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Computer Science Week

Computer Science Week photo

Students throughout the district recently focused on strengthening their computer-coding and programming skills during the nationally recognized “Computer Science Week.”

At Bosti and Duffield elementary schools, students of all grade levels engaged in the national “Hour of Code” initiative. Students were given the option to choose from one of two programs, with one of them being a Grinch-themed game that asked the future-engineers to use coding blocks in order to animate the Grinch and his dog, Max. According to their website, the Hour of Code is a globally recognized initiative that positively impacts more than 180 countries. 

Second-grade students enrolled in Kathryn Minerva’s class at Slocum elementary school recently engaged in an unplugged activity in which they created cars with Legos with the goal in mind of making them “sail” successfully. The students were offered two different sized sails in their kit, large and small, and predicted which would allow their vessel to travel more quickly across the table-top “lake.” 

Parent University – Literacy Workshop Dec. 12 at 7 p.m.


‘Visiting’ London

‘Visiting’ London photo

Without having to leave the comfort of their classrooms, seventh-grade English students from Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School recently traveled to London to celebrate the magic of “A Christmas Carol” with assistance from technology integration specialist Victoria Pappas.

Prior to reading the acclaimed play in class, the students were afforded the opportunity to experience a virtual tour through Google which included important maps, locations, images, videos and hyperlinks. Amongst the locations visited was the house of Mr. Dickens, which included interactive photographs and bits of information pertaining to his life. 

The students guided the Google-based “Pegman” character, renamed “Scrooge” for the activity, across various locations in order to deepen their understanding of the play’s setting before enjoying it for themselves. During their two-day tour of London, the young explorers were also asked to complete a digital scavenger hunt with questions pertaining to their many travels.

Weekly Sports Update - December 3-7, 2018

Weekly Sports Update - December 3-7, 2018

Girls Winter Track Team Excels at Suffolk County Crossover Meet

Connetquot High School girls’ winter track coach Jim Crowley was impressed by the energy and enthusiasm of this year’s team as it participated in the Suffolk County Crossover A track meet held at Suffolk County Community College, Brentwood campus.

Outstanding performances were turned in by senior Bryanna Holguin, who won the triple jump (35’9”), and junior Katie Iocca who finished first, by 18 seconds, in the 1,500-meter run (5:12.19).

Additionally, senior Celina Schenk placed second in the 600-meter (1:48.84), while Janelle Foston (triple jump) and Serena Roopnarine (race walk) each finished an impressive third place in her event.

Coach Crowley looks forward to an exciting winter season as the team develops confidence in its individual and collective abilities!

Girls Basketball Team Comes Up Close

Despite a great display of athleticism from the Connetquot High School girls varsity basketball team, the visitors from William Floyd High School outscored the home team 45-34 during a recent game.

Early in the fourth quarter, the T-Birds cut the deficit from 30-23 to 33-29, but William Floyd quickly rallied back, outscoring Connetquot 12-5 during the final stretch of the game.  
The T-Birds returned this season with nine seniors who are expected to assist coaches Hafner and Piscitelli pull the team together and achieve the success they all feel is possible this season.
Top scorers for Connetquot during the game were Emma Bunicci (9), Nia Callaway (8) and Morgan Elliott (5). 

Boys Basketball Team’s Winning Streak Comes to an End

After winning the first two games of the season, including a recent 1-point victory over Sachem East High School at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, the T-Birds dropped a 62-59 decision to the visiting Longwood High School team.

In one of the most exciting games played in Bohemia in recent years, Connetquot kept the game close, exchanging the lead several times in the final two minutes, only to miss a 3-point jump shot at the buzzer, giving Longwood the win. 

Tae’von Bazemore lead the T-Birds with 19 points while Emmanuel Mondesire scored 16, and sophomore Jaden Kealey finished with 12 of his own. Tae’von and Emmanuel each added one 3-point basket. Additionally, Sean Andersen and Jaden Kealey were powerful forces inside, while John O’Connell and Tae’von handled the playmaking duties.

Studying Supreme Court Cases

Studying Supreme Court Cases
Studying Supreme Court Cases2

Connetquot High School students enrolled Christine Lennihan's AP Government and Scott MacLagan's Civil Rights classes recently attended the Icons of Freedom Symposium held at Touro Law Center in Central Islip on Nov. 30.  

During their visit, the students met with and engaged in constructive conversation with Mary Beth Tinker and Cathy Kuhlmeier, who were both subjects of Supreme Court cases in the past.  

Mrs. Tinker served as one of the lead plaintiffs in the Supreme Court case Tinker v. Des Moines, when she was a 13-year-old student who was trying to convey her message of student expression in protest of the Vietnam War. Additionally, Mrs. Kuhlmeier was the subject of the famous Hazelwood vs. Kuhlmeier Supreme Court Case in 1988, where she claimed that her school did not have the right to violate her First Amendment rights by removing an article written for her school newspaper. 

This event served as the 50th anniversary of the landmark holding which is the basis for First Amendment rights in schools today. To this day, both women continue to work as advocates for students' rights. 

#MyConnetquot #ConnetquotLEADS

Excellence in Mathematics

Excellence in Mathematics

Thirty-six Connetquot High School students were recently inducted into the Mu Alpha Theta chapter of the National Mathematics Honor Society on Dec. 5.

Adviser Christopher Dolce introduced the officers of this prestigious group, along with District Director of Mathematics Louise Burger. Mrs. Burger welcomed the newly inducted members, as well as the proud family members and friends who attended the ceremony.

The induction ceremony was held in the appropriately-decorated high school cafeteria, and began with MAT officers addressing the history of the national organization, its purpose, as well as the history of mathematics. According to Mr. Dolce, membership in the Mu Alpha Theta chapter is quite selective for the more than 2,100 chapters across the United States and several foreign countries.

During the ceremony, Mr. Dolce asked the newest members stand up and take the honor society pledge before distributing the commemorative certificates to each of them.

“I am beyond proud of our students and their achievements in mathematics,” said Mr. Dolce. “I would like to thank our entire team of math teachers, our director, Mrs. Burger, and the board of education for their support as we honor our outstanding mathematics students.”

Following the ceremony, light refreshments were available for the members and their proud family members and friends. 

#MyConnetquot #ConnetquotLEADS

Board of Education Meeting Public Notice - December 11, 2018


Practicing Mindful Techniques


As a means of finding inner peace and relieving stress, Duffield Elementary School recently opened up the doors to their “Mindful Room,” a soothing area where students of all grade levels are invited to visit throughout the school day to engage in healthy activities.

In tandem with her health lessons, Youth and Family Services Coordinator Joanne Pisani conducts lessons and activities with the goal in mind of promoting self-awareness and boosting mental focus for the students. Following the traditional mindfulness techniques, Mrs. Pisani leads the students in meditation sessions, as they practice such poses as “Frog,” “Crane” and “Lotus.”
The room features a number of visual components as well, including inspirational quotes, a cascading water fountain, a soothing nature sound machine and relaxing bean bag chairs, to name a few. 

According to the students, they’ve noticed improvements in their work habits and academic performance throughout the day after taking part in mindfulness sessions with instruction from Mrs. Pisani.  

The district would like to thank Duffield Elementary School Principal Lisa Farrell for bringing this idea to life, and contributing her beautiful artwork to the room. 

#MyConnetquot #ConnetquotLEADS

Promoting Peace

Promoting Peace
Connetquot High School graduate and current Peace Corps volunteer Victoria Catherine Rooks was recently joined by students, staff and former faculty members for a video fundraiser in benefit of the Save the Children Fund. 

