Hospital For A Day Cancelled

Hi all - as many of you already know, we have a delayed opening due to the anticipated weather.  Therefore, we will have to cancel Hospital for a Day program at Silas Wood. We will be back in touch regarding possible rescheduling. 



Wildcat Cheerleaders Take 2nd Place in LI Championships


We just got some great news from Varsity Cheerleading coach Tracy Koch:

On Sunday, February 1st, the Walt Whitman Varsity Cheerleading team competed at the 2015 LICCA Cheerleading Championships amongst the top competitive small varsity teams across Long Island. Due to Cheerleading becoming an official New York State Sport this year, this was the very last LICCA Championship event.

The Varsity team won 2nd place, taking home a trophy to represent South Huntington with all smiles. They also finished 3rd in the Power Four event earning bronze medals. Congratulations to Natalie Dunn, Sabrina Philippe, Cheryl Rodriguez, and Kiara Brown.  This was the last time LICCA will ever hold the power four event, Whitman remains holding the Power-Four record forever. Thank you so much to all the parents for their continued dedication to the Wildcat Cheerleading Program. A special thanks to Dr. Wright for all his support.

The Varsity team is off to the National High School Cheerleading Championships in Orlando, Florida this Thursday morning. Good luck athletes, you always make us proud. Go Wildcats!


Dual Language Kindergarten Game Night

As families left singing “Es hora de decir adios,” they took new games home to play and have new friends to keep in touch with through their Dual Language journey.
“We had a really great time. It was wonderfully organized and executed. What a great way for the parents to make connections. Really a genius idea! Glad to be a part!”- From a parent in attendance.
An introduction to the District’s Dual Language program welcomed parents and encouraged them to partner with our schools as their children learn in two languages.

On Thursday, January 22, Countrywood’s Kindergarten Dual Language families came back to school for their first Spanish Game Night.  On the call of “¡Vamos a jugar!” parents and children gathered around tables to play board games and to make connections. Parent were genuinely excited as they look forward to partnering with our schools as their children learn in two languages.

On this frigid Thursday evening, Countrywood’s cafeteria was filled with laughter, learning, and the buzz of new friendships forming.  Over 50 families enjoyed games for children of all ages, practiced math, reading in Spanish, and met other families who share the goal of raising bilingual children.

As families left singing “Es hora de decor adiós,” they took new games home to play and have new friends to keep in touch with through their Dual Language journey. 

Silas Wood Teacher Michelle Berger Wins Tech Award

Silas Wood teacher Michelle Berger with Principal Steve Toto at the ASSET Awards luncheon.

The annual ASSET Awards Luncheon was held this past week and Silas Wood teacher Michelle Berger was recognized with a “Bright Lights” award as an outstanding educator for her use of technology in the classroom. The Suffolk ASSET organization is a group of educators and corporations dedicated to enhancing teaching and learning through the use of computers and other educational technologies.

“Ms. Berger is committed to 21st century learning through the use of technology,” said Silas Wood Principal Steve Toto.  “The integration of technology in her classroom has increased student engagement, enhanced learning, and opened the door to countless opportunities.”

Attendees at the luncheon got to hear firsthand how teachers across Long Island are rolling out projects and ideas, and how they got to be "Bright Lights."  But the day wasn’t all about honoring our “Bright Lights.” Grants were being awarded in a “Shark Tank“ like atmosphere that gave each Bright Light honoree 2 minutes to present what they believed their district could benefit from the most and why. “My presentation focused on allowing my students to create a three-dimensional object that they view on a 2-dimensional screen, but get to ‘print’ using a three dimensional printer,” said Ms. Berger.

We congratulate Ms. Berger on her Asset Bright Lights award. We hear that the lucky students at Silas Wood will soon have their own three-dimensional printer. 

It’s "Souper" Bowl Time at Countrywood!

Countrywood’s second-grade Student Council members with their advisors, left to right: Ms. Patricia Trebour and Ms. Patricia Burr.

Their favorite NFL teams may or may not be playing in this season's Super Bowl, but that didn’t deflate the Countrywood school community from helping tackle hunger by donating cans of soup that will be given to the Huntington Food Council to help local families in need.

Countrywood’s second-grade Student Council coordinated the efforts.  Today, January 30th is the last day to donate and members of the student council got together with their advisors to grab a celebratory photo.

Go Countrywood!

Swimming With Sharks

Congratulations to Team Up Co-Founders left to right: Lauren Civello, Jessica Young, John Vesque, and Marcus Zaif.
Right to left, the sharks consisted of: Whitman Principal Kathie Acker, mathematics teacher Malaury Samedy, Assistant Principals Jon Varlamos and Scott Muller, and Whitman’s College and Career Ready Coach, Rob Callahan.

A shark tank experience was waiting for Walt Whitman’s entrepreneurship classes, and the sharks ate up the presenters like chum.

As an avid viewer of the popular television series “The Shark Tank,” Ms. Lillian Hsiao, Whitman’s business entrepreneurship class instructor, credits the show for giving her a new set of tools to teach entrepreneurship in an interesting and fun way. “'Shark Tank' represents real-life evaluation of entrepreneurs trying to bring their products to a mass market,” said Ms. Hsiao. “Many of my students have started watching 'Shark Tank' with their families.” The "Shark Tank" experience, presented in Whitman’s Performing Arts Center, gave her students a real-time and real-life experience to pitch their concept and strategy and then answer questions from a panel of "sharks."

