News for Graduates, Friends and Families of St. Mary



News for Graduates, Friends and Families of St. Mary
June 2015
News for Graduates, Friends and Families of St. Mary School of East Islip
Issue #3
Accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
The weather did not cooperate but it was warm enough for the 100th Anniversary
Principal’s Gala held at Chateau La Mer in Lindenhurst on March 14th for the 100th
Anniversary Principal’s Gala. The evening’s honorees were GinaMarie and Fred
Bianculli and Maureen and Joe Szabo, both parents of St. Mary School alumni and
long-time, generous supporters of the school.
SMS parents Elizabeth Murphy and Adele Fitzgerald conducted extensive research on
the history of St. Mary School and its founder Rev. Joseph Sinkmajer and presented a
20-minute video at the Gala. This can be found on the school web site. Local
politicians, including Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter and Board member Steve
Flotteron were on hand to read proclamations and present citations from the town.
Suffolk County legislator Tom Cilmi (and former SMS parent) acted as master of
ceremonies for a portion of the program. SMS alumnus Patrick Boyle’87, legislative
aide to New York State Senator Tom Croci, also presented a proclamation from the NYS
Senate congratulating the school on its achievement. Former teachers, parents, retired
School Sisters of Notre Dame were recognized. Many alumni also attended. It was a
great night to celebrate a century of service!
Clockwise top left: (1)Principal’s 100th Anniversary Gala Honorees (l to r) Joseph and Maureen Szabo and GinaMarie and Fred Bianculli. (2)Angelina’12, Joseph’03 and Giavanna’05
Buffolino. (3)Current faculty and sisters Barbara and Deborah Rotkiewicz with Sr. Antoinette DeAveiro. (4)Jennifer Pasion Sanford ’89 and Scott Sanford ’88. (5)(l to r) Class of 2015
attendees at the Gala, Taylor Sanchez, Lindsey Zahn, Nicole Carideo and Alexis Alavarro. (6)Former faculty (l to r) Karen Dehncke and Barbara DiGiuseppe. (7)Islip Town Supervisor Angie
Carpenter and Town Councilman Steve Flotteron present Mr. Arpino with a Citation from the Town of Islip on the occasion of St. Mary School’s 100th Anniversary. (8)(l to r) Sr. Mary Henry,
Sr. Antoinette DeAveiro, Sr. Christina Marie, Mr. Arpino, Sr. John Vianney.
Newsletter for Alumni, Friends, and Families of SMS
A Letter from the Pastor
Fr. Don leading off the St. Patrick’s Parade in a snowstorm.
Dear St. Mary’s School Alumni,
It is my pleasure to write to you again. This is a very special time
of year for us. We are in the Easter season. We are in springtime.
And we are in the midst of the 100th Anniversary of our Parish
School of St. Mary. All three are cause for great celebration!
During this Easter season we are mindful of the new life Christ
won for us by His death and resurrection. As followers of Jesus
Christ, we go forth to witness to the Risen Lord in the world by
what we say and do.
Springtime marks new beginnings. It gives us an opportunity to
bask in the warmth of the sun’s rays, especially after the frigid
and snowy winter we just experienced.
Anniversaries also have their own uniqueness.
commemorate pivotal moments and events in the life and
development of a person or institution. In this case, it is the
centennial anniversary of our parish school.
For one hundred years the Parish School of St. Mary has been
proudly educating young people and preparing them for a future
built on faith, values and knowledge. What an accomplishment!
And you, our alumni, have been the proud recipients of that
education and preparation. As alumni, you proudly share in the
history and legacy of St. Mary School. Hopefully since
graduation, you have had the chance to give back to church,
family and society what was so nobly passed on to you during
your stay at St. Mary School by its faculty, staff and administration.
During this 100th Anniversary Year, I extend my heartfelt
thanks to those of you who continue to support St. Mary
School. And to all of you, please accept my prayerful best
wishes in all your endeavors.
