skip to main content

Special Work Session Notice - August 27, 2018


Students Shine in Statewide Honor Choir

Students Shine in Statewide Honor Choir
Four students from East Rockaway performed with the New York American Choral Directors Association Middle School Honor Choir on Aug. 12. The students traveled to Albany, New York, to work with esteemed guest conductor and composer Dr. Derrick Fox of the University of Nebraska-Omaha. After two days of intensive rehearsals, the students gave a successful performance of challenging music to the delight of the audience. 

The Honor Choir is a select group that consists of seventh- and eighth-grade choral students from across the state that were nominated and accepted based on their fine musicianship and overall singing skills. The four students accepted into the NY ACDA Middle School Honors Choir are:  

Tenor – Brian Cooney and Nicholas Stebner
Bass – Stephen Cooney
Alto – Sofia Valdebenito

The Music Department is very proud of these students and would like to congratulate them on representing East Rockaway at this statewide event!  

Board Creates New Communications Sub-Committee: Volunteers Needed

Board Creates New Communications Sub-Committee: Volunteers Needed
At its June 12 meeting, the Board of Education created a Communications Sub-Committee that is tasked with improving the communications process districtwide. The committee is limited to approximately fifteen participants and the Board is seeking a diverse and balanced group of interested community members to join Board members and district representatives in an engaging and focused dialogue about communication methods and messaging strategies. The committee aims to meet quarterly, but may meet more frequently at the beginning.

If you are interested in possibly becoming a member, please fill out this brief questionnaire.  If you have questions about this committee, please email The deadline for volunteers to submit their interest form is Sept. 17, 2018. Those who complete the form can expect to be contacted via email by Oct. 1 with more information.

Karate Success for East Rockaway’s Passanisi

Karate Success for East Rockaway’s Passanisi photo
Congratulations to East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School incoming seventh-grader Frank Passanisi! Frank, a Centre Avenue School graduate, won three gold medals and a bronze medal at the 2018 USA Karate national championships in Reno, Nevada, and advanced to the Pan-American Karate championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. To read more about Frank, click here.

The Printable Calendar is Now Available on the Homepage of our Website

Silver Medal for Class of 2018 Graduate

Silver Medal for Class of 2018 Graduate photo
Brandon Bilardello, a 2018 graduate of East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School, represented New York State and won a second-place silver medal for Interactive Application and Video Game Development at the 55th annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. Brandon participated in the conference through his audio production class at Nassau BOCES Barry Tech. Congratulations!  

Notice about renovation work at Centre Avenue


Rocks Softball Honored for Outstanding Season

Rocks Softball Honored for Outstanding Season photo
Rocks Softball Honored for Outstanding Season photo 2
Rocks Softball Honored for Outstanding Season photo 3
Members of East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School’s softball team were recognized for their great season at the Nassau County Softball awards dinner at Crest Hollow Country Club on June 11. Congratulations to Lia Gladstone, Skylar Gomes and Hunter Vertuccio for being named All-Conference, and Emily Chelius for her designation as an All-County player and playoff MVP. The team was named co-conference champions, Nassau County Small School champions and Long Island champions for the third consecutive year. Congratulations!

Eighth-Graders Move Up to High School

Eighth-Graders Move Up to High School photo
Eighth-Graders Move Up to High School photo 2
Eighth-Graders Move Up to High School photo 3
Eighth-Graders Move Up to High School photo 4
East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School held its eighth-grade moving up ceremony on June 20. 

The evening began with a performance by the middle school chorus, under the direction of teacher Ms. Seanna Silver. Principal Mr. Neil Lederer then opened with a speech reflecting on his own middle school graduation and offered advice about the benefits of hard work. 

During the ceremony, students Madeleine Prucha and Sofia Valdebenito were honored for highest overall academic achievement, while students Emily McLaughlin and Jason Miller were recognized for demonstrating outstanding character and service to the school and community with the Senator Kaminsky Award for Junior Public Service and Leadership. Winners of the middle school poetry contest, Nolan Anarelli, Sophia Capone and Emily McLaughlin, shared their original pieces, then members of the middle school faculty presented moving up certificates to the rising ninth-grade students. 

