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Jennifer Quinn

Photo courtesy CSD

Students at Comsewogue School District’s Clinton Avenue Elementary School kicked off autumn Sunday, Oct. 1, with a harvest festival at the school’s community garden. Children decorated pumpkins, created paper scarecrows, planted bulbs in the garden, played cornhole and took photos at a festive face-in-hole photo booth.

“The district launched its community garden last year, and it is now thriving,” said Superintendent of Schools Jennifer Quinn. “It served as a beautification effort and a way to give back to the community through donations. Our garden is always looking for more volunteers and donations.”

A student decorates pumpkins and creates paper scarecrows during Comsewogue School District’s community garden harvest festival. Photo courtesy CSD

Kelly Klug, school nurse at Clinton Avenue Elementary, spearheaded the community garden and managed it with the help of local volunteers. Throughout the summer, they have been growing flowers, fruits and vegetables. 

They harvest the produce in the fall and donate it to local food banks. The garden also hosts other events throughout the year for children in the community. 

For more information, please visit the district’s website at www.comsewogue.k12.ny.us. Happenings in the district can also be followed on the district’s Facebook page.

Student Mia Nowlan is reading aloud to a first grade class. Photo courtesy Andrew Harris
By Camila Perez Solis

Comsewogue High School’s work-based learning program is generating momentum, with students taking classes that lead them toward their desired professions. 

The U.S. Department of Education defines work-based learning, or WBL, as “the alignment of classroom and workplace learning; application of academic, technical, and employability skills in a work setting; and support from classroom or workplace mentors.” 

This innovative approach for preparing students for the real world is gaining traction at Comsewogue schools.

Kalliope Gonias is a social studies teacher at CHS who started the Intro to Teaching class. Through this curriculum, students get an up-close look at what it takes to become an educator. 

Gonias offers students a practical approach to teaching, providing hands-on experience at Clinton Avenue Elementary School. Through this unique learning style, the theories and techniques students acquire in the classroom are put into practice.

Due to an overwhelming success and positive student response, plans are already underway to extend the program for a second year. 

Mike Mosca, principal at CHS, commented on the value the WBL program provides for Comsewogue students. “Our goal is to give our students real-world experiences in various careers and fields,” he said. “High school students working with Clinton Avenue Elementary School teachers is just the beginning. We plan to add more opportunities for all our students through our growing community partnerships.”

Nick Trubia is one of Gonias’ Intro to Teaching students. He commented on the unique opportunities the WBL program affords him and his peers. 

“I am going to school for education, and I really enjoy going to the elementary school,” he said. “We are also learning about what education entails, the theory and different kinds of policies,” adding, “It is fun and a great experience if you want to be a teacher.”

Comsewogue Superintendent of Schools Jennifer Quinn noted how WBL lends itself to a different style of classroom engagement. “You can see an immediate change in every student when they are doing hands-on learning,” the district superintendent said. “The teaching experiences are valued by students and staff.” 

She added that she believes these new additions take academics at Comsewogue to a whole new level. 

Camila Perez Solis is a foreign-exchange student from Ecuador and a junior at Comsewogue High School. 

Two students paint birdhouses at the Comsewogue Community Garden. Photo courtesy CSD

Students in the Comsewogue School District showed their green thumbs this Earth Day by coming together with members of the community to recreate the Comsewogue Community Garden. 

Students and their families planted flowers, fruits and vegetables and beautified the garden by creating birdhouses and decorative signs.

“Creating and rebuilding our community garden each spring teaches our students lessons about the importance of community service, taking care of the environment and how to be self-sufficient,” said Superintendent of Schools Jennifer Quinn. “This was a great way to celebrate Earth Day and show our appreciation for our planet and the environment.”

Clinton Avenue Elementary School nurse Kelly Klug spearheaded the garden and organized the Earth Day event for community members to come together and rejuvenate the important resource. All produce grown in the garden is harvested and donated to families in the community facing food insecurity.  

