Awards at Lincoln Avenue Moving-Up Ceremony
Lucky Lincoln Moving Up
Lucky Lincoln had a sunny day on Monday June 24th to celebrate its 2019 Moving-Up ceremony.
For the last time as Lincoln Avenue Principal, the retiring Dr. Michele LeBlanc welcomed students, families, friends and special guests—including “our Board of Education Vice President and proud parent Keith Kolar”—to the Fifth Grade Moving-Up Ceremony.
Dr. LeBlanc called Middle School Principal Thomas Murray to step up and greet the incoming sixth-graders. After Mr. Murray encouraged the students to enjoy the many opportunities at the Middle School, he assured the parents that he felt privileged and honored to be working with their children.
Dr. LeBlanc began her address by noting, “I see a lot of scared faces out there about heading off to Middle School; don’t worry students, your parents will be fine.” After the audience’s laughter subsided, Dr. LeBlanc admitted, “That’s an old Dr. Schartner line I had to try. Let me begin by thanking you for being with us today, and for being with us these past six years. Your attention and time given to support your child’s academics and our school activities are genuinely appreciated. We are proud of all these children have accomplished and we are thankful to all of you in this room for the nurturing support and love which has brought them to their seats today.
“Some of you in the audience are here observing your youngest child leave their elementary years, which means you are leaving us as well. I would like to recognize our graduating parents. Would our graduating parents please stand? Today’s milestone is one to celebrate.
“I would like to take a moment to thank our current PTA and PTA board, in particular Mrs. Rachel Polidoro and Mrs. Kim Lopez Chizowski, our PTA co-presidents, and our Site Based team, particularly our Parent Site-Based Tem chairs, Gina Locurto – K and parent chair Kim McMackin. These two organizations are highly efficient and have been productive and successful in supporting our academic, social/emotional and enrichment programs. Their countless efforts add great value to our school.
“I would also like to recognize our graduating parents who have also served on our PTA board, the Site-Based Team, countless committees…some of which have served twice…I would like to recognize these people for the generosity of their time, and tremendous efforts which have benefitted all students at Lincoln. Would the following individuals please come up to the stage… Mrs. Jennifer Fontennetta, Mrs. Karah Klein, Mrs. Lindsay Bench, Mrs. Sylvia Ramsaywak, Mrs. Deborah Gutheil and Mrs. Rachel Polidoro PTA Co-President. We thank you for your leadership, dedication, for supporting our programs, and for improving our school in countless ways.”
As they approached the stage, Dr. LeBlanc had kind words to say about each of the people she named, praising them for their work ethic, commitment to the SBT, for enthusiasm and dedication as well as honoring staff members, the retiring Mary McLaughlin and ever-present Janet Cozza, who despite retiring years ago, has been volunteering her time and energy to Lincoln Avenue School.
Once they were called upon the stage, PTA members redirected the focus and presented Dr. LeBlanc with a floral bouquet expressing both their gratitude for her exceptional leadership and warm wishes for her retirement. Responding, Dr. LeBlanc smiled to hold back her tears and replied, “You know I don’t like goodbyes. …it’s see you …tomorrow.”
After the bittersweet moment passed, Dr. LeBlanc continued her address: “To our fifth graders. Six years at LA. We have spent over 1,000 school days together. In speaking for all Lincoln Avenue teachers and staff, it has been a pleasure to witness your growth, and an honor to take part in your learning. As you will hear from some students shortly, it is apparent that our 5th graders place great value and appreciation for friendships, and for all of the special opportunities provided to them by their teachers, which have touched and changed them. The level of appreciation indicates they have been taught well.
“John Adams, our 2nd president of the United States believed there were two types of education. He said, “One should teach us to make a living, and the other how to live.” Students, it is very obvious you have demonstrated the importance of both. President Adams lived in very different times. When he was president over 200 years ago, earning a living was more functional; and not necessarily a fulfillment of your dreams. Education was limited. Employment was limited. Both are facts of the past. Today, the choices can be overwhelming.
