Celebrating 100 Days

100 Days
100 Days2
Elementary students celebrated 100 days of school on Feb. 13. Students marked the occasion by participating in a number of projects related to the number, 100. Second-graders in Ms. Brittany Morlock’s class for example, made projects using 100 items while first-graders in Ms. Pat Biscardi’s class worked in pairs to make creations using 100 Lego pieces. #engageHB

PTSA Magic Show Flyer


Geography Bee Champ Named

Geography Bee Champ Named
Middle school student Robert McNamera has won his school’s National Geographic Bee. Robert took first place after competing against eight of his fellow students on Jan. 25. He placed just ahead of runner-up Steven Sutton.

Robert now has the opportunity to qualify for the state geography bee by taking a regional online qualifying test. The results of that exam will be made available in early March.

The Hampton Bays School district extends its congratulations to Robert McNamera.

Winning Patriot Penn Essayists Recognized

Middle school winners of the annual Patriot Penn essay writing contest, Alisia Soto, Alexa Armas and Melissa Guzman, were recognized on Jan. 26 during a ceremony at VFW Post 5350 with certificates. The Hampton Bays School District extends its congratulations to the students. #engageHB

Hampton Bays Reads Together

To engage students in reading, the Hampton Bays Elementary School has kicked off a new monthlong reading experience, called Hampton Bays Reads Together.

Through the program, each day, all students will read aloud with their teachers a chapter from the same book: “8 Class Pets + 1 Squirrel divided by 1 Dog = Chaos” by Vivian Vande Velde. Discussions about each day’s chapter will continue throughout the day and extend into special areas, including music and art. Principal Mark Meyer will also present to students a daily question regarding the text they are reading.

The goal of the new program is to enrich students by helping them to listen longer, build vocabulary, understand concepts and feel positive about books and learning. #engageHB

Flag Flies for Matthew Dwyer

Flag Flies for Matthew Dwyer

In 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 Navy veteran Matthew Dwyer by flying an American flag in his honor throughout the month of January.

“The district is proud to honor Mr. Dwyer for his bravery and service to the United States,” said Superintendent of Schools Lars Clemensen.

Mr. Dwyer was honored at a ceremony held Jan. 27 at Hampton Bays Elementary School. During the event, middle school students sang, “Believe” by Shawn Mendes and high school VFW Patriot’s Pen essayists read their works and introduced Mr. Dwyer. Also, public officials, including Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming and Southampton Town Councilwoman Julie Lofstad spoke in Mr. Dwyer’s honor. The ceremony concluded with the raising of the American flag.

Mr. Dwyer was born in the Bronx and has resided in Hampton Bays since 1982. He graduated from Fairfield University in 1964 and Georgetown University Law Center in 1967 and was admitted to the New York and Washington, D.C. Bar.

In 1967, Mr. Dwyer enlisted in the Navy Reserve at Fort Schuyler in the Bronx and went to boot camp at Great Lakes Training Center in Illinois. Following boot camp, Mr. Dwyer was sent to active duty at the Brooklyn Naval Yard for two months before receiving a ship assignment aboard the USS Mauna Loa, an ammunition ship that was ported in Naples, Italy, on the Mediterranean Sea.  

Mr. Dwyer flew to Royal Air Force Mildenhall in England, and then on to Italy. Since Mr. Dwyer had a law degree, the captain of the ship assigned him to the ship's office. The captain then encouraged him to take the Navy-wide test for promotion to Petty Officer Third Class. Soon after, Mr. Dwyer passed the test and was promoted. Mr. Dwyer was responsible, for a time, for the painting and repairing parts of the ship to prepare for the chief of naval operations subsequent visit to the ship by landing on the ship's heliport. Mr. Dwyer also created a ship library and conducted a high school General Equivalency Diploma program onboard the ship.

While on the Mauna Loa, Mr. Dwyer sailed to Vietnam and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba — the site of the United States prison on base. The captain reassigned him to Newport, Rhode Island, where his duties included coordination and training for the Navy’s Sixth Fleet on base. After completing his active duty obligation in December 1971, he continued service in the Navy Reserve by attending weekly meetings in the Bronx until his enlistment commitment ended in 1974. He did not reenlist because he was returning to a civilian job as an attorney with the U.S. Treasury Department.

