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Teacher honored for three decades of scientific influence

Teacher honored for three decades of scientific influence photo
Earl L. Vandermeulen High School teacher Michel Krivosta was honored by the Port Jefferson School District Board of Education for her three-plus decades of teaching students in the district. She will retire at the end of the school year.

With a generous tribute by Principal Christine Austen, Krivosta was commended for being a tremendous resource and an outstanding science educator who always held her students to the highest standards of academic achievement and integrity in her classroom.

Austen added that Krivosta’s passion, commitment and selfless dedication for teaching and her daily interactions with students were a testament to her influence as an educator and mentor. Under her guidance and leadership, numerous innovative and creative learning experiments and summer research opportunities at Stony Brook University’s research facilities motivated students to explore and expand their scientific knowledge.

The entire Port Jefferson School District community extends good wishes on her next ventures.

Class of 2018 visits elementary school

Class of 2018 visits elementary school photo
Students and teachers filled the halls of Edna Louise Spear Elementary School to cheer on and offer best wishes to Earl L. Vandermeulen High School’s Class of 2018 during its Senior Walk.

The inspirational event served to encourage the kindergarteners through fifth-graders to continue to be motivated by a commitment to their academic studies, knowing where their dedication to school will lead them.

The younger students made congratulatory signs and offered handshakes and high-fives as they watched the seniors connect with former teachers, visit classrooms and reminisce about their days at their alma mater.

Teacher assistant honored for 21 years of service

Teacher assistant honored for 21 years of service photo
The Port Jefferson School District Board of Education honored Patricia Gang for her more than two decades of service to the children of the district.

Gang was lauded by Edna Louise Spear Elementary School Principal Tom Meehan, who had kind words to share about her work with the students.

Gang started her career in Port Jefferson with the school lunch program and became affectionately known as the “snack lady” by the students, making her the most popular person in the school. She later became a teacher assistant and will retire at the end of the school year.

“She will be missed and we all wish her well,” Meehan said.

Second-graders celebrate ELA skills

Second-graders celebrate ELA skills photo

As a culmination to their English Language Arts curriculum, second-graders held a Hollywood Ending Celebration.

The students in Darlene Wells’ class wrote a fractured fairy tale based on the “The Three Little Pigs,” titled “The Three Little Flamingos and the Big Bad Crocodile,” and “Goldilocks,” their version being “The True Story of Goldilocks.” Other fables that had their point of view, characters or plot development modified included “Cinderella” and “Little Red Riding Hood.”

Once they shared their stories, the students walked down the red carpet. They were each announced by their chosen nickname and posed in front of a Hollywood sign that they created with art teacher Richard Anderson. The festive event included a concession stand with candy and popcorn, a viewing of a collection of photos from the class events throughout the school year, a sharing of memories and the “Classy Awards,” a special award selected for each student.

According to Wells, the students worked on different end-of-the-year projects with the Hollywood Ending theme. Some made a memory book, while others created clapperboards inspired by real-life film production and drew their favorite “scene” to help create the ambiance for the event. In addition, each child was presented with an autograph book that was signed by their classmates.

Celebrating unique qualities

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Students at Port Jefferson Middle School spent weeks learning about autism and individuals with the developmental disability. A parent of one of the students presented an idea to Principal Dr. Robert Neidig to create a bulletin board that celebrates the unique qualities of all people.

With the centerpiece title of “We Are All Unique,” each student created a paper puzzle piece showcasing their individuality and gave them to special education teacher Christina Carlson. She, in turn, presented the pieces to seventh-grader Ryan Whiffen who created the bulletin board on his own.

Student selected for 2018 National Lacrosse Classic

Student selected for 2018 National Lacrosse Classic photo
Middle School student Emily Ambrozy has been named a 2018 Maverik National Lacrosse Classic All-Star. A sixth-grader, Emily will attend the Maverik National Lacrosse Academy and National Lacrosse Classic to be held July 16-19 in Frederica, Delaware.

Emily was chosen to play on the Long Island/Metro New York team along with 18 other athletes from the region. The Academy works to provide a curriculum focused on developing young lacrosse players’ skills to compete at a top high school and collegiate lacrosse program.

Moving Up and Graduation Ceremonies Broadcast Live

Moving Up and Graduation Ceremonies Broadcast LIVE
Port Jeff LiveStream Account

Summer Electrical Upgrade Information – Relocation of Offices

This summer, the district will finish the second phase of an important electrical upgrade at the joint campus of Earl L. Vandermeulen High School and Port Jefferson Middle School. As many in the community are aware, the upgrade began earlier this spring when preliminary steps were taken to prepare for the summer switch of this main power line.

Because these projects may cause intermittent power disruptions at both schools, several offices and district personnel will be temporarily relocated for a portion of the summer. From July 2 through July 13, the athletics office and middle school main office staff will be operating out of the district office. Our driver’s education program, which traditionally runs at the high school, will operate out of Room 512 at Edna Louise Spear Elementary School on June 27 and 28, as well as July 3, 5, 10, 11 and 12. Lastly, the high school main office, attendance office, guidance department, principal’s office, assistant principal’s office and music office will also operate out of the elementary school. There will be no access to the buildings (either the high school or middle school) while this work is under way.

All current phone numbers for these departments and offices will be unchanged and email addresses will remain operational. Please note that all schools and offices in the district will operate on summer hours throughout the entire summer. Hours will be 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

We expect that our personnel, offices and driver’s education program will return to their original locations after Friday, July 13. The district will provide an update on this work once it is complete.

Royal pride!

Royal pride photo
The Port Jefferson school community congratulates junior Shane DeVincenzo on his successful spring season of high school boys’ golf.

Shane finished tied for 13th in New York State, was the individual Suffolk County champion and was named All-State and to the Newsday All-Long Island golf team, both for the second consecutive year.

Coached by Chuck Ruoff, Shane’s continued hard work and dedication to his sport are to be commended.

Seniors nominated for elite Dellecave Award

Seniors nominated for elite Dellecave Award photo
Seniors Isabelle Love and Thomas Mark were each nominated for the Dellecave Award.

The two students were the nominees from the high school – each district in Suffolk County nominates one female and one male graduating senior – for the award, which is named after longtime Suffolk County basketball official and founder of the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame Butch Dellecave. In addition to being outstanding athletes, both students were selected for their exceptional character and integrity.

They were recognized along with nominees from other Suffolk County high schools at a recent breakfast ceremony.

A Colorful Celebration of Autism

A Colorful Celebration of Autism photo

Strength building, coordination and navigating a series of challenging obstacles were some of the benefits of the PTSA-sponsored Autism Awareness Obstacle Color Course Challenge.

As a culmination to learning about autism and the strengths and differences of individuals on the spectrum, dozens of students and their families took part in the event that helped to create awareness and acceptance for autism.

Spearheaded by parent Karen Sproul, sunglasses and bandanas were supplied to participants to protect their faces while being doused with a rainbow of cornstarch-based powder, and raffle baskets were auctioned to help raise funds for the PTSA and autism awareness.

