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Committed to Excellence
Committed to Excellence

AnnMarie Mills Named Master Teacher


AnnMarie Mills, a science teacher at the middle school, was recently named a New York State Master Teacher by the governor’s office, recognizing her exemplary work in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math education. The Master Teacher program, which began in 2013, honors STEM educators who have demonstrated exceptional skills in mentoring peers and furthering their professional development.

“It is truly an honor to have AnnMarie recognized for her amazing contribution to STEM education here at Islip Middle School,” said Matthew Christiansen, Islip’s coordinator for business, science and technology.

Mills, who earned her bachelor’s degree in second education and biology at SUNY New Paltz and her master’s in liberal studies at SUNY Stony Brook, has taught at the middle school since 2002. She also serves as the adviser for the school’s Nature Club and as a Science Olympiad events coach. She currently teaches life science in the integrated co-teaching classroom and the special education self-contained setting, using a nature-themed curriculum that focuses on Long Island’s local ecosystems and current environmental issues. Her classroom setting often utilizes plants, animals and the ponds located on the school campus as the backbone of her lessons. As a result, her classes can regularly be found outside discovering the wonders of nature, firsthand. 

“I was inspired to become a New York State Master Teacher by two of my middle school colleagues, Ashley Bloch and Mike Silvering, who are also Master Teachers,” said Mills. “After completing the Greentree Teacher's Ecology Workshop two years ago, I have been looking for another avenue to continue to develop professionally with other motivated teachers. The application process was rigorous and I am thrilled to begin working on developing curriculum to further enhance my students’ experience with my Outdoor Nature Centered Classroom with the help of other Master Teachers.”

Upcoming Board of Education Meetings

There will be a special meeting of the Board of Education on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018 beginning at 6 p.m. in the Administration Building Conference Room. There will be a very brief public session, after which it is expected that the Board will enter into an Executive Session; there will be no other public business.

The next regular Board of Education meeting will be in the Islip Middle School on Tuesday, Jan. 9, beginning with an Executive Session at 6:45 p.m. The public portion of the meeting, featuring our Fall Night of Champions, is expected to begin at 7:30 p.m. in the IMS Auditorium. We hope you are able to join us as we celebrate our students!

Islip Honors Its AP Scholars

Islip Honors Its AP Scholars

High school students Grace Constantino, Kathleen Donahue, Madeline Edwards, Julia Hormann, Ashley Howell, Kristen Julich, Sheila Kiernan, Kevin Lewis, George Magagnoli, Madeline Marconi, Morgianna McDevitt, Benjamin Meyer, Kyle Ness, Corrin Petrucci, Jillian Piano, Michael Riselvato, Mathew Rogers, Olivia Schadt, Erik Schassberger, Ryan Scheidel and Anthony Zavala were recently named 2017 AP Scholars by the College Board, recognizing their remarkable college-level academic achievements in Advanced Placement courses and exams.

“These students are our academic superstars,” said Principal Michael Mosca. “Our school is proud of their diligence and perseverance.”

A ‘Wonder’ful Way to Teach Tolerance

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A ‘Wonder’ful Way to Teach Tolerance 2

Enhancing their understanding of accepting others, sixth-graders recently attended a screening of the movie “Wonder.”

“This film had a powerful message of acceptance, tolerance as well as perseverance, which were able to tie into our character education initiatives here at the middle school,” said teacher Laura Rondinella.

Seven Lacrosse Players Sign Letters of Intent

Seven Lacrosse Players Sign Letters of Intent

Seven seniors from the high school recently signed national letters of intent to play lacrosse in college next fall:  Jeffrey Atlas (Florida Southern College in Lakeland), Nicholas Barry  (U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland), Mike Bienkowski (U.S. Military Academy at West Point), Kerri Cummings (Mercy College in upstate Dobbs Ferry), Theodore McLoughlin (Binghamton University), Michael Paolicelli (also Mercy College) and Ethan Rall (Rutgers University in New Jersey).

“We congratulate these outstanding student-athletes on their accomplishment and look forward to following their college careers,” said Athletic Director John Sparacio.


Seven Inducted as KIC Junior Commissioners


Seven high school students – Anthony Ardolina, Lauren Cottral, Logan Powers, Delaney Hardekopf, Meg Rumplick, Christian Muller and Crystal Toro – were recently inducted in the Keep Islip Clean Junior Commissioner program during a ceremony at Brookwood Hall.

