A Homerun for Port Jeff

The Suffolk County Baseball Coaches Association recognized Earl L. Vandermeulen varsity baseball players Jack Collins, Mike DiCalogero, Hunter Ginas, Sean Griffin and Kris Cheslock for their outstanding achievements on the field at its annual awards dinner on June 15. Additionally, coach Jesse Rosen was honored as the League 8 Suffolk County Coach of the Year. He attended the event along with the student-athletes and coach Ian Schneider.

Garden Across the Centuries

Elementary School fourth-graders recently planted a new garden at their school as part of a history lesson on the contributions of various cultures to the development of Long Island and New York.

As part of the hands-on lesson, the students in Kari Costanzo’s class researched plants used by Native Americans, colonists and workers for medicinal purposes and cooking, and then sowed them in the school’s courtyard. Varies planted included juniper, blueberry, coneflower, phlox, comfrey, thyme and dianthus.     

Moving Up to Middle School

The Port Jefferson Class of 2023 celebrated their advancement to middle school with a moving up ceremony on June 22 at the high school.   

During the event, the fifth-graders received special classroom, safety patrol and principal recognitions, as well as certificates to signify their promotion to middle school.

“It has been a pleasure to watch you learn and grow,” Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Bossert said. “I encourage you to take advantage of all the opportunities available in middle school and get involved in new things. It is by expanding your horizons that you will be able to discover what you want to do in the future.”

Also speaking at the ceremony were Principal Thomas Meehan, who expressed his pride in the graduating class, and parent Kristen Wennerod. In keeping with tradition, the ceremony also included the presentation of a class gift — a new welcome mat for the elementary school.

The event culminated with the students singing “We’re All in This Together” from “High School Musical” and an ice cream social.


The annual reorganization meeting and July business meeting of the Port Jefferson School District Board of Education will be held on July 5, 2016, in the Large Group Room at Edna Louise Spear Elementary School. The reorganization meeting will commence at 7:00 p.m., and the business meeting will commence at 7:30 p.m.

Presidential Service Awards

On June 14, the Port Jefferson Board of Education presented 40 high school and middle school students with the Presidential Service Award. To earn the recognition, the students each volunteered between 50 and 100 hours of their time to the Port Jefferson community. The volunteer program is directed by parent volunteer Jackie Hull.      

Director Returns

Retired Port Jefferson music director Paul Sulkin recently taught several master classes to middle school students in preparation for their performances at the NYSSMA Majors Festival. Through the classes, the students learned new techniques to perfect the selections and worked to sharpen their music skills.      

Port Jeff Names Tenured Educators; Bids Farewell to Retirees, Superintendent

At its June 14 meeting, the Port Jefferson Board of Education bid a warm farewell to three retiring employees and congratulated three educators on receiving tenure.

During the meeting, district administrators stood to speak highly of science teacher Peter Burawa, custodian supervisor Gene Holland and teaching assistant Ann Famiano, each of whom will be retiring this June.

“You have all left your mark on the district and you will be a tough act to follow,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Bossert.
After heartfelt goodbyes, the district approved tenure for special education teacher Michelle Landetta, science teacher Greg Gorniok and teaching assistant Sonia Pinero.

In addressing the newly tenured employees, Dr. Bossert said, “Each of you represent the core values of our school district and we are confident that you will continue to serve our community and students well in the future.”  

Additionally, the Board of Education took a moment to recognize Dr. Bossert, who will be stepping down from his position to join the Elwood School District at the end of the school year.

“It is safe to say that you are leaving Port Jefferson in a much better place than when you arrived,” said Mark Doyle, Board of Education vice president. “You have cultivated relationships, represented us well and our district is in a strong financial situation. Thank you.”  

A House Fit for a Bird

As part of an interdisciplinary project, high school Advanced Placement Environmental Science students in Jonathan Maletta’s class investigated native bird species and then constructed birdhouses for the local fowl.

The students took further steps to understand the population dynamics of birds by registering their birdhouses with Cornell’s NestWatch program, which tracks trends in the reproductive biology of birds. Among the native species studied were black-capped chickadees and house wrens.

Through the activity, and with the help of technology teachers Brian Chalmers and Robert Dunlop, the students also learned about the proper use of power tools and how to properly design the houses to keep out invasive species.  

