skip to main content

Sports Teams Help Stock the Shelves

Sports Teams Help Stock the Shelves photo
High School East’s junior varsity and varsity lacrosse teams spent the day giving back to their community by stocking the shelves for the Smithtown Food Pantry. The teams are pictured with Smithtown Food Pantry director Patricia Westlake.  

Playing Ball for a Cause

Playing Ball for a Cause photo
High School West’s girls varsity softball team, along with Kellenberg Memorial High School, participated in a charity softball game to benefit the League of Yes on April 21 at Molloy College. The League of Yes is an organization that aims to bring the game of baseball to people with disabilities of all ages. The High School West girls were paired up with a “buddy” who they assisted in fielding and running the bases. The Kellenberg girls softball team participated as well, and the two teams played a three-inning exhibition game.

Prom Photo

Prom Photo
Tackan Elementary School Principal Dr. Allyn Leeds stopped by for a quick photo opportunity with her former students before they went to High School East senior prom.

Parent University Addresses Safety, Security

Parent University Addresses Safety, Security photo

To address the safety and security of students and staff throughout the district, the Smithtown Central School District invited parents and community members to its spring Parent University School Safety Forum on May 7 at Smithtown High School West.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. James Grossane spoke about the safety and security practices in place including the visitor management system, security entrances and vestibules, security cameras and routine evacuation/fire/lockdown drills. 

District, county and law enforcement representatives were on hand to discuss the district’s emergency planning and responses in the event of a threat to school safety. Jack Blaum, the district’s security consultant, and Joe Rizzo, chief of security, spoke about the district’s safety measures, practices and procedures. They addressed concerns about keeping buildings secure, preventative measures, fire evacuation procedures and ongoing security upgrades.

Assistant Superintendent of Pupil Personnel Services Mona Tobin addressed the audience regarding communication with parents and community members and reunification plans in the event of an emergency.

Diane Lanze’s Fifth-Grade Class at Mills Pond Celebrates Mexico Day

St. James Elementary School 80th Anniversary Celebration


Coding Enrichment Program for Budding Scientists

Coding Enrichment Program for Budding Scientists photo
For the second consecutive year, High School East science research coordinator Maria Zeitlin has partnered with Brookhaven National Laboratory to provide an enrichment program open to all interested 10th-12th grade students. Through the collaboration, 21 students have participated in the weekly scientific coding seminars, which runs on Fridays from the start of school until the end of April. At the final session on April 27, instructor Dave Biersach, along with the directors of the Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Office of Educational Programs, were on hand to deliver certificates to all the student participants. 

Author Visit Sparks Kindness Challenge at Tackan

Author Visit Sparks Kindness Challenge at Tackan photo
Author Amy McCoy made a special visit to Tackan Elementary School on April 26 for two assemblies with the students to help inspire them to be kind and better understand other’s differences.
McCoy, author of “Little Big Sister,” spoke to the students why it’s always important to be kind and why the book has an important message. The book is told from the perspective of a girl named Katie, who although she is the little sister in the family, often needs to play the role of the big sister. Katie’s brother has special needs and the book explains what it’s like growing up with a sibling who has autism.  

McCoy challenged the students to take their school motto – “work hard, be nice” – to the next level and add her motto of “it’s cool to be kind.” Living with kindness, integrity and just smiling can brighten someone’s day, she said. 

Fourth-Graders Help Feed Local Families

Fourth-Graders Help Feed Local Families photo
Fourth-Graders Help Feed Local Families photo 2
Fourth-graders throughout the district recently tied their learning activities in with donating to a local cause. As part of a Project Lead the Way activity, the fourth-graders were tasked with designing and modeling a system to unload boxes of food at a community food pantry. The students came up with different prototypes of systems to best deliver and unload the food. 

After completing the activity, Project Lead the Way coach Kelly Bigliani asked the fourth-grade class to participate in a local food drive led by area Stop and Shop supermarkets called Feeding Our Families. The elementary schools collected more than 700 pounds of nonperishable food items, which will be delivered to Island Harvest. On April 29, the Smithtown High School East girls varsity softball team also collected donations, a total of 3,000 pounds, along with Bigliani at the Stop and Shop in South Setauket.  

Smithtown Elementary PTA Mother's Day Plant Sale

Rotary Award Winners

The Rotary Awards ceremony highlights seven students from both High School East and High School West who were chosen by each of their guidance counselors for their dedication, perseverance, and achievement during their high school years.