In 1983, Mr. Dwyer opened his private practice law office in Hampton Bays and continues to maintain an active practice. He is also a member of the American Legion Hand-Aldrich Post 924 for over 35 years and was the post's judge advocate for 25 years. Mr. Dwyer has also been the president of the Irish-American Society of the Hamptons and the Hampton Bays Beautification Association; an officer of the Hampton Bays Lions Club; Trustee of the Hampton Bays American Legion; Treasurer of the St. Rosalie's Church Holy Name Society and the Ancient Order of Hibernians.

Mr. Dwyer has been married to his wife, Barbara, for 48 years and has two children, Brendan and Alana, and two grandchildren, Daniel and Matthew.

Animal Visit

Animal Visit
Kindergarteners learned more about the animals that live at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge during an in-school visit on Jan. 27. During the event, Tony Valderrama, an environmental educator with the refuge, introduced students to several animal species, including a corn snake, bearded dragon, chinchilla and an owl. Students learned about the animals’ habitats, prey and lifecycles.

Students Make Chromobabies as Part of Gene Lesson

To help middle school Living Environment students fully understand chromosomes as they relate to alleles, eighth-grade science teachers Toni Dossiano and Amanda Heenan created a lab using pool noodles. As part of the lab, students constructed “Chromobabies” by marking the “chromonoodles” with gene markers. “It was a great way to show students how genes are the markings on particular chromosomes that each code for a specific trait,” said Ms. Dossiano. #engageHB

School-Themed Escape Room Engages Students

To engage fifth-grade students in their studies and increase their understanding of math, science and social studies concepts, middle school teacher Scott Garofola recently turned his classroom into an escape room.

As part of the activity, students had to use teamwork and their problem-solving and critical thinking skills to “escape” from their classroom that was filled with clues. Clues included invisible ink letters, hollowed out books and interactive puzzles that were all linked to lessons the students have been working on. #engageHB

Celebrating Hampton Bays Veterans


Learn how the Hampton Bays School District pays tribute to area veterans through its monthly veterans' ceremonies in this short video. #engageHB


Dancing For a Cause

Dancing For a Cause
Elementary school students boogied and grooved on Jan. 19 during an hourlong dance-a-thon sponsored by the school’s community service club, K-Kids. The dance-a-thon raised $800 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital through pledges the students procured prior to the event.

2017-2018 School Calendar Now Available


Snowman at Night

Snowman at Night
In working on their literary skills, first-graders in Ms. Kristy Loper’s class designed snowmen projects that depict snowmen and sentences about their favorite part of the story, “Snowmen at Night” by Caralyn Buehner. As part of the lesson, students also learned literary components in discussing the beginning, middle and end of the story. Pictured with their projects are (l-r) Anais Perez, Gustavo Tzitzimititla and Matheus Ribeiro.

Letter from the Superintendent re: Stranger Safety (English)


Letter from the Superintendent re: Stranger Safety (Spanish)


A Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

A Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
In marking Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, kindergartners in Ms. Lori Foster’s class wrote about the dreams they have to make the world a better place. Students wrote about helping others by becoming police officers, always being a friend and doing good deeds. The lesson culminated with the students making cutouts of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Alumni Inspire Middle Schoolers

Alumni Inspire Middle Schoolers
To inspire eighth-graders to start thinking about their futures, the middle school hosted its annual College Awareness Day on Jan. 4.

During the event, which was organized by guidance counselors Lorie O’Halloran and Jessica Sears, the middle school students gained insights and perspectives about college life from Hampton Bays High School graduates and children of school staff who are now enrolled in college. The college students answered questions about their experiences to date and discussed such topics as the typical college schedule, selection process and extracurricular activities offered.

The district expresses appreciation to the following college students who participated in the event: Angie Delgado (SUNY Oswego), Alexandra Peterson (SUNY Stony Brook), Christian Berglin (SUNY Maritime College), Noah Montague (SUNY Stony Brook), Vanessa Para Henao (Baruch College), Mary Kelly Hilton (SUNY Geneseo), Taylor Dunn (Marist College), David Ramirez (Farmingdale State College), Daniela Guttierez (SUNY Oneonta) and Laura Maila (James Madison University).