For more information about the Comsewogue School District, please visit the District’s website at www.comsewogue.k12.ny.us.

Above, Comsewogue High School Business Honor Society students and school administrators with Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn, center wearing blue and yellow, during a pet food donation event. Photo courtesy Deniz Yildirim
By Deniz Yildirim

Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn (D-Setauket) recently teamed up with the Comsewogue High School Business Honor Society to help pets on Long Island. 

On Tuesday, April 25, Hahn met with students and club advisors Anthony Ketterer and Anthony Rovello to pick up over 100 pet-related food items. 

‘Unfortunately, many have to face tough choices between paying the bills, feeding themselves and feeding their pets.’ ­

— Kara Hahn

Students, such as senior Riley Hughes, earned community service hours by making dog toys. Hughes also braided multiple strands of fabric to create a colorful chew toy. The team collected wet and dry food, treats, leashes and more.

The business department presented its collection to Hahn on a table in their classroom, then listened as she addressed the organization about the importance of giving back to the community. 

“There are so many families who need help,” the county legislator said. “Unfortunately, many have to face tough choices between paying the bills, feeding themselves and feeding their pets.”

The proceeds from this effort will go to Baxter’s Pet Pantry and the Port Jeff Station-based animal shelter Save-A-Pet. 

Comsewogue Superintendent of Schools Jennifer Quinn and High School Principal Mike Mosca also attended the event. “It is important to help those who cannot advocate for themselves,” Quinn said. “I’m so proud of our students.”

Deniz Yildirim is a librarian at Comsewogue High School.

Tenzin Tanaka playing on a swing set at his mother’s home. Photo by Samantha Blandi
By Chris Mellides

When a family member is diagnosed with cancer, the road ahead can be hard and uncertain. And when this diagnosis befalls a child, the situation appears even more dire. While it can be difficult for families affected by this disease to seek assistance, it is all the more meaningful when a community answers the call and comes together to offer its support.  

At a Comsewogue School District Board of Education meeting Feb. 6, Colleen Tanaka, a care coordinator for kids with special needs and single mother of two, stood to address the room. She shared the story of her 8-year-old son, Tenzin, who in June 2022 was diagnosed with T-ALL leukemia. Tanaka’s eldest son, Paxton, has been attending school, though Tenzin has yet to do so since the family’s move into the district.

Tanaka said that when her youngest son began feeling unwell he was taken to see his pediatrician, an ear, nose and throat doctor and an allergist. Tenzin was originally diagnosed with parainfluenza virus type 3, which can cause a variety of respiratory illnesses and was in line with some of the symptoms he was experiencing. This would ultimately be determined as a misdiagnosis. 

“He really was just very fatigued, not keeping down food,” Tanaka said. “They put him on medication and within two days he was vomiting water. The poor kid could not stand without wanting to pass out and his lips were just bloody and chapped.”

When Tenzin was admitted to the emergency room at Stony Brook University Hospital, the mother said that the doctor examining him was visibly concerned, immediately calling for bloodwork, followed by an X-ray to rule out the presence of any tumors, according to Tanaka. 

Tenzin was officially diagnosed with leukemia on June 2 and was immediately admitted into the hospital for further treatment. 

“I think the biggest thing is that this child went from being a typical 8-year-old whose biggest worry was getting up and going to school to, like, we almost lost him the first night,” his mother said. “He was that sick.”

One of the attendees at the Feb. 6 meeting was Joan Nickeson, who sits on the facilities and legislative advocacy committees at CSD. Nickeson sat directly behind Tanaka and, upon hearing the mother speak, described feeling as though “the planets aligned.” At the close of the meeting, Nickeson asked Tanaka whether there was anything she could do to help. 

“I immediately asked if she had a Venmo account and donated some money because she revealed that she was a single parent,” Nickeson said. “When families are faced with these sort of diagnoses, often one parent in a two-parent family loses their income to care for their child, and she’s a one-parent income family.”

