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Congrats to the Class of 2019

Congrats to the Class of 2019

The members of the Hampton Bays Class of 2019 received their diplomas at a traditional commencement ceremony on June 27 under a tent on the high school’s athletic field.

Several speakers took the podium during the ceremony to congratulate the class and offer advice for the future, including Superintendent of Schools Lars Clemensen. Also addressing the graduates were Class of 2019 valedictorian Christina Coulton and salutatorian Ava Bianchi. The pair reflected on their years in the school district and wished their classmates well. This year’s commencement speaker was 1999 Hampton Bays High School alumna Jennifer Garvey.



Hampton Bays Middle School athletes recognized

Hampton Bays Middle School students were recently honored as scholar-athletes. To attain this recognition, the students were required to maintain a 90 or above average for the first three quarters of the 2018-19 school year. 


Students Studying Trades Earn Scholarships

Students Studying Trades Earn Scholarships
Eighteen Hampton Bays, Westhampton Beach and Southampton junior and senior students, who will be attending EBOCES Career and Tech Ed Programs during the 2019-20 school year, were presented with $5,565 in scholarships from the Southampton Business Alliance on June 24 at Hampton Bays High School.

The approximate $250-$300 per student scholarships will help defray the out-of-pocket cost of tools and other gear the students are required to supply for their future studies in the “building trades,” specifically carpentry, HVAC, plumbing and heating, and electrical.  

The Southampton Business Alliance is providing the scholarships with a goal to help build a pipeline of skilled workers on the East End of Long Island. 

“The Southampton Business Alliance exists to protect the interests of the business community in the Town of Southampton. Our businesses can’t thrive without adequate workforce,” said Sheryl Heather, executive director of the Southampton Business Alliance. “Much is said about the workforce crisis due to the high cost of local housing, but we need to recognize that while there are many jobs available here in the housing and construction industry, there are very few local students learning those trades. We wish to invest in the students who are interested in learning these high-paying jobs.”

Hampton Bays School District Superintendent Lars Clemensen, who assisted in the facilitation of the scholarships, said he is grateful to the Southampton Business Alliance for investing in students. 

“Teaching students to identify what they love, what they are good at and how to use that to achieve their potential is our primary mission as educators,” he said. “We achieve that mission with even greater success by leveraging partnerships in the community that empower our students to succeed. We rely on Eastern Suffolk BOCES for their expertise in technical education and we depend on organizations like the Southampton Business Alliance to ensure every student can take advantage of every opportunity available to them.”

Dr. Julie Davis Lutz, chief operating officer of Eastern Suffolk BOCES, is equally pleased with the opportunity that the Southampton Business Alliance is providing to students. “We are proud to be partnering with the Southampton Business Alliance and the South Fork school districts in providing access to students in high school interested in studying trades,” she said. “We applaud the acknowledgement of the business community of the importance of career training in the trades for our high school students.”    

Athletes Sign with Colleges

Two Hampton Bay High School seniors signed letters of intent during an informal ceremony on June 19. The Hampton Bays School District congratulates Helen Benenaula (back row, center), who will be attending Five Towns College to play soccer, and Maryrose O’Connell (front row, center), who will be heading to SUNY Cortland to run track. 

Environmental Expo Showcases Student Research

Hampton Bays Middle School fifth graders presented their environmental research on a variety of topics at an Environmental Expo on June 19. Held at the school, the expo showcased projects related to climate change, global warming, the extinction of the leopard population, glass versus plastics, sea turtles and toxic fish in the waters. The expo also featured local environmental organizations.


Hampton Bays Senior Athletes Earn Awards


Several Hampton Bays High School senior athletes were recognized for their dedication to athletics and academics with scholarship and awards at the Hampton Bays Booster Club’s annual awards dinner on June 5.

