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Welcome Back Letter from the Superintendent

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100th in the Nation

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Niche.com released their 2019 Best School Districts rankings this week. Harborfields placed as the 100th best district in the country, and 20th best in New York State! Overall, the district holds an A+ Niche Grade. Congratulations to everyone within the Harborfields family for this outstanding distinction!

This is the fifth year Niche.com has released these rigorously researched rankings. Pulling from public data and over 100 million reviews and survey responses, Niche seeks to provide insight of the quality of education a school district provides for students. Although the ranking includes key statistics and opinions, the overall placement is determined by a grade in the following criteria: academics, health and safety, student culture and diversity, survey responses, teachers, resources and facilities, extracurricular activities and sports and fitness.

High rankings indicate the district’s excellence—exceptional teachers, ample resources, and diverse, high-achieving students who rate their educational experiences highly.

New District Administrators

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For the upcoming school year, the district has brought on four new district administrators—Ms. Allison Joyce, Harborfields High School Assistant Principal; Ms. Maureen Raynor, Executive Director for Human Resources and Instructional Services; Ms. Rose Scammell, Special Education Chairperson; and Dr. Robyn Tsoikos, Assistant Director for Pupil Personnel Services.

Ms. Joyce joins the Harborfields district after over seven years of serving the Commack School District, where she was an accomplished secondary social studies teacher. Her role became effective on July 1.

Ms. Raynor returns to Harborfields after serving as a high school assistant principal in the Kings Park School District from 2016-2018. Prior to this, she was part of the Harborfields community as a math teacher from 2007-2016. During that time, she also served as a teacher on special assignment in the District Office. Her role became effective July 16.

Ms. Scammell has served as the clinical administrator with ACLD-Children’s Services for the past 13 years and has gained the invaluable experience needed to make her the perfect candidate for the position of special education chairperson. In addition, she served as a speech therapist and speech evaluator for ACLD. Her new role came into effect on July 1.

Dr. Tsoikos comes to Harborfields after serving as a special education administrator in the Rocky Point School District. In addition to her experience there, she had extensive experience as a special education teacher in the Herricks School District. Her role became effective February 2018.

“We look forward to the 2018-19 school year and beyond with these exceptional administrators,” said Dr. Rory Manning, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction and Administration, “and are excited to have them become integral parts of the Harborfields family.”

Summer Newsletter Now Available

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Tornadoes Boys Lacrosse Recognized as Suffolk County Champs

Tornadoes Boys Lacrosse Recognized as Suffolk County Champs photo
At the district’s most recent Board of Education meeting, the boys lacrosse team was recognized for winning the Suffolk County championship for the first time in 25 years.

Dr. Rory Manning introduced the team to the Board, taking a moment to recap their 11-3 season, and speaking highly of their efforts. “Each athlete played with a sense of purpose all season,” said Dr. Manning. “They captured this championship with skill, dedication, and immense teamwork—and the district is proud of their accomplishment!”

In addition, coaches Ryan Conroy, Glenn Lavey, and Morgan Stanford were commended for their support and guidance in helping the team achieve great success in winning the county championship. Each student-athlete was presented with a certificate of achievement.

Congratulations!

Board of Education Reorganizes for Upcoming Year

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In preparation for the upcoming school year, the Harborfields Central School District held their annual Board of Education reorganization meeting on July 10. The ceremony was held to officially welcome their newest trustees and select their president and vice president for the 2018-19 school year.

New trustees Steven Engelmann and Joseph C. Savaglio were both sworn in by District Clerk Sharon Whelan, joining the board for three-year terms. Board president David Steinberg was also sworn in for another term and was re-elected by his fellow board members to serve as president.

Additionally, trustee Christopher Kelly was elected by the board to take on the role as vice president for the upcoming school year. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Francesco Ianni also took the oath of office during the meeting.

Letter from the Superintendent - June 2018

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Honoring Those Who Make Harborfields a Better Place

Honoring Those Who Make Harborfields a Better Place photo

During the last Board of Education Meeting of the 2017-18 school year, members of the school community were recognized for their hard work and dedication to excellence. Faculty, staff, and community members who went above and beyond this year were recognized, as well as those who were retiring, and moving into a new season of life.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Francesco Ianni welcomed all in attendance, and remarked on the special nature of the night, for both award winners and retirees.

“This night is unique in that it marks the beginning of a new chapter for some, but also recognizes the passion and dedication that’s been put into our school system every day,” said Dr. Ianni, “and it gives us an opportunity to reflect on what we’ve gone through—to really step back and realize the importance of all we’ve contributed.”

