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Science Students Collect Connetquot Ecological Data

Science Students Collect Connetquot Ecological Data

Science-minded students enrolled in the high school’s biotechnology, Introduction to Research, and International Baccalaureate biology, chemistry, and environmental systems and societies classes recently participated in the “A Day in the Life of a River” citizen science program, collecting data on all of the rivers and estuaries on Long Island. The program tracks the health of the aquatic systems and reports the data to various ecological institutions including Brookhaven National Laboratory, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Suffolk County Water Authority.

During the field trip, the students collected physical, environmental, biological and chemical data at the mouth of the Connetquot River at Heckscher State Park, working with experts from the DEC, Long Island Parks Department and South Shore Estuary Reserve to construct an overall snapshot of the health of the river system. Their data will be uploaded and added to a large database of previous years’ data, allowing scientists to track overall trends in the river systems. 

Bayview Fifth-Graders Honor 9/11 Heroes with Goodie Bag Initiative

Bayview Fifth-Graders Honor 9/11 Heroes with Goodie Bag Initiative
The entire fifth grade at Bayview decided to participate in Operation Goodie Bag this year, in honor of the people who sacrificed their lives in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Decorated and filled with candy, many of the bags were brought to the memorial service of New York Police Department detective Joseph Pidoto, who lost his battle with 9/11-related cancer.  Retired and active members of the NYPD paying their respects were able to take home a bag full of goodies as a thank you for their service.

Beach Street’s Beautiful Banner Celebrates World Kindness Day

Beach Street’s Beautiful Banner Celebrates World Kindness Day

Beach Street recognizes World Kindness Day each Nov. 13, led by the school’s Helping Hands Club, which promotes positivity and kindness via messages, cafeteria announcements and creative posters hung throughout the school.

This year, the club constructed a huge, beautiful “Ways to Be Kind” banner, filling it with more than 100 ways that students and faculty show kindness that day. Helping Hands members also wrote “kind notes”" to every student in the school, placing them anonymously in school lockers for them to see the day before World Kindness Day.

Udall Middle Schoolers Learn Leadership at Sayville Conference

Udall Middle Schoolers Learn Leadership at Sayville Conference
Students at Udall recently attended a leadership conference at Sayville Middle School.  

Undefeated Udall – Field Hockey Team Finishes Season 10-0

Undefeated Udall – Field Hockey Team Finishes Season 10-0
The field hockey team at Udall recently ended the season undefeated, finishing with an outstanding 10-0 record.

HS Gymnasts Recognized at Annual Awards Dinner

HS Gymnasts Recognized at Annual Awards Dinner

The high school’s gymnastics team recently received multiple honors at the Suffolk County Girls Gymnastics Coaches Association awards dinner, including three All-County nods, seven All-League, one Honorable Mention All-League and a Scholar-Athlete award.

Kim Arena, Emily McGrade and Alyssa Woltmann earned All-County status; Cassidy Cullen, Nele Gronenberg, Olivia Marker, Faith McCann, Rebecca McCann, Theresa Rand and Delaney Rivera were named All-League; Grace Iehle earned Honorable Mention All-League; and Cullen was recognized as a Scholar-Athlete.

Five Girls Tennis Players Honored at Awards Dinner

Five Girls Tennis Players Honored at Awards Dinner
The high school’s varsity girls tennis team recently finished another successful season, in which the Lions qualified for the Section XI team championships and five players were recognized on Nov. 6 at the Suffolk County Girls Tennis Coaches Association’s annual awards dinner. Leanna Paulsen was named All-County; Isabella Fortunato, Alexandra Michaluk and Marion Wegener were named All-League; and Nicole Lucas earned a Sportsmanship Award.

Beach Street Math Students Flip for Flipgrid

Beach Street Math Students Flip for Flipgrid
Beach Street Math Students Flip for Flipgrid 2

Beach Street students are using their new Google Chromebooks to create educational videos on Flipgrid, a video application program that allows them to show their creativity as they record short, authentic videos. In Christine McCann and Chris Salerno’s math classes at Beach Street, students often record videos to describe the process they used to solve a complex problem.

