Start With Hello

1 thumbnail177682
To provide social and emotional support to students during the COVID-19 pandemic, Westhampton Beach High School has adopted the Sandy Hook Start With Hello program.

During their recent physical education classes, students were introduced to the program that provides education about social isolation and how to create a connected and inclusive school and community. They were then encouraged to share positive messages on sticky notes, which are being displayed on a banner in the school.

“We are hoping to use this program as a catalyst for a yearlong initiative to support social and emotional development for our students,” said Kaitlin Davis, the school’s social worker, who spearheaded the program. “The impact of COVID has forced all of us to adjust to social distancing, but our students do not have to be isolated as a result.”

The goal, explained Davis, is to use the Start With Hello program to create a positive and connected school community despite the social restrictions of COVID.

Pink for Awareness

1 thumbnail177373
2 thumbnail177374
3 thumbnail177375
4 thumbnail177376
5 thumbnail177377
6 thumbnail177378
To raise awareness about breast cancer, Westhampton Beach High School National Honor Society members sponsored a wear pink to school campaign. On Oct. 22 and Oct. 23, all students were encouraged to wear pink in acknowledgement of breast cancer awareness month.

SBA Presents Scholarships to Trade Students

SBA Presents Scholarships to Trade Students thumbnail177041
The Southampton Business Alliance recently presented $6,100 in scholarships to 19 juniors and seniors in the Hampton Bays, Westhampton Beach and Southampton school districts. The students are all enrolled in career and technical education programs through Eastern Suffolk BOCES.

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,” including carpentry, HVAC, plumbing and electrical.

This is the second year that the Southampton Business Alliance has provided the scholarships with the goal of helping to build a pipeline of skilled workers on the East End while helping parents with the burden of toolbox costs. Last year, the alliance provided $5,600 in scholarships.

“College isn’t for everyone, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t great local jobs available,” said Sheryl Heather, Executive Director of the Southampton Business Alliance. “We are fortunate in our area to have many high-paying positions in the building trades, and to be able to make an inroad into local workforce development is a very big deal to us.”

Golden Canes Continue Mission Despite COVID

Golden Canes Continue Mission Despite COVID  thumbnail176767
Despite the challenges of COVID-19, Westhampton Beach High School sophomores Sydney Anastasia, Sean Bass and Kaitlyn Mcdermott have found creative ways to continue raising money for childhood cancer causes.

Working under the name the Golden Canes, the three have raised nearly $6,000 over the past two years for organizations including Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“It has become more challenging with COVID,” said Anastasia. “Every day, we try to think of new ways that we can raise money.”

With social distancing guidelines in place, the students can’t be as interactive as they had been in the past. To adjust, they turned to social media, where they kicked off their September campaign for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Together, they started a tea fundraiser for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation’s Million Mile 2000 where donors could pledge money for the Golden Canes to run, walk or bike. The effort proved fruitful, yielding $2,300 in pledges. The students also planned and held a socially distanced yard sale and lemonade stand, where they raised another $650.

The group aims to continue their philanthropic efforts this school year and beyond through a variety of fundraising campaigns, including the Macy’s Believe letter-writing campaign, in which Macy’s provides funding to Make-A-Wish for every letter to Santa that they receive. The students are also exploring ways to help the Ronald McDonald House.

The Golden Canes started their mission as eighth graders heading into their freshman year.

“We saw a lot of fundraisers happening and thought, what if we did something like that?” said Anastasia. “Knowing you are helping kids, even if it’s something as simple as a lunch, is a good feeling.”

The group chose to focus on childhood cancer awareness, as it is an issue near and dear to Anastasia’s heart. She is a six-year survivor of lymphoma, having been diagnosed at the age of 9.

Seniors Commended in National Merit Program

1 thumbnail176702
Four Westhampton Beach High School seniors have been recognized as Commended Students in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program as a result of their outstanding scores on the qualifying exam.

Seniors Ellen Floegel, Joshua Kaplan, Jane Paulson and John Shannon are among 34,000 students throughout the nation to earn this distinction and be recognized for their “exceptional academic promise.” To earn the title, they placed among the top 5% of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the PSAT.

The Westhampton Beach School District congratulates each of these students on this prestigious accomplishment.