skip to main content

Senior Awards 2018

Senior Awards 2018 photo
Harborfields High School seniors were recognized for their exceptional academic achievements, acts of citizenship and service at the school’s year-end annual senior awards ceremony on May 22. In addition to in-school program awards, over 30 memorial and organizational scholarships were presented.

Principal Tim Russo announced Emma Johnston and Sarah Katz as the Class of 2018 valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, and commended them for their dedication to academic success during the entirety of their high school career. In addition, Mr. Russo announced the other eight students who comprised the school’s top ten graduating seniors.

The following are the top 10 students in the graduating Class of 2018: Emma Johnston, Sarah Katz, Julia Spande, Jay Best, Justin Minerva, Gavin Small, Julianna Cavallaro, Liam Cordero, Erin Tucker and Rachel Scheff.

A plaque with their names was added to the Wall of Scholars, which is affixed to the hallway outside of the auditorium.

The district extends its congratulations to all of this year’s outstanding students!

Student-Athletes Commit

Student-Athletes Commit photo
Student-Athletes Commit photo 2
Student-Athletes Commit photo 3
Twenty-three of Harborfields High Schools’ promising student-athletes signed their national letters of intent on May 21. A special breakfast was held in the high school’s all-purpose room to celebrate the students’ commitment to play sports at a collegiate level. Families and loved ones were also present in support of the students’ decisions.

Director of Athletics John Valente congratulated students on their excellence in their chosen sport. Mr. Valente also encouraged the athletes to be proud of their accomplishments, being that they represent a portion of the less-than-one-present of students across the nation that have the opportunity to play on a collegiate level.

Harborfields athletes, corresponding colleges, and sports:

Andrew Derasmo, Saint Joseph’s University, Lacrosse
Carly Malico, Molloy College, Field Hockey
Erin Tucker, Brown University, Lacrosse
Gavin Buda, Hobart College, Football
Gianna Bifulco, Girls Lacrosse, Stony Brook
Hannah Spencer, Tufts University, Swimming
Isabelle French, Cortland University, Swimming
Jimmy Bifulco, Adelphi University, Lacrosse
Max Hafen, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Swimming
Pat Healy, Columbia University, Golf
Stefanie Walsh, American University, Lacrosse
Anthony Christy, Morrisville State College, Football
Chris Savaglio, St. Olaf College, Football
PJ Clementi, Amherst College, Lacrosse
Andre Chi, Methodist University, Golf
Drew Fresolo, Buffalo State University, Football
Elora Sherman, SUNY Plattsburgh, Volleyball

Alexandra Madden, College of Mount Saint Vincent, Volleyball
Lucas Kollmer, SUNY Geneseo, Lacrosse
Tommy DeVito, SUNY Geneseo, Lacrosse
Mike Pasquaretta, Assumption College, Lacrosse
Dana Glackin, Middlebury College, Track and Field
Kailey Uresk, College of New England, Track and Field

TJL Battle of the Books

TJL Battle of the Books photo
TJL Battle of the Books photo 2
TJL Battle of the Books photo 3
Grade 3 LEAP students at Thomas J. Lahey had a Battle of the Books competition on May 19th. During the competition, students worked in teams to answer trivia questions from books they’ve read (independently) throughout the year. The students did a phenomenal job working together, and demonstrating knowledge they retained from each book. Some of the book titles included, Molly’s Pilgrim, My Father’s Dragon, Freckle Juice, and Charlotte’s Web, and more.

“The Battle of the Books reinforces their love of reading and encourages collaboration,” said Assistant Principal Mary Williams, “As well as teamwork and good sportsmanship.”

VIDEO: Simple Acts That Give Back

Simple Acts That Give Back image

2018 Spring Newsletter


Harborfields’ Budget Passes!

vote passed image
The district’s budget passed 966 to 275! In addition, congratulations to Steve Engelmann, Suzie Lustig, Joseph C. Savaglio who were elected as Members to the Board of Education. The vote totals for the Board race were as follows:

Steve Engelmann: 862
Suzie Lustig: 949
Joseph C. Savaglio: 744

Again, thank you all for the support that you have given throughout this budget process. This would not be possible without your help!

Thank You Letter from Dr. Ianni


Math 24 Night at TJL

Math 24 Night at TJL photo
Recently, students from grades 3-5 were invited to Math 24 night, a tournament-style game night revolving around math problems. Over 80 students attended and participated using math skills they’ve learned in the classroom to solve each challenge.

