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Shoreham-Wading River

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Shoreham-Wading River school district officials announced Monday the schools would reopen Tuesday following their closure over fears a staff member had contact with someone with the virus.

On the district’s website a notice from Superintendent Gerard Poole read:

“Please be assured that the decision to close today was not one that the district made lightly. The information we received early this morning was limited and initially indicated that a member of our security team might have been exposed to an individual with the coronavirus. In many of my messages to you, I have stressed how the safety and security of our students and staff is our district’s top priority. Those are not just words to us — we truly mean them, and thus was the basis for our decision this morning. As we were waiting for further clarification from the Department of Health and the start of the school day was imminent, we felt it prudent to close in order to be overly cautious and in the best interest of our students/staff health.  Please note that it was further confirmed by the Department of Health that no individual in our district has tested positive for the coronavirus as of this writing.

While the situation today developed, please be assured that the district worked internally to take several proactive steps to further our past efforts. We once again completed a thorough and deep cleaning of all surfaces in our schools and our buses went through a deep disinfecting process. All afterschool activities for today will remain cancelled, as our custodial staff prepare our schools for tomorrow.”

*Original Story

Shoreham-Wading River school district has closed all schools early this morning as a coronavirus case was confirmed on a High School staff member’s spouse. The call went out to parents in the early morning as some students were on the bus on their way to class.

Residents in the Shoreham-Wading River school district reported receiving a robo call from Superintendent Gerard Poole in the early morning of Monday, March 9. Students that were on the bus by a little after 7 a.m. were being kept on the bus, then being turned around to have students dropped off at home. First bell for the high school is 7:20 a.m.

“The Shoreham-Wading River Central School District is closed today due to a potential suspected case of coronavirus with a high school staff member’s spouse,” Poole said in a statement. “The district has been in contact with the Suffolk County Department of Health and while we await confirmation and guidance from them we have decided to cancel classes at all schools today out of an abundance of caution.”

The district has not yet released information about how long they expect school to be closed, but in a letter on the district website, officials confirmed the first two days of school being absent would eat up the last remaining snow days. Any days schools are closed after that would impact the school calendar, including spring break which runs April 6 through 14, superintendent’s conference day, April 28, and the friday before Veterans Day, May 22.

The district also confirmed they were considering plans for online learning options in the event schools were closed due to the Covid 19 fears. 

The options include using Google Classroom and learning platforms such as I-Ready. The district encouraged parents to confirm the logins for I-ready and Aleks are functioning on home computers.  Those log-ins can be found in the parent briefcase in the Infinite Campus Parent Portal. 

District officials also said they have placed an additional cleaner in each building to disinfect surfaces. 

Yesterday, Suffolk County confirmed its first case of coronavirus. A man described in his early 40’s is being hospitalized in the Stony Brook/Southampton hospital.  

As of Sunday, the total number of confirmed cases of Covid 19 in New York has jumped to 105.

This story will be updated when more information becomes available.

The Shoreham-Wading River Gay-Straight Alliance Club, including co-advisors Ed Stock, center, and Brittany Davis, far right. Photo by Kyle Barr

One may think the LGBT community in Suffolk County is a small minority, until there are more than 100 of them and their allies together in a room celebrating what makes them, them.

On Jan. 28, after close to half a year of planning, the Shoreham-Wading River High School Gay-Straight Alliance club hosted a Gender-Sexuality Alliance Leadership Conference, the first in all of Suffolk County. They were joined by over 100 students from 14 different schools as well as a score of adults, including teachers, parents and school administrators.

Well over 100 people from different Gay-Straight Alliance clubs throughout Suffolk County at the Shoreham-Wading River High School Jan. 28 conference. Photo from SWRCSD

“Not only did it bring together a group of kids that were not only like-minded, but were also there to support each other,” said club co-advisor Brittany Davis. “It really felt like there was a sense of community that was just beautiful, that we did something that changed everyone’s outlook on this and really changed the whole dynamic of the comfortability in the school.”