“Although you are years away from employment, you have learned that your job is school and school work. I would like to see you continue to practice living both kinds of education President Adams spoke of. At the middle school, take advantage of some of the amazing opportunities that exist there, to enrich your lives, and help you to realize and develop your passions and dreams. Exert your best effort and tackle your assignments with your full attention. Practice this in the middle school and living a happy life will mean learning, and loving it. As you continue your education in the one of the best school districts in the country, we wish you nothing but the best. I would like to call upon Mr. Murray, your middle school principal. Mr. Murray, I place the Lincoln Avenue fifth grade class of 2017, in your hands!"
The ceremony continued with the Lincoln Avenue tradition of select Fifth graders, one from each class, sharing their thoughts about their Lincoln Avenue experiences. After each reading, the classes received their certificates. From Mr. Bombara’s class, Kate McCavanaugh reminisced “From Kindergarten to Middle School;” from Mrs. Closs’ class, Olivia Gutheil shared “My True Feelings;” and from Mr. Dragotta’s class, Mackenzie Schutte expressed “What Lincoln Avenue Means to Me.”
As this was a special year, Mr. Bombara, Mrs. Closs and Mr. Dragotta each expressed their gratitude to their outgoing principal before presenting their classes with their certificates.
The Musical interlude “A Million Dreams” sung by the Fifth-grade chorus directed by Music teacher Christine Cirillo was dedicated to Dr. LeBlanc for allowing the teachers and the students “the freedom to dream.”
The presentation of special awards included (see names in facing colum):
- The Presidential Academic Fitness Award Gold
- The Presidential Academic Fitness Award Silver
- Office of The State Comptroller’s Office, Thomas DiNapoli
- State of New York’s Attorney General’s Office, Eric Schneiderman. This award is entitled the “Triple C”, awarded for commitment, character, and courage
- Suffolk County Legislature’s Office, known as the “Character Excellence Award. ”
In closing, Dr. LeBlanc acknowledged all who made the Lincoln Avenue community great: “...our Board of Education for their dedication and service to our schools, as well as our central office administration, Dr. Stimmel, Dr. Criscione, Mr. Belmonte. I would like to thank our custodial staff and our talented staff who work in the LA office who make so much possible. Mrs. Aron, Mrs. Troha and Mr. Craig Martin and his crew. I would to thank all of our LA teachers for their dedication, expertise and for the love they have shared, especially Mr. Bombara, Ms. Closs, and Mr. Dragotta and Ms. Sheltz. I would like to thank you all for the opportunity to serve in this great community. Congratulations to LA class of 2019, the Sayville high school graduating class of 2026!! And now under the direction of Mrs. Cirillo, I present to you for the last time, our LA fifth graders who will sing Graduation Rhapsody arranged by Mrs. Cirillo.”
Where it all begins
Recognizing Lincoln's Amazing volunteers
Dragotta, Bombara, Closs
Mackenzie Klein and Noah Rubinstein NYS Comptroller Award
Triple C award. Oliva and Kate
Kyla Kastner SC Legislator Award
AWARDS FOR MOVING UP CEREMONY June 2019
- NY STATE COMPTROLLER “ACHIEVEMENT AWARD” - Mackenzie Klein, Noah Rubenstein
- Triple “C” Award - Olivia Gutheil, Kate McCavanag
- SUFFOLK COUNTY LEGISLATURE’S “CHARACTER EXCELLENCE AWARD” - Kyla Kastner
- PRESIDENTIAL ACADEMIC GOLD AND SILVER AWARDS:
- GOLD AWARDS: Mikaela Boyd, Nathan Cabanas, Alana Carpenter, Ian Chung, Garrett Clark, Caitlyn Cohen, Katelyn Cunningham, Morgan Farrell, Wesley Jones, Mackenzie Klein, Megan Lankowicz, Brett Lennihan, Amelia Leo, Kate McCavanagh, Shane Meehan, Alexandra Menechino, Joseph Polidoro, Noah Rubenstein, Karley Ruckert, Mackenzie Schutte, Anna Wilson
- SILVER AWARDS: Kayden Alvarez, McKenna Bench, Richard Fontanetta, Olivia Gutheil, Jackson Lochner, Grace McAuliff, Saeeda Mokarram, Justin Morgan, Joseph Otto, Isabelle Stier, Hailey Vigna, Jake Williams