25 Harborfields High School students volunteered their night to act as judges, and went through a mini-training prior to the event. The event, sponsored by the PTA, also gave out door prizes throughout the night. The night not only helped student sharpen their math skills, but was a lot of fun!

Trophies for first place:
Grade 3: Alec Gerde
Grade 4: Kate Kenrick
Grade 5: Emily Xie

Medal Winners
Grade 3: Brian Henry, Aiden Chen, Justin Henry
Grade 4: Rhys Walter, Christopher Palermo, Grey Wilkens
Grade 5: Bridget Hickey, Abby Buckley, Megan Condolff”

Fit Club Places First

Fit Club Places First photo
Students at Thomas J. Lahey Elementary School who participate in the school’s Fit Club finished first out of 24 schools in the 2nd Annual Suffolk Zone Fit Club Competition on May 8th. The goal of Fit Clubs is to help students learn how to live active, healthy lifestyles, while being a part of a team, tackling challenges, and having fun.

The competition, which took place at Lincoln Ave. Elementary School in Sayville, consisted of teams comprised of students from grades four and five all throughout Suffolk County. Each school created four teams of 24 students—six boys and six girls from grades four and five. Events included exercises such as box jumps, bear crawls, sit-ups, agility runs and tire flips. The competition was fierce but the members of the team demonstrated tremendous grit, teamwork, and perseverance from start to finish.

Nationwide Penmanship Award and Tornado News Team Recognized

Nationwide Penmanship Award and Tornado News Team Recognized photo
Nationwide Penmanship Award and Tornado News Team Recognized photo 2
Nationwide Penmanship Award and Tornado News Team Recognized photo 3
At the district’s May Board of Education meeting, Washington Drive second-grader Noah Bradford was recognized for winning the nationwide Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest! This contest awards students, kindergarten through eighth grade, with outstanding print and cursive skills. Noah is one of nine winners chosen from over 280,000 student applicants.

Noah received a $500 check, a medal, a trophy and a $1,000 coupon for the school to purchase Zaner-Bloser school supplies.

Additionally, the Tornado News Team was recognized for all of their hard work, and bringing forth the district’s best to the surrounding community.

40th in State

40th in State photo
Harborfields High School was ranked No. 40 among the top 50 schools in New York State by the U.S. News & World Report’s annual list of Best High Schools released on May 9. In order to determine state and nation-wide rankings, U.S. News & World Report compiles data from over 20,000 schools in all 50 states, and in the District of Columbia.

This high ranking indicates that Harborfields High School serves its students well, using math and reading portions of state proficiency tests, as well as graduation rates, as a measurement against other schools in the state.

“This recognition is just one of the many measures of the success and excellence of our Harborfields Family,” said Superintendent Dr. Francesco Ianni. “The faculty and staff, in close partnership with our parents, have given our children every opportunity to reach their fullest potential. I join with the Board of Education and our wonderful Harborfields school community in congratulating our students and staff on this well-deserved recognition.”

Harborfields Musicians Perform in Prestigious Festival

Harborfields Musicians Perform in Prestigious Festival photo
Harborfields High School band students Melanie Bautista, Jay Best, Audrey Lenahan, and Tiffany Rounsavall were selected to perform in the 14th Annual LIU Post Band Festival on April 14. Students played in the Tilles Festival band, an ensemble composed of the LIU Post Wind Symphony and exceptional high school musicians from across the New York metropolitan area.

The students attended two rehearsals prior to the concert and had the honor of working with world-renowned band composer Mark Camphouse. Over 250 students from 40 different high schools across Long Island were nominated for this honors ensemble, and only 124 were chosen to participate. Congratulations!

Outstanding Leadership

Outstanding Leadership photo
Six Harborfields students were awarded Suffolk Zone Outstanding Leadership Awards. Thomas J. Lahey students Elisabeth Barbo, Jackson Donohue, Gwyneth Schulman, and Michael Slear, and Oldfield Middle School students Domenic Algeri and Caroline Kenrick were nominated and selected for this award. To be a recipient, students must be positive role models and leaders in their physical education classes.