Ms. Rooks spoke to the attendees about her years of experience working with children and families in the African nation of Eswatini (formerly known as Swaziland). She also brought along native arts and crafts, jewelry, T-shirts and posters relating to this land-locked nation north of South Africa in order help raise funds for the Save the Children fund. 

Additionally, a free viewing of the motion picture “Liyana” was shown to the supportive community members who attended the event. The film serves as a documentary, which includes children at orphanages speaking about their stories. Like many children in the nation, they have lost their parents to AIDS-related illnesses and are left in a vulnerable position. The filmmaker works with the children to write their own fairy tale about a girl and her two brothers, drawing from their own experiences, almost as a form of therapy.

“Recently, the movie ‘Liyana’ has been available in select theaters in America,” said Ms. Rooks. “Besides being just a great movie, this film is particularly special to me because it was filmed and created here in Eswatini, by Swazi children with the help of a South African storyteller.”

#MyConnetquot #ConnetquotLEADS

Wellness Day - January 12, 2019


VIDEO: Pasta Perfection


Promoting Fire Safety

Promoting Fire Safety photo
Students from both John Pearl and Sycamore Avenue elementary schools recently showcased their artistic and literary talents as they worked to promote safety as part of the annual Fire Prevention poster and essay contest sponsored by the Bohemia Fire Department. As part of the contest, the students drew colorful pictures highlighting important fire prevention tips and wrote about a variety of safety measure tactics. The winners of the contest were rewarded with a token of appreciation and gift certificate for their efforts.

Wearing Pajamas for A Good Cause

Wearing Pajamas for A Good Cause photo
In the spirit of the holidays and with a desire to help others, staff members and administrators from the Connetquot Central Office Administration Building hosted their annual Pajama Day fundraiser this December. 

All employees were encouraged to wear pajamas to work on Dec. 3 and in return donate a pair of pajamas to Scholastic Books “Great Bedtime Story Pajama Drive.” For every pair of pajamas donated, Scholastic Book Club will donate a brand-new book to the Pajama Program to give kids affected by instability.

The pajama drive is organized in partnership with Pajama Program, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and supporting a comforting bedtime routine for children in need in order to help them thrive.

CHS Interact Club Gives Back

CHS Interact Club Gives Back photo
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CHS Interact Club Gives Back photo 3
Members of Connetquot High School’s Interact Club were recently visited by James Lamantia, a representative of Gift of Life, as well as Camille Bunicci, a member of Ronkonkoma’s Rotary Club in recognition of their fundraising efforts. The Interact Club spends a great deal of time raising funds for Gift of Life, an international organization which helps children from emerging countries with congenital heart problems obtain life-saving surgeries. The funds are raised through various food fundraisers, including pizza sales and baked goods. “I am so proud of the club members who truly exemplify the Rotary motto, ‘Service Above Self,’” said Interact Club adviser Susan Schiappa.

Celebrating the Holidays

Celebrating the Holidays photo

Pre-K students from Bosti Elementary School recently enjoyed the annual Fall/Thanksgiving Festival which included games, navigating a 'corn' maze, crafts and tasty snacks. Many of the students and staff members were dressed in colorful fall outfits to celebrate, and festive banners were displayed throughout the building to illustrate how thankful we should all be for our families and friends.

Making Healthy Choices

Making Healthy Choices photo

Members of the Connetquot High School Athletes Helping Athletes Club recently stopped by Edith L. Slocum Elementary School to engage the fifth-graders in a variety of leadership and team-building activities.

During their visit, the high school students told the younger students of their personal accounts as they moved to the upper grade levels, which included more demanding schedules and the option to consider new clubs and athletic teams. Each of the visitors talked about how they learned to believe in themselves and continued to work to reach their goals. Additionally, they took time to explain the many advantages of participating in extracurricular programs such as music, band and cheering, as well as sports.

“Athletes Helping Athletes members visited the fifth-grade classrooms to share their experiences of overcoming obstacles, working hard and persevering through adversity,” said Philip Clark, Connetquot High School guidance counselor and AHA adviser. “This is the first of several visits that AHA will make to the fifth-grade classes at each of the Connetquot elementary schools to promote confidence, leadership and value-based messages.”

The Connetquot High School Athletes Helping Athletes Club has a large participation rate, with more than 60 service-minded student members who pledge to stay away from alcohol and drugs, and to share their experiences with elementary school students. Connetquot’s AHA Club partners with Molloy College, and its advocates/mentors consist of caring professionals, including major-league athletes.

Hanging out with their “Heroes”

heroes photo

As part of the High School Heroes program, Connetquot High School’s “Heroes” visited the fifth-grade students at Idle Hour Elementary School on Nov. 13 in an effort to share tips on how to make sensible financial choices.

Joined by personal finance instructors Gina Senft and Andrea Pizzimenti, Connetquot High School students Adam Moussa, Maggie Overbaugh, Emily Karl and Nicholas Keddy gave a presentation that was not only fun, but also helped them hone the skills necessary to prepare for the workforce upon graduation.  

“This is our second annual trip to the elementary schools,” said Mrs. Senft.  “We plan to continue to bring our ‘Heroes’ to each of the elementary schools within the district during the school year.” 

The fifth-grade students were provided with worksheets, stickers and a sum of virtual currency to utilize. With these materials on hand, the Idle Hour students were asked to determine how much of their “money” they should spend immediately, save for another day or share with others.

The High School Heroes program is a service-learning project sponsored by Junior Achievement USA that provides high school students with the opportunity to become role models for elementary students. The These “Heroes” teach and empower elementary students by using interactive, hands-on, lessons centered around work readiness, financial literacy and entrepreneurship. Connetquot’s High School “Heroes” are selected based on their leadership and training through the National Business Honor Society. Currently, there are 30 trained and qualified Connetquot “High School Heroes” who will visit district schools this year.

Keeping in Tune at Tuba Day

Keeping in Tune at Tuba Day photo
Keeping in Tune at Tuba Day photo 2
Keeping in Tune at Tuba Day photo 3
The district is thrilled to announce that two Sycamore Avenue Elementary School students recently participated in the Suffolk County Music Educators’ Association’s annual Tuba Day held at Central Islip High School.  

Baritone tuba players Gavin Olsen and Maria Argueta-Dinucci both performed in the mass ensemble with approximately 100 other baritone and tuba players from throughout Suffolk County. During the evening, they performed songs such as "Auld Lang Syne" and "Here I Go TUBAgain," both arranged for low brass. 

Both Sycamore Avenue Elementary School music teacher Deborah Guiney and the district are incredibly proud of the students for their accomplishment.

Careers in Coding

Careers in Coding photo
A number of Connetquot High School students recently paid a visit to the Ronkonkoma Middle School Computer Club in an effort to explain the many benefits that come along with following career paths surrounding computer coding.

Connetquot High School students Jack Russo, Joseph Vita and Dominick Manicone were kind enough to discuss their experiences with computer science and coding, including the many opportunities offered at the high school level and the competitions which take place both in and out of school.  

Additionally, they discussed their plans for the future, and what being part of the clubs and taking classes at the high school has done to help develop their career paths thus far.

Ronkonkoma Middle School Computer Club adviser Jackie Huston, Connetquot High School Computer Club and Programming Club adviser Robert Bachisin and Connetquot Central School District Director of Mathematics Louise Burger were also on hand to answer any questions that students asked.