May Mary, the Mother of the Church, watch over and care for
you and our Parish School of St. Mary.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
June 2015
A Letter from the Principal
Dear Alumni,
What a wonderful year of celebrations! God has truly blessed
the St. Mary School community. These events brought together
present school families and students, as well as former families,
alumni, faculty and staff members.
Many stories and
experiences were shared with fond memories for all those who
have been woven into the fabric of this great school. It is my
hope that through the Alumni Newsletter and our websites, you
had the opportunity to view many of the 100th Anniversary
events of this school year.
In looking ahead, we must keep this great legacy alive and well.
In order to maintain a school of this stature, we will have to
update many areas including the installation of new windows
and the replacement of outdated technology. In addition, we
must fulfill our obligation to pay off the new heating system.
Your generous donations to the Alumni Fund will be very much
appreciated. If you have made a donation in the past, I thank
you. If you have not had an opportunity to make a donation, I
sincerely hope you will.
As the year winds down, I cordially invite you to the last of our
100th Anniversary celebrations, the 100th Anniversary Family
BBQ that will take place on Saturday, July 25th, 2015 from 12
noon – 4 PM. For tickets, please call St. Mary School at (631)
581-3423 or visit our website.
We would like for all alumni, faculty, and staff to have a
memento pin to mark our 100th anniversary. If you did not
receive a pin at any one of the events, please contact the school
and we will be happy to send one to you.
Lastly, I am happy to announce that St. Mary School has just
received notification that at its April 2015 meeting the
Commission on Elementary Schools of the Middle States
Association of Colleges and Schools awarded St. Mary School
reaccreditation effective May 1, 2015 through May 1, 2022.
Congratulations to all who made this accomplishment possible.
Hope to see you on the 25th of July!
Fr. Don
Rev. Donald E. Babinski
Mr. Biagio M. Arpino
16 Harrison Avenue, East Islip, NY 11730 - 2391 • 631.581.3423 •
St. Mary School of East Islip Alumni & Friends
June 2015
Letters from Alumni & Friends
Dear Mr. Arpino,
I am finally writing to you for your newsletter.
Barry and my family had a total of 18 people who attended
St. Mary School from 1921 through 1996. My mother-in-law
Mary graduated in 1933. She had an older brother Barney and
a younger one, John who also went to St. Mary School. Barry,
my husband, and I both graduated from St. Mary’s; him in
1956 and me in 1958. He had 4 brothers and I had three
sisters who also attended.
We had 6 of 7 children who graduated from the school, the
last one, Joseph, in 1996.
That might be a record!
Sincerely, Pat (Callahan) Klecan
(Left) Former St. Mary’s Principal Sr. Julia Mary with PAC member Grace LoPiccolo (granddaughter of beloved longtime carpenter,
sextant, and building manager of St. Mary’s School and Parish, Tony Smyth) after the children’s performance at the Motherhouse in CT.
(Above) Mr. Arpino catches up with Sr. Raphael, and Sr. Mary Henry, his 2nd and 3rd grade teachers.
Dear Mr. Arpino,
I was looking forward to Grandparents Day at St. Mary School
but had no idea what a treat we were in for! From the decorations
to the entertainment it was a joy. At first we visited with other
proud Nanas and Pop Pops and then we were treated to a
wonderfully performed song and dance by the children. Finally
they joined us for cookies, and bottles of water, coffee, and a few
games of, yes, Bingo. (What better way to entertain Grands?) There
were lovely donations of the food, and prizes and decorations, and
over it all, shone the loving spirit of St. Mary School. Thank you, boys and girls, and Staff. It was "grand”!
- Kathy Sanford
The cast pose with Mr. Arpino and some of the retired sisters who taught at St. Mary School.
The PAC members relax before the performance at
the SSND Motherhouse in Connecticut.
Dear Mr. Arpino and Miss Arpino,
I am in awe at all you accomplished today at the Motherhouse. After a very
long trip, surrounded by elderly sisters, those children put on a mini
Broadway Production!
We all know how noisy children can be -- they were not. It was so good
for all of us to witness since we are former teachers. It was also heartwarming
to see how well they interacted with each other.