Two high school seniors, who were carefully chosen to speak at the ceremony, delivered outstanding speeches, which included heartfelt words of wisdom for the soon-to-be high schoolers. Rachel O’Hagan challenged students to always consider how they want to be remembered and discussed the importance of demonstrating kindness, establishing positive relationships, getting involved and making the most of their academic experience. Andrew Machovec then shared how the experience in high school can be viewed as a flight. He told students to begin their journey with a good flight plan, select strong co-pilots and passengers and enjoy the great ride while preparing for and overcoming turbulence. 

The evening concluded with a slideshow consisting of images of eighth-grade memories created by teacher Mr. Don Poland, and a welcome to high school speech by Director of Guidance Mr. Andrew Rosenberg. 

‘Town Hall’ at Centre Avenue

‘Town Hall’ at Centre Avenue photo

Centre Avenue gathered for a “Town Hall” meeting on June 21. As a school, they acknowledged students with outstanding attendance. They also honored teachers Annette Dubiel and Roxanne Lamama for their years of services and wished them a happy retirement.

Finally, a few student representatives in sixth grade and kindergarten shared the Thinking Maps they completed together based on the book “Only One You.” Students discussed how they are each unique and have the power to make a positive impact in the world. The school also created a rock garden as a visual reminder that we are all special and have the ability to make the world a better place.

Centre Students Juice Up With a Good Book

Centre Avenue’s Reading Action Committee held the Juicin’ Up With A Good Book event on June 21. Teachers and students enjoyed a snack, a good book and the beautiful weather outside on the school’s field. Thanks to all who are always trying to spread a love of reading!


Living Museum at Rhame Avenue

Fifth-grade students in Ms. Lori DeVarso’s, Mrs. Ashley Donovan’s and Mrs. Erin Kennedy’s classes at Rhame Avenue recently researched entrepreneurs. They then presented their research at a living museum. Students dressed up as their entrepreneur and the entire school body went to see the student “statues” come alive!

Grads of East Rockaway Are on Their Way!

Grads of East Rockaway Are on Their Way photo

The Class of 2018 convened in the auditorium of East Rockaway High School on the evening of June 22 to celebrate its transition from students to graduates, right before the eyes of its proud families, Board of Education members, administrators and teachers.

The seniors proceeded down the aisles to “Pomp and “Circumstance” and took their places before the stage. Everyone present stood for the Pledge of Allegiance and “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and the graduation chorus presented a moving performance of “I Lived.”

Superintendent of Schools Lisa Ruiz shared welcoming remarks, which were followed by greetings from Board of Education Trustee Kristin Ochtera. 

Ms. Ruiz encouraged the seniors to go out and make the world a better place. “I challenge you to not only take the academic lessons, skills and content that you have learned within this great American high school but take with you the more essential lessons of the heart that you have experienced here at East Rockaway High School as you move forward,” she said. “The lessons of compassion, kindness, caring, support, outreach, understanding, acceptance, respect, civility and empathy, which are critical and fundamental for the academic and career successes you will undoubtedly achieve.” 

“The steps that you took to get to this point tonight were difficult,” Ms. Ochtera said. “You were the ones who persisted.”  

Salutatorian Gabriella Walsh also addressed her peers. 

“I believe that working together as a community will ensure us a greater success in the future,” she said. “East Rockaway High School has taught us many things, not only about history and English but about building relationships as well.” 

Valedictorian Marissela Gomez shared a poem that translates to, “The wind is rising, we must try to live,” and discussed the need to work hard to survive problematic conditions and aim to thrive. “I can honestly say I have never met a group of people as admirable and determined, diligent, open-minded, innovative, humanitarian and inspirational as you all,” she told her peers.

Class advisers Hugh Howard and Suzanne Volpe reflected on the senior class and offered advice for the future, and Assistant Principal James DeTommasso noted the students’ many accomplishments. He and Principal Neil Lederer, along with members of the Board of Education, then distributed diplomas to the graduates in the moments that all had been eagerly awaiting.

