Connetquot High School Girls Winter Track and Field Team Showcases Ability
The Connetquot High School winter girls track and field team recently took part in the Art Mitchell Class Track and Field Meet, held at Suffolk County Community College, Brentwood Campus, on Saturday, Jan. 13.
The T-Birds competed against other Suffolk County schools as it prepares for the upcoming League II championship tournament. Coach Jim Crowley III was very proud of his team, as it prepares to defend its League II title.
Student-athlete Olivia Blas, who is currently the No. 1-ranked freshman shot putter on Long Island, won the shot put with a throw of 29’ 4.5”. Serena Roopnarine secured fourth place in the 1500-meter run/walk with a time of 7:36.99, making her the No. 7-ranked racewalker in the United States!
Additionally, Nicole Weaver took seventh place in the 55m hurdles (10.5), Andrea Martino secured ninth place in the 3000m (12:43.5), Emily Karl placed 11th in the 600m (1:48.6) and Madison Feraca finished up in 15th place in the 1000m (3:59.10).
The Suffolk County League II championship tournament is scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 21. Best of luck to the Connetquot girls winter track team!
CHS Swimming and Diving Team Secures Fifth Win of the Season
A natatorium filled with excited and supportive fans recently enjoyed the stunning display of athleticism the Connetquot High School swimming and diving team displayed on Jan. 17 against Central Islip High School, as it secured a 90-82 final score to improve its season record to 5-3.
Dylan Macejko won the 50-yard freestyle and qualified for the New York State championship with a time of 22.07. Additionally, Tom Loos won the 100-yard butterfly stroke in 1:25.3. Coach Alex Scicchlione later announced that Loos was selected as the winner of the inaugural Connetquot Swim Team Character Award.
Congratulations to the Connetquot swim and dive team for its impressive win over Central Islip, and a sincere thank-you to the graduating seniors, who have continued the tradition of excellence for the Connetquot High School Swim program – Mike Agrillo, Joey Amarando, Kenny Dao, Tommy Loos, Frank Messina, Giddy Mula, Steven O’Conner, Nick Pizzo and Ryan Shack.
Taking learning beyond the classroom, students enrolled in Elizabeth Jonas’ and Linda Pennington’s kindergarten classes at Slocum Elementary School were recently able to explore the world around them using their five senses.
With assistance from Donna Waldenburg, a representative of Long Island Center for the Arts and Sciences, the students engaged in activities which would further enhance their senses and deepen their understanding of how the body works.
Ms. Waldenburg walked around the room with small containers consisting of prominent, flavorful scents, explaining that the nose is the body’s primary organ for picking up smells. Additionally, the kindergartners utilized their senses of sight and hearing as they played Simon Says in American Sign Language, and learned how to say “I Love You” in Braille using their sense of touch. To learn more about their sense of taste, the students participated in an activity which discussed the important sense via discussions and informational slides.
Students at John Pearl Elementary School were recently visited by Mad Science of Long Island representative “Ant the Alchemist” for a highly engaging science presentation titled “Up, Up and Away.”
Utilizing his energetic personality to get the students excited about the wonder of science, Ant the Alchemist invited student volunteers to take part in hands-on activities.
Along the way, students learned that water pressure increases the further you dive into the ocean, and that air pressure decreases as airplanes rise higher into the air. Additionally, they engaged in activities showcasing that plastic bags begin to rise when heat is applied to its physical structure, car engines run due to reactions in the combustion chamber, and that structures can actually float if high amounts of air pressure are applied from underneath its base.
According to their website, Mad Science of Long Island is a leading science enrichment provider on Long Island, delivering hands-on, unique science experiences for children that are as entertaining as they are educational.
This December, C-Quest students were immersed in the study of world languages as they studied the Mandarin dialect of the Chinese language at Bosti Elementary School during an interactive workshop with the Wu family.
Mrs. Wu, who teaches the Mandarin dialect at the Portledge School in Locust Valley, led the workshop along with her husband and two daughters.
“During the workshop, the students learned the basics of speaking Mandarin using pictures to express basic phrases regarding likes, dislikes and greetings,” said Lisa Manzo, who advises the C-Quest program with Kevin Keane. “Additionally, they worked in groups to write words to create sentences and practice speaking with one another.”
