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Legal Notice - Comptrollers Report


Notice is hereby given that the fiscal affairs of the Port Jefferson Union Free School District for the period beginning on July 1, 2016 and ending on September 30, 2017 have been examined by the Office of the State Comptroller and that the Report of Examination prepared by the Office of the State Comptroller has been filed in my office where it is available as a public record for inspection by all interested persons. Pursuant to Section 35 of the General Municipal Law, the Governing Board of the Port Jefferson Union Free School District prepared a written response to the Report of Examination by the Office of the State Comptroller and said response is appended to the Report of Examination.

Janice Baisley, District Clerk
Port Jefferson Union Free School District


A special meeting of the Port Jefferson School District Board of Education will be held on August 28, 2018, 1:00 p.m., at the District Office, for needed items prior to school opening.

The regular monthly business meeting of the Port Jefferson School District Board of Education will be held on September 17, 2018, 7:30 p.m., at Edna Louise Spear Elementary School.  Call to order will be at 6:00 p.m. for the purpose of entering executive session to discuss personnel and legal matters.

High Rankings on Best School District List

High Rankings on Best School District List photo
In recognition of its exceptional educational program, the district has received high rankings in’s annual list of best elementary, middle and high schools, and school districts.

The district has been ranked No. 2 in Suffolk County, with the high school, middle school and elementary school receiving rankings of No. 10, No. 5 and No. 6, respectively. It also received a ranking at No. 29 in New York State and No. 144 nationally.

Port Jefferson’s academics, administrative leadership, college preparation, attention to health and safety, quality of teaching, resources and facilities for students, clubs and activities, and sports programs received an overall grade of A+ from the organization. Rankings are based on comprehensive school data from the U.S. Department of Education, as well as school reviews and online survey responses. According to, public school districts are carefully selected, with ranking criteria representing a healthy balance between statistical rigor and practical relevance.

District welcomes new athletic director

District welcomes new athletic director photo
The district has named Adam Sherrard the new Director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics, effective July 25, 2018.

Mr. Sherrard possesses an extensive background in educational leadership, teaching and coaching in Prince George County, MD, as well as locally in Smithtown and Huntington. He holds New York State professional certifications in school district and school building leadership, physical education, health and as an attendance teacher. He is also certified in crisis prevention intervention, CPR, first aid and AED (Automated External Defibrillation).

Throughout his professional career, Mr. Sherrard has taught physical education at all grade levels, most recently at the Jack Abrams STEM Intermediate School in the Huntington Union Free School District. His diverse undertakings include implementing and ensuring the knowledge and compliance of New York State Public High School Athletic Association, Section XI and Department of Health regulations, securing grant funds to support student wellness – including a filtered water fountain and fitness equipment for an adaptive physical education program, collaborating on and implementing a district student wellness policy, and leading professional development to physical education teachers on incorporating technology into the curriculum.

“The energy and enthusiasm that Mr. Sherrard exudes will serve our district well,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Casciano. “We look forward to his leadership and progressive ideas in building on the many successes of our athletic program. Mr. Sherrard will continue to move us in the positive direction of our physical education and health education programs. This includes social and emotional growth opportunities to ensure our students have the support systems needed to succeed.”

Mr. Sherrard, a resident of Farmingville, earned an advanced graduate certificate in educational leadership from SUNY Stony Brook and a Master of Arts in educational leadership and administration from Touro University International. He holds a Bachelor of Science in physical education from Cortland University.

“I’m eager to work with the students, staff, nurses, administrators, coaches and parents in the district,” Mr. Sherrard said. “Since I first arrived here, I noticed the commitment to the well-being of students is profound and I look forward to continuing to strengthen the positive environment in the Port Jefferson School District.”

Strummer fun for music students

Strummer fun for music students photo
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Strummer fun for music students photo 3
Strummer fun for music students photo 4
Numerous Port Jefferson students take advantage of the musical offerings to keep up their skills on their respective instruments at the annual Summer Music Camp at Port Jefferson.