Counselor Recipient

K. Baker Lindsey Kaufman
A. Freund Matthew Moncada
M. Agostino Andrew Sheahan
D. Caputo Ariana Rosas
S. Safranek Juliana Hurtado
J. Wilson Tyler Caputo
M. Randall Rebecca Crawford

Counselor Recipient

D. Giannico Joesph Link
K. Schmalz Julia Campanile
B. Alemaghides Noelle Esposito
K. Brouthers Hana Ghobashy
A. Insana Daniel Perillo
B. Woods Kariana Schuman
K. LaPresti Sasha Young

Kickline Team Recognized for Ongoing Success

Kickline Team Recognized for Ongoing Success photo
The High School East varsity kickline Whisperettes, along with their coach Sarahbeth Cook and junior varsity coach Michele Marciante, were presented with a proclamation by the office of the Suffolk County Legislator for winning their 20th consecutive national title at Contest of Champions in Orlando, Florida. This past year, the team placed first in small high kick, best in category for small high kick and were asked to do an encore performance for small high kick. 

Smithtown Elementary Mother's Day Tea

Kindergarteners showered moms with love and adoration.

Smithtown Elementary Takes on Broadway

Smithtown Elementary Takes on Broadway photo

From March 14-16, more than 65 fifth-graders from Smithtown Elementary School performed "Shrek Jr., The Musical."  Throughout the five-month rehearsal process, students learned to sing, dance and act. The students worked collaboratively alongside their teachers, Mrs. Payne and Mrs. Yoon, to not only put on a great performance, but embrace the show’s message of acceptance of oneself and others.


World Cultures Showcase

World Cultures Showcase photo
World Cultures Showcase photo 2
World Cultures Showcase photo 3
On April 13, the English as a New Language (ENL) department at High School West hosted their annual World Cultures Showcase. Students, parents and the community came out to celebrate the diverse cultures of the world with food, music, performances and conversation.

East Researcher Recognized in Essay Competition

East Researcher Recognized in Essay Competition photo
High School East student Cindy Li, a senior in the ThINK Science Research program, received an honorable mention in the American Society of Human Genetics International DNA essay competition. 

This year’s topic centered on the direct-to-consumer DNA testing. Students were asked to reflect on the merits of such mail-in services where supportive counseling from healthcare professionals may be absent. According to Maria Zeitlin, High School East science research coordinator, “Li wrote an insightful essay that explored the topic from a meaningful point of view. It is especially important in my program that students be literate in the discussion of scientific topics that relate to the public at large.”

ASHG received entries from students in 43 U.S. states, as well as from 23 countries. Essays are expected to be well-reasoned arguments indicative of a depth of understanding of the concepts related to the essay question.

Fourth-Grade Recorder Concert

Insects Help Deliver a Valuable Lesson

Insects Help Deliver a Valuable Lesson photo

Fifth-graders at Dogwood Elementary School taught their classmates and audience members about the importance of always being kind to others and treating them the way they would like to be treated. The fifth-graders performed the musical “Bugz” on April 26 and 27 with the songs and storyline delivering messages of tolerance and understanding the differences of others. Dressed as different types of bugs – including lady bugs, ants, honeybees, fireflies, butterflies and more – the students learned how they were all being mean to the stink bug and what they could do to be more accepting.

A Look at 3D Technology

Students in Dianne Shanian’s Digital Media Art class had a visit from Paul Lipsky from MindYolk on May 11. Mr. Lipsky showed the class his 3D Technical Illustrations and animations as it relates both to the technical and creative fields. He spoke about how integral the arts are to industry, and how they will be needed in career fields that merge these skills. He said, "It is the way of the future." Before companies invest in manufacturing products, they first need target markets to see their proposed product. Therein lies the value in 3D rendering. People can see the product in advance before even a penny is spent.

Kindergarten Mother’s Day Tea

Female Power Brunch Inspires Students

Female Power Brunch Inspires Students photo
Female Power Brunch Inspires Students photo 2
The district, along with the Smithtown Industry Advisory Board’s Career Tracks Committee, hosted the 16th annual Female Power Brunch in the library of Smithtown High School East on April 26.

Approximately 40 business-minded female students from High School East were in attendance to listen to the dozen female guest speakers of the day. The day kicked off with a meet-and-greet breakfast so the students could learn about the speakers and mentors, their career path and interests. 

Students heard from five different speakers before coming together for a self-portrait and sharing session. The remaining speakers shared their messages after the networking brunch, where guests and students came together to talk about their college and career goals. Guest speakers touched on a wide range of topics and included business owners, a political candidate, a race car driver, account manager, author, air traffic controller, doctor and nurse.

