School News

Three Southampton High School creative writing students earned top honors in The Independent newspaper’s annual Boo! Short & Scary Contest. The students’ works were selected out of a pool of over 600 entries from across the East End and were published in the Oct. 31 issue. From left, creative writing teacher Tonya Bess-Hodges is pictured with winning students Kyla Culver, Miller Croke, and Asia Cofield. Independent/Courtesy Southampton Union Free School District


Adam Osterweil’s seventh-grade English classes held a “Lego Crash Competition,” an annual tradition. Students were paired up and each team had to build a car made out of 27 Lego pieces. The winners were Wesley Farez, Taylor Atwell, and Sophia Rodriguez. Winning cars are shown in the glass display case in the junior high hallway.

Seventh graders in Mrs. Amicucci’s math classes celebrated a “Mathgiving,” where they had a feast and celebrated their thankfulness for all things math. Seventh graders are also selling $5 raffle tickets for a chance to win a Nintendo Switch. All proceeds go toward the seventh-grade trip to New York City in the spring.

The Halloween candy buy-back results are in: Springs School collected 248 pounds of candy. That is up from last year’s total of 210 pounds. Congratulations to Mrs. McGrath and Mrs. Reiner’s class for collecting the most candy and receiving a lunch party sponsored by the PTA. All candy is sent to troops overseas so they can share it with children there.

Junior high students had a “pajama day” last week. In order to participate, students had to bring in a food donation for the Springs Food Pantry. The Student Council helped gather the food and organized it into neatly packed boxes.


Madison Geldert from Riverhead High School became a member of the National Society of High School Scholars this year.

Madison Geldert from Riverhead High School is now a member of the National Society of High School Scholars, an institution established by the Nobel family of the Nobel prizes. The society recognizes top scholars in the U.S. who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and community commitment.

Fourth graders in the Riverhead Central School District are talking to their peers about antibullying and making a difference as members of the Peacemakers Club, an extracurricular offered at Phillips Avenue and Roanoke Avenue elementary schools.

During the Riverhead Central School District’s Superintendent’s Conference Day on November 6, the educational staff was provided with social-emotional health and wellness training. Throughout the day, Pure Edge Inc. held presentations on educator self-care and the foundational building blocks used to develop a culture of care within the district. In addition, district staff presented workshops on topics ranging from mindfulness and cultural responsiveness to yoga and restorative practice circles. The day’s theme focused on educating the whole child and meeting the diverse needs of all learners.


Students designed and built catapults with Mr. Salzman, then launched them in the school hallways.

The eighth grade will go to New York City to see the award-winning musical Dear Evan Hansen later in the school year. For now, they are learning the song “You Will Be Found.”

Hampton Bays

Thirty-two members of the Hampton Bays High School Leo Club toured the 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York City on November 3.

In its mission to take history out of the textbooks by honoring a local veteran each month of the school year, the Hampton Bays School District is paying tribute to John Lenihan by flying an American flag in his honor throughout the month of November.

“The district is proud to honor Mr. Lenihan for his bravery and service to the United States,” said Superintendent of Schools Lars Clemensen. As part of the annual Veterans Day breakfast and ceremony held November 7 at Hampton Bays Elementary School, fourth-grade students read Lenihan’s biography, spoke about the importance of Veterans Day and sang the songs of the armed forces’ five branches.

Hampton Bays Elementary School students learned the ropes of boot camp from Ron Hurtado and Doug Weinert, members of the nonprofit Airborne Tri Team, on November 8.

Students in first through fourth grade at the elementary school are engaging in science, technology, engineering and math lessons as part of a new STEM Lab program. For one hour each week, the students visit the new space to take part in hands-on, multidisciplinary lessons taught by STEM Lab teacher Jonathan DellaSperanza. Donning a white lab coat, DellaSperanza leads the students in activities that strengthen their standard science curriculum.

For example, first-graders recently investigated sound by experimenting with tuning forks and exploring the differences between wood and metal instruments. Taking these concepts further, fourth-graders tested the sound levels around their school as part of an in-depth sound lab. Meanwhile, second-graders tested Newton’s Laws of Motion using ramps, marbles, and toy cars.

Moving forward, students will have the opportunity to build and code Botley robots and work with a 3D printer.


Southampton High School students participated in a college fair on November 1, where they met with representatives from more than 100 colleges and universities and learned more about financial aid, course offerings and campus life.

In honor of Veterans Day, the Southampton High School Mariner Patriot Club hosted their annual Veterans Appreciation Dinner for more than 50 local veterans on November 6.


Christina Hatzinikolaou of Mattituck was recently initiated into the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest and most selective all-discipline collegiate honor society. Hatzinikolaou is pursuing a degree in Special Education at SUNY Cortland.


SUNY New Paltz student Shannon Colfer of Greenport was part of the cast and crew for the Department of Theatre production of Into the Woods, which opened on November 8 at McKenna Theatre on the New Paltz campus.


In October, both kindergarten classes had a reading and writing workshop parade. This parade helped celebrate all of the hard work and learning the children have done. In writing workshop, the students completed a unit on narrative writing and for reading workshop, the children have been studying how to put pictures and words together, to work with a partner, and to read.

Then in early November, both kindergarten classes visited the Tuckahoe Community Garden and learned about harvesting crops. They helped to harvest carrots that were then served at school lunches.

Compiled by Bridget LeRoy
[email protected]

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