Students Welcomed into Middle School


Incoming sixth-graders were introduced to their new school at the Welcome Back to School Barbecue on Aug. 20.

During the annual barbecue, students met Principal Robert Neidig, Assistant Principal Claudia Smith and several middle school teachers. They also toured the school and received their locker assignments. Parent volunteers were on hand to serve a tasty dinner of hot dogs and hamburgers to all attendees.

The barbecue is an opportunity for students to socialize with their classmates and become acclimated to the school while celebrating the start of the school year.

High School Tops in Newsweek Study

Newsweek has named Earl L. Vandermeulen High School as a 2015 top American high school. The national magazine ranked the district’s high school No. 1 in Suffolk County, No. 38 in New York State and No. 276 in the nation when it comes to preparing students for college. The school has a 100 percent graduation rate, with 96.9 percent of students moving on to higher education.

Of the distinction, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Bossert said, “We are pleased to be recognized for our commitment to students’ continuing education. It is a testament to the dedication of our teachers, administrators and support staff. ”

More than 16,000 schools were considered in the ranking based on a broad range of data, including enrollment and graduation rates and AP, SAT and ACT scores, among other factors.



A special meeting of the Port Jefferson School District Board of Education will be held on August 25, 2015, 7:00 p.m., at Edna Louise Spear Elementary School.  Call to order will be at 6:00 p.m. for the purpose of entering executive session.

The regular monthly business meeting of the Port Jefferson School District Board of Education will be held September 8, 2015, 7:30 p.m., at Edna Louise Spear Elementary School.  Call to order will be at 6:00 p.m. for the purpose of entering executive session.

High School Assistant Principal Appointed

The district is pleased to announce that the Board of Education unanimously appointed Kevin J. Bernier as Earl L. Vandermeulen High School’s new assistant principal during a meeting on August 11. Mr. Bernier will officially begin his work in the district on August 24.

“We are certain that Mr. Bernier, who comes to us with years of administrative experience, will serve our district well and help to ensure that all of our students receive the personalized, rigorous education that our community has come to expect,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Bossert.

Prior to joining the Port Jefferson School District, Mr. Bernier was employed by the William Floyd School District, where he has worked since 2001. Most recently, he served as the assistant principal at William Floyd High School and a district CTE administrator. His professional background also includes 12 years of teaching experience in the area of English on the secondary level.

Mr. Bernier holds a Bachelors Degree from Long Island University and a professional diploma for educational administration and a Masters in English from Dowling College. He is a member of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and the National Council for the Teachers of English.
In his new role, Mr. Bernier will serve along side high school Principal Christine Austen, who previously served the district as the Pre-K-12 assistant principal.

Welcome Back Letter from Superintendent Dr. Bossert


Three Administrators Appointed to Leadership Team

It is the mission of the Port Jefferson School District to provide a personalized, rigorous education that develops responsible, independent and adaptable lifelong learners. In order to provide our students with all available opportunities for success, the district must employ administrators that inspire, encourage and support all students, staff and faculty alike.

To that end, during its July 28 meeting, the Board of Education unanimously appointed veteran educators Robert Neidig, Ed.D., Jodi Cahill and Claudia Smith as Port Jefferson Middle School principal, director of special education and pre-K-8 assistant principal, respectively. 

“This is an exciting time in the Port Jefferson School District,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Bossert. “[It is] a time filled with opportunities for growth and development as new leaders join the team. Each was selected based upon outstanding vision, strong content knowledge and the ability to collaborate with all stakeholders in an effective manner.”

Following eight successful years as assistant principal of North Country Road Middle School in the Miller Place School District, Dr. Robert Neidig will now lead the Port Jefferson Middle School as principal. During his time as assistant principal, Dr. Neidig fostered a positive relationship between the school and community, initiated character education programs to improve the school climate, facilitated the implementation of the Common Core Learning Standards and served as chairperson for four academic departments. Prior to his years as an administrator, he began his educational career as a secondary social studies teacher in the Babylon School District.