The classes are part of Whitman’s Business Education Department, and this class specifically is designed to give students the skills needed to effectively organize, develop, create, and manage their own businesses. Students worked in small teams to create and develop a business plan that they presented to a panel of "sharks" as they tried to secure funding for their companies. After the first round of "Whitman Shark Tank," students will incorporate comments by the "sharks" as they look to fine-tune their presentations in preparation for round two.

The students' comments on how they would improve their presentations ranged from: "We should have proofread our documents. In the real Shark Tank, they would have sent us home right away" to "I needed to speak louder, and to improve on this, I need to practice public speaking" and "We needed to prepare more before we presented to the sharks. Next time I could improve on this by writing something up beforehand to read in front of the sharks."

The sharks consisted of Whitman Principal Kathie Acker, mathematics teacher Malaury Samedy, Assistant Principals Jon Varlamos and Scott Muller, and Whitman’s College and Career Ready Coach, Rob Callahan.

The first round was an eye opener for our students and their teacher. “The overall experience for me as a teacher was a great learning curve,” said Ms. Hsiao. “I definitely felt overprotective during the challenge as I watched my students squirm and their faces deflate as the sharks grilled them. But I made mental notes on how I could help them prepare in the classroom before the next challenge.”

The sharks did invest in one of the five companies looking to secure funding. Team Up Foundation, a not-for-profit entity that raises money to teach kids how to play team sports, presented a buttoned-up approach and confidently answered questions that satisfied the hungry sharks. Congratulations to Team Up Co-Founders: Lauren Civello, Jessica Young, John Vesque, and Marcus Zaif.



Lady Wildcat Fencers Ready for County Tournament

Whitman senior captain Alexandra Alpy could finish out her high school career at the LI Championships, right here at Walt Whitman.
Isabel Sakarin is our top Saber fencer and looks to close out the regular season on a high note.

Whitman senior Alexandra Alpy is having another great year as the premier Epee fencer for the Wildcats. “Alex took second place in the Brentwood Holiday Tournament,” said varsity girls coach Barton Allen. “She then went on to place 24th in the USA Fencing Association Junior tournament.”

Topping out at the other fencing weapons for Whitman is Isabel Sakarin at Saber, and according to coach Allen, Whitman junior Kayla Soulias is the strongest foil fencer for the lady Wildcats. “All of the girls work hard and are very competitive,” said coach Allen. “They excel academically, we probably have one of the highest grade point averages of any of our sports teams.” Captains Alexandra Alpy, Isabel Sakarin and Haley Gladitsch, all seniors who possess dedicated leadership talent, work hard with their younger fencers helping them to progress and be competitive. “They’re a great group of girls who try hard and never give up,’ said coach Allen.

Come out and support both our girls and boys fencing teams at their home meet in Whitman’s south gymnasium today, Thursday, January 29th at 6PM.

Photo Gallery

1/29/2015 6:00 PM Newfield SOUTH GYM

1/31/2015 9AM & 11:00 AM TriMeet with Ward Melville and Huntington  @ Jack Abrams School           

2/4/2015 6:00 PM H H Hills @ Walt Whitman SOUTH GYM

Fencing Championships

2/7 - Section XI Championship, at Half Hollow Hills East, 9 am ($6 Adm)

2/10 - Long Island Championships at Walt Whitman, 6 pm ($7 Adm)


Varsity Fencing Season Winding Down

Senior Captain Thomas Ferrante is finishing up a strong season and is looking forward to the Section XI Championships at Half Hollow Hills East, at 9AM on Saturday February 7th.
Senior Captain Ben Sakarin and his Whitman Wildcats will host the Long Island Championships at Walt Whitman, at 6 pm on Tuesday, February 10th.
Whitman Sophomore Adam Meskill is having a good season and will be counted on to help lead the young team.

Walt Whitman’s Boys Fencing has been progressing steadily and presently possesses a 3-7 record with 3 meets left in their schedule. “The team works hard and keeps their spirits high,” said Varsity Coach Jeremy Allen. “We have some strong fencers in each weapon that help carry the team.”  With few very experienced fencers on the team, many younger fencers are getting quality experience that should serve the Wildcats well in future seasons.

Senior left-handed Epee fencer Thomas Ferrante is having a strong season. “Thomas works very hard, does private lessons outside of school, travels to the national meets and really gives his all to fencing,” said coach Allen.  Other strengths on the boy’s team include seniors Ben Sakarin and Zachary Pietsch. “Ben’s doing really well as a Saber fencer and Zach, who has been fencing for only 3 years has really opened some eyes, giving many Saber fencers who have been at it much longer a real run.”

Captains for this season include Thomas Ferrante, Ben Sakarin, and Sophomore Foil fencer Adam Meskill. “There is an excellent camaraderie and they’re always rooting for each other,” said Coach Allen.  “Today’s seniors are helping to build tomorrow’s seniors. Fencing is a sport that requires tremendous dedication and practice and those fencers, both here at Whitman as well as all over Section II, who extend their season outside of high school tend to do the best.”

