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A Visit to Yale

A Visit to Yale photo
Riverhead High School NJROTC cadets learned about programs available to them at Yale University during a trip to the school on April 13. The cadets toured the historic campus and met with undergraduates enrolled in the U.S. Navy’s NROTC program at Yale. The cadets also spent time with several midshipmen in the university’s dining hall and attended a Naval Science class. 

Aquebogue Raises $5,000 for Hoops for Heart

Aquebogue Raises $5,000 for Hoops for Heart photo
Students at Riverhead School District’s Aquebogue Elementary School improved their jump shots and heart health as part of a fundraiser for the American Heart Association’s Hoops for Heart program. 

As part of the community service project, students raised $5,024 in sponsorships to make as many jump shots as they could during a 30-minute Super Shooter contest on April 9. 

Leading up to the culminating event, students in all grades, during the months of March and April, learned the fundamentals of basketball, about heart health and ways they could make a difference in the lives of those with heart conditions. 

“We are so proud of TEAM Aquebogue, the school where together everyone achieves more,” said Principal Phil Kent.  

Culinary Students Learn from ‘Chopped’ Star

Culinary Students Learn from ‘Chopped’ Star photo
Riverhead High School culinary students gained insight into the restaurant business on April 11 when they participated in a cooking workshop with Jess Dunne, co-owner of North Fork Roasting Company. 

During the session, Dunne spoke to the students about her business and recent appearance on the Food Network’s “Chopped” series. Students also took part in a cooking session where Dunne showed them how to make avocado hummus and leek and walnut pesto. 

Don’t Miss It: Parent University Helping Our Children Avoid Making Destructive Decisions

Parent University image
As part of its Parent University series, the Riverhead Central School District, in conjunction with Families in Support of Treatment and Riverhead Community Awareness Program, will present an informational session, “Helping Our Children Avoid Making Destructive Decisions,” on Wednesday, April 25, from 7-9 p.m., at Riverhead High School.  

During the session, community participants will hear from professionals about the dangers of vaping, substance abuse prevention and treatment options. An optional Narcan training will be provided, as well. The event will also feature raffles, and any high school or middle school student who attends can earn extra credit. 

The Parent University series aims to connect parents with school and community resources and provide information related to challenges parents may face. Additional workshops and seminars featuring a variety of speakers are planned for later this school year. 

Registration Open: Run to Remember

Registration Open: Run to Remember photo
The Riverhead Administrator’s Association will host its annual Run to Remember 5K Walk/Run on Sunday, May 20, at 9 a.m., at Riverhead High School. 

The community event will offer healing, love and support to all families by celebrating the memories of loved ones who are no longer with us. Memorial boards will be on display in the high school gymnasium along with coffee, food and free raffle giveaways to registered runners. All funds raised will be donated to the high school senior class scholarship fund. A free kids run will kick off at 9 a.m., with the memorial run starting at 9:30 a.m. sharp.

To register, visit

Tribute to a Fallen Hero

Tribute to a Fallen Hero photo
On March 29, students in the Riverhead Central School District paid tribute to Tech Sgt. Dashan Briggs, a 2007 Riverhead High School graduate who passed away while serving in Iraq.

As part of the tribute, students at Riverhead Middle School and Pulaski Street School lined the funeral procession route, which they decorated with American flags and yellow ribbons in homage to the Riverhead alumnus. As the procession made its way to Calverton National Cemetery, it passed through the high school parking lot, where members of the NJROTC provided a final salute to the fallen hero.

Scientifically Speaking

Scientifically Speaking photo

Students at Riley Avenue Elementary School in the Riverhead Central School District showed off their science smarts at the school’s annual science fair on March 29.

The event featured a variety of science projects by students in grades K-4, with topics ranging from polymer permeability and mysteries to water temperature and dirt.  

This year’s fair winners were: Julianna Pace, kindergarten; Nicholas Gigante, first grade; Madeline Burns, second grade; Grace Belmonte, third grade; and Angelina Pace, fourth grade. 

The winning students now have the opportunity to compete at Brookhaven National Laboratory’s annual science fair on May 5.


Celebrating women’s history

Celebrating women’s history photo
Riverhead Middle School students in Stephanie Kaimis’ class celebrated Women’s History Month on March 29 by presenting projects related to influential women.

The students each selected an influential woman to research using a Chromebook. They created lists of facts about their individual’s background, achievements and obstacles they had to overcome. With the information they gathered, the students made colorful scrapbook pages, filled with data, that they presented to their classmates. 