Dr. Neidig holds a bachelor’s degree in secondary education with a concentration in social studies from the University of Scranton, two master’s degrees – one in liberal studies and another in school district administration – from Stony Brook University, and an educational doctorate in educational administration from Dowling College. He will begin his new role in Port Jefferson on Aug. 17.

Jodi Cahill will begin her tenure as director of special education on Aug. 10. She joins the Royal family from the Brentwood School District, where she began her career in education and has worked for 20 years. Since 2002, Mrs. Cahill served as Brentwood’s department head for speech and hearing, as well as chairperson for the district’s Committee on Special Education. She coordinated the implementation of Individualized Education Programs for approximately 1,000 students in grades pre-K through 12 receiving speech therapy, created and implemented professional development programs for department staff and supervised 24 speech language pathologists.

Mrs. Cahill holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in speech language pathology from SUNY Cortland and LIU Post, respectively, and certification as a school district administrator from Stony Brook University.

Claudia Smith will replace Christine Austen, who was appointed as high school principal, in a restructured position as pre-K-8 assistant principal, working with both the staff and students at Edna Louise Spear Elementary School and Port Jefferson Middle School. Mrs. Smith joins Port Jefferson from the Middle Country Central School District, where she worked as a regular and integrated elementary school teacher for 18 years. As a classroom teacher, she consistently differentiated instruction to meet the needs of all students, utilized both qualitative and quantitative means of assessment, and prepared students to master formal assessments through the use of curricula aligned to the Common Core Learning Standards.

Mrs. Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in child studies (pre-K-6) from St. Joseph’s College, a master’s degree in reading, language and cognition (K-12), and professional diplomas in school district and school building leadership from Dowling College.

The Sounds of Summer

Elementary and middle school students honed their musical abilities during a three-week summer music camp that ran through July 23. During the annual camp, beginner and intermediate band and string students practiced their musical studies while interacting with their peers.

“The camp provided an enjoyable and positive way for students to either begin learning an instrument or continue their musical studies,” said Director of Music and Fine Arts Michael Caravello.

Senior Athletes Recognized

More than 65 student-athletes from the Class of 2015 were recognized for their athletic accomplishments at an awards presentation held during the annual Senior Day celebration. Each athlete was presented with a certificate acknowledging their dedication, hard work and sportsmanship during their athletic career in high school.  

The district extends its congratulations to the following senior athletes:

Mark Accardo
David Altamirano
Neil Alvarez
Caroline Biondo
Kristin Booker
Ryan Burgert
James Burke
Ryan Burke
Kristin Callahan
Paul Capobianco
Nicole Carlacci
Corey Carnahan
Gaspar Cello
Lillian Concepcion
Douglas Crawford
Matthew Crawford
Janella Marie Damaskos
Meghan Dambeck
Noah Davis
Corey deGroot
Olivia Desmond
Tristin DeVincenzo
Allison Dombroski
Deanna Eichinger
Ali Ertugrul
Jacqueline Fabian
Shannon Fee
Allegra Fils-Aime
Joshua Forgione
Rachel Geiser
Martin Genao
Kareem Ghaleb
John Giannusa
Devin Ginas
JuMi Ha
Emilie Harrington
Richard Hoey
Tyler Holmes
John Howell
Richard Hoey
Tyler Holmes
John Howell
Matthew Keresztes
Callan Evelyn Klasek
Benjamin Kluender
Sascha Koller
Devon Koban
Maureen Laffey
Courtney Loehr
Gregory Markarian
Margo Martin-Deprez
Lauren McGuirk
Donal Michael McSweeney
Alden Mohacsi
Brigitte Murphy
James Murphy
Jake Myhre
Adam Nieves
Ralph Joseph Parillo
Dimas Perez
Thomas Pon
Emily Rubenbauer
Lara Sarubbi
Daniel Scarda
Parker Schoch
Tammy Serabian
Joseph Sottile III
Gordon Sund
Annie Warm
Dylan Wennerod

What a Year It Has Been!

The 2014-2015 school year was filled with numerous accomplishments, exciting educational events and community service projects. This video highlights a few of those amazing achievements and milestones.

