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Missing Mitten Prompts Generous Gesture

Fifth-grader Catherine Poten was on safety patrol duty – a leadership program in which older students escort kindergartners from their bus to their classroom – when she noticed her charge was visibly upset.

“I asked her what was wrong and she said she lost her mitten,” Catherine said.

Catherine tried to keep her calm by asking her favorite color – pink – and then brought her to her classroom. When Catherine went home that day, she told her parents what had happened and her dad took her to the store to get the child a new pair of mittens. “Kindness comes from our hearts,” Catherine said, before adding that the little girl wears the new mittens almost every day.

Spring Athletic Apparel

Hey Royals fans,

The spring athletic apparel stores are now open! Don't miss out on the chance to show your Royal pride and support Port Jefferson Athletics.
Click the links below to see your apparel options. Once you are ready to order, follow the yellow arrow and click on the words SHOP NOW located on the bottom right of the flyer. The final day to order is February 26th.

Thank you for supporting Port Jefferson Athletics!


Students Explore Iconic Works of Art

art photo
Students from Edna Louise Spear Elementary School’s fifth-grade art club visited the Paul W. Zuccaire Gallery at SUNY Stony Brook's Staller Center to view the “Iconicity” exhibit. The trip was an opportunity for them to expand on their classroom and art club creativity and lessons. They were accompanied by art teachers Richard Anderson and Meghan McCarthy.

During the visit, Karen Levitov, director and curator for the gallery, spoke with the students about the techniques and inspiration behind the artists’ works before they engaged in several hands-on activities.

Third-grade Wordplay

Nice, Intelligent, Noticeable and Awesome for Nina. Loyal, Understanding, Kind and Entertaining for Luke. Joyful, Outgoing, Silly, Entertaining, Peaceful and Helpful for Joseph.

Those were just some of the words students in Rachel Erickson’s third-grade class used as they took a creative step in identifying themselves. The class produced acrostic poems with adjectives that spelled out their name along with magazine pictures or printed emojis to decorate a bulletin board outside their classroom.

Dash’s Lego Challenge

back to school image

To coincide with the robotics and computer programming unit and new STEAM program in the Edna Louise Spear Elementary School library, fourth- and fifth-graders were presented with a challenge: to create and build a structure with Legos that represented a book.

The students realized that it wasn’t going to be so easy.

Their engineering skills came into play when they built the structure, mounted it on the Dash robot’s head, then coded it with movement, sound and lights, while being sure the structure stayed attached the entire time. The coding had to relate to the structure and the book (for example a car book had to have sounds and movement related to automobiles). After the students completed their assignment, they presented their structure and coding to the class.

“I was thrilled with their work ethic and enthusiasm for the challenge,” school librarian Selinda Stout said. “They used their imagination and their coding skills to present such cool, animated robots! I am so proud of my students.”

Celebrating Pre-K

Students in Susan Giglio’s pre-K class at Edna Louise Spear Elementary School celebrated the 100th day of school by dressing up as 100-year old ladies and gentlemen. In their classroom, they walked and counted 100 steps and stepped through a large paper number 100. After creating paper crowns and capes, their lessons consisted of counting and collaborating in STEM activities including making blocks and domino structures.

American Imperialism on Trial

American Imperialism on Trial photo
Port Jefferson Middle School eighth-graders took their classroom lessons to another level when they teamed up to create a mock trial about American Imperialism. After learning about the political, economic and cultural influences of the country, the students in Kayleen Everitt’s and Dr. Tara Sladek-Maharg’s English and social studies classes, respectively, represented the prosecution against Imperialism and spoke as witnesses to the trial as representatives of Latin America. The English class served as the jury and gallery. While the jury deliberated at the end and decided the trial, the gallery’s role was to evaluate each representing side’s use of the ethical strategies of ethos, pathos and logos.

Motivated by Music at Long Island String Festival

Motivated by Music at Long Island String Festival photo

Eleven Port Jefferson elementary and middle school string students in grades 5-8were selected to perform in the Intermediate Long Island String Festival on Jan. 27 at Hauppauge High School. Students were selected along with others from across Suffolk County on a competitive basis with New York State School Music Association scores as the main criteria along with teacher recommendations.

The district congratulates fifth-graders Mari Fukuto and Sadie Salzman; sixth-graders Caitlin Dickhuth, Ana Kelly, Meara Kelly and Vivian O' Brian; seventh-grader Anna Rebic; and eighth-graders Alexa Ayotte, Teppei Fukuto, Olivia Schlegel and Tabitha Schully for their hard work and musical participation!