“This was a fun and engaging activity for families,” said Port Jefferson Middle School Principal Dr. Robert Neidig. “To promote inclusion and friendship while challenging themselves physically was a rewarding learning opportunity for our students.”

Ensembles perform at NYSSMA Majors Festival

Ensembles perform at NYSSMA Majors Festival photo
Music students from the seventh- and eighth-grade orchestra and chamber ensemble performed at the recent New York State School Music Association Major Organization Festival at Sachem East High School.

Conducted by music teacher Christian Neubert, both ensembles performed several pieces for a panel of adjudicators, who evaluated them on quality of performance and level of musicianship.

The district congratulates the orchestra on its outstanding musical performance!

Art Students Explore Creativity at LongHouse Reserve

Art Students Explore Creativity at LongHouse Reserve photo

Students from the high school connected classroom learning into the community when they had the opportunity to explore LongHouse Reserve, 16 acres of landscapes and a contemporary sculpture garden in East Hampton.

Coordinated by high school art teacher Nancy Randazzo, the students explored various modes of creativity on the spectacular grounds. Featuring art works by Buckminster Fuller, Dale Chihuly, Yoko Ono and William de Kooning, the Reserve’s exceptional integration of nature, art and design was an engaging educational experience for them.

PORT JEFFERSON SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING NOTICES

A special meeting of the Port Jefferson School District Board of Education will be held on June 19, 2018, 5:30 p.m., at the District Office, for the purpose of acting on a specific Memorandum of Agreement, and any other business as may be needed.

The annual reorganization meeting and regular monthly business meeting of the Port Jefferson School District Board of Education will be held on July 10, 2018, at Edna Louise Spear Elementary School.  Call to order will be 6:00 p.m. for the purpose of entering executive session, the reorganization meeting will be at 7:00 p.m., and the business meeting will commence at 7:30 p.m.

Young Chefs Enhance Culinary Skills

Young Chefs Enhance Culinary Skills photo

Teamwork was the catchphrase of the day for members of the Cooking Club on a recent field trip to Sur La Table in Lake Grove.

The 19 students in the program took part in a workshop with a professional chef where they were taught to make pasta from scratch, rolling it, shaping it and feeding it into a pasta machine. They also made a Caesar salad and dessert before sitting down to share their meal together.

“As hands-on learning opportunities are always a valuable aspect of the educational process, the students were successful in creating the meal and enjoying it together,” said school social worker Kristin Britt, who leads the program in coordination with the district’s speech language pathologist Stacia Schoen.

According to Britt, the focus of the club is social learning, which includes good communication, flexible thinking and cooperation. It also gives students an opportunity to interact with one another, giving them an active voice within their peer groups to become healthier and happier by taking the time to work together over the meals they create.

The Cooking Club is funded by the Royal Educational Foundation of Port Jefferson, which works to strengthen community participation in school programs and provide funds for projects to help assure educational excellence for all students in the Port Jefferson School District.

Five track stars named All-League

Five track stars named All-League photo
Five of Earl L. Vandermeulen High School girls track and field team members were named All-League for the spring track and field season.

Amanda Brosnan (discus), Jacqueline Poten (shot put), Rachel Russ (100 meters), Aileen Schretzmayer (1,500 meters) and Sabrina Schully (long jump), along with coach Don Slingerland, are to be commended for their hard work and dedication in representing the high school varsity track and field team.

Investment principles turn real

Investment principles turn real photo
In addition to learning about how capital markets function and the fundamentals of investing, students in the high school Investment Club participate in several stock market competitions and discuss current events and stock ideas.

A recent visit by Congressman Lee Zeldin reinforced the importance of investing and the benefits of learning how to invest at a young age. The students represented Congressman Lee Zeldin and Congressional District 1 in a national stock market competition against thousands of other students.

The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association’s Capitol Hill Challenge presents high school investment teams with a hypothetical portfolio of $100,000 to invest. Last year was Port Jefferson’s first year in the competition, placing fifth in the nation. The students visited Congressman Zeldin in his Washington, D.C., office last year, then he in turn visited Port Jefferson students to thank them for their work and representation this year.

Arranged by high school language teacher and club adviser Robert Farenga, Rep. Zeldin spoke to the students about his work as a congressman, his background and issues facing our country. He also fielded questions from several students on an assortment of economic issues.

Exemplary skills earn senior National Merit scholarship

Exemplary skills earn senior National Merit scholarship photo
High school senior Luigia Than has been named a recipient of a corporate-sponsored scholarship in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program.
She is one of only five Suffolk County and 32 throughout the state of the 1,000 high school seniors nationwide who received the honor.

Luigia is the recipient of the National Merit Battelle Scholarship. A global research and development organization, Battelle company officials “believe that a quality education prepares individuals to contribute effectively to their communities and workplaces.”

Luigia, an accomplished, academically talented and well-rounded student, will enter Stony Brook University in September with an eye on a career in the engineering field.

Honored for sharing student musical pleasures

Honored for sharing student musical pleasures photo
When the Port Jefferson Lions Club members hold their monthly meetings to plan out their projects for the dozen or so local charities they raise funds for, they are often met with some music when they stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.

The songs are provided by the talented students of our school district. To thank them for bringing these musical measures to their meeting and for his support of the service organization, the Lions members recently honored Dr. Michael Caravello, the district’s director of music and fine arts, with a certificate of appreciation. He is shown here with Port Jefferson Lions Club President Dean T. Jenkins

Fifth-graders raise awareness and funds for ALS

Fifth-graders raise awareness and funds for ALS photo
When Chris Pendergast visited the elementary school a few months ago to share a message of strength and determination, his words left an imprint on several of the students.

His story of living with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, commonly referred to as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease for more than 20 years inspired four fifth-grade girls to host a fundraiser.

Gwenivere Connelly, Julia Fife, Alice Snyder and Emily Snyder sold small stuffed animals, loom bracelets, pencils, erasers, notepads and more to raise $334.35 for the ALS Ride for Life Campaign.

“We are very proud of them for taking this initiative to help out this worthy cause,” said Principal Thomas Meehan.

High academic standards lead to National Merit Scholarship

High academic standards lead to National Merit Scholarship photo
Senior Ibuki Iwasaki has been named a National Merit Scholarship winner in the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

Ibuki was chosen from more than 15,000 outstanding students across the nation – and only 15 in Suffolk County – who will receive the $2,500 scholarship. She is among the winners across the country who were selected because of their strong combination of exceptional academic accomplishments, skills and potential for success in rigorous college courses.

Ibuki is the Earl L. Vandermeulen High School Class of 2018 valedictorian. She is headed to MIT to study physics in the fall.

Robotics team honored by Board of Education

Robotics team honored by Board of Education photo
Members of the high school robotics team were honored by the Board of Education during a recent meeting.

Technology teacher Brian Chalmers introduced the team members present and thanked the mentors who worked with the students during the build season and competition before the students showcased the capabilities of their robot. His overview emphasized how learning about robotics in a classroom connects to real-world engineering challenges.

