes. The students were introduced and personally thanked by interim Director of Fine Arts & Music George Rockwin for their accomplishments.

Connetquot High School varsity boys swimming and diving team coach Alex Scichilone was presented with a token of appreciation for receiving the 2018 Ed & Alice Kropp Outstanding Coach in Suffolk County/Coach of the Year award due to his outstanding coaching tactics and abilities to motivate his team.

Connetquot High School Class of 2019 valedictorian Dylan Macejko was recognized by the Board of Education for being named a News 12 Scholar Athlete as sponsored by the Bethpage Federal Credit Union based on his outstanding academic scores and unwavering commitment to swimming. As a News 12 Scholar Athlete, Dylan was featured on a personal News 12 segment, and has been awarded a $1,000 scholarship courtesy of the Bethpage Federal Credit Union.

The district hosted its annual Community Wellness Day this past January which promoted mindfulness practices and healthy lifestyle choices. Due to the vast efforts put forward by Director of Pupil Personnel Services Gail Santo and the Community Wellness Day Committee, the event proved to be highly successful. Both Ms. Santo and the Community Wellness Day Committee were presented with tokens of appreciation by the Board of Education for their efforts in making the day such a success.

International Successes

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Student-representatives of Connetquot High School’s Model United Nations Club recently participated in the National High School Model United Nation’s International Conference held in Manhattan, joining more than 1,400 students from across the globe in the prestigious event. 

The multi-day field trip consisted of debates, discussions and culminated with an awards ceremony held at UN headquarters. Out of the 1,400 attending students, only 12 were asked to speak at the General Assembly Hall to represent their ideas and solutions, including Connetquot High School students Brendan Falabella and Tyler Zere. 

According to Model UN Club adviser Jennifer Bay, both students did a fabulous job speaking in front of not only all of the delegates, but diplomats, ambassadors, advisers and conference staff as well. Brendan was then awarded first place in his committee and Tyler was awarded second place in his, with each committee consisting of 170-200 students each. 

“All of the students who attended did an amazing job and I couldn't be prouder of them,” said Ms. Bay. “Their hard work and dedication leave me speechless; they are the leaders of tomorrow, and trust me when I say that our future is in good hands.”

Analyzing American History and Literature

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As a means of connecting literature, historical events and music, students from Ronkonkoma Middle School were treated to a highly engaging in-school assembly, which culminated with a musical performance courtesy of a number of Ronkonkoma Middle School staff members and student-musicians.

Students first spent time in the classroom studying John Steinbeck’s literary masterpiece, “The Grapes of Wrath,” zeroing in on the book’s protagonist Tom Joad. Applying their knowledge of the novel, the students discussed why his family was forced to migrate West on Route 66 toward hopes of a new life in California. 

Curated by both history teacher Kenneth Lehman and interim Principal Joseph Licato, the students gathered in the school’s auditorium for a presentation which demonstrated how technology is rapidly changing, and the job market is being affected due to this shift. They circled back to their classroom lessons which focused on how Americans living in the 1930s were forced out of work due to mechanized mass production. The students were able to make the modern connection to how companies such as Uber are putting taxi drivers out of work due to the application’s ease of accessibility and comparatively low rates. 

As an additional connection to the afternoon’s central theme, a number of staff members and student-musicians joined forces to bring Bruce Springsteen’s hit song “The Ghost of Tom Joad” to life. The supergroup consisted of staff members Mr. Licato (guitar, lead vocals, harmonica), Dr. Frank Saladino (lead guitar), Mike Murphy (bass), Stacy Stollberger (trumpet, percussion), Elizabeth Pieket (saxophone), Nicole White (piano), Adam Reinkraut (classical guitar), along with student-musicians Katlyn Smith (violin) and Joe Saracino (drums). 

Click here to watch a video from the event.

