June 21, 2022 Sunrise Drive Moving Up

Sunrise Drive Moving Up 2022

It Was a Moving Ceremony at Sunrise Drive’s Moving Up

  • Principal Dr. James Foy welcomed the assembly of family and friends to the June 21, 2022 Moving-Up ceremony. After he acknowledged the support of the retiring Superintendent, Dr. John Stimmel, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Dr. Christine Criscione, Assistant Superintendent for Business Dr. Sam Gergis, Board of Education President John Verdone and retiring BOE trustee Norm deVenau, along with the Sunrise Drive faculty and staff, directed his remarks to the guests of honor, the Fifth-grade students and the future Class of 2029.

    Dr. Foy reminisced about some “firsts” this class experienced, that “propelled us all in redefining the word ‘resilience’…remote learning, wearing masks, and sitting further away from your friends…. However, with each obstacle the past few years have brought, this fine group of ladies and gentlemen have persevered and found the positive when it was truly hidden. You demonstrated grit and independence in completing your assignments and activities in ways that were never done before. You got through the difficult times and simply made lemonade out of lemons. To the audience I say this: This is what the future holds and it’s amazing. As you continue on your journey of "firsts" next year, you will all be attending a new school. I know you may have some nervous feelings, but know that you are moving on to a place that will allow you to continue to grow and mature.”

    Sayville Middle School Principal Dr. Joseph Castoro encouraged the incoming Sixth-grade class, remarking that they have just completed one “milestone of many in their futures.”  Dr. Castoro assured the students “we’re very excited to help you on your journey” when they begin Middle School in the fall.  “The best part,” he noted, “of this next chapter of your story, is that you are the author and all of you get to determine the course at the Middle School.” Dr. Castoro wished them a wonderful summer of fun with friends—“crack open a book every now and then”—and congratulated the Moving-Up class.

    Throughout the 2022 Moving-Up Ceremony, the students showcased their musical talents—thanks to their director, Mrs. Amy Baron—by performing the Sunrise Drive School Song they had learned in Kindergarten, Thank You by Jim Brickman and I’ll Be There for You (the theme song of Friends) by the Rembrandts. (See the video insert, below right.)

    Prefacing the presentation of the special awards (see photos at right), Dr. Foy praised “this exemplary group of young men and women who have demonstrated community outreach and service” as well as being role models to the younger classes. He called upon those students to stand for recognition and applause. “Our school community and world are a better place because of each of your efforts.”

    The Fifth-Grade teachers, Ms.Dwyer, Ms. Kearney, Ms. Holler, and Ms. McCullough called their students forward, one by one, to receive their Moving-Up certificates from their principal. After, Dr. Foy reminded the parents about the importance of their continued presence in the children’s lives, especially as they mature through Middle and High School and then introduced Fifth-Grader Lia McBride who had asked to share her message of thanks on behalf of her class.

    “So before I go,” Lia said, “I want to say thank you to all the teachers.” With confidence uncommon for her age, Lia addressed the assembly and listed the lessons, grade by grade. “The Kindergarten teachers who taught us the basics, I would not be here if not for them. First Grade teachers who taught us the harder basics, like shapes and cubes and opinion writing, too. Second Grade teachers--didn’t teach us the basics-- made them a little harder. Third Grade teachers who taught us harder math, harder sciences, social studies, and higher reading levels. Fourth Grade teachers who taught us even harder math, like dividing and writing topics like the American Revolution. Fifth Grade teachers Ms.Dwyer, Ms. Kearney, Ms. Holler, and Ms. McCullough. Ms. Dwyer was our social studies teacher. She taught history and health. Ms. Kearney was our writing teacher. She taught us how to make our writing stronger and better. Ms. McCullough was our math teacher. We learned a lot of cool things like planks, adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing fractions. Now that’s just the teachers. I’m not done yet.” Lia continued by thanking the entire Sunrise Drive community for “being there when we needed it most.”

    For Principal Dr. James Foy, this Moving-Up class held special significance—six years ago, both he and this class as Kindergartners entered Sunrise Drive’s doors for the first time—and his emotions were evident in his concluding remarks. “You’re a special group of students, very special to me…we started our journey together. It’s been a gift to watch you grow and mature. What you may not know, is that, for years, you’ve taught me how to be the principal I always wanted to be. You taught me how to be a friend when someone needs one, how to find a smile in the darkest times. And simply how to make sure there is joy in everything you do… Thank you for the laughs and thank you for the love. Thank you for being there for me and I promise [like in the song they sang] I will always be there for you.”

    In closing, Dr. Foy wished the class a happy summer and reminded the students that, like the school’s duck mascot, “ducks fly together in a beautiful formation because they know by sticking together, they are better than they would be by themselves…. Never forget where you have come from and wherever life leads you, remember: once a Sunrise Drive Duck, always a Sunrise Drive Duck! Congratulations to the Sunrise Drive Class of 2022!”

County Legislature’s Character Excellence Award - Makayla Reutlinger

Makayla Reutlinger

NY State Comptroller Award -Macklin Neugebauer/ Elle Holbrook

NY State Comptroller Award

Attorney General Triple “C” Award - Anna DeGraff/Addison Acker

Attorney General Triple “C” Award

County Executive Public Service Award - Cooper Gavin

County Executive Public Service Award

American Citizenship Award - Jenna Brown/Kamryn Curran/ Kaitlyn Floyd

American  Citizenship Award

3-R Award - Knoll/Meza/ Politis

3-R Award

David A. Roben Memorial- Cameron Dyckova

Cameron Dyckova
Lia McBride
Middle School Principal Dr. James Castoro

Presidential Academic Awards

  • Gold - Dominick Allegrezza, Anna DeGraff, Cameron Dyckova, Kaitlyn Floyd, James Huemmer, Jake Meittinis, Alexander Montesinos, Maxwell Ryan,

    Silver - Brendan Ahern, Ava D'Agostino, Amelia D'Auria, Livy DiStefano, Raya DiStefano, Molly Garafola, Amani Hamze, Sofia Jarmel, Ella Lessing, Matthew Mercorella, Sarah Robayo, Taylor Ruffo

Sunrise Drive Moving Up Program

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