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Sachem Senior Receives Long Island Scholar-Artist Award

Sachem Senior Receives Long Island Scholar-Artist Award photo
Sachem High School East senior Miriam e Silva was recently selected as one of 20 students to receive the Long Island Arts Alliance Scholar-Artist Award for her continued excellence in academics and the art of photography. 

Silva was enrolled in the Professional Photography program at the Bixhorn Technical Center at Eastern Suffolk BOCES during the 2017-2018 school year, where she was nominated for the opportunity to receive the award. As part of the arduous selection process, Silva was required to maintain an unweighted grade point average of 90 or higher and submit a portfolio of her work, including an essay to be assessed by a panel of artists and art educators. 

Silva was honored for her accomplishment at the Scholar-Artist Awards Kickoff program hosted by New York State Regent Roger Tilles on Sept. 12 at the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts at LIU Post.

Grundy Avenue Celebrates Creativity on International Dot Day

Grundy Avenue Celebrates Creativity on International Dot Day photo

In celebration of International Dot Day, students across Grundy Avenue Elementary School expressed their creativity through a number of challenging activities and engaging artistic projects.

Dot Day is a worldwide celebration of creativity which arose as a byproduct of the Peter H. Reynolds book, “The Dot.” The book depicts the story of a little girl who is shy about expressing her artistic abilities. Following some encouragement from an art teacher, she becomes inspired by a tiny dot she put on a piece of paper and from that dot creates multiple works of art.

After reading the popular book, third-grade students in Angela Coffaro and Allison Poffenbarger’s classes both participated in a dot-themed STEAM activity that emphasized design concepts and teamwork. The student groups were asked to design and construct the tallest tower they could utilizing multicolored dot stickers and index cards. As the students continued through the activity they were encouraged to identify design flaws and work together to develop alternative designs. Also joining in on the Dot Day celebration were second-grade students in Tricia Troise and Kerri Krouse’s class who crafted unique masterpieces starting from a single dot on a piece of cardstock.

In an additional activity, second-grade students in Tara McCormack’s class joined their fifth-grade book buddies in Briann Degan’s class for a collaborative STEAM activity. In groups of four, the book buddies were asked to build a structure out of Dots candy and toothpicks that could effectively hold the weight of a textbook. Throughout the activity the students used the unsuccessful designs to brainstorm amongst their peers and incorporate problem-solving techniques to accomplish their goals. 

As the day continued, the Dot Day celebration fostered a creative environment buildingwide and emphasized the importance of individuality through each student activity.

Sachem East 2018 Homecoming Carnival


Sachem Student Named Semifinalist in 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program

Sachem Student Named Semifinalist in 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program photo
Sachem High School North senior Amy DeLury has been selected as a semifinalist in the National Merit Scholarship Program. 

Amy excels in multiple Advanced Placement courses, including calculus, economics, English and physics. In addition to her continued academic success, she is also an integral participant in multiple extra- and co-curricular activities, such the Eurochallenge Club, in which she serves as a mentor, and the Model United Nations Club, in which she is a delegate. 

Adding to her impressive résumé of academic accomplishments, Amy has seen great success as a science research student, having placed second at the Long Island Brain Bee last year and having been selected for Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s Professor for a Day program. During the latter, she worked to examine protein homeostasis in health and disease. 

“I am very excited,” Amy said, when asked about her accomplishment. “It is a great honor to be selected as a semifinalist for this scholarship.”

Approximately 1.6 million juniors from high schools across the country entered the 2019 National Merit Scholarship program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The nationwide pool of 16,000 semifinalists represents 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors, who now have the opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million. 

In February, more than 90 percent of the semifinalists will be selected to advance to finalist standing and about half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title. 

Samoset Students Remember September 11

Samoset Students Remember September 11 photo
In remembrance of the tragic events that took place on Sept. 11, 2001, seventh-grade history students at Samoset Middle School recently attended an informative presentation, “A Responder’s Perspective,” led by trained first responder Rudy Princi. 

