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A Year Filled with Accomplishments!


Over the course of the 2017-2018 school year, a number of exciting educational events took place and students accomplished incredible educational and athletic feats. This short video features a few of those achievements.


Congrats to the Class of 2018

Congrats to the Class of 2018 photo

The members of Hampton Bays Class of 2018 received their diplomas at a commencement ceremony on June 23 under a tent on the high school’s athletic field.

During the ceremony, which was filled with pride and excitement, several speakers stood to congratulate the class and offer advice for the future. Among those were Superintendent of Schools Lars Clemensen and Class of 2018 valedictorian Sydney Caldwell and salutatorian Matthew Zbikowski, both of whom reflected on their years in the school district and wished their classmates well. This year’s commencement speaker was Rick Klein, political director for ABC News. 


Flag Flies for David Charles Smith

Flag Flies for David Charles Smith photo

In continuing 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 Mr. David Charles Smith by flying an American flag in his honor throughout the month of June.

“The Hampton Bays School District is proud to honor Mr. Smith for his service to the United States,” said Superintendent of Schools Lars Clemensen. 

The American flag was raised during a Flag Day ceremony at Hampton Bays Elementary School on June 14. During the event, second-graders read Smith’s biography and celebrated the American flag by singing several traditional, patriotic songs. 

Smith has deep roots in Hampton Bays; his family has lived in the area for more than 100 years. He was born on Feb. 23, 1948 and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in October 1967 at the age of 19. He has contributed to his community and to the country continuously since then.

His first duty assignment was in Rapid City, South Dakota, where he trained on the UH-1 nicknamed the “Huey” and both the Sikorsky H3 and H53. The UH-1 was the most common utility helicopter used in Vietnam. The Sikorsky helicopters are known for carrying heavier cargo.

His military job designation was “flight engineer,” a key member of the three-man team for each helicopter in addition to the pilot and co-pilot. He was responsible for the mechanical well-being of the helicopter. His initial posting was to Thailand in 1968-1969, where he flew on Special Ops flights into Laos and Vietnam dropping seven-man teams to watch the Ho Chi Minh Trail, a major supply network composed of roads and tunnels. The trail began in Hanoi, North Vietnam, passed through Laos and Cambodia, and ultimately ended at Saigon, South Vietnam. His unit sometimes worked with Air America, a CIA support group whose mission was also Special Ops on the Plain of Jars in Laos, and sometimes moved people around on H53s for the Laotian government on his second tour, 1970-1971. 

In the service nicknames are common. Smith’s nickname, “Treesmith,” was given to him during delivery of a seven-man team into North Vietnam. His helicopter had landed in tall elephant grass which obscured the presence of a small tree. This tree uprooted when they took off and stubbornly stuck to the bottom of the helicopter despite efforts to dislodge it. On return to base – NKP (Nakhon Phnom – the Royal Thai AFB) – it finally fell, and it did so right in the middle of the runway, preventing landing of fixed-wing planes until it was removed. Since that day, the nickname stuck.

He returned to the States in 1971 and to Hampton Bays, where he served as a Hampton Bays policeman for the next year. In 1972, he re-enlisted and was posted to Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina. He was at Shaw through 1973 continuing his work with H3s and H53s and taking on added responsibility as a chief flight instructor and examiner. Between 1973 and 1989, Smith was assigned to bases in Japan, California and New Mexico. At Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico, he was given the added function of chief flight examiner. 

During the course of his distinguished career, which included more than 3,000 logged hours of flight time and more than 100 combat missions into Laos and Vietnam, Smith received numerous commendations. He particularly prizes his two Distinguished Flying Cross medals and his six Air Medals.

He retired in 1989 and now does handyman work in Hampton Bays and maintenance on his family’s properties. Since 2000, he has served continuously with the Hampton Bays Volunteer Ambulance Corps, responding to between 250 and 300-plus service requests per year, and serves as its sergeant of arms. He is married to his wife, Suzanne, and has three daughters, Marilyn, Lindsay and Laura, as well as six grandchildren.