“In a fun flip, our students become teachers,” said Salerno. “This has proven to be a great resource for students to help their peers. Students are learning and having fun.”

A Second Successful Color Run for West Islip

A Second Successful Color Run for West Islip

More than 700 members of the community joined in the fantastic fun at the second annual West Islip Health and Wellness Alliance Color Run. The Color Run helps the Alliance fulfill its goal to reduce substance abuse among local youth, to create a strong collaboration within the community and to cultivate healthy attitudes and behaviors.

“This year’s Color Run was another success story,” said Tim Horan, the district’s director of health, physical education, athletics, recreation, and family and consumer science. “Students, children, parents, families, community groups, teachers and administrators braved the winds and had a blast. My special thanks go out to all the volunteers for their efforts, as it couldn’t happen without their help.”

Bayview Celebrates Veterans Day with Pride

Bayview Celebrates Veterans Day with Pride

Students and staff at Bayview welcomed over 40 veterans on Nov. 8 as part of the annual Veterans Day celebration and breakfast. The veterans’ names and military backgrounds were announced with great enthusiasm before an exuberant crowd of more than 400 students and staff, district administration, and Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter.

In preparation for the celebration, the building was decorated with original student artwork displays. Some of the artwork was framed and presented to veterans through a raffle.  A “Wall of Heroes” photo display of military family members connected to Bayview’s students and staff was proudly displayed in the main hallway. Band and chorus musicians prepared patriotic selections, and students throughout the school worked to create letters of gratitude in honor of the veterans. The celebration culminated with a special breakfast provided by Bayview’s PTA, complemented by songs performed by various grade levels.

“Our gymnasium was brimming with excited cheers, tears of gratitude, and an overwhelming sense of humility and pride,” said Principal John Mullins. “It was a morning filled with celebration of our true heroes.”

Varsity Lions Win Third Consecutive Divisional Football Championship

Varsity Lions Win Third Consecutive Divisional Football Championship

The high school’s varsity football team won their third consecutive Section XI Division II regular season championship.

Guided by head coach Steve Mileti and his staff, the Lions continue to be recognized as one of the most successful programs on Long Island, going undefeated for the second time in three years. West Islip is the only football team in Suffolk County to win three straight regular season championships in recent years, earning 22 regular season victories and suffering only two losses in that three-year span. Dozens of players have received numerous prestigious honors for their accomplishments and Mileti was also named Coach of the Year for the third consecutive year. Team captains Max Albanese, Patrick Cunningham, Mike LaDonna and Tim Sawina provided great leadership all season and were a vital component of the 2018 team’s success. 

Beach Street’s Helping Hands Club Preps for Thanksgiving Food Drive

Beach Street’s Helping Hands Club Preps for Thanksgiving Food Drive
Beach Street’s Helping Hands Club Preps for Thanksgiving Food Drive 2
Beach Street’s Helping Hands Club Preps for Thanksgiving Food Drive 3

The Helping Hands Club at Beach Street held its annual Thanksgiving food drive to help families in need in the local community, collecting Thanksgiving-related nonperishable goods in the bin in the main lobby, starting the first week of November. Donations include boxed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, cake mix, and canned fruits and vegetables.

“It is important to Beach Street to give back and give thanks, especially during this time of year,” said school counselor Kathleen Jane Crowley. “Our Helping Hands Club is committed to spreading positivity and making a difference in our school community and the world at large, and this is just one of the many projects the club does throughout the year to help others in need.”

Swimmer Triglia Wins County Title and All-State Honors

Swimmer Triglia Wins County Title and All-State Honors
Swimmer Triglia Wins County Title and All-State Honors 2

High school sophomore swimmer Jackie Triglia won the county title in the 100-yard butterfly at the Section XI championships, swimming the event in 56.84, breaking a team record of 59.42. She also won All-League honors in both the 200-yard individual medley and 200-yard medley relay.
On Nov. 16 and 17, Triglia represented Section XI at the NYSPHSAA state championship at Ithaca College, earning All-State honors as she placed fourth in the 100-yard butterfly.