Photo Gallery

1/29/2015 6:00 PM Newfield SOUTH GYM

1/31/2015 9AM & 11:00 AM TriMeet with Ward Melville and Huntington  @ Jack Abrams School           

2/4/2015 6:00 PM H H Hills @ Walt Whitman SOUTH GYM

Fencing Championships

2/7 - Section XI Championship, at Half Hollow Hills East, 9 am ($6 Adm)

2/10 - Long Island Championships at Walt Whitman, 6 pm ($7 Adm)


Kleberg Posts Season High Against Central Islip

Whitman senior Julian Kleberg (14) had a season high of 15-points against Central Islip
Whitman’s Andre Harris (25) keeps the ball moving as he looks to get past Central Islip’s 6’4” center Raliek Leonard (45).
Senior Jordan Aiken (10) nails a 3-pointer late in the game to keep his Wildcats close.

The Boys varsity basketball team stands at 5-5 in League II play and prepares to tipoff against three teams that sit atop League standings. At a recent game against then undefeated Central Islip, the Wildcats played tough and coaches Tom Fitzpatrick and Ray Eatmon are proud of their teams effort.  “Our man-to-man defense is coming along, our slides are getting better, unfortunately we were just a couple baskets short,” said Coach Fitzpatrick in the 38-43 loss to the leagues top team.

“The guys hung in there and worked hard to come back, especially in the 2nd period when they went on a strong offensive run outscoring CI 16-9. A good part of that offensive run is credited to senior forward Julian Kleberg who had an outstanding game.  “It was one of Julian’s best games with a personal high of 15 points,” said Coach Fitzpatrick.  Andre Harris, once again showed why he’s been the Wildcats most consistent player scoring 10 points on the evening.

“The team as a whole has been a resilient bunch this year and I expect that to continue,” said coach Fitzpatrick. “We thank all the fans for their support and look forward to finishing strong in our last four games of the regular season.”

1/29/2015 5:00 PM H H Hills East @ Walt Whitman NORTH GYM

1/31/2015 12:00 PM Walt Whitman @ Connetquot Connetquot HS

2/3/2015 6:00 PM Walt Whitman @ Bay Shore Bay Shore HS

2/6/2015 5:00 PM Northport @ Walt Whitman NORTH GYM

STEM Competition @ Silas Wood


“This is so difficult.  It sounded like a cinch at first,” said a 6th grade science student as he attempted to get his teams structure to stand. Science classes at Silas Wood were all very busy this past fall as students worked with their classmates on an exciting STEM activity. Students were given the task of creating a freestanding structure using fifty straws and fifty paper clips. Students worked cooperatively in groups to build their structure so that it was not only freestanding but also as tall as they could make it.

Students applied their mathematical skills by using angles and measurements in their design. “I had a great time even though my group couldn't get our structure to stand up,” said a Silas Wood student. “In doing this project, we learned the importance of team work and communication to complete the task.”  The students also acted as engineers when designing the framework for their structure. "I can't believe that we used science and math in this one activity," said another 6th grader. Students enjoyed racing against the clock to complete this task in the thirty minutes they were given.

The team that was most successful at this task consisted of Leo, Faith, Sarah, Nilsen, Bill and Justin. Congratulations to all of our Silas Wood STEM students.

Photo Gallery

Volunteers Needed: Special Olympics New York Spring Games

On Sunday May 3, 2015, Walt Whitman High School will host the 2015 Special Olympics New York Spring Games North. Join us as our athletes compete in Track and Field and Tennis events. They are sure to excite and inspire you!

Volunteers Needed:

Set-up and breakdown sport venues, keep score during competition, help Sport Directors in running the event, stage athletes, and help with our Opening Ceremonies, among other things.

Use the link below to register to volunteer:

Important Contact Information for Emergency and Non-Emergency Use

Here are several Suffolk County Emergency Services Links:



Non-emergencies requiring police response:



24 Hour Emergency Contact Phone Number by Town





East Hampton








Shelter Island









Suffolk County:

  • Suffolk County Health Dept. 631-854-0000

  • Emergencies after 5:00 PM & Weekends 631-852-4820

  • Public Health Hotline 631-787-2200

  • Suffolk County Public Works 631-852-4010

  • Suffolk County Office of the Aging 631-853-8200

Emergency Sheltering:

  • If you are homeless and in need of shelter - Please call the Suffolk County Department of Social Services 8am-4pm  - Monday to Friday – Please call the SC DSS Temporary Housing Assistance Unit at, (631) 854 9517

  • After  4:30pm, Weekends & Holidays - Please call the SC DSS Emergency Services Unit at, (631)854-9100.

Heating Emergencies (Fuel & Repair):

  • If you are out of home heating fuel or in need of an emergency burner repair Please call the Suffolk County Department of Social Services. 8am-4pm  - Monday to Friday – Please call the SC DSS Home Energy Assistance Program at, (631) 853-8820.   After  4:30pm, Weekends & Holidays Please call the SC DSS Emergency Services Unit, at (631)854-9100.



Making Linguistic Connections at Oakwood and Countrywood

High school students gather at Countrywood to get their room assignments.
This was a great way for younger children, shown here at Oakwood, to see how beneficial and enjoyable learning a second language can be, even as they get older!
Oakwood students thought the high school students were ‘very talented and creative.’ They loved the games at the end of the stories as well.