Senior and club member Ray Colon said it was an event unlike any he has experienced at the school setting. Students who felt they were marginalized or pushed to the boundaries in their own schools could talk freely.

“It was awesome to hear them share their own stories and their own struggles back at home,” he said. “At school, they don’t have that space to be free always — it allows them to open up.”

Between the discussions and presentations, Davis said students flooded into the upstairs balcony in the library for an impromptu dance party.

“They might be that quiet kid in class, but when they’re with others they can finally feel comfortable,” Davis said. “It was really cool to see them be themselves — their energy went throughout the room and made everyone smile.” 

High school senior Emily Mulcahy, the club president, said while they were initially unsure how successful an event it would be, upon reaching out and getting a score of immediate responses, their doubts were eased. In fact, they had so many responses they could simply not fit all into the small space of the library.

Nearly five months of planning led to an event that included discussions about themselves and their place in the LGBT community, but also the recognition of administrators, including high school Principal Frank Pugliese and Superintendent Gerard Poole.

“In our building and district, we celebrate diversity, we don’t look down on it,” Pugliese said. “The fact so many districts felt the same way, I think even strengthened that message even more.”

The principal added he hopes this event will become “a normal part of the calendar.”

Fellow club co-advisor Ed Storck has been at the head of getting the whole event started. The fact that two school administrators could show such open support, he said, means a lot considering where the LGBT community has come from, especially in schools.

“So many kids were saying, ‘I didn’t know how many people were in support,’” he said.

SWR High School senior Ray Colon, of the Gay-Straight Alliance club, is flanked by GSA co-advisers Ed Storck and Brittany Davis. Photo from SWRCSD

Storck said the idea for the conference originally came to light when the club invited Jeremy Thode, an assistant principal at Center Moriches High School and the president of the Smithtown board of education, down to the school to speak to the club. Thode has been advocating for and educating about LGBTQ for little less than a year now. His son, Noah, came out as transgendered last January, and Thode has taken his experiences with his family’s path toward transition and acceptance and used it to advocate and educate both districts and parents.

“This event clearly told us that these kids, when with people who understand them, they are authentically themselves,” Thode said.

The club is planning future events for this year, including a visit this month to the LGBT Network of Long Island, a nonprofit support network that connects services on Long Island and Queens, where club students speak about the importance of allies in the community and how they wish to be treated by them. Later this year the club is planning a positivity week, which the club started three years ago. That week ends with a day of remembrance, where any participating student remains silent throughout the day to honor the people who have lost their lives due to discrimination in the past. On June 5, the district is also hosting the third annual Unity Dance for the other GSA clubs in Suffolk.

But club members also understand they have started something that may become a “legacy,” as Mulcahy put it. With Thode at the helm, the Smithtown school district is planning a similar event May 5. With more space in Smithtown High School West, they are able to fit the districts that were unable to come to the original event due to space.

“Ultimately, what needs to happen is more awareness, education and acceptance, not only in GSA’s, but in the wider community.” Thode said.

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Above, Mount Sinai senior Matt Camp won the day at the state wrestling championship March 1. Several other North Shore wrestlers placed on the day. Photo by Mel Jacoby

The wrestling season came to an end this past weekend at the Times Union Center in Albany with North Shore wrestlers making way at the 2020 Championship.  

Above, Mount Sinai senior Matt Camp won the day at the state wrestling championship March 1. Several other North Shore wrestlers placed on the day. Photo by Mel Jacoby

A sellout crowd was in attendance for the two-day, three-session event featuring the best wrestlers throughout New York state. All of the Division II County Champions plus a few wildcards competed.

North Shore wrestlers from John Glenn, Mount Sinai, Shoreham-Wading River and Mattituck participated.  

Mount Sinai’s Matt Campo, the No. 2 seed, wrestled Mickey Squires of Norwich, the No. 1 seed, in a rematch of their Windsor Christmas tournament where Squires won 6-4.  The finals was the seventh time Campo and Squires faced off, with Squires wining four and Campo winning two.