“Jackie has had an amazing season,” said Tim Horan, West Islip’s director of health, physical education, athletics, recreation, and family and consumer science. “The coaches, the team and Jackie’s family are all looking forward to enjoying her continued success for the next two years at West Islip High School.”


Six Student-Artists Tapped for NYSATA Exhibition

Six Student-Artists Tapped for NYSATA Exhibition
Six Student-Artists Tapped for NYSATA Exhibition2
Six Student-Artists Tapped for NYSATA Exhibition 2

Six student-artists from West Islip recently had their work displayed at the New York State Art Teacher's Association exhibition, held at the 99th annual NYSSBA Conference at the Sheraton NY Times Square.

The honored NYSATA students were second-graders Richard Guerrera of Bayview Elementary School and Abigail Heron of Paul J. Bellew Elementary School, sixth-graders Emerson Ammirata and Julia Kennedy of Beach Street Middle School, and West Islip High School sophomores Sophia Gutierrez and Ava Shanley.


Testing Towers in Oquenock’s STEM Lab

Testing Towers in Oquenock’s STEM Lab
Fifth-graders at Oquenock recently tested the strength of their towers in the school’s STEM lab.

Achieving Golf Proficiency at Beach Street

Achieving Golf Proficiency at Beach Street

Students at Beach Street recently learned how to play golf in their physical education class, demonstrating proficiency in the skills of driving, chipping and putting.

“The goal is to have students respect the role that regular physical activity plays in the pursuit of lifelong health and well-being,” said teacher Denise Cain.

Transforming Geometry at the High School

Transforming Geometry at the High School
Transforming Geometry at the High School  2
Transforming Geometry at the High School  3
High school students used newly acquired Chromebooks to work with geometric transformations, following a lesson by teacher Nancy Yost that utilized Desmos, an advanced graphing calculator implemented as a web application.

Immersion in Native Culture for Bayview Fourth-Graders

Immersion in Native Culture for Bayview Fourth-Graders
Immersion in Native Culture for Bayview Fourth-Graders 2
Immersion in Native Culture for Bayview Fourth-Graders 3

Fourth-graders at Bayview were immersed in Native American culture during a recent PTA-sponsored assembly program, “Journeys Into American Indian Territory,” giving them a hands-on experience that they will never forget.

Throughout the day, the students were involved in a museum experience, participated in Native American games, utilized question and answer periods, and took part in authentic ceremonies including an Iroquois council, where they assumed the roles of the clanspeople. For some of the students, the highlights included walking through a longhouse and creating their own clay pots.

“The reaction of our students was one of admiration for those who lived on Long Island long before them,” said Principal John Mullins Jr.


Eight Excellent West Islip Student-Musicians Given All-State Honors

Eight Excellent West Islip Student-Musicians Given All-State Honors

Eight excellent high school student-musicians from were given All-State recognition this year from the New York State School Music Association.

Performing at the 2018 NYSSMA All-State Music Conference in December, held at the historic Eastman Theatre in Rochester, NY, will be Mary Ellen Boucher, Matthew Falkenmayer, Kathryn Paidoussis and Marion Wegener with the All-State Mixed Chorus; Patrick Bolin with the All-State Symphonic Band; and Grace G. and Joseph Imburgia with the All-State Symphonic Orchestra. Additionally, CJ Zito was named an alternate for the Mixed Chorus.

“This prestigious event is comprised of the finest musicians from across the entire state of New York,” said West Islip Director of Art and Music Education Eric Albinder. “Congratulations to all of our students for their hard work and achievement.”


Senior William Fix Golfs in State Tournament

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High school senior William Fix completed an outstanding varsity golf season. Due to his exceptional scores in the league tournament, he advanced to the Section XI championships at the Rock Hill Country Club, where he performed so well that he advanced to compete in the NYSPHSAA state tournament qualifying round on Oct. 31.

JV Lions Finish Football Season Undefeated

JV Lions Finish Football Season Undefeated
The high school’s junior varsity football team finished the 2018 season undefeated, due to the commitment, dedication, sacrifices and leadership of the players and coaches Frank Riviezzo, Joe LaCova and Mike Bellacosa. The Lions posted an 8-0 season record for the second  consecutive year.

