05/19/15 12:00pm
05/19/2015 12:00 PM

BOEOne incumbent and four challengers are running for two Riverhead school board seats that are up for grabs Tuesday night.

Incumbent and board vice president Susan Koukounas is facing former board president Ann Cotten-DeGrasse, past candidates Greg Fischer and Laurie Downs and newcomer Brad Harnig. (more…)

11/19/14 8:00am
11/19/2014 8:00 AM
School board member Lori Hulse speaks at Tuesday night's meeting. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

School board member Lori Hulse speaks at Tuesday night’s meeting. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

While Riverhead school superintendent Nancy Carney currently has the authority to approve contracts under $25,000 without school board approval, one member of the Board of Education wants to change that.  (more…)

06/25/14 10:00am
06/25/2014 10:00 AM
Jeff “Doc” Greenberger, a longtime Latin teacher at Riverhead High School. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder file)

Jeff “Doc” Greenberger, a longtime Latin teacher at Riverhead High School. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder file)

A group of parents have submitted a petition to the Riverhead school board asking the district’s administration to allow the current Latin teachers to teach more sections instead of hiring an additional teacher.

During the school board’s meeting Tuesday, parent Sarah Bowe submitted a copy of an online petition signed by over 100 people asking the district to reconsider hiring a new Latin teacher and allow the program’s current teachers, Jeff ‘Doc’ Greenberger and Lorene Custer, to teach more sections.

“Many students enroll in Latin with the specific intention of being taught by Ms. Custer and Dr. Greenberger and they all deserve that opportunity,” Ms. Bowe said.

The petition states, in part: “We ask that, if at all possible, the district find a way to allow the existing teachers to teach any additional sections that need to be added.  Should that not be possible, we ask that any expansion of the Latin program be undertaken with the full cooperation of the existing teachers, so as to ensure the continued integrity of the program.”

Through Wednesday morning, it had gathered 118 online signatures.

When asked by a parent if the Latin teachers, who are married, were given the opportunity to teach the additional sections, school board president Ann Cotten-DeGrasse said, “It is a contractual matter.”

Assistant superintendent David Wicks said both teachers are on the hiring committee and were also asked to let the district know if they knew of anybody suitable for the position.

06/11/14 11:18am
06/11/2014 11:18 AM
Riverhead superintendent Nancy Carney (left), board president Ann Cotten-DeGrasse and board member Thomas Carson at Tuesday night's meeting. (Credit: Jennifer Gustavson)

Riverhead superintendent Nancy Carney (left), board president Ann Cotten-DeGrasse and board member Thomas Carson at Tuesday night’s meeting. (Credit: Jennifer Gustavson)

Where a school was once destined to go, rows of vines will one day blossom instead.

On Tuesday night, the Riverhead school board voted unanimously to sell 25 acres it owns in Aquebogue to Paumanok Vineyards, a move that will allow the winery to expand operations.  (more…)

03/27/14 8:00am
03/27/2014 8:00 AM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO

The Riverhead school board voted to upgrade various parts of the school’s infrastructure Tuesday night, approving the use of $456,000 from the district’s capital reserve fund. In addition, they decided to offer the voting public a $3.98 million bond proposition that will be on the May ballot for bus purchases.  (more…)

03/26/14 2:00pm
03/26/2014 2:00 PM
Close to 40 people, including many local veterans, came out in support of a measure to allow tax breaks for veterans in Riverhead School Districts. (Credit: Jen Gustavson)

Last year, the state Legislature approved an amendment to expand the veterans’ tax exemption program to school districts, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law in December.. (Credit: Jen Gustavson)

“When I came home from Vietnam, I couldn’t even get a cab when I was in my uniform. This is a chance, I believe, for the school board to really do the right thing for veterans.”

(more…)

09/21/13 5:25pm
09/21/2013 5:25 PM
JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | Riverhead School Board president Ann Cotten-DeGrasse is the East End Women's Network 2013 "Woman of the Year."

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | Riverhead School Board president Ann Cotten-DeGrasse confirmed that the district made a contract offer to its teachers.

The Riverhead Board of Education may vote on a new teacher’s contract at its Tuesday meeting after the district made an offer to its teachers, who have been without a contract for just over a year.

Board of Education president Ann Cotten-DeGrasse confirmed today that an offer has been made.

“It’s my understanding that the teachers will ratify it,” she said. “But nothing has been formalized yet.”

She said the leadership of the teachers’ union held meetings with teachers in various school buildings Thursday and Friday. Another meeting is set for Monday.

Ms. Cotten-DeGrasse said that if the teachers’ union ratifies the agreement, it will likely be voted on at Tuesday night’s Board of Education meeting.

Lisa Goulding, the new president of the Riverhead Central Faculty Association, which represents district teachers, did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Ms. Cotten-DeGrasse said that while the district has made an offer, she is not at liberty to disclose any details.

The district’s last teacher contract ran from July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2012. (The school’s fiscal year starts in July.)

That contract gave teachers a one percent increase for the first six months of both years with no step/increment increases, and another one percent increase for the second six months of both years, with step/increment increases.

The step/increment raises are in addition to the base salary raises teachers get annually according to the terms of their contract and are based on experience and other factors, such as whether they have a bachelor’s or master’s degree and how many graduate credits they have.

The last Riverhead teachers’ contract had a salary scale with 30 steps.

tgannon@timesreview.com