When the opening bell rings at J. Taylor Finley Middle School on Wednesday, September 6, classrooms will be flooded with more than 700 seventh and eighth graders and faculty and staff members will be ready to hit the proverbial ground running.
“We are excited to begin the new school year,” longtime Principal John Amato said. “This year we will continue our one-to-one device plan where every student receives a computer to use for the year. Teachers will continue their training toward becoming proficient in using technology to engage students and enhance the classroom learning environment.”
Finley is prepped to accommodate every students who will be studying in the building this year. An extensive extracurricular club and athletic program is also available along with 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.
J. Taylor Finley Middle School is ready
for the new year. (Darin Reed photo)
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 as soon as students take their seats.
“We spent many hours last year with the teachers on creating a new experience for students in the areas of human relations, team-building and community-building,” Mr. Amato said. “This year we will put the plan into practice. We will set aside one day for each academic team throughout the year called ‘Human Relations Day.’ It will be a day on which we have various activities and discussions centered on human relations. The staff and I agreed that we needed to improve our character education experiences for our students. We are excited about this plan and can’t wait to get started.
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 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.