“I really enjoyed participating in this collaborative project,” said student Bella Mungioli.

Top Score Times Two

High school senior Eric Kilgore and freshman Annalisa Welinder were presented with mathematics awards at the Suffolk County Math Teachers Association dinner held this spring.

The young mathematicians were recognized for demonstrating their mastery in mathematics at the Suffolk County Math contest by leading their teammates to a third-place finish in Division 1.

Eric, captain of the team and repeat champion, finished the season with a score of 24 out of 30. Annalisa ended her first season with a score of 17 and earned a first-place award with the highest score in the pre-calculus event.

Letter from the Board of Education

Please read the attached letter from the Board of Education Regarding the appointment of an Interim Superintendent of Schools


Grand Slam for Tennis Players

High school tennis players were recognized for their skills on the court at the Suffolk County Tennis Awards Dinner, held at Lombardi’s on the Sound this spring.

Freshman first singles player Josh Gelfond was awarded All-Division recognition and sophomore second singles player Eli Doyle earned a team sportsmanship award. Also acknowledged were seniors and first doubles players Max Famularo and Dallas Brett, both of whom were bestowed All-League honors.     

Dr. Paul Casciano Named Interim Superintendent

At its meeting on June 14, the Port Jefferson School District Board of Education appointed Dr. Paul Casciano to serve as the district’s interim superintendent, effective July 1, 2016.

“Dr. Casciano brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the Port Jefferson School District, and the Board looks forward to working with him,” said Board President Kathleen Brennan.

Dr. Casciano will serve as interim superintendent while the Board continues an extensive superintendent search with the assistance of Eastern Suffolk BOCES.

“Information about the search process, as well as opportunities for input, will be shared with the staff and community in the near future,” said Brennan.
Prior to accepting this interim role in Port Jefferson, Dr. Casciano served his entire 41-year educational career within the William Floyd School District, including eight years as superintendent of schools.

The Stony Brook resident holds a bachelor’s degree from Central Connecticut State University, a Master of Science in education from Southampton College and a professional diploma in educational leadership and administration from LIU Post. He earned his doctorate in educational administration from New York University.   

Dr. Casciano is also a community leader, serving as co-chair of Congressman Lee Zeldin’s Education Advisory Committee, past president of the Rotary Club of Shirley and the Mastics, a member of the board of directors for the William Floyd Alumni Association, and a member of the New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program. Additionally, he serves with the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, the Long Island Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, and the New York State Council of School Superintendents.

“I have always held the Port Jefferson School District in high regard, and I am looking forward to working with the school community and making whatever contributions I can during my term,” said Dr. Casciano.

First Annual ‘Senior Walk’


Wearing white and purple caps and gowns, the high school’s Class of 2016 participated in an inaugural “senior walk” at the elementary school on June 9.

During the inspirational event, elementary school students, holding signs they made, cheered the graduating seniors as they marched through each hallway to the music of “Pomp and Circumstance.”

The walk helped to serve as a visual reminder for the kindergarten through fifth-grade students where hard work and dedication to academics will lead.

String Players Strike Gold

Hard work and dedication paid off for the middle school’s sixth- and combined seventh- and eighth-grade orchestra students as they earned gold medals at the NYSSMA Major Organization Festival at Newfield High School on May 25.

To earn the distinctions, the orchestras each performed several musical pieces for a panel of adjudicators, who evaluated them on quality of performance and level of musicianship. The sixth-grade orchestra, conducted by Vanessa Salzman, earned a gold medal with distinction and the combined seventh- and eighth-grade orchestra, led by Christian Neubert, secured a gold medal.

The Port Jefferson School District congratulates the students on their outstanding musical performances.   

Seniors Recognized


More than 50 high school seniors were recognized for their academic and athletic accomplishments at an awards ceremony on June 8 in the high school auditorium.

During the event, the outstanding seniors were presented with citizenship, athletic and academic achievement awards. Officers and members of the Class of 2016 Student Organization were also acknowledged for their hard work and dedication.