Connetquot’s C-Quest program is dedicated to enhancing the educational experience of the district’s fourth- and fifth-grade students. Based at Bosti Elementary School, the C-Quest program services the needs of approximately 140 students throughout the district. Started almost 30 years ago as Connetquot’s “Gifted and Talented” curriculum, today’s C-Quest program continues the mission of enriching the experiences of its students.
Connetquot High School senior Marina Duszak continues to assist the Connetquot community with her altruistic efforts. This year, Marina took it upon herself to spearhead a fundraiser with the help of the high school students and staff, which raised $1,986 for the Make-A-Wish foundation.
Marina has a passion for giving to others and this December she coordinated a well-received fundraiser to benefit Make-A-Wish, a national organization with a vision of granting the wish of children diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition.
Through a “wish” ornament drive, Marina inspired her peers and high school staff to purchase paper ornaments for their homes, trees, offices and classrooms. The ornaments were sold for a $1 each. Additionally, Marina collected more than 2,000 letters to Santa through Make-A-Wish and delivered them to the local Macy’s department store.
A Connetquot High School senior, Marina is a member of the cross-country team, is the Student Government president, ranks in the top 10 percent of her class, and has survived cancer. Diagnosed with leukemia in her freshman year, Marina endured almost three years of chemotherapy. In her junior year, the side effects of the medication became less debilitating, allowing her to rejoin the cross-country team, and spend time paying forward good deeds toward her community.
The district recently hosted their annual English as a New Language Family Night at Ronkonkoma Middle School, 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 volunteered throughout the course of the night, as they hosted an arts and crafts session with the younger students in attendance and assisted with the setup of the evening’s activities.
Christina Ladick of the Connetquot Public Library was also in attendance to share information about all of the services that the library has to offer, and led a workshop for parents titled “Online Access to the Connetquot Public Library.” Mrs. Ladick also provided attendees with a meaningful tutorial on library website resources for parents and their children. There were also handouts available that described the ENL program and services that Connetquot Public Library offers.
The attendees were also able to enjoy delicious foods, consisting of elements of different cultures, such as fried rice, empanadas and pizza.
“In an increasingly global world, it is important for teachers, administrators, community members, and students to come together to experience each other and learn about various cultures,” said Denise Hannaoui, Director of ENL/World Languages. “This event is just one of many that has successfully brought us together and I thank all of our ENL teachers who collaborated to bring this wonderful night to fruition.”
Kindergarten students at Duffield Elementary are learning about the weather, along with the role the sun plays in changing various weather patterns. As a culminating STEM activity, the students were presented with a problem - can you build a structure that would protect an ice cube from the sun?
After carefully viewing the materials available, the next step was to draw a model of what they wanted to build. With their efforts combined and ideas formulated, the students engaged in trial and error study, building and revising structures to best protect their ice cube from the sun’s rays. Along the way, they highly enjoyed planning and solving a problem, just like a real scientist.
Bosti Elementary School recently welcomed family and friends to the annual Polar Express reception featuring Bosti’s pre-K students.
The event, which came together just before the holiday break, served as a fitting conclusion to students’ classroom study of the story of “The Polar Express.”
The school’s atrium was decorated with a giant-sized bell hanging from the ceiling, as well as a locomotive, passenger car and tables adorned with railroad-themed images. Additionally, the attending family members joined the students for songs and tasty treats.
Before leaving for the day, the students were visited by Santa Claus, who presented them with books and treats in celebration of the holiday season.
Students, teachers, friends and family were recently welcomed to Cherokee Street Elementary School to enjoy the 2017 edition of the school’s annual Cirque du Jour circus performance. Cherokee’s fifth-grade students worked with circus trainers Erin and Ray in their physical education classes to learn special ‘circus’ skills to entertain their fans.
Students learned the skills necessary to work as clowns, stilt walkers, jugglers, and masters of the Chinese Yo-Yo. The circus program is designed to motivate students to participate more fully in physical education and cultural arts activities.
Students in Stephanie Russo and Elissa Prisco’s fifth-grade class at Duffield Elementary School recently engaged in a holiday-oriented STEM activity. After reading one of their weekly vocabulary stories, the students constructed their very own gingerbread houses based on their reading.
