Hats Off to the Class of 2016


Blanketing the front lawn of Bayport-Blue Point High School, parents, family members and friends gathered together to celebrate the Class of 2016 with a commencement ceremony on June 25.

Principal Dr. Gaurav Passi, Board of Education President Michael Miller, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Vincent Butera, salutatorian John Bachek, valedictorian Meghan Smith and Class President Victoria Andriano each reflected upon the soon-to-be-graduates’ countless honors and accolades before extending their best wishes and words of advice. Retiring Board of Education members Leonard Camarda and James March received commemorative Bayport-Blue Point High School diplomas in recognition of their years of voluntary service to the school community.

Before each graduate received his or her official diploma, many scholars were presented with honor medallions for achieving a GPA of at least 90 percent. Following tradition, the students took part in a ceremonial turning of the tassels and joyfully tossed their caps high into the summer air.

Congratulations to the Class of 2016!

Advancing to Next Chapter


The educational achievements earned by district fifth- and eighth-grade students were celebrated and applauded this June during building level moving up ceremonies.

Following years of hard work, dedication and service to their school communities, the students were collectively applauded and praised by administrators and several local officials.

At Blue Point Elementary School’s moving up ceremony, students were honored with Presidential Academic Awards, New York State Comptroller’s Award and three community scholarships. Reflecting on their elementary years, students from each class also shared poem “couplets” about the six years they spent at Blue Point. To conclude the program, each fifth-grader was presented with a commemorative moving up certificate and collectively joined together to perform the song, “Watch As We Walk On Our Way.”

Sylvan Smiles


Updated June 23, 2016 

In celebration of Better Speech and Hearing Month, Sylvan Avenue Elementary School once again raised money to support the Smile Train, an organization devoted to helping the millions of children in the world who suffer from cleft lip and palate through free surgery.

During a weeklong campaign, the students and staff celebrated the “things that make us smile” and took part in creating a “What Makes You Beautiful” music video. Each day followed a different clothing theme, and one day included a “Walk a Mile for a Smile” fun walk.

As a result of the schoolwide effort, Sylvan raised $4,000 for the organization. Thanks to a corporate match that doubled the amount, the school raised enough money for 32 surgeries.

Since 1999, the Smile Train has provided free cleft palate surgery to more than 580,000 children who would have otherwise never received it. The organization receives no government support and relies solely on donations from individuals and organizations.

Garden of Learning


Blue Point Elementary School third-grade classes helped to beautify their school grounds, both outside and inside, by creating colorful gardens.

The project, which incorporated the grade-level’s academic curriculum, sought to reconnect students with the natural world and the true source of their food. Additionally, the initiative taught them valuable gardening and agriculture concepts.

Order in the Court

As an extension of their classroom lessons on social studies and English Language Arts, Academy Street Elementary School’s fifth-grade students participated in an interactive and educational program this spring called the “Trial of Goldilocks.”

The program, designed by retired lawyer Glen Vogel, called for students to take an in-depth look at the criminal justice system using the familiar tale of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” To enhance their understanding of the concepts discussed, the study unfolded in the form of an interactive and creative play.

The students prepared for the production during a six-week workshop, during which they submitted a persuasive essay for a desired role and practiced their reading fluency and public speaking as they perfected the script.

During the mock trial, the students dressed in costumes and sported various props as they testified on the actions that lead up to the arrest of Goldilocks. At the end, the school’s fourth-graders, who served as the jury, convened to determine if Goldilocks was guilty of the charges before her, which included criminal mischief, trespassing and petty larceny.  

Encouraging Recycling

Blue Point Elementary School Peer Leaders recently teamed up with Town of Brookhaven Councilman Neil Foley on a recycling project aimed at keeping the community clean.

At the councilman’s request, the students created a decorative and large recycling garbage bin. The collection devices will be placed in nearby parks to encourage visitors to deposit such things as water bottles and other recyclable materials.

