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Staff Directory

hsWest Islip High School

One Lions Path West Islip, New York 11795
(631) 504-5800   FAX (631) 893-3270

Dr. Anthony Bridgeman, Principal  


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Dr. Anthony Bridgeman, Principal
Principal's Secretary: Vickie Passarelli

Mr. Craig Gielarowski, Assistant Principal
Secretary: Tana Patti

Ms. Kristin Kelly, Assistant Principal
Secretary:  Marianne Gariglio

Ms. Lynn Summers, Assistant Principal
Secretary: Pam Riker

Sharon Kerrigan, School Nurse (631) 504-5827
Lee-Ann Puccia, School Nurse (631) 504-5826

PTSA President:  Julie Cannistra

 Important Phone Numbers

Attendance (631) 504-5820

Counseling Office (631) 504-5830

Nurse's Office  (631) 504-5825 / FAX (631) 321-0820

Alternative School: (631) 504-5851

Current News

HS Robotics Students Display “Drive” for Excellence

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Despite the unique and challenging aspects of 2021, the students of West Islip High School’s robotics team saw an opportunity to sink their teeth into a difficult design and manufacturing project. Members applied lessons learned from the fields of mechanical design, computer aided design, manual and CNC machining, and metrology to design a specialized drive system called “Swerve Drive” for their robot.

Working alongside professional engineers, robotics team members developed a concept for a drive system capable of powering their robot in any direction. They began with a hand-drawn concept sketch and used CAD to create a digital model of the module. From that digital model, team members manufactured all of the components using industrial machinery in the high school’s robotics lab including both manual and CNC milling machines, lathes and even 3D printers. After many weeks of effort, a final prototype was successfully tested, giving the team new confidence and a set of skills that they will be able to take advantage of as next year’s competition season approaches.

“It is quite amazing what the robotics team was able to accomplish in such a very different type of school year,” said Brian Buonomo, lead teacher for engineering technology. “The team has always risen to the occasion to lead our students to success and 2020-2021 was no obstacle for them at all.”

Celebrating West Islip’s Nearpod Super Star Teachers

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At the end of the 2020-2021 school year, Nearpod sent some swag for teachers to the district. The goodies were presented to the top Nearpod Super Star user in each building: Dawn Divisconti at the high school, Tara Probert at Beach Street, Kristen Finnegan at Udall, Joann Sheridan at Bayview, Sue Marullo at Manetuck, Gina Marie Hildebrandt at Oquenock and Melanie Solnick at Bellew.


High School IB Researchers Identify Local Trees

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Prior to the end of the school year, juniors enrolled in Brian Haldenwang’s International Baccalaureate biology class researched plant phyla characteristics, then participated in leaf collection and identification of common New York State trees. They then confirmed their findings using iNaturalist, which allows users to record observations from nature and learn about biodiversity.


Celebrating Growth and Optimism at the Class of 2021’s Commencement

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In a reflective and overwhelmingly hopeful ceremony, united as one after a long year of pandemic stress and uncertainty, the high school’s Class of 2021 graduated on June 25 in front of their proud families.

Both of the school’s Academic Leaders, valedictorian John “JR” DiBenedetto and salutatorian Giavanna Genna, considered how the many challenges faced by the Class of 2021 were an important source of growth and maturity.

“Our class faced a lot of hardship and uncertainty this year,” Genna said. “We were dealt cards unlike any graduating class before, but in everyone’s hand, there was a hidden ace. We were thrown into an untraditional year, yet we still came out on top. I’m proud of the resilience and perseverance our class has demonstrated this year. We didn’t just settle with what we were given. We fought back and made our voices heard. I know many of you want to look back on the outcome of this year with resentment, but I urge you to consider all the lessons that we now carry with us from graduating in such a trying time. These lessons are what I believe led me through the toughest year of my life, and are the tools you must take with you in order to succeed in life’s most unforgiving challenges.”