Making the Most out of Math

Making the Most out of Math photo

Thanks to assistance from the school’s Parent-Teacher Association, students from Idle Hour Elementary School were recently visited by representatives of Mathnasium of Sayville for a fun and educational Math Fun Night.

During the course of the evening, Connetquot High School students, along with Mathnasium staff, volunteered to run the games and help students of all grade levels. The staff and students were joined by Idle Hour Elementary School Principal Sandra Rubin, District Director of Mathematics Louise Burger and Mathnasium of Sayville Owner/Director Rich Alfano.

A Display of Musical Talents

A Display of Musical Talents photo

Student-musicians from Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School recently put their musical talents on full display during the school’s annual Tri-M Music Honor Society Talent show held on the evening of Nov. 16.

During the course of the talent show, students shone brightly as they sang, danced and played their musical instruments for their family members and the Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School staff members in attendance, including Tri-M Music Honor Society adviser Melissa Johnson. 

The district congratulates all of the student-participants – along with the humorous emcees who hosted the event – for contributing to a highly successful evening: Kieron Conroy, Charlotte DeSimone, Jack Dowdell, Morgan Gibbons, Olivia Hirt, Melanie Humsjo, Akshat Kamboj, Michael Kerr, Halle Lescak, Lauren Longo, Olivia Medina, Anthony Pepitone, Summer Perry, Brandon Perticone, Lindsey Quinn, Brian Schaefer and Lilly Zaccheo.

Giving Back for the Holidays

Giving Back for the Holidays photo
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Giving Back for the Holidays photo 3
Giving Back for the Holidays photo 4
In recognition of the holiday season, staff and students from Cherokee Street Elementary School recently came together to collect various food items to benefit less fortunate families of the Cherokee community.

With assistance from Youth and Family Services Coordinator Nicole Coogan and teacher’s aide Nicole Masi, the fifth-grade peer leaders were able to fill about 20 boxes to the brim with holiday essentials such as stuffing, pie crust and mashed potatoes. The school would also like to thank the teachers of Cherokee Street Elementary for donating enough turkeys to ensure that every family has one to enjoy on Thanksgiving. 

Due to the generous number of holiday foods collected, all extra items were donated to a local food pantry to benefit other families in need of a proper holiday meal.

Planning Futures at the Career Fair

Planning Futures at the Career Fair photo

Connetquot High School recently hosted their first career fair within the high school cafeteria, inviting a number of local business and organizations to speak the students in an effort to spark new interests for their futures.

During the course of the evening, Connetquot High School students of all grade levels spoke to representatives of the attending companies/organizations and engaged them in conversation about possible career opportunities. Additionally, a number of students dressed in business casual attire and were afforded the opportunity to practice building a professional network. 

The district would like to thank the following companies and organizations for their participation in the Career Fair - Brookhaven National Laboratory, Climb, East West Industries, Eastern Long Island Academy of Applied Technology & Eastern Suffolk BOCES, Greensite, Island Drafting and Technical Institute, Joseph Gabriel Architects PC, Laborers’ Local 1298 Joint Apprenticeship Training Fund, MEP Engineering, NBTY People’s United Bank, Positive Promotions, Rodan Enterprises, Inc., SCOPE, Shepherd’s Gate Academy, Town of East Islip Chamber of Commerce, Lee’s Autobody, Uncle Giuseppe’s and the U.S. Army.

VIDEO: Duffield Western Day


Academic Athletes

Academic Athletes photo

Ten Connetquot High School seniors were recently joined by family, friends and district administrators to celebrate the continuation of their academic and athletic careers during a signing ceremony held in the school’s large group instruction room.

The district congratulates Gina Barbera (U.S. Naval Academy/lacrosse), Emma McLoughlin (Jacksonville University/lacrosse), Julia Napolitano (University of Massachusetts Lowell/lacrosse), Jolie Urraro (Pace University/lacrosse), Kyle Strayer (Wingate University/lacrosse), Zachary Pizzimenti (Wingate University/lacrosse), Michael Carere (St. Joseph’s University/lacrosse), Joseph Savino (Elon University/baseball), Jarred Yalon (Stony Brook University/baseball) and Derek Yalon (Stony Brook University/baseball).

The students were introduced by District Director of Health, Physical Education, Athletics and Recreation Mark Dellecave as he spoke about their accomplishments both in the classroom and on the playing fields. He also took the time to remind the recognized student-athletes that their parents are, in so many ways, the motivating forces that have helped them achieve this level of success.

“We will be following your careers as you move on to the newest challenges before you,” said Mr. Dellecave.

Fun with Grandfriends

Fun with Grandfriends photo

Fifth-grade students from John Pearl Elementary School recently paid a visit to their “Grandfriends” at The Arbors Assisted Living Facility at Bohemia for a fun-filled afternoon. During their visit, the students presented those residents who are U.S. military veterans with a token of appreciation for their time serving the country. Additionally, the students partnered up with their “Grandfriends” to play a few rounds of the classic game of chance, Bingo.

Unveiling The Helen R. Maloney Administration Building

Unveiling The Helen R. Maloney Administration Building photo

The district recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in in honor of the highly-respected former Connetquot Board of Education member and community resident Helen R. Maloney.

During the ceremony, Mrs. Maloney’s children James Maloney and Susan Stokke were joined by dozens of district administrators, staff members, community residents and their families. As a means of unveiling the central administration building as the newly named Helen R. Maloney Administration Building, Mr. Maloney and Mrs. Stokke grabbed a pair of ceremonial scissors and cut away at the tape, unveiling the brand-new sign for all to see. 

In addition to being a highly loved and respected community member, Mrs. Maloney served as both a member on the board of education for a number of years, along with multiple other roles in community associations and committees.

Recognizing Impressive Test Takers

Recognizing Impressive Test Takers photo
During the Nov. 13 Connetquot Central School District Board of Education meeting, a number of Connetquot High School students were congratulated for achieving incredible results on several challenging examinations. 

More than 20 high school students were recognized by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lynda G. Adams for joining the “Superintendent’s 100 Club.” These students earned a perfect mark of 100 percent on one or more Regents exam. Additionally, a number of students were presented with tokens of appreciation for receiving a grade of 100 percent on their Foreign Language Association of Chairpersons and Supervisors Checkpoint B Exams, spanning the Spanish, French and Italian languages.

Financially Smart Students

Financially Smart Students photo
In an effort to strengthen financial literacy skills at an early age, students from Slocum Elementary School were recently provided with essential financial tips and advice courtesy of Teachers Federal Credit Union Representative Jennifer Gunn. During Mrs. Gunn’s presentation, the students followed along with an engaging “Berenstain Bears” story, as they learned about the importance of savings accounts, how interest is gathered and how to distinguish wants versus needs.

Successes in Sumdog

Successes in Sumdog photo
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Successes in Sumdog photo 3
First- through fifth-grade students at Bosti Elementary School recently took part in the fun and informative Sumdog Math contest. The mathematics-based games allow students to compete against other schools throughout eastern Suffolk County from the comfort of their respective classes. 

The school is thrilled to report that the students in Dana Keyes’ second-grade class took home the first-place prize for this contest, while student Samantha Oshrin placed in the top 10 scorers on the individual level. 

As the students successfully answer questions, their ranking on the live leader board would increase which gets them closer to the ultimate goal — reaching the number one spot. 

During the course of the past few school years, elementary-level students from the district have found many successes when participating in Sumdog contests.