For seven years, Princi has spoken to Samoset students about his experience as a volunteer at ground zero, where he acquired necessary medical supplies as a liaison and performed triage services for those who required medical assistance. The presentation served as an opportunity for students to hear a firsthand account of the events that took place 17 years ago.   

Sachem Educator Named New York State Secondary Health Teacher of the Year

Sachem Educator Named New York State Secondary Health Teacher of the Year photo
The Sachem Central School District’s Chairperson for Secondary Health Education, Lori Hewlett has been named the Secondary Health Teacher of the Year by the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.    

A distinguished educator in the district for 34 years, Hewlett received numerous nominations from fellow colleagues before she completed a rigorous application process and was selected for this great honor. Among her plethora of professional accomplishments, Hewlett has been the vice president of the Suffolk Zone for the NYS AHPERD for six years, is a national spokesperson for the American Heart Association and has educated thousands of students in lifesaving skills utilizing her vast number of first-aid instructor certifications. 

“What an honor it is to be selected as the NYS AHPERD Secondary Health Teacher of the Year,” Hewlett said. “It has been my professional aspiration for 34 years to create a high-quality, skills-based, authentic health education program and culture that empowers students to achieve optimal health. When I first started teaching, my administrator shared with me his educational philosophy, ‘If you make every decision with students in mind, you will never make a bad decision.’ Those words have driven me to represent our students and Sachem in creating a model health education program that other districts seek to emulate.”

Hewlett will be honored at the NYS AHPERD 81st Annual Conference at Turning Stone Convention Center in Verona, New York, on Nov. 14.

Faculty and Staff Gather for Superintendent’s Conference Day

Faculty and Staff Gather for Superintendent’s Conference Day photo

As part of a tradition in its second year, the entire Sachem Central School District faculty and staff gathered to listen to encouraging words from district leaders and participate in staff development initiatives as part of Superintendent’s Conference Day on Sept. 4.

The bleachers at the Sachem High School East football field were filled with faculty and staff members who were welcomed with inspirational words from Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Graham. 

“We come together today to continue our work of creating strong connections with all of our students across the district,” Dr. Graham said. “We are here to reflect on how we create these valuable connections and to celebrate some of what we have accomplished along the way.” 

Board of Education President Laura Slattery also greeted the faculty and staff with encouraging words on the impact they have within the Sachem community.  

“To our teachers, nurses, social workers, psychologist, custodial, clerical and maintenance staff and every other Sachem employee, you have all made a difference in the lives of children, and that is why there is so much pride in living, working and going to school in Sachem,” Slattery said. “The Board of Education looks forward to working together to make this a successful year.” 

The immense gathering also provided an opportunity to recognize numerous dedicated district personnel who have been employed within the Sachem Central School District for 30 years. Assistant Superintendent for Personnel Kristin Capel-Eden read the name of each employee and presented them with a certificate honoring their momentous accomplishment. 

As part of the event, the district was honored to welcome New York State Regent Roger Tilles, who spoke to the audience of educators about the importance of their roles as teachers within the community.

At the conclusion of the presentations, faculty and staff members attended various staff development programs held throughout the district. 


First Day of School

First Day of School photo

Sachem students were greeted with sunshine and smiles on the first day of school.


Sachem Welcomes New Faculty Members

Sachem Welcomes New Faculty Members photo
On Aug. 28, the Sachem Central School District hosted an informative new teacher orientation program for approximately 50 teachers and teaching assistants.

To begin the daylong program, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Graham greeted the new educators and outlined the vison of the district. The educators were then introduced to district administration and members of the Board of Education. As the orientation continued, the new Sachem educators reviewed expectations for student achievement, instructional focus areas and classroom management techniques. 

The orientation program allowed the educators to familiarize themselves with district policies and procedures, while engaging in informative conversations with fellow faculty members and staff.  