A Family Pumpkin Tradition Continues at Bellew

A Family Pumpkin Tradition Continues at Bellew

Creativity, imagination and teamwork were the ingredients needed to fulfill an annual family pumpkin-decorating tradition at Bellew.

In the event’s 11th year, a record number of pumpkins were decorated by Bellew families and put on display in the main lobby. Students voted for their pumpkin favorites by donating a handful of change; favorites included gourds decorated as a McDonalds cheeseburger meal and the Fortnite treasure chest and unicorn.  The accumulated donated funds will be used to help local families in need this holiday season. 

“This tradition is a super way to bring families together for an at-home activity that can be shared with our whole school community,” said Principal Rhonda Pratt. “The families went to town decorating and creating pumpkin masterpieces.”




Books on Film at Beach Street

Books on Film at Beach Street

At Beach Street, the sixth-grade ELA classes of Jesse Fawess and Amy Wheeler recently created “Book Look” iMovies to record their summer reading book reports.

First, each student completed an outline to organize information about their book. They then chose a picture that was symbolic to their book for the backdrop, and filmed in front of a green screen, sharing their information as if on YouTube. Once completed, the sixth-graders viewed the videos with their peers for Book Share Day.  


A Third Consecutive Win for the Robotechs

A Third Consecutive Win for the Robotechs
A Third Consecutive Win for the Robotechs2
The high school’s Robotechs recently earned their third consecutive win at the Half Hollow Hills Invitational, playing a strong game against 15 other Long Island robotics teams and moving up the ranks into first place. The team finished with a shutout win record of 9-0, a great start to the competition season.


Sixth-Grade Scientists at Udall Prove Air Is Matter

Sixth-Grade Scientists at Udall Prove Air Is Matter
Sixth-Grade Scientists at Udall Prove Air Is Matter 2
Sixth-Grade Scientists at Udall Prove Air Is Matter 3

Students in James Wood’s sixth-grade science class at Udall recently completed experiments to prove that the air in the earth’s atmosphere is matter. For one experiment, the class used a solar bag to demonstrate that air takes up space and expands when warmed. The solar bag’s air was heated and the bag rose to an altitude of approximately 30 feet.

“If not for the wind that day, the bag would have risen over 100 feet,” said Wood.

Pledging to Be Drug-Free at Beach Street

Pledging to Be Drug-Free at Beach Street

Red Ribbon Week at Beach Street included student-led presentations in each cafeteria period, with members of the school’s Helping Hands Club announcing profound messages about drug-free living and a healthy lifestyle. Students also recited the Red Ribbon Week pledge and asked classmates to sign pledge cards and wear red bracelets to show their commitment to being healthy and drug-free.




Triglia Breaks Two School Swimming Records at League Championships

Triglia Breaks Two School Swimming Records at League Championships
The girls varsity swimming and diving team competed in the League III championships on Oct. 24, with sophomore Jackie Triglia breaking two school records in the process.

In the day’s first event, Karalyn Cantwell, Jaclyn Citarella, Jamie McEnaney and Triglia earned All-League honors as members of the 200-meter medley relay.

Triglia swam the 200-meter individual medley in 2:13.71, breaking the prior West Islip record of 2:14.94 set by Bridget Whalen, and swam the 100-meter butterfly in 58.27, beating the school record of 59.15 formerly held by Lauren Afflixio.

Paulsen Finishes Fifth in Tennis Division

Paulsen Finishes Fifth in Tennis Division
High school varsity tennis player Leanna Paulsen recently finished in fifth place in the divisional individual championship, qualifying her for the Section XI championship tournament.

Matter Mysteries Examined at Oquenock

Matter Mysteries Examined at Oquenock
Fifth-graders in Sue Cosentino’s class at Oquenock recently examined different substances in the school’s STEM lab to determine a mystery substance. In this “Mystery Matter” unit, the students searched for properties, chemical reactions and results of a heat test to come to the correct conclusion.

