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Travelling with Flat Stanley

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Second-grade students at Sylvan Avenue Elementary School recently interacted with students from different regions of New York State via video chat to discuss similarities and differences of their school and community as part of The Flat Stanley Project.

Throughout the course of their discussions, the Bayport-Blue Point second-graders were able to answer informative questions sent from the upstate students such as, “How many second-grade classes does your school have?” and “Do any students have pets at home?” In addition, the students from upstate New York were happy to answer the questions that the Sylvan Avenue Elementary students posed.

According to the official Flat Stanley website, the basic principle of The Flat Stanley Project is to connect children, students or classrooms with other students or classrooms participating in the project by sending out “Flat” visitors created by the children through mail or digital resources.

Top Graduates

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The district would like to congratulate 19 graduating seniors for being named summa cum laude students by achieving a grade point average above 96.5, including this year’s valedictorian Philip Tubiolo and salutatorian Olivia Ingrassia.
Throughout his career at Bayport-Blue Point High School, Philip was a member of the Science Olympiad team, and was deeply rooted in the music department – lending his musical talents as bassist in the jazz band and a cellist in both the chamber and pit orchestras. This fall, he will attend Stony Brook University, where he will be majoring in biomedical engineering within the school’s University Scholars Program. While at Stony Brook, Philip plans to seek out research opportunities in the medical field and become involved in university jazz band, orchestra, and the university martial arts clubs.

While at Bayport-Blue Point High School, Olivia was a member of the varsity tennis team and was an accomplished musician, garnishing All-State, All-National and All-Eastern orchestra honors. She will attend Fordham University with a major in political science following a pre-law track. As part of her extracurricular studies at Fordham, Olivia plans to get involved in the university orchestra, Fordham College Republicans organization, and hopes to write for the Fordham Political Review.

The district congratulates all members of the graduating class, including the following 19 summa cum laude students: Matthew Abruzzese Ott, Abigail Auwaerter, Christopher Bartolini, Davis Bates, Abby Brewer, Christian Buckheit, Matthew Califano, Jayne Cudia, Abigail Edgeller, Olivia Ingrassia, Kraig Klein, Allyson Koehler, Jillian Lessing, Joshua Lurie, Jacob Ocon, Peter Prisinzano, Amanda Salva, Patricia Shiebler and Philip Tubiolo.

“We are very proud of the students and all of the hard work they’ve continued to show throughout their years here,” said Bayport-Blue Point High School Principal Dr. Gaurav Passi. “Additionally, their teachers have been thrilled with all they have accomplished thus far.”

Phantom Challenge

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Bayport-Blue Point High School students were recently able to present tentative business ideas and products to district administration, Board members and local business owners during the school’s fourth annual Phantom Challenge competition. The event is sponsored by the Perri-Marchan scholarship program and the Bayport-Blue Point Chamber of Commerce.

Throughout the course of the evening, the following students presented their innovative projects to the judges - Abigail Auwaerter, Elizabeth Auwaerter, Sucheta Ghandi, Madyson Gillanders, Derian Nasca, Lauren Remy and Kyle Spano.

The students’ projects included a “Park My Ride” parking application to help navigate cities and towns, and the idea of a “Culture Craze” which would bring students together for a night of cultural appreciation at participating schools.

The night’s top prize went to “Turtle Travel,” a series of space-saving compression suitcases; the runner-up was the “Med-Id,” a computer chip containing valuable medical information. The “Spray and Sun” sunscreen spray booth was named second runner-up. The district congratulates all student participants for their fantastic projects.

Physical Education Honors

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Fifth-grade students Kyle Barber and Marisa Carney at Sylvan Avenue Elementary School in were recently presented with Suffolk Zone Physical Education Leadership Awards based on their outstanding leadership skills, fitness, citizenship and excellence in physical education. Kyle and Marisa were the only two students bestowed with this award from the entire fifth-grade class at Sylvan Elementary.

BBPHS Named Most Challenging High School

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Bayport-Blue Point High School has been named amongst The Washington Post’s America’s Most Challenging High Schools list for the 2016-17 school year.
According to The Washington Post, the honor is based on an index formula that assesses students’ access to Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education assessments during the school year and based in proportionate to the number of seniors who graduated that year. Only approximately 12 percent of U.S. high schools received this designation in 2017.

School Board Elections

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Board of Education President Michael Miller and Vice President Daniene Byrne were re-elected on May 16th for a second 3 year term.

Lessons in Nature

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Students enrolled in Philip Turano’s Advanced Placement Environmental Science classes at Bayport-Blue Point High School were recently able to further their studies with two firsthand nature experiences featuring live animals.