Kyle Dine Allergy Awareness Program

Winning Logo Shown Off at Carnegie Hall

Winning Logo Shown Off at Carnegie Hall photo
Students in Dianne Shanian’s digital media arts class at High School East were given the opportunity by orchestra teacher Brian McCoy to create a T-shirt logo for their musical performance at Carnegie Hall on April 19. The winning design, created in Adobe Illustrator, was submitted by ninth-grader Jack Whalen. The design, chosen by the High School East musicians, was printed on the back of the shirts and worn during their performance. He is shown here with High School East digital media teacher Dianne Shanian and High School East orchestra teacher Brian McCoy. 

Smithtown Elementary 1st Grade Ladybug Performance

Award-Winning Student-Artists in Annual Shanti Competition

Award-Winning Student-Artists in Annual Shanti Competition photo
Three student-artists were honored on April 25 for their artwork submission to the Shanti Fund annual art competition. Smithtown Elementary School student Kayla Pardini, Nesaquake Middle School student Juliana Paparella and High School East student Ilysa Sirota took top awards in this year’s competition. They were recognized for their efforts at the peace celebration in honor of Mahatma Gandhi. The students are pictured with their families as well as (from left) director of fine arts Michael Mastrangelo, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Jennifer Bradshaw, Smithtown Elementary School art teacher Erica Lewis-Kerim, Nesaquake Middle School art teacher Barbara DiSalvo and High School East art teacher Timothy Needles. 

Visit from an Author

Smithtown Elementary School enjoyed a special visit from author and Illustrator Kathleen Bart. She shared her book A Tale of Two Teddies with the children, teaching them the origins of the first two teddy bears and how they came to be. The children enjoyed learning how to draw their own teddy bear.

Fifth Grade Broadway Production

Slime Time at Tackan

Slime Time at Tackan photo

Third-graders at Tackan Elementary School got sticky and slimy as part of a hands-on lesson presented by the Parent-Teacher Association’s Cultural Arts program on April 25.

A representative from the Long Island Science Museum visited the school for the slime, goo and ooze presentation. Students learned about the different states of matter – solids, liquids and gases – and their different properties. To make the slime, the students had to turn a liquid into a gel, a state of matter in between a liquid and a solid. Each student had the opportunity to make two different types of slime. The first slime used glue, Borax, food coloring and water to create a “gak” slime, which was stretchy and sticky. The “flubber” slime they created next had a different texture, and students observed its different properties. At the end of the program, the third-graders were able to take their creations home to enjoy. 

‘Tote’-ally Caring for the Environment

‘Tote’-ally Caring for the Environment photo
‘Tote’-ally Caring for the Environment photo 2
‘Tote’-ally Caring for the Environment photo 3
In recognition of Earth Day, fourth-graders in Jen Goldman’s class at St. James Elementary School showed they care about the environment. The students brought in old T-shirts from home and recycled them by turning them into tote bags. 

HSE Student-Athletes Commit to College Level

HSE Student-Athletes Commit to College Level photo
High School East students recently signed on to continue to play their sports in college. Congratulations to the following students: Christian Villani, Stony Brook University, lacrosse; Dan Murphy Culver, Stockton College, volleyball; James O’Connell, American International, lacrosse; Chris Mangels, SUNY Maritime, lacrosse, Rob Varella, Farmingdale State College, lacrosse; Brian Cosgrove, Binghamton University, lacrosse; Calvin Trebing, Vassar College, lacrosse; Matt Guercio, SUNY Maritime, lacrosse; Kevin O’Connnor, SUNY Maritime, lacrosse; Matt Russo, Fairfield University, lacrosse; Marco Scanni, Bard College, soccer; Bryan Kaplon SUNY New Paltz, volleyball; Kyle Shaffer, Lewis University, volleyball; Marc Birbiglia, LIU Post, baseball; Matt Laurelli, LIU Post, baseball; Bryan Spinella, Farmingdale State College, track and field; Danielle Bartsch, Union College, soccer; Catriana Sheppard, University of New Hampshire, soccer; Sydney Marzano. LIU Post, lacrosse; Patricia Werker, Florida Southern College, lacrosse; Sofia Palazzolo, Molloy College, field hockey; Alessandria Brady, Iona College, volleyball; Nora Carpenter, Iona College, lacrosse; Annie Freshour, Manhattan College, lacrosse; Liz Gallagher, Swarthmore College, swimming; Katelyn McGuigan, Bentley University, field hockey; Amanda Funaro, Quinnipiac University, field hockey; Kyra Dalli, Molloy College, field hockey; Rachel Adler, University of New Haven, cross-country and track and field; and Julianna Schulz, SUNY Geneseo, tennis.

