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New Principal Appointed

Jack Bixhorn Headshot thumbnail223684

The district is pleased to announce that Jack Bixhorn is the new principal of Rhame Avenue School, effective Aug. 22.

Mr. Bixhorn’s most recent role was as the director of technology and data for the Oyster Bay-East Norwich Central School District. He was promoted to this position after working for three years as the district’s K-12 mathematics supervisor. Prior, he was the assistant principal of Robert Frost Middle School in Deer Park. Mr. Bixhorn is familiar with the East Rockaway school community, as he served as a sixth grade math and science teacher at Rhame earlier in his educational career. After being appointed tenure, he became the elementary math specialist at Rhame.

Mr. Bixhorn graduated from St. John’s University with a dual master’s degree in elementary education and special education. He also holds a middle school mathematics extension certificate, as well as completed an educational leadership program through The College of Saint Rose.

“We are all excited about Mr. Boxhorn’s return home to where he will continue to move the district forward academically and meet the social and emotional goals of the students,” Superintendent James DeTomasso said.

Date Added: 8/9/2022

Assistant Superintendent Appointed

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The district is proud to welcome Sean Murray, appointed unanimously at the July 14 Board of Education meeting, as our new assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. He began his career in education as an elementary classroom teacher. While he spent the majority of his time in the classroom as a fifth grade teacher, he also taught kindergarten, first and third grade. Mr. Murray’s transition out of the classroom began when he became assistant principal of Lakeside Elementary School in Merrick. From there, Mr. Murray joined the Long Beach School District, where he served as principal of East Elementary School and then director of elementary curriculum, instruction and assessment. During that time, Mr. Murray oversaw teaching and learning across ELA, math, science, social studies, reading, ENL and enrichment programs for pre-K through fifth grade.

Most recently, Mr. Murray served as principal of West Hempstead Middle School, where he oversaw shifts to the writer’s workshop model in English classrooms and an “Algebra for All” curriculum design for eighth graders. Mr. Murray brings with him a passion for best instructional practices that engage both teachers and students in the learning process. His experience leading curriculum improvements across content areas and raising expectations for performance align well with our strategic plan. I know he is excited to help East Rockaway set a course for excellence.

Date Added: 7/15/2022

Seal of Biliteracy Distinction

Matthew Pollackov, Grace Wayar, Isabella Schaefer, Maddie Prucha and Sofia Valdebenito thumbnail223295

For the first time in district history, students in the graduating class of 2022 earned the New York State Seal of Biliteracy for demonstrating proficiency in two languages. The district is proud to announce that five student candidates were presented with the distinction. In order to earn this achievement, students needed to exhibit certain skills including speaking/listening, reading and writing, both in English, as well as Spanish or Italian.

Congratulations to the following students who earned this distinction: Matthew Pollackov, Grace Wayar, Isabella Schaefer, Maddie Prucha and Sofia Valdebenito.

Date Added: 7/11/2022

District Held First Building Bridges Committee Mtg.

District’s Building Bridges to Understanding Committee at Meeting  thumbnail223252

The district’s Building Bridges to Understanding Committee held its first meeting on Monday, June 27. With more than 30 stakeholders and community members represented, cultural competency consultant Rodney Brown facilitated the meeting.

“I’m proud of our community coming together for this purpose of advancing the conversation and elevating our universal awareness to ensure all students, staff and families within the East Rockaway community feel a sense of belonging,” Superintendent of Schools James DeTommaso said. “This meeting formed an excellent foundation to enable us to better meet the needs of our community now and into the future.”

The purpose of the committee is to build bridges in our school community to create a safe atmosphere of collaboration, belonging and dignity that inspires us to gain knowledge and understanding that will enable positive behavior and acceptance. The committee will serve as a safe space to engage in collaboration and problem-solving to address diversity, equity and inclusivity issues that arise in our school community. Approximately seven more meetings are scheduled for throughout the 2022-23 school year.

Date Added: 7/5/2022

Entrepreneurs In The Making

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To facilitate their connection to a unit on economics, fifth grade students at Centre Avenue School hosted an Entrepreneur Day event during the last week of school. Each student designed an original product and sold it to parents and visitors. In addition to working on this project in class, they also worked in library class under the guidance of Mrs. Schoen to create their Buncee presentations that highlighted their company's website, business card and commercial.

Date Added: 7/5/2022