Throughout the activity, they worked collaboratively to generate ideas before working independently to construct plans for the structures. Using their problem-solving skills, the students then tested and revised their plans as needed to improve the structure’s stability.
Second-grade students from Sycamore Avenue Elementary School recently brought some holiday cheer to the residents at the Arbors Assisted Living Community at Bohemia.
Sycamore Avenue Elementary School music teacher Rachel White, along with second-grade teachers, led the excited and cheerful students as they sang holiday songs to the residents.
“The students played their instruments, and taught the residents how to play along,” said Mrs. White. “Before leaving, each child introduced themselves to a new ‘grandfriend’, and gave them an ornament they had made in art class.”
Before wishing the residents a happy holiday season, the students dropped off more than 400 letters they had addressed to Santa in a designated bin in the front lobby which read “Letters to Santa.”
More than 150 runners recently took part in the seventh annual Connetquot High School Habitat for Humanity Club 5K Holiday Run/Walk held at Connetquot High School.
Due to outstanding community efforts, including donations during the event and T-shirt sales, close to $5,000 was raised for Habitat of Humanity of Suffolk County.
“It was a great success, and the recipients of the money raised today will be very thankful to all of you,” said Connetquot High School Habitat for Humanity Club co-advisers Jason Wilans and Dennis Fagan. “We are looking forward to doing it again next year, and hope all of you come out again to have another great run.”
Prior to the 9:30 a.m. start, Connetquot High School’s talented Long Island Voices, conducted by James Nagle, sang the national anthem in recognition of the event.
Mr. Wilans and Mr. Fagan would like to thank everyone who helped make this year’s event a success, beginning with the club’s student-members, many of whom were on hand at 6 a.m. to help set up for the event. Additionally, they would like to thank the Kohl’s department store for sending out five volunteers and a $500 donation, along with elitefeats for supervising and calculating the times of the runners.
In an effort to enhance their scientific studies, first-graders at Bosti and Slocum Elementary Schools recently received a visit from a Maritime Explorium representative for their “Wiggly Worms” workshop.
Throughout the course of the STEM-oriented activity, students became animal behaviorists as they took part in respectful, animal-friendly experiments to investigate the senses and reactions of earthworms. Within designated workstations, the students explored what components of the habitat provided worms with the most desirable living environment.
The students were highly engaged as they discovered multiple factors which would impact the worms’ environment, such as their reactions to different intensities of light, the types of soils and substrates most beneficial to their living situation, and how they responded in dry or moist conditions.
At the end of the experimentation period, the students gathered around in a circle and shared their findings amongst one another, explaining the factors they found to be most beneficial and harmful to the worms’ environmental factors.
Fifth-grade students at Sycamore Avenue Elementary School hosted the world-famous Cirque du Jour circus event, as talented circus ringmasters worked with students over the course of the school week, teaching them special circus skills necessary to entertain their fans, classmates and parents for the energetic performances at the end of the week.
The talented students were full of positive energy as they worked as clowns, jugglers and stilt walkers throughout the course of the performances.
The Cirque du Jour program is designed to motivate students to participate more fully in physical education and cultural arts activities.
CHS Basketball Team Hosts Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament
Thirteen Suffolk County boys’ basketball teams were recently invited to Connetquot High School to participate in the first annual Coaches vs. Cancer League Challenge.
A nationwide effort to support the fight against cancer, the Coaches vs. Cancer program involves boys and girls high school teams, as well as colleges, across America.
Connetquot played the first game on Saturday, Dec. 9 against West Islip High School. Coach Tim Trava and his T-Birds were ready for this challenge, took an early lead and coasted to a 65-36 win, thus earning their second victory of the season.
Connetquot’s win was brought to fruition by Eric Leo’s 17 points and 11 rebounds. Seth Goumba added 15 points of his own, with six assists, while Sean Anderson and Taylor Stepanek each scored nine additional points.
