About the Superintendent
Superintendent Dr. Aurelia L. Henriquez
Address: District Office
700 Osborn Ave.
Riverhead, NY 11901
Message from Superintendent of Schools
“If one has courage, nothing can dim the light which shines from within.”
— Maya Angelou
Whole Child, Whole School, Whole Community
It would seem disingenuous if I didn’t acknowledge that the month of May has been one of the most difficult times, perhaps in the history of the Riverhead Central School District. It has certainly been the most challenging that I’ve ever experienced in my 25 years in education. To say that the news that broke about an administrator was disgraceful, is an understatement. It left us all outraged, disappointed, hurt and, quite honestly, angry. In these times when we all begin to feel weighed down by the negative, it is most important that we lift each other up and begin to rebuild. And rebuild we shall! If our message to our children is one of resilience, let it begin with the adults.
I’d like to commend the High School administration, teachers, staff and, of course, our students for their relentless drive to rebuild and keep moving forward. After all, we are Riverhead! We will learn from the past and keep moving toward excellence. Let’s not lose sight of the positive that continues to happen all around us. Let’s push forward TOGETHER! In times of darkness, let’s look for the rays of light.
Speaking of light, a Roanoke Avenue student, Molly Connelly, helps us to remain focused and vigilant in our efforts to build this community up together. She sent me an email and read it at a recent Board meeting. Molly knew that we have been successful in increasing the mobile food pantry to serve all elementary schools, but encouraged us to look at dinner options. Molly is a shining star in her community and is clearly an advocate for those in need. She received a certificate, alongside Dr. Rosati of Long Island Cares, for expanding the mobile food pantry at the May Board meeting. Whole Child, Whole School, Whole Community! Thank you, Molly, for shining your light!
“Hi, my name is Molly and I am worried that some kids are stressing that school is ending because they get Island Harvest and the kids will not get it until September and all these kids [in] K-4 will be very hungry and I think that could the school make free lunch and breakfast and sometimes dinner for the kids. I just was trying to help those kids.”
Sean Quinn, a substitute aide, is another example of a bright light shining in Riverhead. Sean is a living example of someone who has overcome adversity and has done so with a smile and a message for all. Mr. Quinn, as the students call him, is autistic. Despite the challenges of living with autism, Mr. Quinn was determined to attend college and become a teacher. During the month of April, which is Autism Awareness Month, he made a video for the students of Aquebogue, teaching them about autism and the importance of being accepting of differences. We are thankful for Mr. Quinn and his bravery. Continue to shine your light, Sean!
We truly do have so much to celebrate in Riverhead! It is hard to believe that we are nearly at the end of another school year and our exceptional seniors are preparing for graduation. They have proven to be an amazing group of students and have certainly left their mark on the Riverhead School District. I wish them well in their next steps in life.
This past month, the Riverhead School District participated in Long Island Cares’ Casual for a Cause fundraiser. On May 22, staff donated $5 each to dress down for a day in an effort to help fight hunger on Long Island. As a district, we raised over $2,000. I thank all those who participated – we certainly are making a difference!
I would also like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to Dr. Oliver Robinson, who spoke to all staff at the May Superintendent’s Conference Day. What an outstanding speaker! The very body of his presentation and the reaction of his audience clearly demonstrated the power of his message. Many transportation employees were glad to be recognized in his speech. Our diversity is one of our superpowers in Riverhead. Let us all celebrate this together! This is about a new definition of teaching, leading and learning. Excellence has been redefined: INCLUSIVE EXCELLENCE is our goal!
This is also a great time to congratulate our athletes. Not only have they collectively earned a sportsmanship award, but many of them have committed to playing their sports in college. Nine of our
athletes signed official letters of intent at a ceremony in the district’s athletic office on May 10: Shane Coleman, lacrosse, Pace University; Christy Falisi, field hockey, Mercy College; Aiden Fitzpatrick, lacrosse, NYIT; Angelina Graziano, lacrosse, Southern New Hampshire University; Travis Hayon, lacrosse, LIU Post; Connor Kalmus, lacrosse, St. John’s University; Kayla Kielbasa, lacrosse, Penn State University; Danny Mastropaolo, lacrosse, SUNY Albany; and Morgan McLean, crew, Manhattan College.
Additionally, four members of the girls track team have qualified to compete in the 800-meter medley relay at the New Balance Nationals Outdoor track and field meet on June 14. The four athletes – Ashli Bell, Miasha Pittman, Enaria Suazo and Emani Womack – earned the spot after competing in the Under the Lights Invitational in Massapequa on May 10 with a time of 1:52:51. They are an inspiration and we wish them good luck!
I am also proud to announce that our Peacemakers from Phillips Avenue and Roanoke Avenue have been recognized with a United for Kindness Award from PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. The honor acknowledges the work the students do in helping to create a world without bullying by teaching their peers about bullying prevention and inspiring and empowering them to take positive action.
Furthermore, I am delighted to mention that six of our middle school students were recognized for the award-winning essays they wrote for the VFW’s annual Patriot’s Pen contest. Their entries were among 598 essays submitted to the contest. Congratulations to the first through third place winners in grade seven, respectively: Daniella Flores, Madison Amanda Wojcik and Abby Maureen Sullivan; and in grade eight: Michaela Ligon, Quinn Steven Brickman and Emma Kylie Funfgeld. In addition to placing first locally, Michaela also earned second place in Suffolk County.
And finally, I’d like to welcome Brian Miltenberg to the Riverhead T.E.A.M. On August 5, he will assume his position as the new principal of Aquebogue Elementary School. He replaces retiring Principal Phil
Kent and clearly has “big shoes to fill.” Mr. Miltenberg, who emerged as a top pick following multiple interviews, brings with him a wealth of experience. Please join me in welcoming him to the district.
Congratulations to all on their accomplishments, and I look forward to watching our students grow and continue to reach for the stars.
2017-18 District Annual Update
Year in Review Infographic