New Message from the Superintendent

Click here to view the Superintendent's page

VIDEO: We Love Our School!

We Love Our School photo

Find out why Riverhead Central School District elementary students love their school in this short video.

Important Message from the Superintendent


Not Your ‘Normal’ Musical

Not Your ‘Normal’ Musical photo
The Riverhead Middle School Blue Masques brought the famous “creepy and kooky” clan to life during musical performances of “The Addams Family” on March 16 and 17.

The cast of talented student actors and actresses, under the direction of director Laura Nitti, amused audiences as they displayed their acting, singing and dancing skills on the middle school stage. Prior to the performances, they worked for several weeks memorizing lines, choreographing dance moves and perfecting their vocals.  

“These students made great strides in such a short time and demonstrated extraordinary teamwork, initiative, discipline and perseverance. I was so impressed,” said Lauren Lewonka, director of fine arts.

Cadets Inspire Young Students

Cadets Inspire Young Students photo
Cadets Inspire Young Students photo 2

Members of the Riverhead High School NJROTC energized and roused Aquebogue Elementary School students during an annual demonstration on March 15 at the elementary school.

The NJROTC cadets performed two impressive military drills, spoke about the ROTC program and interacted with the students by answering individual questions.  



NYS Meningitis Vaccine Information


Student-Artist Recognized

Student-Artist Recognized photo
Riverhead High School senior Josuel Jerez Puello was recently recognized by the Parrish Art Museum with an award of excellence as part of the museum’s annual student art show. 

Josuel earned the award for his graphic arts piece, “The Depth of Our Advancements,” which he created in Adobe Photoshop.   

Josuel realized his passion for graphic design after arriving in the United States from his native Dominican Republic four years ago. He has since worked with 2-D graphics and enjoys manipulating photographic images. 

He intends to continue his study of graphic design in the fall at Suffolk County Community College and plans to pursue a career in architecture of video game design.

Reading Challenge is Easy as Pie

Reading Challenge is Easy as Pie photo
Reading Challenge is Easy as Pie photo 2
Reading Challenge is Easy as Pie photo 3
Elementary students at Roanoke Avenue Elementary School in the Riverhead Central School District were rewarded with a chance to throw pies in their principal’s face after triumphantly meeting a challenge to read for 100,000 minutes during their school’s annual Reading Week. 

The students not only conquered the challenge, but went above the goal set by their principal by reading 141,000 minutes in total, the most minutes over a Reading Week goal logged to date.  

During a celebratory assembly on March 9, Principal Thomas Payton praised the students and then readied himself as representatives from each grade took turns coating his face in pie, to the cheers of fellow classmates.  

This is not the first time that students at Roanoke have risen to a reading challenge set by Payton. In the past, students have won the chance to pour ice and slime on their principal, duct tape him to a wall and shave his head with the word “read” tagged into it.

Help for the Homeless

Help for the Homeless photo
Help for the Homeless photo 2
The Riverhead High School Key Club presented a donation of $250 to Maureen’s Haven Homeless Outreach on March 2.

Headed up by President Dominic Bossey, the club raised the money through a Homeless Night fundraising event held earlier in the school year. As part of the fundraiser, Key Club members obtained sponsorships to spend a night sleeping in cardboard boxes outside their school. In addition to raising funds for a local cause, the Homeless Night campaign provided an opportunity for students to experience the challenges of homelessness.

Students Receive Free Eye Screening

Students Receive Free Eye Screening photo
Every Phillips Avenue Elementary School student in the Riverhead Central School District received a free eye screening on March 6 as part of a partnership between the school and the Cutchogue Lions Club.

Trained volunteers from the Lions Club conducted the eye exams using a Spot Vision Screener, which uses technology to capture an image of the eye from three feet away. The image is then used to identify any significant ocular conditions.

Students Experiment with Augmented Reality

Students Experiment with Augmented Reality photo

Equipped with iPads, fourth-graders at Riley Avenue Elementary School in the Riverhead Central School District recently explored a new augmented reality application, 3DBear. The technology superimposes computer-generated images over a real-world view.

As part of the pilot session, students used the online learning technology to create an augmented reality scene based on the book “Saving Shiloh” by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor.  

To assemble their AR scene, students enhanced the real setting of their school library with computer-generated graphics provided by 3DBear. They also had the ability to print the imagery they created using the school’s 3-D printer.

After generating their images, students shared them with their peers and provided feedback to a 3DBear engineer.