Awarded for Character

Bayport-Blue Point High School senior James “JT” Brine has been named a recipient of the Thomas Cutinella Memorial Scholarship.

The scholarship committee selected JT as a recipient based on his characteristics of kindness, modesty, selflessness, as well as a genuine concern for improving the condition of the community at large.

JT is a dedicated member of the high school and global community who will be attending Bentley University this fall to major in actuarial science.

Board Honors Students

The district’s Board of Education took time during it’s June meeting to celebrate the achievements of several Bayport-Blue Point students.

The winners of the PTA Reflections Contest were commended for their creativity and award-winning submissions to this year’s program. These students worked independently to create a project in areas of dance, literature, visual arts or photography.

Additionally, Sylvan Avenue Elementary School student Abigail Friscia was honored for winning second-place in the Elks Club Essay Contest. Her entry was "Americanism and Love of Country” was selected out of 1500 entries in the state competition.

Stars & Stripes


Sylvan Avenue Elementary School students and staff blanketed the grounds in the nation’s colors of red, white and blue to celebrate this year’s Flag Day.

During the event, the students learned about the history of Flag Day and the importance of honoring the nation’s symbol. Additionally, students were encouraged to take time on the nationally celebrated day to demonstrate their patriotism and pride for their country.

Activities included members of the AMVETS Post 111 from Patchogue assisting in raising the school’s flag; honoring winners of the school Flag Day poetry and poster contest; and having the entire school join together to sing several patriotic songs in addition to the orchestra and chorus performing.

This year’s event also featured a special fly-over from three WWII biplanes. The pilots passed over the school twice in triple formation and visited with the students after successfully landing at the neighboring Bayport Aerodrome.

Smart Schools Bond Act

For questions or public comment please contact: smartbond@bbpschools.org


Outstanding Science Scholar

Bayport-Blue Point High School senior and Class of 2016 salutatorian John Bachek was named an Outstanding Senior Science Student by the Suffolk County Section of Science Teachers Association of New York State. John was nominated for the award by the high school’s science department based on his outstanding science achievements throughout his high school career.

During the ceremony, John was presented with an engraved plaque to commemorate his achievements and was honored by BBP teacher Nikki Restivo.

John will be attending Princeton University this fall.

Night of Honor

The district’s Board of Education and administrative team honored several students and professionals for their educational accomplishments during a recent Board meeting.

Four students were recognized for their award-winning research projects that were entered into and placed at the Brookhaven Lab Science Fair. The Board proudly presented the following students with certificates of accomplishment and celebrated their scientific success: Sylvan Avenue Elementary School fifth-grader Emily Elizabeth Denton (first-place winner); Sylvan second-graders Alyssa Nicole Ayerle and Michael John Clare (honorable mention winners); and Academy Street Elementary School fourth-grader Olivia Lauren Goldstein (honorable mention winner).
Additionally, the 20 retirees with a combined 300+ years of service were thanked for their commitment to Bayport-Blue Point School District and wished a happy a healthy retirement. This year’s retirees included:
Teaching Assistant: Alicia DeMatteo (MS)
Custodial: Richard Fallica (HS) and Joe Sherlo (HS)
Food Service: Mary Ramirez (MS) and Patricia D’Orazio (MS)
Clerical: Nancy DeRossi (HS), Roseann Higgins (DO) and Dot Hlywa (ACA)
Clerical Sub: Elizabeth Martin (DO)
Nurse: Kay Ingram (MS)
Teacher: Bev Maler (ACA & BP), Russ McCormack (HS), Anthony Murphy (ACA), Theresa Murphy (HS) and Deb Stocker (HS)

Colorful Science Study


Sylvan Avenue Elementary School second-grade students in Patty Gorman’s class shared their newfound knowledge of butterflies during a recent cross-grade level project.

The second-graders had been studying butterflies as part of their science curriculum and used the lessons learned to create colorful dioramas explaining the life cycle of a butterfly. They then turn keyed their research and became teachers for the first-grade students in Sara Desmond’s class.