Tenzin’s story also drew the attention of the school board, including BOE trustee Rob DeStefano, organizer of the Terryville Volunteer Connection. Board members, along with the district’s superintendent of schools, Jennifer Quinn, spoke with Tanaka, offering supportive suggestions and well wishes.

“I felt like I moved into this district and nobody knew what was going on with our family,” the mother said. “It wasn’t until I went to the board meeting and then the outpouring started.”

DeStefano said that since learning about Tenzin and his family, he has noticed a massive response from the community.

“Hearing any of our neighbors enduring this challenge is initially a gut punch for sure,” he said. “But upon processing the situation, the response is to explore ways to assist and ensure they know they are not alone.”

As the organizer of the Terryville Volunteer Connection, DeStefano works with community members to help champion local causes. The goal of the group, he indicated, is to connect residents with causes that build pride and spread good throughout Long Island. 

“The connection among our local residents, our schools and the students within is strong,” the school board member and volunteer organizer said. “We are a family of Warriors and that is once again proven by the awesome outpouring of support we’re witnessing here.”

Paxton Tanaka, left, plays with his younger brother, Tenzin, at the Tanaka residence. Photo by Samantha Blandi


As a local resident with three children attending Comsewogue School District, Laura Feeley took a creative approach to helping Tenzin and his family during their time of need, starting a district-approved T-shirt fundraiser that went live on Feb. 8. 

The red shirts for sale are emblazoned with a yellow lightning bolt on the front, reminiscent of the logo worn by DC Comics’ The Flash, Tenzin’s favorite superhero. The back of the shirts bear the name Tenzin’s Fan Club.

Feeley said that there has been a fair number of T-shirts already sold, adding that she hopes the fundraiser will reach 200 shirts in the near future. 

“I thought it would be a great idea to not only show moral support by wearing the T-shirts, but also raising funds,” she said. “I think people need to know how much mental, monetary and social strain it puts on not only the child but the whole family.” 

Feeley added, “It’s a devastating disease and holds so many negative repercussions. This is why I think the shirts are a great idea — it’s showing the family we care enough about them to show it on our backs. Tenzin is a strong fighter who deserves all the support that we can give him, along with his family as well.”

A GoFundMe was created by a close friend of the Tanaka family at the time Tenzin was diagnosed. It has already raised over $16,500 as of March 7. The mother, while appreciative, said that the experience felt strange to her and that she wasn’t keen on the idea at first. 

“It was a lot to process, but it was a saving grace because I was able to pay some of my bills at that point,” Tanaka said. “I’m very fortunate that I have people that know my situation, care about me and went out of their way to make sure that in that time there was something in place because I don’t know what I would have done.”

In addition to the GoFundMe page, a program through Meal Train was created for Tanaka’s family, which the mother is grateful for and helps her take her mind off of cooking for her children after sometimes spending all day at Stony Brook Cancer Center where Tenzin receives his outpatient care.

Asked about her experience with Meal Train, Tanaka expressed her appreciation for the service. “It’s almost like a website that gives a little information on the family and people can go on there and pick dates that they either want to cook a meal and bring it to us, send a meal or donate money,” she said.

The Tanaka family enjoying a day together at their home. Left to right: Tenzin, Colleen and
Paxton. Photo by Samantha Blandi

A great kid

Tanaka said that while Tenzin is currently on a feeding tube and undergoing chemotherapy, his medical team has recommended that when the third grader feels hungry he should eat. 

The mother said that her son’s favorite place to eat is at Applebee’s and that she has lost count of the number of times she’s had to make Uber Eats and DoorDash orders to be delivered to the hospital. Later, Applebee’s became more involved with the family and has even pledged to donate Tanaka a meal each week while Tenzin is receiving care. 

“I guess one of the PTA moms or somebody had reached out to Applebee’s and told them that this kid loves it,” Tanaka said. “And they had given us a couple of gift cards and things. So, we actually went there and he got to sit and actually eat there. I know it sounds crazy, but to him that was the best part of his day.” 

