Islip High School Class of 2016Check out this photo the Islip School District shared with us today!

It’s not your average group shot.

What you’re looking at is the Class of 2016’s valedictorian, Amber Yildizel, and its salutatorian, Brian Lithen, along with about 50 of their former teachers, outside the high school

Administrators started this new tradition, what they’re calling “It Takes a District,” just last month.

Every year moving forward, the top two students’ former teachers, including elementary and middle school, will gather to celebrate a communal achievement — and all the years of hard work that goes into helping mold successful students on their way to reaching their full potential.

The event was held the day of commencement.

The idea came about during a conversation between the the high school’s principal, Michael Mosca, and his counterpart at the district’s Wing Elementary School, Christopher Smalley, officials said.

“We were marveling about the number of teachers and administrators, from kindergarten through senior year, that have the opportunity to have an impact on the success of Islip’s students,” Mosca said.

“Dr. Smalley suggested memorializing this great feat by having our valedictorian and salutatorian pose for a picture with all of the teachers and administrators who have played a role in their lives.”

It also have the students a chance to thank all their educators at once, in person.

“When I think all the way back to kindergarten, I have nothing but positive memories of my teachers and classes,” Yildizel said in a statement.

“You all had a part in shaping me and helping me get here, and I don’t know if I can ever thank you enough for always being there, being good teachers, and also being good people and willing to help me and other students outside of class.”


Photo: Valedictorian Amber Yildizel and salutatorian Brian Lithen (center) with all of their prior teachers outside the high school.

(Islip School District courtesy photo)