The Hampton Bays School District congratulates the following award recipients: 

Doc Fallot Memorial Scholarship Award
Ava Bianchi (Muhlenberg College)
Patricio Pulla (Fordham University)

Hampton Bays Athletic Spirit Scholarship
Sean Noonan (Penn State)
Maryrose O’Connell (SUNY Cortland)

Baymen Pride Award
Kevin Eras Calle (Culinary Institute of America)
Sarah Fassino (University of Rhode Island)

Scholar-Athlete Award
Christina Coulton (Binghamton University)
Gavin Grismer (University of Buffalo)

John J. Pizarelli All-Around Award
Kevin McNamara (United States Army)
Rachel Reycroft (SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry)

Leaders of the Game Award
Varsity Football Kevin Eras
Varsity Golf Gavin Grismer
Varsity Boys Soccer Reymond Carrillo
Varsity Cross-Country Patrick Duba
Varsity Volleyball Rachel Reycroft
Varsity Girls Soccer Adriana Cozar
Varsity Tennis Brianna Hemmings
Varsity Girls Cross-Country Christina Coulton
Varsity Gymnastics Kelina Tuttle
Varsity Football Cheerleading Midori Villacorta
Varsity Field Hockey Sarah Fassino
Varsity Boys Basketball Matt Dean
Varsity Wrestling Nicholas Corredor
Varsity Boys Winter Track Darwin Fernandez
Varsity Girls Basketball Kaitlyn Mounts
Varsity Girls Winter Track Shaina Pierce
Varsity Comp. Cheerleading Ava Bianchi
Varsity Baseball Jaden Ottati
Varsity Boys Spring Track Patrick Duba
Boys Lacrosse Sean Noonan
Varsity Tennis Patricio Pulla
Varsity Softball Rebecca Heaney
Varsity Girls Spring Track Aliyah Cukaj
Varsity Girls Lacrosse Saorla Scully

Flag Flies for Jackie McKay

Flag Flies for Jackie McKay photo
Flag Flies for Jackie McKay photo 2
Flag Flies for Jackie McKay photo 3
Flag Flies for Jackie McKay photo 4
Flag Flies for Jackie McKay photo 5
In continuing its mission to take history out of the textbooks by honoring a local veteran each month of the school year, the Hampton Bays School District is paying tribute to U.S. Air Force veteran Jackie McKay by flying an American flag in her honor throughout the month of June. 

“The Hampton Bays School District is proud to honor Ms. McKay for her service to the United States,” said Superintendent of Schools Lars Clemensen. 

The American flag was raised during a Flag Day ceremony at Hampton Bays Elementary School on June 14. During the event, second graders read McKay’s biography and celebrated the flag by singing several traditional, patriotic songs. 

McKay was born in Nassau County and moved with her family at the age of 11 to North Sea. She graduated from Southampton High School.

After high school, McKay worked at both Suffolk County National Bank and John Ducks, a renowned restaurant that was a longtime favorite in Southampton. Eventually, she decided to take a different direction in her life, and her sense of patriotism and love for her country drove her to consider joining the military. It wasn’t long afterward that she found herself in a conversation with the Air Force recruiter in Riverhead to join the military branch.  

McKay was sent to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, for training. She had a unique situation at Lackland in that her younger brother, Scott, was also stationed there as an airman. Scott kept an eye on his sister and visited her every so often, and while it appeared to be an ideal situation, it did get McKay into a little trouble on a few occasions.

After completing training, she was transferred to Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier Parish, Louisiana. There, McKay discovered the real meaning of the terms “hot” and “humid.” This base was known for its 11,758-foot runway that was required for the big, lumbering B52s. It was at Barksdale that the Air Force discovered McKay’s skill in driving military vehicles, so she was assigned to teach airmen how to drive military-grade tractor trailers, “deuce and a half” (2.5-ton) trucks and transport buses.

McKay’s role was to support the base’s primary mission as determined by the Strategic Air Command. The SAC’s responsibility was to ensure that the Air Force B52 bombers were armed with a nuclear capability to strike America’s enemies in the event of an attack on the U.S. The big fixed wing aircraft were known as BUFFs (Big Ugly Fat Fellas). It took an armada of trucks and drivers to keep that B52 fleet armed, fueled and ready to fly anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice.
While at Barksdale, McKay performed her work in an efficient and professional manner and was twice recognized as Squadron Airman of the Month and nominated as Airman of the Base. In addition to B52s, she was associated with KC110s at the SAC attack base. After completing active duty, she was assigned to the inactive reserves for three and a half years. She was based out of New Jersey and Westhampton.

