United Against Bullying


Nassakeag Elementary School students and staff helped to promote the nationally recognized Unity Day this October by joining together to create an artistic symbol of peace.

Keeping with their new character education motto “Nassakeag CARES,” the school crafted colorful leaves with anti-bullying messages. The completed designs were affixed to a large tree themed bulletin board in the building’s main hallway to show that the school is working to stop bullying one leaf at a time.

The school will update the messages on the board each season as a way to promote unity and anti-bullying throughout the year.
Nassakeag CARES stands for Compassionate, Accepting, Respectful, Embracing and Successful.

Walk of Jack O'Lanterns Rescheduled

Due to the rain today,  the Three Village Walk of the Jack O'Lantern's will now take place on the rain date Saturday 10/29 from 6:30 - 8:30 pm.  We have a few hundred carvings from students throughout the district including Mount and Setauket Girl Scouts and students from the various schools.  Glow sticks, candy, drinks, etc. are all ready to go.


Walking for Education


As part of their continued efforts to encourage students to make healthy life choices, Nassakeag Elementary School hosted its annual Walk for Education under sunny skies this October.

During the event, students and staff walked laps around the school’s property to fundraise for cultural arts and other PTA sponsored programs. As a result of their efforts, Nassakeag collectively raised over $2,200 in pledges.

Inspired Writers


R.C. Murphy Junior High School students and staff put pencil to paper this October to explain what inspires their writing in celebration of National Day on Writing.

The students responded to one of several prompts presented to them in the form of hashtags, including #writeyourownstory and #whyIwrite.
Once completed, all the responses were put on display outside of the English classrooms for students to read their peers’ reflections and celebrate the power of writing.

Arrowhead Cupcake Challenge to Smash Out Pediatic Cancer

Top Music Honors

In recognition of their outstanding musical talents, 14 Ward Melville High School students have been selected to perform in this year’s New York State School Music Association Winter Conference, and 40 have been chosen to perform in the New York State Council of Administrators for Music Education/Suffolk County Music Educators Association All-County Music Festival.

Selection to these festivals is based on the students’ NYSSMA scores from the previous spring, as well as teacher recommendations.

The All-County Festival will end in a musical showcase on Nov. 18 at Northport High School. The All-State concerts will take place in Rochester in December.
The district congratulates the following students:

All-State Musicians
Sophie Cicale
Emma Cowan
Allison Dana
Jared Gozinsky
Connor Heaphy
Crystal Her
William Jin
Andrew Kim
Julia LaRotonda
Ellen Li
Jason Rahner
Alexis Salerno
Cody Stair
Michal Zadok

All-County Musicians
Shawn Brennan
Ryan Carlozzo
Small Chase
Kathryn Chen
Sophie Cicale
Isabella Colombo
Emma Cowan
Allison Dana
Brandon Feng
Maya Fischer
Jared Gozinsky
Connor Heaphy
Christopher Helenek
Crystal Her
Thomas Howell
Julia Hu
Michelle Hu
Sarah Jiang
William Jin
Andrew Kim
Eleanor Kopp
Lawrence Lan
Julia LaRotonda
Ellen Li
Jonathon Lin
Serena Liu
Dylan Maggio
Johnny Mo
Matthew Okrent
Chelsea Plank
Jason Rahner
Matthew Roberts
Alexis Salerno
Maxwell Schoenfeld
Benjamin Shea
Kai Southard
Cody Stair
Marina Vostrova
Alex Wiggins
Michal Zadok

Seniors Earn Siemens Honors


Ward Melville High School seniors Brandon Feng, Kirti Nath, and Nestor Tkachenko earned top honors in the 2016 Siemens Competition for Math, Science & Technology. All three were named semifinalists and Nestor advanced to Regional Finalist status.

As a Regional Finalist, Nestor will present his group research project, “Can Cars Fly? Eddy Current Magnetic Levitation as Viable Technology,” to the Siemens committee for additional honors. The topic for his project was something that captivated his interests since the first grade, when he visited the University of Michigan with his parents. His research explores the potential of eddy current coil levitation for commercial use. This levitation occurs when an alternating current is sent through a conducting coil, which is placed above a nonmagnetic plate; in this case aluminum.