The Port Jefferson School District extends its congratulations to the following seniors:

AP Scholars
Nicholas Caltagirone, Parris Garant, Elisabeth Gwydir, Calla Kelley-Renda, Jefferson Koutsantanou, Isabella Mungiolo and Ryan Walsh

AP Scholar With Honor
Kathleen Christ

AP Scholars With Distinction
Casey Africano, Shannon Christ, Rachel Collins, Eric Kilgore, Marianna Spentzos and William Witrock

National AP Scholar
Eric Kilgore

Long Island Coalition Against Bullying
Emma Martin

Outstanding Service to the Drama Club
Karin Thomassen

Outstanding Film and Photo Contribution
Calla Kelley-Renda

Distinguished Citizen/Scholar
Calla Kelley-Renda/Eric Kilgore

Extraordinary Service Award
Maxwell Famularo and Karin Thomassen

NSDC Award for Academic Growth and Student Leadership in Learning Award
Casey Africano and Nicholas Hartmann

Outstanding School Citizenship Award
Hunter Buehler and Noelle Zimmerman

President’s Volunteer Service Award
Nicholas Fedler

Principal’s Leadership Award
Kathleen Christ

Prominent Citizen Award
Emma Martin

Spirit of Earl L. Vandermeulen High School Award
Nicholas Fedler and Liane Russell

Senior Athletic Awards
Samantha Bellois, Michelle Bourguignon, Dallas Brett, Daniel Brown, Shane Bruno, Nicholas Caltagirone, Rita Chen, Taylor Chiarelli, Kathleen Christ, Shannon Christ, Rachel Collins, Rebecca Crandle, Robert Delman, Matteo DeVincenzo, Michael DiCalogero, Megan Dick, Maxwell Famularo, Nicholas Fedler, Connor Fitterer, Alexander Frohnen, Parris Garant, Danielle Goldstein, Bill Govits, John Guerra, Nicholas Hartmann, Andreya Harvey, Sarah Hildreth, Garret Hiz, Justin Julich, Eric Kilgore, Allison Kochman, Jefferson Koutsantanou, Andrew Lioio, Rebekah London, Olivia Love, Isabella Mungioli, Sterling Nenninger, Pedro Nobrega, Victoria Raso, Leslye Rosario, Maxwell Scandale, Marco Scarda, Marianna Spentzos, Michael Spyrou, Swathi Sridevan, Ryan Walsh, Stacy Warm, William Witrock, Spencer Woolley and Noelle Zimmerman

‘Toad’-ally Froggy

A science lesson on amphibians came to life for Edna Louise Spear Elementary School fourth-graders through an interactive frog workshop taught by two elementary parents on May 26.

During the workshop, Dr. Gerald Thomsen, a professor of biochemistry and cell biology, and Julia Todorov Thomsen, a marine environmental scientist, shared their expertise and provided several hands-on activities for the students. The young scientists were able to view frog eggs, embryos and tadpoles through a fluorescent microscope and handle adult African clawed frogs.

Meet the Class of 2016 Valedictorian and Salutatorian


The Port Jefferson School District is proud to announce the class of 2016 valedictorian and salutatorian, Shannon Christ and Marianna Spentzos. Learn more in this video.

Royals Commit to Colleges


Royal Pride was in the air as the Port Jefferson School District’s athletic department hosted a college commitment ceremony on May 31 for student-athletes who have chosen to continue their athletic journeys at some of the nation’s top colleges this fall.

During the program, the Earl L. Vandermeulen High School students penned their names to college commitment letters as proud parents, coaches and school administrators watched.

“We are very proud of these student-athletes and wish them success,” said Edward Cinelli, district interim director of physical education, health and athletics.

The school district extends its congratulations to the following seniors:

Rita Chen, University of Maine (Swimming)
Michael DiCalogero, Alfred University (Football)
Matteo DeVincenzo, Princeton University (Wrestling)
Olivia Love, State University of New York at Plattsburgh (Soccer)
Leslye Rosario, Alfred University (Volleyball)
Max Scandale, Pace University (Lacrosse)
William Witrock, Tufts University (Track)

Track Star

High School senior Billy Witrock came home from the recent prestigious Eddy Games in Schenectady, New York a track star. During the competition, he not only took first place in the 400 intermediate hurdles, but also set a new school record with his time of 55.27.

“I am really happy about it,” said Billy, who runs cross-country, winter and spring track.