“They always give us a really interesting demonstration,” said BOE President Kathleen Brennan of the students’ presentation of the complex robotic system, the design modifications and the obstacles they face during qualifying competitions. “It’s nice to see firsthand the work that they do.”

VIDEO: PJ Val & Sal 2018

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Middle School musicians selected for prestigious ensembles

Middle School musicians selected for prestigious ensembles photo
Four middle school students who benefit from the school’s music program were accepted for the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra of New York. They performed recently on one of the world’s most well-known stages: Carnegie Hall.

Sixth-grader Chloe Pipia was selected to the Suffolk Treble Choir, seventh-grader Sophie Blumenthal and eighth-grader David Lawler were selected to the Suffolk Concert Orchestra on oboe and viola, respectively, and seventh-grader Kenneth Dixon-Lanza was selected to the Suffolk Concert Choir. Sophie and David had to audition for the orchestra with a New York State School Music Association level 4 or 5 solo on their instruments and Chloe and Kenneth auditioned for the choirs by demonstrating vocal technique and range with their NYSSMA solos.

“It was a beautiful theater,” Sophie said, “and an exciting opportunity to be a part of the experience.”

Seven seniors commit to colleges

Seven seniors commit to colleges photo

With coaches, parents, peers and administrators in attendance, seven high school seniors were honored at the 2018 College Athletic Signing Ceremony.
Hosted by the Port Jefferson Athletic Department and introduced by Dr. Danielle Turner, director of health, physical education and athletics, each student committed to playing their respective sports at the collegiate level in the fall.

During the ceremony, varsity head coaches Rod Cawley (track), Andrew Cosci (football), Taylor Forstell (lacrosse) and Mike Maletta (wrestling) commended each student, spoke of their career highlights at Port Jefferson and wished them all well at the next level of their education and athletic endeavors.
The students who will continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level are:

Jacky Chen: Pace University, Football
Jack Collins: University of Rochester, Football
Marquis Feldman: LIU Post, Football
Connor Kaminska: MIT, Lacrosse
Thomas Mark: Christopher Newport University, Lacrosse
Vincent Miceli: Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, Wrestling
Samuel Walker: Providence College, Track and Field

Port Jefferson vocalist sings national anthem for the Lions

Port Jefferson vocalist sings national anthem for the Lions photo
Ninth-grader Mattea Rabeno had the honor of being invited to sing the national anthem at a recent Port Jefferson Lions Club meeting.

Mattea was accompanied by music teacher Katherine Butera and Dr. Michael Caravello, Port Jefferson School District director of music and fine arts. After her performance, she was presented with a certificate of appreciation for her efforts.

STEM and skating: unique lessons for Port Jeff students

STEM and skating: unique lessons for Port Jeff students photo
Middle school students had a unique educational experience in which they learned how the concepts of science, technology, engineering and math connect to many parts of everyday life.

Sixth-graders took a STEM field trip to the United Skates of America in Seaford and attended a lesson and hands-on activities that directly related to what they are learning in their classroom. Following the lesson, they roller skated and continued to grasp laws of motion and other aspects of physics. The students also measured and calculated speeds of themselves running and skating and also used mean, median and mode to compare their roller skate sizes.

“I was really impressed with the students’ knowledge of the different STEM ‘superstars,’” said math teacher Megan Ryan, referring to historic and contemporary dignitaries in the STEM field such as Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking and Steve Jobs. “The lessons we participated in were great ways to connect math to real life; and [of the roller skating] it was fun to watch so many students do something they had never done before!”

Student honored for outstanding achievement in chemistry

Student honored for outstanding achievement in chemistry photo
Sophomore Sinan Ates was among the best and the brightest high school chemistry students who were honored by the American Chemical Society. His honor for outstanding scholastic achievement was presented at a dinner and reception at Nassau Community College and recognized students from Nassau, Queens and Suffolk counties.

After a presentation by Dr. Gene Hall of Rutgers University on forensic analytical chemistry, Sinan was presented with a plaque by Dr. Joseph Serafin, chair of the American Chemical Society’s New York section and Dr. Adejare Adeniran, chair of the American Chemical Society’s Long Island subsection.

For his accolades, Sinan had kind words to share about his high school teacher Michel Krivosta, noting that she is a great chemistry teacher; taking a subject and making it interesting so that the whole class pays full attention.

She, in turn, had this to say:

“Sinan is one of those students who really grasps the concepts of what he learns in the classroom. He is very deserving of the honor.”

Gaining intrinsic rewards for community service project

Gaining intrinsic rewards for community service project photo
Goodwill and compassion are just two of the traits of student volunteers who took part in a camp cleanup on a recent weekend.

The 11 students from the high school’s Interact Club and seven students from the middle school joined members of the Rotary Club to help maintain the grounds and ready the buildings for campers with special-needs who attend Center Moriches’ Camp Paquatuck over the summer months.

The students raked leaves, planted flowers and cleaned bunks in preparation for the upcoming camp season.

According to adviser Deirdre Filippi, the endeavor is always a success and the student volunteers always have a great time. During this visit, two of the student volunteers inquired about returning back to the camp on their own on the weekends to continue assisting the directors with any help they may need to get ready for the summer programs.

“I think their initiative speaks volumes of the kinds of things we do and the intrinsic rewards that are gained when people work together for the greater good of our community,” Filippi said.

Port Jeff students take their musical talents to Carnegie Hall

Port Jeff students take their musical talents to Carnegie Hall photo
Five high school student-musicians had the opportunity to rehearse and perform at Carnegie Hall with other highly talented Long Island students.

The students were accepted as part of the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra of New York. They are junior Katie Ambrozy, selected to the Symphonic Choir, juniors Jillian Lawler and David Rotunno, selected to the Symphony Orchestra and freshmen Nicole Schully and Ava Schully, selected to the Symphonic Orchestra and Principal Orchestra, respectively. They had to audition in a competitive selection process based on a New York State School Music Association Level 4 or 5 solo on their instruments or voice.

Music students perform national anthem

Music students perform national anthem photo
Elementary and middle school band students showcased their patriotism when they performed the national anthem at Bethpage Ballpark to kick off a Long Island Ducks game during the Memorial Day weekend.

Organized by the district’s PTA and elementary school music teacher Mark Abbonizio, the event doubled as a fundraiser for the Class of 2025.

School librarian is shaping the next generation of innovators

School librarian is shaping the next generation of innovators photo
Knowing that students need the skills to be prepared for the future in a technology-driven world, elementary school librarian Selinda Stout set out on a mission to introduce all K-5 students to block coding in the school library.

For her efforts, she has been named a Sunburst Digital Innovator.

Ms. Stout wrote a case study for the educational curriculum software company on the implementation of the Dot and Dash robots in the school library. She first discussed with her students many different types of robots. Her next step was a collaborative project with music teacher Lisa Scrom, where students wrote their own compositions and then used iPads to program the robots in the library to perform their original songs.