The classes raised trout inside their classroom fish tank as the culmination of a project surrounding testing water quality and ecology. After the fish hatched within the classroom, the students traveled to the Caleb Smith State Park in Smithtown to release the specimen into the Nissequogue River.

Additionally, Tony Valderama of the Quogue Wildlife Refuge visited the class and spoke with the students about the various species of owls which live on Long Island and highlighted the unique and critical role that the predators play in the ecosystem. Earlier in the school year, the students dissected owl pellets in an effort to learn more about the predator-prey relationship in nature, and were able to tie in their research to Mr. Valderama’s visit.

“I was very proud of the class and grateful for the opportunity the district affords the Environmental Science program to host qualified guest speakers and conduct meaningful field research projects,” said Bayport-Blue Point High School Environment Science teacher Philip Turano.

Citizenship Day Celebrations

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Student volunteers from the Bayport-Blue Point High School Peers-to-Peers program recently came together to assist their community in various ways during the school’s first Citizenship Day event.

Throughout the course of the afternoon activities, upperclassmen could be seen alongside freshmen making hundreds of sandwiches for the Bellport Boys & Girls Club, creating dozens of toiletry baskets to be donated to benefit local veterans, planting gardens courtesy of donations from Bayport Flower Houses and cleaning up debris at Bayport Beach.

“Through the Peers-to-Peers Program, every ninth-grade student is provided with academic, emotional and social support,” said David Johnson, Peers-to-Peers program adviser and Bayport-Blue Point High School music teacher. “The program fosters a positive and inclusive school environment while providing every student with an opportunity to develop a meaningful connection with other students and staff.”

A Taste of Culture

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Students enrolled in Advanced Placement French and Advanced Placement European History courses at Bayport-Blue Point High School recently ventured into Manhattan to get a first-hand glimpse of the works of European masters of art housed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

While there, the students and their chaperones were able to get a glimpse into the ancient Greek and Roman lifestyle as they analyzed the large collection of marble sculptures. Additionally, the students were amazed by the vast display of paintings, tapestries, sculptures, photographs, furniture, armor and crafts.

All of this was made possible due to Bayport-Blue Point High School teachers Sean Meade and Madame AnnMarie Allen.

Writing Toward Success

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The district would like to congratulate Bayport-Blue Point High School sophomore Emersen Hernandez for being named the third-place winner in her grade category in the 2017 Kenneth F. Gambone Writing Contest.

For her winning entry, titled “My Name,” Emersen will be recognized on Friday, May 19, at LILAC’s annual spring luncheon/workshop at Captain Bill’s Restaurant in Bay Shore.

“Emersen is an incredibly hardworking and dedicated student,” said Bayport-Blue Point High School English teacher Erin McKay. “We are all very proud of her and she completely deserves this award.”

High Honors at Festivals of Music Competition

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Bayport-Blue Point High School student-musicians gathered multiple awards and recognitions during their recent trip to Washington, D.C. for the 2017 Festivals of Music Competition.

The district is happy to announce that the symphonic band, jazz band, symphony orchestra and string orchestra earned first in their respective categories. The concert band and chamber choir earned second-place standings within their categories.

Additionally, the symphony orchestra was awarded the Overall Orchestra Award, and the symphonic band was awarded the Overall Band Award.
In addition to the group awards, student-musicians Alisa Barsch, Josh Lurie and James Herlihy were also individually recognized based on their outstanding solo performances. Alisa received the vocalist award, Josh the outstanding jazz soloist award and James the outstanding jazz soloist award.

“This weekend the Bayport-Blue Point High School Music Department had a wonderful and successful trip to Washington, D.C.,” said Bayport-Blue Point High School music teacher David Johnson. “We are very proud of the students and the way they handled themselves throughout the course of the weekend.”

‘Exploring’ the rainforest

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Fifth-grade students in Stacey Loeffler’s and Krysta Sidoti’s classes at Blue Point Elementary School recently interacted with Dr. Meg Lowman via Skype about her extensive research of rainforest canopies after reading “The Most Beautiful Roof in the World.”

In order to enhance the students' interviewing skills and to further their understanding of her scientific research, they were all given the opportunity to develop questions to ask Dr. Lowman.

During their conversation, the students learned how Dr. Lowman became interested in studying herbivory and what it is like to live and sleep in the rainforest. Additionally, the fifth-graders learned about the "stinging tree" that Dr. Lowman is fascinated by, and her most recent experiences working in Malaysia to protect and preserve rainforest biodiversity.

