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Smithtown BOE Partnering With SCPD To Enhance Safety And Security

Smithtown Board of Education approves partnership with Suffolk County Police Department to enhance safety and security

At its business meeting on Sept. 10, 2019, the Smithtown Board of Education approved a Memorandum of Agreement with the Suffolk County Police Department to implement the S.H.A.R.E. initiative within the district. S.H.A.R.E. (Sharing to Help Access Remote Entry), allows school districts to share their camera systems, video feeds and building layouts with police in real-time. This allows police to monitor the systems in the event of an intruder or active shooter situation and affords them the ability to better coordinate rescue efforts. In addition, responding officers are provided with the location of the incident/threat within the building. 

“We are pleased to be able to implement the S.H.A.R.E. program within our district,” said Interim Superintendent Russell Stewart. “While we hope we never need to use it, this program will be instrumental in reducing police response time and providing them with critical information in the event of an emergency.”

The board’s approval of the program comes after months of discussion, first initiated at a Board Legislative Committee meeting on Feb. 12, 2019. The Legislative Committee meeting was attended by members of the board of education, district administrators and community members, as well as Suffolk County Legislator Robert Trotta and Smithtown Town Councilman Thomas Lohmann. 


Two SHSE Students Named National Merit Semifinalists

Smithtown East boasts two National Merit semifinalists

From left: Smithtown High School East Principal Dr. Kevin Simmons with National Merit Scholar semifinalists Ritvik Chilakamarthy and Brendan Dervan and guidance counselors Karen Schmalz and Brian Alemaghides. Two seniors from Smithtown High School East in the Smithtown Central School District  – Ritvik Chilakamarthy and Brendan Dervan – were among the approximately 16,000 students across the county who were named semifinalists in the 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition. National Merit finalists will be announced in February. These winners will then have the opportunity to compete for 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million, which will be announced in the spring. 

Photo courtesy of Smithtown Central School District


Smithtown Coach Bill Hamilton Recognized By Smithtown BOE

Smithtown Central School District’s Board of Education recognized longtime Smithtown High School West varsity girls soccer and basketball coach Bill Hamilton during the Sept. 10 meeting. Hamilton, who retired from teaching in the district 12 years ago, served as a coach and mentor for Smithtown students for 42 years. “He has left an indelible positive impact on the students of Smithtown,” said athletic director Patrick Smith. “He has fostered a culture here that has promoted life lessons.” He is pictured with (from left) board of education trustee Matthew Gribbin, Patrick Smith and board of education vice president Michael Saidens.  Photo courtesy of Smithtown Central School District


Tackan Student Dominick Chiuchiolo Raises Money To Fight Childhood Cancer

Tackan student ‘stands’ up to childhood cancer

At the Sept. 10 board of education meeting, Smithtown Central School District recognized 7-year-old Dominick Chiuchiolo, a student at Tackan Elementary School, for his fundraising efforts. Setting up his own lemonade stand at the St. James Farmer’s Market, Chiuchiolo raised $11,700 to support childhood cancer research in just one week . After finding out his mother is a childhood cancer survivor, Chiuchiolo set his initial goal to raise $8,000 in one month but far surpassed his expectations thanks to the support of his friends, family and local community. He is pictured with board of education trustees Mandi Kowalik and Jerry Martusciello. 


Photo courtesy of Smithtown Central School District


Smithtown Students Look Forward To 2019 - 2020 School Year

Smithtown students shine for first day

Sept. 4 marked the official start to the 2019-2020 school year for the Smithtown Central School District. Students throughout the district were all smiles as they entered their buildings, reconnecting with friends and settling into their new classrooms and routines. 

With backpacks filled with back to school supplies, kindergarten students entered their new buildings for the first time eager to learn and looking forward to a great year ahead. The district’s newest students spent their first day unloading supplies and engaging in icebreaker activities to get to know each other. 

Sixth graders and freshmen toured their new buildings during orientation days at the end of the summer, easing the fears of new schedules and lockers. As the week progressed, the students and staff settled into their routines and looked forward to a productive year ahead. 

Students and staff ushered in the new school year on Sept. 4 at Smithtown Central School District. 


Photos courtesy of Smithtown Central School District


Thirty New Teachers Join Smithtown Central School District


Thirty new teachers were welcomed into the Smithtown Central School District during new teacher orientation from Aug. 27-29. To kick off the first-day activities, new teachers were introduced to members of central administration and Smithtown’s board of education. The new hires also met with departmental administrators and learned about some of the district’s technology initiatives. Day two included DASA training and visits to their respective schools to meet with principals and assistant principals. The final day of orientation focused on building relationships, lesson planning, professional development and social emotional learning. 