Hands-On Learning at Bull STEAM Ahead

Hands-On Learning at Bull STEAM Ahead photo

Showing off the many interactive, hands-on learning experiences available throughout the district, the Maker Space Club from High School East invited students and their families to Bull STEAM Ahead evening on April 20.

Maker Space activities ¬– with topics covering science, technology, engineering, art and math – were offered for students to experience. They checked out 3-D printing technology, made their own math origami, worked with circuits, videoed themselves on a green screen and used virtual reality glasses. 

Technologies of the past also made an appearance, and some students had fun learning to use a typewriter. STEM professionals from local businesses were on hand to answer questions, and the Mechanical Bulls robotics team set up outside the cafeteria to showcase their creations. Admission was free with a nonperishable food donation, which the Maker Space Club will collect for a local food pantry.  

Two HSE Researchers Head to ISEF

Two HSE Researchers Head to ISEF photo
High School East students Sydney Bracht and Matthew Mullahy, who are part of the ThINK Science Research Program, took first place at the recent Long Island Science and Engineering Fair. This honor qualifies them to compete in the International Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh later this year.

Sydney placed first in the category of animal sciences. She investigated the mechanisms behind cancer metastasis utilizing the nematode C. elegans, whose development of the reproductive system employs cell invasion, a process also found in cancer metastasis. Utilizing reverse genetics, she identified genes of interest that play a role in cell migration. Additionally, she created a novel strain in which fluorescence was added to key reproductive cells to facilitate viewing of the invasion process. Sydney worked in the lab of Dr. David Matus and was mentored by Taylor Medwig, a doctoral candidate at Stony Brook University.

Matthew placed first in the category of behavioral and social science. He investigated brain NG2 glia cells, the decline of which has been associated with mood and anxiety disorders. His research works toward understanding the biological mechanisms behind depression. Matthew also worked at Stony Brook University in the lab of Dr. Adan Aguirre and was mentored by doctoral candidate Alexandros Kokkosis. 

“It is a true testimony to the caliber of work that we do to see two students recognized for their research at the international level,” said High School East research coordinator Maria Zeitlin. “The untold hours and the true grit within these students, and all of the students in the program, illustrates that hard work, passion, and a love of science translates into measurable scientific discovery.”

Also honored were High School East students Shrey Thaker (third place in cellular and molecular biology), and Alexis McCauley-Pearl (honorable mention and recipient of the Stockholm Water Prize). ISEF, the world’s largest international pre-college science competition, provides 1,800 high school students from more than 75 countries, regions, and territories the opportunity to present their independent research and compete for $4 million in prizes.  

Great Hollow Students Show Love of Language and Cooking

Great Hollow Students Show Love of Language and Cooking photo
Seventh-graders Marissa Guttieri and Natalie Boeri from Great Hollow Middle School participated in the American Association of Teachers of Italian 33rd annual poetry competition and Gara di Cucina baking contest on April 13 at SUNY Old Westbury. More than 200 students from 20 districts competed in this year’s events.  

Boeri was named the third-place winner of the cooking contest winner for her Italian tri-colored cookies. Boeri and Guttieri both received participation certificates for their poetry reading of “La Befana” and “Proverbi.” Students were required to memorize and recite an Italian poem of 12-30 lines before a panel of judges and were scored on poise, intonation, pronunciation and interpretation.

April Showers Bring May Flowers

Science Lesson Offers Up Close Look at the Brain

Science Lesson Offers Up Close Look at the Brain photo

As part of a Project Lead the Way activity, eighth-grade students at Great Hollow Middle School used a sheep’s brain to compare and contrast its components to a human brain. Students used flags to identify and examine the different parts of the brain.

Hands-on Lesson in Volume

Fourth-Grade Coders Get Inside Look at Minecraft

Fourth-Grade Coders Get Inside Look at Minecraft photo
Fourth-Grade Coders Get Inside Look at Minecraft photo 2
Fourth-Grade Coders Get Inside Look at Minecraft photo 3
Fourth-graders at St. James Elementary School went on a virtual field trip to the headquarters of Minecraft in Stockholm, Sweden, on April 9. Lydia Waters, one of the brand directors, gave students a virtual tour of the facilities. 

