School News

Mattituck-Cutchogue Union Free School District


Cutchogue East Elementary School welcomed volunteers from the Cutchogue and Mattituck fire departments during National Fire Prevention Week to speak with students about the importance of fire prevention and safety.

Students participated in hands-on activities that educated them on multiple safety topics including how to report an emergency by dialing 911, the proper use of a fire extinguisher, and how to avoid a fire in progress and safely exit a home. Students met Sparky the Fire Dog and the Suffolk County Fire Marshal Brett Martinez with his K-9 partner Sasha, trained in accelerant detection.

Jessica Scheer, Class of 2020, was named a commended student in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program. Commended students placed among the top 50,000 scorers from among more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2020 competition by taking the 2018 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship qualifying test.

Mattituck Jr./Sr. High School senior Taylor Montgomery was recognized as one of the 2019-20 Long Island Scholar-Artists, a distinction earned by only 40 high school students across Long Island. Montgomery was nominated for her dedication to helping others using her creative talents to raise awareness of social and emotional issues, including suicide prevention. She was inspired to create a music video on suicide prevention to better reach a teen audience.


For the second time in a month, Peconic Bay Medical Center teamed up with Project Fit America to expand its groundbreaking fitness education program on the East End.

Students at Southold Elementary School are now able to participate in the state-of-the-art program, designed to empower children to take personal responsibility of their health with excitement and enthusiasm. With the program’s equipment and installation gifted from Peconic Bay Medical Center, Southold officially kicked off the launch on-site during a recent school assembly. Joined by trainers from Project Fit America, students demonstrated the fundamentals of the program.

The expansion to Southold comes just weeks after the program debuted at Westhampton Beach Elementary School.

“We are able to bring this crucial curriculum to our schools, ensuring students will have a wonderful opportunity to grow up to be fit and healthy with good habits that begin now,” said Andrew Mitchell, president and CEO of Peconic Bay Medical Center. “The Southold Elementary School location represents the continued partnership between Project Fit America and Peconic Bay Medical Center to honor our commitment to our children and their families.”

Eleanor Whitmore

Daffodil bulbs were planted by parents, children, and staff at the Eleanor Whitmore Early Childhood Center October 26 in an area in front of the center that will become a children’s reading garden in memory of the late Maureen Wikane, a longtime director of the center. The planting followed a successful “buy a bulb, plant a bulb” fundraising campaign. Children were invited to a free pumpkin-decorating event, with pumpkins donated by Balsam Farms.

Sag Harbor

The Sag Harbor Elementary School 2019-20 school year theme is “All Aboard for a Learning Journey.” In a note to students, parents, and the community, third-grade teacher Ginny Kushner explained, “This is about celebrating our children and their amazing learning journey. We are looking forward to sharing some of our adventures and accomplishments as the year progresses.”


Bridgehampton math teacher Kelly Sharp was recognized by the board of education when she was named a tenured teacher. “We are extremely happy to have such a dedicated teacher,” Superintendent of Schools Robert Hauser said. “We look forward to her continued contributions to educating our students and wish her a successful career in our district.”


A week of school spirit activities at Southampton High School ended in a celebratory homecoming parade and football game October 18.

The parade kicked off at Agawam Park and made its way to the Southampton High School football field. Students were decked out in school colors as they paraded to the rhythm of the marching band alongside a float decorated by all four high school classes.

Students, parents, and community members then gathered in the stadium to root for the Mariners as they battled against the Mt. Sinai Mustangs. Cheers also rang out at halftime when Southampton Village police officers Nicholas Acquino and Kyle McGuiness, both Southampton alumni, challenged students to race them in an impromptu 50-yard dash. Out of the 11 students from Southampton and Mt. Sinai who accepted the challenge, Southampton’s Cooper Brindle took the win.

Southampton Director of Athletics Darren Phillips acknowledged the activity as a special moment, saying, “It was a great way for our local officers to engage with our students.”

Four Southampton High School students have been selected to perform in prestigious music festivals based on solo performances at New York State School Music Association adjudications last spring. Grace Carter, a violinist, was named to the New York State School Music Association All-State orchestra, while Lauren Heaney was chosen as an alternate for the All-State chorus. Heaney was also selected to perform with the All-County mixed choir, as was Katherine Ordonez. Isabelle Riffaud was selected for the All-County women’s choir.

Southampton High School senior Kevin Nguyen is the Rotary Club of Southampton’s student of the month for October. Nguyen earned the honor for his dedication to his studies and school community. He is a member of his school’s robotics, model United Nations varsity, and math clubs, and serves as co-president of the outing club. He is also a member of the school’s National Foreign Language Honor Society, Tri-M Music Honor Society, and National Honor Society. Nguyen is also the principal cellist in his school’s pit orchestra and symphony orchestra.


Tuckahoe’s third-grade students took a walking tour of their community. Students were welcomed by the Southampton Post Office, Southampton Village Police Department, Southampton Fire Department, and Southampton Arts Center. At each location, students received a tour of the facility as well as information on how each organization contributes to the community. Students even met artist Michael Paraskevas at the Southampton Arts Center and receive a personalized tour of his current exhibit.

Hampton Bays

The kindergartners in June Eaton’s class at Hampton Bays Elementary School have been exploring the life cycle of pumpkins. Along with watching videos, reading books, and creating posters on the topic, they created 3D pumpkin models using paper bags, orange paint, and pipe cleaners. Their lesson culminated with a trip to Hank’s Pumpkintown October 18.

The students in Michelle Racywolski’s class at Hampton Bays Elementary School recently constructed apple volcanoes by combining baking soda and vinegar in holes dug out of the fruits by their teacher. The seasonally-appropriate science lesson included a study of the parts of the apple and different dishes that apples can be found in. The lesson will culminate with a trip to Milk Pail farm to pick apples and pumpkins.

Hampton Bays Middle School students, administrators, and staff wore a wide variety of hats to school as part of a builder’s club fundraiser for the Heavenly Hats Foundation October 11.

Overseen by builder’s club advisor Joan Moran, participants donated $1 to wear their hat to school, collectively raising $150 for the cause. The Heavenly Hats Foundation will apply the funds toward purchasing hats for cancer patients who are going through treatment and/or have lost their hair.

Westhampton Beach

Thanks to the Southampton Town PBA and Kait’s Angels, Westhampton Beach Elementary School now has a buddy bench. The new bench, which sits on the school’s playground, aims to foster friendship among students. It was officially presented to the school October 18 during a schoolwide assembly, where student council members spoke of its importance.

Although Westhampton Beach High School had to cancel its annual homecoming parade due to ongoing construction on Main Street, school spirits weren’t dampened. Instead of a parade, the school’s student government hosted a successful battle of the classes that raised money for its annual holiday Adopt-A-Family program.

“It was such a success that we hope to keep it going in the future,” said student council co-advisor Dariah Luciano.

Held October 21, the battle featured several events for freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors, including a field goal competition, a tic-tac-toe relay, cornhole, musical chairs, a three-legged race, a 4 x 200 relay, tug of war, and other field day-type events. Students paid $20 each for a shirt and to participate. In total, $350 was raised for Adopt-A-Family. Participants also brought nonperishable goods that were donated to the Ronald McDonald House.

Students in environmental and marine science classes at Westhampton Beach High School participated in a “day in the life of a river” project October 18 at Squire Pond in Hampton Bays. While on the field trip, students collected data on biodiversity and water quality as part of a multiyear study by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the nonprofit Peconic Baykeeper. They gained hands-on field techniques as they collected samples of water and invertebrates and examined the physical and chemical aspects of the river.

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