02/25/13 10:00am
FILE PHOTO | The College Board released 2012 AP results Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO | The College Board released 2012 AP results Wednesday.

Students at both Riverhead and Shoreham-Wading River high schools improved their Advanced Placement scores last year compared to the 2010-11 school year, according to a new report.

The College Board, an international not-for-profit group that offers both AP and SAT programs to help prepare students for college, released last Wednesday the latest AP results for class of 2012. While those who achieve a 3 or above on a five-point scale can earn credits at SUNY colleges, most other colleges require a score of 4 or better to give credit. A total of 468 local high school students took AP exams last year, a decrease of 63 students compared to 2011 data. Of the 911 exams, 577 tests scored a 3 or higher.

Riverhead High School had the most students taking AP exams the past two years. In 2012, 279 students took 540 exams with 49.1 percent scoring 3 or higher. During the 2010-11 school year, 309 students took 549 exams with 42.8 percent receiving top scores.

Shoreham-Wading River High School had the largest percentage of exams scoring a 3 or higher, with top marks received on 312 out of the 371 exams taken. The latest results also showed an increase in high achievement compared to the the 2010-11 school year when a 3 or higher was received on 80.3 percent of the 426 exams scored.

Here’s a breakdown of the AP results:

Riverhead High School

2011-12 school year
Test takers: 279
Exams taken: 540
Number of exams with scores 3, 4, or 5: 265

2010-11 school year
Test takers: 309
Exams taken: 549
Number of exams with scores 3, 4, or 5: 235

Shoreham-Wading River High School

2011-12 school year
Test takers: 189
Exams taken: 371
Number of exams with scores 3, 4, or 5: 312

2010-11 school year
Test takers: 222
Exams taken: 426
Number of exams with scores 3, 4, or 5: 342


02/04/13 9:00am
02/04/2013 9:00 AM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The ballfields at EPCAL will be named after two soldiers who died in Afghanistan, Jonathan Keller and Anthony Venetz Jr., both of Wading River.

A pair of new ballfields at the Enterprise Park at Calverton will be named in honor of two highly decorated Wading River soldiers who gave their lives defending their country.

The Riverhead Town Board is planning to name one of the two fields at the new park after U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Anthony Venetz Jr, and the other field after U.S. Army Sergeant Jonathan Keller.

The Town Board in December voted to name the entire park complex being built at EPCAL as “Veterans Memorial Park,” citing the fact that the property was owned by the U.S. Navy for many years and the Grumman Corporation built and tested fighter jets there.

In addition, the individual fields at the park also will be named after individual veterans from the area.

“We have four fields there and we’re going to name them all after veterans,” Councilman George Gabrielsen said.

The long-planned park is expected to finally open in April, he said. It had been delayed for many years by requirements from both the county health department and the state transportation department, officials said.

The Town Board plans to vote on resolutions naming the two fields after SFC Venetz and Sgt. Keller at its meeting Tuesday, and has yet to decide on names for the two other fields.

“That’s so nice,” SFC Venetz’s mother, Marion Venetz, said of the town’s plans. “I’m just honored they decided to do that. What a nice tribute to my son. I think it’s a very nice way to honor the veterans.”

“We are honored that the Riverhead Town Board and the community would recognize and pay tribute to our fallen sons,” said Martin Keller, Sgt. Keller’s father. “We hope everyone enjoys this Memorial Park and its facilities as it brings the community together.”

The first two soldiers being honored by the town grew up on the same block in Wading River, where they were one grade apart in school. Both died of injuries suffered while serving in Afghanistan, and they both died on nearly the same day, two years apart.

Sgt. Keller, a 1998 graduate of Shoreham-Wading River high school, had first served in the U.S. Navy during Operation Iraqi Freedom, and then joined the New York State Army National Guard Reserve’s “Fighting 69th” in 2004.

In late 2007, he was called to serve in Afghanistan and was assigned to the 172nd Airborne in Kabul in early 2008. It was there, while engaged in battle with Taliban forces, that he sustained critical gunshot wounds that led to his death on Jan. 24, 2009.

He received a Purple Heart, an Army Commendation Medal and the Army’s Meritorious Medal.

SFC Venetz is a 1999 graduate of Shoreham-Wading River high school and joined the Army in 2001. He became a special forces engineer sergeant and served twice in Iraq and later in Afghanistan. He died from injuries sustained while on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan on Jan 28, 2011.

