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A Day of Celebrating Kindness in Harborfields

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The Harborfields Central School District celebrated National Kindness Day on Nov. 14. Thomas J. Lahey Elementary School classes participated in a “hot seat” activity, in which one student is selected to sit facing away from the board while the class takes turns writing kind messages about the selected student, while fourth graders at the school in Samantha Little’s class added kind messages to Starbucks coffee sleeves and gave them out.  At Washington Drive Primary School, students listened to the story “A Little Spot of Kindness,” and students who were “caught being kind” earned a yellow spot to wear.  

Date Added: 11/27/2023

Harborfields Takes Time for Tuba

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Thomas J. Lahey Elementary School fifth graders Cristiano DeLorenzo and Trevor DeNisco, and Harborfields High School students Ezra Behr and Lachlan Granger represented Harborfields with pride at the Suffolk County Music Educators’ Association’s Day of Tuba and Euphonium Festival on Nov. 3. This event focused on a massed tuba and euphonium ensemble including students of all ages, and everyone present was treated to a clinic with internationally celebrated educator, performer and creator Lance LaDuke. The evening culminated in a concert for families featuring a recital by LaDuke, an all-star ensemble of high school students (including Granger) and, finally, the massed ensemble performing crowd pleasers like “Captain America March,” “Surrender” and “Auld Lang Syne.”

“This event is one of my favorite days of the year,” TJL Band Director Courtney Kassinger said. “It’s a very unique experience to be in an ensemble full of just tubas and euphoniums, and a wonderful opportunity for our elementary students to interact and perform with our high school students.”

Date Added: 11/20/2023

TJL Students Show PEAK Performance in Music

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Five Thomas J. Lahey Elementary School students and their parents attended the SCMEA Parents, Educators and Kids Festival at Northport High School on Oct. 27. Over the course of the day, fourth graders Aviva Ajiashvili, Noah McGee, Daphne McGuire, Zara McKelvey and Francesca Reina and the accompanying adults participated in workshops on a variety of topics including ukulele, folk dancing, singing games, parachute play and Drumtastic. Laura Mara, their music teacher at TJL, was there with her students, taking part in the festivities and learning. These Harborfields youngsters were in good company at the PEAK Festival, spending the day with counterparts from 25 other districts in Suffolk County, and they represented their school with pride.

Date Added: 11/15/2023

TJL Third Graders Explore the World of Pixels

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Third graders at Thomas J. Lahey Elementary School recently explored the way computers create pictures with pixels. They started out using Legos to represent pixels. They then sketched a design, within the constraints of Lego pieces, to create a self-portrait. The students will go on to use Sprite Editor in kidOYO to build their self-portraits using individual pixels.

Date Added: 11/14/2023

Harborfields Honors Board of Ed, Students and Teachers

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In honor of School Board Recognition Week, the Harborfields Central School District praised its dedicated Board of Education during the Oct. 19 meeting.

“The seven individuals that we have in front of us have chosen to step up for their community to serve,” Superintendent Dr. Rory Manning said. “I’m thankful that I get to work with each of these seven dedicated professionals each day throughout the school year. So tonight, I join the students, staff, our community and schools across the nation in thanking our school boards for their past, present and future service to our students.”

Dr. Manning presented each of the Board members – President Christopher Kelly, Vice President Susan Broderick, Dr. Eve Meltzer-Krief, Hansen Lee, Suzie Lustig, David Steinberg and Colleen Wolcott – with a certificate from the New York State School Boards Association.

Next, Oldfield Middle School language teacher Kacey O’Brien was recognized for her quick action in September in responding to a choking student by successfully performing the Heimlich maneuver.

“On behalf of the Board of Education, who express their utmost appreciation and gratitude to Ms. O’Brien for her heroic action, we thank her so much for stepping up that day and jumping into action,” Dr. Manning said.

Jillian Bemiss, now a third grader at Thomas J. Lahey Elementary School, was recognized for being selected as the winner of Washington Drive Primary School’s annual ceiling tile contest. Last year, second graders at Washington Drive were challenged to illustrate a picture that best represents the theme of “Growing Together.” Bemiss’ artwork will be displayed permanently on one of the ceiling tiles at Washington Drive’s main hallway.  

“Jillian’s remarkable drawing beautifully captured the essence of Washington Drive’s learning community and how Washington Drive collaborates and grows as a school,” Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Danielle DeLorenzo said. “This illustration showcases Jillian’s artistic talent and deep understanding of the Washington Drive values.”

Next, Harborfields High School students Erin Armstrong, Allison Blosser, McKenzie Coleman, Jackson Ferrara, Kate Lysaght, Nolan Means and Samuel Sosnick were honored for their achievement in being named Commended Students in the 2024 National Merit Scholarship Program.

“It’s not just an accomplishment, it’s a testament to their unwavering dedication, tireless work ethic and consistent academic excellence,” Dr. DeLorenzo said. “These seven students embody the spirit of hard work and achievement, and we couldn’t be proud of prouder of their remarkable journey.”

Lastly, Harborfields High School art teacher Jeanie Ritter was recognized for being selected by the National Art Education Association as its Featured Art Educator for September 2023.

“This revered organization, the NAEA, champions the cause of art education and creativity,” Dr. DeLorenzo said. “We celebrate Mrs. Ritter’s well-deserved spotlight.”

Date Added: 10/23/2023