Board Members Sworn in at Reorganization Meeting

Three members of the district’s Board of Education — one newly elected trustee and two re-elected incumbents — took the oath of office at the annual reorganization meeting on July 13.

Tracy Zamek raised her right hand and swore the oath administered by District Clerk Janice Baisley to commence her first term as trustee. Vincent Ruggiero and Mark Doyle were also sworn in by Baisley to begin their new terms.

The Board reinstalled President Kathleen Brennan to her title role and elected to appoint Mark Doyle as vice president.

After the oaths, the Board commenced with the meeting agenda, which included Executive Director for Curriculum and Instruction Maureen Hull’s presentation of the Spring 2015 School Report Card.

Scholarships Awarded to Class of 2015

In acknowledgment of the hard work and dedication they had displayed throughout their high school careers, members of the Class of 2015 were awarded college scholarships during the annual Senior Day prior to graduation.

The students were presented with more than $47,000 scholarships, sponsored by 39 local organizations, businesses, memorial funds and school organizations, for their academic successes, athletic achievements, and community service and citizenship.

The district extends its congratulations to the following students:

Academic Excellence Award
Ryan Burgert, Noah Davis, Lara Sarubbi and Natalia Zaliznyak

Amy Tyler School of Dance – Fine Arts Scholarship
 Carly Cherches

Bill Flanagan Memorial “Books from Billy” Scholarship
 Callan Klasek

Brookhaven Cluster of Superintendents Scholarship
 Kayley Okst

Denise Dougherty Abelson Memorial Scholarship
 Douglas Crawford and Matthew Crawford

Drs. Goldman, Taynor, Sabo and Rienecker
Orthodontics Health Sciences Scholarship
Parker Schoch and Yuuki Shibutani

Firefighter Thomas J. Kennedy Memorial Scholarship
Ellen Fox

Fran Cook Memorial Scholarship (BOCES)
 Amanda D’Auria

Frey Family Foundation Courage Scholarship
Allison Dombroski and Paul Han

Frey Family Foundation Renaissance Scholarship
Noah Davis and Morgan Campbell

Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce Scholarship
 Amanda D’Auria
Historical Society of Greater Port Jefferson Scholarship
 Thomas Pon

In Memory of Kathleen, Edmund, Philip and Christopher Mallory Scholarship
Alden Mohacsi

James Gerard Butera Memorial Scholarship
Joseph Iasso

Jim Smith Memorial Scholarship
 James Burke and Lillian Concepcion

Joseph John Devine Foundation Scholarship
Richard Hoey

Long Island Teachers Benevolent Fund Len Motisi Memorial Scholarship
Ryan Burke, Rachel Geiser, Steven Geiser and Maureen Laffey

Michael Edward Anderson Scholarship
Dimas Perez and Paige Swift

Michael Fallacaro Memorial Music Scholarship
Alden Mohacsi

MSG Varsity Scholarship
Tammy Serabian

Port Jefferson Administrators Association Scholarship
Benjamin Kluender

Port Jefferson Facility and Technology Supervisors Association Scholarship
Ryan Burgert and Meghan Dambeck

Port Jefferson Fire Department Scholarship
Tyler Holmes and Joseph Sottile

Port Jefferson Lions Club Scholarship
Corey de Groot and Sydney Fowora

Port Jefferson Office Staff Association Scholarship
 Joseph Iasso

Port Jefferson PTSA Scholarship
Paul Han

Port Jefferson Retired Teachers Association Scholarship
Tammy Serabian

Port Jefferson Teachers Association Scholarship
Ryan Burke, Kristin Callahan, Shannon Fee and Christopher McLaughlin

Rotary Club of Port Jefferson Interact Recognition Award
 Caroline Biondo and Andie Fortier

Rotary Club of Port Jefferson Scholarship
 Joseph Sottile

SCOPE Scholarship
 Paul Capobianco

Ruggiero Family Scholarship
Rachel Geiser

Suffolk County Chapter NYS Association for Superintendents
of School Buildings and Grounds Scholarship
Robert Righi and Daniel Scarda

Suffolk County Transportation Service Scholarship
Carly Cherches

Suwassett Garden Club of Port Jefferson Scholarship
 Aliza Doyle

Theatre Three Scholarship
Paige Swift

Tri-M Music
Eliana Dorf

Honor Society Scholarship
Andie Fortier

United Paraprofessionals Association of Port Jefferson Scholarship
Matthew Crawford and Tammy Serabian

Velazquez Family Scholarship
Eliana Dorf

Senior Competes in New Balance Championship

High school senior Allegra Fils-Aime recently competed at the 2015 New Balance National Outdoor Championship from June 19-21 in North Carolina.