Congratulations to Coach Trava and the T-Birds on the win, and a sincere ‘thank-you’ to the following schools, teams, players and fans for supporting the first annual Coaches vs. Cancer Challenge at Connetquot High School: Bay Shore, Bellport, Central Islip, Comsewogue, Deer Park, Eastport-South Manor, Half Hollow Hills West, Lindenhurst, Northport, Riverhead, Walt Whitman, West Babylon and West Islip.
Cherokee Street Elementary School had students, teachers and parents play games for a good cause during the school’s fourth annual Rock, Paper, Scissors Night. The event benefitted Matthew’s Wish, an organization whose mission is to give back to others. Matthew was a 13-year old whose last wish was to fill an 18-wheeler with toys for hospitalized children before he passed away in 2011. With the love and support of family and friends, his mother made his dream a reality.
Cherokee Street Elementary School Student Council adviser Ryan Cavanagh and Principal Jill Lahey, along with student council members, supported the organization this year by collecting toys and providing the community with a fun game night.
“Over the last four years, the Cherokee Street School community has donated more than 1,400 brand new toys and games to be passed along to hospitalized children,” said Mr. Cavanagh.
This year’s event in particular collected 300 new gifts which were donated to Matthew’s Wish at the nonprofit’s Parade of Toys event on Dec. 9.
The winner of the Rock, Paper, Scissors tournament was fourth-grade student Jordyn DeMatteo.
Connetquot High School Life Skills students recently lent their creative talents to design colorful and festive decorations for a fun-filled Holiday Craft Fair.
Working with teacher Danielle Orobello, the students spent weeks putting together colorful holiday signs, tree ornaments and door decorations, which they offered for sale at school for all to enjoy.
“An important part of the Life Skills program is teaching students the abilities they need to be successful in the workforce, as they get hands-on experience in the community working once a week with local businesses,” said Ms. Orobello. “Today’s first Holiday Craft Fair at Connetquot High School was a huge success, and we are all so proud to be a part of this outstanding experience!”
Hundreds of students, along with their families, teachers, administrators and friends were recently amazed by the colors, lights and decorations outside of Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School during the second annual “Winter Wonderland” event.
Santa Claus arrived promptly at 6 p.m. courtesy of the local fire department volunteers, as he set up his welcome mat inside the OBMS courtyard, which was appropriately renamed the North Pole for the evening. Excited children, along with their parents, spoke to Santa about their year, made a few requests and took home treats prepared by his elves.
Inside the “Wonderland,” entertainment was provided by Mrs. Claus’ storytelling, the OBMS Jazz Band and String Ensemble, the Roseland Dancers, along with Jester Jim and magician Gary the Great. The Reindeer Café provided complimentary hot chocolate and cookies, while pretzels, hot dogs and pizza were available to purchase.
Additionally, the indoor Santa’s Workshop provided opportunities for the children to have their faces painted, create colorful sand projects and work on a variety of craft activities.
“The dedication and vision of the PTA and community volunteers for this year’s ‘Wonderland’ exceeded even our own expectations,” said OBMS PTA President Raymond Carta. “The organization’s goal was to create that magical moment from days past where the entire neighborhood would turn out at the village square to enjoy the special atmosphere of the season with friends and family.”
As an addition to their STEM-based education, students of all grade levels at Bosti Elementary School recently took part in the nationwide Hour of Code phenomenon in an effort to enhance their computer coding skills.
Students from Michelle Eskin’s fourth-grade class joined one another in the school’s computer lab and took part in a Minecraft-themed game which asked them to successfully move a character from point A to point B while using code-based actions to do so. The students were highly engaged as they input combinations of actions into the command log and watched their character move based on their logical decisions.
According to their website, the Hour of Code is a global movement that reaches tens of millions of students in 180 plus countries.
In an effort organized by the building’s student council, Cherokee Street Elementary School students showcased their literacy skills as they put pen to paper and took part in a successful letter-writing campaign. The initiative was coordinated as part of Macy’s Believe program benefiting Make-A-Wish.
“Macy’s will donate $1 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation for each letter written by the students,” said Mrs. Kenna. “Cherokee students are expected to exceed last year’s total of 475 letters this year!”
As part of the program, Macy’s has committed to donating up to $1 million to the foundation. The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions, and seeks to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.
