10/10/19 6:00am
10/10/2019 6:00 AM

North Fork school administrators are looking forward to connecting students with new mental health and substance use prevention resources following an open forum last Thursday that highlighted regional services. READ

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01/18/18 9:21pm
01/18/2018 9:21 PM

Shawn Petretti straddled two worlds while sitting in the bleachers Thursday night. The Mattituck High School principal had more than a casual interest in the high school wrestling match between Shoreham-Wading River and Mattituck/Greenport/Southold. That’s because his sons, John Carl and Tristan, both wrestle for Shoreham.

It was an intriguing case of a principal watching his own flesh and blood wrestle against the team he himself once coached in the Mattituck building where he works. Talk about conflicted interests. READ

06/18/15 12:00pm
06/18/2015 12:00 PM
Mattituck's Joe Tardif pitched a four-hitter to lead the Tuckers to a win in the state semifinals Saturday. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

Mattituck’s Joe Tardif pitched a four-hitter to lead the Tuckers to a win in the state semifinals Saturday. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

As the Mattituck High School baseball team assembled in the main lobby for a special celebration march through the school Monday to honor the Tuckers’ winning the New York State Class B championship, the school’s principal, Shawn Petretti, turned to center fielder Joe Tardif.

“Tardif, you know the drill, right?” he said.

Tardif laughed and said, “Yes, I do.” (more…)

06/05/2015 6:00 AM
(Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

A group of Mattituck High School teachers and students met with The Suffolk Times on Thursday to discuss the school’s ranking. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

Mattituck High School junior Julie Krudop is grateful for the teachers that helped her improve her reading and writing skills.

After she was diagnosed with dyslexia at a young age, she was enrolled into the district’s reading program and said her teachers immediately pushed her to work hard in overcoming her personal challenges.

It’s that type of support Julie and her fellow students attributed to the school’s recent success of ranking as one of the best high schools in the nation.


03/20/2014 6:24 PM
Mattituck-Cutchogue School District residents gathered Wednesday at the elementary school for a Common Core presentation. (Credit: Jennifer Gustavson)

The Mattituck-Cutchogue School District held a Common Core meeting Wednesday at the elementary school. (Credit: Jennifer Gustavson)

About 60 people attended Mattituck-Cutchogue School District’s presentation Wednesday evening about how Common Core standards are being achieved inside the classroom.


10/22/2013 3:05 PM
JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | Mattituck seniors taking students' tickets at Mattituck Cinemas. On Monday morning, the school showed "Bully," a 2011 documentary showing how bullying affects teenagers and their families.

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | Mattituck seniors taking students’ tickets at Mattituck Cinemas. On Tuesday morning, the school showed “Bully,” a 2011 documentary that shows how bullying affects teenagers and their families.

Mattituck-Cutchogue School District students got emotional Tuesday morning discussing five bullied teens they’d only just met on the big screen.

The group of junior-senior high school students visited Mattituck Cinemas to watch the 2011 documentary “Bully,” which depicts how bullying has affected children and their families.

According to the documentary’s website thebullyproject.com, filming took place during the 2009-10 school year in different parts of the country and captured a growing movement among communities to change how schools handle bullying.

One story concerns 12-year-old Alex Libby. Cameras followed him around his hometown of Sioux City, Iowa, and showed how he was tormented, cursed at, physically abused and called “fish face” numerous times on the bus ride to school.

“I’m starting to think I don’t feel anything anymore,” Alex told his mother when she learned about what was happening to him.

In the film, school officials are shown to be dismissive about the bullying after Alex’s parents complained. A few years later, he and his family moved out of state and Alex has been giving motivational anti-bullying talks.

Mattituck students Sarah Pfennig, 16, and Tucker Johansson, 14, said they believe the movie, directed by Lee Hirsch, will make a positive change among students.

Sarah described the school’s actions in Alex’s case as “very disheartening” and said she was saddened to see how he struggled to fit in.

Tucker said he believed seeing the film in a movie theater expressed the anti-bullying message stronger than if students had watched it in the school auditorium.