Leo Club Visits Guide Dog Foundation

Members of the Leos, a service club at Hampton Bays High School, visited the Smithtown-based Guide Dog Foundation on June 9. During the trip, the club members learned more about the foundation and the people who rely on guide dogs, including two college students whose guide dogs assist them in getting to and from school every day. The students also participated in a dog CPR training class.

A Mural of Character

Hampton Bays Elementary School fourth-graders recently spent a week working with local artist Joyce Raimondo to paint a large mural in their school’s hallway. The colorful mural, designed by art teacher Debra McDowell, features positive character traits that the school teaches, including tolerance, courage, honesty, responsibility, respect, citizenship, generosity and perseverance.

Recycling Program Inaugurated in Hampton Bays

Recycling Program Inaugurated in Hampton Bays photo

Hampton Bays Elementary School students are working to keep the earth green as part of a new recycling program sponsored by Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.

The program officially kicked off at Hampton Bays Elementary School on June 5 with a visit from Bellone, who spoke to kindergartners about the importance of recycling. The kickoff included a recycling skit performed by fourth-grade students. 

As part of the pilot program, Hampton Bays Elementary School is one of six county schools furnished with blue recycling bins that have specialized lids for recycling paper, plastic, glass and aluminum. The school was also given an industrial scale that weighs the amount of materials it has recycled. 


A Duck-Tastic Performance

A Duck-Tastic Performance photo
Sixth-grade students who are members of the Hampton Bays Middle School Harmonizers displayed their musical talents on June 6. The talented singers kicked off the Long Island Ducks game by performing the national anthem.

Athletes Earn Awards

Athletes Earn Awards photo

Senior athletes at Hampton Bays High School were recognized for their dedication to athletics and academics with scholarships and awards at the annual Doc Fallot Varsity Awards Dinner on June 6.

The Hampton Bays School District extends its congratulations to the following award recipients:

Doc Fallot Memorial Scholarship Athletic Award 
Daniel Brenes and Colette Levine

Hampton Bays Athletic Spirit Scholarship
Connor Flemming and Elif Kalyoncu 

Baymen Pride Award
Jeremy Bradley and Emma Candelaria 

Scholar-Athlete Award
Andrew Calderon and Sydney Caldwell

John J. Pizzarelli All-Around Award
John Sheridan and Mackenzie Tyler

Leaders of the Game Award
Jennifer Andres, Jeremy Bradley, Daniel Brenes, Sydney Caldwell, Nicholas Corredor, Annabelle Dominguez, Sarah Fassino, Darwin Fernandez, Anna Harris, Sage McMorris, Cassidy Moore, Maryrose O’Connell, Kayla Ospitale, Morgan Phillips, James Puccio, Patricio Pulla, Cassidy Radziul, Jack Sheridan, Quinn Smith, Mackenzie Tyler and Gabby Valencia 


Hampton Bays Musicians Earn First-Place Awards

The four performing groups from Hampton Bays Middle School that entered the Music in the Parks competition held in Pennsylvania’s Hershey Park in May have all earned first-place awards.

The winning groups included the school’s seventh- and eighth-grade band, chorus, jazz band and Harmonizers. In addition, the seventh- and eighth-grade band was awarded a Best Overall Middle School Band trophy, and eighth-grader Samantha Coulton took home an award for Best Overall Vocalist for her solo during a performance with the Harmonizers. Each student group performed three songs while competing against nine schools from across the country. 

This is not the first time that Hampton Bays musicians have earned awards at a Music in the Parks event. Last year, the Harmonizers won a first-place award and the jazz band earned a second-place trophy. This is the first year, however, that all of the school’s performing groups took home first-place trophies. 