Photo courtesy of Smithtown Central School District


Three Accompsett Middle School Girl Scouts Create Buddy Bench

Accompsett MS shows off new buddy bench

Three students from Accompsett Middle School in the Smithtown Central School District recently created a kindness bench for their school. The students – (from left) Erin Fels, Regan Sayers and Angelica Rafaelides – are members of Girl Scout troop 1335. The bench can be used as a place to sit down with friends or make new ones. Students are encouraged to use the bench to work out their differences with their fellow classmates. It creates a friendly and safe environment for everyone. Photo courtesy of Smithtown Central School District 


Coach Miller Recognized For Four Decades Of Service

West coach recognized for four decades of service

Smithtown Central School District’s administrators, board of education members and Athletic Director Patrick Smith recognized Smithtown High School West’s former softball coach David Miller for his 40-plus years of coaching in the district on Aug. 20. Miller was presented with a proclamation from the district. Although he officially retired from his coaching position, the High School West softball field will continue to bear his name. Miller continues to serve the community as president of the Smithtown Booster Club. From left: Smithtown Board of Education trustee Matthew Gribbin, Miller, Smithtown Board of Education trustee Frank James and Smithtown Athletic Director Patrick Smith. Photo courtesy of Smithtown Central School District


Smithtown's Hayley Beutel And Mike Danzi Recognized As Standout Athletes

Smithtown standout athletes acknowledged 

Two incoming senior-athletes from Smithtown High School West were recognized for their performance both in classroom and in their respective sports by the Smithtown Central School District’s Board of Education and athletic director at the Aug. 20 meeting. Smithtown High School West’s Hayley Beutel and Mike Danzi both hold high academic standings in addition to their accomplishments in their sports. Beutel is a three-time All-League, All-County and All-State diver on the combined High School East/West team and currently holds the school’s diving record. Danzi competes in the combines High School East/West track team and was recently named a runner-up in the state championships. From left: Smithtown Board of Education trustees Mandi Kowalik and Jerry Martusciello with Beutel, Danzi and Smithtown Athletic Director Patrick Smith. Photo courtesy of Smithtown Central School District


Knox School Shows Off New And Improved Equestrian Center

Saint James, New York-

After a month of extensive renovation and restoration to the historic Phebe T. Phillips Byrne Equestrian Center on the campus of The Knox School in St. James, the new and improved facilities are open for business! On Thursday, August 15, 2019, Knox hosted an Equestrian Open House for members of the School and local communities to visit and enjoy the new facility improvements. The recent upgrades to the equestrian space are just the beginning of extensive efforts to restore the extraordinary, historic,  horseshoe-shaped barn to its original glory.

The Phebe T. Phillips Byrne Equestrian Center’s renovation project began this summer when Head of School Kristen Tillona-Baker hired Horsemaster and James North as Director of Equine Sciences to shepherd a major restoration while developing new and improved training programs within the hunter and jumper equine divisions. Mr. North is no stranger to major equestrian center development projects and has a proven track record of taking competitive training programs to the highest levels. He and newly appointed Assistant Director of Equine Sciences Amanda Cordingley are a dynamic duo who will carry out the vision of a Blue-Ribbon Future for The Knox School.

Within this first phase of renovations, some of the most substantial projects included a new all-weather riding ring with state-of-the-art footing, new fencing and jumps, a fully renovated tack room with polished brass tack, varnished walls, new furniture and artwork that looks like it was inspired by  Ralph Lauren’s catalog, new drainage and foundation restoration, newly renovated bathroom and laundry room, new hot water bathing and drying stall for the horses and paint on just about every surface possible.  For additional elegance, The Knox School thanks Longos Landscaping of St. James for their tireless efforts in making the campus look beautiful with new their expert landscaping and masonry.

“While The Equestrian Center renovation is necessary and something I have been working towards since I first became Head of School over five years ago, it’s about so much more,” said Head of School Kristen Tillona-Baker. “Investing in the future of our riding program is investing in the future of our students. I believe in this program, our students, and this school that I love so much, and supporting The Knox School Equestrian Program is just one of many ways we will secure a strong future for our Home Beside the Shore.” 

Beginning this fall, The Knox School Equestrian Program will be rolling out new and improved training programs for current student-athletes and the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) team which will reach far beyond the programs previously offered. Knox is also offering boarding and training facilities for outside riders. For information about the new programs or boarding options, please contact The Knox School’s Equestrian Center at (631) 686-1600 ext. 437 or go to