When the first bell rings at J. Taylor Finley Middle School on Wednesday, September 5, classrooms will be crowded with about 700 seventh and eighth graders. Faculty and staff members will be ready to hit the proverbial ground running.
“I hope everyone is having a great summer vacation,” said Mr. Amato is a message last week to the Finley community. “I want to welcome all of our new families and students to Finley and welcome back our eighth graders. We are almost finished preparing for opening day on September 5.”
Students and their parents are invited to visit Finley on Thursday, August 30. Seventh graders will be welcomed between 9-11 a.m. and eighth graders can stop by between 12-2 p.m. Students are being asked to bring their schedules, which contain their locker assignments, academic teams and guidance counselor’s name. Student schedules were posted online last Thursday.
“As for school supplies, parents may begin to buy notebooks, pens, pencils, etc.,” said Mr. Amato, who is assisted by Kenneth Parham. “All students will be receiving Chromebook devices and many teachers are transitioning to electronic class notes and assignments through Google Classroom, but several notebooks will still be needed.”
Finley is prepped and well equipped to accommodate every student that will be studying in the building this year. An extensive extracurricular club and athletic program is also available along with fall and spring intramurals.
Facilities staff workers have cleaned and polished every space in the building during the summer months. All classrooms are outfitted with the equipment and supplies teachers need to deliver their lessons. Several upgrades have been made to the building’s infrastructure.
Mr. Amato said the groundwork has been laid for a successful experience for every student in the building. Teachers have been filtering into the school and setting up their rooms over the past two weeks. Instruction will be delivered on Wednesday shortly after students take their seats.
The Finley student handbook and a list of important dates are both posted on the district website at www.hufsd.edu. Printed copies of the handbook will be distributed to students.
Principal John Amato
Mr. Amato has been Finley’s principal since July 2006 after having served as assistant principal at Sayville Middle School for six years. He earlier worked as a seventh and eighth grade special education teacher in the Sachem school district, where he began his administrative career as a remedial summer school assistant principal.
A 1986 graduate of St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue with a Bachelor of Arts degree in human relations and a concentration in leadership and human resources development and management, Mr. Amato obtained a Master of Science degree in special education at Adelphi University in 1989. He earned his administrative certification through The College of New Rochelle in 1999.
Mr. Amato maintains membership in various professional organizations and serves as president of Huntington’s District School Principals Association. He is also one of the most highly regarded boys’ basketball referees on Long Island.
In their free time, Mr. Amato and his wife enjoy sailing on Long Island’s South Shore and visiting with family and friends. He can frequently be seen attending events across the school district and in the community.