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Kicking to the Top National Title

Kicking to the Top National Title photo
High School East’s varsity kick line was named the small high kick champions at the Contest of Champions Nationals in Orlando, Florida, from March 2-4. This is the team’s 20th consecutive title. The Whisperettes also earned second place in the medium high kick category, best in category and were one of six teams selected by the judging panel to perform an encore of their small high kick routine during the awards presentation. The Whisperettes are coached by Sarahbeth Cook and led by captain Julie Anderson, co-captain Leila Moghadasi and junior captain Liz Orlandi.

St. James Artists Go Green

St. James Artists Go Green photo

Fourth-graders at St. James Elementary School learned that they can turn any object into art, during a recycled art project on March 6. Local artist-in-residence Joyce Raimondo visited the school to work on a green art project with the students.

During a slideshow presentation, Raimondo spoke to the students about Pablo Picasso and Alexander Calder and how they turned throwaway objects into masterpieces. Using 100 percent recycled items, the students were tasked with creating their own robots and using their imagination. Students brought in many different objects from home — ranging from empty boxes to bottle caps and button — and Raimondo also provided them with items to help inspire their creations. As students used the ordinary objects, they created robots that each had their own unique look. 

Science Lessons Dig Deep with Dinoman

Science Lessons Dig Deep with Dinoman photo

Second-graders at Tackan Elementary School took a trip back to the age of dinosaurs, thanks to a presentation by paleontologist Bob Lisaius, aka “Dinoman” on March 6.

During the morning assembly, the second-grade classes came together to learn about fossils, different types of dinosaurs, why they became extinct and Lisaius’ work in the field in an effort to spark students’ interest in science.

Following the general assembly, Lisaius visited each of the individual second-grade classes for an informative hands-on session featuring relics of the past. Students touched different artifacts – some dating back millions of years – including dinosaur horns, claws, teeth and fossilized rocks. 

Student-Musician Performs in Albany

Student-Musician Performs in Albany photo
High School West student-musician Blake Carey represented the district on trombone with the New York State School Music Association’s All-State Jazz Ensemble. On March 5, the students performed for legislators in Albany in recognition of Music in Our Schools month.

Pucker Up

Pucker Up photo

When Ireen Westrack, principal at Mills Pond Elementary School, makes a promise to students, she keeps it. In the beginning of February, Ms. Westrack challenged the school to read 50,000 minutes during Parents As Reading Partners month.

If they met that challenge, Ms. Westrack promised to kiss a pig. Not only did the school meet her challenge, but they far exceeded the goal. On March 1, local 700-pound hog Bruce made the trip to the school and Ms. Westrack delivered on her promise in front of the whole school.

Workshops Offer Resources for ELL Parents

Workshops Offer Resources for ELL Parents photo

Smithtown Elementary School held two information workshops for parents of English language learners on Feb. 8 and 12 to help them better understand community resources and the support services that Smithtown Central School District provides them.

“We felt the need to get more information to parents so that their children can become actively involved in sports organizations, library programs, and for the parents, gain a better understanding of our adult education opportunities,” said Principal Janine Lavery. 

The workshops were a collaborative effort led by the Smithtown Elementary School faculty, with support from the ENL department, community resources, Parent-Teacher Association and translators. Parents learned about the school-family connection and parent portal. Attendees could sign up for PTA notifications regarding events and volunteer opportunities. 

The Smithtown Library issued cards to families, and the St. Patrick’s Youth programs spoke about some of their offerings. The adult education director’s presentation sparked several parents to register for English classes. 

HSW Red Cross Club Remembers Troops

HSW Red Cross Club Remembers Troops photo
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The High School West Red Cross Club remembered troops overseas this Valentine’s Day. Led by faculty members Helene Robinson and Kimberly Williams, the club sent homemade cards, notes of appreciation and treats in a care package. They recently received a picture from the platoon at the Marine Corps base in Hawaii with their Valentine’s cards. 

Mindfulness Training

Mindfulness Training photo
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Students at Smithtown Elementary have been focusing on mindfulness training. This training increases their ability to monitor and regulate their emotions, especially during challenging times. They practice these skills through breathing and other grounding techniques. Mindfulness has been shown to improve empathy or the ability to understand what another person is thinking or feeling, which improves students' awareness of others and helps them build positive relationships. It is also a way to increase focus and ability to learn in a supportive environment.

