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No Turkey Here

No Turkey Here photo
Elementary school first-graders in Joan Barker’s class have been busy “hiding” paper turkeys to spare them from the farmer on Thanksgiving Day. The students “hid” their paper turkeys in creative “costumes” after reading, “Turkey Trouble” by Wendi Silvano.

K-Kids Collect Food Donations

K-Kids Collect Food Donations photo
Throughout the month of November, members of the elementary school service group, K-Kids, have been working to collect nonperishable items for those in need. The third- and fourth-graders will donate all items collected to local food pantries.

K-Kids Ready to Serve

K-Kids Ready to Serve photo

During a ceremony on Nov. 8, 62 third- and fourth-graders were inducted into the school’s K-Kids community service organization.

The students became official members after filling out a brief application that asked them why they wanted to participate in the program. 

Participants of K-Kids meet before school once a month and organize fundraisers that benefit a variety of community organizations. In the past, for example, students raised funds for breast cancer awareness and are currently holding a food drive.

Flag flies for Vincent Ciano

Flag flies for Vincent Ciano photo

In its mission to take history out of the textbooks by honoring a local veteran each month of the school year, the Hampton Bays School District is paying tribute to Vincent Ciano by flying an American flag in his honor throughout the month of November.

“The district is proud to honor Mr. Ciano for his bravery and service to the United States,” said Superintendent of Schools Lars Clemensen. 

Mr. Ciano, who gave 33 years of service to the country as a member of the Army Infantry, the Guard and U.S. Air Force, was honored at an annual Veterans Day breakfast and ceremony held on Nov. 8 at Hampton Bays Elementary School. During the event, fourth- and fifth-grade students read his biography, spoke about the importance of Veterans Day and sang the songs of the U.S. armed forces’ five branches. 

With seven honors, including his prized Combat Infantry Badge, compressing 33 years of service to a short biography would mean leaving too much out or briefly touched upon. The below account concentrates on the years 1964-1966 in which Mr. Ciano served.

Private First Class Ciano enlisted at the age of 19 and was sent to Vietnam directly after basic training and assigned to MACV (Military Assistance Command Vietnam). He spent his 21st birthday there. During the turbulent years of 1964-1966, the country was increasingly anti-military with chants and many young people actively protesting the military. While this was happening, Pfc. Ciano was pulling perimeter guard in whatever outpost the helicopter happened to drop him. Most didn’t have names, but all had sameness due to the jungle. 

Mr. Ciano recalls a MASH unit by the village of Tien Hiep, but most camps only had nicknames. One camp, “Sherwood Forest,” had tanks and was ringed with booby traps —  the location of which only local villagers seemed to know. Vietnam was the first modern war: the enemy, faceless and rarely seen, wore no uniforms. Quiet times were as stressful as fire fights because attacks could happen anytime. Seemingly peaceful farmers became Viet Cong at night. A walk down any village street could suddenly be disrupted by violence. The humidity was awful, so wet that one’s watch fogged over and, during the monsoon, mashed potatoes would wash away over one’s mess kit. Nostalgically, Mr. Ciano still carries his Army-issue C-Ration can opener on his key chain. 

During this time, Pfc. Ciano’s duty was simple: no one was to get under the wire, and when snipers fired at night, he and his squad were to go after them, knowing that finding them was unlikely. Also knowing, snipers were not the only hazard; cobras loudly hissed when anyone trespassed on their turf. While scary, for Ciano, this was routine. 

Mr. Ciano served quietly and honorably, following orders regardless of conditions. He was surprised that he, like all Vietnam vets, received a frosty welcome on return to the states. He also was surprised that he, like most vets, were ill prepared for a return to civilian life. The army said, “Go home. Be normal,” but did not tell the soldiers how. 

On return to the states, Mr. Ciano was numb, not feeling anything, given to odd moods. A smell or sound could set him off and crowds made him nervous. PTSD was not yet recognized, but many returning vets had emotional damage that went untreated for years. Ultimately, Senior Master Sgt. Ciano got help with his PTSD at the Babylon Vet Center. Importantly, by helping him, the Vet Center helped him help others. 

Since then, he has worked to assist vets with PTSD – sometimes just listening, other times talking them “off the ledge.” Mr. Ciano believes in paying back; he too has been on that ledge.

Student-musicians perform with professional chorus

Student-musicians perform with professional chorus  photo
Three high school freshmen performed with a professional chorus on Oct. 28-29 with their former middle school teacher Meaghan Metzger. 