Riverhead Top 15 Students Named

Riverhead Top 15 Students Named photo
Riverhead Top 15 Students Named photo 2
Riverhead High School has announced the top 15 students of its Class of 2018. Each of these individuals earned premier placement in their class through an impressive commitment to academics.  

Leading the group are valedictorian Juliette Lehman and salutatorian Olivia Dickerson.

Juliette has achieved a number of academic accomplishments throughout her school career, in addition to serving as president of the school’s National Honor Society and Math Club as well as captain of the Latin Club. She is also a member of the Latin Honor Society and the Women in Science and Engineering program. She intends to study naval architecture at the Webb Institute in Glen Cove, New York, this fall.

A well-rounded and exemplary student like Juliette, Olivia has also received numerous academic accolades and is a member of the National Honor Society, French Honor Society, Key Club, Math Club and Robotics Club. In addition, she is treasurer of the Class of 2018, participates in WISE and is captain of the varsity volleyball team. Dickerson is undecided on her college choice.

Outside of school, both students volunteer for a variety of causes. They are both avid hikers and credit their academic success to focus and determination.

The top 15 are rounded out, in ranking order, by Evelyn Jaffe Kennedy, Olivia Pizzuto, Robert Stahl, Catherine Farrell, Madison Cohen, Keely McCabe, Benjamin Mearkle, Josie Manucha, Lauren Schaefer, Sarah Vunkannon, Avenue Smith, Trinity Sivec and Carla Crump.

The Riverhead Central School District congratulates these students for earning this prestigious placement and wishes them great success as they finish out the year and begin their postsecondary plans.

Character Lesson from the Islanders

Character Lesson from the Islanders photo
Students of Aquebogue Elementary School in the Riverhead Central School District took part in a special assembly on Feb. 28, during which the New York Islanders presented an interactive program on team building.   

The program kicked off with a short video on the importance of teamwork, followed by a hands-on activity that demonstrated the concept. Working together, students were tasked with dressing their peers in cumbersome hockey gear.

The presentation’s message reinforced the themes of the school’s spirit week, which was held the week of Feb. 26 to teach students about teamwork and celebrating each other’s differences.

Riverhead Youth Take a Stand Against Substance Abuse

Riverhead Youth Take a Stand Against Substance Abuse photo
The members of the Riverhead Youth Coalition recently showcased their robust substance abuse public awareness campaign at the Long Island Prevention Resource Center’s annual networking luncheon at the Bayport-Blue Point Library.

During the presentation, the Riverhead students in grades 7-12 shared their experiences with the audience of substance abuse professionals, highlighted their innovative public awareness campaigns and displayed the results of their research on the latest trends in e-cigarette use.

The students, who have pledged to lead a substance-free lifestyle, meet every other week to record public service announcements and coordinate medication take back events with the Riverhead Police Department and the DEA. They also participate in Project Sticker Shock, in which they place brightly colored stickers on cases of beer to warn customers about penalties related to buying alcohol for minors. 

Currently, the coalition members are working to conduct scans within the community to identify retailers that sell and aggressively advertise e-cigarettes. They are sharing their knowledge with local leaders in an effort to curtail e-cigarette usage among teens.  

The three-year-old Riverhead Youth Coalition is sponsored by the Riverhead Community Awareness Program and overseen by Cynthia Redmond, a community prevention specialist at CAP.

Student Artwork on Display at Parrish

Student Artwork on Display at Parrish photo
The artwork of nine Riverhead High School students is on display at the Parrish Art Museum in Watermill as part of the gallery’s 2018 Student Exhibition. The students’ pieces were selected based on creativity and the application of elements and principles learned in class.

The monthlong exhibit, which runs through March 4, includes works of art from freshmen Damian Maldonado, Kaillyn Ochoa and Rhianna Reeve; juniors Devyn Bishop, Ryan Carrick, Jason Rios and Liron Sinn; and seniors Briselin Galvan Cordon and Josuel Jerez Puello. 

The district commends these students for their talent and dedication to their craft. 

Celebrating black history

Celebrating black history 2018

The Riverhead Central School District recognized February as Black History Month with a districtwide celebration at the high school on Feb. 15. The event culminated lessons pertaining to black history that students had been learning since the start of the month.

As part of the celebration’s robust program, students shared what they had learned through a variety of performances, including songs and skits. Inspiring speeches were delivered by various community members, including Lucius Ware, president of the Eastern Long Island NAACP. In addition, student winners of the Garfield Langhorn Essay Contest were recognized, as were recipients of the district’s humanitarian awards. Other highlights of the evening included a presentation by the Riverhead High School Council for Unity regarding influential African American women, and a dance performance by the First Baptist Church of Riverhead Liturgical Dance Ministry. 