During the event, Allegra competed against 37 athletes in the triple jump. She jumped 38’2” finishing in 22nd place.

The competition culminated her career as a high school athlete. During her time in the Port Jefferson School District, she earned All-League in the triple jump and holds second place in the county title.  She also medaled at the NYS track meet, finishing fifth.     

Allegra will attend Wesleyan University in the fall, where she will continue to participate in track.

Class of 2015 Joins Ranks of Port Jeff Alumni


Dressed in purple and white caps and gowns, the 2015 Earl. L. Vandermeulen High School graduating class was celebrated at a graduation ceremony on June 26.

During the commencement, speakers rose to congratulate the students and offer words of wisdom. Among those addressing the students were Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Bossert, Valedictorian Noah Davis and Salutatorian Natalia Zaliznyak and parent speaker Peter Capobianco, who is the owner of Cappy’s Carpets.

In his speech, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Bosert echoed sentiments that he delivered to the class when they graduated eighth grade. He said, “Take advantage of all the opportunities presented to you over the next four years. Be involved, find your niche. Be a scholar, be an athlete, be an artist, be a musician…most of all make us proud.”

Congratulations to the Class of 2015, and best wishes for a successful future.


Living Biography Museum

Dressed in period costumes, third-graders recently participated in a Living Biography Museum.

The museum culminated a month-long project in which the students in Nancy Winkler-Brogan’s class each selected a figure to research. The students then brought the figures to life during the Living Biography Museum, which was attended by the student’s peers, friends and family. Each third-grader presented a five-minute speech in front of poster boards describing their figure.

Among the figures the students presented information on were Elvis, Blackbeard, Dr. Seuss and Michelle Obama.

Ducks Visit

Fourth-grader Amy Whitman was one of four winners in the annual “Take a Duck to Class” essay contest, sponsored by the Long Island Ducks and TD Bank.

Per contest rules, Amy submitted an essay of less than 250 words that answered the question, “Who is a hero in your community and why?” Her winning essay focused on her cousin Justin Vogt, a U.S. Marine. She won a $50 Visa gift card from TD Bank and a visit to the school from QuackerJack.

Off to High School

School officials, parents and friends acknowledged the accomplishments of middle school eighth-graders at a ceremony on June 25 at the high school.

During the event, the students received several special classroom recognitions and Presidential Awards for Academic Excellence, as well as certificates to signify their move to high school.

“While you have reached an important milestone in your educational journey, you have many more opportunities to make us proud,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Bossert. “As you head to high school, always trust your instincts and let them serve as a guide to shape your future.”

Also speaking during the ceremony was Middle School Principal Antonio Santana and eighth-grade Student Council President Phoenix Jampol.  

The event culminated with a performance of the theme from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony by the seventh- and eighth-grade orchestra.



Several students recently proved their smarts when it comes to correctly answering math questions. Among them was eighth-grader Annalisa Welinder, who earned fifth place for her score in the Level 3 Algebra/Trig Suffolk County Math Contest. Fellow eighth-grader Mayu Takeuchi also demonstrated her mathematical prowess with a score of 106 out of 120 on the AMC10 test, which is designed for high school students. Mayu’s score was the highest in her school.

Additionally, high school senior Ryan Burke qualified to take the prestigious American Invitational Mathematics Examination after earning a score of 106.5 on the AMC12 test. Ryan’s high score was in the top 5 percent nationally.

Moving Up to Middle School

The future Class of 2022 celebrated their moving up to middle school at a ceremony on June 24 at the high school.

