The Year in Education 2015

Riverhead High School

Local schools received new technology, infrastructure and scholarship opportunities this year. Here’s a look at some of those stories.

Jan. 6 — Riverhead Charter School teachers move into their new classrooms in preparation for the opening of the newly constructed two-story school building in Calverton.

Jan. 13 — Voters in the Shoreham-Wading River School District approve a $48.5 million construction project.

Jan. 22 — Phillips Avenue Elementary School opens the district’s first school food pantry.

Feb. 4 — Riverhead High School announces that NJROTC Cadet Brianne Corwin has earned a four-year Navy ROTC scholarship.

Feb. 9 — Roanoke Avenue Elementary School physical education teacher Samantha Heidtmann is named a Project Fit America’s 2014 National All Star Teacher of the Year.

Feb. 10 — Riverhead High School students and parents demand the Board of Education return the district to a nine-period day to save classes that have been dropped or clubs where membership is dwindling.

March — The Riverhead High School Blue Masques present the musical “Footloose.”

March 12 — Riverhead Superintendent Nancy Carney proposes increasing the school district’s security budget by 27 percent, to a total of $1.13 million, to hire additional security guards and purchase new equipment.

April 23 — School districts whose leaders have been most outspoken in opposing New York’s direction with public education saw more students refuse this year’s state assessments, a Riverhead News-Review analysis found.

May 12 — The Shoreham-Wading River school board votes in favor of naming the high school athletic field Thomas Cutinella Memorial Field.

May 19 — School budgets in Riverhead and Shoreham-Wading River pass. Sue Koukounas and Ann Cotten-DeGrasse are elected to the Riverhead school board in the area’s only contested race.

May 29 — Marine Corps Pfc. Kevin Thomas, a 2013 Bishop McGann-Mercy High School graduate, finishes boot camp at the top of his class at Parris Island, S.C.

June 16 — Riverhead High School senior Karla Vanston completes high school after 13 consecutive years without a single absence.

July — Riley Avenue Elementary School student Mark Burns earns first-place honors in the Brookhaven National Laboratory Elementary School Science Fair.

July 10 — Fired Miller Avenue Elementary School principal Patricia Nugent files a discrimination lawsuit against the Shoreham-Wading River district and its administrators.

July 14 — Shoreham Wading-River school board elects John Zukowski and Robert Rose as its new president and vice president, respectively.

Aug. 1 — The Peconic Community School in Aquebogue establishes a memorial fund to honor kindergarten teacher Alison Aldredge, who passed away this summer.

Aug. 7 — Thirteen current and former Riverhead Charter School teachers file a $10 million discrimination case against the school and its principal.

Aug. 14 — Longtime assistant superintendent Joseph Ogeka files a claim saying he’s owed an additional $27,000 per year from the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System.

September — Riverhead High School’s new building is unveiled.

Sept. 2 — Thirty new hires participate in Riverhead School District’s annual New Teacher Institute program.

Sept. 8 — For the second time in as many months, the Riverhead school board votes down a resolution to formally support the Family Community Life Center proposal.

Sept. 14 — A 4-year-old boy is left unattended in a bus parked in the Riverhead School District bus lot. Following the incident, district officials say they’re “dealing with a personnel issue related to that occurrence.”

Sept. 24 — The family of a Riverhead football player who spent five weeks in a hospital after collapsing from heatstroke seeks legal action against the school district.

October — The Shoreham-Wading River school district announces a plan to offer the AP Capstone program in 2016-17.

Oct. 6 — Gabrielsen Farms in Jamesport holds a forum for educators across Long Island to discuss the current state of agriculture-based education.

Oct. 13 — The Riverhead school board honors New York City Police Officer Christopher Canale for rescuing a driver and monitor from a burning school bus.

Oct. 20 — Mary Steinbrecher is sworn in as the Shoreham-Wading River school board’s newest student member.

Oct. 24 — Riverhead Charter School raises about $6,000 with its first-ever Color-a-Thon fundraiser race.

Nov. — Four Riverhead schools flagged by the state for failing test scores submit plans to increase teacher collaboration and communication with parents.

Nov. 16 — The Riverhead Central Faculty Association raises $15,000 for the organization’s scholarship fund.

Nov. 25 — Riverhead High School inducts 66 new students into the National Honor Society.

Dec. 1 — Riverhead High School technology teacher Luke Ferland talks about his department’s accomplishments and goals with expanding student programs such as Robotics and engineering courses.

Dec. 10 — President Barack Obama signs the Every Student Succeeds Act into law, which includes Congressman Lee Zeldin’s amendment allowing school districts to opt out of Common Core without sacrificing federal funding. Gov. Andrew Cuomo also announces a plan to overhaul the controversial program.

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Photo: Students greet each other outside Riverhead High School’s new two-story facade and main entrance Sept. 8. (Credit: Barbarellen Koch, file)