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Notable Students and Staff Recognized at February Board of Education Meeting

Notable Students and Staff Recognized at February Board of Education Meeting photo

Staff, students and administration were recognized by the Board of Education for honors and noteworthy achievements and distinctions on Feb. 14.

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 achieve success.

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.

Students Selected for LISFA

Students Selected for LISFA photo
More than twenty Harborfields students—grades 5 through 12—were selected for the Long Island String Festival Association’s (LISFA) honor groups. These orchestras rehearsed and performed during various weekends over the course of January. Harborfields orchestra directors Cathy Ferraro, Nick Rinaldi and Alan Walter all expressed great pride at the number of string players chosen from our district as well as the quality of their playing at these concerts/festivals.

Thomas J. Lahey School
Alexis Ebanks Violin Gr. 5
Shea Flynn Bass Gr. 5
Johanna Greenberg Cello Gr. 5
Elena LaSpisa Viola Gr. 5
Paige Lusby Violin Gr. 5

Oldfield Middle School
Breckyn Beechey Cello Gr. 7
Aidan Doctor Viola Gr. 6
Alexandra Ebanks Cello Gr. 7
Emelie Hochwald Violin Gr. 8
Stephanie Phillips Cello Gr. 7
Aidan Saunders Bass Gr. 6
Samuel Sosnick Cello Gr. 6

Harborfields High School
Evangelea Andreadis Viola Gr. 10
Everett Borman Violin Gr. 10
Hope Lusby Violin Gr. 10
Gianna Masi Cello Gr. 12
Angeline Miraglia Cello Gr. 9
Genie Miraglia Cello Gr. 11
Laura Santoro Viola Gr. 12
Quinn Theobold Violin Gr. 12
Jade Wang Violin Gr. 10

Letter from Superintendent - School Safety

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DECA Club photo
DECA Club photo 2
DECA Club photo 3
The Harborfields DECA Club, which prepares students to become leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality, competed a DECA regional competition at Suffolk Community College on Jan. 3. Two thousand students from all over Suffolk county participated in various competitions. Seventeen students from Harborfields were named second place winners and regional finalists, and three earned honorable mention.

Second place winners were Ryan Ackerman in Business Finance, Nathaniel Gegwich in Personal Financial Literacy. Regional Finalists included Jack Blitch in Sales Demonstration, Annika Browne in Hotel & Lodging Management, Lucas DeMeo in Principles of Finance, Matthew Grover Entrepreneurship, Katherine Kennedy in Business Services Marketing, Wade Leskody in Business Finance, Anthony Madigan in Principles of Marketing, Simrah Malik in Public Speaking, Katherine Paradise in Business Finance, Daniel Polay in Visual Advertising (Billboard), Matthew Rosenberg in Sales Demonstration, Edward Serwan in Entrepreneurship, Andrew Stefanac in Buying & Merchandising, James Treanor in Buying & Merchandising, and Patrick Wilson in Business Services Marketing.

Honorable mentions were given to Connor Fleming in Principles of Marketing, and Stephen Markowski in Personal Financial Literacy.

In addition to this competition, the DECA club competed in The Young Professionals Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Emerging Leaders at the end of Nov. 2017. Over 300 students participated in this competition from schools all over Long Island, and students from Harborfields had a second-place winner—Katherine Paradise in Job Interview—and two honorable mentions—Matthew Grover and Samuel Liebman in Retail Marketing Team.

DECA students also have opportunities to have fun, and attended the New York Jets Sports Business Day at Metlife Stadium this past fall. Students participated in a walking tour and visited speaker stations for question and answer sessions. The students toured the locker room, company suites, and the stadium. At the culmination of the tour, the students got to spend time outside on the actual field.

Letter from Superintendent - 2018-2019 School Calendar

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Second Budget Presentation - February 14, 2018


2018-2019 School Calendar Now Available


Collaborating to Create Machines

Collaborating to Create Machines photo

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 engaging twist.

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.

The Charity Challenge Raises Money for myFace

The Charity Challenge Raises Money for myFace photo

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 that.”

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 true.”

Honoring the Harlem Renaissance

Honoring the Harlem Renaissance photo

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.

Superintendent's Message - February 2018

State Testing Letter 2018


Taking Steps to Extinguish the Use of ENDS

Taking Steps to Extinguish the Use of ENDS photo
Taking Steps to Extinguish the Use of ENDS photo 2
Taking Steps to Extinguish the Use of ENDS photo 3
In partnership with the Suffolk County Department of Health Services, Harborfields High School held a school-wide assembly on the misconceptions and the health hazards of vaping and electronic cigarettes on Feb. 5.

Suffolk County Legislator William Spencer introduced Senior Public Health Educator Bonnie Anderson, who presented the students and administration in attendance with accurate and scientific facts addressing the use of these electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS).

Ms. Anderson addressed many topics regarding the use of ENDS, including the addictive nature of e-cigarettes, the long and short-term dangers of vaping, how the product is marketed in fruit and candy flavors designed to be attractive to adolescents, and how this unregulated product may contain inconsistent levels of nicotine and other dangerous chemicals.

“Just because it looks harmless, and you’re told that it’s harmless, doesn’t mean it is,” she told the students.

In addition, Ms. Anderson explained that there have been no studies conducted on the effects of ENDS on those who use them, because it has not been on the market long enough to study.

“Do you think that means the tobacco industry cares about your health?” Ms. Anderson asked her audience, to which they responded with a resounding “no.”

Students left the assembly with an understanding that the use of ENDS is a major public health concern, and were challenged to change the trend of ENDS use among their peers and in their school.