When asked to describe her son, Tanaka was forthcoming. “He is quite the individual,” she said. “Tenzin is very headstrong, determined and he’s always been that way.” 

Tenzin’s mother added, “He’s very into Minecraft

and Lego building. He’s probably one of the kindest 8-year-olds I’ve ever met — just very empathetic, always thinking of others before himself. He’s just a great kid.”

Quinn conveyed just how welcoming the district has been to Tenzin, despite him being a newcomer. She also noted how endearing the community has been in assisting him and his family. 

“I can’t express how proud I am to live and work in a community that is always so willing and able to step up and help anybody when they’re in need, like true Warriors,” she said, adding, “Tenzin is the definition of a Warrior.”

The superintendent added, “I think the big takeaway is how brave he is and how as I said before, no child should ever have to face something so terrible. But we’re going to be here with him. … We’re really looking forward to him getting past this and putting it behind him — and living a full, happy life.”

Correction: In the print version of this article, we reported an incorrect timeline for Tenzin Tanaka’s recovery. Tenzin is expected to receive treatment until October 2024, not this spring, according to his mother. We do regret the error.

Photos courtesy Andrew Harris
By Kylie Schlosser

Three military daughters at three different Comsewogue schools were surprised by the early return of their father, Staff Sgt. William Flaherty, directly from Iraq. 

Flaherty first stopped at Comsewogue High School to visit his oldest daughter, Taliah. High school principal, Mike Mosca, called her to his office. Her face immediately changed from a worried look to elation upon seeing her father. 

“Staff Sergeant Flaherty is a longtime member of our Comsewogue family and a former CHS graduate,” Mosca said. “We were thrilled when he reached out to us with this request.” 

Next, Flaherty went to Norwood Avenue Elementary School to see his daughter, Vienna, where he walked inside the cafeteria and greeted the excited kindergarten students. Finally, he was off to Boyle Road Elementary School to see his third daughter, Mia, and then down the hall to the universal pre-kindergarten class where his wife works. 

“We have a deep respect for the military and family here in our community,” Superintendent of Schools Jennifer Quinn said. “It was a great day for all and not a dry eye in any of the three schools he visited.”

Kylie Schlosser is a sophomore at Comsewogue High School.

Graphic from CSD website

The New York State Education Department is cracking down on Native American mascots in schools, and Comsewogue School District is now in its sights.

In a Nov. 17 letter sent out to districts across the state, NYSED senior deputy commissioner James Baldwin alerted school administrators that using Native American mascots, team names or imagery is prohibited “without current approval from a recognized tribe.” 

Districts failing to meet these standards, Baldwin wrote, “may be in willful violation of the Dignity [for All Students] Act.” The penalty for violators could “include the removal of school officers and the withdrawal of state aid.”

Facing the threat of losing state aid, CSD officials will have to work against the clock. NYSED is placing a deadline on school districts, ordering them to retire these mascots before the end of the 2022-23 school year.

The Education Department is developing new regulations to clarify its policy, with a release date anticipated sometime in April. Until then, New York school districts remain in limbo.

Jennifer Quinn, superintendent of schools at Comsewogue School District, said the district would not make any policy determinations until NYSED releases its detailed guidelines. 

“There are so many question marks,” she said. “Until we see the actual regulations, we’re kind of playing a guessing game.”

While school districts statewide undergo significant changes in the coming months, certain characteristics may set Comsewogue apart from the pack.

Emblazoned at the center of the high school’s turf field is a district logo containing Native American imagery. Photo from Google Maps

Historical background

Before Europeans had ever stepped foot on Long Island, from present day St. James to Wading River and as far south as Gordon Heights, the Setalcott Nation once inhabited the lands. Within that territory lies Port Jefferson Station/Terryville, an area known to the Setalcotts as Comsewogue, meaning “place where paths come together.” 

The Terryville-Comsewogue School District was formed in 1874, and the senior high school opened nearly a century later in 1971. The school district has prominently showcased its precolonial heritage along with its name. 