Deck the Halls

To provide some cheer to those in the hospital this holiday season, members of the high school Leos Club visited Southampton Hospital to sing Christmas carols on Dec. 20. For 45 minutes, the students strolled the hospital, singing, “Deck the Halls.” The Leo Club plans to make the hospital visit an annual event. #engageHB

A Day Stuck in a Snow Globe

Elementary school fourth-graders in Michelle Ferguson’s class celebrated the holidays by designing a bulletin board outside their classroom. The display features the students’ nonfiction stories about being stuck inside a snow globe for a day and accompanying illustrations that sit inside snow globes made from clear, plastic plates. #engageHB

Flag flies for James Von Ende


In 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 Vietnam veteran James Von Ende by flying an American flag in his honor throughout the month of December.

“The district is proud to honor Mr. Von Ende for his bravery and service to the United States,” said Superintendent of Schools Lars Clemensen.

Mr. Von Ende was honored at a ceremony held on Dec. 9 at Hampton Bays Elementary School. During the event, the high school select choir sang the national anthem and members of the Leo Club read Mr. Von Ende’s biography. High school student Nicole Salas also read her VFW Voice of Democracy Essay, “My Responsibility to America.”

The event culminated with the raising of the American flag and Mr. Clemensen and the Hampton Bays Board of Education presenting a high school diploma to Mr. Von Ende, who had enlisted in his senior year of high school prior to graduation.

Mr. Von Ende was born in Newark, New Jersey. His father owned a small house in Mastic and Mr. Von Ende’s family spent summers on Long Island. On Jan. 27, 1969, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was trained as a firefighter/damage control seaman at Naval Station Great Lakes in Illinois. He was assigned to the Davisville Naval Construction Battalion Center in Rhode Island, the home of the Navy’s Seabees.

Mr. Von Ende was assigned to an ammunition ship at Davisville which was moored away from other ships at the center because of the explosives the ship carried. His ship sailed to the Mediterranean and dropped anchor in Malta five times.  He also sailed to Naval Station Rota in Spain, to France, Italy and the U.S. Naval Base on Crete in Greece.

Mr. Von Ende’s tours at sea lasted four weeks at a time. They would eat powdered eggs, spam and they drank powdered milk because fresh food is hard to keep for weeks at a time. Water was carefully saved; sailors took “Navy Showers,” which meant get wet, turn off the water, lather up and wash, and then rinse. The ship was everyone’s home so everyone did what was needed to keep their ship clean and supplied.

When not fighting fires, Mr. Von Ende helped load missiles on the ship. He remembers training near Puerto Rico using an island named Vieques for target practice. As Mr. Von Ende and his sea mates were loading missiles to be fired, he had a feeling something wasn’t right. He moved his head just in time — a missile had come loose and came straight off the rack. It hit his head on the side. He still has a scar over his right eye.
Mr. Von Ende married in the spring 1970 while on leave from the Mediterranean. After his wedding, he was sent to gunnery school and in late 1970, he was on his way to Vietnam. He was then notified he was being discharged because his wife was ill. He and his wife had two daughters, but their marriage ended in 1985.

After his discharge, Mr. Von Ende used the G.I. Bill and attended electronics technology school. He could not be awarded his associate’s degree because he did not graduate from high school, but his training did enable him to open his own business repairing televisions and audio sound systems. He also played guitar and gave guitar lessons. He played onstage as well, as part of opening acts for concerts, in theaters and off-Broadway.

In 1955, as a musician, he played with a band. One of his bandmates had a sister, Lauren. They met and Jim said, “21 years later, here we are.” They became a blended family with four girls and moved to Hampton Bays from Mattituck.  He and Lauren now have a grandson in the Marine Corps; a granddaughter who is 16; an 8-year-old grandson in Massachusetts; and two more grandchildren in Hawaii. #engageHB

Successful Blood Drive

Blood Drive1
Blood Drive2
The high school Key Club held a blood drive in conjunction with NY Blood Services on Dec. 16. More than 50 students, staff and community members stepped up to donate.  #engageHB

Doing Their Part

In an effort to give back to the community, members of the high school Leos Club have participated in a number of community service activities throughout the month of December.

Most recently, the club members joined together to cook breakfast and serve dinner to the homeless at St. Mary’s Church in Hampton Bays as part of nonprofit Maureen’s Haven Homeless Outreach Program. The program relies on volunteers to help feed and supervise homeless guests who are given shelter at East End churches during the winter.

In addition to helping Maureen’s Haven, the club members have been spreading holiday cheer. They recently visited the Riverhead Care Center and Southampton Hospital to sing Christmas carols. #engageHB