Her culminating project was a March Madness Basketball Challenge. Using coding concepts the students learned, they investigated how distance and energy affected the launchers’ aim and competed against one another where the robots actually shot hoops. She also created surveys for the students to share their experience with these powerful and playful tools that served as an introduction to computer science.

“We are so proud of Ms. Stout for the work she has accomplished with robotics and coding for our elementary students,” said Jessica Schmettan, the district’s assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. “These type of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) opportunities help our students develop critical 21st-century skills which directly align with the district’s digital literacy goals.”

To read more about the project, click below

http://wonderworkshop.sunburst.com/ww_case-study_stout.pdf

REGISTER NOW! Summer Music Camp at Port Jefferson

Registration for the 2018 Summer Music Camp organized by the Port Jefferson School District Music and Fine Arts Department is in progress. The camp provides an enjoyable and positive opportunity for beginning and advanced students to enhance their musical studies while meeting new friends and playing music together. It offers several levels of musical training classes, including beginning band and string. There are also more advanced classes for current elementary and middle school band and string instrumentalists. The camp runs from July 9-19 with times varying depending on experience levels. The fee is $125 per class and a class bundle package of three classes can be purchased for $300. To enroll, complete the registration form on the Music & Fine Arts webpage and return it to your child’s music teacher. Contact Director of Music and Fine Arts Dr. Michael Caravello at (631) 791-4450 for more information.

Two honored for superior mathematical abilities

Two honored for superior mathematical abilities photo
Congratulations to eighth-grader William Wu and ninth-grader Grant Samara for placing first and second, respectively, in the district and third and fourth, respectively, in the county on the Suffolk County Math Contest. They were honored at the recent Suffolk County Math Teachers’ Association awards dinner and are pictured here with high school math teacher Dennis Christofor.

A celebration of mathematical accomplishments

A celebration of mathematical accomplishments photo

Students from the high school and middle school have acquired numerous awards through Suffolk County Math Teachers Association contests.

Accomplishments this year in which students earned awards include a one-hour math contest, administered by Middle School Principal Dr. Robert Neidig. Congratulations to the following Suffolk County Math Teachers’ Association contest winners:

Sixth-grader Eric Chen: First place in PJMS, first place in Suffolk County.
Seventh-grader Michael Melikyan: First place in PJMS, first place in Suffolk County.
Algebra: Eighth-graders Arik Sen and Stefano Rabeno – first place in PJMS.
Geometry: 10th-grader Julia Hennessy – first place in ELVHS.
Algebra 2: Ninth-grader Grant Samara – first place in ELVHS, third place in Suffolk County.
Algebra 2: Eighth-grader William Wu – second place in ELVHS, fourth place in Suffolk County.
Pre-Calculus: Ninth-grader Peggy Yin – first place in ELVHS.
Pre-Calculus: 11th-grader Ryan Kim – second place in ELVHS.
Calculus: 11th-grader Joseph Cangemi and ninth-grader Sinan Ates – first place in ELVHS.
Calculus Plus: 11th-grader Annalisa Welinder – first place in ELVHS.

The American Mathematics Competition, a national exam, tests problem-solving skills and mathematical knowledge in students. The 75-minute exam was held after school and administered by high school math teacher Dennis Christofor. Congratulations to:
AMC 10:
First Place – Grant Samara, ninth grade.
Second Place – Sinan Ates, ninth grade.
Third Place – Hugo Onghai, eighth grade.

AMC 12:
First Place – Annalisa Welinder, 11th grade.
Second Place – Luigia Than, 12th grade.
Third Place – Eli Doyle, 12th grade.

The Port Jefferson School District is proud to recognize the accomplishments of these students in working to strengthen their mathematical capabilities.

All-County Mathletes honors for high school trio

All-County Mathletes honors for high school trio photo
The high school Mathletes team earned third place in the small school division this year and three of the top performers were recognized at the recent Suffolk County Math Teachers’ Association awards dinner.

Annalisa Welinder, who placed 12th in Suffolk County, scoring 20 out of 30 correct, and Eli Doyle and Ibuki Iwasaki, who placed 29th in the county, scoring 17 out of 30 correct, received All-County Mathletes honors.

Coached by high school math teacher Dennis Christofor, they competed in five competitions with six challenging questions each throughout the winter, along with more than 800 other students who participate in high school Mathletes in Suffolk.

Students shine at Suffolk County Math Competition

Students shine at Suffolk County Math Competition photo
With a combination of intellect and camaraderie, Port Jefferson Middle School students took part in the 2018 Suffolk County Elementary Mathematics Tournament and ranked fifth overall for the sixth-grade teams.

Michael Melikyan ranked ninth overall out of all of the individual sixth-graders across the county who came together for the event, held at Stony Brook University.

Port Jefferson’s team, consisting of Eric Chen, Michael Melikyan, Pratham Sethia, Nicholas Smirnov and Carman Stanton, competed against 300 students on 60 teams from Suffolk County schools.

“The competition consists of individual and team Olympiad-style questions that challenge the students, encourage their love of math and foster working together,” Megan Ryan, sixth-grade math teacher said. “They had a blast!”

Excellence on National Latin Exam

Excellence on National Latin Exam photo

Students enrolled in Latin earned exceptional marks in the 2018 National Latin Exam. To recognize their success, each student was praised for their achievements at a ceremony in the high school library. The students, who were among 143,000 students from across the nation and 24 countries to take the annual exam, were presented with certificates of accomplishment by Latin teacher Anne Algieri.

Seventh-grade students enrolled in Latin IA took the Introduction to Latin Exam. At this level three awards are given for outstanding performance on the exam: Perfect Paper Certificate plus a purple ribbon for a perfect score of 40, an Outstanding Achievement Certificate plus a purple ribbon for a score of 35-39, and an Achievement Certificate for a score of 31-34.

Teppei Fukuto Perfect Paper Certificate plus a purple ribbon
Benjamin Perez-Flesler Perfect Paper Certificate plus a purple ribbon
Olivia Schlegel Perfect Paper Certificate plus a purple ribbon
Brendan Capodanno Outstanding Achievement Certificate plus a ribbon
Luke Dickhuth Outstanding Achievement Certificate plus a ribbon
Kenneth Dixon-Lanza Outstanding Achievement Certificate plus a ribbon
Jack Keegan Outstanding Achievement Certificate plus a ribbon
Sooah Kwak Outstanding Achievement Certificate plus a ribbon
Tabitha Schully Outstanding Achievement Certificate plus a ribbon
Giancarlo Caltagirone Achievement Certificate

The following students received awards for their outstanding performance on the Latin I Exam.
David Lawler gold medal, summa cum laude
Kasumi Layne-Stasik gold medal, summa cum laude
Beverly (Annie) Maier gold medal, summa cum laude
Hugo Onghai gold medal, summa cum laude
Andrew Patterson gold medal, summa cum laude
Stefano Rabeno gold medal, summa cum laude
Kate Sommerstad gold medal, summa cum laude
Caelan Schretzmayer magna cum laude
Hunter Volpi cum laude

Andrew Patterson and Hugo Onghai each achieved a perfect score on this exam.