One district emblem contains the initials “CSD” with a feather draped over its side. Another logo displays a visually striking profile depicting a Setalcott. This logo is etched ubiquitously throughout the district’s website, school walls and at the center of the high school’s turf athletic field. Sports teams are called “the Warriors.”

Setalcott reaction

Helen Sells is president of the Setalcott Native American Council. In an interview, she said she is personally not offended by the use of Setalcott images and references in Comsewogue schools. Sells referred to the term “warrior” as a distinction among her ancestors. 

“It was an honor for our men, and some of the women, to serve for our country and for the freedoms of all,” she said. “The men were considered warriors because they had to go out and hunt for food and hold the community together.”

Asked whether Comsewogue School District should continue using Setalcott mascots, team names and imagery, Sells responded affirmatively. “To me, it’s important as a family to try to keep that history going,” she said.

Whether this response constitutes “current approval from a recognized tribe” is still to be determined. NYSED declined to comment for this story.

Debating mascots, logos and team names

‘The state takes the approach that one size fits all. They’re not looking into every local district.’ ­

— Ed Flood

New York State Assemblyman Ed Flood (R-Port Jefferson), whose 4th Assembly District encompasses CSD, said the state has more pressing educational concerns than deciding mascots and team names.

“There’s so much wrong in education right now,” he said. “I think our kids — I see it in my own children being out of the classroom for so long — are kind of behind,” adding, “We have bigger problems to fix.”

A Comsewogue alum, Flood held that the logos and team name were not intended to deride Native Americans. “It’s not used in any way to be offensive,” he said. “Comsewogue is a pretty diverse district with people of all races and ethnicities. We were all proud to put on that jersey, and we understood what it represented.”

Flood’s predecessor in the state Assembly, Steve Englebright (D-Setauket), offered that ethical dilemmas often require moderation and restraint by decision-makers. He cited the example of the U.S. Army renaming bases that had honored former Confederates.

“I believe the model for what should be done is probably the way that the U.S. Army has approached the question of renaming military bases,” Englebright said. “The approach was to set up — two, I believe — study commissions and to give thoughtful consideration if there is a controversy.” He added, “I’m not sure there is a controversy here.”

State aid conundrum

Debates surrounding state contributions to public education have been ongoing for over a century and a half, said Campbell Scribner, assistant professor of education at the University of Maryland College of Education in College Park. 

In an interview, he traced the historical trends of public education in the United States, highlighting the complexities surrounding state aid.

“One of the ambiguities or tensions in American education is that, constitutionally, there has never been a federal right to education, but there is a state right,” he said. “Since at least the Civil War, all state constitutions make provisions for public education.” 

However, until the early to mid-20th century, state funding lagged behind local contributions. “Although states have a constitutional obligation to provide education, they didn’t fund it very well,” Scribner said.

Without organized state bureaucracies or state income tax, school districts generated revenue primarily through local property taxes. This model offered considerable local autonomy in setting curricula and other districtwide standards.

‘States have taken a much more robust posture. They’ve taken more interest in what’s happening locally.’ ­

— Campbell Scribner

Invoking social reforms

The dynamic between states and school boards changed as state aid began to comprise a heftier chunk of school districts’ overall budgets. With the injection of state funds, Scribner suggests power has shifted away from local school officials and into the hands of state bureaucrats. 

“States have taken a much more robust posture,” Scribner said, adding, “They’ve taken more interest in what’s happening locally.”

With more say over budgeting, states have found leverage in setting curricula and social standards within school districts. Moreover, the threat of revoking state aid can be an effective instrument.

Despite the state’s newfound power, this approach has limits: “The state certainly does not want to come across as coercive,” Scribner said. “I don’t think it’s going to help state legislators to look like they’re bullying local school boards or denying children education.”

“But on the other hand,” he added, “I don’t think, legally, the school boards have the sort of rights they might assume they do or the same prerogative against the states.”