“We pride ourselves in committing to the care of our students,” said high school principal Tim Russo, “and we will never stop exploring avenues in which to ensure their safety and well-being.”

World-Renowned Trombonist Visits Harborfields

World-Renowned Trombonist Visits Harborfields photo
World-Renowned Trombonist Visits Harborfields photo 2
World-Renowned Trombonist Visits Harborfields photo 3
On Jan. 17th, Harborfields music students were visited by world-renowned trombonist David Gibson. Mr. Gibson, a mainstay on the New York City jazz scene and a notable composer, arranger, and recording artist, spent the entire day working with students. After running a master class with a group of high school musicians that involved a dissection of several prepared pieces and group discussions with the Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, and Orchestra; Mr. Gibson travelled to Oldfield Middle School to work with a group of 7th grade trombonists in the process of preparing an ensemble piece for NYSSMA. In addition, he spent the evening working with the Harborfields High School Jazz Band.

Harborfields Named High-Achieving Reward School

Harborfields Named High-Achieving Reward School photo
Harborfields High School has been identified by the New York State Education Department as a Reward School for the 2017-18 school year. This honor is awarded to schools with high academic achievement, or those who have been progressing exceptionally without large gaps in student achievement between subgroups.

Harborfields High School, in its third consecutive year of receiving this prestigious honor, was one of only 155 schools throughout the state to receive this award.

“The commitment and dedication to excellence shown throughout the district is astounding. I am extremely proud of Harborfields’ community of administrators, teachers, and students that have devoted themselves to hard work and growth,” said Superintendent Dr. Francesco Ianni, “and I’m thankful for our board of education, whose support is essential in helping us continue to grow.”

A Secret Code and the Underground Railroad at Thomas J. Lahey

A Secret Code and the Underground Railroad at Thomas J. Lahey photo

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 quilt.

“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 month.

Harborfields Students “Can” Make a Difference

Harborfields Students “Can” Make a Difference photo
Harborfields Students “Can” Make a Difference photo 2
During the month of January, eighth-grade teacher Mary-Lynn Karpenske at Oldfield Middle School hosted a “Souper Bowl” food drive.

Each month, Ms. Karpenske challenges her students to tackle a “mission possible” that encourages them to give back to the community, or to build character. This month, their mission was inspired by the “Souper Bowl of Caring,” which is a youth-led movement to help hungry and hurting people around the world. Throughout January, Ms. Karpenske’s eighth-graders collected canned goods to contribute to HACO.

“It feels good to give back,” said Isha, an eighth-grader at Oldfield Middle School, “and it makes me proud to be a part of the Harborfields community.”

High School Students Selected for American Legion Program

American Legion Program photo
Congratulations to juniors Caitlin Eivers and Katherine Paradise for being selected to participate in the American Legion Auxiliary Girls State Program this upcoming summer!

The ALA Girls State is a government-in-action program, where selected young women are guided by American Legion members to become leaders, stewards of freedom, and patriotic citizens. To be eligible to be selected for this program, students must be interested in current events and the government, show strong moral character, and demonstrate leadership abilities.

Local ALA members recommended these young women, who exhibit all of these qualities, for this selective program. The program is a week in length, and takes place in the July.

TJL Student Scores Perfectly on National Word Challenge

TJL Student Scores Perfectly on National Word Challenge photo
Jackson Dunham, a 4th grader from Thomas J. Lahey Elementary School, recently received a perfect score during the first of three meets in this year’s WordMasters Challenge. This challenge is a national vocabulary competition that nearly 150,000 students participate in annually. Jackson was one of 86 students to earn a perfect score nationwide.

The WordMasters Challenge helps students exercise critical thinking, and encourages them to become familiar with sets of interesting new words. It then challenges students to use those words to complete analogies.

Students in the ELA Enrichment Academic Program at Thomas J. Lahey participate in the WordMasters Challenge every year. Students, coached by teacher Christine Mayr, were given 25 vocabulary terms to define, study and make connections among. In class, students used online resources to define the given words, determine synonyms and antonyms, and examined the words and their relationship to each other. For the second meet, students will have a new set of 25 words in addition to the words from the previous meet. The last meet will be a culmination of the past two, plus an additional 25 new words.

“Jackson invested a lot of time and effort to achieve this extraordinary score,” said Mayr, “and he should be very proud.”

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First Budget Presentation - January 17, 2018

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Oldfield Middle School Spelling Bee Champion

Oldfield Middle School Spelling Bee Champion photo
Oldfield Middle School Spelling Bee Champion photo 2
On Jan. 8, Oldfield Middle School conducted its annual Scripps Spelling Bee featuring class winners from all sixth, seventh, and eighth grade classes. After twelve competitive rounds seventh grader Ethan Rosenthal was declared the champion when he correctly spelled “massacre.” Rosenthal and runner-up, eighth grader Logan Taratko were each awarded a year’s subscription to Britannica Online for Kids. As the winner, Rosenthal is eligible to participate in the Hofstra Long Island Regional Spelling Bee on Feb. 4 at Hofstra University.

Parent Letter - Viewing Graded Assignments "Live" on Parent Portal


SCMEA All-County Ensembles

SCMEA All-County Ensembles photo
More than fifty Harborfields students, from elementary school through high school, were selected for 2018 SCMEA All-County ensembles. Selection was based on individual student performance at the NYSSMA solo festival in the spring of 2017, and such large numbers for these extremely competitive groups is indicative of the high achieving students in our music program and the high standards held by our teachers. Additionally, it is a testament to the hard work of our students, their support network outside of school, and the dedicated music staff in Harborfields.