During a cross-grade level workshop, the second-graders shared what they had learned and answered questions the first-graders posed. The project also allowed the first-graders to take a sneak peak at what they will be studying next school year.

Congratulations State Qualifiers

The district congratulates the following student-athletes and wishes them the best of luck as they compete at the NYSPHSAA Championship at Ciero-N Syracuse HS on June 10 and 11. Go Phantoms!

Kathleen Cibuls - Triple Jump, 100 m Hurdles, 4 x 100 meter Relay, 4 x 400 meter Relay

Ashley Magnifico - 4 x 400 meter Relay, 4 x 100 meter Relay

Jayne Cudia - 4 x 100 meter Relay, 4 x 400 meter Relay

Taylor Gensler - 4 x 100 meter Relay, Long Jump

Ashley Walsh - Shot Put, Discus

Brigitte Strobl - 4 x 400 meter Relay

Melody Delzell - 2000 meter Steeplechase

Stepping Back in Time


Stepping Back in Time

Blue Point Elementary School fourth-graders took a step back in time this spring as they participated in a simulated Colonial Day program.

Within the school day, the students learned about traditional Colonial school activities and visited several interactive workshops. The fourth-graders learned to make wax candles, fashioned personal silhouettes, read from a Blue Point primmer and studied how to make dolls from apples.

Worldly Experiences


Eighth-grade French classes at James Wilson Young Middle School put their understanding of the French language into practice when they recently visited Quebec City and Montreal.

The students learned about a wide range of topics, including the discovery of Quebec and Canada and how Americans were allies in the fight against the British. They also sampled the traditional Canadian dish poutine.

This was the 12th time the French classes have embarked on this memorable trip.

Representing USA

Bayport-Blue Point High School senior and accomplished competitive swimmer Julia Horan has been selected to represent the United States of America as a member of the National Team that will be competing at Aoshima Beach, Miyazaki, Japan from 6/30-7/4.

Julia was informed that she was chosen because “She has clearly demonstrated superior skills worthy of representing the United States of America.” She is one of ten individuals that were selected for this honor.

The graduating senior has competed in the United States Lifesaving Association regionals and nationals the past two years and will continue her athletic career in the fall at University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Medieval Celebration


As a culmination of their social studies unit on the medieval time period, James Wilson Young Middle School sixth-graders participated in an interactive educational project.

Dressed in traditional medieval clothing, the students spent the day engaging in cultural projects and celebrating their newly acquired knowledge on the era. During an educational fair, they participated in a traditional coronation ceremony, which included the crowning of the James Wilson Young King and Queen. Music teacher Carl Leichthammer and sixth-grade teacher Kelly Petrosino were named to the royal positions, respectively. Following the coronation, the students and their teachers paraded from the middle school to Sylvan Avenue Elementary School, displaying their colorful class flags along the route.

Prior to the fair, the students spent several weeks researching and compiling information on topics from the Middle Ages and completing research projects depicting their findings. On the day of the event, their projects were put on display for their peers and family members in attendance to review.

Training Leaders

Sylvan Avenue Elementary School’s fourth-grade Peer Leaders had the opportunity to work with and learn from the Bayport-Blue Point High School Peer Educators this May. 

Peer Educators are a select group of students trained by the NYS Department of Health in teaching and sharing values and behaviors with individuals from similar social backgrounds or life experiences.

John Martin, Suffolk County Department of Health educator and trainer for the high school program, visited with the Peer Leaders to discuss ways to promote positive interactions, while playing fun self-esteem building activities that the fourth-graders really enjoyed.  

Author Lessons

Blue Point Elementary School students had the chance to take an up-close look at the writing craft when professional author David A. Adler conducted grade-level workshops at the building.

Mr. Adler spoke about how he uses life moments as inspiration for his stories and encouraged the students to begin to see the world through a writer’s eyes. The students learned that the first page and paragraph of a story is the most important when Mr. Adler explained that “they should be like a good piece of cake, it should get the reader to want more.”