The students, Shaina Pierce, Katerina Reich and Alvaro Mijangos-Guzman, sang with Ms. Metzger’s group eVoco Voice Collective at the Christ Church in Oyster Bay and at the St. William the Abbot Church in Seaford. They performed Rene Clausen’s “Set Me as a Seal.”

The students were presented with the opportunity to perform after the ensemble, conducted by David Fryling, reached out to the high school last year and invited students to attend rehearsals and sing a song at their future concerts. 

Flag Flies for Dan Costa Maroulas

Flag Flies for Dan Costa Maroulas photo

In its mission to take history out of the textbooks by honoring a local veteran each month of the school year, the Hampton Bays School District is paying tribute to veteran Dan Costa Maroulas, who served in the U.S. Navy from 1945 to 1948, by flying an American flag in his honor through the month of October.

“The district is proud to honor Mr. Maroulas for his bravery and service to the United States,” said Superintendent of Schools Lars Clemensen. 

Mr. Maroulas, a member of the Hampton Bays American Legion Hand Aldrich Post 924, was honored at a ceremony held Oct. 20 at Hampton Bays Elementary School. During the event, middle school students Kristina Georges and Samantha Coulton performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “America the Beautiful.” Abril Vasquez Montes, Class of 2023, introduced the veteran by reading his biography before students Erin Brosnan and Dante Zangrillo read their Patriot’s Pen essay contest entries. Also, public officials, including Southampton Supervisor Jay Schneiderman and Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming spoke in Mr. Maroulas’ honor. The ceremony concluded with the raising of the American flag. 

Mr. Maroulas was born on Aug. 4, 1928. Too young to enlist when America entered World War II, but wanting to do his part, he asked his father to sign for him when he turned 17 in 1945. His father, a strongly patriotic man, who had fought for his native Greece during the Balkan War of 1912, agreed.

Mr. Maroulas went through medical screening and signed the enlistment papers at Whitehall Street and then went home to tell his mother he had enlisted and was leaving. Sad, but proud, she put together a few basic things he would need. He reported to the Navy the next morning.

Basic training was in Bainbridge, Maryland during June, July and August; it was hot and humid. By the end of training, he found himself in the hospital with an ear infection, so he did not get an immediate assignment. On release from the hospital, he was assigned to the USS Dayton, a light cruiser, at the Boston Navy Yard. After attending electronics courses at the Fargo Building in Boston, he was assigned to Radar Duty in the Dayton’s Combat Information Center.

From Boston, the Dayton went to Guantanamo, Cuba for a shake-down cruise and practice with the ship’s five-inch anti-aircraft and six-inch bombardment guns and all radar equipment. The ship spent two days shelling the island of Culebra. The Dayton was the flagship for the sixth fleet commanded by Vice Admiral Bernhard Bieri. After Cuba, the Dayton sailed to the Mediterranean where Mr. Maroulas first saw the Rock of Gibraltar. Over the next two years, he and his shipmates would cruise off north Africa, southern Europe and parts of the north Atlantic.
As a radar operator, Mr. Maroulas operated sea and air search radar and also directed 40mm anti-aircraft guns from his battle station below deck. At times, he operated a PPI Radar Repeater on the flying bridge in all kinds of weather including days so cold icicles formed on his face from the ocean spray. One day, the Dayton got a call from the 88th Army Blue Devil Division, stationed in the Italian alps. Yugoslav communist Josip Broz Tito’s forces were creating a problem at the Morgan line and the Dayton was asked to assist.

The ship was assigned to destroy mines and clear the harbor to ensure the safety of Trieste. While in the Adriatic, one of the destroyers – the Fox - hit a mine. The Dayton sent doctors, called in tugs from Gibraltar and sent their onboard Marine detachment ashore to secure Trieste.

From Trieste, the ship sailed to Souda Bay covering a dozen ports on the way. Things were bad then; most of north Africa and the northern Mediterranean was bombed out. But, on one memorable day, the admiral was asked to go to Fournes, Crete to attend a dinner in his honor. As the admiral spoke no Greek, Mr. Maroulas was sent along as an interpreter.

In February 1948, the Dayton returned to Norfolk Naval Air Base, Virginia. There, Mr. Maroulas was assigned to the USS Macon for a month until his discharge. He received his honorable discharge on March 22, 1948. It was good to be home; all servicemen received the Victory Medal. 

