The Year in Education 2014

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12/27/2014 4:00 PM |
Riverhead High School’s Class of 2014 valedictorian, Ceaser Chabla-Sarmiento, 18, with his parents, Cesar and Maurita Chabla, and sister Kiara, 8, in the background. Ceaser’s parents emigrated from Ecuador to the U.S. and the family lived in Hampton Bays before moving to Flanders. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Riverhead High School’s Class of 2014 valedictorian, Ceaser Chabla-Sarmiento, 18, with his parents, Cesar and Maurita Chabla, and sister Kiara, 8, in the background. Ceaser’s parents emigrated from Ecuador to the U.S. and the family lived in Hampton Bays before moving to Flanders. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

January — Bishop McGann-Mercy High School hires Paul Mastronardi as its new athletic director. He replaces John Lonardo, who resigned to pursue a business opportunity in the private sector. Mr. Mastronardi, a longtime coach and physical education teacher, previously coached the Eastport-South Manor varsity football team. 

Feb. 18 — The Shoreham-Wading River school board approves a new property tax exemption for veterans. The program benefits veterans who served during a time of war or in combat zones. Disabled veterans with war-related injuries are also eligible. The Riverhead school board would approve the exemption two months later.

March — A new partnership between Southold, Shoreham-Wading River and Shelter Island school district superintendents is formed to expand educational opportunities. To help jump-start their efforts, the superintendents hold a forum in Stony Brook called “Public Education at a Crossroads.”

March 13 — The News-Review features a story about Riverhead High School’s 2014 valedictorian, Ceaser Chabla-Sarmiento. School officials say he appears to be the district’s first Hispanic valedictorian. Ceaser plans to study engineering in college and go on to law school so he can practice patent law.

March 21 — A team of Riverhead EMTs and medical volunteers save the life of Lonnie Hughes, a Phillips Avenue Elementary School fourth-grade teacher, during Riverhead High School’s Crazy Sports Night. Mr. Hughes went into cardiac arrest after participating in a tug-of-war event.

April 3 — A pair of complaints filed with the Public Employment Relations Board against the Riverhead Charter School principal and executive director Ray Ankrum accuse him of “union-busting” activities, including firings and intimidation tactics directed at staffers sympathetic to the school’s teachers union. A mix of newer and veteran teachers say the picture painted in the complaints is not an accurate representation of the daily reality on the Calverton campus.

May 20 — Lori Hulse, Kim Ligon and Greg Meyer are elected to the Riverhead school board, defeating challengers Laurie Downs and Greg Fischer. Shoreham-Wading River school board incumbents Bill McGrath and John Zukowski are also re-elected. Both school district budgets pass.

June 5 — A News-Review’s cover story explores the dismissal of Riley Avenue Elementary School teacher Jutta Mariotti, who was fired despite positive performance reviews by administrators and protests from parents. One parent praises Ms. Mariotti, who had worked in the district since 2006, for her handling of a reported knife incident involving two boys who allegedly planned an attack on a classmate.

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