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Long IslandEducation

Students, teachers gather for back-to-school activities

Harborfields High School freshmen Allison Kennedy, Taylor Sammis,

Harborfields High School freshmen Allison Kennedy, Taylor Sammis, Katie Waring and Danny Benson on a tour with senior Billy Waring as part of the school's buddy program. Credit: Harborfields School District

The 2017-18 academic year started well before the first day of class for many local students and teachers.

Across Long Island, schools held everything from back-to-school barbecues to team-building activities to campus and community tours.

In East Islip, the high school welcomed freshmen for an orientation in which Principal William Brennan introduced his fellow administrators and asked students to stand and repeat the district’s “Manners Matter” rules. The youngsters also met their guidance counselors, toured the building, and located and decorated their lockers.

“I am very excited to see how this ninth-grade class acclimates to their new high school environment,” said Israel Malinowitzer, the district’s director of careers and student services. “I’m very confident they will work hard, participate in many after-school activities, and show their East Islip pride.”

In Dix Hills, sixth-graders in the Half Hollow Hills school district’s Rising Stars Academy learned the importance of teamwork during a scavenger hunt in which they used maps and compasses to navigate a course at the district’s High School West. Teachers and mentors also were paired with students to form “an allegiance of support and friendship,” school officials said.

In Bohemia, Connetquot High School’s freshmen attended an orientation in which Student Council members discussed the school’s code of conduct and “What Would a T-Bird Do?” mantra, which is based on the school’s Thunderbird mascot. Staff members also introduced themselves and explained their roles.

In Port Jefferson, the middle school’s incoming sixth-graders attended a pizza party run by parent volunteers that included a building tour and distribution of locker assignments.


New principal

James Bolen has been appointed principal of Cold Spring Harbor High School. He replaced Jay Matuk, who retired.

Bolen most recently served two years as principal of Valley Stream North High School. Before that, he was assistant principal of Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK High School and taught social studies at Herricks High School.

“Throughout the interview process I saw the passion held by the staff, students and community to provide a world-class education for our students,” Bolen said. “I’m thrilled to join as a member of the team that will continue this academic tradition and help increase the variety of opportunities we can provide for our students to make them successful leaders in the 21st century.”


New superintendent

Patrick Brimstein has been named superintendent of Eastport-South Manor Central School District. He replaced Peter Scordo, who held the position on an interim basis.

Brimstein previously was a teacher, principal and superintendent in upstate New York. He also coordinated the New Vision Program for nine school districts in Monroe County, directed an elementary charter school in Rochester, and administered a secondary school in the Wheatland-Chili Central School District.

“I already feel a strong connection to the people, the place and challenges facing Eastport-South Manor,” Brimstein said. “I look forward to providing continuity of leadership and focused attention to the needs of the districts in service to the children and young adults.”


New principal

Brian Doelger has been appointed principal of New Lane Elementary School in the Middle Country school district.

Doelger, who replaced Lisa Contarino, most recently was an assistant principal and interim principal of Saxton Middle School in Patchogue. He also has taught social studies in the Hicksville and Shelter Island school districts.

“I am very much looking forward to working with the faculty, staff, students, families and the entire New Lane Elementary and Middle Country community,” Doelger said. “I feel privileged and honored to work in this storied and accomplished district.”

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