School News

Southampton High School French students recently look an educational trip to Quebec City, where they experienced its rich cultural offerings, enjoyed winter sports, and visited the nearby Huron-Wendat Nation community. Independent/Southampton School District


Southampton teacher Christina Cassel earned a scholarship to attend the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference this summer. Independent/Courtesy Southampton School District

Southampton Intermediate School family and consumer sciences teacher Christina Cassel is the recipient of the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture’s $1500 White-Reinhardt Scholarship, which will allow her to attend the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in Little Rock, AK, this June.

Cassel has taught eighth graders at the school for the past four years. The daughter of East End dairy and poultry farmers, Cassel studied food service and management and culinary arts at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI. A supporter of organic and local farming, Cassel has taught her students how to grow food in the school’s garden and use those foods in culinary dishes.

The Southampton School District and the East End Farm to School Project were awarded the Farm to School Partnership Award for finding creative ways to obtain and receive local farm products for integration into the meal programs at Southampton, Bridgehampton, and Tuckahoe school districts.

“This award is a testament to the hard work put in by the Southampton School District’s food services director, Regan Kiembock, and her team, who work tirelessly to provide our students with fresh and healthy local foods,” Nicholas Dyno, the superintendent of schools, said.

Southampton was previously recognized for collaborating with local farms in 2008 and awarded a $98,000 farm-to-school grant in 2016, which allowed it to partner with the Bridgehampton and Tuckahoe school districts to enhance the farm-to-school initiative.

The grant allowed the school to provide healthier meals for the 700 to 800 students who buy lunch every day, as well as educate students about healthy options. Because of the farm-to-school work, the district is offering burgers made from grain and grass-fed cows to students and has been holding monthly tastings where students sample local foods in culinary dishes, including gingered carrots, apple salads, and butternut squash mac and cheese. The district has also provided specialty chef and vegetarian training to its cafeteria staff.

Southampton High School students will perform “Mamma Mia!” on Friday, February 8, at 7 PM and on Saturday, February 9 at 2 PM. The performance, with a 26-member cast, features songs from the Swedish pop group ABBA. Director Jim Tartaglia chose the production because he felt it would encourage more students to get involved with the school’s theater arts program. Tickets to the show are free.


Southampton Town Police Officer Eugene LaFurno visited the Bridgehampton prekindergarten class recently. Independent/Courtesy Bridgehampton School District

Bridgehampton prekindergarten students spent time with Eugene LaFurno, a Southampton Town police officer, to learn more about being a community helper. LaFurno read “Police Officer,” a book from the popular Busy People series for young children, to the students. He shared the responsibilities of being in the police force, how he solves problems in the community, and answered questions about his profession.


The Montauk Public School and Concerned Citizens of Montauk partnered to present the 2019 Montauk School Science Fair on January 25. More than 100 student projects were evaluated and scored by a panel of 18 judges representing the Montauk community and regional environmental organizations, including the Peconic Estuary Program, the Nature Conservancy, South Fork Natural History Museum, and Peconic Baykeeper.

The winners will be honored at a school ceremony this month. All seventh and eighth-grade winners are eligible to advance to the Long Island Science Congress regional competition, and the third through sixth-grade winners are eligible to advance to the Elementary Science Fair at Brookhaven National Lab.


Tuckahoe eighth graders recently played the stock market game. Thayer Schwartz earned the largest profits by investing in Chipotle and other companies. Mallory Corwith and Brandon Perez also had high earnings, investing in Netflix, while Jessica Rojas had notable returns with Apple, Nike, and Disney.

Eleanor Whitmore Early Childhood Center

The Eleanor Whitmore Early Childhood Center received a matching grant of $25,000 to continue its pilot program centered on social-emotional assessments and direct instruction and engagement to help each of the center’s young students gain social kills. Fundraising is under way to raise the additional $25,000 needed to maintain the services of school psychologist Sherri DuRussell, who
began work at the center this month.

DuRussell will lead group activities for prekindergarten students and will work in the toddler and 3-K classrooms alongside staff.

Westhampton Beach

Westhampton Beach Elementary School hosted a “Journeys into American Indian Territory” program for the fourth grade on January 23.

The PTA-sponsored event allowed students to learn more about the life and history of Native Americans by exploring artifacts in a museum set up in the school’s gymnasium. The items included Native American clothing, dolls, pottery, and a replica of a longhouse.

Four fifth-graders recently learned about journalism as part of Newsday’s Kidsday section. Jasmine Taylor, Jessilynn Trinh Katherine Ralph, and Hailey Groth interviewed Jace Norman, the star of the Nickelodeon show “Henry Danger.” Their article was published in the January 18 issue of Kidsday.


The Riverhead Central School District paid tribute to two hometown heroes at its regular board meeting on January 22.

The district honored PFC Garfield Langhorn and Taliyah Moore, a high school student.

Riverhead High School ROTC presented the colors in honor of Langhorn, who fought in the Vietnam War and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Moore, who has overcome adversity, recently earned a Transformative Educational Development Services AABLE Award. Moore volunteers at her local church, where she is also involved in two choirs, and is a junior volunteer for Riverhead’s Butterfly Effect Project. The board presented her with a certificate of recognition for her hard work.

Riverhead High School’s Gay-Straight Alliance Club also earned a $500 grant from the LGBT Network. The club earned the grant by proposing to bring teenagers together from across Suffolk County. The club will use the funds to host a Unity Dance on March 22 at Riverhead High School for members of Gay-Straight Alliance clubs in Suffolk County schools.


Mattituck High School students visited first and second graders at Cutchogue East Elementary School to practice the skills they are learning in a public speaking class.

Several students read the book “Enemy Pie” by Derek Munson and engaged elementary students in a discussion about the story and its message. The students encouraged the story’s lesson about the importance of trying to make new friends and finding things in common to share.

Submitted by local schools

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