Chelsea Gallery Showing for Port Jeff Educator’s Art

Port Jefferson Middle School/High School art teacher Stacey Schuman, a conservatory trained visual artist and instructor for 18 years in Port Jefferson schools, will showcase her work at the Atlantic Gallery in the Landmark Arts Building in Manhattan’s Chelsea gallery district. The show is Escape/ism and her painting is titled Bulbs. Her piece is part of a juried group exhibit that will run from Feb. 19 through March 9 with an opening reception on Feb. 21. Schuman has exhibited her work both locally and in New York City.

100th Victory for Rick D’Elia

To be a wrestler takes a different level of dedication. Early morning runs, balancing a social life in order to train, staying in shape and competing are just a few things that Port Jefferson senior Rick D’Elia has done every winter since he began wrestling for Port Jefferson as a seventh-grader. The dedication, discipline and desire he demonstrates each day are helping him reach his goal of being the best he can be.

All of this hard work has paid off for Rick as he is a three-time Suffolk County finalist, two-time Suffolk County champion and one of only 13 wrestlers in the history of Port Jefferson to win more than 100 matches.

“Winning 100 matches is an awesome achievement,” coach Mike Maletta said. “It takes consistency. In wresting, as in life, you must show up and compete every day. Rick has done that at such a high level for the past four years.”

Read more about Rick and his brother and teammate Anthony here:


The February 12, 2019 regular monthly business meeting of the Port Jefferson School District Board of Education has been rescheduled to February 26, 2019, 7:30 p.m., at Edna Louise Spear Elementary School. Call to order will be 5:30 p.m. for the purpose of entering executive session to discuss legal and personnel matters. Regular business meetings of the Board of Education are live-streamed via the school district website. Business meeting agendas are available on the district’s website the day prior to the meeting.

A Night on Broadway

A Night on Broadway photo
For an opportunity to experience a world-renowned theatrical performance, members of the Earl L. Vandermeulen High School Drama Club attended Come from Away, the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre. Based on the true story of thousands of travelers stranded in Canada after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the students along with their drama club director Tony Butera, observed the stage acts of kindness of humanity during this dark time.

Armed Forces Tribute

The Port Jefferson School District is pleased to officially announce the creation of an Armed Forces Tribute that will recognize former Port Jefferson School District students and staff who served our nation in the Armed Forces.

A brick campaign is currently underway with the cost of each brick at $100. The bricks will be set at the selected Tribute site in front of Earl L. Vandermeulen High School. They will be placed on the Court of Courage and the Path of Honor surrounding the Tribute. Each purchased brick will be engraved with a special message to honor past and current service members, family members, community members or friends.

The brick fundraising campaign will run until March 1 and a dedication ceremony will be held on Thursday, May 30. Please contact Kathy Hanley in the Office of the Superintendent at (631)791.4221 with any questions.


Airing their Accomplishments

Airing their Accomplishments photo
Eight Earl L. Vandermeulen High School students shared stories of their academic, athletic and community service accomplishments and activities when they were guests on the Spotlight on Long Island Schools show on LI News Radio.

Hosted by Robert Vecchio, the question-and-answer format, 30-minute show highlighted the varied accomplishments of students Cole Fortier, Peyton Ginas, Shane Hartig, Emily Hearney, Kate Sommerstad, Kyra Sommerstad, Annalisa Welinder and Lucas Welinder. They were joined by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Casciano, High School Principal Christine Austen and English teacher Michael Augello.

Tune in to LI News Radio 103.9 FM to hear their impressive stories of balancing academics and other achievements on Saturday, February 9, at 10:30 a.m.

Superintendent Search Update 2/5/19

The Port Jefferson Board of Education has been very active in its search for the next Superintendent of Schools. The Board has contracted with Eastern Suffolk Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) to assist with the search and selection process.

As of this date, a number of steps have been completed: a recruitment brochure and advertisements were developed and distributed; interested parties were sent packets which included an application; and employees and community members were asked for input on the desired qualities of the next Superintendent.

Applicants were prescreened by Eastern Suffolk BOCES and completed applications were forwarded to the Board to review. This week, the Board of Education will begin interviewing candidates they have selected from the initial screening.