The previous school record — 55.49 —  was held by Danny Gross and set in 2014.

“He really did an excellent job in a difficult race,” said coach Rod Cawley.

Aside from being a student-athlete, Witrock also serves as class president. He will be attending Tufts University in the fall.   

“An American in Paris”

The high school International Club and several French classes enjoyed a Broadway performance of “An American in Paris” during a May field trip to New York City. The show culminated their studies on World War II, particularly life in France, as the performance highlighted the American and French cultures of the 1940s.  

Latin Students Earn High Marks

Middle and high school Latin students recently took the 2016 National Latin Exam and earned some of the highest marks in the country and world.

To celebrate their success, each of the 46 students were honored for their accomplishments and presented with certificates of achievement at a luncheon on May 20 in the high school library. Notably, Kyle Onghai earned a perfect score on the Latin I exam and Annalisa Welinder achieved a perfect score on the Latin II exam.

According to the exam administrators, 154,000 students from 50 states and 19 foreign countries take the annual exam.

The Port Jefferson School District extends its congratulations to the following students for earning medals:

Latin I
Carmella Moran: gold medal, summa cum laude    
Kyle Onghai: gold medal, summa cum laude
Giuseppina Than: gold medal, summa cum laude
Felicity Hyams: silver medal, maxima cum laude    
Jane Murphy: silver medal, maxima cum laude
David Bershadsky: magna cum laude  

Latin II
Gavin Barrett: gold medal, summa cum laude
David Rotunno: gold medal, summa cum laude
Ava Schully: gold medal, summa cum laude
Annalisa Welinder: gold medal, summa cum laude
Katherine Ambrozy: silver medal, maxima cum laude
Cameron Cohen: silver medal, maxima cum laude
Sarah Hull: silver medal, maxima cum laude
Miles Kaming-Thanassi: silver medal, maxima cum laude
Ryan Robertson: silver medal, maxima cum laude
Taylor Corallo: magna cum laude  
Ryan Kim: magna cum laude  
Sabrina Schully: magna cum laude      
Chloe Andriani: cum laude  

Latin III
Ibuki Iwasaki: gold medal, summa cum laude
Emma Gutmann: gold medal, summa cum laude
Cezanne Lojeski: silver medal, maxima cum laude
Joseph Samara: silver medal, maxima cum laude

Latin IV
Xinyi Hong: gold medal, summa cum laude
Matthew Pifko: gold medal, summa cum laude
Chiara Rabeno: gold medal, summa cum laude
Luigia Than: gold medal, summa cum laude
Connor Kaminska: silver medal, maxima cum laude
Isabella Koutsantanou: silver medal, maxima cum laude
Arunima Roy: silver medal, maxima cum laude
Edward Finkelstein: magna cum laude  

Latin V
Eric Kilgore: gold medal, summa cum laude

Prestigious Scholarship Earned

In honor of her efforts to create a proactive district policy regarding transgender youth, high school senior Emma Martin earned a $1,000 scholarship from the law firm of Goldstein and Bashner. The award was presented as part of the Long Island Coalition Against Bullying’s first Anti-Bullying essay scholarship contest.

Emma, who worked on the policy as a president of her school’s Gay Straight Alliance, was thrilled to have earned the scholarship in response to her work to help make a difference in her school.

Emma will be attending Adelphi University in the fall to study social work.

String Performance

To highlight the benefits of a music education, high school and middle school string students were invited to a workshop with the Harborfront Trio. Students enjoyed a musical rendition of Tchaikovsky’s Quartet No. 1 and were able to ask questions of trio members. The event was organized by the district’s music department and took place on June 2.

Freshman Golfer Heads to States

High school freshman Shane DeVincenzo has accomplished something he didn’t previously think possible – qualified to represent the Port Jefferson School District during the 2016 New York State Golf Championship at Cornell University on June 4-5.

“Growing up, I was always a football player and wrestler – I never thought I would play golf,” said Shane.

The young athlete began playing golf in the sixth grade when he picked up a set of clubs during a summer camp. Shortly there after, his natural talent for the sport began to shine through and he joined the varsity golf team as an eighth-grader.

In order to advance to the state competition, Shane competed in the Suffolk County tournament, where he scored 76-76 and finished seventh.

