About the Superintendent
Superintendent Dr. Aurelia L. Henriquez
Address: District Office
700 Osborn Ave.
Riverhead, NY 11901
Message from Superintendent of Schools
District Annual Update
Year in Review Infographic
The Final Word: Unleashing the Power of Our Students’ Voices
On June 23 at 9 a.m., our hardworking and dedicated seniors will don caps and gowns and walk across the podium to receive their high school diplomas. It is the next step in their journey toward successful and bright futures. Many in this graduating class have overcome various challenges to reach this point in their lives and go on to enter directly into the workforce, into military service or to institutions of higher learning.
I recently met with five of these seniors to find out more about their goals for the future, the obstacles they faced and about those who inspired them to continue along their path to graduation.
The first of these seniors is Yasmine Kocan, who is following her passion for music. She began playing cello in sixth grade — a year behind her peers. But her love of the instrument and her determination earned her acceptance into the Stony Brook University pre-college program and subsequently a first-place award in a concerto competition. She’s also played in the Stony Brook University undergraduate orchestra for the past three years, where she has led the cello section with students four and six years her senior. She was the principal cello for the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra Suffolk Principal Orchestra for two years and attended prestigious summer programs such as NYSSA and Manhattan in the Mountains, where she will soon perform as a featured soloist. For all of her hard work, she was awarded a full scholarship to NYU Steinhardt for cello performance with a minor in music business engineering and technology. She attributes her great success to her parents and her cello teacher, Marion Feldman of the Manhattan School of Music and adjunct professor at NYU. She lives by a motto of always believing in yourself. She offered, “Never take no for an answer.”
Likewise, Anna Pozamantir worked hard in her classes and spent a summer at Stony Brook University’s Science and Technology Entry Program, where she took geology and chemistry classes among students older than her. The same at Duke University, where she earned a
scholarship to a writing program as an eighth-grader. She studied writing among a group of high school students. She didn’t stop there. She continued to challenge herself and in her junior year, she enrolled in difficult AP classes, prevailing by forming a study group with her peers. It was that determination that earned her a full scholarship to the University of Virginia, where she will double major in English and political science and study abroad in London for her first semester.
She attributes much of her success to her supportive family. “It’s important to know what you want and work towards it,” she said, urging incoming freshman to explore all that the Riverhead School District has to offer. “There are many ways to go about learning in high school.”
On another track is Michael Daniel. When he entered Riverhead High School as a freshman, he was overwhelmed by size of the student body, but quickly found that his peers, teachers and staff are extremely supportive. “I learned the high school is full of kids that won’t push you down; they will be there for you,” he said. With all of the support, Michael said he excelled. He participated in varsity basketball and lacrosse and rose to become the commanding officer of the NJROTC. He studied hard and took full advantage of all that Riverhead High School has to offer. This led him to Fordham University, where he earned a scholarship to study in the fall. He is still undecided on a major, but leaning toward economics, engineering or physics. “The only thing holding you back is yourself,” he offered when asked what advice he has for underclassmen. “Try and do as many things as possible. That is what colleges will look for.”
Also striving forward are twins Sean and Ryan Clahane, who faced adversity of their own. Despite the tremendous pain of losing a close friend and many other painful life hurdles, the pair POWERED forward with the support of each other, their family and teachers. Riverhead teacher, Sharon D’Amico was a true inspiration, according to the twins. Inner strength and love have allowed them to keep going and to keep trying no matter what obstacles are placed in their path. “Seeing the finish line is a big motivator,” Ryan said. “It’s important not to get
distracted.” Ryan studied hard, participated in football and Boy Scouts and is ready to take his next steps. In the fall, he will attend Suffolk Community College to study liberal arts. Similarly, his brother Sean was also a Boy Scout and he earned the highest rank in Boy Scouting — Eagle — for a project he completed at the Hallockville Museum. He is also enrolled in the liberal arts program at Suffolk Community College. Sean and Ryan exemplify strength, perseverance and persistence. These two brave young men have taught me so much. I am grateful!
All of these students have made their mark in the Riverhead Central School District. They each serve as inspiration to all students and I am so very proud of all that they have accomplished. I extend my congratulations to them and all the members of the Class of 2018. May you each go forward, follow your passions and make a true difference in the world around you.