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Mattituck School District awarded $203K grant toward foreign language program

The Mattituck-Cutchogue School District was recently awarded a $203,522 grant from the New York State Education Department. The grant, which was announced at the district’s Board of Education meeting Thursday, would go toward the district’s foreign language program.

The funding is for the 2018-19 school year and allows the district to expand the world language and world culture studies offerings.

“We are extremely excited to be awarded this grant,” Superintendent Anne Smith said. “This funding will enable us to expand our K-3 foreign language immersion program to K-6, offset the cost of staff and technology and to continue our efforts to create K-12 learning opportunities that engage, educate and inspire our students to be culturally competent in a diverse global society.”

The board also approved the hiring of Jessica Molina as a probationary Spanish teacher. The grant, which runs until Sept. 20, 2019, will expand the high school world language program, offer K-12 professional development, allow for increased community involvement in the program and add visual learning, which administrators hope will increase the amount of students studying a language in addition to Spanish.

Dr. Smith added that the district’s long-term goal is for Mattituck students to graduate with the New York State Seal of Biliteracy on their diplomas, which would signify that students have language and literacy skills in English and another language.

Wellness center

The school board also listened to a presentation on updates to the district’s new wellness center, which is expected to be completed in time for the 2018-19 school year.

The center at the high school is designed as an area for students to focus on their social and emotional health through physical activities such as yoga, said Tricia Desiderio, the director of special education.

The center will be fitted with treadmills, benches, racks, an Airbike, an Inflight multi-press machine and more. The district plans to purchase four recumbent bikes with interactive features for special education students. The total cost for equipment is $85,000.

“It’s a place where we can really tailor what’s being utilized in that room to impact students, whether it be their social emotional health, their mental health, and certainly their physical health through the apparatuses that will be in there,” athletic director Gregg Wormuth said at Thursday’s meeting.

A booster club donation of $16,000 will fund the addition of five Sparc Spin Bikes, according to Kevin Coffey, the district’s business and operations administrator.

Students can access the center during lunch, study hall, physical education classes or after school.

Special education teacher Maureen Buckel is congratulated by Tricia Desiderio. (Credit: Nicole Smith)


The Board of Education honored its retiring staff members at their meeting.

Dr. Smith and Ms. Desiderio called each person up to the front individually, presenting each retiree with a gift bag.

“This is our most exciting part of every year and we have a lot of people to acknowledge and thank,” Dr. Smith said.

The retirees present Thursday night included: Cutchogue East assistant principal Deborah Guryn, English as a New Language teacher Marie Ardolino, English as a New Language teacher Denise Cheshire, fifth grade teacher Diane Graeb, bus driver and monitor Nancy Readee, bus driver Gail Haas, special education teacher Madelyn Rothman, special education teacher Ron Roces, special education teacher Maureen Buckel and art teacher Jeanne Fallot.

Dr. Smith is also retiring at the end of this school year, and noted there were several other retirees who couldn’t attend the meeting to be recognized.

Photo caption: Superintendent Anne Smith, center, at Thursday’s Board of Education meeting. (Credit: Nicole Smith)

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