Special Person Day

First graders at Smithtown Elementary recently had Special Person Day. Students interviewed their special person and enjoyed making a craft, reading a book and eating a snack together.

Bus Driver Delivers Songs of Learning Mixed with Fun

Bus Driver Delivers Songs of Learning Mixed with Fun photo

Kindergarten students at St. James Elementary School had a special visit from Joe Guida, aka “The Singing School Bus Driver” on Feb. 27. As part of the Parent-Teacher Association’s Cultural Arts program, the assembly emphasized creativity and movement mixed with plenty of learning fun.

Students sang along to original songs while Guida played the guitar. Bus safety, counting and rhyming songs kept students engaged and they even exercised as they showed off their dancing abilities. 


Savvy Spellers Compete at Great Hollow

Savvy Spellers Compete at Great Hollow photo
Great Hollow Middle School recently held its annual spelling bee. Ten students qualified for the final round of the competition. Brian Agnes (kneeling) was named the school winner and made it to the final round of the Long Island Spelling Bee. Pictured (bottom row, from left): Great Hollow English teacher Ms. Alessi, Anthony Valenzano, Christian Biscari, Ariana Glaser, Avery Donnelly, Madeline Raeihle and Great Hollow Assistant Principal Cindy Nocero. (Top row, from left) Jonathan Chung, James Spiegel, Juliana Maloney and Caitlin Clark.

Teddy Bear Clinic

Smithtown Elementary School’s Kindergarten classes had a special visit from Stony Brook Hospital’s nursing students. The children learned about rules before crossing the street, bike and helmet safety and the importance of hand washing. The children also enjoyed an interactive Teddy Bear Clinic to care for stuffed animals.


Elementary Schools Recognized for PLTW Programs

Elementary Schools Recognized for PLTW Programs photo
All seven of the district’s elementary schools have been recognized as Project Lead The Way Distinguished Schools for the 2017-18 school year. 

Smithtown’s elementary schools represent seven of the 22 New York State schools identified. “This recognition is certainly representative of all of the hard work that has gone into our successful implementation on the part of the many staff and faculty members involved,” said Paul Strader, executive director of curriculum. “It is one of just 97 elementary schools across the U.S. to receive this honor.”

The PLTW Distinguished School recognition honors schools committed to increasing student access, engagement and achievement in their PLTW programs. To be eligible for the designation, schools must offer at least two PLTW Launch modules at each grade level and have more than 75 percent of the student body participating during the 2016-17 school year.

PLTW is a nonprofit organization that provides a transformative learning experience for K-12 students and teachers. PLTW empowers students to develop in-demand, transportable knowledge and skills through pathways in computer science, engineering and biomedical science. 

Mills Pond Kicks Off Fundraising Like Royalty

Mills Pond Kicks Off Fundraising Like Royalty photo

To kick off fundraising efforts for its upcoming Boosterthon Fun Run to benefit the school’s Parent-Teacher Association, Mills Pond Elementary School held an assembly on Feb. 26. Themed “Castle Quest,” the PTA set up the entrance of the school as a castle and each student was outfitted with a crown. The fun run will take place in the gym on March 7.

Going for the Gold

Going For The Gold photo

The competition was fierce as Accompsett Elementary School held its annual Winter Olympics on Feb. 27 in the gymnasium at High School West.

The evening is sponsored by the school’s Parent-Teacher Association and facilitated by the physical education teachers. The teams – divided by colors – participated in different relay-style events while working on their team-building skills. 

HSW Senior Recognized with Service Awards

HSW Senior Recognized with Service Awards photo
High School West senior Sarah Adamo has been honored for her volunteer service with a Certificate of Excellence from the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards and a President’s Volunteer Service Award. 

Presented annually by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards honors young people across America for outstanding volunteer service.

Certificates of Excellence are granted to the top 10 percent of all Prudential Spirit of Community Award applicants in each state and the District of Columbia.

President’s Volunteer Service Awards recognize volunteers who provide significant amounts of time to serve their communities and their country. 

