School News

Westhampton Beach Elementary School took part in National Fire Prevention Week. Independent/Courtesy Westhampton Beach Union Free School District

East Hampton

East Hampton student Wells Woolcott dedicated time auditioning to gain a part in local, district, and state music honor ensembles. Now, Woolcott will join the “best of the best” for the National Association for Music Education 2019 All-National honor ensembles November 7 to 10 at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Orlando.

He is a member of the school’s men’s choir and select chamber choir, and has consistently been involved in the New York State School Music Association solo festival, the Hampton Music Educators Association and Suffolk County Music Educators’ Association festival choirs, the Tri-M Music Honor Society, and the high school theater program. His musical honors include participation in American Choral Directors Association’s 2017 national honor choir and 2018 regional honor choir, NYSSMA’s 2018 All-State honor choir, National Association for Music Education’s 2019 regional honor choir, and the upcoming 2020 national honor choir, as well as ACDA’s 2020 regional honor choir.

Sag Harbor

On October 4, the Drug Free All-Stars basketball team kicked off its 15th and final season at Pierson Middle School. The group, which is based in West Virginia, is made up of members from businesses, community groups, media, law enforcement, and professional sports that are committed to helping students make positive choices and stay away from drugs and alcohol. Then they listened to the All-Stars’ inspirational stories before watching Pierson teachers and parents hold their own against the stars.

The All-Stars visit was made possible by Pierson Middle School Principal Brittany Carriero, program director of Human Understanding and Growth Seminars, Inc. Kym Laube, athletic director Eric Bramoff, and his wife Brooke, the new coordinator for community coalition SAFE in Sag Harbor.

“The students have a positive response to guests who can relate to them on their level,” Carriero said. “We certainly had fun, but ultimately, they walked away with yet another example of a role model who faced difficult situations and chose a healthy and happy path.”

Sag Harbor art teacher Meg Mandell recently worked with eighth graders to help them create a Whaler pride mural. “I thought this was a perfect project given the focus on the Pierson homecoming and back-to-school open houses in September,” Mandell said.

The students first worked with a partner to draw and paint whales and ships, and then created their name in nautical flags to complete the scene. The mural is currently on display in the Pierson Middle School.


Bridgehampton elementary students enjoyed the festivities of autumn at Hank’s Pumpkintown in Water Mill, allong with kindergarten teachers Elizabeth Kirwan and Hillary Rewinski. Their visit included learning about growing pumpkins and a narrated wagon ride through the scenic farm, followed by a venture into the patch to pick their own pumpkins. They ended the visit exploring and enjoying the farm’s playground.

On October 5, the Bridgehampton School concert band performed marches and “The Star-Spangled Banner” for the start of the Bridgehampton Historical Society’s annual Antique Car Rally. This was the 25th consecutive year that the band has performed for the start of this yearly event.

Nina Ross, a local author and illustrator, visited the Bridgehampton school to read her book “Montauk Has a Very Hungry Shark.” The story centers on Montauk Mike, a lonely shark who lives in the ocean near Montauk and his quest through the East End communities in search of the perfect ice cream sundae. Her story was capped off with a Q&A session.

In recognition of Fire Prevention Week October 6 to 12, the Bridgehampton Fire Department and EMS gave presentations to pre-K through eighth-grade students. On behalf of the children of the district, a special thank you was extended to local heroes — Chief Mark Balserus, Chief Nick Hemby, EMS Company Captain Taylor Vecsey, and all department members — for helping keep the Bridgehampton community safe and providing life-saving information and strategies to students.


Sixth-grade students at Southampton Intermediate School just completed their first art assignment of the school year: a colorful self-portrait. The getting-to-know-you art project asked students to include words and images that describe who they are and what they enjoy doing. The next lesson will involve sculpture, where students will create an image of a Greek god in connection to their upcoming social studies lesson.

Southampton High School senior Vimarsha Sital was recognized by the Rotary Club of Southampton as the Rotary Student of the Month for September.

Sital earned the honor for her dedication to her studies and school community. She is president of Southampton’s Bilingual Buddies club and a member of the mock trial team, as well as a member of the girls varsity tennis and winter and spring track teams.

When not studying or on the field, Sital helps the Southampton Volunteer Ambulance and serves as a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island. She also enjoys boxing. She plans to attend college in the fall to study aerospace engineering.


Eighth-grade Tuckahoe students in Ms. Verdeschi’s Family and Consumer Science class planted spring flowering grape hyacinth bulbs. Thanks to a generous donation from Fowler’s Garden Center in Southampton, each student planted five bulbs to beautify their school grounds for years to come.

Hampton Bays

As part of National Fire Prevention Week, students at Hampton Bays Elementary School learned what to do in case of a fire by taking part in classroom fire safety lessons. They are also creating informational posters for the Hampton Bays Fire Department’s annual fire safety poster contest.

Westhampton Beach

Westhampton Beach Elementary School also took part in National Fire Prevention Week. Along with in-school lessons on fire safety, students watched a video featuring Timon and Pumbaa from “The Lion King” and heard from members of the Westhampton Beach Fire Department.

To further engage sixth-grade students in reading, Westhampton Beach Middle School is participating in a global read aloud. The initiative is asking students to read “The Bridge Home” by Padma Venkatraman and engage in activities related to the book along with their peers around the world. Already, the sixth-graders have made virtual connections with students in Canada, California, Virginia, and Massachusetts. They are scheduled to meet the author via Skype in November.

High school senior, Thea Belle Flanzer, and high school sophomore, Avery Allen, are arranging a raffle to raise money for World Central Kitchen’s Hurricane Dorian relief project in the Bahamas. The prizes include a two-night stay at Gurney’s Resort, four tickets to the opening night of Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas Spectacular, and four tickets to the Gateway Playhouse’s production of Elf the Musical.

This donation drive will be the second event for Flanzer’s organization: The Artist Alignment. This May, she was able to raise over $8,000 for the Pediatric Orthopedic Research Fund at Columbia University through The Artist Alignment: Shine for the Spines, a cabaret fundraiser at the Vail-Leavitt Music Hall in Riverhead.

Allen and Flanzer met when they were performing in the 2015 production of Billy Elliot at the Gateway Playhouse. Since then, the friends have performed in Children’s Theater shows together at the Gateway Playhouse like Wizard of Oz and Pinocchio Jr. The girls saw the devastation in the Bahamas on the news and wanted to find a way to help from Long Island.

Allen is a member of the dance company at Stage Door School of Dance in East Patchogue. She’s performed at many dance competitions across the East Coast and is a student of the Gateway School for the Performing Arts.

Flanzer has been training at the Gateway since she was 5, and has performed in professional shows at The Gateway Playhouse and off-Broadway.

World Central Kitchen, commonly known as WC Kitchen, is a nonprofit started by chef José Andrés. The organization provides fresh, nutritious meals to survivors of disasters.

They will be selling 500 $10 tickets for the fundraiser and the drawings will be held November 8 at 5 PM on The Artist Alignment’s Instagram livestream.

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