After discharge, Mr. Maroulas worked professionally for George G. Sharp Inc., Manhattan, New York – Naval Architects with which he headed the Hull Arrangement Section and eventually became a shareholder. As a naval architect, he helped design navy ships – including Mississippi class cruisers and did rehab work for naval vessels in San Diego, Philadelphia and for Coast Guard cutters on Lake Michigan. In addition to naval ships, he also designed container ships, cargo ships, and ferries, including the Staten Island Ferry.  

As a hobby, Mr. Maroulas is actively involved with radio controlled aircraft which he builds and flies and on occasion has designed.

Mr. Maroulas is passionately devoted to his country, his Greek heritage and his family. He has been happily married for 65 years and he and his wife are known affectionately to their grandchildren as Papou (Papoo) and Yiayia (YaYa), the Greek words for grandfather and grandmother.  



K-Kids raise funds for Breast Cancer Society

K-Kids raise funds for Breast Cancer Society photo
K-Kids raise funds for Breast Cancer Society photo 2
K-Kids raise funds for Breast Cancer Society photo 3
The members of the elementary school service organization K-Kids recently donated $700 to the Breast Cancer Society. 

The students raised the money as part of the school’s 13th annual Denim Day Fundraiser. As part of the project, the K-Kids sold breast cancer awareness bracelets to fellow students, teachers and administrators. 

Staff and students also wore jeans and pink clothing on Oct. 20 in honor of the cause.

Baymen Pride Fills the Stadium at Homecoming

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A sea of purple filled the stands as Hampton Bays High School celebrated its 2017 homecoming football game under the lights on Oct. 6.

Despite the hard play by the Baymen and the cheers the crowd and varsity cheerleaders, the team was unable to defeat the Port Jefferson Royals.

The highlight of the evening came as the school district paid tribute to the 1987 high school football team. The team was the high school’s first league champions. During halftime, each member was presented with a miniature football helmet engraved with his name and jersey number.

Hampton Bays Students Explore College Options

Hampton Bays Students Explore College Options photo

Hampton Bays High School juniors and seniors learned more about the college options available to them during a college fair, held at the school on Oct. 2.

During the fair, students spoke to the college representatives about campus life, academic offerings, financial aid and the admissions process.    

The fair featured more than 100 colleges and universities from across the United States, as well as representatives from the United States military.

Seeding Shinnecock Bay

Seeding Shinnecock Bay Pic
Seeding Shinnecock Bay Pic 2
To do their part to help improve local waterways, Hampton Bays High School Science Research students volunteered to seed 62,000 clams into Shinnecock Bay on Sept. 29.

The initiative, which connects learning to the local environment, was conducted in collaboration with the Shinnecock Bay Restoration Program. The program was established in 2012 to restore the water quality in the bay through a variety of partnerships. 

This is the fourth time that Hampton Bays High School Science Research teacher Dr. Stephanie Forsberg has involved her students in the restoration program. Last year, approximately 40,000 clams were seeded into the bay by her students.    
#WeAreHB
 

Colors to Aid Texas

Colors to Aid Texas photo
To assist fellow classmates in need, Hampton Bays Elementary School second-graders in Ms. Kristen Webber’s class have been collecting boxes of crayons to send to a school in Texas affected by Hurricane Harvey. 

Over the past several weeks, the students received donations of hundreds of crayons that will be sent directly to Elizabeth Kotey, a fourth-grade teacher at Burnett Elementary School in the Pasadena Independent School District. The crayons will be sent along with letters from Ms. Webber’s students.

Flashback to 1987

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This year, for homecoming, the Hampton Bays School District is celebrating the anniversary of the 1987 varsity football team’s league championship. As part of the celebration, the district is taking a trip down memory lane. Find out what’s changed in the district since 1987 in this short video.

Hampton Bays Displays College Opportunities to Students

Hampton Bays Displays College Opportunities to Students photo
To provide students with tangible information about the countless college choices available to them upon graduation, the Hampton Bays High School invited representatives from Quinnipiac University to speak to juniors and seniors on Sept. 13.

During the presentation, the students learned about campus life, the admission process and academics at the school.  

The students will learn more about college choices at a college fair on Oct. 2 and 42 students recently toured several SUNY colleges through an annual college tour trip that included stops at Albany, Oneonta, Courtland and Binghamton.