Harborfields Central School District Logo
Staff, students and administration were recognized by the Board of
Education for honors and noteworthy achievements and distinctions on
Harborfields High School was named a Reward School for the 2017-18
school year for the third year in a row, and principal Tim Russo and
assistant Christopher Patronaggio were recognized for their hard work in
making this award a reality.
“This prestigious award didn’t happen by accident,” said Dr. Ianni,
“this is the work of the entire district and the dedication of our high
school administration, and it’s a huge sense of pride for us.”
OFM Assistant Principal, Joseph Castoro, was recently named
Administrator of the Year by Council of Administrators and Supervisors.
He was recognized by the Board and by Dr. Ianni for this incredible
accomplishment. Mr. Castoro was recognized for his leadership,
implementation of instructional technology, his passion for curriculum
and development, and curriculum development.
“We are so fortunate to have the best administrator of the year here at Harborfields,” said Dr. Ianni.
A number of students were recognized for their high-scoring placements
at the 2018 Suffolk County Regional DECA Competition. Students included
Jack Blitch, Annika Browne, Lucas De Meo, Matthew Grover, Katherine
Kennedy, Wade Leskody, Anthony Madigan, Simrah Malik, Katherine
Paradise, Patrick Wilson, Daniel Polay, Matthew Rosenberg, Edward
Serwan, Andrew Stefanac all qualified as regional finalists. Students
Connor Fleming and Stephen Markowski received honorable mentions, and
students Ryan Ackerman and Nathaniel Gegwich secured second place at
this county-wide competition. Student Alison Matthews was recognized
individually for her dedication and support in helping DECA students
In addition, students were recognized for their performance at the Young
Professionals Chamber of Commerce Emerging Leaders Business
Competition. Matthew Grover and Samuel Liebman secured honorable
mentions, and Katherine Paradise won second place.
A special recognition for eighth-grader Wyatt LaFountaine took place
during the evening as well. Wyatt, whose chosen charity won the
eighth-grade class’ vote to support through their annual Charity
Challenge, was recognized by the Board for his dedication to the cause
and bringing awareness to giving back. Wyatt’s chosen charity was
myFace, a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming the lives of
patients with facial disfigurement.
Fifth-grade students at Thomas J. Lahey had the opportunity to be hands-on engineers using Tinkering Labs on Feb. 8.
Tinkering Labs are individual kits that come with ten basic engineering
challenges, and over 50 pieces that can be used to complete the
challenges. The pieces include an electronic motor, gears, safety
goggles, and more. These exercises help reinforce the principles of
science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) with a fun and
Students in Mrs. Janine Sena’s fifth-grade class were challenged to
create a machine that could scramble an egg, and groups excitedly got
started right away, bouncing ideas off of one another.
“There’s so much value in students truly collaborating and problem
solving together,” said Mrs. Sena. “We give them virtually no direction,
and when they finish the task, it’s all them. And they’re proud.”
By the end of the session, every group had created a working machine, and the students were beaming with pride.
On Feb. 7, eighth graders at Oldfield Middle participated in The Charity
Challenge—a fundraising competition in which proceeds were donated to
the charity organization myFace.
Each year, eighth-grade students at Oldfield Middle choose a charity
they’d like to support with this grade-wide fundraiser. After rounds of
persuasive speeches within classrooms, students vote on their peers’
essays. Ten semifinalists are then chosen to present their charities to
the entire grade. This year’s winner was Wyatt LaFountaine, who chose
the charity myFace – a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming
the lives of patients with facial disfigurement. Focused mainly on
children and their families, myFace funds medical, surgical, dental and
psychosocial services as well as research and public awareness.
“I have a personal connection with this charity,” Wyatt said, “and I was
so thankful my classmates chose myFace. This organization help so many
people, and make so many lives better…and we’ll be helping them do
To participate in the challenge, students paid an entrance fee, plus any
additional funds they raised and formed teams. Students participated in
physical and mental challenges, such as human “Hungry Hungry Hippos,” a
ring toss, Kahoot trivia, and more.
“My parents always told me that our generation is going to be the one to
make a difference,” said eighth grader Quinn, “and being able to
participate in something like this really makes me feel like that’s
At the annual Black History Month Celebration on Feb. 8, Harborfields
honored and celebrated the Harlem Renaissance. Oldfield Middle School
students Kyrah Mullings and Sarah Walker together with teacher Jeffrey
Shade acted as the Masters of Ceremonies for the evening, which included
musical, artistic and spoken performances by students from each of the
district’s schools. Black History Month-inspired student artwork was
featured throughout the auditorium.
“This is truly an amazing event that will highlight all the work and the
talent of not only our students, but our teachers and staff,” said
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Francesco Ianni. “When we think back on a
renaissance, it is a time of wonderful music and art, and it’s a time
when people look back for encouragement and to be inspired and to
reflect on how far we have come.”
The evening concluded with a special performance from Dr. Linda Humes, a
storyteller and folklorist who performs and conducts workshops
nationally and internationally.
In honor of Black History Month, third-graders in Noreen Paccione’s class at TJL worked together to create a class quilt.
Students in Ms. Paccione’s class have been learning about the
Underground Railroad and the contributions of African Americans
throughout history. During their study, students learned about the
creation of quilts, and how they were often used as maps on the
Underground Railroad. Students discovered the different symbols used on
the quilts, as well as their meanings—such as the wagon wheel, tumbling
blocks, and the bear’s paw. Students were then taught the basics of
sewing in order to make their own square to contribute to the class
“Only the people who used the Underground Railroad knew what the symbols
meant,” said third-grader Jackie G., “it was like a secret code.”
In addition, students worked in groups to create squares that duplicated
scenes from quilts made during that time period. Parents and loved ones
visited the class on Jan. 31 to help sew all of the pieces together.
When finished, the quilt will be displayed at the district’s Black
History Month celebration, and will be hung up for the duration of the