During the visit, the fourth-graders Skyped with Agnes, one of the developers who is creating a new release into the Minecraft game. She explained her job function and showed the students the lines of code used to create the “turtle.”

Following the virtual tour, students learned some basic coding functions. The Microsoft team members guided each student through the coding lesson on how to code through command lines. They were taught that code is a set of instructions that tells a computer to do something and Make Code uses event-driven, block coding to start an action in Minecraft. Each student was then able to change the number of times to spawn animals, change the spawn of animal types and change the location of the spawning of the animal. 

A Royal Gathering of Characters

A Royal Gathering of Characters photo

It was a royal gathering for second-graders at Tackan Elementary School when they celebrated their Fairy Tale Ball on April 20. The celebration was the culmination of their literacy unit on fairy tales.

Royal kings and queens, princes and princesses and many of the famous characters from the classic tales entered the gymnasium to an audience of family and friends.

Class by class, the students took to the stage to recite a few of the well-known fairy tales, some dressed the part of the different characters, including “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” “Little Red Riding Hood,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and “Pinocchio.”

Following the show, guests and fairy tale characters were all invited back to the cafeteria for a royal feast.

2018 Torch Recipients

2018 Torch Recipients photo
Each year, the Torch Award is presented to Smithtown teachers who have significantly contributed to the growth and professional development of their teacher colleagues. This year’s Torch Award recipients are: Kelly Bigliani, Kathleen DeBono, Doreen Kelly, Amanda LaComb, Gillian Winters, Denise Cardinal, Diana Lanze, Kristi Hoenes and Sallie Culloton.

The Smithtown Teacher Center hosted a reception to honor all Torch Award recipients and nominees on April 23 at the Branch Brook Elementary library.

Survivor Shares Story

Survivor Shares Story Pic

Students in Christina Cone's Holocaust and Genocide class at High School West had the opportunity to hear from Holocaust survivor Mordechai Miller. He shared his experiences and hardships of a tragic time in history. His testimony helps to educate the new generation of the atrocities of the past and inspires them to live a life free of hate.

Pictured from left (back row): HSW social studies teacher Christina Cone, High School West students David DeRosa, Taylor Fox, JonCarlo Gargano, Chris Scotto DiMaso, Danielle Prisco, Dean Mattschull, Nick Cipolla, Dominick Pilo, Luke Silva. Front row: Kenneth Hain, guest speaker Mordechai Miller, Melissa DeGaetano, Emily Goldberg, Eve Lindenmann, Kristina Keys and Jenn Stein.

Meditation and Mindfulness

Meditation and Mindfulness
The Function Academic Secondary Transition (FAST) students at High School West are incorporating meditation into their daily routine for mental breaks and to help with calming and refocusing.

HSE Student-Artists on Display

HSE Student-Artists on Display photo
High School East student-artists senior Francesca Cossu (left) and sophomore Emily Ginty (right) had their artwork selected to be displayed in the Long Island Museum’s annual student art exhibition, Colors of Long Island, from Feb. 23 through April 8. Art teachers from across Long Island were invited to submit up to two pieces from students in grades K-12 for this showcase of extraordinary talent. They are pictured with High School East art teacher Dianne Shanian. 

Mills Pond Students Sweating for a Cause

Mills Pond Students Sweating for a Cause photo

Fourth- and fifth-graders in the Cares Club at Mills Pond Elementary School worked up quite a sweat for a charitable cause on April 12.

The students, along with club advisers and teacher volunteers, participated in a boot camp fundraiser to benefit the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. In total, approximately 30 students were involved in the event, which required a donation of at least $5 to participate. In addition to raising awareness about the disease, the students garnered close to $700 in pledges. 

The gymnasium was set up in different stations, and students rotated throughout, doing sit-ups, planks, push-ups, relay races and jumping jacks in small groups. 

Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time photo

Storybook characters came to life at Accompsett Elementary School on April 10 when the second-grade classes participated in their annual Fairy Tale Ball.

As a culminating activity to their fairy unit, the students dressed as their favorite characters and performed songs and dances for the audience. The second-graders also showcased their literacy skills by reciting their own fairy tales for invited guests. Following the performance, the kings, queens, princes and princesses all headed back to the classrooms for a fairy tale feast.   

Respect is Recognized at St. James Elementary

Respect is Recognized at St. James Elementary photo
Respect is Recognized at St. James Elementary photo 2
St. James Elementary School held a character education assembly on April 13 to highlight the character trait of respect. Throughout March, the school reinforced how to respect one another and yourself. Two students from each class were recognized for regularly exhibiting high levels of respect for themselves, their peers and teachers and the St. James community. They received certificates and T-shirts, courtesy of the Parent-Teacher Association. April’s character trait, compassion, was introduced at the end of the assembly. 