During the event, the elementary school students received special classroom, safety patrol and principal recognitions, as well as certificates to signify their move to middle school.

“Today, we celebrate a milestone in your educational journey,” Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Bossert said. “Take the lessons you’ve learned in elementary school to the middle school and seek out activities that inspire you.”

Also speaking at the ceremony were parent Jill Russell, retiring teacher’s aide Loraine Serabian and elementary Principal Thomas Meehan.

The event culminated with the students singing “The Best Day of My Life” by American Authors and an ice cream social.


Students Help Build a Home

With hammers and nails in hand, members of the high school Interact Club helped build a home in Mastic Beach as part of the Habitat for Humanity Student Build program.

The students spent the day installing windows on the first floor of the home and hammering in the front porch. They also raised $1,500 for the project through a fundraiser.

“This was truly a rewarding experience for the girls, who learned about Habitat’s organization and helped get a deserving family a step closer to moving into their new home,” said club advisor Deirdre Filippi.

Dancing the Night Away

To celebrate their completion of middle school, 92 eighth-graders enjoyed an evening of dancing on June 23 at Lombardi’s on the Sound.

The annual eighth-grade dance was coordinated by Allison Giannusa, Student Council advisor and allowed the students to spend some quality time together before moving to the high school.  

Summer School Opportunities for Parents and Students

Click here for more information

Valedictorian Honored

Port Jefferson Class of 2015 valedictorian Noah Davis was honored during the annual Suffolk County School Superintendents Association Valedictorians Luncheon at the Hyatt Regency in Hauppauge in May.  

During the event, Noah and the other valedictorians in attendance were honored for their achievements, dedication and commitment. Noah was joined by his parents, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Bossert and Principal Dr. Matthew Murphy. Regent Roger Tilles, a member of the New York State Education Department Board of Regents, served as keynote speaker and extended his congratulations to the soon-to-be graduates.

Mosaic Winners

Middle school students Erica Graci and Lucas Welinder were selected to have their artwork displayed at Rocketship Park in the Village of Port Jefferson as part of a beautification project fundraiser organized by the Village.

As part of the fundraiser, the middle school purchased two tiles and held a schoolwide contest calling for artwork to decorate the tiles. The winning images submitted by Erica and Lucas will be screened onto the mosaic tiles and installed at the park once a renovation project gets underway.

Athletes Commit to Colleges


Royal Pride shined through as the athletic department hosted a college-commitment ceremony on June 3 for student-athletes who have chosen to continue their athletic journeys at some of the nation’s top colleges this fall.

During the ceremony, six high school seniors penned their names to college commitment letters as proud parents, coaches and school administrators watched.

“These athletes have all made an enormous impact on the Port Jefferson athletic community by either being on championship teams or by setting school, state and personal records,” said Debra Ferry, Port Jefferson athletic director. “They each have what it takes to succeed as college athletes. I wish them the best of luck.”

The school district congratulates the following students:

James Burke, Georgetown University (Track)
Tristin DeVincenzo, University of Pennsylvania (Wrestling)
Shannon Fee, SUNY New Paltz (Softball)
Allegra Fils-Aime, Wesleyan University (Track)
Emilie Harrington, Hunter College (Volleyball)
Alden Mohacsi, Dickinson College (Track)


Port Jefferson Teams Earn Accolades

Three high school varsity athletic teams were recently recognized with prestigious honors during end-of-year sports dinners. The Port Jefferson School District congratulates the following teams:

The varsity lacrosse team capped off their inaugural season with several awards at a recent ceremony. During the event, Connor Fitterrer, Brian Mark and Max Scandale were named members of the League IV All-League team, and Max was recognized for making the All-County team. Brian was also named the League IV Rookie of the Year.

Senior Jake Myhre was recognized as the first recipient of the $1,000 “Stick with a Goal” scholarship, granted by the Port Jefferson Village Lacrosse Association. Jake will attend the University of Pittsburgh in the fall.

As a team, the boys earned the Suffolk County Lacrosse Coaches Association Crosse Award, which recognizes teams that are most improved.
“I couldn’t be more proud of what this team accomplished this past season,” said head coach Taylor Forstell.