Singing Songs with “Grandfriends”

Singing Songs with “Grandfriends” photo
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Singing Songs with “Grandfriends” photo 3
Singing Songs with “Grandfriends” photo 4
Singing Songs with “Grandfriends” photo 5
In recognition of Thanksgiving Day around the corner, students from Sycamore Avenue Elementary School recently shared the joy of music with their “Grandfriends” from the Arbors Assisted Living Facility at Bohemia. Under the direction of music teacher Rachel White, the students first performed an “Autumn Rap,” which was accompanied by instruments such as tubanos, guiros and claves. The children then joined their “Grandfriends” to sing “The Visiting Turkey” in honor of the upcoming holiday. Before saying goodbye to their visitors, Mrs. White introduced the concept of down beat to the young musicians, as she sang “I's the B’y,” a traditional Newfoundland folk song.

Thanking Those Who Served

Thanking Those Who Served photo

Schools throughout the district recently showcased their appreciation toward the nation’s veterans through various assemblies and musical performances.

At Idle Hour Elementary School, an annual schoolwide Veteran’s Day event was held in the school’s “cafetorium.” Organized by Idle Hour’s Youth and Family Services Coordinator Lara McNally, the event featured dozens of relatives from both students and faculty members who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.

After a reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance by the school’s kindergartners, various musical performances filled the air with sweet sounds courtesy of Idle Hour’s student-musicians, including stunning renditions of “Thank A Vet” and “This Is My Country.” The attending veterans were then recognized by all in attendance and showered with applause, as their attending family member handed them a rose and thanked them for their service. Additionally, students were afforded the opportunity to showcase their writing skills as they read aloud essays thanking the servicemen and women for all they have done for America.

At Ronkonkoma Middle School, 20 military veterans, along with their proud families, attended the school’s annual breakfast and celebration. Among the veterans were members of the American Legion Post 155 of Ronkonkoma as well as those who are active duty. These veterans ranged in service, age and participation from World War II and the Cuban Missile Crisis, to the Korean and Vietnam wars. Veterans from every branch of the service were called upon to stand as the RMS Jazz Band played the official themes for each service.  

After the celebration, the veterans were invited into classrooms where students respectfully asked questions about their branch of service, time they spent in the military and where they may have served. Each attending veteran spoke proudly of his military service, recalling experiences and friends they would always remember. 

In honor of Veterans Day, Duffield Elementary School welcomed students, staff and family members to the building for an outdoor concert to honor the nation’s servicemen and women. During the event, the American flag was properly raised, students and staff members recited the Pledge of Allegiance and sang a number of patriotic songs. Additionally, several students read poems honoring the veterans and local heroes such as policemen and firefighters.

Celebrating Dia de los Muertos

Celebrating Dia de los Muertos photo

Without having to take a trip to Mexico, students from the district recently learned about the traditional Spanish celebration of Dia de los Muertos during events held right in their classrooms.

Students enrolled in Aimee Padavan’s Spanish classes at Ronkonkoma Middle School participated in a homemade feast, consisting of traditional Mexican dishes such as empanadas, fried plantains, plantain chips and pan de muerto.

The students also used their creative talents to create an “ofrenda” or offering in an effort to commemorate their loved ones who have passed away. For this activity, the students were asked to interview their relatives and trace back their family trees in order to provide facts and information about their loved ones to be shared amongst their classmates on the ofrenda. Prior to watching the Disney film “Coco,” the students took part in a sugar-skull decorating contest which was guest-judged by Ronkonkoma Middle School Acting Principal Joseph Licato. 

Additionally, students in William Bedell’s Spanish classes at Connetquot High School kicked off Dia de los Muertos by decorating edible calaveras, which portrayed sugar skulls, a popular symbol representing the Day of the Dead.  Students also completed reading and writing activities pertaining to the holiday and Mr. Bedell created copal, an incense intended to fill the air with sweet scents during the holiday’s celebrations.

Becoming Best Buddies

Becoming Best Buddies photo

As part of an international organization that pairs student leaders with other students, the Connetquot High School Best Buddies club was recently implemented to help students make friends and develop leadership skills. On Oct. 23, club members and their parents met at the high school cafeteria for a fun evening of games and tasty refreshments.

The current Breaking Boundaries club has been working with the Best Buddies club to help get the program off the ground with organizational and financial support. The club assists with creating events to strengthen one-to-one friendships, along with integrated employment and leadership development for individuals with disabilities.

“Student volunteers for the new Best Buddies club have been so helpful and supportive of the new members, and we expect this to become a highly successful club at Connetquot High School,” said Breaking Boundaries co-adviser Carolyn Klinkhardt Paul.

Community members are encouraged to mark their calendars for March 23, 2019 as the clubs will host the “STAYAWAKEATHON” from 8 p.m.–8 a.m. Additionally, as a means of engaging in more fun activities, the Best Buddies Club will soon host a Superhero photo shoot to be photographed by Connetquot students.

The district would like to thank Connetquot High School Dean of Students Michael Hansen, along with Carolyn Klinkhardt Paul and Eileen Gering for their assistance with bringing the club to fruition.

Thanking the Troops

Thanking the Troops photo
In coordination with Operation Gratitude, students from Ronkonkoma Middle School are currently in the process of showing support for the servicemen and women protecting the nation by collecting candy and supplies to be sent overseas for them to enjoy. Thanks to student and civilian efforts, United States Military service members have received more than two million care packages to date through the services of Operation Gratitude.

Exploring the ‘Haunted Grammar Hallway’

Exploring the ‘Haunted Grammar Hallway’

In celebration of Halloween, students of all grade levels at Duffield Elementary School were recently able to explore the school’s “Haunted Grammar Hallway” for some grammatical and collaborative fun.

During the activity, 50 colored cards were dispersed throughout the darkened hallway consisting of over 75 grammatical errors, including spelling, capitalization, verb tense and punctuation. The determined students toured the hallway with finger flashlights and tried to find as many errors as possible, recording their findings on a sheet dedicated to the event.

For a more grade-level appropriate challenge, kindergarten teacher Teresa Hewitt had sight words posted throughout the hallway for her kindergarteners to find, as opposed to full sentences containing errors to be corrected.

The district would like to thank teachers Karen Pitka and Stephanie Russo for their efforts in bringing the “Haunted Grammar Hallway” to life.

Spreading Kindness

Spreading Kindness photo
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Spreading Kindness photo 3
Out of the kindness of their hearts, several members of Ronkonkoma Middle School’s National Junior Honor Society, along with their advisers, recently stepped foot into the school on their day off in order to prepare dozens of sandwiches for visitors of Maureen’s Haven in Riverhead. Way to go, RMS!

Getting in the Groove with the Hip Pickles

Getting in the Groove with the Hip Pickles photo

In an effort to the reinforce the important message of spreading kindness, students at Sycamore Avenue Elementary School recently welcomed Chet and John of the Hip Pickles percussion group for a highly entertaining concert experience.

The Hip Pickles called on the excited students and staff in the audience to take part in the presentation by playing drums, tambourines and even buckets. The students loved the energy of the performers, along with the message that encouraged them to both support and be kind to one another on a daily basis. 

This assembly was sponsored by the Sycamore Avenue Elementary School Parent-Teacher Association Cultural Arts Program.


Careers with Computers

Careers with Computers photo
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Two students from Connetquot High School recently visited the Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School Computer Club in an effort to offer valuable insight toward the many computer programming and coding courses offered at the high school.

