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East Boasts Two National Merit Semifinalists

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Two seniors from Smithtown High School East – Ritvik Chilakamarthy and Brendan Dervan – were among the approximately 16,000 students across the county who were named semifinalists in the 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition. National Merit finalists will be announced in February. These winners will then have the opportunity to compete for 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million, which will be announced in the spring.

BOE Recognizes Longtime Coach

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The Board of Education recognized longtime High School West varsity girls soccer and basketball coach Bill Hamilton during the Sept. 10 meeting. Hamilton, who retired from teaching in the district 12 years ago, served as a coach and mentor for Smithtown students for 42 years. “He has left an indelible positive impact on the students of Smithtown,” said athletic director Patrick Smith. “He has fostered a culture here that has promoted life lessons.” He is pictured with (from left) board of education trustee Matthew Gribbin, Patrick Smith and board of education vice president Michael Saidens. 

BOE Approves Partnership with SCPD to Enhance Safety and Security

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At its business meeting on Sept. 10, 2019, the Board of Education approved a Memorandum of Agreement with the Suffolk County Police Department to implement the S.H.A.R.E. initiative within the district. S.H.A.R.E. (Sharing to Help Access Remote Entry), allows school districts to share their camera systems, video feeds and building layouts with police in real-time. This allows police to monitor the systems in the event of an intruder or active shooter situation and affords them the ability to better coordinate rescue efforts. In addition, responding officers are provided with the location of the incident/threat within the building. 

“We are pleased to be able to implement the S.H.A.R.E. program within our district,” said Interim Superintendent Russell Stewart. “While we hope we never need to use it, this program will be instrumental in reducing police response time and providing them with critical information in the event of an emergency.”

The board’s approval of the program comes after months of discussion, first initiated at a Board Legislative Committee meeting on Feb. 12, 2019. The Legislative Committee meeting was attended by members of the board of education, district administrators and community members, as well as Suffolk County Legislator Robert Trotta and Smithtown Town Councilman Thomas Lohmann. 

Tackan Student ‘Stands’ Up to Childhood Cancer

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At the Sept. 10 board of education meeting, the district recognized 7-year-old Dominick Chiuchiolo, a student at Tackan Elementary School, for his fundraising efforts. Setting up his own lemonade stand at the St. James Farmer’s Market, Chiuchiolo raised $11,700 to support childhood cancer research in just one week. After finding out his mother is a childhood cancer survivor, Chiuchiolo set his initial goal to raise $8,000 in one month but far surpassed his expectations thanks to the support of his friends, family and local community. He is pictured with board of education trustees Mandi Kowalik and Jerry Martusciello and Tackan Elementary Principal Dr. Allyn Leeds. 

SEL - First Day of School