During the workshops, the students saw an early version of one of Mr. Adler’s manuscripts, learned about the printing process and how illustrators bring the author’s word to life.

Lights, Camera, Action!

Magic unfolded on the Academy Street Elementary School stage this May as third-grade students in Victoria Latino’s class, joined together with several talented fourth-graders, put on the musical “Return of the Glass Slipper,” a spin on the traditional tale of Cinderella.
The play was a major reading and creative project for the students as they learned songs, dance routines, painted scenery, followed directions and practiced reading with fluency and expression.

A major goal for the teachers was to ensure that the children began to recognize and respect how important each member of a cast is, and that it takes true teamwork to pull off a production.  

“Children’s theater is a wonderful way to build self-esteem, and let each child have a chance to shine,” explained AIS teacher Anthony Murphy, who directed the show with Ms. Latino.
Highlights of the performance included peppy song and dance routines, a great story line, plenty of laughter and such a bright and cheery set.  

Rising to the Top

After 13 years of academic dedication, Bayport-Blue Point High School has announced the names of the Class of 2016 top 10 scholars.

These students have made a commitment to continue their education at some of the top colleges and universities in the fall. The Bayport-Blue Point School District congratulates the following students for earning this honor and wishes them well in the future.

Meghan Smith – Ohio State University
John Bachek – Princeton University
Emily Toy – SUNY Geneseo
Michelle Lee – New York University
Samar Alam – Stony Brook University
Kaylee Spano – Northeastern University
Julia Grande – Northeastern University
Shannon Gallo – SUNY Binghamton University
Alanna McClancy – Syracuse University
Luke Mischo – SUNY Binghamton University

Phantoms to Compete in College

Bayport-Blue Point High School commended the athletic accomplishments of 11 seniors who have committed to compete at the collegiate level next fall.

These students, who are each bound for a Division III school, were surrounded by proud parents, friends and coaches when they made their decision official this May.

The district congratulates the following student-athletes and wishes them well in their futures.

Rob Acierno, York College of Pennsylvania – Baseball
Celine Cannizzaro, Farmingdale State College – Soccer
Bridget Fabiani, Bridgewater College – Soccer
Lauren Hansen, Buffalo State College – Volleyball
TJ McGuire, McDaniel College – BaseballDoug Niblock, SUNY Fredonia – Basketball
Luke Olsson, SUNY Oswego – Baseball
Natalia Sandor, Macaulay Honors College at the College of Staten Island – Soccer
Dalia Silverstein, Oberlin College – Softball
Seth Valestrand, Stevens Tech – Lacrosse
Kasean Watlington, Utica College – Basketball/Track

Researching Rainforest Frogs

Sylvan Avenue Elementary School third-graders learned about rainforest frogs during a multi-week research project in the school’s computer lab.

During the project, the students learned about such frogs as the Goliath frog, American bullfrog, Transparent Rainforest frog, Poison dart frog and Red Eyed Tree frog. After the students gathered data on all the species they wrote detailed reports on the animals, which they then shared with the school’s second-grade classes.

Sweeping Science Fair Win

Sylvan Avenue Elementary School fifth-grader Emily Denton has been named a winner in Brookhaven National Laboratory’s 2016 Elementary School Science Fair for her project “Bad Boys, Bad Boys.”

The district’s school science fair winners in grades K-5 joined Emily at the fair. The entries of Sylvan third-grader Alyssa Ayerle, Sylvan second-grader Michael Clare and Academy Street Elementary School fourth-grader Olivia Goldstein merited honorable mentions.

More than 500 science projects from 125 Suffolk County schools were entered into this year’s fair, which was sponsored by Brookhaven National Laboratory and coordinated by BNL’s Office of Educational Programs. The fair’s entries were judged by Brookhaven scientists, engineers and technical staff, as well as teachers from local elementary schools.