The match started with Squires scoring one point in the first period with an escape and took the lead 1-0. Campo responded in the second period with a takedown, scoring two points and a 2-1 lead. Squires responded with a third-period escape, scoring one point. This tied the score at 2-2 and sent the match to overtime. Both wrestlers knew the other’s style and adjusted accordingly. The crowd was in a frenzy during the overtime, knowing the first one to score would win the championship. In a dramatic finish, Campo scored two points on a takedown and won the match 4-2, becoming the New York State Champion at 170 pounds. Campo also recorded his 200th career win during the tournament.   

Campo credited the win to the strategy set up by his father, Mike Campo, coach Matt Armstrong and assistants Kurt Wagner, Eric Strobeck, Ralph Menchino, Jim Walker and two outstanding wrestling training partners, Joe Goodrich and Adam Shrata.    

Also placing in the tournament were Brayden Fahrbach and Mike O’Brien of Mount Sinai, who finished third. Craig Jablonski, of Shoreham-Wading River, placed fifth, while Joe Goodrich, of Mount Sinai placed sixth.

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SWR Also Gives Strong Showing

Mustangs wrestling gave it their all at this year’s Division II wrestling championship Feb. 14. Photo from Mel Jacoby

Center Moriches High School was home to the Dr. L Robert “Doc” Fallot Memorial Suffolk County Division II Wrestling Championship Friday, Feb. 14. Competing in the tournament were teams from Mount Sinai, Shoreham-Wading River, John Glenn, Mattituck, Hampton Bays, Bayport-Blue Point, Port Jefferson, Southampton and Babylon. 

A capacity crowd was in attendance to watch the boys compete for the coveted championship and a trip to Albany for the New York State Championship finals. 

In a close battle at 99 pounds, Brayden Fahrbach of Mount Sinai narrowly defeated a tough Chris Colon from Shoreham-Wading River 2-1.

At 106 pounds, Craig Jablonski of Shoreham-Wading River took down Anthony Mirando of John Glenn 2-1 in a tight battle. 

At 120 pounds, Joe Sparacio of Bayport-Blue Point outlasted Connor Pierce of Shoreham-Wading River, 8-3. 

The 126-pound match featured Jordan Titus of Center Moriches, who ranked third in the nation, against Jack Tyrell of Mount Sinai. Titus won in a tech fall 18-3.

The boys from Mt. Sinai won the next two matches with Brenden Goodrich outlasting Jake Jablonski of Shoreham-Wading River 6-2 and Mike O’Brien overwhelming River Orlando of Hampton Bays 15-4.

Mount Sinai powerhouses Matt Campo, at 170 pounds, and Joe Goodrich, at 182 pounds, who have been pinning machines all year, won their respective matches by pins. Campo stuck it out, winning over Ben Brown of Southampton in 1:25, with Goodrich defeating Ethan Schmidt of Mattituck in 4:53.  

Mount Sinai’s five winning wrestlers will compete in Albany Feb. 28 and 29.

The Rick Herrmann Most Outstanding Wrestler Award in the tournament went to Joe Sparacio of Bayport-Blue-Point, while the Jack Mahoney Champion of Champions Award went to Goodrich of Mount Sinai. The Most Pins in the Least Amount of Time Award went to Campo of Mount Sinai, ending with a total of four pins in 2:7.

The Bill Knapp Award went to the Mustangs, whose team score was 261 to Shoreham-Wading River’s 248. John Glenn had 219 while Mattituck had 201.

The New York State Championship will take place Feb. 28 and 29 at the Times Union Civic Center in Albany. Mount Sinai will be sending the most wrestlers from either Division I or Division II to the tournament. 

Rocky Point senior Jimmy Curley (l) runs 3200 meters along with Comsewogue’s Joe Fazio and Kings Park’s Jonathan Englehardt at SCCC Feb. 1. Bill Landon photo

The Mount Sinai Mustangs were the class of the field in the Suffolk County small school championship Feb. 1, sitting atop the leader-board to win the team championship with 66 points at Suffolk County Community College.

Kings Park finished 7th overall just ahead of Comsewogue High School. Shoreham-Wading River junior Blake Wehr placed 2nd in the high jump event clearing 6’ 4” landing the Wildcats 12th in the team standings.