Senior Joseph Vita, along with sophomore Albert Ang, shared with the students a PowerPoint presentation which offered advice toward why computer coding would make not only for an excellent hobby, but a career path as well. The high school students were joined by Connetquot Central School District Director of Mathematics Louise Burger and high school mathematics teacher Robert Bachisin during their visit.

While taking part in the after-school club, the Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School students are granted the opportunity to write code using popular platforms such as Scratch and KidOYO.

“How many of you play the videogame Fortnite?” asked Joseph. “Well, being that it has made over $1 billion so far, you have to understand that without jobs invested in computer programming that game would have never existed.”

Additionally, Albert had his own set of inspirational words for the students, stating that they should always follow their dreams, and never give up.

Celebrating School Board Recognition Week


In honor of School Board Recognition Week, both staff and students of the district showed appreciation for members of the Board of Education through a number of ways during a recent meeting.

To begin the night’s events, members of the Connetquot High School Concert Choir delivered a breathtaking vocal performance for all in attendance. Under the direction of director Brad Drinkwater, the extremely talented student-musicians performed the numbers “Danny Boy” and “Muie Rendera,” receiving a standing ovation at the conclusion of their performance. 

Connetquot Central School District Director of Fine Arts and Music Jon-Michael Lasher was on hand to speak of the multiple accomplishments that student-musicians throughout the district have attained in recent years. Additionally, he presented the Board of Education with a large sign commemorating the district as one of the Best Communities for Music Education 2018 as named by the NAMM Foundation. 

Sycamore Avenue Elementary School Principal and President of the Connetquot Central School District Principal’s Association Stuart Pollak also addressed the board in an effort to show his appreciation toward all of their efforts in assisting the Connetquot community.  

District Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lynda G. Adams then addressed the crowd to unveil an extraordinary plaque recognizing the renaming of the Central Office Building as the Helen R. Maloney Administration Building. In addition to being a highly loved and respected community member, Mrs. Maloney served as both a member on the board of education for a number of years, along with multiple other roles in community associations and committees.

Drawing Inspiration from Experience

Drawing Inspiration from Experience photo

Retired Connetquot High School music teacher John Leddy recently returned to the school and spoke to students enrolled in Spanish language classes about his recent 500-mile, five-week journey through northern Spain along the world-famous Camino de Santiago.

During his visit with the students, he talked about his experiences, new-found appreciation for history, architecture and tradition as he and his friend joined hundreds of other travelers making their way along the route.  

Mr. Leddy also talked about the wonderful fellow travelers from as far away as Australia that they met, ate meals with and shared stories about their own experiences along the journey. Many pilgrims walk the Camino to the resting place of Saint James, taking different routes from their homes to reach Santiago de Compostela.

Students were impressed with the presentation, and the amazing slide show of photos Mr. Leddy had taken along the trek. Spanish language teachers Eileen McGinnis and Will Bedell joined the students in thanking Leddy for his visit, and remarkable tale of the Camino de Santiago.

Mr. Leddy currently serves as the founding director of the Spirit of Stony Brook Marching Band and holds the title of athletic bands, director emeritus and arranger at Stony Brook University.

Successes in Science

Successes in Science photo
The district is thrilled to announce that Connetquot High School students Ava Galante and Timothy Ciavolella received Awards of Excellence for their participation at the Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders held in Boston, Massachusetts.

The theme of each year’s congress is “Greatness Awaits,” as it offers students the opportunity to be mentored by some of the most important leaders who are changing the future for the better. Examples of some individuals affiliated with the Congress include former Chief Technology Officer of the United States Megan J. Smith and Austin Wang, the 2016 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair Grand Prize Winner. 

In order to qualify for this award, both students were required to aspire to be physicians, scientists or technologists; have attained a grade-point average of 3.5 or above and possess qualities of a leader.

Halloween Fun

Halloween Fun photo

In celebration of Halloween, elementary-level students throughout the district recently showcased their costumes in colorful parades and took part in spooky-themed activities in their physical education classes.

Halloween Dance

Stepping into Native American Territory

Stepping into Native American Territory photo

Fourth-grade students from Sycamore Avenue Elementary School were given the opportunity to explore the deep roots of Native American culture with assistance from representatives of the “Journeys into American Indian Territory” program.

During the museum portion of the day, Journeys into American Indian Territory Director Bob Vetter spoke about the tribes’ daily lives and gave students the opportunity to interact with genuine Iroquois and Algonquian artifacts. Mr. Vetter also spoke to the students about daily routines amongst the tribes, such as hunting and gathering and building Wigwams.

The students also joined presenter Patricia Shih outside for a fun and engaging activity which granted them the opportunity to throw mock spears at varying distances. This activity was intended to mimic the hunts that the Iroquois men engaged in on a daily basis, as the hunting spear was their primary weapon to capture game for their tribes.

Practicing Drug-Free Decisions

 Practicing Drug-Free Decisions photo

In recognition of United We Stand for A Drug-Free Community Week, students from all elementary level buildings in the district took part in a number of engaging activities and lessons with the goal in mind to stay away from drugs and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Along with their “Grandfriends” from the Arbors Assisted Living at Bohemia, students from Idle Hour Elementary School made a spiderweb craft after carefully listening to a story about Halloween. The project was an effort to showcase that the students have better things to do than drugs, as they will be able to form everlasting friendships with their “Grandfriends” during their time at Idle Hour Elementary.  

Sycamore Avenue Elementary School Youth and Family Services Coordinator Laura Michelsen directed her students in a program of skits and songs designed to emphasize self-esteem and making positive choices. A video showcasing students and teachers talking about people who have influenced their lives was an additional part of the day’s drug-prevention program.

Upperclassmen from Bosti Elementary School recently stepped into the shoes of their teachers as they presented informative health lessons about the dangers of tobacco to younger students, and also emphasized the necessity to make healthy choices.

Kindergarten students enrolled in both Linda Pennington and Elizabeth Jonas’s classes at Slocum Elementary School welcomed Stony Brook Children’s Hospital Trauma Center RN Kristi Ladowski back to the school for a Teddy Bear Clinic. The informative clinic taught the young students the importance of being safety conscious and how to prevent injuries.

Suffolk County Police Officer Wendy Verlotte visited the upperclassmen at Duffield Elementary School to warn them about the dangers of tobacco, smoking and vaping, and offer guidance on how to properly say “No” to these harmful activities. Additionally, the students were also treated to a Teddy Bear Clinic courtesy of Registered Nurse Kristi Ladowski.

Students at John Pearl Elementary School were visited by Mr. Pat and Mr. Matt of the Rose Brucia Foundation for a highly informative presentation which informed the students how to properly distinguish the difference between a stranger and someone you know. Both Pat and Matt engaged the students in a number of helpful activities which mimicked real-life scenarios in the rare case that a stranger approaches a student outside of school. The students also participated in a rock-painting activity based on the  popular children’s book “Only One You” by Linda Kranz.  

In recognition of United We Stand for A Drug-Free Community Week, students at Cherokee Street Elementary School eased their minds and took part in a relaxing yoga session taught by Youth and Family Services Coordinator Nicole Coogan. 


Cherokee Elementary School Wears Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness

Cherokee Elementary School Wears Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness photo
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Cherokee Elementary School Wears Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness photo 3
Cherokee Elementary School Wears Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness photo 4
In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month celebrated throughout the month of October, staff and students at Cherokee Elementary School recently donned pink attire to show their support for those fighting and recovering from breast cancer. Due to their fundraising efforts, the school raised $250 to be donated toward cancer research.