Mechanical Bulls Ride All the Way to Top

Mechanical Bulls Ride All the Way to Top photo

The district’s robotic team, the Mechanical Bulls (Team #810), won the FIRST Robotics Long Island Regional competition at Hofstra University on April 14. The team has earned a spot to compete in the World Championships in Detroit, Michigan at the end of April.

The team also won the Chairman’s Award, which involved submitting a paper, doing a presentation, answering questions from the executives of FIRST while at competitions and doing community outreach. 

Mechanical Bulls coach David Savage won the Woodie Flowers Finalist Award, which is based on the nomination he received from the students and the parents on the team for being a great coach and role model to the team. The award celebrates effective communication in the art and science of engineering and design. He is eligible for the Championship Woodie Flowers Award in Detroit. 

The Mechanical Bulls are only the fifth team (out of more than 7,200 teams) in the 25-year history of FIRST to ever win three blue banners at one regional event.

Smithtown Students Immerse in a Day of Awareness

Smithtown Students Immerse in a Day of Awareness photo
Smithtown Students Immerse in a Day of Awareness photo 2
Smithtown Students Immerse in a Day of Awareness photo 3
Tenth-graders participated in the 17th annual Holocaust Remembrance and Genocide Awareness Day on April 12. At both High School West and High School East, the 10th-graders immersed themselves in the study of what happened during the Holocaust, the Cambodia genocide, the Rwandan genocide and what is currently happening to the Rohingya in Myanmar throughout the day.

Students heard from Holocaust survivor Werner Reich, as well as Rwandan genocide survivor Jacqueline Murekatete. Both guest speakers stressed the importance of speaking up and making a difference. The students watched scenes from “The Killing Fields” and “Hotel Rwanda” for more insight into the genocides that are happening in the 21st century. At the end of the day, students completed a question and answer booklet and provided reflection on the day’s events. 

“The importance of educating the current generation about the Holocaust and genocide is two-fold,” said Christina Cone, High School West social studies teacher. “For one, this is the last generation who will be able to hear the experiences of those who lived through the Holocaust and it will be incumbent upon them to keep the memory alive. In addition, genocides and human atrocities continue to happen. The hope is that through events like these and hearing the messages of the survivors, students will internalize the importance of accepting others and speaking up when needed.”

Top Honors for Video by HSW Leadership Students

Top Honors for Video by HSW Leadership Students photo

High School West leadership students Brooke Vitulli and Marie Carpenter were named finalists in the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights “Speak Truth To Power” video contest sponsored by the American Federation of Teachers and the Tribeca Film Institute. The video, which they completed in leadership after researching important leaders who have been activists in civil or human rights movements, required that they address a certain human rights issue and explain how a chosen individual has worked to defend, promote, protect or advance human rights.

Brooke and Marie created a video about the #MeToo movement and the work of the movement’s leader Tarana Burke. Their video will join other top submissions across the nation and be recognized at the Tribeca Film Festival in April. 

Click here to view the video

Third-Grade Researchers

Third-Grade Researchers photo

Students in Laura McCoy and Brian Pelosi’s third-grade class at Accompsett Elementary School recently conducted nonfiction research projects and presented their research to the class using Google Slides. The students had the opportunity to ask questions and compliment their classmate’s work.

Showcasing Their Skills

Showcasing Their Skills photo

Fifth-graders from Accompsett Elementary School showed off their teamwork and athletic abilities in this year’s production of “Bring It On” on March 27. Led by physical education teacher Ed Shivokevich, acts included dance, hula-hoop, parachute, soccer, basketball, football and baseball. Students put on two performances for students, teachers and parents.

High School West’s Rocking the Socks

High School West’s Rocking the Socks photo
In honor of World Down Syndrome Day and as a celebration of all the differences  people, High School West sponsored Rock the Socks on March 21. Faculty and students showed support for a freshman in the Functional Academic Secondary Transition program. The freshman class promoted the day and the FAST classes sold crazy socks to benefit the Special Olympics.

HSW Student-Scientist Heads to International Comp

HSW Student-Scientist Heads to International Comp photo
High School West senior Sarah Adamo has been named a grand-prize winner at the New York State Science and Engineering Fair, where she received the best in fair award. 