Spanish Honors teacher Ms. Aileen D’Addario and her Walt Whitman High School students visited the dual-language kindergarten, first-, and second-grade classes at Countrywood and Oakwood Primary Centers and the experienced proved to be enriching for everyone.

Our youngest students were very excited to meet their grownup visitors and they were not disappointed. The Whitman students had written whimsical Spanish fables to share, but the morning turned into so much more.

“This year's visit from the high school students was incredible. Not only did they share their own stories, but they had them on school iPads,” said Countrywood’s dual-language kindergarten teacher, Ms. Maria Rodriguez.  “It was wonderful to watch the veteran dual-language students interact with the younger dual-language students,” said Ms. Jeannette DeNuzzo, Oakwood’s kindergarten dual-language teacher. “The older students got a glimpse back at where they were, and the younger students admired what they will grow to be.”

The high school Spanish students used IPads to write, illustrate, and record sounds, which brought their stories to life. “The integration of technology is a wonderful supplemental tool used to foster communication and help develop and enhance students’ language,” said Lendy Milo, a second-grade dual-language teacher at Oakwood. The high school students also included something special for their younger friends by creating fun follow-up activities. “The second-grade dual-language students really enjoyed the stories that the high school students created on the iPads,” said Countrywood’s second-grade teacher Ms. Cyndi Covington. “They thought the high school students were ‘very talented and creative.’  They loved the games at the end of the stories as well.”

The primary students were mesmerized by the creative stories presented to them. What an amazing way for Spanish learners at all levels to connect and for young Spanish students to have a look into their future academic adventures. “Having the high school students in our classroom allowed our first graders to see how their Spanish education can develop and grow if they continue to work hard,” said Ms. Krystin Babcock, a first-grade teacher at Countrywood. Ms. Cristina Pica, a second-grade teacher at Oakwood agrees with her colleague. "This was a great way for younger children to see how beneficial and enjoyable learning a second language can be, even as they get older!"

Countrywood’s Ms. Rodriguez summed up the morning perfectly with the following: “Our dual-language kindergartners were excited, engaged, and amazed to see such young authors. The stories were also interactive, and the high school students were great with the little ones. We were happy to have them visit. I can't imagine what they will come up with next year!”

It certainly makes us proud to know that Walt Whitman High School has such positive role models to share with our younger students. Congratulations Walt Whitman students: Siam Ahmed, Angelique Auriemma, Lauren Beaubrun, Britney Benitez, Emily Blank, Christopher Canales, Amy Chan, Aris Chavez, Taylor Epstein, Derek Gianchetta, Nosheib Jadoon, Karthikeyan Mayilvahanan, Avery McKenzie, Mark Theodore Meneses, Michael Morck II, Meagan O’Donnell, Olivia Poplawski, Julianna Richter, Cecelia Shedlow, Deja Tejada, Kiran Usmani,Timothy Brady, Elvin Campos, Gabriella Cipriano, Katherine Cox, Alexis Cummings, Ilana Desmond, Dylan Diamond, Kristina Diaz, Kevin Garay, Richard Hauser, Matthew Havekotte, Giovanni Herrera, Matthew Jacobsen, Kelsey McDonald, Shealyn Naughten, and Sarah Panza.

Photo Gallery

Part 154 ELL Regulations Presented @ BOE meeting

Assistant Superintendent for Instruction and Curriculum Dr. Jared Bloom answers questions from the BOE and audience about the 154 Requirements.

At Wednesday night's Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Dr. Dave Bennardo and Assistant Superintendent for Instruction and Curriculum Dr. Jared Bloom made a presentation to the Board and public in attendance about “Part 154 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.”

This regulation began in 1974 in a landmark United States Supreme Court decision to establish the right of English Language Learners (ELL) students to have “a meaningful opportunity to participate in the educational program.”

In order to better serve the needs of New York State’s expanding multilingual population, the NYS Department of Education engaged stakeholders to enhance and strengthen programs and services required in Part 154 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.

While the official reading of this regulation is long and detailed, the Board meeting provided an opportunity to explain the most important points as they pertain to the South Huntington community.  We have attached Dr. Bennardo’s PowerPoint for those that missed the January 28, 2015 BOE Meeting.


January 2015 Spotlight News





Senior Follies Leave No Stones Unturned

In the skit ‘Two Pips,’ students hit the nail on the head about their beloved teacher.
Principal Acker gets in on the action in the skit ‘Wild N’ Out.’
‘Girls Song’ gave our senior ladies a chance to say what’s really on their mind.


On Friday night, January 16, over eighty seniors took to the stage at Walt Whitman’s Performing Arts Center to participate in an annual tradition that rivals our most popular events. It’s Senior Follies time, and the students, with a little help from the higher-ups, performed a series of 15 short skits poking fun at school life and their teachers.

Musical numbers as well as humorous and witty scenes that depicted classrooms and hallway life, entertained the sold-out crowd for over 2 hours.  One of the many highlights of the show was a satire of the show ‘Wild N' Out’ where students and administrators rapped.  It was truly a hilarious and memorable moment.  Many thanks to the senior class officers, Mrs. Zamow, and the senior class advisers for organizing this event, as well as the teachers and administrators who could all laugh along!

