Fond Farewell to our three retirees: Sharon Donnelly, Christine Engelbert, & Toni Fabian
Sunrise Drive Student Awards
Presidential Education Academic Award (PEAP) Gold/Silver Awards:
NYS Attorney General Letitia James Triple “C” Award– Inspire and Provide Hope for our Future:
NYS Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli Student Achievement Award – Academic Excellence & Potential Leadership
SC Executive Steven Bellone Public Service Award- Academic Success & Commitment to Community
SC Legislator, 8th District, Anthony A. Piccirillo Character Excellence Award – integrity, accountability, character, solid decision making skills, committed to helping peers
American Citizenship Award – school or community service, positive attitude, civic responsibility, strength of character, promote citizenship
Triple R (respect for self, others, school)
David A. Roben Memorial Scholarship & Award Fund- honest, trustworthy, caring, ethical, respect for school, staff, faculty
Luke Kreuscher (brass)
Brayden Foster (percussion)
Principal Dr. James Foy's Moving-Up Address
Good morning Sunrise Drive students, families, and friends. Good morning teachers, staff, administration, and Board of Education. Most importantly I would like to wish a good morning to the 5th Graders. Although this is a different format for our Moving Up Ceremony, one thing I would like to make very clear is… today is your day and this celebration is for you!
Three months ago, you each dismissed from Sunrise Drive like it was a normal Friday afternoon. Little did we know that it was going to be the last time you walked the halls as students and not alumni. As unfulfilling as some of you may feel about this, as your principal, I have never been more proud of a group of young ladies and gentleman. You have demonstrated grit and independence in completing assignments and activities in a way you never did before. You found ways to communicate with friends and family simply by sharing a smile. Last but not least, you gave us a glimpse of what the future holds… and it’s amazing!
You, boys and girls, are the Class of 2027 and you are almost half way through your educational journey here in our school district. Over the last six years, you have changed from little girls and boys to fine young ladies and gentleman.
Although your days, at Sunrise Drive, have come to an end; each one of you have created many memories that you will never forget. I’m sure you have moments to celebrate and maybe even some you wish to forget. However, it is the collection of ALL your experiences that will shape the type of adults you will become. Here at Sunrise Drive, the entire staff, including your teachers and myself, feels privileged that we could be a part of those experiences.
At this time I would like to share a song sung by our Select Chorus in December 2019. Pay close attention to the words from Ms. Baron and the lyrics of the song. [See video for Song and Award recipients.]
I have always been fascinated by the power of words. Since I began my educational career, I have been collecting words of others. As a teacher, my classroom was covered with quotes from people and the students I worked with. Even now, I have a few favorites posted in my office. My favorite quotes have always been those about children and how amazing they are. Even as a child, tasks can be accomplished that help to make the world a better place. It was Anne Frank, who said “How wonderful is it that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” This is a powerful quote to live by and one that is practiced on a daily basis from our graduating class of fifth graders. This exemplary group, of young men and women, has been involved in many community outreach and service projects and served as role models to our younger students.
Many of our fifth graders provide daily supervision to the younger students in our building during arrival and dismissal. Many have been a part of clubs and activities before and after school. Our Student Council members were responsible for the fundraising of various charitable organizations that were selected by the students. Needless to say, all of these students did not wait a moment before starting to improve the world. Our school, community, and world are a better place because of their efforts.
Now before each of your names are read aloud, your teachers have put together a few words of their own. Following your teacher’s video, names will be read for your homeroom in celebration of your Moving Up to middle school and you will receive your certificates at today’s parade. [See video for teachers' remarks-- Banaszak & Donnelly, Kearney, and McCullough--and students recipients.]
Congratulations boys and girls. At this time I would like to also extend special congratulations to all the parents. It is your tireless love and devotion to your children which has helped to craft the fine group of young people we have Moving Up today. Their accomplishments are yours as well. I encourage you to stay active parents in your children’s lives. Be ever present. Whether it is at the kitchen table, on the bleachers, in an auditorium, at special events, or even part of your children’s social media, let your children see that you not only want to be seen as a support, but you are there for advice and guidance throughout every step of their lives.
I would like to take a moment to thank all of those who have helped to make a difference for this fifth grade class. I would like to thank our BOE trustees, our Superintendent, Dr. Stimmel and the Central Office staff for all their support.
I would like to thank the Sunrise Drive PTA and its Executive Board. It is the student-centered partnerships that help to make Sunrise Drive the special place it is.
I would like to thank all the teachers and school staff. This is a group of people who never fail to provide an exciting and amazing educational journey for all students. Thank you for all you do. It truly is an honor to work beside you all on a daily basis.
To our fifth graders I want to say: Many of you have spent the last six years, or close to it, here at Sunrise Drive. Over that time you have grown and matured into young ladies and gentlemen. Your independence has grown and so has your sense of responsibility. You have demonstrated your commitment to service and helping others. I encourage you to continue those things for the rest of your lives.
This past year our district adopted Sayville STRIDES as its SEL guiding mission. As you get older, you will find that life does not always provide an easy path. It is then that I encourage you to have Self-esteem and Trust in yourself. Be Resilient when you fall and independent when you pick yourself back up. Appreciate the world for the beauty and diversity it has. Be empathetic to others and find your inner strength to accomplish all you set out to do. Do not just know what these words mean, but live these words each and every day. Let them become the words that others use to define you!
We wish you each a wonderful summer and the best of luck in Middle School. I will leave you with one more important lesson. I would like to close with the notion that Sunrise Drive’s Mascot is a duck. Ducks fly together in a beautiful formation, because they know that by sticking together, they will be better than they would be by themselves. Like a flock of ducks, you have accomplished so many goals together. Never forget where you have come from. And wherever you may go, always remember, once a Sunrise Drive Duck, always a Sunrise Drive Duck.