“This technology has the potential to revolutionize transportation since the ideal efficiency is a factor of 10 better than that of some of the most efficient cars,” said Nestor. “Eddy current coil vehicles would essentially enable Maglev train-like transportation that is much more mobile and personal. In order for this technology to be implemented commercially, roads would need to have aluminum plating under them, which is quite plausible considering the relatively low cost of aluminum compared to asphalt.”

Brandon’s project, “A Robust Sensor Network-based Estimation Model for Wind Fields” focused around estimating wind fields from solar irradiance data taken from solar panels in order to maximize panel efficiency.

Kirti’s project, “Assessing the developmental and metabolic toxicity of neuroactive pharmaceuticals using early life stage zebrafish,” focused on the fate of pharmaceutical compounds once released into the environment and the consequent implications of this phenomenon on wildlife.

Fire Smart

In recognition of Fire Prevention Month, students throughout the district learned valuable safety information from local firefighters during in-school programs.

Members of the Stony Brook Fire District conducted two interactive assemblies at W.S. Mount Elementary School and visited students in their classrooms for follow-up conversations. Throughout the daylong event, volunteers reinforced the importance of having a predetermined family meeting place, the need to regularly replace smoke detector batteries and the phone number to call in case of an emergency.

Outside the building, students were able to tour two working fire apparatuses and take a close look at the firefighters’ lifesaving equipment. Students were then provided with a keepsake firefighter’s helmet and informational goody bag.

With Thanks and Appreciation


In observance of the New York State School Boards Association’s School Board Recognition Week, the school community came together to honor the district’s Board of Education members.

As each Board member serves as a liaison to one of the district’s schools, representatives from each building spoke on behalf of their trustee, the district clerk and the student representative, before presenting them with a token of their school’s appreciation.

What's for Lunch?


Three Village Music Teachers Concert - Friday, Nov. 4


Come and see our very own, very talented music teachers perform!  Friday, November 4, 2016 at RC Murphy Auditorium at 7:00 pm. Tickets on sale at the secondary buildings - see below for details.

River Life


P.J. Gelinas Junior High School students conducted authentic research and studied one local waterway this October as part of the annual Day in the Life of the River event.

Three research classes from Gelinas went to different parts of the Nissequogue River watershed, including Stump Pond in Blydenburgh County Park, which is the headwaters of the river, and Short Beach in Saint James, where the mouth of the river enters the Long Island Sound. During their visit, the students collaborated with professional naturalists and conducted a biodiversity study. They collected physical data from the river and surrounding area, including information on currents, tides and weather, performed chemical tests to determine the water quality and created a map of each study area.

All of the data collected by the Gelinas students and other participating school districts will be uploaded to the Portal to Discovery website, and will become a permanent record of this day in the Life of the Nissequogue River.  

Studying Local Waters

R.C. Murphy Junior High School Earth SMART classes learned firsthand about the aquatic inhabitants living in a local waterway during a recent field trip.

The 60 students boarded the Celtic Quest charter boat out of Port Jefferson and enjoyed a brief fishing experience before dredging the harbor to study the benthic organisms. At the conclusion of the trip, the students tallied all the fish caught and completed a lab based on the data gathered during their excursion.

Suffolk County Marathon Information


Inspiring Creativity


The front of Minnesauke Elementary School has been transformed into a fall-themed display, showcasing 31 unique and crafty scarecrows.

As part of the Displays of Minnesauke Scarecrows project, each class was challenged to create a large scarecrow based on a central theme. Working with their teachers and parent volunteers, the students brainstormed concepts and collected materials before getting to work. Completed projects ranged from a bookworm and brainy scarecrow to ones with sports themes.

The fall-themed projects are on display as part of the school’s Harvest Festival and will remain up until the end of October.

Taking Care of Teddy


W.S. Mount Elementary School kindergarten students had the chance to act as emergency room doctors during a recent workshop with representatives from Stony Brook University.

Before suiting up as doctors for the “Teddy Bear Clinic,” the students were given important safety tips to keep in mind when riding in a car or on a bicycle. Then, wearing protective gloves, hairnets and facemasks, they took care of their most precious stuffed animals by adhering bandages and fitting braces and splints.