The Islip students will meet each month with junior commissioners from other districts in the town to discuss areas of environmental concern and address them with each KIC club and its adviser. The KIC Junior Commissioner program at Islip High School has resulted in numerous projects that take place on Pond Day as well as recycling programs and beautification projects.

A Bounty of Bologna: Commack Road Students Donate Sandwiches to Shelter

A Bounty of Bologna: Commack Road Students Donate Sandwiches to Shelter

In lieu of their Thanksgiving celebration, teacher Christine LeMaire’s fourth-grade class at Commack Road discussed all the things that the students have to be thankful for, and decided to help those less fortunate than themselves.

Several students and their families donated loaves of bread and bologna, and the children made 150 bologna sandwiches to donate to the Mercy Inn Soup Kitchen in Wyandanch. They also decorated brown paper bags to hold the sandwiches, which were delivered to the shelter by student Declan Pegion and his mother, just in time for the residents’ Thanksgiving meal.

“Our students left Commack Road for the Thanksgiving break with a wonderful feeling of helping others as we enter this season of giving,” said LeMaire. “What a great lesson and inspiration.”

Islip Senior McDevitt Performs with All-National Mixed Choir

Islip Senior McDevitt Performs with All-National Mixed Choir
Islip Senior McDevitt Performs with All-National Mixed Choir 2

High school senior Morgiana McDevitt was honored with All-National status by the National Association for Music Education, and performed as part of the All-National Honor Mixed Choir at the 2017 All-National Honor Ensembles on Nov. 28 at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

The All-National Honor Ensembles performers, consisting of 609 students from 49 states and territories, represent collaboration and creativity in its highest musical form. Ensembles students were chosen through an audition process. The Mixed Choir is made up of 281 vocalists who have qualified for their state-level honor ensemble program and competed against top students for a spot in this national honor ensemble.

McDevitt, an alto, rehearsed a challenging repertoire in preparation for performing under the baton of acclaimed conductor Dr. Z. Randall Stroope.

Boys Golfers Swing Into County Tournament

Boys Golfers Swing Into County Tournament
The high school’s boys golf team finished the season 7-3 and qualified for the Suffolk County Golf Tournament, held at Rock Hill Golf and Country Club in Manorville on Nov. 2. Two members of the team, Chris Giuliani and Jack Lizzul, earned All-League honors.

Sex Offender Notification

In our continued effort to ensure that the safety of our students is never compromised, we wish to communicate information provided to our District. We have been notified by Suffolk County Police Department of a Risk Level 2 sex offender residing in the Islip School District. For additional information, you may wish to visit the Parents for Megan's Law website, You may also see the letter from SCPD which is linked below.

Residents without internet access may utilize computers at the Islip Public Library. In addition, information is available for pick-up in person at the administration building. Proof of residency is required. While the hamlet of Islip is a very safe community, when information such as this is made known to us, we must all take the opportunity to review safety rules with our children and remind them to be alert and careful so they will avoid situations that could place them in harm's way. More information on Suffolk County Police Department's notification procedure may be found below.

SCPD Letter Regarding Sex Offender Notifications

Islip Hosts a Remarkable Day of Compassionate Leadership

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Dozens of Suffolk schools converged on Islip High School on Nov. 16 as it hosted the ninth annual Compassion Without Borders Student Leadership Conference, a visionary event that works to eliminate barriers, promote unity and cultivate generosity of the heart. More than 370 student leaders and 280 teachers and administrators from 35 different Suffolk schools visited Islip to participate in discussing compassion in their schools and communities, making this the largest Compassion Without Borders to date. The remarkable event was sponsored by the Suffolk County Principal’s Association, whose president, Ed Casswell, helped create the program.

“Over the past nine years, over 3,000 students from Suffolk County have been presented with the opportunity to hone their leadership skills and return to their home schools ready to enact meaningful change in their respective school communities,” said Caswell. “Kudos to the Islip School District for hosting this year’s event and showcasing their wonderful students and staff. Regardless of school district borderlines and rivalries, Compassion without Borders brings all Suffolk high schools together under the banner of leadership and unity. The many students in attendance reinforced the singular mantra of this leadership initiative – when you bring great students together, great things happen.”