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Farhbach, at 99 pounds, puts down his SWR opponent where his team won 47-24. Photo from Mel Jacoby

Syracuse, here they come, and not for the first time.

The Mount Sinai wrestling team after their win against SWR. Photo from Mel Jacoby

On Saturday, Jan. 25, Mount Sinai wrestlers beat Shoreham-Wading River in the finals of the Suffolk County Division II championship 47-24 to advance to the New York State Division II wrestling championship in Syracuse. Mount Sinai won an earlier match against Shoreham-Wading River in the regular season.  

The seniors again dazzled the capacity crowd by scoring pins at their respective weights. They were led by seniors Matt Campo at 170 pounds (34-2), Joe Goodrich at 182 pounds (35-0), Mike O’Brien at 138 pounds (33-4) and Adham Shata at 195 pounds (34-3), who each won their match.  

Taking charge at the lower weights was Brayden Fahrbach at 99 pounds, who won by a pin, while Derrek Menechino, Jack Tyrell and Brenden Goodrich all reversed earlier losses against Shoreham-Wading River to score decisive wins.   

Contributing to the team effort were middle weights Ryan Shanian at 145 pounds and Tristan Nardi at 160 pounds, who each won their matches.  

On the SWR side, the team ends league play with 7-6-1 and 19-4-1 overall.

This was the third year in a row that Mustang wrestlers won the Suffolk County Division II championship.  

Mount Sinai will advance to Syracuse for the New York State Dual Meet Championship at the SRC Arena Feb. 1, where they will defend their New York State title, which they have won the past two years.

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Shoreham-Wading River freshman Annie Sheehan shoots for two for the Wildcats at home against Bayport-Blue Point Jan 24. Bill Landon photo

The Wildcats had a score to settle against visiting Bayport-Blue Point Jan. 24, having lost to the Phantoms by eight points earlier in the season. Senior Abby Korzekwinski and Sophie Costello, the freshmen, combined for a powerful one two punch netting 15 points apiece winning the league VI matchup 57-50. Shoreham-Wading River senior Hayden Lachenmeyer finished with eight points and freshman GraceAnn Leonard banked seven and with it, clinched a playoff berth.

The win lifts the Wildcats to 8-5, 10-7 overall with three games remaining before post season play begins.

The Wildcats retake the court with a road game against Amityville Jan. 31. Game time is 6:30 p.m.

The McMorris family leads a hike Sept. 30 through Manorville, finishing the trek their son Andrew started a year earlier.Photo by Kyle Barr

Nobody should have had to go through what the McMorris family did.

Yet, there are very few families that could have turned around and offered up a chance of hope, and an effort to give back.

John and Alisa McMorris at the Dec. 15 race. Photo by Kyle Barr

Alisa and John McMorris were there in the hospital with their 12-year-old son, Andrew, as he passed from injuries received by an alleged drunk driver while on a hike with his Boy Scout troop in 2018. The family’s names have appeared in the news every week as of late, as the trial against the driver progressed.

Yet their names have also appeared in the news for other reasons. The family has started a foundation in the name of Andrew which has raised money for the local school district and drunk driving advocacy groups. They have shown staunch support for nonprofit advocacy groups Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Students Against Destructive Decisions.

Through fundraisers and other community efforts, the Andrew McMorris Foundation has raised thousands for Boy Scouts of America, their own Troop 161, the school district, along with MADD and other organizations that look to stem the tide of drunk driving. This year, Alisa stood next to U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City) in supporting bills to crack down on drunk and impaired driving, and the parents stood alongside MADD arguing to lower the blood alcohol limit for drunk drivers from 0.08 percent to 0.05 percent.

The Shoreham-Wading River community has become so known to tragedy, but for those who live in the two interconnected hamlets, mourning has become an act of compassion and activism. As was the case of the Cutinella family, whose son Thomas died after another player struck his head during a football game, and for the family of Melissa Marchese, an 18-year-old Shoreham resident who died in a car crash earlier this year. Tom and Kelli Cutinella were honored by TBR News Media as People of the Year in 2017 for the work with the foundation named after Thomas.