From beginner woodwind and string lessons and jump-start programs to prepare for New York State School Music Association solo performances during the academic year, the camp is an opportunity for students to learn from music teachers Mark Abbonizio and Christian Neubert and share in an enjoyable and positive educational experience.

The beginner ukulele class is one of the favored choices for students to master the many chords, measured strumming patterns and popular songs in a foot-tapping and rhythmic environment.

Summer Newsletter Now Available


Two selected for athletic leadership roles

Two selected for athletic leadership roles photo
Two students from the high school have been selected to serve as Suffolk County representatives for the Section XI Student-Athlete Advisory Council.

Samantha Ayotte, a sophomore and Lia Desmond, a junior, will both serve in this leadership role with approximately 22 selected students throughout Suffolk County who will work together to help enhance the high school student-athlete experience.

Athletic Department representatives from each school from the 130+ member schools in Section XI were asked to nominate three students, making it unique that two from Port Jefferson were selected.

Congratulations to Samantha and Lia for their dedication in helping to promote sportsmanship and positive relationships with other student-athletes, coaches, spectators, families and administrators.

State athletic distinction for high school

State athletic distinction for high school photo
To culminate a successful year of athletic accomplishments, the high school was officially named a 2018 School of Distinction by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association on July 12. The high school joins nine other schools in NYSPHAA’s Section XI and only 30 across the state to be recognized with the honor.

The School of Distinction awards were established to help unite varsity coaches in challenging their teams to achieve a statewide honor. To earn the distinction, a school must have 100 percent of its varsity teams qualify for and receive the Scholar-Athlete team award during their respective sports seasons. All of Port Jefferson’s 22 varsity teams for the 2017-18 school year were awarded Scholar-Athlete recognition, in which the average GPA for 75 percent of the roster was greater than or equal to 90.

Congratulations to the student-athletes, coaches, teachers and administration for a continued focus on excellence in the classroom as well as the individual accomplishments and teamwork in their respective sports.

Board members sworn in at reorganization meeting

Board members sworn in at reorganization meeting photo
Board members sworn in at reorganization meeting photo 2
Three members of the district’s Board of Education took the oath of office at the annual reorganization meeting on July 10. Renee Tidwell and Ryan Walker each raised their right hand and swore the oath administered by District Clerk Janice Baisley to commence their first three-year terms as trustees. Re-elected incumbent Tracy Zamek was also sworn in by Mrs. Baisley to begin her second term. The board reinstalled Kathleen Brennan as president and elected to appoint Mrs. Zamek as vice president. Mrs. Baisley was then sworn in by Mrs. Brennan to serve the 2018-19 school year as district clerk.

Congratulations to the Class of 2018

HS Graduation 2018 photo

The 124th high school graduation took place on June 22. The ceremony began with the processional and national anthem performed by the high school concert band under the direction of Christine Creighton and the traditional Color Guard presented by members of the Port Jefferson Fire Department. Board of Education President Kathleen Brennan, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Casciano and Principal Christine Austen offered encouraging words to the 89 graduates. Seniors Billy Scannell and Ben Zaltsman addressed their peers and Joseph Collins, father of twin graduates Joey Collins and Jack Collins, presented the parent speech in addition to valedictorian Ibuki Iwasaki and salutatorian Eli Doyle, who both reflected on the past and celebrated the future with their fellow graduates.

The festive ceremony ended with the release of a huge banner from the school’s rooftop created by retired art teacher Carrie Morgan to celebrate the Earl L. Vandermeulen High School Class of 2018.

Onward and upward for middle school graduates

moving up photo

Port Jefferson Middle School eighth-grade students were honored at the annual moving up ceremony on June 21 at the high school.

With welcome remarks by Principal Dr. Robert Neidig, the 83 students of the Class of 2022 were recognized for their academic and athletic achievements and several special recognitions, Presidential Awards for Academic Excellence and certificates to signify their move to high school. Eighth-grade Student Council President Emily Hearney then addressed her classmates with reflection on their academic years together.