The Board of Education is grateful to the school community for participating in the survey and community forum and for providing such valuable input for the Board to consider in the selection process.

View the results of the community survey below.

Thank you for your continued interest and support.


Draft 2019-20 School District Budget Based on Town/LIPA Settlement

The Port Jefferson School District presented the first draft of the 2019-20 school budget, which is the first school budget in the post Town of Brookhaven and Long Island Power Authority property tax reassessment settlement. Presentations were made at the January 22 Board of Education Work Session and the January 24 School-Community Connection session (see attachments). Additional presentations and discussions will be held throughout the budget development process.

Through meetings, emails, letters, and phone calls with Brookhaven Town officials, school leaders learned how the details of the Town’s settlement would impact the school district. The Town of Brookhaven and LIPA property tax reassessment settlement represents a 50 percent reduction in the Port Jefferson’s main power plant’s assessment over a nine-year glide path beginning in 2018-19. As a result, 2019-20 represents the first and second years for the district and a six percent reduction in LIPA’s assessment.

The first draft of the school budget stays within the estimated tax levy cap. It represents one of the lowest increases in the property tax levy since the tax levy cap was enacted in the 2013-14 school year. The estimated cap for the 2019-20 school year is 1.18 percent. The draft budget represents a budget reduction of approximately -$230,000.

Information about the targeted reductions will be shared as we progress through budget development. The district is prepared for the challenge of scrutinizing discretionary spending as we continue to provide an outstanding educational program for students.


District Hosts Mid-Island Band Festival

District Hosts Mid-Island Band Festival photo
Earl L. Vandermeulen High School band students, along with students from Hauppauge, Miller Place, Patchogue-Medford, Sayville, and West Islip high schools participated in the 61st Annual Mid-Island Band Festival on Jan. 25 and 26. Hosted by the Port Jefferson School District, the festival included a performance conducted by Michael Gianetta, a veteran Long Island music teacher from the Oyster Bay-East Norwich School District. Congratulations to all participating students!

Heading to State Competitions!


Congratulations to the Earl L. Vandermeulen High School Science Olympiad team for placing fourth out of 52 teams who competed at the Eastern Long Island Regional Science Olympiad, recently held at Ward Melville High School. Their ranking allows them to compete against the best teams across New York State on March 15 and 16 at Le Moyne College in Syracuse.

The students competed in categories including genetics, earth science, chemistry, anatomy, physics, geology, mechanical engineering and technology in active, hands-on group participation – a required skill in their future scientific careers.

Coached by advisers and science teachers Amanda Brideson and Adam Bouchard, the students cross-trained for a variety of events in their skill set and have practiced and prepared for months for the competition.
Congratulations to our medal winners:

1st place – David Rotunno and Peggy Yin for Sound of Music
2nd place – Aaron Held and Grant Samara for Fossils
3rd place – Chloe Andriani and Peggy Yin for Designer Genes
4th place – Sinan Ates and Peggy Yin for Anatomy and Physiology
4th place – Aaron Held and Kyle Onghai for Circuit Lab
5th place – Sinan Ates and Liam Gameng for Chemistry Lab
5th place – Gavin Barrett and Eadan McSweeney for Forensics
5th place – Chloe Andriani, Sinan Ates and Kyle Onghai for Protein Modeling
5th place – Sinan Ates and Eadan McSweeney for Thermodynamics
5th place –Reid Biondo and Aaron Held for Watery Quality
7th place – Liam Gameng and David Rotunno for Geological Mapping
8th place – Gani Ates and Liam Gameng for Astronomy
8th place – Grant Samara for Mission Possible
9th place – Grant Samara and Gil Zaltsman for Disease Detectives




NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, that a special meeting of qualified voters of Union Free School District No. 6, Town of Brookhaven, Suffolk County, New York, will be held in the Port Jefferson Free Library located at 100 Thompson Street, Port Jefferson, New York, on Tuesday, April 2, 2019, at 10:00 a.m., prevailing time for the purpose of voting by paper ballot upon the following items:

To adopt the annual Port Jefferson Free Library budget for the fiscal year 2019-2020 and that the Board of Education of School District No. 6 be authorized and directed to raise by taxation the necessary moneys on the taxable property of the district.

AND FURTHER NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, that for the purpose of voting at such meeting on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 the polls will be opened between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. prevailing time, and the voting will be held in the Port Jefferson Free Library Building.