Taking to the Stage

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Academy Street Elementary School fourth-grade students in Carrie Almskog’s class collaborated with Nancy Celentano’s kindergarten class for a theatrical performance of the classic story “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” on April 20. After months of rehearsals and preparations, the students premiered the show for family members and the entire school community to enjoy. This year’s production enabled the students to practice their collaborative learning and reading comprehension skills, and introduced them to various aspects of the theater, including how to follow stage direction.

Digging up Facts

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Fourth- and fifth-grade elementary-level students from the district’s Gifted and Talented Education program at Academy Street Elementary School were recently treated to two interactive lessons to help further their knowledge of forensic archaeology and ecosystems.

A representative from Long Island Science Center provided a hands-on presentation regarding forensics as a culmination of the fifth-graders 10-week classroom study on the topic. During her demonstration, guest speaker Eileen Tambone explained to the students the duties of a forensic archaeologist, and how their job consists of analyzing remains of human bones and teeth. Additionally, students were able to work together to analyze real bones to determine age, gender and cause of death.

The fourth-grade students also attended a separate program about ecosystems after studying environmental science extensively in their classrooms prior to their activity. They analyzed the water quality of samples taken from the Peconic River by testing the pH levels and analyzed the turbidity using Jackson turbidity units. Additionally, they learned facts about how the water quality affects life in an ecosystem and created interlocking food webs.

Lessons from Wounded Warriors

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Fifth-grade students at Academy Street Elementary School were recently visited by Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team members Greg Reynolds, Nick Clark and Josh Wege for an informative session about not giving up despite the obstacles that life may present.

Throughout the duration of their visit to the school, the “handi-capable” athletes spoke to the students about how they lost their limbs, and instilled hope in them that these misfortunes do not stop them from living their lives to the fullest potential. Students were able to test their physical endurance during a fun activity hosted by Mr. Reynolds, in which he challenged them to see how many pushups they could complete against him. Additionally, the students asked the wounded warriors about their lives, asking such informative questions as, “Did anyone lose their dominant limbs?”

Their visit to the school was made possible due to the efforts All Pro Sports Academy owner and Academy Street Elementary parent Scott June.
According to their website, the Wounded Warriors Project aims to honor and empower wounded warriors who have been injured and lost limbs while fighting to protect the country.

Senior Resident Recognition Dinner

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The district recently hosted its 10th annual Senior Resident Recognition Dinner and Evening of Music as a means of thanking the senior citizens of the BBP community for all of their continued support of the schools, community and local businesses.

Throughout the evening, administrative and community members served attendees delicious hot meals courtesy of local restaurants Cavanaugh’s and The Fish Store. Additionally, the James Wilson Young Middle School Jazz Band, Bayport-Blue Point High School Jazz Band and High School Vocal Jazz Choir took turns performing for the distinguished guests.

The evening concluded with a raffle of various gift baskets donated by school employees and local businesses.

Celebrating Science

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District administrators, staff, students and family members recently gathered in the gymnasium of Bayport-Blue Point High School for the annual SEED-funded “Celebration of Science” event.

Throughout the night, students’ projects were showcased for the entire community, and awards were handed out based on creativity, innovative qualities and eco-friendly factors. Additionally, various clubs throughout the district, such as the James Wilson Young Middle School Robotics Club, were able to demonstrate their collaborative efforts to attendees.  

After viewing the different displays, students and their families were treated to a performance by a representative of Mad Science of Long Island, a company which prides itself in teaching students highly important scientific facts, all the while incorporating humor into their act.

The Bayport-Blue Point School District SEED foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit Students Educational Enrichment and Development program established to provide supplemental educational experiences to students that enrich and build upon the traditional classroom setting.

Bringing History to Life

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Fourth-grade students at Sylvan Avenue Elementary School were recently able to put their historical knowledge on full display during the school’s annual “Wax Museum” event. After spending time researching a specific historical figure, the students dressed up to imitate such important individuals and presented attendees with factual information surrounding their subjects’ contributions to society. Those on display during the event included such individuals as Cleopatra, Elvis Presley and Amelia Earhart.

District Earns Prestigious Music Award

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The district has been named a 2017 Best Communities for Music Education, an honor awarded to school districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students.

To qualify for the Best Communities designation, the district completed a comprehensive application process, including documentation on funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community music-making programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

“What an honor it is to once again receive this designation” Bayport-Blue Point Chairperson for Art and Music Paul Weber. “This is an accolade that the entire Bayport-Blue Point Community can share with pride.”

