First-graders at the elementary school recently participated in a wildlife education program, courtesy of the Quogue Wildlife Refuge. Environmental educator Landon Simmons entertained students with a variety of critters, including snakes, a lizard, a chinchilla and birds of prey. Students learned about the origins, lifestyles and eating habits of the creatures and enjoyed hands-on experiences with them in their classroom.
Students of the Month for December representing each of the district’s three schools were recognized during the Board of Education meeting on January 20. First-grader Skye McMorris, eighth-grader Lauren Weinclaswski, and freshman Tara Stainsen each received a plaque and words of commendation.
Hampton Bays Elementary School Principal Marc Meyer reported that Skye was nominated for the award by her teacher, Ms. Poremba, because she had “the best citizenship in the class.” Mr. Meyer also said that Skye is always willing to help others and is a positive example to her classmates.
Lars Clemensen, the middle school principal, noted that Lauren was unanimously nominated by her teachers and coaches. “She is always making the right decisions and is a terrific example of what a role model is,” Mr. Clemensen said, adding that Lauren previously won Student of the Month honors as an elementary school student.
High School Principal Chris Richardt said Tara Stainsen, who had been nominated by Ms. Price, is an excellent pupil and athlete who takes her studies very seriously. “She is one of our quiet, responsible leaders in the classroom and on the playing field … a student who maintains terrific balance,” he said.
The school district’s Students of the Month for November are Rosy Salazar, Maria Brenes and Maegan Johnston.
“Be the Change” was the theme of Challenge Day at Hampton Bays High School. The event, held last month and attended by about 100 students, was led by physical education and health teacher Jake Davidson. He explained that Challenge Day was designed to ensure that every student lives in a world where they are safe, loved and celebrated.
“This place and this day have provided us the tools to speak out and be heard, where it’s okay to talk about drugs, alcohol, sex, divorce and dying in a safe environment,” Mr. Davidson said. “And it’s also a place where we can all say ‘I love you, I support you and I’ve got your back.’”
In addition to exchanging hugs, smiles and high-fives, students made vows to make a positive change in the world, while others promised to ask for forgiveness and understanding. Others simply listened and offered support.
Seniors Noal Hoshyla and Justyna Sokol have earned the Suffolk Zone of the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Award. In addition to earning good grades and excelling in sports, the winning students also possess strong leadership skills and outstanding character.
Members of Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) celebrated the holidays early this year with the residents of Bishop Ryan Village, a senior community affiliated with St. Rosalie’s Roman Catholic Church in Hampton Bays. On December 15, approximately 30 students visited senior citizens and enjoyed an afternoon of cake, singing and fun. SADD sponsor Tim Tenaglia, who teaches physical education and health, noted that this was the sixth year that students had visited the community.
In the spirit of holiday giving, 75 members of the Hampton Bays Elementary K-Kids, a community service club affiliated with the Southampton Kiwanis Club, recently raised $1,066 to help three needy area families during the fifth annual “Dance-a-Thon” held at the school. Prior to the event, the third- and fourth-graders each found sponsors to pledge money to keep them on their feet for a full hour of non-stop dancing. In order to collect the pledges, the dancers were required to keep moving for the entire hour.
The “Dance-a-Thon” is just one of many service projects undertaken by the K-Kids each year. So far this school year, the club has also conducted a food and toy drive, and written letters to soldiers serving overseas.
First-graders learned about holiday traditions from other cultures as they celebrated “Holidays Around the World” on December 19. The two-hour program brought all six of the first grade classes, plus their families and teachers, together in the gymnasium where they sang holiday songs, wore specific country-theme attire and enjoyed food representing a variety of countries.
Approximately 125 students representing the countries of Germany, France, Italy, Australia, Mexico and Israel attended the event. The parents of the school’s first-graders were asked to bring in food items representing their child’s ethnicity. The students were then encouraged to sample the different fare.