12/16/13 7:00am
JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | Riverhead senior Carolyn Carrera inside the school's gymnasium.

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | Riverhead senior Carolyn Carrera inside the school’s gymnasium.

Riverhead High School athlete Carolyn Carrera understands her success on the field and in the classroom are the result of hard work and dedication. But the 17-year-old from Jamesport said there’s a force greater than herself that guides her to victory.

You won’t see her Tebowing after scoring a goal, but you might catch a glimpse of Carolyn saying a prayer before a game or an exam.

“I feel like it has been brushed under the rug, but I truly give the glory to God,” Carolyn said about talking to reporters about her Christian faith. “I’m so grateful and I feel so blessed to be who I am, to have the family I have and to be in this Riverhead community.”

ROBERT O'ROURK PHOTO  |  Riverhead senior Carolyn Carrera was a goalkeeper on the soccer team this fall.

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Riverhead senior Carolyn Carrera was a goalkeeper on the soccer team this fall.

Carolyn is a three-sport athlete who plans to play lacrosse and soccer at Hofstra University. She was recently honored as the winner of New York’s female Wendy’s High School Heisman Award from a pool of 48,000 applicants.

She didn’t win the national competition last Friday, but described the experience of becoming her high school’s lone athlete to earn such a ranking as “a blessing.”

“For being national finalist, I got a gold medal,” Carolyn said shortly after the event. “It’s very exciting and I’m so happy to be here.”

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | Carrera was a co-winner of the News-Review's Athlete of the Year Award last June.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | Carrera was a co-winner of the News-Review’s Athlete of the Year Award last June.

Carrera, a News-Review Athlete of the Year last school year, plays goalkeeper on the Riverhead soccer team in the fall. She’s also the basketball team captain and is a midfielder on the lacrosse team. She has won several top awards and was an All-American in lacrosse last year. She is the class president, an honor roll student, member of the National Honor Society, the Latin Honor Society, and the Math Club, just to name a few.

Carolyn also volunteers for several charitable causes, including raising funds for Brendan House, a home for the disabled where her former classmate Michael Hubbard plans to move in.

Although she’s already accomplished a lot so far during the first four months of her senior year, Carolyn said she’s focused on getting her grades up. A lofty goal for a student with a weighted average of 105.507, who’s ranked third in her class.

She has signed a letter of intent to play lacrosse at Hofstra University next school year.

We sat down with Carolyn last Wednesday to discuss her recent achievements. The following was excerpted from our conversation:

Q: Why do you think you’re a high achiever?

A: The reason why I’m so motivated and driven to achieve more and go after everything possible that I can is truly to bring glory to God. Everything I do, I’m striving to do it in a way that shines brightly and really touches the lives of others, shows love and a great example.

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | Carolyn Carrera received a medal for being a High School Heisman finalist.

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | Carolyn Carrera received a medal for being a High School Heisman finalist.

Q: Who are your role models?

A: My number one role model is definitely Jesus. He set the ultimate example of love for the world. Next is my dad. He’s very brave and he’s always sharing his faith with others and I truly look up to him for that. Coach Jim Janecek, too. He was my coach when I played JV basketball and now he’s the assistant basketball coach. He’s also my boss at the Riverhead Rec Department. I think the connection we have is we’re always sharing our faith. He’s always pushing and helping me to see the positive side of things and how to look at them in a different light.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO  |  Carrera scored four goals with two assists in the Blue Waves lacrosse season-opener in March.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Carrera scored four goals with two assists in the Blue Waves lacrosse season-opener in March.

Q: Is it hard to talk about your faith?

A: I think it’s hard because there’s always opposing viewpoints or they don’t want to hear what you have to say about your faith. I feel like life is such an opportunity and it’s such a gift. If someone doesn’t like me because of my faith, it is what it is. I’m going to keep living life the way I am and I’m going to do it all for God.

Q: What is your advice for younger students who want to become high achievers?

A: One thing I’m always remembering is a very simple quote from my lacrosse coach Shannon Smith: “It’s OK to be different.” I feel like so many times I can just say that to myself when I can’t hangout with friends because I’m practicing or doing homework. It’s OK to be different. It’s OK to want more than what other kids are wanting. It’s OK to follow your faith and proclaim it. It’s OK to want different things and not be like everyone else.

jennifer@timesreview.com

12/03/13 5:11pm

BARBARAELLEN FILE KOCH PHOTO | Riverhead High School band director Lee Hanwick conducts ninth-graders Jessica Sisti (left) and Kayla Myers in playing ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ during the school’s March concert. The orchestra and senior band also performed.

