New admins to greet kids; some lunch cost spikes will greet parents

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Aquebogue Elementary School speech teacher Lisa Dandrea organizes her downsized classroom Friday morning .

Changes both big and small are afoot at local schools for 2011-12. The new year starts Tuesday.

Riverhead Central School District

At Riverhead High School, Eileen Manitta of Wading River has been hired as one of three assistant principals. Ms. Manitta was formerly an administrator in the Rocky Point School District.

The price of lunch and breakfast at the district’s schools will also rise by a quarter due to new federal regulations. The cost of breakfast at elementary schools will rise to $1.25. Students at the junior high school and high school will pay $1.50. Last year’s prices were $1 and $1.25.

The price of lunches for elementary, junior high and high school students will jump to $2.25, $2.50 and $2.75, respectively. Last year, those lunches cost $2, $2.25 and $2.50. The rate change will not apply to free or reduced-cost meals.

The school will also be using a tool called ImPACT — Immediate Post Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing — to better manage concussions suffered by student athletes. The digital “video game” format measures students’ reactions time, concentration, speed and memory before the season. If a concussion is suspected, the athlete will be asked to retake the test so a doctor can examine the before and after results.

Student athletes were tested on various dates throughout August.

Bishop McGann-Mercy High School

Bishop McGann-Mercy High School has hired a its new athletic director and a new director of guidance.
John Lonardo, former athletic director at SUNY/Old Westbury, where he also served as head baseball coach, will oversee Mercy’s athletic department.

An active member of the Long Island Sports Commission and the NCAA Division III Chairman Committee, he has also received numerous awards, including Louisville Slugger Coach of the Year, Knickerbocker Conference Coach of the Year and Skyline Coach of the Year, according to a school press release.

Barbara Poerio will be Mercy’s new director of guidance.

Enrollment at the high school is up 6 percent, according to Debbie Kneidl, the school’s director of development.
“We haven’t seen enrollment up this high in 20 years,” she said.

School begins Wednesday, Sept. 7, for students in grades seven and nine. Grade nine has Thursday off, but students in grades seven, eight, 10 and 11 are due in class that day. Seniors and all other students will officially start next Friday, Sept. 9.

Shoreham-Wading River School District

Steven Cohen, a former assistant superintendent in Westchester County, was hired in June to replace superintendent Harriet Copel, whose contract expired in July.

Mr. Cohen will give a presentation on educational goals and priorities for this school year at the next Board of Education meeting on Sept. 6. The board will adopt its goals at the Sept. 20 meeting; they will then be posted on the district’s website.

Students at Briarcliff Elementary School will see two major changes upon returning to school.

Patricia Nugent has been chosen as the school’s new principal. She joins the district from Riverhead Middle School, where she served as assistant principal. She had also served for a short time as interim principal at Phillips Avenue Elementary School.
Ms. Nugent will replace Jane Ruthkowski, who resigned after three years to take a principal position in the Hauppauge School District.

Other than that, district proceedings will resume as they have in years past, Dr. Cohen said.

“Everything is moving forward as usual,” he said.

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Additional reporting by Samantha Brix

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