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Public Notice: August Board of Education Meetings


District Commended For Proactive Approach to Drug and Alcohol Education

Read more about the district’s efforts in this week’s Village Times Herald news article:

Summer 2017 Newsletter Now Available


WMHS Student Finds Error on Geometry Regents

Click here to read the Newsday article

Board Begins New Year

Board Begins New Year Photo
The district’s Board of Education convened for its annual reorganization meeting on July 12 and commenced the official start of the 2017-18 school year.

During the meeting, William F. Connors Jr., Irene Gische and Inger Germano were reelected to serve as Board President, Vice President and District Clerk Pro-Tem, respectively. Ms. Gische, Ms. Germano and incumbent Board trustee Dr. Jeffrey Kerman were also officially sworn in and began to serve their new three-year terms of office.

Elementary Class Placements Will Be Available on Monday, July 17

Please follow the schedule below when logging into the Campus Portal to view your child's schedule.  Schedules will not be available before the assigned time.

WS Mount                    8:00 A.M.
Nassakeag                    9:00 A.M.
Setauket                     10:00 A.M.
Minnesauke               11:00 A.M.
Arrowhead                 12:00 P.M

Schedules for grades 7-12 will be available later in August.

Bleeding Control/Hands-Only CPR Training for the Community

Community Course Registration Links:

Summer Math Review

Parents and Guardians,
Ward Melville High School will be offering a voluntary three-week summer review class for any student who is scheduled to take an Algebra 2/Trigonometry course for the 2017-2018 school year. These classes will review various algebraic topics already covered in both Algebra 1 and Geometry, but are important for student success in Algebra 2/Trigonometry. Classes will be held Monday through Thursday from 9 AM to 11 AM at Ward Melville High School beginning on July 24th and continuing through until August 10th.
If you are interested in having your child participate in these summer review classes, please contact Mr. Finnerty's (730-4960) office to register for this review course. Should you have any questions regarding these review classes, please email Mr. Ambrose at

Ward Melville High School Class of 2017!

Ward Melville High School Class of 2017 Photo

Celebrating Educational Milestones

Celebrating Educational Milestones Photo

Sixth and ninth-grade students from throughout the district marked the end of their journey through elementary and junior high school during celebratory and commemorative moving-up events this June.

Teachers, administrators and esteemed guests gathered to celebrate the students’ educational milestone and cheered proudly as they walked across the dais to receive their moving-up certificates. 

Below are photos from several of the ceremonies. 

R.C. Murphy JHS

P.J. Gelinas JHS

Minnesauke Elementary School



Celebrating Achievements

Celebrating Achievements Photo

During the district’s last meeting of the 2017-18 school year, the Board of Education celebrated a multitude of student and staff achievements.

W.S. Mount Elementary School students were honored for their successful participation in the National History Bee, a competition that four students qualified to take part in. P.J. Gelinas and R.C. Murphy Junior High School’s award-winning Science Olympiad teams were honored for their placement at the national and state levels, respectively. Gelinas’ talented speller and National Spelling Bee contestant Ryan Himmelsbach was celebrated for his talents and successes and Gelinas ninth-grader William Sun was honored for receiving a perfect score on the ACT. Furthermore, Gelinas English teacher Doug Elliot was recognized for being awarded by the New York State Bar Association the Educator Emil Zullo Distinguished Service Award. Additionally, 12 members of the district’s faculty were honored with tenure.

Several athletic accomplishments were celebrated during the meeting. The members of the boys swimming and diving team were honored for their participation in the New York State swimming championship. The five members of the Ward Melville High School girls track team were celebrated for their successful participation in the New York State Track and Field Championship. The boys varsity lacrosse team was also commended for being named New York State champions. 

Lastly, the district proudly accepted the donation of five pediatric trauma kits from the local Kiwanis Club. 

Kindergarten Celebration

Kindergarten Celebration Photo
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Kindergarten Celebration Photo 4
Minnesauke Elementary School kindergarten students celebrated the end of the school year during a colorful event.