Supporting Ride for Life

Blue Point Elementary School hosted the Ride for Life Foundation for a two-part assembly program this spring in an effort to support the organization’s goal of spreading awareness on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
On May 4, students in grades 3-5 took part in an educational and inspiring assembly to learn about ALS and the entire school gathered in the front of the school on May 11 to cheer on the 2016 Ride for Life as it passed through the town. Many participants in the Ride for Life are individuals affected by ALS and the students created small signs and even created a large school banner to show their support for the cause.

Superintendent’s Message Regarding Lead Testing


Bound for College

Bayport-Blue Point senior Brigitte Strobl will continue her athletic journey at Loyola University in Maryland this fall, where she will become a member of the school’s track and field program.

Brigitte has been a standout student-athlete at the high school, competing in the 400-meter and 400-meter hurdle events. She was named the 2014 New York State champion in the 4x400-meter relay, and has been an All-County and All-League athlete since 2014.

Bayport-Blue Point 2016-2017 Budget Vote and Election Results


NYS Reward School

For the fourth consecutive year, Bayport-Blue Point High School has been recognized as a Reward School by the New York State Education Department. The high school has earned this distinction since the inception of the award program.  

“This recognition is a reflection of the continued commitment to focusing on the factors that most impact student performance,” commented Superintendent of Schools Dr. Vincent Butera. “This includes the continued development of a rich curriculum and a faculty that is student-centered and willing to provide our students with the support needed to be successful.”

“This notification from the State Education Department is nice recognition of the work that we do each and every day,” added Principal Dr. Gaurav Passi. “It is a true testament to our dedicated teaching staff, our outstanding students and the support they receive from their parents. I am so proud to be part of a high school that is committed to academic excellence.”

NYSED has identified 220 Reward Schools in 100 districts for the 2016-17 school year. Schools that have made the most progress and/or have the highest achievement in the state without significant gaps in student achievement between subgroups were identified as Reward Schools.

Supporting Furry Friends

Blue Point Elementary School fourth- and fifth-grade Peer Leaders joined together with the Lions Club to host a community dinner fundraiser to support the Guide Dog Foundation.

During the event, students volunteered to serve in various capacities. Prior to the night, the leaders made posters and jingles to advertise as well as collected raffles from local businesses.

The "Hot Dog for a Guide Dog" event raised nearly $2,130 for the cause.

Suffolk Zone Winners

As a result of their dedication and commitment to physical education, Blue Point Elementary School fifth-graders Tully Campbell and Sydney Pojero have been recognized as Suffolk Zone Award Winners by the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.  

This award is given to two fifth grade students that demonstrate an exemplary performance in physical education class.  

“Things that made these two stand out as an easy choice is their work ethic, behavior, maturity, leadership skills, and most importantly, their continued efforts to put others first,” said John Selvaggio, Blue Point physical education teacher.

Sports Season Wrap Up

The Bayport-Blue Point School District is pleased to announce the following student-athlete earned post-season honors for their outstanding performance on their athletic venues this past winter season. Congratulations to all recipients who have represented the student-body in an exemplary fashion:

Boys Basketball  
Section XI Class A Semifinalist
New York State Scholar-Athlete Team
Mike Darby – All-League
Doug Niblock – All-Conference
Ka’sean Watlington – All-League
Prabhnoor Singh – All-County

Girls Basketball
New York State Scholar-Athlete Team
Emily Toy – Academic All-County, All-League
Kelly Young – All-League, All-Conference

Boys Bowling
New York State Scholar-Athlete Team
John Hussey – All-County
Eric Ram – All-League

Boys Swimming    
League Champions                                
New York State Scholar-Athlete Team
Andrey Dagayev – All-League
Kieran Thomas – All-League
Kevin Polanish – All-League
Edward Schulze – All-League

Boys Track
New York State Scholar-Athlete Team
Matt Beyer – All-League, 4x800 League Champions
Liam Boyd – All-League
Matteo Bracco – All-League, 4x800 League Champions
James Brine – All-League
Victor Garifo – All-League, 4x800 League Champions
Jason Giunta – All-League, 4x800 League Champions
Jacob Ocon – All-League
Dylan Rohme – All-League