“They sing Andrew’s song with their advocacy — make an impact and change the world as if he were here today.”

– Kelli Cutinella

Kelli Cutinella said she and her husband had known Alisa and John for years, but they had reached out to the McMorris family after their loss, looking to offer any help they may have needed. Kelli soon came to see their “strength and courage,” witnessing the McMorris clan create their own foundation much in the same way the Cutinellas created theirs. She added that after such a loss, one never truly gets closure, but it lets one move in another direction — toward meaningful change.

“When you lose your child, you feel very alone,” Kelli said. “They sing Andrew’s song with their advocacy — make an impact and change the world as if he were here today.”

Last year, the McMorris foundation granted two scholarships worth $750 each to graduating SWR high school students in Andrew’s honor.

Superintendent Gerard Poole and SWR school board president, Michael Lewis, said the McMorris family has long been active in the district for years, with Alisa having been a PTA leader and member of the legislative and bond committees. Poole said she had been instrumental in setting up a trip for students to Albany to advocate. Her advocacy led to the resurrection of a SADD club as well.

“The McMorris family has been incredibly active, supporting student programs,” Poole said. Alisa’s “been just a great part of the school community — involved in every aspect.”

John McMorris is an assistant scoutmaster with Boy Scout Troop 161, where Andrew had been an active and enthusiastic member. Jane Sherman, the committee chair of Troop 161, called the McMorrises one of the strongest couples she knows for taking their personal tragedy and then “looking out for the community.”

She said the McMorris foundation has already had several successful fundraising events, both from the community and internally, including a gala in September. The gala and other events have raised money for a new cabin in the Baiting Hollow Scout Camp named McMorris Lodge in honor of Andrew. The outside of the cabin is nearly fully complete, and most of the work is continuing on the inside of the shell.

“They’ve had such vision, and every day they’re knocking down goalposts,”
Sherman said.

But this is only the beginning, the Troop 161 committee chair said. As fundraising continues, and as the foundation builds more support, there are plans to produce scholarship for not just SWR, but the Riverhead and Miller Place school districts as well. John McMorris works as a guidance counselor at Miller Place.

“Scholarships for science, aviation, music, everything that Andrew loved,” Sherman said. “They’re just tremendous, not just by themselves,

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After winning their preseason games handily over Southold/Greenport and Deer Park, Shoreham-Wading River girls basketball team dropped their league opener against John Glenn and the Wildcats looked to get back to their winning ways. Win they did against Mount Sinai, edging the Mustangs 43-36 on the road Dec. 6.

SWR senior Abby Korzewinski led the way for the Wildcats with 13 points. Sophomore guard Carlie Cutinella did her damage from down range hitting three triples, netting a total of nine points.
Mount Sinai sophomore standouts Casey Campo nailed four treys, four field goals and a free throw to lead the Mustangs 21 points, while Kylie Budke banked nine.

Shoreham-Wading River retakes the court Dec. 10 when they host Miller Place with a 4:15 p.m. start. Mount Sinai is back in action when they take on Amityville on the road Dec. 11. Tipoff is 4 p.m.

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Xavier Arline breaks free for one of his 4 touchdowns in a Shoreham Wading River rout of Seaford in the Long Island Championship game Nov. 30. Bill Landon photo

The Wildcats of Shoreham-Wading River’s football team have been sprinting towards success for the past six years, and now this year’s Long Island Championship adds another tally to their streak.

SWR senior quarterback Xavier Arline did what he’s done all season long leading his team to victory where the Wildcats pummeled Seaford 49-7 in the D-IV championship game at Hofstra University’s James M. Shuart Stadium Nov. 30.

Arline ran for four touchdowns in the game with carries of six yards, 54 yards, 64 yards and 67 yards, while throwing a pair of touchdown passes to tight-end Jake Wilson and senior running-back Mike Casazza. Seaford managed to find the end-zone with 29 seconds left as the Wildcats claimed their 4th Long Island Championship trophy in six years.