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School, student growth celebrated

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Photo submitted Amy Hayutin, Lauren Ziccardi and Jenica Schevene are pictured with principal Sam Cox.

The last day of school at North Fork School of Integrated Studies began with a chilly wind blowing out on the chairs and flowers set up outside for the occasion. As the parents seated themselves, the kindergarten and first grade came out with their chairs. Then the sun began to shine warmly. Their teacher, Jenica Schevene, recalled the year in the form of a story, where the children boarded a "boat for an adventure." The boat stopped at "islands" where the highlights of the year came to light. At the end of the story the kindergartners received the blanket they embroidered and the marionette they made as they walked over a little bridge to show that they are leaving kindergarten.

Mark and Carrie Fischer sang a song for all the "beautiful children" and when their daughter went out of her way to kiss her father, there was not a dry eye left in the crowd.

The last day assembly began at 10:30 a.m. with the whole school attending. Sam Cox, the principal of both NFSIS and PES, spoke of the growth and health of the new school and thanked the students for their hard work, the teachers for their dedication and their parents for their support.

Children delighted the audience with presentations of songs, poetry, recorder and violin/cello performances from their daily lessons and Spanish classes. Mentor Thesa Callinicos thanked the teachers, Lauren Ziccardi, Amy Hayutin and Jenica Schevene, for their ability to gently hold and steer a new school in its infancy.

Sam Cox and Thesa Callinicos were both recognized for their respective skills and many efforts and contributions in getting NFSIS off to a good start.

Beautiful flowers were presented to all, thanks to Sally Scheneberger and Kerry Fischer.

"My son said he was sad that school is ending," says Samuela Akert who moved here with her family from Alaska last year to register her children at the NFSIS.

North Fork School of Integrated Studies will have a half day kindergarten and grades 1-6 in the 2017-18 school year.

Appreciation was voiced for the school district's support. NFSIS has grown by a class each year. The school began in 2015 with 24 students in grades K-4 and has grown to 38 this year. Full classes are expected next fall. The school district is seeking a part-time kindergarten teacher with some knowledge of Waldorf education.

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