Superintendent's Message - May 2018

FBI at Washington Drive

FBI at Washington Drive photo
On April 23, Mr. Coppala’s 1st grade class at Washington Drive Primary was visited by some special guests for career day. Joanne Tracey, an FBI agent and aunt of WD student Mateo, brought her two colleagues and an official FBI Crime Dog named Harley.

To demonstrate how FBI agents use crime dogs, Harley was commanded to sniff out iPhones hidden in the cafeteria, of which she found all five. Students enjoyed learning about this exciting career, and few even expressed interest in pursuing that as a career path in the future!

VIDEO: Getting a Handle On Bike Safety

Getting a Handle On Bike Safety photo

Harborfields Community Comes Together to Grant Wishes

Harborfields Community Comes Together to Grant Wishes photo

Hundreds of people congregated on the Harborfields High School track on April 21 to walk for a special cause, as they worked together to help grant two special boys’ wishes during the twelfth annual Walk for a Wish, which was a joint venture with Make-A-Wish of Suffolk County.

The event, which was sponsored by Washington Drive, Thomas J. Lahey, and both schools’ PTAs, was a rousing success, as participants helped raise more than $17,000. These funds go toward granting the dreams of two Make-A-Wish children, including 7-year-old Landen, a Port Jefferson resident who’s battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia, who’s wish is to go to Ocean City, Maryland; and 15-year-old Joe from East Northport, who battles bronchiectasis, an incurable respiratory disease. Joe wishes to go to Walt Disney World, where he hopes to meet his favorite character, Buzz Lightyear. Non-perishable food items were also collected to be donated to the Harborfields Food Pantry.

“I continue to be amazed by the tremendous character that’s shown by our students, staff and the residents of this tight-knit community,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Francesco Ianni said. “Coming together to support such a worthy cause really shows you what Harborfields is all about.”

Planting Pines to Preserve the Planet

Planting Pines to Preserve the Planet photo
Planting Pines to Preserve the Planet photo 2
Planting Pines to Preserve the Planet photo 3
Planting Pines to Preserve the Planet photo 4
In honor of Earth Day, two fifth-grade classes at Thomas J. Lahey in the Harborfields Central School District have been devoting their efforts towards reforestation. Teachers Karen Kunkle and Augustino Rettino purchased baby white-pine trees for their students. The money used to purchase the trees was a result of the students’ personal donations that have been accumulating since September. Students were able to take them home on April 19.

Students were excited to give back to the environment, and to have a very personal role in helping with reforestation.

“It’s really important to take care of the earth,” said Olivia, a student in Mr. Rettino’s class. “And because of all the pollution, planting trees to make oxygen will help our world!”

In addition to addressing reforestation, students have been regularly recycling since the beginning of the year.

Trashy Fashion at OMS

Trashy Fashion at OMS photo
Nigella Trinidad, an eighth grader at Oldfield Middle School in the Harborfields Central School District, was named a first-place winner in the Long Island Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) Challenge. The category she won, Trashy Fashion, required students to create an outfit using at least two pieces of inorganic or electronic waste. Nigella used both candy foil and newspapers to create a dress that was designed in alignment with current trends. Along with physical aspects of the garment, like quality creativity of design, students were judged on essay questions submitted along with the garment, such as inspiration, challenges faced, and more.

Nigella won a $100 check from the Long Island FACS Professionals, and had her work displayed in the OMS library. Nigella aspires to be a fashion designer, and would like to attend FIT after graduating high school.

“I’ve loved fashion design for as long as I can remember,” said Nigella, “and it was so exciting to not only get to actually create one of my designs but to actually win an award for my design.”

Senior Receives Two Medals in National Scholastic Contest

Senior Receives Two Medals in National Scholastic Contest photo
Harborfields High School senior Julia Spande recently received two national awards in Scholastic’s 2018 Art & Writing Awards Contest.

This nationwide contest only recognizes one percent of the works of art and writing that are submitted at a national level, selecting the best of nearly 350,000 pieces from students across the country. Spande received medals in two separate categories– a gold medal for her poem “Magpie,” and a silver medal for her critical essay entitled “What ‘Finsta’ Culture says about Modern Teenagers.”

Spande, who has been writing since she was ten years old and started taking writing courses through Johns Hopkins University in the sixth grade, was thrilled and honored to receive awards for two of her three submitted pieces. She plans to study both creative writing and environmental science at the University of Chicago in the fall.

