School News


Southampton High School seniors Laura Lubbe and Haley Dressler recently read to the second-grade students of Jessica Hamill’s class. Independent/Southampton School District

Southampton High School seniors Laura Lubbe and Haley Dressler recently read to students in Jessica Hamill’s second grade class.

The seniors, who had both been taught by Hamill in elementary school, read Julia Sarcone-Roach’s “There Are No Bears in This Bakery” and Betty Paraskevas’s “Monster Beach.”

Southampton High School National Honor Society members set up a senior prom for local senior citizens on June 6. The event included dancing, light refreshments, and student musical performances.

The school district held celebrations in all of its cafeterias to mark the culmination of its two-year farm-to-school grant on June 13.

As part of the commemoration, students were served a meal of fresh local foods, including grain- and grass-fed all-beef hot dogs and hamburgers, local spinach and kale, apples from Milk Pail Fresh Market, local strawberries and yogurt, and North Fork chips.

The $98,000 grant was awarded to Southampton in 2016, allowing the district to partner with the Bridgehampton and Tuckahoe school districts to enhance its farm-to-school initiative.

Southampton Elementary School’s music department was presented with an Elementary School of Excellence in Music Education Award from the Suffolk County Music Educators’ Association at a ceremony on June 14 at the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead.

Southampton earned the award for its vast musical offerings, including Suzuki violin, band, guitar club, and orchestra.

The Southampton Business Alliance announced provided scholarships to rising juniors and seniors who will attend ESBOCES Career & Tech Ed programs for the building trades during a press conference on June 24 at Hampton Bays High School.

The SBA will cover the cost for 18 students from Hampton Bays, Westhampton Beach, and Southampton School districts who pursue trades such as carpentry, HVAC, plumbing and heating, and electrical during the 2019-2020 school year.


Students in grades three through five at the Bridgehampton School recently created a poster listing the reasons they are thankful for the school’s crossing guard, Ed Czaplinksi. Independent/Bridgehampton School District

Bridgehampton third graders recently took a walking trip to the Town of Southampton’s Highway Department’s Bridgehampton “Barn” to learn about the community and how it is kept safe and clean.

Students wore safety gloves, hard hats, and vests to collect garbage along the route. They received a demonstration lesson on safety and sat in different equipment, including a bulldozer, sidewalk sweeper, and plow truck. They learned different activities such as hammering, shoveling, digging, and how to use a screwdriver. Highway Superintendent Alex Gregor provided ice cream as a special treat to thank the students for their help.

Students in grades three through five recently created a poster listing the reasons they are thankful for the school’s crossing guard, Ed Czaplinksi.

Several Bridgehampton Students recently participated at the New York State School Music Association state competition.

Sarah Kapon, Sergio Lazaro, Avery McCleland, Adrian Molina, Luna Paucar, Joe Penafiel, Luis Penafiel, Jonah Posner, Constantine Reilly, Citaly Trinidad, Scott Vinski, and Kris Vinski all participated under the guidance of music teacher David Elliott.

The school celebrated a Student of the Month and Summer Reading Program assembly, where students Kai Alversa, Jeremiah Carston, Rubi Cruz, Rylee Fitzgerald, Viebianna Hernandez, Edgar Huacon, Emilia Huacon, Citaly Trinidad, and Kate Vinski were recognized for dedication to their schoolwork.


Tuckahoe held its 2019 LongHouse Student Annual on June 20.

Students who visited the LongHouse Reserve during academic field trips were invited to participate in the LongHouse Student Annual. The students, guided by art teacher Barbara Imperiale, interpreted their visits into art that mixed fashion design, graphic design, mixed media, painting, ceramics, and more. The school entered the LongHouse science connection category with two unique STEAM projects and took first place.

Hampton Bays

Students at Hampton Bays Elementary School recently paid tribute to veteran Jackie McKay during a Flag Day ceremony on June 14. Independent/Hampton Bays School District

The Hampton Bays School District is paying tribute to U.S. Air Force veteran Jackie McKay by flying an American flag in her honor throughout the month of June as part of its mission to honor a local veteran each month of the school year.

The American flag was raised during a Flag Day ceremony at the elementary school on June 14, where second graders read McKay’s biography and sang several patriotic songs.

McKay was born in Nassau County, moved to North Sea, and graduated from Southampton High School. McKay was drawn to joining the Air Force due to her love of her country and sense of patriotism. She was sent to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antiono, Texas, where her brother, Scott, was also stationed as an airman.