Students enrolled in the after-school Computer Science Clubs at Bosti and John Pearl Elementary schools are currently taking part in next generation activities and lessons in an effort to expand their STEM-based knowledge.
At both schools, time is split between unplugged, hands-on activities such as the computer-coding based Ozobots and plugged activities like Code Studio in the computer lab. Ozobots are small, programmable robots that make calculated movements based on drawn combinations of line sequences on paper. Both activities introduce the eager students to the ever-expanding field of computer coding, as they build their own sequences and familiarize themselves with the language necessary to become a successful programmer.
“One goal is for students to gain a deeper understanding of coding and the language of computers,” said Edward J. Bosti Elementary School Computer Science Club adviser Stephanie Gozaloff. “Additionally, students are working on increasing their critical thinking and problem-solving skills by becoming more creative thinkers along the way.”
The district congratulates the Connetquot High School Marching Band and Color Guard for showcasing their immense talents in the 38th annual QVC West Chester Christmas Parade, held in West Chester, Pennsylvania and earning sixth- and second-place standings, respectively.
According to their website, the parade provided a seasonal mix of traditional elements with a modern twist, as local schools, businesses, volunteer fire companies and other service organizations joined the marching bands, floats and antique vehicles that have cemented themselves as mainstays in the QVC West Chester Christmas Parade experience.
The parade was aired live during the event and will be broadcast on QVC on a loop on Christmas Eve and Day.
Twenty-eight new members were recently inducted to the Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School National Junior Honor Society based on their outstanding academic work and their contributions to the school community as a whole.
Principal Sue Bailey and National Junior Honor Society adviser Mary McGonnell welcomed the new members, along with their families and distinguished guests. The ceremony, which was held in the school’s auditorium, began with honor society officers lighting candles representing scholarship, character, leadership, citizenship and service.
A reception honoring the inductees and their proud families was held in the cafeteria following the ceremony.
Connetquot High School National Business Honor Society members took part in Adelphi University’s Apprentice Challenge, joining more than 240 of Long Island’s top business students as they worked with expert business faculty and marketing professionals to sharpen their skills.
Throughout the event, students learned essential and relevant marketing components, including the four P’s (price, product, promotion and place) and how to successfully create a marketing plan.
The students then tested their skills and worked collaboratively in teams to develop a marketing plan based on a sample case assignment. Based on their efforts, the one team that created the most successful marketing plan was awarded the coveted title of the “Adelphi Apprentice.”
Schools throughout the district recently took part in various food drives and activities in celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday.
Bosti Elementary School Principal Laura Kimball led a musical parade through the halls of the school, as students from Melissa Lewis’ and Patricia Nixon’s first-grade classes proudly marched the first and second floor hallways to the delight of their classmates. The parade included appearances by Santa Claus, a dancing turkey, a “living” Christmas Tree and a brightly dressed elf who helped Santa greet the happy students.
Louise Burger, principal of Connetquot’s Alternative High School, brought together students, staff, friends and family for the program’s annual Thanksgiving celebration, which included a feast complete with all of the traditional food items associated with the holiday. As part of the Family and Consumer Science elective, students learned the basics of planning, preparing and cooking an elaborate festive holiday meal and exchanged with each other what they are thankful for this holiday season.
In the spirit of giving, staff and students from Connetquot High School and Ronkonkoma Middle School collected hundreds of food items which were distributed to families less than fortunate just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. The schools were able to amass a large number of items, which included foods such as stuffing, canned vegetables and cereals.
Students from Linda Pennington’s and Elizabeth Jonas’s kindergarten classes at Slocum Elementary School recently dressed as Pilgrims and Native Americans in celebration of the school’s annual Thanksgiving Day Pageant. The students were able to inform the crowded atrium filled with smiling family members the story of the Pilgrims and their struggle to cross the ocean in search of religious freedom and new opportunities. Additionally, they explained how the Native Americans welcomed them, and helped them to survive the struggles of the first winter by teaching them how to build shelters grow crops native to “the new world.”
Here are some photos from our 1st grade's 50th day celebration.
We compared and contrasted then and now, read an informational book about the time period, listened to some 50s music and had a sock hop. We also sampled some root beer floats.
