Riverhead Central School District
Riverhead high and middle school students helped to circulate information about the Riverhead Community Coalition for Safe and Drug-Free Youth program during an annual meet-and-greet at the Riverhead Fire House on April 12.
During the community event, the students disseminated information about the program at various booths and held an informative presentation on substance abuse and 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 United States Drug Enforcement Agency.
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 in an effort to curtail usage among their peers.
“This event is a true testament of how a school district and a community organization can successfully partner together to address the health and safety of students,” said Christine Tona, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction.
Hampton Bays School District
More than 20 Hampton Bays High School students and their mothers gained confidence and much more during the high school’s inaugural Women’s Self-Defense and Awareness Training workshop, held between April 13 and 14.
As part of the two-day workshop, the teens and their mothers took part in hands-on training activities led by self-defense experts Martin McDonald and Mike Wacker. Attendees were taught to be aware of their surroundings, control their hands and legs, and always follow their instincts.
“This five-hour training was a great learning experience for all who attended,” said Drew Walker, director of health, physical education, and athletics. “The participants were extremely happy with the training and gained skills and confidence that could help them in the future.”
In honor of Earth Day, on April 20, second-graders in Christopher Warren’s class at Hampton Bays Elementary School pledged to protect the planet by reducing their carbon footprint. Students wrote promises to pick up garbage, recycle, and turn off lights, among other good practices. They also created a bulletin board outside their classroom to display their declarations.
Westhampton Beach School District
A diligent work ethic and an outstanding commitment to academics has paid off for Westhampton Beach High School’s Adam Ross Sheren and Ariel Catherine Kaplan, who have been named the Class of 2018 valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively.
Sheren’s tenure at the high school has been marked by numerous academic accomplishments. He is an AP Scholar with Distinction and a recipient of the Bausch and Lomb Honorary Science Award. A well-rounded student, he is also vice president of his school’s National Honor Society chapter, a member of the school’s jazz ensemble and pep band, and a dedicated player on the boys varsity tennis team. Sheren intends to study biological sciences at Cornell University in the fall.
Kaplan boasts equally impressive achievements. She is an AP Scholar, a member of the National Honor Society, and a recipient of the George Eastman Young Leaders Award. Her proclivity to help others led her to found Tutoring Tuesdays, a tutoring program at Westhampton Beach Middle School. She is also president of the high school’s Youth to Youth organization and Friends for Friends group. Supplementing her academic and social activities, she performs with her school’s vocal jazz ensemble and in its theatrical productions.
Kaplan will attend the honors business program at Northeastern University in the fall, with an intent to minor in either biology or chemistry.