Seven varsity baseball players scored top honors at the Suffolk County All-League/All-County Dinner. They included All-League Players Neil Alvarez, Noah Davis, Sean Griffin, Matt Keresztes, Ben Kluender and James Murphy, and All-Academic Player Tristin DeVincenzo. The team reached the Suffolk County Class B Semifinals.

At the Suffolk County Boys Tennis Awards Dinner, five senior varsity tennis players were recognized. Sascha Koller earned a top 16 in the county award, Paul Capobianco and Corey deGroot received an All-League Doubles recognition, Adam Nieves was awarded with an All-League Singles honor and Gaspar Cello received a sportsmanship award. Additionally, eighth-grader Josh Gelfond earned the No. 1 USTA boys 14-year-old player award and will be leading Port Jefferson’s tennis team next year.

Star Students Recognized

Six Port Jefferson elementary students have been named Star Students in the American Library Association’s yearlong Read Campaign.

The students chosen as June Star Students are Brianna Russo, kindergarten; Alexa Jacobs, first grade; Kyle DiCarlo, second grade; Anneliese Byrne, third grade; Sophia Wennerod, fourth grade; and Emily Hearney, fifth grade.  

For being named Star Students, the children have their photos displayed on the bulletin board outside the library along with a summary of their favorite books.

Elementary Math Tournament

A team of sixth-graders scored big at the eighth annual Suffolk County Elementary Math Tournament at Stony Brook University.

The team placed 10th out of 52 teams, and team member Aaron Held placed fourth in the individual competition out of 260 students.

To earn the recognitions, the students were required to answer challenging Math Olympiad-style problems in a timed tournament.

“The kids had a blast competing and spending the day on a college campus,” said math teacher Megan Ryan.

Buddy Bench Unveiled

To encourage inclusion and kindness on the playground, the elementary school cut the ribbon on a new playground buddy bench during the school’s first Friendship Day.

The buddy bench, purchased through a Royal Education Foundation grant, aims to ensure that every student who may feel isolated or left out has someone to play with during recess. All students are encouraged to invite those sitting on the bench to play.

During the ribbon-cutting, students, wearing yellow as a symbol of friendship, read poems and sang about friendship.

Club Raises Money for Wounded Warriors

To conclude their inaugural school year as an official high school club, the Varsity Club worked together to raise $400 for the Wounded Warrior Project.

To garner the funds, Port Jefferson students James Murphy and Dylan Wennerod, with the help of advisor Jesse Rosen, organized a well-attended, after-school, donation-based speedball tournament for students and staff.

The club members hope to build on the success of the event next year and raise even more money for the Wounded Warrior Project.  

Community Read

Students, teachers and parents recently came together for a Community Read event at the high school. Upperclassmen led discussion groups in which participants discussed the book “Freak the Mighty” by Rodman Philbrock. Participants were able to ask the author questions through a Skype session, set up by teacher Paige MacLeod.

The purpose of Community Read events is to encourage and promote literacy in students, as well as to facilitate shared reading between the students and their parents.  

Major Organization Festival

Musicians from the seventh- and eighth-grade orchestra earned a silver award for their performance at the NYSSMA Major Organization Festival, held on May 28 at Patchogue-Medford High School.

During the event, the musicians, led by music teacher Christian Neubert, performed several pieces for adjudicators, who evaluated them on quality of performance and level of musicianship.     

Students Recognized for Volunteer Efforts

Students were recognized at the June 9 Board of Education meeting for earning the Presidential Service Award.

The 50 students, each of whom volunteered between 50 and 100 hours of their time to the Port Jefferson community, received a certificate and medal.

This year, under the direction of parent volunteer Jackie Hull, the students logged 6,000 volunteer hours with the majority of students recording an average of 188 hours of service.

“It is wonderful to recognize these very civic-minded students, who have gone above and beyond,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Bossert.