Middle School Memories

Middle School Memories photo
Joe Stapleton has been a teacher in the Smithtown Central School District for more than 18 years, spending most of his career teaching sixth grade at Accompsett Middle School. Since his first year of teaching in 2000, Mr. Stapleton has encouraged students to bring in a picture to hang on his memory wall of photos. With each passing year, the collection of photos has grown around his classroom walls.

Over the years, he has amassed more than 1,000 student photos. “Many of the students come back to my class to see the younger version of themselves or a sibling, friend or neighbor,” Mr. Stapleton said. This helps him to reconnect with his former students. 

Some former students have even followed in Mr. Stapleton’s footsteps and found a career in education. This year, a couple of his former students have positions as a teacher assistant, coach and student-teacher in Smithtown Central School District.

Mills Pond Makes Wishes Come True

Mills Pond Makes Wishes Come True photo
Fourth-graders in the Cares Club at Mills Pond Elementary School held a healthy snack sale and sold artwork from sick children to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation in December. The club raised more than $600, and the money helped grant a wish for a sick child to attend the Super Bowl.

Special Readers Surprise Tackan Students During PARP

Special Readers Surprise Tackan Students During PARP photo
Special Readers Surprise Tackan Students During PARP photo 2
From Jan. 29 to Feb. 9, Tackan Elementary School celebrated literacy by participating in the Parents As Reading Partners program. Each day, the school joined together for different activities, such as “Read My Shirt” day, “Be A Character” day, game day and drop everything and read day to make reading fun. 

On Feb. 7, students went to school dressed in their pajamas, ready to listen to stories from special guest readers throughout the day. Smithtown Central School District administrators — including Superintendent of Schools Dr. James Grossane, Assistant Superintendent for Personnel Neil Katz, Assistant Superintendent for Pupil Personnel Services Mona Tobin and elementary, middle and high school principals and assistant principals — shared their love of literacy with Tackan students throughout the day by reading their favorite books.

HSE’s Challenge Day

HSE’s Challenge Day photo

Tenth-graders at High School East participated in Challenge Day, a full-day anti-bullying workshop in February. The Challenge Day program is designed to build compassion using social-emotional techniques.

Students and adults worked together in different trust building exercises throughout the day that help both parties generate a positive change using empathy and compassion. The goal of the Challenge Day program is to build community, promote acceptance and embrace positive peer support. 


An Inside Look into the World of Sports Marketing

An Inside Look into the World of Sports Marketing photo
Smithtown Central School District, in partnership with the Smithtown Industry Advisory Board, held a Sports Industry Career Conference on Feb. 8 at High School East. 

High School East and High School West students enrolled in the college sports management classes were invited to attend the conference, which included a panel of seven guest speakers from varying levels of the multibillion-dollar sports industry. The speakers gave their perspective about current sports-related career trends, the education background that will be necessary in the future, internships and stories of their own career paths. 

Guest speakers included: Steve Novick, supervising editor at MLB Advanced Media; Sean Leahy, Pro Hockey Talk writer for NBC Sports; Joe Knaus, associate director, creative works at ESPN; Neil Best, Newsday sports columnist; Jordan Schiff, director of marketing and promotions, Long Island Ducks; David Hayob, senior director, corporate partnerships, New York Mets; and Ally Futterman, coordinator, corporate sponsorships, New York Mets. Following the panel discussion, students asked questions and networked with the guest speakers. 

100 Days of Kindergarten

St. James Elementary School kindergartners celebrated 100 days of learning on Feb. 14 with plenty of activities that centered on the number 100 including math lesson, art projects and writing assignments.

Great Hollow Crowns Geography Bee Winner

Great Hollow Crowns Geography Bee Winner photo
After successfully winning their team competition, 10 students from Great Hollow Middle School competed in the school’s 2018 Geography Bee last month.
The following students participated in the final round: Natalie Boeri, Ryan Diffley, Sean Diffley, Giovanni Di Grazia, Dominic Enright, Gia Garufi, Daniel Hwang, Samantha Jones, Michael Ryder and Shriyang Singh. After many rounds, Sean Diffley was named the winner and will now take the online qualifying test for a chance to compete in the state Geography Bee.