Contributing to a Worthy Cause

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In an effort to assist those battling cancer, members of the Bayport-Blue Point High School Interact Club recently raised more than $1,100 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through their Pennies for Patients campaign. Throughout the month of March, members of the club distributed collection boxes in all homerooms and kept tally of the donations. Thomas Wulff’s homeroom class was announced to have contributed more than $300 alone. 

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

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Administrators, coaches, architects and student-athletes of the Bayport-Blue Point School District recently gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of the brand-new turf lacrosse field. To commemorate this special occasion, senior lacrosse players Kelsi LoNigro, Kyla Zapolski and Kevin Zapolski cut the ribbon, signifying the official opening of the field.

Dr. Hearney Named Superintendent

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The district is pleased to announce that Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Timothy Hearney has been appointed Superintendent of the Bayport-Blue Point School District, effective July 10, 2017.

“I am honored and humbled to have been selected to lead an extraordinary staff in the community of Bayport-Blue Point. As a team we will continue to provide our students with the necessary tools, opportunities and support to be successful,” said Dr. Hearney.

Dr. Hearney is no stranger to the district, as he has served as both a principal of Bayport-Blue Point High School and a central office administrator prior to his current role.

During the past nine years, Dr. Hearney cultivated a team that improved the district’s advanced Regents diploma rate 14 percent, doubled Advanced Placement offerings for students and implemented a first-class leadership curriculum. Under his direction, the district has introduced the Teacher College writing initiative in the elementary schools, built a community-based school-to-business partnership and received a Blue Ribbon nomination from the New York State Department of Education.

“This decision was based on the years of high-quality experience, service and outcomes Dr. Hearney has worked to deliver for the Bayport-Blue Point community,” said Bayport-Blue Point Board of Education President Michael Miller. “As the steward of our instructional programs, Dr. Hearney has helped us achieve at the highest levels, he is highly regarded by our staff and our families, and we look forward to him taking the reins in July.”

Dr. Hearney succeeds current Superintendent Dr. Vincent Butera, who has served as the Superintendent of Bayport-Blue Point School District since late 2012.

Below are photos from the April Board of Education meeting where Dr. Hearney was appointed and Dr. Butera was celebrated for his contributions to the school district.

DECA Club Excels

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The late March Bayport-Blue Point Board of Education meeting was full of celebration as the district honored several students for their accomplishments, both individually and collectively.  

Members of the Bayport-Blue Point High School Distributive Education Club of America recently travelled to the New York State DECA Competition held in Rochester and emerged victorious with multiple awards to bring back to their high school.

The following seven students medaled in their respective category: 

Abby Auwaerter, first place in New York State in Innovation Plan and Design;

Philip Tubiolo and Kelsie Dougherty, first place in Role Play, Top 10 in Testing and sixth overall in NYS for Travel and Tourism Team Decision Making; Joe Salaway, top 10 position in the Principles of Business Management Test; Shannon Conrad and Kevin Polanish, top 10 position in the Business Law and Ethics Role Play; and Hannah Duffield, top 10 position in the Travel and Tourism Test.
Additionally, Abby Auwaerter will be heading to Anaheim, California this April to partake in the DECA International Career Development Conference.

High Art Honor

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The district is proud to announce that senior Julia Caruso was selected to exhibit her artwork, titled “Undressed,” at this year’s Long Island’s Best: Young Artists Exhibit at the Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington, the premiere art exhibit for Long Island high school students. 

Julia was one of 83 students chosen to be in the show amongst more than 350 applicants. She is also the recipient of the Renzo S. Bianchi Award, one of several awards given at this exhibit. She plans to continue her artistic studies at Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia this fall. 

Additionally, the work of Bayport-Blue Point High School seniors Matt Califano, Lena Diaz and Mikayla Martinez were also submitted for the show. Their artwork can be seen on the museum’s website and in a video displayed at the museum during the exhibit.

Long Island’s Best: Young Artists 2017 at the Heckscher Museum of Art will be on display from March 11 until April 9. The closing reception will take place on Sunday, April 9, from 4-5 p.m.  

Student-Artists Draw up the Competition

James Wilson Young Middle School student-artists Frankie Russo and Lily Acierno were selected to display their artwork at the Colors of Long Island Student Art Exhibit sponsored by Astoria Bank, taking place at the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook.

According to their website, this annual student art exhibition affords an opportunity for students in grades kindergarten through 12 to show their artwork in a museum setting. The students, their parents and teachers were all invited to a reception honoring the young artists’ achievements in March.