“It showed it’s not OK to bully and what happens to people when you do it,” he said of the movie. “My favorite part was when they all got together at the end to help stop bullying.”

That scene in the movie showed a mournful anti-bullying community gathering where balloons were tied to several empty seats, each representing the name of a bullied student who had committed suicide.

Sarah said she was one of the many students who cried when the balloons were released after each name was read.

“It makes you really appreciate how things are here,” Sarah said of Mattituck schools. She said she believes principal Shawn Petretti and assistant principal David Smith take bullying seriously and getting “The Bully Project” into Mattituck is another way of showing how administrators want to help students combat bullying.

The school has recently held other programs to teach students about compassion.

In September, American Paralympian Rohan Murphy visited students and gave a motivational talk about perseverance. Last year, John Halligan of Vermont visited the school to talk about how bullying drove his son, Ryan, to suicide and how he hoped his story will prevent future tragedies.

Mr. Petretti described Mattituck’s latest anti-bullying program as another tool to address the issue and said students will be writing reflective essays about the movie in their English classes.

Seniors also met with younger students last Friday to discuss the school’s culture and ways to deter bullying.

Since Mr. Petretti said he doesn’t want the movie experience to be a “one-and-done program,” he’s working with his staff and students to create a follow-up plan.

“I need your help,” he told students at the conclusion of the movie. “You’re on the bus, in the locker rooms and in the halls.

“Don’t just let this go.”

Cassidy Bertolias and Jillian Pedone, both 13, said they haven’t seen the types of physical bullying depicted in the movie at their school but have noticed that students will sometimes “talk behind each other’s backs” and agreed students will now be more aware of how negative comments hurt people’s feelings.

“[The movie’s] going to do something for our school,” Cassidy said.

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09/20/2013 5:11 PM
FILE PHOTO | Some Mattituck High School seniors will be in detention Saturday.

FILE PHOTO | Some Mattituck High School seniors will be in detention Saturday.

A group of Mattituck High School seniors will be in detention Saturday after administrators learned students had written on the roof with chalk and placed a total of about 200 balloons inside the building the night before school started.

High School principal Shawn Petretti said the term “prank” isn’t the best way to describe what happened on the evening of Sept. 8 because it has been a tradition for seniors to decorate the front of the building for the first day of school over the past several years.

While most students acted responsibly as they decorated the front entrance with chalked messages, streamers, pictures and signs, he said some students went on the roof and wrote messages in chalk. They also trespassed into the building and filled the front lobby and the senior hallway with balloons and decorations, he said.

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Mr. Petretti said he met with the class of 2014, which will be the district’s 100th graduating class, after discovering what had happened. He then asked for the students involved to step forward in lieu of the district launching an official investigation.

“Approximately 40 seniors came into my office and had admitted to what they were doing, even though some of their classmates did not,” he said during Thursday night’s school board meeting. “I thought that showed great character. I was pretty proud them — not with their actions, but how they reacted to the situation.”

Even though some students that came forward didn’t break the rules, Mr. Petretti said they still stepped forward because they also felt responsible since they were there as the situation unfolded.

And on Thursday night, four students addressed the school board during the public comment portion of the meeting to apologize for their class’s misconduct.

Mr. Petretti said he was impressed by the students’ courage and appreciated the unsolicited act of remorse.

“It’s a good class,” he said. “Worthy of our centennial class.”

Mr. Petretti, a fan of the 1985 movie “The Breakfast Club,” said Saturday detentions have been in place in Mattituck for about 13 years and started when he was the school’s dean and current Superintendent James McKenna was the principal.

Administrators have found the Saturday arrangement more beneficial than other forms of suspension because students won’t miss class and will still be held accountable for their actions.

“It’s a way of getting our pound of flesh without impacting academics,” he said. “I’ll be with them on Saturday. Its our own Breakfast Club.”

As for the 2015 senior class, Mr. Petretti said he’ll be meeting with students to come up with a plan for future senior traditions.

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