Kindergartners Celebrate 100 Days of Learning

Kindergartners Celebrate 100 Days of Learning photo

Kindergartners at Mills Pond Elementary School celebrated being 100 days smarter on Feb. 15. Students made necklaces with 100 beads, made a structure using 100 cups and counted to 100 in different ways.

Creating Smiles with Valentine’s Cards

Creating Smiles with Valentine’s Cards Pic
As a tradition for the past five years, the High School West junior varsity girls basketball team spends time before their final practice creating Valentine’s cards for Stony Brook Children’s Hospital. The team continues a tradition in the hopes that it helps to brighten the day for children, parents and staff at the hospital.

Mills Pond 100th Day of School

Sledding Students Pull Their Weight

Sledding Students Pull Their Weight pic

Even during the winter months, Smithtown Elementary School physical education teacher Kurt Margraf knows how to get students to stay active. As part of his weekly before school sports program, Margraf is teaching his students about the Iditarod sled dog race. The two-week race takes place annually each March in Alaska. Fourth-graders were taught facts about the race, and necessary clothes they need to wear before trying to mimic the race by pulling one another on sleds.

Mills Pond Winter Concert

Historical Society Honors Student-Volunteers

Historical Society Honors Student-Volunteers Pic
The Smithtown Historical Society recently recognized student-volunteers for their dedication and service to the society. This year, they presented nine students with the Hancock-Harms Award for their work in the new Junior Educator Program. From left: Smithtown student-volunteers Angelina Cafisi, Michael Hogan, Great Hollow Middle School Assistant Principal Cindy Nocero, Maddie Raeihle and Kyleigh Kondenar. Anna Chiquitucto from Hauppauge High School (third from right) is also pictured. Missing from photo are Carson Chin, Connor Chin and Trishulla Kanhai.

HS West Named NYS Reward School

HS West Named NYS Reward School Pic
High School West has been named a New York State Reward School by the State Education Department for high academic achievement or the most progress with minimal gaps in student achievement based on its performance in the 2016-2017 school year.

Each year, SED identifies schools statewide that meet the criteria as high performing schools or schools that have made the most progress without significant gaps in student achievement. This year, High School West was one of 155 schools that received this prestigious designation.

To be identified as a Reward School, a school must be among the top 20 percent of schools statewide for English language arts and math performance for both the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 school years or be among the top 10 percent of schools in terms of gains in ELA and math performance in the 2016-2017 school year. A school must also have made adequate yearly progress for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years on all measures for which the school is accountable, including the requirement that 95 percent of all groups participated in the ELA and math assessments. Finally, to be named a Reward School, a school must not have unacceptable gaps in student performance. 

Middle School Robotics Teams Showcase Their Skills

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Smithtown Central School District, along with FIRST Robotics Team 810, hosted a FIRST Lego League robotics competition on Jan. 21 and 22. Twenty-eight teams competed at each of the three different sessions.

The district’s three rookie FIRST Lego League teams participated in the competition. The Accompsett All Stars (Accompsett Middle School) coached by Accompsett Middle School technology teacher Mike Colletta, the Electric Brick Breakers (Great Hollow Middle School) coached by Great Hollow technology teacher Connor Kelly and Quake Robotics (Nesaquake Middle School) coached by Nesaquake Middle School technology Sean Tomasello finished in 13th, eighth and second place, respectively. 
The Quake Robotics Team took first place during the alliance round and will move on to the Long Island Championships at Longwood High School on March 4. 

The Smithtown Robotics Team had more than 15 students volunteering at each event and helping to run the competition. The volunteers served as judges, queuers, timekeepers, field resetters and referees.   

PTA Gets a Boost Thanks to Dogwood Runners

PTA Gets a Boost Thanks to Dogwood Runners Pic

Dogwood Elementary School came together to support its Parent-Teacher Association while having fun and staying healthy on Feb. 1 by participating in a Boosterthon Fun Run.

In an effort to raise money for the PTA’s Cultural Arts program, students garnered pledges and sponsors from family members and friends for each lap they ran. In total, Dogwood Elementary School raised more than $28,000 to benefit its PTA.

