Community Columns

Cutchogue News: A forgotten school song in Mattituck

Traditions make a community great! Students have been attending Mattituck High School for 100 years and, for as long as I can remember, former principal and superintendent Jim McKenna entertained school audiences with his piano playing. Last week, a new tradition began. As audience members waited for the winter concert to begin, a recording of the jazz band from 2006 was played. That was a pleasant surprise for me, as my son Jay was part of that group. Principal Shaun Petretti announced that, while he was preparing for the school’s centennial celebration, he noticed that something was missing: a school song. After a fruitless search, a student came to the rescue by discovering a forgotten Mattituck High School song in the 1934 yearbook. The song was written by Coach Wormley, who coached basketball and baseball, taught math and science and at the time was the only male faculty member! With just a couple of weeks’ notice, choral conductor Jacob Fowle taught the chorus the song, which debuted at the concert, and which he considers a worthy work in progress!

Proud and teary Karen and Rich Cappello attended the Maryland State Police graduation to see their son Matt become Trooper Cappello. The road to his graduation included some bumps along the way, but Matt persevered and succeeded in graduating with the “Tried and True – Class 142.” While I’m on the subject, Paulette Ofrias was also feeling pretty proud about her son Patrick James’ graduation from the New Hampshire Police Academy. Congratulations, Matt and Patrick. May God’s protection surround you always!

Pride is not exclusive to parents. Administrators, political officials and instructors also experienced the pride that came from seeing Commander Sticht inspect our local No. 1 NJROTC unit — No. 1 unit in area 4 and No. 3 unit in the world! Special kudos to Andy Cushman and Jasmine Clasing and the cadet staff; cadets Bugdin, Klipstein, Hughes and Cummings; No. 1 New York State cadet, Tom Messana; cadets Cosmadelis, Larsen and Macomber for their recognition as inspection standouts; No. 1 Platoon commander Ensign William Stuckart; and most outstanding cadet, Taylor Larsen. Congratulations to all!

It came as no surprise to me that Rosemary Martilotta, Cutchogue New Suffolk Library’s young adult librarian, won the award for “most creative” at the 2014 Teen Librarian Awards for the Young Adult Service Division of the Suffolk County Library Association. You can see that there’s been an infusion of fresh energy in the department. From the functional redesign of the children’s and youth areas to program development, things are looking good and running well. Congratulations!

Coming up at the library: Family Flick, Friday, Dec. 26, 4 p.m. with “Alpha & Omega 2: A How-i-day Adventure;” no registration is needed but caregivers are required for those under 8. Bilingual Storytime for ages 3-5 is set for Saturday, Dec. 27, at 10 a.m. and Terrific 2s & 3s: Catching Snowflakes is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday, Dec. 29. Register at 734-6360.

I love Scrabble and have wanted for years to enter Congregation Tifereth Israel’s annual Family Scrabble Festival. This year’s contest is Sunday, Jan. 4, 1 to 4 p.m., and I hope I don’t have a conflict! Entrants can play the game, win prizes and even challenge the master. For more information call the synagogue, 477-0232, or email [email protected]

North Fork Reform Synagogue continues its wellness series Sunday, Jan. 18, 1:30-3 p.m., with “Tai Chi for Health, Balance and Fun” with Denise Gillies at the Peconic Lane recreation center in Peconic. Tai Chi can reduce stress, prevent falls and improve balance, flexibility and mental focus. For more information call 921-3354 or visit

We’re all in different stages of our lives, some enjoying the season, others not so much. Find something to be grateful for, care for yourself and pray for those who are less fortunate. No matter where you are in life, it can only get better! Happy Chanukah, Merry Christmas and a very happy, healthy New Year!

My column will return Jan. 15 and I look forward to hearing from you.

Contact Cutchogue-New Suffolk columnist Barbara Sheryll at [email protected] or 734-5242.