Important Letter from the Suffolk County Police Department


Freshman Orientations Welcome Incoming Students

Freshman Orientations Welcome Incoming Students photo
Sachem High School East and North recently welcomed the incoming classes of 2022 at the annual freshman orientations this August. 

Principals at each high school greeted the new students and their families as they introduced various administrative members and reviewed building policies and procedures. The guidance department then led students through an informative presentation on the numerous resources available to them. 

Concluding the orientation, students and parents had the opportunity to tour the building with their class schedules and locate their lockers in preparation for the first day of school on Sept. 5.

Sachem Central School District Administrators Attend Annual Retreat

Sachem Central School District Administrators Attend Annual Retreat photo
Administrative members from each of the Sachem Central School District’s 15 buildings recently attended the annual administrative retreat hosted at the Sachem Public Library. 

The retreat served as an opportunity for central office administration and building administration to review key areas of instruction as they prepare for the new school year. During the retreat, the administrators reviewed project-based learning concepts, student offerings and literacy instruction across content areas for each grade level.  

Sachem High Schools Host Inaugural Freshman Academies

Sachem High Schools Host Inaugural Freshman Academies photo

As the 2018-19 school year approaches, both Sachem High Schools East and North welcomed the incoming classes of 2022 with a morning of informative presentations and interactive activates aimed to familiarize the new freshmen with building layout and academic opportunities, as part of the newly implemented Freshman Academy.

At Sachem High School North, following a day of hands-on workshops and teambuilding group sessions, Sachem alumnus Chris Vaccaro welcomed the incoming freshmen as he highlighted opportunities available to students and notable alumni that thrived as Sachem students. The freshmen were then introduced to members of the Peer Mentor Club, who will be providing assistance throughout the year as they become acclimated to the building. The Peer Mentor Club members answered questions about the freshman experience and what to expect as they begin high school. 

Freshmen at Sachem High School East were welcomed by building administrators before being introduced to the Project Happiness initiative, which was implemented as a key component of the building’s culture last year. Students were then led on guided tours to multiple key locations throughout the building that they will visit during their time as high school students. Randomly assigned student groups then participated in six, 25-minute workshops that further explored the main principles of Project Happiness, mindfulness and meditation techniques, how to easily access building information and what events and clubs are available to students. 

In addition to the annual freshman orientations, the new Freshman Academy experience serves as a hands-on, discussion-based introduction to each high school that engages students in activities with their fellow peers. 


Superintendent’s Office Hours


District Hosts Scholastic Literacy Leaders’ Institute

District Hosts Scholastic Literacy Leaders’ Institute photo
District Hosts Scholastic Literacy Leaders’ Institute photo 2
District Hosts Scholastic Literacy Leaders’ Institute photo 3

Sachem High School East hosted the Scholastic Education Long Island Literacy Leaders’ Institute on Aug. 15, which provided 150 educators from numerous school districts across Long Island with a plethora of professional development opportunities.

With over 50 Sachem teachers in attendance, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Graham offered a warm welcome to all attendees before Elizabeth Oakes-Lani, an account executive from Scholastic, explained the agenda for the day’s enriching activities. The breakout sessions covered literacy topics including classroom culture, educational approach, 21st-century learning skills, independent reading and how to effectively harness the power of families to support learning. 

At the conclusion of the daylong event, the participants had the opportunity to reflect on the topics covered and engage in a question-and-answer period with the esteemed presenters.  

eSchool Parent Portal Letter


Envirothon Club Volunteers for Great Brookhaven Cleanup

Envirothon Club Volunteers for Great Brookhaven Cleanup
This year, under the direction of club adviser Monica Marlowe, the Sachem High School North Envirothon club volunteered at the Walter S. Commerdinger Jr. County Park in Lake Ronkonkoma. 