He was given two Bronze Star Medals, including one with valor, two Purple Heart awards and four Army Commendation Medals, two of which were for valor.


02/01/13 10:22am
CARRIE MILLER PHOTO  |  Shoreham-Wading River High School was under lockdown this morning. The school day resumed at 8 a.m.

CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River High School was under lockdown this morning. The school day resumed at 8 a.m.

Shoreham-Wading River High School was under lockdown this morning after a student posted a school-shooting threat on Facebook, according to school officials and students.

Superintendent Steven Cohen said the lockdown lasted for about 45 minutes and some students were kept on buses after they arrived at school this morning as administrators and Suffolk County police officers “investigated the nature of the threat” shortly after 7 a.m. and identified the student.

Dr. Cohen couldn’t confirm if the student was in police custody as of 9:30 a.m., but said the suspect wasn’t in school. Suffolk County police officials confirmed they were at the school this morning and found no threat. They declined further comment because an investigation is underway.

[Students, parents react to lockdown on social media]

No other details about the incident were immediately available.

Although the school has been deemed safe, parent Lisa Hughes picked up her son, Tyler, at around 10 a.m. this morning.

“He’s been texting me all morning long and is not comfortable staying here,” Ms. Hughes said as she exited the school with her ninth-grade son.

“They just said over the loud speaker that it was a lockdown, it was not a drill and to go into the nearest classroom,” Tyler said.

Dr. Cohen said he’s pleased how the situation was handled and said the school day was back to normal at 8 a.m.

“All the schools are safe,” he said. “I think the high school administration and police officers did a great job. They took very prudent action by keeping the kids on the bus.”

Check back for more details as they become available.

Additional reporting by Carrie Miller.

12/28/12 10:00am
12/28/2012 10:00 AM

JOHN ZACHARY FILE PHOTO | The Shoreham-Wading River girls lacrosse team celebrates its 2012 state championship.

One day. Two state championship games.

That was the scenario for the Shoreham-Wading River boys and girls lacrosse teams in early June. Following the same script the teams used in 2007 to become the first Suffolk County school with two lacrosse state champions in the same year, the Wildcats ruled New York once again.

In Cortland, the girls faced off against Honeoye Falls-Lima in the Class C finals. A few hours later in Middletown, the boys began their championship game against Penn Yan.

For the girls, the game was an opportunity to reclaim their spot atop the podium. After winning four straight state titles, the Wildcats fell short in 2011 when they briefly bumped up a classification. With their return to Class C, the Wildcats once again proved their supremacy.

The Wildcats faced their share of adversity in the playoffs. In their state semifinal win, a seven-goal lead in the second half got sliced down to one in the final minutes by Christian Brothers Academy. Shoreham held on to win 14-13 in a thriller.

In the championship game the Wildcats fell behind by four before unleashing a 7-0 run in the second half to seize control. The Wildcats went on to win 11-9 to clinch the program’s fifth state title.

ROBERT O’ROURK FILE PHOTO | The Shoreham-Wading River Wildcats celebrate their county championship victory over Bayport-Blue Point Wednesday.

The boys faced some early adversity of their own early in the finals. Trevor Brosco, a senior captain in the midfield, suffered a concussion just moments into the game and couldn’t return. In his absence, the rest of the team, led by Tim Rotanz, stepped up to carry the load. Rotanz torched the Mustangs for five goals and two assists as Shoreham won 10-6.

As the teams arrived back in Shoreham, a police escort guided them back to the high school, where a crowd gathered to celebrate.

Two teams, two state champions.

12/16/12 11:00am

JOHN GRIFFIN FILE PHOTO | A case of whooping cough has been reported at Shoreham-Wading River High School, the district has reported.

A case of whooping cough was confirmed at Shoreham-Wading River High School this week, according to a message on the district’s website.

The student is home and under a doctor’s care, according to the message.

“Please be assured that the health and safety of our students is our top priority,” the district wrote. “Please continue to monitor your children for symptoms, specifically a persistent cough. People are contagious for 2-3 weeks after the onset of the cough and can be effectively treated with antibiotics during that time, so please contact your physician promptly for diagnosis if you suspect pertussis.”

The district is directing parents seeking more information on pertussis, including the symptoms, to visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/pertussis.

Whooping cough, which is transported through the air by coughing, is especially dangerous 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 Center for Disease control. 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. The best way to prevent the disease is immunization, the CDC states on its website.

