School News

Last week was “2018 Red Ribbon Week” at Montauk Public School, celebrating the theme “Life is a journey — Kindness begins with me.” Montauk School social studies teacher Billy Barbour joined five students in presenting the story of their recent trip to a remote area of Nicaragua for buildOn, to “work side-by-side with villagers in one of the poorest countries on the planet to build a school and bring hope through education.”
Amanda Merrow, co-founder of Amber Waves Farm, spoke of her passion for proper nutrition and food sources. Bill Hoffmann told of his life journey from forest ranger to pastor of Montauk Community Church and emergency medical technician for the Montauk Fire District. Chris Smith and his organization, Waves For Water, want to be sure that everyone on Earth has clean water to drink. He demonstrated a simple, small tool that can turn sludge into potable water. Independent/Richard Lewin

Westhampton Beach

The Westhampton Free Library recognized Westhampton Beach preschooler Nora Niles on October 17 for reaching a reading milestone. With the help of her family, Nora read 1000 books as part of the library’s literacy program, One Thousand Books Before Kindergarten. She was honored with a certificate of recognition. She is pictured with Library Director Danielle Waskiewicz (left) and Children’s Librarian Marie Yervasi (right). Independent/Courtesy Westhampton Free Library

Hurricane pride was abundant as the Westhampton Beach School District celebrated homecoming during the week of October 15.

The spirit week festivities included thematic days leading up to the annual parade on October 19, where the freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior classes marched down Main Street to display their city-themed floats. The Friday celebration continued as the Westhampton Beach Hurricanes took to the field for a night game against Miller Place High School. The crowd, dressed in green and white, cheered as the home team claimed a shutout victory with a final score of 41-0.

Westhampton Beach Elementary School third-graders will participate in the Great Pumpkin Parachute Plunge Challenge on Thursday, November 1.

This is a lesson on forces and motion. The students will learn how two forces, gravity and air resistance, affect the rate of descent. Placed into groups, they have to construct a three-dimensional pumpkin out of paper. Then, they are given a list of materials to choose from to design before making their parachute. Head custodian, Mr. Jones, will be dropping the pumpkins that are attached to the parachutes from the roof one at a time. The team’s parachute with the slowest rate of descent is the challenge winner.

As part of a yearlong initiative, the Westhampton Free Library honored Westhampton Beach High School juniors Julie-Anna Stollow and Samantha Biondi as its October community heroes during a regular board meeting on October 17. The pair was selected for the honor by the library’s teen department.

“Both Julie-Anna and Samantha truly care about making a positive difference,” said library director Danielle Waskiewicz. “We are delighted to honor them.”

The girls volunteer at the library on a regular basis, participating in various community-service activities offered by the library. Among their charitable efforts, they have made blankets for shelter animals and designed duct-tape pencil pouches for elementary school students in need.

“It really is fun to help at the
library and do something for my community,” said Stollow.


Novelist and East End resident Marijane Meaker visited the Bridgehampton School community to discuss Gentlehands, her 1978 young adult novel featuring mystery and romance and set in the Hamptons in the 1970s. Often referred to as a literary pioneer and also known as M.E. Kerr, the author of more than 60 books shared her craft, inspiration, and research ideas with Tom House’s ninth-grade students who read the book before her visit.

It’s pumpkin carving season in Bridgehampton! First-graders had assistance with carving their treasures from Gabrielsen’s Country Farm from eighth graders and staff members.

Fourth graders continue with their scientific experimentation as they study natural hazards. In a lesson on learning to reduce the impact of naturally occurring phenomena, they used a simulation game to develop the land of a coastal city and the barriers used to protect their community. In another hands-on lesson, they created a tsunami model and tested how the energy of these powerful waves affect land when they approach.

By using the scientific inquiry, second-graders experimented with liquids and gases. Their planning, predicting, testing and data collection on the states of matter helped them determine how much liquid dish soap to use to create a large bubble.


Southampton High School senior Riplee Mercer was recognized by the Rotary Club of Southampton as the Rotary Student of the Month for October.

Mercer earned the honor for her dedication to her studies and her school community. Along with being an AP Scholar, she is a member of the school’s National Honor Society and National Foreign Language Honor Society. A devoted athlete, she captains the cross-country and winter and spring track teams. She is also an avid swimmer and works on various environmental projects.

In the fall, she plans to attend college to pursue a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies.


The members of the Riverhead High School LGBA were honored to accept a proclamation from the Riverhead Town Board on October 17. The proclamation officially recognized October 11 as Coming Out Day in the Town of Riverhead. It is the first time that the town board has recognized National Coming Out Day, a designated LGBT awareness day.

Hampton Bays

Hampton Bays High School Science Research students volunteered to seed 28,600 clams into local waters on October 17, as part of their efforts to improve the ecosystem.

The initiative, which connects learning to the local environment, was conducted in collaboration with the Shinnecock Bay Restoration Program. The program was established in 2012 to improve water quality by populating the bays with hard clams, which assist in filtering thousands of gallons of water.

This is the sixth time that Science Research teacher Dr. Stephanie Forsberg has involved her students in the restoration program. To date, students have seeded more than 180,000 clams into area waterways. “Our students had the unique experience of working collaboratively while giving back to our local community and ecosystem,” said Dr. Forsberg.

EEDA Family Advocacy Meeting

East End Disability Associates’ next Family Advocacy meeting has been scheduled for Thursday, November 8. Light refreshments will be served at 6 PM, followed by the meeting at 6:30 PM at The Greek Orthodox Church of the Hamptons, 111 Saint Andrews Road in Southampton. This meeting will be held at the same time as EEDA’s Autumn Fling, also taking place at the Greek Church.

The Family Advocacy meeting will feature a special presentation by and discussion with James Traylor, president of Upstate Special Needs Planning.

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