AND FURTHER NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, that a copy of the statement of the amount of money which will be required for the ensuing year for the Port Jefferson Free Library’s purposes, exclusive of public moneys, may be seen by any taxpayer in the School District during the seven days immediately preceding said meeting, except holidays, at the Library: 100 Thompson Street, Port Jefferson, New York during regular library hours of service, between 9:30 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday; 9:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Saturday; 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, prevailing time.

A Budget Information Meeting will be held on Monday, March 25 at 6:30 p.m. in the Library Meeting Room.

By order of the
Board of Education
Union Free School District No. 6
Janice Baisley, District Clerk

2/14/19, 2/28/19, 3/14/19, 3/28/19

Science Joins to Create Artistic Pieces

Science Joins to Create Artistic Pieces photo
Third-graders were introduced to the art of marbleizing through science. The students discussed the properties of oil and water and why they don’t mix together. As they discovered that oil is less dense than the water, it causes it to float on the surface and they were able to use this to their advantage when creating marbleized paper. They poured oil paints into a water bath and used a tool to give it the marbleized or swirled design. They then placed paper across the top of the water bath and watched as it quickly absorbed the oil pigments before promptly lifting it off of the water and letting it dry on a flat surface.

“We use this paper as a background in a lesson about silhouettes and discovering positive and negative space,” art teacher Meghan McCarthy said. “This marbleized paper adds a little something special to our backgrounds and students love to create them!”


The February 12, 2019 regular monthly business meeting of the Port Jefferson School District Board of Education has been rescheduled to February 26, 2019, 7:30 p.m., at Edna Louise Spear Elementary School. Call to order will be 5:30 p.m. for the purpose of entering executive session to discuss legal and personnel matters. Regular business meetings of the Board of Education are live-streamed via the school district website. Business meeting agendas are available on the district’s website the day prior to the meeting. 

Alumnus Acapella

Alumnus Acapella photo
Many college students visit home during the winter holidays and Port Jefferson students were fortunate to have one of their one own alumni return to the school for an acapella performance.

Abby Bossert, a 2018 graduate, and a freshman at Binghamton University is part of the university’s No Strings Attached, a co-ed acapella group that brings the best of Broadway and Disney tunes to school audiences during their winter break.

The passionate and musical performance was punctuated with members speaking about their experiences with musical theater, New York’s Broadway scene and recently animated classics.

Masters of Math

Masters of Math photo
Students in Port Jefferson Middle School math teacher Matt Garofola’s Algebra 1 class have been involved in the Mathematical Association of America’s American Mathematics 8 Competition for close to a decade. With no formal preparation for the test, just some sample questions provided by Garofola, students applied classroom skills to unique mathematical challenges in a 25 question, multiple choice format. The exam helps to promote the development of problem-solving skills and an enjoyment and lifelong appreciation for the study of mathematics.

“I have seen more and more students embrace this challenge each year,” Mr. Garofola said. “Many of the students are eager to participate and challenge themselves to not only become our school and/or class champion, but to continue on in their studies of mathematical concepts and confidence in analytical thinking.”

The Port Jefferson Middle School is proud of its school participants and congratulates seventh-grader Michael Melikyan for correctly solving 14 out of the 25 questions and eighth-grader Teppei Fukuto for correctly answering 13 out of 25.

Makerspace Creativity and Collaboration

Makerspace Creativity and Collaboration photo
Port Jefferson Middle School students are engaging in the new Makerspace in the Middle School/High School library. Here, sixth-graders Alice Snyder and Emily Snyder are working on simple machines and will apply their own ideas and creativity to create other simple, maker-inspired projects. They also gain the skills of communication, collaboration and problem-solving, important requirements for working in Makerspaces.

Honored for Vision of Success

Honored for Vision of Success photo
Port Jefferson School District Special Education teachers Gina Fedler, Michelle Landetta and Christina Marino were recognized by Director of Special Education Dr. Jodi Cahill at a recent Board of Education meeting for their role in the development and enhancement of the 8:1:1 program (eight students, one teacher one teaching assistant) for middle school and high school students. Dr. Cahill mentioned their tireless work as well as their compassion, patience, skills and vision of success for the students as they prepare to become indepenedent members of the community as adults.

Dr. Cahill then presented an overview of the district’s secondary 8:1:1 special education program, which highlighted the evolution of the program that meets the specific needs of students who are New York State Alternately Assessed and are working towards a Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential. Both middle school and high school students are now taught in one larger, organized classroom space that is physically accessible for all students.