During the celebration, the students dressed in colors and hats to represent each season. They sang songs they learned throughout the year and remembered all the fun they had season by season.  

The students participated in designing the program, painting props, holding props and signs, as well as speaking at different points during the show to introduce the songs. Members of the Minnesauke music staff played guitar, piano and violin for several songs. Highlights included the students performing sign language for one song and for the finale all the students wore sunglasses and sang a song to celebrate all the friends they met and achievements of kindergarten.

Track Stars Named All-Americans

Track Stars Named All-Americans Photo
Ward Melville High School girls track team members Allyson Gaedje, Sam Rutt, Liz Radke and Sam Sturgess have been named All-Americans as a result of their third-place finish in the New Balance National Outdoor Championship in North Carolina. The 4x800 team finished the race with a time of 9:05.41, the second fastest time in school history.

Celebrating Flag Day

Celebrating Flag Day Photo

Students from throughout the district celebrated the nation’s stars and stripes at commemorative Flag Day events this June.

During ceremonies held at the respective elementary schools, the students sang a number of patriotic songs, shared patriotic themed essays and donned clothing items and artistic creations in the nation’s colors – red, white and blue.

At W.S. Mount Elementary School, the raising of the American flag was an exceptionally special one this year. Thanks to a successful cookie drive fundraiser for servicemen and women, local Girl Scout Troop 337 received a flag that was flown by the United States Army over Afghanistan. In turn, the troop presented that flag to the school and assisted the building’s boy scouts and girl scouts with the traditional raising of the flag at the start of the ceremony. This particular flag flies on each Flag Day at Mount for as long as the scout members are students.

SBU Basketball Team Visits Setauket

SBU Basketball Team Visits Setauket Photo
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SBU Basketball Team Visits Setauket Photo 3
SBU Basketball Team Visits Setauket Photo 4
Setauket Elementary School third-grade classes celebrated their love of literacy when several members of the Stony Brook University women’s basketball team visited the school.

During the event, the basketball team members read aloud to each class and answered questions about their college experiences and athletic careers.

Honored for Service

Honored for Service Photo

Two hundred twenty-one district students were praised and commended for their philanthropic actions and presented with the Presidential Volunteer Service Award in June.

This national award is issued for service hours accumulated during a 12-month period. According to the official criteria, the awards are offered in multiple levels and are designed to recognize each milestone of service. Levels include bronze, silver, gold and the highest honor, the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award, for those who contribute more than 4,000 hours of service in their lifetime.

During the event, Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn, Superintendent of Schools Cheryl Pedisich and Three Village Teachers’ Association representative Brian Pickford offered their collective congratulations to the recipients before the building principals presented the official awards. 


Ward Melville 2017 Spring Athletics Recap

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Academic Achievements

221 Scholar Athletes – 66% of our varsity athletes

Butch Dellacave Award Winners – Megan Raftery and Dominic Pryor

New York State Scholar Athlete Teams

  • Varsity girls lacrosse
  • Varsity boys tennis
  • Varsity girls spring track
  • Varsity softball


Girls Track

  • 800M Division Champ/State Qualifier – Ally Gaedje
  • Long Jump Division Champ – Marina Vostrova
  • 400M Division Champ – Sam Rutt
  • 4 x 800 Relay Team Division Champs – Ally Gaedje, Sam Rutt, Liz Radke, Shannon Ryan
  • 4 x 800 State Qualifiers – Ally Gaedje, Sam Rutt, Liz Radke, Shannon Ryan(All placed 6th in State)
  • Pentathlon State qualifier – Marina Vostrova (Placed 6th in State)


Girls Lacrosse 17-1 Season Record

League Champs

County Semifinalists


Boys Varsity Lacrosse 20-2 Season Record

League Champions

Suffolk County Champions

Long Island Champions

State Champions


Boys Track

Division qualifiers and third place winners – 4 x 800 Relay – Josh Meyer, Mike Rippa, Danny Ryan and Eric Zulkofske

Division qualifier and third place mile – Eric Zulkofske


Baseball 21-6 Season Record

League Champs

No. 1 seed in playoffs (first time)