“He plays incredible golf and has had much success,” said coach Charles Ruoff.  “He is extremely talented, especially at such a young age.”

Cupcake Wars

Middle school students recently competed in a cooking competition designed to emulate the Food Network’s series “Cupcake Wars” as part of the school’s two-year-old cooking club.

During the competition, student audience members cheered on four students as they rivaled each other in a timed cupcake decorating event.

The competition aimed to provide an opportunity for the students to practice a variety of skills, including how to deal with high-pressure situations.   

The in-school cooking club is funded through a Royal Educational Foundation grant and pairs cooking with social skills training.

In Roman Times

To celebrate ancient Roman culture, Port Jefferson School District’s high school and middle school Latin Club members and their families recently participated in the annual Roman Banquet, held at the Port Jefferson Village Center.

During the event, students dressed in togas and coordinated several themed activities. These included reading Latin poems, challenging their parents on etymologies, as well as performing traditional songs and dances. In addition, all in attendance feasted on traditional Roman foods.

Standing Room Only

After reading that there are numerous benefits to providing students with an option to stand while learning, Port Jefferson Middle School sixth-grade special education teacher Christina Carlson decided to transform her classroom with standing desks.

“I work with some students with ADHD/ADD, and sitting for long periods of time can become a struggle for them,” said Carlson. “A number of articles that I read pointed out that standing desks can help.”

To outfit her classroom, Carlson procured a $1,000 grant from the Royal Education Foundation to purchase two standing desks that can be converted into sitting desks.

Already, Carlson has seen an improvement among her students. “The desks are helping some of my students remain focused in class,” she said.

Seeing the positive benefits of the standing desks, the district is in the process of exploring the possibility of using them in general education classrooms next school year.   

Lady Liberty Trip

High school Italian and French students visited the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Immigration Museum on May 16. They learned how their ancestors entered the United States over a century ago and enjoyed breathtaking views of the Statue of Liberty.

Students Volunteer to Ready Camp Grounds

Members of the high school Interact Club and middle school National Junior Honor Society teamed up to help prepare Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck for the summer.

The volunteers came together on May 15 to clean cabin screens, rake leaves, mulch and set up picnic benches at the Center Moriches camp, which provides special needs children and young adults with camping experiences.

16th Annual Scraggy Walk/Run


Wearing class T-shirts and sporting sneakers, more than 600 Edna Louise Spear Elementary School students completed a 1.1-mile course through Scraggy Hill Park during the annual Scraggy Hill Run/Walk on May 13.

The challenging course took participants across Scraggy Hill Road, down rolling hills, through a wooded trail and across the finish line, where they were met with cheers from spectators, teachers and administrators.

The annual race aims to promote physical fitness and culminates a several-week training period where students walk, run and swim in their physical education classes to get ready for the big run.

Robotics Team Honored by BOE

During its regular meeting on May 10, the Board of Education recognized the high school robotics team for designing and constructing a complex robot over a six-week period.

In a recognition ceremony, team members provided a demonstration of their robot, which was engineered to scale a wall and maneuver over obstacles in a competition setting.  

The team most recently participated in the 17th annual Long Island Regional FIRST Robotics Competition alongside more than 2,000 students from 50 high schools. The event was held at Hofstra University.

Career Exploration

To educate fourth- and fifth-graders about a variety of career paths, the elementary school held its second annual Career Day on May 6.

During the event, organized by teachers Paige Lohmann and Kristi Krieg, 14 community volunteers spoke to the students about their professions. Careers represented included those related to education, medicine, law enforcement, science and carpentry.

Designer Genes

Freshmen and sophomores in Jonathan Maletta’s Living Environment Regents class investigated DNA replication during a lab session, using DNA models to synthesize a sequence of DNA called a gene.

“Students learned that humans possess a multitude of genes that code for the production of proteins (polypeptides), including enzymes and hormones,” said Maletta.

The lesson helped the students to better grasp concepts in gene sequencing and molecular biology.

Zoning in on Athletic Leadership

As a result of displaying outstanding leadership and character in physical education classes, three Port Jefferson Middle School eighth-graders were recognized with awards from the Suffolk Zone of the New York Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

The Port Jefferson students, Michael Brown, Farrell Johnston and Aiden Kaminska, earned their awards based upon recommendations from their physical education teachers.