Jessica Schmettan, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, then presented congratulatory remarks and assisted Dr. Neidig with awarding diplomas.

Schmettan offered words of encouragement to the students and commended the school community, friends, classmates and family members for the structured village of support to help the students succeed in high school and beyond.

“The independence and maturity that you have begun to develop in middle school will continue to shape you as young adults ready to take on the world,” she said to the graduates. “Your village will be there [to support you.]”

Fifth-graders share kindness 1.5K miles away

Fifth-graders share kindness 1.5K miles away photo
As part of the fifth-grade social studies curriculum, students held a charity drive to help children in Haiti.

Mrs. Kari Costanzo’s class conducted a schoolwide recycling effort to raise funds for food and supplies for those in need. They also brought in clothing and shoes. Students learned that for just 10 cents, which is the recycling of two water bottles, a child can eat for a day in Haiti.

One student remarked about how thankful she is when realizing how different it is to live in Port Jefferson.

“The students are proud of their accomplishments and understand how they can make a difference in other people’s lives with efforts of kindness and giving,” Mrs. Costanzo said.

A celebration of a primary educational journey

A celebration of a primary educational journey photo

Eighty-seven students from the elementary school were celebrated for their advancement to Port Jefferson Middle School at the annual Grade 5 Moving Up Ceremony on June 20.

Members of the Class of 2025 were honored with achievement and classroom awards, safety patrol and principal recognitions, as well as certificates to signify their promotion to middle school.

Deputy Superintendent Sean Leister, Assistant Principal Claudia Smith, fifth-grade teachers and Pauline Spiller, mother of graduate Cristyn Spiller, addressed the students with words of congratulations and pride.

Principal Thomas Meehan ended the ceremony with closing remarks that highlighted the students’ journey from pre-K through grade 5. To much applause and laughter, he quoted Ellen DeGeneres: “Follow your passion, stay true to yourself, never follow someone else’s path unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path — then, by all means, you should follow that.”

The traditional class gift — a bench with the school logo for the courtyard at the elementary school — was presented by Caroline Orofino, mother of Angela Orofino, and Lisa Becherer, mother of Molly Becherer.

The event culminated with the students singing “This Is Me,” the anthem from “The Greatest Showman” and an ice cream social for graduates and their guests.

Four participate in National History Bee

Four participate in National History Bee photo
Four participate in National History Bee photo 2
Four participate in National History Bee photo 3
Four participate in National History Bee photo 4
Four students from the district qualified and participated in the National History Bee, which took place recently in Atlanta.

Eighth-grader Andrew Patterson, fifth-graders Aoife Hogan and Jack Snyder and fourth-grader Christopher Nam competed with students from across the country. After succeeding in the classroom level competition, the students attended the regional finals before being invited to compete at the national level.

On behalf of the entire school community, congratulations to Andrew, Jack, Aoife and Christopher on their continuing pursuit of knowledge. Their motivation and enthusiasm for learning will serve them well in their academic career.

A triumphant season for JV baseball

A triumphant season for JV baseball photo
Members of the district’s baseball program were recognized for their impressive accomplishments at the Suffolk County Baseball Awards Banquet, held at Villa Lombardi of Holbrook on June 13.

Brothers Hunter Ginas and Peyton Ginas, a senior and a sophomore, respectively, were honored as All-League 9 All-Stars for the 2018 season; this is Hunter’s third consecutive year receiving such honors. Jordan Suarez, a junior, was honored as an All-League player for the 2018 season. Also, Coach Ryan McCormick was bestowed with Junior Varsity Coach of the Year honors, as Port Jeff’s JV team went undefeated in league play this year.