Special thanks to the Walt Whitman 2015 yearbook staff for providing these exceptional photographs. Also special thanks to our Lamplighter team and Alex Dollin for all the lighting and prop support in the PAC, to SDE Sound Company for a great sound system, and to Rob Krakel and some Whitman alumni who were a tremendous help.

The 2015 Walt Whitman senior class set a high bar; the challenge is on for next year’s seniors.

Photo Gallery

Brain Show Concentrates on Silas Wood


The Brain Show visited Silas Wood Sixth-Grade Center last month for an action-packed afternoon. The Brain Show is an authentic educational trivia game show with the unique look and feel of a real live T.V. game show.

Presented in two assemblies, game show hosts Richard Aponte and Jonathan Frederick were super enthusiastic about the Silas Wood audience.

The program mixed educational and entertainment trivia that kept students on their toes. When it was the teacher’s turn as contestants, their students cheered loudly as the teams battled back and forth.

The Brain Show was the perfect vehicle to celebrate education and to communicate to Silas Wood students that learning can be cool and fun. Thank You Silas Wood/Stimson PTA Cultural Arts committee for bringing this fantastic show to our 6th graders.

Photo Gallery

Huntington Youth Writes Contest Open for Entries

We are pleased to announce the kick-off of the 16th annual Huntington Youth Writes contest for students in grades four through twelve who attend school or reside in the Township of Huntington.

In its 16-year history, this contest has attracted more than 15,000 entries and presented over $24,000 in awards to nearly 465 young people, including students from your district.

Please see attached General info flyer entry form and rules.


December Athletes of the Month

Walt Whitman Principal Kathie Acker congratulates her track stars, Gabrielle Ramirez and Shamar Powell.

Our December Athletes of the Month are both outstanding academic students who would like to continue their love for track at colleges that will lead them both to careers in medicine.  While these students run for different reasons, both agree that their experiences at Whitman have been enhanced by the diversity and friendliness of the students and staff.

Gabrielle Ramirez runs from the soccer turf, right to the indoor track where the speedster just broke the Walt Whitman school record in the 600-meter with a blistering 1:49. “It’s a good distance for me,” said Gabrielle. “I’m not much for long distance and I’m not an all-out sprinter,” said the Whitman junior who also runs on the 4x4 team. “I really like track because if you work really hard and do well at a meet, it’s all you, and if you don’t, you have no one to blame but yourself.”  As a junior, Gabrielle is looking at where she will take her next step after high school. “I would like become a Pediatrician, so I'm looking at schools that will help make that dream come true.”

Shamar Powell takes it all in stride running in the 400- 600-, 800-, and 1000-meter as well as the Mile. At one point over the past month, Shamar led the state in the Mile, and is currently standing somewhere in the top 5 runners in the state for that distance. Shamar ran a speedy 4:21 in the Mile (1600 meter) at the recent Stanner Games at the Manhattan Armory. “I really like running at the Armory, the track is banked and there’s always a lot of excitement in the crowd,” said Shamar.  He went on to come very close to breaking two more school records in the 600-meter, with a respectable 1:26, and the 1000-meter, in a tidy 2:32. Shamar is waiting to hear back from some of the colleges he’s applied to. It’s a big decision for this Whitman senior who would like to become a Neurologist.

We congratulate these talented athletes and their coaches and thank the dedicated parents who have supported their efforts.

Winter Carnival Highlights Maplewood School Community


Maplewood’s Winter Carnival was in full swing on Friday evening, January 16th. Maplewood students filled the gymnasium and multipurpose room with families in tow where they enjoyed dozens of fun-filled activities. From a live DJ and dancing to temporary tattoos, from snacks for parents and children to a gym full of sporting challenges, this event, sponsored in its entirety by the Maplewood PTA was an evening highlighted by laughter and camaraderie.

The only thing missing from the evening was cash. Thank you PTA president Laura Morelli and her hard working crew, including some of Maplewood’s finest teachers, for giving the Maplewood school community this wonderful evening out.

Photo Gallery

Powell and Maier Impress @ Stanner Games

Left to right: Shamar Powell and Chad Maier at the Armory Indoor Track in Northern Manhattan.

Long Island's top track and field teams competed in the Stanner Games on Saturday 1/17/15 at the Armory in Manhattan. Whitman’s Varsity Track and Field Coach Rob Conroy is happy to announce that two of his runners performed exceptionally well. Shamar Powell ran a blistering 4:21 in the mile (1600 meter), and Chad Maier turned in an impressive 9:309 in the 2 mile (3200 meter).

“Shamar and Chad turned in some of the top times in Suffolk County and the State,” said Coach Conroy. “We are proud of their effort as they went up against some of New York’s top runners from both public and parochial schools.”

Congratulations Shamar and Chad!

Marcus Zagorski Wins Maplewood Geography Bee

Winners from each class who competed in the Geography Bee are to be congratulated.
Left to right: Maplewood Principal Dr. Vito D’Elia, Runner Up Seth Blaise, Winner Marcus Zagorski and Assistant Principal Dr. Alison Bruno.

On January 9, 2015, Maplewood Intermediate School held its annual Geography Bee, which is sponsored by the National Geographic Society and Maplewood’s Student Council. Eighteen fourth- and fifth-grade students competed in this year’s Geography Bee.