Girls Track

League V Champions (sixth straight)
New York State Scholar-Athlete Team
Kathleen Cibuls – All-American
Taylor Gensler – All-County, Academic All-County, State Qualifier
Ashley Walsh – All-County

New York State Scholar-Athlete Team
Joe Albanese – All-County
Chris Behan – Suffolk County Champion
Joe Donnelly – County Runner up
Jack Donnelly – County Runner up
Cam Mauro – All-County
Luke Palma – All-County
Shane Santora – All-County
Andrew Treulich – All-County

Garden of Learning

As part of an interdisciplinary English and science project, several Bayport-Blue Point High School students completed a hands-on project this spring aimed at taking care of the Earth and their community.

The students, who are enrolled in classes taught by Stacie Pintar, Phil Turano, and Michele Cornwell, learned how to plant and transfer seeds in the high school’s green house and then put their new skills into action. They worked together to transfer dirt, plant seeds and care for the plants. The seeds planted included such items as kale, carrots, lettuce, radish, cucumber, cilantro, cantaloupe, basil, beets, bunching onions and sweet peppers.

Afterward, the students verbally reflected on the experience and engaged in a collaborative discussion about varying ways to take care of the environment.

Teddy Bear Clinic

Sylvan Avenue Elementary School’s kindergarten students had a lesson on personal safety when they took part in a Teddy Bear Clinic sponsored by the Division of Trauma and Emergency Medicine at Southside Hospital Northwell Health.

During the injury prevention program, the students learned about proper transportation safety – both while riding in a car and on a bicycle. Additionally, they had the chance to act as emergency doctors to their favorite stuffed toys. The kindergartners learned the proper way to secure a bandage and about the steps trained professionals take when tending to real wounds.

The use of the teddy bears and other stuffed animals is believed to help ease a child’s fears and anxiety about similar types of real-world medical situations.

A Festival of Plays

Bayport-Blue Point High School talented student-actors presented the Drama Club’s ninth annual One Act Play Festival this spring in the auditorium.

During the event, students performed three plays, including one written by junior Lena Diaz. Lena wrote, cast and directed her first production, “And the One Who Did It Is…Wait Till the End!” After the performance Lena had a question and answer session with audience members about her process and intentions.

The other shows featured during the event included “Bad Auditions by Bad Actors” and “The Internet is Distract---Oh Look, a Kitten!,” both by published playwright Ian McWethy.

This year’s actors included seniors Justin Martinez and Darren Plante, juniors Devin Bressler, Lena Diaz, Sean Hickey and Helen Johannesman, sophomores Nezaket Arabaci and Shannon Conrad, and freshmen Gia Bono, Elizabeth Johannesman and Lauren Rodriguez. Crew members who supported the cast were Anna Kearns, Sarah Koerner, Sidney Okray and Madeline Silecchia. Teacher advisors are Ms. Eberhard and Ms. Pearce. Former student Jamie Oswald is the stage manager.

Natural Born Leaders

As the winners in an ugly sweater contest held in December, Academy Street Elementary School fourth-graders in Carrie Almskog’s class discovered what it takes to run a school district by acting as Superintendent for the Day just before the holiday break.

With the help of Bayport-Blue Point School District Superintendent of Schools Dr. Vincent Butera, the students toured district office, asked questions of administrators about the day-to-day operations of a school district and learned about the important job of superintendent and the decision-making process.

Each student received a varsity letter for participating, compliments of the athletics department.

An Earthly VIP Day

Blue Point Elementary School students celebrated Earth Day with the help of some special guests.

During the schools VIP Day, Blue Point students performed songs aligned to the program’s theme “It’s Easy Being Green,” including “Drip, Drip, Drop, Drop” and “The Recycle Rap.” Additionally, several fifth-grade students shared tips about how everyone can work to make the Earth a cleaner place.
June 30, 2016