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Astoria Federal Helps ITHS Students Reach For the S.T.A.R.S.

On Friday, Jan. 14 at the Long Island Marriott, the students enrolled in Career Advantage at Island Trees High School (ITHS), participated in the 5th annual S.T.A.R.S (Students Taking Action for Real Success) Interview Conference made possible through a grant from Astoria Federal Savings.

One hundred 11th and 12th grade students were required to attend the conference for a very different kind of mid-term exam. The S.T.A.R.S Interview Conference is the product of the Island Trees School to Business Partnership headed by the district’s Career Coordinator Carol Siegel, with planning assistance from Astoria Federal Savings Levittown Branch Manager Lois Cornibert, Beth Dalton-Costello of Thomas F. Dalton Funeral Homes and Evelyn Gorelik of ITHS.

Business participant Ann Torcivia of Friends Travel said, “This program helps high school students get ready for the workforce; it teaches them how to do a résumé and an interview.”

“Island Trees Schools Career Advantage is the only class where the students learn how to be prepared for interviews in this highly competitive world. Every student I interviewed was well mannered, well dressed, and well spoken. I was very impressed,” said Pete Ray of AG Electric Supply Company.

The students arrived in business attire with résumé in hand ready to experience an interview among other activities, which included a motivating keynote address by television news anchor Carol Silva of News 12 Long Island.

“I am so impressed by Island Trees’ STARS program. It is one of the best high school classes offered on LI. It prepares the students for the real side of life in a unique way. They learn how to present themselves in the job market - how to write a resume, choose a career and even how dress. I’ve been meeting with the STARS students for years now, and every year they impress me more. Among them this year was Kelly - who I fully expect to see working in a newsroom some day - quite possible along side us at News 12 Long Island,” said anchorwoman Carol Silva.

Each student had a mock interview with a local business professional. The professionals participating in the event were:

John Rezek, and Dr. Charles Murphy of Island Trees Schools

Andrew Alesi, Patricia Donnelly, Michael Carbone, and Gia Schembri of Astoria Federal Bank

Farmingdale State University

Robert Hazelton of New Bridge Employees Assistance Services

Ed Dietze of CAMP Systems International, Inc.

Eleanor Sorrentino of Emblem Health

Frank McKenna, Island Trees Public Library

Lori Frommer of Evins Pest Control

John DiLiberto of Island Drafting and Technical Institute

Fred Form, Accountant

Peter Ray of AG Electrical Supply

Ann Torcivia of Friends Travel

Peter F. Chiacchiaro of New Island Hospital

Theresa Faughnan of Hospital for Special Surgery

Richard Jay Levy of Bangz Hair Salon

The workshop was specifically designed to address the needs and interests of high school students and has proved to be invaluable for ITHS Career Advantage students.

“On Track Skills has participated in the STARS Interview conference for the last several years. We are always impressed with the caliber and motivation of the students – and the commitment of their instructors. This year was no exception,” said Kathy and Ken Walden of On Track Skills, Inc. “We are amazed that more of the Long Island school districts don’t see the enormous potential and good that a program like this can achieve. Any program that gives high school students the tools necessary to get and keep a good job, especially to keep them on Long Island, is an enormous benefit!”

Seaford Public Library Director Frank McKenna, MLS, MPA said, “I am always amazed at the preparation, poise and enthusiasm of the students I ‘interview’ at the STARS conference. In fact, based on the quality of the interviews I have hired several of the same students over the years at the Island Trees Public Library and they all have been fantastic employees. Wish there was such a course when I was a student at Island Trees years ago.”

For more information about the program contact Carol Siegel at (516) 520-2186 or visit