Superb Vocalists

Superb Vocalists photo
More than 80 members of the Hampton Bays Middle School seventh- and eighth-grade chorus participated in the NYSSMA Major Organization Festival, held on May 29 at Five Towns College. The singers, under the direction of Carolanne Mazur, earned a bronze medal for their performance. 

Seniors Participate in Question-and-Answer with Congressman

Seniors Participate in Question-and-Answer with Congressman photo
Hampton Bays High School seniors attended a question-and-answer session with U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin on May 25 at Hampton Bays Elementary School. The congressman fielded questions from the students on a variety of topics, including wind farms off the coast of Long Island, pollution, immigration, environmental impact testing, school safety and congressional oversight of military actions in Syria. Zeldin also spoke about his background and the journey to his political career. 

Flag flies for Daniel Stebbins

Flag flies for Daniel Stebbins photo

In its mission to bring history to life, the Hampton Bays School District honors a local veteran every month of the school year by flying an American flag in their honor. Throughout the month of May, the district paid such tribute to U.S. Marine Corps veteran Daniel Stebbins.

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

The May honoree was recognized with a ceremony at Hampton Bays Elementary School on May 25. Highlights of the event included a performance by the Hampton Bays High School jazz band and speeches by local officials, including Congressman Lee Zeldin. The ceremony culminated with the raising of the flag in Stebbins’ honor. 

Daniel Stebbins was born in April 1966 in Auburn, New York, and grew up in a hamlet called Half Acre in Aurelius, where he attended school. After graduating in 1984, he obtained a factory union job as a bulldozer track press operator at the Syracuse Caterpillar Track and Roller Builders facility. He joined the Marines in 1986. 

He attended boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina, followed by infantry training at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and finally, TOW (Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire command link guided missile system) training at Camp Geiger, North Carolina. Following training, he was assigned to the 2nd Marine Division, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, India Company, 2nd Weapons Platoon, 2nd Squad. With his unit, he participated in operations on naval ships, including two Med floats, two Blue/Green Water workups and a NATO float to Norway and West Germany.

On Aug. 2, 1990, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and rapidly moved south toward Saudi Arabia, establishing a fortified front line with millions of land mines. America’s response on Aug. 9 was Operation Desert Shield. Corporal Stebbins was sent to Saudi Arabia on a C-141 Starlifter cargo plane and assigned to 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion Bravo Company, which was tasked with eliminating enemy tanks and clearing a path through two land mine belts. Stebbins was in charge of a three-man Humvee team with a roof-mounted Heavy Close Combat Missile System, an anti-tank precision assault weapon.

Operation Desert Storm began four months later on Jan. 17. Hussein’s forces had ignited hundreds of oil wells.  The Marines were given the command to liberate Kuwait, and the 1st and 2nd Marine Divisions started to breach two minefield belts. Stebbins and his unit fought against Iraqi mechanized and armored units as part of the biggest enemy tank destruction in Marine Corps history. In one fight, 31 T-62s and 44 T-55s were destroyed or put out of action in the darkness.

Not long after, on Feb. 28, President George Bush declared Kuwait liberated. The Marines had decimated 17 Iraqi divisions; destroyed 1,843 tanks, 678 armored vehicles and 439 artillery pieces; and taken 22,908 prisoners.

Prior to reassignment to Camp Lejeune in August 1991, Stebbins patrolled Kuwait City as part of a multinational peacekeeping force. He was discharged from active duty a month after his return in September 1991.

Stebbins holds a bachelor’s degree in electronics from ITT Technical Institute and an Associate of Arts in mechanical engineering from the University of North Florida. In 1996, he moved with his family to Hampton Bays and began work as a technical service engineer with a government contracting company at Plum Island and with Brookhaven National Laboratory, where he learned skills that led to his work at universities, labs and nuclear facilities across New York state.

Stebbins also served as commander of Hand Aldrich Post 924 from 2003 to 2005 and is a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5350, the Marine Corps League, the Irish-American Society of the Hamptons, the Elks of Southampton, the Knights of Columbus and the American Legion Riders.