Working around B52s was one of McKay’s proudest accomplishments, especially since they supported both the U.S. SAC mission and NATO. She was always impressed with the majesty and power of a fully loaded and armed B52 ready for takeoff. She also fondly remembers an event called “Holiday in Dixie,” where the Barksdale personnel hosted air force personnel from all the NATO countries in a good old-fashioned American party. 

After leaving the Air Force, McKay settled back on the East End, working at the Southampton Inn and again at John Ducks. Finally, she found herself working for the Town of Southampton courts system. She never lost her love for vehicles, though, and is now working toward becoming a member of the American Legion Riders with her own bike.

Hampton Bays Valedictorian Recognized

Hampton Bays Valedictorian Recognized
With her parents and district administrators, Hampton Bays Class of 2019 valedictorian Christina Coulton was among the top-achieving students recognized at the Suffolk County School Superintendents Association’s 25th annual Valedictorian Luncheon, held at Villa Lombardi’s in Holbrook on May 30. She was presented with a certificate and gift of recognition. Also honored during the event was senior Midori Villacorta, who earned a scholarship from the Teachers Federal Credit Union as part of the SCSSA’s scholarship program. 

Recycling Paper Into Art

Recycling Paper Into Art
Inspired by the school’s recycling efforts, Hampton Bays Elementary School STEM teacher Jonathan DellaSperanza and art teacher Debra McDowell teamed up to teach students how to turn old paper into new paper that can be used as an artist’s canvas. 

Students are working in the school’s STEM lab to make usable paper through a process that involves shredding recycled paper, soaking the scraps in water to turn it into pulp, and drying. Once the material is set, students will use it in their art classes to paint pictures of their choice. 

“Through a partnership with Suffolk County, the school has recycled 7,159 pounds of paper and 8,705 plastic water bottles this year,” said DellaSperanza. “It is this program that sparked this collaborative idea.” 

McDowell plans to continue the idea next year by creating artwork using the recycled water bottles. 

Young Artists Showcase Work

The gymnasium at Hampton Bays Elementary School was alive with color on June 5 for the school’s annual art show. Spearheaded by art teacher Debra McDowell, the showcase featured vibrant works created by students in all grades throughout the school year. The exhibit spanned a range of mediums, from sculpture and weaving to collage and multimedia, and included pieces such as self-portraits drawn in colored pencil, ostriches sketched with oil pastels, a bear crafted from recycled paper, and “doughnuts” made out of tin foil and toilet paper. All works related back to the students’ study of famous artists.


Students Entering the Military Honored at Ceremony

Students Entering the Military Honored at Ceremony photo
High school seniors from Hampton Bays High School, who have committed to entering the military upon graduation were honored at a joint ceremony with Southampton and Westhampton Beach School Districts at Hampton Bays High School on May 31. 

During the formal event, which was the first of its kind, the three Hampton Bays seniors were presented with proclamations, an American flag to be flown above their respective schools, a commemorative plaque and a $250 scholarship. Their families were given blue star flags.

The ceremony kicked off with a musical military tribute by the Hampton Bays Symphonic Band, followed by several speakers taking the podium to offer congratulations and well wishes. Among them was keynote speaker Andrew Sierra (retired) of the United States Marine Corps.  

The idea to host this ceremony stemmed from a similar event created by the Our Community Salutes organization. The nonprofit began hosting thank-you events after its members realized they didn’t have an opportunity to say thank you to a young service member who was killed in action.   
Preceding the ceremony was a buffet breakfast prepared by students of the Hampton Bays Culinary Arts program. 

The Hampton Bays, Southampton and Westhampton Beach school districts congratulate the following seniors who will be entering military service: 

United States Army
Kevin McNamara, Hampton Bays

United States Marine Corps
Daniel Grisales, Hampton Bays

United States Navy
Michael Blanco, Hampton Bays

‘E’ is for Exercise

As part of a letter learning activity, second graders at Hampton Bays Elementary School have been participating in daily activities that start with a letter of the day. The students recently worked on the letter E and engaged in a variety of outdoor activities related to exercise.  

Ducks for a Cause

Ducks for a Cause
Members of the Hampton Bays Elementary School K-Kids club recently raised $150 by selling plastic ducks during their lunch period as part of a scholarship fundraiser for senior high school Key Club members. The high school Key Club is the high school version of K-Kids.

Hampton Bays is Kind!


Find out how Hampton Bays students display kindness in school in this short video.