Other schools in attendance included Academy at Bixhorn Technical Center, Babylon, Bay Shore, Bayport-Blue Point, Bellport, Brentwood, Center Moriches, Centereach, Central Islip, Comsewogue, Connetquot, East Hampton, Eastport-South Manor, Elwood-John H. Glenn, Half Hollow Hills, Hampton Bays, Hauppauge, Kings Park, Mount Sinai, Newfield, North Babylon, Patchogue-Medford, Rocky Point, Sachem North, Sayville, Shoreham-Wading River, Smithtown East, Smithtown West, Southampton, Walt Whitman, Ward Melville, West Babylon, Westhampton Beach and Wilson Tech.

Following an opening ceremony, JC Pohl of “Teen Truth” served as the guest speaker, kicking off the conference on an inspiring note. The students then broke into groups for a wide variety of enriching activities including in-depth discussions as well as quilting, yoga and vocal music; the latter culminated in a moving and unifying closing performance.

“Students from across Suffolk County worked together to focus on compassionate leadership and vehicles for impacting change in their own schools,” said Hampton Bays High School Principal Christopher Richardt. “The energy and enthusiasm for this work was present in every corner of Islip High School through a series of thoughtfully planned activities. It was an incredible day that will hopefully have a lasting impact on all of our schools.”

Displaying intense altruism, Islip students and their guests collected enough can tops to fill an entire 50-gallon garbage pail, which will be sent to Islip Town Hall to support the Autism Speaks Foundation. They also wrote more than 200 personalized cards to Jacob Thompson, a terminally ill 9- year-old Maine boy whose Christmas wish was to receive homemade cards. Moved by Jacob’s story, the students decided to also donate a diversity-themed quilt to him that had been created during one of the conference’s workshops.  

One of Islip’s major goals was for the visiting students to not only leave inspired but to depart with something tangible that they could take home to their buildings and communities. Each guest school received a pennant commemorating the day that includes their logo, Islip’s logo and their Compassion Without Borders mission statement; an action plan indicating how to initiate their own Pay it Forward program; a workbook that includes each lesson plan created by our students and faculty advisors; a quilted heart; upcycled bracelets; artistic displays of messages of compassion; an Instastory about how to combat stereotyping in their home communities; a photograph of their school’s CWB team; a DVD of the experience; and a T-shirt with the event logo and list of all of the participating schools.

“Compassion Without Borders was a huge success and really empowering,” said Islip senior Julia Hormann. “My favorite part was getting to see students from different schools collaborate together, especially at the end of the day when we did our musical performance.”

“There was a lot of work that went into it, but it was definitely worth it in the end and I got to do a lot of things that I didn’t expect I was capable of,” said Islip senior Sheila Kiernan, who taught a yoga workshop during the event.

“I think that Compassion Without Borders overall was a positive experience for everyone from Islip and other schools,” said Islip senior Jillian Piano, who helped set up the cafeteria for a celebratory lunch hour that saw Islip’s Bucky mascot lead groups of students in dancing to popular hits.  “When we saw that everyone from different schools felt comfortable dancing together, it was a really positive experience and enlightening for all of us.”

“This was a really big commitment, and we put a lot of hard work and effort into it,” said Islip senior John DelGenio, who guided the vocal music participants. “A special moment was being a part of the culminating performance and looking out over the crowd, with all the schools having their flashlights up, and getting a chance to perform with all these people I just met for the first time and create a bond with them.”

“It was truly an amazing day, and I have never been more proud of my colleagues and students,” said Islip Principal Michael Mosca. “I hope we will all continue to spread the message of compassion in every facet of what we do.”

Commack Road Holds First Color-a-Thon

Commack Road Holds First Color-a-Thon

Commack Road’s PTA held its first Color-a-Thon on Nov. 4, providing students, staff and community members with the chance to come together to exercise, dance and have fun. Among the sponsors providing music, food, and treats were Club G Entertainment, Bagel Boss, Texas Roadhouse, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Stop & Shop, Best Market, Cookies United, Panera Bread and Applebee’s.

Two Islip Chorus Students Earn All-State Honors

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Two Islip Chorus Students Earn All-State Honors 2

The New State School Music Association selected two Islip High School students to participate in the annual All-State Music Conference on Dec. 3. Deja Boucher Weiss, a soprano, was selected for the 2017 All-State Mixed Chorus, and Emma Regina, an alto, was chosen for the 2017 All-State Treble Chorus, based on their performances at last year’s NYSSMA Solo Festival. The two young musicians will prepare for the festival with their music teacher, Dr. Rich Harris, Jr.