No. 1 ranked in New York State (5/24)

4 Playoff Wins 

Suffolk County Semifinalist


Boys Tennis

League Champs

Division 3 Champs

Big Four Semifinalist

No. 2 seed

Six County Qualifiers 

Division 3 Champ/County Quarterfinals – Dan Meinster

Division 3 Doubles Champ – Tyler Ancona and Deven Wackett


Individual Honors

(All names listed on the athletics department page)

  • All League/Division – 40
  • All County – 19
  • All State – 8
  • All Long Island – TBD

Murals Inspired by Local Artist

Murals Inspired by Local Artist Photo
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In one of their last acts before moving up to junior high school, Setauket Elementary School’s sixth-grade class came together to create an exquisite mural inspired by two paintings by local artist Doug Reina. 

Not only did the students lend their artistic skills to the project, they also had the chance to meet with Mr. Reina and learn how he chooses the locations for his artwork. During his visit, Mr. Reina also explained his process of painting and provided the students with feedback on their replicas of his work. 

This year’s mural artwork, which was created with the help of art teacher Maria Maritato, are titled "Yellow Double Arrow" and "Pins."

Mount Musical

Mount Musical Photo

W.S. Mount Elementary School’s Drama Club took audiences back to River City, Iowa in their production of "The Music Man Jr."

The cast and crew, under the direction of Dan Hayes, Gretchen Tranchino, Lauren Horn and Melissa Levenson, included over 50 students from the fifth- and sixth-grade. The show, which includes such numbers as "Trouble", "Till There Was You", and "Seventy-Six Trombones," took months of hard work and dedication from all those involved.

Murphy’s Musical High Note

Murphy’s Musical High Note Photo
Murphy’s Musical High Note Photo 2

R.C. Murphy Junior High School Jazz Band, under the direction of Brendan Meier, competed in the Long Island Music Fest at LIU Post this spring and took home high honors.

Performing for a panel of judges, the group competed against other groups from around Long Island. As a result of their performance, the students earned the highest ranking of "Superior" and also scored the highest numeric score of the entire festival; a 99/100. 

After a brief workshop with one of the judges, they celebrated their successes at The Adventure Park at Long Island; a high ropes course in Wheatley Heights.


Making Mathematical Memories

Making Mathematical Memories Photo

Setauket Elementary School first-graders are working to build mathematical fluency and numeral understanding as part of the school’s math club.

The club, which has been meeting weekly before school, enables students to work with teachers Lisa Wall and Christine Beck to play a variety of differentiated math games focused on such concepts as numerical operations, regrouping and multiples. After the teachers model the game and discuss the proper strategy, the students work in small groups to play at least two different games each session. 

Fifth-graders at the school volunteer to assist with the club for community service hours and help to mentor the younger students. 

A similar club was held earlier this year for kindergarten students. 

Ward Melville Patriots Commit to College

Ward Melville Patriots Commit to College Photo
Surrounded by proud parents, teachers, friends and coaches, 59 Ward Melville High School seniors were celebrated for their decision to continue their athletic careers at some of the nation’s top colleges and universities this fall. 

During a commemorative breakfast ceremony, each student was individually honored for his or her commitment to their academics and chosen sport as well as reminded that no matter where their future leads that they will always be a part of the Ward Melville Patriot family. 

Twenty-three of the students will compete at Division I schools and 36 will take part in Division II and III athletic programs. 

Click here for a list of the students’ names and the schools they will be attending.

Celebratory Count Down

Celebratory Count Down Photo
As has become a tradition at Setauket Elementary School, students in Christine Beck’s class are celebrating their academic successes this year with a “Last 20 Days of School” countdown. 

Each day, the class pops a balloon that hangs from the classroom ceiling to discover a new way to celebrate. The message in that balloon provides information about what the focus will be for the following day. To date, the activities have included different theme days – such as crazy hat day – as well as activities tied to the school’s character education program. 

