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Committed to Excellence

Four Seniors Sign to Play Sports in College

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Four seniors – Matthew Flood, Lena Nakken, Grace Rao and Jack Spahn – signed national letters of intent in an April 14 ceremony in the school’s cafeteria, confirming their commitment to play college sports in the fall. Flood will play baseball for Farmingdale State College, Nakken will join SUNY Fredonia’s swimming team, Rao will play soccer for Hartwick College in Oneonta and Spahn will wrestle for East Stroudsburg University.

“Your achievement is a testament to your parents and their sacrifices,” Principal Jon LaRochester told the student-athletes in his congratulatory remarks. “I promise you that when you play sports in college, it will shape who you are. Enjoy it, and make sure you take those memories and experiences and pay those forward. You are all in these positions because someone has paved the path for you, been there to support and guide you, and someone else did that for them. Make sure you learn and appreciate everything you have.”




Islip Again Named One of Best Communities for Music Education

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Islip has been named one of the Best Communities for Music Education by the NAMM Foundation for the seventh consecutive year, recognizing the strength and depth of the school district’s music program.

“This honor is the result of hard work on the part of our music students and staff in conjunction with tremendous support from parents, school board members, administrators and the community at large,” said Brian Kroll, Islip’s director of fine and performing arts.

“What an accomplishment,” Superintendent Ellen Semel said. “It is a milestone to make the list, but to keep this going for seven years is outstanding.”

Four from Islip HS Chosen for Girls State Leadership Program

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High school students Samantha O’Connell, Joyce Johnson, Sarah Alvarez and Genna Schifter were chosen for the 2021 Empire Girls State leadership program. Alvarez, Johnson and O’Connell were selected to attend the program as citizens; Schifter was named an alternate. The students were honored by the Islip American Legion Auxiliary Rusy-Bohm Post 411 in March at a ceremony at the school attended by Empire Girls State Selection Committee members Renee Clock, Paulette DeCrescenzo, Elizabeth DeSimone (a 2020 Empire Girls State citizen from Islip High School), Evelyn Gerlett, Joanne Johnson and Joan Smith.



HS Coach Mike Reilly Earns NFHSS Level II Certification

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High school technology teacher and girls varsity soccer coach Mike Reilly recently earned National Federation of High School Sports Level II coaching certification, an honor attained by only approximately 400 coaches nationwide. Reilly has coached in Islip for 20 years.

“Congratulations to Mike on the completion of Level II coaching certification,” said John Sparacio, the district’s director of health, physical education and athletics. “The NFHSS is a valuable organization that benefits high school sports throughout the country. To obtain their certification and believe in their core values as a coach is a testament to Mike’s willingness to grow both personally and professionally. I continue to look forward to watching him apply those core values and principles with our athletes and within our soccer program.”

Islip HS Cosmetology Class Pays It Forward With Products

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Every year, students in the high school’s cosmetology program study proprietorship and business ownership, developing a “product of the year” which the class manufactures, advertises, markets and sells. In past years, the program’s fundraising with its product of the year was used to help with ticket costs for students to attend the International Beauty Show in Manhattan.

Cosmetology students decided to donate 100% of the profits from the sale of the current product of the year – a special high-quality hand sanitizer infused with essential oils, aloe and conditioning elements – to support local families in need.

“In these tough times, the students felt that there would be many Islip families struggling financially,” said teacher Lorraine Knoblauch. “We love our program and the support we get from Islip families, and we are proud to pay it forward.”

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