“Every one of us here today has grown enormously, not only academically, but also socially and emotionally,” DiBenedetto said. “This growth is a function of the choices we make. Each and every choice we make, and we make an innumerable amount every single day, puts on a different path through life, where we experience growth and hardship, joy and despair, and the combination of all of our choices has led us to who we all are today. Every one of us has gone through so much in the past four years, and although you may not realize it right now, you have learned so much about life that you can now take away into your future. Through all of the challenges that I have faced in the past decade, many being avoidable, I would not change a single thing that I have done. I have no regrets, because if I did, I would not have the privilege of learning all that I have, and I would not be the person that I am today.”

“Today, we have the opportunity to be part of the biggest cultural change the world has seen since the 1960,” said the high school’s principal, Dr. Anthony Bridgeman, before citing former University of Toronto Dean of Education Michael Fullan’s quote about every person being a change agent. “Change is a journey and there is no single solution. To effect change, we must craft our theories and actions by being critical citizens. Change is a journey, not a blueprint. So, continue to be critical thinkers, problem solvers, risk takers, lifelong learners, and inquirers. Continue to show empathy and care. Please challenge the status quo.”

“For 13 months, our high school campus, normally full of life, was relatively quiet,” Superintendent Bernadette Burns told the seniors. “It was not the way anyone envisioned your junior and senior years. But over the last three months, you have come roaring back – in true Lions fashion. Your class will be remembered for its flexibility, grit, perseverance, commitment and determination, all traits that will serve you well as you transition to adult life and all of its responsibilities. In my travels throughout the district this year, I have found that the happiest and most content people are those who share how appreciative they are for what they have, despite the unimaginable challenges some of them have faced throughout the pandemic. They have been a true inspiration to me. I hope that you surround yourselves with people who understand the value in being grateful, that you appreciate your past blessings, never take your successes and good fortune for granted, and always be optimistic and hopeful. That optimism and hope is what brought the Class of 2021 together, to celebrate as one, today.”

Finally, outgoing Board of Education President Steve Gellar addressed the assembled students, saying, “Class of 2021, facing adversity is an inevitable part of life. We all face challenges and hardships at some point, and how we deal with them will often predict our ultimate level of success. Those hardships usually come later in life, but as a group, you have spent the past year and a half overcoming misfortune that you had no part in creating. The reality is that you guys suffered through a lousy stretch. You lost almost half of your junior year, and most of your senior year was spent stuck at home on Zoom. But you persevered and overcame those hardships. I’m sure it seemed like the confinement would never end, but you were finally able to enjoy sports seasons, a prom and here we are, together, triumphantly celebrating your graduation from West Islip High School.”

The moment was sweet and well-deserved, as each soon-to-be-graduate received their diploma before turning their tassels, tossing their caps and walking out of Wayne Shierant Field at Alumni Stadium as new Lions alumni.

Architecture Students Gain Insights From 2013 Alumna

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West Islip High School Class of 2013 alumna Stephanie Rakiec, a Pennsylvania State University graduate, recently visited an architecture class at the high school to discuss how West Islip’s technology classes helped prepare her for college. Rakiec, who earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture at Penn State, currently works for the Busch Associates Architects firm in Bay Shore, also talked to the students about architecture school and her subsequent career.

“It was amazing to see the expansion of the technology rooms, with all new equipment and machines, and to hear about some of the additional engineering courses being offered,” Rakiec said. “As a young woman in a predominantly male industry, it was also nice to see a handful of girls in the class. I hope that number continues to grow in the coming years. On top of it all, it's always great to see the curiosity and enthusiasm some of the students already have. I hope I was able to provide some unique insight to the students today, being an alumna and working full-time in the architecture profession, and that I was able to create a spark for some students. I like to tell people that success starts with a good foundation of basic principles, and it seems like West Islip is really providing a strong foundation for our children’s futures with the ever-changing and growing demands in the STEM professions.”