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2 presidents equal 2 homecoming floats at Port Jefferson home

Siblings Corinne and Billy Scannell -- she's the

Siblings Corinne and Billy Scannell -- she's the senior class president and he's the junior class president -- hang out at the Earl L. Vandermeulen High School homecoming celebration in Port Jefferson on Oct. 8, 2016. Photo Credit: Rachel Weiss

There's a homecoming tradition at Port Jefferson's Earl L. Vandermeulen High School: When it comes time to build the parade floats, the collaborative construction takes place at the class president’s home.

But what happens when two presidents are living under one roof?

Senior Corinne Scannell has been the president of the Class of 2017 every year since she was a freshman. Her brother, Billy, a junior and the president of the Class of 2018 for the second year in a row, said his sister inspired him to run in the first place.

"She's one of my mentors because she's a good sister and student," he said. "Seeing that she can do it, it makes me want to follow in her footsteps and be able to do it, too."

The siblings worked with their parents to organize a schedule that stretched from the first weekend of the school year to the homecoming parade last Saturday. Students from the junior and senior classes, along with faculty and parents, would take over the Scannell residence on alternating days to build their respective floats. The senior class worked on theirs in the garage, and the juniors assembled in the driveway.

This year's theme was the elements, so while the seniors depicted an active volcano to represent fire, the juniors set up a splashy homage to ocean life to symbolize water.

For Corinne, watching her class reach the final product was the best part.

"It's really nice to see all the people that come together to do it because we have people from all different groups of friends who will be like, 'Oh, let me help out this weekend,' and it's nice to see new faces. And it's really satisfying to see [the float] from the first wood plank that goes on with a little bit of paint, and then it can become this," she said, gesturing excitedly to her brother's class float.

Not only are the siblings presidents of their classes, they also both play basketball, lacrosse, and participate in Interact Club. Corinne said their parents support them in everything they do. In fact, their father, Bill, drove to Vermont to retrieve a trailer for the junior class float. But according to him, it's no sweat.

"They're both really good kids and so involved in the school and we couldn't be more proud of them both for [being class presidents]," their father said. "They're leaders and they like to take care of things."

So while Billy organizes fundraisers for the junior prom and plans to run for president again next year, Corinne is picking out a college, which she would prefer to be on the East Coast.

Her advice for her younger brother is simple.

"He should keep being him," Corinne said. "He has such a great personality. There's no way you can’t elect Billy."

"You, too!" Billy said with a laugh.

As for the rest of the Scannell family, there could be a future leader coming up in the ranks: Corinne and Billy's younger brother, Michael, is in seventh grade. Will he run for president in two years?

"I don't know, I'm not sure!" their father said. "I should save a couple of these floats though, right?"

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