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Committed to Excellence

Purple and Gold Spirit on Display at Pep Rally

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Purple and gold balloons, streamers and shirts filled the gym bleachers at Islip High School on Sept. 23 as freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors vied to be the most spirited class at the annual pep rally. The school’s athletic teams and homecoming court were introduced, producing as much applause as the impressive performances by Islip’s marching band, cheerleaders and kickline.

Islip Student-Athletes “Rise” to the Occasion

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Islip High School held its second annual #IslipRising event on Aug. 22, a new tradition that started last year when an idea by Superintendent Dr. Dennis O’Hara first came to life. This fall sports season kickoff saw student-athletes and coaches arriving at the school early enough to watch the sunrise, which was at 6:07 a.m., from Buccaneer Stadium.

The 2022 ceremony began with senior Lianna Rivera singing the National Anthem, followed by words of inspiration from John Sparacio, Islip’s director of health, physical education and athletics.

“This year’s theme is to have fun, work hard, develop new friendships, build upon existing relationships and enjoy every moment out on the fields or in the gymnasiums as much as we can,” Sparacio said. “Put the past in the past, and build today for a better tomorrow.”

Date Added: 9/16/2022

First Day of School Exceeds Expectations

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Sept. 1 marked not only a new month, but the beginning of an exciting new school year for Islip’s students. At all five buildings – Islip High School, Islip Middle School, Commack Road Elementary School, Maud S. Sherwood Elementary School and Wing Elementary School – buses released smiling students who streamed into the halls, ready for the next step in their educations.

“Our first day at Islip High School exceeded expectations,” Principal Dr. Lara Gonzalez said. “It was a smooth opening – a testament to our wonderful students and staff. I am so grateful to be a part of this community as Islip continues its rise.”

“Islip Middle School is ready to bust out of the clouds of the pandemic and thrust into the sunshine of the future,” Principal Timothy Martin said. “We are all excited about the year ahead and the opportunities that await.”

“The first day at CRES was an amazing experience for all our students, families, staff and teachers,” Commack Road Principal James Cameron said. “We had plenty of excitement on the first day and ended with our annual welcoming parade for our youngest second-grade learners.”

“There was an overwhelming amount of positive energy at Sherwood’s opening day,” Principal Briana James said. “We are eager to welcome a new group of learners and can’t wait to kick off a year filled with new and exciting adventures. A new year of new opportunities has just begun.”

“It was a wonderful start to the new school year,” Wing Principal Catherine Glaser said. “There was such a great energy throughout the building. The children and staff were excited to be back together at Wing, and it was amazing to meet our youngest students as they joined us for the first time. I look forward to the wonderful experiences we have ahead of us this year as we build upon our students’ love of learning.”

Date Added: 9/13/2022

Islip High Schoolers Earn Real-World Job Experience

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For six weeks this summer, three Islip High School students participated in the Suffolk County Department of Labor’s Summer Youth Employment Program, which provides participants with the opportunity to explore careers and learn on-the-job workplace skills.

This year, Islip High School itself was the job site location. The students worked with the custodial staff under the supervision of head custodian Steve Saidler. Workers assisted in cleaning each classroom, moving furniture, washing and waxing floors, painting classrooms and offices, reading schematics to reassemble each classroom, assembling furniture, and repainting the lines and crosswalks in the parking lot. The student workers met weekly with teacher Renee Clock, the work-based learning coordinator for the program, to learn about budgeting, job exploration, resume writing and interpersonal skills. They also met with a representative from SCDOL to review job expectations, performance evaluations and payroll procedures.

“The student workers learned all of the job tasks that custodians complete each summer to get the building ready for classes in September and have been of great help,” Saidler said.

“In just six short weeks, Aidan, George and Peter went from no job experience to performing many of the summer job tasks of a custodial position”, Clock said. “This is a great program that provides real-world job experience. We are thankful to the entire high school custodial staff for mentoring the student workers and providing this wonderful opportunity.”

Date Added: 9/7/2022

Islip’s Ma’Raya Stewart Performs on NPR’s “Tiny Desk Concert”

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 Ma'Raya Stewart, a rising senior at Islip High School, had the opportunity to perform with Maverick City Music this summer on NPR’s long-running “Tiny Desk Concert” music series. The 17-member gospel group from Atlanta, formed in 2018, sang four pieces – “Man of Your Word," “Million Little Miracles,” “Jireh” and “Kingdom” at the NPR performance.

View the performance here.

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