Native American imagery

‘There’s a long history of European settlers appropriating Native American imagery.’ ­

— Andrew Newman

Within the scope of national and statewide politics, CSD is caught in a much broader web over the role of Native American imagery.

Andrew Newman is a professor and chair in the English Department at Stony Brook University whose research focuses on the intersection of early American, indigenous and media studies. 

Newman shared that Native American imagery within popular culture is a centuries-old practice dating back to the 18th century.

“There’s a long history of European settlers appropriating Native American imagery,” he said. “There was an idea of Native Americans as being sort of tied to the land, athletic, representing this kind of uncivilized masculinity that was very attractive to the mainstream white culture.”

He added, “This phenomenon was referred to by the scholar Philip Deloria, in a book [of the same title] from 1998, as ‘Playing Indian.’”

Newman maintained that these portrayals often negatively affect self-perceptions within Native American communities, adding that such caricatures can minimize historical injustices.

The movement away from Native American mascots and team names has gradually developed within public education and professional sports. After years of resistance, the former Washington Redskins football and Cleveland Indians baseball franchises have finally changed their team names to more neutral identifiers, respectively the Commanders and Guardians.

Newman said mascots, team names and imagery can be hard to do away with because of the strong emotional ties these symbols can produce. This effect is especially prevalent within schools. 

“The students and families and communities that are associated with these schools are kind of attached to the school’s traditions,” the SBU professor said. “They’re hard to give up.”

Veneration vs. denigration

The debate over the use of Native American mascots surrounds two main arguments, according to Newman. On the one hand, proponents say these images glorify indigenous heritage and tradition. On the other, detractors view them as derogatory and offensive to Native Americans. 

Reflecting upon the function of public education, Newman noted the apparent contradiction between the mission to educate about local history while potentially alienating a segment of the local population.

“Especially in educational institutions, where presumably part of the mission is to educate the students about the local history, I don’t think that educational mission is compatible with the use of a Native American-themed mascot,” the SBU professor said.

‘When we do make our plan, we are very mindful of including every stakeholder.’ ­

— Jennifer Quinn

An opportunity for dialogue

Assessing NYSED’s approach, Flood suggested Albany is applying a blanket policy to a multifaceted issue. He contended the state government is neither informed of Comsewogue’s historical circumstances nor sensitive to the variations between tribes across Long Island.

“The state takes the approach that one size fits all,” the assemblyman said. “They’re not looking into every local district.”

While pressure comes down from Albany, Scribner said schools are uniquely suited to answer these moral questions through their abundant channels for local input.

“School politics remain one of the strongest and most accessible democratic spaces we have in this country,” the UM professor said. “They are, of course, hemmed in certain ways by state regulations. But again, I still think that if local voters really want something, they do have levers to pull.”

Quinn affirmed CSD’s commitment to working as a community through this sensitive local matter. “Nobody wants to do anything to make a child feel uncomfortable,” she said. “Ultimately, we have to see what [NYSED is] going to tell us we have to do, and then we can make a plan.”

The district superintendent concluded, “When we do make our plan, we are very mindful of including every stakeholder. Our community is going to be very involved.”

Englebright noted that CSD likely did not intend to disparage Native Americans when it created its logo and team name. 

Nonetheless, the former assemblyman reiterated that study commissions and community forums could be fruitful in working out competing ethical considerations. 

“History is complicated,” Englebright said. “That’s why I think this deserves some introspection.”

Photo courtesy Andrew Harris

Comsewogue High School alum Jair Lopez, Class of 2022, became a United States Marine on Dec. 2, and returned to Comsewogue High School on Wednesday, Dec. 7. 

Lopez was welcomed by a crowd of students, teachers and staff. “There was so much love and respect displayed by all of our Comsewogue Warriors for him,” said Jennifer Quinn, superintendent of schools. 

Lopez recently graduated in June. When he spoke, he thanked his teachers for not giving up on him and keeping him pointed in the right direction.

By Deniz Yildirim

Last weekend, Comsewogue celebrated Homecoming, and students participated in Spirit Week all week to show their school spirit. 