The following students received awards for their outstanding performance on the Latin II Exam.
Liam Gameng gold medal, summa cum laude
Grace Keegan gold medal, summa cum laude
Ameen Khan gold medal, summa cum laude
Royce Perera gold medal, summa cum laude
Mattea Rabeno gold medal, summa cum laude
Michela Rabeno gold medal, summa cum laude
Grant Samara gold medal, summa cum laude
Nicole Schully gold medal, summa cum laude
Peggy Yin gold medal, summa cum laude
Aaron Held silver medal, maxima cum laude
Veronique Velazquez silver medal, maxima cum laude
Lucas Welinder silver medal, maxima cum laude
Sapphire Perera magna cum laude

The following students were recognized for outstanding performance on the Latin III Exam:
Kyle Onghai gold medal, summa cum laude
Giuseppina Than gold medal, summa cum laude
Felicity Hyams cum laude

The following students were recognized for outstanding performance on the Latin IV Exam:
Katherine Ambrozy gold medal, summa cum laude
Ava Schully gold medal, summa cum laude
Annalisa Welinder gold medal, summa cum laude
Gavin Barrett silver medal, maxima cum laude
David Rotunno silver medal, maxima cum laude
Cameron Cohen magna cum laude

This is the fourth consecutive year that Ava Schully and Annalisa Welinder have received gold medals.

These students were recognized for outstanding performance on the Advanced Latin Exam:
Ibuki Iwasaki gold medal, summa cum laude
Luigia Than silver medal, maxima cum laude
Emma Gutmann magna cum laude
Joseph Samara magna cum laude

On behalf of the school community, congratulations!

Turning imagination into creativity at student art shows

Turning imagination into creativity at student art shows photo
Turning imagination into creativity at student art shows photo 2
Turning imagination into creativity at student art shows photo 3

Students throughout the district – inspired by their respective art teachers and the masters – showcased their artistic skills at the three schools’ art shows throughout the month of May.

Photography, pointillism, crafts, sculpture and graffiti were just some of the subjects students touched upon in turning their imaginative ideas into reality.

Under the direction of elementary art teachers Richard Anderson and Meghan Hallock, middle school art teacher Stacey Schuman and high school art teachers Lynne Edsall and Nancy Randazzo, students have learned to flex their artistic intelligence throughout the school year, culminating in a must-see springtime event.

Flexing their math muscle at Math Olympiad Competition

Flexing their math muscle at Math Olympiad Competition photo
Ten students from the SEAL program took part in the 2018 Suffolk County Math Olympiad Competition recently held at Stony Brook University.

The competition for the top five fourth-grade and the top five fifth-grade Olympiad students from Port Jefferson was an opportunity to learn important strategies for problem-solving.

Student Jinah Kwak won third place in the fifth-grade division, Max Kronberg won third place in the fourth-grade division, Tucker Stanton won second place in the fourth-grade division, and the fourth-grade team won third place in the fourth-grade team competition.

The fourth-grade team members are Matthew Cadicamo, Anbang Jiang, Max Kronberg, Evan Raymond and Tucker Stanton, and the fifth-grade team members are Isabelle Chen, Aoife Hogan, Jinah Kwak, Alice Snyder and Emily Snyder.

“These top Math Olympians showcased their problem-solving skills with dedication and determination,” said SEAL teacher Kate Zvokel. “I applaud their efforts and hard work to make Port Jefferson proud. We all had a great time at the competition.”

Presenting musical prowess at ‘Petting Zoo’

Presenting musical prowess at ‘Petting Zoo’ photo

Springtime is a musical time in our schools and an opportunity for high school students to share their talents and instruments with elementary students.

The annual Instrument Petting Zoo was recently held at the elementary school, where members of the high school instrumental ensembles gave third-grade students a chance to get an up-close look at the instruments of the band and orchestra.

Under the direction of band teacher Christine Creighton, the high school students came well-prepared and encouraged the younger ones to ask questions about how the instruments work as they performed. For many of the younger students, this was a chance to experience the excitement of holding the instruments correctly, some of them for the first time.

The third-graders had a worksheet to indicate their top three choices and in the coming weeks will select the instrument they would like to begin learning in the fall.

Elementary band teacher Mark Abbonizio even got the kindergarten students involved in the festive event. While some listened attentively to the music and high school students’ instruction, several of them helped hold the signage at each station that introduced the instrument.

‘Ab ovo usque ad mala’ at Latin Club’s Roman Banquet

‘Ab ovo usque ad mala’ at Latin Club’s Roman Banquet photo

In a feast fit for a king, the high school and middle school Latin Club members, along with adviser Anne Algieri, hosted a Roman Banquet at the Port Jefferson Village Center.

More than 50 students and their family members were in attendance at the ninth annual event. To recognize ancient Roman culture, students dressed in togas and tunicas, recited ancient Latin poems, performed traditional songs and feasted on traditional Roman foods.

Modeled on an ancient Roman banquet, the menu’s theme was “Ab ovo usque ad mala” (from eggs to apples), the equivalent of the modern expression “from soup to nuts.”

Quick-thinking Quiz Bowl participants earn Port Jeff third place

Quick-thinking Quiz Bowl participants earn Port Jeff third place photo
The Junior Varsity Academic Team took home a third-place trophy after competing in the final tournament of the Regional Quiz Bowl at Plainview-Old Bethpage High School.

Competing against more than 50 of the top academic teams from Nassau and Suffolk counties, the students took part in the “Jeopardy”-like competition which covered a variety of academic disciplines and topics including art, history, poetry, literature and science.

The teamwork and motivation of Cameron Cohen, a junior, Kyle Onghai, a sophomore and seniors Eric Tischer and Ben Zaltsman is to be commended.

“These students truly amaze me with the base of knowledge they possess,” teacher and coach Michel Krivosta said. “Their individual quick-thinking skills and collaboration are admirable.”

‘School of Distinction’ designation for High School athletics

‘School of Distinction’ designation for High School athletics photo
The high school’s athletic program has another reason to be proud: All spring varsity teams have been named Scholar-Athlete teams by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association.

The news is even more impressive because all of the district’s varsity teams for the 2017-18 school year have been awarded Scholar-Athlete recognition. To receive this honor, a sports team’s average GPA for 75 percent of the roster must be greater than or equal to 90.

The culmination of both honors means that Earl L. Vandermeulen will be named a 2018 School of Distinction by the NYSPHSAA. Across the state, only about 20 schools are given this honor, and in Section XI only four schools were recognized as a School of Distinction last year.

“This honor clearly demonstrates the ability of all of our student-athletes to show tremendous dedication to their academics, while balancing a busy athletic schedule,” said Dr. Danielle Turner, the district’s director of health, physical education and athletics. “This is a direct reflection of the commitment and support of our district administration, teachers, coaches and community as a whole.”

A melodious introduction to musical instruments

A melodious introduction to musical instruments photo
Third-grade students experienced an informative lesson on string, brass and woodwind instruments at the school’s recent Instrumental Recruitment Meeting.