Powerful Written Words

Powerful Written Words Photo
Based on their outstanding writing skills, Ward Melville High School juniors Noor Kamal and Arianna Parkideh were named winners in the National Council of Teachers of English annual Achievement Awards in Writing Competition.

For the contest, each student submitted a sample writing piece that they considered to be their best work as well as a themed writing based on a topic developed by the Achievement Awards Advisory Committee. This year’s theme was based on the popularized phrase “With great power comes great responsibility,” and asked the writers to evaluate and analyze those in positions of power and what they are doing to live up to the responsibilities they are bestowed.  

National judges evaluated each piece of writing for content, purpose, audience, tone, word choice, organization, development and style.

Shining STARS at Minnesauke

Shining STARS at Minnesauke Photo
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Minnesauke Elementary School’s National Junior Art Honor Society has helped to promote the building’s character education program – STARS – this spring through two colorful projects.

The students, with the help of their advisor and Minnesauke art teacher Christine Sacco, created 700 unique mini artworks in the shape of a star and presented one to each member of the school community on a day they called "Stars for STARS." The stars were created to symbolize how each individual is unique, special and important and everyone wearing them together is a reflection of how they are unified as a community.

As a lasting gift for the sixth-grade, the NJAHS helped to create a STARS theme mural in the style of graffiti artist Keith Haring. The students glazed the tiles that border the large display and helped to paint the main subjects in the mural. Each sixth-grader was then able to add a memory they had from Minnesauke to the mural’s title background.
Minnesauke’s STARS program stands for sharing, trustworthy, accepting, respectful and serving.

A Mathematical Mark

A Mathematical Mark Photo
R.C. Murphy Junior High School students Matthew Chen, Animesh Ghose, Jessica Liao, Neil Mehta and Claire Yang recently placed third in the state at the 2017 MoMathlon Tournament of Champions at the MoMath Museum in New York City.

During the event, which was supported and sponsored by Con Edison and Brookhaven National Laboratory, the top 10 middle school teams in New York State competed in four challenging rounds – Individual, Team, Mixed Team, and Team Relay – to solve challenging mathematical questions, all without the use of a calculator.

“The students had a great time not only competing but also working and meeting kids across New York and exploring the MoMath museum, which for most of them was the 1st time,” said Murphy mathematics chairperson Rocco Vetro.

A Presidential Study

A Presidential Study Photo
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A Presidential Study Photo 4
As part of their social studies unit on government, W.S. Mount fifth-graders in Janet Von Bargen’s class learned about many of the nation’s leaders during a recent research project on presidents.  

The students chose a president to research and created a scrapbook of pictures and mementos their president might have saved. They also created a Time magazine cover that their president might have appeared on and a newspaper front page highlighting an important event during his presidency.

Additionally, using what they learned about their president's talents, interests, education and background, each student decided what kind of teacher their president might have been. They then created a figure representing the teacher president, using caricatures of their faces and appropriate "clothing" and props.

Festival of Music Honors

Festival of Music Honors Photo
Ward Melville High School’s jazz band, string orchestra and symphony orchestra took part in and captured top honors during the Festivals of Music in the Parks competition in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
All three groups scored superior ratings, Jason Rahner won best overall soloist for jazz, the symphony orchestra won best overall orchestra, and the entire music department won the collective Esprit de Corps award for character, behavior and deportment.

Elected DECA Officer

Elected DECA Officer Photo
Ward Melville High School junior Suraj Singh has been elected to serve as the Suffolk County DECA Vice President of Communications.  

Earlier this year, Suraj applied for the position by submitting a resume, essay and formal application. Additionally, he delivered a compelling speech during this year’s annual DECA Dinner/Dance and Officer Installation Ceremony as he campaigned for the position against other candidates from Suffolk County DECA chapters.

Three Village Authors and Illustrators in Print

Many district students were included in this year’s "Pens and Pencils" feature in the Village Times Herald. To see copies of the students’ work, please visit


Posted with permission from TBR News Media.

