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Cherokee Street Elementary School

130 Cherokee Street
Ronkonkoma, NY 11779-4600
Principal: Jill Lahey
Assistant Principal: Patricia Murthy



Back to School Night Schedule

Grades K - 2 6:00 - 6:30pm
Special Area and Support Staff, PTA Meet & Greet - 6:30 - 7:30pm
Grades 3 - 5 7:30 - 8:00pm



Our Mission

The mission of the Cherokee Street

School is to bring child and community

together to create a safe and caring

learning environment where each

individual can reach his/her maximum

potential and achieve his/her personal



Belief Statement

We believe that…

Community involvement is paramount.
Learning occurs in all facets of life.
Individuals can grow into good and respectful citizens.
Maximum potential should be emphasized.
Best efforts are essential from all.

Current News

Recognizing Autism Awareness Month

Recognizing Autism Awareness Month

In recognition of Autism Awareness Month, staff and students from Cherokee Street Elementary School recently wore blue-colored outfits and focused on lessons that celebrated the unique qualities that all individuals bring to the school community.

Due to the efforts of speech and language pathologist Nicole Bren and Cherokee students, a beautiful art piece featuring puzzle pieces stating “I am unique because…” was put on display in the school hallway. Students contributed their creative talents to come up with myriad reasons why they themselves are unique. 

Additionally, throughout the month of April, the school will be accepting monetary donations to benefit the Special Olympics. 

Celebrating the Colonial Era

Celebrating the Colonial Era
The fourth-grade classes at Cherokee Street Elementary School recently celebrated “Colonial Day,” as the students mimicked the lives of Americans living in the era. During the course of the past month, students researched different trades of the time, including ship building, farming and smiting by using resources made available in the school library in an effort to prepare reports they could share with the classmates and visiting parents. As an additional twist, the students got into character by dressing in costumes showcasing the clothing styles of the period, as girls were able to make their own “mob cap bonnets,” while the boys wore “tricorn hats.” 

Survey Says, ‘Let’s Have Some Fun!’


On the evening of March 20, staff members, students and their families gathered within the Cherokee Street Elementary School cafeteria as the school hosted their annual “Faculty Feud” event in the style of the popular “Family Feud” game show.

Prior to the start of the game, the survey questions utilized were answered by the third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students of Cherokee. The competing teams consisted of teachers, parents, office staff and Principal Jill Lahey as they answered the survey-style questions in hopes of picking the top answers for each category. 

The district congratulates all of the evening’s participants – “The Good Sports,” consisting of Mrs. Lahey, Mrs. Francess, Mrs. Leo, Mrs. Lagravinese, Mr. Mike; “The Dynamic Duo’s,” featuring Mrs. Litchhult, Mrs. Suarez, Mrs. Campanella, Ms. Skahill, Mrs. O’Connell and Mrs. Meade; “PTA T-Birds,” with a lineup of Mrs. DeSiano, Mrs. Martin, Mrs. Widing, Mrs. Beisel and Mrs. Miller; and “Sesame Street,” rounded out by Mrs. Bren, Mrs. Raimondi, Mrs. Gallo, Mrs. Valenti and Mrs. Mongiello. By the end of the final round, the “PTA T-Birds” were declared the winners of this year’s event. 

The district would also like to thank Assistant Principal Patricia Murthy and her son, Joshua Murthy, for coordinating the game, recruiting the players and coming up with the survey questions. 

Treasure Hunters

Treasure Hunters photo

Third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students from Cherokee Street Elementary School recently got in touch with their inner “Indiana Jones” by participating in “The History Mystery” Library Adventure, right from the comfort of the school’s library.

With assistance from library media specialist Kathy Lopergalo and PTA Cultural Arts Representative Stephanie Clarelli, the students worked as a team with the ultimate goal in mind of finding the missing “historical artifact” hidden within the room. 

During their time spent in the library, the treasure hunters discovered concealed clues, solved riddles and followed trails shrouded in mystery. Additionally, the students built upon their observational and research skills, as they worked as a team to solve the multitude of riddles presented before them in the form of decoder cards, code charts and clue cards.

The Benefits of Place-Based Learning


Fourth-and fifth-grade students from Cherokee Street Elementary School were recently visited by student teachers from Adelphi University in an effort to engage in and reinforce place-based education lessons.

“The heart of place-based education is to extend students’ learning experiences beyond the classroom setting, expanding into the schoolyard and surrounding community,” said fourth-grade teacher Sandra Fantauzzi.

Students who have participated in these place-based lessons have worked closely with Mrs. Fantauzzi to plant and care for a native-plant garden, monitor the migration patterns of the school courtyard’s monarch butterfly population, and report the migration patterns and behaviors of bird populations through the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Project FeedWatch citizen-science project. 

Mrs. Fantauzzi, along with the Adelphi University student-teachers, are currently preparing to present the benefits of a place-based education at an upcoming education conference, “Northern Lights: Illuminating Norwegian Culture, Environment and School Connections” in Tromso, Norway. During this time, they will be visiting schools in Norway to see how the place-based education philosophy is being applied at the elementary and secondary levels. Mrs. Fantauzzi plans to share her experience in Norway when she returns from her adventure.