Photos: Riverhead Charter School hosts Black History Month Celebration

Simone Biles stretched on the floor as Michelle Obama sat nearby with copies of her book “Becoming.”

Stevie Wonder played the keyboard; Tiger Woods posed with a golf club. And California Congresswoman Maxine Waters held an American flag.

More than two dozen prominent African Americans in politics, education, sports, music and more were represented Thursday night at the Riverhead Charter School’s Black History Month Celebration. Students from all different grades lined the hallway for the “Live” museum where they were dressed as a famous person and then recited a brief summary of who they were for visitors.

From there, students and spectators filled the school’s gymnasium for additional performances. Superintendent Raymond Ankrum began with a welcome address before handing the microphone to master of ceremonies Terrell Dozier, the school’s dean of students.

The night took on extra special meaning as the community mourned the loss of board secretary Susan Heintz of Calverton, who was a founder of the charter school.

Mr. Ankrum delivered an emotional speech to remember Ms. Heintz as her family members sat in the front row.

“She was an amazing soul,” Mr. Ankrum said.

Ms. Heintz, 65, who died Feb. 19, was a social worker with a passion for equal education for children of all races and ethnic backgrounds, which helped ignite her passion to start the charter school, according to a program bio.

“This was her love,” Mr. Ankrum said. “She loved this place. Tonight we’re going to honor her, we’re going to celebrate her.”

Mr. Ankrum remembered her as a tireless worker who loved her family above all else. He recalled how she would send him text messages with updates stats after her son’s basketball games.

“She was so proud of her kids and her grandkids,” he said.

Mr. Ankrum’s daughter Michayla handed flowers to Ms. Hentiz’s family members.

“Ms. Heintz had an unwavering passion and was committed to providing as safe and nurturing environment where all children can learn, thrive and grow,” the bio read.