From the soft vibrations of a violin to the baritone-voiced euphonium, the students were introduced to the instruments by the current fourth-graders, who were eager to demonstrate the instrument they each play.

The annual event is a collaborative effort of Dr. Vanessa Salzman, the 4-6 grade orchestra teacher, who organizes the event and band teacher Mark Abbonizio, who runs the meeting with the students.

“Our annual recruitment events are an exciting time to introduce the incoming fourth-graders to all the instruments we teach at the elementary school,” said Dr. Salzman. “Listening and watching demonstrations by their peers not only showcases the talents of our current musicians, but is a powerful and effective tool to inspire our newest members of the band and orchestra.”

Varsity Club honored for community service efforts

Varsity Club honored for community service efforts photo
The high school’s Varsity Club was recognized at a recent Board of Education meeting for its volunteer efforts for the League of Yes, an organization that creates baseball programs for people with disabilities.

Cheri Fox, Suffolk County field director and executive board member for League of Yes, commended the students on their efforts in not only volunteering their time, but in developing friendships with the players on the league as they were each presented with a certificate. The school also received a “Buddy of the Year” plaque for its commitment to the organization.

The Varsity Club members and their advisers, teachers Jesse Rosen and Deirdre Filippi, engage in projects centered around athletics and also run school-organized events, including volleyball tournaments and the schoolwide Olympic games, activities that help to raise money for various service-minded organizations. These activities help to establish a sense of community within the high school building and teach club members that they can positively help and influence people around them while challenging themselves in the process.

Congratulations to all the Varsity Club members:

Chloe Andriani
Alexa Ayotte
Jack Collins
Taylor Corallo
Anthony D'Elia
Lea Desmond
Kayla Fox
Nick Gertz
Phoenix Jampol
Isabella Love
Jonathan Moshe
Charlie Rolfe
Brianna Scarda
Jordan Suarez
Joshua Tesser
John Tsunis
Colton VanOverberghe
Lexi VanOverberghe
Gabe Zoda

Port Jeff student excels in state competition

Port Jeff student excels in state competition photo
Senior Tatum Hurney was recognized as a first-place winner in the SkillsUSA state competition, recently held in Syracuse, New York.

Tatum competed in the Restaurant Service competition, where she was judged on her professionalism, courtesy, and technical and verbal skills. She also excelled in “front of the house” skills, including reservation procedures, greeting customers, explaining menu choices, and preparation and presentation of the customer’s check.

Tatum, a student in the Culinary Arts program at the Wilson Technical Center in Oakdale, said, “I am so proud that I accomplished this. I am happy that Ms. Galvin [high school guidance counselor] steered me toward this program and plans for the future.”

Tatum is looking to continue her education in the culinary arts and hopes to attend Johnson & Wales University to earn a bachelor degree.

Empowering a community of leaders and advocates

Empowering a community of leaders and advocates photo
Ten students from the high school attended the 22nd annual Long Island LGBT Conference at Stony Brook University.

Accompanied by co-advisers Kristin Britt and Dinarae Camarda, members of the school’s Gay Straight Alliance spent the day attending workshops on topics including LGBT history, community and youth organizing, health and social justice.

“This event is a stronghold for student leaders,” Britt said. “In addition to learning and sharing in a safe and supportive environment, it empowers them to navigate and advocate for positive social and health-related choices.”

Port Jeff athletes share essential lacrosse skills with younger players

Port Jeff athletes share essential lacrosse skills with younger players photo
The boys and girls varsity lacrosse teams held a youth clinic for the Port Jefferson boys and girls lacrosse teams to help train athletes in a variety of skill-based drills and specialized training for specific field positions. More than 75 students in grades K-6 attended the weekend event held at Scraggy Fields alongside their coaches and parents.

“The event was highly rewarding, not just for the athletes involved, but also the varsity athletes who helped run the event,” said Taylor Forstell, head coach for the boys varsity lacrosse team.

Boys varsity lacrosse captains Connor Kaminska, Thomas Mark and Billy Scannell echoed the same message. Being the first generation of youth lacrosse members in Port Jefferson, they did not have the older kids to look up to for advice. Now as varsity players, the trio find it to be fulfilling to give back to the youth programs and to have a positive impact on the growth of the lacrosse programs in Port Jefferson.

Port Jeff students welcome a military visitor

Port Jeff students welcome a military visitor photo
Students in Steve Orlowski’s class at the elementary school have been studying maps and continents and had a special visitor who was able to put geography in perspective for them.

Stationed for the past two years in Japan as a member of the United State Navy, Chief David Orlowski, their teacher’s brother, had business to attend to in Washington, DC and took some time to visit his family and the students in Port Jefferson.

Chief Orlowski shared his experiences about living abroad, daily life on a ship and the job of a military person.

Students asked questions about what he eats in Japan, how he is able to speak with people there and what he does on a daily basis. They also learned that the military is not always at war, and that the majority of their time is spent patrolling foreign waters and maintaining equipment.

High School named Gold Medal School

High School named Gold Medal School image
In recognition of its success in educating students across a range of performance indicators, Earl L. Vandermeulen High School has been named a top high school by U.S. News & World Report and earned the news organization’s highest ranking of Gold. It was one of only 2.4 percent of eligible schools across the country who received the designation.

The multi-step ranking process included ensuring that the eligible schools serve all of their students well, using state proficiency tests results and their graduation rates as benchmarks and assessing how well-prepared students are for college-level work. Based on the evaluation, ELVHS was ranked 55th in New York State and 482th of the nation’s 20,582 eligible schools.

“We are honored to receive this distinction,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Casciano said. “In addition to the determination of our high school administrators and educators in leading our students in a high-quality education, they are committed to preparing them for continued academic successes in the future.”

The designation is the fourth honor for the school this academic year. On the national level, it was named a Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education, honored with its sixth consecutive Reward School designation by the New York State Education Department and Principal Christine Austen was named a Person of the Year by TBR News Media for her leadership and steadfast efforts in improving the academic programs offered. The school annually boasts numerous AP Scholars, and National Merit Semifinalists and Commended Students, in addition to the many athletic, musical, civic and volunteer accomplishments of its students.

Eighth-grader Honored for Contributions to School Community

Eighth-grader Honored for Contributions to School Community photo
Eighth-grader Emily Hearney was honored by the Board of Education for her initiative and fortitude in spearheading a campaign to show solidarity among the students of Port Jefferson and Stoneman Douglas High School, where her cousin is a junior.

Emily solicited the help of teacher Allison Giannusa, Student Government adviser, and mobilized her peers to create T-shirts for a 17-minute event where students engaged in civic action and paused to remember and honor those who lost their lives.

“Emily was driven to action because of the amazing person and leader that she is,” Principal Dr. Robert Neidig said. “Her exemplary efforts are a testament to her character and her willingness to contribute to her school and community.”

Five students honored for physical education leadership

Five students honored for physical education leadership photo
Five students from the School District were named Elementary and Middle School Suffolk Zone Award honorees by the New York State Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. They were honored at a ceremony at Bay Shore High School.