Lifting Spirits at LISFA

Lifting Spirits at LISFA photo
High school string students recently performed in the Secondary Long Island String Festival on Jan. 11 at St. John the Baptist High School. The students, Monica Alexander, Ju-Eun Ha, Rachel Park, Jack Reilly and Ava Schully were selected based on a competitive basis with New York State School Music Association scores as the main criteria along with teacher recommendations. The Port Jefferson School District extends its congratulations to the musicians.

Read All About it!

Read All About It photo
Port Jefferson Middle School students in Nancy Bachety’s Home and Career Skills classes spent time outside of class working on dozens of articles for Newsday’s Kidsday. As part of the project, students Ana Kelly, Hailey Sorell, Matthew Wengatz and Sean Wilson had a unique opportunity to interview comedian Sebastian Maniscalco in New York’s Four Seasons Hotel Downtown. “Our team of reporters worked hard preparing for the event which led to an amazing interview,” Principal Dr. Robert Neidig said.

Read their interview and save the dates for their other exciting stories, March 2-8.

12,000 miles apart, excellence in education brings them together

12,000 miles apart, excellence in education brings them together photo

A delegate of educators from the Chinese Province of Anhui were welcomed to the Port Jefferson School District to experience and learn about the educationalopportunities in an American school. Port Jefferson was selected as one of only two districts for its reputation as a highly successful school district.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Casciano welcomed the visitors in the Earl L. Vandermeulen High School library and introduced them to district administrators during a welcome reception that included Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusic performed by the middle school orchestra students under the direction of teacher Christian Neubert. Dr. Casciano’s remarks included a mention of the high school’s national Blue Ribbon status, the numerous graduates of the district who go on to attend some of the most competitive universities in the country and the diverse backgrounds of the students who attend the schools.

“Our education is well-rounded with many courses of study to meet the varied individual needs of our students,” Dr. Casciano said to the visitors. He also thanked them for visiting the schools and encouraging Port Jefferson’s educators to be reflective and constant in improving educational opportunities for students.

Student leaders and administrators then guided the educators on a comprehensive tour of the high school, middle school and Edna Louise Spear Elementary School.

Organized by Stony Brook University, three Mandarin language translators joined the educators as they witnessed interactive lessons, learned about mindfulness activities, listened to chorus members sing, tried out physical education equipment, watched students involved in art projects and, through the translators, asked thoughtful questions about reading, writing, life skills, and the high school’s numerous Advanced Placement classes in world history, statistics and physics. The visit culminated with a lunch and discussion on their educational perspectives and goals with the school district’s personnel.

VIDEO: Realistic Fiction


Hometown Talent Heads to Stony Brook University

Hometown Talent Heads to Stony Brook University photo
Aidan Kaminska has committed to the Stony Brook Seawolves and becomes the first Division I lacrosse commit to hail from Port Jefferson. Aidan, a junior, has been a two-year starter for Port Jefferson and plays for a highly competitive club team. His experiences have helped pave the way to a bright future both athletically and academically.

Port Jefferson’s varsity head coach Taylor Forstell sees this commitment as a great fit for both Aidan and the Stony Brook lacrosse program.

“Aidan has been a special player for our program for many years,” Mr. Forstell said. “He is visible all off-season putting in the extra time to improve his game. Morning workouts, late night training sessions and countless weekends at tournaments and prospect camps, he has earned his position at Stony Brook and we are proud of him representing Port Jefferson at such a high level of lacrosse.”

Teddy Bear Clinic!

Teddy Bear Clinic photo
Edna Louise Spear Elementary School students each brought a special stuffed animal guest from home when they took part in a teddy bear clinic, an injury prevention program for children sponsored by the Trauma Center at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital.

Learning safety topics such as using a seatbelt as a passenger in a car and wearing a helmet while biking or roller skating, the fun and interactive visit was well received by the students. Taught by Kristi Ladowski, outreach coordinator at the hospital, the students then donned scrubs, masks and surgical gloves to take care of their injured stuffed animals.

Port Jeff Peer Leadership Training

Port Jeff Peer Leadership Training photo
Dozens of Earl. L Vandermeulen High School students took part in a full day of training about the health effects of vaping and nicotine. Taught by Bonnie Anderson and John Martin, educators from the Suffolk County Department of Health’s Office of Health Education, the peer education, interactive format will help these student leaders share the lessons they learned to other students in both the high school and Port Jefferson Middle School.