Thank you for the delicious chocolate cream cake and pies. It was very
gracious of you to think of that. I wanted to speak to you personally but I was
on the wheelchair brigade and had to keep moving.
Congratulations to you and Miss Arpino - it is very obvious that you love
what you do. God be with you!
With love, Sister Mary Mendum, SSND (57 years professed)
Educating Saints and Scholars, Disciples of Christ and Leaders in the Community
Newsletter for Alumni, Friends, and Families of SMS
The 100th Anniversary
Year in Review
June 2015
While the harsh weather continued right through the month,
things warmed up considerably on March 14th at the Chateau la
Mer in Lindenhurst for the 100th Anniversary Gala that was
attended by over 200 alumni, former teachers and staff, retired
nuns, parents, students, local politicians and invited guests. Later
in the week the school hosted Grandparents Day with each grade
taking the lead in one part of the program. At the end of March, the
Parents Association hosted Long Island’s own Andy Cooney for a
“Night of Irish Song and Dance,” along with classic rock music.
Fr. Charles Mangano and his sister Laurie came Mrs. Michelle Quinn gets a hug from
as part of a night of song and prayer celebrating entertainer Andy Cooney.
the anniversary year of the school.
The school year is winding down and it has been one filled with
memorable events to mark this historic anniversary year. The
festivities began in September with a concelebrated Mass with
Bishop Perez and an Open House for alumni. On a bitter
December evening, St. Mary students sang at the Islip Tree
Lighting Ceremony on the steps of Brookwood Hall. Later in the
month the Performing Arts Club sang holiday songs for the
Christmas Cabaret at Creative Ministries Performing Arts Center
in Oakdale. In January, parents, faculty and students hosted an
open house for Catholic Schools Week. In February, the Parents
Association hosted Fr. Charles Mangano and his sister, Laurie,
who performed a night of song and prayer in the auditorium. In
March, Lois Mills Lannigan and her husband Jerry hosted the
Parent Association St. Patrick’s brunch before the East Islip
Parade. The 50th Annual Parade was memorable on several
counts: the parade grand marshal was St. Mary’s own Fr. Hugh
Cannon and it was the worst snow storm on a parade day in
memory! Everyone made it back alive and, there was hot
chocolate and dessert in Sacred Heart Hall afterward.
St. Mary School children sang on a frigid night at the Christmas TreeLighting at Brookwood Hall
in December.
East Islip St. Patrick’s Parade Grand Marshall Fr. Hugh Cannon huddles with some of
the children before the start of the parade.
In May, the Performing Arts Club presented two performances
Disney’s Little Mermaid, Jr. at the CM Performing Arts Center in
Oakdale. Along with the Cubby Choir (first and second graders),
over 140 students participated in the musical event. The following
week 50 students, five faculty and Mr. Arpino went by bus to
Wilton, CT, to the Mother House of the School Sisters of Notre
Dame, the founders of the school, and performed an abbreviated
version of the musical for the retired sisters. The sisters were moved
by the energy of the students and showed their appreciation with a
bag of homemade cookies for each student. The year will wrap up
on Saturday, July 25 with an alumni barbeque on the school
grounds. We hope to see you there!
On May 15th, 22 seventh and eighth graders were inducted into
the National Junior Honor Society in a mid-day ceremony in the
church presided over by Mr. Arpino and Father Don. “While we’re
so proud of the children’s academic accomplishments,” their
advisor, Ms. Meredith O’Connor said, “membership also reflects
the high standard of character and service to their peers and to the
community that is expected of them. We’re happy to have so many
students strive to become members.” A reception followed in
Sacred Heart Hall for the students, faculty and family.
16 Harrison Avenue, East Islip, NY 11730 - 2391 • 631.581.3423 •
St. Mary School of East Islip Alumni & Friends
June 2015
Student Performance of Little Mermaid Jr. a Hit!
Over 140 children participated in this year’s musical performance of Disney’s Little Mermaid, Jr. The cast takes a final bow at the CM Performing Arts Center in Oakdale.