Fifth-graders Joseph Aronica, Julia Fite and Olivia Masino and eighth-graders Lucy DeWitt and Richard Melucci were chosen by their physical education teachers for demonstrating strong leadership and character traits in physical education as well as a commitment to academics.

“These students exemplify the core leadership values of our school and athletic community,” said Dr. Danielle Turner, the district’s director of health, physical education and athletics. “This honor recognizes their collective commitment to physical education and serving as role models for their peers.”

District receives superior credit rating

As a result of diligent financial planning and a strong commitment to fiscal accountability, the district has received a very high quality credit rating from Moody’s Investors Service.

The Aa2 rating the district received is determined based on the assessment of its fund balance, financial management, a strong wealth and income profile and tax base wealth. It is an important measure that is used by prospective lenders to determine the credit worthiness of school districts and other public entities.

“This report from an outside and independent financial institute is a clear indication of the current financial health of the district,” said Sean Leister, deputy superintendent of the Port Jefferson School District. “It reflects the district’s meticulous and mindful financial planning and will ensure lower interest rates for borrowing funds and significant financial savings for our residents for any funds borrowed.”

According to the report, and in comparison to other Moody’s rated school districts, Port Jefferson’s Aa2 rating is stronger than the median rating of nationwide districts. The cash balance as a percent of operating revenues (53.1 percent) is noted as superior and saw an impressive increase between 2013 and 2017. The fund balance as a percent of operating revenues (37.5 percent) is also stronger. The district’s debt burden is negligible and favorable and the 0.2 percent net direct debt to full value is significantly below the nationwide median and stayed flat between 2013 and 2017.

Science Olympiad rank in state competition!

Science Olympiad rank in state competition!
The Port Jefferson Middle School Science Olympiad team placed eighth overall in the New York State Science Olympiad Competition, held recently in Syracuse, NY. The ranking is the second highest for the team in almost two decades.

The team, which includes students from grades 6-9, achieved 12 medals in various events. During the awards ceremony, the top 10 finishers were announced and recognized and the team received a plaque for their accomplishment.

According to coach and middle school science teacher Adam Bouchard, the students were successful by their hard work in studying scientific principles and engineering devices to complete the various tasks.

“Congratulations to our Science Olympiad Team,” said middle school principal Robert Neidig. “I am so proud of Mr. Bouchard and our tremendous science students on a job well done.”

Medal Winners
First Place, Rocks and Minerals – Aaron Held, Grant Samara
Second Place, Potions and Poisons – Gani Ates, Grant Samara
Third Place, Fast Facts – Aaron Held, Peggy Yin
Fourth Place, Anatomy – Gani Ates, Peggy Yin
Fourth Place, Microbe Mission – Hugo Onghai, Peggy Yin
Fourth Place, Optics – William Wu, Peggy Yin
Fourth Place, Solar System – Liam Gameng, Kasumi Layne-Stasik
Fifth Place, Herpetology – Andrew Patterson, Kasumi Layne-Stasik
Fifth Place, Science Quiz Bowl – Michael Melikyan, Andrew Patterson, Max Paulus

Sixth Place, Meteorology – Liam Gameng, William Wu
Seventh Place, Disease Detectives – Hugo Onghai, Grant Samara
Seventh Place, Ecology – Teppei Fukuto, Andrew Patterson

SCMEA Day of Percussion for Cezanne Lojeski

 SCMEA Day of Percussion for Cezanne Lojeski
Senior Cezanne Lojeski participated in the Suffolk County Music Educators' Association's Day of Percussion at SUNY Stony Brook's Staller Center on April 20th.

As a participant of the percussion ensemble, Cezanne had an opportunity to perform alongside world-renowned guest artists, Jonathan Singer and Greg Bissonette. She was accompanied by music teacher Christine Creighton.

Sixth-grader does know much about history!

Sixth-grader does know much about history!

Challenged by questions that shaped our country, sixth-grader Carman Stanton was invited to the regional competition of the National History Bee and qualified for the National Finals.

Carman excelled in the multiple-choice questions at the elementary division of New York South schools at the East Brunswick, New Jersey competition.

Student ‘Guest Artist’ shares creative problem-solving skills

Student ‘Guest Artist’ shares creative problem-solving skills
Students in Stacey Schuman’s sixth-grade art class welcomed a special guest visitor during their study of Native American architectural landscape design.

Connor Liolo, a seventh-grader at the school, visited his younger schoolmates to assist with the student’s creation of a two-dimensional Adobe Pueblo bottle design. Creating his own lesson plan, Connor demonstrated how he found a way to use rope and hot glue to attach a makeshift bottle closure that could swing open and still remain attached to the container. When he first "invented" this procedure last year, Shuman thought it was quite clever and a great way to problem-solve.

“Having a student who was eager to share his artistic and ingenuous creation was a powerful way to engage with his younger peers,” Schuman said. “I am grateful for Connor’s enthusiasm in contributing to the lesson.”

The students also learned about the sculpted horizons of America’s Four Corners – Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado – and color mixing theory during the lesson.

Music students celebrated!

 Music students celebrated! Pic
Performing, leading and serving the community are just part of what the newly inducted students accomplish as part of the high school’s Chapter 2172 of the Tri-M Music Honor Society.

At its 11th annual honors recital and induction ceremony, six students joined their peers in the National Association for Music Education’s program that focuses on creating future leaders in music education and music advocacy.

This year's inductees are Katie Ambrozy, Chloe Andriani, Emily Bossert, Grace Crugnale, David Rotunno and Pina Than.

In addition to showcasing the exceptional music program in Port Jefferson, these students met the high academic and musical standards necessary for induction into the honor society’s chapter.

“These students will assist in inspiring and recognizing musical achievement in the school music department and the community,” Dr. Michael Caravello, director of music and fine arts said. “Through the society’s five points of distinction: scholarship, character, cooperation, leadership, and service, they’ll continue to develop confidence, creativity and other skills that will benefit them in school and beyond.”

Support staff honored for contributions to school

Support staff honored for contributions to school photo
The Board of Education recognized two Port Jefferson Middle School’s staff members for their positive and productive contributions to the school and their high level of service for students and their families.

Cited as the school’s dream team by Principal Dr. Robert Neidig, Kathy Hanley and Rosalie Loizos were honored for their devotion to the school and community.

“They are very much involved in all of the successes at the Middle School,” Neidig said of the heightened level of professionalism, work ethic and commitment of both women.

Wrestling League Champions!

Wrestling League Champions photo
Wrestling League Champions photo 2
The High School wrestling team were recognized as League Champions for the 2017-2018 season. They were honored at the recent Suffolk County Coaches Association awards ceremony.

All 9 of the Royals wrestling squad were there to accept All-County Honors. They are Harry Cona, Rick D'Elia, Joe Evangelista, Chris Lepore, Joe Longo, Vin Miceli, Matt Murphy, Matt Spyrou and Robert Williams.