John Pearl students strengthen their love for literacy

John Pearl students strengthen their love for literacy photo

In recognition of Parents as Reading Partners Month, students of all grade levels at John Pearl Elementary School were treated to a schoolwide assembly led by musician/historian Patricia Shih for her “Big Ideas About Literacy” presentation.

With assistance from her husband and musical accompaniment Mr. Steve, Mrs. Shih introduced the students to a number of catchy and informative songs which celebrated literacy and the importance of books. During one of her songs, Mrs. Shih asked a number of student volunteers to present popular children’s books such as “The Cat in the Hat,” “Cinderella” and “Winnie The Pooh” when they were called upon. 

Mrs. Shih also touched upon foreign and world languages during the assembly as well, as she asked student volunteers to speak a phrase in a foreign language, which was then incorporated into a fun song for all to enjoy. 

Awesome Athletes

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On Feb. 27, four Connetquot High School student-athletes representing the district’s varsity soccer program signed letters of commitment to continue their athletic careers at some of the nation’s premier colleges and universities this fall.

Girls varsity soccer coach Ryan Cavanagh was joined by parents, students and district administrators within Connetquot High School Principal Kenneth Costa’s conference room for the signing ceremony. Coach Cavanagh introduced each of his graduating seniors, and talked about their contributions to the soccer program both on and off the playing field. Both Connetquot Central School District Director of Health, Physical Education, Athletics and Recreation Mark Dellecave and Mr. Costa congratulated the student-athletes for their choice of colleges, along with their commitment to Connetquot sports and the community.  

Celina Schenk will attend SUNY Farmingdale. According to coach Cavanagh, “Celina was an outside midfielder and two-year varsity standout. She was named team captain and started every game during her senior campaign. Additionally, Celina was constantly relied upon to win the ball and send it in with her powerful cross.”

Jordan Whooley will attend Pace University. “As an outside defender and three-year varsity letter-winner, her speed, determination and leadership were key factors in the team’s success,” said coach Cavanagh. “Jordan was consistently assigned to cover the opponent’s best winger, forcing the other team to change its strategy against the T-Birds.” Jordan was also named as an All-Division athlete during her senior year. 

Jordan Wischusen accepted her scholarship to attend the University of New Haven. “Jordan earned three varsity letters, started every game for two seasons and also served as team captain,” said Cavanagh. “After an injury-plagued junior season, Jordan returned as a senior and dominated the center of the field all season long. She plays with selfless dedication, winning nearly every ball, and putting her teammates in scoring position.” Additionally, Jordan was selected to pay in the Suffolk vs. Nassau Exceptional Seniors Soccer Night this year.  

Kristina Sommer committed to attend SUNY Farmingdale in the fall. A talented center/outside midfielder, Kristina earned three varsity letters. According to coach Cavanagh, “Kristina was so talented with the ball at her feet that she was a constant threat to set her teammates up for goals. Her skill-set as a midfielder allowed us to play her outside as well as the middle of the field.”  

The district congratulates and thanks each of these talented students-athletes for their commitment to their families and the Connetquot community.


Career and Technical Education Month

The district provides a robust Career and Technical Education program that allows students to explore a variety of career options including business, family and consumer science and technology. To celebrate CTE month, several achievements have been made by the students throughout the multitude of classes which align with Career and Technical Education. The district recently joined schools across the country celebrate the value of CTE and the accomplishments that go hand-in-hand with CTE programs, as this aspect of education assists students in preparing for high-wage, high-demand careers. 

Strengthening Digital Learning

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The district recently hosted a Google Applied Digital Skills workshop for Connetquot High School staff members and other invited guests. During the workshop, the attendees were led by Kiker Learning Representative Chris McCaffrey in an effort to incorporate Google Suite and other Google-related applications into the K-12 Curriculum. Joining the Connetquot High School for this professional development workshop were representatives from Cold Spring Harbor, East Northport, West Babylon, Westhampton Beach, Sayville and Elwood school districts.

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