Students first competed at the classroom level and the winners then moved on to the school-wide Geography Bee. Congratulations to Maplewood’s school champion, Marcus Zagorski, a fourth grader in Mr. Rolon’s class.  

Marcus will now have to take a forty-two question written test comprised of both multiple choice and short response questions, in order to qualify to compete at the state level. Should Marcus score high enough and move on to the state level, he may then possibly advance to national level.

The final National Geographic Geography Bee takes place in Washington, DC in May 2015, with the first place winner receiving a $50,000 college scholarship, a lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society, including a subscription to National Geographic magazine, and a trip to the Galapagos Islands, courtesy of Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic.

Congratulations to Maplewood’s amazing students!

THE LIGHTNING THIEF Premiers @ Silas Wood

Percy, center in photo played by Troy Iwata, has to decide if he wants to leave Camp Half Blood and return to his mom, or stay and slay more monsters with his friends.

Silas Wood’s 6th-graders were treated to a fantastic play on Friday afternoon. Adapted from the book The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan, THE LIGHTNING THIEF is the story of Percy, a 12-year-old boy who journeys into a world of mythological monsters and Greek Gods as he struggles with dyslexia and ADHD -- as well as coming to terms with a father he has never known -- while solving the mystery of Zeus' stolen lightning bolt.

“Things that make you different, things that make you special, are things that make you strong... so be strong,” said Percy’s mother before his adventure began. Students were delighted as they traveled on a fantastic journey, complete with Greek Gods and their children from Camp Half Blood (Percy’s dad is Poseidon), and a couple of mythological monsters who may keep a few of us up at night.

Thank you PTA Cultural Arts for bringing to South Huntington, Theatre Works USA touring company's premier showing of their successful stage version of THE LIGHTNING THIEF.

Photo Gallery

Stimson Spelling Bee Winner Ready for Regional Challenge

Left to right in photo: Stimson Principal Edwin Smith, Zachary Slansky, and teacher Jennifer Hohner.

Congratulations to Stimson’s 2014-2015 Middle School Spelling Bee winner. Our Spelling Bee champion for this year is 8th-grader Zachary Slansky. “We are very proud of all of our students who participated,” said Stimson English teacher and Spelling Bee Coordinator Jennifer Hohner. "The winning word Zach spelled was ‘gambol,’ as used in a sentence that means to skip about, as in dancing or playing.  We are especially proud of our first place winner who will represent Stimson as he competes at the Long Island regional Spelling Bee at Hofstra University on February 7th."    Good luck, Zach!

Share the Glove Goes With Helping Hands Mission

The Reverend Rosemarie Gaines, (3rd from right) with members of the Silas Wood School Based Management (SBM) team.

The Silas Wood School Based Management (SBM) team sponsored their "Share the Glove" initiative this past December.  Students and staff generously donated new or gently used gloves, mittens, hats, scarves, and socks for those less fortunate in our community.  All donations were given to the Helping Hands Rescue Mission.

Reverend Rosemarie Gaines, founder of the mission expressed to our 6th-graders that we are going to make many children very warm and happy this winter season.

Now celebrating their 50th year of community service, Reverend J.A. Gaines, his wife, Reverend Rosemarie Gaines, and her mother, Florence E. Meringola, founded the Mission in 1965.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to have served the Huntington, NY, community for over 50 years. Through various programs, and with the support of many wonderful people, we have been able to meet a variety of physical and spiritual needs within our local community.” - Reverend Rosemarie Gaines

2015-16 School Calendar Released


Planning Your Vacation for Next Year?  In one of those calendar quirks that can sneak up you, Labor Day, the marker of summer’s conclusion, arrives as late as it possibly can this year, on September 7.

Classes will begin before Labor Day this fall in the South Huntington School District.

At its meeting Wednesday, January 14th the South Huntington School Board approved the 2015-16 calendar that includes a start date of Tuesday, September 1.

The approved calendar, with holidays and school’s traditional Winter, Mid-Winter and Spring Breaks, are attached below so that you may plan accordingly. 


First Place in Suffolk County for Whitman’s Alex Clopper

Left to right: Whitman Principal Kathie Acker, Alex Clopper, and Mathletes Advisor Malaury Samedy.

We hear from Walt Whitman Mathletes Advisor Mr. Malaury Samedy, that this past Friday, January 9, Whitman Sophomore Alex Clopper scored first place in the Suffolk County Senior Math Tournament. When it comes to math, Alex has already seen his share of competitive events. Alex has been actively involved in math competitions, routinely scoring at the top levels, through middle school. As you might expect, Alex is a member of the Wildcat Mathlete team who are currently in a heated battle with Commack, and looking to reclaim their County Championship.

Congratulations Alex!

Meet Christopher Patronaggio, New Administrative Dean at Walt Whitman

“I’m here to help our students have the best experience they can while at Walt Whitman.” - Christopher Patronaggio

Mr. Patronaggio comes to us from the South Country School District, a district with similar demographics as our own, but about half the size. Chris earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mathematics with an Adolescent Education Concentration and Religious Studies from St. Joseph’s College and then continued there for a Master’s Degree in Adolescent Special Education with an Annotation in Severe and Multiple Disabilities.