Touring the Lakeland Fire Department

Touring the Lakeland Fire Department photo

Students of all grade levels from Duffield Elementary School recently travelled to the Lakeland Fire Department to gain informative fire-prevention and safety measures, courtesy of the firefighters of the Lakeland Fire Department.

With assistance from Firefighters Juan and Brian, students gathered in the lobby of the firehouse to learn about the proper ways to prevent fires in the household. Firefighter Brian donned his full firefighter gear and crawled toward the students, letting them know that while they may look scary while in gear, they are only there to help the students and their families get out to a safe location in the rare case of a fire.

After the presentation, the students followed Firefighter Juan outside as he allowed the students to tour a fire-engine, and explained the many functions that come along with the important vehicles. Additionally, the students walked within the beautiful “Garden of Heroes,” which was built to commemorate those brave souls who lost their lives during the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

“Tasting” Various Genres

“Tasting” Various Genres photo
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“Tasting” Various Genres photo 3
“Tasting” Various Genres photo 4
Idle Hour Elementary School Library Media Specialist Eilene Lange recently transformed the school’s library into a café where fourth-grade students were able to engage in a "book tasting" literacy event. Each table throughout the room was set up with a different genre of books, and students were seated at each for a short while to conduct a "taste test" to sample the offered genres. To go along with the fun theme, Mrs. Lange decorated the library like a restaurant and donned a chef’s hat. 

Informing the Community

Informing the Community photo
The district is proud to introduce the three Connetquot High School student representatives who will be attending the district’s board of education meetings scheduled for the 2018-19 school year.

While attending the district’s bi-monthly board meetings, students Sabah Bari, Nicholas Keddy (alternate) and Adam Moussa will join the elected board of education officials and district administrators as non-voting members to share their insight about various happenings taking place at both Connetquot High School and throughout the district. 

All three students currently hold various titles in the school’s Student Government Club, and partake in a number of other extracurricular clubs and activities currently offered at Connetquot High School.

Safe Halloween

Safe Halloween photo

More than 450 colorfully dressed students, along with hundreds of district parents, walked the halls of Connetquot High School on Saturday, Oct. 20 in celebration of the annual Safe Halloween Spectacular, as sponsored by the Connetquot High School Student Government.

More than 150 high school students volunteered to take part in this year’s event, as each group of students selected their own theme and decorated their assigned area of the first floor of Connetquot High School. 40 rooms were designated for ‘trick-or-treating’, while the cafeteria provided music, fun and games for the attendees. Additionally, canned food was collected as part of the admission, which will be distributed to local food pantries.

“This annual event would not be possible without the wonderful and generous Connetquot High School student-volunteers,” said Connetquot High School Student Government Co-Adviser Sal Piscitelli. “This was yet another fun event, not just for the visitors, but for the Connetquot students who make Safe Halloween possible.”

Fire-Smart Students

Fire-Smart Students photo

Students of all grade levels at Cherokee Street Elementary School were provided with highly informative fire safety measures and tactics when the school recently welcomed Lakeland Volunteer Fire Department’s Chief Robert DeRusso and his fellow firefighters.

The inquisitive students were reminded that they and their family members should practice fire drills at home, and that they should talk to their parents about developing an escape plan in the rare case of a fire-related emergency.The students were also given the opportunity to ask the firefighters questions about fire safety, the equipment they wear, and what to do about their pets should there be a fire at home.  

Prior to the conclusion of the assembly, Firefighters Zach and Dominic dressed up in their protective gear and allowed the students to feel the texture of the material, assuring them that they should not be afraid if a fireman is dressed this way in their home.

Excellence in Physical Education

Excellence in Physical Education photo
The district congratulates Connetquot High School seniors Karly Hokenson and Harrison Finnerty for being named Suffolk Zone Physical Education Award winners for the 2018-19 academic school year. Chosen by the New York State Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, these annual awards are presented to one male and one female student from each school district based on their effort, leadership, athleticism and outstanding character. 

In addition to their high academic averages, each student has earned a grade of 100 percent in their physical education classes. Regarding extracurricular athletics, Karly is a member of the Connetquot varsity field hockey and basketball teams, while Harrison is a member of the varsity football and baseball teams. Additionally, both Karly and Harrison are members of the National Foreign Language Honor Society, as well as several other honorary academic organizations.

Welcoming Students to the RMS Tri-M Music Honor Society

Welcoming Students to the RMS Tri-M Music Honor Society photo

Ronkonkoma Middle School recently welcomed family, friends and distinguished guests to the sixth annual Tri-M Music Honor Society induction ceremony, celebrating the accomplishments of a number of talented student-musicians.

Tri-M Music Honor Society adviser Stacy Stollberger explained the significance and expectations of membership in the Tri-M Honor Society before congratulating the new inductees, along with 28 continuing members on their accomplishments. Former Tri-M Music Honor Society adviser Dr. Frank Saladino went on to explain that the organization promotes student leadership, and its RMS members are the future leaders in the music department, their school and community. Acting RMS Principal Joseph Licato was also on hand to congratulate the students and their proud family members.

The Connetquot Central School District congratulates the newly inducted RMS Tri-M members: Lara Booth Alam, Cadence Brown, Alexa Colondona, Cassie Eggert, Sierra Fiano, Yesenia Gonzalez, Sarah Gress, Cristiana Grob, Ilayda Guven, Savannah Haughie, Ave Henn, Rachel Johnson, Anna Liberchuk, Brandon Liberchuk, Alex Lillie, Lilia Livolsi, Marissa McDougal, Maggie Nicol, Alexa Oestreicher, Victoria Otero, Lauren Prete, Isabella Reyes, Stephanie Salters, Kayla Santiago, Olivia Vigliotti, Julia Villani, Julia Wachsmuth, Rhianna Waring, Abigail Washousky and Emily Weaver.

Celebrating ENL Family Fun Night

Celebrating ENL Family Fun Night photo

The district recently hosted their annual English as a New Language Family Night at Edith L. Slocum Elementary School on Oct. 17, inviting ENL students and families throughout the district for a night full of fun, dancing, delicious food and cultural appreciation.

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.

District parent Mr. Ed Hanley was also in attendance to share information about all of the services that St. John’s CYO Soccer program has to offer, including all of the benefits that come along with joining a community-based athletic team. Additionally, a representative of Mad Science was on hand to provide 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.

“The district has a translation service that we can provide in order to promote productive conversations; we don’t want you to not call if you need assistance, we will be here for you,” said Denise Hannaoui, director of ENL/World Languages. “Your children are always learning, always growing, and we’re here to carefully watch their progress and guide them along the way all year long.”

Fun in the Pumpkin Patch

Fun in the Pumpkin Patch photo

On Friday, Oct. 19, excited students from Slocum Elementary School were treated to a schoolyard filled with pumpkins and colorful Halloween decorations, courtesy of the school’s Parent-Teacher Association. The students were granted the opportunity to pick their own personal pumpkin, which they would label, decorate and then take home for the upcoming Halloween weekend. PTA President Jennifer Cardinale thanked the teachers and the dedicated members of Slocum’s PTA for another ‘Spook-tacular’ Pumpkin Patch.

Duffield Students Dine on Good Books

Duffield Students Dine on Good Books photo

Students at Duffield Elementary School recently took part in a handful of “tasty” literary activities without having to leave their own classrooms.