Mr. Lederer led the graduates in the traditional turning of the tassels, symbolizing the positive change that they were all experiencing. 

“How you process these new adjustments in your personal and professional life will go a long way to determining your success,” he said. He shared the quote of a noted writer, “Don’t fear change – embrace it.” 

He officially congratulated them on the completion of their high school careers, and they responded by excitedly tossing their caps upward. 

Egg-citing Challenge at Rhame Avenue

Egg-citing Challenge at Rhame Avenue photo
Students in Ms. Lori DeVarso’s fifth-grade class recently participated in an “Egg Drop Challenge.” The students were tasked with creating a device that can keep a raw egg intact when dropped from a significant height. Students built their devices from a limited amount of materials. Nine students created devices that were “Egg-tastic!” Their devices protected the raw egg from a height of about 7 feet. 

Senior Walk for Class of 2018

Senior Walk for Class of 2018 photo

Dressed in their graduation caps and gowns, and with smiles on their faces, the Class of 2018 walked through both Centre and Rhame Avenue schools as part of East Rockaway’s second annual Senior Walk.

The high school seniors received an enthusiastic welcome from the district’s youngsters, who held congratulatory signs and applauded as they walked through each of the schools’ hallways. Centre Avenue Principal Sherry Ma, Rhame Avenue Principal Erik Walter, as well as teachers and staff, wished the students good luck in their future endeavors. The Class of 2018 enjoyed the celebratory occasion, as they reflected on school memories, shared hugs and took photos to commemorate the successful conclusion of their high school careers. 

Rhame Kindergartners Bid Farewell to Mrs. Lalama

Rhame Kindergartners Bid Farewell to Mrs. Lalama photo
Rhame Avenue Kindergartners celebrated their last day of music class with Mrs. Roxanne Lalama. The students wished her farewell and gifted her a book filled with ideas to do in her retirement. Congratulations to Mrs. Lalama and thank you for all the students have learned from you this year!

Centre Hosts Reading Partners Party

Centre Hosts Reading Partners Party photo

Centre Avenue School held its annual Reading Partners Party on June 14. The party recognized students, staff and community members for meeting each week to share a love of reading. It was a wonderful celebration and the school looks forward to creating more relationships with community members next year!

Scenes from Rhame Avenue’s Field Day

Robots and Fun at Rhame Avenue

Robots and Fun at Rhame Avenue photo
Robots and Fun at Rhame Avenue photo 2
Robots and Fun at Rhame Avenue photo 3
Rhame Avenue third-graders learned to build and program robots with the help of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) teacher Mrs. Michelle Healy. Students built Lego kit robots and used a coding program to direct the robots to perform different tasks. Robots were programmed to say hello, danced to disco music and moved around the perimeter of boxes and other items.  

Rhame Students Study Nature in Oceanside

Rhame Students Study Nature in Oceanside photo
Rhame Students Study Nature in Oceanside photo 2
Rhame Students Study Nature in Oceanside photo 3
Third-graders at Rhame Avenue in Mrs. Gail Beyrer’s class and Mrs. Heidi Kreit’s classes studied the marsh ecosystem at the Marine Nature Study Area in Oceanside. Students observed male and female blue crabs and fiddler crabs. They also watched the osprey feed her babies fish and learned about the food web in the marshlands. Students cast nets into the water to observe the creatures close to shore. This hands-on learning experience gave the students a deeper appreciation of the local waterways.

A Great Year for Centre Avenue’s Art Club

A Great Year for Centre Avenue’s Art Club photo

Members of Centre Avenue’s Art Club enjoyed a successful year of creating. The student-artists took part in a variety of artistic endeavors and had a wonderful time exploring the arts.

Click here to watch a video.



Facilities Committee

Click here to access the Facilities Committee page

Introducing the East Rockaway Schools mobile app

mobile app logos

Download the free app here or by clicking the links at the top of our homepage

Click here for the iTunes link

Click here for the Google Play link