Grandparents Day at St. Mary ’s
On March 19th, the grandparents of our students were invited to a special
celebration just for them. They enjoyed fine entertainment, songs, dances and
poetry recitations. The 8th graders served coffee, cookies and cupcakes made
by the 7th graders. Grade 6 wrote and recited original and entertaining
Limericks while the 5th grade decorated placemats with special messages
thanking the grandparents for all they do. For a special treat the 3rd and 4th
graders sang the “Grandparents Song” while grades 1 and 2 entertained the
crowd with country line dancing.
The kindergarteners sang their hearts out with “That’s Amore,” and our youngest
entertainers sang a medley of “May There Always be Sunshine,” “Five Little
Monkeys,” “Dinosaur Boogie,” and
“The Rules of the Classroom.” That
was followed by the grandchildren
and the grandparents playing Bingo
The auditorium was alive with
socializing and laughter. Many
thanks to all the grandparents who
came to celebrate and who make
the lives of our children so
Mairead and Matthew Reitzel take a selfie with Grandpa
at Grandparents Day celebration.
The Verdict’s in: Mock Trial Team Wins at SJU
The Mock Trial Team pictured above included (l. to r.) William Lannigan, Matthew Cimaszewski,
Brett Dobert, Carrie-Ann Kraft, Kevin Budveit, Thomas Montchal, Nathaniel Joseph and Patrick
Wright. Standing center is Judge Andrew J. Simons.
St. Mary’s Mock Trial team competed at the Catholic Middle School Mock Trial
Program conducted at St. John’s University on Saturday, May 16, 2015. The team
competed against St. Martin de Porres Marianist School located in Uniondale. Under
the guidance of Mrs. Janet Pirraglia and Mrs. Michele Picardi, the students assumed the
role of prosecution for the state. The opening statement was given by Carrie-Ann Kraft
who presented our case and the main points that would be addressed. The attorneys
were Brett Dobert, Patrick Wright, and Matthew Cimaszewski who delivered the
evidence that was collected through the affidavits of the witnesses, Kevin Budveit,
William Lannigan and Thomas Montchal. Finally, the closing statement was delivered by
Nathaniel Joseph who wrapped up the evidence before the case was given to Judge
Andrew J. Simons, professor and former dean of St. John’s Law school. The team won
their case by proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defense was guilty of the
crime. Congratulations to all who participated in this memorable event!
Educating Saints and Scholars, Disciples of Christ and Leaders in the Community
St. Mary School of East Islip Alumni & Friends
Alumni Spotlight The Sutton/Rowsell/Gillies Family: The Third Generation
June 2015
By Ryan Gillies
(l to r) Andrew Gillies’00, Evan Gillies’97, Ryan Gillies’95, Matthew Rowsell’96, Kristen Rowsell-Garbarnio’97
Since 1958, St. Mary School and Parish have served as the foundation of faith and character for the Sutton Family. James F. and Anne
P. Sutton moved to East Islip from Brooklyn in the late 1950’s and were active parishioners. Jim served as president of the Holy Name
Society, was active in the Knights of Columbus and involved in numerous Church renovation efforts. Anne was active in the Rosary
Altar Society and in St. Mary’s School, as were both of her daughters. In 2011, Elizabeth A. Sutton, ‘67, James D. (Jim) Sutton, ‘68,
and Kathleen M. Sutton, ‘70 were recognized for their generous contributions to St. Mary School and named to the Alumni Hall of
Fame. Elizabeth Sutton-Rowsell and Roy Rowsell sent all four of their children to St. Mary’s--Jamie (Rowsell) DiMinico, ’92, Matthew
Rowsell, ‘95, Kristen (Rowsell) Garbarino, ‘97, and Ashley (Rowsell) Fraccalvieri, ‘02. The Rowsell children went on to attend the
Academy of St. Joseph (Jamie) and St. Anthony’s High School (Matthew, Kristen & Ashley). All four Rowsell children were married in
St. Mary’s Church. Jim and Barbara Sutton moved east and sent their children to Our Lady of the Hamptons, and then to the Academy
of St. Joseph (Meaghan) and St. Anthony’s High School (Jimmy). Kathleen Sutton-Gillies and Robert Gillies sent their three sons, Ryan,
’95, Evan, ‘97 and Andrew, ‘00, to St. Mary School and then on to St. Anthony’s High School.