Fifth-grade students in Stephanie Russo’s class embarked on a book tasting picnic to “taste” different fiction genres. During the event, the young restaurateurs were able to get a snapshot of various titles within the fiction genre in hopes of finding a few books to read in the near future. All students in the class are currently working on an exciting challenge to read 40 books this school year. 

Additionally, students enrolled in Karen Pitka’s fourth-grade class expanded their literary knowledge during a similar literary event. At “Café Duffield,” each student was 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 the author did to hook the reader and if the student would recommend this particular piece of literature to others. These students had the pleasure of being joined by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lynda G. Adams along with Board of Education President Milynn Augulis during the delectable event.

‘Wacky Chad’ Amazes Students at John Pearl

‘Wacky Chad’ Amazes Students at John Pearl photo

On Oct. 17, John Pearl Elementary School students were highly entertained during a cultural arts assembly featuring renowned stunt-comedian “Wacky Chad.”

During the assembly, Wacky Chad informed the students that they must work hard in order to achieve their goals, along with the importance of showing respect to their elders on a daily basis. Students appreciated the dedication to his work and were thrilled to see Wacky Chad perform his exciting tricks using a pogo stick, skateboard and unicycle.

Wacky Chad’s athleticism, humorous jokes and personality earned him two appearances on the nationally televised “America’s Got Talent,” along with a Super Bowl appearance. For more than a decade, Chad has entertained thousands of fans from schools to theaters and festivals all around the world.

“Students and staff members were thoroughly entertained by this award-winning presenter,” said John Pearl Elementary School Principal Susan White.

Ready for Halloween

Ready for Halloween photo

In celebration of the fall season and Halloween, students at Cherokee Street Elementary School are currently sharpening their musical skills with assistance from music teacher Lauren Isleman by taking part in a fun pumpkin-themed activity.

Sitting in a circle, the students passed along a stuffed pumpkin around to one another while practicing keeping a proper beat to the melody of the song “Pass the Pumpkin,” which featured Halloween-themed lyrics and is set in a minor key. 

Once the pumpkin landed on a student, they were asked to leave the circle and interact with a number of instruments which would assist with increasing the musical dynamic of the song. The instruments included were xylophones, metallophones, gongs and rain sticks, which the students highly enjoyed playing alongside their classmates.

Welcome to Our 5th Grade Circus

circus image 

Cherokee Pumpkin Patch

Cherokee Pumpkin Patch
Students at Cherokee Street Elementary School recently hand-picked their very own pumpkins during the school’s annual pumpkin patch in celebration of the fall season and Halloween!

Impressive Test-Taking Skills

Impressive Test-Taking Skills photo
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The district would like to congratulate students Raymond Carta, Darren Dutton, Jack Engeldrum and Michele Muscolo for being named Commended Students in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program. 

About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Although these students will not continue in the 2019 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, Commended students place amongst the top 50,000 scorers of more than 1.6 million students who entered the 2019 competition by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. 

Additionally, student Raymond Carta was recognized as part of the National Hispanic Recognition Program, being one of the 5,000 students selected of the 250,000 Hispanic/Latino juniors who take the test. In order to qualify for this recognition, Raymond achieved the minimum required PSAT/NMSQT Selection Index Score and earned a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher by the middle of his junior year.

Celebrating 50 Years of OBMS

Celebrating 50 Years of OBMS photo
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In honor of the 50th operating year of Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School, a gala was recently held at the Flowerfield catering hall on Oct. 4 which was attended by more than 170 past and current employees of the school attended.  

Originally called the Oakdale-Bohemia Junior High School, the building has had only five principals since its inception. Four of those principals attended the event and were seen thoroughly enjoying reminiscing with old friends and current educators alike. Richard Stephens, principal of OBJHS for the first 18 years, was not able to attend but sent a fun message to the attending guests.

Words of Inspiration from Rohan Murphy

Words of Inspiration from Rohan Murphy photo

Nationally recognized youth and motivational speaker Rohan Murphy was welcomed to Connetquot High School on Oct. 12 for the assembly, “Write Your Life in Pencil, Not Pen!” The presentation focused on what Mr. Murphy refers to as “The Four P’s’” - purpose, pride, passion and perspective, along with the importance of inclusivity, and believing in oneself.

Mr. Murphy, a graduate of East Islip High School, has spoken at school assemblies in more than 40 states. Having lost his legs at birth, he showed his determination and spirit at a young age as he began wrestling in his freshman year of high school. After a successful high school wrestling career, he went on to wrestle at Penn State University.  

His inspirational speeches have been featured in numerous publications, including Sports Illustrated. Additionally, he was featured in his own Nike commercial to motivate and inspire people to exercise and live a healthy lifestyle.

Connetquot High School Principal Kenneth J. Costa, along with the Civic Club and Student Government advisors were very grateful that Mr. Murphy was able to offer his insightful words to staff and students alike.

Entering the zSpace

Entering the zSpace photo
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In preparation for implementing the highly engaging zSpace computer software into the classroom setting in the coming weeks, a number of staff members from the district recently took part in a full-day training session to familiarize themselves with the technology. Utilizing a pair of special glasses and a stylus, zSpace will engage middle school students in a plethora of virtual reality, STEM-related applications that bring real-world objects to life right before their eyes.

Fire Safety

Fire Safety photo

In recognition of National Fire Prevention Month, students throughout the district are preparing themselves with the knowledge to be ready to act in a safe and efficient manner in the rare event that a fire breaks out.

Students from the Slocum Elementary School recently took a field trip to meet some of their own local heroes at the Lakeland Fire Department, learning about fire safety and touring the facilities along the way. Led by the helpful firefighters, the students visited the firehouse and equipment, experienced the smoke house simulator and watched an informative video about fire safety. 

Bosti Elementary School students were visited by West Sayville firefighters Charlie, Gary, Melissa and Captain Liz for an informative assembly about the key components of fire safety. The firefighters informed the attentive students that it is imperative to try to remain calm during a fire and stay low to the ground to avoid smoke inhalation. The firefighters also displayed a number of their gear and gadgets to the students, including a flat head axe, halligan bar and thermal imaging camera. 

During both assemblies, students were encouraged to talk to their parents about developing an emergency escape plan and to have smoke detectors on each floor of the house. The students were reminded to call 911 during an emergency and to make that call from a neighboring house in the event of a fire. 

Connetquot High School Names AP Scholar Students

Connetquot High School Names AP Scholar Students photo
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The district is proud to announce that 114 Connetquot School students have earned Advanced Placement Scholar awards from the College Board. These honorees include both current students and members of the Class of 2018. 

Of the 114 total students, 50 received the AP Scholar title for receiving a score of 3 or higher on three or more AP Exams. Twenty-nine students were named AP Scholar with Honor, as they achieved an average score of at least 3.25 on all of their AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams. Additionally, 35 students were awarded with AP Scholar with Distinction, as they 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. Five graduates from the Class of 2018, Jacob DeRosa, Thomas Loos, Sean Mcnamee, Timothy Munsinger and Zachary Vero, earned the high honor of National AP Scholar. This award is given to students who have earned a score of at least 4 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 4 or higher on eight or more of those exams. 

The College Board recognizes AP Scholars as students who engage in AP courses and challenge themselves academically with college-level material allowing them the opportunity to potentially earn college credit while still in high school.

RMS Celebrates National Junior High School Inductees

RMS Celebrates National Junior High School Inductees photo

On Oct. 11, 63 new members were inducted into Ronkonkoma Middle School’s National Junior Honor Society surrounded by family, friends, and proud staff members.

