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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.