Westhampton Beach teacher selected for Regeneron STEM fellowship

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Westhampton Beach High School science teacher Dr. Diana Gobler was one of 10 teachers in New York State to be selected for a prestigious Regeneron STEM Teaching Fellowship through Teachers College of Columbia University.

As part of the application process, Dr. Gobler submitted academic credentials and personal statements reflecting her knowledge and implementation of science, technology, engineering and math pedagogy, as well as evidence of prior professional development.

“This opportunity will give me the chance to strengthen my skills in teaching and understanding STEM topics that I want to improve in – specifically, engineering and coding,” she said.

Dr. Gobler said that every year, she has science research students who are interested in projects involving coding and robotics. The fellowship will broaden her knowledge in those areas so that she can pass it on to her students.

Through the fellowship, Dr. Gobler will take a Methods in STEM Education course and select electives in areas such as coding, robotics and astrobiology. The program culminates with a two-week research internship with Regeneron in the summer of 2023. At its conclusion, she will earn Leadership in STEM certification through Teachers College.

Dr. Gobler has been teaching at Westhampton Beach High School for the past six years, with course subjects including biology, science research, AP Research: STEM and biotechnology. She earned her Bachelor of Science in chemistry at Gettysburg College and her doctorate in molecular biology and biochemistry at Stony Brook University, and she worked as a researcher at Stony Brook University for a number of years before transitioning to teaching. In addition to teaching, she is co-principal investigator for the SPARK Spectroscopy High School Research Program at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Date Added: 5/9/2022

Doing Her Part

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After witnessing community members in need waiting on long lines for food donations, Westhampton Beach High School student Madison Esposito decided that she was going to step up and make a difference. That was five years ago. Since then, she has worked to donate hundreds of food items to Lighthouse Mission in Bellport.

Esposito started her effort by recycling bottles to raise funds to purchase food for the nonprofit organization and has since increased her efforts. She now works closely with King Kullen in Eastport to collect food that would otherwise be thrown away. Through that partnership, she has been able to donate 115 boxes of produce — including bananas, potatoes, peppers, artichokes and lettuce greens — to Lighthouse Mission this school year.

Esposito hopes that her work will inspire others to help those in need through Lighthouse Mission, which has several outreach trucks that provide food at 10 locations throughout Suffolk County.

When not collecting food, Esposito, an honor roll student, participates in her school’s Key Club and Art Club. She is also an avid equestrian, having started riding at the age of 4, and is a former Girl Scout.

Date Added: 5/6/2022

Celebrating Commitments

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As a symbol of their commitment to the pursuit of higher education, the Westhampton Beach High School Class of 2022 wore the apparel of their college of choice on May 2. The class will be heading to a number of premier schools this fall to begin their postsecondary studies, including the Amherst College, Barnard College, Cornell University, Fordham University, Georgetown University, Gonzaga University, Northeastern University, New York University, Princeton University, Stony Brook University and the University of Michigan. “We are incredibly proud of the Class of 2022,” said Principal Dr. Christopher Herr. “They have made their mark on Westhampton Beach High School, and we wish them the very best in the future.”

Date Added: 5/5/2022

Westhampton Beach Robotics Team Takes on the World

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The talented Westhampton Beach High School robotics team showcased their skills at the FIRST Robotics 2022 world championship, recently held at the George Convention Center in Houston, Texas.

During the event, 400 of the best FIRST robotics teams from around the world competed for the top position. Teams were broken into six field divisions, each comprised of 85 teams. Westhampton Beach’s Hurricanes battled in the Turing division and ended the competition with a win-loss record of 6-4-0 and an overall end rank of 18th in the division.

“Our scouting and drive team really energized and performed at an outstanding level,” said coach Tony Kryl. “Our robot also held up to some of the most intensive rounds of play at a world championship.”

Aside from competing, team members were able to learn from and speak with a multitude of teams, including ones from Israel, Turkey, Mexico, Brazil and Canada.

“This was an experience that will be imbedded into the team members’ memories for life,” said Kryl. “The entire team is tremendously grateful to have the school, parents, community and numerous sponsors come forward in as little as one week to send them to Houston.”

The team earned their spot at the world championship after competing at the SBPLI Regional 1 Long Island Championship, held at Hofstra University. During the competition, Westhampton Beach, who was the No. 3 seeded team, was selected by the No. 1 seeded team, Southold, to team up. They rose to the challenge and split the championship win. Westhampton Beach was further awarded the 2022 Rockwell Automation Creativity Award for their robot design.

Date Added: 4/29/2022

Students Entering the Military to be Honored at Ceremony

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High school seniors from the Hampton Bays, Southampton and Westhampton Beach school districts who have committed to entering the military upon graduation will be honored at a joint ceremony at Agawam Park in Southampton on Thursday, May 19, at 10 a.m. The rain date is Wednesday, May 25.

During the formal event, the seniors will be presented with proclamations and their families will be given blue star flags. The annual ceremony will include a musical military tribute and several speakers.

Date Added: 4/29/2022