Spirit week kicked off Tuesday after schools were closed Monday for Columbus Day. Tuesday was “Character Day,” Wednesday was “Decades Day,” followed by “America Day” on Thursday, and “Class Color Day” on Friday. In addition, students competed in a hallway decorating contest and a trivia contest. 

On Friday, students followed a shortened bell schedule so the entire school could participate in this year’s pep rally. At noon, students made their way from the classrooms to the bleachers, then players of all sports teams were announced and cheered. Between the name announcements, students and teachers participated in fun games such as a relay race, a mummy wrap, and a timeless favorite, musical chairs. 

Then Saturday was the highly anticipated Homecoming Game. Easily conveyed by unique grade-level floats, the theme for this year was movies. Freshmen crafted a special “Lego Movie” themed float. Sophomores were inspired by the movie “Up.” Juniors chose the film “Toy Story.” Seniors created an “Alice in Wonderland” float. 

The festivities started with a Costume Fun Run at 10 a.m. Participants dressed up as their favorite characters and ran around the high school track for as long as they chose. By noon, the Homecoming Parade was in full swing.

Launched from JFK Middle School, parade marchers included the PJSTA Teachers Union; the Comsewogue School District Board of Education;  Jennifer Quinn, superintendent of schools; and Town of Brookhaven Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich (D-Stony Brook). 

The Terryville Fire Department also joined the procession, making its way down Jayne Blvd, heading for the high school, and throwing candy to spectators along the way. 

Once the procession reached the high school, all enjoyed a homecoming carnival. Children had their faces painted by teachers, spent some time in a bouncy house, or tried to ‘sink’ an educator in the dunk tank. This was the second “normal” Homecoming since the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted in-person social gatherings. And it was even bigger than last year’s event. 

Teachers, administrators, and parents volunteered much of their time to make this event possible. “We believe Homecoming is really enjoyed by everyone,” said principal Mike Mosca, “It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it.” 

Part of the Comsewogue district’s mission is to promote inclusivity. For this reason, the Special Education Parent Teacher Association had organized a designated “Quiet Area” for students with sensory sensitivities. 

At 4 p.m., just before kickoff, Hall of Fame inductees were recognized on the field. Earlier that day, these stars enjoyed a luncheon inside the school, where plaques were unveiled.

Quinn was pleased with the celebration: “It’s always fun whenever families and teachers get together like this,” she said.

— Photos courtesy CSD

Andrew Harris, above, teacher at Comsewogue High School. Photo courtesy Comsewogue School District

It was a long time coming, but Applebee’s has honored the Comsewogue School District and its former superintendent, the late Dr. Joe Rella.

Visitors of the Miller Place Applebee’s location can now find a multi-booth, impressive display, a testament to the beloved superintendent as well as students and faculty of the district.

“Seeing the display was lovely,” said Jennifer Quinn, the current superintendent of the district. “All of us at Comsewogue have such fond memories of Dr. Rella. It was wonderful to see those beautiful pictures of him with his family and all the students who loved him.” She added, “There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about him. It’s always the spot I choose to sit in when we go to Applebee’s.”

‘Suffolk Transportation and Applebee’s have always given great support to our community and students.’

— Jennifer Quinn 

In addition to this new display, the district will be teaming up with Suffolk County Transportation for a “Stuff-the-Bus” event at the end of the month.

Discussing the connections between the district and its various partners throughout the community, Quinn said, “Suffolk Transportation and Applebee’s have always given great support to our community and students and we are always happy to partner up with them to help our students and families.”

The Miller Place Applebee’s ‘Stuff-the-Bus’ fundraiser runs from Aug. 22-28. Applebee’s will donate all profits from the pancake breakfast on Sunday, Aug. 28 from 8-10 a.m. For those who can’t make the breakfast, then they can still enjoy lunch or dinner — just mention Comsewogue.

10% of all proceeds will support students in need throughout the district.