The Riverhead School District has announced its upcoming event and concerts.

• Phillips Avenue’s concert is set for Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the school.

• Riley Avenue’s concert is scheduled for Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium.

• Aquebogue’s winter concert will take place Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. in the school.

• Pulaski Street’s winter concert is set for Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium.

• Roanoke Avenue’s winter concert is scheduled for Dec. 19 at 7 p.m. in the school.

• The middle school’s eighth-grade winter concert will take place Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium.

• The middle school’s seventh-grade winter concert is set for Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium.

• The middle school’s choir, chamber orchestra and jazz band will perform at Martha Clara Vineyard on Dec. 21 at 11 a.m.

• The high school’s chamber choir is scheduled to perform at House of Praise on Hubbard Avenue in Riverhead on Dec. 11, at 6 p.m.; and the Jamesport Meeting House next Friday, Dec. 13, at 6 p.m. On Dec. 15, the chamber choir will also perform at Diliberto Winery at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. at First Baptist Church located on Northville Turnpike in Riverhead.

• The high school’s winter concert is set for Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium at the school. Performances include full choir, and 10th-12th grade band and orchestra.

• The high school’s chamber orchestra is scheduled to perform at Long Island MacArthur Airport on Dec. 19 at 4:30 p.m.

• The high school’s ninth-grade band and orchestra is set to perform the second winter concert on Jan. 15 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium.

• Riverhead Free Library is currently exhibiting student art work. Pieces from Pulaski Street will be on display this month; Roanoke Avenue next month; Aquebogue in January; and Phillips Avenue in February. Riley Avenue and high school students’ art work will be displayed in March.

jennifer@timesreview.com

12/03/13 11:15am
FILE PHOTO | Whooping cough cases have been confirmed at Riverhead High School and Pulaski Street School.

FILE PHOTO | Whooping cough cases have been confirmed at Riverhead High School and Pulaski Street School.

An unidentified amount of whooping cough cases have been confirmed at both the Riverhead High School and Pulaski Street School, according to a voicemail message sent to parents by the district Monday night.

Assistant superintendent of personnel David Wicks said in the voicemail, “At the time the cases were confirmed, the individuals were no longer contagious.”

“We will be taking necessary precautions to ensure the health and well-being of the students and staff of these buildings,” he continued. “These precautions include, but are not limited to, sanitizing desks and other surfaces throughout the building. If your child develops a severe, uncontrolled cough, you should call your doctor immediately.”

No other details about the reported respiratory illnesses, technically called pertussis, were mentioned in the voicemail.

Mr. Wicks and Superintendent Nancy Carney did not immediately return an email request seeking further details.

The only whooping cough case posted on the district’s website as of 10:30 a.m. was of the district’s last reported case on Nov. 13, in which a case of whooping cough was confirmed at Riverhead High School.

Whooping cough, which health officials have described as “highly contagious,” is transported through the air by coughing and can be fatal for infants.

Early symptoms of whooping cough are a mild cough, a runny nose and a low fever, according to the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As the disease persists the traditional symptoms of a high pitched “whooping” cough, vomiting and exhaustion after coughing fits may appear. Coughing fits may persist for weeks, health officials said. The best way to prevent the disease is immunization, the CDC states on its website, though those vaccinated can still be infected as vaccination “wanes over the years.”

Adults and children, however, may develop pertussis even if they are up to date on their vaccination since immunization wanes over the years, according to the health department. If you suspect that your child has contracted whooping cough, it is urged you contact their physician and request your child is tested for the disease using a special nasal/throat swab.

Those suffering from whooping cough are asked to stay home until he or she has completed five days of antibiotic treatment, according to the county health department.

jennifer@timesreview.com

11/23/13 3:53pm
11/23/2013 3:53 PM

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | Jazmin Carrillo, a Riverhead High School graduate whose family moved to the U.S. 10 years ago from Guatemala, is hoping to raise $7,000 for impoverished students from that country.

Love Lane Kitchen manager Jazmin Carrillo has found a way to share her Guatemalan heritage with the community while raising funds to help needy children in her native country.

Those multicolored bracelets you see tied to glass bottles on the counter at the Mattituck restaurant are handmade by local Guatemalan immigrants and are for sale to benefit poor students living in a rural area about an hour from Guatemala City.