“The evening was an authentic representation of what it means to be a true community,” said master of ceremonies Patrick Burke, assistant principal of Pulaski Street Elementary School. “It was truly inspiring to see all of the schools come together to present such a diverse program. Their hard work made for a memorable evening.”

Building Toward the Future

Building Toward the Future photo
Building Toward the Future photo 2
Students at Aquebogue Elementary School in the Riverhead Central School District are gaining skills in teamwork – and architecture – as part of an Imagination Station gym program.

Through the hands-on initiative, students use their creativity to build structures using large Styrofoam building blocks. In teams, they collaborate to take on challenges, which include assembling the largest, tallest and strongest fabrications. 

“The students really seem to enjoy the program,” said Assistant Principal Vanessa Williams, who added that the program has grown over the past two years to incorporate all grade levels at the school.

Hitting High Notes

Hitting High Notes photo
Musical accomplishments in the Riverhead Central School District have been abundant this year, as more than 70 talented students in grades 6-12 were selected to perform in several prestigious music festivals at the local and regional levels, some in more than one festival.

Forty-seven students in grades 7-12 were honored with selection to the Hampton Music Educators Association Festival, while eight students in grades 6-12 were chosen for the Suffolk Intermediate and Suffolk Secondary festivals of the Long Island String Festival Association. Thirty-eight students in grades 6-10 were chosen for the Suffolk County Music Educators Association All-County Festival, and 10 students in grades 8-12 were selected for the New York State Band Directors Association Annual Symposium in March.  

“It is a tremendous accomplishment for our young musicians to be selected for these ensembles, and we’re very proud of them,” said Lauren Lewonka, the district’s director of fine arts. “The discipline and perseverance it takes to achieve this level of musical excellence is impressive.”  

Each of the students was selected for these honors after receiving high scores on their performance at the New York State School Music Association Evaluation Festival last spring. 

The district extends its congratulations to the following student-musicians. 

NYSBDA High School Honor Concert Band
Laura Allen (bass clarinet)
Lydia Bilski (oboe)
Olivia Bozuhoski (flute)
Olivia Dickerson (flute)
Lauren Enos (clarinet)
Ainsley Hipp (clarinet)
Christiana Santoro (oboe)
Brady Wells (piccolo)

NYSBDA Honor Jazz Ensemble
Michael Bianco (trumpet)

NYSBDA Middle School Honor Band
Riley Wendt (percussion)

LISFA Intermediate
Emily Flores (violin)
Rose Green (violin)
LISFA Secondary
Nathaniel Bollermann (cello)
Sarah Anne Fried (violin)
Lily Kutner (violin)
Josie Manucha (violin)
Emma Mearkle (cello)
Lauren Schaefer (violin)

SCMEA Division I East Band
Olivia Haupt (snare drum)
Alexandra Santoro (Bb clarinet)

SCMEA Division I East Chorus
Victoria Arm (Pulaski – voice)
Ava Gradischer (Pulaski – voice)
Jared Knight (Pulaski – voice)
Carley Mae Lamond (Pulaski – voice)
Kaysee Mojo (Pulaski – voice)

SCMEA Division I East Orchestra
Rose Green (Pulaski – violin) 
Beatrice Stefan (Pulaski – cello)

SCMEA Division II East Band
Maksim Asanov (RMS – flute)
Bryan Enos (RMS – baritone/euphonium)
Katherine Jakubowsky (RMS – alto sax)

SCMEA Division II East Chorus
Jesse Meehan (baritone)
Joseph Podlas (baritone)
Kathryn Thompson (RMS – voice/alto)
Orangilee Wilkinson (RMS – voice/alto)

SCMEA Division II East Orchestra
Nora Connelly (RMS – trombone)
Melissa Espinoza (RMS – cello)
Emily Flores (RMS – violin)
Nikita Gribanov (RMS – trumpet/cornet)
Sophia Haupt (RMS – cello)
Natalia Radziwonski (RMS –violin)

SCMEA Division III East Band
Laura Allen (RHS – bass clarinet)
Lydia Bilski (RHS – oboe)
Nathaniel Bollermann (RHS – alto sax)
Lila Bowe (RHS – alto sax)
Lauren Enos (RHS – Bb clarinet)
Sabrina Maccaron (RHS – tenor sax)
Christian Mato (RHS – baritone/euphonium)
Kieran McCabe (RHS – trumpet/cornet)