The New York All-State bands, choruses, orchestras and jazz ensembles are honors groups comprised of the top students from school music departments across the state. The groups are directed by renowned guest conductors and perform in concert in the Eastman Theater during the annual NYSSMA Winter Conference held in Rochester.

“These young ladies are extraordinary musicians,” said Vincent Green, Islip’s director of fine and performing arts. “We could not be prouder of them and we know they will be terrific ambassadors for Islip at the NYSSMA Conference,” said Vincent Green, the district's director of fine and performing arts.

Middle Schoolers Spend Scientific Day at the River

Middle Schoolers Spend Scientific Day at the River

The sun was shining on Oct. 13 as AnnMarie Mills’ and Sue Lange’s life science students from the middle school put on their waders to participate in the annual “A Day in the Life of a River” field trip. With the help of natural resource experts and several other middle school teachers, the eighth-graders engaged in hands-on citizen science exploration at the Carlls River in Babylon.

“A Day in the Life” features students exploring and collecting firsthand information to learn how their river fits into the larger ecosystem. Students examine the physical and chemical aspects of each aquatic ecosystem, such as salinity, the amount of sediments, nitrates, phosphates and oxygen levels in the water, as well as conduct biodiversity inventories of the flora and fauna in and around the rivers and estuary from the headwaters to the mouth of the river. Their work helps to determine the health of the aquatic ecosystem and biodiversity of the Carlls River.

“This year, our students really enjoyed using a variety of nets – including a seining net, dip nets and a cast net – to capture fresh water critters such as crayfish, bluegills, pumpkinseed fish and a largemouth bass,” said Mills. “The students were thrilled to put the equipment to good use.”

The event is coordinated jointly by Brookhaven National Laboratory; Central Pine Barrens Commission; New York State Department of Environmental Conservation; New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; Seatuck Environmental Association; and Suffolk County Water Authority.

“’‘A Day in the Life’ helps students develop an appreciation for and knowledge of Long Island’s river and estuary ecosystems and collect useful scientific data,” said program coordinator Melissa Griffiths Parrott. “It teaches students to become stewards of water quality and connected to Suffolk County’s spectacular natural resources.”

“This program is a perfect vehicle for teachers to integrate various disciplines including math, media, social studies and science into their curriculum,” said co-coordinator Mel Morris, special projects manager at Brookhaven National Laboratory’s office of educational programs. “These activities are examples of authentic science research and mirror the way scientist collect and analyze.”

Five Young Leaders from Islip Attend Boys and Girls State

Five Young Leaders from Islip Attend Boys and Girls State 1
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Five high school students were chosen by the Islip American Legion Rusy-Bohm Post 411 to attend the Legion’s Boys State and Auxiliary Girls State leadership programs this past summer. Nicholas Barry, Kevin Lewis and Sean Skahan attended Boys State; Madeline Edwards and Julia Hormann were picked for Girls State. All five students were recently honored in a ceremony at the high school, with American Legion members in attendance.

“We were very fortunate to send five stellar young men and women to Boys and Girls State last summer,” said Principal Michael Mosca. “This was a true testament to the character of our Islip student body. These students were selected based on their academic prowess, their capacity to lead and their pride in our great nation. On behalf of the entire Islip family, I congratulate these fantastic students. We are truly proud of all of their accomplishments.”

Two Named National Merit Commended Students

High school seniors Grace Constantino and Madeline Edwards were recently named Commended Students by the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program. The two were recognized for their excellent test results in the 2016 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, where they finished among the top 5 percent out of more than 1.4 million students nationwide participating in the competition.

Volleyball Meets Yoga

Who says volleyball and yoga don’t mix? The high school’s varsity volleyballers recently took a break from spiking the ball to stretch out their muscles with yoga.  

Nine HS Student-Musicians Chosen for All-County Concert

Seven HS Student-Musicians Chosen for All-County Concert
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Nine superb student-musicians from the high school were selected to perform in the New York State Council of Administrators of Music Education’s annual All-County concert, to be held at Hauppauge High School on Nov. 17.

Carida Alvarado (alto), John Del Genio (tenor), Sheila Kiernan (soprano), Morgiana McDevitt (alto) and Emma Regina (alto) were selected for the All-County Mixed Chorus; Deja Boucher Weiss (soprano), Alexandra Morrissey (soprano) and Faith Terrill (soprano) were selected for the All-County Treble Chorus; and Sean Dullaghan (double bass) was selected for the All-County Orchestra.