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 county Department of Health and Human Services. 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.


07/24/12 2:00pm

FILE PHOTO | The track at Shoreham-Wading River High School could get an upgrade if a measure is approved tonight and a referendum is later passed by voters.

A proposition this fall to spend more than $1.6 million on new track facilities and upgraded electronic equipment for the Shoreham-Wading River school district will go before the school board for approval at tonight’s meeting.

The proposal would include new resurfacing of the high school’s track facility, which student athletes and school officials said has fallen into disrepair. The track has faded paint, cracks, and uneven surfaces due to previous short-term fixes, making it a potential safety hazard, officials said.

A group of students from the school’s track team said in a presentation passed along to the board this spring the school may not be allowed to hold meets in the future due to the poor condition of the track. This would require the school to bus the team to all away meets, according to the presentation.

The proposed upgrades would also include new computers and Internet systems across the district.

According to the resolution before the board, the district’s existing technology is “outdated, out-of-warranty, not compatible with new state-mandated assessment requirements, and is currently (or soon will be) unsupportable.”

The total project is expected to cost $1,642,000, and would use prior year state aid and reserve funds to keep school taxes at the same rate, according to the resolution.

If approved, the proposition will go before the public in a vote on Oct. 2.

The public meeting will be held at 7 p.m. in the Shoreham-Wading River High School library.

06/04/11 8:07pm
06/04/2011 8:07 PM

ROBERT O'ROURK PHOTO | Shoreham Wading River goalie Tyler Lutien makes a save, one of many he made in the Wildcats' 9-4 loss to Garden City in the Long Island championship game Saturday night.

Shoreham-Wading River’s quest for a fourth Long Island boys lacrosse championship ended Saturday night in the Class B final at Stony Brook University, with a 9-4 loss to Nassau County champion Garden City.

The Trojans, winners of the last six Nassau titles, advanced to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class B semifinals, where they will face Yorktown this Wednesday.

Shoreham-Wading River finished the season with a record of 17-3.

Tom Rotanz Jr., Mike Malave, Kris Miller and Paul Curran scored for the Wildcats.

Patric Berkery scored three goals for Garden City and Devin Dwyer added two more.

The Wildcats opened the scoring 1:12 into the game when Malave found Rotanz Jr. just outside the left post for a 1-0 lead.

Rotanz returned the favor with just under four minutes left in the quarter, assisting on Malave’s goal from eight yards in front, giving the Wildcats a two-goal edge.


Garden City’s patient attack yielded nothing in the opening 12 minutes, partly because of two turnovers deep in the Shoreham end, and partly because of two key stops, one by goaltender Tyler Lutjen and another by the post on a shot by Berkery.

The Trojans dominated possession in the second quarter — mainly because of Rob Savage’s faceoff proficiency — and cut the lead in half two minutes in on a goal by Dwyer.

Lutjen made three more stops from point-blank range to help maintain Shoreham’s edge, but Savage evened it up with 3:09 left in the half.

The Trojans pulled ahead with 1:43 remaining when Tom Gordon converted a pass from Dwyer behind the net. Brian Coleman added to the lead with an unassisted goal with 23 seconds left, and the Trojans took a 4-2 lead into halftime.

The Wildcats had a man-up opportunity early in the third but turned it over on a bad pass, then Malave was stopped by Trojan goalie Dan Marino.

Lutjen made another big save on a bullet by Berkery midway through the third, but Berkery got another chance with a man advantage and didn’t miss, scoring with 2:54 left to make it 5-2.

Jack Spencer scored another goal for Garden City with 30 seconds remaining, and the Trojans led by four heading into the final quarter.

Savage won the opening faceoff of the fourth quarter, and a few seconds later, Berkery scored to extend the Trojan lead to 7-2.

A Wildcats turnover gave the ball right back 90 seconds later, and Dwyer scored his second of the game and it was 8-2.

Curran got one back for the Wildcats with an unassisted goal with nine minutes remaining, and then Miller bounced a shot past Marino with 6:48 left to cut the gap to 8-4.

But Berkery scored his third of the game with 4:02 left to make it 9-4, and the Trojans ran out the clock to end it.

Shoreham-WR 2-0-0-2 — 4
Garden City 0-4-3-2 — 9

Check back Sunday for the complete story and postgame reaction.