“St. Mary School has been a wonderful place filled with cherished memories for me”, Jamie Rowsell-DiMinico ’92 said recently. “I
met one of my very closest friends at Pre-K at St. Mary School and we are both proud to send our children there to receive the best
education possible.” Cousin Ryan D. Gillies ’95 agreed, adding “St. Mary School gave me the foundation of faith and knowledge and
taught me how to use kindness and compassion in my everyday life.” His mother, Kathleen Sutton-Gillies ’70, had this to say.“St.
Mary’s is, and always has been, a special part of my life. My earliest memories are at St. Mary School. The education, the values, the
overall feeling of ‘home’ are what make St. Mary’s such a wonderful place.”
The third generation of the Sutton/Rowsell/Gillies family is now in first grade at St. Mary School. Jamie’s oldest, Eamon J. DiMinico,
is enjoying St. Mary’s and just completed his second season in the Cubby Choir! Evan and Lindsay Gillies were married at St. Mary’s
in October 2014 and the next two Gillies brothers will be married at St. Mary’s later this year – Andrew and Melanie in September
and Ryan and Kirstyn in December. Jamie Rowsell DiMinico serves on St. Mary’s School Board and Ryan Gillies takes an active role
on the St Mary School Alumni Committee. The James F. Sutton Insurance Agency (est. 1963) of East Islip continues to generously
support many St. Mary School programs and events as it has for the past 50 years.
All but two pictured in Evan Gillies recent wedding are St. Mary alumni. 1st Row: Jim Sutton, Ryan Gillies, Matt Venturini, Ashley Rowsell-Fraccalvieri, Brian Besmer, Kristen Rowsell-Garbarino, Evan Gillies &
new wife Lindsay McGlone-Gillies, Jamie Rowsell-DiMinico, Kathleen Sutton-Gillies, Elizabeth Sutton-Rowsell, Andrew Gillies, Robert Gillies (St. Martin’s Class of 1970). 2nd Row: Scott Brown, Joseph Daly,
Francesco Mossa, Liam Morrow, Jarett Fonseca, Matt Rowsell, Timothy Morrow, Katie Venturini, Maryanne Incandela, Robert Keating, Daniel Brown.
Newsletter for Alumni, Friends, and Families of SMS
June 2015
Thank you to our sponsors!
Proud Supporters
of St. Mary’s
Parish and School
149 East Main Street
East Islip, NY
Beth Sutton - Rowsell
Licensed Broker Associate
Kathleen Sutton - Gillies
Licensed Broker Associate
Alumni Association Board
Biagio M. Arpino (Principal), Patrick Campbell (PAR), Marianne (Hanford) Coté ’45, Marytheresa Donohue (FAC), Ryan Gillies ’95,
Orla Smyth LoPiccolo (PAR), Scott Sanford’88 (PAR), Lisa Santoro (FAC). Graphic Designer Jennifer Holliday (PAR)
Alumni Association
Non-Profit Org.
Permit No. 6
East Islip, N.Y.
16 Harrison Avenue
East Islip, NY 11730 - 2391
As part of the 100th Anniversary year, we
started our first Annual Fund Campaign.
Alumni, family and friends are invited to
make a gift to ensure the future of our school.
The QR code nearby is another was to make
a secure online gift to St. Mary School. Thank
you for your anticipated support!
1914 - 2014 CELEBRATING 100 YEARS!
A Look Back in Time ...
Sister Christina Marie Murphy and her 48 first-grade students pose for their class photo in March 1966. These children would move on to graduate as the Class of 1973.
Share your vintage photos! Share your St. Mary School history with us!
Mail a copy of your photo to: SMS Alumni Newsletter, 16 Harrison Avenue, East Islip, NY 11730-2391
or email your photos to: [email protected]