The track was set up in the gymnasium, and students completed between 30-35 laps as teachers marked off each lap completed on the back of each student’s shirt.

First-Graders Brimming with Positivity

First-Graders Brimming with Positivity Pic
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First-Graders Brimming with Positivity Pic 5
First-Graders Brimming with Positivity Pic 6
First-graders in Kelly Collett’s class at St. James Elementary School recently celebrated filling their marble jar with a pajama flashlight reading party. The marble jar celebrates positive behavior and compliments. If the class walks in the hall nicely, works hard on a project or receives a compliment from an adult, they get a marble in a goldfish bowl. When the bowl is full, the class celebrates with a pajama reading party.  

Catching Some Rays

Catching Some Rays photo

First-graders at Mt. Pleasant Elementary School are learning about light by observing the sun, moon and stars. The students in Kathy Smerechniak’s class made their own sun trackers. The students recorded three sets of data throughout the day. They then laid their sun trackers down and aligned the north arrow with the compass. The students drew an arrow on their trackers in the middle of the shadow and labeled the time.

Fifth-Graders Take Goldilocks to Trial

Fifth-Graders Take Goldilocks to Trialphoto

Fifth-graders at Mt. Pleasant Elementary School put Goldilocks on trial for the crimes of criminal mischief, trespassing and petty larceny on Jan. 29. More than a dozen witnesses were called to the stand to testify about what they saw happen at the home of the Three Little Bears.

Learning about the workings of the legal system, students played the part of the defense and prosecution, while the fourth-grade classes and teachers served as the jury and judge for the case.

The courtroom was filled with popular storybook characters who testified about their whereabouts on the day Goldilocks was charged with entering the Three Little Bears’ house, eating their porridge, breaking a chair, rummaging through Mama Bear’s clothes and stealing $100.

Characters such as Chicken Little, the Big Bad Wolf, the Three Blind Mice and the Wise Owl – as well as Goldilocks’ parents and cousin Dreadlocks – were all called to the stand. After hearing all the testimonies, the jury deliberated on its ruling and sentencing for Goldilocks.


Record-Breaker photo
HSE junior and girls varsity track and field member Sasa Young broke the school record in the 55-meter hurdles with a time of 8.93 seconds. The old record was 9.34 seconds and was set in 1997-98.

Dogwood’s Bistro Has Plenty on the Menu

Dogwood’s Bistro Has Plenty on the Menu photo

Fifth-graders at Dogwood Elementary recently enjoyed a special “dining” experience at the library’s bistro book tasting.

After confirming their reservation, students were seated at tables with checkered tablecloths, vases of colorful flowers, flickering candles and trays full of books. Each student was able to “taste” different books for each course: appetizer, entree and dessert. The fifth-graders recorded their thoughts about each course in their menus as Italian music filled the air.  

Tackan Takes a Bite Out of Literacy

Tackan Takes a Bite Out of Literacy photo

The library at Tackan Elementary School was transformed into a French bistro for a book tasting event held on Jan. 23. Complete with red-and-white checked tablecloths, flowers and candlelight, the fifth-graders sampled different chapter books during their library periods.

After checking in with the hostess and finding their seating reservation, students tasted different books by reading the title, inside jacket and blurb and writing about if they would like to read it and why. 

The book tasting gave the students a chance to preview new books outside of their comfort zone, hopefully sparking an interest in a new title or author. Students tasted three different books – an appetizer, entrée and dessert – at the bistro before deciding if they wanted to check something new out of the library.

Curling Rocks

Students in Melissa Taylor’s fourth-grade class and Joanne Ciappa’s third grade class used the Next Generation Science Standards to create rocks as seen in the Olympic event of curling.

Smithtown East track stars shine

Smithtown East track stars shine photo
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Members of the High School East’s track team were recently honored for their performance. Catherine Farrell, Gabby Schneider, Lauren Wozny, Sasha Young, Kaitlyn Yurick, Ariana Shaw, Grace Young, Emily Ginty and Megan Sigismonti received All-League honors in the League II championship track meet. In addition, Emily Ginty (fifth in the varsity 2 mile), Catherine Farrrell (fifth in the Invitational mile) and Makenna Morton, eighth-grader, (third in the freshman mile) all placed at the Ocean Breeze Invitational Track Meet in Staten Island on Jan. 28.