Drumbeats Unite Students in Kindness

Drumbeats Unite Students in Kindness photo
Drumbeats Unite Students in Kindness photo 2
Drumbeats Unite Students in Kindness photo 3
Drumbeats Unite Students in Kindness photo 4
Drumbeats Unite Students in Kindness photo 5
Renowned percussion group the Hip Pickles recently taught a unique lesson on kindness to students at Hampton Bays Middle School. The two-day program spread the theme of kindness throughout the school through music, dance and other engaging activities. 

Students win Fire Tablets for Book Reviews

Students win Fire Tablets for Book Reviews photo
Students win Fire Tablets for Book Reviews photo 2
Hampton Bays Middle School students were awarded Amazon Fire tablets after entering a book review challenge with author Jerome Mark Antil, who visited the school on May 22. For the challenge, the students wrote book reviews based on their readings of Antil’s books “The Pompey Hollow Book Club” and “Hemingway, Three Angels, and Me.” The Hampton Bays School District extends its congratulations to the following winners: sixth-graders Emma Halsey, Elizabeth Lin and Maya Sanabria; and eighth-graders Stephen Sutton and Julia Romero Sanchez.  

On the Air

On the Air photo
Sitting before two microphones in a room within the Hampton Bays Middle School library, eighth-graders Braeden Dorchak and Elle Dunkirk proceeded to discuss a recent activity that took place in their English class. 

The students are among the first to share their experiences and thoughts as part of the school’s new podcast, established by school library media specialist Meghan Bishop and teacher Carolanne Mazur.     

The project, which ties into STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts and math), gives students the opportunity to host weekly podcasts where they can discuss a variety of topics, including happenings within their school, and perform musical numbers. 

Recent podcast conversations featured Superintendent of Schools Lars Clemensen and special guests, including the Hip Pickles, a drumming group that recently visited the school.   

While Bishop and Mazur currently oversee the podcasts, they intend to have students assume this responsibility by training them in the recording technology and teaching them how to upload the programs. 

“This is a work in progress,” said Bishop. “We hope that it will expand and generate more student interest.”

To hear the podcasts, visit

Varsity Teams Earn Distinguished Award

Varsity Teams Earn Distinguished Award
The New York State Public High School Athletic Association has recognized five Hampton Bays High School varsity teams with Scholar/Athlete Team Awards.

To merit this distinction, each team met the criteria of holding an above 90 percent team GPA during the spring season.  

The Hampton Bays School District extends its congratulations to the girls track and field, girls lacrosse, boys baseball, boys tennis and girls softball teams.

Film Earns Hampton Bays Senior Third-Place Award

Film Earns Hampton Bays Senior Third-Place Award photo
Hampton Bays High School senior Jordan Phillips and his teammate, Jack Murray of Eastport-South Manor High School, rose to the challenge and took home a third-place award in the television, video and digital film category at the 2018 New York State SkillsUSA Leadership and Skills Conference, held in Syracuse on April 27. 

The pair competed against 10 other teams to shoot and edit a short film based on a “cliffhanger” theme and were given less than 24 hours to complete the task. They produced the film using skills acquired under teacher Mark Deedy, an instructor with the Bixhorn Technical Center of the Eastern Long Island Academy of Applied Technology in Bellport. 

Jordan said he was thrilled by the win.  

When not behind the camera, Jordan is involved in his school’s musical productions. He plans to enlist in the U.S. Navy this fall. 

Students Design Special Olympics Logos

Students Design Special Olympics Logos photo
When Hampton Bays High School hosted the Special Olympics on May 6, athletes and volunteers wore shirts with logos designed by the school’s seniors as part of an in-school logo contest. Trish Martinez won first place and $100 for her design, and Andrew Zeiser earned second place and $50 for his. The school district congratulates both students.