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KPCSD Awarded $100,000 Grant For Improvements To RJO Track

Kings Park CSD is Awarded State and Municipal Facilities Program Grant

 The Kings Park Central School District was recently notified that is was awarded a $100,000 grant through the New York State Municipal Facilities Program.  The school district applied for the grant last summer after learning about this opportunity through Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick. 

RJO Field Google MapsRJO field levelAccording to Superintendent Eagen, “Assemblyman Fitzpatrick was instrumental in pointing out this potential funding opportunity for the school district. We are very appreciative of his help and assistance” 

The district plans to use the grant funds to resurface the track behind the RJO Intermediate school, replace some damaged fencing along the RJO parking lot, and add some additional fencing along the wooded area on the far side of the track.  According to Dr. Eagen, “The RJO track has been an issue for several years, and this grant will allow us to finally make this area usable and safer for students and the community.”  While it is too late in the summer to resurface the track this summer, the district will be installing the fence and then perform the work on the track next summer.  Dr. Eagen indicated, “The district is installing an irrigation system on this field this summer through our 5-year facilities plan, so by the end of next summer this area should be finished and much improved.”  The school district recently applied for a second $30,000 municipal grant to renovate some of its ball fields.  According to Dr. Eagen, “We are always looking for alternate funding sources and grants to supplement our typical facilities budget.” 



Smithtown Board Of Education Annual Reorganization Meeting

Smithtown’s BOE hold annual reorganization meeting 


Smithtown Central School District’s Board of Education held its annual reorganization meeting on July 12. Jeremy Thode was unanimously re-elected and sworn in to serve as president of the board of education. Michael Saidens was unanimously re-elected and sworn in to serve as vice president. District Clerk Maureen O’Connor swore in the board officials.

Mandi Kowalik and Thode were each elected to three-year seats on the board of education in May. 

Photo: Smithtown Central School District’s Board of Education during its annual reorganization meeting on July 12. From left (standing): Michael Saidens. Matthew Gribbin, Daniel Lynch and Jeremy Thode. (Seated): Joanne McEnroy, Gladys Waldron and Mandi Kowalik.

Photo courtesy of Smithtown Central School District


Smithtown Central SD Names New Guidance Administrator

Smithtown names new guidance administrator 

Kevin Colon has been named the administrator for guidance and related student services at Smithtown Central School District, effective July 1.Smithtown Central School District has named Kevin Colon as the new administrator for guidance and related student services, effective July 1. He replaces Ingrid Hrvatin who retired at the end of the school year.

Prior to joining Smithtown Central School District, Colon worked as an assistant principal for East Side Middle School in New York City since 2014. He has also held high school, middle school and elementary guidance counselor positions in several other districts.  

Colon has a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Queens College and a master’s degree in school counseling from LIU Post. He also holds an advanced certificate in educational leadership from the College of Saint Rose. 

Photo courtesy of Smithtown Central School District


SCSD Appoints Christopher Elsesser Asst. Principal At SHSW

Smithtown High School West appoints new AP

Assistant Principal Christopher ElsesserSmithtown Central School District has appointed Christopher Elsesser as the new assistant principal at Smithtown High School West, effective Aug. 1.

Elsesser served as assistant principal in Oyster Bay High School for the 2017-2018 school year. Previously, he worked in the Smithtown Central School District since 2008 as a business teacher in both Smithtown High School East and Smithtown High School West and a leave replacement secondary assistant principal at Smithtown High School West in the 2016-2017 school year.  

Elsesser has a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing/management from Siena College and a master’s degree in management from Fairfield University. He also holds certifications in both school building leadership and school district leadership from Dowling College. 

Photo courtesy of Smithtown Central School District


Commack Student Raphael Iskra Heads To U Penn With National Merit Scholarship

National Merit Scholarship Winner

Dr. Donald James, Superintendent, Commack Schools; Raphael, Leslie Boritz, Principal of Commack High School, and Amy Ryan, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment and Student Support Services.Raphael Iskra was named a Finalist in the National Merit Scholarship annual competition, and went on to win $2,500 scholarship.

Approximately 1.6 million students entered the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program, and Raphael is one of only 2,500 students chosen for this honor. “Selection Committee members review all of the Finalist applications and consider each student’s academic record (including course load, rigor, depth and breadth of subjects studied, and grades earned); the student’s self-descriptive essay, activities, leadership, employment, and contributions to the school and community; in addition to the high school official’s letter of recommendation. The Scholars selected by the Committee are those determined to have the strongest combination of attributes and accomplishments and the greatest potential for future success in college studies and beyond.”

Raphael earned many accolades during his high school years, in science and math. Most recently he was a two time participant (two years in a row) in the Intel Science and Engineering Fair, taking third place in Microbiology, and a member of the top Varsity Math Team in Suffolk County. He will attend the University of Pennsylvania this fall.



Smithtown Holds 103rd Commencement Exercises

Sun shines for Smithtown’s graduates

Smithtown Central School District’s two high schools – East and West – held their respective 103rd commencement exercises on the football field on June 21 joined by members of the board of education, administration, family, friends, faculty and invited guests, officially completing the seniors’ educational journey. 