June Drug & Alcohol Awareness Event Sponsored by the Bates House


A Nose for a Cause

A Nose for a Cause Photo

Setauket Elementary School was blanketed with individuals donning red noses as the school community came together to raise funds and awareness for two important causes.

As part of the building’s sprit week celebration, individuals donated $2 to purchase a red nose and help make a difference in the lives of children. As a result of the building’s generosity, Setauket raised close to $800 to benefit Room4Love and national Red Nose Day.

Two former Setauket Elementary School students and their parents started an organization call Room4Love, an organization that raises money to remodel bedrooms of children who are diagnosed with cancer. Red Nose Day is an initiative aimed at ensuring that children are safe, healthy, educated and empowered in all 50 states as well as in many countries in Latin America, Asia and Africa.

The schoolwide initiative was organized by the Setauket student council.

Fencing Coach Receives National Award

Fencing Coach Receives National Award Photo
Ward Melville High School fencing coach Jeff Salmon has been selected as the inaugural winner of the USA Fencing National High School Coach of the Year Award for 2017.  Eighteen individuals from high schools around the country were nominated for this prestigious award and a pool of five finalists were selected and evaluated by a special committee.

Under Salmon’s leadership, Ward Melville’s teams have continued a winning tradition, including capturing the 2016-17 Long Island Championship title. Additionally, over the past 15 years, the program has maintained an unparalleled winning streak that ranks among the most impressive in interscholastic athletics nationwide.   

Arrowhead on Broadway

Arrowhead on Broadway Photo

Arrowhead Elementary School’s Drama Club took to the stage this spring to perform a collection of musical favorites during this year’s show “Arrowhead on Broadway: A Musical Review!”

The students worked tirelessly under the direction of Melissa Anderson, Paul Mueller and Krista Prestia to perfect their routines and create the sets for the show. The production featured such familiar songs as “Getting to Know You,” “Anything You Can Do,” and “Footloose.”

Designing and Constructing Insulated Devices

Designing and Constructing Insulated Devices Photo

Minnesauke Elementary School sixth-graders recently worked to become design engineers during their STEM class, as they studied thermal energy transfer and 3-D printing.

With the help of their teacher, Sean Dowling, the students created insulated containers based upon their knowledge of heat transfer – conduction, convection and radiation – as well as conductors and insulators.

The students designed a container encompassing two inner joining parts and then selected which type of insulation to fit between the two parts. Once the designs were finalized using the computer CAD software, they were brought to life using the school’s 3-D printer. Students then ran a test to see which printed device was able to keep the most of an ice cube’s mass in solid form after putting it under a light source for 20 minutes. Two project designs per class were chosen to complete in a final grade level challenge. The ice cube enclosed in the device that won the overall competition was found to have only lost 0.66 percent of its mass.

In addition to the hands-on component to the lesson, the students had the opportunity to meet with a Minnesauke parent – Mr. Cutting – who works in the field. During the in-class presentations, Mr. Cutting spoke about the company he works for – Sartorius – and the insulated devices they create and use daily.

Mural of Caring

Mural of Caring Photo

In an effort to leave a lasting legacy at the school, this year’s Arrowhead Elementary School sixth-grade class worked with art teacher Rachael Inversa to paint a colorful mural on the wall outside of the building’s cafeteria.

The mural depicts two things very near and dear to the school’s student body – the new Arrowhead Panda “C.A.R.E.S.” Bear mascot and the building’s outdoor buddy bench. The mascot is a visual reminder for the students of the character education/PBIS program, which promotes the ideas of compassion, acceptance, respectfulness, encouraging and sharing.  

Back from Broadway

Back from Broadway Photo
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W.S. Mount Elementary School sixth-grader Ava Della Pietra received a star-studded welcome back to school this May – as she ended her multi-month performance in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “School of Rock – The Musical” on Broadway.

On her first day back to school, Ava’s classmates and teacher - Anthony Prinzo – created a large welcome back sign and red carpet outside their classroom. The group was eager to hear about her Broadway experience and was happy to have her back with them at Mount.  

Tuesday, July 25, 2017   |  District Home