The program not only provided the young children with a variety of safety tips, but also helped ease their apprehensions of going to the doctor.

Students "APP"-ly Themselves


Writing for a National Platform

An educational piece written by P.J. Gelinas Junior High School art teacher Michael Sacco is being featured in the November issue of School Arts Magazine, a national publication.

The article, titled “Gridded by Design,” details a project Mr. Sacco conducted in his art classes and features the artwork of former Gelinas students Ariana Beasley, Darby Kent, Sandie O’Brien and Cleo Watson.

This is Mr. Sacco’s sixth article featured in School Arts. An electronic copy of the article can be viewed by clicking this link

Friday, October 28 - Trick or Treat Street at WMHS

The annual Trick or Treat Street event will run from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm at Ward Melville High School.  Please click here for more information.


International Artists

Four Minnesauke Elementary School talented students – Julia Horan, Alexa Horan, Keira Sabbatini and Sarah Wood ¬– earned international acclaim during the 10th Annual Interdependence Hexagon Project Exhibit hosted in Scranton, Pennsylvania this September.

Julia was awarded “Most Effective Over-All Interpretation,” Alexa earned the title of “Most Relevant to Interdependence Theme” and Keira and Sarah each won honorable mention in the “2D Mixed Media” category.

According to the organization’s website, the project calls for students to create art based on a global issue within the infinitely inter-linking shape of a hexagon, a metaphor for interconnectedness.  This year’s theme was “We Do: Acting Interdependently.”

Trained in Lifesaving Techniques

Ward Melville High School students learned how to perform hands-only CPR and use an automated external defibrillator during a workshop conducted in the school’s health classes.  

After speaking with the students about the importance of the training, David Sterne, a community member and district manager for the Setauket Fire District, volunteer firefighters and health teachers worked with the students to practice the technique on mannequins. They learned the proper way to complete chest compressions, the placement for the AED pads and tips for securing professional help while still tending to the victim.

Sex Offender Notification October 2016


Mount Earns Grant

Helping to further support the school’s character education program, W.S. Mount Elementary School was selected as a winner in the Safe Fleet 2016 United Against Bullying Grant Program.

Mount was honored for its PBIS – positive behavior intervention supports – program called Mount SCORES. Within the program’s matrix, the school works to promote the expectation that students will be self-controlled, caring, open-minded, respectful, encouraging and safe. The monies received through the grant will be used to purchase reinforcements, as well as partially fund a school mascot to assist with reinforcing expected behaviors.

Mount’s principal Kathryn White and social worker Sherri Lennon were instrumental in submitting the grant application.

According to the organization’s website, more than 100 applications were received from school districts, school transportation departments and nonprofit organizations. Safe Fleet donated a total of $55,000 to applicants who presented the best strategies to stop bullying and inspire kindness in their communities.

No. 1 Ranked Fencer

Ward Melville High School student Danny Solomon has earned athletic attention on the international level as he recently won the Cadet World Cup in fencing in Konin, Poland on Sept. 25.

During the event, Danny competed against 180 international fencers to capture his first international gold. He is now ranked the No. 1 cadet male sabrist in the world.

Winning Readers

For the second consecutive year, Minnesauke Elementary School has been named the winner of the “Emma Cup” for having the most elementary school participants in the Emma Clark Library annual summer reading program.

“Students enjoy participating in the program and it encourages a lifelong love of reading,” said Taylor Kinsley, Minnesauke’s library information specialist. “We are so proud of our Minnesauke STAR readers.”

The Cup will be housed in the Minnesauke school library to honor the students’ reading achievements.

National Recognition for Artists

The artistic creations of Ward Melville High School’s 2016 yearbook staff earned national attention, as two students were recently honored for a design layout they created for the school’s book of memories.

Senior Lauren Berlinghof and graduate Fangrui Tong were named finalists in the National Scholastic Press Association Yearbook Design of the Year Contest for their design spread “Green or Gold.” Contest winners will be announced in November at the National High School Journalism Convention.