Her project, “Acetylcholine and nicotine potentiate currents in cells isolated from the sea anemone, Nematostella vectensis,” was completed at Stony Brook University under the guidance of Dr. James Dilger. Sarah will be competing at the International Science and Engineering Fair in May.

Let’s Play Ball

Let’s Play Ball photo

Fourth-graders at St. James Elementary School celebrated the opening day of baseball by engaging in activities centered on the sport on March 29.

In the day filled with baseball-themed lessons, students listened to the famous comedy act “Who’s On First” by Abbott and Costello and had to answer questions about who was at each position. They read and answered questions about the poem “Casey at the Bat.” The fourth-graders listened to the song “The Greatest” by Kenny Rogers and discussed its lessons as a mindfulness/take away activity. 

The student-artists designed their own baseball pennants and budding musicians wrote their own versions of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” to share with the class. For their hands-on science lesson, students predicted, tested and measured the bounce of a baseball, tennis ball, whiffle ball and golf ball. 

Fourth-graders also honed their baseball skills during physical education classes and stretched their muscles in class during the seventh-inning stretch. Students read books about different baseball legends and practiced baseball-related math problems.

Up, Up and Away

Up, Up and Away photo

Seventh-graders in Connor Kelly’s technology class at Great Hollow Middle School were tasked with flying paper airplanes as part of a Project Lead the Way activity on designing technology solutions. After completing their unit on aerodynamics and flight, the students first had to adjust rudders, ailerons and elevators to have the plane perform specific maneuvers in flight. For the second part of the activity, the students attempted to fly their airplanes as far as possible, some reaching more than 50 feet.

East Students Experience Life in Senegal

East Students Experience Life in Senegal photo
After completing a unit on French speaking West African countries and culture, students in Kristen Romond’s French 5 class at High School East converted their classroom into a culinary and cultural experience from Senegal. 

The class learned about the French-speaking country of Senegal. During World Language Week, the students were transported into a small village of Senegal. A large mat replaced the desks where the students sat sharing a meal in typical Senegalese fashion. 

The drum lead rhythms of West African Mbalax music filled the air and brought the whole experience to life. The students learned about proper mealtime and social etiquette of sitting on the communal mat and eating with their right hands following traditional cultural practices. 

HSW Scholar-Athlete Recognized

HSW Scholar-Athlete Recognized photo
High School West senior Kyle Zawadzki has been chosen as a News12 Long Island Scholar Athlete Award recipient and was presented with a $1,000 check. He was selected for the award based on his academic and athletic achievements. 

Kyle maintains above a 4.0 grade point average and plays lacrosse and football. He will be playing Division I lacrosse for Yale University this fall. Kyle was selected to the 2017 All-County lacrosse team and the New York All-State AA football second team for his accomplishments on the football field this past fall.

Great Hollow Takes Seventh at Science Olympiad

Great Hollow Takes Seventh at Science Olympiad photo
The Science Olympiad team from Great Hollow Middle School participated in the regional Science Olympiad competition at Candlewood Middle School on March 17. The competition allows students in schools across Suffolk County to compete in science and technology-based events.

The team placed seventh overall and won five medals in the 17 different events. Great Hollow Middle School medal winners in their events included Carson Chin, Nicholas Conte, Justin Hippler, Kyle Kalanka, Aman Mistry, Srivaths Rivva, Brandon Wingert and Kai Wingert.

Living Well in Smithtown

Living Well in Smithtown photo
Living Well in Smithtown photo 2
To educate students on how to live a healthier lifestyle, the Family, Community and Career Leaders of America Club hosted a Wellness Fair at the High School East on March 28.

Vendors included local businesses such as Krav Maga Karate, Vitality Bowls, St. Catherine’s Hospital, addiction doctors, and yoga and massage therapists. The Family and Consumer Sciences classes made healthy snacks to distribute to attendees. Clubs advisers are Connie Smith and Jaclyn Fettinger from High School East and Rachel Silsdorf and Valerie Gompers at High School West.

Storybook Characters Come to Life

Storybook Characters Come to Life photo

Dozens of classic nursery rhyme characters came to life on stage at Dogwood and St. James elementary schools on March 27 and 28 as the kindergarten students presented “An Adventure in Mother Goose Land.” The kindergartners performed first for the school, with an encore show for family and friends.

When Mother Hubbard loses her dog’s bone, she enlists the help of different characters to help find it. Along with Mother Goose, Mother Hubbard asks for help as kindergartners, dressed as their storybook character, come to the stage. At the end of the play, the bone is finally recovered by the mouse in the grandfather clock  from “Hickory, Dickory, Dock.”