TJL student places nationally in WordMasters Challenge

TJL student places nationally in WordMasters Challenge photo

Liam Wingert, a fourth-grader at Thomas J. Lahey Elementary School in the Harborfields Central School District, received a perfect score in the national WordMasters Challenge. Nationally, only 24 fourth-graders, from a pool of over 17,000 students, achieved this result. The WordMasters Challenge, a national critical thinking and vocabulary competition, involves nearly 150,000 students each year.

In addition, the fourth-grade team scored an impressive 183 points out of a possible 200 in the second of three meets this year, placing fourth in the nation among 293 schools. The fifth-grade team scored 180 points, finishing eighth in the nation among 316 schools.

The WordMasters Challenge is built into the school’s ELA LEAP program, and students work hard daily to build their vocabularies and to learn to understand complex analogies and metaphors.

Other students from Thomas J. Lahey Elementary School who achieved outstanding results in the meet include third graders Aidan Greco and Piper Greenberg, fourth graders Anna Clayton, Porter Coleman, Olive Olson-Effman, Christopher Palermo, Brendan Schmitt, Elijah Asaro, Connor Capobianco, Jackson Dunham, Tara Greco, Julian Tchinnis and Rhys Walter, and fifth graders Amelia Freiberger, Hartley Semmes, Fiona Calderon, Francis DeGregorio, Delilah Shapiro, Noah Tognon, Samantha Urmaza, Leah Vapynar, Quinn Johnson-Weymss and Emily Xie. Grade three students were coached in preparation for the WordMasters Challenge by Patricia Bacchi and Donna Robson. Fourth and fifth graders were coached by Christine Mayr.

“I am always proud of the effort the students put into preparing for WordMasters,” said Christine Mayr, the fourth and fifth grade WordMasters coach, “but it’s incredible to their hard work paying off and propelling them forward to finish so well nationally.”

VIDEO: OMS Students Seek to Give Back

OMS Students Seek to Give Back photo

Harborfields’ Salute to Veterans

Harborfields’ Salute to Veterans photo

Students from the high school leadership class, vocal ensemble, and jazz band put together a jazz cabaret night for local veterans on March 28. Students within the leadership class, previously nominated by faculty and staff, organize and run select school and community-focused activities, and this was one such event.

The evening began with a welcoming dessert reception for veterans and their families, and leadership students intermingled with the attendees. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Francesco Ianni and Assistant Superintendent Dr. Rory Manning, who were in attendance as well, greeted the guests.

The vocal ensemble, directed by music teacher Clare Jackson, treated the audience to beautiful arrangement of songs such as “Here Comes the Sun,” and “In the Still of the Night,” and many were toe-tapping and moving in their seats to the music. When the ensemble fished, the audience gave a thunderous round of applause, pleading for more, but it was the jazz band’s queue–and they did not disappoint.

The jazz band, directed by Music Department Coordinator Dan Bilawsky, covered an array of songs, including the complex, original compositions of Duke Ellington, and the audience was once again moved to jiving along to the rhythms in their seats until the music ended for the very last note was played.

“It is a privilege to give back to the community in any way possible,” said Greg Taylor, the leadership class advisor.

It’s Okay to be Different at Washington Drive

It’s Okay to be Different at Washington Drive photo

Schools within our district hold fast to the nation-wide “No Place for Hate” initiative, and regularly implement in-school events and activities to remind students of this important idea. On March 27, Washington Drive Primary School held a “Character Counts” assembly, and virtually brought in students from Oldfield Middle School to speak about being different.

Sixth-graders from Mrs. Horowitz’s class prepared to speak to students in grades kindergarten through second about accepting differences and “being yourself” by telling stories, sharing original poems, and explaining how they differed from everyone else. Middle schoolers shared differences like being a vegetarian, having ADHD, or struggling with anxiety. In addition, they shared how they coped with having these differences.

Sixth-graders stressed to the younger students that no matter what, one should never be quick to judge others, and to always be kind–no matter how someone differs from the crowd. Assistant Principal Ms. Kathy McNally facilitated the event, and encouraged younger students to ask questions regarding the sixth grader’s personal experiences.

At the end of the assembly, Ms. McNally asked the middle schoolers for a piece of advice for the Washington Drive students.

“Try your hardest to always be kind, and to remember it’s okay to be different,” said one sixth grader.