Remsenburg and Speonk community notes

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It might have been freezing Friday night, but the music and atmosphere were still sizzling at Annona restaurant in Westhampton Beach.

Sometimes it takes a Herculean effort to get me out of the house in the winter to attend an event that is not work-related. I am not much of a club gal and I do not particularly enjoy the cold. But I have to tell you that I had a lot of fun after leaving “my comfort zone” and visiting with friends old and new.

In addition, I really enjoyed the tunes performed by Dave Turinsky and Walter Finley, both fine musicians. Plus, the pizza—I highly recommend the Margherita—was phenomenal, by far the best I have had on the East End.

Speaking of hot tickets, the annual “Snowball” gala will be held at Atlantica on Dune Road in Westhampton Beach on Saturday, January 31, starting at 8 p.m. The event will feature lots of hors d’oeuvres, dancing, DJ music, raffles, auctions and fun. A cash bar will also be available.

Dress is semi-formal, black-tie optional, and proceeds will benefit Human Understanding Growth Seminars, better known as HUGS, and various village business improvements. I’m told that tickets are $50 each and that they won’t last long. Stop by Lynne’s Cards and Gifts, Sydney’s “Taylor Made” Cuisine, Brunetti Hair and Beauty, and Beach Bakery Café, all in Westhampton Beach, to buy your tickets. For more information, call 288-4722 or e-mail snowbalwhb@yahoo.com.

Tuesday, January 20, was a momentous and historical day for many Americans as Barack Obama was sworn into office as the 44th president of the United States. On a more local level, at Raynor Country Day School in Speonk, students in Ms. Costanzo’s class celebrated the election of their newest student, Ryan Haber, who was chosen last fall to be class president for a day.

On Tuesday, two of Ryan’s campaign promises were fulfilled as the students got to watch a movie and enjoyed no homework that evening. His parents, Lisa and Maxwell Haber, are sure proud of their son’s special honor and dedication to listening to the wishes of his fellow students.

At Remsenburg/Speonk Elementary School, the kids quickly got back into the swing of things after the holiday break.

Ms. McCartney’s and Ms. Bookamer’s fourth-grade classes took a field trip to the Smithtown Historical Society, where they traveled back in time by visiting the 1754 Epenetus Smith Tavern. The kids got to enjoy all sorts of 18th-Century fun. They dressed in the style of the times, played the role of innkeeper, made candles and wrote with quills on parchment paper. What a neat and memorable way to learn about history!

Remsenburg/Speonk fifth-graders were recently visited by Ms. Mancuso of the Suffolk County Water Authority. She taught students all about where water comes from on the East End, its role in their lives, and how they could become water preservationists themselves.

Kelly Thorne and Louise Shaw, both teachers at Remsenburg/Speonk Elementary School, just got back from presenting a seminar titled “Writing Toward the Future: New Technologies and Writing” at the Re-Envisioning Writing Assessment Conference held at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Their presentation offered new ways for teachers to help students become more effective and confident written communicators.

This next bit of news is for parents and teachers alike. The Teacher Center of the Western Hamptons will offer an adolescent workshop series beginning on Saturday, February 7, at the Westhampton Beach High School library. The sessions, which will be offered every Saturday through March 7, will run from 9 a.m. until noon.

The course will be facilitated by Amanda Wellman and is designed as a forum for conversation among educators and parents/guardians so they can talk about the issues and challenges faced by today’s adolescents. The series will be divided into five parts. Topics of discussion could include eating disorders, drugs and alcohol, bullying, relationships and stress.

The cost of the workshop for parents and guardians is $50. For teachers looking to earn credit, the cost is $95. For more information, contact Susan Kearns at 288-3800, ext. 264, or e-mail kearnss@whbschools.org.

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