Nature Visits During In-School Field Trip

Nature Visits During In-School Field Trip photo
Nature Visits During In-School Field Trip photo 2
Nature Visits During In-School Field Trip photo 3
Nature Visits During In-School Field Trip photo 4
During an in-school field trip, Sweetbriar Nature Center visited with first-graders in Kelly Collett's class at St. James Elementary School. Students learned about various animals that live on Long Island and their adaptations. They observed and touched many of the animals including a walking stick (stick bug), turtle, snake, owl and rabbit. The first-graders learned the differences between mammals, reptiles and insects, how animals camouflage themselves, and what they should do if they encounter these animals in nature. 

First grade students at Smithtown Elementary utilized QR codes to learn about Earth

QR Codes

AMS NJHS Helps Brittany’s Baskets Benefit Babies

AMS NJHS Helps Brittany’s Baskets Benefit Babies photo

Brittany Schiavone, who runs the local nonprofit Brittany’s Baskets of Hope, visited with National Junior Honor Society students at Accompsett Middle School on March 14. The organization assembles and donates baskets for newborns around the country with Down syndrome. Schiavone, who has Down syndrome, said she started the nonprofit to welcome babies and their families to the Down syndrome family.

Schiavone spoke to students about her mission to make a change in the world and not be attached to the stereotypes that come along with different disabilities. Her organization brings information, support and guidance to families who have given birth to a baby with Down syndrome. During the last 18 months, she has sent more than 600 baskets around the United States.

The baskets are filled with baby items such as onesies that read “downright perfect;” rattles, headbands, hand knitted blankets, sweaters, hats and booties; resources and information for the parents; and a message from Brittany’s parents about the journey of raising a child with Down syndrome. 

Sheri Fallacaro, National Junior Honor Society adviser, was one of her former teachers and organized the presentation for the middle school students. The National Junior Honor Society members also donated items to help fill up more baskets.

Fourth-Graders Get Hands-On with Ecosystem Exam

Fourth-Graders Get Hands-On with Ecosystem Exam photo
Fourth-Graders Get Hands-On with Ecosystem Exam photo 2
Fourth-Graders Get Hands-On with Ecosystem Exam photo 3
Fourth-Graders Get Hands-On with Ecosystem Exam photo 4
SCOPE educator John Shiels visited with fourth-graders at Tackan Elementary School on March 14 for a hands-on learning experience. After completing their unit on energy in the ecosystem, the students learned about food chains as part of SCOPE’s outdoor environmental education program.

Students learned about energy, different consumers and producers in the ecosystem and had to work in groups to create their own food chain. They also examined plankton using digital microscopes and tablets. The fourth-graders viewed the microscopic ecosystem of a water droplet and learned about the food chain using plankton. The students recorded their observations and worked together to identify the different organisms found in the ocean water.

Student-Artist Creates Top Design

Student-Artist Creates Top Design photo
High School East senior Ilysa Sirota has been named the overall flag design winner in the New York State Art Teachers Association’s Youth Art month flag design contest. Ilysa will have her work created into a flag that will hang at the National Art Education Association’s conference in Seattle, Washington, in March. She also received a smaller version of the flag to keep and display. Ilysa is pictured with her award-winning flag design and High School East art teacher Timothy Needles.

Bald Is Beautiful at St. James Elementary

Bald Is Beautiful at St. James Elementary photo
Eight fourth-graders from St. James Elementary School had their heads shaved at the St. Baldricks’ 2018 Rock the Bald Event at Napper Tandy’s in Smithtown on March 10. The students raised money to help conquer childhood cancer. The event raised more than $18,000. Top row (from left): Logan Rinck, Cooper Moses, Collin Savage and Campbell Cracchiola. Bottom row (from left): Cameron James, Jack Amato, Teddy Baratta and Brendan Power.

Mills Pond Runners Boost PTA Funds

Mills Pond Runners Boost PTA Funds photo

To raise money for its Parent-Teacher Association, get active and show their school spirit, Mills Pond Elementary School held a Boosterthon Fun Run in the gymnasium on March 9.

Garnering pledges from friends and family for each lap they ran, the students completed between 30-35 laps around the gym. In total, Mills Pond Elementary School raised close to $15,000 to help benefit the programs and activities provided by its PTA.

Dressed in their fun run shirts, the students had teachers and staff members cheering them on as they completed each lap. After each time around the gym, they received a check mark on the back of their shirt to show their lap count. 

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.