Educators and Administrators Honored

Educators and Administrators Honored photo
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Educators and Administrators Honored photo 3
The Port Jefferson School District Board of Education honored district educators and administrators who were granted tenure in the 2017-18 academic year. They were recognized at a recent Board of Education meeting and each received a plaque for their achievement.

Congratulations to the following district professionals on receiving tenure this year:

Christine Austen, Earl L. Vandermeulen High School principal; Kevin Bernier, high school assistant principal; Dr. Jodi Cahill, the district’s director of special education; Mary Lyons, ESOL instructor; Dr. Robert Neidig, Port Jefferson Middle School principal; Steven Orlowski, special education teacher; Jessica Schmettan, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction; and Claudia Smith, assistant principal of Port Jefferson Middle School and Edna Louise Spear Elementary School.

Also at the meeting, Board members Dr. Mark Doyle and Vincent Ruggiero were recognized for their service to the school community, as was senior Max Okst, who served this year as the student representative. They were each presented with a plaque. Board President Kathleen Brennan commended Doyle and Ruggiero for their tremendous amount of work and consistent participation in Board activities over the years, and she wished Max well in his educational journey.

Fifty-two students honored with Presidential Volunteer Service Award

Fifty-two students honored with Presidential Volunteer Service Award photo
Fifty-two students were honored with the Presidential Volunteer Service Award.

Coordinated by Port Jefferson resident Jackie Hull, the recognition is given to each student for their active volunteer service of between 50 and 100 hours in the community. They were presented with a certificate at a ceremony attended by members of the Board of Education, school community and families for their sustained commitment to civic participation throughout the year.

The district has participated in the PVSA since 2010 when it started with one student earning the award. This year’s honorees were recognized with a combined total of more than 7,300 volunteer hours for the 2017-18 school year.

“These same students typically are very involved in school as well at the community and participate in honors classes, music programs and sports,” said Hull. “The fact that they take time out of their very busy days to help others in [the] community should be commended. I’m glad to have the PVSA to show our appreciation for all their hard work.”

The students are: Chloe Andriani, Aiden Barrett, Ella Kate Barrett, Lexi Becker, Jessica Boswell, Emma Byrne, Giancarlo Caltagirone, Sam Caltagirone, Conor Daily, Kayla Daily, Carley Davidson, Lia Desmond, Lucy DeWitt, Dylan Dugourd, Kayla Fox, Atticus Furjanic, Emily Hearney, Hailey Hearney, Sarah Hull, Grace Keegan, Joshua Kelson, Ameen Khan, Jedd Kronberg, Beverly Ann Maier, Emmett Maier, Aidan Malinowski, Colin Malinowski, Ryan Parmegiani, Skylar Pine, Fiona Reichers, Jack Reilly, David Rotunno, Sarah Ruggiero, Lily Russell, Chloe Savino, Mia Savino, Brianna Scarda, Andrew Scott, Christine Scott, Pratham Sethia, Rishabh Pratap Singh, Rohan Pratap Singh, Camryn Spiller, Jillian Sullivan, Luigia Than, Pina Than, Ava Timpanaro, Kayla Timpanaro, Annalisa Welinder, Lucas Welinder, Peggy Yin and Brooke Zamek.

A celebration of African cultures

A celebration of African cultures photo
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A celebration of African cultures photo 3
A celebration of African cultures photo 4

Third-grade students in Doreen Marullo’s and Jacqueline Gandolfo’s class culminated their yearlong social studies curriculum with a festive event – MoMA (Museum of Marullo’s/Gandolfo’s Authors).

Through their studies on communities around the world, the students compared the two African countries of Kenya and Egypt. They researched the culture, geography, history, government and economy of each country. They also read numerous books, took extensive notes to write research books with informational paragraphs, created art projects, composed songs, wrote poetry and presented information about specific topics in a skit. Other grade levels and classes were invited to visit MoMA, while the third-graders acted as tour guides giving information about different aspects of the museum.‚Äč


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.

Celebrating unique qualities

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.

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.”

Saturday, August 18, 2018