Tackling Teen Issues


P.J. Gelinas Junior High School students will perform their annual adolescent issue play on Friday, Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. in the school’s gymnasium. This year’s production, “Addict,” is an emotionally charged play that depicts the lives of a group of teenagers dealing with alcohol and substance abuse. All members of the community are invited to attend. Admission is $10 per family.

Due to the sensitive nature of the program, the district asks that a parent or guardian accompany their children to the evening performance. The play, which is performed by a small cast of ninth-grade students, will also be performed for the school’s students during a daytime assembly.

For a look inside the making of the production, please watch the short video clip below, which was created by former Gelinas theater student Paige Pearson.

New Nassakeag AP

The district appointed Nancy Pickford as the new assistant principal at Nassakeag Elementary School. Ms. Pickford replaced Danielle Flaumenhaft, who accepted a principal position in another school district.

Ms. Pickford is a familiar face at Nassakeag, having worked as an administrative intern in the building last winter and spring. A well-versed instructor, she spent 12 years of her career as a general education and special education classroom teacher before transitioning to leadership roles with Long Island University and St. Joseph’s College. Her experience as a preschool teacher will prove to be instrumental as well, as she will be working as the liaison for the Three Village Pre-K Program.

“I am very excited to serve as the new assistant principal at Nassakeag Elementary School,” said Ms. Pickford. “It is a privilege to join the team of talented teachers and support staff at Nassakeag. As the year progresses, I look forward to meeting students and families, as well as becoming a member of the Three Village family!”

Empire State Excellence in Teaching Award


Beloved Ward Melville High School mathematics teacher Pam O’Brien has been selected as an Empire State Excellence in Teaching Award winner and was presented with a check for $5,000 by New York’s Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul during a surprise in-class ceremony in September.

“On behalf of the school district, I am extremely proud that the extraordinary talents of one of our district’s teachers has again been recognized at the state level,” said Superintendent of Schools Cheryl Pedisich, who was present during the ceremony. “Ms. O’Brien instills a love of mathematics in each of her students, and her passion for teaching is evident the moment you enter her classroom.”

The award recognizes educational leaders who “exemplify the professional work of thousands of outstanding, progressive teachers and innovative educators striving to attain New York standards and success for all of their students.” The monetary grant will be used for opportunities for continued learning and professional endeavors.

Ms. O’Brien, who was previously named a New York State Master Teacher, is a well-versed educator who has been teaching for the past 28 years. She currently teaches Math 10 Honors Theory and Advanced Placement Statistics. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics from SUNY Binghamton and a master’s in education from Dowling College. Ms. O’Brien, her husband and her three children are all graduates of Ward Melville.

“I feel honored that I have been given the opportunity to teach in the community that I call home,” said Ms. O’Brien. “I work with an awesome group of colleagues, as well as an extremely supportive administration who have always encouraged and supported my endeavors. Most of all, I have been fortunate to work with students who constantly inspire me to be an even better teacher. Receiving this award will allow me to keep growing professionally so that I can keep bringing new ideas and innovations to the classroom.”

“Ms. O’Brien has the ability to transform the world of mathematics into an exciting learning experience for our students,” said Principal Dr. Alan Baum. “Her creative and engaging lessons not only provide our scholars with a strong foundational knowledge of mathematics, but also strengthen their problem-solving abilities.”

Dynamic Lesson Springboards Learning

P.J. Gelinas Junior High School’s seventh-grade technology classes have been learning about the complexity of aerodynamics – the study of how air resistance and drag affect an object – through a hands-on experiment.

Using the scientific process, the students created paper hovercrafts, or skimmers, and tested their travel capabilities by launching them in the hallway. The students then made modifications to the device’s variables, including weight and wing design, to improve their hovercraft’s performance. The longest distance one traveled was 150 feet.

“This served as a successful introduction to the effects a design can have on a product and how to best solve problems to come up with a better solution,” said teacher Dan Rieckhoff. “In the coming weeks, the class will create rubber band cars, which is a much more intricate project.”  

Prideful Patriot Homecoming


Patriot pride was at an all time high when Ward Melville High School celebrated homecoming 2016.

The weekend kicked off with a student pep rally on Friday afternoon and school spirit carried over to the community carnival held before the big football game on Saturday. Entertaining booths and displays created by representatives at each of the district’s schools and several high school organizations, blanketed the backfield at Ward Melville. Carnival attractions included spirited games, face-painting stations, bounce houses and an obstacle course.