At South Country, Chris coached the JV Basketball and Middle School Baseball teams, but has put coaching on the shelf, as his new position, coupled with a 9-month old son, leaves little time for anything else. Chris brings a wealth of other experiences to South Huntington, including acting as Advisor to the ‘Athletes Helping Others’ club at Bellport High School.  This was a student athlete group committed to community service initiatives, including the Special Olympics, and their ‘Polar Plunge,’ a highly successful fundraiser run by the student athletes at Bellport High.

“I’m a people person, so the constant interaction with everyone is great,” said Chris. “I’m here to help our students have the best experience they can while at Walt Whitman. They have a bright future and I want keep them moving in the right direction, and to be the best they can.”

Chris wants our parents to know that: “Open relationships and constant communication helps to build relationships that benefit our kids here at Whitman.”

Feel free to call Chris about any concerns or questions you may have at (631) 812-3915 or you may email him at:

Welcome Aboard Christopher Patronaggio!

Collaboration Highlights Wealth of Talent

Kristina Schaaf works with one of our students in her decision to use either a traditional brush or her finger to create a portion of the ongoing piece on the digital palette.
For one last assignment, Joy Weiner instructs our students who are about to begin a project that they hope to finish before their parents arrive.

The Heckscher Museum of Art brought an exciting experimental program to South Huntington School District’s sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade students at the Spirit of Huntington Arts Center this past December, and on Friday, January 9th, the museum held a private reception for the students, their families and friends to highlight their creative journey.

The students had learned about the Museum’s Modern Alchemy: Experiments in Photography exhibition and discovered that experimenting is not just for scientists! They discovered the importance of embracing chance, and trial and error when creating a composition.

At the Spirit of Huntington Arts Center, everyone was inspired to create their own abstract collaborative drawing inspired by Mariah Robertson’s 100-ft long photographic print. The finished piece was on display at the museum for everyone to enjoy.

Students also participated in a ‘digital action painting’ program facilitated by the Heckscher Museum’s Joy Weiner and Kristina Sheaf. Students were introduced to this new program that has unlimited creative possibilities.

“I was so pleased with all the work that the kids did, both at The Spirit of Huntington Art Center and at The Heckscher Museum,” said Ms. Joy Weiner at the conclusion of the program. It’s clear that with collaborations like these, our students are beneficiaries of a wealth of creative knowledge and expertise right in our own community.

Photo Gallery

A Glimpse Into the Minds of 6th-Graders Through Art

The finished creations make a very impressive display for all to enjoy in the main lobby at the Silas Wood 6th-Grade Center.
This is the piece by renowned photographer Maggie Taylor that started the creative process.
The creative process at work.
Silas Wood art teacher Ms. Hickey integrates art lessons that coordinate what her students are learning in their other classes. Her collaboration with the Heckscher Museum of Art is one of many unique opportunities she brings to our 6th-graders.

The Heckscher Museum of Art and Silas Wood sixth-graders have been creating some pretty amazing pieces of art recently. Centering around the museum’s current exhibit: Modern Alchemy: Experiments in Photography, Joy Weiner, the Museum’s Director of Education and Public Programs, and Kristina Schaaf, their Associate Director of Education worked with Ms. Hickey’s art classes as they explored 20th and 21st-century artists who have pushed the boundaries of photography.

“We asked the students to think about what it means to be inspired and to be creative. We all agreed that artists often find inspiration by looking at works of art that have come before them, but also by thinking of ideas that are new and original,” said Ms. Weiner.  The museum gave an engaging presentation into works of art by Surrealist Rene Magritte, and learned about the unique characteristics of Surrealism such as dream-like images, changes in scale, and unexpected combinations of everyday items. It was then that the students looked into contemporary artists and became intrigued by renowned photographer Maggie Taylor. “Using a Maggie Taylor piece as their inspiration, the students were able to express themselves and share what’s unique about each of them,” said Ms. Weiner.  “They began by taking self-portraits and then created a collage about the things that they imagine, things they like, things they think about, and things that make them special.”

The final pieces were extraordinary in a way that allows the viewer to get a glimpse of what each student is like. By adding images that formed a visual cornucopia to their own self-portrait, students shared their inspiration of Ms. Taylor’s style by creating a piece that is uniquely theirs.

“As a school and community we all have many things in common, but as individuals we also have many qualities and interests that are unique,” said the museums Associate Director of Education, Kristina Schaaf. “Each beautiful self-portrait celebrates Silas Wood 6th Grade Center’s diversity and creativity.”

The finished creations make a very impressive display for all to enjoy in the main lobby at Silas Wood. Thank you again Ms. Weiner and Ms. Schaaf for showing our students a wonderful and creative way to express themselves through art.


Photo Gallery

DECA Delivers 31 Trophy Winners in Regional Competition


On January 7, 2015, Sixty-five Walt Whitman DECA students competed at the Annual Suffolk County DECA Competitive Event.  More than 700 students from Suffolk County high schools were in attendance.  DECA Club advisor Deanna L. Kluepfel is pleased to report that after months of dedication and preparation, Walt Whitman recorded a total of 31 trophy winners! 

Congratulations to all of our talented DECA students!

The following students placed in their events:

Junior, Misha Patel – First place in Retail Merchandising

Freshman, Rachel Vaughan – Second place in Business Management and Administration

Senior, Zarmeen Mussa – Third place in Apparel and Accessories Marketing


The following individuals were awarded trophies for high scores in their events.

