A sea of blue and orange shirts and jerseys filled the gymnasium of West End Elementary School on Nov. 14 as administrators, PTA members, students and staff gathered for a special assembly from the New York Islanders. Goalie Jaroslav Halak, defenseman Dennis Seidenberg and center Alan Quine visited the school to speak about their family life, passion for hockey, teamwork and trying your best.
The school was selected thanks to one of the school’s PTA vice presidents, Christine Doran, who submitted an application online to the New York Islanders which highlighted the school’s work around the community and why the students would benefit from the assembly. The players sat at a decorated table in the front of the gymnasium and shared some insight on life as professional hockey players.
“It’s important to work as a team,” said Quine. “I think everything gets achieved better when you can work as a team and help each other out.”
The players also spoke about respecting others and taking care of yourself. They stressed the importance of eating right and getting the proper amount of sleep. Students asked the players questions at the end of the assembly, which included learning more about their daily routines, rigorous practice and game schedules, how they relieve stress and how it feels to win a game.
Following the question session, students had the special opportunity to meet the players and get their autographs.
“I just feel that the students were reminded of how they should act in the world…being respectful, working hard at their goals, just being a good and decent human being,” said Principal Dr. Cindy Lee. “I think that the Islanders reminded them that whatever they set their mind to, they can achieve as long as they keep all of those things in mind. The skies the limit.”