The ceremony, which was held in the school’s Alice R. Schaefer auditorium, began with members lighting candles representing scholarship, character, leadership, citizenship and service. Adviser Aimee Padavan, along with Ronkonkoma Middle School Acting Principal Joseph Licato and the many teachers in attendance, all made remarks identifying the newest members of the Ronkonkoma NJHS as being bright, motivated, dedicated to being good citizens and helping others in their community.  

A reception honoring the inductees and their proud families was held in the cafeteria following the ceremony.  

The district congratulates the newly  inducted members of the Ronkonkoma Middle School National Junior Honor Society: Gabrielle Aiello, Julianna Alvarado, Thomas Anderson, Jonathan Biangazzo, Olivia Brown, Thomas Buzzitta, Victoria Buzzitta, Colin Cavanaugh, Ryan Cerone, Kyle Cochran, Alexa Colondona, Kennedy Cooper, Daniella Cregg, Luke DeMarco, Erick Duignan, Scott Duignan, Melissa Dunleavy, Alaina Ferraro, Edward Fieseler, Marissa Freeman, Tiffany Gao, Cadence Gentile, Gabrielle Giel, Kamryn Goncalves, Anna Hauser, Viraaj Hegde, Ava Henn, Olivia Jonas, Marilyn Justiniano, Nicholas Krall, James Latini, Jason Le, Tharuki Leelaratne, Lilia Livolsi, Cian Llerena, Jack Loubier,  Ryan Lozada, Mirza Mahim, Nicolas Maldonado-Molina, Matteo Marchese, Lucas Martin, Kylie Martinez, Jason Materazo, Angelina Melomo, Emma Mirabal, Julia Monkan, Kellyanne Moran, Ryan Muckle, Sri Vaishnavi Pannala, Nicole Platti, Jack Ponzio, Reagan Quillo, Alexander Rodriguez, Kacey Ruais, Matthew Schindlar, Ayaan Shaikh, Katlyn Smith, Trinity Stich, Margaret Sullivan, Vienna Talbot, Tyler Tripi, Sofia Turcios and Daniel Widing. 

Computer-Savvy Students

Due to their passion for computer programming and coding, a number of Connetquot High School students enrolled in the school’s computer programming clubs and courses recently engaged in interesting activities and took part in local programming-orientated competitions. 

Students Jack Russo and Connor Hauser utilized their creative talents to create a device which emulated the sounds of an electric guitar with “littleBits” in Computer Programming Club. According to their website, littleBits are system of electronic building blocks that snap together to turn ideas into inventions.

Additionally, Connor, along with students Taylor Maass and Joseph Vita, recently participated in the TeenHacks LI competition based in Syosset, New York. Both Taylor and Joseph used their coding skills to create a “Crypto Site,” a website which displays a graph of the three major cryptocurrencies and provides news articles related to the types of currency to showcase their current status in the market. Connor participated in a 24-hour group activity, in which the students designed a simple game which utilized virtual reality. In the game, the goal of his team was to move a small block past a line using their hands while locked into the VR. He was rewarded with a prize for his efforts, and plans to participate in additional competitions in the spring.

Sharing Small Moments

Sharing Small Moments photo
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Students enrolled in Melissa Lewis's and Jessica King's first grade classes at Bosti Elementary School came together as partners for a grand writer’s workshop, in which the students diligently composed “Small Moment” personal narratives. Both Mrs. Lewis and Mrs. King have created innovative learning spaces that provide flexible seating in their classrooms. In doing so, their students may enjoy having a variety of seat types and locations to do their work, thus providing a heightened level of student engagement.

Conserving Energy

Conserving Energy photo

Students at Bosti and Idle Hour Elementary Schools were recently provided with useful energy conservation strategies during a highly engaging theatrical presentation, “The Conservation Capers,” courtesy of PSEG Long Island and representatives of The National Theatre for Children.

During the show, the character “Nikki Neutron” guided the eager students through her journey to learn more about energy and stop the supervillain “Dr. Maybe” from wasting water and energy. Along the way, students learned informative facts about energy, including how power plants function, how energy can be used in a highly efficient manner and the benefit of using LED light bulbs in their homes. 

At the conclusion of the performance, a student volunteer assisted Nikki Neutron in challenging Dr. Maybe to a cumulative quiz about all they learned during the presentation, ultimately defeating Dr. Maybe and saving the world’s energy supply.

Letting Their Voices Soar

Letting Their Voices Soar photo
The district is proud to announce that three Connetquot High School student-musicians have been selected to take part in the Suffolk County Music Educators’ Association’s Showcase A Cappella ensemble being held at Northport High School on Oct. 27. 

The district congratulates students Robert Alvarado (bass), Jake Peralta (bass) and Gabby Perticone (alto).

In order to be selected for the showcase, the students auditioned at Centereach High School, singing a 30-second solo of their choosing. They were ultimately chosen by a panel of four Long Island music teachers based on their auditions.

An Evening of Student Accomplishments

An Evening of Student Accomplishments photo
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The district celebrated a number of student accomplishments during the Board of Education meeting held on Oct. 9, in the Barney Stejskal Board Room.

To begin the night’s recognitions, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lynda G. Adams introduced Connetquot Public Library teen librarian Angela Breslin to speak of the accomplishments of Connetquot’s representing team, “The Book Hunters.” Mrs. Breslin informed the community that the team finished first overall at the Aug. 11 Suffolk County Battle of the Books countywide reading program competition. The competing students spanned grades six through nine and were expected to read eight pre-chosen books in order to participate. 

In a stunning display of athleticism, Ronkonkoma Middle School seventh-grade student Chase Zere recently took first place at the Metropolitan Junior PGA Championship at The Millbrook Country Club held in Greenwich, Connecticut. Although only in the seventh grade, Chase is on the Connetquot varsity golf team along with his brother Tyler (11th grade) and Kyle (12th grade), both of whom are also Junior PGA Tour Players. 

Connetquot High School senior Victor Barsotti was recognized for being declared a Scholar-Artist by the Long Island Arts Alliance due to his commitment to the arts and academics. Each year, the Long Island Scholar Artist program, sponsored by the Long Island Arts Alliance, recognizes students who excel academically and in the areas of music, visual arts, dance, theater or media arts.

Firefighters for the Day

Firefighters for the Day photo
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Without the need to gear up in firefighter suits, students at Sycamore Avenue Elementary School were recently provided with extremely helpful tips and safety measures toward preventing fires.

With assistance from Bohemia Fire Department Chief Brian O’Neill and firefighter Richard Gross, the students gathered in the school’s auditorium where they viewed an informative video “Fire’s Fury.” It portrayed a fictitious scenario of a family whose house was destroyed by a fire due to the common mistake of leaving a lit candle unattended. “Fire’s Fury” also addressed the importance of establishing an escape plan in the rare emergency of a fire in the home, along with the importance of reminding the household adults to change smoke detector batteries frequently. 

At the conclusion of the video, Chief O’Neill engaged the students in a question and answer session, where they asked insightful questions about how to prevent fires and what they can do at home to protect the ones they love.

Visiting the Classroom Library

Visiting the Classroom Library photo

In coordination with their literary studies, students from Joanna Zalewski’s and Kim Patterson’s fifth-grade classes at Bosti Elementary School recently participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the opening of their brand-new classroom libraries. After celebrating the introduction of the libraries, the students excitedly browsed the large collection with their reading partners, and selected books spanning multiple genres for their independent reading sessions.