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Smithtown Central School District
Smithtown Central
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Everyone Matters

October 11, 2022
1 Minute Read

Thanks to its Math Honor Society, High School East has been recognized as the first Long Island high school to participate in Everyone Matters Day.

Founded in 2011 and launched in 2012, Everyone Matters is a grassroots campaign that advocates on behalf of everyone for the right to self-identity without shame, judgment or attack, and to create an environment that reduces intolerance and fosters inclusiveness.

Everyone Matters has more than 165,000 followers and connects to more than 56 million people on Facebook by bringing schools, cities, organizations and prominent figures together to bring awareness to its cause: dignity and respect of every individual regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, creed or any other distinguishing feature. HSE was mentioned on the Everyone Matters page.

Officers of the HSE Math Honor Society, led by historian Karina Hunstein, spent months preparing and planning for the event. The day prior to the event, volunteers assembled to create and decorate a poster of a tree for honor society members and non-members to sign during lunch periods. They encouraged students to take an oath to be nonjudgmental and anonymously add a “#I am” leaf to the tree. Approximately 300 members – active and non-active – and more than 100 others added leaves to the tree. Staff and faculty also identified themselves by hanging photos of themselves on the tree.

“We came across this event and thought it would be a great way to bring about awareness and acceptance of people of all abilities, no matter how different they may be,” said co-adviser Angela Boccio-McComb, who expects the tradition to continue next year. “Our officers loved the idea.”

Marianne Schoepflin co-advises the HSE Math Honor Society with Boccio-McComb.