Smithtown Board Recognizes Student Achievements

Smithtown Board Recognizes Student Achievements photo

The Board of Education honored three High School East students and one High School West student who were recently named Regeneron Scholars in the 2018 Regeneron Science Talent Search, the country’s oldest high school competition in the math and sciences during their meeting on Jan. 23.

High School East seniors Sydney Bracht, Cindy Li and Shrey Thaker and High School West senior Sarah Adamo were among those presented with certificates of recognition by the board of education.

The two winners from the Smithtown VFW Voice of Democracy Essay Contest were also presented with certificates. High School West student Nicholas Camson placed first in the competition and High School West Dean Mattshull took third place. The Voice of Democracy competition provides high school freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors the opportunity to write and record a 3-5-minute broadcast script on a patriotic theme, competing for more than $2.3 million in college scholarships and incentives. State winners receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., and compete for $152,000 in scholarships.


Physics Challenge Provides Thrilling Ride

Physics Challenge Provides Thrilling Ride photo

Sixth-graders in the science of technology class at Great Hollow Middle School recently designed their own roller coasters. The students have been working through the applied physics unit via the Project Lead the Way module.

Using the knowledge of potential, kinetic and dissipated energy, students worked in groups to design a roller coaster. The sixth-graders calculated the potential and kinetic energy of steel and glass marbles released from various heights along an incline. The roller coaster design challenge consisted of the success of a marble traversing the designed path while coming to a complete stop within six inches of the end of the roller coaster.     


A Human Connection

A Human Connection photo

A project created at Accompsett Middle School is showing how each member of its student body is special and unique. The Humans of AMS project aligns with the district’s social-emotional learning standards and is designed to show off the diverse experiences of the student population.

To start, Accompsett students write a few paragraphs featuring little-known facts about themselves. After their picture is taken, they get a sign featuring their photo and personal information paragraph. The signs are then hung around the library, hallways and cafeteria in an effort to learn about each other. 

Students also create short video segments about themselves. In addition, there’s a social media portion of the project on Instagram with its own account called Humans of AMS. 

“The overall goal is to teach the students acceptance of others,” said Accompsett Middle School Principal Paul McNeil. “This is a difficult goal to measure, but it is our hope that the students will come together to respect the differences of others.” So far, 55 students have participated in the project, which will be ongoing throughout the school year.

Pajama Reading Party

The marble jar celebrates positive behavior and compliments. If the class transitions well, walks in the hall nicely, works hard on a project or receives a compliment, they get marbles on a goldfish bowl. When the bowl is full the class celebrates with the pajama flashlight reading party.

Even Pennies Can Make a Difference

Even Pennies Can Make a Difference photo
As part of a library lesson, third-graders at Mills Pond Elementary collected pennies to purchase flocks of chicks through Heifer International.
The inspiration for this project came about when the students read the book “One Hen” by Katie Smith Milway in library class. The story – based on the true life of  Kwabena Darko – is about a young boy from Ghana, Kojo, who buys one brown hen with a small loan from the families in his village. Darko, 75, now owns the largest agricultural farm in Ghana and supplies eggs and chickens to many countries of western Africa.

After sharing this inspiring story, the third-graders and librarian Louise Prescott decided to help a family in need. They chose Heifer International as the donor organization and began to collect pennies to purchase a flock of chicks. The students counted and rolled the coins. They raised $60 in pennies and had enough funds to pay for three flocks of chicks.

Foreign Language at Great Hollow

Hands-On Learning with Puzzle Activity

Hands-On Learning with Puzzle Activity
Fifth-graders at Smithtown Elementary School recently completed a jigsaw activity using the novel “Esperanza Rising.” The activity emphasized cooperative learning by providing students with an opportunity to actively help each other build comprehension. Each group member was responsible for becoming an expert on one section of the assigned material and then teaching it to the other members of the team.

Tackan Students Take Care of Their Teddy Bears

Tackan Students Take Care of Their Teddy Bears photo

Kindergartners at Tackan Elementary had a chance to play doctor to their stuffed animals thanks to a Teddy Bear Clinic hosted by trauma center at Stony Brook University Children’s Hospital on Jan. 17.