“These students have proven themselves with exceptional physical performance, scholastic ability and leadership qualities,” said Edward Cinelli, interim director of physical education, health & athletics. “They are each well-deserving of this recognition.”

Don't Feed the Instruments

Third-graders recently participated in the school’s annual Instrument Petting Zoo. Watch this short video to learn more about the program.

Senior is Business Wise

High school senior Antonio Camoglino recently proved that he has what it takes to run a business. During spring break, he earned a first-place medal at the SkillsUSA Entrepreneurship Competition, held in Syracuse, N.Y.

Antonio won the award along with his three Eastern Long Island Academy of Applied Technology teammates for a business plan they created for a mock restaurant, called Melted.

Antonio, who has been studying culinary arts at the Eastern Long Island Academy of Applied Technology since his junior year, plans to attend Johnson & Wales University in the fall. He intends to major in human resource management.   

Earl L. Vandermeulen High School named a Reward School

In recognition of its stellar educational program and superlative student performance, Port Jefferson’s Earl L. Vandermeulen High School has once again earned the prestigious designation of Reward School by the New York State Education Department.

“The district is extremely proud to have our high school maintain its status as a New York State Reward School,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Bossert. “The recognition demonstrates the district’s commitment to educational excellence and our students’ commitment to high academic performance.”

NYSED presents the award annually to schools that have made the most progress or have the highest performance in the state with no significant gaps in student achievement. Earl L. Vandermeulen High School was one of only 220 schools across New York State to receive the recognition for 2016-2017.

The district’s high school has earned the designation consistently since the 2012-2013 school year.  


The middle school sixth-grade math team took home a fourth-place medal from the Suffolk County Elementary Math Tournament, held on May 2.

To earn the award, the team competed against 56 teams from across the county, answering numerous mathematic questions correctly.

The Port Jefferson School District extends its congratulations to sixth-graders Hugo Onghai, Arik Sen, Jake Rohman, Kasumi Layne-Stasik and William Wu.

Math Olympiads Add Up to Winners

Two elementary school Math Olympiad teams, made up of 10 fourth- and fifth-graders, displayed their math smarts at the ninth annual Suffolk County Elementary Math Tournament on May 2 at Stony Brook University.

During the tournament, the students answered a series of difficult math questions and competed against other top scholars from across the region. For their hard work, fifth-grade team members Nick Bruckner, Alana Samara, Michael Melikyan, Teppei Fukuto and Luke Dickhuth earned a third-place trophy. Additionally, fourth-grader Michael Melikyan won a third-place trophy in the fourth-grade individual competition.

The Port Jefferson School District extends its congratulations to the Math Olympiads.

Historically Speaking

The history knowledge that two elementary school students have acquired has earned them a chance to compete in the National History Bee Finals in Illinois in June.

Fourth-grader Viviane Kim and fifth-grader Teppei Fukuto will compete at the national level after qualifying in the regional competition, held in Connecticut on April 19.

The Port Jefferson School District extends its congratulations to both students.       

Student-Musicians Inducted

As a result of their exceptional musical talents and dedication, 18 high school student-musicians were inducted into the school’s Tri-M Music Honor Society chapter at a ceremony on April 13.

During the ninth annual event, the new inductees promised to uphold the Tri-M’s five points of distinction – scholarship, character, cooperation, leadership and service – and participated in a performance for those in attendance. Also recognized during the ceremony were senior members of the society, including Gin Albinson, Shannon Christ, Rachel Collins, Parris Garant, Danielle Goldstein, Jessie Gray, Andreya Harvey, Calla Kelley-Renda and Marianna Spentzos.

The Port Jefferson School District extends its congratulations to the Tri-M Music Society’s newest members Allison Abbonizio, Gin Albinson, Abigail Bossert, Anthony Buono, Xinyi Hong, Cezanne Lojeski, David Moir, Louis Martin-Deprez, Matthew Pifko, Anita Rescia, Michael Ruggiero, Brianna Scarda, Timothy Skula, Michael Smith, Dylan Valev, Ryan Worrell, Bridget Yost and Zoe Zeniou.

One Drop at a Time

Students fundraise for clean water
After reading “A Long Walk to Water’” by Linda Sue Park, seventh-graders were inspired to raise money to supply clean water to those in need.