Ms. Carrillo, 24, is a 2007 Riverhead High School graduate whose family moved to the United States 10 years ago from San Antonio el Angel in Guatemala. She said she’s worn the bracelets for years and came up with the fundraising idea after recently establishing a nonprofit group called Programa Suenos.

Ms. Carrillo is trying to raise $7,000 through bracelet sales to purchase backpacks, shoes, uniforms and school supplies for 150 students. While her suggested donation is between $2 and $5 per bracelet, she said some customers have been extremely generous, making donations of $10 and $20.

“A dollar goes a long way in Guatemala,” Ms. Carrillo said. “A ton of stress will be taken off their shoulders if they don’t have to worry about going to work to have money to buy shoes and simple things like that.”

Ms. Carrillo first went back to Guatemala to visit family after receiving her green card last November. During her trip, she said, she became emotional after finding many of the children there were unable to attend school because they couldn’t afford shoes and books.

She then traveled to Europe and said she felt very grateful for everything she had and for all the opportunities she’d received, describing the experience as “overwhelming, in a good way.” Ms. Carrillo is studying business at Suffolk County Community College in Riverhead in hopes of opening her own restaurant.

“I decided I wanted to do something to help others with their dreams,” Ms. Carrillo said, adding that she came up with the name Programa Suenos, which means Dreams Program, during her trip.

After asking her family for ideas on how to help needy Guatemalan students, Ms. Carrillo created a scholarship program. In January, she gave $200 scholarships to 10 students in Guatemala, using her own money.

As for future projects, Ms. Carrillo said she wants to raise $75,000 to renovate and expand the school.

Love Lane Kitchen owner Carolyn Iannone said she’s proud of Ms. Carrillo’s charity effort and happy to see the community rally behind her.

“I think people at first weren’t sure, but once they realized Jazmin was behind it they got excited,” Ms. Iannone said. “It’s nice to know that, over a cup of coffee, we can make a difference.”

For more information about Ms. Carrillo’s organization, visit programasuenos.org.

11/21/13 1:14pm
11/21/2013 1:14 PM
FILE PHOTO | Riverhead High School is hosting college planning workshops for parents and students.

FILE PHOTO | College-planning workshops are planned for parents and students.

The Riverhead High School’s guidance department is hosting a pair of college-planning workshops for parents and students.

High school graduates that will be home during their holiday breaks from college will meet with seniors next Tuesday during fourth period in the auditorium to discuss their experiences, district officials said.

Then, on Dec. 4, the guidance department will host workshops in the high school cafeteria to discuss National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) scholarships and financial aid.

The NCAA workshop is scheduled for 6 to 7 p.m. and includes a presentation about its rules and regulations.

The financial aid workshop is scheduled for 7 to 8 p.m. to help families understand the application process, as well as provide them tips with tips on how to pay for college.

For more information, contact the high school at (631) 369-6723.

11/14/13 5:33pm
NEWS-REVIEW FILE PHOTO

NEWS-REVIEW FILE PHOTO

A case of whooping cough has been confirmed at Riverhead High School, according to a message to parents posted online by the district this week.

The school was notified of the diagnosis by the Suffolk County Health Department, who sent a notice to the school Wednesday.

The “highly contagious” bacterial infection is spread through the air by coughing, and is especially dangerous and can be fatal for infants.

Superintendent Nancy Carney could not be reached for comment Thursday evening.

Early symptoms of whooping cough are a mild cough, a runny nose and a low fever, according to the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As the disease persists the traditional symptoms of a high pitched “whooping” cough, vomiting and exhaustion after coughing fits may appear. Coughing fits may persist for weeks, health officials said. The best way to prevent the disease is immunization, the CDC states on its website, though those vaccinated can still be infected as vaccination “wanes over the years.”

Though no cases were reported at Riverhead High School last school year, two whooping cough cases were reported at Shoreham-Wading River High School.

psquire@timesreview.com

10/20/13 12:00pm
10/20/2013 12:00 PM

Riverhead Blue Waves football

The Riverhead football team improved its record to 5-1 with a 28-0 victory over Walt Whitman Saturday.

You can read a full recap, including sound bites from interviews and game video by clicking here.

View more photos from the game in the gallery below:

Next Saturday at 2 p.m. is the Waves’ regular season home finale against 5-1 West Islip.