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Long IslandEducation

Back-to-school programs benefit students

Incoming sixth-graders at Port Jefferson Middle School were

Incoming sixth-graders at Port Jefferson Middle School were introduced to their new school and classmates last month with a "Welcome Back to School" Pizza Social. Credit: Port Jefferson School District

The start of a new school year begins before the first bell even rings.

Long Island schools hosted everything from back-to-school barbecues to orientation sessions to team-building activities to prepare students, their families and staff members for the 2016-17 school year.

In Huntington, incoming high school freshmen and their parents participated in an orientation in which they were introduced to guidance counselors and class advisers, learned about the school’s clubs and activities, and were acquainted with the roles of administrators and support staff. The introduction ended with a picnic in the school’s courtyard.

“This is an excellent opportunity for students to get to know counselors, administrators and peers, to familiarize themselves with the building, and to learn about everything that Huntington High School has to offer,” Principal Brenden Cusack said.

In Port Jefferson, incoming sixth-graders were introduced to the middle school last month with a pizza social designed to help them become accustomed to their school and classmates. They also were treated to building tours, received their locker assignments and had the opportunity to meet with teachers and administrators.

In Amityville, seventh-graders at Edmund W. Miles Middle School were introduced to the school with an orientation that included a description of dress codes, lunchtime procedures and after-school activities, such as a new robotics club.

“It was great to see the excitement on the faces of incoming seventh-graders,” Principal Ed Plaia said.

In Copiague, the district held an orientation for 25 new teachers that included a bus tour of the community to familiarize them with the neighborhoods.


New principal

Leslie Boritz is the new principal of Commack High School. She replaced Catherine Nolan, who retired after 20 years with the Commack School District.

Boritz, who has spent 22 years in the district, had been the school’s assistant principal since 2011. Before that, she served 11 years as the middle school’s assistant principal.

“I’ve passionately dedicated my life to the students of our community and will continue to do so,” Boritz said. “I look forward to continuing the traditions and upholding the high standards of our school, and am thrilled to be the next principal of Commack High School.”


New principal

Timothy Russo is the new principal of Harborfields High School. He replaced Rory Manning, who now is assistant superintendent for administration and human resources for the Harborfields school district.

Russo, who has spent 14 years in the system, most recently was the school’s assistant principal. Before that, he was a social studies teacher and dean in the student management office.

“I have been so fortunate to have worked with so many incredible students and their families over the years,” Russo said. “I am very excited to take this huge step professionally, and I feel very fortunate to get a chance to continue to work within this incredible district.”


New principal

Jennifer Carere has been appointed principal of Santapogue Elementary School, replacing Eleanor M. Levy.

Carere has spent 16 years in the West Babylon school district, most recently serving five years as the junior high’s assistant principal. Shepreviously was a social studies teacher and the K-8 social studies coordinator.

“I am so excited to work hard to continue the legacy of success established at Santapogue while strengthening the existing bonds between home and school,” Carere said. “The positive atmosphere and exemplary academic programs that are offered make me proud to be a part of this district and now part of the Santapogue family.”


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