Before the varsity football team took to the field, students from each of the district’s elementary schools proudly entered the stadium to display their submissions to this year’s banner contest. This year’s contest was themed “50 Years Strong” in recognition of the district celebrating its 50th anniversary. During half time, Minnesauke Elementary School was announced as the winner of the competition.

When the hometown Patriots took on the Patchogue-Medford Raiders, their weeks of preparation were evident. After a strong start, the Patriots earned a homecoming win and ended the game with a score of 35-22.

National Semifinalists

In recognition of their academic performance, 15 Ward Melville High School seniors have been named semifinalists in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program.

According to the program’s website, 1.6 million students entered this year’s competition by taking the PSAT/NMSQT, and only about 16,000 students earned the status of semifinalist. With this honor, these students now have the chance to continue in the competition and compete for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth about $33 million.
The district congratulates the following students:

Sophia Abanov
Hugh Ferguson
Michelle Hu
Albert Liu
Kirti Nath
Henry Nelson
Sachin Patnaik
Nikita Podobedov
Isabelle Scott
Annabel Shewan
Michelle Sun
Kavya Tangella
Ray Wei
Edward Yan
Adora Zhang

Official Notice Regarding Lead Testing

The Three Village Central School District proactively initiated a thorough test of all potable water sources in each of its facilities in the spring of 2016. Upon receiving the results of this testing, the district immediately implemented a corrective action plan to address those locations found to have levels of lead above Environmental Protection Agency guidelines.

The remediation work was completed before the start of the 2016-17 school year. This effort included removing the identified locations from service and installing filtered water bottle filling stations at each elementary and junior high school. These devices were previously installed at Ward Melville High School.  

AP Honors for Scholars

As a result of their outstanding Advanced Placement exam scores, the College Board has named 335 Ward Melville High School students AP Scholars. This impressive number includes current students as well as members of the Class of 2016.

The honor is given to students based on the number of AP exams taken and the scores they received on those tests.

The title of AP Scholar was bestowed upon 104 students, each of whom received scores of 3 or higher on three or more exams; 55 were named AP Scholars with Honor for receiving an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP exams taken and scores of 3 or higher on four or more exams; 144 were named AP Scholars with Distinction for earning an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP exams taken and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams; and 30 were named National AP Scholars for receiving an average score of 4 on all AP exams taken and scores of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams.

Class of 2016 graduates Alexander Douglas and Amanda Liu merited the high honor of being awarded AP International Diplomas, which are issued in recognition of students receiving scores of 3 or higher on five or more AP exams in three or more subject areas.

“I am so proud of all of our students who challenged themselves on Advanced Placement exams,” said Principal Dr. Alan Baum. “Although we do not require students to sit for AP exams, it is great to see so many of them avail themselves of this opportunity. To have so many achieve AP Scholar with Distinction status is a testament to the caliber of students we have and the strong educational environment Ward Melville High School provides. Coupled with more than 600 students sitting for and passing college-level courses offered right here at Ward Melville, this speaks volumes about the rigorous course of studies our students take.”

Back to School!

Rocking Out on Broadway

The district is proud to announce that W.S. Mount Elementary School sixth-grader Ava Della Pietra will star in the leading role of Summer, the band manager, in Broadway’s hit musical “School of Rock” for five shows this month.
Ava can be seen in this role at the Winter Garden Theatre on the following days:

Sunday, Sept. 18 – 1 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 18 – 6 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 19 – 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 20 – 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 21 – 2 p.m.

For ticket information and more information about the show, please visit: http://us.schoolofrockthemusical.com/tickets.
Ava has been a member of the show’s cast since its world premiere last November. Previously, she performed on the national stage as Little Cosette and Young Eponine in the 25th anniversary tour of “Les Misérables” and as Susan Waverly in the 2014 national tour of Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas.”  

Learning About Lincoln

Ward Melville High School 10th-grader Sahil Sangwan has been named one of three national Lincoln Forum Student Scholarship award winners. As an honoree, Sahil has been invited to attend the annual meeting of the Lincoln Forum, to be held in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in November.