As part of the Great Brookhaven Cleanup, the students helped to remove garbage, environmental debris and invasive species from the park grounds. The experience served as an introduction to a local open space and was an excellent opportunity to volunteer within the Sachem community. 

Sachem Central School District Names New School Transportation Supervisor

Sachem Central School District Names New School Transportation Supervisor
The Sachem Central School District is proud to announce the appointment of Joseph Cervone as the new school transportation supervisor following the retirement of the district’s previous school transportation supervisor, Stephen Shadbolt, after 14 years of dedicated service to the district. 

Mr. Cervone joined the district on Aug. 13 from Eastern Suffolk BOCES, where he served as the transportation specialist. Prior to his current position at BOCES, Mr. Cervone served as the site and fleet supervisor for Montauk Bus, where he managed three yards and an expansive fleet of 400 buses in the New York metropolitan area. Throughout his career Mr. Cervone has displayed a vast knowledge of school bus safety, 19A driver requirements, regulatory compliance, vehicle maintenance, efficient routing and the ability to manage the requirements of special-needs students.  

To ensure a smooth transition this summer, Mr. Shadbolt will assist Mr. Cervone on a part-time basis as he becomes familiar with the inner workings of the Sachem Transportation Department. 

“Following our extensive screening process led by a committee composed of numerous district office administrators, [we found that] Mr. Cervone possessed the safety expertise, transportation experience and the leadership ability that made him the ideal candidate for this supervisory position,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Graham said. “It is an honor to welcome Mr. Cervone to the Sachem family.”  

Students Shine Through Summer in Extended School Year Program

Students Shine Through Summer in Extended School Year Program
For the 33rd year, the Sachem Extended School Year program is supporting the diverse needs of special education students throughout the district with an expansive collection of activities that reinforce curriculum concepts covered during the school year. 

As part of the program, more than 72 of the district’s most dedicated and caring professionals deliver an enriching educational experience to the 250 students enrolled this summer. In addition, a number of student volunteers from both the middle school and high school level lend their time throughout the summer to assist the teachers and staff. 

The creative SESY staff has chosen STEAM to be the theme for this summer’s program. As part of the full instructional program, which includes traditional art, physical education and music components, the program also incorporates a plethora of challenging STEAM activities to align with this year’s theme. Adding to the comprehensive program, students also participate in water safety instruction once a week at the Sachem High School East pool and visit numerous community establishments for education that aims to enhance consumerism, social and work skills.

“This is a program designed for heroes and staffed by champions,” SESY Principal Trish Auletta said. “Our students work so hard on academic, social, physical and management skills. They humble and amaze us daily with their efforts, tenacity and smiles.”

At the culmination of the program, students across grade levels deliver a vibrant production to an audience of family and friends that sharpens their art, music, movement and speech articulation skills.

Vibrant Exhibit Showcases Student Creativity

Vibrant Exhibit Showcases Student Creativity photo

Sachem High School North special education students in Christine Baratta’s class displayed countless crafty creations as part of its annual art show at the conclusion of the 2017-18 school year.

In its fifth year at High School North, the art show serves as a culminating event to a yearlong exploration of numerous famous artists and their chosen mediums. Students studied artists such as Savlador Dalí, Gustav Klimt, Edvard Munch, Georgia O’Keeffe and Jackson Pollack, among several others. Along the way, students learned about different art techniques, mediums and the many categories of art. 

“Our study of art allows students to express their creativity,” Baratta said. “It is amazing to witness how creative the students have become when given the opportunity.” 

Waverly Elementary School Welcomes New Principal

Waverly Elementary School Welcomes New Principal photo
Following an extensive search and screening process, the Sachem Central School District is proud to announce the appointment of Kevin Tougher as the new principal of Waverly Elementary School, filling the vacancy left by John Ruggero who has accepted a position with the North Babylon School District. 