Cross-Country Runners Find Success at Divisionals

Cross-Country Runners Find Success at Divisionals
Cross-Country Runners Find Success at Divisionals 2
The high school’s boys cross-country team, guided by coach Kevin Murphy, recently found success at the Section XI divisional championship, with the team placing 14th overall in a field of 52 teams. The team consists of John Boniberger, James Cameron, Paul Ciesluk, Paul Folks, Nick Mangiamele, Nick Monaco and Andrew Paules.

Paules, a junior, took first place in his heat with a personal best 5K time of 17:33. His overall merged time put him in 20th place out of a total of 755 Suffolk County runners.  


An Outstanding Group of 19 All-County Musicians Selected

An outstanding group of 18 All-County musicians selected
An outstanding group of 19 high school juniors and seniors were recently selected to participate in All-County band, chorus and orchestra ensembles in the annual concert sponsored by the Suffolk County Music Educators Association and New York State Council of Administrators of Music Education. Students were selected from the best musicians of Suffolk County, based upon their NYSSMA solo adjudication ratings, and represent the best in the county. The 2018 All-County concert will take place Nov. 16.

The All-County selections were: Patrick Bolin, Matthew Falkenmayer, William Fix, Matthew Oldaker, Marisa Pastore, Evan Trommer and Jack Walsh for All-County Band; Grace Gallagher and Joseph Imburgia, for All-County Orchestra; Erin Bevan, Mary Ellen Boucher, Lauren Leonardi, Delaney Rivera, Anthony Venezia and CJ Zito for All-County Mixed Chorus; and Shannon Feminella, Kylie Horan, Kathryn Paidoussis and Marion Wegener for All-County Treble Chorus.



Five from HS Named KIC Junior Commissioners

Four from HS Named KIC Junior Commissioners
Five high school students – Isabella D’Avanzo, Lily Gilmore, Samantha Landhauser,  Edward Smith and Samantha Soevyn – were inducted as Keep Islip Clean Junior Commissioners at an Oct. 10 Islip Town Hall West ceremony. The Junior Commissioner program selects high schoolers in the township of Islip to assist Keep Islip Clean in recycling and town beautification initiatives.

Mary Kroll Named Master Teacher

Mary Kroll Named Master Teacher

The high school’s Mary Kroll was recently named a New York State Master Teacher by Gov. Cuomo’s office. The Master Teachers program recognizes outstanding teachers for their dedication to providing the most innovative science, technology, engineering and math education to their students, as well as displaying commitment to professional growth and enthusiasm for sharing their professional skills with colleagues.
Kroll was accepted after a rigorous application and interview process that required her to demonstrate knowledge of STEM content, pedagogy, and students, their families and their communities.

“This is my 20th year teaching here,” said Kroll, who began her career as a science teacher at West Islip High School.  “I am humbled every day by the incredible students I get to work with in the research program.”

She earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from St. Joseph’s College, and a master’s degree in liberal studies from Stony Brook University. She currently mentors students in the Barcode Long Island program through Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, is a synchrotron beam line user at the National Synchrotron Light Source-II at Brookhaven National Laboratory, and serves as an executive committee member of the Long Island Science Congress.

“This honor will afford me greater opportunities to continue my own education through professional development in STEM topics,” Kroll said. “I hope to be able to use the knowledge I gain and the relationships I develop with other Master Teachers in order to unlock even greater opportunities for my students. I also plan to share what I learn with my colleagues in order to reach the greater student body at West Islip’s schools. As part of the Master Teacher program, I look forward to joining the Research Teacher Professional Learning Team and hope I can contribute to improving the quality of research that our students are able to conduct.”


Bellew Kindergartners Sort and Classify in the STEM Lab

Bellew Kindergartners Sort and Classify in the STEM Lab
Bellew Kindergartners Sort and Classify in the STEM Lab 2

Students at Bellew are never too young to visit the school’s STEM lab, including kindergartners who recently worked on sorting and classifying activities that investigate the natural world.

“In the lab, children have the opportunity to be unique, creative and think outside the box,” said Principal Rhonda Pratt. “The development of STEM-proficient students begins in elementary school, and includes our kindergarten kids. Making math and science both fun and interesting helps the students to do much more than just learn.”