In an effort to help ease the fear associated with doctors and hospital, the students took care of their stuffed animals by taking their temperature, bandaging their wounds and nursing them back to health with plenty of hugs. 

Kristi Ladowski, injury prevention coordinator at the hospital, spoke to the students about injury prevention and the importance of keeping safe in the car. She also demonstrated how wearing a helmet during sports and other activities can help reduce the risk of injuries. 

Happy Hounds Thanks to Great Hollow Club

Happy Hounds Thanks to Great Hollow Club photo

Keeping local pets in need top of mind, the Peanut Butter Gang, a community service club at Great Hollow Middle School, recently made and collected items for rescue animals.

The club collected clean, used T-shirts, which they cut into strips, braided and knotted, to be used at dog chew toys. The club is also organizing a pet supply drive. All of the items collected, along with the dog toys, will be donated to Save-A-Pet in Port Jefferson Station. The Peanut Butter Gang is open to all grades and is facilitated by Sheila Tobin Cavooris and Elaine Froehlich. 

Great Hollow Kicks to the Top

Great Hollow Kicks to the Top photo
The kickline team from Great Hollow Middle School attended the Scholastic Kickline Competition on Jan. 7 at Nassau Community College. Coached by Lisa Cangro, the team placed first in the high kick division and the dance division. Team captains are Gianna Cream, Mattie Naples and Julia Troy. 

Students Score Big at DECA

Students Score Big at DECA photo
More than 60 students from High School East and High School West DECA placed at the recent Suffolk County regional DECA Competition at Suffolk County Community College in Selden on Jan. 3. As a result, these students qualified to advance to the New York State DECA Championship Competition in March in Rochester, New York. DECA is an international business/marketing club opened to high school students enrolled in business courses.

In addition to the Smithtown students who placed at regionals, 45 additional DECA members from both HSE and HSW will make the trip to Rochester to compete in the manual competition. The manuals can range from 10 to 30 pages on various business/marketing areas. Students who place in the performance and written events in Rochester will qualify to compete at the International DECA Competition in Atlanta, Georgia, in April.  

DECA is a co-curricular global program that provides students with experiences and activities in areas such as marketing, finance, hospitality and management. Participation also hones leadership skills, civic consciousness and social intelligence.

All-State HSW Musician

All-State HSW Musician photo
HSW senior Blake Carey was accepted into the All-State symphonic band. Blake auditioned for the All-State honor ensembles by performing a level 6 NYSSMA solo and scoring a perfect 100. He performed at the Eastman Theatre in Rochester Nov. 30-Dec. 3. Blake was also selected as an alternate for the All-State jazz ensemble and will be performing with the All-State jazz ensemble in Albany in March.

Four Smithtown Students Named Regeneron Scholars

Four Smithtown Students Named Regeneron Scholars
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Four Smithtown Students Named Regeneron Scholars photo 3

Three High School East students and one High School West student are among the 46 Long Island seniors named Regeneron Scholars in the 2018 Regeneron Science Talent Search, the country’s oldest high school competition in the math and sciences. The top 300 science research students nationwide were chosen for this honor.

High School East seniors Sydney Bracht, Cindy Li and Shrey Thaker and High School West senior Sarah Adamo have been recognized for their science research projects. 

Sydney’s project is “A Reverse Genetic Approach to Identify Novel Regulators of Cell Invasive Behavior.” Cindy’s research focuses on “The Role of Sts-1 and Sts-2 in ROS Response in Mononuclear Phagocytes,” while Shrey’s research was conducted on “The Role of miR-34a in Colorectal Cancer Racial Health Disparity.” Sarah’s research project is on “Acetylcholine and Nicotine Potentiate Currents in Cells Isolated from the Sea Anemone Nematostella vectensis.”

Each scholar receives a $2,000 prize, and individual schools get $2,000 for each of their recognized students. Forty finalists will be named on Jan. 23 and will compete on March 8-14 in Washington, D.C., for prizes totaling more than $1.8 million. Winners will be announced March 13 at the National Building Museum.

Click here to read more about the student projects