Joseph Van Gostein in Principles of Business Management and Administration

Brenda Mendez in Principles of Business Management and Administration

Aamash Mussa in Principles of Finance

Joanne Nguyen in Principles of Finance

Nicole Rowe in Principles of Finance

John Vesque in Principles of Marketing

Tyler Malone in Travel and Tourism

David Grey in Business Services Marketing

James Reilly in Business Services Marketing

Sally Cohen in Hotel Lodging Management

Natalie Migliore in Human Resources Management

Ashley Weisser in Human Resources Management

Catherine Aiello in Marketing Management

Ahmad Ejaz in Marketing Management

Ryan McAllister in Restaurant & Food Service Management

Rory Apollonia in Restaurant & Food Service Management

Maureen Leiva in Decision Making: Human Resources

Ricky Hauser in Decision Making: Marketing

Michelle Jiang in Public Speaking Prepared

Jonathan Mozoon in Public Speaking Extemporaneous


Awards for top scores in team events were earned by:

Sarah Tabibzada and Christina Bogdani in Business Law and Ethics

Jefferson Hector and Colin Sherland in Buying and Merchandising

Zachary Lanz and Dillon Feinman in Marketing Communications

Ilana Desmond and Christie Franz in Marketing Communications.


These hardworking students qualify to move on to the statewide competition at the New York DECA State Career Conference that will be held this March, in Rochester, NY.

Many thanks to the chaperones, Ms. McDermott, Ms. Emde, Ms. Meyer, Ms. Schubert, Ms. Hsaio, and Mr. Callahan who supported this event!

Welcoming In The New Year

It’s all about teamwork, and those teams that worked together, usually won their round of questions.
There was no harm in guessing, even if you got the answer wrong, all 4 teams collaborated individually to see who came up with the right answer first.
The final round included teachers. Here, Brian Karcz and Kelly Poller (upper right), work with their teammates to come up with the correct answer.

After a long 2-week break, there is nothing like the ‘Brain Show’ to get back into high gear. The Brain Show is an authentic educational trivia game show with the unique look and feel of a real live T.V. game show, and they set up camp at Stimson Middle School this morning.

The program mixed educational and entertainment trivia that kept students on their toes. When it was the teacher’s turn as contestants, their students cheered loudly as the teams battled back and forth.

Game show hosts Richard Aponte and Jonathan Frederick were super enthusiastic about the Stimson audience. “We really want these students to fully understand that you always succeed more when you work together as a team,” said Aponte. “The Brain Show makes learning fun and we have adapted our set to be able to include many more contestants. Today, for example, we have 4 colorful podiums that feature computerized lights and sounds for as many as 25 student contestants per round.”

The Brain Show was the perfect vehicle to celebrate education and to wake-up our 7th and 8th graders to a new year and to communicate that learning can be cool and fun. Thank you PTA Cultural Arts committee for bringing this fantastic show to Stimson Middle School.

Photo Gallery

Adult Education Spring 2015 Course Offerings


Welcome to our Spring 2015 Adult Education Program. It’s a great time to learn something new, improve a skill, begin an exercise program, and make new friends along the way!

The attached Adult Education booklet will be mailed to all district residents in mid-January, 2015. You may also access this booklet from the attached PDF file below.


Exceptional Student Athletes Honored

Whitman Principal Kathie Acker is very proud of these two seniors.

At the recently held Suffolk Zone Award for Excellence in Physical Education, two students from Walt Whitman High School received awards for their leadership, community service, sportsmanship and exceptional athletic ability.

The Suffolk Zone is part of the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (NYS AHPERD).  This professional organization supports, encourages, facilitates, advocates and promotes physically active and healthy lifestyles through school and community programs in health education, physical education, recreation and dance.

Congratulations to Walt Whitman seniors Rebecca Sansotta and Josh Roiland.

Rebecca was a captain on the Field Hockey team this past fall and Drum Major for the Wildcat Marching Band. Rebecca is hoping to attend Macaulay Honors College in the fall were she would like to study either Physical Therapy or Exercise Science.

Josh is a three-sport athlete and a captain of the Cross Country, Wrestling, and Track and Field teams. Josh is looking to attend the small and highly selective Honors College at Stony Brook University in the fall, where he hopes to pursue a career in Veterinary Science.


The Circus is Coming To Town


Experience unbelievable family fun with Mike Naughton and his company of amazing performers from around the globe as they dazzle you with awe-inspiring feats of daring, astounding acrobats and thrills of wonders from the marvelous to the magnificent.

Sat. Feb. 28  1:00 PM;  4:00 PM;  7:00 PM

Walt Whitman High School North Gym

Kids And Teens  GO FREE!

Buy One Adult Ticket for $14.75  Get 2 FREE TICKETS for Children and Teens


Offer good until 6:00 PM Fri. Feb 27 or while supplies last. We expect a sell-out.

Regular Prices at the Door:

Adult $18.00; Child or Teen $6.00



Sat. Feb. 28  1:00 PM;  4:00 PM;  7:00 PM

Walt Whitman High School North Gym

301 West Hills Road

We have a limited number of advance sale discount tickets.

GET YOUR TICKETS NOW, avoid disappointment.

We expect a sell-out!