Harborfields Central School District Logo
Harborfields High School Class of 2018 did not let a little rain put a
damper on their commencement exercises on June 23. The graduates,
proudly dressed in green caps and gowns, entered the high school
gymnasium to “Pomp and Circumstance” by the high school band, as loved
ones beamed and waved with pride.
Senior members of the high school choir performed “The Star-Spangled
Banner” and the Harborfields alma mater at the start of the ceremony,
which was followed by words of encouragement and lessons from
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Francesco Ianni. He spoke to the graduates
about the importance of time and to “have character and determination
in everything that you do.”
Salutatorian Sarah Katz also addressed her fellow graduates, calling the
Class of 2018 a family and acknowledging the greatness within them.
“Sitting among this great crowd are great minds, leaders, soldiers,
musicians, doctors, writers, dreamers and people who I believe can
change the world or at least light the spark that does,” she said.
Valedictorian Emma Johnston also focused on how Harborfields is a family
and how moving to the district changed her life. “I learned that
Harborfields is truly a magical place,” she said. “It is a place of
support and mass synergy and it is a place where every walk of life can
come together as a community to bring out the best in each other.”
Class President Christopher Burney spoke about his time in the district
and wished his fellow graduates the best while encouraging them to take
advantage of every opportunity that comes their way. Featured speaker
Casey Sturm, English teacher, addressed the graduates while speaking
about when he was in their shoes as a Harborfields High School student.
“I can’t wait to see how you change the world,” he said.
Principal Timothy Russo congratulated the graduates while offering words
of advice as they embark onto the next chapter of their lives. “Don’t
sit back and not take advantage because you are afraid of
failure…embrace the opportunity and enjoy the moment,” he said. “And
whatever the results are, you’ll find some satisfaction even if there
Russo also presented each graduate with an evergreen tree, symbolizing
the foundation and roots of their support system. “Let this be a
reminder to you of HF and what you’ve meant to us,” he said.
Before the presentation of diplomas, Russo took a special moment to
honor Maggie Schmidt, a member of the Class of 2018 who passed away in
June 2017 after her courageous battle with cancer. The Schmidt family
was present to accept her diploma on her behalf.
Following Russo’s heartfelt speech of how Schmidt touched the lives of
everyone she met, the Board of Education presented each graduate with
their diplomas. After moving their tassels from the right to left to
commemorate their completion of high school, the graduates tossed their
caps high in unison, officially marking them as Harborfields High School
During the last Board of Education Meeting of the 2017-18 school year,
members of the school community were recognized for their hard work and
dedication to excellence. Faculty, staff, and community members who went
above and beyond this year were recognized, as well as those who were
retiring, and moving into a new season of life.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Francesco Ianni welcomed all in
attendance, and remarked on the special nature of the night, for both
award winners and retirees.
“This night is unique in that it marks the beginning of a new chapter
for some, but also recognizes the passion and dedication that’s been put
into our school system every day,” said Dr. Ianni, “and it gives us an
opportunity to reflect on what we’ve gone through—to really step back
and realize the importance of all we’ve contributed.”
Principals and central administrators congratulated each retiree
individually, recalling special moments throughout their career, and
commended them for all of their hard work.
The retirees are as follows:
Carol Abrams, Oldfield Middle; Valerie Brosnan, District Office; Janice
Cammer, Oldfield Middle; Susan Curasi, Oldfield Middle; Ellen Gilles,
District; Stuart Horowitz, Harborfields High School and Oldfield Middle;
Ilene Kalmar, Washington Drive; Paul Keys, Harborfields High School;
Dale Lerner, District; Aspasia Mally, Harborfields High School; Judith
Russell, Harborfields High School; Kathleen Santomauro, Washington
Drive, and Richard Stanfield, Washington Drive.
Local members of the school community were also recognized by the Board
for going above and beyond to make the Harborfields School District a
“These are all special people who give their best every day to make
Harborfields the way it is,” said Assistant Superintendent for
Administration and Human Resources Dr. Rory Manning, “and they deserve
to be recognized for all they do.”
The following were recognized: Tim Russo, Administrator; Joseph Maiello,
Teacher; Jennifer Washington, Teacher; Lynda Abner, Support Staff;
Frank Mondelli, Custodial Staff; Karin Fey, Community Member; Eric
Gerde, Community Member; Kelly Walker, Community Member.
Additionally, Executive Director for Instructional Services Jordan Cox
was recognized for having been selected by Wester Suffolk BOCES Model
Schools program as the 2018 Administrator of the year, and teachers
Augie Rettino and Jennifer Washington were recognized for being selected
by Wester Suffolk BOCES Model Schools for creating a “Books Club for
the 21st Century”, and earning a grant for the school.
At the end of May, the Harborfields High School chapter of the Tri-M
Music Honor Society held its annual recital at Harborfields Public
Library. Attendees were treated to more than an hour's worth of
performances from students and staff members, highlighting the varied
talents of the organization's membership.
"It's always special to showcase our students through performance and
celebrate the end of another music-filled year," noted Tri-M Advisor
Fifth-graders TJL spent time creating goodie bags for Birthday Wishes,
an organization that helps provide the joy of a birthday party for
homeless children, on June 6.
In an effort to make a small difference in the lives of children who
don’t have homes, students from Robyn Weber and Dr. Gervaise Jordan’s
fifth grade classes each brought in something fun to donate to help a
child in need experience the joy of a birthday party. Each item brought
was required to be enough for 24 goodie bags, and each group was made up
of seven students. Within groups, students created an assembly
line-like system, rotating bags around the desk and stuffing one of
every item into each. The students had fun working together for this
cause, and completed the task speedily.
“It’s a great organization that makes it really easy for anyone to get
involved,” said Ms. Weber, “and it’s always important to teach kids how
to give of themselves to others who aren’t as privileged as they are.”