McKay was transferred to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, where she worked with B52s, which she said was one of her proudest accomplishments, and KC110s. McKay was recognized as Squadron Airman of the Month twice and was nominated as Airman of the Base.

After the Air Force, McKay settled back on the East End and later worked in the Town of Southampton courts system. As a veteran, she supports both the Hampton Bays American Legion and the Westhampton Dunes post.

Hampton Bays High School has named Christina Coulton, left, its valedictorian. Ava Bianchi is the class salutatorian. A photo in last week’s Independent reversed the order of their ranking. Independent/Hampton Bays School District

Hampton Bays High School recognized senior athletes for their dedication to athletics and academics with scholarship and awards at the Hampton Bays Booster Club’s annual awards dinner on June 5.

Ava Bianchi and Patricio Pulla received the Doc Fallot Memoiral Scholarship Award, Sean Noonan and Maryrose O’Connell received the Hampton Bays Athletic Spirit Scholarship, Kevin Eras Calle and Sarah Fassino received the Baymen Pride Award, Christina Coulton and Gavin Grismer received the Scholar-Athlete Award, and Kevin McNamara and Rachel Reycroft received the John J. Pizarelli All-Around Award.

Hampton Bays Middle School fifth graders presented their environmental research on a variety of topics at the school’s first Environmental Expo on June 19.

The expo showcased projects related to climate change, global warming, the extinction of the leopard population, glass versus plastics, sea turtles, and toxic fish in the waters. The expo also featured local environmental organizations.

Westhampton Beach

Westhampton Beach High School students in Dianne Gobler’s science class observed surgeons from Saint Barnabas Medical Center in New Jersey perform a kidney transplant on June 11.

Made possible through the Liberty Science Center, the virtual experience allowed the students to ask questions and hear from the surgeons, similar to the observations regularly done by medical students.

Westhampton Beach Elementary School was announced the recipient of a fitness grant from Peconic Bay Medical Center and Project Fit America on June 11. Through the grant, the school will receive teacher training, lesson plans, and new indoor and outdoor fitness equipment.


Pulaski Street Elementary School students participated in Brookhaven National Laboratory’s annual Elementary Science Fair Competition in May. The Riverhead students worked both independently and with classmates on projects that explored a range of topics, from bubbles and slime to erosion, blood sugar, and caffeine.

Pulaski Street Elementary School students in Jaimie Draskin’s fifth grade class had an author’s reception in their classroom on June 12.

The students showcased their writing skills by reading excerpts from their writing portfolios, which included memoirs, book reviews, and dedications to an audience of family and friends.

More than 400 string student musicians in the Riverhead Central School District performed at the district’s annual Night of 1000 Strings on June 11.

The event featured fourth through 12th-grade students across the district.

Riverhead High School freshman Jazmine Kasprzyk was recently hand-picked, based on a portfolio submission, to attend the New York State Summer School of the Arts Visual Arts Program at SUNY Fredonia.

During the month-long program, she will have the opportunity to expand her artistic talents by taking classes in drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, and mixed media. She will also earn a full high school credit.

Graduation Scholarship Awards

The 2019 AIA Peconic Anthony DiSunno Scholarship Committee recently selected this year’s scholarship winners.

AIA Peconic, a chapter of the American Institute of Architects, gives the scholarship to support the development of aspiring young architects. AIA Peconic gives $7500 in merit and financial aid scholarships to several applicants enrolled in a course of architectural study at an accredited school of architecture.

The five students who received AIA Peconic/Anthony DiSunno Scholarships are Eitan Albukrek of East Hampton High School, Christian Demchak of Mattituck High School, Leo Ellis of Bishop McGann – Mercy High School, Nicholas Kolb of Hampton Bays High School, and Zane Musniki of East Hampton High School.

Aviation Recognized For Flying Solo

Students from the Aviation Program at Bixhorn Technical Center were recently honored at a pinning ceremony for completing either their first solo flight or getting their private pilot certificate by the end of the year.

Aviation and Private Pilot Training, one of several programs offered by the Eastern Long Island Academy of Applied Technology at Suffolk BOCES.

Twelve students were honored for completing their first solo flight, and another two received their private pilot certificate. Two students, Julia Bonafede of Rocky Point High School and Derek Coppola of Westhampton Beach High School, received the Louis Mancuso Sr. Aviation Scholarship, which is a $1000 scholarship from Mid Island Air Service that is awarded to Long Island high school seniors with a love of aviation. Coppola also received a $1000 alumni grant for furthering his education at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

More from Our Sister Sites