Dr. Timothy Hearney to be Appointed Superintendent of Schools

Dear Bayport Blue Point Faculty, Staff, and Community Members,

As you may know, our Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Vincent Butera, will be leaving us at the end of the school year to pursue a new chapter in his professional career as the Superintendent of Manhasset Schools. The Board of Education wishes Dr. Butera many years of continued success as an educational leader and advocate for children. Dr. Butera will leave us with a legacy of successful endeavors, most notably the passage of a bond referendum that will change the experience of our children for many years to come. On behalf of a grateful community, we offer our thanks and appreciation for his service to our schools.

The Board of Education is responsible for recruiting a new Superintendent, one who is an instructional expert, pragmatic thinker, and focused on delivering a first class education for every child. The position calls for diversity of experience, exceptional team-building skills and the ability to manage our instructional, financial and physical resources in support of established goals. The families of Bayport-Blue Point deserve a Superintendent who will care for our children and town as if it were their own.

Fortunately, we did not have to look far. The governance team was unanimous in its decision to appoint Dr. Timothy P. Hearney as our next Superintendent of Schools. This decision was based on the years of high-quality experience, service and outcomes he has worked to deliver for the Bayport-Blue Point community. Over the past nine years, Dr. Hearney cultivated a team that improved our advanced Regents diploma rate 14%, doubled Advanced Placement offerings for students and implemented a first-class leadership curriculum. Under his direction, we have introduced the Teacher College writing initiative in our elementary schools, built a community-based school-to-business partnership and received a Blue Ribbon nomination from the New York State Department of Education. As the steward of our instructional programs, Dr. Hearney has helped us achieve at the highest levels.

We believe it is important to note that with Dr. Hearney ascending to the superintendency, the district will maintain continuity in all its initiatives. And, since he has been with us as both a principal and central office administrator, there is no learning curve for him to slow our progress. We believe that Tim is highly regarded by our staff and our families, and we look forward to him taking the reins in July.

Please join us on April 4, 2017 at 7pm in the high school cafeteria when the Board of Education will appoint Dr. Hearney.


Michael Miller, President
Bayport-Blue Point Board of Education

Athletic Honors

Timothy Mullins, the district’s director of physical education, health and athletics, is pleased to announce that the following students have earned postseason honors for their outstanding athletic performance this winter. Congratulations to all recipients for representing the student body in exemplary fashion:

Boys Basketball – Section XI Class A Semifinalist
Mike Darby – All-County
Andrew Riefenstahl – All-League
Joe Venero – All-Academic
Zach Walker – All-League
New York State Scholar Athlete Team

Boys Bowling
John Hussey – All-League
Jon Kelly – All-County

Boys Swimming    
Andrey Dagayev – 100m & 4x100 Freestyle Relay, State Qualifier, All-League
Edward Schulze –100m Breaststroke, 200m Medley Relay, All-League
New York State Scholar Athlete Team

Boys Track
Steven Beyer – All-League
Liam Boyd – League Champion, All-League
Cole Kraft – All-League
Kevin Lessing – All-League
New York State Scholar Athlete Team

New York State Scholar Athlete Team

Girls Basketball – Section XI Playoff Qualifier
Olivia Monturo – League VI Rookie of the Year
Cassidy Weeks – All-Conference
New York State Scholar Athlete Team

Girls Track
Julia Aurandt – All-League
Abby Brewer – All-League
Maggie Clark – All-League
Jayne Cudia – All-League
Emily de Onis – All-League
Madison Delzell – All-League
Melody Delzell – All-League
Julia Gensler – All-League
Julia Imbo – All-League
Ailish Kelly – All-League
Abby Larsson – All-League
Allison McGrath – All-League
Riley Nichols – All-League
Kayla O’Shea – All-League
Meghan Pickel – All-League
Maggie Ross – All-League
Jenn Smith – All-League
Riley Schultz – All-League
Kyra Valestrand – All-League
Ashley Walsh – All-League
Kyla Zapolski – All-League
New York State Scholar Athlete Team

Chris Behan – All-County
John Hartnett – All-County
Ryan Jones – All-County
Dylan McCarthy – All-County
Brant Sadenwater – All-County
Shane Santora – All-County
Kyle Spano – All-County
Isaiah Sweeney – All-County
New York State Scholar Athlete Team

Successes in Writing

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Sylvan Avenue Elementary School’s fifth-grade students recently showcased their writing skills and patriotic pride when they took part in the Patchogue Elks Lodge 1323 essay contest “Why is it important to vote?”

After completing their essays this past November, the contest winners were announced this March and celebrated at the school. This year’s winning pieces were penned by Shannon Alden (first-place prize), Hannah Denton (first runner-up) and Carlie Schwint (second runner-up).

The Elks Lodge Foundation’s goal is to build stronger communities through programs that support both the youth and veterans alike.

May 29, 2017