With the assistance of their teachers, Monica Consalvo and Deirdre Filippi, the students sold MudLOVE hope bracelets through the Water for Good organization. They raised enough money to supply two years of clean water to individuals living in the Central Republic of Africa.    

In the Zone

As a result of showing outstanding leadership and character in physical education classes, two elementary school students were recognized with awards from the Suffolk Zone of the New York Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

The Port Jefferson fifth-graders, Lola Idir and Eric Friedman, earned their awards based upon recommendations from their physical education teachers.

Performers Selected to Attend Theatrical Program

Middle school drama students Saoirse Cohen and Chris Parsick have been accepted into the iTheatrics Summer Broadway Academy program in New York City. Through the program, the thespians will have the opportunity to sharpen their acting skills and also participate in a musical production. The eighth-graders were selected based on a competitive audition process.

Students Name Beth Stern’s Cat

A middle school seventh-grade social studies class won the chance to name one of Beth Stern’s foster cats by raising the most money during a student council fundraiser for Bianca’s Furry Friends. The students, who are in Philip Giannusa’s class, secured the win after raising $403 and named the cat Petey. The name was selected as a tribute to science teacher Pete Burawa, who will be retiring at the end of the school year. In total, the school raised $1,767 for the cause, which aims to create a state-of-the-art feline adoption center at North Shore Animal League America in Port Washington.       

Elementary Students Recognized by BOE

Elementary school students received recognition from the Port Jefferson School District’s Board of Education during a meeting on April 12.
Among the students presented with certificates were fifth-grader and double bassist Alexa Ayotte, who earned a Dr. Joel Ratner Memorial SCMEA music scholarship; Sophie Blumenthal, a fifth-grader who competed at the Long Island Regional Scripps Spelling Bee at Hofstra University; and six students, Amy Whitman, Kenneth Dixon-Lanza, Teppei Fukuto, Benjamin Perez-Flesler, Viviane Kim and Michael Melikyan, who will be participating in the National History Bee finals on April 20 in Connecticut.     

Top Scores

Three middle school students, Aaron Held, Arik Sen and Peggy Yin, earned certificates for high scores they received as part of the annual Suffolk County Math Teacher’s Association Math Competition, held on March 16 at the middle school. The students respectively obtained impressive grades on the Math 7, Math 6 and Algebra 1 written tests.

The Port Jefferson School District extends it congratulations to the young mathematicians.

'‘Be True to Yourself’

The high school Gay Straight Alliance has been inspired to foster the message, ‘be true to yourself’ to their peers after enjoying a performance of the award-winning musical “Kinky Boots” at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre in New York City on March 23.

“The show, based on a true story, highlights the importance of being true to yourself and that when you choose to be accepting, you can truly change the world,” said alliance co-advisor Dinarae Camarda. “The GSA hopes to foster and share this message within our own school and community.”

Crime Solvers

The high school’s CSI Club participated in a hands-on forensic lab technique workshop at Stony Brook University on April 19. During the field trip, the students worked to solve a mock crime while performing DNA gel electrophoresis, chromatography, fingerprinting, sediment comparison and a footprint analysis. The club is advised by Amanda Brideson and Adam Bouchard.      

Newest National Honor Society Inductees

During a ‘tapping ceremony,’ on April 12, 59 Earl L. Vandermeulen High School students learned they have been accepted into the National Honor Society and were invited to take part in a formal, candlelighting ceremony on April 21.

As part of the annual ritual, each student was ‘tapped’ on the shoulder by a current National Honor Society member and led to the multipurpose room, where they were greeted by family and friends for a celebration.

During the ceremony later this month, the new inductees will officially be inducted after they each pledge to uphold the purpose and principles of the society, including scholarship, leadership, service and character.

Musicians Perform at NYSSMA Festival

Nearly 250 Port Jefferson musicians performed at the annual New York State School Music Association Solo and Ensemble Festival, held at Smithtown High School East on April 8 and 9.

The students each performed a solo selection and scales for a NYSSMA adjudicator, who assessed their performance based on technique, precision and musicality.
The Port Jefferson School District applauds the music students for their hard work and dedication.

Sunday, June 26, 2016