Principals and central administrators congratulated each retiree individually, recalling special moments throughout their career, and commended them for all of their hard work.

The retirees are as follows:
Carol Abrams, Oldfield Middle; Valerie Brosnan, District Office; Janice Cammer, Oldfield Middle; Susan Curasi, Oldfield Middle; Ellen Gilles, District; Stuart Horowitz, Harborfields High School and Oldfield Middle; Ilene Kalmar, Washington Drive; Paul Keys, Harborfields High School; Dale Lerner, District; Aspasia Mally, Harborfields High School; Judith Russell, Harborfields High School; Kathleen Santomauro, Washington Drive, and Richard Stanfield, Washington Drive.

Local members of the school community were also recognized by the Board for going above and beyond to make the Harborfields School District a better place.

“These are all special people who give their best every day to make Harborfields the way it is,” said Assistant Superintendent for Administration and Human Resources Dr. Rory Manning, “and they deserve to be recognized for all they do.”

The following were recognized: Tim Russo, Administrator; Joseph Maiello, Teacher; Jennifer Washington, Teacher; Lynda Abner, Support Staff; Frank Mondelli, Custodial Staff; Karin Fey, Community Member; Eric Gerde, Community Member; Kelly Walker, Community Member.

Additionally, Executive Director for Instructional Services Jordan Cox was recognized for having been selected by Wester Suffolk BOCES Model Schools program as the 2018 Administrator of the year, and teachers Augie Rettino and Jennifer Washington were recognized for being selected by Wester Suffolk BOCES Model Schools for creating a “Books Club for the 21st Century”, and earning a grant for the school.



Tri-M Annual Recital

Tri-M Annual Recital photo

At the end of May, the Harborfields High School chapter of the Tri-M Music Honor Society held its annual recital at Harborfields Public Library. Attendees were treated to more than an hour's worth of performances from students and staff members, highlighting the varied talents of the organization's membership.

"It's always special to showcase our students through performance and celebrate the end of another music-filled year," noted Tri-M Advisor Allison Scilla.

Exploring Strings at TJL

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As the school year comes to a close, the music program at Thomas J. Lahey wrapped up another successful year of inspiring students to explore music.

Third-grade students at Thomas J. Lahey were thankful to have the learned stringed instruments through the third-grade string program that was reinstated last year, and were impressed with the beauty they could create together in an orchestra.

“It is amazing how much the students can accomplish on their instruments at such a young age,” said program director Cathy Ferraro. “Starting in the third-grade really helps to give them that edge on their future musical endeavors, and teaches them great lessons in responsibility and perseverance along the way.”

Third and fourth grade orchestra students were invited to watch and participate in a fifth-grade orchestra open rehearsal— mixing into the orchestra setup, and observe the students as they performed their spring concert music. They participated in playing some familiar songs, such as “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and “Hot Cross Buns.” The third and fourth grade students were so excited to be a part of this rehearsal, and were encouraged to continue in their orchestra involvement at TJL and beyond.

In addition, string students got to watch and speak to an expert and professional bass expert, Glenn Saunders, on June 5. Mr. Saunders’ presentation involved playing for the students, coaching them on their own playing, and talking about the role of the bass in the orchestra. “

Lacrosse Team Recognized

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Last night, the Harborfields High School boys’ varsity lacrosse team was presented a proclamation by Town Councilman Mark Cuthbertson and the town board in recognition of the team winning the Suffolk County Class Championship this year.

The team was presented certificates and a proclamation was presented to coaches Glenn Lavey, Ryan Conroy and Justin Sheppard, along with Superintendent Dr. Francesco Ianni and Athletic Director John Valente.

Standing up for others

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Lina Tornese, an eighth grader at Oldfield Middle, was recently named a recipient of the Annual Friedlander Upstander Award. She was one of three Suffolk County recipients.

This award, sponsored by the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center and the Claire Friedlander Family Foundation, and in partnership with both the Suffolk and Nassau County Police Departments, awards students who have shown themselves to “Upstanders” against any type of intolerance. Each student selected is given a $2,500 educational scholarship.

Educators nominate their students and are required to attest to the student’s character and how they stand up for others.

Lina’s guidance counselor, Mary Fagan, called into account the many kind things Lina has done for her classmates, and how she tries to be a voice for those who don’t know how to stand up for themselves.

“Lina always goes that extra mile to make a difference,” said Mrs. Fagan, “and she always encourages her classmates to do the same.”