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Long IslandEducation

Two Long Island PTAs win regional awards for reading

A mock treasure map tracked the total number

A mock treasure map tracked the total number of minutes read by students at Timber Point Elementary School in East Islip. Credit: East Islip School District

Two Long Island PTAs received regional awards in a contest designed to foster youngsters’ love of reading — and one of the organizations went on to win top honors statewide.

PTAs at Oceanside School #5 and Timber Point Elementary School in East Islip were named Nassau and Suffolk county winners, respectively, of Pick a Reading Partner Awards for programs they created to make reading fun and exciting for students. PARP is a New York State PTA program that asks adults to read with children for 15 minutes daily.

Oceanside’s program then topped 15 other regional winners last month to take first place statewide. The two-week program, titled “Rocking, Reading & Rapping,” strived to show kids that reading can involve formats other than books — such as music and lyrics.

“Music tells a story and kids make their own picture in their heads,” said Mary DiGiovanna, the school’s PARP co-chair with Frances Cuomo Perpero.

One of Oceanside’s highlights was a video titled “What Do You Read?” — a parody of Justin Beiber’s 2015 song “What Do You Mean” that featured 20 faculty members who lip-synced the revised words. Their program included visits by 25 guest readers and a day in which students dressed as well-known musicians, such as Elvis Presley and Taylor Swift.

Timber Point’s program had a pirate and mermaid theme that featured everything from cardboard boats made from refrigerator boxes to a message in a bottle display showing pictures of the school’s 450 participating kids and their reading partners.

“We are very excited about winning,” said Marianne Borruso-Gilmore, the school’s PARP co-chair with Alyson Ferreby. “We feel is very worthwhile because it inspires reading together.”


New superintendent

Robert Fenter is the new superintendent of the Cold Spring Harbor school district. He replaced Judith Wilansky, who retired.

Fenter most recently was assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and research in the Oceanside school system, where he also had been middle school principal, middle level social studies supervisor and a social studies teacher.

He also has been president of the Nassau County Assistant Superintendents Organization and the Nassau County Middle Level Principals’ Association, as well as a middle level education liaison for the state Education Department.


New Abrams principal

Donna Moro has been appointed principal of Jack Abrams STEM Magnet School.

Moro served as the science, technology, engineering and math coach and elementary science coordinator for the Huntington school district since 2014. She also taught Earth science at the district’s J. Taylor Finley Middle School from 2005 to 2014.

“I am honored and energized to be working with such an accomplished group of professional educators and staff,” Moro said. “Together we are dedicated to engaging children in innovative educational experiences and inspiring the next generation of STEM leaders.”


New principal

Kristin Rimmer is the acting principal of Setauket Elementary School. She replaced Nathalie Lilavois, who now is the district’s director of elementary curriculum.

Rimmer most recently was assistant principal and prekindergarten liaison of Nassakeag Elementary School in East Setauket. She also has been an assistant principal at Setauket Elementary School and has taught various grade levels at Arrowhead Elementary School in East Setauket.

“As I start this new chapter in my career, I am so excited to return back to Setauket,” Rimmer said. “It will be a wonderful opportunity to work collaboratively with talented educators and a supportive community to provide our students with an engaging and well-rounded learning experience.”

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