Sahil, a history enthusiast, was selected for this honor based on his comprehensive application, which included a three-page letter outlining his interest in President Abraham Lincoln and his reflection on why he wanted to attend the forum.

According to its website, the scholarship program recognizes outstanding elementary and high school students who have demonstrated academic and extracurricular excellence as well as an interest in the life and career of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War.

Secondary School Late Bus Information

Click school for schedule:

Ward Melville Late Bus Schedule-9.14.16

Gelinas Late Bus Schedule-9.14.16

Murphy Late Bus Schedule-9.14.16

Absentee Ballots – Library Vote

District residents who are on the Suffolk County Board of Elections absentee ballot list are hereby notified that the official ballots for the upcoming Emma S. Clark Memorial Library have been mailed. Due to a processing delay, the ballots were issued slightly later than usual. However, residents will have adequate time to submit their completed ballots before the voting deadline. We apologize for any inconvenience to the community.

Helping to Beautify School Grounds

Helping to create a warm and welcoming environment for the first day of school, Three Village students and sisters Abigail Wiederman (Setauket sixth-grader), Sarah Wiederman (P.J. Gelinas JHS eighth-grader) and Hannah Wiederman (Ward Melville HS 10th-grader) volunteered their time to beautify a garden at the entrance to Setauket Elementary School.

The students, who each earned community service hours from the Girl Scouts of America in recognition of their efforts, weeded the bus circle gardens and planted seasonal flowers and decorative scarecrows. Sarah and Hannah are both working toward earning the Girl Scout Gold Award while Abigail is working on the Girl Scout Silver Award.

Pedestrian Safety Project Completed

Through the efforts of the school district and the Town of Brookhaven, a pedestrian safety improvement and resurfacing project on Mud Road, across from Paul J. Gelinas Junior High School, was competed before the start of the school year.

The cost for the project, which included the installation of a retaining wall to allow for new sidewalks and curbing, a drainage system, a crosswalk and electrical signal work, as well as the paving of Mud Road, was funded by the Town.

“Residents in this neighborhood have been requesting additional sidewalks for the last decade,” said Brookhaven Town Highway Superintendent Daniel Losquadro. “I was grateful to be able to bring this project to fruition and create a safer environment for the many students who walk to and from the junior high school, as well as pedestrians in the area.”

Sidewalks were added in front of the school and to the south; on the west side of Mud Road, sidewalks extend from the school to Brandywine Road. In addition to the new crosswalk, a decorative pole with flashing LED lights, activated by a push button, was installed to assist pedestrians crossing Mud Road.

“The health and safety of our students and staff remain a top priority of the school district,” said Superintendent of Schools Cheryl Pedisich. “The district is grateful to the Town of Brookhaven for its work along Mud Road, a highly trafficked street in the community. This project will ensure our students’ safe passage to and from school, as well as enhance the overall walking safety around P. J. Gelinas Junior High School.”

“I share many of the resident concerns about pedestrian safety in this particular area,” said Councilwoman Valerie Cartright. “I am pleased that students and other local residents who walk to Gelinas can now do so without the risks of walking in the street. We look forward to continuing to work with the community to improve pedestrian safety in our Town.”

Capturing More Than Memories

Ward Melville High School’s yearbook has a long and well-earned reputation for excellence, and recent honors bestowed upon the 2016 Invictus yearbook staff have raised the already high bar for the award-winning book of memories.

The “Home or Away” photo spread included in the 2016 edition won grand-prize honors in the nationwide Jostens/Adobe Design Contest. Additionally, that layout and the “Zumba for Autism” design were named two of 10 finalists in the competition.
To view the 10 finalists and Ward Melville’s grand prize-winning entry, visit:

Remembering 9/11


Honoring Tenured Staff

During their September meeting, the district’s Board of Education honored staff members who received tenure status as of the 2016-17 school year.

Superintendent of Schools Cheryl Pedisich and Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Dr. Gary Dabrusky praised the educators for their dedication and commitment to their profession. Each staff member received a commemorative token of appreciation on behalf of the district from Board of Education President William F. Connors Jr.