Mr. Tougher will be joining Waverly after serving as an elementary teacher for 12 years within the Sachem Central School District at Cayuga Elementary School. During his time at Cayuga, Mr. Tougher served as a teacher leader and an integral participant on numerous districtwide committees, including APPR, the Curriculum Council, Elementary Report Card and Elementary Resolutions. In addition to his expansive committee involvement, Mr. Tougher has demonstrated expertise in the development of new curriculum during revisions to Sachem’s elementary ELA, social studies and mathematics curricula. As a leading voice across the district, Mr. Tougher has also facilitated a plethora of districtwide professional development initiatives.

Mr. Tougher holds a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from James Madison University, a Master of Science degree in elementary education from Long Island University and a post-master’s certificate in educational leadership from Stony Brook University. 

“It is with great enthusiasm that we welcome Mr. Kevin Tougher as the new principal of Waverly Elementary School,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Graham. “Throughout this process it was clear that Mr. Tougher possesses the personality, elementary school experience, curriculum expertise and the dedication to Sachem that makes him the ideal candidate for this leadership position.”   

Elementary Students Make Waves With Sea Life Science

Elementary Students Make Waves With Sea Life Science photo
Chippewa Elementary School first-grade students in Lauren Mundy’s class showcased their passion for sea life during a culminating event that displayed all of the sea life-themed activities they completed during the month of June. 

As part of the yearly sea life celebration, students participated in a plethora of activities that explored the multidimensional topics that encompass the ocean. Students researched the habits of fish and other sea life, sketched observational drawings, studied sea life vocabulary and were visited by a scuba diver for an informative presentation.

At the conclusion of the event, students showed family and friends their completed dioramas that represented seascapes and portrayed a number of creatures, such as dolphins, octopus, sharks, squid, and whales, and included many different species of fish. 

Authors and Illustrators Share How-To Books

Authors and Illustrators Share How-To Books photo
First-grade student authors and illustrators from Julie Celecia’s class at Waverly Avenue Elementary School showed off their most recent work during a display showcase for family and friends.  

As part of a classroom unit exploring nonfiction writing, students wrote and illustrated a step-by-step book on how to accomplish a task. During the activity, students practiced arranging steps in sequential order, brainstorming, and editing independently and with a partner. 

Among the topics covered by the students were how to change a car battery, how to make an ice cream cone, how to make slime, how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and how to make a pizza, along with multiple others. 

Suffolk County Legislature Honors Regional Envirothon Winners

Suffolk County Legislature Honors Regional Envirothon Winners photo
Suffolk County Legislature Honors Regional Envirothon Winners photo 2
A team of five Sachem High School North student scientists who captured a first-place finish at the 20th annual Long Island Regional Envirothon competition this April was honored for its achievement at the meeting of the Suffolk County Legislature on Tuesday, June 19.

The winning team, composed of Chris Eagler, Miranda Garcia-Cassani, Emily Gelardi, Emily Hudak and Molly Kearns, confidently navigated the five subject areas of this year’s competition, bringing home the win. In addition, Anika Banerjee, Kaya Manolt, Alena Thotam, Caitlin Tucker and Madison Tutone, a second team from Sachem High School North, finished in third place.  

The first-place team advanced to the state competition, where it placed seventh out of 58 teams from across New York State.  

Vegetables Fill Tamarac Tower Gardens

Vegetables Fill Tamarac Tower Gardens photo
First- and fifth-grade book buddies at Tamarac Elementary School recently utilized tower gardens to gain valuable insight into the importance of homegrown fruits and vegetables. 

The book buddies from Jennifer Crane’s first-grade class and Trisha Schneider’s fifth-grade class collaboratively studied the importance of a crop’s environment as they checked the acidity and water levels of the soil throughout the growth cycle. 

Within the self-watering tower garden, the students grew basil, Bibb lettuce, lavender, peppermint and romaine lettuce. Students tracked the success of the garden in a journal as they followed the progress of the individual crops. 