The students viewed a Powerpoint presentation, were educated on the negative effects of electronic cigarettes, refusal skill development, learned about resources they can share and worked together to create improvisational vignettes, which they will continue to practice and refine to be ready to present to their peers.

“The more we educate our students, the more empowered they are to make positive decisions,” school social worker Kristin Britt said.

Music Students Attend Concert at Lincoln Center

Music Students Attend Concert at Lincoln Center photo
More than fifty Port Jefferson elementary, middle and high school string students and families attended an evening performance of the New York Philharmonic at David Geffen Hall in Lincoln Center. Attendees enjoyed the orchestra’s performance featuring world-renowned cellist Gautier Capicon. The students were accompanied by music teacher Christian Neubert and Director of Music and Fine Arts Dr. Michael Caravello.

More than Crimes and Misdemeanors

More than Crimes and Misdemeanors photo
Bringing textbook lessons to life was part of the crime scene-processing lesson for students in the high school’s forensics class. Taught by teacher Amanda Brideson, the three-week, hands-on activities included writing a mock crime scene story and then creating a detailed crime scene in a shoebox. The creative juices were flowing as students used materials including Legos, Barbie Dolls, clay and incorporated local venues including supermarkets, beaches and theaters as part of their stories.

Royal Talent

Royal Talent photo
Congratulations to the Royals varsity field hockey team on an exceptional season. The talents of six players were recognized at the Section XI awards ceremony held in December. Student Phalina Sciara was named All-County; Taylor Corallo, Sydney Fallon and Katelynn Johnston were named All- Division; Farrah Ghaleb received an Unsung Hero award and Charlotte Kujawski was named All-Tournament.

An Alumnus Among Us

An Alumnus Among Us photo
Earl L. Vandermeulen High School alumnus Marguerite Jones recently spoke with the high school music ensembles to discuss potential college and career opportunities in music performance and administration. A 2009 graduate of the high school, Marguerite is presently working in Julliard’s Pre-College Division. She explained how her high school and college music experiences prepared her for a career in the field of music and offered advice for those seeking to follow a similar path.

Fitness Center is Open!

Fitness Center is Open photo
The Fitness Center at Earl L. Vandermeulen High School is open Monday through Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. when school is in session. The Fitness Center underwent some changes last summer and now includes equipment additions such as the Deck 2.0 workout platform, which can be set up around its three modes: Step, Bench and Ramp, Corebags, and Kettlebells and Medicine Balls, all of which can be used for fundamental movements such as squatting, bending, lunging and pushing.

According to Adam Sherrard, Director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics, in addition to the power lifting equipment the room is designed to facilitate functional fitness exercises to help improve core strength, balance, and cardiovascular health, as well as promote relaxation.

Feburary BOE Meetings

boe feb img

Compassion and Carols Throughout the District

Compassion and Carols Throughout the District photo
Students and staff members throughout the Port Jefferson schools helped spread holiday cheer through festive concerts, toy and food collections and seasonal carol-grams.

The elementary, middle school and high school winter concerts were joyful celebrations throughout December.

Members of Earl L. Vandermeulen High School’s chorus delivered holiday carol-grams to the delight of recipients and onlookers. Their songs of the season surprised and delighted classmates, teachers, staff members and administrators.

With the generosity of so many in the schools and community and various clubs and school organizations, 17 families in the Port Jefferson school community were gifted with food baskets and other needed items. Members of the National Honor Society, along with advisers Mary Lacita and Kathi Galvin, hosted a food fundraiser, which was all donated to the program run by social worker Kristin Britt. The high school Student Organization, under the leadership of adviser Gina Fedler, joined in the giving by creating breakfast baskets for all of the families also.

Along with Port Jefferson Middle School teachers Christina Marino and Kayleen Everitt, the National Junior Honor Society collected gifts to donate to children in need as part of a toy drive for the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless.

“Our goal was to make a difference and bring some holiday cheer to the families in need,” Ms. Marino said. The students and staff donated a total of 60 gifts to the coalition.

At Edna Louise Spear Elementary School, under the leadership of guidance counselor Jessica Peterson, staff, students and parents collected toys, gift cards and other items and worked along with members of the Port Jefferson Library and Port Jefferson Fire Department to ensure a happy holiday for eight families with 17 Port Jefferson children in total.
Tuesday, February 19, 2019