P.J. Nation Wrestling was well represented and took home numerous awards including coaches Mike Maletta and Jesse Meaney who were recognized as League Coaches of the Year. Senior Joey Collins was recognized as the Rohan Murphy Inspirational Wrestler and Vin Miceli was recognized for being a State Finalist at 126 lbs. finishing the season with a 38-3 record.

Power of One Award Recipient

Power of One Award Recipient image
Music teacher Mr. Christian Neubert has been named the Royal Educational Foundation’s Power of One award recipient! Please join us in honoring him at the 5th Annual Family Fun Run on Saturday, April 28. The run begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Village Center, continues through the streets of Port Jefferson Village, and ends at the High School Bowl and the Health and Wellness Fest sponsored by the Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce.

Best Community for Music Education!

Best Community for Music Education photo

As a testament to the dedication of music education in the Port Jefferson School District, it has been ranked among the NAMM Foundation’s 2018 “Best Communities for Music Education” in America. The honor acknowledges schools and districts across the country for their commitment to and support for music education as part of the core curriculum. This is the 12th consecutive year the district has received the prestigious recognition.

“This honor recognizes the collaborative efforts and dedication to music education among our teachers, students, administrators and parents,” said Michael Caravello, director of music and fine arts. “We are honored by the recognition and the valuable support of our school community.”

The Port Jefferson School District boasts multiple vocal, band and orchestral performing groups for students and each group is provided with the opportunity to perform within the community. Additionally, through partnerships with Stony Brook University and other community groups, students have the opportunity to learn from renowned professional musicians.

Junior Lifeguarding Program

Junior Lifeguarding Program image
The American Red Cross is offering a Junior Lifeguarding Course to Port Jefferson Middle School students, age 11-14, who aspire to one day become a certified lifeguard. The program’s cost is $100 per student. Classes will be held June 25-29 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day at the Edna Louise Elementary School pool. Please contact Dr. Danielle Turner, director of health, physical education and athletics in the Athletic Office for additional details at 631.791.4441.

Class of 2018 Top Two – Congratulations Ibuki & Eli!

Class of 2018 Top Two photo
After 13 years of dedication and perseverance to academics, extracurricular activities and community outreach, seniors Ibuki Iwasaki and Eli Doyle have been designated valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, of the Class of 2018.

“I’m extremely honored,” Ibuki said, “especially because some of the valedictorians and salutations in the past were people whom I really looked up to both in and outside of school. I’ve always aimed for good grades…becoming valedictorian was definitely a goal of mine.”

Ibuki has earned a 101.40 GPA. She is president of the high school National Honor Society, a member of the Mathletes team, Science Olympiad and Latin Club. She has been on the varsity tennis team since eighth-grade and was undefeated individually in the league this year.

Her list of awards is comprehensive and include being a National Merit Scholarship recipient, AP Scholar with Distinction, a gold medalist for three years and a silver medalist for one year on the National Latin Exam, and a first-place and third-place winner in Science Olympiad individual events.

Her musical talents include having a perfect score for three years at the Level VI New York State School Music Association Festival and being selected for All-County, Long Island String Festival and Suffolk County Music Educators Associations festivals. Ibuki’s community involvement revolve around playing violin; she has been a concert mistress in a youth orchestra and the school orchestra; has performed chamber music at the pre-college program at Stony Brook University and has volunteered to perform at the village library and local daycare and nursing home. She is also tutors Japanese-speaking people the English language.

Last summer, Ibuki interned at Brookhaven National Laboratory in her first official research experience. Before that, she spent time at a laboratory at Stony Brook University where her mother is a research scientist.

As the salutatorian, Eli will graduate with a 100.85 GPA. Like Ibuki, he challenged himself by enrolling in many Advanced Placement, college-level and honors courses. Beyond the classroom, he excelled on the field, playing tennis since ninth-grade and participating as part of the stage crew for school plays, musical and concerts.

“One of the perks of being in a small school is that there is a very cooperative attitude, even among the most competitive of the students,” Eli said. “This is something we all take for granted, but I wouldn’t have achieved this honor without help and support of my awesome classmates and dedicated teachers.”

Eli has been a member of Science Olympiad since sixth-grade, on the Mathletes team, the Academic Team, and a member and officer of the Student Organization for all four years of his high school career. He also had the unique opportunity to take part in the prestigious Simons Summer Research Program at Stony Brook University where he studied ferroelectric materialism the physics lab.

Eli has received honors from the Suffolk County Junior Tennis League, a Coach’s Award for Team Sportsmanship and the American Math Competition Level 10 in 2015. He was also a recipient of the Presidential Volunteer Service Award in 2015 and The Robert A. Belfer Family Fellowship Award for Travel and Study in Israel in 2016.

“Ibuki and Eli are two exceptional students,” Principal Christine Austen said. “In addition to being at the top of their class, they are both well-rounded, very involved in extracurricular activities and each of them has received numerous accolades to date. They are on to great things in the future and I wish them continued success.”

Although she is awaiting word from several colleges and looks to major in physics, Ibuki has been accepted to MIT, where she is considering attending. Her post college plans include working in a STEM-related career. Eli plans to major in Applied Physics at Brown University and is already considering graduate school.

Jazz Musicians Participate in HS All-County Festival

Jazz Musicians Participate in HS All-County Festival photo
Jazz Musicians Participate in HS All-County Festival photo 2
High School student jazz musicians Cole Fortier and Trey Pisano recently participated in the Suffolk County Music Educators' Association All-County Jazz Festival at Miller Place High School.

Cole, a member of the All-County vocal jazz ensemble and Trey, a member of the All-County instrumental jazz ensemble, both performed a program of contemporary jazz standards led by world-renowned guest conductors.

Students compete in Latin Certamen

Students compete in Latin Certamen photo
Knowing that “Et tu, Brute?” were Julius Caesar’s famous last words in Latin was helpful to the students who recently took part in the Latin Certamen at Stony Brook University. Five of the district’s teams made the finals and carried away awards.

Port Jefferson competed against students from 14 schools across Nassau and Suffolk counties in the fast-paced, academic contest that poses questions about Latin grammar, vocabulary, word derivations, Roman life, history, mythology and literature.

Students compete on the level of Latin in which they are enrolled. Two eighth-grade teams competed on Level I, two ninth-grade teams competed on Level II, one tenth-grade team competed on Level III and three teams competed on the Advanced Level.

Coached by Latin teacher Anne Algieri, the Port Jefferson teams who placed at this year’s Certamen included:

First Place - Level IA team
Kasumi Layne-Stasik
Andrew Patterson
Stefano Rabeno
Caelan Schretzmayer

Second Place - Level IB team
Hugo Onghai
Annie Maier
Kate Sommerstad
Hunter Volpi

First Place - Level II team
Aaron Held
Mattea Rabeno
Grant Samara
Peggy Yin

First Place - Advanced Level A team
Emma Gutmann
Ibuki Iwasaki
Cezanne Lojeski
Luigia Than

Third Place - Advanced Level B team
Katie Ambrozy
Ava Schully
Sabrina Schully
Annalisa Welinder
Thursday, June 21, 2018