The Port Jefferson School District congratulates the following students: Chloe Andriani, Nicholas Thomas Andriani, Gavin Barrett, Reid Biondo, Kyra Becker, Lexi Becker, Nicholas Caltagirone, Sam Caltagirone, Ashley Catoggio, Taylor Catoggio, Kathleen Christ, Shannon Christ, Jillian Colucci, Lia Desmond, Olivia Desmond, Robert Delman, Eli Doyle, Chloe Brooke Dugourd, Dylan Serge Dugourd, Kayla Jade Fox, Hailey Hearney, Sarah Elizabeth Hull, Thomas Henry Hull, Grace Keegan, James P. Kennedy, Michael L. Kennedy, Claudia Koutsantanou, Hyun Jin Lee, Joseph Luca, Matthew Luca, Aidan Malinowski, Max Okst, Fiona Petracca, Siobhan Petracca, Skylar Marylin Pine, David Rotunno, Devin Rotunno, Jordan Suarez, Jillian Sullivan, Mayu Takeuchi, Luigia Than, Pina Than, Karin Thomassen, Kayla Timpanaro, Andrew Tursi, Robert Williams, Peggy Yin, Brooke Zamek, Eric Zimmermann and Noelle Zimmermann.

Cooking Club Gets “Chopped"


You’ve read the story and seen the pictures, now enjoy the video. Produced and edited by Earl L. Vandermeulen senior Julia Durfee in Brian Chalmers’ broadcast/journalism class, the video takes viewers behind the scenes of the Port Jefferson Middle School “Chopped” competition held in May.

Tenured Educators & Farewell to Retirees

The Port Jefferson School District Board bid farewell to six retiring employees and congratulated five educators on receiving tenure at its June 9 meeting.

During the meeting, administrators shared kind words about the retiring teachers and office staff, who worked tirelessly for the students and could never truly be replaced.
The district extends its best wishes for a happy and healthy retirement to: Louise Cash, teaching assistant; MaryJane Fleckenstein, lifeguard; Vicky Herman, teaching assistant; Marianne McFadden, teacher; Loraine Serabian, teaching assistant; and Carole Udovich, office applications specialist.    

The Board also congratulated tenured employees Taylor Forstell, special education teacher; Celiana Gandolfo, foreign language teacher; Maureen Hull, executive director of curriculum and instruction; Stacia Schoen, speech teacher; and Kelly Spencer, special education teacher.

“You have reached a milestone in your careers, and we hope that you continue to serve as an inspiration to students over the next 20 to 30 years,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Bossert.

Additionally, Board Vice President James Laffey was recognized for his years of service as a Board member, serving on three committees.

“Mr. Laffey really stepped up to the plate,” said BOE President Kathleen Brennan.
 “He takes his work on the BOE very seriously, and we will miss him.”

The Board rounded out the evening by thanking high school senior Paul Capobianco for serving as the student representative to the Board.

First Annual Career Day

On June 3, fourth and fifth graders learned about various careers from parent volunteers. Find out more about the new program by watching the accompanying video.

Meet the New HS Principal

The Port Jefferson School District has named Christine Austen as the new principal of Earl L. Vandemeulen High School.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome Ms. Austen as our new high school principal,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Bossert. “Her strong educational background will help her as she takes the helm at our high school and continues our tradition of educational excellence and Royal Pride.”

Ms. Austen is equally excited to take on the role of principal at the school from which she graduated.

“It is wonderful to be given this opportunity to come home and give back to the community this way,” she said.

As principal, Ms. Austen said, she plans to continue to maintain the important connection the school district has with the community and ensure that every student is college- and career-ready through individualized learning opportunities. She also intends to enhance the high school experience for students through the introduction of new technology-related courses and the institution of Google Classrooms.

“Our goal is to prepare our students with skills that will last a lifetime,” she said.

Ms. Austen previously served in the district as dean of students, technology integration specialist and library media specialist. She is a member of the district’s Safety Committee, Code of Conduct Committee and Professional Development Committee, among others.

Ms. Austen, who is a mother of three, holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Stony Brook University and a Master of Library Science from LIU Post. She also holds an advanced certificate in educational computing and administration from Stony Brook University and is the recipient of the 2008 C.W. Post Educator of the Year Award.

Thursday, August 27, 2015