 Smithtown High School East Principal Dr. Kevin Simmons commended the 406 members of the Class of 2018 for the positive mark they have left on the school. He reminded them to stay true to themselves and take advantage of the opportunities they will be presented with in the future. “The future is in your capable hands, and we know our future is bright,” Dr. Simmons told the graduates.

At Smithtown High School East, Smithtown Central School District’s Superintendent Dr. James Grossane, in his address to graduates, referenced the Robert Fulghum poem, “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” “No matter how old you are, when you go into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together,” he said.

At Smithtown High School West, leading up to the final moment in the graduation exercise, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Jennifer Bradshaw, student-elected honor speaker Kevin Camson and senior class president Jenna Curcio delivered speeches filled with hopes, dreams and sage advice that assured the graduates they were prepared to begin the next stage of their lives. 

Sharing wisdom she learned reading Adam Grant’s book “Give and Take,” Bradshaw told the graduates that Grant’s research finds that those who give come out ahead in both business and in life. “Givers build larger, broader, more supportive networks of friends and colleagues. And they gain greater knowledge and experience through the broad network of people they are helping,” she noted. 

Smithtown High School West’s honor speaker Kevin Camson with Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Jennifer Bradshaw during the 2018 commencement exercises on June 21.Bradshaw concluded her speech with a wish and a hope for the Class of 2018. “I wish you all the very best success, in whatever ways you measure it, and I hope that being a ‘giver’ plays a fulfilling role in that journey.”

Using humor, Camson shared his personal story of overcoming obstacles. “There may be hurdles in your path, you may stumble. If you’re anything like me, you will stumble, but keep going. There may be hurdles you can’t clear at all. Go around them. If you do, success will come down to two things: guidance and hard work,” Camson advised. 

Curcio used her time behind the podium to honor those who helped the seniors get to where they are today. “Our thank you to those who have helped us is only beginning… Show them how thankful you are by making use of the precious gift of time which we all possess. Show our mentors that their time devoted to us was not in vain. They have all made a difference in our lives so that we can make a difference in the future.”

Joining the Smithtown High School West Class of 2018 in receiving a diploma was 87-year-old special guest, Mordechai Miller. Miller, a native of Poland and Holocaust survivor, was presented an honorary diploma from Smithtown High School West Principal John Coady. 

Smithtown High School East’s honor speaker Matthew Timmel recounted their journey from freshmen to senior year and the memories created along the way. He said that graduation was the recognition of an adventure that started 13 years ago, and no matter where they end up in life, Smithtown will remain their roots.

Smithtown High School East’s Senior Class President Nicole Cahill told her fellow graduates to strive for excellence in every task, no matter how large or small. She said that if everyone in the Class of 2018 lives up to their full potential, “just imagine the effect on the world we can have.”

Following the conferring of diplomas, both the Smithtown High School West and East Class of 2018 tossed their caps and celebrated their accomplishments with family and friends.

Photos courtesy of Smithtown Central School District


Tackan Elementary Students Skateboard For Wellness

Tackan skates its way to wellness

In conjunction with its Wellness Day, Tackan Elementary School in the Smithtown Central School District held an assembly by SK8 4 Life on June 14. Two professional skateboarders showed off their skating skills while teaching the students lessons in nutrition, exercise, positive thinking and overcoming obstacles. Teaching mind, body and spirit connections, the interactive character trait presentation helped give students the tools to inspire others, while also empowering them to be the best version of themselves. 

Photo courtesy of Smithtown Central School District


St.James Elementary Celebrates 80 Years Of Education

St. James Elementary celebrates 80 years of education

Alumni, former staff, faculty members and students returned to St. James Elementary School in the Smithtown Central School District to commemorate the school’s 80th anniversary on June 13.

Fifth-graders served as tour guides, treating guests to guided tours of the building, showing off some of the original pieces and all of its preserved history. The school’s library was transformed into a historical museum, showing off photos, newspaper clippings, yearbooks and more from each of the different decades in the building’s history. 

The St. James Singers performed song’s from their recent spring concert to kick off the ceremony. St. James Elementary School Principal Mary Grace Lynch shared some of her favorite moments in the building. “When we think of St. James Elementary, we think of what a beautiful building it is,” she said. “And there’s plenty to admire and celebrate. But when we really think about it, even though our bricks and mortar are exquisite, what really makes this place special is the people inside of it.”

Smithtown Town Councilwoman Lynne Nowick, an alumna of the school, also shared why she loves St. James Elementary. “This school has been a pillar of the St. James community for many decades,” she said. “This is not just a school; it will always be a home away from home.” Two St. James Elementary teachers, Kimberly Chacon and Kathleen DeBono, who also attended the school, shared their fond memories. To close out the ceremony, the fifth-graders performed a dancing medley through the decades, and guests and students joined together to sing “Happy Birthday.”

Photos courtesy of Smithtown Central School District