Students enrolled in Patrick Brennan’s and Tracy McIntyre’s fourth-grade classes at Idle Hour Elementary School recently displayed their vast knowledge of the Iroquois people, as they invited family and friends into the school’s atrium for a Native American museum event.
The project came as a conclusion to the students’ classroom lessons on the Iroquois tribe, covering important topics such as hunting and gathering techniques, the most common forms of shelter and family lineage facts.
With their immense knowledge of the tribe on hand, the students chose one particular aspect of Iroquois culture and wrote a detailed report on it and created of artistic representations of their topic. Some of the incredible displays of art included representations of hunting traps, comprehensive longhouses and wigwams, tomahawks, fishing poles and even a Haudenosaunee version of a lacrosse stick.
The invited guests enjoyed walking around the room, asking the students about their chosen project and learning important historical facts along the way.
Girls Volleyball Team Wins Third Consecutive Long Island Volleyball Championship
Connetquot High School girls volleyball coach Justin Hertz and his team are headed for their third consecutive trip to the Glens Falls Civic Center for the Nov. 18-19 State Championship Tournament!
Prior to this accomplishment, the T-Birds won the Suffolk County championship on Nov. 9 against Commack High School, and defeated Nassau champion Long Beach High School on Nov. 11 to secure the Long Island championship.
In front of a sold-out crowd at Suffolk Community College, Brentwood campus, Connetquot defeated Long Beach High School in straight sets, by final scores of 25-14, 25-16, 25-20. Nicole Migliozzi had 27 assists and 12 digs, while Under Armour All-American Athlete Mackenzie Cole had 10 kills. Student-athlete Cassandra Patsos added seven kills of her own, while Mackenzie Taylor contributed five. Additionally, Taylor had 21 digs while Patsos added seven blocks. Multitalented student-athlete Daniella Balsano started the festivities by singing the National Anthem for the crowd, and also contributed 17 digs of her own during the match. The team maintains its undefeated record at 18-0.
On the morning of Friday, Nov. 17, students, staff and administration lined the halls of the entrance to Connetquot High School to wish the volleyball team success as they prepared to board the bus headed for Glens Falls, New York.
Three Connetquot High School Gymnasts Selected for NYS Competition
Three Connetquot High School gymnasts competed well enough during the Suffolk County Individual championship competition on Nov. 9 to be selected for the New York State team, which will compete at the New York State Public High Schools Athletic Association championships scheduled for March 3 at Cold Spring Harbor High School.
Alexis Smith made the New York State team by scoring 9.3 on the vault, while Amanda Pisano secured her own spot with a score of 9.25. Sarah Moussa, who scored 35.3 in the All-Around competition, also received an 8.8 from the judges in the balance beam competition, securing her spot in on the New York State team.
“We had six Connetquot student-athletes compete for individual honors, and three were selected for the New York State team,” said Coach Renee Guerrieri. “I am so happy for the girls, the team and our community.”
Connetquot finished the regular season undefeated at 11-0 and was one of only six schools to compete for the Suffolk County championships. The T-Birds finished a more than respectable third in the County championships. The Connetquot community has praised the talented members of the district’s gymnastics team and their coaches for the poise, grace and execution they exhibited throughout the season.
Congratulations, and thank you, to the gymnasts, coaches and family members that supported the 2017 Connetquot gymnastics program.
Connetquot Football Season Comes to an End After a Fantastic Run
During the semifinal game against #1 seeded Lindenhurst High School on Saturday, Nov. 11, the Connetquot High School football team showed great promise, but ultimately lost the game, as the Bulldogs took an early lead and coasted to a 35-14 win on their home field.
George Wichelns scored on a 10-yard run for the T-Birds, while tight end Taylor Stepanek scored on a 6-yard pass from Dylan McDermott. Cole Bunicci scored both point after tries. Connetquot finished the season at 5-5 while the Bulldogs remain undefeated at 10-0.
The T-Birds had shown great spirit and cohesiveness in long stretches this season, especially in their first-round win at Ward Melville High School, where they took home a 36-20 win. Congratulations to Coach Mike Hansen, his staff and his dedicated football team! Thank you all for your effort, energy, excitement and enthusiasm this season. Best wishes for continued success to our graduating seniors!