Congratulations to the following newly tenured Three Village professionals:

Sari Assail – Reading, W.S. Mount Elementary School
Jennifer Cowen – Teaching Assistant, P.J. Gelinas Junior High School
Allyson Konczynin – Library/Media Specialist, W.S. Mount Elementary School
Christine Liguori – Teaching Assistant, Ward Melville High School
Nicholas Matros ¬– Foreign Languages, P.J. Gelinas Junior High School
Joseph Pulaski – Special Education, Arrowhead Elementary School
Andrea Re – Math, P.J. Gelinas Junior High School/Three Village Academy
Deidre Rubenstrunk – Library/Media Specialist, Setauket Elementary School
Dr. Jose Salazar – Psychologist, Ward Melville High School

Superintendent’s Welcome Back Message

Dear Residents,

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the 2016-2017 school year.

Since the last bell rang in June, our building staff has been working diligently to prepare for the start of the new school year. From our teachers working collaboratively on curriculum writing projects, to our custodians who have been busy readying our facilities for the arrival of students, the summer months have been full of activity.

Beginning this September, district students will have the chance to participate in a number of new and exciting courses. The computer science program introduced at Ward Melville High School last year has been expanded to include a junior high school component; business electives at the high school have increased to include offerings such as Virtual Enterprise and web and application design; and the American Sign Language program at the secondary level has expanded. Furthermore, in an effort to provide additional support to our students, the district has created writing centers at each junior high school, expanded the high school writing center and enhanced elementary math AIS support services.

In addition to the curricular updates, the district completed several facility projects in time for the start of school. With the health and well-being of our students and staff in mind, the district has installed filtered water bottle filling stations at each of our elementary schools, similar to those that were already installed at Ward Melville High School. Additionally, as a result of New York State Bullet Aid secured for Three Village by State Sen. John J. Flanagan, the district has purchased new refillable water bottles for each student and staff member.

As this year marks the district’s 50th anniversary, I hope you join me in celebrating our school’s rich history and the golden opportunities that await our students and staff this year.


Cheryl Pedisich
Superintendent of Schools

New School Year Underway


With bright smiles and new school supplies in hand, district students and staff officially started the 2016-2017 school year on Sept. 6.

From the youngest scholars, who arrived aboard yellow school buses to start their academic journey, to the seniors who began their final months of study, the year was off to a great start in the district’s eight school buildings as students quickly settled into their new routines.

Several new initiatives will be introduced in the district this year, including an expanded computer science program and supporting writing centers at the junior high school level, as well as new high school business electives.

The district is looking forward to a successful year ahead, working with the community’s young scholars and nation’s future leaders.

Celebrating 50 Years


The district kicked off its 50th anniversary celebration with the following video, which was shown during superintendent’s conference day.

A Lawful Victory

A team of five incoming Ward Melville High School 10th-graders – Kian Abbott, Gabrielle Barry, Thomas DiPietro, Samuel Kim and Kevin Xu – took an up-close look at the justice system and captured top honors during a five-day EDNY Justice Institute program at the federal courthouse in Central Islip this summer.
During the program, the students learned about all aspects of law enforcement and legal advocacy by working with experienced lawyers and meeting with professionals such as U.S. Marshals and FBI investigators. The week ended in a challenging mock trial competition, during which teams were assigned to represent the defense or prosecution in two cases. The top two teams went on to compete head-to-head in the final round. Three Village’s team was awarded first place at the end of the championship round.

“This was a great experience and I learned a lot from my teammates,” said Thomas. “I really enjoyed competing in the mock trial and talking to the professionals in attendance. By learning more about the career and gaining this experience, I now know that I really want to be a lawyer in the future.”
More than 80 students representing 23 high schools on Long Island participated in the program, which was spearheaded by U.S. District Judge Joseph Bianco and sponsored by the Eastern District of New York, Touro College and the Federal Bar Association.

New Teachers Attend Summer Orientation

As a jump-start to the new school year, the district hosted a two-day comprehensive orientation program for the district’s 27 new teachers.