Concluding the horticulture lesson, the student buddies came together for a special feast where they enjoyed a harvest of their fresh, homegrown vegetables. 

Interactive Game Show Puts Students in the Spotlight

Interactive Game Show Puts Students in the Spotlight photo
Merrimac Elementary School students proved trivia savvy during an interactive game titled The Brain Show this June, which challenged participants across grade levels on a variety of curriculum concepts. 

Utilizing three buzzer podiums, student teams faced off as the show’s host asked questions covering a multitude of topics, including art, geography, language arts, history, math, music and science. To win, a team had to receive 300 points by answering three questions correctly. 

The engaging game show acted as an exciting compliment to curriculum learning as the school year came to a close. 

Community Project Scores Student Restaurant Tour

Community Project Scores Student Restaurant Tour photo
A Nokomis Elementary School second-grade student recently had the opportunity to tour a community cornerstone as her diorama project garnered special recognition from Applebee’s Grill + Bar. 

Aviah Singh took a trip to the Applebee’s located in Patchogue to show off her diorama, which replicated the popular dining establishment. As part of the trip, Aviah was given a tour of the restaurant, her picture was placed on the wall and she was treated to a dinner with family and class teacher, Danielle Neimeth. 

Aviah crafted the creative diorama as part of a recent project exploring local communities. 

Future Educators Flourish Through Hands-On Learning

Future Educators Flourish Through Hands-On Learning photo
For Sachem High School students interested in a career in education, the Child Development class provides a hands-on learning experience that allows future educators to apply classroom concepts at the elementary level under the direction of the class’ teacher. 

After the completion of Child Development I, which covers the beginning stages of life and the lifecycle, senior students have the opportunity to enroll in Childhood Development II, where they explore educational concepts that apply to classroom learning. Through the class, students create lesson plans, study classroom management, special education, education methods and education theory.   

As part of the course, students return to the Sachem elementary school they once attended to assist a classroom teacher for three hours each week, totaling 36 hours by the completion of the course. For the final evaluation, students deliver a lesson they prepared to the class they have been working with over the previous weeks. 

“Our class allows students to clearly see what a future career in education would look like,” Child Development teacher Debra Lopez said. “It helps to develop concrete ideas about what grade level they would like to teach and where they would excel most as an educator.” 

Students Help Pen Pals Tour Tamarac

Students Help Pen Pals Tour Tamarac photo
Technology helped to connect classrooms when Tamarac Elementary School students created a virtual field trip for their pen pals at Dayton Elementary School in Manorville during an activity that utilized the DoInk app. 

Third-grade students in Gloria Monaco’s class used scripts written on Google Docs to explain specific destinations around the school building that they showed to their pen pal friends. With help from Technology Integration Specialist Claudia Camassa, students recorded their assigned sections in front of a green screen and then used the DoInk app to layer the video and images on top of one another. 

The integration of the DoInk app allowed students to incorporate written and hands-on lessons to connect with their pen pals in an exciting way. 

Sagamore News - A Student Publication

The Authors and Artists Club at Sagamore Middle School published their 2017-18 edition of The Sagamore News in June.  Students in grades 6 - 8 collaborated to publish articles about clubs, special events, and field trips.  They included an advice column, a word search, interviews with two staff members, book and movie recommendations, artwork, and more.  To access your free online copy of the Sagamore News, click on the link below.

The Authors and Artists Club invites all 2018-19 students to enter the "Summer Memories" contest in September.

What Makes Us Sachem?

what makes us sachem image

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As we embark on the 2017-2018 school year, we look to enhance the level of communication within the Sachem family.

In an effort to build upon our connections with our parents and community, we are excited to announce the creation of our e-newsletter. The newsletter will be sent monthly to those who sign up and will include district news, announcements and important dates. Our hope is to provide valuable information about the happenings inside our classrooms while strengthening our community bond as we move forward on the path to a successful academic year.

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