SCMEA Instrumental Jazz Band High School
Nikita Sipiaguine (RHS – alto sax)

SCMEA Division III East Chorus
Jennifer Anasky (RHS –voice/alto)
Ethan Lucas (RHS – voice/tenor)
Madison Payne (RHS – voice/alto)

SCMEA Division III Orchestra
William Green (RHS – snare drum)
Ainsley Hipp (RHS – Bb clarinet)
Lily Kutner (RHS – violin)
Megan McIntosh (RHS – viola)

HMEA High School
Rachel Abad (voice)
Laura Allen (bass clarinet)
Leslie Alvizures (viola)
Jennifer Anasky (voice)
Crysten Apicello (cello)
Quinn Bailey (trombone)
Michael Bianco (trumpet)
Erika Bilski (tuba)
Lydia Bilski (oboe)
Nathaniel Bollermann (alto saxophone)
Lila Bowe (alto saxophone)
Olivia Bozuhoski (flute)
Joshua Caskie (violin)
Kiersten Corwin (voice)
Olivia Dickerson (flute)
Douglas Drozd (trombone)
Lauren Enos (clarinet)
Alex Estrada (trumpet)
Steven Garcia (violin)
Laine Girolamo (cello)
William Green (drum set – Jazz; timpani)
Matt Hanson (trumpet – Jazz)
Ainsley Hipp (clarinet)
Sydney Huber (tenor Sax – Jazz)
Giovanni Iona (voice)
Jordan Jager (trombone)
Paris Kayel (violin)
Lily Kutner (voice)
William Lopez (violin)
Ethan Lucas (voice)
Sabrina Maccaron (tenor saxophone)
Josie Manucha (violin)
Ravi Manucha (violin)
Christian Mato (Euphonium)
Megan McIntosh (viola)
Alex Montalbano (clarinet)
Jacob Nitti (bass – Jazz)
Madison Payne (voice)
Jason Rios (alto saxophone)
Christiana Santoro (oboe)
Lauren Schaefer (violin)
Nikita Sipiaguine (alto sax – Jazz)
Avenue Smith (violin)
Madison Stromski (viola)
Jacqueline Velasquez (violin)
Gabriela Vogel (voice)
Brady Wells (flute)


Completing 100 days

Completing 100 days photo
Completing 100 days photo 2
Elementary school students across the Riverhead Central School District marked the 100th day of school on Feb. 15 with a variety of celebrations and activities based on the milestone number.  

At Aquebogue Elementary School, kindergartners dressed like centenarians, complete with glasses, shawls and suspenders. They also made 100th day posters featuring 100 decorations, including Legos, Goldfish and pom-poms. 

Kindergartners at Riley Avenue Elementary School marked the occasion by designing shirts with 100 accessories. They also enjoyed a bagel breakfast to mark the occasion and an array of creative activities, such as drawing themselves as 100-year-olds and putting 100 dots on a paper Dalmatian. 

Cadets Explore West Point

Cadets Explore West Point photo
Riverhead High School Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps cadets visited the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York, on Feb. 2. 

During the trip, the cadets explored the collection of military artifacts at the West Point Museum, watched a film on the history of cadet life at the site and participated in a tour of the academy itself. After discovering more about the academy chapel, cemetery and historic Trophy Point, the cadets observed an evening colors ceremony, complete with cannon fire as the American flag was lowered.  

The trip culminated with an adventure to the NCAA Division I hockey game, where the cadets cheered on the Army Black Nights. 

Students Present Leadership Program

Students Present Leadership Program photo
Teachers and parents gained insight into Riverhead Central School District’s Riley Avenue Elementary School’s “Leader in Me” pilot program during the school’s first Leadership Day on Feb. 7. 

As part of the event, students used skills they had acquired through the initiative, such as public speaking, eye contact and data tracking, to present attendees with a tour of classrooms that have employed the program. 

Spearheaded by second-grade teacher Lauren McDonald, the Leader in Me program weaves comprehensive leadership activities and challenges into the curriculum. The goal is to teach students life skills such as responsibility, accountability, problem-solving, adaptability, communication and teamwork. 

All of the activities and challenges are based on Stephen Covey’s books “The Leader in Me” and “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” and Sean Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Happy Kids.” 

Leadership Day concluded with a question-and-answer session in which teachers learned how to incorporate the program into their classrooms and parents were provided with a guide for using it in their homes.