The students were chosen for All-County based upon their performance at last year’s New York State School Music Association Solo Festival. Outstanding performers are then recommended by their school music teachers, and picked from a pool of hundreds of applicants representing districts across Suffolk. The students prepare for the festival with Islip teachers Zachary Butterfield and Dr. Rich Harris Jr., then participate in a series of rehearsals that culminate in the All-County concert, where they will have the opportunity to perform under the leadership of highly skilled conductors from the college music community and professional music industry. 

“For a small district like Islip, we are thrilled to be represented at the county level by so many exceptional musicians,” said Vincent Green, Islip’s director of fine and performing arts.

HS Students Contemplate a Medical Career

HS Students Contemplate a Medical Career

The high school auditorium was filled with more than 34 booths representing 30 departments within the Northwell Health medical network during the school’s first-ever Medical Career Day, held on Oct. 27. Sponsored by the district’s School to Career Partnership, students were afforded the opportunity to learn what makes the entire health organization work.

Science and Careers Coordinator Matt Christiansen, who assisted business teacher Renee Clock in organizing the medical fair, explained that the invitation to Northwell Health fell in line with the district’s initiative to immerse students in career-based learning experiences. Clock also noted that student liaisons interning for the Business Academy also received experience in networking by escorting guests, setting up lecture halls and handing out information to peers and guests.

“The students learned that the medical field is not made up merely of doctors and nurses, but also includes important ancillary jobs that are represented here today,” Christiansen said.  

During the event, students spoke to nurses from Southside Hospital, an affiliate of Northwell Health, learned about emergency and HAZMAT services, spoke to representatives about the fields of nutrition and medical law, and learned about many of the medical services available through the health organization. Also available were lectures on various aspects of the medical field.   

Middle Schoolers Display Leadership at Spooktacular

Middle Schoolers Display Leadership at Spooktacular

Led by teachers Kaitlin Rooney and Christine Sheridan, the middle school’s student government hosted its second Halloween Spooktacular on Oct. 30, attracting hundreds of the district’s elementary school students who participated in festive games and crafts at various Halloween-themed stations. Each station was run by a group of student government members in collaboration with National Junior Honor Society students, while candy and Halloween decorations were donated by student volunteers.

“All volunteers took ownership of their stations and excitedly decorated before the event,” said Rooney. “It was great to see our student government members taking on a leadership role and assisting the elementary school students during each activity.” 

“Middle and elementary students all had a blast,” said Assistant Principal Bryan Miltenberg. “It is an incredible contribution to the community.”

EXCEL Students Solve Problems with Planks

EXCEL Students Solve Problems with Planks

Students in Islip’s EXCEL program recently created a ramp using KEVA Planks, cube-shaped wooden block toys that are increasingly utilized in schools, libraries, museums and maker spaces as teaching tools for various subjects. The experience helped the students learn that the same task can be solved in endless ways.

“KEVA Planks are more than just fun building blocks – they can be used to teach STEAM objectives and help students problem solve,” said EXCEL program coordinator Julia Johnson.

Team-Building and Trail Hiking Invigorate Sixth-Graders

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Team-Building and Trail Hiking Invigorate Sixth-Graders 2
Team-Building and Trail Hiking Invigorate Sixth-Graders 3
Sixth-graders from the middle school recently traveled with staff and parents to Sunken Meadow State Park for ecological learning and invigorating team-building activities.

A two-mile hike introduced students to different species of trees and landforms, and they conducted a soil study to see the impact that humans have on the environment. Compasses and path markers were used to guide them through the hike. They also used electronic microscopes to examine samples from a nearby lake to test if the water was healthy or polluted.

The students spent part of their day interacting with each other in team-building games and a rope course facilitated by the school’s physical education staff,

“They had a great hands-on time spending the day outdoors,” said teacher Laura Rondinella.

Islip Honors Hispanic Heritage

Islip Honors Hispanic Heritage

In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, the district honored five Hispanic, Hispanic heritage and Hispanic American students who have demonstrated civic and community engagement at different levels.

High school senior Brianna Sanchez, middle school eighth-grader Desiree Pagan, Commack Road fifth-grader Nicole Matute, Sherwood fifth-grader Jose Ruiz Segura and Wing kindergartner Jayden Guevara-Jandres were recognized at the Oct. 24 Board of Education meeting, held at the middle school library. In attendance to congratulate the honorees were Suffolk County legislators Tom Cilmi and Monica Martinez.