The LICAB Community Leadership Award Honors Good Character In Sayville Students

LICAB Award Winners

May 20, 2022

  • Sayville Director of Student Services Jillian Makris has been partnering with Joe Salamone to tap the resources of The Long Island Coalition Against Bullying—Salamone is the founder and executive director of LICAB for more than nine years—to promote ​wellness ​programs in Sayville School District. Since 2019, they had teamed up to create the “Community Leadership Award” to celebrate moral character.

    Again this year, the “Community Leadership Award” ceremony was held to recognize select students, two from each building, who demonstrate in their daily lives the character traits of “empathy, integrity, compassion, kindness, and leadership,” making them remarkable role models among their peers. These ten were nominated by their teachers and administrators for this extraordinary award.

    After welcoming the students, family members, and Sayville administrators who were present (Sayville Superintendent Dr. John Stimmel, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum Dr. Christine Criscione, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Dr. Peter Branscombe​ and Special Education Coordinators Stacie Gigante and David Renahan), Mrs. Makris also introduced Joe Salamone to the audience as an integral partner in the morning’s proceedings.

    Mrs. Makris followed by addressing the students, noting that they were the ten chosen from among the 2,700 students within the District for this award. “All of you help to make up the moral fabric of our schools and, as a larger extension, our community. Because of you Sayville Schools is a better place and the Sayville community overall.” Mrs. Makris thanked the supportive family members, acknowledging that the students’ exceptional traits “didn’t happen by accident. It’s no doubt because of your example, your positivity, your support of these students…and we really appreciate it.”

    Mr. Salamone briefly spoke and explained that the “Community Leadership Award” was conceived four years ago to offset the “bad” that is too often in the news by celebrating and recognizing the greater “good” in our youth.  With the hope that “shining light on the good starts sending the message good is better… We started thinking what characteristics go into making leaders what they are…What are the best attributes?” When students are asked what makes a good leader, they often​ name world leaders or famous people, but “they don’t look at themselves and the things they are already doing …that they are already exhibiting leadership characteristics” by helping others, incorporating others in the community activities. “That’s why we are here. We came up with twelve guiding principles…and these students today have them.”

    Before the students were called up, the soon-to-be-retired School Superintendent, Dr. John Stimmel, shared a few words. He said that working in Sayville was the highlight of his career and he was grateful to the parents and families for all they have done to raise such exemplary children.

    As each of the students came forward, the Sayville staff member (see the full list in right-hand column) was prepared with a statement and a few special hugs for the nominee.  This was the high point of the program and all present were touched, not only by the joyful sentiments shared, but also by the beaming smiles of the recipients. Recognizing the good in others is a reward in itself.

    However, another high point occurred when Mr. Salamone announced that along with the framed “Community Leadership Award “certificate there were envelopes attached containing monetary prizes for each age group.

2022 LICAB Award Recipients

  • Congratulations​ to the following students:

    Cherry Avenue:

    • Julia Madsen by Robin McKinnon
    • and Leo Johnson by Dr. Caryn Cantley


    Lincoln Avenue:

    • Lilah Stangenberg by Mrs. Cassagnau
    • and Audrey Leo by Mrs. Order


    Sunrise Drive:

    • Christian Gallo by Mrs. Heuer
    • and Miela Guida by Mrs. Buckley


    Middle School:

    • Deanna Sesso by Mrs. Connors
    • and Henry Reiss by Ms. Amella-Pesko


    High School:

    • William Kretz by Mrs. Hart
    • and Peter McCaffrey by Mrs. VanDorn