The program, facilitated by teacher mentors Brenda Lamiroult, Leanne Perry and Dawn Alexander, consisted of various activities, informational pieces, and an introduction to the administration and leadership within the district. Over the course of the two days, each teacher received a copy of the New Teacher Handbook, participated in hands-on technology training, attended an overview on My Learning Plan, and learned about district policies and procedures, including APPR. Additionally, they received an overview of the district’s curriculum and instructional practices, were briefed on the services offered through the pupil personnel and special education departments, and learned more about the supports offered through the Three Village Mentor Program.

Reflecting upon their personal experiences, two second-year teachers spoke about the support and help they received through the district’s mentor program and two Ward Melville High School incoming juniors spoke about the positive impact the district has had on their educational careers.  

Summer Orientations Kick Off New Year


As summer vacation drew to a close, the district’s incoming seventh- and 10th-grade students had the chance to learn about their new schools during orientation programs held at Ward Melville High School and R.C. Murphy and P.J. Gelinas junior high schools.

Members of each school’s administration were on hand to answer the incoming students’ questions and help them navigate the building. In addition, upperclassman volunteers were available to help their younger peers locate classrooms and open lockers for the first time.

Preparing for the New School Year


Faculty and staff members came together to commence the 2016-17 school year and participate in a series of professional development programs during this year’s Superintendent’s Conference Day, held in early September.

The program began with a welcome address from Board of Education President William F. Connors Jr. In his message, Mr. Connors reflected on the district’s hallmark 50th anniversary, saying, “As we begin a new year, let us remember that excellence is not a destination, it is a continuous journey that never ends.”
Superintendent of Schools Cheryl Pedisich echoed his sentiments and reflected proudly upon the advancements the district has made over the last 50 years.

“Our success as a district has been a journey filled with innovative ideas…We are fortunate that creativity and ingenuity have always been embraced and encouraged,” she said. “I want each of you to feel empowered to try something new, to embrace your passions and to encourage the same in your students. You may not achieve your goal on the first try, but know that we will support you as you support the students who struggle before they succeed.”

Prior to attending faculty meetings in their respective buildings, the staff attended technology and emergency management training workshops.  

Kerrin Welch-Pollera, executive director of instructional technology, and Laura Pimentel, district data coordinator and assistant director for instructional technology, spoke about data privacy laws and the efforts each employee can make to protect students’ personal information.

Security and Safety Coordinator Jack Blaum spoke about the importance of having situational awareness, the steps to take during an emergency and the district’s new crisis management application. He also offered refreshing information on Safe Schools Against Violence in Education, Dignity for All Students Act and Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations.

Suffolk County Narcan Training Classes

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Dr. James Tomarken, Commissioner of Health, are encouraging residents to take advantage of scheduled opioid overdose prevention program-narcan training classes.

The training, which meets New York State Department of Health requirements, will enable participants to recognize an opioid overdose, administer intranasal Narcan and take additional steps until EMS arrives. Participants will receive a certificate of completion and an emergency resuscitation kit that includes nasal Narcan. The classes will take place as follows:

Central Islip
Friday, September 16, 2016, 6:30 p.m. -7:30 p.m.
Central Islip Library
33 Hawthorne Ave
Central Islip, NY 11722
RSVP required register (631) 234-9333 Ext 116 or 117

Monday, September 19, 2016, 6:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Suffolk County Dept. of Health Services,
Office of Health Education
725 Veterans Highway, Bldg. C-928 Hauppauge, NY 11788
RSVP To Wanda Ortiz: wanda.ortiz@suffolkcountyny.gov

Learn more about the program; watch “Saving One Life at a Time with Narcan at Suffolk’s Opioid Overdose Prevention Program.”

Remembering Gabriella

P.J. Gelinas Junior High School staff members came together before the start of school to dedicate a new, beautified garden at the school’s main entrance to former seventh-grader Gabriella Beals-Reid.

During the ceremony, Principal William Bernhard spoke fondly of the young student and made note of her varied accomplishments and the positive impact she had on the school community. With the help of Assistant Principal Corinne Keane, Mr. Bernhard released a single balloon into the air and revealed the inscribed plaque located at the front of the garden.

Ward Melville High School Athletic Hall of Fame

The district is now accepting nomination forms for the 2016-17 induction ceremony. Please see the attached nomination form for details.


Friday, October 28, 2016   |  District Home